Capt. James William Wilson, Co. F, 6th North Carolina Infantry, On His Company In the Battle

13 08 2020

For the Hillsborough Recorder.

Melville, Aug. 1st.

Mr. Hearte – Dear Sir: – I had intended writing you a lengthy account of the fight at Manassas, but was prevented by sickness from so doing. Two days previous to the fight I was sent off by Col. Fisher as Quarter-master, and for that reason did not get into the engagement until about 2 o’clock. As soon as I get better I will try to give you some items which will be of interest to your readers.

In the Standard I notice a letter from Capt. York, which does not give justice to the Company from the Hawfields, which I have the pleasure to command, and I write to-day to ask you in your next editorial to make a statement for them. In addition to the two companies that charged upon Sherman’s battery, under their brave commanders, Capts. Avery and Kirkland, the writer neglects to add the one from Haw Fields. This Company fought bravely through the entire battle, was in the charge upon the battery, and even went beyond it, and at night as large o proportion as from any other Company followed in the pursuit. I can say this without any egotism, as the company was under the command of my most efficient first Lieut. Carter. In this Company James P. Stewart and James Simpson (privates) were killed; Paisley White severely wounded; Elbridge Younger flesh wound in the arm; Samuel Younger wounded in the foot; Jo. Thompson (son of Samuel) marked in the ear. Many others received slight marks, but not of sufficient importance to notice.

The dispute as to whom belongs the credit of taking Sherman’s battery, in my opinion, arises from our not being able fully to identify which was really his battery. That we charged upon and took a battery there is not a shadow of doubt, but whether it was Sherman’s, or a part of it, or some other battery, my impression is no one can say positively, and so many having been taken the confusion may have thus arisen.

I am yet very feeble, but hope soon to be able to return to my post. By making some notice of what I have written you will, I know, gratify your many readers in the Hawfields.

Yours, very truly

James W. Wilson

Hillsborough (NC) Recorder, 8/7/1861

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[The following appeared in the (Raleigh, NC) Semi-Weekly Standard on 8/10/1861, along with an excerpt of the above:

We are satisfied that Capt. York did not intend to do the slightest injustice to the Hawfields company. He had left a blank in his letter, hoping no doubt before he closed his letter, to obtain the names of the other companies that charged upon the battery. In publishing the letter we closed up this blank.

Capt. Wilson had returned home on leave, on account of serious indisposition – hemorrhage of the lungs. We hope to hear of his restoration to health. He is every way worthy of the men under his command, who bore so gallant a part in the great battle with laid permanently the foundations of Southern independence.]

James William Wilson at Ancestry 

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James William Wilson at FindAGrave 





Capt. William Johnson Freeland, Co. C, 6th North Carolina Infantry, On the Battle and Company Casualties

13 08 2020

Sixth Regiment N. C. State Troops. – For the gratification of those who have friends in Capt. Freeland’s Company, we are permitted to publish and extract of his letter to his wife.

Manassas Junction, July 23d, 1861.

My Dear Julia: – I am yet alive and well, and so only through the great mercies of God. Sixteen of my brave boys fell around me, dead and wounded, while storming one of the enemy’s batteries. Our brave Col. Fisher fell near me. The battle raged dreadfully for twelve hours. They drove us once in some disorder, but we drove them at last with great slaughter. I hope never to witness such a scene again. Be of good cheer, dear Julia, for I hope the last great battle is fought and won.

I send you a list of the dead and wounded of my Company:

Killed – J. A. Hutchins, Robert Falkner
Wounded. – J. E. Davis, mortally; E. W. Pickett, James Redmun, A. Glen, A. P. Copley, James Copley, William Chambley, W. P. Haley, S. B. Freeman, H. Vickers, O. W. Willett, H. Pickett, Silas Hutchin, Burton Rhodes.

I have just visited my wounded, and could but weep over them. Our dead are all buried.

Hillsboro Recorder.

(Fayetteville, NC) Semi-Weekly Observer, 8/5/1861

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William Johnson Freeland at Ancestry 

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William Johnson Freeland at FindAGrave