So I wonder, who was "OLD JOHNNY REB" from Loafer's Glory (Mitchell County, NC)? Probably served in either the 6th or 16th Regiments.
Genesis of "Soreback"
Originated at Chancellorsville When Tar Heels Ran Over Virginiains.
To the Editor of The Observer:
In your issue of the 18th you state that you cannot give the origin of the term "soreback" as applied to Virginities. The epithet originated at the battle of Chancellorsville May 1863. After General Jackson was wounded, Gen. J. E. B. Stewart assumed command of Jackson's corps and the next morning ordered an advance on the enemy's position. I think this was May 3d.
The front line of Confederate troops were Virginians, commanded by General A., and the second line commanded by Gen. R., were Tar Heels. After advancing a short distance the enemy opened a terrific fire on the advancing Confederates which caused the Virginians to lie down and hug the ground and refuse to assault the enemy's position. General Stewart then ordered General R. to advance-"run over the Virginians and stamp them into the earth."
The Tar heels obeyed the order to the letter and carried the enemy's line, and from every Tar Heel in that line who was so fortunate as to have a pair of shoes on some Virginian received a sore back. Fortunately, many of the Tar Heel boys were bare-footed and could not do as effective work as it they had been well shod, but they did the best they could.
Such was the origin of the term "soreback" for Virginians.
OLD JOHNNY REB
Loafer's Glory, N. C., April 23
~Charlotte Observer 24 April 1912.