Not to be confused with the "4th North Carolina Regiment" of the American Revolution, or the "4th North Carolina Regiment" of the Spanish-American War.
The 4th North Carolina Infantry was a Confederate States Army regiment during the American Civil War, active from 1861 until the war's end in April 1865. Ordered to Virginia, the unit served in General Winfield S. Featherston’s, George B. Anderson’s, Stephen D. Ramseur’s, and William R. Cox’s Brigade. Its field officers were Colonels George B. Anderson, Bryan Grimes, Edwin A. Osborne, and James H. Wood; Lieutenant Colonels David M. Carter and John A. Young; and Majors Edward S. Marsh and Absalom K. Simonton. It was nicknamed "The Bloody Fourth" after the high rate of casualties at the Battle of Seven Pines.
The 4th North Carolina regiment was raised in 1861 from central and western North Carolina, with George B. Anderson as its first colonel. The regiment completed its organization in May 1862, at Camp Hill, near Garysburg, North Carolina. It recruited its members in Iredell, Rowan, Wayne, Beaufort, Wilson, and Davie counties.
At the Battle of Seven Pines the 4th North Carolina regiment justly earned its sobriquet of the “Bloody Fourth”. The regiment was here commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Bryan Grimes, who led the charge, and was the only officer surviving the fight unwounded. The Fourth went into battle with 520 men and 25 officers- “the noble 545.” In carrying the works it lost 462 men and 24 officers killed and wounded; this was the bloodiest charge of the war. In this battle the color guard being killed, the intrepid and heroic John Stikeleather became color bearer, and proudly bore the banner to its surrender at Appomattox.
Anderson was mortally wounded at the Bloody Lane during the Battle of Sharpsburg (Battle of Antietam) in 1862 and command of the unit passed to Lieutenant Colonel Bryan Grimes.
The 4th North Carolina marched northward in Maryland and later into Pennsylvania, going as far north as Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania. On July 1, 1863 the 4th North Carolina became engaged in the Battle of Gettysburg, fighting at Oak Hill Battle of Gettysburg, First Day. On the first day at Gettysburg, the regiment captured more Union prisoners than the regiment had men. “At Gettysburg he [Colonel Bryan Grimes] and his regiment were the first to enter the town, and they drove the enemy through Gettysburg to the heights beyond, capturing more prisoners than there were men in his command.”
The second day of Gettysburg was spent northwest of Cemetery Hill.
Later in the war, the regiment fought during the Overland Campaign and Siege of Petersburg, and remained in the Army of Northern Virginia until its surrender at Appomattox, Virginia. At Spotsylvania, the Fourth North Carolina again killed more Federal soldiers in their front than there were men in the regiment. “On May 12, 1864, the enemy captured the Confederate breast works at the Horseshoe at Spotsylvania Court House, also many guns and two thousand of General Edward Johnson’s men. The gallant General Stephen Dodson Ramseur being wounded in attempting to retake the breastworks, Colonel Bryan Grimes on his own responsibility, ordered a second charge, himself leading it, and recovered the entire works and all the guns, capturing many prisoners and killing more of the enemy than the brigade numbered men. General Lee himself rode down and thanked them, telling them they deserved the thanks of the country- they had saved the army.”
At Appomattox, William Ruffin Cox's Brigade fired the last shots from the Army of Northern Virginia.
Peninsular Campaign: Siege of Yorktown April 5- May 4, 1862; Battle of Williamsburg, May 5, 1862; Seven Pines May 31- June 1, 1862; Seven Days June 21- July 1, 1862: Mechanicsville, Beaver Dam Creek (Ellison’s Mills) June 26, 1862; Gaines Mill, Cold Harbor, Chickahominy June 27, 1862; Glendale (Nelson’s Farm), Frazier’s Farm, Charles City Cross Roads, New Market Cross Roads, Willis Church, Va. June 30, 1862; Engagement, Malvern Hill, Va August 5, 1862; Maryland Campaign: Skirmish, Mouth of the Monocacy, Md. September 6, 1862; South Mountain (Fox’s Gap) September 14, 1864; Antietam/Sharpsburg September 17, 1862; Retreat from Sharpsburg, September 19–20, 1862; Operations in Loudoun, Fauquier and Rappahannock Counties, Va October 26- November 10, 1862; Fredericksburg December 13, 1862; Chancellorsville Campaign April 27- May 6, 1863: Chancellorsville, Va May 1–3, 1863; Pennsylvania Campaign: Brandy Station, and Beverly Ford, Va June 9, 1863; Winchester Action, June 13, 1863; Berryville, VA; Skirmish at Martinsburg, VA (now WV) June 14, 1863; Battle of Winchester, Va June 15, 1863; Skirmish with Perry’s Militia a few miles north of Carlisle, Pa June 29 (?), 1863; Gettysburg, Pa July 1–3, 1863; Skirmishes, Hagerstown, Md July 10–13, 1863; Bristoe Campaign October 9–22, 1863: Skirmish at Warrenton October 13, 1863; Operations Against the Advance of the Line of the Rappahannock November 7–8, 1863; Skirmish at Kelly’s Ford, Va November 7, 1863; Mine Run November 27, 1863; Skirmish with sharpshooters, November 30, 1863; Morton’s Ford December 3, 1863; Demonstrations of the Rapidan River February 6–7, 1864: Barnett’s Ford, Va February 6–7, 1864; Wilderness Campaign May 4- June 12, 1864: Wilderness May 5–7, 1864; Spotsylvania Court House, Laurel Hill, Ny River, Fredericksburg Road May 8–21, 1864; Assault on the Salient, Spotsylvania Court House May 12, 1864; North Anna River, Va May 22–26, 1864; Jericho Bridge, Va May 25, 1864; Pamunkey River, Va May 26, 1864; Totopotomoy River, Va May 28–31, 1864; Bethesda Church, Va May 31- June 1, 1864; Cold Harbor June 1–12, 1864; Ream’s Station, Va June 22, 1864; 1864 Shenandoah Valley Campaign: Monocacy July 9, 1864; Skirmish at Fort Stevens, DC July 11–12, 1864; Snicker’s Gap (Parker’s Ford) July 18, 1864; Kernstown, Va July 24, 1864; Winchester, Va August 17, 1864; Skirmish near Charlestown, WV August 21–22, 1864; Berryville, Va September 4, 1864; Abraham’s Creek, Va September 13, 1864; Skirmish near Berryville, Va September 14, 1864; Sevier’s Ford, Opequan Creek, Va September 15, 1864; Third Winchester September 19, 1864; Fisher’s Hill September 22, 1864; Port Republic, Va September 26–28, 1864; Cedar Creek October 19, 1864; Rude’s Hill, near Mount Jackson, Va November 23, 1864; Removal to Richmond and Petersburg, December 1864; Petersburg Campaign: Dabney’s Mills, Rowanty Creek, Va February 5–7, 1865; Fort Stedman March 25, 1865; Fort Mahone April 2, 1865; The Retreat: Rennes Salient, April 5, 1865; Sayler’s Creek April 6, 1865; Farmville/High Bridge April 7, 1865; Assault at Appomattox Court House April 9, 1865; Surrender at Appomattox Court House April 9, 1865.