Robert Jackson Capps


Robert Jackson Capps

Robert Jackson Capps was born 16-Oct-1828, Johnston County, NC, Religion: Baptist, Occupation: Farmer, married Keziah "Kizzie" E. Norris, born 18-Nov-1828, Johnston County, NC, Religion: Baptist, died 21-Dec-1906, Harnett or Johnston, NC, Buried: Johnson Chapel, Johnston County, NC. Robert died 7-Jun-1911, Harnett or Johnston County, NC, Buried: Johnson Chapel, Johnston County, NC, Military: Private, CSA, Company B, 10th Bat'n NC Heavy Artillery. [Confederate service record for Capps, Andrew J., Company B, 10th Battalion, North Carolina Heavy Artillery, "Compiled Service Records for Confederate Soldiers Who Served in Organizations From the State of North Carolina," Series M270, National Archives, Washington DC.]

Confederate War Service

Robert Jackson's service in Company B 8th/10th Battalion North Carolina Heavy Artillery is confirmed by his "Soldier's Application for Pension, State of North Carolina" dated 1-Jul-1909. The application states that "R.J. Capps of Johnston County, North Carolina (roster mistake A.J. Capps) enlisted in Company B, 8th Battalion North Carolina State Troops on April 30, 1862." [NOTE: Robert Jackson went by his middle name; this is a source of some confusion in many of the old records which show him listed alternatively as Jackson, Jack, R. Jackson, Robert J., Robert Jack, A.J., Jackson R, and, in one instance, Rufus J.]

A record of his service is listed in John W. Moore's "Roster of North Carolina Troops in the War Between the States." Moore's book shows a "Capps, A.J., Company B, 8th Battalion, North Carolina Heavy Artillery, Private, who enlisted on April 30, 1862, and who was a resident of Harnett County." [Note: Census records confirm that there was a Jack Capps -- born 1830 and married to a woman named Keziah -- living in Harnett, North Carolina on 7-Aug-1860.]

Robert Jackson served with this unit until it as surrendered on 26-Apr-1865. Robert Jackson was paroled on 15-May-1865. A record of his oath of allegiance to the United States can be found at the National Archives, Washington, D.C. [Confederate service record for Capps, Robert, Company B, 10th Battalion, Miscellaneous File, "Compiled Service Records for Confederate Soldiers Who Served in Organizations From the State of North Carolina," Series M270, National Archives, Washington DC.] [Letter from the North Carolina State Archives to Michael Capps, 12-Oct-1992.] ["Soldier's Application for Pension, R.J. Capps, Johnston County, Company B, 8th Battalion North Carolina State Troops, July 1, 1909" (North Carolina State Archives).]

8th/10th Battalion North Carolina Heavy Artillery

The 8th Battalion North Carolina Heavy Artillery was also known as 10th Battalion North Carolina Heavy Artillery, according to the North Carolina State Archives, and was referred to as Young's Battalion Artillery and was commanded by Major Wilton L. Young. (Units were often renumbered when they left state service and were placed under Confederate command.) It was organized and mustered in at Wilmington, North Carolina on 19-May-1862. Company B, from Harnett County, was known as the Black River Tigers and was organized at Salisbury, North Carolina on 9-May-1862. [Moore, John W., "Roster of North Carolina Troops in the War Between the States," (Raleigh: 1882) Volume IV, p. 363. ** "North Carolina Troops, 1861-1865: A Roster," pp. 512-524.] [Sanders, William M. and G.Y. Ragsdale, "Johnston County: Economic and Social," (Rural Social Science Department, University of North Carolina, 13-Jun-1922) pp. 12-13.] [Unit record for Company B, 10th Battalion, North Carolina Heavy Artillery, "Compiled Records Showing Service of Military Units in Confederate Organizations," Series M861, National Archives, Washington, DC]

The battalion remained at Wilmington after being mustered. From May-1862 until 10-Dec-1863 Company B was assigned alternatively to garrison duty in the defensive works around Wilmington and provost duty in the city. This routine was broken on 10-Dec-1863 when the battalion was ordered to Fort Caswell, Brunswick County, North Carolina.

It remained at Fort Caswell until ordered to Fort Campbell, Brunswick County on 27-Jan-1864. On 9-Mar-1864 it moved to Smithville, and on the March 11 back to Wilmington. Until Mar-1864 the companies of the battalion had served together. For the next five months they were scattered. Company B was stationed at Masonboro Sound in late Mar-1864 and served as picket guards between that point and Wilmington.

On 24-Nov-1864 the entire battalion was ordered to Georgia to reinforce Lieutenant General William J. Hardee's command, then resisting Sherman's advance on Savannah. Arriving at Augusta, Georgia on 27-Nov-1864 the battalion was immediately stationed in the fortifications on the western edge of the city. On 29-Nov-1864 orders were received to proceed to Savannah by way of Charleston.

Reaching Savannah on 2-Dec-1864 the battalion proceeded to join Hardee's troops some 45 miles from the city. Forced to withdraw, Hardee assumed a defensive position around Savannah on 8-Dec-1864. The battalion remained in the lines until they were evacuated on 20-Dec-1864. The troops then withdrew through Savannah to Hardeeville, South Carolina.

Remaining with Hardee's command, the battalion retired through South Carolina into North Carolina. At Averasboro, Harnett County, North Carolina on 16-Mar-1865 the battalion saw action when Hardee engaged Sherman's advance. After the engagement Hardee retired to Bentonville, Johnston County, North Carolina where he joined General Joseph E. Johnston's army and camped at Elevation township, Johnston County.

On 19-Mar-1865 the battalion suffered heavy causalities in the Battle of Bentonville with 239 killed, 1,694 wounded, 673 missing, and 903 captured. This was the last of the important battles of the Civil War that took place east of the Mississippi. Averasboro and Bentonville were just miles from where Robert Jackson had been born and where his home was when he had enlisted in the Confederate army in 1862.

Unsuccessful in his effort to defeat a portion of Sherman's army before it united, General Johnston withdrew his army to Smithfield, county seat of Johnston County, where it was reorganized. The battalion remained with Johnston's army and was surrendered on 26-Apr-1865.

References


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