All rights reserved by the author.
The author makes acknowledgement to B. G. Thomas for valuable suggestions and his assistance in indexing the book.
|I||Origin of the Scots||1|
|II||Indians in Harnett||5|
|III||The Legion of Restless Men||9|
|IV||The Permanent Settlers||16|
|V||Harnett County in the Revolution||24|
|VI||Flora Macdonald and Jennie Bahn McNeill||36|
|VIII||Formation of Harnett County||54|
|IX||Red Hills of Buckhorn||64|
|X||Harnett County in the War Between the States||73|
|XI||The Battle of Averasboro||95|
|XII||Harnett County Churches||101|
|XIII||Harnett County Schools||111|
|XIV||The Negro in Harnett County||119|
|XV||Harnett County Lawyers||125|
|XVI||Harnett County Doctors||135|
|XVII||Authors, Poets and Papers||143|
|XVIII||Agriculture, Industry and Transportation||153|
This is not a definitive history of Harnett County. That remains to be written.
I have tried to make this a readable, narrative story of the men and women who made Harnett County what it is today by PASSING THIS WAY.
Lore and legend, admittedly have been given a rightful place; a wealth of material has been drawn from conversations with the living and with those who since have passed on.
But there is more—a lifetime of love for Harnett County, twenty years of exhaustive search of land grants, deeds, personal papers, graveyards; scrutiny of library collections dealing with people, events or places in this county; countless steps in which I have retraced many of the paths of those who have PASSED THIS WAY.
In its writing, I have had help from a lot of mighty fine folks.
Particularly, do I want to give heart-felt thanks to two lovely ladies of Dunn, Miss Jessie Smith and Miss Flora McQueen. Out of the greatness of their hearts, they took time to instill in a little country boy a love for history that has resulted in this book.
There are some others I would like to thank in person for their help: Albert Johnson, Bryant Allen Morgan, Sandy Colville, to name a few, but they long ago Passed This Way. I would like to offer them my humble apologies for thinking what they told me was 90% fiction, coupled with 10% fact. But they were such wonderfully fascinating stories to a little boy! Actually, the above figures should be reversed in the light of modern research.
Particularly, do I wish to mention others for their help in preparing the manuscript for publication: Mrs. Inez Rutland, Mrs. Gertrude Atkins, Mrs. Allen Shaw, L. M. McDonald, James Spence, Senator Robert Morgan, Lois Byrd, L. M. Chaffin, Mrs. Viola Thornton, Bill Eaton and all the long suffering courthouse officials of Cumberland and Harnett Counties.
In photography, I wish to single out Duane Amburn, official photographer of the Centennial, Melvin Turlington of Lillington, and Alex McArtan of Linden, who traces his roots back to Harnett.
In short, to all the good folks everywhere who helped in any manner in the production of this book, a tip of the hat, a hearty thank you and long may your chimneys smoke.
“A man is never lost on a road if he knows how he got there,” in the words spoken by Gum Swamp Edward Cameron.
Then, let us who trace our ancestry back to Scotland see how we got on this road in the first place.
The story begins some 12,000 years ago in a country some 12,000 miles away, the Ob River area of Central Siberia. Now the Russians can claim another first, the birthplace of the Scottish race. This they can do legitimately.
The dawn light of history reveals in dim outline these pre-Scots.
They were eaters of meat and lived by hunting. Like our own Indians of a later day, they tended to be nomadic, following the game and pasturage. So their hunting areas might not be over-drained of wild life they necessarily had to act in small bodies. Thus was born the clan system.
Their basic strain was Celtic, meaning “a kilt wearer.” The name probably evolved from the time they learned to hang the skins of slain animals over their own hairy hides.
The language they developed was one of the oldest basic types. All the primeval tongues are characterized by tortuous and difficult syntax, utterly lacking in the simple forms of exposition. Theirs was no exception.
Over thousands of years, climatic changes drove these Celts or kilt wearers and their herds southward into India, then westward into Persia. Out of the jungles of India they brought their herds and something else: chickens, whose eggs they had learned to eat. This chicken, or crowing cock, was to become the national symbol of France after the Celts had passed that way.
This stream of Celts poured into Asia Minor and even into Greece. So numerous were they in one part of Asia Minor the Greeks called the land “Galatia,” meaning “The Country of the Strangers,” this name “Stranger” being the Celtic word “Gall”.
“Gall” in turn gave the name “Gael” to these kilt-wearing hunters seeking game and pasturage. Since their shields were brownish in color they became known as the Don Galls or the Brown Strangers. “Donn” was their word for “Brown.”
During the time they were in the area between the Black and Caspian Seas they came in contact with the Semites. Again there was an interchange of language terms. An example was the Hebrew word “ar”, meaning “west”, with the earmarks of Celtic origin in the dim past. We find it in Aral, Aryan, Armenia,
and other geographical words indicating a westward point of some sort. This “ar” prefix was to survive for hundreds of years in the wanderings of these Celts: Armorica, an Atlantic coastal zone of Gaul where even the famed Roman legions dared not enter; Ar-iun (Erin): West Island for Ireland; Arran at the mouth of the Clyde and Aran off the west coast of Ireland.
The contact with the Semites was probably the first introduction to civilization of these ancient Celts. This contact likely accounts for so many traditions in Scotland which have a Biblical background, such as the stories about Noah inviting the head of the McNeill clan to share the Ark with him during the Flood and the one about another clansman marrying Scota, a daughter of an Egyptian pharaoh, thus giving the name Scotland to that country—not to mention the Stone of Scone, said to be the rock Jacob used as a pillow when he had his dream.
In the transition from the Stone Age to the Iron Age these Celts—always savage fighters—were so impressed with their newly developed iron weapons they regarded the metal with a respect akin to reverence.
It was perfectly natural for them to take to eating iron oxide in the belief it would make them stronger and better fighters. It did too. It also provided many of them with something else, red hair. Only recently has it been discovered that red hair pigment is a rare chemical compound of iron and other complex substances. Chromosomes and genes developed among these iron oxide eaters who had a capacity to utilize a quota of iron over that normally required. Thus a typed red-haired group became an hereditary element in the Celtic generations.
Time passed and these Donn Galls or these Brown Strangers were on the prowl again. They flowed around the Black Sea until they came to a great muddy river which they called the “Donnob”, the Brown River. That was hundreds of years before it received the Latin name “Danubis”, our Danube of today.
Up this river they moved in successive waves. But they left behind them evidence of their stay: names of places, and in Greece, the kilt. Even today the finest fighters of Greece are the Evzones, kilt wearers. It was probably during their stay in this region the Celts developed the bag pipe—and there are many people today who fervently wish they had left it there. But regardless of what the average person thinks of bagpipe music, it cannot be denied that under its influence the Highlanders have performed prodigious deeds of valor on many a bloody battle-field.
In their ascent of the Danube—which the historian Michelot says took place about 1800 B. C.—these Celts or Donn Galls became
adept at handling boats. And when they had poured over what is now France and reached the Atlantic, it was a small matter for them to build boats to ferry them over to England and Ireland.
These Brown Galls or Donn Galls sailed their crude ships past Land's End to consolidate themselves in the northwest area of Ireland.
Many, many years later they were followed by another Gallic tide—the Alaisdairs—or followers of Alexander. Their ancestors may have seen forced or voluntary service in the armies of Alexander of Macedon. Anyway, they were better fighters than the Donn Galls for they forced them out of their country and drove them west to the Atlantic shores.
The Alexanders named their conquered territory for themselves, Alaisdair. It is called Ulster now. Over in western Ireland the Donn Galls, busy licking their wounds and plotting for revenge, also named their new country for themselves. Today it is known as Donegal.
About 495 A. D., Fergus Mor, “Big Fergus,” of the Alaisdairs conquered Islay, Jura and great areas of Argyle and Kintyre. Naturally, this drained off much of the population of Ulster in order to settle the newly conquered lands.
Over in Donegal, Angus, the chief of the Brown Galls, saw his opportunity and seized it. About 550 A. D., Angus reconquered Ulster, crossed to Islay and battled the sons of Big Fergus, Big Fergus having died many years before.
He drove them from Islay but turned north to land in Ardnamurchan. In the next five years he conquered great areas of the Highland country which was populated by other Celts and also by a strange race of people who painted their bodies green and called themselves Picts.
Angus brought with him from Donegal a son or brother, Aogha (Hugh) and another son named Culam-Bahn (Blond Colin). It was this Blond Colin who established the holy island or the Culdee Church in Iona.
About the ninth century the Norse Vikings invaded Scotland and battled them for nearly a hundred years off and on. Since they couldn't conquer them, they joined them. Thus there came about an amalgamation of these Norsemen with the Picts, Celts and Gaelic Highlanders, thus developing a race of great hardihood with many fine qualities.
With the consolidation of the clans into one great kingdom under Kenneth McAlphin, coupled with the fact that they had apparenfly come to land's end, it seemed that now the wandering kilt wearers could settle down permanently.
This was not to be. Over in Spain, a footloose crackpot named Christopher Columbus, contended the earth was round. Eventually he proved it by discovering the New World.
And the Highlanders were on the prowl again!
Thus it is not strange to find them swarming over to this New World, even into Harnett County.
And in God's own time when Man shall have conquered the secrets of space travel and the first ship blasts off for the moon, most of its crew will be of Scottish descent!CHAPTER II
In the beginning was the land. A land of rolling hills and fertile bottoms covered with forests of long leaf pine for the most part. There were also mighty oaks, tall poplars, massive elms, beeches and walnut trees. White boled sycamores were outlined against the green of the other trees.
Through this great forest ran scores of streams, emptying their waters into a great river which snaked its tawny way from northwest to southeast across the county. It was a beautiful land.
In the shade of the enveloping treetops herds of deer and occasional buffalo grazed. This kept down the undergrowth so that a man riding freely on horseback could see as far as two hundred yards in all directions.
There were other animals. Wolf and beaver predominated but there was plenty of muskrat, raccoon, ’possum, bear, rabbit, squirrel and wildcat.
In the trees, birds of many kinds sang, twittered or remained silent, according to their nature. At certain times the sky would be darkened by migrating clouds of passenger pigeons, ducks and geese.
There were also Indians.
They had made and marked trails through this country—mostly along the routes of grazing animals which they hunted for food and raiment.
They were here when the Legion of Restless Men and the following horde of permanent settlers came along those same paths and up the muddy Cape Fear.
First mention of them occurs in a patent for 320 acres of land issued to Peter Parker, Jr., in 1746. The beginning corner was on the, “southside of a Great Creek at a place where the Indians lately felled a bear tree.”
That must have been a wondrous sight! A frightened bear clinging desperately to the trunk while the Indians hacked enthusiastically at it with their stone axes.
The Great Creek is now Parker's Creek which empties into the Cape Fear just below the Chatham-Harnett line.
Other early land grants in the same area call for corners, “at a pile of stones supposed to be Indian graves.”
As a matter of fact, there were Indians in that vicinity as late as the time of the War Between the States. From what pitiful
little we know about them, we suppose they were members of the Tuscarora nation.
When little John Colvin established his iron furnace there in 1861 or ’62, the Indians named it Ock-noc, a Tuscarora word roughly meaning, “rock pot.” They probably stood around bugeyed when he took the rocks they had previously used in painting hideous designs in red and yellow on their hides and converted them to iron billets.
In 1774, John Ray patented 100 acres, “joining John McLean on Upper Little River known by the name of the Indian Graves land.” Ray and McLean later had considerable litigation over this patent.
These particular graves were once a mound, roughly circular with a diameter of about forty feet and as high as a man's head. Cultivation over a period of 180 years has reduced the mound to a mere rise in the surrounding terrain. It is located near the mouth of Indian Branch some five miles from Lillington. From the size of the mound and the prevalence of Indian artifacts in the area,it was evidently used by the Indians as a town site over a period of many years.
Over in eastern Harnett on the plateau between Juniper Creek and Stewart's Creek another Indian settlement was located. Very little is known about this location, or the Indians for that matter.
On the upper side of Neill's Creek, on property now owned by the Spence family, another Indian village was located. Highway 15A cuts right through the center of its burial mound.
There are other sites of Indian villages in Harnett County. The best known is in western Harnett, four miles beyond Cameron Hill on the road leading to Cameron. It is a burial mound, but it does not mark the location of an Indian village. Rather, it designates the spot where over a hundred Indians from Drowning Creek were slain the Day the Birds Quit Singing.
The massacre probably occurred a few years prior to the coming of the first white settlers for they became familiar with the story of what happened on that day. Down the years has come the interesting tale of the hunting party of Drowning Creek warriors striding along parallel with a huckleberry bog which marked the head of one of the prongs of Cypress Creek.
The Indians who lived along the Cape Fear and its tributaries in Harnett had warned these Drowning Creekers to stay out of that particular area—it was their hunting ground.
Ordinarily, the Indians from Drowning Creek would have heeded the warning. But in this year a drouth had dried up their country. Food was scarce, for the deer had moved away to better grazing grounds. Anyway, the deer meat from the Sandhills had a better flavor. Besides, the squaws found the hides of the
Sandhill deer chewed better when they went to making them up for moccasions and wearing apparel. Too, the hunting party counted over a hundred braves. What enemy would dare attack them?
Nevertheless, there was one warrior in the party who was definitely uneasy. As he walked along the edge of the bog he tried to solve the problem of his fears. Something was wrong, he told the chief, but that worthy merely patted his tomahawk and grunted at him.
As the head of the column neared the tip of the bog, he essayed another warning to the chief. The next time a hunting party went out, the chief told him, he wouldn't be with it. He would be back in the lodges with the women and the old men and boys.
Thus rebuffed again, the uneasy warrior dropped back into line and renewed his watch on the dense undergrowth of the bog. Then the answer to the riddle came to him. The birds in the bog were silent—silent because they were afraid of something in the swamp.
“Birds!” he shouted. “There are no birds singing! Run!”
But his warning came too late. A cloud of arrows hissed from the bog, felling dozens of the hunting party. Then the Cape Fear Indians sprang from their perfect concealment in the bog. Their war whoops sounded and their tomahawks rose and fell as they went about their dreadful butchery.
Only a few of the hunters escaped to carry the tale of the disaster to Drowning Creek. And there was sorrow in the lodges as the women raised their drawn faces to the sky and wailed mournfully for their men whose bodies lay mouldering in a circular mound in the Sandhill country.
Back about 1940, a party from Chapel Hill made a partial excavation at one edge of the mound. Their findings indicated the slain warriors had been dragged from where they fell and dumped in groups. In one section about three cubic feet in area, thirteen skulls were found. One of these had the back end bashed in. Inside was the broken blade of the tomahawk that killed the brave. He was probably running when struck down from behind. That was the only weapon discovered in the small area they explored, the victors probably taking the others as loot.
The red men moved from Harnett as the white men moved in. There is no recorded instance of trouble between the two races in this area. As far as the Indians were concerned the white man brought two powerful allies with him: a whiskey bottle and small pox. He didn't need to use gun or knife when he had these two to work for him.
So the Cape Fear Indians moved or died, save for one small tribe in Buckhorn. They, too, in time left and today Harnett has
no Indians save a small settlement in the lower end of the county around the Black River.
They are members of that mysterious race called the Croatans in Harnett and Robeson, Malungeons in South Carolina and Redbones in Tennessee. Dozens of theories have been proposed as to their origin, none of them satisfactory, save to the author.
Back in the early part of this century, Hannibal L. Godwin, Harnett's only representative to the United States Congress, was engaged in a hot political race to retain his congressional seat. He campaigned among the Croatans and promised to introduce a bill in Congress declaring them members of the Cherokee race if they would vote for him.
Godwin won the election but failed to get his bill through, much to the displeasure of the Croatans. On the other hand it pleased the Cherokees mightily, who wanted no part or parcel of the Croatans going around claiming they were Cherokees.
Today, in Harnett, the Croatan Indians have their own schools and churches. Their Normal College is located at Pembroke in Robeson County.
The mystery of their origin is still as great as ever.CHAPTER III
Heading the vanguard of the Cape Fear Valley settlers was a band of men whose deeds were as heroic as their spirits were wild. These were the men of Restless Feet, the Forerunners, Seekers, obsessed with unquenchable desire to see what might lie around the curve of the river, might hide beyond the brow of the hill.
These were the trail blazers, the ones who explored the wilderness, tamed the Indians and made the Valley safe for the permanent settlers who were to follow hard on their heels.
They asked no odds, these Restless Men, and claimed no reward for service. Their lonely campfires twinkled in the far reaches of the Piney Barrens; the Tuscaroras of Buckhorn knew them well and the wild country of the Deep River head-waters was an open book before their eyes.
English, they were, and Irish, Welsh and Scotch. There was even a Dutchman, and one lone Son of France, Formyduval, from the Waccamaw Swamp. Even their names had a racy, devil-may-care swing to go with the daring of their owner's deeds: Emperor Wheelor, Windall Storm, Timothy Cleaven, Gunrod Goldman, Felix O'Neil, wild and Irish, who was to die with a laugh on his lips and a chip on his shoulder; Archibald MacDonald, the tall soldier; the tough Dutch Voortrekker Hendrick Gaster; and bow-legged little Archie Buie, whose pipes droned and wailed away many a lonely hour in the far stretching vistas of the wilderness trails.
These ancient names have come down to us in the records. Memorials today are a creek here, a spring there, or some outstanding landmark, such as Patterson's Rock on the Cape Fear above Lillington. Here, Gilbert Patterson lay many days with a broken leg, while wolves howled and battled to get at him. For a hundred years the place was known as Patterson's Rock. In later days it became known to thousands of picnickers as Raven's Rock. Today it is famed for its incomparable beauty when the rhododendron thickets are in bloom.
The most colorful of the Legion of Restless Men was Neill MacNeill, ex-sailor. His six-foot-six frame towered over his fellows like a redwood amid pines. The red of his hair and curly beard was like the color of a western sky at sunset. To his brother Scots he was Niall Ruadh or An Ruadh Mor—the Big Red One. The Indians on Buckhorn and Deep River gazed at the giant with awe, perhaps with reverence. The Tuscaroras
promptly named him Maaskwizzid—the Red Person. What those who ran afoul of his ham-sized fists called him, is not fit to be recorded in any language.
Red Neill MacNeill once had been a sailor. He left his ship at Brunswick to join the vanguard of the Scotch invasion which began to roll up the Valley in 1739. In September of that year the first shipload of three hundred Scots arrived in the Cape Fear roadstead. They were led by Dugald, Hector and Black Neill MacNeill, Duncan Campbell, Alexander McAllister, Alexander Clark and several others who had already explored the river in 1736 just after Gabriel Johnston, another Scotchman, became Governor of the Province of North Carolina.
It has been possible to keep up with the big flame-thatched one's wanderings from his land grants. Reid Neill had an eye for choice soil, but it isn't on record that he ever stayed on any site longer than was necessary to file a claim. He was too busy rambling over the Valley and “Civilizin’ this howlin’ wilderness.”
Wherever he went he entered acreages of land, then disposed of them in a few months to newly arrived settlers. When the river fronts became exhausted, Red Neill moved up the tributaries. He patented so many tracts on one stream it was called “Red Neill MacNeill's Creek.”
Passing generations have forgotten the origin of the name so that today the stream is known simply as Neill's Creek. It flows into the Cape Fear just above Lillington.
Red MacNeill gave Barbecue Creek its name as well. Mists rising from it reminded him of his sailor days and barbecue fires smoking in the West Indies. In a fit of culinary nostalgia he named the stream Barbecue, and thus it became a named landmark on the early land grants. Barbecue is derived from two French words: “Barb”, meaning beard and “que”, tail. Thus when you barbecue a hog, you cook him from whiskers to tail.
Incidentally, Red Neill gets the credit for introducing barbecued meat to the Valley. The tale is told of how he would walk up to a beef and render it senseless with one blow of his mighty fist. Entire sections or even the whole animal would then be barbecued to his taste. During his later years these barbecues became outstanding events in the lives of his fellow wanderers.
It came about that in 1753 Red Neill actually bought a piece of land: 60 acres lying on the east bank of the Cape Fear near Smilie's Falls, a couple of miles above the settlement that would one day be called Averasboro. He made this his headquarters. Every now and then the word would go out for the Restless Men to gather; Red Neill was giving a barbecue. From all directions the trailbreakers would head towards the focal point. A thirty-gallonWhere Harnett Tories met their Waterloo.
keg of apple brandy set on a platform at the spring below his cabin.
Abraham Carter, Red Neill's West Indian mulatto shadow, would prepare the barbecue, but Red Neill would join his companions in the more serious business of drinking one another's health—or anybody's health, for that matter.
Little bow-legged Archie Buie would be there and his pipes would moan and drone the wild melodies of the Highland hills. The irrepressible Irishman, Felix O'Neal, would perform his famous bottle trick: converting a quart of brandy to a pint without taking the bottle from his lips. The tall soldier, Archibald MacDonald, would tell still taller tales of military might on many a bloody battlefield.
By late afternoon the barbecue meat would be ready. All would gather ’round the long outdoor table of split poplar logs to enjoy the incomparable succulence of charcoal-broiled whole beef, and cornbread made from water-ground meal, with pewter mugs of ale to wash it down. By midnight's cock-crow the party would end with the lusty singing of old ballads. At daybreak the more hardy would be scattering again down their lonely trails. Others less resilient would be slightly indisposed but could always be cured by a hair of the dog that bit them.
As the years went by, fewer and fewer of this Legion of Restless Men showed up. Gentle, kindly Timothy Cleaven died in 1758. Johnny Brisco had been bitten by a polecat and died. Duncan Campbell was back in Scotland. Aaron Burleson, who had taken time to get married (a descendant of whom would one day be Postmaster General of the United States)—already was headed up the Yadkin Trail later to meet death at the hands of Indians in what is now Mitchell County. The Welshmen, Jonathan Llewellyn and Gideon Gilbert and many more, for whom the Valley had already gotten too crowded and too civilized, were long away, in the Pee Dee country, and beyond, to tame another wilderness.
In 1759, the big Red Samson threw his last party. For in that year there came creeping out of the river mists a fever such as these men had never seen. It gripped strong men and turned them into pitiful weaklings—burning with fever one moment and shaking with tooth rattling, bone breaking agues the next. As the disease progressed the victims began vomiting blood in terrible retching spasms, until death came.
That was a dreary year in the Valley. Settlers died so fast that scarcely enough were left to attend to the wants of those still alive. Even the cattle caught a distemper that left them dying in droves, with blackened tongues and swollen bellies.
One of the busiest men in the Valley that year was Red Neill—burying the bodies of the fever victims. The settlers caught it and died. Only Reverend James Campbell, grey-bearded now, and borne down by a great sadness at the devastation wrought among his flock, could offer them spiritual help. There was no medical assistance, for their lone doctor, Andrew Crawford, who lived near the present site of Campbell College, had been one of the first victims.
Red Neill went about his sombre tasks with thoughts on that unexplored wilderness to the West. His kind was finished in the Upper Valley, their jobs completed. Already the place was too crowded. Why, in that year of 1759, High Sheriff Duncan McNeill had listed over 600 taxables in Cumberland County!
Red Neill's band had opened the Valley, made it safe for settlement. Now another class of men arrived, fellows like John Brown, the millwright, who could no more pass a likely stream than a drunk could pass a saloon. Wherever he went, grist and sawmills sprang up, and frame houses began replacing the rude log cabins of the first settlers.
It was the time of new things. John Graham, the schoolmaster, was wandering now over the Valley, and schoolhouses were sprouting in his wake: at Averyville, Cross Creek, the Head of Rockfish, Gibson's store and lately at Longstreet.
John Willcox, recently arrived from Pennsylvania, was talking of erecting a furnace on Deep River for making iron.
Rev. James Campbell arrived in 1757 from the same state, bringing religion to the Valley; and Order came in the person of Sheriff Duncan McNeill. Law, in the stern-faced justices on their platform in the log courthouse at Choeffenington, had come to stay.
Yes, it was time for Red Neill and his like to be moving on. But even wilderness lovers just don't go wandering off, leaving people dying in a welter of their own blood.
Because of the epidemic, Red Neill stayed on, even though his desire must have been for that Western wilderness beyond the Yadkin. Inevitably, too, he caught the fever. Because he was bigger and stronger than the others, he died slower and harder.
Little Archie Buie heard of his illness and came down the river; once more Red Neill's cabin at Smilie's Falls resounded to the wild skirling of the pipes. But now the wild strains had a plaintive undertone. And Red Neill, listening, caught their import.
Then it was that he got Archie to cut for him a huge gum log ten feet long and saw it lengthwise down the middle. Between spells of fever Red would sit before the split halves and hammer away with mallet and chisel while Archie droned doleful laments on his pipes.
Red Neill was making his own coffin! Presently, when he had it done to suit him, he lay in it to see that it fitted. Then he bored holes so the two sections would be pegged together with lightwood pegs.
Preacher Campbell came by to speak words of cheer and Biblical counsel to the giant.
“Ye are welcome as a friend, dominie,” the stricken Goliath told him, “But I want none o’ yer pulin’ prayers or yer religious cantin’. I ha'e ne'er called on Him when I was strong, an’ I'll be dom'd if I go whimperin’ like a coward to Him now.”
The man of God, who knew and understood the giant, nodded his head gravely, and uttered a mental prayer in Gaelic, and for good measure added another in English, asking mercy on the soul of one who was dying, because he had stayed to help others—but would call for no spiritual help for himself. “Greater love hath no man than this—”
Day by day the big one weakened. One evening he called Archie to him. “Bury me across the river,” he told the little piper, “and on the brow o’ Smilie's Hill where it faces west. When ye ha'e buried me, speed me on my way wi’ a skirlin’ o’ the pipes.” The blood bubbled from his cracked lips and Red Neill MacNeill was dead.
But little Archie Buie couldn't do all he was asked. The river had risen and it was impossible to get the coffin across it. So he and Abraham Carter scooped out a grave near the cabin and put the giant decently away. And when Archie had finished heaping up the mound of dirt he stood at its head and his pipes wailed the doleful notes of the MacNeill lament.
After the river finally returned to its banks the fever had gone from the Valley—and so was Archibald Buie, the piper. Out into that western wilderness he had gone where the Legion of Restless Men were still needed. Surely, he would come back some day to carry out the dead giant's last wish.
But time went by and Red Neill MacNeill still slept in his grave on the east side of the river. Presently a new tale began to be told in the valley—a tale of a giant ghost with red hair and curly red beard which stood on a rock overlooking Smilie's Falls and pointed westward.
It did no good when Quaminy, a slave Col. Alexander McAllister had bought from Peter McLaurin, told his tale.
Colonel McAllister's son, Coll, lived on the King's Highway just above where the present town of Buie's Creek stands. It was the Colonel's habit to send Quaminy on errands to his son's place, and on one of these trips Quaminy fell for the slumberous glances of a young slave girl belonging to Coll. Thereafter, slavery being what it was, Quaminy took to slipping up to Coll's after
nightfall for clandestine meetings with his girl friend.
Returning from one of these nocturnal visits, Quaminy saw the red-headed ghost standing on his lonely rock with extended arm pointing westward. Quaminy took another horrified look; his bare feet splattered the dust of the King's Highway in a frenzied dash of ten miles to the Colonel's place at Troy. Thus was blasted Quaminy's beautiful romance with the slave girl, for never again did he travel that road after nightfall.
Though the years went by and Archibald Buie, the piper, was dead, the red-headed ghost still haunted his lonely rock. The Revolution had been fought and the young republic was having growing pains.
More years went by. The War Between the States burst in all its fury and raged on to its bitter end. Up from the South in the Spring of 1865 surged Sherman's legions. They looted, burned and destroyed. On through Anson, Richmond and Scotland Counties they stormed. Judson Kilpatrick's blue raiders fought it out with Joe Wheeler's hard bitten cavalry at Monroe's Farm. Hardee's ragged rearguard gave grudging ground over roads and fields turned into quagmires by incessant rains.
Sherman's forces crossed the Cape Fear at Fayetteville and the Battle of Averasboro was fought in a driving rain. The muddy river rose higher and presently burst its bounds to flood the entire Valley; Sherman's Fresh, it was called. Old timers point to its marks on still standing trees.
When the waters went down after Sherman's Fresh, an old gum log was found on the western side of the river near Smilie's Falls. The log had burst apart and inside the scooped out halves was the huge skeleton of a red-headed, red-bearded man!
The story of the red-headed skeleton flew up and down the Upper Valley. Down the river road from his home near McNeill's Ferry came galloping old Mr. Sandy Buie with his coon hound Beaureguard leading the way.
The Valley old timer reached back into the recesses of his memory and recalled the legend his father had told him of a bow legged piper and a red-headed giant who wanted to be buried on the western side of the river—but wasn't.
Then and there, did the assembled listeners take shovels. On the western brow of Smilie's Hill they dug a grave. They decently repegged the red-headed skeleton in the gum log coffin, and buried him under four feet of gravelly, red earth.
No more thereafter did the rufous ghost haunt his lonely rock at Smilie's Falls. But sometimes, it is said, there are nights when the North Wind blows down from the flatwoods, over the
up-jutting rocks of the falls, through the whispering reeds of Smilie's Island, and then listeners can hear faint queer sounds. And they know they are listening to the ghostly pipes of bowlegged little Archie Buie moaning and droning mournful laments to the other ghosts of the Legion of Restless Men, who wait about their cosmic campfires in Spirit Land.
Hard on the heels of the Legion of Restless Men came another legion of men with more stable feet.
These were people who were tired of wandering. They were looking for a permanent roosting place, and in Harnett they found it.
For the most part they were Scotsmen, for the English influx from Albemarle and Virginia had not yet begun.
Why these early Scots chose North Carolina for their new home is a simple matter.
In 1734, Gabriel Johnston, a Scot and a graduate of the University of Edinburgh, became Governor of the Province of North Carolina.
He established his residence (and the seat of government) on the Cape Fear River—over the anguished protests of the Albemarle planters.
At once he set about writing his friends back in Scotland about the wonderful opportunities awaiting them in North Carolina.
He told them about the richness of the soil, which would grow two crops yearly and which would produce green trees that would burn like paper. Naturally, none of his correspondents knew anything about pine trees that had been boxed for turpentine.
He also offered other inducements such as remission of poll taxes for ten years, plus grants of money.
His glowing letters were effective. In 1736, Alexander McAllister, Neill and Hector McNeill, John and Alexander Clark, Duncan Campbell and several other Scots arrived at Brunswick to give this Garden of Eden a look-see.
They found the country around Wilmington and lower Bladen already well settled.
In Bladen they discovered a number of settlers who wore queerly shaped hats and called themselves Quakers. The Quakers wanted to sell them land on which they could grow a strange new plant called cotton which would make finer cloth than wool or flax.
The Quakers had earlier been victims of this cotton story. The New Englanders who sold them on it neglected to tell the gullible Friends the cost of separating the seed from the lint made it impossible to use cotton in making cloth.
But these men from Scotland were not farm hands. They were hunters, warriors from the Highlands. The country was too flat.
They disdainfully shook Bladen's black soil from their boots and continued upriver looking for the hills they knew they would find.
And when they had reached the country just above where Fayetteville now stands, they found the hills and the brawling streams between them. This then was the place for them to raise their ridge poles.
Some of them remained to select homesites. The others returned to Scotland to spread the tidings of this brave new world where they would be far removed from England's galling yoke even though they would be still living under its laws.
In September 1739, the first shipload of these emigrants arrived at Wilmington and headed up the Cape Fear for their new homes. They brought the tools they would need in this new land. One skeptic even brought some oak staves for making axe handles! One wonders what his thoughts were when he first glimpsed the great oaks and hickorys along the river!
The land grant office at Raleigh gives us a very good list of these first settlers and it is true that the earliest grants in Harnett are not to these Highlanders.
In 1735, a couple of land traders named Richard French and William Grey grabbed off 640 acres on the west side of the Cape Fear just above the mouth of Lower Little River.
On the opposite side of the river a Welshman, Geoffrey Dawson by name, got his nose under the wire in 1737. So did John Davis in the same year, joining French and Grey.
From there on up the river on both sides, the list reads like a gathering of the clans. Here and there an outsider got a toe hold; like the German, John Martinlear, who dug in opposite Averasboro; and the Englishmen—who may have been brothers—Hugh and Miles Ward, just below Averasboro.
To us of today, the manner of acquiring land over 200 years ago seems ridiculously simple.
All the newly come settler had to do was find a piece of unclaimed land.
He then listed it with the entry taker of which there was one or more in every county. With the claim he filed a description of the amount of land desired and its location.
The claim would then be passed on by the Governor's Council. If it were approved, a deputy-surveyor would in time show up with a warrant signed by the Governor ordering him, “to admeafure and lay out, until Neill McNeill a plantation, containing 200 acres of land, located in Cumberland County near the King's Road and known by the name of Neill's Meadow.”
The settler then had 18 months in which to take out a patent
for the said land. If he failed to do so, the land became free to be taken up by another person.
If the settler perfected his patent he was issued a grant to the land and thereafter could dispose of it as he saw fit. However, he was required to pay a yearly quit-rent on the land which amounted to about $1.00 per 100 acres. This amount of quit rent varied from time to time. He also had to pay the surveyor's fees.
The final condition was that he should clear and cultivate 3 acres per 100 acres in 3 years and fence it with a fence that was horse high, pig tight and bull strong. Naturally he was required to put a house on the land.
As is to be expected, there was a bit of skullduggery connected with these grants.
A man would patent a hundred acres and pay quit rents for that amount. However, he might lay claim to several hundred acres around him. As the story goes, he wasn't greedy. He just wanted the land that joined his.
It might seem simple enough for a newcomer to ask an old settler to show his grant. Yet the settler would quickly tell him that if he wanted to see it he could jolly well go to Wilmington or wherever the seat of government might be located at that moment and look to his heart's content. Before the newcomer would backtrack a hundred miles or more, he would move on until he did find vacant land.
Settlers were known to hold land by this method for as long as 20 years or more.
However, when vacant land became less plentiful, a class of people appeared who would take up a grant of say 30,000 acres, excepting any acreage to which a settler could produce a deed.
This caused consternation among the easy riders or free loaders and there was a concerted rush on the land grant office as they hurried to take out patents for the land they had been illegally holding.
In the 1790's two men, Allison and Blount, took up hundreds of thousands of acres by this means. One of their grants was in Western Harnett covering land now owned by the Rockefellers.
Another stunt that was used by some of the river settlers was to begin their claim at a point where the river would begin to curve away from the location of the land.
It was common practice in those days to run only two lines. The grant as filed would read something like this: “Beginning at a marked oak on the river bank, the west side thereof, thence a line west 80 rods to a pine, thence north 80 rods to a hickory, thence East 80 rods to the river, thence downriver to the beginning, containing 640 acres.”
At the point of beginning, the river may have begun a bend to the right, and the third line (which had never been run) might be 150 rods instead of 80.
Part of the land on which Fayetteville is located was surveyed for 600 acres. Twenty years later a re-survey showed it contained 965 acres!
The following are the men who took up land in Harnett in 1740:
|Archibald Buie||James McDougald|
|Daniel Buie||Hugh McLachlan|
|Duncan Campbell||James McLachlan|
|James Campbell||Hugh McCrainey|
|Alexander Clark||Murdock McCrainey|
|Archibald Clark||Samuel McGaw or McGraw|
|John Clark||John Martinlear|
|Daniel McNeill||Gilbert Patterson|
|Hector McNeill||Dugald Stewart|
|Malcolm McNeill||Matthew Smylie|
|Neill McNeill||Nathaniel Smylie|
|John McAllister||William Stephens|
|Alexander McKay||Hugh Ward|
|Archibald McKay||Miles Ward|
Others took up land in what is now Lee and Chatham Counties. But in 1746 when the Granville line was run it crossed the Cape Fear where the present counties of Chatham, Harnett and Lee intersect.
All the land lying north of this line belonged to one of the Lords Proprietors, the Earl of Granville, while the country south of it continued to be King's land.
Those Scotsmen who had taken up land north of the Granville line immediately disposed of it and came scampering back down into Harnett and other counties below the line.
They did not trust a title from a mere earl. What the Lord giveth, the Lord can take away, was the way they considered the matter.
Why King George could wake up some morning with a bellyache or a hangover and with one sweep of his pen dispossess every one of them!
Besides—and a very important point with these Highlanders—the Earl of Granville charged them higher fees for his land than did the King.
By 1754 the area now comprising Cumberland, Harnett, Hoke, Lee and Moore was so populous it was cut off from Bladen and formed into a new county called Cumberland, thus honoring the
man who was responsible for the butchery of thousands of Scotsmen following the Battle of Culloden in 1746.
The name of the new county was forced on the inhabitants and it must have been a bitter pill for them to swallow.
In 1784 when Moore County was cut off from Cumberland, an attempt was made to change the name of the remainder of Cumberland to Fayette County, but the plan failed.
The county seat of this new County of Cumberland was located at a place called Choeffenington on the south side of Lower Little River, about a mile east of the present town of Linden.
So many settlers had come into the Harnett area by then that it might be interesting to list their names as entered on the Cumberland County tax list for 1755. Here they are:
|Joseph Adams||Ben Goodrich|
|Jacob Blocker||John Graham|
|Archibald Buie||James Gilliam|
|Hugh McDougald||John Harvill|
|Archibald Buie||Robert Howard|
|John Clark||James Howard|
|Duncan Buie||William Hall|
|Gilbert Buie||Samuel Howard|
|Daniel Buie||Francis Jones|
|Richard Brown||Charles Jones|
|John Brown||Hamilton Jones|
|Richard Crosby||John Knee|
|Archibald Clark||Edward Larrimore|
|Duncan Clark||Robert Love|
|Alexander Clark||_____ Connor|
|William Clark||Edward Larimor|
|Alexander Clark||Archibald McNeill|
|John Clark||Neill McNeill|
|Archibald Clark||Hector McNeill|
|Daniel Clark||Hugh McLean|
|Luzarus Creel||John McLean|
|Gilbert Clark||John Martinlear|
|John Campbell||John Phillips|
|Kenneth Clark||Hugh McCranie|
|Archibald Clark||Duncan Patterson|
|Neill Clark||Archibald Patterson|
|John Clark||John Phillips|
|John Dobbins||John Ray|
|Michael Conoly||Gabriel Reagan|
|John Copeland||James Stewart|
|George Fulph||Richard Britt|
|John Stewart||James Thornton|
|Thomas Seemore||Richard Thorn|
|Dushee Shaw||John Thomas|
|Duncan Shaw||David Trantham|
|David Smith||Martin Trantham, Sr.|
|Hugh Smith||Martin Trantham, Jr.|
|John Smith||Sampson Williams|
|James Smith||Christopher Yow|
|Rolling Smith||Thomas York|
In this list the names in parenthesis indicate they lived in the same house. It does not necessarily mean they were all members of the same family.
For instance: Hugh McLean happened to be the father of John McLean but he could have been a cousin, or no relation at all for that matter.
If the reader, puzzled by the numerous Archibald Clarks, etc., gets the idea the tax lister was just idly repeating names in order to pad his list, he will be wrong.
The old Scottish custom of naming the eldest son after the child's paternal grandfather is responsible for this.
If a man signed his name Neill Clark, Jr., it does not necessarily mean Neill Junior's father was named Neill. It does mean there was another Neill Clark in the same neighborhood who was older than Neill Jr. They had other ways of differentiating themselves.
At one time there were five Daniel Shaws in the same community. One signed himself Poplar Foot Daniel Shaw. During the Revolution he was shot in the foot by a band of Tories, resulting in its later amputation. Daniel whittled a foot from a limb of a poplar tree. Thereafter, he became Poplar Foot Daniel to identify him from Maiden Daniel Shaw, who never married, and Block Wheel Daniel Shaw, who drove a cart having wheels sawn from a huge tree. Then there was Daniel Sr. and Daniel Jr., who happened to be cousins.
Thomas Jones, Clerk of the Cumberland County Court, listed for that first year of the county's existence: 302 white taxables, 11 mulattoes and 63 slaves. Indians, being considered savages, were not counted.
When he submitted his list to the Court, Jones made the bland statement that, “In my opinion there are at least 30 who did not give in.”
Tommy was ultra conservative. Probably that many or more lived in the Harnett area itself, let alone the rest of Cumberland. However, they eventually got on the tax list. Some of them and
the first recorded date of their settlement in Harnett are herewith listed.
A great many of these show a recorded date of 1755. As a matter of fact, many had been in the area for several years prior to 1755. With a tax lister after them they knew it was time to register their land. It is notable that not many had Scottish names.
|John Anderson||1748||Torquill McNeill||1753|
|Thomas Briggs||1755||Archibald McDonald||1753|
|Malcolm Clark||1755||John McDougald||1755|
|Timothy Cleaven||1754||Dugald McPhail||1755|
|Arthur Donnely||1752||Angus McPhail||1754|
|John Eppinger||1755||Angus McAllister||1755|
|Stephen Gardner||1755||Miles Parker||1748|
|William Grant||1755||Stephen Phillips||1755|
|John Hill||1755||John Robeson||1755|
|Bartholomew Hodges||1753||Edward Robeson||1753|
|Wallis Johnston||1753||Joshua Shaddock||1746|
|Andrew Joyner||1755||Thomas Stewart||1753|
|Andrew Kennedy||1755||Richard Treadway||1755|
|David Kennedy||1755||Thomas Ward||1755|
|Samuel Kennedy||1755||John Wright||1755|
It might be proper at this time to take a look at these early Harnett Citizens and observe their manner of living.
The old time picture of planters riding over their cotton fields, calculating the profits the crop would bring in the fall, can be discarded at once.
Harnett never was a county of great plantations. True, in later years, some planters along the river did accumulate sizeable holdings of land and slaves.
But for the most part, Harnett was settled by the “hundred acre” boys, men who went into the forests and hewed trees to build their homes.
Next they cleared a small acreage of land on which to raise corn, wheat, garden produce and flax for cloth making. They used a butt-headed steer to pull the plow.
That was before mules had been introduced to the colonies. Nearly every settler raised cattle, hogs, sheep and poultry.
Their wearing apparel was home made of wool, flax and the skins of animals.
Cooking was done in the fireplace. Stoves were an unknown luxury.
If a man needed a bucket, a barrel, a bed, a table, or almost any household item, he made it—or had it made, trading his services in payment, money being an item which most of them
didn't have. They even paid their taxes with produce—to the great disgust of the tax gatherers.
Imagine walking today into Tax Collector Duncan Ray's office with a squealing shoat and a bucket of eggs in payment of your taxes!
What money they did obtain came from the products of the friendly forests and the sale of cattle.
Those were the days of tar, tun timber and turpentine. For better than a hundred years the great pine forests of Harnett provided its citizens with a means of livelihood.
In clearing the land the early settlers would burn the pines for tar. The boxed pines furnished turpentine, which was distilled and sold in Fayetteville and Wilmington. There was always a ready market in those places for naval stores.
When the trees were drained of their productivity, they were cut, assembled into rafts and floated down the Cape Fear to Wilmington. An average raft would sell for upwards of 500 dollars in that town.
At first the rafters would walk back from Wilmington or pole a loaded flat boat up the river.
In 1818 though, steamers appeared on the Cape Fear and the rafters would ride back to Fayetteville on these.
The coming of the plank roads doomed our forests. They were systematically obliterated in an age that saw people emerge from log cabins, move into frame houses and enter on a higher standard of living.
Maybe at some future time the pine tree will be given its rightful credit for the part it played in the lives of our forefathers.
Through the years when war came to the area now comprising Harnett County its citizens responded pretty much like those of other counties. Some went willingly, even eagerly, fired with noble resolves and high ideals. Most of these came back—if they did come back—bitter, disillusioned, the fire gone from their eyes. For at its best, war is a dirty, savage business; a seething mixture of hate and madness, of mutilated bodies and minds, of blood and death.
Others went because of a sense of duty, a determination to fight for what they believed was right and to uphold their way of living.
There were others who served because the conscript officers or the draft boards seized them by the scruffs of their necks, so to speak, and pitched them squalling and protesting into the nearest army camp. Quite often these men made the best soldiers.
Then there was another class: men who believed in peace at any price—even if it meant “hiding out” in swamps, woods and old fields. It wasn't that they were cowards or more afraid than others. They had their reasons and they sincerely believed in them.
And like all soldiers in all wars, once they were in it, Harnett men grumbled and bellyached, which is a soldier's traditional privilege.
Beyond doubt the nastiest war to hit Harnett was the Revolution—the war for freedom from English rule. Sure, the county had a rough time during another war for independence, The War Between the States. And down at Averasboro over a thousand men in blue and grey were killed or wounded that rain-swept day in March of 1865. But that was a professional battle fought by soldiers who perhaps were not professionals, but who fought like them.
In the mad days of the Revolution, Harnett, though it would not be a county for another 75 or more years, was a land divided, not only geographically but politically.
Physically, the Cape Fear River divided the area. On the east side of the river most of the people were Whigs—Patriots, if you please. This section had been settled largely by people from the eastern part of the state or by others coming down the old trail from Virginia, which went by the name of Green's Path to the Pee Dee. It ran through eastern Harnett.
Not so on the western side. Save for a narrow strip along the river, settled by Scots who came over prior to 1746, and a small area around Barbecue Church, the western side was settled by Scottish Highlanders with a thin sprinkling of other nationalities.
These Highlanders came to America after that fatal day in April 1746 on Culloden moor when:“The hoof of the horse and the foot of the proudHad trod on the plumes of the bonnets of Blue.”
On that terrible day, Bonnie Prince Charles and his clansmen risked everything in a battle to smash the English army and gain the throne of England. They lost. And the Duke of Cumberland, second son of England's barrel-bellied monarch, George the second, set about his brutal, senseless campaign of beheading, butchery and banishment. For upwards of twenty years it was worth a Highlander's life to be caught bearing arms or wearing any part of Highland dress. It is not strange that they chose banishment “to the plantations beyond the seas” and signed with their own blood an oath that ran about as follows:
“I, Donald McDonald, do swear and as I shall answer to God at the great day of judgment, I have not, nor shall I have in my possession any gun, pistol or arm whatsoever, and will never use plaid, tartan or any part of Highland garb. That I will defend His Majesty the King and support him in any measure he may take. And should I break this, my solemn oath, may I be cursed in all my undertakings, family and property; may I never see my wife, children, father, mother or other relations; may I be killed in battle as a coward and lie without Christian burial in a strange land, far from the graves of my forefathers and kindred. May all this come across me if I break my oath.”
Saddled with such a vow, it is no wonder that when the red days of the Revolution came, the Harnett Highlanders faithfully answered Royal Governor Martin's summons and marched to another Culloden at the Widow Moore's Creek Bridge on February 27, 1776.
Unfortunately, there is no known list of Harnett men, Whig or Tory, who fought at Moore's Creek. But the Harnett men who escaped capture there, because they knew the country, recrossed the Cape Fear at Smith's Ferry at the mouth of Lower Little River and returned to their homes sullenly to lick their smarting wounds.
Under act of the legislature of 1776, Cumberland County—which at that time included all of Harnett and Moore along with most of Hoke and Lee Counties—was divided into militia districts.
In the area east of the river from Buie's Creek to the Chatham and Wake lines, Captain Robert Cobb, who lived near Cokesbury, was commander. From Buie's Creek to the mouth of Lower Little River, Captain Alexander Avera, of the then little village of Averasboro, commanded. They also had jurisdiction over the scattering of uneasy Whig Highlanders along the west bank of the river.
Out in the Barbecue section—an island of Whigs in a sea of Tories—Thomas Dobbins and Daniel Buie were commanders. Here occurred the incident that caused the Rev. James Campbell to leave Cumberland County.
The preacher was an outspoken Whig, but he had one son in the British army and another in the American. One day, just before the massacre at Moore's Creek, during services at Barbecue Church he prayed for the success of the American army.
After the service McAlpin Munn, a respected old Tory, came up to him, removed his hat in deference to the man of God and said:
“Meenister, ye ha'e been a longer time frae Scotland nor me, an’ ye nae ha'ed to take the Blood Oath I ha'e took. An’, noo, if I e'er hear ye pray ag'in as ye did this day, the bullet has been molded and the powder is in my horn to blow it through yer head!”
The Reverend Mr. Campbell knew Munn meant what he said. Very prudently he removed to Guilford County where Whigs were more numerous, bought 400 acres of land, and lived there until 1780 when he returned to Cumberland. His death occurred across the river from Bluff Church. His grave wasn't even marked until a few years ago when Rev. Angus McQueen of Dunn located it, and was instrumental in having a bronze marker placed at the grave of the man who brought Presbyterian religion to the Cape Fear country.
Incidentally, Munn's old powder horn and bullet mold are still in existence.
The companies of Buie and Dobbin operated under the command of Colonel Ebenezer Folsome who lived on the east side of the Cape Fear, near the Lillington Bridge. At other times Col. David Smith, whose brick house, the first in Harnett, stood on the road from Erwin bridge to J. C. Byrd's mill below Bunnlevel, commanded. Col. Smith was often sent on special assignments by the governor and saw only sporadic military service.
Col. Folsome was a zealous officer. So much so that many of his men became restive under his methods, and brought charges against him. Among other things they charged him with collecting money from them for rum supposedly furnished by the state.
Smarting under the accusation, the colonel heatedly retorted that the niggardly amount of rum paid for by the state wouldn't quiet a cradleful of bawling babies, let alone a battalion of mouthing, musket-toting farmers who fancied themselves as soldiers.
From then on, he told them, they could furnish their own rum, and huffily resigned his command. However, after serving a term in the legislature as senator from Cumberland he was again placed in charge of the Cumberland militia.
From the Battle of Moore's Creek in 1776 until the invasion of the state in 1781 by the British, the pre-Harnett Tories were sullenly quiet—the ominous stillness that presages the storm. Then came the days of blood, fire and terror.
Hard on the heels of Daniel Morgan's riflemen, retreating after their victory over the British at Cowpens, S. C., tramped the legions of the English under Lord Cornwallis, calling on the Tories, Highlanders and all, to rally to his standards.
About the same time there came riding out of the South Carolina canebrakes a man whom the Cape Fear Country would long remember. This man was of just average size, but he moved with the litheness of a Bengal tiger—and was just about as savage as one. Around his head he wore a red silk kerchief. He was David Fanning—“Scaldhead Dave”, they called him. As a youth he had contracted a disease that stripped his head of hair and left his scalp a festering stinking mass. Hence the cloth around his head. He wouldn't even remove it when he ate or slept.
What qualities the man had that caused Tories to flock to him no one can say. Hitler had them, so did Attila the Hun.
Maybe it was his habit of success. Quick to spot an enemy's weakness and quicker still to exploit it, there isn't a recorded instance where the Patriots obtained a clear-cut victory over Fanning.
Perhaps they came nearer doing so at Cane Creek in the upper part of the state than at any other time. It was here that brave old Col. Hector McNeill of Robeson and young Dushee Shaw of Harnett were killed and Fanning himself wounded.
The man Fanning just simply didn't know there was such a word as defeat. Able, daring, ruthless, he quickly became the scourge of the Cape Fear Country. So vicious, so utterly merciless was he that the hardbitten Scot Highlanders, no novices themselves, couldn't stomach him and refused to fight under him. Now and then under their own leaders, Duncan Ray, Archie McDougald, John McLeLan and the McNeills and McKays, they would join him for a mass operation when required. Otherwise, they did their own raiding and left Fanning to do his.
The principal muster grounds of the Harnett Tories were on
Upper Little River at the mouth of Jones Creek above Clark's Bridge and at Captain John McLean's Mill just below where the present Lillington-Fort Bragg highway crosses the river. The hut of the Lillington post of the American Legion stands almost on the exact site of McLean's Mill.
Col. Folsome labored mightily to control the situation, but it was a case of too few against too many. He simply had too much territory to cover. While he put out a fire Fanning would start, the Harnett Highlanders would be igniting one of their own. In a matter of weeks, most of the area between the Cape Fear and Yadkin rivers came under Tory control.
In the meantime, the Battle of Guilford Courthouse had been fought. Though Cornwallis claimed the victory, his shattered legions led by bloody Banastre Tarleton, came limping back down through Randolph and Chatham counties with General Greene and his patriots in close pursuit.
The British entered Harnett County in the vicinity of Broadway and camped for the night at William Buie's near present-day Mt. Pisgah Church. Back up the way where the road from Avent's Ferry—now Avent's Bridge—intersects Highway 421, two miles southeast of Shallowell Church, General Greene detached a small force under Col. James Thackston to keep track of Cornwallis. He sent Col. Harry Lee with his Legion down the old Pee Dee road and marched the main American Army from Ramsay's Mill toward South Carolina to mop up the last pockets of British resistance in that state.
The following night the British camped at Barbecue Church. This gave rise to the legend that Barbecue Church got its name because the British barbecued some beeves there. As a matter of fact, there are land grants on record naming the Creek “Barbecue” and bearing the date of 1753—28 years before Cornwallis was there.
It was at Barbecue that Banastre Tarleton's outriders encountered Captain Daniel Buie, Jacob Gaster, Laurence Strodder, Duncan Buie, John Small and several more of his command. They left Captain Buie for dead, his head split open by a sabre blow. He recovered and lived many years. Duncan Buie died on a prison ship in Wilmington. The others escaped or were later exchanged.
The following night the British encamped on Lower Little River where the McCormick home, “The Sandhills,” now stands. Some of the British who had died of wounds received at Guilford Courthouse are buried in the nearby cemetery where rests the remains of the famed Jennie Bahn and her husband, Archibald McNeill.
The next day the British continued their march toward Fayetteville and Wilmington.
Meanwhile, Colonel Thackston, with his small force, was pursuing Cornwallis, but wisely using the King's Highway which ran down the east side of the river, thus keeping the river between his command and the British.
In describing his march (he avoids the use of the word “retreat”) through upper Cumberland (Harnett), Cornwallis writes there were practically no provisions along the route of march, and that the inhabitants were in a starving condition.
It is interesting to note the Cumberland County tax list for 1780 shows the inhabitants along his route of march listed 3,000 cattle. Taxpayers being notably poor of memory at listing time, the swamps and back country must have been filled with cows standing practically rump to head.
On July 29, 1781, Colonal Duncan Ray with 10 or 12 Highlanders cross the Cape Fear just above Buie's Creek at the old McAllister road ferry. They marched down the east bank to Sproul's Ferry (later McNeill's Ferry), took the ferry which had been tied up on the Whigs’ side of the stream and moved over the rest of Ray's command, about 60 or 70 men.
A half-mile from the ferry stood Sprowl's Tavern. Ray's men surrounded the place. What followed is described by J. Rand of Wake County in a letter to Governor Burke dated July 30, 1781, as printed in the State records:
“Upon their first approach they shot down Andrew Beard, a good and zealous friend to his country, whom they left prostrate in the yard until this morning. When our people buried him, he appeared to be cut in several places in the arms. I observe this as it appears to me to be a wanton act of barbarity, as this man and a Mr. Travis of Cross Creek, unfortunately happened to be passing the place.
“After plundering Sproal of all his horses, a quantity of salt, his own and the buckles out of his wife's shoes, cutting the wagons to pieces, etc., they returned over the river carrying off Sproal, his wife and family, Travis and several poor people in the neighborhood. In short they left no living soul on the place. After getting over they turned the flat down stream and left Mrs. Sproal and the negroes some distance in the woods.
“Besides this, another party of about a hundred mounted men was seen on an old road to the ferry some 16 miles away.
“Colonel Folsome through the night has collected about 20 men and expects to be about 100 strong when all are joined. All he can do is rest on the defensive until he has enough force to cross the river. He requests the earliest assistance of your Excellency,
and thinks 150 or 200 horses and infantry would enable him to drive them from Cumberland.”
A few days after this, Col. Hinton of Wake County, with 250 men, crossed the river and headed for McLean's Mill with the intention of putting the obstreperous Tories back in their places.
There were only a few Tories at the mill. These were captured. Among them were Hugh Ochiltree, John McLean of Indian Branch, his son Neill, Malcolm McPhail, Malcolm Graham, Archibald McLean, James, Laughlan and Daniel McDonald, about a dozen in all.
The rest were at the Jones Creek muster ground under the command of Col. Ray, Capt. McLean and Lts. Archibald McKay and Malcolm McKay. They received news of Col. Hinton's presence at the mill and forthwith set out down the river to attack him.
One of their company, William Kennedy, arrived shortly after they had left, and set out down the ridge road to overtake them. This being a shorter route than the river road, Kennedy arrived at the mill ahead of the main Tory force. He strode into the mill, thinking his friends were there, but all he could see were strangers. Then the horrible realization came to him that these men were Whigs—his deadly enemies!
Kennedy was no dolt, and his life was at stake. He rushed through the door shouting that Fanning with 500 men was right at his heels. “Clear yourselves!” he bawled. “Clear yourselves or you will be taken prisoner!”
Psychologists have never been able to solve the mystery of the panic and hysteria that will sometimes seize a large body of men. Had there been only a handful present, Kennedy's strategy would not have worked.
But these men were raw militia levies. They mounted their horses and took off, carrying their prisoners with them. When pursuit failed to materialize, they got over their panic and camped for the night at the top of the hill.
During the night, Col. Ray arrived at the mill with his force and camped there. Early next day some of Hinton's men scouting toward the mill were fired upon by the Tories.
Again panic seized the Whigs. Taking their prisoners with them, they retreated toward the Cape Fear, firing aimlessly and being fired at just about as aimlessly by Ray's and McLean's men, until they reached the river at Fox Island below Lillington. They crossed there and camped for the night.
Hinton's men camped for the night below Fox Island; the Tories just across the river from them. Next day they moved up the river, crossed Neill's Creek and encamped about where
Willoughby Spence now lives. They posted sentinels at the river and began preparation for a feast.
About this time the sentinels at the river, spotting some of the Tories, began firing at them and were fired back at with good will. Again panic seized Hinton's men. They fled up the Atkins road leading to Wake County, this time leaving their prisoners behind. When they reached a point about where the present Buckhorn road turns off from 15A, they halted and formed a line of battle.
Meanwhile, their deserted prisoners had been having a conference. They had not been paroled or released. If they should be captured again, they would be immediately shot. They decided their prudent course was to follow their late captors. This they did but when Hinton's men saw their running forms through the trees, they imagined it was the dreaded Fanning coming and they took off again, never stopping until they reached the Wake County line. Next day, their tour of duty up—they went home.
Their late prisoners chased them another mile or so and gave up in disgust and out of wind. A running man is a poor match for a running horse.
Such was the so-called Battle of Indian Branch—a thing of much noise, which wasn't even a battle, and all the shooting was done miles from the branch. There were no listed casualties unless you count the three luckless Tories supposedly hanged by Hinton's men on Italy Hill above Lillington.
On August 14, Colonels Ray, McDougald and Capt. Hector McNeill (son of Archie and Jennie Bahn) headed their forces toward Cross Creek to make prisoners of the men then in Court Session. Up at Averasboro, Capt. Alexander Avera received intelligence of this movement. Mounting his swiftest horse, he galloped down the King's Highway on the east side of the river, crossed the river at Beaseley's Crossing above Fayetteville and pounded into Cross Creek.
He unceremoniously dashed into the Courtroom, bawling: “Gentlemen! Hear me! Fanning is on his way here to take you prisoners.”
It is said that never before, or since, has the Cumberland Courthouse cleared so quickly and completely. Despite Avera's warning, several of them were captured before they could get out of town. Avera was among those who escaped.
The Tories hung around Cross Creek several days, robbing, plundering, burning and destroying what they called “Rebel property.” It was on this raid they captured Thomas Hadley, member of a zealous Whig family, and staked him out in a swamp, a prey to insects. Poor Hadley's bleached bones were found months later.
Raiding courts was a specialty with Fanning's forces. They captured the Court at Pittsboro in Chatham County and then as a sort of dessert to the feast, they raided Hillsboro and made off with Thomas Burke, Governor of North Carolina, and many more prominent Whigs. They were taken to Wilmington by Capt. John McLean (of McLean's Mill) and thrown into Craig's Bull-pen, the enclosure where he kept most of his prisoners.
It was about this time that the massacre at Piney Bottom, now part of the Fort Bragg Reservation, took place.
When Cornwallis moved through upper South Carolina and into North Carolina on his way to Guilford County Courthouse, many patriots in his path fled with their families to refuge with friends on the Neuse River. Among them were Capt. Culp of South Carolina and Col. Wade of Anson.
After the British had left Wilmington for Yorktown and Green had marched back to South Carolina, Culp and Wade started back home with their families, and several friends.
They crossed the Cape Fear at Sprowl's Ferry (McNeill's) and camped for the night on Anderson Creek. During the night one of their party stole a piece of cloth from an orphan girl named Marion McDaniel. It was just a coarse piece of cloth but to the girl it meant a dress to wear to the kirk at Barbecue.
This theft was the spark that touched off the powder keg. John McNeill, another of Archie's and Jennie Bahn's sons, seems to have been the principal leader. For it was he who dispatched messengers to the various Tory hangouts during the day following the theft of the cloth. But McNeill found it convenient to spend the afternoon at Col. Folsome's, leaving there just at sundown.
From Folsome's to Piney Bottom was a matter of over 40 miles. But John McNeill was riding with Col. McDougald when they struck the Whig encampment at 3 o'clock in the morning. Several of Culp's party were killed, including a young boy whose head was slit open by one of the attackers. Culp, Wade and several more escaped and rode for help while the Tories plundered the wagons before setting them afire and leaving.
Culp and Wade returned to Cumberland County with 100 men and began a program of senseless bloodshed without parallel in the valley. Not even Fanning could match them in brutality.
It is interesting to speculate what would have happened had Fanning been available at this time. But he was in the Deep River country recovering from wounds received in the Cane Creek Battle.
Before they satisfied their lust for blood, Culp and Wade had murdered at least eight men, besides robbing many more and burning a number of homes. Oddly enough, Culp and Wade
stayed out of Harnett during this raid of revenge, confining their operations to what is now Moore and Hoke territory. Maybe they were hesitant to tackle the Tory big wheels.
Right after this raid, Culp himself was murdered.
After the war, Colonel Wade had John McNeill tried for his life for his part in the affair at Piney Bottom. However, McNeill put Colonel Folsome on the stand and proved he was at Folsome's home until sundown.
The jury promptly returned a not guilty verdict. It was impossible, they said, for a man to ride from Folsome's to Piney Bottom in the time stated. From then on McNeill was called “Cunning John.”
But John McNeill did make that ride. He practically had lived in a saddle all his life. Arch McDougald and John's brother, Daniel knew he made it; they were at Piney Bottom with him. But they were in Nova Scotia when John was tried. McDougald returned in later years. He is buried at Cameron's Hill, near the present village of Spout Springs.
Marion McDaniel knew McNeill made the ride, but she wasn't called as a witness. McNeill returned her piece of stolen cloth the day following the Piney Bottom incident. Now she could have her dress. It should have been a thing of wonder too. Fifteen men died on account of it!
These occurrences marked the turn of events in the Harnett area. In October of that year while the bands played, “The World is Turned Upside Down,” Cornwallis surrendered his British Army at Yorktown.
Major Craig abandoned Wilmington in November and sailed away. But Fanning still remained as a menace. However, he, too, left North Carolina in 1782. Now the Cape Fear Country could lick its wounds and set about rebuilding its way of life.Men Identified As Being From What Is Now Harnett County
SOURCES: Vouchers in Department of Archives and History, Raleigh, N. C.
U. S. Pension Lists, Washington, D. C.
Colonial and State Records
Cumberland County Records
NOTE: Unless otherwise indicated, all served in the Cumberland County Militia.
|Benjamin Atkins||Ica Atkins, In Moore's Creek Campaign|
|James Atkins||Capt. Alexander Avera, In Moore's Creek Campaign|
|Thomas Avera||John Green|
|William Avera||Capt. Philemon Hodges|
|James Aikens||William Hodges, Continental Line|
|Corporal Consider Bushee, Rhode Island Continental Line||Alexander Johnson|
|Mark Broom||George Killen|
|Michael Blocker||Capt. Neill McCrainey|
|Capt. Daniel Buie, Died on prison ship at Wilmington||Daniel McCrainey|
|Duncan Buie, Wounded by Tarleton||Major Alexander McDonald, Cumberland County Minute Men|
|Lt. Bedreddon Carroway|
|James Carroway||Archibald McDougald|
|John Carroway||Alexander McDougald|
|Daniel Clark||Hardy Matthews|
|David Clark||John Matthews|
|John Clark||Joseph Matthews|
|John Campbell||Jacob Matthews|
|Abraham Carter||Sgt. Alexander Morrison|
|Lt. Richard Creech||Lt. Mark Myatt|
|Daniel Cameron||Jesse Moore, In Moore's Creek Campaign|
|James Christian, Army of Revolution||Nathan Prince|
|William Cutts||Joseph Peoples, Captured by Tarleton|
|Capt. Robert Cobb, In Moore's Creek Campaign||Robert Phillips|
|David Dodd||Richard Plummer, Rhode Island Continental Line|
|Capt. Arthur Donnely|
|Francis Donnely||Edward Roberson|
|John Dobbins||Young Ryal|
|James Dobbins||William Roberson|
|Capt. Thomas Dobbins||Duncan Ray|
|Lt. George Draughon||John Ray|
|Edward Everage||James Reardon, Served in Maryland Militia|
|Joseph Edwards, In Moore's Creek Campaign||Walter Rand|
|Ephraim Faulkner||Neill Shaw|
|John Faulkner||Daniel Shaw, Shot by Tories|
|Francis Faulkner, In Moore's Creek Campaign||Col. David Smith|
|John Spears, Revolutionary Army|
|Col. Ebenezer Folsome, In Moore's Creek Campaign||Robert Scoggins, Continental Line|
|Isaac Folsome||John Small, Captured by Tarleton|
|Capt. Joshua Guest||Peter Stansell (Stancil), N. C. Line|
|Lawrence Strodder, Captured by Tarleton||William Sproal, In Moore's Creek Campaign|
|Neill Smith||Levi West, Drummer in Continental Line|
|Frances Smith, In Moore's Creek Campaign||Lt. William West|
NOTE: These men are listed because of a popular tendency to disregard the War of 1812 in this area.
SOURCE: N. C. State Records
Cumberland County Records1ST CUMBERLAND REGIMENT
|Capt. Archibald McCrainie||Thomas H. Massey|
|1st Lt. Daniel Shaw||John McKenzie|
|2nd Lt. John Shaw||Neill McNeill|
|Ensign John Hodges||Philip McRae|
|Jesse Bethea||Malcolm Patterson|
|Neill Buie||Angus Ray|
|Rowland Faulkner||Aaron Searcy|
|E. Folsome||Samuel Searcy|
|William Hodges||James Sorrell|
|Drury Massey||Frederick Yarborough|
|Capt. John Burt||Murdoch McLeod|
|2nd Lt. Murdoch Ochiltree||Archibald McGregor|
|John Avery||Asa Matthews|
|Young Blanchet||John Morrison|
|James Cameron||Hardy Parker|
|James Christian||Ica Parker|
|Malcolm Clark||Archibald Patterson|
|Levi Ennis||Asey Pearson|
|John Evans||George Searcy|
|John Johnson||Lemuel Searcy|
|Tapley Johnson||William Smith|
|William Kennedy||Jonathan Smith|
|James Killen||James Stewart|
|John Knight||Henry Urquhart|
|Duncan McLean||Norman Urquhart|
|Hugh McLean||William Watson|
No history of Harnett County would be complete without mention of two of its more famous women residents: somber-eyed Flora McDonald and red-headed Jennie Bahn McNeill.
Yet in the Colonial Records of North Carolina, and in the records of Cumberland County and of Anson County, no mention of either of these great women by name can be found. As far as those records are concerned, neither ever existed.
Let's take Flora McDonald first. She occupies a place in Scottish annals comparable to that of George Washington in our own history. Many books have been written about her life in Scotland and her brief stay in North Carolina. Barely is one book cold before another is hot off the press. And each succeeding writer points out the errors of his predecessor—then proceeds to grow a brand new crop of his own.
Flora McDonald's life in Scotland is too well known to be dealt with here. Just as a memory refresher: she was the daring young lady who was the main character in effecting the escape of Bonnie Prince Charles after his disastrous defeat at Culloden Moor in 1746.
For aiding him in his escape from his English enemies, Flora pulled a short sentence in the grim old Tower of London, where Sir Walter Raleigh spent his last days before being beheaded.
Because Prince Charles was much in the public eye, Flora shared in his publicity. However, to her fellow Scots she was either famous or notorious, depending on whether they liked or loathed her.
People then were pretty much as they are now. Human nature has changed very little through the years.
As for the Bonnie Prince—that unmannerly lout never even had the grace to thank Flora for risking her life and reputation for him. Beyond a simpering, “I trust we shall meet again in the royal palace,” there is no record of an expression of appreciation on his part.
And for poor Flora, she lugged around with her all the rest of her life a couple of bedsheets which that cheapskate slept between—mementoes of a great moment of her life.
In 1750 Flora married Allan McDonald, and in time they raised a family of five sons and two daughters.
With the worsening of economic conditions in Scotland, Allan and Flora sailed for North Carolina in the summer of 1774. They took with them their eldest daughter, Anne, with her husband,
Alexander McLeod, and their children (names not known); two sons, Alexander and James; and eight indentured servants. They landed at Wilmington in August or September of 1774.
R. E. Wicker, civil engineer of Pinehurst, N. C., is recognized in America—and perhaps in the world—as the leading authority on Flora McDonald in North Carolina. Over a generation of years he has made an exhaustive—and exhausting—research covering her life and movements during the nearly four years she lived in this state. From that point on this story of Flora McDonald is based on his research.
If we can believe tradition, the McDonalds journey up the Cape Fear to Cross Creek was one grand succession of balls, parties, and just plain celebrations.
After a short stay in Cross Creek, they removed to Cameron's Hill in western Harnett. Many people have wondered why they chose to live at such an out-of-way place. The answer is simple. Cameron's Hill at that time was the junction point of roads that led to the Deep River and to Salem, Averasboro and Fayetteville. A person who lived there could keep up pretty well with happenings throughout the Upper Cape Fear section. Nearby was located the important trading post of Marchant John Cameron.
There was another reason for the McDonalds going to Cameron's Hill. Flora had a half-sister, Annabella and her husband Alexander McDonald, who lived there.
In 1772 Duncan Buie sold to this Alexander McDonald 100 acres on the south side of a hill called Mt. Pleasant, a mile from the south prong of Barbecue Creek. This hill became Cameron's Hill a few years later when Allan Cameron purchased it.
The Cumberland court minutes of April, 1772, record that:
“Alexander McDonald complains that his indentured servant Angus Nicholson disobeys his lawful commands. . . . Court orders Nickolson to receive 7 lashes on the bare back with a hickory switch.”
Evidently Angus was beginning to absorb some of the spirit of freedom of those days.
It is very probable that Flora and Allan never intended to take up permanent residence at the Hill. They just “visited”’ with Alexander and Annabella while Allan looked around for a choice location. This he found in the lower part of present-day Montgomery County, then part of Anson. He bought of Caleb Touchstone two plantations: one 475 acres, the other 50 acres, and named his new home Killiegrey. This land was located on Cheek's Creek about one and a half miles northeast of Pekin.
The Register of Deeds office of Anson County does not show this transaction. Allan may have followed a practice quite common among the thrifty Scots of that period: The buyer and
seller admitting the transaction in open court, with at least one of the subscribing witnesses present to testify under oath that he witnessed the deal. This method cost neither party anything but it got the transaction on record in the court minutes. The deed could be properly registered, years later, if necessary, when money became more plentiful or further transfer of the property was made.
There were good reasons why Allan chose this location in Montgomery County. It was a goodly land, pleasant to look upon, for it was rolling country to remind the Scots of their own Hie'lands. And there were plenty of newly arrived Scotsmen in the area, their wrists bearing fresh scars from the Blood Oath they had taken before coming to America. That oath bound them to the King, whereas the Buies, Clarks, Dobbins and others of the Barbecue-Cameron's Hill section were not hampered by any such foolishness. They were pro-Whig and said so.
Too, the McDonalds had kin folk out there. Nearby lived old Hugh McDonald, Flora's step-father. Her mother Marion may have been there, too, but this is doubtful. Then there was Soirlee McDonald, along with a township full of McLeods, all of the same mind politically.
True, back at Cameron's Hill they had been nearer the center of operations. It was only a short distance to Cross Creek. Barbecue Church was nearby where tradition says Flora worshiped, and this is probably correct.
The house where the McDonalds lived at the Hill has long since gone back to the earth, but the Flora McDonald spring which supplied their water needs still flows.
There are many stories of Flora sitting on a rock by this spring, gazing into the bluish haze of the west, lonely and watching and waiting, waiting for her men folk out there hunting a site for their new home in this bountiful land where they hoped to live happy and peaceful lives.
And even then, up in New England, dark clouds shot through with lightning flashes were boiling over the sky. War!
No records have been found to indicate when Flora and Allan moved from Cameron's Hill to Killiegrey. A letter dated July 3, 1775 from the Safety Committee at Wilmington is addressed to Allan McDonald of Cumberland County. This would indicate Allan was still at the Hill. The Committee wanted to know if he intended raising troops for service against America.
In 1784 Allan filed a claim with the British government for damages sustained while in America. It is this claim that told of the lands he purchased in Montgomery County. In it he stated that the income from a grist mill on one of the tracts kept his
family in food. This would show the McDonalds moved there too late in 1775 to start a crop.
On April 20, 1776 the General Assembly refers to Allan McDonald as being a resident of Anson County. So sometime after July 3, 1775 Allan and Flora set up their new home at Killiegrey on Cheek's Creek.
In the meantime, their daughter Anne and her husband Alexander McLeod had bought a home they called Glendale. It was located on Wad's Creek between present-day Pinehurst and Carthage.
Then came the dreaded summons to war. On Jan. 10, 1776 Royal Governor Martin ordered General Donald McDonald, lately come from Boston, to raise a loyalist army.
From then on, if one can believe some writers, Flora spent all her time haranguing Highlanders, inspecting troops and taking parades. That she was a powerful factor in the raising of the loyalists there is no question, but a lot of the stories attributed to her during that period are just that—stories.
Nevertheless, a great many Highlanders and quite a number of the old-time Regulators rallied to the King's Standard as Cross Hill near Carthage for the march to Cross Creek. The Highlanders used their time-honored method of raising the clans: dipping burning crosses in goat's blood to extinguish them, then sending riders bearing the charred crosses in all directions to summon the clansmen to the rallying point on this hill near Carthage. Hence came the name Cross Hill.
They had been told they would be sent to Nova Scotia to be formed into regiments for service against the “Rebels” in New England. By the time they arrived at Cross Creek, it became evident that they would probably have to fight their way out of North Carolina and, in many instances, fight their neighbors and kinsmen. This was more than they had bargained for. At roll call each morning whole companies would be on the missing list.
Allan McDonald along with his sons, Alexander and James, and with his son-in-law, Alexander McLeod, had been issued officer's commissions. In spite of their efforts and those of other clan leaders, the army continued to melt away.
Finally, in sheer desperation, General Donald McDonald issued orders for the remainder of his army, now down to 1500 men, to march on Wilmington.
History records what followed at the Widow Moore's Creek on February 27, 1776. The Highlanders marched into a well-prepared trap; and in the massacre that followed, many of them were captured and the rest scattered through the woods. Allan and his
son Alexander were captured, but his son James and Alexander McLeod escaped.
Allan was jailed at Halifax, N. C., for a while before being transferred to Philadelphia and later to Reading, Pa. In a letter to a friend he plaintively wrote: “To walk on foot the length of Philadelphia is what I can never do.” But he did. After being kicked around from one bull pen to another, he was finally paroled to New York, where he arranged for the exchange of himself and his son in Aug. 1777.
Meanwhile, the confiscation Act of 1777 had been passed, and Flora McDonald was among the first to be ejected from her home. All the McDonald possessions at Killiegrey were confiscated save a few articles. Flora then moved over to the present Moore County, where she could be near her daughter, Anne.
Her new home was on Nick's Creek near the head of Chandler's Upper Pond on land owned by Kenneth Black, about three miles from Anne's home.
It was here she and, presumably, her son James lived until March, 1778, when her son-in-law, now Major Alexander McLeod, arrived under a flag of truce to take his wife and family and Flora and her son to New York.
Flora lived in New York for a short while before following Allan to Nova Scotia, where he was stationed with his regiment. She was in London in 1779 and back in Scotland the next year. She died on the Isle of Skye March 4, 1790, and was buried with Allan's kindred at Kilmuir. Sept. 20, 1792, Allan died and was buried at the same place.
Flora McDonald was one of the unluckiest women of history. Misfortune dogged her steps all the days of her life. Even in death she was denied a normal burial. A violent storm began raging the day she was to be buried and it was three days before her body could be committed to the earth. When a stone slab was erected at her grave, souvenir hunters promptly chipped it to fragments. In later years it was replaced by a massive Iona Cross, which despoilers found too tough to handle, for it is still standing, strong, indomitable—like the woman whose resting place it marks.Jennie Bahn
Contemporary with Flora McDonald was another storied woman who lived in the Harnett area. She was Jennie Bahn McNeill, born Janet Smith, daughter of John Smith, a lowland Scot, and his wife Margaret Gilchrist, who died on the voyage to America in 1739.
John Smith died sometime before 1754 and is buried on the land he owned across the river almost opposite Wade Station.
His grave is marked by a rough stone slab with the letters J S rudely carved thereon. He had a son Malcolm, who seems to have inherited most of his father's estate.
Janet Smith was born about 1720 and was probably married to Archibald McNeill shortly before, or around, 1748. From traditional accounts, Janet was small of stature and very attractive. She had red hair and a fair complexion, characteristics transmitted to many of her descendants. Her Scottish neighbors called her Jennie Bahn, meaning Jennie the Fair.
Her husband, Archie, son of Lauchlin McNeill and his wife Margaret Johnstone, was a man who liked to take life easy, so easy that he was known as Archie Scorblin’—or Scrubblin’—meaning insignificant, below standard, scrubby. Archie Scrubblin’, it seemed, enjoyed hanging around his cider barrel, raising the children he sired and Jennie Bahn bore. There were nine of them: seven sons and two daughters.
The active, driving Jennie Bahn spent much of her time in the saddle, looking after the family's cattle herds and taking up large areas of land. Each year she drove herds to market at Cross Creek and, on occasion, as far as Petersburg, Va.
Her surveying methods were original, if not accurate. They resembled the Indian method of measuring land by so many “shoots of an arrow.” She would send a slave to walk a certain direction until she rang a large bell. At the sound of the bell he was to travel another direction. By this method she would enclose large tracts which did not satisfy her neighbors in many cases. They claimed she infringed on their land.
This was probably true, for in time the lawyers of Cumberland were to rise and call her blessed when the suits began hitting the court calendar.
Oddly enough, the land grant office at Raleigh and the court records at Fayetteville do not once mention the name of this remarkable woman. The tracts she acquired by patent were entered in the names of her husband and children. In later years a son, Malcolm, was to spend much time in litigation over these “cowbell surveyed” tracts.
Stories tell of Jennie Bahn driving herds of 3,000 cattle to market as far away as Philadelphia. They couldn't take along enough feed or buy it en route to take care of a herd that size. There is a story that on a drive to Petersburg probably, when the feed ran out, she tried to buy some from a wayside planter. He refused to sell. Wherewith Jennie Bahn ordered his fence taken down and drove her hungry cattle into his hay meadow.
Cumberland County tax records show husband Archie and sons listing 500 cattle. Allowing a 3 to 1 lapse of memory ratio
at listing time, this would indicate a combined herd of 1500. That's still a lot of cows!
There is much evidence to show that Jennie Bahn did visit Philadelphia and that she did meet and admire Benjamin Franklin, who could be quite a party man when occasion required. Be that as it may, there has been a Benjamin Franklin in the McNeill and collateral family generations ever since her trips to Pennsylvania.
Jennie Bahn did not confine her land acquiring to taking up vacant land. She bought the Sprowl Ferry property, later McNeill's Ferry, by a neat bit of psychology, along with some cash.
She dropped in on William Sprowl one day shortly after the Tory raid on the ferry in 1781 when Andrew Beard was killed. Sprowl and his wife had been roughly handled by the raiders, and from current reports, he could expect another raid almost any time.
Naturally, he was unhappy. He was homesick for his native Scotland—or even Philadelphia where his brother lived. Jennie could talk to him fluently about both places—and did. Then she touched on the unsettled conditions in the Cape Fear country and how worthless property was becoming. When she left, Sprowl was blubbering and Jennie Bahn was sobbing her commiseration. But she had a signed option on his place at a figure far less than its real worth. Poor Sprowl never got back to his native Scotland, or even Philadelphia. Shortly after selling the ferry lands he mas murdered.
It is not to be implied that Jennie Bahn spent all her time out on the range. She was a good wife and mother but the driving force in her never allowed her to take things easy. There is an old song in the Valley that runs: “Upstairs, downstairs, Jennin Bahn the weaver.”
If we take this song literally it would imply that her home was two storied. Her family lived at various times in several locations. During the Revolution they lived at the old home place on Anderson Creek. It was here the British seized her saddle horse when a forage party passed by. Jennie Bahn went out to bid farewell to her horse. As she caressed the animal she stealthily ran her fingers up its neck and slipped off the bridle. “Git, you beast!” she shouted, slapping it with the reins. The mare took off at full speed. “Catch her if you can,” Jennie Bahn told the soldiers. They didn't.
On another occasion she was in the kitchen preparing a meal. There was company visiting them that day. Jennin Bahn reached for a skillet on the fireplace.
“Law! Mis’ Jennie!” shrieked the cook. “Don't use dat pan. De dog's been eatin’ out'n it!”
“Shucks!’ was the retort. “This isnt quality we're cooking for. The dog pan's good enough for them.”
There are stories of how she divided her sons during the Revolution, placing three in the American army and three in the British. One son, Archibald, was killed as a child by falling from a tree.
Actually, five of her sons, Lauchlin, Neill, Cunning John, Nova Scotia Daniel and Leather-Eye Hector served at various times with the Loyalist forces, Malcolm did serve a short stretch in the Cumberland militia and was county sheriff for one term during the war, but in the early days of the war he was indicted for urging one of the Treadway boys to join the King's forces.
It has already been explained how Cunning John received his name. Daniel got his by removing to Nova Scotia at the end of the war. Hector wore a piece of black leather over the socket from which the eye had been gouged in a furious fight with, of all people, his father-in-law to be, one Barksdale.
Barksdale didn't like Hector for beans. Least of all did he like him mooning around his daughter Susanna, and told him so. In the fight that followed, Barksdale beat Hector, but Hector was a persistent cuss. He came back a second time and Barksdale licked him again. The third fight was a lulu. This was the one in which Hector lost his eye. In retaliation, he bit off the tip of Barksdale's nose. He then married Susanna and they had a family of nine children.
Hector and Daniel were two of the outstanding Tory leaders during the war. While Daniel fled to Nova Scotia, Jennie Bahn and Archie, through powerful connections, managed to save their estates from confiscation and to quash any charges against their other sons save Cunning John, who came free, after trial.
Sometime after the war Jennie Bahn and Archie moved to another of their homes on the lower side of Lower Little River near “The Sandhills,” the seat of the McCormick family in Cumberland County. Here they lived the rest of their lives. Jennie Bahn died in 1791 and Archie Scorblin’ in 1801. They are buried in the nearby McNeill cemetery.
Harnett County would not be the same today if the versatile Jennie Bahn and the famous Flora McDonald had not passed this way.
A scant mile south of the active cotton-mill town of Erwin, and five hundred yards west of the old Raleigh-Fayetteville stage road, stands a grove of great oaks and giant beeches. To the south and southeast of this grove are cultivated fields. These fields lie where once stood historic old Averasboro, illustrious then and remembered now, as one of the most stirring, most ambitious and promising towns in North Carolina.
Time was when handsome homes vistaed its wide tree shaded streets. Its business section was crowded with wagons laden with wheat, corn, oats, hides and other products of the plantations, farms and forests of the countryside.
At the wharf-rimmed Cape Fear River, steamboats with clunking, tireless paddle wheels, came and went, or paused, pine knot smoke billowing in clouds from the stacks of their lightwood fired boilers. Their whistles sang hoarsely for clearance or warning, the basso-profundo arias of the operas of commerce.
Occasionally, there would be heard the crash of gunfire as exuberant planters and workers celebrated in a manner which was to become storied in the yet unborn days that were to see our own “wild and wooly” West. Sometimes, too, the blasts of guns left lifeless forms sprawled in the dust or huddled on bar-room floors. If anyone wanted a fist fight, no rules needed or heeded, he could always be accommodated in old Averasboro. Even preachers were not immune.
On one occasion Rev. William Byrd, pastor of the Baptist Church which served this area of roaring roisterers, had the tip of his nose bitten off in a furious fight. He was hauled before the Association for conduct unbecoming a minister. However, the Clerk of the Association happened to be thoroughly familiar with Averasboro and its lively citizens.
“Brother Byrd,” he inquired, “how long have you lived in Averasboro?”
“Three years,” replied the minister.
“Is this the first fight you've had since living there?”
The Clerk turned to the assembled Churchmen. “Brethren,” he said, “any man, be he minister or not, who has lived in Averasboro for three years and has only been in one fight deserves to be praised instead of censured. I move we dismiss the charges against Brother Byrd.”
Old Averasboro is gone now. The town is a misty silhouette
in a purple haze of tradition, dimly seen in tattered fragments of ancient records. Its sturdy people, with their ambition, daring and occasional downright deviltry, too, are gone.
There in that grove of beeches and oaks they lie in the leveling influence of marked and unmarked graves. Ofttimes side by side will lie gentlemen and gamblers, scholars and skinflints, rogues, rascals and Men of God. There are soldiers, sailors and heroes, barroom brawlers and churchgoers of stout heart and saintly mien. Men and women of high quality—and some not so high—lie there in the peaceful shade. All are gone but their brave hearts live on. They were the Averasboro that was.
The early days of Averasboro are not distinct, sharply drawn or complete. They are largely legendary, and a legend as defined by a venerable old Negro is: “Somep'n that wuz but ain't.”
The vanished records of ancient Barbecue Church are said to claim a settlement existed there as early as 1729, and that it was called Averyville. Yet the first recorded Avera or Avery—they spelled it both ways—doesn't show up in the area until 1766. Whence came the early name, Averyville?
Back of all this smoke of tradition is at least some fire of fact. Shortly after 1700 the mouth of the Cape Fear River harbored a devil's den of pirates, who made swift, slashing raids on coastwise and West Indies-bound shipping. Tradition has it that one of these pirate-privateers was a Captain John Avery of Delaware. They became an insupportable burden.
Weary of paying toll to such freebooters, the South Carolina indigo and rice planters organized an expedition against them.
In 1719 in a bloody battle off the present town of Southport, the South Carolinians permanently liquidated many of these wreckers, robbers and rogues of the high seas. According to our own Colonial Records, “Some were killed outright, others were taken to Charleston and after proper Tryall were hanged as Fitt. Some escaped up ye River to ye Interior of ye Provynce.”
Again we fall back on tradition, for it is said that among those who fled up the river were members of the priate crew of Captain John Avery. That raiding rascal himself escaped and returned to his home at Avery's Rest on the Delaware River. There he lived to a ripe old age and probably died in the full certitude of the salvation of his sinful soul.
Certain it is that when the Legion of Restless Men and the following wave of permanent settlers came up the river in the 1730's, they found many streams and prominent landmarks already named by men living there. This is proved by land descriptions in the early land grants.
It is possible that some of these ex-pirates did settle in the area and called their settlement Averyville in memory of their
captain. This was the head of pole boat navigation on the river. Too, an old Indian trial running from Virginia to South Carolina passed nearby. On ancient maps it is designated as Green's Path to the Pee Dee.
From this location they could get information from chance wayfarers as to goings on in the outside world. They could, and probably many did, take Indian wives. This might account for the nearby present day settlement of Croatan Indians on Black River. This is supposition and not fact.
On June 4, 1740, John McAllister secured a grant for the land that Averasboro was later to stand on. On a branch draining the lower part of the tract he built a grist mill. His neighbor, John Martinlear, on the opposite side of the river promptly established a ferry, so the settlers on his side of the stream could have access to McAllister's mill.
In 1761 McAllister sold 350 acres, including the mill, to Stephen Phillips, who disposed of it to Abraham Giddens in 1763. Giddens in turn sold it to Alexander Avera in 1766.
Alexander, with his cousins Henry and William Avera, had come strolling down Green's Path from their residence on the Neuse River above Smithfield to see what all the shouting was about on the Cape Fear. Or maybe he came down to satisfy his curiosity about a place called Averyville.
The short, stout Alexander at once saw the possibilities of the area. The progress of any section—or nation, for that matter, depends upon transportation facilities. Here before his eyes was a broad highway to the sea and the outside world. He was later to learn about the falls above and below Averasboro that so seriously hampered river traffic, even in pole boats.
Roads radiated from Martinlear's Ferry to John Dobbins on Barbecue, to Choeffenington, to Duplin Courthouse and, of course, there was Green's Path, not to mention the King's Highway from Brunswick to Hillsboro which had been laid out in 1756 and ran through the middle of Avera's land. It was a section made for development.
By 1774 he had established a tavern and a store where the King's road and ferry road crossed. Thereafter he took to signing himself Alexander Avera, merchant.
Meanwhile, Cousin Henry had established a cooperage on the bluff where the ferry road made a sudden swoop down to the river, and was turning out large quantities of barrels for shipment of tar and turpentine to market.
A tannery and a blacksmith shop were established, and when Dan Vicars came over from Dobbs County and opened a store the infant settlement became a lusty youth. A village with two
stores! Why that practically made it a city, at least in the eyes of its inhabitants.
Then came the red days of the Revolution, and for the next five years the people of the area had no time for anything except just simply keeping alive.
With the end of the war the people had time to take stock. Many of their homes were destroyed, fields unplowed. Cattle that had escaped the raiders wandered untended. It was a hard prospect they faced.
Courts functioned again and order was restored, slowly at first. It takes a little time to recover from a drunk. Sheriff Hadley's good right arm became weary of flogging bare backs at the Cross Creek whipping post and his stomach sickened when he had to nail thieves’ ears to the pillory before severing them. Hard remedies but helpful.
With the return of a fair degree of normalcy and prosperity, the people of the Valley again turned their attention to the river. Up it to the northwest lay the lush lands of the Piedmont crying for an easier outlet to market than the rough roads leading to Petersburg on the north and Charleston to the south. But the fearsome falls at Smilie's and Buckhorn had them stymied.
Meantime they engaged heatedly in the controversy over the location of the state capitol.
There is a persistent tradition that Averasboro lost the location by one vote. No evidence has been found to support this tradition. However, the junction of the Deep and Haw Rivers was considered and this may have given rise to the Averasboro story.
Be that as it may, people on the west side of the Cape Fear savagely fought the location of the capitol in a broom-sedge patch in Wake County. Even today, it is claimed, it was only put over on them by skull duggery. They were served a deceitful concoction called cherry bounce by the hospitable pro-Wake delegates. When they again assembled their scattered faculties, they found they had been outvoted and had lost the fight for the capitol.
Alexander Avera and his neighbors laid the failure to the fact that their town was not properly established. They went to work with the result that the legislature of 1791 ordered the town of Averasburg to be laid off on 120 acres of land donated by Alexander Avera.
The first town commissioners were Philemon Hodges, David Smith, William Avera, Robert Draughon and William Rand. Averasburg was ready to go places!
In their mind's eye they saw an inland port with ships drowsing at their anchorages like sleepy cows in pens. They visioned
the power of Smilie's Falls harnessed to factory wheels, and mentally created a city of wide streets lined with business houses and beautiful homes.
They were under no illusions. One fact stood out clearly: in order to make their dreams come true they must first tame the turbulent river and make it navigable.
In 1792 the Cape Fear Company was organized for this purpose. From existing records it appears this company did very little except to make some preliminary surveys.
In the meantime Averasburg had been steadily growing. By 1796 about 40 families lived there. Its stores and industries were doing a land office business, for the town was rapidly becoming a trading center. Though the river might be wild and untamed above the town, it was navigable for pole boats below, even flat boats in time of high water. It was on these boats the products of the farm and forests were carried to Fayetteville and Wilmington.
In 1796 the general assembly chartered the Cape Fear Navigation Company and the whole upper Cape Fear Valley was galvanized into activity. The town of Lyons at the junction of the Deep and Haw rivers was chartered. This town was later to be known as Haywood.
It was decided to build canals around the Great Falls at Buckhorn and Smilie's Falls above Averasburg. Construction began first at the Buckhorn site. There the going was not so rough and the canal diggers moved steadily along.
Just above Averasburg, work began on the canal that was to by-pass Smilie's Falls. At first the digging was easy. Slaves were utilized to do the digging and the deep rolling melody of their singing rose above the thump of the pick and the scrape of the shovel as they drove the canal upriver.
Ahead of them went the surveyors, charting the course of the canal and marking the location of the flumes which would bridge the ravines and creeks.
Week by week the canal crept steadily upstream; through Elizabeth Stewart's lowgrounds, by William Avera's cowpens and the lonely rock which was said to be haunted by a red headed ghost. The slaves rolled fearful eyes toward it and the tempo of their picks and shovels increased. They wanted distance between themselves and the rock—the quicker the better.
It was finally passed and the canal moved on toward Thornton's Creek and Pleasant Plains, the summer home of that Man of Mystery, Ferquard Campbell. Then disaster struck.
Up on Long Island where stands some of New York City there begins a rock ridge. It humps its way southward and roughly parallel with the Atlantic coaist. Its trail is clearly marked where
it crosses streams of water. The Fall Line, it is called, giving us the Falls of the Potomac, the James, the Neuse and so on. It widens as it pushes southward until it reaches the Cape Fear where there are two clearly defined ridges: one at Buckhorn, the other at Smilie's, twenty miles below.
The upper ridge at Buckhorn is composed of softer forms of rock and canal diggers went through it without too much trouble. Not so at Smilie's Falls.
When the canal struck this ridge it stopped like a small half-back hitting a heavy line. This wasn't the soft rock of Buckhorn. This stuff was like granite in its hardness.
The engineers rechecked their borings and even made new ones. Through some mischance their original test pits had missed this rock ridge on both sides by a matter of feet.
It was the day of gunpowder. It simply wasn't powerful enough to blast a way through this hard rock. If Nobel and his dynamite had come along about that time there would be statues to him in the Valley today.
Sadly, the people of the Valley admitted defeat in their first encounter with the river, and set about rescuing what they could from the wreckage of their fortunes.
Around Averasburg, as elsewhere along the river, the high sheriffs of Cumberland and Chatham were busy selling out the unfortunate investors to satisfy creditors.
Many of the younger people turned their thoughts and feet westward in a mass migration from the upper Valley. Today thousands of people living in Georgia, Alabama, Arkansas and even South Carolina can trace their ancestry to Averasboro and the Cape Fear Country.
Though they had taken a beating in their first fight with the river, the Averasburgers and others were not whipped. They crouched on one knee, so to speak, and took a count of nine.
In 1819, under the constant prodding of Archibald D. Murphey, champion of internal development in North Carolina, the state hired an English engineer named Hamilton Fulton to make a survey of the principal rivers and canals of the state and report on them.
Something else had happened. The steamboat Henrietta was making regular runs on the Cape Fear from Fayetteville to Wilmington.
The people of Averasboro (it had altered its name by then) and the upper Valley shook their heads to clear the financial cobwebs and climbed to their feet. They were ready for round two.
The engineer made his report later in 1819. He recommended a canal running from Fox Island (below Lillington) to Fayetteville.
This would effectively by-pass Smilie's Falls. It would also to by-pass Averasboro, so the citizens of that area took a dim view of the plan.
He also advised a series of locks and dams on the river instead of using sluices, jetties and canals.
The people of the upper Valley went at the river again. Locks and dams were begun at various points along the river. At Buckhorn two sets of locks were constructed to handle the fourteen feet of fall at that point.
The very first time they were tried they buckled under pressure of the water and were swept away. At this same time the river decided to go on a rampage—and it did. It took out the locks and dams still under construction like they had been something children would play with in a branch.
Once again the river people were on the ropes. This time the mass migration went to Alabama and Texas, while those who remained sought to do their best with what was left.
Barring the bout with the river the people of Averasboro hadn't been doing too badly. They still had pole boat transportation down the river. Their town was steadily growing.
In 1803 they had established an academy and in 1815 a Presbyterian church was organized. The people of the Borough, snorted one oldtimer, are becoming effete.
Between 1825 and 1848 the little town had a steady growth. More business establishments came into being. Cotton was being cultivated in quantities sufficient to make a gin profitable.
The pine forests still rated top honors in the products that could be turned into ready cash. But the day of doom was rapidly nearing for these friendly, provident pines.
With the coming of the steamboats, Fayetteville became the great trading center of North Carolina. Customers came by wagon from Salisbury, Salem, Mt. Airy and other distant points. These wagons were laden with the produce of those regions, and they went back loaded with products sold by the Fayetteville merchants. The roads were miserable affairs of mud and mire during the rainy seasons and not much better during dry weather.
In 1840 something happened that caused the Fayetteville merchants to cease their gleeful counting of profits and take a searching look at what was happening elsewhere. The look dismayed them. That year of 1840 marked the building of a railroad from Wilmington to Weldon. Other roads were being projected to Greensboro, to Charlotte and other points.
The Fayetteville boys were not dumb. They went to work on three projects in order to hold their commercial supremacy. Plans for making the Cape Fear navigable as far up as Hancock's
Mill in Moore County were dusted off and construction started in 1848. This time there was better engineering. The dams were packed with rock and the locks were more substantially constructed.
Another project involved the construction of plank roads radiating in all directions from Fayetteville. These were made of planks about eight feet long, three or four inches thick and of varying width. They were placed on pine stringers and the whole covered with sand, thus making it unnecessary to use nails to hold the boards in place.
The Fayetteville and Western plank road to Salem was the first to be constructed and placed under toll. These toll houses were about 11 miles apart and the thrifty Scots, who lived nearby, promptly constructed by-pass roads around the toll houses. One toll house was located a short distance west of Cameron's Hill in Western Harnett. Nothing now remains of the toll house, but the by-pass road around it is still discernible.
By 1854 this road was completed to Bethania beyond Salem and long wagon trains were rolling down from the hill country, bound for Fayetteville. It was reported 20,000 wagons used the road during that year of 1854.
The third project was the construction of a railroad running from Fayetteville up through western Harnett to the Deep River coal fields. This road was completed to McIver's Station near the old Egypt coal mine just as the War Between the Statees erupted.
When Joe Bullard, who lived near Spring Hill church, saw the first engine in operation after it was unloaded at Fayetteville, he could hardly wait to get home with this amazing news. Next day at church he spread the news of this wonderful steam car that ran all by itself. Poor Joe was promptly suspended from the church rolls for lying!
But back to the locks and dams on the river.
These were constructed by Northern contractors. Dungin, Cartright Company was one of them. James Watts of Maryland was another. With him he brought an experienced construction crew of ten men, mostly carpenters and blacksmiths. Foreign labor was extensively used. These workmen were predominantly German, though there were many Italians, Hungarians and Slovaks—not to mention the Irish.
An item in the 1852 files of the Fayetteville Observer informs us that, “A message has just come in over the telegraph wires telling of the departure of 125 Germans from New York City for Fayetteville to work on the locks and dams. 500 men will be employed.”
While the Atkins dam and lock were being built above Lillington,
the Italian laborers had their camp on a nearby hill. Today it is still called Italy Hill.
Naturally, Averasboro prospered from all this added river activity. It was the town's high water mark that day in 1856 when Captain Thomas Matthew Brady took the first steamboat, the John J. Haughton, all the way up to Haywood.
The Fayetteville Observer of March 11, 1858, records the arrival of the steamer Haughton from Haywood with 125 bales of cotton. These river steamers were about 100 feet in length with a 15 foot beam and drew a little over two feet of water. They could carry upwards of 40 tons.
About this time the sheriff of Harnett County had some misunderstanding with the navigation company about a little matter of taxes. In 1857 he levied on the Fox Island lock and dam and sold the whole to the highest bidder, Tailor Hugh McLean, for 25 dollars! The matter was finally adjusted.
Shortly before the beginning of the War Between the States the Cape Fear went on another rampage and, in spite of the rock packing, practically all dams below Battle's dam at Buckhorn were swept away. The advent of the war stopped any attempts at reconstruction. However, the dams above Battle's were kept up so that John Colvin could carry on his mining operations and transport his iron pigs upriver to the Western Railroad.
After the war was over the entire upper Valley was too poor to engage in another battle with the river. Post war Averasboro began a slow decline. It still had its school and churches, its business houses on a smaller scale, blacksmith shops and cotton gins. But the town seemed lifeless for the hand of Reconstruction lay heavy on its shoulders.
Then came the days of the Ku Klux Klan. Once again the Averasboro area thundered with the hoof beats of horses carrying white hooded and shrouded riders, restoring law where law had nearly disappeared.
Then came the day of the Great Betrayal, when it was learned that an informer had wormed his way into the Klan and turned over a list of the Klansmen to the Federal marshals.
The informer was left huddled in a lifeless heap on a street in Averasboro, and the last mass migration from that town was under way when the marshals rode in. From all over the country dust clouds were rising as the disbanded Klansmen headed for Texas and other faraway places, the hooves of their horses drumming a slow dirge for the town that was Averasboro.
For Averasboro never recovered. The war had taken many if not most of its younger men. Now, in the time of betrayal, nearly all of them were gone.
The coming of the railroad sounded the death knell for the town. Its business houses and people began moving away, many of them locating in a little village called Lucknow, four miles to the east. Even its cherished Masonic lodge, Palmyra 147, moved there in 1888. By then, George Grantham had stood on the back platform of a railroad passenger car and proclaimed that henceforth there was no more Lucknow—only Dunn.
The year before, N. R. Richardson, Editor of the Dunn Signboard, the town's first newspaper, in an editorial advised the recently elected board of town commissioners they should do something about pulling the stumps from Lucknow Square and removing fallen logs from the main street of the town! Make room for the new. The old must go.
Thus died the old town of Averasboro. But its brave heart still lives on in its children who have made other towns what they are today.
A writer once described the people of Harnett as follows:
“There are gentlemen and scholars, elders and deacons among them; roughnecks, drunks and cardplayers, too.
“They have been good soldiers and some of them heroes, others, goldbrickers. They have had good sense, and many times they have acted most foolishly.
“They have had distilleries and barrooms when the law allowed, and bootleggers when it didn't.
“Occasionally, they have shot one another for good cause—or no cause at all. They have never taken a beating lying down, and they get up most unexpectedly.
“They have left undone the things they should have done and done the dangdest things instead. There is good blood in the worst of them and bad blood in the best.”
They are an agreeable lot but sticklers for their rights. If they think they are being imposed upon—look out! This trait goes back—way back. Read the petition of the freeholders of Cumberland County, dated 1757:
“To the Governor, Council & Afsembly of the Province of North Carolina:
“We, the persons listed have been much opprefsed and injured by some of those in authority among us. In particular Thos. Armstrong and Will: Dawson whom we look upon as the cause of all the confusion among us; they have always oppofsed every good measure and endeavored to turn everything to their own privat advantage as may be seen by the evidence delivered with this. They are a disgrace to the Bench and have rendered themselves unfit to sit upon it.
“May it please your Excellency, the Hon'ble Council and you Gentlm of the Afsembly to take this petition into consideration that you may remedy the evil in such manner as you see fit; but we must beg leave to remind you that our confusion is great and dayly increasing and hope you will speedily interpose and prevent further evile acts.”
The petition is signed by 97 persons, 60 of whom lived in the Harnett area. It is a matter of regret they did not list their grievances in the petition. Among the Harnett signers were: David Smith, hewgh Smith, Dushee Shaw, Arch'd. McNeill, Hugh McLean, Daniel Buie, Hugh Ray, Neill Clark, John Brown, Jacob Blocker and Jofsanfrsiayillyiligh. The wording of the petition
and spelling of the names of the signers are copied letter for letter. Attention is called to the last name. Whoever it was, lived on Upper Little River.
Thus at the early date of 1757, Harnett citizens were unhappy about being oppressed in some manner and wanted relief, quickly, too.
Even the ministers of the gospel ran afoul of these traits of the early settlers in Harnett. Rev. John McLeod who preached at Barbecue from 1770 until 1776 said, “I would rather preach to the most polished and fashionable congregation in Edinburgh than to the little critical carls of Barbecue.”
What aroused the ire of the “little critical carls of Barbecue” was Rev. McLeod's tendency to stray from the printed word of the text. They took their religion straight and read their Bibles plain, did these men of Barbecue, and were quick to criticize any deviation.
The people of Harnett rose to new heights of indignation and dissatisfaction in 1765 when the county seat was moved from Choeffenington, near Linden, to the recently established trading post at Cross Creek. This added 20 miles and another day's journey on their trips to court. From that time on the mumbling and grumbling of most of the settlers above Lower Little River could be heard on every hand.
No matter what happened it could always be blamed on the Yankee traders at Cross Creek, who ran the county affairs to their own advantage, and profit. If there was too much rain, if the cow suddenly went dry or the youngest daughter eloped with an itinerant farm hand, blame it on the folks at Cross Creek.
Folks living in county seats have been “whipping boys” for the rest of the county since time immemorial. They are fair game in any season. There was some basis, though, for this attitude of Harnett settlers toward Cross Creek.
It is a popular custom to refer to Cross Creek as a town of Scottish merchants. Nothing is, or was, more fallacious. There wasn't more than one Scottish merchant per dozen among the early business establishments of Cross Creek, or Fayetteville. One good long look at the census records and tax lists will prove this. And if that isn't enough, a trip through the old section of Cross Creek cemetery will do it. The place is full of old tombstones relating that the persons buried there were natives of New York, Connecticut, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts. Following are the “Scottish Merchants” of Cross Creek, Lewis Barge, Lewis Bowel, Lord & Fletcher, John White, Robert Cochran, Edward Winslow, Malette & Emmitt, Cook & Edwards, Ward, Nathan & Co.—not a Highlander in the bunch! Diligent search did turn up a Robert Gillis who may have been a Scotsman
and a McNeill who ran a grist mill who most certainly was Scottish, but these two fall far short of being a community of Scottish merchants. Highlanders do not tend to be merchants.
Besides, no true Scotsman would have mulcted his cousins, those “Caledonian clodhoppers from up-country,” as one Cross Creek merchant facetiously called them.
That pent up resentment against the Cross Creek merchants may have been the reason why they were so thoroughly looted by those “up-country Caledonian clodhoppers” when Ray, McDougald and Mc Neill raided the town in 1781.
After the Revolution's ruin had somewhat been repaired and life got back on a more or less even keel, talk of forming a new county began to be heard again. Then, in the 1840's Ben Atkins, who lived near Lillington, shot and killed one of the Manchester McDiarmids at a political gathering near Mamers.
Tradition says that until the shooting the politically powerful McDiarmids had been opposed to the erection of a new county. Now they were all for it—if they were “included out.” Just so they were left in Cumberland. They didn't want to be in the same county with the Atkins family.
Whether the story is true or not, when Harnett was laid off, the line left the natural boundary of Lower Little River near McCormick's Bridge and cut across country, thus leaving the McDiarmids in Cumberland.
In 1854 Cornelius Harnett Coffield, who lived between the present towns of Angier and Chalybeate Springs, was elected as the Harnett area representative from Cumberland to the State Legislature.
This body met in November, 1854, and Coffield introduced the bill providing for the formation of Harnett County. J. G. Shepherd, another Cumberland representative who lived in Fayetteville, bitterly fought the bill—so did the rest of Cumberland County. They liked losing the Harnett section about as much as a man enjoys losing a leg.
Nevertheless, the bill was ratified Feb. 7, 1855. It was entitled: “An Act to Lay Off and Establish a New County by the Name of Harnett.”
Sec. 1. “Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of North Carolina and it is enacted by the authority of the same that a new county be formed from a portion of Cumberland under the name and style of Harnett, to be bounded as follows:
“Beginning at the intersection of the lines of Johnston and Sampson counties on Black Mingo, thence a direct line to the mouth of lower Little River, thence up said river to the bridge at Elliott's Mills, thence a straight line to the place on the Murchison
Road where Hector's Creek crosses, thence with said line to the Moore county line (meaning with said road to Moore County line) thence with said line to the Chatham county line, thence with that to the Wake county line, thence with that to the Johnston County line, thence with that to the beginning.”
Following this Act or Chapter comes that of Chapter 9.—which is supplemental to the above quoted and makes provision for the organization of the County of Harnett, its government and its courts and the terms thereof, its officers, its temporary county seat and many other things quite needful in launching forth a new County.
Sec. 1. Authorizes all Justices living within the territory comprising the new County of Harnett, to continue in office and discharge the duties pertaining to such office.
Sec. 2. Provided alike for all Constables to continue in office and discharge the duties peculiar to the Constabulary.
Sec. 3 provided that the counties of Cumberland and Harnett shall be represented in the General Assembly as heretofore, until a future General Assembly shall direct and otherwise provide; and all elections for members of Congress and members of both houses of the General Assembly and elections for president and vice-president shall be held by the Sheriff or other returning officer of Cumberland County, etc.
Sec. 4 of said act provided for the holding of the old County Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions, by a presiding and two associate Justices of Peace and designated also the times and places of holding the sessions. The times named were the second Mondays in March, June, September, and December.
Sec. 5 provided for the jurisdiction of the Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions, and for the removal of all cases from Cumberland Courts to the Harnett Courts, where the parties thereto resided in the new County.
Sec. 6 provided for the new County of Harnett to have the use of the common jail of Cumberland County until Harnett County should build a jail.
Sec. 7 provided or enacted that George W. Pegram, John Green, Eldridge Stewart, James A. Johnson, James P. Hodges, John W. McKay and Samuel E. Johnson be and they were by said section of said act appointed to lay off and allot the County seat of Harnett County within three miles of the geographical centre, with power to purchase or take by gift or donation a tract of land not less than one hundred acres, to be conveyed to the chairman of the County Court and his successors in office, for the use of which
a town shall be laid off to be called Toomer, and within the limits of which the Court House and other public buildings shall be located and erected.
(The geographical center of Harnett is near the home of Lofton McLean of Lillington, Route Two, and is marked with a lightwood stump).
When said buildings shall be completed, the courts of the county shall be held there, and the public officers shall keep their respective offices there, and in said section it was further provided that said Commissioners should act in concert with a like number of commissioners appointed by the County Court of Cumberland to survey and mark the lower or dividing line between Cumberland and Harnett, and to be paid the price of two dollars per diem for time actually engaged.
Sec. 8 provided for appointment of five commissioners to lay off the lots of said town, to designate public squares, to expose to sale such lots, retaining such, as in their judgment may be needed for County purpose, for churches and Academies, taking bond for security for the purchase money, etc.
Sec. 9 provides that the Sheriff of Cumberland shall have the right to collect arrears of taxes, none to be collected for year 1855 by said Sheriff of Cumberland except the school tax.
Section 10 provides for the jurisdiction of the Superior Court of Cumberland of Harnett County capital cases, and equity cases, etc.
Sec. 11. Relates to Harnett poor.
Sec. 12. Relates to fees due Clerk of Cumberland.
Sec. 13. Contains the usual repealing clause of all acts and parts of acts in conflict with this act, Chapter 9 of laws of 1855.
The Commissioners named in said Act in conformity with the same, by virtue of the power and authority vested in them, proceeded to select and did select a site for the Court House and other public buildings for the County of Harnett within the village called Summerville.
And the Justices of the Peace in and for the County of Cumberland within the limits and the lines of the County of Harnett, having on this 11th day of March A.D. 1855 convened within Cumberland Academy, the following Justices being present, viz: Robert Belden, Samuel A. Johnson, A. J. Cameron, D. B. Cameron, Duncan McCormick, John McDonald, James Harrington, A. Clark, John L. Atkans, M. McKay, J. Senter, Nathan Douglass, J. W. McKay, A. Cameron, G. W. Pegram, S. Douglass, Stephen Pearson, Matthew Wilder, K. Jones, Daniel Cutts, Joseph Reardon,
Henry Avery, Norman Matthews, Nathan Tart, E. Stewart, Samuel Ellis, William Williams, the same being a majority of the whole number of Justices;
Whereupon on motion, G. W. Pegram was elected Chairman of the Court and James Banks Clerk Pro Tem. Samuel E. Johnson, Benjamin Shaw and John L. Atkins were put in nomination for the office of Clerk, and K. Jones and Allan J. Cameron were appointed tellers, and upon a ballot being had Benjamin F. Shaw, having received a majority of the whole votes cast, was declared to be duly elected—who tendered as his securities Angus Shaw, H. M. McLean, Julius Matthews, Eldridge Stewart and J. W. McKay who were approved of by the Court, and qualified and entered upon the discharge of his duties.
The names of James A. Johnson and John R. McLean were put in nomination for the office of Sheriff, and upon a ballot being had, James A. Johnson received a majority of the whole number of votes cast and was declared to be duly elected Sheriff and tendered as his securities upon his Bond the names of Tapley Johnson, J. L. Bethea, A. H. Dewar, H. M. Turner and Neill S. Stewart, who were approved by the Court and he qualified and entered upon the duties of his office.
John Green qualified as a Magistrate of the County.
The names of John A. Spears and Neill McKay were put in nomination for the office of County Solicitor and Neill McKay, having received a majority of the whole number of votes cast, was declared to be duly elected and qualified and entered upon the discharge of the duties of his office.
The names of S. Pearson, J. W. Spence, J. L. Bethea, Robert B. Smith and Hugh McLean were put in nomination for the office of County Trustee, and John L. Bethea having received a majority of the whole number of votes cast was declared to be duly elected and tendered as securities the names of John W. McKay, Daniel McCormick and Tapley Johnson, who were approved by the Court when he qualified and entered upon the discharge of his duties;
The names of John McDonald and Arch Bethea were put in for nomination for the office of County Surveyor;
And Arch Bethea having received a majority of the whole number of votes cast and was declared to be duly elected and tendered as securities the names of John L. Bethea, Hugh McLean, who were approved by the Court;
On motion, Duncan McLean was appointed Register of Deeds for the County and tendered as his securities Hugh McLean, John Spence and Julius W. McLeod, who were approved of by the County;
On motion, Johnathan Holly was appointed Entry Taker for the County.
On motion, amount of the Trustee's Bond shall be for Twenty Thousand Dollars;
On motion, Hector McLean was appointed coroner for the County and tendered as securities Hugh McLean and Arch McLean, who were approved by the Court;
The names of John M. McDonald, John Green, A. S. McNeill, Daniel McCormick, Daniel Cutts, John L. Atkins were put in nomination for Committee of Finances; John Green, A. S. McNeill and Daniel McCormick having received a majority over the whole number of votes cast, were approved.
On motion, James T. Reardon was appointed Standard Keeper for this County.
This was the first and most harmonious political meeting ever held in Harnett County as such—a regular love feast, so to speak. It was probably the last, if we can rely on the records.
It was so harmonious that Whigs voted for Democrats and Democrats for Whigs (the two main political parties of 1855). They even stood as surety for one another! Greater love hath no man . . .
No finer men probably ever lived than the seven appointed by the Legislature to select a county seat for Harnett. They were good, honest, earnest men with the welfare of the county uppermost in their minds. Actually, the site they selected (at Summerville) called Toomer, by directive, was and is, a better location for a town than is the land which Lillington now occupies.
The ink had barely dried on the first documents at Toomer before the bellyaches and protests poured in.
First, some didn't like the name Toomer. We spend 100 years breaking away from Cumberland and the first thing we do is honor a Fayetteville lawyer by naming our county seat for him, they said.
On the East side of the river the complaints were far more vociferous. When the river was up—which it frequently was in those days—the people had to leave their vehicles strung out all the way from where Willoughby Spence now lives down to the river, cross on Atkins’ Ferry and walk, mind you, walk the three miles to the county seat. People hated to walk then as much as they do now. A taxi service from the ferry to Summerville would have made a fortune.
Then, too, a lot of people didn't like the arbitrary manner in which the jail was built. There was a concerted chorus of, “I told you so's”, when the first prisoner, George Ferguson, dug his way out through the soft brick and weak mortar as soon as he
got sober enough to stand up. But that soft brick jail stood for nearly 75 years.
Too, the owners of the land at Summerville, which was to be the county seat site, wanted a reverter clause in the deed. This, the County Commissioners would not accept.
So heated became the controversy that the Legislature of 1858-59 passed an act providing for an election to determine if the county seat should remain where it was or be moved to the proposed site of Lillington.
For site was all Lillington was. (It was composed of two buildings.) Cader Davis lived in a two room house near where Joe P. Smith now lives; and a free negro, named John McLean, ran a barroom in a 10′ × 12′ shanty which stood between the present Harnett County News plant and the old hotel across the street. A sort of old river road ran by it.
Poor John had to move his barroom when the new board of town commissioners told him none of them could sign their names, so they couldn't write him a recommendation required by the County Commissioners!
Thus Lillington lost its first business enterprise.
In the meantime, Lillington had carried the election held in October, 1859, by 312 votes.
The County Commissioners bought 100 acres of land from Nathaniel G. Jones for $500.00, and in 1861, the town, named for General Alexander Lillington, a hero of the Revolution, was officially laid off.
It is rather curious that this new county and its seat of government, centers of Tory activity during the Revolutionary War, should be named in honor of their two most hated enemies, neither of whom probably ever set foot in Harnett.
No Courthouse was built at Lillington until 1867. This was a wooden building and was burned in 1892. The present brick Courthouse was built in 1897.
In the meantime, all superior and county court cases continued to be held at the Academy in Summerville. Prisoners were jailed at Fayetteville.
If a person wanted to register a deed, he took it to the home of the Register of Deeds. However, on Saturdays, most of the county officials could be found hanging around the business houses in town or at the Academy in Summerville.
After the building of the Courthouse in 1867, the county affairs were carried on in a more business-like manner. By that time, several buildings had been moved to Lillington, including the old Bailey Hotel at Toomer—or Summerville. This old hotel now stands forlornly back of the town hall.
Caswell isn't the only County in North Carolina to have a murder committed in its Courthouse.
Harnett's murder should never have happened. In 1881 some negroes were giving trouble around the courthouse. Sheriff Green called William Henry Johnson to help him. Billie McLean, a respected and well-liked negro, remarked that he was going to get help. Johnson misunderstood Billie. He thought he said he was going to help the rioting negroes.
Johnson struck Billie so hard across the head with his gun he broke both. Billie died on the spot. Johnson threw the broken gun under the Courthouse doorsteps and fled to Texas, where he lived the rest of his life.
In 1911 by act of the Legislature, the boundary line of Harnett which ran from the intersection of Johnston and Sampson Counties on Black Mingo to the mouth of Lower Little River was shifted to its present location. This was done to accommodate the inhabitants of that area.
There have been several attempts to take territory from Harnett—either to add to existing counties or to form a new county. These attempts failed.SOME OF THE OFFICERS OF HARNETT COUNTY WHO HAVE
|Sheriffs:||Registers of Deeds|
|James A. Johnson||Duncan McLean|
|J. R. Grady||A. J. Kivett|
|Kenneth McNeill||J. A. Sexton|
|John A. Green||D. H. McLean|
|C. McArtan||J. R. Grady|
|J. H. Pope||John A. McKay|
|S. A. Salmon||H. T. Spears|
|Frank Pearson||J. M. Byrd|
|Frank Pope||A. C. Holloway|
|J. B. Lanier||W. Hamp Stewart|
|I. W. Smith||A. M. Shaw|
|J. M. Byrd||John McLeod|
|W. H. Turlington||W. H. Faucette|
|J. W. McArtan||Miss Mamie Sexton|
|A. F. Fowler||Thad H. Pope|
|L. K. Matthews||Edwin Harrington|
|J. H. Tart||Mrs. Inez Harrington|
|A. F. Fowler|
|W. E. Salmon|
|C. R. Moore|
|Clerks of Court|
|B. F. Shaw||A. A. McDonald|
|J. W. Atkins||L. M. Chaffin|
|J. A. Cameron||Howard Godwin|
|Geo. E. Prince||L. M. Chaffin|
|F. M. McKay||Robert B. Morgan|
|J. H. Withers||Elizabeth F. Matthews|
|F. H. Taylor||Robert B. Morgan|
|W. P. Byrd||Elizabeth F. Matthews|
In the history of Man, there came first an Age of Stone, and then an Age of Copper and Bronze. Next came workers in Iron, and the Tubal Cains of the third Age by slow trial developed steel. Steel in their hands was charcoal-smelted iron out of which had been hammered or burnt the excess of carbon mixed into the stinted harvests of the red ores, which signified ordinary cast iron until decarbonized.
These oldsters knew nothing of sulphur and phosphorus, the sly and pervasive adulterants which robbed purified metal of its strength. With mighty sinews they hammered and tortured the glowing billets into shapes which slowly forced out the free carbon that lurked between the fibres within the raw metal. Little by little they compacted and cleansed the billets, changed fibre to grain, refined the grain, drew out from hiding latent keenness and resiliency the qualities which made steel.
These ancient ones were tireless in working their metal and even nitrided it by rule-of-thumb methods of their own finding. At last they produced Damascus steel or a Toledo blade, worth its weight in gold in their day and time. These steels of fame happened to be exceptionally free of phosphorus and sulphur, even today the great enemies of iron metallurgy.
In time, wherever iron, lime, and charcoal were found closely together, a special breed of men went into the wilderness to the ore beds or near them and smelted the rocky masses of solid rust to flow into blooms. Their iron went to civilization for marketing in an age that was avid for more and more of the metal. These men were the “ironmasters” of Nineteenth-Century America, each with his stock of secret knowledge for working ore.
Some made ploughshares. Others made wagon parts, nails and spikes, tools of the crafts, in an ever-expanding complexity of service.
Not all these lots of iron from different furnaces were similar. Some obstinately refused treatment to which other lots and origins were complaisant. The impurities were always sulphur, phosphorus and silicon, a puzzle which always varied.
But certain irons were far superior, from certain places of origin. They had purity. To understand how this purity came about, one has to go back to the earth's youth and tie it to a secret of Nature found only a few years ago. In very ancient days, many millions of years ago, our atmosphere was raw with formaldehyde and deadly with carbon monoxide. Formaldehyde was the
“crooked stick” of chemistry, which later was to make woody fiber. The carbon monoxide was gradually to change to carbon dioxide, which stood ready also to change into vast stores of formaldehyde by added hydrogens. Thence came sugar, starch, and cellulose for the carboniferous age.
Only within this generation has it been found that carbon monoxide gas can be a maker of pure iron. Passed over impure iron in any form, and at a certain temperature carbon monoxide eats away and unites with iron molecules to make iron carbonyl, a new gas entirely. So soon, however, as this extremely poisonous iron carbonyl loses its temperature, it drops its iron in absolutely untainted form as countless trillions of tiny spheres, and turns back again into the original carbon monoxide.
Here, then, could be iron without sulphur, phosphorus, or silicon, unless contamination came afterwards. It might have carbon in it, however, if the iron seized the oxygen of the carbon monoxide. This carbon in sufficiently low quantity would transform the iron into steel itself. If there were too much carbon, it could be worked out to make steel, capable, for example, of being magnetized permanently at ordinary temperatures.
There was iron everywhere in the world among the rocks of the mountains, but very little which was bedded deposits from iron carbonyl. Ancient North Carolina had its share of this rarer origin, while Mother Earth was in the throes of her early existence. At this time, after the earth crust was formed, some scientists believe that a passing heavenly body plucked away from the site of the South Pacific Ocean a massive ball of the inner core of the world, which was at once dropped and discarded to become the Moon. The remaining earth crust flowed towards the vast cavity and, as it slid, formed the great mountain chains around the Pacific, the enormous crevasse between South America and Africa's coastlines, which fit into each other, and so on. On land a thousand lesser geological faults appeared in the rocks as cracks, and the rock faces slid against each other or folded like plastic clay.
The original carbonyl-deposited bed of North Carolina iron, and all North Carolina to the Alleghanies, sank below the sea for ages; perhaps sank and rose several times. Under the sea, as everywhere in the world, the ocean water with its chemicals was able to pulverize the rock into sand. In the gradual rise North Carolina emerged as a great sand bed—red sand, red clay, red loamy soil mixtures. Lush forests grew in this type of soil. The uprising land was overburdened with chance masses of carbonate of lime or lime as masses of fossil oyster shell. Rivers flowed in the coastal plain and the central plateau. The miniature hills of the plateau merged into the larger hills of the piedmont section.
Then they grew into the vaster masses of the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Smokies, rolling and rounded. Such was the country at the end of the Ages.
In the northern areas of Harnett there was especially wild terrain, given over to ruggedness and rocks, to hills that were of their own kind, not fully the rolling and rounded contours to the south. The hills were red, as was the country of sand towards the sea.
John Colvin, ironmaster, following his bent, instantly interpreted the red hills. They proclaimed, “Iron! Iron!! Iron!!!”, to his seeing eye. He prospected the area and found a deposit of “magnetite,” in fact, “granular magnetite.” And what did all this mean?
First of all, “magnetite” was ore that could hold magnetism of itself. It was, in effect, already steel. And it was “granular.” Though John Colvin did not know it, the ancient iron carbonyl in changing back to carbon monoxide had let its tiny spheres of iron so pure that they melt at 1200°, instead of 2300° F., to cement themselves into pea-sized nodules. They met John Colvin's eye as a workable bed of iron ore a rod or two thick.
Nature had at hand in Harnett immense areas of primeval forest on land too rough for agriculture, too distant for easy lumbering. These John Colvin saw. He looked for limestone but found fossilized oyster shell deposits. All he needed was his melting and reducing furnace and power for blowing compressed air into his tuyères, which would heat his charcoal-stoked mixture of red ore and cleansing lime to yield a free flow of iron.
The man, Colvin, is somewhat of a mystery. He was a Scot and a Lowlander. He was merely one of the many Adventurers in Iron in a rough country, who paced the backlands of the settled areas and was an heir to the Adventurers in Land, such as Red MacNeill and his companions, who had traversed the same areas a hundred years before. Nobody knows whence he came, or to what locality he went in his hunt for iron.
He had with him a gigantic man-of-all-work, Big Henry by name. Whatever John Colvin planned, Big Henry put into effect lustily and profanely, ruling and driving his gangs of men and hired slaves with wonderful oaths and forceful commands. Rough and rugged as were the social conditions in the backlands, even the Scotch and English settlers were shocked by Big Henry and his language and unanimously prophesied for him an afterlife in hell.
John Colvin and Big Henry located the enterprise near the Buckhorn Creek, running into the Cape Fear River, far north at the edge of the rocky country, where the Cape Fear roared its
way over obstructing reefs, shelves, and barrier ridges, with scanty lands roundabout for agriculture.
The location was at an old sluiceway, intended to by-pass the Great Falls at Buckhorn. John and Big Henry placed the furnace beside the ruins, over half a century old, of a canal that was to make, in a earlier day on the Cape Fear, a watertrack around the Falls in which should float scows laden with heavy freight. The scows did not draw much water, but there was considerable drop. The sluiceway had to make provision for the descent, and the necessary depth of water actually demanded much heavier construction than was given to the gates for controlling the flow.
This had been learned sorrowfully by the Cape Fear Navigation Company in 1800, or thereabouts, when the sluiceway was planned between Buckhorn and Parker's Creek. Of three loaded bateaux put through, one made the passage safely; the other two were dashed to pieces at Battle's Upper Falls, as the newly-built lock gates gave way under a 14-ft. head of water.
But by 1861, when John Colvin and Big Henry arrived, the land had recovered and public works along the Cape Fear had established locks and dams in the river at this very point. These were in operation, and not only were steamboats carrying freight, but new vessels were being planned or building. Colvin's problem of transportation of his product was solved, and the old sluiceway was capable of being a treasure trove for a planning ironmaster.
Earth flow had crept into the neglected cutting. The blockage was a great many cubic yards, nearly as costly to remove as the original labor had been for the excavation. Colvin and Big Henry let water into the channel, flowing it swiftly. The banked landslides were shoveled, little by little, into the rapid current, and the speed which had been so disastrous to the bateaux of nearly two generations earlier at John Colvin's hands became a beneficent servant.
There was some rock left in the sluiceway, but it was small labor to remove this. Hercules in the Augean stables had cleansed them by the same method, and perhaps John Colvin arrived from the Deep South or the Land of Ten Rivers, where a rice planter had told him the Classic story, or he may himself have read the tale in his own Classic textbooks in the original tongue.
Three hundred yards above the lower end of this new channel, and alongside a fifty-foot hill, John Colvin built his furnace. The renovated cutting he dammed to make waterpower available. He had the rough materials roundabout him, waiting on his ingenuity. Harnett stone made him blocks for masonry wherewith to build a great Holland's bottle flask of stonework, which was lined with firebrick and calked with refractory clays. In the bottom
were channels and a sump for collecting the molten iron, with provision for a clay plug to block the run-off or commence it, when the iron had been melted. Also there were apertures to receive air blasts under pressure. Above, leading from the hilltop, was a chute, down which mingled ore and lime would pour to charge the furnace, alternated with charcoal ready to develop fierce heat.
In the dammed canal a waterwheel arrangement operated compressed air cylinders, ready to supply vast quantities of blast to the devil's broth within the stone flack through the system of pipes, which led to the receiving ports in the base of the square stone bottle. The great structure, lastly, was bound within a protection of notched logs. These logs interlocked and took the stress of the masonry in tension, if the charge within the stone flask wedged itself or developed hydrostatic pressure during a heavy melt. Very ingeniously John Colvin used local material almost entirely for his project.
The installation was squat and crude. The oyster shell came from the Tertiary Bluffs, 20 miles below Fayetteville. There was limestone only twenty miles or less distant in west-central Harnett itself, a memory of the days when the country had rested beneath the sea for many eons. Colvin possibly distrusted the limestone, or wished to substitute a water haul of more uniform oyster-shell lime for a wagon haul of stone across rough country.
In Harnett, through the primeval forest wagon trailways radiated in all directions to convenient charcoal burnings. Wagons carried the near-by mined ore of Buckhorn also to the hilltop. The oyster-shell limestone piled in great heaps. Big Henry, or perhaps more likely John Colvin himself, started the fires under the first charge, and the canal waterwheels turned their blasts of air into the nozzles of the tuyères.
Beneath the furnace vent were channels waiting, which gave on cross channels the “sows,” and to each sow were shorter and broader channels reached by a narrow neck, the “pigs” awaiting their fiery milk. Big Henry or John, perhaps, with a crowbar punched at the clay plug until it gave. Out streamed the transparent amber liquid, molten iron, shining and smoking. It followed the set channel system, ending at the pigs which made up the first melt of Buckhorn iron.
Just what date John Colvin's furnace went into blast is not definitely known at present. But it must have been shortly after the start of the War Between The States. Harnett County's records for that period were destroyed by fire in 1893, but the older residents of Buckhorn make the date 1862.
Colvin's furnace had a name before it ever went into blast and red iron began to flow from it. The big-eyed open-mouthed Cape
Fear Indians had named it for him. “Ock-Noc,” they called it—meaning “rock pot.”
John Colvin made good iron in old Ock-Noc—especially after a negro worker slid down the charging chute into its roaring maw and vanished with a blood chilling scream in a puff of smoke. True, Colvin didn't make much iron—about five tons daily—but it made up in quality what it lacked in quantity. The Buckhorn ores possessed a peculiar quality similar to the famed Swedish ores.
When the War Between the States flamed in all its fury, Ock-Noc continued to turn out good iron. Most of it went up the Deep River by steamer to the Western Railroad terminus at McIver's Station near the Egypt coal mine at the present village of Cumnock. From there it was shipped to Fayetteville and used by the Confederate arsenal atop Haymount Hill.
With the war's end the furnace went down, and John Colvin and his giant foreman moved on to other pastures. During the Reconstruction days it became a sort of political football, changing hands frequently until 1870.
In that year there came into the Buckhorn Hills one of the most remarkable men the upper Valley had ever known, George G. Lobdell, the Delaware ironmaster.
Born in 1818 near Plymouth, Mass., George Granville Lobdell was orphaned at the age of fourteen and went to Wilmington, Delaware, to live with his aunt, Mrs. Jonathan Bonney, a sister of his mother.
His uncle, Jonathan Bonney, was associated with a Mr. Bush in a foundry and machine shop business at Wilmington, and young George Lobdell was apprenticed in the shops.
He showed remarkable aptitude for the business, and in 1836, when he was barely eighteen years old, he became shop manager.
That year really marked the beginning of the Lobdell Car Wheel Company—though it wasn't until 1838 that young Lobdell assumed his uncle's interest in the firm following Bonney's death.
The firm name was changed to Bush and Lobdell and continued as such until 1859, when Lobdell acquired complete control. He operated the business under his own name until 1867, when it was incorporated as the Lobdell Car Wheel Company.
Following 1840, when the railroads began to fling their lines to all parts of the country east of the Mississippi, the firm of Bush and Lobdell became closely allied with them. Their specialty was the manufacture of chilled tread car wheels, an important factor in the success and expansion of the railroads.
Always was George Lobdell in search of better materials and methods for making better and safer car wheels. In 1874 he
prepared a paper for the then infant Master Car Builders Association in which he said:
“My practice has always been to break up all wheels about which there was the least doubt—to break up hundreds rather than run the risk of sending one bad wheel away.
“As a result I have yet to learn of the first person being killed or maimed by the breaking of a Lobdell wheel Only by using the finest materials and exercising the greatest care in manufacture has this been possible.”
It was his effort to secure the “finest materials” that brought George Lobdell to the Buckhorn hills in 1870, following reports of his chemists on the rare quality of the iron from that region.
Now Lobdell was a hard headed business man, but he too fell victim to that mysterious malady that possesses nearly every inhabitant of the upper Valley. “Shoot the works—all or nothing,” might well be their twin mottoes.
These Buckhorn folk shot the works in the Revolution with freedom as their goal and continued oppression their alternative. They won that fight.
They went all out again in their battles to subjugate the Cape Fear River in 1796, 1820, and 1850. And each time the muddy old river marshalled its devastating forces and sent most of them into a bankrupt's court.
George Lobdell, not to be outdone, “shot the works,” too. He began operations by taking over the old Endor furnaces on Deep River near Cumnock. Part of the ore used by that furnace came on steamer drawn flats from the Buckhorn mines. To Lobdell's way of thinking, that was a waste of transportation. Or maybe he was unduly influenced by a paper Fred Genth, consulting chemist and geologist, read before the Franklin Institute the latter part of 1871.
“At Buckhorn on the Cape Fear,” reported Genth, “there is a large bed of granular magnetite from which about 6,000 tons of very superior iron have been produced. The bed is between twenty and thirty feet thick and lies almost horizontally between layers of micaschist . . .”
Be that as it may, George Lobdell set about to create a second Pittsburg at Buckhorn. He formed the Cape Fear Iron & Steel Company in 1872 and drew plans for a battery of blast furnaces.
But his Yankee sense of caution returned to him in the nick of time. Instead of beginning construction on several furnaces he started off with just one.
He located that on the old canal almost on the spot once occupied by John Colvin's log pen furnace. Right there, though, all similarity between the two ended. Lobdell's was the latest thing in hot blast construction.
It was an ironstack job fifty-four feet high with a diameter of ten feet at the bosh. Two turbine water wheels drove the blowing cylinders, which fed the blast through heating ovens to the furnace. A mechanical hoist supplanted Colvin's wheelbarrows for charging the iron monster with ore, oyster shells, and charcoal.
Two miles downriver at the ore hill on Jim Battle's plantation Lobdell rigged up a cable railway—the weight of the loaded car pulling the empty back up the hill, after it had dumped its ore on a lighter moored under the projecting end of the trestle.
The ore lighters were towed up the river by the steamer, George G. Lobdell, on through the Buckhorn locks and then floatted down the canal to the furnace.
Meanwhile, Calvin Prince, the ex-slave, was smudging the blue Buckhorn skies with the smoke of his charcoal kilns, and down in the company stables, Joe Walcott, the head mule skinner, had a full audience listening in admiration and awe as they learned an entirely new set of cuss words. It was Walcott's job to see that charcoal was delivered to the furnace, and it didn't take many weeks for his wide tired Conestoga wagons to criss-cross the woods with a network of roads.
On a hilltop back of the furnace Superintendent Early built himself a fine two-storied home, overlooking George Fuquay's violet beds on one side and the furnace on the other. Dominating the whole series of operations was the dynamic Lobdell, a John Colvin and a Big Henry rolled into one. The new Buckhorn furnace was ready to go into blast.
It had taken time to complete all these preparations and it was the middle of 1875 before the roar of the air feed echoed from the nearby hills.
Were this a fiction story it would be a suitable place to end it with iron furnaces and rolling mills sprouting like weeds and a great city taking form on the Buckhorn hills.
Not so. That hundred thousand dollar furnace operated for only a few weeks, and the records of the Lobdell Car Wheel Company show they received just 383 tons of iron from it!
Then the ore supply failed. That thirty foot thick vein of ore ended at a rock fault—simply vanished into thin air. The examinations of the geologists had not been exhaustive. They had made facts from assumption. There just wasn't any merchantable ore left at Buckhorn.
George Lobdell took to tramping the hills as if he were looking for something he'd lost—which he had. But neither he nor all the hired geologists in the world could find the lost ore bed of Buckhorn.
In November of 1878 Professor A. E. Verrill of the Sheffield Scientific School of Yale University drove the last nail in the coffin of the Buckhorn blast furnace when he reported:
“The great mass of ore at Buckhorn seems to be entirely worked out. Instead of continuing northward in the direction of the dip the bed was found to be abruptly cut off by two faults of the rocks. The uplifted portion of the ore bed seems to have been destroyed by denudation. Test borings on adjacent lands offer no hope. Practically, therefore, the Buckhorn mine may now be regarded as exhausted.”
Sadly, George Lobdell bade farewell to the country where he had tried to found an empire of iron and steel and returned to Delaware. That he failed was no fault of his. The failure merely gave him the privilege of joining the ranks of other splendid men of the Cape Fear country who fought good fights—but lost.CHAPTER X
To most people in Harnett the big war was not the Revolution or the two world wars. It was the War Between the States.
Harnett sent over a thousand of its sons to battle in this conflict—an average of one out of every family.
Like other counties in North Carolina Harnett furnished the manpower, the doughfoots, the boys who did the fighting. Other states furnished the generals. Harnett's highest ranking officer was Col. Kenneth Murchison, commander of the 24th battalion of home guards—old men and young boys. Its highest ranking field officer was Major John A. D. McKay.
To those familiar with the present pay scale in the army, it may come as a shock to learn what a soldier was paid in the Confederate Army.
A first sergeant received $20.00 per month; buck sergeants $17.00; Corporals $13.00, while the lowly private got $11.00. Cooks, nurses, and stewards in the Hospital Department were paid 25 cents per day.
They were paid every two (2) months, when they were paid at all. In addition they received a small clothing allowance. If they re-enlisted, they received a bounty of $50.00.
Until the Conscript Law of 1862 went into effect, a man could hire another to fight in his place for $400.00.
This developed into quite a profitable racket. A man could hire out for another, collect his $400.00, and promptly desert. He would then move to another county, hire out again, and then desert again.
Passage of the Conscript law knocked out this bit of graft.
At the beginning of the war, J. W. Atkins hired out as a substitute for W. Gill. Poor J. W. fought for four fierce years for that 400 bucks. He was one of the six Harnett men to surrender at Appamattox Courthouse. Perhaps that may explain the notation opposite his name on the surrender list. The Yankees gave him a mule, a bridle and a saddle. Maybe they figured he earned the items. Private Atkins became better known in later years as Dr. James W. Atkins.
The Conscript Act set an age limit. The Silver-tongued Orator of the Cape Fear, Harnett's own Dan Hugh McLean, was discharged under its provisions on “account of extreme youth.” He was 14 years old when he enlisted in 1861.
One Company of Harnett troops did not surrender. They were Company D of the 3rd Cavalry.
The day before Appamattox the pitiful remnant of this proud band of heroes cut its way through the encircling Federals and escaped.
There were no Harnett troops engaged in the Battle of Averasboro in lower Harnett fought March 16, 1865. In fact, the battle was fought almost entirely by Gen. Hardee's Corps of South Carolina men.
The Yankees lost 684 men, killed, wounded and captured. The Confederates’ loss was about 600.
In the following list of Harnett County men who fought in The War Between The States, we know there are some duplications and some omissions. From 1863 until the end of the War, Moore's Roster of North Carolina Troops offers very sketchy information. This will explain why some family records do not tally with this one.
NOTE: In “Remarks” column, abbreviations have the following meanings: C—Captured; D—Killed or Died in Service; Dg—Discharged; Dt—Detailed for Special Duty; W—Wounded; M—Missing; R—Resigned.
|Adams, James D.||Pvt.||D||50th|
|Adams, James E.||Sgt.||D||50th50th||D|
|Adams, J. E.||Sgt.||D||50th|
|Adams, John J.||Pvt.||D||41st|
|Adams, Joseph E.||D||50th|
|Adams, W. H.||Sgt.||D||50th|
|Adams, W. H.||Pvt.||B||50th||D|
|Armstrong, J. C.||Pvt.||F||35th|
|Alston, Gideon P.||Pvt.||D||41st|
|Arnold, Abel L.||Pvt.||I||31st|
|Arnold, W. L.||Pvt.||I||31st|
|Arnold, W. S.||Pvt.||I||31st|
|Arnold, L. B.||Pvt.||F||15th|
|Arnold, Solomon||Pvt.||F||15th||Surrendered at App.|
|Arnold, Thomas H.||Pvt.||F||15th||Surrendered at App.|
|Atkins, B. F.||Pvt.||H||72nd|
|Atkins, J. W.||Pvt.||F||15th||Surrendered at App.|
|Atkins, Neill M.||Pvt.||F||15th||W|
|Atkins, J. H.||D||3rd|
|Atkins, John H.||Pvt.||D||41st|
|Atkins, William T.||A||Battery 10||Dt & W|
|Atkins, W. T.||G||Unknown|
|Autry, J. H.||H||50th|
Top: Harnett County Courthouse, Lillington
Center: Tomb of General Alexander Lillington
Bottom right: Gravestone of Cornelius Harnett
Top: Harrington Postoffice. Bottom left: Facsimile of John M. L. Harrington's “ The
Young American,” a handwritten magazine published in 1858. Lower right: The old and
new: Jim Harrington and Ruby Denise.
Top: Oak Grove, home of John Smith, now
owned by Jim Byrd. Used as Confederate
Center: Monument to Confederate dead at
Bottom: Lebanon, House of E. W. Smith,
used as hospital by Confederates.
Mrs. Harvey Ferris,
Dr. W. C. Melvin,
E. W. Smith, Jr.
Mrs. Charles Ross,
built about 1845
Dr. H. M.
Dr. H. M.
a ride in 1915
Photo of two men in a one-horse buggy
and first Harnett
doctor to own an
The last of the
river raftsmen, Alex
Snipes of Erwin.
Tailor Hugh and
G. W. Pegram, Chairman of Meeting Which Established Harnett County.
B. B. O'Quinn
J. R. F. Stewart
C. S. A.—Upper left, Hardy Collins; upper right, B. B. O'Quinn; lower left, Sherod Patterson; lower right, J. R. F. Stewart.
Brother of Janie Smith
Brother of Janie Smith
Brother of Janie Smith
Brother of Janie Smith
Brother of Janie Smith
Brother of Janie Smith
Brother of Janie Smith
Brother of Janie Smith
Janie Smith and her eight brothers
|Avera, Calvin A.||Pvt.||F||15th||D|
|Avera, L. A.||Pvt.||F||15th||D|
|Avera, William A.||Pvt.||F||15th||D|
|Avera, John B.||2nd Lt.||B||31st||D|
|Avera, John D.||Pvt.||B||8th Btn.|
|Avera, Henry C.||Pvt.||B||8th Btn.|
|Avera, William R.||Pvt.||B||10th Reg. (Bat. 8)||M|
|Avera, Thomas J.||Pvt.||B||8th Btn.|
|Atkinson, Joseph H.||Captain||H||50th|
|Bain, W. A.||Pvt.||H||50th|
|Baker, James A.||Cpl.||C||36th||D|
|Baker, Patrick H.||Cpl.||C||36th|
|Ballard, J. A.||I||31st||W|
|Ballard, John M.||Pvt.||F||15th||W|
|Barber, W. R. A.||Pvt.||C||50th|
|Barclay, William D.||Cpl.||A||5th||Dg|
|Barbour, Wm. R. A.||I||24th|
|Barham, William H.||Pvt.||D||41st|
|Barnes, David A.||Pvt.||B||8th Btn.|
|Barnes, Henry M.||Capt.||B||8th Btn.|
|Barnes, Neill||Cpl.||B||8th Btn.|
|Barnes, Thomas H.||Pvt.||F||15th Regt.|
|Barnes, Rory||2nd Lt.||F||15th Regt.|
|Baucom, James H.||Cpl.||C||56th Regt.|
|Baughcum, J. A.||Cpl.||F||24th|
|Bayles, J. W.||Pvt.||F||15th||W|
|Bayles, John I.||Pvt.||F||15th||Dg|
|Bayles, W. B.||Pvt.||H||50th|
|Buhman, Gustavus||1st Lt.||D||41st|
|Beasley, Charles R.||Pvt.||B||8th Btn.|
|Beasley, J. J.||Pvt.||F||15th|
|Bethea, Wm. C.||A||10th Btn.||Dt|
|Bethea, Wm. C.||G||6th Btn.|
|Bethea, Wm. J.||2nd Lt.||I||31st|
|Bell, B. J.||D||38th|
|Bethune, W. J.||Pvt.||A||63rd|
|Betts, A. D.||C||31st|
|Betts, W. H.||Pvt.||C||31st|
|Betts, Andrew W.||C||31st|
|Betts, Andrew N.||2nd Lt.||C||31st|
|Bishop, A. A.||Pvt.||F||15th||Dg|
|Black, Daniel A.||Pvt.||B||56th|
|Black, J. A.||Pvt.||B||56th||D|
|Black, D. A.||Pvt.||F||15th|
|Black, Daniel R.||Pvt.||F||15th|
|Blackman, Wm. C.||Pvt.||D||41st|
|Blackman, Wm. G.||Pvt.||C||7th|
|Blizzard, D. P.||Pvt.||F||15th||Dg|
|Blizzard, John D.||Pvt.||F||15th|
|Branch, J. W.||Pvt.||F||15th|
|Brewer, S. W.||Pvt.||D||15th|
|Brafford, Aaron A.||Pvt.||E||40th|
|Brooks, A. P.||Pvt.||D||41st|
|Brooks, Geo. W.||Pvt.||D||41st|
|Brooks, Thomas J.||Capt.||D||41st|
|Brooks, Wm. M.||Pvt.||D||41st|
|Brooks, John B.||Pvt.||E||8th||Dg|
|Brooks, Robert W.||Pvt.||H||50th|
|Brown, A. S.||Pvt.||H||30th|
|Brown, J. L. A.||D||41st|
|Brown, O. T.||Pvt.||B||51st|
|Brown, Elisha||Pvt.||B||8th Battalion|
|Brown, J. R.||A||63rd|
|Buchanan, A. B.||Pvt.||E||73rd|
|Buchanan, F. B.||F||6th|
|Buchanan, T. B.||F||6th|
|Buchanan, J. W.||Pvt.||F|
|Buckner, Jesse —||Pvt.||D||41st|
|Buie, Allen M.||Pvt.||C||7th|
|Buie, Bailey||E||56th||Hosp. Steward|
|Buie, Neill M.||D||41st||Hosp. Steward|
|Buie, William J.||Pvt.||D||41st|
|Burnes, Adolphus J.||Pvt.||D||41st|
|Burnes, Robert M.||Pvt.||D||41st|
|Bullard, J. A.||I||10th Btn.|
|Butts, George D.||Pvt.||I||31st||D|
|Butts, Samuel A.||Pvt.||I||31st|
|Butts, Jesse J.||Pvt.||B||8th Bn.|
|Byrd, B. B.||Pvt.||H||50th||D|
|Byrd, Henry R.||Pvt.||D||41st|
|Byrd, John H.||Pvt.||H||50th|
|Byrd, J. L.||Pvt.||H||50th|
|Bryan, Benjamin R.||Pvt.||D||41st|
|Byrd, Robert J.||Pvt.||D||41st|
|Byrd, Richard D.||Pvt.||F||15th||D|
|Cameron, A. D.||F||50th|
|Cameron, D. A.||Pvt.||E||73rd|
|Cameron, Daniel E.||Pvt.||E||8th||Dg|
|Cameron, Hugh D.||Pvt.||D||41st|
|Cameron, James J.||Pvt.||E||8th|
|Cameron, John A.||Pvt.||H||46th|
|Cameron, John C.||Pvt.||C||7th|
|Cameron, Mill G.||Pvt.||A||46th|
|Cameron, Neill A.||Pvt.||E||8th||M|
|Cameron, Randle McD.||Pvt.||E||8th||D|
|Campbell, Daniel B.||Pvt.||E||8th||D|
|Cameron, Thomas A.||Pvt.||C||7th||M|
|Campbell, B. C.||C||31st||W|
|Campbell, Daniel B.||Pvt.||E||8th||D|
|Carter, Maxwell||Pvt.||B||8th Battalion|
|Capps, A. J.||Pvt.||B||54th|
|Cates, John A.||Pvt.||I||31st|
|Cheek, James M.||A||1st Battalion|
|Christian, George W.||Pvt.||I||31st|
|Churchill, J. R.||Pvt.||C||31st|
|Clark, J. E.||Pvt.||E||73rd|
|Clark, James A.||Pvt.||D||3rd||W|
|Clegg, Benjamin F.||Pvt.||D||41st|
|Coats, Burwell||Pvt.||B||8th Battalion|
|Coats, Hezekiah||Pvt.||B||8th Battalion|
|Coats, J. T.||K||72nd|
|Coffeld, C. H.||1st Lt.||I||31st|
|Coffield, James W.||Pvt.||B||54th|
|Coffield, Wm. H.||Pvt.||B||8th Battalion|
|Cercey, Eldridge||Pvt.||B||8th Battalion|
|Collins, A. J.||I||50th|
|Collins, Hardy||Pvt.||B||5th Battalion||W|
|Collins, R. W.||Pvt.||H||72nd|
|Collins, S. G.||Pvt.||G||1st|
|Colville, James H.||Pvt.||F||15th|
|Colville, John R.||Pvt.||F||15th||D|
|Colville, Wm. A.||Pvt.||F||15th||W|
|Cowan, W. E.||Pvt.||C||1st|
|Cox, W. J.||Pvt.||F||50th|
|Crow, Hopton H.||Pvt.||D||41st|
|Crow, Robert R.||Pvt.||D||41st|
|Cutts, John A.||Pvt.||I||31st||Dg|
|Cutts, David W.||Pvt.||C||5th||D|
|Cutts, J. F.||Sgt.||C||31st||D|
|Cutts, Addison D.||Capt.||F||15th||R|
|Daniel, Thomas K.||Major||I||47th|
|Darroch, J. L.||Pvt.||H||50th|
|Davis, W. I.||Pvt.||L||17th|
|Dean, James G.||I||31st|
|Deans, James W.||B||54th|
|Dean, W. P.||Pvt.||H||50th|
|Denning, J. M.||Pvt.||H||72nd|
|Dennis, James D.||Pvt.||B||56th|
|Dennis, W. H.||Pvt.||E||73rd|
|Dorman, John T.||Sgt.||B||8th Battalion|
|Dewar, John P.||Cpl.||I||31st|
|Dewar, Wm. A.||Capt.||I||31st||C|
|Dorman, John T.||Pvt.||H||50th||W|
|Dorsett, Orren M.||Pvt.||D||41st|
|Douglas, R. B.||Pvt.||F||50th|
|Douglas, Silas J.||Pvt.||F||15th|
|Douglas, Wm. J.||Pvt.||F||15th|
|Drake, G. F.||Pvt.||I||31st|
|Dowd, Albert G.||Pvt.||D||41st|
|Driver, J. K.||Pvt.||C||54th||W|
|Duke, John W.||Pvt.||D||41st|
|Duke, Robert A.||Pvt.||D||41st|
|Dunn, John P.||Pvt.||I||31st|
|Earley, Wm. J.||G||6th Battalion|
|Ellis, T. G.||Pvt.||F||15th||W|
|Ennis, A. J.||Pvt.||B||8th Battalion|
|Ennis, Walter||Cpl.||B||8th Battalion|
|Ennis, H. H.||Pvt.||B||8th Battalion|
|Ennis, Wm.||Pvt.||B||8th Battalion|
|Ennis, Alexander||Pvt.||B||8th Battalion|
|Ennis, Daniel||Pvt.||B||8th Battalion|
|Ennis, L. T.||Pvt.||K||3rd||W|
|Ennis, John A.||Pvt.||K||3rd||W|
|Ennis, W. B.||Pvt.||C||31st|
|Emerson, Robert J.||Pvt.||D||41st|
|Faircloth, Daniel J.||Pvt.||E||8th|
|Faison, Joseph P.||Pvt.||I||31st|
|Faucett, W. H.||Pvt.||I||31st||D|
|Faulkner, Thos. N.||Pvt.||F||15th|
|Forbes, Wm. A.||Pvt.||C||38th|
|Thrailkill, N. A.||I||31st|
|Fowler, George W.||Pvt.||B||8th Battalion|
|Fuquay, Geo. W.||Pvt.||H||50th|
|Fuquay, J. A.||Pvt.||H||50th|
|Fowler, Thomas||Pvt.||A||10th Battalion|
|Fowler, Thomas||Pvt.||I||2nd Reg't.|
|Gaskins, Cornelius H.||Pvt.||I||31st|
|Gaster, Dillon J.||Cpl.||C||7th|
|Gardner, S. H.||Pvt.||C||31st|
|Gaskin, Wm. D.||Pvt.||F||15th||D|
|Giddens, George L.||Pvt.||F||20th|
|Gilchrist, C. A.||Pvt.||F||50th||W|
|Gilbert, F. M.||Pvt.||F||15th||D|
|Gilbert, J. Q.||Pvt.||F||15th|
|Gilbert, Henry T.||Pvt.||H||50th|
|Gilbert, John G.||Pvt.||I||31st|
|Gilbert, John V.||Pvt.||I||31st|
|Giles, John||Sgt.||B||8th Btn.|
|Giles, John||Pvt.||B||8th Btn.|
|Godwin, John R.||Pvt.||H||20th||W|
|Godwin, John||Pvt.||B||8th Btn.|
|Godwin, N. H.||Pvt.||H||30th|
|Godwin, Thomas H.||2nd Lt.||C||31st|
|Godfrey, Wm. A.||Pvt.||E||8th|
|Grady, D. T.||Pvt.||K||38th|
|Grady, Marshall W.||Pvt.||K||38th|
|Grayy, Phineas H.||Pvt.||F||15th||D|
|Graham, John W.||Pvt.||F||15th||D|
|Graham, W. D.||Pvt.||E||70th|
|Graham, H. W.||Pvt.||C||54th||W|
|Green, D. E.||Capt.||F||15th||W|
|Green, James A.||Pvt.||F||6th (Btn)|
|Green, John W.||Pvt.||D||41st|
|Gregory, Alex'r D.||Pvt.||H||50th|
|Gregory, Matthew W.||Pvt.||H||50th|
|Gregory, Alfred B.||Pvt.||I||31st||D|
|Gregory, John N.||Sgt.||I||31st||W|
|Gregory, James N.||Pvt.||B||8th Btn.||W|
|Gregory, J. W.||Pvt.||B||3rd|
|Gregory, James H.||A||72nd|
|Gregory, J. A.||A||7th Btn.|
|Gregory, James R.||Pvt.||C||31st|
|Gregory, John A.||Pvt.||C||31st|
|Gregory, N. R.||Pvt.||C||36th|
|Gower, H. S.||Pvt.||D||36th|
|Griffin, Wm. J.||Pvt.||I||31st|
|Griffith, John M.||Pvt.||C||31st|
|Gunley, Charles||Pvt.||B||8th Btn.|
|Guy, Charles T.||2nd Lt.||I||51st||W|
|Guy, Isaac||Pvt.||B||8th Btn.|
|Haigwood, John C.||Pvt.||I||31st||D|
|Harmon, H. H.||Pvt.||I||32nd||W|
|Harrell, Thos. D.||Pvt.||E||8th||D|
|Harvill, W. W.||Pvt.||E||73rd|
|Hall, W. H.||Pvt.||F||20th|
|Hawley, J. A.||Pvt.||F||50th|
|Haigh, G. B.||Pvt.||H||72nd|
|Hair, W. K.||Pvt.||H||72nd|
|Hamilton, Asa T.||Pvt.||C||31st|
|Hawley, W. D.||Pvt.||C||1st|
|Hardee, Parrot||2nd Lt.||B||8th Btn.|
|Hilliard, R. F.||F|
|Harrington, J. K. P.||Pvt.||D||41st|
|Harris, Noah R.||Pvt.||D||41st|
|Haywood, Wm. R.||Pvt.||D||41st|
|Hobbs, J. R.||F|
|Hobgood, J. W.||Pvt.||G||30th|
|Hockaday, Wm. P.||Pvt.||D||41st|
|Hockaday, Thos. S.||Pvt.||C||36th||W|
|Hockaday, Willoughby L.||Sgt.||B||8th Btn.|
|Hodges, B. W.||Pvt.||I||24th||W|
|Hodges, Geo. R.||Pvt.||I||24th|
|Hodges, John G.||Pvt.||E||8th Btn.|
|Holland, A. D.||Pvt.||F||15th|
|Holland, H. B.||Cpl.||F||15th||D|
|Holliday, Wm. B.||Pvt.||D||41st|
|Holmes, W. H.||Pvt.||F||15th||D|
|Holloman, A. B.||Pvt.||C||36th|
|Holt, G. J.||Pvt.||E||73rd|
|Holt, W. H.||Pvt.||C||31st||Dg|
|Honeycutt, Eli||Pvt.||B||8th Battalion|
|Honeycutt, Wm. W.||Pvt.||B||8th Battalion|
|Honrine, John B.||Cpl.||F||15th||W|
|Hopson, L. H.||Pvt.||B||8th Btn.|
|Howington, J. B. G.||Pvt.||I||31st|
|Hudson, J. M.||Pvt.||C||54th||M|
|Hughes, Auguston||Pvt.||B||8th Battalion|
|Hust, D. C.||Pvt.||F||15th|
|Hust, J. S.||Pvt.||F||15th|
|Hust, L. D.||Pvt.||F||15th|
|Hust, W. H.||Pvt.||F||15th|
|Huste, R. H.||Pvt.||B||8th Battalion|
|Ivey, L. H.||Pvt.||B||8th Battalion|
|Ivey, Young A.||Pvt.||B||8th Battalion|
|Jackson, J. E.||Pvt.||H||72nd|
|Jackson, John M.||Pvt.||A||36th|
|Jackson, Leonard||Pvt.||B||8th Battalion|
|Jackson, Q. M.||Pvt.||B||56th||W|
|Jackson, Kelly W.||Pvt.||D||38th|
|Jackson, W. R.||Pvt.||K||38th||D|
|Jackson, J. S.||Pvt.||I||31st|
|Jackson, Y. S.||Pvt.||I||51st||W|
|Johnson, A. R.||Pvt.||H||72nd|
|Johnson, B. E.||Pvt.||H||72nd||Dt|
|Johnson, N. B.||Pvt.||H||72nd|
|Johnson, Wm. E.||Pvt.||H||72nd|
|Jernigan, Lewis||Pvt.||B||5th Battalion|
|Johnson, Cooper B.||Pvt.||B||56th|
|Johnson, John W.||Pvt.||B||8th Battalion|
|Johnson, Wm. H.||Pvt.||B||8th Battalion|
|Johnson, Willis||Pvt.||B||8th Battalion|
|Johnson, Evander McN.||Pvt.||D||41st|
|Johnson, Hilliard H.||Pvt.||D||35th|
|Johnson, John W.||Pvt.||D||41st|
|Johnson, Wm. F.||Pvt.||D||41st|
|Johnson, J. J.||C|
|Johnson, Fleet M.||C||7th||D|
|Johnson, John L.||Pvt.||C||31st||D|
|Johnson, W. A.||Pvt.||C||31st||D|
|Johnson, David W.||Pvt.||I||31st||D|
|Johnson, D. W.||Pvt.||I||31st|
|Johnson, Green W.||Pvt.||I||31st|
|Johnson, John H.||Pvt.||I||31st|
|Johnson, Norman T.||Pvt.||I||31st||W|
|Johnson, John A.||Pvt.||F||15th||D|
|Johnson, James A.||Pvt.||F||15th|
|Johnson, N. A.||Pvt.||F||15th|
|Johnson, W. Alexander||Pvt.||F||15th|
|Johnson, W. Allen||Pvt.||F||15th|
|Johnson, John A.||Cpl.||E||8th||D|
|Johnson, H. H.||Pvt.||E||56th||Dg|
|Johnson, W.||2nd Lt.||E||73rd|
|Johnson, Wm. H.||Pvt.||G||32nd|
|Jones, D. T.||Pvt.||H||50th|
|Jones, Daniel McL.||2nd Lt.||I||31st|
|Jones, Erwin (Irvin)||Pvt.||I||51st|
|Jones, Sidney J.||Pvt.||I||31st||D|
|Jones, Thomas D.||Pvt.||I||51st||W|
|Jones, Needham B.||Pvt.||C||56th|
|Jordan, F. M.||Pvt.||F||15th||W|
|Kelly, Daniel S.||Pvt.||D||41st|
|Kennedy, S. P.||Pvt.||H||72nd|
|Kershaw, G. W.||Pvt.||H||72nd|
|King, James M.||Pvt.||B||5th Battalion|
|King, Wm. R.||Pvt.||D||41st||Dt|
|Knight, J. T.||Pvt.||F||50th|
|Lanier, Bias D.||Sgt.||I||31st|
|Lanier, John G.||Sgt.||I||31st|
|Lanier, W. B.||Pvt.||I||31st|
|Lanier, J. H.||Pvt.||F||15th|
|Lane, Thomas R.||Pvt.||D||41st||W|
|Lashley, Robert||Pvt.||B||8th Battalion|
|Lassiter, Rufus A.||Sgt.||B||8th Battalion|
|Lee, J. W.||Pvt.||D||24th|
|Lee, Willis||Pvt.||B||8th Battalion|
|Leslie, John W.||Pvt.||D||41st||W|
|Lemmons, John D.||Pvt.||E||8th||D|
|Long, William J.||Capt.||C||31st|
|Lucas, Alfred||Pvt.||B||8th Battalion|
|Lucas, Daniel||Pvt.||B||8th Battalion|
|Lucas, Frederick||Pvt.||B||8th Battalion|
|Lucas, Holly||Pvt.||B||8th Battalion|
|Lucas, Lovett||Pvt.||B||8th Battalion|
|Lucas, Lovitt L.||Pvt.||B||8th Battalion|
|Lucas, Raeford||Pvt.||B||8th Battalion|
|Marsh, Daniel H.||Sgt.||D||41st|
|Marsh, James G.||Pvt.||D||41st||W|
|Marsh, W. T.||Pvt.||D||41st|
|Marsh, H. J.||Pvt.||H||72nd|
|Martin, John A.||Pvt.||I||31st|
|Martin, Wm. H.||Pvt.||I||24th|
|Marson, A. B.||Pvt.||C||31st||W|
|Marks, L. H.||Pvt.||G||63rd|
|Matthias, B. E.||Cpl.||H||72nd|
|Matthews, D. H.||Pvt.||F||15th|
|Matthews, F. J.||Pvt.||F||15th||Dg|
|Matthias, J. A.||Pvt.||H||72nd|
|Matthias, J. A.||Pvt.||H||72nd|
|Matthews, J. B.||Pvt.||F||15th||Dg|
|Matthews, M. H.||F||15th|
|Matthews, John W.||Cpl.||I||31st||Dg|
|Matthews, S. W.||Pvt.||C||31st||W|
|Matthews, Joseph H.||Sgt.||C||36th|
|Matthews, Wm. H.||Pvt.||C||36th|
|Matthews, Neill A.||Pvt.||C||36th|
|Matthews, John Allen||Pvt.||C||36th|
|Matthews, L. L.||B||8th Battalion||D|
|Matthews, Lazarus||Pvt.||B||8th Battalion|
|Messer, D. A.||H|
|Messer, W. T.||Pvt.||I||31st|
|Messer, Alexander||Pvt.||B||8th Battalion|
|Messer( C. H.||B||8th Battalion|
|Messer, Christopher||Pvt.||B||8th Battalion|
|Messer, John L.||Pvt.||B||8th Battalion|
|Messer, John P.||Pvt.||B||8th Battalion|
|Messer, Warren||Pvt.||B||8th Battalion|
|Messer, Wm. R.||Pvt.||B||8th Battalion|
|Miller, George W.||Pvt.||I||31st||Dt|
|Mills, Seth A.||Pvt.||D||41st|
|Monds, W. Wash||K|
|Moore, J. A.||Pvt.||D||3rd||W|
|Moore, Randall||Pvt.||I||24th||W & Dg|
|Moore, Jesse||Pvt.||B||8th Battalion|
|Moore, J.||Pvt.||B||8th Battalion||W|
|Moore, Jordan||Pvt.||B||8th Battalion||W|
|Moore, Isaac||Pvt.||B||8th Battalion|
|Moore, J. A.||Pvt.||H||72nd|
|Morgan, R. B.||Pvt.||A||1st Battalion|
|Morgan, Bryan A.||Pvt.||I||24th|
|Morrison, Duncan A.||Pvt.||D||41st|
|Munn, J. A.||Pvt.||E||8th|
|Murchison, Kenneth||Capt.||F||15th||Also Lt. Col. 24th|
|McAlister, J. H.||I||31st||Btn. Home Guard)|
|McArtan, Colin||Pvt.||C||6th Battalion|
|McAuley, James D.||Pvt.||F||50th|
|McDaniel, E. F.||Pvt.||H||72nd|
|McDonald, H. C.||Pvt.||F||15th||Dg|
|McDonald, J. A.||Pvt.||H||50th|
|McDonald, J. A.||Pvt.||H||30th|
|McDonald, Kenneth A.||Sgt.||D||41st|
|McDonald, J. A.||Pvt.||C||54th|
|McDougald, D. A.||Pvt.||F||15th|
|McCotter, Thomas Y.||Pvt.||I||2nd|
|McGee, Aldridge||Pvt.||B||8th Battalion|
|McGee, James W.||Pvt.||B||8th Battalion|
|McKay, John A. D.||Major||I||31st||W|
|McKay, John A.||Pvt.||D||41st||W|
|McLean, D. A.||Pvt.||A||73rd|
|McLean, Daniel C.||Sgt.||I||31st||Dg|
|McLean, Duncan||Sgt.||H||8th Battalion|
|McLean, Dan Hugh||Pvt.||F||15th||Dg—14 yrs. of age|
|McLean, H. S.||Pvt.||F||15th||D|
|McLean, John T.||1st Lt.||F||15th||R|
|McKay, Archibald D.||Pvt.||D||41st||W|
|McLaughlin, A. N.||Pvt.||D||41st|
|McLeod, A. D.||Pvt.||H||72nd|
|McLeod, Lewis H.||2nd Lt.||H||30th||D|
|McLeod, Neill H.||B||72nd|
|McLeod, J. W.||Pvt.||B||8th Battalion|
|McNeill, Alexander D.||Sgt.||D||41st|
|McNeill, James M.||2nd Lt.||D||41st|
|McNeill, Wm. M.||2nd Lt.||D||41st|
|McNeill, H. M.||Pvt.||E||56th||W|
|McNeill, Kenneth||1st Lt.||F||15th||R—Dis.|
|McNeill, Neill A.||Pvt.||E||8th|
|McRae, Alex E.||Pvt.||H||72nd|
|McRae, Alexander||H||54th (?)|
|McPhail, D. A.||Pvt.||H||50th||W|
|McPherson, I. D.||Pvt.||D||41st|
|McPherson, J. L.||Pvt.||D||41st|
|McRae, W. M.||Pvt.||D||41st|
|McRaney, W. J.||Pvt.||H||72nd|
|Norden, John N.||Pvt.||I||31st|
|Nordan, Jesse J.||Pvt.||F||15th||W|
|Nordan, John A.||Pvt.||F||15th|
|Norris, J. W.||Pvt.||A||7th|
|Norris, Nathan||Pvt.||B||8th Battalion|
|Norris, Wm. A.||Pvt.||B||8th Battalion|
|Norris, John A.||Pvt.||B||8th Battalion|
|Norris, Wm. H.||Pvt.||B||8th Battalion|
|Norris, Thomas||Pvt.||B||8th Battalion|
|Norris, Winfrey||Pvt.||B||8th Battalion|
|Norris, John E.||Pvt.||B||8th Battalion|
|Norris, Robert||Pvt.||B||8th Battalion|
|Norris, W. J.||H|
|Neighbors, John H.||Pvt.||B||8th Battalion|
|Neighbors, George W.||Pvt.||B||8th Battalion|
|O'Quinn, B. B.||Pvt.||H||50th|
|Overby, Wm. B.||Pvt.||E||56th|
|O'Quinn, W. P.||Pvt.||F||15th||D|
|O'Quinn, Wiley J.||Pvt.||F||15th|
|Oxendine, L. C.||Pvt.||D||26th (South Carolina)||W|
|Parker, Gillam||Pvt.||B||8th Battalion|
|Parker, A. L.||2nd Lt.||H||50th|
|Parker, S. N.||Cpl.||H||50th|
|Parker, Allen B.||Capt.||I||31st||D|
|Parker, Wm. A.||Pvt.||I||31st||(Later promoted to Sgt.)|
|Parker, John H.||Cpl.||D||41st|
|Pate, W. B.||B||3rd|
|Pate, W. B.||Pvt.||H||72nd|
|Pate, S. K.||Pvt.||C||3rd|
|Partin, G. P.||Pvt.||I||31st|
|Patterson, R. D.||Pvt.||A||1st Battalion||Dg|
|Patterson, Duncan A.||Pvt.||A||1st Battalion||W|
|Patterson, John||Pvt.||E||8th||Dg., rejoined and C|
|Patterson, A. B.||Pvt.||H||50th|
|Patterson, John W.||Pvt.||H||50th|
|Patterson, R. J.||Pvt.||H||50th|
|Pattishall, S. P.||Pvt.||H||72nd|
|Pattishall, P. M.||Pvt.||D||41st|
|Parrish, J. B.||Pvt.||E||56th||W|
|Partin, John C.||Pvt.||C||36th|
|Partin, D. H.||Pvt.||C||53rd|
|Partin, D. C.||Pvt.||C||36th|
|Pearson, Wm.||1st Lt.||I||31st|
|Petty, W. S.||Pvt.||E||63rd|
|Phillips, W. A.||Pvt.||F||15th|
|Pipkin, A. S.||Pvt.||F||15th||D|
|Pipkin, S. J.||Cpl.||F||15th||Dg|
|Pipkin, Samuel D.||2nd Lt.||F||15th||Res.|
|Pipkin, J. E. J.||Cpl.||F||50th|
|Pope, D. W.||Pvt.||I||51st||Cap.|
|Prince, Wm. A.||1st Lt.||I||31st||R|
|Prince, W. R.||Pvt.||H||72nd|
|Pridgen, S. H.||Pvt.||H||72nd|
|Peacock, John D.||Pvt.||D||41st|
|Pearce, Oliver W.||Pvt.||D||41st||W|
|Pollard, B. S.||Pvt.||D||24th|
|Ray, Wm. D.||Pvt.||D||41st|
|Ray, N. A.||Pvt.||H||72nd|
|Ratcliff, David F.||Pvt.||D||63rd||W|
|Ratcliff, D. F.||Pvt.||D||63rd||W|
|Reardon, J. C.||Pvt.||B||56th||Dg|
|Reardon, Lewis||Pvt.||B||8th Battalion|
|Reardon, David A.||Pvt.||B||8th Battalion|
|Reardon, Bryant||Pvt.||B||8th Battalion|
|Reardon, James||Pvt.||B||8th Battalion|
|Reardon, J. T.||Pvt.||F||15th|
|Reardon, M. R.||Pvt.||H||72nd||Dg|
|Ritter, W. J.||Pvt.||H|
|Robertson, T. S.||Pvt.||F||15th|
|Rogers, George N.||Pvt.||D||41st|
|Ryalls, R. H.||Pvt.||D||41st||D|
|Rogers, J. W.||Pvt.||C||31st|
|Regals, John L.||Pvt.||B||8th Btn.|
|Ruffin, Edward||Pvt.||B||8th Btn.|
|Ruffin, M. C.||Pvt.||B||8th Btn.|
|Sanders, H. J.||Pvt.||B||8th Btn.|
|Sexton, James A.||Cpl.||B||8th Btn.|
|Searcey, iVncent||Pvt.||B||8th Btn.|
|Searcey, Aaron||Pvt.||B||8th Btn.|
|Sills, William||Pvt.||B||8th Btn.|
|Snipes, James N.||Pvt.||B||8th Btn.|
|Sellers, Flavius||Pvt.||B||8th Btn.|
|Searcy, J. A.||Pvt.||B||8th Btn.||Dg|
|Searcey, A. J.||Pvt.||B||8th Btn.||Dt|
|Searcey, E.||Pvt.||B||8th Btn.|
|Stephens, F. M.||Pvt.||B||8th Btn.|
|Stewart, Ruben||Pvt.||B||8th Btn.|
|Stewart, Jas. B.||Pvt.||B||8th Btn.|
|Stewart, Joseph A.||1st Lt.||B||8th Btn.|
|Smith,, Noah||Pvt.||B||8th Btn.|
|Smith, McRuffin||Pvt.||B||8th Btn.|
|Smith, Edward||Pvt.||B||8th Btn.|
|Smith, Wm. J.||Pvt.||B||8th Btn.|
|Smith, H. W.||Pvt.||B||6th Regt.||W & Dg|
|Smith, J. W.||Pvt.||B||2nd Btn.||Dg|
|Smith, W. J.||Pvt.||B||2nd Btn.|
|Stone, Elihu||Pvt.||B||8th Btn.|
|Stancil, Peter||Pvt.||B||8th Btn.|
|Strickland, Jas. L.||Pvt.||B||47th Regt.|
|Suggs, Deborah||Pvt.||B||8th Btn.|
|Sykes, James B.||Pvt.||B||8th Btn.|
|Sawyer, Manley||Pvt.||C||53rd Reg.||W|
|Shell, O. P.||1st Sgt.||C||46th|
|Sexton, Randall||Pvt.||C||31st Regt.|
|Sexton, Alvey||Pvt.||C||31st Regt.|
|Sexton, Green||C||53rd Regt. (Also 15th Regt.)|
|Smith, S. M.||Pvt.||C||53rd Regt.|
|Smith, David||Pvt.||C||31st Regt.|
|Smith, W. A.||C||6th Btn.||Dg|
|Smith, Daniel||C||31st Regt.||D|
|Smith, Noel W.||C||7th Regt.|
|Smith, John G.||Pvt.||C||31st Regt.|
|Smith, A. A.||Pvt.||C||31st Regt.||D|
|Smith, Randall H.||C||31st Regt.||Dg|
|Smith, R. H.||C||31st Regt.|
|Stephens, J. M.||C||5th Regt.|
|Stewart, J. K.||Pvt.||C||31st Regt.|
|Stewart, J. W.||Pvt.||C||36th Regt.|
|Stewart, John Wash||C||36th Regt.|
|Strickland, Wm. R.||Pvt.||C||5th Regt.||W|
|Salmon, F. M.||Pvt.||D||38th Regt.|
|Salmon, J. T.||Pvt.||D||38th Regt.|
|Sanders, Edward||D||41st Regt.|
|Senter, John A.||Pvt.||D||36th Regt.|
|Sloan, D. M.||D||35th Regt.|
|Sloan, George W.||Pvt.||D||35th Regt.|
|Smith, Alexander||Pvt.||D||41st Regt.|
|Smith, Duncan||Pvt.||D||41st Regt.|
|Smith, F. J.||Pvt.||D||41st Regt.|
|Smith, J. L.||D||41st Regt.|
|Smith, F. Rice||Pvt.||D||41st Regt.|
|Sauls, R.||Pvt.||E||10th Regt.|
|Senter, W. H.||1st Lt.||E||73rd Regt.|
|Smith, R. B.||Pvt.||E||73rd Regt.|
|Stewart, D.||Pvt.||E||73rd Regt.|
|Sexton, Dundan M.||2nd Lt.||F||15th Regt.|
|Sexton, Green||Pvt.||F||15th Regt.|
|Sloan, D. M.||Pvt.||F||50th Regt.|
|Smith, Cader||Pvt.||F||15th Regt.|
|Smith, Robert B.||2nd Lt.||F||15th Regt.|
|Smith, W.||Pvt.||F||15th Regt.|
|Spence, G. D.||Pvt.||F||15th Regt.|
|Spence, John A.||Pvt.||F||15th Regt.|
|Smith, Noah||Pvt.||F||47th Regt.|
|Stafford, W. M.||F||40th Regt.|
|Stewart, John A.||Pvt.||F||15th Regt.|
|Stewart, J. F.||Pvt.||F||50th Regt.|
|Salmon, James P.||Pvt.||H||50th Regt.|
|Smith, Archie||Pvt.||H||72nd Regt.|
|Smith, J. A.||Cpl||H||72nd Regt.|
|Solomon, E. G.||Pvt.||H||50th Regt.|
|Spence, W. R.||Pvt.||H||72nd Regt.|
|Stephens, B. F.||Pvt.||H||50th Regt.|
|Stephens, E. J.||Pvt.||H||72nd Regt.|
|Stephens, I. S.||Pvt.||H||72nd Regt.|
|Stephens, John S.||Pvt.||H||50th Regt.|
|Stewart, C. J.||Sgt.||H||72nd Regt.|
|Stewart, H. E.||Pvt.||H||72nd Regt.|
|Stewart, N. A.||Pvt.||H||50th Regt.|
|Stewart, W. A.||H||60th Regt.|
|Stone, J. S.||Pvt.||H||50th Regt.|
|Sandeford, James||Pvt.||I||31st Regt.|
|Senter, Charles||Pvt.||I||31st Regt.|
|Senter, M. J.||Pvt.||I||31st Regt.|
|Shipp, N. M.||Pvt.||I||31st Regt.|
|Smith, Daniel||Pvt.||I||31st Regt.|
|Smith, Hugh||Pvt.||I||31st Regt.|
|Smith, James H.||Pvt.||I||31st Regt.|
|Smith, John||I||26th Regt.|
|Smith, John H.||Pvt.||I||31st Regt.|
|Smith, Milton J.||Pvt.||I||31st Regt.|
|Smith, Wm.||I||31st Regt.|
|Spence, George D.||Pvt.||I||31st Regt.|
|Spence, J. D.||Pvt.||I||31st Regt.|
|Spence, William W.||Pvt.||I||31st Regt.|
|Stancil, Angus||Pvt.||I||24th Regt.|
|Stewart, James||Pvt.||I||24th Regt.|
|Stewart, William J.||Pvt.||I||31st Regt.|
|Stewart, W. J.||I||31st Regt.|
|Stewart, Alexander||Pvt.||I||31st Regt.|
|Stewart, Alfred||Pvt.||I||31st Regt.|
|Stewart, Charles||Pvt.||I||24th Regt.|
|Stewart, A. W.||I||31st Regt.|
|Stewart, Joseph A.||Pvt.||I||31st Regt.|
|Stewart, W. I.||I||31st Regt.||W|
|Stewart, W. H.||Pvt.||I||24th Regt.|
|Stewart, Wm. J.||Pvt.||I||31st Regt.|
|Stephenson, S. D.||I||31st Regt.|
|Strickland, John||Pvt.||I||31st Regt.|
|Strickland, Wm.||Pvt.||I||31st Regt.||D|
|Surles, Calvin B.||Pvt.||I||24th Regt.|
|Surles, James H.||Pvt.||I||24th Regt.||D|
|Swinson, Joseph||Pvt.||I||31st Regt.|
|Smith, Wm.||Pvt.||K||3rd Regt.|
|Spencer, Edmund||Pvt.||K||3rd Regt.||D|
|Spencer, James||Pvt.||K||3rd Regt.||W|
|Still, Wm. R.||Pvt.||K||3rd Regt.|
|Taylor, W. J.||Pvt.||A||30th Regt.||W|
|Tart, Thomas||Pvt.||B||8th Btn.|
|Tart, Westbrook||Pvt.||B||8th Btn.|
|Taylor, Wm. J.||B||56th Regt.|
|Thomas, S. F.||B||2nd Regt.|
|Tripp, Moses||Pvt.||B||8th Btn.|
|Turlington, A. D.||Pvt.||B||8th Btn.|
|Turlington, Randall||2nd Lt.||B||8th Btn.|
|Tucker, Henry||Pvt.||B||8th Btn.|
|Turnage, James||Sgt.||B||8th Btn.|
|Turner, H. P.||Pvt.||D||41st Regt.|
|Thomas, D.||Pvt.||E||73rd Regt.|
|Thomas, J. M. B.||Pvt.||F||50th Regt.|
|Thomas, R. B.||Pvt.||F||50th Regt.|
|Turlington, Wm. A.||Pvt.||G||32nd Regt.|
|Taylor, Benjamin||Pvt.||H||72nd Regt.|
|Taylor, Wm. J.||Pvt.||I||51st Regt.|
|Tew, L. J.||Pvt.||I||51st Regt.|
|Tew, Lowden B.||Pvt.||I||51st Regt.|
|Thomas, J. Martin||I||31st|
|Thomas, Joseph M.||Pvt.||I||31st|
|Thomas, T. H.||Pvt.||I||31st|
|Truelove, A. R.||Pvt.||I||31st|
|Truelove, R. L.||Pvt.||I||31st|
|Truelove, T. D.||Pvt.||I||31st|
|Tutor, James A.||I||31st|
|Tutor, J. H.||Pvt.||I||31st|
|Tutor, Wm. O.||2nd Lt.||I||31st||D|
|Tutor, James A.||Pvt.||K||3rd|
|Upchurch, B. A.||BB||5th|
|Vestal, J. A.||Pvt.||D||41st||Dt|
|Wicker, John A.||Pvt.||A||63rd|
|Whittington, G. A.||Pvt.||B||8th Btn.||Dg|
|Williams, Wm.||B||5th Regt.|
|Williams, Joel||B||24th Btn.|
|Woodall, Wm. D.||Pvt.||B||8th Btn.||Dg|
|Welborn, D. H.||Pvt.||C||31st Regt.|
|West, W. C.||Pvt.||C||54th Regt.||W|
|West, John H.||Pvt.||C||38th Regt.|
|Williams, H.||C||3rd Btn.||W|
|Williams, Hezekiah||Pvt.||C||3rd Btn.||W|
|Williams, G. W.||Pvt.||C||31st Regt.||D|
|Williams, J. C.||2nd Lt.||C||31st Regt.|
|Wrag, Thomas H.||1st Lt.||C||31st Regt.|
|Wood, P. Q.||Pvt.||C||31st Regt.|
|Wood, A. S.||Pvt.||C||31st Regt.|
|Wood, O. G.||Pvt.||C||31st Regt.|
|Waterbury, Wm.||Pvt.||D||41st Regt.||Dt|
|White, Davis||Pvt.||D||41st Regt.|
|White, James M.||Sgt.||D||41st Regt.|
|Whitley, Rufus D.||Cpl.||D||41st Regt.|
|Wicker, B. A.||Pvt.||D||41st Regt.||W|
|Williams, I. D.||Pvt.||D||41st Regt.|
|Wood, Mark||Pvt.||D||56th Regt.||W|
|Watson, H.||Pvt.||E||73rd Regt.|
|Weaver, M.||Pvt.||E||73rd Regt.|
|West, James W.||E||36th Regt.|
|Williams, J.||E||73rd Regt.|
|Williams, J. J.||Pvt.||E||73rd Regt.|
|Wilson, D. J.||Pvt.||E||2nd Regt.|
|Watson, Francis||F||50th Regt.|
|Watson, Garner||Pvt.||F||50th Regt.|
|Wade, M.||Pvt.||F||15th Regt.|
|Wade, W. H.||Pvt.||F||15th Regt.||Dt|
|West, Hardsman||F||15th Regt.||W|
|Wicker, E. M.||Pvt.||F||50th Regt.||W|
|Wiggins, B. H.||Pvt.||F||15th Regt.||D|
|Wiggins, T. B.||Pvt.||F||15th Regt.||D|
|Wiggins, W. B.||Pvt.||F||15th Regt.|
|Wiggins, W. F.||F||15th Regt.|
|Williams, E. C.||Pvt.||F||47th Regt.|
|Wood, A.||Pvt.||F||50th Regt.||W|
|Wiggins, Jesse||Pvt.||G||32nd Regt.|
|Wade, J. A. (Alex)||Pvt.||H||72nd Regt.|
|Wallace, D. A.||Pvt.||H||72nd Regt.|
|Warwick, George||Pvt.||H||50th Regt.|
|White, Weston||Pvt.||H||50th Regt.|
|Williams, W. E.||Pvt.||H||72nd Regt.|
|Williford, J. A.||Pvt.||H||72nd Regt.|
|Wilson, J. T. M.||Pvt.||H||50th Regt.||Dt|
|Wilson, W. H.||Pvt.||H||50th Regt.|
|Wood, James||Pvt.||H||50th Regt.||Dt|
|Wright, W.||Pvt.||H||72nd Regt.|
|Weathers, James H.||Pvt.||I||31st Regt.|
|Weathers, Jesse D.||I||31st|
|West, D. R.||Pvt.||I||31st|
|Wester, John H.||Pvt.||I||31st|
|Wilkins, Thomas B.||Pvt.||I||24th|
|Williams, E. H.||1st Lt.||I||31st|
|Wrising, George W.||Pvt.||I||31st||Dg|
|Wood, J. W.||K||63rd|
|Yarborough, David A.||Cpl.||A||5th||W|
|THE FOLLOWING LISTED WERE FOUND TOO LATE TO BE CLASSIFIED IN THEIR PROPER PLACES:|
|Smith, Walter C.||Pvt.||D||41st|
|Smith, Walter J.||Pvt.||D||41st|
|Smith, William R.||Pvt.||D||41st||D|
|Smith, W. P.||D||31st|
|Smith, William P.||Pvt.||D||31st|
|Spence, H. A.||D||48th|
|THE FOLLOWING WERE PLACED ON PENSION ROLLS AS SERVING FROM OTHER STATES:|
|Bethaea, A. A.||Company “D” 2nd Virginia Regiment|
|Jones, David D.||Moseley's Battery|
|McNeill, J. A.||Company “G” 1st Arkansas Cavalry|
|McKay, W. M.||Starr's Battery|
THE FOLLOWING NEGROES WERE PLACED ON THE PENSION LIST FOR SERVICE PERFORMED FOR THE CONFEDERACY:
This man drew a pension, but no information on him is available: Norris Lancaster.CHAPTER XI
Forming part and parcel of the history of the ghost town of Averasboro—and of Harnett County, too—is the Battle of Averasboro.
Professional historians dismiss this battle with a curt sentence: at Averasboro on March 16, 1865, General Hardee's Corps held Sherman's army at bay until nightfall enabled him to withdraw his command in safety.
In their voluminous reports, as printed in the even more voluminous Union Records, many Federal officers have given their version of what happened that day.
The losing side never writes the history of the war. And the South lost, no matter which way you look at it.
In this account we are going to deviate and tell the story of the battle from the loser's viewpoint. And in so doing we are going to use the story of a man who fought it, Robert W. Sanders of Greenville, South Carolina, and of an 18 year old girl who lived it—Jane Smith, a resident of Lebanon, the name of the Farquard Smith home. This home, now occupied by Eugene W. Smith, stood just a few hundred yards north of the third line of breast-works.
In the early months of that year of 1865 the doomed armies of the South fought stubbornly to stave off the defeat they saw impending.
Up in Virginia, General Lee was making plans to abandon Richmond and Petersburg to join forces with General Joe Johnston coming up from the South. Their united armies would then brush Sherman out of the way and send Grant back to his old job of clerking in a harness shop. It was a good plan—if it had worked.
Now listen to Robert W. Sanders:
“Hard on the heels of the retreating Confederates came the blue-clad legions of Tecumseh Sherman in that early spring of 1865. They burned Columbia, South Carolina and came storming up through Anson and Richmond Counties and into Cumberland.”
At Monroe's Farm on the Ft. Bragg Reservation, General Wade Hampton and his Confederate cavalry caught Judson Kilpatrick with his pants down—in fact, without any pants—in a sudden surprise attack during the early dawn of March 11.
Had the famished Confederates not stopped to loot the Yankee camp of food, they might have gained a signal victory that day.
Kilpatrick clad only in authority and “winter woolies”, rushing out of his tent, managed to rally his men before they could panic, saved the day. Many of the Confederates killed in that fight were boys—the seed corn of the Confederacy, as Governor Vance called them. They died then, those boys, many calling for their mothers. Their mangled bodies lie in a mass grave in old Longstreet Church Cemetery, now a part of the Fort Bragg Reservation.
On through Fayetteville, across the Cape Fear River and up toward Averasboro went Johnston's little army of hungry, ragged men. Only a few days before an order had been issued that none would be excused from duty merely because he had no shoes! And this was March, and it was cold and it rained—Lord, it rained all the time.
So they slogged through the mud and mire and ate parched corn, pickled pork, roots, grub worms—anything they could chew and swallow. It was at this time that Johnston's chief surgeon stated he didn't believe there was a sound set of guts in the entire Confederate Army.
The route of Johnston's retreat could be followed by following the trail of dysentery-ridden soldiers left in houses along the way.
These, then, were the 6,000 men of General Hardee's Corps, composed principally of South Carolinians, who placed themselves across that 3½ mile stretch of land between the Cape Fear and the Black Rivers—4 miles south of old Averasboro. Their job? Lick the Yankees!
In the misty light of that rain-driven dawn of March 16, 1865, the battle began at the Gypsy Pine just over the line in Cumberland County. This pine was a famous spot on the old stage road from Raleigh to Fayetteville. Under its low limbs, spreading out like a Grecian bow, wandering bands of Gypsies camped, held their tribal courts, told fortunes and divided swag from thieving raids on the neighboring plantations.
Tradition has it that when the firing began, the form of a gypsy girl, standing on the crown of the pine, was outlined against the murky sky. In her hand she held a wand which she waved from time to time. As she waved it, cannon and rifle balls would fall harmlessly to the ground.
The line of battle moved on and the gypsy girl disappeared. But as night fell she was back again, her wand exchanged for a fife. Over the bodies of the stiffened dead she piped a mournful lament, stepped off into the wind and vanished in the darkness.
A pretty story? Maybe. But never a bullet touched that tree though others were cut down all around it by the savage spatter of artillery and small-arms fire. And never again did the bands of gypsies use it as a camp site.
It stood until a few years ago when lightning accomplished what man could not. Today a blackened stump is all that remains of the Gypsy Pine.
Over in the Black River Swamp the Confederates had charged the Yankee positions held by Selfridge's division and Kilpatrick's dismounted cavalry. The charge was intended to turn the Federal right and neatly cul-de-sac the whole Yankee Army against the Cape Fear and destroy it. Six thousand against twenty thousand! The charge failed.
In the meantime, the Yankees did a bit of charging of their own. Ward's division had swung left around Oak Grove, the John Smith home, later used as a Confederate Hospital. This maneuver forced the Southern right to fall back to the second line of breastworks, and thence on back to the third and last line.
Now hear this: Janie Smith, age 18, with eight brothers in the Confederate armies, writes to her friend Janie Robeson of Bladen County. The letter was written on fly leaves of books, bits of wall paper, any paper that could be used.
It is plaintively headed:WHERE HOME USED TO BE—APRIL 12, 1865.
“. . . At daylight on the 16th the firing was terrific. The infirmary was here and—oh! it makes me shudder when I think of the awful sights I witnessed that morning. Ambulance after ambulance drove up with our wounded. . . . The house, every barn and outhouse were full, and under every shed and tree the tables were carried for amputating the limbs.
I just felt like my heart would break when I would see our brave men rushing into battle and then coming back so mangled.
. . . The blood stood in puddles in the grove; the groans of the dying and the shrieks of those undergoing amputation was horrible. I can never forget it.
(Note: the Confederate doctors were almost entirely without anaesthetics. They used brandy on the amputation cases.)
We were kept busy making and rolling bandages and sending nourishment to the sick and wounded.
It was about nine in the morning when the courier came with orders for us to leave. Then was my trial, leaving our poor sick and suffering soldiers when I could have been relieving them some. As we passed the wounded going to the woods, they would beseech us: “Ladies, don't leave your home. We won't let the enemy fire on you.” But orders must be obeyed and to the woods we went. Imagine us all and Uncle John's family trudging through the rain and mud to a ravine near the river.
The firing continued incessantly up and down the line, all day, when about five in the evening the enemy flanked our right, and the firing was right over us. We could hear the commands and the groans and shrieks of the wounded . . . a short time later we
were ordered home. . . . General Wheeler took tea here about two o'clock during the night after the battle closed, and about four o'clock the Yankees came charging, yelling and howling. . . .
The palings did not hinder them at all. They just knocked them down like so many mad cattle. Right into the house, breaking open bureau drawers, and cursing us for having hid everything. They stuck Pa with a bayonet to make him disclose something. Sis Susan was sick in bed and they searched the very pillows she was lying on. They would catch the little biddies in the yard and just squeeze them to death. They left no living thing on the place except one old sick hen.
They didn't burn the house, but the blacksmith shop was set afire and into the flames they threw every plow. tool, etc., on the place.
One impudent dog came up to me and said, “Good morning, girls. Why aren't you getting breakfast? It's late.”
I told him servants prepared “breakfasts for Southern ladies.” He went away muttering something about them not waiting on us any more.
The house was so crowded with them all day we could hardly move—and of all the horrible smelling things in the world, the Yankees can't be beat. I don't believe they have washed since they were born. The battlefield does not compare with them in stench. . . . They got all of my stockings and some of our collars and handkerchiefs. If ever I see a Yankee woman, I intend to whip her and take the very clothes off her back.
. . . The Yankees left fifty of our wounded at Uncle John's whom we have been busy nursing. All that are able have gone home, and the others, except four, are dead. The poor things were left sick and suffering with only one doctor. I felt my poverty keenly when I couldn't even give them a crust of bread.
Pa had the scattering corn picked up and ground and we divided it with them. As soon as the neighborhood learned of their condition, all kinds of delicacies were sent in.
I can dress amputated limbs now and do most anything in the way of nursing the wounded.
I am really attached to the patients at the hospital and feel so lonely now that so many have left or died. My favorite, a little black eyed boy with the whitest brow and thick curls falling on it, died last Sunday. He was the only son of his widowed Mother. I have his ring and a lock of his hair to send her.
It is so sad to receive the dying messages and tokens for the loved ones at home. It grieves me to see them buried without coffins but we can't get them now.
I have two graves in my charge to keep fresh flowers on, the little boy just mentioned and Lieutenant Laborde, the son of Dr. Laborde of Columbia College.
His and three other Confederate graves are the only ones near the house. But the yard garden at Uncle John's, the cottage and Aunt Mary's are used for Yankee graveyards, and they are buried so shallow the places are extremely offensive. . . .
(Uncle John Smith lived at Oak Grove now owned and occupied by Jim Byrd. Aunt Mary's was the W. M. Smith home below Oak Grove. It was used as a Federal hospital during the battle. The piano served as an operating table. The house is now owned by a Mr. West.)
Here the letter ends . . .
Shortly afterwards the Yankee dead were removed and reburied in the Federal Cemetery at Raleigh.
In the meantime, the neighbors in the area disinterred the bodies of the Confederate dead. All those not sent back to their homes were reburied at the spot, now known as Chicora, an Indian word for Carolina.
Some of the wounded had been carried over the Cape Fear to be nursed in the homes through the neighborhood. Some of these died and were buried in Bunnlevel in the Porterfield Cemetery just back of Allen's Store. Their graves have been plowed over and are now unidentifiable.
Several Confederates were nursed at the home of Neill Stewart in the town of Averasboro. All these recovered except one, Alfred H. Angel of South Carolina. He is buried in the cemetery at old Averasboro. After his death his family presented the Stewarts with a solid silver service.
One other soldier, a man from Arkansas, died from his wounds while being cared for by the McClellan family, who lived between Chicora and the river. He is buried in the cemetery near the McClellan home.
It is believed by many that the Confederates who died in the charge on Selfridge's command in the Black River Swamp and were hastily buried by their comrades, still lie there in lost graves.
No official report of Confederate losses has been found. The Yankee Provost Marshal says that he buried seven officers and one-hundred-twenty-one enlisted men, not including those who died in the charge on Selfridge.
General Ward reported that his division captured 175 Confederates, including 60 wounded. In all it is believed the Confederate loss was about 600 killed, wounded, captured and missing.
Yankee reports admit a total of 682 killed, wounded, captured and missing.
Sometime during the early part of 1866 the ladies of the Smithville community near Chicora Cemetery met at Oak Grove and formed an organization to decorate the Confederate graves in the Spring.
On May 15, 1867, they formally organized the Smithville Memorial Association for the purpose of procuring funds for enclosing the cemetery and for erecting a monument to the memory of the
Confederate dead who fell in the battle of Averasboro. The following were its officers:
President—Mrs. Julia J. Williams
Vice-President—Mrs. R. R. Robeson
Vice-President—Miss Bettie Sanders
Vice-President—Miss Sallie Smith
Vice-President—Miss S. E. Smith
Secretary—Miss Louise Smith
Treasurer—Mrs. Janie Smith
Corresponding Secretary—Mrs. J. C. Smith
This was one of the first such associations formed in the South. Its members labored diligently in collecting funds from the poverty-stricken community. South Carolina, as usual, came through with helpful donations.
In 1868 a handsome iron railing was erected around the cemetery and the society formally thanked the captains of the river steamers Halcyon, Hurt and North Carolina, for freighting the fence from Wilmington to Fayetteville without charge.
On May 10, 1872, a monument was unveiled and from then until now no year has passed without remembering that day with suitable exercises at Chicora Cemetery.
In 1904 the town of Dunn took over the care of the cemetery and the Smithville Memorial Association became the Chicora Chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy.
Through all the years from 1866 to 1955 the members of these memorial organizations have lived up to the words so fittingly expressed by Miss Jessie Smith of Dunn, in 1926:
“Oh mothers of the sixties! Yours was a noble work, nobly done. The torch you held so high and so bravely has passed to our hands. Ours the task to hold it high, to pass it on. May we bear it in your same lofty spirit; may we carry on the work with your same unselfish devotion.”CHAPTER XII
When the first shipload of Scottish settlers came to the Harnett area in September of 1739, they brought their Bibles and catechisms with them, but they left their preachers at home in the Highlands, across the sea. Nor did any ministers come with succeeding waves of emigrants until 1770.
It wasn't that the first settlers didn't want preachers hanging around while they raised their ridgepoles. It wasn't that the ministers were so used to soft living that their spirits rebelled at the thought of coming to this raw and untried wilderness. The newly arrived settlers kept men on the road almost continuously carrying petitions for a minister to the presbyteries at Philadelphia and Charleston. Then why no preachers? Generations of Presbyterians have speculated on the answer to this question.
Finally, in 1755, Hugh McAden rode down from Philadelphia on horseback, of course, to look over the situation in the Cape Fear Country. Fortunately, he kept a journal, and this record of his trip to the Valley of the Scots gives a pretty good account of religious conditions existing at that time.
He preached many times to the settlers and his journal notes: “At some places where I preached the people understood scarcely a word I said. The worst singers I ever heard.” McAden spoke no Gaellic and many of his listeners neither spoke nor understood English. His journal doesn't once mention preaching in a church or meeting house in the Valley. Proof enough no preachers of any denomination had labored there ahead of him. His preaching spots were courthouses and private homes.
After his return to Pennsylvania, McAden induced the Rev. James Campbell, then preaching in that state, to visit his countrymen in this section.
Campbell arrived in the Valley in 1757 and immediately began preaching in homes, the courthouse at Choeffenington, the public rooms of ordinarys, and anywhere a crowd could gather. In 1758 he accepted the call to be the regular minister of the Scottish settlers and entered into a contract with them to that effect. In that same year of 1758 the churches at Barbecue, Longstreet and Bluff (then called Roger McNeill's Meeting House) were organized—the latter two places being in present day Cumberland County.
The first ruling elders at Barbecue were Archibald Buie, Duncan Buie, Daniel Cameron and Gilbert Clark. Unfortunately, no list of the charter members has been found.
The first church building there was erected about 1765 or ’66. In the meantime, Reverend James Campbell preached in the Harnett area at Gilbert Clark's on Barbecue Creek; Dushee Shaw's, near Turlington Cross Roads; and occasionally, according to tradition, in the public room of John Dobbins’ ordinary near where the church was later erected.
Preacher Campbell labored alone in the Cape Fear Country until 1770, when the Rev. John McLeod came over from Scotland to help him. One lone minister in the territory now embraced in the bounds of Harnett, Moore, Lee, Hoke and Cumberland Counties! As if that was not enough, he occasionally straved over into Bladen, Robeson, Richmond and Montgomery Counties.
When the Revolution flamed with fury, Preacher Campbell, a firm believer in the patriotic cause, was forced to leave the Valley for a spot more healthy for Whigs. He bought 400 acres of land in Guilford County where he remained until 1780. He had been back home only a short while before death claimed this great man who established church and religion in the Valley of the Scots.
But the church he built on the banks of Barbecue still survives, after battling religious storms and other misfortunes for nearly two hundred years. Many years ago a writer had this to say:
“Since it was first built Barbecue Church has stood as a symbol of simple, Christian faith. It is a plain church, substantial, serviceable—like its builders. No grinning gargoyles leering down from imposing stone cornices. No windows of costly stained glass. “Lord, I cannot read Thy light when sifted down through tinted window panes,” may well have been the prayer of its builders. And there Barbecue Church stands today. A haven in time of storm; a refuge for the weary in spirit.”
Barbecue Church is the ancestor of nearly all Presbyterian churches in Harnett County. Tirza at Summerville was the first of her children. This church was organized about 1811. The first pastor was the Rev. Allen McDougald and the first ruling elders were Daniel McLean and Neill McKay, with Alexander Morrison being installed as a ruling elder some time after the organization of the church. The Neill McKay above is not to be confused with his son, Parson Neill McKay. Among its first members were: General A. D. McLean, John Atkins, John McNeill, Robert Murphy, Allen Shaw, Dr. John McKay, Dr. M. McLeod, Hector McLean, Col. Kenneth Murchison, Hugh A. McSween, Kenneth Haighwood, Peter McLean, Major Archibald Cameron, John B. Patterson, Dr. H. M. Turner, John McLean, John Hodges, Daniel Morrison, Sherod Barksdale, Benj. F. Atkins and Daniel Shaw.
In the adjoining cemetery are buried many of Harnett's most famous sons and daughters. Here, too, is located the Home of the Stranger. It is a slab of marble erected by the sympathetic people of the area to the memory of a man they never knew. He was just another stranger, a wanderer, but he desperately wanted a home. That wish was his main topic when he talked to people along the way. The night after his appearance in the community the stranger died, apparently of a heart attack. So in death the home loving people of Summerville gave him the home he never had in life.
Tirza Church fell on evil days after the turn of the century and was dissolved by the Presbytery in 1929. However, through the whole-hearted efforts of the people of the community and their friends, the building has been kept in repair.
On April 18, 1848, a Sunday School was organized which on March 18, 1951 became a fully constituted church known as Summerville with 50 charter members. For two years the church was served by supply ministers. Then on March 8, 1955 the Rev. R. M. Phillips of Erwin was called officially and accepted. Present membership numbers 65.
In 1815 the Presbyterian Church at old Averasboro was organized by members of the mother church at Barbecue and Bluff. Here, too, Rev. Allen McDougald was the first pastor. Only two ruling elders, Alexander McAllister and William Smith, are mentioned in the list of charter members, who were: Wm. Smith, Robt. Draughon, James Campbell, Archie McNeill, Alexr. Williams, Daniel Shaw, Sr., Arch'd Shaw, James Bolin, Ann McAllister, George Draughon, Hector Stewart, Dougald Stewart, Charity Smith, Janet Shaw, Malcolm McDonald, Mary Ray, Rachel Williams, Margaret McNeill, Jonathan Smith, Isaac Williams, Dougal McKay, Janet McAllister, Alexander McAllister of Averasburgh, Alex Clark, Hugh Smith, Alex McAllister-Elder and Dushee Shaw.
The record at hand shows that in 1815 Neill McCrainie and Nancy McNeill were married; in 1816, Hector Stewart and Mary Shaw, Dougal Stewart and Charlotte Turner, Jonathan Smith and Elizabeth Banks; in 1819 Hugh Smith and Sarah W. Turner, Needham Smith and Sarah Roger, John Hodges and Mrs. Winnifred Campbell, John McAllister and Mrs. Charlotte Stewart; in 1822, Dushee Shaw Jr. and Effie Gilchrist; in 1828 Wm. Smith and Sarah Robeson. The record closes in 1833 with the marriages of William T. Smith and Mary Campbell, and Malcolm McKay and Isabella McCrainie.
Whether that year of 1833 marked the death of the church is not known to this compiler. Today only a walnut tree marks the spot where this old church stood.
Cypress Church in the far western part of Harnett was organized in 1830. Unfortunately, no records are at hand to tell about this historic old church other than the fact that after 125 years it is stronger than ever.
Mt. Pisgah, another daughter of Barbecue, was organized in the Harrington section, near Broadway, in 1834. First minister was Rev. Evander McNair. First ruling elders were Duncan Patterson, Wm. Murchison, Alexander McDonald and Murdoch McLeod. No list of the charter members is at hand. This church, like Cypress, is stronger than ever. It has recently completed a beautiful new brick structure.
Other Presbyterian churches in Harnett and their location:
|Location||Organized||Charter members||Present members||First pastor|
|Lillington||1910||36||200||J. K. Hall|
|First Presbyterian, Dunn||1889||10||465||Neill McKay|
|Grove, Dunn||1916||23||A. R. McQueen|
|Riverside, Dunn||1949||38||R. R. Gammon|
|Rock Branch||1913||265||C. L. Bragaw|
|Cameron's Hill||1894||46||D. D. McBryde|
|Flat Branch||1973||21||211||Neill McKay|
The organization of some churches has been brought about by out-of-the-ordinary conditions. There is a story about a traveler noticing identical churches, both bearing the same name, standing on opposite sides of the road. A passing churchmember explained the reason: “De fo'ks dat belong to de chu'ch on dis side o’ de road says Pharaoh's daughter found Moses in de bullrushes. De ones on de other side say she didn't.”
Down through the generations has come the story of how Neill's Creek Baptist Church was organized. In October of 1778 a number of men in that community were gathered in a turkey blind near where the old McAllister road crossed Neill's Creek.
It is not known what was the subject of their discussion, but it is known what was the object of their attention: a stone jug of
whiskey which was being passed around and sampled with gusty “whufs!” and nods of approval.
At this moment a stranger suddenly appeared among them. It is unfortunate that the name of the stranger has not come down to us, but in all probability he was Elder John Moore, Junior, pastor of the Swift Creek Church in the lower part of adjoining Wake County. Elder Moore was well known for his missionary work and it is logical that he was the stranger who appeared at the turkey blind.
In any event, the stranger delivered a rousing speech to the congregation—for that is what this gathering eventually became. Out of this incident at the turkey blind came the organization of Neill's Creek Church. This was probably in 1780, according to Paschal's History of North Carolina Baptists. William Taylor was the first recorded pastor, and served the church until 1798 when he moved away. The church was without a pastor until 1803, when Elder Nathan Gully was chosen. In that year of 1803 there were 57 members.
In 1835 the membership had dropped to 38. There seem to be no records of the Raleigh Baptist Association, with which Neill's Creek Church was affiliated, from its organization in 1805 until 1830. It was during this period the Primitive-Missionary split occurred. This split probably accounts for the drop in membership at Neill's Creek.
In 1836 the minutes of the Raleigh Association show Neill's Creek with no representation at the meeting. Stephen Senter and David Smith Williams, ordained ministers from the Harnett area, were present.
In 1843 the church was represented by letter at the meeting of the Association. William Blalock, the clerk of Neill's Creek Church, listed 61 whites and 7 colored to total a membership of 68. In these days of separate churches for the races, it may come as a shock to some folks to learn that slaves and freed men held membership in the same churches as their masters—and ex-masters. That same year of 1843 the Baptist Church at Raleigh listed 62 whites and 181 colored as members. The present membership at Neill's Creek is 330 with G. Scott Turner as pastor.
Other Harnett area churches represented at the 1843 meeting of the Raleigh Association were: Cumberland Union, near Cokesbury; New Bethel, the present day Antioch, at Mamers; and Friendship at Bunnlevel.
Cumberland Union, formed in 1820 with a membership of 28, was represented at the associational meeting of 1843 by its clerk J. Parker, who reported 98 members. Delegates were Jacob Parker and J. D. Lanier. Present members number 108, with Johnnie Hilliard as pastor.
At the same meeting J. Hawley, clerk of New Bethel, and delegate Simon Stone listed 34 members. This church had been organized in 1833 with 18 members. Name of the church was changed in 1847 from New Bethel to Antioch, which now boasts a membership of 715. The Rev. Lester T. Marsh is the present pastor.
Friendship, founded by David Smith Williams in 1832, had by 1843 grown to a membership of 37. Clerk A. L. Williams and L. Pipkin the pastor and delegate, represented the church at the 1843 annual meeting of the Raleigh Association. In 1955 this church listed a membership of 292, with the Rev. Russell Hilliard as the pastor.
There was another Baptist church in the Harnett area at that time. This was also called Bethel and was located near Anderson Creek a short distance from present Highway 210 on a road leading to Blalock's store. It was not a member of the Raleigh Association in 1843. The minutes of the Little River Association list it as being organized in 1842. Its present pastor is Herman Moore Jr. and its membership is 90.
Prospect Free Will Baptist Church near Buie's Creek was organized as a Missionary Baptist church and was admitted to the Raleigh Association in 1853, being referred to as a new church. A church land deed, however, bears the date of 1846 which would indicate a church organization at that time. Prospect was dropped from the Raleigh Association in 1863.
There is some evidence the Baptists had a church in Harnett in 1758 or even earlier. It stood on the east side of Black River and was known as the Black River Meeting House. Its last location was a mile west of Dunn and 200 yards south of Russell Godwin's brick store. Insufficient documentary evidence prevents making a flat statement as to the 1758 date. Research may show this to be the oldest church in Harnett instead of Barbecue.
Following the War Between the States, there was a regular rash of Baptist Churches organized in Harnett County. This was not due to newly constituted Negro churches—they had their own separate Associations, Conferences and Presbyteries. Rather, it seems to have been a religious rebirth following the depressing effects of war.
Here is the record:
|Organized—Church||First Pastor||Charter Members||Present Pastor||Present Members|
|1869 Lillington||J. C. Marcom||9||L. C. Pinnix||457|
|1872 Chalybeate Springs||A. N. Campbell||54||E. Weldon Johnson||392|
|1874 Baptist Grove||A. N. Campbell||61||294|
|1874 Holly Springs||O. Churchill||24||C. E. Ruffin||545|
|1875 Buie's Creek||A. Betts||24||G. Scott Turner||734|
|1877 Macedonia||T. J. Hunt||21||Gene Walter||314|
|1883 Angier||N. H. Gibbs||—||G. Van Stephens||495|
|H. W. Graham)|
|1884 Gourd Springs||T. J. Hunt )||12||B. E. Lucas||55|
|This church went down but was reorganized in 1952|
|1885 Dunn (1st Baptist)||N. B. Cobb||—||Ernest P. Russell||998|
|1903 Erwin (then Duke)||D. P. Robbins||10||Forest Maxwell||671|
|1913 Rawls||J. D. Betts||24||Zeb Moss||217|
|1913 Oak Grove||J. M. Hollemon||35||Fulton Thomas||280|
|1919 Coats||J. A. Campbell||198||J. Ben Eller||362|
|1933 Pleasant Memory||J. I. Memory||27||E. M. Rhiner||106|
|1934 Harmony||Wm. Poole||108||Claude Graham||209|
|1935 Layton's Chapel||W. E. Bond||32|
|1939 East Erwin||N. B. Edge||18||Billy Fox||166|
|1944 Dunn (2nd Baptist)||E. C. Keller||27||E. C. Keller||117|
|1948 Duncan||Scott Turner Jr.||78||Wyatt Coley||162|
|1952 South Erwin||Frank W. Chance||76|
|1953 Hillman Grove||Julius Holloway||—||Julius Holloway||49|
There were other Baptist churches in the Harnett area which existed for a short time, then vanished, as members transferred to other churches. No complete list of these is available at present.FREE WILL BAPTISTS
Prospect Church, while nominally listed as a member of the Raleigh Association until 1863, seems to have been organized as a Free Will Baptist church as early as 1855. This would also be its centennial year if that date is correct. Despite the ups and downs incident to any rural church Prospect is still going strong and in 1948 completed a new brick building. Rev. C. H. Coates is the present pastor. In Prospect's ancient burial ground is interred Jesse Avery, the first Harnett soldier killed in World War I.
Old Field Church, located near Erwin on the old Averasboro-Smithfield road, was probably organized about the same time as Prospect, though there is some evidence that it antedates that church. Like Prospect, it is still strong though it clings to its old time building.
Other Free Will Baptist churches in Harnett are Erwin Chapel, near the intersection of 421 and the old river road, Lee's Grove near Dunn, Community Chapel at Buie's Creek, Hodge's Chapel near Benson, and Gospel Tabernacle at Dunn.PRIMITIVE BAPTISTS
There are two Primitive Baptist churches in Harnett. New Hope on the old Raleigh-Fayetteville stage road a mile north of
Coats seems to be the oldest. No records of its organization are available but the N. C. Directory of 1868 lists it. Bethsaida, located near Hodges Chapel almost on the Johnson County line, may be older than New Hope. From existing records it seems to have been organized about 1854.
When John Hodges donated the land for the church building he specified that ministers of other denominations would be allowed the use of the building. Rev. James Turnage and Rev. Wm. Harris, both Free Will Baptists, preached in the building for a number of years, probably until the organization of Hodges Chapel gave them a building of their own denomination.OTHER DENOMINATIONS
Harnett has a real mystery in one of its old churches. Haile's Meeting House which was located very near present Cokesbury Methodist Church is the name of the church—if it was a church. There is a deed dated 1792 transferring land to this meeting house, but from the wording of the deed and the names thereon no clue is given as to the denomination of this meeting house. Whether it was a constituted church or a community meeting house is not known at this time.
There are many other denominations in Harnett County. In 1895 a group of Jehovah's Witnesses was organized in Sampson County and removed to Dunn in 1926. The first Kingdom Hall was built shortly afterwards. This is the second oldest congregation in North Carolina.
The Glad Tidings Assemblies of God Church was organized in Dunn in 1944 with 24 charter members. It now has over 300. Rev. Robert Palmer is the present pastor.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latterday Saints (Mormon) was organized in Dunn, as a Sunday school, in 1947 with 12 members. It has grown steadily since then and now has 60 members.
There is also one Catholic Church in the county. This was started at Dunn many years ago and has had a consistent growth. It is the Sacred Heart Church with Father Vincent Stokes as pastor.
There are two Advent Christian churches: one in Dunn with Rev. Alton Quinn as pastor and the other in Erwin with Rev. Wayne Moore as minister.
Also at Erwin is the St. Stephens Episcopal Church with Rev. Eldridge H. Taylor as pastor. This was one of the four churches organized when Duke, now Erwin, was established in 1903-04. The other three were the Baptist, Methodist and Presbyterian. Rev. Samuel N. Hanff was the first Episcopal minister and it was during his ministry the first church building was constructed.
It was destroyed by fire in 1922 and replaced with a brick structure. St. Stephens now has full parish status.
There are three Christian churches in Harnett. Pleasant Union, near Lillington, is the oldest. It was organized in Nov. 1863, the middle of the war, at what seems an inauspicious time. Elder John R. Holt was the first minister. Charter members were one man, Allen B. Jones and 12 ladies—Martha Hatcher, Janet Long, Penny Jones, Mary Johnson, Sarah Sexton, Jane Buchanan, Leodicie Johnson, Flora Johnson, Mary Stewart, Civil Ann McLead and Elizabeth McLeod. The first deacons were William Sexton and Ingram Spence. The church has enjoyed steady growth and now has well over 200 members.
Christian Light near Kipling, was organized in 1886 and has recently completed a new brick building. Hood Memorial is the third member of the group, and the largest. It is located in Dunn and for many years has been under the leadership of the beloved Dr. George Cuthrell.METHODISTS
The Methodists, like many other denominations, got a rather late start in Harnett. Noted for their missionary work, the Methodists ran into a stone wall when they came into the rock bound Presbyterian stronghold that included most of Harnett. The main trouble was: they spoke no Gaellic and the Highlanders understood no English.
Consequently, we find no record of a Methodist church being organized in Harnett until 1836 when the Cokesbury Church was formed. On Nov. 10 of that year Joel Prince deeded 10 acres of land to William Pegram, Silas Douglass, Alex McLennon, George W. Pegram, Burrell Rollins, Ruffin Prince, Stephen A. Pegram, Elisha Dennis and Richard Cross as trustees, on which a Methodist church was to be built. Apparently, the church was built in 1837.
There has been some speculation that the old Haile's Meeting House which stood nearby may have been a Methodist church but due to the deplorable lack of Methodist records no proof of this has been found. During the War Between the States, Methodist Conference records suffered terribly. Their loss has been irreparable. Only here and there is a reference found to help the historian.
It is known that in 1857 Methodist churches were functioning at Cool Springs, Averasboro, Cokesbury, Wesley's Chapel and Barclay's Chapel in Harnett County. This last church was located at Barclaysville and was later moved to a point near Buie's Creek where it is now called Pleasant Plains. There was no mention
of Spring Hill. It possibly had not been organized at that period.
The war not only was responsible for the dstruction of so many vital Methodist records, it also destroyed the Confederate monetary system. There is a poignant note to an 1865 entry on the minutes of the Quarterly Conference record of the Cokesbury Church which still survives: “Amount received on pastor's salary, 1 stack of fodder.” One stack of fodder!
The N. C. Directory of 1868 lists Methodist churches at Harnett Chapel and Hebron in addition to those above. It only lists one lone Methodist minister, B. B. Culbreth. Possibly, Hebron Chapel was the forerunner of the Lillington Church, which was organized in 1869.
The Methodist Church in Dunn was organized in 1887 with Rev. John F. Butt as the first pastor. Spring Hill Church in Upper Little River area was organized in 1867 with about 25 members. It now has 440 and is planning a new building. The Erwin church was formed in 1904. In 1920 Mamers was organized and Mt. Ariel in 1921, the latter having received its name in a bush arbor in 1920. L. R. Davis was the first pastor of these churches. Rev. W. C. Shaw is the present pastor at Mamers. Union was organized in 1940 with F. R. Davis as pastor.CHAPTER XIII
In the year of our Lord 1756, a grant for 200 acres of land on Stewart's Creek in Cumberland County was issued to one John Graham.
Now there was nothing remarkable about that grant to set it apart from others issued the same day. Where the difference came in was its location—and the man John Graham. Little John Graham, if you care to accept his traditional description.
The land covered by the grant was in that part of Cumberland now called Harnett County. It lies on Stewart's Creek on Highway 421, a mile north of Erwin.
On this tract just below the bridge and near a spring, Little John Graham built Harnett's first schoolhouse—built it and taught school in it, for teaching was his profession. John Graham, Schoolmaster, was the way he signed legal papers.
Why should he establish a school in such a thinly settled, out-of-way place? There wasn't a baker's dozen settlers in miles of the location: the Smilies, Tim Cleaven, James McDougald, John McAllister, Dougald Stewart, Dushee Shaw, the McPhails, a few more. But they wanted a school—even Timothy Cleaven who had no children.
But that was John Graham's way. He had a passion for establishing schools where they were needed. Sure, he could have holed up in Wilmington, Edenton or maybe New Bern and lived comfortably in one of those towns. But that was not his way.
Out over that vast area that was Cumberland County in its early days, he wandered. And where he lived school houses sprouted from the seeds of education he planted. He was the Johnny Appleseed of education in the Upper Cape Fear Country.
The following year, 1757, he disposed of his Stewart's Creek land and moved over to the Head of Rockfish near the present town of Aberdeen.
In all probability the school he started there had a lot to do with the later establishment of old Bethesda Church and Pansophia Lodge No. 25, chartered 1793, the oldest Masonic Lodge in Upper Cumberland.
From the Head of Rockfish, John Graham moved on to a place called Longstreet, so called because several houses had been built on a road within sight of one another. It is now part of the Fort Bragg Reservation.
At about the time Graham opened his school there, a bearded stranger from Pennsylvania began preaching in the same area.
He was the Rev. James Campbell, Preacher Jim, who brought religion to the Upper Cape Fear area. Oddly enough, the Rev-Campbell soon began holding services at the home of Dushee Shaw in the Stewart's Creek country. Did little John Graham tell Preacher Jim about that section? It is probable he did.
From Longstreet John Graham went on to Gibson's Store near Lower Little River—where the Pee Dee and Cane Creek (later McArthur) roads crossed. There we lose track of this man who did so much to establish schools in the upper valley. Maybe today his ashes rest like Preacher Campbell's in a grave in a briar patch. Only Little John Graham's grave is not marked. But the school he started in 1756 on Stewart's Creek, or one like it, was still in existence as late as 1891.
By 1762 a large number of families had moved into the area between Stewart's Creek and present day Coats. More schools were being built.
In that same year Dushee Shaw made his will. One tract of land he mentioned lay between McPhail's and Schoolhouse Branch. This branch heads near where Dushee's home stood and just back of Carl Turlington's new home on Highway 55, a scant mile north of Turlington's Cross Roads.
This section of Harnett has always been in the lead where schools are concerned.
It may be of interest to note that in 1916 Gus Stewart of Turlington's Cross Roads was transporting students from that area to the new high school at Coats by team and wagon. That was seven years before the county purchased the first school bus. (It now operates 120).
It is true these early neighborhood schools were mighty skimpy in the courses taught. Reading, writing and arithmetic, the three R's, so called. But out of them came some fine folks who rose to fame in various fields.
Some families were able to employ private tutors; others sent their children to boarding schools in the cities.
In 1803, higher learning came to the Upper Cumberland area with the establishment of the Averasboro Academy in that town.
By 1840 the center of higher education had shifted to the Village of Summerville, three miles west of Lillington. It boasted two academies: The Female Academy and Summerville Hall for Boys.
By 1846 the two had merged into a co-educational institution called Cumberland Academy. Its third principal was Dr. J. C. McNair, who was responsible for the famed McNair lectures at the University of North Carolina.
In this famous old Cumberland Academy the first officials of Harnett County were selected and the new county's first courts
were held there. Shortly after the county's formation, Cumberland Academy became Summerville Academy and operated under that name for many years.
Out in Western Harnett in the Harrington-Mt. Pisgah section, Pine Forest Academy came into existence during the 1840's. As at Averasboro, the academy and the Masonic lodge occupied the same building.
Over in the Black River section east of Coats was located Stewart's Academy which flourished for many years.
About 1825, Findlay Chisholm began a so-called private school or academy. It was located on the old Monroe Road below Cameron's Hill at a place still known as Chisholm's Spring.
There are also vague reports of academies operated at various times around Cameron's Hill and the ancient village of Barclaysville in eastern Harnett. And there may have been others.
It goes without saying that Buies Creek Academy is Harnett's most famous educational center.
Actually, it began its existence in 1887 in a one room “up and down boarded” building. Through the years, under the able direction of its founder, the Rev. James Archibald Campbell, it grew steadily, always striving to offer more to its students than a bare knowledge of the three R's.
Through the years it developed and ever grew larger. More buildings were constructed and more teachers added.
Just about the finest thing ever said about this famous old academy was this: No student was ever turned away from its doors merely because of lack of money.
In time the Academy became Campbell College, a full-fledged Junior College, operating under the jurisdiction of the State Baptist Convention.
Dr. Leslie H. Campbell, son of the founder, heads it. Now, as always, he and his staff are striving to make of the college an institution that will give not only the people of Harnett but folks everywhere a foundation on which a life of useful service to the world may be built.
It wasn't until 1857 that we have any written records on Harnett's public school system.
On October 16, 1857, Daniel McCormick, Chairman of the Board of Superintendents of Common Schools of Harnett County, made this report:
Cash received of E. L. Winslow, Chairman of the Board of Cumberland County, $850.70. This being 2/5 of $2126.75, Harnett County's proportionate share of school fund taxes paid by its citizens to the Cumberland County tax collector.
Disbursements: none. No schools were taught in Harnett during the Spring of 1857. Mr. McCormick adds that no tax as yet
has been laid by the County Court for common school purposes but assumes this will be done in the Spring term of 1858.
The Board of Teacher Examiners was composed of A. D. McLean, W. M. McNeill and D. W. McCormick. Fifteen teachers were examined. One was a lady, Martha J. McLean. Who was this lone woman pioneer among Harnett's teachers?
Mr. McCormick's next report dated Sept. 6, 1858 is more informative. It shows the county was divided into 36 districts. Number of white children of school age: 1649. Number taught 716. Number days taught 1583.
Teachers and the amount paid them:
|Neill McLeod||$ 60.00||D. M. Baker||$ 36.50|
|John A. Stewart||39.84||Neill Ray||37.35|
|C. A. Cameron||97.83||Duncan Sellers||30.00|
|James Champion Jr.||30.00||Gilbert McDougald||33.20|
|Eli Carter||65.57||Neill McN. Buie||30.00|
|H. B. Holland||39.05||Women Teachers|
|Joseph E. Adams||36.00||C. I. Monroe||30.00|
|Lucian A. Avera||60.00||Christian McRae||30.00|
|Jno. H. Hodges||118.69||C. I. McDonald||14.00|
|D. W. Shaw||30.00||Martha J. McLean||30.00|
|Arch'd. Graham||85.46||Nancy C. Cameron|
Neill Buie was paid 16.00 for building a schoolhouse.
Total salaries paid all teachers that term $933.49.
To the teacher of today such salaries seem incomprehensible. Think of teaching an entire term of two or three months for an amount that would just about take care of an average teacher's dry cleaning bill. Actually, it amounted to about 60 cents per day.
And think of building a school house for $16.00! Of course, that can be explained by the fact that the school patrons furnished the lumber and most of the labor without charge.
In those days a teacher didn't have to meet today's rigid requirements. If he or she could pass the three man committee's examination, that was good enough. Well, there was one requirement: having the high courage to take up such work and the stamina to keep at it from one year to another. Physically, a good arm helped. It came in handy when birching the backsides of erring pupils.
Many of these early day pupils wouldn't hesitate a moment if they heard a pack of fox hounds baying in the distance. Right out through the windows or door they went. They would return the next day for more learning—and a licking.
Some of these little one-room, one-teacher old field schools had such interesting names: Aircastle, Buzzard Roost, Duck Pond,
Glad Rabbit, to mention a few. Lillington children went to a school named Turkle Breast.
They were fireplace heated. Stoves came many years later. The blackboards were just that: wide boards, smoothly planed and painted black. Benches were used for seats. Desks were still far in the future.
Mr. McCormick's report for 1858-59 is a little better. $2,475.75 was spent for school purposes that year. But there were still no schools in four districts.
For the 1859-60 term the amount spent dropped to $2,095.72 but in 1860-61 it increased to $2,284.50.
That same year of 1860-61, some new names were added to the list of teachers: Allen B. Parker, John Parker, A. D. Cutts, L. H. Penny, J. M. McNeill, E. J. Williams and two ladies, Miss L. F. McLean and Mrs. Ann Atkins Withers.
It will be noted that the Allen B. Parker listed above was one of Harnett's first lawyers. Evidently, Allen found lean legal pickin's in the county's early days.
Most of the men teachers soon marched away to a war none of them wanted and from which many did not return. There is still extant, a letter written in Virginia in July, 1863. One paragraph reads: “We buried Cousin Lucian Avera yesterday. We put him decently away under a wild cherry tree on a hill top.” Allen Parker and H. B. Holland also lost their lives in the war.
Impact of the war is sharply shown by Mr. McCormick's later reports. In 1862 there were 12 teachers who taught in 16 districts and were paid $555.39. Four of the teachers were women. Among the men was John McLean Harrington who had been publishing a hand written newspaper out at Buffalo Springs near Barbecue Church. Scarcity of paper forced its suspension during the war years.
In 1864 Mr. McCormick made his last report. Nine women and seven men teachers were paid $3,421.00. Salaries were really going up! But then it is remembered this was depreciated Confederate paper currency with which they were paid.
For the first few years after the war there is a dearth of school records concerning Harnett County. In fact, only a very few common schools, as they were called, did operate. There simply was no money available to operate schools, or anything else, for that matter. People were too busy trying to bring order out of the chaos resulting from the war.
As late as 1875 Kenneth McNeill, high sheriff of the county, was sued by the county treasurer C. H. Coffield for taxes which he failed to collect in 1874! The sheriff had to take his case to the Supreme Court to win it. In the meantime, his surety became insolvent, and the county commissioners, declaring the position
vacant, selected John A. Green as sheriff in place of McNeill.
Harnett's home grown poet and balladeer George W. Miller took note of it with the following verse:Whoever knew such treatment as this the sheriff has received?But since he is out of office, he is very much relieved.He's not bothered with the tax list now, and nothing of the sort.For it's been assigned to John A. Green and he will make it snort.
Schools couldn't operate when the people couldn't pay taxes. However, Harnett began to recover from the war. It was staggering but it was on its feet, even venturing a tentative swing now and then.
Beginning in 1885, records are available again. They show a deplorable state of school affairs. Buildings and equipment were in bad shape. Terms were short and attendance low. As usual, the teachers were poorly paid.
J. D. Pegram, a Methodist minister, was county superintendent of schools in that year. He was paid $3.00 per day for the days actually served. In no case could he draw more than 5% of the amount set aside for school purposes.
The Rev. Mr. Pegram was succeeded in 1888 by that old champion of public education, Rev. James A. Campbell, who even then was laying the foundation stones for what is now Campbell College. He held the position until 1896. In 1904 Mr. J. D. Ezzell took over.
Harnett had now recovered from the 1865 haymaker. In 1905 it felt good enough to stage a fiftieth birthday party just to show the rest of the state how well off it had become. Of course, the establishment of the Erwin Mills at Duke about that time was the shot in the arm the county needed and got. Four years later, in 1909, Harnett entered an educational era.
In that year superintending the schools of the county became a full time job. And taking office at the same time, as the County Board of Education, were three men whose foresight in the county's need in the field of education was little short of amazing.
These men, these pioneers were: J. M. Hodges of the Linden area—though naturally he lived in Harnett, O'J. Bradley from Kipling and T. W. Harrington of the Mt. Pisgah section.
They saw what was needed. They laid their plans and stubbornly followed them.
Many people who had been drawing salaries as teachers suddenly discovered that being kin to a school committee member wasn't enough to get them a teacher's job.
Why those three fools on the Board of Education were demanding teachers woh had been trained to teach! If necessary, they
hired teachers outside the county. This was unthinkable—it was heresy—even treason!
The Chairman of the Board, John M. Hodges, was denounced as an aristocrat. What die he know about the plain people and their problems. He must go—ride him out on a rail. Yes, and that poetry writing fellow, Tom W. Harrington, and O'Jennings Bradley with him!
But these three men went on with their work. They meant to create a county school system that would give every child in it a chance to attend a school that was adequately equipped and properly staffed.
Quietly, faithfully, these modest men traveled their planned road with firm faith and steady steps. It was this faith that enabled them to survive the mouthings of the mob. The torch they had lighted was beginning to burn brighter.
By 1915 high schools were in operation at Angier, Coats, Duke, Dunn and Lillington. At Buie's Creek, the public high school was run in connection with the academy. Some districts were voting special school funds.
In that year of 1915, Byrd P. Gentry succeeded Ezell as county superintendent. He efficiently served until 1941 with the exception of the 1921-22 school year. And ever the work went on.
In the 1920's many small schools were combined, making it possible to offer elementary and high school training to more pupils. In 1923 transportation of pupils by motor bus began. This was helped by constructing better roads over the county.
It is a matter of deep regret that O'Jennings Bradley and Thomas Watts Harrington didn't live to see these later events. Bradley died in 1920 and a year later Harrington joined him on the long trail to eternity.
John M. Hodges though did live to see all this come to pass. With the satisfaction of knowing he and his faithful co-workers had successfully completed their task, he resigned in 1925.
In grateful appreciation the County of Harnett gave him a gold-headed walking cane for 16 years of selfless service. He died in 1936.
Other good men have served, and are now serving, on the Board of Education and in the directing of Harnett school activities but it is conceded by all that credit for Harnett's present leadership in public school work is largely due to the tireless efforts of these three men who placed service above self.
For those who like comparisons, here are a few items taken from Harnett County school records:
|Population—1860 census||5,480 white||15,000||50,000|
|Length of school term||40 days||50 days||180 days|
|Number of schools||36||68||24|
|Value of school property||6,500.00||5,250,000.00|
|Total school expenditures||1,214.39||11,500.00||1,800,000.00|
In 1955 another bond issue of $2,000,000.00 has been voted for school purposes by the people of Harnett.
We have come a long way on this Road of Education. But let us not forget that somewhere, someplace along it, lie the lost and lonely bones of the man who first started hacking this trail through the wilderness of ignorance. The little man who signed himself:
JOHN GRAHAM, SchoolmasterCHAPTER XIV
The Negro came to the Harnett area almost as soon as the permanent settlers. It is true he came as a slave, but a large number of the early white settlers came as indentured servants. These were people bound by law to serve the more affluent settlers for a certain length of time. This was generally to pay for their passage to America or for debts contracted in their native land.
Their lot was a little better than the slaves, though restrictions placed on them were almost as bad. However, they could look forward to freedom after serving their time; the slave could not. Most of the first settlers of Georgia were convicts or indentured servants.
The first tax list of Cumberland County in 1755 lists 85 taxables in the Harnett area. Seven of these owned 14 slaves out of the total of 63 in the entire county. Francis Jones had 4, John Martinlear 3, Archie Buie 2, Dushee Shaw 2; James Thornton, David Smith and Thomas York had 1 each.
The 1780 returns for the same area lists 251 taxables. Of these, 62 owned 282 slaves. The largest owners were David Smith 17, Coll McAllister 14, Elizabeth Smith 13, Archie Bahn McNeill 13, George Easom 12, John Carroway 11, Isaac Williams 11, and John Lee 10. Eighteen owned 1 each, six 2, seven 3, seven 4, five 5 and eleven owned from 6 to 9.
The first census of Cumberland County, taken in 1790, lists the Harnett area with 270 families, with 110 families owning 691 slaves. The largest owners were Ferquard Campbell 50, David Smith 42, the Williams family 72, the Northington family 36. The Buies, Clarks, McLeans and McNeills owned sizeable numbers. Only 24 families had 10 or more slaves.
Thus we see the pattern forming. A few families living on the rich bottom lands of the river owned over half the slaves. Out in the so-called back country, slave owners were few and far between. This trend continued for the next 70 years.
When the first census of Harnett County was taken in 1860, there were slightly over 1,000 families with a total population of 5,480. There were 2,587 slaves, giving a combined population of 8,067. Forty families owned over half the slaves.
Parson Neill McKay was the largest owner with 200, J. C. Williams had 102, Jno. Elliot 80, A. S. McNeill 80. Nat Jones, who owned the land Lillington is built upon, had 56. Dr. H. M. Turner had 40 and Farquard Smith listed 37. The Atkins, Hodges, McKay,
McLean, McNeill, Murchison and Williams families were the largest slave owners.
On the whole, the life of the Negro slave in Harnett was not too bad. It was about on the same level as the English peasant's until the barons wrested the Magna Charta from King John on the fields of Runnymede in 1215.
All these stories of the Uncle Tom's Cabin type, featuring a cruel planter venting hideous punishment on his helpless slaves, is just so much hog wash.
A slave was valuable property. A good field hand brought $500.00. If he was a craftsman: blacksmith, cooper, etc., he was worth $1,000.00 or more.
The planter saw to the health of his slaves. Entries in doctors’ journals of the times shows far more calls on slaves than on whites. The slave's spiritual life was looked after. Many of them were members of the same churches as their masters.
There were only two families in the Harnett area who were accused of being downright cruel to their slaves. There are no Negroes in Harnett today bearing those names. A prominent man in the western part of the county has a standing offer of $5.00 to anyone producing a Negro resident of Harnett having either given or surname of the two families.
Oddly enough, the slaves developed a caste system more rigid than their masters’. The butler—or major-domo of the house—ruled the roost. A house servant was very snooty toward a field hand, though he would tolerate as an equal, a slave who was a craftsman.
Though the life of the slave in Harnett was not too bad it lacked one vital element: FREEDOM. In the Harnett area, until 1831, he did have a fair amount of liberty. Restrictions on his movements were few. He could, with the owner's permission, visit around over the neighborhood, go courting, attend slave parties, etc.
Then, in 1831, came the abortive slave insurrection of Nat Turner of Virginia. It spread into the eastern part of N. C. and even got as far as Sampson County. There the militia was called out, the ringleaders were caught and executed.
The Harnett area had no trouble for it was never classed as a big plantation section. Its people were small farmers in general. Too, a lot of them were Methodists, arch foes of slavery.
Nevertheless, it fell under the same restrictions as applied to other counties where trouble occurred. It was the day of the “Patty Rollers,” white men designated to patrol the roads and take up any Negro found on them without the written authority of his master. The slave was confined rather closely to the limits
of the plantation where he lived. There were no more public meetings or jamborees for him.
The exacting conditions of bondage after 1831 made it necessary for the slave to look to a Higher Power for deliverance. He would slip away for clandestine meetings in the forests. Thus was developed his mournful melodies of hope: “Steal Away To Jesus”, “Nobody Knows The Trouble I've Seen”, “There's A Better Day Coming”, etc.
Many slaves managed to buy their freedom, and in quite a few cases the owners freed them. The first business establishment in Lillington—a barroom—was owned and operated by John McLean, a free Negro. This was about 1860.
With the outbreak of the War for the Confederacy many Negroes went with their masters as body servants. One of them—another John McLean—never forgave Captain Cutts for his refusal to allow him to bring his master's body home, when he was killed in one of the battles in Virginia.
“Stink or no stink,” he mourned. “I'd a brung him home anyhow but Cap'n Cutts wouldn't lemme do it.”
Many slaves were drafted to work on the fortifications around Wilmington and other places. In later years, many of the exslaves who went to the war, or performed services for the Confederacy, were placed on the pension rolls by special acts of the legislature. Anson Bailey and Sandy Patterson, both living near Lillington, were on the Harnett County pension roll.
With a thousand of its best men fighting in the Confederate armies, there are no recorded instances of Harnett slaves taking advantage of this condition and causing trouble. This was true of the South as a whole.
When freedom came to the slave in 1865, power was thrust into hands not ready to wield it. Authority, backed by Federal bayonets, was given to people who had never issued an order in their lives.
Mistakes were made and excesses committed that only the passing of years—even generations—could obliterate. Most of the depredations of the freed slaves consisted of barn burning and larceny.
In all fairness to the Negro race, let it be said now that most of the trouble makers were an irresponsible minority acting under orders of the Union League and the protection of agents of the Freedmen's Bureau.
Appeals for redress of grievances did no good. In fact, matters reached the point where if a white man complained he could almost certainly expect his barn to be burned, or his livestock stolen within a few days.
The Union League, which came with the carpet-baggers in the wake of the Federal army, began organizing the Negroes for political purposes. Any Negro who refused to join was called a Conservative, and severe punishment was dealt him by his own race. Naturally, the Union League operated in the interest of the Republican party. Their primary aim was to put that party in power and keep it there by the votes of the freed slaves.
Nightly, the sky glowed with the light of burning barns. The normal sounds of night were mixed with abnormal noises: the scrape and thud of the feet of stolen cattle and horses being led away.
The hoodlum element grew more reckless as the courts refused to convict them. Insults and indignities were the order of the day. The situation grew untenable and intolerable for the embattled whites and the conservative Negroes.
Then out of the night came the thundering hoof beats of horses ridden by white hooded and white sheeted riders. The Ku Klux Klan! There had been times when it was first organized in Pulaski, Tenn. the Klansmen wrapped the feet of their mounts with rags to deaden the sound of hoof beats. But not now. Ride, Redeem and Restore Order was the directive under which they operated.
The Klan and similar orders by their nature operated beyond the law, but they visited swift and certain punishment on the Union Leaguers.
In Harnett there were two “deer” or local organizations: one at Averasboro, the other centering around Neill's Creek Church. Almost every night one of the “deer” was on the prowl, venting punishment on a lawbreaker the courts refused to prosecute. By the end of 1870, the Union League had vanished. Law and Order had been reestablished throughout the state.
But now the Klan began to get out of control. It had served a good purpose, but there were men in it who utilized it for the advancement of private aims. In some counties violent acts were committed in the name of the Klan, which brought it into disrepute.
The end of the Klan in Harnett came suddenly when the Neill's Creek “deer” paid a call on a suspected barn burner. The suspect refused to open his door. One of the Klansmen, Ike Gaskins, crashed in the door. As he plunged through the opening, the Negro was standing beside it with uplifted axe. He struck, and the keen blade sank through Ike's head. He slumped to the floor. The Negro dashed through the door only to be shot down in the yard. The hooded band marched around his body, firing pistol shots at his head.
They left him lying there while they took their dead comrade home. This was the end. They scattered to their homes to pick up a few belongings before leaving. They knew the Federal marshals, backed by troops, would be after them in a few hours.
Disaster had struck the Klan at Averasboro about the same time. A Federal agent had wormed his way into the organization, and had been able to get a fairly accurate list of its members. He was discovered and shot down on a street in Averasboro just as the Federal men rode in.
The shot had come from the academy building where a supposed town meeting was taking place. The Federals had rode up in time to see the man fall—and guess where the shot came from. They surrounded the building at once.
There were several ladies at the meeting. One was a tall woman wearing a long cloak. The Federals courteously allowed the ladies to pass. Then they nearly took the building apart looking for the rifle that had fired the shot—the distance had been too great for a pistol.
They never found the gun. In her own home several blocks away, the tall woman took the rifle from under her long cloak and concealed it under the stones of the fireplace.
By daybreak the men of Averasboro were joining their Neill's Creek brethren in raising dust clouds, marking the last mass migration from Harnett County.
Oh, yes—the Negro who had figured so prominently in this incident: he died in the 1930's, over sixty years after having his scalp torn off by the impact of thirty or forty pistol bullets. They merely furrowed around his skull without penetrating it!
With the end of the Reconstruction period in 1876, both Negro and white viewed the future with hope. Both races realized their dependence on the other.
There was no industry in Harnett. There never had been. It was farm and forest country. And once again in their extremity the people turned to these friendly forests for help.
Mostly, it was the Negro race which went into the so-called “Sandy Barrens” of western Harnett and in the eastern part from Turlington's Cross Roads to Kit Barbee's at Barclaysville. They rented crops of pine trees and tended them for turpentine like dirt farmers tended crops of cotton, corn and wheat.
It was on one of these pine tree farms that Dr. John Taylor Williams got his start. While his fellow workers frolicked around after work hours, young Williams would be studying books. Books he paid for by leaving off part of his food allowance. By such Spartan self-denial he educated himself to the point where he was able to get a teacher's job.
He saved his wages and eventually got through medical college. He established his practice in Charlotte where he became successful and well known. So much so that he was appointed minister to Liberia, where he served with honor to himself, and credit to his country.
His high position was not fully appreciated by his kinfolks around Olivia. A friend was asking his uncle about him.
“Oh,” said the uncle. “John Taylor's done got to be a minister now. He's preaching over in a church called Liberia.”
Another outstanding Negro of the Olivia section was Uncle Jack Murchison who, without aid from the Freedmen's Bureau or joining the Union League, built Murchison's Chapel at his own expense and preached in it until he was well beyond 100 years old. Some time before his death at the age of 127 he deeded it to his church organization.
There have been many other Negroes in the years since freedom who have been outstanding in their efforts to raise the status of their race. In the religious field were Parson Richard Smith, Ned Bailey, Bok Williams and “Father” W. T. Barney, all slave born. By their efforts they deserve a high place of honor among the Negro leaders of Harnett. The log huts, frame houses and brush arbors in which they preached have largely been supplanted by brick churches.
In the field of education, Anson Bailey, of Confederate War fame, fathered a family of thirteen, six of whom became teachers. One of these was Mrs. Betty B. McKay who taught for 42 years.
Another long termer was Mrs. Maggie Ann Winkley who taught for 30 years. There were other teachers who labored early and late to impart an education to the newly freed members of their race, among them Bryant and Isaac Smith come to mind.
These old time teachers found education for the Negro in a log hut, and while they didn't leave it in a brick schoolhouse, they laid the foundation stones. The brick schools came later—and are still coming.
Educational leaders of both races in Harnett realize the value of proper education. They are laboring earnestly to see that every child in Harnett, black or white, is given an opportunity to secure a high school education without Supreme Court directives.
Time and tolerance is all they ask.CHAPTER XV
“Only a thin book stands between civilization and barbarism.”
The name of the author of that statement should be carved on a Stone Mountain; yet the compiler of this chronicle after diligent search has been unable to find who did make it. Perhaps it might be rephrased:
“Only a thin book stands between barbarism and civilization: The Book of the Law.”
It was an old book, this Book of the Law. It was first chiseled on stone slabs by a man named Moses. We call that first Book of the Law the Ten Commandments.
The first Book of the Law was carved in simple words—so simple a child could understand them. Through the thousands of years since then we have added thousands of laws to the first ten. All those thousands are based on the original ten Moses brought down from Sinai's cloud covered top.
Each time we added a new law or rephrased an old one we managed to make it more confusing. In time a special breed of men—and some women—came into existence.
These people would make the laws and they would strive mightily to make them sound as confusing as possible. To make them more puzzling to the average man, they developed a special language. This language came in mighty handy when a clod of above average mentality started asking questions. These people could always lapse into this language. By the time they had finished spouting, the local yokel would be so mixed up he didn't know whether he was going or coming or heading for six months on the chain gang. These people were called lawyers.
In fact, they succeeded so well in this matter of confusion they even confused themselves! So another special breed of men—and again some women—came into existence. Their job was to interpret the laws of the lawyers so they could understand them. These people were called judges.
The first time a citizen of present Harnett County came into conflict with one of these lawyers is recorded in the minutes of the Cumberland County Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions. (Reader, don't let those last few words confuse you. They are legal terminology for what we of today call a recorder's court.)
Anyway, under date of January 27, 1756, we find this concerning one David Kennedy who lived near Bunnlevel.
“It is ordered by the court that David Kennedy enter Recognizance in the sum of 50 pounds, proclamation money, and John Brown and Timothy Cleaven, each of them, in the sum of 25 pounds, assores, that he, the said David, will keep the peace toward all His Majesty's subjects and especially David Gordon, Attorney at Law, for the space of 12 months.”
It isn't stated what aroused Citizen Dave's ire toward Lawyer Dave. Maybe Gordon had mulcted Kennedy of something.
What is known is this: that if within the space of 12 months David Kennedy cut loose a haymaker at Lawyer Gordon, or anyone else, for that matter, it was going to cost him, he the said David Kennedy, 50 pounds proclamation, and his bondsmen, Brown and Cleaven, a like amount—a huge sum in those days.
Kennedy evidently behaved for the next twelve months as there is no record of him being hauled before the court in that time.
On April 21, 1756 these same court minutes tell us that:
“Plunkett Ballard, gent., came into court and produced a commission from his Excellency Arthur Dobbs, Governor of the Province of North Carolina, appointing him the said Plunkett Ballard to plead as an Attorney in any County Court in North Carolina.”
Ballard lived on the East side of Black River near the present Erwin-Dunn highway. So to Plunkett goes the honor of being Harnett County's first recorded Attorney at Law.
He seems to have done rather well for the court minutes record him as appearing frequently. Too, he is recorded as purchasing quite a bit of property in the ensuing years.
About 1765 the Cumberland County Courthouse was moved from near the mouth of Lower Little River to what is now Fayetteville. Since lawyers tended to live near county seats in those days, there are no more recorded lawyers in the Harnett area until the formation of the county in 1855.
In 1740 Bladen County extended westward to the Mississippi River and its county seat was located a few miles upriver from present day Elizabethtown.
It is recorded that about 1748 a murder was committed near Charlotte. A man rode from there to the county seat in four days to report it. An undersheriff rode back with him to arrest the murderer. That was another four days. Then four days more taking the prisoner back. Twelve days after the killing the murderer was lodged in Bladen's log jail. It was too much territory for one county. In 1749 Anson County was cut off from Bladen; and in 1754 the amputation of Cumberland from Bladen took place.
Most of Bladen's early records have been destroyed but Cumberland's
are still in existence. They tell us much about how people lived in those days and the laws they lived under.
The law was administered by justices of the peace scattered throughout the county. These early jaypees were important officials in those days and exercised considerable authority. Any three of them sitting as a body at a legally designated time constituted a Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions. So called because they regularly met every three months or four times per year.
From the records of this Court, dating back to October 1, 1775, it is noted the following justices living in Harnett:
John McAllister at Averasboro
Gilbert Clark on Barbecue
Hector McNeill on Hector's Creek
In 1756, Stephen Phillips and Samuel Howard were added. Howard lived between the two Little Rivers; Phillips near Averasboro.
This court had the authority to try such cases as are handled by our present day recorder's courts. More serious cases were tried by the Court of Assizes at Wilmington.
In addition, the court appointed executors of estates and juries to lay off roads. It set tax rates, issued licenses to public ferrys, public grist mills and ordinarys. These ordinarys were a combined inn and tavern. Their rates were set by this same court.
These ordinarys were important neighborhood meeting places in those early days.
In them the chance wayfarer found food and lodging for man and beast. The citizens of the community used the public—or tap room as a meeting place. In them, news was exchanged, politics were argued and, on occasion, heads were broken. These ordinarys took the place of the newspaper, the town hall, the civic club and even the church at times.
On January 11, 1757, the court issued a license to John Dobbins to keep an ordinary at his house.
Tradition has it that Reverend James Campbell preached in Dobbins’ tap room many times, using a whiskey barrel as a support or lectern for his Bible. This was the most convenient place in which to hold such services, as there was no church building when Preacher Jim came there in 1757.
Other ordinarys in Harnett at that period were:
Robert Love—near Linden
Richard Tredway—near Reaves Bridge
William Hodges—near Lillington
John McDougald—near Bunnlevel
Stock marks and brands were recorded and deeds of conveyance were proved before the court. It also conducted the election
of sheriffs, court clerks and recorders and appointed jurors to the big courts at Wilmington as well as grand jurors and petit jurors for Cumberland's Petit Court.
The first grand jurors from the Harnett area:
William Hodges, John Smith, Sam Howard, John Stuart and David Smith.
First petty jurors:
Dushee Shaw, John Phillips, John Clark, Stephen Gardner, Hector McNeill, Archibald Clark and Sampson Williams.
First Harnett jurors to go to the big court at Wilmington:
Robert Love, Dushee Shaw, Martin Trantham, Francis Jones, Archie McNeill and Gilbert Clark.
The court also appointed constables to execute their orders. Thomas Stewart was constable on both sides of the Cape Fear from Lower Little River to Thornton's Creek. Sam Kennedy between the two Little Rivers; John Patterson on Barbecue; John (the Baptist) Copeland, Hector's Creek to upper limit of county.
This is one of the systems (with modifications as years went by) the Harnett area operated under until 1868. There was another system: the church. Harnett, being largely settled by the Scots, was naturally a Presbyterian stronghold.
During those early days the Session of the Presbyterian church spent considerable time deciding disputes between church members.
If Archie Buie had a row with Dan Cameron over the ownership of a piece of property, Archie wouldn't think of yanking old Dan into court. That cost money. He had to hire lawyers—and pay court costs if he lost the suit. That would never do.
Archie would bring the matter to the attention of the Session at its next meeting. The Session would decide the dispute and both litigants would accept its decision—and abide by it.
This practice continued until around the turn of the past century.
Naturally, no criminal cases were brought before the Session.
This practice caused mighty few Harnett residents to show up in the civil courts of Cumberland. It also might account for the county's lack of lawyers.
In 1855 when the County of Harnett was laid off, there were three lawyers living and practicing in its bounds.
It seems inconceivable that in an area the size of Harnett there was not one single solitary lawyer listed as living or practicing in it during a period covering nearly 100 years! But none have as yet been uncovered.
These lawyers of 1855 were Daniel McDougald, who lived near McDougald's Bridge on Upper Little River, and J. A. Spears and Neill McKay, both of whom lived in or near Summerville.
About 1857 Allen B. Parker of the Bunnlevel community joined the ranks of the lawyers.
Four years later he and Dan McDougald joined other ranks: those of the Confederate Army. Both went in as sergeants; both were promoted to Captain and both were killed; McDougald at Malvern Hill in 1862 and Parker at Battery Wagner in 1863.
When the General Assembly created Harnett County in 1855 it forgot to provide for a Superior Court. The Legislature of 1856-57 remedied this oversight.
In the meantime, Harnett's Superior Court cases were tried in Fayetteville.
One of these cases concerned a man named Jacob Johnson, jailed on a first degree murder charge. Parents used Jake as a bogey man to scare their children. Jake was so mean, they said, that he shot a tucking comb out of his own mother's hair!
Johnson claimed he couldn't get a fair trial in Cumberland County.
He got his case transferred to Clinton, county seat of Sampson. This practice of trying a case in another county instead of summoning jurors from that county was standard procedure then. It was much cheaper than the present method.
Johnson was convicted and sentenced to hang. He was carried back to the Cumberland County jail.
As the day of his execution neared, the Sheriff of Cumberland stated he would not hang him. Said Jake wasn't convicted by a Cumberland Court and, anyway, he wasn't even a Cumberland case. He belonged to Harnett. Let the Harnett High Sheriff Jim Johnson hang him.
Sheriff Johnson pointed out that the condemned man hadn't been tried by a Harnett Court since the county had no Superior Court. Besides, he might be hanging a relative. It was up to the Sheriff of Sampson to hang Johnson. After all, he had been convicted in a Sampson County Court.
The Sampson Sheriff—who happened to be opposed to capital punishment—flatly and hotly declined to hang Johnson. Claimed he was just being hospitable, trying to help a brother sheriff. If that was the way it was appreciated, Harnett could go to the devil with her criminal cases. He'd have no more of them!
For a while it looked like Johnson would not be hung. After due reflection the Cumberland Sheriff decided that under the current set up it was indeed up to him to spring the trap. This he did but before doing so, he gave Johnson a half pint of liquor and the privilege of making a farewell speech.
Johnson swigged the liquor and made his speech. Instead of the usual “confession and meet me in Heaven” type of talk, Jake lit into the assembled multitude and cursed them to a farewell. Told them the only reason they were there was to see a public spectacle made of him.
He then cordially invited all of them to go to hell or home, one or the other, he didn't care which. He was still cursing them when the trap was sprung and Jake began “the Sundown Dance.” Yes, Jacob was a mean, mean man, who shot the tucking comb from his own mother's hair.
With Superior Courts established in the county, Harnett held its first one in May 1857.
It was held in the Cumberland Academy building at Summerville—people still refused to call the village by its legally dictated name of Toomer. It was presided over by Judge S. J. Pearson, who appointed Allen B. Parker Clerk of the Court pro tem. Robert Strange of Fayetteville was the prosecutor. No record has been found of cases tried at this first term of Superior Court held in Harnett.
Though a jail had been built at Summerville, there was still no courthouse, and the courts continued to be held in the academy building until 1867 when the first courthouse, a wooden frame building, was constructed at Lillington. During the war period of 1861-65 the courts functioned as they did before the state seceded from the union.
Then in 1867 began the terrible days of the Reconstruction. The carpet-bagger dominated convention of 1868 drafted a new Constitution which was largely borrowed from Pennsylvania. It provided for a board of five county commissioners to be elected at large by the voters in the county. The Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions was abolished and its duties largely taken over by the board of county commissioners. This reduced the formerly powerful justices of the peace to positions comparable to water boys—just petty magistrates with very little legal authority and responsibility. Townships were created as separate units of government and all county and township officials made elective by popular vote.
In 1875, with the end of the Reconstruction, the state government again passed into the hands of the conservative element. The General Assembly of 1876-77 modified many acts of the 1868 constitution as applied to county government but today, Harnett is largely governed by the acts of the 1868 constitution.
In all this hullabaloo of the Reconstruction Period lawyers took an active part. In 1867 Alexander McLean, father of Dan Hugh of oratorical fame, was admitted to the bar and began to practice in Harnett.
In 1875 Oscar J. Spears, son of lawyer J. A. Spears, received his license to practice, and in 1877 W. E. Murchison was admitted to the bar.
Then shortly after 1877, Dan Hugh McLean, probably the best remembered lawyer of the Upper Cape Fear, received his license to practice.
Colonel Dan Hugh, as he was familiarly called, was a noted orator. He could talk learnedly and lengthily on any subject at any time. It is said that in all his career he only rejected one invitation to make a speech. That occurred when the Moore's Creek Battleground Association asked him to address them on an anniversary marking the date of the battle.
“Br-r-r-ru-m-p!” snorted the colonel. “Me go down there and praise the people who massacred my ancestors? No, Sir!”
In 1896 occurred another of Harnett's famous cases: that of an Indian named Ed Purvis charged with the murder of an employee of the Atlantic Coast Line on a moving freight train.
For a number of days there was heated controversy between Harnett and Cumberland officials as to where the murder took place. Harnett claimed it was in Cumberland and that county just as firmly stated it was in Harnett. Neither county wanted the expense of the trial.
The killing took place on a run between Fayetteville and Dunn. The crewman had spotted the Indian riding in a gondola car and went from the caboose over the tops of the moving cars to boot the free rider from the train.
In the struggle that followed, Purvis killed the railroad man just as the train passed over a trestle. Checking the evidence closely, it was found the trestle was located in Harnett, so in Harnett Ed Purvis was tried for his life. Tried, convicted and sentenced to hang.
This time there was no argument as to who was to spring the trap of the gibbet. That grim task fell to Harnett Sheriff Pope.
The day of the execution arrived—so did most of the population of Harnett County along with quite a representation from adjoining counties. This was to be Harnett's first legal execution (in the county proper) and it seemed everyone wanted to see it. It was to be the last public one, too.
The scaffold was set up on a hillside back of the present jail. Purvis was offered the usual doomed man's drink and a chance to make a speech. He took both.
In his talk, Purvis urged the throng to lay off liquor and bad companions and to live by the Bible. His listeners paid him quiet and close attention.
The hillsides and housetops were jam-packed with them. Windows in viewing range bulged. Small boys wormed their way
through their elders’ legs to obtain a front row vantage point. When detected by their parents they were cuffed and sent away, only to return to a new point distant from the heavy hand of the parent. Patent medicine vendors had closed their cases of cure-all to look and listen. Horse traders tied their sorry looking nags; and even the bar tenders had closed their doors. Everyone wanted to see the hanging.
The noose was placed around the doomed man's neck; the hangman's knot was adjusted under his ear at the right position to instantly snap his neck. A breathless hush fell over the throng as the sheriff reached for the lever of the trap door. A fat little man with pop eyes and a red face stood in the front row. In the stillness his whisper sounded like a shout: “He's a mean lookin’ b—,” he broke off abruptly, abashed at the attention he had drawn. The blood seemed to be ready to join his eyes in popping from his face.
W-h-u-r-m-p! The crash of the trap door shattered the stillness as Ed Purvis hurtled into Eternity. While the body convulsed and quivered, the roof of a nearby house sagged under its load of onlookers. A limb of an oak loaded with spectators looking like a row of perched birds, split from the trunk with a ripping, tearing sound to shed its load on the ground below.
So at last Ed Purvis was dead. The rope that hung him was cut in short lengths and distributed as souvenirs. His poor body was bought by a doctor and, in time, it became a skeleton to be studied and analyzed in the progress of medicine and surgery. So, in dying, Ed Purvis did some good in more ways than one.
For Harnett County never had another capital criminal case until 1925 when Rory Matthews shot and killed Dan McLeod in a dispute over the location of a road.
Rory was tried, convicted and sentenced to die in the electric chair at Raleigh. His lawyers appealed his case to the Supreme Court and won a new trial.
In his second trial Rory was again convicted but this time on a charge of second degree murder. He went to prison claiming five of the witnesses had, “bore false witness ag'in me.” One had even made the statement that he would like to pull the switch that would send the lightning of heaven crashing through Rory's body.
One by one the five named by Rory Matthews died, and died violently. One had his brains blown out in a tobacco barn; two were killed in auto accidents; another drowned in Upper Little River. The fifth? He was the man who said he would like to pull the switch on Rory. He was killed by a bolt of lightning! To this day Rory Matthews has outlived them all.
Yes, Harnett County has had some strange cases in its short life of one hundred years.
In its courtrooms its lawyers have battled valiantly to convict or free the accused parties—depending on which side employed them. Calm faced judges, once lawyers themselves, presided over these courts, ruled on admission of evidence and saw that proper legal procedure was followed. They dispassionately summarized the evidence and instructed the jurors what possible verdicts they could return. Sometimes they made errors. When they did there was always a smart observant lawyer to detect it and use it in fighting his client's case. Finally, to these judges fell the unhappy task of passing sentence on the guilty or the happier one of freeing the innocent.
So this is the story of the Lawyers of Harnett County. The men and women who use a thin book to keep civilization from reverting to barbarism: the Book of the Law.HARNETT COUNTY LAWYERS
|Deceased||J. F. Wilson, Dunn|
|Plunkett Ballard||E. F. Young, Dunn|
|J. R. Baggett, Lillington||John Oates Harris, Dunn|
|Hiram Baggett, Lillington||Curtis Muse, Lillington|
|W. P. Byrd, Lillington|
|Caviness H. Brown, Lillington||Retired from the Profession or Moved Away|
|L. B. Chapin, Lillington|
|John D. Johnson, Lillington||J. H. Naylor, Dunn|
|S. D. Johnson, Angier||D. M. Williford, Dunn|
|Dan Hugh McLean, Lillington||James Best, Dunn|
|Alfred M. McLean, Lillington||C. C. Parker, Dunn|
|Neill McKay, Lillington||_____ Early, Dunn|
|W. E. Murchison, Lillington||_____Barefoot, Dunn|
|Chas. Ross, Lillington||Caspar Warren, Dunn|
|Ed. Smith, Lillington||Joe E. Caviness, Lillington|
|O. J. Spears, Lillington||L. L. Levinson, Coats|
|John A. Spears, Lillington||Geo. D. Woodley, Angier|
|Percy L. Smith, Angier||John W. Spears, Lillington|
|F. H. Taylor, Buies Creek||C. R. Partin, Angier|
|L. J. Best, Dunn||A. A. McDonald, Lillington|
|J. C. Clifford, Dunn||Marshall T. Spears, Lillington|
|E. Grissom Davis, Dunn||W. G. Mordecai, Lillington|
|R. L. Godwin, Dunn||D. B. Teague, Lillington|
|H. L. Godwin, Dunn||E. L. Gavin, Lillington|
|C. L. Guy, Dunn||F. T. Dupree Jr., Angier|
|F. P. Jones, Dunn||Jake Turlington, Dunn|
|Clarence J. Smith, Dunn||_____ Henry, Coats|
|Wm. Anderson Stewart, Dunn||_____ Rambeaut, Erwin|
|D. M. Stringfield, Dunn||N. R. Richardson, Dunn|
|N. A. Townsend, Dunn||J. M. Coates, Dunn|
|E. C. West, Dunn||Ed Carr, Dunn|
|Living and Practicing|
|L. M. Chaffin, Lillington||E. L. Doffermyre, Dunn|
|Franklin T. Dupree, Angier||Howard G. Godwin, Dunn|
|J. R. Hood, Buies Creek||Chas. Guy, Dunn|
|W. A. Johnson, Lillington||Glenn Hooper, Jr., Dunn|
|Walter Lee Johnson, Lillington||Mack M. Jernigan, Dunn|
|J. T. Lamm, Lillington||J. A. McLeod, Dunn|
|M. O. Lee, Lillington||Max McLeod, Dunn|
|Robert B. Morgan, Lillington||D. K. Stewart, Dunn|
|R. B. Morgan, Kipling||H. Paul Strickland, Dunn|
|B. F. McLeod, Buies Creek||W. A. Taylor, Dunn|
|Neill McK. Ross, Lillington||I. R. Williams, Dunn|
|Neill McK. Salmon, Lillington||D. C. Wilson, Dunn|
|James Spence, Lillington||J. O. West, Dunn|
|H. C. Strickland, Angier||J. R. Young, Dunn|
|A. R. Taylor, Lillington||Hazel F. Young, Dunn|
|W. C. Bell, Dunn||C. G. Dunn, Dunn|
|J. S. Bryan, Dunn||J. W. Wilson, Dunn|
The first doctor in what is now Harnett County was, of course, a shaman, or Indian medicine man. And, truth to tell, he was probably a better physician than his contemporary white brothers.
Sure, he stomped around his patient, howled, chanted words in an unknown tongue and performed other weird rites. This was done to scare away the evil spirits that bedeviled his patient and build up the sufferer's confidence in the shaman. With modifications, the physicians of today do the same thing: try to attain the patient's confidence.
The shaman gave his patients certain liquids which had been brewed from native herbs. He also used a scarifier made of thirteen rattlesnake fangs which he used to scratch the sick man's arm so the poisonous blood could escape. Our early doctors did exactly the same thing, only they used lancets and leeches instead of snake teeth.
The Indian medicine man through experience—handed down and self acquired—had learned certain herbs were useful in the treatment of certain ills. He had also found poultices useful in swellings. He had developed a primitive type of sweat box in treating certain types of fevers. The Indian medicine man was not the quack a lot of folks thought—and still think—he was. It would be interesting to learn how he acquired the idea of bleeding a patient.
The Indian patient would pay the shaman a dozen ears of corn or give him one of his surplus wives for pulling him through a spell of sickness. The early white doctors were quite often paid with meat, bull hides, barrel staves—almost anything. In examining journals of the early physicians, it is noted that a patient rarely paid until one to three years had elapsed. Maybe he wanted to make sure the treatment was effective and lasting. Quite often the physician had to enter suit before collecting. In one case that went to court the physician had made a call on a patient who had died. The doctor made a charge for the visit because he had not been notified of the patient's demise. The executor refused to pay and the doctor brought suit. He collected.
Early methods of treatment were simple. The patient was first blistered with plasters and poultices. Next he was bled. Then he was clystered. If these failed he was advised to make his last will and testament.
Harnett's first white physician was Dr. Andrew Crawford who lived near Buie's Creek. He was one of the first victims of the great fever epidemic of 1759-60. For that reason all we know about him is gleaned from the inventory of his estate.
Among other items was listed a white horse, a white dog, white shirts and breeches, white stockings, shoes with silver buckles, a powdered wig, an eyeglass with a black ribbon, etc.
Dr. Crawford must have been a striking figure: dressed all in white, riding a white horse, while ahead frisked a white dog.
Down toward the end of the inventory is listed: 1 lot of papers (his medical library?), some silk and two lancets!
No record has been found concerning Dr. Crawford's origin, when he came to Harnett or where he was buried. He apparently had no family.
Harnett's medical annals are silent until 1813. In that year Dr. Buckner Stith, a grandson of Lawrence Washington who was a brother of George Washington, began practicing in Averasboro.
The people in and around Averasboro had a deplorable habit of settling arguments with guns, knives and brass knucks with half-inch steel spikes welded to them. There were a few times when they even used fists!
Naturally, Dr. Stith became quite proficient in patching broken heads, sewing slit skins and extracting more bullets than teeth.
The story is told that at a political rally at Averasboro a voter was nearly disemboweled by another. The victim lay propped against a tree, listening to the orator of the day, while Dr. Stith efficiently sewed him together again. So proficient did he become with needle and thread he was waggishly called Dr. Stitch.
He removed to the eastern part of the state about 1835.
In the meantime Dr. Neill Buie was practicing around Cameron's Hill where he died about 1838. Very little is known of him as none of his journals have been located.
In 1830 Dr. John McKay from Robeson County set up practice near Buie's Creek. Fortunately, his journals, along with those of his son, Dr. John A. McKay, and his grandson, Dr. J. F. McKay, have been preserved. This gives us a very good history of general medical practice from 1830 on.
The first Dr. McKay's rates were 50 cents per mile. Medicine was included if the distance was over five miles. Bleeding, blistering and clystering were governed by circumstances and was a separate charge. If he had to stay with a patient continuously, his rates were 2.50 per day and the same per night.
Ministers received special rates. He excised a toe nail for Rev. Lewis Pipkin for 50 cents. Several days later he bled Rev. Allen McDougald for the same amount.
An 1830 entry lists a bottle of castor oil for the children of Duncan McAlpin. Seems like this castor oil business for kids has plagued them for a long time.
An entry of May 1, 1830 shows he bled, blistered and castor-oiled Nathan Butts for 1.75. The next day he prescribed a pint of brandy for the patient. Nathan probably needed it by then.
In those early days there were no drug stores to fill prescriptions. The physician was also the apothecary. He carried his stock of medicine with him.
Dr. McKay's entries show frequent consultations with a Dr. McIntosh who evidently lived near the present town of Jonesboro. Consultations with other physicians are listed from time to time.
Dr. McKay had totaled his first year's business. It amounted to 351.25. Present day doctors please note.
An entry of March 29, 1831 shows he ran into Tailor Hugh McLean, already noted for his thriftiness. Tailor Hugh got a potion of Epsom Salts for 20 cents. Everyone else paid 25 cents.
Tailor Hugh lived with his twin brother Tailor Hector midway between Lillington and Buie's Creek. Each had a flock of chickens and when they gathered the eggs each would keep his in a long-necked gourd. They took turns at cooking. On one occasion when it was Hector's turn to cook, he reached for Hugh's egg gourd. Hugh stopped him with:
“Na’, na’, Hector. Ye cooked fra my gourd yesterday. Do ye expect me to support ye all your life?”
Other entries in the journal:
Jan. 21, 1833. Ica Atkins for self. Extracting tooth and 14 anodyne pills, 75 cents.
July 25, 1833. James Spence—upriver—visit in haste to set fractured arm, 8.00. A few days later he put in place a shoulder joint for Neill McNeill for 2.00.
From Sept. 5, 1833 to Oct. 17, 1833 one can follow his battle to save William Smith of Averasboro. There was the usual bleeding, blistering and clystering formula, followed by Seidletiz powders, calomel and soda powders. On the 6th the patient was given magnesia, calomel again and senna. The next day it was bleeding, an emetic, paregoric and sundry medicines. On the 9th there was a shift to lime juice and quinine. On the 11th lime juice again and spirits of nitre.
The patient seemed to be getting better for it was the 19th before Dr. McKay was called again. This time it was bleeding, nitre, Bateman's drops and magnesia. Dr. McKay noted that he spent nearly all his time, day and night with Mr. Smith. On the 28th and 29th he had Dr. H. M. Turner in for consultation. On the 30th it was Dr. Robinson of Fayetteville. The big guns in
medicine were now being called in. Definitely, the patient was getting worse. In the following days there was a shift to ether and hartshorn with a camphorated mixture being used frequently. There was no more bleeding and just one more blistering. The last entry in the case was Oct. 17. William Smith. Visit and attention. There was no mention of medicine. Evidently, the patient was too far gone.
In examining his journals—and the same thing is noted in other physicians’ books—one is struck by the attention slave owners gave their slaves. This is understandable. Most of Harnett's slave owners only had a few, consequently, they were almost like members of the family, even though they were slaves.
It is interesting, too, to note the medicines used at that time. In addition to those listed heretofore there were opodildoe pills, squill, flowers of sulphur, Poorman's plaster, digitalis, opium and Dover's powder, Balsam of Copiava and, calomel always.
Another item is noteworthy—or its omission—the doctor of those days was rarely called on in labor cases. It was the day of the midwife, of childbed fever, and DEATH.
Even at that late, supposedly civilized date, it was next to heresy for a male doctor—and there were mighty few female members of the profession—to be called in labor cases. When he was called, he went with a hopeless feeling, knowing his case was already lost.
As recently as 100 years ago in childbirth cases in some sections of the country, the doctor had to work by feel under a sheet spread over the patient.
Those were the days of patent medicines. Papers were filled with ads listing their wonderful curative powers. For instance, “Leland's Liver Invigorator: Recommended for purifying the blood and for bilious attacks. A dose after eating will prevent food from rising and souring. Taken before bedtime it will prevent nightmares. It will positively cure worms in children and relieve the 7 year itch in 7 days. Also useful in the treatment of fever and ague, dropsy, cholic and cholera morbus.”
A fellow could get rich in a hurry selling stuff like that—if it would do a tenth of what is claimed for it.
As a matter of fact, many doctors of a hundred years ago did a profitable business selling medicines and pills of their own concoction. Many hired agents to travel over the country selling these pills and potions. It was a perfectly ethical procedure of those times.
Dr. John McKay practiced until shortly before his death in 1854. In the meantime, his son, Dr. John A. McKay, had started taking over his business.
This second Dr. McKay was probably the best read medic of his day. He also owned the finest set of surgical instruments in the Upper Cape Fear County, though his journals do not show he made much use of them. Primarily, he was a general practitioner, not a surgeon.
One surgery case he mentions was that of Randall Turlington, who lived near Turlington's Cross Roads. Turlington's foot had been caught in the cogs of an overshot water wheel that powered his grist mill. The leg was pulled in the cogs above the knee before he could be freed. In company with Dr. H. M. Turner and Dr. W. M. McNeill a hip amputation was made. The operation was a success but the journal regretfully notes the patient died.
Dr. John A. McKay had a son, Dr. Joseph F. McKay, who began taking over his father's practice in 1885. Dr. Joe, as he was more familiarly known, served his community faithfully and well until his retirement in 1935.
It would be fine to record that Dr. Joe's practice was taken over by his son, Dr. John McKay. This was not to be for Dr. John's interest in medicine lay in other fields than that of the general practitioner. Today, he is a psychiatrist at the Veteran's Hospital in Fayetteville.
Thus for a period of 105 years three Drs. McKay, grandfather, father and son, have served the Buie's Creek community continuously. A record that cannot be matched by very many areas.
Other sections of Harnett had their share of old time country doctors. There was Dr. Ruffin Buchanan of Upper Little River who always walked to his patients if they lived less than five miles away. A Dr. McLeod lived near him.
Also on Upper Little River were Dr. J. A. McDougald of the McDougald's Bridge area and Dr. John McCormick who lived near Barbecue Church. Dr. McCormick was also an outstanding Mason. In 1865 he was Grand Master of all North Carolina Masons.
Then there was Dr. Martin Harper who was wounded in the right arm during the War for the Confederacy and could do little surgery thereafter. Dr. John Tyler McLean, who practiced around Bunnlevel, took care of the Confederate wounded at Gettysburg.
It was Dr. McLean in company with Dr. W. M. McNeill of Lillington who had advanced ideas on the cause of malaria. In 1890 there was an epidemic of malaria in the Bunnlevel area. The two doctors noted there had been no such outbreak until the construction of a nearby mill dam. To test their theory, they asked the mill owner to drain his pond. He flatly refused.
Now these two medics knew nothing about mosquito borne epidemics. They blamed the miasmas from stagnant water as the cause. A few nights after the refusal of the mill owner to drain his pond the dam was blown sky high by explosive charges. Naturally, he promptly indicted the two doctors, charging them with the crime. They had no trouble proving their innocence when the case came to trial. Dr. McNeill hadn't forgotten the story of his granduncle “Cunning John” McNeill.
The fever epidemic subsided shortly after the destruction of the dam.
Incidentally, it was this same Dr. McNeill who took as his second wife a lady whose birth he attended 40 years before!
One of Harnett's worst epidemics was one of small pox spread by a band of gypsies in 1870. It wasn't fatal to many but it sure did mess up the good looks of a lot of folks.
Naturally, the worst epidemic the county had was the Spanish ’flu scourge of 1918-19. All the hard working doctors and druggists had to fight it with were little jars of salve like substance called Vick's Pneumonia Cure.
Those were the days when those who were well would walk outside their homes at dawn break and gaze searchingly at all houses in eye range. If the chimney of a home showed no smoke someone went to investigate at once. One out of way home in eastern Harnett was checked as a matter of habit by a passerby when he saw no smoke from the chimney. Inside were six dead people. Only a baby survived.
Another of Harnett's old time physicians was Dr. Alexander Fridge Mallett whose hair remained black and wavy until his death in 1902 at the age of 81. He was one of the first medics to refuse to prescribe calomel in typhoid fever cases.
And Dr. Joel Denning of the Dunn area was so far ahead of his time there is no comparative basis for judging him. As early as 1915—40 years ago—he was prescribing mouldy bread for patients with certain types of infection; and the patients were getting well instead of dying. Dr. Denning knew nothing about penicillin but he did know what mouldy bread would do.
There were other early Harnett doctors: Dr. Neill McNeill who lived on the Atkins Road south of Lillington died in 1850 at the young age of 28.
Dr. Farquhard Smith, of the Smithville community in lower Harnett, was a veteran of four years service in the Medical Corps of the Confederacy. He then spent another 30 years serving the people of Harnett and adjoining counties. He was one physician who successfully combined spiritual and physical healing.
Two more veterans of the Confederacy were Drs. Spence and Harrington of the Cokesbury community.
The Williams family has furnished Harnett with so many doctors one physician remarked they approached epidemic proportion.
The N. C. Business Directory of 1868 lists three of them as practicing in Harnett: Dr. B. C. Williams at Cokesbury; Dr. William Williams at Barclaysville and Dr. J. S. Williams at Mill Grove on Lower Little River. The directory also lists Dr. A. D. Cutts, captain in the late Army of the Confederacy, as practicing in Barclaysville. So was another veteran, Dr. James W. Atkins of Lillington.
Without doubt Dr. Henry Marshall Turner was the greatest surgeon the Upper Cape Fear Country has known. He had daring and imagination; and skill in his hands to do what his judgment told him was correct.
Other physicians regarded him highly and frequently called him for consultation. His journal casually mentions such things as hip amputations and amputations through the femur as if they were run of the mill items. In 1860 he lists “opening and draining abscessed appendix.”
In those days before a surgeon opened the abdomen he first made certain the patient had his earthly affairs in order. Remember, this was 10 years before Lord Lister came out with his book on antisepsis and nearly 30 years before Reginald Fitz read his classical paper on acute appendicitis. Remember, too, a lot of times the operating table was a barn door laid across a couple of sawbenches, no antiseptics and only brandy or perhaps opium for an anaesthetic.
Dr. Turner came from Montgomery County to Harnett about 1823. Shortly afterwards he married Caroline McNeill, the redheaded, beauteous daughter of Neill and granddaughter of Archibald and Jennie Bahn McNeill. Dr. Turner built for his bride a fine mansion called Healthy Forest on the Cape Fear below Buie's Creek. Here he lived until shortly before his death in 1871 from cancer. He had successfully fought this disease for others but could do nothing for himself. He is buried in the family cemetery in Anson County. Many people of Harnett can trace their ancestry back to this great surgeon.
There are many doctors of Harnett who should be mentioned here, men like Dr. J. H. Withers who also served as Clerk of the Court; Dr. Coll Sexton, Dunn's first medic—he was also the first doctor in Harnett to buy one of those new-fangled auto buggies; Dr. Haywood Roberts of Coats, first Harnett doctor to own and fly a plane—it later killed him; and Dr. W. P. Holt of Erwin, who established the county's first hospital, the Good Hope, at Erwin. Along with the Harnett County Hospital at Dunn the Harnett area is fortunate in having two such fine medical service facilities.
The county is fortunate, too, in that a complete history of its Men of Medicine was compiled by the late Dr. A. T. Wyatt of Lillington shortly before his death. It is now deposited with the Department of Archives and History at Raleigh. Unfortunately, its use has been restricted until 1962 when it will be available to the public.
It is proper to close this partial list of Harnett doctors with a tribute written by J. Carlyle Williams to Dr. W. C. Melvin of Linden who died in 1937.
“Dr. Melvin literally was wedded to his profession. His passing leaves a great gap in the rapidly thinning ranks of ‘Good Samaritan’ country doctors. Like most of his contemporaries, Dr. Melvin did a great deal of charity work. He went on missions of mercy at all hours of the night and in all kinds of weather, hardly considering his own personal gain or health, but rather looking with clear eyes beyond the brief horizon of self advancement into the unmeasured and uncharted realm of human service.”CHAPTER XVII
The title of this chapter should be: “Authors, Painters, Poets and Papers,” with maybe a composer or sculptor thrown in for good measure.
It is almost inconceivable that a county as large as Harnett, with as many people in its borders as there have been and are now, cannot boast of a recognized composer, painter or sculptor.
True, Mrs. Walter P. Byrd of Lillington has attained renown of considerable extent as a teacher of art and for her work in the Baptist Church at Chalybeate Springs. And there have been several others with more or less local fame in the field of art but, unfortunately, we cannot offer competition on a national scale.
As for sculpture, the best samples the county can offer are excellent snow men turned out during one of the area's infrequent snows. As children, many citizens modeled outstanding frog houses in the sand beds and turned out serviceable walking sticks ornamented with dog heads carved with a two-bit Barlow knife.
As for composers—?PAUL GREEN
Maybe the fact that in Paul Green we have one of the nation's outstanding authors and playrights makes up for lack in the other branches of art.
Certain it is that Paul Green has won fame for himself and honor for the county—and nation—where he was born and grew up.
With all his fame he still manages to be Paul Green. One of the finest compliments ever paid him was by a real life citizen of Harnett so often immortalized in his dramas.
Said Bolivar McRae: “Why he's just as common as I am!” It was Bolivar's highest tribute.
Maybe Paul Green is so close to Harnett, so part of it, that the average citizen fails to realize the true greatness of the man.
Leon McDonald, Harnett's own Sage of the Sandhills, perhaps explained the man Paul Green better than anyone else when he wrote:
“It has been a long, long time since Paul Green has been Mister Green or Professor Green. The omission of prefix or title is eloquent. His name, unadorned, conveys more to the people than titular appendage could do. A farm-boy citizen of Harnett County has become a citizen of the world, who speaks eloquently in a universal language understood by all the people of the world: the language of Art and Beauty and Truth.”
Harnett has had, and still has, poets by the thousand, mostly young folks writhing in the acute misery of their first love affairs. Every schoolhouse blackboard in the county has been chalked with their doggerel and the fly leaves of books bear evidence of their poetic efforts. Unfortunately, they got over these affairs by marriage or otherwise. More unfortunately still, they got over their poetic bent at the same time. Maybe one day there will be an exception and the county will boast of another Longfellow, Hawthorne or Whitman.
Harnett's first recorded poet, and ballad singer, was the ½ Irishman, George W. Miller of old Averasboro. His mother, Caroline Cross of Virginia, was a poetess and ballad singer of no mean ability, so George came by his talent naturally.
He had an uncanny knack of sizing up a situation and limning it with verse and song. Politicians mortally dreaded his biting comment in rhyme if directed at them, and did everything possible to stay in his good graces.
George W. Miller was not the underfed type of poet who ran to spindly legs and long hair. He was a little man, actually, but he was compactly built. From his Irish forbears he had inherited a hair trigger temper and he would fight at the drop of a hat—or without it, for that matter.
When talk reached the fighting stage his voice would drop to a croon, like a mother talking love talk to her baby. Suddenly, he would lower his head and catapult himself forward. That was usually the only blow struck. His opponent would be flat on his back, out of breath and just plain out.
Miller never forgave Bill Fowler for crossing him up on one occasion. When George lowered his head and hurtled forward, Bill stepped aside. Unfortunately for George, Bill was standing in front of a massive lightwood hitching post—horses don't like to gnaw lightwood. Though George trained himself by butting the heads from turpentine barrels, this lightwood post was more than even his hard head could take!
During the War for the Confederacy George W. Miller served on detached duty with Clingman's brigade. He was a one man U. S. O. troupe. At night when tired soldiers sprawled about their campfires he would tune his battered banjo and stroll from group to group, his lilting Irish tenor lifted in the songs they knew and loved.
“He's worth more than a battalion of men,” said General Clingman on more than one occasion.
Just before the surrender at Appamatox, Miller escaped through the Federal lines, riding one of Clingman's blooded horses
and carrying $300.00 in gold that belonged to the general. As an officer, Clingman would have had to declare this gold when he surrendered. This was why he entrusted it to Miller.
George got safely to Averasboro. There he made the mistake of drinking too much, and talking too much.
Yankee bummers hanged him to a tree in Neill Stewart's yard to make him reveal the hiding place of the gold. He refused. They trotted him behind a horse to Kit Barbee's Inn at Barclaysville where they hanged him again. When he still refused to talk, they trotted him to the grove at Myatt's Mill in lower Wake County. Miller was still stubborn. When they pulled him up this time it was for keeps. Luckily, some of Wheeler's cavalry, riding home from the surrender at Bennett's House, cut him down and saved his life.
In gratitude, General Clingman set him up in business at Fayetteville. Here he married—for his third wife—Nancy McLeod. When the first boy arrived he was named Thomas Clingman in honor of Miller's old commander.
But the life of a merchant was not for George W. Miller. Soon he was back at old Averasboro, farming, fighting and singing. It was at this period he published a small booklet of his ballads and verse. Epitaph on a Dead Horse was taken from it.EPITAPH ON A DEAD HORSE
Though Miller took a prominent part in Democratic politics he never held an office higher than township constable. He preferred being unfettered by political promises so he could use his caustic wit and verse as he saw fit. In the late 1890's he sang his last ballad and wandered away to join Sweeny, Blind Homer, Villon and other spectral singers in Spirit Land.
Harnett can proudly claim three poets with published works.
Thomas Watts Harrington, “Mister Tom W.” as he was more familiarly known, was born in the Harrington neighborhood near Mt. Pisgah Church on Sept. 5, 1849.
He represented Harnett in the House in 1887 and 1903, and in the Senate in 1907 and the special term in 1908. For many years he served on the Harnett County Board of Education.
In between times he farmed and wrote poetry. Four of his poems were included in N. C. Poems by E. C. Brooks published in 1912. Many of his poems were published in newspapers and magazines but the vast majority of his writing was unpublished and was burned when fire destroyed his home shortly before his death in 1921. The following is from Brooks’ N. C. Poems:TO A MOCKING BIRD
A neighbor of Mister Tom W. is keeping Harnett on the current literary map. She is Mrs. Daisy Kelly Cox who lives on the Broadway-Swann Station road, three miles south of Broadway. She is part Harrington herself which accounts for her literary bent.
She is the author of, History of Jonesboro Methodist Church and History of the Kelly-McLeod Clan. In 1951 she published a small volume of prose and poetry, entitled Lines. “Live For Today” was taken from it.LIVE FOR TODAY
The third member of the Harnett triumvirate of poets is Hubbard Fulton Page who grew up on the Averasboro battlefield. At present he is living at Buie's Creek. In 1933 he brought out a volume of verse called Lyrics and Legends of the Cape Fear Country. In it, he tells in verse many of the legends and stories of the Upper Cape Fear Country. It is fascinating reading—if a person can find a copy to read. The following is taken from it:
In the field of newspapers Harnett can do better. True, the county's earliest printed paper only dates back to the Dunn Signboard which began publication on Sept. 1, 1887 in Dunn. A weekly, it was owned and edited by a lawyer named N. R. Richardson and apparently ceased publication the latter part of 1888.
The Signboard was succeeded by the Harnett Courier, owned and edited by J. J. Stone, now a leading Greensboro business man. It began publication Aug. 28, 1888 and went out of business a year later. On its news staff were the late David Henry Senter of Chalybeate Springs, later president of the Bank of Lillington, and Charles T. Stewart of Buie's Creek, now of Lexington, Ky., one time president of the Southern Newspaper Publishers’ Association.
The County Union, edited by G. K. Grantham and J. P. Pittman was the next Dunn paper. A copy of it dated Jan. 1, 1896 lists it as being number 51 of vol. 5, which indicates it began publication in Jan. 1891. A copy of it, dated Jan. 26, 1898, is owned by Mrs. Neill S. Atkins of Lillington. It listed J. P. Pittman as owner and A. M. Woodall as editor. The headline story in that issue concerned the dangers of Mormonism. The editor was stirred up over the prospect of having to support more than one wife. In that year of 1898 it listed cotton as selling for 5 3/8 cents a pound with meat going at 6½ cents. An ad in it claimed a sure cure for consumption.
Dunn either had two papers at that time or there was some name changing carried out. Number 1 of vol. 1 of the Central Times dated Feb. 26, 1891 lists G. K. Grantham as editor and E. F. Young as manager. The last issue of it that has been located was dated Feb. 18, 1892. It listed country cured hams selling at 15 cents per pound. Fryers were priced two for a quarter and corn sold for 60 cents per bushel.
In addition to the Weekly Guide, published by J. P. Pittman, there is some evidence to indicate other papers were published in Dunn before Busbee Pope began publishing the Dunn Dispatch April 1, 1914. He is still printing it over 41 years later! Few editors can match that record.
However, Henderson Steele is hot on his trail. He began publishing The Harnett County News at Lillington Jan. 1, 1919. Before that time Lillington had at least two weeklies. The Cape Fear Pilot, edited by John Tyler McLean, was being published in 1903. Around 1907-08 The Harnett Reporter was being published by J. E. Ligon.
The press of the Reporter was hand-operated by two well known Lillington citizens of color, Tank Hodges and “Judge” Crowder. Judge got his nickname by hanging around the courtroom until he knew almost as much law as the average lawyer of that day.
Although Harnett County was well covered by weekly and tri-weekly papers, there was need for a daily paper to be published in the county. Hoover Adams of Dunn supplied this need when
he established the Daily Record December 6, 1950. Through the years it has had its ups and downs but continues its steady growth. It is regarded as one of the best afternoon dailies in the state.HAND-WRITTEN PAPER
Many years ago Sonny Tilghman started a daily paper in Dunn but the time was not propitious for this enterprise and it suspended publication after a short life.
It has been impossible to find copies of all papers ever printed in Harnett. For this reason there are probably some omissions in this list. One such omission was caught in time. This paper though was not printed! It was hand-written! For the story of it we go back to the Harrington-Mt. Pisgah community and John McLean Harrington, one of the most remarkable men who ever lived in Harnett.
John McLean Harrington, son of James S. and Margaret McLean Harrington, was born Nov. 2, 1839 at the Harrington home a mile south of Mt. Pisgah Church.
At the age of 12 he graduated from the Pine Forest Academy, a fashionable private school near his home. He then attended Haywood Academy near present day Moncure, and probably Donaldson Academy in Fayetteville. In a letter to his father from that city he states he is having trouble with Greek.
At 15 he was back at Pine Forest Academy—as a teacher! In a note he mentions that his salary for a three months term was $154.00 and five pairs of sox. Even so, that was fairly good pay for a teacher at that time, even in a private school. Public, or common school teachers, only received $15.00 to $30.00 per month.
To add to his income he took a job as bookkeeper with J. and D. G. Worth, merchants and naval stores operators of Buffalo Springs, near Pineview. At that time—1857—Buffalo Springs was a thriving little hamlet centering about the turpentine industry. With the coming of the Western, or Coalfield Railroad, and the Salem Plank Road, the little village died. Today, nothing remains of it save the springs, bubbling up through clear sands, and a few venerable holly trees. But Buffalo Springs was the publication point of Harnett's first newspaper and its only magazine.
Evidently, Harrington's bookkeeping duties were not heavy for in January, 1858 he brought out Number 1, Volume 1 of The Young American, a hand-written magazine of 28 pages, eight by ten inches in size.
On his fancily decorated title page in beautiful script, he states, “The Young American is devoted to news of the day, literature,
prose, poetry, etc. Independent in all things, neutral in nothing.” Terms were 20 cents per copy or $2.00 per year in advance.
In his second issue, dated Feb. 1, 1858, Harrington noted the British were having trouble launching the steamship Leviathan. In India the mutineers were defeated by Sir Colin Campbell. In Turkey the grand vizier was dead of apoplexy and someone had taken a pot shot at the French emperor in Paris. The French blamed the Italians for this.
There were several brief stories and a number of poems, some of both written by Harrington. Quite a number of ads and business cards were scattered through the magazine.
Dr. Jno. McCormick, M. D., stated he could be found at his father's residence when not professionally engaged. James S. Harrington advertised for a first rate hand to work at turpentine and J. and D. G. Worth announced they had just received a hogshead of new crop molasses and 5 sacks of coffee which they would sell cheap for cash or on time to prompt payers. The same firm announced they wanted 20,000 white oak staves and would pay $15.00 per thousand on delivery.
Daniel McDougald announced he was an attorney at law with offices at Summerville, N. C. Quite a few commission and forwarding merchants of Wilmington, New York, Philadelphia and Baltimore had ads in this issue. The back page was devoted to an ad of the Pine Forest Academy. Duncan Sellers was its principal. The ad announced the institution in Society was second to none. Persons sending their children could get them boarded for $6.00 per month.
As if getting out over a hundred copies each month of the Young American wasn't enough, Harrington began publishing a weekly newspaper in April of 1858. It was a sort of early Kiplinger Newsletter.
It was called “The Nation” and its masthead announced that, “The voice of the Nation must be heard.” It was also published—or hand-written at Buffalo Springs on one sheet of paper 12 × 16 inches and written on both sides. It was then folded letter size for mailing.
It was a newsy little sheet with a decided pro-Democrat slant. In fact, heatedly so. Harrington referred to the late sheriff Jim Johnson as a Know Nothing American Whig and hinted that he would be wise to drop out of the House of Commons race. On his editorial page Harrington came out flat-footed for John W. Ellis for governor, Major John G. Gilmore for the state Senate and R. C. Belden for sheriff. Yet Harrington was not old enough to vote at this time. Maybe he was acting as mouthpiece for the candidates he plugged.
In the news section he took note that Superior Court was in session this week (May 22, 1858) but did nothing except try two land suit cases and made a mistrial in both. In the lower court Jonathan Wood was convicted of hog stealing and sentenced to receive 39 lashes, which sentence was put into execution.
One story was headlined “A Sad Occurrence” and related that a little 6 year old boy, son of J. M. Beasley, was at his father's sawmill when he fell in the pond and was drowned.
Another item stated that “Alvin Wade was murdered in this county by John Olive last week. Olive has not yet been arrested.”
Thus spoke The Nation.
There is some evidence to indicate that Harrington later changed The Nation to the Semi-Weekly News and that in 1860 he began publishing The Weekly Eagle. All his publishing activities were stopped by the coming of the War for the Confederacy, and were never resumed at the end of that struggle.
During the war he taught school and kept the postoffice at Harrington—which kept him out of doing army service. This reacted against him in later years and he took to drink. From then on one can see the deterioration of his brilliant mind in letters he wrote which are still extant.
Death ended his career April 3, 1887 at the age of 47, just a few months before Harnett's first printed newspaper was issued.CHAPTER XVIII
Perhaps the above heading should be reversed for without transportation there would be no industry, and without Industry to absorb the products of agriculture we would be back where we were 200 years ago, herding sheep on a rocky hillside or clam digging on a sandy beach.
But first things first. When the Harnett area was first settled in 1740, agriculture was practiced on a very small scale.
The settlers planted only enough to satisfy local needs. Corn and wheat were, of course, the major crops. Some flax was planted for use in making cloth. However, most of the clothing that was not made of animal hides was made from sheep wool. Nearly every family carded its wool, spun its thread and wove its cloth on home made hand-operated looms, although there were professional weavers in every neighborhood.
At one time, Harnett had vast quantities of sheep which were used both for wool and eating. In modern times, practically no sheep are raised in Harnett.
Each community had a tan yard for tanning animal hides into leather for the local shoemaker's use, or to be made into clothing by the community tailor.
What cash income the farmers received was from cattle driven to market at Fayetteville, and—in earlier days—to Petersburg, Virginia.
With the settlement of the county, a larger part of his cash income came from the forests through the sale of barrel staves, shingles, tun timber, tar and turpentine.
But here as in agriculture, transportation was the problem. The roads were miserable affairs. The Cape Fear was wild and untamable. For a time—1856 to about 1860—it was brought under control by a series of locks and dams; and steamers were a familiar sight on the river. But a freshet destroyed many of the dams prior to the war and they were never rebuilt.
By then railroads were piercing the county. Beginning in 1852, the Western Railroad began construction out of Fayetteville. By 1860 it reached Jonesboro. It passed through Western Harnett. This road later became the Cape Fear and Yadkin Valley.
About the same period, plank roads began replacing the dirt roads, and farming began to come into its own.
After the invention of the cotton gin, some cotton was grown for use locally in the making of cotton clothing. Actually, it
wasn't until after the War for the Confederacy that cotton was grown on an extensive scale in Harnett.
In 1880, 9,281 acres of cotton were planted which yielded 3,627 bales or about 130 lbs. of lint per acre. Acreage devoted to cotton steadily increased until the boll weevil invasion of the 1920's, when cotton acreage began to decline. In 1953, 22,500 acres were planted, in 1954 20,135 acres and in 1955 there was a further cut to 16,433.2 acres, which with good weather will produce about 15,000 bales which with seed will return Harnett farmers over $3,000,000.00.
No tobacco at all was grown. In fact, the census of 1880 shows only 32 acres of tobacco in Harnett which produced 9,510 lbs., or roughly 300 lbs. to the acre. In 1954, Harnett had 21,157.6 acres of tobacco which produced 29,051,693 pounds or an average of 1373 lbs. per acre. The crop sold for an average of 52 cents per lb. or a total value of $15,106,880.36.
In 1880, 2,393 acres of wheat were planted which yielded 10,957 bushels or an average of less than 5 bushels per acre. In 1954, 4,684 acres were planted which yielded over 86,000 bushels or 18 bushels per acre for a total value of about $150,000.00.
In 1880, 21,244 acres were planted in corn which yielded 180,458 bushels or an average of less than 9 bushels per acre. Since corn is not under control, there are no accurate figures available for 1954 but the acreage would probably run to better than 44,000 acres, with a yield of 35 to 40 bushels per acre. Most of this corn is used on the farm for livestock feed.
The lowly hog produces the most amazing results in the farm figures.
Harnett farmers have always had hogs—from the old-time, long-snouted pineywoods rooter to the modern blooded animal seen so frequently today.
About 1940, the Harnett County Farm Agent, C. R. Ammons, working through the civic clubs of the county, launched a hog raising program. The civic clubs of the county raised enough money to buy a small number of blooded gilts which were distributed to 4-H Club members and farm students.
Today, the value of hog products sold through the hog markets at Dunn and Lillington reach the amazing figure of five million dollars!
Prominent among growers of blooded hogs in Harnett are the Turlingtons of Turlington Cross Roads and the Byrds of Bunnlevel who pioneered in the movement. Breeds grown are the bacon types: Duroc, Spotted Poland-China, Hampshires and a new breed: the Tamworth, which resembles a pineywood rooter, but is a remarkable producer of the best type of bacon.
Truly the farmers of Harnett are not putting all their eggs in one basket but a lot of them are putting eggs in baskets to go to market. The poultry industry in the county is assuming respectable proportions.
Currently, the County Agent's Office, besides paying close attention to run of the farm problems, is pushing development of the poultry business in Harnett.
A survey, completed as this is written, shows that small grocers and “cross road” filling stations sell 262 cases of eggs weekly.
Farmers who are taking the lead in this project are: Clyde Hatley, Miss Lizzie McKay and Whit Spence of Lillington; Ed Byrd, Sam Byrd and W. E. Temple, Bunnlevel; Mack Collins, Route 2, Fuquay; H. M. O'Quinn, Mamers; Pierce Patterson, Route 1, Broadway; D. A. Huffines, Cameron's Hill; Jack Howard and Cary Howard of Route 6, Sanford. These are just a few of these poultry pioneers listed to show the wide spread development of this new business of Harnett farmers.
The farmers are diversifying; no longer are they haunted by the specter of a one-crop economy system. The Harnett farmer is using modern methods to produce more on less acres; he is not over the hump as yet but he is almost to the top.
Hard top roads, electricity and the telephone have brought the farmer to town.
He is living better, eating higher off the hog, living longer and getting less for his products in a steadily rising cost of living situation.
In 1955 his production costs were higher due to increased prices of commodities he had to buy. Yet the products he sells are lower in value.
Time was when nearly every farm had an orchard. There was considerable acreage devoted to commercial growing of peaches and dewberries.
Today, with a few scattered exceptions, these commercial orchards are a memory, dotted with the decaying stumps of blight-destroyed peach trees.
Some vegetable products are grown for local and nearby markets but the value of these is not large.
A great number of farmers have constructed farm ponds and stocked them with fish. This practice is becoming a valuable asset. Each pond will supply the fish needs of five (5) families. In addition, over 250 owners use them for irrigation purposes. The number of these farm ponds is growing steadily. There are now 700 of them.
In 1938, prior to the beginning of the hog program, the County Agent had induced the County Commissioners to purchase some blooded bulls for the use of all the farmers of Harnett.
As a result of this program, there are in Harnett today over 3,000 pure bred cows which will produce a like number of calves yearly. These calves, fed for the market, will return Harnett farmers $300,000.00 yearly.
Outstanding cattle growers with the breeds they raise, along with the number of breeding animals are, in the Hereford class:
|Cameron Harrington, Broadway||50|
|Gilmer Badgett, Broadway||15|
|W. H. Byrd, Lillington||50|
|J. E. Womble, Lillington||40|
|Sion Wilburn, Lillington||60|
|Mac McDonald, Lillington||35|
|Clarence Campbell, Lillington||25|
|J. H. Williams, Jr., Erwin||35|
|W. J. Cotton, Kipling||20|
|King Roberts Farm, Erwin||75|
|J. P. Gardner, Angier||30|
|A. C. Barefoot, Angier||20|
|W. B. Bruce, Overhills||25|
In the Aberdeen-Angus field are:
|Ed Purdie, Dunn||50|
|Ralph Johnson, Fuquay||20|
|C. R. Meadows, Lillington||100|
Louis Baer of Dunn is operating a so-called Jewish farm on which he has a herd of 15 Aberdeen-Angus cows.
Out in Western Harnett, near Spout Springs, the Babcock Lumber Company is running a herd of 100 feeders of the “humpbacked” Brahma bull sired variety for the market.
But that isn't all of the cow picture.
In an effort to get away from dependence on Wisconsin and parts of North Carolina for dairy products, the Farm Agent's office is pushing establishment of dairies in Harnett, along with milch cow ownership by the individual farmers.
As of now—1955—there are 3500 milch cows in the county. Major producers of dairy products are: Jeter Jones, Melvin Denning, L. F. Johnson, A. B. Godwin, Carson Gregory, High Sheriff Moore, John West, H. E. Nordan and Mrs. Ballard of Kipling.
Jones, Denning and Johnson have recently installed “Milking Parlors”, the latest sanitary development in automatic milkhandling machinery.
In the development of the hog and dairy business, Harnett farmers now have 7,000 acres in permanent pasture land.
In addition to crops already listed, Harnett farmers in 1953 (the last year of available records) grew about 8,000 acres of
oats and other small grains; 4,000 acres of soy beans; 6,000 acres of hay crops and nearly 2,000 acres of Irish and sweet potatoes and other vegetables. All of this is grown by 8,000 families on 4,000 farms.
Harnett is woefully deficient in industry but is making progress.
In 1903, the Erwin Cotton Mills were established at Duke—now Erwin. They employ several thousand hands at peak capacity, and since the beginning of their operation, these mills have been a financial bulwark when hard times struck the county.
There are a number of smaller industries scattered over Harnett. The Lillington Garment Company at Lillington is the largest of these.
The Lillington Roller Mills and two recently established feed mills at Lillington and Angier, specializing in Purina feed products are thriving industries.
Another real old timer is the John A. McKay Manufacturing Company at Dunn. Then there are many smaller industries in Dunn, along with a thriving tobacco, hog and produce market.
Many small sawmills are scattered over the county, along with some larger lumber plants at Dunn, Coats, Angier, Kipling, Lillington, Bunnlevel, Olivia, and Duncan.
The County has two large building contractors: O. W. Godwin of Dunn and R. M. Turlington at Lillington. There are also a number of smaller ones who are constructing some mighty fine buildings.
In transportation, the County is efficiently served by a network of hard-surfaced roads, along with the Atlantic Coast Line, Durham and Southern, Durham and South Carolina, Norfolk and Southern, Atlantic and Western and The Cape Fear and Yadkin Valley Railroads.
In the early days of the Harnett area, there were quite a few dirt roads, such as they were, criss-crossing the County. Even the names of the roads have a suggestion of strange, far away places: the Cane Creek Road, the Road Leading Up-Country, Wilcox's Iron Road, Green's Path to the Pee Dee, the King's Highway. Ah, there's one for you—The King's Highway!
These were the roads traveled by those dauntless souls who came into this country and made it—and us—what we are today because THEY PASSED THIS WAY.
And remember: Never is a man lost on a road if he knows how he got there.
Cumberland County Records
Harnett County Records
Anson County Records
Department of Archives and History Records
State Library Records
Supreme Court Records
Secretary of State Records
Union Records of War of Rebellion
Moore's Roster of North Carolina Troops
Clark's North Carolina Regiments
Michelot's History of France
Brown's History of the Highlands
Sabine's Loyalists of American Revolution
Bouchier's Loyalist's Reminiscences
DeMond's Loyalists of American Revolution
Gilroy's Loyalists in Nova Scotia
White's Colonists in Bondage
Saunders’ Colonial and State Record
Emmons’ Geological Survey
Olmstead's The Cotton Kingdom
Paschal's History of North Carolina Baptists
Grissom's History of Methodists
McKinnon's Truth About Flora Macdonald
Carruther's Old North State
United States Census Records
Bassett's Slavery in North Carolina
Harnett County School Records
Journals of Doctor John McKay, Doctor John A. McKay, Doctor J. F. McKay and Doctor H. M. Turner
Autobiography of General O. O. Howard
Parker's History of McNeill Clan
Harnett County Church Records
Harnett County Agriculture Office Records
North Carolina Directory of 1868
Sellers’ History of Captain John Avery
Records of Lobdell Car Wheel Company
Hale's Industries of North Carolina
Records of North Carolina Grand Lodge of Masons
Page's Lyrics and Legends of the Cape Fear
Foote's Sketches of North Carolina
Papers of John McLean Harrington
Wheeler's History of North Carolina
McLean's History of McLean Clan
Files of Fayetteville Observer
Ray's History of Ray Clan
Wicker's History of Flora McDonald
Personal reminescences of several hundred peopleAPPENDIX
Members who served in the House and Senate from Harnett County.
|Date||N. C. Senate||N. C. House|
|1856||D. M. McDiarmid||Eldridge Stewart & J. F. Bethea|
|1858||J. T. Gilmore||W. L. McKay & J. S. Harrington|
|1860||Duncan Shaw||C. Wright & J. S. Harrington|
|1862||W. B. Wright||Jessie Shepherd & John McCormick|
|1864||W. B. Wright||A. D. McLean & Neil McKay|
|1865||A. D. McLean||Neill McKay|
|1866||A. D. McLean||B. C. Williams|
|1868||J. S. Harrington||Neill S. Stewart|
|1870||J. S. Harrington||Neill S. Stewart|
|1872||J. R. Grady|
|1874||Geo. W. Pegram||John A. Spears|
|1876||David H. McLean|
|1879||Neil S. Stewart||C. H. Coffield|
|1883||Danile Morrison||Daniel Stewart|
|1887||John McCormick||Thos. W. Harrington|
|1891||J. A. Green||M. V. Prince|
|1893||Neil A. Smith|
|1895||J. W. Taylor||Neil McLeod|
|1897||L. B. Chapin|
|1899||F. P. Jones||Dan Hugh McLean|
|1901||W. A. Stewart|
|1903||H. L. Godwin||Thos. W. Harrington|
|1905||W. A. Stewart|
|1907||Thos. W. Harrington||J. C. Clifford|
|1909||W. G. Turner||Neil A. Smith|
|1913||J. R. Baggett||E. F. Young|
|1915||Felix M. McKay|
|1917||J. A. McLeod||Geo. W. Grantham|
|1919||Geo. W. Grantham|
|1921||Geo. W. Grantham|
|1923||Walter P. Byrd||Nat. A. Townsend|
|1925||Nat. A. Townsend|
|1927||Neil M. Salmon||Nat. A. Townsend|
|1929||J. McKay Byrd|
|1931||J. R. Baggett||J. R. Young|
|1933||J. R. Young|
|1935||P. A. Lee||Fred S. Thomas|
|1937||Fred S. Thomas|
|1939||Fred S. Thomas||Neil M. Ross|
|1941||David Henry Senter|
|1943||L. M. Chaffin||M. M. Jernigan|
|1945||M. M. Jernigan|
|1947||L. M. Chaffin||Allison Overby|
|1951||J. R. Young||Carson Gregory|
|1955||Robert B. Morgan||Carson Gregory|
|Academy, Averasboro, 112||Battle Between the Indians, 7|
|Academy, Cumberland, 112||Battle of Piney Bottom, 32|
|Academy, Findlay Chisholm, 113||Battle of Indian Branch, 31|
|Academy, Pine Forest, 113, 150||Battle of Moore's Creek, 25, 26, 27, 39|
|Academy, Summerville, 61, 112, 113||Beard, Andrew, 29, 42|
|Adams, Joseph E., 20, 114||Beasley's Crossing, 31|
|Adams, Hoover, 149||Beasley, J. M., 152|
|Albemarle, 16||Belden, Robert, 58|
|Allen Store, 99||Bethea, Arch, 59|
|Allison, 18||Bethea, John L., 59|
|Amburne, Duane, v||Betts, A., 106|
|Ammons, C. R., 154||Betts, J. D., 107|
|Anderson Creek, 32, 42, 106||Black, Kenneth, 40|
|Anderson, John, 22||Black River, 8, 46, 97|
|Angel, Alfred H., 99||Bladen, 16, 17|
|Angier, 56||Blalock, William, 105|
|Anson Co., 14, 32, 37, 95||Blocker, Jacob, 20, 54|
|Antioch, 105, 106||Blount, 18|
|Armstrong, Thomas, 54||Bluff Church, 26, 101|
|Atkins Dam, 51||Bolin, James, 103|
|Atkins, Ben F., 56, 102||Bond, W. E., 107|
|Atkins Ferry, 31||Bonney, Johnathan, 69|
|Atkins, Mrs. Gertrude, v||Bowel, Lewis Co., 55|
|Atkins, Ica, 137||Bradley, O. J., 16, 117|
|Atkins, John L., 58, 59, 60||Brady, Capt. Thomas, 52|
|Atkins, J. W., Dr., 63, 73, 141||Bragay, C. L., 104|
|Atkins, Mrs. Neill, 149||Briggs, Thomas, 22|
|Avents Ferry, 28, 60||Brisco, Johnny, 11|
|Avera, Capt. Alexander, 26, 31, 46, 47||Britt, Richard, 20|
|Avera, Henry, 45, 59||Brown, Galls, 3|
|Avera, Jesse, 107||Brown, John, 12, 20, 54, 126|
|Avery, Capt. John, 45, 102||Brown, Richard, 20|
|Avera, Lucian A., 114, 115||Brunswick, 10, 46|
|Avera, William, 46, 47, 48||Buchanan, Dr. Ruffin, 139|
|Averasboro, 10, 12, 14, 17, 24, 26, 31, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 50, 52, 53, 96, 99, 100, 122, 123, 127||Buckhorn, 7, 9, 31, 47, 48, 49, 50, 52, 67, 68, 71|
|Buie, Archibald, 9, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 19, 20, 101, 119|
|Baggett, Hiram, 133||Buie, Capt. Daniel, 20, 26, 28, 54|
|Baggett, J. R., 133||Buie, Duncan, 20, 28, 37, 101|
|Bailey, Anson, 121, 124||Buie, Gilbert, 20|
|Bailey Hotel, 61||Buie, Dr. Neil, 114, 136|
|Bailey, Ned, 124||Buie, Sandy, 14|
|Ballard, Plunkett, 126, 133||Buie, William, 28|
|Bahn, Jennie, 28, 40, 41||Buie's Creek, 26, 29, 113|
|Barbecue Church, 25, 26, 28, 32, 38, 45, 46, 55, 101||Bullard, Joe, 51|
|Bunnslevel, 99, 105|
|Barbecue Creek, 10, 38, 102||Burke, Gov. Thomas, 29, 32|
|Barbee, Kit, 123||Butt, Rev. John, 110|
|Banks, James, 59||Butts, Nathan, 137|
|Banks, Elizabeth, 103||Burleson, Aaron, 11|
|Baker, D. M., 114||Byrd, Edward, 155|
|Ballard, Mrs., 156||Byrd, J. C., 154|
|Barge, Lewis, 55||Byrd, J. M., 62, 99|
|Barksdale, Sherod, 43, 102||Byrd, Miss Lois, v|
|Battle of Averasboro, 14, 74, 95||Byrd, Sam, 155|
|Battle of Cane Creek, 32||Byrd, Mrs. Walter P., 143|
|Battle of Culloden, 20, 25, 36||Byrd, Rev. William, 44|
|Battle of Guilford Courthouse, 28||Byrd, W. P., 63, 133|
|Cameron, A., 58, 102||Clark, A., 58|
|Cameron, Allen J., 58, 59||Clark, Alexander, 10, 16, 19, 20, 103|
|Cameron, C. A., 114||Clark, Archiebald, 19, 20, 21, 128|
|Cameron, Daniel, 101||Clark, Daniel, 20|
|Cameron, D. B., 58||Clark, Duncan, 20|
|Cameron, Edward, 1||Clark, Gilbert, 20, 101, 102, 127, 128|
|Cameron, J. A., 63||Clark, John, 16, 19, 20, 128|
|Cameron, John, 37||Clark, Kenneth, 20|
|Cameron Hill, 6, 33, 37, 38, 50||Clark, Malcolm, 22|
|Cameron, Nancy C., 114||Clark, Neill, 20, 21, 54|
|Campbell College, 113||Clark, William, 20|
|Campbell, A. N., 106||Cleaven, Timothy, 9, 11, 22, 126|
|Campbell, Duncan, 10, 11, 16, 19||Clingman, Gen., 144, 145|
|Campbell, Ferquard, 48, 119||Coates, Rev. C. H., 107|
|Campbell, Rev. James, 12, 13, 19, 26, 101, 102, 112, 127||Cobb, N. B., 107|
|Cobb, Capt. Robert, 26|
|Campbell, J. A., Rev., 107, 113, 116||Cochran, Robert, 55|
|Campbell, James, 103||Coffield, Cornelius H., 56, 115|
|Campbell, John, 20||Cokesbury Church, 105, 109, 110|
|Campbell, Mary, 103||Cokesbury, 26|
|Campbell, Dr. Leslie H., 113||Coley, Wyatt, 107|
|Campbell, Winifred, 103||Collins, Mack, 155|
|Canal, 48, 49, 50, 67, 68||Colvin, John, 6, 52, 66, 68, 70|
|Cane Creek, 27||Colville, Sandy, v|
|Cape Fear River, 5, 9, 10, 14, 16, 17, 19, 30, 32, 47||Conoly, Michael, 20|
|Cape Fear Company, 48, 52, 67||Copeland, John, 20, 128|
|Cape Fear Valley, 9||Cornwallis, Gen., 28, 29, 32, 33|
|Carter, Abraham, 11, 13||Cox, Mrs. Daisy Kelly, 147|
|Carter, Eli, 114||Craig, Major, 32, 33|
|Cattle Growers, Index To, 156||Crawford, Dr. Andrew, 12, 136|
|Caviness, H. Brown, 133||Creel, Lazarus, 20|
|Chaffin, L. M., v, 63, 133||Croatans, 8|
|Chalybeate Springs, 55||Cross, Carolina, 144|
|Champion, James, Jr., 114||Cross Creek, 12, 29, 31, 37, 38, 39, 41, 47, 55, 56|
|Chance, Frank, 107|
|Charles, Prince, 36||Cross Hill, 39|
|Chatham Co., 5, 19, 26, 32, 57||Cross, Richard, 109|
|Cheek's Creek, 37||Culbreth, B. B., 110|
|Chicora Cemetery, 99, 100||Culp, Capt., 32, 33|
|Choefenington, 12, 20, 46, 55, 101||Cumberland Academy, 58|
|Churches: Advent, 108||Cumberland Co., 12, 17, 20, 26, 30, 54, 57, 58, 60, 95|
|Churches, Baptist, 104, 105, 106, 107, 108||Cuthrell, Rev. Geo., 109|
|Churches, Catholic, 108||Cutts, A. D., Dr., 115, 141|
|Churches, Christian, 109||Cutts, Daniel, 58, 60|
|Churches, Episcopal, 108||Cypress Church, 104|
|Churches, Free Will, 107||Cypress Creek, 6|
|Churches, Glad Tidings Assemblies of God, 108||Dairies: Index to, 156|
|Churches, Jehovah's Witnesses, 108||Davis, Cader, 61|
|Churches, Methodist, 108, 109, 110||Davis, F. R., 110|
|Churches, Mormon, 108||Davis, John, 17|
|Churches, New Bethel, 105, 106||Davis, L. R., 110|
|Churches, Presbyterian, 102, 103, 104, 108, 128||Dawson, Geoffrey, 17|
|Dawson, Will, 54|
|Churches, Primitive, 107||Deep River, 9, 12, 32, 47, 48|
|Churchill, O., 106||Denning, Dr. Joel, 140|
|Civil War, 73||Denning, Melvin, 156|
|Civil War: Index to Soldiers, 74, 75, 76, 77, 78, 79, 80, 81, 82, 83, 84, 85, 86, 87, 88, 89, 90, 91, 92, 93, 94||Dennis, Elisha, 109|
|Dewar, A. H., 59|
|Dobbins, John, 20, 46, 102, 127|
|Clarks Bridge, 28||Dobbins, Thomas, 26|
|Donnely, Arthur, 22||Goodrich, Ben, 20|
|Dobbs, Gov. Arthur, 126||Gordon, David, 26|
|Doctors, 135||Grady, J. R., 62|
|Douglas, Nathan, 58||Graham, Arch'd, 114|
|Douglas, S., 58, 109||Graham, Claude, 107|
|Draughon, Geo., 103||Graham, H. W., 107|
|Draughon, Robert, 47, 103||Graham, John, 12, 20, 111, 112, 118|
|Drowning Creek, 6, 7||Graham, Malcolm, 30|
|Dublin, C. H., 46||Grant, William, 22|
|Dunn, 26, 53, 100, 110, 157||Grantham, George, 53, 149|
|Granville Line, 19|
|Early, Supt., 71||Great Falls, 67|
|Easom, Goege, 119||Great Creek, 5|
|Eaton, William, v||Green, John A., 57, 62, 116|
|Edge, N. B., 107||Green, John, 59, 60, 62|
|Eller, J. Ben, 107||Green, Nathaniel, Gen., 28, 32|
|Elliott's Mill, 56||Green's Path, 24, 46|
|Elliott, Jno., 119||Green, Paul, 143|
|Ellis, Samuel, 59||Gregory, Carson, 156|
|Eppinger, John, 22||Grey, William, 17|
|Ezzell, J. D., 116, 117||Guilford Co., 26, 32|
|Erwin, 44, 110, 111||Gully, Nathan, 105|
|Erwin Mills, 116, 157||Gypsy Pine, 96, 97|
|Fanning, David, 27, 30, 31, 32, 33|
|Faucette, W. H., 62||Hadley, Thomas, 31, 47|
|Fayetteville, 14, 17, 18, 29, 31, 41, 48, 50, 51, 55, 96||Haighwood, Kenneth, 102|
|Haile's Meeting House, 108|
|Fergerson, George, 60||Halifax, N. C., 40|
|Fox, Billy, 107||Hall, William, 20|
|Formiduval, 9||Hall, J. K., 104|
|Folsome, Col. Ebenezer, 26, 28, 29, 32, 33||Hanff, Rev. Samuel N., 108|
|Hancock Mill, 50, 51|
|Fort Bragg, 32, 95, 96||Hardee, 14, 74, 95|
|Fox Island, 30, 49||Harnett Co., 4, 6, 24, 29, 56, 57, 58|
|Fowler, A. F., 62||Harnett Co. News, 61|
|Fowler, Bill, 144||Harper, Martin, Dr., 139|
|Fowler, W. Malcolm, Author, iv, v||Harrington Dr., 140|
|Franklin, Benjamin, 42||Harrington, Edwin, 62|
|French, Richard, 17||Harrington, Mrs. Inez, 62|
|Friendship, 106||Harrington, James, 58|
|Fulph, George, 20||Harrington, James S., 150, 151|
|Fulton, Hamilton, 49||Harrington, John McLean, 115, 150, 151, 152|
|Fuquay, Geo., 71|
|Harrington, Margaret, 150|
|Gammon, R. R., 104||Harrington, T. W., Hon., 116, 117, 146|
|Gardner, Stephen, 22, 128||Harris, Rev. Wm., 108|
|Gaskins, Ike, 122||Harvill, John, 20|
|Gaster, Hendrick, 9||Haywood, 48, 52|
|Gastor, Jacob, 28||Hatley, Clyde, 155|
|Gentry, Byrd P., 117||Haw River, 47, 48|
|Gibbs, N. H., 107||Hector's Creek, 57|
|Gibson's Store, 12||Hill, John, 22|
|Giddens, Abraham, 46||Hillsboro, 46|
|Gilbert, Gideon, 11||Hawley, J., 60, 106|
|Gill, W., 73||Hilliard, Johnnie, 105|
|Gilliam, James, 20||Hilliard, Russell, 106|
|Gilchrist, Margaret, 40||Hinton, Col., 30, 31|
|Gilchrist, Effie, 103||Hodges, Bartholomew, 22|
|Godwin, A. B., 156||Hodges, James P., 57|
|Godwin, Hannibal L., Hon., 8||Hodges, John, 102, 103, 108|
|Godwin, Howard, 63||Hodges, John H., 114, 117|
|Godwin, O. W., 157||Hodges, J. M., 116|
|Goldmna, Gunrod, 9||Hodges, Philemon, 47|
|Hoke Co., 25, 33||Lawyers: Index To, 133, 134|
|Hodges, William, 127, 128||Lee, Col. Harry, 28|
|Holland, H. B., 114, 115||Lee, Robert E. Genl., 95|
|Holloway, A. C., 62||Lee, John, 119|
|Holloway, Julius, 107||Lebanon, 95|
|Holleman, J. M., 107||Legion of Restless Men, 5|
|Holly, Johnathan, 106||Lillington, 6, 9, 26, 28, 30, 51, 52, 56, 60, 61, 157|
|Holt, John R., 109|
|Holt, Dr. William P., 141||Lillington Alexander, Gen., 61|
|Hospital, Good Hope, 141||Linden, 20, 55|
|Howard, Cary, 155||Little River—Lower, 17, 20, 25, 26, 55, 56, 62|
|Howard, James, 20, 155|
|Howard, Robert, 20||Little River—Upper, 6, 28, 55|
|Howard, Samuel, 20, 127, 128||Llewellyn, Johnathan, 11|
|Huffines, D. A., 155||Lobdell, George G., 69, 71, 72|
|Hunt, T. J., 107||Longstreet, 12|
|Longstreet Church, 96, 101, 111|
|Indians, 5, 6, 7, 8||Lord & Fletcher, 55|
|Italy Hill, 52||Love, Robert, 127, 128|
|Lucas, B. E., 107|
|Johnson, Albert, v||Lucknow, 53|
|Johnson, E. Weldon, 106|
|Johnson, Jacob, 129, 130||McAden, Hugh, 101|
|Johnson, James A., 57, 59, 62, 129, 151||McAllister, Col. Alex, 13|
|Johnson, L. F., 156||McAllister, Alexander, 10, 16, 103|
|Johnson, Samuel E., 57, 58||McAlister, Angus, 22|
|Johnson, Tapley, 59||McAlister, Ann, 103|
|Johnston Co., 56||McAllister, Coll, 13 ,119|
|Johnston, Gen. Joe, 95, 96||McAllister, Janet, 103|
|Johnston, Gov. Gabriel, 10, 16||McAllister, John, 19, 46, 103, 111, 127|
|Johnston, Margaret, 41||McAllister Ferry, 29, 104|
|Johnston, Wallis, 22||McAlpin, Duncan, 137|
|Johnson, William Henry, 62||McAlphin, Kenneth, 3|
|Jones Creek, 28, 30||McArtan, Alex, v|
|Jones, Allen B., 109||McArtan, C., 62|
|Jones, Charlie, 20||McArtan, J. W., 62|
|Jones, Francis, 20, 119, 128||McBride, D. B., 104|
|Jones, Hamilton, 20||McCormick, 115|
|Jones, Jeter, 156||McCormick, Daniel, 59, 60, 113|
|Jones, K., 58, 59||McCormick, Duncan, 58|
|Jones, Nathaniel G., 61, 119||McCormick, D. W., 114|
|Jones, Thomas, 21||McCormick, Dr. John, 139, 151|
|Joyner, Andrew, 22||McCormick Home, 28, 43|
|Juniper Creek, 6||McCranie, Hugh, 19, 20|
|McCranie, Isabella, 103|
|Keller, E. C., 107||McCrainey, Murdoch, 19|
|Kennedy, Andrew, 22||McCrainie, Neill, 103|
|Kennedy, David, 22, 125, 126||McDaniel, Marion, 32, 33|
|Kennedy, Samuel, 22||McDiarmids, 56|
|Kennedy, William, 30||McDonald, A. A., 63|
|Killiegrey, 37, 38, 39, 40||McDonald, Alexander, 37, 39, 40, 104|
|Kilpatrick, Judson, 14, 95, 96, 97||McDonald, Annabella, 37|
|King's Highway, 13, 14, 17, 29, 31, 46, 157||McDonald, Allen, 36, 38, 39, 40, 102, 136|
|Kipling, 109||McDonald, Ann, 36, 39, 40|
|Kivett, A. J., 62||McDonald, Archiebald, 9, 11, 22|
|Knee, John, 20||McDonald, C. I., 114|
|Ku Klux Klan, 52, 122||McDonald, Donald, 25, 30, 39|
|McDonald, Flora, 36, 39, 40|
|Laborde, Lt., 98||McDonald, Hugh, 48|
|Lanier, J. B., 62||McDonald, James, 30, 39, 40|
|Lanier, J. D., 105||McDonald, John, 58, 59|
|Larrimore, Edward, 20||McDonald, John M., 60|
|McDonald, Laughlen, 30||McLeod, Julius W., 59|
|McDonald, Leon, v, 143||McLeod, M., Dr., 102, 104, 139|
|McDonald, Malcom, 103||McLeod, Nancy, 145|
|McDonald, Marion, 38||McLeod, Neill, 114|
|McDougald, Col., 31, 32||McClellan Family, 99|
|McDougald, Rev. Allen, 103||McLennon, Alex, 109|
|McDougald, Archie, 27, 33||McNail, Rev. Evander, 104|
|McDougal, Daniel, 129, 151||McNair, J. C., Dr., 112|
|McDougal, Gilbert, 114||McNeills, 27, 43|
|McDougald, Hugh, 20||McNeill, Archiebald, 20, 41, 43, 54, 103, 128|
|McDougald, James, 19, 111|
|McDougald, Dr. J. A., 139||McNeill, Archie Bahn, 28, 31, 119|
|McDougald, John, 22, 27||McNeill, A. S., 60, 119|
|McGraw, Samuel, 19||MacNeill, Black Neill, 10, 16, 17, 19, 20|
|McIntosh, Dr., 137|
|McIver's Station, 51, 69||McNeill, Caroline, 141|
|McKays, 27||McNeill, Daniel, 19, 33, 43|
|McKay, Alexander, 19||MacNeill, Dugald, 10|
|McKay, Archiebald, 19, 30||McNeill, Duncan, 12|
|McKay, Mrs. Betty B., 124||McNeill's Ferry, 14, 29, 32|
|McKay, Dougald, 103||MacNeill, Hector, 10, 16, 19, 20, 43, 127|
|McKay, F. M., 63|
|McKay, Dr. John, 136, 137, 138, 139||McNeill, Hector, Col., 27, 31, 128|
|McKay, John A., 62||McNeill, Jennie Bahn, 31, 32, 36, 42, 43|
|McKay, John A., Dr., Major, 73|
|McKay, Dr. John, 102, 136, 138, 139||McNeill, J. M., 115|
|McKay, John F., Dr., 136, 138||McNeill, John, 32, 33, 43, 102|
|McKay, John W., 57, 58, 59||McNeill, Kenneth, 62, 119|
|McKay, Joseph F., Dr., 139||McNeill, Lauchlin, 41, 43|
|McKay, Miss Lizzie, 155||McNeill, Malcolm, 19, 41, 43|
|McKay, Malcolm, 30, 103||McNeill, Margaret, 103|
|McKay, Neill, 59, 102, 104, 119, 129||McNeill, Neill, Dr., 140|
|McLaughlen, Hugh, 19||McNeill, Neill, 43|
|McLaughlen, James, 19||MacNeill, Neill (Red), 9, 10, 12, 13|
|McLaurin, Peter, 13||McNeill, Torquill, 22|
|McLean, Archiebald, 30, 59||McNeill, W. M., Dr., 114, 139, 140|
|McLean, Alexander, 130||McPhail, Angus, 122|
|McLean, A. D., Gen., 102, 114||McPhail, Dugald, 22|
|McLean, D. H., 62, 73, 130, 131||McPhail, Malcolm, 30|
|McLean, Daniel, 102||McQueen, Angus, Rev., 26, 104|
|McLean, Duncan, 59, 62||McRae, Christian, 114|
|McLean, Hector, 59, 102, 137||McSween, Hugh A., 102|
|McLean, Hugh, 20, 21, 59, 137|
|McLean, H. M., 59||Mallett & Emmitt, 55|
|McLean, John, 6, 21, 30 102||Mamers, 56, 105|
|McLean, Capt. John, 27, 28, 30, 32||Mallett, Dr. A. F., 140|
|McLean, John R., 59||Marcom, J. C., 106|
|McLean, Miss L. F., 115||Marsh, L. T., 106|
|McLean, Martha J., 114||Martin, Gov., 25, 39|
|McLean, Peter, ____||Martinlear, John, 17, 19, 20, 46, 117|
|McLean, Dr. John Tyler, 139, 149||Masonic Lodge, 53, 111, 139|
|McLean, John, 20, 21||Mathews, Elizabeth F., 63|
|McLean, Lofton, 57||Mathews, Julius, 59|
|McLean's Mill, 28, 30||Mathews, L. K., 62|
|McLean, Neill, 30||Mathews, Norman, 59|
|McLean, Peter, 102||Matthews, Rory, 132|
|McLean, T. Hugh, 54||Maxwell, Forest, 107|
|McLeod, Alexander, 37, 39, 40||May, John, 22|
|McLeod, Alex, Jr., 37||Melvin, W. C., Dr., 142|
|McLeod, Don, 132||Memory, J. I., 107|
|McLeod, James, 37||Miller, George W., 116, 144, 145, 146|
|McLeod, John, 62||Mines, 51, 52, 56, 69, 70, 71, 72|
|McLeod, Rev. John, 55, 102||Monroe, C. I., 114|
|Monroe's Farm, 14, 95||Phillips, Rev. R. M., 103|
|Montgomery Co., 37, 38||Phillips, Stephen, 46, 127|
|Moore, C. O., 20, 40, 51, 57||Pinnix, L. C., 106|
|Moore, C. R., 62||Pipkin, Lewis, Rev., 106, 139|
|Moore, Herman, Jr., 106||Pittsboro, 32|
|Moore, John Jr., 104||Pittman, J. P., 149|
|Moore, Rev. Wayne, 108||Pleasants Plain, 48|
|Morgan, Bryant Allen, v||Poole, Wm., 107|
|Morgan, Daniel, 27||Pope, Busbee, 149|
|Morgan, Robert, v, 63||Pope, Frank, 62|
|Morrison, Alexander, 102||Pope, J. H., 62|
|Morrison, Daniel, 102||Pope, Thad H., 62|
|Moss, Zeb, 107||Prince, George E., 63|
|Mt. Pisgah Church, 28, 104||Prince, Ruffin, 109|
|Munn, McAlpin, 26||Prince, Joel, 109|
|Murchison Road, 57||Prospect Church, 106, 107|
|Murchison, Kenneth, Col., 73, 102||Purvis, Ed., 131, 132|
|Murchison, W. E., 104, 131|
|Murphey, Archibald D., 49||Quakers, 16|
|Murphy, Robert, 102||Quaminy, 13|
|Quinn, Aiton, 108|
|Nathan & Co., 55|
|Neill's Creek, 6, 10, 30, 104, 105, 122||Railroad, 50, 51, 53, 69, 153|
|Neill's Creek: Baptist Church, 104||Raleigh, 41|
|Neuse River 32||Ramsay's Mill, 28|
|Newspaper 148, 149, 151, 152||Rand, J., 29|
|Nick's Creek, 40||Rand, William, 47|
|Nicolson, Angus, 37||Ravens Rock, 9|
|Nordon, H. E., 156||Ray, Duncan, Col., 27, 29, 30, 31|
|Northington Family, 119||Ray, Duncan, 23|
|Nova Scotia, 39, 40||Ray, John, 6, 20|
|Page, Hubbard Fulton, 147||Ray, Mary, 103|
|Ray, Hugh, 54|
|Oak Grove, 97, 99||Reagan, Gabriel, 20|
|Ochiltree, Hugh, 30||Reardon, James T., 60|
|Old Field Church, 107||Reardon, Joseph, 58, 59|
|O'Neill, Felix, 9, 11||Revolutionary War: Index To Soldiers, 33, 34, 35|
|O'Quinn, H. M., 155|
|Rhiner, E. M., 107|
|Parker's Creek, 5, 67||Richardson, N. R., 53, 148|
|Parker, Allen B., 115, 129, 130||Richmond Co., 14|
|Parker, Jacob, 105||Rockefeller, 18|
|Parker, John, 115||Rockfish Creek, 12|
|Parker, Miles, 22||Robeson, Janie, 97|
|Parker, Peter Jr., 5||Roberson, Edward, 22|
|Patterson, Archiebald, 20||Roberson, John, 22|
|Patterson, Duncan, 20, 104||Roberson, Mrs. R. R., 100|
|Patterson, Gilbert, 9, 19||Roberson, Sarah, 103|
|Patterson, John B., 102, 128||Roberts, Haywood, Dr., 137, 141|
|Patterson, Pierce, 155||Robbins, D. P., 107|
|Patterson's Rock, 9||Roger, Sarah, 103|
|Patterson, Sandy, 121||Rollins, Burrell, 109|
|Pearson, Frank, 62||Ruffin, C. E., 106|
|Pearson, S. J., 130||Russell, Ernest P., 107|
|Pearson, Stephen, 22, 58, 59, 109||Rutland, Mrs. Inez, v|
|Pee Dee Country, 11, 28|
|Pegram, George W., 57, 58, 59, 109, 116||Salmon, S. A., 62|
|Pegram, J. D., Rev., 116||Salmon, W. E., 62|
|Pegram, Stephen A., 109||Sampson Co., 56|
|Pegram, William, 109||Samson, Red, 11|
|Pembroke, 8||Sand Hills, 6, 7|
|Penny, L. H., 115||Sanders, Miss Bettie, 100|
|Phillips, John, 20, 128||Sanders, Robert W., 95|
|Saw Mills, 157||Spence, Ingram, 109|
|Schools, 110||Spence, James, v, 137|
|Scotland, 2, 17, 36, 40, 42||Spence, J. W., 59|
|Seemore, Thomas, 21||Spence, Whit, 155|
|Selfridge's Division, 97, 99||Spence, Willoughby, 31, 60|
|Seller, Duncan, 114, 151||Sprowl Family, 29, 42|
|Senter, David H., 149||Sprowl's Ferry, 29, 32, 42|
|Senter, Stephen, 105||Spout Springs, 33|
|Sexton, Dr. Coll, 141||Steele, Henderson, 149|
|Sexton, J. A., 62||Spring Hill Church, 51|
|Sexton, Miss Mamie, 62||Stephens, G. Van, 107|
|Sexton, William, 109||Stephens, William, 19|
|Shaddock, Joshua, 22||Stewart, Charlotte, 103|
|Shaw, Allen, 102||Stewart's Creek, 6, 111, 112|
|Shaw, Mrs. Allen, v||Stewart, Charles T., 149|
|Shaw, Arch, 103||Stewart, Dugald, 19, 103, 111|
|Shaw, A. M., 62||Stewart, E., 59|
|Shaw, Angus, 59||Stewart, Eldridge, 57, 59|
|Shaw, Benjamin F., 59, 63||Stewart, Elizabeth, 48|
|Shaw, Daniel, 21, 102, 103||Stewart, Gus, 112|
|Shaw, Duncan, 21||Stewart, Hector, 103|
|Shaw, D. W., 114||Stewart, James, 20|
|Shaw, Dushee, 21, 27, 54, 102, 103, 111, 112, 119||Stewart, John, 21, 114, 128|
|Stewart, Neill S., 59, 99|
|Shaw, Janet, 103||Stewart, Thomas, 22, 128|
|Shepherd, J. G., 56||Stewart, W. Hamp, 62|
|Sherman's Army, 14, 95||Stith, Dr. Buckner, 136|
|Small, John, 28||Stokes, Father Vincent, 108|
|Smilie's Falls, 10, 13, 14, 15, 47, 48, 49, 50||Stone, J. J., 149|
|Stone, Simon, 106|
|Smilie, Mathew, 19, 111||Storm, Windall, 9|
|Smilie, Nathaniel, 19||Strange, Robert, 130|
|Smith, Charity, 103||Strodder, Lawrence, 28|
|Smith's Ferry, 25||Summerville, 60, 61, 103, 130|
|Smith, David, 21, 26, 47, 54, 119, 128|
|Smith, Elizabeth, 119||Tarleton, Banastre, 28|
|Smith, Dr. Farquhard, 95, 119, 140||Tart, J. H., 62|
|Smith, Hugh, 21, 54, 103||Tart, Nathan, 59|
|Smith, I. W., 62||Taylor, Eldrige, Rev., 108|
|Smith, James, 21||Taylor, F. H., 63|
|Smith, Mrs. Janie, 95, 97, 100||Taylor, William, 105|
|Smith, Janet, 40, 41||Temple, W. E., 155|
|Smith, Mrs. J. C., 100||Thackston, Col. James, 28, 29|
|Smith, Miss Jessie, 100||Thomas, B. G., iv|
|Smith, Joe P., 61||Thomas, Fulton, 107|
|Smith, John, 21, 40, 97, 99, 128||Thomas, John, 21|
|Smith, Jonathan, 103||Thorn, Richard, 21|
|Smith, Miss Louise, 100||Thorntons Creek, 48|
|Smith, Malcolm, 41||Thornton, James, 21, 119|
|Smith, Needham, 103||Thornton, Mrs. Viola, v|
|Smith, Parson Richard, 124||Tilghman, Sonny, 150|
|Smith, Robert, 21, 59||Tirzah Church, 102, 103|
|Smith, Rolling, 21||Toomer, 58, 60|
|Smith, Miss Sallie, 100||Touchstone, Caleb, 37|
|Smith, Mrs. S. E., 100||Trantham, David, 21|
|Smith, W. M., 99, 103, 137, 138||Trantham, Martin, Jr., 21|
|Smith, William T., 103||Trantham, Martin, Sr., 21, 128|
|Smithville, 99||Travis, Mr., 29|
|Spears, H. T., 62||Treadway, Richard, 22, 43, 127|
|Spears, John A., 59, 129, 131||Turlington, Carl, 112|
|Spears, Oscar J., 131||Turlington Cross Road, 102, 123|
|Spence, D. R., 140||Turlington, Melvin, v, 157|
|Spence Family, 6||Turlington, Randall, 139|
|Turlington, W. H., 62||White, John, 55|
|Turnage, Rev. James, 108||Wicker, R. E., 37|
|Turner, Charlotte, 103||Wilcox, John, 12|
|Turner, Rev. G. Scott, 105, 106||Wilder, Mathew, 58|
|Turner, Sarah W., 103||Williams, Alexander, 103|
|Turner, Scott Jr., 106||Williams, A. L., 106|
|Turner, H. M., Dr., 59, 102, 119, 137, 139, 141||Williams, Dr. B. C., 141|
|Williams, Bok, 124|
|Tuscarora Nation, 6||William, J. Carlyle, 142|
|Williams, D. S., 105, 106|
|Union League, 122||Williams, E. J., 115|
|Williams, Isaac, 103, 119|
|Vicars, Dan, 46||Williams, J. C., 119|
|Virginia, 16||Williams, Mrs. Julia J., 100|
|Waccamaw Swamp, 9||Williams, Dr. J. S., 141|
|Wade, Col., 32, 33||Williams, Dr. John Taylor, 123|
|Wade Station, 40||Williams, Rachel, 103|
|Wad's Creek, 39||Williams, Sampson, 21, 128|
|Wake County, 26, 30, 31, 47, 57||Williams, William, Dr., 59, 141|
|Walter, Jean, 107||Wilmington, 16, 17, 32, 33, 38|
|War: Between the States: Index to Soldiers, 74 to 94||Winkley, Mrs. Maggie Ann, 124|
|Winslow, Edward, 55|
|War: Revolution: Roster of Soldiers, 33, 34, 35||Winslow, E. L., 113|
|Withers, Mrs. Ann Atkins, 115|
|War of 1812: Index to Soldiers, 35||Withers, J. H., Dr., 63, 141|
|Ward, 55||Woodall, A. M., 149|
|Ward, Hugh, 17, 19||Worth, D. G., 150, 151|
|Ward, Miles, 17, 19||Wright, John, 22|
|Ward, Thomas, 22||Wyatt, Dr. A. T., 142|
|Watts, James, 51|
|Weldon, 50||Yow, Christoper, 21|
|West, John, 156||Yadkin Trail, 12, 28|
|Wheeler, Emperor, 9||Young, E. F., 149|
|Wheeler, Gen., 98||York, Thomas, 21, 119|
|Wheeler, Joe, 14||York Town, 32, 33|
If you know something about this item or would like to request additional information, click here.
I’d like to find out if any of my Ancestors had any Trauma/Deceases in their Lives, and how they survived.
1939 farm walter stancil in scottland county nc
Genealogy buff. Looking for info on my surname
Want to get a copy. Great historical book. Fun author to read.
I read the book atleast twice. The book was fantastic!
Complete the fields below to post a public comment about the material featured on this page. The email address you submit will not be displayed and would only be used to contact you with additional questions or comments.