V a n n  Thomas  P o w e l l  

    On Contentious Ground
    Looking for Lowery

    Points of Entry
    Rebirth of Tragedy
    Retracing Sherman

Vann is a Fine Art
Photographer and
Experimental Filmmaker

+1 919 638 9146
Based in Durham, NC


© Vann Thomas Powell 2023

Looking For Lowery (2021-)

Down in the swamps and hinterlands of Robeson County, North Carolina, Henry Berry Lowery and his gang of “outlaws” operated during the American Civil War and the early Reconstruction era. Lowery and his gang were all of mixed descent, namely Black, Lumbee, and White; much like the current make up of present day Robeson County.

The gang’s heydays were spent robbing plantations and disrupting the Conderate States’ war efforts in Robeson County. Lowery and his gang ran circles around authorities. Perpetually evading capture, the gang hid in the dense swamps that make up the area’s topography. Often meeting up before jobs at Moss Neck, a small train station along the Wilmington Rail
Line, locals recall seeing Lowery and his men, armed and in good humor, before setting out on business.  Darting in and out of the area swamps, Lowery and his compatriots stayed free from the law as they invincibly raided plantations and farms - undetectable amongst the dark mires and dank thickets of Robeson County, North Carolina.

After the Civil War ended, local authorities resolved to catch Lowery and end his lawless ways once and for all. With designs to lure Lowery into a trap, state lawmen kidnapped Rhoda Strong, Lowery’s wife, along with their children.  After managing a heroing rescue of his wife and children, Lowery disappeared, leaving his allies behind and leaderless, some lucky enough to escape, while others, not as fortunate.

As for what became of Henry Berry Lowery, there have been whispers of his death, while other tales speak of him intermittenly attending community gatherings well into his old age. The myth and legend tied up into the swamp master and his gang still lingers in the thick Carolina air down there in Robeson County, inviting all sorts to follow in his footsteps in an attempt to catch glimpse or haunt of Lowery.

Henry Berry Lowery - Harper’s Weekly


The Lowery Gang - Harper’s Weekly

Moss Neck - Current Day

Harper’s Weekly - Artist Rendition of Moss Neck, Robeson County, North Carolina

Moss Neck - Current Day

Robeson County, North Carolina

Black Swamp, Robeson County, North Carolina

Harper’s Weekly - Artist Rendition of Henry Berry Lowery and His Gang

Sandcutt Cemetery, Robeson County, NC - Present Day

Rhoda Lowery’s Grave, Robeson County, North Carolina - Present Day

Henry Berry Road, Robeson County, North Carolina - Present Day 

Cotton Field, Robeson County, North Carolina - Present Day