Pvt. Walter Harris
Last week I was contacted by a representative from the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund who was looking for information and especially a picture of Wilson native, Pvt. Walter Harris. Pvt. Harris was killed in 1966 by small arms fire during the Vietnam War. Luckily, I was able to find his obituary in the Wilson Daily Times, which included a photograph. Although the photo had a couple of smudges on it, I cleaned it up in Photoshop.
Pvt. Harris was a born in Nash County and graduated from Springfield High School in Wilson County and is now buried at Resthaven Cemetery in Wilson, NC
The photo and a bio of Pvt. Harris will be included in the Virtual Wall of Faces, joining another Wilson County soldier that I helped find information on, Marvin Bullock, who was killed in Vietnam in 1968.
There are tons of new images on our Flickr page as Johnny the intern (which is what he prefers to be called) is flying through the history vertical files and has already finished the veteran files.
So what are you waiting for? Click here.
Pvt. Bunyan Barnes’ letter home to Black Creek in Wilson County, NC
They were very concerned about Rubin swinging with the Girls.
Last week I scanned over 100 archival documents that were brought in by one of my dear patrons, Lois Bass. Her father, Arthur Bass, actually led the ceremony to open the WIlson County Public Library in 1939. There are letters, deeds, wills, indentures, receipts and plats that she found tightly folded in a small tin box on a shelf in her father’s storage shed that range in date from the 1700’s to the early 1900’s. She doesn’t seem too keen on giving any of it to the state archives so I wanted to scan the documents for use in the library at least.
Here is a transcription of the second Civil War letter in the collection. This one is from Private Bunyan Barnes and Private Ervin Bass. They were very concerned about all the girls back home being married off to someone named Rubin before they got back from the war.
Manassas Junction Va
Jan 9th 1862
I this evening take the time and pleasure of writing you a few lines to inform that I am well at present and hope these few lines may come to hand and find you and Charity enjoying the same good blessings I received your letter a few days back and I was glad to hear that you were well and I was sorry to hear that there is so much sickness about there and to hear the sad Death (of) Gabriel Bass we don’t have no gradeal (great deal) of Sickness here Considering the number (of) folks there is here I can tell we have a heep of fun here with the Black Creek Boys but Girls is Scarce here we cant have no fun with Girls (who ) is not here to be with you all but I cant tell when it will be but I live in hop(e)s of coming back Some Time I tell you the Boys is Vary anxious to come to see you all again I have nothing more of interest to write this time So I will come to a close I want you to write soon
P.S. I will put in a few words of news I saw your sweet heart this evening and he was feeling very poorly with a bad cold I would like to be back there to see some more fun with you and the girls but I cant fo(re)tell when I will be able to get back to see You any more but you must tell the Girls they must not get married until we all come back for I don’t think you have got any young men there to be with except Rubin I guess he is thare yet I guess he has got his own swing round the Girls I don’t think I have anymore of interest to write this Time You must excuse bad writing and mistakes for I had to do this in the knight and I was getting sleepy I will close by sayin I remain yours Truly
Pvt. J. Davis leave pass.
Transcript of letter
One of my patrons brought a the letter of her grandfather, Joseph Davis, a private in the 4th NC regiment and a resident of Black Creek in Wilson County for me to digitize recently. The letter is dated November 13, 1861 and he is stationed at Manassas Junction, VA guarding the depot that the Confederates had won after the first battle of Manassas in July. The letter speaks of the universal longings of any soldier, food and family.
Pvt. Davis was later wounded captured at the battle of Antietam and was soon paroled and worked as a nurse at the Wilson Confederate Hospital.
The Wilson County’s Greatest Generation Digital Project page has been updated with over 300 more pages of materials related to Wilson County, NC’s WWII veterans. So go and check it out.
I was contacted by a researcher collecting the images of Vietnam War Veterans who were killed in the war. These images were to be matched up with the Virtual Vietnam Wall of Faces and the deceased veteran’s grave on Find a Grave.com. The researcher was looking for a picture of a Wilson County Marine who was killed in Vietnam in 1968. His name was Marvin Bullock and he was a graduate of Speight High School in 1968. Try as I might, I could not find a yearbook for Speight but I did find a graduation picture in the Wilson Times from that year. The picture is not that great quality so the researcher is pursuing some family members that I found the names and telephone numbers for. Hopefully an image of Marvin will soon grace the wall with his comrades who gave their lives in a distant war.
Captain George Fishley (not a zombie) one of the few veterans to attend the opening of the Bunker Hill monument in 1843.
The South Carolina Digital Newspaper Blog has an interesting post about the search for the last Revolutionary War veteran during the late 19th century. These remaining veterans were tracked by using Revolutionary War pension records. After Samuel Downing died in 1867 in New York State at the age of 100-106 (see his death notice in the Columbia, SC Daily Phoenix) many presumed that there were no veterans left. But when others surfaced and in 1871 the Daily Phoenix stated that there were still two left but one had been struck from the pension records because of the Civil War and that unnamed person lived in New Bern, North Carolina.