Saturday, August 10, 2013

Sent Home to Die

Richard Whitehurst Fulford was the brother of my gg grandfather David. He was born on May 11, 1843 and died December 17, 1904. He lived his entire life (except for his war years) on the Straits in Carteret County, North Carolina.

Carolina Observer May 19, 1862
I've made contact over the years with several of his descendants who are also doing family history research.

During the Civil War, Richard enlisted as a Sergeant on June 1, 1861 in Company D, 5th North Carolina Infantry Regiment.

His enlistment papers show he was 26 years old, Eyes - Blue; Hair - Dark; Complexion - Fair; Height - 6' 0"; Occupation - Ship Carpenter.

So he was a boat builder! That would fit nicely with him living on the Straits across from Harker's Island.

A year after he enlisted he was wounded and captured as a POW on May 5, 1862 in the Battle of Williamsburg, VA.

He had a serious gunshot wound to his left thigh and was taken to the US Army General Hospital on Camden Street in Baltimore, MD on May 14, 1862.

I found these newspaper articles that tell about the Battle of Williamsburg and the first one from May 19, 1863 said he was killed. (it is difficult to read but his name is the first one listed as killed at the bottom)

The 2nd article several months later reported he was wounded and still alive.

He remained in the hospital which was fortunate because so many of the POWs died in the prison camps.

I have a letter written by his brother William Burgess Fulford to my grandfather. William was being held as a POW at Point Lookout in Maryland and mentions that he had heard Richard was still in the hospital.

Because of his wounds Richard was sent to Fort Monroe, VA and exchanged (released to go home) on December 31, 1862.

The family story is the Yankees sent him home to die, but he didn't accommodate them.
Carolina Observer July 14, 1862

He remained in the Confederate Army, although unable to return to combat. He went back on active duty on March 10, 1964 and was shown as a Mechanic on the muster role.

On a January 1865 muster roll he was assigned to the Quartermasters Department in Goldsboro, NC. By the end of the war he had been promoted to Captain.

After the war he went home to the Straits and married Maria Jane Gaskill on February 1, 1866. They had six children.

Richard was listed as a Farmer on later census records, living next door to his brother David.

The first time we visited the area, about ten years ago, I found his grave marker in the Fulford - Pigott Cemetery on Sleepy Point Road in Carteret County.

This property had been settled by the Fulford family in the 1600s.

Richard's youngest son, Alvin Willis Fulford never married and when he died at age 96 on May 20, 1976, he was the last Fulford living on the Straits.

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