Stephen Elliott “The Hero of Charleston” Confederate American Veteran
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Posted : September 21, 2020
Stephen Elliott, Jr. was born in Beaufort on October 26, 1830, to the Rev. Stephen Elliott (1806 – 1866) and Ann Hutson Habersham Elliott. Elliott studied at Harvard College but transferred to South Carolina College from whence he graduated in 1850. He owned a cotton plantation. On December 12, 1854, he married Charlotte Stuart (18 September 1833 – 25 April 1868) with whom he had three sons.
Stephen Elliott, Jr. became the second-highest-ranking officer of Beaufort District’s native sons who joined the Confederate cause. At the outbreak of the Civil War, “Ste” was senior captain of the Beaufort Volunteer Artillery
and St. Helena Parish’s representative in the South Carolina legislature.
He was a member in the 44th through 47th (1860 – 1866) assemblies though his military duties prevented him from attending many sessions. His bold actions precipitated a series of promotions. He participated in the capture of Fort Sumter in 1861, fought at the battles of Port Royal Sound, Pocotaligo, the Crater, Averasboro, and Bentonville.
He made daring raids behind enemy lines using his skills as a sportsman, waterman, and fluent speaker of Gullah to his advantage. He captured a federal steamer, George Washington, in April 1863.
Handpicked to defend Sumter to the last extremity, Elliott performed so well that his Yankee foes saluted him by dipping the Union flag in recognition of his courage and steadfastness. Wounded on five separate occasions, Elliott exemplified courage and inspirational leadership that justified promotions advocated by Generals Robert E. Lee and P.G.T. Beauregard and President Jefferson Davis.