Transferred to digital form October 10, 1998
This narrative is the true story of the Carrigan family and the founding of the Carrigan homes in Arkansas.
Three members of the family -- Bettie Moore Carrigan, William M. Carrigan and Robert A. Carrigan, kept remarkable diaries. It is from their Journals that most of the incidents are taken.
This story was written in the hope that it would bind together the incidents of the three diaries and prevent their stories from being lost to future generations of the family. There is no fiction here; most of the facts came directly from the diaries, the background information from old clippings, histories and the personal memories of members of the family.
I am indebted to my mother, Lillian Carrigan Routon, who did the arduous "spadework" by copying in longhand most of the three Journals to keep them for her children and thus aroused my interest in them, and to Dr. Pinckney B. Carrigan who graciously loaned me the William M. Carrigan and Bettie Carrigan diaries which now belong to him.
This is a story about six Marys, four Steves, four Johns, four Williams, and three Alfreds. Two brothers marry two sisters. It's easy to get confused. So every now and then, you'll find a miniature of the family tree on the next page with an indicator showing where you are, for example:
"Beyond the Mississippi" young William M. Carrigan read aloud to himself the title of the hand-written manuscript on the desk. He was flushed with excitement; this was the oration he had written for his Graduation Declamation, and he had just completed a final polishing of its rolling phrases.
The words before him meant more to William than a speech to fellow graduates and proud parents. They told his hopes and fears for the years that would immediately follow graduation. He wondered what he would actually find in his new home -"beyond the Mississippi" and whether it would be like those dreams on the paper before him.
It was April 1852 and in June William was to receive his degree from the University of North Carolina as his brother Alfred had before him. Then he would be married and set out with his bride on the westward journey that had been in his thoughts every day since Alfred's visit the week before.
William remembered Alfred's visit vividly. He had known for several years that his father was considering, like other neighboring families, the possibilities of selling out his Carolina lands and moving to the newer states along the Mississippi River. But it was Alfred's glowing account of the community to which they were going that set William's mind afire.
Again the picture of Alfred's arrival at the university ran through William's mind. William and his younger brother, Robert, a university freshman, were waiting when the stage brought Alfred into the university town of Chapel Hill. It was only 17 days since Alfred had left Arkansas, and the younger brothers were full of questions about the new farm he had selected and the fast trip he had made from Washington, Ark., back to North Carolina.
When he told them that he had made arrangements for possession of the farm the following fall, they could hardly contain their excitement. Alfred told them of the prosperous community he found at Washington, of the rich farmlands, and of the cultured friendly families he visited -- some of them former neighbors or relations from Carolina.
He had decided that these Arkansas lands would offer a greater future for himself and his four brothers than the area in Texas that his father had first considered. So he had remained four months in Washington and arranged for occupation of the farm before the year was out. Now he was returning to report to his father on the journey.
William and Robert returned regretfully to their classes after Alfred's stopover; they felt that lessons were pretty dull compared with the picture Alfred had painted.
Yet, as William sat in his room with the completed oration before him, he realized that the years he was leaving behind had been good years for him and for his family. The Carrigans had come to America from Ireland in 1755 and his mother's family, the Holts, had arrived even earlier, in 1717, from Germany.
William knew his father's pride in those two families and their early history in America. Many a time as a little boy, he had heard his father and his grandfather William tell of them. He remembered the story now, as the family was planning to leave the old home in North Carolina and pioneer again in a new land.
The story of the Carrigans began, as far as William knew it, with his great-grandfather, James Carrigan who came from Monahan County, Ireland, in 1755. James and his wife Isabell landed on Delaware Bay and moved inland to Orange County, N.C., and founded their first home in America there.
James and Isabell Carrigan had six children -- Young William remembered that he had learned to recite their names to his Grandfather -- "Rebekah, Mary, Martha, Sibby, Robert and William" -- this last was Grandfather William himself.
Grandfather William had fought in the Revolutionary War and as an old man, he spent many an hour telling Alfred and William, his grandsons, of those momentous days. Born in 1760, he had joined the Colonial Army at the age of 16 and fought through the long war. After the colonies were independent, he returned home and in 1785 -- on Jan. 25 -- he had married Catherine Adams. Young William remembered his Grandmother Catherine clearly.
As William and Catherine started their family, old James Carrigan's life was drawing to a close and in 1793 he died at the age of 77, after 38 years in America. He was buried in the Coddle Creek churchyard, near the home he had built with his own hands. His wife Isabell died 11 years later at the age of 78.
Youngest of William's and Catherine's family was Willa Adams Carrigan who was born in 1792 and was given his father's name and his mother's family name. This was the father of Young William, and of Alfred, Robert, James and John, and Young William thought of him with sincere pride and respect.
It was William Adams Carrigan, the boy realized, who had made the family name known through North Carolina and beyond. He had made a success of his own farms and those that his wife Nancy inherited. While still a young man, he had increased this success by founding with his wife's brother one of the first cotton factories in the state.
Now, he must be one of the best-known men in North Carolina, William thought.
Of his mother's family, the Holts, Young William Carrigan had heard a more detailed and more colorful history. Not only had their story been more exciting -- they also kept better family records through letters and diaries and the story remained more alive.
Young William's mother, Nancy Mitchem Holt Carrigan, had died when he was eight years old, so he didn't remember her very well. But he had heard of his Holt ancestors from Father, who was proud of his wife's family, and from Uncle Edwin Holt who was Father's partner in the cotton factory.
With the Holts, Michael was an old family name, and Young William was always proud that he bore the traditional names of both his father's and his mother's families -- William Michael.
The first Michael Holt the family knew anything about came to America from Germany in 1717. Like many of the Protestant colonists, he came for religious freedom and to get out of the devastation that gripped Germany after the Thirty Years' War.
Michael and his wife Elizabeth had high hopes for their life in the New World and were willing to stake several years of their lives. They came with other German Lutherans as indentured servants, pledging to work for anyone who would pay their passage. After they had worked out the amount of the fares, they would be free to make their own future.
They took a few personal belongings, provisions and their treasured Bibles and hymnals on the voyage. When the ship reached England, the captain was held several weeks for debt. The voyage was continued when he was released, but part of the provisions had been used in those weeks of delay.
The ocean crossing must have seemed forever. As the weeks became months, their provisions gave out; hunger grew into starvation. Entire families died for lack of food. Somehow Michael and Elizabeth Holt survived. When the ship neared Pennsylvania, where they planned to join a colony of Germans, a storm blew it far off its course and the colonists were finally set ashore in Virginia.
Of the families who had started the voyage, only 20 remained, a total of about 80 persons.
Soon arrangements were made for Col. Alexander Spotswood, the King's governor of Virginia, to pay their fares, and they became his indentured servants. Colonel Spotswood, a wounded hero of the Battle of Blenheim, was a colonial governor of great foresight and success. But he wasn't an easy master.
The year before Michael Holt came to America, Spotswood had led an expedition to the unexplored country of the Shenandoah Valley and the Blue Ridge Mountains. Into that fertile section he sent the German colonists, settling them on the south bank of the Rapidan River some 20 miles above Fredricksburg.
They named the settlement Germanna. Vineyards were planted. Iron was discovered and crude iron manufacturing shops set up.
On May 6, 1723, Elizabeth Holt had a son whom they named Michael II. He was the first of the Holt family born in America.
The next year, trouble arose between the settlers and Colonel Spotswood. They declared they had worked out the amount of their passage and the governor claimed that more was due him. The case was taken into the Spotsylvania Court and the settlers won. Now they were free, and in 1725, Michael took his wife and son to a rich tract on the Robinson River in Madison County, Va. Others of the German families moved to the same area.
They built homes and then a church. They decided they must have a pastor, and the congregation sent two men back to Germany to select a man, but they were unsuccessful.
On Sept. 28, 1728, Michael Holt walked to the Madison County court and patented his claim to the land on Robinson River, He and his fellow colonists prospered, cleared their land, improved their homes. And they found a pastor, the Rev. John Casper Stover.
But they were not satisfied. In 1734 they sent Pastor Stover, Michael Smith and Michael Holt to Europe to raise funds to enlarge their church and build a school and to hire an assistant pastor.
The delegation sailed for England, went from there to Holland, Germany and finally Danzig. After two years it was decided that Michael Holt should return to Virginia with the new assistant pastor and he sailed in June 1736. Soon Stover and Smith followed.
The European trip brought between $14,000 and $15,000 one-third of which went for expenses. The rest built a new church and school, bought a community farm and paid for slaves to work it.
When Michael II was 12 years old, his father decided to move to North Carolina. The Carolinas had only 5,000 settlers and seemed to offer wider opportunity. By this time there were four younger sons, Peter, William, Nicholas and John.
About 1740 the move was made and Orange County, N.C., was selected as their home. Michael Holt was skilled with the crude machinery of the day and his oldest boy seemed to follow in his footsteps. So Young Michael was sent to learn the blacksmith's trade. He did well, but his first love was for the land. Even as a boy, he saved his earnings to buy land -- well-chosen tracts.
When Young Michael reached his 20's, he owned a thriving blacksmith shop and several farms. He was a stocky fellow, rippling with blacksmith's muscles. His hair was heavy and black and his face so swarthy that his neighbors called him "Black Michael"; the nickname stuck.
He rapidly became a man of importance in his part of North Carolina and was appointed a magistrate for George II, King of England. He also received an honorary commission as captain in the King's Colonial Service.
After Black Michael married Peggy (Margaret) O'Neill, sister of a British colonel, his home also became a center of social activity. His family grew; Peggy bore him three children--Joseph, Margaret and Elizabeth. In 1765 Peggy Holt died, leaving Michael a widower with three small children.
That same year old Michael passed away, 48 years after he had come to America. In those years he had seen his family become leaders in the colonies.
One of the great beauties of North Carolina was Jean Lockhart, daughter of a prominent Scotch family near Hillsboro. In 1767 Black Michael wooed and won her for his bride.
Upon his return home with his new wife, Michael found trouble in Orange County. A group of colonists, who called themselves "the Regulators~ had been rioting and refused to pay taxes to England. Michael didn't agree with them. He held that taxes were legal and the law must be preserved.
On April 8, 1768, after a property-holding Regulator had his horse taken away for non-payment of taxes, the protesting colonists again rioted and the King's Militia was called out. Michael was called to duty under his royal commission captain, and he answered. After a hundred or so Regulators had been defeated and the riots ended, the militia officers returned home.
But Black Michael's home was in the midst of a stronghold of Regulators. The farm buildings were burned and his property pillaged. In 1770 the trouble broke out again. And on Sept. 21 of that year, the rioters invaded the Hillsboro courtroom and dragged Judge Richard Henderson from the bench and whipped him. Richard Henderson was Michael's best friend. The crowd also whipped Alexander Martin, later governor of North Carolina, and Michael Holt and burned several houses.
As the Regulators had damaged his property, Michael hunted for the site for a new family home. He found it on the Little Alamance Creek, and in 1771 took up 510 acres from the agents of the Earl of Granville
The trace included the present sites of Graham and Burlington, N.C.
Here, on the stage road from Hillsboro to Salisbury, he built his home which he celled "Alamance." His younger Brothers, John and Nicholas, signed the land transfer records as "chain bearers" in the surveying of the trace.
Michael's friend, Mr. Roan of Hillsboro, asked him one day how much he would take for his lands.
"Gold dollars, by ding. Gold dollars enough to cover it and them laid down edgewise," Black Michael roared.
Again in 1771 the trouble with the Regulators flared, and William Tryon, Royal governor of North Carolina, raised an army of colonials to put down the riots. Michael Holt and most of the landowners of Orange County joined Tryon. The actual fighting, known as the Battle of Alamance, took place on May 16, 1771, between Tryon's forces and some 2,000 Regulators and was fought on Michael Holt's farm. After the battle, his home became a temporary hospital for Tryon's wounded.
Black Michael could not compromise with the lawlessness of the Regulators, but he did listen with growing sympathy to the complaints of the American colonists against the King of England. The Regulators had left him with a great fear of mob rule. Besides, he held considerable property and had a sizeable family -- Jane Holt had borne him two daughters, Sara and Mary, known as Polly, end two sons, Joshua and Isaac.
Matters came to a head on Jan. 10, 1776, when Gov. Josiah Martin of North Carolina, representing the King, called on 26 Militia officers to raise troops to fight the rebellion. Michael Holt was one of the 26. He raised a company easily enough, for North Carolina was about equally divided between sympathizers of the rebels and the Tories. Governor martin ordered him to march to Brunswick, about 150miles south, end join General McD6nal~'s British Army at Cape Fear.
Along the march route, Michael heard many reports. He discovered that most of the Regulators, his avowed enemies, had joined the British. On the other hand, he found, most of the landowners who had been with him in Tryon's forces against the Regulators had decided to fight for the colonial cause. Michael's mind was soon made up.
He halted his men and called an assembly. Then he told them of his discoveries and said of the Regulators, "I cannot persuade myself to be so loyal to my king as to consort with this crowd."
So Michael turned back to Alamance and most of his men went with him. Several months later, in May 1776, Michael was arrested by the colonials and taken to Halifax. There he was tried and found guilty of "leading forth to war a company of men in the British cause." The following month he was taken to Philadelphia and imprisoned.2 While he was a prisoner, his daughter Kitty was born at Alamance.
In September 1776, after he had been in prison for three months, the colonial authority of North Carolina met in Salisbury for a hearing on Michael's petition and a petition from Orange County asking for Michael's release.
The board recorded that it "found many Circumstances in his favor, inasmuch when he was fully acquainted with the intention of the Tories, he did actually return home, and was the means of inducing a number of others to follow his example.
It was agreed to ask the Continental Congress, meeting in Philadelphia, to pardon him.
The Congress promptly released Black Michael, and he returned home to help the Revolutionary cause. Of his now reduced means, he gave liberally to the colonial treasury.
On July 11, 1778, another son was born to Michael and Jean and he was named Michael III. This was the father of Nancy Holt and grandfather of William Carrigan and his four brothers.
The revolutionary struggles continued, the tide swinging one way and then the other. Lord Cornwallis led a successful drive in the Southern colonies in 1781, and Gen. Nathaniel Greene and Gen. Daniel Morgan engaged him in the Battle of Guilford Courthouse at Greensboro, N.C., near Michael Holt's home, on March 15, 1781. The Americans were defeated and their camp was the scene of suffering, Michael Holt sent almost all of his fat cattle to feed the colonial soldiers.
Michael suffered a personal loss early in the war when his younger brother William was killed. He was slain by a British colonel, Hector O'Neill, the brother of Michael's first wife, Peggy.
By this time Michael's children by his first marriage were reaching their 20's. He felt it only fair to give them their share of his property while they were young, and he began dividing the large estate he had founded, giving each child a share when he reached his majority.
In 1799, Black Michael's life drew to a close, he died at 76 and was buried in the Holt family graveyard on his own farm, the grave of Peggy O'Neill on his left. When Jean Lockhart died 14 years later, in 1813, she was placed on his right.
Michael left a will dated Jan. 23, 1798, distributing the remainder of his property and leaving to each of his l0 children -a Negro man, a Negro woman, one horse, one cow, one calf, one feather bed and furniture."
At his head was placed a plain soapstone slab, reading, "Remember, man, as you pass by, As you are now, so once was I. As I am now, so you must be. Prepare for Death and follow me."
Black Michael's namesake, Michael III, soon became a leader in the community in his own right, and his love for the land was as deep as his father's had been. In 1796 he married Rachael Rainey, daughter of a pastor.
To Michael III and Rachael were born six children --William Rainey, Jane Lockhart, Polly, Alfred, Edwin Michael, and Nancy Mitchem. During the early years of his marriage, in 1804, Michael III was elected state representative from Orange County and served with distinction, leading particularly in agricultural and educational reform measures.
In 1820 Michael was elected to the State Senate and continued his progressive leadership there. His home on the Salisbury to Hillsboro stage road was a center of community life.
And here, thought Young William Carrigan as he reminisced in his college room, the histories of the Carrigan and Holt families merge.
"That is, they merge as far as I'm concerned," he added aloud.
For on May 17, 1827, William Adams Carrigan, aged 35 years old, and Nancy Mitchem Holt, Michael III's youngest child, then 17 years old, were married.
Young William wondered how his father and mother looked as they took their marriage vows in the old Holt home. He was particularly interested in weddings, since he expected his own to be in the near future.
But he couldn't visualize his mother's and father's wedding very clearly. He didn't remember his mother well because she had died so young, and the confident, successful father that he did know couldn't somehow fit in with the description of a young bridegroom.
His father had brought his mother home to a plantation house near the Alamance Creek, not far from her own father's home. There the following year, on April 15, 1828, she bore her first son and named him Alfred Holt Carrigan.
Soon afterward Nancy Holt's brother Edwin, only three years older than Nancy, had married. He and his wife Emily also had a son, whom they named Thomas Michael Holt, on July 15, 1831. Tom and Alfred became playmates.
In 1831 Nancy Carrigan had a second child, a little girl she named Mary Jane, but she died when only a month old.
"Now," Young William said to himself with a smile, "we reach an important point in the family narrative. On Sept. 3,1932, I, William Michael Carrigan, appeared. Three years later Alfred and William had a little brother, Robert Adams Carrigan.
Soon after Robert's birth, the boys' Uncle Edwin Holt came to the Carrigan home to talk to William Adams Carrigan. Uncle Edwin was a successful farmer, but he wasn't satisfied. He had been visiting a small cotton mill in Greensboro run by steam and he decided that a cotton mill built on Alamance Creek would be a very profitable enterprise. Now he wanted his brother-in-law, W.A. Carrigan, to go into the venture as a partner.
Edwin Holt was frank in presenting his case. He said readily that his father, Michael III, didn't agree to the plan and might refuse them the use of the Alamance Creek, since he owned both banks of that stream and used the power to run a grist-mill. But Edwin was sure that a cotton mill would be successful there or elsewhere, and he was anxious that his brother-in-law join him.
W. A. Carrigan wanted time to think the matter and Edwin Holt went on to Philadelphia intent on ordering the necessary machinery. When he returned home, he found that W.A. Carrigan had decided to join him and they became partners.
Edwin was to handle the manufacturing, W.A. Carrigan the office. Finally old Michael Holt gave in to the entreaties of his son, daughter and son-in-law and agreed that the mill could be built on Alamance Creek, with the partners paying a nominal price for use of the waterpower.
So the partnership of Holt and Carrigan was formed and the factory built. Certainly the times were not bright for a new business, for the building was completed during the Panic of 1837. But the machinery was started anyway.
The cotton factory was a success from the very beginning and the young partners gradually expanded. The original machinery included 528 spindles. A few years later 16 looms were added. A little village of neat log houses sprang up around the mill for the white workers that Holt and Carrigan employed instead of slaves.
During the year that the cotton factory was started, Nancy became the mother of a fourth son, John Morehead Carrigan-
As the next few years passed by, Holt and Carrigan's mill swelled with orders. New machinery was bought. Twelve hundred spindles were in operation and 96 looms. At first only coarse cotton cloth for slave clothing was made, but soon beautifully woven bolts were turned out for fine sewing.
Holt and Carrigan prospered, but W. A. Carrigan was not without troubles. His wife Nancy was not well. When her fifth son, James Edwin, was born in 1841. She did not recover and two months later she died.
She was only 31 years old and she left behind five little boys. Alfred, the oldest, was only 13. In the old Holt family graveyard on the farm near Graham, where Black Michael and his two wives were buried, Nancy Carrigan was laid to rest.
The five Carrigan boys grew up just about the same as other Southern planters' sons, Young William supposed as he thought back on his boyhood. Perhaps in the all-male household, they were allowed a little more time for hunting rabbits, riding horses, and sleighing in winter with Uncle Edwin Holt's boy Tom and the Williamson boys.
But Father certainly hadn't allowed discipline to become slack because the family lacked a mother's hand. He put his boys to work, learning to farm so they could later manage farms, just as Uncle Edwin's sons went into the cotton mill to learn its machinery.
Alfred, William and Robert learned to plow, to plant, to pick cotton. When John and James were old enough, they too went to the fields to watch the slaves and to work themselves.
In addition to his own lands, William Adams Carrigan farmed the lands that his wife had inherited from the Holt estate, farms which had been bought by Black Michael. Many of the slaves who worked on them had also been part of Nancy Carrigan's inheritance. A year following Nancy's death, her father, Michael Holt III, died and part of his estate also went to W. A. Carrigan to be held for Nancy's five sons.
Life went along in the same pleasant fashion for the boys -- lessons at home and work on the farms broken by frequent visits to the many nearby Holt relations and to friends. Tom Holt and the Williamson boys spent many a day at the Carrigan farm, too.
But William Adams Carrigan wanted his sons to have a better education than the small schools and itinerant tutors offered. He hated to breakup his close-knit family of boys, but when Alfred reached his l7th birthday, the decision could be postponed no longer.
Arrangements were made for the three older boys --Alfred, William who was 13 and Robert, 10 -- to enter the Caldwell Institute in Hillsboro, farther east in Orange County. They were to stay in the home of Stephen Moore. In January 1st the boys journeyed to Hillsboro to begin their studies.
As William sat in his college room six years later, remembering that big event in their lives, he recalled how the three brothers were welcomed into the Moore home. The big family literally engulfed the boys. Mr. Moore was a bit younger than their father; Mrs. Moore was the daughter of Gen. Alexander Gray of Randolph County, N.C.
There were eight children in the family and numerous slaves in the household. The oldest child was Ann Eliza who was known as Annie; she was about William's age. Then there were Alek who was 12, Billy who was two months older than Robert Carrigan, Mollie (Mary Frances) who was nine years old; Maria, seven; Little Mollie's name was Mary Frances. Stephen, six; Henry, three, and the Baby Dick.
The Carrigan boys thought they had never seen such a big, happy family, and they immediately became a part of it.
William was Annie's devoted follower, and Alek and Billy were constant companions of the Carrigan brothers.
After several months of preparation at Caldwell Institute, Alfred left for Chapel Hill to enter the University of North Carolina and William and Robert remained on with the Moore family in Hillsboro. Since Chapel Hill was also in Orange County and only about 15 miles from Hillsboro, the younger brothers still saw Alfred often. Sometimes they went down to the University to visit him and Tom Holt and catch a glimpse of college life.
It was about this time, William Carrigan remembered, that he had started the diary which he still kept. In it he wrote not only a record of his comings and goings; he also copied poems and parts of speeches which pleased him and he practiced the beautiful penmanship which had become his great pride.
Thoughtfully, he reached in his desk and pulled out the ledger in which he kept the diary and thumbed back to the opening pages. The first entries were of his studies at Caldwell --"reading Virgil, and Greek, and Algebra." There were accounts of his first orations, given after he had been elected "declaimer" of the Institute's Adelphian Society. It was a great day when he selected Holmes' eulogy of John Quincy Adams for his declamation, he remembered.
He read down through the pages, telling of Father's trips to court in Hillsboro. Alfred's return to Hillsboro from Chapel Hill for many visits. Of his trip to Chapel Hill in 1848 with John Turrentine. The measles epidemic at Caldwell in April 1848 which caught him and Robert. He smiled at his entry of May 1848 that he had not studied for exams but came off with "no dishonor."
In June 1848 William went back to Chapel Hill with Alfred for Commencement and then returned to the Carrigan farm for a two weeks vacation which was spent working. In July he and Robert returned to Caldwell Institute and this time the next brother, John who was 11 years old, went with them. William was elected president of the Adelphian Society, a great school honor.
In the fall Father came to Hillsboro from the farm to bring the boys their winter clothes. He and Stephen Moore spent many hours talking of the election in which Zachary Taylor had just been named President of the United States.
At Christmastime the boys went to the farm for the holidays and the entire Moore family packed up to attend two weddings in a nearby town. William wished he could spend Christmas with Annie instead of at the farm. During the vacation he decided to ask Father if he could return to Chapel Hill with Alfred and enter the university several months earlier than they had planned.
His father agreed to the plan, and in January 1849 William, Alfred, Robert and John returned to Hillsboro. William stopped off long enough to get a college recommendation from Dr. Wilson of the Institute. Then he went by to bid the Moores, and especially Annie, goodbye, and he and Alfred went on to Chapel Hill.
William was duly enrolled as a freshman in the university and assigned to a room with M. L. Staples of Taylorsville, Va. But before he had been in Chapel Hill a month, he was beck in Hillsboro to spend a day with the Moores and Annie. After that, he and Alfred often walked to Hillsboro one day and beck to Chapel Hill the next.
"Father went to Petersburg, brought us a fine lot of clothes. He brought me a fine Bible," William read in the diary. Then came another account of his freshman studies -- Bible, elocution, Latin, Greek, and math. Then an entry on April 19, 1849, that Orange County had been divided and the portion containing the Carrigan farm set up as Alamance County.
In May 1849 William was chosen freshman competitor in speech, the beginning of a college career in declamation. He chose Webster's reply to Calhoun on the revenue bill for his address and bought a fine coat for the occasion. The following month, school closed and the boys went home for the summer vacation, which William separated into times for reading, walking over the meadows and visiting with the Moores in Hillsboro.
When Alfred and William returned to Chapel Hill in July, William found that his roommate Staples had quit college and he was assigned to a room with John Morehead, whose family were old friends -- in fact William's younger brother John was named for one of the Moreheads. The boys thought college was as big as it could ever be and William wrote in his diary, "College thronged, having 170 students."
Toward the end of the summer, Alfred became very sick and Father came to Chapel Hill to carry him home. He was not able to return to the University for two months.
"Beginning to read the Bible, with Genesis," William read next from the diary. He regularly read the Bible through every few years, a habit that he intended to follow all of his life.
When the boys returned to the farm for the Christmas vacation in 1849, Father had a surprise for them. Alfred and William were moved into "the Office", a small building in the yard. It was recognition from their father that they were now grown young men, and they felt the importance of the occasion.
"Great crowd at Ed's candy stew. Staid nearly all night," the diary said. William remembered that party well. That was the week Father had passed through Chapel Hill on his way to Philadelphia on business.
In June 1850 Alfred graduated from the university and returned to the farm. William remained on at Chapel Hill, but the report that reached Father in September was not entirely encouraging. It said, William remembered: "Tolerable on logic and Math. Respectable on French, very respectable on Latin and Bible. Notwithstanding Mr. Carrigan's entire punctuality and his great amiability of disposition, the faculty deem it their duty to intimate to you that his diligence does justice to neither his capacity nor his opportunities."
In December William returned to the farm for the holidays, but he managed to spend three days, including Christmas, with the Moore family. The family was even larger than when he had lived there, for now there was another little girl, Julia.
"Fourteen inches of snow at Alamance. Had a joyful time sleighing and rabbiting," said the diary entry under January 1851. That was one of the biggest snows William could remember, and whet a time the boys had. He returned on horseback to Chapel Hill, riding through the drifts. When he arrived he had his daguerreotype made as he had promised Annie.
The winter continued so cold that in February classes at Chapel Hill were dismissed and all the students went ice-skating. Robert came up from Hillsboro for a two-day visit, and Tom Holt stopped over on his way to Philadelphia where he had a job.
That same month the students formed the Southern Rights Association to consider intersectional differences between the North and the South, and William was appointed secretary of the group. It was not long after this that the college was in an uproar when caricatures of the faculty were discovered on the belfry and classroom doors.
In March William went to Hillsboro and returned with a daguerreotype in exchange for the one he took Annie. The following month he returned to Hillsboro to do some shopping and bought his commencement suit -- "coat, pants and a fine ballroom vest."
William was a junior and Manager of the Commencement ball. He sent out 50 tickets of invitation. "Commencement large, but not the usual number of pretty young ladies," entered in the diary. "My duties as Manager of the ball laborious, danced three nights in new ballroom. Parted from friends whose loss cannot be replaced."
Annie Moore had come to Chapel Hill for the ball and William was very proud for her to see his importance. Robert Carrigan was there, too, and passed his entrance exams for the university.
When they returned after the short summer vacation, William was a full-fledged senior "excused from morning prayers" and Robert was a freshman. Robert took over Willie's old room and the senior moved to Craig's. Annie Moore had just returned from a trip to Alum Springs, Va., and William lost no time in walking over to Hillsboro to see her.
In September 1851 Alfred came up to Chapel Hill to visit William and Robert and tell them that he was going to Arkansas.
Father had for several years considered moving farther west, to new farmlands beyond the Mississippi River. He had his own slaves and those inherited by his wife, really more than enough to work the Carolina farms. Now he was looking ahead to opportunities for his five sons.
So he decided to send Alfred to locate a good farm in a pleasant community. He first thought of Texas and was still considering it. But several North Carolina families had moved to Hempstead County in South Arkansas and it was there that Alfred was to go first. Billy Moore, Annie's brother, was going to Texas on the same sort of mission for Stephen Moore.
Billy started from Hillsboro on Oct. 1, 1851. Alfred left the Carrigan farm with two friends, Russell and Kirkpatrick, on Oct. 7, carrying their provisions in a two-horse wagon. Soon Alfred wrote back to his father that he had overtaken and passed Billy Moore after only two weeks of travel. In November he arrived in Arkansas. Billy went on to Texas.
Making his own preparations for the move, Father began closing out some of his holdings in North Carolina. In October 1851, he sold his share of the Holt and Carrigan cotton factory to his brother-in-law and partner, Edwin Holt. When the boys went home for the Christmas holidays, every minute was given over to making plans, based on the letters which Alfred was sending full of news from Arkansas.
In two-below-zero weather William and Robert returned to college after the holidays, John going with them as far as Hillsboro. They waited anxiously for Alfred's return from Arkansas so they could ask him scores of questions.
And now, after Alfred had come and had told them all about the opportunities waiting for them, William was more impatient than ever.
William returned to the farm, but spent much of the following two weeks in Hillsboro. On the morning of his wedding day, with Alfred, Robert and Tom Holt, he set out for Hillsboro.
Later he wrote his own account of the wedding in his diary: "At 1/2 after 9 o'clock Ann Eliza Moore and myself were united in marriage by the Rev. S. Milton Frost. My attendants were Messrs. Bob Carrigan, Alek Moore, Tom Williamson and Tom Holt. Bridesmaids were Misses Mollie Moore, Ann Howerton, Henrietta Sweeney and Annette Lindsay.-
"Our company, though small, was quite lively and entertaining. Annie was too sick to dispense with the services of Dr. Strudwick in 5 or 6 days thereafter. But on the 30th I ventured to take her and Sister Mollie to our Alamance home.
In just a month, William was to start for Arkansas with his father, and Annie wanted to pay farewell visits to members of her family in other parts of North Carolina. During July the young couple visited, staying several days with the Robert Gray family and then with Annie's grandfather, Gen. Alexander Gray, in Randolph County.
By Aug. 1, they were back home in Alamance and preparing for the long trip. Early in September William went to Chapel Hill for a farewell visit. He returned by way of Hillsboro to pick up the last of Annie's baggage and Stephen Moore went on to Alamance with him to see them off.
Early in the morning on September 7, the family left Alamance for the journey to Arkansas. Robert stayed behind at the university and John at school in Hillsboro; an aunt promised to look after them during the vacations.
Only as many things as would fit into three wagons and a barouche were taken on the journey, the rest left behind at the farm; the slaves remained at Alamance. The first night they reached Greensboro and before the caravan got started the next morning, General Gray arrived with a little 10-year-o1d Negro, Nancy, as a present for his granddaughter, Annie.
The trip by wagon was slower than Alfred's journey of 17 days by stagecoach. Their route was through Mount Airy, then across the great width of Tennessee, through Abington and Rogersville, Rutledge, Knoxville, Kingston, Bonair Springs, Sparta, McMinnville, Shelbyville, Lewisburg, Lynnville, Savannah, Bolivar, Somerville, Raleigh. Finally they reached the Mississippi River at Memphis.
At Memphis a horse, worth $150, died and that further slowed the speed of the wagons. They crossed the river and entered Arkansas, making their way through 40 miles of river swampland, and then turning southward. They passed through Marion, Little Rock and Benton and at last, on Oct. 30, they reached Washington, their future home, after nearly two months on the road.
The weary travelers went to Cousin Milton T. Holt's home in Washington and were welcomed by these old Carolina neighbors. They were impatient to see the farm Alfred had selected and early the next morning, the men set out on a tour of inspection.
The next fifteen years see brothers marrying sisters, two unrelated women named Mary Moore, and half the men losing their lives in the Civil War. The following page shows the relationships of the major players.
The farm five miles out of Washington, which Alfred had bought from a Mr. Nance, was to be the temporary homestead for all the family, and they were anxious to move to it. It was on a well-traveled highway known as the "Military Road", over which U. S. troops marched to the Mexican War in 1845.
Nance was moving his family to Austin, Texas, and he agreed that the Carrigans could take possession of the farm the next week. In return they agreed to handle for him the ginning and picking of his cotton crop.
Soon after they reached Washington, Annie received a letter from her brother Billy Moore who had started west with Alfred Carrigan the previous spring and had gone on to Freestone County, Texas. She and William were sure that their new farm in Arkansas was finer than Billy's Texas land.
A few days after they moved into the house on the Nance farm, William began planting flowers -- hyacinths and violets. Inside the house, the bustle of unpacking and settling down continued for days.
On Nov. 20, two weeks after they moved to the farm, Annie, William and 11-year-old James drove into Washington to hear Bishop Truman at the Presbyterian Church. It was the first sermon they had heard since Aug. 29, their last Sunday at Alamance.
While they were in Washington that day, Annie went by Brittain's store and bought things for the farm household --plain domestic cloth, a pitcher and wash pan, ribbon, iodine, crackers and candy.
The following day, November 21, 1852, two old friends from North Carolina, Sam Kirkpatrick and John Allen, arrived to make their homes in Arkansas like the Carrigans. Several days later Annie received a letter from her father; Stephen Moore wrote that he too was starting to Arkansas and might decide to bring his own family to Washington.
He planned to leave Hillsboro on Dec. 9 and go to Mobile, then by boat to New Orleans, up the Mississippi and Red Rivers to Shreveport and overland to Washington.
Through December the men worked at picking and ginning the cotton crop that Mr. Nance had made. It amounted to 25 bales, totaling 12,323 pounds.
Their first Christmas in Arkansas was damp and cloudy, and the family held its holiday celebration at home
Stephen Moore arrived in Washington on the first day of 1853, and a week later his son Billy rode in from Freestone County, Texas. For several days they visited with Annie and the Carrigans and discussed buying a new home for the Moore family west of the Mississippi.
On Jan. 12 they started back to Billy's home in Texas. William Carrigan learned after they were gone that Mr. Moore had bought a farm near Columbus, about five miles from Washington, before leaving for Texas. It was the Dr. Brunsun place and Stephen Moore paid $6.50 an acre for the 850 acres.
Annie was overjoyed at the prospect of having her family near her again and immediately began a stream of letters to her mother and younger sister Mollie about their approaching. She made many a plan for them and for their Arkansas home.
Later in January William signed a contract to teach a five-months school in Washington. The parents wanted him to begin classes as soon as possible and guaranteed him 20 students and a fee of $250. He agreed to open the school on Jan. 17 and decided to live at the farm and ride back and forth to Washington on Roderick, his pony.
Several weeks after the school opened, Col. Thomas O. Benton, principal of the Dallas Military Academy, proposed to William that they open an Academy in Washington together the following August, and William agreed to consider the plan.
In February Stephen and Billy Moore returned from Texas. They had decided that Billy would move out to the Brunsun place and Stephen would return to North Carolina for the rest of the large Moore family.
During their absence, Stephen Moore's trunk and a bureau and rocking chair of Annie's had arrived from North Carolina. He unpacked the trunk and found several letters for William and Annie and a neck-ribbon which Mollie had sent to Annie.
The same day the Moore men came in from Texas, William returned from Washington full of exciting news. He had seen in town that day 82 Choctaw Indians, being moved from Alexandria, La., to the "Indian Nation." Also, he had heard that the post office in Little Rock burned down the week before, destroying two bags of mail for Washington.
On Feb. 19 Stephen Moore left for Camden on the first lap of his journey back to North Carolina. Several days later Annie and William went over to visit Billy, who lived alone in the Brunsun farmhouse.
The following month Father Carrigan decided that it was time to return to Alamance, sell the remaining family property and bring the slaves to Arkansas. On March 17 he left for Fulton to catch the riverboat. Annie and William filled his pockets with letters to members of the family and friends back in North Carolina.
March 1853 was a dreary month with constant rains. The creeks rose alarmingly, and William could not get to Washington to hold school. He, Annie and James were virtually marooned on the farm.
Letters from Father soon arrived. He had reached Alamance on April 3 after 16 days on the road. He found Robert and John well and the farm in good shape after his eight months' absence.
In June William wrote Thomas 0. Benton to ask if he were still interested in opening an Academy in Washington. When Benton decided against the venture, William advertised in the Washington Telegraph that he would open his own school on Aug. 15. Annie thought that she, too, would be a schoolteacher and made plans to hold classes for young ladies in Washington.
They moved from the farm to the home of the Witter family in Washington in August. But only three days after classes opened, William and then Annie became very ill and had to return to the farm, postponing the schools for four weeks.
This was the beginning of long battles with malaria that kept most of the Carrigan family with chills and fever off and on for years. It was the greatest difficulty in adjusting themselves to Arkansas, and it was an obstacle and discomfort of real importance.
In September Father wrote from North Carolina that Uncle Edwin Holt had bought the Carrigan farm at Alamance, 760 acres, for $10 an acre. This was land that had been left by Michael Holt III for the five Carrigan boys, his grandsons.
Father was to leave Alamance on Sept. 5, bringing the family slaves to Arkansas with him. This was the final break from the home of four generations of Carrigans and five generations of Holts. Father had decided to take John out of school in Hillsboro and bring him out to Arkansas, too.
0nly Robert, at the university in Chapel Hill, was to remain in North Carolina.
Three days after the Carrigan group left Alamance, Stephen Moore started out from Hillsboro for Arkansas with his family and slaves.
By the middle of September William and Annie felt well enough to return to Washington and open their schools again. He had 29 students, Annie 17. The next Sunday William joined the Presbyterian Church in Washington; he had been a member of the German Reformed Church in North Carolina and Annie, like all the Stephen Moore family, was a Methodist.
On Oct. 22, after seven weeks en route, Father and John arrived in Washington. With them were two wagons full of family possessions, l0 slaves and a score of little Negroes, and 10 horses.
The money received for the farm and other family funds had been converted into gold and placed in iron pots in the wagons. Beds for the Negro children had been made up over the pots of gold to hide the treasure.
The Moore family was not far behind. They arrived in Washington on Nov. § and moved out to the Brunsun farm where Billy was waiting for them. The big family immediately began fixing, building, planting a garden, and settling down.
Annie was overjoyed to see her mother, Mollie and the younger children again. William had lived at the Moore home in Hillsboro so many years that he was almost as glad as Annie to see the family in Arkansas. He and Annie drove out from Washington to spend every weekend with the Moores or at the Carrigan farm.
On Christmas Eve the Carrigan boys gathered at the farm to decide on a division of the family Negroes who had been brought out from North Carolina. There were not only the field Negroes, and house servants, but skilled workmen like London who had been trained as a carpenter and was often hired out by the day.
The next day William and Annie drove through the snow to the Moore farm to spend the rest of the holidays.
William had been considering buying a farm of his own, and when his school and Annie's neared the end of the term in February 1854, he purchased an 80-acre place from William N. Fuller for $400.
On Feb. 15 they moved from the Witter home in Washington to the Carrigan farm. Two days later, after packing up their belongings, they went to their own new home.
With them went William's slaves -- Peter, Cely and Wilkes. There were Peter and Cely's four little pickaninnies --Henry, Caroline, Jerry and George -- and the Negro girl Nancy that Annie's grandfather had given her when they left Alamance.
William had three horses to begin his farming, his own Roderick, Sam from Father's farm, and Mill from Stephen Moore. He lost no time in getting to work. First he had the slaves clear out a corner of four acres and sow oats. Then he broke 16 acres for corn and began planting.
The next month William broke new ground and planted cotton. Near the house he planted a vegetable garden and flowers. He plowed the corn and worked out the cotton through the spring months. Then the rains began. William thought they would never stop; prospects for his first crops were bad. The rains did stop, but in July an unprecedented drought hit the farms.
During that summer William used his slaves and other hired help to cut enough logs for a new house. He built with his own hands that summer a double corncrib of logs.
Late in July Annie received word that her mother was seriously ill and she immediately went to the Moore farm, Mrs. Moore was expecting her twelfth child the following January, and Annie stayed on with her most of that fall and winter.
William was busy at home, gathering corn and peas, sowing turnips and cutting hay. In September the slaves made baskets and began picking the cotton on his place. The crop made 5,800 pounds of seed.
Alek, the oldest Moore boy who was now a doctor, left home for Philadelphia in September and Stephen Moore went to Texas on business. While Stephen was away, his wife's condition became steadily worse and he returned.
On Jan. 2, 1855, Mrs. Moore gave birth to another son and that same day, about dark, she died. The baby boy was named Robert Gray for her brother.
Now 18-year-old Mollie had to take over the numerous duties of mistress of the house and slaves and "mother" to the big family. In April Alek Moore arrived with six more of the Moore family slaves; he had gone from Philadelphia to Hillsboro before returning to Arkansas.
On William's farm, his new house was started with slave workmen doing most of the construction. London, the slave carpenter, was in charge of the Negroes. The other slaves were used to break more new ground.
Alfred Carrigan had returned to North Carolina and in the summer of 1855 he wrote back to Washington that he was to be married soon and would start for Arkansas with his wife immediately after the wedding.
Alfred's bride was the daughter of another Moore family in North Carolina -- not related to the Stephen Moore clan. Her name was Mary Elizabeth but she was always called Bettie. At the time of her marriage to Alfred, she was 24 years old.
Bettie's youngest sister Lou had married Alfred's first cousin and lifelong friend, Tom Holt, two years before in October 1853.
Bettie Moore was even more faithful at keeping a diary than William Carrigan had been. She decided to begin a new volume of her journal with her wedding day. On the first clean white page of the book, she wrote:
"Sept. 25, 1855. A.H. Carrigan and Mary E. Moore were married at Mt. Pleasant, Rockingham County, N.C., by the Rev. John H. Pickhard on the morning of the twenty fifth, Tuesday. Got to Lexington that night."
Alfred decided to cross Tennessee by a slightly different route this time and stop over in the city of Nashville for several days. This was probably a concession to Bettie who was an inveterate sightseer and loved to write impressions of new scenes in her diary.
After passing through Augusta, Ga., and Chattanooga, Tenn., the bride and groom arrived in Nashville on Sept. 27. Bettie immediately wrote in the diary that Nashville was "one of the handsomest cities I ever saw. The pavement is very fine, the State House is exquisite."
The couple spent two days in Nashville. The Legislature was in session and the city crowded. They shopped for Alfred's wedding present to his bride, and she decided on a set of silver spoons, large and small sizes, some silver forks and a new book, the diary of a London physician.
"We went to Dr. Edgar's church in the morning, to a Catholic church in the evening, to the cemetery and to James K. Polk's grave," she wrote in the diary.
On Sept. 29 they resumed the journey toward Arkansas and took a boat going down the Cumberland River. They spent that night on the riverboat, passing under a suspension bridge that Bettie pointed out excitedly.
The next day they were on the Ohio River and by nightfall reached Paducah, Ky. On Oct. 1 they boarded the Antelope, a larger Mississippi River passenger boat. The Antelope had music by two harpists, a larger and more congenial group of passengers, and finer cabins. Bettie enjoyed the river travel more and more.
She first saw Arkansas on Oct. 3 when the Antelope docked at Napoleon. She and Alfred spent the night on a wharf boat and the next day took a White River boat to Aberdeen.
"My first step on the soil of Arkansas was at the foot of a bluff (at Aberdeen). I hope it is an omen that while in Arkansas, I'll always go uphill."
After a stagecoach ride across Grand Prairie, she and Alfred reached Little Rock and spent a day and night there. Bettie thought the Arkansas capital 0uite a pretty place. She visited the Arsenal, the State House, a Catholic church and did some shopping. On Oct. 8 they started traveling again and two days later reached Washington.
Bettie's first impression of Washington was a pleasant one. Alfred's father met the couple there and took them out to his farm, where William and Annie were waiting to welcome them. The next day William took them to his home to spend the day and on the 13th they went into Washington to church, where Bettie met many of the family friends.
The bride and groom visited for another week, a day at William's where Bettie met Annie's sister Mollie, and then to Father's. On Oct. 17, a week after arriving in Washington, they moved to Alfred's own farm on Bois d'Arc Prairie.
There was no house on the new farm, so the bride set up housekeeping in a one-room cabin. Besides Alfred's slaves, Bettie had two Negro girls Bell and Mary Jane who were m wedding present from her father. With $70, which was also a bridal gift from her family, she bought sheep and two cows for the farm.
Bettie kept careful accounts in her diary as well as describing daily happenings and she wrote that Alfred's expenses to North Carolina and their trip back to Arkansas had amounted to $775. In addition he had given her a leather trunk costing $30.
For several weeks Bettie was busy returning the calls that new friends had paid. On the 15th of November she went to shop in Washington and bought a wardrobe for $20. When she returned home that day, Alfred had bought her the first letter from her family in North Carolina.
Bettie was a faithful correspondent, writing constantly to her mother, Lou Holt, another sister Sallie Williamson and the youngest of the children left at home, her sister Cora.
Bettie learned rapidly the many duties of the mistress of a plantation household. She learned to warp cloth, to make clothes for the family and for the slaves, the supervising of curing meat and preserving fruits.
In December she had the slaves weave 65 yards of cloth and make nine men's coats for the Negroes. She made Alfred and his brother James a pair of pants each, the first she ever made.
Christmas was spent with the rest of the family at Father's farm, and Alfred and Bettie remained there for a week during the holidays.
The year 1856 opened with the coldest weather the family had seen in Arkansas. For a week four inches of ice and two feet of snow blanketed the farms. By the middle of January the ground had thawed enot~f0r~'Alfred to have an artesian well dug.
Alfred was elected associate judge at the election in Washington on Jan. 16. The following Sunday Bettie presented her church letter in Washington and received her first communion in Arkansas. After the service she and Alfred dined at the home of Gen. Grandison Royeton, a leading Washington citizen.
Including the slaves, there were 40 in the household on Alfred's farm and Bettie soon found that it took thousands of pounds of provisions and hundreds of garments to keep them fed and clothed. In January the slaves killed hogs and put up 5,700 pounds of meat. She decided to take the nine-year-old pickaninny Minerva and train her for a house servant.
Late in January Alfred came home with the news that a steamboat had come up the Red River as far as Fulton. There had been no navigation of the Red that far north in more than two years. He also brought the news that his younger brother John was leaving for Oxford, Miss., to enter the University of Mississippi.
Alfred had enlarged the cabin in which they lived and that spring Bettie spent many hours planting flowers and trees around the home site. She loved flowers and before many months had scores of different kinds, particularly roses. Friends soon came to bring her every new kind they found, and her yard was always a showplace of blossoms.
In February she planted cedar, sugar maple and holly trees and 14-year-old James came over from Father Carrigan's farm to help her plant a hedge. She had the slaves plow up a plot near the house for a vegetable garden and planted cabbage, celery, peas, pepper grass and Irish potatoes.
The following month John returned from Mississippi because he hadn't liked the University enough to enroll. Robert Carrigan was to graduate from college back in Chapel Hill that spring, and Alfred spent several days in March surveying Robert's farm near the Washington-Columbus crossroads.
Bettie was busy too; she had wool spun for a new carpet and paid $5 to have two white bedspreads woven. The wool for the carpet came from her own sheep. Alfred went to Fulton on business and returned with a can of oysters, a special delicacy for her.
On April 4 Father came over to tell them goodbye before leaving for a 15-day trip to New Orleans.
In May furniture and household goods ordered from New Orleans for Alfred's house arrived in Fulton and the farm wagons brought them home. Bettie was in Washington for a visit with the Royston family.
Immediately after his graduation from the University of North Carolina in June 1856, Robert Carrigan came out to Arkansas to join the family. His own farm, a 440-acre place straddling Bois d'Arc Creek near the Crossroads, not far from Alfred's place, had already been selected and Alfred had surveyed it for him.
As soon as Robert reached Washington, be started making improvements on the farm and put his slaves to work cutting and hauling timber to build a home. He had a well dug and found excellent water at 31 feet.
Every few days Alfred stopped by Robert's place to see how the work was going. Alfred had come out as a candidate for the Lower House of the Arkansas legislature, and he was stumping the county. While he was away from home making speeches, John Carrigan stayed with Bettie who was expecting her first child soon.
The election was held on Aug. 4 and Alfred was defeated, though he polled 525 votes. After the excitement of the election died down, he went over to Robert's place to help put a road through to Bois d'Arc Prairie where Alfred's own farm was located. The slaves were still cutting timber for Robert's house.
At 8 O'clock in the morning on Sept. 17, Bettie gave birth to her first son, whom they named Samuel Moore for her father.
Dr. Jones and Annie were with her, and Annie stayed on until Bettie was able to be up again. A week after Samie's birth, Alfred and Bettie celebrated the first anniversary of their wedding.
The slaves were busy picking cotton and harvesting the corn crop throughout the fall. Alfred's place made 530 barrels of corn, 45 bales of cotton. Cotton was selling for 10 cents.
The first week in October Annie came over to spend several days with Bettie and bring some family news. Her younger sister Mollie Moore and Robert Carrigan were to be married on Oct. 15.
Bettie could not go to the wedding because of her young baby, but the day after the ceremony, she went over to Father's farm where the bridal couple and William and Annie were visiting. Two days later Robert and Mollie came up to Alfred's farm to spend a day and night. From there they went on to William's for a few days.
On Nov. 5 Robert and his slaves laid the foundation for his new home and on the following two days raised the framework. He and Mollie were staying part of the time at Father's and the rest of the time at the Stephen Moore farm or with William Carrigan.
Alfred had been asked to run for the state senate, but had to refuse because he was under the required age of 30 years. Bettie was busy spinning wool to make blankets for the Negroes. It took 56 yards to make the bedding. On her birthday, Nov. 23, she awarded herself a vacation and went over to William's place to spend the day visiting.
The kitchen was the first room of Robert's house to be finished; he and Mollie decided to move in. So he took the farm wagon and drove over to the Moore farm for Mollie's linens and bedding and on Nov. 12 they moved into their home, living in the kitchen.
Before Mollie had been in her new home many days, she received a message that her young brother, Stephen Jr., had typhoid fever. Stephen died in Washington on Dec. 22. The minister who came to the Moore home for the service also baptized the Moore baby Robbie.
Mollie and Robert stayed on at Stephen Moore's for Christmas. On Dec. 27 they went to Father's and on the way home Robert took his slaves, who had been living at Alfred's place, and brought them to his own farm.
Robert started the new year of 1857 by setting the Negroes to work clearing and fencing the garden and yard near his new house and cutting logs to build a small smokehouse. Most of the time they worked through wretched weather -- sleet, snow and hail were on the ground most of the time for two weeks.
In the middle of January, Dr. Samuel Williamson, an old friend of the families who came from Carolina, arrived to take over the ministry of the Presbyterian church in Washington. He had been president of Davidson College in North Carolina.
Early in the New Year, Alfred decided to add to his holdings. For $3,000 he bought 270 acres from his father and an adjoining 40 from Mr. Walker; he paid another $3,000 for slaves -- Zenith, Eliza and their four children -- to work the new farm. Zenith was a carefully trained blacksmith.
There were now 22 to be fed and clothed at Alfred's.
That spring they put up 3,320 pounds of meat. Alfred built a farm blacksmith shop for Zenith and bought $50 worth of tools, so that the repairing could be done at home.
It was a bad spring for crops. In April a severe frost killed the vegetables, including acres of corn, down to the ground. On April 11 a light snow fell, covering the fields. Robert continued breaking new ground for the spring planting.
John Carrigan had bought a farm near Alfred's and lived there part of the time, at Alfred's the rest of the year. He had bought seven of Bettie's sheep to start a flock of his own.
Bettie received a letter from North Carolina on May 3 saying that she had a new little brother, her mother having had another son whom they named Walter Williamson. Alek Moore's wife and Annie came over that month to spend several days visiting.
On the morning of June 1, Robert went into Washington to attend court. He returned to find Mollie feeling badly; the next morning, she was worse. Robert sent for the doctor, and through the next day saw his wife growing steadily worse.
On the morning of June 3, their first son was born prematurely, dead.
Bettie's long hours in her garden paid dividends that spring and summer. She had fine potatoes, celery, cabbage and peas and raised tomatoes that were so unusually large that she sent several to William Etter, editor of the Washington Telegraph, and they were written up in the paper.
Some of the slaves were working on a house for John Carrigan's Negroes to live in on his farm. John had decided to stay on at Alfred's farm indefinitely and was building a new room on the home for his own use. White waiting for the completion of the room, he went hunting and came back with three deer.
Most of the other Negroes, except the house servants, were baking brick for building a chimney. Bettie was hard at work making summer clothes -- striped cotton dresses -- for all the Negro women. She also finished her carpet for which 40 square yards of wool from her own sheep had been used.
In August 1857, Annie and Mollie received word that their little two-year-old brother Robbie Moore, at whose birth their mother had died, was very ill. On Aug. 23 the little boy died and only three days later the next youngest of the Moore children, five-year-old Jesse, became ill.
At the same time Mollie and Robert were having a terrible bout with malaria and were in bed with chills and fever.
However, after some days, they and little Jesse recovered.
Cotton picking was beginning on the farms and every hand was busy. In October the Negro carpenters built a chimney on John's new room, using the brick they had baked in the summer. Bettie had the Negro women weaving woolen cloth. They turned out 107 yards and in November made the slaves' winter clothing out of the cloth.
The cotton crop was good that year, but the men were discouraged. Cotton prices fell all through the fall and by the time the crop was picked and baled, the market had gone from 15¢ to 7¢ a pound. It was a hard year for all of them.
As usual, they gathered to celebrate Christmas, Robert, Mollie and James at Father's place; John, William and Annie were at Alfred's. Dr. Williamson's family joined the group at Alfred's.
After Christmas Annie stayed on with Bettie for three days to help her get ready for the trip she and Alfred were to make to New Orleans in January. Dr. Williamson's three daughters --Ann, Jane and Mollie -- went over to Robert Carrigan's farm to visit for several days. While the girls were there, Billy Moore and James Carrigan also came over for several days and Robert's house was full of congenial company.
In January 1858 the men of the county gathered in Washington to help select a new community burying ground. At their second meeting, they agreed on a location, atop a rolling first to select plots, one for Alfred's family and another for the rest of the Carrigans.
The last of January there was a great overflow along Red River. Billy Moore and William Carrigan rode down to Fulton to see the floodwaters and found the Red higher than it had been since 1840.
A later flood along the Red River
Alfred and Bettie started to New Orleans on Jan. 9, leaving the baby Samie with William and Annie. They took passage on the Red River boat, Rube White, which spent the night tied up at Fulton and started downstream at 4 o'clock the next morning.
A few hours after leaving Fulton, the boat caught fire from wood that had been piled too near the boiler. Bettie was very frightened, particularly since she was the only woman on board. But the fire was extinguished and the journey continued without mishap. In two days they reached Shreveport.
After two days in Shreveport, they took passage on the National, which went to New Orleans by the Red and Mississippi Rivers. The trip took three days, and Bettie was delighted with the beautiful plantations along the banks and the sugar farms that she saw as the boat neared New Orleans.
They ended their journey on Jan. 18, and Alfred took Bettie to the St. Charles Hotel where he had engaged rooms.
She began her sightseeing early the next morning and wrote in the diary:
"Went to hear Dr. Palmer preach; saw him administer infant baptism. Dr. Longstreet preached. The church is two blocks from the St. Charles Hotel. It is a magnificent building. The inside is live oak pews, etc. The outside is granite-colored stucco, a beautiful park in front. Cost $130,000. The pews sold for $7,000 the first evening.
"Went to the Catholic cemetery. The graves are above ground, decorated with beadwork, vases of flowers, shell walks with rare flowers planted on them. Went to the Catholic Cathedral. Saw a tomb in the church, very fine paintings. It is opposite Jackson Square; in the park is the equestrian statue of Jackson by Clark Mills, surrounded by a circle of Cape Jasmine. Evergreens trimmed in shape of church spires.-
The following day Bettie devoted to shopping in the New Orleans stores. She bought a collar and undersleeves, a hoop skirt and trimmings for a black silk dress. She also purchased two lawn dresses and several pieces of furniture.
Bettie's cousin, Mary Bethell, was at Mrs. Hull's school in New Orleans and Bettie went by to see her. That night Bettie and Alfred saw Booth play "Hamlet."
On Jan. 21 they left New Orleans and started to Uncle Pinckney Bethell's place on Bayou Teche; the Bethells were Bettie's mother's family. On the way, they saw orange groves, market gardens, rows of vegetables a mile long -- all these she carefully noted in the diary. She thought the live oak trees with hanging moss were beautiful.
"This is the loveliest country I have ever seen," she wrote that night.
Bettie's visit was full of exploration. She got Uncle Pinckney to take her out to her Grandpapa's old farm. Then she went to a sugarhouse and saw Negroes boiling cane juice and refining the sugar. She watched planting of the sugar cane. She joined in every one of the Louisiana customs.
"Before breakfast they take coffee and eat oranges," she noted with some amazement.
After four days with the Bethells, Alfred and Bettie returned to New Orleans. They spent a glorious day of sightseeing, highlighted by a trip to the Museum where the Bearded Lady, the Swiss Warblers, the Siamese twins and a dazzling display of horsemanship were on the bill.
One more day of shopping; then the travelers started homeward, back to Arkansas.
Robert was hard at work during the spring of 1858, clearing more land, putting up new farm buildings, planting trees and flowers around the house. In February he got small cedars from Father's farm and set them out in his front yard. He kept most of the Negroes busy cutting timber on the land, which he expected to clear next; Alfred's and William's slaves helped part of the time.
Through the spring his work was often stopped by spells of malaria; chills and fever forced him, and sometimes Mollie, to remain in the house for days. Through spring work and sickness, the constant visiting back and forth between members of the family continued. Father spent a week at Robert's in January; William and Annie came over for several days early in February; Billy Moore arrived soon after.
In February Bettie left for a trip back to North Carolina to see her family. Mollie and Annie were busy with the preparations for the wedding of a friend, Lucy Moss, to Thomas H. Simms in Washington. They spent several days at the Moss home before the wedding.
Robert had been considering moving into Washington and in March he found a house and lot to his liking. He paid $1,000 for the property and was promised possession of the house by Dec. 1. In town he intended to set up a law office and practice; he had studied law at Chapel Hill.
Alfred rode over in April to tell Robert and Mollie that he had heard from Bettie in North Carolina. Her second son had been born on March 27, and she had named him William Adams, for Father.
In May Alfred left for North Carolina, to bring Bettie and his son home. Robert was busier than ever, working the cotton and corn, trying cases in court at Washington, looking after Mollie who was expecting a child in the summer. Annie and William came over often to help him.
Meanwhile Alfred had arrived from North Carolina and was campaigning in the race for state senator. When the election was held in Washington on Aug. 2, Alfred was elected, leading the field by a considerable margin.
The first of August Robert became more worried about Mollie and sent for Cousin Martha Holt, who was locally famous as a nurse.
On Aug. 9, about daylight, Mollie's son was born; they named him for her grandfather, Alexander Gray, and they decided to call him Gray.
Before Mollie was able to be up Robert had another attack of malaria and Dr. Alek Moore, Mollie's brother, returned to spend several days watching over his two patients. But by the last of the month, Mollie and Robert were both able to be up again.
Cotton picking began in September, but had to be interrupted so that the Negroes could attend a camp meeting in Washington for three days. Robert was trying to finish the work around his farm so he could move his family to Washington in the fall. In October Mollie's younger sister Maria Moore was married to Sam Stuart whose family also lived near Columbus. Sam's mother and father visited at Robert's farm for several days after the wedding, and early in November Maria came to stay with Mollie a day and night while Robert helped Sam survey his land.
Through November Robert and Mollie were busy packing to move into Washington. Two wagons were sent to the new house in town with household furnishings, but actual moving was delayed by a bad spell of sleet and snow.
On Nov. 27 they moved into the Washington house. Several days later Robert bought 26 acres of land near town from E.W. Gantt for $400. He had left most of the Negroes on his farm, but in December he started building a place in town for the house servants who had been brought along.
As soon as he got his family settled, Robert took an ox-wagon and went back to the farm to get provisions for the house in town. He also contracted for a new well to be dug at the Washington house.
The first Washington "company" dinner they had in the house was on Christmas Eve with Dr. Witherspoon, Alek Moore and John Carrigan as guests. On Christmas Day Robert, Mollie, and Little Gray drove through rainy, cold weather to Stephen Moore's farm to spend the day with the family.
The day after Christmas they drove the short distance from Stephen Moore's to the Stuart farm to have dinner with Maria and Sam. That night Alfred came by on his way home from Little Rock where he had been attending his first session of the legislature as state
On New Year's Day, 1859, Robert and Mollie had several houseguests -- John Allen who had moved out from Alamance to Arkansas soon after the Carrigans, Billy Moore and Bettie Carrigan's brother Dolph Moore who had come out from North Carolina recently.
The next day Robert and Billy drove over to the Stephen Moore farm where members of the family had gathered to divide the slaves and property left by Stephen's wife, Mary Morrison Gray Moore. Robert, acting for Mollie, took three Negro women --Lydia, Junia and Ann Lou -- as her share of the estate.
Robert had begun practicing law in Washington. He and Alek Moore decided to buy an office lot in Washington together and they paid $450 for a 22 x 98-foot lot. At his farm Robert had the slaves killing hogs, clearing land and repairing fences.
Alfred had finished picking his cotton crop, which made 28 bales and took several trips to Fulton and Washington to arrange for selling it. From Fulton he brought Bettie two magnolia blossoms and in Washington Mr. Etter gave him several flower bulbs for her. The middle of January Alfred started back to Little Rock to the legislature, and Dolph Moore stayed on with Bettie on the farm.
Spring again brought the dreaded malaria to Robert and Mollie. By February they were both having hard chills and running fever almost every day. Annie Carrigan was also sick and when Mollie was able, she went over to William's to help there.
It rained almost all month; during February, Carrigan slaves were in the road gangs repairing the breaks most of the time. Road taxes were paid out in labor -- each farm owner working his slaves on the road until his portion was paid.
Bettie started making spring clothing for the family --a pair of pants for Alfred, two pairs for Samie and two dresses for the baby Willie. She had the Negro women spinning ropes for plow lines. On Feb. 24 Alfred returned from Little Rock; as a present he brought Bettie a map of Arkansas and two books --"The Cultivation of Flowers" and "The Rose Cultivator-. She now had 30 kinds of roses and 50 other flowers in her yard.
The heavy spring reins continued, and Bois d'Arc Creek rose rapidly, threateningly. Finally the rain stopped just in time to save the road from a complete washout.
In March a riverboat was tied up at Fulton and a case of smallpox was found on board. Soon after, a case appeared in Washington, and Robert Carrigan immediately moved his family out to the farm. Several people in Washington died with smallpox in the next few days, but by the end of the month no new cases appeared and Robert moved back to town. The next day William and Annie came in to spend several days with Robert's family.
A stagecoach began running from Fulton to Washington on the Military Road in April 1858, a great convenience to the Carrigan and Moore families. That month the provisions, which Alfred ordered annually from New Orleans, arrived in Fulton. He and Dolph Moore, who stayed at Alfred's most of the time, went to Fulton in a wagon to bring them home. The bill was $260.
Bettie was busy giving out the Negroes' clothing which had been made on the farm-- a dress each for the women, two dresses for the girls, two shirts for the boys, two shirts and two pairs of pants for the men. In figuring up the accounts after the food and clothing were given out, Bettie calculated in her diary that Alfred had cleared $4,000 since he came to Arkansas.
William and Annie, who had been staying at Robert's in town for a couple of weeks, went home early in May, taking Robert and Mollie with them for several days. They all returned to Washington on May 14 to have little Gray christened by Dr. Williamson at the Presbyterian Church.
The middle of May John Carrigan came by to tell Robert and Mollie goodbye; he was leaving for North Carolina to enter the University at Chapel Hill. They all had messages for him to carry back to Alamance to the relatives and friends.
On June 3, the day after a furious storm, William and Annie started to North Carolina for a visit, driving a handsome surrey, which was William's special pride. Alfred's and Robert's families gathered to give the travelers a send-off.
The first of July Bettie was busy making blackberry cordial. She finished the job just in time to go to the Fourth of July celebration in Fulton. The weather that day was terribly hot, too dry for the land to be plowed. Dr. Smith and Robert came back to Alfred's place with them.
The next week John Carrigan came back from North Carolina, bringing Alex Holt with him. John had gone to Chapel Hill, and had been told conditions were so unsettled that the university was accepting no new enrollments. So he returned home.
While William was in Carolina, several of the Negroes on his place became sick. Robert went to the country to look after them, and Bettie sent her Negro Mary Jane to take care of them.
Alfred had arranged to sell his corn crop to the 1st Artillery, U.S. Army, which was temporarily camped in Fulton. When he returned from delivering the corn at Fulton, he took the horses to the Red River bottom; the stock was taken to the river bottom each summer because of the green pasturage there.
Mollie was sick during most of August, and Maria and Sam Stuart came to help out. Robert was having his house painted and plastered that summer, and every hand was busy. When Mollie recovered late in August, Robert drove her and little Gray out to Stephen Moore's farm for a visit of several days.
Father Carrigan's sister, the boys, Aunt (Mrs. William) Weir, had come out from North Carolina to join the family, and she spent several days in Washington with Robert and Mollie and then at Alfred's, before settling down at Father's farm.
The last of August Robert left for North Carolina on a short business trip; Mollie and Gray went out to stay at Alfred's. By the middle of September Robert was back, and William and Annie drove in from North Carolina just three days later.
John and James Carrigan and Dolph Moore went on a hunting trip to the river bottom for several days. While they were gone, one of the Negro women stuck a nail in her foot, but Bettie treated it; the remedy was to have pipe smoke blown into the nail hole in the foot until the sore ran, then bind up the wound.
October saw the Negroes at work picking cotton on all the farms. Alfred wanted to build a gin house; with John and Dolph Moore, he took the Negroes to the bottom for three days to cut timber for the building. With the help of slaves from Father's and Robert's, they raised the gin house in ten days. Robert and Billy Moore were also exchanging slave labor for cotton picking.
Several hard freezes in November stopped most of the outdoor work and Robert took off time to visit with Mollie to the Mobile farm, at Father's and with Maria and Sam Stuart. When they returned to town, Cousin Maggie Williamson came with them to board at Robert's and go to school.
The year had been a fine one for the crops, the most prosperous since the family had moved to Arkansas. By November Alfred's Negroes had picked 30 bales of cotton and there was more in the fields. On Bettie's birthday, Nov. 23, Alfred brought her a beautiful shawl.
"This is the most pleasant year I ever spent in Arkansas," Bettie wrote in her diary.
December 1859 was one of the coldest months the family could remember. Sleet fell for five days and then snow drifted dowm onto the two-inch coating of ice. For several weeks the family stayed close to their homes because the roads were too dangerous.
Bettie put the enforced isolation to good use and had the Negro women working on clothes. They made six coats and six pairs of pants for the slaves, using 73 yards of woolen cloth. They also made two wool dresses for each Negro woman, and Bettie gave them enough wool thread to make their stockings.
By Christmas Day there was still an eight-inch snow on the ground, but Robert and Mollie braved the weather to spend the holiday at Alfred's. The following day Alfred and Bettie went to Father's and Robert took his family on to William's place.
Alfred arranged right after Christmas to buy 30 acres from Mr. Thorn, thereby increasing his farm to 370 acres. The land, including that addition, had cost him $3,320.
On the last day of the year, Bettie sat down to balance her accounts. Her household had included 30 that year, counting the slaves. The woolen cloth for slave clothes cost $42, other clothing totaled $80, the bill from New Orleans was $260. The rest of the provisions had been raised on the farm. Taxes on the place were $29.58.
From the cotton crop, Alfred made 38 bales, John 20, Father 15, William one and Robert three.
"May the next year be spent more profitably than the last," Bettie wrote, in closing out her diary for the year.
As the year 1860 opened, the chasm between the North and the South rapidly widened. The presidential campaign and the coming election would be, everyone realized, the crisis of a long and strength-sapping illness for the nation.
The Carrigan men believed that War Between the States could be averted. They didn't see how the North, which had tried slavery but round that it didn't work in an industrial and small farm economy, could expect the South to release its 3,500, 000 slaves.
The Negroes represented a capital investment of $1,750,000,000 and were the very basis of the South's agricultural economy. The Carrigans, like most plantation owners, had a larger investment in slaves than in land; they would be ruined financially by sudden emancipation of the Negroes.
But the men in and around Washington, Ark., were sure that a compromise could be reached in time. The previous year had been one of the best they could remember for the crops, and the planters entered the New Year with high hopes.
The cotton on the Carrigan farms was almost all picked and ginned, and the brothers were beginning to haul their bales to Fulton where they would be sent down the river for sale. Alfred was helping Bettie get the household provisions lined up. Robert was on the committee to clear and landscape the new burying ground in town.
In February "Little Ed" Holt, Uncle Edwin's son, arrived from North Carolina with his family to settle in Arkansas. The Carrigans crowded around him for first-hand news of the family in Carolina -- Ed's brother Tom Holt and Tom's wife Lou who was Bettie's sister, Bettie's mother and father, Mollie' s and Annie's grandfather.
Bettie was getting ready for spring on the farm --making soap, curing meat, planting her garden, making the Negroes clean out their cabins, whitewashing the walls of the "big house" bedrooms.
On May 12, 1860, Bettie's third son was born at nine o'clock in the morning. She named him Alfred Holt Carrigan, Jr. Before Bettie was able to be up, Alfred came home with the news that Mrs. John Allen who had come to Arkansas from Alamance, had died in Washington.
The spring and summer were hot and dry and the crops suffered. Alfred and Dolph kept the horses at the river bottom most of the time because the pasturage at the farm had been burned up. The thermometer was above 100 degrees almost every day in July; one day it read 109.
On July l0 Dolph Moore left to return to his home in North Carolina for a visit; Alfred and John were busy building a corncrib at John's place. Robert was at work having timber cut to build an icehouse. When the census taker came by that month, Alfred figured that his property was valued at $27,000; this included 22 Negroes, 350 acres of land, 11 horses and other items.
0n the afternoon of Aug. 21, Robert rode out to Alfred's and William's farms to tell them that he and Mollie had a second son. Mollie had given birth to a boy at 4:30 that morning; they named him Stephen Moore for Mollie's father.
The following month John Carrigan left for North Carolina for a visit, and in October he and Dolph Moore return to Washington. With them they brought Dolph's and Bettie's younger sister Cora. Bettie was delighted to see her and wrote in her diary: "My first sister I ever had to visit me."
As November came and with it the presidential election, tension increased among the men. The Democratic Party had split dangerously and it appeared that Abraham Lincoln, the Republican nominee, would be elected. Several of the Southern states had threatened that, if Lincoln were elected, they would secede from the Union.
The Carrigan men went into Washington to cast their votes, then returned to wait for news. The news, when it came several days later, was that Lincoln had been elected. Still the Carrigans hoped that secession could be avoided, but excitement ran dangerously high in Washington against the new president-elect.
At Christmas the family gathered as usual -- Alfred was in Little Rock where the legislature was in stormy session, but Bettie took her three little boys and Cora and Dolph to Father Carrigan's; William and Annie went to Robert's.
Dr. C. B. Mitchell rode by with a package Alfred had sent from Little Rock; it was his Christmas present for Bettie, a book.
The day after Christmas they heard that South Carolina had seceded from the Union.
Alabama, Mississippi, Florida, Georgia and Louisiana, which voted in January 1861 to secede, quickly followed South Carolina. Immediately Federal forts and supplies in those states were seized and set aside for a Southern army should actual fighting break out.
On Jan. 23 Alfred came home from Little Rock; the legislature had adjourned after a majority held out against Arkansas's leaving the Union.
Bettie wrote in her diary: "Owing to the election of Lincoln, our country is in a distressing condition. May the cloud soon pass over and our country once more be a happy nation. May the prayers of the Church of God be answered."
Another session of the legislature was immediately called to hold a special vote on secession. Alfred and Rufus K. Garland were candidates favoring staying in the Union; Gen. Grandison Royston and Capt. Joel Hannah were running on the secession ticket. Alfred campaigned frantically, determined to keep Arkansas one of the United States as long as possible. He spoke at Fulton, at Washington, at Columbus, up and down the country roads.
When the election was held on Feb. 18, Carrigan and Garland were the winners and a week later they started to Little Rock for the state convention.
Bettie wrote: "May the God that preserves us be with him and guide him in doing for our State what is best for our peace and prosperity. And I believe he will."
Early in March the convention ended its arguments and held the vote on Arkansas secession. Alfred and the others who held for remaining in the Union were in the majority. He returned to Washington relieved but by no means convinced that the question had its final answer.
On his way home he stopped at Robert's house in Washington and found that his brother had the slaves making improvements on his house. London, the Negro carpenter, and Robert's Negro Wiley were making new doors and hanging them, building a summer house and carriage house and making Gray a wagon.
In April 1861 Confederate forces fired on Fort Sumter; the war was on. Two volunteer companies from Hempstead County were immediately formed in Washington; one was named the Hempstead Riflemen and the other the Hempstead Cavalry. John, James and Dolph Moore signed up with the cavalry. The women hurriedly went to work on battle flags.
On May 4 the Hempstead Rifles marched away to war, after a big celebration in Washington in which Miss Bettie Conway had presented the flag made by the women of Hempstead. The soldiers parade through Washington with the band playing and began their long march to Little Rock.
Alfred was called back to Little Rock for an emergency session of the legislature. On May 6 Arkansas seceded from the Union. This time Alfred voted for secession.
The Cavalry Company drilled almost continuously; John, James and Dolph were home only for a few days all month. One day the entire county was invited to see the cavalrymen parade in Washington. On June 1 the soldiers performed their first service for the new Confederate States of America; they ran a gang of Yankee sympathizers out of the county.
Robert Carrigan offered his services and was commissioned a captain in the commissary department and delegated to locate and ship food for the Confederate troops. When Alfred came home from Little Rock, he too signed up and began drilling a new company in Fulton.
On July 8 the Governor of Missouri sent Arkansas an urgent call for help against the Federals who were making their first big attack west of the Mississippi. The Cavalry Company prepared to leave as soon as possible.
Bettie made Dolph a military coat, Cora made his pants. James came to Alfred's to say goodbye and Alfred gave him new shoes and pants. He gave John saddlebags and Dolph a pistol, blanket and bridle for his horse.
Bettie fixed a trunk-full of provisions for Dolph to take with him -- four hams, biscuit, cake. John came over to give Alfred a list of things to be done on his farm while he was away.
On July 14 Dr. Williamson preached a farewell sermon for the company. Then the Carrigan family went out to Father's to have a last dinner together. The next morning the Cavalry Company left for Missouri.
Miss Bell Smith presented the flag and Pvt. John M. Carrigan accepted it for the company. Dolph was the first sergeant, handsome in the uniform Bettie and Cora had made him.
There was no news of the Cavalry Company for more than a month. The Federal mails no longer operated in Arkansas and the Confederacy hadn't had time to set up a postal system. The only news came through travelers.
Early in August stories of a battle in southern Missouri began to drift back to Washington, but the travelers knew no details.
On Aug. 19, a month and four days after the Cavalrymen had left Washington, Sam Stuart rode up to Robert's house in the night and walked the family. He had come from Missouri where there had been a battle at Oak Hills, near Springfield, on Aug. 10. The Hempstead Cavalry had been in the thick of it, and had three men killed. One of them was John Carrigan.
Robert immediately rode out to the farm to tell his father the sad news. Together they went to Alfred's and then on to see Sam Stuart again and find out any further particulars of John's death. Sam could only tell them that John had been shot through the head in the midst of the battle. He was 24 years old.
In a few days James Carrigan came home from Oak Hills, but he knew no more of the circumstances of his brother's death than they. The men of the family met at John's place early in September to take inventory and appraise his property before James's return to the Army.
After three weeks with his father, James left to rejoin the Cavalry Company, taking his Negro Tom with him as a bodyservant.
For many months William's wife Annie had been growing weaker and weaker in the battle against tuberculosis. Soon after John's death at Oak Hills, William realized that Annie too would be gone from the family before many months.
Mollie and Maria Stuart spent most of September 1861 with their sister, and Stephen Moore was also at William's. By the end of the month Annie was unconscious and often delirious.
On Oct. 1 at 2:15 in the morning Ann Eliza Moore Carrigan died, with her family around her. She and William had been married nine years. She was buried that evening, the first of the family to lie in the new burying ground in Washington.
After the service for Annie, the family gathered at Alfred's farm. Alfred knew that he would soon be marching off with his company and that Bettie and the three little boys, Samie, Willie and Alf, could not be left on the farm alone. It was agreed that Alfred's family would live with Father who was alone since John and James were gone.
On 0ct. 5 the move was made and Bettie was busy for days afterward going back to the farm on Bois d'Arc Prairie for her hundreds of flowers, which she moved to her new home. Cora Moore was packing to return to North Carolina after a year in Arkansas, and Alfred was to carry her as far as Memphis.
After Annie's death William enlisted and started to Missouri to join the Hempstead Cavalry; now all of Father Carrigan's sons were in the Confederate Army. In December, four months after the Battle of Oak Hills, William, Dolph Moore and Sam Stuart came back to Washington bringing the bodies of John Carrigan, and the two other Hempstead County boys who died in the battle.
On Jan. l, 1862, the three Confederates were buried in the Washington cemetery after a special military service at the Presbyterian Church. A wreath of Scotch Ivy was placed on each of the three coffins, and they were carried from the church to the cemetery in a military parade.
The middle of the month Dolph Moore and Sam Stuart returned to the Cavalry Company camp, but William remained in Washington for several months. A Confederate tax had been assessed on landowners, and the Carrigans all went to Washington to pay their share.
Gradually the old "Military Road" which ran past Father's place became a highway for troops once again. All through the early months of 1862 the companies and regiments from Texas streamed through Hempstead County on their way to join the Confederate Army.
In March Alfred's company, the Hempstead Plowboys, made preparations to leave for the frontline. Now that they were ready to join the Army, they held an election of company officers and Alfred was voted a lieutenant.
Their families made all the soldiers' uniforms, and Bettie