(1831 - 1862)
Home State: North Carolina
Branch of Service: Infantry
From Cabarrus County, he was commissioned Captain, Company B, 20th North Carolina Infantry on 18 April 1861. He was wounded in the neck in action at Gaines' Mill, VA on 27 June 1862. He returned to his Company just before the Maryland Campaign.
On the Campaign
He deployed with his Company as skirmishers at Fox's Gap on 14 September to disable a section of Federal guns and kill their commander (Lt. George L. Crome). He was mortally wounded in the face three days later in action at Sharpsburg.
The rest of the War
He was taken to a hospital in the Rentch home on German Street in Shepherdstown, VA. His father came to visit him there, but shortly after he arrived, James' wound reopened and hemorrhaged and he died on 12 October 1862. In his after-action Report, General Hill wrote:
Capt. James B. Atwell, Twentieth North Carolina, deserves to live in the memory of his countrymen for almost unsurpassed gallantry. After having greatly distinguished himself in the capture of the Yankee battery at South Mountain, he fell, heroically fighting, at Sharpsburg.
References & notes
1831; Rowan County, NC
10/12/1862 Shepherdstown, VA; burial in Poplar Tent Presbyterian Church Cemetery, Concord, NC