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Number of North Carolina troops in the C. S. Army. [Raleigh, N. C, news and observer]

To the Editor.
Some one has recently started on the rounds a statement attributed to Major J. B. Neathery, private secretary to Governor Caldwell, that North Carolina furnished only 80,000 men to the Confederate Army. This statement has disturbed some of our editors. Among these, that venerable editor whom all true North Carolinians delight to honor, Dr. T. B. Kingsbury, of the Wilmington Messenger, has called for its refutation. Now, Dr. Kingsbury has done so much for the truth of North Carolina history that he cannot remember all that he has done. Fortunately much of his good work has been printed. Twenty-seven years ago he first published Major [296] Neathery's figures, but he published what Major Neathery did say, not what some one reported him as saying.

I find in ‘Our Living and Our Dead’ for June, 1875, an editorial signed by Dr. Kingsbury, in which the Doctor uses these words:

‘When we were connected with the Raleigh Sentinel, we stated that we had heard it estimated that North Carolina had furnished as many as 103,000 troops (independent of the Home Guards and Reserves) and then asked if any one could supply us with the exact number. This inquiry brought us an answer the next day from John B. Neathery, Esq. We avail ourselves of the statistics kindly furnished, as we wish to place them among permanent records of our magazine.’

On November 19, 1864, General R. C. Gatlin, Adjutant-General of the State, made an official report to Hon. Z. B. Vance, then Governor, in which the following numbers are given:

Number of troops transferred to Confederate States according to original rolls on file in this office64,636
Number of conscripts as per report of commandant of conscripts, dated September 30, 186418,585
Estimated number of recruits that have volunteered in the different companies since the date of the original rolls21,608
Number of troops in the State service for the war3,203
——
Total number of troops108,032
To these must be added:
Number of Junior Reserves4,217
Number of Senior Reserves.5,6869,903
——
117,935
Number of troops in unattached companies and serving in regiments from other States3,103
——
121,038
Home Guards and militia3,962
——
125,000

This official report from so accurate an officer as General Gatlin, ought to settle this matter for all time.

D. H. Hill. Raleigh, N. C., August 6, 1900.

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