8th Infantry

Sergeant Robert Taylor Nethery

Company I, 8th Regiment N.C. State Troops

Robert Taylor Nethery (born February 1, 1821) was a native of Mecklenburg County, Virginia, but lived near Graham in Alamance County. Although forty years old and by occupation a miller, Nethery enlisted with his eighteen-year-old son, James D. Nethery, on July 5, 1861, in an Alamance County company subsequently designated Company I, 8th Regiment N.C. State Troops. The men of Company I enlisted for a term of three years or the duration of the war. Robert mustered in as a sergeant.

Father and son served together until the 8th North Carolina, numbering nearly 700 men, was captured at the Battle of Roanoke Island, February 8, 1862. The prisoners remained on Roanoke Island until February 21, when they were transferred to Elizabeth City, paroled, and returned to their homes.

In August 1862 the men of the 8th North Carolina were declared exchanged, and in September the regiment reassembled at Camp Mangum, near Raleigh. James was promoted to corporal in January 1863, and Robert was absent on sick furlough the following month. Otherwise, the two were present or accounted for until the Battle of Plymouth, April 17-20, 1864.

In that action the 8th North Carolina suffered more than 120 casualties, including forty-two men killed or mortally wounded in action. One of them was James D. Neathery, who died on May 4.

Less than a month later, at the Battle of Cold Harbor (June 1), a Federal force took advantage of the unprotected left flank of the 8th North Carolina and attacked the regiment from three directions. Casualties amounted to 235 men, and Robert Neathery was one of the 187 who were captured.

Robert was imprisoned at Point Lookout until July 9, when he was transferred to the Federal prison at Elmira, New York. He died there of chronic diarrhea on October 12, 1864.

Robert is buried at Woodlawn National Cemetery, Elmira, Chemung County, New York, plot 570.

Image: N.C. Office of Archives and History.

Source Note:
1860 U. S. Census, Alamance County, North Carolina, population schedule, page 47, dwelling 4, family 4, Robert T. Nethery household; Manarin et. al., North Carolina Troops 4:611; Mast, “North Carolina Casualties”; service record files of Robert T. Nethery and James D. Nethery, 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&GSln=NEA&GSpartial=1&GSbyrel=all&GSst=36&GScntry=4&GSsr=1681&GRid=56534487&