|Shortly after the secession of
North Carolina, the state legislature authorized the organization of ten
regiments to be enlisted for three years or for the duration of the war.
Eight of these regiments were to be infantry, one cavalry, and one
artillery. The ninth regiment formed by this act of the legislature was
designated the ninth Regiment, North Carolina State Troops (cavalry).
Recruiting began in mid-May 1861 and all ten companies were filled by
early June 1861. Organized at Camp Beauregard, Ridgeway, Warren County,
NC, on August 12, 1861. The regiment was mustered into Confederate States
service while at Richmond, VA and was recognized by Confederate States
authorities as the 1st Regiment North Carolina Cavalry on OCTOBER 12,
1861. The 1st North Carolina Cavalry Regiment's organization is noted
The ten companies were identified as follows:
"A" Jefferson, Ashe County, 23 April 1861
"B" Rich Square, Northhampton County, 12 June 1861
"C" Mecklenburg Rangers, Charlotte, Mecklenburg County, 25 May 1861
"D" Watauga Rangers, Boone, Watauga County, 11 May 1861
"E" Warrenton, Warrenton (Now Warren) County, June 1861
"F" Cabarrus Rangers, Concord Cabarrus County, 15 June 1861
"G" Buncombe Rangers, Ashville, Buncombe County, 20 May 1861
"H" Goldsboro, Wayne County, 20 June 1861
"I" Kenansville, Duplin County, 17 June 1861
"K" Nantahala Rangers, Franklin, Macon County, 13 June 1861
Colonel Robert Ransom Jr.
Lieutenant Colonel Lawrence S. Baker
Major James B. Gordon
Major Victor C. Barringer
Adjutant J.L. Henry
Quartermaster R.J. Shaw
Commissary M.D.L. McLeod
Sergeant Major R.T. Fulghuer
Surgeon Dr. D.W.S. Hilliard
Surgeon Dr. Chas. J. O'Hagan
Captain E.N. (or T.N.) Crumpler
1st Lieut. W.H.H. Cowles
2nd Lieut. D.S.R. Smith
2nd Lieut. John S. Forrester
70 men from Ashe County
Captain J.H. Whitaker
1st Lieut. A.B. Andrews
2nd Lieut. W.R. Williams
2nd Lieut. J.W. Price
89 men from Northampton City
Captain J.M. Miller
1st Lieut. M.D.L. McLeod
2nd Lieut. R.H. Maxwell
2nd Lieut. J.L. Morrow
67 men from Mechlinburg County
Captain G.N. Folk (Polk)
1st Lieut. S.P. Caldwell
2nd Lieut. J.W. Council
2nd Lieut. J.C. Blair
70 men from Watauga City
Captain W.H. Cheek
1st Lieut. R.J. Shaw
2nd Lieut. J.H.W. Person
77 men from Warren County
Captain Rufus Barringer
1st Lieut. J.A. Fisher
2nd Lieut. J.L. Grier
2nd Lieut. N.P. Foard
98 men from Cabarrus City
Captain Wm. R. Wood
1st Lieut. J.L. Henry
2nd Lieut. Wm. E. Broduax
2nd Lieut. Jms. Gaine
85 men from Buncombe County
Captain Hon. Thomas Ruffin
1st Lieut. Thomas L. Vail
2nd Lieut. J.H. Bryan
2nd Lieut. F. Kornegay
95 men from Wayne City
Captain Wm. J. Houston
1st Lieut. W.A. Barrier
2nd Lieut. Kerr Craige
71 men from Duplin County
Captain T.P. Silar
1st Lieut. W.M. Addington
2nd Lieut. W.H. Roane
2nd Lieut. B.P. Elles
68 men from Macon County
The officers represented the best character and military skill of the State - one being an ex-member of Congress. Five of them, Crumpler, Ruffin, Andrews, Houston, and Whitaker, fell in battle. The latter two fell during the ten days of incessant attacks by Union General Pleasanton at Aldie, Middleburg, Upperville and Fairfax. Actions that occurred a few days after the Cavalry Battle of Brandy Station, June 9, 1863. At Jack's Shop, on Sept. 22, 1863, the gallant Captain A.B. Andrews fell while cheering his men on, shot through the lungs. Standing near each other, Captain Andrews was caught as he fell, by then Captain Rufus Barringer.
Colonel Robert Ransom, Jr.: West Point Graduate, promoted to Brigadier and later Major General - Transferred.
Lt. Colonel Laurence S. Baker: West Point Graduate, promoted to Colonel, and later Brigadier General. Severely wounded in the arm (the arm bones had been shattered) on July 31, 1863 while repulsing a Federal sortie across the Rappahannock River. This wound ended his career as a Cavalryman. Assigned to command the Military District of North Carolina.
Colonel Thomas Ruffin: Captain, promoted to Major, Lieut. Colonel, Colonel. On the 13th of October, 1863, at the Battle of Auburn, the gallant Colonel Ruffin fell mortally wounded at the first fire of musketry while charging a line of infantry. He was at the head of the 1st North Carolina Cavalry Regiment, leading the charge, sabers drawn.
Major James B. Gordon: Promoted to Lt. Colonel, then Colonel, and later Brigadier General. Severely wounded near Brook Church, just outside of Richmond. A bullet struck his arm and exited his elbow. The wound was not mortal but erysipelas set in and ravaged the wounded general. Gordon died from his wound, May 18, 1864. His loss cost the North Carolina Cavalry Brigade its fighting edge. "The Esprit de Corps was gone".
Captain Rufus Barringer: Promoted to Major, Lieut. Colonel, Colonel and later Brigadier General. Severely wounded at the Cavalry Battle of Brandy Station. Returned to fight again. Led the Brigade after Gordon's death. Captured at Namozine Church, only a few days before Appomatox.
Captain William H. Cheek: Later promoted to Major, Lieut. Colonel, then Colonel. Severely wounded near Yellow Tavern, 9th of May, 1864. Returned to fight again. After Barringer's capture, the command devolved upon Colonel Cheek but two days afterwards he also fell into enemy hands.
1st Lt. William H.H. Cowles: Promoted to Captain, then to Major, Lieut. Colonel, and later Colonel of the "Fighting 1st" on the 6th of June, 1864. March, 31, 1865, shot in the head while leading a desperate assault on the right of the enemy near Petersburg. Thought killed, was left unconscious to fall into the hands of the enemy. Survived the war.
Captain Thomas N. Crumpler: Promoted to Major. Fell in battle.
Adjutant George Dewey: Promoted to Captain, H Company, then to Major.
1st Lt. Marcus L. McLeod: Promoted up to the rank of Major
Captain John H. Whitaker: Promoted to Major. Fell in battle.
1ST Lt. A.B. Andrews: Promoted to Captain. Fell in battle.
2nd Lt. N.P. Foard: Promoted to Captain.
1st Lt. W.M. Addington: Promoted to Captain.
THE 1ST NORTH CAROLINA CAVALRY REGIMENT'S ASSIGNMENTS:
Cavalry Brigade, Potomac District, Department of Northern Virginia. October 1861-March 1862
Ransom's Brigade, Department of North Carolina. April-May 1861.
Cavalry Brigade, Army of Northern Virginia (ANV). June-July 1862
Ransom's Brigade, Department of North Carolina, Companies A and B. May-August 1862
Hampton's-Baker's Brigade, Cavalry Division, ANV. July-September 1862.
Gordan's Brigade, Hampton's Division, Stuart's Cavalry Corps, ANV. Established on Sept 9, 1863. The first ever North Carolina Brigade consisting of the 1st, 2nd, 4th, and 5th North Carolina Cavalry Regiments.
Barringer's Brigade, W.H.F. Lee's Division, Hampton's Cavalry Corps. May 1864-April 1865.
The 1st North Carolina did not participate in Stuart's ride around the Union Army in mid-June and saw only limited action during the Seven Days Campaign. The Regiment did take part in the campaigns of Second Manassas and Sharpsburg. Significant cavalry clashes included the battle at Brandy Station on June 9, 1863. In that hotly contested engagement, the Regiment made a dismounted charge upon Union infantry and undertook two mounted charges upon Union cavalry. It was Captain Cowles who led the charge that drove the 10th N.Y. Cavalry out of line and to the rear , routing them, capturing its flag and over 130 troopers. Twelve days later, on June 21, at Upperville, Virginia, Hampton's brigade engaged the Union brigade of Kilpatrick. The opponents crashed into each other in and around the village in a chaotic struggle marked by hand-to-hand combat. Colonel Laurence Baker's (Regimental commander at the time) 1st North Carolinians were in the midst of the fury and fought well. At Gettysburg, on July 3, Hampton's brigade once again bore a crucial role. During the infamous cavalry engagement east of the main battlefield (near Hunterstown), the 1st North Carolina and the Jeff Davis Legion broke through the Federal ranks and pursued. Encountering Union reserves, the two forces fought hand-to-hand. Hampton received a head wound (claimed by Captain Hampton S. Thomas of the 1st Pennsylvania Cavalry, who cut his way through the Confederate column to confront Hampton) and Baker, as senior colonel, took command of the brigade and extricated it, leaving Lt. Colonel Gordon in charge of the 1st North Carolina Cavalry Regiment. A few months later, on October 18, 1863, Brigadier General Gordon and the 1st North Carolina Regiment played a major role in the "Buckland Races", near Buckland's Mills, VA.
The Regiment participated in more than 160 various types of combat (engagements, skirmishes, actions, sieges, operations, battles and campaigns).