The Civil War in North Carolina

Reminiscences and Memoirs of North Carolina and Eminent North Carolinians

Bookmark and Share

Campbell, who was born in Tennessee. He was Attorney General of the State, served in the Cherokee and Creek wars; elected to Congress from Tennessee, from 1837 to 1843. He was Colonel of the 1st Regt. of Tennessee Volunteers in the Mexican war, and distinguished himself at the battles of Monterey, National Bridge and Cerro Gordo. From 1850 to '53, he was elected Governor of the State of Tennessee, and in 1857 was chosen by a unanimous vote of the Legislature, Judge of the Circuit Court. In 1862 he was appointed by Lincoln a Brigadier-General in the Union army, which his health caused him to decline. At the close the war he was again elected a member of 39th Congress, (1865-'67,) and died at Lebanon, Tennessee, Aug. 19th, 1867.

        The sixth daughter married General James Wellborn, of Wilkes County, whose eldest daughter married Newton Cannon, Governor of Tennessee (for sketch of whom see page 189.) The seventh daughter married Montford Stokes, who was Governor of North Carolina, (for sketch of whom see Wilkes County.)

        Connected with Rowan and her distinguished personages is the name of Elizabeth Steele. It was at her house in Salisbury on the evening of February 1st, 1781, that "the Fabius of America," General Nathaniel Greene arrived, after a hard day's ride through the rain, alone, fatigued, hungry, penniless and down-hearted; as he expressed himself to Dr. Read who had charge of the sick and wounded prisoners at this place. Mrs. Steele heard this, and the fire of patriotism was augmented by the deep sympathy, which is ever the prominent feeling in a true woman's heart. Hardly had the General seated himself at a well-spread table, before a cheerful fire, when Mrs. Steele entered, and reminded her distinguished guest that she had overheard his desponding remarks, she drew from under her apron two small bags of specie, her earnings for years. "Take them" she said "for you will want them, and I can do without them." "Never" says his biographer, "did relief come at a more needed moment." The hero resumed that night his dangerous journey, for the British army under Lord Cornwallis, had that day crossed the Catawba and was advancing on Salisbury. This scene has been made the subject of both painting and sculpture. On the wall hung a picture of George the 3d, which had been sent as a present from England to Mrs. Steele, by some friends at Court Filled with the painful memories of the sufferings of his country, and of the blood that even that day had been spilled in its defence by the myrmidons of power, General Greene took the picture from the wall and wrote on its back "Oh George, hide thy face and mourn," and replaced it with its face to the wall.

        Mrs. Steele died in 1790. She was twice married. By her first husband she had a daughter, who married Rev. Samuel McCorkle; by her second husband, (William Steele,) she had General John Steele (born Nov. 1st, 1764, died Aug. 14th, 1812,) who was born in Salisbury. He was educated as a merchant, but as soon as he arrived at manhood he devoted himself to agriculture and politics.

        In 1787 and 1788, he was elected a member of the Legislature from the borough of Salisbury. In the latter year he was also a member of the Convention at Hillsboro, (July 21st. 1788,) to consider the Constitution of the United States, and with Davie, Iredell, Johnston and others made active but fruitless efforts for its adoption. His course on this occasion did not affect his popularity, for the next year he was elected a member of the first Congress of the United States (1789-91) and was re-elected to the next Congress, (1791--93.) In 1794 he was again elected a member of the Legislature, and re-elected in 1795. On July 1st
Page 397 of 471
Index - Contents
Featured Books & CD-ROMS