6th North Carolina State Troops
|May 16||Organized under the command of Colonel Charles F. Fisher (President of the North Carolina Rail Road), Lieutenant Colonel W. T. Dorch, and Major C.E. Lightfoot.
Company A – “Jackson Rangers” – Captain S.S. Kirkland
|June 20||Mustered into Confederate service at Camp Alamance.|
|July 8||Moved to Raleigh at 9 a.m. by the North Carolina Railroad, arriving later that day. Companies B and C continued on to Petersburg to escort the body of North Carolina Governor J. W. Ellis to Raleigh.|
|July 11||Lieutenant Colonel Dorch resigned to assume his position as Speaker of the North Carolina House of Commons. Major Lightfoot was appointed lieutenant colonel, Captain R. F. Webb of Company B was appointed major and First Lieutenant W.K. Parrish was promoted to captain of Company B.
The regiment moved on the Raleigh & Gaston Railroad and the Weldon Railroad to Petersburg, arriving around 10:30 that night.
|July 12||Six companies of the regiment continued to Richmond o the Richmond & Petersburg Railroad, arriving around Midnight. They were followed by two more companies later in the day.|
|July 13-14||President Davis reviewed the regiment and made a short speech. Moved in the early evening by the Virginia Central Railroad and transferred to the Orange and Alexandria Railroad, arriving in Manassas Junction the next morning.|
|July 15||Moved before dawn via the Manassas Gap Railroad to Strasburg, arriving that evening.|
|July 16||Marched to Winchester at 2 a.m. on the Valley Turnpike (avoiding the heat), arriving at Apple Pie Ridge northwest of Winchester in late afternoon. Assigned to Bee’s Brigade, Army of the Shenendoah.|
|July 18-19||Marched east in early afternoon, arriving at Berry’s Ferry on the Shenandoah River before midnight. Crossed the Shenandoah and marched via Ashby’s Gap to Piedmont Station, arriving at nightfall the next day.|
|July 20||Moved in the early evening by the Manassas Gap Railroad to Manassas Junction.|
Arrived at Manassas Junction in the early morning and ordered to march to Henry Hill. Seven companies reached the battlefield, while Companies D, H & K became separated and were not engaged. The regiment was engaged northwest of the Lewis farm. It lost 23 men killed and 50 men wounded. Colonel Fisher was killed and Lieutenant Colonel Lightfood was wounded. Captain Avery of Company E was wounded.
|July 25||Moved to Camp Bee, a mile and a half northwest of the Stone Bridge on Bull Run. Assigned to Brigadier General W.H.C. Whiting’s Second Brigade, 2nd Corps, Army of the Potomac|
|August 3-18||Moved to Camp Jones on Broad Run north of Bristoe Station. William Dorsey Pender (West Point Class of 1854) was appointed colonel. Sickness was rampant in the camp and a number of men died.|
|August 18-20||Moved to Powell Run, 2.5 miles northwest of Dumfries.|
|September 20||Moved to Camp Law, one mile west of Dumfries, and built winter quarters|
|October 22||Assigned to Brigadier General W.H.C. Whiting’s Second Brigade, First Division, Potomac District, Department of Northern Virginia. Guarded the batteries along the Potomac.|
|February||Assigned to Brigadier General W.H.C. Whiting’s Second Brigade, Whiting’s Division, Potomac District, Department of Northern Virginia.|
|March 8||The regiment was ordered to burn their winter quarters, excess equipment and supplies and marched to cross the Rappahannock at Falmouth to set up camp at Fredericksburg.|
|Late March||Marched for Wilford Station, then proceeded by train to Ashland.|
|April||After several days rest resumed the march to Yorktown. Camped west of Yorktown near the Williamsburg Road|
Siege of Yorktown
Assigned to Brigadier General W.H.C. Whiting’s Second Brigade, Whiting’s-G.W. Smith’s Division, Army of Northern Virginia. The regiment mustered 715 effectives.
|April 10||Lieutenant Colonel Lightfoot transferred to the 22nd North Carolina Infantry Regiment Volunteers to become its colonel. Captain Avery of Company E was promoted to lieutenant colonel.|
|May 31-June 1||
Battle of Seven Pines
Colonel Pender was personally promoted to brigadier general on the battlefield by President Davis. Lieutenant Colonel Avery was wounded for a second time.
|June 11||Lieutenant Colonel Avery was promoted to colonel and Major Webb was promoted to lieutenant colonel.|
|June 12-13||Marched to Richmond and moved “by the cars” via Lynchburg to Staunton. Assigned to Whiting’s Brigade, Whiting’s Division, Army of the Valley District. After one march down the Valley met Jackson’s men marching up the Valley and marched via Waynesboro and Rockfish Gap to Charlottesville.|
|June-July||Moved by train to Trevillian Depot, then marched to Ashland. Rejoined Johnson’s army assigned to Whiting’s Brigade, Whiting’s Division, Jackson’s Command, Army of Northern Virginia.|
|June 25-July 1||
Seven Days Battles
The regiment lost 115 casualties.
Crossed a deep, wooded ravine to drive two lines of infantry from their hillside positions and captured the artillery at the top of the hill. Colonel Avery was wounded and would not return to the regiment until December. Lieutenant Colonel Webb took over command.
White Oak Swamp
The regiment was positioned on the left of the line and was not ordered to attack.
|July||Followed the enemy to Harrison’s Landing, then returned to the Richmond area. Camped until August.|
|July-January||Assigned to Law’s Brigade, Whiting’s-Hood’s Division, Longstreet’s Command, Army of Northern Virginia.|
The regiment lost 147 casualties at Manassas and Ox Hill.
Battle of Chantilly (Ox Hill)
|September 2-13||Forded the Potomac and marched to Frederick, then followed the B&O Pike to Hagerstown escorting the wagon trains.|
Hearing the artillery from South Mountain, the regiment returned to South Mountain at Fox’s Gap and took position along the Pike, but were not heavily engaged.
|September 15-16||Served as rearguard on the march to join Lee at Sharpsburg, but was not engaged. Upon reaching Sharpsburg took position along the Hagerstown Road near the Dunker Church. Advanced along the Smoketown Road on the evening of the 16th and took position facing the East Woods.|
The regiment was commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Robert F. Webb, who was wounded in the arm. It lost 125 casualties at Sharpsburg fighting east of the Dunker Church between the Smoketown Road and the Hagerstown Pike. Captain N.W. Ray wrote, “For the first time in the war, I saw our men fix their bayonets in action.” After brutal fighting which saw the lines repeatedly advance and withdraw the Confederate position was reestablished and heavy fighting died out by mutual exhaustion.
|September 18||The regiment remained on the field all day without incident then withdrew across the Potomac after nightfall, marching to Winchester.|
The regiment was commanded at Fredericksburg by Lieutenant Colonel Robert F. Webb. It was posted in line in front of the Barnard House but was nit heavily engaged.
|December||Went into winter quarters southwest of Hamilton’s Crossing near Fredericksburg. Picketed the Rappahannock River between Fredericksburg and Port Royal.|
|January 19||Assigned to Hoke’s Brigade, Early’s Division, 2nd Corps, Army of Northern Virginia. The regiment had been brigaded with regiments from other states in spite of President Davis’ direction to create brigades from the same state. For the first time in the war, it was now in a all-North Carolina brigade.|
The regiment lost 8 men killed and 21 wounded in fighting against Sedgwick’s men around Fredericksburg. Colonel Avery took temporary command of the brigade as senior colonel after Brigadier General Hoke was wounded.
|June 16-July 1||The regiment accompanied Early’s Division in the invasion of Pennsylvania through Chanbersburg, Gettysburg, and York, reaching the Susquehanna River at Wrightsville on June 28, the deepest penetration of the North by a large force of Confederate troops in the Eastern Theater of the Civil war. They were then ordered to concentrate with the rest of Lee’s force, and retraced their steps to Gettysburg.|
The regiment was commanded at Gettysburg by Lieutenant Colonel Samuel M. Tate while Colonel Avery temporarily commanded the brigade. The 6th North Carolina brought 509 men to the field.
They reached the town from the north in the afternoon and went into line of battle, falling on the flank of the Federal troops north of town and driving them back through Gettysburg. But they paused rather than continuing the attack on to Cemetery and Culp’s Hill beyond the town. It was a decision still hotly debated to this day.
By morning those hills were strongly held by Federal forces. The artillery duel between the Federal guns south of town and the Confederate guns on Powell Hill that went on much of the day passed directly overhead of the regiment’s position but caused few casualties to the 6th.
In the late afternoon the regiment prepared for an attack on the batteries on Cemetery Hill. It was on the right flank of the brigade, connecting with Hays’s Louisiana Brigade on their right. The regiment advanced across the open ground through murdurous fire, including a crossfire from Federal guns on Steven’s Knoll that raked the entire line. It was at this time that Colonel Avery fell mortally wounded, unseen in the smoke and confusion. Nevertheless the 6th was able to overrun the Federal troops behind the stone wall at the base of Culp’s Hill, make their way to the top, and in hand to hand fighting take the artillery positioned there, the center of the Union position at Gettysburg.
The darkness grew complete and the dense clouds of smoke hid much of the rising moon. The Confederates were able to hold the crest of the hill for a few minutes. But no reinforcements came to help while Federal reinforcements quickly gathered to counterattack, so the order came to fall back to the southern edge of the town.
On July 3rd the regiment was not heavily engaged, although there was active skirmishing all day. The 2nd Corps fell back to Seminary Ridge on July 4, but the heavy fighting was over, and at nightfall Lee’s army began the retreat back to Virginia.
From the monument to Hoke’s Brigade at Gettysburg on East Confederate Avenue:
July 1. Advanced at 3 P. M. with Hays’ Brigade flanked Eleventh Corps aided in taking two guns repulsed First Brigade Second Division and captured many prisoners. Late in evening took position here.
July 2. Skirmished all day at 8 P. M. with Hays’ Brigade charged East Cemetery Hill. Severely enfiladed on the left by artillery and musketry it pushed on over infantry line in front scaled the hill planted its colors on the lunettes and captured several guns. But assailed by fresh forces and having no supports it was soon compelled to relinquish what it had gained and withdraw. Its commander Col. Isaac E. Avery was mortally wounded leading the charge.
July 3. Ordered to railroad cut in rear and later to High Street in town.
July 4. At 2 A. M. moved to Seminary Ridge. After midnight began the march to Hagerstown.
The 6th North Carolina lost 183 casualties at Gettysburg. Colonel Avery was shot in the neck during the attack on East Cemetery Hill on July 2. He died the next day.
The regiment lost 5 men killed, 15 wounded, and 317 captured in the disastrous night battle.
Mine Run Campaign
|January||Hoke’s Brigade moved by rail to North Carolina and was assigned to the Department of North Carolina.|
The regiment took Fort Wessels and stormed the Federal outer works to captured the city. It lost 6 men killed and 29 wounded.
Assigned to Ransom’s Division, Department of North Carolina and Southern Virginia
|May-June||Returned to Virginia, stopping on the way for a few days to protect the bridges at Bellfield and Hicksford and to stop Butler in Bermuda Hundred. Assigned to Hoke’s-Lewis’s Brigade, Early’s-Ramseur’s Division, 2nd Corps, Army of Northern Virginia.|
Battle of North Anna
|June 12-17||Marched towards Gordonsville and then Lynchburg. The last stage of the movement was done by rail, which broought them to Lynchburg befoe Hunter could launch his attack. Assigned to Lewis’s-Godwin’s Brigade, Ramseur’s-Pegram’s Division, Army of the Valley.|
Battle of Lynchburg
|June 19-21||Pursuit of Hunter throug Liberty and Buford’s Gap.|
|June 26||At Stanton|
|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 5-6||Crossed the Potomac at Boteler’s Ford|
|July 7||Moved through Frederick City|
|July 10||Arrived at Rockville and bivouaced in the yard of Francis P. Blair’s Silver Spring.|
Battle of Fort Stevens
|July 15||Returned to Virginia, crossing the Potomac at White’s Ford near Leesburg during the night, followed by Federal cavalry.|
|July 17||Crossed the Blue Ridge at Snickers Gap.|
|July 18||Forced the Federal position at Snickers Ford and camped at Berryville.|
|December||The division left the Shenandoah Valley under the command of General Gordon and rejoined Lee’s main army in the Richmond defences.|
Battle of Sayler’s Creek
The 6th North Carolina Infantry Regiment surrendered 6 officer and 175 enlisted men (of whom only 72 were armed) under the command of Captain J.H. Dickey.