Copyright notice

This article is from the Dictionary of North Carolina Biography, 6 volumes, edited by William S. Powell. Copyright ©1979-1996 by the University of North Carolina Press. Used by permission of the publisher. For personal use and not for further distribution. Please submit permission requests for other use directly to the publisher.

Printer-friendly page

Walkup, Samuel Hoey

by William S. Powell, 1996

22 Jan. 1818–26 Oct. 1876

Samuel Hoey Walkup, Confederate officer, legislator, and lawyer, was born in Jackson Township, Mecklenburg County, which became a part of Union County when it was formed in 1842, the son of Robert and Elizabeth Johnston Hoey Walkup. His mother was a first cousin of General Andrew Pickens of South Carolina. The Walkup family probably was descended from Samuel Walkup, of Camden County, who was the only person of that surname in the 1790 census of North Carolina. Samuel's half sister, Sarah Walkup, was the mother of William Henry Belk, the founder of Belk stores.

Samuel H. Walkup was graduated from The University of North Carolina in 1841. An essay he wrote on 30 Oct. 1839 was entitled, "Is it likely that poetry will ever flourish in America?" Another, on 30 Apr. 1840, was on a topic widely discussed at the time: "Should literary distinctions be awarded in colleges as incentives to exertion?"

Walkup began to practice law in Monroe and in 1844 was awarded the customary M.A. degree granted by the university to graduates who were engaged in promising professions. As early as the summer of 1845, he was interested in trying to identify the birthplace of Andrew Jackson. In addition to talking with people on both sides of the North Carolina–South Carolina line, he wrote to and received letters from others relating what they knew or had heard on the subject. His findings and conclusions were published in the Wadesboro North Carolina Argus in September 1858 and later in other publications. James Parton's three-volume Life of Andrew Jackson (1860) accepted and reported his findings.

Politics interested Walkup, and he served as county solicitor from 1848 to 1858. He represented Union County in the General Assembly for the terms 1858–59 and ran for Congress as a Whig in 1859 but was defeated by Burton Craige. He again served in the legislature for the term 1860–61. During much of this time he also was brigadier general of the Eleventh Regiment, North Carolina Militia.

On 4 Oct. 1860 Walkup was married by the Reverend Jethro Rumple, Presbyterian minister of Salisbury, to Pamelia R. Price. The 1870 census lists their children as Lelia, nine; Alice, seven; Minnie, four; Willie, two; and Josephine, six months, whom relatives referred to as Daisy.

In 1862, at age forty-four, Walkup joined Company F, Forty-eighth Regiment, North Carolina Troops, for service in the Civil War. He was appointed captain on 4 Mar. 1862 and elected lieutenant colonel of the regiment in April. He was wounded in the hip at Fredericksburg in December 1862. Promoted to colonel in December 1863, he was again wounded at or near the Wilderness in May 1864, but was with his regiment at the surrender at Appomattox Court House, Va., on 9 Apr. 1865. It was said that he was one of the bravest officers in the Army of Northern Virginia. It is also recorded that "he was often laughed at on dress parade and brigade drill for his awkwardness, but when in battle all that knew him were satisfied that Walkup was there and that his regiment would do its duty."

As a Democrat he was elected to Congress for the 1865–67 term, but Southerners were denied seats at that time. He did, however, serve in the North Carolina Constitutional Convention of 1865–66 and was a member of the board of trustees of The University of North Carolina (1874–76). He died of chronic dysentery and was buried in the Monroe cemetery.


John L. Cheney, Jr., ed., North Carolina Government, 1585–1979 (1981).

Walter Clark, ed., Histories of the Several Regiments and Battalions from North Carolina in the Great War, vols. 2–3, 5 (1901 [portrait]).

Daniel L. Grant, Alumni History of the University of North Carolina (1924).

Weymouth T. Jordan, comp., North Carolina Troops, 1861–1865: A Roster, vol. 11 (1987).

[John Nichols, comp.], Directory of the General Assembly of the State of North Carolina for the Session Commencing Nov. 19, 1860 (1860).

Ronald W. Walkup, Rutherfordton, N.C., 31 May 1994, to William S. Powell.

Samuel Hoey Walkup Papers (Southern Historical Collection, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill).

Additional Resources:

McDowell, John Hugh. History of the McDowells, Erwins, Irwins and Connections. Memphis [Tenn.]: C. B. Johnston & Co. 1918. 78-79. (accessed November 21, 2013).

Walkup, S. H. "The Birth-Place of Andrew Jackson." North Carolina University Magazine 10, no. 5 (1891) . 225- 244. (accessed November 21, 2013).