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Banner Elk in Avery County, North Carolina — The American South (South Atlantic)
 

Banner Elk

Unionist Haven

 
 
Banner Elk Marker image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, August 20, 2014
1. Banner Elk Marker
Inscription. In 1860 Banner Elk was a small community in the mountains of Watauga County (present-day Avery County). Then called Bannerís Elk, it was named for the local Banner family and the Elk River. During the last years of the Civil War, an organized system of safe houses was operated here for escaped Union prisoners of war and refugees from Confederate conscription. Local residents guided them through Blowing Rock, across Grandfather Mountain, and into Banner Elk, where other guides led them to safety in Kentucky and Tennessee. Daniel Ellis, Harrison Church, and Lewis Banner were among the guides, as were Keith and Malinda Blalock.

Lewis B. Banner, a slave owner, was a Unionist with three sons in the Federal army. He frequently provided food and shelter for escapees while they waited for their guides. Bannerís son Samuel H. Banner, a member of the 5th Ohio Infantry, built this house after his discharge in February 1864. The laurel thicket by the river was known as the Land of Goshen and served as a hiding place for escapees and draft evaders.

In January 1865, a raid on the Confederate Home Guard camp along Cove Creek in Sugar Grove originated in Banner Elk. After capturing Co. B, 11th Battalion North Carolina Home Guard, the Union raiders returned to Banner Elk with a dozen prisoners. They spent the night nearby before
Banner Elk Marker image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, August 20, 2014
2. Banner Elk Marker
sending the prisoners across the lines into Tennessee.

(captions)
(lower left) Samuel H. Banner; Lewis B. Banner
(upper right) Banner Elk, showing the Land of Goshen All photographs courtesy Banner House Museum

Major funding for this project was provided by the North Carolina Department of Transportation through the Transportation Enhancement Program of the Federal Transportation Efficiency Act for the 21st Century.
 
Erected by North Carolina Civil War Trails.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the North Carolina Civil War Trails marker series.
 
Location. 36° 9.391′ N, 81° 52.24′ W. Marker is in Banner Elk, North Carolina, in Avery County. Marker is on Hickory Nut Gap Road (County Route 1342) west of North Carolina Highway 184, on the left when traveling west. Click for map. This marker is on the grounds of the Banner House Museum. Marker is at or near this postal address: 7990 Hickory Nut Gap Road, Banner Elk NC 28604, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 7 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Shepherd M. Dugger (approx. half a mile away); Lees-McRae College (approx. half a mile away); Asa Gray (approx.
The front of the Banner House Museum image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, August 20, 2014
3. The front of the Banner House Museum
5.1 miles away); Andre Michaux (approx. 5.2 miles away); Cranberry Iron Mine (approx. 5.2 miles away); Cranberry Mines (approx. 5.2 miles away); Valle Crucis Episcopal Mission (approx. 5.3 miles away); A Woman of War (approx. 6.6 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Banner Elk.
 
Also see . . .  Banner House Museum. (Submitted on September 28, 2014.)
 
Categories. War, US Civil
 
Side entrance to the Banner House Museum image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, August 20, 2014
4. Side entrance to the Banner House Museum
Circa 1865--Banner Elk Heritage Foundation
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Md 21234. This page has been viewed 374 times since then and 31 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on , by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Md 21234. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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