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William Lee Joshua Lowrance commanded a North Carolina regiment in the American Civil War. At the Battle of Gettysburg he briefly led a brigade.

Lowrance was born on July 26, 1836 in Mooresville, North Carolina, the son of John Nichols Lowrance and Jane Kilpatrick. He attended Davidson College.

Lowrance became a lieutenant in D company of the 34th North Carolina Infantry in September 1861, eventually rising to colonel by December 1862. He led the regiment in the brigade of BG William Dorsey Pender, part of MG A. P. Hill's Light Division at the Battle of Fredericksburg and possibly at the Battle of Chancellorsville.[1] After Chancellorsville, Pender became division commander, and BG Alfred M. Scales took command of the brigade. At Gettysburg, Lowrance was wounded on the first day of fighting, but he took command of the brigade in place of Scales, who had been severely wounded. Lowrance found the brigade sadly depleted, but he led it in Pickett's Charge on July 3, 1863. According to his report, the brigade and that of BG James H. Lane numbered no more than 800 troops. They advanced following the division led by BG J. Johnston Pettigrew, but they retreated upon finding themselves nearly alone in front of the federal line on Cemetery Ridge.[1]

Col Lowrance returned to his regiment when Gen Scales rejoined the Army of Northern Virginia. Lowrance led the regiment in the Bristoe Campaign and the Mine Run Campaign. He fought in the Battle of the Wilderness and subsequent actions, including the earlier stages of the Siege of Petersburg. Col Lowrance led the brigade briefly when Scales was ill in late May 1864.[2] He led the brigade again when Scales was absent in November 1864.[3]

Col Lowrance went on sick leave on February 2, 1865 and did not return to the Army.[4]

After the War, Lowrance was a merchant in Oxford, Mississippi and served in that state's legislature. In 1880, he moved to Texas and became a minister. He was the pastor of Oak Cliff Presbyterian Church in Dallas, Texas. Lowrance died in Forestville, Texas on March 24, 1916. He married Sarah C. Stewart in Atlanta, Georgia. They had four sons and two daughters.


And Then A.P. Hill Came Up [2]

  • F. Ray Sibley, Junior, The Confederate Order of Battle, volume 1, The Army of Northern Virginia, Shippensburg, PA: White Mane, 1996.
  1. Sibley, p. 43, suggests Lowrance was absent.
  2. Sibley, p. 112.
  3. Sibley, p. 157.
  4. Sibley, p. 395 n. 128.