The Civil War in North Carolina

Reminiscences and Memoirs of North Carolina and Eminent North Carolinians

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year, the youngest brigadier in the service. His brigade was one of the best known and most highly appreciated in the army of Northern Virginia.

        After the war closed, General Roberts, like Cincinnatus, went to the plough and sought repose in the peaceful pursuits of agriculture, leading a retired life. But in 1875 his friends and admirers elected him to the constitutional convention, and in 1876 he was elected a member of the house. Here his services were so appreciated that the state democratic convention in 1880, without his knowledge or consent, nominated him as auditor of the state.


        John Penn, born 1741, died 1788, one of the signers of the declaration of independence of July 4th, 1776, lived and died in this county. He was born in Caroline County, Virginia, the only son of Moses Penn and Caroline, his wife, who was the daughter "of John Taylor of Caroline," distinguished as a politician and a political writer. His father died whilst he was only a youth, and his education was defective. He read law with Edmund Pendleton, and displayed much genius and eloquence. He moved in 1774 to Granville, and the next year succeeded Richard Caswell as a delegate to the continental congress at Philadelphia, which sat from 1775 to 1780. He was appointed receiver of public taxes for North Carolina by Robert Morris. This position he soon resigned. He died September, 1788.

        James Williams, who fell in battle at King's Mountain on October 7, 1780, was a native of Granville County. He moved (1773) to Laurens district, South Carolina; became active in the partisan warfare in that state, and distinguished himself in the battle of Musgrove Mill. After that engagement he went to Hillsboro, where he raised a troop of cavalry, and returned to South Carolina. He fell at King's Mountain, at the same moment that the leader of the British forces was slain, and was buried on the battle field.*

        * Lossing; University Magazine, VII., 245.

        John Williams, who lived and died in this county, was a native of Hanover County, Virginia. In April, 1770, while attending court at Hillsboro, he was set on by the regulators, and severely beaten by them. His early education was neglected, as he was raised to the trade of a house carpenter. But he possessed strong native sense, and was chosen one of the first judges, in 1777, with Samuel Spencer and John Ashe as associates. He was elected a member of the continental congress in 1778, and died in October, 1799.

        The Hicks family were distinguished among those worthy of remembrance in Granville.

        Captain Robert Hicks lived about a mile from Oxford, in 1770.

        The family is English, and settled in Brooklyn, New York, in the locality now known as Hicks street. The family was distinguished in England for its courage and ability, and one of them was knighted for his deeds of daring.

        Robert Hicks entered the revolutionary army, and was in the battle of Guilford, with the North Carolina militia, where these raw and undisciplined troops were placed by General Greene in the front line, and there, overwhelmed by the British, fled; young Hicks stood his ground, and fought single handed, until nearly surrounded, and after his men had gone a considerable distance, he then escaped and shared, during the remainder of the war, its dangers and its glories.

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