Reviewed by Keith Jones
North Carolina Remembers Gettysburg is a treasure trove of first hand accounts from the N.C. Soldiers who were there. Relying mostly on newspaper accounts beginning in the days following the battle up until the latter days of their lives, the native sons of the Old North State who wore the gray, replay their experiences on the bloody fields. Closely examined are the rebuttals the soldiers made to a book by Col. Robert Taylor of Gen. Robert E. Lee’s staff, that misreported the facts of the final charge. Taylor had written that Maj. Gen. George Pickett’s division was the only organized body of troops making the charge and entering the Yankee lines. He falsely contended that the troops of Brig. Gen. J. Johnston Pettigrew and Maj. Gen Isaac Trimble were simply in support and far behind Pickett’s force. These troops of former University of North Carolina professor Pettigrew and railroad executive Trimble were largely North Carolinians. The papers of the state led by the Raleigh Observer were quick to solicit these reports refuting Taylor’s book.
North Carolina Remembers Gettysburg was formulated out of the numerous articles that historian Michael Hardy collected while researching his books on the various regiments North Carolina contributed to the Confederate cause. If you are interested in Gettysburg and enjoy reading these old first hand accounts, then this book is for you.
This book is not so much an organized history like most of Hardy’s books, but it is rather a collection of source material. It is enjoyable in the sense that it shows you the battle as the soldiers saw it, not as historians now interpret it. There is no modern day postulating nor speculating of intentions. It is simply the words of the men who were there as delivered to their contemporaries.