Thursday, January 10, 2013

The North Carolina 44th Infantry Regiment: 3 Relatives from Company A, The Adjutant and Chaplain


Piece of the North Carolina 44th Infantry Regiment's Flag

The North Carolina 44th Infantry Regiment completed it's organization at Camp Mangum, near Raleigh, North Carolina in March of 1862.  Its men were recruited from the counties of Granville, Edgecombe, Pitt, Chatham, Montgomery, Beaufort, and Franklin.  The North Carolina 44th initially served in the Department of North Carolina, and then was assigned to my 2nd cousin 5x removed, Brigadier General James Johnston Pettigrew's Brigade, Lieutenant General Ambrose Powell Hill's Third Corps, Army of Northern Virginia.


Brigadier General James Johnston Pettigrew

Although the North Carolina 44th Infantry Regiment was attached to Pettigrew's Brigade, the Unit did not participate in Pickett's/Pettigrew's Charge during the Battle of Gettysburg.  The North Carolina 44th was on detached service at Hanover Junction, where they guarded the railroad connections in the area and protected General Robert E. Lee's communication lines with the Confederate Capitol in Richmond, Virginia.

Company A was tasked with guarding the Virginia Central Railroad's bridge across the South Anna River.  According to several post war reports, this was the post that offered the greatest danger.   On June 26, 1863, Companies A & G of the North Carolina 44th, a force totalling about 90 men, defended the Virginia Central Railroad Bridge from numerous Federal assaults from a force of nearly 1,100 Federal Cavalrymen.  Overwhelming Federal odds prevailed, only after bloody hand-to-hand combat.  Company A sustained heavy casualties (7 killed, 13 wounded, 30 missing or captured).  The remainder of the North Carolina 44th served on picket duty back at Hannover Junction.  On July 24, 1863, the entire Regiment was ordered to Gordonsville, Virginia. 

The North Carolina 44th Infantry Regiment rejoined their Brigade in August of 1863, however they now had a new Commanding Officer.  Brigadier General James Johnston Pettigrew was mortally wounded on July 14th at Falling Waters, West Virginia during the Confederate retreat from Gettysburg.  He died from his wounds on July 17, 1863.  Command of his Brigade was passed to Brigadier General William Whedbee Kirkland.



Brigadier General William W. Kirkland


The now renamed "Kirkland's Brigade" occupied a position on the Rapidan River.   General Lee had moved his forces to the Rapidan in response to Union General George Meade's movement across the Potomac from Gettysburg, where Union troops took up a defensive position on the Rappahannock.  While encamped on the Rapidan, the Confederate command waited patiently for the right time to attack.



Union Major General George Gordon Meade


On October 8, 1863, Lee's forces moved rapidly toward the Culpeper Courthouse, where they hoped to engage Meade's troops.  Meade withdrew, fell back and avoided the initial confrontation at Culpeper Courthouse.  On October 14, 1863, the Confederates caught up with Federal forces at Bristoe Station, near Centreville, Virginia where, Confederate Lieutenant General A. P. Hill's Third Corps clashed with the Union's II Corps, Army of the Potomac, commanded by Major General Gouverneur Kemble Warren. 



 
Gouverneur Kemble Warren
Ambrose Powell Hill















Warren commanded the II Corps in the absense of General Winfield Scott Hancock, who was recovering from wounds sustained at the Battle of Gettysburg .  The II Corps were supported by a powerful artillery battery that was fortified in an railroad embankment.  Heavy artillery and infantry fire tore through the Confederates as they pushed forward down an open hill towards the Union line.  The North Carolina 44th sustained heavy casualties without flinching.  On three separate occasions, a courier rode to the front lines and advised the North Carolina 44th to fall back.  Each request to fall back was ignored.   The North Carolina 44th pressed on toward the Union position.  Hill hastily ordered a Confederate retreat.   Many men from the North Carolina 44th refused to recross the open area and were captured by Federal soldiers.  The North Carolina 44th casualties included 23 men killed and 63 men wounded.  The total Union casualty count was 540 killed, wounded, or missing compared to 1,380 killed, wounded or missing Confederates.  General William Whedbee Kirkland's left arm was fractured by a bullet.

With General Kirkland out of commission, command of Kirkland's Brigade now passed to Colonel William MacRae.  McRae was temporarily promoted to the rank of Brigadier General.  His full promotion went into effect in 1864.



Brigadier General William MacRae



While Colonel of the North Carolina 15th Infantry Regiment, MacRae had the opportunity to observe the North Carolina 44th Infantry Regiment during their participation at the Battle of Bristoe Station.   He admired their conduct and was impressed by their valor on the field of battle.  MacRae loved brave men and found the North Carolina 44th to contain some of the bravest men he ever served with.   While in command of the Brigade, he frequently placed himself near the colors of the Regiment and stated "If I am with the (NC) 44th Regiment and am lost, I shall always be found in the fore-front of the fighting."

Following their victory at the Battle of Bristoe Station,  Meade and his troops continued their retreat towards Centreville, Virginia.  On November 7th Confederate and Federal forces clashed at Rappohannock Bridge and Kelly's Ford.  Both armies spent the majority of November entrenched across Mine Run Creek.  On December 2, 1863, Lee discovered that Meade had withdrawn completely from the area.  Lee ordered his army into winter quarters.  The North Carolina 44th Infantry Regiment with the rest of  MacRae's/Kirkland's Brigade encamped near the Orange County Court House. 
All was relatively quiet for the North Carolina 44th and MacRae's/Kirkland's Brigade through the winter of 63 - 64.  On May 4, 1864, Robert E. Lee received information that the Meade's Army of the Potomac under the direct supervision of Ulysses S. Grant, had crossed the Rapidan.  By this time General Kirkland had re-assumed command of his Brigade.  Lee ordered the Confederates out of their camp near the Orange County Court House.  The North Carolina 44th broke camp on the 4th of May and bivouacked the same night at Verdiersville, Virginia which was about nine miles from the "Wilderness". 



Battle of the Wilderness by Kurz and Allison


Two roads ran parallel through the dense thicket which gave its name to the territory where the Battle was to be fought.  They were known as the "Orange Plank Road" and the "Orange Turnpike".  On May 5th, the North Carolina 44th marched towards the Federal position by way of the Orange Plank Road.  The Unit became heavily engaged with Federal troops at about 2:00 p.m.  The North Carolina 44th took up a position on the right of the Orange Plank Road while the North Carolina 26th took up a position on it's left side.  Their location would serve as the center of one of the most violent contests of the entire Civil War.  The road was swept by volley after volley of incessant artillery and infantry fire.  Any attempts to cross it meant almost certain death. 

Three pieces of Confederate Artillery were at risk of being overtaken by the advancing Federals.  The horses that were pulling the guns had all been killed.  Lieutenant R. W. Stedman, of Company A, volunteered to drag the guns down the road, out of danger, if he could be aided by a detail of forty men.  Forty men immediately stepped to his side and agreed to follow him, although they all knew the effort was full of danger. The work was done successfully, but only three of the volunteers escaped unhurt.  Lieutenant Stedman was severely wounded by grape shot.  For his personal gallantry in this action he was honorably mentioned in high terms of praise in an official order from division headquarters, the Army's equivalent of the Medal of Honor. 

The North Carolina 44th suffered heavily in the fighting on May 5th and 6th.  On the morning of May 6th, a large Federal force comprised of 13 Brigades clashed with the 8 Brigades belonging to A.P. Hill.  The entire right wing of Lee's force fell back in disorder.  Confederate reserves commanded by General James Longstreet arrived in time to avert a complete Confederate collapse. 

On the 7th of May, General Grant continued his southeastern march.   Lee rushed the Army of Northern Virginia ahead of Grant's troops and was able to erect a defensive position around the works near the Spotsylvania Court House on May 8th.  Light skirmishing continued for the next few days.   On May 12, 1864, the North Carolina 44th was assigned it's position directly in front of the Spotsylvania Court House.  There they supported a Battery of Confederate Artillery.  Repeatedly throughout the day on the 12th, the North Carolina 44th repulsed several Federal advances, each time being covered by heavy Artillery fire from the Confederate line.  Each Federal assault was repulsed with great loss to the enemy.


Battle of Spottsylvania by Thure de Thulstrup


The North Carolina 44th Infantry Regiment participated in every engagement in which Kirkland's Brigade's took part, from Spotsylvania Court House to the Siege of Petersburg.  The Unit constantly skirmished with Federal troops as Grant continued his march on Lee's flank.

On June 3, 1864, the Regiment was heavily engaged with Federal troops at Gaines' Mill. General Kirkland was wounded again during this Battle, when he was again shot through the right thigh. 



Historical Marker at the Gaines' Mill Battlefield


Following the engagement, the North Carolina 44th continued it's march toward Petersburg.   The Unit arrived on June 24, 1864 and Brigadier General William MacRae took command for the injured Kirkland.  MacRae's promotion to Brigadier General had finally gone into effect.   He would remain in command of the Brigade for the remainder of the war.


Company A, known as the "Granville Regulators"


Dudley Walker was born in Granville County, North Carolina in 1834.  He is my 3rd Great Grand Uncle.  Dudley was conscripted as a Private in Company A, North Carolina 44th Infantry Regiment on February 6, 1863 in Duplin County, North Carolina.  He was 29 years old at the time of his conscription.   

1st Muster Roll for Dudley
His brother, Addison Lee Walker served in Company E, North Carolina 56th Infantry Regiment.  Dudley's sister, Lucy Walker Laws's husband George Laws and my 2nd Great Grand Aunt Judith Wheeler Beck's husband, David H. Beck also served in Company A, North Carolina 44th Infantry Regiment.


David H. Beck circa 1899


Dudley Walker fell ill and was sent to the C.S.A. General Hospital in Farmville, Virginia on June 15, 1864.   He remained there until September 29th, when he was transferred to a Hospital in Richmond, Virgina where he returned to duty.

Hospital Register for Dudley

Following his return to duty, Dudley and the North Carolina 44th participated in the defense of Petersburg and Richmond for the remainder of the war.  Dudley Walker survived at least an additional 15 years following the end of the Civil War.  The last record of Dudley is the 1880 Federal Census, where he is found living in Orange County, North Carolina.   No further record for Dudley can be found at this time.   His burial location remains unknown.

Here's my relation to Dudley:

Dudley Walker (1834 - 1880)
is your 3rd great grand uncle
Ellis Walker Sr. (1775 - 1853)
Father of Dudley
Ellis Walker Jr. (1805 - 1888)
Son of Ellis
Mildred Walker (1854 - 1922)
Daughter of Ellis
Benjamin Elliott Wheeler (1883 - 1951)
Son of Mildred
Phebe Teresa Wheeler Lewis (1918 - 1977)
Daughter of Benjamin Elliott
Joyce Elaine Lewis (1948 - )
Daughter of Phebe Teresa
Chip Stokes
You are the son of Joyce

**An interesting side note, Dudley Walker's father, Ellis Walker's (my 4th Great Grandfather) first wife was Elizabeth Pettigrew (my 4th Great Grandmother).  Elizabeth Pettigrew was General Pettigrew's cousin.   Elizabeth's father, James Pettigrew was the brother of General Pettigrew's Grandfather, Charles Pettigrew.



Burwell Wheeler was born in Granville County, North Carolina in 1796.  He is also my 3rd Great Grand Uncle.  Three of Burwell's sons also served in the Confederate Army.  John R. "Jack" Wheeler served in both Company C, North Carolina 61st and Company H, North Carolina 47th Infantry Regiments.  Nicholas Wheeler served in Company E, North Carolina 47th Infantry Regiment.  William H. Wheeler served in Company I, North Carolina 3rd Cavalry.  Burwell enlisted as a Private in the "Granville Regulators" a/k/a Company A, North Carolina 44th Infantry Regiment on February 28, 1862 at the age of 66.  He was officially mustered into the unit on April 3, 1862.  Burwell is listed as being a farmer prior to the war.  Per the description on his 1st Muster Roll, he is listed as being  five feet seven inches tall.



1st Muster for Burwell


Burwell was captured on the South Anna Bridge on June 26, 1863 and was exchanged at Fortress Monroe on June 29th.


POW Roll for Burwell

Burwell was discharged by surgeon's certificate on April 18, 1864.



Discharge for Burwell

Burwell Wheeler lived an additional 20 years following the end of the Civil War.  He died in Wake County, North Carolina in 1885 at the age of 89.  His burial location is not known at this time. 

Here's my relation to Burwell:

Burwell Wheeler (1796 - 1885)
is your 3rd great grand uncle
Benjamin Wheeler (1755 - 1830)
father of Burwell Wheeler
Benjamin Franklin Wheeler (1803 - 1883)
son of Benjamin Wheeler
Christopher Columbus Wheeler (1842 - 1912)
son of Benjamin Franklin Wheeler
Benjamin Elliott Wheeler (1883 - 1951)
son of Christopher Columbus Wheeler
Phebe Teresa Wheeler Lewis (1918 - 1977)
daughter of Benjamin Elliott Wheeler
Joyce Elaine Lewis (1948 - )
daughter of Phebe Teresa Wheeler Lewis
Chip Stokes
You are the son of Joyce



Robert Rowland was born in Warren County, North Carolina in 1828.  He is my 1st cousin 5x removed.  Prior to his service in the Civil War, Robert was a Grocer by trade.  Robert enlisted as a Private in Company A, North Carolina 44th Infantry Regiment on March 15, 1862 at the age of 35. 


Ist Muster for Robert


Robert was also captured on the South Anna Bridge on June 26, 1863 and was exchanged at Fortress Monroe on June 29th.


POW Roll for Robert

Robert was again captured, this time on April 2, 1865 in a skirmish near Petersburg, Virginia.  He was confined to Hart's Island Prison, New York on April 7, 1865. 


POW Roll for Robert


Robert was released from Hart's Island Prison on June 19, 1865 after taking the Oath of Allegiance to the United States. 


Oath of Allegiance for Robert
Robert Rowland lived at least an additonal 15 years following the end of the Civil War.  No further record of him can be found after the 1880 Federal Census where his shown living in Nutbush, Warren County, North Carolina.  His burial location is not known at this time.

Here's my relation to Robert:

Robert Rowland (1827 - 1880)
is your 1st cousin 5x removed
Hannah H. Harris (1805 - 1870)
mother of Robert Rowland
Ransom Harris Sr. (1764 - 1832)
father of Hannah H. Harris
Ann Washington Harris (1795 - 1870)
daughter of Ransom Harris Sr.
James C. Moss (1824 - 1891)
son of Ann Washington Harris
William Allen Moss (1859 - 1931)
son of James C. Moss
Valeria Lee Moss (1890 - 1968)
daughter of William Allen Moss
Phebe Teresa Wheeler Lewis (1918 - 1977)
daughter of Valeria Lee Moss
Joyce Elaine Lewis (1948 - )
daughter of Phebe Teresa Wheeler Lewis
Chip Stokes
You are the son of Joyce



Company S



Chaplain Richard Stanford Webb


My 3rd cousin 5x removed, Richard Stanford Webb, served as Chaplain of the North Carolina 44th Infantry Regiment.   Richard was born in Orange County, North Carolina on February 15, 1837.   He enlisted as a Private in Company S, North Carolina 44th Infantry Regiment on April 23, 1862 at the age of 25.  Richard was promoted to Full Chaplain of the Regiment on November 23, 1863. 

Following the end of the Civil War, Richard settled in Orange County, North Carolina where he lived for an additional 36 years.   Richard was a Methodist Minister in Orange County from 1859 throuhg his death.  Richard Stanford Webb died in Orange County, North Carolina on November 20, 1901 at the age of 64.  He is buried in the Bethlehem Presbyterian Church Cemetery in Oaks, Orange County, North Carolina.



Grave of Richard Stanford Webb



Richard's brother, Alexander Smith Webb, also my 3rd cousin 5x removed, served in Company G, North Carolina 44th Infantry Regiment. 


Alexander Smith Webb


Alexander Smith Webb was born in Orange County, North Carolina on November 16, 1840.   He enlisted as a Private in Company G, North Carolina 44th Infantry Regiment on January 5, 1863 at the age of 22. 


1st Muster Roll for Alexander


Alexander rose up the ranks of the North Carolina 44th fairly quickly.  He was promoted to Sergeant Major on March 1, 1863. 

Muster Roll showing Alexander's promotion to Sergeant Major


Alexander was again promoted, this time to the rank of 3rd Lieutenant.  His promotion went into effect on December 5, 1863.


Muster Roll showing Alexander's promotion to 3rd Lieutenant


Alexander received his final promotion on May 1, 1864, this time to the rank of 1st Lieutnatn/Adjutant of the North Carolina 44th Infantry Regiment. 



Roster showing Alexander's promotion to 1st Lieutenant/Adjutant


Alexander's appointement was signed by Secretery of War, James Seddon


Alexander's Appointment to 1st Lieutenant/Adjutant


Alexander was captured by Federal forces on August 27, 1864 near Petersburg, Virginia.  He was confined to Old Capitol Prison in Washington, D.C. on October 31, 1864.  He was then transferred to Fort Delaware, Maryland on December 16, 1864.



POW Roll for Alexander


Alexander was released from Fort Delaware on June 17, 1865 after taking the Oath of Allegiance to the United States. 



Oath of Allegiance for Alexander


Following the end of the Civil War, Alexander settled in Warren County, North Carolina where he lived an additional 63 years.


Alexander Smith Webb and wife Annabelle Moore


Alexander Smith Webb died in Warren County, North Carolina on January 11, 1928 at the age of 87.  He is buried in Raleigh's historic Oakwood Cemetery. 



Grave of Alexander Smith Webb
 
 
Due to the fact that Richard and Alexander were brothers, I'm only providing one relationship chart.
 
Here's my relation to Alexander:
 
Alexander Smith Webb (1840 - 1928)
is your 3rd cousin 5x removed
Alexander Smith Webb (1804 - 1849)
father of Alexander Smith Webb
Ann Hunt Smith (1784 - 1840)
mother of Alexander Smith Webb
Amy Pomfret (1759 - 1834)
mother of Ann Hunt Smith
John Pomfret (1720 - 1814)
father of Amy Pomfret
Frances Hunt Pomfret (1747 - 1826)
daughter of John Pomfret
Pomfret Blackwell (1769 - 1828)
son of Frances Hunt Pomfret
Phoebe Blackwell (1812 - 1860)
daughter of Pomfret Blackwell
Martha Anne Currin (1834 - 1917)
daughter of Phoebe Blackwell
Phebe Lucy Daniel (1862 - 1946)
daughter of Martha Anne Currin
Valeria Lee Moss (1890 - 1968)
daughter of Phebe Lucy Daniel
Phebe Teresa Wheeler Lewis (1918 - 1977)
daughter of Valeria Lee Moss
Joyce Elaine Lewis (1948 - )
daughter of Phebe Teresa Wheeler Lewis
Chip Stokes
You are the son of Joyce


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