Confederate Regiments & Batteries * North Carolina


3rd North Carolina State Troops

1861
May 16 The 3rd North Carolina Infantry Regiment was organized for state service at Garysburg in Northampton County, under the command of Colonel W. Gaston Meares, Lieutenant Colonel Robert H. Cowan, and Major William L. DeRosset.

Company A – Greene County – Captain Robert H. Drysdale
Company B – Duplin – Captain Stephen D. Thruston, M. D.
Company C – Cumberland – Captain Peter Mallett
Company D – Wilmington – Captain Edward Savage
Company E – Onslow – Captain M. L. F. Redd
Company F – Wilmington – Captain William M. Parsley
Company G – Onslow – Captain E. H. Rhodes
Company H – Bladen – Captain Theodore M. Sikes
Company I – Beaufort County – Captain John R. Carmer
Company K – New Hanover – Captain David Williams

July-September Moved to Richmond, Virginia in two sections and then assigned to District of Aquia, Department of Fredericksburg. Went into camp at Brooks Station on the Richmond, Fredericksburg & Potomac Railroad.
August 31-September 1 Mustered into Confederate Service
September-October Assigned to Walker’s Brigade, District of Aquia, Department of Fredericksburg.
October Assigned to Walker’s Brigade, Aquia District, Army of Northern Virginia.
December Captain Drysdale of Company A died of pneumonia in winter quarters at Aquia Creek.
1862
March-May Ordered to Goldsboto, North Carolina and assigned to Walker’s Brigade, Department of North Carolina.
May Returned to Virginia and assigned to Ripley’s Brigade, D.H. Hill’s Division, Army of Northern Virginia. Lieutenant Colonel Cowan was promoted to colonel of the 18th North Carolina Infantry Regiment. Major DeRosset was promoted to lieutenant colonel and Captain Savage of Company D was promoted to major.
June 15
Battle of Seven Pines

Arrived on the field after the fighting was over and suffered no casualties.

June 25-July 1
Seven Days Battles

Captain Sikes of Company H left his command without leave after the battle and was allowed to resign.

June 26
Beaver Dam Creek

After a long night march the regiment attacked across the Chickahminy River under heavy artillery fire and advanced for over a mile. Colonel Meares then led a bayonet charge down hill, then formed in a small woods. It lost 46 men including Major Savage, who was wounded.

June 27
Gaines’s Mill

Marched to Cold Harbor (Gaines’s Mill). They were not engaged but held their position under heavy artillery and small arms fire.

July 1
Malvern Hill

Arrived on the fied around noon and was placed on the left of the Confederate line. Captain Williams of Company K led the attack and forced a Federal battery to withdraw. The regiment lost 80 men, including Colonel Meares, who was killed by shrapnel while surveying the Federal line, and Captain Parsley of Company F, who was wounded in the neck. Lieutenant Colonel DeRosset was promoted to colonel and took command of the regiment, Major Savage was promoted to lieutenant colonel, and Captain Thruston of Company B to major.

Late July Colonel DeRosset went to Raleigh and returned with around four hundred conscripts.
August 9 The regiment followed the army’s advance into northern Virginia, catching up near Manassas.
August 28-30
Second Battle of Manassas (Bull Run)

The regiment was in reserve and suffered no casualties.

September 1
Battle of Chantilly

The regiment continued to be in reserve.

Early September Lieutenant Colonel Savage resigned due to poor health. Major Thruston was promoted to lieutenant colonel, and Captain Parsley of Company F to major.
September 14
Battle of South Mountain
September 15 Marched to Sharpsburg and took position on the west bank of Antietam Creek with the flank resting on the Boonsboro Pike.
September 16 Remained in position under Federal artillery fire until evening, when the regiment moved to a position near the Mumma farm.
September 17
Battle of Sharpsburg (Antietam)

When the attack began in the morning three men from the regiment burned the Mumma farm buildings by order of General D.H. Hill, then changed front to the north to support Jackson’s men near the Dunker Church. Colonel DeRosset was wounded and permanently disabled here, and Lieutenant Colonel Thruston took command. An intense fire fight followed against the Federals of Hooker and Mansfield and the regiment was out of ammunition when reinforcements from Hill and Hood arrived. Federal reinforcements also arrived under Summner and forced the Confederate line back. Reinforcements from Walker and McLaws arrived and advanced over the regiment as it lay prone at the edge of the field.

The reinforcements allowed the regiment to temporarily withdraw and refill its ammuition, after which it returned to the fight. After the fighting died down at the end of the day it fell back to a position near the Dunker Church.

The regiment officially lost 253 men. Seven officers were killed and 17 wounded of the 27 on the field. Captain McNair of Company H was mortally wounded but refused to leave the field, dying of blood loss. Captain Rhodes of Company G was wounded and went missing, probably dead in the Sunken Lane. Captain Williams of Company K was disemboweled by artillery.

According to Acting Adjutant Lieutenant J. S. F. Van Bokkelen, of 520 men who fought only 190 could be mustered at the end of the day.

September 18 The regiment remained on the field all day with no activity, and at night withdrew across the Potomac to Virginia. It would continue south to Bunker Hill along the Valley Pike in the lower Shenandoah Valley for several weeks. Colonel DeRosset resigned due to his wound, and Lieutenant Colonel Thruston was promoted to colonel. Major Parsley was promoted to lieutenant colonel, and Captain Ennett to major.
November The regiment moved to Port Royal on the Rappahannock.
December 12 Marched to Fredericksburg, reaching Hamilton’s Crossing early the next morning.
December 13
Battle of Fredericksburg

The regiment was in reserve in the second line and only lost 3 men.

Late December Went into Winter Quarters at Skinker’s Neck and stood picket duty along the Rappahannock River. Assigned to Colston’s Brigade of Trimble’s Division, Trimble’s Division.
1863
April 29 Left winter camp and marched to Hamilton’s Crossing and toward Chancellorsville.
May 2-4
Battle of Chancellorsville

The 3rd North Carolina took part in Jackson’s May 2 flank attack on Hooker. The regiment was in the second of the three lines of attack, overrunning Schimmelfennig’s Federal brigade, taking numerous prisoners and advancing into the night.

The attack resumed on early in the morning on the 3rd, capturing thr first line of entrenchments but failing in two attacks against the second Federal position until the third attempt was successful, and the blazing Chancellor House was taken. It was in this attack that Colonel Thruston was wounded. The regiment lost 179 men in the two days of fighting.

May 6 Marched to U.S. Ford and worked with Federals to allow 1,000 ambulances back across the Rappahannock to remove Federal wounded.
Early June Assigned to Stewart’s Brigade, Johnson’s Division, 2nd Corps, Army of Northern Virginia.
June 13-14 Marched to Winchester
June 15
Second Battle of Winchester

Arrived at daylight five miles from Winchester to block the Federal line of retreat. The regiment was in a sheltered position in the railroad cut and avoided heavy casualties, losing 4 men killed and 10 wounded.

June 18 Crossed the Potomac at Shepherdstown and camped near the Dunker Church outside Sharpsburg. A memorial service was held for the men lost a year earlier in the great battle.
Late June The regiment marched to Hagerstown, and up the Cumberland Valley in Pennsylvania through Chambersburg, Greencastle and McConnelsburg, almost to Carlisle. It was then recalled, and returned south in a hard march, reaching Gettysburg on the evening of July 1.
July 1-3
Battle of Gettysburg

The regiment brought 548 men to the field under the command of lieutenant Colonel Parsley. On reaching the town on July 1 it moved east and circled around Culp’s Hill.

On the 2nd it laid in line of battle through the day until early in the evening, when it advanced on the right flank of Stewart’s Brigade and linking with Nichol’s Louisiana Brigade. The attack fought uphill through several defensive lines, but was unable to penetrate the Federal defenses in depth. Firing mutually died out around 10 at night.

The fighting resumed at first light, with the regiment very low on ammunition and forced to scavenge from the dead and wounded like at Sharpsburg. They had advanced deep into the Federal works but found themselves unsupported and almost out of ammunition, and so reluctantly retreated.

The regiment suffered 223 casualties, with almost all the officers killed or wounded.

July 15 Retreated across the Potomac, moving through Front Royal and the Page Valley to Orange Court House.
October-November
Bristoe Campaign
November 27
Payne’s Farm
November-December
Mine Run Campaign

The regiment lost 7 men killed and 65 wounded. Colonel Thruston was again wounded.

Late December Went into winter quarters along the Rapidan, picketing Mitchell’s Ford.
1864
May-June Assigned to Ramseur’s-Cox’s Brigade, Rodes’s Division, 2nd Corps, Army of Northern Virginia
May 4 Left winter quarters and marched along the Orange Turnpike about 2.5 miles past Locust Grove.
May 5-6
Battle of the Wildernness

Firing broke out around 10:30 o the 5th and a line of battle was formed facing the Federal 6th Corps. The brigade advanced up the pike, with the 3rd North Carolina on the right flank. After a severe hand to hand fight two Federal artillery pieces were captured from Battery D, 1st New York Light Artillery, but they were not able to be removed from the field during the day and were left between the lines. The fighting subsided by early afternoon, and after dark men from the 1st and 3rd North Carolina brought the guns into Confederate lines.

On the 6th Stewart’s Brigade was in line with Jones’s Virginia Brigade on its right and Battle’s Alabama Brigade on its left. Several attacks were repulsed, but the position was held. On the morning of the 7th the Federals were gone.

May 7-8 Late in the evening the regiment began the march toward Spotsylvania Court House, which it continued through the night and into the next day, when it went into line next to Rodes’s Division but was not engaged.
May 8-21
Battle of Spotsylvania Court House

After dark on the 8th the regiment moved to what would become The Salient and began digging in with bayonets and tin plates.

May 10 The regiment moved across the base of the Mule Shoe to help repulse Upton’s attack. Colonel Thruston was badly wounded, and Lieutenant Cicero H. Craige and Sergeant Major Robert C. McRee were killed. Lieutenant Colonel Parsley took command of the regiment once again. After the Federals were thrown back the 3rd North Carolina returned to its original position in the trenches on the other side of the Mule Shoe.
May 12 Some thirty thousand Federal troops fell on the apex of the Mule Shoe in the pre-dawn rain, breaking through the Confederate lines, whose artillery had been withdrawn overnight on Lee’s orders. The 3rd North Carolina was surrounded and overwhelmed. After intense hand to hand fighting in which Captain E. H. Armstrong was killed, the regiment was forced to surrender along with around 3,000 others in the salient.

The few survivors of the regiment that were not captured were consolidated with the survivors of the 1st North Carolina Infantry and attached to Cox’s Brigade.

May 21 The army withdrew from the works around Spotsylvania Court House to begin the march toward the North Anna River.
May 22-26
Battle of North Anna
May 30
Bethesda Church
June 1-3
Battle of Cold Harbor
June
Lynchburg Campaign

Assigned to Cox’s Brigade, Rodes’s-Grimes’s Division, Army of the Valley

June 18 Arrived at Lynchburg
June 19 Began the pursuit of Hunter’s Federal forces, skirmish at Liberty.
June 20 Skirmish at Buford Gap
June 21 Skirmish at Salem
June 22-27 After resting for a day resumed the pursuit to Staunton.
June 30 At New Market
July 1 Marched through Winchester
July 4 Arrived at Harpers Ferry, capturing Bolivar Heights in the morning. By evening Federal forces were driven across the Potomac to Maryland Heights.
July 6 Crossed the Potomac at Pack Horse Ford at Shepherdstown, engaged the Federal garrison at Bolivar Heights and moved through Crampton’s Gap to Frederick.
July 9
Battle of Monocacy
July 10 Resumed the march to Washington
July 11 After a very hot, duty and fatiguing march arrived in the evening in front of Fort Stevens of the Washington Defenses, within sight of the Capitol dome.
July 12 Reinforcements of the Federal 6th Corps arrived from the Petersburg front and the day was spent in heavy skirmishing in which President Lincoln came under fire. The Confederates began their retreat after sundown.
July 15 Crossed the Potomac near Leesburg during the night, pursued by Federal cavalry.
July 17 Crossed the Blue Ridge at Snickers Gap.
July 18 Attacked and forced the Federal position at Snickers Ford
July 19-20 Moved toward Stratsburg and to the support of Ramseur’s Division.
July 21 Retired to Fisher’s Hill
August 17 Skirmish at Winchester
August 21 Skirmish at Charlestown
August 29 Skirmish at Smithfield
September 3 Skirmish at Bunker Hill
September 19
Third Battle of Winchester

Colonel Thruston was badly wounded, and Lieutenant Colonel Parsley again took over the regiment.

September 22
Battle of Fisher’s Hill
September 23-24 Withdrew up the Valley to Waynesboro.
October 1-13 Advanced down the valley to Fisher’s Hill.
October 19
Battle of Cedar Creek
December 25
Siege of Petersburg

Returned to Lee’s army around Petersburg and assigned to Cox’s Brigade, Grimes’s Division, 2nd Corps, Army of Northern Virginia. Went into winter quarters at Swift Creek.

1865
Mid-February Moved to Sutherland’s Depot
March 24 Ordered into the trenches in front of Petersburg.
March 25
Fort Stedman

Took part in occupying captured Federal works near Hare’s Hill for five hours, before withdrawing with the failure of the attack.

April 1-2 Heavy fighting arount Fort Mahone until the army began its retreat to the west.
April 4 Arrived at Amelia Court House after marching day and night with brief rests.
April 1-2 Heavy fighting arount Fort Mahone.
April 6
Saylor’s Creek

Lieutenant Colonel Parsley (age 24) was killed, shot in the head. Major Ennett took command of the regiment.

April 7
Farmville
April 9
Appomattox Court House

Grimes’s Division was ordered from the rearguard to the front to open the road from encircling Federals. They drove the cavalry a mile before being ordered back to defend against cavalry coming from another direction. It s claimed that the volley fired here was the last by the Army of Northern Virginia. Fighting halted as word spread of a truce to discuss surrender terms.

The 3rd North Carolina Infantry Regiment surrendered 4 officers and 53 enlisted men under the command of Major Ennett.