Meredith Avenue, Reynolds Woods
North Carolina Regiment
Pettigrew's Brigade--Heth's Division
Army of Northern Virginia
Henry King Burgwyn, Jr.
John Thomas Jones----John Randolph Lane
Pettigrew's Brigade moved toward Gettysburg early on the morning of July 1 and shortly after noon deployed in line of battle on the ridge 600 yards west of here. The 26th North Carolina stood on Brigade's left flank. Facing these woods and the 24th Michigan of Meredith's Iron Brigade. The order to advance was made about 2:30 P. M. on nearing Willoughby Run the Regiment received a calling fire from the opposite bank. By Maj. Jones' account the "Fighting was terrible" with the forces "pouring volleys into each other at a distance not greater than 20 paces." After about an hour the Regiment had incurred very heavy losses, Col. Burgsyn had been mortally wounded and Lt. Col. Lane injured. The attack continued until the Union troops fell back through the streets of Gettysburg and took up positions south of town.
On July 9 Brigadier General James Johnston Pettigrew wrote that the Regiment had "covered itself with glory....It fell to the lot of the 26th to charge one of the strongest positions possible...with a gallantry unsurpassed." addressing his remarks to Zebulon Baird Vance, who had served as Colonel of the 26th until his election as Governor in August 1862, Pettigrew concluded that "your old comrades did honor to your association with them, and to the state they represented."
Erected by the State of North Carolina
26th Infantry Regiment was organized in August, 1861, at "Crab Tree," a plantation three miles from Raleigh, North Carolina. Its members were recruited in the counties of Ashe, Union, Wilkes, Chatham, Wake, Caldwell, Moore, Alamance, Randolph, and Anson. The regiment served at Fort Macon, on Bogue Island, North Carolina, then fought at New Bern. During the war it was assigned to General R. Ransom's, Pettigrew's, Kirkland's, and MacRae's Brigade. It saw action in the Seven Days' Battles and later the conflicts at Rawls' Mills and Goldsboro. The 26th went on to fight with the Army of Northern Virginia from Gettysburg to Cold Harbor, took its place in the entrenchments south of the James River, and was involved in the final campaign at Appomattox. It lost 87 killed or wounded at New Bern, had 6 killed and 40 wounded during the Seven Days' Battles, and of the 843 engaged at Gettysburg, more than eighty percent wer disabled. The unit reported 16 killed and 83 wounded at Bristoe and on April 9, 1865, surrendered 10 officers and 120 men. Its commanders were Colonels Henry K. Burgwyn, Jr., John R. Lane, and Zebulon B. Vance; Lieutenant Colonels James T. Adams and John T. Jones; and Majors Abner B. Carmichael, James S. Kendall, and N.P. Rankin.