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,’” not allowing himself to be drafted for service. As a result, on January 5, 1863, twenty-year-old Allred was “taken to Buffalo Ford where he was stood on a horse, a rope placed around his neck, and hanged” from a large maple tree at Buffalo Ford on Deep River, the crossing point between Ramseur and Coleridge before a bridge was built to span that body of water. According to local resident Garland Allen, there had been a little settlement there—a trading post, a post office, and a church—at the time of the hanging. Bulla stated, “Allred was caught in a house two or three miles from the site of the hanging, supposedly where he had been hiding.” A local resident of the community recalled a version of the story, which had been passed down from one generation to another, that maintained that Allred was turned in by a jilted sweetheart. Mrs. Edwie Cox Marley, an eighty-six-year-old native of the Coleridge area, remembered hearing her Grandmother Brey talk about the incident. Mrs. Marley confirmed that Allred “laid out, they caught him and killed him.” Arriving at the scene too late to prevent her husband’s hanging, Allred’s seventeen-year-old new bride was understandably distraught, and Mrs. Marley also recalled her grandmother’s description of the young woman’s reaction to Allred’s death: “Grandma Brey said she was so sorry for her; she was hollering and screaming.”
According to Bulla, “Alson Allred was buried at Moffit’s Graveyard, located on the river road running in a southerly direction west of Coleridge … A plain granite tombstone, listing his name and the dates of his birth and death, marks his grave.” The hanging tree, estimated in 1976 to be 200 years old, still stood then at Buffalo Ford, towering above the other trees in the vicinity.