Wednesday, December 26, 2012


This is the parole record for my gg grandfather James Henderson Hogan. He served in the famed Florida Brigade during the Civil War. He was in all the major battles with the Brigade, twice charging Cemetery Ridge at Gettysburg and was at Appomattox Court House when Lee surrendered.
A month later when he got back to Tallahassee, Florida he signed this Parole and Oath of Allegiance and went home to Taylor County Florida. James Hogan was born in 1835 in Stewart County Georgia and died in 1918 in the southern part of Taylor County. He is buried in New Hope Cemetery just off of Highway 19 in Taylor County.

JHH Medal
One of my Hogan cousins who lives in Maine sent me these photos of James Hogan's Woodmen of the World medal. It's over a hundred years old but it looks to be in pretty good condition. He was a County Commissioner in Taylor County Florida and it looks like he wore the medal with the silver metal chain. It has a clip so he could have attached it to his vest, coat or trousers. I guess if you are in politics you need something to attract attention.  

The Woodmen of the World organization was started in 1890 in Omaha, Nebraska as a fraternal organization but basically sold life insurance and annuities to it's members.

On of it's best known benefits was the tombstone it provided if a policyholder died. They did this on any policy sold from 1890 to 1900 and then started charging an extra $100 for the grave markers.

The fist one of these I had seen on a family plot was marking the grave of my wife's great uncle, Stonewall Jackson Glenn (1878-1913) in the Clay County Alabama Sardis Baptist Church Cemetery. 

During our Christmas trip to Florida in 2002 we visited the rural Alabama cemetery to meet some of her Glenn family. I wrote about that experience in an earlier story.  

Stonewall Jackson Glenn
The WOW marker for Stonewall Jackson Glenn stood out, literally from the others which were mostly home made rough stone. WOW discontinued the grave markers during the 1920s. 

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Caviar for Christmas

Tampa Tribune December 24, 1932 page 16
This article was in the Tampa Tribune on Christmas eve 80 years ago today. My grandfather Walton "Tink" Fulford made the news because he caught a three foot long Sturgeon while fishing for trout with a net near Cortez, Florida.

No one had ever caught a Sturgeon in the Florida coastal area before and it was certainly a rare fish for him. This fish is also a rarity in that it is the only fish that my Grandfather caught in his almost 60 years as a commercial fisherman that is still around. Since he fished for a living his catch always ended on someone's dinner table. On this occasion he had the fish preserved and it is still on the front porch of his house.

Growing up I'd heard the story about him catching the Sturgeon and walked by it for years but until I found this in the newspaper article didn't realize it had gotten the publicity.

Tink was a pretty good fisherman but not even he could catch them all. The ones he didn't catch reproduced and now there are Sturgeon all along the Florida Gulf coast, even up in some of the rivers. This photo is from the Suwanee River, where they've received some note for jumping out of the water and hitting boaters.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Fort Fisher

We saw the new movie about Lincoln and several parts of it made me uneasy. My wife and friends said I shouldn't expect it to follow the facts because it was historical fiction. I'm not sure what that means, I've always assumed a story was one or the other.

Anyway, one scene from the movie reminded me of a family story that I thought I would share. Towards the end of the Civil War the Yankees decided to capture Wilmington, North Carolina as it was the only southern port still controlled by the Confederates.

Now they could have done this earlier if they really wanted but North Carolina had been mostly by-passed by the northern troops. It wasn't until the Confederate Capitol of Richmond, Virginia was in their sights that they decided to close off the only obvious southern supply line still open to the Caribbean and Europe.

On Christmas Eve 1864 the Union Army and Navy attacked Fort Fisher and bombarded it for two days. Every other southern sea fort had fallen with less effort but in this case the Confederate troops fought off the Yankees with over four dozen expertly placed and manned cannon.

Christmas is normally a time of truce during wars but this was not the first exception on U.S. territory. No doubt the Union generals expected a victory that would bring them the same fame as it had George Washington four score and eight years earlier on the Delaware, but it was not to be.

A large part of the credit goes to two relatives who were commanding southern troops in Fort Fisher. The 10th North Carolina regiment was also known as the First Regiment, North Carolina Artillery. Companies F and K were manning the cannon at Fort Fisher. Lt. Thomas Arendell was in charge of Company F and Lt. Irvin Fulford in charge of Company K.

The excerpt shown above is from the book, "Histories of the Several Regiments and Battalions from North Carolina in the Great War 1864-1965" which was published in 1901.

After the December defeat the Northern forces came back in January with a new General in charge and more troops and boats and were able to overpower the Confederates.

Thomas Arendell (1831-1911) was the husband of my 2nd cousin Abigail Fulford, the daughter of William Fulford and Civil Pigott. Abigale was also the first cousin of Irvin Fulford. Thomas Arendell lived in Carteret County after the war and taught school for over 50 years. He is buried in Bayview Cemetery in Beaufort, NC.

Irvin Fulford (1839-1872) was my 2nd cousin, the son of Absalom Fulford and Naomi Rumley of Carteret County, North Carolina. Irvin never married and died soon after the war. He was living in Washington, Beaufort County, listed as a Merchant and Manufacturer of Coaches in the Branson's North Carolina Business Directory of 1869. He is buried in the Old Burying Grounds in Beaufort, NC.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

DNA testing prices

The price of dna testing is heading in the right direction. came out with a product a couple months ago and priced it at $100. That was less than half the price of any of the other services.

Now 23andMe has matched the price. They include an array of testing for genetic traits and health issues so it is an interesting option if you also want to trace your ancestry. I've used them along with FamilyTreeDNA and Ancestry for both myself and other family members.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Arm and a Leg

He is not a close relative. In fact I'd never heard of him until a few months ago, but Francis Redding Tillou Nicholls (1834 - 1912), the father in law of my 2nd cousin has an interesting story.

Francis Nicholls
I decided to write about him because of his unusual experience during the Civil War. He literally lost both an arm and a leg in separate battles.

His daughter, Elizabeth Nicholls (1877-1969) married my 2nd cousin, Romulus Armistead Nunn (1876-1966). Yes, that is his real name!  

Romulus Nunn was from Lenoir County North Carolina and the nephew of my great grandmother Mary Nunn Ellis.

Romulus was an attorney and later in life was a Judge in New Bern, North Carolina. I'm not sure how he married a girl from New Orleans but suspect his family was into high society. His father was the Editor of the New Bern Journal newspaper. Maybe they took him down to NOLA on Amtrak for a shopping trip.

Romulus Nunn was also into genealogy research. He preserved and published his great grandparent's family bible. That is how I came across him and this story.

Francis Redding Tillou Nicholls was born into a wealthy Louisiana family and attended West Point, the U.S. Military Academy. When the Civil War started he enlisted and was appointed a Colonel in the Louisiana Infantry Regiment.

During the First Battle of Bull Run on July 21, 1861 he was wounded and lost his left arm. After his recovery he went back to the army and two years later during the Battle of Chancellorsville, in May 1863, an artillery shell blew off his left foot.

The loss of limbs didn't impair him as much as it would most, I suspect because of his family connections. He was promoted to Brigadier General and after returning home from the war was elected Governor of Louisiana, twice. He is buried in Saint Johns Cemetery in Thibodaux, LA 

Friday, December 7, 2012

Bombing the Penn

I had two relatives who served aboard the Battleship, USS Pennsylvania, one of the ships attacked 71 years ago today at Pearl Harbor.

Cleveland "Cubie" Adams, my mother's first cousin, had just joined the Navy after serving in the CCC and was assigned to the USS Pennsylvania. He was lucky the ship was in dry dock at the harbor so he was not aboard when the bombs fell. He had taken some other crew members to church that morning but returned as soon as he saw the planes and realized they were Japanese. Cubie had enlisted with a high school friend, Bridger Watson from Bradenton, Florida and they were both on the Penn. When Cubie got back aboard ship he found the body of Bridger with his midsection blown apart from shrapnel.

This photo shows the remains of the two Destroyers USS Cassin and USS Downes, that were in front of the Penn in the dock. The smoke coming from fires aboard the Penn is in the background.

The Pennsylvania crew did return fire that day but they lost 24 men dead and 14 missing. In subsequent WWII action she was credited with firing more rounds than any ship in US History.

My wife's uncle Reginald Glenn served aboard the Penn starting in 1944. He was still assigned to her in 1946 when they dropped Atomic Bombs on the ship to see the effect. I had written about that experience in an earlier story.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Tink's Net Camp

The Florida Maritime Museum in Cortez, Florida is considering restoring an old building that was on my grandparent's property and asked me what I knew about it. Most of what I know came from my uncle Ralph Fulford who passed away two years ago. 
Fulford Fish Net Spreads 1954

Small buildings they called camps and net spreads were used back before the age of nylon and man made material when cotton was used for fishing nets. The fragile nature of cotton twine required a lot of maintenance. They had to pull the nets out of the boats every day, let them dry and treat them by pouring on a mixture of salt water and lime or the material would rot.

The spreads were wood structures over the water that allowed them to spread the net out so it would dry faster. The camps were small buildings, originally built on stilts over the water where they could store the dry nets and other fishing equipment. It also became a home for the single fishermen who needed a place to live during the fishing season. 

The one they call Tink's Net Camp was built it about 1935. Walton "Tink" Fulford (1903-1965) was my grandfather. He had one on the water that was destroyed in a hurricane that year and this was built to replace it.
Net Camp 1995

It was built by Dale Powell (1905-1991) and James Arthur Childers (1878-1951) from Oneco, FL. who were both related to Tink's wife Edith. Powell was married to Edith's first cousin Eva Urquhart and Childers was the father in law of Eidth's second cousin William Lawrence Wilson. Both were farmers who had a good reputation as carpenters and helped build other structures in Cortez.

The camp was originally located next to Tink & Edith's house and garage at the end of the present driveway. I guess he decided to build this one on land since the other one had been washed away in the storm.

In 1955 they bought a tractor for the nursery business. Tink decided to move the camp down to the water and build an addition to the garage to store the tractor. Ralph Fulford and William Nash Pringle moved it on rollers down to the water.

It was used to store nets and fishing equipment but in later years was used to live in by at least two older men. 

Tink Fulford Net Camp 2005
William “Billy” Ireland (1880-1957) was a friend of Tink’s and fished with him back in the 1920-30s. He was from North Carolina and moved to Cortez about 1910. He moved to Vero Beach in the 1930s and then to Ft. Myers. He was having health problems so Tink went to Ft. Myers and brought him back to Cortez in the early 1950s and setup the net camp for him to live in. He had a small stove and cooked for himself. He fished with a hook and line using a small boat and also had a small gill net. He mostly caught trout and red fish in the Kitchen but made enough to support himself.

After Ireland died in 1957 it was vacant until Tink’s brother William (Willie) Fulford (1901-1961) moved in about 1959. He had been living in St. Petersburg but was having health problems also and so he moved back to Cortez. He lived there for two years before he died in 1961. Willie didn’t cook in the camp, he just slept there. He ate with the family up at the Fulford house.

The net camp is still very popular with artists and photographers who come to Cortez to see the historic fishing village.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Branding Marks

I've never owned an animal that had a brand or needed one. No horse, cow or anything like that. There haven't been too many in my recent family who would have either.
Gwen and the Longacre Brand
In my wife's family line were several who owned ranches.

Her great uncle David Coffman, a part time preacher who also married us, had several ranches near Abilene, Texas where he raised sheep. I don't know if he tried to brand them, but he also had cattle and probably registered a brand for the cows.

It's serious business in Texas where you have to register your brand each year with the County and pay a fee. If you are late someone can apparently take your brand as their own.  

My daughter travelled with her grandmother to Abilene a couple years ago for a high school reunion and found this display painted on one of the downtown buildings that had samples of local cattle brands. It included one for her grandmother's Longacre family. Her grandfather was Benjamin Longacre and both he and his father raised cattle in Texas.

The web page of the Texas Cattle Raisers Association interprets what the artwork in a brand means. So the Longacre brand with a line over the LO is called a rail.

I found this 1889 newspaper article that described another Texas family brand. John William Glenn was my wife's great grandfather. He was born in 1870 in Bluff Springs, Alabama and died in 1943 in Dublin, Erath County Texas.

Dallas Morning New August 12, 1889
He moved to Texas with his parents in 1888. This report described the brand on his mule that someone stole in 1889 as having a 3 with a half circle over it. A half circle is supposed to mean "swinging." So this means his brand was the Swinging 3. John William Glenn was also a Methodist minister so I doubt the design of his brand had any family connection.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Mr. Ensley's Fire

I was reading the diary of James Rumley (1812-1881) the former Clerk of the Carteret County North Carolina Superior Court and it mentioned an event involving a Capt. Fulford (my mother's maiden name) so I decided to see who this was. Rumley kept a diary for three years during the Civil War, mainly to document what he considered atrocities committed by Yankee troops against the local folks.

His entry of October 30, 1863 detailed the fire that broke out five days earlier in the kitchen of a Mr. Ensley on Front Street in Beaufort and quickly spread to destroy five houses and one business. In listing the property owners he said one was Dr. King on Front Street and another Capt. Fulford. In fact Capt. Fulford's house was intentionally blown down with gun powder by the Union troops to try and contain the fire.

I wasn't sure who this Capt. Fulford was and Rumley didn't mention anything else about him. He does go on to say that several houses had been intentionally set fire, one culprit who he described as "some devil in human form."  He infers it was the Yankee troops who he said are "suspected of being discharged convicts from northern penitentiaries and ripe for crime."

But the fire on October 25, 1863 was apparently an accidental kitchen fire that got out of control.

1860 Census Beaufort, NC Page 146
I checked the 1860 census records to see if I could identify any of the names. There on page 146 I found a William Fulford living next to Dr. F. L. King. This was Dr. Francis Lathrop King who married Sara Ward. He received medical training at Bellevue Hospital in New York and ran a Drug Store on Front Street in Beaufort.

The William Fulford listed was my first cousin, five times removed. His father was James Martin Fulford the brother of my great grandfather, Stephen Fulford.

Cape Lookout Lighthouse
William Fulford was born in 1786 and died in 1864. He was called Captain, of the sea no doubt. His son, William Hawkins Fulford listed on the 1860 census record as a 25 year old Mariner became famous as a Ship Captain and the founder of North Miami Beach, Florida.

Capt. William Fulford was the second Keeper of the Cape Lookout Lighthouse on the Outer Banks of North Carolina.

The first Lighthouse Keeper was his father James. William Fulford spent 40 years living at Cape Lookout with his father and serving as both Assistant and Lighthouse Keeper. By 1860 at age 74 he had retired and moved to town.The census has his house valued at $2,000 and personal property of $8,000 which was a lot of money back then.

1870 Beaufort, NC
William Fulford died the next year and without resources during the Civil War his family wasn't able to rebuild the house. On the 1870 census his wife, Civil Pigott Fulford, was living in Beaufort but no longer on Front Street and in a much smaller house with two daughters and grandchildren. I'm not certain where William Fulford's house was located on Front Street but a 1870 map shows a lot owned by Mrs. Fulford between Craven and Queen Street. It is next door where Taylor's Creek Antique Store is located today.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Two Sons, One Day Apart

 A strange coincidence was finding tragic death reports for two Carl William Bahrt sons published one day apart, but separated by 32 years.

Robert Bahrt was the seven year old son of Capt. Carl William Bahrt and Catherine Elizabeth Davidson. He was born in 1883 and died in 1890. The newspaper had liberty to enhance death notices back then so the article that was published in the Manatee River Journal could easily be mistaken as coming from a family member.

Robby was fishing near his parents large home on the Manatee river when he fell in and drowned. He wasn't found for several hours and the family's grief was poured out in the article. The article says he was buried in the Fogartyville Cemetery but there is no marker for him. His parents were later buried there too but I haven't found a marker for them either.

Manatee River Journal May 22, 1890
Manatee River Journal May 22, 1890

Thirty two years and one day later the death notice of another Capt. Carl William Bahrt son was published in the Tampa Tribune. John "Jack" Bahrt was the son of Carl William Bahrt, Jr. and Luddie Garner Bahrt. Luddie was the sister of my great grandmother.

Jack was born in 1917 and was only five years old when he was struck and killed by a car. He and his father had stopped to look at Palma Ceia Springs in Tampa when he ran across the road and was hit by a car. Some thought the warm water of the spring had healing power but it didn't work that day.

Jack was buried in Myrtle Hill Cemetery in Tampa in a plot that was later filled out by his parents and other family members.

Tampa Tribune May 23, 1922

Monday, November 12, 2012

Luck of the Draw

June 21, 1906 Tampa Tribune Page 1
The family story over the last hundred years was that my great grandfather, William Augustus Lundy gave all his children gold coins from a Pirate's Chest he found buried on his property in Manatee County Florida and they used it to buy land and get started farming.

Well at least one of his kids received the benefit of his father's good investment. These newspaper articles from 1906 tell about his son, James Lundy receiving a windfall on Texas oil land.

Apparently shortly before he died in 1903 William Lundy bought some land in Texas from a speculator for $800. He gave the title to his oldest son James.

James William Washington Lundy was born in 1877 and died in 1953 in Manatee County Florida. He married Ada Bryant in 1902, ran a Grocery Store and was the Postmaster in Parrish, Florida for many years.

June 24, 1906 Tampa Tribune Page 8
In 1906 he sold the land that cost his father $800 a few years earlier for $75,000. I don't know the location of the land or if the buyer struck oil on it. I would imagine they knew there was oil there if they paid such a high price for the land. $75,000 in 1906 is equivalent to almost $2,000,000 today if it just increased based on the CPI.

That might be a story for a future day if I can find the land records in Texas. For now all I know is that James Lundy came out pretty good.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Texas Moonshine

Thomas Jefferson Longacre was the brother of my wife's great grandfather. I've written about him a couple times because of the interesting story that he ran away from home for about 20 years in the early 1900s. He supposedly left his Texas family behind to travel the railroad in western states, had another wife and son there, who he abandoned and then came back home to Texas. He died in Dallas Texas in 1948 after working for many years for the San Angelo Police Department.

In one of those posts I shared a newspaper article about the time he tried to shoot his boss, the Police Chief of San Angelo, Texas in 1937.

It turns out that wasn't the only time he was in the news for trying to shoot the law, although folks back then may not have considered Revenuers or those who helped them being the same as a local Police Chief. These two articles came from the Dallas Morning News. The first one tells of Thomas Longacre being arrested for running a Moonshine Still. 

Dallas Morning News Jan 30, 1987

A week after his arrest Longacre was set free and shot Ed Davidson three times in the chest. I couldn't find any explanation on why he shot Davidson other than it was connected to the arrest for running the still.

Dallas Morning News Feb 7, 1897

There are a couple other articles that indicate he was convicted of Assault to Murder so I guess the victim survived. 

Justice was swift back then. His appeal was heard and the conviction upheld by the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals in June 1897, five months after the shooting. He didn't serve much time in jail though as he was out by the time the 1900 census was done. Running a moonshine still and shooting a revenuer must not have been considered too serious back then since they didn't keep him from working for the police department.  

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Cow Cavalry

We attended a wedding recently where the groom and several attendants wore Spurs and Stetson hats to signify their former connection to a US Cavalry unit. I've noticed soldiers wearing the spurs when traveling thru airports recently, sometimes with no uniform or military insignia showing.

I have two great uncles who could claim Cavalry service but I don't think they got the same souvenirs at the end of their enlistment. Their Cavalry battalion was called the Florida Cow Cavalry.

After a couple years of war the Confederate Army found you can't eat a whole lot of cotton and with the southern ports shut tight they needed a food source. Florida, which had not seen much military action still had most of the farms producing and the pre-war cattle industry was intact. Although most of the cattle had been turned loose in the woods and swamps to prevent the Union army from finding them.

The CSA sent out a notice that they wanted to form Cavalry units around the State that would round up the cattle and bring them north to Georgia and South Carolina where the Army needed to feed the troops.

Cow Cavalry Memorial in Plant City, FL
Two of the son's of my great grandfather Moses Wilson joined the Cow Cavalry. The family was living in what is now Pasco County Florida at the time and several of the older sons were already serving in the CSA.

Joseph Wilson who was born on March 28, 1845 in Montgomery County Alabama and died on September 16, 1914 in Polk County Florida enlisted in Mullen's Battalion, Walls Company. His brother Pleasant Wilson who was born on June 11, 1847 in Montgomery County Alabama and died on November 15, 1920 in Pasco County Florida enlisted in Capt Lesley's Company.

Cow Cavalry Memorial listing Pleasant Wilson
They both served from the Spring of 1863 to the end of the war. There were nine companies of Cow Cavalry, about 900 men in all. Many of them were older men who had been excused from military service when the war broke out or like the Wilson brothers, too young to enlist in the regular army. 

Joseph Wilson went back to Florida after the war and married Fannie Lenorah Lanier in 1872. They had 11 children and like most of his brothers he was a farmer. He and his wife are buried in Oaklawn Cemetery in Plant City, Florida. 

Joseph Wilson Oaklawn Cemetery
Pleasant Wilson went back to Pasco County Florida and got married around 1870 also. His first wife, Kate McNeill died before 1880 when he was listed on the census as a widower with four young children. He remarried late in life, in 1902 to Zader Clark who was 35 years younger and they had four more children. He is buried in Dade City Cemetery in Pasco County Florida.

She moved to Tampa after Pleasant died, remarried in 1922 and was listed on the 1930 census working in a Cigar factory. She died in 1955 and was buried in Garden of Memories Cemetery in Tampa.          

Sunday, October 28, 2012

The Family Coin Collection

Ok, if you want to claim an official coin for your family you probably wouldn't want it to be a penny, but that's what we have.

James Barton Longacre was the 2nd cousin of my wife, several times removed.

They share a common great grandfather, Peter Longacre who was born in 1682 and died in 1739. Peter Longacre lived in the Kingsessing area of Philadelphia. In fact he owned 200 acres in the southwest part of Philly when he died, less than a half mile from where my daughter lives today. There is a Kingsessing park just down the street from her place. We will be there next weekend so I'll have to check it out.

James Barton Longacre was born in 1794 and died in 1869. He was an artist which seems to run in the family but he made better use of his talents. Or at least he made money with the talent in more ways than his cousins do today.

From 1844 until he died in 1869 he was the Engraver for the United States Mint in Philadelphia. He designed all the US coins and currency from the time he was named the official engraver until he died. He also did many of the early portraits of Presidents and famous folks that became the National Portrait Gallery of Distinguished Americans.

In 1859 he designed a one cent coin that he is best remembered for. We call it the Indian Head Penny. He used his daughter Sarah Longacre as the model for the Indian Princess. The coin was in circulation until replaced by the Lincoln penny in 1909.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The Family Spy

I heard about Emeline Jamison Pigott a number of years ago but only recently had a chance to do research on her family. According to my genealogy software she was my 2nd cousin, 4 times removed.

Emeline Pigott
She was born December 15, 1836 and died May 26, 1919 in the Crab Point area of Morehead City, North Carolina. Her parents were Col. Levi Whitehurst Pigott and Elizabeth Dennis. I am related to her by marriage any number of ways but by blood through the Whitehurst family. Her grandmother, Margaret Whitehurst, was the sister of one of my great grandfathers, Richard Whitehurst.

Levi Whitehurst Pigott has the title Colonel in many stories about his daughter but not on his tombstone. I have yet to find any documentation that he was given that rank while alive. He was listed as a 16 year old Private on the Muster Roll of Pinkham's Carteret County Militia during the War of 1812. I haven't found any other record of military service. I would like to think he earned the title in the North Carolina Militia but suspect it was given after his daughter became famous and he was already dead. I guess my kids can do that for me down the road.

If you grew up in North Carolina you probably know about Emeline Jamison Pigott because even today her story is taught in elementary school history classes. She is known as the North Carolina Confederate Spy.

Reproduction of her dress

Emiline was arrested towards the end of the Civil War and charged with "blockade running." Beaufort, NC had a new Provost Marshal, Major Charles C. Graves of the 1st NC Union Volunteers who was appointed to the position about the same time General Ulysses S. Grant made an inspection of Beaufort and Morehead City on January 29, 1865. Grant must have given orders to clean up things because they put Emeline under surveillance and on February 8, 1865 arrested her while she was in Beaufort.

The February 17, 1865 edition of the North Carolina Times said "she was discovered carrying articles and letters addressed to rebels outside of our lines. The letters denounced the Federals calling them Yankees and Buffaloes (a derisive term for NC men who joined the Union army) and gave information about the supposed movements of Federal troops. A very large and prominent store in Beaufort was closed as it was supposed to be in complicity with Miss Pigott. This is one of the most important arrests that has been made in the area."

She had been carrying notes and letters through the Union lines to confederate troops for some time along with food, clothing and medicine.

James Rumley who was the Clerk of the Superior Court of Carteret County wrote in his diary of what he called the "underground rail ways" that started in March 1863. In entries he made in June and July of 1864 he said the railway was "still going strong, bringing news of confederate military actions to Beaufort residents and passing letters and contraband items outside the Union lines."

When she was captured Emeline's dress had hidden pockets that contained confederate clothing, a pair of boots, pocket knives, razors, combs, toothbrushes and other items weighing over 30 pounds.

Emeline's Carriage

The History Place museum in Morehead City has her carriage and a reproduction of the dress she was wearing on display. They say she refused to allow Union troops to search her when captured because they wanted a black woman to do it. It took them a while to find a white female in the city who would help and by that time Emeline was able to eat or destroy most of the letters she was carrying.

She was sent to New Bern on February 12, 1865 and confined to a house that had been converted into a jail. She was held as a prisoner for several months but they let her go without ever bringing her to trial. It is rumored she threatened to reveal the names of prominent men in New Bern who were making money in collusion with the Yankees.

Her first cousin Levi Woodbury Pigott wrote the following in his diary when he heard she had been released:

"I consider her release a miracle, for the United States government had a clear case against her. She had ... several letters written to their friends in Dixie and these letters contained news about the Union army which was criminal. I was agreeably surprised, and utterly astonished, when she obtained her release."

 There are a lot of stories about her some true, some not so. She made the news often after the Civil War and even after she died. She took part in Civil War Veteran's events and memorials and organized the Morehead City Chapter of the Daughter's of the Confederacy which was named for her.

Seattle Daily Times December 2, 1934

I found this newspaper article reporting on her burial in 1934 that was copied in other papers around the country. The only problem with the story is that it was 15 years late.

While we were in North Carolina this past summer we stopped by the small family plot where she and her parents are buried. There was the remains of a Confederate flag next to Emeline's grave marker. We were there looking for another grave marker but I will get to that later.

You can't tell Emeline's story without covering her relationship with men, living and dead. The first was the romance she had with a Confederate soldier who she knew for only couple months and the second, apparently because of the first, the devotion she had to a dead Confederate soldier.

Montford Stokes McRae was born September 30, 1833 in Montgomery County, North Carolina the son of Daniel John & Martha McRae. He grew up in Richmond County, North Carolina. His family was pretty well off, listed as farmers on the census but having land valued at $40,000 and personal property of $10,000, which was huge back then. They had enough money to send him off to college and he graduated from the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill in 1856. He was living at home, a 27 year old bachelor on the 1860 census with an occupation of domestic. A woman listed with that title would mean she was working in the household as a servant or the wife of the owner. They both had the same title on census records from the 1800s. For a young son in a wealthy family you figure it means he didn't really do anything.

With the Civil War starting up his life changed dramatically. He enlisted as a Private on July 1, 1861 in the North Carolina 26th Infantry Regiment, Company K, known as the Pee Dee Wildcats. The 26th Infantry was stationed in Morehead City, North Carolina for several months at the end of 1861 and beginning of 1862. They were at Bogue Inlet in November of 1861 and were then moved to be part of the planned defense of Beaufort and New Bern, North Carolina.

They had a large camp in Morehead City just across Calico Creek from the Pigott home on Crab Point. During those months Montford Stokes McRae met Emeline Pigott and they started a romance that would endure till death for both of them.

After sitting around for months the 26th finally got a chance to fight the Yankees in the battle of New Bern, North Carolina on March 14, 1862. The 26th Infantry was led by the future NC Governor Zebulon Vance and was the only Confederate force that put up much of a fight that day. The Union army had over 11,000 men and easily pushed through the other Confederate units who only numbered 4,000 troops.

After New Bern fell the Confederate troops abandoned Morehead City and Beaufort and the Union troops started their siege of Fort Macon in Beaufort harbor. The next week the 26th Infantry was heading north to Virginia where they joined up with the Army of Northern Virginia. There is no record they were ever back near Carteret County so Emeline probably never saw him again.

Stokes McRae did well in the CSA over the next year and advanced to the rank of Sergent Major.Things changed for him in the summer of 1863. The 26th was with Gen. Lee at Gettysburg July 1-3, 1863 and Stokes was wounded and taken prisoner. The 26th NC Regiment suffered the loss of 588 of their 800 men at Gettysburg, the worst casualty loss of any unit on either side in the entire Civil War.

The battle report says Stokes was shot in the left thigh and the shell caused a fracture of the femur. He was taken from the battlefield and ended up in the Camp Letterman Hospital. The report sent back to North Carolina on July 23, 1863 said he had been killed. That is probably the last word Emeline had about him for many years. He actually lived for two months before dying of disease and infection on August 2, 1863 still in the hospital.

Camp Letterman Hospital marker near Gettysburg Battlefield
Stokes was buried in the Camp Letterman Cemetery at Gettysburg in the Confederate plot, section or row one. This is where the story changes for us compared to what Emeline knew of it. Today we have transcribed battle records, diaries etc., published in multiple books, some even online. Back then word of what happened after a battle was very limited and especially after a defeat like Gettysburg it would be almost impossible to find out what happened to the wounded and POWs. I know of several cases where the family had thought their son or husband dead only to receive a letter from him many months later.

Emeline back in North Carolina never knew what happened to Stokes, other than the report that he had died. She didn't know where or if he had been buried and that is the beginning of story about the next and last man in her life.
Unknown Soldier's Grave

Towards the end of the war a wounded soldier from the 26th NC Regiment, the same as Stokes, ended up in Morehead City. Emeline heard about him and arranged to have him moved to her house where she tried to nurse him back to health. Unfortunately he died and she had him buried in the family cemetery on Crab Point. At that time there were only three graves in the small plot including her father and sister Charlotte Pigott Mason. She never said if she knew the name of dead soldier or anything else about him. She refused to talk about him when interviewed later in life. The marker on his grave was inscribed "Unknown Soldier Company B 26th Regiment NCT CSA." She tended to his grave up until her own death in 1819 and she was then buried next to him.

My main reason for visiting the Pigott Cemetery last summer was to see the marker on the grave of this unknown soldier. I heard of Emiline taking care of his grave but in recent years when a census was done of the graves there was no marker found for him. I wondered if they missed it among the large memorials for Emeline and her parents. I found the remains of his grave, a concrete cover next to Emeline but there is no marker. A Confederate Iron Cross is laying next to Emeline's marker and I wonder if it was originally on his grave.

Camp Letterman Cemetery
Post Script:
The Camp Letterman hospital burial records were not available until many years after the war. From 1872 to 1873 the Confederate dead from the Camp Letterman Cemetery were exhumed and moved to cemeteries in the South. Most were sent to Hollywood Cemetery in Richmond, VA but others were used also. There is no record of Montford Stokes McRae's body being moved. If they found it, it was not identified and therefore buried as one of the unknowns. If they didn't find him then he is still there, in an open 10 acre field between a Giant Food Store and Dollar Tree on Lincoln Highway.

Camp Letterman treated over 20,000 soldiers from both sides during the four months it was open. Thousands died and many more lost arms and legs that were buried on the property in mass graves. The Gettysburg Battlefield Preservation Association says there are remains of countless soldiers still on the privately owned site. Target wanted to build a store there several years ago but backed down because of negative publicity.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Nine is the lucky number

I was listening to an audio recording of an interview my cousin Doris Green did in 1993 and she made a comment about the large families in Cortez, Florida. She said there were nine children in her family and many others, so being in the election season I decided to do a fact check on her.

I also wanted to see if I could determine which families she was thinking of when she made the comment. No doubt families in a fishing community like farmers want large families so they will have plenty of help with the family business.

Doris Adams Green abt 1985

Doris Mae Adams Green was my mother's first cousin and she married my father's first cousin, Woodrow Wilson Green. She was born in  1915 and died in 2001.

Doris was probably the first one in the family to get serious about family history. She did a lot of research, checking court records, family bibles and interviewing older family members and put it all together in a really nice book called "Fog's Comin' in."

Anyway, Doris said the women must have thought nine to be the right number or they just got worn out by that time, so they ended up with nine children.

Her mother, Dora Jane Fulford and her husband Willis Asbury Adams did have nine children who made it to adulthood and one who died shortly after birth. Two of Dora's siblings came close to nine, but both stopped two short. Walton "Tink" Fulford and his wife Edith Mae Wilson had seven children as did her other brother, William Fulford and wife Julia Etta Qunin.

Doris's grandmother on her mother's side, Sallie Adams Fulford, also had nine children and they all survived to adulthood. On her father's side, there were eight children in the family but her grandfather, William Henry Harrison Adams had two wives who shared the duties.
William and Lillie Foreman

Sallie Adams Fulford's first cousin, William Ernest Foreman and his wife Lillie Jane Lundy also had nine children. He was a fisherman and early resident of the area but ended up moving to Sarasota in the 1920s. He was struck and killed by lightening in 1927 while on a fishing boat in Sarasota Bay.

Doris's great uncle on her mother's side Nathan Hooker Fulford and his wife Betty Manson Whitehurst also had nine children. Only one of their children got close to the number. Jessie Blanche Fulford and her husband Aaron Parx Bell stopped two short.

Julius Mora House abt 1912
Another early Cortez family, Joseph (Jose) Augustine Mora and his wife Mary Emma Hazel also had nine children. Their son, Julius Eugene Mora matched his parents with nine, with an assist from his wife Laura Adele Eastman. This photo was taken when they were just getting started with number one.

James Charles Culbreath and his wife Ella Hurst, who moved from Suwanee County Florida to Cortez in the 1920s also had nine children.

There were several families who didn't quite make it to nine. Augustine Willis had nine children from two wives but one of them died soon after birth, along with his first wife Martha Fulford. His second wife Mary Leavenworth Hine bore eight children.

Augustine Willis Children

Lemuel Hardy Pridgeon and his wife Bessie Ora Weeks had eight children. Another of Doris's great uncles, Joseph Manley Fulford and his wife Sallie Chapman Chadwick also had eight.

Most of the subsequent generations had much smaller families. Doris and Woodrow only had two children because of her health problems but that was not unusual for the 1940s and later. I guess the prospect of paying for college stopped many at a smaller number. But when she was growing up there were plenty of large families around and as she said, nine seemed to be the number of choice for many of them.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012


There is a relatively new web page for genealogy research called Fold3 that has a lot of military records from the 1700-1800s available for free.

J H Hogan Parole

I found this parole record for my great great grandfather, James Henderson Hogan. He was born in 1835 in Stewart County Georgia to James Hogan and Rebecca Paulk.

He moved to Taylor County Florida about 1861 and had a farm in the southern part of the county near Spring Warrior. He served as a County Commissioner for Taylor County in the 1890s. He died in 1918 and is buried in the New Hope Cemetery just off Highway 19 in Taylor County.

James H Hogan about 1865
During the Civil War he enlisted on August 8, 1862 in the 2nd Florida Battalion Infantry that was later merged into the 10th Florida Regiment. He fought in many of the major battles in Virginia and he was wounded and spent a couple months in a Richmond, VA hospital towards the end of the war.

He was a Sergent for most of the war but was reduced to a Private while in the hospital.

He and his wife Elizabeth Blanchard Hogan had five children and their oldest, Rebecca was my great grandmother.

This photo of him was sent to me by a cousin, I met via Facebook, who lives in Maine. It appears to have been taken in the 1860s. I'm not sure this photo is a good representation since all the physical descriptions show him with light hair, blue eyes and fair complexion. I would bet that to be red hair like the rest of the family.