The Civil War in North Carolina

Reminiscences and Memoirs of North Carolina and Eminent North Carolinians

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        That his resignation was not produced by any abatement of his zeal for the cause of his country, is shown by the following, the original of which is in my possession:


Oct. 11th, 1780.


        I have the pleasure to inform you that on Saturday last, the noted Colonel Ferguson with 150 men fell on King's Mountain, 800 taken prisoner, and 1,500 stand of arms.

        "Cleaveland and Campbell commanded. A glorious affair. In a few days we will be in Charlotte, and I will take possession of my house and his Lordship take the woods.

I am Gentlemen,
with respect your humble servant,


        He was appointed in 1781, Brigadier General to succeed the lamented General Davidson, who fell at Cowan's Ford, in battle.

        He died in Charlotte in 1793, and lies buried in the churchyard of the Presbyterian Church.

        He married Susan Spratt and left several children.

        I. Ezekiel.

        II. Charles married Miss Alexander, whose son Thomas Independence Polk, so named by his father because born on the 20th of May, (prior to 1790) married Sarah Moore, and was the father of Horace M. Polk and Charles Polk.

        III. William Polk, whose biography we have given (see page--) was another son, killed at Eutaw or Cane Creek.

        IV. James.

        General Polk, after the Revolution, purchased of the disbanded soldiers the land warrants issued by the State for military services, and died possessed of princely estates, which his sons inherited, but did not improve. They loved fun and frolic better than study or work. Two of them settled in Sumter District, South Carolina; married and died there, leaving no family.

        His son, Ezekiel Polk, who was also a member of the Convention of May 20, 1775 (see certificate of Captain Jack, who was present, and bore the proceedings of the Convention to Philadelphia American Archives, 4th series, 2d volume, 858), and although partaking of the wild and frolicsome spirit of the age in which he lived, was brave and patriotic. He commanded a company in 1775, in the 3rd Regiment, South Carolina State Troops, Colonel William Thompson, and marched to subdue the Tories at "96," and was in a severe engagement on December 22d, 1775, at Cane Creek. His nephew, William, was an official in this company, and was severely wounded (see declaration of Colonel Polk). Here his brother was killed.

        He was elected a Member of the Legislature from Mecklenburg, in 1792-93-94 with General Joseph Graham, and William Graham, as colleagues. Ezekiel was reckless as well as frolicsome.

        "I heard," says Dr. Joseph Johnson, in his 'Traditions and Reminiscences of the American Revolution in the South' (page 85) of one instance told by himself: 'I was driving my wagon with another young man, a friend. We had just finished our dinner and had each taken a good stiff drink, when a gentleman rode up in a sulky. We concluded to have some fun. We asked him to alight and take a drink. He did so. We then told him that it was 'a way we had' to make strangers dance for us. Then we commenced cracking our whips about his legs, for music to cheer him up. As he seemed to take it gently and when we stopped the music, he stopped the dance. He then said after such a jig, we must have another drink with him, this time and while he was opening his sulkybox we dropped our whips, preparing to join him, instead of producing a bottle, he drew a pair of loaded pistols, and cocking them, presented them at us, with a look of earnestness that showed he meant business. He said that we must dance for him, or pay the piper. At it we went; while he whistled a rapid time, a
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