The Civil War in North Carolina

Reminiscences and Memoirs of North Carolina and Eminent North Carolinians

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the time I spent then from the time I received orders, was about two months.

        In 1778 or 1779, I forget which, a party of Tories commanded by one Bryan, their leader, on the Yadkin River, rose in a body in Surry County, and started to join the British at Wilmington, and being informed of it by express, I ordered out Captain Gilaspie with his Light Horse Company, and I went with them; I got on their track, pursued as far as Warry Creek and found they had got out of our reach and returned back again. The time we spent then until we returned home, was about six weeks, that is one month and fifteen days.

        We had then some relaxation until the year 1781, of better than two months, when about the 1st of July I was ordered by General Rutherford, of Rowan, to raise part of my Regiment, and to join him on his way to Wilmington to try to dislodge a British Major Craig stationed there. I raised about 200 Militia men and marched and joined him at the Raft Swamp, and hearing a number of Tories had taken refuge in it, General Rutherford took about one-half of the army and myself the other; he entered the north end of it, and I the south end. We made our way with much difficulty through bogs and morasses, and some of the men and horsemen mired, (but got out again,) but found no Tories nor anybody else, save several camps which we supposed had been made by them. Hence we proceeded towards Wilmington, but battled at a small stockade, Fort Roslea, about 20 miles from Wilmington of the southeast branch of the Cape Fear River, near Fred'k Jones, and near a bridge over it, and our army camped on the north side of it. While we contemplated to storm the said Fort we were saved the trouble and danger without fighting by their vacating, which we supposed was ordered by Maj. Craig, posted at Wilmington. At this time we heard of the capture of the British General Cornwallis, being taking by General Washington at Yorktown, near the mouth of James river. We marched then to the town of Wilmington which we found was vacated by the British Major Craig, and supposed it was by the order of his British General--I think his name was Clinton, to leave the State and come to him, and we thought it very lucky by their vacating the town we were released from the danger of fighting, so we were ordered home again. And the time we spent on this campaign was from about the 1st of July until we got home again, the 25th November, the same year, 1781, was about four months. The whole time I was in the service was sixteen months and eleven days; this from my best recollection of memory, for I kept no written journal.

        JAS. MARTIN.

        Sworn and subscribed in open Court the year and day aforesaid, this 17th day of October, 1832.


        This terminated his military career. He represented Stokes County in the Legislature in 1791 and 1792. He left an interesting family; one of them was Judge James Martin, already mentioned, page 400.

        John Martin, a native of Essex County, Virginia, moved to North Carolina, in 1768. He was active in Revolutionary times, subduing the Tories, and making forays on them. In politics as in war, he was active, spirited, and successful. He represented Stokes County in the Legislatures of 1798, 1799, 1811 and 1812. He, like Yorick, was "a fellow of infinite jest, of most excellent humor." He died in April, 1822, and left many children to inherit his genial wit and humor. The mother of General John Gray Bynum and of Judge W. Preston Bynum was his daughter.

        [Sketch of Joseph Winston will be found on page 168, that of Benjamin Forsythe on page 167. Both illustrious residents of this County.]

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