By Jeannette Holland Austin
The siege of Yorktown, Virginia commenced on October 17, 1781 when General George Washington led a force of 17,000 French and Continental troops againsst against the British General Lord Charles Cornwallis. Actually, Lord Cornwallis was out numbered by some 7,000 troops. A brilliant stroke of stragedy was his order rendered to Marquis de Lafayette to employ his army of 5,000 troops to block the escape of Lord Cornwallis. Meanwhile the French naval fleet blocked an escape by sea. By the end of September, Washington had completely encircled Cornwallis and Yorktown with the combined forces of Continental and French troops and after three weeks of non-stop bombardment from cannon and artillery, Cornwallis surrendered to Washington in the field at Yorktown on October 17th.
Pleading illness, Cornwallis did not attend the formal surrender ceremony held two days later. Instead, he employed his second in command, General Charles O’Hara, to carry the Cornwallis sword to the American and French commanders.
Among those many brave soldiers present at this occasion was Jesse Bryant of Wake County, North Carolina, who had originally substituted for another soldier in the 4th Virginia Regiment. He served under Capt. John Watkins and Lt. Charles Judkins for sixteen months, later fighting at the battle of Petersburg before returning home and waiting to be recalled. This time, he marched to Williamsburg near Little York under General Washington and fought in the battle of Yorktown. He saw first hand General Muhlenburg, Marquis de Lafayette, and the surrender of Lord Cornwallis. His rather descriptive pension application provided sufficient details to put together the part which Bryant played in helping to win freedom for the American colonies.
Wake County Probate Records
Wake County was formed in 1771 from parts of Cumberland, Johnston and Orange Counties. The first court house was built at a village originally called Wake Courthouse, now known as Bloomsbury. In 1771, the first elections and court were held, and the first militia units were organized. Later on, in 1787 parts of Wake County were included in Franklin County, and in 1881, part went to Durham County. The county was named after Margaret Wake, the wife of colonial Governor William Tryon. Raleigh was established in 1791 on 1,000 acres of land and was named after Sir Walter Raleigh. During the colonial period, the State capitol was located in New Bern. Later, Raleigh became the capitol. The Battle at Morrisville Station was fought on April 13 to 15, 1865 in Morrisville, North Carolina during the War Between the States. It was the last official battle between the armies of Major General William T. Sherman and General Joseph E. Johnston. General Judson Kilpatrick, commanding officer of the Union cavalry advance, compelled Confederate forces under the command of Generals Wade Hampton III and Joseph Wheeler to withdraw in haste. They had been frantically trying to transport their remaining supplies and wounded by rail westward toward the final Confederate encampment in Greensboro, North Carolina. Kilpatrick used artillery on the heights overlooking Morrisville Station and cavalry charges to push the Confederates out of the small village leaving many needed supplies behind. However, the trains were able to withdraw with wounded from the Battle of Bentonville and the Battle of Averasboro. Later, General Johnston sent a courier to the Federal encampments at Morrisville with a message for Major General Sherman requesting a conference to discuss an armistice. Several days later the two generals met at Bennett Place near Durham on April 17, 1865 to begin discussing the terms of what would become the largest surrender of the war.
Wake County North Carolina Probate records available to members of North Carolina Pioneers
Indexes to Probate Records
- Wills, Estates, Bonds, Guardianships 1788 to 1794
- Wills, Estates, Bonds, Guardianships 1771 to 1792
Testators: Abbot, William, estate ;Alford, James, estate ;Allen, Young ;Alston, Hines, bond ;Atkins, John Jr. ;Aycock, Richard ;Babb, William ;Barbee, Christopher ;Barbee, Micajah, estate ;Barker, Joel ;Bass, Charles, petition ;Beddingfield, William ;Bell orphans ;Bell, Robert ;Belvins, Robert, estate ;Bird, Edmund ;Bird, Joab ;Blake, Benjamin, estate ;Blake, Joseph, estate ;Blake, John, estate ;Bohannon, Robert ;Bunch, Paul ;Cannon, John ;Cardin, William, estate ;Carter, George, apprentice ;Chaves, Paul, free negro, apprentice ;Cheves, Thomas Sr. ;Childers, James, prisoner ;Colbert, Nicholas, estate ;Conner, Terrence, orphan ;Dempster, John ;Dempster, John, bond ;Duck, Timothy of the Militia ;Dunn, John ;Earp, Edward ;Ferrells, Thomas, estate ;Flynt, David ;Griffin, Hardy, apprentice ;Guffey, John, estate ;Hall, John ;Hardy, Benjamin ;Harrell, Jesse, poor child ;Harriss, Daniel ;Harves, John ;High, John ;High, Michael, estate ;High, Likey and Moses Sugg, deed ;Hill, Sion ;Hines, Thomas, sheriff bond ;Hood, Thomas ;Joiner, Moses ;Jones, James ;Jones, Thomas ;Jones, Willis ;Kennedy, Francis ;Kimbrough, Nathaniel ;Lane, Barnabas, estate ;Lane, Joel ;Lankford, Benjamin, estate ;Lingo, Levin ;Louis, Arthur, base-born child ;Martin, Gibson ;Martin, James ;Mays, John ;McGuffey, John ;Mickleroy, Catherine, estate ;Mobley, Edward ;Mobley, William, estate ;Monk, Elizabeth ;Monk, Willis ;Monk, Willis, estate ;Moore, William ;Oliver, Ailcey ;Oliver, James, apprentice ;Orr, John ;Orr, Robert ;Pool, George ;Rand, John ;Reach, Jeremiah ;Rice, Joseph, orphan ;Rigsby, James, deed ;Rogers, Job ;Rogers, John ;Rogers, Michael, estate ;Runnells, Sherard ;Simmons, Willis ;Skinner, John, estate ;Slimmon, George ;Speight, Abigail ;Speight, William ;Streater, John, orphan ;Strickland, Sampson ;Tate, James ;Tate, orphan ;Taylor, Roland, estate ;Tedder, Solomon, apprentice ;Thomas, Francis, estate ;Townly, Elizabeth, bond ;Tucker, Edward ;Turner, Simon ;Wiggins, David ;Woodard, John ;Wootten, Thomas, sheriff
Images of Wake County Wills, Estates, Guardianships 1788 to 1794
Testators: Atkins, John; Ball, Thomas, estate; Barns, homas; Bird, orphans of Edmund; Black, Josiah; Bledsoe, Aaron, estate; Bradley, Dennis; Brasfield, John; Bugg, Celia, apprentice; Butler, James; Carloss, John, estate; Cole, Henry; Collins, Andrew; Collins, Dennis; Collins, Margaret, estate; Cumming, William, estate; Daniel, Woodson; Davis, Humphrey; Davis, Joseph; Dawson, Isaac; Dobey, John, petition of insolvency; Dodd, Thomas, estate; Earp, Cullen Ballinger, orphan; Earp, Edmund, estate; Earp, Emmanuel, estate; Ellis, Alsey, apprentice ; Ellis, Griffin ; Ellis, John, apprentice; Fallow, James, estate ; Ferrell, Rebecca, estate ; Field, Mary, estate; Flint orphans; Flynt, Langford, estate; Gates, Robert; Geer, Martha; Gill, David; Goodwin, John; Green, Edward; Green, William; Hamilton, William; Harrard, William, apprentice; Harriss, John, petition; Harris, Mary, orphans of, apprenticed; Hartsfield, Richard power of attorney to Andrew Hartsfield; Hays, Gilbert, estate; Hendon, James; Hendrick, William; Hendry, Reuben, apprentice; High, Amelia; Hill, Isaac; Hillsman, James, estate ; Hinton, John Sr.; Horton, David ; Hunter, Jesse; Hutchins, Jno Sr.; Joiner, Moses, estate ; Jones, Albridgton; Jones, James, deed ; Jordan, George, estate ; Jordan, James ; Kennedy, Francis, estate; Kimbrough, Nathaniel, estate; King, Drury ; Lee, Ludwell, apprentice; Lett, John, apprentice ; Little, William, estate; Major, William; Mann, John, estate; Martin, Paul, petition of insolvency; Massey, John release to Henry Warren; McCollister, Garland ; Mills, Bethiah; Mobley, Mordecai; Nutt, Robert, estate ; Nutt, Robert ; Peebles, John; Pendey, Aaron Read ; Pope, Barnaby, estate; Pope, Burwell, apprentice; Pope, Joab, apprentice ; Previtt William; Proctor, Reuben to David Lowry ; Reeves, William, apprentice ; Rench, John; Rench, Joseph, estate; Revil, Barbara, apprentice ; Ridley, Elizabeth, petition for dower ; Ridley, William, estate; Rogers, Ephraim, apprentice; Sawyer, Joseph, estate ; Simmons, Dianah; Simms, Isham ; Spain, Joshua, estate; Stogdell, Mary, orphan ; Stogden, John, apprentice; Strait, David ; Strickland, Lot ; Strickland, Sampson, estate; Tate, James, estate; Thomas, John Giles; Tipp, James, estate; Tipper, James, estate ; Tucker, Daniel; Tucker, Elizabeth, orphan ; Weaver, Alexander, apprentice; Weaver, Edey; Weaver, Zadock; Wilson, Anne, apprentice; Woodward, Christopher ; Worldrope, James, estate; Wright, John, ; Yarbrough, John
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