(State National Guard)
act, passed in 1862, by the Confederate Congress declared that all men between
18 and 45 years of age were subject to military duty. This excluded those designated by the
States as necessary to it's State service and exemptions specified by law.
(These exemptions were preachers, school teachers, overseers of 20 Negroes,
manufacturers and their laborers, editors and printers.
North Carolina States exemption covered the State and County officers,
the Peace, Officers of all the Militia Regiments and companies that had been enlisted as State forces.)
The conscript bureau of the State
enforced the law by
collecting and forwarding the conscripts to the Confederate armies.
With the Militia Regiment's men being conscripted in North Carolina the Justices of the Peace and Militia Officers were organized into companies and by counties into battalions and were designated as Home Guards, as were all men aged 45 to 50 years of age as well as those under 18 years. The Governor then appointed field officers for the different counties. When initially organised there were four Home Guard Regiments, which were organised as a replacement for the Militia.
The Home Guard was used to arrest army deserters and quell any 'disturbances.' They also impressing Negroes to work on fortifications. They were called to Wilmington in the December 1864 to assist in repelling Benjamin F. Butlerís attack, although there's no record of them actually engaging in battle. It was also their responsibility to verifying the 'infirmities' of men who were in the conscript age range.
Due to the unpopular nature of their work, and the way it was carried out at times, the Home Guard were much despised by the general population.
The United Daughters of the Confederacy now recognise the importance of the Home Guards efforts during the war and accepting their veterans as membership in the organization.