History of the 27th Regiment

Brief History of the 27th Regiment North Carolina Troops (Infantry) 

On April 15, 1861 the following message was sent to Union Secretary of War Simon Cameron 
from North Carolina Governor John W. Ellis: " Raleigh, NC, April 15, 1861; Hon. Simon Cameron, 
Secretary of War: Your dispatch is received and if genuine, which its extraordinary character 
leads me to doubt, I have to say in reply that I regard the levy of troops made by the 
administration for the purpose of subjugating the States of the South as in violation of the 
Constitution and a gross usurpation of power.  I can be no party to this wicked violation of the 
laws of the country, and to this war upon the liberties of a free people. You can get no troops 
from North carolina. I will reply more in detail when your call is received my mail. JOHN W. 
ELLIS, Governor of North Carolina." 

Company F enlistment
Singletary's Battalion
Designation of 27th Regiment
Training of companies
Consolidation of companies 
Defense of New Bern
 One month and one day later on May 16, 1861 at Hertford in  Perquimans County what became 
Company F of the 27th Regt NC Troops was enlisted. On May 16, 1861 78 officers and men 
enlisted and were mustered in. By September 1 the company had grown to 95, 1 not having 
reported for muster and one transferred to a cavalry unit. Originally called Singletary's Battalion, 
the regiment was finally organized on 28 September 1861 for 12 months service and was 
designated the 27th regiment NC Troops( Infantry). The regiment was composed of one company 
each from Orange, Guilford, Jones, Perquimans and two companies from Wayne, Pitt, and Lenoir 
On the date the regiment was organized its ten companies were scattered about. Companies 
A, B, and G were stationed at Fort Macon, C, D, E, H, I, and K were on duty at Camp Gatlin near 
New Bern and Company F was stationed at Fort Ellis below New Bern where its members were 
being trained as artillerymen. After the fall of Roanoke Island all of the companies were 
consolidated at Camp Gatlin where Company F became an infantry company.

The regiment participated in the defense of New Bern in March of 1862. It was on the Confederate 
left near Fort Thompson with its left anchored on the Neuse River. It was not heavily engaged 
because most of the action took place on the Confederate right and right center. When the 
Confederate center gave way, it left the right flank of the 27th exposed and it was ordered to fall 
back which most of its companies did  "in tolerable order".   It suffered 4 killed, 8 wounded, and 
42 missing. With the loss of that town, the 27th Regiment fell back to the Kinston area where it 
was assigned to Gen. Samuel French's brigade. In April, 1862, the regiment was reorganized 
"for the war" and Major John R. Cooke was elected Colonel and the regiment was assigned to 
Robert Ransom's Brigade.

Drewry's Bluff
Seven Days
It remained in the Kinston area until May 31 at which time it was sent to Richmond where it arrived 
on June 1. Having arrived too late for the Battle at Seven Pines, the Regiment was sent to Drewry's 
Bluff where it joined Gen. John G.Walker's Brigade, then back across the James River on June 26.  
The regiment saw only limited action during the Seven Days and its losses were only 20 injured.

To Maryland
Loudon Heights
As General Walker had been promoted to division command in August, on September 1 his old 
Brigade now under the command of Colonel Van Manning joined the Army of Northern Virginia 
near Leesburg where Gen. Robert E. Lee was preparing to cross the Potomac into Maryland. The 
27th Regiment, in the rear guard, crossed the Potomac into Maryland on 8 September. On 
September 12, Walker's Division recrossed the Potomac to support Gen. Stonewall Jackson in 
his attack on Harper's Ferry where it was placed atop Loudoun Heights to prevent an escape by 
the Federals at Harpers Ferry. After the capture of Harper's Ferry, this division which included the 
27th Regt. rejoined the Army of Northern Virginia at Sharpsburg on September 16.  The 27th 
Regiment under the command of Col. John R. Cooke saw extensive action in the area between the 
Bloody Lane and the Dunker Church. 
General Walker observed the attack made by Colonel Cooke's men in this area and commented. 
"The 27th North Carolina and 3rd Arkansas obeyed the order to charge in the face of such fire as 
troops have seldom encountered without running away, and with steadiness and unfaltering 
gallantry seldom equalled. Battery after battery, regiment after regiment, opened fire on them, 
hurling a torrent of missles through their ranks, but nothing could arrest there progress, and 
three times the enemy broke and fled before their impetuious charge." Losses for the 27th R
egiment during the Maryland Campaign were approximately 203 killed and wounded out of the 
325 officers and men  it had when it entered the battle. 

Cooke's Brigade
Marye's Heights
Rock wall
Following the Maryland Campaign Colonel John R. Cooke was promoted to brigade command 
with the 15th, 27th, 46th and 48th NC Regiments comprising his brigade. On November 19, 1862 
Cooke's Brigade arrived at Fredericksburg, Virginia where it was placed in a supporting position 
on Marye's Heights and Willis' Hill. On December 13, after the first Federal repulse, General 
Cooke moved the 27th and 46th Regiments down the hill to a position behind  the rock wall 
where these two regiments supported Cobb's Brigade for the remainder of the battle. Reported 
losses for the 27th Regiment at Fredericksburg were three killed and 12 wounded.      

Defenses below Charleston
To Richmond
Following Fredericksburg, Cooke's Brigade, along with the 27th,  was ordered to South Carolina 
where it remained in defensive positions below Charleston at Coosahatchie until April 23, 1863 
at which time it was sent to Kinston and then on to Richmond where it arrived on June 8, 1863. 

Defenses around Richmond
During the Gettysburg Campaign, Cooke's Brigade remained in the defenses around Richmond. 
When the Army of Northern Virginia returned to Virginia after the Gettysburg Campaign, Cooke's 
Brigade and the 27th rejoined  the ANV and was assigned to Heth's Division of A. P. Hill's Corps. 

27th rejoins Heth's Division
Bristoe Station
Winter along the Rapidan
Cooke's Brigade rejoined Heth's Division, A.P. Hill's Corps on or about October 3, 1863 on a line 
defending the Rapidan River. On October 14 Heth's Division came on the field and "without waiting 
for the rest of his division to come up or pausing to reconnoiter, Hill (Gen. A.P. Hill) ordered an 
attack;  the Brigades of Cooke and William W. Kirkland, unaware that they were heavily 
outnumbered advanced down an open hill towards Federal troops entrenched behind a railroad 
embankment. Cooke's and Kirkland's Brigades were swept by the murderous fire of three federal 
divisions, were repulsed  with decimating casualties." Cooke's and Kirkland's brigades had 
engaged three Federal divisions. During the Battle of Bristoe Station the 27th Regiment lost 
30 men killed and 108 wounded, and 67 captured for a total of 205. Lee's comment to Gen. A.P. 
Hill following the fiasco was "let us bury these poor men and say no more about the matter." 
General A. P.  Hill  stated in his after action report that " In conclusion, I am convinced that I 
made the attack too hastily..." but went on in a sense to justify his actions by further stating "...
and at the same time that a delay of half an hour, and there would have been no enemy to attack. 
In that event I believe I should equally have blamed myself for not attacking at once."
The 27th spent the winter on picket duty along the Rapidan and in camp near Orange Court House.

Battles to Petersburg
Reams Station
Hatcher's Run 
With the start of the Overland Campaign in 1864, the regiment was heavily engaged at the 
Wilderness. During the May 5-6 battle, the 27th sustained heavy  but unreported losses in killed 
and wounded. Company F of the 27th lost approximately 14 killed and wounded.  With the arrival  
at Petersburg of A.P. Hill's Corps on June 18, it went into position on the extreme right of the 
line which was extended to the Petersburg & Weldon Railroad. Following the attack at Reams 
Station, in which the 27th Regiment participated, an officer who served in the 27th stated the 
strength of the Regiment had been reduced to approximately 70 men. The regiment was 
engaged in minor engagements during the seige and during February 5-7 was engaged at 
Hatcher's Run on General Lee's extreme right line at Petersburg. 

From Petersburg to Appomottox
The 27th Regiment endured the hardships of the Petersburg trenches until the evening of April 2 
when during the final Union assault on the Petersburg defenses, the Army of Northern Virginia 
began to withdraw. Cut off for two days, Cooke's Brigade finally rejoined the main ANV force on 
4 April, 1865. When General Robert E. Lee surrendered at Appomattox Court House, 117 
members of the 27th NC Regiment were on hand to receive paroles.

Cpl. Joseph Mullen's diary
To Western NC
Activities in Western NC
Surrender with Johnston
The story of the 27th regiment does not end at Appomattox. According the the diary written by 
Cpl. Joseph Mullen, Jr., of Perquimans County,  Company F of the 27th Regiment left the 
Petersburg trenches on February 27, 1865 and was detailed to Western North Carolina to hunt 
deserters. This company arrived at High Point, NC on March 2, 1865 . One excerpt from his diary 
and the activities of Company F was dated April 3, 1865 just outside of Thomasville: " Late in the 
evening we moved camp just outside of town. Overman and myself obtained leave to go out in the 
country foraging. We went about a mile and a half and stopped at a house, the landlady of which 
was a very fine lady. She would have us wait until tea. We told her we were out hunting something 
good to eat and asked her if she could tell us where to go. She told us that there was a Quaker 
who lived only about a half mile distant. This old man did not like rebels and consequently she 
did not think we would make much by going to see him. But an old Soldier is hard to fool. We 
concluded we would go over and play off deserter upon him. The route was quite a rough one 
over hills and rocks and across the creek, but we soon found his house--went to the door and 
knocked. He came out in his night clothes. We told him our business. He told us he had nothing 
cooked but would tell us where we could get anything we wanted not more than 1/4 mile from his 
house. We insisted on his going over with us , which he finally consented to do. He took us over 
to a free Negroe's. (This Negro I suppose was a kind of commissary for deserters.) Here I got half 
a ham, 1/2 gallon syrup, some bread, some egge, and some as good cakes as I had eaten in 
some time. During his conversations he told us he had a deserter in his house. After we had 
gotten what we wanted for which he would not take anything, we bid him adieu. He insisted 
upon our calling again if we stayed in that neighborhood many days. We now started for camp , 
so full of laugh we could hardly hold it in. We had proved what this quaker would do. But there 
yet remained something to be done. It was now around 1o o'clock and camp was about two 
miles off, but we soon got there, and I went to the Captain commanding the detachment  and 
told him all that had happened and told him if he would give me a detail of 12 good men I would 
go back and get the deserted and it might be that I would get one or two more, as this old man 
told us the country was full of them, and it was not anything for him to be called up at midnight 
for the same thing we called him up. The Captain readily consented and we started back. It was 
now about 11 o'clock at night. We went back, surrounded the house, searched it and found our 
prize who was a Cavalryman from Wheeler's command. We took him and his horse and then 
went to the Negroe's house and searched it. Here we got a fine silver mounted rifle which we also 
took to camp. We arrived at Camp with our prisoner about 2 o'clock. Then I lay down and slept 
until day.  Corporal Mullen's last entry is dated April 16 at Greensboro.  Company F remained in 
this part of North Carolina rounding up deserters until its surrender as part of Gen. Joe Johnston's 
Army of Tennessee on 26 April 1865. Records indicate 12 enlisted and one officer  of Company 
F were paroled at or near Greensboro, NC on or about May 1, 1865 ending the final chapter in 
the history of the 27th Regiment NC Troops. Including Appomattox, only about 130 members of 
the 27th Regiment NC Troops were on hand to receive paroles at the end of the war. Back on 
September 1, 1861, Company F alone had 95 memebers on its roster, on;i about 35 less than 
the entire regiment had at the end of the war. 
My Great-great Grandfather William A. Wilson  of Perquimans County was a member of Company 
F during the entire course of the war. He enlisted at Hertford, NC on 16 May 1861, mustered in 
as a  Corporal and was promoted to Sergeant on 15 November 1861. As a result of there being 
no officers left after the Battle at Reams Station, he was elected 2nd Lieutenant On September 
1, 1864 at which time he commanded the Company until the end of the war. He was paroled at 
Greensboro on May 1, 1865. He returned to Perquimans County and farmed until about the 
mid-1880s at which time he moved to Norfolk , Virginia. On September 29, 1887, he applied for 
membership in the Pickett-Buchanan Camp of Confederate Veterans of Norfolk, Virginia. On his 
application he stated that he had taken an active part in the Battles of New Bern, Richmond 
(the Seven Days Fight), Sharpsburg, Fredericksburg, Bristoe Station, 2nd Wilderness, 
Spotslyvania Court House, Minor Battles to Petersburg, Reams Station and Hatcher's Run. 
He stated also that in March-April, 1865, He was in Western North Carolina hunting deserters. 
On 25th of October, he was elected a member of the Pickett-Buchanan Camp. He died in 1891 
in Norfolk. Unfortunately his place of burial remains a mystery. 
Jordan: North Carolina Troops: 1861-1865
Official Records:
	a. response from Gov. John W. Ellis to Simon Cameron, 15 April, 1861
	b. Report of Lieut. General Ambrose P. Hill on the Battle of Bristoe Station, 26 October 
Diary of  Joseph Mullen, Jr., Perquimans County, NC (Museum of the Confederacy)
Confederate Army Records (National Archives) of William A.Wilson, Perquimans Co., NC
Application of William A. Wilson to Pickett-Buchanan Camp of Confederate Veterans, Norfolk, VA.  
Compendium of the Confederate Armies: North Carolina, Stewart Sifakis, 1992
Maps from Civil War Preservation Trust:
	a. Battle of Bristoe Station, Virginia, 14 October 1863
	b. Battle of Antietam, Maryland, 17 September 1862 
	c. Hatcher's Run, Virginia  5 February 1865
                d. Reams Station, Virginia, 25 August, 1864

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