The Civil War in North Carolina

Reminiscences and Memoirs of North Carolina and Eminent North Carolinians

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John married Rebecca Palmer; issue, John, Rebecca, Sarah and Susan. Samuel R., married Eliza Perry; issue, Allen, Mary and others.

        (c) Henry John Gray, in Legislature from Greene and Franklin, married Mary Tartt; issue, Peminah Watson Ruffin; Lamon, died in C. S. A.; Etheldred, died in C. S. A., married Elizabeth Kennedy; (issue, Mary Lee, married to John E. Woodward, and had Thomas Ruffin Woodward and John E. Woodward,) Sally Blount Ruffin, Patrick Henry, Lafayette, Dr. George W., died in C. S. A., Thomas, member of U. S. and C. S. Congress, colonel 1st North Carolina Cavalry, killed at Bristow Station; Mary Haywood, married Samuel Geraldin Williams; issue, Mary L. E. Williams; William Haywood, (who married Agnes K. Chadwick; issue, Samuel Ruffin, married Blanche Forster, and had James Forster Ruffin, Hanson Chadwick Ruffin, William Haywood, Thomas, Susan Drum and Mary Tartt Ruffin,) and to John Gray and Mary Tartt Ruffin was also born Samuel Ruffin, who married Anne Haywood, daughter of William H. Haywood, United States Senator.

        (d) Charity Ann, married to -- Wood; issue, Julius Wood, (married Miss McConico; issue, four children,) William Haywood Wood, Frank Wood, who married and had four children; (c) unmarried; (f) James Ruffin, married Miss Stanton, and had Willie and Elizabeth, who married Gray Little, and had two daughters.

        Curtis H. Brogden, born December 6, 1816, was born, reared and resides in Wayne County, about ten miles southwest of Goldsboro'. His grandfather, Thomas Brogden, was of English and Scotch origin, who came from Maryland and settled in Wayne County before the Revolutionary war. He was noted for his physical strength and activity, and also, like all Irishmen, he was noted for his genial temper and generosity. He literally "carried his heart in his hand." Having served as a soldier in the Revolutionary war, he afterward married a Miss Pierce, and his son, Pierce Brogden, was the father of the subject of our present sketch; an industrious, hard-working farmer of unblemished character. He married the daughter of John Beard, an Irishman, who possessed all the noblest traits of Irish character. She was a most exemplary, Christian woman, and to her example and her pious influences may be traced that high moral character for which her son has ever been distinguished. For this son of her love and hopes she cherished the fondest affection. She encouraged his love of books, and lived to see him respected for his virtues and abilities, and the honored representative of the people. His early days were, from the circumstances of his family, devoted to labor on a farm. He worked every summer to make a support, and in the winter after the crops were stored away attended school, but whether in the field or at home, he never neglected his books. When he had attained sufficient education he was employed to teach "an old field school," which duty he discharged to the advantage of his pupils and great acceptability to his patrons. Whatever he attempted he "did with all his might," and was always successful; while his generous disposition and his genial manner rendered him popular and caused him "to win golden opinions from all sorts of men." His career in political life is interesting and romantic. He had never attended a militia muster until he was by age ordered to the muster field. The second time he attended he was made captain of the company, and soon arose by successive promotions in the service to be major-general. He had never heard a political speech, or seen a candidate for the Legislature until the day that he became, by the wishes of the people, a candidate himself, on July 4, 1838. On that day he ploughed until eight o'clock, rode ten miles to the Court House, mustered three hours in the field, and marched to the Court House where the candidates for the Legislature announced themselves. After the others had spoken he unexpectedly to every one announced himself also as a candidate in a speech which surprised his audience, and won for him a triumphant election by the largest majority ever given in the County for any candidate. When he took his seat in the House he was the youngest member of a body composed of such men as William A. Graham, Michael Hoke, Kenneth Rayner, Robert B. Gilliam, David S. Reid, Hamilton C. Jones and others. Among "these burning and shining lights" he was not obscure. If not a practiced politician he was an attentive and close observer. It was remarked of him that he learned more and faster than any one in the Assembly. When he spoke he realized Fielding's advice, "a man speaks better when he knows what he is talking about." Being a devoted Democrat, he openly expressed his sentiments, and sometimes encountered opposition.

        On a notable occasion Hon. Kenneth Rayner undertook to measure swords with him, thinking to disarm him with ease, but he came "to shear, and got shorn himself."

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