The Civil War in North Carolina

Reminiscences and Memoirs of North Carolina and Eminent North Carolinians

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sometime he was the surveyor of Wilkes County.

        It is related of Col. Cleveland that he owned a copy of a very remarkable book, entitled, "The Life and Adventures of Mr. Cromwell, the natural son of Oliver Cromwell," written by a man who was the son of a great beauty, named Elizabeth Cleveland, a daughter of an officer of the palace of Hampton Court, who had attracted the attention of the King, Charles I, and who, when Oliver Cromwell assumed the reigns of government, won his sympathies; and the author of that book was their offspring. The mother subsequently married a Mr. Bridge and disappeared from further notoriety. This book was published after the author's death in 1731; a French translation appeared in 1741, and again it was printed in 1760. To this book Col. Benjamin Cleveland attached great store, asserting that through its author he rightfully claimed descent from Oliver Cromwell.

        In his work on the Cromwell family, Noble denounces this book as too marvelous to be true, and whilst Noble, Guizot and others, who have written of Cromwell, assert that he most probably had natural children, yet the extraordinary adventures recited in that book make it appear to be a fictitious narrative

        A most singular vanity and quaint conceit! We know that the Clevelands derive their name from a tract in the North Riding of Yorkshire, England, yet called Cleveland. John Cleveland came early to Virginia and settled in Prince William County, on that since celebrated stream, Bull Run. Here Benjamin was born, May 26, 1738; subsequently he removed to Orange County, Va., and there married Miss Mary Graves and in 1769 removed, with his father-in-law and family to North Carolina, settling on Roaring creek, in that part of Rowan afterwards Surry, and later Wilkes' County. In 1775 (Sept. 1), he became an ensign in Col. Robert Howe's regiment. He was in the Cross Creek expedition 1775; in the Cherokee war under Gen. Rutherford, 1776; at Brier Creek in 1778-79. At Ramsour's Mill, and chased Bryan's band from the State; he was also in the expedition to New River. The brightest laurels won by Cleveland were gathered on King's Mountain. Hayne speaks of him thus--

                         Now by God's grace. we have them," cried Cleveland, my noble colonel he,
                         Resting to pick a Tory off, quite cooly, on his knee;
                         "Now by God's grace, we have them, the snare is subtly set,
                         The game is bagged: we hold them safe as pheasants in a net."

        He was ever a source of terror to the Tory; his subsequent career was a terrible ordeal and his adventures were most thrilling.

        But they were incidents of the time. "Cleveland's Heroes" or "Cleveland's Bull Dogs," welcome names to the patriots, became "Cleveland's Devils" to the Tories.*

        * Draper's King's Mountain.

        William Lenoir, born 1751, died 1839; the Secretary of the Committee of Safety for Surry County, just alluded to; was born in Brunswick County, Virginia, on April 20, 1751, the youngest of a family on ten children. When he was only eight years old, his father moved to Tarboro' North Carolina. His education was limited, and was obtained by his own personal exertions. When about twenty years of age he married Ann Ballard, of Halifax, and in March, 1775, moved to the County of Surry (since erected into Wilkes County) and settled near Wilkesboro'. He was early an active and decided agent favoring the cause of independence. In a private diary of his, of which I have a copy in manuscript, he says: "I was a member of the Committee for Surry County, and clerk thereof for about eighteen months, and duly attended its regular meetings at a distance of
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