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McNeill, James Hipkins

23 May 1825–31 Mar. 1865

James Hipkins McNeill. Image courtesy of Histories of the several regiments and battalions from North Carolina, in the great war 1861-'65.James Hipkins McNeill, Presbyterian clergyman and Confederate officer, was born in Fayetteville, the son of George McNeill. His mother's name is unknown. He attended The University of North Carolina, Yale, and Delaware College (between 1840 and 1844), Union Theological Seminary in New York (1845–47), and the Presbyterian Theological Seminary (1847–48). Licensed by the Fayetteville Presbytery in June 1848, he was ordained in May 1849.

McNeill served the Presbyterian church in Pittsboro from 1848 until 1853, when he became secretary of the American Bible Society and moved to Elizabeth, N.J. At the beginning of the Civil War he returned to North Carolina and from 24 Aug. 1861 to 8 Mar. 1865 was editor of the North Carolina Presbyterian, which his brother George, a graduate of Princeton, had established in 1858 with offices in Fayetteville. In June 1862 he was commissioned captain in Company A, Sixty-third Regiment (Fifth Regiment of Cavalry), but in November he was promoted to major and transferred to the Field and Staff of the regiment. He was wounded in action at Middleburg, Va., in June 1863 and was promoted to colonel to rank from 24 Nov. 1864.

Even though he was on active duty, McNeill, with the help of local ministers, continued to issue the North Carolina Presbyterian. He was killed in action at Chamberlain Run, Va., nineteen days after General William T. Sherman's men demolished the office, broke the press, and melted the type of the North Carolina Presbyterian Publishing Company in Fayetteville.

In October 1848 McNeill married Kate Chamberlain of Newark, Del. He was survived by at least one son, George Palmer, and there are numerous McNeill descendants.

References:

Louis R. Manarin, comp., North Carolina Troops, 1861–1865: A Roster, vol. 2 (1968).

Eugene C. Scott, Ministerial Directory of the Presbyterian Church in the U.S., 1861–1942 (1942).

Henry S. Stroupe, "The Beginnings of Religious Journalism in North Carolina, 1823–1864," North Carolina Historical Review 30 (January 1953).

Additional Resources:

James Hipkins McNeill Papers, 1840 (collection no. 04363-z). The Southern Historical Collection. Louis Round Wilson Special Collections Library. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. http://www.lib.unc.edu/mss/inv/m/McNeill,James_Hipkins.html (accessed May 23, 2013).

Clark, Walter. Histories of the several regiments and battalions from North Carolina, in the great war 1861-'65. Raleigh, E.M. Uzzell, printer. 1901. http://archive.org/details/historiesofsever03clar (accessed May 23, 2013).

Image Credits:

Clark, Walter. Histories of the several regiments and battalions from North Carolina, in the great war 1861-'65. Raleigh, E.M. Uzzell, printer. 1901. http://archive.org/details/historiesofsever03clar (accessed May 23, 2013).

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This article is from the Dictionary of North Carolina Biography, 6 volumes, edited by William S. Powell. Copyright ©1979-1996 by the University of North Carolina Press. Used by permission of the publisher. For personal use and not for further distribution. Please submit permission requests for other use directly to the publisher.

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