61st North Carolina Infantry Regiment
61st Infantry Regiment was organized at Wilmington, North Carolina, in August 1862. The men were recruited in
the counties of Sampson, New Hanover, Beaufort, Craven, Chatham, Lenoir, Wilson, Martin, Ashe, Alleghany, and Jones. It was
also assigned to General Clingman's Brigade, Hoke's Division, Army of Northern Virginia. It marched to the Kinston area (Battle of Kinston: 61st North Carolina Infantry Regiment) and engaged in its first action. The unit advanced to Charleston, served on James, Morris, and Sullivan's Islands,
and took an active part in the fight at Battery Wagner. Later it was ordered to Virginia where it fought at Drewry's Bluff and Cold Harbor, and then the regiment endured the hardships of the Siege of Petersburg south and north of the James River. It returned to North Carolina and was prominent in the Battle of Bentonville. While in the Charleston area, July 10 to September 6, 1863, it lost 6 killed, 35 wounded and 76 missing,
and in September totaled 331 men. Few surrendered with the Army of Tennessee in April 1865. The field officers were Colonels
William S. Davane and James D. Radcliffe, Lieutenant Colonel Edward Mallett, and Major Henry Harding.
|High Resolution Map of North Carolina Battlefields
|61st North Carolina Troops Fighting in Defense of the Tar Heel State
Recommended Reading: Clingman's Brigade in the Confederacy. Description: Renowned
historian and author Frances H. Casstevens, Out of the Mouth of Hell: Civil War Prisons and Escapes and Tales from the North And the South, delivers another masterpiece in Clingman's Brigade. "...I felt as though I was part of that brigade;
I could graphically see the horror, the hell... the advance into shot and shell!" On November 11, 1862, Brigadier General
Thomas Lanier Clingman, despite a lack of formal military training, was named commander of four regiments sent to the eastern
counties of North Carolina to prevent Federal troops from
making further inroads into the state. Continued Below...
Clingman has been called one of North Carolina’s most colorful and controversial
statesmen, but his military career received little attention from his contemporaries and has been practically ignored by later
historians. Like Clingman, the brigade, composed of the 8th, 31st, 51st, and
61st regiments of North Carolina Infantry, has been both praised and condemned for its performance in battle. Clingman's
Brigade is a treasured addition to every Civil War buff's library.
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 General “Stonewall” Jackson’s wife's sister. 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
Recommended Reading: The Life of Johnny Reb: The Common Soldier of the Confederacy (444
pages) (Louisiana State University Press) (Updated edition: November 2007) Description: The
Life of Johnny Reb does not merely describe the battles and skirmishes fought by the Confederate foot soldier. Rather,
it provides an intimate history of a soldier's daily life--the songs he sang, the foods he ate, the hopes and fears he experienced,
the reasons he fought. Wiley examined countless letters, diaries, newspaper accounts, and official records to construct this
frequently poignant, sometimes humorous account of the life of Johnny Reb. In a new foreword for this updated edition, Civil
War expert James I. Robertson, Jr., explores the exemplary career of Bell Irvin Wiley, who championed the common folk, whom
he saw as ensnared in the great conflict of the 1860s. Continued below...
About Johnny Reb:
"A Civil War classic."--Florida Historical Quarterly
"This book deserves to be on the shelf of every Civil War modeler and enthusiast."--Model
"[Wiley] has painted with skill a picture of the life of the Confederate
private. . . . It is a picture that is not only by far the most complete we have ever had but perhaps the best of its kind
we ever shall have."--Saturday Review of Literature
Recommended Reading: The
History Buff's Guide to the Civil War (400 pages). Description:
Exploring the Civil War can be fascinating, but with so many battles, leaders, issues, and more than 50,000 books on these
subjects, the task can also be overwhelming. Was Gettysburg the most important battle? Were Abraham Lincoln and Jefferson
Davis so different from each other? How accurate is re-enacting? Who were the worst commanding generals? Thomas R. Flagel
uses annotated lists organized under more than thirty headings to see through the powder smoke and straighten Sherman’s
neckties, ranking and clarifying the best, the worst, the largest, and the most lethal aspects of the conflict. Continued
Major sections are fashioned around the following topics:
• Antebellum: Investigates the critical years before the war, in particular
the growing crises, extremists, and slavery.
• Politics: Contrasts the respective presidents and constitutions
of the Union and Confederacy, the most prominent politicians, and the most volatile issues of the times.
• Military Life: Offers insights into the world of the common soldiers,
how they fought, what they ate, how they were organized, what they saw, how they lived, and how they died.
• The Home Front: Looks at the fastest growing field in Civil War
research, including immigration, societal changes, hardships and shortages, dissent, and violence far from the firing lines.
• In Retrospect: Ranks the heroes and heroines, greatest victories
and failures, firsts and worsts.
• Pursuing the War: Summarizes Civil War study today, including films,
battlefield sites, books, genealogy, re-enactments, restoration, preservation, and other ventures.
From the antebellum years to Appomattox and beyond, The History Buff’s
Guide to the Civil War is a quick and compelling guide to one of the most complex and critical eras in American history.
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.