Saturday, January 26, 2013
BOY SOLDIERS AND OLD MEN...
“After the battle of Bentonville, General Johnston retired his army to Smithfield, where he remained confronting the enemy for three weeks.
There were in this army remnants of commands and also regiments of Junior Reserves, who emulated the heroism of their veteran comrades, and who on the battlefields of Kinston and Bentonville had shown they were of the same mettle as their sires and deserving of imperishable record in the history of their country.
When Major Reece was captured near Fort Fisher the night of 25 December, 1864 his brave but inexperienced boys, stoutly refused to be surrendered and saved themselves.
The Confederate Congress on 17 February 1864 passed a law placing in the "Reserves" those between the ages of 17 and 18 and between 45 and 50.
Junior Reserves from North Carolina served in South Carolina and Virginia and our Senior Reserves fought in South Carolina and Georgia, though the bulk of the seniors relieved other troops to go to the front by taking their places in preserving internal order, arresting deserters, forwarding conscripts, guarding bridges on the great railway lines (over which passed the supplies and recruits for our armies) and guarding the prisoners at Salisbury.