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Civil War Chronology
in Eastern North Carolina

Pre-1861 Political Atmosphere in Eastern North Carolinian:

North Carolina remained in the Union in late 1860. Governor John Ellis leaned towards secession and pressed the legislature to call a convention to consider leaving the Union.

Feb 28, 1861 - North Carolina cast their ballots against the proposed convention.

April 15, 1861 - President Lincoln's proclamation to stop the "rebellion".

May 1, 1861 - The legislature held a special convention that took North Carolina from the Union.

August 26, 1861 - Union forces take Hatteras Island

February 10, 1862 - Union troops capture Roanoke Island and occupying Elizabeth City

March 19, 1862 - Capture of New Bern by Federal troops.

April 25, 1862 - Capture of Fort Macon by Burnside's troops.

May, 1862 - 1st NC Volunteer Infantry authorized by Gen. Burnside. Organized June 27, 1862.

January 1, 1863 - President Lincoln issues Emancipation Proclamation, declaring all slaves free. As in other Confederate States, this was only true if the slave was able to reach Union lines. But it allowed the Union to actively encourage blacks to enlist and fight. Men who didn't want to join the Confederates often hid in the swamps and crossed over to the Union side whenever possible.

Charles Smallwood's Diary: Charles Smallwood kept a diary which gives a picture of what the life of the citizen in Bertie County and their thinking on the war. His comments portray some of their anxieties, hardships and even the military maneuvers that were occurring in Bertie County's backdoor on the Albemarle and Roanoke Rivers.

June 30, 1863 - 1st NC Colored Infantry organized at New Bern, NC & Portsmouth, VA.

October, 1863 - 2nd Regiment Mounted Infantry Organized at Knoxville, Tenn. August.

Oct. 28, 1863 - 2nd NC Colored Infantry organized at Portsmouth, VA.

November, 1863 - 2nd NC Volunteer Infantry Organized at New Berne, N. C.

Jan. 30, 1864 - 3rd NC Colored Infantry organized at Norfolk, VA.

Feb. 8, 1864 - Designation of NC Colored Regiments changed to US Colored Troops.

Mar. 17, 1864 - 14th US Colored Heavy Artillery organized at New Bern & Morehead City, NC.

April 20, 1864 - Battle of Plymouth won by Confederate forces.

See Also: "Massacre at Plymouth: April 20, 1864" by Weymouth T. Jordan, Jr. and Gerald W. Thomas. The North Carolina Historical Review, April 1995 #2. pg 125-197.

Plymouth was important because of its nearness to the Wilmington-Weldon Railroad which was the life line for Gen Robert E. Lee. Although outnumbered by Union forces, the Confederates were able to win because of the ram C.S.S. Albemarle, which came down the Roanoke River to Plymouth. Gen Henry Wessle, commander of Union troops, surrendered to Gen. Robert F. Hoke. It was the last victory for the South.

June, 1864 - 3rd Regiment Mounted Infantry Organized at Knoxville, Tenn.

C.S.S. Albemarle - Click here to learn more history of the building of the C.S.S. Albemarle as well as the capture of Plymouth and its eventual demise on Oct 27, 1864.  See also: The Invincible Ironclad

Visit the Port-O-Plymouth Museum  252-793-1377   to learn details of this battle and additional resources. It is one of the top ten Civil War centers in the two Carolinas.
They have research data on 4000 union troops and 15,000 Confederate troops from the Battle of Plymouth on April 17-20, 1864 - the second largest battle ever fought in NC, and the last major Confederate victory in the South. Both a land and naval battle, They still have twelve ships from the war on the bottom of the Roanoke River. Come on to Plymouth and see us.

Photos of the C.S.S. Albemarle as well as civil war events.

Battle of Albemarle Sound

February 27, 1865 - 2nd Regiment Infantry consolidated with 1st North Carolina Infantry.

April 9, 1865 - Palm Sunday Gen Robert E. Lee surrendered at the Appomattox Court House.

June 27, 1865 - 1st Regiment Infantry Mustered out.

August 8, 1865 - 3rd Regiment Mounted Infantry Mustered out.

August 16, 1865 - 2nd Regiment Mounted Infantry Mustered out.

Dec. 11, 1865 - 14th US Colored Heavy Artillery Mustered out at New Bern, NC.

June 1, 1866 - 35th US Colored Infantry Mustered out at Charleston, SC.

Oct. 28, 1866. - 36th US Colored Infantry Mustered out at Brazos Santiago, TX.

Feb. 11, 1867 - 37th US Colored Infantry Mustered out at Raleigh, NC.

Useful Links:
Union Regiments from North Carolina
Civil War Archive-Regimental Index
The History Place - U.S. Civil War 1861-1865
U.S. Colored Troops formed in North Carolina Visit these pages for a growing list of rosters and information.
Andersonville Prison Site
Service Record of the 1st & 2nd NC Infantry Regiment of Union Volunteers
Civil War Navy Homepage - From Thomas' Legion website

Published Resources

Clark's Regimental History by Chief Justice Clark
Best old source written right after war, but missing a lot of names. This is a collection of regimental histories written by men in the different regiments- a great source if you know the regiment.

NC TROOPS by Weymouth Jordan
13 plus volumes with all the updates. Now working on 60th-69th Regiments.

North Carolina Troops 1861-1865: A Roster compiled by Louis H. Manarin - it lists the regiment, gives a capsule history and lists each man who had a muster roll and gives a summary of his career in the War from the muster rolls. ( 62nd N.C. Regt missing)

John Moore's Roster of North Carolina Troops Lists men by their regiment but is not indexed. Contains some listing not included in Manarin.

Divided Allegiances: Bertie Co. during the Civil War. Thomas, Gerald W.(1996)
The Book Divided Allegiances gives a good account of the Albemarle, Capt. Calvin Hoggard,The Buffaloe Soldiers, Fort Branch in Hamilton as well as the Battle of Plymouth. It also contains the Burning of Windsor and Winton. Includes history on the 2nd NC Union Volunteer Infantry

Bertie in Blue: Experiences of Bertie County's Union Servicemen during the Civil War. Thomas, Gerald W. (1998)
$12 at the Museum Shop of Hope Plantation or at Port o' Plymouth Museum in Plymouth.

Charlie Mosher's Civil War Diary (85th NY), by Wayne Mahood. $30.

General Robert F. Hoke, Lee's Modest Warrior (Biography of Gen. Hoke, including a battle account of Plymouth) by Daniel W. Barefoot. $24.95.

Ironclad of the Roanoke (The story of the Albemarle) by Robert Elliott. $29.95

The Plymouth Pilgrims (History of the 85th NY) by Wayne Mahood. $30.00

"The Civil War in North Carolina," by John G. Barrett, The University of North Carolina Press, Chapel Hill, 1963.

The Coastal War: Chesapeake Bay to Rio Grande by Peter M. Chaitin, Time-Life Books, Alexandria, VA, 1984.

Compendium of the Confederate Armies: North Carolina by Stewart Sifakis, Facts on File, New York and Oxford, 1992.

Confederate Goliath: The Battle of Fort Fisher by Rod Gragg, HarperCollins Publishers, New York, 1991.

Fort Caswell in War and Peace by Ethel Herring and Carolee Williams, Broadfoot's Bookmark, Wendell, NC, 1983.

Histories of the Several Regiments and Battalions from North Carolina in the Great War 1861-'65; 5 volumes, edited by Walter Clark, Nash Brothers, Goldsboro, N. C., 1901.

Ironclads and Columbiads: The Civil War in North Carolina, The Coast by William R. Trotter, John F. Blair, Publisher, Winston-Salem, NC, 1989.

Last Ninety Days of the War by Cornelia Phillips Spencer, Watchman Publishing Company, New York 1866 (reprint by Broadfoot Publishing Company, Wilmington, NC, 1993).

North Carolina Civil War Documentary edited by W. Buck Yearns and John G. Barrett, The University of North Carolina Press, Chapel Hill, 1980.

North Carolina Troops, 1861-1865, A Roster; Volume 1 Artillery, edited by Weymouth T. Jordan, State Division of Archives and History, Raleigh, 1989.

Sherman's March Through the Carolinas by John G. Barrett, The University of North Carolina Press, Chapel Hill, 1956.


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Last updated:  October 03, 2016