Tuesday, February 19, 2013

“The Perquimans Beauregards” Company F, North Carolina 27th Infantry Regiment: Three Paternal Confederates

Close-up of 1st National Flag of the Confederacy with North Carolina Sewn in Middle Star

"The Perquimans Beauregards" a/k/a Company F of the North Carolina 27th Infantry Regiment, was originally organized in Hertford, North Carolina on May 16, 1861.   The following day, May 17, 1861, the Regiment was mustered into the service of the Confederate States of America.  Initially, the North Carolina 27th Infantry Regiment was referred to as Singletary's Battalion due to the Regiment's first Commander, Lieutenant Colonel George B. Singletary.  The Regiment completed its organization on September 28, 1861.  It's men were recruited from Orange, Guilford, Jones, Perquimans, Wayne, Pitt, and Lenoir Counties. 


Captain William Nixon

Captain William Nixon was responsible for organizing the Perquimans Beauregards.  Prior to embarking for New Bern on July 19, 1861 on board the steamer Curlew, the Company had trained at Nixon's plantation.  On the date the Regiment completed its organization, its ten Companies were spread across three different geographical locations.  Companies A, B and G were stationed at Fort Macon, near present day Atlantic Beach, North Carolina.  Companies C, D, H, I and K were stationed at Camp Gatlin, near New Bern, North Carolina.  The men from "The Perquimans Beauregards" a/k/a Company F, were stationed at Fort Ellis, right below New Bern, and were being trained as Artillerymen.  After the fall of Roanoke Island, all the Companies were consolidated at Camp Gatlin.  There the Perquimans Beauregards became a Company of Infantry. 



1st National Flag of the Confederacy captured during the Battle of New Bern

On March 14, 1862, the North Carolina 27th Infantry Regiment took part in the Battle of New Bern, North Carolina.  The Regiment was situated on the Confederate left near Fort Thompson.  During the Battle, the North Carolina 27th was not heavily engaged due to most of the action taking place on Confederate Right and Confederate Center.  Once the Confederate Center had collapsed, the North Carolina 27th's right flank was exposed to the enemy.  The order was given for the Regiment to fall back, which it did "in tolerable order".  The men retreated all the way to Kinston, North Carolina, a distance of more than 30 miles. The Regiment suffered 4 killed, 8 wounded, and 42 missing during the Confederate defeat.  Following the defeat, the Regimental Commander, Lieutenant George B. Singletary, held new elections for all Officers.  Captain William Nixon was not reelected.  He returned home to Perquimans County where he served as Justice of the Peace until his death in 1897.  Thomas D. Jones was elected as the Company's new Captain on April 22, 1862. 



John Rogers Cooke

More changes for the Regiment were brought about in April of 1862.  Major John Rogers Cooke was elected as the Regiment's new Colonel.  Colonel Cooke would later be promoted to Brigadier General on November 1, 1862, following his actions during the Battle of Antietam.  The Regiment was also assigned to Brigadier General Robert Ransom's Brigade.  

After being briefly assigned to Ransom's Brigade, the Regiment stayed in Kinston, North Carolina until May 31, 1862, when they received orders to report to the Confederate Capital of Richmond, Virginia.  The North Carolina 27th Infantry Regiment arrived in Richmond on June 1st and was sent to join Brigadier General John George Walker's Brigade at the Confederate Stronghold of Drewry's Bluff on the James River.  The Unit saw limited action during the Seven Days Campaign and only suffered 20 men injured. 



Van H. Manning

General John G. Walker was promoted to Division Command in August of 1862.  On September 1, 1862, Walker's old Brigade, now under the command of Colonel Van H. Manning, of the Arkansas 3rd Infantry Regiment, joined the Army of Northern Virginia near Leesburg, Virginia, where Robert E. Lee was preparing to cross the Potomac into Maryland.  The North Carolina 27th, serving as rear guard, crossed the Potomac on September 8, 1862.  A few days later on September 12th, the North Carolina 27th recrossed the Potomac to support General Stonewall Jackson in his attack on Harper’s Ferry.  The Regiment was positioned atop Loudoun Heights to prevent an escape by the Federals at Harpers Ferry.  After the capture of Harper's Ferry, the Unit rejoined the Army of Northern Virginia at Sharpsburg, Maryland on September 16th. 

On September 17, 1862 during the Battle of Antietam, the North Carolina 27th Infantry Regiment under the command of Colonel John Rogers Cooke, saw extensive action in the area between "The Bloody Lane" and the Dunker Church.  General Walker observed an attack made by Colonel Cooke in this vicinity and remarked:


“The 27th North Carolina and 3rd Arkansas obeyed the order to charge in the face of such fire as troops have seldom encountered without running away, and with steadiness and unfaltering gallantry seldom equalled. Battery after battery, regiment after regiment, opened fire on them, hurling a torrent of missles through their ranks, but nothing could arrest there progress, and three times the enemy broke and fled before their impetuious charge.”

Colonel Van Manning also received high marks in General John G. Walker's After Battle Report following the Battle of Antietam:


"Colonel Manning, with the 46th and 48th North Carolina and 30th Virginia, not content with possession of the woods, dashed forward in gallant style, crossed the open fields beyond, driving the enemy back before him like sheep, until, arriving at a long line of strong post and rail fences, behind which heavy masses of the enemies infantry were lying, their advance was checked, and it being impossible to climb these fences under such fire, these regiments, after suffering a heavy loss, were compelled to fall back..."

"Just before the falling back of these regiments, the gallant Colonel Manning was severely wounded and was compelled to leave the field, relinquishing the command of the brigade to the next rank, Colonel E.D. Hall, of the 46th North Carolina Regiment."

"...The division suffered heavily, particularly Manning's command (Walker's Brigade), which at one time sustained almost the whole fire of the enemies right wing. Going into the engagement, as it was necessary for us to do, to support the sorely pressed divisions of Hood and Early, it was, of course, impossible to make dispositions based upon careful reconnaissance of the localities. The post and rail fences stretching across the fields lying between us and the enemies position, I regard as the fatal obstacle to complete our success on the left, and success there would be, doubtless, have changed the fate of the day. Of the existence of this obstacle none of my division had any previous knowledge, and we learned it at the expense of many valuable lives."

During the Battle of Antietam, the North Carolina 27th Infantry Regiment suffered 203 killed and wounded out of the 325 effectives present before the battle.  Following the Maryland Campaign, Colonel John Rogers Cooke was promoted to Brigadier General.  His Brigade was comprised of the North Carolina 15th, 27th, 46th and 48th Infantry Regiments.  I previously wrote about "The Tar River Rebels" a/k/a Company E of the North Carolina 46th Infantry Regiment, in which five ancestors from my mother's side of the family served and The North Carolina 15th Infantry Regiment, in which three ancestors from my mother's side of the family served. 

On November 19, 1862, Cooke's Brigade arrived at Fredericksburg, Virginia where it was placed in a supporting position on Marye’s Heights and Willis’ Hill.  On December 13th after repulsing the first wave of Federal attacks, General Cooke ordered the North Carolina 27th and 46th Infantry Regiments to move down the hill to a position behind the stone wall where they supported my 4th cousin 7x removed, Brigadier General Thomas Reade Rootes Cobb's Brigade for the remainder of the battle.  Reported losses for the North Carolina 27th were 3 killed and 12 wounded.  During the Battle, General Cooke was badly wounded when a bullet entered over his left eye and fractured his skull. 


Confederate Dead behind the Stone Wall after the Battle of Fredericksburg


Following the Confederate victory at Fredericksburg, Virginia, Cooke's Brigade was ordered to South Carolina where it remained in defensive positions below Charleston at Coosahatchie until April 23, 1863.  The Brigade was then sent to Kinston, North Carolina and then on to Richmond, Virginia, where it arrived on June 8, 1863. Cooke's Brigade did not take part in the Battle of Gettysburg, instead they remained in the defenses around Richmond.  Following the Gettysburg Campaign, Cooke's Brigade rejoined the Army of Northern Virginia and was assigned to Major General Henry Heth's Division in Lieutenant General Ambrose Powell Hill's Third Corps. 

Cooke's Brigade joined the remainder of Heth's Division on October 3, 1863 on a line defending the Rapidan River.  The Federal Army of the Potomac had moved into Virginia after Lee’s retreat from Pennsylvania and had occupied a line along the Rapidan and Rappahannock as far west as Culpeper Court House.  General James Longstreet's First Corps had recently departed for Tennessee, where they were to aid General Braxton Bragg.  That left only two Confederate Corps at Robert E. Lee's disposal, General Richard S. Ewell's Second Corps and General A. P. Hill's Third Corps. 

A fight was brewing as Lee ordered both Corps to move on October 9, 1863.  Their movements were screened by J. E. B. Stuart's Cavalry.  By this time, General George Gordon Meade commanded the Federal Army of the Potomac.  Meade detected Lee's movements and responded by withdrawing his extended force back towards Manassas Junction.  On October 13th, Hill's Corps moved toward Culpeper Court House and bivouacked just west of Warrenton, Virginia.  As dawn broke on October 14th, Hill's Corps took up march and made their way to Greenwich, Virginia by 10:00am.  There they overran a hastily abandoned Federal Camp. 

Lieutenant James Graham of Company G, North Carolina 27th Infantry Regiment recalled the scene:

“Throwing out skirmishers some 200 yards ahead we proceeded at a rapid pace, about double-quick, in pursuit of the foe. Guns, knapsacks, blankets, etc. strewn along the road showed that the enemy was moving in rapid retreat.”

The Federals were following the line of the Orange and Alexandria Railroad and withdrawing rapidly back toward Manassas.  The leading element of Hill's Corps made its way to the heights overlooking Bristoe Station on October 14, 1863.  Hill's scouts observed the Federal II Corps crossing the Broad Run, north of the station.  A substantial number of Federal Rear Guard stood halted near the bridge, offering Hill an opportunity for a Confederate surprise attack.  Hill failed to notice the remaining element of Federal forces waiting to cross the creek due to a railroad embankment that was hiding them from view.  This Federal force was comprised of four Brigades from the Federal II Corps.  Three Batteries of Union Artillery also lay hidden in the wooded hills south of the railroad.  Each Battery had a clear field of fire to their north.



Historical Marker for the Battle of Bristoe Station


Hill ordered Henry Heth's Divsion to move forward with the Brigades of Cooke and Kirkland leading the charge.  The North Carolinians from the two Brigades had no idea that they were severely outnumbered as they made their way down the road leading to Bristoe Station.  Suddenly the advancing Confederates were subjected to murderous artillery fire.  The Federal strength behind the railroad embankment became known as severe musket fire began to also pour into the Confederate ranks.  The Federals began to mount a counterattack against the right of Cooke's Brigade.  This was quickly reported to Lieutenant General Hill.  Hill peremptorily ordered Cooke's Brigade forward, ensuring that General H. H. Walker's Brigade would offer support.

As Cooke's Brigade advanced, line of battle from right to left consisted of the 46th, 15th, 27th and  48th North Carolina Infantry Regiments.  The attacking Confederates were within full view of the awaiting Federals, who were still secured behind the railroad embankment.  Federal artillery fire intensified as the North Carolinians advanced down the long slope.  Union Infantrymen began to engage the right of Cooke's Brigade near the railroad.  Cooke was wounded in the leg as he passed behind the North Carolina 27th.  Confusion began to set in.  The 27th was ordered to charge, double-quick, down the hill.  As they did, men fell at every step.  As the Brigade neared the railroad embankment, Federal soldiers began to appear from behind the fortification and pour volley after volley of musket fire into the Confederates.  The 27th fell back. The men had been in a much further exposed position than the other two Regiments, having gone farther in the charge. 

The support from Walker's Brigade didn't come as promised.  Walker's men had not advanced as promptly as Hill had intended them to, instead they became lost in the dense woods.  The lack of reinforcements prompted the Federals to intensify their attack on Cooke's right.  Finally Cooke's Brigade began their retreat.  What originally appeared as a promising opportunity suddenly made way into a bitter defeat in less than an hour and a half.  Hill's haste in launching the attack coupled with his failure to effectively support the leading two Brigades resulted in heavy losses to his force and little consequential damage to the Federals. 

The losses for the North Carolina 27th totaled 205 and included 30 men killed and 108 wounded, and 67 captured.  Hill's total casualty number was approximately 1,380 compared to the Federal's 540.  Following the battle, General Robert E. Lee remarked coldly to General Hill, “let us bury these poor men and say no more about the matter.”  Hill's After Battle Reported ended with, “In conclusion, I am convinced that I made the attack too hastily…”  Hill went on to say “…and at the same time that a delay of half an hour, and there would have been no enemy to attack. In that event I believe I should equally have blamed myself for not attacking at once.”    The North Carolina 27th Infantry Regiment spent the Winter on picket duty along the Rapidan and in camp near Orange Court House.



General Grant and Staff in the Field, Campaign in Virginia 1864


By May of 1864, Ulysses S. Grant had attached his headquarters to the Army of the Potomac.  Although General Meade retained formal command, all orders now made their way through Grant himself.  Grant's strategy now unraveled in his Overland Campaign against the Confederate Capital of Richmond.  The series of battles raged from May through June of 1864.  Grant's strength numbered nearly 120,000 Federals compared to Robert E. Lee's force of roughly 64,000 Confederates. 



Battle of the Wilderness by Kurz and Allison


The North Carolina 27th Infantry Regiment was warmly engaged during the Battle of the Wilderness, which took place on May 5 - 6, 1864.  The area referred to as "The Wilderness" was a large area of undergrowth where part of the Battle of Chancellorsville had taken place just a year earlier.  Lee used the densely wooded thicket to his advantage, effectively neutralizing the Unions advantage in numbers and artillery.  Lee inflicted more numerical casualties on Grant's Federals, however due to the numerical size of Lee's Army and the losses compared, the Battle of the Wilderness is generally considered a draw.  The North Carolina 27th suffered heavy casualties.  Specifically, the Perquimans Beauregards suffered 14 killed and wounded. 



Skulls Found After the Battle of The Wilderness, 1864


The aftermath of the Battle was something that neither force had ever seen before.  Partial remains from men killed the previous year during the Battle of Chancellorsville had been overturned during the fighting.  The same grim phenomena also appeared on the battlefield at Cold Harbor, Virginia, where two battles took place roughly two years apart.

In mid June, Hill's Corps were ordered to the defenses of Petersburg, Virginia.  By the time the Unit participated in the Battle of Reams Station on August 25, 1864, an officer serving in the North Carolina 27th remarked that the Unit had dwindled down to about 70 effectives.  The 27th endured the Siege of Petersburg until April 2, 1865 when the Army of Northern Virginia finally began their withdrawal.  Cooke's Brigade was cut off from the rest of the Army of Northern Virginia, but finally rendezvoused with Robert E. Lee in time for his surrender at Appomattox Courthouse.  When the Army of Northern Virginia surrendered on April 9, 1865, 117 members of the North Carolina 27th Infantry Regiment received paroles.


Four of my ancestors, all on my father's side, served in the Perquimans Beauregards a/k/a Company F of the North Carolina 27th Infantry Regiment. 


Anderson White was born in Perquimans County, North Carolina on April 5, 1834.  He is my 2nd cousin 5x removed.   He enlisted as a Private in New Bern, North Carolina on September 5, 1861. He was 27 years old at the time of his enlistment.


1st Muster for Anderson


Anderson was listed as present or accounted for until he was captured at Bristoe Station, Virginia on October 14, 1863.


Muster Roll showing Anderson was missing since the Battle of Bristoe Station


He was originally confined at Old Capitol Prison, Washington, D.C. on October 15, 1864.


POW Roll showing Anderson's confinement at Old Capitol Prison


Anderson was then transferred  to Point Lookout, Maryland on October 27, 1863.  Anderson was then transferred from Point Lookout  to Aiken's Landing, James River, Virginia.

POW Roll showing Anderson's transfer from Point Lookout to Aiken's Landing

Anderson participated in a prisoner exchange at Aiken's Landing, Virginia on February 24, 1865.


POW Roll showing Anderson's exchange

Anderson White lived at least another 5 years following the end of the Civil War.  He is found living in Bethel, Perquimans County, North Carolina in the 1870 Federal Census.  No records of Anderson can be found after 1870.   His burial location is not known at the time of this entry.

Here's my relation to Anderson:

Anderson White (1834 - 1870)
is your 2nd cousin 5x removed
Thomas Dempsey White (1810 - 1892)
Father of Anderson
Dempsey White (1784 - 1829)
Father of Thomas Dempsey
Benjamin White (1744 - 1808)
Father of Dempsey
John White (1773 - 1848)
Son of Benjamin
Margaret White (1807 - 1840)
Daughter of John
Martha M White (1828 - 1898)
Daughter of Margaret
Joseph Thomas White (1860 - 1910)
Son of Martha M
Sarah Elizabeth (Sallie) White (1892 - 1985)
Daughter of Joseph Thomas
Ruth Adelaide Nowell Stokes (1918 - 2013)
Daughter of Sarah Elizabeth (Sallie)
Selby Edward "Stokey" Stokes Jr. (1946 - )
Son of Ruth Adelaide
Chip Stokes
You are the son of Selby


John W. White was born in Perquimans County, North Carolina in 1843.  He is my 1st cousin 5x removed.   John enlsited as a Private in Perquimans County, North Carolina on May 1, 1864 for the duration of the war.


1st Muster for John


He was 21 years old at the time of his enlistment.  John was listed as present or accounted for through December, 1864.  John survived the war and lived at least an additional 35 years following the Civil War.  He and his wife are found living in Newport News, Virginia in the 1900 Federal Census.  No further records for John can be found.   His burial location is not known at the time of this entry.

Here's my relation to John:

John W. White (1843 - 1905)
is your 1st cousin 5x removed
Charles White (1811 - 1881)
Father of John W.
John White (1773 - 1848)
Father of Charles
Margaret White (1807 - 1840)
Daughter of John
Martha M White (1828 - 1898)
Daughter of Margaret
Joseph Thomas White (1860 - 1910)
Son of Martha M
Sarah Elizabeth (Sallie) White (1892 - 1985)
Daughter of Joseph Thomas
Ruth Adelaide Nowell Stokes (1918 - 2013)
Daughter of Sarah Elizabeth (Sallie)
Selby Edward "Stokey" Stokes Jr. (1946 - )
Son of Ruth Adelaide
Chip Stokes
You are the son of Selby


Theophilus White was born in Bethel, Perquimans County, North Carolina in 1840.  He is my 3rd cousin 5x removed.  Theophilus enlisted as a Private in Company F, North Carolina 27th Infantry Regiment in Hertford, Perquimans County on May 16, 1861 at the age of 21. 


1st Muster for Theophilus


Theophilus was listed as being present and accounted for through May - June of 1862.   On May 1, 1862, he was promoted to the rank of Sergeant.


Muster Roll showing Theophilus was promoted to Sergeant


On October 14, 1863, Theophilus was captured by Federal forces at the Battle of Bristoe Station, Virginia. 


Muster Roll showing Theophilus was captured at Bristoe Station


Following his capture, Theophilus was sent to the Old Capitol Prison in Washington D.C. on October 15, 1863. 


POW Roll showing Theophilus was confined to Old Capitol Prison


On October 28, 1863, Theophilus was transferred to Point Lookout, Maryland, where he would remain until February of 1865.

POW Roll showing Theophilus was transferred to Point Lookout


On February 24, 1865, Theophilus was released from Point Lookout and sent to Aiken's Landing, Virginia where he would participate in an exchange of prisoners.


POW Roll showing Theophilus was exchanged

Theophilus returned to the North Carolina 27th Infantry Regiment in early March of 1865.  He was officially paroled at Greensboro, North Carolina on May 1, 1865.


Parole for Theophilus

After the war, Theophilus White returned home to Perquimans County where he resumed farming.  He lived at least an additional 15 years following the end of the Civil War.  The last record of Theophilus is the 1880 Federal Census where he and his family are found living in Bethel Township, Perquimans County.   The Theophilus White house was destroyed in the 1970's, however a large portion of the interior was saved and is now on display at the Museum of the Albemarle in Elizabeth City, North Carolina.  His burial location is not know at this time.

Here's my relation to Theophilus:

Theophilus White (1840 - )
is your 3rd cousin 5x removed
Theophilus White (1774 - 1854)
father of Theophilus White
Jacob White (1752 - 1816)
father of Theophilus White
Joshua White (1726 - 1784)
father of Jacob White
Thomas White (1696 - 1761)
father of Joshua White
Benjamin White (1744 - 1808)
son of Thomas White
John White (1773 - 1848)
son of Benjamin White
Margaret White (1807 - 1840)
daughter of John White
Martha M White (1828 - 1898)
daughter of Margaret White
Joseph Thomas White (1860 - 1910)
son of Martha M White
Sarah Elizabeth (Sallie) White (1892 - 1985)
daughter of Joseph Thomas White
Ruth Adelaide Nowell Stokes (1918 - 2013)
daughter of Sarah Elizabeth (Sallie) White
Selby Edward "Stokey" Stokes Jr. (1946 - )
son of Ruth Adelaide Nowell Stokes
Chip Stokes
You are the son of Selby






Joseph Roulhac Wood was born in Hertford, Perquimans County, North Carolina on October 1, 1833.  He is the husband of my 2nd Great Grand Aunt, Sarah Jackson.   Joseph enlisted as a Private in Perquimans County, North Carolina on May 16, 1861.  He was 28 years old at the time of his enlistment.


1st Muster Roll for Joseph

Joseph was detailed as a Clerk in the Quartermaster's Department on September 5, 1861.


Muster Roll showing Joseph was detailed as a Clerk in the Quartermaster's Department


Joseph was listed as present or accounted for until he was discharged on July 16, 1862 to become the County Clerk.


Regimental Return showing Joseph was discharged to become the County Clerk

Joseph's discharge stated he was not to be subject to the Confederacy's Conscription Law.


Discharge Paper for Joseph R. Wood

Joseph Roulhac Wood lived an additional two years following the end of the Civil War.  He died in Hertford, Perquimans County, North Carolina on January 16, 1867.  He was 33 years old at the time of his death.  His burial location is not known at the time of this entry.

Here's my relation to Joseph:

Joseph Roulhac Wood (1833 - 1867)
husband of 2nd great grand aunt
Sarah Jackson (1841 - 1910)
Wife of Joseph Roulhac
George Jackson (1815 - 1869)
Father of Sarah
Joseph Jackson (1842 - 1893)
Son of George
Elsie M. Jackson Stokes (1878 - 1956)
Daughter of Joseph
Selby Edward Stokes (1910 - 1997)
Son of Elsie M.
Selby Edward "Stokey" Stokes Jr. (1946 - )
Son of Selby Edward
Chip Stokes
You are the son of Selby

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