A History of the Eighteenth North Carolina Troops

In early 1861, the so-called North Carolina Unionists barely held the Old North State in the Union . On 8 January 1862, the North Carolina legislature made clear their intentions by appropriating $300,000, to purchase military goods and establish instructional camps.1 This clearly showed the inevitability of war, and there was little doubt of North Carolina 's allegiance. While not anxious for war, the slightest nudge would push North Carolina out of the Union .

President Abraham Lincoln provided the nudge on, 15 April 1861, with the mobilization order for 75,000 volunteers to suppress the southern insurrection. North Carolina 's Governor John W. Ellis received a telegram with orders to furnish two regiments. Governor Ellis's reply, "You will get no troops from North Carolina ," mirrored the sentiments of the average North Carolinian. Governor Ellis immediately ordered state troops to occupy Fort Macon , which guarded Beaufort's harbor; Forts Caswell and Johnson, which guarded the entrance to the Cape Fear River and Wilmington ; and the United States Arsenal at Fayetteville . Unbeknown to Governor Ellis, the Goldsboro Rifles had seized Fort Macon a day earlier. On 20 May 1861, North Carolina left the Union and ratified the Provisional Constitution of the Confederate States of America.2; 3

Catherine Ann Devereux Edmondston, of Halifax County , penned in her diary, on 22 May 1861, evidence of her jubilation after receiving word of North Carolina 's Ordnance of Secession. "So now we are under Mr. Davis rule! 'Hurrah for Jeff Davis!'"4 However, not all North Carolinians were anxious for confrontation. Mrs. Elizabeth Ellis Robeson's, of Bladen County , diary entry, on 22 April 1861, shows her agony. "The whole topic of conversation was about the distressing state of the country. I am heart sick, I know not what to do."5 Throughout the state, families and friends bid their boys good-by.

North Carolina ultimately provided approximately 120,000 troops for the Confederate States.6 In early 1861, North Carolina 's military forces consisted of a few volunteer companies, such as the Fayetteville Independent Light Infantry, and the Militia.7 All males between the ages of 18 and 45 belonged to the Militia, North Carolina 's paper army.8 Organized on 23 August 1793, the Fayetteville Independent Light Infantry served as a company in the First North Carolina Volunteers/Eleventh North Carolina Troops. Other local militia units such as the Rowan Rifle Guards and the Duplin Rifles served as companies in North Carolina regiments.9 These pre-war militia companies knew company level drill, and some had fancy uniforms. However, they remained little more than social clubs, where the men gathered to drink and socialize.

The overwhelming majority of North Carolina 's troops enlisted as untrained volunteers. Locally organized companies, of sixty-eight to one hundred men, adopted names such as the German Volunteers, the Bladen Light Infantry, the Scotch Boys, and the Bladen Guards (Chart 1). The German Volunteers, from New Hanover County , contained many German immigrants such as Corporal August Charles Bachman, a thirty-one year old candymaker born in Bavaria , and Private John Bonsold, a baker from Wurttemburg.10 Company F, the Scotch Boys of Richmond County, averaged 6 feet 1 3/8 inches in height. Sixty of their ninety-four men stood between 6 feet and 6 feet four inches. The average Civil War soldier stood only 5 feet 8 inches tall.11 As these companies went off to war, they departed with the love and affection of their friends and families. On at least one occasion, Senator George Davis penned a song for the Wilmington Light Infantry (Chart 2).12

The organization of companies into battalions or regiments took place at camps of instruction located throughout the state.13 The Bladen Guards, which later became Company K of the Eighteenth North Carolina, typified a North Carolina company, and the Eighteenth North Carolina typified a North Carolina regiment.14 The battle honors of the Eighteenth North Carolina included every major campaign of General Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia from the Seven Days Battles through Appomattox .15

Early in the war, companies mirrored the demographics of their home communities.16 However, this changed as conscripts joined the ranks of the original volunteers. By the end of the war, the roster of the Bladen Guards, Company K of the Eighth North Carolina Volunteers/Eighteenth North Carolina Troops, had included 179 names.17 During the same time period, the entire regiment's roster had included 1,896 names, while rarely did they field over 500 men at any given time. By putting new recruits in the ranks of existing regiments, the Confederacy helped to avoid green regiments.18

The numerical designation of North Carolina regiments made it very confusing for historians of the past and the present. Without a basic understanding of the systems used to designate the different types of regiments, it would be impossible to trace some regiments throughout the war. For example, the Eighth North Carolina Volunteers and the Eighteenth North Carolina Troops designated the same regiment at different periods of the war. This must be considered when researching a regiment.

Pre-secession North Carolina law called for volunteer militia (Volunteers). On 1 May 1861, the legislature approved ten regiments of State Troops to be organized independently of the existing Volunteers. Until November 1861, North Carolina regimental designations were confusing. The Tenth North Carolina Volunteers and the Tenth North Carolina State Troops existed simultaneously. The state reorganized the ten regiments of State Troops and the fourteen regiments of Volunteers, on 14 November 1861. The first ten regiments of State Troops kept their designation, and the fourteen regiments of Volunteers changed their designations to Troops, minus the State in the first ten non-volunteer regiments. For example: the First North Carolina Volunteers became the Eleventh North Carolina Troops, and the Second North Carolina Volunteers became the Twelfth North Carolina Troops. Only the first ten regiments used the designation North Carolina State Troops. The Volunteer regiments used the designation North Carolina Troops, not including the "State" used in the first ten.

However, this same reorganization created dual designations for cavalry, artillery, and reserve regiments. Every regiment received a North Carolina Troops designation and a branch of service designation, except for infantry regiments, which simply used the designation State Troops or Troops. For example: the Thirty-Sixth North Carolina Troops / Second North Carolina Artillery; the Ninth North Carolina State Troops / First North Carolina Cavalry; and the Seventy-Second North Carolina Troops / Third Regiment of Reserves. This pattern continues with other specialty regiments but not with battalions.19 While this was an improvement, it remains confusing for anyone trying to research a North Carolina regiment.

The attire of a Tarheel regiment showed little or no uniformity, prior to the summer of 1861, and the Eighth North Carolina Volunteers followed this pattern.20 The regiment's first issue of weapons included the 1842 Springfield .69 caliber smoothbores, except for two companies issued the older 1822 smoothbore muskets. The smoothbores had an effective range of approximately 50 yards. By September 1862, the regiment had been issued .577 caliber Enfield Rifled-muskets.21 The Enfield , a much more effective rifle, had an accurate range of approximately 200 yards.22]

In July 1861, while encamped at Camp Wyatt , near present day Carolina Beach , the newly formed Eighth North Carolina Volunteers elected their field officers. Their officer corps included Colonel James D. Ratliff, Lieutenant-colonel O.P. Mears, and the Bladen Guards' own Major George Tate. By early October the entire regiment, minus Company K, moved to Confederate Point. During the Eight North Carolina Volunteer's stay on Confederate Point, October – November 1861, they participated in the construction of Fort Fisher , the "Gibraltar of the Atlantic ."

The Eighth North Carolina Volunteers were ordered to Port Royal , South Carolina , on 7 November 1861. However, Company K, the Bladen Guards, already detached from the regiment and designated Company C of the Thirty-sixth North Carolina Troops/Second North Carolina Artillery, manned a battery of artillery on Zeke's Island, off the southern point of Fort Fisher. The Bladen Guards stayed on Zeke's Island, while the remainder of the Eighth traveled to South Carolina . Before the Eighth North Carolina Volunteers arrived at their destination, Port Royal fell into Union hands. They disembarked near Pocataligo, a point mid-way between Charleston and Savannah , on the vital railroad line. During their four-month stay on the Huguenin's farm, they drilled and guarded the railway and waterways. Shortly after arriving in South Carolina , a reorganization occurred, and the Eighth North Carolina Volunteers were designated the Eighteenth North Carolina Troops. This designation lasted throughout the war. For a brief period of time, while stationed in South Carolina , General Robert E. Lee commanded their district. 23;24

After the war, Lieutenant William H. McLaurin passed on the following incident, which occurred while stationed in South Carolina . One night, Corporal W.H. McLaurin, standing corporal of the guard along one of the coastal streams, received information about Yankees assembling nearby. The Yankees could not be seen, but their splashing could be heard as they came ashore all along the waterway. Tensions ran high as everyone prepared to meet the advancing enemy. Well, to everyone's surprise, porpoises made the splashing sounds, not Yankees.25

After the fall of Fort Hatteras in early February, Union General Ambrose Burnside pushed inland towards New Bern . General Burnside landed his forces near New Bern , on 13 March 1862, and pushed towards General Lawrence O'Bryan Branch's Confederate forces in and around New Bern . On 14 March, the Eighteenth North Carolina Troops received orders to return to Wilmington and then on to support General Branch. Company K rejoined their old regiment and headed to New Bern , but not in time to help General Branch. General Burnside captured New Bern on 14 March, and General Branch fell back to Kinston .

The formation of the first two North Carolina brigades took place when the Eighteenth joined General Branch at Kinston . The Eighteenth, Twenty-fifth, Twenty-eighth, Thirty-third and the Thirty-seventh North Carolina composed the Second Brigade. After the Twenty-fifth's transfer to another brigade, the Seventh North Carolina took their place in Second Brigade. General Branch commanded this brigade until his death at Sharpsburg , on 17 September 1862.26;27

Figure 1: Lt. Col. Thomas Purdie While still at Kinston , another regimental reorganization took place, on 24 April 1862. The regiment elected Colonel Robert Cowan, formerly of the Third North Carolina State Troops; Lieutenant -colonel Thomas Purdie (Fig.1); and Major Forney George, who retained his position. Defeat fell upon many of the former company officers. About a week after the elections, the Second Brigade received orders to proceed to Richmond , Virginia . The Eighteenth traveled by train and arrived at Richmond , on 8 April.

The Eighteenth, along with the entire Second Brigade proceeded westward to join General Thomas J. Jackson in the Shenandoah Valley . They marched as far as Massanutten Gap, at the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains . There they received orders to return to Gordonsville and then to Hanover Court House, just north of Richmond . The Eighteenth had yet to see the elephant. There time would come very soon28;29

A controversial story belonging to the Eighteenth is that of Private Bill Thompson. While not listed on any official rosters, many accept as fact his service in the Eighteenth from the summer of 1862 until December of 1862. Figure 2: Lucy Matilda Thompson Gauss (Private Bill) What makes Private Bill Thompson so unusual is Bill was actually Lucy Matilda Thompson Gauss (Fig.2). She served with her husband until his death at the Battle of Fredericksburg, and then she returned home pregnant. According to her contemporaries, she served as a sharpshooter. Lucy or Bill, known for her horsemanship and marksmanship, moved to Florida and kept her secret until 1914.30

After being assigned to General Ambrose Powell Hill's "Light Division," Second Brigade's designation changed to Fourth Brigade. The "Baptism of Fire" for the Eighteenth occurred at Hanover Court House/Slash Church, on 27 May 1862. General Branch commended the Eighteenth for their poise and gallantry. At one point, they charged across an open field directly into a battery of Federal artillery. The Eighteenth, along with the remainder of Fourth Brigade, retired to a point on the Brook Turnpike, three and one-half miles north of Richmond . Total losses for Fourth Brigade included 66 killed and 177 wounded, minus the losses of the Twenty-eighth.31

During the Seven Days Battles, the Eighteenth sustained especially high casualties at Frayser's Farm. General Branch praised the Eighteenth for the way they charged across two open fields in the midst of heavy musketry and grape shot. They echoed the cry "Stonewall" as they charged across the fields. The Eighteenth carried approximately 325 men into the battle and had 150 casualties. These casualties included Private William Harrison Rockwell of Company H. Three of his cousins, also serving in Company H, died at Frayser's Farm.32

In General Branch's address to his brigade on 29 July 1862, he noted that during the Seven Days Battles, his brigade had 2 colonels killed, two wounded and one captured, while the entire brigade suffered almost 50 percent casualties. He authorized the Eighteenth to have the following battle honors inscribed on their battle flag: Slash Church , Mechanicsville, Gaines' Mill, Frazier's Farm and Malvern Hill.33

The regiment sustained relatively low losses at Cedar Mountain , 9 August, and Second Manassas, 28-30 August, considering their involvement in critical situations during each battle. The Eighteenth had 2 killed and 24 wounded. General Jackson followed the Federals on their flight towards Washington , D.C. and engaged them at Ox Hill, near Fairfax , on 1 September 1862. General Branch attacked the retreating Federals during a blinding rainstorm. When his brigade's ammunition began running low, he ordered bayonets fixed and held his position. Two factors made Ox Hill one of the brigade's most severe fights. First, they fought in a severe rainstorm, and their weapons misfired many times. Second, the Federals used many exploding bullets.34

During Lee's invasion of Maryland , the Eighteenth marched a lot, but fought very little. General Jackson left Hill's "Light Division" behind at Harper's Ferry to parole the captured Federals. Figure 4: First Sargeant Evander N. Roberson After completing their task at Harper's Ferry, on 17 September 1862, they participated in a forced fifteen-mile march to Sharpsburg donning captured Federal uniforms. Hill's "Light Division" arrived just in time to reinforce the Confederate right flank, as the Federals were about to turn it. The Eighteenth, held in reserve, did not actively participate at Sharpsburg . A Federal sharpshooter shot General Branch behind the left ear, and he died in the arms of a staff officer.35 Evander N. Roberson (Fig. 4) of Company K, Eighteenth North Carolina Troops received a promotion to First Sergeant, on 17 September 1862.361

The Eighteenth served as part of the Army of Northern Virginia's rear guard as the army crossed the Potomac River heading south. They stayed in the Shenandoah Valley for a while, then headed east towards Fredericksburg . On 1 November 1862, the brigade received a new commander, Colonel James H. Lane , of the Twenty-eighth. Throughout the remainder of the war, this brigade would be known as Lane's Brigade. Around 26 November 1862, Hill's "Light Division" encamped at Guinea 's Station below Fredericksburg .37

On 11 December 1862, General Ambrose Burnside began crossing the Rappahannock River at Fredericksburg , and General Lee, already forming a strong defensive line outside of town and parallel with the river, prepared to meet the Federal advance. Longstreet's Corps manned the heights closest to the town, and Jackson 's Corps formed in a wooded area on the right of Longstreet's Corps. General J.E.B. Stuart's cavalry protected General Jackson's right. General Lane's Brigade held the second position on General Jackson's left. An opening of approximately 600 yards reached between Lane and General Maxey Gregg's South Carolinians . The Eighteenth occupied the extreme right of General Lane 's Brigade. General Lane informed General Hill about the opening, but General Hill felt that the Federals would not try to penetrate such a swampy area.

The Federals started their advanced across open fields on 13 December 1862. While General Longstreet held his front in check along Marye's Heights, the Federals exploited the 600 yard gap in General Hill's line. The Federals poured through between the Eighteenth North Carolina and Maxey Greg's Brigade. General Hill's men fought valiantly, but had to fall back. Confederate reinforcements arrived, and drove the Federals out of the woods. Darkness came, and General Hill's men realigned themselves in preparation for a general advance, which never took place. The Federals retired to the north side of the Rappahannock , and both sides settled in for the winter. The Eighteenth suffered 100 casualties at the battle of Fredericksburg . General Lane's Brigade spent its winter at Moss Neck, just down the river from Fredericksburg. 38;39

In early May 1863, General Hooker got the jump on General Lee and forded the Rappahannock River above Fredericksburg before General Lee could mount any opposition. Lee left a token force in Fredericksburg and headed towards Chancellorsville with the majority of his army to stop General Hooker and the Army of the Potomac . Obviously, Lee knew drastic measures would have to be taken. General Hooker's forces out numbered Lee's 130,000 to 60,000.40

Lee sent General Jackson and the Second Corps on a long flanking march to the Federal right, which General Stuart had reported as "in the air," meaning their flank stood unprotected. As the Second Corps started their advance on the unprotected Federal flank, Lane's Brigade moved along the Orange Plank Road in a supporting role. Near dusk, as the Confederate drive bogged down, General Jackson ordered Lane's Brigade forward to relieve Generals Rhodes and Colston.41

Lane's Brigade was placed perpendicular to the Orange Plank Road , with the Thirty-third North Carolina as advance skirmishers. Lane positioned the Eighteenth on the left side of the road was the Eighteenth, with their right flank was anchored on the Orange Plank Road . Lane positioned the remainder of his brigade on the left side of the road. Generals Jackson and Hill went forward, in the darkness, to ascertain the exact position of the Federals. Jackson did not want the attack to stop and allow the Federals time to entrench. The officers and men of the Eighteenth were not aware of Generals Jackson and Hill being in their front.

As General Jackson reconnoitered his front, he drew fire from the enemy. This sent General Jackson and about thirty mounted staff officers galloping full speed towards the Eighteenth North Carolina. Colonel Purdie ordered "Fix bayonets; load; prepare for action!" When General Jackson and his entourage were within approximately 100 yards of the Eighteenth, Colonel Purdie gave the order "Commence firing." They maintained a heavy rate of fire until unhorsing Major Holland (or Harris) of General Jackson's staff. Then, realizing it was not Federal cavalry, but their own staff officers in their front, the firing stopped. General Jackson sustained a mortal wounded, and several others died from the friendly fire of the Eighteenth.42

Though the Federal flank had been routed, the fight continued. On 3 May, the Eighteenth received orders to advance. The Federals fortified their position overnight and masses twenty-eight pieces of artillery directly in the front of the advancing Eighteenth. After capturing one line of Federal works, the Eighteenth halted and the Federals flanked them with artillery and heavy musket fire. It was during this action that Colonel Purdie received a shot through the head and died on the spot.43

Figure 3: Colors captured by the 7th NJ Vol. Inf.The Seventh Regiment New Jersey Volunteers captured the colors of the Eighteenth North Carolina Troops, on 3 May 1863, as they turned the right flank of the Eighteenth. This flag is on display at the North Carolina Museum of History in Raleigh , North Carolina (Fig. 3).44;45

First Sergeant Evander Roberson accompanied Colonel Purdie's remains to Wilmington , North Carolina ; then, up the Cape Fear River on the steamer A.P. Hurt to the colonel's home (Fig. 5) in Bladen County , near Tarheel. Figure 5: Col. Purdie's home on Bladen County Figure 6: Col.Purdie's final resting place The family buried Colonel Purdie in the family cemetery (Fig.6), on the same day General Jackson died, 10 May 1863. Mrs. Elizabeth Ellis Robeson penned the following in her diary: (May 1863) "7th – I hear today that Col. Purdie was killed in battle last Sunday, 3rd of May. I spent the day with Mrs. Purdie, she is in great trouble. I deeply sympathize with their family. 9th – The Col 's remains were brought up on the Hurt and were interred on Sunday the 10th – A large congregation attended...."46

The Battle of Chancellorsville, a masterful tactical victory for General Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia, carried a high price. In addition to loosing General Jackson and 22% of the Army of Northern Virginia, Hill's "Light Division" lost 2,616, killed and wounded, of the 11, 751 engaged. The Eighteenth losses included 34 killed, 99 wounded and 21 missing.47

After the death of General Jackson's, General Lee reorganized the Army of Northern Virginia into three corps. Prior to General Jackson's death, it functioned as two corps with Lieutenant General James Longstreet commanded First Corps, and Lieutenant General Thomas J. Jackson commanded Second Corps. The reorganization put Lieutenant General James Longstreet in command of First Corps; Lieutenant General Richard Ewell in command of Second Corps and Lieutenant General Ambrose P. Hill in command of Third Corps. Brigadier General William Dorsey Pender was promoted to Major General and Hill's "Light Division" in the Third Corps. General Lane's Brigade remained the same, and served in General Pender's Division.48;49

In early June 1863, the Eighteenth remained in Fredericksburg with the entire Third Corps, while the First and Second Corps marched towards the Shenandoah Valley and eventually into Pennsylvania . The Army of the Potomac, encamped on the north side of the Rappahannock River at Fredericksburg , saw this movement and left Fredericksburg to block the Confederate advance. Third Corps followed and crossed into Maryland at Shepherdstown on 25 June 1863.50

On 1 July, Pender's Division received orders to proceed through Cashtown , Pennsylvania towards Gettysburg . Upon arriving at Gettysburg , Lane's Brigade saw minimal action as the Confederates drove the Federals through the town of Gettysburg to positions along Cemetery Hill and Culp's Hill. On the evening of the 1 July, General Pender ordered General Lane to halt and hold unless he moved with a general advance. The Eighteenth spent the night behind a stonewall, just north of Gettysburg . On 2 July, the Eighteenth saw little or no activity. However, General Pender received a wound, and General Lane assumed command of Pender's Division until 3 July, when General Isaac Trimble succeeded General Lane .

The final day of battle at Gettysburg is etched in the minds of all Civil War buffs. The Eighteenth participated in the Confederate's grand assault against the Federals on Cemetery Ridge. General Lane's Brigade advanced across the rolling fields from Seminary Ridge towards Cemetery Ridge. They came within a few yards of the wall, but retired back to Seminary Ridge. The Gettysburg campaign cost the Eighteenth 4 killed and 41 wounded.

Alfred Hamilton Hayes Tolar, a lieutenant in Company K, Eighteenth North Carolina Troops, received a wound in the groin twenty feet from the stonewall. His men carried him back across the field and deposited him on a litter. On the retreat, the Federals captured his wagon train. To avoid capture, Lieutenant Tolar crawled into a wheat field and hid until Confederate cavalry recaptured the wagon train.51;52

The Eighteenth spent the remainder of 1863 participating in relatively minor engagements such as: Falling Waters, Bristoe Station and Kelly's Ford, preventing the Federals from cutting General Lee's supply line from Richmond . On 18 July 1863, General Pender died from wounds received at Gettysburg , and Brigadier General Cadmus Wilcox received a promotion and took command of Pender's Division on 13 August. General Lane's Brigade spent the winter of 1863-1864 at Liberty Mills, Virginia.53

The campaign of 1864 saw the Eighteenth participate in most of the screening operations of the Army of Northern Virginia. Relatively speaking, the brigade had light casualties. Figure 7: Colors captured by 105 PVI They lost a total of 768 killed and wounded from February through October 1864. The Eighteenth saw fierce fighting at Spotsylvania Court House on 11-12 May 1864. While the majority of the Army of Northern Virginia was in a struggle for the Muleshoe, General Lane 's Brigade held their line against the entire Federal IX Corps. In doing so, Lieutenant A.H. Mitchell of the 105th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry captured their colors (Fig. 7).54

The Eighteenth as well as the entire Third Corps spent the winter of 1864-1865 in the works south of Petersburg , Virginia . These were trying times for the men of the Eighteenth. A religious revival swept through the Army of Northern Virginia. Chapels sprung up all through the camps. While food might be in short supply, the troops had time to construct reasonably comfortable winter quarters. Desertions were extremely high for the Divisions of Heth and Wilcox. There were 503 reported desertions from 15-25 February 1865. Approximately 100 deserters came across the lines each night according to Private William B. Adams, of the First Maine.55

In late March, General Lane deployed his men in the works between Hatcher's Run and Battery Greg (the site of present-day Pamplin Park ). General Lane reported a distance of eight to ten paces existed between defenders.56 It showed a token defense at best.

On the morning of 2 April, 14,000 men in the Union Sixth Corps advanced and swept the North Carolinians from their defensive positions. According to Chaplain Alanson Haines of the Fifteenth New Jersey, " The defenders of the fort showed the greatest obstinacy... Some refusing to surrender were shot down." Private Frank Fesq, of the Fortieth New Jersey, captured the colors of the Eighteenth North Carolina and received the Medal of Honor for his deed.57

Though fighting desperately, the Eighteenth did not give up. Some assembled at Battery Gregg, and others made a stand at some works near a dam. The entire brigade fell back. On the night of 3 April, the Eighteenth camped at Amelia Court House. Major Wooten, of the Eighteenth, commanded the sharpshooters, and they engaged the enemy, on 5 April, near Farmville. On 9 April 1865, General Lane received orders to stack their arms. At Appomattox , the Eighteenth North Carolina Troops surrendered ninety-four officers and men. They were paroled and headed back to the Old North State .58

Mrs. Elizabeth Ellis Roberson penned another entry in her diary (April 1865) "23rd – Sabbath day, just as we were going to breakfast, Evander and Lieut. Lessend came up. I was rejoiced to see him, but truly sorry to hear that Genl. Lee had to surrender."59

Company Company Name Home County
A The German Volunteers New Hanover
B The Bladen Light Infantry Bladen
C The Columbus Guards No.3 Columbus
D The Robeson Rifle Guard Robeson
E The Moore 's Creek Rifle Guards
The Moore 's Creek Riflemen
New Hanover
F The Scotch Boys Richmond
G The Wilmington Light Infantry New Hanover
H The Columbus Guards No.1
The Columbus Vigilants
I The Wilmington Rifle Guards New Hanover
K The Bladen Guards Bladen

Chart 1: Weymouth T. Jordan, Jr., North Carolina Troops 1861-1865 A Roster Vol. VI. (Raleigh: State Division of Archives and History, 1990), 308-412.

Carolina 's Sons Are Ready (in part)
Written for the Wilmington Light Infantry

AIR— Dixie 's land

Our gallant boys are going to battle.
Seeking fame where cannon rattle.
Look away, look away, look away, cheer the boys!
Oh cheer them on in the path of duty,
To fight for home, and love, and beauty,
Look away, look away, look away, cheer the boys!
Carolina 's sons are ready,
Hurrah! Hurrah!
With heart and hand,
They'll by her stand,
With a courage true and steady,
Hurrah! Hurrah!
Our own brave boys are ready.

Oh, Mecklenburg thy proud old story,
Never shall they dim its glory.
Look away, & cheer the boys!
Their fathers gave them freedom's blessings,
They will ne'er forget the lesson,
Look away, & cheer the boys!
Carolina 's sons are ready, &c.


[1] William R. Trotter, Silk Flags and Cold Steel, The Civil War in North Carolina : The Piedmont (Winston-Salem: John F. Blair, 1988), 21.
[2] Ibid., 23-25.
[3] John G. Barrett, The Civil War in North Carolina (Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 1963), 10-11.
[4] Beth Gilbert Crabtree & James W. Patton, Journal of a Secesh Lady: The Diary of Catherine Ann Devereaux Edmondston 1860-1866 (Raleigh: Division of Archives and History, Department of Cultural Resources, 1979), 63.
[5] Ida Robeson Irvine , The Diary of Elizabeth Ellis Robeson (The Bladen County Historical Society), 113.
[6] Paul D. Escott, "Unwilling Hercules: North Carolina in the Confederacy," in The North Carolina Experience: An Interpretive & Documentary History, Lindley S. Butler & Alan D. Watson. (Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 1984), 267.
[7] John A. Oates, The Story of Fayetteville (Raleigh: Contemporary Lithographers Incorporated, 1950), 196 & 381.
[8] Louis H. Manarin, A Guide to Military Organizations and Installations: North Carolina 1861-1865 (The North Carolina Confederate Centennial Commission, 1961), 1.
[9] Greg Mast, State Troops and Volunteers: A Photographic Record of North Carolina 's Civil War Soldiers Vol. I (Raleigh: North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources, Division of Archives and History, 1995), 18.
[10] Weymouth T. Jordan, Jr., North Carolina Troops 1861-1865 A Roster Vol. VI. (Raleigh: State Division of Archives and History, 1990), 308-424.
[11] Walter Clark, Histories of the Several Regiments and Battalions from North Carolina in the Great War 1861-'65 Vol.II. (Goldsboro: Nash Brothers, Books and Job Printers, 1901), 16-17.
[12] Senator George Davis, " Carolina 's Sons Are Ready, Fayetteville Observer, 27 May 1861.
[13] Barrett, 11.
[14] Jordan , 412-423.
[15] Glenn Dedmondt, The Flags of Civil War North Carolina . ( Grenta , Louisiana : The Pelican Publishing Company, 2003), 103-105.
[16] Jordan, Vol. I-XV.
[17] Jordan , Vol. III., 412-423.
[18] Ibid, xii.
[19] Louis H. Manarin, 1-29.
[20] Mast, 40-41.
[21] Frederick P. Todd, American Military Equipage 1851-1872 Volume II State Forces (M. P. Todd Privately Published, 1983), 1072.
[22] Paddy Griffith , Battle in the Civil War: Generalship and Tactics in America 1861-1865. (Field Books, 1986), 24.
[23] Walter Clark, Histories of the Several Regiments and Battalions from North Carolina in the Great War 1861-'65 Vol.II. (Goldsboro: Nash Brothers, Books and Job Printers, 1901), 18.
[24] Jordan , 295.
[25] Clark, Vol.II., 19.
[26] Michael C. Hardy, The Thirty-seventh North Carolina Troops: Tar Heels in the Army of Northern Virginia. (Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers, 1983), 53.
[27] Clark, Vol.II., 20.
[28] Jordan, Vol. VI., 295.
[29] Clark, Vol.II., 20-21.
[30] DeAnne Blanton, and Lauren M. Cook, They Fought like Demons: Women Soldiers in the Civil War. ( New York : Vintage Books, 2002)
[31] War Department, A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies. ( Carmel , IN : Guild Press of Indiana , 1996. (CDROM). O.R.., S.I, Vol. XI, pt. 1, pp. 741-742.
[32] Mast, 317-318.
[33] James H. Lane , "History of Lane's North Carolina Brigade." Southern Historical Society Papers. Vol. 8. (Milwood, New York: Craus Reprint Company, 1977), 102-104.
[34] War Department,. O.R.., S.I, Vol. XII, pt. 2, p. 667.
[35] William Woods Hassler, A.P. Hill: Lee's Forgotten General (Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 1962), 102-107.
[36] Jordan, Vol. VI., 413.
[37] Jordan, Vol VI., 299.
[38] War Department,. O.R.., S.I, Vol. XIX, pt. 1, p. 985-986.
[39] Jordan, Vol. VI., 299.
[40] Battles and Leaders of the Civil War: The Tide Shifts, Vol. I. (Edison, New Jersey: Castle Books, 1995), 172.
[41] Ernest B. Furgurson, Chancellorsville 1863: The Souls of the Brave. (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1992), 196-197.
[42] Alfred H. H. Tolar, "Another Account" in Histories of the Several Regiments and Battalions from North Carolina in the Great War 1861-'65 Vol.V., Walter Clark. (Goldsboro: Nash Brothers, Books and Job Printers, 1901), 98-100.
[43] War Department,. O.R.., S.I, Vol. XXV, pt. 1, p. 919-920.
[44]Ibid., O.R.., S.I, Vol. XXV, pt. 1, p. 917.
[45] Dedmondt, 103.
[46] Irvine , 128.
[47] Furgurson, 365.
[48] Battles and Leaders, Vol. I., 245.
[49] Hardy, 141.
[50] Jordan, Vol. VI., 302.
[51] War Department, O.R.., S.I, Vol. XXVII, pt. 2, p. 664-665.
[52] Obituary for Alfred H.H. Tolar, Houston , Texas Newspaper, July 1927.
[53] Jordan, Vol. VI., 303.
[54] Dedmondt, 104.
[55] Greene, 99-118.
[56] Lane, Vol. 10, 57-59.
[57] Greene, 310-311.
[58] War Department, O.R.., S.I, Vol. XLVI, pt. 1, p. 1285-1286.
[59] Irvine , 141.


Primpary Sources:

Crabtree, Beth Gilbert, and James W. Patton. Journal of a Secesh Lady: The Diary of Catherine Ann Devereux Edmundston, 1860-1866. Raleigh : Division of Archives and History, Department of Cultural Resources. 1979.
This is a diary of the wife of a Halifax County, North Carolina planter gives an insight to everyday life and ideas of a successful planter family before, during and after the Civil War.

Clark, Walter (ed). North Carolina Regiments Vol 1-5. Wendell , NC : Broadfoot Pub, 1982.
Chief Justice Walter Clark compiled this five-volume set, which contains regimental rosters, histories and stories as told by the veterans themselves. It was originally published in 1901. This is a great primary source.

Irvine , Ida Robeson. The Diary of Elizabeth Ellis Robeson. The Bladen County Historical Society.
This diary gives another view from the home front during the Civil War. Her two sons and neighbors served in the Eighteenth North Carolina Troops. She lived near Tarheel in Bladen County , North Carolina .

Jordan , Weymouth T. North Carolina Troops, 1861-1861: A Roster. Vols 15. Raleigh : North Carolina Division of Archives and History.1998.
This fifteen-volume set is the most current and up-to-date source for regimental rosters and general histories. It is published by the State of North Carolina and is an excellent primary source.

Lanes, James H. History of Lane's North Carolina Brigade. Southern Historical Society Papers. Vol. 8-10. Milwood , New York : Craus Reprint Company. 1977.
The Southern Historical Society published General Lane 's own history of his brigade during the Civil War. This is a great primary source from the commander's point of view.

Manarin, Louis H. A Guide to Military Organizations and Installations: North Carolina 1861-1865. The North Carolina Confederate Centennial Commission. 1961.
Published for the Centennial Celebration, this is an invaluable resource when trying to understand the North Carolina regimental organization during the Civil War.

War Department. A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies. Carmel , IN : Guild Press of Indiana , 1996. (CDROM).
This is the best one-stop primary source for the Civil War. It contains thousands of official reports for the Union and Confederate governments. It has a great search engine.

Secondary Sources:

Barrett, John Gilchrist. North Carolina as a Civil War Battleground, 1861-1865. Raleigh : Division of Archives and History, Department of Cultural Resources. 1987. This is a standard overview of the Civil War in North Carolina . Easy to read and understand.

Battles and Leaders of the Civil War. 4 Vols. Edison, New Jersey : Castle Books, 1995.
Originally published in 1883, this four-volume series gives an overview of the Civil War from the view of the officers and men of the Union and Confederate Armies and is an excellent primary and secondary source.

Blanton, DeAnne and Lauren M. Cook. They Fought Like Demons: Women Soldiers in the Civil War. New York : Vintage Books. 2002.
This recently published book gives details on women soldiers in the Civil War. While many of the instances are well documented, many are still open to interpretation. Still, this is an excellent resource.

Dedmondt, Glenn, The Flags of Civil War North Carolina. Grenta , Louisiana : Pelican Publishing Company. 2003.
This work gives details on the different flags used by the state of North Carolina during the war. It is the best source for information on North Carolina flags during the Civil War.

Escott, Paul D. Unwilling Hercules: North Carolina in the Confederacy. The North Carolina Experience: An Interpretive & Documentary History, edited by Lindley S. Butler et al. Chapel Hill : The University of North Carolina Press. 1984.
This writing on North Carolina 's role in the Civil War is an excellent example of the view from one extreme. While every view is biased, all should be considered when doing research. This is a good source, whether or not one agrees with it.

Furguson, Ernest B. Chancellorsville 1863: The Souls of the Brave New York : Alfred A. Knopf. 1992.
This is an excellent detailed account of the Battle of Chancellorsville. It is easy to read and understand.

Griffith, Paddy. Battle in the Civil War: Generalship and Tactics in America 1861-1865. Field Books. 1986.
This is an excellent source for the hows, whats and whys in army organization and battle tactics.

Hassler, William Woods. A.P. Hill: Lee's Forgotten General. Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press. 1962.
Published during the Centennial Celebration, this work is a close look at one of General Lee's division and corps commanders.

Mast, Greg. State Troops and Volunteers: A Photographic Record of North Carolina 's Civil War Soldiers, Vol I. Raleigh: North Department of Cultural Resources, Division of Archives and History. 1995.
This is an invaluable resource for what the North Carolina soldiers looked like during the Civil War. It also contains hundreds of documented stories about the soldiers pictured.

Oates, John A., The Story of Fayetteville Raleigh : Contemporary Lithographers Incorporated. 1950.
This is, by far, the best published history of Fayetteville and Cumberland County . While much of it is not documented, it is a great overview of the Upper cape Fear Region.

Todd, Frederick P. American Military Equipage 1851-1872 Volume II State Forces. M. P. Todd Privately Published. 1983.
This is the source for a state-by-state look at what their troops were issued during the Civil War. In many instances, it gives detailed reports on what a regiment was issued,

Trotter, William R. Silk Flags and Cold Steel, The Civil War in North Carolina : The Piedmont. Winston-Salem : John F. Blair, Publisher. 1988.
This is one book in a trilogy detailing the Civil War in North Carolina . It is the best overview of the war in North Carolina .


Fayetteville Observer, 27 May 1861.

Houston Texas Newspaper, July 1927 [unnamed]