The 14th North Carolina Regiment

A memorial site dedicated to those North Carolinians who answered the call of their State
and served her honorably from 1861-1865 as members of the 14th Regiment, NC Troops

Major Battles of the 14th NC Regiment -- 1862-1865

"Beyond the Tribute of Tears"

"It is fitting and proper to put upon record at the outset of this sketch our sincere and ardent thanks to the surviving officers and men of the Fourteenth Regiment of North Carolina Troops for the unbroken constancy, patient submission to discipline, uniform valor and good nature maintained by them throughout the war between the Government and the Confederate States. The dead of the regiment are beyond the tribute of tears."


"The Fourteenth Regiment of North Carolina Troops, organized originally as the Fourth Regiment of North Carolina Troops, was formed at Garysburg, N. C., early in June, 1861, and was composed of patriotic and eager men and youths, who tendered their services to the State to maintain the dignity and rights of the State in the conflict then imminent."


"Of the one thousand four hundred officers and men of the regiment borne upon the muster-rolls from the outbreak of the war until Palm Sunday in 1865, when the pale flag of defeat drooped over the guns which had upheld the life of the 'New Nation,' scarcely fifty escaped wounds during their service." 1


Colonel R. T. Bennett 

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Peninsula Campaign:
April 5 - June 1, 1862
Yorktown, Williamsburg
Order of Battle
14th NC Regiment - Colonel P. W. Roberts
Colston's Brigade - Brig Gnl Raleigh E. Colston
Longstreet's Division - Major Gnl James Longstreet
Click on the above image for a campaign battle map.
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Ample to Whip the Whole Yankee Nation . . .

"General Magruder with 10,000 to 15,000 men was expected to hold McClellan in check [at Yorktown] until Gen. Joseph E. Johnston, who was on his way from Manassas via Williamsburg, could arrive to reenforce us. We built fires all along the bank of the river at night and by marching showed our forces at intervals betokening a large force. This ruse was successful till reenforcements came, which to our inexperienced eyes seemed ample to whip the whole Yankee nation." 2

Major W. A. Smith

Depression . . .

"May 3 orders came to march. . . . When we reached Williamsburg we knew that we were retreating, falling back from Yorktown towards Richmond. Retiring from before McClellan was very depressing. The rain, the mud, the fatigue and the lack of rations added much to our depression. A night at Williamsburg with rations revived us greatly. Early in the morning were ordered to fall in." 3

Major W. A. Smith

 

No Better Days Work . . .

"General [Joe] Johntson, being severely wounded at Seven Pines, was disabled for duty and Gen. Robert E. Lee was appointed by President Davis commander-in-chief of the Confederate army. A better day's work never fell to the lot of the Confederate president." 4 

Major W. A. Smith

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Seven Days Campaign:
June 25 - July 1, 1862
Order of Battle
14th NC Regiment - Lt. Col. William A. Johnston
G.B. Anderson's Brigade - Brig Gnl George B. Anderson (w-Malvern Hill)
D. H. Hill's Division - Major Gnl Daniel Harvey Hill
Click on the above image for a campaign battle map.
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Malvern Hill . . .

          "Turning to our diary we read, 'Our regiment has been commanded by Capt. W. A. Johnson of Company A, the senior captain, Colonel Roberts and Major Dixon having both died with the Chickahominy fever and Lieutenant-colonel Bennett being sick of the same disease in the Epps hospital in Richmond. Passing through White Oak swamp we slept in the mud and water (meaning we stayed in the mud and water). Passed by Willis's church. At Malvern Hill our brigade commander, General Anderson, was wounded and retired from the field. Colonel Tew of the Second North Carolina, took command of the brigade. In this battle many were killed, more wounded. The dead were buried and the wounded conveyed to Richmond as fast as conveyances could be obtained. On the morning of July 2 we found the enemy had withdrawn during the night. Our dead and wounded lay thick on the ground where they fell. Although the enemy had 300 guns massed on the crest of the hill our boys thought that if Jackson had supported our charge we would have pierced the center of the enemy's line and won a great victory.'"5             

         "In the furious, impetuous charge at Malvern Hill the color sergeant and every one of the color guards were either killed or wounded. The writer was left on the field, supposed to have been killed, but he was only desperately wounded. About 10 o’clock he paid someone dollars for a canteen of water. An hour afterward heaven in mercy poured out an abundance of water to the great refreshment of the wounded. This boy was carried to a hospital in Richmond, and from the hospital, by the good offices of our chaplain, he was borne to the private home of Capt. Thomas Epps. Were he lay for six months and never turned over, nursed back to health by his devoted mother and sister and one of his messmates, who was detailed by his colonel for that purpose. He was an honorable discharge, and to-day is recalling the incidents and scenes of the great War Between the States, committing the same to manuscript for the information and delectation of the reader and the reader’s friends." 6 

Major W. A. Smith

 
"It wasn't war; it was murder."
         Quoting D. H. Hill after the fighting at Malvern Hill. The 14th NC was part of Brig. Gnl. George B. Anderson's Brigade, D. H. Hill's Division, during the Seven Days.
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Second Manassas:
August 28-30, 1862
Anxiety Afflicted Washington . . . .
"Assigned to watch General McDowell’s corps at Fredericksburg, the 14th Regiment took no part in the second battle of Manassas August 30, but it was with Lee’s force when, close to Washington, it crossed the Potomac into Maryland September 5 and reached Frederick. Anxiety afflicted Washington, with McClellan assigned to stop the Army of Northern Virginia under Lee, Jackson and Longstreet." 7

Following the Seven Days fighting, General Robert E. Lee reorganized the Army of Northern Virginia into two "wings" (the "corps" designation would not be authorized under Confederate law until November 1862). General Lee's new structure was much less complex than the arrangement he had inherited for the Seven Days Battles.


The "right wing" was commanded by Maj. Gen. James Longstreet, the left by Maj. Gen. “Stonewall” Jackson.  Maj. Gen. D.H. Hill's command was placed under Longstreet. The divisions of D. H. Hill (to which Anderson's Brigade belonged) and Lafayette McLaws (also under Longstreet) were left to protect Richmond. Longstreet would have only five of his seven divisions with him at Second Manassas.

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Maryland Campaign:
September 3-17, 1862

Order of Battle
14th NC Regiment - Colonel Risden Tyler Bennett
G. B. Anderson's Brigade - Brig Gnl George B. Anderson (mw); Col. Risden Tyler Bennett (w)
D. H. Hill's Division - Major Gnl Daniel Harvey Hill
Brig. General George B. Anderson was wounded during the fighting in the bloody lane at Sharpsburg. The wound was painful but not considered serious and he was sent home to Raleigh to recover. The wound failed to heal and he died on October 16, 1862. - from NCPedia
He is buried in Oakwood Cemetery in Raleigh. - [Find-A-Grave]
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The 14th NC saw light action at Fox's Gap on September 14 and was commanded that day by Captain A. J. Griffith. 8
..
 Lee's Salvation . . .

"[General D. H. Hill] magnified his division of 15,000 men and made McClellan believe Lee's whole army was in his front. . . . Delaying McClellan at South Mountain was Lee's Salvation." 9

Major W. A. Smith

Below, the North Carolina South Mountain Monument, Boonesboro, MD.  The Monument is located near the stone wall where Gen. Samuel Garland's  Brigade fought hand-to-hand during the morning action.

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Front of monument


Back of monument


Close-up of color-bearer

Sharpsburg: September 16-18, 1862

The Sunken Road / Bloody Lane - BrothersWar.com 

. . . General G. B. Anderson still nobly held his ground, but the Yankees began to pour in through the gap made by the retreat of Rodes. Anderson himself was mortally wounded and his brigade was totally routed. Colonel Bennett, of the Fourteenth, and Major Sillers, of the Thirtieth North Carolina Regiment, rallied a portion of their men. There were no troops near, to hold the center, except a few hundred rallied from various brigades . . .

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Nature Was In Her Most Peaceful Mood . . .
 "The first great baptism of blood in our regimental experience was at Sharpsburg. Our position in the "bloody lane" has become historical and deserves immortality. In the most exposed part of the lane the regiment held its ground, repelling every stroke of the enemy from sunrise until late in the afternoon. It was a terrific battle. Nature was in her most peaceful mood; the autumn sun was without caprice. I watched the tide of this battle with intense interest while the combatants thundered away. The open fields to the left oblique of our regimental position was fought over with varying fortune. Now the flag of the Government was on the summit of a hill for which all were striving, then the tide went back and the ensign of the Confederate States was to the fore." 10

Colonel R. T. Bennett
Fredericksburg: December 11-15, 1862
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Fredericksburg:
December 11-15, 1862
Order of Battle
14th NC Regiment - Colonel Risden Tyler Bennett
Ramseur's Brigade - Colonel Bryan Grimes
D. H. Hill's Division - Major Gnl Daniel Harvey Hill
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Extraordinary Felicity . . .

"There are moments in battle of extraordinary felicity, not so much from success as from the very grandeur of the situation. First Fredericksburg afforded such an occasion.. . . Here we had an opportunity to observe Major Pelham in charge of our artillery. It was the opportunity of a life-time to see General Jackson and hear him talk to this picturesque youth, who was manly and confident. He was a handsome boy, faultlessly dressed, and told without affectation the story of yesterday's dreadful ordeal. I ventured to ask General Jackson what to do with some of my regiment for whom there was no room in the ditch. 'Put them out of harm's way,' was the laconic answer. 'The enemy are gone, after a fearful punishment; they stole away in the night.'" 11

Colonel R. T. Bennett

 
Chancellorsville:
May 1-3, 1863
Order of Battle
14th NC Regiment - Colonel Risden Tyler Bennett
Ramseur's Brigade - Brig Gnl Stephen D. Ramseur (w); Colonel Francis M. Parker
D. H. Hill's Division - Major Gnl Daniel Harvey Hill
Click image for Chancellorsville battle map - May 1, 1863
Click image for Jackson’s Flank Attack battle map - May 2, 1863
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An Avenue Peopled With Every Agency of Death . . .

"The accident which struck down the corps commander [Stonewall Jackson] in the exultant hour of victory did not stay the fierceness of the onset of our troops next morning. Ramseur’s Brigade was ordered to replace some troops thrown into confusion by the loss of their commander. Into the heavy timber, over breastworks occupied by disordered and broken troops of different commands, we went forward. As I looked back to the scene it reminded me of an advance through a wide gate-way along an avenue peopled with every agency of death and destruction. Shot and shell, buck and ball rained upon us. Nature herself took part in the tumult; exploding missiles broke off the overhead limbs of trees and discharged them in great loads upon those who in search of cover  crouched at their roots; the earth echoed their commotion. The Fourteenth Regiment of North Carolina Troops never did more trying service than it did this day, nor did the courage of the regiment in any battle, except the awful day-long fight of 12th of May, 1864, appear fiercer or more unrelenting. Lieutenant-Colonel William A. Johnston was very active and impressed the command by his disregard of danger. The enemy, foiled at all points, drew back his lines from Chancellorsville and planted them nearer the fords of the river. Under orders the regiment returned to the breastworks, having been saluted by General Robert E. Rodes and publicly thanked on the field by him for its gallant conduct. It is impossible to single out the name of any soldier of the regiment and say he was foremost that day." 12

Colonel R. T. Bennett

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Gettysburg Campaign:
June 3 - July 14, 1863
Order of Battle
14th NC Regiment - Colonel Risden Tyler Bennett (w); Major Joseph H. Lambeth
Ramseur's Brigade - Brig Gnl Stephen D. Ramseur
Rode's Division - Major Gnl Robert E. Rodes
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Battle of Gettysburg: July 1-3, 1863

The Roads to Gettysburg
Click on the image at left to view the Civil War Trust's campaign map.

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 Captain Gorman Was Rescued . . .

      "On June 3, a month after Chancellorsville, the patched-up 'Roughs' were again on the move, marching, with the regiment, from the Rappahannock northward in Lee’s invasion of Pennsylvania. Again the regiment had the honor of spearheading the advance of Jackson’s old Second Corps under Ewell. It was the leading regiment on foot to enter Martinsburg, W. Va., though Jenkins’ cavalry had gone ahead a bit.

        "Col. Bennett described 'stirring scenes' as he and the regiment entered Martinsburg. On horseback, he was suddenly confronted by a young woman who seized the reins and told him of the oppression endured by the citizens. A Dutch woman, in another scene, drew a paddling stick on Capt. John C. Gorman of the Second Regiment’s Company B, from Wilson County, declaring that 'you eats up everything; the Union soldiers fetch in something and you scoundrels wastes it.' The brawny woman had the captain in a quandary, but resourceful Lt. Harney, of the 'Roughs' of Buncombe, was equal to the occasion. The lieutenant, who had helped in handling the artillery piece at a critical moment at Sharpsburg, 'told the woman, with affected severity, if she did not behave herself, he would pull every hair out of her head.' The words had their effect; Capt. Gorman was 'rescued.'" 13

Ramseur's Brigade Marker - Gettysburg 

C. S. A.
Army of Northern Virginia
Ewell’s Corps   Rodes’ Division
Ramseur’s Brigade
2nd 4th 14th 30th North Carolina Infantry 

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Click on the monument at left to go to the Stone Sentinels website for more on Ramseur's Brigade at Gettysburg

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We Beat Them Quickly . . .

"We came upon the battlefield about 2 o’clock in the afternoon of the first day. The enemy were then so far as our brigade front, extended behind a strong stone wall, such as are used as fences there. We assailed in front, the Fourteenth Regiment lapping their right. We beat them quickly, capturing prisoners, with small loss to ourselves. To our left the ground broke down from a high ridge to a level of twenty-five acres. Over this ground the enemy was retreating in some order before Doles’ Brigade and other troops. As we routed these people from the stone wall a column of them, looking the size of a brigade, emerged from a depression in the ground to our right and marched in very quick time along a railroad embankment and track into Gettysburg. I am not certain where these troops came from, but I suppose they marched out of the railroad cut. May be they had withdrawn from the very high ridge to the right of the railroad into the road-way as offering a more protected line of retreat. The commander rode at their head and our artillery harassed their rear. I could almost hear their bones crunch under the shot and shell. It was a hot day and our men were much distressed by the heat and work. We straggled into town and then formed as quick as possible. Many of our command were overcome by the heat, and I go upon record now and here as saying that immediate and effective pursuit of the enemy was out of our power."14

Colonel R. T. Bennett 

Captured Colors 

"The sharp-shooters of my regiment, under command of Lieutenant [Frank M.] Harney, pursued the enemy, and Harney captured with his own hand the colors of the Sixty-eighth Michigan [the colors were actually those of the 150th PA] and sent the captured flag to President Davis with his last breath. He was mortally shot in the bowels while in pursuit of these men. I think he was as reliable as any officer of his rank in the Confederate armies." 15

Col. R. T. Bennett

[For more on the fate of the 150th PA's flag, click here.]

 
Bristoe Station:
October 14, 1863 
Ewell's Corp took part in the movements leading to Bristoe Station but was not directly engaged there. However, the 14th Regiment was involved in skirmishes near Warrenton Springs on October 12 and two miles from Warrenton Court House on October 14. The casualty report for the regiment during this period shows one killed and four wounded. 16
A Roar from the Portals of Hell - Civil War Trust
. . . “Well, well, General, bury these poor men, and let us say no more about it.”
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We Will Miss Him . . .
"Charlie Cox was severely wounded here. Bravery dwelt in this boy's heart; cheerful himself, always rendered cheerful, willing obedience to orders. We will miss him." 17
Major W. A. Smith
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 Overland Campaign -
The Wilderness, Spotsylvania Court House, North Anna, Cold Harbor:
May 4 - June 24, 1864
Order of Battle - up to May 27
14th NC Regiment - Colonel Risden Tyler Bennett (w) at Spotsylvania; Major J. H. Lambeth
Ramseur's Brigade - Brig Gnl Stephen D. Ramseur (w) at Spotsylvania
Rode's Division - Major Gnl Robert E. Rodes
Scroll down to "Cold Harbor" for organizational changes implemented just prior to that battle.

Don Troiani's "The Bonnie Blue Flag" portrays Tisdale Stepp singing "Bonnie Blue Flag" and rallying the regiment at the Mule Shoe during Spotsylvania Courthouse.

"I record it with sore grief, little softened by the lapse of years, that Tisdale Stepp, of the Rough and Ready Guard, in the front rank, singing "The Bonnie Blue Flag/' was shot dead by an awkward soldier in our rear rank."
Col. R. T. Bennett in
Histories of the Several Regiments and Battalions from North Carolina in the Great War 1861-65: Volume 1

North Anna - May 23-26, 1864
Slideshow: Battle of North Anna - Encyclopedia Virginia - A series of wet-plate glass images by civilian photographer Timothy H. O'Sullivan showing Union activity along the North Anna, River, May 24 & 25, 1864.
Cold Harbor - May 31-June 12, 1864
Order of Battle - effective May 27 
14th NC Regiment - 
Ramseur's (Cox's) Brigade (1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 14th, 30th NC Regiments) * -
Col. R. T. Bennett (w) June 1; 
Brig Gnl William Ruffin Cox **
Rode's Division - Major Gnl Robert E. Rodes  
      * On May 15, the remnants of the 1st and 3rd NC Regiments had been transferred to Ramseur's (now Cox's) Brigade. They consisted of about thirty men each. The two regiments had been part of Steuart's brigade, Johnson's division, Ewell's corps prior to that brigade being overrun and captured at the Mule Shoe the morning of May 12. These men now joining Ramseur's brigade were among the few who had escaped.
       ** Cox had been Colonel of the 2nd NC Regiment prior to being promoted to Brigadier General (Nominated June 2, 1864 with date of rank May 31, 1864) and assigned to command of Ramseur's Brigade on June 4, 1864, when Ramseur was promoted to Major General and given a division command.
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Supreme Unselfishness and Inspired Action . . .
"The situation was daily and nightly strung up to the highest point of endurance. It was a relief to have an engagement open all along the line as it did the 12th of May at Spottsylvania. This is to me the most memorable day of our war.  It opened with a serious reverse to our arms. General Ramseur’s Brigade was at once formed on rising ground and the peril of the situation was open to all as by sudden impulse. . . . Presently we went forward in battle order, wheeling to the left, the Fourteenth Regiment to the left and the Thirtieth Regiment the extreme right of the brigade. We drove the enemy in confusion from the first line of works and, taking a moment’s rest, rushed for the next and stronger line, then held by the foe in great numbers. I record it with sore grief, little softened by the lapse of years, that Tisdale Stepp, of the Rough and Ready Guard, in the front rank, singing “The Bonnie Blue Flag,” was shot dead by an awkward soldier in our rear rank. We reached the near side of these works while the enemy received us on the other side, his teeth firmly clinched for the struggle. I was told that the enemy pulled the Adjutant of the Thirtieth Regiment over the works by the hair of his head and captured him. The colors of one of the regiments was pulled out of the color-bearer’s hands and carried off. The situation was extremely grave, especially in front of the Thirtieth Regiment. They were doing all that mortal men could do to stem the fierce course of the battle. Their brave, modest, high-minded Colonel has been disabled in the advance. I asked General Ramseur’s leave to go with my command to the right half of the brigade and succor ­them if possible. He was a very brave officer, but hesitated hoping some turn of fortune might relieve us without the awful risk of this movement. Presently he told me to do as I liked. Communicating to the regiment the odds about to be faced, we went down the line and drove into the traverses by a front of fours. Out of there we expelled the enemy, giving him cold steel and other reforms. . . About the middle afternoon a red oak many inches in diameter yielded to the storm of missiles and fell to the ground. A section of this tree, the lap of which brushed when falling a few yards from my regiment, is preserved at the war office of the enemy in Washington City. . . Every part of our line taken by the enemy in the early hours of the day was recovered before sundown except the arch of the horse-show. There was not a man in my regiment this day who was not of heroic mold . . . I wish it was possible in our poor human speech to express the supreme conduct of the men and officers of the Fourteenth Regiment on this day, which seemed to be the day of supreme unselfishness and inspired action." 18
Col. R. T. Bennett

Ramseur's Brigade Marker

at Spotsylvania Court House.


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Photo courtesy of Dan Janzegers 

The text from the marker appears below.
Ramseur's Brigade
2nd North Carolina State Troops
Col. William R. Cox 

14th North Carolina Troops
Col. R. Tyler Bennett
4th North Carolina State Troops
Col. Bryan Grimes

30th North Carolina Troops
Col. Francis M. Parker

At dawn May 12, 1864 Union troops overwhelmed Maj. Gen. Edward Johnson’s Division at the muleshoe salient. Brig. Gen. Stephen Dodson Ramseur’s North Carolina Brigade counterattacked across these earthworks and by 7:30 a.m. regained the portion of the salient opposite this point. For the next twenty hours Ramseur’s men held their ground in the face of determined Union assaults. The North Carolinians then withdrew to a new defensive line one-half mile to the rear. This gallant stand helped thwart the Union advance and saved Lee’s army from disaster. 


Deo Vindice
Erected by the 30th N.C. Troops (Reactivated) Charlotte, N.C.
Sept. 2001
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Every day we had a severe skirmish or skirmishes . . .
From the 20th May until the staggering columns of the enemy were driven back at Second Cold Harbor we were in constant action. Every day we had a severe skirmish or skirmishes. 19
Col. R. T. Bennett
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1864 Shenandoah Valley Campaign:
June - October, 1864
Order of Battle
14th NC Regiment - Col. R. T. Bennett 
Cox's Brigade - Brig Gnl William R. Cox
Rode's Division - Major Gnl Robert E. Rodes (k) 09-19-1864 at 3rd Winchester;  Brig Gnl Cullen A. Battle
Ramseur's Division - Major Gnl Stephen D. Ramseur assumed command of the division following Rodes' death and led it at Cedar Creek

Detached to the Valley

"When General Hunter threatened Lynchburg by his advance up the Valley, the Fourteenth Regiment was part of the troops detached to meet his incursion. The command made the campaign to Washington City under the astute, brave, capable, loyal and great [General Jubal] Early. I was with him when fortune gave him victory and with him when fortune betrayed his courage. I wish to do some measure of justice to this famous captain as I saw him and, as I remarked, his cunning as a strategist, his daring as a man and his fortitude in defeat. No more faithful, great-hearted and unselfish citizen served our blessed cause in the four years spent in blood and agony in the honorable endeavors to preserve for and transmit to those who come after us the spirit of the Constitution of the United States in its integrity, unsoiled by greed or dishonoring circumstances, and to vouchsafe to mankind here the inestimable liberty of local self-government. Poorly equipped and with paucity of numbers, he kept Sheridan back; with eight thousand muskets he parried forty thousand. May be time and the spirit of philosophy, the sense of justice and the progress of the human mind will bring thoughtful men to realize how true to constitutional principle the leaders in the Confederate movement were." 20

Col. R. T. Bennett

 
The battle of Winchester . . . was . . . a serious defeat.
The Fourteenth Regiment fought with much spirit and admirable cohesion in this affair. While pursuing a broken brigade of  the enemy we ventured into a wood in the immediate front of a battery and a division of the enemy. We were abandoned by our support and, after killing many of the enemy, General Russell of the number, the order was given to our men to save themselves. I was captured before sundown, and with my comrades, Joseph Gaddy, of Anson, a good man, and Lieutenant Williams, of  Buncombe, a valuable citizen, suffered captivity until near the end at Appomattox. 21
Col. R. T. Bennett
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Petersburg Campaign:
June 1864 - March 1865
(14th NC Regiment involved from December 1864 - March 1865)
Order of Battle
14th NC Regiment - Lt. Col. William A. Johnston 
Cox's Brigade - Brig Gnl William R. Cox
Grimes' Division - Brig. Gnl. Bryan Grimes - Following Ramseur's death at Cedar Creek, Grimes assumed command of the division on December 9 and led it for the rest of the war. Grimes himself suffered a leg wound at Cedar Creek.
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The Second Corps, to which the 14th NC belonged, had been in the Shenandoah Valley since June 1864. It was ordered to rejoin Lee at the Siege of Petersburg on December 9, 1864.  Over the next several days the Second Corps divisions moved from the Valley to Richmond and Petersburg. The 14th NC arrived on December 16 and encamped at Swift Creek, about three miles north of Petersburg. They would remain with Lee’s army through the surrender at Appomattox.
...

"Noble Remnants"

"The incessant watch in the trenches about Petersburg, through the winter of 1864-'65, was shared by the Fourteenth Regiment of North Carolina Troops. When the enemy made the irruption of our lines the regiment was part of the 'noble remnants' in retreat, fighting daily rear-guard actions with the forces of the government." 22

Col. R. T. Bennett

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Appomattox Campaign:
March 29 - April 9, 1865
Order of Battle 
14th NC Regiment - Lt. Col. William A. Johnston 
Cox's Brigade - Brig Gnl William R. Cox
Grimes' Division - Brig. Gnl. Bryan Grimes

"God bless gallant old North Carolina!"      

         "During the retreat from Petersburg to that memorable spot which witnessed the final scenes of that once splendid army of Northern Virginia, when everything was in the utmost confusion, the soldiers struggling hopelessly along, thousands deliberately leaving for their homes, and the demoralization increasing every moment, and the flushed and swarming enemy pursuing them closely, a stand was made to save the trains upon which all depended. 

        "Some artillery was placed in position, and General Lee, sitting on his horse on a commanding knoll, sent his staff to rally the stragglers, mixed in helpless, inextricable confusion behind a certain line, when presently an orderly column comes into view, a small but entire brigade, its commander at its head, files promptly along its appointed position. A smile of momentary joy passed over the distressed features of the general as he calls out to an aide, ‘What troops are those?’ ‘Cox’s North Carolina brigade,’ was the reply. Then it was that taking off his hat and bowing his head with goodly courtesy and kindly feeling he said: ‘God bless gallant old North Carolina!’" 23

North Carolina Monument at Appomattox - Erected April 9, 1905

 [A]fter the evacuation of Petersburg and Richmond, the brigade fought rear-guard actions . . .
"On December 3, 1864, Cox’s brigade moved to Petersburg where the men served in the trenches during months’ long siege. In the retreat, after the evacuation of Petersburg and Richmond, the brigade fought rear-guard actions, the 14th regiment being under the acting command of Lt-Col. William A. Johnston until he was wounded and disabled." 24

What Does Surprise Us . . .

"When we contemplate the vast difference in numbers, in armament, in supplies and all the paraphernalia of war we are not surprised at Appomattox. What does surprise us is, and is incomprehensible, it took four long years to reach Appomattox." 25

Major W. A. Smith

The Supreme Hour . . .

        "On the night before the surrender the command lay near Appomattox. On the morning of Appomattox the regiment formed in battle line under command of Lieutenant John W. McGregor, the brigade being in charge of Major Scales, the only field officer then present for duty. The command charged at double and captured the enemy's battery, scattering the supports of cavalry. We lost Ivey Ritchie, a brave and dutiful man, killed, and Atlas Dargan Lowery and Lieutenant John W. McGregor, wounded. . ."

        "The supreme hour which comes to men and nations was at hand. Eight thousand and odd muskets were surrendered. Of this number the paroles of the Fourteenth Regiment of North Carolina Troops . . . numbered one hundred and seven." 26

  Col. R. T. Bennett

Footnotes:


1 _ Bennett, Colonel R. T. “Fourteenth Regiment.” In Histories of the Several Regiments and Battalions from North Carolina in the Great War 1861-’65,
Vol. 1. ed. Walter Clark. Wilmington, North Carolina: Broadfoot Publishing Company, 1991, 705-706.


2 _ Smith, Maj. W. A. The Anson Guards, Company “C”, Fourteenth Regiment, North Carolina Volunteers, 1861-1865. Wilmington, North Carolina: Broadfoot Publishing Company, 1999, 45.


3 _ Ibid., 58-59.


4 _ Ibid., 81.


5 _ Ibid, 130.


6 _ Ibid, 118.


7_ McCoy, George W., Buncombe ‘Roughs’ In Last Charge At Appomattox, Asheville Citizen-Times, Sunday, December 24, 1961   


8_ "North Carolina Troops, 1861-1865, A Roster, Vol. V. Infantry, 11th-15th Regiments, 13th Battalion", Compiled by Weymouth T. Jordan, Jr., unit histories by Louis H. Manarin, Raleigh, North Carolina, State Division of Archives and History, 1990, 387.


9_ Smith, 95.


10_ Bennett, 712.


11_ Ibid, 713.


12_ Ibid, 715-716.


13_ McCoy, Asheville Citizen-Times


14_ Bennett, 719. 


15_ Ibid, 719


16_ Manarin, North Carolina Troops, 391.


17_ Smith, 216-217


18_ Bennett, 723-725. 


19_ Bennett, 726


20_ Ibid 727. 


21_ Ibid, 728


22_ Ibid 728. 


23_ McCoy, Asheville Citizen-Times


24_ Ibid


25_ Smith, 45.


26_ Bennett, 729.