After Williamsburg, the 5th North Carolina served with Garland's Brigade during the Peninsula Campaign and Seven Days Battles. Newspapers printed casualty reports whenever they were available, but official notification of next of kin by the military was a 20th-century idea. Muster rolls never contained the names of next of kin who might be notified if something happened to a soldier.
Since most members of any company came from the same community, any one of them who could write was expected to let people at home know who was sick, who was wounded and who died. That's how word got around. Newpaper reports were not as accurate -- people might be informed that a particular soldier was thought to be mortally wounded, and a few days later be told there was a mistake; the soldier in question was just fine.
While it suffered terrible losses at Williamsburg, the 5th North Carolina retained its identity and was not merged with another command. In keeping with War Department policy, after Williamsburg Col. D. K. McRae's 5th North Carolina was transferred to a North Carolina brigade, this one led by Brig. Gen. Samuel Garland.
As part of Garland's Brigade, the 5th North Carolina took 180 officers and men into battle at Seven Pines VA, May 31, 1862. Losses were one killed and twenty-six wounded. At Gaines' Mill VA, Anderson's and Garland's Brigades were credited with making a decisive attack which collapsed the Federal right flank. The regiment's losses in the Seven Days Battles were reported by the medical director as seven killed, twenty-seven wounded and four missing. A brigade report listed ten enlisted men killed, two officers and twenty men wounded, plus four enlisted men missing.
Senior officers from both sides who witnessed the Fifth North Carolina's advance at Williamsburg applauded the regiment's gallantry and courage under fire.