Thursday, October 17, 2019

"Bravest Man" -- Frank Wiley: 1870

"Bravest Man" -- Frank Wiley: 1870

The day the arrest was made in Yanceyville, late that afternoon, Lt. Col. Burgin with eight men went down after ex-sheriff Wiley, nine miles from Yanceyville; went in his tobacco field where he was standing and told him they had come to arrest him. He asked them by what authority. Burgin shook his pistol at him and said, with an oath, "This is my authority."

His men rushed on Wiley, who knocked down seven of them, but one slipped up behind him with a fence rail and knocked him down; they then put Wiley on a horse, bareback, tied his feet to the horse and whipped him nearly all the way to Yanceyville.

The blood flowed freely, he being in his shirt sleeves. Burgin told me that Wiley was the bravest man he ever saw. When they arrived in Yanceyville, that afternoon, Burgin took him into a room in the courthouse, ordered his men to draw their guns on him, and told him that if he did not tell who killed Stevens [Stephens] they would kill him. With his head straight as could be, he opened his coat, slapped his chest and dared them to shoot.

Source: John Green Lea 1919/1935 "Confession" to the killing of John Walter Stephens.

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