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NORTH CAROLINA 8TH CAVALARY BATTALION, PARTISAN RANGERS

Organization: Organized at Goldsboro, Wayne County, from two independent companies on August 23, 1862. Company C assigned on October 25, 1863. Company D assigned in March 1863. Company E assigned om June 1, 1863. Battalion was converted to infantry at some time prior to August 1863. Company F assigned on September 25, 1863. Battalion consolidated with the 13th Battalion and designated as the 66th Infantry Regiment on October 2, 1863, per S.O. # 234, Adjutant and Inspector General's Office.

First Commander: John H. Nethercutt (Major)

Assignments: District of North Carolina, French's Command, Department of North Carolina and Southern Virginia (August 1862 - February 1863)
D.H. Hill's Command, Department of North Carolina and Southern Virginia (March - April 1863)
District of North Carolina, Department of North Carolina (April - October 1863)

Battles: New Bern (March 14, 1862)
Pollocksville (Company A) (August 26, 1862)
Sandy Ridge (Companies B and C) (February 13, 1863)
Sandy Ridge (April 20, 1863)

The above information was obtained from, "Compendium Of The Confederate Armies: North Carolina" by Stewart Sifakis

*The following is some information that was sent to me by Bruce Henderson


8th Battalion -- N. C. Partisan Rangers

            The battalion later known as 8th North Carolina Battalion (Partisan Rangers), also known as Nethercutt's Battalion, was formed from a basis of two companies (Nethercutt's and Davis's) of partisan rangers, enlisted in Trenton (Jones county) and Kinston (Lenoir county, respectively), on May 15, 1862. It is not known if the two companies were formed in coordination with each other -- their founding could have been coincidence after the fall of nearby New Bern to Union troops, or their founding could have been coordinated. A certain measure of coordination seems likely due to the date of founding of the companies and date of the formal organization of the battalion, August 22 - 23, 1862, approximately three months after the first recruitment of the first two companies. From the formation of the battalion in August, 1862, John H. Nethercutt was promoted to Major in command of the battalion, a post he held until the battalion was disbanded upon formation of the 66th Regiment N. C. Troops.    A third company was formed about October, 1862 and a fourth about March-April, 1863. The fifth company was added on June 1, 1863 and a sixth was mustered in on September 23, 1863. In all these cases, men were tranferred from existing companies to help bring the new companies up to necessary strength. There were at least three different numbering systems for the six companies, depending upon date and level of organization, so the letter designations of the companies are very confused. The list below shows the companies in order of date of organization.

    1st. Company -- Nethercutt's company.   Enlisted on May 15, 1862 in Trenton (Jones county) with John H. Nethercutt as captain, the company had already been mustered into Confederate States service as of April 29, 1862.. Nethercutt had been a sheriff of Jones County before the war and was intimately familiar with the localities, terrain, and prominent citizens of the county. Nethercutt remained as captain of the company until the formal organization of battalion in August, 1862, whereupon he was promoted to Major of the battalion. Christopher D. Foy (also of Jones county) had been previously 2nd Lieutenant and was named captain of the company upon Nethercutt's promotion, but he was soon invalided for active duty by a broken leg suffered in the service. Upon Captain Foy's discharge, Willis Raspberry (who had been serving as Adjutant of the battalion) was promoted to captain of the company.   The company was designated Company F, 66th North Carolina Troops upon the organization of that unit in October, 1863.

2nd Company -- Davis's company.   Enlisted in Kinston (Lenoir county) with David S. Davis as captain. Captain Davis was a graduate of Wake-Forest College and a veteran of a North Carolina Volunteer regiment. The company was mustered into Confederate service on July 23, 1862 and combined with Nethercutt's company on August 22 - 23, 1862 to form the 8th Battalion, N. C. Partisan Rangers. The company was designated Company C, 66th North Carolina Troops upon the organization of that unit in October, 1863.

Third Company -- Robinson's company.   Enlistment for this company began at Trenton on July 10, 1862 and additional men were enlisted on September 15, 1862 and the company was mustered for Confederate service on this latter date. Men were transferred from the two existing companies of 8th Battalion N. C. Partisan Rangers on October 25, 1862 and the company joined the battalion on this date. The company was commanded by Captain W. T. Robinson and was designated Company D, 66th North Carolina Troops upon the organization of that unit in October, 1863.

Fourth Company -- Bass's company.   This company was enlisted on February 2, 1863 in Goldsborough, Wayne county and mustered into service on that date, under the command of Captain William S. Bass. Exact date of assignment to the 8th Battalion is not known, but the company is listed on March, 1863 muster rolls as being part of the battalion. The company was designated Company L, 66th North Carolina Troops upon the organization of that unit in October, 1863, but apparently did not serve long under that organization. Soon after the organization of the 66th Regiment, this company was serving on detached provost guard duty in Wilmington and was soon re- designated "Captain W. R. Bass's Independent Company".   The company was attached to 68th Regiment N. C. Troops (Hinton's regiment) very late in the war. (Note: By mid-1863, North Carolina was stringently restricting regiments to ten companies; i.e. companies A-I and K. It was common for additional companies to be tranferred to another regiment or disbanded and the men tranferred to help increase the numbers in other companies.)

Fifth Company -- James Davis's company. This company was recruited in  Duplin county and organized in Kenansville on June 1, 1863 and accepted into service with 8th Battalion on that date. James Davis had originally served as an officer in Company B of the Battalion and may have been related to David Davis. Many of the other officers and men in this company appear to have served with Company B of the Battalion but, as Duplin county natives, were transferred to this company.   The company was designated Company H, 66th North Carolina Troops upon the organization of that unit in October, 1863.

Sixth Company -- Williams's company.   This company was raised in response to a request from Gen. D. H. Hill for a company to be raised from men from the Federally- held areas around New Bern in Eastern North Carolina. Men over conscript age from other areas of North Carolina could also be admitted. Enlistments were conducted in Jacksonville on June 26, in Kenansville on July 12, in Richlands on July 26 and Snow Hill on August 11. The company was mustered into Confederate States's service on September 25, 1863 and was assigned to the battalion on this date.   The company was designated Company I, 66th North Carolina Troops upon the organization of that unit in October, 1863.

          The 8th Battalion N. C. Partisan Rangers functioned as a separate unit in North Carolina for about a year (from about the first of September, 1862 to the beginning of October, 1863).   The battalion functioned as scouts, keeping track of Union troop movements and expeditions from the occupied areas around New Bern. In addition, the battalion served as courier for information of Union activities against the Wilmington - Weldon railroad and agriculture in Confederate-held areas of North Carolina. It assisted in the defense of Kinston and Goldsborough during Foster's raid against Whitehall and the Wilmington - Weldon railroad bridge across the Neuse south of Goldborough during December, 1862, and was attached to Gen. Junius Daniels's brigade during D.  H. Hill's attack on New Bern in March, 1863. The battalion also served to harass Union outposts near New Bern, forcing Union commanders to keep valuable manpower tied up to defend these outposts.           On October 2, 1863, by Special Order No. 234, Paragraph 20, Adjutant and Inspector General's Office, the 8th Battalion N. C. Partisan Rangers was combined with 13th Battalion N. C. Infantry (four companies, previously N. C. railroad bridge guards under Major Clement Wright) and Captain Blackmer's Independent Company (previously Salisbury Prison guards and Rowan county local defense troops) to form the 66th Regiment, North Carolina Troops. All troops and officers were transferred to the new regiment, and the 8th Battalion N. C. Partisan Rangers ceased to exist at this time.