The Civil War in North Carolina

Reminiscences and Memoirs of North Carolina and Eminent North Carolinians

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and thus yoked together man and beast, the crest fallen thirteen were marched ahead of their captor to the British camp. A sorry enough spectacle, truly!

        A fiery, passionate man, Col. Shepperd's rage and mortification were indescribable. His desire to capture Patton became a perfect frenzy, and he bent all his energy to its accomplishment.

        If a man will, he can, generally; and Col. Sheppard's hour came at last.

        Not very long after the disgraceful capture of his men, there was to be a sale in the neighborhood. People had submitted, if they were not subdued, Patton rode or walked through the land a very Lord Paramount, and none dared gainsay or resist. He was going to attend the sale, not as a bidder, but to take vi et armiswhatever he saw fit. Shepperd stationed some of his men below, and above the point of attack that he had selected, early on the day of the sale, and then dressed like a common farmer, as he always did, and with a loose halter over his arm, he mounted his horse and took a bridle path through the woods that would bring him out into the road that Patton must take to reach the sale. A house occupied by a man named Smith was on the left of the road, above the lower ambuscade of Shepperd's men.

        Down the road came Patton riding a superb black mare, dressed in full British uniform, and presenting a very brillant and splendid appearance. He was tall, large, and superbly handsome, and in courage and high soldierly qualities fully Shepperd's equal. As he rode gallantly on in all the pride of conscious beauty and power, out of a bridle path to his right rode a small ill-favored man, who saluting him awkwardly, as he rode alongside, said: "I bought some colts not long ago from a man named Smith, who lives somewhere on this road, and they have strayed away, and I expect they have gone back to their old home, so I am looking for them. Can you tell me where Smith lives?"

        "Oh, yes," said Patton carelessly, raising his right arm and pointing across the road, "he lives across the road yonder." He had turned his face as he spoke, and in that instant a pair of wiry arms were clasped around him like a vice, and a small piping voice cried out, "Col. Patton, you are my prisoner, sir." Patton was a stammerer in his speech, and he stuttered out, angrily. "It is a damned lie, sir. I am no man's prisoner;" struggling desperately to loose himself. He had not reckoned on the immense strength hidden away in the small body of his captor, and his efforts availing nothing. Drawing his sword with his left hand he essayed to cut himself loose, but Shepperd was so small, and so close to him that the slashes did not touch him. Patton shortened his sowrd, and cut and thrust mercilessly until the arm that pinioned him was gashed and stabbed in a dozen places, but the resolute little Colonel never flinched. This, though long in the telling, occupied only a moment, and the horses feeling loose bridles on their necks broke and ran, landing both riders in the road. Patton being the heaviest fell underneath, and when Shepperd's troopers came hurrying up, attracted by the riderless horses passing them, for everybody knew Patton's black mare, a superb English thoroughbred, they found the stubborn little Colonel holding his prostrate foe in an embrace that seemed riveted like bands of steel.

        The arrival of reinforcements made the contest hopeless for Patton, who had been badly hurt by his heavy fall, and he said: "I surrender, and claim the usage of a soldier and a gentleman." Shepperd at once relieved him, and when Patton was helped to his feet, he held out his sword and said: "To whom do I surrender?" "Col. William Shepperd, sir," answered
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