James Johnston Pettigrew, Marker B-12
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member drmellow
N 35° 52.354 W 076° 23.497
18S E 374371 N 3970708
Quick Description: James Johnston Pettigrew. Confederate General, famed for charge at Gettysburg. His grave is 8 miles south.
Location: North Carolina, United States
Date Posted: 5/4/2006 5:55:18 AM
Waymark Code: WMBY1
Published By: Groundspeak Regular Member showbizkid
Views: 43

Long Description:

Text on Marker:

B-12: James Johnston Pettigrew
James Johnston Pettigrew. Confederate General, famed for charge at Gettysburg. His grave is 8 miles south.

This historical marker is located on US 64 (old) in Cresswell. It was erected in 1939. The current marker is dated 1949.

Gen. Pettigrew's Grave

The following information is excerpted from the J. Johnston Pettigrew Wikipedia article:

James Johnston Pettigrew (July 4, 1828 – July 17, 1863) was an author, lawyer, linguist, diplomat, and a Confederate general in the American Civil War. He was a major leader in the disastrous Pickett's Charge and was killed immediately following the Battle of Gettysburg....

When war was declared, Pettigrew joined the Hampton Legion, a force raised in South Carolina by Wade Hampton, as a private, although he quickly accepted a commission as colonel of the 1st South Carolina Rifles. He returned to North Carolina to command the 12th (later renamed the 22nd) North Carolina Infantry. Both Jefferson Davis and Joseph E. Johnston urged him to accept higher command, but he declined because of his lack of military experience. However, as the need for qualified officers in the Confederate States Army became acute, the new colonel was soon ordered to Virginia to accept a promotion to brigadier general on February 26, 1862. When a young relative requested a "safe place" on Pettigrew's staff, he replied, "I assure you that the most unsafe place in the Brigade is about me. By all means let him get rid of this idea of a safe place, which he will regret after time. The post of danger is certainly the post of honor." He was true to his word....

 J. Johnston Pettigrew

On July 3 [1863], Lee selected Pettigrew's division to march at the left of George Pickett's in the famous infantry assault now known as Pickett's Charge (although some recent historians have used the name "Pickett-Pettigrew-Trimble Assault" to describe it because Pickett led only one third of men in the attack). This was an error on Lee's part; he did not consult with Heth to find out the terrible condition of the division. As the division received murderous fire, Pettigrew's horse was shot out from under him and he continued on foot. Reaching within 100 yards of the stone wall on Cemetery Ridge, he was severely wounded in the left hand by canister fire. Despite the great pain he was in, Pettigrew remained with his soldiers until it was obvious that the attack had failed. Holding his bloody hand, the despondent officer walked toward Seminary Ridge and encountered General Lee. Pettigrew attempted to speak, but Lee, seeing the horrible wound, spoke first: "General, I am sorry to see you are wounded; go to the rear." With a painful salute, the handsome officer said nothing but continued to the rear.

General Pettigrew continued to command the division during the retreat to the Potomac River until Heth recovered. Stopped by the flooded Potomac River at Falling Waters, Maryland, Pettigrew's brigade was deployed in a dense skirmish line. Union cavalry probed the southern defenses throughout the night as Lee's army crossed the pontoon bridges into Virginia. On morning of July 14, Pettigrew's brigade was one of the last Confederate units still north of the Potomac River, when the Union troopers closed in. On foot and in the front line, Pettigrew was directing his soldiers when he was shot by a Union cavalryman at close range, the bullet striking him in the abdomen. He was immediately carried to the rear and across the Potomac River where he died three days later near Bunker Hill, Virginia.

The loss of Pettigrew emotionally devastated his family and there was an official day of mourning held for him in North Carolina. His death also affected Lee who remarked, "The army has lost a brave soldier and the Confederacy an accomplished officer." General Pettigrew's body was returned to North Carolina and interred at his family estate, "Bonarva", which is now part of Pettigrew State Park, in Tyrrell County.

Read more....

When visiting this marker, it is worth the time to travel to Pettigrew State Park to visit his grave in the family cemetary at Pettigrew State Park, approxmately 8 miles south of the Historical Marker (N 35º 46.852 W 076º 23.717), which also contains the grave of Rev. Charles Pettigrew (commemorated by NC Higway Marker B-29).

Marker Name: B-12: James Johnston Pettigrew

Marker Type: Roadside

Related Web Link: [Web Link]

Required Waymark Photo: yes

Local North Carolina markers without State Number Designation: Not listed

Visit Instructions:

Photos of your visit to the marker are required, but PLEASE, no old vacation photos taken just because it was there!

Comments about your visit, interesting nearby areas and any significant information you may have on this waymark are encouraged.

Most of all, enjoy the History that North Carolina has to offer! From the Mountains to the Ocean .. it's all here!

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