Confederate Correspondent

The Civil War Reports of Jacob Nathaniel Raymer, Fourth North Carolina


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About the Book

Soon after North Carolina seceded from the Union in May 1861, Jacob Nathaniel Raymer enlisted in the Confederate Army. A young man with a talent for keen observation who had pledged to keep those back home informed of the movements of Company C and the Fourth Regiment, he faithfully wrote letters to the Carolina Watchman and the Iredell Express. Unlike other contemporary correspondence, rather than being directed to an individual, Nat’s letters were intended for the broader audience of area newspaper readers and portrayed the dogged determination of the southern soldiers in a descriptive style that brought the war and all its harsh realities home to his readers. The collection is transcribed primarily from the two newspapers and is complemented by brief narratives that place the letters within the Fourth Regiment’s movements. Raymer’s postwar experience is also documented through his personal correspondence.

About the Author(s)

Jacob Nathaniel Raymer was a Confederate soldier and war correspondent from North Carolina.

Editor E.B. Munson retired in 2014 from Joyner Library at East Carolina University, where he contributed more than 12,000 magazine article abstracts for the North Carolina Periodicals Index. He has compiled and self-published 52 monographs on North Carolina history and genealogy.

Bibliographic Details

Jacob Nathaniel Raymer

Edited by E.B. Munson

Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 220
Bibliographic Info: 19 photos, maps, appendix, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2009
pISBN: 978-0-7864-3954-6
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Preface and Acknowledgments      1
Introduction      5

1. From Iredell County to Sharpsburg      21
2. Sharpsburg      36
3. Camp Near Strasburg      44
4. Camp Near Fredericksburg      49
5. Home on Furlough      54
6. Camp Near Fredericksburg Again      58
7. Chancellorsville      64
8. Near Fredericksburg      74
9. A Death in the Band      79
10. On the March to Pennsylvania      83
11. Return from Gettysburg      86
12. Camp Near Orange Court House, Virginia      91
13. On and Near the Rapidan      96
14. Winter Quarters South of the Rapidan      111
15. Spotsylvania Court House      125
16. Into the Shenandoah Valley      131
17. Petersburg, Virginia      149
18. Home to Iredell County      154
19. Return to Arkansas      164
20. Gone to Texas      168

Appendix: “An Arkansas Frolic”      183
Chapter Notes      191
Bibliography      205
Index      207

Book Reviews & Awards

  • Winner, Willie Parker Peace Award—North Carolina Society of Historians
  • “fascinating…a most welcome addition”—Washington Times
  • “adds a local flavor to the first-person accounts of the Civil War…history buffs will find it a great read”—North Carolina Libraries
  • “recommended”—Civil War News
  • “Munson has done an outstanding job transcribing the letters and adding other contemporary 4th North Carolinians to the mix in order to corroborate or illuminate Raymer’s observations. He also adds just enough narrative to place everything in historical context”—Soldier Studies
  • “a good look at the observations and opinions of an intriguing individual”—The Civil War Times
  • “Munson transcribes Nat’s letters sent to such newspapers as the Carolina Watchman and the Iredell Express with careful attention to detail, preserving the original spellings of every-day items and place names as was originally written. To read these letters is to step back into history and see the war through Nat’s eyes. This is a wonderful historical record of the period and place, told only as someone who lived through it could”—NC Genealogical Society Journal