Civil War

Israel Hardy, Co. C, 14th United States Colored Heavy Artillery.

Israel Hardy enrolled in Company C, 14th United Stated Colored Heavy Artillery, on 18 May 1864 in New Bern, North Carolina. He reported that he was born in Wilson County, N.C., about 1842 and worked as a laborer. After less than five months of service, Hardy contracted yellow fever, but recovered and returned to duty in November 1864. He was discharged in December 1865.

Israel Hardy returned to New Bern after the war. Within a few years, he moved east into Pamlico County, where he remained the rest of his life.

United States Freedmen’s Bureau records show that Israel Hardy received a $200 bounty for his military service in February 1868.

In the 1870 census of Township #4, Craven County, North Carolina: farm laborer Israel Hardy, 27; wife Mahala, 23; children William, 2, and Henry, 5; and Edward Hardy, 18, farm laborer. Israel Hardy reported that he owned $300 worth of real property and $160 in personal property.

In the 1880 census of Township #2, Pamlico County, North Carolina: farmer Iserel Hardy, 40; wife Mabelle, 29; children Henry, 16, Mabelle, 8, Josie, 10, Susan, 6, Caroline, 3, and Jessy, 2; and boarders Annie, 24, and Henrietta, 10.

On 24 April 1889, Henry Hardy, 24, married Sidney Oden, 21, in Pamlico County.

On 11 August 1892, Samuel Roberts, 21, of #3 Township, Pamlico County, son of John and Tempy Roberts, married Caroline Hardy, 18, of Vandemere, daughter of Israel and Mahala Hardy, at Mahala Hardy’s residence in Pamlico County.

On 29 August 1892, Henry Jones, 24, of Vandemere, son of Simbo Jones and Margaret Washington, married Susan Hardy, 18, of Vandemere, daughter of Isreal and Mahala Hardy.

On 17 October 1894, Edward McCotter, 33, of Pamlico County, son of Barney and Joana McCotter, married Sarah F. Hardy, 22, of Vandemere, daughter of Isral and Mahala Hardy, in Pamlico County.

On 19 March 1898, Israel Hardy, 50, of Pamlico County, son of Peter and Venis Beckton, married Zenia Gibson [or Gibbs], 29, of Pamlico County, daughter of Adam and Rachel Gibson [or Gibbs].

Jessie Hardy died 27 December 1946 in New Bern, Craven County. Per his death certificate, he was born 10 February 1885 in Vandemere, Pamlico County, to Israel Hardy and Mahaliah Hardy, both of Hyde County, N.C.; was married; resided in Vandemere; and worked as a “fishman.” He was buried in Marabelle [Maribel] Cemetery, Pamlico County.

Carrie Roberts died 5 October 1948 in Collier, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. Per her death certificate, she was born 13 September 1873 in Bay River, N.C., to Israel Hardy and Mahalia (last name unknown); was the widow of Samuel Roberts; and resided at 4533 Webster Avenue, Pittsburgh.

File #1,071,351, Application of Israel Hardy for Invalid’s Pension, National Archives and Records Administration.

Lewis Bass, Co. C, 14th United States Colored Heavy Artillery.

“Birthplace, Wilson, N.C.; age, 66 years; height 5 ft. 11 in; weight 175 pounds; complexion, dark; color of eyes, Black; color of hair, Black; occupation, farmer.”

Relationships forged during slavery complicated the pension claims of Lewis Bass and his widow Frances Hassell Wiggins Bass.

Lewis Bass was born enslaved in Wilson County around 1835. Prior to the Civil War, he married a woman (who is not named in his pension file) and had a daughter named Benzona (whom I have not been able to identify in records). Bass never returned to Wilson County after the war, settling instead in Pamlico County, North Carolina. As Frances Bass told it in her pension application: “Lewis Bass told me that he had a woman in slave days. He did not tell me her name but told me he had a child by her; said his child’s name was Benzona. Lewis Bass said he never saw his slave wife after he left for the army as he never went back to that locality; said as soon as he was discharged he came right down here ….”

About 1866, Lewis Bass married Martin County, N.C., native Frances Hassel Wiggins, who had been married to Isaac Wiggins during slavery. Like Bass, Wiggins enlisted in the United States Colored Troops — Company F, 1st U.S.C.T., in his case — and never returned home. (“We were married so long before the war that we had a son who was large enough to go in the army. His name was Daniel Wiggins and he was a flag bearer in his father’s company so I heard. I have never laid eyes on either my husband or son since they left me to join the army.”) Frances assumed he was dead and went on with her life. She initially applied for Wiggins’ widow’s pension and swore — per lawyers’ advice, she said — that she had never remarried. applied for Bass’ widow’s pension, however, the question had to be settled — was she Bass’ widow or Wiggins’?

File #728893, Application of Lewis Bass for Pension, File #766477, Application of Frances Wiggins for Widow’s Pension, National Archives and Records Administration.

The 135th.

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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.

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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.

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.)

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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.

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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.”

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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.

In observance of Veterans Day.

3-21-1911

Wilson Daily Times, 21 March 1911.

On 12 June 1866, Richard Pate married Rebecca Daniel in Wayne County.

In the 1870 census of Goldsboro township, Wayne County: farm laborer Richard Pate, 37, wife Becky, 32, and daughter Polly, 12. [Next door was a household headed by white farmer Brtant Pate, 48, and nearby were other white Pates. Perhaps Richard’s former owner was one.]

In the 1880 census of Crossroads township, Wilson County: Richard Pate, 36, wife Rebecca, 36, and daughter(?) Trecinda, 3.

In the 1900 census of Crossroads township, Wilson County: farmer Richard Pate, 59, and wife Rebecca, 57.

In the 1910 census of Crossroads township, Wilson County: farmer Richard Pate, 74, wife Rebecca, 72, and grandchildren Louis Daniel, 30, Roscoe Barnes, 12, and Leanne Barnes, 10.

Richard Pate died 21 March 1915 in Crossroads township. Per his death certificate, he was born in 1855, worked as a farmer, and was buried in the Pete Daniels graveyard. William H. Pate was informant.

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3-14-1919

Wilson Daily Times, 14 March 1919.

In the 1910 census of Wilson, Wilson County: printing office laborer Charlie Thomas, 49, wife Sarah, 44, and children Elton, 20, hack driver, Lizzie, 18, carpenter (?), Louis, 15, Hattie M., 11, Mary, 5, and Sarah, 18 months. Elton Thomas died 15 December 1970 in Goldsboro, aged 79.

Dave Barnes was the son of Dave and Della Hines Barnes. He died 12 May 1966 at the Veterans Hospital in Durham, North Carolina.

John Parker Battle was the son of Parker and Ella Burston Battle. In the 1910 census of Wilson, Wilson County: foundry laborer Parker Battle, 54, wife Ella, and children Roberta, 24, a teacher, Grace, 22, a factory laborer, and John, 19.

Charlie Austin was, in fact, Charles Alston. In the 1900 census of Wilson, Wilson County: day laborer James H. Alston, 29, wife Martha, 28, and children Eula Lee, 6, and Charley, 4. Charles S. Alston eventually migrated to Newark, New Jersey, where he was living when he registered for the draft of World War II.

In the 1900 census of Wilson, Wilson County: Richard Parker, 73, wife Lottie, 71, daughter Elizabeth, 27, son David, 28, and grandchildren Moses, 10, and William Henry, 8.

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World War I draft registration card of Moses Parker.

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8-2-1919

News & Observer (Raleigh), 2 August 1919.

Charles Barnes was the son of Wesley and Ella Mercer Barnes. In the 1910 census of Wilson, Wilson County: on the N.&S. Railroad, drayman West Barnes, 22, wife Ella, 47, laundress, and children Sylvester, 17, drayman, Viola, 15, cook, and Charlie, 13, laborer at wholesale store, plus son-in-law James Watson, 23, drayman, wife Lucy, 22, cook, and children West, 4, and Lucy, 3 months. Charlie Barnes died of tuberculosis at an Army hospital in Asheville.

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New York Age, 8 August 1942.

Matthew Stanley Gilliam Jr. was the son of Dr. Matthew and Annie Davis Gilliam.

In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: filling station attendant Herman Gilliam, 20; his widowed mother Annie, 48, a cook in a private home; and brothers Charles, 28, a waiter at Cherry Hotel, Stanley, 26, a teacher, and George, 22, a janitor at Carolina Theatre.

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World War II draft registration card of Matthew S. Gilliam.

M.S. Gilliam died of a heart attack at a Veterans Administration hospital in Petersburg, Virginia, on 7 March 1978. He was 64 years old.

U.S. World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918 [database on-line], http://www.ancestry.com; U.S. World War II Draft Registration Cards, 1942 [database on-line], http://www.ancestry.com.

General Order 135.

On 14 November 1863, General John Schofield, commander of the Department of Missouri, issued General Order 135 authorizing provost marshals in the department to recruit and enlist black soldiers to serve the Union as U.S. Colored Troops. The Ancestry.com database United States Descriptive Lists of Colored Volunteer Army Soldiers, 1864, contains enlistment and muster rolls for colored troops who enlisted in Kentucky.

There is one entry, for Henry Jones, lists a Wilson County birthplace. Jones was 25 years old and had worked as a laborer (i.e. enslaved fieldhand). He enlisted on 29 May 1865  at Piketon, Kentucky, in 1st Lt. George C. Clapp’s Company E, 121st United States Colored Infantry. Jones was 5’9 1/2″ with dark eyes, hair and skin. And “name of owner of a slave”: Jefferson Higginbotham.

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Higginbotham is not a Wilson County name. Jefferson Higginbotham may have been the Thos. J. Higginbotham, 21, listed in the 1860 census of Verona, Boone County, Kentucky, in the household of Abram Wellman. If so, he was fighting for the Confederacy even as his former chattel joined up with the Union Army. In any case, it is likely that Henry Jones ended up in Kentucky after being sold away from his birthplace in Wilson. (Had he been a runaway, he would have reported a Wilson County owner.)

Volunteered to serve as a soldier.

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156 years ago today, 18 year-old Hendy Barnes, undoubtedly a runaway from a Wilson County slaveholder, enlisted in Company C, 14th Regiment, United States Colored Heavy Artillery. Less than a month later, he died at a regimental hospital in Morehead City, North Carolina.

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