The Civil War in North Carolina

Reminiscences and Memoirs of North Carolina and Eminent North Carolinians

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                         Tho' disappointed in his views,
                         Not joyless will we part;
                         Nor shall the god of mirth refuse
                         The balsam of the heart.
                         No niggard key shall lock up joy;
                         I'll give him half my store,
                         Will he but half his skill employ
                         To guard us from your shore.

                         Where western gales once more awake
                         What dangers will be near.
                         Alas! I see the billows break.
                         Alas! why came I here?
                         With quarts of rum and pints of gin,
                         Go, pilot, seek the land,
                         And drink till you and all your kin
                         Can neither sit nor stand.


        Edward Stanley represented Beaufort County in 1844-'46 and '48, and was often Speaker of the House.

        He was elected Attorney-General in 1847, and a member of Congress from 1837 to 1843 and from 1849 to 1853. He removed then [1853] to California, to practice his profession.

        In 1857 he was the Republican candidate for Governor, and was defeated, receiving 21,040 votes to 53,122 for the Democratic candidate, Weller.

        After the capture of New Berne [14th March, 1862,] he was appointed by Mr. Lincoln Military Governor of North Carolina, which, after a few months, he resigned, and returned to San Francisco, where he died, on the 12th July, 1872.

        We would fain tread lightly on the ashes of the dead, but faithful history demands, like Cromwell of his artist, "Paint me as I am, warts and all."

        Mr. Stanley was considered as a decided party leader in Congress, and acquired an unhappy reputation for an over-indulgence in vindictive feelings and ultra denunciation of his political opponents. This unhappy trait of character, as was to be expected, involved him in frequent difficulties, political and personal. Perhaps it was constitutional, and a fatal inheritance; for his father bad, in a political quarrel, killed Governor Spaight, and was considered aggressive and violent in his political conduct. Inheriting this trait, Mr. Stanley had, in Congress, involved himself in a violent personal altereation with his colleague, Hon. Thomas L. Clingman; another with Hon. Mr. Inge, of Alabama, which terminated in a duel, and with Governor Wise, of Virginia, who applied a riding-whip to his shoulders.

        His career as Military Governor of North Carolina was a failure, not meeting the approbation of those who sent him, and destroying his reputation with those with whom he was reared, and by whom he had been honored. The most notable achievement of his mission was his letter to General D. H. Hill, of 24th March, 1862, abounding in bitterness, in which he declared that he "preferred serving in a brigade of negroes" than to belong to the troops commanded by General Hill, who then was defending Mr. Stanley's native land.

        Whatever motives influenced Mr. Stanley to undertake so hopeless a mission, all his attempts to compromise the difficulties were idle and abortive. The bloody chasm had Opened its ponderous jaws.
and any endeavor to heal the dissensions between the excited belligerents only tonded to bring suspicion from one side, and hatred from the other.

        The following letter, from one of the first men in point of ability in North Carolina, and a near kinsman of Mr. Stanley, shows public option as to Mr. S.'s course, and the state of public affairs at the unhappy period, and deserves to be preserved. It was written to Hon. Alfred Ely, who was a member of Congress from New York, and was at the battle
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