I had a great time this past weekend at the Franklin reunion in Linville Falls. I had a chance to talk to many people who had ancestors who served in various North Carolina regiments, and it was great to meet all of them.
I’ll be speaking tonight at the Col. John B. Palmer Camp of the Sons of Confederate Veterans in Burnsville. Next Monday, I’ll be speaking at the SCV Camp in Haywood County - they meet at the fire department in Clyde. On Tuesday, I’ll be at a book festival in Rutherfordton, at the historic church there - St. John’s I believe.
Still researching more than I am writing. The researching should come to an end very soon, even though I’ll still be on the hunt until the day I turn in the manuscript.
For the past few days, I’ve been trying to tackle the whole conscription event. Conscription is largely the reason for why we have a 58th North Carolina.
I’ve searched through a lot of books trying to gain a better understanding, including:
Weitz - More Damning than Slaughter
Trotter - Bushwhackers
Inscoe and McKinney - The Heart of Confederate Appalachia
Hilderman - They Went into the Fight Cheering
Wert - "Confederate Conscription Woes" CWTI
Johnston - Zebulon Vance Papers
Yearns and Barrett - North Carolina Civil War Documentary
Thomas - The Confederate Nation
Yearns - The Confederate Congress
Rable - The Confederate Republic
Moore - Confederate Conscription
McPherson - The Battle Cry of Freedom
I am no fan of McPherson. However, it is in the latter that I found this:
The main purpose of conscription was to stimulate volunteering by the threat of coercion rather than by its actual use.
That is just what happened with the 58th NCT. One company, the Mitchell Rangers, already existed. Another, the one from Caldwell County that was recruited for Vance’s Legion, was a by-product of conscription. Eight other companies (there were twelve in the 58th NCT) were recruited prior to the cutoff date for volunteering. The last two, L and M, were made up of conscripts, forced into service.
I wonder if any of the other regiments mustered into service after April 1862, follow this same steps? All I need is yet another project.