13th Tennessee Volunteer Cavalry USA Wiki

James Shell (March 1, 1845 - August 16, 1931) served as a corporal in Company H, 13th Tennessee Volunteer Cavalry.

Personal life

James Shell was born March 1, 1845 in Carter County, Tennessee to Andrew and Emaline (Gourley) Shell. He married first Martha Cooper (1847-1880) with whom he had at least nine children.[1] He married second Mirah Ellen Upchurch (1877-1931) with whom he had seven children.[2]

Civil War service

Shell enlisted as a private in Company K on September 24, 1863 in Carter County, Tennessee for a period of three years and mustered in April 11, 1864 at Nashville, Tennessee. He was transferred to Company H on April 11, 1864 by Colonel Miller. Shell was appointed corporal on June 1, 1865.

He is described as 19 years old, 5' 6" tall, light complexion, hazel eyes, light hair, and by occupation a farmer.

Shell is listed as present for duty until November 11, 1864 when he was wounded in his right leg in action at the Battle of Bull's Gap. The lower third of the leg was amputated at the U.S. General Hospital at Knoxville. As a result of his total disability, Shell was discharged on July 20, 1865.

When the regiment mustered out on September 5, 1865 at Knoxville it was noted that had last been paid to August 30, 1864, was owed $15.42 from the government for clothing, and was owed a $100 bounty.

Post-war life

Shell applied for an invalid's pension on August 5, 1865. He died August 16, 1931 in Piney Flats, Tennessee and is buried there at Piney Flats United Methodist Church Cemetery.[3] His wife applied for a widow's pension on September 4, 1931.


  1. 1880 U.S. Census, 13th Civil District, Carter County, Tennessee
  2. 1910 U.S. Census, 13th Civil District, Carter County, Tennessee.
  3. The Bristol Herald Courier, August 18, 1931, p. 3.

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