51st North Carolina Timeline: Where and When

Note: this timeline has been updated from the one contained in The Honor of the State. Entries for November, 1863 and April, 1864 reflect new information gleaned from the Anchram and Elizabeth Evans letters.


April:  Regiment forms at Wilmington; elects officers on April 30

May – August:  At various camps in Wilmington vicinity

September 12:  Moves to Kinston

September 13 – November 16:  Picket duty; engages in several skirmishes near New Bern

October 19:  Colonel John Cantwell resigns; Lieutenant Colonel William Allen assumes command

November 17:  Returns to Wilmington

November 25:  Assigned to Clingman’s Brigade with 8th, 31st and 61st North Carolina Regiments

December 16:  Moves to Goldsboro by rail

December 17:  Battle of Goldsboro Bridge

December 28:  Departs Goldsboro, on foot, for Wilmington


January 2:  Arrives in Wilmington

January 7:  Lt. Colonel Allen, facing court martial, submits resignation

January 19:  Allen’s resignation is accepted; Major Hector McKethan assumes command

February 17:  Moves by rail to Charleston

March 4:  Moves by rail to Savannah

March 9:  Returns to Charleston; sets up camp on James Island

May 2:  Moves back to Wilmington by rail

May – June:  At various camps around Wilmington

July 4:  Skirmishes with Union cavalry near Warsaw

July 11:  Moves to Charleston by rail

July 12:  Transfers to Battery Wagner on Morris Island

July 18:  Union assault on Battery Wagner

July 19 – July 28:  On Sullivan’s Island

July 29 – August 3:  Garrisons Battery Wagner

August 3 – August 10:  On Sullivan’s Island

August 11–19:  Garrisons Battery Wagner

August 19 – September 24:  On Sullivan’s Island

September 25 – November 1:  On Long Island

November 2 – November 23:  On Sullivan’s Island

November 13:  Moves by rail to Tarboro prior to this date

November 13 to December 19:  Moves to Hamilton, NC then back to Tarboro


January 6:  Moves by rail to Camp Hill, near Petersburg

January 29:  Moves to Kinston by rail; marches toward New Bern

February 1:  Skirmishes at Batchelder’s Creek

February 8:  Returns to Camp Hill at Petersburg

April 19:  Moves by train to Ivor Station; skirmishes near Portsmouth

April 26: Returns to Camp Hill

May 9:  Skirmishes near Swift Creek

May 11:  Moves to Drewry’s Bluff

May 13-15:  Skirmishes near Drewry’s Bluff

May 16:  Battle of Drewry’s Bluff

May 17-19:  Skirmishes near Bermuda Hundred

May 20:  Attack on Union line at Bermuda Hundred

May 31 – June 1:  Engaged in Battle of Cold Harbor

June 15:  Returns to Petersburg

June 16-18:  Battle of Petersburg; mans Petersburg trenches afterward

August 19:  Skirmishes near Globe Tavern; Gen. Clingman wounded, Col. McKethan assumes brigade command; Lt. Colonel Caleb Hobson takes command of regiment

August 21-September 29:  In the Petersburg trenches

September 30:  Assault on Fort Harrison; Lt. Colonel Hobson is killed; Captain James Lippitt takes command of regiment

October 1 – December 21:  In Richmond defenses

December 22:  Departs for Wilmington by rail

December 28:  Arrives in Wilmington; goes into camp


January 12:  Mans Sugar Loaf line near Fort Fisher

February 19:  Withdraws to Wilmington

February 20-21:  Skirmishes at Forks Road

February 22-23:  Moves to Rockfish; Union troops capture Wilmington

March 7-9:  Battle of Southwest Creek

March 17:  Moves to Smithfield

March 19-20:  Battle of Bentonville

March 22:  Returns to Smithfield

April 10-16:  Marches to Raleigh, then Durham, then Chapel Hill, and stops near Greensboro

April 26:  Marches to Bush Hill (present day Archdale)

May 1:  Surrenders while at Bush Hill

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