James Iredell Hayman

(Tyrrell County)

Featured Character – 1865 & the Return Home

General Map of the Albemarle and Pamlico Sounds, Showing the Theatre of Operations of the Burnside Expedition, Harper's Weekly, March 1, 1862

Courtesy of the Museum of the Albemarle

Son of a Tyrrell County boatman, James Iredell Hayman followed his father to the sea.  He did not join the Confederate Army until February 1862, just before the Conscription Act came into effect.  He enlisted in Company B, 3rd North Carolina Light Artillery Battalion, also referred to as the “Edenton Bell Battery” or the “Albemarle Artillery.”  Originally assigned to Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia, the battery spent a majority of the war manning fortifications around Wilmington, North Carolina.  On September 30, 1862, Hayman received a promotion.  He became the battalion’s artificer, the soldier tasked with the duty of repairing and maintaining the battery’s cannons.  Following the fall of Fort Fisher, the Bell Battery retreated across southeastern North Carolina, and joined Joseph E. Johnston’s hastily reassembled Army of Tennessee.  After fighting in the Battle of Bentonville, the Bell Battery retreated further west to Greensboro.  Following his defeat at Bentonville and Lee’s surrender at Appomattox, Johnston had no other options.  On April 26, 1865 he ordered his forces to lay down their arms.  Following his parole by the Union provost marshal in Greensboro, family oral tradition states that Hayman walked two hundred and thirty miles back home to Tyrrell County.  He returned to the sea, eventually becoming the captain of an Albemarle Sound steamship.  He died in 1905.