Drawing of North Carolina state flag and Confederate flag]
FIRST AT BETHEL
FARTHEST TO THE FRONT AT GETTYSBURG
LAST AT APPOMATTOX
LIEUTENANT GENERALS AND MAJOR GENERAL FROM NORTH CAROLINA. COMMISSIONED BY THE CONFEDERATE STATES.
HISTORIES OF THE SEVERAL REGIMENTS AND BATTALIONS FROM NORTH CAROLINA, IN THE GREAT WAR 1861-'65
WRITTEN BY MEMBERS OF THE RESPECTIVE COMMANDS
EDITED BY WALTER CLARK, (LIEUT.-COLONEL SEVENTIETH REGIMENT N. C. T.)
VOL. II.NASH BROTHERS,BOOK AND JOB PRINTERSGOLDSBORO, N. C.
|SEVENTEENTH REGIMENT, by Lieutenant-Colonel Wilson G. Lamb||1|
|EIGHTEENTH REGIMENT, by Adjutant William H. McLaurin||15|
|EIGHTEENTH REGIMENT, by Private Thomas IL Sutton||65|
|NINETEENTH REGIMENT, (SECOND CA V.) by Captain W. A. Graham||79|
|NINETEENTH REGIMENT, (SECOND CAV.) by Brigadier-General William P. Roberts||99|
|TWENTIETH REGIMENT, by Brigadier-General Thomas F. Tom ||111|
|TWENTY-FIRST REGIMENT, by Major James F. Beall||129|
|TWENTY-FIRST REGIMENT, by Lieutenant L. E. Powers||147|
|TWENTY-SECOND REGIMENT, by Adjutant Graham Daves||161|
|TWENTY-THIRD REGIMENT, by Captain V. E. Turner and Sergeant H. C. Wall||181|
|TWENTY-FOURTH REGIMENT, by Corporal W. N. Rose||269|
|TWENTY-FIFTH REGIMENT, by Lieutenant Garland S. Ferguson||291|
|TWENTY-SIXTH REGIMENT, by Assistant Surgeon George C. Underwood ||303|
|TWENTY-SEVENTH REGIMENT, by Captain James A. Graham||425|
|TWENTY-EIGHTH REGIMENT, by Brigadier-General J. H. Lane||465|
|TWENTY-NINTH REGIMENT, by Brigadier-General Robert B. Vance||485|
|THIRTIETH REGIMENT, by Colonel F. M. Parker||495|
|THIRTY-FIRST REGIMENT, by Adjutant E. K. Bryan and Sergeant E. H. Meadows||507|
|THIRTY-SECOND REGIMENT, by Private Henry A. London||521|
|THIRTY-THIRD REGIMENT, by Major J. A. Weston ||537|
|THIRTY-FOURTH REGIMENT, by Lieutenant T. D. Lattimore||581|
|THIRTY-FIFTH REGIMENT, by Captain William H. S. Burgwyn||591|
|THIRTY-SIXTH REGIMENT, (SECOND ART.) by Colonel William Lamb||629|
|THIRTY-SEVENTH REGIMENT, by Lieutenant Octavius A. Wiggins||685|
|THIRTY-EIGHTH REGIMENT, by Lieutenant-Colonel George W. Flowers||675|
|THIRTY-NINTH REGIMENT, by Lieutenant Theo. F. Davidson||699|
|THIRTY-NINTH REGIMENT, by Lieutenant John M. Davidson||727|
|FORTIETH REGIMENT (THIRD ART.), by Sergeant T. C. Davis||745|
|FORTY-FIRST REGIMENT (THIRD CAV. ), by Sergeant Joshua B. Hill||767|
|FORTY-SECOND REGIMENT, by Major T. J. Brown||789|
1. William F. Martin, Colonel.
2. John C. Lamb, Lieut.-Colonel.
3. Wilson G. Lamb. 2d Lieut., Co. F.
4. Gilbert Elliott, 1st Lieut. and Adjt (Builder of the "Albemarle.")
By WILSON G. LAMB, SECOND LIEUT. COMPANY F.
With the exception of two companies garrisoning Fort Bar-tow on Roanoke Island, the Seventeenth Regiment was captured at Fort Hatteras on the 27th of August, 1861, by the United States naval and land forces, commanded respectively by Commodore Stringham and General B. F. Butler. The Seventeenth Regiment was officered as follows:
- W. F. MARTIN, Colonel.
- GEORGE W. JOHNSON, Lieutenant-Colonel.
- HENRY A. GILLIAM, Major.
- GILBERT ELLIOTT, Adjutant.
- JOHN S. DANCY, Quartermaster.
- L. D. STARKE, Commissary.
- WYATT M. BROWN, Surgeon.
Fort Clark, commanded by Captain John C. Lamb, a mile up the beach, and Fort Hatteras, near the inlet, under the immediate command of Colonel Martin, constituted the defenses of Hatteras Inlet. The garrison, numbering less than 1,000 men, was attacked by the overwhelming land and naval forces of the Federal, and after an heroic defense surrendered as prisoners of war. Shortly thereafter the enemy, under General Burnside, moved upon Roanoke Island. The two companies constituting the balance of the Seventh Regiment garrisoned Fort Bartow, and, under the splendid leadership of Captain Fearing and Lieutenant C. G. Elliott, the latter afterwards the gallant and efficient Adjutant General to Generals Martin and Kirkland, succeeded by the accurate fire of their guns in keeping back the Federal fleet, and only surrendered after the landing of the Federal troops upon another part of the island, pushing back the Confederates under
Colonel Shaw, and completely flanking the fort. I am indebted to Captain C. G. Elliott for an incident of this battle which is worthy of being preserved. He writes:
"During the bombardment of Fort Bartow a cannon shot cut down the flag-staff. Instantly Lieutenant Thomas H. Gilliam sprang upon the parapet, amid the storm of shot and shell, and firmly planted the beautiful silk color of the John Harvey Guards which waved until the order to retire was received." An historical parallel to the brave act of Sergeant Jasper at Fort Moultrie.
Thus the whole regiment in these two engagements be-came prisoners of war. After being exchanged, the Seventh Volunteers (as it was first called) was re-organized at Camp Mangum and became the Seventeenth Regiment N. C. T.
The organization was as follows:
Colonel, W. F. Martin; Lieutenant- Colonel, John C. Lamb; Major, Thos. IL Sharp; Adjutant, Gilbert Elliott; Sergeant Major, Wilson G. Lamb; A. Q. M., John S. Dailey; Commissary, L. D. Starke; Surgeon, R. K. Speed.
- COMPANY A-Captain William Biggs.
- COMPANY B-Captain James J. Leith.
- COMPANY C-Captain William B. Wise.
- COMPANY D-Captain J. M. C. Luke.
- COMPANY E-Captain John L. Swain.
- COMPANY F-Captain George B. Daniel.
- COMPANY G-Captain Thos. J. Norman.
- COMPANY H--Captain Stewart L. Johnson.
- COMPANY I-Captain A. J. M. Whitehead.
- COMPANY K-Captain Howard Wiswall.
- COMPANY L-Captain Lucius J. Johnson.
The Adjutant of the regiment, Gilbert Elliott, was detailed and under his supervision the iron-clad ram "Albemarle," which contributed so largely to the capture of Plymouth, was constructed. Lieutenants M. A. Cotten and Wilson G. Lamb filled his place as Adjutant of the regiment. The Seventeenth was assigned to service in Eastern North Carolina and
performed picket duty watching the enemy at New Bern, Washington and Plymouth. In December, 1862, a detachment from the regiment with a squadron of cavalry from Colonel Evans' regiment (Sixty-third North Carolina) and Moore's Battery, all under Lieutenant-Colonel Lamb, captured Plymouth. Another detachment drove the enemy from Washington, N. C. Many minor raids and surprises of the enemy's outposts cleverly managed by Captain William Biggs, Lieutenants Hardison, Grimes, Cotten and others gave indication of what might be expected of the regiment when it should have the opportunity of displaying its fighting qualities.
In 1863 the regiment was brigaded with the Forty-second, Fiftieth, and Sixty-sixth Regiments, and placed under the command of Brigadier-General James G. Martin, and stationed at Fort Branch, Kinston and Wilmington, and was thoroughly drilled and disciplined by that splendid organizer and disciplinarian.
On the 2d of February, 1864, the regiment under command of Lieutenant-Colonel Lamb with the Forty-second, Colonel Brown, Parris' Battery of six guns and a squadron of cavalry, Lieutenant-Colonel Jeffords, the whole under command of General J. G. Martin, attacked the enemy's forts at Newport. After the capture of their block houses and driving in of their outposts, the command moved upon their forts and entrenchments. The Seventeenth N. C. on the right assailed their columns in splendid style and pouring over the works captured their guns and barracks. The brave Captain Leith of Company B, was killed. The enemy fled in dismay over the river and did not stop until safely under the
guns of Fort Macon. Ten pieces of artillery, 78 prisoners and a large quantity of stores were the fruits of this victory. The railroad bridge was burned and the railroad occupied to prevent re-inforcements from Beaufort and Fort Macon being sent to New Bern. Owing to the failure of General Pickett's command to capture New Bern, General Martin's troops were withdrawn the next day. In reference to this battle I quote from the official report of the Federal General,
J. M. Palmer, commanding at New Bern under date of February 7, 1864.
"Martin performed his part well."
The great campaign of 1864 was now about to open and the desperate struggle to capture the capital of the Confedacy to begin. Grant crossed the Rapidan on the 4th of May, with his army of 140,000 men and moved overland upon Richmond. Butler, with 30,000 men and a large naval armament, ascended the James and occupied the Bermuda Hundreds Peninsula, threatening both Richmond and Petersburg. To meet this movement the Confederate forces operating in North Carolina with troops from South Carolina and Georgia were rapidly concentrated at Richmond and Petersburg and placed under General Beauregard's command.
On the 11th of May, the Seventeenth (1,100 strong) followed by the Forty-second and Sixty-sixth N. C., marched through the streets of Petersburg with their bright bayonets reflecting the morning sunlight to join in the mighty struggle then impending. The battle of Drewry's Bluff on the 17th resulted in forcing Butler back upon his fortified base at Bermuda hundreds. On the 20th the Confederates were ordered to assault this line of entrenchments. Martin's brigade was upon the extreme Confederate right, and the Seventeenth, N. C., was Martin's right regiment so it devolved upon this regiment to lead the assault. Then its thorough drilling and discipline proved of great value. Emerging' from the woods into the open field with unbroken front and without a halt, at double quick step, its onset was not stopped until the enemy's works were won and the Confederate banner waved in triumph over Butler's stronghold. The charge was taken up along the line with equal gallantry and success and Butler's forces were driven to shelter under the protection of their gunboats in the James and Appomattox. Thus the "bottling up of Butler," so graphically detailed by General Grant, was complete. The regiment suffered very heavily in this assault, losing about 175 officers and men, killed and wounded. The brave and youthful Lieutenant-
Colonel Lamb fell mortally wounded upon the enemy's works and died a few days thereafter.
Our fighting commissary, Captain L. D. Starke, now of Norfolk, Va., is entitled to special notice, having sent his wagons to the rear and joined the boys in the front, and participated in the battle with distinguished bravery. A more gallant soldier never lived.
By the death of Colonel Lamb, Major Sharp became Lieutenant-Colonel, and Captain Lucius J. Johnson, Company L, became Major.
A division was created for General R. F. Hoke composed of the brigades of Martin, Colquitt, Hagood and Clingman and was ordered to report to General R. E. Lee.
The battles of the Wilderness and Spottsylvania had been fought, and Grant in his turning movement had ordered Sheridan's cavalry, supported by Warren's Corps, to seize the heights at New Cold harbor.
"Anderson came up on the first of June, with Kershaw's and Hoke's Divisions, and attacking Sheridan drove him back toward Old Cold Harbor, and secured the heights around New Cold Harbor and Gaines' Mill, which he at once proceeded to fortify." The importance and value of this success can only be realized when it is understood that had Grant's order been carried out the Federals would have occupied the ridge, and the Confederates, instead of defending, would have been compelled to assail them, inasmuch as it was the key to the Confederate Capital. The great and decisive battle of Cold Harbor, on 3 June, followed these preliminary engagements, and resulted in the bloodiest repulse of the Federals known in the history of the war. The Seventeenth was upon the right of the line, and supported Grandy's (Va.) battery. In its front the enemy's dead were so thickly strewn that one could have walked on their bodies its whole extent. In this battle Lieutenant M. A. Cotten and Private Benjamin Andrews greatly distinguished themselves, bringing into our works the flag of a New York regiment, of Tyler's Brigade. The enemy assaulted our lines several times, and during the interval between the assaults, this, flag was brought in and temporarily planted upon our works. This
incident unquestionably misled the brave Hancock, who in his official report of the battle claimed that his troops had carried our line, "having seen through his field glasses the Stars and Stripes floating from the enemy's works."
After the battle of Cold Harbor General Grant transferred his army to the south bank of the Appomattox and attempted a coup d'etat at Petersburg.
General Lee, on the 14th, moved Hoke's Division near Drewry's Bluff, in order that it might be in position to act as reserve for his army or go to the support of General Beauregard at Petersburg. The Federals under General Smith had advanced to within a few miles of Petersburg and had swept away all our forces in their front and the city was in imminent danger of capture. The brigades of Hagood and Colquitt had been sent forward by rail and Martin with Clingman was pressing forward by forced marches and arrived after midnight of the 15th and commenced to entrench,
The Confederates now numbered about 10,000 men behind their hastily entrenched line. The Federal General Smith had been reinforced by Burnside's Corps which came up at noon and raised the Federal forces to 66,000.
The morning of the 16th was spent in skirmishing and artillery fire. In the afternoon General Hancock, now in command of the Federals, assailed with all his forces and just at sunset broke through General Wise's lines, whose troops went streaming to the rear. These brave men had fought unceasingly for two days and were much exhausted and only yielded when completely overwhelmed. As many of the men of our division as could be spared were hastily gathered from various points on the line and with the remnant of Wise's brigade being organized in a compact body were hurled upon the victorious Federals-the right wing of the Seventeenth joining in the attack. The Federals were driven out and our line re-established. Warren's Corps had now 'come up, which increased the Federal army to four corps -numbering 90,000-and no reinforcements had reached General Beauregard from General Lee.
The battle re-opened on the 17th, at noon. Three times were the Federals repulsed but as often resumed the offensive.
1. L. J. Johnson, Major
2. Geo. B. Daniel, Captain, Co. F.
3. William Biggs, Captain, Co. A.
At dusk on the extreme right our lines were again broken and partially restored by the timely arrival of Gracie's Brigade, the conflict raging until 11 o'clock.
During these engagements Beauregard's engineers had been at work selecting a line nearer the city-shorter and stronger, being the line afterwards held during the siege. After midnight our troops were withdrawn to this new line. Our skirmishers being left in the old works with instructions to de-lay the advance of the enemy in order to gain as much time as possible for our troops to fortify the new line. The writer of this had the honor of commanding the skirmishers of his regiment and can testify to their brave and determined resistance, in connection with other commands, which resulted in keeping back the enemy until 3 o'clock p. m. of that day (18th).
Fortunately about this time Field's and Kershaw's Divisions of General Lee's army arrived, which swelled the Con-federate forces to 20,000 against 90,000 of the enemy's.
About 3 p. m. a general and final assault was given. It was urged with as great pertinacity and was resisted with equal determination as those preceding. Before dark it ended in a complete repulse of the Federals along the whole of our front. In these series of engagements the regiment lost many of its most valued officers and brave men. Lieu-tenants Perry, Hobbs, Pope and others were among the killed.
The writer would desire to appear not ungrateful to his comrade and friend, Lieutenant W. J. Hardison (now sheriff of Martin county) and at the risk of being persona], wishes to place on record the act of his brave friend, who, at the risk of his own life, sprang over our breastworks during the enemy's last assault and bore his wounded friend in his arms to safety behind them.
I am indebted to General Hagood's recent address for much information as to data, etc., of these battles and note with pleasure his closing words: "I have told the story of Petersburg without comment. The narrative itself is an immortelle
and a reverently lay it upon the tomb of Beauregard, the soldier."
Foiled in his attempt to carry Petersburg by storm General Grant now laid siege to the city. I cannot better de-scribe the hardships endured by the brave soldiers than to make extracts from the recent address of Captain Elliott.
"At the beginning of the siege, June 20th, the report of Martin's Brigade occupying Colquitt's salient showed 2,200 men for duty. In September, when they were relieved, the total force was 700, nothing but living skeletons. Occupying the sharp salient, the work was enfiladed on both flanks by direct fire and the mortar shells came incessantly down from above. Every man was detailed every night, either on guard duty or to labor with pick and spade repairing works knocked down during the day. There was no shelter that summer from sun or rain. No food could be cooked there but the scanty provisions were brought in bags on the shoulders of men from the cook yard some miles distant. The rations consisted of one pound of pork and three pounds of meal consisted 'iwcbe meal for three days-no coffee, no sugar, no vegetables, no grog, no tobacco, nothing but the bread and meat. No wonder that the list of officers was reduced to three Captains and a few Lieutenants with but one staff officer, (spared through God's mercy) to this brigade of 700 skeletons. But every feeble body contained an unbroken spirit and after the Fall months came those who had not fallen into their graves or been disabled, returned to their colors and saw them wave in victory in their last fight at Bentonville."
In July their beloved Brigade Commander, General Mar-tin, was transferred to North Carolina and General Kirkland became his successor. General Martin was greatly beloved by his soldiers. They had the most unbounded confidence in his military skill and admiration for his personal bravery illustrated on every battlefield where they had followed him. In October the brigade was sent to the Richmond front and participated in the minor engagements of Henrico C. H., Charles City Road and others, maintaining its high reputation for bravery.
Advices having reached General Lee of the preparation by
the Federals of a land and naval expedition for the capture of Fort Fisher, Hoke's division was sent to its relief. The Seventeenth and parts of the Forty-second and Sixty-sixth regiments were the advance of the division and reached Wilmington at 1 a. m. on 24 December, and, after being lunched at the depot by the patriotic ladies of that city, took up the line of march for Fort Fisher, the Seventeenth bivouacking there on the night of the same day. The enemy having effected a ,landing at Fort Gatling on the ocean side, the regiment was withdrawn from Fort Fisher on the morning of the 25th, and moving down the military road were ordered to attack Butler's troops. Norman's company in front, supported by the balance of the regiment, deployed as skirmishers, assailed the enemy. General Kirkland in his official report said:
"Lieutenant-Colonel Sharp, Seventeenth N. C., pressed close upon and drove their skirmish line back upon their main body, which was covered by the guns of at least thirty men of war lying broadside to the beach. Captain Norman, Company G, deserves special notice."
A Lieutenant and ten men were captured. The regiment lost three men killed and twenty wounded in this engagement.
Before the arrival of the balance of our division, Butler had re-embarked his troops and thus ended the powder-ship fiasco and the military career of this modern Falstaff-he being relieved by General Grant.
The ease with which this land and naval attack was re-pulsed, undoubtedly created in the mind of General Bragg an undue feeling of security. Not anticipating a renewal of the attack on Fort Fisher, unfortunately the division was withdrawn to Wilmington.
On the afternoon of 14 January, whilst the regiments of the division were on dress parade in Wilmington, the enemy had reappeared before Fort Fisher and were landing their forces, and before the division could be transported to Sugar Loaf, the bulk of the Federal forces had landed and, pushing that night across the peninsula, constructed a line of field works from the ocean to the Cape Fear, thus cutting
off all land communication between Hoke's Division and Fort Fisher. This line of works was held by a negro division, commanded by General Paine and a white brigade under General Joseph C. Abbott, who afterwards misrepresented North Carolina in the United States Senate.
At 4 o'clock on the afternoon of the 15th, the skirmishers of Kirkland's Brigade, which was on the left of our line, under command of Lieutenant Lamb, were ordered to drive back the enemy's pickets to enable Generals Bragg and Hoke, to make a reconnoissance of the enemy's position. The effort was only partially successful, owing to several of the enemy's ships which were lying close to the shore, having opened a terrible enfilading fire upon our skirmishers so soon as they appeared on the open sand beach; but further to the right where the small undergrowth was some protection, the enemy's skirmish line was driven in and their rifle-pits occupied, giving opportunity for an examination of the enemy's position. The writer recalls the calm and heroic bearing of the modest and gallant Hoke who withdrew from the reconnoissance with two bullet holes through his coat. For reasons satisfactory, I presume, to General Bragg, no assault was made, notwithstanding at this moment the enemy had withdrawn Abbott's Brigade and a portion of Wright's negro Brigade to join in the assaunlt upon Fort Fisher, which was then in progress.
The troops at the time in our front were all negroes and did not number more than 2,500, defending a line of a mile in extent. That evening Fort Fisher after a most gallant defense, surrendered, and the last port of the Confederacy was closed forever.
Several small engagements approaching closely to the dignity of battles followed the fall of Fisher, in all of which the enemy were repulsed. The rapid advance of Sherman from the South made the evacuation of Wilmington a mere question of time and on 22 February, Kirkland's Brigade, forming the rear guard of our army, marched sadly and leisurely through the streets of our "City by the Sea," and Wilmington passed under Federal control. Continuing our retreat up the Wilmington and Weldon Railroad, the
army, after crossing the North River, halted for the night. The enemy's cavalry pursued up to this point and attempted by sudden dash to prevent the burning of the bridge over the railroad. They were promptly encountered by our rear guard, under the brave Captain C. G. Elliott, and were re-pulsed, sustaining heavy loss. The next day the march was resumed and without further fighting the army reached Goldsboro a few days thereafter.
And now the closing scenes of the bloody drama of the Civil War was to be enacted upon the soil of North Carolina. Goldsboro became the objective point of three armies. Sherman with 70,000 men was advancing northward. Schofield with his army corps of 21,000 raised the Federal forces to 30,000 at Wilmington; and Cox's Division arriving at New Bern increased Palmer's command to 15,000. These different armies aggregating 115,000 men, if allowed to concentrate, would make short work of the Confederate forces whose total, including the remnant of Hood's army, did not reach 40,000 men. The hope of successful resistance was indeed forlorn and the only chance of any success was to fight these armies separately.
The column under General Cox advancing from New Bern, was encountered near Wise's Fork on the 8th of March, by Hoke's Division, reinforced by the Sixty-seventh and Sixty-eighth North Carolina, and the Junior and Senior reserves. Leaving, at midnight, their entrenchments along the line of a creek, Kirkland's, Hagood's and Colquitt's Brigades under the guide of Colonel Nethercut of the Sixty-sixth North Carolina, (who was familiar with the country) found themselves at day dawn on the flank and rear of the enemy, and forming line of battle in echelon of brigades, Kirkland's leading, burst upon the surprised enemy and drove them in rapid flight to the rear, capturing 1,000 prisoners and 4 pieces of artillery. The enemy had been driven nearly a mile when Palmer's Division appeared upon our right flank. The Seventeenth was on our extreme right and its advance having thus become arrested immediately changed front to meet the enemy, and not knowing their force, boldly charged the division and drove back that part of it in our front, wounding their commander,
General Palmer. Finding itself overlapped right and left, it deployed as skirmishers with both wings reversed, and held its position until reinforcements were brought up under the personal command of General Hoke, and thus had the honor of preventing the flanking of our army. Later a congratulatory order from General Kirkland was read to the regiment on dress parade at Goldsboro complimenting it upon its splendid achievement.
The enemy proceeded to fortify their position, and on the 10th General Bragg sought to employ the same strategy in again attacking the enemy. It was contemplated by reconnoissance in force to develop the enemy's extreme left and renew our turning movement of two days before. Kirk-land's Brigade was assigned this duty, supported by the other brigades of the division. Our skirmishers were thrown out, supported by the brigade, and engaging the enemy's pickets, drove them rapidly before us. The enemy's works were developed and, not knowing that it was intended that we should not assault, we rushed upon the works under the heaviest fire which we had ever received. Notwithstanding the brigade had lost one-half of its number, it reached the abatis and slashing and held its position until ordered to withdraw. In this assault the heroic Captain Elliott added another gem to the crown of his military fame. The gallant Lieutenant Grimes, distinguished in many battles, had been desperately wounded and became a prisoner. This is the only battle in which the regiment was ever repulsed, and even here it felt J that if it had received support its colors would have been planted upon the enemy's works. Sherman having reached Averasboro it became necessary to concentrate all available troops in his front and Hoke's Division was withdrawn and sent by rail to Smithfield Depot and marched thence via Smithfield to Bentonville. The army of General Sherman was moving from Averasboro to Goldsboro, upon two roads running parallel and about ten miles apart. Our division swelled our army to about 15,000 men, against Sherman's 70,-000. On the morning of the 19th Jefferson C. Davis' and Slocum's Corps, numbering about 35,000 men were attacked by
our troops and driven back a considerable distance, three guns and nine hundred prisoners falling into our hands.
The other corps of Sherman's army came up and were thrown on our left flank, which had become much advanced in the battle of the previous day. In consequence of this movement it became necessary to change the position of our army. The brigade of Kirkland, deployed as skirmishers, held the enemy in check while the entire army changed front, and thereafter occupied a position in the centre and joined in the repulse of the many and furious charges of the Federals. In this battle Captain William Biggs, Company A, was greatly distinguished for his intrepid bravery. The brigade received the special commendation of General Jos. E. John-son for its valued services in this engagement.
Thus closes the volume of the bloody record of the Seventeenth North Carolina troops and their brave companions of associated commands.
The army was withdrawn, retiring through Raleigh and Chapel Hill and was surrendered to General Sherman at Centre Church, Randolph county, at the final capitulation.
Supplementing this record it would not be amiss to state that the flag of the Seventeenth North Carolina Troops saved at the surrender by Private Abel Thomas, of Company A, was unfurled at the unveiling of the Confederate monument at Raleigh on 20 May, 1895, and beneath its tattered and bullet-riddled folds the veteran survivors marched to do honor to their dead heroic comrades.
- WILSON G. LAMB,
- Second Lieutenant Company F.
- WILLIAMSTON, N. C.,
- 26 April. 1901.
1. John D. Barry, Colonel.
2. R. H. Cowan, Colonel.
3. Marcus W. Buie, Captain, Co. B.
4. Win. H. McLaurin, 1st Lieut. and Adjt.
5. Evander N. Robeson, 1st Lieut., Co. K.
6. Alex. E. Smith, Sergeant, Co. F.
By WILLIAM H. McLAURIN, ADJUTANT.
In the stirring times of 1860-61 North Carolina was devotedly attached to the American Union.
Her election in August, 1868, for State officers showed the bias of her people, and when Governor Ellis in February, 1861, issued a call for a convention and election of delegates thereto, they not only voted down the convention, but elected a majority of delegates who were pronounced unionists, many of them the most trusted leaders of the State. Had they assembled in Convention their deliberations would have been on broad lines and fearless.
Our action encouraged Virginia and Tennessee, whose conventions deliberated long and well.
"Let us reason together" was the method of North Carolina, and she sent peace commissioners to Washington not to cringe and fawn but to use every honorable means to avoid bloody war. All that could be done was unavailing, and all the avenues of adjustment were closed by President Lincoln on the 15 April, 1861, by calling for 75,000 troops to coerce the seceding States.
This effectually settled all differences of opinion with us as to what should be done. The most ardent union men of the State joined the most fiery secessionist, in saying to our sister States, "Thy people shall be my people, thy God my God," and right nobly did they redeem the pledge.
On receipt of the call for troops, Virginia promptly passed her ordinance of secession, and Tennessee followed in a few days.
The call for a convention, and election of delegates, was sustained with practical unanimity, and on 20 May,
1861, North Carolina seceded. Volunteer companies had been formed all over the State, and, generally, waited for State authority for mobilization. Some companies and regiments, however, went to the front as soon as formed.
The Legislature which met 1 May provided for ten regiments of State troops for the war, the officers appointed by the governor and ten regiments of Volunteers for one year, the officers elected by companies, and field officers elected by company officers.
Of the companies that assembled around Wilmington, on the Cape Fear defences, four from the county of New Hanover (three of them from Wilmington), two from Bladen, one from Robeson, and one from Richmond were formed into the Eighth Regiment of volunteers, viz:
- COMPANY A-Captain C. Cornehlson, Wilmington.
- COMPANY B-Captain Robert Tait, Bladen.
- COMPANY C-Captain Forney George, Columbus.
- COMPANY D-Captain William S. Norment, Robeson.
- COMPANY E-Captain John R. Hawes, New Hanover, (now Pender).
- COMPANY F-Captain Charles Malloy, Richmond.
- COMPANY G-Captain Henry Savage, Wilmington.
- COMPANY H-Captain D. H. Gore, Columbus.
- COMPANY I-Captain O. P. Meares, Wilmington.
- COMPANY K-Captain George Tait, Bladen
Of these companies A, G, and I were organized companies many years before the war.
Company A, "The German Volunteers," was the only company in the State of distinctively foreign citizenship. Company G, "The Wilmington Light Infantry," and Company I, "The Wilmington Rifle Guards," being up on tactics, furnished many officers for companies and regiments throughout the State, and the personnel of their officers and men were frequently changed. At one time Company I was composed of one hundred men ranging from 16 to 22 years of age, and only one married man among them.
Company F, "The Scotch Boys," when mustered into service
had 94 officers and men. Sixty of them were 6 feet to 6 feet 4 inches high, 24 over 5 feet 10 inches, 7 over 5 feet 8 inches, and 3 under 5 feet 8 inches, making an average height for the whole company of 6 feet 1% inches, believed to be unprecedented for so large a company, in the Confederate or Federal armies, if it does not challenge the armies of the world, for a company not especially selected.
Nine of the above companies were moved from their several rendezvous to Camp Wyatt, named in honor of H. L. Wyatt, the first soldier killed in regular battle in the Southern army, on the lands of James Burriss, near the head of the sound (about one mile from the present site of Carolina Beach, a popular resort), and about 1 July elected field officers.
Major James D. Radcliff, who had been a principal of a military school in Wilmington for several years, and was then connected with the engineer department of the Cape Fear defences, was elected colonel. Captain O. P. Meares, Company I, was elected lieutenant-colonel, and Captain George Tait, of Company K, who was stationed at a battery near Federal Point lighthouse, was elected Major.
Charles D. Myers, of Company G, was appointed Adjutant; Anthony D. Cazaux, Company I, was appointed Captain, and A. Q. M.; Duncan McNeill, Company F, Captain and A. C. S.; Dr. James A. Miller, Company G, Surgeon ; Dr. Charles Lesesne, Company K, Assistant Surgeon; Dr. Simpson Russ, Company K, Assistant Surgeon ; Rev. Colin Shaw, Company K, Chaplain.
Colonel Radcliffe was an excellent drill master and disciplinarian, and soon had the regiment in good shape.
About the middle of September, Companies F and I were sent to Fort Fisher, and Company K from its vicinity, was sent across New Inlet channel to a battery on Zeke's Island. A few weeks later the other seven companies joined F and I and engaged in laying the foundation of Fort Fisher, that later proved to be one of the strongholds of the Confederacy.
Confusion arising from numbering both classes of troops from 1 to 10, it was decided by the State authorities to change the numbers of the volunteer regiments, enumerating them
from 11 to 20. Thus the Eighth volunteers became the Eighteenth North Carolina troops, and was afterwards thus known.
On 7 November, orders were received to go to the aid of Port Royal, S. C., and in a few hours all of our equipage was on the banks of the Cape Fear, at Sugar Loaf Landing, awaiting transportation, where, by a miscarriage of orders, steamer after steamer passed us by, and we remained thirty-six hours. During this time Company K, that was to remain on Zeke's Island, kept its water-craft busy crossing the inlet, and offered all sorts of inducements to any company to exchange places, but no proposition would be entertained by either company or any individual to remain. We had acquired the soldier habit of complaining that we were not supplied with camp necessities, but in the light of after experiences our baggage and kitchen equipment was simply immense.
It is safe to say that our nine companies had more cooking utensils than A. P. Hill's corps, to which we afterward be-longed, had at any time in 1863-64-65.
At Wilmington we were again delayed a day, also at Charleston, S. C. Here we heard of the downfall of Beau-fort. Our disappointment was great. Enthusiastic expectation changed to abject despair. Would the war really close before we got a chance at battle? Alas! no.
We disembarked at Pocataligo, midway between Charleston and Savannah, and spent the winter at Camp Stephens, on Huguenin's farm, drilling and guarding the lagoons of the coast below the Coosahatchie, assisted by Trenholm's battery and Colonel John C. Calhoun's regiment of cavalry, a part of the time under the command of Brigadier-General Robert E. Lee, whose headquarters were two or three miles distant.
The amateur talent of the regiment relieved the monotony of camp life with entertainments-drama, charade, burlesque. Especially enjoyable was a "Review of the Army," in which our Irish wit, Ned Stanton, "riding on an ass' colt," easily took rank as the burlesque reviewer of the war.
Altogether, we spent a pleasant winter, playing soldier in
that genial clime, though greatly disappointed several times by the cavalry making false alarms of the Yankees landing, and pillaging the coast plantations.
Coloned Radcliffe put a stop to these alarms by sending Lieutenant-Colonel Meares down the coast with three companies and a week's rations.
The first night Corporal W. H. McLaurin was in charge of the outpost at a landing near Donkey Island, which outpost was reached by a dam across the marsh, and a hundred yards or more from high land. About 10 o'clock the "yanks" began assembling at the island. The cavalryman, who was on duty to act as courier, explained their tactics, and the position of the different landings. Splash ! Splash ! ! Splash!!! Their oars are distinctly heard coming our way.
Let me go for the reserve, plead the cavalryman. Wait till we see something was replied. There was a lull in the oaring, which was accounted for by him as landing a part be-low us, when a part would go to a landing above, and capture all of us. This appeared to be true-the oaring began again, nearly all the boats taking a different channel from the one we were on.
The cavalryman started for his horse, on the mainland, to go for the companies, and was so persistent that we had to threaten to shoot him to get him back. The men were arranged so as to receive them, warmly, at the landing. We all lay flat on our corntops, taken from a nearby corn field, and arranged behind an embankment to keep us out of the mud, only one head above the bank as an outlook. The oaring again ceased. "Thes lan-lan-landing! le-le-let me go mister !" The reply was in equally jerky tones. "Sta-sta-stay-right there." A death-like silence reigned around, except that the loose ends of the cornstalks, from some cause, rustled like a cane-brake in a storm. Scared, but determined, we lay awaiting the landing of the raiders. A minute seemed an hour-the tension is at last relieved. Splash! Splash!! Splash!!! A school of porpoises rose in front of our landing, and went merrily on their way.
We welcomed our midnight relief, laughed heartily at the cavalryman and had no more alarms.
In March, 1862, Major George Tait resigned and Captain Forney George, Company C, was promoted Major; Lieutenant C. C. Gore became Captain of Company C.
On 14 March orders came for the regiment to go to New Bern, N. C., and in a few hours everything was on the cars, and speeding for that ill-fated Athens of North Carolina. At Wilmington we heard of its fall. Here we were joined by Captain T. J. Purdie, with Company K, from Zeke's Island. The regiment proceeded to Kinston, where the New Bern garrison was encamped, under command of General L. O'B. Branch. These troops with the reinforcements sent them were formed into two brigades the last days of March, the First brigade commanded by General Robert Ransom and the Second by General Branch. The latter was composed of the Seventh, Eighteenth, Twenty-eighth, Thirty-third and Thirty-seventh North Carolina regiments, from that time to the close of the war.
On 24 April, 1862, the regiment was reorganized, with almost an entire change of officers. Lieutenant-Colonel Robert H. Cowan, of the Third North Carolina, was elected Colonel. Captain Thomas J. Purdie, Company K, was elected Lieutenant-Colonel and Major Forney George was re-elected.
Lieutenant Samuel B. Waters, of the Third North Carolina, was appointed Adjutant, Captain A. D. Cazaux remained as Quartermaster, ex-Captain Robert Tait was appointed A. C. S., Dr. James A. Miller remained Surgeon, with former assistants. Chaplain Colin Shaw became Chaplain to the Sixty-first North Carolina regiment.
Private Thomas W. Brown, Company I, was elected Captain of Company A, Lieutenant Wilie J. Sikes, Company B, elected Captain ; Lieutenant W. K. Gore was elected Captain of Company C ; First. Sergeant M. C. Lee was elected Captain of Company D ; Second Lieutenant Fred Thompson was elected Captain of Company E ; Second Lieutenant Daniel M. McLaurin was elected Captain of Company F ; Captain Henry Savage was re-elected Captain of Company G ; Lieu-tenant M. A. Byrne was elected Captain of Company H ; Private
John D. Barry was elected Captain of Company I; Lieu-tenant R. M. DeVane was elected Captain of Company K.
A few of the Lieutenants were retained in the same or advanced to a higher grade, but generally new men were selected for officers.
On 2 May the brigade broke camp and embarked for Virginia in sections. The Eighteenth Regiment left on the 7th and arrived at Richmond next day, bivouaced a couple of days at Howard's Grove, then on the outskirts of the incorporation, now a populous section of the city, and arrived at Gordonsville on the 10th. In a few days we marched towards the valley to join Stonewall Jackson. Every foot moved with a light and steady step and the expression of satisfaction was on the countenance of all.
When about to cross the Blue Ridge at Massanutten Gap orders were received to return to Gordonsville. The next week the same route was gone over. A few days after our second return our baggage was loaded on the train and we started towards Richmond. At Hanover Court House we again went into camp. Here Branch was reinforced with Colonel Hardernan, Forty-fifth Georgia, part of Latham's artillery and some of Robertson's regiment of cavalry.
The sick, and the extra baggage, were sent to Richmond, and on the 26th Branch marched towards the Chickahominy, Johnston's left camping that night between Peake's turnout and Slash Church.
On the 27th Branch fought the battle of Hanover Court House with about 4,000 men, engaging General Porter's regulars and Sedgwick's command of about 1.2,000. Colonel James H. Lane, with the Twenty-eighth Regiment, was sent back to hold the crossing at Taliaferro's Mill, where two companies of the Thirty-seventh were on duty.
Porter came in between the brigade and the Twenty-eighth Regiment on a road leading towards Mechanicsville. The Eighteenth and Thirty-seventh Regiments were sent to Lane's relief and found Porter's pickets at Peake's, which they drove back upon the line of regulars at the aforementioned road.
Colonel Cowan was placed with the Eighteenth on the
right of the Hanover road and Colonel Lee with the Thirty-seventh was sent through a wood to his right to attack Porter's flank. About this time a train arrived with the Twelfth North Carolina, Colonel Wade, which, with the Thirty-third, was placed on the left of the road, and drove back to the road the flankers put out by Porter. As Porter had no line beyond the road these regiments had no further engagement.
The Eighteenth Regiment made a splendid attack on Porter's front line and drove it back to the Mechanicsville road, where the ditch bank and wicker fence afforded fine defence. From this cover Porter's volleys did great damage, and the Eighteenth was compelled to move by the right flank to a wood some 200 yards to the right, to get some protection. From this wood the unequal fight was carried on. The Thirty-seventh was further to our right and engaged with us till ordered to withdraw.
We lost very heavily in this action, some companies losing 50 per cent. in killed and wounded. Our first experience in war was a bloody baptism. "The Bloody Eighteenth" was a well earned title.
General Branch, in his report, says of it: "Colonel Cowan with the Eighteenth made the charge most gallantly, but the enemy's force was much larger than had been supposed, and strongly posted, and the gallant Eighteenth was compelled to seek shelter. It continued to pour heavy volleys from the edge of the woods and must have done great execution. The steadiness with which this desperate charge was made reflects the highest credit on officers and men. The Thirty-seventh found the undergrowth so dense as to retard its progress, but when it reached its position it poured a heavy and destructive fire upon the enemy. This combined volley from the Eighteenth and Thirty-seventh compelled the enemy to leave his battery for a time, and take shelter behind a ditch bank."
After stating the positions of his forces and the purposes of his engagement, continuing, he says : "Finding I could no longer remain without being surrounded, and hearing of no reinforcements, and feeling assured from the firing that Lane had made good his retreat to Hanover Court House, I determined
to draw off. This, always difficult in the presence of a superior enemy, was rendered comparatively easy by the precaution I had taken not to engage my whole force. Campbell was ordered to place the Seventh across the road so as to receive the enemy if they should attempt to follow. Orders were then sent to Lee and Cowan to withdraw in order. They were hotly engaged when the order was received, but promptly withdrew. Colonel Cowan, in an especial manner, attracted my attention by the perfect order in which he brought out his regiment, notwithstanding the severe and long continued fire he had received from both infantry and artillery. The regiment marched to the rear without haste or confusion and went up the Ashland road."
The command reached Ashland during the night, and the next day marched to the left of Johnson's line, inside the Chickahominy, near Chamberlain's. The Eighteenth guarded the crossing several days. Here an occurrence took place that had its influence on this and other North Carolina brigades during the war, perhaps accounting for their scant newspaper notoriety in contrast with certain other commands.
When Richmond papers came into camp two of them had communications relative to the engagement of the Twenty-seventh, gingerly criticising General Branch for withdrawing without fighting all his force for all they were worth, vigorously protesting that that was what the troops were there for, etc. This was breezy.
General Branch sent his aide, Major Blount, to the editors, and got each article, then sent for Captain---, of the Thirty-seventh, and Lieutenant---, of the Thirty-third, to come to headquarters.
He received them in that open, easy manner of which he was master, and entertained them with such courtesy as put them entirely at ease. Handing each his communication he asked "Is that your signature for the purpose therein ex-pressed," with the deliberation of a clerk in chancery probating a paper.
They recognized that a condition, not a theory, confronted
them, sweated the great sweat of confusion and acknowledged their deeds.
He then handed Captain--the following and asked him to read it aloud:
- ARMY OF NORTHERN VIRGINIA,
- June 3rd, 1862.
Brigadier General L. O'B. Branch, Commanding, Etc. :
The report of your recent engagement with the enemy r t Slash Church has been forwarded by Major General Hill. I take great pleasure in expressing my approval of the manner in which you have discharged the duties of the position in which you were placed, and of the gallant manner in which your troops opposed a very superior force of the enemy. I beg you will signify to the troops of your command, which were engaged on that occasion, my hearty approval of their conduct, and hope that on future occasions they will evince a like heroism and patriotic devotion.
I am very respectfully your obedient servant.
Through Major General A. P. Hill.
They frankly deferred to the opinion of General Lee, as to the merits of Branch's actions in the engagements of the 27th, and the pardon they asked he freely gave them.
They returned to their commands with a changed opinion as to what they knew about war, fully resolved, thereafter, to attend to the duties that lay next to their door.
General Lee's letter of approval was read that evening to each regiment of Branch's brigade on dress parade, and there were two men who looked very intently at something on the ground in front of them during its reading.
The story spread through camp and we had no more war correspondents.
Wait till you hear from General Lee was the rule with the North Carolina troops, leaving to others to make reputation by printers ink.
Colonel Lane with the Twenty-eighth, had hard fighting to
keep from capture, and being cut off, made quite a detour to get into the line of the Chickahominy, taking two or three days. After the battle of Seven Pines, on the 31st, in which General Joseph E. Johnston was severely wounded, General R. E. Lee was placed in command of the Army of Northern Virginia. Brigadier-General Ambrose Powell Hill, for gallantry in that battle, and others of the Peninsular campaign, was made Major-General, and six brigades assigned to his division, that of Branch among them.
From Chamberlain's we were moved to Brook Church on the pike near Richmond, and did duty at Crenshaw, Meadow Bridge and telegraph road crossings.
On 25 June the brigade moved to Crenshaws, and next morning crossed the Chickahominy above the Meadow Bridge road. Near Atlee's station, a part of the Seventh and Thirty-third Regiments, in driving in the enemy, had a few men wounded. They captured a flag and a lot of prisoners. This was the first blood spilled, and trophy of the gory seven day's fight. Branch turning their right caused the Yankees alarm, and A. P. Hill crossed the division at the lower roads with comparative ease.
McClellan made a stand at Mechanicsville, and a brisk engagement was carried on, till night put a stop to it. The Eighteenth was on the left of the line, under cannonading, from which we lost three men.
During the night the enemy withdrew their main forces, and their rear guard only was encountered next morning. Pursuit was made, and the enemy found at Gaines' Mill, or Cold Harbor, where General McClellan had concentrated his troops in a naturally very strong position.
Branch's brigade was among the first in the battle and did good service. The Eighteenth fought on the right of a road, crossing a swamp, and found the enemy strongly en-trenched on the high bluff on the opposite side, with abatis in front. We charged with vigor, but did not succeed iii carrying the position. Falling back into the marsh we would re-form and return to the charge, with like result.
Colonel Cowan in his report of the battle, says: "Friday afternoon at 4 o'clock we were put in the fight at Cold Harbor.
By your order my line of battle was formed on the right of the road and in this order I advanced through the dense woods, in which the enemy were posted. A small ravine, deep and boggy, compelled us to flank still further to the right. By this means I became separated from the remainder of the brigade, which had been formed on the left, and for a long time was wholly without assistance in my attempts upon the enemy's position. Again and again was that position assailed, and again and again were we repulsed by vastly superior numbers. Regiment after regiment sent into the same attack, shared the same fate, and it was not until late in the afternoon when the continuous arrival of fresh troops had given us something like an equality of forces, that any decided impression was made upon the enemy. His position was carried in that last charge which swept his whole army from the field in a perfect rout. In this fight though I was perfectly satisfied with the conduct of my regiment, the position of the enemy was such that we were exposed to heavy fire from the flank as well as from the front, and though the regiment was frequently broken, and compelled to fall back, yet I did- not once lose command of it. The men re-formed with alacrity, and my commands were obeyed with the promptness, if not the precision of drill."
In the last charge that we made the writer, with others, passed through the abatis, and got protection from the enemy's fire, under the bank their breastworks were on. Though the regiment did not capture their strong position, as it re-tired we had the satisfaction of seeing the Yanks abandon their works--a drawn fight, as it were.
We ascended the hill to the field in rear of their breast-works, and were there when Whiting's division of Jackson's forces, came on the field in column, the Texas brigade in front.
We looked up our kinsman, Lieutenant James T. McLaurin, Company B, Fourth Texas, and marched along with him some quarter of a mile or more, before returning to our command. The enemy appeared to have abandoned their works, for at least a half a mile along this swamp, as the result of the determined attacks that had been made upon
them, and had fallen back behind a deep ravine running into it, where Whiting found them. There was little firing any-where at that time.
Soon after I left the Texas brigade, the battle was opened by Whiting, and the rattle of musketry was incessant till well in the night, such as was rarely heard on any battle field. The Confederates displayed their fighting qualities on all this field but to Whiting's division belongs the credit of the rout of the little giants"--mighty men of valor, not that his troops did it alone, but he gave them the grand bounce--the Texas brigade being the first to break their lines and with the assistance of gallant comrades McClellan's army was kept moving. Night put distance between him and that horrible rebel yell, and he abandoned much valuable army supplies. The field, next day, gave abundant evidence of desperate fighting on both sides. Saturday was spent in burying the many dead upon the field, and gathering the trophies of battle.
Monday evening, the 30th, the enemy was overtaken at Frazier's farm and about 4 p. m., our brigade was engaged on the right of the road, charging the enemy's line that was strongly posted and well defended. Sweeping across an open field, the Eighteenth Regiment charged a battery in the yard of a farm house, strongly supported by infantry. They gave us a warm reception with grape, canister, and minie, and were greatly aided by those on their left, who gave us a galling flank fire--so trying at all times--before becoming engaged with those on our right, who did not advance as quickly as we did. With a yell and a rush, everything was carried before us, and at a fearful cost in killed and wounded. At the woods beyond the house the regiment was re--formed and advanced again, with the brigade, through a strip of woods, and another field, routing the enemy. On Tuesday, 1 July, we were not actively engaged at Malvern Hill--simply held the position assigned us, when we came on the field in the afternoon. We were under fire of the land batteries and the gunboats, a shell from the latter wounding a few men. The rest of the week we spent on McClellan's flank clearing it of straggling parties and on Sunday
bivouaced near Charles City C. H., in a thicket of old field pines. Here a strange accident occurred. A musket fell from a stack of guns and was discharged, wounding Lieutenant George W. Huggins, Company I, in the foot. He was asleep. It was a rude awakening, and from it he goes limping through life. There was no one near the guns, and on being examined it was at half--cock, and very hot. Had the hammer been on the cap it would have been readily accounted for, by its hitting the ground. It was evidently a rare case of sunheat-shooting. Had any one been reasonable near it would have been too strong a case of circumstantial evidence for him to have escaped punishment.
From Charles City C. H., we returned to near Richmond and remained in camp till the first week of August, when A. P. Hill's division reinforced Stonewall Jackson, who, in command of two divisions, had gone to the vicinity of Orange C. H., to watch Pope's advance, threatening our railroad connections at Gordonsville. Hill reached Orange on 'the 7th, and on the 8th only a few miles march was made, the weather being oppressively hot, and there being some misunderstanding of the order of march.
On the evening of the 9th, was fought the battle of Cedar Mountain. Branch's Brigade came on the field after the battle began, and was hastily formed on the left of the Culpepper road, to support Jackson's first line, and ordered to advance. It had gone but a little distance when it met the "Stonewall Brigade," that splendid body of troops that at First Manassas gave renown and "a name" to the idol of the army, fleeing in utter rout and confusion before an exultant foe. Nothing daunted by the unfavorable condition of affairs Branch's "Tar Heels" met the enemy unflinchingly, and drove them back in great disorder.
Of this charge General Branch in his report, says: "My brigade opened upon them, and quickly drove the enemy back from the woods into a large field.
"Following up to the edge of the field, I came in view of large bodies of the enemy, and having a very fine position, I opened upon them, with great effect. The enemy's cavalry attempted to charge us in two columns, but the fire soon broke
them, and sent them fleeing across the field in every direction. The infantry then retreated also. Advancing into the field, I halted near the middle of it, in doubt which direction to take. Just at that moment, General Jackson came riding up from my rear, alone. I reported my brigade as being solid, and asked for orders. My men recognized him, and raised a terrific shout, as he rode along the line with his hat off. He evidently knew how to appreciate a brigade that had gone through a hot battle, and was then following a retreating enemy, without having broken its line of battle, and remained with me directing my movements until the pursuit ceased. * * * * We gained a splendid victory, and the credit is due to my brigade. I was among my men all during the fight and they were brave and cool."
Branch's success enabled General Taliaferro, on the right of the road, to reform his left, that was giving away, and hold his ground.
Generals Pender and Archer were forming on Branch's left and advanced before they were properly aligned; success at--tended an advance on the whole line and the field was ours. Jackson started for Culpepper that night, but, after going two or three miles, went into camp, his scouts reporting that Pope had received heavy reinforcements.
The dead were buried and in a few days Jackson took position south of the Rapidan, the Eighteenth camping near Orange C. II.
On the 20th the Rapidan was again crossed, and we had a skirmish near Brandy Station.
The fords of the Rappahannock were strongly guarded by Pope's command, Jackson forced a crossing at one of them and attracted their attention in that direction whilst by such defiles as afforded cover, he ascended the right bank to Warrenton Springs and on the 22nd crossed over a small command. In that engagement the Eighteenth supported a battery on the south side and sustained but slight injury. The troops were withdrawn from the north side and on the morning of the 25th, before day, Jackson "lit-out" with his foot--cavalry to go around Pope. When we reached Hazel river we waded up that stream to keep the dust of the road from
betraying our route, and crossing the Blue Ridge we got a few hours rest that night around Orleans. Next day New Salem was passed and the Blue Ridge recrossed at Thoroughfare Gap. That night about 1 o'clock Jackson camped in Pope's rear around Bristoe Station.
On the morning of 27 August, Branch's brigade had a brush with cavalry and artillery near Manassas Junction, running it back across Bull Run, capturing some 200 prisoners.
The Eighteenth regiment was not in the pursuit, being detached after the fight to guard Manassas depot, and hundreds of cars loaded with supplies for Pope's army--a rich trophy indeed.
Supplies were taken out, not only for Jackson's troops, but also for Lee's army that was following, and had, two days afterward to fight its way through Thoroughfare Gap. All the supplies were taken that could be disposed of and the torch applied, about midnight, to that which could not be utilized. At 1 o'clock a. m. the Eighteenth followed Jackson across Bull Run and in the early morn reached the fortifications at Centreville erected in 1861. After resting a few hours the march was resumed, and we recrossed Bull Run at the Stone bridge taking position in line similar to that occupied by the Federals in 1861, at the First Manassas battle. We were under heavy artillery firing for some time, and had some casualties. The Eighteenth was again detached from the brigade and sent to the right to the support of a part of Ewell's command.
Ewell's troops repulsed the attack on them before our arrival and we returned without being actively engaged. On the morning of the 29th we made quite a march, returning during the day near where we started from, too fatigued for the hard service that fell to our lot. We were placed on the left near Sudley Ford, behind the unfinished Alexandria and Manassas Gap Railroad and being in the second line, as supports, had ample action in different places without any protection. Branch's brigade was fought that day in sections, and like foot--cavalry, was at all parts of the line. The Eighteenth was sent across the railroad to check a flank movement
then to the assistance of Gregg's brigade, that occupied the key to Jackson's position, where desperate fighting had to be done to hold it against the hosts that were hurled upon it, in a vain effort to turn Jackson's left. Again the Eighteenth was sent to A. P. Hill's right, to the support of Archer's and a Louisiana Brigade, which occupied a railroad cut. The Eighteenth fought in an open oak woods immediately in their rear, and when an attack was repulsed, we could not charge and follow them. Jackson held his ground.
It was evidently Pope's intention to overwhelm Stonewall and crush him before Lee could come to his assistance. Longstreet met vigorous resistance at Thoroughfare Gap, but forced his way through, and by pressing in the direction of Jackson's guns, arrived on his right near Groveton in time to give needful help. Every part of the line was held, and Pope's efforts frustrated. On the 30th we were to the left of the heavy fighting, not actively engaged, simply holding the place assigned us. The attacks of the enemy were repulsed, and in the afternoon an advance along the line drove them back on Bull Run. The Confederates were victors on almost the identical ground from which the Federals were driven pell-mell in 1861.
During the night Pope's army crossed Bull Run, more deliberately than it was crossed in 1861, but equally defeated.
A heavy rain falling that night, pursuit was not made. The 31st was used in burying the (lead and gathering the spoils of war, principally by Longstreet, as Jackson crossed the historic Bull Run at Sudley Ford and camped that night near Little River Turnpike. On 1 September marched along the pike towards Fairfax Court House. At Ox Hill the enemy was met that afternoon, advancing from the direction of Centreville. Branch was formed parallel to the pike, and advancing through a field, drove the enemy from a wood into a large field beyond. In the edge of this opening, Branch halted and held his position (which was apart from the brigade that advanced with him, but on a diverging line) though heavily assailed in front and flank. Our ammunition being exhausted and the ordnance wagons not accessible, we were ordered to hold our position at the
point of the bayonet. The battle was on, during a blinding wind and rain--storm, and the enemy was satisfied with the assaults made upon us. Towards night we were withdrawn, and rested on the pike. On the 5th the army crossed the Potomac above Leesburg, Va., and camped a week on the Monacacy, near Frederick City, Md. Here the Eighteenth received a large number of raw recruits from North Carolina, without arms or accoutrements.
On 13 September, Jackson was off on another flank movement, and crossing the Potomac at Williamsport, came down upon Martinsburg, which, after some resistance was evacuated, leaving a good quantity of supplies in our hands.
General White retreated to Harpers Ferry, which Jackson attacked the evening of the 14th. Night put an end to it, and was taken advantage of to get into position. It was after midnight when Branch got in the rear on Bolivar Heights, and some brigades had equally as great difficulty in getting into position. When the fog lifted on the 15th and Jackson's artillery opened from the heights, theretofore considered inaccessible, it was not long before the white flag was raised and 12,000 surrendered, with a splendid equipment of guns, ammunition and supplies. Our raw recruits were supplied with guns. Up--to--date Springfield rifles, replaced our smooth-bores, and A. P. Hill's division was left to guard the post, parole prisoners, etc. Stonewall Jackson rejoined the army with the rest of his command, and the heavy firing that could be distinctly heard proclaimed his need. On the 17th, Hill's light division was marched rapidly to Sharpsburg, crossing the Potomac at Shepherdstown, and arrived on the field just in time to save Lee's lines, that were giving away at all points on the right and centre. An half hour later would have been fatal.
Branch's brigade fought about midway between Sharpsburg and the Antietam, in a corn field running northerly from the creek to the town.
The Eighteenth was left in reserve, at first, behind a ridge near some straw stacks, in a stubble field. The corn was visible from these straw stacks, to the Antietam, as we approached. About the time that Branch ordered the Eighteenth into
action he was killed near these stacks. The Eighteenth crossed the ridge to the left of the stacks and as we descended into the valley beyond, we saw the thin gray line retreating from a wooded ridge, some 300 yards over the corn, into a valley that extended towards the town, with Burnside's victorious blue coats in vigorous pursuit. The lines met in this corn--covered valley, and the conflict was terrific, decisive. Burnside was hurled back and a rout prevented. There was no more fighting that evening. The Eighteenth fought apart from the rest of the brigade, and reformed on the edge of the corn field behind a part stone, and part rail fence with skirmishers in the valley. About night the brigade was gotten together by Colonel James H. Lane, of the Twenty--eighth North Carolina, and formed on an extension of this fence, with the Eighteenth on its left, nearer the town, where we lay all next day roasting in a scorching September sun, or drenched by downpours of rain, with now and then a minie ball salute from the wooded ridge beyond the corn. Our hard march from Harper's Ferry, wading the Potomac in fours, our clothing saturated with water from the hips down, the effort to close up to the head of the column, making it an up--hill foot--race from the river to the battle--field, caused none but those of unquestioned endurance to he there to go into action.
Burnside's corps was on the field all day resting. That was its first action, and flushed with victory, it should have swept us off the earth, the mere handful that we were to them in numbers. How Hill's division stood before them as wonderful, but it had gone there to fight and was too tired to run. There was no pursuit. Nature has its limits, and we had reached ours, with fearful sacrifice.
Lee with his army, matchless by equal numbers, lay on the field during the 18th, and was not attacked by the vastly out--numbering foe. During the night Lee withdrew his forces and crossed the Potomac into Virginia. Branch's brigade, commanded by Colonel Lane, covered the retreat. Repulsing the enemy, then falling back till pressed again, the rear was effectively covered. We crossed the ford below Boteler's
mill in good order, under fire of a pursuing enemy, and went into camp two or three miles away.
During the night the enemy crossed a corps, and on the morning of the 20th, A. P. Hill's division was sent back to attend to it. The heights on the Maryland side command the Virginia side, and were bristling with artillery. A few rounds showed that our artillery was not in it, and it got out of range, so that it was purely an infantry fight on our part. Hill charged with three brigades, supported by the other three, and drove the enemy to the river, capturing many prisoners. From the start the artillery had our range, accurately, and their shells plowed through the Eighteenth several times during the advance. Reaching the river the Eighteenth occupied a bluff overlooking Boteler's mill dam, and from it, shot blue coats crossing the dam, till a detail sent down captured all under the bluff.
The artillery practice became so accurate that they'd hit a litter carrying off our wounded or our canteen men, going across a ridge in our rear for water. We had to lie close all day, and withdraw after night. The enemy that got across the river had also to lie close in the canal all day. It was full.
We camped around Bunker Hill, and in October worked a few days on the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, beyond Martinsburg, and left a couple of sections about Hedgersville and North Mountain depot in splendid disorder. Colonel Lane was promoted brigadier, and assigned to the command of Branch's brigade, and remained with it during the war. Colonel Robert H. Cowan, of the Eighteenth Regiment, resigned, and Lieutenant--Colonel Thomas J. Purdie became Colonel, Major Forney George, Lieutenant--Colonel and Captain John D. Barry, Company I, Major of the regiment.
About the middle of November the Eighteenth had an engagement with the enemy at Snicker's Gap, and the last days of the month, Jackson followed Longstreet towards Fredericksburg to meet Burnside's movements. There was an abundance of rain, sleet and snow during the march, and
many of the men were barefooted, as well as thinly clad, but they had the stuff of heroes in them.
On 10 December we camped below Fredericksburg, near the Massaponax, and on the 12th went into line above that stream, A. P. Hill's right being at Hamilton's crossing and his left near Deep Run ; Fields, Archer, Lane and Pender in the front and Gregg and Thomas in the second line as supports. From Hamilton's the railroad is the cord of the curving ridge that extends from that place to Fredericksburg and runs between the foothills and the Port Royal road.
Archer occupied a part of the railroad track, and to his left was a stretch of wooded marshland, 500 or 600 yards between his left and Lane's right. This gap Lane and Archer tried to get filled, and subsequent results showed the unwise neglect of their superiors in not heeding their entreaties.
The railroad track to the left of the marshland, which Lane occupied, ran through a low place with a ridge to the right, some seventy-five or a hundred yards, high enough to shut out a view of the plain in front, from all of the brigade, save part of the Thirty-seventh on the right, and the Seventh on the left. Several pieces of artillery were on this ridge in front of the Seventh and of Pender on its left.
When the fog lifted on the 13th, the artillery duel from the enemy, with these guns and those on the ridge in our rear, put us under a heavy fire. When the enemy advanced, they were repulsed at the crest of the ridge in our front. The gap between Lane and Archer was discovered and in their next advance, a heavy force against that part of the line, forced back Archer's left and Lane's right, and penetrated to Gregg's line. Lane's right regiments held their ground tenaciously, each retiring only as compelled to do so. Colonel Purdie threw back the right wing of the Eighteenth to the woods some seventy--five or one hundred yards in our rear, and made a determined stand. Here the enemy was checked, Thomas coming to our assistance.
Gregg was said to have been killed before he knew that the troops advancing on him were enemies. His gallant brigade rcovered from a temporary confusion and joined with Lawton
and Hoke were sent to Archer's relief, and Thomas and Lane on its left. The whole line advanced, and drove back the enemy with great loss. Reaching the railroad the left of the Eighteenth and the Seventh, that had held their position, joined in the advance. The division was reformed on the railroad line and gotten in readiness for a night attack. At nightfall we took position at the crest of the rising ground in front and were ready at the appointed time, but Jack--son's desire for a night attack was overruled, and the order was countermanded in the nick of time. We occupied tin front line till about midday of the 14th, when we were sent back to the top of the ridge for a night's rest.
On the 15th we were again in line, ready for any emergency. On that night, Burnside withdrew his forces to the north side of the Rappahannock. Jackson's corps moved down the Port Royal road to Corbin's Neck, and went into winter quarters.
On 30 April camp was broken, and we marched to Fredericksburg, and next day we engaged with the enemy across the Orange plank road, near Chancellorsville.
On the morning of 2 May, 1863, I was sent to recall our skirmishers, and follow to the left. Jackson marched by the left flank, going by the Iron Furnace, around Hooker's army, and crossed the Orange plank road some three miles west of Chancellorsville. Facing east the line was ready to advance and no. time was lost. Striking the Eleventh corps in flank and rear, it was routed and driven back, and by sundown Jackson's troops were near Chancellorsville. Part of A. P. Hill's division marched in column down the plank road and at sundown Lane was ordered to form his brigade across the road, and charge Chancellor's Hill, on which Hooker was massing his artillery, and forming his line, with troops that had not been engaged.
Our artillery opened on them, and was replied to by the guns in position. A severe cannonading prevented Lane from forming line till our artillery was stopped and the firing ceased.
The Eighteenth and Twenty-eighth was formed on the left of the road and the Seventh and Thirty-seventh on the right,
the Thirty-third was thrown forward as skirmishers, covering the brigade. The Eighteenth and Twenty-eighth were moved forward near the skirmishers (which we did not know at that time were in our front), and before the Seventh and Thirty-seventh were brought opposite us, a Yankee officer came into the right regiment and asked what troops it was. Waving a handkerchief, he claimed flag of truce rights, but was not allowed to go back. Lane was informed at once of the troops moving on his right flank and went to investigate before advancing, though Jackson and Hill had again ordered the advance. We had orders at first to be careful as our cavalry would cross at Ely's or U. S. Fords, and might come in from its circuit in our front. Later we had orders to shoot anything from the front.
Whilst General Lane was investigating the situation on his right, which took some time, and resulted in retaining the officer who was parleying, and the capture of his regiment--One Hundred and Twentieth Pennsylvania--Colonel Purdie, hearing something in our front, called me with him, and we went forward carefully on the edge of the road some 50 or 60 yards, and found Captain George W. Sanderlin,, of the Thirty-third, who gave us our first information that that regiment was deployed as skirmishers. We told him of our orders, and the complication that had arisen on the right. He crossed the road with us where Lieutenant-Colonel Cowan was and whilst talking with him Captain Joe Sanders came up looking for Colonel Avery to tell him of the troops moving on the right of his skirmish line. In a few minutes a few shots were fired, apparently two or three hundred yards in our front, to the right of the road, then extending towards the right of the brigade. At this juncture Colonel Purdie and myself started for our line, making our steps fast and long. Firing began along the brigade. Before we reached the Eighteenth it fired a terrific volley. How we escaped was wonderful. Horses with riders, and horses without, came into the line with us.
We are friends, cease firing! rang out, but too late. Stonewall
Jackson and some of the staff wounded, and some two or three couriers killed, was the result of that volley.
Lane's ambulance corps was in our immediate rear, and was called into use. A blanket was placed over General Jackson to keep his wounding from being known, as he was carried to the rear.
I pulled the cape of his overcoat over the head of one of Hill's couriers, that fell about where I had last seen Colonel Purdie. They were about the same size and resembled each other very much. In the darkness I was mistaken. Purdie was safe and sound at the left of the regiment. About a half hour after the wounding of Jackson, another firing took place along the line, and A. P. Hill, who had gone to the front on foot to look for something that was left, where Jackson was wounded, was shot in the calf of his leg. Hill was much displeased, and was reproving us for firing at a noise, etc. A company B back-woodsman laconically remarked : "Every-body knows the Yankee army can't run the `Light Division,' and one little general needn't try it." This sally restored him to normal condition and he limped down the road, staying on the field till General J. E. B. Stewart, the chivalrous cavalryman, came from near Ely's ford when he turned the command over to him. Hill may have had a contusion from a bursting shell as mentioned by various writers of the incident, but he certainly got a minie ball in his leg after Jack-son was wounded.
How Jackson and Hill, their staff and couriers got in front was never satisfactorily explained. Neither of them was in the habit, day or night, of riding or otherwise going in front of the skirmishers, or line, when they ordered an advance, and the enemy known to be at a short distance on that night they certainly would not knowingly have put themselves between the lines at such a time. Such a body of horsemen could not have ridden through any part of Lane's brigade that night without its being known. We were never more on the alert, and wide awake than that night, and I don't remember to have ever heard of a member of the brigade saying that he knew they had gone in our front.
My recollection is that when Hill and Jackson came forward
to know why Lane did not advance and again directed him to do so, they went to the rear, to a large field, on the left of the road, where Rodes, Colston, Trimble and others were reforming their commands. It was more than probable that the delay occurring by the complication on Lane's right, caused them to ride forward on the mountain road, leading towards Chancellorsville, passing beyond Lane's left, and they were thus in our front, when the firing began. What-ever may be the true statement of how they got in that position, there was nothing more certain than that they came from our front when the firing began.
It was generally conceded that the Eighteenth Regiment fired the fatal shots. None regretted the occurrence more than we did, and the army did not blame us for the manner or measure of our discharge of our duty, though others did.
The Eighteenth and Twenty-eighth were transferred to the right of the brigade about 11 o'clock and repulsed an at-tack made upon that flank, capturing many prisoners in addition to the regiment captured there earlier in the night. The skirmish lines were not far apart, and the least noise brought on a volley.
With empty stomachs we slept on our arms, as best we could, between the firings.
Our ears caught the rumbling of artillery wheels and the clatter of many axes, making us painfully aware that Chancellorsville Hill was fortified for the morrow's work. Stuart gave orders that the attack be made at 4 o'clock next morning. At early dawn Hill's division, commanded by Heth, was put in motion. The right of Lane being deflected was wheeled to the left to get in line. The first and second breast-works were carried before sunrise. Hill's right brigades found the enemy entrenched where Lane had fought them the night before, and had to fight into position to advance. Being thus detained Lane was exposed on his right, and lost heavily at the second breastworks.
Colonel Purdie was killed, and Lieutenant-Colonel George wounded, Major Barry had a captain left to command the right and a lieutenant to command the left wing of the regiment, a fearful loss, and he was the only one of thirteen regimental
officers present with the brigade, not killed or wounded. Color Bearer Richardson, of the Eighteenth, was wounded in the night fighting, and Prophet and Edwards were killed, successively, at the second breastworks next morning.
The writer was wounded, through the upper third of left thigh, just as these works were carried, and got nearly off the field by using two muskets as crutches, before the enemy rallied and retook the works. Out of ammunition and no reinforcements arriving, the brigade was unable to hold its position, and retreated to the first line of works, where it remained till supplied with ammunition. The enemy reinforced, and stubbornly held this strong position, repulsing several attacks made upon it. It was near 10 o'clock before Chancellor's Hill was carried, when Lee's and Stuart's line were joined and Hooker's army forced beyond the Plank road into the tangle of that wilderness country, from which he re-crossed the Rapidan. Lane's loss in this fight was 909, about one-third of the loss of Hill's division.
In his book clearing up the odium that attached to the Eleventh corps for its disaster in this battle, Lieutenant-Colonel A. C. Hamlin, brother of Vice-President Hannibal Hamlin, historian of that much abused command, says of Lane's brigade : "This brigade faced the Federal front in line of battle, and although twice exposed to the fire of forty-three cannon, it never faltered, nor called for help, until its flank and rear were threatened by Sickles about midnight. The history of this command under its dauntless leader, throughout the war, and ending at Appomattox, will always be admired, and respected by those who believe in American manhood. And the student who seeks to discover a higher degree of courage and hardihood among the military organizations of either army will look over the true records of the war for a long time, if not in vain. Investigation shows that the brigade was composed of young men, of the best stock the Old North State contained, and sent to represent it, in that bulwark of secession, the Army of Northern Virginia. The records show that it was in all of the principal battles of the Army of Northern Virginia, and that its blows were severe
and its losses were frightful. In the battles around Richmond in 1862, the brigade lost 800 men, killed and wounded, at Chancellorsville it lost nearly 800 men killed and wounded, and of its thirteen field officers, all but one were struck down. At Gettysburg it formed the left of Longstreet's charge and although it had lost nearly 40 per cent. in its three days fighting, it marched off the field in excellent order when Pickett was routed and took position in support of the rebel (Confederate) batteries, which some of the brigades of that charge did not do. This organization was among the last soldiers of Lee's army to re-cross the Potomac after both Antietam and Gettysburg. North Carolina furnished more men than any other State of the Confederacy, and lost more in action than any of its sister States, and the records show, or seem to show, that her mountaineers struck many of the hardest blows the army of the Potomac received from the Army of Northern Virginia."
These generous words from a foe, are true, and show that those who met us on the field of battle, could recognize "foemen worthy of their steel."
His figures of killed and wounded are supposed to be taken from the Surgeon General's Hospital report, and the difference between that and the brigade and the regimental reports is accounted for by the fact that a great many slightly wounded men never passed through the hospitals, where a record was kept.
Jackson's corps returned to its camp and after his death, it and Longstreet's were reorganized and three corps formed. under Longstreet, Ewell and A. P. Hill. When A. P. Hill was made Lieutenant-General, Brigadier-Generals W. D. Pender and Harry Heth were made Major-Generals. Colonel Alfred M. Scales succeeded Pender as Brigadier-General. To Major-General Pender's "Light Division" was assigned the North Carolina brigades of Lane and Scales, McGowan's (S. C.) and Thomas' (Georgia) brigades.
Being a member of the North Carolina Legislature, Lieutenant-Colonel Forney George resigned, and Major John D. Barry became Colonel. Captain John W. McGill, Company B,
was promoted Lieutenant-Colonel, and Captain Thos. J. Wooten, Company K, major.
Lee put his army in motion and on 25 June crossed the Potomac at Shepherdstown. On 1 July the brigade marched from Cashtown to Gettysburg and formed on the left of the pike. After advancing a mile or more, it was transferred to the right to support, Heth, and again advanced. The lines diverging, Lane became uncovered, and met the enemy in his own front, forcing his lines back towards Cemetery Heights. On the 2nd the Eighteenth was sent to support a battery, near the Theological college, and was again with the brigade in its advance in the evening.
On the 3rd Heth's division, under Brigadier-General Pettigrew and Lane's and Scales' brigades, temporarily under Major-General Trimble, were sent to Longstreet, who placed Pettigrew in front, supported by Trimble, whilst Pickett with two brigades in front on line with Pettigrew, was supported by his third brigade, and Wilcox's brigade attached to him to protect his flank.
It was a high compliment to Heth's division and Pender's two brigades, who had done hard service on the 1st and 2nd, to be selected to make the attack on the 3rd, and be pitted with Pickett's division that was fresh upon the field, and had not had a good whiff of powder since the battle of Cold Harbor in June, 1862. It did duty around Petersburg, and in North Carolina, and had missed the hardships of the Maryland campaign, and the battles of Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville. Thoroughly recruited and full, it was in fine condition for this fight. Pettigrew's brigade was similarly fortunate, as to the last year's campaign, but at the reorganization of the corps, was taken from its picnic grounds and put into the division of Heth, with which it had fought on the 1st and 2nd. (One regiment of Pettigrew's brigade, and one brigade of Pickett's division was left in Virginia.)
The first arrangement and order of battle was for Hill's troops to support Longstreet's Corps, in its attack, but by the final arrangement two of Longstreet's divisions were not put in and Pickett had but two brigades on the front line.
The whole of Heth's division under Pettigrew was on the front line, and only two brigades of Pender's under Trimble, to support it. When the advance was made Pickett and Pettigrew's lines diverged, Pettigrew's supports uncovered, and Pickett's supports also. Pickett's front brigades and supports became so far apart when the fighting line was reached that General Stannard seeing the opportunity, threw his command forward from the Federal lines, and cutting a part off, made large captures. Having about half the distance to go Pickett reached musketry range before Pettigrew and was repulsed, whilst Pettigrew was advancing. When Pettigrew reached the works he, like Pickett, was without support, on account of difference of direction of his line and support some diverging, some crowding, and, when his support (Trimble, with Lane's and Scale's brigades) passed beyond and reached the works it was like Pickett and Pettigrew, unable to live in that maelstrom of death.
Each command broke the enemy at some point in its front, and Trimble's and Pettigrew's dead and wounded were found in the orchard beyond the stone fence, and at the stone fence, the height of a man's chin, eighty yards further in their front than the stone fence about 21/2 feet high, in front of Pickett's line.
When leaving, Lane's brigade rallied its remnant in the hollow by the Emmettsburg road, and marched off in order, the last troops to leave the field.
This charge of the Confederates stands out in history in its uniqueness for boldness and gallantry and the chaplet of honor should encircle the brow of all the troops engaged in it. Those who were there and surrendered deserve credit; those who were there and fought with their commands, can not be sufficiently rewarded, and those who so gallantly poured out their life blood, a libation on their country's altar, should be immortalized in song and story as the highest type of American manhood.
There is no disposition on the part of those engaged to detract from the merit of Pickett's men, or dim the lustre of the charge. As a whole the charge was brilliant-in isolated instances it was not what it ought to have been. Brockenbrough's,
Va., brigade did not come up to its usual standard, and the shafts of detraction were hurled at all its comrades under Pettigrew, on that account.
General G. E. Pickett made the mistake of not going with his division. His presence would have been helpful, and might have saved his large number of prisoners. His brigadiers did as well as they could, but a division needs its commander to get its best result.
The casualties of each command is the test of services, and Pettigrew's command welcomes the token, as the statistics of Gettysburg show, viz.:
Pickett and his support lost: Killed, 266; wounded, 1,546; total killed and wounded, 1,812; prisoners, 1,756; grand total, 3,568.
Pettigrew and his supports lost : Killed, 554; wounded, 2,470; total killed and wounded, 3,024; prisoners, 627; grand total, 3,651. More than twice as many killed, nearly twice as many wounded and a little more than one-third as many prisoners.
Pickett's heaviest loss was in Armistead's brigade of Virginia: Killed, 84; wounded, 491; total killed and wounded, 575; prisoners, 643; grand total, 1,218. Five regiments more than half prisoners.
Pettigrew's heaviest loss was in his own brigade of North Carolina : Killed, 190; wounded, 915; total killed and wounded, 1,105; prisoners, 00; four regiments and no prisoners. Killed and wounded, nearly 2 to 1.
One regiment of this brigade, the Twenty-sixth North Carolina, lost : Killed, 86 ; wounded, 502 ; killed and wounded, 588; prisoners, 00; grand total, 588; or 13 more killed and wounded than Armistead's brigade.
Nearly half of Pickett's loss was prisoners, whilst Pettigrew lost but one-sixth in prisoners, viz: Archer, 517; Scales, 110 ; total, 627.
These figures, obtained from volume 26, part 2, pages 339, 343, 4, 5, Official Records Union and Confederate Armies, show that Pickett's charge did not fail because he was not supported by Pettigrew, and that Pettigrew really did the fighting of the day.
North Carolinians were satisfied with doing their duty and "We envy not others their merited glory."
Lee withdrew from the field on the night of the 4th and remained at Hagerstown a week. On the 13th crossed the Potomac at Falling Waters where Lane acted as rear guard. The Eighteenth and part of the Twenty-eighth were deployed as skirmishers and those of the Twenty-eighth were the last to cross. A week was spent in camp near Culpepper Court House, when the army returned to the line of the Rapidan, the Eighteenth camping near Orange Court House.
After the death of Major-General Pender from wounds at Gettysburg, Brigadier-General Cadmus M. Wilcox was promoted, and assigned to his command. On 22 September the Eighteenth marched with the command and was at a skirmish at Jack's Shop, near Madison Court House, and, after that, camped at Liberty Mills, the left of the army. On the 9th the army advanced, Hill marching by Madison Court House and Warrenton to Bristoe Station where Heth had a fight with the enemy. Cooke's and Kirkland's North Carolina brigades were sent against a strong position on the railroad, and gallantly went into a slaughter pen. Before reinforcements could go to their assistance they were decimated. Wilcox was under shelling from the enemy's artillery with slight casualties. We again had a job on the rail-road, and destroyed it to the Rappahannock, and camped a week on its south side.
After leaving Brandy Station on the 8th the Yankee cavalry pursued in force. We laid an ambush for them near Culpepper, using one of the North Carolina companies of the Eleventh Virginia cavalry as decoys. It played its part well, fighting better than cavalry was expected to, and nearly succeeded in drawing a regiment of blue-coat cavalry into a field, where, covered by some woods, the Eighteenth was placed to get in their rear. The trap was discovered in time to escape with a lot of empty saddles, and a loss to the Eighteenth of one killed and a half dozen wounded.
The Eighteenth returned to Liberty Mills, and built comfortable winter quarters. On 28 November marched to Mine Run, where Meade had crossed. We lay in line of bat-
and built breastworks, but were not engaged, more than on the skirmish line. The weather was fearfully cold, and the pickets were relieved every two hours, as they could not stay longer without fire. The skirmish lines were not far apart, and exposure was dangerous. In a thicket of old field pines, between the lines, a flock of wild turkeys lit down. A fine, large gobbler lost his life there by this rashness, and lay in full view of both picket lines. Disregarding the danger, each side determined to capture that turkey, and several men were gobblerized during the day. After sun down George W. Corbett in charge of the Eighteenth skirmishers, played tactics to bring him in. Picking a man to help him, they approached in different directions, and succeeded in bagging the game, as well as in getting a new overcoat and blanket off of an equally venturesome, but less successful blue-coater that lay near by. The pot boiled that night. A. P. Hill's division was massed Tuesday night, 1 December, to attack next morning, but during the night Meade recrossed the river. We gladly returned to our winter quarters at Liberty Mills and spent the winter there.
Who that saw it, will ever forget the snow-ball battle that started in fun, and spread from regiment to brigade, then division and corps, till the line from Liberty Mill to Orange Court House was engaged in the exhiliarating sport?
Some disgruntled spirit, at last, threw a rock in his snow-ball and brought blood. This dastardly act was promptly resented, and went to such an extent that the men rushed for their arms, and it took the best efforts of the officers and level-headed men for a while to prevent the rebel yell, and snow-ball from being followed by real powder and ball.
During the winter Governor Vance made a tour of the army in his candidacy for re-election as governor of North Carolina. He received an ovation wherever he went and captured the army in toto.
General Grant's successes in the western army made him commander of the armies of the United States in the field. During the winter he came east, and personally assumed command of the army of the Potomac. Most favorably situated, and with carte-blanche he supplied his command with everything
he wanted. It was a spectacle worth beholding, and calculated to swell the bosom of any man with pride, to look upon the one hundred and forty thousand men, with which he crossed the Rapidan, 4 May, 1864, as splendidly equipped a body of men as ever trod the face of the earth. Well might he have said
- "Behold them, in their glory,
- You will soon read our story,
- On to Richmond ! ! !"
General Lee had sixty thousand men scantily supplied with everything, save grit, with which to meet this mighty host.
The disparity of numbers, and condition was appalling, but the ragged Confederates did not faint or falter.
On the evening of the 5th Heth and Pender's divisions of Hill's corps, some 5,000 men, engaged Birney's, Mott's, Gibbon's and Barlow's divisions, Hancock's corps, with Getty's division of the Sixth corps, say 40,000 men, and did good service.
The Eighteenth was sent to the front and on the right of the Orange plank road, near a mile from it, found the Thirty-eighth North Carolina hotly engaged with Hancock's troops. Colonel Barry and Lieutenant-Colonel Ashford fought their regiments, as emergency required, in various positions, till nightfall, when I was sent back to report their condition and get instructions. Shifting position so often during the evening I had lost my bearings, and in the darkness got into Hancock's corps and had to tack variously to get out. About 11 o'clock I got into Wilcox's troops, on a straight rim down the plank road. Before I stopped my run, I recognized General Wilcox's white horse, and going to him found Wilcox. Out of wind, and gasping between words, I told him that I was just out of Hancock's corps, and that there was not a man between him and Hancock's skirmishers. He evidently did not believe a word of it, and was not over polite in letting me know it. I found where my command was and went to it. General Lane, Colonels Barry, Avery and others believed my statement, and went to Wilcox
to get a picket line established in front. He assured them that there was a division in his front, and told them not to disturb the men, let them rest till morning. The regiments bivouacked without regard to alignment, as they assembled from the different parts of the field, on which they had fought.
In the morning Colonel Avery had gotten part of the Thirty-third in line, when Hancock's corps and Sedwick's division struck us, and fought them like tigers. The temporary check made where they were, gave little time for the brigade that was forming to get together, and Wilcox was caught all out of joint all along his line. Though we had little or no alignment, the regiments and squads fell back fighting as best they could. About a quarter of a mile from where Han-cock flushed us, we were fired into by the division that Wilcox thought was in his front the night before and it retreated without waiting to let us pass by it.
There were fifty or seventy-five in the squad that I fell back with, a part from the plank road (the most of the brigade were near it). About a half mile back we were covered by the right of the Texas brigade, as it advanced, the first of Longstreet's troops that got into action. Our squad composed of men from all of Lanes regiments, joined the Fourth Texas under Captain Jas. T. McLaurin, Company B, and went with it in the charge that drove Hancock back to the position of the morning near the Brock road.
It was near midday when we rejoined our command in the left of the Plank road, where it had assembled after the morning's experience. Though caught at a disadvantage the men fought well, as the casualties show, and delayed their assailant's advance.
Ewell did splendid fighting that afternoon on the left of the army and drove the Federal right some distance. About 9 o'clock that night the rebel yell was set up on the right and extended to the left of the army.
The volume and duration of sound exceeded anything that we had then heard or have heard since. Prisoners taken afterwards reported great demoralization from it in Warren's and Sedwick's corps. General Horace Porter in his "Campaign
With Grant," gives a graphic account of the attack on these commands after dark, and of the battle says: "All circumstances seemed to combine to make the scene one of unutterable horror. At times the wind howled through the tree tops, mingling its moan with the groans of the dying, and heavy branches were cut off by the fire of the artillery and fell crashing upon the heads of the men, adding a new terror to battle.
"Forest fires raged, ammunition trains exploded, the dead were roasted in the conflagration, the wounded, roused by its hot breath, dragged themselves along with their torn and mangled limbs, in the mad energy of despair, to escape the ravages of the flame, and every bush seemed hung with shreds of blood-stained clothing. It was as though Christian men had turned to fiends, and hell itself had usurped the place of earth."
We were direct opposites at that time in action and principles. I'm not inclined to combat his sentiment. Sheol was not far off that day.
On the 8th left the Wilderness and had a little skirmishing near the Po. On the 10th arrived at Spottsylvania Court House and on that and the following day built breast-works on different parts of the line, being moved several times. Our lines being nearly at right angles to Ewell's corps, we built traverses to protect ourselves from shots in that direction.
Late in the evening of the 11th, Lane's brigade, which was the left of A. P. Hill's corps, was thrown forward to the front and left to connect with Ewell's line. Our left regiments, Twenty-eighth and Eighteenth, were beyond a branch and thrown forward, at an obtuse angle to the rest of the brigade, to connect with Stewart's brigade of General Edward Johnson's division, that was thrown back in a curve from that division to connect with the Twenty-eighth, forming a salient, known as the Horseshoe angle.
During the night our artillery was withdrawn from Johnson's line, and Hancock's and Burnside's corps were massed at the salient, with orders to attack it at 4 o'clock. The artillery
was returning to Johnson's line, but had not gotten in position when Hancock attacked at daylight. Edward Johnson's left and Robert D. Johnson's brigade that were sup-porting it, were swept away. That let Hancock into Stewart's rear, and the rear of the Twenty-eighth and Eighteenth who were engaged with those to the right of the angle.
The artillery and Stewart's brigade were captured. When the Twenty-eighth and Eighteenth found that Hancock was in their immediate rear, it was too late to escape and about one-third of the Twenty-eighth and near half of the Eighteenth were made prisoners. Of those who escaped, the writer, adjutant of the Eighteenth North Carolina, rallied a handful at the left of the breastworks of the previous day and recklessly dashing into Hancock's host that poured into the woods, through Johnson's opening, produced a panic, that adding to its own demoralization, drove his serried numbers back beyond the branch, stampeding even the guards in charge of the prisoners. Some of the Eighteenth's prisoners taking advantage of the stampede, escaped and rejoined the regiment. J. C. Kinlaw, of Company K, in a subsequent charge, recovered his knapsack and accoutrements, of which he had been stripped preparatory to being carried to the rear. This stampede gave time for the Thirty-seventh, Seventh and Thirty-third to be formed on the crest south of the branch, and the remnant of the Eighteenth and Twenty-eighth re-formed on their left where Lane repulsed Hancock's next advance, and saved the right of the army. Scales' North Carolina brigade coming to his assistance, another attack was repulsed.
After this Gordon, in command of Early's division, joined our left, and by hard fighting the line was advanced and held near the apex of the angle. On the left of the angle Daniel's North Carolina brigade stopped the break of Ewell's line and Ramseur's North Carolina brigade taken from Daniel's left, retook the line to Daniel's right. Colonel R. T. Bennett's Fourteenth North Carolina Regiment was taken from Ramseur's left and gallantly extended Ramseur's right. Harris' Mississippi brigade unfalteringly extended Bennett's right,
McGowan's South Carolina brigade was sent from Hill's front near the court house to extend Harris' line, and partly lapped upon it. McGowan was wounded before getting to the breastworks.
Harris' and McGowan's brigades fought Hancock and his reinforcements over the breastwork all day, snatching the muskets from each other across the works. There was an oak woods to their rear, and an oak tree twenty inches in diameter was so riddled with minie balls, several feet from the ground, that its top-weight wrung it down. I saw the tree next day and the many dead, on each side of the breastworks were silent witnesses of the fighting qualities of both armies. (The two sections, above and below of this or a similar tree, were cut off and after the war were on exhibition at the War Department in Washington where I saw them in 1866. ED.)
During the day a white flag appeared on the breastworks, firing ceased, and each side began jumping over claiming the others as prisoners. The matter was settled by the blue-coats and Johnnies getting back on their own side and the fight began again. A new line was built across the angle from Daniel's to Lane's, and word passed down the line to Harris' and McGowan's men to fall back to it. After night the firing slackened and about midnight ceased ; both sides had quietly gone away and the fought-over works were abandoned by both sides.
Lane's brigade was taken off the line to the right of the angle, carried into some woods to the left of the court house and got a few hours rest in the middle of the day. In the afternoon it was taken by Major-General Mahone with his old brigade, Colonel Weisiger, to feel a force which was assembling to the right of the salient, behind the branch above mentioned. Though Weisiger had not been engaged that day and Lane had been fighting all the morning, Lane's small brigade was put in front to attack and Weisiger to support. When Lane advanced, Mahone rode back to the court house. Lane's attack was successful, though Weisiger did not support him and when sent for did not come. Lane turned the captured battery upon the enemy,
but had to abandon it or be captured. He, however, carried back four or five hundred prisoners and several flags.
The Eighteenth captured the flag of the artillery.
When we got back to the lines, near the court house, Ma-hone rode out and claimed the flags, which were refused him. He afterwards had a correspondence through army headquarters concerning them, which was "held up" on account of "unparliamentary language" that got into it. General Lee and the Secretary of War acknowledged receipt of the flags from Lane's brigade, a few days after the battle.
The Richmond papers teemed with accounts of Mahone's magnificent achievements in the afternoon and accredited to other Virginia commands the honor of stopping the break in the lines of the morning.
Pertinent to this, though personal, the following extract from the narrative of a Michigan colonel is inserted here. After stating how his company was captured and recaptured at Chancellorsville, 3 May, 1863, and for supposed gallantry, he was promoted major, which he protested, continuing, says :
"As nothing else would do, I was, in a manner, forced to accept this promotion and in a few days was commissioned lieutenant-colonel 'for gallantry and meritorious conduct in the presence of the enemy.' In the following winter I was appointed to the colonelcy of a `crack' regiment. I would not be speaking the truth if I should say that these promotions did not touch my vanity and make me zealous, not only to maintain but to acquire more of the 'bubble reputation at the cannon's mouth.'
"It was with an assumed feeling of arrogance and con-tempt of danger that I led my regiment to the attack on Lee's salient 12 May, 1864, at Spottsylvania Court House. By the crack of dawn on that morning, before the Johnnies were fully awake, we were right in among them in a hand to hand encounter, capturing a great number of prisoners and quickly had possession of all, or nearly all of both wings of this famous salient, the breastworks of which faced to the front and rear. We had Lee's army now practically cut in two, an advantage which, if it had been followed up
promptly, would, as I have thought, have had the effect of terminating the war at a much earlier date. While we were engaged in arranging to hold our newly acquired position in the captured Confederate works, and in reforming the troops for a further advance an attack was made on our flank and rear, which by its suddenness and vigor struck panic to the troops between the position held by my regiment and the attacking party, which sent them pouring pell mell back upon my men in a wild, confused mass. Every soldier knows something of the demoralizing effect of an enfilade fire, such as the Confederates had on our line, and the further fact, that a stampede of panic-stricken troops is as uncontrollable as that of the herds on the western plains. I was drawing out my line at an angle from their former position in order to check the Confederate advance, when I was shot down, receiving this wound in the hip, from the effects of which in the opinion of nerve specialists, I will never fully recover. My own men, brave and tried soldiers, though they were, caught up the contagion and joined in the headlong flight, for be-fore a proper alignment could be made, the Confederates were among them, sweeping by and beyond me as I lay wounded upon the ground, and shooting to kill, as was evidenced by the large number of fallen Federals on the spot. I felt mortified and chagrined when I saw this small body of Confederates, for they did not number more than about fifty or sixty men, by brave and skillful management, put to rout many times their number of our men. But I was particularly impressed by their youthful leader as he passed by where I lay, his countenance glowing with the enthusiasm of a school boy going out upon the play ground for a game of ball, shouting 'forward men!' rushing on with his little band like an avalanche to what seemed certain destruction. He reminded me of the pictures I had seen in my old school history in my boyhood days. I admire bravery even in a foe, and this I would call true gallantry such as was seldom witnessed in either army in the many battles of the Civil War. I am aware that some Virginia troops claim by an attack in front of our position to have regained their lost ground, but I know the fact that their attack was not made until after I
had fallen, and to this young officer and his brave followers belongs the honor of turning the tide of battle, and of possibly saving Lee's army from direful defeat that morning. He was my ideal of a soldier, and as I thought of him I could but reflect upon the honors so unworthily worn by myself, and wish they could have been the reward of such heroism as this. One of his men had fallen wounded within a few feet of where I lay, and after the heavy fighting ceased, the Confederates having re-established their position, I was, though in pain, so much interested that I asked him who his leader was. Well do I remember his reply, as it came in a loud, emphatic tone, as if proud to speak it: `Captain Billy McLaurin, of the Eighteenth North Carolina Regiment, one of the bravest men in Lee's army!' I was fully prepared to believe what he said.
"It is a strange thing to me that those who write history are so full and profuse in their records of achievements of generals, to the exclusion of such praiseworthy deeds on the part of subalterns and privates who bore the brunt of battle."
The testimony of a foe on the ground is worth considering, in giving proper credit to the troops entitled to it. There were not more than three or four dozen of us, in this sortie, but it gave time for Lane to get in shape and hold the position till others could come to his assistance. When Gordon came with Early's division, there were Virginians in it, but they were entitled to no more credit than the Georgians, and others, that were necessary to help, and did help, manfully, to hold the lines.
After the attack in the afternoon Lane was put on a line that McGowan was taken from near a brick kiln. We were shifted to different parts of the line till the 21st when we had a skirmish near a church two or three miles to the right of the court house. That night we marched to the right, and on the morning of the 23rd bivouacked in an oak wood on a little stream that flowed into the South Anna river. Our canteenmen were not long in finding water and-something besides; one of them came running back, and asked for my `army colt.' I pointed to my belt, hanging on a nearby oak. Others were noticed hurriedly leaving camp. Pop! pop!
pop! bang! bang! bang! was soon heard down the slope. Not long after an elderly gentleman rode hurriedly into camp and was directed to headquarters. General Lane sent at once to have each regiment searched and if any mutton was found to send mutton and man to him under guard. Strict search was made, but it could no where be found and the adjutants were so reporting. When the adjutant of the Thirty-seventh was about to make a similar report for his regiment, Jim L--- stepped up the slope right near head-quarters with a leg of mutton in his hand, in open handed guilt, and he was scooped in.
Jim was the first to return with a trophy of the fusillade down the branch, and was the only man caught. The rest who went that way were innocent lambs and saw nothing. Jim was put to walking a circle with a billet of wood, and the leg of mutton on his shoulder. This soon became a burden and the citizen asked that he be released and allowed to have the mutton. General Lane didn't relent at once, and the kind-hearted citizen at last insisted that Jim be not only pardoned, but that the men be allowed to go down into his clover field and get the flock.
The incident of the morning, gave opportunity for one of the ludicrous humors of war that afternoon.
The enemy drove back the guards from Jericho ford and Lane was sent two or three miles back to assist in stopping them, and found a corps had crossed and had a hard fight, losing 100 men killed and wounded.
In the midst of a sharp attack the Thirty-seventh broke, and started for the rear, leaving the Eighteenth liable to he cut off and the Thirty-third to be flanked. As soon as they began leaving the other regiments of the brigade began bleating like sheep. At a short distance the Thirty-seventh rallied and returned and fought very well afterwards. It was ludicrous in the extreme-fighting for all we were worth and bleating like sheep. We were relieved about 10 o'clock and returned to the station. Next morning we threw up earthworks that were not needed. The enemy had withdrawn.
When my negro boy, Jack, came to me from the rear my
haversack had an unusual fullness about it. Whilst I was ascertaining the cause, General Lane came along viewing the progress of the works. I asked him to share some venison (?) with me. He was too polite to refuse so rare a dish, and said it was good.
Grant, like his predecessors, deferred to the objections that General Lee rather forcibly expressed to his going direct to Richmond, and with the left flank movement, sought to accomplished that end. On the 31st we had an all-day artillery and skirmish engagement at Storr's farm, on the Totopotamy, and on 1 June supported the artillery on the Turkey Ridge road in the preliminary arrangements for the onslaught of the 2nd. The Eighteenth fortified on the ridge near the McGhee house, and was to the right of the main point of attack in the second Cold Harbor fight, say one-third of a mile.
Grant massed his troops and hurled column after column upon Lee, and was repulsed with such terrible slaughter that his officers and men as is well known refused to charge that position again.
Though not hotly engaged, the Eighteenth lost some valuable men by skirmishes and sharpshooters. General Lane was wounded, and Colonel Barry, of the Eighteenth commanded the brigade. On the 13th the Eighteenth had a skirmish near Riddle's shop. Night put a stop to it. On the 20th we crossed James river, and on the 22nd about three miles beyond Petersburg had a sharp fight with the enemy who was trying to reach the Weldon railroad. On the 23rd Barry was sent to relieve Mahone's brigade, and it was not out of range when the enemy advanced. Though the artillery and musketry firing was very heavy for a while, it did not return to give us the help we so sorely needed.
On 2 July the brigade was ordered to the north side of the James river and made a hard, hot march to Deep Bottom, where we had skirmishing almost daily till the 28th. At Gravely Hill there was a hot engagement. A few days afterward Colonel Barry was wounded by a sharp-shooter whilst on a reconnoitering tour, and Colonel W. W. Barber, of the Twenty-seventh, commanded the brigade until
the battle of Fuzzell's Mill, 16 August. General Wright's Georgia brigade was deployed to hold a line, whilst Anderson was taking another position. The enemy advancing in heavy force captured Wright's thin line, and reinforced their attacking party with negro troops to hold it.
General Lee was on the field and ordered Lane's brigade, under Barber, to the retaking of the work, which was done handsomely.
It was our first encounter with negro troops, and there were blue-black birds lying on that battle field. Colonel Barber was wounded, and Colonel Spear, of the Twenty-eighth, succeeded to the command. We recrossed the James and were placed on the right of the line near Battery 45, and were used to reinforce the cavalry, and retake positions that the "critter" companies would retire from. Brigadier-General Connor succeeded Colonel Spear in the command of the brigade by order of General Lee, a few days before the battle of Reams station, on 25 August, 1864. General Hancock, who we had, on previous occasions, found to be a good soldier, and determined fighter, held a strong position on the railroad against the attacks made upon him, and was much encouraged by the previous success that day, that he would hold the railroad.
Cooke's, MacRae's and Lane's North Carolina Brigades were selected to make the final attack. It was expecting much of them to make the assault where greater numbers had been repulsed, but that expectation was realized to the fullest extent.
Elated by their victories, neither Hancock nor his men thought of leaving those breastworks till the "Tar Heels" were crossing them, and Hancock left his coat tail in the hands of James W. Atkinson, the gallant color bearer of the Thirty-third North Carolina Regiment, and some 2,000 of his command as prisoners.
We thus more than evened up his captures front the Eighteenth and Twenty-eighth, and Johnson's division at Spottsylvania Court House 12 May, 1864.
The Eighteenth was in the thick woods on the left, and
had a hard time in getting through the abatis on that part of the line.
On the 29th, four days after, General Lee wrote Governor Vance: "I have been frequently called upon to mention the services of North Carolina soldiers in this army, but their gallantry and conduct were never more deserving the admiration than in the engagement at Reams Station on the 25th instant. The brigades of Generals Cooke, MacRae and Lane, the last under the temporary command of General Connor, advanced through a thick abatis of felled trees, under a heavy fire of musketry and artillery, and carried the enemy's works with a steady courage that elicited the warm commendation of their corps and division commanders, and the admiration of the army."
A few days afterward, in an address at Charlotte, N. C., President Davis said, among other complimentary things, of North Carolina: "Her sons were foremost in the first battle of the war, Great Bethel, and they were foremost in the last fight, near Petersburg, Reams Station."
We returned to Battery 45 at Petersburg and were again foot cavalry reinforcements, to the critter cavalry, in resisting the extension lines of the enemy to our right.
On 7 September a brisk fight was had with the infantry and artillery at the Davis House.
On the 30th we again passed through Petersburg to go over the James, but before reaching it were recalled and found the enemy at the Jones house, not far from our camp.
They were quickly put to flight, leaving many prisoners in our hands. We camped upon the field that night. On 1 October we found the enemy at the Pegram House, as if they had come to stay in that neighborhood. A repetition of the experience of the 30th caused them to retire for a time.
The repeated efforts of Grant to extend his left, brought troops to our right. We returned to Battery 45, and were comparatively free from similar expeditions during the next few months. On 8 December we went to Jarratt's Station where the Yankees were in force in possession of the Weldon road. They evacuated with little fighting. Again, we went to Stony Creek further down the road. On each of these
days the weather was very cold, and ours was not a pleasure trip. We were glad to return to our winter quarters near Forty-five and Fort Gregg.
After the battle of Spottsylvania, Major Thos. J. Wooten, of the Eighteenth, was in command of the sharpshooters of Lane's brigade and made an enviable reputation during the campaign. Around Petersburg he was a terror to the enemy's picket lines, and had a reputation in both armies.
Wooten's "seine-haulings" were proverbial, and he was liberally used by division, corps and army headquarters for ascertaining the enemy's lines or movements. His method was to reconnoiter, during the day, the lines to be gone through that night and at such hour as would suit his purpose would approach "in twos" with his select men, sufficiently near to make a dash at them. At a signal the column would go through the line with as little noise as possible, halt, face out, and each rank swing around right and left, taking the skirmish line in the rear, capturing the men with the minimum of danger to his command. His success was phenomenal, and he received the commendation of Generals Lee and Hill in congratulatory orders.
At an armistice to bury the dead, the Federals were curious to see "Major Hooten," as they called him. Viewed in his Confederate garb, which was not very elaborate, his appearance was not "as striking as an army with banners" and when pointed out to a lot of officers and men, a significant smile passed 'round the group, which found expression in the exclamation of an impressible Teuton, "Mine, Got!!! Is dot ze man what makes us skeert, like Stonewall Shackson? Heh!!!"
There was a generous rivalry among the regiments of the brigade, in keeping their quota of this corps to the highest efficiency and it was deemed an honor to secure a detail to fill a vacancy in it. Several of its members refused to accept promotion to lieutenant, and return to their companies to command them.
The story of Petersburg will never be written; volumes would be required to contain it, and even those who went through the trying ordeal, can not recall a satisfactory outline
of the weird and graphic occurrences of that stormy period.
The Eighteenth was not often in the sapping and mining portion of the lines and was not so particularly attracted by its experience as to wish to take up its abode in the Blandford portion of the army. During the month of September when it was necessary to draw the troops from about the Crater to resist an attack near the Appomattox, we were hurriedly brought from Battery 45 to support "Long Tom" about 200 yards to the right. There was no time to go in the covered way, and the brigade was marched in, on an open high ridge. It now appears wonderful that we were not swept off the earth.
We were not in the trenches long, when "Long Tom" opened on the Supply train that arrived on Grant's military railroad, and it was but a short time before the sand-bag embrazures and the embankments around "Long Tom" needed reconstruction.
It was not difficult for us to learn the devices constructed for protection, from the accurate fire of the enemy at close range, and when the mortars rained down their shot from the sky we found the holes and could do the gopher act with the facility of trained residents.
The scene at night was beautiful in the extreme, but there was an element of unattractiveness about it, that caused us to yield readily to the desire of any others to see the sights from that view point, and we invariably retired at first opportunity, to position where the lines were further apart.
When Gordon attacked Fort Steadman 25 March, we were massed near by, but did not become actively engaged. Gordon carried the fort, but could not hold it, without very great sacrifice of men. His loss was greater than his captures, and Lee had no men to spare.
On the night of 27 May, Major Wooten, with the sharp-shooter corps of Wilcox's division, broke the Yankee lines, and captured and held the strong position of Mcllwaine's hill all the next day. Wooten and Dunlap (McGowan) pulled the seine, and Scales' and Thomas' corps helped to hold the ground. The audacity of the proceeding was their security, as the Yankees had lots of men close by, who appeared to fear
that a trap was laid for them. The concentration of troops on Hatcher's Run and Five Forks necessitated the stretching of the Confederate lines and the men of Lane's Brigade were some twenty feet apart in the trenches, beyond the Jones house, when the final attack was made before day on the morning of 2 April. Our thin line could make but feeble resistance to the Sixth corps hurled against us. We detained them, however, till the lines were broken beyond us, and fell back towards Fort Gregg, making a stand on the Dinwiddie plank road.
It was after sunrise that General A. P. Hill was seen coming from the direction of his headquarters on the Cox road, near the Appomattox. The crowd that I was with made every effort to stop him. Seeing no indication of halting, I ran out towards the direction he was going, and though some 50 yards distant, shouted to him that our line was broken and that the enemy's skirmishers were on the plank road beyond the creek. Answering back, that he was aware there was danger, but must get to his right, he disappeared around a hill, down a valley leading to a crossing on the creek. A volley as of a dozen guns was heard in that direction, his horse ran back in a few minutes without him and we knew that our gallant commander was off duty forever. His staff and attendants, who were following him, caught his horse. His body was recovered and carried to the rear.
The statement that one of his staff, or couriers, caught him as he fell, is without foundation, a loving fabrication of the devotional kind. They would have been with him, if they could, but having the fleetest horse, he was far in advance, and I was doubtless the last Confederate spoken to by him. In the discharge of his duty, as he saw it, he rode into the jaws of death, and the army lost one of its most valuable officers.
Lane and Thomas' brigades formed near the Plank road and repulsed the enemy in several advances. Wilcox ordered the troops on the Petersburg side of the break back to a line of small forts outside of the main works at Battery 45.
When we got to Fort Gregg we found some artillerists in it and Lane's North Carolina brigade furnished the greater
part of the garrison. Thomas' Georgia and Harris' Mississippi brigades the balance. Generals Wilcox and Lane were in it, when I left by permission of the latter to go to our winter quarters near by to get our records.
The Sixth corps had been reinforced by the Twenty-fourth, Gibbon's corps, and the advance was made on Gregg before I could return.
I was glad to be on the outside. The fighting was desperate. Repulsed, the enemy reinforced and returned with several lines, enveloping the fort, they filled the moat and climbed the parapet, fighting their way inside. Getting inside, the fighting was hand to hand, till those not killed were overpowered.
Lieutenant William O. Robinson, Company B, Eighteenth Regiment, and Color Sergeant James W. Atkinson, Thirty-third North Carolina, escaped after the fighting with clubbed muskets ceased, and always speak of it as a scene of indescribable horror.
After the surrender of Gregg the other forts were evacuated, and the main line at Battery 45, and the dam on the creek occupied. This was held till night, and Petersburg was behind us in the morning.
The march to Appomattox Court House was a succession of privations and hardships scarcely credible by those who have not had actual army experiences.
The supply trains that were to have been stopped at Burkeville and Amelia Court House, passed on, and were captured. That country could not subsist the army, and men and animals suffered for food. We were formed in line of battle several times and had some casualties at High Bridge and near Jetersville.
On the morning of 9 April, whilst the Eighteenth was forming line of battle, on a ridge to the left of the road before getting to the branch near Appomattox Court House, Grant's officer, bearing dispatches to Lee, passed through its lines and found Lee a few hundred yards in our rear on the road we had just left.
Firing was then going on beyond the court house by General Grimes' North Carolinians.
We were marched to a near by woods and sadly, sorrowfully stacked arms. All was over.
The limits of this paper prevent the mention of the many meritorious officers and men composing this regiment, of whom I could not speak in too high terms. The valor of its men, and its services is attested by its casualties on the field of battle, from New Bern to Gettysburg, and then to Appomattox Court House, where its last act was getting ready for battle.
Colonel John D. Barry was its only member that reached the grade of general. He was appointed temporary brigadier 3 August, 1864, but he was later assigned to department duty with his regular grade of Colonel (as General Lane had returned to the brigade) on account of his wounds and impaired health, leaving us the latter part of February or March.
Lieutenant-Colonel John W. McGill resigned about the same time. Major Thos. J. Wooten was thus entitled to become Colonel and was so recommended, also Captain John J. Poisson to be Lieutenant-Colonel, and Captain B. F. Rinaldi Major. Petersburg was evacuated before they received their rank to which they were justly entitled. Major Wooten was kept in command of the brigade sharpshooters, and Captain Poisson paroled the regiment, as its commanding officer.
I append a roster of those who were present, and surrendered at Appomattox:
FIELD AND STAFF-Major Thomas J. Wooten, Adjutant Win. H. McLaurin, Surgeon Thomas B. Lane, Assistant Surgeon Simpson Russ. Non-Commissioned Staff, Ordnance Sergeant, Chas. Flanner.
COMPANY A-Captain B. F. Rinaldi, Sergeants M. N. Tatum, Wm. Howard, and Privates Henry Howard, F. Howard, John Johnson, B. D. Lindsey, G. W. McDonald.
COMPANY B-Lieutenant R. M. Lesesne, Sergeant D. Storm, Corporal S. Singleterry, Privates W. C. Bray, E. Austin, John Meares.
COMPANY C-Lieutenant Owen Smith, Musician G. W. Sherrill, and Privates D. R. Best, Dan Green, D. Klutts.
COMPANY D-Orderly Sergeant A. E. Floyd, Corporal J.
P. Inman, and Privates A. N. Prophet, K. Lovett, A. J. Thompson, Zack Clewis.
COMPANY E-Second Lieutenant W. N. Fetter, Musician H. M. Woodcock, and Privates S. B. Costin, H. Moore, C. Barnhill, J. B. Wall, L. B. Wall, T. R. Colvin.
COMPANY F-Sergeant A. E. Smith, Corporal J. A. Patterson, and Privates W. W. Bullard, W. C. Daves, J. A. Calder, A. A. Huckabee, M. G. McKoy, James Nolan, N. McN. Patterson, A. D. Webb.
COMPANY G-Captain John J. Poisson, Second Lieutenant J. M. Whitted, Sergeant Jas. R. Dancey, Corporal J. W. Gordon, Musician J. J. Leslie, and Privates J. F. Adams, P. Dickson, R. H. Hall, C. J. Sasser, P. T. Smith.
COMPANY H-Second Lieutenant Alex. Lewis, Sergeant C. M. Baldwin, Corporal H. C. Long, and Privates John R. Baldwin, J. J. Chancy, John Creech, J. R. Jackson, A. Minton, W. Nance, R. H. Price, John Safrit, J. W. Yelton, Hospital Steward Wiley A. Cornish.
COMPANY I-Sergeants S. W. Wells, J. H. Brown, Corporal. J. J. F. Heath, and Privates John Case, Daniel Brindle, L. H. Horn, D. S. Latta, S. Bell, H. Hayne, H. A. Hall, D. Y. Russell and R. B. Banks.
COMPANY K-First Lieutenant E. N. Robeson, Sergeants S. N. Richardson, W. H. King, A. McNeill, Corporals J. A. Cromartie, D. M. Sutton, and Privates W. N. Anderson, Jesse F. Bloodworth, S. T. Buie, J. C. Kinlaw, W. Melvin, D. Murphy, N. Sikes and John Dunham.
We prize our parole as a badge of honor.
WM. H. MCLAURIN, Adjutant Eighteenth N. C. T.
LAURINBURG, N. C.,
9 April, 1901.
- EIGHTEENTH REGIMENT.
- 1. Lawrence Stewart 1st Lieut., Co. F.
- 2. J.D. Currie, 2d Lieut., Co. K.
- 3. John Walter Stewart, 2d Lieut., Co. F. Lieut., Co. F.
ADDITIONAL SKETCH. EIGHTEENTH
BY THOMAS H. SUTTON, PRIVATE, COMPANY I.
This regiment was a part of the brigade of General Branch, of Raleigh, a brave and gallant officer, who, after many times leading his brigade to victory in bloody and hard fought battles, fell at Sharpsburg with his face to the foe, sword in hand. After this, and to the final end, the brigade to which the Eighteenth N. C. belonged, was known as "Lane's"-Colonel James H. Lane, of the Twenty-eighth N. C., succeeding to the command upon the death of General Branch.
This brigade was composed of the Seventh, Eighteenth, Twenty-eighth, Thirty-third and Thirty-seventh-all North Carolina regiments-whose history, was a part of that of the Army of Northern Virginia, to which it belonged.
The Eighteenth N. C. was one of the best regiments in the Confederate service.
It was composed of ten companies, each one with a full quota of men-some companies, at the beginning, having over one hundred, viz:
COMPANY A, The German Volunteers, of Wilmington, N. C.
COMPANY B, The Bladen Light Infantry, of Bladen County.
COMPANY C, The Columbus Guards, from Columbus County.
COMPANY D, The Robeson Light Infantry, from Robeson County.
COMPANY E, The Moore's Creek Riflemen, from New Hanover County.
COMPANY F, The Scotch Boys, from Richmond County.
COMPANY G, The Wilmington Light Infantry, from Wilmington, N. C.
COMPANY H, The Columbus Vigilants, from Columbus County.
COMPANY I, The Wilmington Rifle Guards, from Wilmington, N. C.
COMPANY K, The Bladen Guards, from Bladen County, N. C.
Thus, it will be seen, that Bladen County furnished two, Columbus two, Richmond one, Robeson one, and New Han-over County four, three of which were from Wilmington.
The brigade was organized at Kinston, N. C., after which, in the Spring of 1862, they were ordered to join the command of General (Stonewall) Jackson who was then "operating" upon Banks, Shields, Milroy, et al., in his historic and ever memorable campaign in the Valley of Virginia. We were sent by rail to Gordonsville, Va., and from thence took up our line of march towards General Jackson's command, and while thus marching and some distance beyond a place called Tripperville (if my memory serves me right) a mountain village in Western Virginia, we turned back upon the line of our march, and for ten days covered an average distance of thirty miles each day, until at Hanover Court House (called by the Federals "Slash Church") we encountered the heavy division of Fitz-John Porter, said to number twenty thousand men.
Here we "fleshed our maiden sword," for it was our first battle, and a fierce and bloody one it was. Colonel Lane's Twenty-eighth Regiment was by some means detached from us, and from 1 o'clock until nearly dark, with only four regiments, we held this tremendous force at bay, and then retreated to Ashland in the direction of Richmond, where General Joe Johnston was facing McClellan's splendid army. The Eighteenth Regiment lost in this engagement, in killed, wounded, missing and prisoners, fully two hundred men.
From Ashland we marched to a place called "Chamberlain's Hill," almost in full view of the battle of Seven Pines, which was the great preliminary skirmish to the seven days'
fight, which was destined, under the leadership of Lee and Jackson, (General Joe Johnston having been wounded at the Seven Pines fight) to rid our Capital City of the presence of the enemy, then within sound of the chimes of its church bells.
No one of us knew why we had been detached from the command of General Jackson in the valley, so thoroughly did he keep his own counsel, who, while we were marching towards Hanover Court House was, with his main command, silently and swiftly moving towards a common place of meeting, mapped out by his busy and active brain.
Shortly after the Seven Pines fight, we joined the main body of General Jackson's command (who, up to that time we supposed, were in the Valley where we had left them) at the bridge crossing the Chickahominy river, near Mechanicsville, when, soon after, the memorable "seven days" battle around Richmond was begun and fought to a successful finish. It was here that the splendid genius of Stonewall Jackson was displayed in all its grandeur. Crossing the Chickahominy river at or near Mechanicsville with his corps, he opened the fight by attacking Siegel's corps of the Federal army in the rear, and drove them back in the early daylight, throwing them into the greatest consternation and panic. Upon the opening of Jackson's men in the rear, the main army under General Lee advanced in front, and from thence on, for seven days, day after day, the Eighteenth N. C. Regiment as a part of Jackson's corps, A. N. V., drove the enemy, defeating General McClellan with his splendidly equipped army until they were compelled to take shelter under the guns of their James river fleet.
It was reported that at the close of this series of splendid victories, General Jackson said: "This is our opportunity, let us on to Washington, and there dictate terms of peace and close the war."
But if he did say these words, the fates decreed otherwise. We did not go to Washington but we did rid Richmond, our capital, from the presence of the enemy, threatening its destruction. There were many incidents, many escapes, many adventures that happened here, in and around the seven days'
fight, that might be related, if time and space did not forbid.
Our brigade camped at a place near Richmond, after the seven days' fight, called "Howard's Grove," and after resting a few days commenced our march towards Gordonsville, and on 9 August, 1862, fell in with the enemy at Cedar Run, where we were immediately put under fire, and had a hot time in more ways than one. It was here that we filled the "gap" made vacant by the falling back of the celebrated "Stonewall Brigade" and held it to the end, driving the enemy and making ourselves masters of the field.
After this fight and victory General Jackson rode out in front of our brigade and "dropped" his hat in silent acknowledgment of our deed, in holding an important point, which the old "Stonewall Brigade" had failed to do-and by special order from corps headquarters a handsome compliment was paid to the "gallant soldiers of Branch's brigade." The night following while resting upon our arms, a staff officer rode up to General Branch and asked him "how he felt," to which General Branch replied that "he was delighted with the results of the day and was proud of the manner in which his brigade had acted." Our loss was comparatively light considering the deadly work in which we were engaged, but we left some noble and true men on that field, which served to remind us that in the next battle we fought it might be our lot to fill a soldier's grave. From Cedar Run we marched to Warrenton Springs, where it was rumored General Lee would cross the river. The enemy were in full force on the other side, for they "shelled the woods" where we were all day, and we felt that "something was up" or would be soon.
Late in the afternoon of the next day, we were on the march, with Jackson's corps, to which we were now permanently attached, for what point we knew not, for it was "Jackson's way" to keen his movements a profound secret, but after a long forced march and before we were aware of it., we were in possession of immense stores of great value, captured from the enemy at Manassas Junction, our rear fighting the advance guard of the enemy, so close to the army supply train of the foe as to make it uncomfortable as well as "unhealthy" to those of us who, by religious training, if any there were,
might be indisposed to shed human blood. The Eighteenth North Carolina under Colonel Thos. J. Purdie, of Bladen County, a gallant soul, was detailed to guard the train. We were told that the train was to be fired, and a tacit consent was given us to replenish our empty haversacks. The contents of several cars were distributed and the residue burned. Some of our men secured a very fine saddle for Colonel Purdie, of the Eighteenth, which was intended for the Dutch General Siegel, sent him by his friends and admirers, but a. nobler man than he for whom it was intended, bestrode it, and the saddle is now, or was a few years since, in the possession of the Purdie family of Bladen, treasured as a precious relic and memento of Colonel Thomas J. Purdie, as noble a man and gallant a soldier as ever faced a foe, and who in a short while, following the events here narrated, fell while gallantly leading his regiment to victory.
We left Manassas Junction about dark and rested a few hours the next day at Centreville, where some works had been thrown up at the commencement of the war, and that evening, which I think was 27 August, we commenced the "big" Manassas battle, which lasted until the night following the 29th. Here were more of the enemy killed than at any other fight or on any one field-certainly in our front, during the entire war. The enemy began to fall back the last (lay of the fight; it was a most disastrous and complete rout. Here we had to contend with McClellan's army, that we had fought around Richmond and the Valley forces, all combined. The pursuit was kept up all day Sunday and the day following, when they were overtaken at Ox Hill, when we had a fight of four or five hours, in an almost continuous rain; but we again repulsed the enemy and drove them before us, thus again acknowledging the prowess of Branch's brigade, which for a great part was composed of the "flower of the Cape Fear section." That' night the enemy vacated our front, and in a few days we resumed our march, crossing the Potomac at the "Point of Rocks," and we were told that we were in "Maryland, my Maryland." The Confederate soldier will always remember the beauty of the fair, noble women and the brave chivalric men of Maryland. The
great heart of her people was with us, and we knew it, but they were in fetters, bound hand and foot. We camped near Frederick City, for a few days. This is the place made famous by the touching poem of John Greenleaf Whittier, called Barbara Freitchie, who, as the poet has it, was an old grey-haired woman, who in her attic window waved the Union flag at the Confederates, and was shot at by them, until stopped by General Jackson. There is not a word of truth in this tale-no Confederate soldier can be found, or named, living or dead, who ever knowingly fired at a woman; and I have it from a gentleman who lived in Frederick City at the time Jackson's men passed through, who says our march did not carry us within three or four blocks of the house where Barbara lived-that no such thing was heard of as related by Mr. Whittier and no such thing happened. This gentleman, my informant, is a native of Maryland, and lived in Frederick City during the war and since, and has held high office under the State Government of Maryland. I met him in Washington a few years since and he confirmed my belief respecting the "facts" as given by the poet, that it was a myth, a pure invention of the imaginative mind of the poet. The only real fact in the poem, is that there was a woman named Barbara Freitchie, living in Frederick City at the time Jackson passed through. But I must proceed.
We again marched through Frederick City, re-crossed the Potomac at Williamsport, and were back in Virginia, and "hovering with stealthy steps" (as was Jackson's way) around Harpers Ferry. Here we operated several days, climbing precipitous mountains trying to get into position. We had literally to pull ourselves up by bushes, roots, or anything projecting from the mountain sides, some of us actually having to brace ourselves against trees, so as to hold our guns in position and ready to fire at the word given. Early the next morning the artillery opened on the enemy, receiving a very weak reply, and in a short time the white emblem of surrender went up and "the boys in blue" walked out and stacked their arms.
Here again we captured valuable stores of immense value, and thousands of stand of arms, and eleven thousand prisoners,
according to the figures published. Here again "Old Stonewall" left his "book mark" with the enemy, as a gentle reminder that he and his corps were around, and requested a generous (?) remembrance by the Federal Government at Washington.
After being supplied with Enfield rifles-of which we stood in great need-we crossed the Potomac again, and for the second time were in Maryland, and we were soon in the Sharpsburg fight (called by the Federals, Antietam). This was what might be called a "draw fight," and it was here that our brigade commander, the noble and chivalrous Branch yielded up his life as a holocaust to his country's need! "No country ever had a truer son, no cause a nobler champion, no principle a bolder defender" than the noble and gallant soldier, General Lawrence O'Brien Branch!
After quitting the field at Sharpsburg, we crossed the Potomac again at Shepherdstown, took again to the Old Dominion. The winter was coming on. The chill blasts from the North were beginning to tell heavily upon the exhausted frames and shattered energies of our men, all of whom were unused to such rough lives, and we did hope for a rest in winter quarters, where, for a while at least, we might sleep and dream of home and comforts, without the thought of war with its dreadful realities.
But vain hope! Taking up our march on the Shepherdstown road, we soon knew that we were approaching the enemy by the skirmishing in our front. We formed line of battle and drove the enemy into the river, despite the heavy guns that had been planted on the Maryland side to protect them. We lay that day on the river bank under a heavy fire from the enemy's guns of grape, canister and shell.
Our regiment camped near Berryville and were called out several times to meet the enemy at Snicker's Gap, but never engaged them there. We then marched up the Valley pike, crossing the Blue Ridge at New Market Gap, and camped near Fredericksburg. The enemy crossed the Rappahannock and we were ordered to meet them. Our brigade (now Lane's) were not in front of the city, but almost the extreme right of Lee's army. We formed line of battle at the
railroad on 13 December, 1862, soon after which our skirmish line came in and the enemy developed in great numbers and swept us from our position at the railroad. We soon rallied and swept on to the railroad again, the Eighteenth and Seventh Regiments of our brigade not stopping at the railroad, but going on to the hill beyond, on the top of which we were in full view of the enemy, killing a great many and losing some of our best men, as an offset for our daring charge. From that time on, the fight was not heavy in our front, but was in front of the city. The night the enemy re-crossed the river, a general charge had been ordered all along the line, but was countermanded by General Lee. Then the campaign of 1862 ended with the victory at Fredericksburg. We went into winter quarters on the Rappahannock near Moss Neck church, at Camp Gregg, named for that general who was killed at Fredericksburg. Here General Lane was presented with a fine saddle and bridle by the field officers in token of their appreciation of his merits. Under an act of the Confederate Congress a medal was to be given to the man who was voted by his comrades as the bravest and best soldier. The company to which Jesse F. Bloodworth (Company K, Eighteenth N. C.) belonged, without a dissenting voice, decided for him, and although the medal never came, yet not one of Napoleon's old guard, could have more richly deserved, nor more worthily won it.
The campaign of 1863 soon opened and we had to abandon our comfortable quarters at Camp Gregg. A slight brush at the "Wilderness" was the opening prelude to that ever memorable campaign. With Jackson we took part in the flank movement around to Chancellorsville. The enemy were completely surprised (for this was Jackson's way) in an old field where a part of their forces were camped. They left their coffee on the fire and "stood not upon the order of their going." We marched some distance and filed left into a woodland and formed line of battle about dark with our right resting on the plank road. The Eighteenth was the left regiment, and the Fiftieth Virginia was upon our left. It was now well dark; our skirmishers had gone forward. In a few moments Generals Jackson and
A. P. Hill came riding down the plank road from the front, with a good many staff officers and couriers whose appearance in the gloom (we did not then know who they were) was well calculated to create the impression that the enemy's cavalry were advancing. This party wheeled into the woods exactly in front of the Eighteenth North Carolina Regiment. Our men having seen the skirmishers go forward, besides knowing that we had no friends in that direction, reasonably concluded that it was the enemy coming down upon us. At this moment some over-excited man in the line shouted "Cavalry," whereupon the Eighteenth Regiment opened fire. The Fiftieth Virginia Regiment also opened fire, and General Jackson-the immortal "Stonewall"-received his mortal wound at the hands of those who loved him more than life, any one of whom would have risked and if need be, sacrificed his own life to save that of his beloved general.
He was to the Army of Northern Virginia what Ney was to Napoleon, its very strong right arm, and yet by the inexorable decree of fate it was reserved for the Eighteenth Regiment of North Carolina, in the discharge of a supposed duty, to deprive the Southern Army of its chief pillar of support, its most brilliant. matchless and greatest soldier. In addition to the firing from our ranks the enemy's artillery also opened upon us, from which it is supposed General Jackson received other wounds while being borne from the field.
We moved to the right of the plank road, when during the night we repulsed a heavy charge of the enemy. The next day (Sunday) the fight was renewed by our brigade charging the enemy's works, defended by about forty pieces of artillery heavily supported. Three times we charged, and finally captured the works. Our regiment lost heavily. General A. P. Hill having been wounded the night previous, our corps was commanded by General J. E. B. Stuart. Here the gallant Colonel Thos. J. Purdie, of Bladen County, Colonel of the Eighteenth North Carolina Regiment, fell while gallantly leading his men. After this battle we returned to Camp Gregg, where a change of field officers was had. Major Jno. D. Barry, of Wilmington, was made Colonel, vice Purdie,
killed; Captain Jno. W. McGill, vice Lieutenant-Colonel F. George, elected to the Legislature from Columbus County, and Captain Thos. J. Wooten to be Major, vice Barry, promoted. We bade farewell to Camp Gregg, and crossing the Potomac again at Shepherdstown, camped that night.
Taking up our line of march again, we were in Pennsylvania, going towards Gettysburg, when the "dogs of war" were again unloosed with redoubled fury.
The first day's fight at Gettysburg, we drove the enemy some distance and halted on a ridge, and lay on our arms that night, and held this ridge until the third day's fight. That day we were in position supporting our artillery, and under the heaviest fire of the enemy's field artillery that our brigade ever experienced during the entire war.
Suddenly the enemy's artillery ceased and we were ordered forward to charge the heights occupied by the enemy's artillery and infantry. We faced the storm of death-dealing grape, shell and canister shot, and an incessant shower of musketry, a long distance in an open field, all the way, and reaching the heights only to find that we were flanked by the enemy and unsupported by our own troops, we were compelled to fall back, leaving many of our best and bravest men dead and dying on this bloody and sanguinary field. After remaining in line for a day we commenced our retreat to Hagerstown, where General Lee offered the enemy battle on equal terms, which they declined. We left Hagerstown in a hard rain, marching over a miserable road for Falling Waters, and about sunrise the next morning, after an all night's march, reached the old Potomac river again. Crossing the Potomac we were on Virginia soil again, and with a slight brush at Mine Run ended the campaign of 1863.
General Grant had taken command of the Federal forces in the Spring of 1864, and crossed the river to meet us at the Wilderness. Here this battle commenced early in the afternoon, severe fighting going on continuously until dark. We drove the enemy back-every charge they made. During the night following, however, by some fatal oversight, or unpardonable negligence of some of our generals, our forces were huddled together in the utmost confusion, "cross and pile,"
with no line formed, so that at daylight, the enemy making a desperate charge, we came very near being utterly routed, and would have been but for the timely appearance of some fresh troops. Our brigade rallied and drove the enemy back, the battle ended with victory for the Southern cause.
Then commenced our roundabout march to Petersburg. On 12 May, 1864, we met the enemy at Spottsylvania, and on that morning we were in the memorable "Horseshoe" enveloped by a dense fog, taking advantage of which the enemy broke our line, and captured many prisoners. But General Lane, by his admirable management of our brigade, again drove the enemy back and regained our lines. At this juncture our brigade was reinforced by Thomas' Georgia brigade, and we drove the enemy back across the works and into the woods beyond. Our brigade was then moved to the right, and behind hastily improvised works, which afforded little or no protection, we were exposed to a galling and heavy enfilading fire from six of the enemy's guns on his left. Thus we remained several hours, while General Ewell was being hard pressed. Later we were ordered to take the enemy's guns, supported by Mahone's Virginia brigade.
We did capture the guns, besides took four hundred and fifty prisoners and three stand of colors. This the Eighteenth North Carolina Regiment, with the brigade to which it belonged, did, and the credit of the same was awarded to Lane's North Carolina Brigade, although Mahone tried to claim it. With the charge of our brigade the battle of Spottsylvania Court House ended in another victory for General Lee's Army of Northern Virginia.
On the march towards Petersburg we had several "brushes" with the enemy at Totopotomy Creek, Cold Harbor, Turkey Ridge and other places, not now remembered.
At Turkey Ridge, General Lane being wounded, the command of the brigade devolved upon Colonel Jno. D. Barry, of the Eighteenth North Carolina Regiment.
Crossing the James river at Drewry's Bluff, we were among the first troops to reach Petersburg.
It would be impossible to give anything like an accurate account of our every day's work-fighting, marching and building
works around Petersburg. Suffice it to say that the Eighteenth North Carolina Regiment was always at the front, and always did its whole duty. We were ordered to cross the James river at Drewry's Bluff again, and on the march thither for the first time, at "Deep Bottom," we encountered the colored troops, who first drove a brigade on our right out of the works, which we in turn retook, and held them until ordered elsewhere.
Marching to Petersburg via Drewry's Bluff, we were stationed below and to the right of Battery No. 45, and remained until our brigade was sent to assist in an attack on Reams Station. There we supported the brigades of Generals Cooke, MacRae and others, and being well supported, we charged the enemy's lines, took nine of his guns, two thousand prisoners, besides wagons, ambulances, etc. It was a desperate fight, but the result added to the fame of the North Carolina soldier, of which their descendants may, for all time to come, be proud.
Events in rapid succession crowded upon each other. The end was rapidly approaching. We went back to Battery No. 45.
At Jones' Farm on 30 September, 1864, we had a severe fight, and lost from our regiment some of its bravest and best. Our regiment was now reduced to a mere "skeleton" or handful of its former strength. Starting out with eleven hundred men, we were now reduced to one hundred or less. The death of every comrade was now indeed a serious loss. Our entire brigade was hardly now in numbers, as much as half our original regimental muster roll.
We remained in the trenches at Petersburg until we took our last march in the Spring following towards Appomattox. As we passed through Petersburg the sidewalks of the city were filled with weeping women and children, lamenting the fate which they knew daylight would bring upon them. In our army they had centred their hopes, and with our departure they well knew their last earthly refuge and hope were gone, and for many days and nights thereafter the wailings and lamentations of these helpless women and children rang in the Southern soldier's ear as he "plodded his weary
way" to the place where the Southern flag was to be furled forever. The march from Petersburg began 2 April, and ended at Appomattox 9 April, 1865.
Twenty-eight thousand bleeding, half-starved and foot-sore soldiers stood there on that eventful 9 April, 1865, with folded arms, as General Lee rode down our lines and "bade us adieu forever."
The Eighteenth North Carolina Regiment, after one year's coast service in North Carolina, went to Virginia. Early in 1862 was part of Branch's Brigade, afterwards to the close of the war, Lane's.
After seeing some service in the Valley, from the battle of Hanover Court House, (called by some "Slash Church"), to the surrender at Appomattox, it was a portion of General Lee's Army of Northern Virginia.
This regiment fought not less than thirty-five (35) battles, besides double that number of skirmishes; was in both the Maryland and Pennsylvania campaigns, forded the Potomac five times, and crossed it once on a pontoon, and was "in at the death," when the Southern Star of victory went do in a sea of blood, in the gloom of defeat at Appomattox.
Such is the history, in brief, of the Eighteenth North Carolina Regiment. A great many of the scenes described I have drawn from data obtained from comrades years ago. A great many have faded from my memory. Yet while I was not a participant in all or indeed in many of the battles and stirring scenes of those troublous times, yet I am sure this hastily written sketch, imperfect as it is, faithfully records the history of the Eighteenth North Carolina Regiment in the substance of its work and in all its essential particulars.
It is only intended, as I understand it, to furnish data for the future North Carolina historian, when he comes to do his State justice, by a faithful and impartial record of its soldiers' sufferings, privations, toil and victories, in that bloody drama.
If these lines will thus aid the future writer of the deeds and heroism of the North Carolina soldier, I feel that the task assigned me is accomplished, and that I have contributed
my part towards its future history, even though hastily and imperfectly done.
Certain it is, that North Carolina has no cause to feel ashamed of the part her soldiers took, and while we detract from none but want all to have the credit to which they are justly entitled, yet let justice be done to the State that had more soldiers in active service at the front, than there were voters in the entire State.
THOMAS H. SUTTON.
Private Company I.
FAYETTEVILLE, N. C.,
April 9, 1901.
- NINETEENTH REGIMENT.
- 1. Sol. Williams, Colonel.
- 2. Geo. Pettigrew Bryan, Captain. Co. G.
- 3. Randolph H. Reese, Captain, Co. H.
- 4. James N. Turner, Captain, Co. D.
- 5. W. A. Graham, Jr., Captain, Co. K.
By W. A. GRAHAM, CAPTAIN COMPANY K.
This regiment, with the first eight regiments of infantry, the Ninth North Carolina Regiment (First Cavalry), the Tenth Regiment (First Artillery), and the Thirty-third Regiment of infantry, comprised what was originally known as "State Troops." They enlisted "for the war," and the officers, both regimental and company, were appointed by the Governor. The volunteers enlisted for twelve months (except the Bethel Regiment-six months); their company officers were elected by the "rank and file" of the company; the field officers by the commissioned officers of the companies of the respective battalions and regiments. In 1862 the right to elect company officers was given by law to the State Troops. The horses for the privates were furnished by the State to the First and Second Cavalry Regiments. The regiment, except Company A, assembled at Kittrell's Springs in August and September, 1861.
FIELD AND STAFF.
S. B. SPRUILL, Colonel.
WILLIAM G. ROBINSON, Lieutenant Colonel.
JOHN W. WOODFIN, Major.
GUILFORD NICHOLSON, Adjutant.
CAPT. JOHN S. HINES, Quartermaster.
CAPT. JOHN W. MOORE, Commissary.
R. H. SHIELDS, Assistant Surgeon.
E. P. TUCKE, Sergeant Major.
COMPANY A-Cherokee and Adjoining Counties-Captain, George W. Hayes; First Lieutenant, John V. B.
Rogers; Second Lieutenants, George V. Snider and W. P. Moore.
COMPANY B-Iredell County-Captain, C. M. Andrews; First Lieutenant, S. Jay Andrews; Second Lieutenants, Richard W. Allison and James N. Turner.
COMPANY C-Gates and Hertford Counties-Captain John G. Boothe; First Lieutenant, James M. Wynn; Second Lieutenants, Mills L. Eure and William P. Roberts.
COMPANY D-Cumberland County-Captain, James W. Strange; First Lieutenant, T. S. Lutterloh; Second Lieutenants, Joseph S. Baker and James F. Williams.
COMPANY E-Nash, Wilson and Franklin Counties-Captain, Columbus A. Thomas; First Lieutenant, J. J. B. Vick; Second Lieutenants, Nick M. Harris and Robert W. Atkinson.
COMPANY F-Guilford County-Captain Barzillai F. Cole; First Lieutenant, R. W. King; Second Lieutenants, P. A. Tatum and Nelson.
COMPANY G-Beaufort County-Captain, Louis E. Satterthwaite; First Lieutenant, William Satterthwaite; Second Lieutenants, Samuel S. Whitehurst and George P. Bryan.
COMPANY H-Bertie and Northampton Counties-Captain, John Randolph; First Lieutenant, H. B. Hardy; Second Lieutenants, W. H. Newsom and George Bishop.
COMPANY I-Moore County-Captain, Jesse L. Bryan; First Lieutenant, J. L. Arnold; Second Lieutenants, D. O. Bryan and J. S. Ritter.
COMPANY K-Orange County-Captain, Josiah Turner, Jr.; First Lieutenant, William A. Graham, Jr,; Second Lieutenants, John P. Lockhart. and James V. Moore.
In October the regiment broke camp, Companies D, E, F, I and K, with Colonel, Major and Staff, to Hertford, thence to Edenton; the second squadron (Companies B and G), Lieutenant-Colonel commanding, to Washington, N. C.; the third squadron (Companies C and H), under Captain Boothe, to Neuse River, below New Bern. Company A was at Asheville.
While at Edenton there was mention of arming the five
companies there with muskets and sending them to Roanoke Island as infantry, to remain until relieved by infantry. The Colonel favored this, but the company officers objected, as it was putting the men into a different service from that into which they had entered, and for an indefinite time. After several weeks' "jawing" the idea was abandoned. Major Woodfin commanded the Battalion most of the time while at Edenton, Colonel Spruill being in attendance upon the State (Secession) Convention; of which he was a member. In December the regiment, except the second squadron, was assembled at New Bern. Company A had come from Asheville, the fifth squadron (Companies E and K) received horses here, and the whole regiment was now mounted but was not armed. Governor Clark complained to the Confederate Government on 12th March, 1862, that the regiment had not been armed, although it had been in service six months. Winter quarters were built across the Trent river. These, on the evacuation, were occupied by "runaway negroes" and were the beginning of the present James City.
The regiment took part in the battle of New Bern, 14 March, 1862, Companies A. E and K dismounted, and under command of Colonel Z. B. Vance, Twenty-sixth N. C. T. After the battle of New Bern the camp was at Wise's Fork, five miles below Kinston, and for the first time the regiment met as a whole. It picketed the roads to New Bern, the first via Tuscarora, the second via Dover Swamp and the Third via Trenton and near Pollocksville.
This was the severest service the regiment saw in its history. A company of from thirty to sixty men would go from twenty to twenty-five miles to the front, establish its picket in from a half to a fourth of a mile of those of the enemy, who had a "reserve" of several thousand a mile or two in their rear, and General Burnside's whole command at New Bern, not ten miles from our outpost. For us there was no reinforcement, except a few "couriers," in twenty miles. Each company in turn had a picket tour of about ten days on one of the roads, and frequently the horses were not unsaddled for half that time. It frequently rained nearly every
day of the ten. Consequently, three-fourths of the horses returned from picket with sore backs. The regiment was armed with almost every kind of arms (except the newest patterns) known to the warrior or sportsman, and was never fully equipped with arms of modern warfare until it equipped itself with those furnished by the United States and taken from its troops in Virginia.
The writer has taken Company K on picket with thirty-five men, armed about as follows: Two Sharp's carbines, six Hall's, five Colts' (six-shooters), four Mississippi rifles and twelve double-barrelled shotguns, and perhaps a half dozen pairs of old one-barrel "horse pistols." There was not exceeding twenty cartridge boxes in the company; the others carried their ammunition (twenty rounds) in the pockets of their clothes and in their "haversacks." Was not this a "formidable array" to place itself within ten miles of the headquarters of thirty thousand men equipped with arms of modern pattern? While the regiment remained here there were nearly every week, engagements with the enemy, (1) Captain Strange, Company D, near "Ten Mile" house; (2) Captain Andrews, Company B, at Tuscarora; (3) Captain Boothe, Company C, at Mills, in Carteret county; (4) Lieutenant W. P. Roberts, Company C, with twenty-five men near Pollocksville; (5) 14 April, Lieutenant-Colonel Robinson, with portions of Companies D, E, F, I and K, at Gillet's, in Onslow County. The attack was made on horseback against infantry in house and in a lot surrounded by a "stake and rider" rail fence with a deep ditch on the outside. Lieutenant-Colonel Robinson was wounded and captured. He never returned to the regiment. Captain Turner, Company K, was severely wounded and disabled for further service in the field; (6) 13 May, at the White Church, near Foscue's, in Jones County, on the Dover Swamp road, fourteen miles from New Bern, Lieutenant Rogers, with twenty-five men of Company A, and Lieutenant Graham, with fifteen men of Company K, a total of forty men, were attacked by the Third New York Cavalry, a six-gun battery and two regiments of infantry. They repelled the attack and killed, wounded and captured nearly as many
Cavalry Outposts and Skirmishes near New Bern N.C. March to July 1862. 2nd N.C. Cavalry.
as they had engaged in the fight. The road having swampy ground on both sides, there was no opportunity for them to deploy against us. Our loss 1 killed, 6 wounded, 2 prisoners. The troops engaged were complimented in general orders by Lieutenant-General Holmes from district headquarters; also by General Robert Ransom, commanding post. Colonel Spruill resigned in April. Matthew L. Davis, who was commissioned to succeed him, died in Goldsboro en route to the regiment. Colonel Sol. Williams was transferred from the Twelfth Infantry to the Second Cavalry 5 June, 1862. His Adjutant, Lieutenant John C. Pegram came with him. Adjutant Nicholson became Lieutenant of Company A.
A FLAG OF TRUCE.
On 4 July, 1862, as First Lieutenant Company K, I was in command of the picket on the Dover Swamp road from Kinston to New Bern with headquarters at the Merritt House and our outpost at the Ten-Mile House. About 11 o'clock a. m., Colonel W. F. Martin, Seventeenth North Carolina Troops, and Captain Theodore J. Hughes, formerly Commissary of the regiment and afterwards Purser of the "Advance" during most of her life as a blockade-runner, arrived, carrying communications under "flag of truce" to General Burnside, commanding the United States forces at New Bern. I requested Colonel Martin to procure for me permission to accompany them, and with this expectation took command of the escort. I prepared my toilet by taking off my coat and pants and whipping them around a sapling to get the dust out and with a corn cob and spittle, endeavored to "shine" my boots. After dinner (about 12:30 p. m.) we started; a Corporal and two men with a white handkerchief on a pole as the "flag of truce" going about three hundred yards in front, the escort-about fifteen men-and the messengers following. The advance was halted at Deep Gully, nine and a half miles from New Bern, by the Federal outpost. This was the week of the "Seven Days' Fights" around Richmond. We received our mail for the week by Colonel Martin, containing papers giving accounts of the battles;
which, it will be remembered, were all in our favor. Colonel Martin had brought several copies with him and we gathered what we could before starting, to carry the good news with us. We distributed them among the officers and spoke of any particularly favorable item in the papers. After a halt of half an hour we mounted an ambulance and Colonel Mix, who was to accompany us, informed us that his orders were for us to travel blind-folded and requested us to tie our handkerchiefs over our eyes. Colonel Martin remarked that he preferred for Colonel Mix to tie his as it might come off at some time when not desired and have the appearance of his acting in bad faith. Captain Hughes and I also adopted the same view, and Colonel Mix tied all our handkerchiefs.
A drive of an hour landed us at General Burnside's headquarters. It was now about half past 4 o'clock. General Burnside, after reading papers brought by Colonel Martin, asked if we had any newspapers. We told him we had given them out at Colonel Mix's headquarters. Colonel Mix afterwards came in and General Burnside said to him he understood he had some late papers. Colonel Mix said "Yes," and he would send them in. General Burnside made some remark about not caring particularly about it; which was but a poor attempt to conceal his desire to have them speedily.
General Burnside apologized to us for our blindfold ride. He said: "General Foster was temporarily in command and it was by his orders; that he never required it. If any one thought he was ready to attack him after being in his lines he was welcome to come on and try it."
The true condition of matters was that General Burnside had been ordered, with Generals Parke and Reno, to reinforce McClellan in Virginia. Several regiments, arriving from Morehead City during the afternoon, were marched by in order to make the impression on us that the troops at New Bern were being reinforced. I was surprised to see a good many white straw hats worn by the men. General Burnside remarked to General Foster, as a regiment passed, that he would "make those fellows throw away those straw hats," which Foster said he would do. The generals were not as
courteous to us as the officers of lesser grade had been. They seemed to be in bad humor. They had heard from Richmond and other news may have accounted for it.
Salutes on the Fourth of July were being fired frequently. General Burnside remarked to me: "I suppose you people do not burn any powder on the Fourth of July?" I replied: "No, we save it to burn on those who are attempting to deprive us of the privileges of the Fourth of July."
He remarked to Colonel Martin, that he "had just returned from a trip North, and that you could hardly miss the men absent in the army. This is not the case with you." Colonel Martin replied: "No, and that it seemed to prove what he had often heard said, that `Northern people were staying at home and sending the foreigners to do the fighting." General Burnside replied: "Not at all, but it shows the difference in the populations of the two sections and the impossibility of the South's success. Success would be the worst thing that could happen for the South. When I am in a bad humor I wish the South would succeed." Colonel Martin replied that he "wished he was in a bad humor all the time." About this time Generals Foster, Parke and Reno came in. They were all in bad temper, and we spent an hour or so "spatting." Some one of us, whenever opportunity offered, would relate something about the late battles in Virginia. General Burnside expressed himself as in favor of a vigorous prosecution of the war, even to the arming of the negroes if necessary to success. We were surprised to hear this as General Burnside was represented as opposed to negro soldiers. During our confab, General Burnside turned to me and said rather sharply: "To what command do you belong?" I replied: "The Second North Carolina Cavalry." "Yes," says he, "you are the fellows who are shooting my pickets. I detest such warfare; if a man wishes to fight let him come out like a man and show himself and not creep up like he was hunting a turkey." I replied: "Your men began this mode and now you are complaining of it." He replied: "It is not so, and to prove it I lose five or six men where you lose one." I answered: "That only proves that our men are the best shots, and when they pull the trigger generally bring down the game,
while yours miss." He replied: "You do, hey!" with a touch of the "dry grins." I said: "If you do not like this style of warfare order your men to stop and ours will."
We discussed secession, States' rights, Federalism, war, ability of the South to maintain the contest, campaigns al-ready fought, leaders, etc., etc., but in not a very gentle manner. Governor Edward Stanly came in for a short while and was very courteous. About dusk we were driven in an ambulance to the house of the Spotswood family, but now used by the United States Army, and placed in a room on the second floor to spend the night.
Supper was furnished us in our room. An hour or so afterwards Governor Stanly called and spent several hours. He had recently arrived from California, having been appointed "Military Governor" of the State by President Lincoln.
Colonel Martin remarked that he was surprised to hear General Burnside express himself in favor of arming the negroes. Governor Stanly replied that he "must be mistaken; that he had frequently talked with General Burnside on the subject, and he was as much opposed to it as you or I, and, as for myself, whenever it is done I will resign and go whence I came."
About the time the "colored troops" were "mustered in" Governor Stanly resigned and left the State. I do not know, however, that there was any connection between the two events.
After Governor Stanly left we discovered some one was in the little room connecting the one we were in with another, and the door was pushed a little ajar, as if to hear anything we might say. We considered this as a "breach of hospitality" and expressed ourselves in vigorous language on the subject and on Yankees in general, and the experiences of the day. If what was gathered from our conversation was reported it is not published in the Records of the Rebellion.
On the morning of the 5th, about sunrise, we went across the street to breakfast.
Breakfast over, we got into the ambulance; were again
blindfolded, and when we saw the light we were at our pickets at the Ten-Mile House.
In August the second squadron (Companies C and K), Captain Booth commanding, moved to Hamilton, Martin County, to picket the Roanoke river.
In October the other ten companies, under command of Major C. M. Andrews, who had been promoted upon resignation of Major Woodfin, moved via Franklin, Va., to join the Army of Northern Virginia and camped at Warrenton, October 12th. Shortly after reaching there a scout of 225 mounted men and two pieces of artillery was ordered by Lieutenant-Colonel Payne, Fourth Virginia Cavalry, commanding post. This party, commanded by Major Andrews, moved on the 16th via Bristoe Station, Manassas, and to the south of Centerville to Gainesville. Here the Major learned that a train had passed a short time previous. Pushing on, he overtook and captured the train at Hay Market, consisting of seven wagons and teams, also thirty-nine prisoners, killed three and wounded five Yankees. The regiment remained at Warrenton until 1 December, when it moved with the army to the vicinity of Fredericksburg. In the battle of Fredericksburg, 13 December, the regiment acted with other mounted forces in protecting General Lee's right, but was not engaged, except as skirmishers. The regiment was represented in the detail to make the raid under General Stuart into Maryland, on 24 December. It was assigned 2 December, 1862, to the brigade of General W. H. F. Lee, with the Ninth, Tenth, Thirteenth and Fifteenth Virginia Regiments of cavalry. It spent the winter in Essex County, picketing the Rappahannock river from Hazel River to Centre Cross. In March it moved to Culpepper County, camping between Culpepper Court House and Brandy Station. 1 May engaged Stoneman in his raid at Stone's Mills. The regiment was commanded by Major Andrews from 14 December to 8 May, Colonel Williams being detached as president of a court-martial. Major Andrews then getting a "sick furlough," Lieutenant-Colonel Payne was temporarily assigned to command it.
The second squadron (Companies C and K) remained at
Hamilton until October. It participated in the attack on Washington, 1 September. Captain Boothe was severely wounded and not again in active service. While moving to join the regiment in Virginia the squadron was ordered into camp near the "Halfway House" on the pike between Petersburg and Richmond. It, with Company C, Forty-first North Carolina (3d Cav.), formed a battalion, commanded by Captain Graham, and built winter quarters on the pike near Proctor's creek. The battalion picketed the James River as far as Bermuda Hundreds. To it was also assigned the duty of picketing the Appomattox for sixty miles above Petersburg, to arrest deserters from the Army of Northern Virginia. In March, 1863, the squadron, commanded by Captain Graham, picketed General Longstreet's left flank in his expedition towards Suffolk to secure the hogs and cattle from the Albemarle section of North Carolina. While at Drewry's Bluff the squadron was attached to the commands of Generals Daniel and Elzey, also to Colonel Jack Brown, of the Fifty-ninth Georgia. Under General Longstreet it picketed the James and Nansemond rivers. There were engagements with the enemy at Providence Church and Chuckatuck. Captain Moore's Company, Sixty-third N. C. (5th Cav.), and Stribling's Virginia Battery, mounted, formed a battalion, which Captain Graham commanded. It was under Generals Jenkins of South Carolina, Hood and Pickett during this service.
May 20 the squadron rejoined the regiment in Culpepper County, Virginia. There had been many changes of officers in the regiment. The following is a roster at that time:
ROSTER-1 JUNE, 1863.
- SOL WILLIAMS, Colonel.
- Lieutenant-Colonel (Vacant.)
- CLINTON M. ANDREWS, Major.
- JOHN C. PEGRAM, Adjutant.
- A. SMITH JORDAN, Assistant Quartermaster.
- W. H. UPSHUR, Surgeon.
- IANSON, Assistant Surgeon.
- EDWARD JORDAN, Sergeant Major.
COMANY A-Captain, J. V. B. Rogers; First Lieutenant, W. B. Tidwell; Second Lieutenants, Abram C. Evans and Jacob E. Williams.
COMPANY B-Captain, S. J. Andrews; First Lieutenant, R. W. Allison; Second Lieutenants, J. N. Turner and William A. Luckey.
COMPANY C-Captain, James M. Wynn; First Lieutenant, W. P. Roberts; Second Lieutenants, Abram F. Harrell and L. R. Cowper.
COMPANY D-Captain, James W. Strange; First Lieutenant, Joseph S. Baker; Second Lieutenants, J. A. P. Conoly and John B. Person.
COMPANY E-Captain, R. W. Atkinson; First Lieutenant, K. H. Winstead; Second Lieutenants, E. P. Tucke and Eph. Robbins.
COMPANY F-Captain, P. A. Tatum; First Lieutenant, John G. Blassingame; Second Lieutenants, N. C. Tucker and - Holden.
COMPANY G-Captain, M. L. Eure; First Lieutenant, G. P. Bryan; Second Lieutenants, W. M. Owens and J. W. Simmons.
COMPANY H-Captain, R. H. Reese; First Lieutenant, S. N. Buxton; Second Lieutenants, F. M. Spivey and Copeland.
COMPANY I-Captain, D. O. Bryan; First Lieutenant, Thomas H. Harrington; Second Lieutenants, John C. Baker and James A. Cole.
COMPANY K-Captain, W. A. Graham, Jr.; First Lieutenant, John P. Lockhart; Second Lieutenants, A. F. Faucette and James R. Harris.
THE BATTLE OF BRANDY STATION, OR FLEETWOOD.
The regiment participated in the review of the Cavalry Corps by General R. E. Lee, Monday, 8 June, 1863, on the plain along the railroad between Brandy Station and Culpepper Court House. Our regiment returned to its camp
of the night before, about one mile north of Hon. John Minor Botts', near Gilberson's, with orders to go on picket the next morning at Fox's Spring, about twenty miles distant on the Rappahannock River. On the morning of the 9th at about 6:30 o'clock "boots and saddles" sounded. "Saddle up" was the Confederate name for this signal, perhaps due to the fact that the boots were generally wanting. I went to headquarters and Colonel Williams directed me to leave the cooks and sore-back horses in camp. Thirty minutes afterwards, "To horse-lead out" was sounded, and just at its close Colonel Williams' orderly came to me with orders to mount every man I had. He had received notice of the Federals crossing the river in the meantime, but the orderly said nothing of it. The regiment was quickly formed, my command being the second squadron, Companies C and K, threw me in the rear, as we moved off in "column of fours." A quarter of a mile distant we entered a road leading towards Beverly Ford, and forming platoons immediately took the "gallop" which we maintained for most of the distance, which must have been considerably over a mile, to the battlefield. Up to this time not one-third of the regiment knew that the Federals had crossed, or were attempting to cross, at Thompson's or Welford's. As we cleared a piece of woods the column headed to the left and came in view of the enemy's artillery placed between the Dr. Green residence and the river on the Cunningham farm. Just as our rear squadron turned into the field a shell cut off the top of a tree over our heads, and this was the first intimation we had of the presence of the enemy. We could see a portion of the Tenth Virginia engaged in the direction of the battery. The Nineteenth (Second Cavalry) North Carolina passed Dr. Green's house, crossed Ruffin's Run and took position behind a knoll on which two guns of Breathed's battery, "horse artillery," under Lieutenant Johnson were placed. This soon became engaged with the enemy. Colonel Williams formed all the men in the regiment who were armed with "long range guns" on foot and went to the front where he was soon hotly engaged with the enemy, who had dismounted and taken position behind a stone wall three hundred yards in advance of his battery. After exchanging
- NINETEENTH REGIMENT.
- 1. W.B. Tidwell, Captain, Co. A.
- 2. John P. Lockhart, Captain, Co. K.
- 3. Stephen O. Terry, Sergeant, Co. K.
- 4. Levi Y. Lockhart, Sergeant, Co. K.
- 5. W .A. Curtis, Sergeant, Co. A.
- 6. John L. Hall, Private, Co. K.
shots for a short time, he ordered a charge and captured the wall taking eighteen prisoners, besides the killed and wounded. In the charge Captain S. Jay Andrews, Company B, Iredell County, lost a foot, and Lieutenant J. G. Blassingame, of Columbia, S. C., temporarily in command of Company F, was mortally wounded. Our regiment held this position with little change, although engaged part of the time with Ames' Brigade of infantry, until 2 p. m. During the engagement General W. H. F. Lee, with several of his staff, were standing in a few feet of a large hickory tree a few steps to the right of one of Lieutenant Johnson's guns, when a shell struck the tree and threw pieces of it over them. A fair representation of "Company Q," (Quartermaster and his cubs) had assembled on the high ground about half a mile in our rear to see the fighting. A well directed shot in their direction caused them to seek less conspicuous places for observation. About 2 p. m. General Lee withdrew his brigade to the right to form connection with Jones and Hampton. The Nineteenth North Carolina (Second Cavalry) being on the right was placed on the plain which extends to the railroad and in full view of Fleetwood, General Stuart's headquarters. The Tenth Virginia was next to us and at foot of the hills, the Ninth and Thirteenth Virginia were next to the enemy. The brigade held the enemy in check until moved to near the Orange and Alexandria Railroad at Fleetwood, on account of the advance the enemy, which had crossed at the Rappahannock bridge and Kelley's Ford, had made. Generals Pleasanton and Buford had united their forces, which had crossed the Rappahannock at the different fords, and now with combined forces, attacked the brigade on the left and were driving the troops in that portion of the field in some disorder, capturing some of the dismounted men and threatening the horse artillery.
About 3 or 3:30 o'clock the shouts on the left told us that a brisk engagement was proceeding. Shortly afterwards Colonel Williams came at full speed towards the regiment, passing the Tenth Virginia. I suppose he gave the command, as they immediately formed by squadron and started at a gallop. As soon as he was near enough to our regiment he gave
command, "Form column by squadron," and placing second squadron in front, gave the command "Gallop; march." As we rose the hill we saw the enemy driving the Ninth and Thirteenth Virginia in considerable confusion before them, in our direction. The Tenth Virginia, when it reached a position that it could fire on the enemy without firing into the Ninth and Thirteenth, halted and opened fire. Colonel Williams gave the command to his regiment "Right oblique," and as soon as we had cleared the Tenth Virginia, turning in his saddle shouted: "Forward; draw sabre; charge." The regiment raised the yell as it went by our stationary and retiring companions and the scene was immediately changed. The Federals were the fleers and the Confederates the pursuers. Our regiment drove the enemy about half a mile back upon their reserves of cavalry and infantry, who were posted on a hill, while our advance had reached an angle where two stone walls came together on an opposite hill, about two hundred yards distant. This, with a volley from the reserve, checked the advance. The leading four were Colonel Williams, Sergeant Jordan, Company C; private Asbell, Company K, and the writer.
DEATH OF COLONEL SOL. WILLIAMS.
Asbell was felled from his horse with a wound through the head almost immediately. Colonel Williams gathered his horse to leap the wall, shouting: "Second North Carolina, follow me." The writer called to him: "Colonel, we had better get a line, they are too strong to take this way." He replied: "That will be best; where is the flag?" and as we turned, it was not fifty yards to our rear. He rode to meet it; halted it and was shouting to the men to fall in, when he was shot through the head, and died immediately, his body being carried from the field by his adjutant, John C. Pegram.
About this time the enemy enfiladed us with a piece of artillery, placed half a mile or more to our right, towards the river, and down the gorge, at whose head we had formed. This caused the regiment to give back a hundred yards or so, keeping its formation. The Federals charged us, we fired into
them, and they retired and made no further demonstration. In the charge, we relieved a great many of our dismounted men, who had fallen into the hands of the enemy, and also a gun of the horse artillery, which went rapidly to the rear, as we relieved it of its danger of capture. Any information General Pleasanton got of General Lee's movements, must have been given him by General Gregg, for Buford never pierced W. H. F. Lee's line without being immediately repulsed, and the brunt of this work, both on foot and mounted, was done by the Nineteenth North Carolina (Second Cavalry), and so acknowledged at the time. Lieutenant P. A. Tatum, Company F. (Greensboro, N. C.) who had a disagreement with Lieutenant-Colonel W. H. Payne, Fourth Virginia Cavalry, who was temporarily in command of the regiment a short time before, and had been placed under arrest, went into the charge without arms or spurs, and was wounded while most gallantly leading his men. The regiment lost 35.
Colonel Williams had been married but two weeks before to Miss Maggie, daughter of Captain Pegram, of the Confederate Navy, and had returned to camp on Saturday. He was beloved by his men; as brave and true a man as was in that army, yet with a gentle, affectionate disposition, almost equal to a woman's. Indulgent to his men in camp almost to a fault, yet, when duty called and occasion required, he proved himself a leader worthy of their admiration. I have given this account of the battle of 9 June, 1863, somewhat in full that Colonel Williams and his regiment might receive some of the credit to which they are entitled.
Captain Strange, of Company D, Fayetteville, N. C., who was in command after Colonel Williams' death, I know prepared a report of the part taken by the regiment and submitted it to the officers before forwarding it to headquarters. In "The Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies" the Nineteenth North Carolina (Second Cavalry) is hardly mentioned in the official reports of this battle. General Stuart says in his report of Colonel Williams: "He was as brave as he was efficient." 'The reports for the Nineteenth North Carolina Cavalry are nearly all wanting, and a loss of only five is reported, when the loss in my own command was three
times that. The brigade ordnance officer, Captain B. B. Turner (Official Record, Vol. 17, part II, page 720) says of captured arms that "Reports are all in except the Second North Carolina Cavalry, which is on picket; none of the other regiments captured any." Consequently whatever prisoners, whether wounded or not, that fell into the hands of W. H. F. Lee's Brigade must have come to our regiment and been its work.
Major H. B. McClellan has published a book entitled "The Campaigns of Stuart's Cavalry." In this he is very unfair to the Nineteenth North Carolina at Brandy Station. He dismisses it with a statement that Colonel Williams requested permission to go into the charge-went in on the right of the Ninth Virginia, was shot through the head and instantly killed. In making up his narrative, he says he got Colonel Beale, of the Ninth Virginia, to give him an account of the fight, who informs him when he reformed his regiment, and rode forward to reconnoiter, to his surprise he found the enemy moving back to the river. Not one word about the Nineteenth North Carolina, or how he got an opportunity to reform his regiment. Major McClellan does not seem to have considered it necessary to consult any member of the North Carolina regiment as to the action.
On that day W. H. F. Lee's Brigade received no assistance, although Robertson's Cavalry and a portion of Iverson's Infantry Brigade came upon the field; they fired no gun, and saw no enemy. After sunset we rode to a clover field near by, dismounted, and held our horses "to graze" until half past nine o'clock, when we marched to Fox's Spring, and as the sun rose next morning the writer dismounted, having placed pickets on the river. The regiment thought this very unjust, as it had borne the burden of the fight during the day, but Colonel Chambliss, of the Thirteenth Virginia Cavalry, was in command of the brigade, and continued through the campaign, and I do not suppose there is a member of the Nineteenth (Second Cavalry) North Carolina that has a single pleasant recollection of his treatment of it during his command. He
was promoted to Brigadier, and fell at the head of his brigade in 1864. His bravery was never questioned, and was displayed on many occasions. It is to be regretted he did not add to this, impartiality of treatment to the regiments under his command in the Gettysburg campaign. As the regiment formed "platoons" on reaching the Beverly Ford road, on the morning of the 9th, my negro servant, Edmund, formed the officers' servants and colored cooks in line immediately in the rear of the regiment and flourishing an old sabre over his head, took command of them. As we galloped down the road he was shouting to them: "I want no running. Every man must do his duty, and stand up to the rack," etc., etc. When the shell cut off the tree, as we came in view of the enemy, he and his sable warriors disappeared in every direction except the front, and we did not see them for three days.
That night, 9 June, the regiment, although it had done most of the fighting for the brigade during the day, was marched to Fox's Springs to do picket duty, and just as the sun rose on the morning of the 10th the pickets took position.
The Company was not together again until we returned to camp on the 14th. At "roll call" I spoke to the men of my pride in their action in the battle, mentioning those who had especially come under my observation but that all had done well and that when rallied in the face of the enemy none had been missing but the dead and wounded. As the command "break ranks" was given the band at Head Quarters struck up the "Old North State." Such cheering, jumping, etc., I have seldom witnessed. The mind of each went back over the hills and valleys to the home in the old State he loved and for which lie would willingly die.
Lieutenant-Colonel Paine was assigned to command the regiment. On 16 June we broke camp for the "Gettysburg campaign," first engaged in the movement in Loudon and Fauquier counties to cover General Ewell's advance against Winchester. As there was little horse feed in this county, the men held their horses by the bridle rein while the animals grazed on the clover and orchard grass. This was done until we crossed the Potomac, on 28 June. We moved via Warrenton and Salem to Middleburg, when
we struck the enemy on the 18th. Then there was fighting every day, and sometimes nearly all day, for a week or more, in the vicinity of Middleburg, Upperville, Goose Creek, Union and Paris. The most severe fighting was near Upperville, on 21 June. The enemy, besides cavalry, had Barry's division of infantry. These were placed behind the stone walls with which this country was fenced. Except a portion of the Tenth Virginia Regiment, under Major W. B. Clement, none of the brigade, nor of Jones' brigade, drawn up in sight in our rear a mile or so, gave the Nineteenth North Carolina any assistance. It was driven from the field with a loss of over half of the men it took into action, either killed or wounded. Captain W. P. Roberts, Company C, rallied a portion of the regiment and enabled Breathed's Battery, which had served most gallantly during the fight, to "limber up" and get out; otherwise it would have been captured.
Lieutenant Cole, Company I, was killed; Lieutenant Bryan, Company G, was wounded and captured. Lieutenant Holden, Company F, had his arm broken, but, calling one of his men to make him a sling of his handkerchief and place his arm in it, continued in the fight. Corporal Stephen O. Terry, Company K, was the last man to leave the field, and emptied the five barrels of his Colt's rifle almost alone into the face of the advancing enemy. I do not believe there was an engagement during the war in which a body of troops was more forsaken by comrades than the "Second Horse" was on that occasion. General Ewell, having captured Winchester, General Stuart "scouted" towards the Potomac to see that no enemy was left in the rear when he crossed the river. He found General Hancock, with Meade's wagon train, on the plains of Manassas, but was not able to deprive him of any of it, save one cannon and an ambulance. On 27 June the regiment moved via Fairfax Court House and Dranesville to near Leesburg. After placing pickets, about sunset, almost in sight of Hancock's rear guard, it retreated several miles, and then, going through a pine thicket by another road, found itself about 10 o'clock p. m. on the bank of the Potomac, near Seneca Falls. It forded the river, here three-fourths of a mile wide, with water half way up the saddle
skirts. The fording was done in single file. On Sunday (28th) we moved out near the turnpike from Washington to Frederick City. About 2 p. In. we captured 172 of a train of 175 wagons, with six mules to each wagon, chasing them through Rockville to within seven miles of Washington City. The capture of this train, perhaps, caused the failure of victory at Gettysburg, or perhaps the battle at that point. To preserve it hampered and delayed General Stuart's movements and left General Lee without the cavalry to locate General Meade's forces. We moved by way of Westminster, Md., where we found abundance of rations for man and beast. After filling body and haversack, the depot was burned. On the morning of the 30th we passed through Papertown, Va., where a large quantity of paper was loaded into some of the wagons, and reached Hanover about 10 o'clock. Here General Stuart struck Meade's army. He attempted to cut his way through. Our brigade was in front. The leading regiment, after a short advance, retired in confusion. The Nineteenth North Carolina was then sent forward, and opened its way into the lines of the enemy, cutting off a large force; but not being supported, they immediately closed in their rear. General Stuart sent no reinforcements to them, perhaps concluding the task too much for him, and left the regiment to its own defense. Hardly thirty men escaped being killed or captured. Most of these came out on foot through gardens or enclosures which offered protection. Here again the Nineteenth North Carolina were the actors, its comrades the audience.
After passing Papertown details were made from each regiment to impress horses from the citizens. Captain Graham had charge of the detail from the Nineteenth North Carolina. Gathering what horses he could from the plows, wagons and stables in his route, and narrowly escaping capture, he rejoined the command after the fight at Hanover. Hanover is seventeen miles from Gettysburg. General Stuart was forced to make the circuit with his wagons via Carlisle-where he burned the United States barracks-to Getttysburg. We
reached General Lee's lines about sunset on Thursday, 2 July. The service on this raid was very severe. There being only three brigades, it required fighting two out of three days-the first in advance, the next in rear, and to march with the wagons on the third. One hour for rest at 9 a. m. and one at 9 p. m. was all the intermission allowed.
On the morning of 3 July, gathering up the fragments left from Hanover and what was available from the wagon train, Captain Graham, as officer commanding, had a force of forty men. That afternoon, while supporting a section of Breathed's Battery, he was wounded. His command took part in the charge which occurred soon after and assisted in cutting off and capturing a squad of the enemy. The command of the regiment devolved upon Lieutenant Jos. Baker, Company D.
I desire to acknowledge my indebtedness to Captain S. N. Buxton, Company H, Jackson, N. C., for the account of the fight at Hanover, Pa., and to Sergeant W. A. Curtis, Company A, for the account of the ten companies while the second squadron was detached.
W. A. GRAHAM,
Captain Company K.
MACAPELAH, N. C.,
9 April, 1901.
- NINETEENTH REGIMENT.
- 1. W. P. Roberts, Colonel.
- 2. S. N. Buxton, Captain, Co. H.
- 3. R. W. Allison, Captain, Co. B.
- 4. P. A. Tatum, Captain, Co. F.
- 5. Junius A. Bridges, 2d Lieut., Co. H.
ADDITIONAL SKETCH NINETEENTH
BY GENERAL WILLIAM P. ROBERTS.
As stated by Major Graham in his foregoing history of the regiment up to Gettysburg, it lost heavily at Hanover, Penn., and upon its return to Virginia it was a mere shadow of its former self and an effort was made to reorganize it, but there was not much left to reorganize.
However, Lieutenant-Colonel J. B. Gordon, of the Ninth Regiment (First Cavalry) was made Colonel, but in a short time thereafter he was transferred to his former regiment as Colonel when its gallant Colonel, L. S. Baker, was made Brigadier-General.
In August, 1863, I was commissioned Captain of Company C, vice Captain J. M. Wynns, who had resigned and returned to North Carolina to raise a battalion of cavalry. After the transfer of Colonel Gordon, Major C. M. Andrews, late Captain Company B, became Colonel and commanded the regiment till June, 1864.
During the remainder of the campaign of 1863, at Jack Shops and Brandy Station, in the Bristoe campaign, at Warrenton, Mine Run and other places, and until its close, the gallant little regiment was always in readiness and took its place in front whenever called upon to do so.
During the winter of 1863-'64, it did its full share of picket duty on the Rapidan river, and with other detachments of the brigade levelled many breastworks thrown up by General Meade when he crossed that river in November. Also, during the winter the regiment was greatly augmented in strength and discipline, so that when the campaign of 1864 opened, it was in fair condition, although numerically much smaller than any other regiment of the brigade, because of
its great losses at Hanover, before mentioned, both in prisoners and killed.
Let me state just here that the regiment never entirely recovered from the blow it received at Hanover. Some of its officers and men were exchanged only a few days before the advance of General Grant in March, 1865; hence its losses were smaller than those of the other regiments of the brigade as reported at the time; but I am sure that the loss of the Nineteenth was as great, if not greater, than that of any other regiment, if numbers are to be considered.
But to return. In the night attack made by a part of the brigade under the command of Colonel W. H. Cheek, of the Ninth North Carolina (First Cavalry) in March, the Nineteenth was part of the attacking column, and did its duty. I remember that it was here that Dr. Thomas E. Williams, of Clarke County, Virginia, and Surgeon of the Nineteenth Regiment, mistook Colonel Dalghren, a Union soldier, for the writer and had quite a conference with him before he found out his mistake.
I was commissioned Major of the regiment in March, 1864, and in May began the Wilderness campaign of General Grant.
General Sheridan's "On to Richmond" soon followed with 12,000 horse and horse artillery in abundance, and certainly everything looked badly for Richmond, as I thought. But our incomparable leader, General Jeb Stuart,, at once followed him, and though he lost his great life in the pursuit, yet it was his genius and quickness of movement that saved Richmond on this occasion.
Among the pursuing columns was that of General J. B. Gordon, commanding the North Carolina Brigade, and I beg to state here that the South furnished no grander or more glorious soldier to the cause of Southern Liberty. Gordon was a great favorite of Stuart's; and when at last Stuart was sorely pressed and his squadrons broken, just before his death, his last words were: "Would to God, Gordon were here." And Gordon, too, received his death wound the day after his beloved chief fell.
In the pursuit of Sheridan, the Nineteenth bore a conspicuous part, and was more than once complimented on the field
by General Gordon. Its losses, too, were heavy, and among the killed was the gallant Adjutant of the regiment, Lieutenant Worth, of Randolph County, who lost his life at the head of the regiment while. charging a battery well posted and heavily protected. The battery was not captured for reasons that need not be explained here, but all the same the regiment covered itself with imperishable glory, as General Gordon afterwards stated to me.
The regiment was engaged at Todd's Tavern, White Hall, Hanover Court House and at Hawes' Shop, and at the last place it did splendid service. Upon the latter occasion it was in front and made several charges I was there disabled by a wound in the head, but did not leave the field. The loss of the regiment was inconsiderable, but it was here that Lieutenant Joseph Baker, of Company D, was either killed or captured, and his fate was never afterwards ascertained.
In the engagement near Hanover Court House in May, there occurred one of those unfortunate stampedes which are always inexplicable; but at the time the brigade was a mere handful, most of it having gone with General Fitz. Lee to attack a negro stronghold on the James river. By accident I was in command of the regiment when the stampede occurred and in the midst of it, when the best officers and men seemed to be demoralized, the Color Sergeant of the regiment, Private Ramsey, of Company B, brought his flag to me, as I had ordered him to do when he could not rally his men around it, and, offering it to me, said: "Major, will you stand by the flag?" Everything was then in a perfect rout, myself with the rest, and I replied: "Ramsey, d-n the flag; I don't want it;" but he insisted upon giving me the flag, and said he was only obeying orders from me, often repeated.
His brave words inspired a few, and the rally was sounded and what a moment before seemed ignominious flight and the capture of our entire force, turned out to be victory for us in the end. Around the flag a few of us turned and met our pursuers, and most of them were captured before they reached the Pamunkey river. God bless the brave boy! I have not heard from him since the close of the war, but he was a gallant
soldier upon every field, and carried the flag bravely until it and all others went down under "overwhelming numbers and resources" at Appomattox.
The regiment did its full duty at the Davis farm in June, and it lost some men, too, but at Black's and White's, on the Southside Railroad a few days after, it eclipsed its record. At this place I had command of the regiment, because of the sickness of Colonel C. M. Andrews, who insisted that I should lead it into action. However, later in the day, Andrews attempted to rejoin the head of his regiment, but in the attempt, was wounded in the thigh and died from the effects of amputation.
This was one of the most satisfactory engagements that I witnessed during the war, and the old Second sustained its reputation quite manfully. It was ordered to the front early in the action, in advance of any other regiment of the division, and although pressed hard until darkness closed the scene, it held its own against great odds, and even after dark many prisoners were captured by it. Upon this occasion it was the great right bower of the gallant Ninth North Carolina (First Cavalry) commanded and led by that thrice gallant and dashing soldier, Lieutenant-Colonel W. H. H. Cowles, and its vigorous attack upon the enemy's flank made sure the saving of our guns which were in great danger of capture. There was stubborn fighting and much individual gallantry shown by some of my men during the day, and I remember that Sergeant Nicholas Harrell, of Company C, a perfectly reliable man, informed me at the close of the engagement, that during the day he had placed hors de combat no less than six of the enemy. The brigade commander did not witness the action of this regiment, nor did I receive an order from him during the day, but he got possessed with an idea somehow, or other, that the Ninth alone was entitled to all praise, and published an order to that effect so soon as the brigade returned to camp. I declined to have the order read to my men on dress parade, and there was friction between the brigade commander and myself, but I carried my point in the end. I did not object to his congratulating
the Ninth upon its splendid behavior, but I did object to his partiality.
After the death of Colonel C. M. Andrews, I was commissioned Colonel of the regiment about the 1st of August, I think, and soon after followed the battle of Reams Station, brought on by a movement of the Federals to capture and hold the Weldon and Petersburg Railroad, on 25 August. The bearing of the Nineteenth there furnished an inspiration to the whole cavalry command, but the division commander in his report only refers to the division generally. The fact is, the great brunt of the battle, so far as the cavalry participated, was borne by the Nineteenth North Carolina and the Tenth Virginia, and these two regiments, unsupported, carried the last of the entrenchments held by the enemy. It was just at dark, I remember, and I never witnessed a more splendid charge. Our losses were small, but our captures were great, and the old Second Cavalry did splendid work. The command captured twice as many prisoners as it had men engaged, and the next morning's Richmond papers gave full credit to its splendid and heroic service.
That superb soldier and our chief, General Wade Hampton, congratulated me upon the field and subsequently in his official report upon the battle, referred especially to the conspicuous gallantry of my regiment.
At McDowell's farm, on 25 September, the Nineteenth took the lead, and captured one officer, a Major, I think, and some prisoners. My loss in men was light, but it was here that the brave Captain J. N. Turner, of Company B, was killed, and his death was a great personal bereavement to me. He and I had served as Second Lieutenants together, and our relations were very cordial and warm, but there was unpleasantness between him and his captain, and he asked to be transferred to the Engineer Corps, which was done. After I became Colonel of the regiment, he asked me to have him sent back to it, and I remember how happy he was when he returned. He would come to my quarters every night and talk over the war memories of the past. He was commissioned Captain of his old Company B, but, poor fellow, his happiness was short-lived. A few days thereafter he was
shot through the head near me, in this McDowell farm fight, his sword in one hand and his hat in the other, cheering on his men. Poor, dear Turner, there was no better man or more splendid soldier.
In all the marching and countermarching from the South to the North side of James river, the Nineteenth was always in place and participated in every engagement at Jones' farm, Gravelly Run, Hargroves, Boisseau's farm and other places.
In one of these engagements, near the White Oak Swamp, on the north side of the James river, and where the gallant General J. R. Chambliss, of Virginia, -lost his life, the regiment had a close call. The division of General W. II. F. Lee was hurried to the front in columns of fours, the Nineteenth being the last of the division. Suddenly I saw the regiments to my front bear to the right, and immediately thereafter came an order from General Lee, borne by Major John Lee, of his staff, for the Nineteenth to hurry to the front. The command "trot.," "gallop," was given, and in a short while I reported to the Major-General. My orders were to relieve the regiment. to my front, the Ninth Virginia, I think it was, and he further said to me: "Roberts, you know what to do, but the line must he held."
The entire division was soon withdrawn by some miscarriage of orders, as I afterwards learned, and it was not very long before the enemy advanced in great numbers upon my little command, but it stood up against this onslaught as only brave men can. At one time the regiment was practically surrounded, and its annihilation seemed complete, but in the very nick of time up dashed the Ninth North Carolina, led by the gallant Colonel W. II. Cheek, who finally responded to my wishes and put his regiment where I suggested it should be put, and by his action I was enabled to extricate my men. But our loss was enormous; more than thirty officers and men killed in a few minutes. Captain L. R. Cowper, of Company C, and Captain George P. Bryan, of Company G, were among the killed. They were both brave officers and splendid soldiers, and their loss was a sad blow to the regiment. Captain Cowper and I had left home together-had been noncommissioned
officers together, and he was my personal friend; always jolly and in splendid humor, and ever begging me to take care of myself if I wished to live; but always insisting that no Yankee bullet had ever been molded to carry off "Old Cowp," as he called himself, to the "undiscovered country from whose bourne no traveller returns." They were both brave and gallant men, and died like soldiers with their faces to the foe.
At Wilson's farm, on the Boydton plank road, on 27 October, 1864, the Nineteenth Regiment was again conspicuous for gallantry, and bore its full share of the fight, as it had done at Reams, McDowell's Farm, White Oak Swamp, and other places.
In the great cattle raid in September, 1864, the Nineteenth (Second Cavalry) was a part of the command of General Hampton commanding the expedition, and after the herd of cattle, 2,700, had been captured and driven from the corral, I received orders from him in person to bring up the rear. The regiment remained in the vicinity of where the cattle were captured for nearly an hour after the entire command had been withdrawn, and I at once, busied myself in making the necessary disposition of the regiment to protect our rear. Very soon the Federal cavalry began to press me and there were a number of mounted charges given and received during the day, but I was hardly pressed and was glad when night came to end the pursuit. The day's work was a hard one: none more so that I remember, but I managed to keep my command so well in hand that I lost only one or two men, I think, before reaching Belcher's mills.
The Nineteenth was at Bellfeld on 8 December when the Federals under General Warren attempted once more to secure the Weldon and Petersburg Railroad, and when the rear of Warren's Corps was struck, a squadron of the Nine-
teenth commanded by Captain A. F. Harrell, made a splendid charge and captured some prisoners.
Soon thereafter the regiment went into winter quarters near Bellfield, where it was fairly comfortable during the winter, being called out occasionally. During this interval
of partial rest I addressed myself to discipline, and there was drill and dismounted dress parade every day; but the men were wearing out, or rather the regiment was, from its great work during the previous campaigns, and not much headway was made in filling up our greatly depleted ranks. Yet the men were cheerful and apparently happy, and most of them enjoyed the winter in their comfortable quarters near Bellfield.
On 21 February, 1865, I received my commission as a Brigadier-General, and was assigned to the command of Dearing's Brigade, he having been transferred to the brigade of General Rosser.
The bearing of both officers and men for the most part while I commanded the Nineteenth was all I could wish, and there was much individual gallantry displayed by both, but time has blunted my memory and I regret that I cannot recall the names of all whom I would be glad to mention in this sketch, written from memory, after the passage of more than thirty years.
Let me say that in the beginning the regiment did not have the same thorough military training that the First Cavalry (Ninth North Carolina) had, as well as other regiments commanded by old army officers. Its first commander, though a splendid and courteous gentleman, and a brave man, was made Colonel for political reasons, and this made a great difference. It went to meet the enemy, too, poorly armed and equipped. But I am glad to bear testimony to the fact that in the campaigns from 1863 to 1865, it was equipped almost entirely by captures from the enemy, including bridles and saddles, carbines, pistols, swords, canteens, blankets, and every article necessary to a thorough equipment of a trooper.
I believe that the regiment was equal to the best in either the brigade, division or corps, and it never failed to respond with cheerfulness to any command of mine. There was an enthusiastic response to every order of attack-but few laggards-and the bearing of the regiment on every occasion elicited praise from those high in authority. I remember once that that courteous gentleman and splendid soldier,
General W. H. F. Lee, the division commander, said to me: "Roberts, I think my division equal, if not superior, to any division in the army, but let me tell you that I think I am growing a little partial to your regiment, because I feel more secure and my sleep is less disturbed when the gallant `Two Horse' is in my front."
These were his exact words, and it was the most splendid compliment ever paid the regiment. I felt especially complimented when I remembered that there were in the division the gallant Ninth North Carolina, the brave Ninth Virginia, and other regiments of equal merit, all North Carolinians and Virginians.
After my promotion to Brigadier-General that gallant soldier, Captain James L. Gaines, Assistant Adjutant General of the brigade, was commissioned Colonel, and he rode at its head during all the trying times around Five Forks until he fell dangerously wounded, losing an arm at Chamberlain's Run, on 31 March. Under his leadership the regiment added if possible another star to its already perfect wreath. After Gaines was wounded the regiment was commanded by Captain J. P. Lockhart, a gallant officer, formerly of my old squadron, Company K. Lockhart, I am told, led it through all the engagements following Chamberlain's Run, and under his command the regiment lost none of its prestige for gallantry and devotion to duty.
I distinctly remember that after the battle of Chamberlain's Run, I passed the regiment on the road, and its great loss both in splendid officers and gallant men made such an impression upon me that I wept like a child. Its losses had been so many that I scarcely recognized it. Under Lockhart, it kept up its organization until the capture and dispersal of General Barringer's Brigade, 3 April.. Then what was left of it, with some scattering remnants of the other regiments of the brigade, reported to me by orders from General Lee, and became a part of my brigade until the surrender at Appomattox.
My brigade was made up of the Fifty-ninth North Carolina (Fourth Cavalry), the Sixteenth North Carolina battalion of Cavalry, the Eighth Regiment of Georgia Cavalry, a part of the last named regiment being on detached service.
The Staff Officers assigned to me were as follows:
CAPTAIN THEODORE S. GARNETT, Of Virginia, Assistant Adjutant-General.
CAPTAIN WM. C. COUGHENOUR, of North Carolina, Inspector-General.
LIEUTENANT JAS. E. WEBB, of Alabama, Ordnance Officer.
LIEUTENANT W. P. HOLCOMBE, Of Virginia, Aide-de-Camp.
When I assumed command of the brigade it was greatly wanting in organization and discipline, but its material was equal to any brigade in both officers and men, and it behaved with exceptional gallantry from the time our lines were broken at Petersburg until we finally surrendered at Appomattox; especially at Namozine Creek, on 3 April, a part of it stood as firmly as the immortal 300 at Thermopylae, their bearing and splendid courage stemming the tide of a great stampede and saving a part of our cavalry from an ignominious flight. In fact, the little brigade did more than its share from the White Oak road to Appomattox, and on the morning of the surrender it was ordered to the front on the right of our lines. It faithfully and bravely responded to the last call, and with the remnant of the Nineteenth North Carolina, took the last guns captured by the Army of Northern Virginia, and I am sure they fired the last shots as well.
Immediately after the capture of the guns-four Napole ons-the brigade was withdrawn from the field by order of General Fitzhugh Lee, commanding the cavalry, disbanded and directed by him to return to their homes if they could, and I remember that he said that the army had surrendered.
I remember further that I saw a white flag borne down the
lines, and I am sure that after that there was no more firing from either cannon or small arms.
I desire to add that I had an efficient and faithful staff. Lieutenant Holcomb was disabled on the White Oak road near Petersburg about the time our lines were broken. The gallant Lieutenant Webb, ever watchful and faithful, remained with his ordnance train to the last, and Captain Coughenour, whose courage was ever conspicuous, was dangerously wounded near me not far from Jetersville, Va., and while delivering to me a message. My Assistant Adjutant-General, Captain Theodore S. Garnett, was ever by my side, brave to a fault, faithful and loyal, and he was with me to the last; and although a mere boy, his wise counsel and steady nerve rendered me valuable service always.
W. P. ROBERTS.
VICTORIA, B. C.,
31 MARCH, 1897.
- TWENTIETH REGIMENT.
- 1. T. F. Toon, Colonel.
- 2. Nelson Slough, Lieut.-Colonel.
- 3. John S. Brooks, Lieut.-Colonel.
- 4. P. A. Smith. Captain, Co. A.
- 5. C. B. Denson, Captain. Co. E.
BY BRIGADIER-GENERAL THOMAS F. TOON.
I cannot write a history of the Twentieth North Carolina Regiment-initiated at Seven Pines, sacrificed at Gettysburg, surrendered at Appomattox-epochs too widely sundered to be bridged over by consecutive history. I can not record all the great sacrifices made, suffering and privation borne with unflinching heroism, heroic achievements, bloody victories, and grand triumphs-instances of individual daring and unswerving fidelity to duty-after a lapse of thirty-six years, when so many noble hearts of the Twentieth Regiment have passed to that shore where wars cease, and no history can invade the ever blissful present. So many too anxious to forget the fitful shadows of that dream, "too bright to last," have sealed their lips and refused to speak How can even a sketch be made?
I will not attempt to make a display of imaginary history, embellished by thirty-odd years of afterthought, or supply the deficiencies of facts or memory by substituting circumstances which are more pleasing than actual.
Such facts as I can collect I desire to arrange in some order consistent with happenings. I cannot do justice to a single brave soldier of the regiment, and can only recollect the smallest part of that which ought to be written of the noble Twentieth North Carolina.
The Twentieth North Carolina Regiment comprised companies from the counties of Brunswick, Columbus, Cabarrus, Duplin and Sampson, stationed at Smithville and Fort Caswell, as follows:
- CAPTAIN JNO. S. BROOKS, Brunswick Guards.
- CAPTAIN J. B. STANLEY, Columbus Guards No. 1.
- CAPTAIN WILLIAM H. TOON, Columbus Guards No. 2.
- CAPTAIN B. SMITH, Columbus Guards No. 3.
- CAPTAIN NELSON SLOUGH, (a veteran of the Mexican war) Cabarrus Guards.
- CAPTAIN J. B. ATWELL, Cabarrus Black Boys.
- CAPTAIN C. B. DENSON, Duplin Greys.
- CAPTAIN UZ. Cox, Sampson No. 1.
- CAPTAIN C. L. CHESNUT, Sampson No. 2.
- CAPTAIN ALEX. FAISON, Sampson No. 3.
18 June, 1861, the organization of the regiment took place by the election of: Colonel, Alfred Iverson, of Georgia, Post Commandant; Lieutenant Colonel, Frank Faison, of Sampson County, N. C.; Major, W. H. TOON, of Columbus County, N. C.; Adjutant, R. P. James, of Duplin County, N. C.; Captain Quartermaster, R. S. Harris, of Cabarrus County, promoted from Company B; Captain Commissary, Charles McDonald, of Company B; Surgeon, Dr. J. A. Bizzel, of Sampson County; Assistant Surgeons, W. B. Meares, of Wilmington, and J. D. Purcell, of Sampson County; Chaplains, Rev. J. A. Sprunt, of Sampson County, and Rev. L. A. Bickle, of Cabarrus County; Sergeant Major, D. J. Broadhurst, of Duplin County.
The following were the promotions and changes and the Field and Staff officers of the regiment: Colonel Alfred Iverson, wounded at Cold Harbor, promoted to Brigadier-General in 1863; Colonel Thomas F. Toon, wounded at Cold Harbor, Chancellorsville, Spottsylvania and Petersburg, promoted to Colonel from Captain of Company K, in 1863, and to Brigadier-General in 1864; Lieutenant-Colonel Franklin J. Faison, killed at Cold Harbor 27 May, 1862; Lieutenant-Colonel Wm. H. Toon, resigned December, 1862; Lieutenant-Colonel Nelson Slough, resigned 26 February, 1863; Major Nelson Slough, promoted from Captain of Company A; Major Jno. S. Brooks, promoted from Captain of Company G, 26 February, 1863, killed at Spottsylvania 12 May, 1864; Major D. J. DeVane, promoted from Captain of Company I; Adjutant J. F. Ireland promoted to Captain Company D; Adjutant Ed. S. Moore transferred from Forty-first North Carolina
(Third Cavalry); Sergeant Major, Thos. W. Broadhurst, Company E; Quartermaster Sergeant, Jas. H. Benton, Company H; Orderly to Colonel, Jerry M. Kistler, Company C, and Benjamin M. Duncan, Company K.
The Regimental Band was composed as follows: Charles Heebner (leader), D. R. Coleman, Henry Giddens, Jesse W. Lane, Lewis D. Giddens, John B. Lane, Amos A. Campbell, Thomas Stevenson, Marcus Bradley and James C. Benson-from the counties of Cabarrus, Sampson and Wayne. These faithful men cheered our hearts and beguiled many a weary hour, and were kind to many a wounded comrade. It was upon the application of D. R. Coleman for a furlough that General D. H. Hill endorsed "shooters before tooters." During the fall of 1862 the band played "Dixie" one evening at dress parade. The Yankee band on the other side of the river repeated it. The band of the Twentieth played "Yankee Doodle;" then both bands joined in "Home, Sweet Home." There was many a moist eye when the music ceased.
The Roster of North Carolina Troops gives with some degree of accuracy the changes in commissioned and non-commissioned officers of each company, and considerable information relative to the killed and wounded, which I do not deem necessary to insert here. It is a credit to North Carolina, showing the laudable desire to perpetuate the names and deeds of her brave sons, but it is, however, very inaccurate.
The regiment remained on duty at Smithville (now Southport), Fort Caswell and Wilmington, detailed by companies or as a whole, until June, 1862. The duties were neither dangerous or burdensome, in fact the men of the regiment became restless under their inaction and urged to be sent where they could take part in the glorious triumphs which made famous the Army of Virginia, for they, too, longed to snatch from the shock of battle, the clash of resounding arms, the sulphurous canopy and din of courageous conflict, glimpses of the bright laurels the future historian would weave around the ensanguined brow of those who for their country "dare to do or (lie." Whether or not an expression of this feeling had any effect in hurrying their departure from the peaceful shores of North Carolina I do not know. At any
rate we left North Carolina and arrived at Richmond a few days before the battle of Seven Pines, one thousand and twelve strong, rank and file. Placed in Garland's Brigade, camping on the Williamsburg road, on 31 May, on the left of Williamsburg road, we were initiated into the realities of a soldier's life.
Inspired by Rodes on our right and Anderson supporting and protecting our left, the regiment entered into the fight with spirit and unflinching courage. The first man wounded was Alonzo Williamson, Company K, the ball passing through him and striking T. F. Toon, then Captain of Company K, slightly wounding him. W. R. Williamson was also wounded. During this fight D. H. Hill's Division did the greater part of the fighting, he losing more than one-third of his effective strength.
The scene around Mechanicsville 26 June, was not such as is calculated to cheer raw troops, by any means-dead or dying artillery horses, booming cannon, shot, shell bursting, and some large white eyes, and occasionally some requests: "Captain, if I am killed, you will find money in my left-hand breeches pocket to send my body home," showing an interesting realization of surrounding circumstances, but no fear.
Gaines' Mill, 27 June, 1862, Corporal Kiah P. Harris, Company A; Alfred Litaker, Company B; Corporal W. B. Collins, Company D; Corporal Caleb M. Spivey, Company D, were killed. Sergeant J. Peterson, Company E; C. C. Little, Company G, were wounded.
Cold Harbor, 28 June-Fought Sykes' regulars. Garland occupied the left of our line, entered in good order and style, charged and captured a battery twice-turned it upon the enemy with telling effect.
I recall the names of Lieutenant-Colonel Frank J. Faison, Captain Henry C. Smith, Lieutenant Arthur N. Jones, Calvin Meares, Elisha Bullard, Elias Bullard and others, Company C; Mc Shaw, Donnie Stephens, George S. Reaves and T. T. McIntire, killed. Captain John S. Brooks, Colonel Iverson, Captain T. F. Toon and W. D. Cherry, wounded.
In the Century, Vol. II, "Battles and Leaders of the Civil
War," General S. Garland accords to the Twentieth North Carolina the honor of deciding the fate of the day by this charge and capture. After the various conflicts mentioned the regiment returned with the division to camp on the York River Railroad below Richmond. Left there by General Lee to watch the remaining force of McClellan we joined the army on the march against Pope as soon as those troops left Westover. In July or August we left camp for the Army of Northern Virginia and were engaged watching Porter and holding his force in check while the battle of Manassas was being fought.
On 14 September, 1862, was fought the battle of South Mountain, or Boonsboro, which General Hill called a battle of delusions. When ready to make disposition of his small force to dispute the passage of the Union army at that Thermopylae, he found Garland at the Mountain House. He was directed to the summit of the mountain at Fox's Gap, his force less than one thousand men. About 9 o'clock he en countered Cox's Division, about three times as many. In this battle the Twentieth was unflinchingly suffering from the deadly fire of a Union battery. Captain Atwell, of Company B, with his skirmishers, killed the commanding officer of the battery, but were unable by reason of the character of the ground and the force opposed to them to secure the guns. In this fight Captain Atwell, of Company B, was killed. He was an intelligent, high-toned gentleman, an able officer and brave soldier. General Garland's death renders the place solemnly historic to our brigade. Captain L. T. Hicks, of Company E, says the enemy came within fifteen feet before the regiment retreated down the mountain, which being so steep the enemy fired over our heads. A part of this company, and several from other companies of the Twentieth, were separated from the command, during which time their rations were green corn from the cob. Captain Hicks, by permission, attached this mixed crowd, of which he had assumed command, to General Hays' troops, and they faithfully did their duty as brave soldiers. A pet dog belonging to Hays' men was crazed with the noise and confusion of battle. A cannon ball cut the top out of a large oak, which in
falling, imprisoned a skulker behind the tree. His cries for help were answered by the dog. I never saw a poor man's pants torn so badly since. He suffered more than he would have had he gone into the fight. At the battle of Sharpsburg 17 September, we were at the Bloody Lane which tells its own story. Assisting our commanding general to do all he set out to do, worn out with marching, fighting, starving and suffering, we re-crossed the Potomac and went into camp at Bunker Hill. Leaving Bunker Hill 30 October, arrived at Upperville 3 November, and Front Royal 5 November; waded the Shenandoah at night 6 November, heavy snow on the ground; then operating between the forks of the Shenandoah, guarding the passes in direction of the enemy, and threatening General McClellan's flank and rear
Those friends who so kindly cared for the sick Confederate soldiers ought to be remembered wherever they were, but we especially ought to thank Mr. G. W. Timberlake, near Winchester, for special service to members of my regiment. While sick at his house and threatened with capture by an advancing enemy, he risked his own safety to pilot us through a mountain road to our army. To her, that noble wife and mother of that Christian household, to her sweet child and daughter "Evelyn," a sick soldier's heart will ever turn with warmest affection and gratitude. Florence Nightingale may have more praise, but was never truer or more devoted than were these fit representatives of the women of the Valley. Leaving the Valley by route indicated above, crossed Blue Ridge Mountain, probably at Brown's Gap, and marched to Fredericksburg, thence to Port Royal at Corbin's farm. We spent the Winter, or part of it, resting, eating government rations and luxuries at sutler's prices when we could afford it, with an occasional box from loved ones at home, when that box could thread the intricacies of transportation then in vogue, and escape the ravages of hungry employes. On 12 December we began to cook two days' rations and have them in our haversacks to move at a moment's warning. Hurrying from camp near Port Royal we arrived during the night of 13 Decemcember in front of Fredericksburg. At Hamilton's Crossing
our division was held in reserve. The first man wounded here was W. H. Enzor, of Company C., by a shell. My regiment filled part of the space which was occasioned by Archer's repulse. The regiment was commanded by Major Nelson Slough. After months of careful preparation and upon a field of his own selection, General Burnside was forced to acknowledge Lee master of the situation. Lee in turn generously gave the credit to his brave soldiers and the honor to God. Back into Winter quarters again to rest as best we could. Corbin's farm camp was the scene of some changes in our regiment.
Lieutenant-Colonel W. H. Toon resigned February, 1863. Major N. Slough, Senior Captain Jim. S. Brooks and Captain T. F. Toon, Company K, were ordered before a Board of Examination, composed of Colonel Christie, Lieutenant-Colonel R. D. Johnston, of the Twenty-third, and Colonel T. M. Garrett, of the Fifth. Major Slough and Captain Brooks waived their rights to promotion and requested the board to recommend Captain T. F. Toon for Colonel of the regiment. After the examination was over, the appointment was accordingly made. When this recommendation and appointment was endorsed by the officers of the regiment, the office was accepted, for it was held that the regiment had a right to elect their own officers, notwithstanding the effort of the Brigadier-General to have one of his own selection appointed. The advice and firm support of General A. M. Scales and Colonel Bynum as legal advisers are hereby acknowledged in behalf of the officers of the regiment. Camp duty, drill, picketing the Rappahannock and an occasional general inspection, varied with snow fights between companies and sometimes regiments, occupied the remaining Winter and early Spring days. On Wednesday morning, 20 April, we moved from the camp near Grace Church to Hamilton's Crossing.
We remained here until Friday morning, when we began to move in the direction of Chancellorsville; had a skirmish that day; on Saturday morning relieved General Ramseur's Brigade, and in doing this came near marching in column into the Yankee line, caused by thick woods. A volley of small arms and canister from a gun caused us to change our
course to the left. We remained in line until 10 o'clock; then followed the Catharpin road and overtook the division about 4 p. m. We immediately formed line for that charge which made Rodes' Division the recipient of unqualified praise from General Jackson, and our regiment favorably mentioned by our Brigadier-General. We here occupied the extreme left of our line on the left of and at right angles to the plank road, with the Twenty-third North Carolina deployed and marching by right flank protecting our left. J. J. Pounds, Company G, asks that this incident be mentioned. He writes: "I started when you took your cap in your hand, waving it and calling on the men to follow you, led the charge. My gun got out of order and I ran to you and reported it. You said: `This is a bad place to be without a gun. Get another and go ahead.' Just then George Turner, of Company A, found a gun. He gave it to me and I overtook you, still in the lead." I remember the circumstances and the brave, inspiring conduct of Jesse Pounds. After the battle rested at the Little Church at the forks of the road in rear. We were relieved by General A. P. Hill's troops. May 3, about sunrise, we moved forward with the second line, and soon became engaged, owing to our front becoming uncovered. This was furious fighting, a perfect storm of shells and a mist of minie-balls. Here I saw the two Wilsons, of Company F, killed; the brother saving the watch from his brother just killed, falls on his body dead; twins in birth, twins in death. I received one wound early in the morning and before 10 o'clock two others, and left the field and regiment in command of Lieutenant-Colonel Slough. I was there long enough to witness the cool and daring bravery of Lieutenants Oliver Williams, Company C, McQueen Coleman, Company K; Lieutenant E. W. Collins, Company D; Major J. S. Brooks, Sergeant Hawes, Corporal M. . Harrelson, McD. Ward, Dan Coleman, George Goodman, Lieutenant Arch Laughon, Company F, and many others. Yea, all on that battle field deserved honorable. memory and mention for they stood only where men can be found. In addition to the above named Corporal C. A. Patterson, Company A; Corporal Richard Faulk, Company C; D. R. Ellis, Company B;
Josiah Hudson, Company H; Newberne Tew, Company I, and Thomas A. Morris, Company K, were placed upon the roll of honor.
The next movement led us to the field of Gettysburg, July 1st, 2nd and 3rd, 1863. The reports of the battle give twenty-nine killed and ninety-three wounded in the Twentieth Regiment. General Iverson reports 500 men of his brigade killed, lying in as good order as if on dress parade. Why these men were kept in that position when they could only die without being able to inflict injury on the enemy, I have been at a loss to understand. Lieutenant Oliver Williams says: "I was wounded early in the fight. I believe every man who stood up was either killed or wounded." Nearly 200 of the regiment were captured, with the colors. Captain A. H. Galloway, Forty-fifth North Carolina, recaptured the flag and a number of our men. General Ewell complimented the troops, who stood till the greater part had fallen in line of battle.
After Gettysburg the regiment was engaged in an affair at Hagerstown, while guarding a wagon train. General Rodes, in his report for 1863, says: "Those soldiers from Georgia, Alabama and North Carolina, who for weeks kept their ranks with swollen, bloody and bare feet, are the heroes of the campaign." "Camping near Madison Court House in July and near Orange Court House in August, September and October, on the Rappahannock river, near Morton's Ford. At the latter place, 11 October, a detachment from Johnston's brigade, consisting of the Twentieth North Carolina and five companies of the Twelfth North Carolina, under Colonel Coleman, the whole under command of Colonel T. F. Toon, Twentieth North Carolina, had a very brilliant affair with part of Buford's Cavalry. Brigadier General Lomax arrived and took command. We repulsed the enemy and drove him back across the river. The brigadier was pleased to report our part in the affair as worthy of honorable mention. The following names were forwarded as worthy to be placed on the roll of honor: Chas. W. Yousts, Benjamin F. Blackwelder, Company A; Paul Faggart, Jno. R. Bradford, J. A. Bradford, M. C. Cline, Company B; Lieutenant
Oliver Williams, Company C; Jno. Killet, Company E; W. J. Cotten, Company F; William Simmons and A. S. Carney, Company G; Ransom G. Hawley, Company H; Chas. H. Hall and Sergeant B. A. Brown, Company I. 26 November in the trenches at Morton's Ford; 27 November moved out of camp, marched to Locust Grove, skirmished all day. By order from General Johnston I threw out two companies to protect our left, there being a gap between our left and General Edward Johnson's right. In the Mine Run affair both sides wasted a great deal of powder, but did very little execution. The remainder of the Winter was spent at Taylorsville, near Hanover Junction, guarding the railroad bridges over the North and South Anna rivers; we had quite a pleasant time at this camp, good country, hospitable people, charming young ladies, all conspired to this end. 5 May we started to the Wilderness, arriving on the 6th. Supported General Gordon in an attack on General Grant's right; sharply engaged for a short while. Lieutenant B. Watson was killed; General Seymour of the Sixth Army Corps, United States of America, was captured. On the 7th marched through dust and heat from burning woods; reached Spottsylvania Court House a short time before sunset. About this time our brigade (General T. D. Johnston's) was placed in General Early's Division. On the 8th and 9th unimportant moves for position. On the 10th, about 5 o'clock, Johnston's North Carolina Brigade with the other brigades of the division, charged to recapture the works taken from General Doles by massed lines of the enemy. How we succeeded and the credit due my regiment on that occasion is best shown by General Lee's letter to the Secretary of War, a copy of which was sent to my regiment afterwards, and which is as follows:
HEADQUTARTERS, ARMY NORTHERN VIRGINIA,
May 16, 1864.
SIR:-Yesterday evening the enemy penetrated a part of our line and planted his colors upon the temporary breastworks
Confederate Grays. (Afterward Company E, 20th N. C. Regiment of Infantry.) Company organized in Duplin County, N. C., April 20th, 1861. C. B. Denson, Captain. R. Pryor James, 1st Lieut. Louis T. Hicks, 2d Lieut. Lemuel Hodges, 3d Lieut.
erected by our troops. He was immediately repulsed, and among the brave men who met him the Twentieth North Carolina, under Colonel T. F. Toon, of the brigade, commanded by General R. D. Johnston, captured his flag. It was brought to me by Major Jno. S. Brooks, of that regiment, who received his promotion for gallantry in the battle of Chancellorsville, with the request that it be given to Governor Vance. I take great pleasure in complying with the wish of the gallant captors, and respectfully ask that it be granted, and that these colors be presented to the State of North Carolina as another evidence of the valor and devotion that have made her name eminent in the armies of the Confederacy.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
R. E. LEE, General. Hon. Secretary of War, Richmond, Va.
It is just, in this connection, to bear witness to the daring bravery of Brigadier-General Johnston, Lieutenant-Colonel Davis, and Major Rob. Alston, of the Twelfth North Carolina, in that same charge. On the 11th raining, muddy, disagreeable, under ordinary circumstances, but especially so to a soldier with very scanty means of comfort. On the 12th, aroused before light, precipitated into the battle before we could see; met the successful enemy in the first moments of his temporary triumphs, the first volley we fired the sheet of flame made doubly visible by the darkness and fog, met that of the enemy and lighted up the space between. I can now see George Stepps in the mortal combat, with the color-bearer of one of the advancing regiments, and Major Jno. S. Brooks leap wildly into the air, grasp his side, and fall while urging the Twentieth North Carolina to the hottest conflict we ever engaged in. We lost no ground, however, but, with others of our attacking column, regained our breastworks and remained fighting until 9 o'clock at night, when we were withdrawn. Late that evening, General Johnston was wounded. I also received a shot in the leg, after it passed through Lieutenant George Bullock's coat sleeve without wounding him. This, however, disabled me only for a few days. Adjutant
E. S. Moore was also wounded. On the 19th we advanced against the right of the enemy and had a severe skirmish; fell back to our line that night. Our brigade brought up the rear. My regiment was rear guard. The reconnoissance in force delayed General Grant for two days and was of great benefit to General Lee. On the 20th we moved to Hanover Junction, thence with the army to Second Cold Harbor, where we were under artillery fire and some skirmishing. I was assigned command of Johnston's Brigade 4 June. I think about 15 June General Early was detached and sent to meet Hunter at Lynchburg. We arrived there on the evening of the 18th, skirmished with the enemy. I never could see why we did not attack the enemy at once. Next day we pursued the enemy to Liberty, Va. Here Bryan White was wounded. In spite of heat and dust almost insupportable the troops marched on an expedition against Washington down the Valley, Hunter having left it open by his retreat in the wrong direction. Passing White Sulphur Springs and Natural Bridge without much time to try the health-giving nature of the one or enjoy the beauty and sublimity of the other. 4 July enjoyed the public dinner at Harper's Ferry spread by General Weber for his command and friends. Fought and defeated General Lew Wallace at Monocacy Bridge. This was a hard-fought battle on the field in which we were engaged. Guilford Edwards, one among the best soldiers in the regiment, lost his leg here. This, I think, was 9 July. On the 10th, passed through Rockville, saw the Dome of the Capitol, and pushed the skirmish line, capturing soldiers in long, dress, broadcloth coats.
One Yankee prisoner said they were counter jumpers, clerks in the War Office, hospital rats and stragglers. I know one thing, I could have easily taken everything in my front if I had been allowed to continue my advance. Major DeVane, a gallant spirit, urged me to disregard the order to fall back and rush forward, whatever the consequences might be. I hated to withdraw, but always tried to obey orders. On the night of the 12th, retreated across the Potomac river, bringing the accumulated proceeds of the campaign in horses, beef
cattle, cannon, etc. For some time we destroyed railroads and marched a countermarch. 20 July we had an affair with Averill and Crook, in which we were literally run over. This was near Winchester. I think both retreated from the battle field. Parts of August and September eating apple butter and doing picket duty, with just enough skirmishing to break the monotony of soldier's life. 19 September fought the battle of Winchester, and in the battle, although Early was defeated, Ramseur's division was not. We held our own until ordered to retreat. Early in the morning the cavalry attacked our pickets. I moved the Twentieth North Carolina to their support. Charge after charge were repulsed. When closely pressed with cavalry on both flanks, I formed a square and retreating in this manner, prevented capture, until General Wade Hampton came to my rescue by charging in column those on my left and driving them back, he enabled me to get my regiment back to the line of battle.
The "thin gray line" which Bradley Johnston saw on 19 September, 1864, was the Twentieth North Carolina Regiment, a part of Johnston's North Carolina Brigade.
J. E. Kelly, of Company K, was the hero of the hour. When the regiment was formed in a square almost surrounded, hard pressed, a shell killed the horse of Colonel Toon. He directed Kelly to take charge of his belongings on the horse. Kelly at that moment was struck in the shoulder joint, which caused the loss of his right arm, yet he, when General Fitzhugh Lee, by a charge on our left, relieved us, carried everything, saddle, bridle, blanket, and his own gun and accoutrements, to the hospital, all safe.
J. E. Kelly enlisted from Columbus County, lived in that county for years after the war. Raised a large family. Some years since moved to Wilmington. Little did the old veterans of that patriotic city think that in the breast of that one-armed hack driver beat a heart as brave as the bravest; as true as tried steel to his beloved Southland. Such was Jas. E. Kelly, a Yankee boy; a Southern volunteer; a drummer boy hero of many a hard-fought battle.
October came with its triumphs and defeat in one day. At
Cedar Run, Johnston's North Carolina Brigade was the only body of organized troops that left the field in order and which kept firing in retreat until we reached a bridge over the creek blocked up by wagons, ambulances, horses and men. In all of the uncertain movements of this army we took part and there were none who more faithfully discharged their duty. The disparity in number between the armies contending, both in infantry and cavalry, was the main cause of the defeat of the Army of the Valley. General Early was not a great commander nor a great general, but brave, headlong and risky. Leaving the valley we were assigned to picket duty on the Roanoke river. We encamped on the premises of Mr. House, and between the hospitalities of his house and that of Mr. Wyatt (I think that is the name) we spent an enjoyable Winter. We returned to Hatcher's Run, skirmished and ate shad for a short time. On 25 March was fought the battle of Hare's Hill, or Fort Steadman, near Petersburg, Va. My regiment led the charge on the works. It was a complete surprise, many were killed coming out of their tents by our men, using their guns as clubs. Why were we not supported? It was reported to us that as soon as we broke the line Pickett's Division would support us.
About 9 o'clock we fell back to our lines after capturing a good many prisoners. Adjutant Moore was wounded. Here I fought my last battle, being desperately wounded, standing on our breastworks rallying our troops to resist an expected attack by the enemy. Dr. Schofield, of Petersburg, was kind to me. He took me into his own house and my wounds were tenderly dressed by soft hands now clasped in praise on the other shore. I could not invoke good for myself were I not to pray for better for those good people. My regiment remained to the last and when the news of the surrender was promulgated and our skirmishers ordered to halt, Major DeVane said: "I hated to stop just then, for I was driving the Yankee skirmishers like sheep." On 9 April, at Appomattox, hostilities ceased and the Twentieth Regiment laid down their arms by order of their chieftain-R. E. Lee. We fought not for slavery. Our rights were denied us. Slavery was only one of the many aggravating circumstances which
precipitated hostilities. Those who make history ought to interpret their own acts and be considered the best authority as to what is history.
The sharpshooters from the regiment deserve especial mention, and acting as a separate command justice requires it. Under Plato Durham, Benj. Robinson, R. A. Smith, Oliver Williams and McQueen Coleman, this corps did splendid service, and was the most important arm of the service. Some one belonging to this corps ought to write its history, and here I will couple the name of Fred. D. Bryan with this request, hoping he will do justice to this gallant corps. Mr. Bryan, having passed through all of these scenes of conflict, can recall its history.
Imperfect as this sketch must be, I will close it, acknowledging favors and help from the following soldiers, participants in the services of the Twentieth North Carolina: Rev. Captain D. K. Bennett, Company G, who has passed over the river since writing me on the subject; Lieutenant Oliver Williams, Fair Bluff, N. C., a veteran of the sharpshooters corps; Fred D. Bryan, Marion, S. C., the beardless boy, the dauntless hero of the same corps; Edwin S. Moore, Selma, N. C., Adjutant of the regiment; Captain Louis Hicks, Faisons, N. C., a quiet, faithful soldier and a good friend; Rev. J. Soles (Thirty-sixth North Carolina), Mount Tabor, N. C.; Jesse J. Pounds, Company G, Hamlet, N. C. His company ought to remember him with gratitude. Out of nearly fifty letters written to some members of each company composing the regiment these are all to which replies have been received.
The following brief mention may not be amiss:
Thomas Fentress Toon was born in Columbus County N. C., 10 June, 1840. Son of Anthony F. Toon, Esq., of Irish and Welsh extraction, and Mary McMillan Toon, daughter of Ronald McMillan, of Scotland. 20 May, 1861, he enlisted as a private in Columbus Guards No. 2, a company raised by his half brother, Captain William H. Toon, who was afterwards Major and Lieutenant-Colonel of the Twentieth North Carolina. After enlistment he returned to Wake Forest College and graduated June, 1861. June 17, 1861, elected First
Lieutenant of his company. July 22, 1861, elected Captain of his company, vice Captain W. H. Toon elected Major. 26 February, 1863, elected Colonel of the Twentieth Regiment. 31 May, 1864, appointed Brigadier-General, and 4 June assigned to command of Johnston's North Carolina Brigade. He followed the fortunes of Lee, Jackson, Gordon, Early and Ewell in all important engagements, unless deterred by some of the five wounds received in battle. Lived in Robeson County, N. C., from 1891 until elected State Superintendent of Public Instruction, 1900.
Lieutenant-Colonel Nelson Slough was a veteran of the Mexican War, First Lieutenant January, 1847, honorably discharged 7 August, 1848. He was severely wounded in the leg, the effects of which were evident in his halting step. When North Carolina called for troops he promptly raised a Company in Cabarrus County and offered his services for her defence. When the Tenth Volunteers was organized, which regiment was afterwards changed to Twentieth North Carolina Troops, Captain N. Slough was given the post of honor as Company A. He followed the fortunes of the regiment ably and faithfully discharging his duty; beloved by his men and respected by his fellow officers foro his generous, genial, and gentlemanly deportment and for his unflinching bravery in battle.
He was promoted to Major of the regiment, afterwards to Lieutenant-Colonel, and resigned on account of wounds and failing health 2 November, 1863. He was afterwards sheriff of his county for many years; popular, beloved, and respected.
To those who knew Colonel Slough, I would say "now that is to say simply for instance" I know no braver soldier or more faithful officer than this hero of two wars. He died at the residence of his daughter in Anderson, S. C. in 1900.
John S. Brooks, Captain Company G, born in Greenville, Pitt Count, N. C., 20 October, 1840, killed 12 May, 1864, at Spottsylvania Court House, Va. At the opening of the war he raised a company and was elected Captain. 26 February, 1863, he was promoted to Major and Lieutenant-Colonel Slough resigning 2 November, 1863, he was
promoted to Lieutenant-Colonel, which position he held at the time of his death
He was signally honored by General Lee on 10 May, 1864, as will appear by correspondence published. Loved by all who knew him; honored in death, his dirge was sadly, sweetly chanted by his comrade in arms, Brunswick County's Bard, Rev. D. K. Bennett.
Names deserving to be written on the same page: Lieutenant. J. H. Dosier and Lieutenant Oliver Mercer, both of Company G; Lieutenant Oliver Williams, Company C, now living at Fair Bluff, Columbus County, N. C.
THOS. F. TOON.
RALEIGH, N. C.,
9 April, 1901.
- TWENTY-FIRST REGIMENT.
- 1. Robert F. Hoke, Colonel.
- 2. R. W. Wharton, Captain, L Co. E.
- 3. John K. Connally. Captain, Co. B.
- 4. R. E. Wilson, Captain, Co. P.
- 5. L. E. Powers, 2d Lieut, Co. A.
BY MAJOR JAMES F. BEALL.
In writing this brief sketch nothing more than a short outline is intended. A volume would be too small to contain all that could be said of this illustrious regiment. Many of the facts connected with it and the part it played in the gigantic struggle for Southern Independence cannot now be written. But it may not be amiss for living witnesses to give their testimony; otherwise much that is valuable to history, may be lost.
ORGANIZATION AT DANVILLE.
Early in June, 1861, the Twenty-first North Carolina Regiment was organized and mustered into the Confederate service at Danville, Va. W. W. Kirkland was elected Colonel. This efficient and accomplished officer, with vigorous efforts, brought the regiment to a state of perfection in discipline and drill, which was afterwards properly appreciated by those of us who became intimately acquainted with the stern realities of war. Just prior to the departure of the regiment from Danville, it was drawn up into line, with its silken colors, (given by the ladies) waving over them, presenting as fine a body of men as one ever beheld-all young and enthusiastic. Alas! how many of those noble forms now lie mouldering in the dust-on almost every battlefield from Gettysburg, Pa., to New Bern, N. C.? And how many we meet with missing limbs and honored sears upon them, telling of death and danger dared! The Twenty-first Regiment was engaged in the bloodiest battles of the war-some of the greatest in history. It had for its Major-Generals those noble heroes-Ewell, Early, Pegram and Ramseur. For its Brigadiers-Trimble,
Hoke, Godwin and Lewis. Its Field and Staff, Company Officers-rank and file-were inferior to none.
THE REGIMENT ARRIVES AT MANASSAS.
The regiment left Danville 15 July mid cheering and waving of handkerchiefs by the ladies, arriving at Richmond the same evening; 17 July it was ordered to report to General Beauregard, at Manassas. While en route to Manassas, we had a considerable wreck-caused by the treachery of the engineer, who deserted his engine-leaving the train standing on the track in the night, where another train soon came crashing into it, disabling about twenty of the regiment. Without further incident, the regiment arrived at Manassas early on the morning of the 18th. Immediately the regiment moved in double quick time to our position at Mitchell's Ford on Bull Run-this being the centre of the Confederate line of battle. Here the regiment was vigorously shelled by the enemy's batteries, but was not actively engaged. We continued to hold the same position on 21 July-when the first battle of Mansassas was fought and a victory won for the Confederates, which electrified the whole country. After the rout, we pursued the enemy several miles, thinking we were going right into Washington, but were halted and ordered to retrace our steps.
IN CAMP AT BULL RUN.
After this battle, we went into camp on Bull Run, where the regiment suffered greatly from sickness. In September the regiment was sent to Broad Run Station to recuperate. In October it went into winter quarters at Manassas, and there Trimble's Brigade was formed of the following regiments, viz: Twenty-first Georgia, Twenty-first North Carolina, Fifteenth Alabama, Sixteenth Mississippi. Shortly after-wards, the latter regiment was transferred-the Twelfth Georgia Regiment taking its place. The Twenty-first Regiment after doing arduous picket duty all winter, in March broke up winter quarters and took up line of march to Gordonsville, Va. From there it was ordered to the Valley of
Virginia by way of Swift Run Gap, to report to General Jackson, when the immortal "Valley Campaign" was begun, which made General Jackson and his command famous. His great deeds have been expressed by orator, sung by the poet, immortalized in statuary, and emblazoned on canvas.
THE BATTLE OF WINCHESTER.
On 24 March, 1862, the regiment was engaged at the great battle of Winchester where General Banks was badly defeated with great loss of men, arms and commissary stores. Just previous to the battle, the regiment marched all night, lying down just before dawn in the cold dew, to rest, but not to sleep. The sun rose fair and bright on the field, soon to become crimson with the blood of the bravest hearts. Shortly after sun up we were ordered to storm the enemy's position, simultaneously with the command on our left. With a wild cheer the regiment moved swiftly towards the enemy's line behind stone walls, and was met by a most terrific fire of infantry and grape shot. The regiment moved right on to the stone wall, from which the enemy were pouring forth a perfect storm of canister and minie balls from right and leftcross-firing upon us. But the glorious old regiment with a valor that stands unrivaled, swept everything before it. The day was won with the most exalted courage and desperate charge. It was a gallant charge and a gallant defense. The enemy was completely routed, with great slaughter and driven beyond the Potomac.
A FIELD OF CARNAGE.
The writer was severely wounded and left on the field, and the sight which there presented itself can never be forgotten. Around stood several pieces of artillery deserted by the enemy. Many Federals and Confederates lay dead, wounded and dying around me. Colonel Kirkland, while waving his sword and cheering on his men was shot through the thigh, but did not leave the field. Lieutenant-Colonel Pepper lay mortally wounded, but still cheering his men on to victory. My heart still bleeds when I think of our revered Captain J.
C. Hedgecock, who was mortally wounded, pierced by half dozen balls or more. A braver or truer man than this young lawyer was never sent to the field of battle. He and the gallant Pepper sleep in the cemetery at Winchester, with many of their brave comrades. Peace to their ashes. Company A had one officer killed and one wounded-ten men killed and eight wounded. The loss of the other companies of the regiment was proportionately great. I am unable to give the exact number.
EIGHT BALLS IN HIS BODY.
Never were men more mangled or pierced with so many balls. The Confederate and Federal medical staffs were especially interested in Captain John W. Beard, Company F, who was pierced with eight minie balls-several passing through the bowels-yet recovery was complete and he served through the entire war; he now lives, a prosperous merchant, in the State of Kansas. This conflict, its duration considered, and the number engaged, equals or surpasses the bloodiest battles of the war. And yet, an eminent biographer in describing the movements of General Jackson's Corps, makes but one allusion to the North Carolina troops in these few words: "Here the Twenty-first North Carolina Regiment lost heavily." When at the same time the Memorial Association of Winchester, Va., said that their cemetery contained graves of more soldiers from North Carolina than from any other State, a fact which might be said of almost every burying ground in Virginia. Therefore, I hope I will be pardoned for going into detail in describing this battle.
UP AND DOWN THE VALLEY.
After the battle of Winchester the regiment was marched and countermarched up and down the valley many weeks-engaging almost daily in combats of no minor importance, against great odds. Fought in the battles of Newtown, Harrisonburg, and Cross Keys. At the latter place it pleased General Trimble to compliment Colonel Fulton and the regiment for its gallant conduct. After this the regiment crossed over the Shenandoah river, engaged in the battle of Port Republic,
and assisted in sending General Shields down the Luray Valley, completely routed and demoralized. I have given but a poor picture of the series of brilliant victories of this valley campaign, in which the Twenty-first North Carolina Regiment left on record, deeds rarely equaled, her banners covered with victories, shedding lustre and glory on North Carolina and the Southern arms. General Jackson's Corps having defeated, in repeated engagements, no less than four Federal armies, sweeping down from Port Republic, fell like an avalanche on General McClellan's right. Then ensued that succession of brilliant engagements which resulted in sending the enemy under the protection of his gun-boats on the James river. In all these engagements the Twenty-first bore a conspicuous part, losing heavily; 9 August, 1862, engaged in the sanguinary battle of Cedar Run. In this battle the Federals were badly whipped and driven beyond the Rappahannock. In this fight, the regiment captured two pieces of artillery and several flags of the enemy.
GENERAL TRIMBLE'S SPEECH.
After the fight General Trimble made a little speech complimenting the brigade, in which he said: "Comrades, I feel that I am on my way to my home in Maryland." On 18 August, 1862, at Hazel river, the regiment engaged in a short, but sanguinary battle. A charge through a thick underbrush and marshy swamp, and with great courage, drove the enemy from his temporary breastworks. This action on the part of the regiment drew forth great praise from General Trimble. Though this fight was short, our loss was by no means insignificant. We then bivouacked on the battle field, which we knew how to appreciate, having been almost continually marching and fighting for several days.
IN POPE'S REAR.
The next day we received orders to prepare three days' rations, and be ready to march at a moment's warning. 20 August, 1862, engaged the enemy on the Rappahannock, crossed the river and again encountered him. 22 August, recrossed
the river, took up a line of march, passing through Thoroughfare Gap near Manassas and appeared in Pope's rear, destroying several trains of cars and immense stores at Manassas. The regiment was engaged in the series of fights called the Second Manassas and Jackson's Corps withstood for two days Pope's entire army, repulsing every attack with heavy slaughter. During this fight the Twenty-first Regiment repulsed a half dozen or more of the most tremendous charges that were ever volleyed and thundered at the head of mortal man. Here we fought face to face with men filled with whiskey, determined to crush General Jackson. 30 August engaged the enemy all day until afternoon, then General Longstreet came up when Pope's army was driven beyond Bull Run. After these engagements the regiment was hors de combat.
A SUNDAY BIVOUAC.
The next day, 31st, we went into bivouac and rested all day Sunday, saddened by the absence of many, many, of our brave and beloved comrades, who had fallen in the series of conflicts through which we had just passed. Among those who fell was our beloved Colonel, Saunders F. Fulton, a man who was absolutely without fear, and who evidently believed he was not to be killed in battle. 1 September we took up line of march to Ox Hill, where we again grappled in a death struggle with our old enemy. When we first met them, the Federals seemed greatly surprised and confused, and the carnage in their ranks was terrible. Here Major-General Kearney, of the Federal army, was killed and fell into our hands. During this battle a terrific thunder storm prevailed, the rain coming down in torrents, making it quite difficult to keep our powder dry. The Federals were again overwhelmingly defeated, and hurled into their fortifications around Washington. Our loss in this engagement was comparatively small.
CAPTURE OF HARPERS FERRY.
After this battle Jackson's Corps took up the line of march to Martinsburg, Va., and from this place swept down on
Harper's Ferry capturing it with its entire garrison, General D. H. Miles commanding the garrison. Our loss was almost nothing. After this we made a forced march to Sharpsburg, Md., where we arrived 17 September and engaged in that brilliant and bloody battle. Although sorely pressed, the line of the Twenty-first Regiment was broken only once during that fight. After falling back a short distance and reforming, we again charged, repulsing every attack of the enemy. Our loss here was considerable. 13 December we engaged in the great battle of Fredericksburg and assisted in driving and pursuing the enemy into the plains below, who had penetrated an interval in our lines near Hamilton's Crossing. I believe this was the only charge made by the Confederates in this fight. The loss of the enemy in this charge was very great, while ours was comparatively small. Here it was said that General Lee complimented Colonel Hoke who commanded the brigade. At any rate he was made Brigadier-General soon after this fight.
In May, 1863, engaged in the great battle of Chancellorsville, assisting in the attack on General Sedgwick's flank, forcing him into the bend of the Rappahannock river, where his whole command would have been captured; but night coming on he made his escape across the river. In this fight we lost many valuable officers and men. At this time the brigade was composed of the following regiments: Sixth, Twenty-first, Fifty-fourth, Fifty-seventh North Carolina Troops. After this battle our corps, commanded by General Ewell, who succeeded the lamented Jackson, again took up line of march to the Valley of Virginia, where the Twenty-first assisted in the capture of Winchester and Martinsburg with many thousand prisoners and a great many pieces of artillery, many thousand ssmall arms, wagon trains and many stores. The loss of the regiment and entire command was very small.
We then passed over the Potomac and went to Little York,
Pa. 1 July the two armies again encountered each other, at Gettysburg. On this day the regiment assisted in gaining a very decided victory over the enemy, driving him back in great confusion, through Gettysburg. On the second day we made an assault on the enemy's fortified line and failed.
In the general history which will go down to posterity, of course nothing more than a brief and cursory reference can or will be made, to the service of any small command. Yet it is due this gallant brigade (then Hoke's) as also to those who lived not to see the clouds and darkness of other days, to refer briefly to the glorious services of as brave a set of men as the sun ever shone upon. I will in my feeble way, attempt to show how those indomitable patriots demeaned themselves amid the wild carnage of that stricken field. The impressions of the writer, of that memorable day are not a picture of mere fancy, but one of actual experience. Methinks I still hear, through the long vista of years, the rolling echo of those awful accents of battle. After a lapse of thirty-seven years, I recall not without emotion, the incidents of the battle which occurred on that second day at Gettysburg, and while life lasts, will cherish my remembrance of the magnificent courage displayed by our command.
THE ASSAULT ON CEMETERY HEIGHTS.
After lying all day under a July sun, suffering with intense heat, and continually annoyed by the enemy's sharp-shooters from the heights, from sheer desperation, we hailed with delight the order to again meet the veteran foe, regardless of his advantage in numbers and position. Really, the enemy's artillery, reopening at the going down of the sun, fell like music upon our ears. At the time the assault was made, the enemy had massed heavily in our front, and placed batteries in the rear of his own lines, which were used with fearful effect against us, firing over the heads of his own men. The ground we had to pass over was ascending, but the troops advanced in double quick time, and with a cheer went over the rifle pits in advance of the enemy's main line of works, killing and capturing a few of them-the greater part taking
refuge behind the main line of breastworks. Here the fighting was desperate, but like an unbroken wave, our maddened column rushed on, facing a continual stream of fire. After charging almost to the enemy's line, we were compelled to fall back, but only a short distance. The column reformed and charged again, but failed to dislodge the enemy. The brigade held its ground with unyielding determination-ever keeping afloat our flag to battle and breeze.
SLAUGHTER OF COLOR BEARERS.
Four out of five of the color-bearers who dared hold up that flag, went down to a heroic death. As often as the flag went down it was taken up and flaunted in the face of the enemy, holding an impregnable position. The hour was one of horror. Amid the incessant roar of cannon, the din of musketry, and the glare of bursting shells making the darkness intermittent-adding awfulness to the scene-the hoarse shouts of friend and foe, the piteous cries of wounded and dying, one could well imagine, (if it were proper to say it), that "war is hell." Further effort being useless, we were ordered to fall back a short distance under cover. To remain was certain capture, to retreat was almost certain death. Few, except the wounded and dead, were left behind. Here, these brave North Carolinians "stood, few and faint, but fearless still." The enemy did not follow or show any disposition to leave their defences.
LOSS OF OFFICERS AND MEN.
Our loss in officers and men was great. All the field officers of the Twenty-first were killed and wounded except Colonel W. W. Kirkland, who was after this fight, promoted to Brigadier-General. Here the lamented Colonel Isaac E. Avery, commanding the brigade, laid down his noble life on the altar of his country's freedom. Lieutenant-Colonel Rankin was badly wounded and left in the hands of the enemy, where he remained a prisoner throughout the war. It is recorded in Vol. 125, Official Records Union and Confederate Armies, that Private Oliver P. Rood was awarded
a medal for conspicuous bravery in capturing a flag of the Twenty first North Carolina Regiment in a charge on our lines at Gettysburg 3 July. As I have just stated above, a most frightful and determined conflict raged on the night of the 2nd. The ground was strewn with dead and wounded. Man after man went down, among them Major Alexander Miller, who picked up the flag after the first color-bearer fell. He soon shared the fate of the former. It was soon taken up by J. W. Bennett, Company F, who was, also, in quick succession, shot down. The colors were then taken by the writer and very soon after this, we fell back to the works, which we had just passed over a few paces and continued such a terrific fire upon the enemy, that their rifle fire was completely silenced, the enemy crouching behind their works. About this time Corporal Eli Wiley, Company M, asked permission to take the flag, saying he did not see it when it fell. It was given to him and after the writer had gone a few paces along the line, orders were given to retire at once, which was accomplished under a severe fusillade. We had retreated about twenty-five yards when I saw the flag for the last time. Corporal Wiley was killed, and left, together with the flag, in the lines of the enemy. In the darkness and confusion the flag was not missed until we had rallied under cover about the distance of two hundred yards. The enemy did not follow, or show any disposition to do so, as stated above. Soon all firing ceased and the battle was ended. This was 2 July, and as Private Rood claims to have captured the flag in a charge on our lines, 3 July, it is evident that he did not capture the flag in battle at all, as our regiment was not engaged after 2 July. Therefore, it is conclusive that he picked up the flag on the battle field on the following day, the 3rd, and it is altogether probable that he took the flag from the body of the dead hero who had been cold and stark in death for many hours. The regiment, brigade or corps, were not at any time charged by the enemy. On the other hand, the charging was all done by the Confederates and we reached Cemetery Heights, taking possession of their works, and if the attack had been pressed on our right, the enemy could have been prevented from concentrating upon
the brigades of Hoke and Hayes, compelling them to retire, after having victory in their grasp. For details, see General Early's report. We do not wish to detract from an antagonist any distinction, but the records should be kept straight. 4 July we, left Gettysburg, our division bringing up the rear of Lee's army. Halted at Hagerstown several days, then retired across the Potomac.
THE BATTLE OF PLYMOUTH.
The regiment was engaged in the memorable battle of Plymouth, N. C., 20 April, 1864, where it successfully assaulted the enemy's fortified position, the entire garrison surrendering to General Hoke. The enemy's position here was a very strong one, protected by forts and gun boats. About dark we were ordered to make an assault upon one of the outer forts up to which our brigade charged, time after time, with persistent courage and stern determination. In the third attempt the parapet was gained. Here the fighting was desperate and at close quarters and deadly-waxing hotter from beginning to finish. The commander of the fort, though mortally wounded, refused to surrender, cursing his lieutenant, (who had assumed command), for hoisting the white flag and surrendering.
INCIDENTS OF DARING COURAGE.
It was indeed a gallant defense. The Twenty-first Georgia and Twenty-first North Carolina Regiments, as at the first of the war, again fought side by side in this fierce conflict-mingling their voices together in the same deafening yell of triumph. Many of them were stricken down on this bloody field and many of them sleep in a common grave. In this fight officers and men in both regiments, vied with each other in deeds of unsurpassed courage. Where all acted as heroes, it would seem invidious to make any special mention of names, but I must call attention to the distinguished and daring courage of Captain James O. Blackburn, Company G, and Private Francis Clinard, Company A. Both fell far in advance of our line in making the assault. The command then
laid down under arms, in line of battle, among the dead and wounded, hearing all night the distressing cries of the wounded. Knowing what was before us, we slept but little, expecting to make an attack on the main fort near the town early the following day. But the Confederate ram, the "Albemarle," coming down the Roanoke river, sank or ran off the Federal gun boats. Then, after a brief and futile resistance to our combined land and naval forces, the entire garrison surrendered unconditionally to General Hoke, who paid the brigade a handsome tribute by saying: "My men, my confident expectations in you have been fully realized in this fight."
NEW BERN AND DREWRY'S BLUFF.
We then made a forced march to New Bern, N. C., and after a fierce combat, drove the enemy into his fortifications. Then we were hurriedly forwarded to Drewry's Bluff, where the regiment again met the veteran foe in another death struggle. The Federals were badly defeated and sent back to the protection of their gun boats on James river. In this battle the regiment held its position under very trying circumstances, being flanked both right and left.
3 July, 1864, engaged in the great battle of Cold Harbor, where Grant was repeatedly repulsed with a slaughter never equaled. It is said on this occasion he lost 10,000 men. His men sullenly refused to renew the charge. At this time the writer was in command of the division sharpshooters who were a considerable distance in front of our works, the enemy making a sharp attack on the skirmish line on our right. They began to fall back when General Ramseur rode up to me and said: "Don't fall back, hold your position at all hazards." He immediately wheeled his horse and left. Just then a shell burst directly in front of my horse over a rifle pit, killing five men, among them Lieutenant B. Y. Mebane, of the Sixth North Carolina Regiment. No braver or truer man ever went down in battle. General Ramseur then reappeared,
- TWENTY-FIRST REGIMENT.
- 1. W. W. Kirkland, Colonel.
- 2. Saunders Fulton, Colonel.
- 3. B. Y. Graves, Lieut.-Colonel.
- 4. Alexander Miller, Lieut.-Colonel.
- 5. W. J. Pfohl, Major.
- 6. James F. Beall, Major.
- 7. W. G. Foy, 1st. Lieut. and Adjutant.
ordering me to fall back at once. Turning to start off his horse tripped and fell, throwing his brave rider who rolled over and over in the dust. Horse and man seemed to rise together, and went away amidst a storm of shot and bursting shell. 18 July, after a forced and very tedious march, we met Hunter at' Lynchburg, who had made his murderous and marauding expedition up the valley, where many a fair mansion fell before the incendiary fire-brand. After a severe skirmish, he fled in the direction of Kanawha, W. Va. The regiment lost a few men in this fight.
A STREAM REDDENED WITH BLOOD.
Then began that memorable march down the valley to Washington City. 9 July we engaged the enemy in the battle of Monocacy, Md., near a railroad bridge. The enemy being badly defeated, fled to his fortifications around Washington. General Gordon, in his report of this battle, said: "I desire in this connection, to state a fact of which I was an eye witness, and which, for its rare occurrence, and the evidence it affords of the sanguinary character of this struggle, I consider worthy of official mention. One portion of the enemy's second line extended along a branch, from which he was driven, leaving many dead and wounded in the water and upon its banks. So profuse was the flow of blood from the killed and wounded, that it reddened the stream for more than one hundred yards below."
AGAIN AT WINCHESTER.
12 July we engaged the enemy in a severe skirmish in front of Fort Stephens, retreating the same night. 19 September engaged the enemy again at Winchester, after they had driven back in great confusion the divisions of Gordon and Ramseur. At no time during the war was the courage, en-durance and discipline of the regiment put to a greater test than in this battle. Amid great confusion, it fought with a desperation rarely equaled, and by its steadiness, contributed largely in preventing a disastrous rout. At no time was its
line broken. 20 September engaged the enemy at Fisher's Hill, where our entire command was driven back in great confusion; our division, in this retreat, again bringing up the rear. This regiment, in retreating column, fought the enemy several days, the enemy pressing us with great vigor all the time. In this retreat, the men suffered great fatigue, being poorly fed and clad, and miserably shod. They had no change of clothes for weeks.
THE ENEMY SURPRISED.
19 October, 1864, early in the morning, under cover of darkness and fog, we succeeded in surprising the enemy, and in turning his left flank, capturing many pieces of artillery and many prisoners. The enemy fell back in great confusion, with heavy loss, but being heavily re-enforced, rallied, and in turn assumed the offensive, and with overwhelming numbers made a most furious assault on the two divisions on our left, crushing them in detail. Our division looked helplessly on the terrible struggle-having all that we could at-tend to in our own front.
A TRYING ORDEAL.
During this battle, occurred one of the most trying ordeals of the writer's life. We were moving on the enemy, when the writer met his brother, Captain T. B. Beall, of the Fourteenth North Carolina Regiment, coming out desperately wounded through the lung, the blood spurting from his breast. There wasn't time to give him a word of sympathy, much less attention, leaving him as I then thought for the last time in this world. He had the good fortune soon after, to meet with an ambulance, which took him and the gallant Lieutenant W. G. Foy, of the Twenty-first North Carolina Regiment, who was also desperately wounded, to the field hospital. They received immediate attention, and both finally recovered, but were left more or less disabled for life. In this battle fell the lamented Ramseur.
PRIVATE JOHNSON'S HEROIC DEED.
Here I wish to relate the heroic deed of Private Johnson, (ambulance driver). General Ramseur was seen to fall, and Johnson was ordered by Major Pfohl to go after him, which he did under a terrific fire. He succeeded in getting him, but was overtaken and captured on the retreat. General Pegram seeing that the day was lost to the Confederates, ordered the division to fall back, saying: "Men, you must do this in order-firing as you retreat, for your own and the army's safety demand it." Never was greater heroism displayed by both men and officers than in this terrible retreat. Then the enemy, maddened by recent defeat, and flushed with sudden victory, with their whole line made a furious assault upon our discomfited line, which was driven back in great confusion. In our futile efforts to stem the tide of battle that threatened to overwhelm us, we lost many brave officers and men. Among the killed was the heroic Pfohl, commander of the regiment. No man ever exhibited in such a time greater coolness, skill and bravery, which excited the admiration of his men. In this fight near Strasburg, Va., ended our last attempt to invade the North by way of the Shenandoah. After this battle, the writer assumed command of the regiment, which he had the honor to hold until 24 March, 1865, when he was severely wounded at Petersburg in an assault on the enemy's lines.
The command was then sent to Petersburg, went into -winter quarters on Hatcher's Run, where it remained all winter, doing very fatiguing picket duty. 16 February, 1865, the regiment engaged the enemy in a very fierce combat on Hatcher's Run. It was here Captain Byrd Snow fell mortally wounded. He was in command of the regiment during this fight, as brave and true a soldier as ever drew sword in his country's honor. 24 March, 1865, this regiment, the advance of the assaulting column, successfully charged the enemy's works between Fort Steadman and Battery No. 10. Then turning right and left, captured several pieces of artillery
and many prisoners. When we were ordered to re-treat, the enemy's artillery fire was kept up so continuously, it was almost impossible to get back to our works. However, we brought back about all of our regiment except the wounded. General Grant in his report, claimed the Confederate loss was 4,000, but the number of Confederates engaged was not much more than half that.
THE LAST MARCH.
A few days after this the Army of Northern Virginia re-treated from Petersburg, falling back about a hundred miles or more, repeatedly giving battle, but finally from sheer exhaustion, surrendered at Appomattox. We did not lose a great many killed on this march, but it saddens me to think that any had to die, after going through the whole war, and when so near the end of it. In this last sad scene of the war, the Twenty-first North Carolina Regiment furled for-ever the flag to which she had added such lustre; to be embalmed in the affectionate remembrance of those who remained true to the end.
FIELD AND STAFF.
- W. W. KIRKLAND, Colonel commanding, June, 1861, promoted to Brigadier-General.
- ROBERT F. HOKE, Colonel, promoted to Major-General.
- GASTON LEWIS, Colonel, promoted to Brigadier-General.
- S. F. FULTON, Colonel, killed.
- JAMES M. LEACH, Lieutenant-Colonel, resigned.
- W. L. SCOTT, Lieutenant-Colonel, resigned.
- R. K. PEPPER, Lieutenant-Colonel, killed.
- B. Y. GRAVES, Lieutenant-Colonel, resigned.
- W. S. RANKIN, Lieutenant-Colonel, prisoner.
- ALEXANDER MILLER, Lieutenant-Colonel, killed.
- J. M. RICHARDSON, Major, resigned.
- W. J. PFOHL, Major, killed.
- JAMES F. BEALL, Major.
- WILLIAM Foy, Adjutant.
LIST OF CAPTAINS OF TWENTY-FIRST NORTH CAROLINA REGIMENT-J. H. Miller, Captain Company A; R. E. Wilson, Captain Company B; Byrd Snow, Captain Company C; R. A. Barrow, Captain Company D; John W. Beard, Captain Company F; Thos. B. Gentry, Captain Company G; James H. Jones, Captain Company H; Matthew C. Moore, Captain Company I; John L. Pratt, Captain Company K; John E. Gilmer, Captain Company M.
NOTE.-The loss of this regiment in killed, wounded and dead was at least 75 per cent. from the beginning to the end of the war. Forty or more combats and skirmishes of no minor importance are not included in this sketch and many incidents both instructive and amusing, might be given which would extend this paper to a much greater length, but the long list of names of wounded and killed speak more eloquently than tongue of the service of this regiment. I have avoided speaking of incidents connected with other commands, but have endeavored to confine myself to the deeds of the Twenty-first Regiment only. I have written what I saw or knew of my own personal knowledge and from information received from reliable and official sources.
SPECIAL MENTION.-Matthew Chamberlain, private, Twenty-first North Carolina Regiment, Stokes county, never had a furlough, never, missed a battle in which his regiment was engaged, never received a wound. He died in 1896. Strange to say there is no report of Company L in Moore's Roster.
The conduct of Lieutenant Logan T. Whitlock, who was in command of the sharpshooters at the battle Of Plymouth, cannot be too highly commended, and should not be omitted. It was ascertained that to make an assault upon the main fort the command would have to charge across a perfectly level and open field, which could not be done without great loss. At this critical time, where "to hesitate was to be lost," Whitlock volunteered to reconnoitre within the enemies lines. He found that he could go into the
town and get behind and close up to the enemy's fortifications by crawling along the bank of the river. The brigade followed Whitlock and his sharpshooters. After coming into position, near the fort, the attack was made and with the help of the Confederate Ram "Albemarle," the enemy immediately surrendered.
I wish to recall another incident worthy of observation of all ages. Lieutenant P. A. Oaks lost his arm at Cold Harbor. Some months after, he came to the regiment at Fisher's Hill. When he arrived, the regiment was on the line and under fire, and against the appeals of officers and men, he persisted in going into the fight. After fighting all the evening he was finally shot through the left breast. In a month or so Oaks was back with his regiment again, saying it was too lonesome to stay at home. The night before we engaged the enemy in the battles around Richmond, Private H. C. Walser, who was less than 18 years old, had his foot and ankle badly scalded. He was left in camp, excused by the surgeon, but soon after the firing commenced, Walser made his appearance bare-footed and went through the whole battle, in bamboo briers and mud and water up to his knees.
In conclusion, I cannot do better than to quote an extract from an address made by Colonel Chas. S. Venable, of General Lee's staff: "Comrades! we need not weave any fable, borrowed from Scandinavian lore into the woof of our history, to inspire our youth with admiration of glorious deeds in freedom's battles done ! In the true history of this Army of Northern Virginia which laid down its arms-not conquered, but wearied with victory, you have a record of deeds of valor, of unselfish consecration to duty, and faithfulness in death which will teach our sons, and son's sons how to die for liberty. Let us see to it that it shall be transmitted to them."
JAMES F. BEALL.
Linwood, N. C.,
9 April, 1901.
- TWENTY-FIRST REGIMENT.
- 1. Samuel C. James, Captain, Co. D.
- 2. J. B. Miller. Captain, Co. A.
- 3. J. E. Gilmer, Captain, Co. M.
- 4. John W. Miller, Captain, Co. D.
- 5. L. T. Whitlock, 1st Lieut., Co. C.
- 6. J. D. McIver, Sergeant, Co. A.
- 7. J. O. Blackburn, Captain, Co. G.
ADDITIONAL SKETCH TWENTY-FIRST
BY LIEUTENANT L. E. POWERS, COMPANY A.
BATTLE OF PORT REPUBLIC.
Shields occupied a commanding position. He had a six-gun battery on a plateau of the mountain that could sweep the whole field to the river, and there was no way to approach him without coming within its galling range. It was absolutely necessary that that battery should be silenced, and the only way to do so was to walk up to it and take it. With this battery in our hands, Jackson made short work of Shields. His army was soon routed and nearly all captured, which left us with that side of the river clear of foes and in peaceful possession of the bridge. Jackson had left nearly all of Ewell's Division, and perhaps part of the old division, confronting Fremont, who, as soon as he discovered we were fighting Shields, made an attack on Ewell and was repulsed at every point. It was in this engagement with Fremont that I saw a whole regiment annihilated at a single fire. It was the Seventh New York, composed of freshly imported Germans who could scarcely speak the English language intelligibly. They were so foolish as to attempt to march through an open clover field to a body of timber within our lines, with no sharp shooters in front to locate our position. Two regiments of my brigade, the Twenty-first Georgia and Sixteenth Mississippi, were posted behind a fence that ran along the edge of this woods. There was a large hollow in the clover field just in front of our position, behind the fence. The Germans came marching across the clover field in beautiful line, carrying their guns at "support arms." The Colonel walking back-wards in front of them, seeing that they preserved a perfect alignment just as though they were simply drilling. The Georgians and Mississippians were lying flat on the ground,
with their guns in the bottom crack of the fence. When the Germans got in the hollow above-mentioned, they could not be seen; but when they crossed it and came into view again, they were within fifty yards of the fence. Colonel Mercer, of the Twenty-first Georgia, who was commanding this detachment, sent an order down the line that if any man fired before he gave orders to fire, he would have him shot. As the Germans came up out of the hollow, their flag and that of the Georgians exactly confronted each other This gave the Mississippians an enfilading, or raking fire. The men had their sights drawn and their fingers on the triggers, and in a quiver of excitement they saw the Germans coming up out of the hollow and waited for the order to fire. Colonel Mercer made them hold their fire until they could be seen from their feet up. Our men had a full, clear view, a lying down rest and an unobstructed range of not more than forty yards. When the order "Fire!" rang out from Mercer, a volley from a thousand guns sounded in the air, and a thousand bullets flew to their deadly work. The poor Germans fell all across each other in piles.
ON TO RICHMOND.
We pushed on up the Valley until we struck the Virginia Central Railroad, where we found a lot of trains of cars awaiting us. So actively had this march been conducted, that not a person along our route knew that Jackson was moving until they saw the army marching by. We were packed in and on the cars almost like sardines in a box, and went whirling through the great Blue Ridge tunnel on to Richmond, or as near Richmond as it was advisable to go, and tumbled out of the cars, straightened out our limbs and took up the march for McClellan's rear.
BATTLE OF COLD HARBOR.
The battle of Cold Harbor, in which we were engaged the next day, 27 June, was a desperate and bloody one. I was still serving on the ambulance corps and had heavy work carrying the wounded back to the field hospital, where the field
surgeons would dress their wounds or amputate their limbs, as might be necessary. One of the finest and most efficient surgeons of the whole army was Dr. Tanner, a citizen of Fair-fax County, Virginia, who was assigned to our regiment and served 'with it nearly all the war. He had improvised a rough table, or couch, with a blanket spread over it, upon which we would lay the wounded men, and his quick trained eye soon discovered whether amputation was necessary or not. With his sleeves rolled up to his shoulders, he stood at that table and amputated feet and legs, and hands and arms, throwing them on a blanket spread on the ground, until there were as many as four men could carry off and bury. It was necessary to carry off this blanket full several times during the day. Under the influence of chloroform some of the poor fellows stormed and swore; some would sing, while others would lie still and quiet, as the scalpel and saw did their work. * * * This was the opening of a series of desperate and bloody battles, known in history as the "Seven Days' Battle," between McClellan and Lee, near the city of Richmond, in which the former, with a well fortified position and well equipped army, vastly outnumbering that of Lee, was driven from his fortifications and beaten back to the sheltering protection of a strong array of marshaled Fleets and forced to abandon the siege of a city he had commenced and conducted with so much eclat. In this series of battles there was so much fighting, so much charging and so many thrilling incidents and displays of personal and individual courage, that I pass over them, not having a sufficiently clear recollection at this time to relate them in detail.
We did not remain long in this camp. In fact, no part of the Army of Northern Virginia had much rest at any time during the active and bloody year of 1862. The armies of Fremont, Banks and Shields, whom we had so roughly handled in the Valley a short time previous, had been united and formed an invading column under the braggart, Pope, who declared that the only part of a rebel he had ever seen was his back, issuing his orders from headquarters in the sad-
dle, which would seem to boast, "I am going to do something. I am."
BATTLE OF CEDAR MOUNTAIN.
Learning of the advance of this column, we broke camp at Gordonsville and marched to meet it, determined that Pope should see our faces when we met. We en-countered our friend and commissary, Banks, at Cedar Mountain, where we were so persistent in presenting our faces to view that this part of Pope's army soon presented us a brief view of their backs and disappeared. In this battle I obtained the finest view of an engagement I ever had. Cedar Mountain is an isolated knob with a broad, open country all around it. From this elevated position we could plainly see the two lines approach, and when they opened fire and engaged in deadly strife, how my heart ached for the result as I looked upon this living panorama of war, with the greatest possible anxiety for the success of our men. As long as they stood and fired at each other the result was in great doubt; but when our men raised the "Rebel Yell," and swept down among them in an old-fashioned Confederate charge, that settled it. The Federals were swept from the field and driven off in confusion, and Banks was made to honor another requisition from Jackson on his commissary department.
It having been definitely ascertained that the army of McClellan was being withdrawn from the Peninsula and sent to Pope, General Lee began to transfer his army to the fields of Northern Virginia again. Jackson began one of his favorite movements to turn Pope's flank and get into his rear. To do this, we had to make a detour of sixty or seventy miles, sweeping around close to the foot of the Blue Ridge so as to turn his right flank. The march was a forced and vigorous one, so as to execute the movement before Pope could be apprised of our purpose. While marching up a river and about a mile from it, a regiment of the enemy crossed over, threw out a line of sharpshooters and began to reconnoiter our columns. They supposed, no doubt, that it was Mosby with his little battalion of bush-whackers, hanging on their
flanks and annoying them, as was his custom, and they would run him off before he could do them any mischief. They struck our column at our brigade. We quickly faced into line and charged them, running them back to the river, into which they plunged precipitately as they came to it. We rushed down to the bank and found the river full of Federals, struggling to reach the other bank, where many were climbing up out of the river. We paid no attention to those in the water, it being such a fair and tempting shot at those climbing the other bank. We were rolling them back in the river at a fearful rate when we were ordered to join the column and resume the march. We resumed our march and pressed forward with all the speed we could make. So rap-idly did we move from place to place, always turning up at a place entirely unexpected by the enemy, that we were known as "Jackson's Foot Cavalry." In fact, we could on long marches outmarch the cavalry during the latter part of the war. They could ride off from us for the first few days, but their horses being thin, would soon become jaded and we would overtake them and march on by them in a week's time.
We made a complete success of turning Pope's flank and marched around into his rear. We struck the railroad at a place called Brandy Station, distant only three or four miles from Manassas Junction, at about 11 o'clock at night. We had been there but a few minutes when we heard the whistle of a train in the direction of Pope's army, and discovered it was coming toward us. We tried to tear up a rail from the track but did not succeed before the train came thundering by. We fired a volley into it as it sped towards Manassas Junction. Soon we heard another whistle coming from the same direction. This time we succeeded in getting some rails up and turned them so as to cause the engine to jump the track down a steep embankment. We then moved up the road a short distance, and as it came by we fired a volley into it. The engineer pulled the throttle wide open and gave his engine all the steam. When it struck the turned rails, it jumped clear out from the rails and buried itself in the earth at the foot of the embankment. The cars tumbled into piles, leaving not more than half the train standing on the track.
Soon we heard another whistle, and moving up the road, greeted the train with a volley as it passed. The engineer did as the other, giving it all the speed he could, cut about half way through the cars standing on the track, scattering them in all directions and doubling up his own train into a jumbled mass. Soon we heard the whistle of another train, and treating it as we had the others, drove it headlong into the mass of wreckage that already encumbered the track. This was the last one to come down, and we had three long trains piled up in a mass of wreckage on the track. They were all long trains of empty box cars, filled up with rough, board seats, and were transporting McClellan's troops to Pope. The first engine we ditched was called "The President," and had a very fair picture of President Lincoln painted on the steam dome, with one of our bullet holes through his head.
If we had struck the trains going the other way, they would have been full of troops, and we would have made a big haul of prisoners. The first train that succeeded in passing us re-ported at the junction, where there was a company of artillery that Mosby's gang had fired on it as it passed Brandy Station and they might look out for an attack before day. But for this warning, we would have caught the artillerymen in their beds.
My regiment was sent forward to capture the junction, which we reached about 1 o'clock in the morning. The artillerymen, warned by the train that escaped us, had their guns loaded with grape shot and canister and were in position waiting for us. Grape shot are iron balls about the size of marbles, and a 12-pound gun is loaded with about a half gallon of them. Canister is a tin can about the size of a three-pound tomato can, sealed up full of musket halls loaded into the cannon that way. When fired, the can is torn to pieces and the bullets scatter out. Marching up to cannon loaded with grape and canister is rough medicine, but soldiers some times have to take it. We approached the station as silently and stealthily as we could and succeeded in covering behind some box cars standing on the track. We were wanting them to fire, knowing they would get a shot any way, but we were
dreading the fire at the same time. They held their fire until we got within a hundred yards, but we could not see them well enough to shoot them, and they were waiting to see us plainly. Finally we made such a noise among the cars they thought we were charging, and fired all four of their guns. Fortunately for us, their aim in the darkness was bad. Their grape shot and bullets went whistling over our heads, and no one was hurt. This was the opportunity we were wishing for. Their guns were now empty and we were careful not to give them time to load again. With a quick dash we were soon among them and made them all prisoners before they could reload their guns. Having secured our prisoners and arranged for their safe keeping, we laid down and slept soundly until next morning.
SECOND BATTLE OF MANASSAS.
The large warehouse full of rations that we had burned about six months before, had been rebuilt and was full of army supplies, this point being used as Pope's base. It will be observed that Jackson, with his corps only, was square in the rear of Pope's army, which consisted of the united forces of Banks, Fremont and Shields, with heavy reinforcements from McClellan's army. All this force was between us and the main body of our army. In addition to this, on the other side of us and not far off, was the main body of McClellan's great army, pressing up from Acquia creek to join Pope. We were exactly between these two great armies and completely cut off from our friends, and it looked as though they only had to move together and crush us with their mighty weight. The men as well as the generals knew that our position was an extremely critical one, but not one of us had any fears of being crushed or captured. That Jackson was with us and could lead us out, was felt and expressed. If our friends could not reach us before this great anaconda closed around us, we knew that Jackson would concentrate his strength on some weak point and cut his way through and walk off where he pleased. We all felt we were able to do that in a great emergency. We filled our haversacks and loaded our wagons
as well as several others, that we captured at the junction, with Federal rations, again drawing on our good commissary, Banks, for supplies. We then applied the torch to the remainder, again burning down Manassas warehouse full of provisions. Pope now realizing the situation, began to press down upon us with the view of crushing us before Lee could send us any assistance. We simply moved out a few miles from the junction and took position on a part of the ground on which the famous battle of Bull Run was fought a little more than a year previous. The lines, however, were nearly at a right angle to those of the previous battle, as we were being approched from a different direction. Pope had taken the precaution to place a force at each of the mountain passes to prevent reinforcements from reaching us, and began to press us with his whole army, making the attack on 29 Au-gust. This was the famous "Second Battle of Manassas," and was one of the most stubbornly fought battles of the war. Jackson had only his own corps during this first day's fight to withstand the surging mass of Federals that was hurled against him. But this he did in true Stonewall style, beating them back and holding our position throughout the day. In the meantime Longstreet was hastening with all possible speed to our assistance, and when he came to the mountain gap through which it was necessary for him to pass in order to reach us, he did not permit the force guarding it to be any obstacle in his way. He simply ran over them with his old veterans. He reached us late in the afternoon of the 30th, and was beating back Pope's left wing before that General knew he had crossed the mountains. On the morning of the 30th Pope hurled his forces against us with the evident intention of crushing us before other help could reach us, and it is doubtful if he yet knew that Longstreet was there waiting for him. He (Pope) had still been further reinforced from McClellan's army and, no doubt, felt able to run over us. During this day some of the hardest fighting that had occurred thus far was had. On one occasion the hostile forces met at a railroad fill and fought desperately by throwing stones across the fill at each other, neither side daring to cross it to the other.
We struck the enemy in a gully, or branch, that ran along a hollow. We came to a fence on the ridge about one hundred yards distant that seemed to run parallel with the enemy's position. We halted at this fence and quickly tore it down and piled the rails in front. It offered us good protection, where we lay down on the ground. We opened fire on the enemy, but it soon became so dark that we could not see the en-enemy's position, but we would fire at the flashes of their guns, as I suppose they would fire at our flashes. We received orders at one time to charge the enemy, and started to do so, but did not go many steps before we were ordered to halt and lie down again. Our regiment was commanded by the gallant Colonel Fulton, of Stokes County. It was during this little advance that he fell at my side, falling against me, shot through and killed outright. We slept on our arms, expecting to renew the battle at daylight, but when morning came the Federals were gone. We followed up the retreating enemy until he was safely back in the fortifications around Washington. General Pope had for once, at least, seen the rebels faces and had been forced, very reluctantly, no 'doubt, to show them his back. So great was his mortification after all of his intemperate boasting that as soon as he had his army safely behind the great fortifications of Washing-ton he resigned his commission and we never heard anything more of Pope. All the great and well equipped armies that had entered Virginia so cheerily in the early Spring, and marched on to Richmond, the Confederate Capital, confident of its capture, found themselves hurled back and cooped up in the fortifications around their own Capital and engaged in its defence.
THE CAPTURE OF HARPERS FERRY.
One the morning of the 15th, having everything ready, we opened a merciless fire upon the doomed garrison. From high up, almost over their heads and from every side, came the shower of shells pouring in upon them, from which their fortifications afforded no protection. In our immediate front, the ground was comparatively level, or rather it was not
so mountainous, and on the crest of a ridge the enemy had a strong line of entrenchments heavily manned. General Jack-son and staff were sitting on their horses near my regiment's position, watching the effect of the bombardment. A battery of artillery on our right, I think it was Little Lattimore's, that was playing on the enemy's line, limbered and galloped to the front, took a new position on a hill in two or three hundred yards of the enemy and fired as rapidly as I ever saw artillery handled in my life. It was, in fact, an artillery charge. Presently we saw Jackson turn to his couriers and speak a few words to them and immediately they went galloping off to the different divisions. Our hearts trembled. We knew the orders those couriers were carrying. It was the order for a general and simultaneous charge all along the line. The bristling line of bayonets behind strong fortifications, was a dangerous thing to approach and we knew that many of us would fall before we could hope to scale its ramparts and beat back its defenders. But while we were bracing our nerves in solemn dread for the deadly encounter, a thing occurred that sent a thrill of joy to every heart. On the enemy's works, in plain view, was unfurled and fluttered out in the breeze, the white flag of peace. The enemy had surrendered. Cheer after cheer rent the air. We had now accomplished the object of our recent campaign and supposed we would go into camp and have a rest, but to our surprise, three days' rations were issued with orders to cook them and be ready to march by 2 o'clock. Jackson did not even take time to receive the surrender, but left that honor to A. P. Hill, and when the sun went down on that victorious day we were many miles away retracing our steps over the same route we had come. We had been on a forced march for some days and in line of battle all the night previous, frequently shifting from one position to another, so that but little sleep or rest could be obtained and now we had to march all night, hastening to join Lee, who was in danger of being attacked by the united armies of McClellan.
Two or three miles from the ford, near a small town called Sharpsburg, we found the army in line of battle with the sharpshooters of the two armies popping away at each other.
I soon found my regiment in line, taking what rest and sleep they could, while awaiting the attack of the enemy. During the remainder of the day there was very little fighting, both armies manoeuvering for position. That night we slept on our arms in line of battle. We were so exhausted, not having camped for three or four days and nights previous, that as soon as we could get still we were asleep, depending on the sharpshooters in front to apprise us of the approach of the enemy. Next morning we repulsed an assault by the enemy in heavy force. After waiting for some time and seeing no disposition on the part of the enemy to make a further advance upon us, who rather seemed to enjoy standing there and shooting at us while we lay still and took it with-out molesting them, we concluded to take part in the play. We had a decided advantage of position, in that we were lying flat behind a fence and could not be seen, while they stood upright in the open ground and could be seen from their feet up, giving us their full length at which we could take deliberate and careful aim. The distance between us was about 300 yards, which is close and easy range for the good Enfield rifles with which we were now armed. When the "Ready" came, every man lying flat on his stomach, with the muzzle of his gun through the crack of the fence, took careful aim and when the order "Fire" rang out on the air, a sheet of flame shot out from the fence up and down its entire length, and a line of bullets on the wings of lightning sped over the bosom of the field on their hurried mission of death. When the smoke lifted, which it quickly did, it could be plainly seen that the line, so dark and full when our fingers pressed the triggers, was now full of long, open gaps, and staggering under the shock of the fire.
Then came the order "Forward, charge!" Over the fence we sprang and raising the yell, as the enemy called it, went at them with all speed.
In this charge the Color-Sergeant, whose name was Ryerson, I think, did a heroic thing. I am sorry I cannot be positive about his name, as he was a member of another company. He ran ahead of the advancing line to within 100 yards of the enemy's line of battle (which had been rein-
forced by a fresh line) and jumping upon a stump, waved the flag defiantly at the enemy, making himself a most conspicuous target for their marksmen. Of course, he could not have lived many seconds on that stump, but his brilliant dash had an inspiring influence on our entire line, which, raising the "Rebel Yell," rushed with such impetuosity upon the enemy that they were quickly driven from the field and the gallant Sergeant, amid the cheers of his comrades, descended from the stump unharmed. History loves to dwell upon the gallant act of Sergeant Jasper, in climbing the flag-staff under the enemy's bombardment, and restoring to its place the flag that had been shot down at Fort Moultrie, but Sergeant Jasper's act was one of prudence and safety, compared with the rashness and peril of that of Sergeant Ryerson.
BATTLE OF FREDERICKSBURG.
On 13 December the enemy opened the battle, moving a heavy force against our lines near Hamilton's Crossing, where Jackson's Corps was posted, with himself in personal command. They made a bold rush upon us, but we met them with such a storm of shell and canister and bullets that they were soon driven back. There was a place where our lines did not connect and a column of the enemy penetrated this gap and gained the crest of the hills; but we had a reserve line which raised the "Rebel Yell," and charged upon them and sent them flying down the hills again. In their retreat a large number of the enemy took shelter in a railroad cut that ran along the foot of the hills and our pursuing line charged right on over them, leaving them in the rear, while it pursued the others out in the open plain beyond. In returning to the lines all those men in the railroad cut were made prisoners, which they recognized themselves as being when we passed over them. The battle of Fredericksburg was now over, but we did not know it and we took advantage of the night to re-arrange our lines and strengthen our position for the next day's anticipated conflict. But when the morning of the next day came and we were bracing ourselves for another grapple with the enemy, we discovered in looking out over
the plain that they were not there. The enemy had learned by sad experience the impossibility of forcing us from our admirable position, and while we were busily engaged during the night in strengthening our position, he was silently re-moving to the other side of the river out of the range of our guns on those frowning hills.
L. E. POWERS,
Lieutenant Company A.
RUTHERFORDTON, N. C.
9 April, 1901.
NOTE.-Soon after Pope issued his braggart proclamation, above referred to, including his famous declaration his "Headquarters were in the saddle," news came rapidly of his successive and overwhelming defeats. Whereat the New York Herald, pithily and wittily said, "What else could you expect from a general who did not know his headquarters from his hindquarters." Copies of the paper got into the Southern lines and created much amusement.-ED.
- TWENTY-SECOND REGIMENT.
- 1. Johnston J. Pettigrew, Colonel.
- 2. Thos. D. Jones. Captain, Co. A.
- 3. Graham Daves, 1st Lieut. and Adjt.
- 4. W. W. Dickson, 2d Lieut., Co. A.
- 5. Walter Clark, 2d Lieut. and Drill Master.
BY ADJUTANT GRAHAM DAVES.
The Twenty-second Regiment of North Carolina Troops was organized in camp near Raleigh in July, 1861, by the election of the following Field Officers:
J. JOHNSTON PETTIGREW, Colonel, of Tyrrell County, then a resident of Charleston, S. C. Colonel Pettigrew had seen service with the forces in South Carolina, and commanded a regiment at the siege and capture of Fort Sumter by the Confederates in April, 1861.
JOHN O. LONG, Lieutenant-Colonel, of Randolph County, a graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point.
THOMAS S. GALLOWAY, JR., Major, of Rockingham County, a graduate of the Virginia Military Institute at Lexington, Va.
The commissions of the Field Officers all bore date of it July, 1861.
The regiment was composed, originally, of twelve companies, but two of them, C and D, were very soon transferred to other commands, and the lettering, A, B, E, F, G, H, I, K, L, and M, for the ten companies, was retained. This fact is mentioned because the lettering of the companies of this regiment as reported in the Register published by the Adjutant-General of the State in November, 1861, and in the roster of the troops published by the State in 1882, is incorrectly given.
The several companies at the time of their first enlistment, and before their organization into a regiment, adopted local names, which, as part of their history, it may be of interest to preserve:
Company A, of Caldwell County, Captain W. F. Jones,
was called the "Caldwell Rough and Ready Boys"; Company B, of McDowell County, Captain Jas. M. Neal, the "McDowell Rifles"; Company E, of Guilford County, Captain Columbus C. Cole, the "Guilford Men"; Company F, of Alleghany County, Captain Jesse IF. Reeves, the "Alleghany True Blues"; Company G, of Caswell County, Captain Edward M. Scott, the "Caswell Rifles"; Company H, of Stokes County, Captain Hamilton Scales, the "Stokes Boys"; Company I, of Randolph County, Captain Shubal G. Worth, the "Davis Guards"; Company K, of McDowell County, Captain Alney Burgin, the "McDowell Boys"; Company L, of Randolph County, Captain Robert H. Gray, the "Uwharrie Rifles"; Company M, of Randolph County, Captain John M. Odell, the "Randolph Hornets."
Companies C and D, which, as before mentioned, were transferred to other regiments, were named: Company C, of Surry County, Captain Reaves, the "Surry Regulators"; Company D, of Ashe County, Captain Cox, the "Jefferson Davis Mountain Rifles."
The organization of the regiment was completed by the appointment of Lieutenant Graham Daves, of Craven County, as Adjutant, 24 July, 1861; Dr. James K. Hall, of Guilford County, Surgeon, 24 July, 1861; Dr. Benj. A. Cheek, of Warren County, Assistant Surgeon, 24 July, 1861; James J. Litchford, of Wake County, Assistant Quartermaster, 19 July, 1861; Rev. A. B. Cox, of Alleghany County, 6 July, 1861, Chaplain; and Hamilton G. Graham (Company I), of Craven County, as Sergeant Major.
First called the Twelfth Volunteers, the regiment was shortly after numbered and designated the Twenty-second Troops. The change was made in the Adjutant General's office at Raleigh to avoid confusion. With the exception of the "Bethel Regiment," or First Volunteers, which served for six months only, the troops first enlisted were mustered into service for one year and were called volunteers. The Legislature, however, also authorized the enlistment of ten regiments "for three years or the war"-eight of infantry,
one of cavalry (Ninth), and one of artillery (Tenth), to be called "State Troops," and numbered one to ten. This would have caused the numbering of ten regiments each of "State Troops" and of "Volunteers" respectively to have been the same, and the numbers of the volunteer regiments were therefore moved forward ten. This will explain a change in the numbering of the regiments, to include the Fourteenth Volunteers, afterwards the Twenty-fourth Troops, which might not to be understood. A duplication of this sort in the numbering of certain regiments of Georgia and South Carolina troops did actually exist and caused much confusion.
The first Captain of A Company was W. F. Jones, of Caldwell County, who was succeeded by Thos. D. Jones, of the same. The entire number of rank and file in this company serving at one time or another during its whole term of service was 187 men. Company B had for its first Captain James M. Neal, of McDowell County, and numbered rank and file from first to last 171 men. Captain Columbus C. Cole, of Greensboro, commanded E Company, which numbered 184 rank and file, while in service. Jesse F. Reeves, of Alleghany County, was first Captain of F Company, which numbered 160 men during its term. J. A. Burns was Captain of G Company at the organization of the regiment, but was shortly after succeeded by John W. Graves. The company numbered in all 145 men. Hamilton Scales, of Stokes County, was Captain of H Company, which numbered in all 200 men. I Company's first Captain was Shubal G. Worth, of Randolph County. The company numbered 188 men all told. Alney Burgin, of McDowell County, was first Captain of K Company; Robert H. Gray, of L Company, and John M. Odell, of M Company, which numbered respectively, during their several terms of service, 151, 178 and 146 men. These figures are mentioned here for convenience, and represent, of course, enlistments and assignments for the whole period of the war. At the completion of its organization the regiment numbered nearly 1,000 enlisted men. Shortly after its organization it was ordered to Virginia, and made its first halt
in Richmond. Remaining in camp there for a short time, it was next ordered to the Potomac to form part of the command of General Theophilus H. Holmes, and was first stationed at Brook's Station near Acquia Creek. Soon, however, it marched to Evansport, a point on the Potomac river, the present Quantico Station, between the Chappewamsic and Quantico creeks, where batteries of heavy guns were to be established to blockade the Potomac below Washington. Going into camp at this place late in September, the regiment was stationed there during the Autumn and winter of 1861-'62, on duty in the erection and support of the batteries which were in great part constructed by details of its men. There were three of these batteries at first, mounted with 9-inch Dalghren guns, smooth bore 32 and 42 pounders, and one heavy rifled Blakely gun, and they were thought to be formidable in those days. No. 2 Battery was in part manned by Company I, of the regiment, detailed for that purpose, where it continued to serve as long as the post was occupied. After the batteries opened, traffic by water to Washington ceased almost entirely, but the river there being about two miles wide, some craft succeeded in running the gauntlet from time to time, among others. the steam sloop of war Pensacola, which passed at night.
While on duty at Evansport, about the middle of October, 1861, the following roster of the line officers of the regiment, with dates of their commissions, was returned:
COMPANY A-Thomas D. Jones, Captain, 8 August, 1861; J. B. Clark, First Lieutenant, 8 August, 1861; Felix G. Dula, Second Lieutenant, 8 August, 1861; Wm. W. Dickson, Second Lieutenant, 8 August, 1861.
COMPANY B-James H. Neal, Captain, 8 May, 1861; A. G. Halyburton, First Lieutenant, 8 May, 1861; J. M. Higgins, Second Lieutenant, 8 May, 1861; Samuel H. Adams, Second Lieutenant, 8 May, 1861.
COMPANY E-Columbus C. Cole, Captain, 23 May, 1861;
H. E. Charles, First Lieutenant, 23 May, 1861; W. H. Faucett, Second Lieutenant, 23 May, 1861; John N. Nelson, Second Lieutenant, 27 July, 1861.
COMPANY F-Preston B. Reeves, Captain, 10 September, 1861; John Gambol, First Lieutenant, 11 September, 1861; Horton L. Reeves, Second Lieutenant, 27 May, 1861; George Mc. Reeves, Second Lieutenant, 27 August, 1861.
COMPANY G-John W. Graves, Captain, 11 October, 1861; J. J. Stokes, First Lieutenant, 28 May, 1861; P. Smith, Second Lieutenant, 28 May, 1861; John N. Blackwell, Second Lieutenant, 24 August, 1861.
COMPANY H-Hamilton Scales, Captain, 1 June, 1861; Ephraim Bouldin, First Lieutenant, 1 June, 1861; S. Martin, Second Lieutenant, 1 June, 1861
COMPANY I-Shubal G. Worth, Captain, 5 June, 1861; E. H. Winningham, First Lieutenant, 12 August, 1861; Alex. C. McAllister, Second Lieutenant, 12 August, 1861; Hamilton C. Graham, Second Lieutenant, 15 August, 1861.
COMPANY K-Alney Burgin, Captain, 5 June, 1861; Chas. H. Burgin, First Lieutenant, 5 June, 1861; A. W. Crawford, Second Lieutenant, 5 June, 1861; Isaac E. Morris, Second Lieutenant, 5 June, 1861.
COMPANY L-Robert H. Gray, Captain, 18 June, 1861; Claiborne Gray, First Lieutenant, 18 June, 1861; J. A. C. Brown, Second Lieutenant, 18 June, 1861; W. G. Spencer, Second Lieutenant, 18 June, 1861.
COMPANY M-John M. Odell, Captain, 10 June, 1861; Laban Odell, First Lieutenant, 10 June, 1861; J. M. Pounds, Second Lieutenant, 10 June, 1861; Henry C. Allred, Second Lieutenant, 10 June, 1861.
At different times during its entire term of service the following were line officers of the Twenty-second Regiment; the list is not quite complete:
COMPANY A-Captains: W. F. Jones, Thomas D. Jones, James M. Isbell, Wm. B. Clark. Lieutenants: Joseph B. Clark, James W. Sudderth, Felix G. Dula, Wm. W. Dickson, Marcus Deal, J. W. Justice.
COMPANY B-Captains: James M. Neal, J. T. Conley, George H. Gardin. Lieutenants: Samuel H. Adams, James M. Higgins, Robert A. Tate, S. P. Tate.
COMPANY E-Captains: Columbus C. Cole, Chas. E. Har per,
Joseph A. Hooper, Martin M. Wolfe, Robert W. Cole, Lieutenants: Andrew J. Busick, W. H. Faucett, Jas. H. Hanner, John N. Nelson, O. C. Wheeler.
COMPANY F-Captains: Jesse F. Reeves, Preston B. Reaves, W. L. Mitchell, S. G. Caudle. Lieutenants: John Gamboll, N. A. Reynolds, David Edwards, Horton S. Reeves, Calvin Reeves, George G. Reeves, Calvin C. Carrier.
COMPANY G-Captains: Edward M. Scott, J. A. Burns, John W. Graves, Stanlin Brinchfield. Lieutenants: O. W. Fitzgerald, James T. Stokes, Peter Smith, J. N. Blackwell, B. S. Mitchell, Martin H. Cobb.
COMPANY H-Captains: Hamilton Scales, Ephraim Bouldin, Wm. H. Lovins. Lieutenants: S. Martin, C. C. Smith, John K. Martin, Sam B. Ziglar, Shadrach Martin, Joshua D. Ziglar.
COMPANY I-Captains: Shubal G. Worth, Geo. V. Lamb. Lieutenants: Robert Hanner, Eli H. Winningham, John H. Palmer, B. W. Burkhead, Wm. McAuley, Hamilton C. Graham, Alex. C. McAllister, J. S. Robbins, R. A. Glenn, R. W. Winbourne.
COMPANY K-Captains: Alney Burgin, Chas. H. Burgin, Wm. B. Gooding, E. J. Dobson. Lieutenants: Isaac E. Morris, A. W. Crawford, J. L. Greenlee, J. B. Burgin, John M. Burgin, J. E. Bailey.
COMPANY L-Captains: Robert H. Gray, J. A. C. Brown, Lee Russell, Yancey M. C. Johnson. Lieutenants: Claiborn Gray, Wm. G. Spencer, E. C. Harney, Oliver M. Pike, Calvin H. Welborn.
COMPANY M-Captains: John M. Odell, Laban Odell, Warren B. Kivett, Columbus F. Siler. Lieutenants: J. M. Robbins, James M. Pounds, Henry C. Allred, Lewis F. McMasters, John M. Lawrence, A. W. Lawrence.
Besides the Lieutenants named above, the Captains of the several companies had in nearly every instance served as Lieutenants previous to their promotion. Hon. Walter Clark, now senior Justice of the Supreme Court of the State, who will compile and edit the histories of our North Carolina Regiments, was at its organization a drill master in the Twenty-second.
He was then not yet 15 years of age, fresh from Colonel Tew's Military Academy at Hillsboro.
Until March, 1862, the regiment remained in support of the batteries at Evansport, in brigade at different times with the First Arkansas, the Second Tennessee, a Virginia regiment, and perhaps other regiments, under command at different times, in the order named, of Generals John G. Walker, Isaac R. Trimble and Samuel G. French. While there the health of the men was good, except for measles, which seemed to be epidemic in all the regiments. The batteries were frequently engaged with the enemy's gunboats, and with batteries on the Maryland side of the Potomac, but the casualties were very few. Company I had several men wounded by the bursting of a 42-pounder gun in Battery No. 2. While on duty at Evansport, Colonel Pettigrew was promoted Brigadier-General, but feeling that his services were of more value in furthering the re-enlistment and re-organization of the regiment, then near at hand, he declined the appointment-a rare instance of patriotism and devotion to the public good. When the army fell back from Manassas and the Potomac in March, 1862, to the line of the Rappahannock, General French commanded the brigade, which took post at Fredericksburg. Soon after General French was transferred to a command in North Carolina, and the regiment was marched to the Peninsula below Richmond and shared in the Williamsburg and Yorktown campaign. Returning to the vicinity of Richmond, and Colonel Pettigrew having been again appointed brigadier, in command of the brigade, which appointment he this time accepted, Lieutenant-Colonel Chas. E. Lightfoot, previously of the Sixth Regiment, was promoted Colonel. Under his command the regiment went into the fight at Seven Pines in May-June, 1862, in which it was heavily engaged, and its losses were severe. General Pettigrew was here wounded and made prisoner. Colonel Lightfoot was also captured. Captain Thomas D. Jones and Lieutenant S. H. Adams were killed, besides many others, and the aggregate loss of the regiment was 147 in all.
Soon after Seven Pines the regiment was re-organized, when the following were elected Field Officers: James Connor, of South Carolina, Colonel; Captain Robert H. Gray, of Company L, Lieutenant-Colonel; and Captain Columbus C. Cole, of Company E, Major. They took rank from 14 June, 1862. There were many changes also in the line officers. Previously Adjutant Graham Daves had been promoted Captain and assigned to duty as Assistant Adjutant-General on the general staff, and Lieutenant P. E. Charles became Adjutant. A new brigade, too, was formed, consisting of the Sixteenth, Twenty-second, Thirty-fourth and Thirty-eighth North Carolina Regiments, and placed under the command of Brigadier-General Wm. D. Pender, in the division of General A. P. Hill.
An officer in describing the bearing of the Twenty-second at Seven Pines says: "In all my readings of veterans, and of coolness under fire, I have never conceived of anything surpassing the coolness of our men in this fight."
In the "Seven Days' Fight" around Richmond the regiment was next engaged: First, at Mechanicsville, 26 June, in which Colonel Connor was badly wounded; at Ellison's Mill; at Gaines' Mill, 27 June, where it won the highest encomiums. General A. P. Hill says of it in his report of the battle: "The Sixteenth North Carolina, Colonel McElroy, and the Twenty-second, Lieutenant-Colonel Gray, at one time carried the crest of the hill, and were in the enemy's camp, but were driven back by overwhelming numbers." And General Pender: "My men fought nobly and maintained their ground with great stubbornness." Next at Frazier's Farm, 30 June. In this fight the regiment was very conspicuous and suffered severely. Among the killed were Captain Harper and Lieutenant P. E. Charles, of Company E. The latter was bearing the regimental colors at the time, and near him, in a space little more than ten feet square, nine men of the color guard lay dead. Captain Ephraim Bouldin, of Company H, was also killed.
On 9 August, the battle of Cedar Mountain was fought. In this engagement the Twenty-second Regiment was charged by a regiment of cavalry which it easily repulsed and punished
sharply. Lieutenant Robert W. Cole, of Company E, succeeded Lieutenant Charles, as Adjutant. The regiment was with Jackson in his battles with Pope of 28 and 29 August, and bore an active part at Second Manassas on 30 August. In these actions it was efficiently commanded by Major C. C. Cole, owing to the extreme sickness of Lieutenant-Colonel Gray. Two days later it was again engaged with the enemy at Chantilly, or Ox Hill, fought in a terrible thunder storm, in which the artillery of heaven and of earth seemed to strive in rivalry. The hard service and heavy losses of this campaign may be understood by the fact that at this time there were, out of the twelve field officers of the four regiments of the brigade, but three left on duty with their commands, and some of the companies were commanded by corporals.
Pope, the braggart, had made good use of his "Headquarters in the saddle" to get out of Virginia, and had learned all about "Lines of Retreat."
The Twenty-second Regiment took part in the reduction and capture of Harper's Ferry 15 August, where it remained until the 17th, the day the battle of Sharpsburg was fought. On that day the regiment, with the rest of A. P. Hill's division, arrived on the battlefield after a forced march of seventeen miles, in time to aid, in the afternoon, in the decided repulse of Burnside's attack at the "Stone Bridge," thereby preventing the turning of General Lee's right and saving the day to the Confederates. On the night of the 18th, the army re-crossed the Potomac and on the 19th was followed by a division of Federals, which was promptly attacked by part of A. P. Hill's command, routed and driven back across the Potomac at Shepherdstown with great slaughter. The Twenty-second took an active part in this successful fight. After the enemy had been driven into the river, a heavy fire was opened on the Confederates by the Federal batteries and sharp shooters from its north bank. Under this fire a detachment of the Twenty-second under Major Cole lay, with very slight protection, for nearly twelve hours, and could be withdrawn only after nightfall.
Shortly after Shepherdstown, Lieutenant-Colonel Gray re-joined the regiment, and Lieutenant J. R. Cole, previously
of the Fifty-fourth Regiment, was assigned to the Twenty-second as Adjutant. On 22 November, A. P. Hill's Division, which had been on duty near Martinsburg and at Snicker's Gap in the Blue Ridge, (where there was constant skirmishing), marched for Fredericksburg, where it arrived 2 December, a distance of 180 miles. In this winter march many of the men were barefooted but made merry over it. At the battle of Fredericksburg, 13 December, Jackson's Corps formed the right of Lee's army and Pender's Brigade was on the left of A. P. Hill's Division in the first line. The regiment acquitted itself in this famous action in a way well worthy its old reputation. The night of the 12th a detail from the regiment, by a bold dash, succeeded in burning a number of haystacks and houses very near to, and affording cover, to the Federal lines. Major C. C. Cole was in charge of the detail, and next day commanded the skirmish line in front of Pender's Brigade. He was ably. seconded by Captain Laban Odell, of Company M, and Lieutenant Clark, of Company A. The brigade maintained its position throughout the action, repulsing every attack upon it, but not without heavy loss. Major Cole was much complimented for his handsome action in dispersing the strong force of the enemy's skirmishers on the brigade front. General Pender was wounded, and his Aid-de-Camp, Lieutenant Sheppard, was killed in the engagement. Some time before Fredericksburg the Thirteenth North Carolina Regiment, Colonel Alfred M. Scales, had been added to Pender's Brigade.
The winter of 1862-63 was passed in picket and other duty on the Rappahannock below Fredericksburg. Colonel James Connor rejoined the regiment while it was stationed there, but was still unfitted by his severe wound for active duty. The services of Lieutenant-Colonel Gray were lost to the regiment at this time. Always a man of delicate health, he died 16 March, 1863. Major C. C. Cole was promoted to Lieutenant-Colonel and Captain Odell became Major, their commissions dating 16 March, 1862-positions that these excellent, officers were to hold but a short time.
At Chancellorsville in May, 1863, the regiment was in
- TWENTY-SECOND REGIMENT.
- 1. J. B. Clarke, 1st Lieut.. Co. A.
- 2. Sion H. Oxford, Ensign.
- 3. S. F. Harper. Private, Co. A
- 4. William T Abernathy, Private,Co. A.
- 5. Aurelius J. Dula. Private, Co. A
Jackson's flank attack on Hooker, and throughout the whole of the action was heavily engaged. Its losses were very severe. Colonel Cole and Major Odell were both killed, two hundred and nineteen men and twenty-six out of thirty-three officers were killed or wounded, and though the regiment was distinguished by its accustomed efficiency and gallantry, nothing could compensate for this terrible destruction. Chancellorsville was the eighteenth battle of the Twenty-second Regiment, and the most fatal. It went through the Maryland campaign of 1863, and Gettysburg, with credit. General Wm. D. Pender had been made a Major General and was now in command of the division, and Colonel Alfred M. Scales, of the Thirteenth Regiment, was promoted Brigadier in command of the brigade. It participated in the first day's brilliant success at Gettysburg, was engaged also on the second day, and on the third the brigade was part of General I. R. Trimble's division, General Pender having been mortally wounded, in support of Heth's division, then under Pettigrew, in the famous charge on Cemetery Ridge. In this charge, Archer's and Scales' brigades occupied and held for a time the Federal works, and when they retreated to the Confederate lines, Scales' Brigade had not one Field Officer left for duty, and but very few Line Officers. Its total loss was 102 killed and 322 wounded.
After the return of the regiment to Virginia it was re-organized, when Thomas S. Galloway, Jr., at one time its Major, was elected Colonel, to date from 21 September, 1863; Wm. L. Mitchell was Lieutenant-Colonel; J. H. Welborn, Adjutant; J. D. Wilder, Quartermaster; P. G. Robinson, Surgeon. Benj. A. Cheek was still Assistant Surgeon. The Line Officers, with dates of commission, were as follows:
COMPANY A-Captain, Wm. B. Clark, 12 October, 1862; First Lieutenant, Joseph B. Clark, 28 October, 1862; Second Lieutenant, Wm. A. Tuttle, 25 April, 1863.
COMPANY B-Captain-; First Lieutenant, Robert A. Tate, 1 August, 1863; Second Lieutenant, George H. Gardin, 11 May, 1863; Second Lieutenant, Samuel P. Tate, 1 August, 1863.
COMPANY E-Captain, Robert W. Cole, 15 September, 1863; First Lieutenant, Andrew J. Busick, 15 September, 1863; Second Lieutenant, Oliver C. Wheeler, 25 April, 1863.
COMPANY F-Captain-; First Lieutenant, David Edwards, 20 October, 1862; Second Lieutenant, Shadrach G. Caudle, 25 April, 1863.
COMPANY G-Captain, George A. Graves, 1 May, 1862; First Lieutenant, Peter Smith, 10 May, 1862; Second Lieutenant, Robert L. Mitchell, 1 May, 1862; Second Lieutenant, Martin H. Cobb, 25 April, 1863.
COMPANY H-Captain, Thomas T. Slade, 23 October, 1863; First Lieutenant, John K. Martin, 25 May, 1863; Second Lieutenant, Mason T. Mitchell, 25 April, 1863; Second Lieutenant, C. L. Graves, 25 May, 1863.
COMPANY I-Captain, Gaston V. Lamb, 18 July, 1862; First Lieutenant, Burwell W. Burkhead, 1 July, 1863; Second Lieutenant, Richard W. Winburne, 1 August, 1863; Second Lieutenant, Robert A. Glenn, 1 August, 1863.
COMPANY K-Captain, W. B. Gooding, 13 November, 1862; First Lieutenant,-; Second Lieutenant E. J. Dobson, 5 November, 1862.
COMPANY L-Captain, Lee Russell,-; First Lieutenants, Yancey M. C. Johnson, 1 August, 1863; Second Lieutenant, Oliver M. Pike, 15 July, 1863; Second Lieutenant, Calvin H. Winborne, 1 August, 1863.
COMPANY M-Captain, Columbus F. Siler, 2 May, 1863; First Lieutenant, James M. Robbins, 2 May, 1863; Second Lieutenant, John M. Lawrence, 25 April, 1863.
Under this organization the regiment shared in the events of the "campaign of strategy" in October and November, 1863, on the Rapidan, and endured the cold and other privations in the affair at Mine Run, 2 December. Going into winter quarters after that, there were no occurrences of much note until the opening of the great campaign in the Spring of 1864. Major-General Cadmus M. Wilcox had been assigned to the command of the division, General Pender having died of the wound received at Gettysburg, and this division with that of Heth, at the Wilderness
5 May, withstood and repulsed with heavy loss every attack of Grant's forces on that memorable day. So severe had been the struggle that at night when General Heth asked permission to readjust his lines, much disordered by the persistent fighting, General A. P. Hill simply replied: "Let the tired men sleep," a decision which, with the delay of Lonstreet's corps the next morning in getting into position, had nearly caused disaster. The Twenty-second bore well its part here, and so on, always maintaining its high reputation, at Spottsylvania, North Anna, Cold Harbor, and through the weary winter of hardship and want of 1864-'65, borne with fortitude, in the trenches at Petersburg; on the trying retreat at Appomattox in April, 1865, where the sad end came.
After Grant's disastrous attack upon Lee at Cold Harbor in June ,1864, he withdrew from Lee's front and began the movement which transferred his operations to the vicinity of Petersburg. To conceal this movement Warren's Corps was sent up the roads towards Richmond to make demonstrations, and to meet Warren, Wilcox's Division, in which were Scales' Brigade and the Twenty-second Regiment, was sent. After a hard march Gary's Brigade of cavalry was found falling back before a heavy force and Lane's and Scales' Brigades of infantry were at once ordered forward. These drove back Wilson's cavalry division for one and a half miles, and secured and held a crossroads near a place called Smith's Shop, in the vicinity of the Frazier's Farm battlefield. In this fight and advance (of more than an hour) the centre of the Twenty-second Regiment passed at one time over an open knoll, which had been cleared for artillery two years before, where they received the full fire of Wilson's men and lost heavily, but still pressed on, driving the enemy before them, and held the position as mentioned above.
In his account of this action in August, 1864, Swinton errs in saying that three charges were made by the Confederates,
two of which were repulsed. The first charge, as he terms it, was merely an advance of a battalion of sharpshooters, under Captain John Young, which drove in the Federal pickets and skirmishers. Captain Young reported that there was only a line of picket pits in our front. Under this impression the Sixteenth, Twenty-second and Thirty-fourth North Carolina regiments, and Benning's Georgia Brigade, were ordered to charge. On reaching the edge of the woods, Benning's men, seeing a strong line of works, well manned, in their front, were halted. The Twenty-second Regiment charged up to the works, but, having lost their support on their right, were withdrawn. They were not repulsed. Private Ellison, of Company L, snatched an United States flag from the earth works in this charge, and brought it away with him. Shortly after this Lane's, MacRae's and another brigade of Heth's Division, with the Twenty-second Regiment covering their left flank, charged the position and carried the works in splendid style. Hampton's cavalry shared in the attack and rendered most efficient service.
An incident worthy of record occurred in the winter of 1864-'65, while the Twenty-second North Carolina was on duty on the lines south of Petersburg, Va., in support of Battery 45. General A. P. Hill, commanding the corps, was desirous of getting certain information with regard to the force and position of the enemy on his front. This he thought might be obtained by the capture of some prisoners, and he directed General A. M. Scales, commanding brigade, to make a foray on the skirmish line or picket posts of the enemy opposite his lines. General Scales detailed Captain C. Frank Siler, of Company M, of the Twenty-second North Carolina, to undertake the expedition with a part of the sharpshooters of the brigade.
Captain Young, who commanded the sharpshooters, was temporarily absent. Siler was ordered to report to General James H. Lane and get a reinforcement from the sharpshooters of that brigade, but before making the move, Siler wished to reconnoitre the position. To effect this thoroughly, he adopted a ruse. Crossing to the Yankee lines he offered, with the usual signals, to exchange newspapers, as was often
done. While haggling about the exchange he examined the position and its surroundings carefully and selected a path by which it might be approached advantageously. Returning to his command, he rode over to General Lane's quarters to get the reinforcements as ordered, General Scales having loaned him a horse for the purpose. Now, for the better defence of Battery 45, the men of the Twenty-second had dammed up a small stream in its vicinity which had the effect of collecting much water in the battery's front and rendering the approach to it very difficult. Along the top of this dam was the shortest route between the two brigades, and over it Siler attempted to ride. It was very dark, however, and, as he afterwards discovered, his horse was "moon-eyed," and in consequence, horse and man tumbled off the dam into the water and mud seventeen feet below. Nothing daunted, and in spite of cold and bruises, he fished himself and horse out, and after much tribulation he succeeded, "accoutred as he was," in finding Major Wooten, who commanded Lane's sharpshooters, and got the detail wanted. Uniting them with his own men they all proceeded quietly to the Yankee rifle pits by the path Siler had previously selected. Arrived at the pits, they found all there asleep except a sentinel in front of the works, upon whom they closed before he could discharge his piece. The sentry ran into the works and tried to use his bayonet, but Siler turned it aside and secured him before he could give the alarm. The command then swept up and down the rifle pits, and after capturing sixty men, made good their retreat with their prisoners, to the Confederate lines, not, however, without receiving a heavy fire from the Yankees, who had recovered from their surprise, which, owing to the darkness, fortunately, did no damage. From some of the prisoners captured all information wanted was obtained, and Captain Siler and his men were highly complimented for their gallant action.
An incident, well worth recording, happened near this station, after our troops had evacuated the works on Hatcher's
Run. Colonel Galloway, of the Twenty-second Regiment, who was temporarily in command of Scales' Brigade, sent Companies I, L, and M, of that regiment-all of Randolph County-under command of Captain C. F. Siler, of Company M, to hold a woods a little in advance on his right. An ammunition wagon had broken down near by and Captain Siler had several boxes of cartridges carried to his line and distributed. From this position he repelled with his small command, two attacks of a full regiment, and held it until he was ordered to retire. Captain Siler was an excellent man and officer, equally at home in a fight or a revival, and efficient in both.
Colonel Thos. S. Galloway is still living. His residence is now in Somerville, Tenn.
Dr. Benj. A. Clark, of Warren County, who was with the Twenty-second Regiment as Assistant Surgeon, or as Surgeon, during the entire war, reported in the Spring of 1865 that, up to that time, the death roll of the regiment amounted to 580.
It is worthy of note that the brunt of the fight on the right, in the first day's struggle at the Wilderness in May, 1864, was borne by Heth's and Wilcox's divisions of A. P. Hill's Corps. They maintained their positions and repelled all attacks all day, of a superior force, successfully. The Twenty-second Regiment was in Wilcox's Division, and was heavily engaged.
The Twenty-second Regiment served throughout the war in the Army of Northern Virginia, and participated actively in every action of consequence in which that army was engaged, except the first battle of Manassas.
At Seven Pines, Company A, of the regiment, took into action one hundred men, of whom eighteen were killed, or mortally wounded, besides the Captain, Thos. F. J ones. At Shepherdstown four were killed out of thirty engaged. At Chancellorsville eight out of thirty-five; at Gettysburg four out of thirty.
In all, out of about 180 who served with the company during the whole period of the war, 44 were killed outright, 10 were discharged as disabled by wounds, 13 were discharged
under the provisions of the Conscript Act, and 23 died of sickness.
Private A. J. Dula, of Company A, was standing very near General "Stonewall" Jackson when the latter received his death wound at Chancellorsville.
In Vol. 125, "Official Records Union and Confederate Armies," p. 816, claim is made by Corporal Thomas Cullen, of Company I, Eighty-second New York Volunteers, that he captured the flag of the Twenty-second North Carolina Regiment in the fight at Bristoe Station, Va., 14 October, 1863, "while advancing under fire." The claim is a very absurd one, and looks like a bid by the corporal for a little notoriety at the expense of the truth. The Twenty-second North Carolina Regiment was not in the engagement at Bristoe at all, nor did any part of Scales' Brigade participate in that action. In further proof, if it were needed, the statement of the Colonel then in command of the Twenty-second Regiment, with regard to the claim, is appended, and it will he seen that his denial of the claim is most positive. His remarks are in reply to an inquiry from the writer who wished to have the Colonel's official corroboration of his own knowledge of the facts in the case:
"In reply I have to say, and I do so emphatically, that the statement is untrue. I was, at the time of that action, Colonel in command of the Twenty-second Regiment North Carolina Troops, and know positively that my regiment was not engaged at Bristoe at all. We did not arrive on the field until the fighting was over. I can further state that the Twenty-second North Carolina Regiment never lost a flag while I commanded it, from 23 September, 1863, to Appomattox.
"Very truly your friend,
"THOMAS S. GALLOWAY,
"Late Colonel Twenty-second Regiment, N. C. Troops, Infantry."
15 November, 1900.
It may not be amiss to add that Corporal Cullen is reported
as stating that he "captured the flag of the Twenty-second or Twenty-eighth North Carolina Regiment at Bristoe Station, 14 October, 1863, while advancing under fire." His statement as to the Twenty-eighth North Carolina is as untrue as that as to the Twenty-second. The Twenty-eighth Regiment was of General James H. Lane's Brigade, of Wilcox's Division, and was not in the engagement at Bristoe. The brigades most actively engaged in that disastrous fight were Cooke's and MacRae's, of Heth's Division, A. IF. Hill's Corps.
It is significant that the report of these flag captures, of which there purport to be many, (Vol. 125, p. 814-817, "Official Records Union and Confederate Armies,") adds, after recounting Corporal Cullen's doughty exploit, that he is "now a prisoner of war."
Quere.-As there were no exchanges of prisoners at the time, is it not probable that it was Cullen, and not the flag, that was captured at Bristoe? Something seems to have confused his memory.
At the surrender at Appomattox 9 April, 1865, the brigade was under command of Colonel Joseph H. Hyman, of the Thirteenth Regiment, (of Edgecombe county), and numbered, all told, 720 men, of whom 92 were officers, of the different grades, and 628 were enlisted men. Of the Twenty-second Regiment there were paroled 97 men and the following officers: Colonel, Thomas S. Galloway, Jr.; Lieutenant-Colonel, W. L. Mitchell; Captains, George H. Gardin, Company B; Robert W. Cole, Company E; Gaston V. Lamb, Company I; E. J. Dobson, Company K; Yancey M. C. Johnson, Company I; Columbus F. Siler, Company M. Lieutenants: Wm. A. Tuttle, Company A; Samuel P. Tate, Company B; Andrew J. Busick, Company E; W. C. Orrell, Company E; Calvin H. Wilborne, Company L. In Company F but eight privates "present for duty," were left., and in Company H but five. Besides those mentioned several members of the regiment, who were on detached service, were paroled elsewhere.
And so the regiment was disbanded and its few surviving members sought their distant homes, with heavy hearts, indeed,
at the failure of the cause they had upheld so long and so bravely, undeterred by privation and unappalled by dangers, but still sustained by the parting words of their illustrious chief, and the consciousness of right, and of duty well done. No nobler band of men ever offered their all at the behest of the sovereign State to which they owed allegiance, and to the little squad of them, now "in the sere, the yellow leaf," who have not yet "crossed over the river and rest under the shade of the trees," an old comrade sends warmest greeting and best wishes. Would that his feeble efforts in attempting to preserve some portion, at least, of their record were more worthy of their matchless deeds. Few of them, if any, there were who, when all was over, might not have said in the words of St. Paul: "I have fought a good fight. , * I have kept the faith."
And to those of the regiment-that larger regiment by far-who sleep their last sleep where at duty's call they laid down their lives, on the plains and hillsides of Virginia and Maryland, from the Appomattox to the Antietam, is gladly rendered the fullest meed of grateful praise. Their fidelity and devoted sacrifice shall be celebrated in song and story, and shall be borne in loving memory while time shall last.
- * * * "Lament them not! No love can make immortal That span which we call life;
- And never heroes passed to heaven's portal
- From fields of grander strife."
In offering this imperfect history of the Twenty-second Regiment of North Carolina Troops in the late war between the States, the writer will say, in explanation of its many omissions and shortcomings, that during more than the last two years of its service, he had been transferred to other duty and was not a member of the regiment. He gratefully acknowledges his indebtedness to Lieutenant J. R. Cole, some time its Adjutant, for much valuable information. He
hopes the brave story of the part the regiment bore in the momentous campaigns of 1864-'65 will yet be told in full detail.
NEW BERN, N. C.,
9 April, 1901.
- TWENTY-THIRD REGIMENT.
- 1. R. D. Johnston, Colonel.
- 2. J. F. Hoke, Colonel.
- 3. D. H. Christie, Colonel.
- 4. C. C. Blacknall, Colonel.
- 5. J. W. Leak, Lieut.-Colonel
- 6. E. J. Christian, Major.
- 7. Rev. Theophilus W. Moore, Chaplain.
CAPTAIN V. E. TURNER, A. Q. M. H. C. WALL, SERGEANT COMPANY A.
Up to the rearrangement of the regimental numbers following the Confederate Conscription Act, which went into effect 17 May, 1862, this regiment had been known as the Thirteenth Regiment of North Carolina Volunteers. The reason of the change is very clearly given by Major Gordon in the history of the organization. As repetition is, as far as possible, to be avoided in these sketches we will not give it here.
No North Carolinians were more forward in the cause of Southern defence than the men who formed the Twenty-third. They were among the first to respond when the State called upon her sons to repel invasion. The organization of most, if not all the companies, ante-date the Ordinance of Secession, passed 20 May, 1861.
This was only ten days after the act authorizing their enlistment was passed. Of course in this case, as in many others, the action of the State had been foreseen and anticipated, and the raising of companies had begun before.
The act authorizing the enlistment of the ten regiments of "State Troops" had been passed on 8 May, two days earlier.
The power of appointing all commissioned officers in the "State Troops" was lodged in the Governor. But the "Volunteers" to which the Twenty-third, then the Thirteenth, belonged, were empowered to elect their own officers, to be commissioned by the Governor. The men of each company were to elect their respective Line or Company Officers. The Line Officers were, by balloting among themselves, to elect Field or Regimental officers. The enlistment for the "Volunteers" was for twelve months; that of the "State Troops" as long as the war lasted. It is hardly necessary to
add that both of the above classes of troops were in fact volunteers, the enlistment of both being entirely voluntary.
The personnel of the Twenty-third was doubtless as representative of the diverse racial strains of the State as any command raised within her borders. The three companies raised in Granville County, were virtually pure English, descendants of the early Virginia settlers who later settled in this State. In the company from Richmond and Anson Counties there was a strong infusion of Highland Scotch, descendants of the stout-hearted, strong armed Culloden lads who were "out wi' Charlie in the '45." In those from Catawba, Lincoln and Gaston, the German stock, that trending down from Pennsylvania had largely settled that part of the State, abounded. While the names in these and other companies from that region show the presence of many Scotch-Irish who had been co-settlers with the Germans.
The regiment was composed of the following companies. We give the original name which each company bore, and the county in which it was raised. Seeking to do justice to all, we give as complete as we are able to make it, a roster of the Line and Field officers, showing the promotions and casualties to the end of the war. We regret that lack of space excludes that of equally worthy non-commissioned officers and privates. But North Carolina has not been unmindful of them. All and the casualties of each, though not as accurately as could be wished, down to the humblest, appear in the general roster of which a large number of copies were published by the State in 1882.
COMPANY A-Anson Ellis Rifles, Anson County-Captain Wm. F. Harlee, of Anson County; commissioned May 22, 1861, resigned December 15, 1861. Captain James M. Wall, of Anson County, commissioned December 15, 1861. Captain Frank Bennett, of Anson County, commissioned May 10, 1862; promoted from First Sergeant; wounded May 29, 1862; wounded at Chancellorsville; wounded May 12, 1864, at Spottsylvania Court House; wounded at Hatcher's Run. W. D. Redfearne, First Lieutenant, of Anson County;-commissioned May 22, 1861. James C. Marshall, First
Lieutenant, of Anson County; commissioned May 10, 1862; transferred as Adjutant to Fourteenth Regiment in 1862. John M. Little, Second Lieutenant, of Anson County; commissioned May 22, 1861. James Crowder, Second Lieutenant, of Anson County; commissioned May 22, 1861; wounded and captured at Sharpsburg; wounded at Lynchburg June, 1864. Samuel F. Wright, Second Lieutenant., of Anson County; commissioned May 10, 1862; captured at Gettysburg.
COMPANY B-Hog Hill Guards, Lincoln County-Geo. W. Seagle, Captain, Lincoln County; commissioned May 23, 1861. Wesley Hadspeth, Captain, Lincoln County; commissioned May 10, 1862; promoted from ranks; wounded at Sharpsburg; killed at Chancellorsville May 3, 1863. G. W. Hunter, Captain, Lincoln County; promoted from ranks. Josiah Holbrook, Captain, Lincoln County; promoted from ranks. T. J. Seagle, First Lieutenant, Lincoln County; commissioned May 23, 1861. M. H. Shuford, First Lieutenant, Lincoln County; commissioned May 23, 1861. Lee Johnson, Second Lieutenant, Lincoln County; commissioned May 23, 1861. S. A. Shuford, Second Lieutenant, Lincoln County; commissioned May 10, 1862. Wm. R. Sloan, Second Lieutenant, Mecklenburg County; commissioned May 10, 1862. M. H. Shuford, Second Lieutenant, Lincoln County; commissioned May 10, 1862. W. A. Thompson, Second Lieutenant, Lincoln County; commissioned May 10, 1862. M. M. Hines, Second Lieutenant, Lincoln County; commissioned November 20, 1861; prisoner September 19, 1864.
COMPANY C-Montgomery Volunteers No. 1-C. J. Cochrane, Captain, of Montgomery County; commissioned May 27, 1861. E. J. Christian, Captain, of Montgomery County, commissioned May 10, 1862; promoted Major May 10, 1862, and killed May 31, 1862 at Seven Pines. A. F. Scarborough, Captain, of Montgomery County; commissioned May 10, 1862; killed May 30, 1862. E. H. Lyon, Captain, of Granville County; commissioned May 31, 1862; transferred from Company E; prisoner September 19, 1864. E. J. Christian, First Lieutenant, of Montgomery County;
commissioned May 27, 1861; promoted and killed. John R. Nicholson, First Lieutenant, of Montgomery County; commissioned May 10, 1862. E. J. Garris, Second Lieutenant, of Montgomery County; commissioned May 10, 1862; killed W. Montgomery, Second Lieutenant, of Montgomery County; commissioned May 27, 1861. Jeremiah Coggins, Second Lieutenant, of Montgomery County; commissioned May 10, 1862; prisoner at Gettysburg July 1, 1863; one of the 600 officers placed under Confederate fire at Charleston, S. C.; died at Fort Delaware. A. F. Saunders, Second Lieutenant, of Montgomery County; commissioned May 10, 1862; killed at Spottsylvania May 9, 1864. J. P. Leach, Second Lieutenant, of Montgomery County; commissioned April 14, 1863.
COMPANY D-Pee Dee Guards-Lewis H. Webb, Captain, of Richmond County; commissioned May 30, 1861; resigned. A. T. Cole, Captain, of Richmond County; commissioned May 10, 1862; wounded at Sharpsburg; wounded and captured at Chancellorsville; captured at Spottsylvania C. H. May 12, 1864; one of the 600 officers placed under Confederate guns at Charleston, S. C. James S. Knight, First Lieutenant, of Richmond County; commissioned May 30, 1861; killed at Chancellorsville May 3, 1863. Risden T. Nichols, First Lieutenant, of Richmond County; commissioned May 10, 1862; died in 1862. J. H. Chappell, First Lieutenant, of Richmond County. John W. Cole, Second Lieutenant, of Richmond County; commissioned May 30, 1861. B. H. Covington, Second Lieutenant, of Richmond County; commissioned May 30, 1861. W. C. Wall, Second Lieutenant, of Richmond County; commissioned October 17, 1861; promoted Captain Company F; wounded at Monacacy July 1864. James H. Chappell, Second Lieutenant, of Richmond County; commissioned October 10, 1862; severely wounded at Chancellorsville; captured. E. A. McDonald, Second Lieutenant, of Richmond County; commissioned October 10, 1862; severely wounded at Chancellorsville.
COMPANY E-Granville Plough Boys, Granville County-J. H. Horner, Captain, of Granville County; commissioned June 5, 1861. B. F. Bullock, Captain, of Granville County; commissioned- . E. E. Lyon, First Lieutenant, of
Granville County; commissioned June 5, 1861. T. W. Moore, First Lieutenant, of Granville County; commissioned August 15, 1861. J. H. Mitchell, Second Lieutenant, of Granville County; commissioned June 5, 1861. A. D. Peace, Second Lieutenant, of Granville County; commissioned June 5, 1861; wounded twice. R. V. Minor, Second Lieutenant, of Granville County; commissioned September 25, 1862. E. H. Lyon, Second Lieutenant, of Granville County; commissioned November 12, 1861; transferred as Captain of Company C. B. F. Bullock, Second Lieutenant, of Granville County; commissioned December 6, 1861. J. T. Bullock, Second Lieutenant, of Granville County; commissioned May 10, 1862; captured May 12, 1864; one of the 600 officers placed under Confederate guns at Charleston, S. C. A. S. Webb, Second Lieutenant, of Granville County; commissioned May 10, 1862; resigned.
COMPANY F-Catawba Guards, Catawba County-M. L. McCorkle, Captain, of Catawba County; commissioned June 6, 1861. W. C. Wall, Captain, of Richmond County; commissioned May 10, 1864. Jacob H. Miller, First Lieutenant, of Catawba County; commissioned June 6, 1861.. T. W. Wilson, First Lieutenant, of Catawba County; killed at Spottsylvania May 10, 1864. M. L. Helton, Second Lieutenant, of Catawba County; commissioned June 6, 1861. R. A. Cobb, Second Lieutenant, of Catawba County; commissioned June 6, 1861. G. P. Clay, Second Lieutenant, of Catawba County; commissioned May 10, 1862. T. W. Wilson, Second Lieutenant, of Catawba County; commissioned May 10, 1862. W. C. Wall, Second Lieutenant, of Richmond County; commissioned May 10, 1862.
COMPANY G-Granville Rifles-C. C. Blacknall, Captain, of Granville County; commissioned June 11, 1861; wounded at Seven Pines; promoted Major May 31, 1862; captured at Chancellorsville; wounded and captured at Gettysburg; promoted Colonel August, 1863; mortally wounded September 19, 1864. I. J. Young, Captain, of Granville County; commissioned May 31, 1862; wounded May 31, 1862, at Seven Pines; resigned August 1862; wounded at Malvern Hill. T. J. Crocker, Captain, of Granville County;
commissioned August 15, 1862; wounded, disabled and resigned. James A. Breedlove, Captain, of Granville County; commissioned in 1864; wounded; promoted from First Lieu. tenant. Isaac J. Young, First Lieutenant, of Granville County; commissioned June 11, 1861; promoted, wounded. and resigned. T. J. Crocker, First Lieutenant, of Granville County; commissioned May 31, 1862; promoted, wounded; and resigned; J. A. Breedlove, First Lieutenant, of Granville County; commissioned June 11, 1861; promoted and wounded. Washington F. Overton, First Lieutenant, of Granville County; commissioned in 1864; wounded and burned in woods at Chancellorsville. G. W. Kittrell, Second Lieutenant, of Granville County; commissioned June 11; 1861. Vines E. Turner, Second Lieutenant, of Granville County; commissioned June 11, 1861; promoted Adjutant May 10, 1862; wounded at Cold Harbor June 27, 1862; promoted Assistant Quartermaster in 1863. T. J. Crocker, Second Lieutenant, of Granville County; commissioned May 10, 1862; promoted. William F. Gill, Second Lieutenant, of Franklin County; commissioned May 10, 1862; promoted from Sergeant-Major; killed at Malvern Hill. W. F. Overton, Second Lieutenant, of Granville County; commissioned August 15, 1862; promoted and killed. J. A. Breedlove, Second Lieutenant, of Granville County; commissioned August 15, 1862; promoted and wounded. C. W. Champion, Second Lieutenant, of Granville County; commissioned November 1, 1862; killed at Gettysburg.
COMPANY H-Gaston Guards-E. M. Faires, Captain, of Gaston County; commissioned June 12, 1861; resigned December 1, 1861. W. P. Hill, Captain, of Gaston County; commissioned December 1, 1861; promoted from Sergeant. H. G. Turner, Captain, of Granville County; commissioned August 18, 1862; promoted from ranks of Savannah Guards; desperately wounded and captured July 1, 1862, at Gettysburg. R. M. Ratchford, First Lieutenant, of Gaston County; commissioned June 12, 1861; resigned December, 1861. Jos. J. Wilson, First Lieutenant, of Gaston County; commissioned December, 1861; promoted from Sergeant. Joseph B. F. Riddle, First Lieutenant, of Gaston County; commissioned
May 10, 1862; wounded September 30, 1864; promoted from Sergeant. J. E. Hill, Second Lieutenant, of Gaston County; commissioned May 10, 1861; promoted from ranks. T. N. Craig, Second Lieutenant, of Gaston County; commissioned June 12, 1861. J. M. Kendrick, Second Lieutenant, of Gaston County; commissioned June 12, 1861; captured July 1, 1863, at Gettysburg. W. S. Floyd, Second Lieutenant, of Gaston County; commissioned
COMPANY I-Granville Stars-Rufus Amis, Captain, of Granville County; commissioned June 17, 1861. G. T. Baskerville, Captain, of Granville County; commissioned 1863; killed at Gettysburg. G. B. Bullock, Captain, of Granville County; promoted from Second Lieutenant. N. A. Gregory, First Lieutenant, of Granville County; commissioned June 17, 1861; wounded and disabled at Chancellorsville. G. B. Bullock, First Lieutenant, of Granville County. J. D. Knott, First Lieutenant, of Granville County; commissioned May 8, 1862; killed at Seven Pines. A. Luria, Second Lieutenant, of Georgia; commissioned June 17, 1861; killed at Seven Pines. T. R. Carrington, Second Lieutenant, of Granville County; commissioned June 17, 1861. G. B. Bullock, Second Lieutenant, of Granville County; promoted from ranks of Twelfth Regiment. J. D. Knott, Second Lieutenant, of Granville County; commissioned November 16, 1861 promoted and killed. G. T. Sanford, Second Lieutenant, of Granville' County; commissioned May 20, 1862. W. B. Sims, Second Lieutenant, of Granville County; commissioned May 20, 1862; promoted from ranks.
COMPANY K-Beattie's Ford Riflemen, Lincoln County-Robert D. Johnston, Captain, of Lincoln County; commissioned June 22, 1861; promoted Lieutenant-Colonel May 1.0, 1862, and Brigadier-General in 1863. William IL Johnston, Captain, of Lincoln County; commissioned May 10, 1862; promoted from First Lieutenant; captured July 1, 1863, at Gettysburg. W. H. Johnston, First Lieutenant, of Lincoln County; commissioned June 22, 1861; promoted and captured. Daniel Reinhardt, First Lieutenant, of Lincoln County; commissioned September, 1862. John F. Goodson, Second Lieutenant, of Lincoln County; commissioned
June 22, 1861. G. W. Hunter, Second Lieutenant, of Lincoln County; commissioned June 22, 1861. Daniel Reinhardt, Second Lieutenant, of Lincoln County; commissioned May 10, 1862. J. A. Caldwell, Second Lieutenant, of Lincoln County; commissioned September 6, 1862. William M. Munday, Second Lieutenant, of Lincoln County; commissioned September, 1862; promoted from ranks; wounded at Malvern Hill. H. W. Fullenwider, Second Lieutenant, of Lincoln County; commissioned in May, 1863; promoted from ranks; killed.
Nine of these companies were assembled in camp near Weldon, N. C., and between that place and Garysburg, two miles distant, in June, 1861. Here the boys underwent a little more drilling than they liked. But they were patriots, one and all, and as some drilling might possibly be necessary even to whip Yankees, they submitted cheerfully. The other company, the Anson Ellis Rifles, remained in camp at Raleigh till ordered to join the regiment as it left for Virginia. Garysburg was the point of rendezvous. Here, in obedience to orders, the Line Officers of the ten companies met 10 July and elected Field Officers for the regiment as follows. The date, 10 July, 1861, shows the officers then elected. Other dates show the result of subsequent elections and promotions:
FIELD AND STAFF OFFICERS.
JOHN F. HOKE, Colonel, of Lincoln County; commissioned July 10, 1861.
DANIEL H. CHRISTIE, Colonel, of Granville County; commissioned May 10, 1862; wounded at Seven Pines; wounded at Cold Habor; mortally wounded July 1, 1863, at Gettysburg; died in Winchester August, 1863.
CHARLES C. BLACKNALL, Colonel, of Granville County; commissioned August 15, 1863; wounded at Seven Pines; captured at Chancellorsville; wounded and captured at Gettysburg; mortally wounded and captured at Winchester September 19, 1864; died November 6, 1864.
WM. S. DAVIS, Colonel, of Warren County; commissioned October 1864; transferred from Twelfth Regiment; wounded.
JOHN W. LEAK, Lieutenant-Colonel, of Richmond County; commissioned July 10, 1861.
ROBT. D. JOHNSTON, Lieutenant-Colonel, of Lincoln County; commissioned May 10, 1862; wounded at Seven Pines; wounded at Gettysburg; promoted Brigadier-General July, 1863; wounded at Spottsylvania.
DANIEL H. CHRISTIE, Major, of Granville County; commissioned July 10, 1861; promoted.
E. J. CHRISTIAN, Major, of Montgomery County; commissioned May 10, 1862; killed May 31, 1862, at Seven Pines.
CHARLES C. BLACKNALL, Major, of Granville County; commissioned May 10, 1862; promoted from Captain of Company G.
ISAAC JONES YOUNG, Adjutant, of Granville County; commissioned July 10, 1861; wounded July 1, 1862; promoted Captain of Company G and resigned in 1862.
VINES E. TURNER, Adjutant, of Granville County; commissioned May 10, 1862; wounded at Cold Harbor June 27, 1862; promoted to Captain and Assistant Quartermaster June, 1863.
JUNIUS FRENCH, Adjutant, of Yadkin County; commissioned June, 1863; killed July 1, 1863, at Gettysburg.
CHARLES P. POWELL, Adjutant, of Richmond County; commissioned July, 1863; killed May 9, 1864 at Spottsylvania Court House.
LAWRENCE EVERETT, Adjutant, of Richmond County; commissioned May 12, 1864.
EDWIN G. CHEATHAM, Assistant Quartermaster, of Granville County; commissioned July 10, 1861, resigned February, 1862.
W. I. EVERETT, Assistant Quartermaster, of Richmond County; commissioned in 1862; resigned.
VINES E. TURNER, Assistant Quartermaster, of Granville County; commissioned June, 1863.
JAMES F. JOHNSTON, Assistant Commissary, of Lincoln County.
THEOPHILUS MOORE, Chaplain, of Person County; later Rev. Mr. Berry.
ROBERT I. HICKS, Surgeon, of Granville County; T. C Caldwell, of Mecklenburg County, Assistant Surgeon; later Dr. Jordan, of Caswell County, killed at South Mountain.
WILLIAM F. GILL, Sergeant-Major, of Granville County killed July 1, 1862 at Malvern Hill.
CHARLES P. POWELL, of Richmond County; appointed May 10, 1862; promoted to Adjutant May 9, 1864.
On 20 May, the day on which North Carolina seceded from the Union, the Confederate Capital had beer removed from Montgomery to Richmond. It was now plain that the Old Dominion would be the theatre of the war, Thither the regiment was soon ordered, to return as an organized body no more, with one brief exception, till the great drama of blood and ruin had to the last scene been acted.
On Wednesday, 17 July, Colonel Hoke, with seven companies of the regiment, left the "Camp of Instruction" at Garysburg, N. C., in freight cars for Richmond, Va. Companies C, D and H, were for the time being necessarily left behind on account of the prevalence of measles among the men. Of this malady and in the person of John H. Harmer, Company D, the regiment lost its second man, the first man being Wm. Lowman, of Company A, who died while in camp at Raleigh.
Four nights were spent in camp at "Rocketts" in the suburbs of Richmond. It was either here, or just before leaving Garysburg, that arms and ammunition were first issued to us. The arms consisted of smooth bore percussion muskets, with bayonets; the ammunition of paper cartridges, containing ball and powder. A little later in the war we were armed with rifles captured from the enemy.
Early on 21 July, a bright, hot Sunday, our seven companies entrained hurriedly in "box" cars for Manassas Junction. Enthusiasm was at flood tide in that period of boundless hope. Cheers greeted us on every side as we steamed forward and at the stations we were fed and feted. All knew that a battle was impending and later, by means of the telegraph line along the railroad, that it was being fought.
We were eager to go forward; more eager, perhaps, than we were to reach later fields when experience had unmasked the true, grim visage of war. But many delays occurred. The running of the train was so erratic that the engineer was suspected of treason, though apparently without evident cause. The soldiers who crowded the tops of the cars in their eagerness to assist, put on brakes too hard. This caused one of the car trucks to take fire from friction, or come very near it. As some of the cars carried, or were believed to carry powder, the men stopped the train by means of the brakes and cut the endangered car loose till it cooled.
But these delays were inconsiderable, compared with the long stop near the Rappahannock bridge, above Gordonsville. We had started full early and could have reached Manassas by noon, or soon after. The presence of 700 men, fresh on the field, might have had great weight at more than one juncture of that dubious battle. But we were sidetracked to meet many trains of wounded, which began to pass us at Louisa Court House. During Sunday night we pulled into Manassas Junction. Monday was a rainy, chilly, dismal day. The men had stopped their cheering and horse play when the cars of bloody-bandaged wounded passed them the day before at Louisa Court House. The night spent on the hard car floors seemed a real hardship. The twenty-four hours fast-we had left Richmond too suddenly to prepare rations-seemed then to border on the heroic. The Manassas water reddened by contact with the mud, then knee deep around the station, drank like blood. The rows of untended wounded who had lain all night on the field in the rain, some of them horribly mutilated, grew longer and longer as the ambulances came and went. The pile of amputated limbs, naked and whitened by the chilling rains, grew higher and higher outside an amputating tent hard-by the roadside. It was probably the most miserable and trying day that the regiment spent during the war. The time when the Confederate soldier was to become the marching, fighting, fasting machine that he did, insensible almost to hunger, cold and mental depression, was yet some distance ahead.
We went into camp at Camp Wigfall, one and a quarter
miles from the Junction. The three companies left at Garysburg under Major Christie, broke camp there on 5 August, and after a few days delay in Richmond waiting for transportation, rejoined us here. For several weeks encamped at this place, the regiment suffered exceedingly from the diseases which then, and even now, seem unescapable by the unseasoned soldier. By the surgeon's statement, the sick call at one time numbered 240, 57 of the cases being typhoid fever. The mortality was large.
After spending several weeks here our first march was made to Camp Ellis, five miles distant, where we remained six weeks. Near here, at Sangster's Cross Roads, our first picket duty was performed. A little later at Mason's Hill the whole regiment went on its first picket. 17 September we pitched camp and began a long stay at Union Mills. Near here, on Bull Run, we built log huts and went into winter quarters in December, where we remained with only such changes in position as the exigencies of the situation in outpost and picket duty required. This gave us an opportunity to enjoy the boundless hospitality of the people of this part of Virginia, upon whom the iron hand of the war was soon to fall with such crushing weight.
Meantime the regiment had been brigaded with the Fifth North Carolina "State Troops," Colonel Duncan K. McRae; the Twentieth Georgia, Colonel Smith; the Twenty-fourth Virginia, Colonel Jubal A. Early; and the Thirty-eighth Virginia, Colonel Jubal Earles. Colonel Early being the ranking officer, he was placed in command, and subsequently commissioned Brigadier-General. General Earl Van Dorn commanded the division, General Beauregard the corps, General Joseph E. Johnston the army. The army was then known as the Army of the Potomac-later upon the abandonment of that line of defense, as the Army of Northern Virginia. In the fall and winter of 1861, many changes took place in the Line Officers of the regiment.
The winter was a severe and trying one. After January 1, 1862, snow, hail, sleet or rain fell almost every day. Frequently all fell the same day. War doffed her holiday mask worn during the tramping from camp to camp, and from
picket to picket post in the splendid weather of the past Autumn. Such duties now imposed hardships of a serious and often dangerous nature. Not yet hardened to endure all things, as in time they were, the men suffered intensely from exposure. Great was the mortality from pneumonia, typhoid fever and other diseases.
THE RETREAT FROM MANASSAS.
The early spring of 1862 found the Confederate army along Bull Run and north of that stream, less than 50,000 strong. The Federal hosts under McClellan, confronted it over 100,000 strong. Before the opening of Spring rendered military operations feasible on a large scale, General Johnston decided to withdraw from his exposed position to a stronger line south of the Rappahannock. There he would also be in better position to meet and check any advance of the enemy whether direct or circuitous, as subsequently proved.
The beginning of the retrograde movement found the regiment on picket duty at Burke's Station, on the Orange and Alexandria Railroad, and in close proximity to the enemy who were encamped in the neighborhood of Alexandria and Springfield. The old camp on Bull Run was abandoned 8 March. We moved out at daylight, throwing away tents and camp equipage; sum total of the first day's march one and a half miles, progress being checked by confusion of orders. Early was now acting as Major-General, in command of the Fourth division.
Not until sunset of the 9th, did the grand column move again, reaching Manassas Junction that night. The last we saw of the famous stone bridge across Bull Run, it was in flames. Strictly speaking, stone bridge was a misnomer, all but the abutments being of wood. An immense amount of property was destroyed as the necessity of change of base to the Peninsula was now anticipated. A very carnival, restrained to some extent by the military discipline, reigned that night at the junction. The soldiers got rich with plunder. Depots of supplies and the express office were fired.
Barrels of whiskey were opened at the head and their contents poured in streams on the ground. A rough soldier was observed with six canteens of whiskey around his neck, as if "he wept such waste to see," actually wading in a puddle of the joyful, while in a ditty, tuneless, but gay, he whistled his regrets over "departed spirits."
The next position was south of the Rappahannock. Large numbers of refugees accompanied the army in the retreat. Details of our regiment, as from others, were made to guard and as far as possible, aid them in their wild flight. As the command waded the Rappahannock it witnessed a distressing accident to one of the unfortunates-a widowed lady, half frantic lest she be left behind and taken by the Yankees, missed the ford in driving across the river and was swept down to death by the rapid waters.
For several weeks the army remained in position south of the Rappahannock awaiting a further development of the Federal plans. Then came a long, slow, impeded march along the Orange and Alexandria Railroad. How like a sealed book to the private soldier are the plans of his leaders. How futile our conjectures as to the purpose of our move and the objects to be gained by it. Many yearning hearts-in which the wish was father to the thought-saw in this southern trend only a return to North Carolina.
7 April, we took the cars at Orange Court House and that night, a dark and rainy one, found us in Richmond. After a hastily eaten midnight supper, prepared for us in the market house by the exhaustless hospitality of the good people of Richmond, we were marched to the Yorktown depot. This was the first intimation of our destination. Going by rail sixty miles to West Point, we here took schooners for Yorktown, thirty miles below.
THE PENINSULA CAMPAIGN.
8 April, one month after the beginning of the withdrawal from Manassas the regiment, with other commands, reached Yorktown. Here we got our first experience of the trying duties of life in the trenches, including much toil with pick and shovel. On the 17th, after nine days behind the
breastworks, the boys had their first experience with cannon balls and bomb-shells. The opposing batteries were about three-fourths of a mile apart. The pickets were in rifle pits several hundred yards in advance, and on that day more than one shell exploded in uncomfortable proximity to them. When the first shot was fired direct at the position occupied by the Twenty-third (then the Thirteenth), the writer (H. C. Wall) was on duty in the rifle pits as Sergeant in command. Well is remembered the "sensation" produced by the first shell that fanned the cheeks of ye innocent braves who occupied those rifle pits, and particularly the moving effect wrought upon a certain tongue-tied individual, whose deportment now, as contrasted with previous pretensions, presented a striking consistency with the spirit of the ancient ballad:
- "Nought to him possesses greater charms Upon a Sunday or a holiday,
- Than a snug chat of war and war's alarms, While people fight in Turkey, far away."
For, with a precipitate bound, the tongue-tied warrior made tracks for the breastworks exclaiming, in answer to remonstrances and threats of court-martial: "Dam 'fi come here to be hulled out this way when I can't see who's a shootin' at me"-using the terms hulled instead of shelled as synonymous, though he hardly thought of it at the time. At a period a little later in the service, such conduct would have been most severely punished. But it is not remembered that "Dam 'fi" got more than a sharp reprimand and orders for an instant return to his post. If he ever afterwards flinched, we were not informed of it. He was killed at Gettysburg.
As the sharpshooting grew hotter the pickets could be posted and relieved only at night. The opposing pickets fired at everything in sight. For a space the boys on such duty embraced mother earth more intimately than they had before deemed possible. But they gradually learned that shooting and hitting were by no means synonymous terms. At length before the evacuation some of them, at least, preferred a prone position out on the open to the pits half filled
with water by the almost incessant rains. The trenches themselves filled with water and could not be drained. Yet the artillery and rifle fire of the enemy held the men close down in them. No fire could be kindled day or night without its becoming the focus of heavy shell fire and it was therefore strictly forbidden. The only food was flour and salt meat and these in diminishing quantities. Food was cooked by details in the rear and brought forward to us. Men sickened by thousands. Soldiers actually died in the mud and water of the trenches before they could be taken to the hospital. And as many of the cases of illness were measles, this exposure meant death. Thus unavoidably died a dog's death many a gallant fellow, who, if spared, would have upheld with his life the Confederate standard, through thick and thin, and to the bitter end. It is not death amid the rapture of the fray that makes war most horrible, but the passing within the dark door of such men under such circumstances. Yet the term of service at Yorktown was not all irksome, nor was it unmarked by occasional diversions from the tread-mill routine of duty. About the quaint old town were many points of interest that awakened patriotic contemplation. The marble slab half a mile from town, marking the spot where eighty years before Cornwallis had surrendered to Washington, was a favorite place of visitation.
Standing there on consecrated ground many a fond prayer was breathed that this self-same spot which witnessed the achievement of American Independence might also see the accomplishment of Southern Independence.
The comparatively insignificant Confederate force at Yorktown had now held McClellan's vast army at bay for weeks, while troops were being concentrated higher up for the defense of the Southern Capital. The Confederate position exposed as it was to turning movements by the Federal fleet on both flanks was clearly untenable. The sole object of Southern strategy, after General Johnston made personal inspection of the surroundings, was simply to check the invasion till the above concentration was completed.
This having been accomplished and holding the enemy in check longer, being possible only by a pitched battle, which it
was not desired to fight, the Southern forces were quietly withdrawn 4 May. A deed which, in the heroic days to come, would have passed unnoticed, impressed the unseasoned soldiers, and is yet remembered by many. On the day of the evacuation, part of the Twenty-third were in the rifle pits, which were that day subjected to a fire of unusual keenness. When the officers in the trenches knew that the retreat would begin that night, there was some apprehension that the men in the rifle pits should be captured unless given exact orders what to do. For this purpose Captain C. C. Blacknall, Company G, left the shelter of the trenches under a ceaseless fire at 400 yards, made the circle of the pits, gave the men their orders and returned unharmed. The detail for picket duty from our regiment was the last to leave the works, being relieved by the cavalry at midnight. We marched all night. At dawn when six miles out we heard the furious cannonading of McClellan's assault on our empty intrenchments.
BATTLE OF WILLIAMSBURG.
The retreat, which was much impeded by the slow movement of the wagon trains over the miry roads, was tardy and tedious in the extreme. The ancient town of Williamsburg, in Colonial days the Capital of the Old Dominion, stands only twelve miles from Yorktown. The afternoon of 5 May, a rainy day in the midst of the proverbial cold, wet spell in May, found us only a mile or so above Williamsburg, waiting to see if our aid would be necessary in the expected battle.
From this point Early's Brigade-now composed of the Fifth and Twenty-third (then Thirteenth) North Carolina, the Twenty-fourth Virginia and the Second Florida Battalion-were ordered back to aid Longstreet in resisting the inconveniently eager pursuit of the enemy, for part of the trains were stalled in the deep mud where they stopped the night before, and must be protected or abandoned. The battle was fought on almost the same ground on which the Americans and British contended in 1781. We passed at double quick through the muddy streets of the historic town, pained
at the shrieks of women and children who were terrified at the bloody drama then going on in their full view. A short pause to deposit in the campus of classic William and Mary College all knapsacks, extra plunder, etc., none of which we ever saw again-and we are out upon our first battle field.
The design was a charge by Early's Brigade against a strong position manned by Hancock's Brigade on the enemy's right. When drawn up in line for the forward movement, General Early rode the length of the brigade using, in that fine-toned voice of his, something like the words: "Boys, you must do your duty." The line advanced a hundred yards or more through a wheat field wet with the cold rain which had fallen that day, but which had now ceased. Then our regiment was confronted by a forest of trees and thick under-growth. The line at once became irregular and more or less jumbled by the reason of the natural obstacle to its progress. These woods also shut out the view and caused the line of the regiment's advance to be slightly deflected to the left, by which it lost touch with the Fifth, on our right. At this moment General D. H. Hill appeared, mounted, in our front, and said sharply to the men, now endeavoring to regain their alignment, and each one commanding his fellow, "hush your infernal noise."
In one instant more the right wing of the brigade, having greatly the advantage of the ground in marching, came first in view of the enemy's battery, and charging forward in the open, outstripped the movement of the Twenty-third, impeded by the woods, received a withering fire and was hurled back by a fury of shot and shell irresistible by mortal force. The Fifth North Carolina made a gallant, but fruitless charge, losing many gallant lives, and our regiment was not on hand to support it at the critical moment. That moment was of the briefest possible span-like a sea wave against the sea wall, the charge bounded back almost instantly.
Colonel D. K. McRae, of the Fifth North Carolina, alleged that the Twenty-third (then the Thirteenth) was inexcusably derelict in duty and that Colonel Hoke halted the regiment without orders. Colonel Hoke, on the contrary, maintained that General Early gave the order to halt, which assertion
was never denied by General Early. Whether the order to "halt" was given us before or after the batteries opened on the assaulting line, would be hard to tell, for this halt of the regiment appeared to be about the same moment that a portion of the assaulting forces were rushing pell-mell back from the attack. It was all the work of a few minutes and the brigade, chagrined by defeat, and mourning the loss of many gallant spirits, fell back in good order. The enemy seemed content to hold his own, without much further effort to advance his line as night came on. Only four or five men in our regiment were wounded, and all but one of them by random bullets. Captain C. C. Blacknall, Company G, in eagerly leading his company forward through the woods, got some distance in advance, where he came suddenly upon two Federals lying down in the brush. Receiving untouched the fire of one at three paces, he sprang forward with his sword and made them prisoners. The ball that missed the Captain struck James A. Gill, of Company G. This was the first wound of the war received by a member of the Twenty-third. Mr. Gill recovered from his wound and still, at the end of thirty-eight years, survives.
General Joseph E. Johnston, in conversation with me (H. C. Wall) several years after the war, placed the responsibility of the charge upon General D. H. Hill. He said that he did not order it to be made and permitted it only after repeated requests from General Hill. Much was said at the time, and afterwards, of the part our regiment. took in the battle of Williamsburg. Blunders there may have been, blunders unavoidable by a command manoevering under such circumstances and amid the exigencies of real warfare for the first time; but the writer of these lines (V. E. Turner) was present as one of its Line Officers, and had every opportunity to be fully conversant with the spirit that animated the regiment. He was conversant with it, and he knows that officers and men were as willing, and even as eager to do their duty as any command in the Southern army. The well known tendency of a man or body of men, endeavoring to go straight forward, but unguided by any distinct objective ahead, as we were in these woods, to bear unconsciously to the left, had possibly
had its effect on the deflection in our advance and our separation from the regiment on our right.
Wet as rain can make us, with knapsacks and every shred of extra clothing gone, we marched back to the brow of the hill, where we first formed in line of battle. Here amid mud and rain we were held in line of battle till 3 a. m. As there was momentary expectation of attack, not a spark of fire was allowed. Then twelve miles were tramped, or rather stumbled, through darkness, mud and slush, before halt was made for rest or sleep. The tenacious mire was often knee deep. Shoes were pulled from our feet by it and lost. Pantaloons became so caked and weighted with mud that many, in sheer desperation and utter inability in their exhaustion, to carry an extra ounce, cut off and threw away all below the knees. All that night we had no food, nor the next day, though lunging desperately forward over virtually impassable roads. The following day, the 7th, found us still marching and fasting, or rather, famishing. Blessed indeed were the squad or two that found and shot a razor-back hog. But we were the rear guard and even razor backs had become scarce and wary after being hunted by the 30,000 hungry mouths that had preceded us. One of our Captains who was lucky enough to get an ear of corn a day, always spoke of it as the parched corn march.
Many of the troops "caved" in from sheer exhaustion and starvation. The case of Sergeant Malcolm Nicholson, Company D., which occurred a little later in the retreat, will illustrate our sufferings as well as the grim resolve of the men to keep up with the colors up to the point of absoluts physical collapse. This stripling refused to succumb or fall out till at a halt one night he toppled over. His comrades tucked him away in an old wagon body lying near. When the order to "fall in" came, and they went to arouse him, they found that death had given him his discharge and that the weary marching of the boy sergeant was over forever.
On the evening of 9 May, the Chickahominy was reached, the wagons overtaken and the worst hardship of the march, whose sufferings remained ever vivid to the men who clung to the fortunes of the Confederacy to the bitter end, was over.
- TWENTY-THIRD REGIMENT.
- 1. J. H. Horner, Captain, Co. E.
- 2. Frank Bennett, Captain, Co A.
- 3. H. G. Turner, Captain, Co. H.
- 4. V. E Turner Captain. Quart. Master.
- 5. Abner D Peace, Captain. Co. E.
- 6. Cleo T. Baskerville, Captain, Co. I.
- 7. Jas. A. Breedlove. Captain, Co. G.
While camped on the banks of the Chickahominy at Parrett's Ferry, the regiment was reorganized. This was hastened in order to take advantage of a provision in the Confederate Conscript Act, passed 16 April, 1862. This provision allowed troops whose term of enlistment had not expired, to re-organize with all the privileges, as to election of officer,,, which they had before the act was passed, provided the re-organization was effected within forty days from the passing of the act. With that period lapsed the Confederate soldier's right to choose his own officers, all commissioned officers being thereafter appointed by the President of the Confederacy.
Thus a re-organization of most of the Volunteer North Carolina regiments in that army, a perilous thing in face of a vastly superior enemy, took place about this time, an event unparalleled in the annals of history. A large proportion of officers failing of re-election, their places were filled with men raised from the ranks, or from subordinate positions. Nearly, or quite all the commands, had in their ranks plenty of men competent to serve as commissioned officers. But many thus elevated were not qualified by sufficient experience for command, and the presence of so many inexperienced officers told against the South a month later in the prolonged death grapple with the enemy in the Chickahominy swamps, known as the Seven Days' Fighting. That under such circumstances victory should have crowned Southern effort, attest the dauntless valor of Southern troops.
Our boys, prompted more perhaps by the desire for change, a strong factor in all lives and strongest of all in the monotonous life of a soldier, elected as a rule, new Line Officers.
The following change was made in Field Officers: Daniel H. Christie was elected Colonel in place of John F. Hoke; Robert D. Johnston, formerly Captain of Company K, Lieutenant-Colonel; Ed. J. Christian, former First Lieutenant of Company C, Major; Vines E. Turner, former Second Lieutenant in Company G, Adjutant. That night the officers who had failed of re-election bade us farewell, took leave for Richmond and later sought, most of them, other positions in
which to serve their struggling country. Our regiment formerly the Thirteenth North Carolina Volunteers, was there-after known as the Twenty-third North Carolina Troops.
In pursuance of our plan to briefly outline the careers of the Field Officers of the regiment, we give the following sketch of John F. Hoke, the retiring Colonel.
COLONEL JOHN F. HOKE.
Colonel Hoke was born in Lincoln County, N. C., 8 May, 1820. He was a graduate of the University of North Carolina, and a lawyer by profession. He served with credit as First Lieutenant in Captain W. J. Clarke's company in the Mexican war, taking part in the campaign which resulted in the capture of the City of Mexico. Subsequently he served several terms in the Legislature. At the outbreak of the War for Southern Independence, he was appointed Adjutant-General of North Carolina, serving till the ten regiments of "State Troops" and thirteen regiments of "Volunteers" were organized and equipped. In July, 1861, he was elected Colonel of the Thirteenth (later Twenty-third) North Carolina Volunteers, and commanded the regiment until its reorganization, 10 May, 1862. Failing of re-election, he returned to North Carolina and in 1864 became Colonel of the Seventy-fourth Regiment, Second Senior Reserves). The close of the war found him guarding prisoners at Salisbury. He died in November, 1888. Colonel Hoke was an upright, honorable and cultivated gentleman. Great kindness and consideration characterized his bearing towards the subordinate officers of his regiment.
LIEUTENANT COLONEL JOHN W. LEAK.
John W. Leak was born in Richmond County, N. C., 16 March, 1816. His grandfather,