The American Revolution in North Carolina

Forks of the Yadkin

March 1782

Patriot Cdr:

Major Thomas Dougan
Loyalist Cdr:

Col. John Elrod






Original County: 

Rowan County
Present County:

Davie County

A Capt. Johnson had been captured in January of 1781 and then paroled by the British. He returned to his home near the Forks of the Yadkin and honored his parole.

Loyalist Col. John Elrod and two men named Still and Robbins were returning to their homes after the evacuation of Wilmington. They ran into Capt. Johnson, who was carrying a rifle because he was hunting with a friend, Robert Tucker. Col. Elrod knew that Johnson was on parole and told him that he should not be carrying a rifle. He then struck him on the head with the flat of his sword, breaking the sword in two.

Mr. Still shot Capt. Johnson in the head. The Loyalists were going to shoot Robert Tucker, but he grabbed the Loyalist's rifle and the shot passed over his head. He ran to the nearest Patriot house and sounded the alarm. Robbins knew that they would be hunted down so he left the others and was never heard from again.

A troop of mounted men led by Major Thomas Dougan was raised to pursue the murderers. Major Dougan knew it was Col. Elrod, so he and his men rode to the Loyalist's house. He sent in a scout who found both Col. Elrod and Mr. Still both asleep.

Capt. Joseph Clark and a man named Jack Veach were going to burst open the door and seize the men, but before they reached the door Veach drew back and refused to go any farther. Both returned to their group.

Capt. Clark then went with a man named Grogan, but Grogan also refused to enter the house. Finally, Capt. Clark called out for any man to follow him and after seizing a fence rail he charged the door and hit it so hard that it was knocked off its hinges. He grabbed one of the men in the bed and pulled him to the fire and said, "I have got ahold of you Mr. Still." Still denied that was his name, but Capt. Clarke hit his head on the fireplace until he finally admitted it.

The Patriots held a court-martial and sentenced them both to death. In the morning they walked the two prisoners about a half mile from the house, tied them to trees, and shot them. Mr. Still tried to escape, and he couldn't be quiet until a bullet finally silenced him. Col. John Elrod was calm, and he left a few messages for some of this friends, then he was executed.

Known Patriot Participants

Known British/Loyalist Participants

Randolph County Regiment of Militia detachment led by Major Thomas Dougan, with one (1) known company, led by:
- Capt. Joseph Clark
-- Jack Veach
-- Mr. Grogan

Capt. Johnson - murdered
Robert Tucker - escaped

Col. John Elrod - Executed

Mr. Still - Excecuted

Mr. Robbins - Escaped



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