Newton County, Missouri was formed from Berry County on December 30, 1838. In 1946, a strip two miles wide was detached from Newton County and attached to Jasper County.
About two miles north of Savanna, Georgia, in August 1779, two patriots dramatically rescued a desperate group of Americans held prisoner behind British lines. Now legendary, this Revolutionary War incident was recounted by Parson Mason Locke Weems, who also popularized the fabricated tail of George Washington and the Cherry Tree. Although scholars have not been able to verify Weem's account of the rescue, it appears to be essentially accurate.
This story involves General Francis Marion and tow of his scouts. Known as the "Swamp Fox," Marion commanded guerrilla operations in South Carolina throughout the Revolutionary War. The scouts -- William Jasper, who had previously distinguished himself at the Battle of Fort Moultrie, and John Newton --observed a group of about 10 American prisoners while visiting Jasper's brother, a loyalist encamped with the British forces. The Americans were about to be sent downriver for a trial at Savannah and probable execution. Sergeants Jasper and Newton were said to have been particularly moved by the plight of a young man accompanied by his grief-stricken wife and child. The two scouts - who were dressed in civilian attire and trained to move through the woods undetected to gather information and intercept British patrols- hid and followed the party as it headed to Savannah. Without arms, they waited at a watering hole in hopes of waylaying the British escort. As the guards rested their guns, Jasper and Newton, overpowered them, took the muskets and freed the grateful prisoners.
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