The Iredell County Public Library’s has recently added several documents to the library’s Flickr page at www.flickr.com/photo/icplphotos/collections. The site now contains both photographs and documents from the library’s Local History Department making them available for researchers around the world. The site went online in March and has been viewed 181,032 times as of August 1, 2013.
Among the documents is a collection under “Civil War Letters” containing the correspondence of Musician and Private George D. Sherrill of the 26th North Carolina Regiment out of Caldwell County, North Carolina.
George D. Sherrill (1-21-1837 - 6-2-1914) was the son of William Lowrence Sherrill (11-15-1810 - 1885) and Nancy Harrington of Alexander County, North Carolina. George’s grandparents were Isaac and Mabel Durham Sherrill who lived on the waters of Lower Creek in Caldwell County. Isaac was a descendant of Adam Sherrill Sr. who came from Wales and settled on the Catawba River in a place now known as Sherrill's Ford.
George was born near Lenoir and on July 15, 1861 at the age of 24 he joined Captain Nathaniel P. Rankin's Company F of the 26th N.C. Regiment. Company F was known as the Hibriten Guards and Sherrill was mustered in as a Musician. He was later reduced in ranks to Private subsequent to February 28, 1865 probably to help fill out the ranks of the infantry which had been depleted due to casualties.
The 26th was first under the command of Colonel Zebulon B. Vance until Vance was elected Governor of North Carolina in 1861. The house that Governor Vance and his family lived in at the end of the war is located in Statesville at 201 West Sharpe Street and is now open as a historical museum. It was at this same house that Governor Vance was arrested in May 1865 by Federal troops.
George Sherrill was present or accounted for until he was captured at Hatcher's Run, Virginia, April 2, 1865. He was confined at Hart's Island, New York Harbor, until his release on June 19-20, 1865 after taking the Oath of Allegiance. It was during his imprisonment that he began a noted and influential ministry.
After the war George D. Sherrill became the Baptist minister at the Lower Creek Baptist Church in Caldwell County, having studied at the United Baptist Institute in Taylorsville. On April 18, 1876, the “Caldwell Messenger” newspaper reported that Sherrill had changed from a Baptist to an Adventist after his views were found to be unorthodox by the Baptist Church. In September of 1876 Sherrill organized the Tabernacle Advent Christian Church and was chosen as its pastor.
Sherrill taught in both public and private schools and was appointed as Superintendent of Education and elected Treasurer of Caldwell County. He was a small man in stature (5ft. 3) and had dark brown eyes and a medium complexion.
Another very rare item on the library’s Flickr page is a small booklet titled “The Family Record for Adam Cook and Delpha Cook.” The booklet is dated December 5, 1827 and records the births and deaths of the Adam Cook family such as you would see in the front of a family bible. The Cook family lived in Watauga County and in the 1850 Census Adam and Dilpa (Delphia) Cook are shown living with nine children. Adam is listed as a farmer.
We have also uploaded the letters to and from the Hugh Reynolds family of Statesville from the late 1850s through the 1870s. These have been scanned and placed on Flickr along with the envelopes. In some cases we have scanned envelopes that did not contain letters when we received the collection.
Hugh Reynolds, (April 18, 1809- October 16, 1878) was the son of Hugh Reynolds Sr. and his second wife Margaret McClanahan. He and his brother Reuben were probably born at Davis’ Sulfur Springs, near Hiddenite, Alexander County. His father was from Ireland and owned a grist mill and was a miller by trade. Hugh Reynolds Sr. moved his family to Statesville in 1827.
Both Hugh Reynolds Jr. and his wife Jane are buried in the Fourth Creek Presbyterian Cemetery in Statesville. Hugh Reynolds Jr. was a prominent merchant in Statesville and served as a county commissioner. A March 23, 1883 article in The Landmark newspaper stated that the whipping post outside the old jail was built in 1860 under the direction of Messrs. C.L. Summers and Hugh Reynolds.
Hugh was also part of the building committee in charge of erecting the Presbyterian Church in Statesville in 1870. He lived near the northwest corner of Broad and Tradd Streets beside his brother-in-law W.F. Watts, on lot 39. The place later became the Palmer House and had a well on the property.
Joel Reese, Local History Librarian
Iredell County Public Library
This article was published in the Statesville Record and Landmark in August 2013