Contributed by: Jason Bordeaux
8th Senior Reserves
Company D, 78th Regiment
Eli Watts, Sr. & Jordan Soles of Columbus County, NC
From The News Reporter, Whiteville, NC, 7 April, 1988…
“It was the spring of 1864, and most of the able-bodied men, age 18-40, had
long since left home to bear arms for the Confederacy, either as volunteers
or as conscripts in various infantry or artillery units.”
“Those men still at home, age 40 plus, were organized in each county and
formed into regiments in various areas of the state, the Bladen and
Columbus men being a part of the 8th Senior Reserves and members of a
unit called Callihan’s Company.”
“The Columbus County group volunteered on May 2, 1864 in Whiteville and
in Bladen, the group volunteered at Elizabethtown on May 14, 1864, according
to military records.”
End New Reporter quote.
Callihan’s Company was officially recorded as Company D of the 78th
Regiment. The Captain was David Callihan. Over 100 men served in this company.
Eli Watts Sr. (pronounced “e-lee”) of Columbus County proudly served in
this company. His military records show that he was 5 foot, 8 inches tall,
with a dark complexion, black hair, and black eyes. He gave his birth date
as July, 1817. His occupation was recorded as blacksmith.
Eli Watts was the son of John Watts and Nancy Wright Watts.
He married Viney Ann Hinson, the daughter of Jesse Hinson and his second
wife Delilah. Eli and Viney were the parents of William B. Watts, James
“Jimpsy” B. Watts, Mary Ann Watts Fowler, Helen C. Watts, Everett Watts,
Eli Watts Jr., Ada Melissa Watts Fowler, Sarah Ann Watts Fowler, John
Wesley Watts, and Calissa Watts. William Watts and Jimpsy Watts also
served in the Civil War.
Eli Watts divided his land among his children and died in 1899. His
burial location is unknown, but several of his children were interred at the George
Fowler Cemetery near Tabor City, NC. This location was chosen for a memorial
tombstone in his honor.
Jordan Soles of Columbus County proudly served in this company. His
military records show that he was 6 feet, 2 inches tall, with a light complexion,
dark hair, and blue eyes. He gave his birth date as May, 1816. His
occupation was recorded as farmer.
Jordan Soles was the son of Joshua Soles and Elizabeth Cartrette
Soles. He married Anna Eliza Watts. Jordan and Anna were the parents of
Nancy Soles Duncan, Charles Calvin Soles, Elizabeth J. Soles, Armajah
“Armagy” R. Soles Sr., Miranda Soles Fowler, Anna Eliza Soles Faulk,
Louisa Soles, Sarah M. Soles Fowler, Cornelia Soles Bozeman, John Harrison
Soles, and William Soles. Calvin Soles also served in the Civil War.
Jordan Soles died February 9, 1873. According to family tradition,
he was buried in the Old Soles Cemetery. He does not currently have a marker
and the exact location of his burial is unknown. A memorial tombstone will be
placed in his honor at the Old Soles Cemetery near Tabor City.
The government markers were requested by Jason Bordeaux, 4th
great-grandson of Eli Watts, Sr. and Jordan Soles. The forms were prepared
by Layton Dowless of Whiteville, NC. Mr. Dowless has marked the graves of
nearly 100 veterans who proudly served in the Civil War, The War of 1812, or
the Revolutionary War.
The markers were placed on February 25th, 2007.
5024 Leigh Lane
Sophia, NC 27350
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