26th North Carolina Infantry Regiment at the Battle of Gettysburg

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Report of Capt. J. J. Young, quartermaster Twenty-sixth North
Carolina Infantry.

Near Gettysburg, Pa.,
July 4, 1863.
My dear Governor: I will trespass a few minutes upon your
indulgence to communicate the sad fate that has befallen the old
Twenty-sixth.

The heaviest conflict of the war has taken place in this vicinity.
It commenced July 1, and raged furiously until late last night.
Heth's division, of A. P. Hill's corps, opened the ball, and Pettigrew's
brigade was the advance. We went in with over 800 men in
the regiment. There came out but 216, all told, unhurt.

Yesterday they were again engaged, and now have only about 80
men for duty.

To give you an idea of the frightful loss in officers: Heth being
wounded, Pettigrew commands the division and Maj. [J.] Jones
our brigade. Eleven men were shot down the first day with our
colors; yesterday they were lost. Poor Col. Burgwyn, jr., was
shot through both lungs, and died shortly afterward. His loss is
great, for he had but few equals of his age. Capt. McCreery, of
Gen. Pettigrew's staff, was shot through the heart and instantly
killed; with them Lieut.-Col. Lane through the neck, jaw,
and mouth, I fear mortally; Adjutant [James B.] Jordan in the
hip, severely; Capt. [J. T.] Adams, shoulder, seriously; Stokes
McRae's thigh broken; Capt. [William] Wilson was killed; Lieut.'s
[John W.] Richardson and [J. B.] Holloway have died of
their wounds. It is thought Lieut. [M.] McLeod and Capt.
[N. G.] Bradford will die.

Nearly all the rest of the officers were slightly wounded. [I. A.]
Jarratt I had forgotten to mention--in the face and hand. Yesterday,
Capt. [S. P.] Wagg was shot through by grape and instantly
killed; Lieut. [G.] Broughton in the head, and instantly killed;
[Alexander] Saunders was wounded and [J. R.] Emerson left on the
field for dead.

Capt. [H. C.] Albright is the only captain left in the regiment
unhurt, and commands the regiment. Lieut.'s [J. A.] Lowe,
[M. B.] Blair, [T. J.] Cureton, and [C. M.] Sudderth are all of the
subalterns. Col. Faribault, of the Forty-seventh, is severely
wounded. Lieut.-Col. [J. A.] Graves and Maj. [A. D.]
Crudup supposed killed. Col. Marshall and Maj. [J. Q.] Richardson,
of the Fifty-second, supposed to be killed. Lieut.-Col.
Parks dangerously wounded; Col. Leventhorpe badly wounded;
Maj. Ross killed.

Our whole division numbers but only 1,500 or 1,600 effective men,
as officially reported, but, of course, a good many will still come in.
The division at the beginning numbered about 8,000 effective men.

I hear our army is generally badly cut up. We will fall back about
5 miles, to draw the enemy, if possible, from his impregnable position.

It was a second Fredericksburg affair, only the wrong way. We
had to charge over a mile a stone wall in an elevated position.

I learn the loss of the enemy is terrible. We have taken 10,000 or
15,000 prisoners in all. Yesterday, in falling back, we had to leave
the wounded; hence the uncertainty of a good many being killed
late yesterday evening. I must close.

Yours, truly,

J. J. YOUNG,
Capt., and Assistant Quartermaster.

His Excellency Gov. Zebulon B. Vance.

Source: Official Records, Series I, Vol. 27, Part II, Reports. Serial No. 44

Recommended Reading: Covered With Glory: The 26th North Carolina Infantry at Gettysburg. Description: Award-winning historian, Rod Gragg, delivers a masterpiece with his renowned study of the Fighting 26th. Rated a solid 5 STARS (highest possible rating), Covered With Glory reflects vividly the fighting history of the 26th, led by General Robert E. Lee's youngest regimental colonel, 21-year-old Colonel Henry K. Burgwyn, Jr. Student, Scholar, and Civil War Buff, this is a must have addition for your library. Continued below…

From Library Journal: Award-winning historian Gragg offers yet another Civil War title. The 26th North Carolina saw action early in the war at New Bern and Malvern Hill. On the first day at Gettysburg, it fought against the 24th Michigan in McPherson's Woods. On the third and final day, it participated in the infamous Pickett's Charge and suffered an 85 percent casualty rate, the highest of any regiment in the Civil War. Besides recounting the enormous loss of life and the heroic deeds of many men, Gragg reveals the human side of battle. Family diaries and letters describe the difficulties most soldiers faced in coping with military life. The author uses an impressive list of other books and historical sources. What emerges is a detailed but readable history of a regiment whose sacrifices and exploits merit studying. Recommended for its scholarship and depth of coverage to all academic and large public libraries and to special collections.

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Editor's Choice: Brigades of Gettysburg: The Union and Confederate Brigades at the Battle of Gettysburg (Hardcover) (704 Pages). Description: While the battle of Gettysburg is certainly the most-studied battle in American history, a comprehensive treatment of the part played by each unit has been ignored. Brigades of Gettysburg fills this void by presenting a complete account of every brigade unit at Gettysburg and providing a fresh perspective of the battle. Continued below...

Using the words of enlisted men and officers, the author-well-known Civil War historian Bradley Gottfried-weaves a fascinating narrative of the role played by every brigade at the famous three-day battle, as well as a detailed description of each brigade unit. Organized by order of battle, each brigade is covered in complete and exhaustive detail: where it fought, who commanded, what constituted the unit, and how it performed in battle. Innovative in its approach and comprehensive in its coverage, Brigades of Gettysburg is certain to be a classic and indispensable reference for the battle of Gettysburg for years to come.

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