A SERIOUS ASSAULT AGAINST JOHN A. WILLIAMS
The articles on this page were published October 28, 1863 Issue in the Weekly Standard, a Raleigh,
North Carolina newspaper. W. W. Holden, Editor. Transcribed by Myrtle Bridges
March 01, 2003
It has been the proud boast of this country, that it has been almost entirely free of disgrace of either
having deserters of its own or of harboring those from other parts. They have been seldom heard of about here.
But we have the particulars of a monstrous outrage by four deserters, with muskets in their hands, by which
John A. Williams, Esq., one of the most prominent and best citizens of this country, was near losing his life.
About 9 o'clock on Friday night last, Mr. Williams, being at his plantation 14 miles below town, was informed
by one of his servants that persons were gathering his corn in a field nearly a mile off. They must have been
helping themselves very liberally, for when Mr. Williams came near he heard them still engaged in pulling corn.
When within some 75 yards of them, and hearing them talking in a low tone, he fired off one of the barrels of
his gun, to frighten them. The four men thereupon rushed on him, cocking their muskets as they came. He shot
one of them with the other barrel, the man falling and groaning very much. Mr. Williams seized another by the
collar, and endeavored to shield himself from the blows of the others by interposing him; but they succeeded
in striking him with their muskets, the second blow knocking him down. They beat him until he was powerless,
when they desisted; he staggered off and managed to reach home, bleeding very much. The men carried off his gun.
On the next day, Saturday, signs were found of the wounded man having been carried off to the swamp, but neither
he nor the others had been found up to yesterday morning. We hope that no exertions will be spared, by the
citizens, as well as the civil and military authorities, to bring these deserters, robbers, and almost murderers,
to the punishment so richly deserved by their base and cowardly crimes. The county should be made too hot to
hold the wretches. Mr. Williams has given his sons to the army, and he and his property should if possible be
protected from the cowards and thieves who deser their country's flag. Let this outrage be punished, or the
life and property of every other good citizen in the county will be at the mercy of such villains.Fayetteville Observer.
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