The-Lenoir-Topic-Wed-Mar-4-1891, Lenoir, NC

March 4, 1891


ABINGDON, Va., February 24.

Our usually quiet city was thrown into quite a state of excitement this evening by a telephone message from Elk Garden, Russell county, to the effect that a body of armed men belonging to the notorious Wright and Potter gang of outlaws who live on the borders of Kentucky were on their way here, presumably for the purpose of rescuing three of their band who were captured and placed in our jail on Thursday of last week charged with horse-stealing. The prisoners refuse to talk and will not give their names, but were identified today by men from Johnson county, Tenn., as George Wright, John Wright, and George Potter, who are also wanted on the charge of murdering young Edmundson on the 17th instant near Laurel Gap, close to the Virginia and Tennessee line. The grand jury, now in session, found a true bill on both indictments.

A body of courageous men well armed and a detachment of the "Washington rifles" have been deputized to guard the jail to-night, and if the gang attempt a raid they will meet with a warm reception.

George Potter was shot in the side by Sheriff Penritze [Henritze], of Russell county, during the fight which occurred when he was arrested, but is not mortally wounded.

The three men have been connected for the past several months with a gang of desperadoes who have been the terror of the mountains of Johnson county, Tenn., and the adjoining counties of North Carolina and Southern Virginia.