YANKEE RAIDS IN NORTH CAROLINA – ARREST OF CITIZENS – STAMPEDE OF NEGROES
During the past three or four weeks, those counties in North Carolina bordering upon the Virginia lines of the Federal army, have been subjected to a series of the most dastardly and vindictive guerilla raids that have yet characterized the war in that quarter. The counties of Pasquotank, Camden, Currituck and Gates have suffered the most severely, from arrests of many of their principal citizens, robberies and burnings of property, and the excitement of negroes to revolt and escape.
About two weeks ago, ninety-four slaves and a party of free negroes, through the medium of Yankee inducement, stampeded from the upper part of Pasquotank and fled into the Dismal Swamp. The comprised whole families – old and young, male and female. One of the free negroes, who was doubtless dictator of the whole party, was an “aristocrat” at home, and worth some four or five thousand dollars. A number of the inhabitants of the county immediately followed in pursuit, and recovered fifty or sixty of the slaves, and found a considerable quantity of ammunition in their camp.
On the following night, a young and estimable man, named Joseph Williams, in company with two others, went on patrol to the halfway house on the Dismal Swamp Canal, and kept watch for the runaways. They soon perceived a party of negroes, about thirty in number, approaching, led by white men, supposed to be Yankees, and upon hailing them, they were fired upon by the approaching party, and young Williams was mortally wounded. He, however, raised his gun, took aim, and together with his companions, fired upon them, wounded one negro and killed two others. The rest fled, and the wounded negro was captured. Young Williams died on the spot from the effect of his wound.
… Richmond Enquirer, 31st.
Carolina Observer, Fayetteville, 4 August 1862.