North Carolina was the most reluctant Southern state to join
the secession - NC was the last to break with the Union
Most residents were not slave holders
NC seceded because Lincoln sent 75.000 troops to South Carolina
which was seen as an invasion.
North Carolina had the largest enlistment of any confederate
state, and it also had the largest
army deserter rate
More North Carolinians died than soldiers from any other Confederate
state. 40,000 North Carolinians gave their lives to the Southern
cause either in battle or from disease.
NC sent more troops than any other state in the Confederacy to
fight in the War. 1/6 of the Confederate army were North Carolinians
Men deserted in both armies because the death tolls from battles
were staggering. ex. Gettysburg 3 day, 50,000 casualties.
Zebulon Vance was the Governor of NC during the Civil War and
is known as the War Governor.
- Kept many people supporting the war
- Exempt some job positions from the draft
- Created special funds to help woman left by themselves
- Unionists strong throughout state
- Many choose not to fight in war instead they formed small
outliers or Bushwhackers - those outside the law -
raiding houses and businesses and shooting at the Confederate
army. Deserters joined these bands too. It was due to survival
cause those that were not in the army could be rounded up and
- NC had shifting loyalties
All forts along the coast except Fort Fisher which guarded the
port of Wilmington, seized by Union before North Carolina seceded.
- Many slaves ran away to coastal area to join Union army
and to escape slavery
There were not a lot of battles in the state.
- General Johnson was the commander of the Confederate army
in North Carolina.
- The battle of Bentonville was fought in 1865 to keep Sherman
from Goldsboro and consequently from Raleigh as long as possible.
The Confederates kept Sherman's advancing troops at bay for
3 hours with very little to fight with. However, when General
Johnson heard that Goldsboro had fell to the Union, the battle
was over. General Johnson's troops abandoned Bentonville on
March 15. On April 14, 1865, General Johnson surrendered Confederate
troops to General Sherman at Hillsborough NC. It occurred shortly
after Lee surrendered at Appomattox.
- Fighting continued in the
western mountains after the surrender.
The Confederacy made their last stand. On April 25, 1865 Col.
George Kirk took Asheville, the last remaining Confederate Stronghold
in WNC. Then fought a few skirmishes against William Thomas's
Cherokee Indians. NC was the last to join the Confederacy
and the last to stop fighting the war.
North Carolina Civil War Battlefields & Museums for more
Conscription Act of 1862 caused many North Carolinians to turn
against the war.