Reconstruction through Spanish-American War, 1866-1898

Corporal James N. Perry of Raleigh. Cabinet Card by photographer Pierre Havens, Jacksonville, Florida. 1898.

Born in 1879, James was 18 years old when he volunteered in the “Governor’s Guard” to serve in the Spanish-American War. This Company became Company K, 1st North Carolina Volunteers. Upon their enlistment, it was said that they gave cheers to the United States, North Carolina, and their officers, to which their Captain responded, “I trust we shall go where duty calls and be a credit to the city (Raleigh) and North Carolina.”

The 1st NC was mustered into United States service in May of 1898, and spent much of the year training in camps in Jacksonville, Florida (where this image was taken), and Savannah, Georgia. In December 1898, they departed the States enroute to Havana, Cuba, where they arrived the day after the Treaty of Paris was signed – to much celebration.

The 1st North Carolina remained in Cuba until the spring of 1899, and were ultimately mustered out of service in April.

James survived the War, but passed away at the age of 33 due to tuberculosis.

Interestingly, James’ father had also served in the 1st North Carolina, some years earlier, from 1861-1865.