Collett Leventhorpe, Englishman Turned Confederate

On February 18, 1865, Collett Leventhorpe was offered a Confederate brigadier general’s commission but turned it down. He chose instead to command troops in Raleigh, eventually retreating with the Army of Tennessee and surrendering in Greensboro.Collett Leventhorpe, Englishman Turned Confederate

Born in England, where he served in the army and studied medicine, Leventhorpe first came to the United State on a business trip. While vacationing in Asheville he met his future wife, so he continued studying medicine in Charleston and settled in Rutherfordton.

At the outbreak of the Civil War, Leventhorpe offered his services to the state, seeing battle across the North Carolina and eventually taking command of the of the Wilmington area before being transferred again to southeastern Virginia. Severely wounded in the fighting just west of Gettysburg, Leventhorpe was captured and spent nine months in Union prisons. After his release, he was placed in command of home guard units in the Piedmont and oversaw actions against Unionists, particularly in Davidson and Randolph counties.

At the close of war, Leventhorpe moved to New York, where he lived for several years. He eventually returned to North Carolina, settling in the mountains near Lenoir. He died in 1889.

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