|Death: ||Jul. 1, 1863|
Civil War Confederate Officer. His heritage was one of military tradition. Indeed, his father and uncle were career United States naval officers who had sacrificed their lives in the service of their country; McCreery preserved this tradition in 1863 during the battle of Gettysburg. He received an appointment to the United States Military Academy in 1855 and was the eleventh ranked cadet in the graduating class of 1860. With the commencement of the Civil War in 1861, he was a Union officer assigned to the defenses of Washington, DC. He received a succeeding order thereafter and was transferred to Fort Pickens, Pensacola, Florida in June 1861. It was at this post and time when he resigned from the United States Army provoking the sentiments that he "tendered his resignation in the face of the rebels." Upon donning a gray uniform of the Confederate army, he was commissioned a Lieutenant and ultimately rose to Captain. His principal responsibilities were those of a staff officer. On the battlefield of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, he threw off that role and became a color-bearer of the 26th North Carolina Infantry. On July 1, 1863, the mangled 26th NC, commanded by Colonel Henry King Burgwyn, was pressing the Yankee force on McPherson Ridge. The witnessing of this prompted General James Johnston Pettigrew to send staff officer McCreery forward to deliver a commendation; "Tell (Burgwyn) his regiment has covered itself with glory today". On his delivery course to the battle line, McCreery's horse was shot from beneath him, however, he continued on foot. Upon entering the den of battle where the "bullets were thick as hail stones in a storm", he delivered his General's message to the young Colonel. It was moments after this exchange that he saw a color-bearer of the regiment fall. He had shared a desire to a loved one that if he was to fall in battle, he "wanted it to be where he had seized the colors from the dead color-bearer's hands and rallied the troops." For him, that moment had arrived. He lifted the battle flag off the ground and raised it high above his head and took a forward position to lead his Confederates. Within steps, McCreery was killed instantly with a fatal wound to his chest. His lifeless body fell atop the banner.
North Carolina, USA
Plot: Division 6, Series 1, Grave 533
Created by: Stonewall
Record added: Nov 16, 2005
Find A Grave Memorial# 12381003