47th Regiment

North Carolina Troops

Descendants Association

Hill's Third Corps, Heth's Division, MacRae's Brigade

 

Soldier's Notes

 

Uncle Billy May - Courtesy of Michael May. William Henry May, was my Grandfather’s oldest brother, and was assigned to and fought with the 47th Regiment, North Carolina Troops, Company D, during the war of Southern Secession. My Grandfather Robert Lee May was born in 1863 and was named after General Robert E. Lee. William Henry May was wounded in the Battle of Bristo Station, VA and it is documented at the North Carolina Department of Archives and History and that he was placed on his regiment’s Roll of Honor, for his actions during the battle. He was later captured at Petersburg, VA near the end of the war. He was released from prison at Point Lookout, MD and returned home to Castalia, NC, around the first of June 1865. Robert Lee May (my grandfather) who had been born during his absence. Records show that he grew three inches during the war. Dock T. May, my Father, remembered hearing from other family members that Uncle Billy’s Mother did not recognize him when he returned, maybe due to a new beard since later pictures show him with a full beard. Also Dock May told me that his family built a large fire, burned the clothes that he was wearing and celebrated his return and that all of their neighbors came and joined the celebration. The May family is proud of Uncle Billy’s accomplishments. He was a brave man that honored his duty to his country as a soldier in the Confederate States of America’s army. He joined his country’s army with a group of local friends and they called themselves the “Castalia Invincibles.” He is buried near Castalia, North Carolina in the Old Belford Methodist Church Cemetery and his tombstone is clearly marked. The church is no longer there.

Private George T. Harper, Company G, first served in the 15th Regiment, then the 32nd Regiment and volunteered again under the 47th Regiment, North Carolina Troops. He is buried in Gupton, North Carolina.

Private Dionysius Jackson, Company E, was wounded at Gettysburg. He was reported sick in September of 1864 and died in Richmond, Virginia on 17 November 1864 and is buried at Hollywood Cemetery.

Private Wiley Glen, Company E, enlisted on 4 October 1863 and served as part of Kirkland's Brigade on 15 April 1864. He reported as sick on 29 April 1864 at Jackson Hospital in Richmond and transferred 3 September 1864 to Forrestville, North Carolina. On 15 December 1864 he appears on the Invalid Corps register.

The name of Corporal Henry W. House, Company C, was entered on the Confederate Roll of Honor as authorized by the act of Congress approved October 13, 1862, for the officers, non-commissioned officers, and privates of the armies of the Confederate States who were conspicuous for courage and good conduct on the field of battle. The names of all those reported as worthy of this distinction were inscribed on a Roll of Honor, preserved in the office of the Adjutant and Inspector General for reference in all future time and read at the head of every regiment in the service of the Confederate States at the first dress-parade after its receipt, and published in at least one newspaper in each State.

The following is a church announcement of the passing of Henry W. House:

RECORD OF LIFE AND DEATH OF HENRY W. HOUSE

Henry W. House died at his residence in Wake County, N.C. at 8:30 o'clock p.m. February 20, 1909, in the 75th year of his age having been born July 16, 1834. For several weeks he suffered much from a complication of diseases involving kidneys, liver and heart.

On the 14th of January, 1866, he was happily married to Miss Nancy E. Matthews of which union there were eleven children; Annie Patrick and Claudius Compton, who died at the respective age of five and nine years, Dewitt H., James Walter, Lonnie Haywood, Edward P., I. Otho, Mrs. Mary Etta Layton, Mrs. Leona Stephens, Mrs. Eva Fergerson, and Miss L. Ola, with their mother survive him.

Brother House volunteered in the Confederate Army in the fall of 1861, was a brave soldier, and answered to every roll call until the shot of the enemy fractured both bones of his left leg in a skirmish at Bristoe Station, VA. in October, 1863, inflicting a wound from which he never fully recovered. From 3 p.m. until sometime in the night, when a soldier in blue ministered to him, he lay without attention. From the shoulders of a dying comrade nearby the Federal soldier cut the knapsack to give a more comfortable position and when the comrade died, took a blanket from the sack and wrapped Brother House in it. Early the following morning the Federalist came again, gave water, refilled House's canteen and said, "I must leave now but your own men will find and care for you." They found him at 11 a.m. and removed him to a hospital.

Brother House was converted before the Civil War, while quite young, under the ministry of Rev. John W. Tinner, joined the M.E. Church South and became one of the charter members of the present Pleasant Grove Church, Millbrook circuit, and was at the time of his death a worthy member of the same. He was a warm, trustworthy, friend, as this writer can attest, was a kind husband and affectionate father and a good neighbor. His church and his community will miss him.

Notwithstanding the inclement weather a long precession of vehicles, filled with grief stricken relatives and friends followed his remains to the church and cemetery. His bereaved widow and children have sympathy of the writer, who feels that he has lost one of the best friends of his circuit. Geo. T. Simmons (Minister)

Henry W. House

 

Shown below is the 44. caliber Colt Army revolver and belt buckle worn by 2nd Lieutenant Benjamin Wesley Justice of Company E, 47th North Carolina Troops.

 

Private James David Richardson, Company E, enlisted on April 11, 1862. He was killed in action on March 31, 1865 at Petersburg, Virginia.

Private Presley James Phillips, Company B, was wounded at Battle of Gettysburg on July 1, 1863 and killed at Shady Grove Church, Virginia, June 2, 1864 during the Battle of Cold Harbor. He is buried as an unknown in Oakwood Cemetery at Richmond, Virginia.

Private Gideon Phillips, Company B, (the son of Presley James Phillips) was wounded at the Battle of Gettysburg on July 1, 1863. He surrendered at Appomattox Court House on April 9, 1865. Gideon Phillips died in 1928 and is buried in the Forestville Baptist Church Cemetery in Wake County, North Carolina.

Private Leven Phillips, Company B, (a brother of Gideon Phillips) was wounded at the Battle of Gettysburg on July 1, 1863. He lived out a natural life and in buried in Pilot, North Carolina.

Sergeant Richmond Phillips, Company B, (another brother of Gideon Phillips) was wounded and captured at Battle of Gettysburg, July 1 1863. After being paroled, he was captured at Petersburg, Virginia on April 2, 1865 and died of disease as a POW in New York on June 28, 1865. He is buried at Cypress Hills National Cemetery in Brooklyn, New York.

Private Alpheus G. Sharp, Company K, suffered a minor hand wound on July 3, 1863 during the Pickett/Trimble/Pettigrew charge at the Battle of Gettysburg. He suffered a more serious gunshot wound to the right thigh at the Battle of Weldon Railroad on August 21, 1864. Private Sharp was in hospital until March of 1865, at which time he was given a medical discharge. He was later paroled in Greensboro, North Carolina.

Private Michael R. Sharp, Company K, was captured during the Pickett/Trimble/Pettigrew charge at Gettysburg on July 3, 1863. He was a POW at Fort Delaware and died of measles in October of 1863. Private Sharp was buried at Finn’s Point National Cemetery.

Private Patterson Boon, Company K, surrendered at Appomattox Court House, Virginia on April 9, 1865.

Private Philemon H. Boon, Company K, was wounded on June 2, 1864 at Cold Harbor, Virginia and lost his thumb. He served as a teamster driving the cooking wagon.

The following is a short history dictated by Sidney Mitchell to one of his grandchildren just prior to his death in Februry of 1916. His brother William and two brothers-in-law also served in Company H. Captain Sidney Mitchell is buried at Green Hill Cemetery in Greensboro, North Carolina. "My company was company H, 47th Regiment, Pettigrew’s Brigade, Heth’s Division, A.P. Hill’s Corps. In 1862 our brigade was in Eastern N.C. and around Petersburg, Va. In 1863 we were transferred to Lee’s Army in Northern Virginia; in a short time we went to Gettysburg, Pa. That was the first battle of any consequence that I was in. Soon after our return, we stopped at Orange Court House and remained there until the spring of ’64. The First Battle of the Wilderness (when) we were fighting nearly all summer more or less, until we got to Richmond and Petersburg, Va. until the close of the war. I was captured the 3rd of April, 1865 and was sent to Johnson’s Island on Lake Erie. Was there when President Lincoln was assassinated. I was released from there the 22nd of May; arrived at home the 27th of May, 1865. It is impossible for me to give the details as they occurred."

Private Seawell Yancy Brown was born on 9 November 1835 in Wake County, North Carolina. He enlisted as a private in Company I and died of disease on 12 June 1862.

Lysander Turner, a son of James Patrick Henry Turner and Margaret Elizabeth Hunt, was born in Granville County, NC in 1835.  Known as "Sandy" to family members, he was a schoolteacher prior to the War Between the States.  Volunteering for service on February 22, 1862, he was mustered in as 2nd Sgt. in Co. G of the 47th NCT at Camp Mangum on April 11, 1862.  Present at the Battle of Gettysburg, July 1-3, 1863, he was twice wounded and appears on the Roll of Honor.  In a pension application dated July 5, 1904, he stated: "I was wounded at Gettysburg… the 1st & 3rd days of July 1863.  The first day in my left breast having a rib broken.  The third day having my left leg shot into… above the knee.  The lim [sic] was never set causing it to be shortened & twisted." Captured and hospitalized at Gettysburg, Lysander was transferred to the General Hospital at Baltimore, MD on July 28, 1863; paroled on August, 22 1863; exchanged at City Point, VA on August 24, 1863; and hospitalized at Petersburg, VA.  Furloughed for sixty days on August 29, 1863, he was detailed to Camp Holmes on March 4, 1864 and retired to the Invalid Corps on August 13, 1864. Following the War, Lysander became a local preacher, sold bibles, distributed religious tracts, and became a Master Mason on April 1, 1871.  He later married Kate Clegg, had a son who died in infancy, and two daughters: Margaret Louise Turner and Mary Clegg Turner.  He moved to Greensboro, NC in 1895, was first approved for a Confederate pension due to disability by the Guilford County Pension Board in 1901.  He died on November 30, 1910 and is buried in Green Hill Cemetery at Greensboro, NC. In the photograph (ca. 1905) below, Lysander Turner appears with his daughter, Mary Turner White and his two grandsons: Lemon Turner White (left) and Wilmer Burton White (right).

 

William Fenner Pearce, a twenty year-old farmer, enlisted as a private on 10 March 1862 in Franklin County, North Carolina, and was assigned to Company F of the 47th Infantry Regiment, North Carolina Troops on 11 April 1862. The regiment served in Pettigrew’s Brigade, Heth’s Division, Army of Northern Virginia. He was promoted to full corporal on 6 March 1864 and taken prisoner on 5 April 1865 at Petersburg, Virginia. He was confined thereafter at Point Lookout, Maryland and took the oath of allegiance on 21 June 1865. After the war Fenner returned home to Franklin County, but not for long. He traveled to Missouri and other points west and by 1871 was living in Texas. By 1926 he was living in Confederate Veterans Home in Arlington, Texas. He died on January 28, 1927 and is buried at the Texas State Cemetery, Austin, Texas (Section: Confederate Field, Section 3 (B) Row:D, Number 51.

Atlas Green Pearce, a nineteen year-old resident of Granville County, North Carolina and brother of William Fenner Pearce, enlisted as a private on 10 Oct 1864 at Petersburg, Virginia. He was assigned to Company F, 47th Infantry Regiment, North Carolina Troops, on 10 Oct 1864. He was taken prisoner on 2 April 1865 at Petersburg, Virginia and took the oath of allegiance on 16 June 1865 at Point Lookout, Maryland. Atlas Green, known as “Uncle Poss” in the family, was actually seventeen at enlistment, being born in January of 1847. He returned to Franklin County where he farmed, married, and raised his family. He died on 13 November 1932 and is buried at Trinity Methodist Church at Ingleside, North Carolina. A photo of A. G. Pearce in his later years is shown below.

 

In March of 1862 Sion H. Rogers became the first Commander of the 47th. He resigned in January of 1863 to become Attorney-General of the State of North Carolina. His brother, J. Rowan Rogers was a Lieutenant in Company I of the 47th. He was born in Wake County North Carolina. From a statement he made on July 10, 1928 in an application for his daughter's entry into the United Daughters of the Confederacy, he wrote that he entered the Confederate Service as a volunteer in Company I, 47th North Carolina Regiment. He was promoted to 2nd Lieutenant and served in Eastern North Carolina under Brigadier-General J. G. Martin. He also served in Virginia and then back to North Carolina near Goldsboro under Gen. Evins. He then served under J. Johnson Pettigrew both in Eastern North Carolina and Virginia. He said he was transferred to the Army of Northern Virginia under General Robert E. Lee near Fredricksburg and was with this Division until April 1st, 1865 when he was captured and taken to Johnson's Island (a Union Prison) in Ohio until the end of the war. He went on to say that he was engaged in twenty-eight battles, among the fiecest was the Battle of Gettysburg and the Wilderness....he also said "... I saw the brave and accomplished General J. Johnson Pettigrew mortally wounded at Falling Waters, when he was bringing up the rear of General A. P. Hill's Corps, on the retreat from Hagerstown, after the battle of Gettysburg. My Company lost 52 men at Gettysburg, and I was slightly wounded." He arrived at the prison on April 20th, 1865 and released on Oath of Allegience on June 15, 1865. He died March 4, 1931 and his obituary titled: J. Rowan Rogers, one of the Last "Incomparable Infantry"... "This is the last of a breed", we think, when another member of some old Wake County family hits the long trail - and then there is another who has been waiting who comes to a last salute and drops. Such a one was J. Rowan Rogers, in the Civil War a soldier who ran into battle after battle full of zest and came out of them, when neccessary, backing away and letting his piece spit defiance. The Civil War was over in 1865, but J. Rowan Rogers remembered it with the vividness of age, to names and faces and details. He was one of the men who gave the great struggle everything-whom it engrossed then and thereafter. In politics, in business, as planter, Mr. Rogers was at various times active; but it was plain that his heart was in no such work. His heart was objectively with people, for he had his thousands of friends, afterwards, he threw himself backward to the great trial that emerged as a romance, yearning toward his old leaders as with a childlike faith, counting the wounds and the names of his battles almost as they were the beads on a rosary."

William Fenner Pearce enlisted on 10 March 1862 in Franklin County, North Carolina at the age of 20. He was assigned to Company F on 11 April 1862 and promoted to full corporal on 06 March 1864. He was captured in early April of 1865 at Petersburg, Virginia, confined thereafter at Point Lookout, Maryland and took the Oath of Allegiance on 21 June 1865 at Point Lookout. After the war, Fenner returned home to Franklin County, North Carolina, but not for long. He traveled to Missouri and other points west and by 1871 was living is Texas. By 1926 he was living in Confederate Veterans Home in Arlington, Texas. He died on January 28, 1927 and is buried at the Texas State Cemetery, Austin, TX (Section: Confederate Field, Section 3 (B) Row:D, Number 51

Atlas Green Pearce, brother of William Fenner Pearce, enlisted on 10 Oct 1864 as a private at Petersburg, Virginia, at the age of 19. He was assigned to Company F on 10 Oct 1864, captured in early April of 1865 at Petersburg, Virginia and took the Oath of Allegiance on 16 June 1865 at Point Lookout, Maryland. Atlas Green (“Uncle Poss”) was actually age 17 at enlistment, being born in January of 1847. He returned to Franklin County, North Carolina where he farmed, married and raised his family. He died on 13 November 1932 and is buried at Trinity Methodist Church at Ingleside.

After recovering from wounds received at the Battle of Gettysburg, Private Silas Matkins, Company K, was transferred by General Robert E. Lee to the President's personal body guard.

Privates Gilbert and Gilliam Lewis were brothers from Nash County serving in Company A. Gilbert was killed at Gettysburg on July 3, 1863. Gilliam's record reveals that he enlisted at age nineteen in Wilson County on May 15, 1862 and was wounded at the Battle of Gettysburg. He was home on furlough during January and February of 1864 and September into October of 1864. Private Gilliam surrendered at Appomattox Court House, Virginia on April 9, 1865.

Private Gaston H. Mooneyham, Company E, was captured at the Battle of Sutherland Station, Virginia on April 2, 1865.

Privates Payton and Manoah Bissette, a father and son, served in Company A, the Chicora Guards. Payton previously seved in the 30th North Carolina Infantry, Company I; transferred to the 47th, Company A on 22 January 1864; captured at the South Side Railroad, near Petersburg, Virginia, 2 April 1865; confined to Union prison at Hart’s Island, New York Harbor on 7 April 1865; released at Hart’s Island on 17 June 1865 after taking the Oath of Allegiance to the United States of America. North Carolina pension records indicate that he lost an arm when a tree fell on him, at an unreported date and place. Manoah, a farmer, enlisted at the age of 16 on 3 May 1862 for the war as a substitute for another man; wounded in September - Ocobert 1864, place and date not reported; retired to the Invalid Corps on 13 Dec. 1864; detailed for light duty on 5 January1865 at Wilson, North Carolina in the medical department; postwar roster states that he was wounded at Bristoe Station, Spotsylvania Court House, and Cold Harbor.

Sergeant Elijah James Jackson, Company G, was wounded on July 1, 1863 at Gettysburg. He was captured near Petersburg on March 25, 1865 and released from Point Lookout, Maryland on June 28, 1865.

Captain Joseph J. Harris, Company B, was from Franklin County, North Carolina. He was promoted to captain from 2nd Lieutenant just prior to the regiment's joining the Army of Northern Virginia in time for the Gettysburg campaign. Captain Harris was wounded and captured while defending the Southside Railroad at Petersburg just days before the surrender of the army.

 

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