|Birth: ||Nov. 28, 1823|
|Death: ||Mar. 18, 1892|
West Virginia, USA
Birth: 28 Nov 1823 in Clover Run, Tucker Co., VA
Death: 18 Mar 1892 in Elkins, Grant, West Virginia
Burial: Tucker Co., WV
Note: Tucker County was in Virginia, when Ezekiel was born, but now that area is in West Virginia.
Father: John Adam HARPER b: 4 Apr 1779 in Pendleton Co., (W)VA
Mother: Margaret WAMSLEY b: 4 Feb 1785
Ezekiel was the 10th child of Adam and Margaret Wamsley Harper. He had 4 older brothers, Adam died as a child, Jacob Watson died of Cholera while in route to California in 1853, William J was a scout and guide and led Imboden into Saint George on his second raid in November 1862, and also served like his brother Zeke on detached service. He was listed as a peddler in the 1850 census and Lemuel. None of the Adam Harper sons married.
Zeke was born on Clover Run in Tucker County. He was destined for great adventures. He tried unsuccessfully to enter the Mexican War, then joined the California gold rush, traveling overland by covered wagon, ox, mule, horse and afoot, often alone and taking a year to get there. He panned for gold on the American River for two year, fought Indians the entire time and became adept at scouting, hunting and fighting. On one occasion he is said to have led a picked squad of thirty gold miners against a band of Indians that had killed, plundered and destroyed a mining camp, following seven miles into the wilderness, killing five on the first volley, utterly routing the remainder and recovering the stolen plunder of the camp. Returning on ship in 1852, he walked across the Isthmus of Nicaragua, shooting crocodiles, boas and other reptiles. After visiting his parents in the spring of 1852, he returned to the West Coast in the autumn and remained there 4 more years roaming over the far west. He returned to Tucker County in 1860. In 1861, he joined the confederacy as a scout and guide and was accepted and continued in this capacity with many narrow escapes from death. Once in Pendleton County the Federals got on three sides of him, killed his horse and two of his companions, but he killed the nearest Federal and escaped through the fourth side. For this feat he was made Captain of a Ranger Company. Soon afterward he enlisted in the Confederate Army with his brother Bill, but both were kept on detached service. In May 1862, he was sent to Beverly to feign and attack and detract the Federals from moving to the assistance of Milroy in Highland County. He crossed the mountains with 20 men, using no discretion as to silence and surveillance, forgetting all about the Swamp Dragons. Harper and his men attacked Hart's Store, a mile and a half below Beverly in a noisy event and stopped near Isaac Taylor's on Shavers Mountain to cook and eat a sheep and deer they had killed. They stacked their arms and were eating when the Swamp Dragons charged in, captured most of the guns, drove the Confederated off and ate the supper themselves. The Swamp Dragons followed them to the Dry Fork and up Gandy Creek were they pulled a repeat performance the next night at supper. This time they captured all the remaining arms but a single musket, scattering them through the woods, unarmed and hungry and again eating their supper. Zeke never got over this blunder. In November 1863, Zeke was sent into Tucker County on a spying mission which he accomplished and then went to visit his parents. Someone informed the Federals and he wasn't home over 10 minutes before the house was surrounded. He tried to escape by the rear door, but was confronted and ordered to surrender. Seeing the impossibility of escape and the uselessness of resistance, he unbuckled his belt and let his pistols fall to the ground and became a prisoner of war. He went through a succession of military prisons including Camp Chase, Ohio where his record shows him as 5'7", Florid complexion, blue eyes and dark hair. His service shows as Private in Co A, 19th VA Cavalry. His cousin Nicholas Miles and Uncle Sylvannus were also imprisoned at Camp Chase at a later date. While Zeke was a prisoner, he saw 15 prisoners shot to death for building a fire on December 31, 1863 to keep warm. He was sent to Rock Island prison in Illinois in February of 1864 and found conditions there just as bad. He and other prisoners were chained and often marched in the streets of Chicago and Wheeling as examples of what would happen to those who fought on the southern side. In the later part of 1865, he and several others were taken to Virginia and released along the James River, within sight of the Confederate line. Official records show a Prisoner exchange 15 Feb 1865 for Allen Gibson Private in Kirkpatricks Batallion. Soon afterward the war ended, Zeke returned to his Clover Run home. Zeke made one more trip to California after the war and traveled extensively through most of the western states before returning to Clover Run to settle down as a farmer, merchant and practitioner of elementary medicine. He had no license as a doctor but gained a wide reputation for relieving the common ailments in a rural community. He owned 4,500 acres of land on the water of Clover Run and served a term as a Commissioner of the County Court. In 1867 he employed Salathiel M. Callihan to build a large residence for him on the left Fork of Clover Run about four miles from Parsons. Remembering his capture by the Yankees, he had a secret underground tunnel constructed from the cellar to his new home to Clover Run about a hundred yards away. This tunnel was lined with hand tooled stone and there was so much of it that when the Forest Service secured the property in the 1930's, they had enough stone from the tunnel and the chimneys to erect the elaborate gateways to the Monongahela National Forest on U. S. Highway 33, between Elkins and the east.
In March 1892 when it was cold and stormy, some robbers came to his isolated farmhouse, broke in and robbed him, clubbed him into unconsciousness and dumped him in an outhouse, where he lay for several hours before being found. He as 68 years old and died March 18. The robbers were never found. He is buried on a little knoll near his old residence on Clover Run where his parents and baby brother Adam Jr are buried. (Information gleaned from Census records, grave records, Maxwell's History of Tucker County, WV, Morton's History of Pendleton County, Maxwell's History of Randolph County, WV, a Guide to Virginia Military Organizations 1861-1865, Confederate Service Records, and family history records and stories.
Adam Harper (1779 - 1870)
Margaret Wamsley Harper (1785 - 1871)
Susannah Harper Parsons (1808 - 1895)*
Eunice Harper Wamsley (1810 - 1869)*
Mary Harper Wamsley (1812 - 1873)*
Ruth Harper Harper (1815 - 1907)*
Adam Harper (1821 - 1826)*
Ezekiel Harper (1823 - 1892)
Sallie E. Harper Scott (1825 - 1912)*
Jerome Harper (1826 - 1874)*
Jonathan Watson Harper (1832 - 1909)*
Adam Harper Cemetery
West Virginia, USA
Maintained by: chris clapsadle
Originally Created by: Zoe Tom
Record added: Jul 15, 2011
Find A Grave Memorial# 73383613
Thank you for your service.|
Added: Jun. 24, 2016
Son of the south, Company A, 19th Cavalry, Virginia CSA.|
Added: Jan. 1, 2016