1st Sgt. Haywood B. Pettigrew, of Company B, 2nd Regiment, U. S. Colored Cavalry, was born on September 4,1845, in Tyrrell County, North Carolina. He enlisted at the age of eighteen on February 1, 1864, at Fort Monroe, Virginia. In his enlistment record, he was described as five feet, nine inches tall, with a “light” complexion, black eyes and hair. By occupation, 1st Sgt. Pettigrew was listed as a laborer. He mustered in on February 8, 1864, at Fort Monroe, and was appointed Sergeant later that afternoon. In December, 1864, he was appointed First Sergeant.1
1st Sgt. Haywood B. Pettigrew was involved in several major battles during the Civil War. His first engagement was against Confederate forces at Suffolk, Virginia, March 9, 1864.
Colored Cavalry Attacked by Rebels – Norfolk, Va., March 10th – Yesterday afternoon our picket line composed of the 2d colored cavalry, near Suffolk, was attached by a force of the enemy, supposed to be four regiments of infantry, one regiment and a squad of cavalry, two full batteries. The pickets fell back to Bauer (Bower) Hill, when reinforcements were sent to their assistance; the enemy seeing the strength of our column did not continue the pursuit. While the colored regiment was falling back there was continual skirmishing, at some points they stood their ground manfully, at others they became panic stricken. About one hundred are missing, two officers were killed. A force sent out subsequently, found the enemy in full force at Bernard’s Mill, where they still are; our troops are face to face with them; our position is impregnable.The Daily Union Vedette
Pettigrew also fought in the battles of Drewry’s Bluff, and New Market Heights, on September 29, 1864. His enlistment record contains no obvious incidence of injury or illness. 1st Sgt. Pettigrew mustered out of service on February 12, 1866, at Brazos Santiago, Texas.
Soon after his return to the Albemarle, Haywood married Miss Amy Wood Brown on July 5, 1869, Edenton. Per the marriage record, Haywood was the son of Joe Newberry and Caroline Davis, and Amy, the daughter of William and Malvina Brown.2 The ceremony was performed by Rev. Joseph C. Pratt.3 In the 1870 U. S. Census, Haywood and Amy were enumerated in the Scuppernong District of Tyrrell County. Haywood, aged twenty-four, was documented as a farm laborer, while Amy, aged nineteen, “kept house.4
Haywood became actively involved in politics during the 1870s, and affiliated with the Republican Party. In 1879, Haywood was elected one of the vice-presidents of the “colored convention,” held in Odd Fellows Hall, Franklin Street, Richmond, Virginia.5
By 1880, the family were Virginia residents, and settled in Princess Anne County, now the independent city of Virginia Beach. The family was enumerated in the Seaboard District of Princess Anne, with Haywood documented as a lighthouse keeper. Amy kept house, and their daughters, Annie (Alice) and Malvina, were aged three and one, respectively. Annie (Alice) and Malvina were both born in North Carolina.6
W. R. Lyons has been transferred from North River to Wade’s Point, vice James McGarrigle, assistant keeper of Wade’s Point, promoted to keeper, vice George Waters, resigned. H. B. Pettigrew, keeper of Craney Island light, Jas. F. Norman, keeper at Long Shoal, and W. W. Alley, keeper at Lone Point, have resigned. James M. Waterworth has been appointed to Hawkins’ Point, vice T. J. Waterworth, resigned. H. M. Willis, keeper at Fort Washington light, Potomac, has been removed.THE ALEXANDRIA GAZETTE, 1882
Craney Island Light, ca. 18847
The Craney Island Lighthouse was originally constructed in 1819, and located just off Willoughby Spit, near Fort Wool, until the strong currents and other conditions in the area forced its relocation to Craney Island.
In 1859, the original structure was replaced by a screwpile lighthouse. After sustaining damage from Confederate forces during the Civil War, the condition of the Craney Island light continued to deteriorate through 1881, when Haywood was first appointed assistant keeper at the facility. The following year, Haywood was appointed Keeper of the Craney Island ighthouse for a one year term. Haywood’s immediate predecessor was Rev. Marshall Land, another Civil War veteran, and fellow member of the 2nd U. S. Colored Cavalry. Craney Island light was remodeled in late 1883, and given the “hexagonal” shape depicted in the photo.88 It must be noted here that both Marshall Land and Haywood Pettigrew, were assigned to the Craney Island Lighthouse when it was in its worst condition.
According to records, there were at least three known married couples who tended the Craney Island light. Haywood B. and Amy W. B. Pettigrew were the fourth couple to do so, as Amy Wood Brown Pettigrew worked as an assistant keeper to Haywood in 1882. According the the United States Lighthouse Society, keepers “were required to keep a daily logbook of daily events, accomplishments, shipping traffic, and weather conditions. We know these things because logbooks have been saved over the years. The government required detailed record keeping. There are entries about dusting, scrubbing and painting. The daily routine included trimming wicks, cleaning the lens and keeping the windows free from soot.” As an assistant keeper, Amy would’ve been responsible for all the duties of “keeper” if Haywood ever became sick, or passed on.
Haywood’s career as a lighthouse keeper ended in late 1882. As an African American veteran of the Civil War, Haywood was an active member of Harrell Post, No. 42, Grand Army of the Republic, an African American post based in Edenton, and was elected Department Chaplain of the Department of Virginia and North Carolina encampment, held in Norfolk, Virginia, in 1894. Regarding the fraternal orders, Haywood was a mason, and member of the John R. Page Lodge, No. 13, F & A. M., of Edenton, North Carolina.
Haywood B. Pettigrew’s greatest influence was likely felt in the Black church. He was ordained an elder in the African Methodist Episcopal Church by 1875 . Shortly after he retired as a lighthouse keeper in 1882, Haywood focused exclusively on religious work with the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church in Tidewater, Virginia, and Eastern North Carolina.
Various newspapers in Virginia and North Carolina regularly reported on Haywood’s religious activities as a church builder, and also featured occasional news items about his family. Haywood placed great importance on education, a commitment evidenced through several articles about his daughters. In 1893, it was reported that Laura Alice had matriculated at Elizabeth City State Normal School,9 Younger daughter Lula attended Livingstone College, established by educator Joseph C. Price, in Salisbury, Rowan County, North Carolina.10
Rev. H. B. Pettigrew preached a good sermon last Sunday night at Kedesh church. His discourse was logical and good sense. The sermon was very applicable to the congregation.11
I considered Rev. Haywood B. Pettigrew’s long association with the A.M.E. Zion church, and reviewed several journals that contained vital church records. Happily, I struck genealogical pay dirt. Rev. James Walker Hood penned a wonderful biography of Haywood in 1895, which contains great detail on Haywood’s escape from slavery, his service during the Civil War, and his role in the African Methodist Episcopal Church in Virginia and North Carolina between 1870 and 1900.
H. B. Pettigrew was born in Tyrrell county, N. C., September 4, 1845. He made his escape to the Union army November 22, 1862. He entered the camp at Plymouth, N. C., and cooked for the soldiers till February, 1863, at which time he went to New Berne and enlisted in the Thirty-fifth United States Colored Infantry, got his left hip displaced and was discharged at James City, reenlisted February 1, 1864, at the same place. He was in General Foster’s raid to Goldsboro, Washington, and Tarboro. He went to Virginia, and was promoted to first sergeant of Company B, Second United States Colored Cavalry. His first battle there was at Suffolk, under Colonel G. W. Golds, of New York. In March, 1864, he was in the battle at Deep Bottom, when a move was made on the Richmond defenses, he was in the battle at Chickahominy, and led the van in a charge upon the Confederates at Malvern Hill. For his splendid behavior in that engagement he was awarded a silver medal12by President Lincoln, which he now has. He was in thirteen battles and fifteen smaller engagements, and was twice wounded in battle. His last service was the pursuit of the Confederate General C. Smith, in Texas, just after the close of the war. He was mustered out February 12, 1866, at City Point, Va.
In 1867 he was appointed steward of the United States pesthouse at Norfolk. In 1868 he was appointed toolkeeper in Gosport Navy Yard. In the latter part of the same year he came to Edenton, N. C., where he professed faith in Christ and joined the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church. In 1869, he received local preacher’s license. In the same year he was married to his present devoted wife, having lost his first wife in the war.
In 1872 he joined the Virginia Conference. He was ordained deacon in 1873 and had charge of the Chowan Circuit. In 1874 he was ordained elder and appointed to the Brunswick County Circuit, where he built St. Paul’s Church, Solomon’s Temple, Paradise Church, and Jerusalem. In 1876 he was appointed yardkeeper at Richmond Va. in 1879 he was appointed assistance lighthouse keeper at Cape Henry , and in 1880 was appointed lighthouse keeper at Brang Island Lighthouse.
In the fall of 1882 he returned to the itinerancy and was appointed by Bishop Moore to the Long Ridge Circuit. He had splendid success in this work, but in the Hillery trouble of 1883, he having followed the lead of those who championed Hillery’s cause, felt it his duty to stand by him until the General Conference had determined the case. This having been done, he was ready to resume his duties as soon as permitted. His next appointment was Zion circuit. The Zion church was destroyed by fire, but he rebuilt it. He built a church at Millfield, called Mount Carmel, and also erected the Mount Moriah Church.
In 1890 he was sent to the Jonesville Circuit. He built and completed the Hood’s Temple at Jonesville, which is the finest church in that section, he finished the church at Hamilton, and secured lumber and commenced the church at Williamston; he also secured the lumber for the church at Poplar Run, finished the church at Oak Hill, and commenced one at Fork Bridge. He has come to be known as the great church builder; he is a splendid carpenter, and does the work himself, and it is astonishing how much he can do. The congregation that gets Pettigrew is sure of a church if it has none, and if it has a poor one, it is sure of a better one. He is not only a material builder, but he builds up his church spiritually at the same time, maintains discipline, and sees that his church does its part in supporting the connectional institutions.
He is exceedingly anxious to give his children a good education, and has a daughter in the classics at Livingstone. He is distinguished for bold fearlessness. It is doubtful if ever a braver soldier went into battle; he felt that he was fighting for a cause in the interest of which it would be honorable to die. He will go through with what he undertakes or perish in the attempt if he believes that duty requires it of him. He was a delegate to the General Conference in 1876 and also in 1892.JJAMES WALKER HOOD. ONE HUNDRED YEARS OF THE AFRICAN METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH; OR THE CENTENNIAL OF AFRICAN METHODISM,
It was interesting to learn about Haywood’s association with the Cape Henry lighthouse, as the First Assistant Keeper in 1880. The appointment was the likely cause of the family’s relocation from Chowan County, North Carolina to Virginia.13 However, a few details in Haywood’s biography were quite startling. Although it did help fill in the gaps of Haywood’s life, it also engendered new questions. Haywood’s enlistment on February 1, 1864 with the 2nd U. S. Colored Infantry, was the second time he’d enlisted in the Union Army? He received a “silver medal” for valor? Amy Wood Brown was his second wife?
I looked for a “Haywood Pettigrew” in the service records of the 35th U. S. Colored Infantry on Fold3. Haywood had enlisted with the regiment, under the name “Hayward Pettigrew.”
The record states “rejected,” the cause of which may be the “left hip displacement” mentioned in James Walker Hood’s biography. For more information, I returned to Haywood’s military pension file
The Military Pension File of 1st Sgt. Haywood B. Pettigrew
Affidavit of John Parker, age 56, Company B, 2nd Regiment, U. S. Colored Infantry; May 6, 1889, Pungoteague, Accomack County, Virginia. Invalid pension no. 563.597.12
“That he is well acquainted with Haywood Pettigrew, served in the same Co. & Regt. with him and was with him at or near Suffolk, Va. in the Spring of 1864 when he incurred rupture of right side; that said injury was received by a severe blow from the trail handspike of the piece (artillery) which he had fired, the piece running when fired – said rupture was incurred during the skirmish near Suffolk at the time stated above.”
Two views of the grave of Sgt. Richard Sumner, 2nd Regiment, U. S. Colored Cavalry, taken eight years apart, 2013 and 2021. Sgt. Sumner was mentioned as a comrade in the military pension file of 1st Sgt. Haywood B. Pettigrew. Perquimans County, North Carolina.
I ordered Haywood’s pension file from the National Archives in 2018. After a review, I found it contains scant information of his early life in Tyrrell County, North Carolina, which is what I was primarily interested in. All was not lost, though, as I was able to confirm the information regarding his first wife, Miss Virginia Keeling of Norfolk, Virginia. The daughter of Lewis and Henrietta Keeling, she married Haywood on April 14, 1865, in Norfolk, just eleven days after the Liberation of Richmond, by Union forces, led by several regiments of United States Colored Troops.13 Although his pension file makes no mentioned of a silver medal, it is likely in reference to the Butler Medal, commissioned by General Benjamin F. Butler to honor African American soldiers for their conduct and bravery at the Battle of New Market Heights. General Butler was relieved of his command in 1865, and the medal he commissioned for some of the African American troops was therefore considered “unofficial” and not allowed to be worn in public. This could be one reason why there was no mention of this award in 1st Sgt. Haywood B. Pettigrew’s pension file.14
Rev. Haywood B. Pettigrew in Edenton
In the 1900 Census, Haywood and Amy were enumerated in Edenton, Chowan County, North Carolina, in their residence on East Church Street. The household included Haywood, aged fifty five, and a preacherby occupation, wife Amy, aged forty-six, no occupation, and their daughter Laura Alice, aged nineteen, and a dressmaker.15
In the 1910 U. S. Census, Haywood and family were enumerated at the same address, although the family size had increased, in a somewhat “blended” manner. The household included Haywood (62), clergyman, wife Amy (55), daughter Laura Alice Pettigrew Underhill16 (28, married), grandchildren William Underhill (7), and Harold Underhill (1), Clara Blount (25) public school teacher identified as a niece, Mildred Blount (8), niece, and Harriett Reeves (67), noted as Haywood’s sister17 In 1920, the family was enumerated at the same address, with Haywood (78), clergyman, Amy (69), Harrell (Harold) Underhill (13), grandson, and Ida L. Hathaway (1 1/2) granddaughter.18
I did pause at this point in the research, not wanting to get ahead of myself, to securely place Haywood’s household in an appropriate context, and gain a clear understanding of the interesting family dynamic present in the home by 1910. To assist, I constructed two family trees to better visualize their exact relationships.
Revelations in the Pettigrew Family Tree
The first tree represents the immediate and extended family of Rev. Haywood B. Pettigrew in the Albemarle region of Eastern North Carolina, and contains four generations. In-depth research revealed Haywood had a far more extensive family tree than I had originally calculated, with roots in not only Chowan and Tyrrell counties, but also in Washington and Beaufort counties, North Carolina. I’d neglected an important clue in Harriett’s surname, indicated in several vital records as her maiden name: Reeves, the daughter of James Reeves. Caroline Pettigrew Cox, mother to Haywood and Harriett, had at least two other children by James Reeves: Whitaker Reeves (1839-1917), and Laura Reeves Riddick (ca. 1853-1913), both from Washington County, North Carolina. Caroline married her third partner, Armistead Davis (ca. 1820-1903), in 1858, five yeas after Laura’s birth. By looking carefully at Caroline’s life, I was able to add over one hundred relatives to the existing family network of Rev. Haywood B. Pettigrew.
Rev. Haywood B. Pettigrew Family. Extended family from Washington and Beaufort counties, North Carolina are outlined in red.
Clara and Mildred Blount, identified as nieces of Rev. Haywood B. Pettigrew in the 1910 Federal Census, were found through research into the Washington County, North Carolina branches added to the Pettigrew Family Tree. Rev. Haywood B. Pettigrew’s second wife, Miss Amy Wood Brown, had a sister, Miss Mary E. Brown, born about 1841 in Chowan County to William Brown (b. ca. 1816), and Malvina Wood Brown (b. ca. 1813). Mary was the wife of Mr. Alfred Blount, son of Hannibal and Jennie Blount of Washington County, North Carolina. Using this information, I constructed the Blount Family Tree. Clara and Mildred Blount were related to Rev. Haywood B. Pettigrew through his wife, Amy Wood Brown, sister to Mary E. Brown Blount.
The Blount Family Tree. Clara and Mildred Blount, their father, Robert Maxwell Blount, son of Mary E. Brown Blount, are indicated. Collateral lines of the family settled in the Belhaven area of Beaufort County, North Carolina, and in various regions of Pennsylvania.
Vine Oak Cemetery, Edenton, Chowan County, North Carolina
Gravestone of Caroline Pettigrew Cox Davis (ca. 1822-1900), mother of 1st Sgt. Haywood B. Pettigrew (1845-1927), Harriett Reeves (ca. 1848-1913), Whitaker Reeves (ca. 1839-1917), and Laura Reeves Riddick (ca. 1853-1913), and Armistead Davis (ca. 1823-1900), second husband of Caroline. Vine Oak Cemetery, April 5, 2014. Photo: Nadia K. Orton. All rights reserved.
A great majority of Rev. Pettigrew’s immediate and extended family rest in historic Vine Oak, a nine-acre cemetery located on E. Granville Street, Edenton. Rev. Pettigrew was pre-deceased by his mother, Caroline Pettigrew Cox Davis, his sister, Harriett Reeves, and many other cousins, nieces, and newphews. Amy W. Brown Pettigrew, wife of Rev. Haywood B. Pettigrew, passed away on March 28, 1926, at the family residence on Church Street, Edenton, and was interred in Vine Oak on March 30, 1926.19
After her death, Haywood moved up to Newark, New Jersey, to live with his daughter, Lula Pettigrew Davis. Soon after his move to Newark, New Jersey, 1st Sgt. Haywood B. Pettigrew passed away, on October 10, 1927. HIs daughter, Lulu (Lula) Pettigrew Davis, wrote a letter to the pension board informing them of his death, and relaying instructions for the placement of his headstone.20
U. S. Dept. of Interior, Bureau of Pensions,
This is to notify you that my father, H. B. Pettigrew, formerly of Edenton, N. C., but for past year and a half of the city of Newark (last address as above) died suddenly on Mon. Oct. 10th – this place and was taken by me to his former home and interred on Thursday, Oct. 12. 14. So there a stone or any mark of commemoration due him as a veteran (to mark his grave) and do his heirs rec. a continuation of his pension. An early reply would be much appreciated. I am his only child.
(Mrs.) Lula P. Davis
1st Sgt. Haywood B. Pettigrew’s headstone in located near the southeastern corner of Vine Oak Cemetery, near the graves of four other United States Colored Troops: Pvt. Cain Dismuth, Co. B, 2nd U. S. Colored Cavalry, Pvt. Wilson Gregory, Co. E, 34th U. S. Colored Infantry, Cpl. Anderson Harrold, Co. B, 37th U. S. Colored Infantry, and Cpl. Hardy Mixon, Co. K, 40th U. S. Colored Infantry.
- Haywood B. Pettigrew (1st Sgt., Co. B, 2nd U. S. Colored Cavalry, Civil War), pension no. 563.597, Case Files of Approved Pension Applications, 1861-1934; Civil War and Later Pension Files’ Record Group 15; Records of the Department of Veterans Affairs; National Archives, Washington, D. C.
- Per the 1870 U. S. Census, William and Malvina Brown were enumerated in Township 1, Chowan County, North Carolina. William Brown, aged fifty-four, worked as a general laborer, and Malvina, aged fifty-seven, kept house. “1870 U. S. Census,” database with images, Ancestry (https://www.ancestry : accessed 12 June 2018), North Carolina, Chowan, Township 1, p. 30, citing, “Year: 1870; Census Place: Township 1, Chowan, North Carolina; Roll: M593_1130; Page: 373B; Family History Library Film: 552629.”
- Chowan County, North Carolina, Marriage Register (1851-1984), Hayward Petigrew-Amy Brown, 5 July 1869; image, “North Carolina, Marriage Records, 1741-2011,” Ancestry.com (https://ancestry.com: accessed 3 July 2019); citing “North Carolina County Registers of Deeds. Microfilm. Record Group 048. North Carolina State Archives, Raleigh, NC.”
- Ancestry, “U. S. Census 1870,” Ancestry (https://ancestry.com : accessed June 6, 2019), Tyrell County, North Carolina, dist. Scuppernong, p. 18, citing “Year: 1870; Census Place: Scuppernong, Tyrrell, North Carolina; Roll: M593_1161; Page: 490B; Family History Library Film: 552660.”
- “Race Rights, A Colored View of the Situation in Virginia,” The Richmond Times Dispatch (Richmond, Va.), 20 May 1879, p. 1, cols. 3-4); image copy, Newspapers.com (https://www.newspapers.com: accessed 28 June 2019).
- “1880 U. S. Census,” database with images, Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com : accessed 2 July 2015); Virginia, Princess Anne County, Seaboard, Dist. 095, p. 95, citing, “Year: 1880; Census Place: Seaboard, Princess Anne, Virginia; Roll: 1386; Page: 177A; Enumeration District: 095.”
- Hornberger, Patrick and Linda Turbyville. Forgotten Beacons. Annapolis, MD: Eastwind Publishing, 1997.
- Hornberger and Turbeyville, p. 45
- “Our Colored People,” Fisherman and Farmer (Edenton, N. C.), 27 October 1893, p. 2, column 4; image copy, Newspapers.com (https://www.newspapers.com: accessed 3 August 2019).
- “Our Colored People,” Fisherman and Farmer (Edenton, N.C.), 3 November 1893, p. 2, column 3; image copy, Newspapers.com (https://www.newspapers.com : accessed 3 August 2019.)
- The Fisherman and Farmer (Edenton, NC); 1894.
- According to his enlistment record, Cpl John Parks enlisted at the age of nineteen on January 20, 1864, at Fort Monroe, Virginia. At the time of enlistment, he was described as five feet, five inches tall, with a dark complexion, and black eyes and hair. He mustered in on January 27, 1864, Ft. Monroe. Like 1st Sgt. Haywood B. Pettigrew, Cpl. Parker engaged in action at Suffolk, Virginia (March 9, 1864), and Drewry’s Bluff (May 16, 1864). He was later on detached service on an ambulance train. He was promoted Corporal on September 1, 1864. He mustered out of service on February 12, 1866, at Brazos Santiago, Texas. Cpl. John Parks died on February 26, 1913, and was buried at Savageville, Accomack County, Virginia.
- Haywood B. Pettigrew Civil War pension no. N. C. 563.597, R. G. 15, NA-Washington.
- The Smithsonian notes that the Butler Medal ” holds the distinction of being the only medal ever struck for black troops..” For more information, see “Soldiering, the Butler Medal,” http://www.civilwar.si.edu/soldiering_butler_medal.html; “The Mettle of Butler’s Soldiers,” Carl Schoettler, The Baltimore Sun, August 2, 2001.
- “U. S. Census 1900,” Ancestry.com (https://www.ancestry.com: accessed 2 August 2019); Edenton, Chowan County, North Carolina, dist. 0028; p. 29; citing ” Year: 1900; Census Place: Edenton, Chowan, North Carolina; Page: 10; Enumeration District: 0028; FHL microfilm: 1241188.
- Per Pennsylvania marriage records, Laura Alice E. Pettigrew wed Mr. William S. Underhill on October 1,1902, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
- According to vital records, Harriett Reeves was born about 1848, Tyrrell County, North Carolina. She was the daughter of James Reeves and Caroline Cox Davis. Harriett Reeves passed away on January 27, 1913, Edenton, Chowan County, North Carolina, and was interred in Vine Oak Cemetery on January 28, 1913. The informant was Haywood B. Pettigrew.
- Ida Elizabeth Hathaway was the only daughter of Laura Alice E. Pettigrew Underhill and her second husband, William Brewster Hathaway. “U. S. Census 1910,” Ancestry.com (https://www.ancestry.com: accessed 2 August 2019); Edenton, Chowan County, North Carolina, dist. 0022; p. 29; citing “Year: 1910; Census Place: Edenton, Chowan, North Carolina; Roll: T624_1098; Page: 17A; Enumeration District: 0022; FHL microfilm: 1375111; “U. S. Census 1920,” Ancestry.com (https://www.ancestry.com: accessed 2 August 2019); Edenton Chowan County, North Carolina, dist. 0019; p. 30, citing “Fourteenth Census of the United States, 1920. (NARA microfilm publication T625, 2076 rolls). Records of the Bureau of the Census, Record Group 29. National Archives, Washington, D.C.
- Haywood B. Pettigrew Civil War pension no. N. C. 563.597, R. G. 15, NA-Washington.
- Haywood B. Pettigrew Civil War pension no. N. C. 563.597, R. G. 15, NA-Washington.