Thursday, April 26, 2012

Davie County

Folks - since I am going to be speaking in Davie County tonight, I thought we would take a few minutes and look at Davie County and the War!

Davie County was created in 1836 from portions of Rowan County, and named in honor of William R. Davie, former governor and founder of the University of North Carolina. The County seat, Mocksville, was incorporated in 1839, and originally called "Mock's Old Field." The county is probably known best for being the final resting place of Daniel Boone's parents, and the birthplace of  Judge Richmond Pearson and of Hinton R. Helper, author of The Impending Crisis

According to the 1860 census, there were 8,494 people living in Davie County. This included 2,392 slaves and 101 free persons of color. In 1860, local men went to the polls and cast 329 votes for John Breckinridge, 641 votes for John Bell, and 31 votes Stephen Douglas.

In the February 1861, local men voted again, this time casting 263 votes for the convention to consider the question, and 734 against. They were allowed one delegate, electing Robert Sprouse. Sprouse was a Whig, doctor, and farmer, and opposed secession. He was born in Virginia in 1810, and died in June 1867.

Men from Davie County served in Company G, 4th North Carolina State Troops;  Company F, 13th North Carolina State Troops;  Companies D, E, and F, 42nd North Carolina Troops; Company H, 5th North Carolina Cavalry; and Company G, 66th North Carolina Troops. In July 1863, the 3rd Battalion, North Carolina Home Guard was created. There were 1,147 men who served from Davie County in the war.

During the war, iron ore was mined in Davie County. In December 1864, the North Carolina Annual Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church was held in Mocksville.  The war itself came on April 11, 1865, when portions of the home guard engaged elements of George Stoneman's command. After a few shots were fired, the home guard realized its mistake and fled. Thomas McNeely's cotton mill was burned by the Federals, and the locals were forced to cook meals for the Federal troopers. Soon, the Federals were on their way towards Salisbury in Rowan County.

There appears to be no Confederate monument in Davie County, nor a United Confederate Veterans camp (If I am wrong, please drop me a line). There is a state highway marker to Hinton Helper, and a North Carolina Civil War Trail marker.  

1 comment:

Scot said...

Hey Michael, I just saw this post and wanted to let you know there is a veterans monument in Mocksville that partially lists some of the men from Davie that were killed. A lot of names are not listed and I'm trying to get that rectified. Also, I live along the route that Stoneman took after crossing at Shallowford on his way to Mocksville. I have recently found a federal cavalry button, Spencer Carbine round and brass toe plate off of Soldiers shoe here on my property.