Abraham Wood, Appalachia, Blacksburg, Brandon Kirk, Confederate Army, George Crook, Giles County, history, John McCausland, MacArthur Inn, Monroe County, Montgomery County, Mountain Lake, Narrows, Native Americans, New River, Norfolk and Western Railroad, North Carolina, Phyllis Kirk, Stonewall Jackson, Tazewell County, The Crooked Road, Thomas Batts, Union Army, Virginia, West Virginia, William B. Giles, Wood's River
11th Georgia Regiment, 34th Battalion Virginia Cavalry, Andrew Lewis Sias, Battle of Funkstown, Battle of Gettysburg, Brandon Kirk, Chaney House, Chester, civil war, Confederate Army, Funkstown, General Hospital, Georgia, H.D. McDaniel, Hagerstown, Hammond General Hospital, history, J.E.B. Stuart, Jerusalem, John Buford, Keller Home, Maryland, Pennsylvania, photos, Phyllis Kirk, Point Lookout, Potomac River, Robert E. Lee, Seminary Hospital
34th Battalion Virginia Cavalry, 3rd West Virginia Cavalry, Battle of Curry Farm, Benjamin F. Curry, Big Buffalo Creek, Blountsville, Brandon Kirk, Brandy Station, Cabell County, Carroll District, civil war, Confederate Army, Curry Chapel, Curry Chapel Cemetery, Curry Farm, Duval District, George A. Holton, Granville Curry, Hamlin, Hamlin Chapel, Henry H. Hardesty, history, Hurricane Bridge, Isaac Jackson, James A. Holly, Jeremiah Witcher, John L. Chapman, John S. Witcher, John Scites, John W. Harshbarger, Lincoln County, Logan County, Mathias Kayler, Milton, photos, Phyllis Kirk, Pound Gap, Raleigh County, Russell County, Sheridan, Straight Fork, Tennessee, Union Army, Virginia, West Virginia, White Hall, William A. Holstein, William C. Mahone, Winchester
This entry compiles information relating to the Battle or Skirmish at Curry Farm, which occurred as part of the War Between the States in May of 1864 just north of Hamlin in present-day Lincoln County, WV. It is a working entry and will be updated based on the discovery of new information.
On May 29, 1864, Confederates commanded by Captain John L. Chapman of Company B, 34th Battalion Virginia Cavalry, attacked a detachment of the 3rd West Virginia Cavalry, Company G, commanded by 1st Lt. John W. Harshbarger at Curry Farm on Big Buffalo Creek in present-day Lincoln County just north of Hamlin and twelve miles south of Milton. H.H. Hardesty’s History of Lincoln County, West Virginia, compiled in c.1883, provides the only known account of the battle: “The Federals had marched from Hurricane Bridge and were proceeding up Mud river when they were fired upon by the Confederates, who were concealed on the opposite side of the river. The Federal commander at once ordered a charge and the Confederates retreated without loss. The Federals had one killed, a man named Mathias Kayler from Raleigh county, and two wounded — one being Isaac Jackson, who was shot through the left arm; and another, a member of Company K” (98-99).
Prior to the battle, on May 10, 1864, Capt. John Chapman had been sent with a detachment of dismounted men from the area of Russell County, Virginia, into Cabell and Logan counties “to gather up absentees and deserters from the 34th Battalion” (Cole, 80). Capt. Chapman had been wounded in action at Brandy Station, Virginia, on August 14, 1863 and at Blountsville, Tennessee, on March 10, 1864 (Cole, 147).
Isaac Jackson, one of the two Union soldiers wounded at Curry Farm, was a private in Company G, 3rd WV Cavalry, formerly commanded by Captain John S. Witcher (who had been promoted to major in April 1864). Hardesty cites Mr. Jackson as “wounded in action at Currys Farm, May 29, 1864” (98). Following the battle, on July 6, 1864, 1st Lt. Harshbarger was promoted to captain of Company G. On December 7, 1864, an Adjutant General’s Report shows Company G, 3rd WV Cavalry, stationed near Winchester, VA. The muster roll shows 108 names, citing Private Isaac Jackson as “Wounded in skirmish, May 5, 1864. In hospital since this date.” (Note how this record provides a different date of his wounding from the date provided by Hardesty, who compiled his history about 1881.) http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~wvwayne/roster3G.htm
Curry Farm, according to Hardesty, was located 1/4 mile above Hamlin (90, 98). Hamlin Chapel (later Curry Chapel), located on Curry Farm, is important for the role it played in the creation of Lincoln County in 1867. “The first meeting of the Board of Supervisors was held on the 11th day of March, 1867, in what was known as Hamlin chapel, an old church which stood on the Curry farm, about one-fourth of a mile above the present county seat. There were present: William C. Mahone, of Carroll District; John Scites, of Sheridan, and William A. Holstein, of Duval. W. C. Mahone was made president, and Benjamin F. Curry, clerk, the latter giving bond in the penalty of $2000, with James A. Holly and Jeremiah Witcher as his securities. It was then ordered that the Board of Supervisors have the White Hall, a Southern Methodist church one-fourth of a mile below where the county seat now stands arranged for holding the courts until the proper buildings could be erected, George A. Holton and a majority of the trustees consenting thereto” (Hardesty, 90-91)
Curry Chapel no longer stands but its former location can be found near the intersection of Route 1 and Route 3/11 above the mouth of Straight Fork of Big Buffalo Creek on Mud River. Curry Chapel Cemetery is located on site. While Hardesty cited the battle site as 1/4 of a mile above Hamlin, the church–located on the Curry farm–was located over four miles north of Hamlin “as the crow flies.”
Capt. John Chapman left Cabell and Logan counties and rejoined the 34th Battalion Virginia Cavalry in the vicinity of Pound Gap, Virginia, by the end of June 1864 (Cole, 82).
Capt. John W. Harshbarger (1836-1909) is buried here: https://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=35761174
Scott C. Cole, 34th Battalion Virginia Cavalry (Lynchburg, VA: H.E. Howard, Inc., 1993) 80, 82, 121, 147.
Michael Graham, The Coal River Valley in the Civil War (Charleston, SC: The History Press, 2014) 150-151.
American Revolution, Appalachia, Beech Fork, Beech Fork State Park, Billy Adkins, Brandon Kirk, cemeteries, Continental Line, genealogy, Giles County, Harts, Hezekiah Adkins, Hezekiah Adkins Cemetery, history, Isaac Adkins, John Lucas, Lincoln County, Missionary Baptist, Molly Adkins, Montgomery County, Native Americans, New River, photos, preacher, Revolutionary War, Ronnie Adkins, tourism, Virginia, Wayne County, West Virginia, Winslow
Annie Elizabeth Hill, Appalachia, Ashland, Big Creek, Big Ugly Creek, Billy Adkins, Boone County, Brandon Kirk, Chapmanville, dairy, education, Edward Hill, Ellis Fork, Frank Hill, genealogy, general store, Green McNeely, history, Kentucky, Logan, North Fork, notary public, Sandy Valley Grocery Company, tobacco, U.S. Army, West Virginia, World War II
On June 2, 2004, Billy Adkins and I visited Frank Hill. Mr. Hill, a retired farmer, bus driver, and store keeper, made his home on Ellis Fork of North Fork of Big Creek in Boone County, West Virginia. Born in 1923, he was the son of Edward W. and Annie Elizabeth (Stollings) Hill. Billy and I were interested in hearing about Mr. Hill’s Fowler ancestry and anything he wanted to share about his own life. We greatly enjoyed our visit. What follows is a partial transcript of our interview:
My brother started a store. There wasn’t no money in circulation when he started that store. He took a government loan for $100 and he got in touch with Sandy Valley Grocery Company in Ashland, Kentucky, and he invested that $100 and it give him enough stock to start with. Pinto beans at that time was $3.50 per hundred and he bagged them up in five pound bags and sold them for five cents. That was slow money but he made a go of it. Then he got drafted in the army and he turned it over to Mom and Dad and they took care of it for so many years. You know, my dad didn’t have a bit of education. He couldn’t even sign his name. But he clerked in that store and he could make change better than somebody with a calculator.
EARLY JOBS AND WAR
I started growing tobacco and when I was 19 I got drafted in the Army and I stayed a spell there. And the government was letting farmers that was pretty good producers go home. They needed food worse than they did soldiers at that time. That was about 1943. So I got to come home. I had an awful sick dad, too, and that was part of the reason. And I was the last one of three boys – two of them was already overseas. And all of that had a bearing on letting me out, I guess. I never went overseas. My company left about the time they released me.
Note: Electricity came about 1945.
I got married at Logan. We went in there and bought our license and the county clerk was Green McNeely. I said, “Could you tell me where there’s a preacher that would marry her and me?” He said, “Step around here behind the counter. I’m a preacher and also a clerk.”
We run it about fifteen years. We sold groceries. At one time, I had general merchandise. If you wanted any kind of hardware – wires, nails, anything like that – I could get it out of Huntington. People come there from Big Ugly across the mountain and carry their groceries back. That was the only store that was very close unless you went to Chapmanville or Madison.
That store was my wife’s project really. I worked away. I drove a bus 27 years, I think it was, in Boone County. I applied for a job to contract that hollow. I furnished my own bus, gas and everything. I done that for four year and a half and then they put me on the big yellow bus but I never got any credit for them four years and a half toward my pension. I thought they should have paid me for that because I met all the requirements that other drivers did and my bus had to be inspected, too.
I farmed and growed tobacco all them years. We had a dairy, too. We milked cows by hand and bottled it up and sold it in Chapmanville house by house. I’ve served as a notary public for Boone County for three terms – ten year each time under a different governor. And I’ve served on the farm committee for more than forty-seven years and I’ll not run no more as far as I know.
For Readers, Writers, and Lovers of Historical Fiction
My journey to a new life
Forget where your feet are and simply enjoy the view.