51st North Carolina Infantry

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in North Carolina Infantry

Editor’s Note: Do you have information on this unit’s role at the Siege of Petersburg?  Please contact us using the Contact button in the menu at the top of the screen.  We are happy to exchange information with other researchers.

Muster In: Organized on April 13, 1862.1
Muster Out: April 26, 18652

Commander(s):
Colonel Hector McKethan
Hector McKethan 51st NC3

Lieutenant Colonel Caleb B. Hobson
Commander Image

Captain James W. Lippitt
Commander Image

Commander 4
Commander Image

First Offensive Order of Battle: Clingman’s Brigade | Hoke’s Division | Department of North Carolina and Southern Virginia | Confederate Army4

  • Commander:
    • Colonel Hector McKethan (at least June 16-17, 1864)(wounded on June 17, 1864, returned to duty around August 1)5,6,7,8
    • Lieutenant Colonel Caleb B. Hobson (June 17 after Col. McKethan was wounded) (June 17-18, 1864)9
    • Captain James W. Lippitt (only the right wing, NOT the entire regiment)(June 17 after Col. McKethan was wounded)10,11
  • Unit Strength:
    • at most 390 officers and men Present (NOT PFD!) (June 13, 1864)12
  • Weapons:

Second Offensive Order of Battle: Clingman’s Brigade | Hoke’s Division | Department of North Carolina and Southern Virginia | Confederate Army13

  • Commander: Lieutenant Colonel Caleb B. Hobson14
  • Unit Strength:
    • at most 340 officers and men Present (NOT PFD!) (June 19, 1864)15
  • Weapons:

Third Offensive Order of Battle: Clingman’s Brigade | Hoke’s Division | Department of North Carolina and Southern Virginia | Confederate Army16

  • Commander:
  • Lieutenant Colonel Caleb B. Hobson17
  • Unit Strength:
    • at most 328 officers and men Present (NOT PFD!) (July 1, 1864)18
  • Weapons:

Fourth Offensive Order of Battle: Clingman’s Brigade | Hoke’s Division | Department of North Carolina and Southern Virginia | Confederate Army19

  • Commander:
    • Colonel Hector McKethan (assumed command of Clingman’s Brigade on August 19, 1864)(generally August 1-19, 1864)20,21
    • Lieutenant Colonel Caleb B. Hobson (while McKethan commanded the brigade) (August 19, 1864 and after)22,23
  • Unit Strength:
    • at most 346 officers and men Present (NOT PFD!) (August 1, 1864)24
  • Weapons:

Fifth Offensive Order of Battle: Clingman’s Brigade | Hoke’s Division | Department of North Carolina and Southern Virginia | Confederate Army25,26

  • Commander:
    • Lieutenant Colonel Caleb B. Hobson (killed September 30, 1864)27,[521 51st NC researcher Kirk Ward, author of The Honor of the State: The Story of the 51st North Carolina, writes “Hobson is mentioned as commander during the assault on Fort Harrison in a casualty list published in the Raleigh Daily Confederate, 12 Oct. 1864.” See his book for more details.]
    • Captain James W. Lippitt (September 30, 1864)28,29
  • Unit Strength:
    • at most 348 officers and men Present (NOT PFD!) (September 1, 1864)30
    • at most 313 officers and men Present (NOT PFD!) (October 1, 1864)31
    • 145 officers and men PFD (October 1, 1864)32
  • Weapons:
  • Note: The 51st North Carolina, which had been in the trenches around Petersburg for most of the Siege, moved north of the James River on September 29, 1864 with the rest of Clingman’s Brigade, and stayed there with Hoke’s Division for the rest of the time they were present in the area.33

Sixth Offensive Order of Battle: Clingman’s Brigade | Hoke’s Division | Fourth Corps | Army of Northern Virginia | Confederate Army34

  • Commander: Captain James W. Lippitt35
  • Unit Strength:
  • Weapons:

Seventh Offensive Order of Battle: Clingman’s Brigade | Hoke’s Division | Fourth Corps | Army of Northern Virginia | Confederate Army36,37

  • Commander: Captain James W. Lippitt (November & December 1864)38,39,40
  • Unit Strength:
    • at most 372 officers and men Present (NOT PFD!) (November 1, 1864)41
    • at most 376 officers and men Present (NOT PFD!) (December 1, 1864)42
  • Weapons:
  • Note: Left the Siege of Petersburg on December 22, 1864.43,44

Eighth Offensive Order of Battle:

  • Not at Siege of Petersburg.45

Ninth Offensive Order of Battle:

  • Not at Siege of Petersburg.46

Dyer’s/Sifakis’ Compendium Info:
Siege of Petersburg Battles47:

  • Petersburg Siege (June 1864-April 1865)
  • Second Battle of Petersburg (June 15-18, 1864)
    • Assault of Ledlie’s Division (June 17, 1864)48
  • Globe Tavern (August 18-21, 1864)
  • Fort Harrison (September 29-30, 1864)

Web Site:

Bibliography:

    Siege of Petersburg Documents Which Mention This Unit:

    Sources:

    1. Compendium of the Confederate Armies: North Carolina by Stewart Sifakis, pp. 150-152
    2. Compendium of the Confederate Armies: North Carolina by Stewart Sifakis, pp. 150-152
    3. Clark, Walter. Histories of the Several Regiments and Battalions from North Carolina in the Great War 1861-’65, Volume 3 (Nash Brothers: 1901), pp. 204-205
    4. The Confederate Order of Battle, Volume 1: The Army of Northern Virginia by F. Ray Sibley, Jr., p. 114
    5. The Confederate Order of Battle, Volume 1: The Army of Northern Virginia by F. Ray Sibley, Jr., p. 114
    6. Gen. Clingman’s Report of the Battles in Front of Petersburg on the 16th, 17th and 18th of June.” Our Living and Our Dead (New Bern, NC). March 18, 1874, p. 2 col. 2-5
    7. No title. The Daily Confederate (Raleigh, NC). July 18, 1864, p. 2 col. 3-4: “This occurred a little before dark, and from that time the enemy were kept out of the trenches entirely, as far up as our line of fire extended. Col. McKethan being wounded, the command of the extreme right remained with Capt. Lippitt, of his regiment.”
    8. 51st NC researcher Kirk Ward, author of The Honor of the State: The Story of the 51st North Carolina, confirmed McKethan’s wounding on June 17, and added the info that he returned around August 1, 1864. See his book for details.
    9. 51st NC researcher Kirk Ward, author of The Honor of the State: The Story of the 51st North Carolina, gave me new information that Lt. Colonel Hobson was present and took command after McKethan’s wounding. Ward implies he was the commander for the remainder of the First Offensive. See his book for details.
    10. No title. The Daily Confederate (Raleigh, NC). July 18, 1864, p. 2 col. 3-4: “This occurred a little before dark, and from that time the enemy were kept out of the trenches entirely, as far up as our line of fire extended. Col. McKethan being wounded, the command of the extreme right remained with Capt. Lippitt, of his regiment.”
    11. 51st NC researcher Kirk Ward, author of The Honor of the State: The Story of the 51st North Carolina, corrected my incorrect interpretation of article in the Raleigh Confederate, stating “Captain Lippitt was only in charge of the wing mounting the counterattack on June 17.” See his book for details.
    12. 51st NC researcher Kirk Ward, author of The Honor of the State: The Story of the 51st North Carolina, created a spreadsheet from the Compiled Service Records of the entire regiment.  In this way, he can see the maximum total men “enrolled,” or present and absent, and the maximum present on every date throughout the war. His number is Present, NOT Present for Duty or PFD, the type of strength I try to report across my site in order to compare strengths across different units.  The number Present for Duty was probably quite a bit lower, as some men were out sick or away on special duty as teamsters and in other roles.
    13. The Confederate Order of Battle, Volume 1: The Army of Northern Virginia by F. Ray Sibley, Jr., p. 114
    14. 51st NC researcher Kirk Ward, author of The Honor of the State: The Story of the 51st North Carolina, mentions Hobson generally commanded the regiment from June 19-30, 1864, the time period of the Second Offensive. See his book for details.
    15. 51st NC researcher Kirk Ward, author of The Honor of the State: The Story of the 51st North Carolina, created a spreadsheet from the Compiled Service Records of the entire regiment.  In this way, he can see the maximum total men “enrolled,” or present and absent, and the maximum present on every date throughout the war. His number is Present, NOT Present for Duty or PFD, the type of strength I try to report across my site in order to compare strengths across different units.  The number Present for Duty was probably quite a bit lower, as some men were out sick or away on special duty as teamsters and in other roles.
    16. The Confederate Order of Battle, Volume 1: The Army of Northern Virginia by F. Ray Sibley, Jr., page 124
    17. 51st NC researcher Kirk Ward, author of The Honor of the State: The Story of the 51st North Carolina, mentions Hobson generally commanded the regiment from July 1-31, 1864, the time period of the Third Offensive. See his book for details.
    18. 51st NC researcher Kirk Ward, author of The Honor of the State: The Story of the 51st North Carolina, created a spreadsheet from the Compiled Service Records of the entire regiment.  In this way, he can see the maximum total men “enrolled,” or present and absent, and the maximum present on every date throughout the war. His number is Present, NOT Present for Duty or PFD, the type of strength I try to report across my site in order to compare strengths across different units.  The number Present for Duty was probably quite a bit lower, as some men were out sick or away on special duty as teamsters and in other roles.
    19. The Confederate Order of Battle, Volume 1: The Army of Northern Virginia by F. Ray Sibley, Jr., page 133
    20. The Confederate Order of Battle, Volume 1: The Army of Northern Virginia by F. Ray Sibley, Jr., page 133
    21. 51st NC researcher Kirk Ward, author of The Honor of the State: The Story of the 51st North Carolina, mentions McKethan generally commanded the regiment until he assumed command of Clingman’s Brigade on August 19, 1864. See his book for details.
    22. The Confederate Order of Battle, Volume 1: The Army of Northern Virginia by F. Ray Sibley, Jr., page 133
    23. 51st NC researcher Kirk Ward, author of The Honor of the State: The Story of the 51st North Carolina, mentions that after McKethan took over the brigade command, Hobson generally commanded the regiment for the rest of August. See his book for details.
    24. 51st NC researcher Kirk Ward, author of The Honor of the State: The Story of the 51st North Carolina, created a spreadsheet from the Compiled Service Records of the entire regiment.  In this way, he can see the maximum total men “enrolled,” or present and absent, and the maximum present on every date throughout the war. His number is Present, NOT Present for Duty or PFD, the type of strength I try to report across my site in order to compare strengths across different units.  The number Present for Duty was probably quite a bit lower, as some men were out sick or away on special duty as teamsters and in other roles.
    25. The Confederate Order of Battle, Volume 1: The Army of Northern Virginia by F. Ray Sibley, Jr., page 141
    26. Sommers, Richard J. “Grant’s Fifth Offensive at Petersburg: A Study in Strategy, Tactics, and Generalship.  The Battle of Poplar Spring Church, the First Battle of the Darbytown Road, the Second Battle of the Squirrel Level Road, the Second Battle of the Darbytown Road (Ulysses S. Grant, Virginia).” Doctoral Thesis. Rice University, 1970. Print. p. 1314.
    27. The Confederate Order of Battle, Volume 1: The Army of Northern Virginia by F. Ray Sibley, Jr., page 141
    28. The Confederate Order of Battle, Volume 1: The Army of Northern Virginia by F. Ray Sibley, Jr., page 141
    29. 51st NC researcher Kirk Ward, author of The Honor of the State: The Story of the 51st North Carolina, confirms Lippitt took over command of the regiment after Hobson was killed on September 29, 1864, and generally held the command until the surrender in May 1865. See his book for details.
    30. 51st NC researcher Kirk Ward, author of The Honor of the State: The Story of the 51st North Carolina, created a spreadsheet from the Compiled Service Records of the entire regiment.  In this way, he can see the maximum total men “enrolled,” or present and absent, and the maximum present on every date throughout the war. His number is Present, NOT Present for Duty or PFD, the type of strength I try to report across my site in order to compare strengths across different units.  The number Present for Duty was probably quite a bit lower, as some men were out sick or away on special duty as teamsters and in other roles.
    31. 51st NC researcher Kirk Ward, author of The Honor of the State: The Story of the 51st North Carolina, created a spreadsheet from the Compiled Service Records of the entire regiment.  In this way, he can see the maximum total men “enrolled,” or present and absent, and the maximum present on every date throughout the war. His number is Present, NOT Present for Duty or PFD, the type of strength I try to report across my site in order to compare strengths across different units.  The number Present for Duty was probably quite a bit lower, as some men were out sick or away on special duty as teamsters and in other roles.
    32. 51st NC researcher Kirk Ward, author of The Honor of the State: The Story of the 51st North Carolina, states that Lt. A. A. McKethan, writing after the war, mentioned only 145 men PFD on October 1, 1864.  If you compare this number to the Present number from Kirk on the same day, you see only 46.3% of the men who could have possibly been present on October 1, 1864, were actually with the regiment, bearing arms, and ready to fight on that day. See his book for details.
    33. 51st NC researcher Kirk Ward, author of The Honor of the State: The Story of the 51st North Carolina, writes “The 51st North Carolina crossed to the north side of the James on September 29 and remained in the Richmond defenses until they departed Virginia on December 22, 1864.” See his book for details.
    34. The Confederate Order of Battle, Volume 1: The Army of Northern Virginia by F. Ray Sibley, Jr., page 147
    35. 51st NC researcher Kirk Ward, author of The Honor of the State: The Story of the 51st North Carolina, confirms Lippitt took over command of the regiment after Hobson was killed on September 29, 1864, and generally held the command until the surrender in May 1865. See his book for details.
    36. The Confederate Order of Battle, Volume 1: The Army of Northern Virginia by F. Ray Sibley, Jr., page 155
    37. The Confederate Order of Battle, Volume 1: The Army of Northern Virginia by F. Ray Sibley, Jr., page 167
    38. The Confederate Order of Battle, Volume 1: The Army of Northern Virginia by F. Ray Sibley, Jr., page 155
    39. The Confederate Order of Battle, Volume 1: The Army of Northern Virginia by F. Ray Sibley, Jr., page 167
    40. 51st NC researcher Kirk Ward, author of The Honor of the State: The Story of the 51st North Carolina, confirms Lippitt took over command of the regiment after Hobson was killed on September 29, 1864, and generally held the command until the surrender in May 1865. Ward writes, “Lippitt appears as commander of the regiment in the November 30, 1864 returns for the Army of Northern Virginia (O. R. Series 1, Vol. 42, part 3, page 1241.” See his book for details.
    41. 51st NC researcher Kirk Ward, author of The Honor of the State: The Story of the 51st North Carolina, created a spreadsheet from the Compiled Service Records of the entire regiment.  In this way, he can see the maximum total men “enrolled,” or present and absent, and the maximum present on every date throughout the war. His number is Present, NOT Present for Duty or PFD, the type of strength I try to report across my site in order to compare strengths across different units.  The number Present for Duty was probably quite a bit lower, as some men were out sick or away on special duty as teamsters and in other roles.
    42. 51st NC researcher Kirk Ward, author of The Honor of the State: The Story of the 51st North Carolina, created a spreadsheet from the Compiled Service Records of the entire regiment.  In this way, he can see the maximum total men “enrolled,” or present and absent, and the maximum present on every date throughout the war. His number is Present, NOT Present for Duty or PFD, the type of strength I try to report across my site in order to compare strengths across different units.  The number Present for Duty was probably quite a bit lower, as some men were out sick or away on special duty as teamsters and in other roles.
    43. Compendium of the Confederate Armies: North Carolina by Stewart Sifakis, pp. 150-152 Sifakis does not list the exact date.  But see the next note from 51st NC researcher Kirk Ward, who places it on December 22, 1864.
    44. 51st NC researcher Kirk Ward, author of The Honor of the State: The Story of the 51st North Carolina, writes “The 51st North Carolina crossed to the north side of the James on September 29 and remained in the Richmond defenses until they departed Virginia on December 22, 1864.” See his book for details.
    45. Compendium of the Confederate Armies: North Carolina by Stewart Sifakis, pp. 150-152
    46. Compendium of the Confederate Armies: North Carolina by Stewart Sifakis, pp. 150-152
    47. Compendium of the Confederate Armies: North Carolina by Stewart Sifakis, pp. 150-152
    48. No title. The Daily Confederate (Raleigh, NC). July 18, 1864, p. 2 col. 3-4

    { 1 comment… read it below or add one }

    Justin March 24, 2018 at 7:06 am

    Does anyone have a photo of Caleb B. Hobson? He was a cousin.

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