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Clark's Regimental Histories

Lithograph print of Walter Clark. Image from the North Carolina Museum of History."Clark's Regimental Histories" is the popular title for the five-volume Histories of the Several Regiments and Battalions from North Carolina in the Great War, 1861-1865, edited by Walter Clark and published by the state in 1901.

In October 1894 the North Carolina Confederate Veterans Association in Raleigh resolved that a history of each regiment or other state organization that served with the Confederate army should be prepared by a member of that unit and printed at state expense. Although this was nearly 30 years after the war ended, men from all but five regiments were found to carry out this assignment. Those not included were the Senior Reserves, who were over age 45 at the time they served, as by 1894 few of them survived.

 Proof sheet from Clark's Regimental Histories of officers of the 70th N.C. Regiment. Image from the North Carolina Museum of History.The General Assembly of 1899 provided funds for publication, but those who prepared the regimental histories did so without compensation. As histories were submitted to the editor and his advisers, they were reviewed and then submitted for publication in newspapers in the community from which the unit originated. This gave veterans of the unit an opportunity to recommend revisions. Among the newspapers that cooperated in this undertaking were the Raleigh News and Observer, Raleigh Morning Post, Wilmington Messenger, Wilmington Star, Charlotte Observer, Fayetteville Observer, New Bern Journal, Asheville Citizen, and Waynesville Courier.

The work is illustrated with wartime pictures, selected by the authors of the regimental histories, of a large number of the men. A few maps also were prepared especially for the work. The final volume contains accounts of numerous battles, many written by the officers in command. There are contributions on various military academies and on the role of the University of North Carolina in the war, the Home Guard, the first soldier from the state to die, the last battle and the last surrender, and other topics. There are indexes to the Appomattox parole list, to illustrations, and to the complete work.

Additional Resources:

"An act to authorize the publication of the sketches of North Carolina regiments." Public laws and resolutions of the State of North Carolina passed by the General Assembly at its session of 1899. Raleigh, N.C.: Edwards & Broughton, and E. M. Uzzell. 1899. p. 124. http://digital.ncdcr.gov/u?/p249901coll22,229375 (accessed October 31, 2012).

Clark, Walter, editor. Histories of the Several Regiments and Battalions from North Carolina in the Great War, 1861-1865 Volume 1. Goldsboro, N.C.: Nash Brothers. 1901. http://archive.org/details/cu31924092908536

Clark, Walter, editor. Histories of the Several Regiments and Battalions from North Carolina in the Great War, 1861-1865 Volume 2. Goldsboro, N.C.: Nash Brothers. 1901. http://archive.org/details/cu31924092908544

Clark, Walter, editor. Histories of the Several Regiments and Battalions from North Carolina in the Great War, 1861-1865 Volume 3. Goldsboro, N.C.: Nash Brothers. 1901. http://archive.org/details/historiesofsever03clar

Clark, Walter, editor. Histories of the Several Regiments and Battalions from North Carolina in the Great War, 1861-1865 Volume 4. Goldsboro, N.C.: Nash Brothers. 1901. http://archive.org/details/cu31924092908569

Clark, Walter, editor. Histories of the Several Regiments and Battalions from North Carolina in the Great War, 1861-1865 Volume 5. Goldsboro, N.C.: Nash Brothers. 1901. http://archive.org/details/historiesofsever05clar

Image Credits:

Williams, E.G. "Engraving, Accession #: H.19XX.318.116." 1890-1910. North Carolina Museum of History.

"Photograph, Accession #: H.19XX.332.186." 1900-1910. North Carolina Museum of History.

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Copyright notice

This article is from the Encyclopedia of North Carolina edited by William S. Powell. Copyright © 2006 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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