26th North Carolina Infantry Regiment History

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Twenty-sixth North Carolina Regimental History

26th North Carolina State Troops, Confederate States Army

ŠJeffrey C. Weaver

26th North Carolina Infantry Regiment
26th North Carolina Infantry Regiment History.gif
26th North Carolina Infantry Regiment History

Organization

The companies which would eventually compose the 26th North Carolina State Troops were recruited shortly after the spring planting for 1861 was done. The men came from the mountains and western piedmont of the Old North State. These men were not recruited for any specific regiment, but rather as independent companies, who were brought to Raleigh to train and prepare for war. While the men were at North Carolina's Camp of Instruction at Camp Crabtree, (later renamed Camp Carolina) three miles from Raleigh, the Confederates fought the Battle of First Manassas on July 21, 1861 and their was concern the war would end in Confederate independence before they could see the elephant. Their fears and hopes were unfounded.

It was at Camp Crabtree that the men first met North Carolina's boy wonder, Henry King Burgwyn, Jr., called Harry. The 18-year old Harry already held the rank of Major in the Confederate Army. Burgwyn was familiar with the basic principles of military operations due to education at the United States Military Academy and the Virginia Military Institute. Burgwyn was very adept at the manual of arms and incurred the anger of many members of the regiment by his heavy handed discipline during the time spent at the Camp of Instruction. John Randolph Lane related his first impressions of Burgwyn:

We [Company G] took the train at Company Shops (now Burlington) for Raleigh; arriving at this place, the company marched out to Camp Crab Tree, a Camp of Instruction, and were assigned our position in camp a little after dark. On the next morning when we awoke, we saw the sentinels at their posts and realized that we were indeed in the war. Immediately after roll call--but there was no roll call in our company--Major H. K. Burgwyn, commander of the Camp of Instruction, sent down to Captain W. S. McLean, demanding the reason for failure to report his company.

Before the excitement occasioned by his messsage had subsided among the commissioned officers, an order came for a corporal and ttwo men to report at once at headquarters. Captain McLean selected Corporal Lane, his lowest subaltern officer, and two of the most soldierly-looking men, S. S. Carter and W. C. Cater, to report to Major Burgwyn.-

Accordingly, these three worthies appeared before the commandant, wondering whether they were going to be promoted, hanged or shot. This was our first sight of the commanding officer, who appeared though young, to be a youth of authority, beautiful and handsome; the flash of his eye and the quickness of his movements betokened his bravery. At first sight I both feared and admired him. He gave us the following order: "Corporal, take these men and thoroughly police this Camp; don't leave a watermelon rind or anything filthy in Camp."

This cheering order completely knocked the starch out of our shirts and helped greatly to settle us down to a soldier's life. The cleanliness of the camp was reported by the officer of the day as being perfect. You may be sure our officers reported the company properly after that.

The ten companies, listed below were formally organized into the 26th North Carolina State Troops on August 27, 1861 at Raleigh, North Carolina. Since no individual had led the organization of the regiment, the men were allowed to choose their colonel. The election came off and Captain Zebulon Baird Vance of Company F, "the Rough and Ready Guards" of 14th North Carolina State Troops was selected. Vance had been a prewar Whig Congressman from Asheville, and was one of the most popular antebellum politicians in the state. Major Burgwyn was chosen lieutenant colonel of the newly formed regiment and Wilkes Volunteers Captain Abner B. Carmichael was elected major. Colonel Vance appointed the remainder of the staff, noted below:

Field and Staff and Band

This regimental sub element was organized on August 27, 1861. Officers originally serving with the field and staff appointed by Colonel Vance when he finally reported for duty. They were:

  • Zebulon Baird Vance, Colonel
  • Henry King Burgwyn, Jr., Lieutenant Colonel
  • Abner B. Carmichael, Major
  • James B. Jordan, Assistant Adjutant General
  • Joseph J. Young, Assistant Quartermaster
  • Robert Golston, Assistant Commissary of Supply
  • Dr. Thomas J. Boykin, Surgeon
  • Daniel M. Shaw, Assistant Surgeon
  • Rev. Robet H. Marsh, Chaplain
  • Leonidas L. Polk, Sergeant Major
  • Benjamin Hind, Hospital Steward
  • E. H. Hornaday, Ordnance Sergeant
  • Jesse Ferguson, Commissary Sergeant
  • Abram J. Lane, Quartermaster Sergeant

Company A - The Jeff Davis Mountaineers

Company A, Captain Andrew N. McMillan's Company was formed at Jefferson, Ashe County North Carolina on May 17, 1861. The company soon traveled to Raleigh and was designated Company D, 22nd North Carolina State Troops but was withdrawn from that regiment before going into the field. The company was subsequently assigned as Company A of the 26th North Carolina State Troops.

Officers:

  • Andrew N. McMillan, Captain
  • George R. Reeves, 1st Lieutenant
  • Jesse A. Reeves, 2nd Lieutenant
  • James Porter, Junior 2nd Lieutenant

Extant muster rolls cover the periods:

  • A muster-in roll, dated August 31, 1861 when stationed at Camp Carolina.
  • September-October, 1861 when stationed at Camp Wilks, North Carolina.
  • November-December, 1861 when posted at Camp Vance, North Carolina.
  • March-April, 1862 when stationed in Camp below Kinston, North Carolina.
  • January-February, 1864 when stationed in the field.
  • May-June, 1864 when posted in the field.
  • September-October, 1864, in the field near Petersburg, Virginia.
  • November-December, 1864, in winter quarters near Petersburg, Virginia.
  • January-February, 1865 when in the field near Petersburg, Virginia.
  • Other rolls fill-in details not covered by muster rolls include:
  • A clothing receipt roll for the 1st Quarter, 1864.
  • A clothing receipt roll for the 2nd Quarter, 1864.
  • A clothing receipt roll for August, 1864.

Company B - The Waxhaw-Jackson Guards

The Waxhaw-Jackson Guards completed their organization on June 5, 1861 but remained in Union County until July 9, 1861 when they left Monroe for Raleigh. The chose a name which heraled Union County's claim, not widely believed to be the birth place of Andrew Jackson. They perhaps felt the name would inspire them to the same glories they perceived Jackson had in the War of 1812, the Second War for American Independence. The march took the company three days, when they entered the camp of instruction.

Officers:

  • J. J. C. Steele, Captain
  • William Wilson, 1st Lieutenant
  • Taylor G. Cureton, 2nd Lieutenant
  • John W. Richardson, Junior 2nd Lieutenant

Extant muster rolls cover the periods:

  • A muster-in roll, coving the period from August 9 to August 31, 1861, stationed at Camp Carolina.
  • September-October, 1861, when stationed at Camp Wilks, North Carolina.
  • November-December, 1861, when posted at Camp Vance, North Carolina.
  • March-April, 1862, but its station was not recorded.
  • January-February, 1864, when stationed in the field.
  • May-June, 1864, when posted in the field
  • September-October, 1864, while serving near Petersburg, Virginia.
  • November-December, 1864, when near Petersburg, Virginia.
  • January-February, 1865, when near Petersburg, Virginia.
  • Other rolls fill-in details not covered by muster rolls include:
  • A clothing receipt roll for the 4th Quarter, 1863.
  • A clothing receipt roll for the 1st Quarter, 1864.
  • A clothing receipt roll for the 2nd Quarter, 1864.
  • A clothing receipt roll for the 3rd Quarter, 1864.

Company C - The Wilkes Volunteers

The Wilkes Volunteers left their camp at Wilkesboro, North Carolina on July 8, 1861. The march to Raleigh took four days, where they joined the camp of instruction and remained there until August 31.

Officers:

  • Abner R. Carmichael, Captain
  • Augustus H. Horton, 1st Lieutenant
  • Phineas Horton, 2nd Lieutenant
  • William W. Hampton, Junior 2nd Lieutenant

Extant muster rolls cover the periods:

  • A muster-in roll, dated August 31, 1861 when stationed at Camp Carolina.
  • September-October, 1861 when stationed at Camp Wilks, North Carolina.
  • November-December, 1861 when posted at Camp Vance, North Carolina.
  • March-April, 1862 when stationed near Kinston, North Carolina.
  • January-February, 1864 when stationed in the field.
  • May-June, 1864 when posted in the field.
  • September-October, 1864 while serving in the field.
  • November-December, 1864 when in the field.
  • January-February, 1865 but the station was not recorded.
  • Other rolls fill-in details not covered by muster rolls include:
  • A clothing receipt roll for the 1st Quarter, 1864.
  • A clothing receipt roll for the 2nd Quarter, 1864.
  • A clothing receipt roll for August, 1864.

Company D - The Wake Guards

The Wake Guards mustered into Confederate service on July 11, 1861 and initially camped at Holly Springs, North Carolina. The company was shortly thereafter moved to Raleigh's Camp of Instruction and remained there until the regiment moved out for the Carolina coast.

Officers:

  • Oscar R. Rand, Captain
  • James B. Jordan, 1st Lieutenant
  • James T. Adams, 2nd Lieutenant
  • James W. Vinson, Junior 2nd Lieutenant

Extant muster rolls cover the periods:

  • A muster-in roll, coving the period from July 16 to August 31, 1861, stationed at Camp Carolina.
  • September-October, 1861 when stationed at Camp Wilks, North Carolina.
  • November-December, 1861 when posted at Camp Vance, North Carolina.
  • March-April, 1862, but its station was not recorded.
  • January-February, 1864 when stationed in the field.
  • May-June, 1864 when posted in the field.
  • September-October, 1864 while serving near Petersburg, Virginia.
  • November-December, 1864 when near Petersburg, Virginia.
  • January-February, 1865 when near Petersburg, Virginia.
  •  
  • Other rolls fill-in details not covered by muster rolls include:
  • A clothing receipt roll for the 4th Quarter, 1863.
  • A clothing receipt roll for the 1st Quarter, 1864.
  • A clothing receipt roll for the 2nd Quarter, 1864.
  • A clothing receipt roll for the August, 1864.

Company E - The Independent Guards

The Independent Guards were organized on Maay 28, 1861 at Cartersville, Chatham County, North Carolina. The company marched to Camp Carolina, on July 17, where they were instructed in the fine art of warfare and remained there until the company left for the Carolina coast on September 2, 1861.

Officers:

  • W. S. Webster, Captain
  • William J. Headen, 1st Lieutenant
  • Bryant C. Dunlap, 2nd Lieutenant
  • S. W. Brewer, Junior 2nd Lieutenant

Extant muster rolls cover the periods:

  • A muster-in roll, covering the period August 9 to 31, 1861 when stationed at Camp Carolina.
  • September-October, 1861 when stationed at Camp Wilks, North Carolina.
  • November-December, 1861 when posted at Camp Vance, North Carolina.
  • March-April, 1862 when stationed near Kinston, North Carolina.
  • May-June, 1862 when stationed at Camp Johnston, North Carolina.
  • January-February, 1864 when stationed in the field.
  • May-June, 1864 when posted in the field near Petersburg, Virginia.
  • September-October, 1864 while stationed near Petersburg, Virginia.
  • November-December, 1864 when posted near Petersburg, Virginia.
  • January-February, 1865 but the stationed near Petersburg, Virginia.
  •  
  • Other rolls fill-in details not covered by muster rolls include:
  • A clothing receipt roll for the 4th Quarter, 1863
  • A clothing receipt roll for the 1st Quarter, 1864.
  • A clothing receipt roll for the 2nd Quarter, 1864.
  • A clothing receipt roll for the 3rd Quarter, 1864.

Company F - The Hibriten Guards

This company was organized at Lenoir, Caldwell County, North Carolina. The Hibriten Guards entrained on July 31 and arrived in Raleigh on the next day. The company remained at Camp Crabtree until the regiment was reassigned to the Bouge Banks.

Officers:

  • Nathaniel P. Rankin, Captain
  • Joseph R. Ballew, 1st Lieutenant
  • John B. Holloway, 2nd Lieutenant
  • Alfred T. Stewart, Junior 2nd Lieutenant

Extant muster rolls cover the periods:

  • A muster-in roll, covering the period August 12 to 31, 1861 when stationed at Camp Carolina.
  • September-October, 1861 when stationed at Camp Wilks, North Carolina.
  • November-December, 1861 when posted at Camp Vance, North Carolina.
  • March-April, 1862 when stationed near Kinston, North Carolina.
  • A bounty roll, dated April 18, 1862, station not stated.
  • January-February, 1864 when stationed in the field.
  • May-June, 1864, when camped in the field.
  • September-October, 1864, stationed "on the line near Petersburg, Virginia."
  • November-December, 1864, posted in the field near Petersburg, Virginia.
  • January-February, 1865, stationed in the field near Petersburg, Virginia.
  • Other rolls fill-in details not covered by muster rolls include:
  • A clothing receipt roll for the 4th Quarter, 1863
  • A clothing receipt roll for the 1st Quarter, 1864.
  • A clothing receipt roll for the 2nd Quarter, 1864.
  • A clothing receipt roll for the 3rd Quarter, 1864.

Company G - The Chatham Boys

The Chatham Boys were organized at Matthews, Chatham County, North Carolina on June 21, 1861. The company remained camped at Matthews for four weeks and left for Camp Crabtree on August 7 and arrived there on the 11th.

Officers:

  • William S. McLean, Captain
  • John E. Matthews, 1st Lieutenant
  • George C. Underwood, 2nd Lieutenant
  • Henry C. Albright, Junior 2nd Lieutenant

Extant muster rolls cover the periods:

  • A muster-in roll, covering the period August 12 to 31, 1861 when stationed at Camp Carolina.
  • September-October, 1861 when stationed at Camp Wilks, North Carolina.
  • November-December, 1861 when posted at Camp Vance, North Carolina.
  • March-April, 1862 when stationed near Kinston, North Carolina.
  • A bounty roll, dated April 18, 1862, station not stated.
  • January-February, 1864 when stationed in the field.
  • May-June, 1864, when camped in the field.
  • September-October, 1864 while stationed near Petersburg, Virginia.
  • November-December, 1864 when posted near Petersburg, Virginia.
  • January-February, 1865 but the stationed near Petersburg, Virginia.
  • Other rolls fill-in details not covered by muster rolls include:
  • A clothing receipt roll for the 4th Quarter, 1863
  • A clothing receipt roll for the 1st Quarter, 1864.
  • A clothing receipt roll for the 2nd Quarter, 1864.

Company H - The Moore Independents

The Moore Independents were organized at Carthage, North Carolina on May 13, 1861. On June 3, this company marched to Garysburg, North Carolina and remained there until August 6 when moved to Weldon, North Carolina. On August 16 the company was relocated to Camp Crabtree, where it remained until ordered to the coast.

Officers:

  • William P. Martin, Captain
  • Clement Dowd, 1st Lieutenant
  • James D. McIver, 2nd Lieutenant
  • Robert W. Goldston, Junior 2nd Lieutenant

Extant muster rolls cover the periods:

  • A muster-in roll, covering the period August 26 to 31, 1861 when located at Camp Carolina.
  • September-October, 1861 when posted at Camp Wilks, North Carolina.
  • November-December, 1861 when posted at Camp Vance, North Carolina.
  • March-April, 1862 when camped near Kinston, North Carolina.
  • January-February, 1864 when stationed in the field.
  • May-June, 1864, stationed in the field.
  • September-October, 1864 while stationed near Petersburg, Virginia.
  • November-December, 1864 when posted near Petersburg, Virginia.
  • January-February, 1865 but the stationed near Petersburg, Virginia.
  • Other rolls fill-in details not covered by muster rolls include:
  • A clothing receipt roll for the 4th Quarter, 1863
  • A clothing receipt roll for the 1st Quarter, 1864.
  • A clothing receipt roll for the 2nd Quarter, 1864.

Company I - The Caldwell Guards

The Caldwell Guards enlisted for 12 months, and was accepted into Confederate service on July 26, 1861. They left Lenoir on August 1 and upon reaching Raleigh joined their future comrades at Camp Carolina.

Officers:

  • Wilson S. White, Captain
  • John Carson, 1st Lieutenant
  • John T. Jones, 2nd Lieutenant
  • Milton P. Blair, Junior 2nd Lieutenant

Extant muster rolls cover the periods:

  • A muster-in roll, dated April 17, 1862.
  • A muster roll, covering the period August 26 to 31, 1861 when located at Camp Carolina.
  • September-October, 1861 when posted at Camp Wilks, North Carolina.
  • November-December, 1861 when posted at Camp Vance, North Carolina.
  • March-April, 1862, stationed at Camp Southwest, Kinston, North Carolina.
  • January-February, 1864 when stationed in the field.
  • May-June, 1864, stationed in the field.
  • September-October, 1864 while stationed near Petersburg, Virginia.
  • November-December, 1864 when posted near Petersburg, Virginia.
  • January-February, 1865 but the stationed near Petersburg, Virginia.
  • Other rolls fill-in details not covered by muster rolls include:
  • A clothing receipt roll for the 4th Quarter, 1863
  • A clothing receipt roll for the 1st Quarter, 1864.
  • A clothing receipt roll for the 2nd Quarter, 1864.

Company K - The Pee Dee Wildcats

This company was organized in Anson County, North Carolina. The Wildcats left Wadesboro on August 20, 1861 and reached Raleigh on August 22 and joined the regiment in the process of forming at Camp Carolina.

Officers:

  • James C. Carraway, Captain
  • James S. Kendall, 1st Lieutenant
  • John C. McLauchlin, 2nd Lieutenant
  • William C. Boggan, Junior 2nd Lieutenant

Extant muster rolls cover the periods:

  • A muster roll, covering the period August 26 to 31, 1861 when stationed at Camp Carolina.
  • September-October, 1861 when stationed at Camp Wilks, North Carolina.
  • November-December, 1861 when posted at Camp Vance, North Carolina.
  • January-February, 1862 when stationed at Camp Branch, North Carolina.
  • March-April, 1862 when camped near Kinston, North Carolina.
  • A bounty roll, dated April 18, 1862, station not stated.
  • January-February, 1864 when stationed in the field.
  • May-June, 1864, when camped in the field.
  • September-October, 1864, camped "in the field" near Petersburg, Virginia."
  • Novembe-December, 1864, in the field near Petersburg, Virginia.
  • January-February, 1865, stationed in the field near Petersburg, Virginia.
  • Other rolls fill-in details not covered by muster rolls include:
  • A clothing receipt roll for the 1st Quarter, 1863.
  • A clothing receipt roll for the 4th Quarter, 1863
  • A clothing receipt roll for the 1st Quarter, 1864.
  • A clothing receipt roll for the 2nd Quarter, 1864.
  • A clothing receipt roll for the August, 1864.

Perhaps the most distinguished regiment in the Confederate Army, the 26th North Carolina was organized in Raleigh, North Carolina in the late summer of 1861. It served on the coast of North Carolina until mid-1862, when sent to Richmond to assist in repelling General McClellan in the peninsular campaign of 1862. After spending the summer in Virginia, it returned to eastern North Carolina in the fall and remained there until ordered north to join General Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia and the invasion of Pennsylvania.

While the regiment had fought at New Bern in March 1862 and around Richmond in June and July 1862 and in minor skirmishes in the fall of 1862, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania was the first major test for the regiment, led by Colonel Henry King Burgwyn, Jr., one of the youngest regimental commanders in the Southern army. The regiment's performance at Gettysburg was enough to guarantee their place in history, sustaining more casualties than any other unit of the size on the field.

After a period when the regiment feared it would be consolidated or disbanded due to its losses at Gettysburg, it successfully reorganized itself, and by mid-1864, was again the largest regiment in the Army of Northern Virginia. It fought gallantly at the Wilderness, Spotsylvania Court House, Cold Harbor and in the Petersburg siege.

The remnant of the once proud regiment surrendered at Appomattox Court House on April 9, 1865 with 130 men.

Statistical Analysis

Company F&S A B C D E F G H I K Totals %
Total serving 57 231 190 194 202 211 242 195 196 267 182 2175
KIA/MWIA 5 38 41 23 23 31 46 29 30 27 37 329 15.1
WIA 9 73 83 72 80 100 85 66 75 67 88 782 34.6
POWs 11 85 77 66 105 82 84 80 55 70 53 767 36. 1
Exchanged 1 49 30 29 53 39 40 44 30 24 26 366 47.8
Joined U.S. Army 0 6 11 6 6 3 5 4 1 7 1 50 6.5
Died of disease/
Unknown causes
2 38 32 30 45 26 40 33 31 41 35 354 16.8
Killed Accidents 1 0 0 0 3 0 0 0 0 1 5 .3
Deserted 0 16 14 42 21 17 28 29 31 10 7 215 10.2-
Executed 0 0 0 7 2 0 0 0 1 0 0 10 .3
Discharged 6 27 34 21 35 26 49 25 33 49 23 328 15.5
Transferred 4 11 1 13 8 4 11 6 5 53 8 128 6.1
Appomattox 7 10 13 4 15 17 5 19 9 12 23 134 6.4
Other Paroles 2 0 10 3 8 4 1 8 4 5 1 46 2.2

Recap of Casualties

Date Engagement KIA WIA POW Total
11/1/61 Bouge Island, NC 3 3
3/14/62 New Bern, NC 10 9 73 92
6/25/62 King's School House 5 5 10
6/28/62 Seven Days 3 3
7/1/62 Malvern Hill/Harrison's Landing 10 51 2 63
11/2/62 Rawls' Mill, Martin Co. NC 2 8 3 13
3/14/63 Barrington Ferry, NC 1 4 5
7/1-5/63 Gettysburg, PA 182
(82)
459
(502)
247
(120)
888
(708)
7/4-5/63 South Mtn, MD 2 2
7/12-13/63 Williamsport, MD 5 5
7/14/63 Falling Waters, MD 3 56 59
7/20-8/1/63 Hospitals in N.VA. 7 7
9/13/63 Culpeper C.H., VA 1
10/14/63 Bristoe Station, VA 33
(16)
66
(83)
85 184
(99)
11-12/63 Mine Run, VA 13 1 14
5/5-7/64 The Wilderness, VA 29 62 17 98
5/8-21/64 Spottsylvania C.H., VA 4 10 21 35
5/22-6/64 North Anna, VA 1 1 2
5/25-7/64 Hanover Junction, VA 5 5
6/1-3/64 Cold Harbor, VA 10 16 22
6/10-30/64 Petersburg, VA 3 3
8/16/64 Deep Bottom 2
8/19-20/64 Petersburg, VA 2 3 5
8/21/64 Globe Tavern, VA 7 21 1 27
8/23/64 Weldon Railroad 1
8/25/64 Reams' Station, VA 5 17 1 22
9/30/64 Jones Farm, VA 4 5
10/1/64 Pegram's Farm, VA 1
10/2/64 Harman Road, VA 1
10/14/64 Petersburg, VA 2 2
10/27/64 Burgess' Mill, VA 7 14 60 81
2/5-7/65 Hatcher's Run, VA 4 4
3/5-6/65 Details in SC 3
3/25/65 Fort Stedmand, VA 18 18
4/1/65 Petersburg, VA 3
4/1/65 Five Forks, VA 1 1 2
4/2/65 Petersburg, VA 2 32 34
4/2/65 Hatcher's Run, VA 29 29
Other Petersburg, VA 2 6 4 12
4/2/65 South Side RR, VA 15 20
4/3/65 Richmond, VA Hosps. 20 20
4/3/65 Appomattox River/
Deep Creek 11 11
4/4/65 Amelia C.H., VA 17 17
4/5-6/65 Farmville, VA 2 2
4/8/65 Burkeville, VA 1 1
4/9/65 Appomattox C.H., VA 134 134
4/13/65 Raleigh, NC Hosps. 4 4
4/15/65 Lenoir, NC 2 2
Unknown 10 22 12 47
Deserters taken POW 4 4
Totals 329 782 767 1869

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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Recommended Reading: Lee's Tar Heels: The Pettigrew-Kirkland-MacRae Brigade (Hardcover). Description: The Pettigrew-Kirkland-MacRae Brigade was one of North Carolina's best-known and most successful units during the Civil War. Formed in 1862, the brigade spent nearly a year protecting supply lines before being thrust into its first major combat at Gettysburg. There, James Johnston Pettigrew's men pushed back the Union's famed Iron Brigade in vicious fighting on July 1 and played a key role in Pickett's Charge on July 3, in the process earning a reputation as one of the hardest-fighting units in Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia. Continued below…

Despite suffering heavy losses during the Gettysburg campaign, the brigade went on to prove its valor in a host of other engagements. It marched with Lee to Appomattox and was among the last Confederate units to lay down arms in the surrender ceremony. Earl Hess tells the story of the men of the Pettigrew-Kirkland-MacRae Brigade, and especially the famous 26th North Carolina, chronicling the brigade's formation and growth under Pettigrew and its subsequent exploits under William W. Kirkland and William MacRae. Beyond recounting the brigade's military engagements, Hess draws on letters, diaries, memoirs, and service records to explore the camp life, medical care, social backgrounds, and political attitudes of these gallant Tar Heels. He also addresses the continuing debate between North Carolinians and Virginians over the failure of Pickett's Charge. “[A] welcome addition for the buff, student of Gettysburg, and the casual as well as serious reader of American history.” americancivilwarhistory.org

 

Recommended Reading: Boy Colonel of the Confederacy. Description: Henry King Burgwyn, Jr. (1841-63), the youngest colonel in the Army of Northern Virginia and one of the youngest colonels of the American Civil War, died at the age of twenty-one while leading the Twenty-sixth North Carolina Infantry Regiment into action at the Battle of Gettysburg. In this sensitive biography, originally published by UNC Press in 1985, Archie Davis provides a revealing portrait of the young man's character and a striking example of a soldier who selflessly fulfilled his duty. Drawing on Burgwyn's own letters and diary, Davis also offers a fascinating glimpse into North Carolina society during the antebellum period and the American Civil War.

 

Recommended Reading: Gettysburg--The First Day, by Harry W. Pfanz (Civil War America) (Hardcover). Description: Though a great deal has been written about the battle of Gettysburg, much of it has focused on the events of the second and third days. With this book, the first day's fighting finally receives its due. Harry Pfanz, a former historian at Gettysburg National Military Park and author of two previous books on the battle, presents a deeply researched, definitive account of the events of July 1, 1863. Continued below…

After sketching the background of the Gettysburg campaign and recounting the events immediately preceding the battle, Pfanz offers a detailed tactical description of the first day's fighting. He describes the engagements in McPherson Woods, at the Railroad Cuts, on Oak Ridge, on Seminary Ridge, and at Blocher's Knoll, as well as the retreat of Union forces through Gettysburg and the Federal rally on Cemetery Hill. Throughout, he draws on deep research in published and archival sources to challenge some of the common assumptions about the battle--for example, that Richard Ewell's failure to press an attack against Union troops at Cemetery Hill late on the first day ultimately cost the Confederacy the battle.

 

Recommended Reading: Gettysburg--The Second Day, by Harry W. Pfanz (624 pages). Description: The second day's fighting at Gettysburg—the assault of the Army of Northern Virginia against the Army of the Potomac on 2 July 1863—was probably the critical engagement of that decisive battle and, therefore, among the most significant actions of the Civil War. Harry Pfanz, a former historian at Gettysburg National Military Park, has written a definitive account of the second day's brutal combat. He begins by introducing the men and units that were to do battle, analyzing the strategic intentions of Lee and Meade as commanders of the opposing armies, and describing the concentration of forces in the area around Gettysburg. He then examines the development of tactical plans and the deployment of troops for the approaching battle. But the emphasis is on the fighting itself. Pfanz provides a thorough account of the Confederates' smashing assaults—at Devil's Den and Little Round Top, through the Wheatfield and the Peach Orchard, and against the Union center at Cemetery Ridge. He also details the Union defense that eventually succeeded in beating back these assaults, depriving Lee's gallant army of victory. Continued below...

Pfanz analyzes decisions and events that have sparked debate for more than a century. In particular he discusses factors underlying the Meade-Sickles controversy and the questions about Longstreet's delay in attacking the Union left. The narrative is also enhanced by thirteen superb maps, more than eighty illustrations, brief portraits of the leading commanders, and observations on artillery, weapons, and tactics that will be of help even to knowledgeable readers. Gettysburg—The Second Day is certain to become a Civil War classic. What makes the work so authoritative is Pfanz's mastery of the Gettysburg literature and his unparalleled knowledge of the ground on which the fighting occurred. His sources include the Official Records, regimental histories and personal reminiscences from soldiers North and South, personal papers and diaries, newspaper files, and last—but assuredly not least—the Gettysburg battlefield. Pfanz's career in the National Park Service included a ten-year assignment as a park historian at Gettysburg. Without doubt, he knows the terrain of the battle as well as he knows the battle itself.

 

Recommended Reading: Gettysburg--Culp's Hill and Cemetery Hill (Civil War America) (Hardcover). Description: In this companion to his celebrated earlier book, Gettysburg—The Second Day, Harry Pfanz provides the first definitive account of the fighting between the Army of the Potomac and Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia at Cemetery Hill and Culp's Hill—two of the most critical engagements fought at Gettysburg on 2 and 3 July 1863. Pfanz provides detailed tactical accounts of each stage of the contest and explores the interactions between—and decisions made by—generals on both sides. In particular, he illuminates Confederate lieutenant general Richard S. Ewell's controversial decision not to attack Cemetery Hill after the initial southern victory on 1 July. Pfanz also explores other salient features of the fighting, including the Confederate occupation of the town of Gettysburg, the skirmishing in the south end of town and in front of the hills, the use of breastworks on Culp's Hill, and the small but decisive fight between Union cavalry and the Stonewall Brigade. Continued below...

About the Author: Harry W. Pfanz is author of Gettysburg--The First Day and Gettysburg--The Second Day. A lieutenant, field artillery, during World War II, he served for ten years as a historian at Gettysburg National Military Park and retired from the position of Chief Historian of the National Park Service in 1981. To purchase additional books from Pfanz, a convenient Amazon Search Box is provided at the bottom of this page.

Bibliography

Manuscripts

Burgwyn, William Hyslop Sumner Papers, North Carolina State Archives, private papers collection #4, Raleigh, North Carolina.

Pettigrew Papers, North Carolina State Archives, private papers collection #13, Raleigh, North Carolina.

Vance, Zebulon Baird Papers, North Carolina Archives, private papers collection #15, Raleigh, North Carolina.

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North Carolina Historical Review. Vol. 66 No. I and II. "North Carolina Troops and the Deserter Problem." by Richard Bardolph.
North Carolina Standard.
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