Brigadier-General Raleigh E. Colston formed the Hillsboro Military Academy immediately after the war, and in 1868 opened the Cape Fear Academy in Wilmington with the aid of Frank H. Alfriend, biographer of Jefferson Davis. The school was located in the Hill Residence on Grace Street, between 3rd and 4thStreets. When Gen. Robert E. Lee visited Wilmington in April 1870, he reviewed Gen. Colston’s cadets from the porch of Major Charles P. Bolles residence on 3rd Street. Though a Virginian, Gen. Colston early in the war led the First and Third North Carolina Regiments and earned the great respect of the men of those units.
He encouraged the ladies of the Virginia Memorial Association after the war to help maintain the heroic memory of those who had fallen:
“It is for you, Southern matrons…..to bring the youth of our land to these consecrated mounds and to engrave in their candid souls the true story of our wrongs, our motives, and our deeds. Tell them in tender and eloquent words that those who lie here entombed were neither traitors nor rebels, and that those absurd epithets are but the ravings of malignant folly when applied to men who claimed nothing but their right under the Constitution of their fathers—the right of self-government. Tell them how we exhausted every honorable means to avoid the terrible arbitrament of war, asking only to be let alone, and tendering alliance, friendship, free navigation—everything reasonable and magnanimous—to obtain an amicable settlement. Tell them how, when driven to draw the sword, we fought the mercenaries of all the world until, overpowered by tenfold numbers, we fell; but like Leonidas and his Spartans of old, fell so heroically that our defeat was more glorious than victory.”
The following advertisement is from Branson & Farrar’s North Carolina Business Directory of 1866-67:
HILLSBORO' MILITARY ACADEMY.
This well known and popular Institution is once more in successful operation and is prepared for the reception of Cadets at any time. It is under the direction of GEN. R. E. COLSTON, a graduate, and for fifteen years, (up to the commencement of the war) a Professor of the
VIRGINIA MILITARY INSTITUTE,AND A COLLEAGUE OF STONEWALL JACKSON.
The course of the Institution is that of the Virginia Military Institute and is such as to make the Academy a great POLYTECHNIC SCHOOL. A school of theoretical and applied science, in which Languages and Literature also receive a due share of attention. The discipline and instructions are on a
Complete Military Basis.
The Faculty is for the present organized as follows:
Superintendent and Professor of Military history, Strategy and Political Economy, and Instructor of Infantry and Cavalry tactics, GEN. R. E. COLSTON, late professor of French and of Military History, Strategy and Political Economy at the Virginia Military Institute, and late Brig. General C.S.A. Until the appointment of additional Professor, Gen. Colston takes charge of the Department of French and English studies and Belles Lettres.
Professor of Natural and Experimental Philosophy, Ordnance, Gunnery and instructor of Artillery tactics, Major D. TRUEHEART, Graduate of the Military Institute in 1850--afterwards Assistant Professor of the Virginia Military Institute--attached to the United States Coast Survey--late major and Chief of Artillery in the C. S. Army.
Professor of Mathematics, Civil and Military Engineering, Architecture, Topographical and Industrial Drawing, and Assistant Instructor of Infantry Tactics, Capt. W. A. OBENCHAIN, "first distinguished graduate" of his Class in the war, promoted Captain of the Engineers in the late C. S. Army.
Professor of Chemistry, Agricultural, Chemistry, Geology, and Mineralogy, Col. LEWELLYN HOXTON, "distinguished Graduate" of West Point Military Academy, and late Chief of Artillery to Hardee's Corps.
Professor of Latin, French, Ethics and Belles Lettres, to be appointed shortly.
Surgeons Drs. E. & W. S. STRUDWICK.
New appointments will be made, and the Chairs now filled will be subdivided as soon as the number of Cadets makes it desirable.
For Circulars and any other information apply to
Gen'l R. E. COLSTON,
Sup't Hillsboro' Mil'y Academy
North Carolina’s War Between the States Sesquicentennial
“The Official website of the North Carolina War Between the States Sesquicentennial Commission”