SUBMITTED BY: Ben Setser
David Jesse Farthing, older brother of my great grandfather James King Farthing, enlisted in Company A, North Carolina 6th Cavalry Regiment on 1 Oct 1864. His brother James also joined the 6th Cavalry three months later on Dec 24, 1964. After the war, David moved to Tennessee. He was appointed Postmaster in Johnson Co, TN on 16 Apr 1886.
The newspaper article titled, “An Old Flag Received” was published in The Lenoir Topic on Oct.7, 1885. It states: “From the Rockingham, Richmond County, Rocket, we clip the following item: ‘Prof. Duckett tells us that while at the Boone Normal School last summer, he saw a man named Jesse Farthing who has a beautiful silk flag in his possession, for which he would like to find an owner. The flag was the property of a North Carolina company, thought to be from Robeson county, and the inscription shows it to have been presented by the ladies. The flag was found by Mr. Farthing when Richmond fell, and was placed in his knapsack and taken home with him. Any one knowing anything about the flag can write to him at Sweetwater, Watauga county. –Greenville Reflector.
(It has developed that the flag belongs to Capt. Norment’s Company of Robeson, and steps have been taken to secure it. –ED.)’”
David Jesse Farthing lived from 28 June 1846 – 22 March 1918. The following obituary is from a newspaper in Johnson City, TN that was published in March of 1918: “David Jesse Farthing is dead. He departed this life suddenly at his home on the 22nd of March, 1918, leaving his wife, two sisters, a younger brother, and a host of lamenting friends and relatives. He was born in Watauga County, N.C., in 1846 of Christian parentage. When the War between the States broke out, being too young for regular military service, he enlisted in the home guard, and for nearly three years he helped that glorious band of old men and beardless boys fight to maintain our domestic safety and equilibrium, arresting thieves and bushwhackers and experiencing many a thrilling encounter with insidious deserters. In September, 1863, young David, now of military age, volunteered his service to Company A, 6th North Carolina Cavalry, in which he served constantly until the surrender. Capt. Roby Brown (now living at Neva, Tenn.) organized and commanded the company; Colonel Folk commanded the regiment. The regiment served exclusively in the eastern part of North Carolina, participating in Gen. Robert F. Hoke’s campaigns against Plymouth, Washington, N.C., and Newbern.
Though in many perilous places and often in a thick hail of ounce lead balls, Mr. Farthing bore not the scar of a single wound. Being by nature a genial and optimistic disposition, he never omitted from his war reminiscences the humorous aspects and experiences of the great interstate conflict. His memory was a most remarkable mine of facts, names, faces, places, and incidents. He possessed a brilliant inventive mind, being the inventor of the Optimus corn shock loader, among several other practical inventions, and having completed just prior to his death the model of an ingenious corn harvester which is now in process of being patented. In the truest sense of the word this grand old Confederate soldier is not dead—nay, he is more alive than ever, for he lives in the souls of men and women, and is not the soul immortal? [Finley Paul Curtis, Jr. Butler, Tenn.]”