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North Carolina Military Institute

by Rod Andrew Jr., 2006

Steward's Hall, home of the North Carolina Military Institute. Image courtesy of Charlotte-Mecklenburg Historic Landmarks Commission.The North Carolina Military Institute, a state-supported military school, opened in Charlotte in 1859. North Carolina by that time had established itself as a leader in private military education, which became popular throughout the South. After Virginia, South Carolina, and other southern states subsequently experimented with publicly supported military schools, North Carolina followed suit. Due to the efforts of future Confederate general Daniel H. Hill, the cornerstone for the institute was laid in 1858. The school received a charter from the state legislature in 1859 and opened its doors that fall with 40 cadets. The first instructors included Hill and future Confederate generals James H. Lane and Charles C. Lee. Within a year the school had more than 100 cadets, and that number had grown to 150 by April 1861.

The coming of the Civil War closed the institute in 1861. Governor John W. Ellis ordered the entire corps of cadets to duty as drillmasters in Raleigh, and many later served in the 1st North Carolina under Hill, their former superintendent. The school was revived briefly in 1873 by Col. John P. Thomas, later superintendent of The Citadel. After a few years, it functioned as a graded school only.

References:

John Hope Franklin, The Militant South, 1860-1861 (1956).

Edgar W. Knight Jr., A Documentary History of Education in the South before 1860, vol. 4 (1952).

Additional Resources:

North Carolina Military Institute, NC Highway Historical Marker L-80: http://www.ncmarkers.com/Markers.aspx?ct=ddl&sp=search&k=Markers&sv=L-80%20-%20NORTH%20CAROLINA%20MILITARY%20INSTITUTE

Mecklenburg Female College (formerly the North Carolina Military Institute): http://docsouth.unc.edu/nc/mecklenburg/mecklenburg.html and (image) http://docsouth.unc.edu/nc/mecklenburg/image.html

Rufus Morgan Photographic Collection, circa 1869-1880, (includes images of institute), DocSouth, UNC: http://www.lib.unc.edu/ncc/pcoll/inv/P0057/P0057.html

Carolina Military Institute, North Carolina journal of education, 1874, 1875: http://digital.ncdcr.gov/u?/p249901coll37,14268

Image Credit:

Steward's Hall, home of the North Carolina Military Institute. Image courtesy of Charlotte-Mecklenburg Historic Landmarks Commission. Available from http://www.cmhpf.org/ (accessed November 7, 2012).

Origin - location: 

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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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