Drawing of North Carolina state flag and Confederate flag]
FIRST AT BETHEL
FARTHEST TO THE FRONT AT GETTYSBURG
LAST AT APPOMATTOX
From "Battles and Leaders of the Civil War." By permission of the Century Co.
THE BOMBARDMENT OF FORT FISHER, JANUARY 15, 1865. TAKEN FROM LITHOGRAPHS.
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. V.NASH BROTHERS,BOOK AND JOB PRINTERSGOLDSBORO, N. C.
IN THE NAME OF THE
MORE THAN 125,000 SOLDIERS, LIVING AND DEAD, WHOM
SENT TO THE FRONT IN ONE OF THE GREATEST AND MOST
UNEQUAL CONFLICTS RECORDED IN HISTORY,
FRAUGHT WITH THE TESTIMONY OF COMRADES TO IMMORTAL COURAGE,
ARE INSCRIBED TO THE
Heroic Women of North Carolina,
WHO INSPIRED OUR CITIZEN SOLDIERY
BY THEIR FAITH IN GOD, BY THEIR MAGIC INFLUENCE AND
IMMEASURABLE GOOD WORKS, AND TO
their fair Daughters,
WHOSE UNSHAKEN FIDELITY HAS PRESERVED THE FAME OF
Our Glorious Dead.
WITH SUCH TO INSPIRE THE LIVING AND HONOR THE FALLEN THE MEN
OF NORTH CAROLINA WILL EVER BE
Equal to Victory-Superior to Deteat.
|REVIEW AND CONCLUSION, by the Editor ||VII|
|LIST OF HISTORIANS AND CONTRIBUTORS, by the Editor||XVIII|
|NUMBER OF TROOPS FROM NORTH CAROLINA, by the Editor ||1|
|NUMBER OF GENERALS FROM NORTH CAROLINA, by the Editor||3|
|GENERALS COMMISSIONED by THE STATE, by Lieut. E. A. Thorne||5|
|NORTH CAROLINIANS ON MILITARY COURTS, by the Editor||8|
|GENERAL AND FIELD OFFICERS KILLED, by Lieut. E. A. Thorne||9|
|WHERE NORTH CAROLINA TROOPS STATIONED NOVEMBER 1861, by Brigadier-General J. G. Martin ||13|
|DEEDS OF DARING-SIX HEROES, by Lieutenant-General D. H. Hill||15|
|OTHER DEEDS OF DARING, by the Editor||17|
|A NORTH CAROLINA HEROINE, by Colonel S. D. Pool ||19|
|CAPTURES AND BATTLES.|
|CAPTURE OF FORTS BEFORE THE WAR, by Colonel Jno. L. Cantwell||23|
|BATTLE OF MANASSAS, by Brigadier-General T. L. Clingman||29|
|THE FALL OF HATTERAS, by Major Thomas Sparrow||35|
|CHICAMACOMICO, by Lieutenant-Colonel E. C. Yellowley||55|
|LOSS OF ROANOKE ISLAND, by Hon. Burgess S. Gaither, C. S. Congress, ||57|
|FALL OF ROANOKE ISLAND, by Lieutenant-Colonel E. R. Liles||63|
|SHARPSBURG, by Lieutenant-Colonel Walter Clark||71|
|BATTLE OF WHITE HALL, by Colonel S. D. Pool ||83|
|FLANK MARCH AT CHANCELLORSVILLE, by Brig.-Gen. J. H. Lane||93|
|THE WOUNDING OF JACKSON, by Adjutant Spier Whitaker||96|
|ANOTHER ACCOUNT, by Captain A. H. H. Tolar ||98|
|LONGSTREET'S ASSAULT AT GETTYSBURG, by Maj. W. M. Robbins||101|
|PETTIGREW'S BRIGADE AT GETTYSBURG, by Captain Louis G. Young, A. A. G||113|
|PETTIGREW'S CHARGE AT GETTYSBURG, by Lieutenant-Colonel T. Jones ||133|
|THE PETTIGREW-PICKETT CHARGE, by Captain S. A. Ash||137|
|DEFENCE OF FORT WAGNER, by Adjutant E. K Bryan and Sergeant E. H. Meadows ||161|
|CHICAMAUGA, by Captain C. A. Gilley, A. A. G., U. S. A||169|
|CAPTURE OF PLYMOUTH, by Major John W. Graham ||175|
|SECOND COLD HARBOR, by Brigadier-General Thos. L. Clingman||197|
|REAMS STATION, by Major Charles M. Stedman ||207|
|THE THIN GRAY LINE, by Brigadier-General Bradley T. Johnson ||213|
|DEFENCE OF FORT FISHER, by Colonel William Lamb ||217|
|THE SURRENDER AT APPOMATTOX, by Major-General Bryan Grimes, ||247|
|THE RETURN FROM APPOMATTOX, by Lieutenant W. A. Montgomery ||257|
|LAST FIFTEEN DAYS OF BAKER'S COMMAND, by Private James M. Mullen ||269|
|A BATTLE AFTER THE WAR, by Private R. Z. Linney ||285|
|NORTH CAROLINA IN THE NAVY.|
|CONFEDERATE VESSELS IN NORTH CAROLINA, by the Editor||298|
|NORTH CAROLINA NAVY, by Paymaster Adam Tredwell ||299|
|THE RAM ALBEMARLE, by Adjutant Gilbert Elliott ||315|
|CAPTURE OF THE UNDERWRITER, by Commander B. P. Loyall ||325|
|THE STEAMER AD-VANCE, by James Maglenn, Chief Engineer||335|
|RUNNING THE BLOCKADE, by Rev. Dr. Moses D. Hoge ||341|
|THE SHENANDOAH, by An Officer Thereof ||345|
|FIGHT WITH BLOCKADERS, by Colonel William Lamb ||351|
|BLOCKADE RUNNING, by Purser James Sprunt||353|
|NORTH CAROLINA'S FINANCIAL OPERATIONS IN ENGLAND, by Commissioner John White ||453|
|NORTH CAROLINA'S RECORD, by Governor Z. B. Vance||463|
|PAROLE LIST AT APPOMATTOX, ||482|
|COMMENTS ON PAROLE LIST, by the Editor ||573|
|FIRST NORTH CAROLINA SOLDIER TO DIE, by Private R. H. Bradley ||578|
|SIXTH REGIMENT AT MANASSAS, by Captain B. F. White||581|
|REPORT OF SHARPSBURG BATTLEFIELD COMMISSIONERS,||587|
|FIRST REGIMENT AT GETTYSBURG, by Sergeant C. W. Rivenbark ||595|
|UNPARALLELLED LOSS, by Captain R. M. Tuttle ||599|
|CAPTURE OF CEMETERY HILL AT GETTYSBURG, by Captain N. W. Ray ||605|
|INCIDENT AT GETTYSBURG, by Col. T. S. Kenan, C. S. A., and J. B. Callis, U. S. A||611|
|FLANNER'S BATTERY AT THE CRATER, by Captain H. G. Flanner||615|
|PRISONERS UNDER FIRE AT MORRIS ISLAND, by Sergeant-Major C. M. Busbee ||619|
|TWENTY-SIXTH BATTALION, by The Editor ||626|
| COMPANY B, TENTH VIRGINIA CAVALRY, by Sergeant H. R. Berrier ||627|
|THE HOME GUARDS, by Colonel James R. Cole ||629|
|HOME GUARDS FACE STONEMAN, by Colonel T. George Walton||635|
|HILLSBORO MILITARY ACADEMY, by Cadet Captain William Cain ||637|
|HILLSBORO MILITARY ACADEMY, by Cadet J. George Hanna ||643|
|N. C. MILITARY INSTITUTE, by Brigadier-General J. H. Lane||645|
|UNIVERSITY OF N. C. IN THE WAR, by Dr. K. P. Battle||647|
|THE LAST BATTLE AND THE LAST SURRENDER by Lieutenant-Colonel W. W. Stringfield ||653|
|SUPPLEMENT TO APPOMATTOX PAROLE LIST ||657|
|INDEX TO APPOMATTOX PAROLE LIST ||683|
|INDEX TO ILLUSTRATIONS ||719|
REVIEW AND CONCLUSION.
The last line of these five volumes having now been printed it is proper to write a few lines in review and farewell to be prefixed to this, the last volume.
The origin, the purpose and the scope of this work have been stated in the Preface to Vol. 1. and need not be repeated. In the classic tongue of historic Greece the word oida, I have seen, is at the same time both the perfect tense of the verb eido, I see, and the present tense of the verb I know. That is, "what I have seen I know." It is upon this idea that this work has been compiled. The narrative is not by one historian writing at second hand from information derived from many sources. But herein the narratives are by participants who have written from the personal knowledge of themselves or of their immediate comrades and largely of scenes of which they were eye witnesses.
Their contributions have been laboriously gathered by them from conference, or correspondence, with surviving comrades and diligently compared with the original reports published in the "Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies." As a further assurance of accuracy these sketches were printed in the newspapers and criticisms and corrections requested. It may be stated here that the dates affixed are mostly arbitrary for the majority of the regimental sketches were written in 1895, but being revised again and again down to the time each went to press, the date 9 April, 1900 or 1901, was affixed to those organizations from the Army of Northern Virginia and 26 April to those from the Army of the West, these being the anniversaries of the surrender of the respective armies. A few articles written by persons who died before the beginning of this work have been reproduced where the name of the writer or the subject matter has given them special interest.
The writers herein number 180 and represent every grade in the Army from Lieutenant General to private, and embrace not only men who have filled almost every vocation in
life since the war but those who have occupied every civil office from U. S. Senator and Governor to constable. Farmers, lawyers, preachers, physicians, manufacturers, teachers, editors, day laborers have each and all freely contributed their time and labor to preserve herein the memorials of what their comrades did and suffered at the command of North Carolina during those four eventful years the memory of which can never be forgotten.
Among the brave men who have traced the lines in these volumes are soldiers who heard the first shriek of shell at Bethel in the first real battle of the war 10 June, 1861, and whose ears caught the patter of minies as Cox's brigade fired the last volley at Appomattox 9 April, 1865 and who missed but little of the music of war between those dates. Among these writers are some who heard the opening guns at Sumter 13 April, 1861; many who heard the crash of A. P. Hill's musketry on that sultry summer's eve as he drove back Burn-side at Sharpsburg and who listened to the long, low monotone of artillery at Gettysburg so steady and unbroken as to seem the prolonged reverberation of a single broadside; eyes now dim saw the Southern night lightened with shell and mortar over doomed Vicksburg; limbs now stiff stepped fast and cheerily as the echoes of Jackson's cannon rolled along the silver Shenandoah. Such another gathering can not be found in any other work and could not be duplicated now for nearly one in every ten has passed beyond the pale since their articles were penned. Their comrades of whose deeds they wrote sleep, many of them, where the Georgian pines are bare, others by the Mississippi, the Cumberland, the Ohio, the Kanawha and where Potomac's breezes whispering low soothe many a soldier's endless sleep.
With a devotion to duty, only to be expected of such men, they have written these volumes and deserve the grateful remembrance of their countrymen for this scarcely less than for the gallant deeds they aided to perform and which but for their pens would have been unrecorded.
While these articles have been necessarily written from the standpoint of each writer which by a natural law makes each object and event near us seem larger and more important
than those farther off, still there has been a strenuous and painstaking effort to be accurate and truthful to the smallest detail. The work of such men could not be other than reliable. Any errors come from the lack of perspective incident to every narrative by an eye witness.
The articles are 254 in number exclusive of 165 pages embraced in the three Indexes, i. e. Index to Appomattox Parole List, Index to Illustrations and the General Index. These Indexes include some 17,000 names, a very large part of which are cited more than once.
The history of each of our 84 regiments (which includes the "Bethel" Regiment) is written by a member thereof except the sketches of four of the Senior Reserves Regiments and two of the Detailed men of which no survivors could be found. The history of each of our twenty-six Battalions is also given. The history of each brigade is written by a member thereof and a valuable series of Battles, giving North Carolina's part therein is furnished by participants on the respective occasions. The articles on Gettysburg by Major W. M. Robbins, Captain Louis G. Young, Captain S. A. Ashe and Lieutenant-Colonel John T. Jones as to the assault on Cemetery Ridge and by Captain N. W. Ray on the capture of Cemetery Hill are of exceptional value. An account of North Carolina's share in the Navy is herein pre-served including the story of the cruise of the Shenandoah, commanded by a gallant North Carolinian who flew the Confederate battle emblem at her mast head till 6 November, 1865, nearly seven months after Lee's surrender.
The experience of prisoners of war is graphically told including an account of those who were exposed to the fire of our own batteries at Morris Island. Governor Vance's memorable speech narrating the State's record in the war, also the report of our agent sent to England to procure supplies are reproduced. The history of the State's steamer, the "Advance" and a most interesting story by Mr. Sprunt of the incidents of the system of Blockade-running by which we were so long enabled to continue the war are printed for the first time.
Every subject is touched upon save the story of the sacrifices,
the services, the sufferings of our glorious and heroic women. The flight of time and the invincible modesty of the sex prevented our securing one of themselves to narrate that story and no man felt that his pen was equal to the portrayal. Like Emmett's epitaph, it must remain unwritten but its abiding remembrance is in the hearts of the soldiery of the South. The dedication prefixed to the completed work in this last volume comes from the heart. They are not perfunctory words, but the expression of the sentiments of the more than 125,000 soldiers, living and dead, whom North Carolina sent to the front.
The pay of the Confederate soldier in the depreciated currency was wholly inadequate to be of any assistance to those dependent upon him at home. Mention has already been made of the cotton cards and other supplies brought in through the blockade and distributed by the State to soldiers' wives. In most, if not all the counties, the county authorities procured supplies of corn, meat and salt which were stored in warehouses and dispensed weekly by boards of elderly citizens to the mothers, wives and children who needed assistance. This was not charity but just compensation to those who were absent fighting for the State without pay. Where the counties neglected this just measure there were of course large numbers of desertions. The soldier felt it but just that the government should see that his aged mother, his dependent wife and children were provided for by the State since at its command they were deprived of his labor. The salt was procured from the works at Saltville, Virginia, or from the ocean near Wilmington, the counties raising the funds by the issue of what was known as "Salt bonds." By what now seems a singular decision the Supreme Court of the State, in the Reconstruction era, held the bonds thus issued in aid of the destitute and suffering women and children of the State void "because issued in aid of the Rebellion."
A most interesting chapter might have been added of the operation of the "Tax in kind" by which provisions were obtained for the support of our armies, but as that would have required much elaboration and was a matter concerning
the Army as a whole rather than the North Carolina Regiments and Battalions, the subject has not been treated herein.
A series of extracts from the Executive Letter Books and the files of the Adjutant-General's office 1861-5 would have added interest to this work, but it had already swelled to five volumes, and this as well as some other valuable matter was necessarily foregone.
The legend on the cover is no idle boast, but is based upon evidence given herein that is deemed worthy to be presented to the great jury of the public and of posterity. Major Hale's history of the "Bethel" regiment proves, (if it had ever been called in question) North Carolina's claim to be the First at Bethel. The histories herein by Brigadier General Cox, Major General Grimes and by Colonel Frank Parker of the Thirtieth regiment abundantly establish that the volley of Cox's Brigade, of Grimes' Division was the Last at Appomattox, the last shots being fired by the Thirtieth Regiment belonging to that brigade. The last capture of guns by that gallant army was the 4 Napoleons taken by Roberts' North Carolina Cavalry brigade the morning of the surrender.
Davidson's history of the Thirty-ninth regiment, as well as Major Harper's history of the Fifty-eighth and Colonel Ray's of the Sixtieth fully demonstrate that our North Carolina soldiers were Farthest to the front at Chicamauga and they are corroborated by Captain C. A. Cilley's report, herein reprinted, who was a Staff Officer of Vanderveer's Brigade which faced our North Carolinians on that well fought field.
At Gettysburg the history of the Fifty-fifth Regiment by Adjutant C. M. Cooke shows that it went farthest to the front on Cemetery Ridge. The best proof of how far a line of battle went is where it left its dead and wounded. These derelicts cast up by the bloody wave of war were found farthest in the front of that gallant regiment and this is shown by the battlefield map prepared by the authority of the United States government after years of careful investigation of official reports and living witnesses from both armies. A copy of this official map, on a reduced scale is printed in this work.
The number of troops this State furnished is shown here-in from official records to have been over 125,000 and a full one fifth of the total force of the Confederacy. The losses of this State were over 41,000 by death on the battlefield or from wounds, being the largest loss sustained by any Southern State. Though North Carolina furnished one-fifth of the troops, it also appears that instead of one-fifth of the general officers being appointed from this State not one third of the pro rata, which was her due, received the promotion they so well deserved. Yet by the general opinion in the Army Fender, Hoke, Pettigrew and perhaps others, were as competent to command corps and as much deserved promotion as any who received the appointment of Lieutenant-General at the hands of the Confederate government. Brigadier-Generals Clingman, Lane, James B. Gordon, Matt. W. Ransom, Scales, and others merited being made Major-Generals, and the State had many gallant sons who well earned promotion to Brigadier-General Among many such, it may not be invidious to name Major E. J. Hale, who (General Lane being absent wounded) planned the successful movement at Fuzzell's Mills and virtually commanded his brigade at Reams Station, a South Carolinian (General Conner) being nominally in command-Colonel R. Tyler Bennett, the hero of the Bloody Lane at Sharpsburg-Colonel David Coleman in the Army of the West (to which we sent eight regiments and had no Brigadier after General Vance's capture in 1863)-Colonel Jno. S. McElroy of the Sixteenth, Colonel W. H. Cheek of the Ninth (First Cavalry) and Colonel T. M. Garrett of the Fifth all of whom were recommended for this promotion. These and many others, whether recommended or not, de-served the honor and were entitled to receive it both on their own merits and from the number of troops furnished by this State. But North Carolina was modest, as she always is and did not receive just recognition which has ever been her fate, alike in war and peace.
The following admirable summary of the services of our soldiers is taken from a recent speech by the eloquent Henry A. London, now Senator from Chatham, who at the surrender at Appomattox, was a member of the Thirty-second Regiment
and courier to General Grimes, and carried to General Cox the order for the last volley fired by that gallant army. His words deserve preservation.
"With a white population in 1860 of 629,942 and 115,000 voters, North Carolina sent 125,000 soldiers to the Confederate armies, composing eighty-four regiments and eighteen battalions. Three of these regiments were artillery, eight cavalry and seventy-three infantry. Several of the battalions were artillery and cavalry. Over 41,000 were killed or died in the service. There were seven Major-Generals from this State, of whom three were killed, namely: Pender, Ramseur and Whiting. There were twenty-six Brigadier Generals from this State; four of whom were killed and the others, almost without exception, were wounded.
"The first victory was won by North Carolina troops at Bethel on 10 June, 1861, and they fired the last volley at Appomattox Court House.
"At Gettysburg 2,592 Confederates were killed and 12,707 wounded, and 3,155 Federals were killed and 14,529 were wounded. Of the killed 770 were North Carolinians, 435 Georgians, 399 Virginians, 258 Mississippians, 217 South Carolinians and 204 Alabamians. The three brigades which lost more killed than any others in that battle were Pettigrew's North Carolina (which lost 190 killed) Davis', composed of three Mississippi and one North Carolina regiment, which lost 180, and Daniel's North Carolina brigade, which lost 165 killed. Pickett's entire division lost 214 killed. No brigade in Pickett's division lost as many killed and wounded as the Twenty-sixth North Carolina regiment, whose loss was 86 killed and 502 wounded, which was the heaviest loss of any regiment in either army in any battle of the war. There were sixteen brigades of Confederates in the first day's battle, of which seven were from North Carolina. In what is called Picketts' charge there were nineteen Virginia regiments and fifteen North Carolinians. At Reams Station, in August, 1864, after the first efforts of other Confederates had failed, the three North Carolina brigades of Cooke, Lane and MacRae,
consisting of only 1,750 men, routed the enemy and captured 2,100.
"Among the regiments which suffered the heaviest losses were the following: The Fifth North Carolina at Williamsburg, the Fourth at Seven Pines, the Third at Sharpsburg, the Twenty-sixth at Gettysburg and the Twenty-seventh at Bristoe Station. At Williamsburg the Fifth lost in killed, wounded and missing 197 out of 240. At Seven Pines the Fourth went into battle with twenty-five officers and 5520 noncommissioned officers and privates, and lost in killed and wounded every officer except one and 462 men. At Sharpsburg the Third lost in an hour and a half 330 out of 520. At Bristoe the Twenty-seventh lost in less than half an hour 291 out of 426. At Sharpsburg Company C. of the Fourteenth North Carolina regiment' lost in killed and wounded every man of the forty-five present, and at Chancellorsville the same company carried in forty-three men and all were killed or wounded except one and a minie ball had lodged in his haversack. Company F of the Twenty-sixth lost at Gettysburg every man out of eighty-seven, except one and he was knocked down by the concussion of a shell.
"No troops were better armed and equipped than those from North Carolina, and our State was the only one that clothed her troops during the entire war. Also furnished clothing for other troops, and at the surrender had 92,000 suits of uniforms on hand and great stores of blankets and leather; was the only State that was engaged in direct trade with England and running the blockade. At the close of the war North Carolina's commissary was feeding about half of Lee's army.
"The day after the battle of Manassas Secretary of War Benjamin telegraphed Governor Clark that there was not enough powder for another day's fight, and requested him to obtain nitre, which he did. In the fall of 1861 Secretary Benjamin wrote Governor Clark that it was not necessary to make large contracts for military supplies for any long time, as the war would not last long, but the Governor soon afterwards sent an agent to England to buy arms."
Over 900 engravings of officers and men, representing
them, as they looked in those days, give added interest to these volumes. Nearly one hundred of these-mostly privates (for no line has been drawn at rank)-have been sent in by Judge A. W. Graham. He was too young to be in the army himself, but he had five brothers in the service, each of whom was wounded and four of whom have contributed articles to this work. A very large part of the other photographs have been sent in by the mothers, wives and daughters of soldiers who with a devotion known only to a woman's heart have preserved these mementoes of a long-buried past, ofttimes the only relic of their dead, and taking them from their sacred repositories have had them engraved, a cost they could oft not afford, that posterity might look upon the lineaments of the brave who could merit such fidelity.
The engraving of the photographs could not have been procured but for the assistance of that patriotic Southerner, Major C. L. Patton, of New York City, President of the University Publishing Company, who without reward or the hope of reward, undertook the supervision of t he work of engraving, securing the lowest possible cost for the Veterans and providing, at his own expense, the clerical force to conduct the correspondence, receiving the photographs and re-turning them to their respective owners, grouping the engravings and attending to every detail till the last sheet was printed off and shipped us. Had he been a native North Carolinian he could not have done more. Our thanks are also due to his accomplished clerk, who chiefly conducted this matter, Miss R. S. Adams. To rare business accuracy she has added a woman's sympathetic assistance in this work. The engravings of all the thirty-five North Carolina Generals have been made at Major Patton's own expense for these volumes. Fuller investigation in the Confederate Archives having shown that Major-General Jeremy F. Gilmer and Brigadier-General Gabriel J. Rains were appointed from this State, their names have been added to the thirty-three North Carolina generals given in the preface to Vol. 1, and engravings of them have been inserted in this volume.
To Colonel William Lamb, the gallant defender of Fort Fisher, we are indebted for the full page engraving of the
"Bombardment of Fort Fisher" (the frontispiece to Vol. 5), the full page engraving of the "Mound Battery" and other engravings. To Mr. James Sprunt the writer of the valuable article on "Blockade Running" we are indebted for the full page engravings of the "Steamer Ad-Vance," the "Shenandoah" and other engravings, and we owe to Colonel Thos. S. Kenan, of the Forty-third regiment, the frontispiece to Vol. 4 "Johnson's Island" (a description of which may be found in his personal reminiscences of prison life on page 689 of that volume) and also for a full page engraving of Company A of his regiment. The only other engraving of a full company is that furnished by Captain C. B. Denson in the Twentieth Regiment.
Numerous maps are given which add much to the easy comprehension of the narratives. The two maps of Gettysburg and that of the capture of Plymouth are especially valuable.
This work undertaken more than seven years ago has been prosecuted with many hindrances. It would be bootless to relate the tribulations attending such an undertaking. Its merits are due to the efforts of the self-sacrificing patriotic men who have written the several histories composing it. Its short-comings are due to the Editor and the limitations which the lapse of time and untoward circumstances have imposed.
For better, for worse, the record is now made up. The last word to the present age or posterity has been said and already the voices of many who have spoken are stilled in death.
On several occasions, the Confederacy was on the very eve of success, but some unexpected fatality intervened. At Shiloh within a half hour of the capture of the Federal Army with Grant and Sherman at its head, a single bullet which caused the death of Albert Sidney Johnston changed the history of the Continent. At Chancellorsville, one scattering volley fired by mistake of his own men took the life of Stonewall Jackson, when but for that fatality the capture of Hooker and his whole army was inevitable. The unexpected humiliation of the Federal Government in surrendering
Mason and Slidell to British threats avoided a war with that power and with it the independence of the South, which would have come with the command of the seas which was within the power, at that time, of Britain's fleet. If Stuart's cavalry had been on hand at Gettysburg, or even a competent Corps commander to have held our gains of the first two days, in all human probability the war would have ended in a great Southern victory at that spot. Had Mr. Davis, when he sent his commissioners to England to negotiate a loan of $15,000,000, acceded to the pressure of foreign capitalists to make it $600,000,000, not only would the Southern finances not have broken down (which was the real cause of our defeat) and Southern troops have been amply supplied, but European governments would have intervened in favor of Southern In-dependence ere they would have suffered their influential capitalists to lose that sum. They have always intervened everywhere for such cause.
There were other occasions besides when a contrary event would have brought about Independence. No troops in all history have fought better nor has any people shown better military qualities. But, as Napier said of Napoleon, "Fortune, that name for the 'unknown combinations of an infinite power, was wanting to us and without her aid, the designs of man are as bubbles on a troubled ocean."
Historical experience in other countries has been that the disbanded soldiers after a long war, having contracted habits of idleness, have been a source of long continued disturbance. Not so with the Confederate veterans who at once went to work to repair the ravages of war and rebuild the fortunes of their sorely devastated country. Not only that, but they were the mainstay of order and in many places when the discarded camp-followers of the other side were not restrained by the commanders of that army, these were sternly given to understand that if order was not otherwise maintained, the ex-Confederates could and would establish it.
Unawed by garrisons of the victorious army, and unseduced by the blandishments and temptations offered them, these soldiers of a Lost Cause took their stand for Anglo-Saxon
civilization and saved the South from the fate of Hayti and the West Indies. Their services in the years succeeding the war were as truly great and as worthy of lasting gratitude as those rendered from 1861 to 1865.
The youngest who wore the gray have crossed the crest of the narrow ridge that divides two great oceans and already, like Balboa, they have descried from the western slope the wide waste of waters which reaches beyond the sunset. Not many years shall pass ere the last of those who followed the fortunes of Lee and Jackson, of Johnston and Forrest shall have set sail on that shoreless sea, and the last footfall of the tread of the old Confederate regiments whose march shook a Continent shall be echoing in eternity. Then these volumes shall preserve to a distant posterity the memory of a courage and a patriotism and a spirit of self-sacrifice which our sons should not willingly let die.
My Comrades, to have been deemed worthy of labor for you and with you is honor enough for any man. To one and all I give my thanks for your great patience and your unfailing courtesy.
RALEIGH, N. C., 31
ERRATA-There are over 1,000 engravings (instead of 900 as above stated) of which 13 are full page engravings and there are 32 maps.
LIST OF HISTORIANS AND CONTRIBUTORS.
BY THE EDITOR.
For information, to the following list of contributors is appended a memorandum of the occupation of each since the war. Where one has held official position, only the highest is given. There are 179 writers exclusive of the editor and 254 articles, including those written by him. The writers held, It will be noted, every position in the army from Lieutenant-General to private, and since the war have distributed themselves among nearly all the professions and ordinary occupations of life.
- AIKEN, R. A., Captain Merchant, Murphy, N. C. Vol. IV, p. 117
- ALBRIGHT, JNO G., Lieutenant Merchant, County Commissioner. Died 1890. IV- 99
- ALEXANDER, J. W., Lieut-Commander C. S. N Died Lincolnton, N. C., 1898. IV-733
- ASHE, S. A., Captain A. A. G Member Gen. Assembly 1870. Ed. Observer, Lawyer, Raleigh, N. C. V-137
- AVERY, A C., Major Judge Superior Court 1878-1889, Judge Supreme Court 1889-1897. Morganton, N. C. I-337, IV-371
- BAILEY, ISAAC H., Captain In Business, Bakersville, N. C. II-447
- BARRINGER, RUFUS, Brigadier-General State Senator 1852, Chairman Rep. St. Exec. Corn. Died 3 February, 1895. I-417
- BATTLE, KEMP. P., Member Conv. 1861 Public Treasurer 1866-'7, President University 1875; Prof. History University N. C. since 1891. V-647
- BEALL, JAS. F., Major Member Gen. Ass. 1883. Physician, Davidson County. II-129
- BENNETT, R. T., Colonel Judge Superior Court 1880, M. C. 1880-'84. I-705
- BEERIER, H. R., Sergeant Farmer, Davidson County. V-627
- BETTS, A. D , Chaplain Methodist Minister, Sampson County, N. C. IV-597
- BRADLEY, ROBT. H., Private Marshal Supreme Court since 1879. V-577
- BRENIZER, A. G., Colonel Bank Officer, Charlotte, N. C. IV-131
- BROADFOOT, CHAS. W. Colonel Member Gen. Ass. N. C., 1870-72, Lawyer, Fayetteville. IV- 9
- BROWN, H. A., Colonel Prominent Citizen and Capitalist, Columbia, Tenn. I-135
- BROWN, T. J., Major In business, Winston, N. C. II-789
- BRYAN, E. K., Adjutant In business, New Bern, N. C. II-507, V-161
- BURGWYN, W. H. S.. Captain Col. 7th Md. Regt., Col. 2nd N. C. Regiment Spanish War, Author Md. Digest, Lawyer, Bank President, Weldon, N. C. II-591, IV-481, 569
- BUSBEE, FABIUS H , Lieutenant U. S. District Attorney, Raleigh, N. C. IV-583
- BUSBEE, C. M., Sergeant-Major State Senator 1874, Grand Sire Odd Fellows 1890, President State Bar Association 1901-2, Raleigh, N. C. I-281, V-619
- CAHO, W. T., Sergeant State Senator 1874, Lawyer, Bayboro, N. C. III-725
- CAIN, WILLIAM, Cadet Captain Professor University of N. C., Chapel Hill. V-637
- CALLIS. G. B., Brigadier General U. S. A. Member Congress Wisconsin. Died 1897. V-611
- CANTWELL, JNO. L, Colonel Veteran also Mexican War, Secretary Produce Exchange, Wilmington, N. C. IV-721, V-23
- CARR, JULIAN S., Private One of Founders Blackwell's Mfg' o. Commander State Veterans Association, Millionaire. Durham, N. C. IV-581
- CATHEY, B. H., Lieutenant In business. Bryson City, N. C. I-751
- CHEEK, W. H., Colonel Lawyer, Henderson, N. C. Died 23 March, 1901. I-445, 775
- CILLEY. C. A , Captain U. S. A. Judge Superior Court N. C. 1867-8. Died 1898. V-169
- CLINGMAN, THOMAS L., Brigadier-General Resigned from U. S. Senate 1861, to join C. S. A. Died 3 November, 1897. V-29, 197
- COLE, JAMES R., Colonel Supt. Military School, Dallas, Texas. V-629
- COOKE, CHARLES M., Adjutant State Senator 1874; Solicitor 1877-8; Secretary of State 1895-7; Lawyer, Louisburg, N. C. III-287
- COWAN. JOHN, Captain Secretary Board of Audit and Finance, Wilmington, N. C. Died 1900. I-177
- COX, W. R., Brigadier-GeneralJudge Superior Court 1877-80; M. C. 1881-87; Secretary U. S. Senate 1894-1900; Farmer and Lawyer, Edgecombe Co., N. C. IV-443
- CROSS, J. F., Lieutenant Farmer, Sunbury, N. C. IV-703
- CUMMING, JAMES D., Captain in business Brooklyn, N. Y. Died January, 1902. IV-361
- DAVES, GRAHAM, Adjutant Author and Man of Letters, New Bern, N. C. II-161
- DAVIDSON, JNO. M., R. R. Agent, Farmer. Kingston, Georgia. II-727
- DAVIDSON. THEO. F., Lieutenant Att'y General N. C. 1884-92; Mayor of Asheville 1895. II-699
- DAVIS, T. C.Sergeant Postmaster, Morehead, N. C. II-745
- DENSON, C. B., Captain Teacher, Sec'y N. C. Ag'l. Society, Raleigh, N. C. IV-409
- DeROSSETT. W. L., Colonel Commander State Veteran Association 1896-7, Wilmington, N. C. I-215
- DIXON, B F., Captain State Auditor N. C. 1901; Major Second N. C. Reg't 1898 (Spanish War). III-151
- ELLINGTON, J. C., Lieutenant Civil Engineer City of Raleigh. III-161
- ELLIOTT, CHAS. G., Captain Treasurer N. & C. R. R. Died 14 August, 1901. IV-527
- ELLIOTT, GILBERT, Adjutant Lawyer, St. Louis, Mo., and New York. Died 9 May, 1895. V-315
- EVANS, J. W., Corporal Register of Deeds Dare Co., Merchant, Manteo, N. C. III-713
- FERGUSON, GARLAND S., Lieutenant Solicitor 12th District 1879-1892, State Senator 1876, Waynesville, N. C. II-291
- FLANNER, HENRY G., Captain Druggist, Wilmington, N. C. Died 1885. V-617
- FLOWERS, GEO. W., Lieutenant-Colonel Merchant, Taylorsville, N. C. I-675
- FRAZIER, F. C. Lieutenant Farmer, High Point, N. C. IV-325
- GAITHER. BURGESS S, Member Congress C. S., Lawyer, Morganton, N. C. Died 1892. V-57
- GALLOWAY, JNO. M Prominent Citizen, Madison, N. C. III-529
- GORDON, A., MAJOR Planter, Hulda, La. I-3, 23, 37, 39, 45
- GRAHAM, JAMES A., Captain Lawyer, State Senator 1872; Washington, D. C. I-425, IV-501
- GRAHAM, JOHN W, Major Member State Convention 1868; State Senator 1868-'9; and 1876-'77; Lawyer, Hillsboro, N. C. V-175
- GRAHAM, Robt D., Captain Chief of Bureau, Dept. Interior; Lawyer, Washington, D. C. II-313
- GRAHAM, W. A. MajorPlanter. Lincoln Co., N. C. Several times in N. C. Legislature, President Farmers' Alliance. Son of Hon. W. A. Graham, C. S. Senator and brother of Major Jno. W. Graham, Captain Robert D. Graham and Captain Jas. A. Graham, who are also Historians in this work. I-50, II-79
- GREEN, WHARTON J., Lieutenant-Colonel Member of Congress 1883-87; Farmer, Fayetteville, N. C. IV-243
- GRIMES. BRYAN, Major-General Farmer, Pitt County; Assassinated 14 August, 1880. V-247
- GRIZZARD, JAMES M.. Captain Member Gen. Ass. 1895; Lawyer. Died 1901. IV-645
- HALE, E. J. Major Consul to Manchester, England; Ed. Fayetteville Observer. I-69
- HAMPTON, E. R , Hospital Steward Clerk U. S. Dist. Court 1870-1884. Lawyer, Sylva, N. C. IV-385
- HANNAH, J. GEORGE Insurance Agent, Sller City, N. C. V-643
- HARPER, G. W. F., Major In Gen. Ass. 1881; Prest. Lenoir N. G. R. R. 1894; Prest. Bank Lenoir, N. C. III-431
- HARRILL. L.. Captain Prominent Physician, Statesville, N. C. I-771
- HARRIS, J. S.. Capt Wounded three times, Merchant, Davidson College, N. C. I-361
- HILL, D. H. Lieutenant-General President tint of Arkansas. Died 25 September, 1889. V-15
- HILL, JOSHUA B., Sergeant U. S. Marshal, Raleigh, N. C. II-767
- HINES, PETER E., Surgeon Prominent Physician, Raleigh, N. C. IV-623
- HINSDALE JOHN W., Colonel Prominent Lawyer, Raleigh, N. C. IV- 35
- HOGE, REV. DR. MOSES D Presbyterian Minister, Richmond, Va. Died 6 January, 1898. V-341
- HOLT. E. J., Lieutenant Sheriff Johnston Co; Member Gen. Ass. 1874-8; Merchant, Smithfield. IV-91, 580
- JOHNSON, BRADLEY T., Brigadier-General Lawyer, Baltimore, Md. V-213
- JOHNSTON, JOS. F., Lieutenant Governor of Alabama 1898-'9. IV-521
- JONES, HAMILTON C., Colonel State Senator 1869-1871; U. S. Dist. Atty. 1884-88; Lawyer; Charlotte, N. C. III-405
- JONES, JOHN T., Lieutenant-Colonel Killed 6 May, 1864, at the Wilderness. V-133
- KEARNEY, H. C., Lieutenant Sheriff of Franklin Co. since 1878, Louisburg, N. C. I-733
- KENAN, THOS. S., Colonel Attorney-General 1876-1884; Clerk Supreme Court since 1887. Raleigh, N. C. III-1, 19, IV-689, V-611
- KENNEDY, JOHN T., Colonel Member Gen. Ass., Farmer, Goldsboro, N. C. IV-71, 370
- LAMB, WILLIAM, Colonel Prominent business man, Norfolk, Va. II-629, V-217, 351
- LAMB, WILSON G., Lieutenant Merchant, Williamston, N. C. II-1
- LANE, JAMES H., Brigadier-General Prof. A. & M. College, Auburn, Ala. II-465, IV-465, V-93, 645
- LATTIMORE. THOS. D. Clerk Superior Court Cleveland Co.; Treasurer Manufacturing Co., Shelby, N. C. II-581
- LAWHON, W. H. H., Captain Member Gen. Ass. 1897; Baptist Minister, Moore Co., N. C. III-113
- LILES, E. R., Lieutenant-Colonel Farmer, Anson Co. Died about 1894. V-63
- LINNEY, ROMULUS Z State Senator; M. C.; Lawyer, Taylorsville, N. C. V-285
- LONDON, HENRY A.. Private Courier who carried last order to charge at Appomattox; Ed. Chatham Record; State Senator 1901. Pittsboro, N. C. II-521
- LONDON, W. L., Captain Merchant, Pittsboro, N. C. IV-513
- LOYALL, B. P., Commander C. S. N Resides Norfolk, Va. V-325
- LUDWIG, H. T. T., Drummer Professor Mount Pleasant College, N. C., 1871-1900. Died 28 July, 1900. I-387
- LUSK, VIRGIL S., Member Gen. Ass. 1895-1897; U. S. Dist. Atty 1868-1884; Lawyer. Asheville, N. C. IV-271
- MACRAME, J. C. Major Judge Superior Court N. C. 1882-1892; Judge Supreme Court 1892-5; Prof. Law Uni. of N. C., Chapel Hill, N. C. I-281, IV-379
- MACRAE, WALTER G., Captain Sheriff of New Hanover; Civil Engineer. Wilmington, N. C. IV-713
- MAGLENN, JAMES, Chief Engineer Master Machinist. Hamlet, N. C. V-335
- MANLY, MATT., Captain Mayor and Postmaster at New Bern. I-157
- MANGUM, A. W., Chaplain Methodist Minister; Prof. Uni. N. C. Died 1890. IV-745
- MARTIN, JAS. G., Brigadier-General Graduate West Point; Lawyer, Asheville, N. C. Died 4 October, 1878. V-13
- MARTIN, W. J., Colonel Professor Uni. N. C. and Davidson College. Died 23 March, 1896. I-583
- MAXWELL, DAVID G., Captain In business, Charlotte, N. C. IV-405
- McDowell, B. G., Lieutenant-Colonel Atty at Law, Bristol, Tenn. III-515
- MCKETHAN, A. A., Lieutenant Clerk Superior Court Cumberland; Manufacturer; Fayetteville, N. C. III-205
- MCKINNE, DAVID E., Captain Merchant, Princeton, N. C. IV-25
- MCLAURIN, W. H , Adjutant Farmer, Laurinburg, N. C. II-15
- McNEILL, THOS. A Judge Superior Court, 1898. Lumberton, N. C. IV-303
- MEADOWS, E. H., Sergeant In business and Bank and R. R. Director. New Bern, N. C. II-507, V-161
- MEANS, PAUL B., Private Member Gen. Ass. 1874-5; State Senator 1885 and 1889; Lawyer. Concord, N. C. III-545
- METTS, JAMES I., Captain Prominent Citizen, Wilmington, N. C. I-177
- MILLS, G. H., Lieutenant In business, Rutherfordton. Died 10 January, 1901. IV-137
- MONTGOMERY, W. A., Lieutenant Justice Supreme Court since 1895. Raleigh, N. C. I-605, V-257
- MOORE, JOHN W., Major, Major Editor "Moore's Roster," Historian and Novelist, Powellsville, N. C. IV-261
- MOORE, M. V.. Captain Editor and Farmer. Died 1900. III-673
- MOORE. T. C., Lieutenant Farmer, Bladen County. IV-221
- MOREHEAD, JAS. T , Colonel State Senator 1872; Lawyer. Greensboro, N. C. II-255
- MORRIS, B. T., Captain Chairman County Commissioners Henderson County; Farmer. III-659
- MULLEN, JAMES M State Senator N. C.; Judge Hustings Court, Petersburg, Va. V-269
- MYROVER, J. H., Lieutenant Editor, Man of Letters, Fayetteville, N. C. IV-341
- OFFICER OF SHENANDOAH, The name is unknown, but supposed to be one of the Surgeons of the ship. V-345
- OSBORNE, E. A., Colonel Minister Episcopal Church; Chaplain Second N. C. Regiment Spanish War 1898. Charlotte, N. C. I-229
- OUTLAW, E. R., Captain Sheriff Bertie Co. 10 years; Planter. Bertie County, N. C. I-583
- PARKER, FRANK M., Colonel Farmer. Enfield, N. C. II-495
- PARKER, W. FLETCHER. Lieutenant Member Gen. Ass. 1901; Merchant and Farmer. Enfield, N. C. IV-7I
- PATTON, THOS. W., Captain Twice Mayor, Co. Commr., Philanthropist and Financier, Asheville, N. C. III-499
- PICKENS, S V., Adjutant Lawyer, Hendersonville, N. C. IV-109, 363
- POOL, S. D, Colonel Ed. "Our Living and Our Dead"; Supt. Pub. Instruction N. C. 1878-80. Died in Louisiana 1902. I-489; V-19, 83
- POWELL, C. S.. Adjutant Sheriff of Johnston Co.; Merchant. Smithfield, N. C. IV-329
- POWERS, L. E., Lieutenant. Member Gen. Ass. 1879-1883, Architect, Rutherfordton, N. C. II-147
- PRISONERS AT JOHNSON ISLAND TO GOV. VANCE IV-697
- RAMSAY, JOHN A., Captain State Senator; Civil Engineer. Salisbury, N. C. I-551
- RAMSEY, N. A , Captain Surveyor, Durham, N. C. III-503
- RAY, JAMES M., Lieutenant-Colonel Real Estate Agent, Asheville, N. C. III-473
- RAY, NEILL W., Captain Lawyer; Mayor of Fayetteville, N. C. Died 1899. I-293; V-605
- RAWLEY, T. L., Captain In business, Winston, N. C. I-70I, IV-551
- RIVENBARK, CHAS W. Sergeant In business, Charlotte, N. C. IV-725 V-595
- ROBBINS, W. M., Major Member Congress 1872-78; Corn. Gettysburg Battlefield since 1894. V-I01
- ROBERTS, W. P , Brigadier-General State Auditor 1877-1891; Consul to Victoria, B. C., 1893-1897. Gatesville, N. C. II-99
- ROBINSON, JNO. H.. Adjutant Accountant, Fayetteville, N. C. III-223
- ROGERS, J. ROWAN, Lieutenant Sheriff Wake County 1887-1891; Farmer. Raleigh, N. C. III-103
- ROSE, GEORGE M., Adjutant Speaker N. C. House of Reps. 1883; Lawyer, Fayetteville, N. C. III-685
- ROSE, W. N., Corporal Farmer, Johnston County, N. C. II-269
- ROULHAC, THOS. R.. Lieutenant Judge Superior Court Alabama. Sheffield, Ala. III-125
- SANDERS. J. W., Lieutenant Physician, Carteret County, N. C. I-499
- SHAW, W. P., Lieutenant Clerk Superior Court Hertford County. Winton, N. C. II-455
- SMITH. N. S., Adjutant Farmer, Forsythe Co. I-689
- SPARROW, THOMAS, Major Member Gen. Assembly 1858-9; Lawyer. Washington, N. C. Died 14 January, 1884. V-35
- SPRUNT, JAMES, Purser Large shipper and British Vice Consul, Wilmington, N. C. V-353
- STEDMAN, CHARLES M., Major Lieutenant-Governor 1889-1893; Lawyer. Greensboro, N. C. III-21, V-207
- STRINGFIELD, W. W Member Gen. Ass 1883; State Senator 1901; Surveyor, Waynesville, N. C. III-729
- SUTTON, THOMAS H., Private Member Gen. Assembly 1887, 1889, 1891, 1897; Judge Criminal Court 1897-8; Fayetteville, N. C. II-65
- TAYLOR, MATTHEW P Insurance Agent. Wilmington, N. C. IV-293
- THORNE, E A., Lieutenant County Commissioner; Farmer, Halifax County, N. C. V-5, 9
- THORP, JOHN H., Captain State Senator 1887; Lawyer; Farmer, Nash County, N. C. Rocky Mount. II-83
- TOLAR. A. H. H., Captain Editor, Damon, Texas. V-98
- TOON, THOS. F., Brigadier-General Superintendent Public Instruction 1901-1902. Died February 1902. Lumberton, N. C. II-111
- TREDWELL, ADAM. Paymaster in Navy In business, Norfolk, Va. V-299
- TURNER, VINES E.. Captain Dentist, Raleigh, N. C. II-181
- TUTTLE, ROMULUS M Presbyterian Minister, Collierstown, Va. V-599
- UNDERWOOD, GEORGE C., Assistant Surgeon Physician, Chatham County, N. C. II-303
- VANCE, ROBERT B.. Brigadier-General Member Congress 1872-S2. U. S. Comm'r Patents 1884. Died 1900. I-485
- VANCE, ZEBULON B., Colonel Three times Governor of N. C., and four times elected U. S. Senator; Lawyer. Died 1893. V-463
- WADDILL, J. M., Lieutenant Merchant, Greenville, S. C. II-63
- WALL, H C., Sergeant Cotton Manufacturer, Member Gen. Ass. 1899, Rockingham. N. C. Died 1900. II-I81
- WALTON, T GEORGE Prominent Citizen, Morganton, N C, now 86 years old. V-635
- WATSON, CYRUS B., Sergeant State Senator 1889, 1891; Dem. Candidate for Governor 1896; Lawyer, Winston, N. C. II-35
- WEBB, LEWIS H., Captain Franklin, Va. Died 8 February, 1902. IV-355
- WEBB. ROBERT F., Colonel Farmer, Durham County. Died 1890. IV-657
- WESTON, JAMES A., Major Minister Episcopal Church; Author of "Marshall Ney in North Carolina." I-537
- WHARTON, RUFUS W., Lieutenant Colonel Member State Board of Agriculture; Farmer. Washington, N. C. III-703, IV-225
- WHEELER, WOODBURY, Captain Lawyer, Washington, D. C. Died 1900. IV-315
- WHITAKER, SPIER, Adjutant Judge Superior Court 1890-4; Major 6th U. S. Vols. 1898 (Spanish War). Died June, 1901. V-97
- WHITE. B. F., Captain Merchant, Alamance County, N. C. V-581
- WHITE, JOHN, Commissioner Merchant, Warrenton, N. C. Died -. V-453
- WIGGINS, OCTAVIUS A In business, Wilmington, N. C. II-658
- WILLIAMS, ARTHUR B., Captain Mayor Fayetteville 1875; Chairman Co. Commrs; in business, Fayetteville, N. C. I-537
- WILLIAMS, J. MARSHALL. Lieutenant Farmer, Fayetteville, N. C. II-267
- WILLIAMS, R. S, Captain Farmer, Guilford County. I-653
- WYNNS, JAS. M., Lieutenant-Colonel Member Gen. Assembly, Merchant, Murfreesboro, N. C. IV-365
- YELLOWLY, E. C.. Lieutenant-Colonel Lawyer, Greenville, N. C. Died. 1885. V-55
- YOUNG, LOUIS G, Captain Merchant, Savannah, Georgia. IV-555, V-II3
- THE EDITOR
- I-v, xi, xiii, xiv; IV-1, 65, 69, 97,
- 107, I29, I33, 224, 270, 30I, 302, 338,
- 339, 383, 397, 398, 399, 400, 40I, 403,
- 407, 435, 649; V-iii, vii, xix, 1, 3,
- 8, I7, 71, 298, 573, 587, 626.
NUMBER OF TROOPS FROM
BY THE EDITOR.
By the Adjutant-General's report 19 November, 1864, it appears as follows :
- Transferred to Confederate States by original rolls on file 64,636
- No. of conscripts to 30 September, I8,585, but report of General Holmes 9 February, 1865' 21,348
- Enlisted number of recruits since 1862 21,608
- Number of North Carolinians serving in other States 3,100
- Number of detailed men (in three regiments and one battalion) 3,117
- Number Junior Reserves 4,207
- Number Senior Reserves 5,686
- Number in State Troops 3,203
- Total 126,905
- Additions by coming of Military age after 19 November, 1864, and other additions, probably 2,000
- Total 128,905
- Besides nine regiments of reorganized Home Guards 1864-'65 5,000
- Grand total 133,905
Which is slightly in excess of Major Gordon's estimate in Vol. 1 of this work, at page 19.
The total enrollment in the Home Guards in the Spring of 1864 was 25,098. This embraced men from 45 to 50, and 5,589 militia officers, magistrates and other civil officers exempt from Confederate service and other exemptions and those exempt from physical disability. This latter class was reported to the Confederate Congress at 7,885. It is probable that the exemptions of all kinds from the Home Guards were one-half, leaving 12,500 in Home Guards. Of this number 6,000 were later taken into Confederate service as Senior Reserves, leaving the Home Guards only 6,500, of whom, however, when finally ordered out not more than 5,000 (as above stated) got to the front. The number of officers, 1,312, which were not very excessive before the Home Guard was depleted by taking out the Senior Reserves, became nearly one-fourth of the force whet mobilized, as appears
from the official returns of the three Home Guard Regiments at Kinston September-November, 1864, and their number an embarrassment.
In the early part of the war the "State Troops" consisted of the first ten regiments and the Thirty-third, which were enlisted at the start "for three years or the war," the others being twelve months men or "Volunteers." But the State Troops in above table are the Sixty-seventh and Sixty-eighth Regiments, the First Heavy Artillery Battalion (herein styled Ninth Battalion), the Fifteenth Battalion (cavalry), and Fourteenth Battalion (cavalry), which later was raised to a regiment, the Seventy-ninth (or Eighth Cavalry). These commands were never turned over to the Confederacy, having been raised for service in the State, though they served under Confederate Generals, like all others.
As a matter of interest, the following table is here given of exemptions in this State which were reported to the Confederate Congress in February, 1865. 129 Off. Rec. Union and Con fed. Armies, 1101:
- Physical disability 7,885
- State officers (including in this 2,650 militia officers) 5,589
- Ministers of the Gospel 400
- Editors 21
- Newspaper employees 99
- Apothecaries 31
- Physicians 374
- Presidents and College Professors 173
- Presidents, etc., Deaf, Dumb and Blind 5
- Overseers and Agriculturists 246
- Railroad officers and employees 967
- Mail contractors contractors 100
- Mail drivers 47
- Non combatants (Quakers) 342
- Foreigners 167
- Special exempts 49
- Agricultural details 229
- Shoemakers, tanners, etc 437
- Total 17,261
The State also furnished a large number of negroes from time to time to work on fortifications under Confederate authority.
Generals from North Carolina Commissioned by the Confederate States. Brig.Gen.A.C.Godwin Brig.Gen.Gabriel J.Rains Brig.Gen.W.R.Cox Brig.Gen.John D. Barry Brig.Gen.W.Gaston Lewis Brig.Gen.Collett Leventhorpe Maj.Gen.J.F.Gilmer
NUMBER OF GENERALS FROM
BY THE EDITOR.
The total number of Confederate troops was between 600,-000 and 650,000. The troops from North Carolina in Con-federate service as above was over 125,000, or about one-fifth.
The Confederacy appointed the following General Officers (20 So. Rist. Papers, 117):
- Full Generals 6
- Full Generals (temporary) 2
- Of these none from North Carolina.
- Lieutenant-Generals 21
- From North Carolina two or one-tenth.
- Major-Generals 99
- From North Carolina 6 (or including J. F. Gilmer 7) instead of 20, her quota.
- Brigadier-Generals 480
- From North Carolina 25 (or including General Rains, 26) instead of her quota, 96.
Of her twenty-five Brigadiers, four were temporary appointments and two of them were returned to their former rank as Colonels after a few weeks service, and of her Major-Generals, also one was a temporary appointment. Of her two Lieutenant-Generals, one had his appointment withdrawn after rendering distinguished services in command of his Corps at Chickamauga, and the Senate had no chance to confirm him as Lieutenant-General.
Investigation shows that Brigadier-General Gabriel J. Rains and Major-General Jeremy F. Gilmer were appointed from this State and should be added to the list of Generals given in the preface to Vol. 1. Neither, however, commanded North Carolina troops. General Rains commanded
an Alabama Brigade in 1862 and thereafter was in the Engineer Corps. General Gilmer was Chief of Engineer Bureau, and for a while Chief of Staff in the Army of the West. After the war he settled in Georgia and General Rains in Arkansas.
With Generals Rains and Gilmer added and including the temporary appointments above mentioned, out of 608 General Officers appointed by the Confederacy, this State had only 35 instead of 122, which would have been her one-fifth, in proportion to troops furnished.
Governor Vance's letter books show repeated protests by him against this discrimination. It is not too much to say that by common consent in the army Pender, Hoke, and Pettigrew were entitled to command Corps or even Armies, and we doubtless had others who would have proven themselves competent for high commands if opportunity had been furnished them.
It was only by urgent representations that Governor Vance secured the brigading of North Carolina troops together in Lee's army and that most of the commanders of North Carolina brigades were North Carolinians. As to the Army of the West, that was never done, though the Legislature in 1864 passed a resolution requesting that the North Carolina regiments in that army should be brigaded together and a North Carolinian made Brigadier. In fact, Colonel David Coleman, of the Thirty-ninth, for a long time commanded Ector's Brigade, in which was that regiment and the Twenty-ninth, but he never received his merited promotion. The Junior Reserves Brigade 12 March, 1865, petitioned (unknown to Colonel Coleman) that he be promoted Brigadier-General and assigned to command them, but the application was not granted.
The same discrimination against this State in the appointment of General Officers was shown in the Revolution and even in the recent war with Spain.
- GENERALS COMMISSIONED BY STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA, 1861-5.
- 1. Walter Gwynn, Brigadier-General.
- 2. Jno. W. McElroy, Brigadier-General.
- 3. David Clark, Brigadier-General.
- 4. Collett Leventhorpe, Brig'r-General.
- 5. James G. Martin, Adjutant-General.
- 6. Daniel G. Fowle, Adjutant-General.
- 7. R. C. Gatlin, Adjutant-General.
- 8. John F. Hoke, Adjutant-General.
GENERALS COMMISSIONED BY
BY LIEUTENANT E. A. THORNE, ORDNANCE OFFICER, RANSOM'S
During the war there were eight Brigadier-Generals under State commission, who commanded troops at the front or otherwise rendered active service.
1. Brigadier-General John F. Hoke, Adjutant-General of the Militia. Through him the volunteer regiments were organized down till his election as Colonel of the Twenty-third Regiment, when he resigned. Later he resigned as Colonel of that regiment and in 1864 was elected Colonel of the Seventy-third Regiment (First Senior Reserves) and in October, 1864, was placed in command as Senior Colonel of a brigade consisting of the Seventy-third, Seventy-fourth and Seventy-sixth Regiments (First, Second and Third Senior Reserves), which were in Confederate service and assigned to duty guarding Federal prisoners at Salisbury and scouring the three adjacent Congressional Districts for deserters.
2. Brigadier-General James G. Martin, who was Adjutant-General under the act to raise the eleven regiments called "State Troops," who enlisted in the beginning for "three years or the war." After the resignation of Adjutant-General Hoke he was Adjutant-General of the entire service of raising and equipping troops and likewise charged with the defence of the State. It was on his suggestion that Governor Vance began the importation of army supplies through the medium of the Ad-Vance. In May, 1862, he was appointed Brigadier-General in the Confederate States service and some months later a question being raised as to his right to hold both commissions, he resigned the State appointment and took command of a brigade in the field. In 1864 he was sent to Asheville and placed in command of that department, surrendering at Waynesville 10 May, 1865, the last surrender this side the Mississippi.
3. On General Martin's resignation, Daniel G. Fowle was appointed Brigadier and Adjutant-General, but held the position only a short time, being soon elected to the Legislature from Wake County. Previous to this appointment he had been Lieutenant-Colonel of the Thirty-first Regiment and had been captured at Roanoke Island. In 1888 he was elected Governor.
4. Brigadier-General Walter Gwynn was an Engineer officer of high repute and was, on the outbreak of the war, as-signed by the State to the supervision of our coast defences. His reports, still on file, are valuable and show that if his suggestions had been followed we should not have lost Hatteras and thus opened the door to the host of evils which beset Eastern North Carolina the remainder of the war. With Hatteras securely held all Eastern North Carolina would have been exempt from invasion as fully as the Cape Fear country was till the loss of Fort Fisher. He resigned in 1862.
5. On the resignation of Adjutant-General Fowle, Richard C. Gatlin, who was the senior Brigadier-General from North Carolina in the Confederate service, resigned and was appointed Brigadier and Adjutant-General in State service. He rendered most efficient duty organizing the Home Guards, assisting the conscript service, and supervising the State Troops, which were the Sixty-seventh and Sixty-eighth Regiments, the First Heavy Artillery Battalion, the Fifteenth (cavalry) Battalion (Wynns'), and Fourteenth Battalion (cavalry) later Seventy-ninth Regiment, for none of these were ever turned over to the Confederacy. The Sixty-eighth was raised entirely from men within the territory occupied by the Federals. General Gatlin's letter and order books show the great range of his work and the faithfulness and ability with which he executed it.
6. Brigadier-General David Clark in January, 1862, was assigned to the command of the defences of Roanoke river, not so much by virtue of his command of a brigade of militia (from Halifax, Northampton and Warren) as by special appointment from" the Governor by reason of his knowledge of that section. The militia of Bertie, Washington, Edgecombe
and Martin were also placed under his orders, and authority was given him to impress slaves, teams and supplies for his purpose. On the fall of Roanoke Island he assembled his militia at Plymouth, subsequently falling back to Williamston. These orders were renewed by General S. G. French and General T. H. Holmes, who successively came in charge of the department. The Thirty-fourth Regimenti under Colonel Leventhorpe and the Thirty-eighth under Colonel W. J. Hoke were sent to his assistance, but he was not relieved of the command till late in April when Colonel Leventhorpe succeeded him. This is the only instance of a General of Militia being in active service during that war in this State-though it was common practice in the Revolution and in 1812-15-and this, as just stated, was rather a special assignment to duty than by virtue of his previous commission.
7. Brigadier-General John W. McElroy was appointed by Governor Vance 19 September, 1863, under the act of 7 July, 1863, to establish a "Guard for Home Defence"-commonly called Home Guards. He and General Leventhorpe, appointed a year later, were the only two Generals of the "Home Guards." General McElroy was assigned to duty in charge of Home Guards of several counties adjacent to his headquarters at Burnsville to protect that section against raids from East Tennessee and was on duty till the surrender of Johnston.
8. Brigadier-General Collett Leventhorpe had served as a Captain in the English army. He was successively Colonel of the Thirty-fourth and Eleventh North Carolina Regiments and was wounded at Gettysburg. In 1864 he was appointed by Governor Vance Brigadier-General and assigned to command the three Home Guard regiments which were assembled at Kinston in September, 1864. On 3 February, 1865, he was appointed Brigadier-General in the Confederate service but remained in command of these troops. He was at Greensboro 14 April, 1865, and notified General Beauregard on that date that his troops were leaving for home. 100 Off. Rec. Union and Con fed. Armies, 800. But the same thing was taking place at that time among all the troops, for it was plain to all alike that our hope of success had passed.
NORTH CAROLINIANS ON MILITARY COURTS.
BY THE EDITOR.
By General Orders 20 December, 1862, 1 28 Off. Records Union and Con fed. Armies, 248, there was established nine permanent military courts, one for each corps. Each court consisted of a presiding judge and two associates, all of the rank of Colonel, and a Judge Advocate.
North Carolina was represented on these courts as follows: On court for Jackson's Corps, Colonel David M. Carter, Associate Judge.
On court for E. Kirby Smith's Corps, Colonel Thomas Ruffin, Presiding Judge.
On court for G. W. Smith's Corps, Colonel William B. Rodman, Presiding Judge.
Out of the thirty-six officers of the nine courts, North Carolina had only these three representatives, though at the time fully one-fifth of the troops under arms were from this State.
GENERAL AND FIELD OFFICERS
BY LIEUTENANT E. A. THORNE, ORDNANCE OFFICER, RANSOM'S BRIGADE.
- Major-General William D. Pender.
- Stephen D. Ramseur.
- W. H. C. Whiting.
- Brigadier-General L. O'B. Branch.
- Junius Daniel.
- James B. Gordon.
- G. B. Anderson.
- J. J. Pettigrew.
- Arch. C. Godwin.
- Montford S. Stokes, First Regiment.
- Charles C. Taw, Second Regiment.
- Gaston H. Meares, Third Regiment.
- Geo. B. Anderson, Fourth Regiment, promoted to Brigadier-General and killed.
- James H. Wood, Fourth Regiment.
- Thos. M. Garrett, Fifth Regiment.
- Charles F. Fisher, Sixth Regiment.
- Isaac E. Avery, Sixth Regiment.
- Wm. D. Pender, Sixth Regiment, promoted Major-General and killed.
- Reuben P. Campbell, Seventh Regiment.
- Henry M. Shaw, Eighth Regiment.
- James B. Gordon, Ninth Regiment, promoted Brigadier-General and killed.
- James A. J. Bradford, Tenth Regiment, died in service.
- Junius Daniel, Fourteenth Regiment, promoted Brigadier-General and killed.
- Philetus W. Roberts, Fourteenth Regiment, died in service.
- Robert M. McKinney, Fifteenth Regiment.
- Champ T. N. Davis, Sixteenth Regiment.
- Thos. J. Purdie, Eighteenth Regiment.
- Solomon Williams, Nineteenth Regiment.
- Matthew L. Davis, Nineteenth Regiment.
- Clinton M. Andrews, Nineteenth Regiment.
- J. Johnston Pettigrew, Twenty-second Regiment, promoted Brigadier-General and killed.
- Daniel H. Christie, Twenty-third Regiment.
- Charles C. Blacknall, Twenty-third Regiment.
- Henry K. Burgwyn, Twenty-sixth Regiment.
- Wm. H. A. Speer, Twenty-eighth Regiment.
- Edward C. Brabble, Thirty-second Regiment.
- L. O'B. Branch, Thirty-third Regiment, promoted Brigadier-General and killed.
- Clark M. Avery, Thirty-third Regiment.
- Richard H. Riddick, Thirty-fourth Regiment.
- John G. Jones, Thirty-fifth Regiment.
- Charles C. Lee, Thirty-seventh Regiment.
- William M. Barber, Thirty-seventh Regiment.
- George B. Singletary, Forty-fourth Regiment.
- J. Henry Morehead, Forty-fifth Regiment, died in service.
- Samuel H. Boyd, Forty-fifth Regiment.
- Robert C. Hill, Forty-eighth Regiment, died in service.
- Stephen D. Ramseur, Forty-ninth Regiment, promoted Major-General and killed.
- James K. Marshall, Fifty-second Regiment.
- Marcus A. Parks, Fifty-second Regiment.
- Wm. A. Owens, Fifty-third Regiment.
- A. C. Godwin, Fifty-seventh Regiment, promoted Brigadier-General and killed.
- Peter G. Evans, Sixty-third Regiment.
- James H. McNeil, Sixty-third Regiment.
- Alex. D. Moore, Sixty-sixth Regiment.
- W. C. Walker, Eightieth Regiment.
- Walter S. Stallings, Second Regiment.
- William M. Parsley, Third Regiment.
- Junius L. Hill, Seventh Regiment.
- Thomas Ruffin, Ninth Regiment.
- Francis W. Bird, Eleventh Regiment.
- George S. Lovejoy, Fourteenth Regiment, died in service.
- John C. Lamb, Seventeenth Regiment.
- R. K. Pepper, Twenty-first Regiment.
- Saunders Fuller, Twenty-first Regiment.
- Franklin J. Faison, Twentieth Regiment.
- Robert H. Gray, Twenty-second Regiment, died in service.
- C. C. Cole, Twenty-second Regiment.
- John T. Jones, Twenty-sixth Regiment.
- Thomas L. Lowe, Twenty-eighth Regiment, died in service.
- William W. Sellers, Thirtieth Regiment.
- Oliver C. Petway, Thirty-fifth Regiment.
- John A. Graves, Forty-seventh Regiment, died in prison.
- John A. Flemming, Forty-ninth Regiment.
- James T. Davis, Forty-ninth Regiment.
- John R. Murchison, Fifty-first Regiment.
- Caleb B. Hobson, Fifty-first Regiment.
- James C. S. McDowell, Fifty-fourth Regiment.
- M. Thomas Smith, Fifty-fifth Regiment.
- Edmund Kirby, Fifty-eighth Regiment.
- James T. Weaver, Sixtieth Regiment.
- Edward J. Mallett, Sixty-first Regiment.
- Elias F. Shaw, Sixty-third Regiment.
- Clement G. Wright, Sixty-sixth Regiment.
- H. L. Andrews, Second Battalion.
- Tristam L. Skinner, First Regiment.
- John Howard, Second Regiment.
- A. K. Simonton, Fourth Regiment.
- John C. Badham, Fifth Regiment.
- Henry McRae, Eighth Regiment, died in service.
- John H. Whitaker, Ninth Regiment.
- Thomas N. Crumpler, Ninth Regiment.
- Egbert A. Ross, Eleventh Regiment.
- Edward Dixon, Fourteenth Regiment, died in service.
- Lucius J. Johnson, Seventeenth Regiment, died in service.
- John S. Brooks, Twentieth Regiment.
- Alexander Miller, Twenty-first Regiment, died in service.
- W. J. Pfohl, Twenty-first Regiment.
- Laban Odell, Twenty-second Regiment.
- E. J. Christian, Twenty-third Regiment.
- William S. Grady, Twenty-fifth Regiment.
- Abner B. Carmichael, Twenty-sixth Regiment.
- Thomas W. Mayhew, Thirty-third Regiment.
- Eli H. Miller, Thirty-fourth Regiment.
- George M. Clark, Thirty-fourth Regiment.
- John M. Kelly, Thirty-fifth Regiment.
- Owen N. Brown, Thirty-seventh Regiment.
- Thomas McGee Smith, Forty-fifth Regiment.
- Benjamin R. Huske, Forty-Eighth Regiment.
- John Q. Richardson, Fifty-second Regiment.
- James J. Iredell, Fifty-third Regiment.
- James A. Rogers, Fifty-fourth Regiment.
- James S. Whitehead, Fifty-fifth Regiment, died in service.
- A. T. Stewart, Fifty-eighth Regiment.
- Thos. W. Harris, Sixty-third Regiment.
- Charles M. Roberts, Seventy-ninth Regiment.
- John W. Woodfin, Woodfin's Battalion.
E. A. THORNE.
Airlie, N. C.,
9 April, 1901.
N. C. TROOPS--WHERE STATIONED
21 NOVEMBER 1561.
BY BRIGADIER-GENERAL JAMES G. MARTIN.
- First Regiment, Mathias Point, Virginia.
- Second Regiment, Fredericksburg, Virginia.
- Third Regiment, Acquia Creek, Virginia.
- Fourth, Fifth and Sixth Regiments, Manassas, Va.
- Seventh Regiment, Bogue Island, near Fort Macon, N. C.
- Eighth Regiment, Roanoke Island, North Carolina.
- Ninth Regiment, near Centreville, Virginia.
Tenth Regiment, Companies B, H and F, heavy artillery, Fort Macon, North Carolina; Company C, light battery, near New Bern, North Carolina; Company G, light battery, near Fort Macon; Company D, light battery, near Centreville, Virginia; Company E, light battery, near Port Royal, South Carolina; Company A, light battery, Smithfield, Virginia; Company I, heavy artillery, near New Bern, North Carolina ; Company K, prisoners of war taken at Hatteras.
- "Bethel" Regiment, disbanded 13 November.
- Twelfth Regiment, Norfolk, Virginia.
- Thirteenth and Fourteenth Regiments, Smithfield, Va.
- Fifteenth Regiment, Yorktown, Virginia.
- Sixteenth Regiment, en route to Manassas from Western Virginia.
Seventeenth Regiment, the field officers and Companies D, F, G, H, and I, were taken prisoners of war at Hatteras, the balance of the regiment is at Roanoke Island and in Hyde County, North Carolina.
- Eighteenth Regiment, near Port Royal, South Carolina.
Nineteenth Regiment, Companies D, E, F, I and K, are at Edenton, North Carolina, not mounted; A, C and H at New Bern, North Carolina, mounted; B and G at Washington, North Carolina.
- Twentieth Regiment, Forts Johnston and Caswell, N. C.
- Twenty-first and Twenty-third Regiments, Manassas, Va.
- Twenty-second Regiment, Evansport, Virginia.
- Twenty-fourth Regiment, ordered from Western Virginia to Petersburg, Virginia.
- Twenty-fifth Regiment, near Port Royal, South Carolina.
- Twenty-sixth Regiment, Bogne Island, near Fort Macon.
- Twenty-seventh Regiment, Companies A, B and G at Fort Macon; the balance at Fort Lane, near New Bern, N. C.
- Twenty-eighth Regiment, near Wilmington, N. C.
- Twenty-ninth Regiment, at Raleigh under marching orders to Jonesboro, Tennessee.
- Thirtieth and Thirty-first Regiments, near Wilmington, N. C.
- Thirty-second Regiment, Companies G, II, I and K taken prisoners at Hatteras; the other six companies are stationed near Norfolk, Virginia.
- Thirty-third Regiment, Companies A, B and C in Hyde
- County; the balance in this city getting equipped.
- Thirty-fourth Regiment, at High Point, North Carolina.
- Thirty-fifth Regiment, at Raleigh without arms.
- Thirty-sixth Regiment, the six companies on the coast of North Carolina.
- Thirty-seventh Regiment, organized at High Point today. No arms.
- Two more regiments can be organized soon if arms can be furnished for them.
- The above does not include the battalion and companies that have tendered their services to the Confederacy. They would form, at least, two regiments.
- I am very respectfully,
- J. G. MARTIN.
- RALEIGH, N. C.,
- 2I November, 1861.
NOTE.-The above is report of Adjutant General Martin, 2I November, 1861, to Adjutant General Samuel Cooper, C. S. A.
DEEDS OF DARING---SIX HEROES.
BY D. H. HILL, LIEUTENANT-GENERAL.
There were at least six instances in the siege of Petersburg in which shells, with burning fuse attached, were picked up and thrown over the breastworks. On inquiry, each of these brave men were from North Carolina and their names and commands were as follows:
1. Captain Stewart L. Johnston, Company II, Seventeenth North Carolina Regiment, says: "A shell from one of the enemy's mortars fell in the midst of the company, and while it was spinning round like a top and the fuse still burning, Private William James Ausbon picked it up and cast it over the breastworks where it immediately exploded. General Beauregard in general orders directed his name to be placed on the Roll of Honor and that he be presented with a silver medal."
2. Colonel Jno. E. Brown, Forty-second North Carolina Regiment, says: "Private Frank Campbell, Company F, of this regiment, though belonging to the Drum Corps, was frequently on the firing line. On one occasion a loaded shell fell into the trenches at Petersburg. Campbell caught it up immediately and threw it outside, before it could explode, thereby saving the lives of a number of his comrades. On another occasion be threw water upon a shell for a like purpose. He was from Davie County and survived the war."
3. Captain T. J. Adams, Company K, Forty-ninth North Carolina Regiment, says: "Private William Gulley, of my company, while rubbing up his field piece, as he was pleased to call his rifle, had the misfortune to have it smashed by a mortar shell. Seeing the shell, with the fuse burning rapidly and almost ready to explode, he cried out, `Why, there is the darned old thing frying now,' and grabbing it up, threw it over the breastworks."
4. Captain R. D. Graham, Company D, Fifty-sixth North Carolina Regiment, writes: "On 18 June, 1864, the next day after the terrific night battle of 17 June, a battery to the
right of the Baxter road threw a shell into a ditch where the `Crater' afterwards exploded on 30 July, which ditch was crowded with men from our regiment. Its explosion would have caused a great loss of life, but quick as thought, Private John Alvis Parker, of my company, had it upon his spade and threw it over the breastworks, saying, "Get out of here." It exploded as it went over. There was no braver deed during the war. I heard that the same thing was done by a member of Pegram's Battery the same day."
5. Adjutant W. L. Faison, Sixty-first North Carolina Reg iment, says: "I send you the name of Sergeant Thomas L. Graves, Company A, of this regiment, as one of the six 'name-less heroes.' On 3 June, 1864, at Cold Harbor, while the enemy was shelling our works, a shell fell in the trench occupied by our regiment, in a smoking condition and almost ready to burst. It was at once seized by this brave man and thrown over the parapet."
6. Captain Jas. D. Cumming, Cumming's Battery, Company C, Thirteenth North Carolina Battalion, writes : "While Butler was `bottled up' at Bermuda Hundreds, during a heavy cannonade on 3 June, 1864, a shell from a 32-pound battery, just opposite our position, fell into our trenches and rolled under the trail of a gun by which I was standing. Private J. P. Pierce, from Columbus County, N. C., of my battery, raised the shell and threw it over the parapet. General Beauregard in a general order complimented his bravery and presence of mind."
D. H. HILL.
CHARLOTTE. N. C.,
9 April, 1867.
NOTE -The above is taken from Vol 2, Land We Love (1866-67) edited by General Hill, in which much valuable material for the history of the War is preserved, which is also true of Colonel Stephen D. Pool's valuabe volumes Our Living and our Dead. There is no record of all those who captured flags from the enemy, but in 69 Off. Rec. Union and Confed Armies 806 is an official report of the capture 12 May, 1864, of the flag of the 51st Penn. regiment by Lieutenant O. A. Wiggins. Co. E, 37th N. C. regiment; of the flag of the 17th Michigan by Lieutenant J. M. Grimsley, Co. K. 37th regiment, N. C., and of a brigade guidon by Private James H. Wheeler, Co. E. Eighteenth N. C. regiment. It is to be regretted that a complete list of the brave men from this State who thus captured flags from the enemy can not now be made.
OTHER DEEDS OF DARING.
By THE EDITOR.
Among the many other deeds of striking gallantry are the following whose memory has been preserved to us by resolutions of thanks by the General Assembly, for they are not mentioned in any of the articles in these volumes.
On 4 July, 1863, the General Assembly passed a resolution of thanks to "Captain John Elliott, of Pasquotank county, his officers and men, for the gallant manner in which they captured the two Federal steamers, Arrow and Emily, (mail boats), the former in Albemarle and Chesapeake canal, the latter in North river, and bringing the same through Albemarle Sound and up the Chowan and Blackwater rivers and placing them safely under our guns at Franklin, Va., a distance of 120 miles from the place of capture, and that, too, while numerous gun-boats were cruising the same route."
On 7 July, 1863, the General Assembly passed a resolution of thanks to a "detachment of six men," of Captain S. C. Barrington's company, of Major Jno. N. Whitford's Battalion, "for their gallant and daring conduct in boarding and capturing the crew of one of the enemy's boats (the Seabird) on the waters of Neuse river, and in burning and destroying said boat and cargo," and requested that Major Whitford should "forward a list of the names of the brave men who have thus distinguished themselves" that they might be placed on the roll of honor.
Captain Barrington's company was from Craven and when Whitford's Battalion was increased and became the Sixty-seventh Regiment, it was Company B, of that command.
On recent investigation by Major Graham Daves these facts are learned:
"The schooner Seabird was captured at the mouth of South river, off the Garbacon Shoals, and far within the Federal lines. The names of the scouting party, `a detachment of six
men,' are, or rather were-for all except the first mentioned are now dead-Robert F. Stilley, James M. Carmady, Benj. F. Edwards, Frank Howard, Cyrus J. Mayo and Wiley Rowe. Stilley was in command of the party. All were of Craven County."
Captain Jno. T. Elliott's became later Company A, of the Sixty-eighth Regiment, and was from Pasquotank County. The incidents connected with the above captures by his company should now be hunted up and the names of the brave participants preserved if these lines should strike the eye of any having knowledge of the facts. The same should be done as to the acts which caused the General Assembly to pass a resolution of thanks 23 December, 1864, "to Captain John A. Teague, Twenty-ninth Regiment North Carolina Troops, and ti the brave officers and men under his command for the efficient manner in which they have discharged their duties in defending the western border of our State from the inroads of the enemy and depredations of bands of lawless men."
The capture in Neuse river of the steamer Mystic 5 April, 1865, and of the sidewheel steamer Minquas and two barges on 7 April, 1865, by small detachments of the Sixty-seventh, then operating in Sherman's rear, is told in Vol. 3 of this work on p. 710, and the capture of a steamer in New River 28 November, 1862, by Company A, of the Forty-first regiment (Third Cavalry), and a section of Adams' battery is narrated in Vol. 2, p. 774. Doubtless there were other incidents of a similar kind creditable alike to the courage and enterprise of our troops whose memory should be preserved by surviving comrades before it is too late.
A NORTH CAROLINA HEROINE.
By COLONEL STEPHEN D. POOL, TENTH REGIMENT (1 ART. )
NORTH CAROLINA TROOPS.
News had been received at headquarters at Kinston in November, 1862, that two Generals of the Federal army-one of them commanding in North Carolina, would, on a certain day, pass from Morehead to New Bern. It was advisable, in view of certain contemplated movements, to capture the train and secure the officers. At 10 o'clock p. m., I received orders to proceed at once to Trenton, take a detail of men from Major Nethercutt's command, and, if possible, on the day named, capture the train. At 2 a. m., I reached Trenton to find Major Nethereutt absent on one of his usual scouting expeditions. Awaiting his return at daylight, I made myself comfortable, and was about to indulge in a morning nap, when the clatter of the feet of a horse, at full gallop, caused me to step to the door of the court house to see what was in the wind. The sentinel upon duty had halted the rider, and was receiving from him a paper to be immediately delivered to the officer in command. To my astonishment, the note bore no address, and upon being opened the blank page of half a sheet of letter paper was all that met my eye. The rider, an elderly countryman, unknown to me, was breathing his jaded horse preparatory to return; but could give me no other information than this: About 1 o'clock a. m., he was aroused from his slumbers and on going to his door, found a lady on horseback who gave him the note, and told him to take it at full speed to Trenton and give it to any Confederate officer he should find on duty there, as it contained important information. In a few moments thereafter, I was in the private room of a citizen of Trenton, and his kind wife was warming an iron, for my use. Applied to the seemingly blank sheet of paper, heat soon enabled me to see what I de-
sired. Foster had returned two days sooner than anticipated and was to leave that very morning with a force most accurately detailed on the sheet before me, on an expedition, having, in my opinion, the railroad bridge at Weldon for its objective point. The object of my expedition being thus frustrated, I returned immediately to Kinston, and gave the information I had procured through the intrepid daring of one of New Bern's daughters to the officer in command. Steps were promptly taken by the General commanding the department, and such an array of troops were placed in front and upon the flanks of the Federal General as caused him rapidly to retrace his steps. The lady's name appended to that note has never been told-her secret has been locked in my breast-my superior officer, respecting my motive in de-siring to keep it, only requiring my pledge that the writer was worthy of credit. I doubt if the writer of that note knew into whose hands it fell or the good it accomplished. When I state that she was a young lady, tenderly reared, and then in the very morning of her maidenhood, her night ride at great personal risk, to convey useful information, can be properly appreciated.
STEPHEN D. POOL.
NOTE-The above is taken from Vol. 4, p. 123 of "Our Living and Our Dead." Recent investigation shows that a young lady living in New Bern sent the letter out (written probably with milk, which a hot iron will disclose) by another lady living in the country who could pass the pickets, and she delivered it to the messenger in the manner stated, Both ran great risk.-ED.
CAPTURES AND BATTLES.
CAPTURE BEFORE THE WAR.
OCCUPATION OP FORTS BELOW WILMINGTON
10 JANUARY, 1861.
By JOHN L. CANTWELL, COLONEL FIFTY-FIRST REGIMENT, N. C. T.
The fact that the State of North Carolina was slow to follow the secession movement of her more Southern sister States was the cause of much chafing among her people in the eastern counties, and especially along the seacoast, where it was urged that the Federal Government was likely, at any moment, to garrison the forts commanding Cape Fear river, and Beaufort harbor.
The people of Wilmington were particularly exercised over the possibility of such a step being taken, and it is likely that the knowledge of this strong feeling, and the impression that it would be regarded as an act of coercion, alone deterred the Washington Government from sending down strong garrisons and ample munitions of war.
Fort Caswell, commanding the main entrance to Cape Fear river, was a bastioned, masonry fort of great strength, and in thorough order, but without mounted guns. Once occupied and armed it would have been impossible for the Confederates, without command of the sea, to have retaken it, and the port which afterwards proved of such inestimable value to them would have been effectually sealed. The Federal fleets having free entrance there, would have held the shores on either side of the river for some distance np, and commanded, from a safe interior base, the entrance through New Inlet, for the defence of which Fort Fisher was afterwards built, and that historic and epoch-making earthwork would probably never have been constructed.
In the State at large the union sentiment was at this time slightly in the ascendent. In the lower Cape Fear section the secessionists were probably in the majority. These re-
garded delays as dangerous, and anticipated with forebodings the occupation of the forts by the Union forces.
Early in January, 1861, alarmed by the condition of affairs in Charleston harbor, they determined to risk no longer delay. A meeting of the citizens of Wilmington was held in the court house, at which Robert G. Rankin, Esq., presided, who afterwards gave his life for the cause on the battle field of Bentonville. A Committee of Safety was formed, and a call made for volunteers to be enrolled for instant service under the name of "Cape Fear Minute Men." The organization was speedily effected, John J. Hedrick being chosen commander.
On 10 January Major Hedrick and his men embarked on a small schooner with provisions for one week, the Committee of Safety guaranteeing continued support and supplies, each man carrying such private weapons as he possessed. Arriving at Smithville (now Southport) at 3 p. m., they took possession of the United States barracks known as Fort Johnson, and such stores as were there in charge of United States Ordnance Sergeant James Reilly, later Captain of Reilly's Battery. The same afternoon Major Hedrick took twenty men of his command, reinforced by Captain S. I). Thruston, commander of the "Smithville Guards," and a number of his men and citizens of Smithville, but all acting as individuals only, and proceeded to Fort Caswell, three miles across the bay, where they demanded, and obtained, surrender of the fort from the United States Sergeant in charge.
Major Hedrick assumed command and prepared to make his position as secure as was possible. About twenty-five strong, armed only with .shotguns, but sure of ample reinforcements should occasion arise, these brave men determined to hold Fort Caswell at all hazards. In bitter cold weather they stood guard on the ramparts and patroled the beaches, reckoning not that, unsustained even by State authority, their action was treasonable rebellion jeopardizing their lives and property. There were only two 24-pounder guns mounted, one on the sea face and one on the inner face, both carriages being too decayed to withstand their own recoil, but, such as they were, with them they determined to defy the army and
navy of the United States. The smoke of an approaching steamer being once descried below the horizon the alarm was signaled, and, believing it to be a man-of-war, the brave men of Smithville flew to arms, and soon the bay was alive with boats hurrying them to the aid of their comrades within the fort. Women, as in the old days, armed sons and fathers, and urged them to the front. But the steamer proved to be a friendly one.
Upon receipt of unofficial information of this movement, Governor John W. Ellis, as Captain-General and Commander-in-Chief of the North Carolina Militia, 11 January, 1861, addressed a letter to Colonel John L Cantwell, commanding the Thirtieth Regiment North Carolina Militia, at Wilmington, in which, after stating his belief that the men were "actuated by patriotic motives," he continued:
"Yet, in view of the relations existing between the General Government and the State of North Carolina, there is no authority of law, under existing circumstances, for the occupation of United States forts situated in this State. I cannot, therefore, sustain the action of Captain Thruston, however patriotic his motives may have been, and am compelled, by an imperative sense of duty, to order that Fort Caswell be restored to the possession of the authorities of the United States.
"You will proceed to Smithville on receipt of this communication and communicate orders to Captain Thruston to withdraw his troops from Fort Caswell. You will also investigate and report the facts to this department.
"By order of John W. Ellis,
"Captain-General and Commander-in-Chief
"GRAHAM DAVES,"North Carolina Militia."
"Private Secretary and Acting Adjutant-General."
Upon receipt of this order on the 12th, Colonel J. L. Cantwell notified the Governor that he would proceed at once to . Fort Caswell, accompanied by Robert E. Calder, Acting Adjutant, and William Calder, Acting Quartermaster, two staff officers temporarily appointed for that duty. Transportation facilities between Wilmington and Smithville were then
very limited. Colonel Cantwell and his aids embarked on a slow sailing sloop which became becalmed within four miles of Smithville. They were put into shallow water from whence they waded and walked to Smithville, where they secured, with difficulty, because the populace was almost unanimously opposed to their supposed mission, a pilot boat in which they sailed to Fort Caswell, arriving there after dark.
After some parleying, and not without reluctance, they were admitted and conducted to Major Hedrick, to whom the following order was delivered:
"To Major John J. Hedrick, Commanding Fort Caswell:
"SIR:-In obedience to the order of His Excellency, John W. Ellis, Governor, Etc., a copy of which I herewith transmit, it becomes my duty to direct that you withdraw the troops under your command from Fort Caswell, and restore the same to the custody of the officer of the United States, whom you found in charge. Respectfully,
"JOHN L. CANTWELL,
"Colonel Thirtieth North Carolina Militia.
"ROBERT F. CALDER,
The garrison asked until the next morning to consider what reply should be made and, on the morning of the 13th this was returned:
"Colonel John L. Cantwell:
"SIR:-Your communication, with the copy of the order of Governor Ellis demanding the surrender of this post, has been received. In reply I have to inform you that we, as North Carolinians, will obey his command. This post will be evacuated to-morrow at 9 o'clock, a. m.
"JOHN J. HEDRICK,
The fort was evacuated on the next day. Colonel Cantwell and his Aides returned to Wilmington and reported the
facts to Governor Ellis. The United States Sergeant again assumed control of the Government property.
Thus matters remained in this section until April of the same year, the State in the meantime drifting steadily towards secession and war, and the people sternly arming and preparing. The local military companies in Wilmington were fully recruited, and the former "Minute Men" permanently organized as the "Cape Fear Light Artillery," under which name they served through the war.
On 14 April came the firing upon Fort Sumter, followed on the 15th by a call from the Secretary of War upon the Governor of North Carolina for "two regiments of military for immediate service." Immediately the Governor telegraphed orders to Colonel J. L. Cantwell, at Wilmington, "to take Forts Caswell and Johnson without delay, and hold them until further orders against all comers." Colonel Cantwell, as commander of the Thirtieth Regiment North Carolina Militia, promptly issued orders to "the officers in command of the Wilmington Light Infantry, the German Volunteers, and the Wilmington Rifle Guards, to assemble fully armed and equipped this afternoon" (15th), which was promptly obeyed.
On the morning of the 16th the Governor telegraphed Colonel Cantwell to proceed at once to the forts "and take possession of the same in the name of the State of North Carolina. This measure being one of precaution merely, you will observe strictly a peaceful policy, and act only on the defensive." The force under Colonel Cantwell's orders moved promptly. It consisted of the Wilmington Light Infantry, Captain W. L. DeRosset; the German Volunteers, Captain C. Cornehlson; the Wilmington Rifle Guards, Captain O. P. Meares; and the Cape Fear Light Artillery, Lieutenant James M. Stevenson, commanding. At 4 p. m., United States Sergeant James Reilly surrendered the post at Fort Johnson, where Lieutenant Stevenson was left in command with his company. The remainder of the battalion, under Colonel J. L. Cantwell, proceeded to Fort Caswell and took possession at 6:20 p. m., Sergeant Walker, of the United States Army, being placed in close confinement in his quarters
"in consequence of the discovery of repeated attempts to communicate with his government."
Officers and men worked with vigor to mount guns and prepare for defence, and the work never ceased until the fall of Fort Fisher in 1865, and the necessary abandonment of the defences of the lower harbor. The Wilmington Light Infantry were soon after sent to Federal Point, where, in Battery Bolles, they began the first defensive works which afterward grew into Fort Fisher, and its outlying batteries.
Thus was war inaugurated in -North Carolina more than a month prior to the act of secession, and it is a noteworthy fact that the news of the act dissolving its connection with the Union, and the call upon her sons to arm themselves was first made known to the pioneer troops of the Cape Fear on the parade ground at Fort Caswell.
JOHN L. CANTWELL.
WILMINGTON, N. C.,
10 January, 1901.
THE BATTLE Of MANASSAS.
21 JULY, 1861.
By BRIGADIER-GENERAL THOMAS L. CLINGMAN.
On that day, General Beauregard was kind enough to lend me one of his horses, and during the entire battle, I was either with him or General Joseph E. Johnston. I will now confine my statement to the narration merely of some facts connected with the conduct of Colonel Fisher's regiment. Between two and three a. m., our army seemed to be most pressed, the enemy then having gotten farthest in his advance, on our left flank. Besides large masses of the enemy which had driven back our small force there engaged, Rickett's six-gun battery was pushed far forward to a point on the left of General Johnston's position, concealed, however, by a skirt of pine trees. Its shots passed by us and went many of them nearly a mile to the rear. Its rapid firing from this advanced position, indicated to every one the advantage our adversaries had gained, and the situation seemed most critical. I felt confident that if the enemy could long maintain that position, bur center would give way. General Johnston evidently impressed with the gravity of the situation, exclaimed in a loud, earnest voice, "If I just had three regiments! Just three regiments!"
I looked to the rear through the open field and said, "Here they are, General." He took a hasty glance to the rear and said, "They are too far off. I want them now!" The nearest of the regiments was within less than a quarter of a mile. The men were bending forward, marching up the hill as fast as possible. They passed seventy or eighty yards to the left and entered the pines, moving by the flank, directly towards Rickett's Battery. The other two regiments were slower in getting forward, and passed some hundreds of yards to our left. As the regiment which had marched so near went out of view among the pines, an officer left it and came up to me.
He was Dr. Caldwell, the Surgeon, and informed me that it was Colonel Fisher's regiment that had gone in. I expressed to him my regret that I had not known it, that I might have spoken to the Colonel and other officers. I waited anxiously the result. The enemy were still pressing on; this battery and others were incessantly throwing their shot far to our rear, while the musketry fire on our side was slack.
It ought to be stated, that as the enemy had turned our left flank with the larger part of his active fighting force early in the day, as fast as our regiments could be gotten up they went in, and the collision was accompanied by heavy musketry discharges on both sides. As our troops were, however, very greatly outnumbered by the masses of the enemy, and outflanked, they were forced back with much loss, and there would be a slackening of the musketry fire. The enemy thus, by overlapping our left, was able to make a steady advance, and was then getting in the rear of our center, or rather might soon have been there.
Within fifteen minutes or less after Fisher's regiment passed out of view, suddenly the crash of musketry was louder than it had been at any time during the day. That battery suddenly become silent. It did not fire another gun that day. The heavy musketry fire continued for more than half an hour and gradually become fainter. At length there was a dead pause for some moments. Believing the battle was over, I took out my watch. It was then precisely 4 o'clock. There was no other musketry firing that day, till late in the evening near Centreville.
I will now briefly state what had occurred. Colonel Fisher moved his regiment by the flank into the pines. Immediately in front of them, and on his right as he marched obliquely towards the left of our line, there was an open field. In it, about sixty yards from the woods, Rickett's Battery was stationed. From it, towards the woods, the ground slightly rose, so that be was obliged to elevate his guns a little, that his shot might pass over the ridge at the border of the field. Outside of the field the;found descended into the wood. Colonel Fisher at the head of his regiment passed just inside the wood, below the crest of the ridge, along
ground which was rising a little. Thus he did not see the battery until he, with some companies, had rather passed it. Captain Isaac Avery's company was just opposite the battery. Finding themselves in this dangerous proximity, his company and others near them fired suddenly into the battery, only sixty yards distant. This fire killed most of the cannoneers as well as their horses. The men ran down on them, and finished the survivors with their muskets and bowie knives. Immediately after this, Colonel Fisher, having passed over the battery, received a ball in the brain and fell dead about thirty yards, in the rear of the battery they had taken. Captain Isaac Avery stated to me that while he was sitting for a moment on one of the captured pieces, he saw Colonel Fisher, who had moved forward to reconnoitre seemingly, but was waving his rifle above his head triumphantly. After his death, the regiment was obliged to abandon the guns, not by the enemy's fire, but by that of our own men.
There was a regiment they thought from Alabama, on their left, but about two hundred yards in their rear, which continued to fire on them. It was this fire that killed young Mangum and several others. Many think it probable that Colonel Fisher himself was thus killed. As his regiment had gotten so far in front, and was .on ground so lately occupied by the enemy in heavy force, the mistake was made. The regiment was thus obliged to abandon the battery, but it was never used, or ever retaken by the enemy. I saw Lieutenant Douglas Ramsey lying (lead among the guns at the close of the fight, while the Captain (Rickett), wounded, was carried off a prisoner by our men.
I can vouch for the accuracy of the above statements, partly from what I saw, and also chiefly from conversations, which I had on that day and the succeeding one, with officers and privates well known to me. The official reports of Barry, the Chief of the Federal artillery, and of General Heintzelman, both confirm the truth of these statements. They said that this battery of Rickett's was pushed forward far in advance, and that a regiment on our side come up within sixty or seventy yards of it, and by a well directed fire disabled
it. Captain Rickett himself, while a prisoner, I was told about that time, said that as soon as he saw this regiment, he directed his guns to be lowered so that he could fire into it, but that before his order could be executed the regiment fired and disabled him, killed Lieutenant Ramsey and most of his gunners. This declaration of his confirms what several members of Captain Avery's company from Yancey told me at the time. They said "that battery would have ruined us but they were firing over our heads." Captain Avery told me that as soon as he saw the battery, he without waiting orders, directed his men to fire.
It may be asked why these facts so honorable to Colonel Fisher and his regiment have not been officially or publicly recognized? Colonel Fisher was himself killed and his only field officer then with the regiment, was Lieutenant-Colonel Lightfoot, who unfortunately, was not in the battle. He, with the two rear companies, was by some means separated from the balance of the regiment, as it was marching into battle. I saw him, and these two companies in the rear, after the battle had ended. The officers stated that while under his immediate command, as the regiment was marching forward into the battle, they were separated from the other eight companies. Lightfoot, in their presence, for it was a general conversation, complained very much of Colonel Fisher because he carried the regiment into action by the flank. He gave no other reason for not being in the engagement. Some days afterwards, when I urged him to make such a report as would do justice to Colonel Fisher and the regiment, he merely reiterated his complaints about the regiment being carried into battle by the flank. Not having been in the battle himself, his report was not of such a character as to afford a proper knowledge of the affair.
I appealed to General Jos. E. Johnston and requested him to have the facts made public, but he replied that in making out his report he could only give such statements as come up to him from the reports of his subordinates.
The service of Colonel Fisher aid his regiment can not be over estimated on this occasion. Let it be admitted that it was a mere accident that he should have thus moved up by
the flank (the best mode in which he could have moved), and thus gotten just to the place where he ought to have been. The opportunity thus afforded was rightly used, and most fortunately for the success of our army. Neither then, nor at any time since, have I doubted that this movement saved the day to the Confederacy. If the gallant and noble Fisher, by this (lash, lost his life, who did more during the long and arduous struggle ? Having from that day to this determined to endeavor to have justice done to his splendid and heroic action, I avail myself of this occasion to say something in that behalf. I saw him for the last time two weeks before his death, and his bright looks and generous words of thanks to me, for a slight service I had been able to render him and his command, are too vividly before me to allow me to let the occasion pass by without a brief tribute to his memory.
Thos. L. CLINGMAN.
ASHEVILLE, N. C.,
21 July, 1874. 3
THE FALL OF HATTERAS.
29 AUGUST, 1661.
DIARY OF MAJOR THOMAS SPARROW, TENTH REGIMENT, (1 ART.)
NORTH CAROLINA TROOPS.
Portsmouth, N. C., 27 August, Tuesday. The privateer steamer Gordon ran into the inlet some time in the afternoon, and put David Ireland and two others of the crew on the shore. They reported in camp, the appearance of a fleet of United States steamers, seen off Hatteras, after they left that inlet. This news corresponded with a letter previously received by Captain W. T. Muse, of the navy, giving notice of the expedition.
Captains Lamb and Clements were at Portsmouth from Hatteras attending a court-martial. These gentlemen expressed their desire to return to their commands at Hatteras that night. I detailed Privates Wm. H. Hanks and Woodley to take the steamer M. E. Downing to carry them. They left in the steamer about 10 o'clock.
During the afternoon I went to Fort Ocracoke with Lieutenant-Colonel G. W. Johnston, Major H. A. Gilliam, Captains Luke, Company D; John C. Lamb, Company A, and Clements, and took with me Sergeant William H. Von Eberstein to assist in the defence of the fort, and to act as Ordnance Officer. He went immediately to work preparing cartridges and putting things in order.
August. 28, Wednesday.-I rose and dressed at reveille and went on drill with the company on the parade ground, near the church. Drilled two hours.
On return from the drill, Major Gilliam called me to the front fence and stated that Colonel Martin had sent a dispatch, ordering all the forces at Ocracoke to Hatteras, and requesting me to go. (I had been released from service in the Seventeenth Regiment, and was expecting orders to join Colonel Tew's Regiment in Virginia.) I at once gave orders
for the men to get breakfast, prepare two days' provisions, pack their knapsacks, take tent flys (for they had no tents), and prepare to embark.
I appointed T. Hardenburgh a lance Sergeant, and left him iii charge of the camp, giving him written orders. Among these was one, that he should request Mr. B. T. Hanks to take certain of my command expected from Washington, on the steamer Col. Hill, to Hatteras in the afternoon. Another was on the approach of an enemy to take all the valuable baggage and the remaining men in camp to Fort Ocracoke, and if defeated in an attempt to do this, then to make the best of his way up the sound to Washington.
The Washington Grays, forty-nine in number, exclusive of commissioned officers, were in line, uniformed and equipped at 10 o'clock. I marched to the wharf, and embarked them for Hatteras, on the schooner Pantheon.
The Morris Guards, Tar River Boys, and Hertford Light Infantry, embarked in other vessels.
The Morris Guards took a vessel at Beacon Island, and so had several hours advantage. The others were towed by the steamer Ellis. Captain Muse embarked on her. So they had an advantage.
Wind and tide being against us, we took a longer route round Royal Shoals, and so were the last to arrive at Hatteras. The Ellis, with her tow, was only a half mile or so ahead of us when we arrived.
When within ten or twelve miles from the inlet, we began to see the fleet off the fort, first from the rigging, then from the deck. As we drew nearer we began to count them- one, two, four, ten, thirteen! There is a large fellow-there three others-there the small ones! Occasionally a gun was heard, then another-then three or four in quick succession.
The breeze freshened and favored us, and we began to make the fort and all about it very plainly. The decks and gunwales became crowded with men eager to see the bombardment, insomuch that the helmsman, a negro, could hardly see to steer the vessel. I had to order them constantly to trim the vessel.
We soon had the fleet and both forts in full view. The
Tar River Boys were just ahead of us, towed in by the steamer Ellis. The Morris Guards were in a schooner at anchor near the Swash. We followed hard after the Ellis.
We had an uninterrupted view of the fight. It was beyond description. There lay the formidable fleet of large and small vessels off Forts Clark and Hatteras, and seemingly in the inlet, was a steamer of moderate dimensions, afterwards known to be the Monticello.
Part of the fleet were firing upon Fort Clark, and part upon Fort Hatteras, but the principal engagement seemed to be between Hatteras and the Monticello. We could trace every shot fired at the latter, and see every gun fired by her. Some fell to the right of her, but a number we could see went into her. Eight struck her hull, and several penetrated through and through. We thought from our position that both forts returned the fire. This we afterwards learned to be a mistake. Fort Clark did not reply, being at that time in possession of the enemy. It was hard sometimes to distinguish between the bursting of a shell in the fort, and a gun tired from it. Almost every shot was remarked by the eager men on board. There goes the big fort-there goes the little fort-that shot was too high-that too far to the right- that one plugged her in the side, good for that, boys. There goes a broadside from the big steamer! How the shell burst over the fort! What beautiful white clouds of smoke they make! Such were some of the oft-repeated remarks made by the men around me.
I had never before seen a shell explode. It was sometime before I got to understand the thing. I saw from time to time beautiful little puffs of white, silvery smoke hanging over the fort without at first being able to account for them. I soon learned to know that it was where a shell had burst in the air, leaving the smoke or gas behind it, while the fragments had descended on their mission of destruction. As remarked before, there was such a continual roar of artillery, that we could not at our distance of one, two and three miles distinguish the bursting of a shell from the firing of a gun.
At three-quarters of a mile from shore the Ellis grounded. The schooner in tow of her, containing the Tar River Boys.
was then detached to come to an anchor. The schooner with Captain Gilliam's company, was at anchor outside of all of us. We had passed her. This, as well as I could judge, was near 5 o'clock. My pilot did not know the way through the channel to the fort.
About this time the firing had almost ceased on both sides, and the Monticello had hauled off the inlet.
What was to be done? I came to anchor, had the boat lowered, and went off to the Ellis. Captain Muse informed me (by hail) that Fort Clark had surrendered, and that two men had been killed. He offered me a pilot, Mr. Mayo, and put him in my boat. I returned immediately to the Pantheon, ordering the anchor to be weighed before I boarded.
Just then two boats with Captain Muse, Lieutenant-Colonel Johnston, and others, pulled from the Ellis towards the shore. I was off in a few moments, beating up the channel, towards Fort Hatteras. When this was discovered by the enemy, they began to fire rifle shot and shell at us. The shells fell short, but the rifle shot flew by us in quick succession. I had to make great exertions to keep my men below decks, out of the way of the shots. I remained on deck near the galley. Soon we discovered crowds of men sitting on the outside of the fort. We knew not what to make of it. No flag was flying in the fort, and I began to think that all was over.
I ordered two hands in the boat, and pulled for the shore. The shot continued to fly over and beyond us, but none took effect. Landing, I gave orders that the vessel should go close to the shore, and disembark the men as soon as possible. I then hastened to the fort, and entered through the sally-port.
The soldiers sitting on the outside of the parapet, and on each side of the sally-port, looked fatigued and care-worn, but their faces lighted up as I saluted them, gave them a word of encouragement and passed into the fort. I found the men standing about in various directions, some with arms, others with muskets stacked, and all looking glad that the day's fight was over, and that reinforcements had arrived. They openly expressed joy at this latter occurrence. Captain Lamb greeted me shortly after I entered. He was as.
cheerful as usual and said he had defended Fort Clark during the morning until he had shot away nearly every pound of powder. On the front of the fort facing the ocean leaning against a traverse, I found Colonel Martin, Lieutenant-Colonel Johnston and Captain Clements. The Colonel seemed feeble and worn out. All expressed the opinion that we should be attacked at night by the enemy's forces in possession of Fort Clark. Estimated at about eight hundred.
The Pantheon containing the Washington Grays, sailed close into the shore and soon landed the men. I ordered Jesse Liverman, one of the cooks, to be sent up to assist in preparing coffee and food for the soldiers. A Yankee cook, from one of the prize schooners (the Samuel Chase), I ordered to be kept on board, fearing that he might desert, and communicate with the enemy. I also ordered E. Harvey and A. Buckstarf to be kept on board to guard the vessel and prevent the hands from running her off. I did not allow the knapsacks of the company to be landed, fearing they might fall into the hands of the enemy. For the same reason I did not allow the tent flys to be landed.
I anticipated the result before leaving Portsmouth, and wrote a letter to my wife preparing her for the worse. I knew the enemy could shell us from the ocean, and that the armament of the fort was not sufficient for a successful resistance. I told the Adjutant-General this in Raleigh the last time I was in that city.
All the men in the fort were in want of nourishment, my own men and self included. We got a little bread and coffee, but this was not general.
The Winslow, Confederate States steamer, arrived after dark, bringing Commodore Barron, Lieutenants Murdaugh and Wise, of the navy. Major W. S. G. Andrews, Captain Muse and several of his midshipmen and sailors also came into the fort.
Colonel Martin and Major Andrews voluntarily surrendered the command to Commodore Barron, who thereupon, assumed it.
Lieutenant-Colonel Johnston had entered the fort a little in advance of myself. Major Gilliam arrived after dark.
The night was somewhat advanced before the Morris Guards and Hertford Light Infantry got into the fort.
It became difficult after dark to find an officer until by common consent the tent of Captain Cahoon, in the south angle of the fort, towards Fort Clark, became headquarters and remained so for the balance of the time, until the surrender.
ORDERS OF THE NIGHT.
A sort of consultation was held on the steps near the navy gun, by Commodore Barron and the superior officers, at which I chanced to be present.
Lieutenant-Colonel Johnston remarked to me that he intended to take "that concern," meaning Fort Clark, during the night. This project was discussed and inquiry made as to the number of the enemy on the beach. The impression I derived from the answers of Captains Clements, Lamb and others, were that they numbered from seven hundred to eight hundred. They had landed howitzers and rifle guns, and had possession of two field pieces abandoned by our forces that morning. The forces in the fort were worn down with fasting and fatigue. Part only of the forces from Ocracoke were landed, and it was well in the night before all were on shore.
We were short of shell, powder and shot, provisions and water. All these had to be got into the fort. We had to send off for candles, as not one was to he had in the fort. These were needed for the Ordnance Officer to make up cartridges for the morrow's use. It was concluded that we might hold the fort another day, and that on the night following we should take Fort Clark. It was also resolved that we should waste no ammunition, and should fire only when we could so do, with effect.
I was ordered to detail an officer to take charge of a picket guard of one hundred men and to select thirty men from my own company for this duty. I named Lieutenant James J. Whitehurst to take charge of the guard, and ordered him to select from our company thirty men, which he did. I was also ordered by Major Andrews to select a force from the various companies, and to get a 10-inch Columbiad from the
sound side into the fort, and to put it into position during the night. I detailed ten men from my company, ten from Captain Sharp's, and five each from four other companies for this duty. I gave charge of the whole to Private William B. Willis, who was a ship carpenter, and had handled heavy guns successfully at Ocracoke.
There was no block and tackle, nor anything of the sort, and no shears that could be used in moving or handling the guns. We succeeded in getting a line and some pieces of scantling for slides.
I was engaged at the shore in a seemingly vain effort to move the Columbiad, with our imperfect means, when I was ordered to desist by Major Andrews, he alleging as a reason for the order that "there were neither 10-inch shot nor shell in the fort, and therefore the gun would be useless if mounted."
Besides such of my men as were oil picket duty, and other duty, some of them with Lieutenant Shaw, were occupied in landing men, water and ammunition a good part of the night. This left but few in the fort., not on duty. These I left with Sergeant Robbins behind the second traverse from the sallyport, facing the inlet, where they remained (luring the night. They leaned with their muskets against the traverses and slept upon the gun platforms as best they could, without blankets or covering of any sort.
There came up a little send of rain in the night, and to protect their muskets the men generally turned them butt upwards, with the bayonets in the sand.
The soldiers were some in the bomb-proof, some against the bomb-proof on the outside, some behind the traverses, some on the platforms, and some in the tents.
I slept but little-not half an hour in all. I sat in Captain Cahoon's tent with Colonel Martin at times, tried to sleep in my chair a little, and would go thence to where my few men were. I always found Sergeant Robbins awake.
FORCES IN THE FORT.
Washington Grays, Captain Sparrow, four officers and forty-seven men. (Company G, Seventeenth N. C. T.)
Independent Grays, Captain Cahoon, four officers and sixty-nine men.
Roanoke Guards, Captain Jno. C. Lamb, three officers and ninety-eight men. (Company A, Seventeenth N. C. T.)
Morris Guards, Captain Gilliam, four officers and sixty-four men.
Hamilton Guards, Captain Clements.
Tar River Boys, Captain Johnston.
Hertford Light Infantry, Captain Thos. H. Sharp, three officers and sixty-four men. (Company C, Seventeenth N. C.)
Preston Guards, Captain Duke, three officers and sixty-six men.
North Carolina Defenders, Captain Luke, three officers and forty-seven men. (Company D, Seventeenth N. C. T.) Lenoir Braves, Captain Sutton, three officers and - men.
RETURN OF THE PICKETS.
Just before day, while it was yet dark, a body of men were seen to approach the fort from the direction of the inlet. In the dusk of the morning it looked like a large force. I at once took it to be the returning pickets, but others insisted that it looked too large. Quite a stir was made in the fort. All the men were called to arms, the guns bearing on the inlet and on the sally-port were shotted with grape, and the men stood ready to fire. I could not understand how so large a force could have passed the pickets without creating an alarm, but then they might have landed in the inlet. It was well enough to be cautious. A man was sent out to challenge the force, but no answer was heard. The excitement grew quite intense. Soon I recognized the voice of Lieutenant Whitehurst and called out that it was the picket guard. This did not at first give satisfaction. Finally all became assured, and the guard came into the fort and reported.
They had advanced to within a few yards of Fort Clark and had seen no signs of the enemy. We learned afterwards that only a small force was left there, and that they got drunk on the whiskey found there and went to sleep. This is told
me by one of the free negroes who remained there. The fort might have been retaken had the fact been known.
August 29, Thursday.-The cooks had been kept busy all night providing food and coffee for the men. Some time after daylight, all got some, but not much. Fasting, want of sleep, and anxiety had quite exhausted me. A cup of coffee and a little whiskey and sugar given me by Captain Clements quite revived me.
The companies that had come from Ocracoke were to man the guns, while the men who had been on duty the day before were to be relieved.
I was ordered to form four detachments from my company, of eight men each and a gunner. They were to have charge of the guns bearing on the inlet, one a 32 and one an 8-inch howitzer. The detachments were to be in charge of one of my Lieutenants, and I was ordered to visit them in person during the fight. I appointed the following gunners: Sergeant Potts, Private Willis, Engineer Cornell and C. K. Gallagher (a volunteer).
Gallagher came in port from the brig H. C. Brooks, on which he was bound for Liverpool. He was fond of gunnery, was drilled at Beacon Island and I gave him a gun first assigned to W. W. Cordon. He was not called upon to fire it.
I gave the first detachment to Lieutenant W. Shaw, and the second to Lieutenant A. J. Thomas, who was to relieve the first every two hours.
The Tar River Boys had charge of two 32-pounders on the same face of the fort as my two, facing the inlet, and to the left of mine.
My first two detachments and the Tar River Boys practiced at the drill of their guns, and received special instructions from Major Andrew's as to the elevation of their guns.
The Morris Guards were assigned to two guns which bore on the enemy, to-wit: The 8-inch howitzer in the pancoup (or angle) bearing on the inlet and ocean (southeast), and the Basket 32 near this. A traverse was between them.
The 32 on the left of this was mounted on a ship carriage, on an elevated platform and was very slightly protected by the parapet. This gun was in charge of Lieutenant Murdaugh, and a force from the naval steamer Ellis.
Stewart Johnson had charge of the howitzer in the angle. Lieutenant Grimes the 32 left of the traverse.
These three guns were the only ones fired during the engagement.
The Hertford Light Infantry had charge of a 32-pounder on the face of the fort looking towards Hatteras woods, and Fort Clark. During the night part of the traverse had been taken down, so as to bring this gun to bear on the rear of Fort Clark. Captain Sharp commanded here in person.
It was determined that only those on duty should remain in the fort. The detachments to man the guns were to remain near them, and the reliefs were to stay in the bombproof until called for.
All the men not on duty were ordered outside of the parapet facing the sound for their protection. I was ordered not to fire a gun until the enemy should come within full range of our guns.
Just to the right of my guns was a traverse, already spoken of as the one where my men slept during the night. Just behind this I posted my men, so as to be in readiness to man and fire their guns when called upon. Here I remained some time before and in the early part of the bombardment. Here not a man was wounded.
Before the action commenced I was standing on the parapet near the pancoup facing the inlet and ocean, with Commodore Barron, Colonel Bradford and others, when bang, bang, went some rifles at Fort Clark, and at the same time the balls went whistling over our heads. The Germans there seeing us on the walls, took us as a target for their pieces. We got out of the way, of course. They continued to fire at the fort for some time without doing any harm.
When guns were assigned to me, the first thought that occurred to me was that owing to the position the enemy's ships
had taken, there was no protection for my men, as they would be subjected to a raking fire from them.
Looking from my guns seaward, I could see the broadside of the Minnesota between the rear of the two traverses at that angle of the fort. It was obvious that they would be unprotected at their guns.
I immediately took Commodore Barron, Colonel Martin, and Major Andrews to the parapet. and pointed out to them this defect. Orders were immediately issued to Mr. Allen, the engineer, to take down a traverse in the rear of the fort and extend one in the angle named (at right angles to the face fronting the inlet) so as to protect the guns manned by my men. It was only half completed when the firing commenced, so the guns were unprotected. In the engagement both were disabled by shells from the Minnesota.
The large vessels had steamed off some distance from the shore at night, and the smaller ones took shelter in a bight under the cape near the shore.
At early dawn their heavy outlines could be descried off the bar to seaward, in all their formidable array. As the morning wore away about 7 o'clock, a signal was fired from the flag-ship Minnesota, and soon the fleet were in motion for the shore. They moved in, took their positions with apparent deliberation and came to anchor. The bombarding fleet consisted of the following vessels: Flag-ship Minnesota, 74 guns; Susquehannah, 74 guns; Cumberland, 74 guns; Wabash, 74 guns; Harriet Lane, 7 guns.
The Cumberland came into action after the rest had begun to fire. The Harriet Lane joined them but did not confine herself to one position.
The action lasted three hours and twenty minutes. Such a bombardment is not on record in the annals of war. Not less than three thousand shells were fired by the enemy during the three hours. As many as twenty-eight in one minute were known to fall within and about the fort.
It was like a hailstorm, and how so many escaped is known only to Providence, who sheltered and preserved us. On this subject see the official reports of Commodore Barron,
Major Andrews and Colonel Martin, which with the reports of Commodore Stringham, I have preserved.
How shall I describe the bombardment-how give an idea of what was going on in various parts of the fort-how express my ideas and impressions upon such a subject? It would be a hopeless task.
I was standing with my men behind the traverse spoken of, near the inlet, when the first shot was fired. This was according to our time twenty minutes before 8 o'clock. According to Commodore Stringham's account it was 8 o'clock. We were all ready and expecting it. As the report reached us, some one called out, "There they go, look out!" and all instinctively leaned closely against the traverse. The next moment the sharp, shrill whistle of the shell was heard. It came from the direction of the Susquehannah and passed right over us. It was followed in rapid succession by others, which fell in all sorts of directions, some of them falling short.
The flag was planted on the traverse next to the sallyport just beyond us, under my directions. It was found to afford a mark for the enemy and in about an hour was taken down. I sent John Blount to do it, but he called on W. B. Willis, who mounted the parapet, flaunted it at the enemy and then brought it down. It was in the hottest of the fight.
The place where I was standing was very much crowded and I concluded to seek shelter elsewhere in a position convenient to my guns. I was told not to fire without orders, unless an attempt was made to force the inlet. I therefore sought the entrance to the magazine, a few feet distant, and directly opposite my guns. Lieutenant Carraway was in the magazine passing out the powder as it was called for. In the entrance with me were Lieutenant Norman, Colonel Martin and part of the time Lieutenants Whitehurst, Thomas, Shaw and others. It was a very dangerous place, but officers and men were continually coming and going. It was close and intolerably hot. We had to keep our hats going as fans to keep up a circulation of air.
The naval gun commanded by Lieutenant Murdaugh, and the guns commanded by Lieutenants Johnson and Grimes,
returned the fire of the enemy, but it was discovered that the greatest elevation we could get, our guns did not reach the enemy. It was therefore a one-sided business. It became a question of endurance on our part. Could we hold out during the day we would take the enemy in Fort Clark at night.
While in the magazine I could readily distinguish. between the enemy's guns, the explosion of their shells and our guns. When we fired the concussion shook the entire bombproof. We could tell when every shell was falling. Many of the fragments fell at the door. Had a shell fallen there we would have all been killed. We could hear them fall and explode all around and about us. Soule came so near that I became alarmed for the safety of the magazine. The door beyond us had to be kept open to give air to Lieutenant Caraway, and to enable him to pass out the powder as it was called for.
While here, the news of the killing of one, and the wounding of another would be brought in by the men. Here I heard of Lieutenant Murdaugh's misfortune, and that Commodore Barron was killed. This proved to be a mistake. When a shell or ball would strike the bomb-proof or a traverse, it would be with a very peculiar thud and all would listen for the explosion. In this we would some times be 'disappointed. It was because some of the shells did not explode as they fell.
During all this part of the engagement W. B. Willis had stood by his gun, and could not be induced to leave it. Colonel Martin once ordered him to leave. He stood upon the carriage and gave notice to the men whenever a shell was corning, fearless as to himself.
My men and Captain Johnston's were all ordered to leave their guns, and take care of themselves as best they could. They all remained behind the traverses. One of Johnston's men was killed, and one of mine knocked down behind one of these.
On leaving the magazine (having been there nearly an hour), I went where Grimes was firing his gun, on the front of the work. The shells were flying rapidly. I took shelter beneath the parapet. In a few seconds I was covered with
sand and earth. A shell struck the parapet just over me and covered me. I got up and retreated to the end of the adjoining traverse, where were Lieutenant Moore and others. I held my head down and brushed the dirt from my neck and head.
I went next to the end of a traverse near the southeast angle of the fort (towards Fort Clark), and back of Captain Cahoon's tent already spoken of.
Here were Commodore Barron, Major Andrews and others. The tents were all on this (east) side of the fort, and the enemy made a mark of them as afterwards learned. The shells now fell with fearful effect in all parts of the fort, and on the bomb-proof, but more especially on this side. The tents and wood kitchens were literally torn to pieces.
I remained at the traverse during the rest of the bombardment, some times in front of it, and once between it and the parapet. It was while 1 was there that it was damaged by three shells, and the top torn all to pieces.
While here there came over me a feeling of perfect security, not to say indifference. 1 could tell every shot that was to pass by and every one that was to fall. The one had a rapid, sharp, shrill sound; the other a dull, hoarse sound, as if almost exhausted. We would hear them strike with a thud and in a second look and listen for the explosion. Looking up I would see many of them fly rapidly over seemingly on an eager mission of destruction, fall just beyond the parapet, and send into the air a column of sand and water. Here the men were huddled together. I saw many pass in this way. The only uneasiness I felt was on account of the men, several hundreds of whom were on the outside unprotected, where most of the shells were falling and exploding. Almost every minute some one was brought in from there wounded, and taken to the bombproof, where the surgeon was dressing wounds. More persons were wounded here than anywhere else.
I was standing at one time at the corner of the traverse, and stooped down to say a word to Major Andrews. At that instant a rifle shot from Fort Clark passed through the corner of the traverse where my head had been but a second
before. It made a beautiful clean, round hole. It was while here that a shell exploded on the traverse above me, and a fragment tore my coat from my left shoulder and penetrated to the tail, tearing it badly. While lying on one side of this traverse, leaning on my elbow, very much at ease, a large fragment of shell fell from the air on the platform at my side, when there had been no explosion for some seconds. It came like an aerolite, seemingly without cause and very much surprised me. While here another shell struck a gun near by, glanced off, bounded over the parapet, exploded, and sent up an awful column of sand and water.
I was at one time in conversation with the officers in command at the end of the traverse, when a bomb fell with tremendous noise and force near our feet and exploded. I fell round the end of the traverse and all the rest huddled together. No one was hurt.
For the last hour the enemy seemed to have got our range exactly, and almost every shot fired from their ships fell into and about the fort. We had long ceased to fire, as we could not reach the enemy, and to man the guns was a useless exposure of the men. It became apparent that in an hour or two every man must be either killed or wounded.
It was now nearly 11 o'clock and matters were becoming momentarily worse. Commodore Barron called a council of all the staff officers and Captains, at the end of the parapet I have so long been speaking about. He said: "Yon see how it is. We cannot do the enemy any harm. Our guns do not reach them. Our men are all exposed and we cannot protect them. What shall be (lone?" We discussed the propriety of a retreat. All favored this if it were practicable, in preference to a surrender. There were serious doubts of this. All the vessels were a mile or more from us and we had no boats. They would be exposed to the enemy's shells if they came in, and the men would suffer dreadfully in getting to them. Commodore Barron and Colonel Martin were both very reluctant to surrender.
In deference to their wishes it was at first resolved to try to effect a retreat, and to spike the guns. Lieutenant Johnston was ordered to make a signal from the top of the bomb
proof to the vessels and steamers in the sound to come in. He performed this duty, and reported that the signal had been answered by Captain Muse. Lieutenant Johnston was then ordered with such means as were at his command to spike the guns. He went to a gun on the east side of the fort towards the wood, and began his work, and was ordered to desist.
Just at this stage of affairs it was reported that the magazine was on fire. The men came pouring out of the bomb-proof panic stricken. It is said that they ran over the wounded in getting out. I saw just here Wm. H. Harvey, one of my men, picked up dead as I thought. It turned out .otherwise, as his hip was only dislocated. It was in this stage of affairs that the council resolved that it would be the best to surrender. All were unanimous in this final, but reluctant conclusion. Accordingly a white flag was ordered to be raised upon the parapet. Lieutenant Johnston, I think it was, got a piece of white canvas or sheet-a sort of streamer, and waved it on the parapet fronting the ocean. No notice of it was taken by the enemy. Some one then got a large Confederate flag, tore all but the white bar from it, attached this to a pole and planted it on the bomb-proof. Two shots only from the enemy were fired after this. Both fell, I think, into the fort. The firing then ceased.
The bomb-proof was not on fire, but a shell had penetrated through one of the ventilators and exploded, falling among the men below. The smoke caused them to think it was on 'fire. It fell between two of my men. None were injured.
A feeling of sadness prevailed on every countenance after the firing had ceased. Lieutenant Carraway, Ordnance Officer, of Martin County, raved like a mad man. He swore he wanted to die right there and never surrender. Two of my men, Schenck and Hall, both Northerners, wept like children. Many would have run for the shore to escape, but I forbade them. E. B. Shaw and W. J. Pedrich did so.
As soon as the firing ceased the land forces at Fort Clark, under Colonel Max. Weber and Hawkins, both Germans, came over the beach with the "Star Spangled Banner" towards Fort Hatteras. They planted their two flags in the
sand and formed about them at the distance from the fort of several hundred yards.
General Butler, in the steamer Fanny, carrying two rifle guns, ran into the inlet and fired a gun at the Winslow. This was an outrage, as it was taking undue advantage of a flag of truce. Had the negotiation failed he never would have got out again.
During the morning the Colonel Hill had come down from Portsmouth before the firing began, but not in time, I suppose, to land more of my men, who were no doubt on board. After the surrender she with the Winslow and all the other steamers and vessels made the best of their way up the sound. They were spectators of the whole bombardment, and a very grand spectacle it must have been to them.
Colonel Martin and Major Andrews went out to the nearest flag of the enemy to bear Commodore Barron's terms to them. It was a long time before an answer was received, as they had to send to the flag-ship to General Butler and Commodore Stringham.
In the meantime the enemy sauntered about the beach in some order, and our officers and men strolled about the fort looking at the damage done in various quarters. A cut of this in one of the pictorial papers of New York is tolerably correct.
During this interval the Chaplain from Fortress Monroe, C. W. Denison by name, was going about the fort, notebook in hand, examining everything, asking questions of officers and men, picking up and begging relics, and talking very patriotically. There was a wounded man in one of the tents, thought to be dying (as he was), and for him this Chaplain offered up a prayer, a crowd around him. He told me he was a special correspondent of the New York Tribune. The articles in that paper are no doubt from his pen. Like every man connected with the press North, he deals in falsehoods, knowing them to be such.
Finally Colonel Max. Weber, a tall, sharp-featured Dutchman, that could hardly speak English, came into the fort, went. into the officers' tent and carried General B. F. Butler's answer. It was a refusal to grant our terms.
Commodore Barron called a council of officers and submitted the matter. He drew a final proposal and submitted it. We discussed it. There was no alternative but to surrender unconditionally, except that we were to be treated as prisoners of war. The terms were to be arranged on the flag-ship.
Commodore Barron, Colonel Martin and Major Andrews were taken by one of the smaller steamers off to the Minnesota to arrange the particulars. They then surrendered their swords to Commodore Stringham and did not return to the fort.
GENERAL B. F. BUTLER.
This worthy, with his blue coat and brass buttons, his lop-eyelids, and swaggering, fussy, waddling mien, came to receive the surrender of the fort and to embark the prisoners.
The Adelaide and another large passenger boat came into the inlet for this purpose, besides several of the tug boats.
I was introduced to General Butler at the door of the officers' tent. Forgetting myself, and indulging in my usual politeness, I said, when shaking his hand, "I am glad to, see you, sir." He replied in a familiar manner, "That is not true; you are not glad to see me." "Oh! no," said I, slapping him on the shoulder, "I forgot myself. I am not glad to see you. I beg your pardon."
Major Andrews (who had returned) ordered all the Captains to form their companies for the General's inspection, and to stack arms. We formed on the parapet facing the inlet near the sally-port. Formed in two ranks and stacked arms. Companies formed in different parts of the forts. The enemy landed near a thousand of their forces and formed from the sound side up to the sally-port, on one side of the causeway.
The General (Butler) inspected my men, as also the rest. I offered him my sword. He refused to receive it, and told me to hang it on the muskets, which I did. The other officers did the same.
Some one asked him if he were not going to march his men in before we marched out. His reply was, "No, I will never take possession until the men who have made so gallant
a defence have marched out." The only honorable sentiment I have ever heard attributed to him. I heard the remark.
My company was about the second that left the fort. We also formed in two ranks in the causeway from the sally-port to the sound. The gun-boat Fanny was at the landing to receive us and take us to the Adelaide, anchored in the roadstead. General Butler superintended the embarkation himself-stood at the landing -passing and giving orders, boatswain's mate or boss workman totally destitute of all dignity or propriety.
It was an hour before we were all on board. While standing in line I gave C. K. Gallagher my torn coat to carry home, and wrote a hasty note to my wife. He had been released by General Butler and they promised to set him across the inlet. This they never did, but took him as prisoner to Fortress Monroe.
As we embarked on the Fanny the German mercenaries marched in. They raised the Stars and Stripes in several places on the bomb-proof, and formed on the parapet from sally-port to sally-port, one dense mass. Cheer after cheer rent the air, and they fired a salute of thirteen guns, some of them as they had been shotted by ourselves. I saw the grape scatter across the water from one on that face of the fort.
The Adelaide is one of the Norfolk and Baltimore bay steamers, a fine boat and the one on which I traveled with my family on the way to Illinois. She was anchored about half a mile from the shore. The forces were taken on the gun-boat Fanny and taken off to her, I went in the first boat. The men were confined to the lower deck, and the officers and wounded were assigned to the upper or berth saloon.
Officers and men had been without food since early morning, and were very hungry, an unfortunate circumstance, as no arrangements had been made to feed us on the Adelaide, Even water was scarce, and this we were greatly in need of. Servants were scarce, there being only one man servant for the whole force. After an hour or two we had a tolerable supper, rather scant, and the men had to be content with a little bread. They were glad to get this.
General Butler busied himself in chuckling and talking familiarly to the officers in the after saloon. His aim seemed to be to make himself free and easy with everybody, and to appear to be very clever.
The wounded were brought to the after part of the upper saloon, and arranged in beds as comfortable as possibly, with passage ways between. There were fourteen or fifteen, some of them very badly wounded. Only one made much ado, most of them lying perfectly quiet. They were heroes.
The state-rooms were assigned to the officers, but it was a late hour before many of them could get to bed. The one servant having more than he could do. When I got hold of him there was not a room to be had. The servant, however, told me to follow him. I did so, through various apartments of the ship, and finally found myself in the ladies sleeping saloon, where the berths and sheets were very nice. An old negro woman was there in her night clothes and seemed very much astonished at our advent. She rubbed her eyes and shifted her quarters. Lieutenant Allen, Ordnance Officer, was with me. We were soon asleep, and had a good night's rest.
HATTERAS, N. C.,
29 August, 1861.
NOTE.-At the date of this action Major Sparrow was Captain Company G, Seventeenth Regiment N. C. T.-ED.
4 OCTOBER, 1861.
BY E. C. YELLOWLY, LIEUTENANT-COLONEL SIXTY-EIGHTH REGIMENT
NORTH CAROLINA TROOPS.
"Sure enough off we went Friday morning last. We got on board our steamers and transports the evening before and lay at anchor off the island until 2 o'clock next morning. Our forces consisted of the Second Georgia and our regiment, and a small detachment of the Seventh North Carolina Volunteers (later Seventeenth Regiment. ED.), all under command of Colonel A. R. Wright, of the Georgia Regiment, as senior officer. At daylight, we were in sight of Chicamacomico, where it was supposed that the enemy was encamped. Our steamers, commanded by Commodore Lynch, took position about three and a half miles from the shore, as near as he could get, and commenced firing towards the woods with his rifled cannon to drive the enemy from cover. This firing was kept up for an hour, when Colonel Wright, with his Georgians on some boats, commenced to land. The enemy saw him coining and began to run, leaving everything behind them, except their arms and accoutrements. We took everything, besides, they had. Their tents, camp equipages, haversacks, blankets, provisions, etc. This paper I am writing on was taken from them. You must keep it as a relic.
Our boys found Bibles, likenesses, paper and a great many things of like character. They found great numbers of letters, which they kept and read. Some were funny, some vulgar, some from sweethearts, fathers, mothers, sisters, brothers and friends. And some written by the soldiers,
NOTE.-At the time Yellowly was Captain Company G, Eighth Regiment. He was promoted to Major, August, 1863 and to Lieutenant-Colonel Sixty eighth Regiment October, 1863. He was a leading lawyer in Greenville. N. C., and died some years since. This article is taken from a letter he wrote to a relative 8 October, 1861, four days after the events he narrates.-ED.
which they did not have time to finish and mail. They all breathed hostility to the South.
Our regiment tried to head off the enemy. We could not get nearer to the land where we were sent, than two miles. We got out of our boats and tried to get ashore, but after wading about a mile, the water got too deep, and we had to go back. Our boys hated to go back. We were close to Hatteras light house, and in sight of the enemy's shipping at Fort Hatteras. Night overtook us by the time we re-embarked and we could not try to land any more that day. We were about twenty-five miles distant from the Yankees' camp at Chicamacomico. The Yankees had named it Live Oak Camp. They were the Twentieth Regiment of Indiana troops, commanded by Colonel Brown. We heard next day that they saw our regiment trying to land, and being broken down running from the Georgians, who were pursuing them, they prepared to surrender to us, by stopping and shooting off their guns. The people on the island told this. They got rested before the Georgians came up with them and went on and were reinforced from Fort Hatteras next day. Had we landed, we would have taken them all prisoners and blown up Hatteras light house. Bad generalship on the part of Colonel Wright prevented it. He had made boats, but would not let us have them to land in. He kept them to make good his retreat. Next day the Pawnee steamship came up from Hatteras and commenced firing at the Georgians. We could see it all from our boats out in Pamlico Sound. She fired about 200 guns at them, but never killed a man. The bombs would sometimes fall among them, but did not burst. Colonel Wright got back at night and all his men got off safely except one, who died from fatigue. It was a warm day. We got back here on Sunday night last, hungry, dirty and greatly fatigued. We had the enemy completely in our power, but owing to his had management and want of military skill, we failed to catch them."
E. C. YELLOWLY
8 FEBRUARY, 1862.
BATTLE OF ROANOKE ISLAND, FEB. 8, 1862.
LOSS OF ROANOKE ISLAND.
8 FEBRUARY, 1862.
REPORT OF INVESTIGATING COMMITTEE CONFEDERATE CONGRESS.
The committee to whom was referred a resolution of the House of Representatives, instructing them to inquire and re-port the cases and circumstances of the capitulation of Roanoke Island, have had the same under consideration and have given all the facts and circumstances connected with the defences of said Island and its adjacent waters, and of the capitulation on S February, a most elaborate investigation. The committee find that on 21 August, 1861, Brigadier-General Gatlin was ordered to the command of the Department of North Carolina and the coast defences of that State. On 29 September Brigadier-General D. II. Hill was assigned to duty in North Carolina and charged with the defences of that portion of said State lying between Albemarle Sound and the Neuse river and Pamlico Sound, including those waters, and was directed to report to Brigadier-General Gatlin. On 16 November Brigadier-General L. O'B. Branch was directed to relieve Brigadier-General Hill in command of his district in North Carolina. On 21 December that part of the North Carolina coast east of the Chowan river, together with the counties of Washington and Tyrrell, was, at the request of the proper authorities of North Carolina, separated from the remainder and constituted into a military district under Brigadier-General IL A. Wise, and attached to the command of Major-General linger, commanding the Department of Norfolk.
At the time therefore of the surrender of Roanoke Island on S February, 1862, it was within the military district of
NOTE.-This is the report made by the Roanoke Island Investigating Committee by its Chairman, Hon. Burgess S. Gaither, to the House of Representatives in the Confederate Congress.-ED.
Brigadier-General Wise and attached to the command of Major-General Huger.
The military defences of Roanoke Island and its adjacent waters on the said S February, 1862, consisted of Fort Bartow, the most southern of the defences on the west side of the island, a sand fort well covered with turf, having six long 32-pound guns in embrasure and three 32-pounders en barbette.
The next is fort Blanchard, on the same side of the island, about two and a half miles from Fort Bartow, a semi-circular sand fort, turfed, and mounting four 32-pounders en barbette.
Next on the same side and about 1,200 yards from Fort Blanchard, is Fort Huger. This is a turfed sand fort, running along the line of the beach and closed in the rear by a low breastwork with a banquette for infantry. It contained eight 21-pound guns in embrasure, two rifled 32-pounders en barbette and two 32-pounders en barbette on the right.
About three miles below Fort Bartow on the east side of the island was a battery of 32-pound guns en barbette, at a point known as Midgett's Hammock. In the center of the island about two miles from Fort Bartow and a mile from Midgett's Hammock, was a redoubt or breastwork thrown across the road, about 70 or 80 feet long, with embrasures for three guns, on the right of which was a swamp, on the left a marsh, the redoubt reaching nearly between them and facing to the south. On the Tyrrell side on the main land nearly opposite to Fort Huger, was fort- Forrest, mounting seven 32-pounders.
In addition to these defences on the shore and on the island, there was a barrier of piles extending from the east side of Fulker Shoals towards the island. Its object was to compel vessels passing on the west of the island to approach within reach of the shore batteries, but up to 8 February there was a span of 1,700 yards open opposite Fort Bartow. Some vessels had been sunk and piles driven on the west side of Fulker Shoals to obstruct the canal between that shoal and the main land, which comprised all the defences, either upon the land or in the waters adjacent.
The entire military force stationed upon the island prior to and at the time of the late engagement consisted of the
Eighth Regiment North Carolina State Troops under the command of Colonel H. M. Shaw; the Thirty-first Regiment of North Carolina Volunteers, under the command of Colonel J. V. Jordan; and three companies of the Seventeenth Regiment North Carolina Troops under the command of Major G. H. Gill. After manning the several forts, on 7 February, there were but 1,024 men left and 200 of them were upon the sick list. On the morning of 7 February, Brigadier-General Wise sent from Nag's Head, under command of Lieutenant-Colonel Henderson, a reinforcement numbering some 450 men-this does not include the commands of Lieutenant-Colonel Green and Major Fry, both of whom reached the scene of action after the battle was closed. The committee do not think there was any intentional delay in the landing of the commands of Colonel Green and Major Fry. The former, Colonel Green, exhibited great anxiety to get into the fight, when he did land, and acted with great gallantry in the skirmish he did have with the enemy in the vicinity of the camps. The whole was under the command of Brigadier-General Wise who, upon 7 and 8 February was at Nag's Head, four miles distant from the island, confined to a sick bed and entirely disabled from participating in the action in person. The immediate command, therefore, devolved upon Colonel H. M. Shaw, the senior officer present.
On 6 February it was discovered that the enemy's fleet was in Pamlico Sound, south of Roanoke Island, and apparently intending to attack the forces upon the island. Colonel Shaw immediately communicated the fact to Brigadier-General Wise, and issued orders for the disposition of his troops preparatory to an engagement. The points at which it was supposed the enemy would attempt to land troops were Ashby's and Pugh's Landings. Ashby's is situated on the west side of the island about two miles south of Fort Bartow, and Pugh's on the same side about two miles south of Ashby's. On the night of the 6th, or early on the morning of the 7th, a detachment of one piece of artillery was. sent to Pugh's Landing and one with two pieces of artillery, was sent to Ashby's, and the remainder of the forces was stationed in the immediate vicinity of Ashby's. On the morning of the
7th, the enemy's fleet passed by both of the landings and proceeded towards Fort Bartow, and the detachment of infantry stationed at Pugh's immediately fell back to the vicinity of Ashby's Landing and joined the detachments there, all under the command of Colonel J. V. Jordan.
In the sound between Roanoke Island and the main land, upon the Tyrrell side, Commodore Lynch with his squadron of seven vessels had taken position, and at 11 o'clock the enemy's fleet consisting of about thirty-nine gun-boats and schooners, advanced in ten divisions, the rear one having the schooners and transports in tow. The advance and attacking division again subdivided, one assailing the squadron and the other firing upon the fort, with 9-inch, 10-inch and 11-inch shell, spherical case, a few round shot and every variety of rifled projectiles. The fort replied with but four guns, which were all that could be brought to bear, and after striking the foremost vessels several times, the fleet fell back so as to mask one of the guns of the fort, leaving but three to reply to the fire of the whole fleet. The bombardment was continued throughout the day and the enemy retired at dark. The squadron under command of Commodore Lynch, sustained their position most gallantly, retired only after exhausting all their ammunition, and having lost the steamer Curlew and the Forrest disabled. Fort Bartow sustained considerable damage from the fire of the day, but the injuries were partially repaired by the next morning, and the fort put in a state of defence. About 3:30 o'clock on the evening of the 7th, the enemy sent off from their transports about twenty-five men in a launch, apparently to take soundings, who were fired upon and retreated. Whereupon, two large steamers having in tow, each thirty boats filled with troops, approached the island under the protection of their gun-boats, at a point north of Ashby's Landing, known as Haymon's, and did effect a landing. The point selected was out of the reach of the field pieces at Ashby's, and defended by a swamp from the advance of our infantry, and protected by the shot and shell thrown from their gun-boats. Our whole force there-upon withdrew from Ashby's and took position at the redoubt or breastwork, and placed in battery the three field
pieces with the necessary artillerymen, under the respective commands of Captain Schermerhorn, Lieutenants Kinney and Selden. Two companies of the Eighth and two of the Thirty-first were placed at the redoubt to support the artillery; three companies of the Wise Legion deployed to the right and to the left as skirmishers-the remainder of the infantry in position 300 yards in the rear of the redoubt as a reserve.
The enemy landed some 15,000 men with artillery, and at 7 o'clock a. m. of the 8th, opened fire upon the redoubt, which was replied to immediately with great spirit and the action soon became general and was continued without interruption for more than five hours, when the enemy succeeded in deploying a large force on either side of our line, flanking each wing. The order was then given by Colonel Shaw to spike the guns in the battery and to retreat to the northern end of the island. The guns were spiked and the whole force fell back to the camps.
During the engagement at the redoubt, the enemy's fleet attempted to advance up Croatan Sound, which brought on a desultory engagement between Fort Bartow and the fleet, which continued up to 12:30 o'clock, when the commanding officer was informed that the land defences had been forced and the position of the fort turned. He thereupon ordered the guns to be disabled and the ammunition destroyed, which was done, and the fort abandoned. The same thing was done at Forts Blanchard and Huger, and the forces from all the forts were marched in good order to the camps. The enemy took possession of the redoubts and forts immediately, and proceeded in pursuit, with great caution, towards the northern end of the island, in force, deploying so as to surround our forces at the camps. Colonel Shaw arrived with his whole force at his camps in time to have saved his whole command, if transports had have been furnished, but none were there, and finding himself surrounded by a greatly superior force upon the open island, with no field works to protect him, and having lost his only three field pieces at the redoubt, had either to make an idle display of courage in fighting the foe at such immense disadvantage, to the sacrifice of his coinwand,
or to capitulate and surrender as prisoners of war. He wisely determined upon the latter alternative.
The loss on our side in killed and wounded and missing, is as follows: Killed, 23; wounded, 58; missing, 62. The loss of the Forty-ninth and Fifty-ninth Virginia Volunteers is: Killed, 6; wounded, 28; missing, 19; that of the Eighth and Thirty-first ,North Carolina and Second North Carolina Battalion, is 16 killed, 30 wounded, 43 missing. Of the engineer department, Lieutenant Selden killed, who had patriotically volunteered his services in the line and was assigned to the command of the 6-pounder which he handled with so much skill as to produce immense havoc in the enemy's ranks, and to elicit the unbounded admiration of all who witnessed it. Unhappily, however, that gallant officer received a rifle ball in the head and he fell without a groan.
* * * * * * * * * *
The committee are satisfied that Colonel Shaw held possession of that post as long as he could have done without useless sacrifice of human life; that on the 7th and 8th the officers and men in Fort Bartow displayed great coolness, courage and persevering efforts to sustain their position and drive back the enemy's fleet. In the battle of S February, at the redoubt, the officers and men exhibited a cool and deliberate courage, worthy of veterans in the service, and sustained their positions under an uninterrupted and deadly fire for more than five hours, repulsing the enemy in three separate and distinct charges, and only withdrew from the deadly conflict after exhausting their ammunition for their artillery, and being surrounded and flanked by more than ten times their number. Instead of the result being "deeply humiliating" it was one of the most brilliant and gallant actions of the war; and in the language of their absent commanding general, "both officers and men fought firmly, coolly, efficiently and as long as humanity would allow."
* * * * * * * * * *
BURGESS S. GAITHER,
THE FALL OF ROANOKE ISLAND.
8 FEBRUARY, 1862.
BY E. R. LILES, LIEUTENANT-COLONEL THIRTY FIRST REGIMENT,
NORTH CAROLINA TROOPS
About two weeks before the enemy made his appearance, my company (B) and the Hatteras Avengers (Company F), Captain Charles W. Knight, of Martin County (both of the Thirty-first Regiment), were ordered to Ashley's Landing, a distance of eight miles from our camp, and nearly two miles below our lowest battery, Fort Bartow. Two brass field pieces, 12 and 18-pounders, were put in my charge, and I was ordered to defend the Landing and, at every hazard. to save the artillery. An officer from the Eighth Regiment was detailed to drill squads from Captain Knight's and my company on the cannon, but he only visited us twice, spending each time about half an hour. All that our men really learned of artillery was taught them in an hour by Colonel Jordan and one or two short lessons by Lieutenant Kinney, of Wise's Legion, who came to the island about three days before the battle. T had no horses, and the mongrel "bank ponies" which Colonel Shaw ordered me to press into service were untractable and of little use. We felt that our position was an important and responsible one. This landing, where vessels drawing eight feet could land at any time, had been neglected to the last moment, and the ninety men, badly prepared as above shown, were placed to defend it as long as possible, with strict orders to carry away the artillery in case of a retreat being unavoidable. On Thursday morning, 6 February, at a very early hour, W. Riley Diggs, of Company B, being on the lookout, discovered two of the enemy's vessels coming up the Sound, some ten or twelve miles away. By aid of a glass, I soon made out four large steamers, and immediately dispatched a message to convey the news to camp. One by one the vessels, of all sorts and sizes, rounded
the point and come in view until the number reached sixty-four. They were drawn across the sound in a long line. One of our little gun-boats went down to take observations, but did not, of course, venture within shot. There they lay, forming a picture rare and beautiful, though probably not so fully appreciated by us as it might have been under different circumstances. At 8 o'clock on Friday morning, they began to move, and coming cautiously along, by 10:30 o'clock were nearly abreast of us, when the "ball opened." The men under my command were ordered to keep concealed, so as not to draw the enemy's fire, but it seemed impossible for them to do so. Look we must, and in looking, the wild grandeur and sublime novelty of the scene drew us unconsciously from our hiding places. The Yankee vessels lay from one to two and a half miles from us, and a few shells would have played havoc with us. But we received no attention, and we had nothing to do for several hours, but eagerly watch the conflict. Fort Bartow replied most nobly to the thunders directed against her, and our little fleet did good service. From my position I could see the effect of nearly every shot. I saw many strike the vessels, and often found myself hurrahing for the gallant Hill and the men at the fort.
About 3 o'clock, p. m., when three or four vessels had been disabled and hauled off, a small boat, containing some twelve or fifteen men, left one of the steamers and made for the shore at a point nearly half a mile above us, evidently with a view of trying the soundings and the landing, which had been represented to us as utterly insufficient for any but very small boats. Colonel Jordan, who had arrived at our post some time before, ordered Lieutenant Lindsay and myself to take twenty men each, and proceed through an intervening swamp, and capture or kill the boat's crew. This marsh was almost impassable, but we got through at last, and were advancing cautiously, in sight of the Yankees, who had just landed, when two men, one attached to the Thirty-first Regiment, and the other unknown to me, rushed forward, hallooing loudly, firing their guns at the enemy, and, of course, giving them the alarm. Lieutenant L's detachment and my own (all from Company B), were now together and within 100
yards or less of the enemy, and but for this piece of imprudence, we would have easily captured them. As they turned to flee, we rushed through mud and water, firing as we went, but all were got into the boat, and the living pushed off, and were soon out of range. We killed four and wounded two. We immediately fell back under cover, expecting a shelling, which, however, still did not come. On the arrival of the small boat at the flag-ship, two very large steamers having some thirty small boats in tow, all packed with men, started for the landing above us. Knowing they must cut us off from the rest of our forces, it being impossible to get the artillery through the marsh, and considering it folly for his small force to attack the thousands of the enemy with musketry, Colonel Jordan ordered a retreat. Our heaviest gun was hauled off by two ponies and two old mules, the other we carried off by hand under a storm of shot and shell from vessels in the sound, none of which, however, did any damage.
We retreated about one mile and a half to the small battery, or redoubt, across the road, and placed one cannon, together with a brass 6-pounder, in battery. It was near night, raining slowly, the men were weary and hungry. We bivouacked then for the night, having some refreshments sent us from camp.
Early on the morning of the 8th, the advance guard of the enemy made its appearance, the Richmond Blues and McCullough Rangers were thrown out on either flank as skirmishers, and firing commenced. Several regiments of the enemy were now drawn up at three or four hundred yards distance upon which our artillery opened, and as they came nearer, our small arms. There were in the battery my company, numbering forty-three; Captain Knight's, about fifty (including detachments from each for the artillery); a detachment from the Eighth of say ten in charge of the 6-pounder, and about forty Rangers from Wise's Legion, Colonel Shaw in command, and Colonels Anderson, Jordan and Price being also present. Gallantly, nobly and gloriously did every man fight (except-, who ran like a whipped dog). As far as the eve could reach the enemy stood in compact mass, and we mowed them down by hundreds. Often did they attempt
to advance, but as often was death spread in their ranks, and they were repulsed. Like a hail shower their minie balls fell around us while shell and shot hurtled over us going wide from their mark, and placing our reserve force, portions of the Thirty-first and Eighth, half a mile in our rear, in more danger than ourselves. Not a cheek blanched among us with fear, and as I watched most particularly my own gallant boys, not a trembling hand or faltering eye could I see.
Nor was it different with the "Hatteras Avengers," (Company F), who fought with the spirit and determination of brave men, under a brave leader, and a braver man than Captain Knight no men ever fought under. His voice was heard at all times cheering his men, and his example, with that of his First Lieutenant, S. J. Latham, inspired all with courage. After about two hours, our skirmishers being hard pressed by overwhelming numbers, were gradually falling back fighting most gallantly, when the lamented Wise fell. His men bore him off and I saw them no more. The enemy pushed regiment after regiment into the swamp on either side to flank us, but they were for a long time driven back. For over three hours the numbers above mentioned kept at bay at least 10,000 of the enemy (as acknowledged by themselves), and when at last we were flanked, as a Major of one of the regiments who did it, told me, they crossed that miry swamp on a bridge of dead men.[note] Only three men of ours were killed at the redoubt, one of them the brave Seldon, who fell near me, shot through the head. He, Captain Schermerhorn and Lieutenant Kinney (all of Wise's Legion), had command of our three guns. Captain Sehermerhorn, who has been fighting ever since he was old enough, and has five balls now in his body, had charge of Company B detachment and complimented them very highly, particularly James Flowers, who, he said, though much exposed, fought with the firm courage and unflinching coolness of a veteran. A compliment from such a man is worth something. But all did well, and their country[note]
ought to be proud of them. Probably had others been in their places, the same might be said justly, but this is certain, the "O. K. Boys," of Anson County, and the "Hatteras Avengers," of Martin County, fought four hours and twenty minutes, and only retreated when the whole Yankee force was close upon them, and the field officers had left our battery. In ten minutes more the enemy would have surrounded us and cut us to pieces. Just before the retreat, reinforcements arrived, swelling our numbers to probably four hundred men, who did but little good. The retreat was conducted in good order, no guns were thrown away, as has been stated, and our whole force, except a few stragglers, proceeded slowly up the road expecting every minute to hear the order to "Fall in" for another fight, than which no order could have been more welcome. But this came not, and they went sullenly and silently to our old encampment, where about an hour after our arrival, we saw the white flag borne by us to meet the enemy. The surrender of all the forces on the island was made and a strong Federal guard placed around us. The victorious army treated us with kindness, particularly General Foster and the officers of the Eighth and Fifty-first New York, the Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Twenty-first Massachusetts Regiments. We were deprived of all small arms, upon a promise of having them returned whenever we were exchanged, which promise was only partially complied with on our release. We had the mortification of seeing many of the articles prepared for the use of our sick and wounded by the kind women of Anson, seized by the rascally Zouaves, but as soon as complaint was made to General Reno, he promptly ordered any man trespassing thus to be placed in irons.
Our beautiful flag was gallantly borne away from the battlefield by Corporal H. M. May, but to our great regret was taken by the enemy after the surrender, and by Dr. Cutler, Surgeon of the Twenty-first Massachusetts Regiment, was sent as a present to the Governor of that State, a brother-in-law of my informant. It was never disgraced, and bore many marks in the shape of bullet holes. We remained on the Island much crowded and closely guarded, until the
Wednesday morning following, when we were removed (the officers only), to the steamer Spaulding in the sound, fully expecting to start immediately for New York. We were allowed to take our baggage and servants. The ten days following were the most miserable I ever passed. Confined to the damp, dark and dirty lower deck greatly crowded, fed on hard crackers, fat pork (which they said was cooked before leaving the North, but which seemed to us raw), and coffee twice a day, you may imagine our condition. On Sunday, the 16th, General Burnside came aboard and announced that we could all be released on a parole of honor, of which the following is a copy:
"Having been taken a prisoner of war by the forces of General A. E. Burnside, on Roanoke Island, I do solemnly pledge my sacred word and honor, that if released, I will give no one any information I may have derived, or mention anything I may have heard or seen since my capture, that might injure the Government of the United States of America, or aid their enemies by word or act until I am regularly exchanged according to the usages of war; the information to me, of said exchange to be beyond the possibility of a doubt."
This was about the first intimation we had of anything of the kind and upon the assurance that the same privilege should be offered to our men, we gladly accepted the proposition. But it was not until the next Thursday that they moved with us, then steamers, bearing all the prisoners taken, started for Elizabeth City where, on Friday, we landed, and after a tedious process of verifying rolls, we were released. The meeting here between officers and men was in some instances very affecting. You may be sure that we gladly took up our line of march homeward, and bore the many hardships and privations of the journey with more cheerfulness than under other circumstances. At Portsmouth we were furnished with a good meal. At Weldon, Colonel O. H. Dockery most kindly prepared for and entertained my company, on Tuesday morning, from which time until our arrival at Florence-thirty-six hours-we had nothing to eat. At the latter place a bountiful repast was spread for us, Mr. Gamble, the proprietor of the hotel, only
charging us half price-to his credit be it spoken. We are all now safely at home with one exception, and impatient to hear of our exchange. Joseph E. Liles has not been seen or directly heard from since the fight, though we have the strongest reasons for believing that he was alive on the island, though sick when we left. He was quite unwell with the mumps on the day of the battle, though he fought most bravely, and was with us when we started to retreat. He was doubtless taken prisoner, and I fully hope and believe, for various reasons, that he will soon be returned to his home and friends. May this be so-for a nobler boy, or one more beloved, never pulled trigger on an enemy. I had several men wounded, though none seriously. Our whole loss, killed and wounded, is about forty-that of the enemy but little, if any, under two thousand killed, and I know not how many were wounded. This information was gained in various ways, as it was most studiously kept secret by most of the officers, but is reliable. Captain Knight's men and the others in the battery, fired thirty to forty rounds of buck and ball cartridges, and for a large portion of the time, the enemy was just where we wanted them to make our shots tell, and every discharge of our artillery opened a perfect lane through the enemy's ranks. When we saw them advancing the last time upon us, the order to "Fix bayonets" was given, and I never saw it obeyed more cheerfully on drill-though every man expected a hand-to-hand conflict. All those pretty stories about crying and breaking swords, are gammon. I could not make this communication shorter and do the North Carolina companies engaged justice.
- E. R. LILES.
- LILESVILI.E, N. C.,
- 1 March, 1862.
Note.-At the time of this battle E R. Liles was Captain Company B, and later Lieutenant-Colonel of the Regiment. His estimate of the enemy's loss is very far above the mark (see Burnside's report above) as perhaps was natural at the time.-ED.
SHARPSBURGH (OR ANTIETAM).
17 SEPTEMBER, 1662.
BY WALTER CLARK, LIEUTENANT-COLONEL SEVENTIETH N. C. T.
After the "seven days fight" around Richmond in July, 1862, when McClellan took refuge from utter destruction in his gun-boats it was resolved that we should return the unsolicited visit which had been made us.
A few weeks later, with blare of bugles and roll of drums, we set our faces northward. At Cedar Mountain we crushed the enemy, Chantilly saw our victorious columns and the field of Manassas a second time welcomed us to victory. When
- "August with its trailing vines
- Passed out the gates of Summer,"
we were in full march for the Potomac, which was crossed simultaneously at several points, the bands playing "Maryland, My Maryland." Walker's Division, to which I belonged, with McLaws' and A. P. Hills' Divisions, recrossed the Potomac to surround Harper's Ferry, while the rest. of the army, moving towards Hagerstown, was suddenly attacked at Boonsboro 14 September, and falling back the hostile lines again confronted each other about noon on 16 September, the Federals lining Antietam creek while the Confederates held the village of Sharpsburg, hence the double name of this famous battle. For a similar reason the great battle known to the English-speaking people the world around as Waterloo, is called the battle of Mont St. Jean by the French and La Belle Alliance by Germans.
The battle of Antietam (commonly known at the South as the battle of Sharpsburg), was one of the bloodiest of the whole Civil War. It was fought 17 September, 1862, between the Federal army commanded by General George B. McClellan, and the Confederate army under General R. E. Lee.
The Federal army was composed of six Corps: First (Hooker's), Second (Sumner's), Fifth (Porter's), Sixth (Franklin's), Ninth (Burnside's), Twelfth (Mansfield's), besides Pleasanton's Cavalry Division.
On the Southern side were two Corps: Longstreet's and Jackson's, with Stuart's Cavalry. The morning reports for that day of the Federal army show 101,000 "effective;" but General McClellan, in his report of the battle, places his number of men in line at 87,000. General Lee, in his report simply puts his force at "less than 40,000." General Longstreet estimates them at 37,000, and General D. H. Hill at 31,000. The best estimate of numbers actually in line ,could he 87,000 Federals and 35,000 Confederates. Of the latter, only 27,000 were in hand when the battle opened. The arrival of the divisions of McLaws and A. P. Hill from Harper's Ferry during the battle, raised Lee's total to 35,000. Over a fourth of these were from North Carolina, which had thirty-two regiments and three batteries there.
The battle was fought in a bend of the Potomac river, the town of Sharpsburg. Md., being the center of the Southern line of battle, whose right flank rested on the Antietam creek, just above where it flows into the Potomac, and the left flank on the Potomac higher up. General Lee had braved all rules of strategy by dividing his army in the presence of an enemy treble his numbers. He had sent Jackson, with nearly half the army, to the south side of the Potomac to invest Harper's Ferry, while with the other part of the army he himself advanced on Hagerstown. General McClellan, who slowly and with caution was following Lee's movements, found at Frederick, Md., a dispatch from Lee to General D. H. Hill, which had been dropped in the latter's encampment. This disclosed to him Lee's entire plan of campaign and the division of his army. With more than his usual promptness, MeClellan threw himself (on 14 September), upon Turner's (Boonsboro) and Crampton's Gaps. These were stubbornly held till next day, when Lee fell back to Sharpsburg. Fortunately for Lee, Harper's Ferry surrendered with 12,000 prisoners early on the morning of the 15th, releasing the besieging force. Of these, Walker's Division, with Jackson
himself, rejoined Lee north of the Potomac, at Sharpsburg, on the afternoon of the 16th. McLaws and A. P. Hill joined him there during the battle on the 17th-McLaws at 9 a. m., and A. P. Hill at 3 p. m.-and each just in time to prevent
SHARPSBURG AND VICINITY.
the destruction of the army. With 87,000 men in line, as against Lee's 35,000, General McClellan should have captured the Confederate army, for fighting with the river at its back any disaster could not have been retrieved. Besides, till 9 a. in., Lee had only 27,000 men, and this number was not finally raised to 35,000 till the arrival of A. I'. Hill after 3 p. in. There were no breastworks and neither time nor opportunity to make any. General McClellan was an excellent General, but his over-caution saved Lee's army. He greatly overestimated the numbers opposed to him. He telegraphed to President Lincoln during the battle that Lee had 95,000 men. Had he known that in truth Lee had only 27,000 men when the battle opened, the history of the war and General McClellan's fortunes would have been essentially different.
During the battle General McClellan telegraphed President Lincoln "one of the greatest, and probably the greatest battle, in all history is now in progress."
This much has been said to give a general idea of the "situation" before and during the battle. I was Adjutant of the Thirty-fifth North Carolina Regiment commanded by Colonel M. W. Ransom (afterwards Brigadier-General and United States Senator.) The brigade was commanded by his brother, General Robert Ransom, a West Pointer, and hence a personal acquaintance of most of the Federal leaders. The division was commanded by General John G. Walker, another old army officer. We were at the taking of Harper's Ferry, where our division held Loudon Heights, and we were the first to recross the Potomac and join General Lee at Sharpsburg, on the afternoon of the 16th.
I was then a mere boy, just 16 a few days before, and have vivid recollections of the events of the day. About an hour before day, on the 17th, our division began its march for the position assigned us on the extreme right, where we were to oppose the Federals in any attempt to cross either the bridge (since known as Burnside's) or the ford over the Antietam below it, near Shiveley's. Along our route we met men, women and children coming out from Sharpsburg, and from the farm houses near by. They were carrying such of their household belongings as were portable; many women were weeping. This, and the little children leaving their homes, made a moving picture in "the dawn's early light." On taking position, we immediately tore down the fences in our front which might obstruct the line of fire. About 9 a. m., a pressing order came to move to the left; this we did in quick time. As we were leaving our ground, I remember looking up the Antietam, the opposite bank of which was lined with Federal batteries. These were firing at the left wing of our army to the support of which we were moving. The Federal gunners could be seen with the utmost distinctness as they loaded and fired. Moving northwards, we were passing in rear of our line of battle and met constant streams. of the wounded coming out. Among them I remember meeting Colonel W. L. DeRosset, of the Third North Carolina,
being brought out badly wounded, and many others well known in North Carolina.
All this time there was the steady booming of the cannon, the whistling of shells, the pattering of fire-arms, and the occasional yell or cheer rising above the roar of battle as some advantage was gained by either side. Soon after passing the
BATTLE-FIELD OF SHARPBURG.
town the division was deployed in column of regiments. Around and just beyond the Dunkard church, in the center of the Confederate left, our line had been broken and was completely swept away. A flood of Federals were pouring in; we were just in time-ten minutes', five minutes' delay, and our army would have ceased to exist. We were marching up behind our line of battle, with our right flank perpendicular
to it. As the first regiment got opposite to the break in our lines it made a wheel to the right and "went in." The next regiment, marching straight on, as soon as it cleared the left of the regiment preceding it, likewise wheeled to the right and took its place in line, and so on in succession. That is, we were marching north, and thus were successively thrown into line of battle facing east. As these regiments came successively into line they struck the Federal lines which were advancing; the crash was deafening. The sound of infantry firing at short distance can be likened to nothing so much as the dropping of a shower of hail-stones on an enormous tin roof. My regiment wheeled to the right about 150 yards north (and west) of the Dunkard church. In the wheel we passed a large barn, which is still standing, and entered the "West Woods." Being a mounted officer, I had a full view; our men soon drove the Federals back to the eastern edge of these woods, where the enemy halted to receive us. The West Woods had already been twice fought over that morning; the dead and wounded lay thicker than I ever seen on a battlefield since. On the eastern edge of these woods the lines of battle came close together and the shock was terrific; here Captain Walter Bryson, of our regiment, was killed, along with many others in the brigade. All the mounted officers in the division instantly dismounted, turning their horses loose to gallop to the rear. It being the first time I had been so suddenly thrown in contact with a line of battle, and not noticing, in the smoke and uproar, that the others had dismounted, I thought it my duty to stick to my horse; in another moment, when the smoke would have lifted (so the Federal line of battle, lying down fifty yards off, could have seen me) I should have been taken for a general officer and would have been swept out of my saddle by a hundred bullets. A kind-hearted veteran close by peremptorily pulled me off my horse. At that instant a minie ball, whistling over the just emptied saddle, struck the hack of my left hand which was still clinging to the pommel, leaving a slight scar which I still carry as a memento. The Federal line soon fell hack. We then charged in pursuit as far as the post and rail fence at the turnpike. It was Gorman's Brigade,
Sedgwick's Division, of Sumner's Corps our brigade was fighting. This was composed of troops from Massachusetts, New York and Minnesota, and from their returns they left 750 killed and wounded by our fire; this was about 10 a. m. A terrific shelling by the enemy followed, which was kept up for many hours, with occasional brief intermissions, caused probably by the necessity of letting the pieces cool. The shelling was terrible, but owing to protection from the slope of the hill, and there being a limestone ledge somewhat sheltering our line, the loss from the artillery was small.
In the brief intermission, after the Federal infantry had fallen back and before the artillery opened, a cry for help was heard. Lieutenant (later Captain) Sanford G. Howie and myself going out in front of our line, found the Lieutenant-Colonel of a Massachusetts regiment-Francis Winthrop Palfrey-lying on the ground wounded, and brought him and ethers into our lines. With some reluctance he surrendered his very handsome sword and pistol and was sent to the rear. The sword bore an inscription that it had been presented to him by the town of Concord, Mass. He remarked at the time, he wished them preserved, and sure enough, after the war he wrote for them, and they were restored; he was exchanged and became subsequently General Palfrey. He has published a volume, "Antietam and Fredericksburg."
There was another intermission in the shelling about 12 o'clock, when we were charged by the Second Massachusetts and Thirteenth New Jersey of Gordon's Brigade, who advanced as far as the post and rail fence at the Hagerstown turnpike, about 100 yards in our front, but were broken there and driven back, leaving many dead and wounded. There was another intermission about 2 o'clock probably. Word was then brought us that we were to advance. It was then that Stonewall Jackson came along our lines; his appearance has been so often described that I will only say that I was reminded of what the Federal prisoners had said two days before at Harper's Ferry, when he rode down among them from his post on Bolivar Heights: "My! boys, he ain't much on looks, but if we had had him, we wouldn't have been in this fix." Stonewall remarked to Colonel Ransom, as he
did to the other Colonels along the line, that with Stuart's Cavalry and some infantry he was going around the Federal right and get in their rear, and added "when you hear the rattle of my small arms this whole line must advance." He wished to ascertain the force opposed, and a man of our regiment named Hood was sent up a tall tree, which he climbed carefully to avoid observation by the enemy; Stonewall called out to know how many Yankees he could see over the hill and beyond the "East Woods," Hood replied, "Who-e-e! there are oceans of them, General." "Count their flags," said Jackson sternly, who wished more definite information. This Hood proceeded to do until he had counted thirty-nine, when the General told him that would do and to come down. By reason of this and other information he got, the turning movement was not attempted, and it was probably fortunate for us that it was not.
During the same lull, our Brigadier-General (Robert Ransom) received a flag of truce which had been sent to remove some wounded officers, and by it sent his love to General Hartsuff (if I remember aright), who had been his roommate at West Point; but Hartsuff, as it happened, had been wounded and had left the field. Soon after our regiment was moved laterally a short distance to the right, and we charged apiece of artillery which had been put in position near the Dunkard church; we killed the men and horses, hut did not bring off the artillery, as we were ourselves swept by artillery on our left posted in the "old corn-field."
Just to the right of the Dunkard church was the "peach orchard" lying between the church and the town of Sharpsburg, where General D. H. Hill held our line for hours with a line of men four feet apart. A half mile in front of the orchard, early in the day, Anderson's Brigade had made the name of the "Bloody Lane" forever famous. Its position thrust out in front resembled that of the "Bloody Angle" at Spottsylvania later. It was overwhelmed by Richardson's Division, losing its Brigadier, Geo. B. Anderson, mortally wounded, Colonel Tew killed, Colonels Parker, Bennett and others wounded. Its loss was great, but the fame of its deeds that day will abide with North Carolina forevermore.
About 3 p. m., Burnside on our right (the Federal left) advanced, having crossed the bridge about 1 p. m., until which hour his two corps had been kept from crossing the bridge by Toombs' Brigade of 400 men. Though it crossed at 1 p. m., Burnside's Corps unaccountably did not advance till 3 p. m. Then advancing over the ground which had been abandoned by our division early that morning, utter disaster to our army was imminent. Just then A. P. Hill's Division arrived from Harper's Ferry, where it had been paroling prisoners. A delay of ten minutes by Hill might have lost us the army; as it was, the division arrived just in time. The roll of musketry was continuous till nightfall and Burn-side was driven back to the Antietam. Here General L. O'B. Branch was killed. About dark our brigade was moved to the right a half mile and bivouacked for the night around Reel's house near a burning barn. As we were moving by the right flank, we were seen by the Federal signal station on the high hills on the east bank of the Antietam. A shell sent by signal fell in the rear company of the Forty-ninth _North Carolina Regiment, just ahead of us, killing Lieutenant Greenlea Fleming and killing or wounding thirteen others. It rained all next day. We were moved back that morning to our old position of the Dunkard church; neither army advanced. That night our whole army quietly moved off and crossed the Potomac, the passage of the river being lighted up by torches held by men stationed in the river on horseback. The army came off safely without arousing the Federal army, and left not a cannon nor a wagon behind us. On the 19th Fitz John Porter's corps attempted to follow us across the river at Shepherdstown, and was driven back with disastrous loss.
During the battle of the 17th, McClellan's headquarters were across the Antietam at the Fry house. There he had his large spy-glasses strapped to movable frames, and could take in the whole battlefield; besides, from his signal station on the high hills, which border the Antietam on the east side, he could learn all the movements of our army. With this advantage and his great preponderance of numbers, 87,000 to 101,000 as against our 35,000 to 40,000 (giving the margin to each allowed by the official reports), it is clear that he
should have captured Lee. The latter had committed a grave military fault by dividing his army by a river and many miles of interval in the presence of an enemy greatly his superior in numbers. Besides, he ought not to have fought north of the Potomac. Lee was saved from the consequences of his boldness by the opposite quality of over-caution in McClellan; the latter erroneously estimated Lee's force at 95,000, when it was a little more than one-fourth of that number at the time the battle opened. Then, when the Federals fought it was done in detail. At daybreak Hooker's Corps went in; he was wounded, and his corps badly cut up and scattered. Then Mansfield with' the Twelfth Corps, came on; he was killed and his corps was driven out. Then Sumner's Corps was launched at us and came on in good style; it broke our line, and was only driven back by fresh troops-Walker's Division taken from the right, as above stated, and by McLaws' Division, just arrived from Harper's Ferry. Simmer's Corps was driven back but fought well, as is shown by the fact that its loss, which was over 5,000, was more than double that of any other corps. When they went back Franklin's Corps came up, but had small opportunity, as is shown by its loss of less than 500 in the whole battle. By 11 o'clock the battle on the left wing was practically over, except by artillery; on the other wing at 1 p. m., Burnside's Corps crossed the Antietam over the bridge, but his corps did not move forward till 3 p. m., at which instant A. P. Hill's Division, arriving from paroling prisoners at Harper's Ferry, met and overthrew it. The other corps (Fitz John Porter's) was in reserve and did not fire a gun, except some detachments sent to other commands during the battle. With six corps the weight of McClellan's fighting at any moment was that of one corps only. Had he, with Napoleonic vigor, dropped his four corps-full 60,000 men-simultaneously on our thin left wing of 15,000 men like a massive trip hammer, it must have shattered it. Had he moved his other two corps of 30,000 at the same moment in rear of our right, the fight would have been over by 9 a. m., and Appomattox would have been antedated two years and a half. The star of the Confederacy would have set in night,
and Sharpsburg might have taken its place in the history of our race by the side of Hastings and Flodden. The loss of that army, with Lee, Jackson and the other Generals there, would have been fatal. We know what happened when the same glorious army, even with smaller numbers, disappeared at Appomattox. From this fate the leadership of our Generals and the superb valor of our soldiers could not have saved us, had not McClellan singularly overrated our numbers. But he should have known that if Lee and Jackson had really had 95,000 men they would not have waited for him to attack; they would have taken possession of his army.
Thirty-nine years after the event it is hard to realize the misapprehension which then existed in the minds of others as well as General McClellan as to the size of Lee's army. As an example, read the following from the 28 (Serial No.) Official Records Union and Confed. Armies, 268, from the war Governor of Pennsylvania, Andrew G. Curtin:
"HARRISBURG, PA., 11 September, 1862.
"His Excellency the President:
* * "You should order a strong guard placed upon the railway line from Washington to Harrisburg to-night, and send here not less than S0,000 disciplined forces, and order from New York and States east all available forces to concentrate here at once. To this we will add all the militia forces possible, and I think that in a few days we can muster 50,000 men. It is our only hope to save the North and crush the rebel army. * * * The enemy will bring against us not less than 120,000, with large amount of artillery. The time for decided action by the National Government has arrived. What may we expect?
"A. G. CURTIN."
To this President Lincoln very sensibly replied, at p. 276, same volume:
"* * If I should start half of our forces to Harrisburg, the enemy will turn upon and beat the remaining half and then reach Harrisburg before the part going there, and beat it too when it conies. The best possible security for Pennsylvania
is putting the strongest force possible into the enemy's rear.
"September, 12, 1862. A. LINCOLN."
The same day (12 September), Governor Curtin telegraphs the President that he has reliable information as to the rebel movements and intentions, which he details, and says: "Their force in Maryland is about 190,000 men. They have in Virginia about 250,000 more, all of whom are being concentrated to menace Washington and keep the Union armies employed there while their forces in Maryland devastate and destroy Pennsylvania."
In fact, as we now know from the Official Records, Lee, by reason of his losses at Second Manassas and from sickness and straggling, had only about 40,000 men in Maryland, and there were probably 10,000 more in Virginia, exclusive of the stragglers from his army, around Richmond, a total of 50,000 effective, while opposed to them was McClellan immediately in front with an army of 101,000 "effective," 12,000 more Federals (afterwards captured) were at Harper's Ferry, 73,000 "effective, fit for duty" were in the intrenchments round Washington, 10,000 under General Wool at Baltimore-total, by morning reports, of 195,000 effective, besides the Federal and State troops under arms in Pennsylvania.
Such are the illusions and confusion which disturb even the clearest minds under such circumstances.
Singularly enough, too, General McClellan gave as his reason for not putting in Fitz John Porter's Corps and fighting on the 18th, that it was the only force that stood intact between the Capital and possible disaster. Yet on that day 73,000 other soldiers were behind the ramparts around Washington. The publication of the Official Records has thrown a flood of light on the history of those times.
RALEIGH, N. C.,
17 September, 1901
BATTLE OF WHITE HALL.
13 DECEMBER, 1862.
BY COLONEL S. D. POOL, TENTH REGIMENT (1 ART.) N. C. T.
The winter campaign of 1862 was initiated early by the Federal commander.
In the months of October and November feints were made along the Confederate lines from North Carolina to the Blackwater. These movements were instituted to divert forces from the Army of Northern Virginia to the apparent points of attack previous to the decisive assault on General Lee's position at Fredericksburg, and which, they expected, would work the overthrow of the Confederacy. Shortly before that attack should take place, a subordinate, though real, attack was to be made on Goldsboro, North Carolina, by the advance of General Foster from New Bern, which, while weakening General Lee by the division of his forces, would also, if successful,' interrupt his communications, and further the general plan. Great activity was shown in Suffolk, where General Peck had command. Large reinforcements were sent to that garrison in November. The Blackwater was the Confederate line; and the twenty miles between the river and Suffolk, covered with low brushwood, and of level surface, intersected by innumerable roads, constituted, a neutral ground traversed by the foraging parties of both armies, and became the theatre of frequent skirmishes of cavalry. Colonel Leventhorpe, of the Eleventh North Carolina Regiment, in command of two North Carolina infantry regiments, Ferrebee's Cavalry (Fifty-ninth North Carolina) and a Petersburg Battery (Captain Graham's), had charge of this line from September to the end of November. Towards the end of November an attack in force was made upon Franklin-the Confederate headquarters and a flank attack at a fort on the Blackwater, on the left of, and seven miles from, Franklin. Marshall's Regiment (Fifty-second North Carolina)
was stationed to guard the ford. The enemy crossed the river at that point, and formed a line to cover the passage of their artillery. They were repulsed there and at Franklin. Colonel Leventhorpe was reinforced by several additional regiments of infantry, and two Virginia batteries; and some heavy guns were sent from Richmond and placed in position. The works about Franklin were enlarged and strengthened. General Pryor assumed the command on the Blackwater about 1 December. Soon after his arrival the General learned by his scouts that the enemy had left Suffolk in large force, and that Franklin was the supposed object of attack. Subsequent information was received that the enemy was marching into Gates County, North Carolina. The design of this movement was not understood; but it was imagined, either that a large foraging party had been sent into Gates, or that the General was making a reconnoissance in person. With a view to determining this question, and diverting the enemy from his object, whatever it might be, General Pryor made a night advance towards Suffolk. At about 2 a. m., and whilst the troops were in bivouac, heavy cannonading was heard in the rear, and apparently at Franklin, which was partially uncovered. General Pryor withdrew towards his own lines. The cannonade, it was afterwards discovered, originated with a party of cavalry from Suffolk, 500 strong, which had run a battery to the bank of the Blackwater to shell a Confederate regiment encamped on the lowlands on the opposite side. This party learned that General Pryor was in the field in force, and retreated precipitately on Suffolk, affording, with the withdrawal of the Confederates towards Franklin, the somewhat singular incident of the retreat of two parties, by contiguous roads, each urged by the apprehension that their separate fastnesses had been attacked during their absence.
On the following day it was known that the large Federal force, last traced to Gates County, had embarked on the Chowan, and that it was destined to aid General Foster in an expedition into North Carolina. Immediately after this reinforcement reached him, General Foster marched from. New Bern. He was encountered by General N. G. Evans
between New Bern and Kinston, and delayed for several days by the obstinate stand made by that officer at every point where it was possible with his limited numbers, to oppose, with any advantage, the overwhelming strength of the Federal advance. Intelligence of this movement was sent to General Pryor, who was ordered to dispatch Leventhorpe's Regiment immediately to Goldsboro. As General Evans was in need of reinforcements General Robertson, commanding at Garysburg, was ordered to dismount Evans' (Sixty-third North Carolina) and Ferebee's (Fifty-ninth North Carolina) Regiments of cavalry, and proceed to his assistance. At Goldsboro, Colonel Leventhorpe received instructions to report to General Evans, who, rumor stated, was contending successfully with General Foster. The train conveying the Eleventh North Carolina, was met on its way by an up train which the President of the road was conveying out of danger, and, then, for the first time, the true condition of affairs was known, and that General Evans, who had bravely disputed every inch of ground, had been attacked by irresistible numbers, defeated, and driven from Kinston, which was then occupied by the enemy. General Evans had been well aware, from the first, that he could only delay the Federal columns. But he appreciated justly that every consideration should be subordinate to this object. This resistance gained time for General Gustavus W. Smith, and enabled the latter to procure those reinforcements, which placed it in his power to meet Foster successfully, and defeat the aim of his expedition.
When the train had gone as far as its safety would warrant, it was stopped, and the troops bivouacked by the road. General Robertson and Colonel Leventhorpe proceeded together on the engine to seek General Evans, who was quartered at a house on the bank of a small creek a few miles distant from Kinston, his late headquarters. General Evans explained his disaster to the two officers who visited him. His little band of about two thousand men had been crushed by the enemy, numbering twenty-two thousand men, and having eighty pieces of artillery. When General Evans' force was broken it was partly dispersed, and the position of his
artillery was uncertain. General Evans had kept up the unequal contest so long that his troops had barely time to reach Kinston by the bridge ere they were overtaken and scattered by Foster's forces. Evans' South Carolina Brigade could alone be mustered, and was picketing the banks of the small stream which he had chosen for a stand should Foster advance from Kinston. General Evans was made aware that General Smith intended to reinforce him largely on the morrow, and he expressed his resolution to send Leventhorpe's Regiment forward in the morning to feel the enemy. But this determination was changed on the following day as it was thought probable that Foster might recross the river, march up the Neuse on its southern bank to White Hall and, passing the river on the bridge, interpose his force between General Evans and Goldsboro. General Robertson was, therefore, ordered to march with Evans' (Sixty-third North Carolina) and Ferebee's (Fifty-ninth North Carolina) Regiments of dismounted cavalry, and Leventhorpe's (Eleventh North Carolina) and Jordan's (Thirty-first North Carolina) Regiments, prevent the enemy from crossing at White Hall and, in furtherance of that object, destroy the bridge there, if necessary. White Hall was, at that time, a small hamlet on Neuse river which was spanned by a substantial county bridge. The river, though much narrower at White Hall, is deep and navigable. On the northern side the river has a gentle slope to the stream, which, in 1862, was bordered by a swamp in which there was a somewhat dense growth of tall timber. A quantity of this timber had been felled and cut into logs, which lay around the bank of the river, and through the swamp, affording admirable protection for riflemen, of which good use was made on the following day. A gun-boat was in course of building, and stood, propped on rollers, in the upper end of the swamp, and near the river not far from the bridge. A bridge road ran through and about equally divided the swamp. There was perhaps a depth of rather less than a hundred yards of timbered swamp land on the left side of the bridge road, and between it and the river. The little hamlet of White Hall, built on the southern bank of the Neuse, consisted of two or three stores
and warehouses, and a straggling street with some neat dwellings and enclosures. The warehouses were on the bluff which is lofty on the southern side; and some eminences further from the river, and commanding the much lower level of the northern shore, gave great advantage to the former as a military position. The Confederate troops reached the neighborhood of the bridge about sunset and stacked arms whilst the mounted officers rode over the bridge to the village. Some scouts were sent out immediately on the Kinston road. They returned at sunset reporting the enemy advancing, and his scouts quite near. The bluffs were crowded with piles of crude rosin, and barrels of spirits of turpentine. By General Robertson's orders these combustibles were arranged on the bridge and a party detailed to fire them when the order should be given. As subsequent reports convinced General Robertson that the whole force of the enemy was advancing on him, he considered that it would be impossible, with his small force to prevent his crossing should the bridge remain undestroyed. It was therefore fired after nightfall, as the enemy came up and the burning fabric, thoroughly saturated with turpentine, fell into the Neuse and floated down its waters a blazing wreck. This work was scarcely accomplished when the enemy entered and occupied the village. A strong picket from the Eleventh North Carolina was posted in the swamp fronting White Hall. The Confederate troops bivouacked within short distance. The enemy was active during the night, and could be heard throwing up works, and preparing for coming operations. Some sharp picket firing occurred during intervals, and an occasional shell disturbed the sleeping Confederates. About midnight the Federals burned the warehouses and some other buildings at White Hall. With what object this was done was uncertain, but, whether in order to avail themselves of the temporary light of this conflagration in directing their missiles of death, or whether from a wanton spirit of evil, the act proved highly disastrous to its perpetrators in the ensuing engagements, as it destroyed what would have been a safe shelter for skirmishers, and exposed the infantry, without cover, and on a high elevation, to the halls of the Confederate soldiers. In the
morning Colonel Leventhorpe relieved his two companies which had been engaged (Captains Bird and Small), with two other companies of the Eleventh North Carolina, which were placed under command of Captain M. D. Armfield, a noble old man, and a soldier of the purest type, who afterwards, as a Gettysburg prisoner, and in confinement at John-son's Island, gave his life for the cause which he had espoused.
The enemy's preparations being complete his guns began to open quite briskly upon the pickets in the swamp. General Robertson formed his troops in line, and within easy support of. the pickets should there be any intention exhibited, on the part of the enemy, to cross the river on pontoons. Some casualties occurred amongst the dismounted cavalry, and two men of Captain Bryce's company, Colonel Ferebee's Regiment, were killed by a shell. General Robertson ordered Jordan's Regiment into the swamp to relieve Leventhorpe's picket companies. This intention, however, was changed. Colonel Jordan was counter-ordered, and Colonel Leventhorpe instructed to join his two' picket companies, with his eight remaining companies, and to use his judgment as to the best mode of engaging the enemy, but, in any event, to resist the crossing of the Neuse river to the last extremity. The Eleventh Regiment moved forward at the double-quick, filed to the right through the timber on the river bank. It was halted, and fronted towards White Hall in rather extended order, to meet the large front shown by the enemy, as well as to lessen, by the extension of the files, the danger of loss by his artillery. In the meantime, al-though there was no vantage ground for artillery in the Confederate position, General Robertson placed two small guns, his sole ordnance, and directed the Lieutenant (Nelson MeClees) who commanded, to engage the enemy's batteries. Some seven hundred men, therefore, of the Eleventh Regiment and two small howitzers of this North Carolina battery (Company B, Third North Carolina Battalion), formed the only fighting force opposed to thirty pieces in position, and Foster's whole command. The other Confederate troops, which were present, are nevertheless entitled to their full share of the credit
of this engagement, as they were placed tinder circumstances of peril highly trying to their steadfastness, without that stimulus of action which renders most men insensible to danger. A lull in the firing enabled the officers and men of the Eleventh to hear the order of their commanding officer, which was to keep their order, but avail themselves of such shelter as the ground afforded, and to commence independent firing. The answer came in that wild cheer, which many have heard and know as the Southern soldier's expression of ardor and determination. The enemy's guns were arranged on the heights at and around White Hall in a kind of semiline so as, without actually enfilading the swamp, to expose those who held it to a direct and oblique fire. The infantry which engaged the Eleventh Regiment was drawn up in line on the high ground fronting the swamp. The thirty guns opened at once, and fired as fast as they could be loaded and fired, for four hours without intermission. The Federal infantry fired by volleys and at the word of command. They were answered by the file-firing of the Confederate Regiment and by the section of a battery which might be heard occasionally through the din of battle in its unparalleled struggle against odds. The position of the enemy's infantry, as well as that of his batteries, although commanding that of the Confederates, had this disadvantage that it was necessary to depress the aim. In fact the Southern riflemen were too near their enemy, and his artillery and infantry overshot the mark. Had the thirty guns been more depressed, or had the Southern infantry been a hundred or even fifty yards further to the rear, it really seems impossible that any troops could have endured such a fire. The enemy's infantry fought well for four hours under a destructive fire. Their line, however, was frequently broken, and as frequently reformed. Some regiments faltered and withdrew in disorder, as their files were thinned by the Confederate rifles, but others supplied their place At length the Federal commander con-ceded a repulse, withdrew his guns, and then his infantry, and was seen moving in the distance, with a long ambulance train containing the wounded. Leventhorpe's Regiment, the men's cartridges all spent, was relieved by Jordan's,
which engaged and drove away the skirmishers which General Foster had thrown out to cover his retreat.
Such, on 6 December, 1862, was the engagement at White Hall between the Confederate and Federal forces.
An examination of the field next day resulted in the discovery of one hundred and twenty-six of the Federal dead, and nineteen horses left on the field. It is not probable that this was the sum of the killed, but only comprehended those whom it was inexpedient to remove under a galling fire.
The exact object of General Foster in this engagement is doubtful. It seems nevertheless, as a pontoon train accompanied him that it was his design to cross the Neuse at White Hall, and advance from that point on Goldsboro. It is hardly to be supposed that, in order to overcome an unlooked for resistance only, he should have sacrificed a day's time, and subjected himself to a loss of probably a thousand men in killed and wounded, with a vast expenditure of ammunition.
The writer deeply regrets that General Robertson's report of this engagement,[note] which resulted so honorably to North Carolina soldiers, fighting on their native soil, as well as the general orders of Major-General G. W. Smith and Major-General S. G. French, which were in his possession until lately, have been destroyed by fire, The section of artillery gave excellent aid in this fight. One of the two small guns was dismounted early in the fight, and the gunners killed; but despite this discouragement the remaining howitzer was fought to the last against the thirty opposing guns of large calibre, and made havoc amongst the enemy, particularly his horses, which were found lying thick around those batteries which received the special attention of this gallant subaltern.
The Confederate loss was slight in the engagement at[note]
White Hall (10 killed and 42 wounded), including few men killed and wounded in the force present, but not actually engaged. Of those engaged the writer believes that two men were killed in the command of the Lieutenant of artillery when his gun was dismounted, and that the casualties in the Eleventh North Carolina were seven men killed and forty wounded. The total number of Confederate soldiers present was fifteen hundred.
STEPHEN D. POOL.
RALEIGH, N. C.,
16 December, 1874.
FLANK MARCH AT CHANCELLORSVILLE
2 AND 3 MAY, 1863.
BY BRIGADIER-GENERAL JAMES H. LANE.
On the morning of 1 May, 1863, my Brigade moved from its position, near Hamilton's Crossing, in the direction of Chancellorsville. That night we formed line of battle with skirmishers thrown forward on the right of the road, about a mile and a half from Chancellorsville. Next morning between 8 and 9, I think, after the artillery duel on the road to our right, where one of our caissons was blown up and the Eighteenth North Carolina suffered a slight loss, we were ordered to the left on that memorable flank movement.
General Jackson's front line was composed of Rodes' Division, his second of Colston's and his third of A. P. Hill's, with the exception of McGowan's Brigade and mine. Our two brigades moved by the flank along the plank road immediately in rear of our artillery-mine being in front.
We crossed the plank road where Generals Lee and Jack-son were sitting on their horses, and took the road to Welford's Furnace, on a part of which we were in full view of the enemy who shelled us vigorously. From Welford's Furnace we took a circuitous route across fields and along roads until we struck the road on the enemy's right flank, where Rodes and Colston were forming their lines of battle. This was between 5 and 6 in the afternoon of the same day. McGowan's Brigade and mine moved down the road, mine being in front and close behind the artillery, After the enemy had been swept back to Chancellorsville, and we had reached their last breastworks, the artillery halted, as did my command. This was a little before dark.
We remained standing in the road for some time. General A. P. Hill then ordered me to form across the road-two regiments to the right, two to the left, and one thrown forward as a strong line of skirmishers-for the purpose of
making a night attack; but soon after the order was given our artillery opened and the enemy's replied. I at once ordered my men to lie down, as I was unwilling to attempt to manoeuver them in the dark, and in such a woods, under such a deadly fire. Colonel William H. Palmer gallantly crossed the road to know why I did not move my command. I requested him to tell General Hill that if he wished me to do so successfully he must order his artillery to cease firing. The order was given and the firing ended on both sides. I now formed my brigade as I had been ordered, putting the Seventh and Thirty-seventh on the right of the road, and the Eighteenth and Twenty-eighth on the left, the right of the Eighteenth resting on the road, while the Thirty-third under Colonel Avery, was thrown forward as skirmishers. On account of the artillery fire the line was not formed till about 9 o'clock. The woods in front of our right consisted of large oaks with but little undergrowth; in rear of our right there was a pine thicket, and to the left of the road there was a dense growth of scrubby oaks, through which it was very difficult for troops to move. Our skirmish line occupied the crest of the hill, separated, on the right of the road, from the Chancellorsville hill by a deep valley. I cautioned all of my field officers to watch closely the front, as we were then occupying the front line and were expected to make a night attack. After forming my line I rode from my right to the road to ask General A. P. Hill if we must advance or wait for further orders, and on reaching the plank road I met General Jackson alone, I think, and he at once wished to know for whom I was looking. It was too dark to recognize any one, and when I was calling and asking for General A. P. Hill, General Jackson recognized me, as I have always thought, from my voice, I having been a cadet under him at the Virginia Military Institute. I told him, and to save further delay, I asked for orders. In an earnest tone and with a pushing gesture of his right hand in the direction of the enemy, he replied, "Push right ahead, Lane," and then rode forward. On reaching the right of my command to put it in motion I found that a Lieutenant-Colonel Smith, of the One Hundred and Twenty-eighth Pennsylvania
Regiment, had come up between our line of battle and the skirmish line, with a white handkerchief tied to a stick, to learn, as he stated, whether we were friends or foes. This officer seemed surprised at my not allowing him to return after he had gratified his curiosity. I was still further delayed by officers of the Seventh Regiment reporting that during my absence troops of some kind had been talking on our right. Lieutenant Emack, with four men, was at once sent out to reconnoitre, and he soon returned with the One Hundred and Twenty-eighth Pennsylvania Regiment, which had thrown down their arms and surrendered on being told that they were cut off. Just as Captain Young (our gallant boy-captain, about 18 or 19 years old) was ordered with his company to take this regiment to the rear, the right of the skirmish line fired, as I afterwards learned from Colonel Avery, at a person who rode up from the direction of the enemy and called for "General Williams." This unknown person escaped, but the firing at him caused the whole skirmish line to open, and the enemy responded. Much heavier infantry firing was heard immediately afterwards in the direction of the plank road, followed by a reopening of the enemy's artillery. General Pender now rode up and advised me not to advance, as General Jackson had been wounded, and, he thought by my command. I did not advance, but went to the plank road, where I learned that General Hill had also been wounded. I there, moreover, learned from Colonel John D. Barry, then Major of the Eighteenth North Carolina Regiment, that he knew nothing of Generals Jackson and Hill having gone to the front; that he could not tell friend from foe in such woods; that when the skirmish line fired there was heard the clattering of approaching horsemen and the cry of cavalry, and that he not only ordered his men to fire, but that he pronounced the subsequent cry of friends to be a lie, and that his men continued to fire upon the approaching party. It was generally understood that night, by my command and others, that the Eighteenth Regiment not only wounded Generals Jackson and Hill, but killed some of their couriers and perhaps some of their staff officers, as some of them were missing. Colonel Barry, who was one of my bravest and most
accomplished officers, always thought that Generals Jackson and Hill were both wounded by his command.
After the wounding of these two Generals, General Heth assumed command of Hill's Division, countermanded the order for an advance, and directed me to form the whole of my brigade on the right of the plank road. We were the only troops in line on the right of the road until after we had repulsed Sickles' formidable midnight attack, in which we captured a few prisoners and the colors of the Third Maine Regiment. McGowan's Brigade then prolonged our right, and we rested on our arms until the next morning. I did not see General Stuart that night, but understood he did not arrive to take command of Jackson's Corps until after my brigade had repulsed Sickles' midnight attack.
On the morning of the 3d we were ordered to make a direct attack upon the enemy's works, which were composed of logs hastily thrown together the night previous, in our front and on the slope of the hill facing the Chancellorsville hill. We carried the works, but could not hold them on account of the concentrated, murderous artillery fire from the Chancellorsville hill, under which the enemy threw forward fresh infantry. The brigade that was to have supported us did not come to our assistance, and before General Ramseur (then a Brigadier), could get up with his North Carolinians, we were driven back with a loss of over nine hundred out of about twenty-seven hundred carried into action. Of the thirteen field officers of my command that participated in this charge, only one-Barry-was left for duty. General Ramseur would go forward, though I advised him against it. His command reached the same works, but had to retire with a similar terrible loss.
The enemy was finally driven from the Chancellorsville House by the Confederates carrying the salient to our right, where General Stuart, in command of Jackson's Corps, elicited loud shouts of admiration from the infantry as he in person gallantly rushed them over the works upon Hooker's retreating columns.
JAMES H. LANE.
2 May, 1901.
THE WOUNDING Of JACKSON
2 MAY, 1363.
BY SPIER WHITAKER, ADJUTANT THIRTY-THIRD REGIMENT N. C. T.
Early on the morning of 2 May, 1863, Gen. Jackson marched by the Furnace and Brock roads and reached the old turnpike about three miles in the rear of Chancellorsville, at 4 p. m. As the different divisions arrived they were formed at right angles to the road, Rodes' in front, Trimble's under Colston in the second, and A. P. Hill, marching down the turnpike in column of fours in the third line, with the Thirty-third North Carolina, of Lane's Brigade, at the head of the column. At 6 p. m. the advance was ordered. The enemy were taken by surprise and fled after a brief resistance. Rodes' men pushed forward with great vigor and enthusiasm, followed closely by the second and third lines. Position after position was carried, the guns captured, and every effort of the enemy to rally defeated by the impetuous rush of our troops. In the ardor of' pursuit through the thick and tangled woods, the first and second lines at last became mingled, and moved on together as one. The flight and pursuit continued until our advance was arrested by the abatis in front of the line of works near the central position at Chancellorsville. It was now dark, and General Jackson ordered the third line, under General A. P. Hill, to advance to the front and relieve the troops of nodes and Colston, who were completely blended and in such disorder from their rapid advance through intricate woods and over broken ground, that it was necessary to reform them. Lane's Brigade was formed across the road, the Eighteenth and Twenty-eighth on the left, the Seventh and Thirty-seventh on the right, and the Thirty-third in skirmish line in front of the entire Brigade, Colonel Avery being at the center of his line, at the road. It was so dark and the woods so thick that the men could not be properly located or
deployed by a mere word of command, and I was sent by the Colonel to the left to see that this was done. When I had attended to this, I returned to Colonel Avery and informed him that the line was ready to move forward, when he told me that Generals Jackson and Hill with their staffs, had just gone forward in front of our line reconnoitering and that we must wait until their return. Soon we heard firing in front; the Generals and their staffs came galloping back and across our line bearing to the right of the road to escape the artillery fire. We, of course, permitted them to pass us, but the Eighteenth Regiment in our rear shouted, "Yankee cavalry!" and under orders from their officers, fired on them. As the bullets were coming from the front and the rear at the same tune, our line protected themselves by lying down. We soon learned that Jackson had been terribly wounded by our own men and taken to the rear. There was no further advance that night and the battle for that day had about ended. Thus was the greatest of our Generals killed by his own men while in the midst of a glorious victory and on the point of capturing an army three times as large as the one which was commanded in part by himself.
SPIER WHITAKER.ANOTHER ACCOUNT.
RALEIGH, N. C.,
2 May, 1901.
BY ALFRED H. H. TOLAR, CAPTAIN COMPANY K, EIGHTEENTH
REGIMENT NORTH CAROLINA TROOPS.
As an eye witness to the affair I desire to make some statement of facts as they have impressed themselves on my mind and to call as witnesses for concurrence the gallant Major T. J. Wooten, of the Eighteenth North Carolina Troops, the chivalrous Captains V. V. Richardson and Thomas L. Lewis, of the Eighteenth North Carolina Troops, and other officers
of that regiment who were in line at the time this sad affair was enacted.
Under the circumstances it would have been utterly impossible for any one to know who fired the fatal bullet or bullets. That the wounds were from the firing line of the Eighteenth North Carolina troops, officers and men of that regiment will testify with regret. If my memory serves me true, the Eighteenth regiment was the only regiment on the left of the Turnpike, the remainder of the brigade (Lane's) being on the right of the road as we faced the enemy at Chancellorsville. About dark, General Jackson and staff, accompanied by General A. P. Hill and staff, rode down the Turnpike in advance of our line of battle, and, coming closer to the enemy's line than they expected, were fired on from a regiment of infantry; and then some batteries of artillery turned loose with a heavy firing, sending shot and shell down the pike. The General and staff left the road, and the two Generals (Jackson and Hill), with staffs and couriers, came down on the Eighteenth at a rapid gait. The night was calm and the tramp of thirty horsemen advancing through a heavy forest at a rapid gait, seemed to the average infantryman like a brigade of cavalry. Noting the approach of horsemen from the front, and having been advised that the enemy was in front, with no line of pickets intervening to give the alarm, the brave Colonel Purdie gave the order "Fix bayonets; load ; prepare for action !" as fast as the command could be given. When the supposed enemy was within 100 yards, perhaps, of our line, the Colonel gave the command, "Commence firing," and from that moment until notified by Major Holland (or Harris) of General Jackson's staff, that we were firing on our own men, the firing was kept up by the entire regiment with great rapidity. The horse of Major Harris (or Holland) was knocked down with a blow from the butt of a gun in the hands of Arthur S. Smith, Company K, Eighteenth North Carolina Troops, and at that moment we were notified by the Major of the sad mistake that had been made.
It was during this continuous firing that General Jackson received his wounds, and if any other troops except the Eighteenth fired a shot I did not hear of it. The soldier on the
firing line knows how impossible it would be for any one to know who fired the fatal shot, and the man who would at-tempt to set up such a claim would certainly presume on the intelligence of the average Confederate soldier.
ALF. H. H. TOLAR.
2 May, 1901.
NOTE.-Thus fell in the glory of his prime the greatest soldier the war produced. when the war was only half through. What heights he might have reached if he had lived, we know not for he was constantly growing.
It is a singular reflection that notwithstanding the countless tons of bullets, cannon balls and shell fired during those four eventful years two minie balls, in all human probability, decided the result as it was. The bullet that slew Albert Sidney Johnston when in another hour he would have captured the Western Army with Grant and Sherman at its head and that other bullet which prostrated "Stonewall " Jackson when on the eve of capturing Hooker's army destroyed our hopes of success. There were other occasions when mismanagement intervened, among them the failure to push our success on the second day at Gettysburg, and Whiting's failure to capture Butler when "bottled up" at Bermuda Hundreds, but the deaths of Jackson and Johnston were fatalities.
The splendid courage of our soldiery and the patriotism of our people would have conquered success. but, as Napier said of Napoleon, "Fortune, that name for the unknown combinations of an infinite power, was wanting to us and without her aid, the designs of man are as bubbles upon a troubled ocean. "-ED.
Field of Longstreet's Assault. Gettysburg, July 3, 1863.
Field of Longstreet's Assault. Gettysburg, July 3, 1863.
LONGSTREET'S ASSAULT AT
3 JULY, 1863.
By MAJOR W. M. ROBBINS.
It is not singular that students of history should feel a deep interest in the story of Gettysburg and especially of the final assault made by the Confederates on the third day of the battle, the result of which foreshadowed the issue of the war between the States and the fate of the Southern Confederacy. So much has already been written concerning it that only urgent solicitations, from a source which I cannot disregard, have moved me to make this brief contribution to the story.
The number of Confederates engaged in the assault was about 14,000, composing nine brigades, Kemper's, Garnett's, and Armistead's of Pickett's Division; Archer's, Pettigrew's (under command of Colonel J. K. Marshall), Davis' and Brockenborough's of Heth's Division, commanded by General Pettigrew; and Scales' and Lane's of Pender's Division, commanded by General Trimble. They formed two lines of battle, the front line composed of Kemper's, Garnett's, Archer's,
NOTE.-This valuable article was written by my request for this work by Hon. W. M. Robbins who since 1804 has been one of the "Gettysburg National Park Commissioners" and therefore possessed of the fullest information from the thousands of participants, coming from both armies, who have visited the grounds. He himself was in the battle, though not in this charge He was on that day Major Fourth Alabama Regiment on our right. After the war Maj. Robbins returned to North Carolina, his native State. and served with high distinction in the State Senate and the Federal Congress. He is one of the ablest and most cultured men the State has produced, and is of the highest character. Though his article is entirely uncontroversial the facts are placed beyond controversy that in front of Pickett the rock wall was 80 yards nearer the Confederate line and the brave General Armistead, the foremost of Pickett's Virginians, fell 31 yards beyond it while by reason of a change in the course of the wall, that part in front of Pettigrew was 80 yards farther off, and Capt Satterfield, and other North Carolinians of the Fifty-Fifth North Carolina fell within 9 yards of that wall. This settles that the men from this State fairly earned the title "Farthest at Gettysburg." A copy of the map, printed after the most careful investigation, by the U. S Government accompanies this sketch and corroborates Maj. Robbins.-ED.
Pettigrew's (under Marshall), Davis' and Brockenbrough's Brigades in the order named from right to left; and the second or supporting line composed of Armistead's, Scales' and Lane's Brigades. In the front line were thirteen Virginia Regiments and one battalion in Kemper's, Garnett's and Brockenborough's Brigades; five North Carolina Regiments, four of them in Pettigrew's Brigade (under Marshall), and one of them in Davis' Brigade; three Mississippi Regiments in Davis' Brigade; three Tennessee and one Alabama Regiment and Battalion in Archer's Brigade, making twenty-five regiments and two battalions in this line. In the second line were five Virginia Regiments in Armistead's Brigade and ten North Carolina regiments in Scales' and Lane's Brigades, making fifteen regiments in this line.
The ridge on which the Confederates formed their lines for the assault is called Seminary Ridge and is 1,400 yards westward from Cemetery Ridge, which was occupied by the Union army. These ridges are parallel with each other, the last named being somewhat the higher of the two, and between them are cultivated fields with many fences running hither and thither about them. The Emmitsburg Road also passes obliquely in front of the Union line, enclosed on both sides by post and rail fences which are almost immovable and constitute a formidable obstacle to the orderly advance of a charging line of battle.
Codori's house and barn just east of that road also disturbed the compactness and continuity of Kemper's line as he advanced.
The Union position on Cemetery Ridge was exceedingly strong and formidable. From the elevated plateau, called Cemetery Hill, where the National Cemetery is, the ridge extends southward towards Round Top, a distance of more than two miles, and overlooks and dominates every foot of the ground over which the Confederates charged. Along its crest from Cemetery Hill to Round Top was a line of Union batteries which General Hunt, Chief of Artillery, shrewdly divining what the great cannonade meant, had kept in reserve until the crucial moment and hurried into position when he saw the Confederate infantry begin its advance.
All along the front where the assault was made there was also a double line of Union infantry ready to resist the assault, and the front line of that infantry was posted behind a stone fence which served as an almost impregnable barrier against assailants. Strong details of skirmishers were out along the fences of the Emmitshurg road and also along the fence running westerly from that road past the Confederate left flank. Another point in relation to the Union defences should be stated, which is, that the stone fence above mentioned as a strong defense for the Union forces does not run in an unbroken straight line north and south, but after running from its southern terminus due north for several hundred yards, it turns due east at what is called "The Angle,'" and runs SO yards in that direction, and then turns again and rims due north for several hundred yards to the Bryan barn. Its length from north to south almost exactly equaled the length of the Confederate front line when it reached there. The important influence of its angular course upon the issue of the Confederate assault will be shown later on.
The cannonade preceding the advance of the Confederate infantry opened about 1 o'clock, p. m., and continued nearly two hours. It was one of the greatest cannonades of modern times, but it nevertheless failed to accomplish the results expected. Artillery will do to batter down fortifications, shell towns, sink ships and cut in pieces with grape and canister advancing lines of infantry; but every old soldier knows that ordinarily it is much less to be dreaded than the "blue whistlers" from the musketry. So it was at Gettysburg. A number of Union gun carriages were ruined, caissons blown up, and now and then a soldier hugging the ground was struck and torn to pieces; but there was no important weakening of the Union infantry lines, and the manner in which General Hunt saved his artillery for the crisis he foresaw has already been mentioned.
As soon as the cannonade ceased the Confederate infantry moved forward to the assault. Only the three brigades of Pickett were fresh troops. All the other brigades had participated in the fighting of the previous days, and suffered heavy losses. Both their division commanders, Heth and
Pender, had been wounded, the latter mortally. Three brigades were without their Brigadiers, Scales having been wounded, Archer taken prisoner, and Pettigrew placed in command of Heth's Division. Many Colonels and other field officers and a long list of company officers had been killed and wounded, and the losses from the ranks had been heavy in most of the regiments and extraordinary in some, the Twenty-sixth North Carolina, for instance, having lost over 71 percent of its numbers in killed and wounded in the first day's fight. As the lines moved out in that fatal, final charge, a number of the men wore bloody bandages on account of wounds received in the first day's fight, and it is said that General Lee observed and spoke of this with much feeling and moistened eyes. No wonder his soldiers loved their noble commander and were ready to march under his orders even into the cannon's mouth.
Many Union officers and soldiers who were there and saw it have stood with me on Cemetery Ridge and spoken with admiration of the magnificent spectacle presented by the lines of Confederate veterans as they advanced deliberately, with muskets at right shoulder shift, across those broad fields. A storm of shells, grape and canister, poured upon them and cut wide gaps in their ranks, but these were promptly closed up without retarding the advance. The duty of indicating the general direction to be followed by the whole force was very properly assigned to Pickett's fresh division. The others were ordered to dress to the right and keep in touch with his left and he was ordered to move directly towards a small unbrella-shaped copse of chestnut oaks inside the Union lines a short distance south of "The Angle." That copse of trees is still there, looking exactly as it did thirty-eight years ago. It is enclosed by an iron fence to keep people from carrying off every splinter of it as a "relic." A large tablet has been erected near by containing the inscription, "The High Water Mark of the Rebellion." I often remind our Union friends good humoredly that the waves (lashed up pretty high several times afterwards, at Chickamauga, Wilderness, Spottsylvania, Cold Harbor and elsewhere. They take the reminder
pleasantly and, to tell the truth, are almost as proud of our Southern soldiery as we are.
When Pickett's line had advanced to the summit of the ridge which had. sheltered it during the great cannonade, he perceived that his center was not moving directly towards the above-mentioned copse of trees as intended, but to the right and south of it. Thereupon he very properly ordered his brigades to incline considerably to the left, which they did and they continued on the same course until they reached the enemy's lines. The order to the other brigades from the first was "Guide right, and keep in touch with Pickett's left;" and therefore, on starting they inclined somewhat to their right so as to join his left. His change of direction being unforeseen by them and occurring whilst the whole line was in motion, the result, for which none of them can be censured, was that very considerable crowding and intermingling of the ranks on Pickett's left and Pettigrew's right took place by the time they reached the Union breastworks, the effect of which will be noticed hereafter.
One of the great obstacles encountered by the Confederates in their advance was the Emmitsburg road with its post and rail fences on each side and, as heretofore mentioned, running obliquely to the lines of battle. Where Pickett's right crossed these fences is about 600 yards from the Union line and where Pettigrew's left crossed them is about 150 yards from that line. The reader can imagine how difficult it was to preserve an orderly alignment of the men crossing these fences in succession from the right flank to the left under a fierce storm of grape and canister and, on the left, of musketry also, for the Emmitsburg road there is in easy musket range of the Union lines. Another important fact which should not be omitted is that the Eighth Ohio Regiment and a large detail from Willard's New York Brigade, having been thrown out from the Union right as skirmishers beyond the Emmitsburg road, did not withdraw to their main battle line as the Confederates were advancing, but formed in compact ranks under cover of the fence west of the Emmitsburg road, perpendicular to the Confederate line and near its left flank. From this shelter they poured in a severe and
unexpected enfilade fire on that flank of Pettigrew's Division, consisting of Brockenborough's and Davis' Brigades. This occurred while the Confederate brigades further to the right were crossing the Emmitsburg road, but it was followed up by those flankers with energy and not without considerable effect on Pettigrew's left, even to the close of the battle.
As soon as the Confederate front line had crossed the Emmitsburg road it raised the well-known battle yell and pressed forward against the Union breastworks. Kemper and Garnett were met by the fire of Harrow's and Hall's and part of Webb's Brigades in front, and Kemper also received an oblique fire on his right from two regiments of Stannard's Vermont. Brigade which had been moved out somewhat in advance of the main line. This caused Kemper's men to incline still more to their left, whereupon Stannard wheeled those two regiments to his right and struck Kemper's right flank, inflicting severe losses in killed and wounded and capturing over 200 men. General Kemper also fell desperately wounded about this time 75 yards from the Union works; but his brigade, though much disorganized by its losses, especially of officers, pushed on until it reached the stone fence or wall behind which was the Union front line, just west of the copse of trees heretofore mentioned as the guide point for Pickett's Division. Garnett's Brigade, though suffering fearful losses, also pushed on to the stone wall, General Garnett himself falling dead from his saddle twenty-five yards west of it. Pettigrew and his division, with heavy losses and himself painfully wounded, had kept on a line with the brigades of Kemper and Garnett and reached the stone wall at the same time; but this stone wall, as has been previously stated, turns squarely eastward near the point reached by Garnett's left and Pettigrew's right, forming what is known as "The Angle," and after running SO yards in that direction turns again and runs northward to the Bryan barn near the left of the Confederate front line. It is not amiss to state that this last-mentioned section of the wall is much higher than the section running from the angle southward, the latter being about three feet high and the other five feet, coming up to one's chin on its western side. The wall is there still, preserved just as it was
in 1863 for the inspection of visitors. Behind this wall and close to it from its last turn northward, was a double line of Union infantry composed of Webb's right regiment and Smyth's and Willard's Brigades. There were also two Union lines from the Angle southward, but only one of them was near the wall and the other was 80 yards to the east of it.
As already intimated, Kemper's and Garnett's Brigades and Pettigrew's Division when they reached the Angle were greatly weakened and almost disorganized by their heavy losses of men and officers. Their ranks on Garnett's left and Pettigrew's right had also become much intermingled from the crowding together of their flanks during the advance, by reason of their different understanding, heretofore alluded to, as to how their march was to be guided. After crossing the Emmitsburg road, Archer's small brigade had been almost absorbed by the left of Garnett and the right of Pettigrew's North Carolina brigade.
It was but a few minutes aft* r the weakened front line reached the Angle when the brigades of Armistead, Scales and Lane rushed forward and mingled with it. And now we come to the last act of the great tragedy which only an inspired pencil could worthily paint. Armistead sprang on the wall with his hat on the point of his sword, called to his men to follow, and leaping down on the other side, pushed forward towards Cushing's battery. He was followed by two or three hundred Virginians, a number of Archer's Tennesseeans and Alabamians, and a few of Pettigrew's North Carolinians. Judge Joseph J. Davis, of blessed memory, was one of them; so he told me years ago. Some Confederate flags were planted on the wall and a few beyond it within the Union lines, but only for a very short time. General Armistead soon fell mortally wounded just forty steps east of the wall. The spot is marked with a Memorial stone. A number of the men who followed him over the wall were killed, most of them were captured, but a few made good their escape. Among these was Captain F. S. Harris, of the Seventh Tennessee Regiment., Archer's Brigade, who has shown me the spot where he was knocked down but rose again and made off and, for a wonder, got clear away. Armistead sent his watch,
purse, and some keepsakes to his old comrade, General Han-cock, to be forwarded to his family, and then passed "over the river to rest under the shade of the trees."
And while Armistead and his heroic followers were over in the Angle, where were Pettigrew's and Trimble's thinned but gallant battalions? They were making a desperate effort to storm the high stone wall eighty yards east of the Angle and were being mowed down like grain before the reaper by the double line of infantry behind that wall. A few men reached it, but finding it too high to leap over, could do nothing but surrender. Others made a near approach to it, but found their ranks so thinned that further effort was plainly useless. The larger proportion, both of officers and men, were stretched upon the ground killed or disabled about half way between the Angle and the stone wall which they were assailing. General Trimble, Colonel Marshall and Colonel Fry were wounded and made prisoners. General Pettigrew had his horse killed under him. Brockenborough's Brigade, weak in numbers, and a few companies of the left of Davis' Brigade, forming the Confederate line north of the Bryan barn, had been from the first vigorously assailed by flankers, as has been already mentioned, and when they were charging on the main Union line posted there on a high embankment, the One Hundred and Twenty-sixth New York Regiment was wheeled to its left and thrown upon their left flank, inflicting heavy losses, and a terrific fire from the line of infantry in their front and a storm of grape and canister from Woodruff's Battery soon cut them to pieces and rendered further efforts hopeless. By this time the entire line under Pickett, Pettigrew and Trimble, was overwhelmed and repulsed. The defeated Confederates fell back shattered and disorganized across the fields over which they had advanced so gallantly and proudly and the famous assault was over.
I have not mentioned Wilcox's Alabama, and Perry's Florida Brigades because they, in fact, and without any fault of theirs, really had no part in the assault. About twenty minutes after Pickett's Division started, they were ordered to advance and support it on its right. But the dense cloud of smoke over the field concealed from them the left oblique
course which Pickett had taken after passing them, and so they marched straight forward, which caused a wide, wedge-shaped gap between them and Pickett's right, into which Stannard threw one of his Vermont regiments and captured the flag and about 100 men of the Eighth Florida. Colonel David Lang, who commanded the Florida Brigade, once visited Gettysburg and went with me over the ground; and he told me that when they reached the Emmitsburg road near the Rogers House, he saw through a rift in the smoke that Pickett's and Pettigrew's forces were being overwhelmed, and he would have turned back at once, but he thought it safer for his brigade to go forward at a double-quick and thus reach the bushy swale on Plum Run and escape by going down that southward to the Trestle Place and thence westward, as this route was not so directly swept by the Union artillery; and both his and Wilcox's Brigades did this, with the above-mentioned loss to the Eighth Florida and considerable losses also to the other regiments of both brigades.
A few more words will close this paper, and those words will be devoted to showing how unwise and undeserved it is for any of the magnificent heroes who took part in that final bloody struggle at Gettysburg ever to impugn each other's chivalry on that occasion. I was not myself a participant in it; I was away over at Round Top with the Fourth Alabama, hammering away at the Yankee infantry and cavalry and, strange as it may seem, we did not even know of that fatal episode two miles north of us until about sunset, and could scarcely believe it then.
I have reaffirmed the well-known and truthful account of how gallantly Pickett's men fought, what they did, and how far they went. They had not been in the battle on the previous two days and were fresh and well organized with all their officers in their places. Their losses in that assault in killed, wounded and captured were a fraction over 63 per cent., which is much above the average losses of troops in battle.
I have also stated whither and how far the faithful veterans of Pettigrew and Trimble advanced, which was near the high stone wall before mentioned eighty yards farther east than
the Angle and to the left and northward of the spot where the noble Armistead fell. Does any one doubt the accuracy of that statement? If so, I must suggest the undisputed fact that the best proof of where a line of soldiers went to is where they left their dead; and where that was in this case is established beyond question by multitudes of disinterested witnesses. A great many officers and soldiers of the Union Army, who were in the battle here and went over the ground where that final struggle took place, very soon afterwards, have talked with me about it and emphatically confirmed the facts as stated above. For instance, (to name one of them), Colonel E. B. Cope, the Engineer of our Gettysburg Park Commission, a gentleman of the highest character and a Union officer in the battle here, has often told me of how he was invited by one of General Meade's staff officers in the evening of that third day, to go with him up on the ridge and (to quote the words of the officer who invited him), "see such a sight as he had never before seen on a battlefield." The Colonel says he went and was deeply impressed by what he saw. The dead, he says, were very numerous in the Angle around the spot where Armistead fell and between that and the stone wall over which he and his men had charged south of the Angle; but they were much more thickly strewn on the ground in front of the high stone wall which Pettigrew's and' Trimble's men had tried to storm and which runs northward to the Bryan barn.
In 1895, Colonel John K. Connally, of Asheville, who was Colonel of the Fifty-fifth North Carolina Regiment of Davis' Brigade, Lieutenant T. J. Falls, of Cleveland County, and Sergeant J. A. Whitley of Martin County, N. C., who had also served in that regiment and been in the battle here, made a visit to Gettysburg and went with me over the field. . Colonel Connally had lost an arm in the first day's fight; and (by the way) Lieutenant-Colonel M. T. Smith had been killed and Major A. H. Belo had been wounded on that day, so that the regiment on the third day was under command of a Captain. Lieutenant Falls and Sergeant Whitley showed me the ground over which they had charged and the point they reached, which point, as noted on our maps and in my journal,
is twenty steps south of the Bryan barn and just nine yards west of the stone wall which Pettigrew and Trimble tried to storm. Whilst we were driving stakes to mark the exact spots reached by them and also where Captain Satterfield, of Person County, had fallen dead near by them, several officers and men of the Thirty-ninth New York Regiment of Willard's Brigade, who were on a visit to the battlefield, came up to the stone wall near us and said that while, of course, they could not identify the men, they could swear that a thin line of "rebels" did reach the very spot where we were driving those stakes, and that it extended all along in front of the wall and about the same distance from it all the way to the Angle; which was the whole front of Pettigrew's and Trimble's column.
By reason of the death or disability of their generals and other officers, very imperfect reports have come down to us as to the numbers of men in the six brigades under Pettigrew and Trimble in that final assault and of the losses they suffered; and the reports we have do not discriminate between the losses of the first and third days. We have, however, some scant data from which one can in a measure divine how those battered battalions of the first day suffered also on the third. For instance, the Twenty-sixth North Carolina, of Pettigrew's own brigade, had entered the battle of the first day with 820 muskets, and lost in killed and wounded 584 men (71 per cent.), and also its Colonel, the gallant Burgwyn. It went into the fight of the Third day with 236 men and had but 80 left, a loss of over 66 per cent. Its brigade (Pettigrew's own) lost its commander, Colonel Marshall, mortally wounded and captured, and came out commanded by Major John T. Jones, the only field officer left, and its regiments led by Lieutenants. Archer's Brigade lost five out of seven field officers, and its commander, Colonel Fry, was wounded and captured. All the field officers of Davis' Brigade were disabled, and the losses of Scales' and Lane's were as heavy as those of the other brigades. But why prolong this story, already much longer than I had intended? As the old Quaker once remarked at the close of the meeting, "A
sufficiency has been said. That is my opinion. I feel that way."
The simple, honest truth is that Pickett's Virginians did as nobly as they and their friends have ever claimed, and the North Carolinians, Tennesseeans, Alabamians and Mississippians, under Pettigrew and Trimble, did fully as well.
All old soldiers know that in the thick of a great battle men are too entirely absorbed in their own part of it to look much about them and observe what others are doing. Furthermore, when a battle ends in defeat, everybody knows how prone men are to lay the responsibility for it on other shoulders than their own. So it has been in this case. Correspondents of the press of Richmond, the capital of the Confederacy, where they had the ear of the world, reported that the failure of Longstreet's assault and our defeat at Gettysburg was chargeable to Pettigrew's and Trimble's men. This is a great mistake and a hitter wrong. That defeat was inevitable, as one can readily see now as he stands on the ground and observes how strong, how advantageous, how impregnable the Union position was. When the shattered remnants of that heroic column were falling back, our beloved commander, General Lee, met them and said: "This is all my fault. It is I who have lost this battle. Fall in, men, and help me out of it." He was too magnanimous and too truthful to blame any of them. Let his noble example be followed. Let history be just and place a wreath of immortelles on the graves of them all.
WM. M. ROBBINS.
3 July, 1901.
PETTIGREW'S BRIGADE AT
1-3 JULY, 1863.
BY CAPTAIN LOUIS G. YOUNG, A. A. G.
The battle of Gettysburg was not a victory for either side, yet paradoxically, but rightly, it goes into history as one of the decisive battles of the war between the States, for it checked the conquering career of the Southern army, and revived the broken spirit of the North at a most critical time. A great battle, replete with valiant deeds, heroic efforts, and fatal mistakes, on the part of the Army of Northern Virginia, it has been more written of, and has produced more controversy, than all the other battles of the war; and many able, some brilliant, accounts have been put forth, for the most part by non-participants, in all of which vital errors are to be found; and while truth, with its proverbial slowness, has been taking time to put on its boots, many a falsehood has run its league and obtained credence. Against some of these my efforts will be directed, with statements of what I saw, and what I know to be true. Before beginning my narrative, however, it will be well to recall some of the incidents connected with the campaign into Pennsylvania, which are so striking that it seems as if an unseen hand had directed them.
General Lee expecting from General Stuart, in command of his cavalry, a report of the movement of the Army of the Potomac, and not receiving it, supposed the enemy was still on the south side of the Potomac, and only on 28 June did he learn from a scout that they had crossed into Maryland and were then at and about Frederick. Hitherto General Lee's march had been northward with Harrisburg as the objective point for concentrating his columns. Now, the position of the enemy's forces was a menace to his line of communication
and he turned to the east and ordered his columns to concentrate near Gettysburg. At the same time fateful changes had been made in the Army of the Potomac. Hooker, who had not shown himself an able commander at Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville, but who had wisely asked for the withdrawal of the troops from Harper's Ferry, to be united with a portion of his army to operate against Lee's rear, tendered his resignation, because his request was refused; and Lincoln, apparently glad to get rid of him, contrary to his theory and saying, "Never swap horses while crossing a stream," accepted Booker's resignation, and gave to the Army of the Potomac an abler commander in Meade, who was waked up late on the night of 27 June, only three days before the battle he was destined to direct, to receive his appointment. This change of commanders meant a change of plans, and Meade, a cautious commander, determined to manoeuver so as to force Lee to attack him; and in making disposition for the defense of the line he had selected, ordered a portion of his army to Gettysburg as a mask to his movements. Thus it was that the two armies were nearing each other, neither of them ready for or expecting the impending conflict, and not aware that Gettysburg like a highly charged magnet was drawing them to it.
On the night of 30 June, without thought of battle on the next day, Hill's Corps was in bivouac eight miles to the west of Gettysburg, the town was occupied by Buford's Division of cavalry; and four miles to the southwest were the corps of Reynolds and Howard; with that of Sickles in calling distance, these three under command of Reynolds, a Kentuckian, and perhaps the most capable officer in the Army of the Potomac.
Now to my narrative, which will be chiefly of Pettigrew and his brigade. I was then General Pettigrew's Aide-de-Camp with the rank of First Lieutenant.
Pettigrew's Brigade was composed of the Eleventh, Twenty-sixth, Forty-fourth, Forty-seventh and Fifty-second North Carolina Troops. The Forty-fourth was left in Virginia on duty at North Anna river so was not present at Gettysburg.
Hill's Corps had arrived at Cashtown, about eight miles
west of Gettysburg, on 29 June. On the following morning General Pettigrew was ordered by General Heth, his division commander, to go to Gettysburg with three of his four regiments present, three field pieces of the Donaldsonville Artillery, of Louisiana, and a number of wagons, for the purpose of collecting commissary and quartermaster stores for the use of the army. General Early had levied on Carlisle, Chambersburg and Shippensburg, and had found no difficulty in having his requisitions filled. It was supposed that it would be the same at Gettysburg. It was told to General Pettigrew that he might find the town in possession of a home guard, which he would have no difficulty in driving away; but if, contrary to expectations, he should find any organized troops capable of making resistance, or any portion of the Army of the Potomac, he should not attack it. The orders to him were peremptory, not to precipitate a fight. General Lee with his columns scattered, and lacking the information of his adversary, which he should have had from his cavalry, was not ready for battle-hence the orders.
On the march to Gettysburg we were passed by General Longstreet's spy who quickly returned and informed General Pettigrew that Buford's Division of cavalry-estimated at three thousand strong had arrived that day and were holding the town. This report was confirmed by a Knight of the Golden Circle who came out for the purpose of giving us warning. Buford's presence made it evident that the Army of the Potomac, or at least a portion of it, was not far off, and General Pettigrew sent immediately to General Heth, a report of what he had learned and asked for further instructions. The message received in reply, was simply a repetition of the orders previously given coupled with an expression of disbelief as to the presence of any portion of the Army of the Potomac. As the presence of Buford's Cavalry was certain, and it would not be possible for him to enter Gettysburg without a fight, which he was forbidden to make, General Pettigrew withdrew from before Gettysburg. This he did, not as was reported to General Lee, "because he was not willing to hazard an attack with the single brigade," (he had only three regiments of his brigade), though with Buford's
Cavalry, supported no doubt by a home guard, to fight, the cost of the stores when gotten would have been dear, still General Pettigrew was willing to make the attack had not his orders forbidden it. Buford's Cavalry followed us at some distance, and Lieutenant Walter H. Robertson and I, of Pettigrew's staff, remained in the rear to watch it. This we easily did, for the country is rolling, and from behind the ridges we could see without being seen and we had a perfect view of the movements of the approaching column. Whenever it would come within three or four hundred yards of us we would make our appearance, mounted, when the column would halt until we retired. This was repeated several times. It was purely an affair of observation on both sides and the cavalry made no effort to molest us.
My object in mentioning so minutely what might seem unimportant and purely personal will appear when I narrate what happened the next day, and will help to show how the great battle of Gettysburg was stumbled into. Blindness in part seemed to have come over our commanders, who, slow to believe in the presence of an organized army of the enemy, thought there must be a mistake in the report taken back by General Pettigrew, but General Heth asked for and obtained permission to take his division to Gettysburg on the following day, for the purpose of reconnoitering, and of making the levy which had been the object of the expedition on the day before. Neither General Heth nor General Hill believed in the presence of the enemy in force, and they expressed their doubts so positively to General Pettigrew that I was called up to tell General Hill what I had seen while reconnoitering the movements of the force which had followed us from Gettysburg. As a staff officer with General Pender, I had served under General Hill in the seven days fights around Richmond and at Cedar Run, and because I was well known to General Hill, General Pettigrew supposed that my report might have some weight with him. Yet, when in answer to his inquiry as to the character of the column I had watched I said their movements were undoubtedly those of well-trained troops and not those of a home guard, he replied that he still could not believe that any portion of the Army of
the Potomac was up; and in emphatic words, expressed the hope that it was, as this was the place he wanted it to be. This spirit of unbelief had taken such hold, that I doubt if any of the commanders of brigades, except General Pettigrew, believed that we were marching to battle, a weakness on their part which rendered them unprepared for what was about to happen. General Archer with his Tennessee Brigade, was to lead, and General Pettigrew described to him minutely the topography of the country between Cashtown and Gettysburg, and suggested that he look out for a road that ran at right angles to the one we were on, and which might be used by the enemy to break into his line of march. And, as he had carefully observed the configuration of the ground in the vicinity of the town, told General Archer of a ridge some distance out of Gettysburg on which he would probably find the enemy, as this position was favorable for defense. He found him there. General Archer listened, but believed not, marched on unprepared, and was taken by surprise, his command routed, a part captured and he himself taken prisoner. Davis' Mississippi Brigade, close on to Archer's, felt the impact, and a portion of it, carried away by the break in front, made the mistake of seeking shelter in an adjacent railroad cut, and about four hundred of them were captured there. For want of faith in what had been told, and a consequent lack of caution, the two leading brigades of Heth's Division marched into the jaws of the enemy, met with disaster, and, contrary to General Lee's wish, brought on an engagement with the Army of the Potomac before we were ready, and precipitated one of the greatest battles of modern times.
Buford, informed by his scouts of the approach of Heth, posted his command, dismounted and acting as infantry, on McPherson's Ridge to the west of Gettysburg, and notified Reynolds, who, according to the testimony before the committee on the conduct of the war, had just received orders to withdraw to Middleburg and Manchester, but who, Swinton says, "was with Wadsworth's Division moving on to Gettysburg according to prescribed orders." Be this as it may, Reynolds was up immediately; and Wadsworth's Division
arrived in time to strike Archer as he was crossing Willoughby Run, and to cause the disaster I have described. Blood now having been drawn, there seemed to be no calling off the battle; and disposition was immediately made by Heth for a charge upon the enemy's position. By this time Buford's Cavalry had been replaced by Wadsworth's Division, with the famous "Iron Brigade" posted directly in front of Pettigrew's Brigade. The other two divisions of the first corps arrived before the advance could be ordered, and were placed, Doubleday's to the left and Robinson's to the right of Wadsworth, forming a long line in front of, and overlapping the single division of Heth. It was scarcely prudent for this division, two of its brigades maimed in the start, to make an attack on so large a force, strongly posted on a commanding ridge, so Pender's Division was marched to supporting distance, and the attack postponed.
Pending these movements on our side, the Eleventh Corps of the Army of the Potomac had arrived, and the command of the two corps fell to Howard, Reynolds having been killed in the first engagement. More troops were therefore necessary to us, for we had only two divisions of infantry up against six of the enemy, and their cavalry hovered on our right, while we had none to oppose it. It was decided therefore to wait for R. H. Anderson's Division of Hill's Corps, not far off, and for Ewell's Corps, which under the instructions previously given to concentrate in the neighborhood of Gettysburg, was on the march for Cashtown, but on hearing our guns, was shaping its course for Gettysburg. Rodes' Division coming up first, immediately attacked Robinson on our left, and was followed soon by Early, who turned Howard's left and put to flight the army of the aliens-Schurz' Division of Germans. Acting in concert with Ewell's two divisions-his third did not arrive until later-Heth's Division was ordered to charge the enemy in its front. We had confronted each other from early in the morning until the afternoon had well advanced, both sides understanding that a conflict of arms was in store for them, we ready to make the attack and they prepared to receive it. Only a few hundred yards separated us; they were advantageously posted in three
lines on McPherson's Ridge, their right in a wood of large trees, no underbrush; and a wheat field lay between us with no other obstruction than the nearly ripe wheat.
As I have before stated, the "Iron Brigade" was posted directly in front of us. It was the finest brigade in the Army of the Potomac, and up to this time it had indulged in the proud boast that it had never been defeated. On the right of us, Archer's Brigade met with little opposition, and on our left Brockenborough's and Davis' Brigades were not so hotly engaged. Thus the brunt of the attack fell to Pettigrew's Brigade, more especially to its left. When the order came to advance, Pettigrew's Brigade about 3,000 strong, marched out in perfect alignment, and under as hot a fire as was ever faced, moved steadily through the wheat, reserved its fire for close range, which when delivered, it pressed on until it overcame its adversary. It was a hotly contested field, and the stubborn resistance of the "Iron Brigade" was met with more than equal determination on the part of Pettigrew's Brigade. For a short time the battle raged at forty, then twenty, yards between the contestants.
In the Twenty-sixth North Carolina thirteen standard-bearers were shot down; and around a flag of the enemy, which was planted beside a large tree, the dead and wounded were piled up. At last with a rush the ridge was carried,[note] and the famous "Iron Brigade" nearly annihilated. Only a small remnant was left, to be easily driven from its second position on Seminary Ridge by Pender's Division.
Of this charge the prisoners testified, that in defence of their own country, they fought as they had never done before, but that there was no withstanding such an attack. Pettigrew's Brigade, although it took only twenty to thirty minutes[note]
to cover the ground between it and the enemy, was more hotly engaged than were any of the troops that participated in the first day's fight, and more of the enemy were killed and wounded in front of it than on any other part of the field. I have taken part in many hotly contested fights, but this I think, was the deadliest of them all, not excepting the third day's charge on Cemetery Ridge; and never have I seen or known of better conduct on the part of any troops, under any circumstances, or at any time. The marked achievement of Pettigrew's Brigade on this occasion was accomplished only at great sacrifice of life. It lost not one prisoner, but its loss in killed and wounded was 1,000 to 1,100, including a number of its best officers. The Twenty-sixth North Carolina Regiment lost 549 out of 800. The Eleventh Regiment some 250 out of 550. The five field officers present with these two regiments were killed or wounded. The Inspector-General of the brigade was killed, and its Ordnance Officer wounded. In the many so-called histories of the battle of Gettysburg, which I have seen, I have found no record of these facts. The brilliant achievement of Pettigrew's Brigade on this day, its persistent courage, and its great sacrifice, have never met with merited acknowledgment.[note]
In the midst of the engagement General Heth was wounded and General Pettigrew was placed in command of the division. Colonel Burgwyn, of the Twenty-sixth, had been killed, and Colonel Leventhorpe, of the Eleventh, had been wounded, so the command of General Pettigrew's Brigade fell to Colonel Marshall, of the Fifty-second, a very able young officer.
I vividly recall my impression after the attack. The brilliant success of Rodes and Early on our left, ours in driving the enemy from our front into a position on Seminary Ridge[note]
from which he was quickly driven by Pender, left us with troops enough to follow up our success, and I wondered that we did not do so and take possession of Cemetery Ridge, which I believed then, and believe now, we could have done easily. The troops which had been engaged, although they had suffered severe losses, were in high spirit and ready to go on. In Ewell's Corps, Johnson's Division had come up fresh, and in Hill's Corps, Pender's Division had been only slightly engaged, while Anderson was in bivouac a short distance away. That we did not continue the fight was the first opportunity frittered away. If Ewell's and Hill's Divisions had pressed forward when the enemy retired to Cemetery Ridge, the battle of Gettysburg would have ended on the day it began. Ewell did not advance when General Lee wished him, Hill's Corps was halted, and the enemy availed of our delay to hasten up fresh troops and to strengthen his position.[note]
The 2 July was also a day of lost opportunities for the Confederates. An early attack on either flank of the enemy could scarcely have failed of success. His line, three miles long, aptly described as resembling a fish hook, with Round Top Mountain to the south the end of the shank, and Culp's Hill, to the north the end of the curve, was a very strong defensive position if thoroughly fortified and maimed with troops; but either end taken by us would have rendered it untenable, and world have enabled us to sweep down upon the enemy and destroy him before he could escape. It was evident that 'Meade's whole army could not all be up. The fact is, that only the First, Eleventh and a part of the Third Corps were present, the Second was distant thirteen miles,[note]
the Fifth 23 miles, and the Sixth (16,000 strong) 34 miles. Here was an opportunity to crush the enemy in detail; and General Lee having nearly the whole of his army with him, was ready and anxious to avail of it. Meade's refused right on Culp's Hill, if driven in, would have placed Lee's left partly in rear of it; this therefore seemed to be the most vulnerable point, and General Lee at first wished Ewell and Hill to commence the attack, to be followed up by Longstreet, on Hill's right; but Ewell's and Hill's troops had been hotly engaged, and the enemy's position in their front would be very formidable if fortified during the night, which it was, so Longstreet was instructed to open the attack on the enemy's left, as soon as possible in the morning, (he was expected to do so at sunrise), while Ewell should make a demonstration on his right, so as to prevent reinforcements being sent to relieve the point of the main attack in front of Longstreet. Had this simple plan been carried out, one cannot doubt that the enemy's left positions would have fallen into our hands; and with little Round Top, which Meade said rightly was the key to his whole position, in our possession, three of the corps of the Army of the Potomac would have been crushed before they could have received assistance, we would have occupied Cemetery Ridge, and the battle of Gettysburg ended early on the second clay. But Longstreet's heart was not in the attack; his troops were near the battle field at day break, ready and waiting, while he "went to General Lee's headquarters at daylight and renewed his (my) views against making an attack." (Longstreet's words). Every moment lost by us was gain to the enemy, whose distant corps were hurrying to Gettysburg. Yet General Lee, not desiring to force Longstreet against his will, again reconnoitered the right of the enemy's position to see if it might not be better to make his main attack there; but he found that during the night Culp's Hill had been turned into a fort. He therefore at 11 o'clock ordered Longstreet to attack, which order was not obeyed, on the plea of waiting for Law's Brigade, which was on picket. The attack, therefore, instead of being at sunrise, or at 11 o'clock, was postponed to late in the afternoon, some nine hours later than it should have been. By this time Meade
had strengthened his left, new troops had arrived and what would, without doubt have been an easy and brilliant success in the morning, was a cruel failure in the afternoon.
Heth's Division was not engaged on the 2d.
The third day found the Army of Northern Virginia weakened by the hard fighting of the first day, and by the disjointed efforts of the second, but there was still left in its "incomparable Southern infantry" the spirit and strength to achieve success if a proper concert of action could be obtained. General Lee, therefore, decided to renew the attack, this time on the enemy's left center, his flanks being now too strongly fortified and guarded. The attack was again unfortunately intrusted to Longstreet, who, if he had little heart for the second day's fight, made no concealment of the fact, that he had none at all for the third day's; and to this cause, without seeking any other, may be traced its failure. The weight of evidence goes to prove that it was General Lee's intention that Longstreet should make the attack with his entire corps, to be supported by half of Hill's Corps, all of it if necessary, and should this force succeed in penetrating the enemy's line, all the troops on the right to be pushed forward. Meanwhile Ewell on our left, acting in concert, was to assail the enemy's right so as to prevent him from reinforcing his center, and to assist in crushing his right wing. The artillery was to pre-pare the way, and before the smoke of the guns should have cleared away the attacking column was to be started. All this required concert and prompt, spirited action. But this is what happened. "General Longstreet's dispositions were not completed as expected," (General R. E. Lee's report) and therefore Ewell could not be notified, his attack, which was to have been simultaneous with that of Longstreet's, was made and repulsed. Thus the object of the diversion on the enemy's right was defeated. At 11 o'clock Colonel A. P. Alexander, in charge of the artillery, with nearly 150 guns ranged along Seminary Ridge, reported that he was ready; but not until 1 p. m. was the order given by Longstreet to commence firing. At the appointed signal our artillery opened on the enemy with its 150 guns, and kept it up for nearly two hours. Meanwhile the assaulting column had
been formed, but its composition was not on the scale contemplated by General Lee. Instead of its being the entire First Corps with the Third to support it, Longstreet had selected only Pickett's Division from his corps, to which were added from Hill's Corps Heth's Division, two brigades from Pender's and one from Anderson's. Pickett's Division of three brigades was posted in two lines behind a rise on which runs the Emmettsburg road, its right supported by Wilcox's Brigade. Heth's Division to the left of Pickett's, and fully one hundred yards further back, was in one line behind the crest of Seminary Ridge, with Lane's and Scales' Brigades under Trimble in rear of its right.
When Pettigrew, commanding Heth's Division, reported to Longstreet he was instructed to form in rear of Pickett as a support to his division, but before the order could be executed it was countermanded, and directions given to place the division under the nearest cover to the left of Pickett's Division, with which it would advance in line. The alignment of the divisions from right to left, was, Archer's Brigade of Tennesseeans under Colonel B. D. Fry; Pettigrew's North Carolinians under Colonel James K. Marshall; Davis' Mississippians under General Joseph Davis, and Brockenborough's Virginians under Colonel Robert Mayo. Pickett's was the directing division; when it moved, Heth's Division was to move and as soon as possible overtake Pickett and continue the advance in line with it on its left. After much delay and uncertainty as to whether the attack would be made at all, Longstreet at last, with a nod of the head, started Pickett, and immediately Archer's and Pettigrew's Brigades moved forward. Pettigrew had taken every precaution to insure concert of action in the division; but this was no easy matter, for the woods which concealed us from view of the enemy, and to some extent sheltered us from his shells, contained other troops seeking the same shelter, and it so happened that General Davis, who afterwards told me that he had been indignant with General Pettigrew for cautioning him so frequently to conform promptly to the movement of Pettigrew's Brigade on his right, mistook other troops for Pettigrew's and did not discover his mistake until the two
right brigades had advanced some distance. When we emerged from the wood into the plain, the absence of the two left brigades was discovered, and General Pettigrew instructed me to go for them with all speed, but I had scarcely turned to do so, when out came Davis from the woods with a rush, but not Brockenborough's Brigade, and I asked General Pettigrew if I should go for it. He replied, "No," that it might follow, and if it failed to do so it would not matter. This was a small brigade that had suffered from frequent change of commanders, and had been so badly handled that it was in a chronic state of demoralization, and was not to be relied upon; it was virtually of no value in a fight. Afterward it advanced to the protection of some rifle pits in front of Seminary Ridge, but it took no part in the charge.
The day was beautifully clear; the smoke from the guns of the artillery, which was to have concealed our start, had been blown away. Before us lay bright fields, and a fair landscape, embracing hill and dale and mountain; and beyond, fully three-fourths of a mile away loomed up Cemetery Ridge, for two miles, its heights capped with cannon, and behind them the whole Army of the Potomac waiting for our little band. Davis' Brigade with its impetuous rush soon caught up with the two brigades of Heth's Division which had preceded it, and then the three, pushing forward together, caught up with Pickett's Division, making one line of the two divisions, which first through shot and shell, then grape and canister, then a hail of bullets from the musketry, marched over the plain, surmounted every obstacle, and reached the enemy's position, the strength of which was all he could desire. From the crest upon which he was entrenched the hill sloped gradually, forming a natural glacis and the configuration of the ground was such that when the left of our line approached his line it must come within the arc of a circle, from which an oblique and the enfilade fire could be, and was, concentrated upon it. On the right Pickett's Division, Archer's and a part of Pettigrew's Brigade had penetrated the works, and so would all of it have done, but in the advance the pressure had been from right to left, and when the line reached the ridge, it was slightly oblique; consequently
the left of Heth's Division was thrown back somewhat. When not far from the stone fence behind which the enemy's infantry was entrenched, Davis' Brigade, reduced to a line of skirmishers, broke. It had suffered a great deal in the first day's fight; and in its rush from the wood on Seminary Ridge, it had arrived right oblique on Pettigrew's left, and in process of forcing its line back to the left, in order to get into position, there was for a little while a huddling of the men together, which exposed them to greater loss than should have been, but the line was soon straightened out, and no troops could have done better until they broke; but this brigade was on the extreme left, not a support of any kind to brace it up, and exposed to flank, oblique and direct fire, what hope or confidence could be left to the few men, that if they held on they could succeed. General Fitzhugh Lee, in his work entitled "General Lee," says of the left brigades of our assaulting columns, which includes Davis', Pettigrew's and Archer's:
"They made their assault in 'front of Hay's and Gibbon's Divisions, Second Corps, in the vicinity of Ziegler's Grove. Stormed at with shot and shell this column moved steadily on, closing up the gaps made, and preserving the alignment. `They moved up splendidly,' wrote a Northern officer, 'deploying as they crossed the long, sloping interval. The front of the column was nearly up the slope, and within a few yards of the Second Corps' front and its batteries, when suddenly a terrific fire from every available gun on Cemetery Ridge burst upon them. Their graceful lines underwent an instantaneous transformation; in a dense cloud of smoke and dust, arms, heads, blankets, guns, and knapsacks were tossed in the air, and the moans from the battlefield were heard from amid the storm of battle. Sheets of missiles flew through what seemed a moving mass of smoke; human valor was powerless, and the death-dealing guns were everywhere throwing blazing projectiles in their faces.' No troops could advance and live. The fiery onslaught was repulsed as Pickett's Division had been, and then the survivors of both came back to their former positions, but not one-half of the fourteen thousand. The famous charge was over."
General Pettigrew had assigned me to the left of the division, and my duty was to see that the proper alignment was kept and if necessary to encourage the men, should there be any sign of faint-heartedness. At first I found it difficult to keep the men from crowding, and to make them give way to the pressure from the right, and this may have given the impression to some lookers on that our line wavered, but this trouble was soon remedied by the thinning of the ranks, done by shot and shell. As to my second duty, that of encouraging the men to move forward, there was no need of a word from me. When gaps were made in the line the ranks closed up of their own accord, and continued to advance, until the catastrophe, which I have described. Of course no troops, it matters not what their straits, should retire from an attack without orders to do so; but there is certainly mitigation for those who had none of their company officers to look to, and there were many companies, reduced to a few men, whose officers had all fallen. When what was left of Davis' Brigade broke it did so iii an instant, there was none of the beforehand wavering reported by Longstreet and others, who were looking on from afar or not at all. This, like many others of the reports concerning the charge, was wholly imaginary. When Davis' Brigade broke, I reported to General Pettigrew and he immediately sent me to General Trimble to ask him to hasten forward to our support. I was then on foot. My gallant mare-and that she was gallant, her groom,[note] who was with me all during the war, and who has been my friend and servant for forty years, can testify-had succumbed to three wounds; and do not think me heartless, when I tell you, that when I placed a wounded soldier on her and sent them out, the thoughts of my heart were more with the spirited animal which had borne me bravely through many perils, than with my hurt comrade. I ran as fast as I could to deliver the message entrusted to me. General Trimble and his brigade were not and had not been in supporting distance; they also must have been delayed, as was Davis' Brigade in the wood on Seminary Ridge. Be this as it may, they were too late to[note]
give any assistance to the assaulting column. When I delivered my message, I knew it was too late, and I recall my sad reflection, "What a pity that these brave men should be sacrificed." Already had the remnants of Pickett's and Heth's Divisions broken. They broke simultaneously. They had together struck the stone fence, driven back the enemy posted behind it, looked down on the multitude beyond; and in the words of General McLaws, who was watching that attack, "rebounded like an India rubber ball." The lodgment effected, was apparently only for an instant. No twenty minutes expired, as claimed by some, before the hand full of brave men was driven back by overwhelming numbers. Then Trimble's command should have been ordered to the rear. It continued its useless advance alone, only to return before it had gone as far as we had.
After delivering my message to General Trimble I returned to General Pettigrew. I found him walking out quietly; he too had been dismounted, and together we returned to our starting point, arriving there after most of the survivors from the two divisions. Thus ended the famous battle of Gettysburg. Notwithstanding the failure of its efforts, the army was still unconquered in spirit, and had Meade followed us back to Seminary Ridge, he would have found our troops ready to mete out to him what he had given us. But according to General Sickles, before the committee on the con-duct of the war, "it was by no means clear, in the judgment of the corps commanders, or of the general in command, whether they had won or not," they therefore made no counter attack, and scarcely molested General Lee's army, as it slowly and deliberately withdrew, and returned to Virginia.
The number composing the assaulting column on this last day is variously estimated at 13,500 to 18,000 men. The troops actually engaged were in reality, only Pickett's Division of 4,500 to 5,000, and three brigades of Heth's, which were at the outside not over 4,000. Wilcox on the right advanced only a small part of the way and was of no assistance to Pickett, and Trimble's advance was too late to be of the least support to our left. The little band of less than 9,000 men had traversed the wide plain, intersected with fences
running, some parallel, some oblique to our line, without shelter of any kind, without assistance from our artillery which had expended its ammunition, and had done no damage to that of the enemy or its infantry. The charge was grand, but that is all it was. "Some one had blundered." Said General Lee, "had I had Stonewall Jackson at Gettysburg I would have won a great victory." So I believe, but the mantle of Elijah had not fallen on Elisha. Longstreet was not Jackson.
There was, now is and always will be given to Pickett's Division exalted praise for its part in this famous charge upon the heights of Gettysburg and it deserves it; but I claim for Pettigrew's and Archer's Brigade not only equal, but a larger share of the honors of the day; and even to Davis' Brigade, although the first to break, is due the tribute which is the meed of noble effort and heroic sacrifice in face of certain defeat. Whatever might have been the probabilities on the right and center of the assaulting column, there was no hope for the left, its flank stormed on by every conceivable missile of destruction. In its shattered condition it could have made no lodgment. Pickett on the right, although not supported by Wilcox as was intended, had the advantage of having been formed in two lines-two brigades on the front, one on the second line as a support; whereas Heth's Division, under orders, advanced in one line. Pickett's Division having been posted more than one hundred yards in advance of Heth's, had a shorter distance to go; and above all, Piekett's Division was fresh. It had not yet participated in the battle; its organization was complete, with a full roll of staff and field officers. Heth's Division had suffered great loss on the 1st, and General Pettigrew had with him as division staff, only the young volunteer aide, W. B. Sheppard, and myself; therefore the brigades of Archer and Pettigrew, which did in all respects as well as did Piekett's Division, are entitled to more credit, whereas they have been often included in the number of those blamed for the failure of the charge on Cemetery Ridge.
No State in the Confederacy contributed braver, more devoted or better soldiers, or a greater number of them than did
North Carolina; and yet in this instance, for some unaccountable reason, they were made a mark for ignorant or vicious and false disparagement. In Heth's Division, of the sixteen regiments present at Gettysburg, only five were from North Carolina, yet such stuff as this, conceived in the brilliant imagination of Swinton, finds credence and is repeated in other histories of like kind. Says Swinton: "It happens that the division on the left of Pickett under command of General Pettigrew was in considerable part made up of North Carolina troops, comparatively green. To animate them they had been told that they would only meet Pennsylvania militia; but when approaching the slope they received the feu d'enfer from Henry's line, there ran through the rank a cry the effect of which was like that which thrilled a Greek army when it was said that the god Pan was among them: `The Army of the Potomac.' Then, suddenly disillusioned regarding their opponents, Pettigrew's troops broke in disorder leaving two thousand prisoners and fifteen colors in the hands of Henry's Division." Brilliant rhetoric, but not truth. Think of the audacity of the manufacture. It says of Heth's Division, that it was "in considerable part made up of North Carolinians," when they were only as five to sixteen; and then that they were frightened at a cry, "The Army of the Potomac." This, two days after Pettigrew's Brigade of North Carolinians had nearly annihilated the best brigade in the Northern army.
Another matter of no little importance. The division, even by such authority as Colonel Walter H. Taylor, of General Lee's Staff, is spoken of as "Pettigrew's Division." Pettigrew had no division. The division was Heth's, and should be so spoken of whether in praise or blame. "In war," said Napoleon, "men are nothing, a man is everything." Troops are what their commanders make them; and General Pettigrew had no hand in molding Heth's Division. Nor is it fair to blame Heth for the shortcoming of Brockenborough's Virginia Brigade, under Robert Mayo, the only troops on the ground which really behaved badly, for the division had been formed only a few weeks before, and had been constantly on the march since. There was not time for the influence of
the commander to be felt. In this matter not even a suspicion of blame must be attached to the name of Pettigrew, whose genius was such that its influence inspired and became a part of the humblest soldier in his command. He had in a few months made of his brigade as fine a body of infantry as ever trod the earth, and his men would have followed him wherever he led, or gone wherever he told them to go, no matter how desperate the enterprise. The brigade never lost the inspiration of his name, and from first to last was one of the very best in the army of the Confederate States. Its baptism of blood at Gettysburg prepared it for all subsequent hardships, and never, until included in the surrender of the 9,000 at Appomattox, did it fail to respond to the command to go forward. Its career was brilliant, and its history should be written and preserved. Its losses at Gettysburg attest its fierce struggle in that famous battle. On the morning of 1 July it numbered 2,800 to 3,000, on the 4th 935. All the field officers, save one who was captured, were killed or wounded; and the brigade was commanded after the repulse from Cemetery Ridge by Major Jones, of the Twenty-sixth North Carolina, who had been struck by a fragment of a shell on the 1st, and knocked down and stunned on the 3d; General Pettigrew was painfully wounded, two of his staff were killed,[note] and one so seriously wounded as to deprive the brigade of his services. On 1 July, Captain Tuttle, of the Twenty-sixth North Carolina, led into action two Lieutenants and 84 men. All of the officers and 83 men were killed or wounded. On the same day Company C, of the Eleventh, lost two officers killed and 34 out of 38 men killed and wounded. Captain Bird with the four remaining, participated in the fight of the 3d; of these the flag bearer was shot, and the Captain brought out the flag himself. These I give as examples to show how persistently our men fought. The losses in several other companies were nearly as great as these.
In the engagement of 1 July we lost no prisoners. After[note]
the repulse of 3 July, the enemy advanced a heavy line of skirmishers and captured some of the brigade, but no blame is to be attached to these.
Lieutenant-Colonel John A. Graves, of the Forty-seventh North Carolina, whose courage often elicited comment and praise, would not permit those of his regiment in his hearing, some 150 men, to retire, telling them to wait the arrival of the supports, with which they would advance; they were then not far from the stone fence. The supports never reached this point, and the Lieutenant-Colonel and his men were taken prisoners.
It is said that the Northern soldiers cheered the gallant charge made by the assaulting column on the third day, and of Lincoln it is reported that, looking from the steeps of Cemetery Ridge, he said, "I am proud to be the countryman of the men who assailed these heights." Is it not a crying shame that while our very enemies do us honor, there should be some among our own people to slander our brave soldiers? The historian of the future will weigh the evidence in the scales of truth, and do justice to all.
Praise is due to their memory, and for ourselves it is good to render it, since "we in some measure take part in good actions when we praise them sincerely." Heroic deeds are torches to light the paths of our young, and
- "Heaven doth with us a we with torches do,
- Not light them for themselves."
I would like especially to tell of General James Johnston Pettigrew, who was a soldier of the highest attainments; in strength of intellect approaching nearer the attributes of genius than any it has been my fortune to meet, and in character like Robert E. Lee. But this article is full long, and I can only say of our dead heroes, that
- "They died
- As they wished to die, the past is sure;
- Whatever of sorrow may betide,
- Those who still linger by the stormy shore,
- Change cannot harm them now nor fortune touch them more."
LOUIS G. YOUNG.
3 July, 1901.
PETTIGREW'S BRIGADE AT
BY JOHN T. JONES, LIEUTENANT-COLONEL TWENTY-SIXTH REGIMENT
NORTH CAROLINA TROOPS.
Our division was in the front line on the left of Pickett, and a prolongation of the same line. Our brigade was on the right of the division-our regiment (Twenty-sixth) on the right of the brigade-consequently immediately on he left of Pickett. When we started, we were on the diameter of a circle, and as we advanced, Pickett following the are of the circle, necessarily rather contracted the lines towards the center. We all moved off in as magnificent style as I ever saw, the lines perfectly formed. On we went. When we had crossed about half the intervening space the enemy opened on us with a tremendous shower of grape and canister, but on we dashed, our brigade and Pickett's men. I could see nothing of the rest of our division, as they were too far to the left. My whole attention was directed to our own brigade and Pickett's Division, as we had been ordered to keep dressed to the right. When we had gotten within about 100 yards of the enemy's works, we commenced firing, but still advancing. The storm of lead which now met us is beyond description. Grape and canister intermingled with minies and buckshot. The smoke was dense and at times I could scarcely distinguish my own men from Pickett's, and to say that any one a mile off could do so, is utterly absurd. On
NOTE.-This article is an extract from a letter to the father of Colonel Henry K. Burgwyn written from Culpepper C H., 30 July, 1863, by John T. Jones of the Twenty sixth North Carolina Regiment who as Major came out of the charge at Gettysburg in command of Pettigrew's brigade and was published in the Fayetteville Observer 18 April, 1864. It has the great merit of being cotemporaneous evidence from a most unquestionable source. This gallant young officer was promoted Lieutenant-Colonel to date from 1 July, 1863, and was killed at the Wilderness 6 May, 1864. -ED.
we pushed, and were now right upon the enemy's works when we received a murderous fire upon our left flank. I looked to see where it came from, and lo, we were completely flanked upon our left, not only by infantry, but by artillery. Here candor compels me to admit that one of the brigades of our division had given way, the enemy had seized upon the gap, and now poured a galling fire into our left, which compelled the troops to give way in succession to the right. What could we do now? At the very moment I thought victory ours, I saw it snatched from our hands. With no support upon the left, I asked myself what we should do. I had only about sixty men left in my regiment, and that small number diminishing every moment. The others had suffered as badly. The order came from the right to fall back. We did so at the same time with Pickett. The day was lost. You must observe I do not attach any blame to Pickett. I think he did his duty, and if he did, we certainly did ours, because I know we went as far as he did, and I can safely assert some distance beyond, owing to the shape of the enemy's works, which ran backward in our front in the form of a curve, and which compelled us to go beyond where Pickett's men were already at their works in order to reach them ourselves. The color-bearer of my regiment was shot down while attempting to plant the flag on the wall. I will here mention a remark made to me afterwards by General Pettigrew. With tears in his eyes he spoke of the loss in his brigade, and then remarked: "My noble brigade had gained the enemy's works, and would have held them had not -'s brigade given way. Oh! had they have known the consequences that hung upon their action at that moment, they would have pressed on.,,
It is well to be remembered that while Pickett's men were perfectly fresh, having never fired a gun and having just come up, our brigade had been terribly cut up on the 1st, especially two of the regiments. The Twenty-sixth, which went into action on the 1st 850 strong, on the 3d only had for duty 230 men, and not officers enough to command the companies. If some troops can gain so much credit for being defeated, is it not strange that nothing is said of us when we (on the 1st)
drove line after line of the enemy from their positions like sheep, and pursued them for two miles. What I say of our brigade I might say of the whole division. No troops ever fought better than ours. We were engaged for hours with five times our number, and routed them completely; but our loss was fearful-about 50 per cent.-among them our best officers. Our Major-General was wounded the first day. Captains and Lieutenants were in command of regiments on the 3d. Still we were put in the front rank, the post of honor, and not in support, as the Enquirer has it, when there were other troops comparatively fresh, who might have taken our place. Does not this show the confidence of our general in us?
Then look at our losses, which leaving out of account the first day, greatly exceed those of any other troops. Had General Heth not been wounded, or had the lamented Pettigrew lived they could have told a tale that would have made those blush who are now trying to bear off the honors so nobly won by others. But alas, we have not even enough left to refute the foul calumny of those who would basely endeavor to pluck from our brows the laurels placed there at the sacrifice of so many of our noble companions.
That we still retain the confidence of our commander is shown by our being placed as rearguard, the post of honor, while the other troops were safely crossing the river (Potomac.) It was here in an attack made upon our lines that the brave Pettigrew fell, while setting an example of heroic courage and presence of mind to those who had followed him unfaltering through so many dangers and hardships. In him the brigade sustained its heaviest loss. In him our State lost one of her brightest stars, and the Confederacy one of her ablest defenders.
JOHN T. JONES.
CULPEPPER C. H., VA.,
30 July, 1863.
GETTYSBURG, 3 JULY, 1863.
BY CAPTAIN S. A. ASHE, A. A. G., PANDER'S BRIGADE
The third day of the struggle between the contending armies near "Gettysburg opened clear and cloudless. The July sun beamed down on the battlefield of the previous day majestically serene- throwing into bold relief the outlines of the picture.
Standing on Cemetery Hill, a mile south of the little town of Gettysburg, one saw the range continue to the southward, now jutting out into the valley to the west, and then receding in strong curves eastward, now falling with even slopes and then swelling again in graceful contour-but further away breaking into precipitous promontories whose rocky knobs were veritable Round Tops and fitly associated with Devil's Dens.
Almost parallel and about a mile away to the west could be traced the course of Seminary-Ridge, gently rising from the intervening valley and still covered with a growth of original forest trees. Along the slope are fences inclosing fields with patches of wood here and there and a little swale down the valley where it narrows as the ridge throws out a spur to the eastward.
Coming from the town is the Emmettsburg Pike which after passing the summit of Cemetery Hill swerves off along a lower and divergent ridge that trends across the valley. Overlooking the pike is a stone wall following along the upper slope of Cemetery Ridge and conforming generally to the line of its crest, but, at a point some six hundred yards away where the hill grows bolder and juts well out into the valley, this wall makes a right angle and comes straight towards the pike, and then again follows the crest, which soon
retreats and falls away, leaving a slight depression embayed in the general outline.
On this headland, that like a bastion front projects itself into the valley, stands a clump of trees which served to guide the right of the attacking column on that fateful day; and a quarter of a mile in front, but further down the valley, stood the farm house of Cordori on a little knoll surrounded by a sparse grove.
Beyond the Cemetery to the north the range bent sharply to the right, forming a difficult eminence known as Culp's Hill; and on the curve from Culp's Hill west to the Cemetery and thence south to Round Top, was massed the Federal army, some 100,000 strong: while on an exterior line of sister hills lay Lee's forces, with Ewell on the left in possession of a part of Culp's Hill, and Longstreet on the right towards Round Top, while A. P. Hill covered the centre; a total force of about 60,000 troops.
Dispositions had been made for an early morning attack on the 3d, simultaneous by Ewell on the right and Longstreet on the left; and with that view the artillery had been massed against the Federal center, Colonel Alexander, acting as Longstreet's chief of artillery, having occupied, during the night, an advanced ridge that lay several hundred yards beyond Longstreet's front, and covered it with batteries.
But Meade himself had not been inactive, and, at 4 o'clock in the morning, he unsettled this plan of attack by driving back Early, whose lodgment on Culp's Hill was an essential part of Lee's proposed movement. Later in the morning, then, Lee determined on making that assault which has since been so famous in history.
General Long, the author of Lee's Memoirs and then on Lee's staff, says: "This decision was reached at a conference held during the morning on the field in front of Round Top, there being present Generals Lee, Longstreet, A. P. Hill and Heth and Colonel Long and Major Venable."
Longstreet made some objection, his idea being to move farther to the right and entice Meade to abandon his position and give battle on more favorable ground; but the attack was ordered nevertheless and Longstreet was directed to carry
it into execution. The object of General Lee was to penetrate Meade's line in the depression on the south of Cemetery Hill and thus turning his position, move up and dispossess him.
When the morning broke and the Federal forces beheld so great an armament as one hundred and forty pieces of artillery in position on the crest of Seminary Ridge, they knew that an assault was intended on some part of their line and every preparation was at once made to receive it.
The batteries on Cemetery Ridge were strengthened by new ones from the reserve, and soon eighty pieces of artillery were in readiness to respond to the expected cannonade which was awaited with increasing solicitude as the morning wore on in ominous silence.
In early morning Pickett's fresh division had arrived and two of his brigades had been placed under cover of the advanced ridge which Colonel Alexander had seized the night before. Armistead's Brigade lay back protected by the main ridge in a line with Heth's Division, while the North Carolina brigades of Scales and Lane were still further in the rear. These were the troops selected to make the assault: Pickett's Division being fresh, and Heth's Division, commanded by Pettigrew, and Lane's and Scales' Brigades, although badly cut up on the first, not having been engaged on the second, and being troops of the highest reputation for constancy and endurance.
In Heth's Division were Archer's Brigade, composed of two Alabama and three Tennessee Regiments; Pettigrew's Brigade, which had present the Eleventh, Twenty-sixth, Forty-seventh and Fifty-second North Carolina Regiments; Davis' Brigade constituted of three Mississippi and one North Carolina Regiment, and Brockenborough's or Field's Brigade, which was composed entirely of Virginians. Pettigrew's Brigade was commanded by Colonel Marshall, General Pettigrew being in command of the division.
Lane's Brigade was formed of the Seventh, Eighteenth, Twenty-eighth, Thirty-third and Thirty-seventh North Carolina Regiments, and in Scales', then under Colonel Lowrance, were the Thirteenth, Sixteenth, Twenty-second,
Thirty-fourth and Thirty-eighth North Carolina Regiments. These troops had suffered so-severely on 1 July that many companies were mere skeletons and some regiments were commanded by Captains.
Pickett's Division, composed entirely of Virginians, had just arrived and was in excellent condition in all respects.
The movement was in double column, the first line consisting of Kemper's and Garnett's Brigades on the right, with Heth's Division (under Pettigrew) on the left; and for the second line Armistead in the rear of Pickett's other brigades, and Seales' and Lane's Brigades of North Carolinians, under General Trimble, in the rear of Heth's division.
Wilcox's and Perry's Brigades were to move out on the extreme right and protect the column from any flanking force, while R. H. Anderson's Division covering the left, was to be in readiness to act as opportunity should permit. Preliminary to the movement, the artillery was to silence the enemy's guns and as far as possible demoralize their infantry before the attempt should be made-to carry the works by storm.
At 1 o'clock two guns were discharged by the Washington Artillery as the signal for the cannonade to begin. Immediately the line of batteries opened, with salvos of artillery evoking a quick reply from the enemy, and the engagement soon became one of the most terrific bombardments of the war. Its fury was inconceivable. "From ridge to ridge was kept up for near two hours a Titanic combat of artillery that caused the solid fabric of the hills to labor and shake, and filled the air with fire and smoke and the mad clamor of two hundred guns." The exposed batteries were greatly damaged. Both horses and men suffered fearful destruction. "Caissons exploded, limbers were blown up and guns were crippled on every side. In particular was the Confederate fire, concentrated on the point of attack, very effective. But still the enemy's batteries were not silenced. Their fire did not slacken, for as fast as the Federal batteries expended their ammunition, they were replaced by new ones from the reserve, and the fire continued without abatement, until at length the Confederate ammunition began to run low.
Colonel Alexander, to whom had been committed the duty
of indicating the moment for beginning the charge, felt the awful responsibility of the dilemma that presented itself, and hurriedly communicated to Pickett that he should wait no longer, but should begin the movement at once, notwithstanding the terrific energy of the artillery that crowned the enemy's stronghold. But if the Confederate chests had been depleted, so at last had become those of their antagonists, and General Hunt, Meade's chief of artillery, finding it unsafe to move up new supplies, and anticipating that the assault would be made on the center, conceived it well to husband his resources and ordered the fire to slacken, and so, unexpectedly, the embarrassing difficulty of the Confederate situation vanished.
Immediately the order to advance was given along the whole line, and some twelve thousand veterans, with alacrity and high elation, moved forward over the crests that had sheltered them, and passed down the slopes of Seminary Ridge, their bright guns gleaming in the noonday sun and their innumerable battle flags flying in the breeze, making as fine a pageant as was ever seen on any field of battle. They moved in quick time and with admirable precision, as if on some gala day parade. It was a glorious spectacle, evoking admiration from foe and friend alike, and being the theme of unstinted praise from every one who witnessed it.
But hardly had the line reached the downward slope of that extensive valley when the Federal batteries were again unloosed and the carnival of death began.
"Though stormed at with shot and shell, it moved steadily on and even when grape and canister and musket balls began to rain upon it, the gaps were quickly closed and the alignment preserved."
The line of grey, a full mile in length, with its second line following at easy distance, marched indeed in fine style down that valley of death, reckless of peril and animated with that soldierly zeal and confidence which ever inspired the troops of Lee when moving in the immediate presence of that trusted commander.
From Pickett's advanced position down the valley the clump of trees which gave him direction bore far to the left,
and soon reaching the ridge on which the Turnpike ran, he wheeled to the left and moved up towards Cordori's House. By this movement he presented his flank to the batteries posted on Little Round Top and received a severe enfilading fire, while General Stannard, whose division was in his immediate front, threw out two Vermont regiments to contest the ground with him. But Colonel Alexander had himself hastily followed with a battery of artillery and opened on this force with spirit, in a measure dispersing it and neutralizing its power for serious work. But still it could not be entirely driven off, and when Kemper, on the extreme right, having passed to the east of Cordori's house, moved by the left flank to close up with Garrett's Brigade, the Vermonters also moved by the flank to keep pace with him, and continued to annoy him. As the line advanced there loomed up in the distance the works it was to assault.
Immediately in front of Archer's Brigade and Pickett's left lay the projecting stone wall standing out into the valley, and held by Webb's Brigade of Gibbon's Division; and opposite the Confederate left was the retired wall held by Hays' Division, with Smyth's Brigade towards the cemetery and Sherrill's Brigade between that and Webb. This part of the wall was eighty yards behind the front of the projection held by Webb.
South of the projection Hall's and Harrow's Brigades continued the Federal line, behind breastworks of rails covered with earth and with rifle pits and shallow trenches in their front. Further on were Stannard's and other brigades of Doubleday's Division. On the crest of the hill, a few yards behind the line of works, was thickly massed the artillery. Skirmishers lay out several hundred yards in front in the clover and grass, while a first line of infantry held a strong fence along the pike in front of Hays and a low stone wall further down the valley, and lay concealed in the grass in the intervening space. At the stone wall and breastworks was a second line in readiness to receive the attack, while behind the artillery, some thirty paces off, was still another, occupying higher ground and protected by the backbone of the ridge, and
further on the flanks were heavy masses of infantry ready to be concentrated if occasion required.
As the Confederate line moved forward, in constant sight, momentarily drawing nearer to the point of attack, all was expectation and anxiety along the Federal front. The heavy artillery fire of the Confederates had ceased and the demoralization incident to it rapidly gave place to a feeling of reassurance and determination. While it had destroyed the two batteries in the rear of Webb, leaving only one piece that could be worked, the guns in rear of Hay's division were in better condition, and Howard's fresh battery had been brought up and posted on the slope of Cemetery Hill. And so it happened that while the troops on the Confederate right were fortunately not subjected to an artillery fire from the front and were exposed only to an enfilading fire from the extreme left of the Federal line, it was far different with Pettigrew's command, the batteries in his front being well served, firing first solid shot, then shell and spherical case-and at last canister--double charged, as Pettigrew's line drew nearer and nearer.
The movement of the Confederates was made in quick time over a clear field, beneath the burning rays of a fiery July sun, and was attended with considerable fatigue and exhaustion. But those veterans who had been trained to the vicissitudes of war well knew that at the final assault, dash and vigor would be necessary, and they therefore husbanded their strength and moved forward steadily and resolutely under the galling fire that was rapidly thinning their ranks. Speaking of the troops in front of Hay's Division, General Bachelder says that when they had reached a position "half way across the plain they encountered a terrible artillery fire, but against which, as a man presses against a blinding storm, they moved steadily on as if impelled by a will greater than their own-some mighty unseen power which they could not resist.
"Solid shot ploughed through their ranks, spherical case rattled in their midst and canister swept them by hundreds from the field, yet on they pressed unflinchingly.
It was an awful experience to pass nearly a mile across an
open plain subjected to such a terrible fire, with no hope of protection and without power to resist. But each brave spirit in Pettigrew's command recognized the necessity of immolation if need be, and offered himself a willing sacrifice; and so closing up the great gaps in its ranks, the lines on the left continued to face the furious storm and silently moved on upon the deadly batteries.
At length having made two-thirds of the distance, and being only three hundred yards away, Pickett's troops with Garnett in front, Kemper on the right, but somewhat in rear, and Armistead a hundred yards behind, turned towards the point they were to assail. On Garnett's left was Archer's Brigade, under Colonel Fry, whose numbers had been largely reduced in the first day's fight-and which had moved directly forward as the brigade of direction. Close joined with it were Pettigrew's North Carolinians under Colonel Marshall, Pettigrew himself being in command of the division; and further on were Davis' Mississippians and Brockenborough's Virginia Brigade, all well aligned, while a hundred and fifty yards behind Trimble led Lane's and Scales' Brigades, the latter under Colonel Lowrance, Scales having been severely wounded two days before.
Although the right had not suffered greatly during its shorter progress up the valley and being somewhat protected by favoring ridges, heavy loss had been inflicted on the center and on the left, which were fearfully cut up during their long and exposed march. But though sorely distressed on front and flank, with ranks largely depleted, the left brigades maintained their original alignment and still pursued their on-ward course.
As the attacking column, now much narrowed, moved up the slope that formed a natural glacis to the enemy's works, the batteries opened still more rapidly with grape and canister, and the front line of the enemy that lay in advance, together with the second line at the stone wall, poured into the Confederate column volley after volley of musketry-sending out a perfect sheet of lead and iron-a storm of murderous fire. The ranks of the first Confederate line, in the immediate front of Hays' artillery, were mowed down as grass by the
THE FIELD OF GETTYSBURG.
The first positions of the Confederate brigades are shown on the left and then two subsequent intermediate positions, while the final position attained is marked: by the thin line in front of the stone wall and within Gibbon's line on the south of it.
Webb's position in the angle is marked W. Hall's and Harrow's brigades continued the Federal line towards Stannard's brigade.
scythe. The carnage was terrible. The piercing cries of the dying and wounded could be heard over the field amid the shrieks of shells and the roar of the cannon. Trimble, in command of the two North Carolina Brigades, says of Heth's Division, "that it seemed to sink into the earth under the tempest of fire poured into them."
"We passed over the remnant of their line and immediately some one close to my left sung out, 'Three cheers for the Old North State, when both brigades sent up a hearty shout." It was the cry of brave men rushing into the jaws of death.
So furious was the fire and so murderous that it staggered the line---which "halted, returned the fire and with a wild yell dashed on." The first line of the enemy, which lay a hundred yards in. front, was thrown back against the wall, many being captured and hurried to the rear without guard. But yet the roar and din of the conflict continued and, though the smoke of battle obscured the front, the carnage went on as the columns drew closer and closer to the enemy's works. A front that had been originally more than a mile in length had now been compressed into less than eight hundred yards and the concentrated fire of the enemy's artillery, as well as musketry, from the flanks as well as from the front, told with fearful effect.
As the line approached the enemy's works, Pettigrew seeing Brockenborough's Virginia Brigade and Davis Mississippians give way under the murderous fire that assailed them, hurried his aid, Captain Shepard, to rally them-but all of Captain Shepard's efforts were without avail. They had become separated some distance from Pettigrew's North Carolina Brigade and lacked the support imparted by the immediate cooperation of other troops. They could not be rallied, but broke and fell back at the critical moment of the ordeal. It was then that Trimble ordered his North Carolina Brigades to close up on the first column, and Lane bearing to the left, with well aligned ranks and in handsome style, covered the position made vacant on the left by the broken brigades, while Lowrance led Scales' brigade directly forward to unite with the front line then one hundred yards in advance.
In this hasty movement of Lane's, however, because of Lane's, however, because of a
misunderstanding as to whether the guide was right or left, the Seventh North Carolina and a part of the Thirty-third, being on Lane's right, became separated from the larger part of the brigade, which continued its movement well to the left, leaving some space intervening between it and Pettigrew's Brigade.
The position of the troops just before the final charge was: Pickett's line was in front of a part of the projecting wall, with Kemper's Brigade extending to the right of it, covering the front of the Federal brigades of Hall and Harrow. Archer's Brigade was in front of the rest of the projection, and along with Pettigrew's North Carolina Brigade extended in front of the retired wall, with Scales' Brigade coming up in the rear, while Lane, with nearly four regiments, was some distance to the left.
On the right Pickett's command had crossed the pike, while the line further to the left had yet to pass it. General Pickett and staff, however, did not cross the pike and did not accompany the troops further in the charge.
As the troops in their progress reached the fences enclosing this road, the obstruction tended greatly to break up their alignment. Many were killed and wounded there and others sought protection from the fearful fire by lying in the road. The column advancing beyond the pike was thus considerably weakened, and especially was this the case on the center and left where the road ran closer to the stone wall and was stoutly held by the front line of the enemy. Pickett's troops, however, crossing at a point nearly a quarter of a mile distant from the enemy's works, escaped the full effect of this damaging obstacle and maintained a more perfect organization. And in like manner, the right of the Confederate column had the good fortune of not being subjected to a similar artillery fire to that which mowed down the ranks of Pettigrew's command.
It is narrated by General Doubleday that all of the artillery supporting Webb's brigade, being destroyed except one piece in Cushing's Battery which was in rear of Webb's right, and nearly all of the artillerymen being either killed or wounded, as the Confederates came close, Cushing, himself
mortally wounded, with his bowels protruding, exclaimed, "Webb, I must have one more shot at them," and caused his piece to be run down to the stone wall and fired, immediately expiring. This incident not only illustrates how Pickett's Division during its advance fortunately escaped the artillery fire that was so effective against Pettigrew's troops, but accounts for the presence of a gun at the angle where Major Englehard subsequently found it. A few moments later a fresh battery reached Webb's left and opened a murderous fire on Pickett's charging column. Colonel Peyton, who came out of the fight in command of Garnett's brigade, in his official report, speaks of having routed the advanced line of the Federal infantry a hundred yards in front of the stone wall, and says:
"Up to this time we had suffered but little from the enemy's batteries with the exception of one, posted on the mountain about one mile to our right, which enfiladed nearly our entire line with fearful effect. Having routed the enemy here, General Garnett ordered the brigade forward, which was promptly obeyed, loading and firing as they advanced. From the point it had first routed the enemy, the brigade moved rapidly forward towards the stone wall, under a galling fire, both from artillery and infantry, the artillery using grape and canister. We were now within about seventy-five paces of the wall, unsupported on the right and left; General Kemper being some fifty or sixty yards behind and to the right, and General Armistead coming up in our rear.
Our line, much shattered, still kept up the advance until within about twenty paces of- the wall, when for a moment they recoiled under the terrific fire poured into our ranks, both from their batteries and from their sheltered infantry. At this moment General Kemper came up on the right and General Armistead in the rear, when the three lines joining in concert rushed forward. His strongest and last line was instantly gained, the Confederate battle flag waved over his defenses and the fighting over the wall became hand-to-hand and of the most desperate character, but more than half having already fallen, our line was found too weak to runt the enemy. We hoped for a support on our left (which had
started simultaneously with ourselves), but hoped in vain. Yet a small remnant remained in desperate struggle, receiving a fire in front, on the right and, on the left many even climbing over the wall and fighting the enemy in his own trenches, until entirely surrounded, and those who were not killed and wounded were captured, with the exception of about 300 who came off slowly, but greatly scattered-the identity of every regiment being entirely lost, every regimental commander killed or wounded."
We have no official report from either Armistead's or Kemper's brigades. The latter was on the extreme right, extending south of the stone wall and in its advance suffered greatly from the flanking fire of the two Vermont Regiments thrown out by General Stannard against it. A Federal account says: "The Confederate line is almost up to the grove in front of Robinson's. It has reached the clump of scrub oaks. It has drifted past the Vermont boys. They move upon the run up to the breastworks of rails, bearing Hancock's line to the top of the ridge--so powerful their momentum.
Men fire into each other's faces not five feet apart. There are bayonet thrusts, sabre strokes, pistol shots, cool, deliberate movements on the part of some; hot, passionate, desperate efforts on the part of others; hand-to-hand contests; recklessness of life, tenacity of purpose, fiery determination, oaths, yells, curses, hurrahs, shoutings. The Confederates have swept past the Vermont regiments. `Take them on the flank,' says Stannard. The Thirteenth and Sixteenth Vermont swing out from their trench line. They move forward and pour a deadly volley into the backs of Kemper's troops. With a hurrah they rush on to drive home the bayonets. Other regiments close upon the foe. The Confederate column has lost its power. The lines waver. * * Thousands of Confederates throw down their arms and give themselves up as prisoners."
Another Federal account of Kemper's attack says-"up to the rifle pits, across them, over the barricades-the momentum of the charge swept them on.
"Our thin line could fight, but it had not weight enough to resist this momentum. It was pushed behind the guns.
Right on came the enemy. They were upon the guns-were bayonetting the gunners-were waving their flags above our pieces. But they had penetrated to the fatal point. A storm of grape and canister tore its way from man to man and marked its way with corpses straight down its line. They had exposed themselves to the enfilading fire of the guns on the western slope of Cemetery Hill. That exposure sealed their fate.
"The line reeled back, disjointed already, in an instant in fragments. Our men were just behind the guns. They leaped forward in a disordered mass. But there was little need of fighting now. A regiment threw down its arms and with colors at its head, rushed over and surrendered. All along the field detachments did the same. Over the field the escaped fragments of the charging line fell back-the battle there was over. A single brigade, Harrow's, came out with a loss of 54 officers and 793 men. So the whole corps fought -so too they fought further down the line."
Colonel Fry, who so gallantly led Archer's Brigade, says: "I heard Garnett give a command. Seeing my gesture of enquiry he called out, `I am dressing on you!' A few seconds later he fell dead. A moment later a shot through my thigh prostrated me. The smoke soon became so dense that I could see but little of what was going on before me. A moment later I heard General Pettigrew calling to rally them on the left. All of the five regimental colors of my command reached the line of the enemy's works and many of my men and officers were killed after passing over it." Colonel Shepherd, who succeeded Frye in command, said in his official report that "every flag in Archer's Brigade except one was captured at or within the works of the enemy."
Scales' Brigade closely followed Archer's, dashed up to the projecting wall and planted their battle flags upon the enemy's breastworks. Pettigrew's and the left of Archer's had surged forward beyond the projecting wall, and had firmly established themselves along the retired portion of the wall. General Bachelder, of the Federal army, who thoroughly studied the field for days after the battle, than whom no one knew so well the details of that affair, says: "The
left of the column continued to move on towards the second wall, threatening the right and rear of Gibbon's Division which held the advanced line. General Webb, whose brigade was on the right (in the projection), had hurried back to bring up his right reserve regiment from the second line. But before this maid be accomplished the first line broke under the tremendous pressure which threatened its front and flank, and fell back upon the reserve."
Thus while Garnett was struggling for the possession of the stone wall on the Confederate right, and Kemper was engaged with Harrow and Hall still further to the right, seeking unsuccessfully to penetrate into the enemy's line and turn the left of the hill, the advance of Pettigrew's command beyond the projecting wall, taking Webb's exposed brigade on the right flank, caused it to give hack from the wall and yield that part of the projection to the regiments of Archer and Scales that pressed them in front.
Captain McIntyre, acting Adjutant-General of Scales' Brigade, says: "My brigade, or a larger part of it, went inside of the enemy's works."
Captain Guerrant, acting as Brigade Inspector, says that "Scales' Brigade entered the breastworks and remained in possession until driven out by the enemy's advancing on their flanks." Major Engelhard, the gallant Adjutant-General of the two brigades of Pender's Division commanded by Trimble, says: "The point at which the troops with me struck the enemy's works projected farthest to the front. I recollect well, my horse having been shot, I leaned my elbow upon one of the guns of the enemy to rest, while I watched with painful anxiety the fight upon Pickett's right, for upon its success depended the tenableness of our position.
"Surrounding me were the soldiers of Pender's, Heth's and Pickett's Divisions and it required all the resources at my command to prevent their following en masse the retreating enemy, and some did go so far that when we were compelled to withdraw, they were unable to reach our lines, the enemy closing in from the right and left. We remained in quiet and undisputed possession of the enemy's works, the men flushed with victory, eager to press forward.
"But when the right of Pickett's Division was compelled by the overpowering attack upon its right flank to give way, there was nothing left for us to do but surrender ourselves prisoners or withdraw in confusion before the converging lines of the enemy, those in our immediate front not having rallied."
The retired wall in front of Pettigrew's North Carolina Brigade was higher and stronger than at the projection and along it skirted a lane enclosed by a strong fence.
Hays' Division clung to the wall with great pertinacity and the second line, protected by the high crest of the ridge, commanded it completely, while Howard's fresh artillery on the slope of Cemetery Hill swept the front with an enfilading fire. But while it was impracticable for any troops to carry it by assault, the Confederate line much weakened by the losses suffered in the march, silenced the batteries in their front and suppressed the infantry fire from the wall, and maintained the unequal contest there to the last.
Some of Pettigrew's North Carolinians advanced to the wall itself, doing all that splendid valor and heroic endurance could do to dislodge the enemy-but their heroism was in vain.
Major Jones, in command of Pettigrew's Brigade, says: "On we pushed and were now right on the enemy's works, when we received a murderous fire upon our left flank. I looked to see where it came from and to! we were completely flanked upon our left not only by infantry, but artillery. One of our brigades had given way. The enemy had seized upon the gap and now poured a galling fire into our troops, forcing them to give way in succession to the right. The color-bearer of the Twenty-sixth North Carolina Regiment was shot down while attempting to plant the flag on the wall." Gaston Broughton, commanding Company D, Twenty-sixth North Carolina Regiment, says: "We crossed the road and went to the enemy's works, where we continued firing until most of the regiment, were captured, the enemy closing in on us from our rear." Lieutenant W. N. Snelling, Company B, of the same regiment, says: "We went to an old road some ten steps from the rock fence behind which was the enemy."
Major Haynes, of the Eleventh North Carolina: "I was about fifty yards (1 think nearer) of the wall when I was shot down. When shot we were in line going towards the cemetery wall. We were all cut down-no one but wounded left in my company, save two."
Captain J. J. Davis (since Judge): "My company was next to the extreme left of the regiment, Forty-seventh North Carolina Regiment, and when not far from the enemy's works, say not more than 100 yards, a sergeant of an adjoining regiment called my attention to the fact that the troops to the left had given away. I looked and saw that at some distance to the left, the troops had given way, but our supports were then advancing in admirable style. (Lane's Brigade.) Colonel Graves, who was to the right of me, had kept the regiment well in hand and was urging the men on." "And we advanced," says Captain Davis, "to the plank fence that ran alongside the lane just under the stone wall." Here he and part of his regiment were afterwards captured.
Lieutenant-Colonel B. F. Little, of the Fifty-second North Carolina Regiment: "I was shot down when in about fifty yards of the enemy's works, and the ground between where I lay and the works was thickly strewn with killed and wounded, some of them having fallen immediately at the works. I do not think a single one of my men ever got back to the rear except those who were slightly wounded before they got to the place where I was wounded. And such was the case with the companies on either side of mine. When I was taken prisoner and borne to the rear, I passed over their works and found some of my men killed and wounded immediately at their works."
It is of Pettigrew's Brigade that Colonel Swallow writes as follows: "Pettigrew's Brigade now united with Archer's Regiment which had not entered the fortifications and attacked the enemy with the most desperate determination. While the writer (Colonel Swallow) lay wounded with General Smyth, of Hays' Division, at Gettysburg, that officer told him that Pettigrew's Brigade all along his front were within thirty or forty feet of his line and fought with a determination he had never seen equalled." This encomium,
so richly merited, is, however, to be shared by Lane's Brigade equally with Pettigrew's, for Smyth's front was the extreme left where Lane fought as well as Pettigrew's Brigade.
While such was the position of affairs on the right and center when the smoke of battle lifted somewhat, Brockenborough's Virginians and Davis' Mississippians not having rallied from the deadly discharge that had hurled them back, Lane's North Carolinians were alone on the left and bore the brunt of the conflict on that part of the field. In his report Lane says:
"My says: never moved forward more handsomely. The men reserved their fire in accordance with orders until within good range of the enemy and then opened with telling effect, driving the cannoneers from their pieces, completely silencing the guns in our immediate front and breaking the line of infantry on the crest of the hill.
"We advanced to within a few yards of the stone wall, exposed all the while to a heavy raking artillery fire from the right. My left was here very much exposed, and a column of infantry was thrown forward in that direction that enfiladed my entire line."
This was a column of regiments that was thrown forward from Hay's right; and despite an enfilading artillery fire, Lane broke off a regiment from his left to face this threatened danger.
Captain Lovell, Company A, Twenty-eighth North Carolina, Lane's Brigade, says: "Some of my men were wounded and captured inside the works."
Captain Norwood, Company E, Forty-seventh North Carolina, says that regiment, along with the brigade, advanced to within thirty yards of the enemy's works, where they encountered a plank fence. Several officers, myself among them, sprung over the fence, followed by the whole command so far as I know. 'The cannoneers then left their pieces."
Lieutenant-Colonel Morriss, of the Thirty-seventh North Carolina, says : "Pettigrew's and Archer's men reached the enemy's works a little in advance of us and succeeded in driving the enemy from their works in their front, but were exposed to a flank fire both right and left. We drove the
enemy from his position on the road and from behind the stone fence. The enemy having disappeared from our front, we became engaged with a flanking party on our left and were surrounded and captured. Six officers on the right of my regiment were wounded in the enemy's works and captured."
The brave Major Jos. H. Saunders, of the Thirty-third, says: "I went, by a subsequent measurement, to within sixty yards of the stone wall, where I was wounded. Just before I was shot I saw a Federal color-bearer just in front of the left wing of the regiment, get up and run waving his flag and followed by his regiment, so that there was nothing to keep our regiment from going right into the enemy's works. I was shot by the troops on our left flank. At the time I was acting as left guide to the line of battle, directing the line of march more to the right so as to strike the enemy's works in a straighter line."
Rev. Dr. George W. Sanderlin, who was Captain of Company E, Thirty-third North Carolina, says: "Our brigade being in the second line, advanced in fine style over the field. When we were about two hundred yards from the enemy's works, General Lane ordered a half wheel to the left and we continued our advance, our organization being excellently preserved, close up to the enemy's work. We were subjected to a rapid artillery fire from our front as well as a deadly musketry fire, and also an enfilading artillery fire from the left. My regiment, the Thirty-third North Carolina, rested at the enemy's works, the artillerymen being driven away from their pieces and the infantry having been driven from their breastworks. For some five minutes all was comparatively quiet in our front except a desultory filing here and there. We could hear the Federal officers just over the ridge trying to rally and reform their men. Attention was called to a piece of artillery just at hand which had been struck in the nuzzle by a shell from a gun of like calibre from a Confederate battery, which remained fastened in the bore. We noticed the situation on the extreme right of the line and finally saw it driven off by the enemy. A column had been thrown out on the enemy's right that flanked us. We, being in danger of being cut off, were ordered back, Pickett's troops
on our right having in the meantime been repulsed. Just then the enemy opened on us a most heavy and destructive fire, and as we began to retreat the enemy in our front rallied and rushed down, crossing their breastworks, attacking us also on our right. Our line on the extreme right (Pickett's) had given away before this, and we made the best retreat we could. Our organization was well preserved up to the time we retreated. I am absolutely confident that Lane's Brigade held its position at the enemy's works longer than any other command, and that we did not move towards the rear until the rest of the line was in full retreat, the extreme right being well advanced to the rear."
The Seventh North Carolina and that part of the Thirty-third which became separated from the rest of Lane's Brigade moved forward gallantly, drove the enemy. from the stone wall, silenced the guns in their front and lost officers and men at the stone wall, many being captured there.
In the brief minutes that had elapsed since the final rush on the enemy's works had begun the carnage had indeed been terrific. Garnett had fallen near the wall. Kemper was desperately wounded at the wall. Pettigrew was disabled by a ball. Trimble was knocked hors du combat. Fry, Marshall and Lowrance had fallen among the thousands of officers and men whose life-blood was ebbing on that bloody field.
But if the Confederates had suffered fearfully, they had also inflicted heavy loss upon their opponents. "Hancock lay bleeding upon the ground, Gibbon was being taken from the field wounded. Webb had been hit. Sherrill and Smyth both wounded, the former mortally. Stannard had received a painful wound, but his troops continued to pour volley after volley into Pickett's flanks."
When the front line of Webb's Brigade gave way under the pressure of Pettigrew's men on the flank, they had fallen back, some to the cover of a clump of trees in the rear and others to a stone wall that crossed the ridge. From these points they maintained a desultory firing upon the Confederates, who having possession of the wall now used it as a protection for themselves. The projection was practically cleared, but, though Archer's and Scales' and Pickett's men
held the angle next to Pettigrew, there was no general effort made to penetrate into the enemy's line. In the meantime regiment after regiment had hurried to cover the break in the Federal line until the men stood four deep, ready to hurl back the Confederates if they should seek to advance. Such was the condition of comparative repose when Armistead's Brigade reached the wall in Garnett's rear.
"Seeing his men were inclined to use it as a defence, as the front line were doing," Armistead raised his hat upon his sword, and springing upon a broken place in the wall, called on his men to follow him. Nearly one hundred of the gallant Fifty-third Virginia, led by Colonel Martin and Major Timberlake, responded with alacrity and entered the works, "only four of whom advanced with these officers to the crest, passing, as they advanced, General Webb, who was returning to his front line." Armistead there received his mortal blow, and forty-two of his men fell within the works as the enemy rushed forward to recover the position. It was the work of brief moments, for as the pressure on the Federal line had been sharp the recoil was quick and decisive.
On the right Kemper had been driven back, and the battle having now ceased in front of Hall's and Harrow's Brigades, these were hurriedly advanced, at the moment the force collected in the rear of Webb rushed forward, taking Garnett and Armistead's troops in the flank as well as front, and entirely routing and dispersing them.
As the right was hurled back and the fragments of General Pickett's Division were hurrying to the rear, the battle began to rage more furiously on the left. The artillery swept the front occupied by Pettigrew's command and Hays' Division renewed the contest with increased ardor. A Delaware regiment on Smyth's left sprang over the wall and penetrating the Confederate line opened a fire to the right and left and hurried the drama to its close.
The remnants of Pettigrew's and Archer's and Scales' Brigades that could not escape, were taken prisoners by the victorious columns closing in on them from the rear, while most of Lane's Brigade further to the left had the better fortune of avoiding a like fate by a speedy retreat; but they were the
last to relinquish their position in the immediate front of the enemy's works. As they withdrew they saw the field far down the valley dotted with squads of Pickett's broken regiments, while nearer were the fragments of the other commands in full retreat. Thus ended the events of those brief ten minutes-the gallant charge-the successful planting of the Confederate standards along the entire line of the Federal works-the comparative lull, save on the right, where Kemper made his fierce entrance into the enemy's line, his speedy repulse-and the overwhelming rally of Hancock's forces, enveloping and dispersing Pickett's Division-the terrible onslaught on the left, and the dispersal of the last of that splendid body of twelve thousand picked troops who had essayed to do what was impossible of accomplishment. Conspicuous gallantry had brought to the Confederate banner an accumulation of martial honor, but on no field was ever more devotion shown, more heroism, more nerve than on that day which has been justly considered the turning point in the tide of Confederate achievement.
It was indeed a field of honor as well as a field of blood, and the sister States of Virginia and North Carolina had equal cause to weave chaplets of laurel and of cypress. On their sons the heaviest blows fell, and to them is due the meed of highest praise. Archer's brave men doubtless suffered heavily, but the chief loss was borne by the three North Carolina and the three Virginia Brigades that participated in the assault upon the works.
The losses of the latter are easy of ascertainment-for they were fresh and had been in no other conflict; while the former having suffered heavily on the first day and having lost most of their regimental and company officers, made at the time no special return of the loss in this now celebrated charge.
Lane carried in 1,300 and lost 600, nearly all killed and wounded. Pettigrew's Brigade was about 1,700 strong, and lost 1,100, the greater part killed and wounded. Scales' Brigade suffered in the like proportion. These three brigades doubtless lost in killed and wounded 1,500 men.
The three Virginia brigades numbering over 4,700 strong, lost 224 killed and 1,140 wounded, a total of 1,364. They
had besides 1,499 missing. While the North Carolina brigades did not have so many captured as Pickett's troops, they doubtless suffered a heavier loss in killed and wounded, although they took into the fight a smaller force, and their organization was much disturbed by the severe loss in regimental and company officers in the battle of the first. But despite this drawback, they exhibited a heroism, a constancy and an endurance unsurpassed upon that field where they accomplished as much as any other troops, suffered greater losses, advanced the farthest, and remained the longest. Indeed it was to them a day of immortal glory as of mournful disaster.
S. A. ASHE.
RALEIGH, N. C.,
3 July, 1901.
DEFENCE OF FORT WAGNER.
MORRIS ISLAND, 3 JULY, 1863.
BY E. K. BRYAN, ADJUTANT, AND E. H. MEADOWS, SERGEANT CO. K.
THIRTY-FIRST N. C. REGIMENT.
The following sketch has been prepared largely from report of Major Robert C. Gilchrist, together with the personal recollection of the writers, who were participants.
BATTERY WAGNER, S. C.
Skirting along ship channel, the main entrance into Charleston harbor, and commanding the only approach for large vessels to the city, is Morris Island, forever prominent in the history of the United States for being the site of the battery that fired the first shot in the war between the States; still later for giving to the world its first lesson in iron-clad armor, and more than all, for being the theatre of a defence of an earthwork more stubborn and grave, of a siege as memorable and bombardments the most formidable in the annals of war.
This island is three and three-fourth miles long, and varies in width from twenty-five to one thousand yards.
At its northern extremity it is flat, and with the exception of a low line of sand hills is only two feet above high tide.
At the northern extremity (Cumming's Point) was situated Battery Gregg. The marsh on the west, at a point about three-fourths of a mile from Gregg encroached upon the sea face of the island leaving a narrow strip of 250 yards. At this point was located the famed Fort Wagner. The island is composed of quartz sand, which has no cohesion and weighs when dry 86 pounds per cubic foot. To its power in resisting the penetration of shot and when displaced of falling back again to the very spot it had occupied, is due the comparative invulnerability of the works erected on the island, advantageous alike to its defenders and assailants. It is distant from
Fort Sumpter 2,780 yards. Wagner was an enclosed earth-work measuring within the interior slope from east to west six hundred and thirty (630) feet, and from north to south in extreme width two hundred and seventy-five (275) feet. The sea face measuring along the interior crest two hundred and ten (210) feet, contained a bomb-proof magazine, twenty by twenty feet, forming a heavy traverse to protect the three guns north of it from the land fire. Behind the sea face was the bombproof, thirty by one hundred and thirty, within which could not be accommodated more than 900 men, standing elbow to elbow and face to back (not 1,500 to 1,600 men, as General Gilmore said), and this capacity was further reduced by cutting off more than one-third for hospital purpose..
The Confederate force which had been doing such arduous service, were now relieved by the Fifty-first North Carolina Regiment, 687 men under Colonel H. McKethan; detachments from Captains Buckner's and Dixon's companies of the Georgia artillery; Captains Tatem's and Adams' companies of First South Carolina artillery; one section of howitzers, DeSaussure Artillery, Captain DePass; one section Blake Artillery, Lieutenant Waties; Charleston Battalion, Lieutenant-Colonel P. C. Gaillard, and Thirty-first Regiment North Carolina Troops; Brigadier-General William Taliaferro in command of the whole.
ASSAULT OF 18 JULY, 1863.
About daylight on 18 July, the Federal mortars commenced their practice which they kept up at intervals until noon. The new Ironsides, the monitors Montauk, Catskill, Nantucket, Weehawken and Patapsco, the gunboats Paul Jones, Ottawa, Seneca, Chippewa and Wissahickon steamed in and took position abreast of Wagner. At 12 o'clock M., all the land and naval batteries opened a "feu d' enfer" upon the devoted work. For eight long hours it was as a continued reverberation of thunder, peal followed peal in rapid succession. Nine thousand shells were hurled against Wagner -twenty each minute. It ceased only when darkness came on, as its further continuance would have involved the
slaughter of the assaulting column of the enemy, now massing in column in front of the fort. It now became evident that the assault would be made at dark, so all the guns were loaded with double charges of grape and canister, trained so as to sweep the beach about 500 to 600 yards in front. Thus the guns on the fort being prepared for the attack which was soon to come, paid no attention to the fleet, preferring to save their ammunition and their range for the more deadly conflict soon to be enacted. Battery Gregg and Fort Sumpter were made ready to fire over Wagner on the advancing column, and the batteries on James Island to enfilade its face. General Hagood was ordered to be in readiness to support or relieve General Taliaferro and proceeded to reinforce the garrison with the Thirty-second Georgia Regiment, Colonel Harrison.
On the part of the Federals Brigadier-General Strong's Brigade was to lead the assault. It was composed of the Fifty-fourth Massachusetts Regiment, Colonel Shaw; the Sixth Connecticut Regiment, Colonel J. L. Chatfield; a battalion of the Seventh Connecticut Regiment, Colonel Barton; the Third New Hampshire; the Forty-eighth New York Regiment, Colonel Jackson; the Ninth Maine Regiment, Colonel Emery; and the Seventy-sixth Pennsylvania Regiment, Colonel Strawbridge, and was to be supported by Colonel Putman's Brigade, composing his own Regiment (the Seventh New Hampshire), Lieutenant-Colonel Abbott; the One Hundredth New York Regiment, Colonel Dandy; the Sixty-second Ohio Regiment, Colonel Pond; and the Sixty-seventh Ohio Regiment, Colonel Voris. Brigadier-General T. Seymour was to command the assaulting column and to arrange the details for attack.
Some time before sunset these regiments were formed on the beach in rear of their batteries, in columns of eight companies, closed at half distance. The Sixth Connecticut Regiment was to lead and attack the southeast salient angle of Wagner. The Forty-eighth New York was to pass along the sea front and facing inward, to attack there; the other regiments of the brigade to charge the south front, extending in-ward toward the marshes, on the left; the Fifty-fourth
Massachusetts (colored), 1,000 strong, was in advance of all and to be the "en fans perdus." They formed in two lines ahead of the brigade. Their commander was Colonel Robert G. Shaw. He was slender and under the medium height, with light hair, a beardless face, and looked like a boy of 17 years, when seen at daylight the morning after the assault, cold and stiff in death on the very top of our breastworks and at the muzzle of our best Columbiad with three mortal wounds, either of which must have been a death wound, a bullet wound through the forehead, another through the lower body, and a bayonet thrust in his chest. His Adjutant lay dead only three feet to his right, and his Sergeant Major about the same distance to his left. Had the supporting column of 6,000 came to the relief Wagner would have undoubtedly fallen that night, but the dreadful slaughter of the assaulting column, their cries of agony and death so paralyzed them that they broke in great, disorder and fled to the rear. Colonel Shaw with his colored troops, led the attack. They came forward at a "double-quick" with great, energy and resolution; but on approaching the ditch they broke, the greater part following their intrepid Colonel, bounded over the ditch, mounted the parapet and planted their flag in the most gallant manner upon the ramparts, where Shaw was shot and bayonetted to death; while the rest seized with a furious panic acted like wild beasts let loose from a menagerie. They came down first on the Ninth Maine, and then on the Seventy-sixth Pennsylvania, and broke them both in two. Portions of the Ninth and Seventy-sixth mingled with the fugitives of the Fifty-fourth (colored), and could not be brought to the front. The Sixth Connecticut (Colonel Chatfield) succeeded in passing through the deadly fire, and made a furious charge on the southeast angle and took it and held it for three hours, no support having dared to follow across the fatal stretch before the fort. To retreat was worse than to advance.
During the three hours that this portion of the works was held by Colonel Chatfield (it was on top of the bombproof about thirty feet above the heads of the defenders) several of our men were shot in the back, while standng ready to defend the fort from any other advance; when this became known,
as it did in a few moments, General Taliaferro, in command of the fort, called to a Federal soldier on the bomb-proof and told him to say to his commanding officer that he wished to speak to him. In a moment an officer came to the edge of the bombproof, inquired what was wanted of him., General Taliaferro said to him in substance: "Your men have fired into the backs of my men from your position on the bombproof, and have wounded several. Now what I wish to say is this: `If another shot is fired into my men, I will put to death every officer and man I find up there. You are my prisoners. If you do not consider that you are, you have my permission to make your escape, and not one man will be able to reach his lines.' "This quieted matters, and in a short time the Thirty-first Georgia Regiment and two companies of the Charleston Battalion deployed along the western face, when the Sixth Connecticut surrendered.
The assault was bravely made, but was doomed to failure from the onset. The demoralization of the negro troops at the supreme moment threw the ranks of the Federals into disorder. The converging fire of the artillery and infantry on the narrow approach prevented a rally. Few could move within that fatal area and live. The situation of the works forbade any feint or diversion, so that the garrison could concentrate their attention on one point alone, Besides the increasing darkness rendered more dense by the smoke of conflict, added to the confusion of the assailants, and helped the assailed, and thus the fortunes of war once more smiled on Fort Wagner, giving to the Confederates a complete victory and to the Federals an overwhelming defeat.
Language has not the power to describe the horrors of the night of the assault. The shattered column of the enemy was driven back to the shelter of the sand hills. Four thousand men had been dashed against. Fort Wagner; when reformed within the Federal lines only 600 answered to their names. Brigadier-General Strong was mortally wounded and Colonels Chatfield, Putman and Shaw were left dead within our lines. A desultory fire of small arms with an occasional discharge of grape and canister was kept up for a time at an unseen foe from the ramparts of Wagner. Soon silence and
stillness reigned supreme, broken only by the moans of the wounded and dying. At last the long night was ended and the sun of a peaceful Sabbath rose revealing the sickening scene. "Blood, mud, water, brains and human hair matted together; men lying in every possible attitude, with every conceivable expression on their countenances; their limbs bent into unnatural shapes by the fall of twenty or more feet, the fingers rigid and outstretched as if they had clutched at the earth to save themselves; pale, beseeching faces looking out from among the ghastly corpses, with moans and cries for help and water and dying gasps and death struggles. In the salient and on the ramparts they lay heaped and pent up, in some places, three deep.
All of Sunday was employed in burying the dead. Eight hundred were buried by the Confederates in front of Wagner. The wounded and dead more remote from Wagner were cared for by their friends. We took prisoners, including wounded and not wounded, about six hundred.
For fifty-eight clays Wagner and Gregg with a force never exceeding sixteen hundred men, had withstood a thoroughly equipped army of eleven thousand five hundred men, the Iron-sides, eight monitors and five gunboats. For every pound of sand used in the construction or repair of Fort Wagner, its assailants had exploded two pounds of iron in the vain attempt to batter it down. At the end of the bombardment, as at the commencement, Wagner stood sullen, strong and defiant as ever.
Federal history calls the capture of Battery Wagner a great victory. Victory? Seven hundred and forty men driven out of sand hills by eleven thousand five hundred. Two months in advancing half a mile towards Charleston, they made their boast that Sumpter was demolished over Wagner. This only teaches the world that sand batteries are more impregnable than the most solid masonry, especially when men are behind them who know how to fight in them by day and repair them by night.
Today that famed fort is leveled, its bombproof, parapets and traverses are blotted out; not by the iron hail of hostile batteries, but by the wind of heaven and the tides of ocean.
What the wrath of man could not accomplish, the "still small voice" of the Almighty has done.
Ere long the sea with its white capped waves will sweep athwart the page of our country's history, which has been written in blood; even the site of Fort Wagner will be gone. Not so its name and fame. Sooner will Thermopylae, Marathon, Salamis, Sebastopol and the other places where in the past men have dared, endured and died, be lost to memory, than will be forgotten the heroic patience and devoted courage of the soldiers who manned the defences of Morris Island.
In consequence of the great importance of a proper defence of Wagner, the command devolved on some officer of high rank, as for instance during this siege by General W. B. Taliaferro and Colonel Graham, General Johnson Hagood, General A. H. Colquitt, General T. L. Clingman (of our brigade), Colonel Geo. P. Harrison and L. M. Keitt succeeded each other in command, serving generally about five days each.
The Confederate forces engaged in repelling this famous assault on 18 .July, 1863, was as follows: The Fifty-first North Carolina Regiment; detachment of Captains Buckner's and Dixon's companies of Sixty-third Georgia Artillery; Captains Tatum's and Adams' companies First South Carolina Infantry (as artillery); section of howitzers of DeSaussure Artillery, Captain DePass; section of howitzers Blake's Artillery, Lieutenant Waties; Charleston Battalion, Lieutenant-Colonel P. C. Gaillard, and Thirty-first North Carolina Regiment, General W. B. Taliaferro in command-about fifteen hundred men all told.
E. K. BRYAN,
E. H. MEADOWS.
NEW BERN, N. C.,
18 July, 1901.
18-20 SEPTEMBER, 1863.
BY CAPTAIN C. A. CILLEY, A. A. G.. VAN DERVEER'S BRIGADE.
Governor Carr,[note] in order that the valor and devotion of the five regiments from this State which fought at Chicamauga, hitherto unnoticed and uncelebrated, should not be forgotten, took advantage of the Act of Congress, and during the past summer (1893) appointed Commissioners to proceed to the field, locate the position of the Sixty-fifth North Carolina (Sixth Cavalry), Twenty-ninth, Thirty-ninth, Fifty-eighth and Sixtieth North Carolina Infantry, and secure the permanent designation of the same upon the maps and upon the ground.
Five, of the seven, gentlemen appointed by him, on the evening of 25 October, 1893, met upon the battle field, and duly organized the Commission by electing Captain Isaac H. Bailey, the senior Confederate officer. chairman, and Clinton A. Cilley, secretary and historian. The other members present were Lieutenants D. F. Baird and Win. S. Davis, of Watauga County, and J. G. Hall, of Hickory.
Before going to the field, the reports of every Confederate officer who had commanded North Carolina troops there, from Captain to General, were read, compared and carefully collated. Maps, furnished by the War Department were laboriously examined, compared with the reports, and the results thus obtained again gone over in the light of the reports of the Federal Commanders. Letters received from survivors were also filed with the reports, and a history, as accurate as the times and material at our command would allow,[note]
was written out, of each regiment in action, giving its halting places, line of march, places where engaged, and where finally located at the end of the battle.
This preparation showed four phases of the battle of Chicamauga especially worth our attention, not only as attended with the most important results to both armies, but as showing most conspicuously the gallant conduct of the soldiery of North Carolina. We may perhaps be pardoned for saying that, since this great struggle has of late been given its true place in the history of the war, as the most critical of any in the West, and will surely take its position in the history of the world as one of the few decisive battles of the century, it becomes more and more necessary to put in enduring form the record of North Carolina's achievements there, thus grown to be of even more than national importance. We noted down and each of these subjects was fully and patiently discussed between the National Commission and ourselves the night before we went over the ground.
1. The attempt of General Bragg to turn the Federal left, and thus secure control of the contested State road leading from LaFayette to Chattanooga. The attack was opened by Forrest's horsemen. Davidson's Brigade, in which was the Sixty-fifth North Carolina (Sixth Cavalry) took part in the movement, and we had already secured evidence of the Sixth's honorable position on the right of the line. Some Ex-Confederates, who had served under Forrest here, and who visited the field a few days before our arrival, had so located the positions as to corroborate in every way our views.
Forrest was soon reinforced by Ector's infantry brigade, containing the Twenty-ninth North Carolina, who formed, advanced and fought over substantially the same ground as the cavalry.
As neither the reports of the brigade or regimental commanders of either the cavalry or infantry detachments have been found or printed, we had to rely upon other evidence as to the locations. General H. V. Boynton, of the United States Commission, had commanded a regiment, and one of our Commission had been a staff officer, in the brigade which successively met the assaults of Forrest, and Ector, so that
their recollection, aided by information collected before leaving home, enabled us to fix the position of the Sixth and Twenty-ninth, accurately, and to the satisfaction of all present.
2. The famous break through the Federal centre about noon on Sunday. Here it was, according to the report of Colonel David Coleman, Thirty-ninth North Carolina, who towards the close of the day took command of his brigade in consequence of General McNair having been disabled, that the brigade, under Coleman's command, charged across an open field in face of the heavy fire, and captured nine cannons which had been playing upon it from the eminence. Colonel Coleman, with the modesty of the soldier, contents himself with the simple statement, and says no more.
The commander of another brigade also claims the honor of the capture, fortifying his statement by certificates from various subordinates. The division commander refers to both reports, but does not decide between them. He intimates, however, that out of the abundance of captured cannons, both brigades may have taken the number claimed.
This made it necessary for us to collect all available evidence, and subject it to the United States Commissioners the night before our actual inspection of the ground. Reports, maps and other printed matter were thoroughly examined and discussed, and we were assured that should the morning survey confirm the conclusion arrived at, we could regard our contention as successful.
The next day, after establishing the point where the guns were massed, we walked up the long slope of Dyer's field, over which ten or twelve divisions had fought, and a second comparison of all the evidence available, made on the very spot of the conflict, so plainly showed the justice of Colonel Coleman's claim, that we were directed to drive down a stake marked with the regiment's name, the date and fact of the exploit, at the location contended for.
3. The attack by Breckinridge on the Federal left, Sunday afternoon, and the desperate fighting for the State road in Kelley's field. We had no member of the Sixtieth North Carolina with us, their regiment having participated in the
battle here as a member of Stovall's brigade, but as two of our party on the field were engaged with the brigade which received the charge of the Confederates, and had special cause for remembering every incident of the struggle there, we had no difficulty in establishing the location. Again reports and maps were brought out, one paced off the distance, another read the statement of brigade and regimental commanders, General Stewart consulted the maps and announced the decision. The result was that an oaken tablet, suitably in-scribed, was put up on the side of the road, marking it as the spot where the Sixtieth North Carolina Infantry, at noon 20 September, reached the farthest point attained by the Confederate State Troops in that famous charge.
4. It remained now only to trace the route of the Fifty-eighth Infantry from where it crossed the river, to the scene of its magnificent achievement on Snodgrass Hill. Three of our Commissioners were survivors of that regiment, and under their guidance, consulting as ever the reports and maps, we had no trouble in following its path from its first service, supporting batteries, across the field just traversed by the Thirty-ninth, to the place where, about the middle of the afternoon, this command, never before under fire, plunged into the bloodiest struggle of the battle, and one of the deadliest conflicts of the war. Here it was at the base and up to the crest of a wooded hill, that Longstreet hurled six divisions in an attempt to drive Thomas to retreat. The slopes up which it toiled, the ravines through which it fought its way, were again trodden by some of its old officers, and after the fullest discussion, careful examination of printed and verbal testimony, inspection and measurement of the ground, the point where the topmost ware of the tide of Southern battle broke nearer than any other to the unbroken lines of Thomas' defence, was agreed by us all to have been reached by the Fifty-eighth North Carolina Infantry. During its three hours fighting here, the command lost one-half of its men killed and wounded. This point designated by the tablet which we put up, was not a stone's throw from the place selected by the Second Minnesota (Federal) Regiment, (whose loss was precisely the same), for its monument.
We may be pardoned for saying that such an interview has seldom taken place upon the battlefield as we witnessed. There were six veterans, some from each contending army, who had borne, among them, every commission from Second Lieutenant up to Lieutenant-General, who thirty years ago had met almost face to face in the conflicts intent only on designating without error, the exact position of their ancient commands.
Having made this location, our task was over. We beg leave to express the hope, however, that men who so highly distinguished themselves as the troops of this State did in Kelley's and Dyer's fields, and on Snodgrass Hill, should receive from North Carolina statelier monuments and more enduring memorials than simple tablets of oak or iron.
This battle field is now visited almost daily. It will surely become the point to which students and travellers will turn by thousands every year, and when it is seen that the Southern State, which sent the bravest soldiers to the field, has neglected them, it will read ill for this Commonwealth.
No official location being as yet allowed upon Missionary Ridge, we did not attempt to make any there.
While at Chattanooga we were visited by Mr. J. P. Smartt and Mr. E. S. Pinion, the former a soldier in Cheatham's Division, who knew the position of the cavalry brigade and Ector's Infantry, the latter a soldier of the Twenty-ninth North Carolina from Jackson County.
Their recollection perfectly coincided with the results we had reached as to the location of these troops.
CLINTON A. CILLEY.
LENOIR, N. C.,
3 November, 1893.
NOTE -The North Carolina regiments at Chicamauga were brigaded as follows:
Twenty-ninth-in Ector's Brigade, Walker's Division.
Thirty-ninth-in McNair's Brigade, Johnson's Division, Buckner 's Corps.
Fifty-eighth-in Kelly's Brigade, Preston's Division, Buckner's Corps.
Sixtieth-in Stovall's Brigade, Breckinridge's Division, D. H. Hill's Corps.
Sixty-fifth (Sixth Caivilry)-in Davidson's Brigade, Pegram's Division, Forrest's Corps.-ED
- BATTLE OF PLYMOUTH.
- 1. R. F. Hoke, Major-General
- 2. M. W. Ransom, Brigadier-General.
- 3. W. G. Lewis. Lieut.-Colonel, Comamanding Hoke's Brigade.
- 4. J. W. Cooke, Commanding the "Albamarle."
- 5. John W. Graham, Major, 56th N. C. T., Historian of the Battle.
THE CAPTURE OF PLYMOUTH 20 APRIL, 1864.
BY MAJOR JOHN W. GRAHAM, FIFTY-SIXTH REGIMENT N. C. T.
The Confederate forces on this expedition under command of Brigadier-General R. F. Hoke, were Kemper's (Va.) Brigade, under Colonel Terry; Hoke's Brigade composed of the Twenty-first Georgia, Sixth, Twenty-first and Forty-third North Carolina Regiments under Colonel Mercer, of the Twenty-first Georgia, the Senior Colonel; and Ransom's Brigade under Brigadier-General M. W. Ransom, composed of the Twenty-fourth, Twenty-fifth, Fifty-sixth, Eighth and Thirty-fifth North Carolina Regiments.
The Eighth, which belonged to Clingman's Brigade, had been temporarily substituted for the Forty-ninth, left on picket duty on the Chowan river. There were also a part of a regiment of cavalry under Colonel Dearing, and several batteries of artillery, under Lieutenant-Colonel Branch and Major Reid, all from Virginia, except a section of Captain Miller's (Co. E, 10th N. C. Regiment) Capt. Lee's Montgomery Blues, of Alabama, and Bradford's (Miss.).
The Federal forces under command of Brigadier-General H. W. Wessels, consisted of the Eighty-fifth New York, Sixteenth Connecticut, One Hundred and First and One Hundred and Third Pennsylvania, two companies of Second Massachusetts Heavy Artillery, Twenty-fourth New York Independent Battery of Light Artillery (six guns), two companies (A and F) of the Twelfth New York Cavalry, besides two companies recruited in North Carolina, aided by the gun-boats Miami, Southfield, Whitehead and Ceres.
The ram Albemarle, which had been partially completed at Edwards' Ferry on the Roanoke river, was expected to go down and join in the attack, and especially to encounter the four gunboats above named, commanded by Captain Flusser, a Kentuckian, said to be an officer of rare intrepidity and
merit. In order to give a better understanding of the natural strength of Plymouth and its surroundings, I will state that there are two creeks emptying into the Roanoke above the town of Plymouth, the land between them being called Warren's Neck, on which was erected a fort of three guns-one 100-pounder, and two 32-pound Parrotts. Immediately west of the town and outside of the fortifications was a marsh extending around to the southwest corner, and crossed only at one point by a causeway on the Boyle's Mill road. The fortifications were somewhat in the shape of a parallelogram; the longest side parallel to the river, Fort Williams with six guns about the center of the line, and projecting forward to the south.
On the lower side of Plymouth Conaby creek flows into the Roanoke, but a mile or more to the east of the town.
Where the Columbia road enters on this side, the breast-works were not continuous, but the road was commanded on the left as you enter, near the town boundary by redoubts with two guns each at James Bateman's and Charles Latham's, and to the right was Fort Comfort with three guns, and between that and the river was a swamp. the passage through which was very difficult, and these together were considered a sufficient defence for that side. Two roads entered the town from the south, the Lee's Mill road a little to the east of Fort Williams, and the Washington and Jamesville road near the southwest corner. To more effectually command this last road, and a road which branched off to the left, the Eighty-fifth redoubt, with three guns, called Fort Wessels (or Fort Sanderson) had been erected to the left of the Washington road, about half a mile from the line of breastworks, and beyond the ravine which goes into the swamp heretofore described. Inside of the fortifications a marsh commences near the corner of Monroe and Water streets, and extends out beyond the fortifications. Between this marsh inside the town and the Roanoke river, on a mound or hill now called Fort Worth, was an intrenched camp, where the line of breastworks came to the river, and sweeping over it had been placed a 200-pound gun, intended expressly for the ram Albemarle.
Between Second and Third streets, where they reached the
line of breastworks at the west, and across another ravine extending out into the swamp, had been erected an intrenched camp with redoubt, and also another redoubt was at the south-west corner of the intrenchments near the Toodles house.
As the Federal forces had occupied Plymouth for more than twelve months, every effort had been made to render the place secure from attack, the different forts and other redoubts along the line of breastworks being protected by moats, palisades, chevaux de frise, and made as strong to resist bombardment or assault as engineering skill could devise. The Confederate forces had been collected rapidly at Tarboro, from which the expedition started on 15 April, 1864, and arrived within five miles of Plymouth by 4 p. m., on Sunday, the 17th, capturing the pickets and routing a company of cavalry.
The First Virginia Regiment, under Major Norton, was thrown forward as skirmishers, and Kemper's Brigade, with Dearing's cavalry and two batteries of artillery under Major Reid turned off on a road to the left leading to Warren's Neck, to threaten the town from that direction; and Generals Hoke and Ransom, with their brigades, not. following the direct road from Jamesville, as the bridge across the creek had been destroyed, turned to the right and crossing the troops on a mill dam, made a circuit around into the Washington road, a mile below its junction with the Janesville road. Sending on a company of cavalry, two Yankees were killed of the picket at this post. (Red Top), two only escaping.
Soon we hear the "long-roll" of the enemy, and our line is formed to receive a shelling.
General Hoke's Brigade is some distance in advance and on both sides of this road, and Ransom's further to the right and along a road which goes perpendicular to the line of breastworks on the south of the town.
Skirmishers are sent forward by both sides, the enemy also opening briskly with his artillery. Night soon comes on, and all is quiet on this part of the line except an occasional interchange of shots between the skirmishers.
It is understood that the women and children in the town
were sent off to Roanoke Island Sunday night. During the night and next morning Hoke's Brigade is moved entirely to the left of the Washington road and all his skirmishers in front of Ransom's Brigade are relieved by the Twenty-fifth and companies from the other regiments. A detail of 250 men has been engaged during the night, under Colonel Faison, in building works near the Washington road from which our artillery can play upon Fort Sanderson (or Wessels). These are so far finished next morning that one company at a time is left to complete the work, and three guns were placed in position.
The enemy can now see what has been done, and open upon them. The fire is returned, but slowly at first, Company H, of the Fifty-sixth Regiment, still continuing the work for other guns, and some of them being wounded by a shell.
After a while our pieces began in earnest and nearly silenced Fort Sanderson, though receiving a hot fire from Fort Williams. The day is passed in shelling by our artillery at different points, our cavalry being around on the Columbia road to watch any movements in that direction.
In the afternoon Dearing and Reid, with field artillery, had opened a brisk fire on Fort Warren on the river above the town at 1,500 yards, with marked effect, soon cutting down the garrison flag staff.
The gun boats steamed up to the assistance of the fort, but one was so seriously disabled that she sank on her return down the river. Late in the afternoon we learn that General Hoke, with his brigade, will assault Fort Sanderson, while Ransom's Brigade with fourteen pieces of artillery under Lieutenant-Colonel Branch, will make a demonstration on the enemy's left center (that part of the works on the long side of the parallelogram, on the enemy's left east of Fort Williams.) About 5 p. m., Ransom's Brigade moves to the right through some woods, and at the open space in front skirmishers are thrown forward from the different regiments to relieve the Twenty-fifth, which now assembles to the left, and connects with Hoke's right, distant about three-fourths of a mile from Ransom's left.
Four companies of the Fifty-sixth on its right, B, I, E and
A (Captains Roberts, Harrill, Lockhart and Hughes), go forward as skirmishers, and the brigade (Ransom's) now moves by the right flank and at the edge of the woods forms line of battle in the following order: the Twenty-fourth on the right, next the Eighth, Fifty-sixth and Thirty-fifth.
The line is now in full view of the enemy, as for a mile out from the fortifications everything had been cleared up, and targets planted to indicate distance, upon which frequent practice had been made.
The skirmishers, under Captain Jno. C. Pegram and Lieutenant Applewhite, of the brigade staff, rush forward, those of the enemy giving way after a slight resistance. Our artillery, consisting of Pegram's, Bradford's, Miller's and other batteries, gallop to the front and quickly unlimber. It is now that we learn that our demonstration is to march behind these batteries, and receive the fire of the enemy from more than twenty pieces of artillery, besides two gun boats, throwing every grade of shell from the 200-pound gun to the 12-pound Napoleon.
Steadily our line advances, lying down at every halt, the iron bolts falling thickly in front and rear, and sometimes in the line itself. Our skirmishers have run those of the enemy over their breastworks, and are now lying down to avoid as far as possible the heavy shower of grape with which they are greeted. The demonstration is kept up from 6 until nearly 10 p. m., our guns having fired rapidly and the caissons several times bringing up new supplies of ammunition, and our line has advanced three-fourths of a mile and within 800 yards of Fort Williams, the infantry being ordered to reserve their fire.
A correspondent of the Richmond Examiner signed "R." on 24 April, 1864, says: "The action commenced about sunset, the night being perfectly clear with a full moon, every object was visible. The sight was magnificent-the screaming, hissing shells meeting and passing each other through the sulphurous air. appeared like blazing comets with their burning fuses, and would burst with frightful noise, scattering their fragments as thick as hail." To show how deadly were some of these missiles, I quote from the sketch of the
Eighth Regiment by Prof. Ludwig, Vol. 1 of this work, page 399: "The gunboats in the river also took part in shelling our batteries and line. One shell from a gunboat came over the town, struck the ground about one hundred and fifty yards in front of the Eighth, ricocheted, and the next time struck the ground in the line of the regiment and exploded, killing and wounding fifteen men of Company H. Three of the men were killed outright, two were mortally wounded, and of the others some. were severely and some slightly wounded."
Lieutenant C. R. Wilson, of Company D, and fourteen men of the Fifty-sixth Regiment, were wounded, several seriously, but none mortally. In the Twenty-fourth Lieutenant Wilkins was killed and five men wounded. I do not know the casualties in the Thirty-fifth and Twenty-fifth.
At 12 o'clock Ransom's Brigade is moved back, leaving a line of skirmishers.
While this demonstration was going on, Hoke's Brigade had gallantly charged Fort Sanderson from Welch's creek swamp, and supported by artillery, a fierce fight had raged, the enemy opposing a spirited resistance. Our infantry again and again charged the fort, the enemy hurling at them hand grenades, while the strong stockade, deep ditch and high parapet prevented our men from sealing it. During one of these charges, the intrepid Colonel Mercer, commanding Hoke's Brigade, fell mortally wounded at the head of his command. Also Captain Macon, of the Forty-third North Carolina, was killed and twenty or more of the brigade. Finally the infantry having entirely surrounded the fort, the artillery was advanced to within 200 yards, when a surrender was made. Captain Chapin, of the Eighty-fifth New York, commanding this fort, was also killed. This was deemed an important position, where the artillery could be concentrated and an assault made on the town, if the gun-boats could he driven off by our iron-clad Albemarle.
A contemporary letter to the Raleigh Confederate makes this statement as to the cause of the delay in her arrival: "It was intended that she should go down, engage the enemy's gunboats and pass below on Sunday night. With that pur.
pose she left Hamilton on Sunday at 3 o'clock, and took on her deck enough iron to tack on imperfectly on the way down. Twenty sailors overtook her on the Cora below Hamilton, increasing her crew to fifty; but her machinery became damaged on the way-her rudder head twisted off. This delayed her twelve hours, and she only reached Gray's Landing at 8 p. m. on Monday. The Yankee steamer Whitehead was at the mouth of the thoroughfare when the Albemarle passed, and immediately steamed into the Cashie and to Plymouth, and reported her coming.
Cooke's passage was slow, to avoid obstructions and torpedoes. Having passed them safely, he steamed past Plymouth and without answering the shots from the forts, made for the Miami (Flusser's), and the Southfield (French's) Yankee boats. They had been chained together that they might get Cook between and press him back upon a river flat. He avoided the trap and ran into the Southfield, his prow was so sharp and his momentum so great that he ran ten or twelve feet into her, sinking her instantly. The whole weight of the sinking boat rested on his bow, depressing it so that water poured into the forward ports. The South field had delivered her broadside of eight guns, making not the least impression, as this was on the bow which had been finished. The current swept his stern around and disengaged him from the wreck. Meantime Flusser seeing his companion wrecked, loosed the chains and steamed to Cooke's stern, gave him a broadside of six 100-pound rifle guns at a few feet distance, upon the iron that had been imperfectly bolted, and damaged this iron in three places." An account in the Richmond Examiner, writtten on 24 April, 1864, says: "The Miami fled, but not until she was seriously punished, her commander (Flusser) and many of her crew being killed. Eighty of the Southfield's crew were said to have been killed."
Commander James W. Cooke was an accomplished officer, who had entered the United States Navy from North Carolina in 1828.
The noise of the guns between 2 and 3 a. m. on Tuesday morning had informed us of Cooke's arrival, and we were glad to hear of his success in relieving us from further
annoyance from the gunboats. This morning General Ransom is ordered to take the Twenty-fourth and Fifty-sixth Regiments to the right of the Lee's Mill road, and make a demonstration against the enemy's works from that quarter. The other three regiments of his brigade, with Branch's artillery, are held by General Hoke to support an attack, if after thorough reconnoissance, he shall determine to make an assault with Hoke's and Kemper's Brigades from the direction of Fort Sanderson, captured the night before. Heavy firing between the artillery is kept up with an occasional shot from the ram Albemarle now below the town, and also the guns from Fort Sanderson are turned against the enemy, and the skirmishers are pushed close to the works at various points.
After this reconnoissance, General Hoke determined not to make this attack, and the three regiments and Branch's artillery are sent to rejoin General Ransom; and the Virginia brigade, except a small portion left near Warren's Neck, is brought around to the south of the town. This brigade had by its sharpshooters, prevented the enemy from working the guns at the fort up the river, either upon the ram Albemarle or upon our forces to the left of the town. Ransom's Brigade is ordered in the afternoon to cross Conaby creek to the east, and make a detour of four or five miles around to the Columbia road. Colonel Dearing, with some cavalry and artillery, comes up, and is allowed to pass the brigade in the road. That intuitive perception, with which the private soldiers could often foretell the intent with which a move is made, now comes into play, and through the brigade the feeling becomes universal that, it has been determined to make the final assault from the -east side of the town, and that Ransom's Brigade would he required to perform this duty. Laughing and joking almost cease, and a grim determination to do all that, could be expected seems to pervade the ranks. Although marching at will, there is no straggling, and the companies close up and each soldier is glad to feel the touch of a comrade's elbow. A screen of woods hides the movement from the enemy. About sunset the column strikes the Columbia road and now turns west towards Plymouth.
After dark we reach Conaby creek, about a mile or more from the town, and the skirmishers thrown forward find the enemy in strong position on the opposite side, and the bridge destroyed. Three pieces of artillery under Captain Blount are advanced to within 300 yards, and the enemy soon dislodged. Our sharpshooters again advance and the enemy reappear. Some gallant member of the Twenty-fourth plunges into the creek, swims across and brings back a skiff and a party soon crosses in it. The pontoons which are in charge of Lieutenant-Colonel S. D. Pool, of the Tenth, are hurried to the front, placed in the creek, and three or four companies pass over and are deployed as skirmishers and drive the enemy back.
The pontoons are then swung around, and a bridge rapidly constructed on which the infantry pass over, and are formed into line about a mile from the enemy's forts on the (Columbia) road, the right flank resting on the Roanoke and the left extending beyond the road in the following order: Fifty-sixth, Colonel Faison, on the extreme right then the Twenty-fifth, Colonel Rutledge; Eighth, Colonel Murchison; Thirty-fifth, Colonel Jones, and then the Twenty-fourth, Colonel Clarke, successively to the left. It is now near midnight, as we had thrown up a slight breastwork, and the men lie down to sleep on the bare ground, covered with their blankets in groups of two or three for warmth, as the air is sharp and piercing, so as to get some re