Authors of nonfiction books will tell you that the research never really ends. The first and second editions of my book Stuart's Tarheels were published in 1996 and 2011 respectively, but just last week I came across new information that I wish I had at my disposal then.
The Diary of Charles Campbell, which can be found in the Charles Campbell Papers, in the Special Collections Research Center at the College of William and Mary's Swem Library (Mss.65C17), contains the following account of the 1st North Carolina Cavalry's arrival in Petersburg on Friday, October 18, 1861:
"This morning at 8 o’clock saw Col. Ransom’s regt. of cavalry march through town on their way to Richmond. Some officers in front: then the companies & last the wagons 25 in number. The uniform is gray: the horses not large: some of the men had no swords: part of them had carbines slung across their shoulders: at the rear of each company several negroes. A good many horses are led: at the rear of the regt. Were 38 negroes mounted on horseback: one had a sword at his side: last came the wagons driven by white men – mostly 4 horse teams some 2 horse: the wagons contained tents, camp equipage & baggage. The regt had small flags red & blue. It was a fine spectacle – a stream of cavalry flowing along. The whole line was about a mile & occupied 20 minutes in passing.”
This account does not entirely agree with research I unearthed for Stuart's Tarheels, but its description of a cavalry regiment on the march is fascinating.
Indeed, the research never ends. I wonder what else is out there?
My thanks to the staff of the Swem Library for their assistance.