North Carolina in the American Civil War

34th NC Regiment (Infantry)

Date Regiment Organized

Mustered In

 Date Regiment Ended

Mustered Out


October 25, 1861

Camp Fisher near
High Point, NC

April 9, 1865

Appomattox, VA

Re-Organized "for the war" on
April 18, 1862

Field Officers


Lt. Colonel(s)




Collet Leventhorpe,
Richard H. Riddick,
William L.J. Lowrance

William A. Houck,
Charles J. Hammarskold,
Hiram W. Abernathy,
Eli H. Miller
John L. McDowell,
George T. Gordon,
George M. Norment

Martin Shoffner,
William A. Owens,
Charles J. Hammarskold,
Eli H. Miller,
Joseph B. McGhee,
George M. Clark,
Francis L. Twitty

William D. Jones,
Francis L. Twitty,
James W. Riddick,
George A. Atwell,
William B. A. Lowrance

James S. Erwin,
Augustus R. Bennick



Assistant Surgeon(s)

Assistant Surgeon(s)

Assistant QM(s)

Eli. H. Miller,
Adam Ross Nesbit

Warren W. Ward,
John Fullenwider Miller

T.R. Egerton,
Richard R. Barr

John S. Richards,
Rodisco B. Williams

Joseph B. Carrier,
John W. Clarke,
Nathan McGinnis

Companies / Captains

Company A - Ashe County
Laurel Springs Guard

Company B - Rutherford County and Cleveland County
Sandy Run Yellow Jackets

Company C - Rutherford County
Rutherford Rebels

Company D - Rowan County
Oakland Guards

Company E - Lincoln County and Gaston County
Shady Grove Rangers

Capt. Stephen N. Wilson,
Capt. Nelson C. Woody,
Capt. Hiram W. Abernathy

Capt. John Edwards,
Capt. Joseph C. Byers,
Capt. William P. Beam

Capt. Marcus O. Dickerson,
Capt. Francis L. Twitty,
Capt. John D. Young

Capt. William A. Houck,
Capt. William L.J. Lowrance,
Capt. Carmi K. McNeely

Capt. John F. Hill,
Capt. William O. Harrelson,
Capt. Micajah C. Davis,
Capt. George A. Atwell

Companies / Captains (Continued)

Company F - Cleveland County
Floyd Rifles

Company G-Mecklenburg County
Mecklenburg Boys

Company H - Cleveland County
Rough & Readys

Company I - Rutherford County
Rutherford Band

Company K-Montgomery County
Montgomery Boys

Capt. Abraham G. Waters,
Capt. David R. Hoyle

Capt. William R. Myers,
Capt. Joseph B. McGee,
Capt. George M. Norment,
Capt. James C. Todd

Capt. Samuel A. Hoey,
Capt. John A. Roberts

Capt. James O. Simmons,
Capt. John L. McDowell,
Capt. James Wood

Capt. David R. Cochran,
Capt. Jesse S. Spencer,
Capt. George M. Clark,
Capt. William B.A. Lowrance

Brief History of Regiment*

The 34th NC Regiment of State Troops was composed of the following companies:

Company A—Ashe County—Captain Stephen N. Wilson.
Company B—Rutherford and Cleveland Counties—Captain John Edwards.
Company C—Rutherford County—Captain Marcus O. Dickerson.
Company D—Rowan County—Captain William A. Houck.
Company E—Lincoln County—Captain John F. Hill.
Company F—Cleveland County—Captain Abraham G. Waters.
Company G—Mecklenburg County—Captain William R. Myers.
Company H—Cleveland County—Captain Samuel A. Hoey.
Company I—Rutherford County—Captain James O. Simmons.
Company K—Montgomery County—Captain David R. Cochran.

The regiment was organized at High Point, on October 25, 1861, and during its existence was successively officered as follows:

Colonels—Collett Leventhorpe, Richard H. Riddick, William L. J. Lowrance.
Lieutenant Colonels—William A. Houck, Charles J. Hammarskold, Hiram W. Abernathy, Eli H. Miller, John L. McDowell, George T. Gordon, George M. Norment.
Majors—Martin Shoffner, William A. Owens, Charles J. Hamamrskold, Eli H. Miller, Joseph B. McGhee, George M. Clark, Francis L. Twitty.
Chaplains—James S. Erwin, Augustus R. Bennick.
Adjutants—William D. Jones, Francis L. Twitty, James W. Riddick, George A. Atwell, William B.A. Lowrance.
Assistant Quartermasters—Joseph B. Carrier, John W. Clark.
Surgeons—Warren W. Ward, John F. Miller.
Assistant Surgeons—T.R. Egerton, Richard R. Barr, John S. Richards, Bodisco B. Williams.
Sergeant Majors—Joseph J. Sloan, Adam R. Nesbit, Monroe M. Gillon, Henry H. Rickert, George A. Atwell, Charles B. Todd.
Quartermasters—Joseph B. Carrier, John W. Clarke, Nathan McGinnis.
Drum Major—Frederick W. Bourguin.

We spent the winter of 1861 at High Point and Raleigh under rigid discipline, drilling hard, and having diseases, which our mothers, in their kindness and watchfulness, had kept us from in our boyhood, to-wit, measles, mumps, whooping cough, etc.

The Spring of 1862 found us at Hamilton, NC, on the Roanoke River [Martin County], "playing war." Col. Collett Leventhorpe had us to believe that we could sink all the gunboats that could come up that river. Later we went to Goldsborough, where we re-enlisted for "three years or during war," at the request of the Confederate Congress, under a Legislative Act, called by some, "The Conscript Act." Up to this time we thought we had seen something of war, crossing swamps and streams where there were no bridges, but we found out later how little we knew of the actual hardships of long and continuous war.

From Goldsborough we went to Fredericksburg, VA, and for the first time were attached to a brigade and had a "sure enough" General to command us, and could really see the enemy from our picket posts.

Well, we couldn't persuade the Yankees to fight us, and having no order to disturb them, we struck camp and marched back to Richmond, where we were attached to Brig. Gen. William D. Pender's (NC) Brigade, composed of the 13th, 16th, 22nd, 34th, and 38th NC Regiments.

The history of this brigade tells the history of each regiment up to the end of the war. As an individual member I am not ashamed of any part of its history, and would be willing to apply the test of comparison with any brigade in the Army of Northern Virginia.

On June 26, 1862, being a part of Maj. Gen. A.P. Hill's (VA) Light Division, we were ordered across the Chickahominy River, and at Mechanicsville, where we had our first experience in real war, we were very anxious to fight; but some of us had serious misgivings as to how we would act when the test came. After being formed into line of battle we marched in the direction of the enemy and came in sight of him just before dark. We had been taught that the proper thing to do was to raise the "rebel yell" and charge, which we proceeded to do, and found ourselves in a creek not far from the enemy's works. In this fight our regiment lost 8 or 10 killed and 15 or 30 wounded. Late at night the brigade was withdrawn and renewed the attack at daylight on the morning of June 27th, when the enemy retired toward Gaines's Mill.

In the engagement at this last place Brig. Gen. Pender's Brigade was among the first troops to open the fight. Here many of us saw General Robert E. Lee for the first time, who rode up while the brigade was being formed into line of battle, whereupon Brig. Gen. Pender called the attention of his men by saying to them "the eyes of your chieftain are upon you." The writer of this sketch witnessed every principal engagement of the Army of Northern Virginia from this time to the end of the war, but in no other battle in the long succession was the musketry to be compared to that of June 27, 1862, at Gaines's Mill. The fighting continued till after dark when the Confederates were victorious, but at a fearful cost. The 34th NC Regiment lost heavily in killed and wounded. Among the killed were some of the bravest men that ever shouldered a musket or drew a sword. Here fell Capt. Abraham G. Waters, one of nature's noblemen. At the same time 14 of his men were killed and 25 wounded. Other companies of this regiment lost equally as heavily. Col. Richard H. Riddick was severely wounded. "Moore's Roster" says he was killed here, but this is a mistake; he was killed at Ox Hill on September 1, 1862.

On June 28th, with sad hearts over the loss of so many comrades, we set out in pursuit of the enemy. On June 30th, at Frayser's Farm, Brig. Gen. Pender's Brigade was in the thickest of the fight, charging and capturing a battery of artillery, which was pouring a fearful fire into us, and driving them entirely from the field. In this fight the 34th NC Regiment sustained a terrible loss. Among the killed I recall from memory were 1st Lt. John P. Parks and 2nd Lt. Robert S. Cowan, both of Company D, and 2nd Lt. Alexander H. Shotwell [mortally wounded], of Company C, all brave young men. Lt. Parks on reaching the battery, laying his hand upon a gun, remarked, ''This is my cannon," and was killed instantly.

The 34th NC Regiment was not heavily engaged in the battle of Malvern Hill on July 1st, but was under heavy artillery fire for several hours.

After these battles we camped below Richmond for several weeks, after which time we were ordered to Gordonsville where we were placed under the command of Maj. Gen. Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson (VA), who on August 9, 1862—a very hot day—marched out to Cedar Run, where Brig. Gen. John Pope [Corps led by Maj. Gen. Nathaniel Banks] was in waiting. Brig. Gen. William D. Pender's (NC) Brigade was on the extreme left and drove the enemy from his position with comparatively small loss to the Confederates. After dark, the brigades still being in line of battle in an open field, a mounted Federal rode up within a few steps of our line and inquired what troops we were. An officer stepped forward to receive him, and approaching nearer, the Federal fired at him with his pistol. He wheeled and putting spurs to his horse dashed away. From three to five hundred (300-500) shots were fired at the fleeing Yankee, but to no effect, so far as we could see. I mention this incident to show that the Northern army had some brave men and the Confederates some poor marksmen, especially when shooting by starlight.

The next movement of the regiment was with Maj. Gen. Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson (VA) on his famous "flank" movement. Subsisting almost entirely on green corn, we reached Manassas Junction on August 27th, and were engaged in driving the enemy across Bull Run, after which we had a grand feast from the abundant supply captured at Manassas Junction. After a few hours' needed rest we marched back to Manassas Plains, and were engaged almost continuously on August 29-30th in resisting the assaults of the enemy, and we were in the last charge that swept the enemy from the field late Saturday afternoon. The last fighting done at Second Manassas was by Brig. Gen. William D. Pender's (NC) Brigade, after dark near the field hospital of the Federals.

At the battle of Ox Hill, on September 1, 1862, this regiment suffered severe loss. The battle was fought during a pouring rain. Among the lost, Col. Richard H. Riddick and Lt. Colonel Eli H. Miller fell mortally wounded. Both were brave and efficient officers. Their loss to the regiment was irreparable. Col. Riddick had been in the Mexican War and was a fine disciplinarian.

The next day we took up our march to Maryland, and crossing the Potomac River at Leesburg, VA, rested a few days at Frederick City, proceeded from there to Williamsport, recrossed the Potomac River on the night of September 14th and drove the enemy into their works on Bolivar Heights, in front of Harper's Ferry, thereby enabling the Confederate artillery, undercover of darkness, to be placed in a position which caused the enemy to surrender early on the morning of September 15th. We took 11,500 prisoners and 76 pieces of artillery. The 34th NC Regiment was placed in charge of the pontoon bridge and was entrusted with the counting and discharging of the prisoners, after conducting them to the Maryland side of the river. We then moved by rapid march to Sharpsburg and reached that point in time to take part in the last fighting done by the right of General Robert E. Lee's army. The regiment at this time, owing to hard marching and exhausting fighting, was a mere skeleton. In the battle of Sharpsburg there were but four (4) commissioned officers in the whole regiment. One of these, 2nd Lt. James Bassinger, was mortally wounded.

On September 20th, our regiment assisted in driving back the Federal force which followed General Robert E. Lee into Virginia, killing many of them at Shepherdstown, who were attempting to recross the river on a dam.

After this the regiment was allowed rest and for the first time in six (6) weeks to change their clothing, not having seen our wagon train with baggage since leaving Orange Court House. Nothing worthy of note occurred until November, when the regiment marched with Maj. Gen. Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson's (VA) Corps to Fredericksburg. It was actively engaged in the great battle of Fredericksburg on December 13, 1862, where it is said 12,000 of the enemy were killed or wounded in thirty (30) minutes. The 34th NC Regiment occupied an unfortified position on the railroad, fighting under a galling fire from the enemy. Besides the unusual number of killed and wounded, there was great suffering from intense cold, being exposed to the bitter December weather without fire. The remainder of the winter was spent at Moss Neck, below Fredericksburg, doing picket duty on the Rappahannock River.

During this winter, which was so rigorous, even to those in comfort, many of the soldiers, for want of shoes for their frost-bitten feet, covered their feet with green beef hides. Owing to scarcity of provisions they were more sorely tried during this winter, but were not discouraged, and when the spring of '63 opened they were ready to meet the enemy with their accustomed zeal and courage. The 34th NC Regiment was with Lt. Gen. Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson (VA) on his great flank movement at Chancellorsville, and was at the head of the brigade on the plank road, and near the spot where the murderous bullets took from us our beloved hero.

After a long exposure to a frightful cannonading on the plank road the brigade was formed on the left, the right resting on the same road. Early on the morning of May 3rd the brigade assaulted the enemy behind his works, built during the night, and after hard fighting, he was completely routed and driven out. During the fight the woods caught on fire from the explosion of hostile shells. The scene was sickening—the dead and wounded on both sides were burnt to a crisp. Numbers were so charred that their comrades could not recognize and identify them.

After seeing the survivors of the Federal army safely over the Rappahannock River, the regiment returned to camp at Moss Neck, where it remained until June 5, 1863, when it set out on the march to fatal Gettysburg; was engaged and suffered heavy loss on the second [no, the first] day of July, among the killed being the gallant and highly esteemed Maj. George M. Clark of Montgomery County.

The brigade was now known as Brig. Gen. Alfred M. Scales' (NC), General Pender having been promoted to Major General, and fought on the right of the Chambersburg Road and was exposed to a deadly enfilading fire from artillery on the left and infantry in front, from behind breastworks. For the first time in its history, the brigade was repulsed by this thunderous fire, but nothing daunted the men leaped to the fray on the third day and were in the famous charge about which so much has been written. Our brigade was in the second line under Maj. Gen. Isaac R. Trimble (VA), marching into the struggle with magnificent appearance, but was repulsed and driven back in disorder, as was every other command engaged in that destructive charge. Some of the 34th Regiment were captured at the enemy's works.

The retreat from Gettysburg to Hagerstown, MD, cannot be described. The soldiers were so completely covered with mud that the color of their clothing could not be distinguished. We remained at Hagerstown two or three (2-3) days, subsisting on very short rations, but all the time skirmishing with the Yankees. On the night of July 13th, the retreat was resumed toward Falling Waters, our whole march being through mud and rain. The 34th NC Regiment was formed in line of battle about one (1) mile from the pontoon bridge, and was among the last troops to cross the river. Many were captured near the bridge, some crossing after the artillery duel began across the river. The writer and two (2) men were all that escaped of his company.

What remained of the regiment camped for a short time at Culpeper Court House, and was engaged in a cavalry fight on — August; had several men captured, and was then ordered to Orange Court House, where it did picket duty in the winter of '63 and '64.

The regiment received many recruits during this winter, mostly men between forty and forty-five (40-45) years, who, with rare exceptions, made poor soldiers, and fell far short of filling the places of those who had been killed or disabled. Candor compels the admission that this grand old regiment toward the close of the war was not what it had been from the beginning, and without presuming to speak for others, the same may be said of all regiments which had seen like service.

The 34th NC Regiment was at Bristoe Station in October 1863, but was not heavily engaged. However, it assisted in tearing up the railroad leading to the Rappahannock River, and was in line of battle at Payne's Farm (aka Mine Run) for several days in the latter part of November, 1863, and suffered intensely from the freezing weather.

At the Wilderness on May 5, 1864, the regiment, with the brigade, fought on the right of the plank road, holding their position till night against a strong opposing force. Early next morning we were surpised and driven back by an overwhelming number of the enemy and what seemed to be an imminent defeat was averted by the timely arrival of Lt. Gen. James Longstreet's (VA) Corps.

The regiment was engaged and did good service at Spotsylvania Court House. The loss in this battle was comparatively light, as most of the fighting was from behind breastworks.

At the engagement near Hanover Junction, on May 23, 1864, the regiment was engaged and lost severely. Three (3) color bearers were shot down, but the brave band held their position, and buried their dead and carried off the wounded.

At the battle of Cold Harbor, the 34th NC Regiment occupied the position on the right at Turkey Ridge. However, it was not heavily engaged, but was exposed for a long time to the rapid fire of the enemy.

On June 13th, we were in the engagement at Riddle's Shop, and for more than a mile drove the enemy in a running fight. The regiment took part in the battle near Petersburg on June 22nd.

At Reams' Station, on August 25th, Brig. Gen. Alfred M. Scales' North Carolina and Brig. Gen. George T. Anderson's Georgia Brigades made the first assault on the enemy's works and were repulsed with considerable loss, the right of the line being exposed to a frightful enfilading fire of artillery and musketry; but, while feeling the sting of defeat in our attack, with swelling hearts we witnessed the gallant charge of Brig. Gen. John R. Cooke's, Brig. Gen. William MacRae's, and Brig. Gen. James H. Lane's North Carolina Brigades. Excepting some small skirmishing this last fight ended the campaign of 1864, and the regiment went into winter quarters at Battery No. 45, near Petersburg, VA.

During the winter the regiment made a forced march, through rain, sleet and snow, to Bellfield Station, on the Petersburg & Weldon Railroad. The object of the march was to look after a raiding party of Federal cavalry. On our arrival we found that they had retired. This also was a winter of intense suffering among the soldiers. Almost destitute of provisions and clothing, many of them deserted and crossed the line to the enemy.

On March 25, 1865, the 34th NC Regiment was thrown forward to support the picket line, which was about one mile in front of the main line of works on Hare's Hill near Fort Stedman. Superior numbers forced us to fall back to the works, losing considerably in killed, wounded and captured.

On April 1, 1865, our regiment with the brigade, occupied a position on the right, south of Hatcher's Run. We learned soon after daylight that the Confederate lines between us and Petersburg had been broken. After this saddening news the regiment repulsed a force of Federal cavalry and then retreated to Southerland's Station, where a portion of Maj. Gen. Henry Heth's (VA) and Maj. Gen. Cadmus M. Wilcox's (AL) divisions hastily constructed breastworks from a rail fence behind which we repulsed two desperate assaults of the enemy, killing and wounding a large number, and capturing a stand of colors and many prisoners. Discovering that we were vastly outnumbered we fell back to the Appomattox River. There was no way of crossing the river except in a small boat which was scarcely sufficient to carry the higher officers.

The regiment marched all night and reached Amelia Court House the next day. At this time the ranking officer was Lt. Colonel George M. Norment, of the 34th NC Regiment, from Mecklenburg County. Here we joined the main army and General Robert E. Lee provided for us the much-needed rations. The regiment, with the brigade, protected the rear of the army at Farmville, marching several miles in line of battle, beating back the enemy's cavalry, and was the last to cross the river. As we went out from the river a heavy artillery fire was poured down upon the regiment.

On the morning of April 9th, the brigade was moving into line near Appomattox Court House, and was in range of the enemy's musketry, when orders were passed along the line to cease firing. All understood what it meant—the Army of Northern Virginia was to surrender. We then fell back to an open field, near the famous apple tree.

The Confederate soldiery which had cast their fortunes with the destiny of the South, had suffered untold and indescribable hardships and privations, but when their grand chieftain rode in among them and announced the terms of surrender, the agony of soul and the depth of suffering exceeded anything ever before endured in the cruel war. In the vast array of ragged braves, whose courage and zeal had carried them to the very mouths of the bronze war-dogs of the enemy, not a dry eye could be seen anywhere. It seemed that they preferred to make one last charge and become engulfed in death, the last long sleep, to the painful duty of giving up their tattered flag which had waved over them in so many victories; but all was over, and the remnant of two hundred (200) officers and men marched out and stacked their trusty muskets, laid down their bullet-pierced flag, never again to be unfurled in the rage of battle. Thus ended the great drama in which the 34th NC Regiment played no mean part. The regiment deserves a more extensive history than this sketch, which has been written almost entirely from memory; which must necessarily have dimmed with the recession of thirty (30) odd years; and the writer regrets that he has not had access to records from which to give the casualties of each battle in which the regiment was engaged.

T. D. Lattimore,
Shelby, NC
9 April, 1901

* The above was written by former 2nd Lieutenant Thomas D. Lattimore on April 9, 1901, and provided as Pages 581-590, in the compilation known as "Histories of the Several Regiments and Battalions from North Carolina in the Great War 1861-'65 - Volume II," 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.
There is another excellent write-up about the 34th NC Regiment online. Click Here to view that article.

Known Battles / Skirmishes**


Battle / Skirmish

June 25 - July 1, 1862

Seven Days' Battles, VA

June 26, 1862

Mechanicsville, VA

June 27, 1862

Gaines's Mill, VA

June 30, 1862

Frayser's Farm, VA

July 1, 1862

Malvern Hill, VA

August 9, 1862

Cedar Run, VA

August 25-27, 1862

Manassas Station Operations, VA

August 28-30, 1862

2nd Manassas, VA

September 1, 1862

Ox Hill, VA

September 12-15, 1862

Harper's Ferry, VA

September 17, 1862

Sharpsburg, MD

September 19-20, 1862

Shepherdstown, VA

December 11-15, 1862

Fredericksburg, VA

April 30 - May 6, 1863

Chancellorsville, VA

July 1-3, 1863

Gettysburg, PA

July 6-16, 1863

1st Hagerstown, MD

October 13 - November 7, 1863

Bristoe Campaign, VA

October 14, 1863

Bristoe Station, VA

November 7 - December 2, 1863

Mine Run Campaign, VA

November 27 - December 2, 1863

Payne's Farm, VA

May 5 - June 24, 1864

Wilderness Campaign, VA

May 5-7, 1864

Wilderness, VA

May 8-11, 1864

Spotsylvania, VA

May 15 - October 19, 1864

Valley Campaigns, VA

May 23-26, 1864

Hanover Junction, VA

May 28-30, 1864

Bethesda Church, VA

May 31 - June 12, 1864

Cold Harbor, VA

June 13, 1864

Riddle's Shop, VA

June 15, 1864 - April 2, 1865

Siege of Petersburg, VA

June 21-23, 1864

1st Weldon Railroad

August 25, 1864

2nd Reams Station, VA

September 30, 1864

Jones's Farm, VA

December 7-12, 1864

Stony Creek Raid, VA

February 5-7, 1865

Dabney's Mill, VA

March 25, 1865

Hare's Hill, VA

April 2, 1865

3rd Petersburg, VA

April 6-7, 1865

Farmville, VA
** Not all battles/skirmishes above are described in the narrative provided by Lt. Lattimore earlier herein. Nine (9) engagements above (included four overarching campaigns) are described in the book "North Carolina Troops: 1861-1865, A Roster, Volume IX - Infantry," on pages 245-251. Reminder, this website uses the Southern names for all battles/skirmishes. 


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