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Brigadier General Alfred Scales

Brigadier-General Alfred Moore Scales was born November 26, 1827, in Rockingham county, son of Dr. Robert H. Scales. He was educated at the Caldwell institute and Chapel Hill, and after teaching for a time, studied law with Judge Settle and later with Judge Battle. He was elected county solicitor in 1852, and was a member of the house of commons in 1852-53. In 1854 he made a creditable race as the Democratic candidate for Congress in a Whig district. Again being elected to the legislature, he served as chairman of the finance committee. In 1857 he was elected to Congress over his former opponent, but was defeated for re-election. From 1858 until the spring of 1861 he held the office of clerk and master of the court of equity of Rockingham county. In 1860 he was an elector on the Breckinridge ticket, and in 1861 was a candidate for the convention, favoring the calling of the same, though he did not propose immediate secession. Soon after the call for troops from Washington he volunteered as a private in the North Carolina service, but was at once elected captain of his company, H of the Thirteenth, and succeeded General Pender as colonel in the following October. He was engaged in the skirmishes at Yorktown, the battle of Williamsburg and the Seven Days' campaign about Richmond, Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville. In the latter engagement he continued on the field, though shot through the thigh, until loss of blood forced him to a halt It was to his regiment that General Pender said: "I have nothing to say to you but to hold you all up as models in duty, courage and daring." In his official report Pender referred to Colonel Scales as "a man as gallant as is to be found in the service." While at home, recovering from his wound, he was promoted to brigadier-general June 13, 1863, and on his return was assigned to the command of Pender's old brigade. In the first day's fight at Get- tysburg he fought with great gallantry, and fell severely wounded by a fragment of shell on Seminary ridge, where every field officer of his brigade was killed or wounded save one, and his brigade, already sadly reduced by its terrible sacrifices at Chancellorsville, lost in all nearly 550 men. With General Pender at his side he was carried back to Virginia in an ambulance, and being left. at Winchester, recovered. He took part in the campaigns of the army of Northern Virginia during 1864, in command of his brigade, and was faithful to the end, though at home on sick furlough at the time of the surrender. He subsequently resumed the practice of law, a profession in which he gained very high distinction. In 1874 he was elected to the Forty-fourth Congress, and his career in this capacity met with such general approval that he was re-elected to the four succeeding Congresses. He was then in 1884, chosen governor of North Carolina by a majority of over twenty thousand votes. Upon the expiration of his term as governor he retired permanently from political life, repeatedly refusing to be returned to Congress. In 1888 he was elected president of the Piedmont bank at Greensboro, and continued as its president until he died, in February, 1892. At the time of his death at Greensboro all business houses closed and the city turned out enmasse to attend his funeral. He was greatly beloved and respected by all who knew him, and his home life was particularly pleasant and charming.

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13th North Carolina Infantry Regiment

Burial location of Alfred Scales