General Joseph Martin Chapter

Cumberland Gap, TN


Cumberland Gap Patriot

Edward Walker

Edward Walker was born in 1754 in Duplin County NC. In the Spring of 1777, Walker joined the NC militia ,and was ordered to march to Wilmington NC. Wilmington NC was used as an embarkation point during the Revolutionary war to send troops to other areas. In January 1776, NC Troops were sent to Wilmington to defend Fort Johnson, the scene of the first British Naval bombardment to occur along the North Carolina Coastline. In December 1776, Francis Nash had used Wilmington as a meeting place before Continental troops were sent to St. Augustine Florida to   protect the Florida and Georgia coastline from British invasion.
      Wilmington would also become famous for one of the greatest American POW  escapes from a British Prison. After Wilmington was seized by the British in February 1781, the British turned the Burgwin Wright house into a prison house for soldiers who had been in the Nc Continental line and militia. In June 1781, the American prisoners found a way into the drainage pipes of  the house that led to an underground cistern. The American troops followed the cistern until it came to the Brunswick river, and made their escape.
     On the journey to Wilmington, Walker's unit was ambushed by a group of local Tories. A fire fight ensued. Walker was wounded in the head during this fire fight , and sent home to recover.
    Walker reenlisted in 1778. For the next 3 months, Walker fought Tories and Indians. On one occasion, Walker was captured, by the Tories, but soon escaped.
    Walker reenlisted in 1779 under the command of General Griffin Rutherford. In October , 1779 Walker joined an expedition to Savannah. Savannah had been captured by the British , one year earlier by Lt. Col. Archibald Campbell. Rutherford had been given orders to link up with Benjamin Lincoln to try and recapture the city of Savannah.
 On October 9 , 1779, Lincoln and French Admiral D'Estainge bombarded the fortress of Savannah with heavy artillery. D'Estainge was soon shot, and the Americans and French army soon retreated. Over 800 French and American soldiers were killed trying to take the fortress. It would be July 1782, before the British would leave Savannah.
 After this battle Walker went back to Duplin county NC. In 1790, Walker had moved to Sullivan county where he married Jane Horne or Jane House.  They would have 11 children from this Union.
 Walker later moved to Claiborne county where he applied for his pension in 1833.  On August 26, 1838, Walker died at age 54.
  In the 1840s, a Henry walker settled in the Bear creek region of Claiborne county and started a ferry service at Walker's ford. During the Civil war Troops from both sides used the ferry service . On December 2, 1863, a small skirmish between Union and  confederate troops took place there.


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