Battle of Plymouth

    These pages are dedicated to the memory of all the men from North Carolina that fought in the Civil War.

    Fayetteville Observer, Monday, May 9, 1864
    For the Observer
    Camp near Plymouth, April 23
    It affords me infinite pleasure, Messrs. Editors, to chronicle the valiant deeds of our North 
    Carolina soldiers.
    The fighting in the streets for a whole raged with great fierceness and desperation.  The 
    Yankees had held possession of the town so long; and had fortified it with much skill and 
    industry, that they doubtless began to regard it as their home from which no earthly power 
    could expel them.  They thought their fortifications, with the troops they had to defend them, 
    adequate to keep back a force of 20,000 rebel soldiers, so favorable was the ground and so 
    skillfully and industriously had they plied their spades and shovels to shield themselves 
    against attack.
    But Hoke’s, Ransom’s and Kemper’s Brigades of infantry and Branch’s and Reade’s artillery, 
    under the command of General R.F. Hoke (the ranking brigadier) have taught them the 
    invincibility of brave men when commanded by officers of energy and skill.
    Fort Wessell, about three quarters of a mile from the town, was the first point attacked and 
    on the first trial were repulsed when artillery was brought up to their aid and with a loud shout 
    the fort was carried, yielding us two cannons and between 50 and 60 prisoners.  The affair was 
    well executed and sheds additional luster on the reputation of the troops who did it.  
    This, however, was only the prelude of another victory of far more importance—the capture of 
    the town by General M. W. Ransom’s brigade.  As I rode over the battlefield and surveyed the 
    stupendous fortifications erected by the enemy, and was told how unflinchingly they were 
    carried, as the intrepid Ransom led his men to the charge, in spite of the shot, shell and 
    canister that were literally raining down from the Yankee forts, I momentarily fancied that it 
    was all unreal.  But this delusion was dissipated by the sight of the fruits of the triumph.  We 
    have captured between 2,300 and 2,500 prisoners, immense quantities of Commissary and 
    Quartermaster supplies, upwards of 20 pieces of cannons of the best quality and quantities of 
    small arms, ammunition, etc.
    The Raleigh Confederate has been furnished with the following private letter from Plymouth, 
    from which we make the following extracts:
    It was intended that the gunboat should go down, engage the enemy’s boats and pass below 
    town on Sunday night and with that purpose she left Hamilton on Sunday at 3:00 and took on 
    her deck enough iron to tack on imperfectly on the way down.  Twenty sailors overtook her on 
    the Cora, below Hamilton, increasing her crew to 50; but her machinery had become damaged 
    on the way—her rudder-head twisted off.  This delayed her twelve hours, and she only reached 
    Gray’s Landing at 8:00 pm Monday.  Meantime Dearing’s Cavalry surrounded Plymouth 
    Sunday evening and took some of their pickets.  That night they sent off the women and 
    children to Roanoke Island.  Monday the infantry got around Plymouth and Warren Neck, and 
    through the afternoon they kept up a pretty skirmishing.  
    Late in the evening, the artillery, followed by an advance of infantry, which at 9:00 captured the 
    fort on the site of Sanderson’s house, and surrounded the fort on Warren Neck, within 20 yards, 
    where our infantry remained until Wednesday evening—silencing but not occupying it.
    The enemy had forts over on Warren Neck, one where Darden’s house stood, one at Sanderson’s, 
    one at Boyle’s Mills, one at Harriett Toodles, one very near Jim Bateman’s house, and one, the 
    largest, where Garrett’s house stood.
    From Boyle’s Mills by Toodles’, Garrett’s, Latham’s and Bateman’s, extended their lines of 
    entrenchments, well made.  Their forts wee all enclosed, surrounded by deep ditches, very 
    high walls and chevaux de frise.
    On Wednesday evening, our infantry gallantly charged Ft. Sanderson from Welch’s Creek 
    Swamp and took it—loss about 150.  This was done by part of Hoke’s and Kemper’s Virginia 
    brigades.  Here Col. Mercer of the 24th Georgia and Capt. Macon of the 43rd N.C., were killed.
    Tuesday evening about 3:00 one gunboat passed Warren Neck.  However, Monday evening the 
    Yankee steamer Bombshell, at Warren Neck, in supporting the fort, received six shots from a 
    light battery commanded by Col. Dearing, and sank that night at the steamboat wharf at 
    Plymouth.  The Yankee steamer Whitehead was at the mouth of the thoroughfare when the 
    Albemarle passed and immediately steamed into the Cashia(?) and to Plymouth and reported 
    her coming.  Cooke’s passage was slow, to avoid the obstructions and torpedoes.  Having 
    passed them safely, he steamed past Plymouth, not answering their shots from the forts, 
    and made for the Miami, Flusser’s and Southfield, French’s, Yankee boats.  They had been 
    chained together that they might get Cooke between them and press him back on a river flat.  
    He avoided their trap and ran into the Southfield—his prow was as sharp and his momentum 
    so great, that he ran ten or twelve feet into her, sinking her instantly.  The whole weight of the 
    sinking boat rested on his bow, depressing it so that the water poured into his forward parts, 
    threatening to sink him—the water was seven inches on his gun deck.  
    The Southfield delivered her broadsides, six guns, at ten feet distant, making not the least 
    impression.  This was on her bow, which had been finished.  The current swept his stern 
    around and disengaged him from the wreck.  Meantime, Flusser, seeing his companion 
    wrecked, steamed to Cooke’s stern, and gave him a broadside of 6 100 pounder rifle guns, 
    at a few feet distant, upon the iron that had been imperfectly bolted and damaged the iron in 
    three places.
    Throughout Tuesday, skirmishing was kept up; that evening Ransom took his brigade across 
    Conaby Creek with the pontoon train.
    At daybreak Wednesday morning, the 35th, 8th, 24th, 25th and 56th, formed and charged the 
    works of Bateman’s and Lathem’s under the most terrible fire of shell, shrapnel, grape and rifle 
    I ever saw; but they did not waver or falter a moment.  It is an open field, 1200 yards or more, 
    and the batteries placed with special view to command that approach.  Both places were taken 
    with a shout, and all not required to hold the place and take charge of the prisoners, went into 
    the town, where every house was filled with sharpshooters, who poured a galling fire into them.  
    All were, however, caught, and our men pressed on to Boyle’s Mill.  Before they reached it, 
    their magazine was exploded and they abandoned it.  Some say it was blown up by the 
    garrison and some that it was exploded by a shell from Fort Sanderson, fired by our men.  
    We had been pegging away at them from that place all day Tuesday and Tuesday night with 
    good effect.  Our men then went to plundering and completely gutted all the Yankee stores, 
    which were well stocked.  
    Thus matters stood, we holding Water Street, with about 800 prisoners; the Yankees at 
    Garrett’s fort with 1,600 men.  Random firing was going on all the time between them and 
    some of our men as could spare time from plundering.  At 10:00 General Hoke met General 
    Wessell about 100 yards from Ft. Garrett, on the entrenchments, and demanded his surrender, 
    and told him that if he was forced to carry the fort by assault, that the garrison would not be 
    spared.  At this point of the interview our boat fired a shot into the fort, and the garrison hauled 
    down their flag.  Wessell said that it was against his order; that he did not surrender.  Hoke 
    replied that the fort was his and that unless he surrendered he would have him shot.  Wessell 
    caved in.
    56th Regiment, Casualties
    Company A
    Killed:  (First name illegible, starts with an ‘L’, but could be ‘Lt.” Sawyer
    Wounded:  Sgt.(?) Samuel Smith, Corp. T.G. Ferrell in both knees, William Grant, through 
    body, severely, J.C. Hughes, J.H. Johnson in thigh, Henry Williams, head, Kinsey(?) Sliter(?), 
    shoulder, Wm. Gallup, neck, Wm. Gilbert
    Company B
    Wounded:  Lt. B.W. Thornton(?), in head, mortally, since dead, Sgt. L.H. Hurst(?), mouth, 
    Warren Carver, mouth, John T. Moore, hand, Wm. Handy, shoulder, severe, R.H. Averitt, breast
    Company C
    Wounded:  Corp. J.S. Sawyer, ear, B. Hackney, leg, Jno. Howard, P. Pendergrast, side, Levi 
    Williams, thigh, Jno. Parker, foot
    Company D
    Killed:  J.W. Holsenbeck(?)
    Wounded:  Lt. C.R. Wilson, ankle, Corp. T.W. Montgomery, concussion by shell, Corp. J.B. 
    Laycock, hand, J.R. Miller, leg, W.W. Redding, head, L. Taylor, both legs, severe, J.W. M—
    abdomen(?), mortally, since died (first two letters could have been ‘Mc’), C. Laws, B. Pool, 
    foot, S. Riley, shoulder, severe, Jeff Taylor, leg, R. Wilkerson, leg
    Company E
    Wounded:  Lt. J.M. Jacobs, arm, Sgt. Lemuel Harrill, head, Corp. Wm. Turner, leg, R. McNeill, 
    leg amputated, H. Wheeler, hand, W.H. Holland, hand, W.H. McBryde, thigh, W.H. Thomas, 
    knee, severe, Joe Banks, concussion by shell
    Company F
    Wounded:  Lt. V.J. Palmer, thigh, severe, Corp. A. Nelson, thigh, Allen Cogdale, head, (first 
    name illegible, Adecy?) Cogdale, thigh, severe, William Caitwood, thigh, H.M. Galdden, 
    abdomen, mortal, since died, Peter Price, breast, severe, J.G. Webb, breast, severe, J.W. 
    Lindsey, hand, T.P. Cabaniss(?), side, N.W. Ross, breast
    Company G
    Killed:  Thomas W. Nobbin and Izark D. Kinney
    Wounded:  H. Allen, right thumb shot off, Ellsberry Carlan, side, severe, Jas. Hollingsworth, 
    right arm broken, L.M. Greer, shoulder, severe, R. Perry, right thigh broken, Lee Roy Smith, 
    thigh, S. Taylor, thigh
    Company H
    Wounded:  Lt. S.R. Holton, leg, C. Danebe(?), mortal, T.J. Barnwell, hand, Noah Fox, leg, 
    Thomas Gately, thigh, Jas. Miles, leg, David Mider, leg amputated, B.J. Page, thigh, Wm. 
    Thomson, thigh, severe, D. Thompson, ankle, J. Chisenhalt(?), side, severe
    Company I
    Killed:  Wm. Davis
    Wounded:  T.R. Campbell, hand, Samuel Green, foot, H. Hargill, thigh, J.P. Philbeck, shoulder, 
    H.W. Price, thigh, R.H. Wall, head
    Company K
    Wounded:  Jno. Strider, leg, severe, J.P. Sossaman, arm, W. Auten, mouth
    Jno. W. Faison, Acting Adjutant, 56th N.C.t.
    Casualties 35th N.C.T.
    Company A
    Killed:  Robert W. Brown
    Wounded:  Capt. H. W. and Lt. Jesse Humphrey, slightly, Wm. Alphin, Sam Gorman and 
    Rufus Ferrier, mortally, Hosea Barden and John Costen, slightly
    Company B
    Not engaged
    Company C
    Wounded:  W.W. Fry, J.M. McDuffie and Corp. J.A. Currie, severely, Neill Smith, slightly
    Company D
    Killed:  Corp. W.H. Council
    Wounded:  J.W. Utley and W.B. Council, severely, J.B. Thrailkill, Jesse Bland and M. Womble, 
    Company E
    Killed:  Lt. (first initial illegible) N. Loy (or Ley), Sgts. H.W. Oakley and J.J. Yarborough, T.S. 
    Drake, T.R. Gentry and A. Evans
    Wounded:  S.W. Oakley, Frank Oakley, and M. Clayton, severely, H.(?) S. Jones, Jas. 
    Walker, Jno. Rogers, W.J.T. Shotwell, Corp. J.J.(?) Lawson, W. Oakley and W.S. Lawson, 
    Company F
    Killed:  Lt. E.M. Adams, Sgt. J.M. Stancil and Corp. A.L. McCall
    Wounded:  Sgt. A.M. Houston, Jno. L. Ritch, W.A. Aldridge, J.J. McCain and A.J. 
    S - - nnen, severely, Sgt. M.M. Yandle, L. Thompson, and B. Brown, slightly
    Company G
    Wounded:  J.P. Case and A.R. Staton, severely, B.A. Staten, J.B. Kingkendell, S. Howard, 
    J.W. Ripley and Jno. Brown, slightly
    Company H
    Killed:  Sgt. Jno. Dulin, J.F. Harris and Jno. Noles
    Wounded: J.W. Autin, T.J. Flow, J.M. Hunter, J. (last name illegible, starts with a ‘R’), L.W. 
    Harris, R.A. Hall(?), C.T. Hodges(?), R.A. (last name illegible), McKey Jordan, J.C. Kirk, J.J. 
    McLaughlin, J.S. Miller, W.A. Roberts, J.W. Rogers, W.A. (last name illegible, seven letters, 
    starts with an ‘R’), A.W. Walker, slightly
    Company I
    Wounded:  Lt. Jesse Scott, Sgt. H.G. Ellis, Wiley Ellis, R.H. Harrison, and P. Hinson, slight, 
    Freeman Jones, Levi Jones, H.F. Smith and D. Vinson, severe
    Company K
    Killed:  Sgt. T.W. Conley, J.W. Abernathy, D. Denton, D. Moore, J.C. Waisenhurdt(?), P.S. 
    Wounded:  Lt. D.P. Glass, mortal, H.H. Childeer(?), A. Erwin, A.M. Hewn (Hown?), W.W. 
    Huntley, W.A. Laughridge, J.H. Michaels, D.H. Whitener, M.L. Whetstill, A. Wagener, D. 
    Zimmerman, H. Zimmerman, N. Hoyle, J.S. Ward, Hawk(?) and F.L.Brindle(?), slightly
    Adjutant, 35th N.C.T.
    Casualties 24th N.C.T.
    (Col. W.J. Clarke)
    Killed:  18th April, Lt. J. Wilkins
    Wounded:  Thomas Sweeny, A;  Jno Collins, O.E. Pitman, Jarvis Jones, B; D.G. Clifton, K, 
    20th May:  Sgt. Maj. A.C. Huggins, severely wounded, leg amputated
    Company A
    Wounded:  Sgt. E.G. Moore, Corp. J.D. Horton, R. Bowen, E.B. Barker, J.W. Bowles(?), 
    Ruffin Davis, J.D. Day, Jas. Daniel, David Dillehay, Jas. Ellis, W.H. Fashee, J.R. Hobgoad, 
    N. Petree(?), S.B. Reed, Thomas Willeford, J.H. Peel, severely, Corp. G.W. Burch, Green 
    Cash, Julius McRory, J.T. Dillehan, slightly
    Company B
    Killed:  J.W. Pecket(?)
    Wounded:  D.J. Scott, Jno. Morris, Z. Jones, severe, John Speight, Jos Howard, John Jones, 
    Company C
    Killed:  E.R. Hocutt
    Wounded:  Sgt. H.H. Richardson, Corps. J.A. Woodard and B.H. Richardson, W.R. Wall, 
    Merrill Mcready, slightly, J.H. Green, J.J. Barnes, severely
    Company D
    Wounded:  Capt. W.J. Squiggins, J.E. Anderson, B.V. Butts, G.W. Long, W.Y. Marcom(?), 
    M.D. Walker, severely, J.H. Boswell, slightly
    Company E
    Killed:  A.J. Young, K.B. Taylor
    Wounded:  Lts. E.S. Sanders and T.T. Lee, C.R. Toler, slightly, R.C. Britt, J.P. Greech(?), W.A. 
    Hinnant, J.W. Hudson, J.W. Lne, W. Massingill, A.N. Overby, J.A. Parker, J.E. Thompson, 
    Jonah Woodward, severely
    Company F
    Already reported (Transcriber’s note, not sure what that meant)
    Company G
    Absent on duty at Gaston
    Company H
    Killed:  Jos. Mangum
    Wounded:  J.F. Morris, Moses Walker, Gabriel Nelson, severely, M.B. Jones, W.B. Jones, slightly
    Company I
    Killed:  Joshua Cannady
    Wounded:  Corp. H. Barbee, Alex Woodall, J.G. Allen, Wm. Allen, Wm. Austin, J.B. Greech, 
    Jos. Stancill, severely
    Company K
    Killed:  J.F. Baker
    Wounded:  Sgt. J.A. Baker, S. Ross, D.G. Clifton, W.L. Williams, W.G. Brannen, severely, H. 
    Horton, Wm. T. Melton, H.H. Harris, Calvin Gibson, M. Perry, J.S. Cheeves, slightly
    Casualties, 21st N.C., Hoke’s Brigade
    Company A
    Killed:  Sgt. F.C. Gileard(?)
    Wounded:  Sgt. P.M. Eccles, Corp. E.W. Smith, J.F. Hedrick, R.W. Leonard
    Jacob Tosh
    Company C
    Killed:  J.W. Hodges, A.F. Patterson
    Wounded;  C.B. Norman, Aug Ray, W.R. Francis, Herbert Hodges
    Missing:  Squire Griffith
    Company D
    Killed:  Corp. J.F. Beck, Charles Kellum
    Wounded:  Ed Banner, J.C. Boyles
    Company F
    Killed:  Wm. Hancock
    Wounded:  Cal Edwards (since died), Powel Lawson, A.M. King, Jr., F.M. Shackelford
    Company G
    Killed:  Capt. J.O. Blackburn
    Wounded:  G.W. Leak
    Company H
    Killed:  A.D. Ray
    Wounded:  W.W. Ashburn, J. R. Flinn, Jno. Marion, G.T. Messick
    Company I
    Killed:  S.W. Dick
    Wounded:  C.H. Boyles, F.B. Savage, Corp. A.J. Durham
    Company K
    Killed:  B.F. Leinback, Jno. Long
    Wounded:  Sgt. J.H. Leinback, W.H. Hester, Peter Marshall
    Company L
    Killed:  Corp. J.G. Wilkinson
    Wounded:  A.M. Mitchell, J.M. Lackey
    Company M
    Killed:  J.M. Wright, Geo. Wyrick, Wm. Richardson
    Wounded:  J.W. Wharton, Jesse Pegram, Riley Ingold(?), Milton Clapp(?), J.M. Nelson, Elihu 
    Russum, H. Albright
    Casualties, 6th N.C.T., Hoke’s Brigade
    Company A
    Wounded:  E.J. Barton, slight
    Company B
    Wounded:  N.H. Tessley, J.M. Sanders, J.E. Sanders, J. Tilly, A. Werdle
    Company C
    Killed:  Jno. McDaniel
    Wounded:  J. Tally, left arm amputated, Lt. W.S. Clinton, Sgt. J.E. Lyons, A.J.(?) (last name 
    illegible, starts with a ‘C’), J.W. Poe
    Company D
    Wounded:  F.S. Powell, J.A. Mitchell
    Company E
    Wounded:  J.E. Whiserhunt, J.C. McGee, J. Suttles, T.N. Coxe, M. Woody, R. Pitman, P. 
    Company F
    Wounded:  Jno. W. Faucett, since dead
    Company G
    Wounded:  G. Hevener(?)
    Company H
    Killed:  Harvey Hanus, Joshua Jebneen(?)
    Wounded:  R. Bradley, F.(?) Page
    Company I
    Wounded:  B.(?) Ahee(?), J. Childers
    Company K
    Wounded:  Henry Caps(?), since dead, Jno. S. Shaw, B. Fenville(?), E.P. Hyatt, J. Reece, A.J. 
    Fayetteville Observer, May 9, 1864
    8th N.C.T. Casualties (Col. J.R. Murchison)
    This regiment belongs to Clingman’s Brigade but is temporarily assigned to Ransom’s Brigade)
    Transcriber’s note: Take each of the names followed by the “?” seriously because this paper 
    was extremely faded.
    Company A
    Killed:  H.C. Stokely(?)
    Wounded:  Color Sgt. Frank Perkins, Corp. Jas. S. Spencer, Daniel Evans(?), Jos. Hood, 
    Joshua(?) Cook, Seth(?) Morgan, Jr.
    Company B
    Killed:  Geo.(?) W. Graves
    Wounded:  Joseph Garris(?), Wm. Gregory, Dumphrey(?) Harris, Emerson Walker, Jno. A. 
    Ethridge, Jas. W. Kingsley(?), Robert Balance(?)
    Company C
    Killed:  W.J. Baker
    Wounded:  R.W. Lawyer, A.J. Tebaten(?), J.L. Moore
    Company D
    Killed:  R.F. Patterson
    Wounded:  Lts. A.H. Gregory and D.W. Weaver, W.B. Dabsen(?), S.A. Hunt, Pinckney Cozart(?), 
    W. Brinkley(?), A.L. W- - tt (does not look like Wyatt)
    Company E
    Killed:  Lt. D.A. Patterson, Jno. Coddle(?)
    Wounded:  Lt. Jas. H. McKethen, Jas. T. Beard, Henry Canady, Jno. Knight, Peter McMillen, 
    B.G. Morris, B. Jenkins, Jno. Spivey
    Company F
    Wounded:  Lt. L.J. Thornton, S. Davis, J. Cowan, J.F.(or P.?) Skipper, B.(or R.?) Harris, J. 
    Wilson, A.J. Rogers
    Company G
    Killed:  Lt. L.D. Langley, Sgt. J.J. (last name illegible, starts with a T, maybe Talmage??)
    Wounded:  Sgt. Theophilus Krel, R. Beaver(?), R. (last name illegible, might be Crandell), 
    Gray Harris, Gilford Harris, S.C. Moore, G.L. Moore, W.H. Moore, S. Tyson
    Company H
    Killed:  1st Sgt. J.A. (last name illegible B- - - - ger, maybe Barringer??), J.C. (last name illegible, 
    starts with a K—K - - - - s), W.M. (last name illegible, starts with an
    L—Li- - -), Nelson (last name illegible, starts with a B—B- - - - r), Moses Dey(?), C.J. (last name
    illegible starts with an L—Lin - - - rger), B.J.Patterson(?), J.E. Barringer, Corp. J. Cook, (first 
    letter of name illegible) M. Aliman(?) or Allman(?), W.D. Barringer, A.G. Best(?) Bost(?), T.A. 
    Camps, Wiley (last name illegible, starts with a C—C - - - -), A.E.(or B.) Harkey, Gilford 
    Hatbey(?) Hatley(?) (note, last letter of name could also have been an ‘r’), J.M. M - - anheimer, 
    J.H. Murro(?), Matthias Bost(?) Boat(?), J.W. Moose, A.M. Page, J.F. Rine, J.J. Sill(?-second 
    letter of name not legible), A.(?) D. Sides(?) Siges(?), E.C. Watts(?), Alex (last name illegible, 
    starts with an S—S - - ick), M.C. Rinehart, J.A. Dudman
    Company I
    Wounded:  Sgt. W.H. Harris, Corps. Belsley(?) and J.D. Marterly(?), M.(?) Simpson, Benj.(?) 
    James, A. Bogg(?), W. Farbee(?) Farbes(?), D. Clapp, L.C. Tickle, Francis Faust, Jas. Tyler, 
    Josiah Younger
    Company K
    Killed:  J.J. Ketchey, Jno. Raney(?), J.S. Murph (note, no y on the end, might have been an 
    error and the name actually Murphy), Wiley W. (last name illegible, starts with an S--S - - - rd)
    Wounded:  Lt. P.J. Miller, Corps. B.(?) (last name illegible, starts with a C—C - - l – y), Lewis 
    B. Agner(?), Jno. Brockman, Jacob Barger, S.A. (last name illegible, starts with an S—S - - -  - - ),  
    J.B. (last name illegible, starts with a C—Caddell???), Chas.(?) A. (last name illegible, four letters 
    starting with a D), Wm. M. Ethridge, J. (last name illegible, four or five letters starting with a G), 
    Calvin Huffman(?), Wm. (last name illegible, starts with a K—K – sher?), A. Morgan
    S.H. Gee, Acting Adjt. And In. Gen.
    25th N.C. Casualties (Col. H.M. Rutledge)
    Company A
    Killed:  Jas. L. (last name illegible, starts with an E—Elney?), W.W. Owensby
    Wounded:  W.E. Conner, E. Curtis(?)
    Company B
    Killed:  W.R. Grant
    Wounded:  Newton Fox
    Company D
    Wounded:  Corp.(?) F.H. Hensley, G.L. Coswell
    Company E
    Wounded:  H.G. Whetmore, T.C. Calloway, G.W. Fox, Thos. Hays
    Company G
    Wounded:  Joshua Beems
    Company H
    Killed:  J.M. Carland
    Wounded:  J.L. Gentles, W. Dumphrey
    Company I
    Wounded:  Sgt. W. Warren, N. Luther
    Company K
    Killed:  G.W. Black
    Wounded:  Corp. J.M. Justice, S.F. Edmunds(?), A.W. Ramsey, G.P. Black
    Col. Mercer was a brave and gallant officer, and although he was not a native of this state upon 
    whose soil he fell, yet he has given his life in her defense.  He was a military man by education, 
    having graduated at West Point in the year 1854.  At the time the war broke out, he was in 
    California, and was a first lieutenant in the U.S. Dragoons.  Hearing that his native state had 
    seceded from the Old Union, he immediately resigned his commission in the U.S. service and 
    tendered his services to the Confederate government.  He was ordered to Richmond, Va., and 
    appointed colonel of the 21st Georgia Regiment in the year 1861 and was attached to Ewell’s 
    Corps.  He participated in the battle of Winchester, Va., and was highly complimented by his 
    commanding general, in his official report of the battle of Cross Keys.  He also bore a 
    conspicuous part in the battles of Malvern Hill, Chancellorsville and Gettysburg.  On the 20th
    Jan., 1864, he was attached to Hoke’s Brigade and was with the brigade on the last expedition 
    against Newbern, acted very gallantly at the Battle of Bachelor’s Creek and was afterwards 
    assigned to the command of all the cavalry in this department.  In the expedition against 
    Plymouth, he was in command of his own regiment, and during the attack upon the town, was 
    in command of Hoke’s Brigade (General Hoke being in command of all the troops) and fell 
    during the charge upon Fort Sanderson, which was taken a few minutes after his fall.  The 
    remains of Col. Mercer arrived here on Wednesday night last, and were interred in the Episcopal 
    Cemetery by the side of the late lamented General W.D. Pounder, his class mage, his comrade 
    in arms, and his relative.  Tarboro Southerner
    Fayetteville Observer, May 2, 1864
    List of wounded received at the General Hospital Number 3, Goldsboro, N.C., on the 22nd inst.
    6th N.C. Regiment
    Company A:  J.E. Borden
    Company B:  J. Teltery, J.E. Saunders, A Weavil
    Company C:  Sgt. J.E. Lyon, Jno McGee
    Company E:  E. Pitman
    Company F:  E. Nelson
    Company H:  F. Page
    Company I:  Jno. Childress, A.B. Ephraim
    Company K:  S.P. Hyatt, Jno Reece
    8th N.C. Regiment
    Company I:  A. Boggs
    21st N.C. Regiment
    Company D:  J.C. Boyles
    Company F:  A.M. King
    Company H:  W.W. Ashburn, Jno Martin
    Company I:  C.H. Boyles
    Company K:  G. Flynn
    35th N.C. Regiment
    Company A:  J.A. Costin
    Company C:  Neal Smith
    43rd N.C. Regiment
    Company A:  L.R. Grisham, L.J. Quinn
    Company E:  A.W. Simmons
    Company F:  J.H. Wood
    Company H:  W.J. Ashcraft
    Company K:  W.H. Mecks
    56th N.C. Regiment
    Company A:  K. (last name illegible, starts with an S), R.W. Handy
    Company D:  Lt. C.R. Wilson, J.R. Miller, G.W. Montgomery
    Company G:  E. Carlton
    21st Georgia Regiment
    Company F:  W.B. Phillips
    Company G:  L.W. Jones
    24th Virginia Regiment
    Company B:  H.A. Matte(?)
    Bradford’s (Mississippi) Artillery
    T.L. Russell
    Transcriber’s Note:  The above article shows the wounded at Goldsboro, the below at Wilson
    The Wounded at Plymouth
    We are indebted to the courtesy of Dr. S.S. Satchwell, surgeon in charge of the General Military 
    Hospital Number 2, Wilson, N.C. and for the following list of Confederate wounded at Plymouth 
    and received at the hospital up to the 25th inst.
    6th N.C. Regiment
    Sgt. J.E. Lyon, slight, Privates J.A. Mitchell, slight, Jno Poe, severe, right arm and shoulder, E. 
    Nelson, slight, Isaac Suttle, head, J.E. Barden, slight, Ephraim Abee(?), slight, Jas. Tilley, 
    slight, Reddin Pitman, slight, Albert Weavel, slight, J.M. Childress, slight, Jno. McGhee, slight, 
    F. Page, slight, J.M. Saunders, severe in hand, C. Alsbrook, slight, Richard Poeler, severe in 
    foot, E.P. Hyatt, slight, Jno Reese, slight, A.H. Leasely, right leg
    8th N.C. Regiment
    Privates A. Boggs(?), Slight, B. James, left leg, Guilford Hedley, left hip
    21st N.C. Regiment
    Privates P. Lawson, slight, F.M. Eccles, severe arm and knee, J.F. Hedrick, left knee, J.A. 
    Tesh, right arm, A.H. Mitchell, right thigh, R.M. Leonard, left leg, J.M. Nelson, bowels, M.A. 
    Clapp, right leg, H. Roger(?), right arm, A.M. King, C.H. Boyles, Jno. Marion and W.W. 
    Ashburn, slight, T.A. Savage, right arm, W. H. Hunter(?), right foot, E.J. bonner, left leg, 
    Constant Flynn, sight, H.(?) N. Albright, left arm, W.R. Dykes(?), left thigh, L. Powell, severe, 
    left thigh
    24th N.C. Regiment
    Private J.M. Jones, neck
    25th N.C. Regiment
    Private A.W. Ramsey, hand
    43rd N.C. Regiment
    Sgts. J.H. Bobbet(?), leg, W.L. Dun(?), thigh, Privates W.A. Wilson, left knee, W.F. Mosley, 
    left ankle, J.H. Wood, W.H. Meeks, W.J. Ashcraft, A.W. Simmons(?), Lewis R. Gri - -om-
    partially illegible and L.J. Quinn, slight
    35th N.C. Regiment
    Privates J.A. Costin and Neal Smith, slight
    56th N.C. Regiment
    Lt. Charles R. Wilson, slight, Privates Jas. Miller, right, Wm. Handy, slight, L.L. Taylor, right leg, 
    W.W. Redding, head, K. Sitton(?), G.W. Montgomery and E. Carland, slight
    21st Georgia Regiment
    Privates D. Dyal(?), right side, J.F. Cook, right leg, W.M. Hensley, severe, left thigh and right 
    arm, F.M. Rawls, ankle, W.B. Phillips, slight, L.W. Jones, slight, L.A. Hudgins, severe, chest, 
    P. Marshall, left thigh, J.C. Booles, slight, J.B. Reid, right arm, J.T. Williams, left hip, Jno 
    Dempsey, knee, L.B. Davis, arm, B.f. Goss, right arm, G.(?)L. Fennell, left leg
    24th Virginia Regiment
    Privates W.D. Mountcastle, shoulder, H.A. Metis(?) Mells(?), slight, Jas. Thanmason(?), left 
    arm, G. H. Rutledge, right hand, J.P. Wyson, left hand
    7th Virginia Regiment
    Private Henry Bowen, right foot
    Bradford’s Mississippi Artillery
    Corp. T.L. Russell, slight
    Private J.E. Martin, Company F, 16th Connecticut Regiment (Yankee), slight wound in hip
    Wilmington Journal
    Fayetteville Observer, May, 1964
    Newspapers and letters have furnished us with few particulars of the late unfortunate operations 
    in eastern North Carolina.  We make up the following statement from facts gathered from a brave 
    soldier who was with our troops.
    On Friday morning, 28th Oct., a torpedo boat came up the Roanoke river, passing the pickets 
    on the river, it was so dark that you could not see your hand before you and raining heavily.  
    The Albemarle was lying at her wharf at Plymough, with a sort of failing of logs in the water as 
    a guard to prevent anything from running against her. The torpedo boat lay quiet some distance 
    off from the Albemarle, felt the guards around her, and then backed off a hundred yards and 
    came up with full head of steam.  The torpedo was fixed upon a boom twenty feet long, 
    extending from the side of the bow, which could be raised by a block and tackle; it was raised
    to pass over the railing as the boat came up, and lowered so as to strike the Albemarle under 
    the forward part of the boat.  It was discovered as it came up by the guard and was fired upon 
    by the crew with musketry.  It was too late when it was discovered to fire upon it with the heavy 
    guns on the boat. The torpedo struck and exploded, blowing a hold in the Albemarle and 
    causing her to sink partially in a short time.  The captain of the torpedo boat jumped overboard 
    and escaped by swimming across the river; the boat and crew were captured with the exception 
    of a small boat with a few men which had been sent back down the river and captured and 
    carried off our pickets on the Southfield, which was being raised a short distance down the
     river.  The Albemarle was commanded by Captain Warley of S.C., who completed her 
    destruction by blowing off her coating.
    During the day, the enemy attempted to come up the Roanoke and attack the fort with nine 
    gunboats but after a severe fight with the lower fort (Fort Jones), commanded by Major L.C. 
    Latham, 1st N.C.T., were driven off, one of the gunboats being so disabled that it had to be 
    towed down the river.  This day’s fight was a perfect success to us and great credit is due to 
    Major Latham for the management of his fort in this fight; also to Col. John N. Whitford, 67th 
    N.C.T., commanding the whole place.
    Friday night the fleet entered Middle river, and shelled the town a little during Saturday across 
    the island between Middle and Roanoke rivers, being completely hidden from view of our batteries.  
    Our batteries did not reply on this day, except a few shots as feelers.  On Sunday the enemy 
    renewed the shelling of the town, and kept it up very heavily from 1:00 pm until some time after 
    As soon as General Baker received information of the sinking of the gunboat, he started for 
    Plymouth, and arrived on Sunday evening.  General Gaston Lewis, who was at home, wounded 
    in Tarborough, accompanied him and was left at Jamesville, 11 miles from Plymouth, to take 
    charge of the reinforcements, in anticipation of the enemy’s landing at Warren Neck and 
    attempting to cut off communication with Plymouth, and to attack them if they landed.
    General Baker entered the town under a severe fire on Sunday evening.  Col. Whitford had 
    sent a courier to meet him on the road and state that it would be dangerous for him to attempt 
    to come in.  Upon this, Capt. Fulghum, A.D.C., gallantly volunteered to go ahead and see that 
    the road was clear, communicate with Col. Whitford and return with the report.  This he did, 
    passing along the road going in and coming out, under a heavy fire from the enemy’s gunboats, 
    which were firing at everything on the road.  He met General Baker a short distance from the 
    town with an urgent message from Col. Whitford, advising him not to come into the town.  But 
    he considered that as the town would in all probability have to fall, the gunboat being destroyed,
    it would be more generous in him to go in and assume command, thus relieving his subordinate 
    officers of the responsibility.  When he entered the town he immediately visited the forts on 
    horseback, with col. Whitford, under a heavy fire.  As he appeared to the troops, they would 
    cheer him lustily, and this would be the signal for the fire of the gunboats to be directed to that 
    particular point.  
    It was a hot time.  Sharpshooters had been thrown out to prevent the enemy from removing the 
    obstructions at the junction of Middle and Roanoke rivers but without avail.  The General, 
    foreseeing that the enemy would enter the Roanoke river in the morning and make their grand 
    attack upon the upper works, had ordered them to be strengthened, and the work was carried 
    on during the whole night.  The works had been built to resist and attack from boats coming 
    up the Roanoke, the gunboat Albemarle having been a full protection against their coming 
    through Middle River and down the Roanoke.  But this “tower of strength” being gone; they 
    were enabled to take the works in reverse and there was scarcely a hope that the town could 
    be held.  
    All was quiet Monday morning, not a shot was fired until about 10:00 am, when the whole fleet, 
    nine heavy gunboats, steamed into the Roanoke and made for the upper fort; then the earth 
    shook with the concussions of the shells bursting in every direction, and the booming of at 
    least seventy guns of the heaviest caliber, unanswered by the two heavy guns of the upper 
    fort (Fort Hal).  Manfully, the crew of the Albemarle worked these guns, but the gunboats 
    steamed down upon them in a regular “charge”.  Soon a tremendous explosion told that the 
    magazine of this fort had been exploded and the fleet passed on to attack Fort Jones.  Three 
    guns of this fort bore up the river and were worked with the greatest gallantry under the 
    direction of Major Latham, who fought them until all his guns wee dismounted.
    At the opening of the fight, General Baker was at headquarters in the middle of the town, 
    without any protection.  This place was perfectly swept with a hailstorm of shot and shell, 
    and when they came up to short range, with canister.  He removed to an old work near and 
    there remained, receiving reports of the progress of the fight.  When no more guns could be 
    brought to bear upon the boats, an evacuation was ordered and conducted under a terrible fire 
    which was now directed upon all the avenues of escape from the town.  The General brought 
    the men off himself and halted them out of town, just out of range of the gunboats, to receive 
    the attack if they pursued; but no forces were thrown outside of the town by the enemy.
    Col. Whitford displayed the most distinguished gallantry; he visited every place on horseback, 
    was one of the last to leave the town, and saw in person that everything was brought off.  To 
    Major Latham belongs the honor of whipping the enemy from his fort on the first attack, and of 
    fighting to the last until all his guns were dismounted; he then brought off most of his men 
    and as the enemy were entering the dismantled debris of his well fought fort, he mounted his 
    horse and rode up to the General to report for any other duty to which he might be assigned.
    The enemy are said to have lost 34 in killed, and it is said that one gunboat was so badly 
    injured that it sank at the wharf.  They cannot understand how the garrison was brought off 
    with such small loss.  The management of the whole affair was masterly in the highest degree.  
    It required as much courage to leave that town as to charge a battery.  The men were conducted 
    by the General around the works on the outside and through the open country with scarcely 
    any loss at all.  The troops are all in position again, with confidence in their General enhanced, 
    and ready to meet the enemy again anywhere in a fair fight.  Everything was removed, nothing 
    was left but the heavy guns which could not be brought off and three field pieces whose horses 
    were killed or disabled.  A barren, burning town, with no quartermaster or commissary stores, 
    was all that fell into the enemy’s hands.  Our loss was not more than fifty in killed, wounded 
    and captured.

    Transcribed by Christine Spencer September 2007

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