06 Jul

A MELANCHOLY OCCURRENCE. — Our community was greatly shocked on Monday morning, to learn that Mr. T. C. Lutterloh, son of Thos. S. Lutterloh, Esq., of Fayetteville, who has been engaged for months past in business at Willis’ Creek, about 15 miles distant on the Cape Fear River, had been shot the night before by a young man named R. H. Gilbert.  The facts, as we have been enabled to gather them, seem to be as follows:  Gilbert and a companion, one Stewart Wright, came upon the premises of Lutterloh on Sunday night between 9 and 10 o’clock, and were shooting from the out side into the house of a negro who was a distiller for Mr. Lutterloh, one of the balls fired coming very near striking him.  The negro got out and went in to Lutterloh, who was in bed asleep, awoke him, and asked him to go out and quiet the disturbance.  He went out and demanded of Gilbert to give up his pistol, which, it appears, was his own (Lutterloh’s).  Gilbert handed it to him, and Wright then gave his pistol to Gilbert, which Mr. Lutterloh also wished to get possession of, and advanced on him for that purpose.  Gilbert then deliberately fired, the ball passing through the body of Lutterloh, just under the heart.  Even then, he attacked Gilbert, threw him down and overpowered him, and, by his orders, two or three negroes tied the man.

Mr. Lutterloh lived about 14 hours, dying on Monday at 1 o’clock, p. m.  He was sensible the greater part of the time, and did not appear to suffer very great pain until about the close.  He was conscious for some hours previous to his death that his end was approaching and met it with resignation.  His mother and brother went down to him immediately after hearing of the shooting, accompanied by some of the friends of the deceased.  His remains were brought to his home on the Steamer North Carolina Tuesday morning and interred in the cemetery here on yesterday at 6 P. M.  The body was attended to the grave by the McLean Fire Co., of which deceased was a member.

We, among the many warm friends of the bereaved family, share in their grief, and feel for them the deepest sympathy.  Thomas Lutterloh was a young man of generous and noble impulses, faithful and ardent in his friendships, and kind and benevolent in character.  He had a host of warm friends, and this sad event has thrown gloom and sadness over the entire community.

May He who has crossed the hands of vigorous youth, and bound them over the pulseless chest, in the fetters of death; may He give unto parents and sisters and brothers, that consolation which is not of earth, but cometh in the radiance of divinity, and is of the light of Heaven.

[The Fayetteville News – Wednesday, August 5, 1868]

DISTRESSING AFFAIR  —  A YOUNG MAN SHOT AND KILLED AT WILLIS’ CREEK.  —  We learn from passengers by the steamer Marion that a most distressing affair occurred on Sunday night at Willis’ Creek, in Cumberland county, resulting in the death of Mr. T. C. Lutterloh, son of Thos. S. Lutterloh, Esq., of Fayetteville.  It seems that a young man named Bryan Gilbert was firing off his pistol into an inhabited house, in the vicinity of the residence, or perhaps the still of young Lutterloh.  Lutterloh being fearful lest he should hurt some, one went up to him, and took away the pistol.  Gilbert obtained another, it is not known who gave it to him, and shot Lutterloh with it, the ball passing through his body just above the left groin.  It is said that Gilbert was very much intoxicated.  Lutterloh died Monday about 2 o’clock P. M.  Gilbert has been arrested and at last accounts was lodged in Bladen county jail.

[Wilmington Star – August 5th, 1868]


Tuesday, August 4, 1868.


HORRIBLE TRAGEDY – MURDER OF MR. THOMAS C. LUTTERLOH.  —  Our community was thrown into a state of gloom and sadness early on Monday morning, by intelligence having reached here of the shooting of Mr. Thos. C. Lutterloh, at his place of business about nineteen miles below Fayetteville on the Cape Fear river.  Its particulars as reported to us are these:  On Sunday night about eleven o’clock, Mr. L., was awakened by one of his negro employees, who told him that two men named Stewart Wright and Bryant Gilbert were drunk, and being armed with pistols were shooting at a house occupied by Mr. L’s distillery, and begged him to come out and stop them.  Mr. L. got up immediately and went to the spot where the shooting was going on and succeeded in getting Gilbert’s pistol away from him, when Wright stepped up and handed him (Gilbert) another one, making some remark as he did so, whereupon Gilbert stepped back a pace or two, and without saying a word, leveled his pistol at Mr. L., and fired, the ball entering the side of the abdomen just beneath the lower rib, passing through him.  Mr. L. walked back to the house, a distance of two hundred yards or more, before he knew he was seriously hurt.  He lingered until Monday about one o’clock, when his spirit took its winged flight to the God who gave it.  Mr. Lutterloh was a young man of promise, we think just having entered his twenty-first year.  He was an amiable and interesting companion, and his many friends mourn the untimely loss of one whom they all loved.  His remains reached here at 6 ½ o’clock this morning, and we suppose, will be interred sometime during the day.  Gilbert has been arrested and confined in jail at Elizabeth.  Wright is still at large.

[ Wilmington Star – August 6th, 1868]


It was reported by passengers by the boats yesterday, that Mr. Lutterloh, the young man who was killed at Willis’ Creek Sunday night, before he died made an explicit request of his friends and relatives that young Gilbert, the person who shot him, should not be prosecuted. He stated that the affair would not have happened but for Gilbert’s unfortunate condition, and the instigation of young Wright. In justice to Gilbert, we would state that he is reported to have conducted himself very well since he has been grown. The wildness of his boyhood days is said not to have attached itself to the man. Had he been sober, it is thought nothing of the kind would have occurred.

[Wilmington Daily Journal —  Thursday Morning, August 6, 1868]

A MELANCHOLY AFFAIR — FATAL SHOOTING. — From gentlemen arriving in this city by the Fayetteville boats, we learn of a melancholy affair in which Mr. Thomas C. Lutterloh, son of Mr. Thomas S. Lutterloh, was shot and fatally injured by a young man named Bryant Gilbert, at Willis’ Creek, 19 miles below Fayetteville, and 101 miles above this city, on Sunday night last.  Mr. Lutterloh, it appears, is proprietor of a turpentine distillery at Willis’ Creek, and rents his premises from a Mr. Wright, an uncle of Gilbert’s.  This young man, together with his cousin, young Wright, had engaged Mr. Lutterloh’s distiller to cook them supper, and, being in a  state of intoxication at the time, became involved in a quarrel with the negro, who was shot at by Gilbert twice, with no effect, however.  This was about twelve or one o’clock, and some of the other negroes called up Mr. Lutterloh, who endeavored to stop the disturbance, and finally succeeded in taking Gilbert’s pistol from him.  Wright then threw Gilbert his pistol, crying out, “take it and shoot him.”  Gilbert then seized Wright’s pistol and fired at Mr. Lutterloh without effect.  Mr. Lutterloh still persisting quietly in the attempt to gain possession of the pistol, Gilbert fired at him a second time, the ball then taking effect in the abdomen, inflicting a fatal injury.  Mr. Lutterloh lingered in much suffering until about 1 o’clock the following day, when he expired.  Gilbert has been arrested by the authorities, and is now in jail.

The victim of this abominable act was a young man of most estimable character and upright habits.  From a long personal acquaintance with him, amid the temptations of camp life, we can ourself bear testimony of this fact.  He was generally esteemed by all his friends.  Gilbert was, previous to the war, a school boy in this city, and of an exceedingly turbulent and violent disposition.

Daily Journal, 5th.

[Wilmington Journal EXTRA August 7, 1868]

Thomas Charles Lutterloh Grave Marker - Cross Creek Cemetery, Fayetteville, NC

Thomas Charles Lutterloh Grave Marker - Cross Creek Cemetery, Fayetteville, NC


Second son of

Thos. S. & M. F. Lutterloh.

Born at Fayetteville, N. C.
June 25th, 1847,
Died at Willis’ Creek, N. C.
August 3rd, 1868.

“Calm on the bosom of thy God.
Young spirit rest thee now.
Even while with us thy footstep trod,
His seal was on thy brow.”
“Dust, to its narrow house beneath,
Soul, to its place on high.
They that have seen thy look in death
No more may fear to die.”
Lone are the paths and sad the bowers,
Whence thy meek smile is gone.
But oh! A brighter home than ours.
In heaven, is now thine own.

FAYETTEVILLE, N. C.        }
September 1, 1868          }

Editor of the Star:

SIR:– My attention has been called to a letter recently published in your paper, by Wm J Gilbert, in regard to the killing by his brother, R H Gilbert, of my son Thos C Lutterloh, at Willis’s creek, in which letter the circumstances of the homicide are grossly misrepresented.  As those circumstances will soon undergo a judicial investigation, I deem it improper upon the eve of the trial, even with a view to correct what I fear is a willful perversion of the facts of the case to publish the true version.

I desire, however, to enter my dissent from the truth of his statement, and to protest against the false imputation which he has seen fit to cast upon the reputation of my deceased son.  The life of my son has been taken—I can and will defend his memery.



[The Eagle – Monday, September 7, 1868]

NOTES: I do not yet know the outcome of the above situation, but have included it thinking, at present, that this was the melancholy item which called T. S. Lutterloh away from Raleigh, when he and R. M. Orrell were first approaching “the State” regarding the purchase of the Cape Fear Navigation Company stock.  *See Mr. Orrell’s testimony regarding the CFN Co. Fraud Case – 1871 (pp. 87-88).


Posted by on July 6, 2009 in Uncategorized


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