The Covington News - - LOOKING BACK -

New­ton County was named for Sgt. John New­ton, one of two Amer­i­can soldiers whose coura­geous ac­tion in a dar­ing res­cue of pris­on­ers, marked them as he­roes.

John New­ton was born in the city of Charleston, S.C., Jan. 16, 1755. He was in the army from early in the Rev­o­lu­tion­ary War un­til his death.

Dis­guised as de­sert­ers, he and his friend, Sgt. Wil­liam Jasper, were ac­cepted as such in the Bri­tish Camp near Ebenezer, be­tween Au­gusta and Sa­van­nah. They ob­served Amer­i­can pris­on­ers in irons, en route to Sa­van­nah for trial, and with them a Mrs. Jones and her lit­tle child, whos hus­band was among the pris­on­ers. Her grief over the gloomy prospect of her hus­band’s ex­e­cu­tion led New­ton and Jasper to re­solve to res­cue the pris­on­ers.

As the party of eight Bri­tish soldiers de­parted for Sa­van­nah with the pris­on­ers, Jasper and new­ton, un­armed fol­lowed silently through the woods. Ar­riv­ing at a spring ahead of the party, and when the guards stacked their guns to get wa­ter, they seized guns, shot two of the guards, cap­tured the Bri­tish soldiers, and freed the Amer­i­cans.

New­ton and Jasper then led their lib­er­ated friends and cap­tive Bri­tish soldiers across the Sa­van­nah River, to an Amer­i­can Camp in South Carolina.

In the cap­ture of Charleston in 1780, New­ton was taken pris­oner, and soon af­ter­ward died of small­pox.

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