SUBMITTED BY: Terri Correll (edited and transcribed by Cheri Todd Molter)
My great-grandfather, John Edwin Fultz, fought during the Civil War. After the war, he married Mary Laura Lee “Laura Lee” Dalton. Attached is a picture of them. (Click on image to enlarge.) I found a little note when I had talked to my grandmother’s cousin that stated that the Fultz’s and Dalton’s had owned land beside each other. Laura Lee had said that they would have married other people if the Civil War had not broken out.
Another one of my Grandmother’s cousins told me that John Edwin Fultz and D. F. Dalton (Laura Lee’s father) were two of the richest men in the area before the war. She also said that someone in the family had John Edwin’s civil war sword. Unfortunately, I don’t know who.
Here’s one little story that’s been passed down about John Edwin: His hand had been amputated—I don’t know why or how—then buried, and afterward he complained about his missing hand “hurting.” According to family lore, his hand was dug up and its fingers were curled. They were straightened out, and John Edwin didn’t feel any more pain.
John Edwin Fultz died on March 19, 1926, and Mary Laura Lee Fultz died on Dec. 28, 1925. They were buried at Pfafftown Christian Church Cemetery, near the fence in the older portion. Laura Lee had wanted to be buried in the corner nearest Pfafftown. Their markers are backwards, in the last row near the woods. (I went there in the early 80s. Their son, Wilton, is also buried there.)
I have a copy of my great-grandfather’s obituary, which I’m attaching to this submission. He died in 1926. At the time, obituaries were commonly hand-written and taken around to the houses in the area for people to read. (Please click on the link here: Fultz obituary.) I don’t know where the original paper is.
The following is a transcription of John Edwin Fultz’s obituary:
“John Edwin Fultz, son of Augusta and Margaret (Wallace) Fultz, was born May 8, 1845, at Pfafftown N.C.
He was happily married to Mary Laura L. Dalton Mar. 2, 1871.
This union was blessed with six Sons and one Daughter[:] Walter, Ferdinand, David, Dalton, Wilton, Don, and Enzie.
His wife, and two sons David and Wilton, having [sic] preceded him to the grave.
He is survived by 28 grand-children [sic] and 7 great-grandchildren.
He affiliated with Pfafftown Christian Church when a young man and retained his membership at this place until death, when he transferred to the church triumphant, Mar 19, 1926, at the age of 80 Years 10 Months 11 Days.
He served in the confederate army [sic] under James B. Gordon, was captured at Point Lookout, and remained a prisoner on an island near Wilmington N.C. until the close of the war.
He lived the greater part of his life in and around Pfafftown, as a farmer, and was regarded by all who had the pleasure of knowing him, as [a] straightforward, inoffensive, upright good man.”
Regarding John Edwin Fultz’s service in the Confederate Army, some of the information in his obituary is questionable. It is more likely that John Edwin was captured at Fort Fisher, “near Wilmington, N.C.,” then “remained a prisoner” at Point Lookout, Maryland “until the close of the war.” I searched for his compiled military record to find answers, and at first, I did not find it, despite searching multiple spellings of his surname. Then, I found a record for “J. E. Fultz,” who served in Company B of the North Carolina 4th Junior Reserves Infantry. The 4th was organized on May 30, 1864 and included some young men from Forsyth County. These young soldiers were stationed at Fort Fisher as guards, so that the more experienced soldiers were free to do battle elsewhere. When the Union attacked Fort Fisher on December 23 – 25, 1864, it was the less experienced Junior Reserves who defended it. It is certainly possible that John Edwin was captured then. Afterward, he could have been taken to Point Lookout, Maryland, where he could have been confined for the remainder of the war. There are fewer existing records for the young men who served in the Junior Reserves, unfortunately, so definite answers might remain elusive.