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Casstevens, Frances H. 1936- (Frances Harding Casstevens)

Casstevens, Frances H. 1936- (Frances Harding Casstevens)

PERSONAL:

Born September 9, 1936, in Winston-Salem, NC; daughter of F.D.B. (an attorney) and Laura (a nurse) Harding; married Gerald Royce Casstevens (a musician), January 4, 1954 (deceased); children: Gerald Daniel, Caren, Michael, Tony, Sandra Kay Casstevens Campbell, Tim (deceased). Ethnicity: "White." Education: Attended Surry Community College; University of North Carolina at Greensboro, B.A., 1976, M.A., 1981. Religion: Methodist. Hobbies and other interests: Genealogy, local history, music, photography.

ADDRESSES:

Home—Yadkinville, NC. E-mail—[email protected]

CAREER:

Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, NC, research assistant in neurosurgery at Bowman Gray School of Medicine, 1977-2001; Yadkin County Country Store, Yadkinville, NC, proprietor; Preservation Yadkin Country, Inc., president. Richmond Hill, volunteer docent.

MEMBER:

Yadkin County Historical Society (past president, current secretary).

AWARDS, HONORS:

Willie Parker Peace Award, North Carolina Society of Historians, 1998, 2003.

WRITINGS:

The Descendants of Solomon Lineberry, Hunter Publishing (Winston-Salem, NC), 1965.

(With William Clinton Casstevens) Descendants of Thomas Casteven: A Genealogical History, Hunter Publishing (Winston-Salem, NC), 1977.

(Under name Frances Harding Casstevens; editor and contributor) The Heritage of Yadkin County, North Carolina, Volume 1, Hunter Publishing (Winston-Salem, NC), 1981.

(With William Evan Casstevens III) Daniel Boone on the Yadkin (play), performed in Yadkin County, NC, by Yadkin Players, 1985.

Yadkin County, North Carolina: The First One Hundred Years, Arcadia Publishing (Dover, NH), 1996.

The Civil War and Yadkin County, North Carolina, McFarland and Co. (Jefferson, NC), 1997.

Clingman's Brigade in the Confederacy, 1862-1865, McFarland and Co. (Jefferson, NC), 2002.

Edward A. Wild and the African Brigade in the Civil War, McFarland and Co. (Jefferson, NC), 2003.

George W. Alexander and Castle Thunder: A Confederate Prison and Its Commandant, McFarland and Co. (Jefferson, NC), 2004.

"Out of the Mouth of Hell": Civil War Prisons and Escapes, McFarland and Co. (Jefferson, NC), 2005.

Ghosts and Their Haunts: The Legends and Lore of the Yadkin River Valley, Parkway Publishing (Boone, NC), 2005.

Death in North Carolina's Piedmont: Tales of Murder, Suicide, and Cause Unknown, History Press (Charleston, SC), 2006.

Tales from the North and South: Twenty-four Remarkable People and Events of the Civil War, McFarland and Co. (Jefferson, NC), 2006.

Contributor of articles and poetry to local periodicals.

SIDELIGHTS:

Frances H. Casstevens once told CA: "My primary motivation for writing is to make history come alive for others. Through my writing, I hope to share my love of history, to educate the public about the past, and to encourage people to preserve that history and pass that knowledge along to future generations. I began by collecting my family history and genealogy. Then I began collecting and writing local history. This led to research about various generals who have been overlooked or forgotten by modern-day historians.

"I am indebted to some very fine history professors—Conrad Holcomb, James Albert Hutchens, and William Sanders—at Surry Community College. Without the basis their wonderful classes provided, I could never have obtained my degrees later at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

"My writing process begins with a basic outline, which I fill in with facts collected from many sources. I enjoy research, and access to the Internet has allowed me access to information previously unavailable. I try to use as many primary sources as possible, and to document those sources correctly so that others may refer to them.

"I have been interested in history, especially the history of the Civil War, since I read Margaret Mitchell's book Gone with the Wind when I was twelve years old. In addition, my family has always been interested in history and genealogy and has passed down to me family letters and other artifacts from the mid-1800s. I was influenced by the stories told by my grandmother, who always wanted to write but never had the chance. My subjects include Brigadier General Edward A. Wild, originally a doctor from Brookline, Massachusetts, who served in the Crimean War before joining the Union troops. After his arm had to be amputated, he was placed in charge of recruiting and training blacks as Union soldiers. Wild was a little-known, but fascinating and unique individual, who was scorned by North and South alike. George W. Alexander sailed with Commodore Perry on his expedition to Japan in the 1850s. Another unique individual, Alexander's career ranged from engineer on a U.S. steam side-wheeler to pirate for the Confederacy, from prisoner to prison commandant, and from a wanted fugitive to a Washington newspaper editor."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Military Review, May-June, 2005, D. Jonathan White, review of Edward A. Wild and the African Brigade in the Civil War, p. 112.

ONLINE

Yadkin County Country Store, http://members.tripod.com/˜fcasstevens/ (June 2, 2007).

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