17th Infantry

Sergeant William Ellegood Vaughan

Company L (the “State Guards of Pasquotank”), 17th Regiment N.C. Troops, 1st Organization (7th Regiment N.C. Volunteers)

William Ellegood Vaughan (September 17, 1830-April 9, 1877) was the clerk of superior court of Pasquotank County when he enlisted on May 4, 1861, in the “State Guards of Pasquotank,” subsequently Company L, 17th Regiment N.C. Troops, 1st Organization. Vaughan enlisted as a private but was reported as a sergeant in his company’s November-December 1861 muster roll.

Seven of the eleven companies of the 17th North Carolina were captured at Fort Hatteras on August 29, 1861. Company L, then stationed at Oregon Inlet, was ordered to Roanoke Island and was part of the garrison there that surrendered to General Ambrose Burnside on February 8, 1862. The prisoners remained on Roanoke Island until February 21, when they were moved to Elizabeth City and paroled.

The paroled prisoners of Company L were exchanged in August 1862. The company muster roll for April 3-December 31, 1862, reports that Vaughan was “was absent within the lines of the enemy.” However, Captain John B. Fearing of Company L discharged Vaughan from service on December 30 because of a provision of the Confederate conscription laws that exempted clerks of court from military service.

Image: David Wynn Vaughan Collection.

Source Note:
1860 U. S. Census, Elizabeth City, Pasquotank County, North Carolina, population schedule, page 7, dwelling 56, family 57, C. H. Vaughan household; Manarin et. al., North Carolina Troops 6:199; service record files of William E. Vaughan, 17th Regiment N.C. Troops, 1st Organization, Compiled Service Records of Confederate Soldiers from the State of North Carolina (M270), RG109, NA.