4th North Carolina Infantry

LIVING HISTORY

 

Individual characterizations to aid in presenting a first person impression

 

Athlete

One who never tires of physical skills.He is always ready to wrestle, foot race, throw logs or any other activity involving strength and competition.He is easily mislead by gamblers and drunks for their gain.He is not a bully, but will not back down from anyone.He is thoroughly knowledgeable of period games including horseshoes and baseball.

 

Barber

One who attends to the appearance of troops.He usually stakes out a makeshift chair and practices the art of hair butchering and throat cutting.Although all complain of his practice, he still manages to have most customers return.He often is a good storyteller as well and can perform minor doctoring skills.

 

Beat

One who does his best to get out of all work.He makes himself hidden in a crowd and volunteers for nothing.He voids work like the plague and if given something to do, will take his time and probably not do the job well.He is a likely prospect for camp punishment and, because of his slothful ways, is usually sought after and must be closely watched in combat.

 

Bully

One who delights in picking on the weaknesses of others.He is full of bravado (false or otherwise) and is constantly in trouble for fighting.He mixes well with gamblers and usually keeps the lid on card games.

 

Checker Player

One who enjoys fleecing others through the most simplest of games.He is a good talker and delights in the game with a good crowd.He is likely to also be a whittler and carve handy objects.Even his game pieces are made by him.

 

Clerk

One who handles all company paperwork.Works closely with the sergeant of the guard for passes and with recruitment.Checks morning reports and lists missing for sergeants to run down.Usually better educated and exempt from most camp duties.

 

Commanding Officer

One who tries to maintain control of the various characters listed here.He must be able to deal fairly but firmly with all.He must do his best to weld these individuals into one cohesive body.

 

Cook

One who supervises the preparation of meals.He controls KP and has the same power as a sgt. in running the cooking.He need not be present for preparation of every meal, but it is still his responsibility that the menu is carried out.Only group meals are his responsibility.

 

Doctor

One who attends the physical welfare of troops.Although referred to as a sawbones, most of his practice is concerned with treating boils, blisters, cuts, diarrhea, and fevers.An occasional toothache or serious disease such as typhoid may interrupt his dull routine ills.He is a respected man contrary to the jokes at his expense.He becomes a feared man when he must deal with serious injuries.

 

Drill Sergeant

One who delights in exercising power of rank.He enjoys putting men through their paces and freely uses voice volume and insults to gain his point.Yet a compliment, no matter how mall, from him is better than gold to any manís pride.He is gruff on the outside but soft inside and cares for his men as a mother for her children.He believes that "to spare the rod spoils the child."His job is to make soldiers from rank amateurs.

 

Drunk

One who spends his time in search of, procuring or drinking alcoholic spirits.He is a crafty individual who tries to stay one step ahead of his superiors.He will go to any length to get liquor for himself or others but once in possession he becomes careless and is often caught with the goods.Sober, he is a good soldier.

 

Evangelist

One who has been enlightened through religion.He believes fanatically in the virtues of religion.He enjoys quoting scripture and is quick to enjoin upon others the worthiness of his salvation.He encourages and sometimes leads a prayer meeting and makes a point of scolding sinners.He is often the butt of jokes and sometimes misused cruelly by the gambler and drunk.Yet he often turns the tables by exposing the wicked for camp punishment.

 

Fireman

One who is expert at building various types of fires and keeping them going.He is totally in control of the flame and no one dares to use it without his consent.His appetite for wood is insatiable and he is a tyrant in regard to wood detail.He is the cookís right-hand man.

 

Forager

One who constantly searches for the necessities and comforts of life.This man is able to find water in a desert and food on a barren plain.He is greatly in demand and his services can come expensively high.Yet he does not disappoint anyone in what he can provide.He usually gets more than his share of passes especially when providing for officers.Although night is his best time to work, he uses daylight as a challenge.He is a somewhat fearless individual who is protected by his messmates.

 

Gambler

One whose total concern is gain.He should be thoroughly familiar with period card games, dice games and wagers.This person is always on the lookout for soldiers to fleece (including other gamblers) of money, food, clothes, privileges, etc. as well as constantly avoiding officers and certain non-coms.A staff of petty crooks as observers, shills, etc. could also be employed by him.

 

General

One who considers himself an expert on military affairs and who thinks he could solve every military problem if only asked.He constantly expounds on military solutions and is a profuse complainer.He is also a good storyteller and occasionally tells the truth.He is welcomed for his tales but usually avoided by the initiated.

 

Invalid

One who makes a point of being sick or injured whenever appropriate to his needs such as during fatigue duties, drill or other tiring activities.He is a constant resident of sick call and amuses camp doctors with strange concocted maladies previously unknown to man.When trapped in a duty he will perform but grudgingly, always reminding all of how they will be responsible from his inevitable demise.Sleep is his ally and he is the epitome of the saying "misery loves company" as he is often among a crowd.

 

Jonah

One who seems always to bring misfortune to himself or others.He is clumsy and oafish.He means well but is calamitous nonetheless.He is tolerated but at a distance.

 

Poet

One who is well versed in literature.He is greatly appreciated and sought after by common men.He is an actor who provides welcome entertainment.He also can read and write.He is capable of reciting epic poems at length and serves to remove one from the horror and boredom of the real world.

 

Prankster

One who goes out of his way to get a laugh usually at the expense of a victim.He enjoys rumors and delights in teasing others.He is brave in that he will pull his tricks on anyone regardless of rank or power.He also is enjoyed for his antics of mimicking minstrels and doing campfire skits for which he usually is rewarded.

 

Profane Griper

One who complains about everything usually in colorful period language.Although profanity of the 4-letter word variety is in his repertoire, it is self-created swearing that makes his reputation.Contrary to his complaints, he is a good worker.Yet, donít expect him to work quietly.He amuses all and his insults are taken lightly.

 

Quartermaster

One who controls unit property and sees that its issue and return is controlled.He is usually very particular such that he acts as though each item is his own personal possession.He has no mercy on those who abuse company property.He is also easily bribed and usually makes a side business of this trait.He could be in collusion with gamblers and he is often guilty of favoritism to avoid problems with officers and non-coms.

 

Reader

One who constantly tries to keep up-to-date with newspapers, magazines, etc.He delights in sharing news by reading aloud from local and northern papers.He occupies his time with books including the bible and assists with letter writing and reading.

 

Recruit

One who is new to everything.He usually does his best at being a bother with constant questions.Always volunteers and denies not knowing anything when questioned himself.He is eager for combat and full of false bravado.He is worthwhile for taking details of others.

 

Recruit Sergeant

One who actively seeks to swell the ranks with more men.He is generally soft-spoken and deceptive as a spider to a fly.He promises anything and uses any devious trick to gain another man to join.He can be as tough as a drill sergeant but he generally maintains a low profile.He is most noticeable at reenlistment time or in neighboring towns.Although unacknowledged, he generally carries a carte blanche from the commanding officer for his tactics.

 

Scribe

One who does writing for those incapable of same.Does much service as a letter writer (and reader) as well as master forger for passes, etc.Although his service in the letter area is usually free, his forging qualities are strictly for profit.

 

Singer

One who is familiar with many period songs -- patriotic, religious, love and humorous.He is a welcome visitor to any mess and is often paid for his services with food or other comforts to keep him around.He often leads others in familiar songs.†† Possession of a musical instrument is a bonus.Guitars, banjos, mouth harps and harmonicas were common.

 

Stalwart Soldier

One who serves as the epitome of the Confederate fighting man.He is a good ladies man and is usually the best outfitted soldier of the lot.He is well used by the recruiting sergeant and he is capable of talking anyone into joining.

 

Storyteller

One who delights in entertaining others with tales, either fiction or non-fiction.He usually has a good repertoire of jokes and is in great demand along with the singer.He is a good teller of local (North Carolina) history as well as unit history on a personal level.

 

Tinkerer

One who seems to be able to build anything from nothing. He is the engineer of the company and is capable of working out easy solutions to difficult problems.He is sought after by officers and men and usually occupies a supervisory position.




Last updated 2/6/2006