The Turnips Were Not a Peace Offering

Gage’s Letter to McKethan Recently, I came across an interesting letter on UNC-Chapel Hill’s “The Civil War Day to Day” website. The letter was from Brigade Commissary R. S. Gage to Colonel Hector McKethan, commanding Clingman’s Brigade. Gage informs McKethan that the turnips and cabbage he recently issued to the brigade’s soldiers were not in… Continue reading The Turnips Were Not a Peace Offering

The Order Was Given to Forward, and We “Forwarded.”

One soldier’s account of the Bermuda Hundred Campaign was published in the Wilmington Journal on June 2, 1864. HEADQ’RS BEAUREGARD’S ARMY, Near Drewry’s Bluff, May 25th, 1864. Messrs. Editors:    As our Regiment (the 51st NC) was made up in the Cape Fear District, a few lines relative to its whereabouts and conditions may not… Continue reading The Order Was Given to Forward, and We “Forwarded.”

War of Words: The Surgeon vs. the General

Background The 51st North Carolina arrived in Charleston on July 11, 1863. The next day, the regiment was ferried across the harbor to Morris Island, where the soldiers garrisoned Battery Wagner. Six days later, on the 18th of July, the Fifty-First fought off a furious Federal assault on the small fort. The Tar Heels left… Continue reading War of Words: The Surgeon vs. the General

Feuding in the Officers’ Ranks

Background When the 51st Regiment North Carolina Troops organized on April 30, 1862, John L. Cantwell was elected as commander of the regiment. Along with Colonel Cantwell, the company officers elected William Allen as Lieutenant Colonel and Hector McKethan as Major. Colonel Cantwell only commanded the regiment a few months. On October 10, 1862, while… Continue reading Feuding in the Officers’ Ranks