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CWT Book Review: The 28th North Carolina Infantry

By Jon Guttman
3/16/2018 • Civil War Times Magazine

The 28th North Carolina Infantry: A Civil War History and Roster

by Francis H. Casstevens, McFarland & Company

At first divided over secession, North Carolina threw its lot in with the Confederacy on May 20, 1861, rather than participate in the invasion of its rebellious neighbor, South Carolina. Once committed, the state contributed heavily to the Cause, and the 28th Regiment, North Carolina Volunteer Infantry, was no exception. Formed of 10 militia companies from Surry, Gaston, Catawba, Stanly, Montgomery, Yadkin, Orange and Cleveland counties, the regiment had a belated and ineffective combat debut in defending its home soil against Brig. Gen. Ambrose Burnside’s seizure of New Bern (see P. 24) on March 14, 1862. Then the unit was ordered to Virginia, where it would spend the rest of the war as part of Maj. Gen. A.P. Hill’s Light Division.

Frances Casstevens’ discovery of letters from two great-uncles— Samuel and Greenberry Harding— led her to write the history of their regiment. The result reflects meticulous research and combines the writings of regimental personnel on their experiences, from camp life to the terrors of combat, with a parallel look at the “big picture” of the events in which the 28th North Carolina was caught up.

The book suffers from some minor errors indicative of lax editing. But overall its treatment of the regiment’s “life and times” makes it a slight cut above the standard reference amid the ever-growing library of unit histories.

 

Originally published in the February 2009 issue of Civil War Times. To subscribe, click here

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