Wake Forest Men in War 655
Nearly all the students then in residence entered the War in one
capacity or another; in the fall term of 1861 only thirty students were
enrolled, and as the number continued to dwindle the College
suspended Exercises in May, 1862, when it was found the conscrip-
tion laws of the Confederate Government made all students but five
subject to military duty.4 Of the ten members of the class of 1862,
nine, of whom three were ministerial students, were already enlisted
in the army or later enlisted. The tenth member was a minister.
During the course of the War nearly every sound-bodied former
Wake Forest student, unless he was an ordained minister or too old
for service, was a soldier in the Confederate States Army. The im-
brave young men shot down, killed and wounded in the first battle at Ellyson's Mills
in Virginia. Their record in arms is a proud monument to their memory. General
Lee said in a letter to Governor Vance that he had no braver men in his army than
the soldiers of North Carolina. I have the record of nearly every one of them filed in
my library for future generations to see and emulate." This library, rich in historical
material, was lost when Foote's house was burned, shortly before his death.
Major Foote, in 1882, was appointed Assistant Adjutant-General to Governor
Vance in charge of the Roll of Honor Department, with the object of procuring a
history of each soldier furnished by the State, and have it arranged by companies
and regiments. (See North Carolina Regiments, I, 51 f.) It seems strange that he
should have made a statement about the soldiers of the company he commanded
which is not supported by the records. But of all the 158 men in the roster of
Company I, 1st N. C. Regiment, there are found only three or four names of
students of the College. This company was formed of soldiers of Wake and Franklin
counties, as appears in Moore's Roster of N. C. Troops. Several of them lived in and
near Wake Forest; possibly the students who enlisted were afterwards transferred to
other companies. The second captain of the Company I, however, was Hardiman D.
Fowler, an alumnus of the college in the class of 1857, who is still living in
California at the advanced age of more than 100 years. In the whole year, 1860-61,
the College had only 67 students. Possibly a temporary company of Wake Forest
students was formed and elected Foote captain, but his words indicate that the Wake
Forest men remained with him.
4 Mills, Wake Forest Student, III, 273. It is to be observed that President Wingate
and the faculty of Wake Forest College made no effort to resist the conscription
laws of the Confederacy which made all able-bodied men between the ages of
eighteen and thirty-five years residents of the Confederate States subject to military
duty. Ordained ministers and teachers were exempt but students were not. On
getting a ruling of the Secretary of War to this effect the president Wingate
aquiesced, in striking contrast to the stubborn effort of President Swain of the
University of North Carolina to have University students exempted; Swain
succeeded in keeping the University open during the entire war.
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