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Bluecoats and Tar HeelsSoldiers and Civilians in Reconstruction North Carolina$

Mark L Bradley

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780813125077

Published to Kentucky Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5810/kentucky/9780813125077.001.0001

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(p.270) (p.271) Appendix Regional and Ethnic Origins of Federal Troops in North Carolina, 1868–1870

(p.270) (p.271) Appendix Regional and Ethnic Origins of Federal Troops in North Carolina, 1868–1870

Bluecoats and Tar Heels
University Press of Kentucky

40th U.S. Infantry

  1. 1. The 40th U.S. Infantry consisted of white officers and black enlisted men. The recruits were mustered in and trained at Camp Distribution, Virginia. Roughly one-half the enlisted men hailed from Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C.

  2. 2. The regiment was stationed in the Carolinas for two years, yet only 11 percent of the enlisted men were native North Carolinians.

  3. 3. Some 12 percent of the enlisted men were natives of New York and Pennsylvania. Many were literate men from New York City and Philadelphia recruited to perform administrative and clerical duties.

Native-Born Enlisted Men

Alabama 6

Maine 5

California 1

Maryland 196

Connecticut 9

Massachusetts 13

Delaware 17

Michigan 1

District of Columbia 81

Mississippi 4

Florida 4

Missouri 2

Georgia 19

New Jersey 24

Illinois 1

New York 67

Indiana 3

North Carolina 121

Iowa 1

Ohio 10

Kentucky 21

Pennsylvania 60

Louisiana 7

Rhode Island 4

South Carolina 114

Virginia 243

Tennessee 7

West Virginia 1

Subtotal 1,042


Foreign-Born Enlisted Men

Canada 5

Jamaica 3

Germany 1

South America 1

India 1

West Indies 2

Subtotal 13


Unknown Place of Birth 4


Total Enlisted Men 40th Infantry 1,059


(p.272) (p.273) 8th U.S. Infantry

The only relevant Descriptive Book for the 8th U.S. Infantry, an all-white regiment, dates from 1866. The 1870 U.S. Census provides the most current information on the soldiers of the 8th who served in the Carolinas from 1866 to 1870.

  1. 1. Some 54 percent of the enlisted men in the 8th Infantry were foreign-born: 21 percent were Irish immigrants and 20 percent were German.

  2. 2. The Eastern Seaboard (DC, DE, MD, NJ, NY, PA) furnished 21 percent of the enlisted men, the Midwest (IL, IN, IA, KY, MI, MO, OH, WI) 11 percent, the former Confederate states (GA, LA, NC, SC, TN, TX, VA) 9 percent, and New England (CT, MA, ME, NH, RI, VT) 4 percent.

  3. 3. Nineteen enlisted men were native North Carolinians. According to the North Carolina Daily Standard, at least some of the Tar Heel bluecoats were Confederate veterans. “We are personally acquainted with the soldiers of this garrison (Co. K, 8th Infantry) who served in North Carolina regiments during the Confederacy, and who are now proudly wearing the blue,” wrote a correspondent for the Standard (Raleigh, November 3, 1869).

Native-Born Enlisted Men

California 1

District of Columbia 2

Connecticut 4

Georgia 12

Delaware 2

Illinois 13

Indiana 15

New York 66

Indian Territory 1

North Carolina 19

Iowa 1

Ohio 22

Kentucky 1

Pennsylvania 28

Louisiana 2

Rhode Island 2

Maine 5

South Carolina 5

Maryland 7

Tennessee 3

Massachusetts 7

Texas 1

Michigan 1

Vermont 2

Missouri 1

Virginia 6

New Hampshire 2

Washington 1

New Jersey 7

Wisconsin 2

Subtotal 241


Unknown Place of Birth 10

The census taker listed the place of birth of these soldiers as “SC,” but it appears that he arbitrarily inserted this information on discovering that he had left the spaces blank.


Foreign-Born Enlisted Men

Austria 1

Germany 105

Belgium 3

Holland 1

Bohemia 1

Ireland 113

Canada 13

Scotland 5

Denmark 2

Spain 2

England 26

Sweden 1

France 3

Switzerland 8

Subtotal 284


Total Enlisted Men 8th Infantry 535


Sources Data for the 40th U.S. Infantry was compiled from “Where Born” in Descriptive Book, 1866–1868, E1995, 40th U.S. Infantry, RG 391, NA. Data for the 8th U.S. Infantry was compiled from the 1870 Federal Census, M593, Reels 1121, 1127, 1162, 1163, 1487, 1507, and 1508, all in Federal Population Census, NA.