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At the same time, a trouble spot had developed in southwestern Dobbs County as is indicated by the following letter to Governor Caswell from Stephen Cobb who resided near where the present town of Goldsboro stands: 

26th July 1779 

Dear Sir: Mr. John Barefoot informed me yesterday that he saw one Stanly that was confined in Kingston to a bar of lead, and has since been two or three days and nights with the Bass’s in the woods. He told Mr. Barefoot that Moses Bass told him that while he was confined in Kingston, he watched several days for an opportunity to get a loaded gun, and said if he could get one he would be damned to hell if he did not waylay the road from your house to Kingston and kill you as you passed, for you passed every day that way. If you can see Stanly you can inform yourself of their behavior while he was with them. I am informed that they are determined to kill me and jas. Simms and every other person that attempts to take them, if they can, and are determined to fight as long as life subsists. I have tried everything and way in my power to take them without killing them, but to no purpose. I have lived sometime in expectation of the State Regiment coming up and Captain Harrison appointed to be up last Saturday to try to take them, but he failed to come. If neither the State Regiment nor Captain Harrison” will not come up, I wish if in your power you’ll send me a warrant to take them dead or alive, and to destroy what they have if they will not surrender themselves; and I will endeavor to get some men in whom I can confide and encamp myself in the woods where they pass and try lives with them, as I cannot be satisfied to live so; and I do not believe they will surrender till some of them are killed, tho’ I had much rather that a part of the State Regiment or Captain Harrison would come up and do something with them as I expect every time I go out of sight of my house to be shot from behind some log, bush or thick place. 

I am, Dear Sir, Your Most Obedient Servant, 

Stephen Cobb” 

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