The Civil War in North Carolina

Reminiscences and Memoirs of North Carolina and Eminent North Carolinians

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        He read law, while pursuing his collegiate studies, with Governor Swain, and was licensed by the supreme court to practice the week after he graduated, and soon entered upon an extensive and lucrative practice. He entered the legislature in 1844, and was re-elected in 1856,-'58 and '60.

        After the state joined the confederacy, he was elected a member of the confederate congress, and was an active, useful, and able member.

        After the war he was elected president of the Wilmington and Weldon railroad company, and is distinguished for the ability and fidelity with which he manages this important trust.

        He married Miss Margaret Johnston and has an interesting family.


        THIS county presents the name of Colonel Benjamin Forsythe, a native of this section, who fell in battle in the war of 1812. He resided at Germantown, was a native of Stokes, and represented that county in the legislature in 1807 and '08. He received a lieutenant's commission, April 23, 1808, in the regular army, and marched to Canada. In September, 1812, he crossed at Cape Vincent, attacked the British, and routed them. He took many prisoners and much ammunition and stores, with the loss of only one man.

        "In February following, he left Ogdensburg, and crossed at Morrist own, surprised the British, and took fifty-two prisoners, among them a major, three captains and two lientenants, without the loss of a man."*

        * Niles Register, III., 408.

In 1813, he was distinguished at the capture of Fort George, Upper Canada.

        For his gallant conduct he was rapidly promoted, and attained the rank of colonel.

        On June 28, 1814, General Smyth formed a plan for ambuscading the British near Odeltown. Colonel Forsythe had orders to make the attack and then retreat; so as to draw the enemy into the snare. He made the attack, but instead of falling back as ordered, his personal courage tempted him to made a stand on the road within fifteen rods of the enemy. In this exposed and perilous position he received a fatal wound, which broke his collar bone. He fell, mortally wounded, exclaiming with his last breath: "Boys, rush on!" He was the only person killed; several were wounded. The enemy lost seventeen killed. His loss was universally lamented, and he was buried the next day with the honors of war.

        By his intrepid courage and his fearless daring, he became the idol of his troops, and the terror of the enemy. He was one of the best partis an officers that ever lived.*

        * See Gardiner's Dict. of the Army; Drake's Biography Sketches; Niles' Register, III., 48.

        The legislature of North Carolina, in 1817, with patriotic philanthrophy, adopted the only son of Colonel Forsythe, and the only daughter of Captain Blakely, of the navy, as children of the state, and made provision for their education at the public expense. James
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