Tarheels During the Civil War

Friday, June 26, 2009

Bennett Place

Sorry I have been MIA last few days. I have lived in North Carolina my entire life, and I still haven't explored all of her War Between the States history. Yesterday I went to the Bennett farm in Durham for the first time. The staff were friendly and knowledgeable. The Bennett farm was the site of the three meetings between Generals Johnston and Sherman to discuss the surrender of remaining Confederate forces. I had always figured that the retreat from Bentonville led Johnston's forces to the Raleigh-Durham area and they surrendered Appomattox style at the Bennett farm. Such was not the case. Johnston's units were spread out around the Piedmont. My ancestor's unit, the 40th North Carolina (3rd artillery) were stationed in High Point at this time. You learn something everyday.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Whatcha Got

Could use some help. I am currently researching the 2nd, 4th, 14th, and 30th NC regiments to one day write a brigade history (Anderson, Ramseur, Cox brigade). If anyone has any, or has access to any letters, diaries, or photographs of the men in these regiments, I would appreciate the assistance. I've compiled a pretty decent sized source list, but the more the merrier. You can comment here or e-mail me:

Jeff Felton

Monday, June 15, 2009

Online Diaries

Found these hard to find diaries and other personal letter and memoir collections on Google Books.
Walter and George Battle letters (Co. F 4th NC State Troops)


Alexander D. Betts memoirs (Chaplain 30th NC State Troops)


Preston L. Ledford Reminiscences ( Co. B 14th NC State Troops)


Wednesday, June 10, 2009

General Lee's Request

While searching through the Official Records for some information on Ramseur's North Carolina brigade, I stumbled upon this request from General Lee to Governor Vance, written June 4 1863.
"Governor: I have the honor to call the attention of Your Excellency to the reduced condition of Brigadier-General Ramseur's brigade. It's ranks have been much thinned by the casualties of the battles in which it has been engaged, in all of which it has rendered conspicuous service. I consider its brigade and regimental commanders as among the best of their respective grades in the army, and in the late battle of Chancellorsville, where the brigade was much distinguished and suffered severely, General Ramseur was among those whose conduct was especially commended to my notice by Lieutenant-General Jackson in a message sent to me after he was wounded. I am very desirous that the efficiency of this brigade should be increased by filling its ranks, and respectfully ask that, if it be in your power, you will send on recruits for its various regiments as soon as possible. If this cannot be done, I would recommend that two additional regiments be sent to it, if they can be had. I am satisfied that the men could be used in no better way to render valuable service to the country and win credit for themselves and for their State.
I am, with great respect, your obedient servant,
R. E. Lee
Now my question is, did Lee often mention brigades by name in requesting that a particular units ranks be filled? It seems as Ramseur's brigade was one of the better ones in the army, Lee knew this, and wanted it replenished. It could also be that when he wrote this, he was on the eve of the Gettysburg campaign, and was actively seeking reinforcements from whatever region he could find. This is well known. I just think it interesting that he appreciated and respected the fighting prowess and commanders of the brigade to make a special appeal to have their ranks in particualr filled. As mentioned, I stumbled on this today, and have not searched to find any more references to particular units from Lee.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Family Roster

Just wanted to share my family's North Carolina roster. First is my g-g-grandfather, and the rest, in order, are his two brothers, three first cousins, and the rest are second and third cousins. All names are on my paternal side. Feel free to share yours as well.

Robert Vernon Felton
Co. F 3rd NC Art. Reg.
Jackson Felton
Co. E 2nd NC Cav. Reg.
Shadrack Felton
Co. D 2nd NC Inf.
Noah Felton
Co. I & L 17th NC Inf.
James G. Felton
Co. B 3rd LA Inf.
Warren Felton
Co. B 35th MS Inf.
Patrick Byrum
Co. F 16th NC Cav. Btn.
John Byrum
Co. D 1st NC Light Art. (Reilly's)
Mark B. Byrum
Co. F 3rd NC Art. Reg.
Gray Byrum
Co. D 35th NC Inf.
Hyram Webb
Co. B 16th NC Cav. Btn.
Morrison Webb
Co. F 30th NC Inf.
Andrew J. Webb
Co. B 24th NC Inf.
James Gray Felton
Co. B 35th MS Inf.
Zachariah Felton
Co. C Jeff Davis Legion MS Cav.
John L. Felton
Co. C Jeff Davis Legion MS Cav.
Elbert E. Felton
Co. F 3rd MS Cav. Btn.
Joseph W. Felton
Co. F 61st NC Inf.
Eli Felton
Co. F 30th NC Inf.
Lorenzo Felton
Co. F 16th NC Cav. Btn.
Elbert Felton
Co. F 16th NC Cav. Btn.
Thomas Felton
Co. E 2nd NC Cav.
Howell Felton
Co. F 3rd NC Art. Reg.
Ivy Wooten Felton
Co. E 2nd NC Cav.
Kinchen Walston
Co. F 30th NC Inf.
Ralph Walston
Co. F 30th NC Inf.
William Y. Owens
Co. F 61st NC Inf.
Reuben Owens
Co. A 62nd NC Inf.
Elisha Owens
Co. C 43rd NC Inf.
Levi Owens
Griswold's Co. Local Defense
William T. Taylor
13th NC Inf. Btn.
Elisha Thomas Felton
Co. F 4th NC Inf.
Richard Felton
Co. F 30th NC Inf.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Return To Bull Run

Just finished reading John J. Hennessy's excellent book on the Second Manassas Campaign, Return To Bull Run: The Campaign and Battle of Second Manassas,http://www.amazon.com/Return-Bull-Run-Campaign-Manassas/dp/080613187X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1243879988&sr=8-1. It covers the complete campaign, from Lee and Pope's showdown on the Rappahannock River to Cedar Mountain to Brawners Farm to Second Manassas to Ox Hill. In regards to North Carolina troops participation, it is light on details, but makes especial mention of the parts played mainly by Branch's Brigade (7th, 18th, 28th, 33rd, and 37th NCT) and Pender's Brigade (16th, 22nd, 34th, and 38th NCT). Both Pender and Branch were part of A.P. Hill's Light Division of Jackson's wing during the campaign. Branch was posted on the left of Jackson's line at the unfinished railroad, and was to the left rear of Maxcy Gregg's Brigade, who were heavily engaged on August 29th, 1862. Branch, as well as Pender were required to bolster portions of Hill's front line during the several assaults by Federal forces. As mentioned above, while not going into minute detail of North Carolinians participation, Hennessy does emphasize the importance played mainly by Pender and Branch in helping to sustain Hill's line on the unfinished railroad. The best book on the campaign that I have read and a must have.