28th North Carolina Infantry: Battle of Chancellorsville

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Report of Col. Samuel D. Lowe, Twenty-eighth North Carolina Infantry.

MAY 8, 1863.
SIR: I have the honor to submit the following report of the part taken
by my regiment in the battle of Chancellorsville:

By command of Gen. Lane, I formed on the right of the brigade
about 11 p.m., May 2, to the right of the Plank road, a little less than
a mile in rear of Chancellorsville. The men rested on their arms in line
of battle.

About 1 a. m., May 3, we found that the enemy were advancing upon
our line with loud and continuous cheers. My men quietly awaited the
charge till within good range, as I supposed, when they opened a
tremendous fire upon the advancing column, which seemed to have the
effect of halting them immediately. The charge was accompanied by a
severe chap fire from a great many pieces of cannon, planted on a
commanding position in the direction of Chancellorsville. Though the
enemy extended his left flank far beyond our right, and my regiment
was on the extreme right of our line, his left did not advance much
more than his right, yet enough to show his intention of turning our
right. This plan was probably defeated by two of my right companies,
which were formed at right angles with the line on a large road. The
officers of my regiment had been instructed to obey and repeat any
orders coming from the left, and, when the fight had almost ceased, the
command to fall back was started by some mistake near the left and
repeated to the right. The regiment at once fell back a short distance
without the least confusion, but without difficulty was reformed in its
proper place. We took several prisoners, such was the confusion of the
enemy and the close proximity of the contending forces; also a flag
belonging to the Third Maine Volunteers, which was captured by
Capt. [Niven] Clark's company (E.)

At 2 a. m. all was quiet, and we were permitted to rest till after
daybreak. Near the time of sunrise their batteries again opened upon us,
killing some of my men. In a very short time Gen. Lane ordered me
to advance my right by a change of direction to the left, which being
done without halting, we charged forward in brigade line of battle,
moving in a line nearly parallel to the Plank road toward
Chancellorsville. When we approached the enemy's breastworks, which
defended his batteries, we were met by such a storm of solid shot,
grape, and canister as I never before witnessed. Here a brigade of
Confederates, a little in advance and on my right, masked the front of
my regiment, excepting two companies on my left. Gen. Lane, being
always present, perceived this, and ordered me to support the line in my
front with whatever companies lapped it. Companies B and G passed on
with the brigade, when the line before me halted. After standing a
murderous fire for some time, my men fell back with the line to a
breastworks which we had just passed over, and formed promptly. They
did not seem discouraged, though our loss had been very heavy. Gen.
Lane then ordered me to assist in holding this line if the enemy charged
upon it. Gen. Stuart now came dashing along the line, ordering us
forward to a second charge. The whole line again advanced and fought
with the most determined courage, the artillery and musketry moving
our men down, till suddenly the Yankees were discovered flanking my
regiment on the right. As I then had no support, I withdrew, and formed
the second time behind the breastworks. Hearing that Gen. Lane was
forming the brigade on the Plank road, I reported to him to know if I
should not join him. While absent, Gen. Stuart again commanded the
line forward, and my regiment charged through the same terrible
artillery firing the third time, led by Capt. [Edward F.] Lovill,
Company A, to the support of our batteries, which had just got into
position on the hill from which those of the enemy had been driven.

My officers behaved very gallantly. I cannot speak in too high terms of
their bravery and activity during the whole of this hard fight. Not
one of them misbehaved, so far as I could observe, but, on the contrary,
all exerted themselves. The men proved themselves veterans.

The loss of my regiment is as follows: 6 officers wounded, 14 men
killed and 84 wounded, as the tabular list annexed will show.*
Respectfully submitted.

SAM. D. LOWE,
Col., Cmdg. Twenty-eighth North Carolina Regt.

Lieut. O. LANE, Aide-de-Camp.

Source: Official Records, Series I, Vol. 25, Part I, Reports. Serial No. 39

28th North Carolina Infantry Regiment

28th North Carolina Infantry Regiment: Statistics

28th North Carolina Infantry Regiment: Battles and Casualties

Brigade, Division, Corps, and Army Assignments for 28th North Carolina Infantry Regiment

28th North Carolina Infantry Regiment: Letters, Newspaper Articles, Papers, Diaries, Memoirs

Battle of Chancellorsville Civil War History with Battlefield Map

 

Recommended Reading: The 28th North Carolina Infantry: A Civil War History and Roster. Description: In April 1861, public opinion in North Carolina was divided between Union and secession supporters. It was only after President Lincoln issued his call to arms to subdue the rebel state of South Carolina that North Carolina seceded, primarily in protest of the order to fight her sister state. Beginning with a look at the prevailing atmosphere in North Carolina in the spring of 1861, this volume provides an in-depth history of one Confederate infantry regiment, the 28th North Carolina, which was comprised primarily of units from the central and southwestern parts of the state. Continued below...

It discusses the various battles in which the 28th North Carolina was involved, including Hanover Court House, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, Chapin's Farm and Appomattox. Special emphasis is placed on the thoughts and surviving accounts provided by those soldiers who witnessed firsthand the atrocities of war. Appendices contain (among other items) a chronology of the 28th North Carolina; a list of casualties among officers; a list of casualties in the 28th from 1862 through 1864; and the full text of letters from two members of the 28th, the Harding brothers. About the Author: Retired research assistant from the Bowman Gray School of Medicine in Winston-Salem, Frances H. Casstevens, is also the author of Clingman's Brigade in the Confederacy, 1862-1865. She is a lifelong resident of Yadkin County, and also an historian, genealogist, and former professor at Wake Forest University.

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