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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