Back Home

Email Us

John Harmon Cobb

John Harmon Cobb and his brother, Richard J. Cobb, were among those who volunteered to join Company G, 49th Regiment on February 25, 1863 in Shelby, NC. Private John Harmon Cobb said good-bye to his young family and probably sent them to live with relatives. Military records show that he had a light complexion, light hair, gray eyes, and was 5'7" tall.

Attached to Ransom's Brigade, the 49th and our Cobbs fought many battles in Eastern North Carolina. They frequently traveled on rickety trains, trying to meet and stop Union probes along the North Carolina coast. They engaged Union forces at Bottom's Ridge (July 4, 1863), New Bern (March 1864), and Plymouth (April 1864). However, much of their time was spent drilling, waiting, and fighting boredom.

In June 1864, as the South was collapsing and all hope of victory had vanished, Ransom's Brigade and the 49th NC Regiment were transferred to Virginia, where they became part of the defensive siege line around Petersburg. On July 30, 1864, they were at the Crater, when Union forces dug a tunnel under Confederate lines and set off four tons of explosives. The explosion wiped out nine companies of South Carolina men, who were stationed next to Company G, the Kings Mountain Tigers.

During the winter of 1864/65, Confederates in the trenches around Petersburg had almost nothing to eat and many were without boots or winter clothing. Every day hundreds of discouraged and ragged rebels deserted and headed home or surrendered to the Yankees just across the trenches. Richard Jerry Cobb, John Harmon's brother, surrendered on February 21, 1865 and was confined in Washington, D.C. until the end of the war. He did not return to North Carolina after the war.

John Harmon Cobb was among the thousands of rebels who were captured at Five Forks. He had been grievously wounded in the battle and one of his arms had to be amputated. The disaster at Five Forks occurred only one week before General Robert E. Lee and the Army of Northern Virginia surrendered at Appomattox Court House. John Harmon Cobb and the other members of the 49th were taken, by boat, to Point Lookout, Maryland, where they were imprisoned on April 5, 1865. He was released on June 24, 1865, after taking the Oath of Allegiance.

John Harmon Cobb died at the age of 47 in 1875. He is buried in the Bethlehem Baptist Church cemetery in Kings Mountain. His tombstone, located across the street from the church, reads: J. H. Cobb - Co. G, 49 N.C. Inf., CSA.

--Cobb Family History, Ray Henderson

William Cobb & Martha Harmon