At the beginning of the Civil War, an act of the North Carolina Legislator raised ten Regiments of North Carolina State Troops, and thirteen Regiments of Volunteers. These were the 1st-8th and 10th-14th Regiments of North Carolina Volunteers, and 1st-10th Regiments of North Carolina State Troops. Thereafter, the original ten Regiments of State Troops kept their numbering, but the Volunteers were renumbered and all units were subsequently referred to as simply North Carolina Troops.

The State developed a system for sequential numbering of all regiments, but with a separate designation of numbering for artillery and cavalry, whereby the 9th Regiment NC Troops was the 1st Regiment NC Cavalry, and the 10th Regiment NC Troops was the 1st Regiment NC Artillery.

There were specialized units raised as well. Some of these were partisan units, and some were comprised of government employees or men pulled from regular units for detached service. These unit were formed as companies or battalions, and generally used for Local Defense, but towards the end of the war some were organized into regiments where needed.

The Reserves were formed by order of the Confederate Congress in February 1864, as a result of an expanded conscription program, whereby all white males between the ages of 17 and 50 were called into service. Generally men under 18 were assigned to Junior Reserve units, and men over 45 were assigned to Senior Reserve units. Some of these units in the later days of the war attained regimental size and were assigned regular regimental numbers.

There are numerous books available on the history of the Regiments of North Carolina Troops during the Civil War. The most complete being the books, North Carolina Troops, 1861-1865: A Roster. These volumes are published by the North Carolina State Archives, and were started to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Civil War. The project is not yet complete, but will eventually include the listings of over 125,000 North Carolina Soldiers that served during the Civil, including Union Troops, and North Carolinians that served in Regiments from other States. Volumes 1-13 are no longer in print, with only 1400 copies of each to be published, but Volume 14, covering the 57-61st Regiments, can still be purchased through the State Archives. North Carolina Office of Archives and History.

Other publications :

Compendium of The Confederate Armies: North Carolina, Stewart Sifakis; Facts on File, Inc, 1992

The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, US War Department; 128 Volumes

Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, US Navy Department, 31 Volumes