Do you know of author Brenda Chambers McKean? A friend gave me a recent book by her (Blood and War at My Doorstep) and you (and I) are mentioned in the acknowledgments. Seems to be a solidly-researched book on the fate of NC civilians during the war, most interesting and well-written.
Brenda Chambers McKean: Books ... Price For Both: $69.98.
Colonel William M. Parsley of New Hanover County
Eliza Nutt Parsley, wife of Lt-Col. William Parsley of the Third North Carolina, refugeed in Robeson County with her two small children where she thought herself safe from invading troops. Her story of terror and near-starvation was recently re-told by reenactress Kelly Hinson in the living history, “General Hoke at Duplin Roads.”
Bernhard Thuersam, Chairman
North Carolina War Between the States Sesquicentennial Commission
"Unsurpassed Valor, Courage and Devotion to Liberty"
"The Official Website of the North Carolina WBTS Sesquicentennial"
Eliza Nutt Parsley Refugees at Floral College
“As the Yankee troops marched through . . . the counties, they set fire to the turpentine distilleries and barrels of tar along the trek, creating dense black smoke. Pine forests caught fire lighting their way at night. Early in March, Sherman’s men destroyed in Lumberton the bridge over Lumber river, otherwise known as Drowning Creek, in addition to the railroad depot and six boxcars. Shoe Heel [present-day Maxton], located on the railroad had only a depot and one old turpentine distillery at the stop, which was demolished.
The Reverend Hector McLean, at Edinboro Plantation, had most of his possessions stolen. The bummers must have thought they hit the jackpot because of the enormous bounty they took consisting of four mules, six horses, five cows, one hundred and twenty-four hogs, two-thousand bushels of peas, one hundred bushels of wheat, twenty bushels of rice, sixty-five hundred pounds of fodder, seven thousand pounds of bacon, sixty gallons of syrup, one hundred chickens, and twenty-five thousand fence rails.
Reverend McLean wrote “Antioch Church was greatly injured by Sherman’s army . . . our Sabbath School [library] either destroyed or taken away.” For unknown reasons, the Lumber Bridge Presbyterian Church was burned after visits from Union troops.
Beside the Humphrey/Williams/Smith Plantation stood the Raft Swamp Post Office. Used by local citizens first, the office swarmed with bluecoats when the Fourteenth Corps swept through, plundering homes in the area. Elizabeth Nutt Parsley [of Wilmington], wife of Captain [later Lt-Col. William Murdock] Parsley, [refugeed] in Robeson County at Floral College.
The school was closed for students, but remained open to accept refugees. While her husband was away, the enemy came and took twelve horses. The Yankees tried to persuade her slave, Uncle Titus, by bribing him with a pearl-handle knife to come away with them. He refused. While at Floral College with her family [in early April], Mrs. Parsley received news of her husband’s death [three days before Appomattox].
To make matters worse, she had to leave her refuge because Sherman’s men burglarized the interior. Another prominent refugee family from Wilmington, Dr. [John D.] Bellamy, stayed at the college. They ran from the Federals only to collide with them again at Red Springs. Bellamy’s daughters told after the war that their mother, in searching for food, scratched around in the ground for corn kernels dropped by the enemy’s horses while at Shoe Heel.”
G.R. Nye remembered as a boy when the Yankees were rumored to be coming. He said the family hid valuables in the walls, the silver over the porch, and the meat was placed in a niche over the top of the stairs. Diarist Robeson inscribed, “March 12, 1865 . . . the Yankees paid me a visit. They searched to house for arms and ammunitions took all my hams and bushel and half and left.”
(Blood and War at My Doorstep, North Carolina Civilians in the War Between the States, Volume II, Brenda Chambers McKean, Xlibris, 2011, pp. 995-996)