The 2nd North Carolina Cavalry

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About the Book

The 2nd North Carolina Cavalry fought its first major battle in its home state at New Bern on March 14, 1862, and narrowly escaped with its men and reputation intact. The regiment was nearly decimated in the Gettysburg Campaign, but was rebuilt and later fought with Robert E. Lee’s cavalry in most major battles, including Appomattox Court House on April 9, 1865, with only a handful of men.
This history covers not only the 2nd North Carolina Cavalry’s accomplishments and failures, but the events going on around them which influenced their actions and performance. The author pays particular attention to the 2nd 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, diaries and memoirs to present the soldiers’ war experiences.

About the Author(s)

Roger H. Harrell, professor emeritus, California State University, Northridge, lives in Hermosa Beach, California.

Bibliographic Details

Roger H. Harrell
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 464
Bibliographic Info: 19 maps, 46 tables, appendix, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2012 [2004]
pISBN: 978-0-7864-6774-7
eISBN: 978-0-7864-8366-2
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

List of Maps      vii
Acknowledgments      viii
Preface      1

1. Department of North Carolina and District of Pamlico      5
Cavalry Leadership      5
Organization and Training Camp      6
The Department of North Carolina      14
The Battle of New Bern, March 14, 1862      19
Cavalry Duty, the Enemy Present      29
Reorganization and Changes in the Command Structure      34

2. The Army of Northern Virginia and the 2nd North Carolina Cavalry      41
The Armies in Virginia      42
The Confederate Cavalry under James E. B. Stuart      43
Robert E. Lee Makes a Move; the Maryland Campaign      52
Robert E. Lee Back in Virginia      59
Stuart’s Expedition to Maryland and Pennsylvania, October 9–12      61
The Rappahannock Line      63
The Union Army Crosses the Potomac      66
W. H. F. Lee’s New Brigade      71
Four Attempts to Cross the Rappahannock River      75
The Chancellorsville Campaign, April 29–May 5, 1863      85
Second Squadron Detached; Duty in Virginia      95

3. Cavalry Shield for the Gettysburg Campaign      109
J. E. B. Stuart’s Cavalry Division      111
The Battle at Brandy Station, June 9      115
Middleburg and Upperville, June 17–21      128
The Ride-around to Gettysburg      146
Greetings at Hanover, Pennsylvania, June 30      155
The Cavalry Joins the Battle of Gettysburg, July 2      163
Gettysburg’s East Cavalry Field, July 3      165
Retreat from Gettysburg: Cavalry All Around, July 4–14      173

4. Reorganizations and Winter Campaigns      185
Cavalry Reorganization and Leadership Change      191
The Fight at Jack’s Shop, September 22      193
The Bristoe Campaign, October 9–20      198
The Mine Run Campaign, November 26–December 2      213
Winter Camp: “Rain, Sleet and Snow make camp-life almost unbearable”      217
Kilpatrick’s Expedition to Richmond, February 28–March 4, 1864      221
Shu°ing the Regiment and the Brigade, Mid-April to May 3      230

5. Grant’s Overland Campaign, May 4 to Mid-June 1864      233
The Battle of the Wilderness, May 4–6      234
Stalemate: Grant Moves to Spotsylvania Court House, May 7–12      242
The Cavalries Move Toward Richmond, May 9      249
Stalemate: Grant Moves to the North Anna River, May 20      265
Stalemate: Grant Moves to Cold Harbor, May 27      273
Stalemate: Grant Moves Toward Petersburg, June 12      288

6. The Siege of Petersburg, Mid-June 1864 to April 1865      292
Initial Efforts to Envelop Petersburg      292
Wilson and Kautz Raid on the Railroads, June 22–July 1      296
Duty Along the Weldon Railroad, July      304
Grant’s Demonstrations Against Richmond      306
Grant Makes His Move for the Weldon Railroad      318
Picket Duty, an Adventure, and More Picketing      329
Grant Moves on Richmond and Across the Weldon Again      333
Grant’s Last Attempts to Encircle Petersburg Before Winter Camp      337

7. The Appomattox Campaign      348
Grant’s Spring Offensive Against the Army of Northern Virginia      349
First Encounters      354
“Dreadful conflict at Chamberlain’s Run on the 31st of March”      355
The Battle of Five Forks, April 1, 1865      360
The Retreat Begins      367
The Battle at Namozine Church, April 3      369
Five More Days to Appomattox Court House      373
The Last Battle: Appomattox Court House, April 9      384

Appendix: Combat Losses in the 2nd North Carolina Cavalry      391
Chapter Notes      409
Bibliography      445
Index      449

Book Reviews & Awards

“the prose is straightforward, the notes, illustrations and maps very useful…here is a solid and welcoming addition to Civil War unit history”—The Civil War Courier; “extremely well-researched…well-written and informative…excellent…wonderful regimental history…entertaining read”—The Civil War News; “the history of this regiment is characterized by change and redemption…records the unit’s rise from its early dysfunction to respectability within the cavalry of the Army of Northern Virginia”—Civil War Book Review.