Esteemed member Greg Mast
That the 1st Regiment N.C. State Troops was the perpetrator of a "friendly fire" incident on Culp's Hill seems clear enough, but the context of N.C. sources makes it seem that the victims were members of the 3rd Regiment N.C. State Troops rather than the 1st Maryland Battalion. After Pfanz's July 2 book was published, I tried (to satisfy my own curiosity) to outline the actions of the two Tar Heel regiments in Steuart's Brigade. Easily accessible sources proved sparse: the _OR_, regimental histories, and some postwar writings of Randolph McKim. Reviewing my notes, I find I wrote the following:
"The 1st North Carolina deployed skirmishers early in the morning of July 2, but most of the regiment remained inactive during the day, listening with growing apprehension, wrote Lieutenant Randolph McKim of General Steuart's staff, to the enemy "plying axe and pick and shovel" on Culp's Hill. About 7:00 P.M. Steuart's Brigade received orders to attack the "rough and rugged" lower part of Culp's Hill. The brigade, crossing Rock Creek, encountered stiff resistance on its right, but the left wing of the brigade swept into the Federal lines, gaining a substantial lodgment within the enemy fortifications. During this assault the 1st North Carolina was held in reserve. At the urging of Lieutenant McKim, General Steuart then ordered the 1st in to support their "struggling comrades" on the right. Guided by the lieutenant, eight companies of the regiment reached a position where a line of battle to its front could be seen. McKim shouted "Fire on them, boys; fire on them!" but an officer of the 3rd North Carolina quickly appeared and shouted that the troops were firing on their own men."
It appears from your post that I am mistaken in assuming that the 1st NC fired at the 3rd NC. I would be glad to learn what the Maryland memoirists, mentioned elsewhere in your post, had to say about this incident.
You are probably not mistaken, since both regiments caught the "friendly fire". I quote from Goldsborough's THE MARYLAND LINE IN THE CONFEDERATE ARMY, p.104,
"....at the same moment, the Third North Carolina and the Second Maryland [i.e., 1st MD Battalion] received an enfilading fire from Green's New York Brigade, which was posted in an angle of the works, about three hundred yards to the right. The balance of Steuart's Brigade was on the other side of the ridge, and was not exposed to the fire at all. To make matters still worse, the First North Carolina, which was marching in reserve, believing they were being fired upon by the enemy, opened fire, by which a number of men in the two right regiments were killed and wounded."
The "two right regiments" were, of course, the 3rd NC and the 1st MD Battalion, so you are right in your original supposition.
Esteemed member John Gross
"The regiments comprising Steuart's Brigade were assigned the following positions in line: Third North Carolina on the right; Second Maryland [formaly the 1st], Thirty-seventh Virginia, Twenty-third Virginia and Tenth Virginia, the First North Carolina being held in reserve. Finding that he was inclining to far to the left, General Steuart moved obliquely to the right, which movement brought the Third North Carolina and Second Maryland face to face with the enemy behind a line of log breastworks, and these two regiments received their full fire at very short range, for, owing to the darkness, the breastworks could not be seen; at the same moment the Third North carolina and Second Maryland received an enfilading fire from Green's New York Brigade, which was posted in an angle of the works, and about three hundred yards to the right. The balance of Steuart's Brigade was on the other side of the ridge, and was not exposed to the fire at all. To make matters still worse, the First North Carolina, which was marching in reserve, believing they were being fired upon by the enemy, opened fire, by which a number of men in the two right regiments [3rd NC and 2nd MD] were killed and wounded."
W.W. Goldsborough, "The Maryland Line."
W.W. Goldsborough was an officer in the MD regiment, and assumed command when Lt. Col. James Herbert fell wounded.
Esteemed member JLCameron@aol.com contributes:
Joe, If you have access to the Batchelder Papers, the third volume has quite a bit on these two regiments. They got into a rather nasty debate over just which regiment was next to the Bryan barn, and in the front or rear line of the brigade on July 3, when the time came to decide on the placement of the 111th's monument. This generated a spate of letters to the good Colonel. Reading them is a good way to appreciate the almost hopeless task he faced in (1) trying to tell just who was right, since everyone writing these letters was UTTERLY CONVINCED their version of events was correct, and (2) making these very touchy veterans happy. No wonder when he came to write his history of the battle he included so little of the information he had gathered direct from the veterans over the years, and based most of it on the official reports.
BTW, it is well known that the manuscript was never published by the War Department, and my understanding is that this was for pretty good reason. That being, it just wasn't very good, plus, the department was disappointed that he had based it so heavily on the official reocrds, and used so little of the information he had compiled himself. It will be interesting to see how it reads, now that Morningside is publishing it. My guess is that apart form being in the nature of a "time capsule", and thus a bit of a historical artifact in and of itself, it will be found very lacking by modern readers, accustomed as they are to the works of historians such as Pfanz, Sears, and the many astute contributers to Gettysburg Magazine.