Briefly, Capt George W Graham led a cavalry company, Company L, of the 1st North Carolina Union Volunteers.
The NCUV was made up of officers from the north, and enlisted men from local areas, mainly around the coastal areas of NC. These were men who joined the Union for various reasons. Most were very poor farmers who saw the pay as better than what they would get from the CSA. Also, they remained in their local areas. Some had been in the CSA but deserted.
Graham’s Cavalry was quite notorious in the areas of New Bern. He and his men raided towns, caught many prisoners, brought “contrabands” (slaves) to New Bern for release, and were obviously very unpopular in the area.
Graham was known as being brave to the point of being crazy. He apparently feared nothing. He is also credited as being the person who burned the bridge in the Battle of Goldsborough Bridge.