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[From the Charlotte, N. C., Observer, October 20, 27, 1895.] THE FORTY-NINTH N. C. INFANTRY, C. S. A.

Its History from its Organization, in March, 1862, until overpowered and made prisoners at Five Forks, Va., April 1, 1865.

By Judge THOMAS R. ROULHAC, late First Lieutenant Company D., Forty-Ninth North Carolina Infantry.

[It should be stated that whilst this graphic article is presented as it was written, that the Southern Historical Society Papers is not committed as to some of the estimates of its writer.-EDITOR.]

The Forty-Ninth Regiment of North Carolina State troops was composed of ten companies of infantry, enlisted from the counties of McDowell, 1; Cleveland, 2; Iredell, 2; Moore, 1; Mecklenburg, 1; Gaston, 1; Catawba, 1; and Lincoln, 1, which assembled at Garysburg, in the month of March, 1862. It was constituted, at its formation, wholly of volunteers, many of whom had sought service in the earlier periods of the war, and all of whom had responded to the call for soldiers as soon as it was practicable to furnish them with arms and equipments. In the latter part of March, or early in April, 1862, organization of the regiment was effected by the election of Stephen D. Ramseur as colonel, William A. Eliason lieutenant colonel, and Lee M. McAfee major. Lieutenant Richmond was the first adjutant, with George L. Phifer as sergeant major; Captain E. P. George, commissary; Captain J. W. Wilson, quarter-master; Dr. John K. Ruffin, surgeon; Reginald H. Goode, assistant surgeon; and Peter Nicholson, chaplain.

The non-commissioned staff was completed with James Holland, quarter-master sergeant; Harrison Hall, hospital steward; and James H. Geiger, ordnance sergeant.

The history of Ramseur is known to all the people of North Carolina. No one of her sons ever contributed, by his devotion to her service, skill and heroic bravery on the field of battle, and fearless exposure and ultimate sacrifice of his life, more to the historic lustre of the name and honor of this, the greatest of the American States. He gave untiring energy and masterly judgment to the rapid organi

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zation, drill, discipline and preparation for active service in the field of his regiment. A graduate of the Military Academy at West Point, and for a few years an officer in the regular army, endowed with a mind of great strength and quickness, constant in purpose, daring and brilliant in execution, prepared for the science of war and revelling in its dangers and fierce encounters, and with a spirit fired with a determination to excel in the profession of arms; it is not to be wondered at, that, under his capable authority and the influence of his stirring example, the regiment, to be ever afterwards known as Ramseur's, should rapidly take form and shape as a strong, disciplined and efficient body of men; nor that the impress of his spirit and the effect of his training should, as its subsequent career demonstrated, be retained, not alone to characterize the natural development of veterans, but, likewise, as a part of its heritage of honor, so long as the flag under which he arrayed them claimed an existence amid the heraldry of nations. Short as was the length of his authority over them, the force of his activity, zeal and fearlessness was felt and recognized by the Forty-Ninth (Ramseur's) Regiment through all its struggles and hardships, in the camp, on the march, in making or meeting assaults, advancing or retreating; in sunshine and storm, through the long and wearing siege of Petersburg, where it rushed alone into the cavalier line after Grant's mine was sprung, and at skirmish distance in the works held two Federal army corps at bay for three hours—the slender link by which the two halves of General Lee's army was united—until reinforcements could be brought seven miles to retake the crater, when disasters fell fast and fierce on the cause for which they fought, as well as when before their steady charge the foe gave way, and victory perched on their well-worn battle flag, when death had thinned its ranks and suffering made gaunt the survivors, until at last its lines were crushed-its shout and shot the last to be heard-on the field of Five Forks, where its life and that of the Confederacy was ended forever. North Carolina, whose soil has been made sacred by the ashes of so many great and strong men, her jurists, her statesmen, her magistrates, her teachers, her ministers and priests, her soldiers and her patriots, holds within her bosom the dust of no nobler or more perfect man than that of Stephen Decatur Ramseur.

The regiment was officered by men of education, and, for the most part, in the full vigor of young manhood.

Its rank and file was taken from the Piedmont region of the State,

which then contained, as extended observation enables the writer to say, a population second to none for self-reliance, integrity, just respect for authority and modest worth and courage. Many of them were descendents of the people who made the Hornet's Nest of North Carolina a fortress of independence and a terror to their country's invaders.

Soon after its organization Lieutenant Colonel Eliason resigned, Major McAfee succeeding him, and Captain John A. Fleming, of Company A, was promoted to major.

When the operations of McClellan's army around Richmond, culminating in the seven days' battles, began, the regiment was assigned to General Robert Ransom's brigade, and participated in several of those engagements. At Malvern Hill it bore a conspicuous part, leaving its dead and wounded on the field next in proximity to the enemy's works to those of the Twenty-Sixth North Carolina Regiment, then commanded by Colonel Zebulon B. Vance.

In this ill-advised assault the command suffered heavily in killed and wounded-Colonel Ramseur among the latter. His handling of the regiment and its conduct during those conflicts led to his prompt promotion to brigadier general, and to his assignment, as soon as he recovered from his wound, to other commands.

On November 1st, 1862, Lieutenant-Colonel McAfee was commissioned colonel, Major Fleming was promoted lieutenant colonel, and Captain Pinckney B. Chambers, of Company C, was made major. During the summer of 1862 Adjutant Richmond fell a victim to typhoid fever, and the life of this brave and capable officer was thus destroyed—no less an offering on the altar of patriotism than if he had laid it down on the battle-field. Cicero A. Durham, of Cleveland county, prior to the war a cadet of the Military Institute of General D. H. Hill, at Charlotte, and who afterwards became so famous throughout the army as the fighting quarter-master, was appointed adjutant. He served in this capacity with great efficiency and distinction until May 2, 1863, when he was promoted assistant quarter-master to succeed Captain George, who was transferred to other duties. William H. Dinkins, who had been sergeant-major, was appointed adjutant, and continued in that position during the remainder of the war, actively on duty until some time in the spring of 1864, when bad health caused his absence to the close of hostilities.

By reason of the losses in front of Richmond in this campaign,

both of officers and men, changes in the roster of officers were


It has been impossible at this late day to procure of the killed, wounded or missing in these battles anything like full or correct reports. The aggregate was considerable, and the casualties told the story of the fierce struggles in which the command was engaged, but access to the reports cannot be had.

George W. Lytle succeeded to the captaincy of Company A; Henry A. Chambers was, on December 10th, 1862, appointed to the command of Company C; Columbus H. Dixon was made captain of Company G on November 17th, 1862, in the place of Captain Rufus Roberts; Charles F. Connor, on February 1st, 1863, succeeded Captain W. W. Chenault, of Company I, and George L. Phifer became captain of Company K, in the place of Peter Z. Baxter, on July 24th, 1863; changes occasioned by the losses of 1862. Corresponding changes ensued in the other grades of company officers. From Richmond the scene of action was speedily transferred by General Lee to the Potomac and beyond; and through the Valley, by Harper's Ferry, to Sharpsburg, or Antietam, the command followed that great figure in our military history. Returning to Virginia, it participated in the battle of Fredericksburg, beginning December 11th, 1862, where it took position on the Plank road, and during the four days that the fighting there continued was subjected to heavy cannonading and some infantry fighting, several officers and men. being killed and wounded; but the heaviest fighting was on the right of our lines and by other commands.

After this battle the Forty-Ninth remained in winter quarters near Fredericksburg until January 3d, 1863, when it was marched, by the Telegraph road, to Hanover Junction, thence to Richmond, and from there to Petersburg, which it reached on the evening of the 7th, and remained until the 17th, when it left for eastern North Carolina.

From this time on until the spring of 1864, the regiment, with the Twenty-fourth, Twenty-fifth, Thirty-fifth and Fifty-sixth regiments, composing General M. W. Ransom's brigade, protected the line of the Wilmington and Weldon railroad from those two terminal points, and that of the road from Goldsboro to below Kinston; being constantly on the move, appearing one day at the other end of the line from that at which they were the day before, and vigilently guarding the territory of eastern North Carolina from which such abundant

supplies were contributed for the support of our armies. Strategically, it was the right wing of the Army of Virginia; and General Scott, whose plan of campaign delineated at the beginning of hostilities, of intersecting the Confederacy, was verified by events, and the consummation of which resulted in our downfall, declared that, after the opening of the Mississippi, a heavy column pushed through the gateway of eastern North Carolina, would cause the abandonment of Virginia, and the dissevering of the most formidable portion of the Confederacy. The closing events of the war demonstrated the accuracy of his judgment and his consumate skill as a strategist. That it was not done sooner must convince the student of history how severely taxed were the powers and resources of the Federal government to meet and hold in check the main armies of the South, and that its dismemberment was deferred so long alone by the magnificent courage and endurance of its soldiery. Ransom's brigade was the only force of importance in the section mentioned for many months; and, occupying in quick succession Weldon, Warsaw, Keenansville, Goldsboro, Kinston, Wilmington and Greenville, it was always on hand to confront any movement of the enemy in that region. Occasionally a sharp brush with the enemy's forces was necessary to warn him of the foe in his path. From Newbern, Plymouth and Washington, in eastern Carolina, and from Norfolk and Suffolk, in Virginia, the Federals would send out expeditions; but, in each instance, no great distance would be traversed before they were confronted by Ransom's brigade. Besides the protection thus afforded to the main army in Virginta, an extensive and fertile section of the country was thus kept open for supplies of corn and meat to the Confederate forces; and it was not rare for other supplies and needed articles to reach our lines through that territory. Meanwhile, the ranks of all the regiments in that brigade were recruited; drill and discipline were advanced; and equipment was perfected; so that, when in 1864, we were made a component part of General Beauregard's command between Richmond and Petersburg, on the south side of the James, it is more than probable that there was not in the Confederate service any brigade containing a greater number of effective, well-trained, veteran soldiers, and which constituted so valuable a force of that grade.

On May 22d, 1863, a sharp affair occurred at Gum Swamp, in Craven or Lenoir county, in which the Fifty-sixth and Twenty-fifth regiments, owing to the negligence of our cavalry, were surrounded

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