14th Regiment North Carolina Volunteers
Deaths From Diseases, Fall, 1861

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    14th Regiment North Carolina Volunteers
    Deaths From Diseases, Fall, 1861
    North Carolina Standard
    October 9, 1861
    A friend sends us the following extract of a letter from a member of the 
    14th Regiment N.C. Volunteers—
    We are in great trouble.  By the mismanagement of Generals Floyd and Wise, 
    we have been without sugar and coffee for a week and are now called upon to 
    leave our baggage and part of our tents.  They had a fight at Gauley(?) Ganley(?) 
    on the 10th – repulsed the Yankees with great loss and then retreated.  We 
    should have been with them and secured a glorious victory (for several hundred 
    of the enemy were killed), but for General Floyd’s orders to remain behind.  
    As it was, we marched 21 miles in one day to reinforce him and then were 
    stopped and walked back seven miles to this place where we entrench and I 
    hope will give them battle if they dare to advance upon us.  Ector of Georgia 
    and our colonel will fight them if they have any chance—but God deliver men 
    from broken down politicians with their jealousy and stupidity; we have Wise 
    and Floyd both!!  Our regiment elicits universal praise and are daily more 
    attached to our colonel in whom we have entire confidence.  I have no fears 
    of their not behaving well in battle.  Our state furnished us nobly and now from 
    mismanagement of Virginians we are to be stripped of all.  The Manassas line 
    seems to absorb all attention and we are left un-noticed.
    North Carolina Standard
    October 16, 1861
    Colonel Clarke’s Report
    Letter from Camp Defiance
    October 8, 1861
    14th N.C. Regiment
    We are encamped now two weeks in the presence of the enemy without tents 
    or a change of clothing and three days out of five it has rained as I never saw it 
    rain.  On the 24th last, we were ordered to march to this place without tents or 
    baggage and with 24 hours provisions in our haversacks for the purpose of 
    relieving General West who in consequence of disobeying General Floyd’s 
    orders to fall back to Meadow Bluff and was suddenly attacked by an overwhelming 
    force of the enemy under General Rosencranz—and but for our timely aid would 
    have been totally routed. 
    The next day was spent in throwing up breastworks and preparing to receive an 
    attack from the enemy who was supposed to number 10,000 to 20,000.  The 
    14th was eager for a fight and if we would have been attacked we would have 
    given the Federals a repetition of Manassas.  As day after day and night after 
    night of drenching rains passed by our fellows began to clamor for an attack.  
    They demanded to be led against the foe.
    The 14th N.C. and the 13th Ga., who are commanded by Colonel Ector and 
    brigaded with us, volunteered to take the batteries but for some reason General 
    Lee would not give battle.  The position of the enemy on the summit of Sewell 
    was known to be very strong by nature and was supposed to be fortified and the 
    general hesitated perhaps, to take it with the comparatively undisciplined forces 
    under his command.  
    We have remained inactive and our numbers were daily diminished by the terrible 
    exposure to which we have suffered.  Meanwhile, we were joined by troops from 
    Georgia, Tennessee and Mississippi until our force was supposed to be equal to 
    if not superior to the enemy.  Still, beyond some scouting and a great deal of 
    riding around by the cavalry, nothing was done but to fall sick and die.
    The game now seemed to be which army could outwait the other.  Separated by 
    scarcely two miles, and in full sight of each other, we ate, drank and slept as if 
    we were two divisions of the same army, waiting for the approach of the common 
    enemy.  This was the position of things when at daybreak last Sunday morning 
    our scouts discovered that the enemy had broken up their camp and were in full retreat.
    Now we expected to be ordered forward and were anticipating battle and with 
    the aid of Ganley(?) River, swollen by the recent rains, a complete victory.  But 
    this is the third day and we are still in the mud, deeper than ever, while it rains 
    so hard as to destroy all our fires.  We cannot move for we have no transport.  
    Our hopes of wintering in Charleston are growing smaller by degrees and the 
    dreary land of backward march to Sulphur Springs and Jackson’s River Depot 
    seems to be our destination.  I begin to feel the 14th will never see a fight.
    North Carolina Standard
    October 30, 1861
    We are requested to state that a special messenger will leave this city in a few 
    weeks for the camp of the 14th Regiment of (Col. Clarke’s), now in western 
    Virginia.  All persons who care to send boxes to that regiment can have them 
    forwarded by sending them to the care of James M. Towles, Esq., of this city.  
    Let them be carefully packed, properly labeled and all expenses up to their 
    delivery to Mr. Towles.  The suffering of this regiment demands immediate attention.
    North Carolina Standard
    November 20, 1861
    14th Regiment, Camp Fisher
    Near Meadow Bluff, Virginia
    250 miles west of Richmond
    November 5, 1861
    Knowing the great anxiety that is felt by many of the people of North Carolina 
    regarding the 14th Regiment I will try to give a true state of our condition 
    believing that the truth, though sad indeed, will fall far short of the reports in 
    Since the organization of the regiment we have lost by death sixty men, instead 
    of the 250 reported.  Of these, nine died in North Carolina.  One was murdered 
    there while absent from the regiment.  Another was killed at Big Sewell Mountain 
    by mistake when he was on picket duty.  Fifty eight men have died of disease 
    out of 813 which is about one in five.  We have lost also two officers, out of 39.  
    This is a large mortality but our regiment has not suffered more than others.
    We have changed climates and mode of living too quickly and this, with other 
    accidental causes, has produced these appalling results.
    The regiment was organized at Garysburg, N.C. on the 16th July last.  It is 
    composed of three from Johnston County, two from Person County, one from 
    Franklin County, one from Cumberland County, one from Robeson County, one 
    from Onslow County and one from Beaufort.  This last company, on account of 
    sickness, was detached before we left N.C. and only nine companies marched to 
    Virginia.  We were delayed until the 18th August, in consequence of the difficulty 
    obtaining clothing and camp equipage.  At that time most of the companies had 
    been eight weeks exposed to the malaria of the Roanoke swamps.  About half 
    the men were enfeebled by measles, mumps, and pneumonia.  Some 56 were 
    left with one of the surgeons of the regiment at Weldon and about half the same 
    number of convalescents were sent home to recruit their strength and the 
    remainder proceeded to Richmond.
    It commenced raining on us at Petersburg and we pitched our tents in Richmond in 
    a storm.  In consequence of this exposure, several men just out of measles 
    sickened and were left behind when we left that city after a stay of two days.  
    We proceeded to this place leaving sick men at every point we stopped at.  
    Our subsequent service has been in an uncongenial climate during an unusually 
    rainy season.  It is hardly an exaggeration to say that we have not at any time 
    until quite recently passed more than three days without rain.
    On our first advance from this place to Anderson’s beyond Big Sewell (9-11) was 
    a forced march of about 23 miles and a part of this was in rain, to reinforce 
    General Floyd at Gauley(?) but we were unfortunate about 36 hours too late as 
    he had repulsed the enemy and then fallen back.
    While we were on big Sewell working parties were engaged fortifying a part of
     the time in the rain.  Our march from that place back to this (9-18) was in the night.  
    It commenced raining soon after we started and rained upon us most of the night 
    and for about three hours of the time very hard.  The roads were very  muddy and
     we reached camp the next morning very exhausted.
    The consequence was a rapid increase in our sick list; and when we marched back 
    to Big Sewell to rescue General Wise (9-24) I was compelled to leave behind in 
    camp more than one hundred sick men.  
    We were ordered to march without baggage or tents and while there, from the night 
    of the 24th September to 17th October we were exposed for a part of the time to 
    the weather, without tents.  It rained upon us while we had no shelter except such 
    as we could hastily erect in the woods for three days.  
    At first we were short of provisions, having carried only a day’s supply in our 
    haversacks.  We had neither coffee or whiskey to stimulate us and part of the time 
    the rain was so violent as to extinguish our fires and this too, in a raw, cold mountain 
    climate.  When our tents arrived we could obtain no straw to put in them and until the 
    men could split chestnut logs and floor their tents they slept on the bare ground.  
    During this time the men were constantly exposed, erecting breastworks and 
    standing guard, sentinels or pickets.  The latter duty, in addition to the danger, 
    is very unpleasant as no fire or light is allowed.  The breast works erected by our 
    brigade at this time would encircle the good city of Raleigh entirely with a wall 
    composed of earth and stone and timber four feet thick and six feet high.
    A few days after the retreat of the enemy, having a very large sick list and no chance 
    for a fight, I applied to General Lee for leave to fall back to this place, which was 
    granted.  Dr. Brown resigned on account of ill health and left us on the 31st ult.  
    Drs. Wilson and Duffy have both been quite sick with the prevailing fever.
    William J. Clarke, Colonel Commanding 14th Regiment
    List of Deaths in the 14th Regiment
    Pte. Frank Frizell, Duffy Co., July 1, Garysburg, N.C.
    Pte. Thomas Williams, Bloechin’s(?) Co., Aug. 14, Weldon, N.C.
    Pte. Neil H. McNeill, Love’s Co., Sept. 7, Flo- - College, N.C.
    Pte. Washington Strickland, Lane’s Co., Sept. 19(?), Johnston Co., N.C.
    Pte. Simon Wilkins, Lane’s Co., Aug. 19, Johnston Co., N.C.
    Pte. Ariel Moselwhite, Love’s Co., Aug. 21, Weldon, N.C.
    Pte. William Capps, Lane’s Co., Aug. 26, Greenwood, Va.
    Sgt. Lester(?) Ruffin, Lane’s Co., Aug. 28, Johnston Co., N.C.
    Pte. Maj. P - - - - rton, Lane’s Co., Aug. 29, Johnston Co., N.C.
    Pte. John Campbell, Love’s Co., Sept. 15, Fl- - al College, N.C.
    Pte. Simeon(?) Stephenson, Woodall’s Co., Sept. 14(?), Lewisburg, Va.
    Pte. John Reese, Duffy’s Co., Sept. 21, Lewisburg, Va.
    Pte. Lewis B. Criswell, Crockett’s Co., Sept. 23, Meadow Bluff, Va.
    Pte. Larry Dow(?) Dew(?), Blocker’s Co., Sept. 30, Sulphur, Va.
    Pte. Dillon Horn, Blocker’s Co., Sept. 30, Sulphur, Va.
    Pte. Alsey(?) Parnold(?), Woodall’s Co., Sept. 30, Meadow Bluff, Va.
    Sgt. MartinT. Durham, Woodall’s Co., Oct. 1, Meadow Bluff, Va.
    Pte. Jacob Dougherty, Lane’s Co., Oct. 2, Meadow Bluff, Va.
    Pte. Morgan Ross, Love’s Co., Oct. 2, Meadow Bluff, Va.
    Pte. David Ganns(?) Ganus(?), Lane’s Co., Oct. 4, Mt. Sewell, Va.
    Pte. Samuel R. Stallings, Spivey’s Co., Oct. 7, Mt. Sewell, Va.
    Pte. Radford B - - tan, Dillehay’s Co., Oct. 7, Meadow Bluff, Va.
    Pte. Pinckney Henderson, Duffy’s Co., Oct. 9, Lewisburgh, Va.
    Pte. William Turner, Crockett’s Co., Oct. 8, Mt. Sewell, Va.
    Pte. Daniel A. Connly, Love’s Company, Oct. 10, Meadow Bluff, Va.
    Pte. James A. Currie, Love’s Co., Oct. 10, Meadow Bluff, Va.
    Pte. William Conely, Love’s Co., Oct. 12, Meadow Bluff, Va.
    Pte. John Barnes, Bloecker’s Co., Oct. 12, Meadow Bluff, Va.
    Pte. Richard P. Freeman, Bloecker’s Co., Oct. 13, Meadow Bluff, Va.
    Pte. James Edge(?), Bloecker’s Co., Oct. 14, Meadow Bluff, Va.
    Pte. George W. Massingill, Lane’s Co., Oct. 18, White Sulphur, Va.
    Corp. William B. Royal, Woodall’s Company, Oct. 18, White Sulphur, Va.
    Pte. Robert Burton, Dillahay’s Co., Oct. 16, Blue Sulphur, Va.
    Pte. Feeny W. Richardson, Crockett’s Co., Oct. 17, Meadow Bluff, Va.
    1st Sgt. John R. Shaw, Bloecker’s Co., Oct. 17, Meadow Bluff, Va.
    Pte. Leonard Faircloth(?), Bloecker’s Co., Oct. 17, White Sulphur, Va.
    Pte. S.P. Tucaple(?), Woodall’s Co., Oct. 19, Meadow Bluff, Va.
    Pte. Neil A. Clarke, Love’s Co., Oct. 21, Blue Sulphur, Va.
    Pte. James Co - - ter, Bloecker’s Co., Oct. 22, Blue Sulphur, Va.
    Pte. Lewis N. Frazell, Duffy’s Co., Oct. 24, Meadow Bluff, Va.
    Pte. William H. Harnes, Crockett’s Co., Oct. 25, Blue Sulphur, Va.
    Pte. Daniel Bun(?), Bloecker’s Co., Oct. 26, Blue Sulphur, Va.
    Pte. John E. Thompson, Lane’s Co., Oct. 27, Blue Sulphur, Va.
    Pte. Abner Woodall, Woodall’s Co., Oct. 17, Blue Sulphur, Va.
    1st Sgt. John R. Shaw, Bloecker’s Co., Oct. 17, Meadow Bluff, Va.
    Pte. Lovett Grantham, Lane’s Co., no date given
    Pte. John R. Hugh, Woodall’s Co., Oct. 29, Meadow Bluff, Va.
    Pte. Frank Pearce, Lane’s Co., Oct. 30, Blue Sulphur, Va.
    Pte. Samuel S. Carson, Harris’ Co., Oct. 22, Blue Sulphur, Va.
    Pte. Samuel Y. Malone, Harris’ Co., Oct. 28, Blue Sulphur, Va.
    Pte. John W. Stovall, Harris’ Co., Oct. 30, Meadow Bluff, Va.
    Pte. James H. Brown, Duffy’s Co., Oct. 20(?) 30(?), Blue Sulphur, Va.
    Pte. Levi Green, Crockett’s Co., Oct. 26, White Sulphur, Va.
    Pte. Henry Ellis, Crockett’s Co., Oct. 20, Blue Sulphur, Va.
    Pte. John Townsend, Dillehay’s Co., Oct. 26, Meadow Bluff, Va.
    Pte. Thomas J. Edwards, Lane’s Co., November 1, Meadow Bluff, Va.
    Pte. James H. Neal, Harris’ Co., Nov. 4, Meadow Bluff, Va.
    Pte. Oliver M. White, Love’s Co., Nov. 4, Meadow Bluff, Va.
    Pte. Founer(?) Perry, Spivey’s Co., November 4, Meadow Bluff, Va.
    Pte. Edward Lewis, Spivey’s Co., Nov. 3, Meadow Bluff, Va.
    Quartermaster Sergeant Charles D. Clarke, Nov. 13, Blue Sulphur, Va.
    3rd Lt. William H. Perry, Woodall’s Co., Oct. 15, Meadow Bluff, Va.
    3rd Lt. James H. Young, Crockett’s Co., Oct. 27, Blue Sulphur, Va.

    Transcribed by Christine Spencer, May, 2007

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