The Following is a Tribute
to Francis Marion Floyd
of Lumberton, North
He was known to us as
Poppa Floyd, our stepfather.
Augustus E. Floyd
March 8, 1842 –
May 22, 1929
The introduction to this
piece of History is handwritten on the copy we have in our possession, by Poppa Floyd’s brother, Marcus W. Floyd, Jr.,
known to us as Uncle Mark.
Marcus W. Floyd, Jr.,
grandson of A. E. Floyd, has many fond memories of having
“Grandpa” tell him stories about fighting in the
Battle of Gettysburg, July 2-4, 1863. Grandfather was wounded in the battle.
Augustus E. Floyd was
born near Fairmont, N.C., on March 8, 1842, son of Francis and Christine (Williams) Floyd.
He was of Irish ancestry. A son of Mr. Floyd, Marcus Wayland Floyd, was
Register of Deeds of Robeson County from 1914 until his death in 1925.
He was nineteen years
old when he volunteered in the Confederate service, joining Company D in what was first the Eighth N.C. Regiment, but later
was changed to the Eighteenth Regiment. He saw very strenuous work and service
until the close of the war.
In May, 1862 the Eighteenth
Regiment, as part of General Branch’s Brigade, went into Virginia and became part of Gen. A.P. Hill’s Division,
General Stonewall Jackson’s Corps, and Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia.
Among numerous other battles, Mr. Floyd participated at Hanover Courthouse, the seven battles around Richmond, Second
Manassas, the operation of Maryland, Harpe’s Ferry Charlottesburg, and Gettysburg.
At Gettysburg he was wounded in the thigh, but he was out of the hospital and had rejoined the ranks after seven or
eight weeks. He was in those terrible conflicts of Fredericksburg, Spotsylvania
Court House, and Chancellorsville.
At Chancellorsville, his
regiment was in the brigade of five regiments commanded by Ger. James H. Lane, who had succeeded General Branch, slain at
Sharpsburg. Late in 1864 Mr. Floyd was at Petersburg, later was on duty in the trenches and lines around Richmond, and participated
in that final scene of the war at Appomattox.
Mr. Floyd was still a
young man when he came out of the army. There was a very narrow choice of occupation
and pursuits opened to the returned soldiers in the midst of the devastation which they found after the war. Mr. Floyd taught
school for some years in the vicinity of Fairmont, but on the whole his steadiest and most remunerative occupation was farming.
Mr. Floyd held the offices
of Justice of the Peace and District Recorder for the County District of which Fairmont Township is a part. He was a Democrat
in politics and practically all of his life he was a member of the First Baptist Church of Fairmont.
(Here I feel we are missing
one or two of Marcus’s Introduction as what follows is part of a paragraph: member of a well known pioneer family of
this part of the state. She died in 1913, the mother of eight children, named
Frances A., Marcus W., Patrick R., Dudley Y. Christine, Fulton O. Giles E., and Dinabel.)
Autobiography of Augustus
I, Augustus Evander Floyd,
son of Francis and, wife Christian Floyd, was born March 8th, 1842, at the old home, two and a quarter miles N.W.
of the White house, (the old voting place so named because it was the only painted house in the community). My father was
born in Horry County, S. C. Aug. 2, 1801, his father was Francis Floyd who died when my father was about five years old, his
mother was Isabel Johnson before marrying grandfather. She was an Irish woman. My mother’s father and mother were Giles and Sarah Williams. Grandmother Williams
was Sarah Herring before marriage. Grandfather and grandmother Williams lived near Old Spring about the Ben Powell Place. My grandmother Floyd married Joseph Lee after grandfather died and had one son, Joseph
Lee who lived near Old Spring Hill South of Indian Swamp. He was my father’s half brother. My father’s brother,
Johnson Floyd, lived in form of Indian Swamp and Ashpole Swamp and raised seven sons and several daughters. His sons nearly
all raised large families. My father died Sept. 30, 1856, and he owned 60 or 75 slaves.
Some of which he had given to his sons and daughters before he died, and he also owned large real estate some of which
he had given to his married sons before his death. After his death, my oldest brother, Grady H. Floyd, administered the estate
and divided the slaves, real estate and proceeds of the sale of personal property with consideration of what had been given
to the married sons and daughters, and it was all done satisfactorily to his seven sons and four daughters. I never heard
a word of complaint about the division, it was made equally and fairly as possible. I mention this because it is not always
thus, it is not infrequently that heirs dispute over division of dead parents property.
From my grandfather’s estate, my father inherited one negro woman named Sarah.
She had two children, names Tom and Ado who were about 14 and 16 years younger than my father. Tom was given to mother after father died, and he was very faithful in making the crops and caring for
everything on the farm until he was freed in 1865, by the fate of the Civil War.
We had a few months school
every year which I was sent to, or forced to attend. The school that I first
attended was near White House, 2 ¼ miles from home. My first teacher was Dougald
C. McIntyre, second Malcome McKinnon, third was John McNair. I was attending
school at Spring Hill Academy, Rev. Wm. Wallace teacher, about two miles from Barnesville when my father died, Brother Ferdinand,
Sister Hattie and I were boarding at brother Williams Floyd’s right at the old house near the Barnesville depot, not
standing. After father died I worked on the farm for about two years 1857-58
without going to school until fall of 1858, I started to a A. McN Leach, a young
man from Blue Springs Township section of Robeson County. I went to school three
months to Leach in 1858, and ten months in 1859 at Pine Forest Academy, then located between Brothers G.H. Floyd’s and
G.P. Floyd’s residences. In the spring of 1860 I attended school at Red Springs and boarded at) Red) Hector McNeill’s.
W.J. Love of W___ Creek was my roommate and W.J. Love, John A. Brown, and James
A. Smith were my classmates. Love died about a year ago in Bladen County, his home.
Brown lives near Antioch Presbyterian Church. Smith is a Baptist preacher
and now lives in Wilmington, N.C. W.J. Steward was principal of the school at
that time. In the fall of 1860, I again went to school at Pine Forest, A. McN.
Leach teacher (five months). In the first of 1861, I went to Fair Bluff to clerk for Coleman & Williams. I remained in the store and kept the P.O. by myself most of the tie as D. Williams, Junior partner, was
attending to other business until July 15th and then went home for a few days.
D. Bright Watson, also in the company of Coleman & Williams as overseer of turpentineshands, had agreed with me
to join Cat. Stranger’s Company at Fayetteville.
We left Fair Bluff to
visit friends and relatives at Fort Caswell and Smithville where we spent one night. We intended to go up the Cape Fear River
to Fayetteville but met on our way back from the Fort, Morgan C. Lee, a cousin
of mine, in Wilmington. He was 1st Sergeant on the Robeson Rifle Guards,
and we went with him to visit his company at Camp Wyatt, on the beach, 16 miles from Wilmington. While there we concluded to join his company as we had several friends and acquaintances in it. The Commissioned Officers were W. S. Norment, Capt. W.F. French, 1st Lieutenant, Oc. C. Norment,
2nd and Alfred Rowland 3rd Lieut. First Sergeant, M.C.
Lee, and four other sergeants, J.B. Rowland, A.A. Inman, N.J. Thompson and four corporals, W.H. Moore, Geo. Dawkins, J.P.
Inman and W.O. Andrews. We joined the company July 20, 2861 and then became Confederate Soldiers. Our company was 12-month volunteers and was with the 8th N.C. Volunteers. In April 1862 ten regiments had volunteered for 3 years. Our
company, which had made up July 1861 had not expired before an Act of Congress kept us in for the war. Our number was moved up to 18 and our Regiment became the 18th N.C. Troops. Our Company went
from Camp Wyatt to Coosahatchie, S.C. on the Charleston and Savannah R.R> about 30 miles from the latter place in Oct.
1861. We were ordered from there on to Kinston, N.C. At Kinston in April 1862, as the Regiment was retained for the war and when the 12 months had expired we
were allowed to reorganize. J.D. Ratcliff and O.P. Mears of Wilmington, were
made Colonel and Lieut. Colonel Robert Tait of Bladen Co., was Major R.H. Cowan
of Wilmington, and Lieut. Cobb of 3rd N.C. Troops, was elected Colonel. J.W.
Purdin of Bladen Co. was elected Lieut. Colonel Morgan C. Lee was elected Captain,
Alex H. Moore 1st Lieut., Neil Townsend 2nd Lieut., A.E. Floyd 1st Sergeant, Nathan J. Thompson,
A.A. Inman, J.C. McKeller, and D.B. Watson were elected sergeants.
Our company became Company
D of the Regiment. We were ordered to Richmond, Virginia about the 1st
or May 1862. We marched by way of Gordonsville intending to go across the Blue
Ridge Mountains, but had to turn back at the foot of the mountains after a very severe march of about 15 miles a day. We were encumbered with knapsacks, blankets and overcoats which nearly all had to
throw away. The clay was wet, deep and sticky. We came back to Gordonsville,
went into camp for a few days, but soon were ordered out. Here in camp, a friend and comrade of mine took from my finger a
large smooth solid gold ring, costing five dollars and accidentally lost it in the mud, and we could never find it! My mother put the ring on my finger as I was leaving home. I
never think of the ring without deep regret. Not because it was gold but the
hand that put it on mine was activated by a heart whose principles were more precious than gold or rubies to me.
Leaving camp at Gordonsville,
we marched to the battle of Hanover Court House in which the 28th, 33rd and 18th Regiment
were engaged. On the 27th of May 1862, the 18th Regiment charged the enemy. Superior in number, and
they, the enemy, also had artillery in an open field. Several of out men were
killed instantly, about 30 men of our Regiment were wounded. I was not hurt. We
retreated after holding the enemy in check until dark. The 7th, 18th,
33rd,, and 37th Regiments were formed under Gen. L. O’B. Branch’s Brigade at this time and
remained until the end of the war.
In a day or two after
the battle of Hanover Court House, we were close enough to hear the rifles during the battle at Seven Pines and Fair Oaks. Pretty soon after this we were in the general battle called “7 days’ around
Richmond. General R. E. Lee took command, due to General Joseph E. Johnston being
wounded at Seven Pines. General Lee attacked the Federal army then under G. B.
McClennan. Gen. Branch’s Brigade was the first to cross the Chickahominy
River, a branch of the James River, and was engaged in all the seven battles from the first to Malvern Hill, the last. I broke
down and was sent with others sick back to Richmond in a wagon after participating in all the battles except Malvern Hill,
the last day.
Gen. Branch’s Brigade formed a part of Gen. A.P. Hill’s Division at the beginning of the 7-Days
battle of Stonewall Jackson Corps (until he was killed in the battle of Chancellorsville).
General Lee’s army was organized into two corps, Longstreet’s and Jackson’s. Soon after the 7-Days
battle, Jackson;s Corps moved around the Union army which was commanded then by Gen. Pope, who boasted that his headquarters
were always in the saddle. Jackson’s Corps captured a large quantity of
quartermaster, commissary ordinances, and medical stores in a long train of cars full on the way to Pope’s army. We
took all we could carry away and burned the rest. Gen. Longstreet’s Corps came up after we had engaged the enemy in front and attacked them in the rear. We fought the enemy for two days. This train of stores for the Union army was captured
at Manassas Junction. Lee’s army moved then into Maryland. We crossed the Potomac at Leesburg after fighting the battle of Cedar Run on our way from Manassas. Jackson’s Corps passed through Frederick City, Maryland and came back across
the Potomac at Williamsport. Gen. Longstreet’s Corp and D.H. Hill’s
Division were left in Maryland. Gen. Jackson’s Corps came up and attacked
and captured, with almost no fighting, the Harpers Ferry garrison of 1300 soldiers.
Their cannons and rifles looked very neat, and the soldiers were clean and finely dressed. While on the other hand, we were ragged and soiled and lousy, but not “bumfuzzled”. The prisoners were sent off to Richmond, Virginia. While we
were at Harpers Ferry, D. H. Hill’s Division held back the whole Yankee Army from aiding the Harpers Ferry Garrison
by very hard fighting all day in a pass between two mountains. General Jackson
marched back to Maryland, and there the battle of Sharpsburg was fought. The
Yankee’s called it Antietam. This battle was not a victory for either side. We lost heavily and could not recruit much, but the enemy could. We came back to Virginia and went in capr for the winter near Orange Court House at a little place called
Somerset. Here we attended a protracted meeting held for several weeks in a Campbelite Baptist Church.
Several soldiers were
baptized in the Raphidan River in very cold weather. Here too, I saw some nich
skating, above a rock dam on the river by officers, private soldiers and young ladies. In the spring of 1863, we were then
under command of Brigadier Gen. J.H. Lane (Gen. Branch being killed the year before). When the campaign opened, it was with
the battle in which Gen Stonewall Jackson was wounded and afterwards died. After
this, A.P. Hill was made Lieut. Gen., and Pender was made Major Gen. and Commander over out Division. We went during the summer of 1863 to Pennsylvania. There the
battle of Gettysburg was fought on July 1st, 2nd, and 3rd.
General Pender was killed in battle on the second day of fighting. In
the evening on the last day, July 3rd, General Lane’s Brigade was a part of the second line, as support on
the left wing of Pickett’s celebrated charge. Our men, about the center,
went to the enemy’s works (it is said). Once, I know, Lane’s Brigade went nearer than the line in front of us,
for I saw them fall back about 100 yards from enemy, and we went up within about 20 yards.
Some came back, and some stayed there dead or as prisoners. I was wounded,
near the enemy works, in the thigh. I stepped behind an old blacksmith shop about
150 yards, from the enemy works on my way back to examine my wound for I had to cross that same old open field to get back
to our artillery. I soon concluded that my wound was only a flesh wound and started
again for the rear in double quick time. I got back and fell into a hole dug
out near our artillery, rested a few minutes and came out past our men rallying and being rallied. I went to a Field Hospital about 2 miles from the battle field. The
doctor probed my wound for a ball and found that my pants had not been penetrated, but driven with the ball to the bone, which
made a large hole. I think it was a grape shot from a cannon that probably struck
some other object before striking me.
I started in a wagon with
other wounded men the next morning for Winchester, Virginia. We were detained
at Williamsport as the Potomac River had risen so much we had to cross on floats. While
waiting to be carried over, some Yankee Calvary tried to capture our wagons but were driven back, and we crossed over on the
evening of the 4th and 5th of July and went on to Winchester.
We stayed there one night. I was given a large nice U.S. blanket which I carried home. (It is noted here, that this
blanket was still in the possession of Francis m. Floyd’s family in Lumberton, N.C. at the time Francis M. Floyd died
in 2005, being found in a cedar chest in the upstairs hallway of the home at 405 Winona Avenue.)
The next day a train of
wagons with those who were not seriously wounded started for Staunton in charge of a commissary sergeant going home. He obtained rations for us. This journey was on the Massanutten Road about 90 miles,
I believe, in the Shenandoah Valley. We fared sumptuously on loaf bread, milk
and butter and honey. We stayed in Staunton one night and left next morning. The train for Lynchburg, Virginia passed through 2 tunnels through the Blue Ridge
Mountains one about ½ mile long and the other 7/8 of a mile. It was dark as pitch.
One Virginian called out to hold on to your pocketbooks just as we were entering. No
one bothered with our pocketbooks for confederate money was then worth 100 to one in gold, and we had none of the depreciated
currency at the time. I stayed in the hospital in Lynchburg about 7 days and got a furlough for 40 days. I had lost one of my shoes through a hole in the bottom of the wagon in riding from Gettysburg to Winchester
and threw the other away, so I had to come home barefooted. I had a pair of secondhand
boots that I had bought in Richmond, in 1863 for $75.00 while on a 20-day furlough and had left them at home.
When I returned to the
Army at the expiration of my 40-days furlough, I went to Wilmington and after my wound was examined, my furlough was extended
15 more days after the 60-day furlough had expired and got transportation and passed alright until I got to Richmond. I put up at a good hotel, and next morning the train police would not let me on the
cars because my furlough had expired. If I had gone to the Soldiers Home that night the authorities there would have given
me transportation papers for the free pass to go to my command then near Fredericksburg.
I had to stay in Richmond until the next morning. I had to go to the Soldiers
Home to spend the night and so got a free pass to my company. The Regiment had
gone into winter quarters. After a few days, after returning, I saw two men shot
at the stake for desertion in the presence of our brigade. I saw 21 shot
this way for desertion during the lase and second winter of the war. One of them
being a man of our own company, David Pate, and against whom no witness had to testify before the court martial byt myself,
as I was Orderly Sergeant and had to keep account of all present for duty, present sick and al details for special purposes,
and all absent with or without leave—Sad fate. By the way, while we were at Camp Wyatt near Wilmington in summer of
1861, I was on guard at the Fort on the beach and had to stay in the post from 12 until 2 o’clock at night, while a
picker guard went on patrol up and down the beach. When the picket under Sergeant
James of Wilmington came back to the fort at the end of 2 hours the sea breeze had lulled me to sleep standing up on foot. The Sergeant gave me gently, a private reprimand.
I have always thoguth Sgt. James a gentleman, and he was one of the first families of Wilmington, N.C.
In the spring of 1864
we commenced fighting in May. On the 12th of May 1884, we were near
Spotsylvania Court House. Several members of our regiment and our flag were captured
by the enemy. Being fool hearted, I followed our Colonel with other and got out
with three or four bullet holes through my coat and pants. I saw there next day where the Yankees had charged so many times
(13 it was said) and shooting just above our men’s breastworks, they had shot down an oak tree 18 inches in diameter. We were under fire occasionally or regularly engaged every day except about 7 days
from this until about the 4th of July, retreating and fighting until we got to Petersburg. Here we stayed in camp behind breastworks all winter. While
shells were occasionally flying and bursting over and near us, I read a letter from member of the 37th Regiment,
N.C. that my brother Charles I. Floyd was killed in May in a battle between Richmond and Petersburg. I passed over the same ground soon after but didn’t know where he was buried. Brother F. Fulton Floyd of the same Regt., 51st N.C. was captured by the enemy about that time. On the 2nd April our line of battle was so thin (men every 12 paces) the
Yankees broke our lines, so Richmond and Petersburg were evacuated. On our march
to Appomatox Court House we pushed hard, marching and fighting with little time to sleep and almost nothing to eat. We had no rations. Sunday morning when we left Petersburg,
we drew from commissary about one tea cup (1/2 lb.) cornmeal and 4 oz. meat apiece. On Wednesday morning, near Amelia Court
House, we fried the meat in a tin can and poured the meal with some water, made mush and ate. On
Friday I ate about a handful of parched corn that some of our boys had flunked or got hold of some way. Sunday morning, Gen. Lee surrendered, and the Yankees issued to us some beef and flour on Monday evening. Wednesday evening the members of the 18th Regiment received parole. There were 6 men then present in our company and about 80 in the Regiment’s
10 companies. Capt. John HJ. Poisson of Wilmington Rifle Guard (Co. G) was in
command of the 18th Regt. and signed our paroles. Sunday morning just
before we surrendered a close friend of mine and a very respectable man at home and a faithful soldier came to see me and
said –he with about 35 men from our regiment were going to start for home today.
I told him that I did not think it made much difference, but I entered the war to stay until honorably discharged and
that I couldn’t go without “Old Uncle Bob’s permission.” We
called Gen. Lee, Uncle Bob or Robert. I left Wednesday morning in company with
Andrew J. Thompson and Zack Clewis of our company and J. Span Thompson
Handwritten by Poppa Floyd, on back of photo: Paul & Pop at A E Floyd Grave Pop's grandfather.
He lived to be 88 yrs of age. Sgt. in Civil War, was with Robert E. Lee when he surrended. he knew Abe Lincoln
too. April 2000.
handwritten by Poppa Floyd on back of photo: This is A.E. Floyd's wife's Grave. April 2000.
Handwritten by Poppa Floyd on back of photo: FM Floyd (Poppa), Paul Floyd and owner of farm where Francis
Floyd II was buried. We were at grave Apr 2000.
Francis Floyd Born Aug 2, 1801 Died Sep 30, 1852 55 yrs old
Fellow on right is James Dent of South Fairmont, N.C. (current owner of land where gravesites
Ashpole Swamp, Fairmont
Pop's great great grandfather!
Mildren Hilton Sims Ross Floyd holding daughter Barbara Jean Floyd, Laconia, New Hampshire,
This photo is Poppa Floyd holding Carol with Lu Dawn on right. This has to be Lake Opeechee in Laconia,
New Hampshire. We thought is just grand he wore his life savers swimming trunks and he was a life guard!