The Civil War in North Carolina

Reminiscences and Memoirs of North Carolina and Eminent North Carolinians

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        The year 1767, says Moore in his chronicles of Hertford County, saw the nucleus of a beautiful village, perched on the lofty banks of the Meherrin River, in this county. For years previous, it had been a favorite shipping point, from which Captains Meredith and Anderson had conducted, in their own vessels, a steady and lucrative trade with different foreign sea-ports. In 1768 the Legislature incorporated the town of Murfreesboro, with William Murfree, Patrick Brown, Redmond Hackett, William Vaughan and John Parker as Commissioners.

        The first house erected, was the residence of William Murfree, which stands near the landing, just beside the church-yard. The venerable and useful Aunt Peggy Weaver was long the occupant of this ancient edifice. She, too, has doubtless gone, and, as with the original Commissioners,

                         "Each in his narrow bed forever laid,"
                         The rude forefathers of the hamlet sleep.

        The Murfree family is of English origin. William Murfree, born in 1730, was the founder of the family. He was a man of influence and respectability, and took a decided stand in defence of the liberties of the country, when threatened by royal authority. He represented the county in the Provincial Congress that met at Halifax in November, 1776, which body formed our State Constitution. He married Mary Moore, by whom he had several children--Hardy, the founder of Murfreesboro in North Carolina, as also of a village of the same name in Tennessee; James, William, Sarah, who married Samuel Cryer; Patty, who married Benjamin Banks; Betty, who married Richard Andrews, and Nancy, who married Jonathan Roberts.

        Major Hardy Murfree, son of the above, was born June 5, 1752, and was in the prime of life when the revolution commenced.

        On the earliest organization of the military force of the country, he was appointed by the Provincial Congress, at Hillsboro, on August 21, 1775, a Captain in the 2d Regiment of State troops of the Continental Establishment, (Robert Howe, Colonel), and joined the grand Army of the North, under Washington.

        Under his eye he was engaged in the battles of Brandywine, Monmouth and elswhere. He was promoted to the rank of Major, and was selected to lead the desperate and successful attack on Stony Point, July 16, 1779.

        At this period, the affairs of the colonies were in a most desperate condition. Washington, in a letter to Col. Harrison, of Virginia, states that, "they were more distressed, ruinous and deplorable than at any time since the war commenced, and on the brink of ruin."

        Washington determined to strike the enemy, and projected the attack on the strong fortress at Stony Point. He directed "Mad Anthony" Wayne to execute his plans. The attack was made at midnight; the British were surprised and defeated. Two companies of North Carolina light troops made the attack, led by Major Murfree, whose bravery and gallant conduct is mentioned in General Wayne's official dispatch to Congress.

        Both of these companies were of the Second North Carolina Continentals, and led, with unloaded muskets, the forlorn hope in this desperate enterprise. General Wayne was severely wounded, and Captain John Daves, of New Berne, second in command to Major Murfree's
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