regiment, was promoted to Brigadier-General
, and assigned to the command of Pettigrew
's brigade, about the 10th of August, 1863.
On the March.
The brigade left camp at Rapidan station, where it had been in cantonment, on the 8th of October, 1863, and marched rapidly with a view of engaging General Meade
at Culpeper Courthouse. General Meade
fell back and avoided a conflict at Culpeper Courthouse, but was overtaken at Bristoe station.
Here on the 14th of October, 1863, a bloody and disastrous engagement was precipitated between Cooke
's and Kirkland
's brigades, and the bulk of Warren
's corps, supported by a powerful artillery with a railroad embankment as a fortification.
In this fight, so inopportune and ill-advised and not at all in accordance with the views of General Lee
, the 44th regiment greatly distinguished itself.
Advancing through an open field directly upon the line of fortifications of the Federal artillery, it sustained a heavy loss without flinching.
Three different couriers rode up to the regiment and delivered a message to fall back.
The order was disregarded and the regiment moved steadily on under heavy fire of both artillery and infantry, and when close upon the works, with the shout of victory in the air, only retreated under peremptory orders from Lieutenant-General A. P. Hill
The loss of the regiment in this engagement in killed and wounded was large.
This was the first time the conduct of the regiment fell under the observation of Colonel Wm. MacRae
, of the 15th North Carolina Regiment, and afterwards its brigade commander.
He was struck with admiration at the splendid conduct of the men, and often afterwards referred to their steady valor upon the field.
It endeared the regiment to him, for he loved brave men, and it became his habit to frequently place himself with the colors of the regiment, for, said he, ‘If I am with the 44th regiment and am lost, I shall always be found in the fore-front of the fighting.’