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Wartime Collection

Learn about the Civil War in North Carolina from the people who witnessed it. This collection contains primary sources, mostly documents and still images, related to the Civil War in North Carolina on topics like occupation, camp life, battles and skirmishes, and the homefront. Historical actors in wartime North Carolina authored these primary sources. Students in history classes at North Carolina State University and other contributors made the primary sources available online.

Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl. Written by Herself, 1861

Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl. Written by Herself

Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, publishedin 1861, details the life of Harriet Jacobs, a slave in Edenton North Carolina. Jacobs discussed her…

Diary of A Tar Heel Confederate Soldier, 1861-1865

This document was the day-to-day diary of a Confederate soldier from North Carolina. His name was Louis Leon and he served in the Charlotte Grays,…

Lt. Col. S. H. Walkup, "A Plea for Supplies" (1862)

A Plea for Supplies

A letter from Lt. Col. S. H. Walkup, commander of the 48th Regt. NC Troops to Governor Zebulon Vance of North Carolina about the lack of supplies and…

Drawing of hanging (1970-80)

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A picture of a man getting hanged for desertion by the Home Guard.

Diary of Catherine Ann Devereux Edmondston, February 18th, 1861

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Catherine Ann Devereux Edmondston (pictured) recorded in her diary her various emotional, social, and personal experiences, throughout the Civil War,…

General Ambrose E. Burnside to the Secretary of War, March 21, 1862

This is the text from a letter between Union General Burnside and the Secretary of War, Edwin M. Stanton from March 21, 1862. In the early spring of…

Letter of Joseph J. Hoyle to Sarah Hoyle May 17, 1862

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This letter, written by Lieutenant Hoyle in May of 1862, was one of the first letters Hoyle composed to his wife following his enlistment. Formerly,…

Letter of Joseph J. Hoyle to Sarah Hoyle, May 23, 1862

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Lieutenant Joseph J. Hoyle's letter to his wife Sarah told of his love for her during the Civil War. They were married in 1860, a mere two years…

Letter of Joseph J. Hoyle to Sarah Hoyle, May 30, 1862

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This is a letter Joseph Hoyle wrote to his wife in late May 1862 in response to one that she had written him. In this letter Joseph Hoyle talked…

Letter of Joseph J. Hoyle to Sarah Hoyle, June 4, 1862

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Joseph Hoyle wrote his wife informing her that he had been sick quite often since arriving at camp and that he would not be able to get a furlough. …

Salisbury Prison Cotton Factory

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Salisbury was built around a closed cotton factory which had several floors. The prisoners stayed within this large structure initially.

Letter of Joseph J. Hoyle to Spirit of the Age, June 16, 1862

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In June 1862 the Raleigh newspaper, Spirit of the Age, published a letter written by Joseph Hoyle. In this letter Joseph Hoyle wrote about the health…

"Enlistment of Negroes", August 21, 1862

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This is a newspaper article from The New York Times that was published on August 21, 1862. At this time, President Lincoln had not yet issued the…

Letter of Joseph J. Hoyle to Sarah Hoyle, October 8, 1862

Item 207: Letter of Joseph J. Hoyle to Sarah Hoyle October 8, 1862

After training the 55th regiment marched to Virginia where they engaged in their first battle. The regiment joined the army of Northern Virginia at…

Letter of Joseph J. Hoyle to the Spirit of Age September 22, 1862

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This letter was composed by Joseph J. Hoyle shortly after his regiment was formed and began fighting in Northern Virgina. He wrote the letter to the…

Letter of Joseph J. Hoyle to Sarah Hoyle, September 28, 1863

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As the year of 1863 progressed desertion became more of an issue for regiments and units of the Confederate Army that were stationed in Northern…

North Carolina Slaveholder to the Commander of the Department of North Carolina, October 8, 1862

This is the text from a letter between a North Carolina slaveholder, Mr. Taylor, and the Commander of the Department of North Carolina, Maj. Gen.…

Edward Stanly to Zebulon Baird Vance, October 21, 1862

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In this letter between the two active Governors of North Carolina: Confederate Governor Zebulon B. Vance and Union Governor Edward Stanly, Stanly…

Zebulon Baird Vance to Edward Stanly, October 29, 1862

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This is the first response that Confederate Governor Zebulon B. Vance sent to the Union Military Governor Edward Stanly regarding Stanly's call for…

Letter of William Holland Thomas to Jefferson Davis, November 8, 1862

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A letter from William Holland Thomas to President Davis. In this letter, Thomas appealed for more actions by the president, and he warned of the…

The North Carolina Whig, Proclamation on Northern Blacks, November 18, 1862

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A short article from the Whig detailing the thoughts of a slave. This short and simple piece can explain a different side to certain assumptions. The…

Letter From William H. Thomas to Zebulon B. Vance, November 22, 1862

This is a letter from William H. Thomas, a military leader on the side of the Confederacy, to the recently appointed Governor of North Carolina,…

Letter from William H. Thomas to Zebulon B. Vance, November 22, 1862

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A letter sent by chief colonel William H. Thomas to the new governor Zebulon B. Vance.

Letter from Zebulon B. Vance to Edward Stanly, November 24, 1862

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This was the last in a series of fiery correspondences between the Confederate North Carolina Governor, Zebulon Baird Vance, and the Union North…

Proclamation of 23 December 1862

This proclamation was given by Jefferson Davis after the atrocities committed by Major General Butler against a New Orleans citizen was not answered…

Letter of Joseph J. Hoyle to Sarah Hoyle, December 31, 1862

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In this letter Joseph Hoyle wrote to his wife stating that he had not received any letters from her since the regiment left Knob Creek. He also…

"Who are the Nigger Worshipers", Harper's Weekly, October 18, 1862

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Published in Harper’s Weekly on the 18th of October, this cartoon referred to the saying of “the rich man’s war and the poor…

Younce, W. H. "A civil war at home: Treatment of Unionists" (1901)

Younce, W. H. "A civil war at home: Treatment of Unionists" (1901)

This is an autobiography of a deserter named W. H. Younce, who left because he stated he was against slavery so he did not want to fight for the…

Letter from Major Smith Stansbury to Colonel Josiah Gorgas, September 2, 1863

Major Smith Stansbury of the Confederate Ordnance Bureau worked alongside Major Norman Walker in Bermuda. Together, they helped to coordinate the…

Letter of Joseph J. Hoyle to Mrs. Wise, July 17, 1863

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One of the more difficult aspects associated with being an officer for a regiment involved informing loved ones that their soldiers had fallen. This…

Diary of James Rumley, January 1, 1863

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This is an excerpt from Rumley’s diary entry of Jan 1st, 1863. Overall, this entry was very large and could be considered as one of the most…

Effects of the Proclamation, Freed Negroes Coming Into Our Lines at New Bern, North Carolina, February 21, 1863

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“Effects of the Proclamation, Freed Negroes Coming Into Our Lines at New Bern, North Carolina,” was an illustration that appeared in…

Diary of William M. Smith, February 22, 1863

The diary entry on February 22, 1863 by Surgeon William M. Smith is a description of his day. Smith and his regiment were in New Bern, North Carolina.…

David Anderson & Co., "Eagle Foundry," Fayetteville Observer, March 23, 1863

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In this issue of the Fayetteville Observer, there is an advertisement for the Eagle Foundry, a business operated by David Anderson. Anderson purchased…

Diary of James Rumley, March 25, 1863

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This is an excerpt from Rumley’s diary entry of March 25th, 1863. On this day Rumley noted that it was the anniversary of the occupation of…

Letter of Joseph J. Hoyle to Sarah Hoyle April 13, 1862

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Camp life was extremely difficult on those who sought to uphold their morals and maintain a steadfast faith. Lieutenant Hoyle wrote to the "Spirit of…

Map of Windsor During the Civil War

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A map of Windsor, drawn around the time of the Civil War

Commander of the Department of North Carolina to the Secretary of War, May 5, 1863

This is the text from a letter that was sent on May 5, 1863 from the Commander of the Department of North Carolina to the Secretary of the War, Edwin…

Zebulon Vance, "Vance's Proclamation Against Deserters" (1863)

Governor Zebulon Vance

Zebulon Vance was born May 13th, 1830. When the American Civil War started he was already a Captain in the 14th North Carolina Regiment, and was…

Civil War Service Record of Charles Jones, 1863

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This document is the Civil War Service Record for Charles Jones, who was a former slave in New Bern, North Carolina and went on to enlist in the 35th…

Letter of Joseph J. Hoyle to Sarah Hoyle, June 25-July 19, 1863

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In this letter Joseph Hoyle recounted events that have happened between June 25, 1863 to July 19, 1863. Joseph Hoyle described the battle of…

Zebulon Baird Vance to Jefferson Davis, July 06, 1863

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This letter from the Confederate North Carolina Governor, Zebulon Baird Vance, to the Confederate President, Jefferson Davis, briefly outlined one of…

Letter from Major Smith Stansbury to Major Caleb Huse, July 20, 1863

This correspondence between Major Stansbury and Major Huse includes endorsements from Josiah Gorgas (the Chief of the Ordnance Bureau) and Lt. Colonel…

Letter of Joseph J. Hoyle to Sarah Hoyle, July 25, 1863

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Joseph Hoyle wrote to his wife to notify her of his new location near Culpeper. He told her how exhausted he and the men were from nearly two months…

Letter of Joseph J. Hoyle to Sarah Hoyle, July 28, 1863

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Isaac and Rufus are two names that were mentioned in the letters. These men go by the last name Self which makes both Isaac and Rufus the brothers of…

"Public Meeting in Wake County," North Carolina Standard, August 5, 1863

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William W. Holden, owner and editor of one of the state’s main newspapers, the Raleigh North Carolina Standard, a Democratic newspaper,…

Zebulon Baird Vance to Edward J. Hale, August 11, 1863.

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In this correspondence to Edwards Jones Hale, who was the editor of theFayetteville Observerand a close friend of Governor Zebulon Baird Vance, Vance…

Letter from Major Smith Stansbury to Sect. of the Treasury Christopher C. Memminger, August 13, 1863

This correspondence between Stansbury and Memminger reveals that the Major was using Confederate-run vessels such as the Eugenie to run important…

Zebulon Baird Vance to William A. Graham, August 13, 1863

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In Governor Zebulon B. Vance’s correspondence to Senator William A. Graham, Vance pronounced his disgust with William W. Holden and his peace…

Lt. John Wilkinson's recount of his escape upon leaving Wilmington, August 15, 1863

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Lt John Wilkinson recounted his action taken to avoid capture by a Union blockader upon the leaving the port at Wilmington. He described what…

Letter from Col. W. Lamb to Gov. Zebulon Vance, August 21, 1863

Col. Lamb writes to Gov. Vance so that the Governor might use his influence to acquire for Fort Fisher one of two enormous Blakely cannons that had…

Letter from Gen. W. H. C. Whiting to Sect. James A. Seddon, August 31, 1863

In this correspondence from W. H. C. Whiting to Sect. James Seddon, Whiting tries to impress upon Seddon how vulnurable he percieves Wilmington to be,…

Letter of John Garibaldi to His Wife, September 3, 1863

These are the letters (from December 30, 1861, to April 12, 1864) of a Sergeant John Garibaldi, who served in the 27th Virginia Infantry. The letters…

Diary of James Rumley, August 4, 1863

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This is an excerpt from Rumley’s diary entry of Aug 4th, 1863. In this entry, Rumley described African Americans and their plans for…

Letter from Sect. James A. Seddon to Gen. W. H. C. Whiting, September 8, 1863

James A. Seddon, the Confederate Secretary of War, acknowledges Whiting's plea for troops, but that he is unable to acquiesce. He suggests that…

Letter from Gen. W. H. C. Whiting to Sect. James Seddon, September 8, 1863

In this correspondence, the Commander of the Confederate Forces at Wilmington and in the Cape Fear River area contends that the recent siege of…

Letter from General W. H. C. Whiting to Sect. James Seddon, September 28, 1863

General W. H. C. Whiting, the Commander of the Dept. of the Cape Fear, requests more soldiers from the Confederate Sect. of War James Seddon for the…

Letter from R. M. Roark to Zebulon Baird Vance, September, 1863

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R. M. Roark wrote the Governor in September 1863 from Cleveland County about thousand dollar donation from the young women of the county raised. The…

Letter from Ladies of Cleveland County NC to Zebulon Baird Vance, September, 1863

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The women of Cleveland County wrote to Governor Vance in September 1863 about a fundraiser that occurred in 1862. The women performed a tableaux and…

Letter from Mary Woodward to Zebulon Baird Vance, September, 1863

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This letter was from Mary Woodward approving the donation from the women of Cleveland County. The letter is the third in a series of corresponds to…

Letter of Joseph J. Hoyle to Sarah Hoyle, October 21, 1863

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Joseph Hoyle wrote to his wife telling her of his company's latest movements. He expressed how he and the men felt as if their Captain was not coming…

Letter of Francis Marion Poteet to Martha Hendley Poteet, November 3, 1863

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In this letter, Poteet is writing his wife to tell her how desperately home sick he is. He continues to say that he and several others are considering…

Letter of Francis Marion Poteet to Martha Hendley Poteet, November 22, 1863

A Civil War soldier, Francis Marion Poteet, writes to his wife, Martha Hendley Poteet. This is one of many letters that this individual wrote to his…

Diary of James Rumley, December 1, 1863

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This is an excerpt from Rumley’s diary entry of Dec 1st, 1863. On this day, Rumley wrote his thoughts on the race relations between African…

Order by the Commander of the Department of Virginia and North Carolina, 1863

This is the text of a General Order No. 46 by General Butler of the Union army in December of 1863. After taking several major forts and cities, the…

Zebulon Baird Vance to Jefferson Davis, December 30, 1863

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In this correspondence from North Carolina's Governor Zebulon B. Vance to the Confederacy's President Jefferson Davis, Vance proposes a scheme that…

John Tenniel, "The Black Conscription", September 26, 1863

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This cartoon, pictured above, depicts African American soldiers in the American Civil War. Drawn in the Southerner perspective, the cartoon plays on…

Salisbury Baseball Match

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Prussian painter and lithgrapher Otto Boetticher joined with a New York regiment and was captured by Confederates and placed in Salisbury prison. His…

Recollections of My Slavery Days, ca. 1863

Recollections of My Slavery Days originally appeared in four different issues of the New York newspaper Highland Democrat. It was written and…

Recruitment Poster for "Color'd Men", 1863

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This is a recruitment poster for African American men to join the Union Army. In the spring of 1862, General Ambrose Burnside led an expedition…

Civil War Service Record of Edward Bell, 1863

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This document is the Civil War Service Record for Edward Bell, who was a former slave in North Carolina and went on to enlist in the 35th United…

Civil War Service Record of Elias Moore, 1863

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This document is the Civil War Service Record for Elias Moore, who was a former slave in North Carolina and went on to enlist in the 35th United…

Civil War Service Record of Adams Davis, 1863

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This document is the Civil War Service Record for Adams Davis, who was a former slave in Beaufort, North Carolina and went on to enlist in the 35th…

Civil War Service Record of Julian Williams, 1863

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This document is the Civil War Service Record for Julian Williams, who was a former slave in Camden County, North Carolina and went on to enlist in…

James Sprunt's recount of bringing in the Mary Celestia with an ill pilot

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James Sprunt, purser of the Mary Celestia, describes what it was like coming into the mouth of the Cape Fear by way of the New Inlet. He tells of…

Letter of Thomas Mann Thompson to his daughter Lily

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Thomas Mann Thompson recalls one of his experiences as a pilot for the Atalanta

Letter from Zebulon Vance to William Graham, January 2, 1864

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The letter from Zebulon Vance, Governor of North Carolina during the Civil War, was sent to former Governor and prominent citizen, William Graham. The…

Martha Hendley Poteet, Letter to Francis Marion Poteet (Jan. 7, 1864)

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Encapsulated letter. Martha tells Francis that she and the children have been sick. She has also had problems with the neighbors since he went back to…

Francis Marion Poteet, Letter to Martha Hendley Poteet (Jan. 12, 1864)

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Encapsulated letter. Poteet tells Martha that he is well, and that he is in the guard house of the company since his return to camp. He wants news on…

"An Arrest by the Rebels-The Contraband Troops-Re-enlistment of Veterans- items from the North Carolina Press," New York Times, January 13, 1864

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A re-enlistment report out of Beaufort, NC. This piece is intended to portray the mentality of North Carolininians under Union occupancy. Discussed…

Martha Hendley Poteet, Letter to Francis Marion Poteet (Jan. 21, 1864)

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This is a letter from Martha Poteet to her husband Francis Poteet who is a soldier in the army. He had recently left his post without permission to…

"Negro Soldiers Liberating Slaves," Harper's Weekly, January 23, 1864

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In this article, a writer for Harper's Weekly described the liberation of black soldiers under the command of General Edward A. Wild. These soldiers…

Letter of Joseph J. Hoyle to Sarah Hoyle, January 30, 1864

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Joseph Hoyle wrote his wife to inform her that he had arrived back in camp. He told her about a shooting he witnessed in order to punish a man for…

Letter from Martha Hendley Poteet to Francis Marion Poteet, February 4, 1864

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In this letter, Martha Poteet wrote her husband, Francis, informing him of the poor health of her and their children as well as the harassment they…

Letter of Joseph J. Hoyle to Sarah Hoyle, February 6, 1864

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Joseph Hoyle wrote to his wife to inform her that he has been doing well. He also expressed concern that the Yankees will attack due to the nice…

Letter of Joseph Hoyle to Sarah Hoyle, February 15, 1864

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When Joseph Hoyle enlisted in 1862 he joined the Confederate army before conscription laws were passed. Again in February of 1864 soldiers were…

Letter of Joseph J. Hoyle to Sarah Hoyle, February 22, 1864

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Joseph Hoyle wrote to his wife telling her about a sermon they recently had about General Jackson. He also expressed how happy is was to receive a…

The Florida Campaign, March 1, 1864

This is the text of an article from The New York Herald in 1864 regarding the Florida campaign by the Union troops under General Seymour that was…

Letter from George E. Stephens to the New YorkWeekly Anglo-African, March 6, 1864

This is the text of a letter from George E. Stephens, a soldier in the 54th Massachusetts Regiment, to the editor of the New York Weekly Anglo-African…

The Fighting in Florida, March 7, 1864

This is an article from 1864 that appeared in The Charleston Mercury, a southern, pro-secessionist, and Democratic newspaper.It is entitled “The…

"ESCAPING UNION OFFICERS SUCCORED BY SLAVES", March 12, 1864

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This document is a page taken from the March 12, 1864 Harper’s Weekly, which was a New York political magazine. The specific article of concern…

Diary of James Rumley, March 25, 1864

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This is an excerpt from Rumley’s diary entry of March 25th, 1864. This day marked the second anniversary of the occupation of Beaufort. Rumley…

Letter from Mrs. Love to Zebulon Baird Vance, March 31, 1864

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Mrs. Love wrote Governor Z. B. Vance on March thirty-first 1865. She wrote about the condition in her town. She described the shortages of food and…

Letter of Joseph J. Hoyle to Sarah Hoyle, April 17, 1864

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Joseph Hoyle wrote to his wife expressing his relief that the rain had delayed the start of the campaigning season. He also expressed his happiness…

Weight of Testimony, June 8, 1864

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This is an article from the North Carolina Daily Conservative newspaper edited by Governor Zebulon Baird Vance's and dated June 8, 1864. In this…

"What Could Holden Do For Peace?," June 8, 1864

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In this newspaper article, which was used by Governor Zebulon Vance as a political weapon during the 1864 North Carolina gubernatorial campaign, many…

Martha Hendley Poteet, Letter to Francis Marion Poteet (June 16, 1864)

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Encapsulated letter. Includes cutout of the couples' new baby girl's hand on a separate piece of paper. Martha tells Francis that some of the children…

Letter of Martha Hendley Poteet to Francis Marion Poteet, June 16, 1864

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In this letter, Martha Poteet wrote her husband, Francis Poteet, informing him about some of the hardships the Poteet family faced while Mr. Poteet…

Letter of Joseph J. Hoyle to Sarah Hoyle, July 5, 1864

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Joseph Hoyle wrote to his wife to notify her that they had changed positions again, this time near Petersburg and the Weldon Rail Road. He told her…

Letter from Murdoch to Zebulon Baird Vance, July 7, 1864

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Murdoch wrote to the Z. B. Vance on July seventh, 1864 from Asheville, North Carolina. Murdoch probably knew the Governor well because he addressed…

Letter from Catherine Carson to Zebulon Baird Vance, July 8, 1864

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Catherine Carson wrote to the Z. B. Vance on July eighth, 1864 from Buck Creek, North Carolina. She asked the Governor if he had processed her…

"Secret Circular," July 13, 1864

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This article from Governor Zebulon Vance's July 13th edition of his political newspaper,The Weekly Conservative, is the first of many which were…

"Another Change in Color," August 3, 1864

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This newspaper article, from Zebulon B. Vance'sWeekly Conservative, calls out his opponent, William Holden, for changing the color of his ballots from…

To the Polls! To the Polls!! August 03, 1864

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The article "To the Polls! To the Polls!!" was published in Governor Zebulon Vance's political newspaper,the Weekly Conservative of Raleigh, North…

Martha Hendley Poteet, Letter to Francis Marion Poteet (Aug. 19, 1864)

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Encapsulated letter. Martha tells Francis of a recent church revival meeting where two of their children accepted Jesus. She hopes for peace. She…

Letter from S. P. Lee to Gideon Welles, August 26, 1864

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This primary source is a naval missive sent from Rear Admiral Lee, commander of the North Atlantic blockade, to the Secretary of the Navy in August…

Letter from Martha Hendley Poteet to Francis Marion Poteet, August 30, 1864

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Martha feared that the children had measles and pleaded for Francis to stay out of the fighting as much as possible. Martha was worried that she might…

Diary of Elizabeth Collier, April 20, 1865

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The diary entry of Elizabeth Collier on April 20, 1865, covered the last few days of fighting in Bentonville, and interaction between the women of her…

Letter from Gov. Zebulon Vance to Gen. Robert E. Lee, September 5, 1864

This correspondence between Zebulon Vance and Robert E. Lee pertains to the defense of Wilmington. It suggests that in an earlier correspondence,…

Job R. Redmond, Letter to Malinda Redmond (Nov. 2, 1864)

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Job R. Redmond was a native of Buncombe County, North Carolina and served as a sergeant in Co. A, 5th North Carolina Cavalry Battalion. According to…

Martha Hendley Poteet, Letter to Francis Marion Poteet (Nov. 24, 1864)

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Encapsulated letter. Martha tells of a battle between the Burke Militia and deserters that resulted in the wounding of Sydney Poteet and the capture…

Letter from Gen. William T. Sherman to Major-General H. W. Halleck, December 24, 1864

An excerpt from this correspondence shows that Gen. William T. Sherman of the Union High Command considers Wilmington, North Carolina a more precious…

"Wilmington. The Attack on Fort Fisher," New York Times, December 30, 1864

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This newspaper article, from a Civil War era edition of The New York Times, represents an entire account of the First Battle of Fort Fisher by Union…

Endor Iron Works Ledger, 1864-1868

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The Endor Iron Works Ledger kept track of both the expenses and sales of the Endor Iron Works under the Downer Group from February 27, 1864, through…

"Report of the Services Rendered by the Freed People to the United States Army in North Carolina," 1864

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Vincent Colyer was a northern white who came down to North Carolina during the Civil War to assist freedmen. He was named superintendent of the poor…

"The Capture of Fort Fisher.; The Lesson of the Guns," The New York Times, February 19, 1865

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This article, originally appearing in a February, 1865 edition of the New York Times, provides a brief account of the fall of Fort Fisher, the…

"The Land Attack on Wilmington - Defence and Fall of Fort Fisher," Charleston Mercury, January 18, 1865

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This article, originally appearing in the Charleston Mercury, a strongly secessionist newspaper headquartered in Charleston, SC on January 18, 1865,…

"Wilmington. Fort Fisher Carried by Assault," The New York Times, January 18, 1865

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This article, from an 1865 edition of The New York Times, recounts the Second Battle of Fort Fisher and the resulting Union capture of the fort.…

Letter from Major-General J. G. Foster to Bvt. Major-General A. H. Terry, January 21, 1865

This correspondence between the Major-General J. G. Foster and the United States Commander of the Forces at Wilmington, Major-General A. H. Terry,…

Letter from Mary A. Windsor to Zebulon Baird Vance, February 1, 1865

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The letter is an appeal to the Governor Vance of North Carolina from Mary A. Windsor to release her husband from duty to care for the family farm.…

Captain William J. Twining's Map of Fort Anderson

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Fort Anderson was hardly the most impressive fortification erected during the Civil War, but it was not meant to stand alone. Observe it in its…

Letter from Robert Lee to Zebulon Vance, February 24, 1865

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General Robert E. Lee, head of the Army of Northern Virginia, sent the letter to Governor Zebulon Vance of North Carolina. General Lee sent the letter…

Letter of Wade Hampton to William Sherman, February 27, 1865

General Wade Hampton of the Confederate Army

Wade Hampton, a lieutenant-general for the Confederate States of America, issued the letter on February 27, 1865 to Major-General William Sherman of…

Letter from The Citizens of Pittsboro to Zebulon Baird Vance, March 3, 1865

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The town of Pittsboro petitioned the Governor to protect them from deserters on March third, 1865. The petition claimed that one hundred deserters…

Letter from Laura R. McDaniel and M. Joyner Kerr to Zebulon Baird Vance, March 4, 1865

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Laura McDaniel and M. Joyner Kerr wrote the the Governor on March 4, 1865 from Fayetteville, North Carolina. They informed the Governor that…

Colonel Lewis D. Warner, "To Sneedsboro" (March 4, 1865)

In this excerpt from his diary, Col. Lewis D. Warner reflected on his arrival into North Carolina, a state that was known for Union sympathy…

Letter of William Sherman to Hugh Kilpatrick, March 7, 1865

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General William Sherman, of the Union Army, wrote the letter on March 7, 1865 from Rockingham, North Carolina, to fellow Union Army general Hugh…

Henry Slocum, General Orders No. 8., March 7, 1865

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General Orders No. 8 was written by Union general Henry Slocum, just as he crossed into North Carolina from South Carolina on March 7, 1865. General…

Diary of Thomas Osborn, March 8, 1865

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Thomas Osborn served as an artillery officer with Major-General William Sherman of the Union Army as Union troops marched through the South in 1865.…

Diary of George Nichols, March 8, 1865

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George Nichols, a lieutenant-colonel under Major-General William Sherman in the Union Army, wrote of the army’s entrance into North Carolina, on…

Francis Preston Blair Jr., Special Orders No. 63, March 10, 1865

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Francis Preston Blair, Jr. served as a general with Union Army as General William Sherman marched his men through the South. Special Orders No. 63…

William T. Sherman, Special Field Orders No. 28, March 11, 1865

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In this order, from March 11, Union General William Sherman laid out his plans for the city of Fayetteville, and what destruction his 60,000 men would…

"Sherman, the Raider," Wilmington Herald of the Union, March 11, 1865

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This short article was published in Wilmington, North Carolina, around the same time Sherman entered the city of Fayetteville, on March 11. A…

Diary of George Nichols, March 12, 1865

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George Nichols, a lieutenant-colonel under Major-General William Sherman of the Union Army, wrote of the army’s entrance into the city of…

Diary of George Nichols, March 12, 1865

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George Nichols, a lieutenant-colonel under Major-General William Sherman in the Union Army, wrote of a group of men called the “bummers,”…

Letter from William Sherman to Ulysses Grant, March 12, 1865

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Union General William Sherman wrote the letter to the head of the Union Army, General Ulysses S. Grant, on March 12, from Fayetteville, North…

Diary of George Nichols, March 14, 1865

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George Nichols, a lieutenant-colonel in the Union Army, wrote of the disappointment he experienced when in North Carolina, just before he and the rest…

"SHERMAN: GLORIOUS NEWS," Wilmington Herald of the Union, March 15, 1865

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This article was printed in the Wilmington Herald of the Union, on March 15, 1865, just a few days after Union General William Sherman occupied the…

Diary of George Nichols, March 17, 1865

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Lieutenant Colonel George Nichols wrote his diary entry one day after his Union Army fought Confederate General William Hardee and his men at the…

Diary of Catherine D. Edmondston, March 21, 1865

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Catherin Edmondston, a prominent North Carolinian who was 41-years-old when Union general William Sherman and his men marched through North Carolina…

Letter from Nellie Worth to Cousin Pattie, March 21, 1865

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Nellie Worth, a local woman of Glen Burnie, North Carolina, located outside of Fayetteville, wrote the letter to her cousin, Pattie, nearly two weeks…

Diary of A Woman of Fayetteville, March 22, 1865

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The diary entry came from a woman who wrote it roughly ten days after Union general William Sherman and his army occupied the city of Fayetteville,…

"FAMINE AT FAYETTEVILLE," Hillsborough Recorder, March 22, 1865

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The letter was published in the Hillsborough Recorder, which was owned and operated by one-time Whig supporter Dennis Heartt, who mentored peace…

Diary of George Nichols, March 22, 1865

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This account by Lieutenant Colonel George Nichols described the Union Army as it entered the city of Goldsboro. Many soldiers had faced the brunt of…

Letter from William Sherman to Ellen Sherman, March 23, 1865

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Union General William Sherman wrote the letter to his wife, Ellen, on March 23, from Goldsboro, North Carolina. This was the first letter that Sherman…

Oliver Howard, Special Field Orders, No. 69 March 23, 1865

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General Oliver Howard, of the Union Army, issued his Special Field Orders No. 69 just before his men entered the city of Goldsboro. As his men…

Absalom Baird, Report of Operations January 20-March 23, March 24, 1865

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The entire account by General Absalom Baird, of the Union Army, discussed the movement of the division he commanded; from the time it entered South…

Theodore Upson, "The Girl I Left Behind Me" (March 24, 1865)

In this excerpt from his diary entry on March 24, 1865, Upson talked about the city of Goldsboro. He discussed how the people of Goldsboro reacted to…

"FROM FAYETTEVILLE," Wadesboro North Carolina Argus, March 30, 1865

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The North Carolina Argus, published from Wadesboro, printed an account of Union General William Sherman and his men, as they occupied the city of…

"Stealing Reduced to Science," Raleigh Daily Confederate, March 31, 1865

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The Raleigh Daily Confederate, a pro-Confederate newspaper, published its views on the raiding conducted by Sherman and his bummers as they were in…

Georgia Hicks, "These Ruffians" (March, 1865)

In her diary entry from March of 1865, Georgia Hicks detailed her encounter with "bummers" from General Sherman's army. She described a most gruesome…

Excerpt from The Story of Rockford, ca. March 1865

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This excerpt from Lucy H. Houck's local history of Rockford, North Carolina, tells of two instances in which General George Stoneman's Raiders…

"When Surry Was Invaded," ca. March 1865

This article from 1918 relates many accounts of firsthand experiences during General George Stoneman's Raid. While this was compiled 53 years after…

Stoneman's Raid in Surry County, April 1865

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This map depicts the path of Major General George Stoneman's cavalry raid through Surry County, North Carolina. Some of the locations are…

Letter from William Sherman to Sutton et. al., April 4, 1865

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The correspondence took place between General William Sherman of the Union Army and a Mr. Sutton and other local farmers in Moseley Hall, North…

Letter from William Sherman to Ellen Sherman, April 9, 1865

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General William Sherman of the Union Army wrote the letter to his wife Ellen, on April 9, 1865. Just prior to leaving Goldsboro, Sherman discussed…

Diary of Catherine Edmondston, April 11, 1865

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Catherine Edomondston wrote her entry on April 11, 1865, from her summer plantation home Hascosea in Halifax County. The account came as she heard of…

John Barrett, "Two Old Men And A White Flag" (1956)

Barrett described a skirmish outside Pikeville on April 11, 1865 between Union medical officers and "bushwhackers" of the town. It was of no military…

Letter from Janie Smith to Janie Robeson, April 12, 1865

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Janie Smith was 17-years-old and lived in the rural town of Smithville when the Battle of Averasboro took place. The battle took place between a…

Jacob Cox, Circular, April 12, 1865

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Major General Jacob Cox of the Union Army issued the circular as his men crossed through Johnston County on April 12, 1865, on their way to Raleigh. …

William Sherman, Special Field Orders No. 55, April 14, 1865

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General William Sherman of the Union Army wrote Special Field Orders No. 55 a day after he entered the city of Raleigh, North Carolina on April 14,…

Letter from William Sherman to D.L. Swain, April 22, 1865

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General William Sherman of the Union Army wrote the letter to President D. L. Swain of the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, who was also once…

Diary of Elizabeth Collier, April 25, 1865

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The account by Elizabeth Collier came one day prior to the official surrender of Confederate general Joseph Johnston and his men to Union general…

C.R. Woods, Special Orders No. 76 , April 28, 1865

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Special Orders, No. 76 was issued by Union general C.R. Woods of the 40th Illinois Regiment, two days after the surrender by Confederate General…

Diary of Rice Bull, April 30, 1865

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Rice C. Bull held a minor role in the Union Army as he marched with General William Sherman through the South in 1865. Bull was only a sergeant in…

Letter from Sister to Sister, April 1865

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This document is a letter from one daughter of Robert Hine, a Surry County resident, to her sister. This letter is an example of a citizens’…

Diary of James Rumley, June 5, 1865

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This is an excerpt from Rumley’s diary entry of June 5th, 1865. On this day, Rumley wrote about Union African American troops guarding his town…

Letter from Edward Jones Hale Jr. to James Lane, July 31, 1865

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Edward Jones Hale Jr., who fought for the Confederacy, and was the son of the Fayetteville Observer’s editor Edward Joseph Hale, wrote the…

"Shall I Trust these Men, and Not this Man?", August 5, 1865

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During the latter part of the Civil War, the Union formulated a policy that would allow for the enlistment of African Americans, many former enslaved…

Diary of Alice Campbell, ca. 1865

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Alice Campbell, a local citizen of Fayetteville and more than likely an affluent member of the community because of her generosity in giving away…

Photograph of Maj. James H. Lane, 1865

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A photograph of James Henry Lane, although at the time the photograph is taken he is actually a general. James H. Lane was a major, and was one of the…

A Voice from Rebel Prisons, 1865

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This is a book that was published in the early 20th century by a Union Civil War veteran who served in the 48th Regiment New York Volunteer. This…

Diary of Catherine Ann Devereux Edmondston, January 4 1866

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Catherine Ann Devereux Edmondston (pictured) recorded in her diary her various emotional, social, and personal experiences, throughout the Civil War,…

Cornelia Spencer, "The Last Ninety Days of the War In North Carolina" (1866)

Spencer discussed in this entry her account of when General Sherman marched into Goldsboro. The description is very grim, but at the same time quite…

Railway Ticket, 1860s

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Bryan Grimes was the last Confederate officer in the Army of Northern Virginia to be appointed to the rank of Major General by Robert E. Lee. A native…

Discharged North Carolina Black Soldier to the Freedmen's Bureau Claim Agent at Baltimore, Maryland, December 1870

This is the text of a letter that was sent from Charles Jones, an African American Union soldier, to Lieutenant S.E. Knower, the Freedmen’s…

"Standing Interrogatories," 1876

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This document is the approved list of questions used to interrogate claimants to the Southern Claims Commission (SCC). These claimants were trying to…

J. Wilkinson, "The Narrative of a Blockade Runner," 1877

Personal narrative of Capt. J. Wilkinson on his exploits of running the blockade of Confederate Ports, specifically Wilmington, NC during the U.S.…

Claim of John Tilley- Southern Claims Commission, December 13, 1878

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This claim details the account of one Surry County resident whose property was taken during Stoneman's Raid in 1865. The claimant was a said to be a…

Claim of John Cordel - Southern Claims Commission, December 13, 1878

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This claim details the account of one Surry County resident whose property was taken during Stoneman's Raid in 1865. The claimant was a known Unionist…

"Negro Troops in the Civil War", 1887

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This is an article from 1887 that appeared in Harper’s Weekly. This was written “at a moment when the bitterness of race prejudice [was]…

"Stoneman’s Raid in Official Records," 1897

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This is the official record of Union troop movements during the 1865 raid of General George Stoneman. This excerpt from the section on the raid deals…

“Two Years with a Colored Regiment: A Woman’s Experience," 1898

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“Two Years with a Colored Regiment: A Woman’s Experience” was an article written by Frances Beecher Perkins and published in the New…

Edward W. Clay, "An Amalgamation Waltz", n.d

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This cartoon plays on the fear that Whites had towards African Americans. As pictured, free African Americans are dancing with white women, replacing…

Charlotte Grimes, "Sketches of My Life," 1918

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Charlotte Grimes, an elite citizen of Raleigh whose husband Bryan Grimes was a Confederate general, recorded her account of how she and others…

1901 Thomas' Legion reunion

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The 1901 reunion of the infamous Thomas' Legion.

J.M. Hollowell, "Coming of the Yankees" (1939)

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Hollowell described General Sherman and his entrance into Goldsboro. He described the cooperation for citizens and soldiers by his discussion of the…

Scalping of Union Soldiers

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This is a image reproduced in "The Adventures of Daniel Ellis the Union Guide" was made to illustrate the contempt Union soldiers had for the Indian…

Photo of William H. Thomas

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Photograph of William H. Thomas, founder of the infamous confederate regiment known as Thomas' Legion.

Photo of Strawberry Fields (1864)

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A photograph of Strawberry Plains in 1864, a valuable trading route during the civil war.

Map of the Carolinas Campaign

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This map is of the campaign trails for General Sherman's Carolinas Campaign in 1865. The illustration outlines the routes of both Confederate and…

Robert A. Wiesner, Reconstruction of the Endor Ironworks, c. 1864

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This diagram taken fromThe Men of Endor: Their Works and Times, 1861-1876 by Robert A. Wiesner, shows what he believes the Endor ironworks looked like…

Robert A. Wiesner, Cross Section of the Endor Iron Furnace, c. 1864

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This is a cross section of the Endor Iron Furnace showing how the furnace operated as well as how it was loaded. It was taken from Robert A. Wiesner's…

55th North Carolina Infantry Regimental Battle Flag

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A photo of the regimental battle flag of the 55th North Carolina Infantry. This flag would have been carried into every battle the regiment fought…

North Carolina Monument at Gettysburg

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A picture of the monument for North Carolina troops that fought at Gettysburg.

"The New Military Bill," April 16, 1862

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This short article briefly mentions the passing of the Conscription Act through the Confederate Senate, and that it was expected to pass through the…

"Military Conscription," April 16, 1862

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This article was published the day Jefferson Davis signed the Conscription Acts. It explained what conscription meant to the citizens of the South and…

Diary of a Tar Heel Confederate Soldier

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Diary of Confederate soldier Leon Lewis during the Civil War. This diary gives a day to day account of what this man went through during the war, with…

The New Military Bill

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This article was published two weeks after the passage of the Confederate Conscription Acts. It seems to offer support to the acts as necessary…

"The Battle of Shiloh," April 30, 1862

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This article glorified the Confederate Army in the Battle of Shiloh.

Jim Billy Craig's recounts of his capture aboard the Steamer Lilian

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Craig tells his story about the night of his capture about the steamer Lilian and what led to their capture.

Letter to J.T. Bourne from Smith Stansbury

Letter asking why the Advance is short of her load

A letter written from John Futch to his wife Martha

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In this letter from a Confederate soldier to his wife, John Futch places emphasis on the fact that his is very worried about the financial situation…

Letter from John T Bourne to Smith Stansbury

Letter asking for a ship to be cargoed with specific quantities and amounts

Letter to S.P.Moore from Smith Stansbury

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Letter detailing the shipments for S.P. Moore

Untitled article on the execution of a Union soldier, New York Tribune, ca. 1865

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A correspondent from the New York Tribune wrote the article on the execution of Union soldier James Preble, on March 31, 1865 in Goldsboro, North…

"General Sherman in Raleigh," Mary Clarke, ca. 1866

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Mary Clarke was a prominent North Carolinian who went on to have a successful career as an author and poet, but in this account wrote for a journal in…

"McClellan's Plan," February 12, 1862

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This article describes how it was only a matter of time before the seasons turned to McClellan's favor and he moved to invade the South. By that time…

"Volunteers and Re-Enlistment," February 19, 1862

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This article emphasized the need for more volunteers and the re-enlistment of soldiers in the Confederate Army.

Never Give Up

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This article essentially called for all men of the south to sacrifice all they have to protect their homes and avoid humiliation.

"The President's Message," January 15, 1862

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This article highlights the tension between Lincoln's administration and other foreign powers abroad.

"Volunteers for the War," January 22, 1862

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This was a reoccurring advertisement that could be found in several of North Carolina's newspapers in the first half of 1862. It states the desire to…

"A Call For Volunteers," January 22, 1862

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This article offered news on a new regiment of volunteers. The reader was assured that this particular regiment would serve the Confederacy honorably.…

"What the War is Costing the North," January 8, 1862

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This article focuses on the debt the North is accruing by waging war on the South. It implies that the enormous expenditures will cause the people of…

Captain Mike Usina's recollections of bringing in the Atalanta

Captain Mike Usina recalls bringing in the Atalanta one night in July 1864 with his pilot Thomas Mann Thompson.


Companion to Thomas Mann…

Smith Stansbury's Letter to Maj. Caleb Huse

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Stansbury details a letter from Col Gorgas stating the dire need for saltpeter in Savannah for the foundries to continue operating

"The Conscription," July 23, 1862

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This article highlighted the fact that the burden of conscription laws fell most heavily on the poor, who were also the ones that needed to stay home…

Letter From Smith Stansbury to Major Caleb Huse

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Letter detailing the troubles of steamers needing coal and need of coal in the port as well as difficulty in shipping at Wilmington

"Attacks on the People's Candidate," June 25, 1862

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This article defended Zebulon Vance as a candidate for governor in the 1862 election.

The Steamer Advance

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Chief Engineer James Maglenn recounts a journey aboard the Advance sailing from Bermuda to Wilmington and the plight that she encountered during a…

A letter written from Catherine Ramsey to John Futch.

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In this letter, a mother, Catherine Ramsey, writes to her Confederate solider son, John Futch. Futch's mother writes about how worried she is that her…

"Deserters Shot," November 12, 1862

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This article describes the execution of two men found guilty of deserting the Confederate Army, and ends by stating that it is hoped their fate will…

"List of Absent Without Leave From 6th N.C. Troops," November 5, 1862

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This is a list provided by the Weekly Raleigh Register that lists a considerable number of troops who had been reported as absent from their ranks.…

"Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation," October 1, 1862

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This article was published in October of 1862 by the Register, and focuses primarily how on the Emancipation Proclamation will work to further divide…

"Northern Politics," October 15, 1862

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This article focuses on how public sentiment in the North was not entirely with Lincoln, and that as the "unconstitutional" war dragged on, they would…

Letter from John T Bourne to John White

letter detailing the arrival of the Advance in Wilmington with her cargo

The Voyage of the Bat

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James William "Jim Billy" Craig recounts his tale of being captured by the Montgomery while serving as pilot aboard the blockader runner Bat. He tells…

"Executions for Desertion," September 3, 1862

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This article describes the punishment of soldiers who had deserted from the Confederate Army, and states that it should be an example that prevents…

Photograph of Major-General W. H. C. Whiting

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This is a photograph of Major-General W. H. C. Whiting, commander of the forces at Wilmington and along the Cape Fear. His dedication to the defense…

Photograph of Col. Josiah Gorgas

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This is a photograph of Colonel Josiah Gorgas, the Chief of the Confederate Bureau of Ordnance. His early efforts to utilize the port of Wilmington as…

Letter of Joseph J. Hoyle to Sarah Hoyle December 29, 1863

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The 55th Regiment of North Carolina is stationed in Virginia where they have been for nearly a year now. Lieutenant Hoyle continually hopes to get…

James Rumley and Judking Browning, The Southern Mind Under Union Rule: The Diary of James Rumley, Beaufort, North Carolina, 1862-1865 (2009)

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At the start of the Civil War, James Rumley lived pretty well in Beaufort, N.C. He was well educated, led a good life as county clerk, and owned…

Photo of Desertion

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Photo of a Confederate deserter being discovered.

Masters of the Shoals Tales of the Cape Fear Pilots Who Ran the Union Blockade

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Throughout Jim McNeil's book he presents many tales of pilots who fearlessly guided in to the port ships bringing in arms and other everyday goods to…

Photograph of Col. D. H. Hill

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A photograph of the Colonel D. H. Hill

Conscription

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This article was published by the Raleigh Standard, and offers criticism of the Conscription Acts that were about the be passed by the Confederate…

The Civil War Letters of W.D. Carr of Duplin County, North Carolina

In this collection of letters between WIlliam Dickson Carr and invidiuals in his family (mainly his mother), a personal account of a Confederate…

Letter from John T Bourne to Fraser, Trenholm & Co, Liverpool

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Letter detailing need for a Wilmington Pilot

James Rumley, Diary Entry, March 13, 1862

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This is the first entry in the diary of James Rumley. This entry describes the bombardment of New Bern, sounding the arrival of Federal troops in…

James Rumley, Diary Entry, March 25, 1863

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This is the March 25, 1863 entry of James Rumley in his diary. The selected passage focuses on his analysis of the Oath of Allegiance required by…

The Heart of Confederate Appalachia

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In this book, the author gives an encounter of life in the Appalachian area, and discusses how this area of North Carolina was secluded from the rest…

Bushwhackers: The Mountains

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This book gives insight to the bands of deserters and conscript evaders who began attacking the home front out of desperation. Several accounts of…

The Civil War in North Carolina: Soldiers and Civilians letters and diaries, 1861-1865

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In this collection of letters and diaries during the Civil War, different view points by Confederate members are given. These personal accounts are…

The 25th North Carolina Troops in the Civil War

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This book is a collection of personal accounts during the Civil War. The author has also given summary to many of these accounts, and added arguments…

Map of Carolinas Campaign

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A map of the Carolinas Campaign with troop movements, battles and dates of capture. The map focuses on the eastern portion of North Carolina, South…