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Abner P. Cheek

Abner P. Cheek, son of Chesley CHEEK & Phebe WOODRUFF, was born 1842 in Ashe Co., NC, and died July 31, 1864, in the Battle of Petersburg, VA.  He never married and had no children.  Abner is said to be buried in a Confederate Cemetery in Petersburg, VA.


Abner P. Cheek was the second of Chesley and Phebe Cheek's three sons.  It's possible that his middle name was Phillips, after his great-grandfather Abner Phillips.

Abner Cheek enlisted as a private on May 3, 1862, in Co. I, 61st North Carolina Infantry Regiment.  He was 21 and a resident of Ashe Co., NC.  Military records indicate that he was on the rolls Nov. 15, 1862.  He was hospitalized Feb. 17, 1863, at Wilmington, NC, with "catarrhus" [i.e., upper respiratory infection].  He returned to duty on Feb. 25, 1863.  He was on the rolls Mar. 15, 1863.  He was detailed on May 12, 1863, to arrest deserters & conscript, and returned June 30, 1863.  He was hospitalized on July 15, 1863, at Wilmington, NC, with intermittent fever.  Returned to duty on July 27, 1863.  He was on the rolls Apr. 30, 1864.

Abner was wounded in the left lung on June 16, 1864, at Petersburg, VA, and hospitalized June 17, 1864.  He died of his wounds on July 31, 1864, at the hospital in Petersburg, VA.  (Source: "American Civil War Soliders" on

The following Civil War letter from Abner to his cousin John Anders was originally published on June 9, 1949, by Mrs. Carrie Jones, the Alleghany County Librarian.  Mrs. Jones was shown the letter by Matilda Collins, widow of William M. Cheek.  The letter was reprinted in a collection by Mrs. Jones' nephew David L. Ham called The History of Alleghany County from Interivews and Articles Written and Collected by Carrie Hamm Miller (available at the Alleghany County Library).

Civil War Letter by Abner Cheek

June 7, 1864
Written to John Anders

Near Richmond, Va. June the 7, 1864

Dear and kind relatives; after my love and best respects to you, I am very much troubled about the death of my poor father who was murdered so brutally but I hope he has gone to rest where the righteous are and always will be while those who were so brutal as to murder him may receive their reward for the offence they committed on him.  I will say something about the times here.  Times here are very gloomy and the missiles of war are sounding regularly.

I will inform you that I was in the Battle of Drues Bluff which was fought on Monday, April the 16th.  It was a bloody fight and both sides suffered a great loss but we had the best of the fight.  A great many of our company were wounded there but I suppose you have heard their names sometime ago.  Brother Richard was wounded and I have not heard from him since he went to the hospital.  I think he will get to go home if he has not already gone.  We have been in two fights since we got here.

The enemy charged our breast works last Thursday and Friday.  We repulsed them, killing a great many of them.  I can't give you all the particulars of the battles.  I am sorry to relate to you that Capt. Choate was killed.  He was shot by the enemy's sharpshooters last Friday and died Saturday night.  Sargt. Fulks was killed last Thursday evening in the fight.  Granville Edwards was wounded in the head but I hope he will get over it.  James Grimsley was slightly wounded, cousin Merdy Cheek was struck with a ball but it did not break the skin.

I'll bring my remarks to a close, hoping to hear from you soon.  Yours very respectfully, Abner Cheek to John Anders and family.  Write soon, direct to Richmond, Va.