Nate Caudell in The Guns of the SouthEdit
First Sergeant Nathaniel "Nate" Caudell was with D Company of the 47th North Carolina Infantry regiment from its formation in 1862 until its disbandment in 1864 and his own honorable discharge. Throughout this period, Caudell fought in the Second American Revolution as part of the Army of Northern Virginia.
In civilian life, Caudell was a schoolteacher in Nashville, North Carolina He believed his literacy and skill at arithmetic was the main reason he was made First Sergeant since the duties of a First Sergeant included keeping records and accounts for the company. In the long periods of monotony between battles, he taught a number of soldiers in his company their "letters and numbers", including Mollie Bean.
During the winter of 1863/64 the 47th bivouacked near Orange Court House. Since that was the HQ of General Robert E. Lee, it was among the first regiments to receive AK-47s along with training from the Rivington Men. Because there were so few, the Rivington men were forced to instruct officers and NCOs who in turn instructed the private soldiers. Caudell received training from Benny Lang and the next day began training his subordinates.
Caudell took part in Lee's successful spring 1864 offensive. He was in the vanguard that secured the Orange and Brock cross-roads in the Wilderness and drove the Army of the Potomac back. He also fought in the battle of Bealeton where he faced black soldiers. While outraged at the idea of blacks in arms, he also did not think it correct to massacre surrendered blacks.
From there, Caudell took part in the offensive to seize Washington City. After fighting his way through the trenches, Caudell was directed to advance into Washington City by General Kirkland. He was among the Confederate soldiers that captured the headquarters of the Federal defense of Washington City. In addition, he was among the first Confederate soldiers to reach the White House and capture President Abraham Lincoln. Many Confederates were angry at Lincoln for his outspoken views and he prevented Corp. Billy Beddingfield from assassinating him.
After Lee negotiated an armistice with Lincoln, Caudell continued in occupation duty in Washington while it was implemented. He withdrew and returned to Richmond with the Army and took part in the final muster. There he was discharged and received a warrant for two months back pay (forty dollars) and a railroad pass to return home. While on his way home, he stopped in Rivington, North Carolina, where his warrant was able to be redeemed in specie.
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