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Joseph L. McAllister 1820 - 1864

Joseph McAllister's grandfather, Archibald and great grandfather, Richard McAllister both served as officers during the Revolutionary War.

After the War of Independence with England was over Joseph's grandfather remained at Ft. Hunter, Pa. and his father, G.Washington McAllister moved to the South. As a young adult Joseph's father bought Strathy Hall, a plantation on the Ogeechee River in Bryan County, Ga. Joseph's younger years were spent working on the plantation and learning the farming business. Upon his father's death in 1850, Joseph L. McAllister inherited the plantation.

Joseph McAllister was a wealthy and well-respected rice planter. He was “an upright, useful citizen, charitable to the poor and kind to all, a sagacious and dashing soldier, and a true patriot.”

In 1861, the newly formed Confederate Government acquired land from McAllister called Genesis Point at the mouth of the Ogeechee River for the construction of an earthen fort. J.L. McAllister volunteered for service in the Confederacy and was commissioned as artillery captain assigned to Genesis Point where the fort was named after his father, George Washington McAllister.

Then in April 1862, he had the honor of mustering in a company of mounted infantrymen and named the unit "Hardwick Mounted Rifles". The company was garrisoned at Genesis Point until consolidated with other units to form the 7th Georgia Cavalry.

In September 1862, Captain McAllister's Hardwick Mounted Rifles had their first encounter of significance at Kilkenny.

HDQRS. DEPT. OF SOUTH CAROLINA AND GEORGIA,
Charleston, S. C., September 14, 1862.

Captain J. L. MCALLISTER, H. M. Rifles:

CAPTAIN: I am instructed by the major-general commanding to say to you that he is highly gratified at the gallant conduct of yourself and the officers and men of your company engaged in the skirmish on the Kilkenny River with the enemy on September 10, 1862. The major-general commanding wishes you to return his heartfelt thanks to all concerned for their gallantry on the occasion above referred to.

J. R. WADDY,
Assistant Adjutant-General


Although he had little military training, McAllister had natural ability as a leader of men and was held in high esteem by those who served under him. When the 7th Georgia Cavalry was established, Capt. McAllister was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel. Then with the assassination of Col. White, just prior to moving to Virginia, Col. McAllister became commander of the 7th Georgia Cavalry.

The Battle at Trevillian Station resulted with very high losses for both sides. The 7th lost nearly half of the 600 that were engaged, including Lt. Col. Joseph L. McAllister.

He cried out to his men, “Strike for God and our native land!” He bore himself as though he courted death in defense of his country’s liberties.”

One of the men of the 7th had this account of McAllister's death, ...."During our last charge our brave Lieutenant Colonel McAllister fell, pierced by four balls. He was too invincible to surrender to his foes until he became a lifeless corpse."

Henry Dawson VanBrackle of Co. K had the following to say: "In May 1863 I joined the Hardwick Mounted Riflemen, organized in Bryan County by Col. Joseph L. McAllister, and later forming part of the noble Seventh Georgia Regiment of Cavalry with which I continued until the end of the war.

I was present at the dismounted fight at Trevillion Station, Virginia, where in a brilliant stand every officer was killed or wounded, and my colonel being among those killed. (referring to Col. McAllister)

I have always attributed the saving of my life to him, as when I was following in his steps, having left the horses and being a young man of very small statue, he turned and said to me, Henry, you go back and hold the horses, you are too young and small a man to be killed here and it is probable that none of us will come out alive. I replied, no, colonel, if it is not too hot for you it is not too hot for me, and I go where you go, I don't leave you. He then said, Henry, I want you to hold my horses, for I do not know anyone who I would trust more than you, and I may need them at any minute, go back and look out for any signal I may give and be quick with whatever you do. I went back, and in a few moments my colonel was killed, and I have always felt that he wanted to save my life. I am sure if I had not gone back, I would have lost my life, as both he and my captain, John Hines, were killed"


Light Cavalry Saber and Spurs
of
Lt. Col. Joseph Longworth McAllister, C.S.A.

Lt. Col. Joseph Longworth McAllister was buried at the Confederate Cemetery near Louisa Court House, Virginia.



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