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Benjamin Franklin as a Confederate

On March 1, 1863, at age 36, my great-great-great-uncle, Benjamin Franklin Earney (Arney) enlisted in Burke County, North Carolina as a private in Company K, N.C. 35th Infantry Regiment. This company was known as the “Burke & Catawba Sampsons.” He mustered out alive...

Gettysburg claims a brother

Two brothers of my great-grandmother, Susan Young, died while fighting in the Civil War. One was Peter E. Young, who was born in 1834 to Henry and Lavenia Martin Young in Catawba County, North Carolina. Peter enlisted in Burke County on May 10, 1861 as a private. He...

William Henry, the third soldier son

William Henry Pitts, my great-great-uncle, was born to John Henry and Sarah Lolly Rogers Pitts in 1841 in Catawba County, North Carolina. He joined two other brothers, Conrad and Abel, fighting the war. William enlisted in Company C, N.C. 28th Infantry Regiment, on...

Union soldiers robbed the Grey family farm

Someone came running through the woods to tell my family that the Yankees were coming. We think these were the soldiers who captured New Bern. The whole family--multiple generations--ran through the house and yard, grabbing what they could, and hid under the house in...

Wiley Moore fought at Fort Fisher

Wiley Moore joined the Confederate Army and was sent to Fort Fisher as an artilleryman. When his enlistment ended, he joined the Cavalry and was present when Lee surrendered to Grant. He came home to North Carolina on a poor horse, walking most of the way. When he...

Yankee Raider learned a lesson

"When the Union cavalry's supplies ran short, Captain William Kent and his command foraged the plantations of Major ... Bell and James Scott: both of the plantations were on Body Road (southwest of Elizabeth City)." (Elizabeth City & the Civil War, by Alex Christopher...

A Railroad Soldier from Burke County

My great-grandfather, John Martin Butler, was born to William Hall and Jane Saphronia Kibler Butler on Dec. 14, 1844 in Burke County, North Carolina. John married Harriett Ann Simpson (1849-1921) in 1869 in Burke County. On Feb. 15, 1862, at age 17, John enlisted in...

William Hall Butler earned his promotions

William Hall Butler, my great-great grandfather, was born July 24, 1825 in Burke County, North Carolina to John and Rachel Butler. Hall Butler married Jane Saphronia Kibler in 1842 in Rutherford County. He and Jane had ten children, Hall enlisted as a private on Feb....

Soldier’s life ended in a Union prison

David Carpenter was born to Jonathan and Barbara Kistler Carpenter in Lincoln County, North Carolina, on March 18, 1826. As a private he enlisted in Company I, NC 11th Infantry Regiment (the "Bethel Regiment") on May 26, 1862. David was wounded during battle on July...

One of many who didn’t come home

Henry Carpenter, brother to David Carpenter, was born to Jonathan and Barbara Kistler Carpenter in Lincoln County, North Carolina on Aug. 22, 1824. Henry joined the army as a private, enlisting on March, 26, 1863 at age 40 in Company. I, N.C. 11th Infantry Regiment...

Catawba sent its own ‘brave’ to war

Phillip E. Arney was born to R. Henry and Elizabeth Carpenter Arney in Catawba County, North Carolina, in January of 1843. Phillip worked as a farmer during non-war time. At age 19 Phillip enlisted in Co. K, N.C. 46th Infantry Regiment on March 13, 1862. This company...

The Twin who went to war

John Esley Arney, my great-grandfather, was a twin to Jonas Franklin Arney. The two of them, along with another brother, Phillip, all served in the Civil War. John and Jonas were born to R. Henry and Elizabeth Carpenter Arney on Oct. 29, 1845. Jonas enlisted in Co. K,...

Soldier’s service ended in prison

Abel Reid Pitts, my great-great-uncle, was born to John Henry and Sarah Lolly Rogers Pitts on August 30, 1826 in Lincoln County, North Carolina. Abel later lived in Burke County. He enlisted in Catawba County into Company K, N.C. 35th Infantry Regiment as a private,...

From Catawba County, Another Sacrifice

Conrad Pitts, a brother to Abel Reid Pitts, was born in 1832 to John Henry and Sarah Lolly Rogers. Conrad enlisted in Company C, 28th Regiment of North Carolina Infantry as a private on Aug. 13, 1861, in Catawba County. Conrad was not to survive the war. He mustered...

The Jennings Brothers in

My husband's great grandfather was one of three brothers who joined the Pasquotank Boys to serve in the Civil War. He was James Monroe Jennings (1830-1900), who served along with his brothers, William Harney Jennings (1838-1864) and Decader Cader Jennings (1844-1911)....

Those Carpenters answered the call

Jonas Carpenter, brother to David and Henry, was born to Jonathan and Barbara Kistler Carpenter in Lincoln County, North Carolina on June 23, 1820. Jonas enlisted in Co. D, 1st N.C. Infantry Regiment as a Confederate private. It is noted that this regiment fought on...

Five Brothers in the Civil War

Submitted by: Brenda Kay Ledford and Barbara Ledford Wright The shadow of the Civil War loomed over Clay County, North Carolina. Thomas and Eliza Ledford worried that their five sons would enlist and get killed fighting for the Confederacy. Tillman enlisted at...

He Didn’t Have to Go, but

This story was told to me as a youngster in the 1950s by my great-aunt, Kate Dixon Murdock. When I was older I verified it through these soldiers' individual Confederate Army records and other research. Aunt Kate said that when the Civil War broke out her grandfather,...

Jacob Dixon was True Blue

Jacob Dixon was born near Snow Camp (now Alamance County) December 15, 1842. The son of Quakers Caleb and Mary Snotherly Dixon, he was opposed to the war, as were all members of the Society of Friends. The family story passed down from generation to generation was...

Confederate Veteran and Jack of Many Trades

Drury Alston Putnam, my great-great-grandfather, was born Dec. 23, 1830, in Cleveland county, North Carolina, to Roberts Putnam and Lucinda Weaver. He was a “jack of many trades.” The various censuses from 1850 until 1910 show him as a wagon maker, farmer, artist and...

Serving with the 22nd North Carolina

A.J. Dula, of Caldwell County, shared in almost all of the Army of Northern Virginia's travails during the Civil War. After joining the 22nd North Carolina Regiment in Caldwell County in April of 1861, he served in almost all the battles of the Eastern theater. Dula...

John Humphrey enlisted at age 14

My great-grandfather joined the Confederate States Army in June, 1861. He was assigned to the 10th Heavy Artillery at Fort Lane in New Bern. It was noted in family lore that when he enlisted he was only 14 years old. To get around his age, he wrote "18" on a slip of...

Iredell Cavalry Officer Saw Action

My great-great-grandfather, Hugh Caldwell Bennett (14 Dec. 1832 - 3 March 1907), was the son of George Stepto Bennett and Elizabeth Newland Bennett of Iredell County, N.C. He enlisted in Company F, North Carolina 3rd Cavalry Regiment as a corporal on 07 Oct. 1861 and...

Ancestor served, but had little to say

"My great-grandfather was named William Cahoon, but my grams called him Bill. He served in the Confederacy but my dad said he never heard him talk about it. My great-grandmother did receive money for a while after the war, and that helped them keep up part of the...

gun found on Hatteras

I once knew a man who had a gun he swore was found on the beaches of Hatteras, washed up after the Yankees came through the inlet. I never knew if he was pulling my leg, but he was proud of his gun! Want To Work With Us? Get involved with our exciting project....

A Novelist’s ties to Hyde County

Taken from stories written by William Stryon: "I've always been surprised by my direct link to the Old South -- the South of slavery and the Civil War. Many southerners of my vintage, and even some of those who are considerably older, can claim an ancestral connection...

Grandmother’s locket

There are no records of when my grandmother was born, but her father was away fighting for the Confederacy. When he received news of her birth, he used that month's payment to buy a locket inscribed with the date 1864. That was the only record of her birth, and she...

A Deserter’s Story

George Deans (1831-1839), a Wayne County farmer, was a loyal Union man and bitterly opposed to the war between the states. In May 1862 he was conscripted by the Confederate army and taken from his home by about 15 armed men and sent to Richmond, Virginia. He was...

Tried to hide his son from the Draft Board

Daniel Christenberry Kirk, my great-great-great-grandfather, was a farmer on Morrow Mountain along the Pee Dee River. When the war broke out, Daniel's two oldest sons, James and George, enlisted in the Confederate Army. Daniel was sick and crippled. We don't know the...

The Soldier’s Choice

A Confederate soldier is given an assignment to lie in wait for a Union courier who is carrying important papers. The Confederate is, "at all costs," to bring those documents back with him. The Union courier is singing a beloved hymn as he unknowingly approaches the...

Confederate POW Died on Johnson’s Island

Levi Branson Williams, was the son of Ezekiel Randolph and Agnes Williams, of Guilford County. Born on November 13th, 1837, at an early age, he was left an orphan and in the care of his grandfather, Nathan Williams, passed the happy days of childhood. Of an earnest...

Killing Yankees in the Hog Pen

My great-great-grandfather, James B. Vause, served with the "Lenoir Braves." He was captured at Hatteras Island and held as a prisoner of war at Fort Warren, Massachusetts, until his release in a prisoner exchange in 1862. His brother, Robert B. Vause, was killed at...

Jacob Wagner’s Civil War

Jacob Wagner, my great-great-grandfather, was a member of Wiedrich's New York Light Artillery from Buffalo, NY. He came alone from Germany at age 16 and joined the battery on his 21st birthday. His first battle was Gettysburg, where he fought the three days on...

Wounded at Appomattox

John Murphy Walton, son of Col. Thomas George Walton and Eliza Murphy Walton, was born at the family home "Creekside" in Morganton in 1844. When war was declared in 1861, he left military training at Hillsborough Academy at age 16 to enlist in the 6th Regiment, North...

Confederates stalking Confederates

A good shake of the family tree often brings down a hail of Civil War soldiers, each good for at least one war story pieced together from unit records or one personal anecdote preserved in a letter or diary entry. But what did it mean to belong, as did several of my...

Ivey Lee’s Encounter with Yankee Bummers

Mr. Ivey Lee's Encounter With Yankee Bummers The time was the day before the last major battle of the War of Northern Aggression, the "Battle of Bentonville". Major General William Tecumseh Sherman's Bummers inflicted not only property damage to one Southern Farmer...

The South before the war: an island in time

The first thing a modern time-traveler would notice, on arrival in the antebellum South, would most likely be the silence. There might be movement among dry leaves, or the snort of a horse. Bird songs, surely, and, somewhere, a barking dog. But no dense overlay of...

Virginian served on land and sea

Clarence Cary, Confederate States Navy, was born in March of 1845, the son of Archibald Cary and Monimia Fairfax Cary, grandson of Thomas Fairfax, ninth Lord Fairfax of Cameron. He was a direct descendant of Pocahontas and John Rolfe and the Plantagenets of England....

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