Civil War

The 135th.

2018-11-15 Program on 135th Regiment.jpg

Wilson County Public Library will present a lecture on the little-known 135th Regiment of the United States Colored Troops on November 15, 2018. The 135th mustered in Goldsboro, North Carolina, in March 1865 near the end of the Civil War. Approximately 200 of the 1200 soldiers in this regiment were from North Carolina. Though none are known to have been born in Wilson County, some of the many Wayne County enlistees likely had family connections across the county line, including Jack Sherrod.

 

Ready to take the field.

Screen Shot 2018-07-31 at 9.14.03 PM.png

Many of the men who enlisted in the Union Army after escaping bondage in Wilson County joined the 14th Regiment of the United States Colored Troops, Heavy Artillery, at Fort Macon, south of Morehead City, North Carolina. Prior to its federal designation, this militia unit was organized as the 1st North Carolina Colored Heavy Artillery.

Men who marched under the flag above included Hendy Barnes and Jeremiah Barden of Company C; Lawyer Maree (alias Lawyer Barnes) of Company F; Sampson Bailey and Thomas Dean of Company H; and Amos Hinnant of Company K.

Many thanks to Jerilyn James Lee for sharing this image.

I do like they done.

Martha Ann Tyson Dixon of DeValls Bluff, Arkansas, sat for an interview with a Federal Writers Project worker in the late 1930s. Dixon had spent her childhood enslaved near Saratoga, Wilson County, and she and her husband Luke D. Dixon had migrated west in the late 1880s. More than 50 years after Emancipation, she vividly described the hardships of life during and after slavery.

“I am eighty-one years old. I was born close to Saratoga, North Carolina. My mother died before I can recollect and my grandmother raised me. They said my father was a white man. They said Jim Beckton [Becton]. I don’t recollect him. My mother was named Mariah Tyson.

“I recollect how things was. My grandmother was Miss Nancy Tyson’s cook. She had one son named Mr. Seth Tyson. He run her farm. They et in the dining room, we et in the kitchen. Clothes and somethng to eat was scarce. I worked at whatever I was told to do. Grandma told me things to do and Miss Nancy told me what to do. I went to the field when I was pretty little. Once my uncle left the mule standing out in the field and went off to do something else. It come up a hard shower. I crawled under the mule. If I had been still it would have been all right but my hair stood up and tickled the mule’s stomach. The mule jumped and the plough hit me in my hip here at the side. It is a wonder I didn’t get killed.

“After the Civil War was times like now. Money scarce and prices high, and you had to start all over new. Pigs was hard to start, mules and horses was mighty scarce. Seed was scarce. Everything had to be started from the stump. Something to eat was mighty plain and scarce and one or two dresses a year had to do. Folks didn’t study about going so much.”

“I had to rake up leaves and fetch em to the barn to make beds for the little pigs in cold weather. The rake was made out of wood. It had hickory wood teeth and about a foot long. It was heavy. I put my leaves in a basket bout so high [three or four feet high.] I couldn’t tote it — I drug it. I had to get leaves in to do a long time and wait till the snow got off before I could get more. It seem like it snowed a lot. The pigs rooted the leaves all about in day and back up in the corners at night. It was ditched all around. It didn’t get very muddy. Rattle snakes was bad in the mountains. I used to tote water — one bucketful on my head and one bucketful in each hand. We used wooden buckets. It was a lot of fun to hunt guinea nests and turkey nests. When other little children come visiting that is what we would do. We didn’t set around and listen at the grown folks. We toted up rocks and then they made rows [terraces] and rock fences about the yard and garden. They looked so pretty. Some of them would be white, some gray, sometimes it would be mixed. They walled wells with rocks too. All we done or knowed was work. When we got tired there was places to set and rest. The men made plough stocks and hoe handles and worked at the blacksmith shop in snowy weather. I used to pick up literd [lightwood] knots and pile them in piles along the road so they could take them to the house to burn. They made a good light and kindling wood.

“They didn’t whoop Grandma but she whooped me a plenty.

“After the war some white folks would tell Grandma one thing and some others tell her something else.  She kept me and”

“cooked right on. I didn’t know what freedom was. Seemed like most of them I knowed didn’t know what to do. Most of the slaves left the white folks where I was raised. It took a long time to ever get fixed. Some of them died, some went to the cities, some up North, some come to the country. I married and come to Fredonia, Arkansas in 1889. I had been married since I was a young girl. But as I was saying the slaves still hunting a better place and more freedom. Grandma learnt me to set down and be content. We have done better out here than we could done in North Carolina but I don’t believe in so much rambling.

“We come on the passenger train and paid our own way to Arkansas. It was a wild and sickly country and has changed. Not like living in the same country. I try to live like the white folks and Grandma raised me. I do like they done. I think is the reason we have saved and have good a living as we got. We do on as little as we can and save a little for the rainy day.”

——

In the 1860 census of Saratoga township, Wilson County: farmer Nancy Scarborough, 47; Victoria, 10, Susan, 6, and Laurina Scarborough, 3; farm manager Seth Tyson, 23; and Julia, 18, Nancy, 17, Aaron, 15, and Abner Tyson, 13.

In the 1870 census of Saratoga township, Wilson County: Mary Tyson, 62, with Edith, 23, John, 21, Abraham, 16, and Martha Tyson, 11.

In the 1880 census of Lower Town Creek township, Edgecombe County: Martha Tyson, 20, was a cook in the household of white marchant/farmer Mark Atkinson.

Martha Tyson, 26, married Luke Dixon, 26, in Wilson County on 12 February 1885. Minister E.H. Ward performed the ceremony in the presence of Charles Batts, Tempey Cotton and Green Taylor.

In the 1910 census of Watensaw township, Prairie County, Arkansas: Luke Dixon, 49, saw filer at Bar factory, and wife Martha M., 52.

In the 1920 census of DeValls Bluff, Prairie County, Arkansas: on Cedar Street, farmer Luke Dixon, 58; wife Martha, 59; and cousins Margaret Tyson, 14, and Oleo McClarin, 9.

In the 1930 census of DeValls Bluff, Prairie County, Arkansas: on Cypress Street, owned and valued at $2000, Luke D. Dixon, 70, born in Virginia, and wife Martha, 70, born in North Carolina, with cousin Allen Reaves, 8.

In the 1940 census of DeValls Bluff, Prairie County, Arkansas: on Cypress Street, owned and valued at $2000, Luke Dixon, 84, born in Virginia, and wife Martha A., 84, born in North Carolina.

Federal Writers’ Project: Slave Narrative Project, Vol. 2, Arkansas, Part 2, Cannon-Evans, http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.mss/mesn.022.

A true representative.

Wilson Advance, 12 November 1891.

Richard Hagans married Ann Faithful 1 May 1849 in Edgecombe County. Lemon S. Dunn was bondsman, and John Norfleet, witness.

In the 1860 census of Edgecombe County: Richd. Hagans, 33, wife Alley, 31, and children Lawrence, 10, Laura, 8, Margaret, 6, Richard, 5, Neely, 3, and Charles Hagans, 3 months.

The family is not found in the 1870 census.

On 30 December 1874, Lawrence Hagan, 25, married Mollie Pender, 20, at the residence of William Woodard in Wilson County. Witnesses were R. Hagan, Dobson Powell and Anderson White.

In the 1880 census of Saratoga township, Wilson County: Laurence Hagans, 30, wife Mary, 24, and children James, 6, and Elizabeth, 3. Next door, Lawrence’s father Richard Hagans, 52, mother Alley, 51, and brothers Charley, 20, Julus, 16, Bisco, 14, Thomas, 11, and Joe, 1.

In the 1900 census of Gardners township, Wilson County: farmer Larnce Haggan, 49, wife Etha, 44, and children Joe, 21, Augustus, 19, Oscar, 18, Charlie, 16, Annie, 13, Connie, 10, Lena, 8, Mollie, 7, William L., 4, Minnie, 3, and Pattie, 1, and Lawrence’s widowed mother Alice, 70.

[I have found no evidence that Richard Hagans served the Confederacy, either as a body servant (or in the less likely role of soldier throughout.) I will continue to search.]

Henry Jones’ enlistment.

m1818_254-0746

An enlistment card for Henry Jones, whose former owner was named as Jefferson Higginbotham here. That Jones described his birthplace as Wilson County, rather than Edgecombe or Wayne or Johnston or Nash, suggests that he left the area after 1855 when the county was founded. Jones’ identification of a non-Wilson County resident as his enslaver further suggests that he was sold away, rather than ran away.

U.S. Colored Troops Military Service Records, 1863-1865 [database on-line], http://www.ancestry.com.

 

Send for your negro and get mine.

Mr. W.W. Batts

Please send for your negro and get mine and bring her to your house, if you please, and I will come to your house this Evening.

Jany the 1 1860       W.H. Edwards

[Second handwriting on face of letter]

Henry I will do what this calls for. I will bring her as far as my house.  W.W. Batts

[Handwritten on reverse]

Permit Lewis to carry this to W.H. Edwards.  W.W. Batts

 

——

In 1977, late Wilson historian Hugh B. Johnston Jr. published an annotated collection of letters written to and from members of the Edwards family of Wilson County during the Civil War. William H. Edwards (1839-1864), son of Edwin and Zilpha Batts Edwards, lived in the Joyner’s Depot area just north of present-day Elm City. He was killed by cannonball during a battle near Petersburg, Virginia. His kinsman William W. Batts (1827-1869) also lived near Joyner’s Depot.

The meaning of the note is unclear, and the enslaved people to whom it refers — “your negro” and “mine” — are unknown. The message on the back conveys permission for Lewis, an enslaved man apparently belonging to Batts, to travel in Batts’ service. In other words, it is a “free pass.”

Pvt. Frank Worthington, alias Wellington.

Frank Worthington, alias Wellington, is the sole African-American veteran with a Civil War Memorial headstone in Wilson’s Maplewood cemetery. (He is not actually buried there. Until relatively recently, Maplewood was a segregated cemetery.)

Screen Shot 2017-05-27 at 2.48.09 PM

Worthington, who ran away from a Pitt County slaveowner to join the Army, seems not to have actually lived in Wilson County. However, at least one of his children did. Charlie Wellington died 16 June 1958 in Stantonsburg township, Wilson County. Per his death certificate, he was born 7 September 1887 in Greene County to Frank Wellington and Fabie Atkinson; was married to Lovie Wellington; and was a farmer. He was buried in Red Hill cemetery, Wilson County.

Photograph courtesy of www.findagrave.com.

Denied: too old.

Documents from the pension application file of Lizzie Woodard, daughter of Union army veteran London Woodard of Wilson County:

On 22 August 1933, Lizzie Woodard of 119 Ashe Street, Wilson, filed a Declaration for Pension for Children Under Sixteen Years of Age, claiming benefits for herself and her sister Mamie Woodard as children of London Woodard. The declaration noted that London Woodard enlisted 10 July 1861 at Wilson, North Carolina, in the “Col. Army.” London was not wounded in service and was discharged 11 November 1865. He died 10 February 1931. Lizzie Woodard was 37 years old; her sister, 35. Their mother, Grace Woodard, had been London’s second wife when they married 30 November 1886. The first, whom he married in 1874, died without issue. Paul Bunch of Black Creek and Martha Allen of Wilson witnessed Lizzie’s signature.

lw3

Unfortunately, in January 1934, the Pension Authority summarily rejected the Woodards’ application “on the ground that the children of the alleged soldier were over 16 years of age at the date of his death.”

Screen Shot 2017-05-14 at 11.12.27 PM

——

This was not Elder London Woodard, who founded London’s Primitive Baptist Church. Rather, this was his grandson London, son of Howell and Rhoda Woodard.

In the 1870 census of Gardners township, Wilson County: farm laborer Howell Woodard, 52; wife Rodah, 40; and children London, 23, Harriet, 20, Venus, 19, Ferebee, 17, Virginia, 17, Mary, 14, Sarah, 13, Penelope, 12, Rodah, 10, Puss, 6, John, 8, Kenny, 5, Fanny, 1, and Martha, 1 month.

In 22 November 1877, London Woodard, 30, married Margaret Guest, 24, at Richard Haggans’ house. G.T. Daniel, Ned Barnes and Jim Bynum witnessed.

In the 1880 census of Saratoga township, Wilson County: London Woodard, 34; wife Margaret, 26; and children James G., 9, and Alley, 7. (The children were likely Margaret’s from a previous relationship.)

On 27 November 1895, London Woodard, 47, married Nancy Webb, 23, in Gardners township at the bride’s parents’ home. Adella E. Barnes, Jane R. Farmer and Martha Woodard witnessed.

In the 1900 census of Town of Wilson, Wilson County: farmer London Woodard, age unknown; wife Nancy, 28; children Lizzie, 3, and Mamie, 1; brother-in-law Joseph Webb, 17, and sister-in-law Rhodie Webb, 13.

In the 1910 census of Gardners township, Wilson County: farmer London Woodard, 62, divorced.

Nancy, however, did not report their divorce to the enumerator. In the 1910 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: Nancy Woodard, 33, widow, and children Lizzie, 14, Mamie, 11, Hubbard, 4, and David, 2. (Apparently, “Hubbard” — in fact, Herbert — and David were not London’s children, as they were not parties to the pension application.)

Though she applied for benefits using her maiden name, Lizzie Woodard, 20, daughter of Lum and Nancy Woodard, married Dock Barnes, 24, son of Rhodes and Frances Barnes, in Rocky Mount, North Carolina, on 1 November 1913.

In the 1920 census of Gardners township, Wilson County: farmer London Woodard, 75, widower.

In the 1920 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: on Lipscomb Road, wagon factory laborer James Barnes, 29; wife Lizzie, 23; children Estelle, 11, and Lenard, 5; sister-in-law Mamie Woodard, 21; and boarders John Hollins, 22, Rose Barnes, 18, Pete Barnes, 19, and Tom Outlaw, 21.

Mamie Woodard, 29, married Thomas Outlaw, 29, on 19 November 1929. Witnesses were W.I. Barnes, John A. Barnes Jr., and Elisha L. Webb.

Lizzie Woodard Barnes died 26 November 1959 in Wilson.

Mamie Woodard Outlaw died 28 December 1988 in Beaufort, Washington County, North Carolina.

File #1,734,955, Application of Lizzie Woodard et al. for Children’s Pension, National Archives and Records Administration.

Noah Lynch, Civil War veteran.

In the 1850 census of the north side of the Neuse district, Wayne County, North Carolina: C.M. Richardson, 32, brickmason; wife Sarah, 24; and their children Jacob, 7, Joseph and Benjamin, 3, and Cisara, 1; plus, Julia Walton, 21, apprentices Green Bryant, 20, and Noah Linch, 20, and brickmason Thomas Piloot, 23.

Noah Lynch married Piety Rose on 2 March 1853 in Edgecombe County.

In the 1860 census of Town of Wilson, Wilson County: plasterer Noah Lynch, 30; wife Piety, 33, washerwoman; domestic Julia Higgins, 20; John James, 10; and Martha Taylor, 7; all mulatto. Noah reported owning $700 in real property.

Noah and Piety Lynch apparently divorced or otherwise separated in the early 1860s.

Noah Lynch, 34, colored, waiter, married, born in North Carolina, appears in a consolidated list of men who registered for the Union draft in June 1863 in New York City. Also in the list, Shered Lynch, 32, seaman, married, born in North Carolina. (Sherod Lynch married Harriet Moore at Gatlin Lynch’s in Wayne County on 12 July 1855.) Both resided on East Houston Street.

On 4 May 1868, Noah Lynch, 29, black, son of Lary Lynch and Nancy Wilkins, married Mary Sweeny, 25, white, daughter of Patrick Sweeny and Bridget Bilon, in Manhattan.

In the 1870 census of New York, New York County, New York: mason Noah Lynch, 40, and wife Mary, 30. Noah was a native of North Carolina; Mary, of Ireland. Both were described as white. In a duplicate entry in the 1870 census of New York City: on Houston Street, Noah Lynch, 42, machinist, born in North Carolina; wife Mary, 25, born in Ireland; and John Lynch, 30, waiter, also born in Ireland. All were described as white.

On 8 January 1875, Noah Lynch, 40, son of Larry Lynch and Nancy Wilkins, married Anne Carey, 30, daughter of Luke Carey and Catharine Sweeney, in Manhattan.

In the 1880 census of New York, New York County, New York: plasterer Noah Lynch, 50, and wife Annie, 34, both described as white.

In the New York, New York, city directory of 1883: Noah Lynch, mason, 153 Second.

In the 1905 New York state census: at 153-2nd Street, Noah Linch, 75, painter, white.

In the 1910 census of Manhattan, New York County, New York; at 14 Avenue A, widower Noah W. Lynch, 80, and adopted daughter Matilda M. Roth, 37, a stage actress. Noah was described as white and born in North Carolina to German parents. Matilda was born in New York to German parents.

Noah W. Lynch died 23 November 1913 in Manhattan. Per his death certificate, he was 84 years old; born in North Carolina to Larry and Nancy Lynch; was a pensioned mason; and was olive brown (colored). He was buried in Calvary Cemetery.

On 1 December 1913, Matilda Roth of 14 Avenue A testified in Surrogates’ Court to prove Noah Lynch’s will. She averred that she had known Lynch about 33 years, that she had witnessed him sign his will on 23 November 1913 [the day he died] at his residence at 14 Avenue A and that Johanna Kuhnel and Valentine A. Schulz were also present. Johanna Kuhnel testified similarly, noting that she had known Lynch for about 25 years.

Noah Lynch achieved a significant degree of prosperity in the Lower East Side, though he never bought a house or apartment or spent much on material possessions, as his will reveals:

I, Noah Lynch of the City, County and State of New York, being of sound and disposing mind and memory, and considering the uncertainty of this life, do make, publish and declare this to be my last Will and Testament as follows, hereby revoking all other and former Wills by me at any time made.

1st First, after my lawful debts are paid, I give to my beloved half-sister, Mary Tillman (widow) residing at Bergen Street near 3rd Avenue in the Borough of Brooklyn, New York City the sum of Eight Hundred Dollars, the same to be held in trust in the name of my executor, and the same to be deposited in the Bank, during her life. I direct my Executor to pay her from time to time the amount necessary to defray the expenses for her maintenance, that he may see fit after her death, my executor shall see that she has a proper burial and whatever moneys he may have on hand or the balance of the above named sum shall be used in erecting a monument or Tombstone, over her last resting place.

2nd. I give to Mary Sands of 2472 Marion Avenue, Borough of Bronx, New York City, the sums of Five Hundred Dollars, that is to say if there is so much on hand to pay her the same, if there is not so much on hand, she shall receive Two Hundred Dollars.

3rd. I give my (gold watch) to my friend John Sands of 2472 Marion Avenue, Borough of the Bronx, New York City.

4th. I give to Ellen Dwyer, for her good services rendered in my sickness and my last moments and for her kindness, the sum of Five hundred Dollars, that is to say if there is so much on hand to pay her the same, if there is not so much on hand, she shall receive Two Hundred Dollars.

5th. I give to my Executor Val. A. Schulz of 214 East 4th Street New York City, for the faithfull performance of his duty or extra compensation for the amount of Labor he will have in attending to matters of my estate he is to have Two hundred and Fifty Dollars, besides his legal allowance.

6th. I hereby direct my executor to give me a decent funeral and a Requiem High Mass at the Church of the Nativity, 2nd Avenue, bet 2nd and 3rd street, New York City.

7th. I hereby direct my executor to pay one hundred dollars to the Most Reverend Father Reilly, the Rector of the Church of the Nativity, at 2nd Avenue bet 2nd-3rd Street New York City, the same is to be used for reading Masses after my death.

I hereby direct my Executor to use the balance of my estate if there be any balance to erect a suitable Monument over my last Resting place.

8th. I hereby direct that my Executor Valentine A. Schulz of 214 East 4th Street, shall serve as my Executor without filing any bonds as I have confidence in his honesty, faithful performance of his duty and I am sure he will carry out my last wishes.

9th. My entire estate consists of 1 Bank account on Bank Book number 658,003 on the Bowery Savings Bank, and another Bank book number 1,015 832 on the 4th Ave Bank at 200 4th Avenue, New York City, and other small articles of no value.

10th. I give to Matilda Roth of 14 Ave A, New York City, who I have raised and who has done so much for me, and for services rendered to me during my lifetime and during my sickness, I hereby give her eight hundred Dollars and I direct my Executor to pay her the same as soon as the law permits. I also give her a ring of plain type.

11th. I hereby direct my executor to pay any attention to those claiming relationship. I have no relatives living accepting my half sister Mary Tillman of Brooklyn, New York City.

12th. And I further direct my Executor not to pay any one who will cause him any trouble, that is to say of those named in this my last will and testament, by trouble I mean any one contesting this my last will and Testament.

I hereby appoint Valentine A. Schulz, 214 East 4th Street, New York City, to be Executor of this my last Will and Testament.

In witness whereof, I have hereunto subscribed my name, and affixed my seal, the 23rd day of November in the year one thousand nine hundred and thirteen.    Noah (X) Lynch

Witnesses: Matilda Roth, Valentine A. Schulz, Johanna Kuhnel

I have no record of Mary Tillman in North Carolina. However, in the 1894 Brooklyn, New York, city directory: Tillman, Mary, wid. Thos., h 263 Bergen. In the 1900 census of Brooklyn, Kings County, New York: at 263 Bergen, widowed North Carolina-born laundress Marie Tillman, 74, with boarder Alexander Moore, 27, and his wife Julia, 26, and three other families. In the 1910 census of Brooklyn: at 263 Bergen, Virginia-born Susan Brown, 34, laundress, and her Florida-born boarder Joseph Robertson, 28, a hotel waiter, and North Carolina-born Mary Tillman, 87, and her lodger Benjamin Simmons, 70, a carpenter.

Executor Schulz quickly advanced Mary Tillman money to purchase a burial plot and grave marker, but she complained to the court that she needed $40/month for support. She averred that Schulz had agreed to pay that sum, but had not remitted any money to date. It is not at all clear why this minor demand warranted the attention of two New York City newspapers, but:

sun 3 10 14

The Sun, 10 March 1914.

nyt 3 10 1914

New York Times, 10 March 1914.