37th North Carolina Infantry: Battle of Chancellorsville

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Report of Col. William M. Barbour, Thirty-seventh
North Carolina Infantry.

CAMP GREGG, VA., May 9, 1863.
CAPT.: I have the honor to submit the following report of the
operations of my regiment in the battle of Chancellorsville, May 3:

After a rapid march, we gained the enemy's right flank on Saturday
evening, and a running fight ensued between the advanced troops of our
army and those of the enemy. Moving rapidly by the right flank, we
soon gained a point near Chancellorsville, where the enemy had several
batteries in position, which did us considerable injury that evening.
After sunset, my regiment was deployed to the right of the road, behind
a small breastwork which the enemy had abandoned. Skirmishers were
thrown forward, and my regiment rested for the night.

Early next morning, I received orders to advance in line of battle and
assail the enemy's works in front, my left resting on the road. I
immediately put my regiment in motion, and advanced steadily under
a murderous fire of grape, shell, and Minie balls. After a desperate
struggle, I succeeded in carrying the breastworks in front and in
capturing a number of prisoners. About this time I received a wound in
my right arm, which compelled me to leave the field. I am informed by
the senior captain, commanding the regiment, that the regiment
continued to advance upon the enemy's second line of entrenchments,
but, in common with the whole brigade, was compelled to retire by an
enfilade fire from the enemy's artillery and infantry.

During the entire engagement my officers and men behaved gallantly.
Lieut. Charlton C. Ragin, Company K, was killed, gallantly
commanding his company.

The annexed tabular statement* will show that my total loss is as
follows: 1 officer killed, 19 officers wounded, 35 men killed, 175
wounded, 8 men missing.

I do not hesitate to say that it was the bloodiest battle that I have very
witnessed. The Seventh North Carolina was on my right, and, as its
field officers and many of the company officers are killed and wounded,
I may be permitted to allude to the gallant manner in which its officers
and men advanced upon the enemy's entrenchments. I doubt not that the
other regiments of the brigade also behaved gallantly, but they were still
farther to my right, and, of course, did not come under my observation.

In conclusion, I shall always feel proud of the noble bearing of my
officers and men on the bloody field, but sad when I reflect how many
who charged the enemy's entrenchments with me are numbered with the

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

Col. Thirty-seventh North Carolina Troops.

Capt. GEORGE B. JOHNSTON, Actg. Asst. Adjt. Gen.

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

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37th North Carolina Infantry Regiment

37th North Carolina Infantry Regiment: Historical Sketch

37th North Carolina Infantry Regiment: Statistics

37th North Carolina Infantry Regiment: Battles and Casualties

Brigade, Division, Corps, and Army Assignments for 37th North Carolina Infantry Regiment

37th North Carolina Infantry Regiment: Letters, Newspaper Articles, Papers, Diaries, Memoirs

Recommended Reading: The Thirty-seventh North Carolina Troops: Tar Heels in the Army of Northern Virginia, by Michael C. Hardy. Description: It vividly reflects the unit’s four years’ service, told largely in the soldiers’ own words. Drawn from letters, diaries, and postwar articles and interviews, this history of the 37th North Carolina follows the unit from its organization in November 1861 until its surrender at Appomattox. Continued below...
The book includes photographs of the key players in the 37th’s story as well as maps illustrating the unit’s position at several engagements. Appendices include a complete roster of the unit and a listing of individuals buried in large sites such as prison cemeteries. (Great for genealogy, too.) A bibliography and index are also included.

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