Skirmishes at

Indiantown and Sandy Hook












Indiantown Civil War Trails marker

Located near the site of the second guerrilla attack





Bill Hutchins

Member of Caleb P. Walston’s Company





Draper’s men camped here after skirmishes.


Dr. McIntosh was living here at the time of the skirmish. The house belonged to Dr. Marchant. According to Ray Etheridge, that house burned around 1881. The men killed in the skirmishes were buried here.




Current Masonic Lodge at Indiantown


The lodge met at the Indian Town Academy on Four Forks Road (formerly named Academy Road) at the time of the Civil War.



The following report by “Tewksbury” appeared in the 9 January 1864 edition of the New York Times:


NORFOLK, Va., Monday, Jan. 4.  INDIANTOWN. A mile ahead we encountered a party of Col. DRAPER's men, which had been sent out to meet us. The Colonel had just reached Indiantown, after a severe skirmish with the guerrillas, in which he had lost several men. In a few minutes we reached the stately mansion of Dr. MCINTOSH, of which alone the village now consists, the rest of the houses having been burned. For convenience as well as security, Col. DRAPER had encamped his men on the Doctor's premises, which, in addition to the large dwelling house, comprised a spacious farm-yard and twenty or thirty outbuildings. Into the grounds our column soon poured, and a scene at once novel and picturesque presented itself. The garden fences were speedily demolished and fires sprang up in all directions under the trees, while a large fire of fence rails was burning in the road. A hundred horses were tied to every available post and tree; a maze of carts, with their loads of contrabands, inclosed the stables and extended out into the adjoining corn-field; officers were riding to and fro; squads of men were marching hither and thither, detailed on various duties, the doors of the outbuildings had been forced opened, and they were occupied for every imaginable purpose. In the Doctor's office a Lieutenant-Colonel and Captain had taken up their quarters, and saddles, bridles, blankets, swords, pistols, were mingled with pill boxes and bottles of physic. The neighboring kitchen was filled with woman and children from our contraband train. The cracking pump-handle was unceasingly worked -- horses were neighing and kicking -- servants were bringing armsfull of fodder from the barn. Here were soldiers plucking the feathers from poultry of which they had despoiled the secesh on the march, there a group was listening to the details of the fight with the "grillas," while near by three or four happy darkies are singing over their boiling camp kettle. These mingled sights and sounds, blended in rich confusion, composed a scene I shall not soon forget. But in one corner of the yard there was a different spectacle. Hither the wounded men were brought in carts and carefully removed into a small building, where they were placed upon beds of corn-fodder and attended by three surgeons. Many of the wounds were slight, but some were pronounced fatal, and one man died while I was present. FIGHT WITH THE GUERRILLAS OF CAMDEN COUNTY. As before stated, a force of 400 men had been sent from Elizabeth City, under command of Col. DRAPER, of the Second North Carolina, to scour the lower districts of Camden County for contrabands, with orders to unite with the main column at Indiantown. The region was found to abound with fine plantations, and the result of the first day's "canvass" was twenty teams. Encamping that night at Shiloh -- a village of about twenty houses and a church -- fires were built at a cross-roads near the church, while the men were quartered in the church, and pickets posted on all the approaches. About midnight the pickets were driven in by a force of guerrillas, supposed to number about 100 men, who discharged their rifles at the camp-fires, where they supposed the men to be sleeping. This was what Col. DRAPER had anticipated, and thanks to his shrewdness not the least harm was done. The fire being returned by the reserve guard, the guerrillas fled into the swamp. The next day, resuming the march to Indiantown, at a place called Sandy Hook, where the road crossed a swamp, they were attacked by a large body of guerrillas in ambush, Col. DRAPER ordered his men to lie down while loading their guns, and sent two detachments to attack the bushwhackers with the bayonet on both flanks, skirting the wood for protection. Executing this order, exposed to a sharp fire, the detachments had reached the wood in which the guerrillas were posted, when, perceiving they were flanked, they took to their heels and escaped by a path which the Colonel's men could not find at the time. The fight lasted about half an hour. Col. DRAPER's loss was 8 killed and 7 wounded. The loss of the guerrillas, as was subsequently ascertained, was 13 killed and wounded. Entering Indiantown, his rear guard was fired upon and one man killed. THE CAMP OF THE GUERRILLAS CAPTURED. The Pasquotank guerrillas had fought shy of the armed "niggers," invariably "skedaddling" at their approach; but as these of Camden seemed more bold and numerous, Gen. WILD determined to return to Sandy Hook, and ascertain if the "State Defenders" were really spoiling for a stand-up fight with an equal number of his colored boys. Accordingly, the next morning -- leaving behind a sufficient force to protect the camp -- the General started for the "Hook," taking with him about 400 men. A half a mile from the Indiantown Bridge the guerillas were descried ahead. Col. DRAPER, who commanded the advance, at once started his men on the "double-quick" for them, when, firing a few shots, they turned and fled. The main column, led by Gen. WILD on foot, immediately joined in the chase, and a singular spectacle for JEFFERSON DAVIS to contemplate was presented; his unconquerable chivalry -- any one of whom used to be called equal to six or eight picked Yankees, running for dear life from the bayonets of despised niggers! O JEFF! At length the fleet-footed guerillas filed of into a forest path, the colored boys some distance behind, filling the air with eager shouts. A half a mile through the wood, across a corn-field, into a second wood, the pursuit was continued, when the path ended, and all traces of the "State Defenders" were lost at the edge of an impassable swamp, densely wooded and flooded with water. Search was made in every direction for the secret path they had taken. At last the embers of a recent picket fire were discovered, near which the trunk of a felled tree was found to be worn with footsteps. Following this another tree was found felled, and then another, and another, their trunks forming a zigzag footpath through the mire and water of the swamp, Col. DRAPER, at the head of the entire force, in single file, penetrated the swamp in this novel manner for half a mile, when a small island was reached. Here, surrounded by gloom and savage wildness, was spread the camp of the guerrillas, consisting of log-huts and a number of tents. Fires were found burning, Enfield rifles scattered over the ground, and everything indicated a hasty evacuation of the place. Between fifty and sixty rifles, a drum, a large quantity of ammunition of both English and rebel manufacture, clothing, a tent full of provisions, and, lastly, the muster roll of the company fell into our hands. The huts were soon in flames and the camp of SANDERLIN's land pirates vanished into smoke, which lose in a vast black volume above the forest. Pursuit of the guerrillas was then resumed. They had fled by a path similar to the one by which they had entered, leading across the swamp in another direction. Following this, a large farmhouse was reached belonging to Major GREGORY. It having been ascertained that SANDERLIN obtained here a considerable portion of his supplies, the house and barns, containing several thousand bushels of corn, were fired and the Major was carried away prisoner. Guided by the captured muster roll, all the dwellings belonging to guerrillas within four miles were burned, when Gen. WILD returned to Indiantown, not so well satisfied with his morning's work as he would have been had the villains dared to face his colored troops. MARCH TO CURRITUCK COURT-HOUSE. By 3 P.M., the column was in motion toward Currituck Court-house, followed by an immense train of contrabands, more than a mile in length. We pushed on rapidly, sending scouts ahead to notify the slaves to be ready to "fall in" when the train should pass. THE COUNTRY THROUGH WHICH WE PASSED was as level as a floor, with vast corn fields stretching away into the forest. Many of the fields, however, were overgrown with weeds, showing where the slaves had run away before the Spring work was done. The houses were generally closed, and a Sabbath silence brooded over the land. It was evidently one of the richest agricultural regions in the State, and even now was filled with plenty. But next year, with their slaves all gone, these wealthy planters, must starve, or else put their own shoulders to the wheel. Some time after dark we came in sight of Capt. FRY's picket-fires, and half an hour subsequently entered Currituck, having marched sixteen miles in five hours. The weather was exceedingly cold, and camp fires were speedily blazing about the three houses constituting the village. ANOTHER GUERRILLA CAMP BURNED. The next day Col. DRAPER obtained permission from the General to attempt the capture of Capt. GRANDY's guerrilla camp, concerning the location of which he had obtained reliable information. Taking with him 160 men, he proceeded back on the road traveled last night as far as Sligo. Here, turning into the woods, and following an obscure country road four miles, with his receiver he impressed a farmer to act as guide the rest of the way. The camp was finally found on an island in the interior of a dense swamp, the path to it for a long distance leading over felled trees, as in the case of SANDARLIN's. It consisted of nine log huts, containing bunks for seventy-five men. These were burned, together with a quantity of pork, beef and tea. Several muskets, a large quantity of bayonets, cartridge-boxes, belts, shoes and rebel army clothing were brought back as spoils. On the way home Col. DRAPER burned two distilleries where the guerrillas were accustomed to procure their whisky.