The Civil War in North Carolina

Reminiscences and Memoirs of North Carolina and Eminent North Carolinians

Bookmark and Share

orders to one of his couriers he was struck in the abdomen by a minie ball, which, in a few hours, proved his death wound.

        A short time before his dissolution the doctors informed him that he was dying, and asked if a minister of the gospel might be called in; he readily assented, and a minister was sent for. All knelt down in prayer; after prayer he was very quiet, and requested to be raised up in bed; that being done he breathed once or twice freely. "Now lay me down," he said, and folding his hands across his breast, and closing his eyes, on May 13th, 1864, the spirit of Junius Daniel departed for another and better world.

        His remains were taken to the place of his birth; he was buried under venerable oaks in the old church yard at Halifax, where many of his honored relatives sleep, "that sleep that knows no waking."

        He left no children. His affectionate wife, Ellen, the daughter of the late John J. Long, still survives to cherish with devoted affection his stainless reputation, his daring valor, and his devoted patriotism.

        Benjamin MeCullock, also a native of Halifax, was killed in the battle of Elkhorn. He was the grandson of a man by the same name; these names are frequently mentioned in the Colonial History of North Carolina.

        Henry McCullock was, by order of the King, appointed secretary, vice Rice, deceased. His difficulties with Governor Johnston for several years created great confusion in the colony.*

        * Board of Trade; Rolls Office, 12.

        John Branch, born 1782, died 1863, was born, raised, and died in Halifax County. His ancestors were of true revolutionary stock. He was born November 4, 1782; educated at the university, where he graduated in 1801, in the same class with Thomas G. Amis, Thomas D. Bennehan, Francis Little Dancy, and John Davis Hawkins.

        He studied law with Judge John Haywood, but he never pursued the profession. He preferred the more exciting career of politics, in which he was eminently successful. His first appearance in public life was in 1811, as senator in the legislature from Halifax County. He was elected continuously until 1817, when he was chosen governor of the state.

        After serving the constitutional term, he was again elected a senator in the legislature, in 1822, and the next year he was elected senator in the Congress of the United States, and re-elected to the same distinguished post in 1827. He resigned on being selected by General Jackson as secretary of the navy.

        On the dissolution of the cabinet in consequence of affair of Mrs. Eaton, already referred to in the sketch of Governor Eaton, Governor Branch returned to his home, and was elected a member of the house of representatives in 1831. In 1834, he was again elected to the state senate, and in 1835, a member of the convention to revise the constitution of the state. In 1838, he was the democratic candidate for Governor of North Carolina, and was defeated by Governor Dudley. In 1843, he was appointed by the president Governor of Florida, after which he retired from the arena of public life.

        He died at Enfield, on January 4th, 1863. By his first wife, Miss Fort, he raised a large and lovely family. He married a second time Mrs. Bond, of Bertie County, (nee Jordan,) who did not long survive her distinguished husband.

        James Grant, of Iowa, was born and reared in Halifax County. His grandfather emigrated from Scotland. His father, whose name he bears, was born in same county (1791.) He was elected a member of the legislature in 1814, and in 1827, comptroller of the state. He married Elizabeth, daughter of Matthew C. Whitaker, who represented Halifax in the state senate in 1807 to 1810. He died in
Page 208 of 471
Index - Contents
Featured Books & CD-ROMS