In November 1898, the Third North Carolina Infantry moved from Camp Poland near Knoxville, Tennessee, to a winter camp at Fort Haskell, Macon, Georgia. Just days before the regiment paraded in formation before President William McKinley, Private James Ellis shot and killed Private Robert Thomas in a dispute over money. Former tent mates, both men were from Wilson.
Macon Telegraph, 16 December 1898.
Per subsequent news reports, Ellis was found guilty, dishonorably discharged, and sentenced to imprisonment “for the term of his natural life” at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.