Battle of Hanging Dog, North Carolina, Civil War

Thomas' Legion
American Civil War HOMEPAGE
American Civil War
Causes of the Civil War : What Caused the Civil War
Organization of Union and Confederate Armies: Infantry, Cavalry, Artillery
Civil War Navy: Union Navy and Confederate Navy
American Civil War: The Soldier's Life
Civil War Turning Points
American Civil War: Casualties, Battles and Battlefields
Civil War Casualties, Fatalities & Statistics
Civil War Generals
American Civil War Desertion and Deserters: Union and Confederate
Civil War Prisoner of War: Union and Confederate Prison History
Civil War Reconstruction Era and Aftermath
American Civil War Genealogy and Research
Civil War
American Civil War Pictures - Photographs
African Americans and American Civil War History
American Civil War Store
American Civil War Polls
North Carolina Civil War History
North Carolina American Civil War Statistics, Battles, History
North Carolina Civil War History and Battles
North Carolina Civil War Regiments and Battles
North Carolina Coast: American Civil War
Western North Carolina and the American Civil War
Western North Carolina: Civil War Troops, Regiments, Units
North Carolina: American Civil War Photos
Cherokee Chief William Holland Thomas
Cherokee Indian Heritage, History, Culture, Customs, Ceremonies, and Religion
Cherokee Indians: American Civil War
History of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indian Nation
Cherokee War Rituals, Culture, Festivals, Government, and Beliefs
Researching your Cherokee Heritage
Civil War Diary, Memoirs, Letters, and Newspapers


LAST BATTLE OF CIVIL WAR FOUGHT HERE!* (See editor's notes below)

Page 9



Copies of this document to be filed in the Public Libraries of Murphy and Andrews, North Carolina, and in the School Libraries of these towns.

MARCH 14, A. D. 1935

About the middle of December, 1864, we closed. our Campaign in Northern Virginia, mostly in the Shenandoah Valley, in Maryland and in West Virginia. The fighting having been "Stonewall" JACKSON'S Corps to which our Brigade belonged, Assisted by General Fitzhugh LEE'S Cavalry, and the Yankees under Generals HUNTER and SHERIDAN; with three to five times as many men as we had.

Just as we were, preparing to go into Winter Quarters, General Lee sent orders for the Thomas Legion to report to the Commanding Officer at Asheville, North Carolina.

We were then about the middle of the Shenandoah Valley, below Harrisonburg, Virginia. The weather was very cold and we were thinly clad in the clothes we had worn all summer. We had no underwear or socks and our shoes were badly worn.

Page 10

We started out about noon to go to Staunton to take the train there. At that place we received orders to go to Lynchburg, Virginia, and to wait for further orders.

At Lynchburg we were ordered to go to Bristol, Tennessee and await further orders. We waited at Bristol two days and then were ordered to go to Jonesboro, Tennessee, and from there to Asheville, North Carolina. There were two routes from Jonesboro to Asheville, one 80 miles and the other 100 miles long As there had been Yankees raiding in that neighborhood we were to inquire and then take the safest route to Asheville. We left Jonesboro, Tennessee by the way of Paint Rock and up the French Broad River to Asheville, North Carolina.

The weather was cold, we reached Asheville in the afternoon and went into camp. Next morning when ordered to fall in line we were surprised when told that we would be given ten days Verbal Furlough and after that would go into Camp at various places to be assigned to us.

I had been in command of what was left of Co. I., and what remained of Co. C. for some time. All of the Officers of Co, C. being with fever. We, with WALKER'S Battalion, were assigned to Camp Valley Town, the FRANCIS Residence and FRANCIS Store, at that time unoccupied. This was where the Town of Andrews now stands. Co. H., Capt. Cooper's Company was assigned to the THOMAS Store at Cheoah, now Robbinsville, North Carolina, The other Companies all being sent to Qualla Town for the time being.

We had at that time only six rounds of ammunition apiece and although Col. THOMAS had promised to send ammunition to us at Valley Town and at THOMAS' Store, he had failed to do so. Captain COOPER knew Col. THOMAS much better than did Col. STRINGFIELD, who was in command of both camps; so Captain COOPER took five or

Page 11

six men on horseback, the roads being impassable for a wagon, and went to Qualla Town and got as much ammunition as they could carry in sacks on horseback. Captain COOPER, when dropped always lit on his feet, facing in the right direction. But Co. I and WALKER'S Battalion remained without any more ammunition from the time that we went into camp; and we went into the Battle at Hanging Dog Creek with just six rounds of ammunition apiece.

Some twenty or thirty men of VAUGHAN'S Brigade, Tennessee Cavalry, had shirked out of the fighting in northern Georgia and had gone into the mountains of Cherokee County and where ever they could find corn and roughness for their horses and grub for themselves they took it.

The people got tired of being treated in this way and made complaint to Col. STRINGFIELD, who sent some men into Murphy, North Carolina with orders to arrest every Cavalry Man they saw or could find. They arrested nine men and brought them, their horses and ammunition into Camp. Col. STRINGFIELD detailed me as Lieut. with eight or ten men to take these men to Franklin and turn them over to the authorities to be sent to Ashville. I dismounted all the prisoners, took their ammunition, emptying their six shooters, hung the six shooters on the saddles. Thus we left Camp with the Cavalry walking and the guard mounted on their horses and thus we made the 35 miles to Franklin.

When we reached Franklin, Captain GASTON, Adjutant of the Battalion, was in command with four or five Officers. They decided that it was no use trying to hold the prisoners so we turned them loose; giving them back their horses and empty six shooters; with the promise that if they ever came back we would put a ball and chain on the legs of each of them. Their experience with us caused the other Cavalry men who had been shirking to leave that part of the country.

Page 12

Some Deserters from Cherokee County, North Carolina had gone down in Tennessee and joined the Yankees; and had formed two Companies. But the First Company, which was Cavalry, had been formed several months before the Second Company. This First Company came into Cherokee County to arrest several leading Citizens, but they did not plunder or rob anyone of their stock or stuff.

There were no Confederate troops at this time in Cherokee County and this first troop captured Capt. Jim TAYLOR and Squire William WALKER of Valley Town. They went to WHITAKERS to get Capt. Steve WHITAKER but he was at that time in Virginia. After leaving the WHITAKER place they went down the North side of the River past STEWARTS and BRITTONS and took Captain Mark BRITTON, Captain of the Home Guard. Later TAYLOR and BRITTON were released from prison and came home. But Squire William WALKER was never seen or heard of again. He was taken to Knoxville where he was taken sick and died. Lieut. Tice GOLDEN, who had deserted from Captain COOPER'S Company, was a Lieut. in this Company. He was my boyhood chum.

The Second of the Deserter Companies was Infantry and made their raids afoot after the Cavalry was gone. These men were mostly from Cherokee County and many of them had cases pending against them and the papers were in the Court House at Murphy, North Carolina. It was thought at that time, and afterwards said to be true, that they planned this raid to get possession of these papers. They could not find the papers and to be sure they were destroyed they burned the Court House. Then they captured Lieut. Jim AXLEY, who was home on furlough, and who was known to some of them who had been in his Company.

As they had heard that there were only 15 or so men at Camp Valley Town they decided to go there and capture them. So, they started up Valley River as soon as they were sure that the Court House and everything in it was burned.

Page 13

As they went along they enquired of everyone they saw as to how men were at Camp Valley Town. This part of the story I learned long afterwards when I was teaching school at Copperhill, Ducktown, Tennessee in 1871 and 1872, from Bill COX, a wood chopper, who had been with that force. I saw Bill several times and he told me that many of the other men who had been with him were working in the mines at Ducktown. It has been a long time so I cannot remember Bill words, but the substance of what he told me follows. It fits in this part of the history so will tell it now.

He said one of the men with their Company had been raised in the Valley and seeing Uncle Buck COLBERT at his front gate shook hands with him calling him Uncle Buck, and asked him about the number of men at Camp Valley Town. Uncle Buck said he did not know exactly, but that General LEE, before his surrender had sent two Regiments there; he knew there were 1000 men, but thought there might be 1200.

The next man they saw was Captain LEATHERWOOD'S Father, a man who, had been in Captain LEATHERWOOD'S Company and knew his father, asked him about the man at Camp Valley Town. He replied, "Enough men to kill everyone of you with the first gunfire."

The next, they talked to [a man that] lived at a branch near a Bluff on the River. He had been in Valley Town 2 or 3 days before and there were men camped everywhere. That there were more men on the front line Guard, half a mile from Town, where they could see down the River for half a mile than there was in this Yankee Troop.

They went on to the Bluff where the Captain ordered a halt to rest in the shade. He and three or four men went to one side and talked and when they had rested the Captain said, "Boys, we have decided not to go to Valley Town." One big mouthed fellow then called out, "Where are we going?" and the Captain replied, "We will go to Hanging Dog."

Page 14

So they at started and met no one else that they knew until they came to Mr. Hyatt's place. Captain AKER knew Mr. HYATT, so he asked him what he know about the force at Camp Valley Town. Mr. HYATT did not know exactly how many men were in the town, but he said the force was several times larger than the Yankee force. There were about 50 men in this troop. All this information I got from Bill COX at Ducktown, Tennessee in 1871-72 when I taught school there As soon as the Yankees were out of sight Mr. HYATT put one of his boys on a horse and told him to go to Valley Town as fast as he could and report that the Yankees had burned the Court House at Murphy; and had then come up the River and turned up HYATT'S Creek, going towards Hanging Dog, and he thought they might be overtaken. The boy arrived at Camp Valley Town late in the afternoon. Major WHITAKER was in co. as Col. STRINGFIELD had gone to Qualla Town after some ammunition, Captain KIMSEY was in command of Company I and Captain AKIN of the Battalion. Right after the boy galloped up and told his news, Major WHITAKER hollered, "Everybody fall in line with your guns, ammunition and blankets and we will overtake them." We had in all bout 100 men and in five minutes after the boy came we were ready to start. Major WHITAKER then said, "Forward men, all of you follow me." (He never gave a drill command correctly). So we all started out from in front of what is now the Addie Leatherwood House.
It was dark when we got to HYATTS and we stopped only a few minutes while the Officers talked to Mr. HYATT. I was present, but the "Higher Ups" all did the talking. He told us that about 50 men had started in a fast walk up, the Creek. Nathan HYATT, Mr. HYATT'S son, and Bill and Dan DOCKERY, were in our Company. They had been raised over these trails and they were our guides.

Page 15

Nathan asked his mother for all of her matches, as we would need them in following the road that night. The night was dark and we had to go single file after leaving the Wagon Road. When we got to the top of the mountain, Nathan said,, "Sit down Boys and rest as you come up." While we rested Bill DOCKERY said, "I got the worst scare of my life right here one night. I had been hunting and salting cattle all day and it was dark when I got this far; just then a panther yelled about 15 or 20 steps down the HYATT Trail. I never ran as fast in my life as I ran down that Trail to the Settlement. I slacked only once, just long enough to get out my Barlow knife and open it."

As we went further all three said that there was a house where they thought the Yankees would stop and make Camp. And that they had better go forward alone and see if they were right. To dodge any pickets who might be out they went through the woods and in 15 or 20 minutes were back and said they could see men moving around the house by candle-light, and they were sure they were getting breakfast.

Major WHITAKER then called for Lieut. [John] STEWART and Sergeant Newt McCLELLAND and said, "John you and Newt have been in many scrapes like this one and I want you to go forward and select the best place that you can for us to attack and report it to as at once." In a few minutes streaks of daylight began to appear and we could see the enemy moving around the house and yard preparing to leave. We decided it would be better to let then start and then we could dash around the house and fire at them and would have the house between us and their fire. Bill and Dan DOCKERY said there was a road down the field back of the house and they thought this was the road the enemy would take in leaving the house.

Page 16

We reported to the Major, he approved our plan and we moved up in the woods about 60 or 70 yards in front of the house. Then Major WHITAKER gave his favorite command. "Forward Men, Double quick, Follow Me." We started forward in a fast run but we soon ran into briars and vines where we could not go so fast and when we ran around the house the Yankees were about 150 yards ahead of us. We fired, our muskets were about 50 or 75 yards range, and raised the Rebel Yell, loading as we ran and I never saw a bunch run so fast.

Bill DOCKERY said afterwards that they ran faster than he did when the panther yelled. Pryor NELSON said, "Bill they had a whole lot bigger scare behind them than you did." Pryor was just a boy, but he had been with the Battalion all the time.

We had only six rounds of ammunition and by the time they reached the brush at the end of the field we had fired 3 rounds. They ran through the brush and as they ran around the Mountain we fired our last shots and had to let them go. They fired a few shots back, but never stopped running. And thus on May 6th, 1865 ended the last Battle* of the Civil War; East of the Mississippi River, which was fought an Hanging Dog Creek in the Mountains of Cherokee County in Western, North Carolina.

I will here add some more information that I got from Bill COX, when I saw him several times at Ducktown in 1871 and 1872. Bill said they had 11 men wounded in that Battle, and while none were seriously hurt, it was hard to get three of them away for the first few miles. Then they found some horses that these men could ride until they could be left at some houses on the Tennessee side. They were trying to get to Madisonville, Tennessee. Then they met a man with a wagon, which they took, with the man and loaded the rest of the wounded in the wagon. When they got

Page 17

to Madisonville the wounded were treated and sent forward to Sweetwater where a Doctor took them on the train to the hospital at Knoxville. Bill heard that an ambulance and Doctor, with guards, was sent back for the wounded who had been left at the houses; but he was soon sent to Chattanooga and the War ended and he did not know anymore about this.
We got back to Camp Valley Town in the evening of May 6th, and cleaned out our guns, but did not have any ammunition to reload.

On the night of the 7th of May, 1865, Col. STRINGFIELD came in from Qualla Town with a two horse wagon load of ammunition. The next morning had us fall in line and we were issued 40 rounds of ammunition apiece. It looked like more than two-thirds of the load was left and this was stored under care of Company I. to be given out as needed.

During the day he had us tell him about the fight. He had Major WHITAKER write out a report of it for him to take back to Col. THOMAS. For he told us that he had orders to return to Qualla Town at once and take command of Troops there. And that if he could get guns there he would send guns and ammunition to arm a Company of 16 year old boys that Captain PHILLIPS [Nathaniel Green Philips] had organized.

He had brought orders for Major WHITAKER to take command of all Troops at Valley Town and of Captain COOPER and his troops at THOMAS' Store at Cheoah. He said that Col. THOMAS would write Captain COOPER to report to Major WHITAKER. The next morning Col. STRINGFIELD left for Qualla Town by the way of Lower Nantahala. This road was not passable for a wagon so the wagon went back by the way of Franklin. It had taken then four days to come from Qualla Town and they only got by then by unloading the wagon and carrying the ammunition in sacks on their shoulders over the worst places.

Page 18

On the 10th we did nothing, on the 11th a Courier arrived from Col. KIRK at Franklin, North Carolina with orders for all Troops at Valley Town and at THOMAS' Store to report to him at Franklin and surrender and receive their paroles.

Major Whitaker and I and several others knew Col. KIRK, as he was from Limestone Station between Greenville and Jonesboro, Tennessee where he ran a Cobbler Shoe Shop during the first part of the War. We had camped there two or three times and he had mended our shoes. He was a great talker. Later he joined the Yankees.

On the morning of the 12th, Major WHITAKER with 4 or 5 of the boys who could get horses started to Franklin, where they signed their paroles and Col. KIRK let them have blank paroles to bring back for us to sign and sent Couriers with them to bring back our signed paroles and those of Captain Cooper's Troops at Cheoah. On the same day, Captain KIMSEY being in command at Camp Valley Town, he and Captain Akin divided out all the ammunition equally between all the men of Company I and WALKER'S Battalion and some soldiers who were in the settlement on furloughs. So that we would all have some to take home with us. He saved out shares for Major WHITAKER and the boys with him to give them when they got back. On the evening of the 13th, Major WHITAKER, the Boys and Col. KIRK'S Couriers came in with the blank paroles which we began to sign. Major WHITAKER then told Captain KIMSEY to divide the ammunition and he reported that he already done so. We each got ammunition enough to last us two years.

Next morning, May 14, 1865, we finished signing the paroles and saw the Major roll them up and tie then and put them in a Haversack and give them to Col. Kirk's Courier. And thus at 10 o'clock in the morning of May 14,


1865 our Civil War Soldier Life ended and our Every Day Working Life began.

From the First Battle Shot of the Civil War fixed at Fort Sumpter, South Carolina, April 12th, 1861 to Lee's Surrender at Appomatox, Virginia was four years, less 3 days.

From the First Battle shot of the Civil War, fired at Fort Sumpter, South Carolina, April 12, 1861 to the last Battle Shot, East of the Mississippi River, on Hanging Dog Creek in the Mountains of Cherokee County, in Western North Carolina, May 6, 1865 was 4 years and 24 days.

From the First Battle Shot at Fort Sumpter, South Carolina, April 12, 1861, to the surrender of Cooper's Company H., KIMSEY'S Company I., Walker's Battalion of Thomas' Legion, and Captain PHILLIPS' Troop of 16 year old boys at Valley Town and Cheoah, North Carolina was 4 years, 1 month and 2 days.
And from Lee's Surrender at Appomatox to the Battle on Hanging Dog Creek, the Last Battle of the Civil War East of the Mississippi River, May 6th, 1865 was 27 days.

From the Last Battle of the Civil War East of the Mississippi to the Surrender of Cooper's Company H., in Thomas' Store at Cheoah, now Robbinsville, North Carolina, and KIMSEY'S Company I., and Walker's Battalion under Captain J. A. AKIN; all under the command of Major Stephen WHITAKER and of Captain PHILLIP'S Troop of 16 year old boys at Camp Valley Town, the last troops East of the Mississippi River to surrender May 14, 1865 was 8 days [Stewart is referring to the last shot at Hanging Dog on May 6, plus 8 days = May 14].
And from that time until this 14th day of March, 1933 is 69 years and 10 months.

Page 20


The first shot at Fort Sumpter, April 12, 1861 was said to have been fired by Fred W. Wagner of Charleston, S.C. a gunner with the Charleston Artillery Company, who became Captain of his company. After the war he became the biggest wholesale grocer in Charleston.

The last shots fired at Hanging Dog Creek, N. C. in the last battle of the Civil War, East of the Mississippi, May 6, 1865 were fired by Hugh Hayes, calveryman on furlough and Came Derryberry Company I, 69th North Carolina Regiment.

Historians agree on the estimate that from the beginning to the end of the Civil War there were 700,000 men in the field for the Confederacy. At one time there was a total of 550,000 troops under arms.
From figures furnished by the Adjutant General's office we find there were approximately 179,000 negroes in the Union Army, and that the states of Tennessee, West Virginia, North Carolina, Missouri and Kentucky furnished a total of 297,870 men to the Union Army. It is very probable that all Southern states furnished some men to the Union Army. Also some historians estimate that there were 700,000 foreigners in the Union Army.

At the time of Gen. LEE'S surrender the Army of Northern Virginia numbered 2,862 officers and 25,494 men; a total of 28,356. (Humphreysm AA, The Virginia Campaign of 1864-65, Schribners, 1916, p. 399)

At the time of General Lee's surrender the Army of the Potomac and the Army of the James under Lieut. Gen. Ulysses GRANT numbered 4,370 officers and 103,126 men; total of 107,496  (Rebellion Records, series 1, v. 46, pt. 1 pp 61 a d 63)


In our first edition we printed an account of the last battle of the Civil War fought at Hanging Dog. The following is an addendum to the account with some follow-up of some of the participants invalued in that skirmish.

I want to add to this sketch a correction of an error in an article published several months ago by a Judge, whose name I have forgotten, in an Asheville paper.

In writing an article about Captain Jim Cooper being in the legislature with him, where they got a Bill through appropriating $1,000,000.00 to build a railway from Waynesville to Murphy, he said that Captain Cooper's Father was a Captain in the Confederate Army and near the end of the War his health broke down and he got his young son Jim appointed in his place.

That is not so. Captain Cooper's Father was an old man and was never in the Confederate Army a day in his life. The facts are that Col. Thomas sent Captains Commissions to J. W. Cooper of Cheoah and Willis Parker of Valley River late in 1861 or early in 1862 and asked each of them to get up a Company to join his Regiment. They each made up a Company, Cooper's Company camped at what is now Robbinsville. Parker's Company camped at what is now Marble and called it Camp Valley Town. I joined Parker's Company. Both Companies drilled at their camps for a short time and then were ordered to Chilhowie [Chilhowee], Tennessee, and there drilled until further orders.

From that time until near Christmas 1864, the two Companies were together in the 69th Regiment part of Thomas' Legion. They were together every day, in camp, on the march and in battles. And this is the true

page -46-

story of how he got the name of Captain Cooper. That Judge may know the law and write some good decisions, but he was not fully informed about Captain Cooper's War Record.

I know Captain Jim Cooper from boyhood, we went through the War together and I know I am writing FACTS. After the War we were Partners in the Real Estate Business for 30 years.

(Signed) John H. Stewart

Ex. lst. Lieut. Co. I., 69th. N. C. Reg.

Know that there were many questions asked about the Civil War to which it is difficult to get the correct answers. I prepared a list of questions which I sent to Major General James F. McKinley, the Adjutant Generals Office in Washington. D. C., asking him to assist me by answering these questions, from the records on file in that Office. He kindly answered me and further referred me to various Histories that I could consult in several large Libraries. Also referred me to the Veterans Administration in Washington. D. C. where W. S. Moore, Jr., Budget Officer and Chief of Statistics gave me valuable information.

Of the Libraries to which I wrote, some answered me giving information, others answered that they did not have the books in which I had asked them to look, still others advised me that the records were incomplete and any answers given would be only approximately correct. These conditions applied to questions which I asked about both the Union and the Confederate Armies, as the Confederate Records were in many cases incomplete. I suppose from reports and papers being lost in battles or

page -47-

in the records being moved from different places or from being lost in the transfer of the Confederate Archives from Richmond. Virginia, to Washington, D. C., after General Lee's Surrender.

The Pensions Records are in better shape as that was nearly all Office work conducted after the War, and not subject to mishaps. There were many questions about the Confederate Army that could not be answered definitely. I got some valuable information from the Texas State Library at Austin. I have condensed this information in the attached pages which I would appreciate you putting in the Back of the Booklet that I sent you on the Last Battle of the Civil War, East of the Mississippi fought at Hanging Dog Creek, in the Mountains of Cherokee County in Western North Carolina.

Take good care of the Booklet for in these pages you can easily find the answers to questions that would be hard to find elsewhere. I also thank the Adjutant Generals Office, the Veterans Bureau and the Libraries who so kindly helped me in securing this information.

John H. Stewart

Ex. lst. Lieut.** 69th N. C. Regiment

Editor's Notes:
On July 24, 1862, Company I initially mustered as Company D, Walker's Battalion, at Valleytown, Cherokee County, North Carolina. On September 27, 1862, when the Thomas Legion officially mustered at Knoxville, it became Company I, Infantry Regiment, Thomas' Legion.
*The Battle of Hanging Dog was merely a skirmish, but I am continuing with battle for historical reference only. Although the Battle of Hanging Dog should not be confused with "The Last Shot," it is the editor's view that the "Skirmish" and “The Last Shot” transpired simultaneously, meaning on the same day.

**John H. Stewart's mustering in and mustering out rank was private. Stephen Whitaker's highest rank attained was captain, and William Williams Stringfield's mustering out rank was Lieutenant Colonel and not full-bird Colonel; however, in informal communication is it acceptable and proper to state COLONEL STRINGFIELD.

During the last months of the American Civil War, when the "Lost Cause" was embraced, many soldiers were unofficially promoted by their peers to fill vacancies. This explains why the officially mustered out rank/grade was often times a lesser rank than claimed via soldiers' diaries, memoirs and papers (during the last months of the War, privates were being unofficially appointed to the rank or grade of lieutenant). Concurrently, some Confederate commanders were destroying all, or what remained, of the regimental records.

Recommended Reading: Bushwhackers, The Civil War in North Carolina: The Mountains (338 pages). Description: Trotter's book (which could have been titled "Murder, Mayhem, and Mountain Madness") is an epic backdrop for the most horrific murdering, plundering and pillaging of the mountain communities of western North Carolina during the state’s darkest hour—the American Civil War. Commonly referred to as Southern Appalachia, the North Carolina and East Tennessee mountains witnessed divided loyalties in its bushwhackers and guerrilla units. These so-called “bushwhackers” even used the conflict to settle old feuds and scores, which, in some cases, continued well after the war ended. Continued below...

Some bushwhackers were highly organized ‘fighting guerrilla units’ while others were a motley group of deserters and outliers, and, since most of them were residents of the region, they were familiar with the terrain and made for a “very formidable foe.” In this work, Trotter does a great job on covering the many facets of the bushwhackers, including their: battles, skirmishes, raids, activities, motives, the outcome, and even the aftermath. This book is also a great source for tracing ancestors during the Civil War; a must have for the family researcher of Southern Appalachia.

Site search Web search

Recommended Reading: War at Every Door: Partisan Politics and Guerrilla Violence in East Tennessee, 1860-1869. Description: One of the most divided regions of the Confederacy, East Tennessee was the site of fierce Unionist resistance to secession, Confederate rule, and the Southern war effort. It was also the scene of unrelenting 'irregular,' or guerrilla, warfare between Union and Confederate supporters, a conflict that permanently altered the region's political, economic, and social landscape. In this study, Noel Fisher examines the military and political struggle for control of East Tennessee from the secession crisis through the early years of Reconstruction, focusing particularly on the military and political significance of the region's irregular activity. Continued below...
Fisher portrays in grim detail the brutality and ruthlessness employed not only by partisan bands but also by Confederate and Union troops under constant threat of guerrilla attack and government officials frustrated by unstinting dissent. He demonstrates that, generally, guerrillas were neither the romantic, daring figures of Civil War legend nor mere thieves and murderers, but rather were ordinary men and women who fought to live under a government of their choice and to drive out those who did not share their views.

Recommended Reading: Mountain Partisans: Guerrilla Warfare in the Southern Appalachians, 1861-1865 (Hardcover). Description: This is the story of a civil war within the Civil War. Some highlanders in Southern Appalachia opposed the Confederacy, especially when the South's conscription and impressment policies began to cause severe hardships. Deserters from the Rebel army hid in the mountains and formed guerrilla bands that terrorized unprotected Confederate homesteads. Violence escalated as Rebel guerrillas fought back. The conflict soon took on some of the ugliest aspects of class warfare between poorer mountaineers, and the more well-to-do mountain property owners, who supported the Rebels. Continued...

Mountain Partisans penetrates the shadowy world of Union and Confederate guerrillas, describes their leaders and bloody activities, and explains their effect on the Civil War and the culture of Appalachia. Although it did not alter the outcome of the war, guerrilla conflict affected the way the war was fought. The Union army's experience with guerrilla warfare in the mountains influenced the North's adoption of "hard war" as a strategy used against the South in the last two years of the war and helped shape the army's attitude toward Southern civilians. Partisan warfare in Southern Appalachia left a legacy of self-imposed isolation and distrust of outsiders. Wartime hatreds contributed to a climate of feuds and extralegal vigilantism.


Recommended Reading: Touring the Carolina's Civil War Sites (Touring the Backroads Series). Description: Touring the Carolina's Civil War Sites helps travelers find the Carolinas' famous Civil War battlefields, forts, and memorials, as well as the lesser skirmish sites, homes, and towns that also played a significant role in the war. The book's 19 tours, which cover the 'entire Carolinas,' combine riveting history with clear, concise directions and maps, creating a book that is as fascinating to the armchair reader as it is to the person interested in heritage travel. Below are some examples from this outstanding book:

1. Fort Fisher - the largest sea fort in the war that protected the vital town of Wilmington N.C., and the blockade runners so important for supplying Lee's Army of Northern Virginia.
2. Charleston - where the whole shootin' match started.
3. Bentonville - the last large scale battle of the war.
4. Outer Banks - early Union victories here were vital to capturing many parts of Eastern North Carolina from which the Union could launch several offensives.
5. Sherman's March - the destruction of certain towns in both Carolinas (particularly South Carolina) further weakened the South's will to continue the struggle.
I also enjoyed reading about the locations of various gravesites of Confederate generals and their Civil War service. Indeed, if not for this book, this native North Carolinian and long-time Civil War buff may never have learned of, and visited, the locations of some of the lesser-known sites other than those mentioned above.
Johnson's writing style is smooth--without being overly simplistic--and contains several anecdotes (some humorous ones too) of the interesting events which took place during the Civil War years. Highly recommended!


Recommended Reading: Storm in the Mountains: Thomas' Confederate Legion of Cherokee Indians and Mountaineers (Thomas' Legion: The Sixty-ninth North Carolina Regiment). Description: Vernon H. Crow, Storm in the Mountains, spent 10 years conducting extensive Thomas Legion's research. Crow was granted access to rare manuscripts, special collections, and privately held diaries which add great depth to this rarely discussed Civil War legion. He explores and discusses the unit's formation, fighting history, and life of the legion's commander--Cherokee chief and Confederate colonel--William Holland Thomas. Continued below...

Numerous maps and photographs allow the reader to better understand and relate to the subjects discussed. It also contains rosters which is an added bonus for researchers and genealogists. Crow, furthermore, left no stone unturned while examining the many facets of the Thomas Legion and his research is conveyed on a level that scores with Civil War students and scholars alike.
NEW! North Carolina Troops, 1861-1865: A Roster (Volume XVI: Thomas's Legion) (Hardcover, 537 pages), North Carolina Office of Archives and History (June 26, 2008). Description: The volume begins with an authoritative 246-page history of Thomas's Legion. The history, including Civil War battles and campaigns, is followed by a complete roster and service records of the field officers, staff, and troops that served in the legion. A thorough index completes the volume. Continued below...

Volume XVI of North Carolina Troops: A Roster contains the history and roster of the most unusual North Carolina Confederate Civil War unit, significant because of the large number of Cherokee Indians who served in its ranks. Thomas's Legion was the creation of William Holland Thomas, an influential businessman, state legislator, and Cherokee chief. He initially raised a small battalion of Cherokees in April 1862, and gradually expanded his command with companies of white soldiers raised in western North Carolina, eastern Tennessee, and Virginia. By the end of 1862, Thomas's Legion comprised an infantry regiment and a battalion of infantry and cavalry. An artillery battery was added in April 1863. Furthermore, in General Early's Army of the Valley, the Thomas Legion was well-known for its fighting prowess. It is also known for its pivotal role in the last Civil War battle east of the Mississippi River. The Thomas Legion mustered more than 2,500 soldiers and it closely resembled a brigade. With troop roster, muster records, and Compiled Military Service Records (CMSR) this volume is also a must have for anyone interested in genealogy and researching Civil War ancestors. Simply stated, it is an outstanding source for genealogists.

Try the Search Engine for Related Studies: Battle of Hanging Dog North Carolina Civil War, Skirmish at Hanging Dog Creek Cherokee County NC, North Carolina Mountains Bushwhacker, 69th North Carolina Regiment, Thomas Legion, Mountain Bushwhackers

Return to American Civil War Homepage

Best viewed with Internet Explorer or Google Chrome, pub-2111954512596717, DIRECT, f08c47fec0942fa0