Antedating of "Tarheel" Meaning North Carolinian

Bonnie Taylor-Blake taylor-blake at NC.RR.COM
Sat Nov 20 00:59:11 UTC 2010

Back in April, 2009, Fred Shapiro posted about the diary of Lt. William B.A.
Lowrance, a member of the 46th regiment of the North Carolina troops.  Fred
mentioned that this document has been said to contain the earliest known
usage of "Tar Heels" with respect to North Carolinians.

(A working link to the Lowrance diary can be found at [1], below.)

I don't have anything antedating Lowrance's 6 February 1863 usage, but I
have found a 24 February 1863 "Tar Heels," also used with reference to North

-- Bonnie


The fruits of this victory cannot be over-estimated, as it secures us
against the further *taunts from Lawton's Georgia Brigade, of being "Tar
Heels" till the next big snow*.

[Everything within the asterisks is italicized. -- BTB]

[From "(Rough Notes of) a Severe Engagement on the Rappahannock, Tuesday, 24
February," in *The [Raleigh] North Carolina Standard*, 18 March 1863, p. 4
(via  The author, who wrote from the camp of the 6th
North Carolina near Port Royal, Virginia, on 24 February 1863, signed off as
"CAROLINE."  His report described activities of North Carolina troops.]


[1] (near
the bottom of the page)

The American Dialect Society -

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