On this date (March 11) in 1830, Dale’s great-great-grandfather John Jefferson Cogburn was born in Green County, Tennessee. He later settled in Haywood County, North Carolina.
I haven’t done much research on this family but I suspect that quite a bit might be out there. What little we know is from the 1991 book, “Cogburns of Buncombe/Haywood Counties, NC” by Harold T. Cogburn.
From fold3.com, I know that he was conscripted into the Confederate Army in 1863 and was assigned to Company E of “McRae’s Battalion” of the North Carolina Cavalry. According to his service record,
This battalion was organized in September, 1863, by authority of the Secretary of War, for nine months, for the purpose of arresting conscripts and deserters in North Carolina.
My impression is that the residents of this part of North Carolina were not really on board with the Confederacy, and had to be forced into military service. John Jefferson Cogburn probably spent his war service rounding up renegade soldiers, both Union and Confederate, in the Blue Ridge and Smokie Mountains.
Major McRae later recalled,
The service, while it afforded no field for glorious achievement, was arduous and important, requiring constant watchfulness, quickness of movement and energy; and while the danger was not great it was of that hidden kind which admitted of no direct and vigorous attack upon an embodied enemy, the bullet of the bushwhacker not infrequently laying low some gallant fellow who was worthy to have died upon the field of battle.
There were many stirring adventures and brave and venturesome acts by these men, whose history ought to have been better preserved, but the memory, from which I write entirely, of the details of that winter spent upon the Blue Ridge and along the slopes of the Great Smokies, across the Balsam, over the Cullowhee and the Nantahala has passed away like the other dreams of the young Confederate soldier.
This battalion was enabled to do good service in protecting the people who were true to the Confederacy from marauding attacks of bushwhackers and deserters from both Confederate and Federal armies who then found hiding places in the mountains, but some of whose names may not now be unknown to the pension rolls of the United States.
More information about McRae’s Battalion is available here.
John Jefferson Cogburn died in 1907 and is buried in Gwyn Cemetery in Haywood County, North Carolina. His tombstone says he was born in 1834 but apparently family records provide the more accurate date of 1830.