General Joseph Martin Chapter
Cumberland Gap, TN
Cumberland Gap Patriot
John Tuttle, Tory Terror of Rockingham county Nc, was born on March 22, 1761 in Rockingham Nc. In 1778, at the age of 16, Tuttle joined the local Rockingham nc militia. Upon joining the militia, Tuttle was exposed to harshness and the reality of service within the Nc Militia. One day , Tuttle's company was forced to go into town to buy supplies when they ran out of food for breakfast, only to find out that the merchants wouldnt take the continental paper money which they considered worthless. Tuttle's company was then forced to go house to house begging for food supplies until his company company could receive supplies from the State of Nc.
Between August and December 1778, Tuttle participated in a campaign against the Cherokee Indians. Tuttle found the Cherokee Indian villages deserted,and marched back to Salisbury NC for Winter Quarters.
In March 1779, Tuttle went on an expedition to find the Tory leader David Fanning. Fanning was responsible for several atrocities in Randolph County NC. In 1778, Fanning had participated in several raids against the Georgia patriot militia when the British were trying to occupy Georgia. One day Tuttle's company came upon Fanning and his men at Kings Creek located in Randolph county. A small skirmish between The Nc Militia and Fanning's Tories soon occurred. Even though out numbered, the Nc militia was soon able to defeat Fanning. Fanning seeing that he was about to be defeated, rode off from the battle.
Between July and October 1780, Tuttle went on several expeditions against the Tories, which would give him the nickname Tory Terror of Rockingham.On July 21, 1780, Tuttle partcipated in the battle of Colson mills nc where General Davidson defeated a small band of Tories.In August 1780, Tuttle went on an expedition to try and find the Tory leader Isaac Lebo. Lebo had lived in Washington county Va, where he caused the local patriots much grief before being expelled by Arthur Campbell. Lebo moved to Wilkes county nc where he was soon expelled by Benjamin Cleveland.
In October, 1780, Tuttle and Nc militia defeated a band of Tories at Shallow ford NC. This victory ended Tory dominance in Surry county.
On January 17, 1781, Tuttle particpated in the battle of Cowpens, where along with Andrew Pickens tricked the British into thinking the militia was retreating when in reality they were leading Tarleton's men into a trap with the Maryland Continental army there at Cowpens.
On March 6, 1781, Tuttle participated in the battle of Whitsell mills Nc, where the Nc militia ambushed the British army under the command of Cornwallis , hoping to weaken it against the upcoming Battle of Guilford courthouse, which would occur one week later. The Nc militia fought bravely , but soon had to retreat since they were vastly outnumbered. This battle did weaken the British to some extent. Cornwallis was almost defeated at Guilford losing one fourth of his men in battle.
Tuttle had hoped to particpate in the battle of Guilford courthouse, but he contracted a fever the day before and spent most of his time laying on a cot while the battle took place. After Tuttle recovered from his fever, he was discharged from the army.Tuttle moved back to Rockingham Nc, where he died on September 30, 1840.
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