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Its leading members at the beginning of the Civil War were brothers Columbus and Govan Mills, prominent plantation owners and slaveholders with hundreds of slaves between them on plantations both in Polk County and in neighboring Spartanburg County, South Carolina.

They also had family ties in mountainous Henderson County to the west, where their grandfather William Mills was a pioneering (or escaping, as some have written) white Loyalist settler when the Cherokee frontier lands west of the mountains were opened for settlement, in 1783.

Similar break-ins have been reported in the same county as well as in neighboring Henderson County and were genrally attributed to deserters hiding in the mountains.

However, Mills is a well-known surgeon, state legislator and the founder of Polk County--and the person for whom the new county seat of Columbus has just been named. [Frank Weaver's wife Mahulda Weaver is one of George Williams' daughters, and his daughter Sophie Jane Weaver Hunter is married to Peyton Hunter's son Samuel Hunter .] Mills calls in the Home Guard, a local militia from the neighboring counties of Henderson and Transylvania, to serve as a posse to arrest and bring to justice the group of marauders. Columbus Mills, According to a North Carolina history site, "The Home Guard was comprised of men over the age of 45 and under 18.

These close multigenerational family allegiances played out repeatedly in local politics.

This story, while primarily about the actions of men, also highlights the extremely important role that the women in these families played in local cultural politics. Columbus Mills claims that a marauding band of dangerous men has broken into his home and bodily threatened him while stealing much of his personal property including furniture, horses and wagons.

Multi-generational family networks played an extremely significant role in local politics.

The story we are about to tell centers around several of these networks and their supporters.

1839: Frank Weaver marries Mahulda Hannon Williams and acquires a large tract of land along Horse Creek in what is then Rutherford County but will become Polk County. Frank Weaver named as County Ranger (a county ranger was basically in charge of lost livestock and slave not legal issues.) Frank Weaver named the postmaster of Horse Creek. 1857: The Town of Columbus is formed out of land donated by Columbus Mills. 1861 May 20: Columbus Mills enlists in the same CSA Unit and is promoted to Surgeon July 1, 1861. 1861 July 10: Charles Hunter, enlisted in the CSA, discharged July 20, 1862.

There is a lot of speculation in the area with the creation of the new town and new county. Columbus Mills play important roles in a public meeting on the issue of Abraham Lincoln's election. All the Hunters resign very soon after they joined. Cureton and Nancy Mills, admins of Govan Mills, with trespass and damages of 0.

News articles mention the town being on the future route for the railroad when it is built. Everyone seems to be on the same pro-Confederate side at the time. The records show Peyton Hunter resigns (but no cause is given), whereas Charles is discharged. 1863 March 19th: Columbus Mills was in the newspaper as the Enrolling Officer in charge of conscripted men for the CSA in the Spartanburg District.

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