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11th NC: The 11th North Carolina Infantry in the Civil War: A History and Roster

Cover image of The 11th North Carolina Infantry in the Civil War: A History and Roster by William T. VennerUnit: 11th North Carolina

Unit Affiliation:

  • (MacRae), Heth, Third

Title: The 11th North Carolina Infantry in the Civil War: A History and Roster

Author: William T. Venner

SOPO’s Take: William Venner’s second unit history for McFarland, The 11th North Carolina Infantry in the Civil War: A History and Roster, is an excellent unit history featuring many first hand accounts from the men of the “Big Bethel Regiment.” The book is an interesting and detailed look at the 11th North Carolina Troops, who suffered severely at Gettysburg and Bristoe Station, among other fights, and surrendered with the Army of Northern Virginia at Appomattox.  Utilizing “over 1,500 first person accounts” throughout the text, both by men of the regiment and their Union foes, Venner weaves these together into a cohesive whole.  Add good maps and a comprehensive roster and McFarland has produced another really good unit history.

William T. Venner’s The 11th North Carolina Infantry in the Civil War: A History and Roster is chock full of “you are there” accounts of both the battles and the quieter times in the life of the Big Bethel regiment. The letters of Lewis Warlick were used extensively throughout the book, though his voice is missed while he was detained as a POW after Gettysburg. The Big Bethel regiment yearned to be a part of the fighting in Virginia while they whiled away 1862 and part of 1863 in the swamps of North Carolina and Virginia.  They got all of the fighting they could have ever wanted as part of Heth’s Division, Third Corps, ANV from Gettysburg to Appomattox, losing two thirds of their strength in the former campaign. Venner spends quite a bit of time at the Siege of Petersburg for those interested in that campaign.  Although the book ends abruptly after Appomattox, the lists of casualties by date and the well done roster ease the sting.  Anyone interested in first person accounts of the war in the Eastern Theater will want to own this book.  Enthusiasts of North Carolina in the Civil War will likewise enjoy this one, as it is also somewhat of a history of the Pettigrew/Kirkland/MacRae Brigade. The book is worth the price and well done.

Book Summary/Review:

    BTC Siege of Petersburg Book Notes:

      BTC Siege of Petersburg Book Sources:

        Publisher Information:

        This history of the 11th North Carolina Infantry in the Civil War—civilian soldiers and their families—follows the regiment from their 1861 mustering-in to their surrender at Appomattox, covering action at Gettysburg, Bristoe Station, The Wilderness, Spotsylvania, Cold Harbor and Petersburg. Drawing on letters, journals, memoirs, official reports, personnel records and family histories, this intensely personal account features Tar Heels relating their experiences through over 1,500 quoted passages. Casualty lists give the names of those killed, wounded, captured in action and died of disease. Rosters list regimental officers and staff, enlistees for all 10 companies and the names of the 78 men who stacked arms on April 9, 1865.

        William Thomas Venner has researched and written widely about the American Civil War. His articles have appeared in Civil War Times Illustrated, Journal of Field Archaeology, and America’s Civil War. A retired teacher of history and archaeology in schools and at the college level, he lives in Huntersville, North Carolina.

        Format: softcover (7 x 10)
        Pages: 380
        Bibliographic Info: 46 photos, 20 maps, appendices, notes, bibliography, index
        Copyright Date: 2015
        pISBN: 978-0-7864-9515-3
        eISBN: 978-1-4766-2089-3
        Imprint: McFarland
        Introduction 1
        1. Big Bethel: The Regiment Gets Its Name 5
        2. The Bethel Regiment Forms 17
        3. Defending North Carolina’s Coastline 28
        4. The Fight at White Hall, North Carolina, December 16, 1862 39
        5. The 11th North Carolina Joins Pettigrew’s Brigade 47
        6. Heth’s Division: The Army of Northern Virginia 61
        7. Gettysburg: July 1, 1863 75
        8. Gettysburg: July 3, 1863 90
        9. Falling Waters, July 14, 1863 102
        10. Bristoe Station, October 14, 1863 115
        11. Winter 1863-1864 126
        12. The Wilderness and Spotsylvania, May 5–May 20, 1864 133
        13. Summer 1864 151
        14. Late Summer 1864, August to ­Mid-September 163
        15. Fall 1864, Jones Farm and Burgess Mill 175
        16. Winter 1864-1865 190
        17. The End: April 1865 203
        11th North Carolina Infantry Casualties 221
        11th North Carolina Infantry Roster 258
        Chapter Notes 331
        Bibliography 352
        Index 357

        “A very good regimental history…excellent battle maps…recommended”—Civil War News

        “WOW!”—Lone Star Book Review.

        Paperback Edition:

        ISBN: 978-0-7864-9515-3

        Publisher: McFarland

        Release Date: 2015

        Pages: 380 pages, 46 photos, 20 maps, appendices, notes, bibliography, index

        The Siege of Petersburg Online: Beyond the Crater Pages Which Mention This Book:

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