North Carolina in the American Civil War

13th NC Regiment (Infantry)

Date Regiment Organized

Mustered In

 Date Regiment Ended

Mustered Out

Comments

April 26, 1862

Yorktown, VA

April 9, 1865

Appomattox, VA

A Re-Organization of the
3rd NC Volunteers

Field Officers

Colonel(s)

Lt. Colonel(s)

Major(s)

Adjutant(s)

Chaplain(s)

Alfred Moore Scales,
Joseph H. Hyman

Thomas Ruffin, Jr.,
Joseph H. Hyman,
Henry A. Rogers,
Elijah Benton Withers

John T. Hambrick,
Joseph H. Hyman,
Henry A. Rogers,
Elijah Benton Withers,
Thomas A. Martin

Jasper Fleming,
Henry A. Walker,
George W. Anderson,
Calvin E. Grier

H.G. Hill,
George T. Williams,
William A. Vann

Commissary(ies)

Surgeon

Assistant Surgeon

Assistant Surgeon

Assistant QM(s)

Erasmus D. Scales

John Henry McAden

Frank A. Walker

William G. Stephens

Charles D. Hill

Companies / Captains

Company A - Caswell County
Yanceyville Grays

Company B - Mecklenburg County
Ranaleburgh Riflemen

Company C - Caswell County
Milton Blues

Company D - Caswell County
Leasburgh Grays

Company E - Alamance County
Alamance Regulators

Capt. Elijah Benton Withers,
Capt. Ludolphus B. Henderson

Capt. Albert A. Erwin,
Capt. William W. Robinson

Capt. Leonard H. Hunt,
Capt. William W. Rainey,
Capt. Thomas C. Evans

Capt. Henry A. Rogers,
Capt. Thomas J. Stephens,
Capt. William G. Woods

Capt. Elbridge Cook,
Capt. Thomas A. Martin,
Capt. James D. Bason

Companies / Captains (Continued)

Company F - Davie County
Davie Greys

Company G - Edgecombe County
Edgecombe Rifles

Company H - Rockingham County
Rockingham Guards

Company I - Rockingham County
Rockingham Rangers

Company K - Rockingham County
Dixie Boys

Capt. George Foster,
Capt. Franklin Williams,
Capt. Julius Roessler

Capt. Joseph H. Hyman,
Capt. John A. Fuqua,
Capt. Grey L. Brown

Capt. Anthony Benning Johns, Jr.
Capt. Thomas T. Lawson,
Capt. Robert L. Moir

Capt. Chalmers Glenn,
Capt. Robert H. Ward,
Capt. Rowland S. Williams

Capt. Giles Pink Bailey,
Capt. Robert L. Watt,
Capt. Hugh Lindsay Guerrant

Brief History of Regiment*

[On November 14, 1861, all volunteer regiments were "re-designated" to have ten more added to their regiment number, thus the 3rd NC Volunteers Regiment became known as the 13th NC Regiment (State Troops); however, this was not embraced by any of the regiments until their one-year enlistment was up and the officers were allowed to elect new leaders.]


Immediately after the re-organization of the 3rd NC Volunteers into the 13th NC Regiment, the army which had been under the command of Maj. Gen. John B. Magruder (VA), but then placed under the command of General Joseph E. Johnston (VA), and began our march up the Peninsula. We left the works on Saturday night and marched all night through the mud, in many places knee deep, and at dawn we were several miles on the road leading to Williamsburg, VA. At a large church, where another road crossed ours, we could see to the right, toward the York River, that the road was packed with troops. Just coming in sight on the left, towards the James River, we saw troops in large masses, which a little later on we found to be the enemy, but at the time, in the early twilight, we supposed to be our troops. We were being pushed on at a rapid rate. Finally we reached Williamsburg, and notwithstanding a torrent of rain was then falling, the lusty cheers that went up from the wet and ragged troops would have terrified the enemy had they been a little nearer. Our brigade was in the rear, and we could not imagine what was the trouble in the front, but as we entered that ancient burg we joined in the yells too, for it seemed to me that there were more young ladies and prettier ones than we had ever seen.

Brig. Gen. Raleigh E. Colston's (VA) Brigade and the 13th NC Regiment were marched into a small lot near the old female college and were trying to make fires as the rain was falling in sheets. A courier came dashing up and called for Brig. Gen. Colston. His brigade was ordered right back through the town the way it had just marched in. We were run about one mile to a piece of wooded land on the left. In a little spot of cleared land we passed our Brigadier sitting on his horse saying: "Hurry up! Hurry up!" The 13th NC Regiment was double-quicked across a little flat, up a knoll, into an old fortification said to have been made by Lord Cornwallis. Lt. Col. Thomas Ruflfin was in command of the left wing of our regiment. As stated, it was a dark and rainy day. The writer of this sketch noticed troops advancing through the woods in our front, and called to Lt. Col. Ruffin to know if they were not "Yanks." Some wanted to fire on them. Lt. Col. Ruffin said: "No; hold on until you get orders." He looked and satisfied himself and called to his regiment to commence firing.

The enemy all had oil-cloth over their uniforms, which made it difficult to determine to which side they belonged. So, when they heard the order to commence firing and the men leveled their guns on them, the officer in command stepped forward with uplifted hands and cried out: "Hold your fire, for God's sake! We are your friends." We did so. The officer who stepped out gave the command "Right half wheel!" which threw his left wing to the center of the 13th NC Regiment, and at the same time they charged us after discharging their guns. It was a hand-to-hand fight, which lasted but a few minutes. Only those from the center to the left were engaged. Capt. Giles P. Bailey, of Company K, was shot and stabbed. Thomas Loftis, who is still living, was shot and bayoneted too, but his Captain said that Loftis gave three of the blues "their furloughs" before he fell. I do not know the casualties of the engagement. It was short but hot while it lasted. This was the first engagement the 13th NC Regiment had been in, and I suppose no regiment ever met an enemy cooler. Not a man moved except to the front. We were withdrawn from that position late in the night and followed the retreating army of General Joseph E. Johnston (VA) and General Pierre G.T. Beauregard (SC) all night through mud from ankle-deep to waist-deep. The wagons mired down and a great amount of our baggage had to be thrown off into the mud before they could be got out.

Some very amusing things happened. My company had a man named Josiah K. McCoy who was a sergeant. He got stuck in the mud so deep that he could not move. He looked up and saw Lt. Col. Ruffin dragging through the mud on his horse. He called out: "Oh! Colonel, don't leave me here, the Yanks will get me." "Who are you?" said the Lt. Colonel. "Sergeant Josiah K. McCoy," said the poor fellow. Lt. Col. Ruffin called out: "Company I, send a detail back and pull Sergeant Josiah K. McCoy out of the mud!" When the detail reached him he was in up to his belt. On we came; on and on; finally we reached Richmond, VA, on Saturday night, the exact date I do not remember, but we were one week on the road, or in the mud.

After a few days Federal Maj. Gen. George B. McClellan threw a corps of his troops across the Chickahominy River on the Charles City Road and advanced to Seven Pines. About this time the army was re-organized. The troops of each State were brigaded together. The 13th NC Regiment was taken from Brig. Gen. Raleigh E. Colston's Virginia Brigade and placed under Brig. Gen. Samuel Garland (VA), who was in command at the battle of Seven Pines. Brig. Gen. Garland was leading his brigade forward across the field, when Maj. Gen. Daniel H. Hill (NC), dashed up and ordered him to deploy his brigade and rush forward, stating that the enemy was strongly entrenched just below "that natural fence in front of you," and added "there is a Virginia brigade just from Norfolk that has refused to advance beyond the fence; run over the cowards." The 13th NC Regiment rushed forward under Colonel Alfred M. Scales. About two hundred (200) yards in front we found a ditch thrown up, with a hedge of mock-orange on the embankment, which made a splendid natural defense. There were the Norfolk troops. We did as ordered. I remember stepping on a broad-backed fellow where he lay, and he gave a good nudge and over the hedge I bounded. About this time I looked around and saw that the whole regiment was clear.

We dashed down the slope. The enemy turned loose their cannon, grape, canister, bombs, rifle shot, and, in fact, it seemed like the air was full of lead and cast-iron. When the enemy saw our determination they beat a hasty retreat. We slept on the battlefield that night. I was not in a position to learn the number of casualties. Next morning the enemy were all on the east side of the Chickahominy River, and we, the 13th NC Regiment, in Brig. Gen. Samuel Garland's Brigade, were withdrawn to within sight of Richmond. In a few days the enemy recrossed the river and advanced up the Charles City Road. Brig. Gen. Garland's Brigade was sent out to meet them. The enemy commenced shelling us up the road. While the 13th NC Regiment was lying in a ditch, Brig. Gen. Garland came up leading his horse along behind the works and stopped just behind the 13th NC Regiment and immediately where I was. Soon the enemy got the range and sent a bomb which passed between the General and his horse, then another passed and exploded in his rear. We begged him to come in, but he smiled and said: "You boys take care of yourselves; never mind me."

He immediately ordered the 13th NC Regiment forward, and we went about two hundred (200) yards, when we were halted and ordered to send videttes forward into the thicket to reconnoiter. Lt. Robert H. Ward, of Company I, asked if anyone would volunteer. I offered my services, provided someone would give me a canteen of water. I think there were at least a dozen canteens offered me at the same time. The only Yank I saw down there all day was in the top of a tall pine tree and I would not have seen him if he had not called to me with a bullet from his rifle. The bullet struck the ground just behind me, which made me know that he was above me. I looked, and finally he shot the second time, and I found him by the smoke from his gun; he was astride a limb near the top of a long-leaf pine. I waited for him to present arms the third time; then I was ready also, and I took the first shot at a range of one hundred and fifty (150) yards. He dropped his gun, threw up his hands, reeled back and fell some seventy-five (75) feet, and I heard him strike the ground. After dark I was sent for and rejoined my regiment near Richmond again.

The next morning (June 26th) it was evident that the enemy was advancing all along the line. The whole of the army was marching and counter-marching and taking positions. I am entirely at sea with regard to dates, but will say that Maj. Gen. Daniel H. Hill's (NC) Division was sent around on the Mechanicsville Road to join Maj. Gen. Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson's Corps on the enemy's right flank. At that time Brig. Gen. Samuel Garland's Brigade of North Carolina Troops, with the 13th NC Regiment, was under Maj. Gen. Daniel H. Hill. We pushed along the line to the extreme left. When we reached the Richmond and Mechanicsville Road we heard heavy firing from musketry and cannon. We advanced slowly down a long hill to the bottorn. The 13th NC Regiment halted just where the road started up grade. The firing was terrific down the creek just below us. We heard the rebel yell. Within a few minutes a courier came dashing up and reported that Col. William W. Pender, who was in command of a North Carolina brigade, had made a gallant charge and driven the enemy across the creek at Gaines's Mill. Just at this time Maj. John T. Hambrick, of the 13th NC Regiment, was sitting on his horse across the road. The enemy had taken position on top of the hill in front of us and turned loose some solid shot right down the road which we occupied. The Major was reminded of his danger, but said: "Attend to your business." About that time a twenty-four-pound shot struck in the road some distance from where we were, and the second bounce, struck the horse just behind the Major's thigh and knocked the horse from under him into the ditch, among us boys, as "dead as a door-nail." The Major was badly bruised from the jar. He was sent back to Richmond, where he resigned, and Capt. Henry A. Rogers, of Company D, was elected in his place. [not accurate - Jesse H. Hyman replaced Hambrick, Rogers replaced Hyman]

The 13th NC Regiment advanced slowly all night and skirmished with the enemy, who were falling back very stubbornly Next morning, June 27th, if memory serves me, we found Maj. Gen. Stonewall Jackson's old command, which had fought and won three grand victories over Federals Maj. Gen. Nathaniel P. Banks, Brig. Gen. James Shields, and Maj. Gen. Robert H. Milroy in the Valley, and had left them to wonder while he slipped up in Maj. Gen. George B. McClellan's rear. The 13th NC Regiment, then under Brig. Gen. Samuel Garland (VA) and Maj. Gen. Daniel H. Hill (VA), was with Maj. Gen. Jackson. He led us directly south to what is known as the Cold Harbor battlefield. We encountered the enemy about 1 o'clock. They began shelling the road. This was the first thing we knew; but, of course, Major Generals Jackson and Hill knew where they were. Brig. Gen. Garland's Brigade was double-quicked to the right of the road, behind a clump of woods, to the head of a small boggy branch and crossed over into a small cleared patch of land. Here Col. Afred M. Scales formed the 13th NC Regiment, ready to advance. The enemy found us out and commenced shelling us terribly. B. B. Styers, of Company I, was killed by a shell at my left hand.

Just then Maj. Gen. Hill came riding up and told Col. Scales that the enemy were advancing on us through the field, just over the fence, and to advance at once. At the top of a steep hill, which was about ninety yards, there was a high new fence. Maj. Gen. Hill ordered us not to climb it, but to tear it down, run over it, and to charge the enemy. We marched steadily up the bluff to the fence, every man seized the fence and rushed against it and it fell as if a tornado had struck it. Down the hill we went, yelling and shooting like mad men. The enemy ran like sheep before a pack of dogs. We were pursuing them in a southerly course. Maj. Gen. Hill had come up where we had torn the fence down; there he saw the enemy on our left flank advancing and about to enfilade Brig. Gen. Garland's Brigade. Brig. Gen. Garland ordered a change of front. Col. Scales rushed in front of the 13th NC Regiment, as cool as if we had been on drill; his voice rang clear. He gave the command "Battalion, left half wheel!" The old 13th NC Regiment swung aroung like a door on its hinges. By the time we fronted our new position the enemy were within one hundred and fifty (150) yards of us at a large dwelling house and in position behind a fence along the road, with their guns poked thnough the fence. There we met the most galling storm of lead. We charged the fence up a long slant and poured lead back at them as fast as we could load, shoot and charge.

Here again I am not able to give the number of casualties of my regiment, but it was something terrible. I know that in my company, which was Company I, at the foot of the little hill one of my file at the right of the company, Yancey Coleman, fell, and next his brother Milton. Next I saw Noel Rhodes fall. They were all killed. Ingraham Rhodes fell wounded in the thigh, Mat. Apple was killed, Micajah Warren fell. It seemed that all would be killed before we could dislodge the enemy. But on we went. When we were within fifty feet of the fence a bomb exploded over our heads so close to us that the concussion stunned me; I fell, and was unconscious for three hours. When I regained my senses the sun was setting and the enemy gone from the fence. The dead and dying were all around me.

Will Pinnix, of Company A, was lying across my legs, shot through the lungs, and was crying for water. I gave him some and got up to leave, but fell again; I found that my limbs were for the time paralyzed. I crawled down the hill, where I found the 13th NC Regiment, or what was left of it. Willie Stone, of Company H, was lying on the field next morning seemingly dead. The ball went in at one temple just behind his eyes and out at the other. His eyes were both pushed out of their sockets. We marched that day down to the Chickahominy River. We left Stone lying on the ground. It was Saturday morning when we left; the battle was Friday evening, June 27th. Wednesday following the man who owned the place went back to his home to see what had been done by the army. He heard a strange noise in the swamp. When he went down there he found young Stone crawling through the thicket hunting for water. Stone had revived and found that his eyes were out and took his fingers and put them back, but he was blind. F. J. Stone, at Stoneville, NC, is his brother.

Sunday, all day, we were on the north side of the Chickahominy River; the enemy had destroyed the bridge and we had to build one of logs, which took all day Sunday and all Sunday night. During the day Maj. Gen. James Longstreet (VA) was swooping down on Maj. Gen. George B. McClellan's troops to the south of the river. We could hear the cannon, musketry and the yells, but could do nothing until the bridge was done. Monday morning, June 30th, we crossed over and hurried on. When we struck the road where Maj. Gen. Longstreet fought Sunday it was indeed a woeful sight to behold; for acres and acres untold the enemy were lying in heaps. We passed by a nice-looking country house and before it was a stile or uplifting block and on it sat a Union soldier with his feet crossed and his gun between his legs, but he was dead and as stiff as the stone upon which he was sitting. He was wounded the evening before and came running with his gun in his hand and dropped down on the step, crossed his legs and died. We pushed on and overtook the enemy at Malvern Hill on July 1st.

The position that Brig. Gen. Garland's Brigade, and especially that of the 13th NC Regiment, occupied was one of the most difficult and dangerous that I was ever in up to that time, or even after it. We were marched across a large field of bottom land, across a creek, through briers, vines, and every kind of obstacle, along up an old plantation cartway to the top of a high hill. As soon as we passed through the woods we were confronted by the strongest line of works I ever faced—with cannon so thick that it did not seem that a wagon could more than pass between them. We were only about one hundred and twenty-five (125) yards from them. Col. Scales saw the situation, and ordered the 13th NC Regiment to charge the works. At first sight it seemed that the enemy was massed between their cannon in double column closed in mass. The enemy opened the most terrific and destructive fire in the face of the old 13th NC Regiment that ever any troop met since the world began. Within five (5) minutes it was impossible to distinguish one man from another on account of the smoke and the dust caused from the cannon in our immediate front. The men would rush forward as they were urged, and then it seemed as though the whole line would sway back as a field of corn would before a wind. Though the sun was shining bright, when we went in everything was soon so dark one could scarcely see. Men were falling like leaves in an autumn wind.

I had my gun shot in two in my hands, one finger taken off and five (5) bullet holes through my clothes; some three (3) of them drew blood. It was a useless undertaking at that point. When I got wounded I retired two (2) miles in the rear. Bombs were falling and bursting in many places from Maj. Gen. George B. McClellan's gunboats on the James River. I fell back to the road leading from Richmond to Yorktown and found hundreds of troops from different States yelling "Fifth Alabama!" others, such and such a regiment. I called out "Thirteenth North Carolina, Garland's Brigade!" A voice from a little flickering light, for it was now dark, said: "Here!" I went up, and to my surprise and delight, I found Brig. Gen, Samuel Garland and one of his staff sitting there broiling a piece of fat Nassau meat and catching the grease on one of those old "hardtacks." He looked up at me and said: "I see you are wounded?" I told him I was. By this time he had the meat broiled. He laid it on the cracker and handed it to me. I begged to be excused, but he insisted, stating that he would cook more for himself. When I had eaten the ration he said: "Lie down here; I am going to stay right here and see if I can reorganize my poor skeleton of a brigade." Next morning I was awakened by the rain falling in my face and got up. He told me to go and report to Dr. John H. McAden and get my wound dressed. I speak of this to show the reader what a kind and good-hearted man Brig. Gen. Garland was. And I regret to say this was the last time I ever saw this brave and good man. I was furloughed sixty (60) days, the army made its tour into Maryland and Brig. Gen. Samuel Garland fell in battle at South Mountain (aka Boonsboro Gap), MD.

The 13th NC Regiment during the remainder of the war fought with Lt. Gen. Stonewall Jackson's Corps, Maj. Gen. A. P. Hill's (VA) Division. The whole world knows that the troops under Jackson did hard fighting and made many long marches when other troops were in quarters. The 13th MC Regiment participated in the battles of Second Manassas, Harper's Ferry, Boonsboro Gap, and Sharpsburg. I met the shattered remnant of the old 13th NC Regiment at Bunker Hill, VA, just after the army recrossed the Potomac River, and a most pitiful sight it was to behold. I found Company I in command of the Fourth Sergeant, and he was barefooted. Lt. Col. Thomas Ruffin was in command of the regiment. He appointed me Second Sergeant and told me to take command. Col. Duncan K. MacRae, of the 5th NC Regiment, was in command of Brig. Gen. Garland's Brigade. He and Lt. Col. Ruffin were not on good terms, and General Robert E. Lee transferred the 13th NC Regiment to Brig. Gen. William D. Pender's (NC) Brigade; then the boys were happy, as we were again with our first colonel. Brig. Gen. Pender's Brigade then was composed of the 13th, 16th, 22nd, 34th, and 38th NC Regiments, one of the best brigades in the army, with one of the bravest and coolest generals in the world.

After the army recrossed the Potomac River there was but little fighting the remainder of the summer and fall of 1862, except now and then a little cavalry skirmish. In the month of November of 1862, the 13th NC Regiment was at Darksville, VA, watching the Yanks. We got orders to cook three days' rations and be ready at a moment's notice to march. The order came; we marched down the Valley Turnpike, crossed the mountains at Snicker's Gap and on to Fredericksburg. We marched the distance in thirteen days and many of our boys were barefooted. I saw blood in many places. We waded all the streams except the Rappahannock River; we crossed that on a pontoon bridge. The weather was cold indeed. We had been in the vicinity of Fredericksburg but a few days when Federal Maj. Gen. Abrose E. Burnside commenced crossing the river at Fredericksburg. Brig. Gen. William D. Pender's (NC) Brigade, with his five North Carolina regiments, including the 13th, was drawn up on the west side of the railroad behind Cutts' Battalion of artillery, which was posted on a knoll southeast of the city. Brig. Gen. James H. Lane's Brigade of North Carolina troops was on Brig. Gen. Pender's right, along the railroad, up in the direction of Guinea Station. We got there in position before daylight on December 13th.

The snow lay on the ground some six or seven inches deep. Men had not drawn their winter shoes, clothes, or blankets. Our suffering was beyond description. There was a dense fog which enveloped the whole plain. One could not see eighty (80) paces away. About 9:30 o'clock a.m. our picket line was heard firing in front. Soon they came in and reported the enemy advancing. Our batteries opened fire and the enemy responded vigorously. The 13th NC Regiment was immediately behind the battery and the enemy who had taken a position on a knoll beyond the railroad, above the city, got the range at once, and shells began to plow the ground. The shells came in showers after the first duel. I raised my head out of the snow and looked to see what had happened. Just at that time they renewed the shelling. I saw one strike a sergeant in Company G, from Edgecombe County, in the breast and explode. It blew him all to atoms. Another struck one of Company B, from Mecklenburg County, just above his eyes; it uncapped his head. He staid up on his knees and hands for at least a minute. His brains staid intact and quivered; finally he sank down on his face in the snow. There were some twenty (20) others of the 13th NC Regiment killed within ten minutes.

Just then the sun, which we had not seen that day, burst through the fog. We looked across the plain and saw five (5) columns of Federal troops advancing. The first column was within one hundred (100) yards of the railroad, where Brig. Gen. Lane's Brigade was posted. He let them advance within sixty or eighty paces and gave orders to commence firing, which they did, and it seemed that the front column melted away. The second column charged, but met the same fate at that point. But in front of Cutts' Battery, where we were, they succeeded in driving out the strong picket line in the railroad cut and commenced killing the gunners and horses. Just then Brig. Gen. William D. Pender (NC) came riding down his line among the hail of shot and shells, his left hand hanging down and blood streaming down his fingers. A ball had gone through his arm between the bones. Col. Alfred M. Scales bounded up out of the snow and said: "General, I see you are wounded." He said: "Oh, that is a trifle; no bone is broken. I want you to send at least two companies down to the railroad and drive those scoundrels out. They are killing Colonel Cutts' men and horses." Col. Scales called out to Capt. Robert H. Ward, of Company I, and Capt. Leonard H. Hunt, of Company C, to go. It was about two hundred (200) yards, in a plain, open field. When we got up from our snowbeds we were so stiff we could scarcely walk, but the Yankee bullets soon made us forget that. We double-quicked right down the hill, through the shower of lead, until we were within twenty-five (25) yards of the cut, before we fired a gun. We gave them what we had frozen in our guns and charged bayonets, and out they went. We reloaded and kept pushing them on over the first banks of the plain. We held our position until dark, when we were recalled to the brigade, which was in the woods in rear of where we had been during the day.

We found the boys with good fires, warming themselves. One of my company, George Lowder, had gotten so badly frozen that he died that night. I lost four toenails from the cold. We had a "snack" to eat and were told that Lt. Gen. Stonewall Jackson was going to take his corps, put white strips on their arms, charge through to the river and cut loose the pontoon bridges and bag the whole of Maj. Gen. Burnside's army, but that idea was abandoned, and we bivouacked around the fires until morning. Then we found the enemy had, sure enough, crossed the river during the night, and we boys were glad; but it was said that old Stonewall was mad because he was not allowed to carry out his plan the overnight. After two (2) days we marched down some twelve miles below Guinea Station to a large timbered tract, some four (4) miles from the river, and established our winter quarters and named our camp after Brig. Gen. Maxcy Gregg, of South Carolina, who had fallen in battle at Fredericksburg.

The only battle we had that winter was with Brig. Gen. Samuel McGowan's Brigade of South Carolina. In the month of January there came a heavy snow. The South Carolina brigade attacked Brig. Gen. William D. Pender's (NC) Brigade, with colors flying, for a snowball battle. The Tarheel boys, in that, as in the other, did not see fit to retreat, so they met them at the branch and it was a hard fight, and finally the Tarheels charged them, ran them into their quarters and on through camp, demolished a goodly number of shanties, and returned to their own quarters with but one casualty— that was the red-headed Adjutant of the 13th NC Regiment, who was struck in the eye with a snowball nested with a flint rock.

The writer of this sketch was elected 3rd Lieutenant by a unanimous vote of his company, December 28th, just after going into winter quarters. During the month of April, 1863, the 13th NC Regiment was sent up near Gordonsville on a kind of provost duty. We were having a nice time, but on Friday night, May 1st, a courier came dashing into camp with orders for the 13th NC Regiment to join its command, which was then marching. We fell in about 8:30 o'clock p.m. The courier acted as a guide. We marched all night and all day next day through plantations, along rough country roads, until about three o'clock we fell into what was called the Old Mine Road, and exactly struck the head of Lt. Gen. Stonewall Jackson's Corps (VA), with Jackson at its head. We commenced cheering him. He ordered it stopped. We began to smell a mouse. Then, very soon, we struck the Orange Court House and Chancellorsville Road, turned at a right angle, advanced down same a mile or more. Brig. Gen. Wiliam D. Pender's (NC) Brigade and the 13th NC Regiment filed to the left of the road about four hundred (400) yards through the wilderness, were halted and came to a front. "Forward!" was next. We went about two hundred (200) yards and came to a field which was white as snow with Yankee tents; we leaped the fence and charged them before they knew that we were there. Some were writing letters, some were playing cards, some were shaving, some were cooking beef and, in fact, everything usually done in an army camp was going on. Their guns were stacked and their accoutrements hanging on the stacks, and we gave them no time to get them, but chased them through the field. They circled around and hit the Chancellorsville Road and made the dust fly. We followed as rapidly as we possibly could, fell into the same road in column and were double-quicking at a rapid rate. Lt. Gen. Jackson and staff came thundering down the road by us, and as he passed the head of Brig. Gen. Pender's Brigade, which was the 13th NC Regiment, he called out to halt and throw out a strong skirmish line to protect the column and to "press the enemy until nightfall."

The detail was made from the 13th NC Regiment. I was detailed to command it. I deployed my men and pushed forward; we had gone about one-half mile; it was getting in the twilight fast, when all of a sudden the enemy in front, and not over a quarter of a mile away, turned loose a battery immediately up the road; grape and canister were scraping the ground, and at the same time musketry mixed in; bullets were coming up the road thick. My skirmishers were deployed on both sides and I was in the road; but when the Yankee bullets and grape were turned loose I jumped to the right of the road and fell behind a log that lay there on a little knoll. A loose horse came from the direction of the shooting. As he passed me he neighed. I thought very strange of this. In about a minute another horse came from the same direction. The firing ceased; I heard behind me Brig. Gen. Pender call out: "Forward, battalion!" I cried: "Forward, skirmishers!" When I slid down into the road I observed an object which seemed to be wabbling along towards me; I stooped low and peeped; I called: "Who comes there?" and expected to be answered with lead, but was told "Friends." By this time we had met. I could see that it was someone on a litter, and he was groaning heavily. I asked: "Who is this wounded?" They answered: "A Confederate officer." I did not dream that it was our so much beloved chief, Lt. Gen. Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson, nor did I learn it until after the battle of Chancellorsville was over with next day.

This may seem to the reader to conflict with the statement sent out by the Richmond papers at that time; also of the statement of the author of the "Wearing of the Gray" and "Surry of the Eagle's Nest"; but I have only intended from start to finish not to write a single line or word that I did not know to be the truth; and I do positively know that not a single gun had been fired by my detail on that memorable night of May 2nd, on which our noble and matchless leader was sacrificed. We had not advanced over one hundred and fifty (150) yards after meeting the latter before the enemy began to pelt us. Brig. Gen. Pender's Brigade filed to the left of the Chancellorsville Road, until it cleared the road. I found later that Brig. Gen. James H. Lane's (NC) filed to the right. Brig. Gen. Pender rested at the right wing, which was on the bank of the road. The 13th NC Regiment was at the extreme left of the brigade and deep in the wilderness of brush wood.

We advanced within one hundred (100) yards of the enemy's line and there we lay down with our heads to the enemy and rested on our arms. We could hear them digging and chopping down the small undergrowth all night. Capt. Robert H. Ward and I lay on my oil cloth, side by side, but sleep was far from us. The moon shone beautifully all night and the whip-poor-wills kept time to the Yankee axe and pick. Capt. Ward, every now and then, would chunk me and say: "What time is it now?" I would look at my watch by moonlight and tell him. At half past four he asked me again. I told him. He said: "Let's get up and get ready, for hell will be to pay as soon as it gets light." We rolled up my cloth; I swung it about my neck and sat down. In a few minutes the men were roused, roll called and three hundred and forty-two (342) men of the old 13th NC Regiment said "Here." Just as we could see day was opening, while it was red in the east, I heard that keen, shrill voice of Brig. Gen. William D. Pender, down on the right of the brigade, scream out: "Attention, forward, guide center!" The 13th NC Regiment stepped forward as though it was battalion drill. We were so close to the enemy that they opened fire on us immediately.

It was a beautiful morning, the first Sunday in May, when nature everywhere is always so beautiful. It was calm as could be and it did look like a pity to disturb its hallowed name; but such is war. It was so still; not a bit of wind, but soft and warm. When the enemy commenced firing on us—one solid sheet of blaze—I well remember patting men on the shoulder and telling them to shoot at the blaze. They did so; so we supposed that they were shooting over the top of their works; but we charged them, and in five minutes we had carried their works which they were all night in building, and when we leaped over them we found a bank of them in the ditch; we thought they were prisoners, but found they were killed. They had placed two logs in parallel lines, put on cross-ties, floored them and built on top of that, and were lying behind shooting under the works. If we had not charged them before the sun rose they would have killed every one of us; but our boys were told to shoot at the blaze, and they had done the work admirably well. Our men were shot in the legs, while theirs were shot in the head and shoulders.

On we charged about one hundred and twenty-five (125) yards, where we found another line lying down awaiting us. We charged them, on and on, until we had routed the fifth line. By this time our line was getting very thin. Our officers called on the men so often to aim low that I am sure that very few shot over the enemy, judging from the number of dead and wounded left on the field. My company was the right center company and rested on the colors. My position was on the left wing; as file closer, I saw the colors fall five (5) times after we had crossed the first line at the works. Three times out of the five I picked them up and rushed forward with them. The last time I picked them up Col. Alfred M. Scales passed up his line and saw me, and said: "Detail a man to carry them." Just as I had complied with his order, he, Col. Scales, reeled and fell, shot through the thigh. He called me and asked me to run back and order the litter bearers after him. I ran back through the woods about one hundred and fifty (150) yards and met two of them and hurried them to my Colonel. I had been hearing a terrible howling, and thought at first that it was our re-inforcements coming, but found it was the howling of bullets going through the air a few feet above my head. I wheeled and ran my best toward the front. I found that there was more danger at a distance than there was close up. When I overtook my regiment, which was still pressing hard down upon the enemy, in sight of the cleared land at Chancellorsville, the enemy were, it seemed, being recruited and were making a desperate stand.

Brig. Gen. Henderson (?), of the Union side, with some of his staff, attempted to lead a charge on us. We stood for him, and two privates of Company E, Sandy Andrews and Dan Weden, rushed forward and seized his horse by the bridle and asked him to surrender. He indignantly replied: "If you don't turn my horse loose, I'll kill you both." Weden, I believe it was, leveled his gun on him and said: "D—n you, dismount, or I'll kill you." He obeyed promptly. Just at that time I did hear the rebel yell. It was Brig. Gen. Edward L. Thomas' Georgia Brigade, which had been in reserve, coming to relieve Brig. Gen. William D. Pender's (NC) Brigade. The 13th NC Regiment was out of ammunition; they had shot sixty (60) rounds each and had been in from 5 o'clock to 8:30 a.m. As before stated, the 13th NC Regiment went in at 5 o'clock with three hundred and forty-two good men. When we fell back to the enemy's works, filled up cartridge-boxes, and at one o'clock each company called the roll, one hundred and thirty-nine (139) men answered to their names.

There were killed, wounded and missing two hundred and three (203). In the language of Col. Alfred M. Scales, "That 3nd day of May, 1863, at Chancellorsville, was one that tried men's souls." Capt. Robert H. Ward, of my company, was wounded badly in the leg; 1st Lt. William H. Winchester took command; Abner F. Neal, 2nd Lieutenant, and myself 3rd Lieutenant. When Brig. Gen. Thomas' Georgia Brigade struck them with their fresh, full line the enemy vanished like snow in the sunshine on a warm spring day. They pressed the enemy so hard that by some means the wilderness was set on fire, and we all had to fall back across the road. We had gotten our wounded all off, but the poor Federal wounded were left to the ravages of the forked tongue of the blaze, and there never was a more ghastly sight than after the fire had done its work.

In the afternoon this writer was put in command of a detail of thirty (30) men to hunt through the burnt woods which we had fought over that morning and bury the dead of the 13th NC Regiment. We found forty-two (42) charred corpses, brought them to the old plank road and buried them all in one long grave and labeled them on boards at their heads. While I was looking through the woods I found a young man with both arms and both legs broken. His clothing was burned to a coal, his hair was nothing but a char, his eyelashes were burned off. He heard me walking, and called to know who I was. I told him that I was one of the 13th North Carolina. He then said: "Will you please kill me out of my misery?" I told him I would not, but said to him: "What are you fighting against us for, you negro?" He put up a pitiful cry, and said: "Before you all shot me I was as, white as any man." He then asked me if I had any water. I told him yes; I knelt down, put my arm around his neck, raised him up and gave him all the water I had. He again asked me to please kill him. I refused. He then asked me to see if I could get a ring off his finger, and if I ever had a chance to send it to his sister, stating that she put it on there the second Sunday in the last July, when he started from his home in some town in, I think he said, New Hampshire. He said: "My father is dead; I have a mother and one sister living, but I will never see them again." I left the poor fellow and hurried around as soon as I could to get more water, but, alas, he was dead. As to the ring, his hand was so badly burned and swollen it was impossible to take it off. I have always regretted that I did not write down his mother's address, so that I could have written her concerning him since.

Well, we held the field, or woods, that night. Next morning it was reported that the enemy was showing signs of renewing the engagement. We fell to work and threw up breastworks, and such a rain as fell seldom has been seen. The army then meandered here and there for several days. This writer was taken severely sick and sent to Richmond Hospital and lay there very ill for four weeks. During that time General Robert E. Lee made, I think, the mistake of his life, and invaded Pennsylvania.

The 13th NC Regiment was in every battle where Lt. Gen. Stonewall Jackson's old corps (then under Lt. Gen. A. P. Hill) was. It was at 2nd Manassas, Harper's Ferry, Chancellorsville, 2nd Winchester, Gettysburg, and in many skirmishes. I met it near Bunker Hill again, camped in a piece of woods, a mere handful of barefoot, ragged, worn-out soldiers.

My cousin, William H. Winchester, 1st Lieutenant of Company I, fell in the charge up Cemetery Hill. His right foot was shot off at the ankle, except the heel-string. He was seen crawling back down the hill at Gettysburg, One of the company found him, as they retired, at the foot of the hill. He had his knife out and asked the man to cut the heel-string so he could crawl farther. The man told him that he could not. He told the man to hold.it for him; he held it, and he cut off his own foot and continued to crawl, but was finally overtaken by the Union troops and died in the hospital among the enemy. 2nd Lt. Abner F. Neal then came in command of the company and was with it when I met them this side of the Potomac River. He was very sick and was sent off the same day to the hospital and returned late in the fall to Orange Court House. This writer then fell in command of Company I in the month of July of 1863, and continued in command until Lt. Neal returned. Soon after his return he resigned, and on account of Lt. Winchester's death and Lt. Neal's resignation this writer was promoted to 1st Lieutenant during the spring of 1864.

When Lt. Gen. Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson died, A. P. Hill was promoted to Lieutenant General to fill his place; Brig. Gen. William D. Pender was promoted to Major General; Col. Alfred M. Scales was promoted to Brigadier General; Joseph H. Hyman, from Edgecombe County, was promoted to Colonel, Maj. Henry A. Rogers was promoted from Major to Lieutenant Colonel, and Capt. Elijah Benton Withers was promoted to Major. At some point soon after, Withers was promoted to Lt. Colonel, records not available.

I have brought the reader, with the 13th NC Regiment, to Orange Court House, VA, into winter quarters. We built a plank road from the Court House to the camp, graded or macadamized the streets, and two days before Christmas our time came to beat rock into the street. It was cold enough almost to shave a man— the wind was blowing from the snow-capped mountains from the north side. The boys were almost nude, squatting down pounding rock. The officers got sorry for the poor fellows. We found a groceryman who had a barrel of good old apple-jack; we thought we would warm them up. Company after company was called up and "set up" to what we thought was about right. The boys went back to crushing rock with hand hammers; they soon began to sing and rejoice and cut all sorts of capers. The Irish Battalion, which was known to all the soldiers as the rear guard on all marches, was called up to see if they couldn't quiet the old 13th NC Regiment. The boys became indignant at the thought of having the Patrick O'Flanigans over them, so they armed themselves with broken stone, charged the Irish Battalion and drove them clean out of town. As they returned from the chase they tore down a settler's hut or two. Lt. Col.. Elijah Benton Withers, who was in charge that day, managed to march them back to camp. The next morning he placed about six (6) officers and twenty-five or thirty (25-30) men under arrest.

The next day was Christmas Eve. Col. Joseph Hyman received a very nice box from a friend at Tarboro, NC, and in the box were five gallons of North Carolina brandy, turkey, hams, sausage, cake, etc. Well, he was something of a "turnip" himself; he invited every commissioned officer to come up to his tent and partake of his hospitalities. After a few smiles at the demijohn, he then sent for the brass band, treated them and made them play until midnight. About this time his heart had gotten soft. He called Lt. Col. Withers and ordered him to go and tell all the officers that got tipsy at the Court House to come to him at once, and to also tell every man that was in the guardhouse that he pardoned him. He wound up by saying: "D—n a man that will punish others for the thing he will do himself."

Christmas passed by; the New Year ushered in; 1864 had come; Capt. Robert H. Ward had returned to Company I. The writer had applied for a furlough to visit his dear old mother and sisters and the "other dear," whom he had not seen for nineteen (19) months. A big snow was on the ground; the furlough was handed in, approved and respectfully returned by R. E. Lee, General. The reader can imagine that this boy was feeling good, for soldiers do feel good sometimes, and this was one of those times. All of a sudden the regiment drum began: "Shatter, vatter, vatter, vatter!" What's that? "Fall in, Thirteenth!" The Yankee cavalry had charged the pickets at the mill ford and were crossing by thousands. Capt. Ward said: "If I were you, I would go to Orange Court House; I would not go into battle with a furlough in my pocket." I said: "Well, I will do what Colonel Hyman says." I went in a run to his quarters, and said: "Colonel, I have just received my furlough; do you wish me to fall in?" He turned around and bawled out: "Yes, G— d— n it, fall in; fall in, and that d— n quick." That ended it for the time.

By this time the 13th NC Regiment was formed. We double-quicked every step for two and one-half miles. As we went over a hill we came in sight of a brigade of infantry from toward the Court House that had beat us a little and had the cavalry on the run. We got to the ford in time to see a few of them floating down the river. We took position in the little picket entrenchment. The Federal cavalry was reforming at the edge of the woods on the Culpeper Road. The miller said the distance had been measured from the farther bank to the woods and was one thousand seven hundred and eighty (1,780) yards. Col. Joseph Hyman called Monroe Roberson, of Company A, who had a globe-sighted rifle, captured from the enemy in Maryland the summer before. The Colonel was looking through his field glass and saw an officer at the woods who seemed to be forming his men to make a dash. He told Roberson to lay his gun across the works and see if he thought he could get him. He looked, and said: "Yes, sir; he doesn't look to be more than two hundred yards off." "Try him, then," said the Colonel, "and I will watch." Monroe pulled down. The Colonel snapped his finger, and said: "I swear, if you didn't knock him off." In less than a minute they turned loose with carbines and a perfect shower of lead was stuck in the hill above our heads on the bluff. They only hit one of the 13th NC Regiment, Calvin Grear, from Mecklenburg, who was Sergeant Major at that time. He was shot through the body just above the waist; the ball came out at the side of his backbone. The Colonel excused me after dark, and I left the Court House next morning for home.

The 13th NC Regiment returned to its winter quarters and remained there near the Court House until May 5th, when we struck tents and marched through the village about 1 o'clock p.m., in the direction of the Wilderness, down the old plank road. We met the enemy some twelve miles down the road. Lt. Gen. A. P. Hill's (VA) Corps was in front. Lt. Gen. James Longstreet (VA) was up at Madison Court House when we met the enemy. Maj. Gen. Cadmus M. Wilcox's (AL) Division, which was Maj. Gen. William D. Pender's (NC) before his death at Gettysburg, was put right in. It was composed of Brig. Gen. Alfred M. Scales' (NC), Brig. Gen. James H. Lane's (NC), Brig. Gen. Edward L. Thomas' (GA), and Brig. Gen. Samuel McGowan's (SC) Brigades. Brig. Gen. Scales' and Brig. Gen. Thomas' Brigades were put in and Brig. Gen. Lane's and Brig. Gen. McGowan's Brigades were kept back of them as a support. We moved down on them on the right of the road. Charge after charge we made. We drove the enemy back some two (2) miles. It was like fighting fire in the woods again. We were kept in until our boys had exhausted their sixty rounds, or some had, and during that time a goodly number of the 13th NC Regiment had gone down to rise no more.

Capt. Robert H. Ward, of Company I, had only been back from home, because of his Chancellorsville wound, about three (3) months. Just before our skirmish line opened fire, marching down the road, he commenced to sing: "Years creep slowly by, Lorena; the snow is on the grass again." I slapped him on the shoulder and told him I knew what he was thinking about; and that was, that he would get another flesh wound and go back to Mrs. Ward. He remarked: "Would to God that it may be only a flesh wound." Just as Brig. Gen. Lane's Brigade rushed in to relieve Brig. Gen. Scales, near a branch, as we faced about to retire, a ball struck him in the back part of his leg and lodged under the kneecap, and, if he is living, it is there yet. We bore him off with us. He went home sure enough and never was able to return to duty, but was retired, and the writer was promoted to Captain later on.

This was the first day's battle with Federal Lt. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant and General Robert E. Lee. We were drawn off some three-fourths of a mile in the rear of the front line, issued cartridges and lay there all night, supposing that Brig. Gen. Lane's and Brig. Gen. Thomas' men were still in our front. The next morning, not long after light, we were lying behind some old logs and such things as we could pick up. Brig. Gen. Alfred M. Scales and our Col. Joseph Hyman were standing behind my company talking, when one of my sergeants called to me, and said: "Look in front." I looked, and the woods were blue with the enemy. I turned to the Colonel and Brig. Gen. Scales to tell them. The enemy were coming closer behind us. I told them to look; we were about surrounded. Brig. Gen. Scales waved his sword above his head and called on the men to follow him. He dashed off at right angles and took his brigade out by the right flank. They opened fire upon us and a goodly number was wounded. I was struck on my shoulder-blade and had the breath knocked out of me, but I kept following our retreating or stampeded troops, who circled back to the road, where we met Lt. Gen. James Longstreet's (VA) Corps coming in from Madison Court House. General Robert E. Lee was standing there. By his direction Lt. Gen. Longstreet placed troops on each side of the road and advanced quickly. General Lee started to lead the charge, but he was prevented by the officers of Lt. Gen. Longstreet's staff. The 13th NC Regiment, under Col. Hyman, was reorganized and fell in for the day on Lt. Gen. Longstreet's left wing and was back into the fight in less than an hour and remained in all day.

I do not think there was a single day from that time that a man was safe from the range of a bullet until we reached Petersburg. It was a running fight on by Spotsylvania. There we were in a bloody fight—fight and march day and night, rain or fair—it was all the time fight, fight. The regiment was being reduced daily and hourly. When we went to Spotsylvania there was a time when only five (5) commissioned officers were present for duty, and it made it so arduous on us that I would sometimes get so desperate that I wished to be shot.

We were sent forward south of the Court House to feel for the enemy. Two (2) days after the big battle no troops had been seen over the works. That day, for fear they had stolen the march on us, the 13th NC Regiment was sent to feel for them. As we went down through an old field, and had gotten within eighty (80) yards of the works. Lt. John P. Rainey said to me: "I'll bet five dollars there isn't a Yankee in those works." Immediately they raised up in double file, laid their guns over the works and fired, but they were above us so high that they shot over every one of us except Capt. Thomas C. Evans. He had his mouth open, yelling to his company, like all the rest of us, to "Charge! Charge!" A bullet went into his mouth, knocked out one tooth and came out on the right side of his neckbone. It was a close call, but I could not help but laugh. He squealed like a pig, rolled down the hill to the bottom, jumped up and ran out like a wild turkey. I do not mean that he was a coward, for he was a very brave and gallant officer; but he was so deranged at the time that he hardly knew what he was doing.

We charged up the hill to the works and found no one at them at all. They fired their guns and fell back down the bluff through the cedars and got out of sight. That night we marched all night and were at Hanover Junction by day. We began digging, and by a little after sunrise the enemy charged us with a heavy column. We drove them back and skirmished with them during the day and a portion of the night. Next morning we found that Federal Lt. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant had pushed on. We sidetracked him on, and on to Cold Harbor. I think the 13th NC Regiment got into position in that engagement not more than one-half mile from the place we had fought Maj. Gen. George B. McClellan's troops in 1862. We succeeded in holding our position well, notwithstanding we were exposed to a hurricane of cannon, shots, and shells. The race for the goal continued hot between Lt. Gen. Grant and General Lee. Lt. Gen. Grant's aim, as every one knows, was to make the touchdown at Richmond, but we tackled him and he went to Petersburg, I think, about the 19th of July. During this time I did not get time to change raiment but one time. The 13th NC Regiment was placed in the fortifications south of Petersburg, to the right of the road, for a few days after the troops had recuperated.

General Robert E. Lee laid off a new line of defense farther from the city than General Pierre G.T. Beauregard's (SC) line was. Then for a siege of hard work again. We soon had a strong line of defense and the troops were distributed from near Burgess' Mill, on the extreme right, thence south of Petersburg, across the Appomattox River and on near Dunlap's Station, through to Drewry's Bluff. We were kept on the south side of Petersburg and occupied the works south of Sycamore Street, in sight of the city, exactly where the mine was sprung. We stayed there and did picket duty in our front and were under a continual fire all the time for some four weeks. Brig. Gen. Alfred M. Scales (NC) complained to General Lee that his troops ought to be relieved. Howard's (?) South Carolina was sent to relieve Brig. Gen. Scales. The 13th NC Regiment was then sent north of Petersburg to do picket work along the west bank of the river. In about twelve (12) days from this time we left the works which were later on blown up. On the Sunday following we were sent back south down the railroad some three (3) miles and attacked the enemy and skirmished all day. Yancey Cummings, of my company, was killed and several others wounded.

August 19th we marched by a circuitous route all night and the next day about twelve o'clock we struck the enemy at Reams' Station, on the Petersburg & Weldon Railroad. He was strongly fortified along the railroad bed, with a redoubt at the depot, about one hundred and fifty (150) yards on the Weldon end of the road. When we came in sight on the west side of the railroad, it was about nine hundred (900) yards through an open sedge field. Brig. Gen. Scales' Brigade was formed and ordered forward. The right of the brigade was protected by some woods. The 13th NC Regiment's position being in the open, it was ordered that a good, strong skirmish line be sent forward to hold the enemy while the main column could advance. The writer was called out to make the advance. I asked to be allowed to take my company, as there was no other officer with it, and besides that, I knew my men and they knew me. The detail for the brigade was ordered out. I was in command of the 13th's detail, my company. Lt. Col. Elijah Benton Withers was in command of the brigade detail. The skirmishers advanced under a heavy fire. We dashed through the old field, the last one hundred (100) yards being through a flat land which had been cleared the winter before. The brush lay loose all over the ground, which made it very difficult to get through.

I do not think we were more than five (5) minutes getting within eighty-five (85) yards of the works. We poured in lead and kept their heads down—kept the gunners from using their cannon. The right wing of the brigade met with such obstacles that they failed to come up in time to keep the enemy from enfilading the 13th NC Regiment in the old field, so this charge failed to be a success. I was recalled with my company. Brig. Gen. Cadmus M. Wilcox (AL) came along and ordered us in again. This time we rushed through the old field again for our first position and soon we were within forty (40) yards of the works and about one hundred (100) yards to the right of the burned depot. We made it so hot for them in the redoubt that the gunners left their guns. If the old 13th NC Regiment had been up then we could have captured the four pieces very easily. I looked, and, as before, they were kept back by the enemy's heavy guns above the depot. As the enemy ran out of the redoubt, W. D. Powers, a nice young man from Raleigh, one of my recruits, called to me, and said: "Look, is not that General Hancock ?" I looked, and said: "Yes; drop him off." He stepped out from behind a large oak which we were sheltering behind and raised his rifle. Just at that instant his gun dropped from his hand, and he said: "I am wounded." The ball had nearly cut off his left thumb and went through his right shoulder. About this time we were signaled to fall back to the regiment again.

It was August the 21st, and I felt that I would melt. After a short rest we were sent forward through the woods immediately in front of the burned depot, where another strong redoubt was built. As we advanced our skirmish line we met a strong skirmish line in the woods which the enemy had advanced to meet us. We charged them. Captain Young's battalion of sharpshooters being on our right. We all charged at the same time and got near enough to reconnoiter their position. Lt. Col. Withers, who was still in command of the brigade detail, hurried back to report. Young's sharpshooters were compelled to withdraw southward, which left a gap in the skirmish line. The enemy took advantage of this, rushed a heavy skirmish line through the gap and swung around behind the 13th NC Regiment's detail. It was with considerable difficulty that I got out with my company. We made a left flank move and returned safe without the loss of a single man. When I reached my command Col. Hyman said that he was sure that my whole company were prisoners.

Maj. Gen. Wilcox came riding up to us in the pine thicket and told Brig. Gen. Alfred M. Scales (NC) that he must take his brigade in column instead of in line and go down this old road, which ran in rather a left-oblique than a direct course. It was after sundown and a very angry thunder cloud behind us. We went down the old road to within about eighty (80) paces, where the old 13th NC Regiment, which was in front (or at the head of the column) when Col. Hyman gave the command "Battalion, right half-wheel into line; double-quick!" swung around and hit the enemy's works. The enemy was so surprised that he scarcely made any resistance. It was the work of but a few moments. The 16th NC Regiment struck the redoubt on our left and captured the cannon; the 13th NC Regiment captured three brass pieces in its front, and we took the line from the depot as far as we had troops. It was said at that time we took thirteen (13) cannon and sixteen hundred (1,600) prisoners. We fell back to the works that night near Petersburg through the rain and brought all safely in. We stayed there in the works, I think, until September.

Maj. Gen. Wilcox got permission to take his division down the railroad some two and a half miles, with a view of turning the enemy's flank. The writer was again sent out with a heavy skirmish line, with orders from Brig. Gen. Scales to deploy my men and advance as rapidly as possible, that he was going to march his brigade in column down the road until I ran into the enemy. We were then on the left of the railroad and advancing east. I obeyed orders and pushed my skirmishers through the thicket and brush about a mile and a half. Below there I saw the head of the column in sight behind us. I pushed on down and it seemed all the time to get lower and lower. Finally I found some meadow land with a straight ditch. I jumped into it and kept down it, as it was leading in the direction I wanted to go. I hoped to find water, for it was very warm and I was very thirsty. I ran on a Yankee down there on his knees and elbows in the ditch. I made him get up and tried to make him tell me where his troops were, but not a word could I get from him. It was not long that I needed him to tell me, for my skirmish line ran into them beyond the meadow land on the brow of a ridge. They opened fire on my little band from their works before we knew they were there. We poured it into them and crept up to within ninety (90) yards, where we waited and continued to annoy them all we could, looking every minute for the brigade. Finally night came, and no column yet.

I slipped along my line to the extreme left, which rested on the country road that led from Petersburg, and looked for our troops to come down. I heard a horse coming down from towards Petersburg in a lope. I did not know whether it was friend or foe, but I waited for him to advance within ten (10) paces, when I halted him. He seemed very much excited, as he could not see who I was; neither could I tell who he was, but I had the drop on him. I called for him to advance and surrender, for I was sure that he was a Yankee. He came up to me, and I asked him in a low tone of voice what command he was of. He said Brig. Gen. Scales' Brigade, North Carolina Troops. He still thought that I was a Yankee. He came nearer to me, and I asked him what he was doing down there. He said Brig. Gen. Scales sent him to withdraw a skirmish line that he sent down that day. I then told him I was the man he was looking for. He told me that he must hurry back, and told me to keep on up the road until I struck the railroad and then I would be all right, but added that the enemy were very near the road in two places where the road curved in towards their works. I pushed on; not a word was spoken.

I placed my men in single file and told them to trail arms and to keep in touch of each other and we would come out or be found trying. We arrived at Petersburg trenches about one o'clock at night, hungry, tired and mad. We found that the enemy on the south side saw Maj. Gen. Wilcox's Division moving around and had sent troops from the works on the south side to cut him off. Brig. Gen. Scales' Brigade, the 13th NC Regiment, and all, in fact, had to turn and fight their way back to Petersburg or be captured. Had it not been for Maj. Gen. Robert E. Rodes' (AL) Division in the works at Petersburg, which advanced in the rear of the Union troops that attacked Maj. Gen. Wilcox, I doubt very much whether the whole of them had not been captured. Then it was plain how it was that no relief came to me seven (7) miles down in the pine woods. This is the last engagement the 13th NC Regiment was in during the year 1864, except now and then a picket skirmish.

The 13th NC Regiment was quartered behind the works on a steep hillside in the coldest place I ever saw. Wood was some thousand (1,000) yards in front of our line, south of the works, and the men had to carry all the wood they burned, except what they could borrow from the artillerymen—at night—just above us. They hauled theirs, and the boys thought it no harm to borrow from their neighbors.

During the month of March in 1865, the enemy extended his line to our right in the direction of Burgess' Mill. I was on picket that day. All day, from about 12 m., I heard heavy firing on my right. When I returned I found that the 13th NC Regiment had been fighting, with the rest of the brigade, all the day previous and had driven the enemy off. Within a few days, I think it was about the first of April, I was again in front on picket. I was relieved at dark and returned to the line, where I found the regiment ready to march. Maj. Gen. Wilcox's (AL) Division marched out to Burgess' Mill, crossed the creek and took position, at least the 13th NC Regiment did, on the ridge beyond the mill, which ran parallel with the creek. There was a splendid line of fortifications, with good, strong redoubts for the cannon. Down south of them ran a small branch, between the main line and which was a line of rifle pits on a parallel line with the work. These pits had been occupied by cavalry previous to this. Col. Hyman called the writer, who before this had been promoted to Captain of Company I, to take his company and advance across the branch, go on up the hill two hundred (200) yards to the edge of the pine woods and there halt and send out videttes. I went forward as ordered and sent the videttes. They went but a short distance before they turned and came running to me and reported the woods alive with the Blues. I had heard them telling their men to keep dressed.

We about faced and double-quicked back down to the branch. As we were nearing the rifle pits the enemy had emerged from the woods and opened fire on us. By the time we got to the pits the lead was coming in showers. The pits were on a hillside and were filled with water—it was amusing to hear the men jumping into those pits of water like frogs. The 13th NC Regiment was advanced to the pits to reinforce us. Men were baling out water with their hands and tin plates and anything they could. I was standing by the side of a pit when one of the men said: "I wish you would come in." I told him I would step and get an old shovel I saw up the hill. Before I could get it and return one bullet was sent through my hat, another through the blankets around my neck and one hit my shoe. We flirted out the water with the shovel and got down to business. One skirmisher had a position at the edge of the woods behind a large stump, where he could put a bullet into my pit whenever he saw a hat above it. I took the sergeant's rifle, rested it over the bank of the pit, then took off my hat and slipped it up to my right. He raised up to his knees to shoot at the hat, thinking it was a man's head. I turned loose on him and he fell over, and I am sure he could have been heard yelling half a mile. It proved to be rather a costly shot, for several of the regiment jumped up and cheered and the whole Union line sent in a volley. James Bartlett, of Company B, and Bob Graham, of Company D, were killed; Robert Sergent, of Company D, and others were wounded. We were withdrawn soon after to the main line.

About 2 o'clock p.m. the skirmish line was withdrawn from the rifle pits to the works. Down the hill the enemy came, with colors flying, but not a gun was fired at him until he crossed the branch, the second line emerging from the woods. As the first line cleared the branch and started to the works. Col. Hyman gave orders to commence firing. The boys poured in lead and the front line threw down their guns and came running in with their hands up. We ceased firing on them, but the second line behind them fired and kept firing until the prisoners were over the works. I did not know whether they were trying to kill their men for surrendering or whether they thought they could pick off some of us who were in view of them. The remainder of the day and the next everything was quiet, but the second morning after, or during the night before, the shelling began all along the line. From the mill as far back as could be seen or heard the bombs were being passed from each line, all kinds from a six-pounder to the largest. Mortar shells were bursting in every direction and the flashes were so fast that it kept the skies lighted up as bright as an aurora borealis. Indeed, it made one feel that Judgment Day was at hand, and so it was with many a poor soul. Early next morning we could hear the keen cracking of muskets away over in the direction of Petersburg. Nearer and nearer it came—a storm of thunder and lightning by shells and a hailstorm of rifle bullets. Finally the blue clouds of Union soldiers burst through the woods, shooting and charging. General Robert E. Lee's lines were turned!

I am not able to say in what direction we traveled for quite a while, but we struck the Lynchburg & Petersburg Canal, followed up it quite a while and continued on in the direction of Amelia Court House. We were resting near the railroad and waiting, for some cause, when a courier brought word that the Yankee cavalry had captured our entire train of wagons. Maj. Gen. Wilcox's Division was run three (3) miles across a creek. A short distance beyond we found in a long lane team after team, one after another, with the wagons on fire and the contents burning up; horses pawing, stamping and neighing in the most pitiful manner—some jammed so close to other wagons that their manes and tails were singed off and looked like rats; ordnance burning and cracking and provisions in the wagons burning up. As we ran by one wagon loaded with bacon hams one of my company stuck his bayonet into a ham that was flaming and ran on till it went out. After trimming the char off, he gave me a slice, which I thought the best meat I ever ate—and it was the last meat I had until three days after the surrender.

From the time our trains were destroyed there was no hope for the army of General Robert E. Lee—no rest for the men night or day. The 13th NC Regiment was bringing up the rear. As we came through Farmville, VA, the mountain-like hills north and west of the town seemed to be lined with artillery. The enemy had pressed forward on all roads and was ready to impede General Lee's retreat. It rained bomb shells through the street. The men of the town could be seen, as we rushed through, in ditches, under bridges and anywhere to hide from the shot and shells from the enemy's cannon from the heights above. We rushed through the town, crossed a bridge that spanned a small stream on the south side and pushed up a long and tiresome hill which curved slightly to the right. As we reached the top of the hill, in a level old sedge field, we found General Robert E. Lee dismounted and forming a line of battle to charge a body of Federal cavalry which was formed on our right. Brig. Gen. Alfred M. Scales' (NC) Brigade, with the 13th NC Regiment in front that day, was quickly formed and, dashing forward, drove the cavalry off. This was the 7th day of April and the last time I saw General Lee until we were passing at a double-quick down a hill toward a creek a mile or more from Appomattox Court House. General Lee was standing under an apple tree, looking beyond the creek, where a battle was raging.

As I remember, it was Maj. Gen. John B. Gordon, of Alabama, who was attacking the enemy, who during the previous night had formed a cordon all around us. As above stated, Maj. Gen. Cadmus M. Wilcox's (AL) Division was rushed down the hill, and Brig. Gen. Alfred M. Scales' (NC) Brigade and the 13th NC Regiment were about the center of the column. As we went down the hill we met some four or five brass cannon and a number of prisoners that had been taken by our troops in the first charge that morning. We cheered them as they passed us under guard. At the creek we saw a fine-looking U. S. officer with an escort of Confederate officers and a small white flag. As they passed Col. Joseph H. Hyman one of them asked: "Can yon tell me where we can find General Lee?" The answer was that he was standing under an apple tree as we came down. They dashed on in the direction stated. We ran through a creek and were beginning to meet some whistling bullets, when all of a sudden the firing ceased. Then a few shots were heard again. Someone in the battle line in front yelled out and said: "I say cease firing; the next man that fires a shot I will have him killed." One of the 13th NC Regiment said: "There now, I bet that Lee has surrendered." Col. Hyman turned around and said: "If you say that again I will shoot you." We stood there a few minutes and were about-faced, marched back across the creek and stacked arms in a field on the road near the apple tree. As we marched back up the hill we met General Lee and some of his staff and the U. S. officer, who, we learned, was Maj. Gen. George Armstrong Custer. This was Sunday morning, April 9, 1865. It was about 1 or 2 o'clock when it was read out all through the army that General Robert E. Lee had surrendered.

The next thing was, what were men to do for rations? But Maj. Gen. Fitzhugh Lee (VA), not knowing what was going on at Appomattox Court House, had fallen on the Federal wagons and had given them the same treatment that ours had met three days previous; so we got no rations and had to starve on till Wednesday. The 13th NC Regiment marched over to the Court House, stacked arms in the presence of our victors, returned to the same camp, there received our paroles, bade farewell to many of our comrades that marched in different directions from ours and broke camp for our respective homes. I took Company I, the company that four (4) years before, lacking thirteen (13) days, I had joined as a private under Captain Thomas Settle at New Bethel Cross Roads in Rockingham County, NC. I arrived at Danville on Saturday evening about 2 o'clock, and found that late that evening a freight train would go up towards Reidsville, so I rested and waited. When the train got ready to pull out I ordered my men (seventeen only) to crawl on top. We spread out blankets and slept till we reached Reidsville at 12 o'clock p.m. There we were awakened and got off. I dismissed old Company I at the depot and they all pulled out in their own way for their homes. The writer arrived at home about 2 p.m., on April 16th, Easter Sunday.

The foregoing sketch has been written entirely from memory, but the most of it was so indelibly imprinted on my mind that I feel that were I permitted to live a thousand years that the horrible scenes of the many battles in which the 13th NC Regiment participated could never be eliminated from my mind. In conclusion, permit me to say that if I have written a single error it is of my mind and not of my heart. I now bid you all adieu.


* The above was written by former Captain Rowland S. Williams, and provided as Pages 653-687, in the compilation known as "Histories of the Several Regiments and Battalions from North Carolina in the Great War 1861-'65 - Volume I," edited by Walter Clark, and published by E. M. Uzzell, Printer and Binder, in 1901. Minor edits and deletions were provided by this Author for clarity and consistency.
Additional Sketch of the 13th NC Regiment**

The 13th NC Regiment, which had been in winter quarters at Ben's Church, Isle of Wight County, VA, during the winter of 1861-'62, was ordered, about April of 1862, to Mulberry Island. At our camp on this island we got our first view of the Yankee soldier, who was to be so much in evidence for the next three (3) years. On this island we soon had breastworks thrown up and redoubts made, to be evacuated in a few days. It was on this island that an incident occurred that can never be forgotten by those who saw it. The members of the Topographical Corps of Engineers of the 13th NC Regiment were ordered to make a map of Mulberry Island. With this object in view, two of the corps, one of whom was the late W. N. Mebane, of Madison, were taking the angles of Warwick River. They had a large brass telescope with them, and, commencing at the mouth of the river, surveyed until they reached a clear, open field at the foot of the hill, upon which some of our redoubts were built. His companion was taking bearings, when Mebane uttered an exclamation and pointed to the opposite side of the river.

About half a dozen Yankees were seen loading their guns while they ran towards the river, which at this point was not more than fifty (50) yards wide. The intention of these Yankees was evidently to reach a point opposite where Mebane and his companion could be easily shot. It was a perilous position. To run down the river from whence they came would have brought them nearer to the Yankees; to run up the stream was also impossible; to go up the hill towards the redoubts would have made themselves better targets. The Yankees were now about one hundred and twenty-five (125) yards away, and could easily have picked them off, but they wished to get still nearer. At this juncture, in mere desperation, Mebane's companion raised his telescope, flashing in the sunlight, and pointed it towards the foe, when to their utter surprise the Yankees turned and fled to the cover of the woods. Mebane and his companion ascended the hill to the redoubts, receiving the congratulations of the artillerymen, who were watching the proceedings and were preparing to come to their aid.

The 13th NC Regiment, after a few days' stay at Mulberry Island, was ordered to a point two (2) miles west of Yorktown. Here the regiment at once fortified itself to stop the advance of the enemy up the Peninsula. Nothing broke the monotony of camp life save occasionally a false alarm from the picket line, and by an agreement between the pickets this was soon stopped. It was done in this way: As soon as new pickets were put on guard a cry would come from a Yankee or Confederate: "Do you want to trade " "Yes." "Then meet half way." It was well known what each had to trade. The Confederate had tobacco and the Yankee coffee. An exchange was soon made—one pound of coffee for a plug of tobacco—but the Yankee often cheated us, palming off chicory for coffee. It may be that he knew no better. While here we were ordered to march double-quick to Dam No. 10, where we could hear firing along the line. To us, who had never been under fire, it sounded like a big battle, and we had no doubt but that we should soon have our mettle tested. On arrival at Dam No. 10 we were told that the 15th New Jersey had attempted a reconnaissance in force at that point, but soon found that it was quite hazardous and retired, after losing several in killed and wounded, with no loss on our side. These dams were constructed by General Joseph E. Johnston (VA) to enable him to hold his line with few troops where these dams were located, so that he might spare a greater number for the weaker points. While here our first year's enlistment expired, but, with few exceptions, all re-enlisted.

It was towards the last of April when, having built our fires to cook supper, we received orders to march towards Williamsburg. The retreat from Yorktown to Williamsburg can never be forgotten. The rains had saturated the ground and no such thing as dry land could be found. The roads were cut up by the artillery and commissary wagons until the mud was knee deep. In some places they seemed to have no bottom, and at these places the sides of the road were piled up with camp equipage, as it was impossible for the teams to pull a loaded wagon. In the darkness it was impossible to preserve any order, and many, overcome by the arduous march, laid down by the wayside and slept. Many of our men would have been taken by the. enemy on their advance had it not been that a faithful rear guard aroused them next morning and brought them to camp. As it happened, not one of the 13th NC Regiment was captured, except a few sick. Among these was 1st Lt. Thomas T. Lawson, of Company H, in this county. He was carried across York River by one of his men to a family by the name of Dean, where he was captured by Ben Butler.

On the morning of May 4, 1862, we entered Williamsburg and camped near William & Mary College. Here rations were distributed and preparations made for breakfast. Before this could be done the booming of cannon and the fire, of musketry could be heard in our rear. A courier rode up and we were ordered to retrace our steps and go into battle. As we passed through the town ladies were in their front porches with waving handkerchiefs and tear-stained eyes, begging us not to let the enemy enter their town. This, of course, we promised to do. On our arrival at the outskirts of the town we met a servant on horseback, bearing in his arms the lifeless body of his master, the Colonel of the 1st Mississippi. A broad, open plateau lay spread out before us, bordered in the distance by a wood. In the edge of this wood we could see the smoke of the battle then raging and hear the rattle of the musketry, enlivened occasionally by the booming of cannon. Owing to the condition of the roads, few batteries could be placed in position. As we marched in columns of four, we were halted to let a battalion of mounted lancers pass, who were advancing obliquely across the plateau to capture a battery of the enemy to our left. It was a grand sight. They did their work well, but owing to the nature of the ground they could not carry the guns away, but we learned that the guns were spiked.

Arriving at the woods, we were ordered to unsling our knapsacks and pile them up. A guide directed us to an earthwork said to have been thrown up by the Continental army in 1781. Large trees had grown up in the works. The trench was a foot deep in water, but into this we had to go, while the rain, still falling, continually added to its depth. It was the first fight, and never were men more eager for the fray. On our right and left we could still hear volleys of musketry. In our anxiety many soldiers stood upon the brow of the embankment, peering through the murky atmosphere to see if they could not get a glimpse of the foe. During the day, however, the 13th NC Regiment was to prove of what stuff it was made. The old works we occupied were semicircular in shape, and we were on the inside of the semicircle. It was so foggy and damp in the woods that it was impossible to distinguish friend from foe thirty (30) yards away. A body of men approached the left of our works, where the Edgecombe Guards, Capt. Giles Pink Bailey's Company, of Rockingham County, a company from Davie County (Company F) and an Alamance or Caswell company were in a line. Our men prepared for their reception, but were thrown off their guard by the advancing column exclaiming: "Don't shoot; we are friends!" But soon they poured a volley into the ranks of these companies. Our men were thrown at first into some confusion, but soon returned the volley with interest and then charged with the bayonet, and bayonets were actually locked that day, the first time during the war. The enemy was driven back and made no further demonstration on our front.

In this engagement Capt. Bailey was badly wounded. A private by the name of Knott was captured, who was seen using the butt of his gun as he was hurried back. There were only eight or ten (8-10) casualties in the regiment. Owing to the position we occupied a large part of the regiment could not engage in the conflict, as to reach the enemy we would be compelled to fire through our own ranks, but the bullets from the enemy whizzed all around us. It required more courage under such circumstances than when we could return the quid pro quo. We were kept on the qui vive during the remainder of the day, and darkness came on as black as an Egyptian midnight. You could not distinguish the soldier at your right or left. In this position we lay until 10 p.m. The only sounds to be heard were the cries of wounded men for water. At this hour Capt. Elijah B. Withers made his way back to the rear and met up with Brig. Gen. Roger A. Pryor (VA). Brig. Gen. Pryor told him that all the troops had been ordered back to Williamsburg and that we had evidently been overlooked, as we occupied an advanced position on the line. Capt. Withers, on his return, reported his information to Col. Alfred M. Scales, and the word was whispered from man to man to follow the man in his front, not to say a word and not to break a stick in stepping. Silently, still as death, we filed out in Indian style until we reached the point where our knapsacks had been piled up. Each one took a knapsack and by comparison next day each soldier got his own. Arriving at Williamsburg, we built up large fires, drying ourselves off as best we could, but before the fires were burnt down we were on our way, retreating towards Richmond. The enemy were so much worsted by the battle at Williamsburg that no effort was made to follow us closely. "Beware of Johntson's retreat" was a proverb from that day.

We went into camp near Richmond, VA, and led an uneventful life until the battle of Seven Pines. The night before the battle a very hard rain fell, raising the Chickahominy River so high that General Joseph E. Johnston (VA) conceived the plan of capturing the forces of the enemy that had crossed the stream. Fighting had commenced when we arrived on the battlefield and took our position. We were soon ordered from our first position to a point near the Seven Pines house. As we approached it at rapid a pace as the mud would permit we saw Maj. Gen. Daniel H. Hill (NC) rise in his stirrups and call to Colonel (afterwards General) Alfred M. Scales in a loud voice that could be heard nearly half a mile: "Colonel Scales, come and occupy the position that these cowardly Virginians have fled from!" pointing to the 9th Virginia, which lay in a ditch near by. The 9th Virginia, we learned, was a regiment just from barracks in Norfolk, and afterwards did as good fighting as any regiment in the Army of Northern Virginia.

The 13th NC Regiment, with the 14th NC Regiment on our right, formed an excellent line and marched over these troops, who retaliated by saying: "Yes, go and fight like you did at Roanoke and Hatteras!" We were not long in occupying the abanboned position, a battery of the enemy playing on us as we advanced. The shells from this battery passed over our heads and only one man was wounded. We did not fire a shot. The report soon reached us that the enemy had recrossed the river, and, retracing our steps, we went back to our camp. There was nothing to break the monotony of camp life until General Robert E. Lee concluded to turn Federal Maj. Gen. George B. McClellan's right flank and drive him from Richmond. Among the battles that were fought the 13th NC Regiment suffered most at Gaines's Mill (aka Cold Harbor) and Malvern Hill. At Gaines's Mill we charged and captured a battery of the enemy, losing, however, many of our bravest men. At Malvern Hill the 13th NC Regiment fought gallantly, losing many men, but held their position until ordered to retire. The 13th NC Regiment was also engaged in the fights at Mechanicsville and White Oak Swamp, which battles were inscribed on their battle flag.

While Maj. Gen. McClellan's army was wasting away at Harrison's Landing by disease the invasion of Maryland was agreed upon. The long march was uneventful, but from the kindness of the people of Virginia on the route it was the unanimous verdict of the troops that the people of the Valley of Virginia were the best in the world. Brig. Gen. Samuel Garland's (VA) Brigade, to which the 13th NC Regiment was attached, crossed the Potomac River at Point of Rocks on the 14th of September, 1862. We marched to Frederick City, MD, where we camped for a day or two. After battering down a stone bridge across the Monocacy River we marched through Frederick City. The town was ornamented with Confederate flags, with one notable exception. Barbara Freitchie has been immortalized in poetry for waving a United States flag from a building on this occasion, though the incident has been asserted to have existed only in the imagination of the poet.

The 13th NC Regiment marched across South Mountain and camped near the hamlet of Boonsboro. Soon, however, we had to retrace our steps to meet the enemy on the summit of South Mountain, known as Boonsboro Gap. On this battlefield the 13th NC Regiment, under command of Lt. Col. Thomas Ruffin, covered itself with glory. Brig. Gen. Samuel Garland's (VA) Brigade was all the force we had to defend the pass against a division under Brig. Gen. Daniel Butterfield. Early in the action Brig. Gen. Garland fell, mortally wounded, and the command of the brigade fell to Col. Duncan K. MacRae of the 5th NC Regiment. Brigade after brigade of the enemy assaulted our line, but each time were driven back with heavy loss. There is hardly any doubt that we killed and wounded more of the enemy than we had in our ranks. Never was there a more stubborn contest, for we were told that the line must be held, that we had no reserves, and that every man must do his whole duty. Provisions were cooked in camp and carried up the mountain and our men, were fed in line of battle. I doubt if there is an instance in the whole war where a single line of battle held at bay a larger force for a whole day. Owing to the fact that Lt. Col. Ruffin was very careful of the lives of his men, cautioning them against unnecessary exposure, and telling them to avail themselves of the shelter of stones and trees, our casualties were fewer than could have been expected. There is no instance in the war where more heroic courage was exhibited than was shown by the 13th NC Regiment in this battle. Capt. Chalmers Glenn, of Rockingham County, fell in this battle and was buried by his faithful servant, Mat, the grave being dug with a bayonet. It is said that Mat died of a broken heart at the loss of his best friend, and hence the grave was never found. Frank Scales, a brother of Dr. Jeff. Scales, of Staten Island, NY, was wounded and taken prisoner in this fight and was never heard of afterwards.

About sunset of the 14th of September orders were given for the wagon train to move and cross the river at Williamsport, MD. This move was the result of a flank movement of the enemy. Brig. Gen. Butterfield not being able to take the pass by direct assault, concluded to flank the brigade of Brig. Gen. Garland. This necessitated our evacuation of the battlefield at sundown, and the 13th NC Regiment, about dark, left for Sharpsburg. It was afterwards currently reported in the army that by the carelessness of Adjutant Ratchford, of Maj. Gen. Daniel H. Hill's (NC) staff, General Robert E. Lee's plan of the campaign fell into the enemy's hands, as Maj. Gen. George B. McClellan evidently knew of the small force at South Mountain and that Maj. Gen. Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson was at Harper's Ferry.

One of the bloodiest battles of the war was fought at Sharpsburg. In this battle the 13th NC Regiment fought with great heroism, losing a great many of its men. In Company H, from Rockingham County, there were only nine men for duty when we got into Virginia. The other companies lost in the same proportion. The regiment recrossed the Potomac River, and the first invasion of Maryland was over.

The 13th NC Regiment went into camp near the town of Berryville, VA. Here the only encounter with the enemy was at Snicker's Gap, where a reconnoitering force of the enemy was driven back. During the first week in December the 13th NC Regiment made a rapid march down the Shenandoah Valley to meet Maj. Gen. Ambrose E. Burnside at Fredericksburg. On the 13th of December this battle took place and the 13th NC Regiment was placed in support of a battery on the heights near the town. It was exposed to the shells of the enemy all day, with few casualties. The ground was covered with a skim of snow and it suffered more from the cold than from the enemy.

The 13th NC Regiment went into camp after this battle at Camp Gregg, near Guinea Station, where we remained until a few days before the fight at Chancellorsville. A few days before this fight the 13th NC Regiment was sent to Louisa County to arrest deserters. We had been there but a day or two when we received orders to march to meet Maj. Gen. Joseph Hooker. We cooked up three (3) days' rations and started just before sundown, marched all night long, and reached Chancellorsville about 10 o'clock on the day of the fight. It is said that the distance marched was fifty-seven (57) miles.

It was at the head of our regiment at Chancellorsville that Generals Robert E. Lee and Lt. Gen. Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson and others stood when the plan was conceived of striking Maj. Gen. Hooker's flank. Soon we were on the march, and in the evening, just before dark, we struck Maj. Gen. Hooker's men, totally unprepared. We did not fire a shot on the first day, and were witnesses of the inglorious flight of Maj. Gen. Franz Sigel's Corps. Night saved Maj. Gen. Hooker's army, and but for the wounding of Lt. Gen. Jackson a night attack would have probably given us the whole army as prisoners. We slept on our arms in line of battle, ready for the conflict on the morrow. A short distance from us we could hear the enemy cutting down trees in our front, using the logs for a breastwork and sharpening up the laps of the trees so that if we charged them in the dark we might impale ourselves upon the sharp points. About sunrise we charged the enemy and drove them until all of our ammunition was exhausted, when we were relieved by Brig. Gen. Alfred Iverson's (NC) Brigade. In the rush of our regiment Brig. Gen. William Hays and staff were captured by us.

Our loss in killed and wounded, however, was heavy. Three hundred and seventy-five (375)men were killed and wounded out of a total of about six hundred (600). After the fight was over Brig. Gen. William D. Pender (NC) sent for the officers of the brigade to come to his quarters. He had given very strict orders before the fight. As the officers of the different regiments came before him he praised or blamed them as they deserved, but when the officers of the 13th NC Regiment came up Brig. Gen. Pender said: "Glorious old Thirteenth, you have covered yourselves with glory." Not a rebuke to a single officer, for he had twice passed along the battle line, exposing himself, as we thought, unnecessarily, and each time had seen all doing their full duty. To modify this excessive praise, it may be well to remember that the 13th NC Regiment's first colonel was Brig. Gen. Pender. He was a West Pointer and was a strict disciplinarian, and, as we thought, a rigid drill master; but after a few battles, when in most trying circumstances the regiment was able to keep an unbroken front, the wisdom of Brig. Gen. Pender was fully justified.

Shortly after the battle of Chancellorsville General Robert E. Lee started on his Gettysburg campaign; but the immortal Lt. Gen. Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson had succumbed to his wounds, and General Lee was deprived of his right bower. The 13th NC Regiment having again recruited so as to make a presentable appearance, although not having a fourth of its original numbers, was ready for the conflict. The regiment was not in the battles of Cedar Mountain or Second Manassas (another source claims the regiment was at 2nd Manassas).

No incidents occurred worthy of notice on our march through Maryland into Pennsylvania save one. Just befpre reaching the town of Waynesville, PA, we passed by a house with a large porch in front, in which an old dutch woman, fat and lusty, sat rocking herself vigorously in an armchair. The band of the 13th NC Regiment was playing "Maryland, my Maryland." On the completion of the tune the old lady arose and in her broken English screamed at the top of her voice: "Oh, yes! Oh, yes! It's 'Maryland, my Maryland!' but when you come back it will be 'Fire in the mountains; run, boys, run!'" and with a hoarse, loud laugh she resumed her seat and rocked more vigorously than ever.

In the first day's fight at Gettysburg the 13th NC Regiment had only one hundred and eighty (180) men in line. We formed a line, with our left on the road leading from Cashtown to Gettysburg, on a hill opposite Cemetery Ridge. On getting in about seventy-five (75) yards of the enemy our men were ordered to lie down. As so many had been shot down in the advance we did not have men enough for the final charge. A flank movement was made on our right by a strong brigade and the enemy driven from their position. Of the one hundred and eighty (180) men in the regiment one hundred and fifty (150) were killed and wounded, leaving only thirty men in the regiment. Only two officers were left, 2nd Lt. Robert L. Moir and 2nd Lt. Nathaniel S. Smith.

The next day fifteen men who had been left at Greencastle joined us and the regiment was recruited to forty-five (45) men. On the 3rd of July the 13th NC Regiment was in the supporting line under command of Robert L. Moir, 2nd Lieutenant. On emerging from the woods on the last charge Lt. Moir was wounded, and acting Adjutant/2nd Lt. Nathaniel S. Smith was the only officer left in charge of the regiment. It now only numbered, as we said above, forty-five (45) men. In the charge twenty-three (23) of them were killed and wounded, leaving only twenty-two (22) men in the 13th NC Regiment. Retreating from Gettysburg, we crossed the Potomac River at Falling Waters (aka 1st Hagerstown), where about one-half of the remainder was captured, being thrown out as a skirmish line to hold back the enemy, while Colonel Lawrence, in charge of the brigade, was enabled to cross the pontoon bridge to the Virginia side. The Yankees got possession of the bridge before the skirmish line could reach it, and the whole line, composed of sixteen to twenty-five (16-25) men, was captured.

The writer of this sketch was in command of this line and was captured. He is not able to give any further sketch of the 13th NC Regiment.


** The above was written by former Lieutenant/Adjutant Nathaniel S. Smith, and provided as Pages 688-699, in the compilation known as "Histories of the Several Regiments and Battalions from North Carolina in the Great War 1861-'65 - Volume I," edited by Walter Clark, and published by E. M. Uzzell, Printer and Binder, in 1901. Minor edits, additions, and deletions were provided by this Author for clarity and consistency.
Additional Sketch of the 13th NC Regiment***

Late in the fall of 1863 the Union army crossed the Rappahannock River above Fredericksburg and was confronted by General Robert E. Lee, and after some maneuvering recrossed the river under cover of night, without any general engagement, after which the 13th NC Regiment, then a part of Brig. Gen. Alfred M. Scales' (NC) Brigade, took up winter quarters a few miles west of Orange Court House, where it remained until the spring of 1864, except when called upon to meet raids of the enemy's cavalry along the Rapidan River to the west.

This was a severe winter, and death, the great reaper, taking advantage of insufficient rations and raiment, claimed as his victims many brave officers and men. Among the number was Capt. Thomas T. Lawson, of Company H, who having recently married and carried his bride with him to camp, died on February 24, 1864.

Early in May of 1864, the Union army, under command of Lt. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant, crossed the Rappahannock River and was met by the Confederate forces, commanded by General Robert E. Lee, at "The Wilderness," on the road leading from Orange Court House to Fredericksburg, on May 5th, where one of the most desperate battles of the war was fought. Trees eight (8) inches in diameter were cut down by musket balls, as very little artillery was used. This was the beginning of Lt. Gen. Grant's "fight it out on this line if it takes all the summer" campaign (aka Grant's Overland Campaign), continuing on to the battles of Spotsylvania Court House, Hanover Junction, etc., to the siege of Petersburg. This regiment was in the first day's fight, losing a number in killed and wounded. Among the latter Capt. Hugh L. Guerrant, of Company K, shot in the hand.

At Spotsylvania Court House the regiment was in that terrible re-establishing of the lines where the "horse-shoe" had been broken and nearly a division of Confederates captured, suffering mostly from shot and shell, as it was supporting our batteries.

The regiment was engaged in all the skirmishes and battles from Spotsylvania Court House to Petersburg, crossing the James River at Drewry's Bluff on a pontoon-bridge, going into Petersburg on the train under fire of the enemy's batteries on the day Lt. Gen. Grant got inside the corporate limits. The regiment occupied its position in line defending the city until August 31st, when it went down to Reams' Station on the Petersburg & Weldon Railroad, wherg the enemy had cut the road and entrenched themselves. It was engaged in that sharp and decisive battle in which we captured more than two thousand (2,000) prisoners and a battery of artillery, completely routing the enemy.

This regiment continued on duty around Petersburg during the winter until Lt. Gen. Grant's lines were extended far to the south. On March 31st the regiment was carried to Hatcher's Run, about eight miles from the city on the Boydton Plank Road, where it aided in holding the enemy in check.

On that memorable Sunday morning, April 2nd, the enemy succeeded in breaking General Robert E. Lee's lines between this point and Petersburg, necessitating the falling back of the regiment to avoid capture. It was here that that gallant and brave officer, Lt. Col. Elijah B. Withers, in running the gauntlet, came so near being captured. Being halted by a blue jacket with a musket at a distance of about fifty (50) paces, with the command, "Stop, you d— rebel!" he replied, "Kiss my foot, you old rascal!" and but for a failure of the musket to fire one of the best men in the land might have "fallen asleep." The regiment had a sharp engagement with the enemy about noon of this day, losing several good men, but checking this advance. It was for several days under almost continuous fire in covering General Lee's retreat.

On Sunday morning, April 9th, about 9 o'clock, as the regiment was forming line of battle in plain view of the enemy, the command passed down the line, "Cease firing!" and for the first time in four years was such a command ever heard or heeded with an enemy in sight.

On Wednesday, April 12th, at 2 o'clock p.m., in the historic village of Appomattox Court House, VA, in front of a Federal brigade standing at present arms, the 13th NC Regiment stacked its full quota of muskets, thus helping to make up a greater total from North Carolina than from the remainder of General Lee's army.


*** The above was written by former 1st Lieutenant T. Lindsay Rawley, and provided as Pages 700-703, in the compilation known as "Histories of the Several Regiments and Battalions from North Carolina in the Great War 1861-'65 - Volume I," edited by Walter Clark, and published by E. M. Uzzell, Printer and Binder, in 1901. Minor edits, additons, and deletions were provided by this Author for clarity and consistency.

Known Battles / Skirmishes****

Date(s)

Battle / Skirmish

May 5, 1862

Fort Magruder, VA

May 31 - June 1, 1862

Seven Pines, VA

June 25 - July 1, 1862

Seven Days' Battles, VA

June 25, 1862

Oak Grove, VA

June 26, 1862

Mechanicsville, VA

June 27, 1862

Gaines's Mill, VA

June 30, 1862

White Oak Swamp, VA

July 1, 1862

Malvern Hill, VA

August 28-30, 1862

2nd Manassas, VA

September 12-15, 1862

Harper's Ferry, VA

September 14, 1862

Boonsboro Gap, MD

September 17, 1862

Sharpsburg, MD

December 11-15, 1862

Fredericksburg, VA

April 30 - May 6, 1863

Chancellorsville, VA

June 13-15, 1863

2nd Winchester, VA

July 1-3, 1863

Gettysburg, PA

July 6-16, 1863

1st Hagerstown, MD

September 22, 1863

Barnett's Ford, VA

October 13 - November 7, 1863

Bristoe Campaign, VA

November 7 - December 2, 1863

Mine Run Campaign, VA

November 27 - December 2, 1863

Payne's Farm, VA

May 5 - June 24, 1864

Wildnerness Campaign, VA

May 5-7, 1864

Wilderness, VA

May 8-21, 1864

Spotsylvania, VA

May 23-26, 1864

Hanover Junction, VA

May 31 - June 12, 1864

Cold Harbor, VA

June 15, 1864 - April 2, 1865

Siege of Petersburg, VA

August 18-21, 1864

2nd Weldon Railroad, VA

August 25, 1864

2nd Reams Station, VA

September 29-30, 1864

Fort Harrison, VA

September 30, 1864

Jones's Farm, VA

February 5-7, 1865

Dabney's Mill, VA

March 31, 1865

Boydton Plank Road, VA

April 1, 1865

Five Forks, VA

April 2, 1865

3rd Petersburg, VA

April 6-7, 1865

Farmville, VA
**** Not all battles/skirmishes above are described in the three (3) narratives earlier herein. Five (5) of the engagements (including one overarching campaign) above are described in the book "North Carolina Troops: 1861-1865, A Roster, Volume V - Infantry," on pages 275-283. Reminder, this website uses the Southern names for all battle/skirmishes.

 


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