First Generation


1A. Capt. Elijah WILLCOCKSON.1,2 Born on 24 Jul 1789 in Ashe Co., North Carolina.3,4 Elijah was the son of Samuel WILLCOCKSON (ca 1755- 16 Sep 1825 ) & Anna JORDAN (7 Jun 1756 - 21 Mar 1840). Samuel Willcockson was a son of John WILLCOCKSON & Sarah BOONE, and a nephew of Daniel Boone. Elijah immigrated with his family in 1815 to Kentucky from North Carolina. Resided in Kentucky in 1815 to 1830. They then immigrated in 1830 to Fulton Co., Illinois from Kentucky. Elijah died in Fulton Co., Illinois on 3 Jul 1860; he was 70.4,1 Buried in Wilcoxen Cemetery, near Bryant, southeast of Lewiston, Fulton Co., Illinois. Tombstone states he is nephew of Daniel Boone; he was actually his great-nephew. Occupation: farmer. Alias/AKA: Wilcoxson, Wilcoxon.

On 21 Nov 1811 in North Carolina1,2 when Elijah was 22, he married 1B. Charlotte CALLOWAY,3,2,1 19, a daughter of Elijah CALLOWAY (12 Oct 1769-3 Mar 1847) & Mary CUTBIRTH (ca 1770-17 Dec 1843). Elijah Calloway served as a member of the North Carolina Legislature for thirteen years. Mary Cutbirth was a daughter of famed long-hunter Benjamin CUTBIRTH & Elizabeth WILLCOCKSON, a granddaughter of John WILLCOCKSON & Sarah BOONE, and a grandniece of Daniel Boone. Charlotte was born on 1 Apr 1792 in Ashe (or Wilkes according to Spraker) Co., North Carolina.4,2  Charlotte immigrated with her family in 1815 to Kentucky from North Carolina. They then immigrated in 1830 to Fulton Co., Illinois from Kentucky.1 Charlotte died in Fulton Co., Ilinois on 18 Jun 1875; she was 83.4 Buried in Wilcoxen Cemetery, near Bryant, southeast of Lewiston, Fulton Co., Illinois. Alias/AKA: Charlotte CALLAWAY,2 Charlotte CALLOWAY.1

The book King's Mountain and Its Heroes documents the feisty resistance of Charlotte's mother Mary Cutbirth, then a young girl, and of the whole Cutbirth family when British officers abusively invaded their home during the War of the Revolution. Mary's father Benjamin Cutbirth, a close friend and fellow long-hunter of Daniel Boone, was the first pioneer to reach the Mississippi River from the East.

Charlotte and Elijah were first cousins, once removed. That is to say, her mother Mary Cutbirth was Elijah Willcockson's first cousin.

They had the following children:
2 i. Zerilda "Jane" (1812-1874)
3 ii. Jesse Boone (1813-1872)
4 iii. Nancy M. (>1811-1883)
5 iv. Mary Emaline (>1811-1894)
6 v. Elijah Calloway (1817-1872)
7 vi. Andrew Jackson (1818-1884)
8 vii. Elizabeth Caroline (1824-1863)
9 viii. Anna Adeline (1825-1904)
10 ix. Marshall Ney (1827-1901)
11 x. James Calvin (1829->1879)
12 xi. America (>1811-1884)
13 xii. Jeremiah F. (1833-1912)
14 xiii. Isaiah M. (Died as Child) (>1811-<1850)
15 xiv. Charlotte (Died as Child) (>1811-~1825)

The following excerpts are from Dorothy Ford Wulfeck, M.A., Wilcoxson and Allied Families (Willcockson, Wilcoxen, Wilcox), 1958:1


      In 1861, Jeremiah F. Willcoxen wrote from Canton, Ill., to Lyman C. Draper (Draper Mss 23 CC 47) stating, in part, "You say you was informed that my Father was a nephew of Col. Boon. He was a Grand nephew of Col. Boon, being a son of Samuel Willcockson who was a son of John and Sarah Willcockson, formerly Sarah Boon; a sister of Col. Boon. John Willcockson & Sarah Boon was married in North Carolina (we are not in possession of the date.) He died in Roann County N. Carolina. After which She removed to Kentucky with her Grandson (Jesse Boon Willcockson) with whom she lived till her death which took place in the year 1814 at the age of about 97 years."


      A list of the children of John and Sarah (Boone) Willcockson was given in a letter by Jeremiah Wilcoxen, grandson of Samuel Willcockson, to Lyman C. Draper. (Draper Mss 23 CC 49)
                                                                                                                  "Postmarked" Canton, Ill.
                                                                                                                  April 18th, 1861
Mr. Draper - Dear Sir:
      I received yours of the 5th inst and will proceed to answer your questions as nearly as Mother [Charlotte (Calloway) Wilcoxen] can remember. (as we are not in possession of the family record so far back)
      1st Grandfather had 6 brothers and 4 sisters all older than himself except one and his name was William. The names of the older ones were John, George, Isaac, Daniel Jr., Israel (Israel was killed by the Indians at Boonesborough, Ky.) Elizabeth, she married Benjamin Cutbirth, Mary married Walker, Rachel married William Bryant, Sarah married Thomas Hagans.
      2nd Great grandfather was a native of Wales.
      3rd Uncle Jesse B. Willcoxen lived in Madison County Ky he is not living he has been dead about thiry five years.
      4th John Willcoxen's children are none living.
      5th Grandfather's Brother Daniel died in Kentucky but we do not know whether he was the one you refer to or not We do not know anything of his family.
.   .    .   .    .   .    .   .    .   .    .   .    .   .    .   .
                                                                                                                  Very respectfully Yours
                                                                                                                        J. F. Willcoxen

The following is from Hazel Atterbury Spraker, The Boone Family, Rutland, Vermont, 1922, reprinted by the Genealogical Publishing Company, Baltimore, 1974 [p. 240]2
901. CHARLOTTE CALLAWAY (Mary7 Cutbirth; Elizabeth6 Wilcoxson; Sarah5 Boone; Squire4; George3), of Wilks Co., N. C.
     Married 1811 Elijah Wilcoxson (b. 1790; d. 1870), son of Samuel Wilcoxson (b. 1760; d. 1825; m. 1788), and his wife Anna Jordan (b. 1765; d. 1853).
     They settled in Fulton Co., Ill. (and it is thought their P. O. was Lexington), where they raised a family, but the name of only one child is known.

                    1978 Zerelda Wilcoxson, b. 4 Aug., 1812; d. 1874; m. 1830, Moses A. Johnson
                                (b. 1807; d. 1851), grandson of Amos Johnson, a Rev. soldier, b. 1756.
                                (See Mass. in the War of the Revolution, Vol. VIII, p. 815.)

The following is from Dorothy Ford Wulfeck, M.A., Wilcoxson and Allied Families (Willcockson, Wilcoxen, Wilcox), privately printed by Commercial Service, Waterbury, Connecticut, 1958 [p.67]:1
71. ELIJAH WILLCOCKSON (Samuel3, John2,      ) b.24 July, 1789, N. C.; d. 3 July, 1860, Fulton Co., Ill.; m. 21 Nov., 1811, Charlotte Calloway (No.193 [SIC, should be 194]) b.1 April, 1792, N. C.; d. 18 June, 1875; both bur. in the Wilcoxen Cemetery near Bryant, Ill. On his tombstone, southeast of Lewistown, Ill., were inscribed the dates of birth and death and the statement "nephew of Daniel Boone." Pictures of both tombstones are on file at D. A. R. National Headquarters. He farmed in Kentucky from 1815 to 1830 when he moved to Illinois. He served in the War of 1812 and two years in the Black Hawk War as a lieutenant and was discharged as a Captain. He held many civic positions in his community. At the time of his death, twelve of his children attended his funeral and his posterity numbered 114. A son and daughter died young. His will, dated 1 May 1852, Fulton Co., Ill., is signed Elijah Willcockson and was witnessed by Andrew J. Willcockson, William Hummel and Marshall N. Willcockson It was probated there, 13 July, 1860, by Jesse B. Willcockson and Elijah C. Willcockson. It is not known when they changed the spelling to "Wilcoxen."
     +319 Zerilda Wilcoxen
     +320 Jesse Boone Wilcoxen
     +321 Nance M. Wilcoxen
     +322 Elijah Calloway Wilcoxen
       323 Mary E. Wilcoxen, d. 24 Feb., 1894; m. 3 May, 1838, Isaac Cope.
       324 Andrew J. Wilcoxen, b. 7 Dec., 1818, Estill Co., Ky.; d. 22 March,
                    1884; m. 20 June, 1839, Mary J. Grigsby. He opened a large farm
                    in Liverpool Twp., on which he built a fine brick house, with other
                    improvements. He sold out and moved to California. After a few
                    years, he returned to Fulton Co., Ill. but later sold out again and
                    moved to Arizona where he was farming and raising stock in 1879.
     +325 Elizabeth C. Wilcoxen
     +326 Anna Adeline Wilcoxen
     +327 James Calvin Wilcoxen
     +328 America Wilcoxen
     +329 Marshall Ney Wilcoxen
     +330 Jeremiah F. Wilcoxen
        Isaiah M. Wilcoxen, d. young.
       332 Charlotte Wilcoxen, d. age 12.
The following is from Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois and History of Fulton County, Munsell Publishing Co., Chicago, 1908:29

WILLCOXEN, Captain Elijah (deceased)
One of the most prominent pioneers of Fulton County, was born in 1789 in Ashe County, NC, where he was reared. There he married Charlotte CALLAWAY, a daughter of Colonel Elijah Callaway, one of the leading statesmen of that part of the country, and otherwise connected with some of the best families of the South.

The father of Captain Willcoxen was a nephew of Daniel BOONE. In 1815 the Captain moved from NC to Estill Co., KY. He had been a soldier in the War of 1812. He remained in Kentucky until about the year 1830, and them moved to Liverpool Twp., Fulton Co., IL where he bought a farm in Section 5, which is now occupied by Jerry F. Willcoxen, who is next to the youngest of his sons. Captain Willcoxen purchased additional land in that vicinity, and finally accumulated more than 1000 acres in one body of which he gave each of his sons 160 acres. He died July 3, 1860, at the age of 71 years, and his wife passed away in 1875, when 84 years.

Captain Willcoxen and his wife were the parents of fourteen children, of whom twelve survived the period of infancy. These and their children, about seventy in all, were present at his funeral. His offspring were as follows:

Zerilda, deceased, who was the wife of Moses JOHNSON and left a
      family. Jesse B., deceased Nancy M., deceased, who was the wife of William HUMMELL, also
      deceased, and who left a family consisting of Mrs. WHITENACK
      and Jesse B., of Putman Twp. Elijah C., deceased, who married Prudence PUTMAN, also deceased.
Mary C., deceased, who married Isaac COPE also deceased
Andrew J., deceased husband of Mary GRIGSBY, who is living in
      Los Angeles, CA at the ripe age of ninety years.
Mary E.
Annie A.
Marshall N. (all three deceased)
James C., who resides in South Dakota
Charlotte, who died at the age of twelve years
A son who died in Kentucky at the age of two years.
Jerry F., who occupies the original homestead farm in Sect. 5,
      Liverpool Twp.
America, deceased, who wedded Joseph Jacobs, also deceased and
      left a family of children.

Of those above mentioned, Jesse B. was twice married. His 1st wife was Priscilla STUFFLEBEAM, and his 2nd wife was Margaret SMITH, who still survives, and is a resident of Joshua Twp., Fulton County. She is in receipt of a pension as the widow of a soldier in the Black Hawk War.

Mary E. became the wife of William Smith, deceased of Banner Twp., one of the leading men of that community. They left a large family.

Annie A., 1st married Appleton VAIL, deceased, of Bernadotte Twp. by whom she had one son, Joseph, who is engaged in farming in Liverpool Twp. She married 2nd George W. RAY, who carries on farming in the same township.

Marshall N. married Harriet LASSWELL, deceased, and left a family of ten children.

James C. was twice married. His first wife was Clara PUTMAN, deceased. He next married Alice HAIR, of Lewistown, IL, and is now a resident of Black Hawk, SD.

Elijah Willcoxen was a hero of two wars. Having rendered his country meritorious service in his youth, in the second conflict with Great Britain, he was still ready to answer her call after becoming a citizen of IL, and served two years in the Black Hawk War. During the first year he held the rank of First Lt., and in the last year he was Captain with headquarters at Peoria. He accompanied Abraham Lincoln on the expedition into the Rock River region. Some of the relics then secured by him, among them a sword and a pistol, are still in the possession of the family. Besides the fighting tribes, scattered Indians were then numerous in that region.

Captain Willcoxen was in all respects a typical American citizen of the transition period of the Middle West. He was distinguished by those sturdy traits of character and rugged virtues that fitted the pioneers for the arduous and hazardous task confronting them.

Brave, resolute, tenacious, persevering, he was equipped by nature with those potent qualities of head and heart that enabled the first settlers to wrest the untrodden wilds from their primitive condition and lay them as a trophy in the lap of civilization. He was endowed with such traits that he was always found leading, never following. In all public enterprises, he was among the foremost, and gave freely of his time and money to every worthy cause. He was one of those rand and dominant characters, whose strong individuality permeates succeeding generations. In politics, Captain Willcoxen is a Democrat of the old school. In religious faith he accepted the creed of the early Baptist Church.

The following is from Draper, Lyman C., LL. D., King's Mountain and Its Heroes: History of the Battle of King's Mountain. 1881. Reprint, Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., 1967:
[Page 437]

Having occasion to visit his New River plantation, Colonel Cleveland rode there, accompanied only by a negro servant, arriving at Jesse Duncan's, his tenant, at the lower end of the Old Fields, on Saturday, the fourteenth of April, 1781. Unfortunately for the Colonel, Captain William Riddle, a noted Tory leader, son of the Loyalist Colonel James Riddle, of Surry County, was approaching from the Virginia border with Captain Ross, a Whig captive, whom he had taken, together with his servant, and now en route for Ninety Six, where a British reward appears to have
[Page 438]
been paid for prisoners. Riddle, with his party of six or eight men, reaching Benjamin Cutbirth's, some four miles above the Old Fields, a fine old Whig, and an old associate of Daniel Boone, who had only partially recovered from a severe spell of fever. The Tory Captain, probably from Cutbirth's reticence regarding solicited information, shamefully abused him, and placed him under guard.

Descending the river to the upper end of the Old Fields, where Joseph and Timothy Perkins resided--about a mile above Duncan's--both of whom were absent in Tory service, Riddle learned from their women, that Cleveland was but a short distance away, at Duncan's, with only his servant, Duncan, and one or two of the Callaway family there. Every Tory in the country knew full well of Cleveland's inveterate hatred of their race; how prominently he had figured at King's Mountain, and had given his influence for the Tory executions at Bickerstaff's, and caused the summary hanging of Coyle and Brown at Wilkesboro. Riddle well judged that such a prisoner would be a prize to take along to Ninety Six, or it would prove no small honor to any Loyalist to rid the Rebel cause of so untiring and distinguished a leader in the Southern country.

The prospect of making Cleveland his prisoner was too tempting for Riddle to neglect. His force was too small to run any great risk, and so he concluded to resort to stratagem. He resolved, therefore, to steal Cleveland's horses in the quiet of the night, judging that the Colonel would follow their trail the next morning, supposing they had strayed off, when he would ambuscade him at some suitable place, and thus take "Old Round-About" as he was called, unawares, and at a disadvantage. The horses were accordingly taken that night; and a laurel thicket selected, just above the Perkins' house, as a fitting place to waylay their expected pursuers. During Saturday, Richard Callaway and his brother-in-law, John Shirley, went down from the neighboring residence of Thomas Callaway to Duncan's, to
[Page 439]
see Colonel Cleveland, and appear to have remained there over night.

Discovering that the horses were missing on Sunday morning, immediate pursuit was made. Having a pair of pistols, Colonel Cleveland retained one of them, handing the other to Duncan, while Callaway and Shirley were unarmed. Reaching the Perkins' place, one of the Perkins women knowing of the ambuscade, secretly desired to save the Colonel from his impending fate, so she detained him, as long as she could, by conversation, evidently fearing personal consequences should she divulge the scheme of his enemies to entrap him. His three associates kept on, with Cleveland some little distance behind, Mrs. Perkins still following, and retarding him by her inquiries; and as those in advance crossed the fence which adjoined the thicket, the Tories fired from their places of concealment, one aiming at Cleveland, who though some little distance in the rear, was yet within range of their guns. But they generally shot wild--only one shot, that of Zachariah Wells, who aimed at Callaway, proving effectual, breaking his thigh, when he fell helpless by the fence, and was left for dead.(*) Duncan and Shirley escaped. Cleveland from his great weight--fully three hundred pounds--knew he could not run any great distance, and would only be too prominent a mark for Tory bullets, dodged into the house with several Tories at his heels. Now, flourishing his pistol rapidly from one to another, they pledged to spare his life and accord him good treatment, if he would quietly surrender, which he did.

Wells by this time having re-loaded his rifle, made his appearance on the scene, swearing that he would kill Cleveland; and aiming his gun, the Colonel instantly seized Abigail
      (*)Richard Callaway had been grieviously wounded on the head, arms, shoulder, and hand by Tarleton's cavalry, at Sumter's surprise, Aug. eighteenth, 1780, and left for dead; yet recovered, though, he had a crippled hand for life. In due time his broken limb, so badly disabled by Wells' unerring shot, healed up, and he lived many years. He aided in running the boundary line from the White Top Mountains to the Mississippi, and died in Tennessee in 1822.

[Page 440]
Walters who was present, and by dint of his great strength, and under a high state of excitement, dextrously handled her as a puppet, keeping her between him and his would-be assassin. Wells seemed vexed at this turn in the affair, and hurled his imprecations on the poor woman, threatening if she did not get out of the way, that he would blow her through as well, not appearing to realize that she had as little power as a mouse in the clutches of a ferocious cat. Cleveland getting his eyes on Captain Riddle, whom he knew, or judged by his appearance, to be the leader, appealed to him if such treatment was not contrary to the stipulations of his surrender. Riddle promptly replied that it was, and ordered Wells to desist from his murderous intent, saying that they would take Cleveland to Ninety Six, and make money out of his capture. The terrified woman who had been made an unwilling battery, was now released from Cleveland's grasp as from a vise; and the whole party with their prisoner and his servant were speedily mounted, and hurried up New river. This stream, so near its source, was quite shallow, and the Tories traveled mostly in its bed to avoid being tracked, in case of pursuit.

Soon after the Tory party had called at Cutbirth's, on their way down the river, young Daniel Cutbirth and a youth named Walters, who were absent at the time, returned; and encouraged by Mrs. Cutbirth [=Elizabeth Willcockson, daughter of Sarah Boone and John Willcockson], though only fourteen or fifteen years of age, they resolved that they would take their guns, select a good spot, and ambuscade Riddle on his return, and perhaps rescue whatever prisoners he might have. But on the return of the Tory party the next day, they made so much noise, and gave so many military commands, that led the youthful ambuscaders to conclude that they had received a re-inforcement, and that it would be rashness for two singlehanded youths to undertake to cope with numbers so unequal. So Riddle and his party reached Cutbirth's undisturbed, and ordered dinner for himself, men, and
[Page 441]
prisoners. One of the Cutbirth girls [probably the older Mary, but possibly her younger sister Sarah], not engaging willingly in this service, received abuse, and even kicks, from the Tory leader. Their hunger appeased, they proceeded up New river, mostly along its bed, till they reached Elk Creek, up which they made their way in the same manner. Colonel Cleveland, meanwhile, managed unperceived, to break off overhanging twigs, dropping them into the stream to float down as a guide to his friends, who he knew would make an early pursuit. From the head of the south fork of Elk, they ascended up the mountains to what has since been known as Riddle's Knob, in what is now Watauga County, and some fourteen miles from the place of Cleveland's captivity, where they camped for the night.

Early on that Sabbath morning, Joseph Callaway and his brother-in-law, Berry Toney, wishing to see Colonel Cleveland on business matters, called at Duncan's, and learned about the missing horses, and the pursuit; and at that moment they heard the report of the firing at the upper end of the plantation, and hastened in that direction, soon meeting Duncan and Shirley in rapid flight, who could only tell that Richard Callaway had fallen, and Colonel Cleveland was either killed or taken. It was promptly agreed, that Duncan, Shirley, and Toney should notify the people of the scattered settlements to meet that afternoon at the Old Fields, while Joseph Callaway should go to his father's, close by, mount his horse and hasten to Captain Robert Cleveland's, on Lewis' Fork of the Yadkin, a dozen miles distant.(*) His brother, William Callaway, started forthwith up the river, and soon came across Samuel McQueen and Benjamin Greer, who readily joined him; and all being good woodsmen, followed the Tory trail at best they could, till night overtook them when some distance above the mouth of Elk Creek, and about ten miles from the Old Fields. William Callaway suggested, that he
      (*) Joseph Callaway was a member from Ashe County, in the House of Commons, in 1804 and 1806.

[Page 442]
and McQueen would remain there, while Greer should return to pilot up whatever men may have gathered to engage in pursuit of the Tories.

By night-fall, Captain Robert Cleveland and others, to the number of twenty or thirty, good and tried men, who had served under Colonel Cleveland, had gathered at the Old Fields, determined to rescue their old commander at every hazard, even though they should follow the Tory party to the gates of Ninety Six. Greer made his appearance in good time, and at once they were on the trail of the enemy.(*) They reached William Callaway and McQueen awhile before day; and as soon as light began to appear, John Baker joined Callaway and McQueen, to lead the advance as spies. A little after sun-rise, having proceeded four miles, they discovered indications of the enemy's camp on the mountain. But little arrangement was made for the attack; nine men only were in readiness--the others were apparently some distance behind; and only four or five of these were designated to fire on the enemy, the rest reserving their shots for a second volley, or any emergencies that might happen--of these was William Callaway.

Some of the Tories had already breakfasted, while others were busily employed in preparing their morning meal. Colonel Cleveland was sitting on a large fallen tree, engaged, under compulsion, in writing passes for the several members of Captain Riddle's party, certifying that each was a good Whig--to be used, when in a tight place, to help them out of difficulty, by assuming that they were patriots of the truest type, Cleveland's commendation passing unquestioned along the borders of Virginia and the Carolinas. But "Old Round About" had a strong
      (*) Greer was one of Cleveland's heroes. One of his fellow soldiers stole his tobacco from him, when he threatened he would whip him for it as soon as he should put his eyes on him. Cleveland expostulated with Greer, telling him his men ought to fight the enemy, and not each other. "I'll give him a hint of it, any way," said Greer, and when he met the tobacco pilferer, he knocked him down. Greer's hint was long a by-word in all that region.--Col. W. W. Lenoir.

[Page 443]
suspicion that their urgency for these passports betokened that the moment they were completed, his days would be numbered; and thus naturally but a poor penman, he purposely retarded his task as much as possible, hoping to gain time for the expected relief, apologizing for his blunders, and renewing his unwilling efforts. Several of the Tory party were now gathering up their horses for an early start, and Cleveland was receiving severe threatenings if he did not hurry up his last passport.

Just at this moment, while Captain Riddle and Zachariah Wells were especially guarding Cleveland and Captain Ross--the former with Cleveland's pistol presented at his breast, and the latter with his gun aimed for instantaneous use, if need be--the relief party were silently creeping up; and the next moment several guns were fired, and the Whigs rushed up, uttering their loudest yells. Colonel Cleveland, comprehending the situation, tumbled off the prostrate tree, on the side opposite to his friends, lest their balls might accidently hit him, and exclaiming, in his joy, at the top of his thundering voice, "Huzza for brother Bob!--that's right, give 'em h--l!" Wells alone was shot, as he was scampering away, by William Callaway in hot pursuit, and supposed to be mortally wounded, he was left to his fate; the rest fled with the aid of their fresh horses, or such as they could secure at the moment--Riddle and his wife among the number. Cleveland's servant, a pack-horse for Tory plunder, was overjoyed at his sudden liberation. Cleveland and Ross were thus fortunately rescued; and having gained their purpose, the happy Whigs returned to their several homes. William Callaway was especially elated that he had had the good fortune to shoot Wells, who had so badly wounded his brother, Richard Callaway, at the ambuscade at the Old Fields.

Shortly after this occurrence, Captain Riddle ventured to make a night raid into the Yadkin Valley, where on King's Creek, several miles above Wilkesboro, they surrounded
[Page 444]
the house where two of Cleveland's noted soldiers, David and John Witherspoon, resided with their parents, and spirited them many miles away in the mountain region on Watauga river, in what is now Watauga County, were both were sentenced to be shot--blindfolded, and men detailed to do the fatal work. It was then proposed, if they would take the oath of allegiance to the King, repair to their home, and speedily return with a certain noble animal belonging to David Witherspoon, known as "the O'Neal mare," and join the Tory band, their lives would be spared. They gladly accepted the proposition--with such mental reservations as they thought fit to make. As soon as they reached home, David Witherspoon mounted his fleet-footed mare, and hastened to Colonel Ben. Herndon's, several miles down the river, who quickly raised a party, and piloted by the Witherspoons, they soon reached the Tory camp, taking it by surprise, capturing three, and killing and dispersing others. So the young Witherspoons fulfilled their promise of returning speedily to the Tory camp, bringing the O'Neal mare with them; but under somewhat different circumstances from what the unsophisticated Tories expected.

The three prisoners taken were Captain Riddle, and two of his noted associates, named Reeves and Goss. On their arrival at Wilkesboro, a court martial condemned them to be hung; but as if to curry favor with the soldiers, or get them in a condition so he might escape, Riddle treated them freely to whisky. Learning which, Colonel Cleveland frankly informed him, that it would be useless to waste his whisky in such efforts--that he would be hung directly after breakfast. The three notorious freebooters were accordingly executed, on the hill adjoining the village, on a stately oak, which is yet standing, and pointed out to strangers at Wilkesboro. Mrs. Riddle, who seems to have accompanied her husband on his wild and reckless marauds, was present, and witnessed his execution.


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