18th North Carolina Infantry Regiment

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18th North Carolina Infantry Regiment

18th Infantry Regiment, formerly the 8th Volunteers, was organized in July 1861 at Camp Wyatt, near Carolina Beach, North Carolina. Its members were from Wilmington and the counties of Robeson, New Hanover, Bladen, Columbus, and Richmond. It moved to South Carolina, returned to North Carolina, and then in the spring of 1862 proceeded to Virginia. The 18th served in General Branch's and Lane's Brigade, Army of Northern Virginia. After fighting at Hanover Court House, it participated in various conflicts of the army from the Seven Days' Battles to Cold Harbor. It continued the fight in the Siege of Petersburg south of the James River and ended the war at Appomattox. This unit was organized with 1,100 men, lost fifty-seven percent of the 396 engaged during the Seven Days Battles, and reported 14 casualties at Cedar Mountain, and 12 at Second Manassas. There were 13 killed and 77 wounded at Fredericksburg and 30 killed and 96 wounded at Chancellorsville. Of the 346 in action at Gettysburg, about twenty-five percent were disabled. It surrendered 12 officers and 81 men. The field officers were Colonels John D. Barry, Robert H. Cowan, Thomas J. Purdie, and James D. Radcliffe; Lieutenant Colonels Forney George, John W. McGill, and Oliver P. Meares; and Majors George Tait and Thomas J. Wooten.

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Recommended Reading: The Civil War in North Carolina. Description: Numerous battles and skirmishes were fought in North Carolina during the Civil War, and the campaigns and battles themselves were crucial in the grand strategy of the conflict and involved some of the most famous generals of the war. Continued below...

John Barrett presents the complete story of military engagements across the state, including the classical pitched battle of Bentonville--involving Generals Joe Johnston and William Sherman--the siege of Fort Fisher, the amphibious campaigns on the coast, and cavalry sweeps such as General George Stoneman's Raid. Also available in hardcover: The Civil War in North Carolina.
 

Recommended Reading: Shades of Blue and Gray: An Introductory Military History of the Civil War (Hardcover: 281 pages) (University of Missouri Press). Description: Herman Hattaway analyzes the Civil War with an emphasis on contemporary advances in military technology and their effects on behavior in the field. Ulysses Grant was speaking nearly literally when he wrote, "the iron gauntlet must be used more than the silken glove to destroy the Confederacy." Continued below...

In the end, Hattaway demonstrates that it was superior iron and steel that won the Union cause. He examines the development and use of submarines, mines, automatic weapons, balloons, and especially rifles and artillery, which became so accurate that contending armies took to trench warfare. Battle by battle, Hattaway retraces the grim course of the war, yielding a helpful introduction to its history, complete with abundant notes and suggested readings.

 
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 the sister to General “Stonewall” Jackson’s wife. 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 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."
 

Recommended Reading: The Civil War in the Carolinas (Hardcover). Description: Dan Morrill relates the experience of two quite different states bound together in the defense of the Confederacy, using letters, diaries, memoirs, and reports. He shows how the innovative operations of the Union army and navy along the coast and in the bays and rivers of the Carolinas affected the general course of the war as well as the daily lives of all Carolinians. He demonstrates the "total war" for North Carolina's vital coastal railroads and ports. In the latter part of the war, he describes how Sherman's operation cut out the heart of the last stronghold of the South. Continued below...

The author offers fascinating sketches of major and minor personalities, including the new president and state governors, Generals Lee, Beauregard, Pickett, Sherman, D.H. Hill, and Joseph E. Johnston. Rebels and abolitionists, pacifists and unionists, slaves and freed men and women, all influential, all placed in their context with clear-eyed precision. If he were wielding a needle instead of a pen, his tapestry would offer us a complete picture of a people at war. Midwest Book Review: The Civil War in the Carolinas by civil war expert and historian Dan Morrill (History Department, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, and Director of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Historical Society) is a dramatically presented and extensively researched survey and analysis of the impact the American Civil War had upon the states of North Carolina and South Carolina, and the people who called these states their home. A meticulous, scholarly, and thoroughly engaging examination of the details of history and the sweeping change that the war wrought for everyone, The Civil War In The Carolinas is a welcome and informative addition to American Civil War Studies reference collections.

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; D. H. Hill, Confederate Military History Of North Carolina: North Carolina In The Civil War, 1861-1865; Auburn University Archives & Manuscripts Department.

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