Moorefield Sketches

The Moorefield Family of Stokes County, NC


HENDERSON MOREFIELD: (1825-1900)

In the 1850 Stokes County Census there is a Henderson Morefield, age 25, farmer, 100 acres, born in VA, married to Paulina, age 26, born in NC. They have a son, John, age 8 months old, born in NC. According to the 1850 census, both Henderson and Paulina could read. However, Henderson signed his Last Will and Testament with an "X" so this may not be accurate. A marriage bond was issued in 1849 for Henderson Morefield and Paulina Ashley. As of yet, no records have been found confirming the date of Henderson's marriage to his 2nd wife Nellie Corns. However, Paulina is listed as dead on April 29, 1873, on the marriage license of John Morefield and Susan Priddy. Also, marriage records of Martha Morefield and Silas Snyder Priddy list Martha's parents as Henderson and Paulina Moorefield. The other children are also shown as being offspring of Paulina in this report. This may not be correct.

Henderson volunteered and enlisted into Captain George W. Clark's Company, the Mountain Greys, on March 20, 1862. Captain Clark is shown as the enlisting officer. The enlistment was for the term of 3 years or the end of the war. This company, composed mostly of Stokes County enlistments, was later called Company G of the 53rd NC Infantry. At the time, Henderson was listed as 31 years old and his occupation was listed as a farmer. He was mustered into Company G, 53rd Regiment North Carolina Infantry, on April 30, 1862 at Camp Mangum near Raleigh, NC by Major J.J. Iredell. While at Camp Mangum, the 53rd NC went through several weeks of training and instruction. According to Private Charles E. Brown in Company I the troops were drilling "verry hard...about 6 hours every day." Rations were abundant and most of the men were quartered in good tents. Still, many of the men became sick. One letter sent home by a soldier in Company H (also primarily Stokes County residents) reported that half the men in the company had measles and others were sick from other causes. However, enthusiasm and morale were quite high.

Because of the passage of the Conscription Act by the Confederate Congress on April 16, 1862, 90 members of the 53rd North Carolina, most of whom were under 18 or over 35 years old, were discharged by the end of May. Because he was overage, Henderson was discharged on May 29, 1862. Although he had listed his age as 31 on the enlistment application, he was actually 36 or 37 years old in 1862. These age restrictions were relaxed in 1864 because of the dire situation of the Confederate Army. Henderson reenlisted into the company on December 20, 1864. Major McLean listed Private Henderson Morefield as present at Camp Stokes on the Company H Muster Rolls for November 1864 through the February 1865.

"Petersburg, Virginia, became the setting for the longest siege in American history when General Ulysses S. Grant failed to capture Richmond in the spring of 1864. Grant settled in to subdue the Confederacy by surrounding Petersburg and cutting off General Robert E. Lee's supply lines into Petersburg and Richmond. Referred to as the "Waterloo of the Confederacy", the Battle of Five Forks on April 1, 1865 broke the Siege of Petersburg, and led to the fall of Richmond." The 53rd NC sustained heavy losses in battles on April 1. Sixty of its members were captured (of whom one was wounded). Additionally, three men were killed and two wounded. "On April 2, 1865, nine-and-one-half months after the siege began, Lee evacuated Petersburg." On this date, 3000 Confederate soldiers were listed as missing or captured.

On this same date, April 2, 1865, Henderson was admitted to Washington Street Hospital in Petersburg, VA with a severe minnie ball wound at the seat of his right arm. His treatment is listed as an amputation of the upper third of the right arm. Presumably, this would mean the whole arm was amputated. Henderson was captured by the Union Army on April 3, 1865, while in the hospital. On April 9, 1865, hospital staff reported that Henderson was suffering from "easy halos" or phantom pains in his amputated arm. On May 11, 1865 Henderson was discharged from the hospital on parole. He was finally discharged from military service on May 29, 1865.

Not many stories are remembered about Henderson, but Jeanette Moorefield recalls Henderson's neighbor John Shelton tell of seeing Henderson walking home after his Civil War service. As Henderson walked by his house, he could see that he was missing an arm. Until Henderson came home after the war, none of his friends, neighbors, or family knew that he had been injured seriously in combat. Also, Talmadge Moorefield remembers his grandfather, John, saying that Henderson told him to chew tobacco to preserve his teeth. This is the only time that Talmadge recalls John mentioning his father, Henderson.

In Henderson's will, Nellie and her sister, Savanah were the primary beneficiaries. After Savanah became widowed, it is believed that she lived with Henderson and Nellie.


JOHN MOREFIELD (1849-1941)

"Mr. John Morefield is a prominent citizen of the Campbell community, Stokes County. He has been successful in life as a mill man and farmer. He owns the best Mica mine in the county. It is not being developed on account of poor transportation facilities, but the output and quality of materials are good enough to justify inspection from anyone who might be interested.

Mr Morefield is a good community man and has much influence among his fellow." - Reprinted from a publication of 1912-

The mica mine, mentioned in the preceding article, was mined by Naught and Ulyssess (Lys) Cruise, who were brothers. Lys was the father of Pete Cruise (husband of Hester Morefield) and Jewel Cruise (Husband of Murphy Morefield). In addition to farming, John Moorefield operated a steam powered saw mill or grain mill on Little Snow Creek. His wife's brother Paul Priddy was also a co-owner of the mill.

John Morefield applied for a marriage license on April 29, 1873. The following information is copied from the license:

John Morefield having applied to me, L.M. Davis, for License for the Marriage of John Morefield of Stokes County, aged 23 years, color white, the son of Henderson Morefield and Paulina Morefield, the father now living, the mother dead, resident of Stokes County, and Susan Priddy of Stokes County, aged 21 years, color white, daughter of George Priddy and Sallie Priddy (Sallie is possibly a nickname for Sarah, I'm fairly certain that Sarah Hawkins was Susan's mother. I've seen Sallie listed as a common nickname for Sarah in other geneology list posts.), the father living, the mother living, resident of Stokes County.

State of North Carolina, Stokes County, I, W.V. Shelton, a Justice of the Peace united in Matrimony John Morefield and Susan Priddy, the parties licensed above, on the 7th day of May 1873, at George Priddy's in Snow Creek Township according to law. Witnesses present at marriage were J.G. Priddy, Fleming Priddy, and S.S. Priddy.


NOEL V. MOOREFIELD: (1890-1892)

Noel died from severe oil burns. He climbed onto a table and pulled an oil lamp off, spilling burning oil all over his body. The doctor could do nothing to save him but tried to keep him comfortable. He died during the night after the accident.


CARRIE MINERVA HILL: (1898-1981)

Carrie Hill was issued a Teacher's Certificate for the Second Grade by J. T. Smith, County Superintendent, on July 10, 1918. Her residence was listed as Meadows, NC. The certificate had an expiration date of July 10, 1919. August 2, 1919, the certificate was extended to July 1, 1920 by County Superintendent, J. C. Carson.


PERCY MARION MOOREFIELD: (1895-1982)

The following information was taken from Percy's Honorable Discharge papers: Said Percy M. Morefield was born in Campbell, in the State of NC. When enlisted he was 21 years of age and by occupation a farmer. He had blue eyes, brown hair, light complexion, and was 5 feet 7 inches in height.

Percy enlisted in the army on October 05, 1917 and two days later was assigned to the 322nd Infantry, Company E. On October 16, 1917 he was reassigned to the 120th Infantry,Company H. May 12, 1918, Percy left the US and was sent to Europe. His enlistment record shows Bellicourt Nauroy in France, September 29, 1918, as his only battle engagement.

Not much information is available concerning the role of the 120th Infantry in the battle. It is known that Bellicourt and Nauroy are two French towns just south of Le Catelet, about 7 miles north of St. Quentin, and adjacent to the St. Quentin canal. The Germans constructed a defensive line along the canal called the "Hindenburg Line" or "Kriemhilde Stellung." The villages are on the eastern fringes of the Somme battlefield area. On September 29, 1918 the American 27th and 30th Divisions attacked the Hindenburg Line in this area. Both divisions were attached to the British Fourth Army commanded by General Rawlinson. Bellicourt and Nauroy were in front of the 30th Division's lines. During the assault both divisions ran into strong resistance, suffered heavy casualties, and after the first day of battle were withdrawn temporarily and replaced by Australian divisions. There is an American memorial on the N44 between Bellicourt and Le Catelet and a US military cemetery close by at Bony; apparently the memorial commemorates all the American units which fought as part of the British Army during WWI.

On the day of the attack, September 29, 1918, in the vicinity of Bellicourt and Nauroy, Percy was injured in battle. He received wounds to his hand that made it impossible for him to use his gun in combat. Percy spoke of the horrid conditions in the trenches. Often, the troops were standing in water and mud. Also, much of their food was infested with insect larvae. He also said that the wounds he received may have saved his life since he was taken off the battle front.

Later, on March 06, 1919, he was appointed to the rank of Corporal. Percy returned to the US on April 13, 1919. He was finally discharged from service on April 18, 1919. Records show he received $126.57 as his final military pay. He met Carrie Hill sometime shortly after his return from service.

Later, in addition to farming, Percy and Carrie were proprietors of Moorefield's Store. The store was built and opened in 1927 or 1928 and was originally quite small. Later, the building was increased in size with the additional space used as storage for supplies. During the 20's, times were quite hard economically for the residents of the area. Many customers were extended credit until their crops were sold in the fall. Also, a large portion of the customers bartered for store merchandise. Percy started a peddling route into Madison, Leaksville, Spray, and Draper to sell the eggs, chickens, and other farm products that he received in payment for store merchandise. The peddling route was continued for years after the store was closed.

Percy also owned half interest in two other general stores. One was located in Sandy Ridge, NC and the other in Lawsonville, NC. Farmer's Warehouse in Stoneville was another of Percy's business interests. He owned half interest in the warehouse.

In about 1947 or 1948, Percy owned and managed his own semi-pro baseball team. The team was simply called "Moorefield's Store." The home ballfield was located in a field across from the store on the home place. The team was comprised mostly of local players who received no pay. A small number of especially talented players were signed by Percy and Maurice Martin as payed pro's to help flesh out the team. The team was discontinued sometime around 1955-1957.

A blacksmith shop was built and operated by Perry Frye on Percy's land next to the store. The blacksmith shop benefited from the store's customer traffic. When the shop was closed, a wood floor was added and the building was used as a supply building for farm supplies sold at the store. The store building and the shop building still stand across from their home place which is located on Moorefield Road between Danbury, NC and Lawsonville, NC.

Sources:

Jeffery Moorefield contributed the information for this page and is actively researching this family. Jeff's email address is: talmadge@perigee.net


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