Major William P. White commanded the 21st Battalion, Georgia Cavalry that was organized in the early summer of 1862. These were partisan rangers formed by the consolidation of White's Battalion and Banks Battalion. The Twenty-First Cavalry Battalion, which served with great credit on the South Carolina coast from early 1862 until early 1864 was stationed near Georgetown, S.C.

The following reports may be good examples of the quality that Major White instilled in his men.

OCTOBER 19, 1863.-Affair at Murrell’s Inlet, S.C.

Report of Brig. Gen. J.H. Trapier, C. S. Army, commanding Fourth Military District.

Georgetown, October 22, 1863.

I have the honor to report the capture, by a detachment belonging to Company B, Twenty-first Battalion Georgia Cavalry, under the command of Lieutenant [Ely] Kennedy, of 10 of the enemy (a lieutenant and 9 men), at Murrell’s Inlet, on the afternoon of the 19th instant, under the following circumstances:
About a week ago a schooner,* attempting to run the blockade into that inlet, was driven ashore near by. Her cargo was landed in safety upon the beach and removed behind the sand-hills immediately in rear for greater security. The vessel was then burned by the crew. It is presumed that the object of the enemy’s demonstration on the 19th was the destruction of this cargo. He approached the shore in two barges, one of them carrying a howitzer. This blockading vessel lay off about 500 yards from the beach. Seventeen men, armed with rifles and pistols, landed and approached the sand-hills. Behind these hills Lieutenant Kennedy had concealed a portion of his men, dismounted. Another body (mounted) was ordered to make a dash upon the enemy’s rear as soon as fire was opened upon them in front, and cut off their retreat. The orders were executed with promptness and precision, and the result was as I have reported, without a single casualty on our side, notwithstanding that the enemy opened fire from his gunboat as well as his barges. None of his dead or wounded fell into our hands, but several men were seen to fall when the retreating barges were fired upon.
The little affair reflects much credit upon the skill and judgment of the young officer in command, as well as upon the courage and coolness of his men.
Major [W. P.] White, commanding on Waccamaw Neck, says in his official report: “Every man engaged in the affair deserves commendation.” He mentions particularly Sergt. W. H. Crawford, who received the sword of the captured officer. The prisoners leave today under guard for the headquarters of the department.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

Brigadier- General, Commanding.

Chief of Staff, &c.

* "The Rover".



Charleston, S. C., October 2~, 1863.
Brig. Gen. J. H. TRAPIER:

Please express to Lieutenant [Ely] Kennedy and his command the high sense which the commanding general has of the good conduct which characterized their affair on the afternoon of the 19th instant, at Murrell’s Inlet, with the enemy’s barges, which resulted in the capture of a lieutenant and 10 men of the enemy’s force.
The commanding general is further pleased to thank Sergt. W. H. Crawford for the part he took in the transaction, as specially noticed by his commanding officer. Officers and men on outpost service, by coolness, vigilance, subordination, and resolution, may frequently render signal service by successful small encounters with the enemy.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

General, Commanding.]


DECEMBER 5, 1863.-Affair at Murrell’s Inlet, S. C.

Report of Brig. Gem. J. H. Trapier, C. S. Army, commanding Fourth Military District.

Georgetown, December 8, 1863.


On the 5th instant a party of the enemy (16 in number) from the man-of-war blockading off Murrell’s [or Murray’s] Inlet, landed upon Magnolia Beach, near that inlet, for the purpose, as is supposed, of burning a small schooner lying therein. They were promptly and vigorously attacked by a portion of Company B, Twenty-first Battalion Georgia Cavalry, under the command of Captain [H. K.] Harrison, and the whole party, with but one exception, taken, with most of their arms. Two of the men are badly wounded. I regret to add that Captain Harrison lost 1 man killed and 2 severely wounded. Fourteen of the prisoners have been conducted to these headquarters. Twelve of them will be sent hence to-morrow to the headquarters of the commanding general. They consist of 3 officers and 9 men. The 2 wounded men are retained in hospital. The missing prisoner is not yet officially accounted for.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

Brigadier- General, Commanding.

Chief of Staff, &c., Charleston, S. C.


DECEMBER 11, 1863.

Compliment Captain Harrison and men for their success.

General, Commanding.



Georgetown, January 8, 1864.

I have the honor to report the capture of 4 officers and 20 men belonging to one of the enemy's blockading vessels on this coast, under the following circumstances: The steamer Dan, from Bermuda, in attempting to run the blockade into Wilmington was discovered and chased off. Finding escape impossible she was beached at about 12 m. yesterday, on the Waccamaw Beach, at a point some 12 or 15 miles north of Georgetown entrance. Her officers and crew and her passengers were all landed in safety, the steamer having been first fired. The enemy, in attempting to reach her in barges, encountered a very rough sea and their barges were capsized. Three of their men were drowned; the remainder succeeded in reaching the shore and soon after surrendered to Major William P. White, 1 officer and 1 man, without firing a shot, though with arms in their hands.

I shall send these prisoners to Kingstree on Monday next, and respectfully request that they be met there by a detachment from Charleston in order that my men may return immediately. I require the services of them all.

I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

Brigadier-General, Commanding.


Report of Major William P. White, Twenty-first Battalion Georgia Cavalry.


Waccamaw Forces, January 26, 1864.

In conformity to General Orders, No.128, Department of South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida, paragraph 1, I feel it a duty incumbent on me, as well as a pleasure, to notice the meritorious conduct of Junior Second Lieutenant Thomas Young and Private Lemuel Robertson, both of Company C, Twenty-first Georgia Cavalry Battalion, who gallantly charged upon 25 Abolitionists on Dubardu Beach, Waccamaw, S.C., on the 7th instant, armed with cutlasses and pistols, and aided in compelling them to lay down their arms and surrender when there was no supporting forces within three-quarters of a mile of the parties. To my surprise, instead of one volley at least, the whole party, commanded by a lieutenant of the U.S. Navy, obeyed the summons, were taken prisoners, and were delivered up to your order.

Very respectfully, yours,

Major, Commanding Twenty-first Georgia Cav. Battalion.


The 7th Georgia Cavalry through the consolidation of units, including the 21st, was organized in early 1864 under command of now, Colonel White.

Even though a part of the 7th, these units continued to operate individually for a period of time.


Richmond, Va. , March 18,1864.

XXIX. The Fourth South Carolina Cavalry, Colonel Rutledge; the Fifth South Carolina Cavalry,Colonel Dunovant; the Sixth South Carolina Cavalry,Colonel Aiken; the Seventh Georgia Cavalry, Colonel White, and the three remaining companies of the Twentieth Georgia Battalion, Lieutenant-Colonel Millen,will at once proceed in light marching order by highway to the Army of Northern Virginia. The train now attached to each regiment and to the battalion will accompany them on the march, and will transport cooking utensils only. The baggage conformed to regulation will be transported by railroad.


In early May the assignments for the 7th was issued.


Organization of the Army of Northern Virginia, commanded by
General Robert E. Lee, C.S. Army, early in May, 1864.*


Major General JAMES E. B. STUART.


Major General WADE HAMPTON.

Young's Brigade.

Brigadier General PIERCE M.B. YOUNG.

7th Georgia, Colonel William P. White.

Cobb's (Georgia) Legion, Colonel G. J. Wright.

Phillips (Georgia) Legion, ----- -----.

20th Georgia Battalion, Lieutenant Colonel John M. Millen.

Jeff. Davis (Mississippi) Legion, --- -----.


Colonel White did not lead his men into battle in Virginia. While still in South Carolina, Col. White became the victim of an assassin's bullet thus ending his military career.


Colonel William P. White,

7th Georgia Cavalry, C.S.A.,

was laid to rest at

Laural Grove Cemetery,

Savannah, Georgia.

Photo provided by Joel E Hewitt.

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