Here’s an insightful interview I did with the 66th North Carolina, winners of the 121st National Skirmish Revolver Team Match. My contact was Pat Corrigan, enjoy:
SkirmishNotes: Can you tell us a little bit about the history of your team?
Pat: This Regiment was organized by General James G. Martin in August 1863 at Kinston North Carolina and consisted of 10 companies. The Eighth Battalion of Partisan Rangers, consisting of 6 companies was combined with the Fourth Battalion, consisting of 4 companies. Upon the organization of these 10 companies into the 66th North Carolina Regiment, A. Duncan Moore, who commanded a battery of light infantry from Wilmington, was made it’s Colonel. Colonel Moore, a graduate of West Point, was a Brilliant young officer of remarkable appearance and soldierly bearing. The regiment primarily performed its duties in Virginia and North Carolina, south of the James River as part of Hoke’s Division. It started out at 1100 strong and at wars end had been reduced to less than 100 men who were paroled on May 2, 1865. These valient men from the ” The Old North State” returned to their homes untarnished even though their old flag had retired in blood and tears.
Today’s modern counterpart was formed from men, primarily from Lenoir County, just as its namesake, and now has active members from North Carolina, Virginia, and Maryland. The re-activated company, officially designated, 66th North Carolina State Troops Company “C”, was formed in the early 70″s” by the efforts of its first team Commander , James F. Cauley, great grandson of its original 2nd Sergeant, James Cauley. The organization’s goal is to promote a competitive spirit with men of upright bearing. The 66th North Carolina lays claim to several National Championship teams as well as having a number of its members honored as N-SSA Distinguished Shooters. This Company participates in all phases of competition. The proud heritage of the brave Confederate men of the 66th North Carolina continues today through the men of its N-SSA Company.
On a side bar, I met La Verne Cauley at the Fall Nationals in Winchester in 1977. She is the daughter of James Cauley, founder of the 66th NC. We were married in October of 1979. ( A week after the fall Nationals, so our anniversary would never conflict with a skirmish). She has been an inspiration for me and I could not have a better supporter and skirmish wife. She doesn’t skirmish because of injuries she sustained in a car accident in 1991, but she is always with me. If my enthusiasm wanes, she is always there to tell me she is going to the skirmish anyhow and will tell me how it went when she gets back. She has been a God-send to me, especially during these last few years that I have had these health problems.
We lost Jim Cauley in 1986 to a brain tumor. He was only 54. There are two Memorial Trophies in his honor and memory. The James Cauley TW Regional Championship Carbine Trophy is presented at each spring and fall TW Regional. The 5th Place National Musket Team Trophy is in honor and memory of James Cauley.
SkirmishNotes: Can you include your team’s history of medals in the National Revolver Team match?
Pat: I believe this was our 12th National Revolver Championship. When we haven’t won, we have placed in the medals over a dozen times. The first N-SSA demonstration revolver match was with 5 men and the 66th won that. We were the only team to clear all targets and our total time was around 85 seconds. We then won the second demonstration match where there were four members. We cleared all the targets. When the Revolver Team Championship was made official, the 66th won their first championship in 1992. We had set a record of 82 seconds for the current three event format that lasted until just a few skirmishes ago. I believe the 17th Va. now holds the record at 78 seconds(?).
Our “B” Team has won the 1st Place B Team Medal 5 times and has placed in the medals many times. In 2003, the 66th “B” team was third overall, only 9 seconds behind the winning 66th “A” team.
SkirmishNotes: Did your team win any other awards or medals at the 121st National?
Pat: The “B” Revolver Team was second and we were 3rd in the Smoothbore Competition in A2. I believe our team took about 15 individual medals. In the past, we have had several members win the National Individual Competition and we have had 4 DSSA winners and one 100 point DSSA winner. We have had DSCA winners in revolver, musket, repeater, carbine and one 100 point DSCA Carbine winner. In the past, the 66th NC has also won the National Carbine Championship and National Cannon Championship. The best Musket Team place we have taken was 2nd Place back in 2004(?). We have two second places and nine third places in the National Repeater Championship. One of the third places was just a few years ago when we shot the match in 115 seconds. A record low time. Only to find out we had been bested by the 8th Va. with 114 seconds and the 2nd Maryland with 112. I believe these three record low times still stand today. Usually if you shoot around 140-150 seconds with the Repeater you are the winner.
We appreciate all the awards that we win. My wife always has to remind me that a medal is a medal. I personally have the ambition to always win the gold. I adopted the motto from someone a while back, but I believe “if you aren’t the lead sled dog, the view is all the same”.
Check back tomorrow for Part II of the interview!