Thursday, April 30, 1897
GEROGE W. ROBERTS, who is in jail charged with cutting his wife with intent to kill, fasted for the first few days. He talked to no one except the justice, to whom he made a lucid explanation that he was crazy. On the third day, he began to take nourishment, and is doing as well as could be expected now. His wife is recovering rapidly from her injuries.
A SOLDIER’S LETTER
SOME WEEKS since, a fallen soldier’s letter was published in this paper. It is our pleasure now to lay before the reader a war letter written nearly thirty-four years ago, whose author still lives. He is now Adjutant, Pocahontas Camp of Confederate Veterans.
July 30th, 1863
Dear Sister Nancy Jane,
I take the present opportunity this morning to drop you a few lines to let you know that I am well at present, hoping that these few lines may reach you in good health when they come to hand. I am in camp today near Madison Court House. We just came here last night, but we don’t know how long we will stay here. I have had hard times of marching ever since I left home. I have had but a few days’ rest. I was guarding a mill over in the Valley and have been in two battles – the battle of Winchester, Va., and the Battle of Gettsyburg, Pa., and have come out safe… The tin cup that was in my haversack was hit by a musket ball. There were three wounded in my company. Two of my mess were wounded – James Akers and William – and were left in the hands of the enemy. I had the hardest time when we had to fall back from Pennsylvania that I have had since the war.
I was in twenty miles of Harrisburg, the capital of the State. It is a very fine country over there, and I have never seen such country for wheat as that is… There were very clever people in Maryland and a good many secessionists there. We had to wade the Potomac River, and it was up to our arms, and the army had to cross it in the night. I crossed about daylight. We had traveled all the night before, and had been on skirmish forty-eight hours before, and that was why we had no rest…
At the battle of Gettysburg, I shot forty-eight rounds. We started into the fight about sundown and fought until about 10 o’clock that night, and then we were out of ammunition. It was a very hard place to fight the Yankees, they were strong and fortified on the mountain. Gen. Johnson, that was on the Alleghany, was with us in the charge and he got his horse shot and killed under him. But we got safe back to Virginia and I was glad of that…
We have very hard times in this big army for something to eat. We do not get more than half enough, and we all are out of money and means to buy anything with.
We have no tents. We have to take the weather as it comes. The army is in a bad condition, a heap of them are barefooted. I am just about that, and have but one pair of socks and they are full of holes, so you can send me a pair if you have any…
Tell Bob to write to me. I would write to him now, but I have a bad place to write and I am tired and broken down marching. I would like to be out there now to get some good apples to eat and get some berry pies.…
This letter is as much to mother as it is to you. You must read it to her….
There is nothing more at present.
H. P. McLaughlin
AMONG THE persons whose industry, economical habits and wise management of diversified useful industries did much for the development of our county, the name of Henry Harper, Senior, is richly deserving of respectful notice. He was a native of Pendleton County, West Virginia, a son of Nicholas Harper, a native of Germany, who lived on the South Branch. Henry Harper’s wife was Elizabeth Lightner, daughter of William Lightner, Sr., on Back Creek, now Highland county, Virginia… About 1812, Nicholas Harper bought two hundred acres from Robert Duffield and Colonel John Baxter on Knapps Creek and on this purchase Henry settled.
The young settlers found a few acres of cleared land. The thickets of thorns and crabapple and wild plums were almost impenetrable. The sheep, pigs and calves had to be penned by the house to protect them from wolves and bears. By patient and persistent effort, land was cleared and a home reared.
At Mr. Harper’s suggestion, William Civey, of Anthony’s Creek, sunk a tan yard. Then Mr. Harper established a blacksmith shop and built the first tilt hammer in this region… Mr. Harper also reared a flouring mill, which was operated by himself and son, Samuel, chiefly. Father and son were smiths and millers and alternated in their work. The late William Gibson, of Huntersville, and Henry Harper, were the contractors that built the Warm Springs and Huntersville turnpike sixty years ago…
In personal appearance, Mr. Harper was of medium stature, somewhat stooped in the shoulders. His voice was soft and flute-like in tone, very quiet and retiring in his manners, leisurely in his movements, and yet his establishment was a hive of busy industry and all moved on like clock work.
His family consisted of five sons and four daughters, Elizabeth, Anna, Sally and Susan. The sons were Jacob, Nicholas, who died at fourteen, William, Samuel and Henry…