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Once dispersed, the insurgents became easy prey. Within a week, five of the seven men who had met at Cabin Pond had been captured or killed, one by one, not far from their homes. Jack Reese, the dissenter who broke away from the band soon after the Whitehead attack, sought out Jordan Barnes, who had been hiring Jack’s labor that summer; Barnes must have taken him to the authorities. Jack at once began to give crucial information.1 Hark Moore was shot and wounded on Tuesday morning at Belmont; Thomas Ridley witnessed his arrest the next morning and noted that in addition to Trajan Doyel’s pocketbook, “the prisoner had powder and shot and some silver in his pockets.”2 Nelson Edwards had been shot to death. Volunteers had seen him in Peter Edwards’s orchard on Wednesday, 24 August, but he got away; a party of local militiamen , commanded by Capt. Joseph Joiner, caught him the next day. “The negro retreated,” Joiner testified, “and this affiant—and others fired on him, and he was . . . killed before he was arrested.” Someone, observing an old custom, took Nelson’s head to Cross Keys for display.3 Henry Porter, the paymaster, was cornered and killed probably on Thursday; his head too was brought to Cross Keys.4 Five days later, on Tuesday, 30 August, Sam Francis was brought to town by Nathaniel Francis and jailed.5 Two others were still missing: Will Francis and Nat Turner I. Will, about whom authorities knew nothing and whose fate they never learned, may have died in the attack on John T. Barrow or in one of the other skirmishes; only in September did Thomas R. Gray begin to distinguish Will from Billy Artis, the free black man with whom the “executioner” often was confused. Turner, the seventh man at Cabin Pond, remained at large.6 c h a p t e r n i n e Suppression The late events in this county have rendered us quite military. —William C. Parker to Col. Bernard Peyton, 14 September 1831 200 Rebellion Counts By Wednesday, 31 August, authorities knew with certainty of twenty-five other individuals who had joined the original seven as the rising progressed. All were in custody or dead by that day. Six of the twenty-five had separated from the band on Monday, 22 August, one of whom was killed the next day. Nathan Blunt and the four boys who held horses—Moses Moore, Nathan Francis, Tom Francis, and Davy Francis—all fled at Parker’s gate or Parker’s field. They were jailed by 27 August and began telling what they knew.7 Alfred Waller, the blacksmith, left the band at the Vaughan house only to be caught and hamstrung by A. P. Peete and company; he fell into the hands of the Greensville cavalry on Tuesday, just after that unit had surprised Nat Turner’s men at the Harris house. Richard Porter’s brother Thomas described Alfred’s second capture: “I saw Alfred a negro the property of Levi Waller tied to a tree by a party of the Greensville Dragoons . . . and shot by them.”8 Waller later maintained that Alfred was dying from his hamstring wounds but that the Greensville men “deemed that his immediate execution would operate as a beneficial example to the other Insurgents—many of whom were still in arms and unsubdued.”9 Five were captured or killed on Tuesday, 23 August: Moses Barrow (taken alive in the garden at Belmont after the shootout there); Curtis and Stephen Ridley (taken alive on their way to Allen’s quarter by John C. Turner); and James and Sam Edwards, slaves of Peter Edwards.10 James surrendered to his master, who delivered him to Capt. Joseph Joiner at Cross Keys—“with a request,” Joiner recalled, “that I would prevent his being shot if I could.” Joiner could not. “I immediately tied him and placed him against the side of the house,” he said, “when a party rushed up and shot him—he fell dead at my feet.”11 Sam Edwards was pulled from his hiding place under his mother ’s cabin Tuesday night by a search party that included Nathaniel Francis, who recalled going to the Edwards plantation at around ten o’clock that night and hearing a member of the party knocking at the cabin door, insisting that “some-body was there.” Francis said he did not recall whether Sam’s mother had denied that her son was...


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