AUTHOR: William Everett Elmore
Joel Elmore (9/15/1831 – 4/8/1919) was born north of Whitehall in Wayne County but married and moved to Lenoir County in 1855. Early in 1862, Joel joined Company A of the 40th NC Troops (3rd Battalion of Heavy Artillery) and was sent to Ft. Fisher. While there, he was a fifer. Joel was a large man. A much smaller man in the same company, assigned to deal with the large cannons, hated Joel for the rest of his life for having such a “soft” job. (Joel’s fife is on display at the Ft. Fisher museum now.)
One time during the War Joel’s friends decided to have a contest “to catch a champion bass.” The next time Joel was home on furlough, he went to his blacksmith shop and made a large fishhook. He took the fishhook and a new plow line back to the fort. He and some friends were stationed “on the point” below the fort. He baited the hook, tied the plow line around his waist, and tossed the hook into the surf. Before long, a large shark took the bait and started swimming away. Joel planted his feet and yelled, “Tell Patsie and the children…” as the shark dragged him a little further into the ocean. Again, he planted his feet and yelled,”Tell Patsie and the children…” and again he was dragged further into the ocean. One last time, he yelled, “Tell Patsie and the children I’m gone!” and planted his feet. This time, the line broke, and Joel staggered back to the shore.
*Joel’s wife was Martha “Patsie” Sutton (Parks) Elmore.