A Case of Mistaken Identity
This was the home of William Deaver and his wife, Margaret Patton Deaver. It was the scene of a tragic shooting in February 1865, a consequence of the tumult that the Civil War created among North Carolinians.
When the war began, a few Transylvania County men enlisted in the Union army, but most joined the Confederate forces. Deaver son James Patton Deaver (1843-1889) enlisted for a year in June 15, 1861, in the 25th North Carolina Infantry. Mustered in as a sergeant, Deaver was promoted to lieutenant in 1862, before being discharged. He was commissioned a captain in the 14th Battalion North Carolina Troops on April 14, 1864, and provided homeland defense and procured military supplies.
Deaver, like other Confederate commanders in the area, was ordered to arrest armed Confederate deserted and Union partisans who were hiding in the mountains, forming gangs called "bushwhackers," and plundering civilians. On the evening of February 24, 1865, when Deaver was home on leave but at a neighbor house, such a gang surrounded the Deaver home and called, "Captain Deaver!" Seventy-year-old William Deaver, once a Buncombe County militia captain, stepped through the doorway into the gloom and said, "I am Captain Deaver. Who is it?" The outlaws fired, killing him and then escaped despite the efforts of James Deaver to track them down.
After the war, James Deaver moved to Georgia to escape his father fate but soon returned to Transylvania County. He served two terms as a state representative and one as a state senator. Deaver died of a heart attack at age forty-five.
Benjamin Allison constructed part of this house, one of the oldest frame dwellings west of the Blue Ridge, about 1815. Allison sold the dwelling to William Deaver in 1830 and moved farther west to Webster. Deaver built an addition and remodeled the house in the popular Greek Revival style. The house was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1979.
(upper center) Capt. James Deaver Courtesy James P. Deaver IV
; James Deaver, postwar photograph Courtesy Transylvania County Historical Society
(upper right) Allison-Deaver House, 1961 before restoration Courtesy Transylvania County Historical Society