18th North Carolina Infantry Regiment at the Battle of Chancellorsville

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Report of Lieut. Col. Forney George, Eighteenth North Carolina Infantry.

CAMP GREGG, VA., May 9, 1863.
SIR: I beg leave to submit the following report of the part taken by the
Eighteenth Regt. North Carolina troops in the late battle of

Early on the morning of the 2d instant, we were drawn up in line of
battle about three-fourths of a mile to the right of the Plank road leading
from Fredericksburg to Chancellorsville, and about 1 1/2 or 2 miles
from the latter place. We were then ordered forward to support one of
our batteries, which was engaging the enemy. Very soon the battery was
disabled and withdrawn, and we lost 1 man killed and another mortally
wounded by the shelling of the enemy.

Between 8 and 9 o'clock we took up our line of march across and to the
left of the Plank road, and by the way of Welford's Iron Forge, the
enemy shelling us as we passed; thence, by a circuitous route of some
8 or 10 miles, we reached the Turnpike road leading from Orange
Court-House to Fredericksburg, and about dark of the 2d instant came
upon the right flank and to the rear of the enemy, and for a short time
were exposed to very severe shelling, by which we lost several killed
and wounded. We were then drawn up in line of battle on the left of the
turnpike, our right resting on the road, and ordered to charge the
enemy's battery, some distance in our front. We had not advanced far
(being informed that there was no one but the enemy in front of us)
before Gen. A. P. Hill and staff, who had been fired upon by the
enemy, rushed upon our line in order to effect their escape, when our
men, thinking it was a cavalry charge from the enemy, fired several
rounds at them, doing some damage before the mistake was discovered.
Very soon the enemy opened fire upon us, killing and wounding several
of our men. We were then ordered across and to the right of the
turnpike, and formed about 300 yards from and perpendicular to the
During the night the enemy advanced upon us twice, and each time he
was repulsed in handsome style. We captured 3 prisoners, one a
lieutenant and aide to Gen. [A. S.] Williams.

Early on the morning of the 3d instant, we were ordered forward to
charge the enemy's breastworks and a battery mounting twenty-eight
guns. The men moved forward in good order. The first line of works
was carried without hinderance or damage; then we advanced to within
a few yards of the second line of works, and about 200 yards of the
battery mounting twenty-eight guns, when the enemy opened upon us a
most terrific and galling fire of grape, shell, and Minie balls. We held
our ground, suffering very severely, for about half an hour, when the
enemy, being heavily re-enforced, turned the right of our line, leaving
our right flank exposed. We were then ordered to fall back, and just
then our gallant colonel (T. J. Purdie), encouraging his men both by
word and example, was killed instantly by a Minie ball passing directly
through his forehead. We were then taken back and formed on the left
of the turnpike, and the regiment acted as skirmishers for most of the
time until the battle was ended. Both officers and men behaved well
throughout the entire engagement.

Our casualties during the whole time were 34 killed, 99 wounded, and
21 missing.*

All of which is respectfully submitted.

Lieut. Col., Cmdg. 18th Regt. North Carolina Troops.

Brig. Gen. JAMES H. LANE.

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

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