March 3, 1865
Robeson County, North Carolina
Allen and William Lowry (sometimes spelled Lowrie) are murdered by the Confederate Home Guard
The Lowrys were suspected by Home Guard leader Robert McKenzie to have stolen some of the latter’s plantation animals, stockpiling illegal weapons, helping other Lumbees (a native tribe in North Carolina) from impressed service (the practice of capturing men and forcing them into military service), aiding Union soldiers returning to the North, and other treasonous acts.
William and his aging father Allen were forced to dig their own graves before being shot to death, their bodies haphazardly buried in the graves with no burial rites given. A few days later family members secretly performed proper burials for the men.
According to legend, William’s brother Henry Barry Lowry (pictured) helplessly witnessed the murder fueling vengeance and leading him to his life of crime. Henry is known as a Robin Hood-esque figure and pioneer for Native American civil rights. The end of Henry’s life is largely undocumented with no official date or cause of death, though legend holds he accidentally shot himself while cleaning a double-barreled shotgun.