This time it’s a Revolutionary War veteran’s grave in Johnson City. As a teenager, Darling Jones served under Isaac Shelby in South Carolina and participated in John Sevier’s Cherokee campaigns. Now people are using his final resting place as a trash dump.
There’s a tradition that Jones fired the shot that killed Patrick Ferguson at King’s Mountain, but he didn’t mention being present at the battle in his pension application, and Bobby Moss doesn’t include him in his annotated list of King’s Mountain vets as either a documented or possible participant. I suspect the Ferguson story is a bit of accrued tradition, since it seems that Jones wasn’t there. King’s Mountain was The Big One as far as most Tennesseans have been concerned, so it makes sense that local Rev War vets would get lumped in with the guys who fought there. (Most traditional accounts credit another Tennessee militiaman named Robert Young with the fatal shot, although Ferguson’s body was apparently so riddled with holes that one wonders whether any single individual can be said to have “killed” him.)
Whether the tradition that Jones was at King’s Mountain is true or not, his gravesite is no place to leave garbage.