Sketches of North Carolina, Historical and Biographical, Illustrative of the Principles of a Portion of Her Early Settlers. by William Henry Foote (1846)

59

FIRST BLOOD SHED IN THE REVOLUTION.

we have said, on the banks of the Eno, near Hillsborough. General Hugh Waddel had been directed to march with the forces of Bladen and Cumberland, and to rendezvous in Salisbury, and collect the forces from the western counties, and join the governor in Orange, now Guilford. While he was encamped at Salisbury, waiting for the arrival of ammunition from Charleston, the exploit known in tradition as the Black Boys was performed by a company of men in Cabarrus county, who, lying in wait in disguise, with blackened faces, intercepted the convoy of ammunition between Charlotte and Salisbury, routed the guard, blew up the powder, and escaped unhurt.

Having crossed the Yadkin, Waddel found a large company of Regulators assembled to prevent his advance; his own men were many of them averse to violence, and others strongly in favor of the insurgents, and were falling away from his ranks. Upon receiving threats of violence if he continued to advance, in a council of officers, he determined to retreat across the Yadkin.

"GENERAL WADDEL'S CAMP,
"Potts' Creek, 10th May, 1771.

"By a Council of Officers of the Western Detachment:

"Considering the great superiority of the insurgents in number, and the resolution of a great part of their own men not to fight, it was resolved that they should retreat across the Yadkin.

"William Lindsay,
Ad' Alexander,
Thos. Neel,
Fr. Ross,
Robt. Schaw,
Griffith Rutherford,
Saml. Spencer,
Robert Harris,
Saml. Snead,
Wm. Luckie.

"May 11th, Captain Alexander made oath before Griffith Rutherford, that he had passed along the lines of the Regulators in arms, drawn up on ground he was acquainted with. The foot appeared to him to extend a quarter of a mile, seven or eight deep, and the horse to extend one hundred and twenty yards, twelve or fourteen deep."


On Waddel's retreat the Regulators pressed on him, and many of his men deserting, he reached Salisbury with a greatly diminished force, and immediately despatched a messenger to Tryon to warn him of the common danger. The governor, already alarmed at the reports that came in, of forces gathering on the Alamance, on the route to Salisbury, raised his camp immediately,



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