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Commentary

For the Commentary section, historians offer explicit interpretations of the past. Commentaries are intended to spark historical discussions and questions; they do not necessarily reflect the views of the North Carolina History Project or its staff. Commentaries are frequently added.

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N.C. Played Crucial Role At Civil War’s End

During the horrid conflict (1861-65), when brother sometimes fought brother, approximately 750,000 lives were lost. Some scholars contend that one-sixth of the Confederate dead hailed from the Old North State. Unlike today, soldiers from the same county comprised regimental companies. As a result some communities — North and South — lost a great percentage of their male population. Many soldiers returned home alive yet without an arm, leg, or several limbs. Other veterans suffered from what doctors called “shell shock” during World War I and what we now call Post-Traumatic
Stress Syndrome.

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