- He was an officer in the Confederate Army, in the 15th Louisiana Volunteer Infantry, who died during the Civil War after fighting in some 18 engagements. A biography appeared in the "Confederate Veteran," a key source for his service, in an article by his bunk-mate Wallace McChesney. Terry Jones' appendix also gives a brief history of the 15th Louisiana. Also see Bergeron for a regimental history. He is included on the Civil War page.
This is the outline of his record from Booth's Records of Louisiana Confederate Soldiers:
McLellan, Charles W., 2nd Lt. Capt. Cos. A and F, 15th La. Inf. En. June 30, 1861, New Orleans, La. Present or absent not stated on Roll to Oct., 1861. Roll May, 1862, to Oct. 31, 1862, Present. Promoted from 2nd Lt. to 1st Lt., Aug. 30, 1862. Roll Nov. and Dec., 1862, order of Secty. of War. Roll Jan. and Feb., 1863, Absent on furlough of 30 days since Feb. 9, 1863. Roll March and April, 1863, Absent, sick. Rolls May, 1863, to Oct., 1863, Present. Roll Nov. and Dec., 1863, Absent, wounded, since Nov. 27, 1863. Roll Jan. and Feb., 1864, Absent, wounded, Nov. 27, 1863, at Mine Run, on furlough from Hospital Roll to Aug. 31, 1864, Killed June 1, 1864. Occupation student, age when enlisted 19, single. Res. New Orleans, La.
He was promoted Captain after the battle of Antietam (Sharpsburg, VA) on the orders of Stonewall Jackson for gaining an objective after an grim assault through what his brigade called the "Valley of Death"--which would seem to be at or near the Cornfield, where Jackson was stationed that morning. Here is General Jacskon's report, as written to General Lee, of the early part of the battle. According to the "Confederate Veteran" article, McLellan was serving as a First Lt. here under General Starke:
"About sunrise the Federal Infantry advanced in heavy force to the edge of the wood on the eastern side of the turnpike, driving in our skirmishers. Batteries were opened in front from the wood with shell and canister, and our troops became exposed for near an hour to a terrific storm of shell, canister, and musketry. General Jones having been compelled to leave the field, the command of Jacksons' divisions devolved upon General Starke. With heroic spirit our lines advanced to the conflict, and maintained their position, in the face of superior numbers, with stubborn resolution, sometimes driving the enemy before them and sometimes compelled to fall back beefore their well-sustained and destructive fire. Fresh troops from time to time relieved the enemy's ranks, and the carnage on both side was terrific.
"At this early hour General Starke was killed. Colonel Douglass, commanding Lawton's brigade, was also killed. General Lawton, commanding division, and Colonel Walker, commanding brigage, were severely wounded. More than half of the brigades of Lawton and Hays were either killed or wounded, and more than a third of Trimbles, and all the regimental commanders in those brigades, except two, were killed or wounded. Thinned in their ranks and exhausted of their ammunition, Jackson's division and the brigades of Lawton, Hays and Trimble retired to the rear, and Hood, of Longstreet's command, again took the position from which he had before been relieved."
He was wounded at Mine Run, VA, in Nov. of 1983; the engagement took place on Nov. 27th to Dec. 2, 1863.
He was killed just a few days before the devastating assault at Cold Harbor. According to McChesney's biography,
"In the vicinity of Meadow Bridge, on June 1, 1864, about ten o'clock, [Capt. McLellan] was killed by a sharpshooter stationed in a tree. The ball first passed through the shoulder of George Bowers, of the Crescent Blues, and, striking McLellan on the back of the head, killed him instantly. His only expression at the time was 'O Lordy!'"
At the time of his death he was in charge of Company F of the 15th Regiment; this was also called the "St. James Rifles" b/c it was from St. James. This was during Grant's aggressive campaign from the Rapidan to the James River which took place between May 4 and June 12 of 1864.
He is buried in Lafayette Cemetery, N.O., in the McLellan mound there, under a broken column. This is the inscription:
[La. 15th Infantry Insignia]
IN MEMORY OF
CAPT. CHAS. W. McLELLAN
CO. F 15TH REGMT. LA. VOL. INFTY.
W.H. & LEONORA McLELLAN
BORN MAY 8, 1842
KILLED IN DEFENCE OF RICHMOND, VA.
JUNE 1ST, 1864
AGED 22 YEARS & 22 DAYS
HE FELL WITHOUT FEAR
AS MANY LOVED ONES FELL
IN DEFENCE OF OUR RIGHTS [1, 2, 3, 4]