Archiver > NCWATAUG > 2007-02 > 1172182280

From: "Michael C. Hardy" <>
Subject: Re: [NCWATAUG] Watauga Township, Michelle Ligon
Date: Thu, 22 Feb 2007 17:11:20 -0500

Yesterday, I wrote that in the 1860 census, there were these townships:

Valle Crucis, Boone, Mountain Home (which would be Avery County), Cove Creek, Meat Camp, Blue Ridge, Laurel Creek, and Beaver Dam.

In 1860, these were actually militia districts. Prior to 1860, "All free white men and white apprentices, citizens of this State... who are or shall be of the age of eighteen and under the age of forty-five, shall as soon as practicable, be severally respectively enrolled in the militia of this state." Each male between 18 and 45 was to "provide himself with a good musket, smooth bored gun or good rifle, shot pouch, and powder horn." From 1849 until 1860, the area was made up as the 107th Regiment of North Carolina Militia. After 1860, the designation was changed to the 98th Regiment. Each one of the districts had a set of officers: a captain and two or three lieutenants. William Horton was colonel of the regiment, Jonathan L. Phillips was lieutenant colonel, and Joseph P. Mathison was major.

There is not much information about the militia. They were required to meet once a year, and the annual muster in Watauga County usually occurred on the second Saturday of October. Dr. Elisha Mitchell made mention of the militia in 1828, when, after leaving Jefferson, he journeyed toward the "settlement of the Three-Forks" where the annual militia muster was being held. Whitener makes mention of Joe B. Todd, the clerk of court, having to "stand in the courthouse door, waving his sword in an effort to prevent the sheriff and others from riding their horses into the courthouse." While there were a few good counties with trained militia, most yearly musters had more to do with drinking and fighting than with military preparedness.

Even though I have never seen a map of early districts/townships, I image that many of them followed the same lines. If you notice in the 1870 list, most of the townships bear the same names, i.e., Boone, Cove Creek, Meat Camp, Beaver Dam, Blue Ridge, and Laurel Creek. I wonder what part the reconstruction government played in the redistricting? There is also no information on Reconstruction in Watauga County, at least from what I’ve seen. Arthur only makes a couple of broad statements about the time period.

One more note: the home guard, created in 1863 by Governor Vance, and the Militia, are two different organizations. Harvey Bingham was in charge of the latter. I’ve seen letters addressed to both Horton and Bingham from the same period of time, so I assume, at least for a while, that the two organizations co-existed. Given Bingham’s part in the attempted capture of Fort Hamby after the war, it would appear that the home guard continued to try and provide law and order after the close of hostilities.


> From: > To: > Date: Wed, 21 Feb 2007 21:46:05 -0500> Subject: Re: [NCWATAUG] Watauga Township, Michelle Ligon> > > > I am not aware of there being townships listed on the census in 1850. They are in the 1860 census, i.e., Valle Crucis, Boone, Mountain Home (which would be Avery County), Cove Creek, Meat Camp, Blue Ridge, Laurel Creek, and Beaver Dam.> > In 1870, most of present Avery County was gone, incorporated into Mitchell. From just south of Banner Elk north was still Watauga. Townships in 1870 are: Ball Mountain, Beaver Dam, Blue Ridge, Boone, Cove Creek, Elk, Laurel Creek, Meat Camp, Shawneehaw (now Avery County), Stoney Fork, and Watauga. > > Regards,> Michael>> > > From: > To: > Date: Tue, 20 Feb 2007 10:30:07 -0500> Subject: [NCWATAUG] Watauga Township, Michelle Ligon> > Sorry, I don't know of the location of old Watauga Township in any of the books, although I really have not searched. Growing up here you just sort of absorb information and really don't think much about it. Given that, I could of course be wildly wrong about where I think it (the township) was. I'm pretty sure though that Shulls Mill area would have been more connected to Grandfather / Foscoe area than to what we've always known as the "Watauga" area.> > My gg parents lived on the edge of the "Watauga" area and if I recall correctly went down to Fall Creek store or Jack Guy's store to vote.> > Not apropos of anything, but just an interesting story; My gg parents on my grandmothers side were Glenns, and lived at the top of what is now Wards Branch Rd. One story I heard a lot from my Grandmother was of watching her father ride his mule down to Ben Ward's mill to have a sack of corn ground. This was in 1940 which was of course the big flood year. They saw him start to cross the river, then lost sight of him. He didn't return until late that night, having to ride a long way around to re-cross the river since it had gotten so high. Understandably there was a lot of anxiety.> > BTW, my mother still lives on Mast Gap Rd., and we have a farm there.> > Steve Ward> > -------------------------------> To unsubscribe from the list, please send an email to with the word 'unsubscribe' without the quotes in the subject and the body of the message> _________________________________________________________________> Connect to the next generation of MSN Messenger >>; > -------------------------------> To unsubscribe from the list, please send an email to with the word 'unsubscribe' without the quotes in the subject and the body of the message
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