13th Tennessee Volunteer Cavalry USA Wiki

Charles Staples Sr. (abt 1845 - June 15, 1865) served as an under cook in Company K, 13th Tennessee Volunteer Cavalry. He is one of twenty-three black men known to have served with the regiment, all of whom served as company cooks.

Personal life

Charles Staples was born about 1845 in Fauquier County, Virginia.[1]

Civil War service

Staples enlisted in Company K on March 1, 1864 at Nashville, Tennessee and mustered in April 12, 1864 at Nashville for a period of three years.

At enlistment he was 19 years old, 5' 8" tall, black complexion, black eyes, and black hair. At the time of his enlistment he was living near Livingston in Overton County where he was a farmer.

According to the muster rolls Staples was present every month throughout his service until he became ill. Staples died June 15, 1864 at the post hospital in Greeneville, Tennessee due to chronic diarrhea. Records state that he was last paid to August 31, 1864 and had received a bounty of $25. Personal effects at the time of his death were one hat, one great coat, one pair trousers, and one blanket.

No further information about Staples nor the location of his grave has been found.


  1. His age at enlistment varies throughout the records. Age 19 is what appears most consistently, including his initial enlistment papers.