Monuments are not ours to take

Who are we then to take away the honor they earned through blood. We didn’t bestowe it on them and we have no right to remove it. What we have been given is the sacred duty to protect and preserve this honor for future generations.”



When I pass the beautiful monuments on the Capitol grounds, I recognize that citizens of North Carolina deliberately placed these here to recognize the sacrifices and contributions of individuals or groups who made significant contributions to our state. The relative importance of these contributions to our contemporary lifestyle is not what matters. WE have surely moved beyond these foundational events to achieve even greater success for our citizens. What is important to me is that these monuments allow us to honor and respect those that came before us to help us be where we are today. We should collectively be able to see these monuments in a place of honor, in the public square, as a way to drive us forward to make our own contributions to society. Our citizens should be looking forward to find ways to improve our community. Looking backward and trying to edit the past to make it less painful does not in any way make our future more promising. If these statutes cause some of us pain, than that should be used as a catalyst for ideas to change the future, not whitewash the past.

When I look at the monuments on the Capitol grounds I see young men with purpose and honor in their lives, whether I’m looking at the Vietnam memorial, the WWI monuments or the Confederate monuments. I honestly don’t see white supremacists rallying modern day citizens to return to an antebellum culture of slavery. What I see are ordinary, scared, young farm boys who answered the call of their state to pick up arms in her defense.

Don’t forget, the Confederate Monument is dedicated to North Carolina Soldiers who fought for the Confederacy. North Carolinians that answered the request of their state leaders to serve honorably. How can our state leaders now ignore this honorable service by its citizens?

After suffering through four years of unimaginable hardship, danger and brutal war, these boys became the proud, honorable men that did their best and were honored for their achievements by their fellow citizens. Many went on to achieve great things for our state as leaders in the highest positions in both the private and public sectors.

20160407 FEW Confed Mem Day-16.JPG

If you take the time to walk through the solemn white Confederate headstones in Oakwood, ask yourself, how many of these soldiers, many of whom made the ultimate sacrifice, actually owned a slave? The answer, for most, is that they didn’t!

Who are we then to take away the honor they earned through blood. We didn’t bestowe it on them and we have no right to remove it. What we have been given is the sacred duty to protect and preserve this honor for future generations.

As a taxpayer, I certainly think my money can be better spent than wasting it to appease a vocal minority. Please leave the Monuments alone. The law protects them, but more importantly it is our generation’s duty to protect them for the future.

submitted to the NC Historical Commision Monuments committee on 4/10/2018

Have you let the NC Historical Commision Monuments committee know how you feel about the proposal to remove monuments from the Capitol grounds? You have until Midnight on April 12th, 2018 to leave them your comments at the following link:

Meet Sergeant John Moore, Company B, 16th North Carolina.

By Frederick Walton, 6th NCST Historian

Meet Sergeant John Moore, Company B, 16th North Carolina. At least I think it’s John Moore, here’s why…

Sgt Willie Meadows- Co B

unidentified Early War Photo, mislabeled as Willie Meadows, Co. B., 6th NCST


When I first saw this photo last week it was identified as Sergeant Willie Meadows of Company B, 6th North Carolina State Troops.

(see Sergeant Willie Meadows ?? Company B- “Flat River Guards”)

This didn’t seem right to me for several reasons. First the uniform was unlike any I had seen in previous photos of 6th NCST soldiers. Secondly, although he has a “B” on his cap, the letters “MR” below it didn’t make sense to me. Company B was known as the “Flat River Guards”. The letters on his cap should be FRG rather than the “MR”.

Corp Joseph C. Allison Co B 6ncst copy

Flat River Guards- “FRG” Hat Brass (Corporal Joseph C. Allison, Co B, 6th NCST)

Most viewers were in agreement that the picture seemed to be an early war photo, but looking up Willie Meadows service record revealed that he didn’t make Sergeant until 1864, much too late to be considered an “early war” photo.

When expert Bob Williams identified the “MR” as the 6th North Carolina’s Madison Rangers, I was further confused because I didn’t think there was any company called the Madison Rangers in the 6TH N. C.

I was wrong!

A little more research revealed that the Madison Rangers was indeed the nickname of the 6th North Carolina’s company B… the 6th North Carolina VOLUNTEERS, that is. They became the 16th North Carolina Troops on November 14, 1861.

Now that I established that this was not Willie Meadows, I wondered if there was any way to find out who this young man was. I sought the answer by consulting the roster for Company B, 16th NCT and identifying the Sergeants listed. I reasoned that he had to be one of them. There were only 7 sergeants listed, and four of them were named John, so there is a better than 50 % chance that the guy in the photo is John somebody!

If we agree that this is an early war photo, we can eliminate three names that didn’t become Sergeant until Dec ‘62 or later.

  • John W. Randall, 20, Promoted Sgt- 1 May ’63 
  • John Callahan, 29, Promoted Sgt- 22 Mar ’64 
  • Zachariah Peek, 25, Promoted 1st Sgt- 12 Dec ’62 

The lad in the photo is clearly in his mid 20’s, so that eliminates Sergeant John Brown, age 51.

Our sergeant is missing the diamond of a 1st Sergeant, so that eliminates 1st Sergeant Ira J. Profit, age 27.

This leaves us with two remaining choices:

Moore, John A., 1st Lt.
Resided in Madison County and enlisted at age 25, April 29, 1861. Mustered in as Sergeant and was elected 1st Lt. on or about April 26, 1862. Present or accounted for until killed at Chancellorsville, Va. May 3, 1863.


Dalton, William A., Sergeant
Resided in Madison County where he enlisted on April 29, 1861. Mustered in as Sergeant but was reduced to rank of Corporal in September 1861-Feb 1863. Present or accounted for until captured in unspecified battle. Exchanged at Aiken’s Landing, James River, Va., Sept. 7, 1862. Reported AWOL from Nov. 11, 1862 through Aug 31, 1863. Reduced to Ranks prior to Sept 1, 1863. Company records do not indicate whether he ever returned to duty, however he DESERTED to the Yankees prior to March 5, 1865 when he took the Oath of allegiance at Louisville, Kentucky.

Hero or Traitor

Does the sincere face ln the photo look like a hero or a traitor? No disrespect meant to Sergeant Dalton, but, gee whiz, he seems to have a very spotty service record. Who knows what demons he faced during his service, but….AWOL? Desertion?

Whereas Sergeant Moore’s record is exemplary, including the fact that he made the ultimate sacrifice. So wouldn’t it be nice to remember him! That’s one reason I choose him.

Another reason is simple statistics. When 4 out of 7 sergeants are named John…well you can’t go wrong picking John, can you?

But the final data has nothing to do with something as arbitrary as personal feelings or as cold as statistics. What if we had a description? William Dalton has one in his compiled service record from his Oath of Allegiance:


Complexion: Fair
Hair: Light
Eyes: Blue
Height: 6’ 3”” (Wow! a giant!)

This doesn’t match our photo at all:

Sgt Willie Meadows- Co B

Sergeant John Moore, Co. B, Madison Rangers, 6th North Carolina Volunteers (16th NCT)

Complexion: dark (albeit with rosy cheeks)
Hair: Dark
Eyes: dark
Height: guessing about 5’11’’ (based on my height when I hold my sword that way)

This, then, has to be our guy…we have run out of choices!

Meet Sergeant…later 1st Lieutenant John Moore…unless you have a better idea?

Confederates could Whip Germans- The 6th NCST 100 years ago today-

(c) 2017 by Frederick Walton

I was perusing the newspaper this morning…the one for July 3, 1917 that is…100 years ago today. What better way to learn “first hand” the feeling of our country as we made our entry into World War one.

On Tuesday, July 3, 1917 I found the following article on the bottom of page 6, in the Raleigh News and Observer: 

LYON, WILLIAM HUDSON, Sergeant, Company I, 6th North Carolina State troops

William Hudson Lyon enlisted in Wake County at age 18, May 28, 1861, for the war. He mustered in as Private and was promoted to Sergeant on January 1, 1863. He was present or accounted for until captured at Rappahannock Station, Virginia, on November 7, 1863. He was confined at the infamous Federal prison,  Point Lookout, Maryland, until paroled and transferred to Boulware’s and Cox’s Wharf, James River, Virginia, where he was received February 20-21, 1865, for exchange. He was reported present with a detachment of paroled and exchanged prisoners at Camp Lee, near Richmond, Virginia, February 27, 1865.


The 6th Regiment did serve under Stonewall Jackson for a while in 1863, which would have been a matter of pride for those who served under him. The belt, mentioned would have been part of an NCO’s accoutrments, that is, used to hold his bayonette and cap pouch. Since Lyon enlisted at the very earliest, he would most likely have been issued a coveted 6th NCST belt buckle. These were ordered  by the founding colonel, Charles Frederick Fisher, at their training camp at Company Shops, North Carolina. (present day Burlington, N. C.) Colonel Fisher, the former president of the North Carolina Railroad, had these specially cast in the railroad shops for his men. They are the only known Confederate buckles that designate a specific regiment. There were a limited number produced. A weak point in the design were the prongs that secure the buckle to the belt. They were prone to break off making the buckle useless or worse, allowing it to fall off and be lost. Several have been found by metal detectors at campsites or on battlefields, but they are a rare and valuable find. It is no doubt that Lyon coveted and protected his throughout his life. I wonder what became of it? It it in some ancestors attic or proudly on display somewhere in Raleigh?

The army didn’t see fit to recruit Jackson’s aging veterans, but their spirit certainly ran in the blood of that present generation of volunteers and draftees who did go to France and whipped the Germans in 1918.

Faces of the Sixth- Sgt. Bartlett Yancey Malone Co. H


Faces LogoThe following photographs and information are original members of the “Bloody Sixth”. I am honored to include their stories and images here. If you would like to share a story or photo about your 6th NCST ancestor, please leave a comment and I will be in touch.

Sgt. Bartlett Yancey Malone, Co. H

Sgt. Bartlett Yancey Malone, Co. H
source- “Whippt ’em Every Time”

B. Y. Malone was borned in the year of our Lord 1838 rased and graduated in the Corn field & Tobacco And inlisted in the war June the 18th 1861 And was a member of the Caswell Boys which was comanded by Capt Mitchel And 25 was attatched to the 6th N. C. Regt. which was comd by Coln Fisher who got kiled at the first Manassas fight which was fought July the 21st 1861.” From his diary

Best known as the author of the diary that was later published as “Whipt ‘Em Every Time“, Malone served in Co. H, “The Caswell Boys” commanded by Captain Alfred A.Mitchell.

Enlisted: June 6,1861 for the war

Where: Caswell County

Age at enlistment: 22

Pre-War Occupation: Farmer

Appointed Corporal: May/June 1861

Promoted to Sergeant: February 1, 1863

“The first day of February which was the Sabath was a pritty spring day.”

from his Diary (He doesn’t mention his promotion)

Wounded: Malvern Hill, Va. July 1, 1862

“And the next morning whitch was the first day of July just twelve months from the time I left home we crost over and about 10 oclock we overtaken the scamps again And they comenced throwing bumbs amung us And we amung them And thar was a very heavey canonading cept up all day And a little befour night the pickets comenced fyring And from that time untell about a hour in the night thar was very hard fiting don indeed And a great meney kild and wounded on boath sids in our company M. Miles L. Smith, B. Murphey, I. Calmond, G. Lyons And my self was all hurt”

from his diary

Wounded: Chancellorsville, Va., May 4, 1863

 “And the next day which was the 4 we was marching about first from one plais to a nother a watching the Yankees untell about a hour by sun and the fight was opend our Bregaid went in and charged about a half of a mile and just befour we got to the Yankee Battery I was slitley wounded above the eye with a peas of a Bumb”

from his diary

Captured: Rappahannock Station, Va. November 7, 1863

“And about dark the yanks charged on the Louisianna Bregaid which was clost to the Bridg and broke thir lines and got to the Bridge we was then cutoff and had to Surender”

from his diary

Confined: at Point Lookout Maryland

“The first day of July 1861 I left home, and the first day of July 1862 I was in the fight of Malvern Hill, and the first day of July 1863 I was in the fight at Gettysburg, and today which is the first day of July, I am at Point Lookout Md.”

from his diary

Paroled & Exchanged: Aikens Landing Va. Feb. 25-Mar. 3, 1865- Admitted to hospital in Richmond after being exchanged.

“The 21st all Prisnor capturd at Rappahanoc Station was cauld we all went out and Signed the Parole and was put in the Parole Camp and staid there most all the 24th then we was put on the Steamer George Leary we got to Fortress Monroe about dark And then run as far as Hampton Roads and there we staid all night Started next morning at light which was the 25 got to Acorns Landing about 10 Oclock which was about 12 miles from Richmond on the James River we then marched from there to Camp Lea we got to Camp Lea about dark We then Staid at Camp Lea untell the 27 when we wen over to Camp Winder.”

from his diary

Married: Mary Frances Compton (1842 – 1892) on 15 Nov 1866

Post War Occupation: Farmer

Death Date:  4 May 1890

Cemetery: Lynches Creek Primitive Baptist Church Cemetery, Corbett, Caswell County, North Carolina, USA

Source Notes:

1) Jordon, “North Carolina Troops, 1861-1865

2) Malone, Bartlett Yancey, and William Whatley Pierson. Whipt ’em everytime: the diary of Bartlett Yancey Malone. Wilmington, NC: Broadfoot, 1987.

3) North Carolina, Index to Marriage Bonds, 1741-1868

4) North Carolina, Marriage Records, 1741-2011

5 )Find A Grave:

Additional information or photos would be welcomed to complete the record of this honorable soldier.

Faces of the Sixth- Private William Thaddeus Redmond- Co. C

Faces Logo

The following photographs and information are original members of the “Bloody Sixth”. I am honored to include their stories and images here. If you would like to share a story or photo about your 6th NCST ancestor, please leave a comment and I will be in touch.

Private William Thaddeus Redmond
Company C



William Thaddeus (Thad) Redmond fought with Company “C” of the 6th North Carolina Troops. According to family lore, he was wounded in the right arm while carrying the colors. This photo was taken on his 83rd birthday in 1926. Thanks to Donnie Brogden of Durham, NC for supplying this picture of his cousin.

Enlisted: May 1, 1861 for the war

Where: Orange county (his residence)

Age at enlistment: 18

Wounded: Right Arm in Gettysburg, Pa. July 1, 1863

Promoted Corporal: Oct. 1, 1862

Promoted Sergeant: August 1 1863


Source Notes:


1) Jordon, “North Carolina Troops, 1861-1865


Additional information or photos would be welcomed to complete
the record of this honorable soldier. 

Sketch of the Sixth North Carolina Regiment.

from the Durham, N. C. “Tobacco Plant” newspaper, Oct 12, 1888, Page 2
Transcribed by Historian Frederick E. Walton 7/11/2016
The Sixth North Carolina Regiment was organ
ized at Burlington, (Company Shops) in June, 1861, as the Sixth Regi
ment of State Troops, under the ten Regiment Act, with the following field and staff officers:


Charles F. Fisher, killed at Manassas, July 21. 1861

Colonel, Charles F. Fisher;
Lieutenant-Colonel, W. T. Dortch ;
Major, Charles E. Lightfoot;
Captain N. E. Scales, A. Q. M. ;
Captain W. H. Alexander, A. C. S. ;
Lieutenant H. B. Lowrie, Adjutant ;
Surgeon, A. M. Nesbitt ;
Assistant Surgeons, J., A. Caldwell, C. A. Henderson;
Chaplain, Rev. P. H. Dalton, D. D.

The ten companies and original Captains:

A, from Western North Carolina Railroad,Captain, R. M. McKinney;
B, from Durham county, Captain, R. F. Webb;
C, from Durham, Captain, W. J. Freeland ;
D, from Burke, Captain, I. E. Avery;
F, from Alamance, Captain, J. W. Wilson;
G, from Rowan, Captain, James A. Craige;
H, from Caswell, Captain, A. A. Mitchell;
I, from Durham county, Captain, R. W. York;
K, from Alamance, Captain, J. A. Lea.

The Regiment had four Colonels:
Charles F. Fisher, killed at Manassas, July 21. 1861;
W. D. Pender, killed (Major General)- at Gettysburg;
I.E.Avery, killed July 2, at Gettysburg, commanding Brigade;
Robert F. Webb, wounded at Sharpsburg, September 17, 1862.

Five Lieutenant Colonels :
W. T. Dortch, resigned on account of Governor Ellis’ death ;
Charles E. Light-foot, wounded at Seven Pines, Mav 31, 1862;
I. E. Avery,
R. F. Webb,
S. McD. Tate, wounded at Sharpsburg, September 17, 1862.

Four Majors:
Charles E. Lightfoot,
Robert F. Webb,
S. McD. Tate,
R. W. York, wounded at Mt. Jackson, September 21, 1864.

Four Surgeons :
A.M. Nesbitt,
J. A. Caldwell,
Pleasant A. Holt,
J. G. Hardy.

Four Assistant Surgeons :
J. A. Caldwell,
C. A. Henderson,
W. A. Collett,
W. A. Bickers;

Two Chaplains :
Rev, A. AY. Mangum, D. D.; Episcopal Methodist;
Rev. .K. J. Stewart, D. D., Episcopal.

A. Q. M.: Captains N. E. Scales, M. W. Page, T. HI. Biame.

A. C. S.: Captain W. H. Alexander.

Adjutants: Lieutenants H. B. Lowrie, B. R. Smith, C. Mebane.

The Regiment was in all the great battles of the army of Northern Virginia, under Generals Johnston and R. E. Lee, with two exceptions: The Regiment was under Picket in his fiasco against New Berne, being engaged at Bachelors Creek; and under Hoke at Plymouth ; and was in the storming Column that took Fort Wessels at Plymouth, and was a part of the army of the Valley under Early that went to Washington, and participated in all the engagements of that army, till the fall of 1864, when it rejoined Lee at Petersburg, and stacked its muskets at Appomattox Court House.

The Regiment, in the Army of the Shenandoah, brigaded in the ‘”Old Third” with 4th Alabama, 2d and 11th Mississippi. In 1863, in Hoke’s North Carolina brigade, 6th, 21st, 54th, 57th regiments and 1st battalion from Salem.

Army commanders: J. E. Johnston, R. E. Lee.
Corps commanders: Stonewall Jackson, James Longstreet, R. S. Ewell, J. B. Gordon, J. A. Early.
Division commanders: AV. It. C. Whiting, J. B. Hood, J. A. Earlv, S. D. Ramseur, J. G. Walker.
Brigade commanders: Barnard E. Bee, W. H. C. Whiting, E. M. Law, R. F. Hoke, A. C. Goodwin, W. G. Lewis.

Masonic Lodges:

Bee Military Lodge No. 200, under Grand Lodge of Virginia, while in the “Old Third” Brigade. Officers:
R. W. York, W. M.;
S. McD. Tate, S. W.;
Charles E. Lightfoot, J. W.;
W. J. Freeland, S. D.;
Robt. F. Webb, J. P.;
W. B. Allen, Sec;
W. A. Jenkins, Treas.;
J. F. Williams, Tyler. ;

I. E. Avery Military Lodge No. .1, G. L. of N. C:
R. W. York, W. M.;
S. McD. Tate, S. W.;
A. A. Thompson, J W.;
Rev. K. J. Stewart, D. D., chaplain to both lodges.

Went from the regiment :
Captain Robert Martin McKinney, to be Colonel 15th Regiment;
Lieutenant-Colonel Charles E. Lightfoot, to be Colonel of Artillery commanding defenses of Richmond;
Captain James A. Craig, to be Lieutenant-Colonel 57th Regiment;
Colonel W. D. Pender, to be Brigadier and Major General;
Captain A. G. Avery, to be Major Inspector General of D. H. Hill’s staff;
Lieutenant J. A. Rose,to be Aid-de-Camp General Pender’s staff;
Private Jacob Shepard, to be Aid-de-Camp General Pender’s staff;
Surgeon P. A. Holt to be Chief Surgeon Pender’s Division;
Sergeant George F. Bason, to be Lieutenant of Ordinance Scales’ Brigade;
Private Banks Holt, to be Lieutenant in 7th N. C.;
Private David Silver, to be Lieutenant 58th Regiment;
Lieutenant John Carson and Private Charles Stewart, to be Commissioned Officers of Avery’s Battalion.

The North Carolina Grays- Will their flag ever fly again?

Copyright (c) 2015, 2016 By Frederick Walton, 6th NCST Historian

North Carolina Company Flag , (State Seal Canton) artifact 19xx-330-174c, North Carolina Museum of History, Raleigh, N. C.

North Carolina Company Flag , (State Seal Canton) artifact 19xx-330-174c,
North Carolina Museum of History, Raleigh, N. C.

Deep in the bowels of the North Carolina Museum of history, in a dark storage drawer, lies the once proud flag of the North Carolina Grays. Lovingly hand stitched out of fine silk by the young ladies of the Cedar Fork community in Wake County, North Carolina, the State Seal hand painted by accomplished artist, Sophia Partridge, the flag was presented with pride to the brothers, fathers, uncles and husbands about to go to war. Today the flag is not only forgotten, it is falling to pieces.

Sofia Partridge (1817-1881)

Sofia Partridge (1817-1881)


When the threat of war swept through North Carolina, a young school master named Richard York suspended classes at the Cedar Fork Academy in western Wake County and drilled his pupils, forming one of the earliest militia companies in North Carolina. Both the young boys and girls enthusiastically practiced drilling, but ultimately it was the young men that would march off to fight. The young ladies, wanting to contribute, formed the Cedar Fork Soldiers Relief Society to help their young men survive the ordeal with some of the comforts of home. “We wish to do something in the defense of our country, that our desire is to render the burdens of those whose duty it is to take a more active part in the defense of the same, as light as possible.”

North Carolina Grays Canton North- Carolina Grays Company Flag , artifact 19xx-330-174, North Carolina Museum of History, Raleigh, N. C.

North Carolina Grays Canton North- Carolina Grays Company Flag , artifact 19xx-330-174,
North Carolina Museum of History, Raleigh, N. C.

Presenting the boy soldiers with “a handsome flag” to remind them that the folks at home were thinking of them was a primary stated objective of the society. On one side of the Blue silk banner is a single gold star in the white canton framed with their company name “THE NORTH CAROLINA GRAYS” and the reminder “PRESENTED BY THE LADIES OF CEDAR FORK”. On the front of the flag, beneath the Canton’s hand painted State seal, was emblazoned the motto “THE OLD NORTH STATE FOREVER” to remind the boys to do their duty, even when far away from home.

It was presented to the young soldiers during a day long celebration on June 1, 1861 in Morrisville, N. C. attended by throngs of citizens wishing to show their support. The day started with Captain York smartly drilling his men “to the satisfaction of the expectant crowd”. Fifteen year old Miss Fanny Lyon, sister of one of the recruits, stepped forward to give a passionate speech charging them to “aid in the defense of our rights” and presenting to “the brave sons of this vicinity, this beautiful ensign.” Newly appointed Lieutenant, Malcus Williamson Page accepted the flag and in an equally passionate speech remarked that the sight of the flag would give them cheer and refresh their spirits. He pledged to keep the flag safe through the trials ahead. A number of other prominent local gentlemen took this opportunity to address the crowd before being dismissed to a spurious repast prepared by the ladies of the neighborhood, that was enjoyed by all attending. The closing event was a sermon and presentation of bibles before the soldiers marched off to war under the silken banner floating in the breeze above their heads.

Governor John W. Ellis

Governor John B. Ellis

The North Carolina Grays, now Company I of the Sixth North Carolina State Troops, joined their new comrades at Camp Alamance, in Company Shops, N. C. (present day Burlington) for training. Stopping in Raleigh, on their way to the seat of war in Virginia, they were called on to escort the body of recently deceased N. C. Governor John B. Ellis where the Company flag was used, possibly the only time it flew in an official capacity. Once they joined the Sixth Regiment, a regimental flag would have been flown, rather than their company flag. Captain York recalled that many of the men took trunks, to carry some of the comforts of home to the battlefield. Finding them cumbersome and unwieldy during campaigning, the trunks where put into storage sometime in the fall of 1861. The flag and York’s dress uniform had been packed in his wife’s borrowed Saratoga trunk. This was the last the men ever saw of the flag. At a later date, A Federal cavalry detachment chasing some Confederate “bushwhackers” came upon a cabin containing the trunks, where they has been stored by the North Carolinians when leaving their winter quarter in the spring of 1862. Upon searching the trunks, The Federal’s found and confiscated the contents including spare Confederate uniforms, underwear, linens and the barely used company flag of the “North Carolina Grays”.
During the following war years, Company I and their comrades earned their nickname, “The Bloody Sixth” by becoming experienced combat veterans of nearly every campaign fought by the Army of Northern Virginia. Their precious flag was the last thing on their minds.

a Soldier's Saratoga Trunk

a Soldier’s Saratoga Trunk

After the war, the men heard their trunks had fallen into the hands of the Yankees, some blaming it on the treachery of the man left in charge of their belongings. As the soldiers got on with their lives and the battles became distant memories, the men defended their honor by reminding any who questioned them that their flag was stolen, not captured in battle. It had become such a foggy memory that some of the post war descriptions of the flags details were now being “mis-remembered”. York described the flag in 1892 as “On one side the arms of North Carolina and on the other a pine tree in a coiled rattlesnake”. He was only half right. The pine tree motif was more commonly seen on the regiments buttons.

6th NCST UNiform Button H.1914.236.8

By the 1890’s the old soldiers were beginning to reconcile their differences. On the morning of January 30, 1892, veterans of the North Carolina Grays must have been surprised to read a letter from a Yankee, in their local newspaper, addressed to them. “I am writing you this letter” wrote Major Thomas W Higgins, of the 73rd regiment of Ohio Infantry, “I now propose to return the flag to the survivors of the “North Carolina Greys (sic)”. Higgins explained how he was in charge of the expedition that captured the flag and has had it in his possession, adding that it is “in a tolerably good state of preservation”. He had previously offered it to former N. C. governor Holden at the end of the war, on the condition that “a company be raised to sustain the Union” but in the spirit of reconciliation was now offering it without any conditions.

Newspaper Headline from the State Chronicle

Newspaper Headline from the State Chronicle

He received a volley of letters from veterans each directing him how to return the flag, but it was’t until the Chatham Record newspaper suggested in an editorial that the flag return be part of a veterans reunion that Richard York, now known as Major York, organized a committee to plan a gala reunion and accept the flag. The Governor was invited, and on October 7, 1892 over 3,000 showed up in Morrisville, N. C. to see the North Carolina Gray’s get their flag back, at the same place it was originally presented to them. Among the attendees was Mrs. Fannie Lyon Lowe, who presented the flag 31 years earlier. Over 200 local veterans were in attendance. Of the 152 men serving in the company throughout the war, only 67 were left. When reading Company I’s roll, 31 members were present to answer “here”.

Miss Fanny Lowe Lyons

Miss Fanny Lyon Lowe

The primary event was Major Higgin’s presentation of the Flag to Major York, who in turn presented it to the Governors representative who proudly accepted it, remarking that it would be “tenderly placed in the State Library at Raleigh, to remain an everlasting reminder of the bravery and devotion”.
Ironically, through this much publicized event the flag became better known and viewed than when it was originally presented in 1861. The tattered relic became a symbol of the lost cause. Besides being on display at the North Carolina State Library, it was present at the dedication of the N. C. Confederate Veterans memorial on May 20, 1895 and flew over more veterans parades than it ever flew over Virginia battlefields. And yet it is a reminder of North Carolina’s heritage. Lovingly made by the daughters of the old North State to demonstrate their devotion, it was presented to the brave young men of their community who answered the call of their state government, many, never to return. This silken banner is a tangible reminder of the devotion of North Carolinians who lived and died a century and a half ago, but whose blood still runs in the veins of their descendants.
Sadly, this flag, like many artifacts from this time period are now in danger. All artifacts can decay over time when not properly conserved due to the adverse effects of light, temperature, humidity and pollutants in the air. Professional conservation can preserve this flag for future generations, but it will be costly. This fragile flag, in the collection of the North Carolina museum of History (19xx-330-174), will cost an estimated $15,000 to conserve before it can be put on display. We are concerned that this particular artifact may perish without our help. Many institutions have limited funding to conserve their collections, which is why The Cedar Fork Rifles Preservation Society, Inc. has begun a fund raising campaign in partnership with the museum. North Carolina has been a diligent stewart of this flag for over a century, but now is the time for us to act. The veterans who gave this flag to the state wanted it to be preserved and seen as a reminder of the sacrifices of her citizens. So do we.

Want to help? You may send your Tax Deductible Contribution directly to the  North Carolina Museum of History Associates  (Please Indicate that your donation is for the “North Carolina Grays Company Flag” project) at the following address:

Budget Officer- “North Carolina Grays Company Flag” project
N.C. Museum of History Associates
5 East Edenton St.
Raleigh, NC 27601-1011

or give your donation directly to members of the The Cedar Fork Rifles Preservation Society, Inc.

One hundred and fifty years ago the Cedar Fork community recognized how important is was for each individual to contribute to the cause in there own way. Now its our turn.


1861 Civil War silk flag, 6th Regiment, NC State Troops, CSA Scanned from 35mm conservation slide 4/19/2007


The 6th North Carolina State Troops Battle Flag Preservation committee wishes to Thank all the individuals, descendants and other donors helping us preserve this important reminder of the sacrifices made by the North Carolinians of the 6th NCST one hundred and fifty years ago.

Faces of the Sixth- Pvt. John Wesley Knott

Faces Logo

The following photographs and information are original members of the “Bloody Sixth”. I am honored to include their stories and images here. If you would like to share a story or photo about your 6th NCST ancestor, please leave a comment and I will be in touch.

Pvt. John Wesley Knott
(spelled Nott on muster rolls)

Company A, Sixth North Carolina State Troops

Private John Wesley Knott Company A, Sixth North Carolina State Troops (Photo Courtesy of his descendant Bruce Zigler)

Private John Wesley Knott
Company A, Sixth North Carolina State Troops
(Photo courtesy of his descendant Bruce Zigler)

1905 John Knott

John W. Knott, 1905, age 62 (Photo courtesy of his descendant Bruce Zigler, this picture hangs in his Living Room)

Prior Occupation: Farmer
Enlisted: September 15, 1862
Where: Yadkin County
Age at enlistment: 18
Captured: Rappahannock Station, Va. November 7, 1863 & sent to Point Lookout, Md
Paroled: February 24, 1865 at Aikens Landing, Va. and appeared on the Hospital Muster at General Hospital Camp Winder, Richmond, Va. in March 1865.

John Wesley Knott was born on February 18, 1844 and lived near Bloomington, North Carolina by the Yadkin River. A note from Bruce Zigler’s Grandmother recalled -“He lived at Buffalo, NC, a little town East of Yadkinville. Went to Church at Enon, NC. I believe it was Baptist.”

Family lore recalls that the 18 year old farm boy was working in a field when a wagon load of soldiers came along and took him with them. His compiled service record indicates he was enlisted by a Col. of Militia, as a conscript.

He is listed on the Confederate Roll of Honor.

After the war he had nine boys and in the 1880’s moved to Champaign, Illinois. He died there on February 14, 1912. He is buried in Mount Hope Cemetery, Urbana, Illinois, Champaign County – (Champaign, Illinois.)

Knott  Family

Bloom Family (Courtesy of Bruce Zigler)

Above is a family portrait of J. W. Knott’s family circa 1901-1902. His son Blum (or Bloom, named for Bloomington, N. C.) is seated far left in photo and is Bruce’s Great-Grandfather. Bloom’s daughter Bertha is Bruces’s Grandmother. She is seated on floor in front of John Knott – in Gray suit . John W. Knott also had a son named Avery – named in honor of  his Regimental and Brigade commander Colonel Isaac Erwin Avery.


Additional information or photos would be welcomed to complete the 
record of this honorable soldier. 

An Old Soldier Who Won’t Fade away

I’m sure you have heard the phrase “Old soldiers never die — They simply fade away.” It is usually attributed to General MacArthur’s farewell speech, where he refers to an old soldiers ballad. One can go into practically any antique store and find a pile of old photographs, perhaps finding some old soldiers among them. They are usually unmarked and unidentifiable- tangible evidence of a forgotten old soldier who is literally fading away as his photograph deteriorates.

C. S. Harris

C. S. Harris, 4th North Carolina State Troops, Co. A

Recently while attending a holiday party I spotted just such an old photograph and asked my host who it was. He told me that the photo had been given to him years ago by an old aunt and may have been a long lost relative. In fact, he told me, the photograph had fallen out of a stack of papers that very morning as he was preparing for the party and he put it on display knowing I was planning to attend. He asked me what I thought about it and let me take it home to investigate. Here was an old soldier who would NOT fade away!

In the dim light of a holiday party it was hard to identify more than a few obvious clues. We see an bearded elderly man wearing a a Military blouse with a couple of medals. My first guess is a Civil War Veteran, but there didn’t seem to be any other identification. Moving into better light, It looked like there was something written in pencil on the back. Maybe a name and a regiment?

When I got home to my office, I looked more closely under bright light with a magnifying glass. There was a name!


I scanned the back of the photo, uploaded it to my computer and photoshopped it to bring out the writing more clearly. It said:

C. S. Harris U. C. V. [United Confederate Veterans]

4th N. C. Inf. [Infantry]

Signal Service – in the

Valley of Va. [Virginia] [most likely refers to the Shenandoah Valley]

Aug. 6th 1837 [most likely a birth date, making him about 24 years old in 1861]

Who is C. S. Harris?

Now I had something to go on. I began by searching the Confederate Compiled Service Records on and quickly found  a C. S. Harris, Age 24, Company A, 4th NC Infantry. He enlisted February 24, 1862 at age 24. His roll of Honor listing states: “Wounded in battle at——, Now in Signal Corps.” This would appear to be a very good match.

Further investigation into his records revealed He was captured Sept 15 (1862) at South Mountain. The 4th N. C. S. T. was part of Anderson’s Brigade and played a vital role in holding the mountain passes before falling back to Sharpsburg. He appears on a roll of prisoners sent for exchange from Fort Delaware. He was transferred to a Hospital              ( U. S. A. General Hospital #1) in Frederick, Md. on Sept 18, 1862, then to General Hospital No. 24 (Richmond) on October 19,  listed as a Paroled Prisoner. One Card lists his “complaint” as Rheumatism.

General Hospital No. 24, per my friend Mike Gorman, a park Ranger in Richmond, was also called: Moore’s Hospital, Harwood’s Hospital, and the North Carolina hospital. It was in the former tobacco factory of George D. Harwood, a three-storied, flat-roofed, brick building. It opened in the summer of 1861 and was first used for Union prisoners. It had a capacity of over 120 with 30 employees. It was taken over by North Carolina on 29 July 1864. Rosa Lee Sanzay was the matron and Dr. Otis Frederick Manson the surgeon-in-charge. the Hospital was located on the southwest corner of 26th and Main Streets.

After recovering and returning to his regiment, Harris  is listed as appearing on a roll of privates employed for extra duty as a Signalman during the month of Jul 1863 for Maj. Gen D. H. Hill and during the months of Aug & Sept 1863 for Maj. Gen Rhodes. He received 40 cents per day for this service.

His Medals

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Harris is wearing two medals. The large light colored one is a badge commemorating the North Carolina United Confederate Veterans reunion held in Winston-Salem, N.C. on August 7-8, 1912. Contemporary newspaper accounts describe one of the finest reunions ever held, attended  by over 2,000 aging Confederate veterans. The reunion featured  a grand parade, meals for the veterans at a warehouse “commissary”, concerts, a watermelon feast and, of course, plenty of speeches and socializing. I was able to find several examples of this badge on the internet like the full color example pictured below.
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The second badge is a bronze Southern Cross of Honor. This medal was established by the United Daughters of the Confederacy in 1898. It was intended to be awarded to all Confederate Veterans who served honorably in the Confederate forces and could demonstrate an honorable discharge. These were applied for by the veterans, approved by a local United Confederate Veteran Chapter and awarded on one of three special occasions: Decoration day on April 26 (the date of the surrender at Bennett Place), Jefferson Davis’ birthday on June 3 or Robert E. Lee’s Birthday on January 19,  all of which were legal holidays in the south at the turn of the 20th century.


A 1900 newspaper article(1) described the metal:

“The Medal is of bronze, is simple in design and shows a southern cross suspended from a plain bar. The obverse side is adorned with a confederate flag, surrounded by a laurel wreath, and the prongs of the cross have the following in bas relief: “United Daughters of the Confederacy to the U. C. V.” the reverse side shows “Deo Vindice, 1861-1865” with-in a laurel wreath, and “Southern Cross of Honor” is inscribed on the four ends of the medal.”

Some of the many examples I have seen on the internet have the veteran’s name engraved on the bar.

The Photograph

One final, obscure clue is present on the photograph. What at first looked like a scratch or scuff on the bottom right corner is actually the photographers signature. I tried to blow it up and photoshop it to make it clearer.


You may have to just trust me on this. Tilting it in the light with a magnifying glass I figured out what it says: T. C. Newman, Concord, N. C.

I was able to confirm T. C. Newman was a photographer in Concord, N. C. with a studio across from the courthouse. He was active around the time frame this was taken, which had to be later than August 1912 but prior to October 1913 when Newman relocated to Kansas City (2).

The actual photograph is 3-3/4″ x 5-1/4″ and is mounted to a heavy embossed card that measures 5-3/4″ x 8-3/4″. The edges of the photo have a shiny, almost reflective, iridescent sheen.

Having gathered a lot of information from the photo itself, I can now try to learn more about C. S. Harris. Using I have discovered a North Carolinian named Charles Stanhope Harris who shares the same birthdate of Aug. 6th 1837. Coincidence? probably not, but more investigation is needed to see if we can keep this veteran from fading away.


  1. The Charlotte News, Charlotte, North Carolina, Tuesday, June 19, 1900 – Page 8
  2. Bulletin of Photography, Vol. XIII, No. 325, Oct 29, 1913, Page 565. “T. C. Newman, formerly of Concord, N. C., has bought James M. Moore’s photographic studio at Chanute, Kan.

The 150th Anniversary of the Confederate Surrender at Appomattox


I am sitting in my office today reflecting on why I’m not with my comrades at Appomattox and lamenting a bad back that kept me out of the field on this sesquicentennial anniversary. Dark clouds drift overhead making the day as somber as this occasion calls for.

Of the more than 2,000 boys and men that served with the 6th North Carolina State Troops over the course of the war, Only 181 received paroles at Appomattox on this day. Only 72 still carried arms!

Two questions arise: Why so few men and why so few arms?

As part of Lewis’ Brigade, The 6th North Carolina participated in a desperate attack on Fort Steadman in Petersburg on March 25, 1865. Although successfully getting into the Fort as the Yankee defenders fled, a counter attack made their position untenable and their retreat deadly.

William J. Walker, of company K, 6th NCST, wrote,

“… it looked almost impossible for any of us to escape when we were ordered to retreat[.] the grape and shell were comeing so thick that some laid down and was taken prisoners but when I thought of Point Look[out] you better know I come out.”

His was the voice of experience. William had already spent a year of his young life in this horrible prison and her wasn’t anxious to return. He was barely 20 years of age.

Many others on the 6th Regiment did not fare so well:

Along with Privates Levi Allen and Harvey Workman, Colonel Tate was severely wounded. Bedford Merthes, William Miles, John Alerson, Jacob Walker and many others were captured. Private James Turner of Company I had been “killed dead” with a bullet through the head. He was not alone. In total the 6th NCST lost 5 killed, 25 wounded, and 39 missing. The total loss for the Confederates was about 3,000.

Resettling back into cold, miserable, muddy trenches, the Confederates ducked Federal snipers and waited to be called into action again. This occurred on March 29, when the line was broken at Five Forks and the Confederates had no choice but to retreat. The exhausted soldiers of the 6th NCST, part of Gordon’s Corps, were once again called on to be the rear guard. General Gorden recalled those days by saying:

“On and on, hour after hour, from hilltop to hilltop, the lines were alternately fighting, and retreating, making one almost continuous shifting battle.”

Then another disaster struck, on April 6, 1865, when they were suddenly attacked by Sheridan’s Cavalry at Sayler’s creek. The weary Confederates fought valiantly, but were soon overwhelmed. “My God! Has the army been dissolved?” exclaimed General Lee, watching the disaster from his vantage point on a hillside. Almost 8,000 men, 8 generals, numerous artillery, miles of wagons and dozens of battle flags, including the battle flag of the 6th NCST were lost in one broad stroke. Exact casualties for the 6th NCST are elusive.

20130406 6NCST Battleflag  dedication-052

Those that escaped had not given up and began to regroup. The battle hardened veterans marched toward Farmville in an orderly brigade formation and after crossing the Appomattox, bivouacked north of Farmville, finally receiving much needed rations. Continuing northwestward, exhausted men started falling out and whispers of surrender were being passed amongst the officers, but most of the foot soldiers marched onward, hoping to put more distance between themselves and the enemy, looking forward to additional rations and a rest in the safety of the distant mountains.

The Federals were on the move too, eventually flanking the escaping Confederates. On April 9th the Federal infantry and cavalry had formed an impassable barricade across the Confederate route of retreat and… well you know what happens next.


What happened to the men of the 6th NCST?

Did they all surrender? Were there really only 181 left? Beside suffering great losses at Rappahannock Station in 1863 and the arduous Valley campaign of 1864, the 6th NCST continued losing men right up to the surrender. I’m not sure such statistics exist, but it would be interesting to account for each soldier, whether killed, wounded captured…or just drifted away.

I wonder how many fell into the that last category. I am certainly not suggesting they deserted, but when the surrender was announced there was a great fear of retribution. Men feared being hung or sentenced to death by firing squad or, worse yet, being thrown into a far away Yankee prison. This was especially true for the officers, who might be accused of treason for leading soldiers against the Federal government. As young William Walker said above, he would take the chance of getting killed rather than face capture and imprisonment. With many returned paroles in the ranks, the infamous experience in northern prisons was well known to the men in the ranks. It would not surprise me to learn that when the fighting was over and surrender announced, many men simply slipped away and returned home.

And what happened to all the officers? After Fort Steadman, Colonel Lewis lamented: “Our loss was considerable. I lost all the field officers of my Brigade wounded.” Lewis himself was wounded and captured in the fighting after Saylers Creek.

This might explain the low number of men and lack of officers.

Why only 72 weapons?

I recently saw the following quote:

“At Appomattox when word got out [of the surrender], a lot of my boys smashed their guns against the trees and burst out crying. They were just wild with grief. But when General Lee came riding by, they drew up to him, clung to his boots and stirrups, and tried to kiss his hand. They knew he had done his best for them.” Colonel Henry Rutledge – 25th North Carolina

Was this a common reaction? Could the men of the 6th NCST done likewise?

Another explanation is that they “lost” them on the march. As a reenactor of long experience, I have been on some extremely tiring marches and my aching arm would have loved to have “lost” my rifle, but the cost to replace it prevented me from taking such a foolish action. If I were a real soldier, I may not have cared about the cost, but I would certainly care about a weapon that might keep me and my comrades alive. As far back as 1862 A Maryland boy was quoted: “They were the dirtiest men I ever saw, a most ragged, lean and hungry set of wolves.” But he could not help adding “They were dirty, but their rifles were clean and their cartridge boxes full.” Surrounded by the enemy and still ready to fight, I cannot imagine this would not be equally true in 1865. If a gun was “lost” it may have been knocked loose while running through dense woods pursued by the enemy or accidently dropped while scrambling up the slippery bank of Sailors creek, but I can not imagine a soldier purposely discarding such an important tool of survival.

Another, more logical,  explanation my be that some of the guns were hidden away to be recovered after the surrender and taken home with the men for protection.

If anyone has ever read a veterans explanation for this mystery, I wish you would share it.

It is now late afternoon on April 9, 2015. One hundred and fifty years ago Captain Joseph H. Dickey, Captain of Co. I of the 57th NC had been given temporary command of the 6th NCST since the remaining officers were too junior. When Captain Dickey surrendered the regiment there were only  6 officers, 175 men and 72 weapons. The war was finally over… except for the long walk home.

As I write this I imagine my comrades in the 6th NCST lining up with our friends in the Carolina Legion to stack arms and walk away. I will miss sharing their comradeship, I will miss sharing their tears, but I will not miss the pride we have for those men who came before us and surrendered here on this day.

Appomatox Roster 6NCST