The 26th North Carolina Infantry Regiment lost 274 men killed or died of wounds, 332 men died of diesease, and 775 men were captured as prisoners of war, of whom 70 died while in captivity.
|August 27||The 26th North Carolina Infantry Regiment was organized at Crabtree outside Raleigh, under the command of Colonel Zebulon B. Vance, Lieutenant Colonel Henry King Burgwyn (a 19 year old graduate of the Class of 1861 at VMI) and Major Abner B. Carmichael. Company A was transferred from the 22nd North Carolina Infantry’s Company D.
Company A – Jeff Davis Mountaineers – Ashe County – Captain Andrew N. McMillan
|September 2||The regiment left Raleigh for Moorhead City commanded by Lieutenant Colone Burgwyn, as Colonel Vance had not arrived. It then proceeded after a short time to Fort Macon, on Bogue Island, assigned to the Department of North Carolina, where Colonel Vance asumed command.
Measles swept through the regiment, as they did in so many others. Nine men died in a week in one company.
|Winter||The regiment returned to the mainland between Morehead City and Carolina City to go into winter quarters.|
|January-March||Assigned to the District of Pimlico, Department of North Carolina.|
|March-June||Assigned to the French’s-Ransom’s Brigade, District of Pimlico, Department of North Carolina.|
The regiment lost 87 casualties. Major Carmichael was killed. Captain William Martin of Company H was shot in the head and killed. Captain McMillan of Company A was wounded. Captain Oscar R. Rand of Company D was captured. Captain Nathaniel Rankin of Company F was elected major.
|April 21||The regiment reorganized for the duration of the war.
Colonel Vance and Lieutenant Colonel Burgwin were reelected. First Lieutenant James S. Kendall of Company K was elected Major.
Within a short time Major Kendall died from Yellow Fever. Captain John R. Lane of Company H was then elected major.
|June 20||Ordered to Virginia. Assigned to the Ransom’s Brigade, Department of North Carolina.|
|June 25-July 1||
Seven Days Battles
The regiment lost 6 men killed and 40 wounded.
King’s School House
The regiment lost 2 men killed and 5 wounded.
The regiment lost 7 men killed, 53 wounded and 1 man captured. Captain John C. McLauchlin of Company K was wounded and disabled from further service in the field. Lieutenant Orrin A. Hanner of Company E was wounded.
|September 8||Colonel Vance was elected governor of North Carolina and resigned to take up his office. Lieutenant Colonel Burgwyn was promoted to colonel, the youngest in the Confederate army, Major Lane was promoted to lieutenant colonel and Captain John T. Jones of Company I was promoted to major. Burgwyn clashed with General Ransom, who wanted no ‘boy colonels’ in his brigade, and the regiment was transferred to Pettigrew’s Brigade.|
|September-February||Assigned to Pettigrew’s Brigade, French’s Command, Department of North Carolina and Southern Virginia.
Captain John J.C. Steele of Company B and Captain Joseph R. Ballew of Company F resigned. First Lieutenant William Wilson was promoted to captain of Company B and First Lieutenant Romulus M. Tuttle was promoted to captain of Company F. Second Lieutenant Henry C. Albright and First Lieutenant Nero G. Bradford were promoted to captains of Companies G and I.
New Bern and Washington Campaign
Assigned to Pettigrew’s Brigade, D.H, Hills Command, Department of North Carolina and Southern Virginia. The regiment lost 7 men killed, 11 men wounded and 71 captured. Lieutenant Colonel Lane was wounded.
|April-May||Assigned to Pettigrew’s Brigade, Department of North Carolina.|
|May 1||Ordered to Richmond and assigned to Pettigrew’s Brigade, Department of Richmond.|
|June||Assigned to Pettigrew’s Brigade, Heth’s Division, 3rd Corps, Army of Northern Virginia.|
|June 15||Began the march to Pennsylvania|
The 26th North Carolina brought 843 men to the field, the largest regiment in the battle. It lost 81.9 % casualties (172 killed, 443 wounded, and 72 missing or captured, a total of 687). Every man of Company F was killed or wounded. No regiment on either side at Gettysburg suffered more casualties than the 26th North Carolina.
The regiment was under the command of Colonel Henry Burgwyn. He was mortally wounded on July 1st, reforming the regiment while carrying its colors after ten color bearers had already been killed or wounded. Lieutenant Colonel Lane took up the colors and resumed the attack but was badly wounded in the neck and jaw, the last of 14 color bearers to be struck down. Major Jones was wounded but remained on the field, and took command of the brigade when General Pettigrew took over the division from the wounded General Heth. Captain H.C. Albright then took command
The first day’s fighting on Seminary Ridge
During the first day’s fighting in the Herbst Woods 588 men became casualties (86 men killed and 502 wounded) in a brutal battle of mutual annihilation with the 24th Michigan Infantry (who suffered 73% casualties). Company E was left with twelve men, all but two lightly wounded, and Company F consisted of a single sergeant, Robert Hudspeth, who had been stunned by a shell but was still on the field.
Longstreet’s attack on the last day
The badly battered regiment sat our the second day of the battle, but were called upon on the third day to join the attack that would be called Pickett’s Charge. During that assault 99 more men were lost. Eight more color bearers were killed or wounded. Sergeant Hudspeth had managed to scrape together a handful of detached men from Company F. They all became casualties. The last color bearers made it to the stone wall defended by the Federals while the troops behind it refrained from firing at them in honor of their courage. As First Sergeant James M. Brooks of Company E and color bearer Daniel Thomas reached the wall, the Federals called out, “Come over on this side of the Lord” and helped them over the wall and into captivity.
A grim toll of officers
Captain Samuel P. Wagg of Company A was killed. Captain William Wilson and Lieutenants John W. Richardson of Company B and Marion J. Woodall of Company D were killed. Captain Nero G. Bradford and Lieutenants William W. Richardson and John B. Holloway were mortally wounded. Captains Isaac A. Jarratt and Stephen W. Brewer and Lieutenants J.B. Houck of Company A, A.B. Edwards and William Estridge of Company B, and Orrin A. Hanner of Company E were wounded. Captin James T. Adams of Company D and Adjutant James B. Jordan were seriously wounded. Captain H.C. Albright was the only unwounded captain in the regiment.
There are two monuments to the regiment at Gettysburg. The first is along Meredith Avenue:
Henry King Burgwyn, Jr.
Pettigrew’s Brigade moved toward Gettysburg early on the morning of July 1 and shortly after noon deployed in line of battle on the ridge 60 yards west of here. The 26th North Carolina stood on the Brigade’s left flank, facing these woods and the 24th Michigan of Meredith’s Iron Brigade. The order to advance was made about 2:30 p.m. On nearing Willoughby Run the Regiment received a galling fire from the opposite bank. By Maj. Jones account the “fighting was terrible” with the forces “pouring volleys into each other at a distance not greater than 20 paces.” After about an hour the Regiment had incurred very heavy losses, Col. Burgwyn had been mortally wounded and Lt. Col. Lane injured. The attack continued until the Union troops fell back through the streets of Gettysburg and took up positions south of town.
On July 9 Brigadier General James Johnston Pettigrew wrote that the Regiment had “Covered itself with glory… It fell to the lot of the 26th to charge one of the strongest positions possible… with a gallantry unsurpassed.” Addressing his remarks to Zebulon Baird Vance, who had served as Colonel of the 26th until his election as Governor in August 1862, Pettigrew concluded that “Your old comrades did honor to your association with them, and to the state they represented.”
The second monument is just to the west of The Angle on Cemetery Ridge:
Although nearly destroyed during its successful attack against Meredith’s Iron Brigade on July 1, the Twenty-Sixth North Carolina Regiment joined in the Petigrew-Pickett Charge on the afternoon of July 3. Advancing under solid shot, spherical case, canister, and musketry the Regiment charge to within ten paces of the stone wall to their front.
The scene was described by an artilleryman of a Rhode Island battery: “. . . As a regiment of Pettigrew’s Brigade (the Twenty-Sixth North Carolina) was charging. . .and had almost reached the wall in front of us, Sergt. M.C.Onley cried out, ’Fire that gun! Pull! Pull!’ the No. 4 obeyed orders and the gap made in that North Carolina regiment was simply terrible.” Under this galling fire, the Twenty-Sixth North Carolina was compelled to retire with the Brigade from this point to Seminary Ridge.”
|July 5||Colonel Lane was being evacuated to Virginia in the wagon train of injured when it was attacked by Union cavalry. Despite his serious injuries he left his wagon, mounted his horse, and escaped capture.
Other wounded officers were captured. either by Union raiders or because they were thought too badly injured to move: Captains Nero G. Bradford of Company I and Stephen W. Brewer of Company E, Lieutenants Edward A. Brietz of Company B, Gaston H. Broughton of Company D, Orren A. Hanner of Company E, Murdoch McLeod of Company H, and Adjutant James B. Jordan.
The regiment lost 2 men wounded and 59 men captured.
The regiment was commanded by Major John T. Jones. It lost 19 men killed, 76 wounded and 84 captured. Lieutenant J.B. Houck of Company A was wounded and Second Lieutenant John M. Harris of Company C was captured.
Mine Run Campaign
Lieutenant Colonel John R. Lane was promoted to colonel while home recovering from his Gettysburg wound. Major John T. Jones was promoted to lieutenant colonel.
|May||Although the regiment was at one point a candidate for consolidation the officers worked hard to recruit back up to strength, and by May mustered 760 men.|
Colonel Lane was wounded in the thigh in the evening of May 5. Lieutenant Colonel Jones took over the regiment only to be mortally wounded the next day. Colonel Lane returned to command after Lieutenant Colonel Jones fell. The regiment lost 13 men killed, 15 wounded, and 20 captured.
After the battle Captain James T. Adams of Company D was promoted to major.
The regiment lost 6 men killed and 15 wounded. It started the battle in reserve near the court house, and was detached as a trustworthy unit to bring in badly needed corn for the artillery horses from a farm a few miles upriver.
The regiment lost 2 men captured.
The regiment lost 6 men killed and 10 wounded.
The regiment lost 1 man killed and 18 wounded. Colonel Lane was badly wounded in the chest by a shell, at first thought to be mortal. Lieutenant Colonel Adams took command of the regiment. First Lieutenant John W. Richardson was killed.
Captain Henry C. Albright of Company C, the only captain to survive Gettysburg untouched, was mortally wounded. First Lieutenant Austin R. Johnson took over Company C.
Jones’ Farm & Squirrel Level Road
Captain Tuttle of Company F was badly wounded in the left arm.
Color bearer Thomas Minton of Company C was killed.
The regiment lost 2 men killed and 3 wounded.
|Mid-March||Colonel Lane had never fully recovered from his head and neck wounds from Reams’ Station and went into the hospital. He would remain there until after the end of the war. Lieutenant Colonel James T. Adams would command the regiment until the end of the war except when temporarily in command of the brigade, when Captain Thomas J. Cureton of Company B took over the regiment.|
The regiment lost 6 men captured.
The regiment lost 1 man wounded and 1 captured. Captain Thomas Lilly, detached to command the brigade’s sharpshooters, was killed.
The regiment lost 2 men wounded and 42 captured.
|April 3||The regimental band under Captain Samuel Timothy Mickey was captured during the retreat and taken to City Point. The band was with the regiment throughout the war in quiet times and under fire. It was considered to be one of the best in the army.|
Amelia Court House
The regiment lost 9 men captured.
The 26th North Caolina Infantry lost 1 man wounded before surrendering 10 officers and 120 men under the command of Lieutenant Colonel James T. Adams.