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Pliny Holbrook

Researcher: Lance Chavious


          Pliny A. Holbrook was part the 45th regiment of the Massachusetts Infantry (Militia) during the Civil War that was during the year of 1863. He was part of Company C which were in some major battles such as the Battle of Kinston and the battle of Goldsborough. Life on the battlefield was very difficult for these soldiers which they encountered battles that would leave them wounded, a lot of sickness that caused death in camps and finally they had to deal with weather which could affect their health and adjusting to different weather conditions. Pliny A. Holbrook is only one of hundreds of thousands of soldiers who gave up their lives to fight in honor of his country.


          The two battles that I had mentioned that Pliny had served in was one of them was the battle of Kinston, this battle was located in Lenoir county and its campaign name was the Goldsborough Expedition. This battle had occurred on December 14, 1862 when general John Foster followed by general Nathan Evans left New Berne on December 10th to set off to destroy Weldon and Wilmington railroad at Goldsborough. The advance was stubbornly constructed by the unions brigade they outnumbered and withdrew to North Carolina to Neuse river in direction of their next battle at Goldsborough. Kinston spot was a bridge that the battle had also taken place on. The next battle of Goldsborough was in the location of Wayne County. The two generals leading the way were John Foster and Thomas Clingman. In this battle a total of 220 men had died, and the whole fight started when Foster on December 17 had reached a railroad near Esterville he and his troops immediately began destroying tracks north toward Goldsborough. Clingman’s brigade delayed the advance but failed to prevent any destruction. These are only two battles that Pliny A. Holbrook had encountered during his time of the Civil War.


          Life in the Civil War for a soldier was very difficult for soldiers who went out to fight for their cause. These men would never forget these epic battles that had taken place that would impact their lives as well as the countries. For nine months the 45th regiment had to practice drills over and over again to perfect them. Their was rarely any adequate food nor shelter available towards the soldiers. Fighters had to practice in hot days marching on dusty roads, also most of the soldiers had been farmers meaning the toughest thing that they all lacked was discipline. Drill sergeants would be yelling at them to do orders but none would react because they had no clue what discipline was. Soldiers uniforms were also not as nice as hometown soldiers, gathering wood for fires to cook was also a key part in a soldiers way of life. Metal fittings had to be polished and the horses had to be feed and groomed. The fields had to be cleared for parade drills, and their had to always be a guard on duty. Soldiers lived in tents, company front term they used for marching formation.


          Pliny A. Holbrook lived in Norfolk and was born in Massachusetts. He had served in the militia of the 45th regiment. The 45th regiment or the Caded regiment was considered a new militia in response of August 4 1862. These men had to serve a term of nine months six months longer then they had to . Over 40 of the men were Boston Cadets and were lead by Colonel Charles R. Codman. On November 5th the cadets’ left on a steam ship called the Mississippi to Beaufort North Carolina to fight.


          Pliny A. Holbrook may be just a simple soldier, but to the country he was one of thousands of men who had served their country a great deal of pride in the Civil War in believing in what he wanted.

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