Sumpter Assaults Rocky Mount

Sumpter Assaults Rocky Mount

Near the end of July, Sumpter’s force having increased to 600 effective men, he moved down the river and made a vigorous assault upon the British post at Rocky Mount. Finding himself unable to carry the place by storm and having no artillery to batter down the works, he made a forced march and came suddenly upon a body of British and Tories encamped upon the Hanging Rock Creek. These combined greatly exceeded in number his own force. Having marched all night on Aug. 6 and having divided his men into three battalions, he made a bold charge into the British camp about sunrise. The division in which Capt. McJunkin fought was led by Lieut. Col. James Steen, and in approaching the enemy was exposed to a very destructive fire from the Tories under Col. Bryan. The enemy were, however, forced from the field by the combined efforts of the three divisions and pursued to the distance of a mile, when the army was called back. The colonels mentioned by Major McJunkin as having participated in this action beside those mentioned above are Lysle, Watson and Ervin, and their conduct on the occasion is commended by him.

The battle being finished, Sumpter took up his line of march toward Charlotte, N. C., until 2 o’clock, when the army stopped and took some refreshments, which was the first for twenty-four hours, although they had marched all of the preceding night. Refreshments over, the march was resumed until night and again renewed in the morning.