The Pettigrew-Kirkland-MacRae Brigade was one of North Carolina's best-known and most successful units during the Civil War. Formed in the summer of 1862, the brigade spent many months protecting supply lines in its home state before it was thrust into its first major combat at Gettysburg. There, James Johnston Pettigrew's men pushed back the Union's famed Iron Brigade in vicious fighting on July 1 and played a key role in Pickett's Charge on July 3, in the process earning a reputation as one of the hardest-fighting units in Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia.
Lee's Tar Heels tells the story of the men who made up the Pettigrew-Kirkland-MacRae Brigade, which included the 11th, 26th, 44th, and 52nd North Carolina Regiments. Earl Hess chronicles the unit's formation and growth under Pettigrew and its subsequent exploits under William W. Kirkland and William MacRae. Beyond recounting the brigade's military engagements, Hess draws on letters, diaries, memoirs, and service records to explore the camp life, medical care, social backgrounds, and political attitudes of these gallant Tar Heels. He also addresses the continuing debate between North Carolinians and Virginians over responsibility for the failure of Pickett's Charge.
- History, Biography + Autobiography
- United States / State + Local / General, Military / General, General, United States / Civil War Period (1850-1877)
- May 1, 2002
- May 1, 2002
- Earl J. Hess