Military Information, Formations and News North Carolinians in Florida November 1864

    These pages are dedicated to the memory of all the men from North Carolina that fought in the Civil War.

    Fayetteville Observer, Monday, November 7, 1864
    Lake City, Florida, Oct., 1864
    Messrs. Hale:
    How interesting it would be to ascertain how many of the sons of North Carolina and how many 
    of the sons’ sons, are engaged in the struggle for liberty and independence in other states, so 
    far as old Columbia County, in the state of Florida, is concerned.  I say old Columbia, because 
    in the division of the county, Suwanee, Bradford and Baker have been taken from it.  Bradford  
    is named after a native of Halifax County, N.C., who was killed on the Island of Santa Rosa; 
    Baker County is named after the Honorable J.M. Baker, a native of Robeson County and a law 
    student of my old friend John W. Cameron and now senator from this state.
    At the rap of the drum, the sons of Gen. William B. Ross and the sons of Dr. Z.M. Paschal 
    and the sons of Dr. Warrock, rushed to the standard of their country, as did Captain Williams, 
    Martin Seigle, Jno. S. Banks, A.T. Banks, George M. Cline, Lavin Lane, Jr., John L. Dozier, 
    James O.A. Gerry and two brothers, Richard and Joseph Jeffreys, Charles Herndon, W. Harper 
    and Hamp Martin, nearly all of whom are native born North Carolinians.
    General Ross was born in Averesboro; the Paschals were from Oxford; the Warrocks from 
    Williamston; Captain Williams from Caswell; Seigle from Iredell; the Banks from Fayetteville; 
    Lane from New Hanover, Dozier from Camden.  The father of the Gerrys was a Methodist 
    minister from Fayetteville; Loring and McCall from Wilmington, the Jeffreys from Franklin, 
    Cline from Louisburg, Herndon from Granville, and Harper from Chatham.
    Among the first to suffer in the cause was Levin Lane, Jr., who lost his right arm in the battles 
    around Richmond, but under his mother’s direction has learned to write with his left hand.  
    How well he has learned, need I say more than to state his mother was an Ashe, a name of 
    Revolutionary memory and repute in N.C.
    Seigle and two of the Gerry’s fell in Virginia as did Captain Williams.  Herndon met his fate on 
    the soil of Georgia.  The others above named are doing good and efficient service whenever and 
    wherever required.
    Subsequently, the army was increased by other North Carolinians, citizens of Old Columbia; by 
    Joseph C. Hooper, a collateral descendent of your Hooper, a signer of the Declaration of 
    Independence; by John Jeffreys, son of William O. Jeffreys, formerly of Fayetteville and 
    Wilmington; by William McLeod, son of Ferdinand McLeod, formerly of Richmond County; by 
    E.J. Letterloh, formerly of Wilmington; by Thomas H. Lane, formerly of New Hanover, and others 
    whose names have escaped me.
    Thomas H. Land, the father of Levin, was killed at St. Mary’s, in an engagement under Major 
    Harrison, in relation to which General Beauregard told me the company had illustrated the 
    European theory that the delay of an advancing enemy for one hour, gave twenty four hours 
    preparation to the party in defense.
    And so it was in reference to the battle of Olustee.  Poor Tom!  I had known him long and well, 
    and while he was in the line of battle, and on his saddle, he addressed a letter to my partner, 
    Col. F. McLeod and myself.
    In the civil department of government, allow me to mention a few of the names of the “dispersed 
    abroad” who, while exempts, have done glorious service.
    General William B. Ross, a native of Averesboro, has from his large estate contributed more 
    charity than any other man in the county.  As a Justice of the Peace and as a member of the 
    legislature, he is ever on the look out for objects of charity and merch.
    Dr. O.P. Luther, formerly of Chatham and Richmond, has served our town as mayor for three 
    years, has made his store the headquarters for the reception and distribution of all manner of 
    supplies for the sick and wounded soldiers.  After the battle of Olustee, his services were 
    invaluable.  Last year, Dr. Luther furnished the families of indigent soldiers 100 pairs of shoes.  
    This year he is doing the same.  Who at home will not say of Luther, one of the “dispersed 
    abroad”, well done!
    Col. F. McLeod, formerly of Richmond County, is exempt by virtue of being Confederate States 
    Attorney under the Sequestration Act as well as a railroad director.  His crib door has been 
    ever open to the wants of the poor and needy.  As commissioner under the suspension of the 
    Habeas Corpus Act, he rendered to the government and the oppressed invaluable service by 
    an intelligent, able and impartial discharge of duty.  From peculiar causes existing, I presume 
    Col. McLeod disposed of more cases than did Commissioner of any other state.
    William O. Jeffreys, Secretary and Treasurer of the Lake  City and Jacksonville Rail Road 
    Company, has been instant in season and out of season in the discharge of every duty.  The 
    labor of disbursing our charity fund for refugees he has faithfully performed and the latch string 
    of his door since the commencement of the war has never been pulled in.
    When the sick and wounded filled our little town to overflowing, and as I went the rounds of the 
    hospital and asked “What is your name?” the response would be “McFarland”, “McNeill”, 
    “Graham”, etc., and “Where were you born?” and they answered in Moore, Cumberland, Robeson, 
    or Richmond, I felt those had a double claim on me being from the Scotch settlement of the Old 
    North State.  One noble fellow answered “I am Captain John McNeill, born on the Raft Swamp, in 
    Robeson County, I am a Mason and a Presbyterian and I know I am dying and am ready but 
    want to see my wife.”  She was telegraphed for and came, and closed his eyes.
    In the last raid made on Lake City, after the general and staff left, Captain Gilchrist, who you 
    may remember as Dr. Gilchrist, who married Miss Kittie McPherson near Fayetteville, was left 
    our chief in command.

    Transcribed by Christine Spencer, July 2007

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