BY ORDERLY SERGEANT JOSHUA B. HILL, COMPANY K.
The Forty-first North Carolina Troops was a regiment of cavalry; in the official enrollment it was thus denominated, but it was commonly styled and known as the Third Cavalry. For a great portion of its honorable history it was scattered over an extended field of operations and served as detached companies of cavalry.
It should be understood that the system adopted in numbering the several regiments does not represent the order of the organization of the companies in behalf of the defense of the State and the rights of the Southern people.
For example, ten regiments raised under what was called the "Ten Regiment Bill," and enlisted "for the war," as was stated, were allowed to antenumber all previous volunteer organizations, most of them having been enrolled for twelve months, although, as a matter of fact, all finally served throughout the struggle. The First Volunteers by special act of the Legislature, was styled the "Bethel" Regiment. It was afterwards under a new organization known as the Eleventh.
Regiments like the Eighteenth and Twentieth had been in service many months at the forth before being placed in regimental organization; the latter even containing companies fully equipped before the attack upon Sumter.
In like manner many of the companies which were organized at Kinston, in the fall of 1862, had already seen large and faithful service, and it is to be hoped that surviving members of these gallant troops, that contributed so much to the protection of Eastern Carolina, will leave memorials of their valuable services and chivalrous deeds of daring. There was something attractive to the younger Southerner in the life of a bold dragoon; especially among those whose circumstances had made them fearless horsemen, and whose life in the open air and participation in field sports had rendered them the finest recruits in the world for this form of military duty.
Of this class, the flower of the young men of the State, were the various "Dragoons," "Mounted Rifles," and similar bodies composed who bivouacked from the lower James to the Cape Fear, content to serve where duty called, under their bold captains.
The companies were somewhat unequal in size. As the war progressed and the Confederate Congress insisted upon measures of conscription, those arriving at military age frequently volunteered in companies containing friends, or raised in special localities. Some of these were from towns or counties in the hands of the enemy, and recruits were not easily available. Other companies were stationed at posts favorable for accession to their ranks.
Moore's Roster gives 1,158 men in the ranks of the regiment, but as the deficiency of that enrollment are well known, it is probable that the number was not less than 1,200, if not indeed considerably more.
John A. Baker, of New Hanover, serving on the staff of Major-General French, at that time in command of the Department of North Carolina, with headquarters at Wilmington, was commissioned as Colonel, 3 September, 1862, of the Third North Carolina Cavalry, officially designated as the Forty-first North Carolina Troops.
The remaining Field Officers were not assigned until nearly a year afterwards, Alfred M. Waddell having been commissioned Lieutenant-Colonel on 18 August, 1863, and Roger Moore, Major, on the same date. Previous to that A. M. Waddell had served as Adjutant, and Captain Roger Moore as Quartermaster. Both of these gentlemen were from Wilmington. Upon the resignation of Colonel Waddell, 10 August, 1864, Major Roger Moore was promoted to Lieutenant-Colonel, and on 9 December, 1864, Captain C. W. McClammy, of Company A, was promoted to the vacant Majority. Colonel Moore became commanding officer, as Colonel Baker, who had been taken prisoner by the enemy, 21 June, 1864, did not rejoin the regiment.
Captain Thomas J. Tunstall, of Mississippi, another officer who had been serving at headquarters of the Department of North Carolina, was made Assistant Quartermaster, 19 November, 1862. Benjamin W. Sparks was commissioned Assistant Surgeon 1 September, 1862, and was from Georgia, but on 1 February, 1863, Dr. Benjamin M. Walker, of Plymouth, was ordered to the regiment as full Surgeon. Lieutenant John N. Smith, of Texas, served as drill master and also as acting Assistant Commissary Sergeant. Rev. S. M. Byrd, of Virginia, was assigned as Chaplain 3 October, 1864.
The following were the noncommissioned staff: Thos. S. Armistead, Sergeant Major, Plymouth, Washington County; Calvin J. Morris, Quartermaster Sergeant, Bertie County ; A. L. Fitzgerald, Ordnance Sergeant, Caswell County ; Neil M. Buie, Hospital Steward, Harnett County; J. W. Sorey, Chief Bugler, Martin County ; Levi J. Fagan, of Plymouth, Color Sergeant. The several companies composing the regiment may be briefly named as follows: (Most of the names of enlisted men can be found in the honorable roll compiled by order of the State, and known as "Moore's Roster," but that record, it is well known, is imperfect, many rolls having perished, which recorded the changes incident to time and disease and the casualties of war).
COMPANY A, known originally as the "Rebel Rangers," was from New Hanover, and had seven commissioned, nine noncommissioned officers, two musicians and 155 privates; total, 153. A. W. Newkirk was commissioned as Captain 19 October, 1861; C. W. McClammy was promoted to Captain from First Lieutenant 12 September, 1863, and subsequently to Major in 1864, when D. J. Nixon was made Captain from First Lieutenant. The remaining officers were, as successively promoted: First Lieutenant, A. C. Ward; Second Lieutenants, D. J. Nixon, John W. Howard, A. C. Ward, Louis W. Howard, and Robert C. Highsmith.
COMPANY B, the "Gatlin Dragoons," of Onslow County, had seven commissioned and ten noncommissioned officers, and 122 privates; total, 139. E. W. Ward was made Captain 28 December, 1861, and Bryan Southerland succeeded him 30 November, 1863, having been promoted from Second Lieutenant. The other officers were First Lieutenants L. W. Humphrey, John W. Spicer, and M. F. Langly; Second Lieutenants, Bryan Southerland, (promoted as stated), J. W. Spicer, David W. Simmons, Stephen H. Merton, D. Williams, and M. E. Langly.
COMPANY C, the "Caswell Rangers," of Caswell County, had four commissioned, nine noncommissioned officers, and 87 privates; total, 100. Hannon W. Reinhardt was Captain, (28 February, 1862); First Lieutenant, Jno. W. Hatchett; Second Lieutenants, Stephen A. Rice and James A. Williamson.
COMPANY D, the "Highland Rangers," of Harnett County, had four commissioned, eight noncommissioned officers, and 90 privates; total, 102. Thomas J. Brooks, Captain, was commissioned 5 March, 1862; First Lieutenant, G. W. Beaman; Second Lieutenants, James M. McNeill and W. M. McNeill.
COMPANY E, the "Macon Mounted Guards," from Lenoir and Craven Counties chiefly, with members from Pitt and Chatham, had five commissioned, nine noncommissioned officers, and 64 privates; total, 78. W. W. Carraway and L. H. Hartsfield were Captains, the latter commissioned 7 October, 1861. First Lieutenant, Isaac Roberts; Second Lieutenants, Owen A. Palmer and S. H. Loftin.
COMPANY F, the "Davis Dragoons," from Burke County, had nine commissioned, six noncommissioned officers (whose names have been preserved), and 96 privates; total, 111. T. George Walton was made Captain 7 October, 1861, and succeeded by Elisha A. Perkins 13 May, 1862. First Lieutenants, Hugh C. Bennett and J. C. Tate; Second Lieutenants, J. A. Stewart, W. F. Avery, J. Rufus Kincaid, J. A. Conley, and Henry P. Lindsay.
COMPANY G, the "Scotland Neck Mounted Riflemen," from Halifax County, had six commissioned, seven noncommissioned officers, and 108 privates; total, 121. Atherton B. Hill, who was made Captain 9 October, 1861, was succeeded by Benj. G. Smith promoted from Second Sergeant. First Lieutenant, Norfleet Smith; Second Lieutenants, George A. Higgs (afterwards promoted to Captain), Theodore B. Hyman, and John T. Savage.
COMPANY H, the "Humphrey Troops," from Onslow County, had five commissioned, nine noncommissioned officers, and 85 privates; total, 99. Julius W. Moore was commissioned Captain 10 December, 1862. First Lieutenants, Thos. B. Henderson and A. G. Hawkins; Second Lieutenants, Jas. Bryan and B. W. Trott.
COMPANY I, the "Wake Rangers," from Wake County, had eight commissioned, eleven noncommissioned officers, and 88 privates; total, 107. Rufus S. Tucker, Captain, was commissioned 18 February, 1862, and on his promotion as Major and Governor's Aide-deCamp 24 January, 1863, David A. Roberson was made Captain. First Lieutenants, T. Jefferson Utley and Joseph M. Bowling; Second Lieutenants, W. W. Clements, J. H. Allison, W. G. Riddick, and Allen R. Rogers; Bugler, Jesse Winborne.
COMPANY K, the "Clark Skirmishers," of Martin and Washington Counties, with Beaufort and Pitt contributing, had six commissioned, ten noncommissioned officers, and 68 privates; total, 84. Wm. Jordan Walker, Geo. W. Ward and Fred Harding, who was commissioned 16 May, 1862, were Captains. First Lieutenants, George W. Ward, Fred Harding and Wm. Slade; Second Lieutenants, Wm. Slade, Fred Harding, J. E. Moore and Burton Stilley. Of this company the writer had the honor of being First Sergeant, having joined its ranks 16 May, 1862.
This completes a review of the personnel of a regiment remarkable for the high spirit and mental and physical strength, no less than for the moral worth and patriotic devotion to duty which characterized it. How many of the names on its official roster and the muster-rolls of the privates in the ranks were honored for bravery in the service during the dark years of the war, or have risen to distinction among those of their fellow-citizens in various sections of the State?
It has been already intimated that this regiment was a bulwark of protection for the great railroad from Weldon to Wilmington, and all that portion of the thirty counties east of it, not completely in the hands of the enemy, with their combined naval and military power in the great sounds.
Many men of distinction in our beloved State are to-day proud of their membership in the old Third Cavalry, and others have passed away in the fullness of years. Among those still living is a gallant young private of Company K, known throughout the country now, Julian S. Carr, commander of the State Veterans' Association, and who has been one of the most generous and devoted friends of Confederate veterans It has been said, "To have fought in the cavalry under Hampton is to be more than a Knight of the Garter." Let me add-to have been praised by Lee, is to have been honored by the greatest hero of the world.
J. B. HILL. RALEIGH, N. C., 9 April, 1901.