Battle of Averasboro, NC Page7
This page courtesy of Walter Wells, PA and Richard Edling, PA

Following the Battle of Averasboro March 15th & 16th, 1865 eighteen year old Janie Smith (July 26, 1846 - August 15th, 1882) penned on scraps of wallpaper a letter to her friend Janie Robeson in Bladen County. (Janie Wright Robeson married Edwin T. MacKethan, of Fayetteville, NC.) Janie, a daughter of Farquhard and Sarah Slocumb Grady Smith lived at the family plantation house named "Lebanon". She had nine brothers and five sisters who lived to maturity. One sister died a decade before Gettysburg and one brother died in Texas in 1860.Eight of her brothers served with the Confederate forces. Janie attended a female seminary at Charlotte, NC, for a period of time, and later became the second wife of Dr. R. R. Robeson, already her brother-in-law. They lived near what is now Godwin, NC,at a place called Kyle's Landing. Both are buried in Old Bluff Cemetery. This letter, which is featured here at the Averasboro Battlefield Museum provides a remarkable glimpse into Janie Smith's chaotic world in March & April 1865. The original letter is in the Mrs. Thomas H. Webb Collection at the North Carolina State Department of Archives & History in Raleigh. The Farquhard Smith's wartime home stands today still occupied by Smith descendants. This house was a hospital during the battle, where mostly Confederate wounded were treated. It is said that amputated arms and legs were piled outside after being tossed out windows by surgeons, and blood covered the floorboards. After the battle Union general Henry Slocum made Lebanon his headquarters. The two other Smith plantation houses, "Oak Grove" and "The William T. Smith House", also were used as field hospitals and still stand on the battlefield. Chicora Civil War Cemetery located on the battlefield is the gravesite of fifty-six Confederate casualties of the battle
Janie Smith's Letter, April 12, 1865 Opens in New Window


(2006) Chicora Civil War Cemetery
Slave cabin
Walter Wells photo


(2006) Oak Grove
Interpretive marker for the John Smith plantation home
Walter Wells photo


(2006) Oak Grove
Richard Edling photo

  (2006) "Lebanon" interpretive marker
Farquhard Smith home in background
Walter Wells photo

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