Sunday, August 5, 2012


The following article was from local newspapers of the time and lists several names of genealogical use.

Transcriber John Ratcliffe.

FEBRUARY 21,1884 

Tuesday's cyclone caused great destruction of property and killed 
thirty-two people. The winds began to blow about 8 p.m., were very high 
and were accompanied by thunder and lightning of unusual severity. The 
whole air was charged with electricity and the storm increased in its 
fury and violence until about 2 am. Wadesboro was fortunate in not 
being in the path of the storm. Trees and fences were blown down and a 
kitchen on the premises of Dr. Ingram was lifted from its pillows. 
This, we are glad to say is about all the damages done in the town, but 
the surrounding country suffered much. 

On the farm of Mr. Bee Martin on Brown Creek, the cabin of a Negro man 
was blown down and he was instantly killed. On Mr. Steve Boyette's 
place every house except his dwelling was blown down. The house 
occupied by a man and his wife near Mr. Boyette's was leveled by the 
winds but the inmates were unhurt. Sheriff Wall's residence was un-
roofed and his gin house and screw were blown down. Mr. Thomas Beverly, 
near Sheriff Wall's, lost all of his houses; there is not one timber 
standing on the others. His meat was blown away and he also lost his 
corn and farm supplies. Mr. Henry Huntley lost every house on his place 
except his dwelling. At Mr. William Little's place 28 out of 30 houses 
were blown down and three Negroes were killed. 

Mr. F. B. Flake's store house was un-roofed and his goods damaged by 
the rain. His screw was blown over and all of his out-houses, save 
three. A colored tenant of his, "Croux" Staten, went out of his house 
when the wind rose and has not been seen. 

Fate Allen, colored, was crippled by his house being blown over. The 
building caught fire but the flames were extinguished by the rain. 
James Thomas, white, a tenant of Mr. Moody Allen lost his house and 

James Hough, another of Mr. Allen's tenants, also lost his home. The 
building took fire but the rains extinguished the flames. 
A special from Polkton says: A severe storm of wind and hail crossed 
the railroad about a mile east of Polkton last night prostrating 
everything in its course. Could see the storm from Polkton by 
lightning, looked like a cloud of dense smoke and sounded like thunder. 
Hail stones measuring 2 1/2 inches long, 1 1/2 inches wide and one inch 
thick fell. 

Early yesterday morning a messenger arrived in this town from the farm 
near Polkton of Mr. F. M. Gray for a coffin for the body of Mrs. Gray. 
The storm in it’s fury leveled the dwelling, 3 shops, smoke house 
grainery, kitchen and corn crib on Mr. Gray's place. The falling 
timbers of the residence killed Mrs.Gray and seriously injured her 
husband who is reported to be in a very critical condition. Their son, 
Mr. E. H. Gray, was blown 20 yards from the site of the residence but 
was not hurt. 

The most distressing news comes from Rockingham and the loss of life 
there seems to have very great. From passengers on the freight train 
yesterday we learn that the cyclone passed through the outskirts of 
town in an easterly direction from the post office. Twenty to thirty 
persons were killed and a great many wounded. All business was 
suspended and the physicians and the citizens did their best to relieve 
suffering. Eleven dead bodies, eight colored and three white men were 
gotten from among the debris yesterday morning and were placed in the 
Court House. 

At Darlington the railroad depot was un-roofed and four are said to 
have been killed. It is also reported the storm did much damage at 
Laurinburg but as the telegraph wires have been down in every direction 
we could not get "specials" through to these points. 
February 28,1884 

As we expected the storm was much more violent and fearful than we knew 
positively when we went to press last Wednesday evening. The sad and 
sickening accounts of the cyclone began to pour in last Thursday and 
our exchanges have since been full of the horrible details of the loss 
of life occasioned by it as it swept in its wild carnival of death and 
destruction. From our exchanges we clip much of the news we herewith 

At Rockingham the storm it seems began near McDonald's mills on Fulling 
Creek near town - say about half a mile south of the mills. Before 
reaching the mills several small houses were blown away, but no one was 
killed. The mills, saw and grist, with cotton gin attached, were 
scattered like chaff. Even the mill stones were taken up and carried 
several yards. The "breast" of the mill was blown out turning the pond 
off. Several of the out houses about the mills were blown away and Mr. 
John L. Dawkins, a big fat man weighing about 350 pounds, who was in 
one of them was severely injured. 

The next houses taken in by the storm, after leaving the mills, were 
the residences of Richard Dawkins, Sandy Smith, Asbury Sandford, Walter 
Dawkins, Wiley Dawkins Mr. Evander J. McDonald, and J. G. Grant. All 
these were completely swept away except that of Walter and Wiley 
Dawkins, which, being on the outskirts of the storm, escaped with 
slight damage. 

The storm next struck the Philadelphia colored settlement, in which 
nineteen dwelling houses, most of which, though small, were 
substantially built frame buildings, were totally destroyed, together 
with the Philadelphia Colored Methodist Church, All together, more than 
fifty houses were destroyed and the loss cannot be less than $15,000. 
The following is a list of the whites known to have been killed; 
Richard Dawkins, aged about 40 years, Charles, son of Asbury Sandford, 
aged about 14 years, Mrs. Flora Henrietta Griffin, aged about 18 years, 
leaving an infant about 8 months old, which was found unhurt in its 
dead mother's arms. Emma Terry, daughter of the late Sheriff, Harris G. 
Terry, aged about 10 years. Asa Dawkins, son of Waiter Dawkins, aged 
about 14 years, collar bone broken, Mrs. Sarah Grant, wife of J. A. 
Grant, face and chest injured, son of Asbury Sandford, name unknown, 
aged about 7 or 8 years old, left arm fractured, William T. Hall and 
wife who were visiting Mr. Asbury Sandford, slightly wounded. There 
were eleven colored persons killed and thirty-two wounded. 

In the Mangum neighborhood, Richmond County, much damage was done; 
Pressley Stanback lost several houses, but no lives were lost. Mr. John 
C. Gay, at Bittles Mill had all the houses on his place blown away save 
one. All the houses on Mr. John D. Pemberton's plantation were 
demolished and his horses and mules were killed. C. W. Luther lost all 
his buildings save his dwelling, as did also A. T. Tyson, Ben Harris, 
J. M. Chappell, Jim Ussery and Lawson Ussery had their houses blown 
down, some of the occupants being wounded, but fortunately none were 

The following letter has been kindly furnished to us from Rockingham, 
N.C.,February 23,1884: Mr. Editor: -- By your request I proceed to 
furnish for your newspaper an account, imperfect tho' it must be, of 
the cyclone which passed near here on Tuesday night, February 19th. We 
hear of the first stroke from it at a point six miles southwest of this 
place where an immense oak was thrown upon the house of David Watson, 
crushing it in and seriously hurting Mr. Watson while his wife and her 
brother, a young Mr. Stewart, were killed. 

From this place, its course was from southwest to northeast, though 
many houses were un-roofed and thrown down, no loss of life occurred 
until it struck the neighborhood of McDonald's Mill, one mile southeast 
of the Court House, when a white woman, Mrs. Griffin, was killed, her 
child being found in the dead mother's arms and unhurt. The house was 
level with the ground and indeed from this point on, the storm 
accumulated in force, for a distance of five miles not a house was left 
standing. The mill, two hundred yards from the Griffin house, was 
hurled from its base and the mill stones even thrown some distance from 
their site. 

Mr. John Dawkins, miller, a corpulent man of 365 pounds, was standing 
in the door of the mill at the moment of the shock was tossed, he knows 
not where, but, when found in the debris, was helpless from a terrible 
gash in the calf of the leg and numberless contusions from head to toe. 
It is hoped, however, that he will recover. 

On Wednesday morning I rode over the tract from this mill 
northeastward, a distance of five miles, and on the route I counted 
thirty-eight dwellings in ruins. Here were the ruins of a house, the 
first I came to after leaving the mill, where dwelt a man, his wife and 
one child. The three were blown in different directions, the distance 
varying from ten to forty yards from where the house stood, none of 
them hurt. 

One hundred yards further on, the house of Richard Dawkins, white, was 
demolished, killing him and his son, the only inmates. 
One hundred yards from this point was the house of Asbury Sanford, 
white, which crumbled like an eggshell, he being mortally hurt, his 
wife not so seriously, one son killed, and other of the inmates 
battered and bruised by flying objects. 

Almost one hundred and fifty yards further the Negro village of some 
twenty families was struck and Mr. Editor, if you were describing a 
battle, you would say "here was the thickest of the fight." Indeed, the 
furies of the storm seem to have had their merriest carnival here, for 
within a limited radius, eleven colored were found dead and a score or 
more seriously disabled. The eye sickened at the sight and moved the 
heart, and the nerves quail in the efforts at a recital of harrowing 
incident, for there were many and sad, which marked the scene. 

Other sources of information will furnish to you some of them. The 
cyclone in its progress contained an average width of one fourth of a 
mile, houses on either flank were left standing, though terribly shaken 
as if by sudden rending from outer edge toward the center of a seething 
vortex. The scene after the storm, particularly the position of the 
prostrate trees, indicated a convergence toward the center, as if a 
vacuum was created there and the wind rushed in from either side to 
fill it. The trees lay exactly at right angle with the path of the 
rushing storm. 

I will close, Mr. Editor, by mentioning one thing which I think is 
singularly significant of the force of the storm. At a point, at least 
two hundred yards from where any house stood, a large pine tree was 
felled, leaving a stump thirty or forty feet high and at the tip is 
sticking a piece of oven or pot, six or eight inches square, driven 
firmly in. Yours, H. C. S. 

At Monroe there was no serious damage done but to the south, Mrs. Jane 
Broom, in Lanesboro township, had every house on her place blown down. 
Mrs. Broom was badly hurt and her daughter was mortally wounded. It 
next struck the widow Philmon's, who lost every house on the place. Mr. 
Rilly Horton's was next in its track. His house was left standing but 
turned completely around. At Mr. Buck Horton's, every building was 
destroyed and every member of the family more or less hurt. Mr. J. P. 
Horn's cotton press and shop were destroyed. At Mr. S. F. Ross’s every 
building was destroyed and his wife injured. Mr. Cebron Pope's barn was 
blown down. Alex. Helms’ out buildings were destroyed. At Mr. Lewis 
Krimenger's every building was destroyed and his sister severely 
injured. The cows, geese and chickens were killed. 

John Bivens, colored, living on Mr. G. Allen's place, had everything 
destroyed and himself and family were blown to the woods. Their 
clothing was torn from them and their hands and faces lacerated. 
At Mr. G. D. Allen's, every building was destroyed and Mr. Allen and 
one child were slightly injured. The geese and chickens in the yard 
were killed. Mr. Marley Griffin's house was blown down and burned up. 
It is feared Griffin is mortally wounded. 

In Goose Creek Township, north of Monroe, the storm was equally severe. 
We have reports of its destructive work at the following places: Mr. 
Andy Fowler, dwelling destroyed; Mr. James Fowler, kitchen blown down; 
J. M. Guin, smokehouse destroyed. Every house on Mr. Newton Presson's 
premises were destroyed. 

After passing Mr. Presson's it went through the plantation of Mrs. A. 
A. Price, blowing down one house, then to Mr. Eli Rushing's where it 
un-roofed his house. Mrs. Sally Medlin's buildings were destroyed. 
Jennie Tomberlin's house was destroyed. The inmates living there were 
injured. Then to Mr. Andrew Hargett's, where it completely laid flat 
all his buildings consisting of one double dwelling house, barn, crib 
and grainhouse. Jacob Mullis's house, next in its track, was blown 
away. Then to Mr. Robert Rushing's, where it blew down and burned 
everything he had, except some clothing. It next stripped a house 
belonging to Mr. Jackson Mullis. Mr. Aaron Little's house was blown 
down to the joist. Then to Mr. Joseph Hagler's where it blew one house 
down. Then to Mr. J. B. Tarlton's, where it blew down and carried away 
his buildings, consisting of one two story dwelling, barn, crib and 
shop. Then it destroyed a house belonging to Samuel Mullis. It next 
blew down an outhouse and stable belonging to Mr. John Love. Next, the 
house of Mr. J. Tarlton was blown down and the home of Dorsey Williams 
was blown down and burned. 

Near Hamlet the storm passed between Hamlet and Rockingham. Trees were 
taken up by the roots and hurled with fearful rapidity through the air 
and those not uprooted had all the bark taken off. Chickens were found 
with all the feathers picked off them. Mill Stones weighing 2,000 
pounds were moved fifty yards. A mother and her babe, hardly a month 
old, were found in the woods dead, the mother clasping the helpless 
form of her baby to her breast. A little baby was found in a swamp. The 
Negro, who found it, wrapped it up in his overcoat and carried it to a 
fire, but the poor half frozen child soon closed its eyes in death.
In Montgomery County the storm was very severe and laid low everything 
in its path. Houses and trees were blown over and in the wrecks, lives 
were sacrificed. Below we append the list as complete as could be 
ascertained by Mr. C. C. Wade, Clerk of Superior Court: Child of R. W. 
Halls, child of Willis Harris, William Morris, James Byrd, Mrs. Richard 
Dennis, child of Mrs. Richard Dennis. Hansel Beaman and three children 
were seriously crushed. Two of his children had both of their legs 
broken and another had her arm torn nearly off, it being left hanging 
to her shoulder by a piece of skin. 

The first dwelling it struck in Montgomery was that of Willis Dennis. 
Twelve souls were in the building when it was torn to pieces and 
strange to say not one of the twelve were scratched. There were several 
small dwellings blown down near him. The next dwelling in its path was 
that of Mr. Clark Hall, where it swept everything away and killed his 
19 year old daughter. It next struck the neighborhood, just south of 
the village of Uwharrie, where it leveled every building in its track. 
James Byrd's houses were destroyed. James and his wife were killed, 
leaving four little children in the same room unhurt. The home of Rich 
Dennis was leveled and his wife and infant child killed. Wiley Harris 
lost a child and two of his children were dangerously injured. One has 
since died and the other members of the family are in a critical 

The dwellings of Wilson Davis, Edmund Mullinix and Mary Hurley were 
blown down and consumed by fire. Not a soul in either family were 
seriously hurt, but they lost everything; clothing, furniture and 
provisions, leaving them perfectly destitute. 

The course of the cyclone was up the west bank of the Uwharrie River 
till it reached Uwharrie village, when it left the river going in the 
direction of Asheboro. 

Mr. W. S. Ingraham, a prominent citizen, was killed. He was caught out 
in the storm and his body was terribly mutilated. Mr. Ingraham was 
going to Troy from Asheboro. He was in a buggy alone and in front of 
him were two wagons being driven by colored men. At a point between Mt. 
Gilead and Swift Island the cyclone struck. Mr. Ingraham was blown some 
distance across a hill and instantly killed. His arms and legs were 
broken. The two wagons were totally destroyed. One of the drivers was 
killed and the other driver was fatally injured. 

At and near Beverly, after crossing Goulds Fork Creek on Col. 
Ledbetter's Plantation, it took a roof from a dwelling occupied by 
Sandy Leak, a colored tenant. On W. B. Threadgill's Plantation, it blew 
down all the outbuildings and dwelling occupied by Thomas Beverly. In 
the house at the time were Mr. Beverly, his wife, his three children 
and his wife's sister. No one was hurt much. Mr. Beverly lost much of 
his furniture and apparel. 

Next was James Beverly's place. His out buildings and dwelling were 
blown down. In the house at the time were, Mr. Beverly and his son 
Jesse and James Threadgill. No one was hurt. 

Next was James Wall's Plantation. His screw, gin house, out buildings 
and two or three tenants houses were blown down. The building occupied 
by Mr. Wall withstood the storm, but with some damage to the roof. No 
one was hurt on this Plantation. 

On the Plantation of Mr. F. B. Flake, the outbuildings and dwelling 
occupied by William Hildreth, was blown down. Mr. Hildreth was in it at 
the time. His mother and sisters took refuge in a nearby house. He was 
slightly hurt and lost much of his personal property. Next, the 
outbuildings and dwelling occupied by Gas Harward and another tenant 
were all blown down. In this dwelling were fourteen people. Mrs. 
Hildreth's daughters having taken refuge in the same. No one was hurt 
at this place. 

Next, the outbuildings and dwelling occupied by Waiter Pope, another 
white tenant, were all blown down. The building caught on fire but was 
extinguished by Mr. Pope. There were five in this dwelling when it went 
down. No one was hurt. Next was the dwelling occupied by Robert Hall. 
It was blown down. Nine people were in this house. Some were slightly 

Next was the store house occupied by Flake and Alien. This house was 
un-roofed. The store goods were slightly damaged. Mr. Allen, the only 
one in this house, was not hurt. 

Next was the dwelling occupied by Clarence Staten and Lafayett Allen, 
two colored employees, of Mr. Flake. Staten was instantly killed by 
falling timbers and Allen was badly hurt. The out buildings and 
dwelling occupied by Henry Sanders, another white tenant, were all 
blown down. His house and personal property consumed by fire. Some of 
the occupants were burned, but not otherwise injured. Next, came the 
buildings and dwelling occupied by Mr. Flake. The building withstood 
the storm but with considerable damage to the roof. Counting all, 
barns, stables, cribs, gin house and screws on this plantation, the 
number is fifty-one, only five of which stood. 

Next, was the plantation jointly owned by M. J. and J. T. Allen. On it 
the dwelling occupied by James Thomas was blown down, In it was Mr. 
Thomas, his wife and child. Mr. Thomas was slightly burned. Next, was 
the outbuildings and dwelling occupied by Wiley Thomas. The dwelling 
stood with damage to the roof. The outbuildings were demolished and 
some clothing was lost to fire. 

Next was the dwelling occupied by James Hough. Mr. Hough was absent 
from home. The house and a center brick chimney went to pieces over and 
around Mrs. Hough and her five children. The youngest of which is about 
three weeks old. The house caught on fire and would have been consumed 
but for the commendable effort of Mrs. Hough who extinguished the 
flames after losing her bedding and clothing. 

Thence it passed across Brown Creek. Robert Ballard was out camping and 
was killed by a falling tree. The storm went through the plantation of 
R. H. Carter's. There it tore down a dwelling occupied by Jack Ingram, 
colored. One of his sons was killed. Mr. William Little's plantation 
was next where considerable damage was done to buildings and timbers. 
Some hurt here but only one killed. 

As per request I send you some corrections of storm items in 
neighborhood of Brown Creek Church. First, on this side of Brown Creek 
was Gray Taylor's, whose out buildings were un-roofed and timbers 
demolished. No one hurt. Rich Sturdivant, colored, Green Shepperd and 
Miss Patsy Taylor escaped with similar loss. Next in the line was P. 
Martin, whose dwelling, tenant houses and out buildings were completely 
wrecked, save gin and screw, the former of which was considerably 
damaged. The colored cook, who was sleeping in the stove room, was 
killed by falling timbers. Mr. Martin was considerably bruised and 
burnt in extinguishing the fire which was fast gaining headway. The bed 
on which his little children were lying caught on fire. Mrs. Martin and 
infant were jammed by the timbers and unable to move but were unhurt. 

On Tom Martin's place lived two white families who escaped in safety 
but their houses were ruined. Sid Sturdivant, colored, was next. Only 
his out houses were un-roofed. Brown Creek Church was splintered and 
the debris was scattered for hundreds of yards. Hubbard Ledbetter, 
colored, on Henry Huntley's plantation was wiped out first by wind then 
fire cleaned up what was left. 

Next, was little Jim Flake, the hero, whose staunch house cornered the 
winds and weathered the storm. Windows were blown in and one door was 
blown off its hinge. Clothing, books and papers were blown in the fire 
and the fire blew over the house. Still, little Jim stood at his post 
ordering all hands to keep cool and finally conquered with the loss of 
chimneys, roofs and one tenant house. 

The cyclone skipped Henry Beverly and dropped under Pres Beverly's 
large and commodious house completely ruining it. Other houses were un-
roofed. Hugh Ingram, Allen Carpenter and Guilf Carpenter suffered much. 
So did Alex Biles and James Smith. 

It is a terrible sight to see articles of clothing, old hats, 
stockings, shingles, boards, fodder, shucks and a little of almost 
everything else strewn all through the land. "New Sash," none of which 
is in use in all the community was found, but where they came from, no 
one can tell. 

Strange to say, but few were hurt in the least. Cora McLendon, Mr. 
Martin's cook, being the only one killed. No stock injured. W. A. Liles 
Transcribed for this website by: 
Transcribed from newspaper by: 

Reference Anson Times Feb. 28, 1884 concerning Mr. P. Martin.
I wish to add the following additional information, handed down by 
family members. 

Mr. P. Martin was Samuel P. Martin, and his wife was Mary Ann Carpenter 
Martin. When his wife was rescued, she and her baby were carried in a 
quilt to Mr. James Flake's home for safety. The baby, who was born on 
February 5, 1884, had not been named. He was named James Flake Martin. 
The cook, Cora McLendon, who was killed had been sleeping with a young 
son and he escaped injury. Among the articles saved was a wooden mantel 
clock which had fallen into the fireplace and the case was dented and 
scorched. This clock was repaired and handed down to Lilly Martin Horne 
Griffin, their youngest daughter. On her death, it was willed to Ruth 
Martin Ratcliffe, a niece, and now is on the buffet in our dining room. 
The case still bears the marks of the fall and fire, and the clock is 
in good working condition. It is described in the Waterbury catalog of 
1881 as the Delta model. 

New information transcribed by John Ratcliffe 

Accounts from other counties:

Excerpt] Details from the track of the cyclone which occurred in this State the night of the 19th, 
make it even worse than first reported. After passing through Darlington in South Carolina, where 
four person were killed and 50 housed blown down, the storm entered the State at Polkton, in Anson 
county, on the Carolina Central Railroad. The wind then moved east, and destroyed everything in its 
path. It struck the suburbs of Rockingham, and blew down houses and trees. The air was full of fence-
rails and timber of all kinds. Here 23 persons were killed and 18 were wounded, some of whom will die. 
Wednesday night 20 of the dead were lying in the Court House in Rockingham. From here the storm passed 
on nine miles and blew down McDonald's mills. The mill stones were found 50 yards from where the house 
stood. Lilesville, in the county, was struck , and several negroes were killed. A woman was found dead 
in a swamp with her babe on her breast alive. Six dead bodies were found near Lillington in Harnett 
county. The track appears to have been through Union, Anson, Montgomery, Stanly, Richmond, Moore, 
Robeson, Cumberland, Harnett, Johnston, Sampson, Nash, and Edgecombe.

In Harnett
Correspondence of the Observer
Lillington, N.C., Feb'y 25, '84

Mr. Editor: -- The cyclone that passed one mile north of here last Tuesday night, commenced doing the 
most damage in this county at Mrs. Atkin's. Then, at ex-Sherriff Grady's, damaged out-houses, grove, 
&c. Passing on to Andy Royals, (colored), it tore his house down. Crossing Cape Fear River on Calvin
Vestal's farm, it blew down a tenant's house, occupied by J. A. Mcdonald - none of whose family, however, 
were seriously hurt. Thence to W. F. Matthew's, blowing his house down, who, with his wife and children, 
was fortunately off at a neighbor's house out of the storm.  Thence To Arch. Matthews's and his son 
Bryant's, whose houses were destroyed. Mrs. Mily Johnson's house was blown down, but she was not 
seriously hurt. Thence to Reuben Matthews, Sr., who was at Raleigh. His house all destroyed and his 
wife killed. Merret Overby, wife and two children, who were living in one of Mr. Matthews' homes, 
were killed. Thence to Mr. Hockaday's and Mrs. McLeod's doing considerable damage, on to Arch. Stewart's 
whose house was destroyed. Thence to C. C. Barbee's mill on Black River, crossing the old stage road at 
John Adams's and W. A. Williams's - considerable damage being done there.

The Observer
March 5, 1884

Vivid Description of the Cyclone in Harnett
Correspondence of the Observer
Lillington, N.C., Feb. 1884

Mr. Editor: -- We give as a scrap of news from Harnett an account of the recent unparalleled storm that 
passed through our section. Much excitement and heartrending scenes, and more shocking stories exist, 
and it is impossible to approximate the truth from such. We write from notes taken upon the scene and 
from persons who were eye witnesses. 
 The wind fell upon the highlands between Upper Little River and Cape Fear with a perfect fury - above 
Summerville from the North-west, below from the South-west, as the line of the storm lay east and west 
from about Clark's Bridge on Little River to Summerville on Cape Fear. Upon the southern side of the 
village where the tornado proper first set in, after having leaped the country for miles to the west, 
it struck to the ground several hundred pines, and in as many different directions and lengths - some 
uprooted, some ten twenty, or thirty feet broken off - ten or fifteen crowded together like so many corn 
stalks. All the gathered fury of the wind gods while reaching this point now began to drip out. Making 
an estimate after walking over its trail there must be at least fifteen hundred trees from one to two 
feet through blown down in a distance of one half mile. A number of large oaks in Mrs. Mary Atkins's 
yard are uprooted, some are leaning against the dwelling, and we counted 75 or 100 upon the ground in 
Mr. Robt. Grady's yard, three of his out houses are demolished, his orchard and round pine forest are 
a complete wreck. In this pine timber the wind was so heavy that a large number of the trees broke in 
two before they could give way at the ground. There is at least one million feet of timber down in a 
mile of Summerville - a fine place for a saw mill. After blowing down two more houses on the south side 
of Cape Fear, no persons being seriously injured, it crossed the river and began to ascend the land that 
forms the water shed of the east side of the river - first falling upon the Vestal plantation, which it 
stripped of houses, shade and forest trees with perfect ease, dragging every monarch of the woods in the 
dust. Trees that had stood the winds of two hundred years lay down without making an effort of resistance, 
apparently. Passing through woodland now for the next two miles the wrath of the wind was set on fire, 
and it poured down in consummate fury seemingly maddened by the resistance the forest made each member 
of which manfully contested every inch of its advancing destruction. But resistance only augmented its 
power, for as it leaped into open fields the pent up torrents flowed in every direction, carrying with 
it debris of the forest, straw, knots, trees and stumps. The wind met no resistance in the open fields, 
it leaped here and yonder against stump and fence until it bore hard upon the barns and dwellings of the 
plantation; the barns burst open, the contents, corn and forage, blew as out of the mouth of a cannon 
in every direction, the wall of the dwellings dropped as readily as a candle before a furnace.
 Mr. Campbell says the family he was stopping with for the night had retired, and he was asleep: when 
he awoke he was standing on his feet and the house was entirely gone, while amid the howling of the wind
 he could hear cries for help. A gentleman who witnessed this scene from a distance said he could see by 
the flash of the lightning, and that it was at least a half hour after the wind struck the house before 
the inmates were seen, so heavy was the gale and so complete the bewilderment. There were four or five 
persons in this house, and all escaped alive, but more or less bruised. The roof of the house parted as 
it went up, one half going one way the other another. The body of the house leaped from its pillows fifteen 
or twenty feet, striking the ground in a shearing position, which caused the earth to roll up before it 
almost to the window sills; then the walls flew a splinter. Two trunks of clothing have not been found 
on the plantation. No trees stand whole, but broken in every way possible.
 Upon Mr. Reuben Matthews' place directly under the wind, all the bitterness and iniquity of the winds, 
storms, hurricanes, sand storms of Africa and cyclones of India seemed to gather in battle. All the damage 
done in the past ten miles is here surpassed. Nothing is left, houses, barns, fences, orchard and trees,
 man and beast, were scattered like feathers. Mr. Matthew's wife was found two hundred yards away with 
half of her head lodged in a stump. Mr. Overby, his wife and two children were horribly beaten to death; 
one other child is near dead.
 The scene is the most shocking ever witnessed by the oldest people. It appeared that an immense 
electric lake floated in the cloud, and the wind rushed in from both sides of the storm to supply the 
fire with air. Numbers of others are killed and wounded. The damage cannot be estimated. We hear much 
from further on but nothing definite.
     Yours truly,   Z. T. Kivett.

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