12th Infantry

Private Eli Davidson Deal

Company A (the “Catawba Rifles”), 12th Regiment N.C. Troops (2nd Regiment N.C. Volunteers)

Eli Davidson Deal farmed with his parents in Alexander County, but enlisted at Newton in neighboring Catawba County on April 1, 1862. The company he chose was the first raised in Catawba County, nearly a year earlier, the “Catawba Rifles,” now serving as Company A, 12th Regiment N.C. Troops. The 12th North Carolina participated in nine battles in 1862 and Eli was seemingly present for all of them. He was hospitalized for an illness in February-March 1863.

The bloodiest battle of the war for the 12th North Carolina was Chancellorsville, May 1-3, 1863, when the regiment lost forty-nine men killed or wounded in action and more than one hundred seventy wounded. One of the latter was Eli, who suffered a gunshot wound to the left knee on May 2. He was hospitalized at Chimborazo Hospital No. 3 in Richmond by May 6. In late May he was sent to Salisbury, N.C., and from there sent home on wounded furlough.

Eli remained at home through August 1863 but returned to duty no later than January 1864. (The September-October 1863 muster roll of the “Catawba Rifles” is missing.) He probably participated in the Battle of Wilderness in early May 1864. On May 12, however, at the Battle of Spotsylvania Court House, Eli was captured, one of only five men in the 12th North Carolina taken prisoner.

He was sent to the prison at Point Lookout, Maryland, but was transferred to the facility at Elmira, New York, in August 1864. He was released on June 30, 1865, after taking the Oath of Allegiance.

Eli Davidson Deal (October 1, 1843-July 23, 1891) is buried at Friendship Lutheran Church Cemetery, Taylorsville, Alexander County, N.C.

Image: James Deal, descendant.

Source Note:
1860 U. S. Census, Alexander County, North Carolina, population schedule, page 125, dwelling 881, family 881, George Deal household; Manarin et. al., North Carolina Troops 7:5:121; Mast, “North Carolina Casualties”; service record files of E. D. Deal, 12th Regiment N.C. Troops, Compiled Service Records of Confederate Soldiers from the State of North Carolina (M270), RG109, NA; http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=29599674