Well, I finished chapter four last week, and I'm well into chapter five. The regiment has finally gotten out of the mountains and is inJohnson's Depot (now Johnson City), Tennessee.
Yesterday, I was in Caldwell County doing some research. I came across this article, dated April 1, 1947:
Only Six Confederate Veterans Still Remain in North Carolina
With the death in Los Angeles of Capt. Alden G. Howell, native ofHaywood County, there are only six Confederate veterans left in North Carolina. Captain Howell was believed to have been the only surviving commissioned officer in the Confederate Army.
The six remaining veteran members of the N. C. State Troops are G. W.Dickerson of Buncombe County, who served in Capt. Walter Bryson's Company; R. V. Collie of Franklin, Co. A, First Regiment; G. W. Benson, Mecklenburg, Co. H, 26th Regiment; Charles S. Riggan, Warren, Co. B, 39th Regiment; A. S. Cockerham, Surry, Co. F, 33rd Regiment; and S. M.Bennett of Yancey, member of the Black Mountain Regiment.
Only one body servant still lives in the state. He is Alfred Blackburn of Yadkin, who was with Capt. Blackburn.
The men draw a $72 monthly pension from the State.
The 21 remaining widows of Confederate veterans who are not incapacitated draw $18.33. There are 502 widows who are disabled, and they receive a pension of $35monthly.
Most people recognize S. M. Bennett, a.k.a., Samuel Bennett, as the last remaining Tar Heel soldier. He died in 1951. But there seem to be alot of holes in Bennett's story. He is listed, according to a pension record, as serving in Company K, 58th North Carolina Troops.
Another newspaper clipping that I found today, this one from Burke County, states that
The last surviving North Carolina Confederate Army veteran died in the mountains of Yancey County on Mar. 8, 1951. He was 100 years old. Samuel E. Bennett, age 13, enlisted in the Black Mountain Regiment of the Confederate Home Guards along with his grandfather and four unclesin 1864. Pvt. Bennett was wounded in a dynamite blast while digging trenches near Richmond, VA, but recovered and served until the war ending in1865. He was mustered out at the age of 14.
As many of you who have followed this blog along know, the 58th NCT was not digging trenches at Petersburg. They might have been digging trenches around Atlanta, but not Petersburg. Also, there was not a"Black Mountain Regiment." The writer was probably referring to the"Black Mountain Boys," i.e., Company C, 16th North Carolina Troops, in which Sam Bennett did have numerous relatives. I thought that I had a copy of an article discussing the problems with the Sam Bennett story, but I can not seem to locate it. If anyone has a copy of this article, could you drop me a line?