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Written by John Marshall; edited and vetted by Cheri Todd Molter

I was born John Warren Calhoun. When I was a child, I was adopted at the age on ten by Woodrow L. Marshall and Pocahontas Bachelor Marshall of Rocky Mount, North Carolina. This is how my last name became Marshall.

I’m the biological son of the late Ellena Morgan and William Calhoun. My maternal grandfather was the late John Ance Morgan and my maternal grandmother was Elizabeth Eva Morgan. On my maternal grandmother’s (Elizabeth Eva Morgan) side, my Great-Grandfather was Colonel Kenneth Morgan and my Great-Grandmother was Elizabeth V. Spivey. On my maternal grandfather’s (John Ance Morgan) side, my Great-Grandfather was Franklin (Frank) Morgan and my Great-Grandmother was Orpha Ann Bass. My Great-Great-Grandfather was Kenneth T. Morgan (KT) and my Great-Great-Grandmother was Dolly Sparkman. Some descendants have said they believe Dolly was a Native American.

It is hoped that this synopsis of the record of events that Private Kenneth Thomas Morgan and his brother, William Colon Morgan, experienced during the Civil War will educate and instill a sense of pride in all Morgan relatives and preserve our American heritage while establishing a sense of honor and respect toward all veterans, including the men and women who are actively serving in the armed forces today.

Private Kenneth Thomas Morgan

In December 1835, my great-great-grandfather Kenneth Thomas Morgan (K.T.) was born to his mother, Mary A. Morgan, in Robeson County, North Carolina. On March 10, 1862, K.T. enlisted in Company F of the 51st North Carolina in Lumberton, Robeson County, North Carolina. (Click on image to enlarge.)

On September 12, 1862, K.T. was sent home to recover from sickness. He returned to serve in his company; then, during May and part of June in 1863, K.T. took twelve days furlough, returning home to his wife Dolly and their children for what was probably a much-needed rest.

In August 1863, military records state that K.T. was sent to the hospital in Augusta, Georgia. A month later, on September 2, 1863, the soldiers of the 51st Regiment reportedly recovered their health and morale while feasting on venison and oysters in Long Island (North of Sullivan Island), South Carolina.

According to records, on December 19, 1863, near Tarboro, Edgecombe County, North Carolina, the 51st Regiment was given socks and other necessities by the citizens and the Textile Mills of Tarboro, North Carolina.

On March 21, 1865, Heavy losses were suffered by the 51st Regiment in the Battle of Bentonville. In General Hoke’s Division, 61 were killed, 47 were wounded, and 202 were missing. About a month later, on April 26, 1865, Confederate General Johnson surrendered to General Sherman at the “Bennett Place” just west of Durham, North Carolina. This was the very last surrender, and it brought closure to the Civil War. Some Confederate soldiers were paroled (pardoned in writing) for the part they had in the war, and thirty-six members of the 51st Regiment were present in Greensboro, North Carolina to receive their paroles after this final surrender.

Kenneth Thomas returned to his home in Robeson County after the war. He and Dolly had 8 children, four of whom were born after the war. Kenneth died in November 1898. Dolly died in 1923. Both of my great-great-grandparents were buried at Morgan Cemetery in Robeson County.

Private William Colon Morgan

William Colon Morgan was the elder brother of Kenneth Thomas Morgan (K.T.). William is believed to have be born in 1833 in Robeson County, North Carolina to his mother, Mary A. Morgan. William (W.C.) enlisted in the Confederate Army in Florence, South Carolina on May 20, 1861. W. C. Morgan was assigned to Company I of the 8th Infantry Regiment (South Carolina). It is said that all men enlisted from Marion County, S.C. were put into Company I and were often referred to as the “Ashpole Boys.” This is also said to be true for those having enlisted in Robeson County, N.C., as Marion and Robeson Counties butted each other on the North Carolina / South Carolina line, not too far from the Ashpole Swamp. At an unspecified date, W.C. was later reassigned to Company L of the same regiment.

Private William Colon Morgan fought in many battles before being wounded on July 1, 1862 in the Battle of Malvern Hill, and then died that same day. W.C. was only twenty-four years old at the time of his death. His body now rests in one of the areas’ National Cemeteries with thousands of other soldiers. His mother, Mary, filed for his final pay claim.

North Carolina Troops 1861 – 1865; A Roster, Vol XII, Infantry 49th – 52nd Regiments, Division of Archives and History; Raleigh, NC 1990.

Histories of the Several Regiments and Battalions from North Carolina in the Great War 1861-1865, Written by Members of the Respective Commands, Vol. III, Published by the State, 1901.

The Civil War Catalog, Shaw.

CSA Regimental Histories, South Carolina. Web. sciway3.net.

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