No official documents or contemporary news articles have survived from the time of the event as this happened around the end of the war - in nearly forty years research in local history and I've yet to find any documentation. Nevertheless by the time JWS moved from Wentworth to Yanceyville his nickname was duly applied. His mother soon joined the family in Yanceyville and suffered a very strange death - falling out of her sickbed and cutting her throat on the broken edge of a chamber pot. Many Caswell and Rockingham County residents suspected that her throat was deliberately cut - possibly by JWS.
Ratliffe's family lived in Wentworth until 1987 and the story about JWS in Wentworth was essentially what has been given in other accounts.
March 15, 2011 AT 9:56 AM, Michsel Perdue
Posted to the weblog of Charlotte Observer Associate Editor Jack Betts.