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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Wilkesboro in Wilkes County, North Carolina — The American South (South Atlantic)
 

Fort Hamby

Deserters and Desperados

 
 
Fort Hamby Marker image. Click for full size.
By Michael C. Wilcox
1. Fort Hamby Marker
Inscription. The site of Fort Hamby is located about half a mile south of here. The two-story log house was not a military fortification. It got its name after 20 to 30 Union and Confederate deserters occupied it at the end of the war. Their leader, who gave his name as Wade and claimed to have been a major in Union Gen. George Stoneman's cavalry, organized raids on the residents of Wilkes, Alexander, Caldwell, and Watauga Counties. Little is known about the gang members, although legends of their cruelty abound. They allegedly shot and killed a child and a woman at long range to test the accuracy of their rifles, threatened and attacked unarmed men and women, and generally instituted a reign of terror here until spring of 1865.

On night in early May, a posse under a former Confederate Maj. Harvey Bingham of the Watauga County Home Guard assaulted Fort Hamby, but a gang there killed two and drove off the rest. A week later, Wade and his men attacked the home of W.C. Green, a former Confederate officer, in Alexander County. Green had armed his children and servants, and together they opened fire on the bandits, wounding at least one and chasing away the others. The next day, former Confederate Col. Washington Sharpe led another posse against Fort Hamby and besieged the place. After a standoff, Sharpe had an outbuilding set afire before dawn.
Fort Hamby Marker image. Click for full size.
By Michael C. Wilcox
2. Fort Hamby Marker
When the flames spread to Fort Hamby, the gang surrendered. Wade escaped in the confusion and was never seen again, but others were executed on the spot. The posse then burned Fort Hamby to the ground.
 
Erected by North Carolina Civil War Trails.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the North Carolina Civil War Trails marker series.
 
Location. 36° 7.799′ N, 81° 16.367′ W. Marker is near Wilkesboro, North Carolina, in Wilkes County. Marker is on Recreation Road, on the right when traveling east. Touch for map. Located at the entrance of Fort Hamby park. Marker is in this post office area: Wilkesboro NC 28697, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 7 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Montfort Stokes (approx. 4.4 miles away); Boone Homesteads (approx. 4.4 miles away); James Wellborn (approx. 4.8 miles away); James Larkin Pearson (approx. 5.4 miles away); Thomas C. Dula (approx. 6 miles away); James B. Gordon (approx. 6.7 miles away); Colonel Ben Cleveland (approx. 6.9 miles away); Stoneman's Raid (approx. 6.9 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Wilkesboro.
 
Categories. War, US Civil
 
Fort Hamby Marker image. Click for full size.
By Michael C. Wilcox, May 12, 2012
3. Fort Hamby Marker
Artist's rendering of Fort Hamby
Fort Hamby Marker image. Click for full size.
By Michael C. Wilcox, May 12, 2012
4. Fort Hamby Marker
Fort Hamby Marker image. Click for full size.
By Michael C. Wilcox
5. Fort Hamby Marker
Fort Hamby Marker image. Click for full size.
By Michael C. Wilcox
6. Fort Hamby Marker
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on May 15, 2012, by Michael C. Wilcox of Winston-Salem, North Carolina. This page has been viewed 530 times since then and 63 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on May 15, 2012, by Michael C. Wilcox of Winston-Salem, North Carolina. • Craig Swain was the editor who published this page.
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