The braggart sergeantmajor

The First and only sergeant-major of the CS Marine Corps was appointed at Mobile, Alabama, after being recruited by Capt Meiere on February


!, 1864. Born in Scotland, a mart calling himself "Edwin Wallace" claimed that he had served in the British Royal Marines, and that his father had also been a sergeant-major in that corps. (However, no record of such service has been found, despite a careful search of R\i records for enlisted men.) Wallace was transferred on February 8 to Drewry's Bluff, where he served until reduced to the ranks and assigned to Co B on July 25 of that year. He deserted five days later, and swam across the Appomattox River to reach Federal lines carrying "information to the enemy." According to the Richmond Daily Dispatch of September 14, he "recently married a lady in Petersburg. He was famed for recounting his personal exploits, and professed to have been at the grand charge at Balaklava [sic], where 'cannon to the right of them, cannon to the left of them, rattled and thundered.' His representations to the Yankees were doubtless the coinage of his own brain, as the statement that his wife and child were killed by a shell in Petersburg is known to have been a deliberate falsehood. The Confederacy loses nothing by the departure of such a man, notwithstanding the hue and cry raised by the Yankees on his arrival amongst them."

Henry Melville Doak was commissioned second lieutenant in the CSMC to rank from November 12, 1862. After serving at Charleston Harbor and on the coast of North Carolina, he was seriously wounded defending Fort Fisher on January 15, 1864. This portrait has been crudely retouched, but the original single collar bar and single-braid sleeve knots on his all-gray coat are apparent. (Courtesy of the Tennessee State Library & Archives)

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