The Civil War in North Carolina

Reminiscences and Memoirs of North Carolina and Eminent North Carolinians

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enlarged by a thousand tributary streams, which all unite in one grand current, to swell the amount of human happiness and lessen the ills which flesh is heir to."

        This truthful enlogium may well be applied to North Carolina, for the men who fought for and framed her Constitution were earliest and devoted friends to the cause of Free Masonry. Among her Grand Masters were Samuel Johnston, [1788,] Richard Caswell, [from 1789 to '92,] Wm. R. Davie, ['92 to 1799,] William Polk, [1800 to 1802,] John Louis Taylor, [1803,] John Hall, [1804,] Robert Strange, [1824,] Edwin G. Reade, [1865,] Robert B. Vance, [1866.]

        These distinguished men were proud to lay aside for a time the sword of the soldier, the ermine of the judge, and the laurels of the statesman, to labor as fellow-crafts in the cause of "Free and Accepted Masons."

        The craft is in a flourishing condition in North Carolina. There are now about 400 Lodges and about 12,000 members, sustaining in asylums at Oxford and Mars Hill 134 orphans, and advocated by the Orphans' Friend, a periodical.

        An incident worthy of record as to the humanizing influence of Masonry, even in the face of "grim-visaged war," occurred at the battle of Manassas. A gallant Georgia officer was shot down as he was forming his company in line of battle. He refused to be taken from the field. His regiment, under an overwhelming charge of the enemy, was compelled to fall back, and the poor fellow, unable to move, was made prisoner. He was about to be bayoneted, when he gave the Masonic sign of distress. The uplifted weapon fell harmless, and he was taken up by brotherly hands, his wounds attended to, and his sufferings alleviated. This was Orderly Sergeant O. B. Eve, of the Miller Rifles, of Rome, Georgia.

        Many such incidents occurred at other times and places, proving the influence and value of Masonry.


        * We present under Craven County a careful and elaborate genealogy of the Blount family, which will, we trust, be acceptable for reference and worthy of study.

        As early as 1782, General John Gray Blount represented the county of Beaufort in the Legislature. He was enterprising and successful in business, and a large land owner. His father was Jacob Blount, who was an officer at the battle of Alamance and in the Revolutionary War. Jacob was also the father of Governor William Blount, (for sketch of whom see Craven,) who was Governor of Tennessee, and of Thomas, who was a volunteer in the Revolutionary army at the age of sixteen, and commanded as major at the battle of Eutaw; was a member of Congress in 1793-'99 and 1805-'09, and died at Washington City 1812. Jacob was also the father of Willie Blount, Governor of Tennessee from 1809 to '15.

        General William A. Blount, born 1794, died 1867, was the son of General John Gray Blount, and was well known in North Carolina, and much esteemed for his genial qualities, his extended and varied abilities, and his public services. At the early age of eighteen he entered the army of the United States as a subaltern, in the war of 1812, and continued in the army until the war was over. Such were his faithful services that he was promoted to the rank of captain.

        On his return from the army he was elected major-general of the third division of North Carolina militia, a position at that time, in the unsettled condition of our affairs, of much distinction and responsibility. His next public service was as a member of the Legislature from Beaufort County, in 1825, and such was the acceptability of his course that he was re-elected in 1826 and '27.

        When in the public councils, he advocated the most liberal system of public improvements,
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