The Civil War in North Carolina

Reminiscences and Memoirs of North Carolina and Eminent North Carolinians

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moved to North Carolina, May, 1774. He was brother to Governor Alexander Martin, (already mentioned on page 188.) His military career is best recorded in his own statement on oath, filed in the Pension Bureau of the Government.

Stokes County. ss:

        On the 17th day of October, A. D. 1832, personally appeared in open Court before the Judge of the Superior Court of Law for the County of Stokes in the State of North Carolina, now sitting, James Martin, senior, aged ninety years in May last, who being first duly sworn according to law, doth, on his oath make the following declaration in order to obtain the benefit of the Act of Congress, passed January 7th, 1832. That he entered into the service of the United States of America in the Revolutionary war, and served as herein stated.

        In May, 1774, I removed from the State of New Jersey to Guilford County on the Dan River, and on the 22d day of April, 1774, I was appointed Colonel-Commandant of the Guilford Regiment of Militia by Samuel Johnson, President in Congress, then sitting, and afterwards made Governor of this State, and soon after there was an insurrection of the Scotch Tories in the year 1775, in and about Fayetteville. I was ordered by my brother, Alexander Martin, who was appointed Colonel of Second Regular Regiment to raise the Guilford Militia and march them to Fayette, as ordered by Congress in order to suppress them, when I accordingly went, and marched to Fayette where said Colonel Alexander Martin was placed, having been made Colonel of the Second Regiment in the regular service of the United States, but previous to my having marched there the Scotch Tories had embodied and had started to Wilmington, but were met by an armed force of Militia commanded by Colonel Caswell, and a battle ensued at a place called Moore's Bridge, and he killed their Commander as he attempted to cross said bridge, and the rest took to flight; and said Colonel Martin and myself took most of their head men and imprisoned them, and then I was ordered home with my Regiment. The time I spent in raising them, until I returned home, was about two months as near as I can recollect, for I kept no written journal.

        About the middle of June, 1776, soon after the above campaign, I was called upon the commanded by General Rutherford, of Rowan, to raise as many of the Guilford Militia as I could muster, to march them to join him at the Catawba River, and to march thence to the Cherokee towns of the Indians in order to destroy them. Accordingly I marched with about 4000 Militia men and joined the General as he ordered. Lieutenant-Colonel John Paisley assisted me to raise the men, and marched with us, and thence he marched to the Turkey Cove at the foot of the Blue Ridge, and thence crossed over it to the Swanano to Pigeon River, thence to French Broad River, and thence to Tennessee River where we came to some of their towns, which we burnt, and cut down their corn; moving from one town as we destroyed it and marched to another. Our Commissary had about 3000 beeves and pack-horses loaded with sacks of flour, and where we encamped one night the beeves and pack-horses destroyed the whole of it to the very stumps, and destroyed the grass to the bare ground.

        General Rutherford took the pick of the better half of the army and went to the "Over Hills," as they were called, and left me with the remainder of the troops to guard the provisions until he came back. He was gone about two or three weeks before he returned, but had no skirmishes with the Indians, and I believe saw none, and destroyed some of their towns as he reported; and while he was gone to the Southern Army of the Militia on the same intention, we had marched through our camp and fell into an ambuscade the Indians had made about a mile and a half from my camp and had a smart skirmish with them. I heard their guns firing very plain, and the Commander sent to me for assistance, and in the mean time I sent a Colonel Cleveland with about 150 men for his assistance, but before Cleveland got to them they had routed the Indians and killed about ten or twelve of them, and they lost about as many of their Militia men.

        I had sent out scouts every day to reconnoitre the country but never happened to fall into their ambuscades; and after having destroyed all their towns and corn we marched for home by orders from our General. A few of the Indians had skulked about our camp, and a few of our men, when they caught them out single, they killed, but had no battle with them. And from the time I received the orders
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