23rd Infantry

Captain George Burns Bullock, Company I (the “Granville Stars”), 23rd Regiment N.C. Troops (13th Regiment N.C. Volunteers.)

In 1860, George Burns Bullock (born August 7, 1839) resided with his parents and six younger siblings on a Warren County plantation. His father, J. H. Bullock, owned sixty-six slaves who resided in twelve dwellings, and the family’s net worth was nearly $100,000.

On April 26, 1861, George, who gave his occupation as “student,” enlisted in a company from adjacent Granville County known as the “Townsville Guards.” He mustered in as a sergeant, and the “Guards” were subsequently designated Company B, 12th Regiment N.C. Troops. Bullock’s service with the 12th North Carolina, with the exception of a bout with typhoid fever in July 1862, was largely uneventful. However, November 1862, he was elected second lieutenant of another Granville County command, Company I (the “Granville Stars”), 23rd Regiment N.C. Troops.

Bullock was captured at the Battle of Chancellorsville, May 3, 1863, and confined at Old Capitol Prison in Washington, D.C. He was paroled and exchanged on May 28, returned to duty, and probably was promoted to first lieutenant.

Casualties in the 23rd North Carolina at the Battle of Gettysburg were more than ninety percent, an astonishing number. Of the approximately 300 officers and men who participated in the July 1 fighting, only one officer and approximately twenty enlisted men were not casualties. That officer was Lieutenant Bullock, whose subsequent promotion to captain was dated from July 1.

Bullock commanded Company I for the remainder of the war, and was often also in command of Company G, also from Granville County. In February 1864 he was detailed back to North Carolina “to procure clothing for [the] Brigade.” His good fortune while in battle continued during the bitter fighting at Spotsylvania Court House, Virginia, on May 12, 1864. A ball passed through Bullock’s coat sleeve without injury, but struck and wounded Colonel Thomas F. Toon of the 20th North Carolina.

After hospitalization for chronic diarrhea in June 1864, Bullock participated in the General Jubal Early’s Shenandoah Valley Campaign. He was detailed for court martial duty at General Jubal Early’s headquarters on November 3.

Bullock was reported present at the surrender at Appomattox Court House on April 9, 1865, as commander of Company I. However, another document recording Bullock’s parole at Appomattox suggests that he was serving as an acting assistant adjutant general on the staff of Brigadier General Robert Johnston, commander of the brigade to which the 23rd North Carolina belonged. If so, there is no other record of that promotion.

Bullock died on April 21, 1891, and is buried at St. John’s Episcopal Churchyard, Williamsboro, Vance County.

Image: North Carolina Office of Archives and History.

Source Note:

1860 U. S. Census, Warren County, North Carolina, population schedule, page 89, dwelling 662, household 662, J.H. Bullock household; 1860 U.S. Census, Warren County, North Carolina slave schedule, p. 174, J. H. Bullock, slave owner; Busey and Martin, Regimental Strengths and Losses at Gettysburg, 222; Thomas F. Toon, “Twentieth Regiment,” in Clark, Histories of the Several Regiments and Battalions, 2:121; Manarin et al., North Carolina Troops, 5:132, 7:226; Wynstra, The Rashness of That Hour, xvi; service record files of George Burns Bullock, 12th and 23rd Regiments N.C. Troops, Compiled Service Records of Confederate Soldiers from the State of North Carolina (M270), RG109, NA; http://findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GSln=Bullock&GSfn=George&GSmn=B&GSbyrel=all&GSdy=1891&GSdyrel=in&GSst=29&GScntry=4&GSob=n&GRid=49678164&df=all&