Confederate Veteran and Jack of Many Trades
Drury Alston Putnam, my great-great-grandfather, was born Dec. 23, 1830, in Cleveland county, North Carolina, to Roberts Putnam and Lucinda Weaver. He was a “jack of many trades.” The various censuses from 1850 until 1910 show him as a wagon maker, farmer, artist and painter, machinist and hotel keeper. He married Ellen Cornelia Irby on May 25, 1849, and fathered ten children. He enlisted in Cleveland County on Oct. 1, 1861 as a private in the 34th Regiment, North Carolina Infantry, Co. H., under Captain Samuel A. Hoey. They were called “The Rough and Readys.” The 34th Infantry Regiment was assembled at High Point in October of 1861. Its members were recruited in the counties of Ashe, Rutherford, Rowan, Lincoln, Cleveland, Mecklenburg, and Montgomery. After serving in the Department of North Carolina, it relocated to Virginia and was assigned to General Pender’s and Scales’ Brigade. The 34th was active in many campaigns of the army, from the Seven Days Battles to Cold Harbor, the Siege of Petersburg, at Second Manassas, at Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville and Gettysburg. It was present when Gen. Lee surrendered at Appomattox. Unfortunately, I do not have a complete service record. However, I know he survived the war. He died Jan. 25, 1912 and is buried at Quaker Meadows Presbyterian Church in the Oak Hill section of Burke County. Another interesting note is that one of his children, Emily Shelton Putnam, my great-grandmother, lived to be almost 101. I remember her telling me that she remembered when Abraham Lincoln was assassinated in 1865.