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AUTHOR:  Joe Franklin

Grandfather Hayes was originally in the Union Army & escorted the Cherokee tribe on the journey to Oklahoma (the Trail Of Tears) I read some of his letters & accounts which he said was a horrible experience. When the war began he served in the Confederate Army. While he was away from home, one of his slaves killed a Union soldier who was raping his daughter in the spring house at their home near Marble, NC. The Union soldiers tied up the slave & were preparing to hang him when a Union officer showed up. He asked the slave for the circumstances & the slave said Grandfather Hayes instructed him to watch over his wife & children while he was away serving as a Lt. Col. in the Confederate Army. The Union officer instructed them to cut the slave down & spare him because he was only following his owners instructions.

There were other stories imparted to me by my Aunt Kate Hayes & in letters she showed me from Grandfather Hayes which she had saved for many years. She also showed me the tree the slave was to be hung on as well as photo portraits of Grandfather Hayes. When I met Aunt Kate she still lived in the same house & also showed me the spring house where the rape attempt took place. Grandfather Hayes grew tobacco & peanuts. When the war ended he told the 16 slaves they were free but they begged him to let them stay. In the end, all but one family of four stayed & became share croppers.

That was one of many stories I heard from Aunt Kate Hayes or read in Grandfather Hayes’ letters.

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