The Appalachian area of North Carolina found its citizens of divided loyalties. Yancey County, North Carolina actually split, with the eastern part breaking away and forming the pro-Confederate county of Mitchell. As the Civil War continued, the government showed its ineffectualness, and food became short, the residence became violent against one another.
In late 1862 Union sympathizer and Confederate deserters of the Shelton Laurel Valley in Madison County, North Carolina decided to take matters into their own hands. Looking for promised government rations the grouped moved into Marshall, North Carolina where they made raids on private homes. The men stole from and destroyed houses along the way. They took the home of Confederate Colonel Lawrence Allen; who commanded the 64th North Carolina. Allen wasn’t home, but the group of men intimidated his wife and children, and took all their food and other supplies.
The citizens of Marshall were infuriated, and they went after the men, hunting them down in the Shelton Laurel Valley. Most of the men fled, but on January 19th 1863 fifteen men from the age of 15 to 60 were rounded up. The men were started back to Marshall. Somewhere along the way two of the Shelton Laurel Valley group escaped. The rest of the men were lined up and executed their bodies place in a shallow grave.
When the residents of Shelton Laurel learned of the massacre, they removed their men from the quickly dug grave. The bodies where decently buried in a single grave by their families.