Rayís Mill Creek, North Carolina
Colonel Philip Alston was a partisan leader in Chatham County who had a reputation as being ruthless to all who he perceived as being a Loyalist. Alston had pursued Fanning after he raided the Chatham County Courthouse. While passing by the house of Thomas Taylor, Alston heard a remark that infuriated him. What the comment was no one knows, but Alston shot Taylor dead on the spot.
Colonel Fanning had stayed the night at Kenneth Blackís as he rode to Wilmington to deliver his prisoners. Black accompanied Fanning a bit of the way the next day as his guide. When they separated Black traded Fanning his horse for the tired one Fanning was riding. As Black was returning to his home he encountered the forces of Colonel Alston. Black attempted to escape on Fanningís foundered horse, but Alstonís men fired at the fleeing Loyalist and wounded him. Black continued on for another 200 feet, and then fell off the horse. He begged for his life when Alstonís men came up, but they smashed in his head with the butt of a gun. He did not die immediately, and was later able to tell Fanning who his attackers were.
Alston didnít continue his pursuit of Fanning. On his return to his house at Deep River he stopped at the home of Hector McNeill and accused the old man of stealing one of his slaves. Alston snapped a pistol at the old manís head a few times and then threatened to hang him if the slave was not returned. Mrs. McNeill had her own slave track down the missing one of Alstonís and return him.