2nd North Carolina Cavalry Regiment

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2nd North Carolina Cavalry Regiment
(AKA 19th North Carolina Regiment State Troops)

19th Regiment Volunteers-2nd Cavalry was organized at Kittrell's Springs, North Carolina, in September 1861. The men were from the counties of Gates, Iredell, Cherokee, Hertford, Cumberland, Nash, Wilson, Franklin, Guilford, Beaufort, Bertie, Moore, Northampton, and Orange. The regiment was assigned to General W. H. F. Lee's, L. S. Baker's, James B. Gordon's, and Barringer's Brigade. It fought in the conflicts at New Bern, Hanover Court House, Fredericksburg, Gen. Stuart's raid into Pennsylvania, Brandy Station, Upperville, Hanover, GettysburgTodd's Tavern, Haw's Tavern, Staunton River Bridge, Wilson's Farm, Hampton's Cattle Raid, and Five Forks. This unit had 145 effectives at Gettysburg and the records reflect 7 at Appomattox. Its commanders were Colonels Clinton M. Andrews, Matthew L. Davis, Jr., William P. Roberts, William G. Robinson, Samuel B. Spruill, and Solomon Williams, and Majors John V. B. Rogers and John W. Woodfin.

2nd North Carolina Cavalry Regiment
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2nd North Carolina Cavalry Regiment

Recommended Reading: The 2nd North Carolina Cavalry. Description: This history covers not only the Second North Carolina Cavalry’s accomplishments and failures, but the events that influenced its actions and heroic performance. The author pays particular attention to the Second North Carolina’s involvement with the Army of Northern Virginia and the North Carolina Cavalry Brigade, and includes official documents, letters written to and from home, and diaries and memoirs to present the soldiers’ war experiences. Continued...

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Recommended Reading: Nathan Bedford Forrest: In Search of the Enigma (Hardcover: 528 pages). Description: Nathan Bedford Forrest’s astounding military abilities, passionate temperament, and tactical ingenuity on the battlefield have earned the respect of Civil War scholars and military leaders alike. He was a man who stirred the most extreme emotions among his followers and his enemies, and his name continues to inspire controversy. In this comprehensive biography, Forrest is properly illuminated as the brilliant battlefield tactician--and the only Confederate cavalry leader feared by Gen. Ulysses S. Grant. Historians Eddy W. Davison and Daniel Foxx offer a detailed explanation of the Fort Pillow "Massacre" unraveling the facts to prove that it was not indeed a massacre. The book also discusses Forrest’s role in the Ku Klux Klan and how he came to be its first grand wizard. Continued below...

Dispelling several myths, this is a study of the complete Forrest, including his rise as a self-made millionaire in Memphis, his remarkable success leading the Seventh Tennessee Cavalry, and his life following the Civil War. Although the book is filled with vivid battle narratives, it goes beyond Forrest’s military life to examine other aspects of this enigmatic leader—his role as husband and father, for example, and his dramatic call for full citizenship for Black Southerners. Edwin C. Bearss, historian emeritus, National Park Service, states: "Recommended as must reading for those who want to know Forrest and his way of war."

 

Recommended Reading: Plenty of Blame to Go Around: Jeb Stuart's Controversial Ride to Gettysburg (Hardcover). Description: In June 1863, the Gettysburg Campaign is in its opening hours. Harness jingles and hoofs pound as Confederate cavalryman James Ewell Brown (JEB) Stuart leads his three brigades of veteran troopers on a ride that triggers one of the Civil War's most bitter and enduring controversies. Instead of finding glory and victory-two objectives with which he was intimately familiar-Stuart reaped stinging criticism and substantial blame for one of the Confederacy's most stunning and unexpected battlefield defeats. In Plenty of Blame to Go Around: Jeb Stuart's Controversial Ride to Gettysburg, Eric J. Wittenberg and J. David Petruzzi objectively investigate the role Stuart's horsemen played in the disastrous campaign. It is the first book ever written on this important and endlessly fascinating subject. Continued below…

Stuart left Virginia under acting on General Robert E. Lee's discretionary orders to advance into Maryland and Pennsylvania, where he was to screen Lt. Gen. Richard Ewell's marching infantry corps and report on enemy activity. The mission jumped off its tracks from virtually the moment it began when one unexpected event after another unfolded across Stuart's path. For days, neither Lee nor Stuart had any idea where the other was, and the enemy blocked the horseman's direct route back to the Confederate army, which was advancing nearly blind north into Pennsylvania. By the time Stuart reached Lee on the afternoon of July 2, the armies had unexpectedly collided at Gettysburg, the second day's fighting was underway, and one of the campaign's greatest controversies was born. Did the plumed cavalier disobey Lee's orders by stripping the army of its "eyes and ears?" Was Stuart to blame for the unexpected combat the broke out at Gettysburg on July 1? Authors Wittenberg and Petruzzi, widely recognized for their study and expertise of Civil War cavalry operations, have drawn upon a massive array of primary sources, many heretofore untapped, to fully explore Stuart's ride, its consequences, and the intense debate among participants shortly after the battle, through early post-war commentators, and among modern scholars. The result is a richly detailed study jammed with incisive tactical commentary, new perspectives on the strategic role of the Southern cavalry, and fresh insights on every horse engagement, large and small, fought during the campaign. About the author: Eric J. Wittenberg has written widely on Civil War cavalry operations. His books include Glory Enough for All (2002), The Union Cavalry Comes of Age (2003), and The Battle of Monroe's Crossroads and the Civil War's Final Campaign (2005). He lives in Columbus, Ohio.

 

Recommended Reading: The Cavalry at Gettysburg: A Tactical Study of Mounted Operations during the Civil War's Pivotal Campaign, 9 June-14 July 1863. Description: "For cavalry and/or Gettysburg enthusiasts, this book is a must; for other Civil War buffs, it possesses the qualities sought by students of the conflict. . . . [It] bristles with analysis, details, judgments, personality profiles, and evaluations and combat descriptions, even down to the squadron and company levels. The mounted operations of the campaign from organizational, strategic, and tactical viewpoints are examined thoroughly. The author's graphic recountings of the Virginia fights at Brandy Station, Aldie, Middleburg, and Upperville, the Pennsylvania encounters at Hanover, Hunterstown, Gettysburg, and Fairfield, and finally the retreat to Virginia, are the finest this reviewer has read under a single cover. Continued below...

For those who enjoy the thunder of hoofbeats, the clang of sabers, and the crack of pistols and carbines, this book has all of it. Generals and privates share the pages, as the mounted opponents parry and thrust across hundreds of miles of territory from June 9 to July 14, 1863."-Civil War Times Illustrated (Civil War Times Illustrated).

 

Recommended Reading: Brandy Station, Virginia, June 9, 1863: The Largest Cavalry Battle of the Civil War (Hardcover). Description: The winter of 1862-1863 found Robert Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia and Ambrose Burnside’s Army of the Potomac at a standoff along the Rappahannock River in Virginia. In December 1862, outnumbered Confederate forces had dealt the Union army a handy defeat in the Battle of Fredericksburg. A demoralized Union army was waiting for spring and revitalization. The latter came in late January 1863 in the form of Major General Joseph "Fighting Joe" Hooker. Relieving the disgraced and outmatched Burnside, Hooker reorganized his troops, establishing regular drills, procuring adequate rations and instituting company colors, thereby giving his soldiers back their fighting spirit. Lee, also with his eye on the spring campaign, concentrated on maintaining his strength and fortifications while struggling with the ever-increasing problem of adequate supplies. Continued below…

As the spring campaign--and Hooker’s new fighting approach--began, cavalry units from both sides took on an increased importance. This culminated in the largest cavalry battle of the war, fought near Brandy Station, Virginia on June 9, 1863. Compiled from various contemporary sources, this volume details the contributions of cavalry units during the spring campaign of 1863. Although the work discusses early encounters such as the Battle of Chancellorsville, the main focus is the Battle of Brandy Station, which marked the opening of the Gettysburg campaign and Lee’s last offensive into the North. Here, forces commanded by J.E.B. Stuart and Alfred Pleasanton fought a battle which ranged over 70 square miles but left no decisive victor. At the end of the day, Confederate troops were still in possession of the territory and counted fewer casualties, yet Union forces had definitely taken the offensive. While historians still debate the significance of the battle, many now view it as a harbinger of change, signifying the beginning of dominance of Union horse soldiers and the corresponding decline of Stuart’s Confederate command. Appendices contain information on individual units with recorded casualties and a list of West Pointers who took part in the battle. Photographs and an index are also included.

 

Recommended Reading: Lee's Cavalrymen: A History of the Mounted Forces of the Army of Northern Virginia, 1861-1865 (Hardcover). Description: A companion to his previous work, Lincoln's Cavalrymen, this volume focuses on the cavalry of the Army of Northern Virginia its leadership, the military life of its officers and men as revealed in their diaries and letters, the development of its tactics as the war evolved, and the influence of government policies on its operational abilities. All the major players and battles are involved, including Joseph E. Johnston, P. G. T Beauregard, and J. E. B. Stuart. As evidenced in his previous books, Longacre's painstakingly thorough research will make this volume as indispensable a reference as its predecessor.

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; and D. H. Hill, Confederate Military History Of North Carolina: North Carolina In The Civil War, 1861-1865.

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