John Culbreth Blocker (1811-1890) along with his wife, Julia Ann Braddy (1815-1891) settled in eastern Cumberland County in 1841. There he built a stagecoach house and a post office. The area became known as Blockersville (later incorporated as the Town of Stedman). John and Julia raised three children: Octavius Harvey Blocker (1840-1905), Charles Henry Blocker (1842-1911), and Francis Eugene Blocker (1850-1883).
The Cumberland Plough Boys were organized on June 1, 1861 at Bethany Crossroads, which is 3 miles northwest of Stedman. The Plough Boys totally comprised of a group of farmers were originally known as the 14th North Carolina Volunteers, but the unit’s designation was later changed to the 24th North Carolina Troops, Company F. The Company’s first Commander was Captain Charles Henry Blocker. His brother, Octavius was a 1st Sergeant, but was quickly promoted to 2nd Lieutenant. The Blockers were the original inhabitants of the area we know as Stedman.
Charles Henry Blocker remained Captain of the Plough Boys until May of 1862 when he transferred to the Staff of Colonel Lamb at Fort Fisher with the 36th North Carolina. In January 1865, he was captured at Fort Fisher and confined at Fort Columbus in New York Harbor. On March 5, 1865 he was paroled. Charles Blocker married Sally Cromwell, and they raised 13 children. Before 1900, they moved to St. Petersburg, Florida.
Octavius Harvey Blocker remained with the Plough Boys until February 15, 1862 when he was appointed Captain of the 36th North Carolina, 2nd Company C. This company was stationed at Fort Fisher. Due to illness, Octavius had to resign his commission in August, 1862. Octavius married Susan Moore. They moved to Old Fort, North Carolina.
The town of Stedman incorporated many years after the Blockers left the area. However, the town’s roots can be traced back to the leaders of the Cumberland Plough Boys.