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
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: 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".