The North Carolina Booklet

Vol. IX  January, 1910 No. 3

The History of Lincoln County

By Alfred Nixon

Mrs. Peggy Simmons, Lincolnton, N.C., Mrs Jane Costner Ware, Lincolnton, N.C. and Mr. Kemp P. Nixon, Lynchburg, Va., the Grandchildren of Mr. Alfred Nixon have given permission to place this Historic Manuscript online in the USGenWeb Project for Lincoln County, N.C., this 10th day of June, 1997.

I would like to tender my sincere appreciation to them for this History. Many of the individuals named in their Grandfathers' history are familiar to me and to others researching in Lincoln County N.C.

Mr. Alfred Nixon has indeed left a legacy that will live for many years after him.

Any errors are strictly mine, and are to be attributed to me. I would appreciate notification of any typing errors you may find.

Debbie Fowler
Stockbridge, Ga.
June 10, 1997

The Colonial Period.

   Lincoln County was born mid the throes of the American Revolution, and christened for a patriot soldier, then battling for independence. Prior to that time, while Carolina was a Province of Great Brittain, in the bestowal of names there was manifest a desire to please royalty: New Hanover was called for the House of Hanover; Bladen, in honor of Martin Bladen, one of the Lords Commissioners of Trade and Plantations; Anson, set up in 1749 from Bladen, derived its name from Admiral Anson, of the English Navy, who in 1761 was charged with the mission of bringing to her marriage with George the Third, Charlotte of Mecklenburg. So, when the western part of Anson was set up into a county in 1762, it was called Mecklenburg, with county seat the Queen City of Charlotte, in compliment to the wife of His Majesty, George the Third. As the settlements extended westward from the Atlantic seaboard new counties were formed to meet the convenience of the inhabitants. In 1768, Mecklenburg was divided "by a line beginning at Earl Granville's line, where it crosses the Catawba River and the said river to be the line to the South Carolina line, and all that part of the county lying to the westward of the said dividing line shall be one other distinct county and parish, and remain by the name of Tryon County and Saint Thomas Parish." The name Tryon was given in honor of His Excellency, William Tryon, Royal Governor of the province.

   William Tryon, an officer in the regular army of Great Brittain, landed at Cape Fear October the 10th, 1764, with a commission as Lieutenant-Governor of the Province. His administration as Governor of North Carolina lasted from the death of Governor Dobbs, 28th March, 1765, to the 30th day of June, 1771, when he was appointed Governor of New York. In the rupture with Great Brittain, he was a Major-General in command of American Loyalists, vainly endeavoring to re-establish Royal Rule. He remained nominally Governor of New York until March 22, 1780. The name of Governor Tryon appears at the head of the list of names enumerated in the Confiscation Acts of both North Carolina and New York, and the county of Tryon in each states was expunged from the map. Tryon Mountain and Tryon City in the county of Polk, and one of the principal streets in the city of Charlotte yet preserve his name. Shortly after relinquishing the government of New York, he sailed for England, where he rose to the rank of Lieutenant-General. He died in London, the 27th of January, 1788, aged 58 years.

   The War of the Revolution rages. The patriots are battling for independence. Oppressions of the Royal Governor have made his name odious. "The large extent of the county of Tryon renders the attendance of the inhabitants on the extreme parts of said county to do public duties extremely difficult and expensive. For remedy whereof," the General Assembly in 1779, instead of setting the western part off into a new county, as had been its custom, blotted the name of Tryon from the list of counties and divided its territory into two counties, "by a line beginning at the south line near Broad River, thence along the dividing ridge between Buffalo Creek and Little Broad River to the line of Burke County"; and to the two counties thus formed were given the names of two patriotic soldiers. The western portion named Rutherford in honor of Griffith Rutherford, of Rowan County, a Brigadier-General in the Revolution; and the eastern portion Lincoln, in compliment to Maj.-General Benjamin Lincoln, of Rhode Island, commander of the Southern Armies.

   Benjamin Lincoln was born January 23rd, 1733 at Hingham, about thirteen miles from Boston. In February, 1777, he was appointed Major-General in the Revolutionary Army and served with gallantry throughout the struggle. At the request of the delegation in Congress from South Carolina, he was assigned to command the Army in the South. In 1780 General Lincoln was forced to surrender to the superior force of the British at Charleston. When exchanged he resumed the service, and was at the surrender of Cornwallis at York Town, where the generous Washington designated him to receive the conquered arms of the British. He was appointed Secretary of War in 1781, with permission to retain his rank in the army. He died in the house of his birth 9th of May, 1810.

   When Tryon was divided the Tryon court-house fell in Lincoln county, and the courts of Lincoln were held there until April, 1783, and the Tryon records are still in Lincolnton. The pioneers came into what is now Lincoln County between the years 1745 and 1749, when it was Bladen County; they continued to come until the American Revolution. So the pioneer history of Lincoln County is covered by Bladen, Anson, Mecklenburg and Tryon counties. The Tryon records cover ten years of the Colonial history of Lincoln County, 1769 to 1779. When Tryon was formed, the first settlers had not been here more than a score of years. The Tryon records contain many quaint things, mingled with matters of grave public concern, and a glance at them is of interest to the student of Lincoln County history.

Tryon County

   In a letter of Governor Tryon of date December 12th, 1768, he describes Tryon County as "forty-five miles in breadth due north and south and eighty miles due east and west it having been found to be that distance from the Catawba River to the western frontier line which was run last year between the Cherokee hunting grounds and this Province." The site for the public buildings was not fixed until 1774. As there was no court-house the courts during this time were held at private residences that happened to be convenient and suitable for the purpose.

   The Tryon records begin with these words: "North Carolina, Tryon County. Pursuant to Act of Assembly of the Province aforesaid bearing date the fifth of December, 1768, in the ninth year of his Majesty's reign, for dividing Mecklenburg into two distinct counties by the name of Mecklenburg County and Tryon County and for other purposes in the said Act mentioned." His Majesty's commission under the great seal of the Province appointing certain justices to keep the peace for the county of Tryon is read.
Ezekiel Polk, Clerk, John Tagert, Sheriff, and Alexander Martin, Attorney for the Crown, produce commissions and take oaths of office. Waightsill Avery produces license of attorney and takes oath of office.

   The court records, beginning at April sessions, 1769, are in the handwriting of Ezekiel Polk , the first clerk, who lived near King's Mountain. Ezekiel Polk removed to Mecklenburg County, and afterwards became famous through his grandson, James K. Polk, President of the United States.

   The Tryon Courts were styled the "County Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions." In this court deeds and wills were probated, estates settled, land entries recorded, guardians appointed, orphans apprenticed, highways opened, overseers appointed, and many other matters attended to. There were grand and petit juries and an "attorney for the crown."

   These courts convened quarterly and continued without material change until the adoption of the constitution of 1868.

   The Courts of Oyer and Terminer, corresponding to our Superior Courts, were District Courts, several counties comprising one district. Tryon county was in Salisbury District and each county appointed its quota of jurors to attend the Salisbury Court. In 1782 the Salisbury District was divided, and Lincoln and other western counties were declared a separate district by the name of Morgan, where the judges of the Superior Courts shall sit twice every year and hold a Superior Court of law. Lincoln County remained in the Morgan District, the courts being held at Morgan town, until 1806, when a Superior Court was established in each county of the State to be held twice every year.

   The Tryon Court was organized at Charles McLean's and the Quarter Sessions for the years 1769, 1770, and 1771, were held at his house. He lived in the southern part of what is now Gaston county, on the headwaters of Crowder's Creek, near Crowder's Mountain. Charles McLean was an early, active, and zealous friend of liberty. At January Sessions of 1770 he produced his Excellency's commission appointing him captain in the Tryon Regiment of Foot, and took the oath of office. In 1774 he was one of his Majesty's justices, and chairman of the committee appointed to select a permanent site for the court-house of Tryon county. He was a delegate from Tryon county to the Provincial Congress at Halifax, 4th April, 1776; also representing Tryon county in Assembly during the years 1777 and 1778. Between sessions, as colonel of the Tryon Regiment, he was actively engaged against western Tories.

   The criminal docket of Tryon is marked "Crown Docket," and the indictments are now brought in the name of the "King" or "Rex," as we now use "State." The minutes of a few cases tried at the first term will serve to show the administration of justice: "The King v. John Doe. Petty larceny. Jury empaneled finds the defendant guilty of the charge against him. Judgement by the Court that the defendant be detained in the Sheriff's custody till the costs of this prosecution be paid, and that at the hour of one o'clock of this day the said defendant on his bare back at the public whipping post receive thirty-nine lashes well laid on. "Rex v. Thomas Pullham. Profane swearing. Submitted and fined five shillings." "The King v. John Case. Sabbath breaking. Defendant pleads guilty, fined ten shillings and the cost." "The King v. John Carson. Neglect of the King's highway. Submitted and fined one shilling and sixpence." Letters testamentary granted Nicholas Welsh on the estate of John Welsh, deceased. William Wilson, appointed overseer of the road from the South Fork to Charles Town in that part of King's Mountain and Ezekiel Polk's and the head of Fishing Creek. The road orders extend to the "temporary line between So. and No., Carolina." At October Sessions the claims against Tryon County for the year 1769, include a charter, twenty pounds expenses in sending the charter, eight pounds; Charles McLean, to two courts held at his house, five pounds; other items swell the amount to seventy-one pounds, sixteen shillings, and ten pence; and a tax of three shillings and two pence was levied on each of the 1221 taxable persons in Tryon county to meet the same.

   At July Term, 1770, "Thomas Camel came into court and proved that the lower part of his ear was bit off in a fight with Steven Jones, and was not taken off by sentence of law; certified by whom it may concern." At a later term, "James Kelly comes into open Court of his own free will and in the presence of said court did acknowledge that in a quarrel between him and a certain Leonard Sailor on the evening of the 2nd day of June, 1773, he did bite off the upper part of the left ear of him, the said Leonard Sailor, who prays that the same be recorded in the minutes of the said court." This confession gave James Kelly such standing in the esteem of his Majesty's Justices that at the same term it was ordered by the Court that James Kelly serve as constable in the room of George Trout and that he swear in before Thomas Espy, Esq." From the court entries biting off ears was a popular way of fighting, but whole ears were at least an outward sign of honesty.

   An old parchment, yellowed with age, labeled "Charter of Tryon County," encased in a frame, with great wax seal appended hangs on the court-house walls. It is addressed in the name of his Majesty, "George the Third by the Grace of God of Great Brittain, France, and Ireland, King Defender of the Faith, and so forth, To All and Singular our Faithful Subjects, Greeting," and is officially attested by "our trusty and well-beloved William Tryon, our Captain-General, Governor and Commander-in-Chief." at Wilmington, 26th June, 1769. It authorized Tryon County to elect and send two representatives to sit and vote in the House of Assembly.

   The Quarter Sessions of 1772 were held at Christian Reinhardt's. The site of his house is now in the northern corporate limits of the town of Lincolnton, on the Ramsour Battle Ground. The Tories were encamped around his house, and after the battle it was used as a hospital. His house was built of heavy hewn logs, with a basement and stone foundation, that served some of the purposes of a fort both during the Indian Troubles and the Revolution. Some evidence of its strength is furnished by this item from the record of July Sessions, 1783: "Ordered by the Court that Christian Reinhardt's loft be the public gaol of said county until the end of next court, October Term, 1783."

   The courts of 1773 and 1774 were held at Christopher Carpenter's. He lived in the Beaver Dam section. There were some half-dozen Carpenters among the pioneers. Their signatures to all early deeds and wills are written in the German, Zimmerman.

   The commissioners appointed by Act of Assembly to select the place whereon to erect and build the court-house, prison and stocks of Tryon County, on 26th July, 1774, reported their selection of the place "called the crossroads on Christopher Mauney's land, between the heads of Long Creek, Muddy Creek, and Beaver Dam Creek in the county aforesaid as most central and convenient for the purpose aforesaid." The county court adjourned to meet at the "house of Christy Mauney or the cross-roads in his land." The site of the old Tryon court-house is eight miles south-west of Lincolnton, in Gaston County. October Sessions, 1774, were held at the house of Christian Mauney, and a room in his dwelling was used as a jail.

   The old county of Lincoln, with its fine farms and beautiful homes, dotted with towns and villages, and musical with the hum of machinery, the pioneers found a wild, luxuriant with native flora, the habitat of the red man and wild animals. There were herds of fleet-footed deer; there were clumsy brown bears and fierce wild cats and panthers; there were droves of buffalo, and countless beavers building their dams on the creeks. The early settlers waged a relentless war on these animals and set a bounty on many of their scalps. The scalps on which a price was set were the wolf, panther, wild cat, and such other as preyed on domestic animals. For killing a grown wolf the price was one pound; a young wolf ten shillings; a wild cat five shillings. The claims filed in court were for "scalp tickets." As late as October Sessions, 1774, there were audited in favor of individuals forty-nine "wolf scalp tickets." We still retain Indian, Beaver Dam, and Buffalo Creeks, Bear Ford, Wolf Gulch, and Buffalo Mountain, Buffalo Shoals, and the Indian names Catawba and Tuckaseegee, memorials of these primeval days.

   In Tryon County there were many loyal subjects of the king, and there was likewise a gallant band of patriots who as early as August, 1775, adopted and signed the following bold declaration:
"The unprecedented, barbarous and bloody actions committed by British troops on our American brethren near Boston, on 19th April and 20th of May last, together with the hostile operations and treacherous designs now carrying on, by the tools of ministerial vengeance, for the subjugation of all British America, suggest to us the painful necessity of having recourse to arms in defense of our National freedom and constitutional rights, against all invasions; and at the same time do solemnly engage to take up arms and risk our lives and our fortunes in maintaining the freedom of our country whenever the wisdom and counsel of the Continental Congress or our Provincial Convention shall declare it necessary; and this engagement we will continue in for the preservation of those rights and liberties which the principals of our Constitution and the laws of God, nature and nations have made it our duty to defend. We therefore, the subscribers, freeholders and inhabitants of Tryon County, do hereby faithfully unite ourselves under the most solemn ties of religion, honor and love to our county, firmly to resist force by force, and hold sacred till a reconciliation shall take place between Great Brittain and America on Constitutional principals, which we most ardently desire,and do firmly agree to hold all such persons as inimical to the liberties of America who shall refuse to sign this association. (Signed) John Walker, Charles McLean, Andrew Neel, Thomas Beatty, James Coburn, Frederick Hambright, Andrew Hampton, Benjamin Hardin, George Paris, William Graham, Robt. Alexander, David Jenkins, Thomas Espey, Perrygreen Mackness, James McAfee, William Thompson, Jacob Forney, Davis Whiteside, John Beeman, John Morris, Joseph Harden, John Robison, James McIntyre, Valentine Mauney, George Black, Jas. Logan, Jas. Baird, Christian Carpenter, Abel Beatty, Joab Turner, Jonathan Price, Jas. Miller, John Dellinger, Peter Sides, William Whiteside, Geo. Dellinger, Samuel Carpenter, Jacob Mauney, Jun., John Wells, Jacob Costner, Robert Hulclip, James Buchanan, Moses Moore, Joseph Kuykendall, Adam Simms, Richard Waffer, Samuel Smith, Joseph Neel, Samuel Loftin.

   In 1777 an act was passed establishing State courts, providing that all suits and indictments instituted and fines imposed "in the name or the use of the King of Great Brittain, when this territory was under his government, and owed allegiance to him, and all breaches on penal statues directed to be prosecuted in the name of the king shall be prosecuted and proceeded in the name of the State." This act terminated the "Crown Docket." and the King or Rex as prosecutor. The "State Docket" begins at October Sessions 1777.

   The change of government from royal to state in Tryon County was consummated without a jar. The last Tryon court was held January, 1779. During this year Tryon is blotted from the list of counties and War of the Revolution is in progress. Lincoln County became the scene of many thrilling Revolutionary events.

The Battle of Ramsour's Mill

   The Tories were embodied at Ramsour's Mill through the efforts of Lieut.-Col. John Moore and Maj. Nicholas Welch. These officers left the victorious British on the march from Charleston and arrived at their homes early in June, 1780. Moses Moore, the father of Colonel Moore, was a native of Carlyle, England, married a Miss Winston, near Jamestown, Virginia, and came to this section with the pioneers. Esther, a sister of Colonel Moore, married Joshua Roberts, a patriot soldier. The late Capt. John H. Roberts, a grandson, lived on the Moore homestead. It is situate on Indian Creek, eight miles southwest of Ramsour's Mill. Colonel Moore was an active partisan throughout the Revolution. Major Welch was a son of John Welch, and was reared next neighbor to Colonel Moore on Indian Creek. He was of Scottish descent, of great fluency of speech and fine persuasive power. They bore English commissions, were arrayed in splendid official equipments and made lavish display of British gold. By the twentieth of June, these zealous loyalists collected at Ramsour's Mill a force of 1,300 Tories, and were actively engaged in their organization and drill preparatory to marching them to unite with the British in South Carolina. They occupied a well-chosen and advantageous position for offense and defence. It was on a high ridge that slopes three hundred yards to the mill and Clarke's Creek on the west and the same distance to a branch on the east.

   Col. Francis Locke collected a force of Rowan and Mecklenburg militia to engage the Tories. His detachments met at Mountain Creek, sixteen miles from Ramsour's on Monday, the 19th, and when united amounted to four hundred men. They marched at once to the assault of the Tory position. At dawn of day on the morning of the 20th, in two miles of Ramsour's, they were met by Adam Reep, a noted scout, with a few picked men from the vicinity of the camp, who detailed to Colonel Locke the position of the enemy, and the plan of attack was formed. The mounted men under Captains McDowell, Brandon, and Falls, marching slowly were to follow the road due west to the camp, and not attack until the footmen under Colonel Locke could detour to the south, and reach the foot of the hill along the Tuckaseegee road, and make a simultaneous assault. They proceeded without other organization or order, it being left to the officers to be governed by circumstances when they reached the enemy.

   The mounted men came upon the Tory picket some distance from the camp, were fired upon, charged the Tory camp, but recoiled from their deadly fire. The firing hurried Colonel Locke into action, a like volley felled many of his men, and they likewise retired. The Tories, seeing the effect of their fire, came down the hill and were in fair view. The Whigs renewed the action, which soon became general and obstinate on both sides. In about an hour the Tories began to fall back to their original position on the ridge, and a little beyond its summit, to shield a part of their bodies from the destructive fire of the Whigs, who were fairly exposed to their fire. In this situation the Tory fire became so effective the Whigs fell back to the bushes near the branch; and the Tories, leaving their safe position, pursued half way down the hill. At this moment Captain Hardin led a company of Whigs into the field from the south and poured a galling fire into the right flank of the Tories. Some of the Whigs obliqued to the right, and turned the left flank of the Tories; while Captain Sharpe led a few men beyond the crest of the ridge, and, advancing from tree to tree, with unerring aim picked off the enemy's officers and men, and hastened the termination of the conflict. The action now became close and warm. The combatants mixed together, and having no bayonets, struck at each other with the butts of their guns. When the Whigs reached the summit they saw the Tories collected beyond the creek, with a white flag flying. Fifty Tories, unable to make the bridge, were taken prisoners. Those beyond soon dispersed and made their escape. One-fourth of the Tories were unarmed, and they with a few others retired at the commencement of the battle.

   Seventy men, including the five Whig and four Tory captains, lay dead on the field, and more than two hundred were wounded, the loss on each side being about equal. In this contest, armed with the deadly rifle, blood relatives and familiar acquaintances and near neighbors fought in the opposing ranks, and as the smoke of the battle occasionally cleared away recognized each other in the conflict.

The Battle of King's Mountain

   Col. Patrick Ferguson pitched his camp on the summit of King's Mountain, the 6th of October, 1780. So well pleased was he with his position that he gave vent to the impious boast that God Almighty could not drive him from it. In his army were eleven hundred men, brave and well disciplined, every one of whom knew what actual fighting meant. The patriot army aggregated a like number of eleven hundred men. Their only weapon was the long-barreled rifle in whose use they were experts. Ferguson had out foraging parties, and some of the patriots on foot could not keep up with the march, so it is probable the combatants on each side numbered nine hundred men.

   To Colonel Shelby is due the inception of the campaign and much of the mobilization of the patriot army. To its successful culmination the little band of Lincoln men, sixty in number, contributed their full share. They united with the mountain men in pursuit of Ferguson at the Cowpens about sunset on October the 6th. Between 8 and 9 o'clock of the same evening the army set out toward King's Mountain in quest of Ferguson. Enock Gilmer, an advance scout, dined at noon of the 7th with a Tory family. From them he learned that Ferguson's camp was only three miles distant, on a ridge between two creeks, where some deer hunters had a camp the previous fall. Major Chronicle and Captain Mattocks stated that the camp was theirs and that they well knew the ground on which Ferguson was encamped; whereupon it was agreed that they should plan a battle. They rode a short distance by themselves, and reported that it was an excellent place to surround Ferguson's army; that the shooting would all be uphill with no danger of destroying each other. The officers instantly agreed to the plan, and without stopping began to arrange their men, assigning to each officer the part he was to take in surrounding the mountain. To the north side were assigned Shelby, Williams, Lacey and Cleveland, and on the south side Campbell, Sevier, McDowell, and Winston, while the Lincoln men, under Lieutenant Col. Frederick Hambright, were to attack the northeast end of the mountain. It was three o'clock in the afternoon when the patriots reached their position, and Campbell's men were first to fire into the enemy. His column was charged by Ferguson's men with fixed bayonets, and driven down the mountain side. Shelby was advancing in quick time from the other side, so the enemy found it necessary to give attention to Shelby's assault, when Campbell's men returned to the fight, and Shelby and his men were forced to retreat before the dashing charge of Ferguson's bayonets. thus back and forth, Campbell, Sevier, McDowell and Winston on the one side, Shelby, Williams, Lacey, and Cleveland on the other, charged up the mountain and were driven back, only to renew the charge, until the mountain was enveloped in flame and smoke, and the rattle of musketry sounded like thunder.

   The South Fork boys marched to their position with quick step, Major Chronicle ten paces in advance, and heading the column were Enock Gilmer, Hugh Ewin, Adam Barry, and Robert Henry. Arriving at the end of the mountain, Major Chronicle cried, "Face to the Hill!" The words were scarcely uttered when they were fired upon by the enemy's sharp-shooters, and Major Chronicle and William Rabb fell dead. But they pressed up the hill under the leadership of Lieutenant-Colonel Hambright, Maj. Jos. Dixon, Capts. James Johnson, Samuel Espy, Samuel Martin, and James White. Before they reached the crest, the enemy charged bayonets, first , however, discharging their guns, killing Captain Mattocks and John Boyd and wounding Gilmer and John Chittim. As Robert Henry, a lad of sixteen, raised his gun to fire, a bayonet glanced along the barrel, through his hand and into his thigh. Henry discharged his gun, killing the Briton and both fell to the ground. Henry observed that many of his comrades were not more than a gun's length in front of the bayonets and the farthest not more than twenty feet. Reaching the foot of the hill, they reloaded, and fired with deadly effect upon their pursuers, in turn chasing their enemies up the mountain. William Caldwell, seeing Henry's condition, pulled the bayonet out of his thigh, kicked his hand from the bloody instrument and passed on. Thus the battle raged on all sides. No regiment, no man failed to do his duty. The unerring aim of the mountain men from behind every tree and every rock was rapidly diminishing the brave fighters under Ferguson, who began to despair. At the end of an hour Ferguson was killed and a white flag was hoisted in token of surrender. Three hundred of his men were dead and wounded, and six hundred prisoners. The Americans suffered a loss of twenty-eight killed and seventy-four wounded.

   Thus was fought one of the decisive battles of the Revolution. It was the enemy's first serious disaster and turned the tide of war. Ferguson and his army were wiped out of existence. Its immediate result was to check the enemy's progress until the patriots could muster strength for his final overthrow.

   The Lincoln County men, considering their small number, suffered considerably in the engagement: Maj. William Chronicle, Capt. John Mattocks, William Rabb, John Boyd and Arthur Patterson were killed; Moses Henry died soon thereafter in the hospital at Charlotte of the wound he received in the battle; Capt. Samuel Espey, Robert Henry, William Gilmer, John Chittim, and William Bradley were wounded. The Tories, shooting down the steep mountain side, much of their aim was too high. Lieutenant-Colonel Hambright's hat was perforated with three bullet holes, and he received a shot through the thigh, his boot filled and ran over with blood, but he remained in the fight till the end, gallantly encouraging his men.

Cornwallis In Pursuit Of Morgan

   Morgan defeated Colonel Tarleton in a signal victory at the Cowpens, South Carolina, 17th January, 1781. In less than an hour five-hundred of Tarleton's Legion were prisoners, the remainder were slain and scattered, and he scampering in mad haste to Cornwallis, then but twenty-five miles distant. General Morgan, anxious to hold every one of his prisoners to exchange for the Continental line of North Carolina captured at Charleston, and then languishing on British prison ships, while Cornwallis, in command of 4,000 well-equipped veterans, gave pursuit. Colonel Washington's calvary, with the prisoners, safely crossed the Catawba at the Island ford; the prisoners were sent on, while Washington rejoined General Morgan, who had crossed with the main army eight or nine miles farther down at Sherrill's Ford, where they tarried awhile on the eastern bank.

   The British came by way of the old Tryon court-house. Cornwallis says "I therefore assembled the army on the 25th at Ramsour's Mill on the south fork of the Catawba, and as the loss of my light troops could only be remedied by the activity of the whole corps, I employed a halt of two days in collecting some flour, and destroying superfluous baggage, and all my wagons except those loaded with hospital stores, and four reserved in readiness for sick and wounded." Steadman says that Lord Cornwallis, "by first reducing the size and quantity of his own, set an example which was cheerfully followed by all the officers in his command, although by so doing they sustained a considerable loss. No wagons were reserved except those loaded with hospital stores, salt and ammunition, and four empty ones for the accommodation of the sick and wounded. And such was the ardour, both of officers and soldiers, and their willingness to submit to any hardship for the promotion of the service, that this arrangement, which deprived them of all future supply of provisions, was acquiesced in without a murmur."

   Cornwallis crossed the South Fork River at the Reep ford, one mile from Ramsour's Mill, and pitched his marquee on the Ramsour battle-ground; O'Hara remained on the west bank of the river at the Reep place; Webster occupied the hill west of Ramsour's Mill; while Tarleton who had crossed the river three miles lower down, between the Laboratory and the present railway bridge, in rejoining his chief, camped on the hill south of Cornwallis. Foraging parties were sent out in different directions to collect grain, and Ramsour's Mill was kept running day and night converting the grain into flour to replenish his Lordship's commissary.

   In the destruction of baggage, Cornwallis first ordered his splendid camp chest burned. His mahogany tea chest with the remainder of his tea, and six solid silver spoons, he sent to Mrs. Barbara Reinhardt, wife of Christian Reinhardt, with a note requesting she accept them. These presents were treasured and carefully preserved. At the breaking out of the Civil War they belonged to a granddaughter, whose sons were Confederate volunteers. Believing an old saying that whoever carries anything in war that was carried in another war by a person not killed, will likewise be unharmed, she gave each of her sons one of the silver spoons, and the others to neighbor boys, and in this way the spoons were lost and Federal bullets shattered faith in their charm. the chest is yet preserved. After the conflagration many irons were tumbled in the mill-pond while others left on the ground were picked up by citizens. The mill-dam was taken down the next summer and much iron valuable to the farmers taken out. A few defective muskets were found; also one piece of artillery, so damaged it was not removed from the mud. Where the whiskey and rum bottles were broken the fragments lay in heaps for years. These were afterwards gathered up and sold to the potters for glazing purposes.

   To this destruction of his whole material train and necessary outfit for a winter campaign Judge Schenck attributes the final discomfiture of Cornwallis at Guilford Court House. The supplies he burned could not be replaced short of Wilmington, and thither he was compelled to go when a reverse met his arms.

   While here Cornwallis requested Christian Reinhardt to point out Colonel Moore's position, and describe the battle of Ramsour's Mill. At the conclusion his only observation was that Colonel Moore had a fine position, but did not have the tact to defend it; that he ought not to have risked a battle but should have fallen back to Ferguson.

   Early on the morning of the 28th the British broke camp and marched toward Beattie's Ford, a distance of twelve miles to Jacob Forney's. The moving Britons, in scarlet uniforms with glittering muskets, made an impressive sight, and tradition still preserves their route. Jacob Forney was a thrifty farmer and well-known Whig. Here they encamped three days, consuming his entire stock of cattle, hogs, sheep and poultry, and taking his horses and forty gallons of brandy. Some state that Cornwallis approached the Catawba on the evening of the 28th, and found it considerably swollen and impassable for his infantry and this caused him to fall back to Jacob Forney's plantation.

The Battle of Cowan's Ford

   The tardiness of Cornwallis was not altogether due to the flushed condition of the Catawba, however much the swollen waters of the Yadkin and the Dan may have later impeded his pursuit. The prime cause of delay was the vigilance of the WhigsBritish, Gen. William Davidson placed guards at the in guarding the several fords. On the approach of the Tuckaseegee, Tool'sCowan's fords; with his greatest force and Capt. Joseph Graham's cavalry troops, he took position and himself at Beattie's Ford; while Washington were at Sherrill's Ford. Cornwallis kept posted on these Morgan and dispositions. Cowan's was a private ford, guarded only by Davidson with twenty-five men. After getting the best Lieut. Thomas information he could obtain, Cornwallis resolved to attempt the passage at Cowan's Ford. Each army was keeping close watch on the movements of the other. On the 30thCaptain Graham's cavalry was dispatched across Beattie's Ford and ascertained that the British were encamped within four miles, and in two miles they discovered one hundred of the enemy's cavalry, who followed them to the river but kept a respectful distance, evincing fear of an ambuscade. Green, Morgan,the afternoon of the 31st and held a and Washington came to Davidson's headquarters at Beattie's Ford on consultation. The British vanguard of four or five hundred men appeared on the opposite hill beyond the river and viewed the American position. After portion of his force at Beattie's Ford, under Colonel Farmer, General Green's departure, leaving a General Davidsonwith 250 men and the cavalry, marched down the river four miles to Cowan's Ford, where he arrived after , dark.

   The river at Cowan's Ford is one-fourth of a mile wide. The wagon ford went directly across the river. The horse ford, entering at the same place, obliqued down the river, through an island and came out on the Mecklenburg side a quarter mile lower down. The latter was the shallower and most used, and the one the British were expected to follow, so General Davidson took position on the hill overlooking this ford. Above the coming-out place of the wagon ford was a narrow strip of level bottom, and then an abrupt hill. Lieutenant Davidson's picket remained at their post on this level strip, fifty steps above the landing and near the water's edge.

   Cornwallis broke camp at one in the morning of the first of February, and detached Lieutenant-Colonel Webster with that part of the army and all the baggage to Beattie's Ford, where General Davidson was supposed to be posted, with direction to make every possible demonstration by cannonading and otherwise of an intention of forcing a passage, while he marched to Cowan's Ford, arriving at the bank of the river as day began to break. The command of the front was given to Colonel Hall of the Guards. Under the guidance of Frederick Hager, a Tory living on the west bank, employed by Cornwallis on account of his familiarity with the ford, the bold Britons plunged into the river, with the firm determination of encountering the small band of Americans on the eastern bank. When one hundred yards in the river they were discovered and fired upon by Lieutenant Davidson's picket which aroused the guard, who kept up the fire, but the enemy continued to advance. No sooner did the guide who attended the light infantry to show them the ford, hear the report of the sentinel's musket that he turned around and left them. This, at first seemed to portend much mischief but in the end proved fortunate for the British. Colonel Hall, forsaken by his guide, and not knowing the true direction of the ford, led his column directly across the river to the nearest point of the opposite bank. The picket fire alarmed Davidson's camp, who paraded at the horse ford, then Graham's cavalry was ordered to the assistance of the picket. By the time the cavalry were in position on the high bank, and ready for action the British were within fifty yards of the Mecklenburg shore. The cavalry poured a destructive fire into the advancing columns. The British did not fire a gun while in the water; as they landed they loaded their guns and fired up the bank. The firing was kept up some minutes, but the Whigs soon retreated from the unequal contest.

   By the time his Lordship crossed the river Webster had his force in array on the face of the hill fronting Beattie's Ford, and was making demonstrations of attempting a passage. His front lines were firing by platoons, a company went into the water fifty steps and fired; while four cannon were booming for half an hour, the flying balls cutting off the limbs of trees and tearing up the opposite bank, the sound rolling down the river like peals of thunder. All this, however, was only a feint. Colonel Farmer, being notified by an aide of General Davidson, that the enemy had crossed at Cowan's Ford, retired. The pickets at other points were notified and all united at John McKnitt Alexander's that afternoon, eight miles from Charlotte; while Cornwallis united his forces two miles from Beattie's Ford at Given's farm.

   In this action, the Americans lost General Davidson, a gallant, brave and generous officer, and three others. Of the British, Colonel Hall and another officer and twenty-nine privates were killed and thirty-five wounded. the horse of Cornwallis was shot and fell dead as he ascended the bank. Lord cornwallis on the 2d of February returns his thanks "to the Brigade of Guards for their cool and determined bravery in the passage of the Catawba, while rushing through that long and difficult ford under galling fire."

Importance Of These Engagements

   On the 18th June, 1780, General Rutherford, in command of the Mecklenburg and Rowan militia, marched to attack the Tories at Ramsour's Mill. At the Catawba, Col. William Graham, with the Lincoln County Regiment, united with General Rutherford, swelling his command to twelve hundred. He encamped at Col. Joseph Dickson's, three miles from the Tuckaseegee, twenty miles from Ramsour's and about the same distance from Colonel Locke on Mountain Creek. General Rutherford dispatched a message directing Colonel Locke to join him at the Dickson place on the evening of the 19th or the morning of the 20th. Colonel Locke likewise dispatched James Johnston to inform General Rutherford of his intention to give the Tories battle on the morning of the 20th. However, no junction was formed and after a hard and well-fought battle Colonel Locke defeated the Tories. General Rutherford followed the Tuckaseegee road and arrived at Ramsour's Mill two hours after the battle. The dead and most of the wounded were lying where they fell. General Rutherford remained here two days sending Davie's Cavalry and other troops in pursuit of the Tories, thus accenting the victory and making the defeat crushing and complete, subduing the loyalist spirit, with consequent encouragement of the patriots.

   Three days after the battle Allaire, who was with Ferguson, referring to the battle of Ramsour's Mill, recorded in his dairy: "Friday, 23d. Lay in the field at Ninety-six. some friends came in. four were wounded. the militia had embodied at Tuckaseegee, on the South Fork of the Catawba river. Were attacked by a party of rebels, under command of General Rutherford. the militia were scant of ammunition, which obliged them to retreat. They were obliged to swim the river at the milldam. The Rebels fired on them and killed thirty." Col. John Moore with thirty men reached Cornwallis at Camden, where he was threatened with a trial by court-martial for hastening organization in advance of Ferguson.

   The Battle of Ramsour's Mill was fraught with important results. It was fought at a gloomy period of the Revolution, when the cause of liberty seemed prostrate and hopeless in the South. The victorious British considered South Carolina and Georgia restored to English rule and were planning the invasion of North Carolina. It marks the turning point in the war. But for this battle Moore and Welch could have reinforced Ferguson with an army of 1,500 or 2,000 men, and there might have been no King's Mountain or King's Mountain with a different result. But instead of aid to Ferguson, the Lincoln Regiment with the South Carolinians under Hill and Lacey were again encamped on the Catawba, and when Colonel Williams crossed the Tuckaseegee, and united with these troops, the entire force encountered no opposition, followed the Tuckaseegee rod,via Ramsour's Mill, the Flint Hill road to Cherry Mountain, later uniting with the mountain men at the Cowpens, the next day helping to destroy Ferguson, and gain the glorious victory, that makes the name of Kings Mountain famous in our country's history, of which the Battle of Cowpens, Guilford Court House and the surrender of Cornwallis at Yorktown were the direct consequences.

Lincoln County Pension Roll

   On the pension roll as late as 1834, more than fifty years after the Revolution, the following is the Lincoln County list of soldiers yet living and drawing pension: Robert Abernathy, Vincent Allen, Christian Arny, Matthew Armstrong, Robert Berry, Jonas Bradshaw, Caspar Bolick, Alexander Brevard, Samuel Caldwell, William Carroll, John Chittim, Michael Cline, Samuel Collins, Martin Coulter, Thomas Costner, George Dameron, Joseph Dixon, Peter Eddlemon, William Elmore, Samuel Espey, James Farewell, Abraham Forney, Robinson Goodwin, Joseph Graham, William Gregory, Nathan Gwaltney, Nicholas Hafner, Simon Hager, John Harman, John Helm, James Henry, James Hill, John Kidd, John Kincaid, Robert Knox, Shadrack Lefcy, Tapley Mahannas, Marmaduke Maples, Samuel Martin, Thomas Mason, William Mayes, William McCarthy, William McLean, Nathan Mendenhall, Alexander Moore, John Moore, William Moore, Jeremiah Mundy, Humphrey Parker, Hiram Pendleton, Jacob Plonk, William Potter, William Rankin, Charlie Regan, Adam Reep, Joshua Roberts, James Robinson, Henry Rumfeldt, Peter Schrum, John Stamey, Bartholomew Thompson, Charles Thompson, Phillip Tillman, Conrad Tippong, Robert Tucker, John Turbyfill, Charles Whit, John Wilfong, Joseph Willis, James Wilkinson, and Elisha Withers.

Lincolnton and Lincoln County

   When Tryon County was divided the Tryon Court-house fell in Lincoln county, but too near its western border for public convenience. the courts for part of the years 1783 and 1784 were held at the house of Capt. Nicholas Friday. His residence stood on the east side of the river, seven miles south of Lincolnton. The courts of July and October sessions, 1784, were held at the house of Henry Dellinger, and his spring house was designated as the "gaol." This spring house was a two-story affair, the lower stone, the upper logs; the upper story was used as the public jail. Some of the prisoners escaping, the sheriff was ordered "to make use of a room in Henry Dellinger's house to be strengthened for the purposes of a common gaol." The sheriffs, for protection against the escape of prisoners from these very odd jails, always entered on the court record their"protest against the sufficiency of said gaol." The site of Henry Dellinger's home is Magnolia, six miles southeast of Lincolnton, where the late John B.Smith lived.

   While the location of the county seat remained an open question, the map of the county changed. In 1753, the western portion of the Granville domain was set up into the county of Rowan. Rowan in 1777, was divided by a line beginning on the Catawba River at the Tryon and Mecklenburg corner, thence up the meanders of the said river to the north end of an island, known as "the Three Cornered Island," etc. and the territory west and south of said line erected into a new county, by the name of Burke, and the county seat, Morganton, located fifty miles from the southeast part of the county on the Catawba. It being represented to the General Assembly that "certain of the inhabitants of Burke labor under great hardships in attending on courts and other public meetings from their remote situation from the court-house," in 1782, it enacted that all that part of Burke from Sherrill's Ford to the Fish Dam Ford of the South Fork, "and from thence a southwest course to Earl Granville's old line," be taken from Burke and added to Lincoln County. In 1784 a greater slice of Burke was added to Lincoln. The line separating the counties began at the Horse Ford on the Catawba and ended at the same point in the Granville line. This is now a noted point, known as the "Three County Corner," the county of Lincoln, Burke and Cleveland, and is the only established point in the old Granville line west of the Catawba River.

   In the history of Lincolnton and Lincoln County the name of Joseph Dickson stands conspicuous. The site of his homestead is two miles northwest of Mount Holly, on the line of the Seaboard Air Line Railroad. General Rutherford, en route to attack the Tories at Ramsour's Mill encamped at Dickson's the night before the battle. He accompanied General Rutherford next day, passing over the ground the vacant land, where five years later, the grant was made him as proprietor in trust for the citizens of Lincoln county. He was one of the immortal heroes of King's Mountain. With the rank of major he was one of the officers that led the South Fork boys up the rugged northeast end of the mountain, facing with undaunted spirit the lead and the charge of the enemy's bayonet. In 1781 he opposed the British invasion of North Carolina, serving with the rank of colonel. During this year he was elected county clerk, which office he held the next ten years. He was chairman of the committee that selected the site of Lincolnton, and the grant for the land on which the town was built was made to him. The grantor to all original purchasers of lots is, "Joseph Dickson, Esq., proprietor in trust for the commissioners appointed to lay off a town in the county of Lincoln by the name of Lincolnton." He was chosen Senator from Lincoln County in 1788, and continuously succeeded himself until 1795. In 1789 he was one of the forty great men of the State selected by the General Assembly to constitute the first trustees of the University of North Carolina. He then served as a general in the militia. From 1799 to 1801 he was a member of Congress. December 27th, 1803 he sold his plantation of twelve hundred acres, and removed to Rutherford County, Tennessee, where he died, April 24th, 1825, aged eighty years, and was buried with military and Masonic honors.

   Lincolnton is situate 869 feet above sea level in the hill country of the great Piedmont belt. In the county are Reece, Clubbs, Daily, Rush, and Buffalo Mountains; they are small peaks not larger than Hog Hill in the northern part of the county. From Lincolnton mountains are visible in almost every direction. On the northeast is Anderson's Mountain; in the southwest looms up King's mountain, on whose historic heights was fought the memorable battle that broke the power of the British crown; in line with King's mountain to the south can be seen Spencer, Crowder, and Pasour Mountain; in the north and northwest are Baker's Mountain, Carpenters, and Ben's Knobs, and numerous peaks of the south Mountains; while in the distance in solemn grandeur lies the upturned face of the Grandfather; and yet still farther away rise the far-distant peaks of the great Blue Ridge. The Carolina and Northwestern Railroad comes in from Chester, South Carolina, and runs northwesterly into the heart of the mountains of North Carolina; while from the east comes in the Seaboard Air Line, and extends westwardly to Rutherfordton.

   Lincoln thus remained a large county until 1841, when the first slice was taken to form, with a portion of Rutherford, the county of Cleveland. In 1842, Catawba was set up from Lincoln by an east and west line passing one and a half miles north of Lincolnton. In 1846, the southern part was set off into the county of Gaston, by a line to pass four and a half miles south of Lincolnton, and four miles of Catawba ceded back to Lincoln. the formation of these new counties reduced Lincoln to a narrow strip, ten miles in width with and average length of thirty miles, and it is with this strip that the remainder of this narrative will deal. Lincoln County is bounded on the north by Catawba County; on the east by the Catawba river, which separates it from Iredell and Mecklenburg; on the south by Gaston; on the west by Cleveland, and one-fourth mile of Burke.

First Superior Court Clerk

   Lawson Henderson was long an influential citizen, filling the offices of county surveyor, sheriff, and clerk of the county and Superior Courts. He was a son of James Henderson, a pioneer settler, and was appointed Superior Court Clerk for life under the Act of Assembly of 1806 establishing a Superior Court in each county of the State. He served from April term, 1807 to Fall term, 1835, when he resigned. At Fall term, 1833, John D. Hoke applied for the clerk's office having been elected pursuant to act of 1832. Then followed the suit of "Hoke vs. Henderson," in which Mr. Henderson was the winner. This was a famous case. It decided that an office is property, and was not reversed until 1903, and then by majority opinion, two justices dissenting.

Pleasant Retreat Academy

   This school occupied four acres in the northern part of Lincolnton. From its institution it bore the attractive name of Pleasant Retreat Academy. The older students delighted to speak of its refreshing shades- the oak and the hickory interspersed with the chestnut and the chinquepin- and the spring at the foot of the hill. It was chartered by the General Assembly, 10th December, 1813, with the following trustees: Rev. Philip Henkle, Rev. Humphrey Hunter, Lawson Henderson, Joseph Graham, John Fullenwider, John Hoke, Peter Forney, Robert Williamson, Daniel Hoke, J. Reinhardt, Vardry McBee, David Ramsour, Peter Hoyle, Henry Y. Webb, George Carruth, William McLean, Robert Burton, John Reid, and David Reinhardt. In this school were trained a long roll of men whose names adorn their county's history. Of its students....
James Pinkey Henderson, son of Maj. Lawson Henderson, sought the broad area of the "Lone Star State" for the full development of his giant intellect and won fortune and fame. An eminent lawyer, Attorney - General of the Republic of Texas, its minister Plenipotentiary and Envoy Extraordinary to France, England and the United States, Major-General of the United States Army in the War with Mexico, Governor of Texas, and at the time of death, United States Senator, he adorned the positions his courage and talents won.

   William Lander, brillant, impetuous, and chivalric, was one of the foremost advocates of the bar and member of the convention from Lincoln county that passed the Ordinance of Secession. Afterwards his splendid eloquence found congenial fellowship amid the fiery spirits of the Confederate Congress. Lawyer, solicitor, legislator, and member of the Confederate Congress, he has a monument of love and affection in the hearts of those who knew him best. His brother, Rev. Samuel Lander, was a man of broad scholarship, and educator of note, and a preacher of wide repute.

   Thomas Dews, when a mere lad, entered the State University, graduated in the class of 1824, taught awhile in the Pleasant Retreat, and began the practice of law. He was drowned in the Second Broad River, August 4th, 1838, aged 30 years, 2 months and 25 days. his remains lie in honor beneath a marble shaft, the tribute of a noble-heated woman to the man who adored her while he lived, and marks the spot where rests he lover and her love. Judge William H. Battle knew Mr. Dews at Chapel Hill and often spoke of his talents and his genius. Toward the close of an address before the literary societies at the commencement of 1865, growing reminiscent, Judge Battle said: " I will occupy a few more moments of your time in recalling from the dim recollections of the past the names of a few men, each of whom was well-regarded as a college genius of the day, and who with well-directed energies, and a longer life might have left a name the world would not willingly let die. In the year 1824 thomas Dews, a young man from the county of Lincoln, took his degree of Bachelor of Arts, dividing with Prof. Sims, Judge Manly and ex-governor Graham the highest honor of the class. His parents were poor, and it is said resorted to the humble occupation of selling cakes for the purpose of procuring means for the education of their promising boy. After graduation, he studied law and commenced the practice with every prospect of eminent success, when unhappily, a morbid sensitiveness of temperament drove him to habits of intemperance, during one of the fits he came to an untimely end. His name, which ought to have gone down to posterity on account of the great deeds achieved by extraordinary talents, will probably be remembered only in connection with a happily-turned impromptu epitaph". Yet it has gone down in history immortalized by his neighbor and friend, Col. James R. Dodge, a distinguished practitioner for many years at the Lincolnton bar. Colonel Dodge was a son of Gen. Richard Dodge and Sarah Ann Dodge, his mother being the sister of Washington Irving, of New York. Those acquainted with the playful writings of Washington Irving will not be surprised at the spontaneous retort of his nephew. But one residence separated the Dews home from that of colonel Dodge in Lincolnton. At April term. 1832 of Rutherford Superior Court, David L. Swain, afterwards Governor, was on the bench and in the bar were Samuel Hillman, Tom Dews and Mr. Dodge. While Mr. dodge was addressing the jury, Judge Swain recalled a punning epitaph on a man named Dodge, wrote it on a piece of paper, and passed it around to the merriment of the bar; and when Colonel Dodge had finished his speech, he found it lying on his table:
" Epitaph of James R. Dodge, Esq., Attorney-At-Law
"Here lies a Dodge, who dodged all good,
And dodged a deal of evil,
Who after dodging all he could,
He could not dodge the Devil."

   Mr. Dodge read the paper, turned it over and wrote on the other side:
"Epitaph of Three Attorneys"
"Here lies a Hillman and a Swain,
Whose lot let no man choose;
They lived in sin and died in pain,
And the Devil got his Dews."(dues)

   Among the post-bellum students are Hoke Smith, lawyer, journalist, Secretary of the Interior, and Governor of Georgia; William Alexander Hoke, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of North Carolina; William E. Shipp, Lieutenant Tenth United States Cavalry, killed on San Juan Hill, Battle of Santiago, July 1st, 1898; T.H. Cobb, Beverly C. Cobb, David Robinson, Charles C. Cobb, and Lemuel B. Wetmore, lawyers; Silas McBee, Editor of the Churchman; Rev. William L. Sherrill of the Western North Carolina Conference; William E. Grigg, banker; Blair and Hugh Jenkins, Charles and Henry Robinson, merchants; William W. Motz, architect and builder; William A. Costner, Thomas J. Ramsour, Charles M. Sumner, farmers and a long list of others.

   The Pleasant Retreat Academy property has been transferred to the Daughters of the Confederacy for a Memorial Hall. In this there is eminent fitness, for among its students were Willaim A. Graham, Confederate States Senator; William Lander, member of the confederate Congress; Maj. Gen. Stephen D. Ramsour; Maj. Gen. Robert F. Hoke; Col. John F. Hoke; Maj. Frank Schenck;Capts. James F. Johnston; Joseph W. Alexander, George W. Seagle, George L. Phifer, James D. Wells, and others, making an honor roll of more than a hundred Confederate soldiers.

   Lincolnton Female Academy was chartered by the General Assembly December 21st, 1821, with James Bivings, Vardry McBee, David Hoke, John Mushatt, Joseph E. Bell, and Joseph Morris, trustees.  Four acres on the south side of the town were conveyed to the trustees for school purposes, and the two school properties were connected by Academy street. The Female Academy likewise had a long and useful career. It is now the site of the Lincolnton graded school.

Early Settlers and Churches

   The Early settlers of Lincoln were Scotch-Irish and German origin. There were but a few of other nationalities. They came in swarms, by "hundreds of wagons from the northwards." About the year 1750, the Scotch-Irish settlement covered both banks of the Catawba, so the eastern portion of Lincoln was populated by this race, while the South Fork and its tributaries- the remainder of the county-were contemporaneously settled by Germans.

   The Scotch-Irish are stern and virile, noted for hatred of sham, hypocrisy and oppression. the Germans are hardy and thrifty, characterized by love of home and country, tenacious of custom and slow to change. Both were a liberty-loving, God-fearing people, among whom labor was dignified and honorable. A charm about these pioneers is, that their heads were not turned by ancestral distinction. They were self-reliant and mastered the primeval forest, with its hardships and disadvantages. they became adept in handicraft and combated the foes of husbandry in and unsettled region. They were silent heroes who shaped destiny and imbued unborn generations with strength of character and force of will. The early Scotch-Irish preachers taught the creed of Calvin and Knox, and the first place of worship on the east side was Presbyterian. The pioneer Germans were followers of the great central figure of the Reformation, Martin Luther, and the Swiss Reformer, Ulrick Zwingle, and the oldest place of worship on the west side is Lutheran and Reformed. Today the county is dotted with churches which according to numerical strength, rank in the following order; Methodist Episcopal, Baptist, Lutheran, Methodist, Prostestant, Presbyterian, Reformed, and Protestant Espicopal.

   When churches were few camp meetings were held by the Presbyterians, Baptists, Reformed, Prostestants and Methodists. They have all been discontinues except one, the celebrated Rock Springs Camp Meeting of the Methodists in east Lincoln. There a great arbor is surrounded by three hundred tents, and the meeting is held annually since 1830. It is incorporated after the style of a town, and governed much the same way. It is held on forty-five acres of ground conveyed 7th August, 1830 by Joseph M. Mundy to Freeman Shelton, Richard Proctor and James Bivings, trustees of the Methodist Episcopal Church, Lincoln circuit. The estate an owner has in a lot is conditional, and ceases upon failure to keep and maintain a tent on it. The meeting continues one week an embraces the second Sunday in August. It is attended by all denominations from the surrounding counties by ten thousand to fifteen thousand people. Deep religious interest is manifest and many date their conversion from these meetings. Viewed from a social standpoint this is also a great occasion. The old camp ground combines the best elements of social life in the country, city and summer resort. Rock Springs is the successor of an older camp ground called Robey's, which is situate near the Catawba Springs.

   The memory of the old people runs back to the time when the printing press had not filled the churches with hymn books, where there were no church organs, nor organists to lead the choir. In those days the congregations sung, being led by a precentor called the clerk, a man of importance, and the minister lined out the hymn. Four young men from Lincolnton attended a camp meeting. When the minister lined a a couplet of a familiar hymn, the congregation followed the clerk, sung the couplet and paused for the nest. The four boys, filled with the spirit of John Barleycorn, paused not, but in well-trained musical voice, carrying the several parts finished the stanza; then the second and entire hymn to the dismay of the minister, clerk and dumbfounding the congregation. A charge of disturbing the public worship was preferred in the courts, conviction followed and the offenders sentenced to sit one hour in the stocks.

   Most of the people in North Brook, the western township in the county are Methodist, Protestants, and they have one church, Fairfield, near the Catawba River on the eastern side of the county.

   Long Creek was the first Baptist church established in Lincoln County, either in 1772 or 1777. It is on Long Creek, one mile from Dallas. Hebron was organized at Abernathy Ferry on the Catawba about 1792, six miles from Beattie's Ford was Earhardt's church, constituted in the 18th century. Abraham Earhardt, upon whose land the church was located, was an ordained minister and preached at his church and elsewhere. He married Catharine Forney, a sister of Peter, Abram and Jacob Forney, and owned more than a thousand acres of land, on which he operated a flouring mill, a tan yard, a blacksmith shop and a distillery. The Earhardt place is now the home of Maj. W.A. Graham. Today the Baptists have churches in every section of the county.

   The act of the Provincial Assembly in 1768, erecting that portion of Mecklenburg County west of the Catawba into a separate county by the name of Tryon, also created Saint Thomas Parish; and according to the custom of the day, county and parish were coterminous. While nominally under a church establishment, no clergyman of the Church of England exercised any pastoral care in colonial days. In 1785 Robert Johnson Miller, afterwards known as Parson Miller, came to Lincoln, and became the religious teacher, lay reader, and catechist of the Episcopalians he found in the county. While avowing himself an Episcopalian, he receive Lutheran ordination. In 1806 he resigned his Lincoln Charge to David Henkel, a Lutheran licentiate, and removed to Burke. From 1785 to 1823, Parson Miller was almost the only Episcopal minister in this region. In 1823 John Stark Ravenscroft was elected Bishop, Parson Miller being in the chair. The Bishop visited Lincoln county in 1824, and in the three parishes of Smyrna, White Haven and St. Peter's confirmed forty-one persons. In 1828 he again visited Catawba springs and endeavored to collect the remains of the three old parishes in that neighborhood, but found it a hopeless task. While at the Springs he preached at Beattie's Ford and "on sunday in the public room at the Springs to such company as a rainy day detained from visiting a camp meeting in the vicinity." In the year 1835 Dr Moses A. Curtis, the noted botanist, was stationed in Lincolnton. The year 1837 found him in another field. On the 2d of March, 1842 Col. John Hoke conveyed to "E.M. Forbes, Jeremiah W. Murphy, T. N. Herndon, Michael Hoke, Leonard E. Thompson and Haywood W. Guion, vestry and trustees of the Saint Luke's church in Lincolnton, the lot on which Saint Luke's church yet stands. Its rectors have been Rev. T.S.W. Mott, Rev. H.H. Hewitt, Rev. C.T. Bland, Rev. G.M. Everhart, and Rev. Dr. W.R. Wetmore for forty years from 1862 until his death.

   Rev. Robert Johnston Miller was born in Scotland July 11th, 1758. His parents designed him for the ministry, and sent him to the Dundee classical school. Before he entered the ministry he migrated to America, arriving in Charlestown, Massachusetts, A.D. 1774. Soon after the colonies declared their independence and young Miller at once espoused the cause of liberty, and when General Greene passed through Boston, he enlisted as a Revolutionary soldier. He participated in the battles of Long Island, where he was wounded in the face, of Brandywine, White Plains, and the siege of Valley Forge. With the army he traveled south, where he remained after peace was restored and the army disbanded. He began his work as a licentiate of the Episcopal Church without authority to administer the sacraments. His people of White Haven church, in Lincoln County, sent a petition to the Lutheran pastors of Cabarrus and Rowan, with high recommendations, praying that he might be ordained by them, which accordingly was done at St.John's church, Cabarrus county, on the 20th of May, 1794. His ordination certificate reads: "To all to whom it may concern, Greeting: Whereas, A great number of Christian people in Lincoln County have formed themselves into a society by name of White Haven church, and have also formed a vestry: We the subscribers having been urged by a pressing call from the said church to ordain a minister for the good of their children, and for the enjoyment of ye gospel ordinances among them, from us, the ministers of the Lutheran Church in North Carolina, have solemnly ordained," etc. *** "according to ye infallible word of God, administer ye sacraments, and to have ye care of souls; he always being obliged to obey ye rules, ordinances and customs of ye Christian Society, called ye Protestant Episcopal Church in America," etc. This White haven was situated near the Catawba, on the opposite side of the great highway from Castanea Presbyterian church. The Lutherans subsequently built a White Haven three miles north on the same highway. Rev. Miller attended the Episcopal Convention, held in Raleigh, April 28th, 1821. His object was to connect himself fully with the Episcopal Church, to which he really belonged. As there was no Episcopal diocese at the time of his ordination in the State, he felt it his duty to form a temporary connection with the Lutheran Church, was admitted a member of the Lutheran Synod at its organization in 1803, and labored for her welfare twenty-seven years, until 1821, when he served that connection, and was ordained to deacon's and priest's orders in the Episcopal ministry. Mr Miller likewise attended the Lutheran North Carolina Synod in 1821, and from its minutes the following is quoted;"The president now reported that the Rev. R.J. Miller, who had labored for many years as one of our ministers had been ordained by the Bishop of the Episcopal Church as a priest at a convention of that church, but he had always regarded himself ordained by our ministry, with the understanding tht he still belonged to the Episcopal Church. But as the said church had now reorganized itself (in this State) he has united himself with it, and thus disconnected himself from our Synod, as was allowed him at his ordination by our ministers. Rev. Miller then made a short address before Synod, and the congregation then assembled, in which he distinctly explained his position, so that no one should be able to say tht he had apostatized from our Synod, since he had been ordained by our Ministerium as a minister of the Episcopal Church. He then promised tht he would still aid and stand by us as much as lay in his power. With this explanation the whole matter was well understood by the entire assembly, and was deemed perfectly satisfactory. Whereupon it was resolved that the president tender to Rev. Miller our sincere thanks, and in the name of the Synod, for faithful services he had hereto rendered our church. This was immediately done in a feeling manner." Mr. Miller died in 1833. One of the last acts of his ministry was to marry in that year Col. Michael Hoke and Miss Frances Burton, daughter of Judge Robert H. Burton. The marriage took place at Beattie's Ford. A carriage was sent to bring Mr. Miller from Burke to solemnize it. Some time after marriage Colonel and Mrs. Hoke were confirmed. One of their sons is the distinguished Confederate General Robert. F. Hoke.

   Col. W. L. Saunders, eminent authority, pays the State a tribute (Col.Records, IV, Pref. Notes) that applies to Lincoln County: "Remembering the route that General Lee took when he went into Pennsylvania on the memorable Gettysburg campaign, it will be seen that very many of the North Carolina boys, both German and Scotch-Irish descent, in following their great leader, visited the homes of their ancestors, and went thither by the very route by which they came away. To Lancaster and York counties in Pennsylvania, North Carolina owes more of her population than to any other part of the known world, and surely there was never a better population than they and their descendants-never better citizens, and certainly never better soldiers."

   As the waters of the Catawba, that lave its eastern border, and the South Fork, that flows through its center, united as they left old Lincoln in their onward sweep to form the Great Catawba, so have the settlers on the Catawba and the South Fork merged into a Scotch-Irish-German people, preserving the virtues, and mayhap the weaknesses of a noble ancestry. These settlements will be noticed separately.

The Scotch-Irish Side

   Early in the eighteenth century the Scotch-Irish emigrated to Pennsylvania, and from thence some came direct, while others, and their descendants settled in Virginia before coming to this section. A few of these settlers may have been of other nationalities, but a careful writer has referred to this part of the country as "one of the areas of North Carolina, dominated by the sturdy Scotch-Irish strain; where the thistle and the shamrock were planted toward the close of the eighteenth century; where they throve and flourished, and unaided produced results marvelous for the place and time. The Scotch gumption and Irish ardor, finely blended, was the patrimony of this section."

   On the early maps of the Great Catawba marked the tribal division between the Catawbas and the Cherokees. East if the River dwelt the Catawba, once a numerous and powerful people. this nation "writ its name in water," the Catawba embalms it and it will be perpetuated while its majestic waters flow
"To where the Atlantic lifts her voice to pour
A song of praise upon the sounding shore."

   As the white settlements extended, the Cherokees receded toward the setting sun, and occupied the peaks of the Blue Ridge. Roving bands raided the settlements. One of the Beattys went into the range in search of his cattle. He was discovered and pursued by the Indians. when within a mile of home he concealed himself in the hollow of a large chestnut tree. The bark of his little dog disclosed his hiding place and cost him his scalp and his life. The old chestnut disappeared long since, but the place where it stood is yet well known.

   Jacob Forney and two of his neighbors were attacked by a band of Cherokees. One of them, Richards, was wounded and scalped. Forney, though shot at many times by the Indians reached his log fort in safety. The neighbors buried poor Richards where he fell.
"no useless coffin enclosed his breast,
Nor in sheet nor in shroud they wound him."

   The site of his lone grave in the depth of the wildwood is yet pointed out, situate near the old log fort where Jacob Forney first settled.

   Among the settlers occur the names, Allen Anderson Baldridge, Ballard, Barkley, Barnett, Beal, Beatty, Black, Bradshaw, Brevard, Bryant, Cherry, Childers, Cooper, Cox, Daily, Davis, Derr, Duncan, Edwards, GRaham, Hunter, Hutchinson, Jetton, Johnston, Kelly, Kincaid, King, Knox, Little, Long, Lowe, Luckey, Lynch, McAlister, McCaul, McCombs, McConnell, McCormick, McIntosh, McLean, McMinn, Nixon, Proctor, Regan, Reid, Robinson, Shelton, Stacy, Thompson, Wilkinson, Wingate, and Womack; while in the western part, are found Alexander, Baxter, Blackburn, Cobb, Goodson, Henderson, Hill, McBee, McCaslin, Potts, Ramsey, Williamson, Wilson, and others.

   The first pale-face to set foot on the soil of Lincoln was the bold pioneer, John Beatty. One of his land grants bears date July 17th, 1749. He settled on the west bank of the Catawba. the shoal at this point,over which the river tumbles with a gentle murmur, forms a splendid ford. It was at this ford John Beatty crossed, and it yet bears his name, Beattie's Ford. As the soil of Lincoln at Beattie's Ford felt the primal tread of Anglo-Saxon, Beattie's Ford deservedly figures largely in the recital.

   The old pioneer, John Beatty, located his home above the ford, in the shade of the hillside, overlooking the beautiful Catawba. Near by gurgled a limpid spring, its waters trickling off in a sparkling brooklet to the river. John Beatty had two sons, Thomas and Abel and one daughter, Mary the wife of Matthew Armstrong. It is always interesting to hear the the last words of the departed. John Beatty's will bears the date 5th January, 1774. In this he gives to Margaret Beatty certain items of personality and his homestead to William Beatty. These were his grandchildren, the children of Thomas Beatty. Marked traits of his character are apparent in this document. A short quotation will exhibit his love for rectitude and obedience, and desire to keep his homestead in his line of blood: "And if ye above named Margaret or William Beatty or either of them does misbehave or be disobedient when come to ye years of maturity, either going against their parents will in the contract of marriage or nay way remarkable otherwise, that legatee is liable to ye loss of his part of this legacy, and to be given to ye other, the offending person entirely cut off at their parents discretion, or those that it may please to have the guardian and care over the above-mentioned persons William and Margaret Beatty. And further I do not allow the said lands that is left to ye above named William Beatty to be ever sold or disposed of by any means or person whatsoever, but to firmly remain and continue in the line and lawful heirs of the above named William Beatty's body and to continue in that name as long as there is a male heir to ye nighest female heir."

   Thomas Beatty died in 1787, leaving three sons, John, Thomas, and William. The inventory of his estate exhibits in minute detail the entire possessions of a well-to-do man of the pioneer period. A few items ranging between his broad acres and a fine-toothed comb will indicate the extent and variety of his possessions: "944 acres of land, ten negroes, seventeen horses, sixty-six cattle, eighteen hogs, thirteen sheep, thirty-four geese, five ducks, lot poultry, five pewter dishes, sixteen pewter plates, twenty-four pewter spoons, one pewter basin, one pewter tankard, one crook and two pot hooks, one dutch oven, and griddle and frying pan, one dough trough, one chest, two spinning wheels, and one big wheel, three pair cards, cotton, wool, and tow, one check reel, one weaving loom, twenty-three spools, for spooling cotton, five reeds for weaving, nine sickles, one foot adze, one thorn hack, one hackel, two iron wedges, two bleeding lances, one hair sifter, two riddles, three gimlets, thirteen bushels flax seed, six bushels buckwheat, one slide, tow bells and collars, 750 clapboard nails, four pair half worn horse shoes, one redding comb, one fine-toothed comb, three coats, and one great coat, two jackets, one pair buckskin breeches, one pair trousers, three hats, and two linen shirts," constitute about one fourth of the items enumerated.

   In the pioneer stage every man was his own carpenter, and the women knew how to card, spin, weave, and sew. The men wore linen shirts and buckskin breeches; the women, arrayed in their own handiwork, were beautiful in the eyes of the forester. The patrimony of the son was broad acres; the dowry of the daughter was a horse and saddle, cow and calf, a spinning wheel and check reel. the young men were gallant, and the maids charming. The young men learned the art of horsemanship not only in the chase, but by the constant habit of traveling on horseback, and every woman was an expert horse-rider. The horse sometimes served as a tandem, the man riding in front, the woman behind; and if trustworthy tradition is given credence the young men sometimes augmented the pleasure of this system of equestrianism by making their steeds caper, thereby frightening their innocent companions into a firm embrace to retain their positions.

   Most of the early Scotch-Irish were Presbyterians, and the religions center was Beatty's house. this place of worship was established by the pioneer, John Beatty, one mile west of Beatty's Ford. The meeting house stood on a level plat of ground in a beautiful grove of oak and hickory near a spring. Beattie's meeting house was built of logs. In 1808, it was decided to erect a more commodious edifice, and a plat of several acres was conveyed for the purpose by James Little to "James Connor, Alexander Brevard, John Reid and Joseph Graham, trustees." The kirk is named in the deed, Unity. In 1883 another church was erected and additions to the former church lands made by conveyances from Robert H. Burton, W.S. Simonton, and Mary King to John D. Graham, D.M. Forney, and John Knox, trustees." This is the conventional structure of that period with its gallery and large pulpit.

   From the first settlement this was a place of worship. The headstones date back to 1776. Dr Humphrey Hunter, a native of Ireland, and a soldier in the Revolution, was pastor from 1796 to 1804. Next came Rev. Henry N. Pharr. He was succeeded by Patrick Sparrow. Mr. Sparrow's father was a potter in Vesuvius furnace. When lads the future Governor Graham was hard put to it to keep pace with Patrick, and the members of the Governors family ascribed some of his success to this auspicious rivalry in the old-field schools. General Graham, thus having the lad's aptitude brought to his attention, interested others with him in giving Patrick an education. When he became pastor of Unity an old negro servant of General Graham's expressed her surprise at his rise in fortune, by exclaiming that the boy who ate ash cakes with her children had become her master's preacher. Mr Sparrow was the first professor of languages at Davidson College, and afterwards President of Hampden-Sidney. The present pastor is Rev. C.H. Little, descended from a pioneer family.

   About the year 1790 Maj. John Davidson, with his sons-in-law, Maj. Joseph Graham and Capt. Alexander Brevard, crossed from the Mecklenburg side into Lincoln, and with Gen. Peter Forney engaged in the manufacture of iron. These were all Revolutionary soldiers. The beginning of the nineteenth century witnessed civilization progress with leaps and bounds. Then followed years of plenty. The virgin soil brought forth bountifully. Herds of cattle and droves of swine ranged at large unrestrained by any stock laws. Deer, turkey, wild geese and duck abounded. The Catawba was filled with shad, trout, and red horse. A trackless wilderness had been transformed into a moving, populous community. Instead of wigwam, was the homestead dwelling. Instead of the indian war-hoop was heard the furnace blast breathing forth actual and potential energy, and the stroke of the great trip hammer at the mighty forge as it beat the heart throbs of commercial activity. they were years of peace and growth, of marriage and home-building, of quiet domestic happiness.

   The different grants to the Beattys approximate three thousand acres. William and John Beatty sold to John Fullenwider, an early iron master; and Thomas Beatty to Alfred M. Burton. Mr Fullenwider divided his purchase between his sons-in-law, Alfred M. and Robert H. Burton; they settled on their splendid estates and became potent influences in the community. Alfred Burton settled above the ford, the old John Beatty house constituting one wing of the residence he erected. Robert H. built a spacious mansion below the ford. They were learned lawyers and elegant gentlemen. Their dust reposes in Unity graveyard, beside that of their kinsman, Hutchings G. Burton, once Governor of the State. Robert H. Burton filled the office of Superior Court judge. After Judge Burton's death his homestead was purchased by Col. John H. Wheeler, the genial historian. Colonel Wheeler filled the office of State Treasurer and many position of trust, but is best known for his great work, "Wheeler's History of North Carolina." This he complied at Beattie's ford, devoting to it about ten years time. The preface bears date. Ellango, Beattie's Ford, N.C.. 1st July, 1851."

   Three brothers-Charles, James and Henry Connor- from Antrim, Ireland, settled near Beattie's Ford. James was a captain in the Revolution. Henry, the youngest, a patriot soldier, located near Cowan's ford. Colonel Wheeler sold out at Beattie's Ford to Maj. Henry W. Connor, the son of Charles. Major Connor derived his title for service under General Graham in the campaign against Creek Indians. He was a man of great popularity and represented his district in Congress twenty-three years. His homestead was identical to Judge Burton's.

   Skilled physicians of sweet memory are William B. McLean and Robert A. McLean, a continental surgeon, resident in the forks of the Catawba.

   Jacob Forney first settled on the creek near the present town of Denver, the scene of his Indian troubles. This farm passed to his son, Capt. Abraham Forney, a soldier of the Revolution, and yet belongs to his descendants. Gen. Peter Forney, son of the pioneer, was a patriot soldier, member of the House, Senate, and Congress. As presidential elector, he voted for Jefferson, Madison, Monroe, and Jackson. He erected a forge at his home and Madison furnace on Leeper's Creek, that was afterwards owned by J.W. Derr. He obtained possession of valuable ore beds, and commenced building his iron works in 1787, and recorded that he produced hammered iron in his forge 26th August, 1788.

   Maj. Daniel M. Forney, eldest son of Gen. Peter Forney, received his title in the war of 1812, also served as Senator from Lincoln County, and member of Congress. He erected a palatial residence, modeled after a house at the national capital. The site chosen is an eminence between two creeks, where Jacob forney lived when the British quartered on him. This picturesque old mansion, with its long white columns, surrounded by a grove of original oaks, yet retains the charms of its ancient architecture. Major Forney sold to Alexander F. Gaston, a son of Judge Gaston. It next passed to James Anderson, and is now owned by Mrs. W. E. Hall. Henry Y. Webb, Bartlett Shipp, William Johnston, C.L. Hunter and Christain Reinhardt married daughters of Gen. Peter Forney. Henry Y. Webb was a lawyer and represented Lincoln County in the House of Commons. Bartlett Shipp, was a lawyer, a member of the Legislature, and of the constitutional convention of 1835. His son, William M. Shipp, was a member of the House of Commons, Senator, Superior Court Judge, and Attorney-General of the State. W.P. Bynum married Eliza, daughter of Bartlett Shipp, and settled on the Henry Y. homestead. He was an eminent lawyer, colonel in the confederate Army, Solicitor of his district, and Justice of the Supreme Court. His son, William S. Bynum, was a Confederate soldier, lawyer and Episcopal clergyman.

   William Johnston, a physician, married Nancy Forney, and located at Mt. Welcome, General Forney's homestead. His five sons were gallant confederate Soldiers. William H., Robert D. and James F. entered into service in the Beatty's Ford Rifles, which was mustered into service as Company K, 23rd Regiment; William H. and James F. won captains commissions; while Robert D., by promotion became a distinguished Brigadier General; Joseph F., late governor of Alabama and now United States Senator from that state, was Captain of company A., 12th Regiment; Bartlett S. Johnston served in the Confederate States Navy. Dr. William Johnston was a son of Col. James Johnston, a soldier of the Revolution, one of the heroes of King's Mountain, the first Senator from Lincoln, and elder at Unity. When Gaston County was set up from Lincoln, Colonel Johnston's homestead on the Catawba fell in Gaston county. Dr. C.L. Hunter was a scientist and historian. He was the son of Rev. Humphrey Hunter, a soldier in the Revolution. Mary, daughter of Gen. Peter Forney, married Christian Reinhardt, a planter, and they migrated west.

   Joseph Graham attained the rank of major in the Revolution and his title as General in 1814, when commissioned Brigadier-General and sent in command of North Carolina troops to aid General Jackson in the Creek War. To his narratives of the battles of Ramsour's Mill, King's Mountain, and Cowan's Ford is largely due the preservation of the Revolutionary history of this section. John D. Graham, his eldest son, retiring from Vesuvius furnace, erected a brick residence on the Catawba below Beattie's ford, now a home of his son, Clay Graham. James was a lawyer and politician, representing his district in Congress sixteen years. William A., the general's youngest son, read law and located at Hillsboro for the practice of his profession. He was twice Governor, United States Secretary of the Navy, and Confederate States Senator, and candidate for Vice-President on the Scott ticket. Pure and spotless in private life, a learned lawyer, a ripe scholar, a statesman of ability and clear judgment, he is esteemed by many as the greatest man produced by the State of NOrth Carolina. William A. Graham, son of the Governor, Major and Assistant Adjutant-General, historian and author, the present Commissioner of Agriculture, resides at Forest Home, the ancestral homestead.

   Robert Hall Morrison, D.D., the first President of Davidson college, an eminent divine, was the honored pastor of Unity for forty years. He married Mary, daughter of General Graham. Cottage Home, his homestead, is intimately associated with the Confederacy, for it was there that J.P. Irwin, Lieut-Gen. D.H. Hill, Lieut.-Gen Stonewall Jackson, Brig.-General Rufus Barringer, Maj. A.C. Avery, and Col. John E. Brown respectively married Harriet, Isabella, Anna, Eugenia, Susan, and Laura, daughters of Dr. Morrison. His sons were Maj. William W. Morrison, Joseph G. Morrison, A.D.C. on General Jackson's staff, Robert H. Morrison, A.D.C. to General Barringer and General Hill. His youngest son, Alfred J. Morrison, was a lawyer, politician, and Presbyterian minister.

   Alexander Brevard early received a captain's commission in the Continental Army. He built Mount Tirzah and Rehoboth furnaces. Captain Brevard's homestead passed to his son, Robert A. Brevard, then to his grandson, Alexander F. Brevard, and upon his death to Brevard McDowell, a great grandson. Captain Brevard and General Graham were honored elders at Unity, but were buried in a private cemetery of their selection where Macpelah Church was afterwards built. Vesuvius furnace passed into the hands of J. M. Smith, a man who by his own initiative and endeavor rose to position and influence and left a name distinguished for good sense, kindness of heart, and business tact. He built Stonewall furnace on Anderson Creek.

   On the post road between Beattie's Ford and Vesuvius furnace are the Catawba Springs, a famous resort in ante-bellum days. This was formerly Reed's Springs, owned by Capt. John Reed, a soldier of the Revolution and Senator from Lincoln County. Valuable factors of this community are the Asburys and Mundys, descendants of Rev. Daniel Asbury and Rev. Jeremiah Munday, pioneer Methodist ministers. Rev. Daniel Asbury, when a youth was taken by a band of Shawnee Indians, carried to the far northwest and held in captivity for five years. In 1791 he established in Lincoln County the first Methodist church west of the Catawba River. Rev. Jeremiah Mundy was a native of Virginia and located in Lincoln county in 1799. He was a soldier in the Revolutionary War three years and a minister for thirty-five years.

   As one thinks of the old country squire who settled disputes between his neighbors, of the kind-heated physician, and the "lords of the manor," it seems "there were giants in those days." But life was not all serious; it had its great sunshiny side. They were apt at repartee, fond of the innocent joke, and in social intercourse, peals of laughter went the merry round; for has not the wisest of men said, "there is a time to laugh". And, alas, in those halcyon days, they loved not the flagon to excess, but indulged a morning horn to ward off the morning vapors, and this invitation to sample the liquid contents of the sideboard was a mark of hospitality. The sweet women, the embodiment of all tht is true, charming and good, raised high the standard of social purity. The blushing bride became the uncrowned queen of the home, around which the husband entwined the noblest affections of his heart. In this genial clime the pioneers found a fertile land, undulating with hills and vales, chequered with creeks and rills, and bountifully supplied with springs. One mile west of Beattie's Ford, and flowing for some distance parallel with the river, is a large branch. On this they found a maritime city, with streets of water through meadows green, the habitation of the beaver. This animal had felled trees, builded a great dam, ponding the waters over many acres, so it was called Beaver Dam Branch. The Burton Mill was situate on the site of the old beaver dam. The water from the pond was conducted through a race to the great overshot wheel, the motive power of the mill. On the ridge between the Ford and Beaver Dam Branch three highways came together. At their convergence was situate the village of Beattie's Ford with its mercantile establishments. One of these roads was the great stage line via Lincolnton and Salisbury, connecting far distant points. The post-office of Beattie's Ford supplied a wide extent of country. The approach of the stage was announced by winding blasts from the long tin horn of the driver.

   Exhaustless iron beds were discovered in other sections in connection with limitless coal veins, and the fires of the charcoal furnace were quenched, and the furnace blast and forge hammer were heard no more. Some of the leading spirits opposed the entrance of railroads, and their tracks were laid over other routes. Trade centers sprang up on their lines, and the stores at Beattie's Ford were closed. The long interregnum of peace came to an end. The noise of war was again heard in the land, and this section suffered in blood and treasure and shattered homes.

The Dutch Side

   The German settlers came from Pennsylvania. Their ancestors and some of them came from Germany.Their settlement covers the whole of the county, except the eastern portion bordering on the Catawba, and in this portion among the Scotch-Irish were the German families of Cloninger, Earnhardt, Forney, Hager, Lockman, Keever, Killian, Nantz, Sifford and others. The names of the German pioneers deserve special mention, and many follow. Aderholdt, Anthony, Arndt, Bangel, Benick, Beisaner, Beam, Bolinger, Boyles, Boltz, Coulter, Dellinger, Detter, DeVepaugh, Dietz, Eddlemon, Finger, Freytag, Gantzler, Gross, Haas, Hafner, Helderman, Hallman, hartzoge, Houser, Heedick, Heil, Heltebrand, Henkel, Hoke, Huber, Hull, Jared, Jonas, Jundt, Keener, Kizer, Kistler, Klein, Kneip, Krauss, Kuhn, Lantz, Leeper, Lehnhardt, Leonard, Lingerfelt, Link, Lohr, Loretz, Lorentz, Lutz, Michal, Miller, Mosteller, Plonk, Propst, Quickel, Ramsauer, Rein, Reinhardt, Rieb, Rinck, Rudisill, Sain, Scheidel, Schenck, Schufordt, Scronce, Seigel, Schrum, Seitz, Shoup, Shull, Sigmon, Spiegel, Strutt, Summerrow, Troutman, Tutherow, Warlick, Weber, Weckesser, Wehunt, Weiand, Weiss, Wetzstein, Wisenhunt, Workman, Yoder, Zimmerman.

   Many of the American names have been anglicized, and the spelling changed. To be a Zimmerman when one could be a Carpenter was too unprogressive. Likewise Weber became Weaver, Kruss, Crouse; Huber, Hoover; Freytag, Friday; Gantzler, Cansler; Heil, Hoyle; Jundt, Yount; Kuhn, Coon; Klein, Cline; Rieb, Reep; Weiss, Wise; Wetzstein, Whetstone; and so with many others.

   They selected the finest lands and settled along the streams. Their first dwellings were log cabins, then followed the red-painted mansion. A few of the old red-painted houses, built near the spring, yet stand, monuments of a bygone age. They have always built large barns. Sweet memories of the pioneers and many valuable papers linger among their descendants. To give some illustration of pioneer times and conditions a few notes of one family will be made.

   Derrick Ramsour came with the pioneers about 1750. He erected a mill on Clark's Creek, near its junction with the South Fork River, that was a noted industry and place in colonial days. The subjects of the King often divided their estates to prevent the oldest son becoming sole heir under the English law of primogeniture. In April, 1772, impelled by natural love and affection, he conveyed his property to his surviving sons, Jacob and David; first however, requiring them to enter into a bond in the sum of one thousand pounds proclamation money for his support, conditioned that they pay unto him every year during his natural life, "fifteen pounds proclamation money, twenty-five bushels clean sound wheat, twenty-five bushels Indian corn, fifty-two pounds of good butter, four hundredweight of good wholesome beef, one-sixth of the net profits of the fruit trees, thirty pounds sugar, three pounds Bohea tea, two pounds coffee, twelve gallons of whiskey, four bushels of malt, one bushel of salt." They also engaged to erect " a commodious and convenient residence for him, the said Derrick Ramsour, in order to live retired with a sufficient store and store room, and furnish the same with the necessary furniture sufficient for his accommodation which building is to be erected on such part of the premises as, the said Derrick Ramsour, pitches upon." Also to find for him "one good feather bed and decent and necessary furniture, and find and provide for him sufficient firewood, ready hauled to his dwelling, to be cut a foot length as often as occasion or necessary shall require; and also to supply him with a gentle riding horse, saddle, and bridle to carry him wheresoever he may require to go, together with a sufficient and necessary stock of wearing apparel both woolen and linen, warm and decent, and becoming one of his circumstances to wear, together with the proper food and washing during his natural life." Then by bill of sale he conveys to his sons Jacob and David "his whole stock of black or neat cattle running on the said lands whereon I now live, or to be found in the woods or range , whether in my own proper mark, or the mark of those from whom I might have heretofore have purchased; also all and singular my horses, mares, colts, yearlings, etc. which of right doth or ought to belong to me, whether at this time in my actual possession, or running their range at large, also all my stock of hogs and sheep, be the same more or less in number, wherever to be found, together with my wagons, gears, plows, harness, still and vessels, plantation and carpenter tools of every kind whatsoever.

   To Jacob he conveys the plantation situate in the forks of the South Fork River and Clark's Creek and adjoining tracts, in all 960 acres, including the mill. This tract adjoins the western limits of Lincolnton. the residence for Derrick stood beside that of Jacob on the slope of the hill a few hundred feet to the west of the mill that was destined to become historic during the Revolution. The South Fork River, in a great bend, forms its junction with Clark's Creek. In this bend are three hundred acres of fertile bottom. Jacob Ramsour died in 1787, and was buried in a private burying ground, on the highest part of the ridge west of his house.

   To David Ramsour he conveyed six hundred acres lying three miles farther up the river. This tract is likewise situate in a great bend of the river including a broad sweep of level bottom. On this farm today is the one story cabin built of immense hewn logs, erected by David Ramsour, a relic of pioneer days and architecture. The great stone chimney is built entirely inside the house with fireplace seven feet across, over which is a mantel nine feet long hewn out of a log. In the chimney are cross bars from which the pot-hooks were suspended to hold cooking utensils in position over the fire. This cabin occupies a knoll, commanding a fine view with picturesque surroundings. It slopes toward the south forty yards to the river, near by is the rock-walled spring, with stone steps leading down to its cool waters, shaded by giant white oaks. Next stands the old red-painted mansion characteristic of the early Dutch, built by his son, John Ramsour, every part of which is put together with hand forged nails. A little way out in the bottom is the brick mansion of Jacob Ramsour, son of John. These, with the modern residence of Thomas J. Ramsour, in view of each other, standing in a radius of half a mile, represent four generations of the Ramsour family. On a gentle knoll in the great bottom is the family burying ground, where rests Jacob Ramsour, who died in 1785, and many of his descendants.

   The Germans encountered many hardships incident to the settlement of a new country, but one of their most trying ordeals was the change of their language from their native German to English. They called themselves Dutch and their language Dutch, and so are called to this day both by themselves and others. The pioneer Germans were Lutherans and Reformed, and they usually occupied the same house of worship, where on alternate Sabbaths they worshiped, and this is still the case in a number of churches. Four miles northwest of Lincolnton the pioneers established a place of worship and a schoolhouse called Daniel's, on a tract of fifty acres, but did not take a grant. In 1767 a grant was issued to Matthew Floyd for the tract of fifty acres including a "schoolhouse." In 1768 it was purchased by Nicholas Warlick, Frederick Wise, Urban Ashehanner, Peter Statler, Peter Summey and Deter Hafmer, who conveyed it to the "two united congregations of Lutheran and Calvinists." The services were in German and the record written in German script until 1827. On this tract each has a brick church and by them stands the brick schoolhouse. Eleven miles east of Lincolnton, on the great highway is the site of the "Old Dutch Meeting House." The deed is from Adam Cloninger to the "German Congregation of Killian's Settlement." The first church lot in Lincolnton was conveyed June 10th, 1788, to Christian Reinhardt and Andrew Heddick, trustees for the "societies of Dutch Presbyterians and Dutch Lutherans" of the town and vicinity, "for the intent and purpose of building thereon a meeting house for public worship, schoolhouses, both Dutch and English, and a place for the burial of the dead." This was called the old White church and occupied the site of the present Lutheran church. The reference in title deeds to "Calvinists," and "Dutch Presbyterians" is to the German Reformed or as now known, the Reformed Church.

   The pioneers brought with them Luther's German translation of the Bible. No dust was allowed to gather on this precious volume. These have been handed down from generation to generation, and in almost every family today can be found the Dutch bible of the pioneers printed in a language now considered foreign, yet justly esteemed precious heirlooms.

   Rev. Johann Gottfried Arndt came from Germany as a school-teacher in 1773, and was ordained into the Lutheran ministry in 1775. He died in 1807 and was buried beneath the old White church in Lincolnton, the inscription on his tombstone is in German, above it and eagle and thirteen stars, and the motto of the new republic, "E pluribus unum." The Reformed preacher of this time was Rev. Andrew Loretz, a native of Switzerland. He died in 1812 and was buried at Daniel's. On the gable of his mansion, outlined in colored brick, are the initials of his name and the date, A.L.1793. Only the German was used during their pastorates. Living in the same county, and preaching in the same churches, these godly men were devoted friends, and engaged that whichever died first should be buried by the survivor. The Lutheran pastor at Daniel's is Rev. Luther L. Lohr, and in Lincolnton Rev. Robert A. Yoder, D.D., Descendants of the Dutch settlers. While Rev. William Ramsour Minter, pastor of the Presbyterian church in Lincolnton, is a grandson of Jacob Ramsour, and great-grandson of David Ramsour, both elders in that church; David Ramsour was a son of Jacob Ramsour, owner of the historic Ramsour's Mill.

   The North Carolina Synod held an historic meeting in the"old White church," in May 1820. Then occurred the first rupture in the Lutheran church in the New World. The president maintained his position in a long discourse in the German, the secretary followed in a longer one in English. This church and others withdrew and July 17th, organized the Tennessee Synod. At its first meeting German was made the business language and all its transactions were to be published in German. In 1825 the minutes were published in both German and English. In 1826 David Henkle was appointed interpreter for the members who did not understand the German, and it was ordered that "the business of Synod shall be transacted in the German language during the first three days, and afterwards the English shall be used."

   But perhaps the greatest hindrance was in the State. The English was the dominant language. The laws were written and expounded in English, and all public affairs conducted in tht language, and this prevented many from active participation in public affairs. The change was gradual, but was perhaps most marked between the years of 1820 and 1830. The entire German population outgrew the use of the German tongue. In their pulpits no longer is it heard, nor have they German schools. Now the Pennsylvania Dutch is seldom heard, and even in accent and idiom remain on but few tongues; yet it is sometimes observed in the use of the letters v and w,band p,t and d. This is seen in some of the family names; Bangle and Pangle are the same name; likewise Boovey and Poovey, Tarr and Darr; Davie Darr was called Tavy Tarr. A venerable elder of fragrant memory, when the preacher ascended the pulpit to begin service, was accustomed to step to the door and proclaim to those outside, "De Beobles will now come in, te breaching is reaty."

   The Pennsylvania Dutchman had his humorous side, for "A little nonsense now and then
Is relished by the best of men."

   They had their sports and amusements, their holidays and gala days, their Easter fun and Kriss Kringle frolics. Many of their sports and amusements partook more of skill and labor than dissipation and debauchery, such as cornshuckings, choppings, log-rollings, house-raising, spinning-matches, quiltings, and the like, tending to manly vigor and modest womanhood, and brightening the links of friendship and brotherly love. By hunting deer and turkey, the squirrel and other game they became expert riflemen. In the fall of the year shooting matches were common, the usual prize a quarter of beef or turkey. A witness at court, when asked to fix the date of a certain transaction, replied "at shooting-match time.' They were great fanciers of fine stock and the old Dutch farmer never felt more lordly than when hauling great loads with his sleek team of horses. The race track also had its devotees. Two prominent Germans were once called to the bar of the church for some cause resulting from a noted race run on the Warlick path. The one who lost expressed proper contrition. The other was incorrigible. Proud of his horse, the stakes and exulting in the plaudits of the community, he promptly responded "I not sorry. I von. Mr II. verry sorry, he loss."

   On the Dutch side are many signs and folk lore of interest. The Dutch farmer is a close observer and is often governed by signs. The moon is a powerful potentate. Its phases are closely watched, and there is a time to plant every seed, cut timber and do many things. A champion turnip grower used an incantation of virtue in casting the seed, resulting in a fourfold quantity. Each time he threw the seed with his hand he repeated a line of the following:
"Some for the pug,
Some for the fly,
Some for the Debil,
And in comes I."

   Michael Schenck, in 1813, erected the first cotton factory, run by water power, south of the Potomac. It was a small affair located on a branch, one mile east of Lincolnton, but proving profitable, attracted Col. John Hoke and Dr. James Bivins, and they became partners of Michael Schenck. The firm in 1819 erected the Lincoln Cotton Mills, with three thousand spindles, on the South Fork, the beginning of the cotton mill industry in this section. This mill was burned in 1863.

   There are situate in Lincolnton and within four miles along the South fork, thirteen cotton mills controlled by descendants of the Dutch. The only cotton mill in the county at the close of the war was the Elm Grove, owned by John F. Phifer, now operated by Robert S. Reinhardt. The Confederate States government, about 1864, erected a laboratory for the manufacture of medicines on the site of the old Lincoln factory. In 1887, J.A. Abernethy and D.E. Rhyne erected the Laboratory Cotton mills on the site of the Confederate laboratory. R.E. Costner, J.A. Abernethy, L.J. Dellinger, John M. Rhodes, and W.A. Rudisill are mill men. Daniel E. Rhyne is proprietor of these mills. Other successful mill men are J.A. Abernethy, Edgar Love, and J.M. Roberts. The late Capt. Joseph G. Morrison erected the Mariposa Mills, at the old Forney forge on Leeper's Creek. Paper mills were operated for many years on the South Fork. Among the noted manufacturers of paper were William and Rufus Tiddy.

   One of the noted pioneers was Daniel Warlick. His entries approximate three thousand acres. In 1769 he made division of it among his five sons and four daughters. The oldest enterprise in the county today is the mill he established on a branch five miles west of Ramsour's. It was once destroyed by the Cherokees. This property has passed from father to son, and is today owned by Jacob R. Warlick, a great grandson. It is now a modern roller-mill, the motive power a water fall of sixty-two feet.

   The old highway from Ramsour's Mill to Warlick's Mill crossed the South Fork at Reep's Ford, just below the present Ramsour bridge. Here lived Adam Reep and his brothers, Adolph and Michael, all Whig soldiers. Just to the west, in a private burying ground, rests Nicholas Heamer, a patriot soldier and one of the last survivors of the Battle of Ramsour's Mill.

   The subject of dress properly occupies large space in woman's thought. In olden time there were no stores near with heavily laden shelves from which to select, but they knew how to color, then combine the colors in beautiful fabrics, and were expert in fine weaving. They perhaps were not bothered with gores and biases, frills and puffs, yet they had their trouble in cutting, fitting, and arranging the trimming as do those of the present with the latest magazine and fashion plate. It is certain that in the vigor and strength of perfect development they were fair to look upon, equally at home, in the parlor or in the kitchen alive to the wants of humanity and duty to God. Much of this inspiriting record is due the examples, counsels and prayers of pious mothers; and while the songs of the nursery mingle with lessons of peace and love, and tender hearts are impressed with religious truth the result will be men and women of high type.

   As the century waned the German citizens were becoming prominent in public affairs. In 1797, John Ramsour represented Lincoln County in the House of Commons and twice afterwards. Then follows John Reinhardt in 1799, Peter Forney in 1800; Peter Hoyle in 1802 and fourteen times afterwards; Henry Hoke in 1803; David Shuford in 1806. Then follows Loretz, Killian, , Cansler, and others.

   Henry Cansler was long an influential citizen. He filled the offices of county surveyor, sheriff, clerk of court and member of the General Assembly. His father and grandfather each wrote his name in the German, Philip Gantzler.

   John F. Reinhardt, confederate soldier, planter, commoner and senator, is a great-grandson of Christian Reinhardt, "agent of the Dutch Presbyterians." He owns the Bartlett Shipp homestead. His father, Franklin M. Reinhardt, operated the Rehobeth furnace.

   Andrew Hedick, a great-grandson of Andrew Hedick, "agent of the Dutch Lutherans." resides on the ancestral homestead. He lost his right arm in the fearful struggle at Chancellorsville. After the war he attended Pleasant Retreat, and prepared himself for school teaching. For many years he filled the office of county treasurer and is one of the county's most honored citizens. Andrew Hedick is likewise the survivor of the usually mortal wound of a musket ball passing entirely through his body, as are also Abel Seagle and David Keever.

   David Schenck, grandson of Michael Schenck, was a great advocate and lawyer, a judge of the Superior Court and historian. He removed to Greensboro in 1882 and has a monument in the Guilford Battleground.

   John F. Hoke, son of Col. John Hoke, won a captain's commission in the Mexican War, and commanded his company with gallantry in the battles of Cerro Gordo, Tolema and National Bridge. He was adjuntant-general in North Carolina and colonel in the civil War. He was an able lawyer, and often the representative of Lincoln county in the General Assembly. His son, William A. Hoke, as citizen, lawyer, legislator, judge of the Superior Court, and now Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, occupies a large space in public esteem.

   Michael Hoke, son of Col, John Hoke, was an eminent lawyer and an accomplished orator, whose brilliant career added luster to his county and Commonwealth. The campaign of 1844 justly ranks among the famous in the history of the State. There were many causes contributing to its intensity. It was a presidential election. Henry Clay, the Whig nominee, a matchless orator and idol of his party, made a speech in Raleigh on the 12th day of June of that year. James K. Polk, of Tennessee, a native of Mecklenburg and graduate of our State university, was a nominee of the Democrats, and his party hoped to carry the State.

   The Republic of Texas was seeking annexation to the United States, and this was a burning issue. Each political party was on its mettle, and marshalling its forces for a battle royal. Standard bearers must be selected with care and the very best. Each party named a son of Lincoln county as its Candidate for Governor. the Democrats nominated Michael Hoke, a gentleman of fine person, fine address, of long legislative experience and high position at the bar, whose ease of manner and brilliancy of oratory won for him troops of friends. The Whigs were equally fortunate in the selection of William A. Graham, a man of exalted character and ability; and like his competitor, the fairness of his conduct, his open, generous temper, and elevated mode of argument met the highest expectation of his most ardent admirers. Never in any campaign were two political antagonists more evenly matched. Both were in the prime of life. Hoke was only thirty-four and Graham was forty years of age. Both were strikingly handsome men, tall, well-formed, and graceful, of polished manner and placid temper, pure of character and free from guile. While possessing all of these amiable qualities when it came to the advocacy of the principals of their respective parties, or assaulting those of the other, they exhibited the courage of a Washington and the aggessiveness of a Jackson. The dignified and majestic presence of Graham was formidably rivaled by the matchless manner and ready humor of Hoke. Their joint canvass was a battle of giants. Graham was elected Governor, Clay carried the State and Polk was elected President. Hoke scarce survived the campaign. He died September 9, 1844, at the youthful age of 34 years, 4 months and 7 days.

   Among the record of baptisms at Daniel's is this. George Kuhn, und desen frau ihr sohn George Gebohren den 31 ten December, 1809, Taufzeugen sind Johnannes Rudisill und desen frau," which being translated reads,"George coon and his wife, their son George was born the 31st December, 1809, sponsors John Rudisill and his wife." The infant George grew into a man full of years and honor. An old Frenchman in Lincolnton, Lorenzo Ferrer, often bought farm products from Mr. Coon, and so admired his perfect integrity, and "full measure of potatoes," that one of his bequests was: "I will and bestow to honest George Koon one hundred dollars."

   Lorenzo Ferrer, having been introduced, shall have place in this history. he was a native of Lyons, France, but spent his long life from early manhood in Lincolnton. He died August 6th, 1875, aged ninety-six years. He had his coffin made to order and gave directions concerning his grave. It is marked by a recumbent slab, supported on marble columns. The first paragraph of his will in these words:

   "I, Lorenzo Ferrer, here write my last will and testament whilst I am in Possession of my faculties, as I have shortly to appear at the tribunal of St. Peter at the gate of eternity; when St. Peter is to pronounce according to my merits or demerits; for our Lord Jesus Christ entrusted the key to Heaven to St. Peter and enjoined him to admit the deserving to enter into Heaven and enjoy an eternal happiness, but to condemn the underserving defrauders to the everlasting sulphurious flames in the Devil's abode. Therefore, I am endeavoring to comfort myself in such a manner in order to merit an eternal happiness in the presence of God, and his angels, and in company with St. Peter, St. Titus and the other saints. For I an anxious to converse with those martyred saints and rejoice with them at the firmness, patience, and willingness they endured at their martyrdom for the sake of our Lord Jesus Christ. I am also in hope to see and embrace my kind an honest friends Michael Hoke, William Lander, and other good and honest friends with whom I hope to enjoy an eternal felicity,"etc.

   Adam Spring approached the dark river with no such beatific vision. In the confident possession of a sound mind and good judgement he likewise wrote his own will, the first part of which follows: "North Carolina, Lincoln county,-Know all men by these presents, that I Adam A. Springs, believing himself of sufficient judgement of mind do now set about making my will in hopes that my surviving fellow citizens will aid me in the disposal of my wish. If it should lack form, I call upon our Constitution. Then I ordain this my last will and testament as follows: As to my soul or finer part, whatever it may be, I surrender to its author without any impertinent and intrusive requests against the immutable laws of Deity. In the first place, I will to be buried alongside of James Henderson on the hill on the east of the shoals formerly called Henderson's Shoals,"etc.

   Mr. Springs was one of the first students at the State University, a graduate of the class of 1798, a large real estate owner, including among his possession the Henderson Shoals on the South Fork, afterwards know as the Spring Shoals, now McAdensville, where his dust reposes beside James Henderson. The paper-writing was propounded for probate, a caveat entered, the issue, devisavit vel non, submitted, the will established, and executed by his surviving fellow citizens according to the true intent and meaning therof.

   A will of marked conciseness and brevity, and the shortest in the county is that of the late V.A. McBee. Mr McBee was a University graduate, lawyer, three times clerk of the Superior Court, and left a considerable estate in North and South Carolina. His entire will with date and signature contains but twenty-three words: "I will all of my estate, real and personal to my wife, Mary Elizabeth McBee, this 31st day of March, 1888. V.A. McBee."

   Robert F. Hoke and Stephen D. Ramsour, twin soldiers of destiny, became distinguished Major-Generals in the armies of the confederacy. Their gallant deeds and noble services added luster to their home and country. The one survives, honored and loved; the soil of Virginia drank the precious blood of the other.

   The laudable principles, liberty of conscience, health of state, and purity or morals, the Dutch hold in sacred esteem; the great virtues of the home and the common duties of the good citizens have ever charmed most of their ambitions. Of persistent energy, high purpose, and sturdy inclination, they have made and are making indestructible footprints of nobly performed deeds in the varied sands of life that will remain a memorial to them for all time.

The Civil War

   The men of Lincoln County bore an honorable part in the American Revolution, and were in evidence in the second bout with the mother country; they helped to win Texan Independence and fought in the Mexican War; at the outbreak of the great Civil War, they presented a solid front in defense of their Southland.

   Stephen D. Ramsour, a graduate of West Point, and a lieutenant in the United States army, resigned his commission, tendered his service to the Confederacy and was appointed captain of the artillery; by promotion he passed the rank of Major-General, and met the death of a hero at Cedar Creek, on the 19th of October, 1864.

   Alvin DeLane was a soldier in the United States Navy, whose flag was endeared to him by many years of service. When the war clouds gathered a decision was to be made. He hesitated not; the battle-cry of the South expressed his sentiment and his resolve:
"In Dixie land I'll take my stand,
And live and die for Dixie."

   In the darkness of the night he scaled the walls of Fort Sumter with a ladder, which served him many hours as a float on the briny deep, was rescued, became the hero of Charleston, and for the next four years a gallant Confederate.

   William S. Bynum, the soldier boy, September 25th, 1862, at the age of fourteen years, enlisted in Company K, 42d Regiment, and was a gallant Confederate until the surrender.

   Lincoln County furnished the Confederacy eight full companies:
(1.) The Southern Stars, Company K, Bethel Regiment, William J. Hoke, Captain;
(2.)  Company I, 11th Regiment, A.S. Haynes, Captain;
(3)  Company K, 23d Regiment, Robert D. Johnston, Captain;
(4) Company E, 34th Regiment, John F. Hill, Captain;
(5) Company K, 49th Regiment, Peter Z. Baxter, Captain;
(6) Company G, 52d Regiment, Joseph B. Shelton, Captain;
(7) Company H, 52d Regiment, Eric Erson, Captain;
(8) Company G,57th Regiment, John F. Speck, Captain;
besides members of other companies.

   Many of the Bethel soldiers won commissions of honor. Capt William J. Hoke became Colonel of the 38th Regiment; Second Lieutenant Robert F. Hoke was promoted through the grades to the rank of Major-General; Eric Erson was Lieutenant-Colonel of the 52d Regiment; William R. Edwards, Sidney Haynes, John F. Speck, Benjamin F. Grigg, Peter M. Mull, Lauson A. Dellinger, and James D. Wells won captains commissions; while David A. Coon, Ed. D. Sumner, W.A. Summerow and George M. Hoke were first lieutenants, and Lemuel J. Hoyle, Charles Elmer, Josephus Houser and Oliver A. Ramsour, second lieutenants.

   John F. Hoke was Brigadier-General and Adjuntant-General of the State. Through him the volunteer regiments were organized. He was the first colonel of the 23d Regiment, and at the surrender was Colonel of the 73d Regiment.

   William Preston Bynum entered the service as first lieutenant of the Beattie's Ford Rifles; this company was mustered in as Company K, 23d Regiment; he was promoted Lieutenant-Colonel, and Colonel of the 2d Regiment.

   Robert D. Johnson, second lieutenant of the Beatties' Ford Rifles, rose by promotion for gallantry to the rank of brigadier-general. He was wounded at Seven Pines, Gettysburg and on the Catawba River.

   Other commissioned officers: Colonel- Samuel D. Lowe. Lieutenant-Colonels- Hiram W. Abernethy and Charles J. Hammarskold. Majors- Sidney M. Finger and William A. Graham. Captains- James T. Adams, Philip W. Carpenter A.H. Houston, G.W. Hunter, James F. Johnston, William H. Johnston, Joseph F. Johnston, James M. Kincaid, Milton Lowe, Joseph G. Morrison, George L. Phifer, Benjamin H. Sumner, Woodberry Wheeler, and C.C.Wrenshall. First Lieutenants- Peter S. Beal, John H. Boyd, John P. Cansler, William H. Hill, Wallace M. Reinhardt, Daniel Reinhardt, Thomas L. Seagle. Second Lieutenants- Thomas Abernethy, William Arndt, William H. Hill, Wallace M. Reinhardt, Daniel Asbury, George W. Beam, Caleb Bisaner, John Caldwell, Eli Crowell, Henry Eaton, Henry Fullenwider, John F. Goodson, Emmanuel Houser, Bruce Houston, Lee Johnston, Thomas Lindsey, William M. Munday, John Rendleman, Samuel Rendleman, David Rhodes, Alfred Robinson, Samuel Thompson, W.A. Thompson, Henry Wells, Rufus Warlick Chaplains- Robert B. Anderson and Eugene W. Thompson

   Summary-Two major-general, one brigadier-general, four colonels, twenty-eight captains, sixteen first lieutenants, thirty-three second lieutenants, and 1,219 non-commissioned officers and privates, a grand total of 1,311 Confederate soldiers.

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Derick S. Hartshorn - 2008
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