1st & 53rd NC Regiments In The Words Of Veterans Lewis Leon & T.C. Land

Dec 31, 2010
Kingsport, Tennessee
lewis leon.gif

Lewis Leon: Residence Mecklenburg County NC; 19-year-old Clerk. Enlisted and mustered on 4/20/1861 at Mecklenburg County, NC as a Private into "C" Co. NC 1st Volunteers Infantry (6 months). He was Mustered Out on 11/12/1861.

On 4/14/1862 he mustered into "B" Co. NC 53rd Infantry. POW 5/5/1864 Wilderness, VA. Confined 5/17/1864 Point Lookout, MD. Transferred 7/25/1864 Elmira, NY. Oath of Allegiance 2/7/1865 Elmira, NY. Born 11/27/1841 in Mecklenburg, Germany. After the War, he lived in Charlotte, NC.

Lewis Leon, one of the leading business men of Charlotte, N. C.,
and a veteran of the Confederate States service was born in
Mecklenburg, Germany, November 27, 1841. Three years later he
was brought by his parents to New York city, whence he removed to
Charlotte in 1858, and engaged in mercantile pursuits as a clerk.

Becoming a member of the Charlotte Grays, he entered the active
service with that command, going to the camp of instruction at
Raleigh on April 21, 1861. The Grays were assigned to Col. D. H.
Hill's regiment, the First, as Company C, and going to Virginia,
took part in the battle of Big Bethel, in which Private Leon was
a participant.

At the expiration of the six months' enlistment of the Bethel
regiment, he re-enlisted in Company B, Capt. Harvey White, of the
Fifty-third regiment, commanded by Col. William Owen. He shared
the service of this regiment in its subsequent honorable career,
fighting at Gettysburg, Bristoe Station, Mine Run and the
Wilderness, receiving a slight wound at Gettysburg, but not
allowing it to interfere with his duty.

During the larger part of his service, he was a sharpshooter. At
the Wilderness, May 1864, he was captured by the enemy, and from
that time until June 1865, was a prisoner of war at Point
Lookout and Elmira, N. Y. Upon being paroled he visited his
parents in New York City, and then worked his way back to
Charlotte, where, after a few years, he was able to found a
business which has since been quite successful.

He is warmly regarded by his comrades of Mecklenburg camp, U. C.
V., and has served three terms as its commander. On April 3,
1873, he was married to Miss Sarah Levy, of New York, and
they have three children.

Source: Confederate Military History Vol. V p. 602

thomas charles land.jpg

Thomas Charles Land: Residence Wilkes County NC; 33 years old when he enlisted and mustered on 5/31/1861 at Wake County, NC as a Corporal into "B" Co. NC 1st Infantry. Seriously wounded 7/1/1862 at Malvern Hill, VA. Furloughed home 7/10/1862. On 8/2/1862 he was commissioned 3rd Lieutenant into "K" Co. NC 53rd Infantry. Promoted to 2nd Lieutenant 7/1/1863. Commanded Company K July 2nd and 3rd at Gettysburg. Wounded 9/19/1864 Winchester, VA. Returned 1/30/1865. Furloughed home 3/30/1865. No further record.

Following the war, Thomas spent over 20 years in Oregan territory engaged in farming, mining, hunting deer, bear, and elk. When he returned to Wilkes County, he brought a highly-prized set of elk horns. Somewhat of a "wordsmith', T.C. enjoyed creating rhymes and wrote a great many letters, poems, and other prose works, to the point that his writing was recognized by James Larkin Pearson, North Carolina's 2nd "Poet Laureate". Probably Thomas' best-known writing was about a Wilkes County murder in 1868. It was published in 3 parts and later deemed by Thomas to be too long. He wrote a shorter version that someone added music to and became quite popular among the North Carolina mountain folk. It evolved over the years to what we know as "The Ballad of Tom Dooley". Thomas Land never married and died at his brother's home in Wilkes County in 1912. He was buried in the Thomas Land Family Cemetery on the very land where he was born and raised.

Both Land and Leon wrote of their Civil War experiences. Land kept an unpublished Journal throughout the conflict and later wrote a poem https://civilwartalk.com/threads/civil-war-poem.77154/#post-538546 titled "Return To The Tented Field". In 1913, Leon's "Diary Of A Tar Heel Confederate Soldier" was published. The fact both men eventually became members of the 53rd NC Infantry, I believe makes for some interesting reading when comparing the two, as they often wrote about the same battles, campaigns, marches, etc. Since I'm related to T.C.Land, I'm beginning this thread on the Ancestry Forum, in hopes, there will be others with ancestors in the 1st NC Infantry (6 months), 1st NC Infantry (3 years) or 53rd NC Infantry Regiments who will also add their info to the thread.

These two Tar-Heel Rebels came from vastly different backgrounds. There was 15 years difference in their ages. Leon, the youngest of the two was Jewish, born in Germany, his parents migrated to New York. About 1858, Lewis moved to Charlotte, Mecklenburg County and went to work as a clerk in a clothing store. By the outbreak of the Civil War, he considered North Carolina home. He had a brother in the 44th Georgia.

Land, the oldest, was from the "Brushy Mountains" of Wilkes County. He was familiar with places with names like Glady Branch, Glady Fork, Reddy Branch, Lewis Fork, Mason’s Branch, Bull Branch, Tompkins Knob, and Naked Creek. His family home was Stony Fork. His great-grandfather, also named Thomas Land, had served under Thomas "Gamecock" Sumter in the Revolution. Great-Grandfather Thomas then married Sumter's little sister, Anna. His paternal grandmother, Elizabeth Isbell Land, had 6 brothers who fought at Kings Mountain. His father served in the war of 1812. No way was he going to miss America's "Second Revolution" and along with his comrade Lewis Leon, they describe their part in their own words.

Lewis wrote in the preface of his Diary :

"This diary was commenced for the fun of writing down my experience as a soldier from the Old North State. I never thought for a moment that I would put it in print; but now that I am getting old and have read so many histories written by our officers, but have never seen in print a history written by a private.
I know that my diary is truly the life of the man behind the gun, therefore I make bold to publish it. I am sure my experience was that of other privates, and a true history of my companies and regiments, as well as the Brigade, Division, and even Corp that I belonged to. I am certain that the men of '61 to '65 who read this will recall most vividly the camping, marching, fighting and suffering they endured in those never-to-be-forgotten days of long ago. And to the younger generation of Southern-born it will show how we endured and suffered, but still fought on for the cause we know was right".
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Dec 31, 2010
Kingsport, Tennessee
On April 25, 1861, Lewis wrote:

"I belong to the Charlotte Grays, Company C, First North Carolina Regiment. We left home for Raleigh. Our company is commanded by Capt. Egbert Ross. We are all boys between the ages of eighteen and twenty-one. We offered our services to Governor Ellis, but were afraid he would not take us, as we are so young; but before we were called out our company was ordered to go to the United States Mint in our town and take same. We marched down to it, and it was surrendered to us. We guarded it several days when we were ordered to Raleigh and left on the above date.

Our trip was full of joy and pleasure, for at every station where our train stopped the ladies showered us with flowers and Godspeed. We marched to the Fair Grounds. The streets were lined with people, cheering us. When we got there our company was given quarters, and, lo and behold! horse stables with straw for bedding is what we got. I know we all thought it a disgrace for us to sleep in such places with our fine uniforms - not even a washstand, or any place to hang our clothes on. They didn't even give us a looking-glass. Our company was put in the First North Carolina Regiment, commanded by Col. D. H. Hill, Lieut.-Col. C. C. Lee, and Maj. James H. Lane".

On the day following North Carolina's secession from the Union, May 21, 1861, the 1st North Carolina Volunteers set out for Richmond, from there to Yorktown, Virginia, where they finally received tents to sleep in.

T.C. Land wouldn't begin his journal until May 4, 1861. But his poem from his later years begins :

"When first the bugle sounded, to call us forth to arms, I left my native country and its endearing charms.
And hastened to Virginia, the land of brave and free, to fight for independence for rights and liberty".


Daniel Harvey Hill (1821 - 1889)


James Henry Lane (1833 - 1907)
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Dec 31, 2010
Kingsport, Tennessee
On May 12, 1861 T.C. Land made the first entry in his journal. He would make the final entry on April 7, 1865. Needless to say, most of the entries for May simply say, "Drilled at Camp"

"Bid adieu to my parents and friends on Stony Fork and set out to join The Wilkes Valley Guards in Wilkesboro".

May 17 & 18 1861 "Drilled at M.S.Stokes". Went to Holman's Ford where we were drilled by Lieutenant Gordon.

Montford Sydney Stokes: Captain of "The Wilkes Valley Guards". Later Colonel of the 1st NC Infantry (3 years regiment). Died of wounds received at Ellerson's Mill, Va. 6/26/1862.

James Byron Gordon:

Major, Ninth North Carolina Volunteers (cavalry), May 8,
Lieutenant colonel, Ninth North Carolina Cavalry, March 1,
Brigadier general, P. A. C. S., September 5, 1863. Major
general, P. A. C. S. (temporary rank), May 14, 1864.

Killed at Yellow Tavern, Virginia, May 11, 1864.


Brigade composed of the First, Second, Third, Fourth and
Fifth North Carolina Regiments Cavalry, W. H. F. Lee's
Division, Army of Northern Virginia.

Source: General Officers of the Confederate States of America

Brigadier-General James B. Gordon was born November 2, 1822,
at Wilkesboro, Wilkes County, N. C., where his ancestors had
made their home for four generations since the coming of John
George Gordon from Scotland about the year 1724.

In childhood, he attended the school of Peter S. Ney, in
Iredell County afterward studied at Emory and Henry College,
Va., and then engaged in the mercantile business at his native
town. He was a leader in local politics and sat in the
legislature in 1850.

At the first organization of troops in 1861, he became a
lieutenant in the Wilkes county guards, which became Company B
of the First regiment, State troops, with Gordon as captain.
Soon afterward he was commissioned major of the First cavalry,
and went to the front in Virginia, where the regiment under
command of Col. Robert Ransom was assigned to the brigade of
Gen. J. E. B. Stuart.

On November 26, 1861, he gallantly led the charge in the first
encounter of his regiment with the Federal cavalry, which was
also the first engagement of Stuart's brigade with the same
arm of the enemy, and was entirely successful. Thereafter he
was among the foremost in every fight, and was frequently
commended for bravery in the reports of Stuart.

In the spring of 1862, he was promoted lieutenant-colonel of
his regiment, which was assigned to Wade Hampton's brigade.
He commanded the detachment which took part in Hampton's raid
on Dumfries in December, and in the spring of 1863 was
commissioned colonel.

In the fight at Hagerstown during the retreat from Gettysburg,
a charge of the enemy was gallantly met and repulsed by Gordon
with a fragment of the Fifth cavalry, "that officer exhibiting
under my eye individual prowess deserving special
commendation," Stuart reported.

In September 1863, he was promoted brigadier-general and
assigned to command of the North Carolina cavalry brigade,
with which he defeated the enemy at Bethsaida church October
10th, and at Culpeper Court House, and took a prominent part
in the fight at Auburn, where Colonel Ruffin was killed and he
was painfully wounded, but "continued, by his brave example
and marked ability, to control the field, " and two days after
commanded in a fight on Bull run.

He led the center in the "Buckland races," driving Kilpatrick
before him, and during the Mine Run campaign took an active
part, his horse being shot under him at Parker's store.

In the memorable campaign of May 1864, Gordon's outposts were
the first to meet the enemy as he crossed the Rapidan, and he
fought against Grant's army until the battle lines were drawn
at Spottsylvania, when the cavalry hastened to cut off
Sheridan's raid upon Richmond.

On the 11th Stuart fell at Yellow Tavern, and Gordon, having
defeated the enemy at Ground Squirrel church on the 10th,
sustained the attack of Sheridan's corps in force at Meadow
bridge in sight of Richmond, May 12th.

He fought with reckless daring, inspiring his men to such
exertions that they held the enemy in check until
reinforcements could come up. The capital was saved, but the
gallant Gordon was borne from the field mortally wounded.

On May 18th he died in hospital at Richmond, deeply lamented
by the army.

Source: Confederate Military History, vol. V, p. 312

May 27, 1861, "Left Wilkesboro and reached Moravian Creek, where we pitched our tents for the night".

May 28th, 1861, "Struck out tents, resumed our march, crossed the Brushy Mountains at Killy's Gap".

May 29th, 1861, "Struck tents, resumed our march, reached Statesville where we took the train for Salisbury where we were met by a brass band, which escorted us through Main Street to the Hotel, where we partook of an excellent supper gratuitously provided by the citizens of Salisbury".

May 30th, 1861, "Took the 8:00 train and reached Raleigh about 6 in the evening. Marched through the City and pitched our tents at Baptist Grove".

May 31, 1861, "Took the Oath to support the Constitution of NC. and the C.S.A".
Dec 31, 2010
Kingsport, Tennessee
Louis Leon and the 1st NC Volunteers will play a key role in the war's first major land battle at Big Bethel Church, Va.

3d of June, "when we marched fifteen miles and halted at Bethel Church, and again commenced making breastworks. Our rations did not suit us. We wanted a change of diet, but there were strict orders from Col. D. H. Hill that we should not go out foraging. Well, Bill Stone, Alie Todd and myself put on our knapsacks and went to the creek to wash our clothes, but when we got there we forgot to wash. We took a good long walk away from the camp and saw several shoats. We ran one down, held it so it could not squeal, then killed it, cut it in small pieces, put it in our knapsacks, returned to the creek, and from there to camp, where we shared it with the boys. It tasted good."

June 10, "At three o'clock this morning the long roll woke us up. We fell in line, marched about five miles, then counter-marched, as the Yankees were advancing on us. We got to our breastworks a short time before the Yankees came, and firing commenced. We gave them a good reception with shot and shell. The fight lasted about four hours. Our company was behind the works that held the line where the major of the Yankee regiment, Winthrop, was killed. After he fell our company was ordered to the church but was soon sent back to its former position".

"This is the first land battle of the war, and we certainly gave them a good beating, but we lost one of our regiment, Henry Wyatt, who was killed while gallantly doing a volunteer duty. Seven of our men were wounded. The Yankees must have lost at least two hundred men in killed and wounded. It was their boast that they could whip us with corn-stalks, but to their sorrow, they found that we could do some fighting, too. After the fight, some of the boys and myself went over the battlefield, and we saw several of the Yankee dead - the first I had ever seen, and it made me shudder. I am now in a school where sights like this should not worry me long".

"Our commander in this fight was Col. Bankhead Magruder. The Yankee commander was Gen. B. F. Butler".

"From now on I will never again grumble about digging breastworks. If it had not been for them many of us would not be here now. We returned the same night to Yorktown, full of glory".

"We changed camp a number of times, made fortifications all around Yorktown, and when our six months were over we were disbanded and returned home. So my experience as a soldier was over. I stayed home five months when I again took arms for the Old North State and joined a company raised by Capt. Harvey White, of Charlotte, and left our home on April 23, 1862, at 6.30 P.M".


John Bankhead Magruder (1807 - 1871)
Benjamin Butler_0.jpg

Benjamin Franklin Butler (1818 - 1893)


Henry Lawson Wyatt
1st Confederate soldier to die in action. Killed at Bethel Church
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Dec 31, 2010
Kingsport, Tennessee
First North Carolina Infantry
Report of Col. D. H. Hill, First North Carolina Infantry.

SIR: I have the honor to report that, in obedience to orders from the colonel
commanding, I marched on the 6th instant, with my regiment and four pieces
of Maj. Randolph's battery, from Yorktown, on the Hampton road, to
Bethel Church, nine miles from Hampton. We reached there after dark on
a wet night and slept without tents. Early on the morning of the 7th, I made
a reconnaissance of the ground, preparatory to fortifying. I found a breach
for Back River on our front and encircling our right flank. On our left was
a dense and almost impassable wood, except about one hundred and fifty
yards of old field. The breadth of the road, a thick wood, and narrow
cultivated field covered our rear. The nature of the ground determined me
to make an inclosed work, and I had the invaluable aid of
Lieut.-Col. Lee, of my regiment, in its plan and construction. Our
position had the inherent defect of being commanded by an immense field
immediately in front of it, upon which the masses of the enemy might be
readily deployed. Presuming that an attempt would be made to carry the
bridge across the stream, a battery was made for its especial protection, and
Maj. Randolph placed his guns so as to sweep all the approaches to it. The
occupation of two commanding eminences beyond the creek and on our right
would have greatly strengthened our position, but our force was too weak to
admit of the occupation of more than one for them. A battery was laid out
on it for one of Randolph's howitzers. We had only twenty-five spades, six
axes, and three picks, but these were busily plied all day and night of the
7th and all day on the 8th. On the afternoon of the I learned that a
marauding arty of the enemy was within a few miles of us. I called for a
party of third-four men to drive them back. Lieut. Roberts,
of Company F, of my regiment, promptly responded, and in five minutes his
command was en route. I detached Maj. Randolph with one howitzer to in
them, and Lieut.-Col. Lee, First Regiment North Carolina
Volunteers, requested and was granted permission to take command of the
whole. After a march of five miles they came across the marauders busy
over the spoils of a plundered house. A shell soon put the plunderers to
flight, and they were chased over New Market Bridge, where our little
force was halted, in consequence for the presence of considerable body
situated on the other side. Lieut.-Col. Lee brought in one prisoner.
How many of the enemy were killed and wounded is not known. None of
our command was hurt. Soon after Lieut.-Col. Lee left a citizen
came dashing in with the information that seventy-five marauders were on
the Back River road. I called for Capt. McDowell's company (E), of the
First Regiment of North Carolina Volunteers, and in three minutes it was in
hot pursuit. Lieut. West, of the Howitzer Battalion, with one piece, was
detached to join them, and Maj. Lane, of my regiment, volunteered to
assume command of the whole. After a wary march they encountered,
dispersed, and chased the wretches over the New Market Bridge--this being
the second race on the same day over the New Market course, in both of
which the Yankees reached the goal first. Maj. Lane brought in one
prisoner. Reliable citizens reported that two cart loads and one buggy load
of wounded, were taken into Hampton. We had not a single man killed or
wounded. Col. Magruder came up that evening assumed command.

On Sunday, the 9th, a fresh supply of tools enabled us to put more men to
work, and when not engaged in religious duties, the men worked vigorously
on the in entrenchments. We were aroused at 3 o'clock on Monday morning
for a general advance upon the enemy, and marched three and a half miles,
when we learned that the foe, in large force, was within a few hundred yards
of us. We fell back hastily upon our entrenchments, and awaited the arrival
of our invaders. Lieut.-Col. Stuart, of the Third Regiment, having
come with some one hundred and eighty men, was stationed on the hill on
the extreme right, beyond the creek and Company G, of my regiment was
also thrown over the stream to protect the howitzer under Capt. Brown.
Capt. Bridges, of Company A, First North Carolina Regiment took post
in the dense woods beyond and to the left of the road. Maj. Montague, with
three companies of his battalion, was ordered up from the rear, and took
post on our right, beginning a the church and extending along the entire front
on that side. This fine body of men and the gallant command of
Lieut.-Col. Stuart worked with great rapidity, and in hour
constructed temporary shelters, against the enemy's fire. Just at 9 o'clock
a.m. The heavy columns of the enemy were seen approaching rapidly and in
good order, but when Randolph opened upon them at 9.15 their organization
was completely broken up. The enemy promptly replied with his artillery,
firing briskly but wildly. He made an attempt at deployment on our right of
the road, under cover of some houses and a paling. He was, however,
promptly driven back by our artillery, a Virginia company--the Life
Guards--and Companies B and G of my regiment. The enemy attempted no
deployment within musketry range during the day, except under cover of
woods fences, or paling. Under cover of the trees he moved a strong column
to an old ford, some three-quarters of a mile below, where I had placed a
picket of some forty men. Col. Magruder sent Capt. Werth's company,
of Montague's command, with one howitzer, under Sergeant
Crane, to drive back this column, which was done by a single shot from the
howitzer. Before this a priming wire had been broken in the vent of the
howitzer commanded by Capt. Brown, and rendered it useless.

A force estimated at one thousand five hundred was now attempting to
outflank us and get in the rear of Lieut.-Col. Stuart's small command.
He was accordingly directed to fall back, and the whole of our advanced
troops were withdrawn. At this critical moment I directed Lieut.-Col.
Lee to call Capt. Bridgers out of the swamp, and ordered him to reoccupy
the nearest advanced work, and I ordered Capt. Ross, Company C, First
Regiment North Carolina Volunteers, to the support of Lieut.-Col.
Stuart. These two captains, with their companies, crossed over to Randolph's
battery, under a most heavy fire, in a most gallant manner. As Lieut.
-Col. Stuart had withdrawn, Capt. Ross was detained at the church,
near Randolph's battery. Capt. Bridgers, however, crossed over and drove
the zouaves out of the advanced howitzer battery, and reoccupied it. It is
impossible to overestimate this service. It decided the action in our favor.

In obedience to orders from Col. Magruder, Lieut.-Col. Stuart
marched back, and in spite of the presence of a foe ten times his superior
in number, resumed in the most heroic manner possession of his
entrenchments. A fresh howitzer was carried across and place in the battery
and Capt. Avery, of Company G, was directed to defend it at all hazards.

We were now as secure as the beginning of the fight, and as yet had no man
killed. The enemy, finding himself foiled on our right flank, next made his
final demonstration on our left. A strong column, supposed to consist of
volunteers from different, and under command of Capt. Winthrop,
aide-de-camp to Gen. Butler, crossed over the creek and appeared at the
angle on our left. Those in advance had put on our distinctive badge of a
white band around the cap, and they cried out repeatedly, "Don't fire." This
ruse was practiced to enable the whole column to get over the creek and
form in good order. They now began to cheer most lustily, thinking that our
work was open at the gorge, and that they could get in by a scudded rush.
Companies B and C, however, dispelled the illusion by a cool, deliberate,
and well directed fire. Col. Magruder sent over portions of Companies
G, C, and H of my regiment to our support and now began as cool firing
on our side as was ever witnessed.

The three field officers of the regiment were present and but grew shots were
fired without their permission, the men repeatedly saying, "May I fire? "I
think I can bring him." They were all in high glee, and seemed to enjoy it
as much as boys do rabbit-shooting. Capt. Winthrop, while most gallantly
urging on his men, was shot through the heart, when all rushed back with
the utmost precipitation. So far as my observation extended he was the only
one of the enemy who exhibited even an approximation to courage during
the whole day.

The fight at the angle lasted but twenty minutes. It completely discouraged
the enemy, and he made no further effort at assault. The house in front,
which had several as a hiding place for the enemy, was now fired by a shell
from a howitzer, and the outhouses and palings were soon in a blaze. As all
shelter was now taken from him, the enemy called in his troops, and started
back for Hampton. As he had left sharpshooters behind him in the woods on
our left, the dragoons could not advance until Capt. Hoke, of Company K,
First North Carolina Volunteers, that thoroughly explored them. As soon as
he gave the assurance of
the road being clear, Capt. Douthatt, with some one hundred dragoons, in
compliance wit Col. Magruder's orders, pursued. The enemy in his haste
threw away hundreds of canteens, haversacks, overcoats, &c.; even the dead
were thrown out of the wagons. The pursuit soon became a chase, and for
the third time the enemy won the race over the New Market course. The
bridge was torn up behind him and our dragoons returned to camp. There
were not quite eight hundred of my regiment engaged in the fight, and not
one-half of these drew trigger during the day. All remained manfully
at the posts assigned them and not a man in the regiment behaved badly. The
companies not engaged were as much exposed and rendered equal service
with those participating in the fight. They deserve equally the thanks of the
country. In fact, if is the most trying ordeal to which soldiers can be
subjected, to receive a fire which their orders forbid them to return. Had a
single company left its post our works would have been exposed; and the
constancy and discipline of the unengaged companies cannot be too highly
commended. A detachment of fifteen cadets
from the North Carolina Military Institute defended the howitzer under
Lieut. Hudnall, and acted with great coolness and determination.

I cannot speak in too high terms of my two fields officers,
Lieut.-Col. Lee and Maj. Lane. Their services have been of the highest
importance since taking the field to the present moment. My thanks, too, are
due, in an especial manner, to Lieut. J. M. Poteat, adjutant, and Lieut. J.
W. Ratchford aide, both of them cadets of the North Carolina Institute at
Charlotte. The latter received a contusion in the forehead from a grape shot,
which nearly cost him his life. Capt. Bridgers' Company, A; Lieut.
Owens, commanding Company B; Capt. Ross, Company C; Capt. Ashe,
Company D; Capt. McDowell, Company E; Capt. Starr, Company F;
Capt. Avery, Company G; Capt. Huske, Company H; Lieut.
Whittaker, commanding Company I; Capt. Hoke, Company K, displayed
great coolness, judgment, and efficiency. Lieut. Gregory is highly
spoken of by Maj. Lane for soldierly bearing on the 8th. Lieuts. Cook
and McKethan Company H, crossed over under a heavy fire to the assistance
of the troops attacked on the left. So did Lieut. Cohen, Company C.
Lieut. Hoke has shown great zeal, energy, and judgment as an engineer
officer on various occasions.

Corporal George Williams, Privates Henry L, Wyatt, Thomas Fallan, and
John Thorpe, Company A, volunteered to burn the house which concealed
the enemy. They behaved with great gallantry. Wyatt was killed and the
other three were recalled.

Sergeant Thomas J. Stewart and Private William McDowell, Company A,
reconnoitered the position of the enemy, and went far in advance of our
troops. Private J. W. Potts, of Company B, is specially mentioned by his
company commander; so are Sergeant William Elmo, Company C; Sergeants
C. L. Watts, W. H. McDade, Company D; Sergeant J. M. Young, Corporal
John Dingler, Privates G. H. A. Adams, R. V. Gudger G. W. Werly, John
C. Wright, T. Y. Little, J. F. Jenkins, Company E; R. W. Stedman, M. E.
Dye, H. E. Benton, J. B. Smith, Company F; G. W. Buhmann, James C.
McRae, Company H.

Casualties.--Private Henry L. Wyatt, Company K, mortally wounded; Lieut.
J. W. Ratchford, contusion; Private Council Rodgers, Company H, severely
wounded; Private Charles Williams, Company H, severely wounded; Private
S. Patterson, Company D, slightly wounded; Private William White,
Company K, wounded; Private Peter Poteat, Company G, slightly wounded.

I cannot close this too elaborate report without speaking in the highest
terms of admiration of the Howitzer Battery and its most accomplished
commander, Maj. Randolph. He has no superior as an artillerist in any
country, and his men displayed the utmost skill and coolness. The left
howitzer, under Lieut. Hudnall, being nearest my works, came under
my special notice. Their names are as follows:

Lieut. Hudnall, commanding (wounded), Sergeant B. S. Hughes, G. H.
Pendleton, R. P. Pleasants, William M. Caldwell, George W. Hobson,
William McCarthy, H. C. Shook (wounded) L. W. Timberlake, George P.
Hughes, John Worth (wounded), D. B. Clark.

Permit Regiment North Carolina Volunteers. Their patience under trial,
perseverance under toil, and courage under fire have seldom been surpassed
by veteran troops. Often working night and day--sometimes without tents and
cooking utensil--a murmur has never escaped them to my knowledge. They
have done a large portion of the work on the entrenchments at Yorktown, as
well as those a Bethel. Had all of the regiments in the field worked with the
same spirit, there would not be an assailable point in Virginia. After the
battle they shook hands affectionately with the spades, calling them "clever
fellows and good friends."

The men are influenced by high moral and religious sentiments, and their
conduct has furnished another example of the great truth that he who fears
God will ever do his duty to his country.

The confederates had in all about one thousand two hundred men in the
action. The enemy had the regiments of Col. Duryea (zouaves), Col.
Carr, Col. Allen, Col. Bendix, and Col. Wardrop (Massachusetts),
from Old Point Comfort, and five companies of Phelps; regiment from
Newport New. We had never more than three hundred actively engaged at
any one time. The Confederate loss was eleven wounded; of these, one
mortally. The enemy must have lost some three hundred. I could not,
without great disparagement of their courage, place their loss at a lower
figure. It is inconceivable that five thousand men should make so
precipitate a retreat without having sustained at least this much of a

Let us devoutly thank the living God for His wonderful interposition in our
favor, and evidence, our gratitude by the exemplariness of our lives.

With great respect,

Col. First Regiment North Carolina Volunteers.

Col. J. B. MAGRUDER, Commander York Line.

Source: Official Records
[Series I. Vol. 2. Serial No. 2.]
Dec 31, 2010
Kingsport, Tennessee
While Lewis Leon was "seeing the elephant" at Bethel Church in Virginia during June 1861, T.C. Land was learning the disciplined life of a soldier. He entered into his journal "drilled at camp" every day between June, 4-8 and 11-29, 1861. On Sunday the 30th, he entered "rain at camp, Reverend Lacy preached at camp today". He's probably referring to Reverend Beverly Tucker Lacy. Lacy would later become known as "Chaplain at Large" for the 2nd Corps, Army of Northern Virginia, and a favorite of "Stonewall" Jackson. T.C. Land was reportedly a devout Christian and Deacon in the Baptist Church. As the war progressed he often wrote in his journal of attending "preaching services" usually conducted by Lacy. Another of his favorite preachers was James H. Spainhour, Chaplin of the 1st NC. Spainhour died of disease in October 1861. Thomas' first 4th of July of the war was celebrated at Warrenton, NC; after 3 more days of Drill. July 4, 1861... "In the morning drilled, at evening went to Warrenton where we fired 3 salutes for the Southern Confederacy and partook of an excellent dinner gratuitously bestowed on us by the kind-hearted and benevolent ladies and gentlemen of Warrenton".
Beverly Tucker Lacy.jpg

Reverend Lacy


Colonel Hamilton A. Brown

"In July (1861), after the organization was perfected, the regiment was ordered to Richmond and was assigned to General Holmes Brigade at Brooks'Station near the mouth of Acquia Creek. While here Company B (Wilkes Valley Guards), was detached and ordered to the mouth of Acquia Creek to man the heavy guns in the batteries stationed there and was engaged in several skirmishes with the enemy's gunboats"...Colonel Hamilton A. Brown 1st NC infantry. From a post-war regimental history.

July 27, 1861..."Struck our tents and marched to Warrenton Depot, where we took the train which conveyed us to Petersburg, Va. via Weldon & Gerrysburg, NC. We were furnished at Petersburg with supper and a house to sleep in. Early on the morning of the 28th, left Petersburg for Richmond, which we reached about 8: AM. and pitched our tents on an eminence near the City's old fairgrounds. August 1, 1861...Struck our tents and removed to the eastern side of the city. August 4, 1861...Sunday preaching at Camp. Today took a view of the City and James River from an elevated bluff nearby. spent a few hours quite pleasantly writing".

August 6, 1861..." Guarded Yankee prisoners". August 13, 1861..."Went to the City (Richmond), saw a great many curiosities, visited the Capitol, and saw the splendid statue of Washington, also visited the wharf, and saw several fine steamers and schooners". Sept.15,1861..."This morning about 3 or 4 o'clock, our Company was aroused from their quiet slumbers and was ordered by our Captain to strike tents, pack up, and prepare with all possible speed to march to Game Point, where an attack from the Yankees was expected, which call was promptly obeyed...we could see the Yankee vessels at a distance...but no attack was made at that time.
Dec 31, 2010
Kingsport, Tennessee
From Thomas C. Land's post-war poem :

"Twas on a little river called the Chickahominy, where I first met the Yankees and fought for liberty.
For seven days we fought them, our victory was complete; we made the great McClellan and his big gun-boats retreat.
Whilst in this mighty struggle a wound I did receive, which caused me for a season my friends in arms to leave.

To friends and home, I hastened and when my wounds were healed, again I joined comrades upon that “tented field.”

From his journal :

June 23, 1862, "Orders to cook 3 days rations and be in readiness to march at a minute's notice".

June 24, 1862, "received 2 months pay".

June 25, 1862, "Severe fighting in front, went to our breastworks, where we remained till after dark".

June 26, 1862, "Left camp about 2:00 AM, marched near Mechanicsville and rested in a pleasant grove nearby till about 2:00 PM. when we advanced our line and participated in a desperate battle".

June 28, 1862, "marched some distance and rested till Sunday the 29th, when we resumed our march, saw General Stonewall Jackson. Stacked arms & rested till 2:00 AM on the morning of the 30th when we again set out in pursuit of the Yankees. marched some 8 to 10 miles, the road was literally strewn with Yankee clothing, arms, accouterments, etc. Overtook the Yankees and shelled them, but no regular fight ensued, so we encamped".

July 1, 1862, "Still in hot pursuit of the Yankees, overtook them at Malvern Hill where a terrific battle ensued, in which we were victorious, late in the evening I received a severe wound in the right side".

Thomas was furloughed home and recovered from his wound. He returned to the army in mid-September, 1862, and was elected 2nd Lieutenant of Company K 53rd NC Infantry. His Captain, William J. Miller, was his nephew, (his sister's son), 1st Lieutenant Thomas Charles Miller, ( named after T.C.), was William's brother.
Dec 31, 2010
Kingsport, Tennessee
September 1862

16th..."Went to Drewry's Bluff, reached the 53rd Regiment North Carolina, Troops as having been previously elected 2nd lieutenant of Company K"...T.C. Land.

18th... "Nothing new, only plenty of bad weather and hard work. We received marching orders at 9 A.M. We arrived in Petersburg at 5 P.M. Saw several friends there. Left Petersburg at 8 o'clock that night in cars for Wakefield. Arrived there at 11 A.M"...Lewis Leon

19th..."Left Wakefield at 9 P.M. and marched twenty miles - laid in the woods without shelter and it raining very hard. Therefore did not need to wash myself in the morning"...Lewis Leon

20th... "Resumed our march at 6 o'clock this morning. Arrived at Blacks Church after three hours' march, then turned about and tramped nine miles and camped for the night at Joyner's Church"...Lewis Leon

21st... "Left here at 6 P.M., marched nine miles and halted for dinner. Our company being rear guard of the brigade, we had a hard time of it, as the roads are very muddy and we had to keep up all the stragglers. We reached Wakefield at 5 A.M. and laid in the woods and mud for the night"...Lewis Leon

22nd... "We laid here all day. Cars came for us from Petersburg to-night and took us back. Got there at 12 at night, marched one mile and camped for the night"...Lewis Leon

"took the train which conveyed us to Petersburg, marched about a mile and camped"...T.C. Land

27th..."Up to to-day nothing new, only today is my New Year (the Jewish New Year)"...Lewis Leon

"In charge of a fatigue party, worked on fortifications"...T.C. Land

November 1862

6th... "We commenced to put up winter quarters to-day. It is very cold and sleeting"...Louis Leon

7th... "It commenced to snow this morning at 6 o'clock and continued until one in the afternoon. It is three inches deep. We got some whiskey into camp, which tasted very good and made us forget the cold. The balance of this month passed off very quietly. We are hard at work on our winter huts"...Louis Leon

11,12,13..."Worked on winter quarters"...T.C. Land
17 & 24..."Worked on cabins"...T.C. Land

December 1862

1st..."Went into our winter quarters"...T.C. Land. 1st & 2nd... "We moved into our winter quarters. They are very good and strong. There are ten men in each hut"...Louis Leon

8th..."My birthday today. I am a man twenty-one years old, but I must say that I have been doing a man's duty before I was twenty-one, providing a soldier's duty is a man's. I spent today in bringing mud to our palace for a fireplace"...14th... Rumored that we will leave Virginia for North Carolina...15th..."Sure enough. Got orders to cook five days' rations. We started at 2 A.M. and got to Petersburg at 8 o'clock that night. I ran the blockade, and went uptown and stayed all night and had a very good time"...Louis Leon...16th...Took the train which conveyed us to Weldon, NC...T.C. Land.

In his post-war poem T.C. Land wrote one line describing this time:
"Then soon to North Carolina, we went to meet the foe; but Foster would not fight us, so there it was no go".

John Gray Foster (1823 - 1874)

February 1863

4th..."Struck tents and marched some 6 to 8 miles from Goldsboro in the direction of Kinston & encamped"...T.C. Land..."This morning, at 4 o'clock, we were waked up by the pleasant sound of the long roll. We were ordered to get ready to march. It is very cold, snow nine inches deep. We laid in Goldsboro until noon, expecting to get cars to take us away, but were then told we would have to march to Kinston. We took up our line of march at 3 in the evening and halted at dark. It is truly awful. The snow is very deep and as cold as thunder. We marched eight miles without resting. We then fixed our bed in the snow and stole fodder for a bed and rails to make fire. We took snow, put it in our kettles, and made coffee. When I say coffee, I mean Confederate coffee - parched corn - that is our coffee. Ate our cornbread and bacon and retired to our couches and slept as good if not better than Abe Lincoln"...Louis Leon

8th... "(Henry) Wortheim and myself went uptown to get something to eat. We got cornbread and bacon. On our road back to camp we bought four more dodgers of cornbread and gave it to our mess companions who did not go uptown. Our regiment moved on the other side of town in an old pine thicket"...Louis Leon

9th..." We established a regular camp here. This last march has been a very hard one, and only a distance of thirty miles. But it took us from Wednesday to Saturday, through snow, rain and mud ankle-deep and without rations. Kinston is a perfect ruin, as the Yankees have destroyed everything they could barely touch, but it must at one time have been a very pretty town - but now nothing scarcely but chimneys are left to show how the Yankees are trying to reconstruct the Union"...Louis Leon

25th... "Henry Wortheim was sent home on a sick furlough, as he is very bad off"...Louis Leon... Henry died on March 30, shortly after returning to NC.

26th..."Two men belonging to Company E 53rd NC were whipped for desertion"...T.C. Land..."Two men out of our regiment were whipped for desertion. They were undressed all but pants and shoes, tied to a post, and each given thirty-nine lashes on their bare backs. The balance of this month nothing new, only very cold"...Louis Leon
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Dec 31, 2010
Kingsport, Tennessee
March 1863

6th..."In command of a fatigue party"...T.C. Land..."Several of us out of our company went to Kinston and the battlefield. The Yankees are very poorly buried, as we saw several heads, hands, and feet sticking out of the ground, where the rain had washed the dirt off of them"...Louis Leon


Confederate Brig. General Nathan George Evans (1824 - 1868)

Battle Of Kinston, NC

Date(s): December 14, 1862

Principal Commanders: Brig. Gen. John G. Foster [US]; Brig. Gen. Nathan Evans [CS]

Forces Engaged: Department of North Carolina, 1st Division [US]; Evans’s Brigade [CS]

Estimated Casualties: 685 total

Description: A Union expedition led by Brig. Gen. John G. Foster left New Berne in December to disrupt the Wilmington & Weldon Railroad at Goldsborough. The advance was stubbornly contested by Evans’s Brigade near Kinston Bridge on December 14, but the Confederates were outnumbered and withdrew north of the Neuse River in the direction of Goldsborough. Foster continued his movement the next day, taking the River Road, south of the Neuse River.

12th..."Set out early, marched some fifteen miles & encamped"...T.C. Land..."We have had orders several times for the last six days to march, and a part of our brigade has had a fight. But this morning we took up our march at 5 o'clock. I saw Gen. D. H. Hill on the road and spoke to him, as well as his adjutant. They are friends from home and comrades of our first North Carolina Regiment. We marched twenty miles and halted for the night - laid in line of battle all night with arms by our side"...Louis Leon

13th..."Set out early, reached the Yankee lines, attacked and drove them back and encamped on the field"...T.C. Land... "Resumed our march at 8 this morning, got eight miles, when we got to our extreme picket posts. They told us the Yankees were one mile and a quarter from us. Then we marched half a mile further when our artillery commenced the fight. It kept on all day, but very light. We drove in their pickets and advanced our line until dark. We are eight miles from Newbern - marched eleven miles"....Louis Leon

14th..."This morning, at daybreak, cannonading was heard by us from General Pettigrew's line, which is on our left flank. We immediately fell into the line of battle, our artillery opened fire, then we infantry advanced our line on the Yankees. We halted in an old field and had for a breastwork a rail fence. We fought for four hours - hot at times. We had a number killed and wounded. The enemy fell back on their stronghold - Newbern. This battle is called the Battle of Deep Gully, as it was fought on that stream. We then took up our march again for Kinston. We got eleven miles and halted for the night. Our company was the rear guard of the brigade"...Louis Leon..."At early dawn, our artillery opened and our sharpshooters charged and drove the Yankees back, after which we set out for our camp near Kinston, marched some 10 miles and camped"...T.C.Land

15th... "Laid here all day, with two crackers for our rations, and these we got at night"...Louis Leon

16th..."Formed line of battle, advanced some distance, erected breastworks, and the Yankees not advancing. We returned to camp near Kinston"...T.C. Land..."A picket came in this morning and reported the enemy advancing. We were put in the line of battle to receive them, and after marching one mile up the road to get to our brigade we were put at the extreme left of our line and made breastworks out of rotten logs. Stayed here one hour, when another picket came and reported them ten miles away. So we resumed our march for camp and got there at 7 o'clock - twenty-one miles to-day. Tom Notter, Aaron Katz and I pressed into service to-day a donkey and a cart with a negro, who took us to Kinston. Each of us drove at times, and I was fortunate enough to stall in a mudhole. We had to get out and lift the cart and donkey to dry ground again. Thus ends the march and fight at Deep Gully"...Louis Leon.

20th... "Katz went home to-day on a furlough. Nothing new up to the 23d"...Louis Leon...

"Katz" was probably an 18year-old clerk from Mecklenburg, born in Philadelphia, Pa. and Sergeant-Major of Company B. He would be wounded and captured on the third day at Gettysburg. He would take the Oath of Allegiance in August 1863, while hospitalized in Chester, Pa. He apparently remained in his native State for the duration.

23..."We had a man whipped to-day in our regiment for desertion"....Louis Leon..."Saw Thompson of Company D whipped today for desertion"...T.C. Land

D B. Thompson, a Private in Company D. He was later killed on the retreat from Gettysburg.

April 11863

Washington, NC

Location: Beaufort County

Campaign: Longstreet’s Tidewater Operations (February-May 1863)

Date(s): March 30-April 20, 1863

Principal Commanders: Brig. Gen. John G. Foster [US]; Maj. Gen. D.H. Hill [CS]

Forces Engaged: 6 regiments and artillery units [US]; Hill’s Division [CS]

Estimated Casualties: 100 total

Description: While Longstreet operated against Suffolk, D.H. Hill’s column moved against the Federal garrison of Washington, North Carolina. By March 30, the town was ringed with fortifications, but the Confederates were unable to shut off supplies and reinforcements arriving by ship. After a week of confusion and mismanagement, Hill was maneuvered out of his siegeworks and withdrew on April 15.
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Dec 31, 2010
Kingsport, Tennessee
April 1, 1863 - "Left here on the Little Washington dirt road at 7 this morning. Marched seventeen miles and halted three miles from Washington. This is a Yankee post. Heard firing all day, and we are ordered to keep our cartridge boxes on us and our guns by our sides, as we may move any moment"...Louis Leon..." Marched to the forks of the road and encamped"...T.C. Land

April 2 - "Our regiment was sent on picket this morning at daylight - one mile from camp and two miles from the enemy. Companies B and G are on the left, A and D on the right, F and I in the center. We are within hailing distance of the Yankee line of pickets. There is not much firing. Tom Trotter and I are on the color guard. We have nothing to do if we don't want to, except stay with the colors. So this evening at 4 o'clock we went as near the Yankees as we dared, to see the town of Washington. Saw the place, their breastworks, and their camps very plainly. We then returned and slept on our arms all night - that is, we tried to sleep, but could not for the infernal noise from the owls that are in the swamps around us"...Louis Leon..."Left camp about daylight & marched to the picket-line"...T.C. Land

April 3 - "Little Washington is on Tar River, and as one of the Yankee gunboats was trying to get in, one of our cannon gave them a ball, which caused heavy firing all day, and, in fact, the shells came very close to our flag, which made us dodge pretty smart. We have Washington besieged. At 8 o'clock to-night Colonel Owens called for volunteers to go as near the Yankees as they could, to see what they were doing. Tom Trotter and I went. We got to within two hundred yards of Washington when we were compelled to halt, as we were near the bridge, where we could hear the Yankee sentinels walking their beats very plainly - so we returned to camp and reported"...Louis Leon

April 4 -" Firing at intervals all day. The reserve was sent to the river to support our artillery. The colors went with them. It is raining hard. We laid in line two and a half hours in an old field. It is very cold. The Yankees are firing all the time. Then the 43d Regiment came and relieved us"...Louis Leon..."On picket at Big Swamp, skirmishing and artillery fire heavy"...T.C. Land

April 9 - "We were relieved this morning by the 32d Regiment, and marched to Bellevue, where the balance of our brigade is. At 11 o'clock to-night we were ordered to march. We went for fifteen miles. There was a fight there today. Marched all night without resting"...Louis Leon.

April 10 - "Got to our line at 6 this morning. The Yankees had fallen back. They had nineteen regiments and twenty-one pieces of artillery. They left in a hurry. One of their colonels was killed and I don't know how many men. We left Blount Creek Bridge at 4 this evening, marched nine miles on our way back to Bellevue. We met the Bethel regiment, (the 1st, later the 11th NC), and I met several friends of my old company"...Louis Leon..."Relieved from picket, marched about a mile & and a half and encamped till about midnight when we set out in the direction of Newbern, marched some 15 miles by day, lightly rested till the evening of the 10th, when we "about-faced", marched some 8-10 miles and encamped"...T.C. Land

April 15 - "Raining very hard. We have a blanket spread over poles to keep us dry. We got orders to march this evening. Went five miles through mud and water, and it raining like fury. I shall long remember this march, as well as a few others from my company. We fell in the mud several times and were certainly beautiful objects to look at with our suits of mud, for we were completely covered with it"...Louis Leon

April 16 - "At 7 this morning we resumed our march. Went two miles, halted a half hour, then turned about and went to our old camp, but again were ordered back at 2 P.M. to our picket posts, one mile from Washington. As we got there the Yankees gave us a good reception in shot, shell and musketry, but all the damage they did was to rail fences and perhaps a few owls that are plentiful in the swamps. Our line is on the edge of the swamp. They shelled heavy all night, but no lives were lost on our side. At 8 P.M. our pickets fired on them, but they did not respond. We laid here until 2 at night when we went to Bellevue under fire from the enemy. We stayed here the balance of the night"....Louis Leon

April 17 - "At daylight this morning our company was ordered to go on picket at Shingle Landing, five miles from Bellevue. I asked Colonel Morehead to let me go with them, but he refused and said I should stay with the colors, but I went without his permission. In a march of five miles, we waded through three miles of swamp, knee-deep. We are in a devil of a position. The enemy can cut us off from our command easily, as we cannot return, except through the swamp, which of course would be very slow progress. At 4 this evening we were recalled, and met our regiment on the march and fell in. Colonel Morehead did not miss me from the colors. We marched seven miles and halted for the night"...Louis Leon

April 18 - "Left at 9 this morning, and got to Greenville at 5 o'clock - eleven miles. This is a fine country, but hilly and hard marching. This is the end of the siege of Washington. We were there sixteen days, but could not draw the enemy out of their works"....Louis Leon..."Then soon to North Carolina, we went to meet the foe; but Foster would not fight us, so there it was no go". ...T.C. Land

May 11 - "We moved our camp to the north side of town. Then we were marched to an open field this afternoon, and drawn up in line to see two men shot for desertion. After they were shot, we marched by them and saw one was hit six times and the other four. Their coffins were by their sides, right close to their graves, so that they could see it all"...Louis Leon..."Two men left us last night...Saw two men shot for desertion"...T.C. Land

May 17 - "Up to to-day nothing. But this morning at 4 we were ordered to cook up all our rations and be ready to march in one hour. We left Kinston by rail at 12 M. Got to Goldsboro at 3, went through to Weldon, left here at 5 P.M., and got to Petersburg, Va., on the morning of the 18th; left there at 6 P.M. Katz and myself went uptown - ate two suppers. Had a very good time while in town. We camped all night on Dunn's Hill"...Louis Leon..."Again to old Virginia, we went to meet old Meade, who tried to capture Richmond, though he never did succeed"...T.C. Land
Dec 31, 2010
Kingsport, Tennessee
May 19, 1863 - Left here at 5 this morning, got to Richmond at 8, and are stationed at Camp Lee. We will have to march to Fredericksburg. Our brigade is transferred to the Army of Northern Virginia. William Cochran, myself and several of our company ran the blockade to-night, went uptown to a theatre, and got back to camp at 2 o'clock. We had a fine time while uptown...Louis Leon

May 26 and 27 - Rested. I went to see my brother Morris, who belongs to Dowles' Brigade, 44th Georgia Regiment. Did not see him, as he was on picket...Louis Leon

May 28 - Morris came to see me today. We are both in the same division and corps. Our corps is commanded by General Ewell...Louis Leon

May 29 - Had general review today. General Rodes is our division commander. He and General Lee reviewed us. I see a great change in the appearance of General Lee. He looks so much older than when I saw him at Yorktown. Then his hair was black. Now he is a gray-headed old man. We have five brigades in our division. The commander of my brigade is General Daniels, of North Carolina. One brigade of Georgians is commanded by General Dowles. Iverson, of North Carolina, has another brigade; also General Ramseur, of North Carolina, has a brigade; and General Cullen Andrews Battle, of Alabama, has a brigade. Our corps is composed of three divisions, ours by General Rodes, one by General Early, and the other by General Edward "Allegany" Johnson...Louis Leon

May 30 - We see the Yankees in balloons every day, reconnoitering our lines...Louis Leon

June 9- Artillery firing in the direction of Brandy Station, marched quick & double quick till we reached the scene of action, formed a line of battle, and the enemy not advancing. We retired & went into camp. A good many Yankees were killed or captured today...T.C. Land... We were ordered to Beverly Ford, to support Gen. Jeb Stewart, who is engaging the Yankees, and they are having a very hard cavalry fight. Got here in a roundabout way, and formed in line of battle, with two lines of skirmishers in front. When we got to the Army of Northern Virginia we were told that each company must furnish one skirmisher out of every six men, and there was a call for volunteers for that service. So I left the colors and went as a skirmisher, whose duty it is in time of battle to go in front of the line and reconnoiter and engage the enemy until a general engagement, then we fall in line with the balance of the army. As soon as the enemy saw that the cavalry was reinforced by infantry, they fell back. This was altogether a cavalry fight. We took quite a number of prisoners and camped two miles from the battlefield. We marched twelve miles today...Louis Leon

Brandy Station
Other Names:
Fleetwood Hill

Location: Culpeper County

Campaign: Gettysburg Campaign (June-August 1863)

Date(s): June 9, 1863

Principal Commanders: Maj. Gen. Pleasonton [US]; Maj. Gen. J.E.B. Stuart [CS]

Forces Engaged: Corps (22,000 total)

Estimated Casualties: 1,090 total

Description: At dawn June 9, the Union cavalry corps under Maj. Gen. Alfred Pleasonton launched a surprise attack on Stuart’s cavalry at Brandy Station. After an all-day fight in which fortunes changed repeatedly, the Federals retired without discovering Lee’s infantry camped near Culpeper. This battle marked the apogee of the Confederate cavalry in the East. From this point in the war, the Federal cavalry gained strength and confidence. Brandy Station was the largest cavalry battle of the war and the opening engagement of the Gettysburg Campaign.

June 13- "Set out early past Milford, soon after formed line of battle, charged the Yankee works & the Yankees ran, leaving the camp equipage behind which fell into our hands"...T.C. Land..."Marched to Berryville, a Yankee post. Heard firing before we got there. We took the left flank a half mile this side of town and marched to the Winchester Turnpike. We then formed in line of battle with sharpshooters in front. We gave the Rebel yell and charged. But when we got to their breastworks the birds had flown. They did not take their nests with them. Their camp, with all their cooking utensils, quartermaster and commissary stores, were all left in our hands. They were evidently cooking a meal, for plenty of pots full of eatables were still on the fire when we got into their camp. We ate up all we could, and filled our haversacks and pushed on four miles further, and halted for the night. It is raining very hard, and there is, of course, no shelter for us"...Louis Leon
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Dec 31, 2010
Kingsport, Tennessee
In his post-war poem, Thomas C. Land wrote about the death of his nephew and Captain, William J. Miller, one of, if not the first of the 53rd NC to fall on the first day at Gettysburg.

William J Miller.jpg

"Twas the first month of summer near Fredericksburg that we, set out for Pennsylvania, Billy Yank again to see.
At Gettysburg we met them, the struggle was severe. My friends fell thick around me, among them a nephew dear.
He gallantly was leading his band of soldiers brave, but on that July evening sank into a hero’s grave.

Here in the din of battle, mid shrapnel, ball, and shell, we charged and drove the Federals, though many heroes fell"...T.C. Land

Gettysburg after battle report:

Report of Col. William A. Owens, Fifty-third North Carolina Infantry.

July 19, 1863.
Sir: In the engagement at Gettysburg, Pa., my regiment took
part in the field as follows:

On July 1, I moved from Little Creek to within 2 miles of Gettysburg,
and was in line of battle at or about 1 o'clock, when we advanced
through an open field, coming in sight of the enemy on the
crest. The line moved forward some 200 yards, when I moved by
the left flank some 300 yards, under fire. I again moved to the front
some 50 or 100 yards, when I was ordered to take my regiment to
the support of Gen. Iverson. I again moved by the flank, and
brought them into line on the left of the Third Alabama, which was
on Gen. Iverson's right. I next moved to the right of the Third
Alabama, and moved forward through a wheat-field to within 50
yards of some woods in front. The Third Alabama fell back, leaving
my left exposed, and I ordered my regiment back some 50 yards,
it at this time being exposed to a fire on both flanks. I changed my
front to the right, to face the enemy on the right. I afterward
moved my regiment back to the position on the right of the Third
Alabama, which was then going off to the left. I fronted, and moved
forward to the woods, where I joined the right of the Twelfth North
Carolina Infantry, and moved on through the woods to the railroad
embankment, where I halted, and moved by the left to the edge of
the town, where I halted and remained during the night.

July 2, I was ordered to take position on the right of Col.
O'Neal, commanding Rodes' brigade, behind the railroad embankment,
my right resting at a very deep cut. Finding Col.
O'Neal's brigade would cover all the ground, I reported, and was
ordered to take position on the right of the brigade, which was in a
corn-field, and behind a section of Col. [T. H.] Carter's battery.
It was left at discretion with me to move my men, if they suffered
from the enemy's fire, but to remain within supporting distance. I
moved my regiment about 50 yards to the right, in rear of the left
of Gen. [J. H.] Lane's brigade, where I remained until dark, when
I was ordered to take my position on the right of the brigade. We
then moved forward about half a mile toward the enemy's position,
and remained about half an hour, when I moved by the left flank
to the road leading through town, and bivouacked in line for the

July 3, at 3 a. m., I moved with the brigade through Gettysburg,
and around to the right of the enemy, which was about 4 miles, and
lay in line at the foot of a hill, the Thirty-second North Carolina
being on my right. After some skirmishing, I was ordered to move
by the left flank, to the support of some brigade on the left. I moved,
and was fronted behind a brigade, and then ordered forward. After
firing some little time, I was ordered to let my men fall back under
cover of the hill, keeping out my sharpshooters. Again I was
ordered forward, and kept position just under the edge of the crest
until, about 2 or 3 o'clock, I saw the regiments on my right and left
going back. I then ordered my men to fall back some 50 yards,
when I was ordered to move by the right flank, and was halted
about 150 yards from the position left, where I remained until 3 a.m.,
and then moved by a circuitous route back to the hills which we had
taken the first day, where we remained until Sunday (July 4), 3 a. m.,
when we left.

As to the casualties in my regiment, they were forwarded.* My officers
and men acted very well. I would especially mention Sergeant
[E. J.] Null, Company H, and Private [W. D.] McAdoo, Company
A both, I am sorry to say, severely wounded.

There were many others who acted very gallantly, but these two
surpassed all.

Very respectfully,

Col., Comdg.

Capt. W. M. Hammond,
Assistant Adjutant-Gen.

Source: Official Records: Series I. Vol. 27. Part II. Reports. Serial No. 44

Louis Leon wrote :

June 25, 1863 - Marched on, passed through Leesburg, Canada, Hockinsville, and Centerville, all small villages. We got to Carlisle, Pa., at sundown. Marched 21 miles today. This city is certainly a beautiful place. It has 8,000 inhabitants, and we were treated very good by the ladies. They thought we would do as their soldiers do, burn every place we passed through, but when we told them the strict orders of General Lee they were rejoiced. Our regiment was provost guard in the city, but were relieved by the 21st Georgia Regiment, and we went to camp at the U. S. barracks. So far we have lived very good in the enemy's country. We stayed here until the 30th, when we took the Baltimore pike road, crossed South Mountain at Holly Gap, passed through Papertown and Petersburg. We then left the Pike and took the Gettysburg road - 17 miles today. This has been a hard day for us, as we were the rear guard of the division, and it was very hot, close and very dusty, and a terrible job to keep the stragglers up.

July 1 - We left camp at 6 A.M., passed through Heidelsburg and Middleton. At the latter place we heard firing in the direction of Gettysburg. We were pushed forward after letting the wagon trains get in our rear. We got to Gettysburg at 1 P.M., 15 miles. We were drawn up in line of battle about one mile south of town, and a little to the left of the Lutheran Seminary. We then advanced to the enemy's line of battle in double quick time. We had not gotten more than 50 paces when Norman of our company fell dead by my side. Katz was going to pick him up. I stopped him, as it is strictly forbidden for anyone to help take the dead or wounded off the field except the ambulance corps. We then crossed over a rail fence, where our Lieutenant McMatthews and Lieutenant Alexander were both wounded. That left us with a captain and one lieutenant. After this we got into battle in earnest, and lost in our company very heavily, both killed and wounded. This fight lasted four hours and a half, when at last we drove them clear out of town, and took at least 3,000 prisoners. They also lost very heavily in killed and wounded, which all fell into our hands. After the fight our company was ordered to pick up all straggling Yankees in town, and bring them together to be brought to the rear as prisoners. One fellow I took up could not speak one word of English, and the first thing he asked me in, German was "Will I get my pay in prison?" After we had them all put up in a pen we went to our regiment and rested. Major Iredell, of our regiment, came to me and shook my hand, and also complimented me for action in the fight. At dusk I was about going to hunt up my brother Morris, when he came to me. Thank God, we are both safe as yet. We laid all night among the dead Yankees, but they did not disturb our peaceful slumbers.

July 2 - Our division was in reserve until dark, but our regiment was supporting a battery all day. We lost several killed and wounded, although we had no chance to fire - only lay by a battery of artillery and be shot at. The caisson of the battery we were supporting was blown up and we got a big good sprinkling of the wood from it. Just at dark we were sent to the front under terrible cannonading. Still, it was certainly a beautiful sight. It being dark, we could see the cannon vomit forth fire. Our company had to cross a rail fence. It gave way and several of our boys were hurt by others walking over them. We laid down here a short time, in fact no longer than 10 minutes, when I positively fell asleep. The cannonading did not disturb me. One of the boys shook me and told me Katz was wounded by a piece of a shell striking him on the side, and he was sent to the rear. We went on to the Baltimore Turnpike until 3 in the morning of the 3d.

July 3 - When under a very heavy fire, we were ordered on Culps Hill, to the support of Gen. Alleghany Johnson. Here we stayed all day - no, here, I may say, we melted away. We were on the brow of one hill, the enemy on the brow of another. We charged on them several times, but of course, running down our hill, and then to get to them was impossible, and every time we attempted it we came back leaving some of our comrades behind. Here our Lieutenant Belt lost his arm. We have now in our company a captain. All of our lieutenants are wounded. We fought here until 7 P.M., when what was left of us was withdrawn and taken to the first day's battlefield. At the commencement of this fight our Brigade was the strongest in our division, but she is not now. We lost the most men, for we were in the fight all the time, and I have it from Colonel Owens that our regiment lost the most in the Brigade. I know that our company went in the fight with 60 men. When we left Culps Hill there were 16 of us that answered to the roll call. The balance were all killed and wounded. There were 12 sharpshooters in our company and now John Cochran and myself are the only ones that are left. This day none will forget, that participated in the fight. It was truly awful how fast, how very fast, did our poor boys fall by our sides - almost as fast as the leaves that fell as cannon and musket balls hit them, as they flew on their deadly errand. You could see one with his head shot off, others cut in two, then one with his brain oozing out, one with his leg off, others shot through the heart. Then you would hear some poor friend or foe crying for water, or for "God's sake" to kill him. You would see some of your comrades, shot through the leg, lying between the lines, asking his friends to take him out, but no one could get to his relief, and you would have to leave him there, perhaps to die, or, at best, to become a prisoner. Our brigade was the only one that was sent to Culps Hill to support General Johnson. In our rapid firing today my gun became so hot that the ramrod would not come out, so I shot it at the Yankees, and picked up a gun from the ground, a gun that some poor comrade dropped after being shot. I wonder if it hit a Yankee; if so, I pity him. Our regiment was in a very exposed position at one time today, and our General Daniels ordered a courier of his to bring us from the hill. He was killed before he got to us. The General sent another. He was also killed before he reached us. Then General Daniels would not order any one, but called for volunteers. Capt. Ed. Stitt, of Charlotte, one of his aides, responded, and he took us out of the exposed position.

July 4 - We laid on the battlefield of the first day, this the fourth day of July. No fighting to-day, but we are burying the dead. They have been lying on the field in the sun since the first day's fight; it being dusty and hot, the dead smell terribly. The funny part of it is, the Yankees have all turned black. Several of our company, wounded, have died. Katz is getting along all right. The battle is over, and although we did not succeed in pushing the enemy out of their strong position, I am sure they have not anything to boast about. They have lost at least as many in killed and wounded as we have. We have taken more prisoners from them than they have from us. If that is not the case, why did they lay still all today and see our army going to the rear? An army that has gained a great victory follows it up while its enemy is badly crippled; but Meade, their commander, knows he has had as much as he gave, at least, if not more. As yet I have not heard a word from my brother Morris since the first day's fight.

July 1, 1863... Passed through Heidlersbur & Middleton, arrived in the vicinity of Gettysburg and participated in the desperate fight o July 1, 1863. Casualties of Company K as follows, Killed: Captain William J. Miller, & Privates F.M. Hamby & Michael Carpenter. Wounded: Lieutenant T.C. Miller (brother of Captain Miller), Sergeant W.H. Brown, Privates William Walsh, J. Marley, T. Griffy...T.C. Land

July 2, 1863... Mathis Eller & W.A. Nelson wounded...T.C. Land

July 3, 1863...Killed: Sergeant J.W. Triplett, Wounded: Sergeant J.W. Lipps, Corporal A.B. West (his brother-in-law), and Privates, A. Russell & C. Whittington...T.C. Land

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