The Charlotte News

Thursday, June 8, 1939


Site Ed. Note: We include the following piece about some strange battle of which we never before heard, appearing on The News editorial page of this date. Don't ask us why.

Famous Battle And The Decision A Judge Made

Col. Warren A. Fair, Lincoln Times

The "Battle of Hog Hill" ranks well up along with the Battle of Ramsaur's Mill. The exact date of this famous conflict cannot be given at this writing but there are many old citizens yet living who remember the event, which took place some sixty-odd years ago.

Back in that day and time one of the principal amusements was shooting matches. The prizes offered would be turkeys, geese, hogs, and beeves. Each participant provided his own target, which usually was an old shingle which was blackened and a piece of white paper attached. A cross mark would be made in the center of the white paper and a perfect shot was one which centered the spot where the two marks met. Rifles were used.

Many of the shooting matches were held over across the river on top of the Hill, where stood Bob Summey's blacksmith shop. Others were held on Reinhardt's Heights, about where Guy Rudisill now lives. Frequently the matches would be held at night. There would be no light except a lantern, or pine torch, at the target. It is surprising how well many of these men could shoot in the dark. The distance at night would be fifteen steps. In daylight the range would be 25 yards, lying down and ten yards standing.

One of the most popular centers for the shooting matches was at Hog Hill, about nine miles northwest of town. And it was here that the "Battle of Hog Hill" took place, some sixty or seventy years ago.

The rucus began at Logan Rudisill's store, early in the morning, and lasted all day and into the night. In the beginning about 30 men were engaged, all drunk, and before the shades of evening fell the entire countryside was engaged in the fight, using clubs, sticks, knives, fists, rocks, but fortunately no firearms. The row began over some sort of dispute about the shooting match. Amzi Lynn was the leader of one side, and with him were John and Henry Hipp, and many others whose names will be remembered by older citizens. The other side was led by Jake Kistler, James and George Kistler, and many others whose names will also be remembered by old timers.

There was plenty of good liquor back in those "piping days of peace" and that is probably the reason no one was killed in the Hog Hill fight. Most all the fighters were too drunk to do a great deal of harm. As the stream of spectators increased they, too, partook of a little of the "O, Be, Joyful" and soon were also taking part in the fight, lining up with their friends on either side.

When the smoke of battle cleared away there were probably a hundred men with cracked skulls, broken arms, blackened eyes and various and sundry cuts and bruises. Many of them were unable to see for a week, so badly swollen were their eyes. But everybody "had a good time."

The trial for this great offense "Against the peace and dignity of the State" was held in the Old Courthouse and of course the courtroom cannot begin to accommodate the crowd. In fact, the prisoners about exhausted the capacity of the old building. The testimony was so confusing and contradictory that the Judge, in desperation, finally decided to find everybody present guilty and gave all hands the same sentence.

Their Majesties

The Atmosphere Remains Cool And Calm Above The Storms Below

In Washington generally, we see by the papers, they have the social jitters. All the little people who ache to look important are fluttering over what they must and must not say, what they must and must not wear, and how they must or must not bow. The isolationists are fuming darkly over plots and propaganda--especially when their wives haven't been invited to Lady Lindsay's garden party. And, as usual, some of our large stock of professional exhibitionists are planning to put on the great commoner act by turning up in outlandish dress or with a cud of chawing tobacco.

From that sort of thing it is a relief to turn to the attitude exhibited by Secretary Hull yesterday, and to the calm that plainly reigns in the White House itself. Old Cordell Hull from Tennessee is as simple and unaffected an American as one can well imagine. But he is also a gentleman. And when he encountered the King and Queen yesterday, his performance was perfect--dignified, unpretentious, neither fawning nor forward. A well-bred American encountering well-bred English people of great rank--that was all.

And such, of course, will also be the case at the White House. Both President Roosevelt and Lady Eleanor have beautifully simple manners, and know perfectly how to meet the visiting dignitaries without posturing or flurry. It is a pleasure to think that, amidst all the gaucherie which will be on exhibition, the really great persons of our Government are equal to the occasion. We hesitate even to imagine what some aspirants to the throne, past and present, would have done in the circumstances.

The Smear Again

From Madam Perkins The Hon. Thomas Proceeds To Poet MacLeish

The Hon. J. Parnell Thomas, Representative in Congress from New Jersey, is the same distinguished gentleman who a few months ago fathered a snide move to impeach Madam Perkins because she wouldn't deport Harry Bridges regardless of his legal rights. That, he stormed with all the vigor of personal and partisan malice, made Madam, if not a Red, then the next thing to it.

Of a piece with that was his attack yesterday on Archibald MacLeish, who the President has nominated to be the librarian of the Library of Congress. He dared not charge outright that MacLeish was a Communist--since he can immediately be proved to be dealing in falsehood. And so he adopted the smear method, charging that MacLeish was a "fellow traveler" of Communism, and appealing for proof to the report of the Dies Smear Committee.

MacLeish is in fact no more a Communist than Mrs. Roosevelt, at whom you'll remember, exactly the same charge was hurled before the Dies Committee by Mrs. Lizzie Dowling and other professional Red-hunting witnesses. Educated at the exclusive Hotchkiss School, and Yale, Harvard, and Tufts, MacLeish served as a captain in the Army during the war. And since then has been in practice as a poet--and a good one, too; in 1932 his Conquistador won the Pulitzer prize. He contributes to the Yale Review, to the New Republic, to the Nation, and serves as contributing editor of Fortune. That's all, save that like most distinguished literary men, he has liberal social ideas--dislikes certain aspects of American life, thinks that they can be bettered, and says so.

The attempt to make him out a Communist is simply a part of the attempt to make out everybody who stands anywhere to the left of Herbert Hoover as a Communist. And if he can be barred from the Congressional Library post on such a claim, then every American with liberal ideas can be barred out of the Government. Which, of course, is precisely what the Hon. Thomas and his running mates aim at.

A Muted Hurrah

State Gets A Bargain, But Don't Examine It Too Closely

To lend money on long terms at 1.26677%--$12.66 per $1,000 per year--is practically to lend it without interest. Nevertheless, that was the basis on which the State yesterday sold two and a quarter millions of its bonds and it was no miscalculation. There was quite a hearty bidding at rates approximating the winning bid.

The old days of 4% and 4 1/2% and even 5% State bonds have gone--at least for a spell. North Carolina's credit is excellent, for one thing, but the chief thing is the policy of the Roosevelt Administration. Extraordinary expenditures, such as for relief, find their way into bank deposits, with which the banks buy the self-same Government bonds that have been issued to pay for the extraordinary expenditures. This is good business for the banks and explains why they are enabled to make money almost independently of commercial loans. But it is not so good for the taxpayers, nor is there any assurance that the merry-go-round won't someday break down.

Meantime, however, the reverse tendency of heavy borrowings to beget easy credit is a factor that enables the State and other governments to sell bond issues most favorably and likewise to sell them at home. But it is well to remember that they are not being bought out of the profits of production. To the contrary, they are bought on credit created out of credit.

Lessons In Safety*

Suggested By The Arrival Home Of A College Crowd

In his column last night, our "Everyday Counselor," the Rev. Herbert Spaugh, addressed a most moving plea to the parents of boys and girls back from school for the holidays. Please, please, he said, when turning them loose in the family car, caution them about driving recklessly, for our sakes as well as their own, and entreat them above all to remember that small children are not yet quite rational beings and are given to the most unpredictable movements. It is the responsibility of drivers to watch out for them.

Mr. Spaugh, himself the father of three smaller children, put his heart into this appeal. That was plain to see. And it ought to be made required reading for all the new young drivers. Yet they themselves, for the most part, are carefree and impulsive, and something more than exhortation and prayer probably is necessary to make them cautious. We believe it is going to be provided.

Have you noticed the daily record of cases in City Police Court this last week or so? Well, sir, for some reason or other the Police Department is certainly doing its stuff. Yesterday, for example, 33 cases were listed, and a good many of them were for traffic violations and some of those were for speeding, an offense which we had begun to believe had been repealed. But no. And while parents can do their part and most positively must take no chances with the lives of other people's children, it is comforting to know that the police too are alert to the danger of reckless driving and that the law will take up where parents leave off. So be it!

Unhappy Brownie

Japan's Conduct Seems More Due To Nerves Than To Arrogance

The available evidence seems to suggest that Japan's peculiar behavior lately proceeds much less from arrogance than from growing alarm--in fact from a plain case of the jitters. Her conquest of China appears to have been about as effective as a conquest of the West Wind. Thirty thousand Japanese traders have poured into Peiping in an effort to make it a Japanese city--to set up shops of all sorts, to open cafes and restaurants and so on. But most of them have gone broke, for the good reason that the Chinese won't trade with them. And now they are sore and disillusioned--and sending angry reports back home.

What is much more serious is that the big companies which were scheduled to hog up everything, are having a hard time getting going. And that the tin-hats have been unable to find a puppet Chinese "ruler" who seems to have any chance of rallying the Chinese people to his support. And that the guerrillas are everywhere. The Japanese Army goes out to hunt them, comes back and reports that they have been annihilated, and bang, bang, there they are again. Even Shanghai is hearing machine gun fire once more.

So the little brown man runs around in circles, seeing the bogey of British and French and American intervention behind every bush--the final cooking of his goose. To head it off he dashes in to seize the international settlement at Amoy, has to eat crow under the guns of British, French, and American warships. Then he starts practicing piracy on the high seas by stopping and searching British, French, and American liners though he has issued no declarations of war. And perhaps suddenly recalling that the American battle fleet lies at Pearl Harbor, abruptly retires again. And now he has two British officers he's holding as prisoners--with a perfect certainty ahead of him that he's going to have to eat some more crow. It must be discouraging business to have one bear by the tail and three others sitting around and growling every time you brush against them in the tussle.


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