Serving with the 22nd North Carolina

by | Dec 17, 2015 | Caldwell, Confederate affiliation

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 fought at Yorktown, Seven Pines, in the Seven Days Battles, and in the capture of Harper’s Ferry during the Maryland campaign. At Antietam, Dula and the 22nd North Carolina arrived on Lee’s right flank with the rest of A.P. Hill’s command in time to blunt the final Federal assault of the day. Dula’s most notable moment of the war came during the Battle of Chancellorsville, where he claimed to have witnessed the shooting of General Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson by the 18th North Carolina. Dula reported that men of the 22nd also fired into Jackson’s company, and that A.P. Hill physically prevented others from doing the same. Dula took a wound at Gettysburg, where an exploding shell injured him in both legs and one foot on the battle’s second day. This prevented him from joining his comrades in the Pickett-Pettigrew assault on the final day. The number of wounded from that battle meant he received no treatment for 36 hours. After a recuperative stint with the Confederate quartermaster’s department, Dula rejoined the Army of Northern Virginia in 1864, but was captured early in the fighting for Petersburg. Dula claimed to have been paroled in the early months of 1865, but saw no more fighting before the war’s end. He had experienced much of the hardness of the war, having seen many of his friends and family from Caldwell County fall during the war, watched others straggle and desert during marches, and endured the suffering of hard winters in camp and of time in prisoner of war camps. His account reveals little of why he fought or of his stances on the great political and social questions of the day, but nevertheless tells us much about the life and memory of the average soldier. The full account of Dula’s service can be found in the Rubenstein Rare Book and Special Collections Library at Duke University, entitled A.J. Dula, “Reminiscences [1908].”

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