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Was Masonboro Baptist Church used as a headquarters or hospital during the Civil War?

Ben Steelman
StarNews

Masonboro Baptist Church today. StarNews photo by Si Cantwell.

That’s highly unlikely. While Masonboro Baptist Church was founded in 1856, the church building wasn’t erected until after the Civil War. Before that, many Baptists in the Masonboro area had been meeting at the home of John Hewlett. The Hewlett family burying ground eventually became the church cemetery, behind the church building at 1501 Beasley Road.

UNCW historian Chris Fonvielle, who literally wrote the book about the 1865 Wilmington campaign (“Last Rays of Departing Hope”), has no documentation on churches used as headquarters or hospitals in that area. In an earlier post, Fonvielle noted that Confederate forces had at least two small encampments in the Masonboro area, as well as the larger Camp Davis north of Hewlett’s Creek.

The questioner also asked about a cemetery “behind the church” near the Andrews Reach neighborhood. The Masonboro Baptist cemetery is still there. An old country burial ground, with Confederate and pre-Civil War tombstones, can still be found in the Tyndall subdivision nearby. For a fairly extensive listing of rural New Hanover County cemeteries, with Google maps, check the North Carolina GenWeb site here.

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2 Responses to “ Was Masonboro Baptist Church used as a headquarters or hospital during the Civil War?”

  1. On December 13, 2012 at 8:47 pm Harold wrote:

    The original church was constructed in 1862. There are pictures of it dated back as far as 1865. I have lived in wilmington my entire 67 years. My great grandfather use to ride in a mule a cart to the church as a little boy. He was born in 1858. He said his father use to talk about the church housing sick and wounded from battles, from north and south. The church library has photos proving everything I have said. The original church was moved about 150yds east of the existing church today. The bell in the steeple of the old church has a casting date of 1861 on it. And yes it still rings.

  2. On December 15, 2012 at 2:38 am Phil wrote:

    There must have been a confederate encampment next to the church under the large old oak tree that still stands behind the residense between the church, and Masonboro loop road, as confederate buttons and bullets were found there, many years previous