E. B. C. Cash’s Report

24 02 2008

  8th-sc-flag.jpgLots of hyperlinks in the following – be sure to click on them to get the full effect!

alfred-ely.jpgA reference is made in the report of Col. E. B. C. Cash of the 8th SC of the capture of Congressman Alfred Ely of NY (left).  A pretty tame account, though the story that is handed down and can be found in Ely’s diary is more colorful.  According to the gentleman from Rochester, when taken before Cash the colonel leveled his pistol at Ely’s head and swore, G—d d—n your white livered soul.  I’ll blow your brains out on the spot!  Cash was prevented by subordinates from carrying out his threat.  Based on his post-war history, I have little doubt that Cash was in earnest. 

Ellerbe Boggan Crawford Cash, though born in 1823 in North Carolina, was raised in his mother’s native South Carolina, and eventually passed the bar before taking over her family’s plantation in the Chesterfield District, near Cheraw.  He served in the general assembly and rose to Major General in the militia.  At the outset of the war, he was elected colonel of the 8th SC.

When the regiment reorganized in the spring of 1862, Cash was either not reelected or resigned because he was not promoted.  Cash remained in reserve or with the state militia in South Carolina for the remainder of the war.  He was an outspoken opponent of Reconstruction, and ran against Wade Hampton for governor because he felt Hampton was too soft to represent the white population of the state.

Perhaps Cash is best known for his participation in what is recognized as the last duel fought in South Carolina.  On July 5, 1880, Cash shot and killed Col. William M. Shannon of Camden in a formal duel resulting from a legal action against Mrs. Cash in which Shannon was lead counsel.  (UPDATE: Shannon had raised the Kirkwood Rangers, which became one of the five companies of the 7th SC Cavalry.  This regiment was home to Alexander C. Haskell and Dr. E. M. Boykin – hence, Shannon and his brothers are referred to often in Mary Chesnut’s diary.)  Cash was tried for murder and dueling and, after one mistrial, was acquitted.  Legislation was enacted thereafter outlawing dueling in South Carolina (though I’m a little confused at this, because Cash was tried for dueling, which kind of leads me to believe it was already illegal; one aspect of the new legislation was that it rendered ineligible for public office anyone who had participated in a duel).

The image of the battle flag of the 8th SC above is from this site, which has a biography of Cash.  This site is an account of the duel. Herehere, here, here, and here are New York Times articles on the trial, though there are more – beware, the NYT archive is a huge time-sucker!  UPDATE: Here is a link to a 1932 Time Magazine article on the duel. 

The Colonel’s son, VMI alum W. Bogan Cash, was also not unfamiliar with violence.  He was accused of killing at least two men, and before he could be brought to justice was himself killed while resisting a sheriff’s posse in 1884.  You can read about him here and here, and here is his VMI bio – surprisingly, he served as Governor Hampton’s chief-of-staff.  His father was also indicted as an accessory to his son’s crimes, but was I think not prosecuted.

Cash died at his home in Chesterfield in 1888, and was buried next to his desperado son.  Here is his obituary.

I couldn’t find any photos of Shannon or either of the Cashes on the web, but if you go here you’ll find a pdf document and can scroll to their images.  (That link is broken, but I think it was a draft of Carnival of Blood, which you can find along with the photos on page 20 here.)  Unfortunately the document is incomplete.  UPDATE: Ok, I used my noggin and figured out how to get the images of E. B. C. Cash, Shannon, and W. B. Cash as a VMI cadet – these are from the link in this paragraph:

ebccash.jpg shannon.jpg wbcash.jpg

Coming on the heels of my finishing The Bloody Shirt, perhaps all this is not as surprising to learn as it otherwise might have been.  I’ll have a review of that book up within the next few days.

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22 responses

26 02 2008
Erica C.

It is interesting that I have come across your site. I’m from Cheraw, South Carolina. I lived in the Cash community. When growing up, I’ve always heard people talk of Col. Cash but never really did any investigating. I remember as kids we would take walks to where his grave is still intact. Thank you for giving me more detailed information on Col. Cash.

11 01 2011
Jan R.

Hi Harry,
What has become of the Cash Plantation?

14 01 2011
Harry Smeltzer

Jan, I don’t know.

10 06 2012
Debbie Roland

His has has been torn down.
2 of the pictures you have posted came from me many years ago. I loaned them to someone who was writing a book. EBC Cash is far left and yes the William Bogan is far right it is his VMI picture. The Crawford part of his name came from his grandmother. Elizabeth Crawford Ellerbe wife of William Ellerbe. EBC Cash mother was the Daughter of the above. She married Boogan Cash. EBC Cash’s home was at Cashes Depot S.C.

10 06 2012
Debbie Roland

Sorry his house has been torn down,

11 06 2012
Harry Smeltzer

Thanks for the info, Debbie.

11 06 2012
Debbie Roland

By the way my husband owns the Navy colt Cash used in the War. He also owns the gun used durning the duel. I’m trying to find out what Cash was doing after he left the 8th. I mean was he still in good standing when he left the 8th?

11 06 2012
Harry Smeltzer


From above: “When the regiment reorganized in the spring of 1862, Cash was either not reelected or resigned because he was not promoted. Cash remained in reserve or with the state militia in South Carolina for the remainder of the war. He was an outspoken opponent of Reconstruction, and ran against Wade Hampton for governor because he felt Hampton was too soft to represent the white population of the state.”

His militia regiment was the 2nd SC State Reserves, and he served in it 1862-1863. From the sound of it, I would guess he was probably not in good standing with the Confederate military, since he was a relatively young man.

11 06 2012
Harry Smeltzer

And I’d love to see images of the handguns you describe!

26 02 2008
Harry Smeltzer

You’re welcome, Erica. Google is like a box of chocolates, and in this case led me to the Cash story.

Come back often.

26 02 2008
Rick Allen

Interesting flag Harry. I’ve always liked that design…I think this is the first other example I have seen other than the 28th NC…..but I’m no Madeus.

Love the site man, and good to see you……finally!

26 02 2008
Harry Smeltzer

It was good to meet you too, Rick. Hoped to talk more, but aliens must have snatched you and Stan out from under our noses.

4 01 2010

My ancestors were slaves on the Cash plantations. One of my family members wrote a book about some of the events of the slaves and that last duel.

4 01 2010
Harry Smeltzer

Thanks for reading the blog, Andrea. If you have the title of the book and the author, please pass it along.

31 01 2010
Images for Sale « Bull Runnings

[…] image of New York Congressman Alfred Ely, taken prisoner at Bull Run (I wrote a little bit about it here).  Price is […]

9 03 2010

Do you know where the Crawford part in his name came from?

9 03 2010
Harry Smeltzer

I’m not sure. Hopefully that will turn up when I write his sketch.

9 01 2011
Pat Yearty

In researching his family tree: Ellerbe Bogan Crawford Cash’s mother was Elizabeth E. Ellerbe, b. March 9, 1794–d. May 7, 1872 in Chesterfield Co. HER mother was Elizabeth Crawford, b. Dec. 6, 1770–d. Dec. 10, 1840 in Cheraw. Elizabeth Crawford is buried in the Ellerbe Family Burial Ground, Red Hill Plantation, 5 mi. S. of Cheraw.

31 08 2011
Sabrina Self

so was cash’s plantaoin in cash or chesterfild or cheraw? dose anyone know where his home was at?

31 08 2011
Harry Smeltzer

I believe it was in the Chesterfield District near Cheraw.

18 09 2012
Jack Crawford Morris

It is from the Crawfords in Cason Old Field ,NC. He is an uncle of mine. David Crawford is my GGGF and Clayton Crawford is my GGF. At least this is what my grandmother told me. Her grandmother talked about him.

20 06 2014
Congressman Alfred Ely | Bull Runnings

[…] For more on Ely, his capture, and his captor, go here. […]

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