The Civil War in North Carolina

Reminiscences and Memoirs of North Carolina and Eminent North Carolinians

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Second Lieutenant of Artillery, and was stationed at Fortress Monroe. When the war between the States commenced, he felt it was his Ramseur duty to stand by his State; he therefore resigned his commission in the United States Army, and tendered his services to the newly formed government at Montgomery, Alabama, by which he was appointed First Lieutenant of Artillery, and ordered to the Mississippi. While on his way to his post, he received a telegram announcing his election to command the "Ellis Light Artillery" then being formed at Raleigh. He repaired in haste to this new duty, and in a very short time secured the necessary complement of men, guns, horses and other equipments. After drilling and practicing his battery in the summer of 1861, he proceeded to join the army in Virginia. He was stationed near Southfield, on the south side of the James River, where he spent the fall and winter. This battery was composed of the flower of the youth and manhood of the State, and by its excellence in evolutions and perfection in drills, was the cynosure of attention and gained for its youthful commander the encomiums of all reviewing generals. In the spring, when Richmond was menaced by McClellan, Captain Ramseur was ordered to report to General Magruder at Yorktown. Before any serious fighting on the Peninsula occurred, Captain Ramseur was promoted to the command of the 49th Regiment of North Carolina Infantry. This regiment was composed of raw troops, but by the exertions of its practiced commander, it was soon prepared for the front. It received its "first baptism of fire" in the skirmishes which preceded the terrible battles around Richmond. Encouraged and inspired by the fearless intrepidity of its commander, it participated with gallantry in the seven days' battles. In the last of these, at Malvern Hill, July 1, 1862, while leading a victorious charge, Colonel Ramseur was wounded in the right arm above the elbow, so severely that some time elapsed before he was able to reach his home. While at home he was given a Brigadier's commission, and in October, 1862, although far from recovered from his wound, he repaired to Richmond and explained to President Davis the reluctance he felt in accepting the exalted rank offered him. Its acceptance was urged, and he was advised to return home until health was restored. General Ramseur, instead of returning home, sought out the army and assumed the command of his brigade, which had been left without a General since the death of General George B. Anderson. This brigade was composed of the Second, Fourth, Fourteenth and Thirtieth Regiments of North Carolina troops, and, although General Ramseur was a stranger from another branch of the service, and succeeded an officer of great ability, well skilled in the art of war, commanding the confidence and affections of his men--yet he disarmed all criticism by his high professional attainments and his amiability of character, inspiring his men by his own enthusiastic temper with those lofty qualities which distinguish the soldier. The brigade was attached to Jackson's corps, and at the battle of Chancellorsville (May 3, 1863), while leading a charge, General Ramseur was again wounded by the explosion of a shell. This second wound did not take him from the field. He continued with his brigade through the Pennsylvania campaign, and in the battle of Gettysburg (July, 1863), he led it with distinguished courage. On the return of the army from Pennsylvania, there seemed to be a lull in the terrible din of war, and the division was preparing to go into winter quarters, near Orange Court House, when he obtained a leave of absence, and on October 27, 1863, he was married to Ellen F. Richmond, of Milton, North Carolina. After spending some time at home, he again repaired to his command. The next general engagement in which he bore a part was at the Wilderness (fought from 5th to 12th of May, 1864), and Spotsylvania Court House (10th to 12th of May), in which his brigade behaved
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