Biggerstaff's Old Fields


On Friday, October 13, 1780, the patriot force and its loyalist prisoners marched six miles to descend upon the plantation of loyalist Captain Aaron Biggerstaff. He had been mortally wounded during the battle and left for dead. On the 14th, the officers agreed to hold courts martial to satisfy the complaints of the patriot militiamen who had seen among the prisoners men who had committed crimes, they claimed, against themselves and their families. The officers condemned 32 men to be hanged. That night, the unfortunates were swung off by torchlight three at a time from an oak tree. After nine had been hanged, the officers stopped the executions.

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Biggerstaff Hanging Tree historic marker

Photo by Randell Jones

The Aaron Biggerstaff plantation was occupied by the withdrawing patriot militia force and its prisoners. On October 14, after conducting trails, nine men were hanged from an oak tree on the property. [View Additional File Details]

Excerpt from "Before They Were Heroes at King's Mountain" by Randell Jones

p. 486 Shelby wrote, " The trial was concluded late at night. The execution of the law was as summary as the trial." The Patriots marched the 32 men out to a sturdy oak and dropped three ropes over a limb. With pine-knot torches casting a low amber light into the darkness, they surrounded the condemned prisoners four deep. Draper wrote, "They were swung off three at a time and left suspended at the place of execution." One of the Georgians, Captain Paddy Carr, a rather stern and unpleasant fellow but a good soldier, pointed to the dangling victims and declared, "Would to God every tree in the wilderness bore such fruit as that." Copyright 2011, Randell Jones Available at [View Additional File Details]

Cite this Page

Randell Jones, A Guide to the Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail, “Biggerstaff's Old Fields,” Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail, accessed January 20, 2020, http:/​/​bythewaywebf.​webfactional.​com/​omvt/​items/​show/​16.​
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