Whispers of the Long Departed

Untold History of Southern Craven County, N.C.

by Edward Barnes Ellis

Non Fiction: Historical 


McBryde Publishing's newest release "Whispers of the Long Departed: Untold History of Southern Craven County, N.C." has won the top annual award from the North Carolina Society of Historians.

Selected from among more than 30 entries by authors and historians statewide, "Whispers" received the prestigious NCSH President's Award.

The book chronicles the story of southern Craven County from the early 1700s to World War II. The North Carolina Society of Historians was founded in 1941 to collect and preserve North Carolina history, traditions, artifacts, genealogy, and folklore.


Secrets of our past … declassified.  Herein the reader will find the carefully documented and previously undisclosed story of southern Craven County, dating from before the founding of New Bern through the 1940s. And, told for the first time, how the thriving biracial society on the Neuse River’s south shore was radically transformed by both the Civil War and the arrival of Cherry Point Marine Corps Air Station.

The author carefully documents that the Civil War Battle of New Bern began on March 13, 1862, the day before the fall of the city to Union troops under General Ambrose Burnside. An entire chapter is dedicated to the story of the clandestine operations of Rebel spies within occupied New Bern and throughout the counties of Craven, Carteret, Pamlico, and Lenoir.

More than half of Craven County's population has been African American throughout its long history. "Whispers of the Long Departed" chronicles the Black History of the area covering the lives of the people in and out of slavery.

It's replete with rare cemetery, obituary, property, and census records, lists of geographical names and location, and rich genealogical material spanning 300 years, all beneficial for researchers. Areas covered from the early 1700s to the 1940s include the Neuse River, Slocum Creek, Hancock Creek, Clubfoot Creek, Adam's Creek, Havelock, Cherry Point, James City, Thurman, Riverdale, Croatan, Pine Grove, Harlowe, Bachelor, Blades, Camp Bryan, and more. With additional historical information on New Bern, Newport, Morehead City, and Beaufort.

New Bern is such a bright historical sun that it dims all the other stars in the firmament around it. It’s only natural that the colonial capital, “The Athens of North Carolina,” has garnered the bulk of the scholarship and study since the 1700s. Now, Edward Ellis, the gifted storyteller of New Bern History 101, floods new light upon the Neuse River’s south shore through the revelation of amazing stories previously unknown and untold. Written by an award-winning journalist, author, and historical sleuth, Whispers of the Long Departed is the culmination of a lifetime dedicated to the research of southern Craven County and its people, both black and white, who have lived, loved, struggled, and triumphed there from the earliest days of America. Ellis succeeds again for his readers who say his conversational style makes history both highly readable and enlightening.

The book offers more than 200 illustrations including 22 original and antique maps plus rare historical photographs and artwork.




Latest Critiques


Regular Retail Price