THE CALL TO ARMS
One historian wrote that " North Carolina's greatest contribution to the Confederacy was man power--the high number of soldiers who bore the brunt of scores of battles."1 She had one-ninth of the population of the Confederacy and furnished over one-seventh of its troops: 111,000 men organized into seventy-two regiments, 10,000 reserves comprising eight regiments, and 4,000 home guardsmen. North Carolinians killed in battle numbered 19,673, more than one-fourth the Confederate total. One-fifth of the Confederate losses in the Seven Days Battle around Richmond, one-fourth of those at Gettysburg, and one-third of those at Fredericksburg were North Carolinian. One-fifth of Lee's men who surrendered at Appomattox were North Carolinian. Those who died of disease numbered 20,602. North Carolina's total war casualties were greater than that of any other state. Since the United States had two and one-half times the population of the Confederacy, this great drain of manpower was the state's supreme sacrifice for southern independence.
Because of the South's long and strong military tradition, each state that joined the Confederacy possessed a well-organized volunteer militia system. In previous wars they had formed the basis of the national army, and in his inaugural address President Davis advised Congress to continue this practice. During the spring of 1861 Congress established the system that was to be used until the adoption of conscription. On the local level men would form a company, elect their officers, and then offer the company to the governor. He would organize companies into regiments, appoint the regimental officers, and send them all to camps of instruction for basic military training. Finally the governor would offer the regiments to the president for specific terms of enlistment, generally for twelve months but frequently for only six if the company's term of enlistment so stipulated. The president would then organize the____________________