The Civil War in North Carolina

Reminiscences and Memoirs of North Carolina and Eminent North Carolinians

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none the less expressive of the sentiments of the people of the State than of their representatives who enacted them; for they have ever manifested a lively pleasure at the honorable distinctions achieved by the sons of North Carolina in every department of the public service. Every distinguished action of the citizens proves useful to the State in the example it affords to the youths of the country, who are thus apprised of the gratifying rewards that ever await a faithful discharge of duty.

        This flag, so gallantly taken by you in the maintainance of the rights and protection of the persons of American citizens in a distant land, will be placed among the valued treasures of the State, and will be looked upon by posterity, impressing all who may see it with the sentiments of esteem in which are held the brave conduct of the faithful soldier in the service of his country; and to our youths, to whom from time to time the story of its capture may be narrated, will be told that it is a trophy for which the State is indebted to one of her courageous sons who entered the service of the country when a mere boy, and who, without the aid of fortune or the influence of powerful friends, won his way to honorable distinction by his own upright deportment and gallant spirit. Thus, sir, will a valuable lesson be taught them, exciting in their bosoms a laudable ambition to emulate like honorable actions.

        Trusting that your career will prove one of continued usefulness to the country and distinction to yourself, I have the honor to be, very respectfully, yours, &c.,



RESOLUTIONS authorizing the Governor of the State to receive a flag tendered to the State of North Carolina by Lieut. Guthrie, of the U. S. Navy.

        Whereas John Julius Guthrie, a lieutenant in the United States Navy and a native of the State of North Carolina, now on official duty at the National Observatory, Washington, D. C., did, on the 20th day of November, 1856, capture and carry off as a trophy of war a Chinese flag from the first of four barrier forts captured in a combined engagement by the "San Jacinto," "Portsmouth," and "Levant," on the part of the American naval force, and other vessels under the command of Rear Admiral Seymore, on the part of the English, in the Canton River:

        And whereas the chastisement inflicted on that occasion was in defence of American and English citizens residing in that locality, and had the happy effect of securing to them immunity from violence and insult to their persons and property:

        And whereas said Lieut. Guthrie has been induced by his friends in the city of Raleigh and elsewhere to express a willingness to tender this flag to his native State, with a desire that she would accept it as an humble evidence of filial sentiments and affectionate recollection: Therefore--

        Resolved: That the Governor of the State be authorized and requested to accept the flag thus tendered by Lieut. Guthrie at such time and place and in such way and manner as may appear suitable and proper.

        Resolved further: That he be requested, in behalf of this General Assembly, to express to Lieut. Guthrie its high appreciation of his gallantry on that occasion and this evidence of his veneration for the State of his birth.

        Resolved thirdly: That the Governor be further requested to make such disposition of the flag, when received, as he may think this trophy of her son deserves.

        Ratified February 15, 1859.

        True copy from the original.

Private Secretary.

Raleigh, August 22, 1859.

        After service of nearly thirty years, when the civil war broke out, he was under the necessity of resigning, and entered into the Confederate service, where he did efficient and active duty at New Orleans and elsewhere. He was at one time in command of the "Advance," running the blockade between Wilmington and the Bermudas. After the war was over, he removed with his family to Portsmouth, Va., and in the Fall of 1865 was pardoned by the President, (Johnson.) being the first officer of the regular service who had received Executive clemency. His disabilities being removed by a unanimous recommendation from the members of Congress, he was appointed by General Grant to the "Superintendency of the Life-Saving Stations from Cape Henry to Cape Hatteras," in the discharge of the duties of which he lost his life.
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