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Colonel Robert Love

Colonel Robert Love was the "Founder" of Waynesville, North Carolina. The Loves played critical and crucial roles in the formation and economical development of Western North Carolina, and, Robert Love's brother, General Thomas Love, was also a prominent North Carolina politician.

Meet Colonel Robert Love's Grandchildren

Sarah Jane Burney Love:
She was the granddaughter of Colonel Robert Love, the founder of Waynesville, North Carolina. Sarah was the daughter of James Robert Love, Sr. and Maria Williamson Coman.
Cherokee Chief William Holland Thomas had a romantic relationship with the young and shy Sarah Jane Burney Love. When Will finally married his sweetheart, he was 51 and she was 24. Sarah, or "Sallie," was the daughter of William's long time friend and former business partner James Robert Love, Sr.
Sarah's father, James Robert Love, Sr., was also a prosperous businessman, vast land owner, and a respected lawyer in North Carolina. The Loves resided in White Sulphur Springs, near present-day Waynesville, and they equaled the status of Chief Thomas. Chief Thomas's mother was Temperance Calvert, she was the grand-niece of Lord Baltimore and she was also cousin to President Zachary Taylor. One of William and Sarah's three children was Sallie Love Thomas (great-granddaughter of Robert Love), and she married a prominent citizen of Western North Carolina. Her husband was also brother-in-law to renowned Confederate General Daniel Harvey Hill. D. H. Hill was one of only thirty-three Civil War generals from North Carolina, and he was one of only two lieutenant generals from the Old North State. Theophilus Hunter Holmes was the other lieutenant general representing North Carolina (lieutenant general was the second highest rank in the Confederate Army; Robert. E. Lee was "General" or what is commonly referred to as full-general)

Col. R.G.A. Love
Colonel Robert GA Love.jpg
Clark's Regiments

Colonel Robert Gustavus Adolphus Love:
He was commonly referred to as R.G.A. Love, was the son of Robert Love, Sr. and Maria Williamson Coman, and was the commanding colonel of the Sixty-second North Carolina Infantry Regiment. The American Civil War also took its toll on Col. R.G.A. Love's health. (North Carolina Standard, October 7, 1863.) R. G. A. is in the 1860s era photograph to the right.
Lieutenant Colonel James Robert Love II:
Lt. Col. James Robert Love II was son of John Bell Love and Margaret E. Cannon. John Bell Love was brother to James Robert Love, Sr.
James Robert Love II initially served as a Captain in the Sixteenth North Carolina Infantry Regiment and he fought bravely in the battles of Seven Pines, Antietam, Seven Days Battles around Richmond, and Second Bull Run. He was wounded in the Battle of Seven Pines. While in Virginia, he saw the "Elephant" and served with Generals "Stonewall" Jackson and Robert E. Lee. He subsequently transferred to Thomas' Legion of Cherokee Indians and Highlanders. Thomas' Legion was North Carolina's only Civil War legion, it recruited exclusively from the mountains, and mustered a massive force of over 2,500 soldiers (it included 400 Cherokees). Love was commanding colonel of its infantry regiment, which was commonly referred to as Love's Regiment.
James Robert Love II was a graduate of Emory and Henry College, studied law, and was a member of the North Carolina Legislature. After the war, he was a member of the North Carolina Constitutional Convention (1868), and later served in the State Senate. The city of Waynesville was founded by Robert Love, the grandfather of James Robert Love II. J.R. Love II passed from this earthly life on November 10, 1885.

Maria Love:
Maria Love was the daughter of James Robert Love, Sr. and Maria Williamson Coman. She married William Williams Stringfield.
William W. Stringfield initially served as a private in the 1st (Carter's) Tennessee Cavalry Regiment, then as a captain in Co. E, 39th (Bradford's) Tennessee Infantry Regiment, also known as the 31st (William M. Bradford's) Tennessee Infantry Regiment. After the war, Lt. Colonel Stringfield was elected as a member of the North Carolina Legislature in 1882-1883, and North Carolina State Senate in 1901 and 1905. William Stringfield died from natural causes on March 6, 1923.

Matthew Hale Love
Matthew Hale Love.jpg
(Photographed by the Writer)

William Hale Love:
Matthew Hale Love was the son of James Robert Love, Sr. and Maria Williamson Coman. He is interred at Green Hill Cemetery, Waynesville, North Carolina.
On September 27, 1862, Matthew Hale Love was elected captain of Second Company A (2ndA), Infantry Regiment, Thomas' Legion. 2ndA was Thomas' first "Indian Company" and was organized on April 9, 1862, at Quallatown, North Carolina. William Holland Thomas was the captain.
On September 27, 1862, when the Thomas Legion organized at Knoxville, 2ndA was designated as Company C and Matthew Hale Love was elected captain. Later when 1stA (First Company A), commanded by Captain Andrew W. Bryson, transferred to the 39th North Carolina Infantry Regiment, Second Company A was reassigned as First Company A, Infantry Regiment, Thomas' Legion. Matthew Hale Love was one of many Loves serving the Confederacy.

"Robert Love's House Burned to the Ground by Yankee Raiders"

By 1865 the Confederacy had failed, and Colonel George W. Kirk and the Union's 3rd North Carolina Mounted Infantry Regiment believed it would encounter minimal opposition and resistance as they continued sacking Western North Carolina communities. However, although the Confederacy was doomed, the Thomas Legion's highest calling was protecting North Carolina's mountain citizens. In late February and early March of 1865, Union Col. Kirk continued his raids into Southern Appalachia. Kirk and the men of the Union's 3rd North Carolina (aka North Carolina Federal Mounted Infantry) were commonly referred to as "Kirk's Raiders" because they often pillaged and plundered the region. On February 4th, Kirk and a small army of 400 cavalry and 200 infantry left Newport, Tennessee, and crossed into Haywood County, North Carolina, via the old Cataloochee Turnpike on a raid that reached Waynesville, the county seat. Kirk's Raiders (armed with Spencer repeating rifles) soon entered Waynesville and pillaged stores, stole numerous horses, killed about 20 men, and burned several houses, including Confederate Lt. Col. James R. Love's house (also the former residence of James Love's grandfather, Robert Love). Next they attacked the Waynesville jail, freed the prisoners, and then burned the jail. Slow and impeded communication, the vastness of Western North Carolina, and few “Home Guard” made it extremely difficult to defend the area. (See: Stoneman's Cavalry Raid and Stoneman's Cavalry Raid: Route Map, Civil War Murders, Depredations, Lawlessness, and Battles.)

The preceding names only touch the surface of the numerous Loves that remained faithful to their state and the Confederate Cause. North Carolina, Tennessee, Georgia, South Carolina and Virginia provided over 500 Loves to the Confederacy. There is no doubt that many of these men can trace their origin to the Loves that originally inhabited and settled the Region. Numerous Loves also served in the following Western North Carolina units:

Editor's Recommended Reading: Western North Carolina: A History from 1730 to 1913 (Hardcover: 679 pages). Description: From the introduction to the appendix, this volume is filled with interesting information. Covering seventeen counties—Alleghany, Ashe, Avery, Buncombe, Cherokee, Clay, Graham, Haywood, Henderson, Jackson, Macon, Madison, Mitchell, Swain, Transylvania, Watauga, and Yancey—the author conducted about ten years searching and gathering materials. Continued below...

About the Author: John Preston Arthur was born in 1851 in Columbia, South Carolina. After relocating to Asheville, North Carolina, in 1887, he was appointed Secretary of the Street Railway Company, and subsequently the Manager and Superintendent until 1894. Later, after becoming a lawyer, he was encouraged by the Daughters of the American Revolution (D.A.R.) to write a history of western North Carolina.

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Sallie Love Thomas (Great-Granddaughter of Robert Love)


Recommended Reading: The Complete Idiot's Guide to Genealogy, 2nd Edition. Description: A very helpful genealogy reference! It is extremely helpful if you're in the "I want to trace my roots, ancestors, family tree and heritage. How do I begin, where do I start, and how do I go about doing it?" situation. It contains numerous helpful common sense tips that will prevent future headaches and a lot of well thought out suggestions and tips too. One helpful hint: "Talk with your extended family and interview them for genealogy information, be patient with them, and let them tell their stories....document everything." There are plenty of well-mannered tips like these that elevate this book to excellence. Continued below...

 A lot of the confusing aspects of genealogical research such as document requests and providing proof and evidence are well covered. RATED 5 STARS. Customer's Review: I bought this book when I hadn't yet done any research at all about my family history. A year and a half later, I have a file drawer full of information, and I have needed no other reference. I also bought a book called "The Source", which is supposed to be the 'genealogist's bible', and it has been a giant paperweight in comparison. Idiot's genealogy is full of the kind of practical information that can carry you through years of research. Happy hunting!!!


Recommended Reading: The Tar Heel State: A History of North Carolina (Hardcover). Description: The Tar Heel State: A History of North Carolina constitutes the most comprehensive and inclusive single-volume chronicle of the state’s storied past to date, culminating with an attentive look at recent events that have transformed North Carolina into a southern megastate. Integrating tales of famous pioneers, statesmen, soldiers, farmers, captains of industry, activists, and community leaders with more marginalized voices, including those of Native Americans, African Americans, and women, Milton Ready gives readers a view of North Carolina that encompasses perspectives and personalities from the coast, "tobacco road," the Piedmont, and the mountains in this sweeping history of the Tar Heel State. The first such volume in more than two decades, Ready’s work offers a distinctive view of the state’s history built from myriad stories and episodes. The Tar Heel State is enhanced by one hundred and ninety illustrations and five maps. Continued below...

Ready begins with a study of the state’s geography and then invites readers to revisit dramatic struggles of the American Revolution and Civil War, the early history of Cherokees, the impact of slavery as an institution, the rise of industrial mills, and the changes wrought by modern information-based technologies since 1970. Mixing spirited anecdotes and illustrative statistics, Ready describes the rich Native American culture found by John White in 1585, the chartered chaos of North Carolina’s proprietary settlement, and the chronic distrust of government that grew out of settlement patterns and the colony’s early political economy. He challenges the perception of relaxed intellectualism attributed to the "Rip van Winkle" state, the notion that slavery was a relatively benign institution in North Carolina, and the commonly accepted interpretation of Reconstruction in the state. Ready also discusses how the woman suffrage movement pushed North Carolina into a hesitant twentieth-century progressivism. In perhaps his most significant contribution to North Carolina’s historical record, Ready continues his narrative past the benchmark of World War II and into the twenty-first century. From the civil rights struggle to the building of research triangles, triads, and parks, Ready recounts the events that have fueled North Carolina’s accelerated development in recent years and the many challenges that have accompanied such rapid growth, especially those of population change and environmental degradation.


Recommended Reading: Touring the Western North Carolina Backroads (Touring the Backroads). Editorial Review: This guidebook, unlike most, is so encyclopedic in scope that I give it as a gift to newcomers to the area. It is also an invaluable reference for the visitor who wants to see more than the fabulous Biltmore Estate. Even though I am a native of the area, I learned nearly everything I know about Western North Carolina from this book alone and it is my primary reference. I am still amazed at how much fact, history and folklore [just enough to bring alive the curve of the road, the odd landmark, the abandoned building] is packed in its 300 pages. The author, who must have collapsed from exhaustion when she finished it, takes you on a detailed tour, laid out by the tenth of the mile, of carefully drawn sections of backroads that you can follow leisurely without getting lost. Continued below...

The author is completely absent from the text. The lucid style will please readers who want the facts, not editorial comment. This book, as well as the others in this publisher's backroads series, makes an excellent gift for anyone, especially the many seniors who have relocated, or are considering relocating to this fascinating region. It is also a valuable reference for natives, like me, who didn't know how much they didn't know.


Recommended Reading: Encyclopedia of North Carolina (Hardcover: 1328 pages) (The University of North Carolina Press), Description: The first single-volume reference to the events, institutions, and cultural forces that have defined the state, the Encyclopedia of North Carolina is a landmark publication that will serve those who love and live in North Carolina for generations to come. Editor William S. Powell, whom the Raleigh News & Observer described as a "living repository of information on all things North Carolinian," spent fifteen years developing this volume. With contributions by more than 550 volunteer writers—including scholars, librarians, journalists, and many others—it is a true "people's encyclopedia" of North Carolina. Continued below...

The volume includes more than 2,000 entries, presented alphabetically, consisting of longer essays on major subjects, briefer entries, and short summaries and definitions. Most entries include suggestions for further reading. Centered on history and the humanities, topics covered include agriculture; arts and architecture; business and industry; the Civil War; culture and customs; education; geography; geology, mining, and archaeology; government, politics, and law; media; medicine, science, and technology; military history; natural environment; organizations, clubs, and foundations; people, languages, and immigration; places and historic preservation; precolonial and colonial history; recreation and tourism; religion; and transportation. An informative and engaging compendium, the Encyclopedia of North Carolina is abundantly illustrated with 400 photographs and maps. It is both a celebration and a gift—from the citizens of North Carolina, to the citizens of North Carolina. "Truly an exhaustive and exciting view of every aspect of the Old North State!”

Sources: Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies; Robert Love's Pension and Service Record; Mary Love Stringfield of Haywood County, North Carolina, a descendant of Robert Love-F.D. Love; Love Family Volume I, First Series, Columbus, Georgia 2001; Matthew D. Parker (Private Collection); National Park Service; John Preston Arthur, History of Western North Carolina:  Edward Buncombe Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, Asheville, North Carolina, 1914; John Hill Wheeler (1806-1882), Reminiscences and Memoirs of North Carolina and Eminent North Carolinians; Wheeler's History of North Carolina, Vol. I. 97; Vernon H. Crow, Storm in the Mountains: Thomas' Confederate Legion of Cherokee Indians and Mountaineers; Walter Clark, Histories of the Several Regiments and Battalions from North Carolina in the Great War 1861-1865; National Park Service: American Civil War; Weymouth T. Jordan and Louis H. Manarin, North Carolina Troops, 1861-1865; D. H. Hill, Confederate Military History Of North Carolina: North Carolina In The Civil War, 1861-1865; Christopher M. Watford, The Civil War in North Carolina: Soldiers' and Civilians' Letters and Diaries, 1861-1865. Volume 2: The Mountains; Library of Congress; National Archives and Records Administration; State Library of North Carolina; North Carolina Office of Archives and History; North Carolina Museum of History; E. Stanly Godbolt, Jr. and Mattie U. Russell, Confederate Colonel and Cherokee Chief: The Life of William Holland Thomas; Paul A. Thomsen, Rebel Chief: The Motley Life of Colonel William Holland Thomas C.S.A.

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