Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 20.djvu/70

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been validated.
64
Southern Historical Society Papers.

Governor Ellis telegraphed that the President could get no troops in North Carolina. The die was cast, a convention was called, and on May 20., 1861, the State left the Union. North Carolina was slow in casting the die. But when this was done she entered the Confederacy with all the elan of Southern character. She was to furnish upwards of one-sixth of the whole number of men in the Confederate army; forty thousand of her sons, more than twice as many as came from any other State", were to fall on the field of battle or to die in prison; and her Twenty-Sixth regiment was to suffer on the first day at Gettysburg a loss of eighty-six and three-tenths per cent., the greatest loss sustained by any one regiment on either side during the war.[1] The resources of North Carolina were such and had been so well husbanded by her Governor, Vance, that as far as she was concerned the war might have been continued a

  1. These are the figures of Lieutenant-Colonel Wm. F. Fox, in his Regimental Losses in the American Civil War, 1861-'65. Colonel Fox estimates the total forces of the Confederacy at about six hundred thousand men. The military population of North Carolina, in 1861, was one hundred and fifteen thousand three hundred and sixty-nine, the vote cast for governor, in 1860, being one hundred and twelve thousand five hundred and eighty-six. Moore in his Roster of North Carolina troops, puts the total enrollment at one hundred and four thousand four hundred and ninety-eight, but the enumeration of one regiment and of various companies is missing. In November, 1864, Adjutant-General Gatlin reported one hundred and eight thousand and thirty-two men in the Confederate service. This did not include nine thousand nine hundred and three junior and senior reserves, nor three thousand nine hundred and sixty-two home guards and militia officers, nor three thousand one hundred and three troops in unattached companies or in regiments from other States. The total according to this report footed up one hundred and twenty-five thousand men. Colonel Fox says that North Carolina lost forty thousand two hundred and seventy-five men killed in battle, by wounds and disease; South Carolina comes second with seventeen thousand six hundred and eighty-two; Virginia was fourth with fourteen thousand seven hundred and ninety-four. These figures need no comment.

    [The records of the office of the Adjutant-General of Virginia, unfortunately were despoiled by Federal authorities, upon their occupation of Richmond, April 3, 1865. Virginia, it should also be remembered was, in different sections occupied at different times by Federal troops during the war. It would be difficult to arrive at her representation by numbers in the Confederate armies, or her losses on Virginia soil and elsewhere. She had in the field her strength from lads to feeble old men—Ed.]