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Captain Lenoir's Diary


The history of a distinguished Civil War company and its courageous leader

Captain Lenoir’s Diary
Tom Lenoir and His Civil War Company
from Western North Carolina

Carroll C. Jones
512 pages, with photographs, illustrations, maps, appendixes, and index
ISBN 978-1-935619-02-4, large-print paperback, $34.95 USD


After the fall of Fort Sumter in April 1861, Thomas Isaac Lenoir, a landholder, slaveowner, and farmer from the Pigeon River’s East Fork region, and Col. Joseph Cathey, a respected farmer, merchant, and politician in the Forks of Pigeon community, assembled a band of zealous volunteers who had poured out of the North Carolina hills to fight the Yankees.

Lenoir, at the age of forty-three, was unanimously elected to lead the fledgling military unit his mountaineers styled the “Haywood Highlanders.” As captain, he recorded in his personal diary the various activities and movements of his company as well as many other events and impressions as the mountaineers defended the Carolina coastal regions.
In his annotated transcription of this previously unpublished
document, award-winning historian Carroll C. Jones brings to light
the captain’s daily life in the field. Lenoir’s capability as an officer,
his concern for his men, and the difficult decisions he faced are
delineated in regular entries full of keen observations. Jones ex-
pands his coverage by including an account of the Highlanders for
the duration of the war and enriches the edition with more than 140
illustrations and selected letters from the Lenoir Family Papers, many
never before published.

To the list of the most revealing editions of wartime documents,
Captain Lenoir’s diary adds an extraordinarily valuable resource—the
portrait of an officer malgré lui who served the Confederacy honorably and returned to become a leading citizen in his mountain homeland.

Rooted Deep in the Pigeon Valley

Also by Carroll C. Jones
Two-time winner of the North Carolina Society of Historians Willie Parker Peace History Book Award

Rooted Deep in the Pigeon Valley:
A Harvest of Western Carolina Memories

The 25th North Carolina Troops in the Civil War:
History and Roster of a Mountain-Bred Regiment


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 Carroll Jones


Carroll C. Jones was born and raised in the mountains of Haywood County, North Carolina, in the small paper-mill town of Canton. Following a career in the paper industry that led him out of the Carolina highlands to Brazil, South America, and then Florida, he worked for more than three decades with the same company until retiring. Carroll currently lives with his wife, Maria, in Pace, Florida, where he works as an engineering consultant when not playing golf or writing.