William Brown Avery enlisted after younger brother killed at Yorktown
William Brown Avery, born Nov. 25, 1828, was one of nine children of James and Elizabeth Hollingsworth Brown Avery. He was a farmer by trade and very faithful to his church and family. William Brown Avery (“Will”) had chosen to stay home from war to see to the farming, caring for his parents and two yet-unmarried sisters. But just a month after his brother’s death (Pvt. Henry Harrison Avery, wounded at the Battle of Big Bethel), he enlisted as a private at age 32 on Oct. 7, 1861 for 12 months’ service. Will mustered in as 3rd Sergeant of Captain Thomas G. Walton’s Company of North Carolina Volunteers. Later, the company was assigned to the 41st Regiment of Company F, originally known as the Davis Dragoons, and spent time in Wilmington and Onslow County. His height was listed as 6 feet, 1 inch, his age as 32 years, his occupation as farmer. He re-enlisted March 8, 1862 for three years and received a $50 bounty. On Dec. 17, 1862 he was promoted to 2nd Sergeant. In September of 1863 Sgt. Will Avery requisitioned stationery and envelopes. On August 1 or that same year he requisitioned grain sacks because the company needed them to put their rations in as they had none nor had ever been furnished any. For service from Nov. 1, 1863 to Feb. 29, 1864 he was paid $68 on June 7, 1864. Will Avery joined Gordon’s Brigade near Hanover Court House on May 26, 1864. The next day, he was wounded in action at Hanover Town Road near Court House, Virginia. He was sent to Chimborazo Hospital No. 3 in Richmond. Then he was sent home on June 8, 1864 for 40 days and was still at home on July 4, 1864 according to a letter dated July 4. On September 16, 1864 Will’s horse was killed in action near Belcher’s Mill. He was present and accounted for through October of 1864. On May 16, 1865 Will was paroled at Morganton. He returned home to Canoe Hill to his aging father and mother and two unmarried sisters, and resumed his place in the community. Three of Will’s second cousins fought for the Confederacy as well. Capt. Willoughby Francis Avery was wounded three times. Col. Isaac Erwin Avery was killed at Gettysburg and wrote a note to his father in his own blood: “Major, tell my father I died with my face to the enemy.” Col. Clark Moulton Avery was mortally wounded May 6, 1864. From information compiled by Mary Lou Avery Furr.