In conjunction with the 150th anniversary of the shelling of Fort Sumter, the event that marked the beginning of the Civil War, the Historical Publications Section of the Office of Archives and History announces publication of Volume XVIII: Senior Reserves and Detailed Men in the popular North Carolina Troops, 1861–1865: A Roster series, edited by Matthew M. Brown and Michael W. Coffey.
The Senior Reserves were men between the ages of 45 and 50, drafted in the last year of the war, as the Confederacy faced a disastrous shortfall in manpower. The average life expectancy for white males in America in 1864 was 40 years, so these men were called upon to serve in their twilight. Between the spring and fall of 1864, North Carolina raised five regiments, four battalions, and two independent companies of Senior Reserves. These men guarded bridges and depots, rounded up deserters, and guarded prisoners at Salisbury and elsewhere. The exigencies of the war drew them into active service, some in South Carolina with General Hardee as he attempted to hold off the Federal advance to North Carolina; some in defense of Fort Fisher, south of Wilmington; and some at Bentonville, the last major battle of the war.
Also in the last year of the war, the Confederate government decided that it could no longer afford to have white men working “on detail” in ordnance works, quartermaster service, recruiting service, or other non-combat operations. In the fall of 1864, North Carolina began organizing its detailed men into military units. Eventually, three regiments, two battalions, and an independent company were organized from the detailed men in the state, but the war ended before they had an opportunity to participate in combat.
An authoritative 114-page history of the Senior Reserves begins the volume. The history is followed by a complete roster and service records of the officers and men that served in the Senior Reserves. The service records include important information such as full name, rank, county of birth and residence, occupation, place and date of enlistment, age, whether the individual was wounded, captured, hospitalized, paroled, transferred, or promoted and whether or not he died during the war or survived. A 19-page history of the Detailed Men is followed by a complete roster and service records of the officers and men that served in those units. A detailed index completes the volume.
Matthew M. Brown received a B.A. in history from the University of Virginia and a J.D. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Michael W. Coffey received a Ph.D. in history from the University of Southern Mississippi.
North Carolina Troops, 1861–1865: A Roster, Volume XVIII: Senior Reserves and Detailed Men (hardbound; pp. xvi, 499; illustrated, index) costs $64.65, which includes shipping and tax. Order from the Historical Publications Section (AB), Office of Archives and History, 4622 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, NC 27699-4622. For credit card orders call (919) 733-7442, ext. 0, or visit the section’s secure online store at http://nc-historical-publications.stores.yahoo.net/. Volume XVIII is also available in local bookstores and through Amazon.com.
During the month of April, you can also purchase a set of volumes I-XVIII of North Carolina Troops, 1861-1865: A Roster for $600.00 (plus shipping and tax). This special price represents a savings of $300.00 off the cost of purchasing all eighteen volumes individually.