Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Round Table

Yancey County and the Civil War Round Table is this Thursday (October 13). For the first time, we are having a relic show before the Round Table begins. If you are in the area, join us to view some pretty cool pieces actually used during the war. The relic show will begin at 6:00, with the Round Table starting a little after 6:30 pm. This event will be held at the Town Center in Burnsville and is free. Please bring a friend.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Welcome New member

Welcome to our newest member, Compatriot John T. Renick.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Camp 1946 works on new gravestone for Yancey County officer.

Greetings friends and compatriots. The Col. John B. Palmer Camp of the Sons of Confederate Veterans has embarked on a new project. John W. McElroy, a native to Yancey County, needs a new tombstone, and the Palmer Camp has taken it upon themselves to raise the funds to purchase this stone. 

Life in western North Carolina was hard during the Civil War years. No one understood that better than John W. McElroy.  The McElroy family were prominent citizens in the early days of Yancey County. John W. McElroy was a merchant, dealt in real estate, and served as clerk of court. The economic crisis of the late 1850s had forced McElroy out of business. He had sold his fine Burnsville home, and had moved to the Jack's Creek area to farm.
Prior to the War, McElroy had served as the commander of the Yancey County militia. Every county in North Carolina had a militia regiment, required by law to meet once a year to drill. Each county was composed of several militia districts, each with its own captain and lieutenants. These militia districts, found first on the 1860 census, would become townships by the 1870 census.

During the first months of the War, Colonel McElroy continued to perform his normal militia duties, which often did not amount to many responsibilities. But he had fewer and fewer men as they left to join the regular Confederate army.  In the spring of 1862, the Confederate government passed the Conscription law, requiring men between the ages of 18 and 35 to enlist in the army. McElroy was responsible for mustering the militia and for getting these men off.
But many resented having to serve. Some hid out from the beginning, while others joined the army, and then later slipped back to check on their families or to join those already evading local authorities.  Governor Zebulon B. Vance tried to use the militia to round up the outliers, but ran into legal problems. So Vance created the Guard for Home Defense.  Their chief duty was to curtail the deserter problem. To lead the First Brigade of North Carolina Home Guard, Vance tapped John W. McElroy. While McElroy had limited military experience, Vance probably chose McElroy because of a family connection. Vance's older brother Robert had married McElroy's daughter, Harriett.
McElroy's task was not easy. Huge bands of deserters roomed the mountains, using their remoteness to their advantage. Of course, the only way these men could survive was by stealing what they needed. McElroy's command encompassed all of western North Carolina. He often made his headquarters in Mars Hill, using the buildings of the fledgling college.

In April 1864, dissidents under Mont Ray raided Burnsville. They were driven out by Confederate forces from Asheville, and as local ledged has it, McElroy's old house was used as a hospital.   McElroy then returned for a short time to Burnsville, possibly using his old home as his headquarters. It is believed that at some point during the war, McElroy's home on Jack's Creek was ransacked and burnt.
After the war ended, McElroy made his way to Graham County, where he died in 1886, interred in the Old Mother Cemetery.

Recently, it came to the attention of the Col. John B. Palmer Camp. Sons of Confederate Veterans, that the tombstone marking McElroy's grave was in poor condition. At some point in the past, the stone had been broken, and then cemented back together. The Palmer Camp chose to take the steps to get McElroy a new stone. Since McElroy was a state-appointed officer, and not a regular Confederate soldier, he is not eligible for a stone from the Veterans Administration.

The Palmer Camp has decided to purchase a stone to mark McElroy's grave and is seeking donations to assist in procuring the stone. Donations may be sent to PO Box 317, Micaville, NC  28755.

After the stone returns from the stone cutter, the Palmer Camp is planning a memorial service in Graham County for John W. McElroy. An announcement will be posted with this information when the time and date have been set.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Welcome to our newest compatriot, David Froehlich.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Welcome Paul!

Welcome to our newest member, Paul Chrisawn!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Confederate Memorial Day Activities

The Col. John B. Palmer Camp 1946 would like to invite everyone to our annual Confederate Memorial Day activities. At 9:00 am on Saturday, May 7, 2011, the Camp will be conducting a memorial service on the grounds of the Yancey County courthouse, in Burnsville. We will be reading the names of Yancey County’s Confederate Dead, firing a salute, and raising a flag. That evening, at dusk, the Camp will lead a candlelight memorial service at the old Bakersville Cemetery, in the town of Bakersville, in Mitchell County.

Everyone is invited to come and bring a friend.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

I Will Give Them One More Shot

Our camp was privileged to have Mr. George Winston Martin as guest and speaker at our April meeting. Mr. Martin is a historian who lives in nearby Hendersonville North Carolina and author of a new book entitled: “I Will Give Them One More Shot”.

The book describes the little known history of Georgia’s 1st Regiment of Volunteers commanded by Colonel James N. Ramsey.

Mr. Martin had an ancestor who fought in the regiment and took it upon himself to write a history about the unit for the benefit of all. The presentation touched on the early years of the war and some of the triumphs and problems that the men faced while in service for the confederacy. The presentation also addressed both Robert E Lee and Andrew “Stonewall” Jackson’s early experiences with command and how these experiences helped shape them for later duty during the war. Many in out group found his presentation compelling and purchased his book in hopes of learning more. We wish Mr. Martin the best and appreciate this history of a obscure and interesting unit from the South.