Tuesday, June 17, 2014

The North Carolina 8th Infantry Regiment: Five Cousins From Both Sides of My Family Along With Some of Their Notable Descendants

Flag of the 8th Regiment of North Carolina State Troops

The North Carolina 8th Infantry Regiment was organized at Camp Macon, near Warrenton, North Carolina on September 14, 1861.  Five members of my family, two from my mother's and three from my father's side, served in various Companies of this Regiment.  William Henry Bagley, James William Hinton and William H. Overman served in Company A, which had been organized in Pasquotank County.  John Duke Wortham served in Company D, which was raised out of Granville, Franklin and Warren Counties.  James Will Duke served in Company F, which was comprised of men from New Hanover, Warren, Rowan and Franklin Counties.



Pre-war Photo of Henry M. Shaw, 1859


The officers assigned to the Regiment were Colonel Henry Marchmore Shaw from Currituck County, Lt. Colonel William J. Price from New Hanover County, Major George Williamson from Caswell County and Adjutant J. B. Cherry from Bertie County.  While stationed at Camp Macon, the Regiment's duties included drilling and standing guard.  On September 18, 1861, the North Carolina 8th Infantry Regiment was ordered to proceed to Roanoke Island, where they arrived on September 21st.

Once the men arrived at Roanoke Island, they were ordered to arrange camp, dig wells and work on the fortifications of the camp.  Once camp was established, the men were then ordered to drill.  Drilling and camp upkeep became their regular duties.  In late September, the Regiment consisted of about 650 men.  On the 3rd of October, the Regiment along with the 3rd Georgia Infantry Regiment and a few additional troops, embarked on barges towed by steamers and made their way down the sound to attack a Federal encampment on a narrow strip of land along the shore known as "the Chicamacomico".  The Confederate force made their attack on October 4th, capturing the Federal camp and 55 prisoners.  The 3rd Georgia spearheaded the attack, while the 8th North Carolina was ordered to intercept the Federal retreat.  As the Federals began their retreat, the 8th North Carolina was ordered to proceed to Hatteras and await the approach of the retreating enemy.  Once the troops arrived at Hatteras, they debarked from the barges and attempted to wade to shore.   After wading about a mile, the men encountered a channel that was too deep to cross.   The men had to wade back to the barges in high tide and await further orders.  On Sunday October 6th, they returned to camp at Roanoke Island. 

From October through December, all was quiet at Roanoke Island.  In December, new information leaked to the Confederate command that Federals were planning an attack somewhere along the Northern coast line of North Carolina.  As a large Federal fleet began amassing at Fortress Monroe, Virginia, the Confederate command ordered the readiness of the Fort.  The soldiers were constantly drilled and kept ready for the impending Federal attack. What would later be referred to as "the Burnside Expedition" would soon be coming to the coastal region of North Carolina. 

On January 13, 1862, the Federal fleet entered the Pamlico Sound at Hatteras Inlet and began to make way for Roanoke Island.  On the morning of February 7th, the Federal fleet drew near and began bombarding Fort Bartow, a Confederate earthen fort on the island with 9 mounted guns.  Fort Bartow was the southernmost of the Confederate defenses on Roanoke Island.  A shot from Fort Bartow actually began the engagement, however resulted in a 7 hour bombardment by the Federal fleet.


Historical Marker for Fort Bartow

After softening up the Confederate position at Fort Bartow, the Federals successfully landed nearly 15,000 troops on the shore of Roanoke Island.  The Battle commenced around 7:00am on Saturday, February 8th.  The Confederate forces were outnumbered roughly 10,000 to 1,400.  Before the Battle, the 8th North Carolina numbered roughly 568 effectives.  The Union troops were able to cross what was believed to be an impassable marsh and were able to successfully flank the position of the 8th North Carolina.  The 8th stood fast and didn't waver until being ordered to retire to the north end of the island.  Considering the great disparity in numbers, the fall of Roanoke Island was a forgone conclusion to the Confederate command.  Despite that, fighting continued as long as there was any hope of success.  The surrender did not take place until it appeared "that any further slaughter would have been useless and inhumane."  During the engagement, the 8th North Carolina suffered 12 casualties (5 killed and 7 wounded).  The flag atop the page was captured during the Battle of Roanoke Island by a member of the 24th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment.

Following the surrender of Roanoke Island, the 8th North Carolina was held in camp as prisoners for about 2 weeks.  The unit was then transported via steamboats to Elizabeth City where they were paroled and sent home by way of the Great Dismal Swamp.  The men remained at home until August 15, 1862, when they were formally exchanged.  Once formally exchanged, the men began to re-assemble the Regiment.  The Regiment was formally re-assembled at Camp Mangum, a few miles west of Raleigh in the 2nd week of September.   Once re-assembled, the Regiment was assigned to General Thomas Lanier Clingman's Brigade.


Daguerreotype of Thomas Lanier Clingman

While stationed at Camp Mangum, the 8th North Carolina attended the funeral of Brigadier General Lawrence O'Bryan Branch, who was killed during the Battle of Sharpsburg/Antietam on September 17, 1862.  The unit participated in his burial at Raleigh's City Cemetery, giving him full military honors.


Grave of General Lawrence O'Bryan Branch


The 8th North Carolina remained in various camps in the State for much of the remainder of 1862.  In December, the Regiment moved toward Goldsboro to meet a Federal expedition under the command of General John G. Foster that was advancing from New Bern along the south side of the Neuse River.  On the 17th of December, the Confederates drew a line of battle alongside the railroad that led to Wilmington and waited for the Federal approach.  The Battle of Goldsboro ensued, involving both Artillery and Infantry.  The engagement went on to last for several hours.   The Federal's retreated, but not before burning the bridge that crossed the Neuse, temporarily putting an end to the vital Confederate supply chain from the port of Wilmington.  During the engagement, the 8th suffered 9 casualties (3 killed, 6 wounded).  Following the battle, the 8th North Carolina went into winter quarters at Camp Whiting, near Wilmington.

The Regiment remained at Camp Whiting until the early part of February, 1863, when they were ordered to proceed to Charleston, SC, where they pitched camp on James Island.  Unfortunately the swamps and malaria did quite a number on many of the unit's finest men.  The Regiment was only stationed in Charleston for a few months, receiving orders to return to Wilmington on May 1, 1863.  Once the Regiment arrived back in Wilmington, they established Camp Ashe in a large oak grove near the Old Topsail Sound.  Camp Ashe provided about the most relaxing time the men would spend over the course of the next few years.   There, the men indulged in fishing while not on duty.  The Regiment remained at Camp Ashe for only about two months.  The men were ordered back to Charleston, SC on July 10, 1863 to face a Federal force on Morris Island that was preparing to assault Battery Wagner.   


Confederate Artillery Battery near Charleston, 1863


Once the 8th North Carolina arrived in Charleston, they were ordered to proceed to James Island where they began work on the fortifications west of Morris Island.  On July 18, 1863, the Federals began their attack on Battery Wagner in full view of the 8th North Carolina.  The men from the Regiment watched in horror awaiting the outcome.  The Federals were beaten back and forced to retreat.

I've previously written about the 31st North Carolina's participation in the defense of Battery Wagner on July 18, 1863.  The following link gives a more complete account of the action:

Blog Entry regarding 31st NC at Battery Wagner


The overwhelming defeat on the 18th led to the Federals entrenching themselves and preparing for a long siege.  On July 22, 1863, the 8th North Carolina was ordered to Morris Island.  While on the island, the men were exposed at all times to the enemy's fire by both land and sea while they prepared for another inevitable Federal attack.  The Regiment received one of the most terrific bombardments it experienced during the siege on July 24th. The bombardment lasted several hours.  Some of the shells expended by the Federals were of the heaviest caliber, measuring 15 inches in diameter.  The concussion of the shells was so violent in some cases, blood could be seen running out of the ears and noses of some of the men. 

The siege of Batter Wagner lasted 58 days.  Morris Island was evacuated by Confederate forces on September 6th. The 8th North Carolina did duty on the island for about 21 days total.   During the siege, Federal troops entrenched themselves roughly 100 yards from the battery.  About 20 men from the 8th North Carolina volunteered for sharp shooter duty.  Their goal being to pick off as many Union soldiers as possible from extended range with their Whitworth rifles.  They were placed under the command of Lieutenant Dugger of Company F.  Commander of Fort Johnson on Morris Island, Colonel George Paul Harrison, Jr.'s post battle report dated August 12, 1863 makes reference of the sharpshooters from the 8th North Carolina:

"My sharp-shooters, under Lieutenant Dugger, 8th North Carolina Regiment, do good work, though the Yankees are very shy and seldom show their heads."
The men sometimes sought refuge in the dunes between Battery Wagner and Battery Gregg, which were roughly 300 yard apart.  The Federals were not long in discovering this and began shelling the dunes.  The men displayed great courage while defending Battery Wagner, however the Union army was determined to Charleston, "the cradle of the rebellion."  


Civil War era photo of the interior of Fort Moultrie

Following the evacuation of Morris Island on September 6, 1863, the 8th North Carolina was assigned to duty at Fort Moultrie on Sullivan's Island.  Unlike Morris Island, there was no enemy presence on Sullivan's Island, making duty comparatively light to what the men had been used to.  One morning, while the Confederates were on dress parade in the rear of Fort Moultrie, Federal ironclads came up and gave the fort a heavy bombardment.  The parade was cut short, but fortunately no casualties occurred.  The following day, the Regiment moved further inland, where they set up camp amongst the sand dunes.  The men remained on Sullivan's Island until November 30, 1863, when camp was broken and the Regiment was ordered to proceed to the seat of war in Petersburg, Virginia.

On December 14, 1863, the 8th North Carolina arrived in Petersburg, Virginia.   They were ordered to make camp in the streets.  The men built small fires on the edge of the sidewalk and slept on the cold, hard rock paved street.  The following day, the men marched about two miles from the city, where they established camp.  There the duty was quite light compared to what the men had endured in Charleston.

 
Civil War Era Photo of Colonel Henry M. Shaw


In Petersburg, Colonel Shaw showed great faith in his men.   It was customary to have troops perform guard duty at camp while not on the march.   The Colonel decided to trust the honor of his men and not have guards at the camp.  The men seemed to appreciate the Colonel's gesture and did not abuse the privilege.  One hurried march down the James River and back was about all the action the 8th North Carolina would see for the remainder of 1863.

The 8th North Carolina spent much of January of 1864 in camp near Petersburg.  On the 28th, the men received orders to prepare 3 days worth of rations.  On the morning of January 29th, the Regiment marched to the train depot in Petersburg and proceeded to Kinston, where they arrived the morning of the 30th.  

General George Pickett had assumed command of the Department of North Carolina following the Battle of Gettysburg.  In January of 1864, Pickett received orders from Robert E. Lee to re-take the Union held city of New Bern.  New Bern had been held by Federal forces its capture during the Burnside Expedition of 1862.


New Bern in 1864

From Kinston, the 8th North Carolina marched east towards New Bern, arriving on the morning of February 1, 1864.  The unit positioned themselves near the Bachelor's Creek bridge, guarded by a blockhouse that was heavily fortified by Federal troops.  The advance guard of the 8th began to encounter the enemy's pickets and soon had tough work on their hands.  The entrenched Federals made a fierce resistance.  While the advance guard of the 8th attempted to gain control over the bridge, Colonel Shaw and the rest of the Regiment rested by the side of the road, about 200 yards from the blockhouse.  The area became enfiladed by Federal fire.  Colonel Shaw was sitting on his horse right beside General Clingman, when he was struck in the head by a Federal bullet and killed instantly.  The loss of Colonel Shaw was demoralizing to the unit.  His coolness under fire and ability to remain calm in the presence of danger were great sources of inspiration to the Regiment.   Colonel Shaw was buried in his family cemetery in Currituck County, North Carolina.


Historical Marker for Shaw near his home in Currituck County

Lieutenant Colonel J. M. Whitson was promoted to Colonel and succeeded Colonel Shaw.  Needless to say, he had pretty big shoes to fill.  By daylight on the morning of February 2nd, the advance guard of the 8th had finally forged across Bachelor's Creek and had secured the bridge.  The Union force had retreated toward their fortifications at New Bern.  The 8th North Carolina maintained a hurried pursuit until they came within range of the Federal batteries.  A line of battle was formed, but it was soon realized that the Federal batteries could fire on the Confederate position from both the front and the flank.  Shot and shell poured into the Confederate ranks.  It soon became evident that an assault would be futile.  The Regiment was ordered to fall back out of range of the Federal guns.  The unit marched to Kinston, arriving there on February 3, 1864.  They remained in Kinston for a few days before being sent back to Petersburg.

General Thomas Lanier Clingman's after battle report for the Battle of New Bern stated:
"It gives me great pleasure to be able to state that, though exposed on flank and front to artillery fire, threatened constantly with attack by the enemy's cavalry and infantry, the troops under my command performed the movements ordered with as much coolness and precision as I ever saw them on drill."
The report went on to give high praise to Colonel Shaw.  It also mentioned there was not a single instance of desertion or straggling from his command during the expedition. 

Following the Battle of New Bern, the 8th North Carolina remained in camp until they were called for duty in Virginia.  Robert E. Lee had ordered an expedition against Federally occupied Suffolk, Virginia.  Charged with commanding the expedition was Brigadier General Matt W. Ransom.  The attack commenced on the morning of March 29, 1864.  The 8th North Carolina skirmished against both Federal cavalry and light artillery and soon broke the force of the enemy.  The Federals began a foot race retreat towards Bernard's Mill on Black Water.  During the attack, the 8th incurred no casualties.  Since the Federals had been driven across the Black Water, no further pursuit was made.  The Regiment returned to camp at Petersburg.


Snowball fight during the Civil War


While the men were in camp, a great snow fell in March of 1864.  The 51st North Carolina Infantry Regiment, whose was in camp near the 8th, orchestrated a surprise snowball attack on the 8th.  A large scale snowball fight between the two regiments ensued.  The 8th stood their ground for a while but the superior numbers of the 51st caused them to fall back into their camp.  According to men from both regiments, "it was an excitable and enjoyable affair."  Such occurrences were actually quite common during the cold, brutal winters during the war. 

In April of 1864, the 8th North Carolina was again temporarily assigned to General Matt Ransom's Brigade where they were ordered to participate in an attack against Federally occupied Plymouth, North Carolina.  Plymouth had also been captured and occupied by the Federal army during the Burnside Expedition of 1862.  On April 17, 1864, Confederate forces numbering nearly 10,000 marched on Plymouth.  The occupying Federal force numbered roughly 3,000.  Federal batteries helped repel many of the approaching Confederates.


Battle of Plymouth, Harper's Weekly May 1864


On the morning of  April 18th, the Confederates increased their artillery fire on the Federal positions.  By late evening, the 8th was ordered to make a reconnaissance of the enemy's works.  The men formed a line in the woods several hundred yards away from the Federal fortifications.  A Confederate Battery of Artillery was ordered to take a position to the left of the 8th.   The order was given to advance.  Confederates began to pour out of the treeline and made their way towards the enemy.  The Confederate Battery was brought within about 300 yards of the Federal line and began to pour artillery fire into the front of the main fort.  Federal gunboats in the river began to target the both the battery and Confederate line of battle. One shell from a Federal gunboat landed about 150 yards from the front of the 8th's position, bounced once and then landed right in front of Company H, exploding and instantly killing and wounding 15 men.  Three of the men were killed instantly, two were mortally wounded and the rest were severely wounded.  The wounded were carried to the rear of the action and the dead were buried that night.


Engraving of CSS Alabemarle


Although the Confederates outnumbered their Federal opponents, they still needed a little assistance in re-taking Plymouth.  Their call for help was answered in the predawn hours of April 19, 1864 by the Confederate gunboat the CSS Albemarle.  During the night, the Albemarle took advantage of a particularly high river level, passed through obstructions in the river and slipped unnoticed past Fort Gray, without alerting Federal forces.  Captained by James Cooke, the Albemarle, encountered the USS Southfield and the USS Miami along the Roanoke River.  A fierce naval battle ensued.  The Miami was considered to be the most powerful vessel on the Roanoke.   The Albemarle managed to quickly sink the Southfield, and heavily damaged the Miami, prompting her to retreat from the engagement.  Now that the town was no longer protected by Federal gunboats, a two pronged Confederate attack was ordered.


Signal flares were shot up in the early hours of the morning on April 20th, alerting the Confederates to begin their attack from the east and west of the town.  A Confederate Artillery unit took position right in front of the 8th North Carolina and began to bombard the Federal position.  The Regiment was ordered to advance upon the enemy.  The men moved to roughly 150 yards in front of the fort and the order was given to charge.  Rebel yell's filled the air as the men began to rush the fort.  Federal Infantrymen began to pepper the advancing Confederates with musket fire.  The Regiment proceeded on and began to climb up the outside of the fort.  Federal sharpshooters were firing out of the gun holes in the fort.  Many advancing Confederates were killed instantly.  Still, the attack continued.  Men from the 8th North Carolina began using the same gun holes, this time using them to fire inside the fort at the Federal occupiers.  It was said that picking the Federal troops off from this position was like "shooting fish in a barrel".  Once the gate of the fort was finally swung open, the Confederates rushed in and took the fort.  Men in the Regiment began shouting "three cheers for North Carolina" announcing that the assault had been a success.  It was a terrific victory, but the 8th North Carolina paid a heavy price.  The Regiment lost 154 killed and wounded, nearly 1/3rd of it's number. 

Following a few days rest in Plymouth, the Regiment made its way to Washington, North Carolina.  It appeared as though the Confederates would continue their attempt at re-taking another Federal occupied North Carolina city, New Bern.  On May 6, 1864, the 8th North Carolina was preparing to march to New Bern when they received orders to proceed at once to Petersburg, Virginia.  The men marched to Kinston where they boarded rail cars and proceeded to Petersburg via the Weldon railroad.  Federal troops had burned the bridge crossing the Nottoway River, making it necessary for the Confederates to march for part of their trip, delaying their arrival.  Once the Regiment arrived at Petersburg, they resumed their place in Clingman's Brigade, Hoke's Division and were ordered to Drewry's Bluff.


Civil War Era View of Drewry's Bluff

On May 5, 1864, Federal Major General Benjamin F. Butler and his Army of the James landed at Bermuda Hundred, a small strip of land only 15 miles south of Richmond.  Numbering nearly 30,000, they began an overland march and advanced within 3 miles of Drewry's Bluff by May 9th.  A Confederate army of nearly 18,000 men had been pieced together by Confederate General P.G.T. Beauregard for the defense of Richmond.  Beauregard had recently been placed in command of the Department of North Carolina and Cape Fear, which he promptly renamed the Department of North Carolina and Southern Virginia.   His new duties included the defenses along the James River.


General P.G.T. Beauregard

General Butler moved north against the Confederate line at Drewry's Bluff on May 12, 1864.  Upon realizing his attack was not supported by Federal gunboats, he promptly took up a defensive position.  On May 13th a Federal column struck the right flank of the Confederate line, capturing a line of Confederate earthworks.  General Butler remained cautious and didn't further his attack.  That gave Beauregard time to consolidate his forces.  In the early morning light of May 16th, Major General Robert Ransom's Brigade (brother of Matt W. Ransom who also commanded a Brigade in this Division) opened an attack on Butler's right flank.  The surprise attack routed many of many of Butler's units.  Subsequent attacks were made through the dense fog.   The Federals became disorganized and demoralized from several hours of repeated attacks.  After severe fighting, Butler withdrew his force back his Bermuda Hundred line.

On May 20th, Beauregard ordered his Confederates to attack Butler's position near the Ware Bottom Church.  The 8th North Carolina took part in the charge, moving forward under destructive fire from the enemy's line.  The Confederates pressed on and forced the enemy back to their Bermuda Hundred defenses.  Although the Confederates were able to claim victory, the 8th North Carolina suffered numerous casualties.  The Regiment had been engaged in heavy battle for 5 days with an enemy with superior numbers.  In those 5 days of fighting, the 8th North Carolina suffered between 80 - 100 killed and wounded.  Beauregard's after battle report praised the Confederate defenders saying "Too much praise cannot be given to the officers and men who fought at the Battle of Drewry's Bluff."  Following the battle, Confederate forces were able to dig a critical series of defensive earthworks that became known as the Howlett Line.  

Hoke's Division was now ordered to reinforce Lee's Army of Northern Virginia, which had just fought great battles in the Wilderness and Spotsylvania Court House.  On May 30, 1864, the 8th North Carolina traveled by train to Richmond and then proceeded to march to Cold Harbor.  Clingman's Brigade crossed the Chickahominy at Gains' Mills on May 31st and began to move toward the Federal line.


Battle of Cold Harbor by Kurz and Allison, 1888

The bloody Battle of Cold Harbor began on May 31, 1864.  It would mark the second time in 2 years that a battle had been fought on the same ground.  The 8th North Carolina's participation began with the Regiment being attacked by Federal Cavalry, both in the flank and rear.  A considerable number of men were either killed, wounded or captured, forcing the Regiment to fall back and take a new defensive position.  This position was heavily reinforced during the night in preparation to meet the expected Federal attack on the following day. 


Makeshift Confederate Earthworks Erected at Cold Harbor on May 31, 1864


On June 1st, Federal Infantry advanced in large numbers against the Confederate line.  The 8th North Carolina formed the extreme left of Hoke's Division.  The Regiment was attacked in front, flank and rear.  Federal soldiers charged up the Confederate works that had been hastily erected the previous night.  Furious hand to hand combat ensued.  The 8th North Carolina held its position for some time but was forced back.  The men rallied and charged the Federal position, forcing them back.  A see-saw battle for position began to take place.   The Union forces would draw back and then rally and charge, followed by the same actions from the Confederates.  This see-saw rally and charge took place six or seven times before the 8th North Carolina finally dug in and held their position.

The Regiment only took part in a light skirmish on June 2nd but would see more heavy action the next day.  At 4:30am on the morning of June 3, 1864, three Federal Corps began to advance through a thick fog.  Massive fire from the Confederate line quickly inflicted heavy casualties.  Shot, shell and minie tore into the ranks of the advancing Federals resulting in one of the most lopsided casualty counts from the entire war.  General Ulysses S. Grant wrote of the disaster at Cold Harbor in his personal memoirs.  He stated:
"I have always regretted that the last assault at Cold Harbor was ever made....At Cold Harbor no advantage whatever was gained to compensate for the heavy loss we sustained. Indeed, the advantages other than those of relative losses, were on the Confederate side."   
Although the outcome was severely lopsided in total, the 8th North Carolina suffered heavy casualties.  During the four days of fighting, the Regiment lost nearly 275 men killed, wounded or captured.  Several officers were killed or mortally wounded. 

The Regiment didn't have too long to lick its wounds.  On June 14, 1864, Hoke's Division was ordered to Petersburg, arriving on June 16th with no time to waste.  Federal troops were already advancing.  Confederate lines of battle were formed in the breastworks and entrenchments that surrounded the heavily fortified city.  Two Federal attacks were made, but both were beaten back.  This particular skirmishing took place on the same ground where the friendly snowball fight had occurred the previous winter between the 8th and 51st North Carolina Regiments. 


Fortified Trenches in Petersburg, 1864



The fighting began early on the morning of June 17th.  Heavy skirmishing occurred throughout the day.  Around 5pm it became evident that the Federals were massing for an attack near the front of the Confederate line.  The assault took place just before dark.  The Federals initially succeeded in breaking the Confederate line.  The 8th North Carolina was ordered to support the breach.  The Regiment acted quickly in driving the enemy out and re-established the line.  After several hours of fighting, the Federals finally retreated. 

The Confederates were ordered to draw back to a newly established line of works on the morning of June 18th.  The 8th North Carolina's position in the new line was in an open field.  The enemy appeared in large numbers, advancing in three lines of battle in the front of the Regiment.   A heavy fire was opened on the advancing Federals.  The Federals made a rush for a ravine about 300 yards away from the Confederate line and established their line of battle.  The 8th North Carolina did not take part in any assault on June 18th, but the Regiment was exposed to heavy Federal artillery fire throughout the day. 

On June 19th, the 8th North Carolina was ordered to occupy a line of  works next to the Appomattox River.  This made their position the extreme left of the Confederate forces that occupied the south side of the river.  Here the men "practically lived in the ground...walking in ditches, eating in ditches and sleeping in pits."  The Federals had entrenched themselves in the ravine about 300 yards away.  Men from both sides had to remain low to the ground to avoid sharpshooters.

On June 30, 1864, Federal forces exploded a mine that had been dug under a Confederate position.  Another Regiment from Clingman's Brigade was ordered to proceed to the scene of the explosion.  The 8th North Carolina remained and had to fill the gap in the Confederate line.  The men from the 8th North Carolina stood over a yard apart.  The men held this thin line until the Regiment that had been drawn out returned. 

The Regiment remained in their fortifications until August 19th, when they were drawn out to take part in attacking a strong Federal force that was advancing towards the Petersburg & Weldon Railroad.  A line of battle was formed and a valiant Confederate charge was made.  The 8th North Carolina had to advance through a dense thicket, which scattered the Confederate force.  Bullets came from every direction.  At times the Confederates couldn't tell from which direction the fire was coming from or who was doing the firing.  The Confederates captured more than 2,500 enemy soldiers on August 19th and killed or wounded nearly 400 more, but their victory fell short of recovering the critical railroad.


Interior View of Fort Harrison After Being Captured By the Federal Army, 1865



In a few days, the Regiment was ordered back to their old position along the Appomattox River, where they remained until September 29th when they were ordered to Richmond.  From Richmond, the men marched toward Fort Harrison.  On September 30th, a line of battle was drawn for the purpose of assaulting Fort Harrison, which had been captured by Federal forces on September 28th.  Clingman's Brigade was ordered to make their assault directly on the fort.  The charge took place in open day, over open ground about 200 yards from the fort.  The 8th North Carolina formed behind a low hill.  When the order to advance was given, the men moved forward rapidly. As soon as the Confederates began their approach, Federal troops began firing into their ranks.  Before it got to the fort, the Regiment was nearly decimated.  The 8th North Carolina went into the assault on Fort Harrison with about 175 men.  Only about 25 men made it through the day unscathed.  The rest of the men were either killed, wounded or captured.

Following the dreadful assault on Fort Harrison, the Regiment went into camp for a few days.  The Regiment did not take part in any significant actions for the remainder of 1864.  On December 22nd, Hoke's Division was ordered to Wilmington, North Carolina.  The men boarded rail cars in Richmond and proceeded all the way to Danville, Virginia.  In Danville, they found the rail road tracks to be cut up, forcing them to march to Greensboro.  When they arrived in Greensboro, they proceeded to Wilmington by rail, arriving on the night of December 28th.  When the Regiment arrived in Wilmington, they were ordered to take up their old position at Camp Whiting, where they remained until January 12, 1865.  The Federal fleet had made its 2nd appearance off the coast of Fort Fisher, having initially been defeated weeks earlier on December 24, 1864.



View of Fort Fisher's Sea Face, 1865


Fort Fisher, also known as the Southern Gibraltar because of its geography, protected one of the Confederacy's last vital trading routes, the port of Wilmington, North Carolina.  After the fall of Charleston, Wilmington was Robert E. Lee's most important supply line for his Army of Northern Virginia.  With its heavy fortifications and guns, Fort Fisher had protected the port of Wilmington for most of the war.  Artillery Batteries were first constructed at Fort Fisher in the spring of 1861.  By September the site would be christened as Fort Fisher, named after Colonel Charles F. Fisher who had been killed at the First Battle of Manassas.   The Confederate Goliath kept the Federal fleet at bay until late January of 1865.


Watercolor of Fort Fisher by eyewitness Ensign John W. Grattan, US Navy

On January 12, 1865, the 8th North Carolina was ordered to proceed to Sugar Loaf, which was about four miles away from Fort Fisher.   The Regiment arrived on January 13th, and at once began to construct a line of fortified earthworks.  About the same time the Regiment arrived at Sugar Loaf, Federal troops began landing at Fort Fisher under the protection of the Federal fleet.    The Confederates began to establish a strong defensive line between their position and Fort Fisher.  Unfortunately for the Confederates, every foot of ground between their line and the fort was in range of the Federal gunboats, making any attempt at an assault futile.  The 8th North Carolina could do nothing more than wait for the oncoming Federal attack.  The Confederates worked night and day on strengthening their position.

On Sunday, June 15, 1865, the Federal attack on Fort Fisher began.  The fighting commenced roughly at 3:30pm and continued for nearly 7 hours.  The men from the 8th North Carolina could do nothing but watch from their position at Sugar Loaf as the Fort was taken by Federal troops.   A demonstration was made in the direction of the fort, but an assault would have led to the destruction of the Regiment with no tactical outcome for the Confederates.


Capture of Fort Fisher by Kurz and Allison, 1890

Following the fall of Fort Fisher, the 8th North Carolina remained at Sugar Loaf and continued strengthening its line.  Light skirmishing occurred, but the real danger to the Regiment was the Federal fleet, located off the coast of Carolina Beach.  Federal gunboats were within easy range of the Confederate works.  On February 11th, a Federal assault was made against the Confederate picket line but the enemy did not assault the works.  The skirmishing continued each day until February 18th, when the Regiment received orders to fall back toward Wilmington.  The Confederate force made it to within about 5 miles of Wilmington where they made a stand and waited for the approaching enemy.

On the night of February 21st, Confederate forces began to withdraw from the city.  The 8th North Carolina was one of the last Regiments to withdraw and covered the retreat.  On February 22, 1865, as the Confederate forces marched out of one side of the city, Federal troops entered the other side of the city.  Federal troops gained ground on the Confederates and began to skirmish with the Confederate rear guard.  The enemy had to be held in check in order for the Confederates to cross the river with their army and wagon trains.  The last mile to the river was hotly contested.  The Regiment bravely held its ground and effectively halted the advance of the enemy.   The Confederates made their way across a pontoon bridge, cutting it away as the last of the force crossed.  The river now prevented any further pursuit from the Federal army for the time being.  The Confederates began erecting earthworks about 200 yards from the river bank.  The 8th North Carolina did fine work in covering the retreat from Wilmington to the Northeast River. 
 
The Regiment rested at the Northeast River for a few days before being ordered to proceed to Kinston, where the Federal army was advancing in strong force.  The unit arrived in Kinston on March 8th and was ordered to a point called Wyse Forks, which was located a few miles from town in the direction of New Bern.  It wasn't long before the fighting began.  The Regiment was engaged more or less the entire time during the three day battle.

Around midnight on March 10th, the Regiment received orders to march towards Smithfield where their goal was to unite with the Army of Tennessee under the command of General Joseph E. Johnston.  On March 19, 1865, with the union effectively complete, the Battle of Bentonville commenced.   The 8th North Carolina was held in reserve during the first day of fighting.  On the night of March 19, 1865, the Regiment established its line at the extreme left of Johnston's army.  The only action incurred by the Regiment on March 20th was light skirmishing.  On March 21st, the enemy made a heavy demonstration on the 8th North Carolina's part of the Confederate line.  On the night of March 22nd, the Regiment received orders to withdraw towards Smithfield.  Being that the 8th North Carolina was at the extreme left of the Confederate force, it caused them to be the last Regiment to withdraw.  Much like it had done in the retreat from Wilmington, the 8th North Carolina had to protect the rear.  The enemy advanced on and pressed the rear picket guard until the Confederates were able to cross a creek and set up rifle pits to effectively halt the pursuit.  The Confederates remained there a few hours before marching to Smithfield.

They remained at camp in Smithfield for a few weeks before receiving orders to march toward Raleigh, then Chapel Hill.  From Chapel Hill, the men continued to march toward Haw River, where they were able to cross at Ruffin's Mill.  The men continued their march, crossing the Alamance River and arriving at Archdale in Randolph County, where they received news of Lee's surrender.  Within a few days, news came that General Johnston was contemplating terms for a surrender to General Sherman in Durham.   That surrender came on April 26, 1865.  On May 2nd, the Regiment was paroled and sent home.  Their war was over.  During the nearly four years of action, about 1,300 men served in the ranks of the 8th North Carolina.  At the end, only 150 remained present at the surrender.


Members of the 8th North Carolina


Company A was also known as "The Hinton Guards" after their original Captain, James William Hinton, my 5th cousin 5x removed.  Three members from my father's side of the family, served in this company.



William Henry Bagley


William Henry Bagley was born in Perquimans County, North Carolina on July 5, 1833.  He is my 4th cousin 5x removed.  Prior to the war, William practiced law and was the editor of the Elizabeth City Sentinel in Pasquotank County.  William enlisted as a Private in Company A, North Carolina 8th Infantry Regiment on May 4, 1861 in Pasquotank County, at the age of 27.  By May 16th, William was promoted to 1st Lieutenant.


First Muster for William showing his promotion to 1st Lieutenant

William, along with most of the Regiment, was captured following the Battle of Roanoke in February of 1862.

POW List showing William was captured at Roanoke


William returned to the Regiment after he was paroled following the Battle of Roanoke Island and was listed as being present and accounted for through October of 1862.   On October 25th, he was promoted to Captain of Company A.

Muster Roll showing William's promotion to Captain

William continued his rise through the ranks of the Confederate army.  On July 8, 1863, he was promoted to the rank of Major and reassigned to the newly formed North Carolina 68th Infantry Regiment, where he served until the end of the war along with Colonel James W. Hinton.  Following the end of the Civil War, William moved to Raleigh and resumed practicing law.  On March 1, 1866, William married Adelaide Ann Worth, daughter of former North Carolina Governor and Civil War Treasurer, Jonathan Worth.  William remained in Raleigh for the rest of his life.  He survived an additional 21 years following the end of the Civil War.  William Henry Bagley died in Raleigh, Wake County, North Carolina on February 21, 1886 at the age of 52.  He was buried in Raleigh's historic Oakwood Cemetery.



Grave of Major William Henry Bagley

Here's my relation to William:

William Henry Bagley (1833 - 1886)
is your 4th cousin 5x removed
Willis Holmes Bagley (1808 - 1872)
father of William Henry Bagley
William Bagley (1773 - 1826)
father of Willis Holmes Bagley
Thomas Bagley (1740 - 1785)
father of William Bagley
Thomas Bagley (1711 - 1762)
father of Thomas Bagley
Thomas Bagley (1660 - 1727)
father of Thomas Bagley
Hannah Bagley (1718 - 1801)
daughter of Thomas Bagley
Elizabeth Lowe (1756 - 1788)
daughter of Hannah Bagley
Mary Overman (1785 - 1866)
daughter of Elizabeth Lowe
Margaret White (1807 - 1840)
daughter of Mary Overman
Martha M. White (1827 - 1898)
daughter of Margaret White
Joseph Thomas White (1860 - 1910)
son of Martha M. White
Sarah Elizabeth (Sallie) White (1892 - 1985)
daughter of Joseph Thomas White
Ruth Adelaide Nowell Stokes (1918 - 2013)
daughter of Sarah Elizabeth (Sallie) White
Selby Edward "Stokey" Stokes Jr. (1946 - )
son of Ruth Adelaide Nowell Stokes
Chip Stokes
You are the son of Selby

William and Adelaide had seven children.  Their first child, daughter Adelaide Worth Bagley, married former Secretary of the United States Navy and Editor of the News and Observer, Josephus Daniels. 


Ensign Worth Bagley


Their third child, son Worth Bagley was the only United States Naval Officer killed in the Spanish American War.  Worth was born in Raleigh, North Carolina on April 6, 1874.  He is my 5th cousin 4x removed.  Worth was educated at the Centennial Graded School and the Raleigh Male Academy.  Upon his graduation, he received an appointment to attend the United States Naval Academy.  Worth Graduated from the Naval Academy in June of 1895.  He spent the next two years on board several ships of the North Atlantic Squadron.  After final examination, Worth was made an Ensign in the United States Navy on July 1, 1897.  He served on board both the USS Indiana and the USS Maine before accepting a position as the Executive Officer of the USS Winslow, a torpedo boat.


Spanish American era picture of Ensign Worth Bagley


After the sinking of the USS Maine on February 15, 1898, the Winslow proceeded to Key West, Florida where she prepared for operations in Cuban waters.  On the morning of May 11, 1898, the Winslow was engaged in battle in the Harbor of Cardenas.  She was fired upon by the Spanish gunboat Antonio López.  A fierce naval battle ensued.  The Winslow soon became disable and had to be towed away from the Spanish guns.  Just as the engagement was ending, Ensign Bagley and two other sailors were killed by an exploding shell.  On May 13th, funeral services were held for Ensign Bagley in Key West, Florida.   His body was brought back to North Carolina where his body lay in state in the Capitol.  His funeral was held at the south end of Capitol Square and he was interred with the honors of a Brigadier General in Raleigh's historic Oakwood Cemetery near the graves of his parents and his grandfather, Governor Jonathan Worth.


Grave of Ensign Worth Bagley



Closeup of Effigy of Ensign Worth Bagley



Rear side of Ensign Worth Bagley's grave



Graves of Worth Bagley, Jonathan Worth & William Henry Bagley

The North Carolina General Assembly directed that a suitable spot on Capitol Square be set aside for a permanent monument to honor Bagley.  Citizens of North Carolina provided the funds, and F. Packer was the sculptor of the statue. On 20 May 1907 the statue to the memory to the only American naval officer killed in the Spanish American War was unveiled.


Worth Bagley Monument, Capitol Grounds, Raleigh NC


Another notable member of the Bagley family is William and Adelaide's youngest son, David Worth Bagley.  David was born in Raleigh, North Carolina on January 8, 1883.  He attended North Carolina State College in 1898 and 1899 before receiving an appointment to the United States Naval Academy in 1900.


David Worth Bagley

After graduating on February 4, 1904, David went to sea on board the USS Missouri, which was attached to the Battleship Squadron, North Atlantic Fleet.  In December of 1905 he was reassigned to the Asiatic Fleet.  David served two years at sea and was commissioned Ensign on February 2, 1906.  He served successively on board the USS Concord and USS West Virginia.  He was detached from the West Virginia in March of 1907 and, the following year, reported on board the USS Rhode Island of the Atlantic Fleet and made the voyage around the world on her with the Great White Fleet.  In April of 1909, he left the Rhode Island and went to the General Electric Company in Schenectady, New York, for a year of special instruction.

He then became aide and Flag Lieutenant to the Commander, 2nd Division, Atlantic Fleet, in April 1910.  After a similar tour of duty on the staff of the Commander in Chief of the Asiatic Fleet, David was given two months furlough.  Following his furlough he reported for duty at the Naval Academy in September 1912. Two years later, Bagley returned to sea as First Lieutenant on board the USS Michigan, serving with the Atlantic Fleet. He got his first command in September 1915 when he took over the USS Drayton.


USS Jacob Jones (DD-61)


In January of 1917, Bagley was reassigned to the Destroyer USS Jacob Jones.  On April 6, 1917, the United States entered into World War I.  By early May, Commander Bagley and the USS Jacob Jones were conducting antisubmarine patrols and convoy escort missions in the British Isles.  Soon his area of operations would also include the Irish Sea and the English Channel. 

On December 6, 1917, Bagley directed his ship out of Brest Harbor, France when she was spotted by German submarine U-53.  At 4:21pm, a member of the watch spotted the wake of a torpedo.  The Jacob Jones maneuvered to avoid the torpedo but her efforts were in vain.  The torpedo struck her starboard side and pierced her fuel oil tank, but did not explode the cargo of depth charges.  The jolt had knocked out her power, so the Destroyer was unable to send out a distress signal.  As the ship began to go down, Bagley ordered all life rafts and boats launched.  He then ordered Jacob Jones to be scuttled.  The boat began to sink by the stern after the scuttling charges were activated.  As the ship continued to sink, her bow raised in the air almost vertically before she began to slip beneath the waves.  At this point the depth charges began exploding, killing a number of men who had been unable to escape the Destroyer.  In all, 64 sailors went down with the Jacob Jones.  Commander Bagley and 37 other survivors made it into the icy water in the boats and life rafts. 


Sinking of the Jacob Jones


Commander Bagley noted in his official account that about 30 minutes after the Jacob Jones went down, the German submarine surfaced about two miles away from the lifeboats and appeared to collect some of the injured Americans.  Captain Rose also radioed the American base at Queenstown with the approximate coordinates of the sinking before departing the area. 

Commander Bagley was unaware of Rose's humanitarian gesture.  He left most of the food, water and medical supplies with Lieutenant Commander John K. Richards, who he had left in charge of the assembled lifeboats.  Bagley and his Executive Officer Norman Jones, along with four crewman (brough along to row), set out for aid in the nearby Isles of Sicily.  At 1:00pm on December 7th, Bagley's group was spotted by a British patrol vessel about 6 miles away from their position.  Commander Bagley was relieved to find that most of the survivors had been rescued by the British sloop HMS Camellia earlier that morning.  Commander Bagley received the Navy Distinguished Service Medal for his part in handling the situation.

Following the sinking of his ship, Bagley returned home to the United States and assumed command of the USS Lea, which was then under construction in the Philadelphia Navy Yard.  The Lea was commissioned on October 2, 1918, just over a month before the end of the war.   World War I ended on November 18, 1918.  Bagley retained command of the ship until January of 1919, when he became the American Port Officer in Rotterdam, Netherlands.  He also was assigned for additional duty as the Assistant Naval Attaché in the American legation at the Hague.  Bagley remained in this position for about 2 years. 

In December of 1921, he was assigned to the Office of Naval Intelligence, Navy Department, Washington, DC.  In March of 1922, Bagley returned to sea in command of the USS Reno and as Commander of the Destroyer Division 32, Pacific Fleet.  In August of 1923, he was transferred to command of Division 35, Destroyer Squadrons, Battle Fleet.  Commander Bagley went ashore again in May of 1924 for another 2 year tour of duty at the Naval Academy.  At the end of the academic year in 1926, he left the Academy to become Chief of Staff to the Commander, Naval Forces, Europe.  In April 1927, Bagley moved to the 9th Naval District as the Chief of Staff to the Commandant with temporary additional duty as acting Commanding Cfficer of the Naval Training Station, Great Lakes.

Bagley returned to sea again in December of 1931 as the Commanding Officer of heavy cruiser USS Pensacola, then serving in the Atlantic with Cruiser Division 4, Scouting Fleet.  He retained this command until May of 1933 when he was ordered to report to Washington D.C. for duty in the Bureau of Navigation, where he would later become Assistant Bureau Chief.

In May of 1935, Bagley was ordered to attend the Naval War College in New Port, Rhode Island.  Upon completing the senior course, he remained there as a member of the staff.  Next came a year of duty as Commander, Destroyer Squadron 20, Scouting Fleet.  From July of 1937 to May of 1938, he served as Commander Minecraft, Battle Force.  While in that position, he was promoted to flag rank of Rear Admiral, effective date April 1, 1938.  In May of 1938, Bagley began a 32 month tour as Commandant of the Mare Island Navy Yard in Vallejo, California.


David W. Bagley, on left, with, from left to right, Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz, Major General Delos C. Emmons, and Rear Admiral Aubrey Fitch

In January of 1941, Admiral Bagley assumed command of the USS Tennessee as Commander, Battleship Division 2.  He was serving in that command when his flagship was slightly damaged on December 7, 1941 during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.  During the attack, her crewman manned the anti-aircraft guns and attempted to defend the harbor and the ship as best as they could.  During the air raid, the Tennessee was struck by two armor-piercing bombs that detonated incompletely.  The first bomb hit the center gun of turret two, and it made all three guns inoperable.  Debris from that bomb hit the command deck of the USS West Virginia and mortally wounded her Commanding Officer, Mervyn S. Bennion, who earned the Medal of Honor for his brave efforts in resisting the Japanese attacks.  The second bomb went through the roof of turret three, and it damaged her left gun.  The Tennessee was showered with debris when the magazine of the Arizona exploded and her stern was engulfed in flames from the Arizona's burning fuel oil. Wedged between the sunken West Virginia and her mooring quays, the Tennessee was trapped at her berth for ten days before being freed, and four days later she set sail for the West Coast to be repaired.


USS Tennessee (left) after the attack on Pearl Harbor; the USS West Virginia is next to her.

On April 4, 1942, Bagley relieved Rear Admiral Claude C. Bloch as Commandant, 14th Naval District, and Commander, Hawaiian Sea Frontier.  He served in that capacity until January of 1943.  On February 1, 1943, he assumed command of the Western Sea Frontier.  On March 30, 1943, he also assumed duty as Commandant, 11th Naval District.  He held the latter office only until January 1944, but continued to head the Western Sea Frontier until the following fall.


Vice Admiral David W. Bagley, USN


David Worth Bagley was promoted to Vice Admiral on February 1, 1944.  He was relieved of duty as Commander, Western Sea Frontier, on November 17, 1944.  Vice Admiral Bagley returned to Oahu and resumed duty as Commandant, 14th Naval District, and served in that position until he was ordered to Washington on July 25, 1945.  For exceptionally meritorious conduct in his assignment from November 1944 until July 1945 he was awarded the Legion of Merit.   His citation reads:
"Responsible for the overall administration and supervision of the numerous and varied Naval shore establishments as well as certain offshore functions in the Hawaiian and other outlying islands where Naval installations were situated...(he) by his efficient cooperation with other branches of the armed services as well as by his administration of directives and policies in the execution of his authority in civilian affairs...contributed materially to the effective employment of this vast area in the successful prosecution of the war against Japan..."

On August 20, Bagley reported for duty in the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations and served on the International Defense Board, the United States-Mexican Defense Commission, and the Permanent Joint Board on Defense.  Vice Admiral Bagley was relieved of all active duty on March 22, 1946.  He was transferred to the Retired List of the US Navy on April 1, 1947. In addition to the Distinguished Service Medal and the Legion of Merit, Admiral Bagley has the World War I Victory Medal, Destroyer Clasp; the American Defense Service Medal, Fleet Clasp; the American Campaign Medal; the Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal; and the World War II Victory Medal.  He was also awarded the Cruz del Mérito Naval Blanco de 2a Clase by the King of Spain, the Order of Avis by the Portuguese Government and Commander of the Order of the Savior by the Government of Greece.

He married the former Mary Louise Harrington, and they had three sons, Admiral David Harrington Bagley, USN; Admiral Worth H. Bagley, and Tennant H. Bagley, USN, who served in the Marine Corps Reserve during World War II.  Admiral Bagley died at the Naval Hospital, San Diego, California, on May 24, 1960 at the age of 77.   He was buried in Arlington National Cemetery.


Grave of Admiral David Worth Bagley


Due to the fact that Worth and David were brothers, I'm only providing one relationship chart:

Here's my relation to David Worth Bagley:

Admiral David Worth Bagley (1883 - 1960)
is your 5th cousin 4x removed
William Henry Bagley (1833 - 1886)
father of Admiral David Worth Bagley
Willis Holmes Bagley (1808 - 1872)
father of William Henry Bagley
William Bagley (1773 - 1826)
father of Willis Holmes Bagley
Thomas Bagley (1740 - 1785)
father of William Bagley
Thomas Bagley (1711 - 1762)
father of Thomas Bagley
Thomas Bagley (1660 - 1727)
father of Thomas Bagley
Hannah Bagley (1718 - 1801)
daughter of Thomas Bagley
Elizabeth Lowe (1756 - 1788)
daughter of Hannah Bagley
Mary Overman (1785 - 1866)
daughter of Elizabeth Lowe
Margaret White (1807 - 1840)
daughter of Mary Overman
Martha M. White (1827 - 1898)
daughter of Margaret White
Joseph Thomas White (1860 - 1910)
son of Martha M. White
Sarah Elizabeth (Sallie) White (1892 - 1985)
daughter of Joseph Thomas White
Ruth Adelaide Nowell Stokes (1918 - 2013)
daughter of Sarah Elizabeth (Sallie) White
Selby Edward "Stokey" Stokes Jr. (1946 - )
son of Ruth Adelaide Nowell Stokes
Chip Stokes
You are the son of Selby



James W. Hinton

James W. Hinton was born in Pasquotank County, North Carolina on March 3, 1827.  He is my 5th cousin 5x removed.  Prior to the Civil War, James was an attorney in Elizabeth City.  On May 16, 1861, James W. Hinton was appointed as Captain of Company A, North Carolina 8th Infantry Regiment.


1st Muster Roll for James

James was captured by Federal forces along with the majority of his Unit on February 15, 1862 during the Battle of Roanoke Island.  He was paroled and sent home to Elizabeth City. 


POW List showing James was captured then paroled

James quickly rose through the ranks of the 8th North Carolina.  On October 25, 1862, he was promoted to the rank of Major. 

Roll of Honor showing James' promotion to Major

James promotion to Major created a vacancy for his old rank of Captain.  The Confederacy chose another member of my family to fill that position.   William Henry Bagley was successor to James as Captain of Company A.

Roster showing James promotion to Major, William Henry Bagley successor as Captian

James continued to rise though the ranks of the Confederate army.  On February 20, 1863, James was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel.


Roster showing James' promotion to Lieutenant Colonel

James was only in this position for about four months.  On July 18, 1863, James was mustered out of the 8th North Carolina and commissioned as Colonel of the North Carolina 68th Infantry Regiment. 


Roll of Honor showing James' promotion to Colonel of the NC 68th

James served as Colonel of the North Carolina 68th Infantry Regiment through the end of the Civil War.  Following the end of the war, he relocated to Norfolk Virginia where he lived an additional 10 years.  James William Hinton died in Norfolk, Virginia on January 23, 1875 at the age of 47.  He is buried in Elmwood Cemetery, Norfolk, Virginia. 


Grave of James W. Hinton

Here's my relation to James:

Col. James William Hinton Sr. (1827 - 1875)
is your 5th cousin 5x removed
Edgar Latimer Hinton (1804 - 1892)
father of Col. James William Hinton Sr.
William Smith Hinton (1772 - 1827)
father of Edgar Latimer Hinton
William Hinton (1748 - 1783)
father of William Smith Hinton
Hardy Hinton (1712 - 1760)
father of William Hinton
Col. John Hinton (1673 - 1731)
father of Hardy Hinton
Sir James Hinton (1642 - 1673)
father of Col. John Hinton
William Hinton (1670 - 1737)
son of Sir James Hinton
William Hinton (1725 - 1796)
son of William Hinton
William Hinton (1748 - 1806)
son of William Hinton
John Hinton (1776 - 1854)
son of William Hinton
Julia Hinton (1807 - 1867)
daughter of John Hinton
Joseph Warren Nowell (1829 - 1889)
son of Julia Hinton
Walter Hinton Nowell (1855 - 1922)
son of Joseph Warren Nowell
Joseph Warren Nowell (1889 - 1954)
son of Walter Hinton Nowell
Ruth Adelaide Nowell Stokes (1918 - 2013)
daughter of Joseph Warren Nowell
Selby Edward "Stokey" Stokes Jr. (1946 - )
son of Ruth Adelaide Nowell Stokes
Chip Stokes
You are the son of Selby



William H. Overman was born in Pasquotank County, North Carolina on November 4, 1839.  His father, Benjamin Franklin Overman, Sr. had relocated to the Florida territory sometime around 1850, leaving young William behind with family in North Carolina.  Although Benjamin Franklin Overman, Sr. was born in 1797, he still served in the Confederate Army during the Civil War.  I've previously written an entry pertaining to Benjamin, it can be found here:

Lieutenant Benjamin Franklin Overman

William enlisted as a Private in Company A, North Carolina 8th Infantry Regiment on September 14, 1861 at the age of 22.   His Muster-in and Descriptive Roll lists him as being a Farmer from Pasquotank County.  It also listed his height as being 5'8".

First Muster for William

William was also captured and taken prisoner following the Battle of Roanoke Island.


List showing William was capture at Roanoke Island

By July of 1862, William had returned to the re-organized Regiment.  He was listed as being present and accounted for through January 3, 1864 when he was admitted to the General Hospital in Petersburg, Virginia for Typhoid Fever.

Register showing William was admitted to the Hospital

William was very sick.  Unfortunately he would die in the Hospital just 2 days later on January 5, 1864.


Register showing William's death (note the incorrect date of death)


William H. Overman was 24 years old at the time of his death.   His burial location is not known at this time.   It is quite possible that William is one of the 30,000 Confederate Soldiers buried in a mass unmarked grave in Petersburg's historic Blandford Cemetery.

Here is my relation to William:

William H. Overman (1839 - 1864)
is your 1st cousin 6x removed
Benjamin Franklin Overman (1797 - 1888)
father of William H. Overman
Charles Overman (1745 - 1806)
father of Benjamin Franklin Overman
Mary Overman (1785 - 1866)
daughter of Charles Overman
Margaret White (1807 - 1840)
daughter of Mary Overman
Martha M. White (1827 - 1898)
daughter of Margaret White
Joseph Thomas White (1860 - 1910)
son of Martha M. White
Sarah Elizabeth (Sallie) White (1892 - 1985)
daughter of Joseph Thomas White
Ruth Adelaide Nowell Stokes (1918 - 2013)
daughter of Sarah Elizabeth (Sallie) White
Selby Edward "Stokey" Stokes Jr. (1946 - )
son of Ruth Adelaide Nowell Stokes
Chip Stokes
You are the son of Selby

Company D

John Duke Wortham was born in Warren County, North Carolina on July 17, 1842.  He is my 2nd cousin 5x removed.  John enlisted as a Private in Company D, North Carolina 8th Infantry Regiment on September 14, 1861 at the age of 19.  His brother, Private Alexander Wortham, served in Company K, North Carolina 54th Infantry Regiment.  Alexander unfortunately died in a Richmond Hospital on September 28, 1864, shortly after being paroled from Point Lookout.


1st Muster for John

For some reason, John was discharged from the Regiment on the same day he enlisted.  The reason for his discharge could have been because he might not have been fit for duty.   Disability could have also been the reason for his abrupt discharge.

List showing John was discharged on Sept. 14, 1861

John returned home to Warren County following his discharge.  By 1866, he had relocated to Henderson, Granville County where he married Nannie Blackwell on April 14, 1866.  He lived an additional 58 years following the end of the Civil War.  John Duke Wortham died in Oxford, Granville County, North Carolina on May 6, 1923 at the age of 80.  He is buried in Elmwood Cemetery in Oxford.

Here's my relation to John:

John Duke Wortham (1842 - 1923)
is your 2nd cousin 5x removed
Frances Ann Blackwell (1805 - 1887)
mother of John Duke Wortham
William Blackwell (1772 - 1849)
father of Frances Ann Blackwell
John Blackwell (1745 - 1818)
father of William Blackwell
Pomfret Blackwell (1769 - 1828)
son of John Blackwell
Phoebe Blackwell (1812 - 1860)
daughter of Pomfret Blackwell
Martha Anne Currin (1834 - 1917)
daughter of Phoebe Blackwell
Phebe Lucy Daniel (1862 - 1946)
daughter of Martha Anne Currin
Valeria Lee Moss (1890 - 1968)
daughter of Phebe Lucy Daniel
Phebe Teresa Wheeler Lewis (1918 - 1977)
daughter of Valeria Lee Moss
Joyce Elaine Lewis (1948 - )
daughter of Phebe Teresa Wheeler Lewis
Chip Stokes
You are the son of Joyce

Company F

James Will Duke


James Will Duke was born in Franklin County, North Carolina on September 23, 1846.  He is my 2nd cousin 4x removed.  Although I have no direct relation, James was the 3rd cousin of George Washington Duke, founder of Duke University.  James was only 15 years old at the start of the Civil War.  His father, Ransom Harris Duke, enlisted in Company B, North Carolina 4th Infantry Regiment in September of 1863, leaving 17 year old James in charge of the family.  Ransom was captured sometime in late 1863 and confined to Point Lookout, Maryland where he died on August 8, 1864.  James enlisted as a Private in Company F, North Carolina 8th Infantry Regiment just a little over a month a later on September 20, 1864, just 3 days before his 19th birthday.  He was with the Regiment until the bitter end.

Following the end of the Civil War, James relocated to Henderson, Vance County, North Carolina where he lived an additional 50 years.  James Will Duke died in Vance County on September 5, 1915 and was buried in the Fullers Chapel Cemetery.

Grave of James Will Duke

Here's my relation to James:

James William "Will" Duke (1846 - 1915)
is your 2nd cousin 4x removed
Ransom Harris Duke (1820 - 1864)
father of James William "Will" Duke
Lucy Green Harris (1803 - 1868)
mother of Ransom Harris Duke
Ransom Harris Sr. (1764 - 1832)
father of Lucy Green Harris
Ann Washington Harris (1795 - 1870)
daughter of Ransom Harris Sr.
James C. Moss (1824 - 1891)
son of Ann Washington Harris
William Allen Moss (1859 - 1931)
son of James C. Moss
Valeria Lee Moss (1890 - 1968)
daughter of William Allen Moss
Phebe Teresa Wheeler Lewis (1918 - 1977)
daughter of Valeria Lee Moss
Joyce Elaine Lewis (1948 - )
daughter of Phebe Teresa Wheeler Lewis
Chip Stokes
You are the son of Joyce

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