The First North Carolina Volunteers and the battle of Bethel.
[This compilation, of special interest to North Carolina veterans, has been furnished the editor by an early field officer of the First North Carolina Regiment, and is published for the value of its contemporaneous detail and as a memorial of a gallent regiment and its distinguished officers.]
[From the Western (Charlotte, N. C.,) Democrat, May 21, 1861.]
First regiment (N. C.) Volunteers.This regiment is now complete, and three companies of it left Raleigh on Saturday last for Virginia. The balance will follow on Tuesday. The following are the officers of the regiment: Daniel H. Hill, colonel. C. C. Lee, lieutenant-colonel. J. H. Lane, major. J. M. Poteat, adjutant. John Henry Wayt, commissary. Dr. Peter Hines, surgeon. Drs. Haywood and Moore, assistant surgeons. Rev. Edwin A. Yates, chaplain. Messrs. Wayt and Yates were appointed from the ranks of the Hornets' Nest Riflemen. A change has been made in the companies composing the regiment. The Fayetteville Independent company has been substituted for the Randalsburg Riflemen, so the regiment stands thus: A—Edgecombe Guards—Captain Bridgers. B—Hornets' Nest Rifles—Captain Williams. C—Charlotte Grays—Captain Ross. D—Orange Light Infantry—Captain Ashe. E—Buncombe Riflemen—Captain McDowell. F—La Fayette Light Infantry—Captain Starr. G—Burke Rifles—Captain Avery. H—Fayetteville Independent Light Infantry—Captain Huske. I—Enfield Blues—Captain Bell. K—Southern Stars—Captain Hoke. This regiment is said to be the finest-looking body of men ever assembled in the State.
The First regiment (N. C.) Volunteers. [Western Democrat, May 28, 1861.]Seven companies of this regiment left Raleigh on Tuesday for Richmond, under command of Lieutenant-Colonel Lee (three companies having previously gone forward under Colonel Hill). A large number (mostly the acquaintances of the members of the different companies) assembled at the Raleigh depot to see the regiment off. Among the spectators there were about thirty patriotic Raleigh ladies, who showered boquets into the ranks of the soldiers and cheered with all their might. The gallant soldiers all seemed to have lighter hearts than their friends who bid them farewell; there were tears in the eyes of many of the spectators, but not one in the eye of a soldier. They left firmly resolved to do their duty, and every man appeared anxious to get nearer to the scene of war. In the day of battle we are confident this regiment will prove an honor to the old North State and to themselves. The regiment arrived at Petersburg on Tuesday evening, which the Petersburg Express notices as follows:
The remainder of the First Regiment of North Carolina Volunteers, numbering seven companies and over seven hundred men, reached this city last night, in extra trains, about 8 o'clock. For several hours before their arrival large numbers of citizens of all ages, sexes, classes and conditions commenced to congregate, until the appearance of the trains, when the vast square in front of the hotel and the hotel itself were packed completely with anxious, eager beings. The porticos and windows of the hotel were radiant with the beauty and grace of the city, who, with that beautiful patience for which woman is so justly celebrated, waited without murmur or disaffection the arrival of those whom they wished to encourage by all the evidences they could display. But, alas! the lateness of the hour and the hurry of the moment, played havoc with those sweet testimonials of regard and approval, the boquets, of which we noticed any quantity. To the mutual disappointment of ladies and soldiers, they were compelled to shed their fragrance in the fair hands that gathered and bore them thither. Without drawing invidious distinctions, we must say that this is the best equipped regiment which has yet made its route through our city. Everything seems to have been provided for them that a soldier could desire—arms, accoutrements, knapsacks, haversacks,  canteens; in fact nothing is wanting. They were met at the depot by the ‘Cockade Cadets’ and the ‘Home Cavalry,’ and left for Richmond about eleven o'clock.
Since the above letter was written the regiment has been ordered to Yorktown, and left Richmond on Friday night for that place.
Fast day. [Richmond Dispatch, Thursday morning, June 13, 1861.]This day, appointed by President Davis as a day of fasting and prayer, will, we trust, be universally observed throughout the Confederate States. We again repeat our hope that all places of business and amusement will be closed. No paper will be issued from this office to-morrow.
The glorious victory.We have the satisfaction to-day of publishing reliable accounts of the glorious triumph of our army on the Peninsula. Our letters are from perfectly reliable sources, several of them being from gentlemen connected with this office—one of them, Mr. H. C. Tinsley, a member of the Howitzers, who was present in the engagement, and, we learn, bore himself gallantly. It is one of the most extraordinary victories in the annals of war. Four thousand thoroughly drilled and equipped troops routed and driven from the field by only eleven hundred men! Two hundred of the enemy killed, and on our side but one life lost! Does not the hand of God seem manifest in this thing? From the attack upon Fort Sumter to the present moment the preservation of Southern life amidst such murderous assaults as have been made by the enemy seems little less than miraculous. Surely, in the religious exercises of this day, many a heart will exclaim, with devout thanksgiving to God,‘Not unto us, not unto us, but unto Thy great name be the glory.’ The courage and conduct of the noble sons of the South engaged in this battle are beyond all praise. They have crowned the name of their country with imperishable lustre and made their own names immortal. With odds of four to one against them, they have achieved a complete victory, putting their enemies to inglorious flight, and giving the world a brilliant pledge of the manner in which the South can defend its firesides and altars. The North has won its battles on paper—the South is content to achieve hers in the field. Let us invoke our heroic soldiers not to permit this splendid success in any way to relax their vigilance and their energy. Let them be as prudent as they are brave, as vigilant as they are determined, and all is secure. Let them omit no preparation, no watchfulness, no precaution which the presence of the bravest enemy might require.  In one word, let them always ‘trust in God and keep their powder dry,’ and our soil will soon be delivered from the boastful braggarts who have dared to pollute it.
Our recent brilliant victory. [Raleigh Standard, June, 1861.]The letter of Colonel Hill, in another column, announcing his recent brilliant victory over the enemy, was recurred to in the Convention on Wednesday with every demonstration of joy. On motion of Mr. Badger the Convention unanimously returned its thanks to the Governor for the information communicated of this glorious result, and assured him of its wish to unite with him in such testimonials to Colonel Hill, and the men under his command, as may be thought appropriate and worthy of the State and of them. Connected with this victory, we cannot refrain from alluding to some incidents suggested by the participation of some of the companies in the conflict. The Fayetteville Independent Light Infantry was formed in 1793 under the administration of Washington; and it was but fit that it should bear a prominent part in achieving the first decisive triumph on Virginia soil defending the grave of Washington, whom, when in life, it was organized to protect from the assaults of Citizen Genet, of France. The Lafayette Light Infantry, of the same town, was organized a few years ago to perpetuate the memory of Lafayette; and it was but fit that it should ‘flesh its maiden sword’ and achieve its first triumph at Yorktown, the field in which the noble Lafayette earned his brightest laurels and highest military renown. Yorktown — the scene of the surrender of Cornwallis to Washington — is made more memorable by the first victory in this war, achieved mainly by North Carolinians. Mecklenburg, too, whose citizens raised the first cry of Independence in 1775, was represented by the Hornets' Nest Rifles and the Charlotte Greys. McDowell, the lineal descendant of one of the heroes of King's Mountain, led the Buncombe Rifles; Avery, the grandson of the first Attorney-General of the State, led the Burke Rifles; Ashe, who inherits a revolutionary name, led the Orange Light Infantry; and the gallant Bridgers, leading the Edgecombe Braves, had in his ranks an Owen, whose paternal and maternal grandfathers, Porterfield and Owen, did such signal service on the battle-fields of North and South Carolina in the old revolution. We regret that we lack the necessary information to continue these allusions, but, from the colonel to the private, they all bore themselves like heroes. Honor to them now and hereafter! The old State is  proud of them all, and she will look to see the other regiments emulate the conduct of the glorious First, commanded by Colonel Hill. We cannot close this week's notice of the Bethel regiment more appropriately than by publishing the following
Lines addressed to the First regiment of North Carolina Volunteers.
by Luola.We miss you from the cottage door,
We miss you from the lordly hall,
And bitter tears at parting shed,
For loved ones yet in silence fall.
We miss you at the morning prayer,
We miss you at the noonday meal,
And yearning hearts to you go forth,
When twilight shades around us steal.
The fond young bride all tearfully
Turns from the cottage door away,
Where still she goes, alas! in vain,
To meet her love at close of day.
And o'er helpless little flock,
Does many a wife in silence bend;
With heart too fill for words she pleads
That God would peace and safety send.
The widow's heart in broken prayers,
Follows alike through night and day,
The prop of her declining years—
Her absent boy, far, far away!
The blushing maiden fondly dwells
Upon the parting moment, sad,
And prays that Heaven in camp and field,
Would bless and shield her soldier lad.
Ah yes, we miss you, yet no heart
In all the thousand homes you've left,
It matters not how deeply tried,
It matters not how much bereft,
Would bring a son or brother home—
Husband, or lover, would recall;
No! rather on the battle-field
In duty's path we'd have you fall!
 On, on, brave hearts, your cause is just
And right and justice must prevail;
As soon might straws attempt to stay
The torrent wild—the sweeping gale—
As hirelings of the North drive back
Men with such hands and hearts as yours;
Go meet the invaders at their camp,
Let not their feet defile our shores!
Woe to the craven who shall fail
His country in her hour of need;
Who turns a deafened ear away
And will not to her rescue speed.
Not to the swift the race is due—
The victory given to the strong—
The ‘God of Battles’ is our trust,
We and our cause to Him belong.
There is no word for you like ‘fail;’
They never, never can subdue
Your gallant band, if you to God,
Your country and yourselves are true.
Gov. Ellis' letter to the North Carolina Convention.
General Hill's Dispatch.
General Hill's full report.