Sleuthing Researchers Solve the Mystery of William Daniel Goins, CSA
By Cyndie Goins Hoelscher & Leon Goins
4738 Kosarek, Corpus Christi, Texas, 78415
The Confederate Soldiers section of the Oakwood Cemetery in Raleigh, North Carolina was the setting for an intriguing mys-tery that revolved around the grave of Confederate Soldier #164. The inconspicuous white tombstone concealed a secret identity that would not be revealed until 80 years after the death of the Civil War veteran. The veteran was Daniel Goins of Randolph County, North Carolina.
Daniel Goins, a.k.a. William Daniel Goins, a.k.a. Daniel M. Goins, was born about November 1823 in Moore County, North Carolina. He was the son of Sandy Murchison and Leah Goins who was born about 1790 in Virginia or North Carolina.
He was married in 1856 to Margaret Goins, daughter of William and Kizziah “Kizzie” Sinclair Goins of Moore County. In 1860 Daniel Goins was enumerated as the head of a “mulatto” household in adjoining Lee County, North Carolina.
On September 9, 1861, Daniel Goins answered the call for Confederate patriots and enlisted in Company I, Second North Carolina Cavalry Regiment for the duration of the war. His records were posted from Carthage, North Carolina, county seat of Moore County. He also served in the Nineteenth North Carolina Cavalry Regiment, according to “North Carolina Troops, 1861-1865.”
Family tradition states that Daniel had three brothers who set up a horse trading post in Mississippi and sold horses to both Union and Confederate troops. These unidentified Goins brothers reportedly never came back to North Carolina and probably settled in Mississippi, Texas or somewhere out west.
While Daniel was away, in November of 1862, his four-year-old daughter, Celia Ann died and was buried in the Center United Methodist Church Cemetery in Lee County. Her tiny brown headstone is easy to miss since it rests in the shadow of a large pine tree, but her grave is the second oldest in the cemetery.
An entry on the company roster for the date August 18, 1863 had a notation that Daniel had started home on a 30-day leave to obtain a fresh horse for service. Three months later Daniel was wounded in battle. He received a gunshot wound to his left foot, shooting off his fourth toe at the first joint. This occurred at a skirmish at White Sulphur Springs, Virginia.
Daniel was also at the Battle of Fredricksburg, Virginia where he received a broken arm when his horse was shot out from under him. He was surrendered at Appomattox Courthouse in Virginia in 1865 and shortly afterwards, returned home to Lee County.
In 1870, Daniel and his family had moved to nearby Randolph County, North Carolina where he was farming. Margaret must have died between 1880 and 1895, for there is no other reference to her. Her eleventh child was born about 1880. In 1896, Daniel, age 72 was married to Miss Della Pritchard, age 19. They settled on Pritchard lands in Back Creek Township in Randolph County, North Carolina where two sons were born to them.
The marriage was disastrous, and after the birth of their second son, Della threw Daniel out of the house. She hauled a large chest containing his Civil War uniforms and personal effects out into a field and burned it to cinders. In her anger, she also burned his pictures, and as a result no pictures have been found of our ancestor Daniel Goins.
After the rift between Daniel and his young second wife, he left Randolph County and was enumerated as a widowed boarder with the John Truitt family in Boon Station Township, Elon College, Alamance County, North Carolina in the 1900 federal census. In 1901, he went to the Altamahaw Post Office in Alamance County to apply for his Civil War pension, but his application was rejected because the pension board members felt that the 77-year-old man was still fit enough to continue working as a farmer or had plenty of children to look after him.
In 1902, Daniel was admitted to the Old Soldier’s Home in Raleigh. This is where the mystery began. As genealogists, we were frustrated as we kept looking for our Civil War ancestor among these records in Raleigh. To our dismay, Daniel Goins vanished without a trace.
With the aid of an archivist at Raleigh, we were able to unfold the mystery of what became of our ancestor, Daniel Goins. He was admitted in the Old Soldiers Home in Raleigh under the name of Daniel OWENS. The records describe him as being 5′ 11″ and light complexioned. The archivist explained that the rules for admittance in the Old Soldiers Home stated that the applicant could not have any relatives who would be able to care for him. Daniel had more than enough offspring, but apparently he felt that he could not turn to any of them to take him in, so he registered under an assumed name.
Daniel Goins stayed at the Old Soldier’s Home until his death on June 7, 1907. No family members claimed his body, nor is there any indication that any of them were notified of his death due to his assumed name and the circumstances of his admittance. The State of North Carolina buried him in the Confederate Section of the Oakwood Cemetery in Raleigh.
The stone on Daniel’s grave bore only the inscribed number, #164, but the records stated that the soldier was Daniel OWENS. The archivist agreed that Daniel Owens and Daniel Goins were the same man, by checking the regimental rosters. The rosters for the 19th North Carolina Cavalry regiment did not contain a soldier by the name of Daniel Owens, but Daniel Goins’ name was listed. Jeff Morton, a member of the Col. Leonidas Lafayette Polk Camp No. 1486, Sons of Confederate Veterans, Garner, North Carolina, also reviewed the records and concluded that Daniel Owens was indeed Daniel Goins. A new marker was erected by the Sons of the Confederacy so that all will know that the mystery of Confederate Soldier #164 is solved, and Daniel Goins’ final resting place has been correctly identified.
Children born to William Daniel Goins and Margaret Goins Goins include:
Abraham Wellington “Bud” Goins born January 4, 1856
Celia Goins born Sept. 5, 1858
Cora Goins born about 1860
Thomas M. Goins born about 1862
George B. Goins born about 1864
Margaret “Maggie” Goins born about 1866
Pauline Goins born about 1868
Laura E. Goins born about 1870
William E. Goins born about 1873
Rosetia Goins born about 1875
Kizziah “Kizzie” Goins born about 1880
Children born to William Daniel Goins and Della Prichard Goins include:
Charlie Braxton Goins born October 9, 1896
Hal Worth Goins born in Dec. 1898
Mrs. Pansy B. Fetzer and Mrs. Clinton C. Cox. “Confederate Veterans that Died at Soldier’s Home in Raleigh, North Carolina., Confederate Section, Oakwood.” “North Carolina Division United Daughters of the Confederacy Individual Confederate Grave Stone Records,” North Carolina State Archives, Raleigh, 1963Ä1964.
Morton, Jeff, Col. Leonidas LaFayette Polk Camp, No. 1486, Sons of Confederate Veterans, Garner, NC. Let
ters to Leon Goins dated August 21, 1990 and October 14, 1991.
Goins, Daniel. Soldier’s Application for Pension #37, North Carolina State Archives, Raleigh.
Federal Census Records of North Carolina:
1850 Upper Regiment, Chatham County, NC
1860 Pocket Creek, Lee County, NC
1870 Grant Township, Randolph County, NC
1880 Grant Township. Randolph County, NC
1900 Boon Station Township, Elon College, Alamance County, NC
Cousins by the Dozens. Some of the 83 registrants at the Foundation Research Conference & Family Reunion at the Nashville Sheraton Hotel, May 5-6-7, gathered in the hotel lobby prior to the Foundation dinner meeting. Photo courtesy of Don Lee Gowen.