The Civil War in North Carolina

Reminiscences and Memoirs of North Carolina and Eminent North Carolinians

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great fire, everyone buffeting and deriding him till he expires."

        This cruel fate was fearfully realized by Lawson and his negro servant, and would have been by his associate, the Baron De Graaffenreidt, whose life was only saved by his fine appearance, and because he wore a gold medal which the Indians thought was an indication of high rank.

        Colonel Moore, of whom we have already written, closed this war by marching into Carteret, and completely subduing the savages in a decisive battle near the present town of Beaufort. Here, within "the sound of the church-going bells," occured the last desperate struggle of the red man in this section for dominion over his native soil, which he could not, and ought not hold.

        In 1712, a fort was built on Core Sound, named in honor of Governor Hyde, to protect the inhabitants.

        There are many names connected with Carteret worthy of record, as the Bells, Fullers, Bordens, Hellens, Marshalls, Sheppard, Piggots, Wards, and others.

        Otway Burns, who represented this county often, (1822 to 1834,) is worthy of our memory. His name is more securely preserved in the capital of the County of Yancey. He represented Carteret County in the state senate, when (1834) Yancey County was erected. Doubtless the compliment secured his ready advocacy for its formation.

        He came to Beaufort from Onslow County, where he was born, when quite young, and engaged in a seafaring life. He became a captain on a coasting vessel plying between Beaufort and New York.

        When the war of 1812 commenced, he obtained from the Government of the United States, letters of marque and reprisal, and built, through the aid of several wealthy persons, as a stock company, a fast sailing ship; on her he bestowed the name of "Snap Dragon," and she was fully armed and equipped with cannon, guns, and men.

        The swiftness of the vessel, the skill with which she was managed by Burns, his intimate knowledge of the dreaded and dangerous coast of Carolina, and the daring of a chosen crew of men, soon made the name of Otway Burns a terror to all the British in American waters.

        He captured and destroyed a large number of English prizes, and amassed fortunes for himself and his compatriots.

        He brought into Beaufort heavy cargoes of valuables, and established quite a market for the merchants of all eastern Carolina. His house was but a short distance from the present Atlantic Hotel, on the top of which he established an observatory, from which he, by aid of a spy-glass, commanded an extensive view of the ocean. Here would the daring sailor watch and wait, while his ship was kept with a ready crew and anchor tripped. When ever he espied a vessel sailing under English colors, he would hurry up the "Snap Dragon" and pursue the prize. From the sailing qualities of his ship, Burns would soon overhaul and capture the pursued vessel.

        Such was the damage done by Captain Burns to the commerce of England, that the British Council held consultations to devise some means for his capture. Finally, they ordered the construction of a fast sailing vessel, fully armed, with a large crew, but built as a merchant ship. This ship met our gallant "tar heel" on the coast, and by a ruse, captured him and his crew without firing a gun. The Englishman, rigged as a merchantman, with his guns concealed as well as his crew, suffered the "Snap Dragon" to run alongside, and hauled down his colors in token of surrender. As Burns and his men commenced to board the prize, her guns were run out and manned by the crew, who suddenly appeared on deck, and the harmless merchantman was presto converted into a terrible man-of-war, with shotted
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