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[324]

Twenty-Eighth North Carolina Infantry. [from the daily Charlotte (N. C.) observer, Feb. 17, 1895.] General J. H. Lane writes its history. Another of the Historical war sketches prepared at the instance of Judge Clark—a record of glory and honor.

At the request of Judge Walter Clark, General James H. Lane, of Auburn, Alabama, has prepared a sketch of his old regiment, the Twenty-eighth North Carolina. A copy of it is sent to the Observer and is herewith published. In a private letter to the editor General Lane says of his work:

‘My old regiment has a splendid record and I do not feel equal to such a theme. I have done my best in the way of a chronological summary of its brilliant achievements. My object in interspersing it freely with unpublished reminiscences—personal incidents of my own knowledge—is to make it more interesting to the general reader. It required both time and labor to get up the sketch, and yet it has been a great pleasure to me to do it.’

The Twenty-eighth North Carolina Regiment had the following field and staff officers during the war:

Colonels: James H. Lane, Samuel D. Lowe.

Lieutenant-Colonels: Thomas L. Lowe, Samuel D. Lowe, William D. Barringer, William H. A. Speer.

Majors: Richard E. Reeves, Samuel D. Lowe, William J. Montgomery, William D. Barringer, William H. A. Speer, Samuel N. Stowe.

Adjutants: Duncan A. McRae, Romulus S. Folger.

Sergeant-majors: Milton A. Lowe, J. T. Lowe, W. R. Rankin.

Captains, A. Q. M.: George S. Thompson, Durant A. Parker.

Q. M. Sergeants: Edward Moore, J. C. Kelly, T. C. Lowe.

Captain, A. C. S.: Nicholas Gibbon.

Commissary sergeant: W. A. Mauney.

Surgeons: Robert Gibbon, W. W. Gaither.

Assistant surgeons: F. N. Luckey, R. G. Barham, Thomas B. Lane, M. L. Mayo.

Hospital stewards: John Abernathy, L. J. Barker.

Ordnance sergeant: Gabriel Johnston. [325] Chaplains: Oscar J. Brent, F. Milton Kennedy, D. S. Henkel.

This regiment, numbering about 900, was organized at High Point, North Carolina, September 21, 1861, as appears from the following communication:

camp Fisher, high Point, September 21, 1861.
Lieutenant-Colonel James H. Lane:
Dear Sir—You were unanimously elected colonel of the 28th North Carolina Volunteers this evening. This regiment is composed of the following companies, enlisted for twelve months:

Company A, Surry county, Captain Reeves (major-elect).

Company B, Gaston county, Captain Edwards.

Company C, Catawba county, Captain Lowe (lieutenantcolonel-elect).

Company D, Stanly county, Captain Montgomery.

Company E, Montgomery county, Captain Barringer.

Company F, Yadkin county, Captain Kinyoun.

Company G, Orange county, Captain Martin.

Company H, Cleveland county, Captain Wright.

Company I, Yadkin county, Captain Speer.

Company K, Stanly county, Captain Moody.

You will see that most of us are ‘mountain boys,’ and we trust that we do not disgrace the home from which we come. It would afford us great pleasure and satisfaction to have for our leader an officer so well and so favorably known for bravery, courtesy, and professional attainments as Lieutenant-Colonel Lane, of the gallant ‘Bethel’ Regiment. Permit us to express our personal hope that we may receive a favorable reply as soon as possible, and to subscribe ourselves,

Your obedient servants,

S. N. Stowe, Major Commanding Post, William J. Montgomery, Captain Company D, G. B. Johnson, First Lieutenant Company G, Committee in behalf of the 28th Regiment.

Immediately after organizing, the regiment was ordered to Wilmington, N. C., where it remained under General Joseph R. Anderson, commanding the ‘Cape Fear District,’ until the fall of Newbern. During its stay in that kind and hospitable town it performed post duty and guarded various bridges on the Wilmington [326] & Weldon Railroad. It was kept under rigid discipline; and that it was well drilled and properly cared for will appear from the following extracts from the Wilmington Journal.

On a recent visit to the camp of the 28th Regiment we were pleased to see that a complete town of neat wooden tenements has taken the place of the canvass village of the latter part of the summer and fall, affording convenient and comfortable quarters with chimneys for the men, houses for the stores and other purposes. We found nearly all finished, with the exception of some of the officers' quarters, Colonel Lane's among the number, these being left to the last, as, being less crowded, the necessity was not so pressing. * * *

‘Almost as we go to press the 28th moves down Second street, with steady tramp, the long line of their bayonets gleaming in the sun, and the firm bearing of the men indicative of determination and giving promise of gallant service when called upon. The drill and marching of the regiments are, to our feeble notions, as good as could be desired by regulars. If there is less of the pomp and circumstance of war with our plainly arrayed troops than with the fancy corps raised in northern cities, experience has shown that there is more of the pride that will stand and will not run unless it be forward. Colonel Lane may well be proud of his regiment.’

On the 28th of October, 1861, the regiment numbered 970 all told.

It reached Newbern the 14th of March, 1862, just as the troops were withdrawing and it helped to cover their retreat. It fell back with them through mud and rain to Kinston, where it remained until it was ordered to Virginia. Soon after reaching Kinston it was assigned to the brigade commanded by General L. O'B. Branch. It at once renewed its work of reorganizing for the war which it had so gloriously begun in Wilmington, and completed the same the 12th of April, 1862. The following from a correspondent was published at the time in the Raleigh Journal:

It is with no ordinary emotions of joy and pride that I inform you, and through your paper the public, that the Twenty-eighth North Carolina Regiment has “reorganized for the war.” Six companies reorganized before we left Wilmington. Last week the four remaining companies reorganized, and on Saturday we had an election for field officers, when Colonel Lane and Lieutenant-Colonel Lowe were elected to their former positions by acclamation. For major we had some warm balloting. Several were nominated. After [327] several ballotings, Captain Samuel D. Lowe was elected. I noticed that the captains were very popular with the first lieutenants. Perhaps the recent laws of succession in office had some influence.

It makes us very proud to know that we are the first North Carolina Regiment to reorganize. The regiment is very large, now numbering 1,250 men.

Considering that our original term of service would not have expired till the 21st of September, and being the first North Carolina Regiment to re-enlist and reorganize, we think very modestly, that we are entitled to some favors. We have no rifle companies. We would be glad to have two, though we are not disposed to grumble, and will cheerfully do the best we can.

We are now realizing the privations and hardships of camp life. We often think of our comfortable quarters and the kind-hearted people of Wilmington. Some of the fair ones of Wilmington, I suspect, are remembered with more than ordinary feelings of friendship.

‘We see nothing, hear nothing and know nothing here but to obey orders. A man has to be very patriotic, on good terms with his fellow soldiers, and on prodigiously good terms with himself, to see much enjoyment here; but so long as our country needs our services, we will be contented in her service wherever it may be.’

This regiment, numbering 1,199 for duty, was ordered to Virginia May 2, 1862. It was armed with old smooth-bore muskets from the Fayetteville arsenal, badly altered from flint to percussion. It soon threw them away and supplied itself with more serviceable and more modern weapons gathered on the bloody battlefield in that grand old State.

On reaching Virginia it was ordered at once to Gordonsville. It remained there at Rapidan Station doing picket duty only for a short time. With the rest of the brigade it was next ordered to join Jackson in the Valley; but on reaching the foot of the Blue Ridge, it was ordered back to Hanover Courthouse. On the 26th of May it was marched through mud and rain to ‘Slash Church.’ At that time the regiment had in it ‘many recruits just recovering from the diseases incident to the commencement of camp life.’ Latham's Battery reported to General Branch from North Carolina the evening before the brigade left Hanover Courthouse ‘with only half enough men for the efficient service of the guns and with horses entirely untrained.’ [328]

On Tuesday morning, the 27th of May, General Branch ordered the 28th Regiment and a section of Latham's Battery, under Lieutenant J. R. Potts, to Taliaferro's Mill to capture, if possible, a reported marauding party. No one was found at the mill, and as the enemy were reported advancing on the Old Church road, it promptly retraced its steps, marching left in front, with flankers, and an advance guard was thrown out. On reaching the pine thicket in front of Dr. Kinney's, on the direct road to Richmond, a squad of Federals stepped into the Taliaferro Mill road, in front of the command. The colonel suspecting an ambush, halted his regiment, faced it by the rear rank, and wheeled it to the right into the thicket. It handsomely cleaned the thicket of the enemy. On reaching the road in front of Dr. Kinney's it charged with rebel yells the 25th New York Regiment, concealed in Kinney's field of standing wheat, and almost annihilated it in front of Martindale's Brigade, drawn up in line of battle and strongly supported by artillery. It was not known then that the regiment had been cut off by an overwhelming force of infantry, artillery and cavalry, under General Fitz John Porter. It was withdrawn and reformed in the open field on the Hanover Courthouse side of Kinney's dwelling. Potts' artillery was also ordered into position, and never were two guns served more handsomely. The unequal contest was kept up for over four hours, inflicting greater damage than was sustained; and when it was found that the enemy was flanking the regiment in both directions, it was withdrawn in good order to Hanover Courthouse. On reaching St. Paul's Church, beyond the courthouse, where the road forks, and finding the enemy's batteries in position and the road to Ashland in their possession, it was ordered to take the fork to Taylorsville under a shelling. Knowing the cavalry was pursuing in force, it was thrown from the road to the field to take advantage of the crossfences. On reaching a thin strip of woods beyond the railroad, it was ordered back into the road, and directed to move as rapidly as possible to Taylorsville, while Potts unlimbered his Parrott gun in the middle of the road. The other gun had been abandoned at Kinney's, as the horses had been killed or badly wounded. This bold piece of strategy on the part of the colonel and the lieutenant of artillery intimidated the enemy's cavalry, caused them to form line of battle on the other side of the railroad, and enabled the 28th Regiment to make its escape. Already exhausted from exposure to inclement weather, from hunger, from fighting and marching, it was three days before the regiment, by a circuitous route, rejoined the [329] brigade on the right bank of the Chickahominy, where it was wildly and joyfully received. It was highly complimented by Generals Lee and Branch for its splendid behavior in this masterly retreat. The former was heard to remark that it was a wonder to him the whole command had not been killed or captured.

Company G, which was cut off from the regiment at Kinney's, can never forget how their brave, but frail and delicate young captain, George B. Johnston, afterward the accomplished adjutantgen-eral of the brigade, swam the river to escape the enemy, and then swam back rather than appear to have deserted his men; how he marched as a prisoner of war from Kinney's farm to West Point in his wet clothes; how he was confined on Johnson's Island; how he read the Episcopal service regularly to his fellow-prisoners there; how he endeared himself to all in his captivity; how he was joyfully welcomed back to camp; and how, a physical wreck, he was soon forced to return home to die. A nobler, braver, purer Christian hero never lived.

From this battle at Kinney's farm, or Hanover Courthouse, as it is generally called, to the surrender at Appomattox Courthouse, the history of the brigade is the history of the regiment. It bore on its battle-flag the name of every battle in which the brigade participated.

Before the fights around Richmond, Branch's Brigade was assigned to General A. P. Hill, and became a part of the famous ‘Light Division.’ The 28th Regiment was with its brigade when it was the first, in those seven days fights, to cross the Chicahominy at ‘Half Link,’ and clear the way for the crossing of the rest of the ‘Light Division’ at ‘Meadow Bridge.’ When it reached Mechanicsville, on the 26th of June, it was ordered to support a battery on the left of the road. Next morning it was subjected to a short but severe artillery fire. On reaching Cold Harbor, on the 27th, it and the 7th North Carolina were ordered to the left of the road, where it behaved very handsomely, its own colonel being wounded on the head, and Colonel Campbell, of the 7th, killed with the colors of his regiment in his hands. At Frazier's Farm, on the 30th, it was on the right of the 37th North Carolina Regiment. After driving the enemy's infantry, it and the 37th gallantly charged the artillery in their front, when its colonel was shot in the face, and Colonel Lee, of the 37th, was killed. It was not actively engaged at Malvern Hill on the 1st of July. It was, however, ordered forward in the afternoon to support the forces engaged, and was under a very heavy artillery fire until some time after dark. It carried 480 into [330] those bloody fights and sustained a loss of twelve killed and 146 wounded.

It encamped below the city of Richmond for a short time and was then ordered, July 29th, to Gordonsville, near which place it remained until just before the battle of Cedar Run, August 9th, in which it bore a very conspicuous part. Many of the men wiped their guns out as they advanced under the hottest fire; and when infantry and cavalry had been repulsed, and General Jackson appeared on the field in its front, the men wildly cheered him and called to him to let them know what he wished done and they would do it. The loss in this fight was three killed and twenty-six wounded.

In this battle, after the enemy had been repulsed and the regiment had crossed the road to connect with General Taliaferro's command, the colonel chided a member of Company F for falling out of ranks. When the soldier replied that he was no coward but was exhausted and could go no further, the colonel took off his canteen, handed it to him, and told him to take a ‘stiff drink’ and rejoin his company. Not long after, as the colonel was passing down the line, complimenting his men for their gallantry, that brave fellow stepped out of ranks, saluted and said: ‘Colonel, here I am. I tell you what, that drink you gave me just now has set me up again, and I feel as though I could whip a whole regiment of Yankees.’ Everybody was in a good humor, and of course everybody laughed.

At the shelling across the Rappahannock on the 24th of August, the 28th was sent to the support of Braxton's and Davidson's Batteries, and a part of the regiment was thrown forward with instructions to prevent, if possible, the destruction of the bridge across the river near Warrenton White Sulphur Springs.

The most laughable fight was at Manassas Junction, August 27th, when Jackson got in Pope's rear, and the brigade chased Taylor's New Jersey command into the swamps of Bull Run. One of the 28th was very much astonished, after jumping over a bush from the railroad embankment, to find that he had also jumped over a Yankee crouched beneath. Another was still more astonished when he got on all-fours to take a drink of water, to find that a fellow had sought safety in the culvert. He was an Irishman, and after he had crawled from his hiding-place, he created an uproar by slapping the Tar Heel on the shoulder and remarking: ‘You got us badly this time. Come, let's take a drink.’ Both of them ‘smiled’ out of the same canteen.

At Manassas Plains, on the 28th of August, this regiment was [331] under a heavy artillery fire while supporting a battery. On the 29th it fought with great coolness, steadiness and desperation on the extreme left of Jackson's line. It was subjected to a heavy artillery fire the next day, the 30th, and there was heavy skirmishing in its front until late in the afternoon. Its loss was five killed and forty-five wounded.

The battle of Ox Hill, near Fairfax Courthouse, was fought September 1, 1862, in a pouring rain. The Twenty-eighth was on the left of the brigade and fought splendidly, though many of its guns fired badly on account of the moisture. It was here that General Branch, when he made known the fact that he was nearly out of ammunition, was ordered ‘to hold his position at the point of the bayonet.’ The Twenty-eighth, cold, wet and hungry, was ordered to do picket duty on the battlefield that night without fires.

This regiment was with the Army of Northern Virginia in its march into Maryland; and the first day after crossing the Potomac, September 5th, it feasted on nothing but green corn, browned on the ear before the fires made of the fences in the neighborhood. This was not the first time the regiment had indulged in such a repast.

On the 14th of September it was with the brigade when it climbed the cliffs of the Shenadoah at midnight, and lay concealed next morning on the left and rear of the enemy in their works on ‘Bolivar Heights,’ in front of Harper's Ferry, ready and eager for the order to assault, which order was never given as the enemy surrendered under the concentrated fire of the Confederate batteries.

It was in that memorable rapid march from Harper's Ferry to Sharpsburg. On reaching the right of the battlfield, the afternoon of the 17th of September, General A. P. Hill dashed up, and in person ordered it at a double-quick up the road to the left, leading to the town, to defend an unsupported battery, and drive back the enemy's skirmishers who were advancing through a field of corn.

Two days afterward, September 19th, it constituted a part of the rear guard of General Lee's army when he re-crossed the Potomac.

At Sheperdstown, on the 20th of September, when the Confederates could not use their artillery, it gallantly advanced ‘in the face of a storm of round shot, shell and grape,’ and gloriously helped to drive the enemy precipitately over the bank of the Potomac, where so many were killed attempting to cross the river at the dam above the ford.

Here the regiment was compelled to lay all day on the Virginia shore, and the enemy, from the opposite side of the river, fired [332] artillery at every individual soldier who dared expose himself. When Colonel Lane, then in command of the brigade, General Branch having been killed at Sharpsburg, called to a litter to know who had been wounded and received the reply: ‘Lieutenant Long, of your regiment,’ he approached and expressed the hope that the lieutenant was not seriously hurt. The latter replied: ‘I have been shot in the back; the ball has gone through me and I am mortally wounded.’ Taking his colonel's hand, he put it inside of his shirt on the slug which was under the skin of his breast, and added: ‘I am a young man. I entered the army because I thought it right, and I have tried to discharge all my duties.’ Then that young hero, with his colonel's hand still on that fatal slug, asked in a most touching tone: ‘Though I have been shot in the back, will you not bear record, when I am dead, that I was always a brave soldier under you?’

After this fight the regiment went into camp near Castleman's Ferry, or Snicker's Gap, in Clarke county, Va., where it remained for some time, doing picket duty in snow-storms and freezing weather. It subsequently camped near Winchester, where it remained until Jackson's Corps moved to Fredericksburg, November 22d. There it remained but a short time, and then took part in the great battle near that town, December 13, 1862. It held an advanced, open, unfortified position on the railroad, and fought with great coolness and gallantry, using all of its ammunition, including that from the boxes of its dead and badly wounded. All this, when the right flank of the brigade had been turned by a large force of the enemy going through that unfortunate opening and catching the intended support for the brigade with its arms stacked. After handsomely repulsing two lines of battle in its front, it was forced to retire before the third. Its loss was sixteen killed and forty-nine wounded.

In this fight, Private Martin, of Company C, coolly sat on the track and called to his comrades to watch the Yankee colors, then fired and down they went. This was done repeatedly. Captain Lovell, of Company A, the right company of the regiment, stood on the track all the time, waving his hat and cheering his men, and strange to say, neither he nor Martin was struck.

After the battle, when Captain Holland, of Company H, congratulated General Lane on his escape, he added: ‘And I am indebted to a biscuit for my own life.’ Running his hand into his haversack, he drew forth a camp buscuit about the size of a saucer, cooked without salt or ‘shortening’ of any kind, and looking like horn [333] when sliced—something that an ostritch could not digest-and there was a Yankee bullet only half imbedded in that wonderful biscuit.

It was here that First Lieutenant W. W. Cloninger, of Company B, as he lay at the field hopital, called Abernathy to him and asked why he had been neglected so long. When told that he was mortally wounded, and the surgeons considered it their first duty to attend to those whose lives might be saved, he replied: ‘If I must die, I will let you all see that I can die like a man.’ Folding his arms across his breast, that hero, far away from his loved ones, lay under that tree in Yerby's yard, and without a murmur quietly awaited death.

At 6:30 o'clock on the morning of the 12th, when the brigade was ordered to its position on the railroad, it passed the refugees streaming to its rear from that old historic town. As delicate women with infants in their arms and helpless little children clinging to their mother's dresses, all thinly clad, went by, some of those brave and chivalrous North Carolinians called out: ‘Look at that, fellows. If that will not make a Southern man fight, what will?’

The regiment spent that winter at ‘Moss Neck,’ below Fredericksburg. There it did picket duty on the Rappahannock, and helped to corduroy the roads when they became impassable, sometimes having to clear away the snow to lay the logs.

In the spring of 1863, when the enemy renewed his demonstrations at Fredericksburg, it occupied the second line of works near Hamilton's Crossing.

In the battle of Chancellorsville it accompanied Jackson in his flank movement, and on the night of the 2d of May it was on the left of Lane's brigade when formed for the night attack. After Jackson was wounded and the night attack abandoned, it was withdrawn from the left of the plank road, and placed on the extreme right of the brigade, with its own right resting on a country road leading from the plank road to a place called ‘Hazel Grove.’ About midnight, General Sickles, with two strong lines of battle, made his much lauded attack, and was repulsed by the Twenty-eighth and Eighteenth, and a part of the Thirty-third North Carolina regiments, chiefly by the Twenty-eighth. A number of prisoners, including field and company officers, were captured. Company E, of the Twenty-eighth, also captured the colors of the Third Maine Regiment.

Early next morning the Twenty-eighth, with the rest of the brigade, made a direct assault on the enemy's works and carried them, but could not hold them, as the brigade's support had broken in its [334] rear, and it was attacked by fresh troops before General Ramseur could come to its assistance. It subsequently joined in the charge which drove the enemy from ‘Fairview’ and the ‘Chancellorsville House,’ where it was much amused at that great cavalier, General Stuart, singing, ‘Old Joe Hooker, Get Out the Wilderness,’ while the battle was raging. Its loss was twelve officers, and seventy-seven men.

Later, having replenished itself with ammunition, it went to the support of General Colquitt, on the extreme left. There it witnessed the most harrowing scene of the war. The woods, already filled with sulphurous smoke, had been set on fire by the enemy's shells. The dropped rifles of the dead and wounded and the enemy's shells with imperfect fuses exploded in every direction as the flames swept over them; the dead of both armies were being burnt to a crisp, and the helpless Federal wounded begged to be taken out of the line of the rapidly approaching and devouring fire. The brigade itself was forced to halt to let the flames sweep over the ground where it was ordered to form, and when it did form the ground was uncomfortably hot. That night it literally slept in ashes under those charred scrub oaks, and when it was ordered back next day, it afforded great amusement to its more fortunate comrades, for never was there seen in any army a dirtier and blacker set of brave men from the general down. As General Lane lay in the ashes that night a pretty little Yankee dog, branded ‘Co. K,’ persisted in making friends with him. In all the subsequent movements of the troops in Jackson's Corps that little dog kept his eye on the ‘Little General’ and followed him back to camp where he became a great pet at brigade headquarters. He proved to be a splendid little fighter.

After this battle the regiment returned to ‘Camp Gregg’ at ‘Moss Neck’ below Fredericksburg, where it remained until the 5th of June, 1863.

Crossing the Potomac at Shepherdstown on the 25th of June, it reached Gettysburg the 1st of July. It behaved as it had always done in the first day's fight at that place, when Lane's Brigade was ordered from the centre of A. P. Hill's line to ‘the post of honor’ on the right to protect that flank of the army from the enemy's cavalry while it fought his infantry in front.

On the 2d day of July it was under a heavy artillery fire several times during the day, and its skirmishers displayed great gallantry.

It took a very conspicuous part in the so-called Pickett's charge of the 3d of July. The brigade occupied the left of the imperfect [335] second line, and when Davis' Brigade was repulsed at Brockenbrough's, did not get beyond the position occupied by General Thomas, it moved handsomely forward with the rest of ‘Lane's brave fellows’ who took the position of those two brigades on the extreme left of the first line. Though a column of infantry was thrown against its left flank and the whole line was exposed to a raking artillery fire from the right, it advanced in magnificent order, reserving its fire in obedience to orders, was the last command to leave the field, and it did so under orders. Its loss was twelve killed and ninety-two wounded.

On the 12th it formed line of battle near Hagerstown, Maryland, threw up breast-works and skirmished with the enemy until the night of the 13th. The retreat from Hagerstown through mud and rain was worse than that from Gettysburg, which was ‘awful.’ Some fell by the wayside from exhaustion, and the whole command was fast asleep as soon as halted for a rest about a mile from the pontoon bridge at ‘Falling Waters.’ On the morning of the 14th, Lane's brigade alone covered the crossing at ‘Falling Waters,’ and Captain Crowell, of the Twenty-eighth, commanded its skirmishers. After all the other troops were safely over the Potomac, the whole brigade retired in splendid order and the enemy opened with its artillery just as the bridge swung loose from the Virginia shore.

On returning from Pennsylvania the regiment camped for a short time at Culpeper Courthouse, and was then ordered to Orange Courthouse, where it did picket duty on the Rapidan at Morton's ford. It was next ordered to Liberty Mills as a support to the cavalry which was engaged at Jack's Shops. There it spent most of the winter doing picket duty on the Rapidan river and the Stanardsville road. Once during that winter it had a terrible march through sleet and snow to Madison Courthouse, trying to intercept some of the Federal cavalry raiders.

At Bristow Station, October 14th, this regiment was under fire but not actively engaged. There it helped to tear up the railroad, something at which it had become expert. As early as the middle of October, 1862, General Jackson complimented the brigade for the thorough manner in which it destroyed the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad at North Mountain Depot, where, beyond the cavalry pickets, it tore up about ten miles of the track; and the men amused themselves when the rails on the burning ties were red-hot by tieing ‘iron cravats’ around the adjacent trees. The depot was not burned at that time because the wind would have endangered private property. [336]

It remained in camp at Brandy Station until the enemy captured a large portion of the two brigades under General Early beyond the Rappahannock, on the 7th of November. When the corps formed line of battle near Culpeper Courthouse on the 8th of November, the regiment was with the brigade when it was ordered back on the Warrenton road, where it repulsed a cavalry charge with slight loss. After that it returned to its old and comfortable quarters at Liberty Mills.

When General Lee confronted Meade at Mine Run, November 27, 1863, the weather was intensely cold and the sufferings of the men were great. Not being allowed to have fires on the skirmish line, the men were relieved every half hour. The 28th was a part of the troops withdrawn from the trenches at 3 A. M. on the 2d of December and moved to the right to make an attack, but at daylight it was found that Meade had withdrawn.

Late in the afternoon of the 5th of May, 1864, the 28th went gallantly to the support of the hard-pressed troops in the Wilderness when Colonel Venable, of General Lee's staff, said to Colonel Palmer, of General A. P. Hill's: ‘Thank God! I will go back and tell General Lee that Lane has just gone in and will hold his ground until other troops arrive to-night.’ The brigade did more than hold its own; it drove the enemy some distance. The troops did not arrive that night as was expected, and next morning those brave men were compelled to retire before the overwhelming force of the enemy. The regiment lost four officers and eighty-four men.

The 28th also did its part nobly on the morning of the 12th of May, at Spotsylvania Courthouse, when Johnson's front was broken, and ‘Lane's North Carolina veterans turned the tide of Federal victory as it came surging to the right.’ It was also with the brigade the afternoon of the same day, when, under General Lee's orders and in his presence, it crossed the works in front of Spotsylvania Courthouse, and in that brilliant flank movement handled Burnside's Corps so roughly and relieved Johnson's front. Its loss in these two engagements was five officers and 121 men.

On the afternoon of the 21st it moved to the right of the Courthouse, and made a reconnoissance, in which Lieutenant E. S. Edwards was killed and two men wounded.

At Jericho Ford, on the 23d of May, the 28th advanced as far as any of the troops engaged, held its ground until relieved that night, and removed all its dead and wounded. Its loss was two officers and twenty-eight men. [337]

On the 31st of May, at Storr's farm, on Tottapottamoi creek, near Pole Green Church, it was engaged all day in heavy skirmishing and was under a terrible artillery fire.

At the Second Cold Harbor it behaved as gallantly as it did at the first. It also behaved with its accustomed bravery at Riddle's Shop, June 13th; action three miles southeast of Petersburg, June 22d; action in front of Petersburg, June 23d; Gravel Hill, July 28th; Fussell's Mills, August 16th and 18th; and Ream's Station, August 25th. In the last-named battle it had to crawl through an almost impenetrable abattis, under a heavy fire of musketry and artillery. Captain Holland, of Company H, was among the first to mount the works, and seeing that they were still manned and but few of his own men were up, he yelled out: ‘Yanks, if you know what is best for you, you had better make a blue streak toward sunset.’ They made the streak, and the men often laughed and said Grant would have to send Hancock back North to recruit his command. General Lee, in speaking of this fight to General Lane, said that the three North Carolina brigades, Cook's, McRea's and Lane's, which made the second assault, after the failure of the first by other troops, had, by their gallantry, not only placed North Carolina but the whole Confederacy under a debt of gratitude which could never be repaid. In writing to Governor Vance about the same battle, he said: ‘They advanced through a thick abattis of felled trees, under a heavy fire of musketry and artillery, and carried the enemy's works with a steady courage that elicited the warm commendation of the corps and division commanders and the admiration of the army.’

At Jones' farm, on the right of Petersburg, on the 30th of September, this regiment was second to none in bravery. In this fight both lines were advancing when they met. To the delight of all, this battlefield was rich in oil cloths, blankets, knapsacks and the like. Some of the knapsacks, judging from the appearance of the straps, were cut from the shoulders of their owners in their hasty retreat under a murderous fire accompanied with that well known rebel yell.

Next morning the regiment advanced with the other troops and helped to drive the enemy from the works at the Pegram House. which were held in the rain until dark, when it returned to the works near the Jones House. It soon after went into winter quarters in rear of these works.

During that winter, the Twenty-eighth constituted a part of the force sent against the Federal cavalry raiding on the Petersburg & [338] Weldon Railroad. On that march it not only rained, but it snowed, and there was a high, bitter cold wind, and the men suffered intensely. The troops reached Jarratt's Station to find that the enemy had retired.

This regiment lay all night in the streets of Petersburg, as a part of the intended support for General Gordon, in his attack on Fort Stedman. After Gordon had retired, the enemy swept the whole Confederate picket line from Hatcher's Run, to Lieutenant Run, and it performed its part in helping to keep him out of the main line of works in front of its winter quarters. He got possession, however, of a commanding hill to the left of the Jones House from which he could fire into the huts. Next day, General Lee ordered General Lane to dislodge him. General Lane, who was in command of the division at the time, did so at daylight the following morning, with all of the sharpshooters of the division under Major Wooten, of the Eighteenth North Carolina Regiment, supported by his own brigade, and the Twenty-eighth again had its part to perform.

On the night of the 1st of April, when Grant made his final attack at Petersburg, Lane's Brigade was cut in two by an overwhelming force. The 28th was forced to fall back fighting to the plank road and then to the Cox road; and it finally succeeded in rejoining the rest of the brigade in the inner line of works, where it fought until night, when Petersburg was evacuated. On the afternoon of the 3d it crossed the Appomattox at Goode's Bridge, bivouacked at Amelia Courthouse on the 4th, and formed line of battle between the Courthouse and Jetersville on the 5th, and skirmished with the enemy. Next day while resting in Farmville, it, with the rest of the brigade, was ordered back to a hill to support the hard-pressed cavalry; but before reaching the hill the order was countermanded. It moved back through Farmville and sustained some loss from the enemy's artillery while crossing the river near that place. That afternoon it formed line of battle, faced to the rear, between one and two miles from Farmville, where there was more fighting, and the remnant of General Lee's army seemed to be surrounded. During the night it resumed its march, and on the morning of the 9th of April, while moving to its position on the left of the road near Appomattox Courthouse, it was ordered back into a woods and directed to stack arms, as the army of Northern Virginia had surrendered.

The tattered and starving remnants of this glorious North Carolina Regiment surrendered at Appomattox, consisted of seventeen [339] officers and 213 men, some of the latter being detailed, nonarms-bearing, sent back to be surrendered with their command.

The aggregate in this regiment during the entire war was 1,826. After Colonel Lowe resigned and Lieutenant-Colonel Speer was killed at Reames' Station, the regiment was frequently commanded by Captains E. F. Lovell and T. J. Linebarger.

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