Back to the Index GRAHAM COUNTY IN THE CIVIL WAR Back to the Index

North Carolina was slow to withdraw from the Union, but once withdrawn it gave unsparingly of its men and resources. The section of Cherokee County that would become Graham County in 1872 found itself with divided loyalties. Many believed strongly in the cause of the Confederates; others were equally devoted to the Union cause. Much bitterness existed within our own citizenry during the war and following the cessation of fighting. It was not a matter of North versus South but often neighbor against neighbor. The situation was further complicated by bands of bushwhackers who operated independently. Most notorious of the bushwhackers of this mountainous region was John Kirkland, known as "Bushwhacker" Kirkland.

During the closing days of the Civil War Capt. Lyons made a raid through Graham County. The major encounter occurred near the Issac Carringer farm. Then the raiders, robbing and pillaging as they went, continued up Santeetlah to Robbinsville and cut back toward Tennessee by way of Stratton Bald.

The writer does not wish to revive unpleasant animosities but feels treatment of the Civil War is necessary for understanding of the existing turmoil when Graham County first became a county.  Robert B. Barker of Andrews compiled the following lists after considerable research in the National Archives in Washington. Since Graham County, as such, did not exist until 1872, some years after the close of the Civil War in 1865, it was necessary to use data collected from Yellow Creek, Stecoah, and Cheoah Townships or Districts of Cherokee County, N.C., in the Census of 1850, 1860, 1870, and 1880 which are now in Graham County, N. C.   Mr. Barker also used a review of federal pension files; lists of grave markers from various cemeteries; the special schedule to the 1890 census listing widows and survivors of the War of the Rebellion or Civil War; and data collected from various other sources.

Civil War Soldiers, (War of the Rebellion) - 1861-1865  from Cheoah, Stecoah, and Yellow Creek Townships or Districts of Cherokee County, N. C., now and since 1872, in Graham County, N.C.

Confederate Army

Three small companies of Confederate Troops appear to have been raised at Fort Montgomery (former name of Robbinsville) in 1862


Captain Dewitt C. Ghormley's Company of Provost Guards, organized on July 4, 1862 by the election of Captain Ghormley, John Grant (father of Ben Grant of Andrews), First Lieutenant; Elijah Nelson, Second Lieutenant; and David T. Nichols, Second Lieutenant.

This Company, with certain additional men, was mustered in at Maryville, Tennessee, September 24, 1862, as Company F, Lt. Col. Wm. C. Walker's Battalion of Colonel Wm. H. Thomas' Confederate Legion. By order of Lt. General E. Kirby Smith, this Company was then transferred to and became Company K, Fifth Tennessee Cavalry, Confederate States Army.

Muster Roll Captain D. C. Ghormley's Company:  J. A. McKamy, Reuben Carver, William Gordey, Gabriel F. Rice, Daniel A. Taylor, Martin L. Dyer, Francis M. Carringer, William. Gladden, Adam Cable, William Moore, Jasper I. Chambers, William Anderson, Andrew McClain, Isaac Rose, William R. Hooper, Leander Colvin, Lewis Farr, John Johnson, Alexander Jones, William Cruse, William McKeldry, Stephen Porter, William Carver, James Williams, George W. Deaver, Thomas B. Chamber, William T. Kirkland, Thomas H. Gladden, John Brewer, William Cable, George W. Kirkland, Philip Chambers, John Farmer, Thomas, Carver, William Eller, Wesley Carringer, John Farr, John Davis, Jefferson Johnson, Wilburn Johnson, Thomas W. Hooper, and James H. Sherrill.


Captain Thomas J. Cooper's Company, mustered in by Colonel Wm. H. Thomas (only white man ever elected Chief of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians) - Capt. Cooper later resigned by reason of his advanced age and ill health. He was succeeded by his son, Captain James W. Cooper, who was later a Murphy attorney. The Company was designated as Company H, Infantry Regiment of Col. Thomas' Confederate Legion. Other officers were Lieutenant Lafayette George and Lieutenant Eli Ingram.

Muster roll of Captain Thomas J. Cooper's Company:  Johnson R. Adams, John P. Ammons, William A. Burchfield, Joseph Barnes, James H. Burnett, John M. Colvard, Hamilton Cody, John A. Crisp, Ezekiel Crisp, John Crisp, George M. Cooper, William W. Cooper, John D. Colvard, Azar Carver, A. Carver, William W. Carver, James M. Edwards, Thomas N. Ellis, J. H. Hennessa, Logan R. Golden, Riley Hooper, D. D. Harwood, J. H. Hennerd, Philip Jenkins, Jasper Jarner, William Jenkins, Thomas M. Johnson, Thomas Lowry, Wm. J. Lakey, William Lovin, Rufus Marcus, David C. Ammons, Henry W. Barker, John W. Breedlove, James V. Bradshaw, A. M. Crisp, William Carpenter, Tilmon H. Cody, Mansel F. Crisp, James M. Crisp, William D. Crisp, McAnaly Cooper, Thomas Cable, Wilson Carpenter, Lawson Carver, Reuben Carver, Thomas S. Deaver, John R. Edwards, Jason S. Hyde, Washington George, William T. Golden, Thomas J. Hooper, James L. Hogue, Isaac L. Ingram, D. F. Johnson, Abram Jenkins, John T. Johnson, Y. S. Keith, Green B. Long, John Lovin, L. T. Mann, William Mathis, Lewis M. Medlin, William D. Moore, James L. Nelson, Fleming H. Pace, Thomas Prichard, William Proctor, J. S. Rogers, Benjamin M. Sherrill, William M. Sherrill, William H. Skinner, George G. Stallcup, Isaac Winfrey, G. R. Willocks, Joseph Welch, Andrew J. Wikle, Richard C. Washburn, Benjamin T. Moore, P. H. McGaha, Joseph C. Ownby, William Pace, Charles H. Phillips, Joseph Reagan, A. M. Scott, Abram H. Sherrill, Isaac Sawyers, Charles F. Stallcup, Jeremiah Waldroup, Andrew J. Willocks, Robert M. Willocks, William L. Welch, and William F. Whitesides


Captain Nathaniel Matthew Eddington Slaughter's Company became Company F, 39th North Carolina Infantry of the Confederate States Army. Capt. Slaughter later resigned because of ill health (stomach trouble) May 22, 1863. Other Officers in Captain Slaughter's Company were Captain Andrew J. Cody, Lieutenant John W. Rhea (later Captain), and Lieutenant Joel A. Sawyers.

Muster Roll of Captain N.M.E. Slaughter's Company:  Young W. Ammons, John Brown, John S. Brown, Andrew Bird, Joseph D. Cooper, Michael Coffman, Hiram L. Cairnes, Joseph B. Crisp, John M. Crisp, Andrew N. Colvard, Julius A. Dale, Jacob Franklin, James Fuzzell, David Hedoecock, Marcus L. King, Alfred Locust, William M. McLabe, John W. Rich, William A. Rhea, James Ross, Samuel B. Sawyer, John S. Swanyer, Fidelia Shuler, Anderson Waldroup, John W. Wiggins, James A. Barnes, Wilson Birchfield, E. Z. Birchfield, Albert G. Collins, Tighlman Cody, Andrew J. Cairness, Smith Campbell, William H. Crisp, Jr., William H.Crisp, Sr., Houston Colvard, Benjamin Franklin, Charles Fisher, Peter Graybeard, Elijah Hedgecock, James Lane, William McMillan, William M. Pace, John W. Rhea, George Ross, Thomas P. Sawyer, John W. Sumter, John Stewart, Joel L. Sumter, andLewis Waldrop


Also, many Confederate volunteers from the area in present Graham County served in Company D, 25th North Carolina Infantry, organized in 1862 at Valleytown by Captain John W. Francis; in Captain Stephen Whitaker's Company E, of Walker's Battalion of Thomas Confederate Legion, also organized at Valleytown; in Captain George W. Hayes' Company A, Second North Carolina Cavalry, organized at Tomotla; in Captain Willis Parker's Company I, Infantry Regiment of Thomas' Legion, organized at Marble (Marble Springs); in Captain William C. Walker's first command, Company A. 29th North Carolina Infantry, organized at England's Point in the Ranger area of Cherokee County; and in Captain Hugh Harvey Davidson's Company A, 39th North Carolina Infantry, organized at Murphy but it would require months of research to make up an accurate list.

Adams Brothers (Alfred and Benjamin - top, Aseph and John Posey - bottom) all served in Thomas' Legion, Company I, under Captain Willis Parker, organized at Marble, NC.  These brothers are ancestors of many of the Adams' now living in Graham and Cherokee Counties.


Union Army

Volunteers who were residents either before or after the War in present Graham County


Adams, John Posey of Rough (Cedar Cliff) and Robbinsville. (Corporal, Company C. Third Tennessee Mounted Infantry, 100 days Union Volunteers)

(Note: Yes, this is the same John Posey Adams shown in the above picture as a Confederate soldier serving in Thomas' Legion, Company I.  At some point, while in Tennessee, starving and miserable, John Posey Adams switched sides and became a Union Volunteer).

Bradshaw, Julius S. of Welch, on Little Tennessee River. (Private, Co. C, 3rd Tenn. Mtd. Infantry, 100 days Union Volunteers).

Bradshaw, Thomas Jefferson of Stecoah and Japan. (Private, Co. G, 3rd Tenn. Mtd. Infantry, 100 Days Union Vols.)

Brown, John of Stecoah. (husband of Hazy Crisp) (Pvt. Co. C, 3rd, Tenn. Mtd. Inf.)

Brown, Ennos of Johnson. (Pvt. Co. F, Tenth Tennessee Cavalry, Union Army Volunteers)

Carver, Thomas of Brock, Stecoah and Welch buried at Panther Creek Cemetery. (Private, Co. C, 3rd. Tenn. Mtd. Infantry, 100 days Union Volunteers)

Carringer, Andrew J. of Yellow Creek, Johnson and Millsaps. (Private, Company C, 3rd. Tenn. Mounted Infantry, Union Army Volunteers).

Carringer, Daniel (Nathan) Wesley of Robbinsville. (Private, Co. G, 3rd Tenn. Mtd. Inf., 100 days Union Vols. Died Apr. 18, 1874 buried Mother Church Cem. Robbinsville).

Carringer, Francis Marion of Millsaps, Yellow Creek and (Pvt., Co. G, 3rd Tenn. Mtd. Inf. Santeetlah. 100 days Union Vols.)

Carringer, William H. of Yellow Creek, & Johnson (Pvt. Co. C, 3rd Tenn. Mtd. Inf. 100 days Union Vols.)

Chandler, John of Robbinsville (Private, Company C. Fifth Tennessee Mounted Infantry, 12 mos. Union Army Volunteers, 1864-1865).

Crisp, John Marion of Stecoah, (Private, Company C, Third Tennessee Mounted Infantry, 100 days Union Volunteers).

Crisp, Manoes of Stecoah. (Private, Co. A, 118th Ohio Infantry and Company K, 183rd Ohio - Infantry, Union Army Volunteers).

Crisp, Joseph B. of Robbinsville. (Private, Company C, 3rd Tenn. Mtd. Infantry, 100 days Union Army Vols.)

Crisp, Philip B. of Stecoah and Japan. (Corporal, Company C, Third Tenn. Mounted Inf. 100 days Union Army Volunteers).

Crisp, William of Fontana. (Private, Co. C, 3rd Tenn. Mtd. Infantry, 100 days Union Vols).

Ditmore, John H. of Robbinsville. (Pvt. Co. C, 3rd Tenn, Mounted Inf., Union Army Volunteers).

Fricks, John D. of Robbinsville. (Pvt. Com. F & I. 3rd Tenn. Cavalry, Union Vols).

Farr, David of Miller's Cove and Walland.

Farr, John of Santeetlah (buried at Jenkins Cemetery) died May 6, 1883.

Farr, Lewis of Graham Co., N. C. removed to Cheyenne, Osborne County, Kansas in 1878.

David, John, & Lewis Farr were brothers. All served in Co. C, 3rd Tenn. Mtd. Inf. 100 days Union Vols. In 1864.)

Garland, Charles native of Mitchell County, N. C., enlisted in 3rd N. C. Mounted Infantry (Union) in 1864 in Mitchell County and mustered out at Knoxville in 1865, died at Cheoah, Graham County, N. C., Sept. 21, 1925 and buried at Old Mother Church Cemetery, Robbinsville.

Garland, Joseph E. of Tuskeegee. (Sergeant, Company B, 13th Tennessee Cavalry, Union Army Vols.)

Gladden, Thomas of Yellow Creek (buried at Miller's Cove Cemetery Blount Co. Tenn.) (Pvt. Co. C, 3rd Tenn. Mtd. Inf. 100 days Union Volunteers).

Garrison, William H. of Yellow Creek and Johnson.

Golden, Hasting A., Golden, Henry D., Golden, Logan R., Golden, Wm. T. (Tice) - These Golden brothers all served as volunteers in Union 3rd Tenn. Mounted Infantry, Co. C. Some of the Golden brothers had prior service in the Confederate Army. None returned to Cherokee or Graham Counties after the war, although they had married sisters living in Stecoah. The boys took up residence in Claiborne County, Tennessee.

Hogue, James L. of Welch and Homestead. Buried in Panther Creek Cemetery on Stecoah. First Sergeant, Company C, Third Tenn. Mounted Infantry, 100 days Union Vols. 1861).

Holder, Davis M. of Stecoah and Brock. (Pvt. Co. C, 3rd Tenn. Mtd. Inf. 100 days Union Vols.)

Jenkins, William of Santeetlah and Robbinsville. (Pvt. Co. C, 3rd Tenn. Mtd. Inf. 100 days Union Vols. 1864).

Kirkland, John Hamilton of Yellow Creek. (Claimed no kin to John Jackson Kirkland, known as Bushwhacking John) (Teamster, Co. E, 14th Illinois Cavalry).

Lance, James S. of Cheoah, Stecoah and Robbinsville (born in Cheoah Township) (Private, Co. I, Fifth Tenn. Mounted Infantry, Union Vols.)

Marcus, John S. of Stecoah, Cheoah and Robbinsville. (Pvt. Co. C, 3rd Tenn. Mtd. Inf. 100 days Union Vols.)

Marcus, William Alfonzo (known as Fonz Marcus) of Welch & Stecoah. Lived to be almost 100 years old, died 1933 & buried in Old Bill Cable Cemetery on Pilkey Creek between Old Wayside & Bushnell, Fontana Lake. Served in 15th Pennsylvania Cavalry, Union Vols.

Medlin, Lewis Marion of Welch, Stecoah and Homestead. (Pvt. Co. C, 3rd Tenn. Mtd. Inf. 100 days Union Vols.)

Millsaps, John (Co. C, 3rd Tenn. Mtd. Inf.). Did not list a post office address in Graham County, N. C., after the war but he married in Cheoah Township in 1868 to Salina Angeline Hooper, daughter of Dr. Enos C. Hooper, M.D. (for whom the Hooper Bald was named) and he listed 12 children, 5 by Salina, before divorcing her in Superior Court of Graham County and then marrying Minda Garland at Blairsville, Union County, Ga. in 1879.

Maynor, William M. (known as Britt Maynor) of Welch, Stecoah & Japan. (Pvt. Co. D, 47th Kentucky Infantry, Union Army Volunteers).

Odom, William M. of Yellow Creek. (Sergeant, Company L, 4th Kentucky Cavalry, Union Army Vol).

Orr, Georve W. of Robbinsville and Millsaps. (Co. M, of the 8th Tenn. Cavalry, Union Volunteers). Rev. Geo. W. Orr was a highly respected citizen of Graham County. He was born in S. C. in 1845 and died in 1922, buried at Lone Oak with his widow, Betsy Colvin. He was the father of 12 children, his son Riley being Sheriff of Graham County.

Snider, Alexander Burton of Yellow Creek. (Private, Company I, Fifth Tennessee Infantry, Union Army Volunteers.) Born May 20, 1843 at Four Mile Branch, Monroe Co., Tenn., enlisted as volunteer at Knoxville on Nov. 1, 1862 for 3 years, honorable discharge at Nashville, Tenn., June 30, 1865. Listed 5, children - the youngest Joseph J. (Jut) born Dec. 26, 1887. He was in two fierce battles, Resaca, Ga., and Franklin, Tenn. Died June 1, 1930, at Robbinsville. Buried Old Mother Church Cemetery.

Welch, John of Welch. (Private Company E, Third Tennessee Mounted Infantry that was raised in Blount County.)

West, William B. of Robbinsville. (Private, Company A, Fourth United States Volunteer Infantry, (Regular Army).

Williams, Bart

Williams, George of Yellow Creek

Deaver, Jeff

Courage and bravery have generally been a characteristic of the mountaineer in war and in peace. The Civil War exposed the entire family to hardships and extreme danger. Often the safety of the soldier-husband depended upon the ingenuity and craftiness of the wife. Many may have experienced perils possibly of equal merit; however, the account of Hazie Crisp Brown of Stecoah community will illustrate the point at hand.

Hazie Brown, wife of John Brown listed above among the Union Volunteers, rode on horseback from Mountain Creek to Chickamauga to get her wounded husband. She went directly to the battlefield to find her husband lying in a ditch. With the aid of some of his comrades, he was hoisted into the saddle. She rode behind him across Chickamauga Creek and hid out until he was nursed sufficiently for the trip back to Graham County.

Another time she fooled a group of men who came to her house looking for her brother Mansil. She had him hidden in the loft among sacks of dried fruit. They ruthlessly demanded that she prepare dinner for them. She took a bucket and went to the loft to get some of the dried fruit. While in the loft, she gave her bonnet and dress to her brother who came down in disguise. He was near freedom when the men recognized him and gave chase. Hazie and John Brown lie buried in the cemetery in Stecoah that bears her name.

Hazie Brown of Stecoah

In time of war, like most any other place, our county has paid the price of war in terms of human lives and crippled bodies. Mountain people the world over are traditionally a hardy breed, and in times of conflict the people of Graham County have responded to the Nation's needs with many and varied types of service, and with considerable sacrifice. Though we have been few in number, the toll has not been light. The wounded have been too many to name. We can but attempt to mention the dead.



In this war, which lasted about four months during the spring and summer of 1898, America suffered a greater number of non-battle deaths than it did as a result of actual fighting. From Graham County, Ira T. Wiggins died of yellow fever in Santiago. Victor Phillips drowned off the Philippines.

C.C. Ghormley, at one time Graham County's oldest veteran of the Spanish-American War, lived into his 90's.

Alvah Eller and Hardie Rogers, who gave their lives in WW I.



In earlier years it was called "The Great War." The lives it cost us were lost mostly, if not all, in France, 1916-1918. From here, Columbus Myers, Carleton Randolph, Carmel Rich, Charlie Wyke; and just before the Armistice, James A. Eller and Hardie Rogers. The local American Legion Post was named for Eller and Rogers.

Graham Countians leaving for World War I, including Ed Dean, Oliver Ammons, John Rose, Riley Wachacha, and others not identified.



This was the war "to end all wars." Of course it didn't do this, but it ended the aggressive regimes of the Nazis, the Fascists, and Imperial Japan. Graham County's list of casualties was greatly increased - on many fronts, islands, and oceans, 1941-1945.

Jacob Cornsilk of Snowbird died in a Japanese prison camp in the Philippines.

Dee Owenby and Crate Anderson were killed, and so were Lloyd N. Crisp and Thomas Birchfield Lt. J. Q.

Bruce Bales was lost and declared dead in the Pacific, and Captain Clyde Bowman was killed in action in the infantry in France, Nov. 1944.

Bart Jones fought and died in a tank in Europe. Dan Gladden was also killed.

Lacy Slaughter in the Philippines, and Lloyd Orr in Europe, both of them in Paratroop units.

Marshall Hyde in Italy, with only three months training.

Cyrus Patterson in Belgium and Edward Wiggins in Germany, both Infantrymen.

Harold "Jimmie" Bateman, Combat Engineer, killed in Holland.

L. V. Hooper died in the invasion of France in June 1944, and Dave Boyd Phillips a week later in the same Division.

Another month saw Ray F. Stiles killed in France, and in August Sgt. Freelin Haney, Army Air Force, died in action over Germany.

And in 1942, Sconley Cook, Marines, gave his life at sea.

David S. Ward, John W. Scott, Jr., Calvin C. Lambert, and Herbert J. Webster were all listed as dead.



Clyde Edward Colvard, Navy Airman Apprentice First Class, Stationed at Pensacola, Florida. Died November 8, 1952, in hospital in Mobile, Alabama.



J. Randall Hooper born May 8, 1933 was killed August 29, 1967. Master Sergeant U.S. Army. Silver Star awarded posthumously.

Woodrow Teesateskie, son of George Teesateskie of Snowbird, died at sea off the coast of California.


These were our losses. Call them gold stars if you like. The Military records list them as K.I.A. or D.O.W., but no matter how or where, to those who knew them, Graham County was never quite the same as a result of such loss.


Men of Rogers-Eller American Legion Post


Men of Rogers-Eller American Legion Post

Row 1 left to right: Boyd Crisp, Ed Corpening, Otis Odom, Booth Crisp, Jr., John Frazier, John Childers, R. B. Slaughter, Frank Rogers, Hardy Cook, Hoke Phillips.  Row 2 left to right: William West, Bill Flake, Baxter Campbell, George Sawyer


General Wainwright visits Graham County, greeted by Wayne Carringer, Frank Swan, Pete Aiken, and Conley Nelson


General Wainwright meets Legionnaires