(A.P. Hill's Third Corps, Heth's Division, MacRae's Brigade)
Participants in the Breakthrough Battle at Petersburg on April 2, 1865
Fought on or near the present day grounds of Pamplin Historical Park
The 26th North Carolina Troops was organized from companies raised from the middle and western portions of the Old North State. Originally commanded by Zebulon Baird Vance, who later became a wartime governor, the regiment first saw action at New Bern in March 1862. Here they attempted to resist an assault by forces of Union Gen. Ambrose Burnside. After this action, the regiment went north to Virginia and soon distinguished itself in battle. During the Seven Days' Battle at Malvern Hill, the 26th charged to within 25 five yards of the Federal positions, further encouraging McClellan's departure from the York-James Peninsula. Upon returning to eastern North Carolina, the unit helped keep Union forces located there in check, protecting the "back door" to Richmond .
Returning to service in Virginia again in 1863, the regiment was attached to Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia. Moving into Pennsylvania with the ANV, the gallant 26th saw action at Gettysburg in Pettigrew's Brigade, Heth's Division, Hill's Corps. On 1 July 1863, the 26th would forever etch its name in history. On this first day of the Battle of Gettysburg, the regiment was called upon to assault Federal troops (24th Michigan) posted in McPherson's Woods. After brutal fighting which saw the 26th break through three separate lines of resistance, the regiment forced Union troops to withdraw from the position of strength which they had held. Though the 26th achieved its goal, it was at a great cost. The regimental colors were shot down fourteen times; regimental commander Colonel Henry King Burgwyn, Jr., was killed; and his second-in-command, Lt. Col. John R. Lane, was seriously wounded.
Out of 800 muskets taken into the fight by the 26th on that bloody day, 588 men were killed, wounded, or missing. Sidelined to regroup, the regiment rested on 2 July in preparation for the famous charge which was to come.
On 3 July, the 26th participated in the Pettigrew-Trimble-Pickett Assault. Having the colors shot down eight more times, the regiment planted its colors on the Federal works -- The Angle -- achieving the farthest advance of any Confederate unit during this epic struggle. On 3 July, the unit lost an additional 120 men. The regiment suffered greatly during this three-day bloodletting. Company F, The Hibriten Guards, suffered a 100 percent loss with all of its ninety one men and officers being killed or wounded. The 26th holds the tragic distinction of suffering the highest casualties of any unit, Confederate or Union, during the Battle of Gettysburg.
The Wilderness was the next major battle in which the regiment saw action. Again, the regiment was with the corps commanded by A.P. Hill, and it figured prominently in the outcome of the contest. With the battle wavering on the Confederate right, the 26th was thrown into the fight with the remainder of Hill's Corps to save the day.
The regiment next participated in the defense of Petersburg. For nearly one and one half years, the 26th bolstered the Confederate forces in the area and stalled the Union forces under Grant around Richmond and Petersburg. The result of this stubborn resistance was that the Southern Nation continued to live on and struggle to survive despite the constant and vicious frontal assaults of the north.
With the War Between the States drawing to a close, the regiment continued its service with the Army of Northern Virginia and surrendered with Gen. Lee at Appomattox Courthouse on 9 April 1865.
Courtesy of 26th Rgt. NCT Reenactors
Civil War author Eric Lindblade has published a regimental history of the 26th North Carolina. Please contact Eric directly from this link.
26th Regiment North Carolina Troops
Descendants Roll Call
If you are a descendant or family member of a soldier of the 26th Regiment North Carolina Troops who served honorably at any time during the war and would like to be listed on the Descendants Roll Call, please send an e-mail by clicking the mail icon below. Type "26th NC" on the subject line and provide details in the message. Please find your ancestor or family member in the National Park Service Database (link shown below) and include such details as "company" and "rank out" in your message. This will greatly speed-up the posting of those soldiers who you wish to honor. Thank you.
Not For Fame Or Reward
Not For Place Or For Rank
Not Lured By Ambition
Or Goaded By Necessity
But In Simple
Obedience To Duty
As They Understood It
These Men Suffered All - Sacrificed All
Dared all - And Died
Inscription written by Dr. Randolph Harrison McKim and carved
on the north side of the Confederate Memorial (sculpted by Moses Ezekiel)
at Arlington National Cemetery
The Remembrance Wall
At The National Museum Of The Civil War Soldier ...
Another Great Way To Honor The Memory Of Your American Soldier
click on this link
Pamplin Historical Park & National
Museum of the Civil War Soldier
26th North Carolina Troops
You-Tube Video of
26th North Carolina Re-Enactors
Also For Glory by
Two Brothers: One North, One South
by David H. Jones
Ordering Service & Pension Records
Telling Their Story ... A Young Man
Embraces His Confederate Heritage
26th North Carolina Regimental History
by David H. McGee
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