Alignment of Pettigrew’s (also known as Marshall’s or Jones’) Brigade on July 3?

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Tom Elmore

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One might think the regimental alignment of a brigade participating in the grand Confederate assault on July 3 could be readily determined from available sources, but unfortunately such is not the case with the four North Carolina regiments comprising Brig. Gen. James J. Pettigrew’s brigade, which was commanded by Col. James K. Marshall of the 52nd North Carolina after Pettigrew succeeded to the command of the wounded Henry Heth. When Marshall fell during the charge, near the Emmitsburg road, Col. John T. Jones of the 26th North Carolina assumed command.

Let’s examine some of the available sources on this question with regard to July 3:

Colonel John Thomas Jones of the 26th North Carolina and subsequent commander of the brigade, reported on July 30, 1863 that the 26th North Carolina was on the far right of the brigade. (Supplement to the Official Reports)

Captain Thomas J. Cureton of the 26th North Carolina, wrote on June 22, 1890 that the 26th North Carolina on July 3 was the left regiment of Pettigrew’s brigade. (Supplement to the Official Reports)

Lieutenant Gaston Broughton of Company D, 26th North Carolina wrote on October 15, 1877 that the 47th North Carolina was on the right of the 26th North Carolina. (Gettysburg Magazine, January 1993, p. 87. On p. 69 the alignment is shown as 11 NC – 26 NC – 47 NC – 52 NC)

Private Andrew J. Baker of Company A, 11th Mississippi in Davis’ brigade, wrote in 1898 that the 26th North Carolina was on their right. (Confederate Veteran magazine, vol. 6, 1898, p. 580)

The 14th Connecticut along the recessed wall near the Angle would be expected to have faced off against the far right regiment of the brigade. The 14th captured a few officers from the 52nd North Carolina along with the colors of the 52nd North Carolina.

John Bachelder, three map series of 1874 and multiple series of 1883: Bachelder usually identifies regiments on his maps, so the fact he does not do so with this brigade suggests he faced the same dilemma.

Earl J. Hess, in his book Pickett’s Charge – The Last Attack at Gettysburg, pp. 49, 62, has the alignment as 11 NC-52 NC-26 NC-47 NC.

Comments and Conclusion: Writing soon after the battle, Col. Jones’ report would normally be given greater weight, however, no one else backs him up. As for Private Baker, given the mixing of units, we cannot accept his statement at face value that the 26th was on his immediate right (that is, on the far left of the brigade). There is no clear consensus, but if compelled to choose the likeliest alignment of the brigade, I would go with 11 NC – 26 NC – 47 NC – 52 NC (from left to right or north to south). However, like Bachelder, my preference would be to avoid making the call.
 

199thLIB

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I'll bet that after the terrible fight the 26th NC had with the Iron Brigade on 1 July, most of the rank and file could have cared less about where they were placed in line on that day, hence the several discrepancies. I always thought that they were on the left of the Brigade, however. You might want to check George C. Underwood's history of the regiment.
 

rpkennedy

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One might think the regimental alignment of a brigade participating in the grand Confederate assault on July 3 could be readily determined from available sources, but unfortunately such is not the case with the four North Carolina regiments comprising Brig. Gen. James J. Pettigrew’s brigade, which was commanded by Col. James K. Marshall of the 52nd North Carolina after Pettigrew succeeded to the command of the wounded Henry Heth. When Marshall fell during the charge, near the Emmitsburg road, Col. John T. Jones of the 26th North Carolina assumed command.

Let’s examine some of the available sources on this question with regard to July 3:

Colonel John Thomas Jones of the 26th North Carolina and subsequent commander of the brigade, reported on July 30, 1863 that the 26th North Carolina was on the far right of the brigade. (Supplement to the Official Reports)

Captain Thomas J. Cureton of the 26th North Carolina, wrote on June 22, 1890 that the 26th North Carolina on July 3 was the left regiment of Pettigrew’s brigade. (Supplement to the Official Reports)

Lieutenant Gaston Broughton of Company D, 26th North Carolina wrote on October 15, 1877 that the 47th North Carolina was on the right of the 26th North Carolina. (Gettysburg Magazine, January 1993, p. 87. On p. 69 the alignment is shown as 11 NC – 26 NC – 47 NC – 52 NC)

Private Andrew J. Baker of Company A, 11th Mississippi in Davis’ brigade, wrote in 1898 that the 26th North Carolina was on their right. (Confederate Veteran magazine, vol. 6, 1898, p. 580)

The 14th Connecticut along the recessed wall near the Angle would be expected to have faced off against the far right regiment of the brigade. The 14th captured a few officers from the 52nd North Carolina along with the colors of the 52nd North Carolina.

John Bachelder, three map series of 1874 and multiple series of 1883: Bachelder usually identifies regiments on his maps, so the fact he does not do so with this brigade suggests he faced the same dilemma.

Earl J. Hess, in his book Pickett’s Charge – The Last Attack at Gettysburg, pp. 49, 62, has the alignment as 11 NC-52 NC-26 NC-47 NC.

Comments and Conclusion: Writing soon after the battle, Col. Jones’ report would normally be given greater weight, however, no one else backs him up. As for Private Baker, given the mixing of units, we cannot accept his statement at face value that the 26th was on his immediate right (that is, on the far left of the brigade). There is no clear consensus, but if compelled to choose the likeliest alignment of the brigade, I would go with 11 NC – 26 NC – 47 NC – 52 NC (from left to right or north to south). However, like Bachelder, my preference would be to avoid making the call.
I agree with the 11-26-47-52 alignment. But, as you've shown, there is no consensus.

Ryan
 
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