Submitted by Dr. Alvin Hunter Hartness; Researched and written by Cheri Todd Molter and Kobe Brown
By the time the war began, John M. Hunter of Lee County, North Carolina, was a married man who made his living as a farmer and a blacksmith. On May 22, 1860, John married Mary Elizabeth Douglas. At first, the young couple lived with John’s brother, Benjamin, and his wife, also named Elizabeth. John and Elizabeth’s first two sons, William Silas Hunter and James Washington Hunter were born during the war.
On March 14, 1862, Hunter enlisted as a private in the Confederate army at Moore County, North Carolina. On April 21, 1862, he mustered into Company F of the 50th North Carolina Infantry at Camp Mangum. His military records reveal that he got sick approximately five months later. In September, John was hospitalized in Wilmington, North Carolina, due to experiencing “Febris Intmt.”, which refers to being disabled by intermittent fevers. After being treated, Hunter received a thirty-day furlough, and he returned to serve with his company in November,1863.
In 1865, John was captured by Union forces in Chatham County, North Carolina. After taking the Oath of Allegiance to the United States, he was paroled on April 24, 1865, at Avent Ferry, North Carolina.
After John returned home from the war, he and Elizabeth had a few more children—Lula (born 1866); Molly Cornelia (1868); Serriler Ann (1870); John Guthrie (1872); Isabella Nancy (1874); and Zebulon Vance (1878). According to census records, in 1880, the family lived on a farm in Jonesboro, NC. Unfortunately, Elizabeth died later in 1880. Based on the entries in the family Bible, John married “Marion Mc. L. Oliver” on April 24, 1881. A few years later, on July 3, 1889, John died while still in his forties. John and Elizabeth were buried at the Hunter Family Cemetery by the Juniper Springs Church, near Broadway.