Nathaniel Polk DeShong

Nathaniel Polk DeShong (HMV08)

Location: Haw River, NC 27258 Alamance County
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Country: United States of America
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N 36° 5.374', W 79° 21.984'

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The Southern Diaspora

Nathaniel Polk DeShong descended from Huguenot immigrants who settled near the Haw River about a mile and a half north of here. He enlisted on June 21, 1861, at 17 years of age under Capt. James W. Lea "for the War" in the 6th North Carolina State Troops at Camp Alamance (5 miles west). A slight man who handled animals well, DeShong was detailed as a teamster and ambulance driver on February 6, 1862. In that capacity, he removed the wounded from the battlefields of Antietam, Maryland, and Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, and never forgot their screams and moans.

DeShong returned to the Haw River after being paroled at Appomattox Court House in April 1865. Although his father owned six slaves before the war, they lived in the house with his family instead of in separate quarters, as was sometimes the case on small farms. When DeShong remarried in 1865, the former slaves made a rolling pin from a single piece of wood and smoothed with elm bark as a wedding gift.

Like many Southerners during the postwar depression, DeShong and his second wife, Catherine McRae, headed west to Texas, where he put his experience with horses to good use in Paris, in Lamar County. He never forgot, however, the "crystal-clear streams, towering oaks or corn higher than your head" of Alamance County as he reminisced to his children. Perhaps inspired by his stories of treating the wounded, some of his descendants entered the field of medicine. His youngest daughter returned "home" here in 1994, almost 130 years after her father left.
HM NumberHMV08
Series This marker is part of the North Carolina Civil War Trails series
Placed ByNorth Carolina Civil War Trails
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Thursday, October 23rd, 2014 at 6:27pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)17S E 647071 N 3995117
Decimal Degrees36.08956667, -79.36640000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 36° 5.374', W 79° 21.984'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds36° 5' 22.44" N, 79° 21' 59.04" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)336
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 562 Gravel St, Haw River NC 27258, US
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