CLARK NC: 7th North Carolina at the Siege of Petersburg



in Clark's North Carolina Regiments

Editor’s Note: The following excerpt comes from Walter Clark’s five volume Histories of the Several Regiments and Battalions from North Carolina in the Great War 1861-’65, published in 1901.  The reference work provides mini regimental histories written mostly by men representing each unit, with gaps filled in by editor Clark.  These histories often provide a surprising amount of detail on the Siege of Petersburg.


At Riddle’s [aka Riddell’s] Shop, on the 13th of June, the regiment was in line of battle for several hours, but not engaged.


On the 18th of June the regiment reached the outer defences of Petersburg and took part in the action at Well’s Farm1, three miles southeast of Petersburg, on the afternoon of the 22d, when the enemy was completely foiled in his attempt to reach the Petersburg & Weldon Railroad. The next morning, while relieving Mahone’s Brigade from the trenches in front of Petersburg, it exhibited coolness and nerve under a withering fire of musketry and artillery at close range.

Early in July the regiment returned to the north side of the James and remained in the vicinity of Dutch Gap until 28th of July, when it was actively engaged at Gravel Hill2. Lientenant E. M. Quince, of Company C, Acting Adjutant, was killed, and the regiment sustained a loss of twenty-five killed, wounded and missing.

At Fuzzell’s [sic, Fussell’s] Mill, August 16th, the Seventh was on the left of the line in that gallant charge in which Lane’s Brigade, led by Colonel Barber, recaptured the Confederate intrenchments (lost by other troops) on the Darby town road in the presence of General R. E. Lee. The enemy’s force consisted in part of negro troops.3

Returning to Petersburg, the Seventh was engaged at Reams’ Station on the 25th of August, and sustained its reputation for good fighting qualities in that irresistible charge made by Cook’s, M[a]cRae’s and Lane’s Brigades, which dislodged Hancock’s Corps and regained to the Confederates the possession of the Petersburg and Weldon Railroad. Its loss was four killed and twenty-eight wounded. Captain J. R. McAulay, of Company I, fell in the advance. His death was a real loss to the service.

The Seventh was engaged from “start to finish” in that spirited fight at Jones’ Farm, on the right of the Petersburg lines, on the afternoon of September 30, 1864, and gallantly drove the enemy in its front from the field.4 While the loss of enlisted men was comparatively small, one killed and twelve wounded, it was a sore battle to its thirteen company officers, as the following will show: Killed: Lieutenant John R. Pearson, Company F. Wounded: Lieutenants P. C. Carlton, Company A; A. F. Bizzelle, Company B; John W. Ballentine, Company E; John Y. Templeton, Company G; Captain J. G. Harris and Lieutenant Dixon B. Penick, Company H.

This regiment was in the advance the next morning and helped drive the enemy from his unfinished line near Pegram’s house, and held it for the remainder of the day.5 After dark the regiment retired to the intrenchments near the Jones house, where, about the middle of November, it erected winter-quarters.

On the 8th of December the Seventh, with the other commands of Hill’s Corps, marched through rain and snow to oppose the enemy’s forces then operating against the Petersburg & Weldon Railroad. On reaching Jarratt’s Station, and finding the enemy gone, the command was ordered back to winter-quarters. During this march the weather was extremely cold and the sufferings of the poorly clad men were pitiable indeed.6

While in winter-quarters at Petersburg, Colonel Haywood resigned, and Lieutenant-Colonel William Lee Davidson became Colonel; Major J. McLeod Turner, Lieutenant-Colonel, and Captain James G. Harris, of Company H, became Major of the Seventh Regiment.

On the night of the 26th of February, 1865, the Seventh Major Harris commanding, left the defenses of Petersburg, and went by rail to High Point, N. C., for the purpose of arresting and returning absentees from the army, its field of operations being Randolph, Moore and Chatham counties.

J[ames]. S. Harris.

1 May, 1900.7



  1. SOPO Editor’s Note: The Battle of Jerusalem Plank Road
  2. SOPO Editor’s Note: The First Battle of Deep Bottom
  3. SOPO Editor’s Note: The Second Battle of Deep Bottom
  4. SOPO Editor’s Note: The Battle of Peebles Farm
  5. SOPO Editor’s Note: This was also part of the greater Battle of Peebles Farm
  6. The 7th North Carolina was part of a force which tried to oppose Gouverneur Warren’s “Applejack Raid” or Stony Creek Raid in December 1864.
  7. Clark, Walter. Histories of the Several Regiments and Battalions from North Carolina in the Great War 1861-’65, Volume 1 (Nash Brothers: 1901), pp. 384-386


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