John Futch–Another Voice

This morning, Pete Carmichael gave a great presentation using John Futch as a centerpiece.  Futch was a private in the 3rd North Carolina and fought at Gettysburg, where his brother Charlie was killed.  Pete made a terrific point that most of the voices we hear from the war are from the educated elite, and with their Victorian sensibilities they tended to filter what they wrote.  Futch was at best semiliterate and his letters provide an unfiltered glimpse into his experiences.  This blog post gives a link to find the letters and Futch’s story.

Update:  The letters are digitized and available at the North Carolina Digital Collections website here.  Search on “John Futch.”



  1. I frequently encounter digitalized archive material when searching for specific individuals. Do you know if anyone has created a unified index to the Civil War achieve materials that are online as these letters are?

    1. I haven’t heard of one, Pat. Maybe that would be a good project for you. 😉

  2. This is a most welcome post. The name “Futch” is still quite present in Pender County, created fm northern New Hanover County, NC in 1875. Yes, it was named for General Wm. Dorsey Pender. Not sure if all companies of the 3rd NC Troops were from southeastern NC, but there was a co. fm my home Co. of Duplin, and two (?) fm Onslow, site of USMC Camp Lejeune. These were extremely rural counties whose young men were pulled away in several regiments to defend Richmond, while their NC coastal homes were threatened by federal incursions from spring of 1862 on.

    1. Thanks for the comment and the information, Bryant. I’m very happy the post got a happy reaction.

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