Reprise: One of the Immortal Six Hundred

13TH MISSISSIPPI INFANTRY REGIMENT

While the 13th regiment was in the Shenandoah Valley, on Sept. 7, 1864, Third Lieutenant Absalom H. Farrar of the Kemper Legion arrived at Morris Island in the harbor opposite Charleston, SC. He was to become one of what the Southern newspapers of the day called “The Immortal Six Hundred.”

They were Confederate officers, prisoners of war, who were held as human shields on the island at the mouth of the harbor, in federal retaliation for 50 Union officers similarly held inside the South Carolina city.

The Union officers were supposed to be proof against Union bombardment of civilians in Charleston, while the “Immortal Six Hundred,” were supposed to block the fire of Rebel artillery in Fort Sumter upon Union positions near Fort Wagner and elsewhere.

Farrar had been captured at Gettysburg. He was left in a field hospital with a severe gunshot wound in his foot when the army retreated…

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