Tarheels During the Civil War

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Great Way to Start off 2011

As of this morning, the proposed Wal-Mart at Wilderness Crossing has been shelved by the company. Simply awesome. This was a fight, I personally, believed would not be won. Folks, if you are not already a member of the Civil War Trust, please become one. Here is the link to the news article. Wal-Mart Backs Out of Wilderness

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Second North Carolina Battalion during Mine Run Campaign

Report of Capt. Edward Smith, Second North Carolina Battalion.
December 4, 1864.

Captain: I have the honor to submit the following report of the operations and conduct of the Second North Carolina Battalion, and casualties occurring therein, from November 27, to December 3, 1863, inclusive, while at Mine Run, Va.:
The battalion was exposed both to musketry and shelling during the time above stated, and acted very well, suffering the following loss.*
Respectfully submitted.
Ed. Smith,
Captain, Comdg. Second North Carolina Battalion.

Capt. J.H. White,
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.

Series I Vol. XXIX (Part I) Ch. XLI Pg. 884.

Second North Carolina Battalion at Gettysburg

Official Report of Captain Van Brown of the Second North Carolina Battalion at Gettysburg.

Report of Capt. Van Brown, Second North Carolina Battalion.
Camp Near Darkesville, W. Va.,
July 19, 1863.

Captain: I have the honor to report that the Second North Carolina Battalion, commanded by Lieutenant-Colonel [H.L.] Andrews, entered the engagement of July 1, with the remainder of the brigade, between the hours of 12 m. and 1 p.m.
The original position in line of the battalion was on the left of the brigade. Afterward, and when the troops on the left of our brigade had become warmly engaged with the enemy, the Forty-third and Fifty-third Regiments were shifted to the left, throwing the battalion in the center, with the Forty-fifth Regiment immediately on its right. Moving forward in this position for a distance of nearly 1 1/2 miles, through open fields, and constantly exposed to a galling fire of artillery and musketry, it encountered the enemy, strongly posted near a deep railroad cut, and along the crest of a hill in rear of the cut. Here the contest was protracted and bloody. Finally, the Thirty-second Regiment moving with and supporting the Forty-fifth and battalion on the right, the enemy were driven in confusion from the railroad cut across the hill into the outskirts of the town, where large numbers of them threw down their arms and surrendered. Many prisoners were also captured by the battalion and the Forty-fifth in the railroad cut.
In this charge, and during the previous advance, the battalion suffered heavily, its loss in officers and men amounting to about two-thirds of the number who entered the fight. It was in the final charge that Lieutenant-Colonel Andrews was killed. He had been wounded already in the hip, but continued to lead his men until struck down within a few yards of the enemy's line. Major [John M.] Hancock was about the same time carried from the field, he having received a wound through the breast. It may justly be said of every officer and man in the battalion that they discharged their whole duty. 
The battalion rested with the rest of the brigade during the night of the 1st under cover of a railroad embankment, and took its position on the morning of the 2d between the Thirty-second and Fifty-third Regiments. This it held during the day, in the afternoon being subjected to a heavy fire of artillery, from which, however, it suffered very little, having lost only 1 man wounded.
On July 3, the battalion, under command of Captain [Van] Brown, was assigned a position on the right of the brigade, and was employed during the day chiefly as skirmishers, in which capacity it rendered important service, losing only 2 men slightly wounded.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant, 
Van Brown,
Capt, Comdg. Second North Carolina Battalion.
Capt. W.M. Hammond,
Assistant Adjutant-General.

Series I Vol. XXVII (Part II) Ch. XXXIX Pgs. 577-578.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

First North Carolina at Bartlett's Mill

Official Report of actions of First North Carolina Troops at Bartlett's Mill.

Report of Capt. Louis C. Latham, First North Carolina Infantry.
December 8, 1863.

Lieutenant: I have the honor to herewith forward to you my official report of the loss sustained by the First North Carolina Troops in the engagement of the 27th ultimo, near Bartlett's Mill.
After leaving the intrenchments occupied by the brigade on Thursday night, the regiment crossed at the mill and halted on the opposite bank to rest. From here the line of march was taken up and continued for about 2 miles, keeping the main road running east to Fredericksburg, when the head of the column was suddenly fired into by a party of the enemy's skirmishers deployed in the woods to our left. The line was immediately halted, fronted, and ordered to load. Companies A and B were thrown out as skirmishers and advanced into the woods. At this point quite a brisk fire was kept up, and occasionally a shot from the enemy's battery passed over the road.
The fire on the line of skirmishers considerably slackening, the direction of our line of battle was changed, the First Regiment, together with the rest of the brigade, being formed in another road, cutting that on which we were marching nearly at right angles, the First occupying the center.
From this position, at 2 p.m., the order was given to forward. The road was crossed in good order, and the line dashed up to a rail fence which bounded an uncultivated field of about 10 acres on the south side, behind which the enemy's skirmishers were concealed, driving them back upon the main line drawn up behind the fence on the north side. The regiment then charged across this field, routing the enemy in disorder from their position. We followed them into the woods about 150 yards, when, our left becoming detached from the right of the Third North Carolina (that regiment having moved by the left to connect with the Thirty-seventh Virginia), it was thought necessary to fall back upon the position originally occupied by the enemy. It was here that Lieutenant-Colonel Brown was wounded and quit the field.
The command devolving upon myself, and the enemy again advancing, I ordered a second charge, driving the enemy in disorder before us and inflicting heavy punishment upon his ranks. Had not our ammunition at this time unfortunately given out, the battery stationed in our front would have fallen into our hands. I sent at different times two messengers  to the rear (Lieutenant day and Sergeant-Major Allen) for a fresh supply of cartridges, both messengers returning with the reply that none could be obtained. I formed the line in rear of the south fence as a support to the cannon stationed in the road, and held the position until relieved by a portion of General Doles' brigade.
Night having set in, I had our wounded and those left by the enemy removed from the field.
From the aspect of the ground over which we fought, I am of the opinion that the enemy must have suffered severely, losing at least three to our one, though from the report of prisoners their number largely exceeded ours. 
I regret extremely that we were in a great degree deprived of the courage and skill of Brigadier-General Steuart, whose attention was occupied at a much more important point on our left.
I have no special mention to make of any particular officer or soldier. Where all acted so well, to single out any individual would be doing injustice to his comrades.
The casualties, of which a statement has been forwarded, amount to 5 killed and 50 wounded.
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
L.C. Latham,
Captain, Commanding First North Carolina Troops.

Series I Vol. XXIX (Part I) Ch. XLI. Pgs. 864

Monday, January 10, 2011

First North Carolina at Chancellorsville

Official Report of the First North Carolina Troops at Chancellorsville.

Report of Lieut. John A. Morgan, Acting Adjutant, First North Carolina Infantry.

May --, 1863.
Sir: I have the honor to submit the following report of the part borne by the First Regiment North Carolina Infantry in the engagements of May 2 and 3, 1863:
The regiment broke camp at Skinker's Neck on Wednesday, 29th ultimo, and took up the line of march for Fredericksburg, where it remained in line of battle supporting the front line until Friday morning, May 1, when we took up the line of march to flank the enemy's right.
Bivouacked Friday night on the Orange and Fredericksburg Plank road, about equidistant from Fredericksburg and the point of attack. Took up the line of march Saturday, and arrived about 4 miles west of Chancellorsville about 3 p.m., where it formed into line on the north side of the road leading from Chancellorsville westward, and supported for a short time the front line, but was soon ordered to the front, when it participated in the engagement of Saturday evening, with a very slight loss.
On Sunday morning the regiment was formed in line of battle on the south side of the road before mentioned, and was ordered to the front as soon as the engagement commenced, where it fought gallantly; but, being flanked, was ordered to retire, which was done in good order, but with heavy loss, including its gallant colonel wounded, besides many other officers and brave men.
On the same day, the enemy having been repulsed, it, with the other regiments of the brigade, was thrown forward and formed into line parallel to the road at Chancellorsville, where it remained under a terrific fire of shell and solid shot for more than an hour.
In the afternoon was again ordered to the front, where it encountered the enemy's sharpshooters and one of his batteries, which poured a deadly shower of grape and canister in our already decimated ranks, compelling it, with the brigade, to retire for a short distance. The advance, no matter for what purpose, only served to increase our already too large list of casualties.
Monday and Tuesday the regiment lay in the works east of Chancellorsville, supporting a battery.
Wednesday it was ordered to where we are now bivouacked; for what purpose I do not deem it necessary to say.
Its list of gallant dead and wounded will tell for themselves the part which the regiment bore.
By order of Lieut. Col. H.A. Brown:
Jno. A. Morgan,
Lieutenant and Acting Adjutant.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

New Books

Just received these two titles with a couple of Christmas gift cards. The first one is The Rashness of That Hour: Politics, Gettysburg, and the Downfall of Confederate Brigadier General Alfred Iverson. Iverson commanded a North Carolina brigade in Rodes' division of Second Corps, and his troops were slaughtered on the first day of Gettysburg. Apparently his men hated him and blamed him for the disaster. Can't wait to crack this one open as it is one of those little known stories that has gotten little attention. Also received  The Bravest of the Brave: the Correspondence of Stephen Dodson Ramseur. The title speaks for itself. The Ramseur collection in the Southern Historical Collection at UNC is very voluminous and sheds light on Ramseur's feelings about the war, high command, etc. Some great new additions to any North Carolina library so check 'em out.