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Eli Mullican

Eli Wilson Mullican (September 15, 1840 - June 15, 1937) served as 1st sergeant in Company I, 13th Tennessee Volunteer Cavalry.

Eli Mullican.jpg
Eli Mullican, ca. 1920.

Personal life

Eli Mullican was born September 15, 1840 in Davidson County, North Carolina to Lewis Spencer and Saloma (Rominger) Mullican. He married first Sarah Caroline Nelson (abt 1850-1871) with whom he had two children, both of whom died at birth. He married second Susan Catherine Shutt (1855-1908) with whom he had twelve children.[1] Mullican was educated at a private academy in Clemmonsville, North Carolina and by 1860 was managing a store in Arcadia, North Carolina for the firm of Shelton & Spaugh.[2]

Civil War service

According to Mullican, he and John P. Nelson went to Tennessee on July 3, 1862 [likely 1863] to visit relatives who lived near Johnson City, Tennessee. It was there that they decided to raise a company for service in the Union Army. Mullican was allegedly commissioned a first lieutenant. He and two other officers (one of whom was Nelson) were captured while recruiting. Mullican and Nelson were sent to the Boone, North Carolina jail and escaped a week later. From there[3]

Mullican enlisted as a private in Company F on September 23, 1863 in Washington County, Tennessee for a period of three years and mustered in November 8, 1863 at Strawberry Plains, Tennessee. At some unrecorded date between May 1 and June 30 he was appointed duty sergeant for the company. Mullican was transferred to Company I and promoted 1st sergeant on July 1, 1864 by order of Lieutenant Colonel Ingerton.

He is described as 23 years old, 5' 10" tall, fair complexion, blue eyes, dark hair, and by occupation a farmer. Clearly he lied about his age and would have been 16 at enlistment.

Mullican is listed as present for duty throughout his term of service. He was detailed for recruiting duty in Johnson County, Tennessee on December 16, 1863.[4] Muster roll records indicate that he was absent with leave beginning June 28, 1864; no date of return to the regiment is given. The rolls for July 1865 also indicate that he was absent with leave, again without a return date to the regiment recorded.

Mullican mustered out with the regiment on September 5, 1865 at Knoxville. He had last been paid to August 31, 1864, was owed $0.23 from the government for clothing, had been paid a $25 bounty, and was owed a $75 bounty.

Prior to the Civil War, Mullican stated that he belonged to the Whig Party, despite his father and other relatives being Democrats. His father was a Unionist and opposed secession, but when the war began he supported the Confederacy. According to Mullican, his father did not approve that he joined the Union Army.[5]

Post-war life

In 1875 Mullican was appointed Deputy Collector of Internal Revenue, which he held for almost twenty years. He then reentered the mercantile business at Clemmons, while also serving as an ordained minister for the First Christian Church of Clemmons for more than twenty years. Mullican eventually sold his interest in the mercantile business and retired to farming which he did until about 1895. He then moved to Winston-Salem and became very active in county and state politics.[6]

Mullican's family recalled that he was a great lover of music and was a very gifted fiddler. They also noted that he was a "great baseball fan and had a record of not missing a game in Winston-Salem, for more than ten years. He was a great favorite with the players."[7]

Mullican applied for an invalid's pension on August 15, 1882. He served as a sub-enumerator in the Clemmonsville District of Forsyth County for the 1890 U.S. Census.[8]

Mullican was an active member of the Republican Party before joining the Socialist Party, and he participated on several county nominating committees for both parties. In 1906 he was nominated for Forsyth County clerk on the Socialist ticket.[9] In 1908 and 1910, he was nominated for Forsyth County register of deeds on the Socialist ticket.[10] In 1920, Mullican was nominated for Forsyth County coroner. No member of the short-lived Socialist Party in Forsyth County was ever elected.

Because he was politically active, Mullican was often involved in heated verbal exchanges. At one especially heated nominating committee meeting in 1892, he touted his service to the United States in the Civil War and noted that others with whom he disagreed were shirkers.[11] Very curiously, he was charged with assault with a deadly weapon in 1893; the details and judgement in that case have not been located.[12]

Months before he died, Mullican reportedly went to a local undertaker and made all arrangements for his burial, including the casket, grave digging, and headstone. Everything for his funeral was paid before his death.

Mullican died June 15, 1937 in Bethania, North Carolina and is buried at First Christian Church of Clemmons Graveyard in Clemmons, North Carolina.

One source states that he "wrote and published his memoirs" at about age 95. Unfortunately, this publication has not been located and was likely printed in small numbers for family and friends.[13]

Notes

  1. 1900 U.S. Census, Clemmonsville Township, Forsyth County, North Carolina.
  2. "mullicans"
  3. Mullican memoir
  4. When this detail returned to the regiment was not recorded.
  5. Mullican memoir
  6. Mullican memoir
  7. Mullican memoir
  8. "Census Enumerators", The Western Sentinel, June 5, 1890, p. 3.
  9. "Socialist Convention", The Union Republican, July 19, 1906, p. 6
  10. "Socialists Name a County Ticket", Greensboro Daily News, August 7, 1908, p. 3. "Socialists Nominate a Ticket", The Union Republican, August 13, 1908, p. 6. "Forsyth Socialists Nominate a Ticket", The Union Republican, May 19, 1910, p. 6. Mullican did not win either election and in 1910 only received 124 votes.
  11. "A Rip Roaring Rumpus", The Twin-City Daily Sentinel, August 13, 1892, p. 1.
  12. "Forsyth Superior Court", The Western Sentinel, May 25, 1893, p. 3.
  13. Mullican memoir
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