Major Joseph McJunkin Captured and Later Paroled by the Tories

On May 7 he returned to his father's house. The Tories, hearing that night of his arrival, a party came next morning and made him prisoner.  The party was commanded by one Bud Anderson.  This party, immediately after his capture, set out toward the iron works on Lawson's Fork.  These works have sometimes been called Wofford's, at others, Berwick's.

On this march other prisoners were taken, some of whom were killed on their knees begging for quarter.  Being arrived at or near the works, a kind of trial was gone through to decide what should be done with him.  The sentence of the court was that he should be hanged in five minutes from the reading of the verdict.  A rope was tied around his neck, he was set upon some kind of scaffolding under the limb of a tree and the rope fastened to it.

At this moment a party was seen approaching on horseback at full speed.  The commander of those having him in charge ordered the execution stopped until the object of the approaching party was ascertained.  One of them came up and whispered something in the ear of the leader. The leader ordered the execution suspended for the present and the whole party to mount.  They hurried away, and after beating about the country for a short time set off in the direction of the British garrison at Ninety Six.  The motive of the delay of his execution was the approach of a party of Whigs, as he afterward learned.

While in the custody of this party of Tories no epithets were too abusive or insulting to be applied to him with the greatest freedom and frequency.  When arrived within a mile of the British post the party halted some time for consultation or some other purpose.  While here he lay on the ground, with his wounded arm resting on his forehead.  Another party of Tories came up, their leader believed to have been the famous William Cunningham.  As soon as he cast his eyes on Major McJunkin he rushed upon him with his sword drawn.

Just as the major expected to receive its descending point he suddenly wheeled off and said, "I was mistaken in the man."

Thence he was carried into Ninety Six.  A court martial was summoned to investigate his case.  The forms observed were somewhat honorable.  He was charged with killing one of His Majesty's subjects ‑‑ the man that broke his arm.  He showed them his arm, told them where they met the Tories and where the man was killed, and asked if it was possible that a man whose sword arm was broken to pursue a man a mile and kill him.  Gen. Cunningham, the president of the court, said it was impossible, and the whole court concurred.  He was therefore acquitted of the charge, but sentenced to close confinement as a prisoner of war.  He remained in jail at this place from that time, about the 12th or l4th of May, until a few days before Gen. Greene lay siege to the place, the 23d of the same month.  He was paroled, with some others, and allowed to return home.

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