From The Greensboro Patriot, August 25, 1850


Last Saturday night the country was visited by a storm of wind and rain more extensive and destructive in its effects than ever before came within our recollection. We have not learned how far west it extended, but understand that the waters of the Yadkin were exceedingly high. To the east, even down to the coast, great damage was done by the wind and freshet. In our own section of the country, fences, mills, bridges and crops on the low grounds have sustained unprecedented damage. The wind blew down great numbers of trees and prostrated the growing corn. We learn that the bridges at Madison, Leaksville, Danville, and Milton on the Dan River have all been swept away, and the crops on the river bottoms ruined. The following letter from a friend in Leaksville graphically decribes the flood at that place.

Leaksville, NC Aug 28, 1850

Messrs. Swaim &Sherwood:--The most extraordinary rain and freshet occurred in Dan River and its tributaries on last Saturday and Sunday, ever witnessed; the rain and wind commenced late on Saturday evening, and continued with increased violence until late at night; on Sunday morning, at about eleven o’clock the Dan and Smith’s rivers were at the highest point and such a flood of waters surely were never seen here before:--Dan River was about thirty deep above common water, spread out all over the low grounds, covering entirely whole corn fields, and  was some five or six feet higher than ever known, according to the accounts in this country. At nine o’clock Sunday morning, Leaksville bridge moved off with a loud crash, and before the waters were at their highest, by some five feet.

Smith’s river was up to Gov. Morehead’s sawmill eaves, over the gristmill water wheel, and up to the top of the windows of the weaving room, or lower story of the factory.

It was a grand spectacle to see at once those two mighty rivers, so deep and wide, moving on so majestically and bearing along on their surfaces immense quantities of oats, wheat, rye and hay, and wrecks of mills and other buildings, fences, lumber, saw logs, timber and large masses of driftwood, all rushing on toward the ocean.


(Article submitted by Donnie Stowe)

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