year longer, and the first soldier who fell in battle for the Lost Cause
was to come from North Carolina
This soldier was Henry Lawson Wyatt
He was born in Richmond, Virginia
, February 12, 1842.
His parents were Isham Belcher
and Lucinda N. L. Wyatt
He was apprenticed to the carpenter trade at an early age, and in October, 1856, accompanied his father to North Carolina
, and ultimately settled in Tarboro, Edgecombe county
Here he followed his trade and by faithful work and upright deportment made friends in the community.
This is the brief narrative of the first nineteen year's of Wyatt
From this time his career is a part of the history of a great struggle.
It became evident in April, 1861, that North Carolina
must secede or fight the Southern States
parties, anticipating the action of the State
, were organizing and drilling troops for service.
One of the first of these companies was the Edgecombe Guards of Edgecombe county
It was organized April 18, 1861, and on that day Henry Lawson Wyatt
enlisted in it as a private soldier.
It consisted of eighty-eight privates, nine non and four commissioned officers.
Its captain was John Luther Bridgers
, of Edgecombe county
Its commanding colonel
was Daniel Harvey Hill, of Mecklenburg
, who became later a lieutenant-general in the Confederate
The company became known as A, of what was then the First Regiment of North Carolina Volunteers.
This regiment was the first of all the North Carolina
troops to organize and take the field.
Its term of enlistment was for six months and it was disbanded in the fall of 1861.
After the enlistment of ten regiments of State troops, this became known as the Bethel regiment from its first battle, and by this name it has passed into history.
The battle, from which it took its name, was fought Monday, the tenth of June, 1861, at Bethel
, or Big Bethel, or Bethel church, situated on the Yorktown
road, nine miles from Hampton, Virginia
It had been occupied on the night of the 6th of June by the Confederates
These troops consisted of the First North Carolina regiment, Colonel D. H. Hill
commanding, with Lieutenant-Colonel Charles C. Lee
as second in command, and four pieces of Randolph
found a branch of Back river
in his front and encircling his right flank.
On his left was a dense and