During the American Civil War, many Confederate units were poorly equipped, and one of the items they commonly lacked was shoes. Although there is no historical evidence, there is a legend that some of the North Carolina troops coated the bottoms of their feet in hot tar, in order to protect them on the long marches. To this day, people from North Carolina are often referred to as “tarheels”, and the state\'s largest University has officially adopted the nickname.
North Carolina Civil War Tidbits:
In an 1866 report on Civil War deaths by state, North Carolina was reported to have lost over 20,000 men killed in battle. The second highest state, Virginia, lost just over six thousand.
At Gettysburg, the 26th North Carolina regiment suffered 688 casualties, the worst losses by a unit in any battle in the Civil War.
Andrew Johnson, who became president upon the death of Abraham Lincoln, was born just outside the North Carolina Capital.