The 25th North Carolina Troops in the Civil War: History and Roster of a Mountain-Bred Regiment
by Carroll C.Jones, McFarland Publishers, 2009, $59.95
As is often the case with Civil War regimental histories, Carroll Jones was spurred to research and write a history of the 25th North Carolina Infantry because his great-great grandfather, William Harrison Hargrove, had been a member of that regiment’s Company F. Moreover, the writer of a 1901 history of the unit, former Lieutenant Garland S. Ferguson, was not only a close friend of Jones’ ancestor but claimed Hargrove had saved his life during one of the unit’s last battles.
Recruited mainly from the mountainous western counties and organized in Asheville in September 1861, the 25th North Carolina divided its time between defending the eastern coast of its home state and battling the Army of the Potomac as part of the Army of Northern Virginia. In that capacity, the 25th took part in the siege of Harpers Ferry and the battles of Antietam and Fredericksburg.After a return to home guard duty, the unit returned to Virginia for the Second Battle of Drewry’s Bluff, then rejoined Robert E. Lee for the Siege of Petersburg and marched from there to final surrender at Appomattox Court House.
Jones puts the 25th North Carolina in context of the major campaigns and includes the “big picture” developments that affected the regiment’s activities in North Carolina—such as Brig. Gen. Robert Ransom Jr.’s effort to retake the port of New Bern and the Battle of Plymouth— which will no doubt appeal to Civil War scholars interested in the rarely covered aspects of the conflict. Laced with 118 photographs, illustrations and maps, and an extensive survey of the lives of a great many of its personnel, this is a worthy addition to McFarland’s growing library of Civil War unit histories.
Originally published in the January 2010 issue of America’s Civil War. To subscribe, click here.