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The Bloody History of UNC in the Civil War

by Charly Mann


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DAVID HUFFMAN      2:50 PM Sat 2/4/2012

When I attended Duke University in the 1950&#39;s, I was surprised to encounter the Civil War still being fought by many Southerners... in attitude, of course! I spent much of my leisure weekend time in Chapel Hill where we came in frequent contact with fellow students. My roommate and I were Ohioans, and we made friendships with our Southern cohorts. Our proudest moment was when the UNC chapter of our fraternity not only accepted us &#39;Yankees&#39; as friends and fraternity brothers, but eventually resulted in a meeting of all our N.C. fraternity chapters (at Wake Forest, AIR). <br \><br \>As a pre-medical and medical student I had little time to study the Civil War. At 76 I have plenty of time. What caused it? My first major insight came from a grad student leading a private Civil War tour in Charleston, S.C. (The Hunley ceremonies were on at the time). When our knowledgeable guide recited that the Southern Reps &amp; Senators in the 1850&#39;s would allow no new states to be admitted unless each of them was required to vote Yea or Nea on Slavery -- I interjected, &quot;Repeat that, please,&quot; to be certain I&#39;d heard it correctly... I had. I then exclaimed, &quot;There you have it -- the cause of the Civil War!&quot; He was surprised that I felt so strongly that I was right. <br \><br \>I have been following the NYT daily news online from 150 years ago. Of course, it is a Union slant on the Civil War, but many articles from current Southern newspapers are published. I am delighted to find this series from UNC! <br \><br \>My reading leads me to the conclusion that the Civil War was begun over slavery -- purposefully and willfully begun by rabid pro-slavery leaders. There were, of course, other reasons for succession. As this UNC site reports: North Carolina was not really a &#39;Slave State&#39;. Therefore North Carolina&#39;s succession was really about &quot;States Rights&quot;. Whereas that argument may hold for N.C., and maybe Virginia and Tennessee, the statements by the leaders of the original succeeding states proclaim openly that they must have slavery. Too bad North Carolina&#39;s friends were pro-slavery rascals, but then the same seems to happen today among our &quot;friends&quot;! <br \><br \>Typical of how the Civil War divided families, my southern Ohio Great-Grandfather was definitely of Southern sympathy, and perhaps even a Southern spy! (We&#39;ll never know about that because the records for the CSA spy system were purposefully destroyed as the Civil War was ending in 1865. )

Kip Rollins      12:21 PM Sat 9/3/2011

Charly, <br \><br \>Because you simply want us to forget what occurred during the War Between the States does not make what you say any more truthful or correct. To forget things such as this terrible war is to avoid the truth! We should seek and embrace the truth, not run from it. The truth is that this war went beyond mere slavery, and that cannot be denied thanks to first-hand accounts such as the declarations of secession found in Virginia and in North Carolina. Yes, both states were reluctant to join the Southern states that had already seceded because they believed that it could be avoided through compromise. When this failed and Lincoln called for troops to quell the rebellion and invade the South, the states of Virginia, North Carolina, and Tennessee refused to participate. The belief was that these states that already seceded had a right to do so! And to violate that right would be to ignore our founding fathers and the document known as the Constitution! Secession as an idea was threatened by both northern and southern states up until this time. And when the time came for troops to be provided to the South, North Carolina contributed more than its fair share. Most of these men where not slaveholders as you mentioned above. but it was a cause they believed in. These men are not traitors. Even our US Congress issued a proclamation after the war saying these men were to be considered veterans and entitled to the benefits provided as such.

Andrew Burk      10:04 AM Fri 8/12/2011

Donnie, might I suggest you seek out some of the true histories of the war. Not those that have been written by those who refuse to believe the truth. My true histories are written by both northern authors and southern, men who refuse to be political correct. but rather to be truthful.

Ambroise      3:01 PM Wed 3/30/2011

To Donnie Warren:<br \> The war was not fought for the preservation of slaves. Not at all. It was fought for states rights. At that time the constitution never said a state could not separate itself from the union. Read also amendement 10. Lincoln made his emmancipation proclamation only to keep England and France from joining the war and supporting The Confederacy. Many blacks fought for The South. The South did not segregate their armies unlike the north. It was all fought over states rights. George Washington was also considered a rebel and a traitor. I would say more but i must leave now. The Southerners were the real &quot;good guys&quot; If you have any questions feel free to post them up on here and i will be more than happy to answer.

Frank Burns      7:13 PM Mon 1/11/2010

UNC seems to have several Civil War Memorials including Silent Sam.

Bess Arthur      6:50 PM Sat 1/9/2010

I can not imagine UNC students today going off to any kind of war in such numbers on a volunteer basis.

Chapel Hill ex      5:02 PM Fri 1/8/2010

I had often seen those marble tablets in Memorial Hall, and had assumed they were the names of students killed in the World Wars of the 20th century.

Cathy Cobb      10:07 AM Fri 1/8/2010

I had no idea UNC&#39;s enrollment was so small for much of its history. It seems that some classes from the Civil War period lost as many as 25% of their alumni in the war.

Donnie Warren      10:26 PM Thu 1/7/2010

From time to time I&#39;ve heard some people say that maintaining slavery was not the only reason people fought and died for the Confederacy, but I never believed them. It looks like from your article that in North Carolina at least there is some truth to that statement.

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Chapel Hill is located on a hill whose only distinguishing feature in the 18th century was a small chapel on top called New Hope Chapel. This church was built in 1752 and is currently the location of The Carolina Inn. The town was founded in 1819, and chartered in 1851.



What is it that binds us to this place as to no other? It is not the well or the bell or the stone walls. or the crisp October nights. No, our love for this place is based upon the fact that it is as it was meant to be, The University of the People.

-- Charles Kuralt



Dark Side of the Hill -- Pink Floyd, the creators of the most popular album in history, Dark Side of the Moon, took the second half of their name from Floyd Council, a Chapel Hill native, and great blues singer and guitarist. He once belonged to a group called "The Chapel Hillbillies".



Check out Charly Mann's other website:
Oklahoma Birds and Butterflies


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There would probably be no Chapel Hill if the University of North Carolina Board of Trustees in 1793 had not chosen land across from New Hope Chapel for the location of the university. By 1800 there were about 100 people living in thirty houses surrounding the campus.



The University North Carolina's first student was Hinton James, who enrolled in February, 1795. There is now a dormitory on the campus named in his honor.





The University of North Carolina was closed from 1870 to 1875 because of lack of state funding.





William Ackland left his art collection and $1.25 million to Duke University in 1940 on the condition that he would be buried in the art museum that the University was to build with his bequest. Duke rejected this condition even though members of the Duke Family are buried in Duke Chapel. What followed was a long and acrimonious legal battle between Ackland relatives who now wanted the inheritance, Rollins College, and the University of North Carolina, each attempting to receive the funds. The case went all the way to the United States Supreme Court, and in 1949 UNC was awarded the money for the museum. Ackland is buried near the museum's entrance. When the museum first opened, in the early sixties, there were rumors that his remains were leaking out of the mausoleum.



The official name of the Arboretum on the University of North Carolina campus is the Coker Arboretum. It is named after Dr. William Cocker, the University's first botany professor. It occupies a little more than five acres. It was founded in 1903.



Chapel Hill's main street has always been called Franklin Street. It was named after Benjamin Franklin in the early 1790s.



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Chapel Hill High School and Chapel Hill Junior High were on Franklin Street in the same location as University Square until the mid 1960s.



The Colonial Drug Store at 450 West Franklin Street was owned and operated by John Carswell. It was famous for a fresh-squeezed carbonated orange beverage called a "Big O". In the early 1970s, I managed the Record and Tape Center next door, and must have had over 100 of those drinks. The Colonial Drug Store closed in 1996.



Sutton's Drugstore, which opened in 1923, has one of the last soda fountains in the South. It is one of the few businesses remaining on Franklin Street that was in operation when I was growing up in the 1950s.



Future President Gerald Ford lived in Chapel Hill twice. First when he was 24, in 1938, he took a law couse in summer school at UNC. He lived in the Carr Building, which was a law school dormitory. At the same time, Richard Nixon, the man he served under as Vice President, was attending law school at Duke. In 1942, Ford returned to Chapel Hill to attend the U.S. Navy's Pre-Flight School training program. He lived in a rental house on Hidden Hills Drive.



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