04/20/09 — Whitehall casualties honored at ceremony

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Whitehall casualties honored at ceremony

By Dennis Hill
Published in News on April 20, 2009 1:46 PM


A woman representing the United Daughters of the Confederacy places a rose at a headstone Saturday in Seven Springs honoring one of 13 Confederate soldiers killed at the Battle of Whitehall in December of 1862. The UDC was created following the Civil War as an organization dedicated to remembering the men who fought for the South.

Managing Editor

Headstones to honor the 13 Confederate soldiers known to have died defending Wayne County soil at the Battle of Whitehall in 1862 were dedicated Saturday at a small cemetery along the banks of the Neuse River.

The event was sponsored by the local chapter of the Sons of Confederate Veter-ans and the North Carolina division of the Daughters of the Confederacy.

The UDC was created in the years following the war with the aim of remembering the fallen Southern troops.

Leanne Moore of Jack-sonville, vice president of the state organization, said such monuments and ceremonies keep alive the true history of the Civil War -- a conflict in which more North Carolinians died than did men from any other state.

Much of the war's history is not being fully taught in the public schools, she said, and future generations need to be reminded of the sacrifices made by Southern soldiers, she said, even if the cause for which they were fighting remains controversial, with many people critical of the South's bid to maintain slavery and others sympathetic with men fighting to defend their homes from an invading army.

"These men were heroes, no matter which side you fought on," Mrs. Moore said.

A ceremony during which flowers were placed in front of each inscribed headstone was followed by a salute fired by several cannon and riflemen and a soft, slow, stirring rendition of "Dixie" by Edith Gurganus.

Most of the men who were killed in the battle, fought on Dec. 16, a day before the Battle of Goldsborough, were members of the 11th North Carolina Infantry -- a unit that seven months later would be a part of the charge on Cemetery Ridge at Gettysburg. The others hailed from the 31st N.C. Infantry, the 4th N.C. Cavalry and the Edenton Bell Battery.

They were: 2nd Lt. William Means, 1st Sgt. E.B. Bristol, Corp. William Liles, Pvt. John F. Dellenger, Pvt. Walter Duckworth, Pvt. James Gault, Pvt. Benjamin Walker, Pvt. Noah Roundtree; Pvt. L.T. Gill, Pvt. John Tarkenton, Pvt. Riddick Arnold; Pvt. Elias Dulin and Pvt. Benjamen Smith.

Their headstones now stand in the small cemetery on River Street, near a monument recognizing Vietnam veterans. In December, the SCV erected a monument honoring the 13 men at a site north of the river, off Lynch Road.