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Histories of the several regiments and battalions from North Carolina, in the great war 1861-'65 online

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ment — we will be charitable on this point.

General Martin, in his report to the Governor in November,
1862, says: "Some articles are very difficult to be obtained at
any price', especially blankets and shoes. In regard to shoes.

26 North Carolina Troops, 1861-65.

there are materials enough in the State to supply all that are
required for our own troops and citizens at reasonable prices,
provided the agents of the Confederate States do not come into
competition with us and speculators can be prevented from tak-
ing them out of the State."

Governor Vance, in his message to the Legislature in Novem-
ber, 1862, says in regard to clothing: "I beg to call your atten-
tion to the great and almost insurmountable difficulties encoun-
tered by the Quartermaster's Department in providing clothing,
shoes and blankets for our troops. During the administration
of my predecessor an arrangement was entered into, according
to a resolution of the General Assembly, with the Quartermas-
ter's Department Confederate States Army, by which North
Carolina was to receive commutation for clothing her troops, and
clothe and shoe them herself. And on our agreeing to sell to
the Confederate States all the surplus supplies that could be pro-
cured in the State, they agreed to withdraw their agents from
our markets and leave the State the whole field without com-
petition. This would have enabled the State to clothe and shoe
her troops comfortably, and it could have furnished to the Confed-
erate States all that was to be had anyhow at reasonable rates;
but it was immediately violated. The country was soon and is
still swarming with agents of the Confederate States, stripping
bare our markets and putting enormous prices upon our agents.
This is especially the case in regard to shoes and leather. The
consequence has been our troops could not get half supplies from
home and nothing at all from the Confederate Government be-
cause of our agreement to furnish them ourselves."

Notwithstanding the difficulties encountered, as above stated,
the operations of the Quartermaster's Department for the twelve
months commencing October 1, 1861, and ending September 30,
1862, were very large and, all things considered, very satis-

General Martin, in his report to the Governor, says the dis-
bursements for the year are as follows (we omit cents):

Organization or Troops. 27

Clothing, ....


Camp and garrison equipage,


Mules, wagons and harness,




Horses for two regiments of cavalry,




Miscellaneous, consisting of trans-

portation, buildings, hospital ex-

penses, etc., ....


Pay of troops.


Bounty, .....



Showing a total for the department for the year of over four
and a half million dollars.

We will now copy a statement of the issues of clothing, camp
and garrison equipage issued by the Quartermaster's Depart-
ment at Raleigh, N. C, to North Carolina Troops during the
fiscal year ending September 30, 1862:

"Hats 8,918, caps 61,949, coats 27,380, jackets 48,093, over-
coats 22,598, pants 85,779, drawers 85,597, shirts 110,723, pairs
socks 47,155, blankets 28,185, pairs shoes 75,809, pouches 927,.
guard-caps 627, knapsacks 33,471, canteens 25,598, canteen-
straps 9,676, haversacks 30,264, camp kettles 3,156, mess pans
6,703, spiders 597, pots and ovens 1,227, oven lids 161, hatchets
784, axes 1,919, axe handles 1,739, picks 938, pick handles 933,
tents 4,282, officers' tents 531, hospital tents 287, tent flies 452,
pounds nails 6,012, spades and shovels 1,583, drums 215, fifes
82, flags 22, flag-staffs 11, pounds castings 1,734, pairs boots 32,
knapsacks 935, tin cups 340, plates 220, buckets 15, yards wool
cloth, 11,810, yards cotton cloth 2,178, dozen buttons 14,023,
pounds thread 89, yards carpeting 521, frying-pans 25, blank
books 2, bed sacks 220, stoves 3, coffee-pots 21, saws 5, augers
2 broom 1, cap-covers 418, oil-cloth caps 45, yards oil-cloth 20,

28 NoETH Cakolina Teoops, 1861-65.

letters 6,000, figures 4,000, mattresses 9, camp-stools 42, buckets
38, bedsteads 112."

All of these articles were manufactured in the State, and showed
plainly that the department was quite busy and energetic. It is
here due to the memory of three able, faithful and efficient offi-
cers, who had charge of the business under their chief, to state
that most of the purchases and payments for these supplies were
made by Major John Devereux, the articles of clothing were
manufactured by Captain Garrett, except shoes, which were made
in different establishments and issued to the troops by Major

This brings us down to the operations of the department in
getting supplies through the blockade. To General Martin be-
longs the credit of engaging in this business. He tried to get
Governor Clark's consent to it, but on account of his official
term expiring soon he left the matter to his successor. Soon
after Governor Vance's inauguration General Martin explained
to him everything about the supply of clothing, etc., and asked
his approval of the scheme to purchase a ship in England and
get supplies from there. The Governor took the matter under
advisement. His attention was called to the matter again a few
days later. On that occasion he asked General Martin to call
at the Executive office that night and he would call in two or
three lawyers, as he would like to have both sides of the question
discussed. The meeting that night was quite warm, that is,
the discussion of the law between the Hon. B. F. Moore, the
spokesman of those present, on one side, and General Martin on
the other; the law and everything connected with the mili-
tary supplies being discussed. The Hon. B. F. Moore took
strong grounds against the State entering the blockade business,
and finally told Governor Vance and General Martin that if
they engaged in the business they would both be liable to im-
peachment. General Martin took the ground that the laws of
the State made it his duty to supply clothing to the troops in the
field; that a large sum of money was appropriated for the pur-

Organiza.I'ion of Troops. 29

pose without any restriction as to where purchases were to be made;
that the supplies of the State were not adequate; that the Con-
federate States were paying the State large sums of money for
clothing; that the Confederate notes could be turned into cot-
ton and with cotton bonds buy the ship and clothing without
any additional expense to the State, the cotton bonds and cot-
ton itself used simply as bills of exchange, where neither the
State notes nor Confederate currency would be available. As to
the purchase of a ship, General Martin took the ground that he
had as much right to do that as to purchase many other articles
not mentioned in the law, it being well known that transport ships
are a part of the equipment of all modern armies. The Governor
reserved his decision that night, but next morning, when called
upon for it, decided to support General Martin in his effort to
sustain the army. The Governor at no time expressed any
opinion of the law until his final approval came, although he
had called in able and influentiallawyers to hear their opinions.
The facts of the case are that the law did not authorize or prohibit
blockade-running. The manner of getting the clothing was left
to the discretion of the Quartermaster-General, subject to the
approval of the Governor. General Martin did not want to
violate the law — no man was more particular in that respect —
and if it had looked like a violation Governor Vance would
not have approved it. This was the only law on which
there was any difference of opinion during the war. Governor
Vance approved General Martin's construction of it, the Legis-
lature approved the Governor's action, and that ended the legal
question raised. Governor Vance received a great deal of credit
for the blockade-running, but it is safe to say that had it not
been for the energetic manner in which General Martin advo-
cated this measure it would not have been commenced, although
he got very little credit for it, except from the few who were
aware of the facts. It is true that Governor Vance deserves
credit for his approval of the liberal construction of the law
which authorized it, after hearing the opinions of able and inilu-
eutial lawyers against it. In addition to their opinions there was

30 North Carolina Troops, 1861-65.

the influence of an able and unscrupulous politician at Raleigh,
who at this time tried to throw every obstacle in the way of the
success of the Confederate cause. He thought he could control
Vance, as he had been influential in nominating and electing
him. Vance, however, sided with the army. This was the first
step in getting away from that influence.

The above is the inside history of what took place before the
Governor's approval of the blockade business. After the Gov-
ernor's approval of the scheme, General Martin appointed Mr;
John White, of Warrenton, N. C, State agent to go abroad, and
also Colonel Thomas N., Crossan, formerly of the United States
Navy, both of whom were to act together for the purchase of
the ship. The Governor promptly signed the bonds for the pur-
chase of the ship and supplies, and they were placed with Major
John Devereux, who, as chief disbursing officer of the Quarter-
master's Department, had charge of the matter from that time
forward. In due time they' were turned over to Mr. White,
when ready to go abroad. It is proper here to state that Mr.
White and Colonel Crossan purchased a first-rate steamer, the
"Lord Clyde," a splendid vessel in every respect. All the busi-
ness intrusted to Mr. White and Colonel Crossan was ably and
satisfactorily done ; no better agents could have been selected.
Colonel Crossan made two or more trips in charge of the "Ad-
Vance" and then retired. The '"Ad-Vance" made seven or eight
trips to Wilmington and took in a large amount of military
supplies for the North Carolina Troops and for the Confederacy

The writer has tried to get the exact amount of army supplies
imported by the State, but regrets to say that he has not been
able to do so, although kindly assisted by Mrs. Hinsdale, who
placed her father's papers (Major John Devereux), or rather
"what was left of them not captured by the Yankees," at his
disposal. The papers wanted could not be found. The fol-
lowing report from Major Devereux to the Governor is pub-
lished :

Organization of Troops.



Sum raised on cotton bonds

Advanced by parties in England

Disbursements now due in Wilmington

Sum raised on rosin bonds

Cash balance

Sterling —

One-half steamer "Ad- Vance" on hand — original
cost £35,000, less 10 per cent, tear and wear __

One-fourth interest in three steamers — ■

3,788,066 pounds cotton at 5d.

Sale of 4,080 bales cotton at £50
















The report says: "Orders have been sent out by the Governor
for scythe-blades, railroad findings and other articles not charged
in the above account, no bill of them having been received. Mr.
White's salary as commissioner has not yet been settled, and is
not charged. Owing to the difficulties of communication, Colonel
MacRae has not settled his account for the transaction by which
rosin bonds were issued. It is believed that £6,000 would be
the utmost extent of any further charge to be made. There is a
large amount of goods, consisting of cloth, blankets, shoes, cot-
ton and wool cards, card machines and factory findings now on
the way and in the islands, of which no account has been taken.
The goods are paid for, and, when received, will much increase
the above balance. The purchase money of the "Ad- Vance" was
partly paid in bonds, as entered above, and partly in cotton. The
cotton is added to the stock on hand."

Major Devereux's report above shows plainly that the fears
of the Hon. B. F. Moore and others that the State might
sustain loss were groundless. The cotton paid for the ship and
supplies without drawing on the State Treasury. At all events,
what was not paid at the date of the above report was paid after-

32 North Carolina Troops, 1861-65.

Mr. White's report, which accompanied the Governor's mes-
sage in May, 1864, was not published, and cannot be given here.

The writer asked Captain William H. Oliver, who took an
"active part in purchasing supplies for the blockade-running, for
a statement. He says :

"Early in 1863 I was commissioned by Governor Z. B. Vance
an agent for the State of North Carolina to purchase cotton for
blockade-running purposes. The instruction which I received
through Major John Devereux, Chief Quartermaster for North
Carolina, was to buy every bale of cotton that I could purchase,
and to pay a stipulated price of twenty cents per pounds. I went
at once to the sections nearest the Federal lines, so as to get all
the cotton out of the reach of the Federal troops if a raid should
be made by them.

" In a short time I purchased about seven thousand bales and
paid for the same about seven hundred thousand dollars. On
account of the scarcity of railroad accommodation it was a tedious
matter to get the cotton moved.

"Arrangements had been made to ship the cotton as fast as
possible by running it through the blockade at Wilmington, N. C.
A large portion of the cotton was taken to Graham, N. C, it being
unsafe to leave it in the eastern part of the State.

"Mr. John White, of Warrenton, N. C, was appointed agent
for the sale of it in England. Mr. White sailed from Charles-
ton, S. C.,on the steamer "Leopard" on the 15th day of Novem-
ber, 1862. A number of cargoes were shipped to him, and from
a report of his to Governor Vance it will be seen that he pur-
chased with the proceeds of cotton and North Carolina cotton
bonds —

"The steamship "Lord Clyde," afterwards known as the "Ad-
Vance," at a cost of £35,000— $175,000.
150,115 yards gray cloth 6-4 wide.
11,023 " " " 3-4 "
28,582 " " flannel 6-4 "
83,173 " " " ^3-4 "

Organization op Troops. 33

2,978 yards brown canvas padding.
25,887 pairs gray blankets.
37,692 " woolen socks.
26,096 " army shoes.
530 " cavalry boots.

1,956 Angola shirts.

7,872 yards gray flannel shirts.

1,006 cloth overcoats.

1,002 " jackets.

1,010 pairs cloth trousers.
Quantity of sole and harness leather.
20,000 pairs army shoes.
10,000 " gray blankets.

1,920 " flannel shirts.

5,800 yards army cloth 6-4.
10,000 " " "

7,000 pairs cotton and wool cards.

5 machines for making cotton cards, with wire
sufficient to keep them running twelve months.

"A large quantity of the cotton was delivered by order of Gov-
ernor Vance to Messrs. John Newland & Sons, at Saxapahaw
Factory, to be manufactured into cloth and yarn. The cloth
was delivered to the Quartermaster for the use of the army and
the yarn was exchanged in Virginia for leather, which was made
into shoes. The card machines were put up in Mr. William H.
Willard's factory, and a large number of pairs of cards were
made and distributed by me all over the State.

"At the close of the war about two hundred bales of the cotton
were at Graham, N. C, and it was taken by Colonel D. Heaton
of the United States Treasury Department.
" Very respectfully,

"William H. Oliver."

We give Captain Oliver's statemeut with the full knowledge
and understanding that it is by no means complete. It embraces
only a portion of the articles received.

34 North Carolina Troops, 1861-'65.

The Governor, in his message to the Legislature in Novem-
ber, 1863, says: "The enterprise of running th< lockade and
importing army supplies from abroad has proven a most com-
plete success. You will see from the report that large quantities
of clothing, leather and shoes, lubricating oils, factory findings,
sheet-iron and tin, arms and ammunition, medicines, dye-stuifs,
blankets, cotton bagging and rope, spirits, coffee, etc., have been
safely brought, besides considerable freight for the Confederacy.
Two thousand and ten bales of cotton have been sent to Liver-
pool, the proceeds of which were deposited to the credit of the
State, less the amount of the expenses of the vessel. With what
we have imported and the purchases in our home markets I think
I can safely say that the North Carolina Troops will be com-
fortably clothed to January, 1865."

It will be seen that the Governor mentions several articles not
in Captain Oliver's -statement, such as "arms, ammunition, medi-
cal supplies," etc. In fact, neither of the reports are complete,
for the State continued to bring in supplies for twelve months
after the date of the Governor's message.

The most complete and trustworthy report we have on the
subject is Governor Vance's address before the Association of the
Maryland Line, delivered in Baltimore, February 23, 1885. He
said :

"By the general industry and thrift of our people, and by the
use of a number of blockade-running steamers, carrying out cot-
ton and bringing in supplies from Europe, I had collected and
distributed from time to time, as near as can be gathered from
the records of the Quartermaster's Department, the following
stores: Large quantities of machinery supplies, 60,000 pairs of
hand cards, 10,000 grain scythes, 200 barrels bluestone for the
wheat growers, leather and shoes for 250,000 pairs, 50,000 blan-
kets, gray-wooled cloth for at least 250,000 suits of uniforms,
12,000 overcoats (ready-made), 2,000 best Enfield rifles (with
100 rounds of fixed ammunition), 100,000 pounds of bacon,
600 sacks of coffee for hospital use, $50,000 worth of medicines
at gold prices, large quantities of lubricating oils, besides minor

Organization of Troops. 35

supplies of various isinds for the charitable inatitutions of the
State. Not only was the supply of shoes, blankets and clothing
more than sufficient for the supply of the North Carolina Troops,
but large quantities were turned over to the Confederate Grov-
ernment for the troops of other States. In the winter succeed-
ing the battle of Chicamauga I sent to General Longstreet's
Corps 14,000 suits of clothing complete. At the surrender of
General Johnston the State had on hand, ready-made and in
cloth, 92,000 suits of uniforms, with great stores of blankets,
leather, etc. To make good the warrants on which these pur-
chases had been made abroad the State purchased and had on
hand in trust for the holders 11,000 bales of cotton and 100,000
barrels of rosin. The cotton was partly destroyed before the
war closed, the remainder, amounting to several thousand bales,
was captured, after peace was declared, by certain officers of the
Federal army."

This shows that the operations of the blockade-running were a
complete success, and fully justified the judgment and expecta-
tions of Governor Vance and General Martin when they engaged
in it.

We will now drop the blockade-running and look at the
issues to the troops. General Gatlin, in his report to the Gov-
ernor, under date of May, 1864, says:

" quartermaster's DEPART.MENT.

" This department has furnished clothing, camp and garrison
equipage, pay, bounty and transportation for the troops and
paid other miscellaneous accounts. The disbursements for the
eighteen months ending the 31st of March, 1864, are as follows
(we omit cents) :

Clothing, camp and garrison equipage, $ 6,862,043
Mules, wagons and harness, . . 14,147

Forage, 5,593 -

Horses for two regiments of cavalry and

artillery, ' 147,801

36 NoETH Carolina Troops, 1861-65.

Wood, $ 6,655

Miscellaneous, 204,143

Pay of troops, .... 432,071

Bounty, 1,669,974

Cotton, 2,150,998

Advances to officers, . . . 186,803


"The Confederate States have paid for clothing since the 1st
of January, r863, the sum of $6,008,373.38, and there is still
due for clothing turned over in the first quarter of the present
year $1,247,236."

It seems from General Gatlin's report that the State was issu-
ing clothing to the army at the rate of nearly five million dollars
a year. Notwithstanding all that the State of North Carolina
did for the army, it is well known to those who were in the army
that it was often greatly in want of shoes and clothing, and it is
sad to contemplate what would have been the condition of the
gallant Army of Northern Virginia without the great help which
North Carolina gave it, ia which most of her troops were. It
is well known that the Army of the West was still harder pressed
for supplies. It had no State to do for it what North Carolina
did for Lee's army, and it appears from Governor Vance's speech
at Baltimore that the State had to dispatch "14,000 suits of
clothing complete" to General Longstreet's Corps of that army,
after the battle of Chicamauga. And after furnishing its own
troops and other Confederate troops when necessary, the State
had on hand at the surrender "92,000 suits of uniforms and
great stores of blankets and leather." The reports fully show
that the Quartermaster's Department of the State of North
Carolina was ably managed from the beginning to the end. In
this respect it was a long way ahead of the Confederacy, which
was so sorely pressed all the time.

We have no later reports of what was done the last year of
the war, but as the State of North Carolina had an abundant
supply of everything, and the Confederacy had not, it is reason-
able to suppose the issues were very large.

Organization of Troops. 37


The Subsistence Department of the State of North Carolina
at the comoaencement of the war was under the direction of
Colonel William Johnston, Major D. G. Fowle, Captains Wm. W.
Morrison, David Schenck, Augustus S. Merrimon and John
Devereux. Colonel Johnston was a man of energy, with broad
views and enlarged ideas. One of the first things he did after
it was plain that the war was coming was to send an agent to
Louisville, Ky., to purchase a large amount of supplies at that
place, which he had hurriedly shipped to Chattanooga before an
embargo was placed on the railroads. By so doing he got a large
lot of provisions from an exposed point and saved the resources
of the State. Had this example been taken by the Confederate
States Commissary the supplies of the Confederacy would not
have been so scant. On the 1st of September, 1861, Colonel
Johnston resigned to take charge of the railroad of which he was
president, and all the other officers of the department accepted
other duties.

After the reorganization of the September, 1861,
Major T. D. Hogg was Chief Commissary, and continued in
charge to the end of the war. The writer tried to get reports
of the operations of the department from the officers still living,
but failed, except one letter from Major Hogg, in which he says :

"Judge Clark asked me to write out the Commissary Depart-
ment, and I told him I did not know there was anything to write.
Also, that you told me when we first met that General Martin,
when he asked for anything in my department, would expect me
to have it. I made up my mind that if .the. people would part
with their commissary stores and take paper money for payment
General Martin should have what he called for. The conse-
quence was that my supplies grew during the whole war, and at
the close of it I was feeding about half of Lee's army. Major,

38 North Carolina Troops, 1861-'65.

Carringtou would come to me begging, and I told him to get
Yaoce's order and he should have anything I had."

This is not very long, but it is a very important historical .fact
that near the end of the war the North Carolina Commissary
was, feeding about half of Lee's army.

General Martin's report in November, 1862, says:


The disbursements for the year are, . $586,767

Sales to Confederate States, . |1 57,412

Value of stores on hand, . . 24,395


Actual expenses of the department, $404,960

General Gatlin's report gives

The actual expenses of the department, $1,080,958
Sales to Confederate States, . 301,197

Stores on hand, . . . 410,070


Actual expenses of the department, . $369,691

This is the last published report in May, 1864. As the de-
partment had $410,070 in supplies on hand and still adding from
March 31, 1864, till the end of the war, it was able to furnish
considerable to Lee's army.

Online LibraryWalter ClarkHistories of the several regiments and battalions from North Carolina, in the great war 1861-'65 → online text (page 4 of 66)