Written by Darren Perry; Edited and vetted by Cheri Todd Molter and Kobe M. Brown
My great-great-grandfather, Anderson S. Ward, was orphaned at a young age and was raised by his grandparents. At the age of twelve, he was deeded a small 69-acre farm located in northern Chowan County. Records show he enlisted for service on February 15, 1862, and mustered into Company F of the 11th Infantry, N.C. Troops, on April 3, 1862. Literally, three years later, on April 3, 1865, he was captured near Petersburg, Virginia, while retreating to the Appomattox River after the Confederate line was overrun the day prior. His regiment was in some of the bloodiest battles of the war, including Gettysburg, Cold Harbor, and the Wilderness. Records show nearly all the men from his company were either wounded, killed, died of disease, or captured at some point during the war. Ward was clearly tough and resourceful to survive those three years of war.
After being captured on April 3rd, Ward was taken to a prisoner of war camp on Hart Island in the New York Harbor. According to his military records, he was paroled June 19, 1865. His Oath of Allegiance, signed with an “X,” served as his ticket home. The oath document indicates he was taken by boat from Hart Island, New York, to Morehead City, North Carolina. From Morehead City, I presume he made his way back home on foot.
Most accounts indicate he was a troubled character who, “like most men, had his faults” (Fisherman & Farmer, “Horrible Murder,” Sept 20, 1889). Sadly, he was murdered on September 17,1889, his throat slit by an unknown killer while he slept. Five of his children were in the home when he was killed. He was buried in the Ward Family Cemetery on Sign Pine Road.
The local newspaper reported his gruesome murder and stated, “he was a brave soldier” who was “true to the Confederacy, from first to last.” His murder remains unsolved.