13th Tennessee Volunteer Cavalry USA Wiki

Robert P. Shell (December 1843 - July 26, 1917) served as a corporal in Company H, 13th Tennessee Volunteer Cavalry.

Personal life

Robert Shell was born in December 1843 in Carter County, Tennessee to Andrew and Emaline (Gourley) Shell.[1] He married Mary Jane Dempsey (1847-1928) with whom he had nine 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 order of Colonel Miller. Shell was promoted to corporal on April 1, 1865.

He is described as 21 years old, 6' 2" tall, light complexion, blue eyes, light hair, and by occupation a farmer.

Shell is listed as present for duty until August 3, 1864 when he was left sick at U.S. General Hospital No. 1 in Gallatin, Tennessee; he returned to the regiment on August 31, 1864.

Shell mustered out with the regiment on September 5, 1865 at Knoxville. He had last been paid to August 31, 1864, was owed $5.90 from the government for clothing, and was owed a $100 bounty.

Post-war life

After the war, Shell gave up farming and worked for the Southern Railway, becoming a section foreman.[3] According to his obituaries, he was given the nickname "Captain Shell".[4]

Shell applied for an invalid's pension on January 23, 1893. He died July 26, 1917 in Johnson City, Tennessee and is buried there at Oak Hill Cemetery. His wife applied for a widow's pension on July 31, 1917.


  1. His headstone gives his year of birth as 1844. Census records indicate 1843, which coincides with his age at enlistment.
  2. 1900 U.S. Census, 8th Civil District, Washington County, Tennessee.
  3. "Robert Shell Dead", Knoxville, Sentinel, July 27, 1917, p. 11.
  4. "Funeral of Capt. Shell Held Thursday Morning", The Johnson City Staff, July 26, 1917, p. 6.

External links

Find A Grave memorial