“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Creswell in Tyrrell County, North Carolina — The American South (South Atlantic)

Pettigrew Birthplace

... and Last Resting Place

Pettigrew Birthplace Marker image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, August 13, 2014
1. Pettigrew Birthplace Marker
Inscription. James Johnston Pettigrew was born here at Bonarva on July 4, 1828. His father, Ebenezer Pettigrew, operated several large plantations in Tyrell and Washington Counties. Johnston Pettigrew, as he was called, graduated in 1847 from the University of North Carolina, where he was regarded as a brilliant student. President James K. Polk soon appointed him as assistant professor of astronomy at the U.S. Naval Observatory in Washington. Pettigrew traveled to Europe in 1849, where he studied law, then in 1852 settled in Charleston, S.C., where he practiced law, edited a newspaper, served in the state legislature, and became adjutant general of the militia.

When South Carolina seceded from the Union on December 20, 1860, Pettigrew was elected colonel of the 1st South Carolina Rifles. After the fall of Fort Sumter on April 13, 1861, he enlisted in Hampton’s Legion, and then served as colonel of the 22nd North Carolina Infantry. Wounded and captured at Seven Pines during the Peninsula Campaign in Virginia, Pettigrew was exchanged in August 1862 and assumed command of the a brigade, serving in eastern Virginia and North Carolina. He and his brigade joined the Army of Northern Virginia in June 1863 and fought in one of the most celebrated episodes of the war at Gettysburg. Pettigrew commanded a division in “Pickett’s Charge”
Pettigrew Birthplace Marker image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, August 13, 2014
2. Pettigrew Birthplace Marker
and led his men to the stone wall (“High Water Mark”) on Cemetery Ridge, where he was wounded in the hand before ordering the soldiers to withdraw to Seminary Ridge. On July 14, as the Confederate army retreated across the Potomac River in Virginia, he fell, mortally wounded in a rear guard engagement at Falling Waters. He died on the Virginia side three days later. On October 29, 1867, his remains were interred in the family cemetery here. The house burned in the 1860s.

“I regret to announce the death of General J.J. Pettigrew, commanding the North Carolina brigade of Heth’s division, General A.P. Hill’s corps. He was wounded by pistol-shot in the attack of the enemy’s cavalry on our rear guard in crossing the Potomac on the morning of the 14th instant. The army has lost a brave soldier and the Confederacy an accomplished officer.” - Gen. Robert E. Lee, July 17, 1863

Major funding for this project was provided by the North Carolina Department of Transportation through the Transportation Enhancement Program of the Federal Transportation Efficiency Act for the 21st Century.
(lower left) Combat artist Alfred R. Waud captured the charge of the 6th Michigan Cavalry against Confederate positions at Falling Waters on July 14, 1863. During the rear guard action there, Gen. James Johnston Pettigrew fell mortally wounded and died three days later. Courtesy Library of Congress
(upper center left) Pettigrew’s brigade at Gettysburg, mural — Courtesy Institute of Government, University of North Carolina
(upper center right) Gen. James. J. Pettigrew, posthumous portrait by William Garl Brown from a wartime likeness — Courtesy Southern Historical Collection, University of North Carolina
Erected by North Carolina Civil War Trails.
Marker series. This marker is included in the North Carolina Civil War Trails marker series.
Location. 35° 46.986′ N, 76° 24.102′ W. Marker is near Creswell, North Carolina, in Tyrrell County. Marker can be reached from Magnolia Road (County Route 1118) 0.3 miles south of Lake Shore Road, on the left when traveling south. Click for map. The marker is on the grounds of Pettigrew State Park. Marker is in this post office area: Creswell NC 27928, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 7 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Cherry (approx. 4.7 miles away); Cherry Colored School (approx. 4.8 miles away); Concord Primitive Baptist Church (approx. 5.2 miles away); Cool Spring (approx. 5.7 miles away); Lake Company (approx. 6.2 miles away); James Johnston Pettigrew (approx. 6.2 miles away); Somerset Place (approx. 6.2 miles away); Charles Pettigrew (approx. 6.3 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Creswell.
Categories. Cemeteries & Burial SitesWar, US Civil
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Md 21234. This page has been viewed 201 times since then and 45 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on , by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Md 21234. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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