Friday, October 24, 2008

Yadkin County

Well, I missed posting a county last week, so I am behind. Maybe I can get two done this week. I thought we would look at Yadkin County first.

Yadkin County is located in the foothills of western North Carolina, not far from Winston-Salem. The county was formed in 1850, taken from Surry county, and named for the Yadkin River that flows through the county. Yadkinville, the county seat, was chartered in 1857.

According to the 1860 US Census, Yadkin County had a total population of 10,711, including a slave population of 1,438. In the 1860 presidential contest, Yadkin County voted overwhelming for Bell (842, 495 for Breckinridge, and 23 for Douglas). In the February 1861 call for a convention, Yadkin voted 34 for calling the convention, 1490 against. Their delegate was R. F. Armfield.

Yadkin County men largely served in these organizations: Company B, 21st NCT; Companies F and I, 28th NCT; Company B, 38th NCT; and, Companies A and H, 54th NCT. The number of local Confederates has been placed at 1,200 men.

One of the most memorable activites in the county during the war occurred at the Bond School House. At the start of the war, local resident Jesse Virgil Dobbins did not want to join the Confederate army. He continued to resist after the conscription act in 1862. Some cite his Quaker beliefs as the obstacle. However, his beliefs did not stop him from wanting to join the Union Army. Dobbins, believed by some to be the head of Unionist activities in Yadkin County, began to fear the Confederate authorities, and determined to slip across the mountains to east Tennessee. He, along with several others, met at the Bond School house, near Yadkinville, on the evening of February 11, 1863. Having learned of the gathering, the local militia converged on the school house, and on the morning of February 12, a shootout occurred. Two men on each side were killed. Dobbins and his brother, William, survived and joined the Federal army. I am not sure which regiment that Dobbins joined. There are men by that name in the 1st Battalion, Tennessee Light Artillery, 2nd Indiana Cavalry and 8th Indiana Infantry. There are over 38 men named William Dobbins in the Federal army, including a William T. Dobbins who served in the 1st Battalion Tennessee Light Artillery. Jesse survived the war; William did not.

The other notable event was the arrival of Stoneman’s Raiders in April 1865. They passed through the county several times, and, on April 11, at a place called “Shallow Ford," on the Yadkin River, a portion of the command surprised part of the local home guard battalion. The local defenders put up some resistance, but were later driven off. The Federals later burned the “Red Store” in Huntsville, and the mill at Buck Shoals.

I have never found any reference to a United Confederate Veterans camp in Yadkin County, nor is there a Confederate monument.

This Saturday, there will be a dedication for a North Carolina Civil War Trail Marker in Huntersville. Stop by if you get a chance.