Location: North Carolina
Surnames/tags: us_civil_war military_and_war north_carolina
I want to create profiles for every man in this unit, many of whom were related to each other in varying degrees, and many of whom lived along the Catawba River in Lincoln, Gaston, and Mecklenburg Counties, North Carolina. Others were from Rutherford/Cleveland County, North Carolina, with more scattered around. Two of my direct ancestors served in this unit, along with several uncles, uncles by marriage, and cousins.
For this project, I have used only one of the names the unit went by throughout the war.
The Virtual Cemetery created by Timothy Sheppard
A virtual cemetery has been created that includes most of these men. You can find it at The Charlotte Artillery. The work of collecting these men into one virtual cemetery is entirely through the efforts of my brother, Timothy Alan Sheppard. He is to be commended for his efforts to honor these men. An asterisk (*) after a name indicates that soldier's inclusion (with photo) in the virtual cemetery. A caret (^) after a name indicates that soldier's inclusion (without photo) in the virtual cemetery.
- Battery C
- (Charlotte Artillery or Ramsey’s Battery)
- 10th North Carolina State Troops
- (1st Regiment North Carolina Artillery)
This battery was organized at Charlotte on May 16, 1861, and was called the "Charlotte Artillery." In July 1861, the unit was ordered to Raleigh where it was mustered into State service for the war on August 15, 1861 and designated Company C, 10th Regiment N. C. State Troops (1st Regiment N. C. Artillery). On August 30, 1861, it was mustered into Confederate States service. The six gun battery was sent to New Bern, NC, and stationed at Croatan Station on the Atlantic & North Carolina RR. It remained there until March 12, 1862 when forced to retire to New Bern. At the battle of New Bern, March 14, 1862, the unit lost four guns. On hearing of the loss, the people of Charlotte gave their church bells, and new guns were cast at Richmond, Virginia. At. Petersburg, Virginia, the battery was re-organized and attached to General Lawrence Branch’s Brigade, in the command of General Theophilus Holmes. With Branch’s Brigade it was engaged at Hanover Court House, Virginia, May 27, 1862. During the Seven Days’ Battles (June 26 – July 1, 1862) the battery was not engaged at until July 1 at Malvern Hill.
After these engagements, when Lee divided his army into two wings, the battery was attached to Brigadier General Robert Ransom’s Brigade, Major General Daniel H. Hill’s command. Prior to this time the battery had been called "Brem’s Battery" after its first Captain, Thomas H. Brem. When Joseph Graham assumed command, after Brem’s resignation in June 1862, the battery became known as "Graham’s Battery." The battery was then returned to Petersburg until the fall of 1862 when it went into winter quarters at Drewry’s Bluff, James River, Virginia, where it was assigned to Brigadier General Junius Daniel’s Brigade of General D. H. Hill’s campaign against Washington and New Bern. At this time its equipment consisted of three 3-inch rifle guns, one 12-pounder howitzer and two 6-pounder bronze smooth bore guns. In May 1863 it returned to Drewry’s Bluff and was ordered to join the Army of Northern Virginia, which it did at Berryville, Virginia, June 21, 1863. The army was on its way north, and the battery was assigned to Major William T. Poague’s Artillery Battalion, General William Dorsey Pender’s Division, General A. P Hill’s Corps. It was to remain in Major Poague’s Battalion for the rest of the war. At Gettysburg the battery was actively engaged on July 2 and 3. During the battle the men abandoned one of their own 6-pounders for a captured Federal 3-inch rifle
As a member of the Army of Northern Virginia the battery took part in all its engagements. It was heavily engaged at Bristoe Station, Virginia, October 14, 1863. When Captain Graham resigned on February 1, 1864, 1st Lieutenant Arthur B. Williams became Captain and the battery was re-designated "Williams’ Battery."
During the battle of the Wilderness on May 6, it occupied a position in the clearing on the Orange Plank Road and succeeded in pouring a heavy fire into the advancing Federals, thus delaying them until Longstreet came up to drive them back.
This is how Clifford Dowdey described the action in his "Lee's Last Campaign:"
- Before Longstreet's first regiment neared the field, the advancing [Union] troops along the road had been checked at the clearing of the Tapp farm. The men who checked the advance, and whose great hour was sacrificed to the legend, were Colonel William Poague and the cannoneers who served the sixteen guns of the artillery battalion attached to Heth's divisions...
- When Powell Hill saw his men being driven, and knew that Longstreet's troops would not get up in time, he directed Poague to load his guns with anti-personnel ammunition and open up along the road as soon as he could clear the heads of their own retreating infantry.
- Firing obliquely at point-blank range, Poague shaved the heads of his infantrymen so narrowly that probably some of them were struck. But where the Federal troops were bunched along the road, his bursting canister was deadlier than the fire of a full brigade. The advancing troops piled up in the road and to the north of it, and confusion began to develop in the troops pushing on from behind...
- Poague's men stood to their guns without infantry support and without line of retreat, with cannoneers dropping from rifle fire, as if serving pieces in a fort...
- General Lee stood in the clearing behind Poague's guns, with the smoke from the sixteen pieces drifting over his head. No legend should obscure the performance of young Poague and the scant three hundred men serving the guns. For, so steady was their work that Lee took them for granted, a finger in the dike, as he cast about behind his breaking lines for help to hold back the tide.
Company C was in every engagement from the Wilderness to Petersburg. From September 1864 through February 1865 the battery was stationed near Dutch Gap, Virginia, on the line between Richmond and Petersburg.
On April 9, 1864 the battery consisted of one Napoleon, two 3-inch rifles, and one 10-pounder Parrott. From May 1864 through September 1864 the unit had one Whitworth gun. In December 1864 the battery reported two 12-pounder Napoleons and one 3-inch rifle.
Lee evacuated Petersburg on April 2, 1865, and the battery joined the army during the retreat, often engaging in rear-guard actions. Lee surrendered at Appomattox Court House on April 9, 1865. Over the next few days the men of this artillery unit were paroled and sent home.
The adaptation of the history of the Charlotte Artillery is from... History of Battery C
The quotations describing this unit's action at the Battle of the Wilderness come from... Dowdey, Clifford, Lee's Last Campaign: The Story of Lee and His Men Against Grant - 1864 (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press: 1960, 1993) pp. 149, 150.
The source used for the list of the men of the Charlotte Artillery: Jordon, Weymouth T., gen. ed., North Carolina Troops, 1861-1865: A Roster, Vol. 1: Artillery (Raleigh: North Carolina Office of Archives and History, 2004 (3rd.)), pp. 61-74
A link to the re-enactment group by the same name... The Charlotte Artillery
A link to a personal account by Arthur Butler Williams, battery captain at the Seige of Petersburg... Charlotte North Carolina Artillery at the Siege of Petersburg
A link for descendants of the men of the Charlotte Artillery... Company C 10th NCT Descendants Association
A special THANK YOU goes out to Aleš Trtnik for formatting, and to Dr. GE Moore, Lt. Col. for assistance in making this page and the profiles linked here so much the better. Also, thanks to Natalie Trott for advice on categorisation and linking.
Also, a most special thanks goes out to my brother, Timothy Sheppard, for creating the Virtual Cemetery on Findagrave for the men of Company C. Though the years Tim has continued to uphold the honor of our shared ancestors, Jacob Sidney Underwood and James Benjamin Beaty, as well as many uncles, uncles by marriage, and a literal host of cousins who served under General Robert Edward Lee in the Army of Northern Virginia.
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