William Thomas Clingman Barbee

born-16 April 1837 Chatham County, North Carolina
died-17 May 1903 Durham County, North Carolina

Oldest son of William A. Barbee and Eliza Harward. He had three brothers and 3 sisters. He served during the Civil War in “I” Company of the North Carolina 6th Infantry, for the Confederate States. Wounded in the left leg in the battle of Gaines Mill (6-27-1862). Married in 1867 to Sarah V. Rebecca Trice. They had eight children, 5 sons and three daughters, Julius, Carrie, Sudie, Page, Tom, Bunion, Anne and Paul. He is buried at Mount Pisgah Baptist Church in Chatham County, along with many of his family.


I walked today where they buried you, so long ago. You do not know me, but maybe you thought about the future and wondered about the descendants of your children.

It is quiet here among the monuments and memorials. Is it always this way? Yes, I guess so, except when a new neighbor arrives. I would think some arrivals would be more noisy than others, but do you really mind?

For awhile today I walked on the fields of the old homestead, where once you tilled the soil. Everything is so different from when you were here. Large machines, that belch out carbons and move faster that your team ever did, cultivate those fields today. Or in some places highways run, where once the children played. Progress, maybe.

You have been gone now for some years, but some of your stories still remain. Your marching off to War with your brothers and cousins and to have your church excommunicate you for taking up your arms. Right or wrong, you fought, you came back wounded and had lost one brother. But when you healed you went back to the fight. They say you were at Gettysburg and fought bravely, received a promotion. But brave could never erased the images from your mind. The walking stick you made of hickory, now sits here near me. Are the stories true? Is this piece of lead, on the top, the very same one that came from your leg? Your watch now sits in a glass doom on a mantel in Virginia. Your great grandson is so proud of that timepiece. He has others, your son's watch and grandson's watch. A direct line back to you.

Your family was grounded in their faith and you were soon back in the church. All of your sons were men of honor and they raised young men that also served their county in time of war. One of your sons helped build a church. It is still standing today. He is buried in that very same churchyard. Just as you are buried in the cemetery of the church that turned away from you. One of your sons is buried, not far from you, along with his lovely wife and children. There are cousins and brothers and a sister, here along with your dad and mom. Your wife lies next to you, with your little daughter, Annie.

I don't think anymore of your direct descendants will be buried here, we are all so scattered now. But when we get together, we will talk about those who were here before us and you will be remembered.

We live as long as we are remembered - Russian Proverb


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