21st North Carolina Infantry Regiment

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21st North Carolina Infantry Regiment

21st Infantry Regiment, formerly the 11th Volunteers, was a twelve company command organized at Danville, Virginia, in June 1861. Men of this unit were recruited in Davidson, Surry, Forsyth, Stokes, Rockingham, and Guilford counties. It was assigned to General Trimble's, Hoke's, Godwin's, and W. G. Lewis' Brigade. It fought at First ManassasSecond Manassas, and Jackson's Valley operations. The unit participated in many conflicts of the army from the Seven Days Battles to Bristoe. It was also involved in the engagements at PlymouthDrewry's Bluff, and Cold Harbor, marched with Early to the Shenandoah Valley, and saw action around Appomattox. The unit sustained 80 casualties at First Winchester, 13 at Cross Keys and Port Republic, 45 during the Seven Days Battles, 51 at Second Manassas, 18 at Sharpsburg, and 24 at Fredericksburg. It lost 78 at Chancellorsville, twenty-eight percent of the 436 at Gettysburg, and 52 at Plymouth. In April 1865 it surrendered with 6 officers and 117 men of which 40 were armed. The field officers were Colonels Saunders Fulton, B. Y. Graves, James M. Leach, Rufus K. Pepper, William S. Rankin, and William L. Scott; and Majors James F. Beall, Alex. Miller, W. J. Pfohl, and J. M. Richardson.

North Carolina Civil War Battle Map
North Carolina Civil War Battles Map.gif
North Carolina Civil War Battles Map

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Recommended Reading: The Civil War in North Carolina. Description: Numerous battles and skirmishes were fought in North Carolina during the Civil War, and the campaigns and battles themselves were crucial in the grand strategy of the conflict and involved some of the most famous generals of the war. Continued below..

John Barrett presents the complete story of military engagements across the state, including the classical pitched battle of Bentonville--involving Generals Joe Johnston and William Sherman--the siege of Fort Fisher, the amphibious campaigns on the coast, and cavalry sweeps such as General George Stoneman's Raid. Also available in hardcover: The Civil War in North Carolina.

 

Recommended Reading: Shades of Blue and Gray: An Introductory Military History of the Civil War (Hardcover: 281 pages) (University of Missouri Press). Description: Herman Hattaway analyzes the Civil War with an emphasis on contemporary advances in military technology and their effects on behavior in the field. Ulysses Grant was speaking nearly literally when he wrote, "the iron gauntlet must be used more than the silken glove to destroy the Confederacy." Continued below...

In the end, Hattaway demonstrates that it was superior iron and steel that won the Union cause. He examines the development and use of submarines, mines, automatic weapons, balloons, and especially rifles and artillery, which became so accurate that contending armies took to trench warfare. Battle by battle, Hattaway retraces the grim course of the war, yielding a helpful introduction to its history, complete with abundant notes and suggested readings.

 

Recommended Reading: Confederate Military History Of North Carolina: North Carolina In The Civil War, 1861-1865. Description: The author, Prof. D. H. Hill, Jr., was the son of Lieutenant General Daniel Harvey Hill (North Carolina produced only two lieutenant generals and it was the second highest rank in the army) and his mother was the sister to General “Stonewall” Jackson’s wife. In Confederate Military History Of North Carolina, Hill discusses North Carolina’s massive task of preparing and mobilizing for the conflict; the many regiments and battalions recruited from the Old North State; as well as the state's numerous contributions during the war. Continued below...

During Hill's Tar Heel State study, the reader begins with interesting and thought-provoking statistical data regarding the 125,000 "Old North State" soldiers that fought during the course of the war and the 40,000 that perished. Hill advances with the Tar Heels to the first battle at Bethel, through numerous bloody campaigns and battles--including North Carolina’s contributions at the "High Watermark" at Gettysburg--and concludes with Lee's surrender at Appomattox.

 
Recommended Viewing: The Civil War - A Film by Ken Burns. Review: The Civil War - A Film by Ken Burns is the most successful public-television miniseries in American history. The 11-hour Civil War didn't just captivate a nation, reteaching to us our history in narrative terms; it actually also invented a new film language taken from its creator. When people describe documentaries using the "Ken Burns approach," its style is understood: voice-over narrators reading letters and documents dramatically and stating the writer's name at their conclusion, fresh live footage of places juxtaposed with still images (photographs, paintings, maps, prints), anecdotal interviews, and romantic musical scores taken from the era he depicts. Continued below...
The Civil War uses all of these devices to evoke atmosphere and resurrect an event that many knew only from stale history books. While Burns is a historian, a researcher, and a documentarian, he's above all a gifted storyteller, and it's his narrative powers that give this chronicle its beauty, overwhelming emotion, and devastating horror. Using the words of old letters, eloquently read by a variety of celebrities, the stories of historians like Shelby Foote and rare, stained photos, Burns allows us not only to relearn and finally understand our history, but also to feel and experience it. "Hailed as a film masterpiece and landmark in historical storytelling." "[S]hould be a requirement for every student."
 
Recommended Reading: The Life of Johnny Reb: The Common Soldier of the Confederacy (444 pages) (Louisiana State University Press) (Updated edition: November 2007) Description: The Life of Johnny Reb does not merely describe the battles and skirmishes fought by the Confederate foot soldier. Rather, it provides an intimate history of a soldier's daily life--the songs he sang, the foods he ate, the hopes and fears he experienced, the reasons he fought. Wiley examined countless letters, diaries, newspaper accounts, and official records to construct this frequently poignant, sometimes humorous account of the life of Johnny Reb. In a new foreword for this updated edition, Civil War expert James I. Robertson, Jr., explores the exemplary career of Bell Irvin Wiley, who championed the common folk, whom he saw as ensnared in the great conflict of the 1860s. Continued below...
About Johnny Reb:
"A Civil War classic."--Florida Historical Quarterly
"This book deserves to be on the shelf of every Civil War modeler and enthusiast."--Model Retailer
"[Wiley] has painted with skill a picture of the life of the Confederate private. . . . It is a picture that is not only by far the most complete we have ever had but perhaps the best of its kind we ever shall have."--Saturday Review of Literature

Sources: Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies; Walter Clark, Histories of the Several Regiments and Battalions from North Carolina in the Great War 1861-1865; National Park Service: American Civil War; National Park Service: Soldiers and Sailors System; Weymouth T. Jordan and Louis H. Manarin, North Carolina Troops, 1861-1865; and D. H. Hill, Confederate Military History Of North Carolina: North Carolina In The Civil War, 1861-1865.

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