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Parsley, Eliza Hall Nutt (Hallie)

By William S. Powell, 1994

13 Aug. 1842–11 June 1920

Eliza Hall Nutt Parsley, painting, date unknown. Image used courtesy of the United Daughters of the Confederacy North Carolina Division, Inc.Eliza Hall Nutt (Hallie) Parsley, founder of the North Carolina Division of the United Daughters of the Confederacy (UDC), was born in Wilmington, the daughter of Louise and Henry Nutt. She was educated at St. Mary's School in Raleigh. On 2 Sept. 1862 she married William Murdock Parsley, a captain in the Confederate army. He was wounded three times during the war and was sent home to recuperate. Near Richmond, Va., a few days before the surrender at Appomattox, by then a lieutenant colonel, he was fatally wounded. Mrs. Parsley and their two young daughters, Amanda and Janie, were then refuging at Sleepy Hollow in Bladen County but soon returned to Wilmington. There she spent the remainder of her life, supporting herself and her daughters by teaching. In 1894 she opened her own school for small children at 619 Orange Street.

During the war Hallie Parsley had been occupied in caring for wounded soldiers and in offering what comfort she could to suffering friends and neighbors. After the war she continued her service to others, largely through the Confederate Memorial Association of Wilmington. Among other things, the members undertook to decorate the graves of the seven hundred Confederate dead there.

There were similar organizations elsewhere in the state and the members learned of the United Daughters of the Confederacy that had been established in other states. Mrs. Parsley was named chairman of a committee to inquire about the purpose of this body, and from the original chapter in Nashville, Tenn., she received information, a charter, and authority to establish units in North Carolina. In December 1894 she organized the Cape Fear Chapter of the UDC, and in April 1897 she formed the UDC's North Carolina Division. Mrs. Parsley was the division's first president, a post she held for two years. She soon became a public figure, advising women who wanted to create new chapters, traveling frequently throughout the state and elsewhere on behalf of the UDC. Her goal was to inspire love for the Southern states and to teach that Southern soldiers were heroes and not traitors. "In her speeches," it was said, "her soft voice was always animated by the love and devotion in her heart to the young soldier-husband who did not return." She also was involved in arranging the production of amateur plays, pageants, and musicals in Wilmington in the 1890s.

Mrs. Parsley spent her final years at her home on Red Cross Street, Wilmington, receiving friends and admirers. It was said that, like countless Confederate widows, she always dressed in black, her straight hair parted in the middle and combed back. When out of doors she wore a small black bonnet with a long crepe veil at the back. An Episcopalian, she was buried in Oakdale Cemetery, Wilmington.


Lucy London Anderson, North Carolina Women of the Confederacy (1926)

Charlotte Observer , 25 Apr. 1937

Confederate Veterans Magazine , 3–4, 6, 8–11, 15, 19, 23, 25, 28, 36, 38 [consult index] (1895–1930)

Eliza Hall Parsley Papers (Southern Historical Collection, University of North Carolina Library, Chapel Hill)

Louis H. Manarin, comp., North Carolina Troops, 1861–1865: A Roster , vol. 3 (1971)

Minutes of the Twenty-fourth Annual Convention of the United Daughters of the Confederacy . . . New Bern (1920)

Raleigh News and Observer , 14 Sept. 1937

Lou Rogers, Tar Heel Women (1949) and "Eliza Nutt Parsley," We the People 3 (November 1945)

Wilmington Morning Star , 12–13 June 1920

Tony P. Wrenn, Wilmington, North Carolina: An Architectural and Historical Portrait (1984)

Image Credit:

[Eliza Hall Nutt Parsley.] Painting.  Date unknown. Photo courtesy of United Daughters of the Confederacy
North Carolina Division, Inc. (accessed August 14, 2012).

Origin - location: 


Why does a link titled "Cape Fear Chapter of the UDC" lead to an individual's personal website? That website is NOT an official website of Cape Fear #3, and it should not be identified as such.

Under "Image Credit", that should read The United Daughters of the Confederacy" not "Daughters of the Confederacy" followed by an en dash, not a hyphen, then chapter name AND number.

Also, the word "war" should be capitalized when referencing the War Between the States.

Thank you.
Shannon E. Coffey
UDC Asheville Chapter 104

Dear Shannon,

Thank you so much for visiting NCpedia and taking time to share this correction with us.  I have updated the citation for the image and as it turns out it actually came from the North Carolina Division United Daughters of the Confederacy.  

Unfortunately, I am unable to edit the word "war" in the essay to be capitalized since Mr. Powell used the word "war" in a more holistic sense and not with a direct reference to the title "War Between the States".  We make updates to content where there are mis-spellings, incorrect dates, and other factual errors that we are able to correct with research.  However, when there is an interpretive or stylistic issue, we generally do not edit the content unless there is an historical basis for the change (for example, if new evidence becomes available that was not available for the original research or when new information occasions changes to historical perspective). 

Thank you again for alerting us to the issue of the caption!  Please let me know if you have any questions.

Best wishes,

Kelly Agan, N.C. Government & Heritage Library

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