Diary of Orrin Brown—March 11, 1865

Rossiter & Mignot - Washington and Lafayette at Mt Vernon, 1784Diary of Orrin Brown, west of Fayetteville, North Carolina

Saturday–Mar. 11th

We received orders this morning to be ready to march at 9 AM. I was no better this morning and had to ride in the Ambulance again today. The road has been very good today. We have been traveling for the last three days on the Fayetville and Camden Plank road but the plank are about worn out and that makes the road tough but it has been pretty good today. We marched 11 miles today and went into camp about 5 PM within 2 miles of Fayetville N. C. Our forces occupied the place this morning. The weather has been clear today but there has been a cool chilly wind blowing all day. We drew one days rations of Hardtack & sugar tonight to last 3 days and we do not get but very little forage for Shermans whole force is here now and the country is entirely striped of all kinds of forage.

Fayetteville, NC, is a fast-growing city of over 200,000 people today, having grown by 65% between 2000 and 2010, and 60% in the decade before that.  In 1860, though, the city was home to 4,790 people, and would decline to 3,485 by 1880 before beginning to grow again.

The name Fayetteville was adopted in 1783 to honor the Marquis de Lafayette, who French nobleman who aided the American Revolution.  North Carolina attracted more Highland Scots immigrants than an other colony, particularly after 1739 when Gabriel Johnston, royal governor and native Scotsman, began providing incentives to his countrymen.  After the Battle of Culloden put an end to Jacobite dreams in 1746, migration picked up, pushed by the Highland clearances and pulled by new freedoms in the Americas.  The Highlanders tended to migrate in clan groups, sticking together in Gaelic-speaking communities in the New World, while English-speaking Lowland Scots tended to assimilate.

Wilmington merchants encouraged settlement up the Cape Fear River, leading to settlements at Cross Creek (1754) and Campbellton (1762).  Many of the Highlanders, like others in the coastal plantation classes, remained Loyalists during the Revolution, while Lowland Scots, like many other tradesmen and farmers who had settled in the back country, were among the early, active Patriots.  Fayetteville became the meeting site for the North Carolina General Assembly until 1794, when it was moved to Raleigh.

This era will be familiar to readers of the later books in Diana Gabaldon‘s Outlander series of historical romance novels.



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