Known as Shanks because of his long, skinny legs, Captain Nathan Evans served his pre–Civil War years in the Army on the frontier fighting hostile Indian tribes. In February 1861 he resigned to accept a major's commission with the military forces of South Carolina. After the surrender of Fort Sumter in April, Evans accepted a captain's commission in the Confederate cavalry and was shortly thereafter promoted to lieutenant colonel and later colonel.
He was assigned command of an infantry brigade in Brig.
General Pierre G. T. Beauregard's Army of the Potomac. In camp and field Evans had an attachment to strong drink, often keeping an aide nearby with a small keg of whiskey, which Evans referred to as his “barreletta."
At the Battle of First Bull Run Evans' small brigade was placed on the Confederate left and was able to hold off the Union's flank attack long enough for reinforcements to arrive. Although his command was eventually forced to fall back, his delaying tactic allowed the Confederates time to shift additional forces from Manassas to the battlefield, which resulted in a Confederate victory.
In October 1861, while his brigade was stationed near Leesburg, Virginia, Evans' forces defeated a Union attempt to cross the Potomac River in a fight called the Battle of Ball's Bluff. The action resulted in his promotion to brigadier general. Evans went on to participate in the 1862 battles of Second Bull Run, South Mountain, and Antietam and in November was transferred to Kinston, North Carolina.
After he retreated in the face of a superior Union force, Evans was tried for intoxication and acquitted. Later, when charges of disobedience of orders were made against him, Evans was again acquitted. He was then relieved of command, and, although later reinstated, the remainder of his military career was obscure. Throughout 1863 Evans served in various military positions in Mississippi and Georgia and in the spring of 1864 transferred to South Carolina.
Following the war, Evans settled in Alabama, where he became a high school principal.
Nathan G. Evans
1824–1868, South Carolina
Wandering to Glory: Confederate Veterans Remember Evans's Brigade
Nearly ten percent of all South Carolinians who fought in the Confederate army were members of Evans' Brigade, which included South Carolina's 17th, 18th, 22nd, and 23rd Regiments, the Macbeth Light Artillery, and the infantry companies of the Holcombe Legion. Later the 26th Regiment of South Carolina Volunteers joined the unit. The troops numbered more than 8,300 and hailed from nearly every district in South Carolina.
Staff Officers in Gray: A Biographical Register of the Staff Officers in the Army of Northern Virginia
Profiles some 2,300 staff officers in Robert E. Lee's famous Army of Northern Virginia. A typical entry includes the officer's full name, the date and place of his birth and death, details of his education and occupation, and a synopsis of his military record. Two appendixes provide a list of more than 3,000 staff officers who served in other armies of the Confederacy and complete rosters of known staff officers of each general
Napoleon in Gray
Beauregard often gets overlooked, he was never as beloved as Lee or Stonewall Jackson, but he was capable, the man had a sharp mind and Lee understood this, even if Jefferson Davis did not
Sherman's March to the Sea
The destruction spanned more than sixty miles in width and virtually cut the South in two, disabling the flow of supplies to the Confederate army. He led more than 60,000 Union troops to blaze a path from Atlanta to Savannah, ordering his men to burn crops, kill livestock, and decimate everything that fed the Rebel war machine
Army Life in a Black Regiment: and Other Writings
In 1862, Thomas Wentworth Higginson was commissioned as a colonel to head the first regiment of emancipated slaves. A Civil War memoir written by an abolitionist, this text is the stirring history of the first regiment of emancipated slaves formed to fight in the Civil War
Battleground 7: Bull Run
July 21, 1861 The earliest large-scale engagement of the Civil War, the First Battle of Bull Run found J.E. Johnston's outnumbered Rebels fighting a desperate delaying action versus the powerful Union army of Irvin McDowell. It was in this battle that General Thomas J. Jackson earned his famous nickname "Stonewall"
Civil War Battles
You decide the outcome of a duel between two determined generals in the American Civil War. It's 1864 and the Union forces are ready to make a final drive into the Deep South. General William T. Sherman advances to destroy the Confederate Army of Tennessee & capture the city of Atlanta. Confederate General Joseph E. Johnston planned on using Georgia's difficult terrain to inflict heavy losses
Civil War Battles
A defining moment in the Civil War -- one that could have spelled victory for the South if things had been slightly different. At Chickamauga Creek near Chattanooga, TN there was a battle that earned it a new nickname: "River Of Blood." Chattanooga was a vital rail station at the time and had fallen to Union General Rosecrans
History Channel Civil War
There are about a half-dozen different small arms types, but the Henry is the best for rapid repeating fire and least reloading. The shotgun they give you is useless: you must aim spot-on to affect an enemy, so why not just use the rifle? Grenades are useful at times.