The 25th North Carolina Troops in the Civil War—
History and Roster of a Mountain-Bred Regiment
By Carroll C. Jones
(November 2009 Civil War News)
Illustrated, maps, appendix, endnotes, bibliography, index, 314 pp., 2009. McFarland, Box 611, Jefferson, NC 28640, $55 plus shipping, www.mcfarlandpub.com.
North Carolina native Carroll C. Jones, an engineering consultant, has taken on the task of writing a regimental account of the 25th North Carolina Infantry, a unit that his great-grandfather, William Harrison Hargrove, served in.
Hargrove rose from private to first lieutenant commanding his company before being captured at Five Forks in the last days of the Army of Northern Virginia. The 25th was a unit raised in the far western regions of North Carolina that saw service in several theaters of the conflict.
Basing his manuscript on a brief regimental history penned by a veteran in 1901, Jones fleshes out his study by uncovering letters, diaries and newspaper accounts of members of the 25th or units closely associated with it and adding from material drawn from standard sources such as the Official Records and North Carolina Troops, 1861-1865.
The book is filled with photographs and illustrations of regimental members and events connected with its service. Well-done maps illustrate the actions the 25th participated in. There are several appendices including a full regimental roster, list of Appomattox parolees, chronology of unit deployments and a whole chapter devoted to casualty analysis of the different campaigns as well as desertion statistics.
Jones does not gloss over the fact that desertion played a large part in the story of the 25th where up to 18 percent, and perhaps as high as 21 percent, of the unit’s strength left the ranks. However, this was not out of line with other North Carolina units raised in the state’s western highlands.
The 25th served in Carolina coastal defense and also saw action with the Army of Northern Virginia at Antietam (which it had the fortune to be one of the rare Confederate units lightly engaged), at Fredericksburg, and in the Petersburg trenches leading up to the surrender at Appomattox. Of the 1,670 men who were enrolled in the ranks of the 25th, just 74 were present to lay down their arms on April 12, 1865.
Jones has produced a well-written, beautifully illustrated history of one of the lesser-known North Carolina units. At $55 the book may unfortunately be out of the range of any but those with a special connection to these hardy mountain boys, but, nonetheless, Carroll C. Jones has done the memory of his great-grandfather and his comrades in arms a fine service.
Kenneth D. Williams
Kenneth D. Williams is writing a book on the 11th Pennsylvania Volunteers and is doing doctoral level work in American history. He has worked as a park ranger at Gettysburg National Military Park and Eisenhower National Historic Site.