The Civil War in North Carolina

Reminiscences and Memoirs of North Carolina and Eminent North Carolinians

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by votes of the returning officers (sheriffs.) He ran again for Congress (19th Congress, 1825-'27,) and was defeated by Hon. Samuel P. Carson. This canvass unhappily terminated in a duel between Carson and Vance, in which the latter was killed.

        David Vance married Margaret Myra Baird, and left two sons, Zebulon Baird Vance, and Robert Brank Vance, jr.; Zebulon Baird Vance was born in the county of Buncombe, on the 13th day of May, 1830. Without the restraining hand of a father to guide and correct "the slippery paths of youth," he is reported to have been a wild and wayward boy, so full of fun and frolic, that he tried the very soul of his mother and teachers to restrain him. But in all his pranks there was nothing but humor and no malice. It was the simple outgushing of volatile and irrepressible humor; he was always able to make his peace for all his mischievous capers, in the hearts of his superiors, by the genial kindness of his temper, his fearless and free disposition. As Mr. J. C. Calhoun was spending a summer in the mountains of North Carolina, when Zeb. was about fourteen years old, he stopped for the night where Zeb. resided.

        Attracted by the vivacity and quickness of the boy, and rather amused at the sprightliness of his manners, he invited him to take a walk, and conversed for some time with him. He so impressed young Vance's mind by the picture that he drew of what he might be if he would only cultivate his mind and apply himself to study, that the imaginative boy resolved to study in earnest, and to make his mark "among those names which never die." Acting upon this advice, he entered Washington College, Tennessee, remaining there two years, going thence to Newton Academy; his funds failing, he acted for a time as clerk at the Warm Springs. Here he was thrown in social contact with the first men of Western Carolina, South Carolina and East Tennessee. He improved these opportunities. The spark kindled by the great Calhoun was fanned into an ardent flame; and as soon as he could command the means he entered as a student at the University, where he was noted for the quickness of his mind and his "irrepressible impudence," which, like "the wind, bloweth where it listeth;" all yielded a willing homage to its irresistible and magic influence.

        His humor was involuntary and spontaneous. He could no more repress it than could the skylark withhold its liquid lays from the morning light, or the mountain stream prevent its pelucid current from bubbling up in radiance and beauty.

        After leaving college he studied law and was admitted to practice and was chosen County Solicitor.

        On the resignation of Hon. Thos. L. Clingman, (who was appointed Senator in Congress, vice Asa Biggs, appointed United States Judge, May, 1858, which appointment of Senator Clingman was confirmed by the Legislature, November, 1858,) Mr. Vance was elected to Congress over W. W. Avery, which position he held until the State seceded, (May, 1861.) He then returned home and raised one of the largest companies for the war ever raised in the State, of which he was elected captain, and it was incorporated into the 14th North Carolina Regiment. He was elected colonel of the 26th Regiment and attached to the brigade commanded by General L. O'B. Branch. He was engaged in the disastrous battle of New Berne, and also in the seven days' battles around Richmond.

        The following year he was elected Governor of the State, over Colonel William Johnston, of Charlotte, as the representative of the Union party, and opposed by the original secessionists. By some he was charged with the crime of deserting his party. He never deserted
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