Dress on the Colors
Gettysburg - Seminary Ridge - July 1, 1863
26th North Carolina
Colonel Henry King Burgwyn, Jr., Lt. Col. John R. Lane, Sgt. Jefferson Mansfield, and Pvt. John Vinson
Pettigrew’s Brigade - Heth’s Division - Hill’s Corps

The 26th North Carolina Regiment started the first day of the Battle of Gettysburg with 800 men. By sunset, 588 of them were either dead or wounded. Yelling like demons, they had courageously charged and taken the formidable federal position on Seminary Ridge. Fourteen colorbearers in the 26th were shot down in succession. One of them was 21 year old Henry King Burgwyn, the youngest colonel in the Confederate army, who stained the flag with his blood as he fell wrapped in it’s folds.

Within seconds a bullet entered his heart and the officer pitched forward drenching the standard with his blood. Lt. George Wilcox pulled the blood soaked flag from underneath Mcreery’s lifeless form and pushed ahead into the maelstrom. After a few steps, two rounds pierced his chest, but he survived.

Fearing that his troops might falter at this critical juncture Burgwyn seized the flag staff from Wilcox. With his outstretched sword in one hand and the flag in the other, he ordered the regiment to "Dress on the colors". Mortally wounded Col. Burgwyn is said to have whispered, "I know my gallant men will do their duty. Where is my sword?" Then he was gone.

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