2nd North Carolina Infantry Battalion

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2nd North Carolina Infantry Battalion

2nd Infantry Battalion was formed at Garysburg, North Carolina, during the fall of 1861. Five companies were from Madison, Stokes, Randolph, Surry, and Forsyth Counties, one from Mecklenburg County, Virginia, and two from Pike and Meriwether counties, Georgia. The Virginia Company was transferred in September 1862 and the Georgia commands in mid-1863. The battalion relocated to the coast and was captured in the Battle of Roanoke Island. After being exchanged, it was assigned to General Daniel's and Grimes' Brigade, Army of Northern Virginia. It served from Gettysburg to Cold Harbor, fought in the Shenandoah Valley Campaigns under General Early, and was active around Appomattox. It lost 3 killed and 5 wounded at Roanoke Island and of the 240 engaged at Gettysburg, sixty-four percent were disabled. The battalion surrendered with 3 officers and 49 men. The field officers were Lieutenant Colonels Hezekiah L. Andrews, Wharton J. Green, and Charles E. Shober; and Majors Marcus Erwin, John M. Hancock, and James J. Iredell.

Flag of the Brown Mountain Boys
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(Confederate Flag)

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North Carolina Civil War Flag

Flag of the Brown Mountain Boys

Local women in the Brown Mountain Community in west-central Stokes County made this flag for the Brown Mountain Boys. As part of the Second Battalion North Carolina Infantry, the Brown Mountain boys landed on Roanoke Island (during Burnside's North Carolina Expedition) on the morning of February 8, 1862, just in time to become part of the Confederate surrender to Federal forces. The flag was taken and kept as a souvenir by a member of the Twenty-seventh Massachusetts. It remained in Massachusetts until its purchase by the North Carolina Museum of History Associates, Inc. in 1987. The flag is based on the pattern of the First National Flag of the Confederacy known as the "Stars and Bars." (Courtesy North Carolina Museum of History)

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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 General “Stonewall” Jackson’s wife's sister. 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 Reading: The Civil War in North Carolina (495 pages; The University of North Carolina Press). Description: The North Carolina Civil War campaigns and battles were crucial in the grand strategy of the conflict and involved some of the most famous generals of the war. John Barrett, The Civil War in North Carolina, presents the complete story of military engagements across the Old North State, including the classical pitched battle of Bentonville, the siege of Fort Fisher, the amphibious campaigns on the coast, and cavalry sweeps such as Stoneman's raid. Continued below...

When the Union had cut off the West and Gulf South, transporting troops and supplies from the Tar Heel State was critical to General Lee's ability to remain in the field during the closing months of the war. This dependence upon North Carolina led to Stoneman's cavalry raid and Sherman's March through the state in 1865, the latter of which brought the horrors of total war and eventual defeat.

 

Recommended Reading: Confederates in the Attic: Dispatches from the Unfinished Civil War. Description: Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Tony Horwitz returned from years of traipsing through war zones as a foreign correspondent only to find that his childhood obsession with the Civil War had caught up with him. Near his house in Virginia, he happened to encounter people who reenact the Civil War--men who dress up in period costumes and live as Johnny Rebs and Billy Yanks. Intrigued, he wound up having some odd adventures with the "hardcores," the fellows who try to immerse themselves in the war, hoping to get what they lovingly term a "period rush." Horwitz spent two years reporting on why Americans are still so obsessed with the war, and the ways in which it resonates today. Continued below...

In the course of his work, he made a sobering side trip to cover a "murder that was provoked by the display of the Confederate flag," and he spoke to a number of people seeking to honor their ancestors who fought for the Confederacy. Horwitz has a flair for odd details that spark insights, and Confederates in the Attic is a thoughtful and entertaining book that does much to explain America's continuing obsession with the Civil War.
 

Recommended Reading: Tracing Your Civil War Ancestor (Hardcover). Description: It is tantalizing to speculate about the role your ancestors may have played in the great national drama of the Civil War. But family records are often inaccurate, or provide precious few leads on where to begin the search. Now, experienced historian Bertram Hawthorne Groene shows you how easy it is to trace your forbearers' role in the war, where and how long they fought, whether they were Union or Rebel, soldier or sailor -- even with a minimum of information. Continued below...

Tracing Your Civil War Ancestor provides you with:

-- The names and addresses of all state archives.

-- Names and addresses of institutions that hold microfilmed service records from the national archives.

-- Names and publishers of useful regional Civil War reference books.

-- Names and publishers of sourcebooks for identifying Civil War weapons and accoutrements.

-- And much more.

Historians, genealogists, antique dealers, and collectors of Civil War artifacts will find this concise guidebook of great value. But most of all it is of inestimable practical value to family historians, North and South, who are discovering the pleasure and satisfaction of compiling an accurate family history.

 
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."

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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