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Carolina Story: Virtual Museum of University History

Brigadier General James Johnston Pettigrew (1828-1863)

Brigadier General James Johnston Pettigrew (1828-1863)

In 1847, James Johnston Pettigrew graduated from the university at the top of his class. An esteemed student known for his intellect, he published a widely praised book about Spanish culture. When the war began, he joined the 22nd North Carolina Regiment as colonel. In July 1863, Pettigrew led the charge up the left side of Cemetery Ridge at Gettysburg. The losses in Pettigrew's division were staggering, leaving only eighty men standing out of the eight hundred who began the battle. A week later, Pettigrew died from wounds received during the Confederate retreat. In 1912, the university named a building for him.