The Civil War in North Carolina

Reminiscences and Memoirs of North Carolina and Eminent North Carolinians

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of North Carolina State troops, with Matt. W. Ransom as lieutenant-colonel. In the battle of Chickahominy he was, on June 26, 1862, severely wounded, and died at Richmond on July 7 following. He died like a hero and a patriot. The following account, written at the time, is given of the death of Colonel Stokes:

        "After visiting my friend, who had been wounded severely, I went to the hospital to see Colonel Stokes. As soon as I saw the prostrated and mutilated form of poor Stokes, I felt that he had fought his last battle, and soon would join that--

                         'Mighty caravan
                         Which halts at night-time in the vale of death.'

        His surgeon stood mournfully by. His cheek had the pallor of death; his eye had lost its luster, and his hands had the clammy coldness of dissolution, He needed stimulants, the doctor suggested, and I asked him if I should procure some for him. He replied with promptness, opening mournfully his languid eyes: 'Yes, I should be glad to have some, but the other boys here need it as much as I, and we cannot get enough for all. I am very thankful, but do not wish that you should trouble yourself for me.' These were the last words I ever heard from the lips of M. S. Stokes. How characteristic of the man. The celebrated reply of the generous and gallant Sydney on the fatal field at Zutphen, when he passed the cup of water from his dying and parched lips to those of a suffering soldier, so lauded in history, does not excel in self-sacrifice, philanthropy and moral grandeur this dying remark of the brave Stokes. Such are the jewels of North Carolina, and none more brilliant than this."

        VIII. Catherine, married Dr. Alexander, a native of Mecklenburg, and moved to Alabama.

        IX. Ann, married Hon. Roland Jones, a native of Rowan County, but a resident of Shreveport, Louisiana. He was a judge and was a member of 33d Congress, 1853-55. He died in the midst of his family at Shreveport.

        X. Rachel Adelaide, married Lemuel P. Crane, of Louisiana, a lawyer. He died, leaving several children. Mrs. C. still resides at Shreveport. She and her sister, Mrs. Jones, are the sole survivors of Governor Stokes' family.

        General James B. Gordon was a native of this County, and was of the most accomplished and of the most gallant officers. He was much loved and esteemed by all who knew him. He entered the service as a lieutenant in Colonel Stokes' regiment. He served in the Legislature, 1850, as a member from Wilkes. He was made major of the 1st North Carolina regiment and afterward transferred to 1st regiment of cavalry--the crack regiment in the service commanded by Colonel Robert Ransom. He so distinguished himself in many battles that he was promoted to the rank of brigadier-general on May 11, 1864; at Yellow Stone Tavern, near Richmond, in a raid of General Sheridan, he was killed; with him fell at the same time the lamented and daring General J. E. B. Stuart, of Virginia. Of so elegant a gentleman, so gallant a soldier, Aristo might well have said: "Natura il fece epoi ruppe la stampa!" Nature having formed him, then broke the mould in which he was cast.


        Richard W. Singletary resides in Wilson, but is a native of Beaufort County, born February 10, 1837; educated at Lovejoy's Academy, and the University where he graduated in 1858, in same class with Wm. M. Coleman, John A. Gilmer, James T. Morehead, James T. Scales and others. He read law, but never practiced the profession, owing to his ill health. He entered the army as a volunteer in Company H, 27th North Carolina troops, and rose rapidly to the rank of lieutenant-colonel, and was wounded at Sharpsburg September 17, 1862, where his regiment lost two-thirds of its number in killed and wounded. In consequence of his wound, Colonel S. resigned, but in a few months after he accepted a captaincy in the 44th regiment, and was wounded in the battle of Spottsylvania Court House, which caused him to retire from the service. After the war he moved (in 1868) to Wilson and became engaged in editing the Plain Dealer.

        He was elected in 1875 a member of the Constitutional Convention, and in 1876 a member of the House.

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