Almon Leonidas Fountain (1842-1907)

by | Sep 15, 2017 | Confederate affiliation, Edgecombe

(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 (now known as Old Sparta, located northeast of Pinetops), and they were mustered into The Spartan Band which was assigned to the 30th NC Infantry, Company F, Ramsuer’s Brigade, Rodes Division, 2nd Corps, Army of Northern Virginia. Almon enlisted at the same time and followed his teacher into many battles. See the Roster of Edgecombe County Confederate Soldiers.

Almon fought in several battles, including Malvern Hill, Antietam, and Gettysburg where on day one his regiment broke through Union lines and seized the town. Company Muster Roll November-December 1863 noted that Almon was “Taken Prisoner at Kelly’s Ford Virginia November 7, 1863” and was imprisoned for 16 months in the Federal Fort at Point Lookout, Maryland. Built to hold 10,000, more than 50,000 were imprisoned there, and more than 4,000 Confederate soldiers died. Almon was finally released mid-February, 1865 in an exchange of prisoners. There is no record of his further service as a soldier. Almon survived the war and imprisonment, but his teacher Lorenzo was mortally wounded on May 12, 1864 in battle at Spotsylvania Courthouse, Virginia.

Almon returned home, became a planter, and married at age 28 Sarah Louisa Wilmouth Eagles on 7/28/1870. Some time prior to 1880, they bought Cedar Lane Plantation aka Fountain House in Leggett, NC. They had 11 children of whom 9 reached adulthood. Almon became active in the Democratic Party and a community/church leader in Leggett. He and Sarah Louisa are buried in the William and Mary Hart Chapel in Leggett, NC, reported to be the second Presbyterian church built in Edgecombe County.

One of their offspring was Richard Tillman Fountain (b. 2-15-1885, d. 2-21-1945). Richard was a lawyer, served in the NC House of Representatives 1919-1927, was Speaker of the House 1927, and was Lt. Governor 1929-1933.

Cedar Lane Plantation in Leggett has remained intact from the time it was built in 1848, and in 1982 it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It was built in the simple Greek Revival Style. Many historical artifacts and original outbuildings are still on site.

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