A Civil War Biography
Charles Miller Shelley
Shelley was born 28 December 1833 in Sullivan City, Tennessee. In
1836 his family relocated to Talladega, Alabama. Shelley studied
architecture under his father and pursued a career in the building
and construction business.
At the beginning of the war, as a member of the volunteer Talladega
Artillery, he served garrison duty at Fort Morgan in Mobile Bay. The
Talladega Artillery reorganized as infantry and with other units
formed the 5th Alabama. Shelley was elected captain and saw action
in the opening actions of the war around Manassas Junction. In early
1862 he returned to Alabama and organized the 30th Alabama. Shelley
was commissioned a colonel in the Confederate army on 22 March 1862
and commanded the 30th through out the autumn campaign in Kentucky.
He saw service at Port Gibson and was surrendered with the 30th at
Vicksburg. After being exchanged Shelley, again in command of the
30th Alabama, served at Chattanooga and during the Atlanta campaign.
He commanded a brigade during the summer of 1864 and was promoted to
brigadier general to rank from 17 September 1864. As a brigade
commander he led his troops against Federal positions at Franklin,
his brigade suffering severe casualties. Shelley was again engaged
at Nashville then saw service with the remnants of the Army of
Tennessee during the Carolina campaign which ended with Joseph E.
Johnston's surrender on 26 April 1865.
Following the war Shelley settled in Louisiana then moved to Dallas
City, Alabama. He was elected county sheriff in 1874 then in 1876
was elected to his first term representing Alabama in the US House
of Representatives. He served four consecutive terms. He served as
fourth auditor of the US Treasury from 1885 until 1888, then retired
to Alabama. Shelley died on 20 January 1907 in Birmingham, Alabama.
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