Auburn University Archives and Manuscripts Department


Lane's Sketch - NC Military Institute & War (D.H. Hill, et al.)

The North Car. Mil Inst at Charlotte was established a few years before the war by some of the well to do citizens of that patriotic & enterprising town. At the outbreak of hostilities the Corps numbered about 150 & was officered by DH Hill Supt & Prof. Chas. C. Lee Comdt & Prof.  Robt. M. McKinney, Prof & inst of Tactics & Jas. H. Lane Prof & Inst. of Tactics.  Hill rose to the rank of Lieut Genl, Lee as Col of the 37th was killed at Frasier's Farm. McKinney as Col of the 15th was killed at Williamsburg & Lane attained the rank of Brig. Gen. in command of N.C. Troops. After the fall of Fort Sumter, the patriotic ladies of Charlotte presented the Corps with a secession flag, made with their own fair hands. Early, one morning as the train was speeding its way to South Carolina, these enthusiastic boys unfurled that flag for the first time over their barracks & saluted it with a fire from their battery & prolonged & loud cheering, so characteristic of college boys. Every window on the train was open with eager heads thrust out, the men yelling & waving their hats, & the ladies waving their dainty handkerchiefs, & the engineer made that engine scream as it had never screamed before. When the troops of the state begun assembling in Raleigh"
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Hill went to Raleigh where Gov Ellis put him in charge of the 1st State Camp of Instruction. McKinney left soon after to take part in the capture of a fort in the eastern part of the State. Those brave boys caught the war fever badly & wanted to resign & enter the army. Lee wrote Hill that he could not control them much longer, & Gov Ellis ordered the whole Crops to Raleigh as drill-masters, where Lee acted as Asst. Commandant to Hill & Lane as his Adjt. There is no doubt that the tactical knowledge of the Bethel Regiment & the other troops in that camp was largely due to those well drilled boys. When the Bethel regiment was organized, Hill was elected Colonel, Lee Lieut Col & Lane Major. Hill appointed Cadet Poteat his Adjt. & made Cadet [Ra____] his Aide. The whole Corps wished to follow their professors to the seat of war in Virginia, but Hill told them that none could go except with without the permission of their parents. A detachment attached its self to the Regiment & took a conspicuous part in the battle of Bethel. When the Bethel regiment was organized the Corps was disbanded
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& many of them some remaining in Raleigh & others gone as drill masters to the various other Camps of Instruction. When I took charge of the 28 Regt I found several of them cadets with it & made one of them Cadet Nicholas Gibbon my Commissary. After rendering such efficient service as drill masters, many of them these cadets were elected to official positions in the different regiments. In my brigade Jas. G. Harris, the gallant Major & [ ] of the 7th, was a cadet, & so was Capt. Jno. P. Young of the same regiment who was killed in that bloody charge at Chancellorsville. David M. Oates the brave & efficient Adj of the 37th was also a Cadet. I have no data - write only from memory, & I am sorry I cannot, at this late day, recall more of those brave boys in their subsequent & their brilliant military careers. It was a body Much of my life has been spent in Military Institutions of learning, & it gives me pleasure to say that the Corps I have never seen a finer body of boys than the Corps of Cadets of the North Carolina Mil. Inst at Charlotte