The Civil War in North Carolina

Reminiscences and Memoirs of North Carolina and Eminent North Carolinians

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line, when he was attacked at midnight by the noted Tory, Colonel Gainy. The Tories were repulsed by General Graham's forces.

        This detail of the services of General Graham, is collected from his declaration, filed October 30, 1833, in the records of the Pension Bureau at Washington to obtain a pension, (No. 17953).

        This campaign closed the military services of General Graham in the Revolutionary War, and he retired to private life. He was elected the first Sheriff of Mecklenburg County; and from 1788 to 1794, with but few intermissions, represented this county in the Senate of the Legislature.

        In 1814, the war with the Creek Indians was raging. General Graham was appointed to command a brigade, and marched to the seat of war. They arrived just as the final battle of the Horse Shoe was fought, which ended the war. He was for many years, Major General of the 5th division of the State Militia.

        In 1802 he addressed the Legislature on the subject of organizing the Militia, and on a plan for a Military Academy, for which he received the thanks of the Legislature. This address was printed by order of the Legislature. He removed in 1792 to Lincoln County, and engaged in the establishment of iron foundries; for more than forty years he conducted this important interest with energy and success.

        By a life of industry and temperance he enjoyed a "green old age." He died on November 12, 1836, and was buried at McPelah, in Lincoln County. Over his grave is the following inscription:

        "Sacred to the memory of MAJOR GENERAL JOSEPH GRAHAM, who died November 12, 1836, aged 77 years. He was a brave, distinguished and intelligent officer in the Revolutionary War, and in various campaigns from May, 1778 to November, 1781; commanded in fifteen engagements with signal courage, wisdom and success.

        "On September 26, 1780 after a gallant defense of the ground first consecrated by the Declaration of American Independence, he was wounded near Charlotte. In 1814 he commanded the troops of North Carolina in their expedition against the Creek Indians. His life was a bright and illustrious pattern of domestic, social and public virtue. Modest, amiable, upright and pious, he lived a noble ornament to his country and a rich blessing to his family, and died with the hope of a glorious immortality."


        James Graham emigrated from County Down, in Ireland, at the age of 18 years, and settled in Chester County, Pennsylvania, in the early part of the eighteenth century. He also appears to have resided for a time in Berks and Lancaster Counties. The tradition is that he was of the family of the chieftain and hero of the same name, who bore such a conspicuous part in the military annals of Scotland*

        * The expression "military annals of Scotland" is used in preference to history, for the very good reason that the histories, so far, have never done him justice. He lived in the legends of Scotland, a prototype of that hero (Stonewall Jackson) of a later day, who with a corps but half-armed, drove more numerous and finely equipped foes from the field, and, with the captured supplies and arms, so prepared his troops for further and greater conquests. Finally yielding "to superior resources," he was told by the executioner, that after death he was to be drawn and quartered. He calmly replied that he would cheerfully submit to the more general distribution of his body, as it might teach mankind dulce et decorum pro patria mori, and as a testimony of the cause for which he suffered.

        Whilst Cromwell conquered England against the Stuarts, the Marquis conquered Scotland for them, but disgusted with the cant of the Praise God Barebones he soon lost all sympathy for them and became their most active foe. The Stuarts lost their sceptre by the Revolution of 1688, and the memory of James Graham has since then received the scant justice alloted to heroes of lost causes "He was truly a Christian and a gentleman, and well deserved to have his memory preserved and celebrated amongst the most illustrious persons of the age in which he lived."--Clarendon's History of the Great Rebellion, Book XII, 367.

        John Graham, of Claverhouse was of a very different character, and the odium justly attaching to his name, unredeemed by any marked talents or manly virtues, has misled those historians, who did not take the trouble to gather the evidence from the traditions among those with whose ancestors he acted, therefore they pass him over in silence, or unjustly condemn him. In these pages we cannot give his life, nor does it become important to establish the truth of the tradition of the Pennsylvania and North Carolina Grahams. By the table of theirgeneology we find that a son of the Pennsylvania James Graham called a son Robert Montrose, and in the next generation we find James Montrose Graham and Junius Montrose Graham. John Davidson, jr., who died about 1870, aged over ninety years, frequently spoke of General Grahams's connection with the Duke of Montrose, and the name "Montrose" was greatly revered by General Graham. These and other things we mention as family traditions and reminiscences. The New Berne family of Grahams have a similar tradition, but the families are unable to trace back to a common ancestor. They are believed, however, to be of the same house.

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