Corporal Newton Atlas Branch, Company D, 6th Regiment N.C. State Troops
Newton Atlas Branch (born July 14, 1833) enlisted for three years or the duration of the war on May 28, 1861, in Company D, 6th Regiment N.C. State Troops. Although the company organized at Charlotte, the men were mainly from Burke County, including Branch, who was a mechanic by trade.
Branch was reported present on nine consecutive muster rolls of Company D, from his enlistment through May 11, 1863. He was appointed corporal on September 1, 1862.
Branch was severely wounded in the right foot at the Battle of Gettysburg, on July 1, 1863, and captured at a field hospital following the Confederate retreat. He was imprisoned at Davids Island, New York, Harbor, until he was paroled and transferred to Confederate authorities on September 27, 1863.
After a brief hospitalization in Richmond, Branch was sent home on wounded furlough. He remained in the status of paroled prisoner through February 1864 and was presumably declared exchanged sometime after that date. However, it is likely that his wound prevented Branch from ever returning to active duty. He was hospitalized again at Pettigrew Hospital, Raleigh, on June 18, 1864, and was sent home on a sixty-day furlough on August 1. The November-December 1864 muster roll of Company D states that Branch remained on furlough by order of a medical examining board.
Another medical board convened on February 3, 1865, and retired Branch to the Invalid Corps because of the loss of “use of the right leg and foot caused by Gun Shot wound through said foot which is still unhealed and leaving a diseased tarsus.”
Branch’s name appears on a list, dated June 3, 1865, of men who had taken the Oath of Allegiance at Raleigh.
Branch remained in Wake County. On September 22, 1917, he entered the Old Soldier’s Home at Raleigh and died there on February 21, 1918. Newton A. Branch is buried in the Confederate section of Oakwood Cemetery, Raleigh.
The chair in which Branch reposes, seen in many North Carolina Confederate photographs, is from E. Hunt’s Photographic Gallery, Raleigh, operated by the ambrotypist Esley Hunt from 1859 to 1864.
Image: Quarter-plate ambrotype, N.C. Museum of History.
Manarin et. al., North Carolina Troops 4:307-308; service record files of Newton A. Branch, 6th Regiment N.C. State Troops, Compiled Service Records of Confederate Soldiers from the State of North Carolina (M270), RG109, NA; http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=38151122