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Unparalleled loss of Company F,
26th North Carolina Regiment, Pettigrew's Brigade, at Gettysburg.

Went into action with three officers and eighty-eight enlisted men, and every one of them was either killed or wounded.

Collierstown, Va., January 12, 1901.
To the Editor of the Dispatch:
Colonel William H. S. Burgwyn, of Henderson, N. C., has recently published in Gold Leaf of that Town an article, which will prove interesting to old Confederate soldiers.

I forward a copy of said article to you for your Confederate column, if you will kindly give it space. I am sure its reproduction in your journal would greatly please the North Carolina readers of the Dispatch.

Colonel Burgwyn has taken great pains in the preparation of the article.

Very kindly yours,

The following is the article in Gold Leaf:

A gentleman who at all times manifests a deep interest in the achievements of North Carolinians, and especially the glorious deeds of North Carolina soldiers—than whom the world has never seen better—as illustrated on every battle-field from Bethel to Appomattox, kindly furnishes the Gold Leaf the following. It is a remarkable record—the fatalities of Company F, 26th North Carolina Regiment, Pettigrew's Brigade, at the battle of Gettysburg—which is told about and we are sure it will be read with interest and amazement no less than with wonder and admiration. The article is as follows:

The statement that has appeared in many publications of the loss of the 26th Regiment of Pettigrew's Brigade at Gettysburg, viz: that “this company went into action with three officers and eightyeight [200] enlisted men, and that every man was killed or wounded,” is so unparalleled in the annals of war, that the claim will not be admitted unless there is irrefragable proof of its truth. Happily the Captain of the company, and now a Presbyterian minister located at Collierstown, Va., has preserved the record. In a letter to the writer, dated October 4, 1900, this gallant officer, now the Rev. Mr. Tuttle, thus writes:

Your letter came duly to hand, and I set to work to settle forever the contest as to Company F. Fortunately, and even more, for it seems like a special Providence, I had preserved my report published in the Virginia paper (Richmond Enquirer or Examiner). I had pasted it long years ago (during the war), in the back of my sister's album, and it is still clear and legible. I have had to amend it in four names only, using just a little later information. The proof is now, irrefragable, I give, you will observe not only the names, but the exact wounds received, just what I sent to the Richmond paper soon after the battle. I was detained in a hospital in Richmond some weeks after the battle.

The orderly Sergeant's statement as you will see, fully agrees in all essential features with my report. These papers will, I think, enable you to clinch every claim we make for Company F.

Yours truly,

There was enclosed in the above letter a statement signed by J. T. C. Hood, Orderly Sergeant, Company F, 26th Regiment North Carolina Troops, as follows:

Company F, 26th Regiment, North Carolina Troops, went into the fight at Gettysburg, Pa., with eighty-eight answering to roll call on the morning of July 1, 1863, besides three commissioned officers (one private being detailed to guard our knapsacks).

Having been wounded on the first day in both leg and foot, I hobbled to the stone bridge two miles south of Gettysburg, where I had an opportunity of seeing a great many of the wounded of the first day's fight, and from what I gathered from them and saw myself, the loss of Company F, on the first day was about twenty-five killed and sixty wounded. Also, after the second and third day, there was not a single man left, all being killed or wounded.

In addition to the above, the writer has before him the muster and pay roll of the Company, giving its condition on June 30, 1863, as [201] it rested in bivouac that day about three miles from Gettysburg. Captain Joseph J. Young, now residing at Polenta, Johnston county, was the Quartermaster of the regiment from the beginning to the end of the war. He has preserved duplicate copies of the muster and pay roll of the regiment which he values as among his greates treasures; and the writer has been privileged to inspect the same for the pupose of this verification.

This muster and pay roll state that there were present for duty, three commissioned officers, three sergeants, two corporals, one musician, and eighty-four privates; and present on extra or daily duty, nine privates; total present, commissioned, 3; total enlisted, ninety-nine; aggregate present, 102. The strength of the Company present and absent is put down as 134.

As an additional testimony I quote from a sworn statement published in the Raleigh Morning Post, February 11, 1900, by Captain James D. Moore, cashier of the First National Bank, of Gastonia, N. C., who was a private in Company F, at Gettysburg, viz:

I was present at the battle of Gettysburg, a private in R. M. Tuttle's Company (F), 26th Regiment. In the first day's battle we had eighty-seven men for duty; we lost every man, either killed or wounded, except one, Sergeant Robert Hudspeth. I was the eighty-fifth man shot, wounded in the neck and left leg. Henry Coffey, sergeant, now living near Lenoir, was the eighty-sixth man shot. Our company joined the color company on the left, and being at the head of the company I joined the color guard and was by the colors during the fight. The entire color guard was killed or wounded, and a number of officers who picked up the colors and carried them forward were also killed or wounded. Among them the young and gallant Colonel Burgwyn. Lieutenant-Colonel Lane was severely wounded toward the close of the fight near the top of the hill. He also had the colors when he was shot. Of the two left of my company, Henry Coffey was wounded just after I fell, leaving only Sergeant Robert Hudspeth surviving unhurt out of our entire company. This Robert Hudspeth came to see me at the field hospital on the fourth of July, and he informed me that he had gotten some four or five men who were on detail as ambulance and pioneer corps on the first day, and were not in the fight on that day, and he took them into the fight the third day. On that day Tom Cozart, of Company F, carried the flag. Cozart fell (killed) with the colors just before reaching the stone fence. The others were killed or wounded, and that he, Hudspeth, was knocked down by the bursting of a shell.


The following are the names of the killed, mortally wounded and wounded in Company F, 26th Regiment, North Carolina Troops, Pettigrew's Brigade, at the battle of Gettysburg, Pa., July I-3, 1863, as reported to the Richmond, Va., Enquirer or Examiner, soon after the battle, by the Captain R. M. Tuttle, as he lay wounded in the hospital in Richmond:

We went into the battle July 1, 1863, with eighty-eight rank and file and three commissioned officers—the captain and two lieutenants —ninety-one in all. Every man was either killed or wounded, viz:

Killed on the field.

Lieutenant John B. Holloway.


Robert M. Braswell.

I. H. Coffey.

T. J. Cozart.

James Deal.

Jackson Gragg.

John C. Lewis.

Joseph Phillips, and

J. P. Shook.,

W. L. Thompson.

Robert H. Carswell.

Cleveland Coffey, a twin.

Thomas Crump.

William Fleming.

Abram Hudson.

J. B. Littlejohn.

W. E. Phillips, twins.

John A. Taylor.

M. L. Townsell, a twin.—19.

Mortally wounded—privates.

J. M. Clouts.

Thomas M. Coffey.

Rufus Ervine.

G. W. Holloway.

Joseph Setser.

Hosea Stallings.

J. G. Coffey, a twin.

W. S. Coffey.

H. H. Hays.

George Morgan.

W. E. Setser.

William Underdown.

Wounded—wounds described.

Captain R. M. Tuttle, badly, right leg.

Lieutenant C. M. Sudderth, badly in hand.

Sergeant J. T. C. Hood, badly in thigh and foot.

Sergeant R. N. Hudspeth, by bursting of shell.

Sergeant H. C. Coffey, badly in wrist.

Corporal S. P. Philyaw, badly in thigh.

Corporal A. H. Courtney, leg broken (amputated).



Hezekia Annas, badly in thigh.

George Arney, leg broken.

S. P. Badger, badly in foot.

Joseph Baldwin, badly in thigh.

Zero Black, badly in hip.

W. W. Bean, badly in foot.

W. W. Bradford, slightly in arm.

Nathan Bradshaw, slightly in knee.

R. W. Braswell, slightly in breast.

John Bowman, slightly in thigh.

Redmond Church, badly in foot.

J. C. Clark, badly in arm.

William Clark, badly in foot leg and shoulder.

A. J. Coffey, finger shot off.

H. C. Courtney, badly in thigh.

J. P. Coffey, by bursting shell.

S. W. Crisp, badly in thigh.

H. C. Crump, slightly in arm.

Nathaniel Culbreath, badly in side.

Thomas Curtis, badly in thigh.

William Curtis, arm amputated.

J. M. Holloway, badly in breast.

Paul Howell, badly in thigh.

Ambrose Hudson, by bursting shell.

A. M. Hudspeth, badly in face.

G. W. Hudspeth, badly in leg.

W. W. Kerby, slightly in shoulder.

John Kincaid, badly in shoulder.

Philip Sargent, badly in thigh.

Elkanah Mathis, slightly in arm.

James D. Moore, badly in thigh.

Noah Page, badly in thigh.

William R. Payne, slightly in body.

A. W. Perkins, slightly in side.

Gideon Philyaw, slightly in hip.

George Porch, slightly in thigh.

John Porch, badly in back.

Pinkey Powell, slightly in head.

M. M. Rader, badly in shoulder. [204]

W. H. Rich, slightly in arm.

W. R. Rich, slightly in head.

T. W. Setser, badly in thigh.

William Stallings, leg broken.

John M. Sudderth, badly in thigh.

T. F. Sudderth, slightly in finger.

Benjamin Taylor, slightly in heel.

L. A. Thomas, badly in arm.

J. C. Thompson, badly in shoulder.

C. A. Tuttle, slightly in arm.

Richard Upchurch, slightly in hand.

J. W. Underdown, badly in thigh.

Joseph Winkler, badly in back.

Israel Zimmerman, badly in leg.—60.


Killed dead,19
Mortally wounded,12
Wounded, but recovered,60


R. M. Tuttle, Captain Co. F, 26th Regt., N. C. Troops.

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