First Wednesdays -Time to Say Adieu

With a tip of hat and a fond adieu, the Civil War Sesquicentennial Blog of the State Archives of North Carolina is finally stacking their literary muskets and folding our flags to close out our blog to commemorate the Sesquicentennial of the American Civil War. During the period of 2010-2015, we have posted 249 blog posts, given twenty presentations, and provided logistical support to three Civil War Conferences established by the N. C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources’ departmental Civil War Sesquicentennial Committee. In a manner similar to Civil War regiments, we started out with a robust committee of ten members, which soon through retirements and reassignments, dwindled down to a core group of four members, who continued to faithfully post new blog posts and assist in the giving “Second Mondays” presentations.


“Petersburg, Va., Row of Stacked Federal Rifles; houses beyond” LC-dig-cwpb-02647; Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division, Washington, D. C. 20540

For several of us, the NC Civil War 150 blog was our first venture into creating content for social media. We have had to learn to complete transcriptions and metadata on the fly with the able assistance of our colleagues in our Digital Access Branch. At times, we probably drove them crazy in our push to post content by the “First Wednesday” of every month, but their patience was extremely appreciated by us. Without their able assistance, we would have never been able to complete our work to finish out this commemoration in 2015. In addition, we also want to thank our co-workers who have put up with our ambitious schedule, which sometimes meant other tasks were delayed in favor of research, scanning, document transcriptions, metadata creation, post writing, and all the other tasks needed to maintain this site.

Lastly, we also want to thank you for taking the time to read our blog posts, make comments, and attend our presentations. We appreciate your attention, and thank you for being willing to share the commemoration of this important event in American History.

This blog will remain online, although we plan to close the comments by Feb. 10, 2016. If you have questions about materials mentioned in our posts, please contact us at This blog has also been captured as part of the NC State Government Web Site Archives and Access Program, available at

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Civil War Diary of Thomas K. McBryde

[This blog post comes from Matthew Peek, Military Collection Archivist for the State Archives of North Carolina.]

As the state of North Carolina ends its Sesquicentennial commemoration of the American Civil War, we are fortunate to receive a valuable addition to North Carolina Civil War scholarship here at the State Archives of North Carolina. The Military Collection at the State Archives of North Carolina is in the process of acquiring, through a generous donation by the family of John M. McBryde, an original Civil War diary kept by Thomas K. McBryde, a Third Lieutenant in Company G (the “Highland Boys”), Twentieth-fourth Regiment, North Carolina Troops. McBryde was from Robeson County, North Carolina, and served in the Confederate Army from May 1861 through the end of the war in 1865.

Cover of the Thomas K. McBryde diary

Cover of the Thomas K. McBryde diary.

Much of McBryde’s diary consists of short daily entries for the period of 1861-1862. Some of the pages have been torn out, and some periods of inactivity resulted in McBryde not writing anything down. He did have a habit of listing the names of all of the men in his company, along with commanding officers at various periods. The diary begins in March 1861, and ends in September 1862. The diary is fragile, and will need to undergo preservation work before it is made available to the public. We are fortunate in having a hand-written transcription of the diary, created by Thomas McBryde’s granddaughter, which will allow the State Archives to provide textual access for the diary to researchers until a full, typed transcription can be made available.

Thomas K. McBryde was born on January 28, 1842, in Robeson County, North Carolina, to Malcolm and Mary Gilchrist McBryde, who were of Scottish descent. Thomas McBryde attended the University of North Carolina from 1856 to 1857. He would serve in Company G (nicknamed the “Highland Boys” after their Scottish Highlands’ heritage) in the Twentieth-fourth Regiment of the North Carolina Troops during the war. McBryde served from May 1861 to June 17, 1865. He was a Sergeant who was promoted to 3rd Lieutenant on January 1, 1863. On March 25, 1865, McBryde was captured near Fort Stedman, Virginia, by Union forces, and confined at the Old Capitol Prison in Washington, D.C. He was transferred to Fort Delaware in Delaware on March 30, 1865, where he remained until he was released after taking the Oath of Allegiance in June 1865.

Thomas McBryde returned to Robeson County after the war to work as a farmer. He would go on to hold a distinguished political career. In 1882, Thomas McBryde married Mary McDuffie, and the couple would have six children together. Thomas McBryde served as Robeson County Commissioner from 1888 to 1892, and chairman of the Democratic Executive Committee from 1894 to 1896. In 1903, McBryde was elected as a State Senator to the North Carolina State Senate. After moving to Hoke County, North Carolina, McBryde was elected as a Representative to the North Carolina General Assembly in 1913. Thomas K. McBryde died on March 5, 1918, in Blue Springs Township in Hoke County, North Carolina, at the age of 75. He was buried in Spring Hill Cemetery in Scotland County, North Carolina.

Thomas McBryde’s diary provides us with the following interesting details about his military service not available in most Civil War records. What follows is a brief service and unit history compiled from his diary.

Thomas K. McBryde was in Texas as of March 1861, possibly visiting McBryde family members who had moved to Texas prior to the Civil War. He arrived in northern Robeson County, North Carolina on March 24, 1861- some twenty-two days before President Abraham Lincoln called for 75,000 troops to be supplied to squash the secession of Southern states from the Union. North Carolina seceded from the Union on May 20, 1861. Thomas McBryde enlisted formally in the Twentieth-fourth Regiment, North Carolina Troops, on June 4, 1861.

It appears that McBryde was going to enlist in a Federal Army unit prior to May 1861, but he quit on May 1, 1861, as tensions rose between North Carolina and the federal government. He joined the 14th Regiment of North Carolina Volunteers on May 15, 1861, and they went into encampment on May 27, 1861, at Floral College in Robeson County. June 4th was the day that McBryde got his officer’s commission as a Sergeant in the newly-formed Twentieth-fourth Regiment, North Carolina Troops. In August 1861, Thomas McBryde’s “Highland Boys” were ordered to western Virginia, serving in the Appalachian Mountains under the command of Confederal Brigadier General John Buchanan Floyd (later commander of Fort Donelson in Tennessee) in the Confederate Army of the Kanawha. McBryde’s company remained in western Virginia until December 5, 1861.

By that time, McBryde’s regiment was transferred under the command of General Robert E. Lee, of whom McBryde observed in his diary: “then we were put under the command of General Lee—the great general who have all confidence in as a man inferior to no one. The Yankees feared him greatly as a leader and retreated soon after we were put under his command . . . .” McBryde’s unit was stationed in Meadow Bluff, Virginia (now West Virginia), working on fortifications in that area in September 1861. McBryde and his men first encountered the Union Army (in a manner of speaking) on September 28, 1861, as they could “hear the music of the Yankees” and were “in expectation of being attacked” on September 29th. Although such a military engagement with the Union forces did not materialize at that time, the Twentieth-fourth Regiment was devastated by illness and inadequate provisions, as McBryde notes in the diary during the construction of fortifications.

After a furlough to Robeson County in December 1861, McBryde’s company returned to service at Petersburg, Virginia, in January 1862, where McBryde would attend the local Presbyterian church. He remained stationed in Petersburg until February 12, 1861, during which time he took part in city life and Army activities. Thomas noted humorously on February 4, 1861, about a drill: “Raining in the morning, clear in the afternoon. Had a bogus dress parade by Major Evans (drunk)” (believed to be Jonathan Evans, major of the Twenty-fourth N.C. troops).

McBryde also made poignant observations about the loss of men who served in his regiment: “Attended John Little’s funeral. Poor fellow. he was good and a noble man. he had his faults but who has not.” Thomas McBryde’s regiment was sent to Norfolk, Virginia, in early March 1862, where he witnessed the Battle of Hampton Roads, and describes hearing the ironclad ship CSS Virginia, as he writes it, during its battle with the USS Congress, of which he notes hearing the Congress “blew up with a terrible explosion.” Hampton Roads was the site of the famous battle between the ironclads Virginia and Monitor, and is documented in several entries in McBryde’s diary. His company was ordered to Murfreesboro, North Carolina, after Hampton Roads. Thomas McBryde later details his company’s involvement in the incursion of the Confederate Army into Maryland in 1862, and discusses the Battle of Antietam, Md. McBryde writes a list of all of the men in his company following the Battle of Antietam, and notes the number of men killed or wounded in the battle.

The end of McBryde’s diary was written in 1918 by a family member after the death of Thomas McBryde on March 5, 1918, and includes McBryde’s service history in the Civil War and a list of the men in his unit. This wonderful diary is a rare insight into the early period of the Civil War, and is an invaluable documentary source of the experience of a North Carolina officer in Virginia and eastern North Carolina during the war. We are grateful to the family of John M. McBryde for entrusting the preservation of this diary to the State Archives of North Carolina and the Military Collection, and for recognizing the diary’s historical research value for members of the public.

Should anyone be interested in learning more about McBryde’s diary, or should anyone have original North Carolina Civil War records or photographs they might be interested in donating to the State Archives of North Carolina, you can contact Matthew Peek, Military Collection Archivist at the State Archives, at (919) 807-7314, or email him at You can also learn more about the Military Collection by checking out their webpage at

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First Wednesdays – “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude … shall exist…”

As described in an earlier blog post, Provisional Governor William W. Holden had convened a convention composed of “properly pardoned” delegates to fulfill a number of obligations necessary to complete President Andrew Johnson’s requirements for reentry into the United States. First, the convention had to reject the ordnance of secession that was passed in May 1861, and to pass a resolution to abolish slavery within the boundaries of Tar Heel state. Once those benchmarks were completed, the citizens had to elect a new governor and legislative body to recompose state government in North Carolina. Then the citizens of the state had to vote their approval of the rejection of the secession ordnance and resolution supporting the abolition of slavery.

President Johnson also requested that North Carolina repudiate its war debt and that issue again inflamed the old political rivalries within the state. The majority of convention was now against the repudiation of the war debt and also opposed the candidacy of William W. Holden as governor. Despite this opposition, Holden moved forward with his campaign to win the office of chief executive of the state. Those opposed to debt repudiation chose Jonathan Worth, the current State Treasurer, who also was opposed to wiping away the enormous war debt that had been accumulated by the state during the war. In addition, there were twenty-three candidates vying to win seven United States congressional seats within the state, and over 500 contenders to the 170 seats available in both State House and Senate. By the end of November 1865, Worth was elected to office by a count of 31,643 votes, well over the 25,704 votes supporting Holden. The voters also agreed with the earlier actions of the Convention of 1865 by approving the rejection of the secession ordnance and the resolution on the abolition of slavery.

On 29 November 1865, a resolution was introduced to approve the Thirteen Amendment of the United States Constitution to federally recognize the abolition of slavery throughout the United States. A number of legislators in the State House of Commons feared that their approval of the amendment would allow the U. S. Congress to regulate civil rights within the state. Other members of the State House realized that failure to support the amendment would likely mean continue federal control over the state. In the end, the State House approved the amendment 100 to 4. In the State Senate, a similar debate ensued over federal involvement in civil rights, expansion of the powers of the U. S. Congress, and the potential for continued federal control over the state. However, on 4 December 1865, the State Senate formally approved the Thirteen Amendment to abolish slavery. Some eleven days later, the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution was passed and slavery was officially abolished in the United States.


Please join us at the State Capitol on December 4th to observe this important anniversary. The State Archives of North Carolina will be displaying North Carolina’s Copy of the Thirteenth Amendment for the day. Please see below for more information:



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Last “Second Mondays” Presentation – Monday, November 9, 2015 – 12 Noon


Presidential Reconstruction In North Carolina

(Archives & History Building Auditorium, Raleigh, NC):

November 9, 2015 at 12 Noon

(A. Christopher Meekins, Head, Microfilm Imaging Unit, State Archives of North Carolina)

After four years of war, North Carolina was now preparing itself to reenter the Union after the American Civil War. Chris Meekins will discuss the entrance of the Tar Heel State back into the United States.

Free to the Public – Please Join Us

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First Wednesdays – “…to surrender the ship…”

Many North Carolinians saw the repeal of the Ordinance of Secession and repudiation of slavery as the final steps to be completed for their re-entry into the United States. Now, the voting population of North Carolina had to select a new governor and representatives to form a new state government to lead and to help heal the pain from the death and suffering of the last four years. County governments were being re-instituted, and new political alliances were now being formed from former Whigs, Democrats, and newly freed African-American men.

The war continued. Returning veterans found themselves in communities ravaged by death and destruction. Families were ripped apart by the war, and communities found themselves divided politically between those individuals who supported the Confederacy and those who considered themselves as still loyal to the Old Glory. For these communities, the bloodshed continued until the pain of the past was erased from the memory of the community.

Roughly 4000 miles to the northeast, one of the last symbols of the Confederacy was coming to a close. In the Mersey River, Confederate Commander James Iredell Waddell piloted the C.S.S. Shenandoah toward a rendezvous with Captain I. C. Paynter and the H.M.S. Donegal. At the time, H.M.S. Donegal was serving as a coastguard vessel at Liverpool protecting the river and the port facilities. Confederate Commander Waddell and his vessel had embarked on their cruise in October 1864 to strike a blow against Union shipping. By April 1865, the Confederate raider was in the Pacific Ocean attacking Union merchant ships, and a month later, Commander Waddell was striking against Yankee Whalers in the Bering Sea. In August 1865, Waddell learned that the war was over from a British ship sailing to San Francisco, California. From April 1865 to August 1865, Waddell and his crew had captured roughly forty-eight vessels during this time. Concerned that he and his crew would be considered as pirates, Commander Waddell immediately disarmed his ship and made course to sail to Liverpool, England. The C.S.S. Shenandoah sailed westward through the Pacific Ocean, around Cape Horn, and north to Liverpool.

On November 5, 1865, the C.S.S. Shenandoah sailed into the Mersey River, and proceeded drop anchor near the H.M.S. Donegal. Confederate Commander Waddell formerly surrendered to his ship to Captain Paynter on November 6, 1865. A Royal Navy detachment watched as the Confederate colors were struck from the vessel. In a letter to the Earl of Russell dated November 5, 1865, Commander Waddell wrote “… to surrender the ship, with her battery, small arms, machinery stoves, Tackle and approval complete to her Majesty’s Government for such disposition as in its wisdom should be deemed proper…” James I. Waddell would not return back to the United States till 1875. C.S.S. Shenandoah was sold to a foreign buyer and was sunk in a hurricane near Zanzibar in April 1872.

Letter: James I. Waddell to the Earl of Russell, November 5, 1865, PC.87.1 James I. Waddell Papers

Letter: James I. Waddell to the Earl of Russell, November 5, 1865, PC.87.1 James I. Waddell Papers

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First Wednesdays – “…the institution of slavery having been destroyed…”

As noted in a previous post, Provisional Governor William W. Holden had called for a statewide convention in October 1865 to complete North Carolina’s restoration to the Union. That convention had a very simple, but critical, charge to vote to reject the ordinance of secession that was passed in May 1861 and to abolish slavery as a fulfillment of one of several requirements as stated in President Andrew Johnson’s proclamations in May 1865. Provisional Governor Holden now faced the task of finding qualified citizens to serve in this convention. One of the problems that Holden faced was that many of the political leaders of the state had thrown their hat in the ring to support the Confederacy during the late war, and those men would have to be pardoned to be allowed to participate in the statewide convention. President Johnson stated that any Tar Heel citizen, who were requesting to receive a pardon, would have to make application through the Provisional Governor’s Office and will have be recommended by Holden himself to President Johnson. Unfortunately, the political turmoil that existed in North Carolina in 1864-1865 erupted again as Holden refused to approve pardons for many of his political adversaries in Post war North Carolina.

In a letter to the Raleigh Sentinel dated September 21, 1865, former Governor William A. Graham posted a letter disapproving of Holden’s action of refusing to approve a number of pardon applications by his former political adversaries. Graham’s reasoning was that there should be no restriction placed on representatives of the people to be their advocate in elected assemblies either by religion or former political persuasion. In addition, he felt that the issue of emancipation was settled by the war, and that no convention was needed to approve the abolishment of slavery. Despite previously receiving a pardon from Holden, Graham refused to participate in the upcoming statewide convention as a matter of principle.   Upon seeing Graham’s letter, Holden sent a message to President Johnson to ask whether “Am I am right or wrong” to deny seats to what he called “unpardoned persons” in the statewide convention. President Johnson responded by telegraph to approve Holden’s actions by stating “Your decision is correct that under the proclamation they cannot vote for members or sit in convention as members without first being pardoned on taking the Amnesty Oath.” His response settled the matter temporarily, but the issue served to be another mark against Holden in future events in North Carolina politics.

On October 2, Holden assembled the statewide convention in the House of Commons in Raleigh, North Carolina, after receiving permission by the local U. S. Army commander. The convention consisted of 120 elected delegates similar in number to the membership in the previous assemblies in the House of Commons. The convention immediately took up the issue of voting to reject the ordnance of secession, and then to settle the issue of the abolition of slavery. After much debate, the membership struggled to approve a resolution to reject the ordnance of secession. However, the resolution to abolish slavery was approved by the convention on October 7, 1865 by stating “That the institution of slavery having been destroyed in the State of North Carolina, hereafter neither slavery nor involuntary servitude shall ever exist in this state, excepted as a punishment for crime, whereof the party shall have been duly convicted.”

N. C. Secretary of State Records, Series XX, Volume 7, State Convention of 1865, page 4

N. C. Secretary of State Records, Series XX, Volume 7, State Convention of 1865, page 4

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First Wednesdays – Challenges for a Provisional Government 1865

In post-war 1865, Provisional Governor William Woods Holden went about the business of mending a state rent in every facet by the recent struggle.  Infrastructure such as the railroad system not only had to be repaired but also the governing bodies must be reconstituted with able men who were loyal to the provisional government and therefore loyal to the United States.  County officials had to be designated and approved by Holden in a move to reconstitute local civil authority.  At every turn, Holden faced administrative and political obstacles.

Nonetheless, by September Holden had manage to put the state on a firm footing.  A call for a statewide convention to meet in October 1865 was issued.  Holden was also working on, once that October Convention completed its designated functions, organizing a session of the General Assemble for November 1865, as well as holding a general election for the office of Governor.

If not quite political unrest, Holden faced another issue – relations between African Americans (most of whom were termed Freedmen) and Caucasians (including many ex-Confederate soldiers and sympathizers).  Tensions created by slights or perceived slights to a privileged white class by a previously under-privileged black class grew throughout the provisional administration.  Remember Holden decided that the first order of business was reconstituting the state and that did not mean, he stated, the need to address the newly freed slaves’ status as citizens.

Holden learned, however, that ignoring the reorganization of the previous social order would not be possible.  Alfred Moore Waddell sent a reminder, one of many by different citizens, that this was impractical if not impossible to sustain.  Decrying the treatment of Caucasians by African American citizens and soldiers Waddell warned of a massacre unless Holden interceded.  33 years later Waddell would lead the coup d’état known as the Wilmington Race Riot.

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First Wednesdays – “…Ankle Shattered by shell…”

With the ending of the American Civil War, North Carolina began the long process to rehabilitate itself for re-entry back into the United States of America. In addition, the state’s veterans also started the process of their rehabilitation back into society and deal with the emotional and physical scars from combat service. Starting in 1866, North Carolina began to officially provide support to those veterans, who had suffered the loss of a limb during the late war. Governor Jonathan Worth, with legislative support, began to contact county sheriffs to locate those men, who exhibited missing limbs as a testimony of their military service. This initial accounting of men led to the establishment of an organized state government agency to provide monies to these veterans for the attainment of artificial limbs to ease the suffering of their day to day lives. Soon, other former Confederate States also passed legislation to provide monetary assistance to their wounded veterans as well.

Beginning in 1885, the State of North Carolina sought to provide additional assistance to its veterans and their widows through the passage of the 1885 Pension Act. This act enforced strict guidelines for the issuance of monies to former Confederate veterans and their widows as was noted with the Martin County Board of Inquiry for Luvester Peal on June 7, 1885. By the passage of the 1901 Pension Act, the federal government began to provide financial assistance to the former Confederate States allocate support to their veteran’s and their families. As noted in the act: “every Person who has been for twelve months immediately Preceding his or her application for a pension a ‘bona fide’ resident of the State, and who is incapacitated for manual labor and was a soldier or a sailor in the service of the State of North Carolina or of the Confederate States of America, during the war between the States, and to the widow remaining unmarried of any deceased officer, soldier or sailor who was in the service of the State of North Carolina or of the Confederate States of America during the war between the States (Provided said widow was married to said soldier or sailor before the first day April 1865)…”

In some cases, it was not uncommon for veterans from other former Confederate States to receive monetary assistance from North Carolina. Jesse F. Cox, from Buncombe County, North Carolina, applied for pension from the State of North Carolina on July 3, 1909. In that application, Mr. Cox noted that his “…shattered by shell…” while serving with the Company D, First South Carolina State Troops at the Battle of Olustee, Florida. In addition to this application, Jesse F. Cox was also receiving monies from the State of South Carolina’s Artificial Limb Fund for being permanently disabled as a member of Company K, First South Carolina Infantry at the Battle of Lilly Farm, Florida in December 1864.  By July 1919, Jesse Cox had passed away, and now, his widow, Mrs. R. J. Cox, was now applying for a widow’s pension with the State of North Carolina. As one can tell, the sands of time can affect the remembrance of correct unit designations and specific battles that were fought.

Please join us for our next “Second Monday” lecture on Monday, August 10, 2015 at 12 Noon in the Archives & History Building Auditorium, Raleigh, NC

Ansley Wegner (Research Historian and Author of Phantom Pain: North Carolina’s Artificial Limbs Program for Confederate Veterans) will give a program titled

“Soldiers’ Artificial Limbs”

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First Wednesdays – Cohabitation Certificates

[This blog post was written by Debbi Blake, Collection Services Section Manager for the State Archives of North Carolina.]

With the abolition of slavery came many questions about the rights of freedmen, one of which was how to validate marriages. This was answered by the North Carolina General Assembly in 1866 with an act allowing formerly enslaved couples to register their marriages in the county of their residence. This act provided proof that such unions had existed, often for decades. In North Carolina, such certificates were called cohabitation records, most of which are housed in the State Archives of North Carolina. Couples were to appear before 1 September 1866, although it was later amended in order to extend the period until 1 January 1868. The overwhelming majority of couples came before the clerk of court or justice of the peace during the first targeted period of March to September. This stampede resulted in the thousands of certificates in the Archives.

Most certificates gave the names of the couple and how long they had been married and sometimes gave a date when the marriage took place. Some few counties have certificates that include the number and/or names of children born to the couple. Other counties included on the certificate the name(s) of the last slaveholder. There are extant cohabitation records for fifty-four counties, although some counties have very few. No records have been found for thirty-four counties, many having been lost in courthouse fires.

Bertie County Cohabitation Certificates, 1865-1866 [CR.010.606.1 - Miscellaneous Marriage Records, 1749-1914]

Bertie County Cohabitation Certificates, 1865-1866 [CR.010.606.1 – Miscellaneous Marriage Records, 1749-1914]

North Carolina is unique among the former Confederate states in that the law prompted the creation of over 22, 400 records related to slave marriages. Most other states proclaimed slave marriages legal without the need for registration, although some expected a new marriage ceremony be performed. The bounty of cohabitation records for North Carolina gives a clear indication of how important marriage and family were for formerly-enslaved citizens that they would rush to the courthouse during a short period of seven months to register their marriages.

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Restoration of North Carolina to the Union – Provisional Governorship

By June 1865 the reality of a failed attempt at disunion began to settle in the minds of the people of the states that had passed Secession Ordinances.  The capitol city of North Carolina had been occupied by Union forces since mid-April.  Civil authority was replaced by military authority – a general in command instead of a governor.

North Carolinians remained optimistic that a civil government would be restored.  It was generally known that William Woods Holden, newspaper editor and a peace advocate since at least 1864, would somehow be involved.  President Andrew Johnson spent most of May 1865 organizing his process for restoration of states in rebellion – a policy that became known as Presidential Reconstruction.

When Johnson announced his policy by proclamation on 29 May 1865 he also issued a second proclamation appointing Holden as the Provisional Governor of North Carolina and charged Holden with reconstituting the state government.

This letter by Holden in response to a request for him to be a speaker at a meeting in early May 1865 appeared in the May 3rd edition of Holden’s paper the Raleigh Standard (daily).  The letter was handed to Holden by a friend who served as courier.  Although this could happen prior to the military occupation it is also an indication that the mail wasn’t operational at the time – something Holden, as Provisional Governor, would have to fix.

Holden’s response gives a good insight into what his Provisional Governorship, when appointed, would be.  He would work to lay the “foundations of prosperity and happiness.”  He had to appoint Justices of the Peace, reconstitute the court systems, call for an election of a Convention which would then set dates for election of a General Assembly and Governor, and work to restore railroads (and their governing boards) – each and every part of the government and commerce of the state and counties.  He reviewed applications for pardons from high ranking Confederate soldiers and officials and people of property.  In June and July alone he reviewed over 3000 individuals on lists of people who had been suggested for county government service.

The most telling piece of his response, however, was his setting aside the question of the freedmen or former slaves.  Ignoring the freedmen would prove disastrous.  Even as Holden helped North Carolinians complete the steps set by Johnson to have their state restored, Republicans in Congress decided to take action against the omission of freedmen as citizens of the reconstituted states.  Holden’s efforts won Johnson’s acceptance of North Carolina as being back in proper relations with the federal government in December 1865- the same month that Radical Republicans recast restoration as Reconstruction and required that the process begin again.

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