Pocahontas County Bicentennial ~ 1821-2021

Historical Sketches of Pocahontas County – 1901
By William T. Price

The Bridger Boys
Arrangements were quick- ly made to bring in the slain. John Cochran had brought a “half sled” to the fort and an old, gentle horse. The sled was taken to where Jim Bridger lay weltering in his blood, and remained there until John was carried down from the Notch, and thus they were borne to the fort and a grave prepared for them on the knoll overlooking Millpoint.

Old Mother Jordan, who lived when a young person where Mathew John McNeel now lives, remembered how Jim Bridger was fixing himself up like he was going to a wedding while the men were getting ready to go to the relief of the Drinnons. He wanted to borrow her silver shoe buckles, and she objected: “Jim, you had better not take my shoe buckles, for the Indians might get you, and I will never see my buckles anymore.”

Aunt Phoebe McNeel and Mrs. Sally McCollam, dau-ghter of Larry Drennan, remembered with emotion long as they lived how the heartbroken father of the Bridger boys put his arms around the necks of his slain sons ere they were put into the one grave. His sleeves were all bloody, and when the men, gently forced him away from his dead, and he lay upon the ground resting his head on one arm and wiping his tears with the bloody sleeve of the other, it looked so pitiful.

This should always be remembered as a consecrated spot, being made sacred by the tears of a father who wept over sons cruelly slain, incidental to the perils and hardships of the early settlement of Pocahontas.


A generation since, one of the best known characters in West Highland, Virginia, was Captain Adam Curry, a Revolutionary veteran. One of his grandsons, William Curry, is a well-known citizen of Pocahontas County.

Captain Curry was a native of Scotland, and came to America, and resided several years near Manassas Junction. He was among the first to enlist in the War of the Revolution, and was chosen captain of his company, and participated in all the engagements in which Virginia Troops were engaged that followed Mercer and Washington.

Soon after the war, he gathered up the remnants of his property and moved to Augusta County, locating in the Back Creek valley on property now owned by William Crummett in southwest Highland.

He settled in the woods and raised a large family of sons and daughters. He was honest in his dealings, and was held in much esteem for his high sense of honor and patriotic impulses…

He was proverbially neat in dress and polished in his manners. To the close of his life, some forty or fifty years ago, he dressed in the colonial style – knee breeches, long stocking and shoes with silver buckles.

He retained his habits of court life as to diet and sleeping as long as he lived he died at the age of one hundred and five years, with but few signs of decrepitude visible… His remains are in the Matheny grave yard, near the Rehobeth Church, in the Back Valley, a few miles from his home…

Late in the summer of 1861, some Confederate troops, commanded by Colonel William L. Jackson, were stationed at Hunters-ville, and used the clerk’s office for barracks. In the place of straw they scattered the office papers pell-mell on the floor and spread their blankets. It also became apparent the Federals would soon enter the place, and so the court directed their clerk, William Curry, to seek out a safe place for the county records.

In obedience to instructions, he secured the assistance of R. W. Hill, then a youth too young for military service, with a team. The clerk removed the records to Joel Hill’s residence, near Hillsboro, where they remained until January, 1862. Deeming it necessary to seek a safer place, Mr. Curry arranged for the transportation of the records to Covington, via Lewisburg, young R. W. Hill teamster. For a time quarters were had in the upper rooms of Williams Scott’s storehouse, and afterward for a few weeks room was furnished in the county clerk’s office

With General Averill’s approach to Covington, Mr. Curry carried the records to William T. Clark’s, eight miles north of Covington, and for three weeks had them concealed in a rick of buckwheat straw…

Matters became so threatening that arrangements were made to move them into the mountains, four miles east, to the residence of a Baptist minister, absent as a soldier in the Confederate army… Mr. Curry was assisted in this removal to the lonely mountain refuge by Andy Daugherty… Mr. Daugherty deserves recognition for his fidelity, because for two years the safety of the records depended on his not telling about them…

Something more than five years intervened between the first removal and the final return of the records, and notwithstanding the risks encountered and the vicissitudes of war times, nothing was lost but an old process book of no intrinsic importance…

So far as known, there is no other like instance of fidelity to official duty that surpasses the preservation of the Pocahontas county records. There were ten removals in all, from first to last…

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