Confederate Valise

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Description and Photograph

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     This valise has a well documented and remarkable history.  Its history is documented in two ways.  The first is the ink inscription written on the top of the inner closure flap; it reads: “J.C. Stribling  R. M. A.       _H_  SCV” this inscription translates into Jesse Cornelius Stribling, Rutledge Mounted Rifles South Carolina Volunteers.

     Jesse Cornelius Stribling was born in Oconee County, South Carolina to Thomas Majors and Mary Jones Stribling on September 24, 1844.  At the age of 19 he served as one of the youngest members of Orr’s Regiment, Mounted Rifles. Later he was active in the red shirt movement to combat South Carolina’s carpet bag rule in 1876.  He married Virginia Hunter after the War and lived at “Sleepy Hollow” on Eighteen Mile Creek, a few miles north of Pendleton, South Carolina. He died in 1927 at the age of 82 and is buried at Pendleton Presbyterian Church where his tombstone lists him as being in Co. G 7th SC Cavalry. 

     The foregoing sketch was taken from Striblings in South Carolina at the Pendleton District Historical Commission.

     J.C. Stribling shows up in the Confederate roster as a member of the Rutledge Mounted Riflemen & Horse Artillery, Trenholm’s Company and in the 7th SC Cavalry, Co. G.  Jesse C. Stribling shows up in the roster as a member of 1st (Orr’s) Rifles, Company E.  I believe all three are the same man serving in separate units at different times during the War.  In later years he was commander of the Sally Simpson Camp Confederate Veterans in Pendleton.

     A more detailed history was found written in pencil on a large piece of paper folded up inside the valise. It reads: “Cavalry Valise Part of the equipment used by Rutledge Mounted Riflemen and Horse Artillery and was imported from England by the Trenholm’s Blockade runner and presented to Trenholm’s squadron by George A. Trenholm* to above command.  This valise was carried through the war by JC Stribling  ----------Brigade.  The reverse of the document is signed JC Stribling”.  George Trenholm apparently equipped the entire unit as it is also known as Trenholm's Company Militia.  There was also a Rutledge Cavalry, likely these Mounted Rifles, Artillery and Cavalry were intended to form the Rutledge Legion, but apparently never did so officially.  The Clarendon (SC) Chronicle May 21,1975 records that the “7th S.C. Cavalry - Col. W.P. Shingler, Lieut. A.C. Haskell, Major Edw. M. Boykin, was organized in April, 1864 by the consolidation of five companies which formed Cavalry Battalion of the Holcombe Legion,(and) the two companies of the squadron, Rutledge Mounted Rifles, under Capts. Trenholm and Jeffers, the latter being preceded by J.J. McGee”

     *George Alfred Trenholm was a major cotton broker for John Fraser & Co in Charleston, South Carolina.  When the Civil War broke out, John Fraser & Co. became the Confederate government's overseas banker and financed its own fleet of blockade runners.  Trenholm was later Confederate Secretary of the Treasury.

     The Valise is in relatively good condition, it is nearly complete, the end caps are very worn and a small portion of the stitching has been re-sewn.  The paper has been properly conserved and is ready for framing.     

 

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