Horseshoes in the Belfry
During the Civil War, Kinstonians began seeking places to hide their valuables. When Rev. JB Webb, the minister of the town’s local Methodist Church and owner of a local factory manufacturing goods for the Confederacy, heard that the Yankees were coming, he had neighborhood children climb into the belfry of the church to hide horseshoes from his factory. The congregation’s families sent some of their possessions as well. When the dreaded Yankees captured Kinston, the sanctuary of the M. E. Church was used as an infirmary for the wounded. Union officer Robert Ransom set up headquarters several doors down from the church. Knowing how important horses were in the war effort, and discovering that the church had a large basement, he commandeered it as a stable to house their horses. When Kinston’s Methodists built the beautiful white framed church, they never guessed that it would one day have horseshoes in the belfry, wounded soldiers in the sanctuary, and horses in the basement.