The Rowan Rifle Guards: A History of Company K, 4th North Carolina State Troops 1857-1865

The Rowan Rifle Guards: A History of Company K, 4th North Carolina State Troops 1857-1865

by PhD Philip Hatfield


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The Rowan Rifle Guards formed in 1857 as a Volunteer rifle company in Salisbury, North Carolina, in an era when zealous young men viewed membership as more of a social stepping stone than military service. When the Civil War erupted in 1861 the naive volunteers hastily stepped forward to help garrison the North Carolina coast against an expected Federal invasion. Soon re-designated as Company K, 4th North Carolina State Troops, the Rowan Rifles served in every bloody engagement waged by the Army of Northern Virginia. As in all wars, the harsh realities of active campaigns quickly destroyed any misconceptions of finding glory in war, and the excited volunteers soon became battle hardened veterans. This work offers candid, personal accounts written by soldiers who participated in the epic struggle that tested not only their devotion to principle, but also to each other. In this way, the reader sees the war from a common soldier's perspective, rather than relying on secondary narratives focused on dry statistics and strategies alone to tell the story. Ultimately, a shattered Company K surrendered sixteen survivors at Appomattox on April 9, 1865, as a testament to the terrible price paid for their devotion.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780996576468
Publisher: 35th Star Publishing
Publication date: 07/22/2019
Pages: 346
Product dimensions: 8.50(w) x 11.00(h) x 0.81(d)

About the Author

Philip Hatfield, Ph.D. is a member of the Company of Military Historians, and holds a doctorate in psychology from Fielding University; a master's degree in psychology from Marshall University; and a bachelor's degree in psychology and history from the University of Charleston. Dr. Hatfield is a veteran of the U.S. Air Force, and has written five books and numerous scholarly articles related to the Civil War.

Table of Contents

  1. Antebellum Era Militia and Volunteer Companies in Rowan County
  2. 1861: North Carolina Minutemen Draw The Sword
  3. June 1861: Volunteers Step Forward
  4. Winter encampment, Spring Campaigns of 1862
  5. Seven Days Battles, Maryland Campaign 1862
  6. 1863: The Tide is Turned
  7. Summer of 1863: “Valley of Death…”
  8. 1864 Overland and Shenandoah Valley Campaigns
  9. 1865: Evacuation of Petersburg, Retreat to Appomattox
  10. After Lee's Surrender: The Road Home

Appendix A, Company K Compiled Muster Roll and Biographic Information

Appendix B, Soldiers Erroneously Identified as Company K members

Appendix C, Company K Mortality Rates 1861-1865

Appendix D, Company K Desertions 1861-1865

Appendix E, 4th NCST Ordnance & Arms Issued June-December 1861

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