First Lieutenant Adam Miller Roberts
Company M (the “King’s Mountain Grays”), 16th Regiment N.C. Troops (6th Regiment N.C. Volunteers)
Adam Miller Roberts (born ca. 1839) resided in Gaston County and enlisted at Dallas as a sergeant in the “King’s Mountain Grays” (subsequently Company M, 16th Regiment N.C. Troops) on May 1, 1861. Roberts was elected second lieutenant on July 4, 1861. He was promoted to first lieutenant on April 26, 1862, and served until he was hospitalized at Richmond for “debility” in May. He returned to duty and was wounded in action in an unspecified battle during the Seven Days Campaign, June 25-July 1, 1862. Roberts received a twenty-day furlough from July 7 and returned to duty by October 1.
Roberts was granted another furlough in February 1863 and while at home asked one of his family’s slaves, Adam Moore, to return to the army with him. Moore agreed and worked on fortifications and helped care for the 16th North Carolina’s horses. On the eve of the Battle of Chancellorsville Roberts entrusted Moore with his pistol.
Roberts was shot through the head and instantly killed at Chancellorsville on May 3, 1863, while standing next to Brigadier General William Dorsey Pender. The spent bullet then struck General Pender, slightly wounding him. Roberts is buried at the Confederate Cemetery at Fredericksburg, Virginia, Section 13, Row 2, Grave 53. The small stone that marks his grave is marked simply with his initials “A M R” and beneath them “N C.”
An Act of the Confederate Congress of October 13, 1862, authorized the granting of military honors after “every signal victory” achieved by the Confederate army. In each company an officer “conspicuous for courage and good conduct on the field of battle” was to be granted a medal, and one enlisted man or non-commissioned officer (chosen by the men themselves) would be granted a “badge of distinction.” It appears that no medals or badges were ever actually issued, but the recipients of them were chosen for two battles: Murfreesboro, Tennessee (December 31, 1862-January 2, 1863) and Chancellorsville, and the soldier’s names published in general orders and newspapers. First Lieutenant Adam M. Roberts was the nominee for a medal for Company M, 16th Regiment N.C. Troops.
Adam Moore remained with the Army of Northern Virginia until Appomattox Court House, when he walked back to his home in Lincoln County. He lived to a great old age (April 15, 1832-August 25, 1941).
Image: Library of Congress.
Source Note: 1860 U. S. Census, Gaston County, North Carolina, population schedule, page 11, dwelling 92, family 77, Moses M. Roberts household; U.S. Census, Gaston County, North Carolina, slave schedule, p.2; Manarin et. al., North Carolina Troops 6:108; Official Records, 25, pt. 1, 1051-1056; service record files of Adam M. Roberts, 16th Regiment N.C. Troops, Compiled Service Records of Confederate Soldiers from the State of North Carolina (M270), RG109, NA; http://articles.baltimoresun.com/1993-09-27/news/1993270008_1_black-confederates-adam-moore-confederate-army; http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=29639615; http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GSln=Roberts&GSfn=Adam&GSmn=M.&GSbyrel=all&GSdy=1863&GSdyrel=in&GSst=48&GScntry=4&GSob=n&GRid=29639615&df=all&