Olin Miller Dantzler (1826-1824) was a native of South Carolina. He graduated from Randolph-Macon College in Virginia in 1846. He married Caroline Clover on July 10, 1850, and they had five children. Prior to the war Dantzler served as a South Carolina state representative and state senator. He resigned from the South Carolina Senate in October 1861 and accepted a commission in the Confederate army. He was promoted to lieutenant colonel of the 20th Regiment of South Carolina Volunteers on Jan. 11, 1862, while stationed near Charleston. In April 1864, Dantzler was promoted to colonel of the 22nd South Carolina Regiment and was called to Virginia in May. On June 2, 1864, near present day Howlett Line Park, Col. Dantzler led his regiment in an assault against Redoubt Dutton, which was manned by Company L, First Connecticut Heavy Artillery. During the attack, devastating canister shot killed Col. Dantzler along with 16 of his men. On June 13, 1864, Gen P.G.T. Beauregard issued General Orders No. 12 naming the fort at this site Battery Dantzler in the colonel's honor.
Dantzler and Laurence Keitt
Col. Olin Dantzler and Col. Laurence Keitt grew up near each other in South Carolina and were political rivals. Prior to the war, their disagreements even led to a duel in which Keitt was wounded. Ironically, both men would die on the same day within miles of each other in Virginia on June 2, 1864, Keitt at Cold Harbor, Dantzler in Chesterfield. Dantzler's servant and friend, Caleb Clover, collected both bodies and took them back to South Carolina.
Dantzler and the Hunley
At Charleston, Dantzler was in command of Battery Marshall, where the Confederate submarine H. L. Hunley was stationed. The Hunley was lost after sinking the U.S.S. Housatonic on Feb. 17, 1864. It was the first submarine to successfully attack an enemy vessel.
"HEADQUARTERS BATTERY MARSHALL, Sullivan's Island, February 19, 1864.
LIEUTENANT: I have the honor to report that the torpedo boat stationed at this post went out on the night of the 17th instant (Wednesday) and has not yet returned. The signals agreed upon to be given in case the boat wished a light to be exposed at this post as a guide for its return were observed and answered?"
O. M. DANTZLER
This sign was sponsored by The Chester Station Sons of Confederate Veterans and the Chesterfield Historical Society of Virginia.