Two Irish-American companies in the 3rd North Carolina Artillery (40th North Carolina Infantry) served in the defenses around Wilmington, the South's last open seaport in 1865. Captain George C. Buchan's Co G (from Bladen Countv) and Capt Calvin Barnes' Co H (from Wilmington) helped defend the formidable Fort Fisher, commanded by Irish immigrant Maj James Reilly when the fort Anally fell.
No distinctive uniforms are known for the North Carolina Irish artillery companies, which may have received the state clothing widely issued by North Carolina to her troops in the summer or fall of 1861. These were cadet-gray sack coats with down-turned collars, a single row of six buttons, and distinctive strips of cloth (red for artillery) on the shoulders; forage caps and gray pants with red stripes completed the outfit. They were probably armed with M1842 conversion muskets. In February 1862, North Carolina began issuing red-trimmed gray shell jackets, and by summer/fall 1862 untrimmed six-button gray shell jackets with standing collars.
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