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Saturday, August 20, 2016

The Brave General Isaac Gregory #history #genealogy #northcarolinapioneers.com

The Brave General Isaac Gregory of Fairfax Hall

By Jeannette Holland Austin (profile)

It was General Isaac Gregory, one of the bravest officers who ever drew a sword, who protected the Albemarle region from the British during the American Revolutionary War. Before the long and bloody days began and he proved his worth as a soldier, he commanded a prominent place in the public affairs of his county. His name first appeared in the Colonial Records of North Carolina during 1773 when he was elected sheriff of Pasquotank. Then, in the same year he was appointed one of the trustees of St. Martin's Chapel in Indian Town (Currituck County), a settlement whose citizens were to serve bravely in the war. After the unsuccessful attempt of General Clinton to invade North Carolina in May of 1776, no further effort to place the State under British control was made until 1780. But during the intervening years the Carolina troops had not been idle. Their valor had been proved at Brandywine, Germantown and Stony Point, and during the winter at Valley Forge 1,450 of her soldiers shared with their comrades from the other States the hunger, cold and suffering that was the portion of the army of General George Washington throughout those dreary months. The North Carolina troops aided in the brave but unsuccessful attempt to drive the British from Savannah, 5,000 of her soldiers having been sent to prevent the capture of Charleston; but the patriot forces had been unable to repulse the invaders. Savannah fell, then Charleston, and by the last of May, 1780, both Georgia and South Carolina were in the hands of the enemy, and Cornwallis was threatening to invade North Carolina. Isaac Gregory, who in May of 1779, had been promoted to the office of Brigadier-General of the Edenton District, was ordered to join General Caswell in South Carolina. As soon as he could collect his men, Gregory marched towards the Piedmont section, en route to join the army of General Caswell; and by June he was with the Brigade of General Rutherford at Yadkin's Ford in Rowan. Near this place the Tories had collected, some 800 strong; and Rutherford hoped, with the assistance of General Gregory, to crush them. But to his disappointment, no opportunity emerged because General Bryan, the Tory leader, hearing of the defeat of the Loyalists at Ramseur's Mill a few days before, crossed the Yadkin River and united with General MacArthur, whom Cornwallis had sent on to Anson County. By July 31st, Gregory, with Rutherford and his brigade, joined General Caswell at The Cheraws, just across the South Carolina border. For several weeks there was much suffering among the men on account of the lack of food. Although corn was plentiful, the rivers were so high that the mills could not grind the meal. Meanwhile, the army of Lord Rawdon was stationed near Camden, South Carolina, and General Gates, who had joined Caswell on August 17th after having learned that the British general was daily expecting a supply of food and stores for his men, determined to intercept the convoy and capture the supplies for his own army. In the meantime Cornwallis, unknown to Gates, had joined Lord Rawdon. Gates, ignorant of this reinforcement of the troops of Lord Cornwallis, marched leisurely towards Camden to capture the coveted stores. The result of the historically wasted battle which followed is known only too well. The American militia, panic-stricken at the furious onslaught of the enemy, threw down their arms and fled and General Gates, after a vain attempt to rally his troops, lost courage and abandoned his forces and stores as well. As a result General Gates brought the everlasting disgrace upon his name which is remembered unto this generation. The cowardly conduct of Gates and several of the other officers of the American army, as well as many of the militia in this disastrous battle, was offset by the heroism and courage of others; and among those who won undying fame on that fatal field, was General Gregory. Roger Lamb, a British officer, penned an account of the battle, and speaking of the disgraceful conduct of those officers and men whose flight from the field brought shame upon the American army, said: "In justice to North Carolina, it should be remarked that General Gregory's brigade acquitted themselves well. They formed on the left of the Continentals, and kept the field while they had a cartridge left. Gregory himself was twice wounded by bayonets in bringing off his men, and many in his brigade had only bayonet wounds." Hand to hand with bayonets requires far more courage than to stand at a distance firing a musket. In the midst of the heated battle, the horse of General Gregory was shot out from under him. When Lord Cornwallis saw him fall, he was certain the General Gregory was slain that he wrote the name of Gregory in his official report of the battle, for those American officers killed on the field. Afterwards, Gregory bravely fought many more battles.

Fairfax Plantation

After the war, he represented Camden County in the State Senate from 1778 to 1789. And in 1789 when the Currituck Seminary was established at Indian Town, Isaac Gregory and his friend and brother officer, Colonel Peter Dauge, were appointed on the board of trustees of this school, which for many years was one of the leading educational institutions of the Albemarle section. General Gregory lived at the Ferebee place in Camden County in a large brick house, known then, as now, as Fairfax Hall. Source: In Ancient Albemarle by Catherine Albertson (published by the North Carolina Society Daughters of the Revolution.

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Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Smallpox to Families in North Carolina #history #genealogy #northcarolinapioneers

Smallpox, a Disease Planted by British in North Carolina
Americans Capture Ft. Ticonderaga

By Jeannette Holland Austin Profile

During the Revolutionary War, George Washington suspected that the British were using the smallpox disease as a form of "biological warfare"by placing disease infested people into the American encampment. The reason was that smallpox was considered more of threat to the Americans than the British. Later on, the British admitted that their commanders ordered the smallpox operations. Some interesting truths help to sustain this fact in some of the last wills and testaments in the State of North Carolina. During the spring of 1781, there was an epidemic in the port city of Wilmington, North Carolina. A number of wills were headed up "New York" and mentioned that the testator died of smallpox. On May 10, 1775, Fort Ticonderaga was captured from the British and the State of New York was under British occupation until the war ended in 1783. The content of the wills emphasize the importance of reading them. Especially, if your ancestors were named. Not only does reading old wills represent a true history of the past, but they provide critical data to tracing the lineage of our ancestors; a much too good a resource to overlook! Images of the Tyrrell County Wills are available to members of North Carolina Pioneers

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Saturday, August 13, 2016

James Fleming of Greenville NC #history #northcarolinapioneers.com

The Fleming House in Greenville
By Jeannette Holland Austin

The James L. Fleming House, also known as the Fleming-Winstead House, is a historic home located at 302 South Greene St. in Greenville, Pitt County, North Carolina, was built in 1901 or 1902.

James Fleming House

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Wednesday, August 10, 2016

The Fabulous Story of Hugh McDonald #history #genealogy #northcarolinapioneers.com

The Fabulous Story of Hugh McDonald
By Jeannette Holland Austin
Jeannette Holland Austin
Profile

Battle of Moore's Creek Bridge
Battle of Moore's Creek Bridge. Battle of Moore's Creek Bridge: A short while before the American Revolution, a vessel left Isle of Skye Scotland and dropped anchor outside of Wilmington, North Carolina. It was loaded with the MacDonald Clan; and particularly Flora MacDonald, a supporter of Bonnie Prince Charles (Stuart pretender to the throne). They sent a message to the Governor of the State asking for acreage upon with to settle the clan and waited to be granted several thousand acres in Moore County.

At the beginning of the Revolutionary War, the Scots sided with Great Britain in the cause. One morning, the young Hugh McDonald, aged 16 years, while working alongside his father in the family field, saw a company of American patriots approaching on horseback. Not wanting to join the cause, the father ran into the woods to hide and while he was gone the patriots persuaded young Hugh to join up as a drummer boy. Shortly thereafter, the boy fought in the Battle of Moore's Creek Bridge, a minor but important victory for the patriots. For the next several years Hugh fought in all of the skirmishes and battles of his regiment which eventually led to the surrender at Yorktown of Cornwallis. In his pension, Hugh tells of a battle when he took a musket ball in the leg and fell to the ground. A British soldier, standing over him, sword in hand, prepared to kill him when suddenly he changed his mind and ran into the woods. That wounded leg would trouble Hugh all of his life. After the war, the MacDonald clan, having chosen the wrong side of the conflict, was compelled to return to Scotland. Meanwhile Hugh was entitled to a land grant for his service. The land was in Elbert County, and that is how the family set their roots in Georgia.

There are many such stories to be discovered in the records. Just about everybody descends from a brave soldier of the Revolutionary War, War of 1812, or the American Civil War. We read of the founders of this country and other heroes, yet we, too, have family members who risked everything to come to America, and take upon themselves the battle for freedom. Yet, in this age, young people are rioting in the streets, demanding, demanding, demanding. I wonder if they realize the sufferings of their own ancestors or have heard a story of their past? If so, then I expect that, instead of destroying property, they would want to help America now in its troubling times. For, it is during this era that we stand to lose our Constitutional freedoms and very life to domestic and foreign terrorists. Hugh had the right to bear arms, to save himself from invading armies, and his children served in local militias carrying weapons to further protect the countryside. So that has been the way of it from America's earliest times. One of of most precious freedoms, the right to keep and bear arms was described by Aristotle, Cicero, John | Locke, Machiavelli, the English Whigs, and others. This heritage is our right as are the freedoms for which Hugh McDonald fought so long ago.

Now, in the wake of terrorist attacks upon Paris, we are at a threshold of decision. Sit on our laurels and let Islam capture America, or fight. Veterans speak of World War II as "the big one". However, larger, more terrifying battles knock at our doors, and promise many long years of struggle. It is one which the spoiled children of the soldiers of the American Revolution and other wars do not understand. For they have been safe all these years. How can the mothers and fathers of these children change their hearts? If they knew their background, who they really are , they would begin to understand and appreciate so strong a love for our America. We can no longer depend upon the schools to teach a true history. Instead, the schools trash Thomas Jefferson, James | Madison, George Washington, and even Columbus (1492). Toyko Rose of World War II is back, propagandizing, persuading the children to forget the founding fathers. To help us discover our roots, many genealogical records are being published online. It is joyful to piece together (from actual facts) the endearing stories of the past.
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Saturday, August 6, 2016

Tuscarora Indians Wiped Out #history #genealogy #northcarolinapioneers.com


Tuscarora Indians Wiped Out
By Jeannette Holland Austin Profile

The Tuscarora tribe erected a stronghold called "Fort Neoheroka" during their war of 1711 to 1715 near present-day Snowhill North Carolina. In March of 1713 it was besieged by a colonial army from South Carolina who were under the command of Colonel James Moore primarily comprised of other Indian tribes, the Yamasee, Apalachee, Catawba, Cherokee and others. It lasted for more than three weeks and hundreds of men, women and children were burned to death in a fire which destroyed the fort. Tuscarora Indians Afterwards about 400 were removed to South Carolina where they were sold into slavery. This was an utter defeat because it drove the rest of the Tuscaroras into the North to live among the Iroquois. Thus, the defeat of the Tuscaroras helped to open up North Carolina territory for settlement for Europeans.



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Wednesday, August 3, 2016

The Harper House near Newton Grove NC #history #genealogy #northcarolinapioneers.com

Harper HouseThe Harper House in War
By Jeannette Holland Austin

The Harper House was built in 1850 near Newton Grove, North Carolina. The home of Amy and John Harper was used as a field hospital during the War Between the States. It mostly accommodated Union soldiers, although some Confederates were also treated there. A colonel from the 9th Ohio Cavalry recorded his memory of the bloody and gruesome battle as follows: "A dozen surgeons and attendants in their shirtsleeves stood at rude benches cutting off arms and legs and throwing them out of the windows, there they lay scattered on the grass. The legs of infantrymen would be distinguished from those of the cavalry by the side of their calves, as the march of 1,000 miles had increased the size of one and diminished the size of the other." More resources for North Carolina Genealogy

Source: The Smithsonian, Guide to America, Text by Patricia L. Hudson and Sandra L. Ballard; special photography by Jonathan Wallen.

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Sunday, July 31, 2016

Palmer-Marsh House in Bath, NC #history #genealogy #northcarolinapioneers.com

Palmer-Marsh HouseThe Palmer-Marsh House in Bath

The Georgian two-story frame house was constructed ca 1744. It was the residence of Colonel Robert Palmer, a surveyor and later customs officer in Bath. It has the unusual feature of a double brick chimney seventeen feet wide at its base and four feet thick, with two windows in the brick wall between the flues.

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