Thursday, January 20, 2011

20 questions - Avery County

A few folks probably already know this, but many do not. This year is the 100th Anniversary of the county I call home. Avery County was formed in 1911 and is the 100th and last county in North Carolina. We’ve been working here in Avery County to create many special events and programs to commemorate Avery County’s birth. One of those is a series of newspaper articles, and to start off the series, we came up with the idea of 100 questions about the county, in lists of twenty. A couple of weeks ago, I wrote twenty questions about the Civil War and Avery County.
You will find the questions below. I’ll post the answers in a few days.

So a challenge – come up with twenty questions (and answers) about your North Carolina county and War, and I’ll post them here. Make sure the majority of your questions deal with the county itself. You can send them to me at

So, here are 20 questions about Avery County and the Civil War:

1. Who was the highest-ranking Confederate officer from present-day Avery County?

2. What raid took place in June 1864 through Cranberry, Pineola, and Altamont?

3. What mine provided iron ore for the Confederacy?

4. What three Linville Falls area brothers attended the 50th Reunion of the battle of Gettysburg?

5. Which community was a stop for an underground railroad that funneled escaped Union prisoners out of Salisbury?

6. What famous couple, who both served in the 26th North Carolina Troops, later served as guides on our underground railroad?

7. Which former slave of the Avery family served in the 40th United States Colored Troops and is buried in the Peter Hardin Cemetery?

8. What no-longer existing Avery County community, renamed Calhoun in 1861, briefly served as the county seat for Mitchell County?

9. Col. William J. Martin, commander of the 11th North Carolina State Troops and post-war professor at Davidson College, was the father of which famous Avery County doctor?

10. In April 1862, David Oaks and John B. Palmer were arguing about cattle when Oaks tried to kill Palmer. According to Uncle Jake Carpenter, what happened to Oaks?

11. The raid of what Watauga County home guard camp originated in Banner Elk?

12. The community of Pyatt is named for which member of the 58th North Carolina Troops?

13. After the raid on Camp Vance, then-captain George W. Kirk had the home of Col. Palmer, burned. In what community was his home located?

14. Today in Banner Elk, an historic home, built circa 1865, is used as a museum. What Union soldier supposedly built this home?

15. John M. Houston of the 6th North Carolina Troops was the father of what famed Avery County school teacher?

16. What Watauga County home guard commander led a raid into the Avery County communities of Poga, Dark Ridge, Heaton, and Banner Elk in October 1864, resulting in the Battle of Beech Mountain?

17. Which Beech Mountain resident was a Union soldier, was captured at home on leave, and supposedly tunneled out of Salisbury Prison?

18. Lt. Col. John C. Keener, of the 58th North Carolina Troops, donated the land for what Methodist Church in the Ingalls community?
19. What Banner Elk resident owned six slaves, was a stop on the underground railroad, and had at least one son in the Union army?

20. Ensor C. Wiseman, a member of four different Confederate regiments (6th North Carolina Troops, 58th North Carolina Troops, 5th Battalion, North Carolina Cavalry, and 6th North Carolina Cavalry), fought at what famous first land battle of the war in July 1861?


mike54 said...

john palmer was a confederate officer..david oaks was 80 years old...palmer had him killed ..david oaks was my 4th great-grandfather

Michael Hardy said...

Thanks for the comment. You are correct – but you did leave out the part where Oak tried to kill Palmer first. Does your family have any other details?