F.I.L.I. Encampment at Carolina Beach

07 May

Wrecked and Abandoned.

A recent issue of the Wilmington Review has the following paragraph:

The bones of the Henrietta, the first steamboat that ever plied on the Cape Fear river, lie rotting a few miles below the city.  They ought to be preserved, if possible, as a historical relic.

We are heartily in accord with our contemporary’s ideas.  They are rich in memories and associations of the past—every decaying spar and yawing rib—and, if no more, we can shelter them from the assaults of time and the rack of wind and wave, and with a white stone show posterity where they moulder.

The changes of fortune have scattered to the winds of heaven the rich argosies that her keel has carried, and the travelers that walked her boards have long since passed down the current of time; the iron tongue of the old cannon is voiceless that caught her distant call amid the plash of waves and the echoes of the winding stream, and the grim old warehouses  have crumbled into ruins, or shriveled into ashes under the fierce breath of conflagration, which took in keeping the freights of the staunch old steamer.  Yes, her and hers the earth hides beneath its shifting sands , and cherishes under its heaped-up, grass grown mounds; but the yellow waters from the eternal hills flow on in majesty forever, murmuring the stories of all these things into the boundless, secret bosom of the everlasting sea.

[Fayetteville Observer – Thursday, July 9, 1891]

A Little More of a Very Good Thing.

The unmarred success and unalloyed enjoyment of the Cape Fear river excursion given last month by the Fayetteville Independent Light Infantry Cornet Band very naturally emboldens the corps to repeat that very excellent thing.  The second excursion of the season will take place next Thursday evening, 23rd inst., on the handsome steamer Murchison, Capt. R. H. Tomlinson commanding, with the concomitants of nice refreshments and delightful music.

[Fayetteville Observer – Thursday, July 16, 1891]

A New Departure Back into Old Scenes.

The Sunday-school teachers and pupils of the 1st Baptist Church of this city have decided to depend on the beautiful old Cape Fear river for the recreation and enjoyment of their annual summer “outing” this year.  A steamboat excursion down that picturesque stream will be taken soon—the exact date and point of destination to be given hereafter.

The old-fashioned picnic of this kind has been so much neglected of late years that there will be a pleasurable and piquant spice of novelty in this “new departure,” which will admit of a programme brimful of harmless amusement.  There are charming spots on the sinnous banks with turf soft as velvet and green as emerald; where the swinging branches clasp each other and defy the noonday heat; where springs pure as the breath of heaven and pellucid as the diamond’s depths cool the blood and slake the thirst—where kindly nature has gathered up all her resources to form a banquet-hall for the harmless reveler in her countless charms.

Some of the most delightful picnicking jaunts of our past life owe their joys to the beauties of the Cape Fear river.

[Fayetteville Observer – Thursday, July 16, 1891]

98th Annual Election of Officers.

Quite a large and enthusiastic meeting of the Fayetteville Independent light infantry Company was held in their armory Monday night, the occasion being the annual election of officers for the ensuing year, and which resulted in the re-election of the present officers, as follows:

  1. Jno. B. Broadfoot,    Major.
  2. Jno. C. Vann,          1st Captain.
  3. E. L. Pemberton,     2nd
  4. B. R. Huske,            3rd
  5. W. W. Huske,          4th
  6. J. B. Tillinghast,      Secretary.
  7. J. G. Hollingsworth   Financial Sec’y.
  8. Dr. J. C. Huske,       Chaplain.
  9. Dr. W. C. McDuffie   Surgeon.

The meeting was characterized with perfect harmony, during which time “the boys” were unstinted and without reserve in expressions of their pleasure and delight at the courtesies extended them and the enjoyment of their recent encampment at Carolina Beach; and particularly were they warm and loud in their praise of the wholesale courtesies and hospitality received at the hands of that model and experienced navigator, Capt. J. W. Harper, of the elegant steamer Wilmington, than whom no more polite, chivalrous, sociable gentleman ever pulled a throttle.

On motion, a committee was appointed to draft resolutions expressive of the Company’s feelings and appreciation of the royal entertainment accorded them by the New Hanover Transit Company, Capt. J. W. Harper, and all who contributed to their comfort and pleasure, which could not be had for this week’s paper.

[Fayetteville Observer – Thursday, September 3, 1891]

A Handsome Compliment.

The following very pleasant and graceful “open letter” to the Fayetteville Independent Light Infantry was published in the Wilmington Messenger of last Friday:


Editor of the Messenger:

The “boys in gray” having returned to their homes from an encampment lasting five days at Carolina Beach, we desire space in your valuable paper to add a word of commendation to the high praise which has been accorded the Fayetteville Light Infantry by both press and people, and to express our exalted appreciation of their visit to the Beach.

During their encampment here thousands of visitors from abroad were witnesses of their conduct as citizens and soldiers, and it affords us great pleasure to say that the boys won for themselves golden opinions by their respectful and courteous demeanor.  Their uniform kindness and urbanity made their presence a source of pleasure and their departure cause for regret to both friends and strangers.  Their military bearing is on all occasions indicative of the patriotic spirit and dauntless courage which characterized their fathers in troublous times of war, and made glorious the record of the old Independent Company.  They are indeed worthy sons of noble sires, the pride of the old historic Cape Fear city which claims their nativity and an honor to the military of the Old North State.

We desire also to tender our sincere thanks to the members of the F. I. L. I. band for the excellent musical treats with which they treated our guests daily.  Although only six months have elapsed since the organization of this band, it has attained a degree of proficiency which distinguishes it as one of the best bands of the State.

Here’s our boys, and if you should conclude at any future season to pitch your tents toward Carolina Beach, we will extend to you a most cordial welcome, and your tables shall be spread with the choicest bivalves of old ocean’s briny depths.

Yours truly,


General Manager New Hanover Transit Co.

Without “resolving ourselves into a ‘mutual admiration society’,” or allowing the suspicion that this may be a case of “you tickle me, and I’ll tickle you,” we think we may venture, in behalf of the corps so highly spoken of, to reciprocate Capt. Harper’s friendly feeling to the full.  Speaking for the company, it becomes us to simply acknowledge with a bow his tribute to their soldierly bearing and gentlemanly deportment; and, for the band, to express our pleasure that, even in their performances before critical audiences, their music was pronounced of high-class in selection and artistic in execution.

Of Capt. Harper the judgment of the public is unanimous:-that he is a thorough, efficient officer in a very responsible position; his friends know how pleasant and genial he is in his social relations.

[Fayetteville Observer – Thursday, September 3, 1891]


Honor to Whom Honor is Due.

For the Observer.]

FAYETTEVILLE, N. C., Aug. 31st, 1891.

MESSRS. EDITORS:–After a careful reading of the reports in the OBSERVER of August 27th, relative to the Encampment of the Fayetteville Independent Light Infantry during the month of August, the question occurred to my mind:  “Did the reporters intentionally ignore the fact that the military of Fayetteville were invited by the New Hanover Transit Company, Capt. J. W. Harper, General Manager, and that said company did encamp at Carolina Beach?”  If not, why was no reference made to the assiduous attentions of the New Hanover Transit Company, and especially the general manager thereof and the indefatigable Capt. Nolan, Superintendant of the beach, to every detail, even the most minute, of the necessary arrangements for a cordial reception and a comfortable entertainment of the company and its veterans at the beach?  To these gentlemen, more than to all others, the people of Fayetteville are indebted for the handsome manner in which the boys were entertained for a week (and yet their names appear nowhere in your columns):  and, considering the limited time which the company had to prepare for the encampment , after the acceptance by the F. I. L. I. of the invitation to pitch their tents on Carolina Beach, everything else must have been subordinated to the preparations that were made.

And yet no mention is made of the fact that, on the evening of the arrival of the company in Wilmington, the magnificent steamer Wilmington, under command of Capt. Harper, was held at the wharf, subject to the orders of the company, until 11 o’clock at night, to transport the boys, bag and baggage, and veterans, free of charge, to Carolina Beach, and that on their arrival there, they were invited to a well-lighted, comfortably-furnished pavilion, where they luxuriously enjoyed tired nature’s sweet restorer until rosy morn.  Neither was there any mention made of the fact that Prof. Miller’s Orchestra and Germania Band were employed daily at the Beach, or that hundreds of dollars were spent by the New Hanover Transit Company during Thursday, Friday and Saturday, for balloon ascensions and other attractions, to make the occasion enjoyable; or that the uniform of the soldiers was their passport to and from Wilmington and Southport; or that sail-boats, bath suits and everything necessary to their comfort and pleasure, had been prepared, free of charge.

Your humble correspondent would not detract one iota from the praise which has been bestowed upon the citizens of Wilmington, or any particular member of the Wilmington Light Infantry, for their hospitality; but we would remind our reportorial friends that their failure to suitably call attention to the courtesies extended by “the principal actors of the drama” was an inexcusable omission, and places the Fayetteville boys in a position to be criticized for not being able to appreciate properly the hospitality of their true friends.

Again, with reference to the attention shown the F. I. L. I. by the members of W. L. I., much credit is given to Capt. Kenan, and none to Seargeant Moore, when the facts show that the only recognition given the company by Capt. Kenan was at the reception on the evening of the arrival of “the boys” in Wilmington, when, in response to a call, he made a few remarks.  He never visited the encampment, *  *  *  while Seargeant Moore and about half a dozen other members of the W. L. I. gave their presence and contributed largely to the enjoyment of the boys at the beach and in the city.

The boys had a big time, and with were delighted with their trip, and were right royally entertained by some of the most generous citizens of our sister Cape Fear city; and while they duly appreciate all that has been said in praise of those of their friends whose names have been mentioned, they would not have it said that they ignored or failed to appreciate the most excellent courtesies extended to them by others whose names have not yet appeared in the public press.  That’s all.

Yours truly,


[Fayetteville Observer – September 3, 1891]

The Cape Fear River Steamers

1 Comment

Posted by on May 7, 2009 in Uncategorized


One response to “F.I.L.I. Encampment at Carolina Beach

  1. Neill Lindsay

    March 8, 2011 at 4:35 am

    Dear Bill,
    I have looked at your comments on something I am working on-
    Descendents: Thomas Lutterloh which his daughter was
    Fannie Lutterloh Utley her son was Edward L. Utley–Where did
    you get the date of death of Edward? You stated DOD April 8,1944-
    Do you have source on this? Thank you.
    Neill Lindsay 910-483-1455


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