Eliza Hall Nutt Parsley
Mother of North Carolina Division, United Daughters of the Confederacy
Hallie, as she was always called, married Captain William Murdoch Parsley of Company F of the Third Regiment of North Carolina Infantry, On September 2, 1862 while he was home recuperating from wounds sustained at Malvern Hill. Three months later he was promoted to Major and returned to VA. Hallie was expecting their firstborn, Amanda.
Parsley was wounded at Winchester in 1863, captured at Horse Shoe on May 12, 1864 and imprisoned at Ft. Delaware. He was returned to his homeland in 1864 as part of a prisoner exchange. He went home to recuperate and meet his infant daughter, Janie. Parsley was promoted to Lt. Colonel and once again returned to his Company. Three days before the war ended, Parsley was killed by a sharpshooter at Sailor's Creek, VA.
During the war, Hallie volunteered her time to the Soldiers Aid Society. When the war ended, Hallie taught School and was a leader in the Confederate Memorial Association. When the United Daughters of the Confederacy began in Nashville, Mrs. Parsley requested information. She was sent a charter for the Wilmington Chapter and authority to start chapters throughout the state. When she learned that the constitution only allowed lineal descendants, she returned the charter explaining that she did not want to exclude mothers, sisters, widows and wives of confederate soldiers. Due largely to her efforts, the constitution was amended. The Cape Fear Chapter received its charter in December 1894. She served as chapter president for twelve years.
Mrs. Parsley formed the NC Division in 1897 with five chapters and served as its first president for two years. She traveled extensively promoting the UDC. She urged members to collect relics, papers and histories from the war and also the reconstruction period. Today the Cape Fear Museum has more than 600 artifacts she collected.
In 1915 she was named Honorary President General of UDC. She is remembered as a tiny lady dressed in black with her straight hair always parted in the middle and combed back. When she left her house, she wore a black bonnet with a long crepe veil.
Eliza Hall Nutt Parsley died on June 11, 1920 at age 77. The Cape Fear Chapter attended her funeral as a body. Her grave is in Wilmington's Oakdale Cemetery.
Hallie Parsley is indeed the mother of UDC in NC. She brought it to life, nurtured its growth and left it with a legacy of service and history.
Written by Brenda Birmelin, Cape Fear #3 Daughter