The Civil War in North Carolina

Reminiscences and Memoirs of North Carolina and Eminent North Carolinians

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last few years he had always expressed himself as only waiting for his Master's call. His quiet, peaceful death was certainly in accord with the proverb that had been his guide through life. "Keep innocency, and cleave to the thing that is right, and that will give a man peace at last."

        The following sketch of his life is in a great measure gleaned from a manuscript written by himself only three months before his death, and given to his wife to keep for the benefit of his children and grand-children. It was, of course, never intended for publication, but a part of it is copied by permission, feeling it would be of great interest and that, as he says it "may aid the young by showing that energy and strict integrity will after many vicissitudes, lead to a peaceful old age, and if joined to christian faith, may lead to something better." "I fear," says he, "I have not profited much by his advice, (all that my excellent father, after his misfortunes, had to give,) except in one thing: 'be strictly honest,' and in this respect, I am now, in my old age, willing to face the world."

        Mr. Dodge was born October 27th, 1795, in Johnstown, a village on the Mohawk, in the State of New York, famous as the residence of Sir William Johnson, the former Governor of all the Indian tribes in the North. Full of life and vivacity, and fond of all field sports, he received a good Academic education, and although his father wished him to finish at Union College, his great desire was to see undiscovered lands, and to join Western expeditions. When he was seventeen years old the war of 1812 began, and as his father was a Brigadier-General, and in command at Sackett's Harbor, he was with him as an aid. Full of glee and perfectly happy, he there saw company and sights that he enjoyed; Commodore Chauncey and Captain Woolsey of the Navy, and Col. McComb, afterwards commander-in-chief of the army, were guests at his father's table. This life suited him so well that after their discharge and the return of his father to Albany, where he then lived, he joined as a volunteer in a company called "the Albany Independent Volunteers," Capt. Judson, and they marched to Brooklyn Heights, to meet Gen. Packenham, and remained there until Gen. Packenham changed his course for New Orleans, where he met Gen. Jackson and defeat.

        After peace he became a clerk in his uncle's store, in New York city, and passed some years in his family. Enjoying the most refined society, with a promise and prospect of getting into business through his uncle's aid, he yet believed he could achieve a more splendid success in the South, and embarked in the brig John, in October 1817, for Charleston, S. C., recomended in the best letters from New York that the city could afford. When off the coast of Virginia they encountered a most terriffic storm which kept all hands and the passengers at the pumps for thirty-six hours, and they finally put in at Norfolk, Va. Here he met an old friend, Hiram Paulding, afterwards an Admiral, then a midshipman on the Macedonian, which was dismantled and partially wrecked in the same storm. "While" (I quote his own words,) "in Norfolk during the repairing of the brig, I made an excursion to Petersburg, Va., to see something of Southern life. But my fate was sealed, for better or worse; the brig John was condemned, my Charleston trip and hopes destroyed, and I made a speculation, the cause of all my future misery and happiness. After struggling for two years, ruin came, and in the year 1820, still full of hope and armed with the kindest letters from all who had known me in Petersburg, and also with a license to practice law in Virginia, given me, I fear, more of favor than desert, like Christian in the Pilgrim's Progress did his sins, I strapped on my back my new debt of many thousands, jumped into the stage, then our only conveyance, and
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