N. Forsythe, the son, entered the freshman class at the university in 1824, and subsequently, with the acquiescence of Governor Burton, he was appointed a midshipman in the United States navy. He was on board the sloop of war, the Hornet, which was lost at sea.*
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The county seat of Forsyth preserves the name of Joseph Winston.
He was born June 17, 1746, in Louisa County, Virginia; a branch of the family, originally from Yorkshire, England, settled in Wales, and thence migrated to Virginia, where, says Alexander H. Everett, they were the most distinguished in the colony.
"Two hundred years ago," says the biographical sketch of William Winston Seaton, (of the firm of Gales & Seaton,) "five brothers, Winston, from Winston Hall, Yorkshire, England, gentlemen of fortune and family, emigrated to the colony of Virginia. These brothers were men of comely statue and appearance. They settled in Hanover County, stocking Virginia with a stalwart and prophetic race, extending to Kentucky, Mississippi, and North Carolina, in which states, to this day, they are noted for their fine personal appearance." "The family of Winstons," says Mr. Sparks, "was among the most distinguished of the colony, and the genius and eloquence of Patrick Henry may be supposed to have been transmitted through this line, from which he descended." The fiery spirit "in words that breathed and thoughts that burned," lighted the flame of liberty in the hearts of his countrymen and relations. Among them his cousin, Joseph Winston, who won renown by his military career.
Joseph Winston received a fair education, but at the age of seventeen, joined a company of rangers, under Captain Phelps, who marched from Louisa County to Jackson river, on the then frontiers, where, uniting with the command of Captain George Moffett, (making sixty men altogether,) they pursued a party of Indians between Forts Young and Dinwiddie, and were drawn into an ambuscade on September 30, 1763. They were fired on from both sides of the trail, but maintained the fight for a considerable time; at length they were overpowered by numbers and were forced to give away, scattering as best they could. Several were killed; young Winston had his horse killed under him and was himself twice wounded in the body and through the thigh, making him well nigh helpless. He managed, however, to conceal himself until the Indians had gone in pursuit of the fugitives, when a comrade fortunately came to his aid, carried him upon his back for three days, living upon wild roseberries, until at length they reached a friendly frontier cabin. Although he in time recovered, yet the ball in his body was never extracted, and occasionally caused him exquisite pain.
Early trained to arms, for he was in Braddock's defeat in 1755; in the revolution he was the early and devoted friend to the cause of independance, and co-operated with the patriots of that period in the meetings of the people.
In 1769 we find that Joseph Winston and others petitioned the Virginia authorities for a grant of 10,000 acres of land on the south side of the Guyandotte river; failing in this he emigrated to North Carolina, and settled on the town fork of the Dan, in that part of the state, now Forsyth County. In 1775, he was a member of the Hillsboro convention, which met on August 21, 1775, and erected a provisional form of government for the state, all hopes of reconciliation with the Royal government having been ended. The sword was drawn and the scabbard thrown away. In February, 1776, he was in the expedition against the Scotch tories on Cross creek. In this year he was created ranger of Surry
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