The Civil War in North Carolina

Reminiscences and Memoirs of North Carolina and Eminent North Carolinians

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        We have now finished our book of Reminiscences of the Men of North Carolina, which we trust will prove acceptable to the kind people of whom, and for whom, it has been compiled.

        Doubtless, as we anticipated in the beginning, some worthy names have escaped mention, and others have been recorded that might as well, perhaps, have been omitted. However that may be, it has been a labor of love and the study of a lifetime.

        We do not believe that genealogical trees or doomsday books are the essentials of human happiness, yet we do believe in "pride of family" to a certain extent. There was a time once, in this republican land of ours, when many glorified themselves in ignoring the fact that they came from a distinguished ancestry, as if the spirit of our democratic institutions opposed any reference to family histories. That we were born of an honest and industrious race for several generations back was quite sufficient, and so it may be. And yet if a man were asked if he had a grandfather, we would logically infer that he must have had one, but this he could not assert as a historical or legal fact, unless there was some record of that fact.

        This indifference to family records is passing away, and now our people are taking more interest in such researches. These annals of our venerated ancestry certainly are not--

                         "Airy tongues, that syllable men's names,
                         On sands and shore."

        We trust they have answered the question so forcibly put by one of the distinguished sons of the State: "Who are the people of North Carolina, and what was their origin and career?" And so remind their descendants of those noble men who lived and died for their country--

                         "In ourselves their souls exist
                         A part of ours."

        The only merit claimed by us is the patient and painstaking labor, which has cheerfully been bestowed in collecting them together, and so presenting them to my countrymen as a garland of glorious memories to refresh and regale the senses of our kind readers. And so we close with the sentiment so beautifully expressed by Judge Whiting, already alluded to: "Let it not be thought that we are working for ourselves alone, or for those now living. Let us hope that thousands yet unborn will bless the patient and pious hands that have rescued from oblivion these precious memorials of men--

                         "Whose tongues are silent quite; Whose bodily forms are reminiscences

                         "All these were honored in their generations and were the glory of their times. There be of them that have left a name behind them that their praises might be reported. Their bodies are buried in peace, but their name liveth forevermore."--

Ecclesiasticus, xliv, 7-14.

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