"In all my readings of veterans,
and of coolness under fire, I have
never conceived of anything surpassing the coolness of our men in this fight."
An unnamed officer in the 22nd NC describing the
demeanor during Seven Pines.
my family, I have discovered that a number of my ancestors
served in the Confederate Army . This is the story of my great-great grandfather,
James Franklin Freeman, and his regiment, the 22nd Regiment N.C. Troops,
during the War Between The States .
James voluteered for duty, and was
enlisted as a private into what was later
designated as Company L , known as the"Uwharrie Rifles", or the "Uwharrie Grays",
on June 18, 1861, in Randolph County, N.C., at the age of 20. James reported as being
from the "Sandy Creek" area of the county. Signing him up was the first Captain of
Company L, Robert H. Gray, who himself had been elected captain of the company
that very same day. James signed up for a period of one year service to his beloved
state; however, it appears that at a later date he was "mustered...for three years,
or the duration of the war...", no doubt in response to the manpower demands
placed upon the Confederacy. After encamping near Trinity College until July
10th, the company transferred to Raleigh. At the State Fairgrounds on July 11th,
they were mustered into the 12th Regiment N.C. Volunteers, with a final total of 12
companies. The regiment left Camp Carolina, near Raleigh, for Richmond on August
7th. On August 16th, the regiment moved to Brooke's Station, near Aquia Creek (a tri-
butary of the Potomac), where it encamped at Camp Bee. On August 28th it transferred
to Stafford Court House, Va. They established Camp Galloway nearby, after which the
regiment was assigned to the garrison at Evansport, where defenses had been constructed
to prevent Federal ships from navigating the Potomac River. During this period, on
August 28, Private Freeman was reported as being "sick at Fredericksburg", probably
from measles, as a severe outbreak of that disease was spreading through the area at
the time; however, he did receive some good news...he was finally receiving his first
pay since signing up...$10.00! James would recouperate and return to his company,
to serve as a gunners-mate overlooking the Potomac.
On September 13th, the 1st Regiment
Arkansas Infantry, the 2nd Regiment
Tennessee Infantry, and the 12th Regiment N.C. Volunteers were organized into a
brigade under command of Colonel John G. Walker. The 47th Regiment Virginia
Infantry was assigned to the brigade in late October or early November. On
November 13th Colonel Walker was promoted and assigned to a field brigade,
and General Samuel G. French was placed in command of the troops and
defenses at Evansport. On November 14th, this regiment was redesignated the
22nd Regiment N.C. Troops. (click here for the Field and Staff page of the
22nd Regiment NC Troops.)
After winter quarters at Evansport,
the brigade was relocated to Fredericksburg,
where it remained until mid-April 1862. During that period, General French was
reassigned and replaced by the renowned General James J. Pettigrew . The
brigade was ordered to Yorktown, where it was assigned to a reserve division
commanded by General William H.C. Whiting. After a substantial Federal
buildup, General Joseph E. Johnston began a general withdrawal, May 3-4, and
the reserve forces under General Gustavus W. Smith retired to a position north of
Richmond on the Brook Turnpike. Upon advancement of McClellan across the
Chickahominy, General Smith's reserve forces, including Whiting's division, were
ordered to the junction of the New Bridge Road and the Nine Mile Road with
orders to either strike the enemy's right flank, or cover Longstreet's left. During
the ensuing battle of Seven Pines on May 31st, Whiting's division, from which the
22nd had been temporarily detached, did not see action until 4:00 pm when it met
the enemy on the Nine Mile Rd. During the battle, the 22nd was sent to support
Gen. Wade Hampton's cavalry brigade. Losses suffered by the 22nd on May 31st
were 147 killed or wounded.
During the battle of Seven Pines,
General Johnston was wounded. General
Gustavus Smith, who succeeded him, fell sick, and General Robert E. Lee was
placed in command of the Army of Northern Virginia. Changes were made to
unite troops from the same state into brigades. General Pettigrew's brigade was
broken up, and this regiment was assigned to General William D. Pender's
brigade of General A.P. Hill's division. The new brigade was composed of the 22nd
N.C., 16th N.C., 34th N.C., 38th N.C., 2nd Battalion Ark. Inf., and the 22nd
Battalion Va. Inf.
After the battle, the regiment moved
to a position south of the Chickahominy
near the house of Dr. Friend, where it encamped and began construction of
earthenwork defensive lines. It was during this time that Gen J.E.B. Stuart
conducted his infamous 48 hour reconnoissance raid around McClellan. On or
about June 22nd, three days before Oak Grove, the first engagement of the
Seven Days battle, Pvt. James Freeman was wounded, and was taken to General
Hospital No. 13 in Richmond. The nature and extent of his injury is not known,
but records indicate that he was transferred back to Greensboro (NC) on July 3,
1862, presumably to recover. It also seems that James had other matters on his mind
(and in his heart), as he married my great-great grandmother on July 2, 1862, in
Randolph County, just south of Greensboro. Her name was Sarah Ann Wilson
(or Williams). (We can only attribute the slight discrepancy of the dates as an
error in records of some nature). He was reported absent due to wounds through
October of that year. Company records fail to indicate whether he returned
to duty; however, they do show that he was paroled at Greensboro, N.C., on
May 5, 1865, his name appearing on a list of Confederate soldiers who
were included in the surrender of General Robert E. Lee to Lt. General
U.S. Grant. With this in mind, it is uncertain whether my great-great
grandfather returned to the field of honor at a later date, but it is
believed that he received a medal for his service, and his name does
appear on a Roll of Honor for the 22nd Regiment NC Troops.
(For additional information about James Franklin
Freeman's service, and to view documents from
the National Archives, click here .)
The service of the 22nd continued
valiantly until the end of the war.
I wish that the record could support James Freeman's presence with the
regiment during the balance of the war, but it does not. However, since the
record of the 22nd is long and courageous, I will summarize in parts two
and three it's service during the remainder of the war.
The 22nd N.C.
went on to join Gen. A.P. Hill's division at Mechanicsville
on June 26, 1862, quickly followed on the 27th at Gaines' Mill, and Frayser's
Farm on the 30th. At Malvern Hill on July 1st, the 22nd failed to see action
due to the lateness of the hour. The Federals retired to Harrison's Landing,
and on July 8th the regiment withdrew to the vicinity of Richmond. During the
campaign the 22nd N.C. lost 28 killed and 133 wounded. Lee then reorganized
his army and assigned A.P. Hill's division to Stonewall Jackson's command.
The 22nd N.C. saw action at Cedar
Mountain on August 9th, and Jackson's
men remained on the battlefield until withdrawn to Gordonsville on the 11th.
On August 26th, Jackson moved his command to Manassas Junction in an
attempt to turn the Federal's right, under Gen. Pope, and to cut their lines of
communication. On the night of the 27th, Jackson moved his forces to Groveton
along an unfinished section of the Manassas Gap Railroad. On the 28th, Gen.
Pender's brigade, including the 22nd N.C., successfully re-took a railroad cut
which had been seized by the enemy. During the 3 day battle the regiment's
losses were 6 killed and 57 wounded.
Gen. Lee next ordered his army into
Maryland. After moving thru Leesburg,
Jackson's corps moved to capture the Federal garrison at Harper's Ferry from
the west. After moving thru Martinsburg, A.P. Hill's division took Bolivar
Heights west of town. Following a Confederate bombardment, the Federal
garrison surrendered on Sept. 15th. Hill was ordered to re-join Jackson at
Sharpsburg after receiving the surrender of the garrison. Hill's division was on
the march during the bloodiest single day of the war: Sept. 17, 1862. They did
arrive in time at Sharpsburg to strenghten Lee's right flank, which held. Pender's
brigade and the 22nd N.C. Troops were not actively engaged in the battle;
however, on the 20th, Pender's brigade retreated with Hill's division to the
Shepherdstown crossing and took part in driving the Federals back across the
river, which resulted in the loss to the brigade of 8 killed and 55 wounded.
The 22nd N.C. next saw service at
Fredericksburg; Jackson's corps were sent
there on Nov. 26th, and positioned between Longstreet and D.H. Hill. A.P. Hill's
division encamped nearby in reserve. When the Federals crossed the river on
the night of Dec. 12-13th, A.P. Hill's division occupied a defensive line from
Hamilton's Crossing to Deep Run Creek. Pender's brigade was on the left of
Hill's line next to Deep Run Creek and connected with Longstreet's right. A
Federal attack on Hill's line Dec.13th saw Pender's brigade come under heavy
artillery fire. The attack was successfully repulsed, after which the enemy
re-crossed the Rappahannock on the night of Dec. 15-16th. During the battle
on the 13th, the regiment lost 1 killed and 44 wounded. Following the battle
the 22nd N.C. went into winter quarters at Camp Gregg, 8 miles south
of Fredericksburg. During the winter of 1862-63, the regiment served on picket
duty on the river.
on May 2, 1863, the 22nd N.C. still under Pender,
moved with Jackson's corps and turned the Federal's right flank. The brigade
was positioned in the third line of battle. Later, the brigade was ordered to
entrench, and after the battle, the regiment returned to Camp Gregg. During
the Chancellorsville campaign the regiment lost 30 killed and 139 wounded.
Following the untimely death of Stonewall Jackson, Lee reorganized his army
again: corps commanders being Longstreet, Ewell, and A.P. Hill. Pender now
commanded a division of Hill's corps. Col. Alfred M Scales was promoted
brigadier general and took over Pender's brigade. Scales' brigade was in
Pender's division, Hill's corps.
In June the army began its move
into the Shenandoah Valley and ultimately
to Gettysburg. On July 1st, Pender's division supported that of Heth in line
of battle behind Heth. Scales' brigade formed the extreme left flank, on the
Chambersburg Pike. During the battle, Heth's division came under heavy fire, and
were later relieved by Pender, and the attack continued until the enemy was
driven back to Cemetery Hill. During the first day, Gen. Scales was wounded
and was replaced by Col. William Lowrance. Gen Scales reported brigade losses
as 9 officers killed, 45 wounded, and 1 missing; with losses in the ranks at
39 killed, 336 wounded, and 115 missing. Gen. Pender was mortally wounded on
the 2nd. On July 3rd, Scales' and Lane's brigades were ordered to take part
in the infamous "Pickett's Charge". Both brigades served on the left uder
Gen. Trimble. After the great battle, Hill's corps acted as a rear guard, and
Scales' [Lowrance's] brigade barely escaped capture at Falling Waters on the
14th. Apprx 200 men were captured, but the bulk of the brigade was saved by
Pettigrew's brigade, during which Gen. Pettigrew was killed . Losses of the
22nd N.C. during the campaign were 20 killed and 69 wounded.
During the remainder of 1863, Scales'
brigade was detailed to guard the
corps supply train, and the 22nd N.C. spent winter quarters near Orange C.H.
Grant's crossing of the Rapidan in May 1864 heralded a series of engagements
for the 22nd N.C., now in Wilcox's division. At the Wilderness on May 5th thru
7th, Scales' brigade was heavily engaged with the enemy near Chewning Plateau.
Defensive lines were quickly formed near Spotsylvania C.H. on May 7-8 in
response to a move by Grant's army. Both armies engaged in severe hand to hand
combat on May 12th. On May 21st, Scales' and Thomas' brigades were sent
forward to reconnoiter the enemy's position, and following a sharp skirmish it
was learned that the Federals had abandoned their works. Lee then moved the
army eastward establishing defensive works to the North Anna just north of
Hanover Junction. On May 23rd, Wilcox's division was ordered forward to meet
the advance of the Federal V Corps under the command of Gen. G.K. Warren.
Wilcox's division suffered 642 casualties during the day's fighting. In re-
sponse to another move by Grant, Lee moved to Cold Harbor. On June 2nd,
Wilcox's and Mahone's divisions were deployed on the extreme right, extending
Lee's defensive line almost to the Chickahominy. On June 3rd, commencing about
4:30 am, Grant's forces began to attack the entire 6 mile Confederate line, which
was repulsed by Lee's army. Wilcox's division was not engaged however. The
22nd N.C. was involved in a brief but uneventful skirmish on June 13th near
Riddell's Shop, Grant then crossed the James River, moving against Petersburg.
Hill's corps took up positions on
the right flank in the Petersburg defenses
June 18th near the Petersburg and Weldon R.R. Wilcox's division was south of
Petersburg. Scales' brigade was located just south of Sycamore St. On August
24th, Scales' brigade was involved in an attack upon Union positions near Reams
Station, which after 2 previous attempts, proved successful. Wilcox's division
saw action again Sept. 30th at Jones' Farm, where the Confederates
failed to prevent the Federals from extending their lines. Scales' brigade again
narrowly escaped capture. Hill's corps was involved in moves to oppose Federal
advancement on Dec. 8th, 1864 , and on Feb. 5th, 1865, but both were brief and
met with little success. During the attack on the Confederate line by Union
forces on April 2nd, Scales' brigade was dislodged from their main line
of entrenchments. That night, the army evacuated the Petersburg defenses,
and the army retired toward Amelia C.H. Gen. Scales was on sick furlough,
so the brigade was commanded by Col. Joseph Hyman. Lee regrouped at Amelia
C.H. April 4-5. While moving thru Farmville April 7th, Scales' brigade
successfully drove off a cavalry attack on the retreating column. On the 9th,
as Wilcox's division was preparing to support Gen. John B. Gordon west
of Appomattox C.H., the cease fire was given. Lee surrendered that day.
During parole of the Army of Northern Virginia on April 12, 1865, there
remained only 111 members of the 22nd N.C. Troops. (Click here for a list
of those paroled at Appomattox Court House, Regimental Field and Staff
and Company L inclusive).
After the war, James Franklin Freeman
worked as a cabinet maker, and later
at Guilford Lumber Company in Greensboro, N.C., and was remembered as a
large and robust man, who played the accordian. Later, he stayed at the
"Old Soldiers Home" in Raleigh, and died in 1926. James and Sarah are
buried at the Shiloh Methodist Church in Julian, N.C.
John W. Taylor
Greensboro, North Carolina
Great Great Grandson of
Pvt. James Franklin Freeman
Carolina Troops, 1861-1865" , Vol.VII
Editor: Weymouth T. Jordan, Jr.
Compiled by: N.C. Confederate Centennial Commission
pp. 1-10, 105-106, 110
"Memoirs of Robert E. Lee - His
Military and Personal History"
By: Brig. Gen. A. L. Long, CSA
The Blue and Grey Press
"22nd North Carolina Infantry"
By: Lt. Col. Graham Daves - Adjutant 22nd N.C.
"The Seven Days' Battle Before Richmond"
From: The Confederate Military History, Volume 3, Chapter XVI
"The Official Military Atlas of
the Civil War"
By: Maj. George B. Davis, US Army, Leslie J. Perry, Civilian Expert,
Joseph W. Kirkley, Civilian Expert
Compiled By: Capt. Calvin D. Cowles, 23rd US Infantry
"The Appomattox Roster"
Antiquarian Press, Ltd.
Special thanks to my cousin,
Karen Crawford Phillips, Brown Summit,
North Carolina, who provided genealogical and family history information.
Thank you for your interest in the
22nd Regiment N.C. Troops, and for visiting this page.
I would like to establish this page as a source of contact from other individuals,
groups, or family members whose ancestors fought with the 22nd. Please
feel free to email remarks, as well as email addresses and web pages
for anyone interested in the 22nd Regiment N.C. Troops,
regardless of which regimental company the
ancestor was a member of.
Go To The 44th Regiment NC Troops Web Page ]
(For the story of my great grandfather,
William Tate Crawford, and his regiment)
"All the bitterness has
gone out of my heart, and in spite of a Confederate bullet in my body,
not hesitate to acknowledge that their valor is part of the common heritage of the whole country.
We can never challenge the fame of those men whose skill and valor made them the
idols of the Confederate army. The fame of Lee, Jackson, the Johnstons, Gordon, Longstreet,
the Hills, Hood and Stuart and many thousands of non-commissioned officers and private soldiers
of the Confederate armies, whose names are not mentioned on historic pages, can never be tarnished
by the carping criticisms of the narrow and shallow minded."
Col. David F. Pugh, gallant federal officer and
commander of the Grand Army of the Republic,
June 7, 1902.
"Sometimes he won,
then hopes were high;
Again he lost, but it would not die;
And so to the end he followed and fought,
With love and devotion, which could not be bought."
This site promotes HERITAGE, NOT HATE, and
was last updated on
December 25, 2006