Sunday, January 27, 2013

"The Tar River Rebels", Company E, North Carolina 46th Infantry Regiment

Reunion Flag of the North Carolina 46th Infantry Regiment



Company E, North Carolina 46th Infantry Regiment, also known as the Tar River Rebels, was organized in Granville County, North Carolina from February - March of 1862.

The North Carolina 46th Infantry Regiment completed it's organization at Camp Mangum, near Raleigh, North Carolina on April 4, 1862.  The Unit was officially mustered into the service of the Confederate Army on April 16th.  On May 31, 1862, the North Carolina 46th was sent, via railroad, to Richmond, Virginia.  The Unit arrived in Richmond on June 1st and on the next day, they were ordered to report to Drewry's Bluff, on the James River.


Modern Panoramic View of Drewry's Bluff on the James


Upon their arrival, the Unit was brigaded with the North Carolina 27th Infantry Regiment, the North Carolina 48th Infantry Regiment, the 3rd Arkansas Infantry Regiment, the 30th Virginia Infantry Regiment and the 2nd Battalion Georgia Infantry.  The Brigade was assigned to the command of Brigadier General John George Walker.


Brigadier General John George Walker

Walker served with distinction during the Mexican-American War, where he was promoted to the rank of  Captain for "gallant and meritorious conduct" at San Juan de los Llanos.  Walker remained with the United States Army until 1861, when he resigned to join the Confederate Army as a Major in the Cavalry.

Walker's Brigade served in the Peninsula Campaign in Major General Theophilus Hunter Holmes' Division, Army of Northern Virginia.  Walker was injured during the Battle of Malvern Hill on July 1, 1862.   His Brigade was subjected to heavy artillery fire from Federal Batteries posted on the Malvern Cliffs and also by Federal Gunboats on the James River.  Despite taking heavy fire from Union troops, the Brigade suffered only light casualties.


Federal Artillery Position at the Malvern Hill Battlefield

Walker's Brigade returned to Drewry's Bluff on July 2, 1862.   The Brigade then moved to Camp Lee, near Petersburg, Virginia in mid-July.  For the next month, various Regiments were sent out on scouting missions to harass Federal Ships on the James and Appomattox Rivers. 

On August 26, 1862, the Brigades commanded by Brigadier Generals John George Walker and  Robert Ransom were sent by rail to Rapidan Station, near the Orange Court House.  There Walker assumed command of two additional Brigades.  These two Brigades, along with his original Brigade would now form Walker's Division, which was attached to Major General James Longstreet's First Corps.  Walker was officially promoted to the rank of Major General on November 8, 1862.  Colonel Van H. Manning of the Arkansas 3rd Infantry assumed temporary command of Walker's former Brigade.  

Walker's Division moved from Rapidan Station to join the Army of Northern Virginia near Leesburg, Virginia on September 1, 1862.  There, Robert E. Lee prepared to cross the Potomac River for his invasion into Maryland.

On September 9th, Lee drafted "Special Order 191", which detailed the movements of the Army of Northern Virginia during the early days of its invasion into Maryland.  On September 13th, Union Corporal Barton W. Mitchell of the 27th Indiana Volunteers, discovered an envelope with three cigars wrapped in a piece of paper lying in the grass at a campground that Confederate General Daniel Harvey Hill's troops had just vacated.  This piece of paper ended up being Special Order 191.  The Order was eventually forwarded to General McClellan.  McClellan was elated by learning the planned movements of the Confederate Army.  He was overheard as saying "Here is a paper with which, if I cannot whip Bobby Lee, I will be willing to go home."


Copy of Special Order 191 on display at Crampton's Gap, Maryland


In Maryland, the North Carolina 46th participated in the single bloodiest battle of the Civil War.  The Battle of Antietam took place on September 17, 1862.   Lee ordered the Army of Northern Virginia to concentrate at Sharpsburg, Maryland, where the Federal Army under the command of General George Brinton McClellan, was massing for an attack.  Had it not been for the discovery of "Special Order 191", Lee could have quite possibly caught McClellan off guard and routed the entire Federal Army.


On the morning of September 17th, Walker's Division was ordered to reinforce Stonewall Jackson, who was positioned to the right flank of Robert E. Lee's line.  Jackson's troops were being vigorously assaulted by Federals.  Colonel Manning was wounded early in the battle, command of the Brigade was assumed by Colonel Edward D. Hall of the North Carolina 46th. 

Colonel Hall reported the Regiment's movements and activities after it went to the aid of Jackson as follows:

"I formed a line of battle...[my Regiment being] on the left of the Brigade.  We advanced through a corn-field into a heavy piece of woods [the West Woods], where the engagement was raging furiously...Simultaneous with our entrance into the woods, the enemy commenced falling back in disorder...On arriving at the farther edge of the woods, I found the enemy in heavy force on an elevation, distance about 200 yards, with a batter of artillery in position on the crest of the hill.  Between the enemy and the woods were two heavy panel fences, running obliquely.  In face of such difficulties I thought it inexpedient to charge farther.  I therefore placed my Regiment behind a breastwork of rails, which I found just beyond the woods, in short range of the enemy, and commenced firing...

Being so far on the left, I had lost sight of the other Regiments in the Brigade, except the 30th Virginia and a portion of the 48th North Carolina, who, in attempting to charge over the fences and up the ascent, found themselves so massed up that they were compelled to lie down...under a withering fire.  In this positing they suffered severely, and in a short time were compelled to retire...

The falling back of the 48th North Carolina and 30th Virginia...left a wide gap open, which the enemy began at once to take advantage of in order to re-enter the woods, though [we kept up] a galling fire...on their advancing line until I deemed it unsafe...to remain in position while the enemy was massing upon [my] right and rear.  The 46th, therefore, fell back...in good order...out of the woods...[I was then] met by General Jackson, who ordered me to report to General [Lafayette] McLaws.  General McL[aws] ordered me to endeavor to hold the woods at all hazards.  I then advanced in line of battle to the edge of the woods, which by that time was filled with the enemy, and placed the Regiment behind a ledge of rocks, throwing out...the skirmishers...A few minutes after, a Brigade, which proved to be General [William] Barksdale's, passed on to my left.  As soon as it entered the woods, I moved forward and came upon General [Robert] Ransom's Brigade, which...had succeeded in driving the enemy from he woods.  Having only my own Regiment with me, I informed General R[ansom] that I would connect myself with his command...We then took up our position in line of battle...and remained all day and night, the enemy evincing no desire to contest the woods with us, but satisfied himself with opening on us with very heavy fire of artillery...Although our loss by this fire was considerable, we held the position until the cessation of battle."

Civil War Era Photograph of the Antietam Battlefield


General Robert Ransom reported that the North Carolina 46th Regiment "unflinchingly maintained"  its position throughout the engagement and that its conduct was "all it should have been".   Despite being severely crippled, the Confederate line held throughout the day on September 17th.  The next day, both armies rested on the field with no confrontation.  During the night of September 18th, the Army of Northern Virginia crossed back over the Potomac and went into camp.  During the Maryland Campaign, the North Carolina 46th lost 5 men killed and 60 wounded.

Following the Battle of Antietam, the Army of Northern Virginia remained in the Shenandoah Valley until the Federal Army of the Potomac began crossing into the Blue Ridge Mountains on October 26, 1862.  On October 28th, Lee ordered Longstreet's Corps to move east of the mountains toward Culpeper Court House.  

Lee continued to observe the movements of the Federal Army of the Potomac, now under the command of Major General Ambrose E. Burnside.  When it became apparent that the Federal Army was concentrating their force on the Rappahannock River across from Fredericksburg, Virginia, Lee ordered Longstreet's Corps to take position on the heights overlooking the town.  During that movement, General Walker was transferred, and General Ransom was placed in command of the Division.  Colonel John Rogers Cooke of the North Carolina 27th Infantry Regiment was promoted to Brigadier General and assigned to command Walker's former Brigade.   Cooke's father, Philip St. George Cooke, was a General in the Union Army.


Brigadier General John Rogers Cooke

The Arkansas 3rd and Virginia 30th Infantry Regiments were transferred out of the Brigade.   The North Carolina 15th Infantry Regiment was added to Cooke's Brigade on November 26, 1862.  Cooke's Brigade was now a part of Ransom's Division in General Longstreet's Corps.
 
Ransom's Division arrived at Fredericksburg, Virginia on November 19, 1862, and was ordered to occupy a supporting position behind the Confederate Artillery on Marye's Heights and Willis' Hill.  During the Battle of Fredericksburg, General Cooke was wounded and Colonel Edward Hall again assumed command of the Brigade.

Colonel Hall reported the Brigade's par in the Battle as follows:

"Early on the Morning of the 11th instant the Brigade...was ordered to the front, opposite Fredericksburg, where we remained in position until about 12 o' clock Saturday, the 13th, at which time the engagement was going on in our front.  The Brigade was formed in line of battle as follows:  The 27th on the right, 48th next, 46th next, 15th on the left...After advancing about 200 yards under a heavy fire of shell and musketry, we arrived at the crest of Willis' Hill, which overlooks the battle-field, on which hill several batteries were placed.  With the exception of the 27th, the Brigade was halted on the hill and delivered its fire on the advancing column of the enemy, who was then engaged in making a furious assault on our front lines, which were covered by a long stone wall at the foot of the hill, which assault, on the arrival of the Brigade, was repulsed, with great loss to the enemy.  The enemy that time succeeded in getting up to within 40 yards of the wall.  After the repulse of the enemy, the 46th was moved down the hill behind the [wall], supporting Brigadier General Thomas Reade Rootes Cobb's Brigade, the 27th and 46th remaining behind the [wall], and the 48th and 15th on top of the hill all day.  Six different times during the day did the enemy advance his heavily re-enforced columns, and each time was driven back with immense loss.  The action ceased at night, when the Brigade was withdrawn."

Original Photograph of General Thomas Reade Rootes Cobb

Brigadier General Thomas Reade Rootes Cobb is my 4th cousin 7x removed and was the focus of an earlier blog entry.  As stated in that entry, he was mortally wounded in the thigh by a Union artillery shell that burst inside the Stephens house near the Sunken Road on Marye's Heights on December 12th.  He bled to death from damage to his femoral artery on December 13, 1862.

Quartermaster Sergeant John M. Waddill of the North Carolina 46th Infantry reported the 46th's participation in the Battle of Fredericksburg more concisely:

"On 11 December the Regiment...took position at the front of the heights fronting the little city, and immediately behind the stone wall on Marye's Heights.  Here it awaited the attack by Burnside, and bore a full share in that historic slaughter.  In comparative security, protected by the wall about breast high, all day long it shot down the brave men who charged again and again across the level plain in front, vainly yet most gallantly striving to accomplish an impossibility."

During the Battle of Fredericksburg, the North Carolina 46th Regiment lost 11 men killed and 57 wounded.




Following the Battle of Fredericksburg, Cooke's Brigade was ordered to South Carolina.  When they arrived in Coosawhatchie, which was about halfway between Charleston and Savannah, the Brigade was placed under the command of General P. G. T. Beauregard.  Beauregard was commander of the Third Military District, Department of South Carolina, Georgia and Florida.

During the Winter of 1863, the North Carolina 46th spent time at Pocotaligo Station, Wilmington and Kinston before being ordered to report to Richmond.  During the Gettysburg Campaign, in July of 63", the Brigade remained in the defenses around Richmond under the command of Major General Arnold Elzey.

On September 27, 1863, the Brigade was ordered to report to Gordonsville, Virginia, where they rejoined the Army of Northern Virginia.  The Brigade was now assigned to Major General Henry Heth's Division of Lieutenant General Ambrose Powell Hill's Third Corps.

The North Carolina 46th Infantry Regiment would participate in the Battles of Bristoe Station, The Wilderness, Spotsylvania Court House, Cold Harbor, the Defense of Richmond and Petersburg, Sayler's Creek, and ultimately Appomattox Court House before surrendering with the Army of Northern Virginia on April 9, 1865.  The Army of Northern Virginia was formally paroled on April 12, 1865.  116 members of the North Carolina 46th Regiment were present. 


Surrender at Appomattox Courthouse



Seven of my ancestors served in Company E "the Tar River Rebels", North Carolina 46th Infantry Regiment.  Six of these men were originally from Granville County, North Carolina.  John Y. Wheeler was born in Orange County, North Carolina, but would eventually move to Granville County, North Carolina.

James T. Wheeler was born in Ledge Rock, Granville County, North Carolina in March of 1840.  He is my 1st cousin 4x removed.  James made his living as a farmer before the war.  He enlisted at the age of 22.


1st Muster Roll for James


He was elected 2nd Lieutenant on March 10, 1862.  He was present and accounted for until he resigned on March 17, 1863.


Lieutenant James Wheeler's Letter of Resignation
 
A notation on his letter of resignation stated that he was "entirely incompetent".   When summoned before a Board of Examination to test his competency, he refused to stand.  His resignation was accepted on March 30, 1863.  James later served as Sergeant in Company D, North Carolina 10th Heavy Artillery Battalion.  James T. Wheeler lived an additional 40 years following the end of the Civil War.  He died in Granville County, North Carolina in 1905.  He was 65 years old.   His burial location is not known at the time of this entry.

Here's my relation to James:

James T. Wheeler (1840 - 1905)
is your 1st cousin 4x removed
Ezekiel Wheeler (1794 - 1871)
Father of James T.
Benjamin Wheeler (1755 - 1830)
Father of Ezekiel
Benjamin Franklin Wheeler (1803 - 1883)
Son of Benjamin
Christopher Columbus Wheeler (1842 - 1912)
Son of Benjamin Franklin
Benjamin Elliott Wheeler (1883 - 1951)
Son of Christopher Columbus
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


Woodward (William) A. Adcock was born in Granville County sometime in 1826.  He is my 3rd Great Grand Uncle.  Woodward, also known as William was also a farmer prior to his enlistment.


Reference Slip showing Woodward was also known as William


Woodward enlisted in Granville County, North Carolina on March 15, 1862 at the age of 25.



1st Muster Roll for Woodward/William


He was mustered in as a Musician.  Woodward was sent home on May 31, 1862 due to illness.  He was reported absent without leave during July - December of 1862.  Woodward was reported absent sick January - June and September - October of 1863.  He was finally listed as a deserter on November 5, 1863 and was reduced to ranks on the same date.  No official record of Woodward or William Adcock can be found after his 1st Muster Roll with the North Carolina 46th Infantry Regiment.   It is quite possible that Woodward died from his illness while at home in Granville County.  His burial location is not known at the time of this entry.

Here's my relation to Woodward:

Woodward Adcock (1826 - )
is your 3rd great grand uncle
William Adcock (1790 - 1858)
Father of Woodward
Annie Tyson "Fanny" Adcock (1835 - 1912)
Daughter of William
William Allen Moss (1859 - 1931)
Son of Annie Tyson "Fanny"
Valeria Lee Moss (1890 - 1968)
Daughter of William Allen
Phebe Teresa Wheeler Lewis (1918 - 1977)
Daughter of Valeria Lee
Joyce Elaine Lewis (1948 - )
Daughter of Phebe Teresa
Chip Stokes
You are the son of Joyce


Benjamin Lucious Moss was born in Granville County, North Carolina on July 15, 1830.  He is my 3rd Great Grand Uncle.  Benjamin's brother and my 3rd Great Grandfather, James C. Moss served alongside James T. Wheeler in Company D, North Carolina 10th Heavy Artillery Battalion.

Benjamin was a farmer prior to his enlistment.  He enlisted on April 28, 1862 at the age of 32.


1st Muster Roll for Benjamin

Benjamin was present and accounted for through April of 1864.  He was wounded in the right hand at the Battle of the Wilderness, Virginia on May 5, 1864.


Muster roll showing Benjamin was wounded at the Battle of the Wilderness

Benjamin would never return to duty following his injury.  On October 24, 1864, he was retired to the Invalid Corps.


Muster Roll showing Benjamin was retired to the Invalid Corps

Benjamin returned to Granville County, North Carolina, where he again took up farming.  He lived an additional 14 years following the Civil War.  Benjamin Lucious Moss died in Granville County on January 8, 1879.  He is buried in a small family cemetery on his land.


Grave of Benjamin Lucious Moss

Graves of Benjamin L. Moss, wife, son and daughter





What remains of the Benjamin Lucious Moss house in Granville County

Here's my relation to Benjamin:


Benjamin Lucious Moss (1830 - 1879)
is your 3rd great grand uncle
Ann Washington Harris (1795 - 1870)
Mother of Benjamin Lucious
James C. Moss (1824 - 1891)
Son of Ann Washington
William Allen Moss (1859 - 1931)
Son of James C.
Valeria Lee Moss (1890 - 1968)
Daughter of William Allen
Phebe Teresa Wheeler Lewis (1918 - 1977)
Daughter of Valeria Lee
Joyce Elaine Lewis (1948 - )
Daughter of Phebe Teresa
Chip Stokes
You are the son of Joyce



John Y. Wheeler was born in Orange County, Carolina on June 19, 1843.  He is my 2nd cousin 4x removed.   John resided in Granville County prior to the war and was a farmer by trade.  He enlisted as a Private in Granville County, North Carolina on February 21, 1862. at the age of 19.


1st Muster Roll for John

John was present and accounted for until he was wounded in the ankle at the Battle of Antietam on September 17, 1862.

Muster Roll showing John was wounded at Antietam

John was also wounded at the Battle of Fredericksburg, Virginia on December 13, 1862.


Regimental Return showing John was wounded at Fredericksburg


He was promoted to the rank of Corporal on January 12, 1863.


Muster Roll showing John's promotion to Corporal


John returned to duty and was present and accounted for during March - April of 1863.  He was promoted to Sergeant on February 12, 1864.  John was present and accounted for until he was wounded during the Battle of the Wilderness, Virginia on May 5, 1864.  John returned to duty prior to July 1, 1864.  He was again wounded at the Battle of Reams' Station on August 25, 1864. John was hospitalized at Richmond, Virginia and was furloughed for 60 days on September 29, 1864.  He was reported absent on furlough through December of 1864.  Following the war, John returned home to Granville County, North Carolina and resumed farming.  In the 1870 Federal Census he is listed as a Tobacco Farmer and  living next to his parents.  He lived an additional 42 years following the Civil War.  John Y. Wheeler died in Granville County, North Carolina on March 9, 1907.  He was 63 years old.  John is buried in a small family cemetery on his land in Granville County.



Grave of John Y. Wheeler


Here's my relation to John:

John Y. Wheeler (1843 - 1907)
is your 2nd cousin 4x removed
America Wheeler (1805 - 1880)
Father of John Y.
Martin Wheeler (1775 - 1822)
Father of America
William Wheeler (1725 - 1780)
Father of Martin
Benjamin Wheeler (1755 - 1830)
Son of William
Benjamin Franklin Wheeler (1803 - 1883)
Son of Benjamin
Christopher Columbus Wheeler (1842 - 1912)
Son of Benjamin Franklin
Benjamin Elliott Wheeler (1883 - 1951)
Son of Christopher Columbus
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



William Lunsford Wheeler was born in Tar River, Granville County, North Carolina in 1842.  He is my 2nd cousin 4x removed.  William was also a farmer prior to enlisting in Granville County on February 22, 1862 at the age of 21.


1st Muster Roll for William

 He was present and accounted for until he was wounded in the knee at Bristoe Station, Virginia on October 14, 1863.


Muster Roll showing William was wounded on October 14, 1863


William was hospitalized in Richmond, Virginia, where he died from his wounds on November 4, 1863.


Hospital Report showing William's death on November , 1863


His burial location is not known at the time of this entry.

Here's my relation to William:

William Lunsford Wheeler (1842 - 1863)
is your 2nd cousin 4x removed
Moses Wheeler (1804 - 1865)
Father of William Lunsford
Martin Wheeler (1775 - 1822)
Father of Moses
William Wheeler (1725 - 1780)
Father of Martin
Benjamin Wheeler (1755 - 1830)
Son of William
Benjamin Franklin Wheeler (1803 - 1883)
Son of Benjamin
Christopher Columbus Wheeler (1842 - 1912)
Son of Benjamin Franklin
Benjamin Elliott Wheeler (1883 - 1951)
Son of Christopher Columbus
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


Paul Gooch was born in Granville County, North Carolina in February of 1824.  He is my 2nd cousin, 4x removed. Paul enlisted in Company E, North Carolina 46th Infantry Regiment in Wake County, North Carolina on October 9, 1864 at the age of 40. His half brother Radford Gooch (no relation to me) also served in Company E. 


1st Muster Roll for Paul

Paul was present and accounted for through March of 1865.  On April 9, 1865 in accordance with Robert E. Lee's surrender at Appomattox Court House, Paul was paroled with the Army of Northern Virginia. 


Parole for Paul

Following the end of the Civil War, Paul returned home to Granville County, North Carolina.   Some time before 1870, Paul relocated to Hopkins County, Kentucky.   He and his family can be found on the 1870 Federal Census as living in Precinct 3, Hopkins County, Kentucky.  Paul lived an additional 42 years following the end of the Civil War.  He died in Hopkins County, Kentucky in 1907 at the age of 83.  He is buried in the Olive Branch Missionary Church Cemetery in Hopkins County, Kentucky.


Grave of Paul Gooch

Here's my relation to Paul:

Paul Gooch (1824 - 1907)
is your 2nd cousin 4x removed
Elizabeth F. "Betsy" Wheeler (1798 - 1870)
mother of Paul Gooch
Martin Wheeler (1775 - 1822)
father of Elizabeth F. "Betsy" Wheeler
William Wheeler (1725 - 1780)
father of Martin Wheeler
Benjamin Wheeler (1755 - 1830)
son of William 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

**My 1st cousin 5x removed, James W. Hagood was a Private in Company C, North Carolina 46th Infantry Regiment. 

4 comments:

  1. My Gread Grand Uncle was William L. Saunders, Col. CSA
    wonderful site, great work Sir.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Wonderful work. My great great grandfather was J.C. "Jack" Terry of Company E. He lived to be 99 and died here in Chattanooga. He was photographed and interviewed in the Chattanooga paper a couple of years before his death. He was a teamster and provost guard. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Superb telling of the NC 46th Regiments activity during the Civil War. Informative and very interesting. Thanks! Our ancestor, Jacob Waller was in Company B, of the NC 46th Infantry Regiment.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Woodward Adcock is my 3rd great grand uncle. His sister is my 2x gr. grandmother. My 2x great grandfather David Burchett/Birchett also served in the 46th Co.E as well as my 2x gr. uncle Henry Clay Latta as well as James Madison and John Howell Ragland 2x gr. uncles. Do you have any pictures of the 46th? We are trying to find burial places of David, Henry Clay. Would appreciate any info you may have on this Regiment and soldiers. Thanks

    ReplyDelete