Lately, I’ve been working on a summary of the role of Tar Heels regiments in the war, and I’ve made, at least to me, an interesting observation. Prior to the battle of Seven Pines, the principal Confederate army in Virginia (Joe Johnston’s Army of the Potomac), contained just 18 North Carolina regiments. These regiments were scattered thoughout the army, save for Branch’s brigade – the only all Tar Heel brigade with the army.
Of course, many of you know the rest of the story. Johnston is wounded at Seven Pines, and Jefferson Davis places Robert E. Lee in command. Lee brings forces from all the Southern Confederacy to build the army. By the time of the Seven Days battles, Lee’s army has 38 Tar Heel regiments. Not only does Branch command an all- Tar Heel brigade, but so do George B. Anderson, Samuel Garland, Robert Ransom, and, save for the 2nd Arkansas Battalion, William D. Pender.
Just something to ponder.