Coming Soon:  One among Joseph Welborn’s four sons who marched off to war was Lyndon McGee Welborn. Lyndon never came home. He volunteered at age 20 for the Confederate army with his friends right after North Carolina seceded in 1861. Father Joseph disapproved.  

Lyndon fought with the 1st Regiment of the North Carolina Troops and once was gravely wounded in the leg. Yet, he returned to the battlefield over and over. He was killed on Nov. 27, 1863, during furious fighting in the Battle of Payne’s Farm (32,000 Union soldiers vs. 5,300 Confederates), part of the often-overlooked Mine Run Campaign north of Richmond. (For Lyndon’s story, Dear Father I Am Sorry To Tell You, see blog Archives.)

I traveled to the obscure battlefield to find where Lyndon and 1,400 others died. In my next installment, I’ll tell you what I found.  

COMING SOON:  Part 2 of "Misty Battlefields, Myths of Lesser People, And My Rosetta"
Posted December 2012
HISTORICAL DISCONNECT: This photo of the author, center, her two sisters
and our "maid," whose name I don't remember, was taken circa 1952 in my small-town,
 N.C., home.  My parents, who both worked full-time, often six days a week,
 routinely left us in the care of African-American employees.  I've often contemplated
how working parents in my neighborhood, in a disconnect between the American ideal of equality
and the reality of making economic ends meet, turned over their most precious gifts — their children —
to the care of under-paid strangers, whom most whites in my town regarded as lesser people.
 Many maids came and went in our home as I grew up.

In my next installment, Part 2 of my Dec. 11, 2012 blog, I'll continue to explore how myths
 of lesser people have remained a stubborn theme in America's story from its earliest chapters,
 through the Civil War, and continuing today.  I'll tell the story of Rosetta,
 an aging maid who worked in our home and who embodied the characteristics Americans value. 

COMING SOON:  What Happened to Robert
Posted  February 2012

Robert McFarland Welborn, drafted in spring 1864 at age 17 into the North Carolina Junior Reserves, became ill while stationed at Camp Weldon in Halifax County, N.C. (See blog posting.) Using various documents, I'm tracing the path Robert might have taken as the Civil War came to a close. The young men in the Junior Reserves had many adventures of courage, including battle at Bentonville, N.C., where they left a footprint in history. Robert survived the war, as did two of his brothers.  Another brother, Lyndon, the protagonist of my book-in-progress, died in 1863 defending Richmond.

A marker at Bentonville Battlefield in Johnston County, N.C.,
keeps alive the story of the N.C. Junior Reserves. My ancestor,
Robert M. Welborn, served in the Junior Reserves. I'm not sure he participated in the stand
 the young soldiers took against  General Sherman's troops in March 1865,
but its' possible. I'm still researching.  Stay tuned. 

COMING SOON:  The Adventures of Robert
Posted December 2011

The Confederacy drafted my ancestor, Robert McFarland Welborn, at age 17, in July 1864. Robert, the youngest child among widower Joseph Welborn’s 10 children, became part of the 1st Regiment, Company F, of the North Carolina Junior Reserves.
An 1864 painting of the Confederate prison in Salisbury,
North Carolina.  Robert McFarland Welborn, drafted into the
North Carolina Junior Rangers in 1864, apparently worked
as a guard at the sprawling prison.

Robert’s older brother Lyndon Welborn, whom I’ve written about in previous blogs and the protagonist in my Civil War book-in-progress, Dear Father I Am Sorry To Tell You, died in battle defending Richmond just months before Robert joined the Confederate army.
Soon, I’ll be writing about young Robert’s experiences as a guard, likely at the Confederate prison    in Salisbury, North Carolina, and in battle after leaving his father’s farm in Randolph County, North Carolina. 


Coming Soon:  The Story of David

Lyndon’s younger brother, David Lindsay Welborn, was assigned in 1864 to a Confederate 
ironclad gunboat, the CSS Fredericksburg (museum model above). David, then age 20, 
wrote to his father Joseph while aboard the ironclad. David had petitioned Confederate 
President Jeff Davis for release from the Confederate draft — to no avail.

The Never-Ending Debate: Was Slavery At The Heart Of The Civil War? 
Coming Soon: Political Causes vs. Personal Motivations As Reasons To Fight

This map shows slave states (orange) and nonslave states
(gold) at the beginning of the Civil War.  (Photo credit:

Coming Soon:  A Friday Evening In Georgetown

One of the many tree-lined streets in the Historic District
of Georgetown, in the South Carolina coastal region.
My presentation here on the Civil War generated interesting questions. 

Coming Soon:  Lyndon In Warrenton, N.C.

The courthouse in downtown Warrenton, N.C.,
where the 1st Regiment of the North Carolina Troops
prepared for the Civil War.  My ancestral cousin Lyndon McGee Welborn
wrote home about a feast townspeople gave for new Confederate soldiers
at this site in the summer of 1861.  Stay tuned. 

From My Postcard Collection

As the 150th anniversary of the Civil War continues, many of you likely will visit or re-visit battlefields.
Through the years, I've explored many battlefields.  Here's a few postcards I've picked up along the way.
What souvenirs from you Civil War travels do you value most?  Go to Comment page.

Travels To Follow My Civil War Ancestors

My Civil War odyssey has taken me recently from Columbia, S.C., to Wilkesboro, N.C.  I'm planning future stops in North Carolina and Virginia, as I follow the path of my Confederate ancestors. To catch up on my travels, check out past blogs under ARCHIVES on the HOME page. 

I began my journey in my current hometown, Columbia, S.C.
I traveled north to Wilkesboro, N.C., gateway to the Blue Ridge.

Was Lincoln Really Born in N.C.?
Stories say Abraham Lincoln really was born in Wilkes County - as well as  Gaston County -  N.C., not Kentucky.  I have a copy of an article in the Wilkes County Patriot from 1931 that claims Lincoln was born on the “old John Holloway Farm.”  More on that and reports from Gaston County later.


Future posts to my Civil War Odyssey blog will include:

·      Travels to Civil War-era sites with historical information and present-day observations and interviews
·      Photographs as the journey unfolds
·      Questions for you to contemplate. I plan to record a vote tally and post the best responses. For instance, I need a great title for my book.
·      Website. Stay tuned for my Civil War Odyssey website. I’ll let you know when it’s up and running. Plans are to offer my creative nonfiction book chapter-by-chapter as it unfolds. You can participate in a “cyber focus group” as I post sneak previews of chapters.  I’ll consider your posted comments and might incorporate suggestions into the final product.