Nathaniel N. Caudell (1830-?) was a teacher in a one-room schoolhouse in Nashville, North Carolina in the mid-19th century. During the American Civil War, he served in the Confederate States Army in the 47th North Carolina. By the end of the war he was First Sergeant of Company D in that unit.
Nate Caudell in The Guns of the South
First Sergeant "Nate" Caudell was with D Company of the 47th North Carolina Infantry regiment from its formation in 1862 until its disbandment in 1864 and his own honorable discharge. Throughout this period, Caudell fought in the Second American Revolution as part of the Army of Northern Virginia.
In civilian life, Caudell was a schoolteacher in Nashville, North Carolina. He believed his literacy and skill at arithmetic was the main reason he was made First Sergeant since the duties of a First Sergeant included keeping records and accounts for the company. In the long periods of monotony between battles, he taught a number of soldiers in his company their "letters and numbers", including Mollie "Melvin" Bean.
During the winter of 1863-4, the 47th bivouacked near Orange Court House. Since that was the HQ of General Robert E. Lee, it was among the first regiments to receive AK-47s along with training from the Rivington Men. Because there were so few, the Rivington men were forced to instruct officers and NCOs who in turn instructed the private soldiers. Caudell received training from Benny Lang and the next day began training his subordinates.
Caudell took part in Lee's successful spring 1864 offensive. He was in the vanguard that secured the Orange and Brock cross-roads in the Wilderness and drove the Army of the Potomac back. He also fought in the Battle of Bealeton where he faced black soldiers. While outraged at the idea of blacks in arms, he also did not think it correct to massacre surrendered blacks.
From there, Caudell took part in the offensive to seize Washington City. After fighting his way through the trenches, Caudell was directed to advance into Washington City by General William Kirkland. During the battle, he ordered several lower ranking soldiers to capture a building Federals had been seen leaving, and later learned that he had ordered captured the headquarters of the Federal defense of Washington City. In addition, he was among the first Confederate soldiers to reach the White House and capture President Abraham Lincoln. Many Confederates were angry at Lincoln for his outspoken views and he prevented Corporal Billie Beddingfield from shooting at him.
After Lee negotiated an armistice with Lincoln, Caudell continued in occupation duty in Washington while it was implemented. He withdrew and returned to Richmond with the Army and took part in the final muster. There he was discharged and received a warrant for two months back pay (forty dollars) and a railroad pass to return home. While on his way home, he stopped in Rivington, North Carolina, where his warrant was able to be redeemed in specie.
For two years, he lived a peaceful life as a school teacher, keeping in touch with Mollie Bean and forming a friendship with former US Army Colonel Henry Pleasants. At home, Caudell witnessed Forrest's Campaign and a slave sell, both in which the Rivington Men were involved, and began to wonder more about the mysterious weapon merchants. During the Presidential elections, Caudell voted for Lee and was pleased when he won.
He later reunited with Mollie after she had discovered troubling facts about the Rivington Men, that they were in fact time travelers and the war should've been lost. Nate encouraged her to take the evidence to President-elect Lee, which she did. Unknown to either of them, this would set off the chain of events leading to the Richmond Massacre that occurred on March 4, 1868.
After the attack, Nash county which contained the town of Rivington and the four surrounding counties were placed under martial law. This included Nate's hometown of Nashville. His old company was reformed for policing duties, and Nate dutifully joined them.
Caudell was part of the group that first stumbled upon the Rivington men's defensive line: a modern array of machine guns and long range mortars. Unable to pass these defenses, the 47th Carolina was part of the Confederate Army force that surrounded the town during a siege that lasted over a month.
The enemy line was broken though by Henry Pleasants, who had become such good friends with Nate that he elected to join the 47th when Nate was called back to service, by means of underground explosives. Nate was among the first Confederate soldiers to advance after the line was destroyed.
During the advance, he had a conversation with Mollie Bean about their unusual relationship and what it may turn into. The pair stumbled upon Benny Lang, who had trained Nate years earlier, and interrogated him briefly before turning him over as a prisoner to other Confederate forces.
Nate was one of the first soldiers into Rivington, and pursued the retreating AWB members into the shed where they had their time machine. He was one of the only people to see the machine before it was destroyed by Confederate fire, and remarked that he would never stop wondering about the man who'd been in it when it was destroyed.
Nate, being the highest ranking soldier present at the time, was the one who accepted AWB's surrender from Andries Rhoodie, thus ending the battle and rendering the Confederacy truly free of outside influence. After the war, he once again left the military behind and married Mollie Bean.
On March 4, 2009, this article became the 5000th article created on Turtledove Wikia.