The Rowan County Fight




Come all young men and ladies
Come fathers and mothers too,
A story I will tell you
Of the Rowan County crew.
Concerning bloody Rowan
And many a horrid deed
My friends please give attention
Remember how it reads.

It was in the month of August
On an election day;
John Martin he was wounded
They say by Johnnie Day.
Martin did not believe it,
He could not think it so;
He thought it Floyd Tolliver
That fired the fatal blow.

They shot and killed Sol Bradley,
A sober and honest man
Left his wife and children
To do the best they can.
They wounded young Ad Sizemore
Although his life was saved
He seemed to shun the grog-shop
Since he stood so near the grave.

Martin did recover;
Some months had come and passed
While in the town of Morehead
These men had met at last.
Tolliver and a friend or two
About the streets did walk--
He seemed to be uneasy
With no one he wished to talk.

They stepped into Judge Carey's grocery
And stepped up to the bar
But little did he think dear friend
He had met the fatal hour.
The sting of death was near him,
Martin rushed in at the door.
A few words passed between them
Concerning the row before.

The people soon were frightened,
Began to rush out of the room
When a ball from Martin's pistol
Lay Tolliver in the tomb.
His friends soon gather around
A wife to weep and wail.
Martin was arrested
And soon confined to jail.

He was put in the jail at Morehead
There to remain a while
In the hands of law and justice
To bravely stand his trial.
The people talked of lynching him over
But present though they failed.
The prisoner's friends then moved him
To the Winchester jail.

Some persons forged an order,
Their names I do not know.
The plan was soon agreed upon.
For Martin they did go.
Martin seemed uneasy,
His heart was all in dread.
"They've sought a plan to kill me,"
To the jailer Martin said.

Martin was in the smoking car
Accompanied by his wife.
They did not want her present
When they took her husband's life.
When they arrived at Hinton
They had no time to lose.
A band approached the engineer
And bid him not to move.

They stepped up to the prisoner
With pistols in their hands.
He soon in death was sinking,
He died in iron bands.
His wife soon heard the horrid shot
She was in another car.
She cried "Oh Lord they've killed him"
When she heard the pistol fire.

The death of these two men have caused
Great trouble in our land,
Caused men to leave their families
And take the parting hand.
Their relatives are still at war
They never, never cease.
I would that they could only see
Our land once more at peace.

They killed a deputy sheriff
Baumgardner was his name.
They shot him from the bushes
It was a dirty shame.
His body was pierced and torn
With thirty two buck shot

I composed this as a warning
And oh, beware young men.
Your pistols will cause trouble
On it you may depend.
In the bottom of a whiskey glass
The lurking devil dwells,
Burns the breath of those who drink it
And sends their souls to HELL.


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