Burress & Palmer Genealogy

Southwest Virginia & Stokes County, NC


Moody "Cappy" Lankford

Male 1846 - 1932  (86 years)

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  • Name Moody "Cappy" Lankford 
    Born 1846  Stokes County, North Carolina Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Military 1861  Stokes County, North Carolina Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Newspaper 24 July 1879  Stokes County, North Carolina Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Died 9 Sep 1932  Wilkes County, NC Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Age 86 years 
    Siblings 2 siblings 
    Headstones Submit Headstone Photo Submit Headstone Photo 
    Photos 2 Photos
    • This story links West Lankford as the son of Thomas Lankford, but could be that was the general conscious of the researchers, as Thomas has been listed for some time as West's father. The assumption could be incorrect.
      Wilkes County Newspaper "The Record" May 8, 2013

      Grave marker dedicated Descendants of Moody "Cappy" Lankford turn out for event Descendants of Moody "Cappy" Lankford gathered on Saturday to dedicate his grave marker at Oak Grove Baptist Church in Millers Creek. Lankford, a veteran of the Confederate Army during the Civil War, was honored by not only relatives, but also by members of the General James B. Gordon Camp of the Sons of Confederate Veterans.

      About 50 people attended the event on a chilly May afternoon. Pat McNeil, the commander of the General James B. Gordon Camp, which hosted the dedication, welcomed the crowd gathered in the church cemetery. Rev. Mark Rupard gave the invocation.

      A history of Moody "Cappy" Lankford was given by Jerry Lankford, who is a great grandson of the honoree. In his remarks he told the crowd how Moody, who was called Cappy later in life, was a native of Stokes County, who moved to Wilkes sometime in the 1870's. Moody was married three times and had 22 children. He was the son of Wyatt Lankford, who also served in the Confederate Army, the grandson of Wesley Lankford, a Stokes County farmer, the great grandson of Thomas Lankford, who fought with the Overmountain Men during the Kings Mountain campaign during the Revolutionary War, and the great great grandson of James Lankford, who served in the Virginia Militia during the French and Indian War. Moody died in September of 1932. His grave had been unmarked for 80 years.

      Jerry Lankford told how he and his wife, Larissa, researched genealogy with the help of Burl Lankford and were able to acquire a head marker for Moody through the Veterans Administration.

      According to his obituary: Moody (Cappy) Lankford, who resided on Reddies River about four miles from North Wilkesboro, was taken by death Monday, September 19 (1932). He was 86 years, 10 months and 19 days of age. Mr. Lankford was born and reared in Stokes County, coming to Wilkes early in life. He was married three times, 22 children born to these unions. His three wives and eight children preceded him in death. Surviving him are the following children: J.M. Lankford, of Moravian Falls; Mrs. Larkin Brown, Hays; Richard, Zack, Fred and Joe, of Cricket; Mrs. Milton Rash and Mrs. A.C. Williams of Millers Creek; Jesse and Sam Lankford, of Fairplains; Roby Lankford, of Winston-Salem; P.A. Lankford, of Liberty, and Millard Lankford, of Coolleemee.

      "Cappy" as he was familiarly known to his acquaintances throughout his long residence in Wilkes, was well and favorably known. The funeral service was conducted at Oak Grove Methodist Church Tuesday afternoon at 4 o'clock by Rev. Hubert Bullis. A large number of relatives and friends of the deceased gathered to pay their last tribute of respect. Interment was made in the church cemetery.

      Jerry Lankford explained that the church was originally founded in 1899 as a Methodist church. It became a Baptist church in the 1940s. He also told how Burl Lankford, also a great grandson of Moody "Cappy" Lankford, helped determine where to place the headstone in the cemetery. He went on to thank Oak Grove Baptist Church Rev. Keith Lyon and cemetery superintendent Kenneth Sebastian for being ever agreeable in the quest to place to marker.

      I called Pat McNeil and told him about our findings and he brought me a copy of the Veterans Administration application and gave me guidance as to where to look for Cappy's military records, Jerry Lankford said. I found plenty on the website Civil War Soldiers and Sailors and also the Civil War roster books in the Genealogy Room of the Wilkes County Public Library. According to the North Carolina Troops: 1861-1865 - A Roster, Vol. XVII: Moody Lankford - Enlisted at Camp Holmes, near Raleigh, September 2, 1864, for the war. Reported present sick in September-October, 1864. Hospitalized at Wilmington on November 16, 1864, with scabies. Returned to duty on December 9, 1864. Captured at Fort Fisher on December 25, 1864. Confined at Fort Monroe, Virginia, December 29, 1864. Sent to Point Lookout, Maryland, December 31, 1864. Transferred to Company C, 3rd Regiment N.C. Junior Reserves, January 3, 1865, while prisoner of war.

      The big white marble, upright grave marker arrived at the offices of The Record on Friday, Nov. 30. It was placed on Saturday, Jan. 5, by members of the family and the General James B. Gordon Camp. A history of the unit in which Moody "Cappy" Lankford served was given by Gerald Lankford, also a great grandson of the honoree.

      During his remarks, Gerald Lankford said: The 3rd Battalion of the N.C. Junior Reserves was formed in January, 1865, by consolidating the 4th, 7th, and 8th Junior Reserves Battalions after the Battle of Fort Fisher. The 4th Battalion of the N.C. Junior Reserves, which Moody "Cappy" Lankford was originally attached to, was organized with three companies in Raleigh on May 30, 1864. Moody was transferred to the 3rd Battalion as a prisoner of war following his capture by Union troops at Fort Fisher.

      N.C. Junior Reserves battalions contained soldiers between the ages of 15 and 18. Although their members were young, the youths assigned to the Junior Reserves were said to have fought bravely in all actions they saw. Members were drawn from Moody's native county of Stokes, along with the counties of Guilford, Alamance, Forsyth, Person, New Hanover, Brunswick, Columbus, Catawba, Iredell, Rowan, Burke, Caldwell, Cumberland, Robeson, Richmond, and Rockingham.

      These young soldiers stationed at Fort Fisher expected an assault from the north and it came in the winter of 1864. Union forces prepared to leave Hampton Roads, near the border of Virginia and North Carolina, on Dec. 10, 1864, but a winter storm hit the fleet for three days, preventing the fleet's departure until Dec. 14. The transports carrying Union forces arrived at Fort Fisher near Wilmington, N.C., first, since the Navy took longer to refuel at Beaufort than expected. When ships arrived on Dec. 19, another storm hit the fleet, causing some ships to scatter and forcing the Union Army transports to return to Beaufort. After the storm subsided on Dec. 23, Union commanders decided to start the attack, ordering the U.S.S. Louisiana to be blown up that night. Near midnight, the ship was towed close to the fort's seawall and set on fire. However, the Louisiana was farther out to sea than the Union Navy thought, perhaps as far as a mile offshore. As a result, Fort Fisher was undamaged by the blast.

      Moody "Cappy" Lankford would have no doubt heard and seen this spectacular explosion.

      The following morning, the Union Navy moved closer to shore and began a bombardment of the fort, hoping to damage the earthworks and forcing the garrison to surrender. Despite firing close to 10,000 shells that day, only minor damage was caused, with four seacoast gun carriages disabled, one light artillery caisson destroyed, and 23 casualties in the garrison. Meanwhile there were 45 Union casualties from exploding guns aboard ships, and the Confederate gunners were able to score direct hits on three ships.

      Although the defenders of the fort fought hard, the transports carrying the Union soldiers began landing on Christmas morning, 1864. N.C. Junior Reserves units were stationed north of the battery walls and acted as skirmishers as the first Union troops came ashore. These units were then cut off from the main body of Confederate forces.

      Many, including Moody "Cappy" Lankford, were captured the first day of battle on Christmas Day, 1864 as Union officers accepted the surrender of the 4th and 8th Junior Reserve battalions. The sandy soil Cappy and his comrades battled on is now part of the Atlantic Ocean according to National Park officials.

      As for the remainder of the Battle of Fort Fisher, a brigade of Union troops, after setting up a defensive line, advanced toward the fort to see if it could be attacked. Union commanders were convinced that the fort was undamaged and too strong for an assault. The landings were halted and the Union forces returned to their ships.

      After regrouping, the Union Army, Navy and Marines, managed a joint landing, and captured the fort on Jan. 15, 1865. Attached to the Department of North Carolina and Southern Virginia, remaining members of the N.C. Junior Reserves served in the Kinston area, then moved to Smithfield. Later it was assigned to General L.S. Baker's Brigade, saw action at Bentonville, and surrendered with the Army of Tennessee on April 26, 1865.

      The songs Dixie and Lorena were then performed by Herb Key, Bill Williams, Jim Lloyd and Trevor McKenzie of the Elkville String Band. The band appeared courtesy of David Absher, a Wilkes native and descendant of Moody "Cappy" Lankford, who now resides in Las Vegas, Nev. Gabriella Lankford, 10, the daughter of Jerry Lankford, then unveiled the marker as the crowd looked on. Members of the 28th N.C. reenactors group from Yadkin County including Greg Cheek, Tony Hines, Michael Reynolds, Andrew Cheek and Edwin Osborne fired three volleys to salute the marking of the grave. Larry Griffin and Heather Dean also came dressed in period clothing. Samuel "Sammie" Alexander Osborne, the 3-month-old grandson of Jerry Lankford, placed the flag on the grave with the help of his mother, Jennifer Lankford Osborne. The Elkville String Band then performed the hymns Where the Roses Never Fade and Amazing Grace. McNeil then gave observance of Confederate Memorial Day, which is on May 10 and is a legal holiday in the state of North Carolina. During his remarks, McNeil quoted from Terrell T. Garren's book Mountain Myth: Unionism in Western North Carolina, giving the totals of men from Wilkes who served in the Confederate Army.According to the book, a total of 1,599 served in the ranks with 477 being wounded, 533 being captured, 161 killed in battle, 238 dying from non-combat deaths and 63 dying in Union prison camps for a total of 472 deaths from Wilkes.McNeil also told the crowd that there will be a wreath placing ceremony at the Confederate monument outside the Old Wilkes Jail on Thursday afternoon at 4 p.m.Members of the 28th N.C. then fired three more volleys. Andrew Cheek played Taps from a lonely spot in the cemetery. Rupard closed by reading a poem, singing Johnny Comes Marching Home and by giving the benediction. Programs for the event were provided by Ken Welborn of The Record and Thursday Printing.

    Person ID P2493  Burress
    Last Modified 12 Jan 2020 

    Father Wyatt Lankford
              b. 1828, Stokes County, North Carolina Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Mother Elizabeth "Dolly" Mabe
              b. 1828, North Carolina Find all individuals with events at this location
              d. North Carolin Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Married 04 Jan 1846  Stokes County, North Carolina Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Family ID F617  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Wife 1 Mary Elizabeth Fagg
              b. 1837, Stokes County, North Carolina Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Married 14 Apr 1865  Stokes County, North Carolina Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Moody & Mary Lankford Divorce
    Moody & Mary Lankford Divorce
    Last Modified 22 Apr 2018 
    Family ID F613  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Wife 2 Jane Rhodes 
    Last Modified 12 Jan 2020 
    Family ID F833  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsBorn - 1846 - Stokes County, North Carolina Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsMilitary - Civil War - 1861 - Stokes County, North Carolina Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsMarried - 14 Apr 1865 - Stokes County, North Carolina Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsNewspaper - Moody Lankford, new confined to our jail, is suffering with dyspepsia in an aggravating form. - 24 July 1879 - Stokes County, North Carolina Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Earth 

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