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The German experience settling WNC 1 Reply

Started by Rob Neufeld in Local History. Last reply by Scott Dockery Feb 16.

The history of Oakley

Started by Rob Neufeld in Local History May 13, 2016.

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Dr. Lin Stepp at Barnes & Noble, Asheville Mall at Tunnel Road

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Montreat College Friends of the Library Annual Luncheon at Montreat College, Gaither Fellowship Hall

June 10, 2017 from 12pm to 2:30pm
Author Vicki Lane, who is working on her seventh novel, will be the guest speaker at the Montreat College Friends of the Library Annual Luncheon at noon on Saturday, June 10, 2017 in Gaither Fellowship Hall.  Reservations: 669-8012 Ext. 3502Open to the Public.See More
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Rose Senehi will read from her new novel: CAROLINA BELLE at MALAPROPS BOOKS & CAFE

May 3, 2017 from 7pm to 8:30pm
Belle McKenzie is obsessed with finding the best apple anyone ever bit into and determined to rekindle the love this obsession has nearly destroyed.        Woven throughout Carolina Belle is the fascinating history of Henderson County, North Carolina’s, apple orchards that endlessly unfold on the county’s horizons and still bear the same names as the early settlers to the area. Senehi, known for her historically accurate novels, sprinkles the book with stories of the development of the Southern…See More
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Chautauqua Alive! Becky Stone Presents Maya AngelouWednesday, May 24 at 6:30pmPack Memorial Library67 Haywood Street250-4700The Buncombe Chautauqua Committee and Pack Memorial Library will present a pre-Chautauqua special event in Lord Auditorium at Pack Memorial Library at 6:30 Pm on May 24.  Renowned storyteller Becky Stone will present “Becoming Maya Angelou.”   Ms. Stone will be appearing as Maya Angelou in the opening program of the annual Chautauqua series that begins June 19.  On May 24,…See More
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Fundraiser for Literacy Council & Book Launch Marcus Sedgwick Tuesday April 25th 5:30-7:30 p.m., Twisted Laurel, downtown Asheville, 130 College Street COST: $45 per person (ticket includes hardcover book, food, and non-alcoholic beverage) All proceeds go to Literacy Council from press release Marcus Sedgwick, author of Saint Death Spellbound Children's Bookshop, Asheville's locally owned independent bookstore for kids and teens, presents a special event with one of the most critically…See More
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A Mitchell County gristmill sifts through 150 yearsby Rob Neufeld PHOTO CAPTION: Book cover, “Dellinger Grist Mill on Cane Creek” by Jack Dellinger.             In 1861, when Bakersville got a post office, locals changed the town name from Bakersville to Davis, after Jefferson Davis, President of the…See More
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Reading by Poet Al Young at Table Rock Room, Plemmons Student Union, App State University

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Eco author in Asheville April 6 Citizen science can foster earth-saving policies Journalist Mary Ellen Hannibal, author of Citizen Scientist: Searching for Heroes and Hope in an Age of Extinction, speaks at Malaprop’s Bookstore/Café, 7 p.m., Thursday, April 6 in conversation with Mallory McDuff, Warren Wilson…See More
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Appalachian Authors Book Signing and Reading at Historic Carson House

April 8, 2017 from 10am to 3pm
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The Shelton Laurel Massacre Dramatized Madison County Resistance to the Civil War

Prologue: Western North Carolina


Though few battles took place in the Asheville area, it was of great significance. Many soldiers came from here. North Carolina lost far more men fighting for the Confederacy than any other state. Within North Carolina, the western part had the highest enlistment rate.

At first, Confederate enthusiasm in Western North Carolina was overwhelming. Men fought to defend their homeland. Then a short war for a common cause became an endless one for a conflicted one. Mountain men looked to defend their homes. Hunted men formed bands.

As men died—on battlefields, in hospitals, in prisons, and on the lam—the home region became grim. Families starved. Deserters took refuge. Western North Carolina became what Wilma Dykeman called, “The Civil War within the Civil War.”

Asheville and Flat Rock, home in part to wealthy landowners, were Confederate strongholds. In Asheville’s public square and at Camp Patton, troops and trainees gathered. Slaves helped manufacture rifles at an armory. Other African-Americans, some of whose descendants have established communities here, worked in households, trades, and hotels.

The last stages of the war focused on the East Tennessee-Western North Carolina territory that separated eastern and western campaigns.

Prologue: Madison County


On Feb. 28, 1861, Madison County men traveled to their county seat to vote against secession. When the next vote took place—on May 13, 1861, a few weeks after Lincoln had called for troops—Unionism had come to seem an affront to a great urgency.

At the ballot boxes, the Madison County sheriff intimidated voters he considered Unionist. He went after a man with whom he’d had a quarrel. After a short chase, the sheriff shot his gun, hit the man’s son, and retreated to a second story perch in a nearby house. The inflamed father killed the sheriff with a shot through a window.

During the winter of 1862-3, Marshall was again tense. Confederate troops were clamping down on insurgents, who had increased in number since Fredericksburg and conscription. The army stationed in Marshall withheld salt and supplies from mountain men, who came down to sack the town.

One group ransacked the house of Col. Lawrence Allen, where his children lay sick with scarlet fever. Allen and the 64th N.C. Regiment retaliated, resulting in the Shelton Laurel Massacre. Major novels have incorporated the story of the massacre: “My Old True Love” by Sheila Kay Adams; “Ghost Riders” by Sharyn McCrumb; and “The World Made Straight” by Ron Rash, among others.

The Massacre


On January 19, 1863, a Confederate regiment headed by Lt. Col. James Keith executed thirteen Shelton Laurel men, ages 13 to 56, for suspicion of Union sympathies and the theft of precious salt and meat from a Marshall storehouse. Memorialized as the Shelton Laurel massacre, the event stands out as one of the most notorious in this region’s history. Now, here’s the rest of the story.

The battle over salted meat and the massacre were the explosive climaxes to months of antagonism and treachery in Madison County. Shelton Laurel, named after the Shelton family, 1790s settlers, had become a mountain stronghold and refuge for independent men refusing to serve in the N.C. 64th Regiment. From East Tennessee—a bitterly contested crossroads and breadbasket—Daniel Fry, a noted guerilla fighter and bridge burner, had come to Shelton Laurel to hide out and set up headquarters.

Nine months before the massacre, the “Official Records of the War between the States” notes, the 43rd Tennessee Regiment had been fired on by small bands of men in Shelton Laurel, and retaliatory firing had killed fifteen of them. “There seems to be a regular organization among the inhabitants,” the report comments. “The whole population is openly hostile to our cause.”

At the January 1862 North Carolina State Convention, William Hicks of Haywood County proposed that a battalion stationed in Buncombe County march into Shelton Laurel to round up disloyal citizens, seize their property, imprison them, and treat them “as alien enemies.” The ordinance seems to have never been passed.

On the day after the January 19 massacre, Brigadier General Henry Heth, commander of the East Tennessee Confederate Division, passed on to North Carolina Governor Zebulon Vance the following report from Brigadier General W.G.M. Davis: “I am satisfied there is no organization in the mountains of armed men banded together for the purpose of making efforts to destroy bridges or burn towns…I think the attack on Marshall was gotten to obtain salt, for want of which there is great suffering in the mountains…Col. Allen’s 64th N.C. Regiment and the men of his command are said to have been hostile to the Laurel men and they to the former for a long time.”

The 64th had been forcing captured Madison County men into service and, stationed in East Tennessee, it was easy for them to desert. Five of the men executed at Shelton Laurel had been identified as deserters. The Official Record, for instance, notes that Halen Moore had taken a long sick furlough in 1862, had exceeded his time, and had been declared a deserter on December 17.

“People in Shelton Laurel moved there to get away from government,” notes Dan Slagle, a genealogist who turned to researching the human side of the Civil War in Madison County when he discovered that three of his great-great grandfathers had served in the 64th Regiment. The more he researches, the more questions arise.

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I always feel sad when I read about the Shelton Laurel Massacre. My great Aunt married into the Shelton family.
So sad, a child of 13 killed, and the others too.
My great great grandfather was in the 64th Regiment..I wrote about him on my blog.
HELLO ALL, MY NAME IS VICKY SHELTON AND I AM A DESCENDANT OF THE FAMILIES MASSACRED IN THE AREA. MY GRANDFATHER WAS DENZIL AUGUSTUS SHELTON OF INDIANA (1900-1960) AND HE MARRIED MY GRANDMOTHER ANN SCHAUER OF GERMANY (1910-1993). I AM LOOKING FOR ANY RELATIVES STILL IN THE AREA THAT MAY BE ABLE TO GIVE INFO ON "OUR" OLD ABANDONDED CHURCH AND CEMETERY IN SHELTON LAUREL. AND OF COURSE TO JUST RECONNECT. MY SON AND I FEEL LIKE WE ARE LOSING OUR HERITAGE AS EACH FAMILY MEMBER PASSES AWAY. I REMEMBER GOING TO N.C. AND TENNESSE AS A CHILD AND MEETING RELATVES, BUT NOW THAT MY MOTHER (HUBERTA, 'BURT') HAS PASSED, WE ARE FEELING MORE OF A DISCONNECT. ANY INFO WOULD BE HELPFUL. WE HAVE OUR 'SHELTONS OF ENGLAND AND AMERICA' AND MY AUNT RUTH SHELTON-WILFONG HAS DONE MUCH RESEARCH BUT DONT HAVE ALOT ON THE N.C. FAMILY.
Hello,
My name is Sheila Ray and I live on Shelton Laurel. I will try to help you, but I might need more names and anything you can remember. I am Judy Shelton's (The lady that buried the soldiers) Great, Great, Grandaughter.Do you know the name of the abandoned church? The cemetery?
hi sheila...will llok for photos. i know my mom recvd some from my aunt carol when they went there on vaca years back. thanks for your help :)
p.s. are you arware of our family motto ? optimum pati...tis best to suffer , seem to live it everyday in one way or another !!!. will also post our family crest w/ motto when i do the photos later :)

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