17th North Carolina Regiment Companies 

Featured Character – 1861-1862

Silk Flag of Company H (Morris Guards) of the 17th North Carolina Regiment

Courtesy of the North Carolina Museum of History

Recruited in the counties of Pasquotank, Edgecombe, Hertford, Bertie, Currituck, and Beaufort, the 17th North Carolina Infantry assembled at Plymouth, North Carolina in June 1861.  With Benjamin Butler’s Union invasion force moving toward the Outer Banks, Confederate authorities rapidly deployed eight companies of the regiment to Forts Hatteras, Clark, and Ocracoke.  After the fall of those forts to Benjamin Butler’s forces, the men from the 17th North Carolina became Union prisoners.  They spent the winter of 1861-1862 in Union prisons at Fort Columbus, New York and Fort Warren, Massachusetts.  The three companies not present at the Battle of Hatteras regrouped, and moved to confederate defenses on Roanoke Island.  They surrendered to Union forces after Ambrose Burnside’s expedition captured the island in early 1862.  After the formal parole and exchange of the men, Confederate commanders reorganized the regiment.  This almost completely new unit, referred to as the 17th North Carolina Infantry, Second Organization, served under General James Green Martin in the Army of Northern Virginia.  The regiment saw action at Bermuda Hundred, Cold Harbor, and in the siege of Petersburg.  On April 26, 1865, the Seventeenth North Carolina Infantry surrendered with the Army of Tennessee near Durham’s Station, North Carolina.