Pettigrew's Brigade - Heth's Division
— Hill's Corps - Army of Northern Virginia —
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 the 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 PM on nearing Willoughby Run the Regiment received a galling 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. Burgwyn 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."