"Granny" Franklin's boys killed

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#1
I found this story below in an older closed thread, and must make corrections to it:


" 'In the late summer of 1864, Colonel George W. Kirk's men were coming over the Tennessee-North Carolina border at will, roaming the wilds of the Carolina border counties, stealing from and terrorizing anyone suspected of Confederate sympathies. In Madison County, pro-Confederate citizens were by this time a minority, but once you got beyond the hardcore Unionists areas such as Shelton Laurel, there were a goodly number of them.

One Madison County inhabitant reputed to be a Confederate was Nance “Granny” Franklin, a widow with four sons, the youngest of whom, Josiah, was 15 in 1864. None of Granny Franklin's sons had actually joined the Confederate Army but had been known to joined pro-confederate bands that had gone out, sometimes into neighboring Counties, to bushwack Unionists—including, on occasion some of Colonel Kirk's men. Now Kirk's men decided it was time to make a pay-back call on Granny Franklin and her boys.

It was typical of the confused and tangled loyalties of the region that, although Granny Franklin had four sons that sniped for the rebel side, she herself was inclined for the Union side... at least, until Kirk's Unionist's paid her a visit. The boys were hopelessly outgunned, however, and return fire from the guerrillas

Three of her four boys were home that day. When they saw the blue-bellies dismounting in the trees around their cabin, they knew instantly what was about to happen. All three grabbed their rifles, ran outside, took up positions near the cabin and opened fire, wounding a couple of Yankees guerrillas. Spencer repeaters blasted clouds of wood chips all around them and fatally both James and Balus.

Young Josiah seeing him about to be outflanked dove under the cabin and reloaded. He could see the booted feet of Kirk's men as they cautiously approached the house. They were coming for him and he knew it. He fought them like a cornered mink. Two of the guerrillas crawled under the cabin to get the boy and he shot them both dead.

Now it looked like a stand-off. Nance Franklin screamed was screaming wildly as Kirk's men pinioned her arms and forced her to watch her two eldest boys bleed to death in their own front yard. Now she also had to watch as several men ran up with pine not torches and set fire to the cabin. Granny Franklin twisted like a madwoman in her captor's arms, and for an instant, she almost broke loose. One of Kirk's men fired a pistol at her head but only succeeded in clipping off a lock of her hair. Death would not release her, on that day, from one last horror.

Young Josiah stood the flames and smoke as long as he could, then bolted, his clothes smoking, from beneath the flaming cabin. He flew right into a knot of waiting Yankees, some of whom were guffawing obscenely at his plight. The boy fell. One of Kirk's men stepped up, swung his rifle like a club, and crushed the boy's skull. His mother watched while his brains spilled out onto the ground like the contents of a cracked egg.

There was no need to hold Mrs. Franklin now. She stood like a statue, three dead sons at her feet and her home burning to ashes, while the raiders remounted and rode away, congratulating themselves on having administered a salutary lesson to all Confederate bushwhackers in the area.'

William R. Trotter, Bushwhackers, The Civil War in North Carolina: The Mountains, pp. 135-136."

That's a great story, but he just got some "facts" wrong. What were his sources? None listed - but it is evident he had read the story in Wellman's "The Kingdom of Madison" which was based on oral tradition. From PRIMARY sources (military service and pension records, census records, and a letter from a Confederate at the scene), we learn Nance's full name was Nancy Shelton Norton Franklin. Her first husband, Drury Norton, was killed in 1854 and she then married George Franklin, who was living at the time the boys were killed (Sept. 27, 1864). Nancy was not a pro-Confederate. Her sons by Drury Norton were George, James, Bailus, and Josiah Norton. All 4 had at one time or another joined the 2nd or 3rd North Carolina Mounted Infantry (George W. Kirk's Union Army units). They were not bushwhacking Kirk's men - they WERE Kirk's men. Nancy and her son George Norton were not present when the boys were killed. Confederates, Major Charles M. Roberts of the 14th NC Battalion and Robert Clouse were wounded that day, and Roberts died a day later.
 

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#2
I found this story below in an older closed thread, and must make corrections to it:


" 'In the late summer of 1864, Colonel George W. Kirk's men were coming over the Tennessee-North Carolina border at will, roaming the wilds of the Carolina border counties, stealing from and terrorizing anyone suspected of Confederate sympathies. In Madison County, pro-Confederate citizens were by this time a minority, but once you got beyond the hardcore Unionists areas such as Shelton Laurel, there were a goodly number of them.

One Madison County inhabitant reputed to be a Confederate was Nance “Granny” Franklin, a widow with four sons, the youngest of whom, Josiah, was 15 in 1864. None of Granny Franklin's sons had actually joined the Confederate Army but had been known to joined pro-confederate bands that had gone out, sometimes into neighboring Counties, to bushwack Unionists—including, on occasion some of Colonel Kirk's men. Now Kirk's men decided it was time to make a pay-back call on Granny Franklin and her boys.

It was typical of the confused and tangled loyalties of the region that, although Granny Franklin had four sons that sniped for the rebel side, she herself was inclined for the Union side... at least, until Kirk's Unionist's paid her a visit. The boys were hopelessly outgunned, however, and return fire from the guerrillas

Three of her four boys were home that day. When they saw the blue-bellies dismounting in the trees around their cabin, they knew instantly what was about to happen. All three grabbed their rifles, ran outside, took up positions near the cabin and opened fire, wounding a couple of Yankees guerrillas. Spencer repeaters blasted clouds of wood chips all around them and fatally both James and Balus.

Young Josiah seeing him about to be outflanked dove under the cabin and reloaded. He could see the booted feet of Kirk's men as they cautiously approached the house. They were coming for him and he knew it. He fought them like a cornered mink. Two of the guerrillas crawled under the cabin to get the boy and he shot them both dead.

Now it looked like a stand-off. Nance Franklin screamed was screaming wildly as Kirk's men pinioned her arms and forced her to watch her two eldest boys bleed to death in their own front yard. Now she also had to watch as several men ran up with pine not torches and set fire to the cabin. Granny Franklin twisted like a madwoman in her captor's arms, and for an instant, she almost broke loose. One of Kirk's men fired a pistol at her head but only succeeded in clipping off a lock of her hair. Death would not release her, on that day, from one last horror.

Young Josiah stood the flames and smoke as long as he could, then bolted, his clothes smoking, from beneath the flaming cabin. He flew right into a knot of waiting Yankees, some of whom were guffawing obscenely at his plight. The boy fell. One of Kirk's men stepped up, swung his rifle like a club, and crushed the boy's skull. His mother watched while his brains spilled out onto the ground like the contents of a cracked egg.

There was no need to hold Mrs. Franklin now. She stood like a statue, three dead sons at her feet and her home burning to ashes, while the raiders remounted and rode away, congratulating themselves on having administered a salutary lesson to all Confederate bushwhackers in the area.'

William R. Trotter, Bushwhackers, The Civil War in North Carolina: The Mountains, pp. 135-136."

That's a great story, but he just got some "facts" wrong. What were his sources? None listed - but it is evident he had read the story in Wellman's "The Kingdom of Madison" which was based on oral tradition. From PRIMARY sources (military service and pension records, census records, and a letter from a Confederate at the scene), we learn Nance's full name was Nancy Shelton Norton Franklin. Her first husband, Drury Norton, was killed in 1854 and she then married George Franklin, who was living at the time the boys were killed (Sept. 27, 1864). Nancy was not a pro-Confederate. Her sons by Drury Norton were George, James, Bailus, and Josiah Norton. All 4 had at one time or another joined the 2nd or 3rd North Carolina Mounted Infantry (George W. Kirk's Union Army units). They were not bushwhacking Kirk's men - they WERE Kirk's men. Nancy and her son George Norton were not present when the boys were killed. Confederates, Major Charles M. Roberts of the 14th NC Battalion and Robert Clouse were wounded that day, and Roberts died a day later.
https://civilwartalk.com/threads/one-family-for-the-union-in-east-tennessee.126286/
 

JPK Huson 1863

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#3
Nancy Shelton Norton Franklin

Thanks for her story ( and I'm guessing you know more ), for Women's History Month. North and South women had such a crazy, frequently worse-than-awful 4 years, we miss it. It's women's history, whether they were famous or like Nancy, a woman who had her life rolled over by war. Once did a thread on mothers who lost 7 sons, had come across a nurse's account of a mother at Mound City who buried her 7th son, wondered how many stories were that hideous- and had to quit looking. Union and Confederate stories, there were just too many.
 
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#5
I found this story below in an older closed thread, and must make corrections to it:


" 'In the late summer of 1864, Colonel George W. Kirk's men were coming over the Tennessee-North Carolina border at will, roaming the wilds of the Carolina border counties, stealing from and terrorizing anyone suspected of Confederate sympathies. In Madison County, pro-Confederate citizens were by this time a minority, but once you got beyond the hardcore Unionists areas such as Shelton Laurel, there were a goodly number of them.

One Madison County inhabitant reputed to be a Confederate was Nance “Granny” Franklin, a widow with four sons, the youngest of whom, Josiah, was 15 in 1864. None of Granny Franklin's sons had actually joined the Confederate Army but had been known to joined pro-confederate bands that had gone out, sometimes into neighboring Counties, to bushwack Unionists—including, on occasion some of Colonel Kirk's men. Now Kirk's men decided it was time to make a pay-back call on Granny Franklin and her boys.

It was typical of the confused and tangled loyalties of the region that, although Granny Franklin had four sons that sniped for the rebel side, she herself was inclined for the Union side... at least, until Kirk's Unionist's paid her a visit. The boys were hopelessly outgunned, however, and return fire from the guerrillas

Three of her four boys were home that day. When they saw the blue-bellies dismounting in the trees around their cabin, they knew instantly what was about to happen. All three grabbed their rifles, ran outside, took up positions near the cabin and opened fire, wounding a couple of Yankees guerrillas. Spencer repeaters blasted clouds of wood chips all around them and fatally both James and Balus.

Young Josiah seeing him about to be outflanked dove under the cabin and reloaded. He could see the booted feet of Kirk's men as they cautiously approached the house. They were coming for him and he knew it. He fought them like a cornered mink. Two of the guerrillas crawled under the cabin to get the boy and he shot them both dead.

Now it looked like a stand-off. Nance Franklin screamed was screaming wildly as Kirk's men pinioned her arms and forced her to watch her two eldest boys bleed to death in their own front yard. Now she also had to watch as several men ran up with pine not torches and set fire to the cabin. Granny Franklin twisted like a madwoman in her captor's arms, and for an instant, she almost broke loose. One of Kirk's men fired a pistol at her head but only succeeded in clipping off a lock of her hair. Death would not release her, on that day, from one last horror.

Young Josiah stood the flames and smoke as long as he could, then bolted, his clothes smoking, from beneath the flaming cabin. He flew right into a knot of waiting Yankees, some of whom were guffawing obscenely at his plight. The boy fell. One of Kirk's men stepped up, swung his rifle like a club, and crushed the boy's skull. His mother watched while his brains spilled out onto the ground like the contents of a cracked egg.

There was no need to hold Mrs. Franklin now. She stood like a statue, three dead sons at her feet and her home burning to ashes, while the raiders remounted and rode away, congratulating themselves on having administered a salutary lesson to all Confederate bushwhackers in the area.'

William R. Trotter, Bushwhackers, The Civil War in North Carolina: The Mountains, pp. 135-136."

That's a great story, but he just got some "facts" wrong. What were his sources? None listed - but it is evident he had read the story in Wellman's "The Kingdom of Madison" which was based on oral tradition. From PRIMARY sources (military service and pension records, census records, and a letter from a Confederate at the scene), we learn Nance's full name was Nancy Shelton Norton Franklin. Her first husband, Drury Norton, was killed in 1854 and she then married George Franklin, who was living at the time the boys were killed (Sept. 27, 1864). Nancy was not a pro-Confederate. Her sons by Drury Norton were George, James, Bailus, and Josiah Norton. All 4 had at one time or another joined the 2nd or 3rd North Carolina Mounted Infantry (George W. Kirk's Union Army units). They were not bushwhacking Kirk's men - they WERE Kirk's men. Nancy and her son George Norton were not present when the boys were killed. Confederates, Major Charles M. Roberts of the 14th NC Battalion and Robert Clouse were wounded that day, and Roberts died a day later.
So what really happened?
Leftyhunter
 

TnFed

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#6
Another example of the endless brutality on born sides in Western NC, East TN , North GA and Eastern KY. that would continue long after the war.
Stories got told...based on truth, but the sides switched. Regulars got blamed for Home Guard actions, Confederates for Union actions and Union for Confederate activities. It wasn't like being able to go back to some distant state and try to forget the war.
 
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#8
The Confederate troops (not militia) exchanged gunfire with the Norton boys in Madison Co. while they were at home on 'leave'. The three were killed. The house was burned. All the other details we read- - - well, they at least make good stories.
I am surprised Trotter got the details wrong. What about Trotter's claim of the North Carolina Home Guards torturing women?
Leftyhunter
 

TnFed

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#9
Leonard, the book Victims a true story of the civil war by Paludan tells of torture by NC Homeguards
 

TnFed

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#12
I believe...could be wrong...lefty is speaking of the 64th NC and the torture of the Sheltons on pages 227 to 230 of Trotters book. Not meaning to speak for him.
 

CSA Today

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#13
I found this story below in an older closed thread, and must make corrections to it:


" 'In the late summer of 1864, Colonel George W. Kirk's men were coming over the Tennessee-North Carolina border at will, roaming the wilds of the Carolina border counties, stealing from and terrorizing anyone suspected of Confederate sympathies. In Madison County, pro-Confederate citizens were by this time a minority, but once you got beyond the hardcore Unionists areas such as Shelton Laurel, there were a goodly number of them.

One Madison County inhabitant reputed to be a Confederate was Nance “Granny” Franklin, a widow with four sons, the youngest of whom, Josiah, was 15 in 1864. None of Granny Franklin's sons had actually joined the Confederate Army but had been known to joined pro-confederate bands that had gone out, sometimes into neighboring Counties, to bushwack Unionists—including, on occasion some of Colonel Kirk's men. Now Kirk's men decided it was time to make a pay-back call on Granny Franklin and her boys.

It was typical of the confused and tangled loyalties of the region that, although Granny Franklin had four sons that sniped for the rebel side, she herself was inclined for the Union side... at least, until Kirk's Unionist's paid her a visit. The boys were hopelessly outgunned, however, and return fire from the guerrillas

Three of her four boys were home that day. When they saw the blue-bellies dismounting in the trees around their cabin, they knew instantly what was about to happen. All three grabbed their rifles, ran outside, took up positions near the cabin and opened fire, wounding a couple of Yankees guerrillas. Spencer repeaters blasted clouds of wood chips all around them and fatally both James and Balus.

Young Josiah seeing him about to be outflanked dove under the cabin and reloaded. He could see the booted feet of Kirk's men as they cautiously approached the house. They were coming for him and he knew it. He fought them like a cornered mink. Two of the guerrillas crawled under the cabin to get the boy and he shot them both dead.

Now it looked like a stand-off. Nance Franklin screamed was screaming wildly as Kirk's men pinioned her arms and forced her to watch her two eldest boys bleed to death in their own front yard. Now she also had to watch as several men ran up with pine not torches and set fire to the cabin. Granny Franklin twisted like a madwoman in her captor's arms, and for an instant, she almost broke loose. One of Kirk's men fired a pistol at her head but only succeeded in clipping off a lock of her hair. Death would not release her, on that day, from one last horror.

Young Josiah stood the flames and smoke as long as he could, then bolted, his clothes smoking, from beneath the flaming cabin. He flew right into a knot of waiting Yankees, some of whom were guffawing obscenely at his plight. The boy fell. One of Kirk's men stepped up, swung his rifle like a club, and crushed the boy's skull. His mother watched while his brains spilled out onto the ground like the contents of a cracked egg.

There was no need to hold Mrs. Franklin now. She stood like a statue, three dead sons at her feet and her home burning to ashes, while the raiders remounted and rode away, congratulating themselves on having administered a salutary lesson to all Confederate bushwhackers in the area.'

William R. Trotter, Bushwhackers, The Civil War in North Carolina: The Mountains, pp. 135-136."

That's a great story, but he just got some "facts" wrong. What were his sources? None listed - but it is evident he had read the story in Wellman's "The Kingdom of Madison" which was based on oral tradition. From PRIMARY sources (military service and pension records, census records, and a letter from a Confederate at the scene), we learn Nance's full name was Nancy Shelton Norton Franklin. Her first husband, Drury Norton, was killed in 1854 and she then married George Franklin, who was living at the time the boys were killed (Sept. 27, 1864). Nancy was not a pro-Confederate. Her sons by Drury Norton were George, James, Bailus, and Josiah Norton. All 4 had at one time or another joined the 2nd or 3rd North Carolina Mounted Infantry (George W. Kirk's Union Army units). They were not bushwhacking Kirk's men - they WERE Kirk's men. Nancy and her son George Norton were not present when the boys were killed. Confederates, Major Charles M. Roberts of the 14th NC Battalion and Robert Clouse were wounded that day, and Roberts died a day later.
You mentioned service records, do you have access to them? If they were “Kirk's men” is there an explanation why they were home – on leave, deserted? It seems pretty risky to take leave in those perilous parts if they were all home and Kirk's 3rd Mtd Infantry wasn't wasn't there.
 

TnFed

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#16
No it's page 126 and 127 of the torture of the women hiding their menfolk who are mossbacks.
Leftyhunter
My paperback copy of Bushwhackers has it farther back. At least the part about Keith. Anyway I would imagine the torture of mountain women would take time. If anything like my two grandmothers they would be hard to break. It would be more effective on the captors part to threaten the children, to make the women reveal their men folks hiding places.
 
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#17
My paperback copy of Bushwhackers has it farther back. At least the part about Keith. Anyway I would imagine the torture of mountain women would take time. If anything like my two grandmothers they would be hard to break. It would be more effective on the captors part to threaten the children, to make the women reveal their men folks hiding places.
On the above two pages the Home Guards threw a baby on the snow to try to extract information from her.
Leftyhunter
 
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#19
You mentioned service records, do you have access to them? If they were “Kirk's men” is there an explanation why they were home – on leave, deserted? It seems pretty risky to take leave in those perilous parts if they were all home and Kirk's 3rd Mtd Infantry wasn't wasn't there.
Service records on Fold3. Do you subscribe? If not, when I get a chance, I'll look again.
 

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