Montesque Campbell Nixon of North Carolina


Half plate ambrotype of Captain Montesque Campbell Nixon of Company I, 1st Regiment North Carolina Junior Reserves by an unknown photographer

Montesque Campbell Nixon (1848-1869) enlisted on 1 October 1861 as a private in Howard’s (William C. Howard) North Carolina Cavalry Company.  This company was “to be employed for the defense of the city of Wilmington and its vicinity extending to the sea coast”.  He mustered out on 7 June 1862.  Nixon became the captain of a company of Junior Reserves in Broadfoot’s 1st Battalion North Carolina Junior Reserves on May 18, 1864 at Camp Holmes.  This unit later became Company I of the 1st North Carolina Junior Reserves.  They mustered into Confederate service on July 16, 1864.  He required a hospital transfer on February 8, 1865 and was admitted to C.S.A. General Hospital No. 3 in Greensboro, North Carolina due to typhoid fever on February 13.  He reportedly returned to duty March 8 but is listed on a roll of personnel paroled on April 26, 1865 after the surrender of General Joseph E. Johnston’s army while at Hospital No. 2 in Greensboro.

Nixon was the son of Hiram R. and Eliza Nixon of Wilmington (New Hanover County), North Carolina.  After the war, he apparently owned a local package transportation service (“Monte” Nixon’s Express, Wilmington Daily Dispatch, March 5, 1866 and The Daily Standard, Raleigh, NC June 10, 1869) in Wilmington.  Also advertised as the City Express Wagon, it was managed by Mr. S. Bowden and was promoted to take parcels and packages to and from the railroad depots and steamboat landings.  He died in Goldsboro on June 3, 1869 (The Wilmington Morning Star, June 6, 1869).
He likely died of consumption as a future obituary of a sibling notes that all Ms. Eliza Nixon’s children died of consumption.

Hiram R. Nixon owned a livery stables in Wilmington at the corner of Princess and Third streets, across from the courthouse. He was also noted an “inspector of provisions” in the 1860 Federal Census. Apparently quite the entrepreneur, it is noted in the August 15, 1855 Weekly Standard (Raleigh, N.C.) that he opened a new hotel in Goldsboro.

Montesque Campbell was named after his uncle of the same name.  The elder M.C. Nixon was a planter and owned Oakley plantation on Topsail Sound.  He apparently considered moving west in 1844 as newspaper ads reported that Oakley was for sale. It is described in the ad as “12 miles and a half from Wilmington on Topsail Sound, containing 400 acres…, the dwelling house is situated on a high bluff, overlooking the ocean, with a fine inlet in front”. He also apparently had a home in Wilmington on Princess Street between 8th and 9th streets. He died November 26, 1893 at the age of 78 at the home of his daughter in Wilmington, Mrs. S.H. Burtt. He is buried at Bellevue Cemetery.


Sixth plate daguerreotype of Montesque Campbell Nixon of Topsail Island, North Carolina

Based on a letter that accompanied the image of the younger Nixon, it was passed down through Nixon’s nice, Ms. Hattie Dillon. Hattie was the daughter of Nina A. Nixon and Dan Dillon (married February 5, 1873 in Wayne County). Hattie was born in 1876.   Nina and Dan had a son, Richard Nixon Dillon, who died at 5 months of age on June 20, 1874. Nina died on February 16, 1882 at age 25 due to consumption. The obituary from the Goldsboro Messenger of February 20, 1882 notes that Nina was the last of five children of Eliza Nixon that died of consumption. Although Hattie is not mentioned by name in the obituary, it was noted that she left a six-year old daughter.   Hattie apparently never married and lived for a period in Raleigh (The Goldsboro Headlight, February 6, 1896) in the late 1800’s before moving back to Goldsboro. There are numerous newspaper clippings from the early 1900’s in which she is attempting to rent and then sell her property and lots on the corner of John and Oak streets in Goldsboro.

The young Montesque Campbell’s grandfather was Nicholas Nixon (1763-1843). He married Nancy Ann Nichols on 13 July 1979 in New Hanover County. In addition to Hiram and the elder Montesque Campbell, they had a few other children including planters Nicholas Nichols Nixon (1800-1868), Jeremiah Nixon, and Robert Burns Nixon (1788-1839).

The elder Nicholas is buried in the Nixon Cemetery in Hampstead, Pender County, North Carolina. There are reportedly six Nixon cemeteries near the Sloop Point and Woodside areas in Hampstead.

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