Alonzo Etheridge Bell

(Camden County)

Featured Character – A Soldier's Life

Alonzo Etheridge Bell

Alonzo E. Bell

Courtesy of the George B. Singletary Chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy on Behalf of Anne Whitehurst Keel Family

Alonzo Etheridge Bell was born on August 14, 1823, in Camden County and resided there as a merchant operating a store in Elizabeth City until he enlisted in the Camden County Jonesboro Guards of the Confederate Army (1st Company I, 32nd Regiment North Carolina Troops) in 1861. Lieutenant Bell was only in the army for a few months when he was captured at Hatteras Inlet in August 1861 and taken to the Union prison at Governor’s Island in New York. While there, he wrote a diary describing prison life and Christmas of 1861. Alonzo was also imprisoned at Fort Warren in Massachusetts. He returned home after the war to run a school with his wife Margaret “Maggie”. They both taught at Bell’s Academy with Alonzo teaching history and English.  Alonzo died at the age of 65 in 1888 and Margaret died in 1909.