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The First North Carolina Volunteers and the battle of Bethel.

[This compilation, of special interest to North Carolina veterans, has been furnished the editor by an early field officer of the First North Carolina Regiment, and is published for the value of its contemporaneous detail and as a memorial of a gallent regiment and its distinguished officers.]

Adjutant-General's office, Raleigh, April 19, 1861.
You are hereby commanded to organize the Orange Light Infantry (Captain R. J. Ashe), Warrenton Guards (Captain Wade), Hornet Nest Rifles (Captain Williams), Enfield Blues (Captain Bell), Lumberton Guards (Captain Norment), Duplin Rifles (Captain Kenan), Charlotte Greys (Captain Ross), Thomasville Rifles (Captain Miller), Granville Greys (Captain Wortham), Columbus Guards (Captain Ellis), into a regiment, to be designated the ‘First Regiment of North Carolina Volunteers.’

The cadets of the North Carolina Military Institute can be attached to this regiment with the consent of their parents and guardians. The seat of war is the designation of the regiment, and Virginia, in all probability, will be the first battle-ground.

The services of this regiment will not exceed six months, but the men should be prepared to keep the field until the war is ended. The grey or blue blouse will be recognized as a suitable uniform. [213] Arms are now in Raleigh for the use of the regiment, and the men will be furnished with them promptly. The regiment will be moved into Virginia as soon as possible, but will not be led into battle until the field officers are of the opinion that the men are fit for duty. You will order an election for field officers of the regiment on Friday the 3d day of May.

The cause of Virginia is the cause of North Carolina. In our first struggle for liberty she nobly and freely poured out her blood in our defence. We will stand by her now in this our last effort for independence.

By order of the Governor.

J. F. Hoke, Adjutant-General. Colonel D. H. Hill, Commanding Camp of Instruction, Raleigh, N. C.

General orders, no. 3.

Adjutant-General's office, Raleigh, April 20, 1861.
The volunteer force of the State, not already ordered into active service, are commanded to hold themselves in readiness to march at an hour's notice. The officers are required to send to the Adjutant-General's office a roll of the companies. I am directed by the Governor to call for the enrollment of thirty thousand volunteers.

Organize; send in the rolls. Commissions and arms will be furnished. Be in readiness to march at a day's notice; drill by day and by night; let the citizens equip their men. Some of your brothers are now in the field. The State has reason to be proud of the promptness with which they rallied at the call of the Governor. The decree for our subjugation has gone forth; the time of our trial has come; the blow will soon fall; we must meet it with the whole energies of the State; we must show to the world that North Carolina will maintain her rights at all hazards.

By order of the commander-in-chief.

J. F. Hoke, Adjutant-General.
Official: R. H. Riddick, Assistant Adjutant-General.


General orders, no. 7.

Adjutant-General's office, Raleigh, May 9, 1861.
The following companies of volunteers, now stationed in this city, are hereby organized into a regiment, to be mustered into the service of the State agreeable to such regulations as shall hereby be determined upon, viz.:

1. Edgecombe GuardsCaptain John L. Bridgers.

2. Enfield Blues—Captain D. A. Bell.

3. Hornet's Nest Rifles—Captain Lewis S. Williams.

4. Burke Rifles—Captain C. M. Avery.

5. Buncombe Rifles—Captain W. W. McDowell.

6. Southern Stars—Captain W. J. Hoke.

7. Randalsburg Rifles—Captain A. A. Erwin.

8. La Fayette Light Infantry—Captain W. G. Matthews.

9. Orange Light Infantry—Captain Richard J. Ashe.

The companies will be arranged in the regiment, and the relative rank of the officers will be fixed when the same shall have been mustered into service.

The commanding officer of the Camp of Instruction will hold an election for field officers of the above regiment at 10 o'clock A. M. the 11th instant.

The companies not already at the camp will repair there at the time designated, where they will be stationed until further ordered.

The following companies will be concentrated at the Camp of Instruction of Weldon, N. C., where they will be organized into a regiment in like manner, viz.:

1. Warrenton GuardsGaptain Wade.

2. Granville Greys—Captain George Wortham.

3. Halifax Light Infantry—Captain Whitaker.

4. Cleveland Guards—Captain Aug. W. Burton.

5. Catawba Rifles—Captain T. W. Bradburn.

6. Duplin Rifles—Captain Thomas S. Kenan.

7. Nash Boys—Captain William T. Williams.

8. Warrenton Rifles—Captain Jones.

9. Townsville Guards—Captain Henry E. Coleman.

10. Lumberton GuardsCaptain Richard M. Norment. [215]

As soon as all the companies shall have assembled the commanding officers will hold an election for field officers of the regiment.

Such of the above companies as may be stationed in this city will proceed to Weldon, N. C., on Saturday morning, the 11th instant, and report to the commander of the Camp of Instruction.

All orders heretofore issued inconsistent with the foregoing are hereby annulled.

Arms will be issued to the troops as soon as they shall have been organized into regiments.

By order of the Governor.

J. F. Hoke, Adjutant-General.

Special orders, no. 2.

Adjutant-General's office, Raleigh, May 12, 1861.
The following return of the election for field officers for the regiment of volunteers, organized at the Camp of Instruction in this city, pursuant to General Orders, No. 7, from this office, dated May 9, 1861, is published for the information of all concerned:

Camp of Instruction, Raleigh, May 11, 1861.
To General J. F. Hoke, Adjutant-General:
Sir: In accordance with instructions, I hereby transmit the result of the election this day held for field officers of the First North Carolina regiment.

For Colonel.

D. H. Hill received six hundred and fifty-two votes; Charles C. Lee, thirty-nine; C. C. Tew, two; scattering, three.

For Lieutenant-Colonel.

Charles C. Lee received six hundred and fifty-seven votes; Mr. Burgwyn, twenty-nine; D. H. Hill, thirteen; Major Stokes, two; scattering, four.


For Major.

James H. Lane received six hundred and ten votes; Mr. Lovejoy, eighty-three; scattering, five.

Respectfully submitted,

The officers elected as above will enter upon their duties accordingly, and all persons placed under their command will respect and obey them accordingly.

By order of the Governor.

J. F. Hoke, Adjutant-General.
Officers commissioned as per above date.

Adjutant-General's office, Raleigh, May 15, 1861.

You are hereby detailed to muster in the troops of the First regiment this afternoon at 4 o'clock P. M.

A justice of the peace will be requested to be present to administer the necessary oath.

J. F. Hoke, Adjutant-General. Colonel C. C. Lee, Camp of Instruction, Raleigh, N. C.

Special orders, no. 5.

Adjutant-General's office, Raleigh, May 16, 1861.

The Randalsburg Rifles (Captain Erwin), not having the number of men required by law, are detached from the First regiment and the Fayetteville Independent Light Infantry (Captain Huske), are ordered to supply their place, and will take the same position in the regiment occupied by that company.

Major Lane is detached as mustering officer, to muster into the service of the State the Fayetteville Independent Light Infantry. [217]

The La Fayette Light Infantry (Captain Starr), The Fayetteville Independent Light Infantry (Captain Huske), and the Southern Stars (Captain Hoke) will leave for Richmond, Va., on Saturday morning, and will have two days rations of meat and bread for each member of the company. The remaining companies of the regiment will move for the same point on Monday or Tuesday next, and will have a like supply of provisions prepared.

By order of the Governor.

J. F. Hoke, Adjutant-General.

[From the Western (Charlotte, N. C.,) Democrat, May 21, 1861.]

First regiment (N. C.) Volunteers.

This regiment is now complete, and three companies of it left Raleigh on Saturday last for Virginia. The balance will follow on Tuesday. The following are the officers of the regiment:

Daniel H. Hill, colonel.

C. C. Lee, lieutenant-colonel.

J. H. Lane, major.

J. M. Poteat, adjutant.

John Henry Wayt, commissary.

Dr. Peter Hines, surgeon.

Drs. Haywood and Moore, assistant surgeons.

Rev. Edwin A. Yates, chaplain.

Messrs. Wayt and Yates were appointed from the ranks of the Hornets' Nest Riflemen.

A change has been made in the companies composing the regiment. The Fayetteville Independent company has been substituted for the Randalsburg Riflemen, so the regiment stands thus:

A—Edgecombe GuardsCaptain Bridgers.

B—Hornets' Nest Rifles—Captain Williams.

C—Charlotte GraysCaptain Ross.

D—Orange Light Infantry—Captain Ashe.

E—Buncombe Riflemen—Captain McDowell.

F—La Fayette Light Infantry—Captain Starr.

G—Burke Rifles—Captain Avery.

H—Fayetteville Independent Light Infantry—Captain Huske.

I—Enfield Blues—Captain Bell.

K—Southern Stars—Captain Hoke.

This regiment is said to be the finest-looking body of men ever assembled in the State.


The First regiment (N. C.) Volunteers. [Western Democrat, May 28, 1861.]

Seven companies of this regiment left Raleigh on Tuesday for Richmond, under command of Lieutenant-Colonel Lee (three companies having previously gone forward under Colonel Hill). A large number (mostly the acquaintances of the members of the different companies) assembled at the Raleigh depot to see the regiment off. Among the spectators there were about thirty patriotic Raleigh ladies, who showered boquets into the ranks of the soldiers and cheered with all their might. The gallant soldiers all seemed to have lighter hearts than their friends who bid them farewell; there were tears in the eyes of many of the spectators, but not one in the eye of a soldier. They left firmly resolved to do their duty, and every man appeared anxious to get nearer to the scene of war. In the day of battle we are confident this regiment will prove an honor to the old North State and to themselves.

The regiment arrived at Petersburg on Tuesday evening, which the Petersburg Express notices as follows:

The remainder of the First Regiment of North Carolina Volunteers, numbering seven companies and over seven hundred men, reached this city last night, in extra trains, about 8 o'clock. For several hours before their arrival large numbers of citizens of all ages, sexes, classes and conditions commenced to congregate, until the appearance of the trains, when the vast square in front of the hotel and the hotel itself were packed completely with anxious, eager beings. The porticos and windows of the hotel were radiant with the beauty and grace of the city, who, with that beautiful patience for which woman is so justly celebrated, waited without murmur or disaffection the arrival of those whom they wished to encourage by all the evidences they could display. But, alas! the lateness of the hour and the hurry of the moment, played havoc with those sweet testimonials of regard and approval, the boquets, of which we noticed any quantity. To the mutual disappointment of ladies and soldiers, they were compelled to shed their fragrance in the fair hands that gathered and bore them thither.

Without drawing invidious distinctions, we must say that this is the best equipped regiment which has yet made its route through our city. Everything seems to have been provided for them that a soldier could desire—arms, accoutrements, knapsacks, haversacks, [219] canteens; in fact nothing is wanting. They were met at the depot by the ‘Cockade Cadets’ and the ‘Home Cavalry,’ and left for Richmond about eleven o'clock.

[correspondence of the Western Democrat.]

Camp near Richmond, May 22, 1861.
Mr. Editor:
The First Regiment North Carolina Volunteers arrived here last night in good order, health and spirits. We are encamped upon an eminence overlooking and in the suburbs of the city. It is a healthy location—good water, fine shade trees, and everything pleasant. If we remain in a ‘masterly inactivity’ until after the meeting of the Rump Congress in July, we shall at least be blessed with a fine camp.

At this writing (under a big oak, upon a piece of board) I can look over the camp of the Tennessee Regiment and see the flags of. thousands of troops waving in the distance. Truly, the South is in earnest and prepared to ‘do or die.’

Although it was night-time when we arrived at Petersburg, the ladies thronged the streets, shook us by the hand, gave us snacks nicely done up in paper, strewed our path with flowers, and called down the blessings of God upon us. Our advance into Virginia was a constant ovation.

The Charlotte boys are well and cheerful, provided with good quarters, good water and plenty to eat.


Since the above letter was written the regiment has been ordered to Yorktown, and left Richmond on Friday night for that place.

[correspondence of the Western Democrat.]

Yorktown, Va., May 26, 1861.
Mr. Editor:
The First from North Carolina was ordered to march from Richmond to this place on the 23d instant. We immediately struck our tents for the march, and by railroad and river we reached our present camp, wayworn and weary, on the forenoon of the 25th. [220]

This is the spot where Cornwallis surrendered. His entrenchments and breastworks are here to mark the spot where British arogance received its death-blow. The town is small, and the site of our encampment a lone and dreary one, but we are near the enemy, being only twenty-six miles from Hampton, where he is posted. A fight here is highly probable, as the enemy can be heavily reinforced at Fortress Monroe or at Hampton. We now occupy the point of danger between the enemy and Richmond. Our colonel and his men are ready for and expecting a fight, in which case you may listen for a good report from the gallant First regiment.

We are all pretty well, and anxious for a brush. There are some regiments here, and General Magruder is commander of the post. A battery is being erected, which will command the passage of York river at this point. A Federal steamer lies in sight; for what purpose I know not.

The intelligence of the death of Private Julius Sadler reached our camp this (Sabbath) morning, and gave double solemnity to the services held by our chaplain at 10:30 o'clock.

Colonel Hill is a model Christian soldier. He assisted in the exercises of the morning by interlining the hymn for the chaplain. There are many servants of God in our camp. Can such a regiment be conquered? Never!

A pretty good force here would command and successfully defend the eastern entrance to the soil of Virginia. The main land, upon which Fortress Monroe is situated, narrows down at this point to about five miles—that is, the neck of land between York river and— James river.

This is not paying soldier now; it is a stern reality.


Yorktown, Va., May 27.
We had scarcely got ready to rest at our camp near Richmond before we got orders to move to this place. And I am sorry to say that we lost one of our best soldiers on the way here. Julius Sadler fell from the cars a short time after leaving Richmond, and was instantly killed. It is supposed that he was asleep and precipitated from the platform car. The regiment arrived at this point before hearing of his melancholy fate. The news was received here on Sunday morning, and spread a gloom over our gallant band. At 10 o'clock our chaplain, Rev. Edwin A. Yates, preached an impressive discourse to his [221] brother soldiers (I say brother soldiers because he is taking an active part in the duties of the camp, and intends to fight as well as pray). Many of our men were affected to tears at the allusions to the death of poor Sadler. Colonel Hill assisted in the services. He is a praying man, and has the confidence and respect of every man of the regiment. All are determined to stand by him to the last. Where he leads none of us will hesitate to follow. Lieutenant-Colonel Lee and Major Lane are also good officers and much beloved. In fact, the men are pleased with all of their officers.

The Lincoln company and the Fayetteville companies have no superiors anywhere. In the latter are two editors, Peter M. and E. J. Hale, Jr., of Fayetteville, and a number of lawyers and doctors. I don't want to be guilty of self-praise, but I must say that our regiment ‘can't be beat’ either in appearance or on the battle-field.

Captain Williams, of the Hornet's Nest Riflemen, is little in statue but big in works. His command is in fine condition, and the men as well as could be expected, considering the frequent changes of water and the mode of camp life.

The ‘Boy company’ under Captain Ross, is praised by all. I understand there is not a soldier in it twenty-one years old. It is probably the only company of boys that has entered active service from south of Virginia. On the day of the battle this gallant little band will do its duty.

We are expecting the enemy to attack this point, and are about ready to give him a warm reception. Every man of them had better ‘make his peace’ before he gets here.

The Virginians everywhere have been very kind to us. Some of the ladies in Richmond made a portion of our tents. Bless the women.

You shall hear from me again.


Letter from Miss Mary G. Mason.

Will Major Lane do me the favor of distributing these prayer-books, as far as they will go, amongst any of his men that will accept them. I did not know that I could get the books until after the regiment had left.

Very truly,


Fast day. [Richmond Dispatch, Thursday morning, June 13, 1861.]

This day, appointed by President Davis as a day of fasting and prayer, will, we trust, be universally observed throughout the Confederate States. We again repeat our hope that all places of business and amusement will be closed. No paper will be issued from this office to-morrow.

The glorious victory.

We have the satisfaction to-day of publishing reliable accounts of the glorious triumph of our army on the Peninsula. Our letters are from perfectly reliable sources, several of them being from gentlemen connected with this office—one of them, Mr. H. C. Tinsley, a member of the Howitzers, who was present in the engagement, and, we learn, bore himself gallantly.

It is one of the most extraordinary victories in the annals of war. Four thousand thoroughly drilled and equipped troops routed and driven from the field by only eleven hundred men! Two hundred of the enemy killed, and on our side but one life lost! Does not the hand of God seem manifest in this thing? From the attack upon Fort Sumter to the present moment the preservation of Southern life amidst such murderous assaults as have been made by the enemy seems little less than miraculous. Surely, in the religious exercises of this day, many a heart will exclaim, with devout thanksgiving to God,‘Not unto us, not unto us, but unto Thy great name be the glory.’

The courage and conduct of the noble sons of the South engaged in this battle are beyond all praise. They have crowned the name of their country with imperishable lustre and made their own names immortal. With odds of four to one against them, they have achieved a complete victory, putting their enemies to inglorious flight, and giving the world a brilliant pledge of the manner in which the South can defend its firesides and altars. The North has won its battles on paper—the South is content to achieve hers in the field. Let us invoke our heroic soldiers not to permit this splendid success in any way to relax their vigilance and their energy. Let them be as prudent as they are brave, as vigilant as they are determined, and all is secure. Let them omit no preparation, no watchfulness, no precaution which the presence of the bravest enemy might require. [223] In one word, let them always ‘trust in God and keep their powder dry,’ and our soil will soon be delivered from the boastful braggarts who have dared to pollute it.

From Yorktown.

[special correspondence of the Dispatch.]

Yorktown, June 11, 1861.
An engagement, lasting four hours, took place yesterday (Monday) between five regiments of the troops from Old Point and eleven hundred Confederate troops, consisting of Virginians and North Carolinians under General Magruder, at Bethel Church, York county. Before telling you of the battle I will give you some circumstances preceding it. About two weeks ago a party of three hundred Yankees came up from Hampton and occupied Bethel Church, which position they held a day or two and then retired, leaving written on the walls of the church several inscriptions, such as ‘Death to the Traitors!’ ‘Down with the Rebels!’ &c. To nearly all of these the names of the writers were defiantly signed, and all of the pensmen signed themselves as from New York except one, who was from ‘Boston, Mass., U. S.’ To these excursions into the interior, of which this was the boldest, General Magruder determined to put a stop, and accordingly filled the place after the Yankees left with a few companies of his own troops. In addition to this, he determined to carry the war into the enemy's country, and on Wednesday last Standard's battery, of the Howitzer battalion, was ordered down to the church, where it was soon joined by a portion of Brown's battery of the same corps. The North Carolina regiment, under Colonel Hill, was also there, making in all about eleven hundred men and seven howitzer guns.

On Saturday last the first excursion of considerable importance was made. A detachment of two hundred infantry and a howitzer gun under Major Randolph, and one of seventy infantry and another howitzer under Major Lane, of the North Carolina regiment, started, different routes, to cut off a party which had left Hampton. The party was seen and fired at by Major Randolph's detachment, but made such fast time that they escaped. The troops under Major Lane passed within sight of Hampton, and as they turned up [224] the road to return to Bethel encountered the Yankees, numbering about ninety, who were entrenched behind a fence in the field, protected by a high bank. Our advance guard fired on them, and in another moment the North Carolinians were dashing over the fence in regular French (not New York) zouave style, firing at them in regular squirrel-hunting style. The Yankees fled for their lives, after firing for about three minutes without effect, leaving behind them three dead and a prisoner. The fellow was a stout, ugly fellow from Troy, N. Y. He said that he had nothing against the South, but somebody must be soldiers, and he thought he had as well enlist. None of our men were hurt.

This bold excursion, under the very guns of the enemy, determined the authorities at Old Point to put a stop to it and clean us out from Bethel. This determination was conveyed to us by persons who came from the neighborhood of the enemy. On Monday morning, about six hundred infantry and two guns, under General Magruder, left the camp and proceeded towards Hampton; but after advancing a mile or two, received information that the Yankees were coming in large force. We then retired, and after reaching camp the guns were placed in battery, and the infantry took their places behind their breastwork. Everybody was cool, and all were anxious to give the invaders a good reception.

About nine o'clock the glittering bayonets of the enemy appeared on the hill opposite, and above them waived the Star Spangled Banner. The moment the head of the column advanced far enough to show one or two companies, the Parrot gun of the Howitzer battery opened on them, throwing a shell right into their midst. Their ranks broke in confusion, and the column, or as much of it as we could see, retreated behind two small houses. From their position a fire was opened on us, which was replied to by our battery, which commanded the route of their approach. Our firing was excellent, and the shells scattered in all directions when they burst. They could hardly approach the guns which they were firing for the shells which came from our battery. Within our encampment fell a perfect hail-storm of cannister shot, bullets and balls. Remarkable to say, not one of our men was killed inside of our encampment. Several horses were slain by the shells and bullets.

Finding that bombardment would not answer, the enemy about eleven o'clock tried to carry the position by assault, but met a terrible repulse at the hands of the infantry as he tried to scale the breastworks. The men disregarded sometimes the defences erected [225] for them, and leaping on the embankment, stood and fired at the Yankees, cutting them down as they came up. One company of the New York Seventh Regiment, under Captain Wardrop, or Winthrop, attempted to take the redoubt on the left. The marsh they crossed was strewn with their bodies. Their captain, a fine looking man, reached the fence, and leaping on a log, waved his sword, crying, ‘Come on, boys; one charge, and the day is ours.’ The words were his last, for a Carolina rifle ended his life the next moment, and his men fled in terror back. At the redoubt on the right a company of about three hundred New York zouaves charged one of our guns, but could not stand the fire of the infantry, and retreated precipitately.

During these charges the main body of the enemy on the hill were attempting to concentrate for a general assault, but the shells from the Howitzer battery prevented them. As one regiment would give up the effort another would be marched to the position, but with no better success, for a shell would scatter them like chaff. The men did not seem able to stand fire at all.

About 1 o'clock their guns were silenced, and a few moments after their infantry retreated precipitately down the road to Hampton.

Our cavalry, numbering three companies, went in pursuit, and harassed them down to the edge of Hampton. As they retreated, many of the wounded fell along the road and died, and the whole road to Hampton was strewn with haversacks, overcoats, canteens, muskets, &c., which the men had thrown off in their retreat.

After the battle I visited the position they held. The houses behind which they had been hid had been burnt by our troops. Around the yard were the dead bodies of the men who had been killed by our cannon, mangled in the most frightful manner by the shells. The uniforms on the bodies were very different, and many of them are like those of the Virginia soldiery. A little farther on we came to the point to which they had carried some of their wounded, who had since died. The gay looking uniforms of the New York zouaves contrasted greatly with the pale, fixed faces of their dead owners. Going to the swamp through which they attempted to pass to assault our lines, presented another bloody scene. Bodies dotted the black morass from one end to the other. I saw one boyish, delicate looking fellow lying on the mud, with a bullet-hole through his breast. His hand was pressed on the wound from which his life blood had poured; and the other was clinched in the grass that grew near him. Lying on the ground was a testament which had fallen from his pocket, dabbled with blood. On opening the cover I [226] found the printed inscription, ‘Presented to the Defenders of their Country by the New York Bible Society.’ An United States flag was also stamped on the title page.

Among the haversacks picked up along the route were many letters from the Northern States, asking if they liked the Southern farms and if the Southern barbarians had been whipped out yet.

The force of the enemy brought against us was four thousand, according to the statement of the six prisoners we took. Ours was eleven hundred. Their loss in killed and wounded must be nearly two hundred. Our loss is one killed and three wounded. The fatal case was that of a North Carolinian, who volunteered to fire one of the houses behind which they were stationed. He started from the breastwork to accomplish it, but was shot in the head. He died this morning at the hospital. The wounded are Harry Shook, of Richmond, of Brown's Battery, shot in the wrist; John Werth, of Richmond, of the same battery, shot in the leg, and Lieutenant Hudnall, of the same battery, shot in the foot. None of the wounds are serious.

A Louisiana regiment arrived about one hour after the fight was over. They are a fine-looking set of fellows.

As there was force enough at Old Point to send up to Bethel and surround us, we took up the line of March and came up to Yorktown, where we now are.

I hear to-day that troops from Old Point are now marching up to attack us, but cannot say whether it is so or not.

I should have written you more fully, but the boat was in sight when I commenced, and haste is the order the day, as she leaves after merely touching at her wharf.


[from the Western Democrat.]

Yorktown, Va., June 11, 1861.
Editor Democrat:
A battle was fought near this place on Monday last, and I hastily send you a short account by my friend, Mr. Tiddy, bearer of dispatches to Governor Ellis.

The first great battle for Southern independence has been fought. It is the Lexington of the war. North Carolina and Virginia shoulder the glory of a hard-won field. [227]

A detachment of our force at Yorktown, consisting of the First North Carolina regiment volunteers and some Virginia troops, numbering in all about thirteen hundred, proceeded to Bethel church, fifteen miles below Yorktown, entrenched themselves there, and there were attacked on the morning of Monday, the 10th instant, by forty-five hundred of the enemy, including three hundred of the famous Seventh New York regiment and a regiment of New York zouaves. After a severe conflict of four or five hours, the enemy were repulsed with great slaughter. They left fifteen or twenty dead near our lines. Others lay dead further off, and no doubt they carried off a large number dead, of dying and wounded. Their last and final retreat was in ‘double-quick,’ throwing off their knapsacks, cartridge-boxes, &c. Lieutenant-Colonel Wardrop, of the New York regiment, was killed. Private Buhman, of the Fayetteville Independent Light Infantry, and Private McIver, of the Charlotte Greys, contest the honor of having killed the abolition leader. The Yankee colonel was standing on a log rallying his men, when one of our gallant boys picked him off.

Only five or six of our companies were really engaged in the fight, the ground not permitting the action of more. North Carolina and Virginia forces were all that were engaged. Three companies of cavalry arrived in time to pursue the flying enemy.

A house being in the way of our guns, four of Captain Bridgers' company, the Edgecombe Guards, volunteered to charge right in front of the enemy to burn the house. They faced a murderous fire, but in the attempt one gallant fellow (Wyatt) was shot in the head and died in a few hours. The other three lay down on their backs and returned the fire, and finally succeeded in getting back into their lines. In the meantime the house was set on fire by our guns.

The Hornets' Nest Riflemen, under command of Lieutenants W. A. Owens and T. D. Gillespie (Captain Williams being sick and absent) behaved with great bravery; as did also Captain Ross' company, the Charlotte Greys; these two companies being nearest the point of attack. Indeed, all our men acted nobly, whose praise is in every mouth.

Only one of our whole force was killed and seven wounded. Surely an enemy numbering nearly four to one, raining cannon balls, shell and grape-shot like hail for three mortal hours, and doing such little damage, must have been confounded by that Hand that ever sides with justice and eternal rectitude. [228]

The Fayetteville companies and Lincoln Stars are composed of as good grit as ever shouldered a gun; and, all in all, our regiment is composed of the finest soldiers in the world, because of their moral and intellectual qualities.

Colonel Hill deserves all the honor that can be heaped upon a noble soldier. His experience, as well as bravery, placing him in the foreground of command. Indeed, our success in putting such a powerful enemy to such a shameful defeat is to be greatly attributed to his coolness and courage. Lieutenant-Colonel Lee and Major Lane are all that we could desire them to be, qualified for their posts and strangers to fear. General Magruder commanded the whole force, and is a brave and daring officer.

One of our guns, which had been disabled by our own gunners, fell into the hands of the enemy; but they kept it only a few moments, for the Edgecombe Guards charged upon them and recaptured it, driving off fifteen hundred of the enemy.

We took only three prisoners (not having any use for them). I have just conversed with one fellow who is from Vermont. He is only a three months soldier, and says when the time expires thousands will return home from this unholy war. He reports five thousand men in Fort Monroe and five thousand at Newport News. They are dissatisfied and desert on every oppotunity.

Our force returned to Yorktown cheerful and in good spirits; the wounded being but slightly injured, had a good night's rest and are ready for the enemy again. It is thought a tremendous battle will soon be fought here.

During the battle a company of the enemy's zouaves practiced their tilting and tumbling manoeuvres up within a few yards of a masked battery of ours, hoping to scare some of us by their monkey actions; but when we opened fire the column fell like wheat-straw before a scythe-blade. Many a poor fellow tumbled over for the last time.

The people are flying from the lower end of the Peninsula in crowds, leaving their farms, stock, &c., at the mercy of the enemy, in order to save themselves.

Every man is conscious he is fighting in a just cause, and is determined to know no defeat. Besides, we are not fighting our battles alone; ‘And if God be for us, who shall be against us.’

Yours truly,



Our recent brilliant victory. [Raleigh Standard, June, 1861.]

The letter of Colonel Hill, in another column, announcing his recent brilliant victory over the enemy, was recurred to in the Convention on Wednesday with every demonstration of joy. On motion of Mr. Badger the Convention unanimously returned its thanks to the Governor for the information communicated of this glorious result, and assured him of its wish to unite with him in such testimonials to Colonel Hill, and the men under his command, as may be thought appropriate and worthy of the State and of them.

Connected with this victory, we cannot refrain from alluding to some incidents suggested by the participation of some of the companies in the conflict. The Fayetteville Independent Light Infantry was formed in 1793 under the administration of Washington; and it was but fit that it should bear a prominent part in achieving the first decisive triumph on Virginia soil defending the grave of Washington, whom, when in life, it was organized to protect from the assaults of Citizen Genet, of France. The Lafayette Light Infantry, of the same town, was organized a few years ago to perpetuate the memory of Lafayette; and it was but fit that it should ‘flesh its maiden sword’ and achieve its first triumph at Yorktown, the field in which the noble Lafayette earned his brightest laurels and highest military renown. Yorktown — the scene of the surrender of Cornwallis to Washington — is made more memorable by the first victory in this war, achieved mainly by North Carolinians.

Mecklenburg, too, whose citizens raised the first cry of Independence in 1775, was represented by the Hornets' Nest Rifles and the Charlotte Greys. McDowell, the lineal descendant of one of the heroes of King's Mountain, led the Buncombe Rifles; Avery, the grandson of the first Attorney-General of the State, led the Burke Rifles; Ashe, who inherits a revolutionary name, led the Orange Light Infantry; and the gallant Bridgers, leading the Edgecombe Braves, had in his ranks an Owen, whose paternal and maternal grandfathers, Porterfield and Owen, did such signal service on the battle-fields of North and South Carolina in the old revolution. We regret that we lack the necessary information to continue these allusions, but, from the colonel to the private, they all bore themselves like heroes. Honor to them now and hereafter! The old State is [230] proud of them all, and she will look to see the other regiments emulate the conduct of the glorious First, commanded by Colonel Hill.

We cannot close this week's notice of the Bethel regiment more appropriately than by publishing the following

Lines addressed to the First regiment of North Carolina Volunteers.

by Luola.
We miss you from the cottage door,
     We miss you from the lordly hall,
And bitter tears at parting shed,
     For loved ones yet in silence fall.
We miss you at the morning prayer,
     We miss you at the noonday meal,
And yearning hearts to you go forth,
     When twilight shades around us steal.

The fond young bride all tearfully
Turns from the cottage door away,
     Where still she goes, alas! in vain,
To meet her love at close of day.
     And o'er helpless little flock,
Does many a wife in silence bend;
     With heart too fill for words she pleads
That God would peace and safety send.

The widow's heart in broken prayers,
     Follows alike through night and day,
The prop of her declining years—
     Her absent boy, far, far away!
The blushing maiden fondly dwells
     Upon the parting moment, sad,
And prays that Heaven in camp and field,
     Would bless and shield her soldier lad.

Ah yes, we miss you, yet no heart
     In all the thousand homes you've left,
It matters not how deeply tried,
     It matters not how much bereft,
Would bring a son or brother home—
     Husband, or lover, would recall;
No! rather on the battle-field
     In duty's path we'd have you fall!

[231] On, on, brave hearts, your cause is just
     And right and justice must prevail;
As soon might straws attempt to stay
     The torrent wild—the sweeping gale—
As hirelings of the North drive back
     Men with such hands and hearts as yours;
Go meet the invaders at their camp,
     Let not their feet defile our shores!

Woe to the craven who shall fail
     His country in her hour of need;
Who turns a deafened ear away
     And will not to her rescue speed.
Not to the swift the race is due—
     The victory given to the strong—
The ‘God of Battles’ is our trust,
     We and our cause to Him belong.

There is no word for you like ‘fail;’
     They never, never can subdue
Your gallant band, if you to God,
     Your country and yourselves are true.

Gov. Ellis' letter to the North Carolina Convention.

To the Honorable, the President and Members of the Convention.
gentlemen: I have the pleasure herewith to transmit an official dispatch from Colonel D. H. Hill, commanding the First regiment of North Carolina Volunteers near Yorktown, giving a detailed account of the signal victory achieved over the enemy near Hampton, Va., in which the North Carolina regiment bore a prominent and brilliant part.

I would avail myself of this opportunity to ask of the convention the privilege of rendering to the gallant commander of the regiment and the brave officers and men under his command those testimonials of approbation most grateful to a soldier's feelings..

I would respectfully recommend Colonel Hill as worthy of promotion to the rank of brigadier general, and that a full brigade be at once placed under his command.

Other recommendations will be made when further particulars are ascertained.

Respectfully submitted,


General Hill's Dispatch.

Yorktown, Va., June 11, 1861.
Hon. J. W. Ellis, Governor of North Carolina:
Sir: I have the honor to report that eight hundred men of my regiment and three hundred and sixty Virginians were engaged for five and a half hours with four and a half regiments of the enemy at Bethel Church, nine miles from Hampton. The enemy made three distinct and well sustained charges, but were repulsed with heavy loss. Our cavalry pursued them for six miles, when their retreat became a total rout. Fearing that heavy reinforcements would be sent up from Fortress Monroe, we fell back at nightfall upon our works at Yorktown.

I regret to report the loss of one man killed (Private Henry L. Wyatt, Edgecomb Guards) and seven wounded. The loss of the enemy by their own confession was one hundred and fifty, but it may safely be estimated at two hundred and fifty. Our regiment behaved most gallantly. Not a man shrank from his post or showed symptoms of fear.

When more at leisure I will give you a detailed report of operations.

Our Heavenly Father has most wonderfully interposed to shield our heads in the day of battle. Unto His great name be all the praise for our success.

With great respect,

D. H. Hill, Colonel First Regiment North Carolina Volunteers.

General Hill's full report.


I have the honor to report that, in obedience to orders from the colonel commanding, I marched on the 6th instant with my regiment and four pieces of Major Randolph's battery from Yorktown, on the Hampton road, to Bethel Church, nine miles from Hampton. We reached there after dark on a wet night and slept without tents. Early on the morning of the 7th I made a reconnoissance of the ground, preparatory to fortifying. I found a branch of [233] Back river on our front and encircling our right flank. On our left was a dense and almost impassable wood, except about one hundred and fifty yards of old field. The breadth of the road, a thick wood, and narrow cultivated field covered our rear. The nature of the ground determined me to make an inclosed work, and I had the invaluable aid of Lieutenant-Colonel Lee, of my regiment, in its plan and construction. Our position had the inherent defect of being commanded by an immense field immediately in front of it, upon which the masses of the enemy might be readily deployed. Presuming that an attempt would be made to carry the bridge across the stream, a battery was made for its special protection, and Major Randolph placed his guns so as to sweep all the approaches to it. The occupation of two commanding eminences beyond the creek and on our right would have greatly strengthened our position, but our force was too weak to admit of the occupation of more than one of them. A battery was laid out on it for one of Randolph's howitzers. We had only twenty-five spades, six axes and three picks; but these were busily plied all day and night of the 7th and all day on the 8th. On the afternoon of the 8th I learned that a marauding party of the enemy was within a few miles of us. I called for a party of thirty-four men to drive them back. Lieutenant Roberts, of Company F, of my regiment, promptly responded, and in five minutes his command was en route. I detached Major Randolph, with one howitzer, to join them. Lieutenant-Colonel Lee, First regiment North Carolina volunteers, requested and was granted permission to take command of the whole. After a march of five miles they came across the marauders, busy over the spoils of a plundered house. A shell soon put the plunderers to flight, and they were chased over New Market bridge, where our little force was halted, in consequence of the presence of a considerable body situated on the other side. Lieutenant-Colonel Lee brought in one prisoner. How many of the enemy were killed and wounded is not known. None of our command was hurt. Soon after Lieutenant-Colonel Lee left, a citizen came dashing in with the information that seventy-five marauders were on the Back River road. I called for Captain McDowell's company (E) of the First regiment of North Carolina volunteers, and in three minutes it was in hot pursuit. Lieutenant West, of the Howitzer battalion, with one piece, was detached to join them, and Major Lane, of my regiment, volunteered to assume command of the whole. After a weary march they encountered, dispersed and chased the wretches over the New Market bridge—this [234] being the second race on the same day over the New Market course, in both of which the Yankees reached the goal first. Major Lane brought in one prisoner. Reliable citizens reported that two cartloads and one buggy-load of wounded were taken to Hampton. We had not a single man killed or wounded. Colonel Magruder came up that evening and assumed command.

On Sunday, the 9th, a fresh supply of tools enabled us to put more men to work, and when not engaged in religious duties the men worked vigorously on the entrenchments. We were aroused at 3 o'clock on Monday morning for a general advance upon the enemy, and marched three and a half miles, when we learned that the foe, in large force, was within a few hundred yards of us. We fell back hastily upon our entrenchments, and awaited the arrival of our invaders. Lieutenant-Colonel Stuart, of the Third Virginia regiment, having come with some one hundred and eighty men, was stationed on the hill on the extreme right, beyond the creek, and Company G, of my regiment, was also thrown over the stream to protect the howitzer under Captain Brown. Captain Bridgers, of Company A, First North Carolina regiment, took post in the dense woods beyond and to the left of the road. Major Montague, with three companies of his battalion, was ordered up from the rear, and took post on our right, beginning at the church and extending along the entire front on that side. This fine body of men and the gallant command of Lieutent-Colonel Stuart worked with great rapidity, and in an hour had constructed temporary shelter against the enemy's fire. Just at 9 o'clock A. M. the heavy columns of the enemy were seen approaching rapidly and in good order, but when Major Randolph opened upon them at 9:15 their organization was completely broken up. The enemy promptly replied with his artillery, firing briskly but wildly. He made an attempt at deployment on our right of the road, under cover of some houses and a paling. He was, however, promptly driven back by our artillery, a Virginia company—the Life Guards—and Companies B and C of my regiment. The enemy attempted no deployment within musketry range during the day, except under cover of woods, fences or paling. Under cover of the trees he moved a strong column to an old ford, some three-quarters of a mile below, where I had placed a picket of some forty men. Colonel Magruder sent Captain Werth's company, of Montague's command, with one howitzer, under Sergeant Crane, to drive back this column, which was done with a single [235] shot from the howitzer. Before this a priming wire had been broken in the vent of the howitzer commanded by Captain Brown, and rendered it useless.

A force, estimated at fifteen hundred, was now attempting to outflank us and get in the rear of Lieutenant-Colonel Stuart's small command. He was accordingly directed to fall back, and the whole of our advanced troops were withdrawn. At this critical moment I directed Lieutenant-Colonel Lee to call Captain Bridgers out of the swamp, and ordered him to re-occupy the nearest advanced work, and I ordered Captain Ross, Company C, First Regiment North Carolina Volunteers, to the support of Lieutenant-Colonel Stuart. These two captains with their companies crossed over to Randolph's battery under a most heavy fire, in a most gallant manner. As Lieutenant-Colonel Stuart had withdrawn, Captain Ross was detained at the church, near Randolph's battery. Captain Bridgers, however, crossed over and drove the Zouaves out the advanced howitzer battery, and re-occupied it. It is impossible to over-estimate this service. It decided the action in our favor.

In obedience to orders from Colonel Magruder, LieutenantColo-nel Stuart marched back, and in spite of the presence of a foe ten times his superior in number, resumed in the most heroic manner possession of his intrenchments. A fresh howitzer was carried across and placed in the battery, and Captain Avery, of Company G, was directed to defend it at all hazards.

We were now as secure as at the beginning of the fight, and as yet had no man killed. The enemy finding himself foiled on our right flank, next made his final demonstration on our left. A strong column, supposed to consist of volunteers from different regiments, and under command of Captain Winthrop, aide-de-camp to General Butler, crossed over the creek and appeared at the angle on our left. Those in advance had put on our distinctive badge of a white band around the cap, and they cried out repeatedly, ‘Don't fire.’ This ruse was practiced to enable the whole column to get over the creek and form in good order. They now began to cheer most lustily, thinking that our work was open at the gorge, and that they could get in by a sudden rush. Companies B and C, however, dispelled the illusion by a cool, deliberate, and well-directed fire. Colonel Magruder sent over portions of Companies G, C, and H of my regiment to our support, and now began as cool firing on our side as was ever witnessed. [236]

The three field-officers were present, and but few shots were fired without their permission, the men repeatedly saying, ‘May I fire?’ ‘I think I can bring him.’ They were all in high glee, and seemed to enjoy it as much as boys do rabbit-shooting. Captain Winthrop, while most gallantly urging on his men, was shot through the heart, when all rushed back with the utmost precipitation. So far as my observation extended, he was the only one of the enemy who exhibited even an approximation to courage during the whole day.

The fight at the angle lasted but twenty minutes. It completely discouraged the enemy, and he made no further effort at assault. The house in front, which had served as a hiding place for the enemy, was now fired by a shell from a howitzer, and the outhouses and palings were soon in a blaze. As all shelter was now taken from him, the enemy called in his troops and started back for Hampton. As he had left sharp-shooters behind him in the woods on our left, the dragoons could not advance until Captain Hoke, of Company K, First North Carolina Volunteers, had thoroughly explored them. As soon as he gave the assurance of the road being clear, Captain Douthat, with some one hundred dragoons, in compliance with Colonel Magruder's orders, pursued. The enemy, in his haste, threw away hundreds of canteens, haversacks, overcoats. &c.; even the dead were thrown out of the wagons. The pursuit soon became a chase, and for the third time the enemy won the race over the New Market course. The bridge was torn up behind him and our dragoons returned to camp. There were not quite eight hundred of my regiment engaged in the fight, and not one-half of these drew trigger during the day. All remained manfully at the posts assigned them, and not a man in my regiment behaved badly. The companies not engaged were as much exposed and rendered equal service with those participating in the fight. They deserve equally the thanks of the country. In fact, it is the most trying ordeal to which soldiers can be subjected to receive a fire which their olders forbid them to return. Had a single company left its post our works would have been exposed; and the constancy and discipline of the unengaged companies cannot be too highly commended. A detachment of fifteen cadets from the North Carolina Military Institute defended the howitzers under Lieutenant Hudnall, and acted with great coolness and determination.

I cannot speak in too high terms of my two field officers, Lieutenant-Colonel Lee and Major Lane. Their services have been of [237] the highest importance since taking the field to the present moment. My thanks, too, are due in an especial manner to Lieutenanant J. M. Poteat, adjutant, and Lieutenant J. M. Ratchford, aide—both of them cadets of the North Carolina Military Institute at Charlotte. The latter received a contusion in the forehead from a grape-shot, which nearly cost him his life. Captain Bridgers, Compang A; Lieutenant Owens, commanding Company B; Captain Ross, Company C; Captain Ashe, Company D; Captain McDowell, Company E; Captain Starr, Company F; Captain Avery, Company G; Captain Huske, Company H; Lieutenant Whittaker, commanding Company I; Captain Hoke, Company K, displayed great coolness, judgment and efficiency. Lieutenant Gregory is highly spoken of by Major Lane for soldierly bearing on the 8th. Lieutenants Cook and Mc-Kethan, Company H, crossed over under a heavy fire to the assistance of the troops attacked on the left. So did Lieutenant Cohen, Company C. Lieutenant Hoke has shown great zeal, energy and judgment as an engineer officer on various occasions.

Corporal George Williams, Privates Henry L. Wyatt, Thomas Fallan, and John Thorpe, Company A, volunteered to burn the house which concealed the enemy. They behaved with great gallantry. Wyatt was killed and the other three were recalled.

Sergeant Thomas J. Stewart and Private William McDowell, Company A, reconnoitered the position of the enemy, and went far in advance of our troops. Private J. W. Potts, of Company B, is specially mentioned by his company commander; so are Sergeant William Elmo, Company C; Sergeants C. L. Watts, W. H. McDade, Company D; Sergeant J. M. Young, Corporal John Dingler, Privates G. H. A. Adams, R. V. Gudger, G. W. Werley, John C. Wright, T. Y. Little, J. F. Jenkins, Company E; R. W. Stedman, M. E. Dye, H. E. Benton, J. B. Smith, Company F; G. W. Buhmann, James C. McRae, Company H.

Casualties.—Private Henry L. Wyatt, Company A, mortally wounded; Lieutenant J. W. Ratchford, contusion; Private Council Rodgers, Company H, severely wounded; Private Charles Williams, Company H, severely wounded; Private S. Patterson, Company D, slightly wounded; Private William White, Company K, wounded; Private Peter Poteat, Company G, slightly wounded.

I cannot close this too elaborate report without speaking in the highest terms of admiration of the Howitzer battery and its most accomplished commander, Major Randolph. He has no superior as an artillerist in any country, and his men displayed the utmost skill [238] and coolness. The left howitzer, under Lieutenant Hudnall, being nearest my works, came under my special notice. Their names are as follows:

Lieutenant Hudnall, commanding, wounded; Sergeant S. B. Hughes, G. H. Pendleton, R. P. Pleasants, William M. Caldwell, George W. Hobson, William McCarthy, H. C. Shook, wounded; L. W. Timberlake, George P. Hughes, John Werth, wounded; D. B. Clark.

Permit me, in conclusion, to pay a well-deserved compliment to the First Regiment North Carolina Volunteers. Their patience under trial, perseverance under toil, and courage under fire, have seldom been surpassed by veteran troops. Often working night and day, sometimes without tents and cooking utensils, a murmur has never escaped them to my knowledge. They have done a large portion of the work on the intrenchments at Yorktown, as well as those at Bethel. Had all of the regiments in the field worked with the same spirit there would not be an assailable point in Virginia. After the battle they shook hands affectionately with the spades, calling them ‘Clever fellows and good friends.’

The men are influenced by high moral and religious sentiments, and their conduct has furnished another example of the great truth that he who fears God will ever do his duty to his country.

The Confederates had in all about twelve hundred men in the action. The enemy had the regiments of Colonel Duryea (zouaves), Colonel Carr, Colonel Allen, Colonel Bendix, and Colonel Waldrop (Massachusetts) from Old Point Comfort, and five companies of Phelps' regiment from Newport News We had never more than three hundred actively engaged at any one time. The Confederate loss was eleven wounded; of these, one mortally. The enemy must have lost some three hundred. I could not, without great disparagement of their courage, place their loss at a lower figure. It is inconceivable that five thousand men should make so precipitate a retreat without having sustained at least this much of a reverse.

Let us devoutly thank the living God for His wonderful interposition in our favor, and evince our gratitude by the exemplariness of our lives.

With respect,

D. H. Hill, Colonel First Regiment North Carolina Volunteers. Colonel J. B. Magruder, Commander York Line.


The prisoners captured near Yorktown. [correspondence of the Richmond Dispatch.]

Yorktown, Va., June 25, 1861.
In a late issue of your paper I notice a communication over the signature of ‘Musketeer,’ about which I desire to say a word. After speaking of the detachment that was sent out by Colonel Hill from Bethel Church the Saturday before the battle of the 10th June, under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel Lee, he says: ‘Colonel Lee's command took one prisoner, and this was the first capture made in the skirmishes preliminary to and provocative of the battle of Bethel Church.’ In the first place, the detachment that left camp under Colonel Lee, being composed of a part of Company F and one howitzer of the Richmond battalion, did not capture a prisoner at all. The fellow was run down and taken by a party of mounted men under the command of a gentleman of the name of Phillips, who joined Colonel Lee's detachment somewhere on the road. I do not doubt that ‘Musketeer's’ friends would have killed and taken a goodly number of Yankees; but the truth is they did not get within three-quarters of a mile of them, and therefore the infantry who did not fire a shot cannot claim the Yankee as their prize or even that of the regiment. In the second place, I have Colonel Hill's word for it that the skirmish of the same day, much nearer Hampton, in which the advance guard of Major Lane's detachment, under command of Lieutenant Gregory, killed and wounded some fifteen or twenty of the enemy and took one prisoner, was the true cause of the attack and consequent discomfiture of the enemy on Monday, the 10th of June.

The Colonel told the officers of the company, the evening after the battle of Bethel, that we alone were responsible for the day's work, and that he had learned from the Rev. Mr. Adams, a Baptist clergyman of Hampton, that he saw two carts and a buggy loaded with killed and wounded, Saturday evening after the skirmish, going into Hampton.

We claim, in accordance with these facts, that the detachment under command of Major Lane, consisting of the whole of Company E, First Regiment North Carolina Volunteers, and a howitzer under Lieutenant John M. West (by-the-way, as clever a fellow as [240] ever fired a gun), by their dash almost into the enemy's stronghold, provoked the battle at Bethel Church, and that the first prisoner captured by the regiment was the one taken by their advance squad.

Company E.

Army correspondence. [the North Carolina Presbyterian, Fayetteville, N. C., Saturday, September 21, 1861.]

We give the following extracts from a letter received by a friend in this place, giving interesting and reliable information from the First Regiment of North Carolina Volunteers, in Virginia:

Ship Point, Va., September 3, 1861.

I am glad to say I am in excellent health, and have been, except for a few days, ever since I have been in the service, and the sick of our company and regiment are improving.

Last evening was a joyful one to the First North Carolina Regiment. Near night I heard loud shouting throughout the entire camp, and on inquiring the cause, found it was because of the arrival of our much-loved General Hill, who has been absent from us some five or six weeks, trying to regain his health, which had been much impaired by his constant and arduous duties at Yorktown. He looks quite feeble, but I find him early this morning on his horse, and I venture to say that horse will not be unsaddled until his rider has carefully examined every nook and corner in and around Ship Point. Last night about 8 o'clock the General found his tent literally surrounded by over eight hundred men, who gave three loud, long and lasting cheers for General Hill, and then called him out. He said he had been outflanked and surrounded, and must surrender. He was glad to be with us once more. In his late sickness he had probably suffered more than he had in all his life before; but nothing troubled him more than his being compelled to be away from his regiment. He wanted to be with them in their sickness and camp trials, and if they got into an engagement, he wanted to be there to show them how to dodge. We had whipped the Yankees once, and could do it again, if we put our trust in God and keep our powder dry. He was afraid there was too much disposition to place our trust in man. Too many said I will do this; we can do that. [241] This was all wrong, for if we did not trust in Him who does all things well, bravery and daring would avail but little. It was true we had bad news from North Carolina; but this must not discourage us, for we must learn to expect and endure reverses. We had been too prone to underrate the courage of our enemies. Their cause was bad; that alone made them cowards, and in such a cause we, too, would be cowards. He knew the commander at Newport News, and a braver man he never knew. After a few other well-timed remarks, he closed by thanking us for the honor we had done him. Three cheers for Lieutenant-Colonel Lee were then given, and he, too, favored us with a few remarks, saying that he had been with us every day, and that we had done our duty while under his command. He was glad to be an officer of the North Carolina First; and if in the future we did as well as we had done in the past, he would always be proud of us. Had Major Lane been here, he, too, would have been called out, for everybody likes Lane. Like General Marion, he is a little man, but he has a big soul.

We are much tickled to see how certain newspapers in North Carolina represent us as in a destitute and starving condition. You ought to be here to see how fast we are starving, with plenty of flour, meal, rice and bacon, to say nothing of potatoes and fish of all kinds, both plenty and cheap. The truth is, I have just eaten so heartily of fine large sheep-head (equal to our finest shad) that I am almost too lazy to finish this letter.

The sick of our regiment are surprised to find the papers place them in such a destitute condition; neglected by their officers and uncared for by the physicians. This is news to them, for no man who has ever seen service can say that the sick of this regiment have not fared as well and better than is usual in the army. Since we have been here, every two companies have a physician specially detailed for service in those companies alone, and this, too, in addition to the regular physicians of the regiment. They have all done their duty nobly, and deserve and will receive the lasting thanks of the men. Another item of news is, we have been over-worked and compelled to endure long marches. Like the rest, I have only to say our friends in North Carolina found this out before we did. Since the battle of Bethel we don't mind a little dirt digging. It is a good sauce for our rations, and besides, too, these embankments are sometimes very convenient, and we dig at them with a hearty good will, for we did not come to Virginia to keep our hands in our pockets. [242]

We have another item of late and reliable news from these same papers. Some scribbler from Raleigh tells us that we have never received our pay because of the ignorance or neglect of the officers of the regiment. Now, the truth is, the officers are the only men in the regiment who draw no rations, and have been compelled to pay their way ever since they left home, to say nothing of a hundred other petty expenses to which they have been subjected. The author of such a contemptible charge has either told a wilful falsehood, or is guilty of pitiable ignorance. Our regiment has fared as well as any in the field, for we have in North Carolina friends who have been liberal and kind, and if the Yankees give us a chance, we will try to exhibit our gratitude in a striking manner.

I am glad to have to add that Dr. D. McL. Graham, private in Company H, has been appointed second assistant surgeon of our Regiment, a position he justly merited and will fill satisfactorily, for his constant attention to the sick has endeared him to every man in his company. I like to see privates elevated, who started from home on $11 per month, and did not wait, like some, to get offices before they started.


H. Mc. K.

[for the (Fayetteville) Observer.]

Camp Fayetteville, York county, Va., September 9, 1861.
Messrs. Editors:
The First Regiment of North Carolina Volunteers being formed for dress parade this afternoon, Mr. John W. Baker, Jr., in the name and on behalf of the ladies of Fayetteville, presented to them a very handsome Confederate flag, and accompanied the presentation with the following remarks:

Officers and Ladies of the First Regiment North Carolina Volunteers:

It is with mingled feelings of pride and pleasure that I find myself addressing a North Carolina regiment upon the soil of Virginia—the home of Washington—and that, too, near the battle-field of Yorktown, where in the days of the Revolution the clarion voice of the Father of his Country was heard, leading our noble sires to glory, to [243] victory and renown. Aye, it was on this spot, in the days that tried men's souls, that the smoke of battle might have been seen ascending from the valley and the hill top; it was here that Cornwallis, the pet of the lion King of Great Britain, surrendered his sword to the leader of that little Spartan band who were then in mortal strife for their homes, their firesides and for liberty, that inestimable boon which they have given us as an inheritance, and which we so highly prize, that anathema would be pronounced upon any degenerate son who would essay to name its equivalent.

Is it not, my friends, a remarkable coincidence that you are here to-day, in this boasted age of progress in civil and religious liberty, near the same spot, prompted by the same motives and actuated by the same feelings that animated the breasts of your noble ancestors, in making red with blood the field of Yorktown and consecrating it to liberty, and as it was their mission then so it is yours to-day to lay bleaching upon the plains of Virginia the bones of the invader who is seeking to rob you of your birthright, to subjugate, devastate, lay waste and utterly destroy, aye, everything that is near and dear to the heart of an American freeman. Continue, my friends, to meet them as you have begun upon the threshold; meet them, as I know you will do, like men; let their blood be upon their own hands; let their graves be in Virginia.

As to how you have acquitted yourselves as soldiers thus far, I must be permitted to say that you have discharged your every duty with a conscientious regard for the welfare of your country, which will ever endear you to every true Southron. With characteristic patience and cheerfulness you have submitted to the many hardships and inconveniences which must ever be attendant upon the tented field; and you have yielded implicit confidence and obedience to the orders of your superior officers, which is the first duty of soldiers, and by so doing you have gained the applause of our entire army as being one of the best disciplined, best officered regiments now in the tented field; and your many friends at home feel that while you have a Magruder, a Hill, a Lee, a Lane, et als of the same stamp to lead you, that they have nothing to fear. The results of the battle of Bethel have spoken, and do speak for themselves; it was then that all the resources of your minds were called into requisition, and there was naught that you would not have cheerfully sacrificed to attain the ends of your superior officers, and give success and eclat to the Confederate arms. And I trust I may be pardoned for mentioning [244] the fact that I but echo the public sentiment when I say, that nobler men, more accomplished gentlemen, and purer patriots, were never known to draw a sword or shoulder a musket in defence of any country. And permit me in behalf of the ladies of the town of Fayetteville, whom I have the honor to represent on this occasion, to offer you their profoundest gratitude for the protection that you have thus far given to our homes and our liberties; they thank you for your patriotic courage, your heroic gallantry and your noble daring, exhibited upon the battle field of Bethel; they congratulate you, whose glorious privilege it was to participate in that ever to be remembered struggle; and they desire to assure you that Bethel Church will ever stand as a monument to the unflinching courage and bravery of the twin sister States of Virginia and North Carolina; and that it will be the pride and boast of your children in all time to come to say that on the memorable 10th of June, 1861, my father was at Bethel. Need I tell you that the struggle in which you are engaged is one of gigantic importance, and that the single issue presented to you is literally ‘liberty or death;’ need I remind you that in this contest the God of battles has already given you unmistakable evidence that He is with you—‘and if He be for you who can be against you.’ Need I say to you that at dewy morn and sultry eve the prayers of loved ones at home are offered up to the throne on high to guide, protect and defend each and every one of you, and if it be His will, when you have accomplished your mission here, that you may return in safety to the bosoms of your families and friends, whose hearthstones have been made desolate by the footfall of the invader—homes in the sunny South, where the best feelings of our nature have been wont to cluster. And as an earnest that you have the approving smiles, tender sympathies and undying confidence of those noble Spartan women that you have left behind, they present to you this beautiful regimental flag, upon which you will find inscribed (by authority of the Old North State) the word ‘Bethel,’ the talismanic influence of which simple word must ever inspire you with renewed vigor and courage; and they desire that you never cease to strike while Southern soil is polluted by the footprints of the invader; and, if needs be, that the ample folds of this flag may float gaily o'er the dome of the Federal Capitol.

The standard-bearer was then ordered to advance and receive the flag, the regiment being at a ‘present arms,’ and the Adjutant, on behalf of the officers and soldiers, officially responded as follows: [245]

Camp Fayetteville, September 9, 1861.
The officers and men of the First Regiment, North Carolina Volunteers, gratefully acknowledge the kind remembrance in which the ladies of Fayetteville have held them.

No proof was needed to any Southern soldier that Southern women possess as well the zeal and patriotism which prompted such a gift, as the taste and skill which its workmanship displays.

It is much, however, in alleviation of the necessary hardships of the service, far the greatest of which is the separation from our homes, and the fair spirits which minister there, to know that we are not forgotten, but that the pure and lovely women, whom it is our greatest glory to protect, are mindful of us in our absence.

Something, perhaps, the regiment has done; more, if the opportunity occurs, it will gladly do, to justify, if possible, the estimation which this gift evinces.

The fair donors may rest assured that the regiment will return with the flag to North Carolina, if the regiment itself returns.

Charles C. Lee, Colonel, For the First Regiment.

[from Richmond (Va.) Dispatch, September 14, 1861.]

Camp Fayetteville, below Yorktown, September 11, 1861.
The facility and dispatch with which you get off the latest news makes your paper a very acceptable visitor to our camp, and I therefore presume upon your columns for an item.

General D. H. Hill having taken command of his brigade, an election was held for field-officers of the First North Carolina Regiment Volunteers. Lieutenant-Colonel C. C. Lee was elected colonel; Major James H. Lane, lieutenant-colonel,1 and Lieutenant R. F. Hoke, of Company K, major, with singular unanimity. [246]

Major Lane received a complimentary vote for colonel, and was elected lieutenant-colonel almost unanimously. He is deservedly the most popular man, perhaps, in the regiment, and is every way worthy the honor conferred by his promotion. He possesses the necessary qualifications to make an officer the idol of his men, viz.: theory and practice of military science, firmness in discipline, with the affable manners and sociality of a gentleman. The Peninsula war has developed a great deal of fine talent, and in no man more than in Lieutenant-Colonel James H. Lane.

‘Camp Fayetteville’ is about six miles below Yorktown, named in honor of the ladies of Fayetteville, North Carolina, who presented the First Regiment Volunteers with a handsome flag. The presentation was made by a young gentleman from Fayetteville in a set speech; but, in nearly his own words, ‘Old Virginny tangle-leg’ had so mixed his ideas, that the flag had to speak for itself, which it did most gallantly, by flaunting its beautiful folds against the breeze. All honor to the ladies; bless their souls.

Sickness abating rapidly, and preparations going on to stop the career of the Yankees. Hill and his brigade will make their marks.

The officers of our regiment have made up a purse of $225 for the old lady who brought as valuable information on the morning of the Bethel fight.

X. Y. Z.

1 Lieutenant-Colonel Lane was soon after unanimously and unexpectedly to himself elected colonel of the Twenty-eighth North Carolina Infantry. Upon severing his honored connection with the First Regiment, its officers in testimony of their regard for him socially and officially, presented him <*> saddle and bridle, and two pieces of silver plate.

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