September 17, 1862– The Battle of Sharpsburg- known as The single bloodiest day in the Civil War. The 6th North Carolina was there!
The 6th North Carolina State Troops arrived in Sharpsburg on September 15, tired and hungry, after spending the previous day fighting to block the Federal army from passing through Boonesborough Gap, and then acting as a rear guard as the Confederates consolidated at Sharpsburg. Law’s brigade was posted on the Hagarstown Pike with their right posted at the Dunker Church and the line extended along the turnpike. The other regiments in Law’s 1474 man brigade were the 4th Alabama, the 2nd Mississippi and the 11th Mississippi.1 Regimental strengths for the Sixth NC at this battle are not easily found, but in discussing this with my colleague and fellow researcher, Randall Garrison, we guesstimate their strength to be around 400.
They crossed the high wooden fences bordering the Hagarstown pike and entered a field adjacent to Miller’s cornfield. This is where they fought….and died. By mid morning it was over. They were recalled to the woods around the Dunker church and waited in readiness under a heavy bombardment of cannon fire for a call to action that never came.
Various casualty records can be found, all with slightly different numbers but they are all in the same ballpark. Iobst, in “The Bloody Sixth“, referred to a casualty report in the October 8, 1862 “Hillsborough Reporter” of 8 Killed and 105 Wounded for a total of 113 Casualties. Contrast this with John Micheal Priest’s figures from the Official Records of 6 Killed and 94 wounded, although Col. Laws report2 in the O.R.’s states 8 killed and 117 wounded. I found a casualty list for the 6th North Carolina in the Wednesday, Oct. 1, 1862 “North Carolina Standard” that I used as the basis for my research, which agrees with Iobst’s figures of 8 Killed and 105 Wounded, but after going through the rosters I found that even these figures don’t match. My research has identified 12 killed.
Of the nearly 4,000 deaths resulting from that horrific battle, at least 12 men from the 6th North Carolina State troops (“The Bloody Sixth”) made the ultimate Sacrifice that day 150 years ago.
They have not been forgotten:
6th NCST Roster of Killed from the battle of Sharpsburg, Maryland
as reported in the 7-31-1861 North Carolina standard and verified against North Carolina Troops Roster (Jordon), Bloody Sixth Roster (Manarin), The O.R’s and Compiled Service Records and transcribed by Historian Rick Walton, I am including the 12 members of the 6th Killed in action below. (use scroll at bottom to see entire table)
|Co||Rank||Name in Newspaper||Name on roster||County enlisted||Age enlisted||Date enlisted||Occupation||Resided|
|C||Captain||Capt Lowrie||Lowrie, Houston B.||unknown||22||5/16/1861||unknown||unknown|
|C||Sergeant||Serg’t. M Markham||Markham, Matthew||Orange||25||5/1/1861||unknown||Orange|
|D||Corporal||Corp’l A L Poteet||Poteet, Alburto L.||Mecklenburg||41||5/28/1861||unknown||Burke|
|D||Private||G Stanford||Stanford, John J.||Alamance||33||6/27/1861||Farmer||Burke|
|D||Private||Henry Roseman||Roseman, Henry||Alamance||25||6/15/1861||unknown||unknown|
|D||Private||L L Hank||Houk, Lawson L.||Mecklenburg||19||5/281861||unknown||unknown|
|D||Private||<not listed>||Branch, Martin J.||Alamance||22||6/27/1861||unknown||Burke|
|E||Sergeant||Serg’t P A Erwin||Erwin, Isaac||Mecklenburg||30||5/28/1861||Farmer||Yancey|
|G||Private||Thos Cress||Cress, Thomas||Mecklenburg||25||5/29/1861||Farmer||Rowan|
|H||Corporal||Corp’l J B Walker||Walker, James B.||Caswell||21||6/6/1861||Farmer||Caswell|
|H||Private||J T Wren||Wren, John T.||Caswell||24||6/10/1861||unknown||unknown|
|K||Private||David Hatchell||Hatchell, David||Wake||?||9/1/1861||Unknown||Unknown|
1. Priest, John Michael, Antietam: The Soldiers Battle, White Maine Publishing Company, Shippensburg, PA, Pg 323.
2 O. R., Series 1, Volume XIX/1, Pg. 811