Parthenia Gatling

(Perquimans County)

Featured Character – Divided Allegiances

Cedar Vale

Courtesy of the U.S. Library of Congress, Historic Buildings Survey

The daughter of Mary Elizabeth Commander and John Laurence Gatling, Parthenia Gatling grew up at “Cedar Vale,” her family’s farm in Perquimans County.  During the war, she studied at Hertford Academy in Murfreesboro.  During a weekend trip home to Cedar Vale, Confederate prisoners onboard the Union transport Maple Leaf escaped.  The Gatlings learned that several of the fugitives found refuge at a nearby church.  The women of the house decided to take food to the men.  Fourteen-year old Parthenia Gatling and a friend from school also gathered flowers.  Writing years later, she felt “rejoiced to learn that the party had crossed the Chowan River without meeting any of the enemy’s gunboats.”   In 1870, Parthenia Gatling married Christopher Wilson Hollowell, owner of Bayside Plantation in Pasquotank County.  She died in 1937.