The Friday Family of North Carolina

   The Friday Family 

and the

War for Southern Independence;

1861 - 1865

Above: Monument to Confederate Soldiers of Dallas and Gaston County, NC at the  Courthouse Square in Dallas

Service in the Army of Northern Virginia 


This infantry company was raised in Gaston County, NC by William Rankin.  Known as the GASTON BLUES, the company was mustered into the service at Dallas on November 20, 1861 and assigned to the 37th NC Regiment. It was designated as Company H.

The 37th Regiment consisted of men from several western piedmont and mountain counties, from Watauga down to Gaston.

The 37th NC Regiment served in General Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia, in the brigade under command of General Lawrence O’Brian Branch.  This brigade was  part of General A.P. Hill’s famous LIGHT DIVISION. This Division was also part of Stonewall Jackson’s famed II Corps.  

The Division was a participant in many battles and played a key role in the battle at Antietem [Sharpsburg, MD], where it arrived late in the day after a 17-mile march from Harper’s Ferry to anchor the Confederate right flank and prevent any follow-up from Yankees crossing Burnside Bridge.  

After General Branch was killed by a Yankee sharpshooter at Sharpsburg, General James H. Lane took command of the brigade and held it throughout the rest of the war.

General A.P. Hill later rose to Corps Command, and his division was then commanded by General Dorsey Pender, a native of Tarboro, NC.

The LIGHT DIVISION also participated in Pickett’s Charge at Gettysburg.  There the 37th Regiment was hit hard with murderous fire on its left flank by Yankee troops from Ohio as it crossed the Emmitsburg Road and moved through the fields toward Cemetery Ridge.



 Pvt. Ephriam Friday:  Enlisted October 6, 1861 at age 22 at Dallas in Gaston County.  Assigned to Company H of the 37th NC Regiment.  He was wounded in the right shoulder at the battle of Frasier’s Farm, Virginia on June 30, 1862. This skirmish was part of the larger operations in the “Seven Days Battles,” Where General Lee’s forces drove the Union troops under General George B. McClellan away from the outskirts of Richmond and ended McClellan’s Peninsula campaign. Ephriam Friday was hospitalized at Richmond, Virginia and died from his wound about August 18, 1862.

Ephriam Friday’s parents were Jonas [jr] Friday and Mary Hovis .

Above:  The Battle Flag of the 37th NC Infantry Regiment 



The 28th NC Regiment was organized and mustered into Confederate service in September 1861, at High Point, North Carolina. Its members were from the counties of Surry, Gaston, Catawba, Stanley, Montgomery, Yadkin, Orange, and Cleveland.  The unit moved to New Bern and arrived just as the troops were withdrawing from that fight. Ordered to Virginia in May, 1862, it was assigned to General Branch's and Lane's Brigade, also part of General A.P. Hill’s Division, Army of Northern Virginia.

The 28th Regiment fought at Hanover Court House and at all the major conflicts of the army from the Seven Days' Battles to Sharpsburg to Gettysburg to Cold Harbor.

The 28th Regiment was then heavily involved in the long Petersburg siege south of the James River and the Appomattox operations that ended the war.

It came to Virginia with 1,199 men, lost thirty-three percent of the 480 engaged during the Seven Days' Battles, and had 3 killed and 26 wounded at Cedar Mountain and 5 killed and 45 wounded at Second Manassas. The regiment reported 65 casualties at Fredericksburg and 89 at Chancellorsville. Of the 346 in action at Gettysburg, more than forty percent were killed, wounded, or missing. In Appomattox, the unit surrendered 17 officers and 213 men.

 Pvt. Andrew S. Friday:  Enlisted at Gaston County on July 30, 1861 at the age of 20 years.  He was assigned to Company B of the 28th NC Regiment.  He served honorably and had a very interesting tour it seems. He was captured at Hanover Court House, VA on May 27, 1862.  He was confined at Fort Monroe, VA and later at Fort Columbus in New York harbor.  He was exchanged on or about August 1, 1862. 

He returned to duty with the 28th Regiment before November 1.  He was captured again at Fredricksburg, VA on December 13, 1862 and paroled on or about December 17. 

He returned again to duty by March 1, 1863.  He served with the 28th Regiment through the rest of the year. He was wounded in the thigh near Petersburg, VA around June 21, 1864.  He returned again to duty by December 1. 

Having been wounded once and captured twice, and no doubt realizing that the Confederate cause was hopelessy lost, Andrew Friday finally deserted and surrendered to the Union Army on or about January 20, 1865.  He was confined at City Point, VA until about January 23, after taking the Oath of Allegiance.

Pvt. John H. Friday:  Enlisted at age 19 at Gaston County on March 29, 1862.  He was present and accounted for with Company B of the 28th NC Regiment until he died of disease on July 17, 1862 at Richmond, VA.  


Company E 34th NC Regiment, AP Hill’s Division

            The 34th regiment mustered into Confederate service on January 1, 1862 at Camp Mangum in Raleigh.  It was originally assigned to General Joseph Anderson’s brigade and was ordered to Halifax, NC and then to Weldon and later to Tarboro, NC.  The regiment went to Hamilton, NC to confront the Union troops operating on the Roanoke River. The 34th then moved to Richmond.  It was reassigned then to General AP Hill’s Division under the brigade command of General Dorsey Pender, from Tarboro North Carolina. 

The regiment served under General Pender and later under General Alfred M. Scales when Pender was promoted to Division command and AP Hill to Corps command.  The 34th regiment stayed in General Hill’s corps throughout the rest of the war and fought in all the major engagements of the Army of Northern Virginia.  When the war ended at Appomattox in 1865, there were 168 men left in the regiment to be paroled.

 Pvt. Jacob W. Friday: He was 37 years old when he enlisted on March 5, 1863 with the 34th NC Regiment and was assigned to Company E. Company E was known as the “SHADY GROVE RANGERS.”  He was captured near Gettysburg on July 5, 1863.  He was then confined at Fort Delaware, DE about July 7, 1863. He was transferred to Point Lookout, MD about October 15-18, 1863. He was paroled on February 18, 1865 and transferred to Boulware’s wharf on the James River, VA, where he was received for exchange.


Company H 52nd NC Regiment, Pettigrew’s Brigade

 The 52nd Regiment was organized in the early summer of 1862 under the command of General J.G. Martin. The regiment served in Eastern NC from New Bern to Washington and then to Kinston and Goldsboro. 

The regiment then moved to Richmond and was assigned to General James J. Pettigrew, another North Carolina General, for a short time.  General Pettigrew was a renowned scholar, a graduate of the University of North Carolina, and his family owned a very large plantation near Plymouth in Washington CountyNC.  

The 52nd Regiment remained around Richmond and Petersburg while the rest of the Army of Northern Virginia was at Sharpsburg in September 1862. 

The regiment then returned to North Carolina, reported to General G.W. Smith, and fought at Kinston and Goldsboro in skirmishes around the Neuse River. The 52nd had some hard luck in these fights and was the victim of friendly fire and incompetent leadership. 

The 28th Regiment moved from Goldsboro to New Bern and then to Windsor, NC. It moved back to Washington, NC  and continued to engage in skirmishes with Union troops occupying that town.  The regiment was moved in June, 1863 to Richmond where it joined General Harry Heth’s Division of General AP Hill’s corps in preparation for the Gettysburg campaign.  The 52nd Regiment remained with General Hill's Corps throughout the rest of the war.

 Pvt. John Caleb Friday:  John was born in Lincoln County and resided in Gaston County where he was a farmer.  He was only 18 years old when he enlisted into the “SPRING HILL GUARDS.” at Lincoln County on March 25, 1862 and was assigned to Company H, of the 52nd NC Regiment  He served honorably throughout the war and is accounted for on company muster rolls through December 1864.

John Caleb Friday was wounded in the hand at Petersburg, VA and lost two fingers. The date of his wound is not recorded. He stacked arms and surrendered with Company H and the Army of Northern Virginia at Appomattox Court House on April 9, 1865.

John Caleb was the son of John Nicholas Friday and Sarah Froneberger, and was the grandson to Jonas Friday.

Pvt. William A. Friday:  He was also born in Lincoln County. He had a home in Gaston County and was also a farmer.  He enlisted at age 19 on March 25, 1862 with John Caleb at Lincolnton.  He was assigned to Company H of the 52nd NC Regiment and was accounted for company muster rolls through June 1864.  

William Friday served as an orderly to an unspecified General during most of that period.  He was hospitalized at Richmond, VA on July 30, 1864 with chronic diarrhea.  He was furloughed for 30 days on August 4, 1864.  He returned to duty and was accounted for by November 1, 1864.  He was with the company when it surrendered at Appomattox Court House on April 9, 1865.

It is believed that William A. Friday was the son of Jacob Friday and Susan Carpenter. [ see OUR KIN, page 234] 


 87th Regiment, North Carolina Militia

Lt. Marion D. Friday:  Marion Friday served with the 87th Regiment, North Carolina Militia as part of the home guard units.  From what I can gather, he had sought an exemption or possibly somebody else sought an exemption for him, but it was denied.  Records about the militia are not clear on his service, but it appears as though he were elected as Lieutenant around January 1863.

Part of Lt. Friday's duties required him to apprehend deserters and other men who attempted to avoid conscription into the Confederate military.  One interesting point of history is the story of Dallas native Larkin Thornburg.   Larkin was conscripted into the army and later deserted.  He tried to return to Dallas but was about to be captured.  He surrendered to Lt. Marion Friday because it was well known that Marion Friday was a fair-minded and compassionate man.  

Military authorities took custody of Larkin Thornburg and sent him back to service.  Larkin survived the war and later wrote a narrative about his attempts to return home and avoid military service.  Larkin's narrative closely resembles the story of  COLD MOUNTAIN, and I wonder if the novel isn't based on Larkin's true narrative acount.


  Company H 49th NC Regiment, General Ramseur’s Brigade

The 49th regiment was recruited from the North Carolina counties of McDowell, Cleveland, Iredell, Moore, Mecklenburg, Gaston, Catawba, and Lincoln, and mustered into Confederate service at Garysburg in March 1862. The regiment served in the Army of Northern Virginia, fighting on the Peninsula, at 2nd Manassas, and in the Maryland Campaigns.

General Stephen Dodson Ramseur was a native of Lincoln county and a distant cousin to the Friday Family.  His ancestor Deitrich Ramseur was the father to Mary Ramseur-Rudisill-Friday, wife to Nicholas Friday.

Above:  The grave of General Stephen D. Ramseur at St. Luke's Episcopal Church in Lincolnton, NC

The 49th Regiment was heavily engaged at Sharpsburg, and fought in the West Woods around the Dunker Church, which was some of the bloodiest fighting of the day.  They were at Fredericksburg in December, then they moved to North Carolina around New Bern.

They were at Drewery's Bluff and Cold Harbor (May and June 1864), in the trenches at Petersburg (1864-5), and at Appomattox.  The regiment was assigned to General John Walker’s division as part of General James Longstreet’s corps.


Related Families:

Pvt. Thomas F. Quinn: Thomas was born on 14 Jun 1827 in York County, SC. He enlisted into Confederate service with Company H of the 49th NC Regiment. The 49th regiment originally served under the command of Colonel Stephen D. Ramseur from Lincolnton, North Carolina.  Company H was mustered in Dallas in March 1862 and was known as the GASTON RANGERS. Thomas Quinn died of fever (possibly typhoid) near Petersburg.   (See also: CENSUS: 1860 Gaston NC #547-488)

Pvt. William Vinson Lineberger:  William enlisted with Company H of the 49th Regiment on January 26, 1864. He reportedly joined the regiment at Halifax County when he turned 18. He was reported present for duty May through August and then furloughed on September 2, 1864. He survived the war.

 Pvt. John Addison Ratchford:  Enlisted into the Gaston Blues at Dallas, NC on August 12, 1862, and was assigned to Company H, 37th NC Regiment. He served honorably and was wounded in the right arm or thigh during Pickett’s Charge at Gettysburg on July 3, 1863.  He was captured on the battlefield, and hospitalized at David’s Island, New York Harbor on or about July 17, 1863. 

John Ratchford was transferred to City Point, Virginia and paroled for prisoner exchange on September 8, 1863.  He returned to duty with his company around March or April 1864.  He was captured again near Petersburg, Virginia on April 2, 1865. He was confined at Point Lookout, Maryland until June 17, 1865. He took the Oath of Allegiance and was released.   John A. Ratchford was my [Joe Friday jr] great(3x) grandfather, on my mother’s side.




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