27th North Carolina Infantry Regiment

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27th North Carolina Infantry Regiment

Twenty-seventh North Carolina Infantry Regiment

The 27th North Carolina Infantry Regiment saw its first action at the Battle of New Bern, North Carolina, after which it was transferred to Virginia. It fought gallantly at Antietam (Sharpsburg) (suffered 253 casualties) under the command of John Rogers Cooke, earning the praise of General Longstreet and other top generals. After the great reorganization of the Army of Northern Virginia, the Twenty-Seventh was assigned to John Rogers Cooke’s Brigade, who had just been promoted to Brigadier General. It fought at Fredericksburg, served in North Carolina, suffered severe losses at Bristoe Station (200 casualties) and during the Overland Campaign (189 casualties), and endured the contested trenches at Petersburg.

Confederate Hat Picture
Confederate Slouch Hat.jpg
(Photo of a Confederate Hat)

 Sergeant Zacharia Harper, Company D, 27th North Carolina Infantry Regiment
Courtesy Texas Civil War Museum: Photographed by the Writer

Civil War Slouch Hat Photo
Confederate Hat.jpg
(Picture of a Confederate Slouch Hat)

 Slouch Hat belonging to Sergeant Zacharia Harper, Company D, 27th NC Infantry
Courtesy Texas Civil War Museum: Photographed by the Writer

27th Infantry Regiment was formed at New Bern, North Carolina, in June 1861 as the 9th Regiment. The unit reorganized in September as the 17th and its designation was later changed to the 27th. Its soldiers were recruited in Orange, Guilford, Jackson (few from Jackson County) Wayne, Pitt, Lenoir, Perquimans, and Jones counties. It was assigned to General R. Ransom's, J. G. Walker's, and Cooke's Brigade. After fighting at New Bern, the 27th saw action at Harpers FerrySeven Days BattlesSharpsburg and Fredericksburg. During the spring and summer of 1863, it served in North Carolina, South Carolina, and in the Richmond area. The unit continued the fight at Bristoe Station. It fought in the Wilderness, Spotsylvania, and Cold Harbor battles, and later endured the hardships of the Siege of Petersburg south of the James River. It also engaged at Reams Station, Hatchers Run and ended the war at Appomattox. It had 6 wounded at Malvern Hill, lost sixty-three percent of the 325 engaged at Sharpsburg, and suffered 2 killed and 13 wounded at Fredericksburg. Seventy percent of the 416 at Bristoe were disabled, and when the regiment surrendered it had 9 officers and 103 men. The field officers were Colonels John R. Cooke, J. A. Gilmer, Jr., George B. Singeltary, John Sloan, and George F. Whitfield; Lieutenant Colonels R. W. Singeltary, Thomas C. Singeltary, and Joseph C. Webb; and Major Calvin Herring.

Civil War Map of North Carolina Battlefields
North Carolina Civil War Battlefields.jpg
27th NC Infantry Regiment was formed at New Berne (present-day New Bern)

Recommended Reading: Confederate Military History Of North Carolina: North Carolina In The Civil War, 1861-1865. Description: The author, Prof. D. H. Hill, Jr., was the son of Lieutenant General Daniel Harvey Hill (North Carolina produced only two lieutenant generals and it was the second highest rank in the army) and his mother was General “Stonewall” Jackson’s wife's sister. In Confederate Military History Of North Carolina, Hill discusses North Carolina’s massive task of preparing and mobilizing for the conflict; the many regiments and battalions recruited from the Old North State; as well as the state's numerous contributions during the war. Continued below...
During Hill's Tar Heel State study, the reader begins with interesting and thought-provoking statistical data regarding the 125,000 "Old North State" soldiers that fought during the course of the war and the 40,000 that perished. Hill advances with the Fighting Tar Heels to the first battle at Bethel, through numerous bloody campaigns and battles--including North Carolina’s contributions at the "High Watermark" at Gettysburg--and concludes with Lee's surrender at Appomattox. Highly recommended!
 

Recommended Reading: The Civil War in North Carolina. Description: Numerous battles and skirmishes were fought in North Carolina during the Civil War, and the campaigns and battles themselves were crucial in the grand strategy of the conflict and involved some of the most famous generals of the war. Continued below...

John Barrett presents the complete story of military engagements and battles across the state, including the classical pitched battle of Bentonville--involving Generals Joe Johnston and William Sherman--the siege of Fort Fisher, the amphibious campaigns on the coast, and cavalry sweeps such as General George Stoneman's Raid. "Includes cavalry battles, Union Navy operations, Confederate Navy expeditions, Naval bombardments, the land battles... [A]n indispensable edition." Also available in hardcover: The Civil War in North Carolina.
 
Recommended Viewing: The Civil War - A Film by Ken Burns. Review: The Civil War - A Film by Ken Burns is the most successful public-television miniseries in American history. The 11-hour Civil War didn't just captivate a nation, reteaching to us our history in narrative terms; it actually also invented a new film language taken from its creator. When people describe documentaries using the "Ken Burns approach," its style is understood: voice-over narrators reading letters and documents dramatically and stating the writer's name at their conclusion, fresh live footage of places juxtaposed with still images (photographs, paintings, maps, prints), anecdotal interviews, and romantic musical scores taken from the era he depicts. Continued below...
The Civil War uses all of these devices to evoke atmosphere and resurrect an event that many knew only from stale history books. While Burns is a historian, a researcher, and a documentarian, he's above all a gifted storyteller, and it's his narrative powers that give this chronicle its beauty, overwhelming emotion, and devastating horror. Using the words of old letters, eloquently read by a variety of celebrities, the stories of historians like Shelby Foote and rare, stained photos, Burns allows us not only to relearn and finally understand our history, but also to feel and experience it. "Hailed as a film masterpiece and landmark in historical storytelling." "[S]hould be a requirement for every student."
 
Recommended Reading: Confederates in the Attic: Dispatches from the Unfinished Civil War. Description: Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Tony Horwitz returned from years of traipsing through war zones as a foreign correspondent only to find that his childhood obsession with the Civil War had caught up with him. Near his house in Virginia, he happened to encounter people who reenact the Civil War--men who dress up in period costumes and live as Johnny Rebs and Billy Yanks. Intrigued, he wound up having some odd adventures with the "hardcores," the fellows who try to immerse themselves in the war, hoping to get what they lovingly term a "period rush." Horwitz spent two years reporting on why Americans are still so obsessed with the war, and the ways in which it resonates today. Continued below...
In the course of his work, he made a sobering side trip to cover a "murder that was provoked by the display of the Confederate flag," and he spoke to a number of people seeking to honor their ancestors who fought for the Confederacy. Horwitz has a flair for odd details that spark insights, and Confederates in the Attic is a thoughtful and entertaining book that does much to explain America's continuing obsession with the Civil War.

 

Recommended Reading: The Civil War in the Carolinas (Hardcover). Description: Dan Morrill relates the experience of two quite different states bound together in the defense of the Confederacy, using letters, diaries, memoirs, and reports. He shows how the innovative operations of the Union army and navy along the coast and in the bays and rivers of the Carolinas affected the general course of the war as well as the daily lives of all Carolinians. In the latter part of the war, he describes how Sherman's operation cut out the heart of the last stronghold of the South. Continued below...

The author offers fascinating sketches of major and minor personalities, including the new president and state governors, Generals Lee, Beauregard, Pickett, Sherman, D.H. Hill, and Joseph E. Johnston. Rebels and abolitionists, pacifists and unionists, slaves and freed men and women, all influential, all placed in their context with clear-eyed precision. If he were wielding a needle instead of a pen, his tapestry would offer us a complete picture of a people at war.

Midwest Book Review: The Civil War in the Carolinas by civil war expert and historian Dan Morrill (History Department, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, and Director of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Historical Society) is a dramatically presented and extensively researched survey and analysis of the impact the American Civil War had upon the states of North Carolina and South Carolina, and the people who called these states their home. A meticulous, scholarly, and thoroughly engaging examination of the details of history and the sweeping change that the war wrought for everyone, The Civil War In The Carolinas is a welcome and informative addition to American Civil War Studies reference collections.

Sources: Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies; Walter Clark, Histories of the Several Regiments and Battalions from North Carolina in the Great War 1861-1865; National Park Service: American Civil War; National Park Service: Soldiers and Sailors System; Weymouth T. Jordan and Louis H. Manarin, North Carolina Troops, 1861-1865; and D. H. Hill, Confederate Military History Of North Carolina: North Carolina In The Civil War, 1861-1865.

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