Yadkin County Historical Society to remember participants in 1863 Bond School House Affair

By Wendy Wood

January 26, 2014

YADKINVILLE — Participants in the 1863 Bond School House Affair will be remembered by their descendants and the Yadkin County Historical Society on Feb. 9 at 2:30 p.m. at Deep Creek Friends Monthly Meeting, 1140 Deep Creek Church Road, Yadkinville.

This Civil War conflict resulted from the need of the local N.C. Militia to draft more men into the Confederate Army and the resistance of some Yadkin County men to serve against their will. On the morning of Feb. 12, 1863, local militia tried to arrest draft resisters inside the one-room, log school house near Deep Creek Quaker Meeting House north of Yadkinville. Gunfire followed and killed two men on each side.

The late historian Frances H. Casstevens, who studied this complex event, believed that it was a microcosm of the larger American Civil War and showed the length to which people on both sides went to uphold their beliefs.

The four deaths included Capt. James Pearson West and Pvt. John MacIntosh Williams of the militia and Solomon “Sol” Hinshaw and Eck Algood, who resisted arrest.

Other militia present were William Adams, A.W. Blackburn, Capt. John Bovender, Hugh Brown, Lt. Col. Andrew Carson Cowles, head of the regiment; Henry C. Cowles, 1st Lt. Richmond Murphy “Murfe” Gabard, Capt. Alfred D. Gentry, J.S. Haynes, 1st Lt. William A. Joyce, second in command; 2nd Lt. Leonard Davis Kelly II, Isaac Long Sr., Daniel W. Long Sr., William Reynolds, and Elisha Clark Roughton, Capt. William “Billy” Sanford Williams, highest ranking officer at the scene, and possibly Joel Daret “Deck” Reece and Lafayette D. Shugart.

Other resisters present inside the school house were Thomas Adams, Horace Adams, Enoch Brown, Jesse Virgil Dobbins, William T. Dobbins, Anderson Douglas, John “Jackson” Douglas Jr., Sanford Douglas, Robert E. Hutchens, Hugh Sprinkle, Benjamin Willard, Leander “Lee” Willard, William Willard, and James Caswell Wooten, and possibly Milton F. Willard.

There is reason to believe that this event was not a Union-Confederate military engagement, since some of the resisters were Unionists, or Union sympathizers, who were opposed to secession, but not slavery. Unionists in western North Carolina, sometimes called Red Strings, were known for their secret efforts to end the Civil War as soon as possible. Activities included discouraging military enlistment, encouraging desertion, hiding and feeding military resisters and deserters, and operating an underground railroad to help Salisbury prison escapees return to the North. Even though the event happened near the Quaker meeting house and some of the resisters were Quakers, there is no evidence that it was Quaker-inspired.

Descendants of these participants are invited to bring a biography and photographs of their ancestors, and note the location of their home and burial place. TV Cable Channel 7 will videotape the program for later broadcast.

This program is a continuation of the Bond School House program presented in 2013, when more time was spent on the event itself.

More information on this affair can be found in The Civil War in Yadkin County, North Carolina, published in 1997 by Frances H. Casstevens.

The program is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Andrew Mackie at 428-8471 or andrewmackie@yadtel.net.