View single post by Hellcat
 Posted: Sat Oct 5th, 2013 01:49 am
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Root Beer Lover

Joined: Tue Nov 15th, 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 981

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Well it's October again. Almost three years to the day since this thread started. I thought I'd start things off where I started back in 2010 with Richard Walser's North Carolina Legends. This time it's not really a ghost story, but it is a legend related to the war.

Anyone who knows much about North Carolina knows that the state is known as the Old North State and as the Tar Heel State. Now there are a number of legends as to why North Carolina became the Tar Heel State and you've probably read some of them yourselves. Walser's version is among the versions that come out of the Civil War.

According to this version the nickname for the state and North Carolinians was originally an insult among their fellow Confederates. They were viewed as poor and ignorant and it was easy to make fun of the troops from North Carolina. Especially since they often were barefoot, and some of these barefoot troops would enter battle with pine pitch on their feet.

But things changed when North Carolinian troops went into battle along side Virginian and South Carolinian troops. In this unnamed battle the boys from Virginia and South Carolina broke and retreated while the boys from North Carolina held fast.

After he battle the Virginians and South Carolinians, so the story goes, decided to make light of their own cowardice and suggest that it was supposed to be a retreat and the tar on their feet wouldn't let the North Carolinians follow suit. Someone asked "Any more tar down in the Old North State, boys?" Some North Carolinian shot back "No, not a bit. Old Jeff Davis has bought it all up." Which prompted a South Carolinian to ask "Is that so? What's he going to do with it?" The prideful answer, and perhaps meant to be a bit insulting in response to the insults hurled at the North Carolinians for having tar on their heels, was "He's going to put it on you'ns heels to make you stick better in the next battle."

How true it is, who knows, but this exchange reached the ears of Robert E. Lee and he is said to have said "God bless the Tar Heel boys!"

Not a ghost story, but like I said it is a legend related to the war. And one some of you may have seen in various forms.

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