25th N.C. Troops Captain Hargrove’s diary discovered among attic plunder

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Belle Montgomery

Sergeant Major
Oct 25, 2017
"There were other heartfelt feelings expressed in the diary, but none more palpable or powerful as the following:
I have known many who did not want to enlist or volunteer, but were influenced by some of the above illegitimate influences & now their bones are bleaching far from home or friends & their graves erased, not even a board to mark the lonely spot & now many of those same persons who influenced them into the war are now condemning those poor unfortunate creatures & branding them as hot headed rebbels (sic). This is the pay you get for not saying no. "

One morning not long ago, I found myself prowling through a trove of attic plunder in a beautiful old farm house. It was cold and dark up there and the unfinished flooring was so rough that I had to carefully shuffle my feet from one board to the next. Spider webs hanging from the sloping roof rafters glistened in the flashlight’s dim beam, and the heady smell of things old and forgotten was overpowering.

The historic Garden Creek house, located between Canton and Bethel, was a rare survivor of the nineteenth century, and it was being sold. The owner had requested that a few of us from the Bethel Rural Community Organization make an inventory of the sundry items that had been packed away in the attic over the last century. For that reason, I was rummaging through the musty contents of steamer trunks, wooden and cardboard boxes, paper bags, reed baskets, and wood barrels when, suddenly, an item of immense personal value came to light.

Squatting in an extremely uncomfortable position with my head ducked under the steeply pitched roof, I fished out a small tattered journal from the bottom of a box. The first words that stood out in the poor light were W.H.Hargrove’s School, and a quick scan of the yellowed pages revealed at once what I had discovered. It was an old diary—one hundred and fifty years old as a matter-of-fact, and it had been scribed by my own Great-Grandfather Hargrove!

William Harrison Hargrove was a Civil War veteran who had served in the Confederate Army for the entirety of the war. He was one of the hundred or so volunteers from Forks of Pigeon (present day Bethel) who formed a company called the Haywood Highlanders in June and July of 1861.
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