Our State – Our Stories

Groundbreaking Ceremony Speeches

Our Speakers From The North Carolina Civil War & Reconstruction History Center Groundbreaking Ceremony in Fayetteville, NC on April 18, 2018. Chancellor James A. Anderson The Honorable Patricia Timmons Goodson Senator Tony Rand Commissioner Michael C. Boose Mayor...

NC Civil War History of the Fayetteville Arsenal Site

Earlier this year, we commissioned two local university students, one from FSU (Dorien Caldwell) and the other from UNC-Pembroke (Angel Garcia) to do a three-part video history of the Fayetteville Civil War Arsenal site. They did all the filming, research and...

Update on the History Center’s 2017 Progress

If things have seemed quiet at the History Center, there’s been a reason: We’ve been busy! Since we wrote you last year, we’ve raised more than $20 million in new, firm commitments…

Uniting a divided history

From the robust public discussion about North Carolina’s legacy of Civil War monuments, it’s clear that — a century and a half after its close — we’re still sorting out how to make sense of that war…

Sherrod Family Celebrates Home of Patriarch, a Former Slave

Built as a wood structure in 1886, the entire building has been encapsulated into brick and has had multiple additions over the years, but Leonard Paul Sherrod Jr., great-grandson of the builder, knows what’s underneath.

Sherrod and other family members are preparing for a grand reunion on Sept. 1-3 to be held at the Sherrod homestead.

“We are refurnishing, repairing, remodeling when necessary and getting it ready to be used as a venue for the upcoming September reunion,” said Sherrod, who was born in Wilson in 1933 and graduated from Charles H. Darden High School in 1952.

A picnic and a banquet are planned at the event, which Sherrod has titled “Exploring Our Family History.”

“There is so much history,” Sherrod said. “Not only is it family history, it is African-American history, and in some small portion, American history.”

Grey Little Brown (1831-1907)

Before he enlisted in the Civil War, Grey Little Brown was a farmer and teacher in Edgecombe County. After the war, he returned to farming and teaching.

He became a “certified teacher” in 1871 as the state began to set standards (see copy of certificate).

His interest in education established the first school in Edgecombe County. He also sent three of his daughters to college in Greensboro, N.C. (the State Normal and Industrial School, aka Woman’s College aka UNCG).

Robert Andrews Sellers (1847-1905)

(Source: Contributed by Paula F. Kermon) Robert Sellers' childhood is very sketchy, but according to his widow, his father died when Robert was a young child. When his mother remarried, his stepfather bonded him to a farmer. The 1850 Census for Brunswick County listed...

Almon Leonidas Fountain (1842-1907)

(Source: Contributed by Paula F. Kermon) When Almon was 18 and attending the Dow Eagles School in Edgecombe County, his 24 year old teacher Lorenzo Dow Eagles, closed the school and enlisted in the Civil War. On 8/31/1861, Eagles formed a company of boys/men at Sparta...

Thomas Davis Rice

(Source: contributed by William D. Kenerly) Thomas Davis Rice was my great grandfather. He enlisted and was a private in the Civil War. After the War, he signed the Oath of Allegiance to the United States in Salisbury. He became a farmer and businessman in the...

Brothers Bill and Daniel Cole, Confederate soldiers

William Richard "Bill" Cole and Daniel Francis Cole were uncles of my grandmother, Gertrude Elizabeth Thompson Croom (Mrs. William Cyrus Croom), of Sandy Bottom in Lenoir County. Both Bill and Daniel lived in the eastern part of Coffee County near Douglas, GA. They...

William Allen Croom and wife Ann Maria Jackson Croom

During the Civil War, Ann Maria (pronounced Mariah) and her husband lived at "the Margaret Croom Place" at Moss Hill in Lenoir County. Once, when the Yankees came through the area, Ann Maria was fixing supper, and one of the Yankees invited himself to eat with them....

Peter Garner: The Hunter

Peter Garner, a native of southeastern Randolph County, was born about 1831. He was a son of Peter Garner Sr. and Elizabeth Morgan. Garner married Susannah Latham on February 26, 1857. She was a daughter of James Latham and Lucretia Garner. Peter and Susannah had four...

A Tale of Two Men

Corporal John Campell Bass was an ancestor on my mother’s side. He joined the war effort in 1864. On March 16, 1865, he fought at Averasboro, North Carolina. A few days later, in the battle of Bentonville, he was killed. In March 1865, Private Troy Eldridge fought in...

Six Sons Served and Six Survived

Blackledge Harper, my great-great-grandfather, was born on April 20, 1813. He was a farmer from Deep Run, North Carolina. His farm, in excess of a thousand acres, was worked primarily by family members, but when additional help was needed, he hired slaves from...

Where did all the treason trials go?

Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying war against them, or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort. No person shall be convicted of treason unless…

A summer of change, a long winter of resistance

As hopes and honeysuckle bloomed, a century and a half ago, forces were massing to ensure that the dreams of newly liberated slaves and their white supporters would never take root. At the federal level, slavery had been abolished by constitutional amendment. But...

Some Lived to Tell the Tale

(Source: Contributed by E.W. Smith) Of fifteen children who spent their childhood at the Harnett County house called Lebanon, eight soldier brothers served the Confederacy at one time or another while four surviving sisters did their best to keep track of them and...

Far From Home, at Home

(Source: Contributed by Gene Smith) “You would not feel at home tonight if you could step in and see our family circle so small, no one at home except Pa, Sarah, Janie, little Mary and myself,” Bettie Smith wistfully wrote to brother Curtis as spring stirred in 1864....

Barden [Bardin] Family Private Papers, 1822-1920

(Source: Contributed by Maude P. Smith) "The Barden [Bardin] family were planters who farmed in the Sampson and Duplin County area of Southeastern North Carolina before and after the Civil War. While this collection contains few items of correspondence, the contents...

Our Latest Newsletter!

March 2017 Dear Friends, The North Carolina Civil War History Center has been making great progress! In this newsletter are some of our recent and upcoming activities. We thank you for your continued support and, as always, we encourage you to contact us if you have...

From Warrior to Renowned Artisan

(Source: Contributed by Roger H. Futrell) William Henry Hancock (1844-1923)[1] of Randolph County, North Carolina, was a Confederate veteran who worked as a potter in the eastern Piedmont between 1865 and 1900. Examples of his pottery are in the collections of The...

A Family Mystery: The Andrew Jackson Curtis Story

Submitted by: Jerry H. Padgett and Willis P. Whichard Andrew Jackson Curtis was the first son of Madison and Sarah Curtis and the brother of our great-grandmother, Julia. He was the second child in a family of nine surviving children when the war started. In the fall...

Captured at Deep Creek

Asaph Wilson Sherrill of Jackson County was a private in Thomas’ Legion. He was captured by Union soldiers at the Battle of Deep Creek. He was taken to Knoxville, Tennessee, then to Nashville, and finally, to a prison camp in Delaware. He died of dysentery and was...

A Glimpse into the Life of a Confederate Soldier Based on his Letters Home

Built as a wood structure in 1886, the entire building has been encapsulated into brick and has had multiple additions over the years, but Leonard Paul Sherrod Jr., great-grandson of the builder, knows what’s underneath.

Sherrod and other family members are preparing for a grand reunion on Sept. 1-3 to be held at the Sherrod homestead.

“We are refurnishing, repairing, remodeling when necessary and getting it ready to be used as a venue for the upcoming September reunion,” said Sherrod, who was born in Wilson in 1933 and graduated from Charles H. Darden High School in 1952.

A picnic and a banquet are planned at the event, which Sherrod has titled “Exploring Our Family History.”

“There is so much history,” Sherrod said. “Not only is it family history, it is African-American history, and in some small portion, American history.”

The Padgett Brothers: Only One Came Home

Submitted by: Willis P. Whichard, Jerry H. Padgett, James L. Padgett, and Obie G. Whicha In the 1850s, Sidney and Elijah Padgett migrated to Cherokee County from Rutherford County, North Carolina with their parents, John and Rachel Padgett, and six siblings: Salina,...

Lieutenant D. A. Black’s Letter Reveals the Concerns of a Dedicated Soldier

Built as a wood structure in 1886, the entire building has been encapsulated into brick and has had multiple additions over the years, but Leonard Paul Sherrod Jr., great-grandson of the builder, knows what’s underneath.

Sherrod and other family members are preparing for a grand reunion on Sept. 1-3 to be held at the Sherrod homestead.

“We are refurnishing, repairing, remodeling when necessary and getting it ready to be used as a venue for the upcoming September reunion,” said Sherrod, who was born in Wilson in 1933 and graduated from Charles H. Darden High School in 1952.

A picnic and a banquet are planned at the event, which Sherrod has titled “Exploring Our Family History.”

“There is so much history,” Sherrod said. “Not only is it family history, it is African-American history, and in some small portion, American history.”

Reconstruction: the insurgency that followed the war

 This is the sesquicentennial of Reconstruction, an ugly but historically important period in which the Union, having won a long and ghastly Civil War, lost the peace to the same set of antagonists. That realization arrived in different places at different times....

William Penn Wood: Wounded and Left to Die

William Penn Wood was born in Asheboro, North Carolina on May 2, 1843. Wood was a son of Penuel and Calista Birkhead Wood. His youth was spent in Randolph County where he attended public schools from 1850 until 1861. As a teenager, he worked as a clerk in a general...

One of the Yadkin Boys

George Washington Blakely was born in 1838 and, on June 18, 1861, he enlisted in the Confederate Army, serving in the group known as “Yadkin Boys,” Company F, 28th Regiment, NC Troops. He survived the War, but was wounded several times and lost part of one of his...

‘Aunt’ Martha Graham: Born a Slave in Cumberland County

According to an undated article from The Fayetteville Observer, at the time of its publication (circa mid to late 1970s), 117-year-old ‘Aunt’ Martha Graham was Cumberland County’s oldest resident. ‘Aunt’ Martha “live[d] with her [then] 97-year-old daughter, Mrs....

Neill Angus Ray: A Survivor of Point Lookout Prison Camp

On June 1, 1864, seventeen-and-a-half-year-old Neill Angus Ray enlisted in the Confederate Army at Wilmington, North Carolina. According to war records, Ray was five-feet-eight-inches tall and had a fair complexion, hazel eyes, and dark brown hair. Ray was first...

Whiteside Mountain’s Civil War Soldier’s Cave

Soldiers who left the Confederate Army to return home were called deserters or “Outliers” because they had to “lie out” from their homes to avoid detection. If caught by the Confederate Home Guard, they could be executed for their desertion or, more often, escorted...

J.C. Cox: Farmer, Hatmaker, Mill Owner, and Potter

My great-grandfather, Jeremiah Cox, lived close to Shiloh Church near Richland Creek in Randolph County. He served in the Confederate Army during the Civil War. While a soldier, Jeremiah was wounded by a minié ball that could not be removed from his shoulder, so he...

Randolf County Man Hanged for Avoiding Draft

On June 2, 1976, in an article titled “Civil War Hanging Recalled” from The Courier-Tribune, Ralph L. Bulla wrote about the death of Randolf County man, Alson G. Allred. Men who were already serving in the Civil War “were angered because Allred supposedly ‘hid out,’”...

A Quaker Doctor Paid Someone to serve in His Stead

William Stout, born in 1825, was the son of Joseph and Naomi Stout. His father built four-horse wagons, and his mother made the covers for the wagons. The Stouts sold the wagons in Fayetteville for one hundred dollars each. The profits from those sales paid for young...

A Tale of Two Brothers

Lewis Osborn Sugg was born September 6, 1845 in Randolf County, and he was the son of Merritt A. Sugg and Tempy Spinks Sugg. The family story maintains that Lewis’s father, Merritt Sugg, left his home in eastern North Carolina and headed westward. He settled in the...

Memoir of Thomas B. Sanders of Kinston

Written by Thomas B. Sanders (Submitted by James L. Gaddis) My parents' farm was in Bentonville Township, Johnston County, N.C. A short distance from our home was the little village of Bentonville. It was in this area that the last major battle of the Civil War was...

Aunt Janie vs. the Yankees — and me

My great-grandfather's youngest sister has been dead for more than 130 years, but she's still driving me crazy. In fairness, she's had a lot of help. Janie Smith, who was living in the house I now occupy when William T. Sherman and William J. Hardee literally brought...

What Lee and Grant didn’t bother to debate

Lee. Grant. Appomattox. The three names have become almost shorthand for an end to four ghastly years of a war, all of whose casualties were Americans turned against one another. It is worth revisiting the correspondence and other documents of April 8, 9, and 10,...

A few Southern perspectives on the Civil War

Near the end of the 19th century, author-journalist Cornelia Ann Phillips Spencer lost patience with what she considered Yankee revisionist history and decided to set the record straight. The result was a North Carolina history textbook that offered a full-throated...

Every good story deserves an audience

Snippets from a war story:      Being outnumbered and flanked on our right (Sherman’s left), we fell back in good order to Line No. 3, hundreds of yards from Line No. 2, and there Hardee’s entire corps, so far as I could tell, held the enemy in check until night.    ...

Have a boxful of history? Share the wealth!

Thousands of North Carolina boys and men began their Confederate service as members of local militias, some of which had colorful names such as “Scotch Tigers” and “Cumberland Plough Boys.” The names, and the men, were sometimes lost to view as those units disappeared...

Olmsted cast New Eyes on the Old South

Frederick Law Olmsted (1822-1903) was in the front rank of this country’s landscape architects, and many consider him the best. But he was other things, as well – farmer, journalist, public works administrator – and he approached all his work with the same vision,...

To Make Them Live Again

“Why are you so interested in history?" Oh, for a dollar for each time I've been asked that. My initial answer went something like this: "I was bitten by the bug when my grandparents took me to an old battlefield close to home." Later, I changed it to, "The people of...

Waterloo and The Civil War

A few days ago, I finished reading an outstanding book about the battle of Waterloo. Titled “WATERLOO: The History of Four Days, Three Armies and Three Battles,” it was written by Bernard Cornwell. If you know anything about historical fiction, you've probably...

The first to fall for North Carolina

He was only 19. Fate or plain bad luck had brought him to a fight at Big Bethel Church in Virginia, in June of 1861. The young man had enlisted back in April, less than a week after the bombardment of Fort Sumter. The Tar Heel State had not initially joined...

The long road ends at Durham

For more than nine months, some 50,000 troops in the Army of Northern Virginia were dug in at Petersburg, in a situation that none other than Robert E. Lee had early on described, in writing, as “untenable.” During the long face-off, their contributions to the war...

Averasboro, and a civilian view

They're making this easy for me. The week ended with distant artillery at Fort Bragg jarring the foundations of this old house. Then, on Sunday, gunners in the reenactment at the Averasboro Battlefield Museum a few hundred yards south let go a couple of rounds with...

Old myths frustrate modern hopes

If you grew up white, Southern and embedded in the successor class to the Antebellum gentry, you've likely heard it -- more than once: "I was always told that they treated them like family." "Them" meaning slaves. It wasn't a lie; that was in fact what they -- the...

The Day Joe Johnston Stopped the War

The day after I became a teenager in 1960, Look magazine published a piece by American novelist MacKinlay Kantor, titled, "If the South Had Won the Civil War." At the time I found the title intriguing, but the substance eluded me. Having had more than half a century...

Gen. Sherman’s critical turn of events

As the summer of 1864 gave way to autumn, Maj. Gen.William T. Sherman was restless. What remained of Atlanta was under Union control. Confederate Gen. John Bell Hood had by Sherman's reckoning lost his enthusiasm for head-to-head fighting. Instead, Hood busied himself...

Matters of time and timing

If a 19th-century Time magazine had picked a Person of the Year for any of the war years, Abraham Lincoln would have been impossible to ignore. The mere fact of his election in 1860 stirred South Carolina to declare the Union dissolved and begin expropriating U.S....

Hard times on the home front

Monroe is in the Hospital somewhere sick. Our 1st Lieut. is now Capt. and myself 1st Lieut. J.D. Currie 2nd Lieut. and Toler holds 2nd Lieut.'s place though he is not with us. He is at home, has hemorage (sic) of the lungs. Bill Davis died on his way to the Co. with...

Help tell it like it is, and was

Laws, Ian Fleming's villainous Goldfinger scoffed to James Bond, are merely "the crystallized prejudices of the community." That's harsh, and not entirely accurate. But it makes the useful point that our code of laws, no matter what the credits and credentials of...

Missing some of your history? Check this

Have you hit a dead end in trying to piece together your ancestors’ stories? Has an old cemetery gone missing? Can't find the will, birth or death certificate, or tax record you want? You could be looking in the wrong place. Maybe a county jumped out from under you....

When assets suddenly became liabilities

Not quite two years after the Civil War ended, John C. Smith of Cumberland County found himself in the same predicament as other planters suddenly confronted by the prospect of having to pay the help. The land that had made his grandfather, his father and John himself...

Soldier’s Life Saved by a Hymn

Levi Hefner, my maternal great-grandfather, was a Confederate soldier from Hickory in Catawba County. Levi enlisted in Company C, 28th NC Regiment of the Confederate States Army at the outbreak of the Civil War and fought in the infantry on Virginia battlefields. He...

Tar Heel war stories need a binder

Some call the endless fascination with the Civil War puzzling -- silly, even. They should rethink that. There are no reliable figures for those who were wounded or maimed, or those whose health was wrecked. No one can quantify the grief and privation of families...

The Cave Man and the Confederates

Jeff Brady, my great-great-grandfather, was a farmer near High Falls in Moore County at the outbreak of the Civil War. He lived there with his wife, Mary Ann Moore Brady, and several children. Jeff Brady was a Quaker. He and Mary are buried in the cemetery of the...

The Murder of Joel Holcombe, Home Guard Officer

The Murder of Joel Holcombe by Joe Shelton In August of 1865, Joe Shelton and two other men rode to the home of Joel Holcombe in Madison County, North Carolina and shot him while he was working outside. Then, it is claimed, Shelton proceeded to scalp him. The only...

Treacherous Hosts: A Difficult Journey Home

Solomon David Finger didn't take kindly to the people who wanted to murder him while he was on his way home from Camp Chase, a Union prison in Columbus, Ohio, where he had been a prisoner for nine months. The Civil War had just ended. The surprise of his life was a...

My Family: A Story of Heroes, Tears, Love, and War

The Kuykendall family came into the United States in 1741 at New Albany [Fort Orange], New York. My 5th great-grandfather on my mother's side was Abraham Kuykendall. A Revolutionary War captain, he is buried at Mud Creek Church in Flat Rock; Flat Rock was his land...

Last at Appomattox

My great-great-grandfather was Private George W. Chandler. He was born Jan. 4, 1832, the son of Pleasant and Martha Chandler. He was married to Elizabeth Ligon Boswell Nov. 5, 1857. They owned land, lived and reared their nine children, died and were buried on a...

A Galvanized Yankee went west

A Galvanized Yankee On May 19, 1862, John Henry Smith of Catawba County was mustered into the Confederate army. He was only eighteen years old. Little is known about his experiences as a soldier, only that he was a member of Hoke’s Brigade of the 54th North Carolina...

Exempt or not exempt, Miller did his service

Jesse A. Miller was born on July 12, 1840 in Randolph County, the eldest son of Riley and Rachel Allred Miller. In the 1850s, Jesse's father built the Uwharrie Cliff Grist Mill, later called Millers Mill, on the Uwharrie River. Jesse helped his father run the mill. On...

Blood and Water and Mercy

Levi Herman, my great-grandfather, appears in the Civil War Roster books as Levi Harmon. He also appears on the Federal census with the same name. But when you look at the locations in Catawba County, North Carolina, where he lived, his family’s names, etc. you know...

Oliver Larkin Stringfield

Reminiscences of Oliver Larkin Stringfield (1851-1930): "My great-grandfather was a Virginian of Dutch descent, a soldier in the Revolutionary War -- married Miss Fellows, of Duplin County, NC. Settled there, raised six children. My grand-father, Joseph, married Miss...

Isaac Deal, Confederate soldier

Isaac Deal, the son of William Deal and Malinda (Linda) Pickett, was born on June 12, 1840 in Duplin County, where he resided as a farmer. Isaac married Hannah Susan Henderson in New Hanover County on Sept. 16, 1860. On July 8, 1862, at age 21, he enlisted for the...

Kinsman died in a D.C. prison

My first cousin, five generations removed, was a man by the name of Granville Simpson Holt. He enlisted as a private in Company K of the 6th North Carolina Infantry Regiment on June 21, 1861, at age 35. Like many others in the regiment, he was a farmer by occupation....

“Going home to die no more…”

My great-great-great-grandfather Joseph “Joe” Huneycutt (also spelled Honeycutt) was born about 1823 in Stanly County's Almond Township. He was a family man, farmer and cobbler who, owing to his ability to make shoes for the Confederate army, avoided service for most...

Rockford Inn and Arron Burr

In my research I found a story. As a boy, my great-great-great-grandfather, Watson Holyfield of Surry County, hung out at the store and inn. It was written and handed down that Aaron Burr, while traveling to Asheville, stopped at the inn to stay. There he befriended...

John N. Maffitt, 1st Lieutenant in the Confederate Navy

John N. Maffitt was born at sea on February 22, 1819. The location was Atlantic Ocean longitude 40W, latitude 50N. This exact position is referenced by Rudyard Kipling in his Just So Stories, "How the Whale Got his Throat." The stage is now set for young Maffitt's...

William J. Chisholm, Confederate veteran

William J. Chisholm was born Sept. 6, 1843 in Troy (Montgomery County) North Carolina, to John and Mary Chisholm, the descendants of Scottish immigrants. John’s occupation was listed as both a farmer and a mechanic. William enlisted in Montgomery County on March 1,...

William King White

William King White, CSA Here is the text on William King White from our old Civil War exhibit. (By the way, an image of him, his wife, and two children is in our newly opened chronological exhibit. The state Archives has the image if you have not seen it before.)...

Soldier wanted clean water for all

Levi Herman, my great-grandfather, appears in the Civil War Roster books as Levi Harmon. He also appears on the federal census with the same name. But when you look at the places he lived in Catawba County, his family’s names, etc. you know you have the correct man....

Four Hopkins boys served, and four came home

Four Hopkins Boys "Four Hopkins boys walked off in early November of 1861 to join the fight," my dad related to me after I told him about finding Barney Hopkins -- sergeant, Company H, 38th Regiment of North Carolina -- buried at Oakwood Cemetery in Raleigh. I had...

Gettysburg bullet and its victim shared a postwar history

My great-grandfather, George W. Harrell, fought with the North Carolina troops at Gettysburg. He was shot in the upper part of his torso (maybe his back), and walked back to Elizabeth City. The bullet could not be removed. Years later, he experienced pain in his leg...

John Wright Bowen enlisted in Duplin County in 1861

John Wright Bowen was born in rural Duplin County in 1846. He enlisted in 1861 as a private in the 18th NC Regulars. Little is known of his assignments until he was wounded and captured on May 12, 1864 during the battle at Spotsylvania Court House, VA when he was only...

Amos Lee was a neighborhood tooth-puller

Amos Lee lived in the town of Willard in Duplin County. He was a private in the 8th Senior Reserves during the Civil War. After the war, he was a farmer, bridge-builder, and tooth-puller. If anyone had a bad tooth, they would come see Amos Lee. He would give them a...

Russell Daniel Lord enlisted at age 23

Russell Daniel Lord enlisted at age 23 on 26 Sep 1861 as a private in Company A, Georgia, 38th Regiment. He fought in many conflicts from the Seven Days' Battles to Cold Harbor and was active around Appomattox. He received a head wound at the Battle of Fredericksburg...

Moses Waddell Dobbins enlisted 24 March 1863

Dobbins enlisted as a private and served in Virginia in the medical corps of the 64th Regiment, Georgia Infantry, Company I. My family history states that he was in the medical corps at General Lee's headquarters and attended to him once when called upon. Dobbins was...

Justinian Evans, age 17, served with Cobbs Legion in Georgia

He joined Company B&G as a private, serving as a scout with Stonewall Jackson. He rode a black horse named Bullet. They both were small, fast, and unafraid, and both returned from the war without a scratch. After the war he met and married Martha Cunningham Polk. They...

Brigadier General William Henry Sebring

William Henry Sebring was born December 25, 1840 in St. Louis, MO. His early years were spent on a farm before he enrolled in an academy in St. Louis. At 18 years of age he became a resident of Memphis, TN where he read law under Thomas D. Eldridge. During the War...

Wilkes County native fought, then made it home

My paternal great-grandmother, Eliza Jane Lail, had a brother named Liler Monroe Lail. Monroe was born about 1843 in Wilkes County, North Carolina to Cynthia and Daniel Lail. At age 18, Monroe was working as a farmer in Burke County when he decided to enlist as a...

The Hidden Confederate

My great-aunt, Julia Haughton Bryan, recounted how during the War Between the States a female family member was asked to hide a Confederate from the Yankees in her house. The lady rolled the young man up in a rug and stuffed him under a bed. When the Union command...

Benjamin Franklin as a Confederate

On March 1, 1863, at age 36, my great-great-great-uncle, Benjamin Franklin Earney (Arney) enlisted in Burke County, North Carolina as a private in Company K, N.C. 35th Infantry Regiment. This company was known as the “Burke & Catawba Sampsons.” He mustered out alive...

Gettysburg claims a brother

Two brothers of my great-grandmother, Susan Young, died while fighting in the Civil War. One was Peter E. Young, who was born in 1834 to Henry and Lavenia Martin Young in Catawba County, North Carolina. Peter enlisted in Burke County on May 10, 1861 as a private. He...

William Henry, the third soldier son

William Henry Pitts, my great-great-uncle, was born to John Henry and Sarah Lolly Rogers Pitts in 1841 in Catawba County, North Carolina. He joined two other brothers, Conrad and Abel, fighting the war. William enlisted in Company C, N.C. 28th Infantry Regiment, on...

Soldier deserted but returned to fight at Bentonville

Logan A. Ridge was the great-great-great-grandfather of my wife Flora Jeanette Ridge. He was the original owner of our farm and a member of Company A 10th NC Heavy Artillery. He deserted at the Battle of Savannah, went home to Randolph County, but returned to fight at...

Union soldiers robbed the Grey family farm

Someone came running through the woods to tell my family that the Yankees were coming. We think these were the soldiers who captured New Bern. The whole family--multiple generations--ran through the house and yard, grabbing what they could, and hid under the house in...

Wiley Moore fought at Fort Fisher

Wiley Moore joined the Confederate Army and was sent to Fort Fisher as an artilleryman. When his enlistment ended, he joined the Cavalry and was present when Lee surrendered to Grant. He came home to North Carolina on a poor horse, walking most of the way. When he...

Senator James Knox Polk of the Georgia Legislature

Born 3 Nov 1805, Polk was serving in the GA legislature before, during and after the war. As the family story reads, he moved to Dekalb County GA in 1862, where he purchased the "Old Samuel House" on Peachtree Road in Atlanta, GA. The house was built using slave...

Thomas Mitchell Evins, 38th Regiment, Georgia

Evins was a 1st Lieutenant and served in Texas. He enlisted in 1862 at the age of 42 in the 33rd Texas Cavalry, Duff's Partisan Rangers, 14th Battalion, Company H. His rank was 1st Lieutenant. When the war was over, he remained in TX and returned "home" some 50 years...

Yankee Raider learned a lesson

"When the Union cavalry's supplies ran short, Captain William Kent and his command foraged the plantations of Major ... Bell and James Scott: both of the plantations were on Body Road (southwest of Elizabeth City)." (Elizabeth City & the Civil War, by Alex Christopher...

A Railroad Soldier from Burke County

My great-grandfather, John Martin Butler, was born to William Hall and Jane Saphronia Kibler Butler on Dec. 14, 1844 in Burke County, North Carolina. John married Harriett Ann Simpson (1849-1921) in 1869 in Burke County. On Feb. 15, 1862, at age 17, John enlisted in...

William Hall Butler earned his promotions

William Hall Butler, my great-great grandfather, was born July 24, 1825 in Burke County, North Carolina to John and Rachel Butler. Hall Butler married Jane Saphronia Kibler in 1842 in Rutherford County. He and Jane had ten children, Hall enlisted as a private on Feb....

Soldier’s life ended in a Union prison

David Carpenter was born to Jonathan and Barbara Kistler Carpenter in Lincoln County, North Carolina, on March 18, 1826. As a private he enlisted in Company I, NC 11th Infantry Regiment (the "Bethel Regiment") on May 26, 1862. David was wounded during battle on July...

One of many who didn’t come home

Henry Carpenter, brother to David Carpenter, was born to Jonathan and Barbara Kistler Carpenter in Lincoln County, North Carolina on Aug. 22, 1824. Henry joined the army as a private, enlisting on March, 26, 1863 at age 40 in Company. I, N.C. 11th Infantry Regiment...

Catawba sent its own ‘brave’ to war

Phillip E. Arney was born to R. Henry and Elizabeth Carpenter Arney in Catawba County, North Carolina, in January of 1843. Phillip worked as a farmer during non-war time. At age 19 Phillip enlisted in Co. K, N.C. 46th Infantry Regiment on March 13, 1862. This company...

Catawba family gave three sons to the Confederacy

John Esley Arney, my great-grandfather, was a twin to Jonas Franklin Arney. The two of them, along with another brother, Phillip, all served in the Civil War. John was born to R. Henry and Elizabeth Carpenter Arney on Oct. 29, 1845. He enlisted in Company K, 46th...

The Twin who went to war

John Esley Arney, my great-grandfather, was a twin to Jonas Franklin Arney. The two of them, along with another brother, Phillip, all served in the Civil War. John and Jonas were born to R. Henry and Elizabeth Carpenter Arney on Oct. 29, 1845. Jonas enlisted in Co. K,...

Soldier’s service ended in prison

Abel Reid Pitts, my great-great-uncle, was born to John Henry and Sarah Lolly Rogers Pitts on August 30, 1826 in Lincoln County, North Carolina. Abel later lived in Burke County. He enlisted in Catawba County into Company K, N.C. 35th Infantry Regiment as a private,...

From Catawba County, Another Sacrifice

Conrad Pitts, a brother to Abel Reid Pitts, was born in 1832 to John Henry and Sarah Lolly Rogers. Conrad enlisted in Company C, 28th Regiment of North Carolina Infantry as a private on Aug. 13, 1861, in Catawba County. Conrad was not to survive the war. He mustered...

Buffalo soldiers’ raid had incidental casualties

When a party of Buffalo soldiers raided the family farm in 1863, my mother's two great-uncles were sent into the swamp to hide. Both of the teenage boys died soon after as a result of exposure. This story was told to me by my mother, Margaret Reed Small, who was told...

The Jennings Brothers in

My husband's great grandfather was one of three brothers who joined the Pasquotank Boys to serve in the Civil War. He was James Monroe Jennings (1830-1900), who served along with his brothers, William Harney Jennings (1838-1864) and Decader Cader Jennings (1844-1911)....

Civil War Letter Identified another Relative

My husband's great-grandfather, James Monroe Jennings, left behind a letter written during the Civil War to his mother, telling her of the death of his brother, William Harney Jennings. We discovered it in 2011 in an old chest. In the letter , which describes the...

Those Carpenters answered the call

Jonas Carpenter, brother to David and Henry, was born to Jonathan and Barbara Kistler Carpenter in Lincoln County, North Carolina on June 23, 1820. Jonas enlisted in Co. D, 1st N.C. Infantry Regiment as a Confederate private. It is noted that this regiment fought on...

Five Brothers in the Civil War

Submitted by: Brenda Kay Ledford and Barbara Ledford Wright The shadow of the Civil War loomed over Clay County, North Carolina. Thomas and Eliza Ledford worried that their five sons would enlist and get killed fighting for the Confederacy. Tillman enlisted at...

He Didn’t Have to Go, but

This story was told to me as a youngster in the 1950s by my great-aunt, Kate Dixon Murdock. When I was older I verified it through these soldiers' individual Confederate Army records and other research. Aunt Kate said that when the Civil War broke out her grandfather,...

Jacob Dixon was True Blue

Jacob Dixon was born near Snow Camp (now Alamance County) December 15, 1842. The son of Quakers Caleb and Mary Snotherly Dixon, he was opposed to the war, as were all members of the Society of Friends. The family story passed down from generation to generation was...

Confederate Veteran and Jack of Many Trades

Drury Alston Putnam, my great-great-grandfather, was born Dec. 23, 1830, in Cleveland county, North Carolina, to Roberts Putnam and Lucinda Weaver. He was a “jack of many trades.” The various censuses from 1850 until 1910 show him as a wagon maker, farmer, artist and...

Serving with the 22nd North Carolina

A.J. Dula, of Caldwell County, shared in almost all of the Army of Northern Virginia's travails during the Civil War. After joining the 22nd North Carolina Regiment in Caldwell County in April of 1861, he served in almost all the battles of the Eastern theater. Dula...

David Oliver of Belgrade enlisted July 1, 1861

David Oliver was born in Onslow County where he resided as a farmer. He enlisted on July 1, 1861 at age 21. He was killed in Sharpsburg, Maryland, on September 17, 1862. Want To Work With Us? Get involved with our exciting project. [do_widget...

John Humphrey enlisted at age 14

My great-grandfather joined the Confederate States Army in June, 1861. He was assigned to the 10th Heavy Artillery at Fort Lane in New Bern. It was noted in family lore that when he enlisted he was only 14 years old. To get around his age, he wrote "18" on a slip of...

Louisburg resident nursed an ill Union soldier until his death

Union General William T. Sherman met with Confederate General Joseph E. Johnston on April 26, 1865 at Bennett Place near what is now Durham, N.C., and Johnston surrendered his Army of Tennessee. At this time, Gen. Sherman headed back to Washington, D.C. His troops,...

William Moses Loftin walked home after the War

William Moses Loftin was at the surrender of the Army of Northern Virginia. He shook the hand of Gen. Robert E. Lee. His parole paper is still in our family. He walked home from the war. He was a county commissioner in 1868. His ancestor Col. William Loftin was a...

Pvt. William Townsend of Robeson County

William Townsend was born in 1842 in Robeson County. He was 6 feet, six inches tall and a private in the 18th North Carolina Regiment, 8th Volunteers, Branch and Lane Brigade, Army of Northern Virginia. After the war he farmed, and lived to age 86 in the town of St....

50-year-old soldier served with three of his sons

John Duckworth Morrison (1813-1892) was my great-great-great-grandfather. He married Fannie Epley (1813-1914) and they had eight children, all born before the beginning of the Civil War and his enlistment. He had four sons who fought for the Confederacy. Three served...

Iredell Cavalry Officer Saw Action

My great-great-grandfather, Hugh Caldwell Bennett (14 Dec. 1832 - 3 March 1907), was the son of George Stepto Bennett and Elizabeth Newland Bennett of Iredell County, N.C. He enlisted in Company F, North Carolina 3rd Cavalry Regiment as a corporal on 07 Oct. 1861 and...

Ancestor served, but had little to say

"My great-grandfather was named William Cahoon, but my grams called him Bill. He served in the Confederacy but my dad said he never heard him talk about it. My great-grandmother did receive money for a while after the war, and that helped them keep up part of the...

gun found on Hatteras

I once knew a man who had a gun he swore was found on the beaches of Hatteras, washed up after the Yankees came through the inlet. I never knew if he was pulling my leg, but he was proud of his gun! Want To Work With Us? Get involved with our exciting project....

A Novelist’s ties to Hyde County

Taken from stories written by William Stryon: "I've always been surprised by my direct link to the Old South -- the South of slavery and the Civil War. Many southerners of my vintage, and even some of those who are considerably older, can claim an ancestral connection...

Page 1 of 212

The N.C. Civil War History Center Blog

Browse By County

Latest News

  • Groundbreaking Ceremony Speeches

    Our Speakers From The North Carolina Civil War & Reconstruction History Center Groundbreaking Ceremony in Fayetteville, NC on April 18, 2018. Chancellor James A. Anderson The Honorable Patricia Timmons Goodson Senator Tony Rand Commissioner Michael C. Boose Mayor Mitch Colvin Governor James B. Hunt Governor James G. Martin John M. …Read More »
  • Update on the History Center’s 2017 Progress

    If things have seemed quiet at the History Center, there’s been a reason: We’ve been busy! Since we wrote you last year, we’ve raised more than $20 million in new, firm commitments...Read More »
  • Uniting a divided history

    From the robust public discussion about North Carolina’s legacy of Civil War monuments, it’s clear that -- a century and a half after its close -- we’re still sorting out how to make sense of that war...Read More »

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This