My great-grandfather was a boy of 12 when Stoneman’s cavalry raided through Western Lincoln County. As the cavalry approached, his mother loaded all the family’s silverware and china into several burlap sacks, and they loaded the sacks onto their broken-down old mule. My great-great grandfather served in the 57th N.C. Regiment and had been wounded at Petersburg several months before. A piece of shrapnel from an exploding artillery shell had caught him in the hip. He was was sent to a hospital near Weldon, N.C. and was recovering from his wounds when the cavalry raided through Lincoln County. My great-grandfather recalled leading the mule through the woods and to the top of a hill that edged his family’s farm. From the hill, he could see the Union cavalry moving up and down the road that passed the farmhouse. Pillars of smoke rose from the landscape as the cavalrymen burned bridges and the railroad trestles that spanned the South Fork of the Catawba River. He and his mother were able to save what little silverware and china they had, and the family mule, from falling into the hands of the Union troops.