North Carolina Troops
(At Petersburg - 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
By John H. Thorp, Captain, Company A
In March, 1862, amid the rush to arms of North Carolina volunteers, the 1,200 men who made the aggregate of its ten companies, organized the Forty-seventh North Carolina Regiment. As the companies were coming together, New Bern was taken by the Federal General, Burnside, and those that had arrived at Raleigh were sent, without guns, below Kinston under Major Sion H. Rogers, to assist in staying the Federal advance. These remained there a week or two, when they returned to Raleigh, and with the other companies, now arrived, completed their organization with Sion H. Rogers, Colonel; George H. Faribault, Lieutenant Colonel, and John A. Graves, Major. On 5 January, 1863, Rogers resigned to become Attorney-General of the State, when Faribault became Colonel, Graves Lieutenant-Colonel, and Archibald D. Crudup, Captain of Company B, became major. Graves was wounded and captured at Gettysburg 3 July, 1863 from which he died; Crudup became Lieutenant-Colonel March, 1864, and William Lankford, Captain of Company F, Major at the same time. Faribault and Crudup were wounded and the first resigned January, 1865, and the latter in August, 1864, where upon Lankford became Lieutenant-Colonel and continued the only field officer. Hence, mainly by casualties in battle, the regiment was scant of field officers during very much of its severest trials, and frequently was without one. On such occasions it was led through hard-fought battles by a Captain, and sometimes by a Lieutenant. W. S. Lacy was Chaplain; R. A. Patterson, first, and after him Franklin J. White, were surgeons; J. B. Winstead and Josiah C. Fowler, Assistant Surgeons, of the regiment Thomas C. Powell was Adjutant.
After a short stay at Camp Mangum, in Raleigh, during which time it was drilled incessantly, the regiment was camped between New Bern and Kinston, where several weeks were spent in guarding our outposts, marching to near-by points where attacks were threatened, but never escaping to be drilled daily, and taught the duties of a soldier by the never-tiring General, J. G. Martin. It was here the men went through the sick period consequent upon the change from civil to military life; through measles and mumps and malarial fevers, from which quite a number died. Very few escaped sickness in passing through to the toughened condition.
At this time the predominant desire was to go to the scenes being enacted around Richmond, where General Lee and his illustrious co-generals were entering on that career which as leaders of the Army of Northern Virginia, made them so famous. But the boon is not yet granted us. In July we go to Drewry's Bluff, at this time a position that must be held, and General Martin goes with us, and carrying us into a hot field, in view of delightful shade, continues his incessant drilling from morning till night. After a stay of three weeks the regiment is appropriately made provost guard of Petersburg. So thoroughly trained itself, it efficiently executed the delicate duties of guard in this important city, then a military center. During its stay the strongest of friendship was formed between civilian and soldier. Not a single unpleasant incident is recalled.
Early in November, to meet a threatened attack, we were taken to Weldon, where we took our first Snow storm in camp without covering except such as the men hastily made with hark and boughs and dirt.
The regiment had returned to Petersburg when, on 14 December, it was rushed by rail to Kinston to resist the Federal General Foster in his attack on that town. We arrived late in the evening just as the Confederate General, Evans' Brigade was retreating across the bridge over the Neuse. In a jiffy we were unloaded from the cars, which were run off immediately, ordered to pile our knapsacks, overcoats and blankets, which we never heard of afterwards, and double-quicked to the rescue. As Colonel Rogers formed us in line of battle, General Evans learning of our arrival, ordered us to the north of the town to cover the retreat of his brigade which had been overpowered, and showing our full regimental front received General Foster's messenger, who bore his demand to surrender, and replied: "Tell General Foster I will fight him here."
Foster did not come, but night soon did, and we had again escaped a battle. At nightfall General Evans collected his scattered brigade and retreated to Falling Creek. The next day Company A, of the Forty-seventh, reconnoitered two miles toward Kinston without finding the enemy, and after night A and K went to Kinston to learn that Foster had advanced up the south back on the Neuse. He attempted to cross at White Hall, but was driven back and continued his march toward Goldsboro, to which the Forty-seventh was marched on the following day. On our arrival at Goldsboro we were marched across the county bridge and formed line of battle, in which we remained all this cold December night, to find at light that Foster had retreated and was now far away.
A few days afterwards the regiment is on Blackwater under General Roger A. Prior, protecting Eastern Virginia. Now for rigid marching. Every day marching thirty miles. All foot logs and small bridges are ~ it away ahead of us that the men may lose no time in breaking from column of four, and we must take the mud and water in the roads through this boggy section. And so, as we had been perfected in the drill and tactics by Ailartin, we were now Romanised by Prior. Frequently during this time a battle was imminent, but one did not occur. It was skirmishing, retreating, advancing on another distant point, over a large extent of territory to keep the enemy pushed within his limited lines.
An Essay By Lloyd Fowler
Telling Their Story
47th Regiment North Carolina Troops
Descendants Roll Call
If you are a descendant or family member of a soldier of the 47th 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 "47th NC" on the subject line and provide other details, if possible, 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
located 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
Ordering Service & Pension Records
Two Brothers: One North, One South
by David H. Jones
The Final Battles of the Petersburg
Campaign by A. Wilson Greene
Return To Petersburg Breakthrough Home Page
Copyright 2007-2016. PetersburgBreakthrough.Org. Updated 21 August 2016