William N. Parker
Featured Character – Divided Allegiances
Courtesy of William J. Parker, Jr.
Son of a yeoman farmer, William
Norfleet Parker grew up in
The 1860 Census valued his
father’s assets at only $280. On June 17, 1861, Parker
enlisted as a
private in Company C, 2nd North Carolina Cavalry
at the age of 19.
Forced to train un-mounted due to a lack of horses, the 2nd
spent the winter of 1861 encamped near New Bern.
11, 1862, with the Union fleet just days away from attacking New Bern,
Parker received a medical discharge
for “physical inability,” probably caused by dysentery. After
a period of
convalescence at Leigh Plantation in Hertford
Parker joined at least two
different guerrilla bands operating in northeastern North Carolina.
Carolina Governor Zebulon Vance ordered all partisans groups to leave
did not join them. Instead, he worked as a day laborer for
Bosworth Pritchard, a wealthy Pasquotank County
1860 Census estimated his net worth at $3,922. On December
Parker married Pritchard’s daughter, Elizabeth Virginia Pritchard.
farmer, Parker became heavily active in the William F. Martin Camp
United Confederate Veterans. In 1911, he marched in the
Advanced in age, the
Parkers eventually moved to a house on Southern Avenue in Elizabeth
William Norfleet Parker died there on February 28, 1924.