Rufus Barringer Civil War Round Table

23 09 2007

 

I spent the last few days in the great state of North Carolina, and was treated to a wonderful time by my hosts.  On Thursday I flew into Raleigh-Durham airport where I was met by friend Teej Smith, Civil War author and researcher and the program director for the Rufus Barringer Civil War Round Table in Pinehurst.  Awhile back Teej invited me to speak to the group, and that invitation led to starting this blog, so for that alone I’m indebted to her.

Our first stop was Chapel Hill, home of Teej’s alma mater, the University of North Carolina.  On the mall I caught a glimpse of (James Johnston) Pettigrew Hall and the ubiquitous “Reb of Freedom”.  I got my souvenir shopping done in the student bookstore and we bought some coffee and sat in the infamous “Pit”, home to young, healthy, attractive, smart and/or well-to-do 18-22 year olds with a seemingly unlimited supply of things to be pissed-off about.  A great place to sit and watch.

 

Next up was the Wilson Library (below), where the special North Carolina collections are housed.  We were graciously led into the curator’s office to take a look at former valedictorian Pettigrew’s portrait (below – this photo is driving me to purchase a digital SLR), and with Teej’s help I was able to get a copy of an address given at the presentation of a portrait of Colonel Fisher of the 6th NC, killed at First Bull Run.  Lots of good stuff in it, but it will require separation of wheat from chaff.

 

After that we got a bite to eat at The Four Corners restaurant; then we drove to Pinehurst to get ready for the program, which kicked off at 7:00.  A nice group of about 30 were in attendance at the Southern Pines Civic Center, and I did my thing from 7:30 until about 8:45.  Everyone seemed interested, and I didn’t hear any crickets.  Only one question was asked at the end, though several folks came up afterwards to speak with me, one of them a cousin of the voice of my Pittsburgh Steelers, play-by-play man Bill Hillgrove.  Thanks to Teej and president Al Potts for a very nice time.

Still, I can’t shake the feeling that I was off my game.  I didn’t think my transitions between stories were particularly smooth, and I had to pause for a few seconds once or twice to find information in my notes (my presentaiton is not a prepared speech, but there are quite a few quotes I use).  Maybe I was tired from the flight and all, I don’t know.  But I did get further along than last time, and am considering eliminating the battle recap completely from the presentation.  Teej suggested I provide handouts such as the campaign maps: people love to have something they can hold in their hands and look at.  I think she’s right about that.

On Friday we paid a visit to the Malcolm Blue farm (below), where BG Judson Kilpatrick spent the night before the little fight at Monroe’s Crossroads.  We spent some time organizing Teej’s library, which is very impressive in quantity and quality.  We went to lunch in Pinehurst (in the village, near Pinehurst #2), then Teej drove me to Cary where I met up with my in-laws, with whom I stayed Friday night.  I got back home on Saturday in time to see my Nittany Lions fall to the hated maize and blue.  A bad end to an otherwise great trip.

I don’t have another speaking gig set up until March in Columbus, OH. I’ll continue to fine-tune the program, and as always if you’re interested in booking me you can do so via this site.  I have no qualms about speaking to round tables: I don’t anticipate making a living or even a profit from it, and do it only because I enjoy it and because someone asks.  I’ll stop whenever either of those things changes.

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10 responses

23 09 2007
Mike Peters

Harry,

Harry,

As you well know, I HATE the dreaded Wolverines as much as you. I was cheering loud for your Nittany Lions. That school up north sure seems to have JoPa’s number.

Tell us more about Teej’s library. Make me envious.

Looking forward to seeing you in March.

Mike

27 09 2007
HankC

The ‘Reb of Freedom’ in Chapel Hill is locally known as ‘Silent Sam’…

HankC

28 09 2007
Harry Smeltzer

Hank,

Yep, “Silent Sam” is also what Teej said his name was. And come to think of it, he didn’t have much to say while we were there. As I was noticing the symbolic representation of the student putting up his sword to take up his studies on the base of the statue, a passing coed informed me that Sam was facing north to guard against “northern aggressors”.

22 08 2008
RUDOLPH YOUNG

Are you aware of Alfred and Green Barringer? they were african american who served with Rufus Barringer.

22 08 2008
Harry Smeltzer

Rudolph,

I have a friend who has done a lot of research on Barringer, and also have met with one of his descendants. I understand that Barringer had at least one slave with him as a man-servant – I imagine it is possible he brought along more. I have checkers checking.

22 08 2008
Harry Smeltzer

Rudolph,

I received the following from Butch Barringer, a descendant of the general who has been researching him for a long time:

I do know of an Alfred “Barringer,” who I believe was Barringer’s “man-servant” up until Brandy Station. I have a copy of his application for a pension, and it was witnessed and signed by Rufus’ son, Osmond Barringer. I have used the info in the book. Alfred didn’t apply for the pension until he was 80 years old, when he could no longer work. I have not heard of Green Barringer, but I’d like to know more, if there is more. Very interesting.

So if you have more, Rudolph, let ‘er rip.

23 08 2008
RUDOLPH YOUNG

Harry,
I am interested in all the information in Alfred’s pension application. Could you provide it? The average age of the African American Confederate pensioners was 85 years . That is 24 years past the life expectancy of black males born around 1845. The Srate of North Carolina did not modify the pension laws to provide for more pensions for this group until 1927. The earliest pension was 1909 for blacks. Alfred Barringer settled in North Mecklenburg County. Green settled in Charlotte. In 1866, Green was arested for having a gun and went to prison. The military governor had passed a law outlawing carring a gun in public. This law was design to protect Union soldiers from the former Confederates. I have researched a story about a Morrison slave [originally given to Stonewall jackson] called Mark who along with 12 year old Rufus Barringer jr, negotiated the return of Stonwall Jackson’s horse from Colonel William Palmer who had occupied Vesuvius Furnace. I have heard but have not confirmed that Rufus Barringer was on the Board of Directors of Biddle Memorial Institute[ Johnson c. Smith University].

23 08 2008
Harry Smeltzer

Sorry, Rudolph. I know nothing of Alfred’s pension records. As I said, this information is from Butch Barringer. If you like, I can send him your contact information.

23 08 2008
RUDOLPH YOUNG

Harry,
O.K. PLEASE DO THAT , THANK YOUL
RUDOLPH YOUNG

I THOUGHT I WAS THE ONLY ONE UP AT THIS TIME IN THE MORNING

20 02 2014
Leora Kintzer

My Dad was a Barringer from Reedsville, Oh. He was born to Addie(Leora) Barringer. Her parents were JJ and Anna Amanda Barringer. They also lived in Long Bottom. I have all my history of the family. They were poor farmers and I see as I read about the Barringers they never mention anyone from Ohio. We still have family there. My Dad has since past and I am doing this to pass along to my Daughter. I use to spend hours on this and have not been able to and some day I hope to go to NC and find out more. Leora Kintzer

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