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t/e-t-u- CluXi 








Dr. J. B: O; LANDRUM. 


Shannon & Co., Printers and Binders, 
Greenville, S. C. 

















Act of Parliament — Passed Dec, 1795 43 

Adair, James— An old hunter i 

Adair, John 183 

Allaire, Captain — A British officer 134 

Anderson, David lor, 357 

Arnold, Gen. Benedict 261 

Attakulla Kulla — An Indian chief 35 

Augusta — Siege of 228 

Bacon, Nathaniel 311 

Balfour, Colonel. . . ' 174 

Barry, Capt. John 357 

Bates, "Bloody Bill" 359-363 

Baxter, Col John 310 

Beauty of Scenery— Upper South Carolina i 

Beattie's Mill— Skirmish at . 178 

Bell and Foster, Lieutenants 29 

Bishop, Mr. — Murder of 91 

Big Warrior — An Indian chief 96 

Bedford Hill— Skirmish at 176 

Blackstocks — Battle of 243 

Blackstock Road — Location of 33 

Block House Fort 33-96 

Boj'ce, John 351 

Brandon, Col. Thomas 105, 148, 189, 206, 310 

Bratton, Colonel 149, 240, 310 

British Outposts — Summer 1880 114 

Brannon, Captain 279 

Brown, " Plundering Sam " 131 

Brown, Thomas — a Scotchman 48, 53, 174 

Buffington's Iron Works 145 

Buffalo and other game 5 

Brindletown — Skirmish near 176-186 

Bull, Lieut. Governor 40 

Caldwell, Capt. John 46, 63, 342, 349 

Campbell, Col. William. 182, 184, 198, 199, 201, 204, 206, 208, 210, 211, 

214, 215, 238 sketch of 221 

Campbell, Lord William, Gov. 37. 50, 57> 68, 75 

Campbell, Ensign Robert 196 

Cameron, Alexander — Deputy Superintendent of Cherokees . 40, 85 

Canebrakes — Battle of loi 

Camden — Evacuation of 317, 318 

Caswell — Governor of North Carolina 160 

Candler, Colonel 243 

• "^ ''•:.§ ■^.■^^ > * X 

ii Index. 


Casey, Captain 351 

Cedar Spring — First battle of no 

Cedar Spring — Second battle of 135 

Cherokee — A Sloop-of-War 42 

Chuloch Culla — An Indian chief 23 

Cherokees — Uprising of 345 

Cherokee Indians — First people 7-325 

Change from Proprietary to Royal authority 15 

Cherokee War 29 

Chambers, Samuel 185 

Chronicle, Major 197, 200, 206, 213 

Clark, Col. Elijah . 112, 114, 129, 135. 137, 160, 161. 163, 173, 175, 180, 

182, 240, 267,319, 326 
Cleveland, Col. Beniamin .... 163, 183, 185, 199, 208: Sketch of. . 224 

Clinton, Sir Henry — British General 103, 312 

Clary, Col. Daniel 151, 172 

Cleremont — Capture of 259 

Cornwallis, Lord — British general . . 2, 103, 107, 173, 180, 182, 198, 

201, 237, 239, 268, 270, 289. ?99, 303, 309 

Congaree Store 52, 104 

Continental Congress 38 

Council of Safety 38,45,53,54,61,68,81,82 

Commercial Report — Charleston, 1731-47 5,74 

Cowpens — Battle of 275 

Cowpensmen 19 

Cottymore, Captain 29 

Culbertson, Josiah 141 

Cunningham, Robert • 45, 48, 49, 56, 63 

Cunningham, Patrick 45. 65, 79 

Cunningham, ** Bloody Bill" 3 ♦1-358 

Cummings, Sir Alexander 16 

Crawford, James 185 

Cruger, Colonel — British Colonel 108, 160, 173, 326, 329 

Cusack, Adam 240 

Davidson, Colonel 152, 189, 237, 302, 303 

Dalrymple's Address 48, 5.^ 

DePeyster, Capt. Abraham — A British officer 152, 210, 112 

Deckard Rifle 184 

DeEstang, Count 

Dickson, Maj. Joseph 129 

Dillard, Mrs 144, 145, 244 

Drayton, John, LL.D 76 

Drayton, Hon. Wm. Henry 47, 48, 49, 51, 54, 57, 61, 62 

Doak, Rev. Samuel 184 

Draper, Hon. Lyman C 206, 208 

Index. iii 


Dunlap, Major 114, 120, 126, 176 

Duval, Lieutenant 330 

Katie's Ford— Battle of iii, 114 

Barley Settlers— North and Middle Tygers 25 

Edgehills— Massacre at 349 

Ellett, Mrs.-Author 105, 132 

Eutaw Spring — Battle of 338-339 

Established Church 15 

Fairfield — Origin of name . 2 

Fair Forest — Origin of name 2 

Fanning, David 106. 152, 159 

Ferguson, Maj. Patrick . 100, 104, 1(2, 187, 192, 197,207, 209, 212; 

Sketch of . . . 334 

Fishing Creek— Battle of 229, 337, 345 

Fishdam — Battle of 240 

Fletchall, Col. Thomas 45i 48, 57, 76, no 

Ford's Muster Ground 45» 49i 5o> 53 

Fort Charlotte 55, 81 

Fort Cornwallis — Capture of 3I9> 321, 322 

Fort Gilpin or Galphin — Capture of 321 

Fort Granby — Capitulation of 318 

Fort Grierson — Capture of 319, 321, 322 

Fort Motte — Capture of 318 

Fort Prince— Skirmish at 125 

Fort Prince George —A British outpost 29 

Fort Watson — Capture of 314 

Franks, Myer 357 

Frazer, Major 156 

Gage, General 38, 41, 49 

Game — Abundance of i 

Gates, Gen. Horatio 191,198,258,261,266,337 

Geiger, Emily . 332 

General Committee 46 

Giles, Colonel 105 

Gillespie — A noted scout 158 

Gilmer, Enoch 197, 199, 200 

Glen, Gov. James r, 23, 25 

Gowen's Fort — Night attack on 117 

Graham, Col. Joseph 80, 99, 143 

Graham, Col. William 135, 189, 201 

Granby— Fall of ... 318-319 

Grant, Colonel 35 

Grant — Indian War 35 

Great Canebrake — Attack on 79 

iv Indrx. 


Greene, Gen. Nathaniel . . 258, 260, 261, 263, 269, 301, 307, 308, 309, 

312, 316, 329, 326, 327, 328, 331 

" Grasshoppers." — Small cannon 290, 307 

Guilford, C. H.— Battle of 310,311 

Grierson Fort 319, 321, 322 

Hammond, Maj. LeRoy / .... 78, 161, 163, 189, 347 

Hammond, Col. Samuel 144, 148, 206, 244 

Hammond's Store — Affair at 268 

Hambright, Colonel 201, 206 

Hampton, Anthony 87 

Hampton, Capt. Edward . . .86,87,121,124,127; Murder of . . . 3S4 

Hampton, Jonathan 178, 187 

Hampton, Preston 86 

Hampton Graves — Opening of 36 

Hampton, Col. Wade 313, 337 

Hannon, Edwin 95 

Hannon, John 96 

Hannon — Massacre 97 

Hanger, Major 107 

Hannah's Cowpens 277 

Harrison, James 87 

Hawsey, Captain 155 

Hawthorne, Colonel 206 

Hayne, Col. Isaac 104 ; Execution of . . . 337 

Hayes, Major 279 

Hays, Col. Joseph 350 

Hays' Station — Massacre at 349 

Haynsworth, Bill 131 

High Courts or Commission 15 

Hill, Colonel 189, 240, 310 

Hobkirk's Hill— Rattle of 315 

Horry, Col. Peter 310 

Horry, Capt. Hugh • .... 318 

Howard, John Eager, Lieut-Colonel . 278, 284, 291 ; Sketch of . . 293 

Howard, Captain 96 

Huger, Col. Isaac 35, 104, 261 

Hughes, Col. Joseph 211 

Husband, Col. Vezey 209 

Indians — Cherokee — First people 7 

Indian Massacres — 1776 28, 8i, 89 

Indian Merchants or Traders 20 

Inman, Capt. Shadrack 152, 156, 164 

Innes, Col. Alexander 151, 156, 175 

Intrigue, of Lord Wm. Campbell, Governor 44 

Introductory — Breaking out of Revolution 32 

Index. v 


Insurgents 69, 7 r, 80, 83, 85 

Jackson, Maj. James 246 

Jackson, Mrs. Nancy 131 

Jackson. Capt. Thomas 94 

James, Major 310 

JefFeries, Capt. Nathaniel 131 

Jones, Col. John 115 

Johnson, Gov. Robert 17 

Johnson, Capt. William 115 

Kerr — Cripple spy 112, 197 

Kershaw, Reverend 47 

Kirkland, Moses 41, 53, 56 

King's Mountain — Battle of 303, 220 

Kingsmen 55» 56, 59 

Kosciusko — General 260, 327,. 328 

Lacy, Colonel 189, 240, 310 

Laurens, Col. Henry 35> 39 

Lee, Lieut-Col. Henry 312,314.318,319,320,322,336,337 

Leslie, General 260, 273 

Lincoln, Benjamin, Major-General loi, 102, 103 

Little or Middle District — Boundaries of • • • • • 42, 45 

Littleton, Wm. Henry 22, 28 

Logan, John A 1,4 

Lower or Dutch Fork District — Boundaries of 42, 45 

Lowndes, Governor 100 

Loyalists 129, 305, 328 

Maham's Tower 322 

Marion, Gen. Francis 104, 238, 239, 309, 314, 331, 337, 339 

Martin, William 129 

Mattocks, Captain 100-113 

Mayson, Major 57-65 

McCall, Capt. James 148, 279 

McCall, Capt. Joseph 129 

McClure, Lapt. John 357 

McDowell, Col. Charles . 119, 121, 128, 135, 160, 163, 175, 176, i8ft, 

189, 190 

McDowell, Col. Joseph 112, 122, 148, 206, 279 

Mcjunkin, Maj. Samuel iii, 131, 148 

McPherson, Lieut-Colonel 318 

Middletcn, Colonel 35, 240 

Mills Station — Massacre at 360 

Mills, Col. Ambrose 120,217; Sketch of . . . 235 

Miller, John — Murder of 90 

Moore, Charles 352 

vi Index. 


Moore, Governor i6 

Moore, Capt. Patrick 114, 129 

Moore, Samuel — A noted Scout 

Morgan, Gen. Daniel . 261, 266, 268, 269, 271, 276, 281, 285, 288, 298, 

301,306,309; Sketch of . . . 291 

Motte, Mrs 318 

Moultrie, Gen. William 35. loi 

Mound Builders 13 

Montgomery, Colonel — Expedition of 34 

Moytoy — Chief of Cherokees 17 

Musgrove's Mill — Battle and Expedition of 147, 166 

Musgrove, Edward 165 

Musgrove, Mary — Heroine 166 

Natural characteristics of our country i 

Neal, Colonel 73. 79» 311 

Ninety-Six District — Bounderies of 45 

Ninety-Six — Siege of •..-.. 224-231 

North Pacolet — Early settlers on 26 

O'Hara, General 306 

Orangeburg — Fall of 318 

Our Country — As it was i 

Park, Anthony — An old hunter • 4, 20 

Patriotism of early settlers 84 

Pearis, Richard 62, 65, 75 

Perry, Sergeant- Major 287, 28S 

Phillips, Samuel * 18 f 

Pickens, Gen. Andrew . .35, 104, 226, 266, 280, 288, 291, 320, 322, 337, 

345-358; Sketch of 295 

Pinkentham, Major 322 

Plantations — Large areas of territory 15 

Plummer, Maj. Daniel 209 

Ponder, James — A youth 201 

Ponder, John 206 

Princes' Fort — Skirmish at 126 

Princes' Fort — Description of 31 

Provincial Congress 39. 4 1. 63. 75, 83 

Popple Alured, Secretary Lords' Commission 17 

Postell, James 311 

Postell, John .... 310 

Pulaski, Count loi 

Randolph, Major 330 

Rawdon, Lord 315,324,326,329.331,333 

Rawdontown 317, 318, 335 

Read, Mrs 305 

Index. vii 


Read, James ^ 

Review of militaay operations, North and South Carolina .... 309 

Richardson, Mrs. Dorcas 75 

Richardson, Col. Richard 72, 73, 75, 76, 79, 80, 8r, 83 

Richardson, Capt. Richard, Jr 75 

Robinson, Major ' 49, 50, 81 

Roebuck, Col. Benjamin 109, 190 

Rose, Major 262 

Round Mountain — Battle of 97 

Rutherford, Col. Griffith 97> 99 

Rudolph, Captain 320 

Rutledge, John — Governor 43, loi, 188, 339 

Saye, Rev. Jas. H 139 

Schenck, Judge David 122, 279 

Schuyuka — An Indian Chief 96 

Selden, Colonel 330 

Settlement — Origin of term 25 

Sevier, Capt. Valentine : 148 

Sevier, Col. John 176, 183, 197, 206, 208 ; Sketch of . . . 229 

. Shelby, Maj. E .an 210,213 

Shelby, Col. Isaac . . 137, 160, 163, 174, 199, 232 ; Sketch of . . . 167 

Shelby, Capt. Moses 182 

Smith, Capt William 142, 155 

Snow Campaign — Account of 71 

South Pacolet — Early settlers on 26 

Spartanburg County — Family names of early settlers 26 

Spartan Regiment • 52» 73, 78 

Snoddy, John — Murder of :. • • 35^ 

Stamp Act by British Parliament ' 35 

Steadman, Captain — Murder of 352 

Steen, Colonel 206 

Stewart, Colonel 338 

Stockmen or Cowpensmen 19 

Stewart, John — Superintendent Cherokee Nation 40, 85 

Sumter, Gen. Thomas . . 81, 82, 104, 237, 240, 243, 248, 250, 253, 324, 

331, 332, 336 ; Sketch of 253 

Tamer — A sloop-of-war 40, 59 

Tarleton, Col. Banister 103, 174, 250, 239, 269, 271, 273, 282, 287 

** Tarleton's Quarter"— Origin of 104,208,210 

Tate, Colonel 278 

Taylor, Col. Thomas 240,243,246,252 

Tenant, Rev. William 47, 49, 55 

Thickety Fort— Expedition against 114, 130 

Thomas, Col. John, Sr 52,73,78,105,110,144 

Thomas, Col. John, Jr 110,240, 279 

viii Index. 


Thomas, Mrs. Jane no, 144 

Thompson, Colonel— Ranger 56, 58, 66, 79, 80 

Thomson's Fort 360 

Tims' Ordinary 232, 233, 236 

Tinsley, Golden 158 

Tories 45, "S. >55. 181, i9', 348 

Treaties with Cherokee Indians 16, 23, 98 

Triplett, Colonel 278 

Turner House — Massacre at 348,349 

Turner, Capt. Sterling 347 

Twiggs, Colonel 240, 250, 267 

Upper or Spartan District — Boundaries of 42 

Vance, Capt. David 148 

War — Between Great Britian and France 23, 28 

Washington, Gen. George 258 

Washington, Col. William . . 244, 259, 261, 267, 268, 277, 279, 287, 

290, 313, 316 ; Sketch of 294 

Wemyss, Colonel 240 

Whigs 106,112,329,208,241,266,267,274,209,334 

Williamson, Gen. Andrew 56, 63, 79, 97, 99, 104 

Williamson's Fort at Ninety-Six — Siege, of 57158,65,66 

Williams, Capt. Daniel 350 

Williams, Cbl. James 105, 161, 175, 188, 189, 197, 199, 211, 

213, 233*350; I^eath of . . . 233 ; Sketch of . . 170 

Williams, Hezekiah 346 

Winn, Col. Richard 240, 3 ro ; Sketch of . . . 256 

Winston, Major 85, 201 

Wood, Lieut.-Gov. James — Murder of 355 

Wood, Col. John 353 

Woods, Fort ' 86, 89 




I • 


IN presenting' this volume to the public, the author 
would state that, in the collection of material, it was his 
first intention to write merely a series of articles for the 
^CaroUna Spartan, devoted mainly to those important 
historical events which occurred within the limits of the 
original County of Spartanburg. But he soon found 
that, to give a proper chain of connection, more exten- 
sive lines would have to be drawn, and upon subsequent 
suggestions, he decided to present the articles in book 
form, based upon the proposition that a record of 
events and traditions would be more acceptable to the 
public in general and remain, for the future, in a better 
state of preservation. 

As research continued and data gathering progressed, 
it became more and more evident that a comprehensive 
history of Spartanburg County, would necessarily include 
an extensive review of all of upper South Carolina and 
much of North Carolina, thus requiring moi-e space than 
could be crowded into one volume, and a two-vol- 
ume plan was therefore adopted ; the first, devoted in 
general to the Colonial and Revolutionary History of the 
upper portion of South Carolina, but principally, to 
Spartanburg County, and the second, to a history of 
Spartanburg County proper, from its organization in 
1785, to the present time. 

This change necessitated a revision of the original man- 
uscript, which has been done with as much pains as tinie, 
largely consumed by public duties, would permit. 

Much of our most interesting past being now scattered 
in books long since gone out of publication, the author 
feels the force of suggestions made to him, that the time has 
come when that part deserving preservation and perpetua- 
tion should be made of convenient and lasting record. In 
no one work examined has he found a complete list of 
battles and skirmishes occurring in our immediate vicin- 


ity during the Revolutionary war. No record of this 
period tells of both the battles of Blackstock's and Mus- 
groves, and yet they were fought within nine months of 
the same date, as well as within ten or twelve miles of the 
same point. 

It is the author's purpose to present only such state- 
ments as he firmly believes to be wholly true, eliminating 
all matters of doubtful authen ticity . The traditions herein 
published for the first time, have been gathered from 
trustworthy sources and can be relied upon as, in the 
main, correct. 

Without copying surreptitiously from other books, the 
general lines of old history have been followed, along with 
quotations from authors long since silent, both of voice and 
type. The object, therefore, has been not only to bring to- 
gether, but to renew chronicles of the past, reviving deserv- 
ing names, characters and traditions that had once been 
the hearthstone talk of generations long since passed away. 

Should his humble efforts meet with the approbation of 
those in quest of reliable and interesting historic refer- 
ence, his purpose shall have been attained and his ambi- 
tion for this volume and the one to follow realized. 
Especially, is the author hopeful of attracting, entertain- 
ing and enlightening the youth of the present day, who 
are seeking familiarity with the glory and achievement of 
that territory and time touched upon in these pages. 

The author cannot find words to express his thanks to 
the Hon. John B. Cleveland, Capt. John H. Montgomery 
and Dr. Jesse F. Cleveland, all of Spartanburg, for their 
generous aid in advancing a sum sufficient to defray the 
expense of publication, thereby enabling him to place this 
volume before the public. Already high in esteem of their 
fellow countrymen, these gentlemen, not knowing selfish 
consideration, were actuated by that higher magnamin- 
ity and patriotism which sought to place before the 
public a work that had convinced them of its real value. 

The author also acknowledges his indebtedness to 
others for encouragement and kind assistance, and espe- 


cially to Dr. James H. (^Jarlisle, President of Wofford Col- 
lege, throup;h whom he, at all times, had access to the 
Kennedy Library. Thanks are also due to the Honora- 
bles John Earle Bomar, Charles Petty, of Spartanburg, 
Hon. Thomas J. Moore, of Moore, the late Hon. O. P. 
Earle, of Earlesviile, Prof. Wm. S. Morrison, of Clemson 
College, and Mr. Frank Morrell, Jr., of Wellford,forthe loan 
of books and material and for information which proved 
valuable in the preparation of this volume. 

The author would acknowledge the services of Mr. T. B. 
Thackston, Secretary of the Young Men's Business League, 
Spartanburg, and to Mr. Jesse Cleveland, for conducting 
a correspondence with various publishing houses and the 
solicitude manifested by them for the success of this 
enterprise. His thanks are also due to Rev. and Mrs. E. E. 
Bomar, of Aiken, S. C, for valuable services rendered 
in reading and correcting proofs, a task of no small mag- 

In conclusion, the information gathered and herein 
recorded, has been handled under very trying circum- 
stances. But while it has required much time, energy 
and patient investigation, it has, notwithstanding, been 
to him a labor of love, although performed for the most 
in the midst of a busy country practice of medicine for a 
quarter of a century, followed by foilr years of arduous 
service connected with the General Land OflSce of the 
United States, in the territory of Oklahoma. 

During the latter period while separated from home, 
family and former associations, the additional disadvan- 
tage of being remote from public libraries presented itself. 
These inconveniences are mentioned by way of apology 
for the apparent shortcomings in the preparation of this 
volume. But whatever degree of favor it may meet with 
will encourage him in the preparation and completion of 
a second volume, to which he earnestly invites the aid 
and encouragement of a generous public. 

Guthrie, O. T., June, 1897. J. B. O. L. 



IF we accept the testimony of able and truthful 
writers, we may readily conclude that the sun never 
shone upon a country more beautiful and attractive than 
this of ours as it appeared in primitive times. It was 
with enthusiasm that the ancient hunters spoke of it. 
James Adair, an old trader, in describing the Blue Ridge 
of Carolina, which at that time embraced the present 
States of North and South Carolina, said: ''From the 
historical description of the Alps and a personal view of 
the Cherokee Mountains I conclude that the Alps are 
much inferior to several of those mountains in height 
and rockiness." 

James Glen, one of the most intelligent of the early 
Governors of South Carolina, in an expedition to the 
Cherokee Nation in 1755 (of which an account will be 
given in a future chapter), wrote a description of the 
upper portion of Carolina, in which he says that it was 
the most delightful, as well as the most fertile, in the 
world, abounding in large and • extensive plains and 
savannas, swarming with deer and buffalo. **I should," 
says the writer, *'be afraid to indulge the liberty 
of copying lest I should be thought drawing a picture or 
printing a landscape." 

In the *' History of Upper Carolina," by that able and 
fluent writer, John H. Logan, we find the following words, 
which confirm the statements already expressed : '*At this 
day (1855) the upper country of South Carolina presents 
a very different aspect from that of the same territory in 
the middle of the eighteenth century. It was then new 
and beautiful and as remarkable for the luxuriant rich- 
ness of its landscape as it is still for the striking features 
of its rolling hills and its towering mountains, but under 


the iron tread of what is called a progressive civilization, 
its ancient glories of forest and flora and fertile soil have 
been well nigh washed and ruined." 

It is said that the face of our country was a region of 
romance interspersed here and there with forests, prairies 
and great canebrakes. which lined not only the valleys 
and streams, but stretched over the evergreen surface of 
the country for miles, which Logan says '* was not sur- 
passed in picturesque beauty and grandeur by the best 
portions of Texas of the present day; and its virgin soil 
was not inferior to that of the same boasted State." 

Up to the breaking out of the Kevolutionary war, the 
woodlands in the upper portion of South Carolina were 
carpeted with grass, and the wild pea vine grew, it is 
said, as high as a horse's back, while flowers of every de- 
scription were seen growing all around. The forests were 
imposing, the trees were large and stood so wide apart 
that a deer or buffalo could be seen at a long distance ; 
the grasses and the pea vines occupied the place of 
the young, scrubby growth of the present day. The 
name Fair-field was given by Pearson, in his descrip- 
tion of the primitive region of the county which now 
bears that name, and the name Fair-forest originated from 
an expression made by Lord Cornwallis, who, in his ad- 
miration of the forests and rivers, rolling hills and undu- 
lating plains, exclaimed : **0h! what Ob fair for est, ^^ 

It is a fact well authenticated, that in the early his- 
tory of the upper country there were numerous prairies 
covered only with the grasses and the pea vine, but which 
have since been covered with pine, oak, and other growth. 
These physical changes, which time has brought about, 
spring an interesting question in science as to their 

The oldest and most interesting history of our coun- 
try in early times is found in Carrol's '* Historical Collec- 
tions of South Carolina," beginning with data as early as 
1680, and although these interesting pamphlets refer to 
the entire province of Carolina, not specially to our up- 


country, yet we beg the indulgence of the reader while we 
make some quotations, as they have a bearing upon 
what has already been stated. 

The record shows that the writer entertained magnified 
ideas as to the extent of Carolina, which is apparent in 
the following words : 

** Carolina is the Northermost part of the Spacious and Pleasant 
Province of Florida. It lies in the North Temperate Zone between 
the Latitude of Twenty-nine and Thirty-six Degrees. It is bounded 
on the East by the Atlantic or Northern Ocean, on the West by the 
Pacific or Southern 0(iean, on the North with Virginia and on the 
South with the remaining part of Florida. It derives its name from 
our present Illustrious Monarch (King Charles II) under whose glori- 
ous auspices it was first Establish'd an English Colony One Thousand 
Six Hundred and Seventy * * * * This country hath Oak, 
Ash, Elm, Beach, and all sorts of useful timber that England hath not, 
as Cedar, Red and White Locust, Laurel &c. * * * The Sassa- 
fras is a Medicinal tree whose bark and leaves yield a pleasing smell ; 
it profits in all Diseases of the Blood and Liver * * * the 
Black Walnut for its grain is most esteem'd. The Wild Walnut or 
Hiq4iery Tree gives the Indians by Boyling its Kernal, a wholesome 
Oyl, from whom the English supply themselves for their Kitchen 
uses ***** the Chincopin bears a nut, unlike the 
Hazel, the shell is softer, of the Kernal is made chocolate not inferior 
to that made of Qocoa * * * *, vines of divers sorts bearing 
both Black and Gray Grapes, grow, climbing their highest trees, run- 
ning and overspreading their lower Bushes * * *, Carolina 
will in a little time, prove a Magazine and Staple for Wines to the 
whole West Indies * * * * the woods are stored with Deer 
and Wild Turkeys of great Magnitude, weighing many times above 
fifty pounds apiece and of a more pleasant taste than in England) 
being in their proper climate * * * * Deer of which there 
are such infinite Herds, that the whole Country seems but one con- 
tinued Park, insomuch that I have often heard Capt. Matthews, agent 
to Sir Peter Colleton for his affairs in Carolina (say) that one hunting 
Indian had yearly killed and brought to his Plantation more than one 
hundred and sometimes two hundred head of Deer. Bears there are in 
great numbers, of whose fat they make Oyl, which is of great Vertue 
and efiicacy in causing the Hair to grow, which I have heard the 
Indians daily used, by which means they not only keep their Hair 
clear and preserved from Vermine, but by the nourishing faculty of the 
Oyl it usually extended in length, &c. * * * There are Beavers, 
otters, Foxes, Raccoons, Possums, Musquasses, Hares, Coneys, Squir- 
rels of five kinds, the Flying Squirrel whose delicate skin is comfort- 


ing, if applied to a cold Stomack * * * *^ for prey the 
Pelican Hawk and Eagle, for pleasure, the Mocking-bird * * * 
the Humming bird ♦ * They are a deep Green * * sleep 
the whole Winter. At Barbadoes the Jews curiously skin these little 
Birds, filling them with Sand and perfuming their Feathers. They are 
sent into Europe as pretty Delicacies for Ladies who hang them at 
their Breasts or Girdles * * * There are in Carolina great numbers 
of Fire Flies who carry their Lanthorns in their Tails in dark nights 
enlightening it with their Golden Spangles * * * Birds for 
Food and pleasure of Game and the Swan, Goose, Duck, Mallard Wid- 
geon, Teal, Curlew, Plover, Partridge, &c. * * * As the Earth 
and Air are enriched and replenished with the Blessings of the Most 
High, the Seas and Rivers of the same bounty equally participate in 
the Vanity of excellent and wholsome fish. Sturgeon, Mullet, Whale, 
Salmon, Trouts, Bass, Drum, Cat-fish whose head and glowing eyes re- 
semble a cat * * * the tortoise * * * Green and 
Logger-head Turtle."* 

We have quoted from this old volume to show that in 
the early discovery and settlement of Carolina, there was 
a uniformity over the entire region of country with regard 
to beauty of scenery, game, etc. 

But returning to the description of Upper Carolina, 
Logan says (see Logan's History of Upper Carolina, page 
22) that in the ancient territory of the Cherokees *'deer 
were so numerous at this period in the upper country, 
that large herds of them were scarcely ever out of sight 
of the pioneer, even while standing in his own cabin door 
* * * * it was no uncommon thing to meet with 
deer, sixty or seventy head." 

Anthony Park, who settled on lands now embraced in 
the county of Newberry, asserted that ''a man could at 
that time stand in his door and kill more game than 
would be sufficient for the support of two families." John 
Duncan of the same region, relates the following: '* Sitting 
one evening at dusk in his door with his foot against the 
frame, a bear slyly approached the house and threw him 
for a moment into a great fright, by springing suddenly 
over his leg into the cabin ; recovering himself, he seized 
his gun and before the bold intruder could effect his escape, 
shot him dead upon the hearth." 


The larjre nnmbers of deer and other animals in 
our country, which existed at its earliest settlement, 
can be better appreciated by reference to the Commercial 
Report of Charlesfown for 1731 (see Carrol's Historical 
Collections of South Carolina, \ol. 11, pajre 129) in which 
it is shown that three hundred casks of deer skins, con- 
taining eip:ht or nine hundred each, were exported ; and 
further, by reference to the report of 1747, we find thar. 
two hundred pounds of beavei', and seven hundred and 
twenty hogsheads of deer hides were exported. Logan 
says that deer were so abundant in the woods around Old 
Ninety-six that the carcass of a buck brought no more 
than a half a dollar in the streets of Cambridge. 

It will doubtless appear difficult for many of our 
readers to appreciate the fact that the buffalo, an 
animal destined 'ere long to become extinct on this 
Continent, roamed at one time in great herds in our 
country. Logan says: "At the earliest period of emi- 
gration into the UT)per country, an old pioneer from 
Virginia, often counted a hundred buffaloes grazing on a 
smgle acre of ground in the present t^erritory of Abbeville 
and Edgefield." What was true with reference to that 
section would also naturally apply to the territory 
embraced in the counties of Union, Spartanburg and 
the entire up-country. Great numbers of buffalo were 
killed b3'^ the old hunters. They were hunted only for their 
skins and tongues, since deer, turkey and other game, which 
were so abundant, were far preferable for their flesh. 
Logan says that they were the first of all the original game 
of Carolina, except the timid elk, to disappear. Attacked 
on all sides in a wooded country by hunters, who were 
armed with the deadly rifle, they were quickly exterminated 
or driven away into the deeper wilds of the west. Long 
after their departure, their moss-covered bones and deep- 
worn trails, leading to favorite ranges and licks, were seen 
marking the country in every direction. 

To confirm all that has been said in reference 
to the natural characteristics, game &c., of Upper 


Carolina, the writer begs leave to close this chapter by 
presenting a quotation, from that eminent historian and 
patriot. Dr. David Ramsey. In *' a general view of the 
up country (see Ramsey's History of S. C, appendix, page 
305) the writer says : 

"In the year 1750, when the settlement of the upper country begfin, 
there were so many buffalos, which have long since disappeared, that 
three or four men, with their dogs, could easily kill four or five a day. 
A common hunter could kill, in the autumnal season, as many bears as 
would make two or three thousand weight of bear bacon. The waterSj 
abounded with beavers, otters and muskrats. Twenty beavers have 
been caught in one season, by one man, on the waters of Fair-forest. 
The country was also overrun with wolves, panthers and wild-cats. 
There was a great facility of raising stock, from the profusion of 
native grasses and canes. When the whole country was within the 
grasp of a few settlers, the preference of one spot over another was 
generally decided by a comparative plenty of canes. Though provis- 
ions were easily raised, the labor of raising them for sale was but 
indififerently rewarded, for there was no market for any crop nearer 
than one hundred miles. The skins of wild beasts were the most 
profitable remittance to Charlestown ; next to them was butter and tal- 
low ; afterwards, flour and hemp. In a few years indigo began to be an 
object of industry. Tobacco and other heavy articles would fre- 
quently do little more than bear the expense of bringing them to market. 
Since the year 1790, the general cultivation of cotton has matterially 
altered the state of the country." 




IN the teil'itorial distribution of the different tribes of 
Indians, the upper or north-western portion of South 
Carolina, belonged to the Cherokees. The early history 
of our up-country would be incomplete without giving: 
them their proper place. 

The earliest and most reliable record we have of their 
habits and cheracteristics is found in *' Carrol's Historical 
Collections of South Carolina." In Volume II, page 80, 
we find the following paragraph, which we quote, in a 
chapter on the '* Complete Discovery of 'the State of 
Carolina," written in 1682: 

" The Natives of the Country are from time immemorial ab Origine 
Indians of a deep Chestnut color, their Hair black and straight, tied 
various ways, Sometimes oyled and painted, stuck through with 
Feathers for Ornament or Gallantry ; their Eyes black and sparkling, 
little or no Hair on their chius, limb*d and feathered, painting their 
Faces with different Figures of a red Sanguine color, whether for 
beauty or to render themselves formidable to their enemies I could not 
learn. They are excellent Hunters, their Weapons, the Bow and Arrow, 
made of a Read, pointed with sharp stones, or Fish Bones ; their 
cloathing, Skins of the Bear or Deer, the Skin drest after their 
Country Fashion." 

From the description given of them by other writers, 
we find, that in stature, they were medium sized, and, to 
all appearances, strong and well made. Deformities in 
nature were few among them. Being of a brown color, 
their skin glistened, being generally' varnished with bear's 
fat or paint. In ancient times, the men of this and other 
tribes of Indians, had little or no beard and no hair on 
their heads, except a round tuft on top. This defect was 
not natural, but the effect of art, which brought the hair 
out by the root. They generally went half naked in warm 


seasons. The huts in which they lived were foul, mean and 
offensive. Their manner of life was poor, unclean and dis- 
gustful. Durinp: their hunting season, the men were eager 
and indefatigable in pursuit of their game. When this was 
over, they would fall into a kind o! brutal slumber, and a 
state of indolence and ease. In their hunting seasons they 
endured hunger long, and carried but little with them for 
subsistance, but when this was over, and they were in their 
days of plenty, they were as voracious as vultures. In 
domestic life, they had but few habits of industry. Says 
a writer in Carrol's collections: ** Manufactures or Arts 
amongst them, I have heard of none, only little Baskets 
made of Painted Reeds, and Leather, Drest sometimes 
with black and red Chequers colored." Agriculture, they 
left to their women, being considered an employ- 
ment entirely unworthy of men. Devoid of tender pas- 
sions, they treated their women like slaves, or inferior 
beings. Scolding, insults, quarrels and complaints 
were seldom heard among them. They were open 
and merry at feasts and entertainments, but on solemn 
occasions they were thoughtful, serious and grave. Ex- 
cept in liquor, sudden anger was looked upon as ignomin- 
ious and unbecoming. They seldom differed from their 
neighbors, or did them any harm or injury. 

They had no riches and coveted none. While they had 
plenty of provisions, they allowed none to suffer through 
want. "If they were successful," says a writer, '*in hunt- 
ing, all their unfortunate and distressed friends shared 
with them in the common blessings of life." 

It is said, that while in some particular things the 
separate tribes of indians differed from each other, yet in 
their general principles and mode of government, they 
were very similar. They had general rules with respect 
to other independent tribes around them, which they were 
careful to observe. The great questions of peace or war 
were canvassed in assemblies by deputies from all the 
different towns. When injuries were committed and 
Indians of one tribe happened to be killed by Indians of 


another, then such assemblies were called. If no person 
appeared on the side of the aggressors, the injured nation 
deputed one of their warriors to go to them and demand 
satisfaction. If this was refused, and they thought them- 
selves too weak to go to war against the aggressive tribe, 
then a number of warriors, generally the friends of the 
deceased, would take the field for revenge, and looked 
upon it as a point of honor, never to leave the field until 
they had slain a number of the enemy corresponding to 
that of their slain kinsmen. Having done this, they would 
return to their homes, carrying their scalps with them, 
and, by some sign or token, would let the enemy know 
that they were satisfied. Scalp for scalp, blood for blood, 
death for death, was a fixed principle with the Indian. 

It is said, that sometimes the nation to whom the 
aggressors belonged, would be disposed to peace, and 
would search for the murderers who were capitally pun- 
ished, by general judgment of the nation, and even bj' near 
relatives, to prevent others from becoming involved in the 
quarrel. The criminal never knew of his condemnation 
until the moment the sentence w^as to be put into execu- 
tion, which sometimes happened while he was in the war 
dance, or bragging to his friends of the very exploit, for 
which he was condemned to die. 

In the selection of chiefs, they had reference to personal 
wisdom and courage. The warrior who excelled in these 
qualifications was entrusted with leadership. Having this 
honor and distinction conferred upon him, he had to be 
very circumspect in his conduct and gentle in the exercise 
of his power. 

The Indians, like all ignorant and rude nations, were 
very superstitious. Besides their chief, they had judges, 
conjurers and medicine men. They believed in a superior 
being, and in all hazardous undertakings, invoked the pro- 
tection of good and evil spirits. Each tribe had their 
conjurers and magicians. They called them the beloved 
men, and placedgreatconfidenceiutheir prophetic declara- 
tions. They were fond of inquiring into future events, and 


laid great stress on omens and dreams. They looked 
apon fire as sacred, and at the time of the full moon they 
would observe feasts and ceremonies, claiming for them 
some religious origin. Their warlike enterprises to pro- 
cure subsistence, were always preceded by certain observ- 
ances and ceremonies. They offered in sacrifice the first 
deer or bear they killed. When taken sick, they were par- 
ticularly prone to superstition. Their physicians or medi- 
cine men, administered their simple and secret cures, with 
a variety of strange ceremonies and magic arts, which 
gave the patients courage and confidence, and sometimes 
the treatment was attended with good results. x\dair 
asserts that he never knew an Indian to die from the bite of 
the rattle-snake or of any other of the venomous reptiles 
which were numerous in this country in his day. When going 
into the woods or upon an expedition, every Indian pro- 
vided himself with a pouch of the best snake root, such 
as the seneka (Senega polygala) or fern snake root. 

It is not strange that Indians, in the early dis- 
covery and settlement of our country, should have been 
jealous of the encroachments of strangers upon a soil 
which had belonged to them from time immemorial. They 
were happy and contented. The country, as we said 
in a former chapter, abounded plentifully in game, and 
they had enough to subsist on. Civilization and agricul- 
ture were distasteful to their whole nature and circum- 
stances. To win them over, therefore, and bring about 
links of friendship between the two races was the careful 
and patient study of the first pale-faced adventurers. 

Says an able writer : " The first bond of union and 
friendship between Europeans and Americans was con- 
veniency." By his own ingenuity, the Indian had con-, 
structed such rude instruments of wood and stone as to 
meet a few simple requirements. To him, therefore, a knife, 
hatchet, axe, hoe and tomahawk, to say nothing of guns 
and ammunition, which fell into his hands later, were price- 
less acquisitions to his ease and comfort. He admired the 
skill and facility with which the strangers met their wants 


and requirements, and being a lover of ease by nature, he 
would rather give the profits of a whole year's hunting, 
than to be deprived of these instruments of comfort. 
What was at first esteemed a convenience now became, 
as his wants increased, a necessity. His dependence upon 
the skill of the white man, soon wrought a strong cord of 
friendship between the two races. A channel of com- 
merce was soon opened up and the Indian found that he 
was not only treated with friendship and civility, but that 
the white men were equally as fond of his skins, furs and 
land, as he was of their trinkets and various 
articles of necessity. It was this that induced 
the Indians to admit the white people, to live among 
or near them and to allow them to clear and cultivate 
their lands. In this way, a better opportunity w^as 
offered to study their character, nature and disposition. 
Of the peculiar history of the Cherokees, who were once 
numerous in all the upper portion of South Carolina, em- 
bracing, says Logan, the present counties of Abbeville, 
Anderson, Edgefield, Greenville, Pickens, Oconee, New- 
berry, Laurens, Union, Spartanburg, Fairfield, Chester, 
Lancaster, York and Uichland, the reader is respectfully 
referred to that work, '• Logan's History of Upper South 
Carolina," which presents so ably the scenes connected 
with this ancient territory of the Cherokees. In many 
respects they had noble traits of character. Being 
savage by nature and entirely ignorant of everything per- 
taining to a progressive civilization, they used to the full 
extent of their capabilities, the talents committed to their 
care. The sin of abusing them can never be placed at their 
feet. "He never," says Logan, ''wantonly took the life 
even of the least useful of the animals of the forest. His 
landed patrimony was given him from the hands of God, 
a magnificent country ; still he yielded it up to a more 
vigorous race which supplanted him." As civilization 
widened, his territory became naturally more circum- 
scribed, and of course his chances of subsistence on game, 
became proportionately less. In the future chapters of 


this work, we will endeavor to show the facts and circum- 
stances which drove, step by step, this noble tribe of 
Indians to the regions of the Great West. During the 
Revolutionary war, the Cherokees sided with the English. 
In the conquest of 1776-'7, they ceded to South Carolina 
their lands east of the Dnakaye Mountains, reserving to 
themselves the territory which now comprises, for the 
most part, the present county of Oconee. The last rem- 
nant of this tribe crossed over the mountains into 
Western North Carolina some years after the Revolution- 
ary war, having sold their possessions to South Carolina. 
Before the Revolution in South Carolina, in 1719, 
Governor Johnson furnished to the Lords-Proprietors a 
report of the number of Cherokee inhabitants, which then 
amounted to more than eight and twenty thousand souls. 
Their numbers, as time rolled on, gradually diminished. 
A small remnant of this tribe still reside in Western 
North Carolina. They are peaceable and law abiding. 
They have churches and schools. The writer knows but 
little of the present condition of the Cherokee family in 
the west. 

The principal towns and settlements of the Cherokees 
were in the north western part of our state, along the 
Savannah, Tugaloo, Seneca, Keowee and Flint rivers, 
but we have unmistakable evidence of their having had 
their abode, at one time, in Spartanburg and other 
counties. The traditions of the writer's own neighbor- 
hood bear testimony to the fact. Signs and traces of 
them are yet to be found at different places, particularly 
along the larger water courses where the swamps on 
either side afforded good hiding places and ample game. 
In our rambles here and there, we have found pieces of 
broken soap-stone vessels, stone axes, tomahaw^ks of the 
hardest flmt, war clubs, clay pipes, arrow heads, and other 
interesting and curious articles. Several j'ears ago the 
writer presented a collection of these to the Museum of 
Wofford College, and later, another collection to the 
museum of Charleston College. Among the latter was 


an unbroken soap stone bowl, plowed up in the low 
grounds of North Pacolet (near Earlesvilie) by Richard 
Ballenger, (*) a nephew of the writer. 

Although much has been written of the cruelties, bar- 
barities and treachery of the Cherokee and other tribes, 
yet it is unfair that the raind of the reader should be 
prejudiced against them. It is due to them to say, 
that on account of friendly alliances which W«»i» made 
with them at different. times, they rendered much valuable 
assistance to the Governor of the colony of South 
Carolina, particularly during the time of the war between 
the English and French. 

The writer has dwelt at length on their history and 
characteristics, in order to give to this noble tribe, the 
place they justly deserve to occupy. 

Of the existence of a race of people in this and other 
states, in prehistoric times called the Mound Builders, 
there can be no doubt. Mounds are to-day seen in dif- 
ferent sections of our country well formed and symmet- 
rical, showing that they were constructed by artificial 
means. Logan, in his work, speaks of several of these in 
Abbeville, Laurens and other sections of our country, and 
of some in Spartanburg County. He speaks of an inter- 
esting one opposite the battlefield of Blackstocks, on 
lands which formerly belonged to Dr. Winsmith. He 
speaks of others in the romantic top of Gilkey's Knob, 
near Limestone Springs. 

Several years ago, in a series of articles in one of our 
county papers, the writer called attention to a mound on 
the plantation of Mr. O. P. Earle, on North Pacolet, 
covering about one acre of land. It is situated near, and 
on the north side of the river, where the bottoms widen 
for a mile or more. Its top is not more than fifteen feet 
above the level of the lands surrounding, and while the 
latter is of the richest soil, the surface of this mound is of 
the poorest red clay, covered with a scrubby growth. Mr. 

Now deceased. 


Henry M. Earle, now deceased, informed the writer that he 
was written to some &tty years ago concerning this, 

by a professor in the South Carolina College. There are 
others of a similar character, up and down the same 
stream, which may, in the future, prove an interest- 
ing study, and throw more light upon a dark and 
mysterious past. 

Since this chapter was written the County of Cherokee has been 
formed out of portions of Spartanburg, Union, and York counties, and 
was named in honor of the Cherokee Indians, the first inhabitants of 
that region. 




THE upper portion of the province of South C'arolina, 
particularly the Northwestern, was territory that 
belonged to the Cherokee Indians until the treaty of Gov- 
ernor Glen in 1756. 

During the year 171 J), however, great political 
changes were brought about, among which was the over- 
throw of what was called the Projmetary government, 
under the administration of Governor Robert Johnson. 
Up to this time, the province w^as under the control and 
influence of Lords-Proprietors, who, under the authority 
of Great Britian, held titles to large tracts or territories 
of land called, at that time, plantations. 

It would consume too much time to explain the griev- 
ances of which the people complained, and the circum- 
stances which terminated in a great political revolution 
and, which very soon, brought about a division of Caro- 
lina into two provinces— North and South Carolina. One 
of the chief causes of complaint, doubtless, resulted from 
the discordant elements of society. Those who were known 
as Dissenters had an aversion to everything connected 
with the Established Church of England, and particu- 
larly to the High Courts or Commission for the trial of 
ecclesiastical causes. That class known as the farmers 
or planters complained of the reduction of paper money 
circulating in the province. They stood, as many do now, 
indebted to the merchants. They claimed that the pro- 
vincial currency was not only necessary to meet the exi- 
gencies of the government, but was also useful and con- 


venient in the payment private debts. Gold and silver 
were foreign coin and the different assemblies of the dif- 
ferent colonies fixed th?ir value by laws to suit their con- 
venience. There were still other grievances complained 
of, such as having to submit to a heavy taxation to 
build forts and the maintenance of garrisons to occupy 
them. The seat of government (Charlestown) was 
remote from the people, the public credit was at a low 
ebb,— so low in fact, that no man of means would risk his 
money in the public treasury. 

But a change having been happily brought about— a 
change from proprietary to royal authority (the govern- 
ment of the province being directly under the control of 
the Crown), a new order of things was introducd, 
Up to this time the up country of South Carolina was 
uninhabited by the white man. Being a part of the terri- 
tory of the Cherokee Indians, no one had dared to infringe 
upon their possessions, and before this could be done, it 
was necessary to form a new treaty of alliance with these 
people. For this purpose, Sir Alexander Cumming 
was sent out in 1730, by Governor Moore (suc- 
cessor to Governor Johnson) to conclude a treaty 
with them. The Cherokees had, at that time, the reputa- 
tion of being a warlike and formidable nation of savages. 
The main body of them occupied lands about the head 
waters of the Savannah River, (the Tugaloo and Seneca , 
while some of their towns were settled along the base of 
the mountains. They numbered in population more than 
twenty thousand, with six thousand warriors, ready at 
any time to take the field. The country which they 
claimed as their hunting ground, embraced at least, the 
upper half of the present territory of South Carolina. 

Sir Alexander Cumming explored the Indian country 
some three hundred miles from Charlestown. He took 
with him as his guides some Indian traders, who were 
acquainted with the streams, woods, and trails, and an 
interpreter, who understood the Indian language, to 
assist him in his negotiations. He dispatclied messengers 


beforehand to aDnounce his coming. He met the chiefs in 
the town of Keowee, who received him with marked friend- 
ship and esteem. After the different ceremonies of 
the Indians were over, Sir Alexander made a speech to 
them, acquainting them with the fact, that he was clothed 
with authority from the Great King George, who loved 
them, and that he had come a great wa.y to demand of 
Moy Toy (the Chief of the Cherokees), and all the Chief- 
tians of the nation, to recognize the authority of the King 
and become his subjects. The Chiefs, falling upon their 
knees, promised fidelity and obedience, calling upon all 
that was terrible to fall upon them, should they, in any 
instance, violate a single promise made. Stipulated arti- 
cles of agreement were drawn up in language as similar 
as possible to that of the Indians and signed by Alured 
Popple, Secretary to the Lords Commission of trade and 
plantations on one side, and by the marks of the six 
chiefs on the other. Every article, as it was signed, was 
accompanied with presents of different kinds, such as 
cloth, guns, shot, vermillion, flints, hatchets, knives, &c. 

In one of the articles agreed upon, it w^as provided, 
that, with the consent of the whole nation of Cherokees, 
six chiefs were to be deputed by Moy Toy, their chief war- 
rior, to accompany Sir Alexander Cumming to Great 
Britain, where they were to be presented to the great 
King George. The six who were clothed with this honor, 
upon their arrival in England, met with kind and gener- 
ous treatment. By authority of Moy Toy, they placed at 
the feet of King George the crown of their nation, the 
scalps of their enemies and their feathers of glory. The 
crown referred to was brought from Tanessee, their chief 
town, and consisted of five eagles' tails and four scalps of 
their enemies. They returned home next year (1731) 
with Robert Johnson,* who was last Governor of South 
Carolina under proprietary rule, and who had been re- 

*The remains of Governor Robert Johnson were interred in St. 
Philips Church Cemetery, Charleston, S. C. 


invested by the King with the same office and authority 
as had been held by his predecessor Moore. 

We have been particular in giving the details of this 
treaty of Sir Alexander Cumming with the Cherokees, 
because it was the first step looking to the introduction of 
the white man into the up country of South Carolina. It 
was simply a general treaty of friendship. (See original 
Articles of Treaty, Ramsey's History of S. C, page 57.) 
**A chain of friendship" so expressed, which **was now 
like the sun which shines both in Britain and also upon 
the great mountains where they live, and equally warms 
the hearts of Indians and Englishmen; that as there are 
no spots or blackness in the sun, so neither is there any 
rust or foulness in this chain." In this treaty no lands 
were ceded by the Cherokees and no boundaries whatever 
were expressed. The object was simply to establish 
peaceable and friendly relations, and to open up business 
and commercial intercourse, as is shown by the following 
clause in one of the articles : 

"The Great King and the Cherokees, being thus fastened together 
by a chain of friendship, he has ordered, and it is agreed ; that his 
children in Carolina do trade with the Indians, and furnish them with 
all manner of goods they want and to make haste to build houses and 
to plant corn from Charlestown towards the towns of the Cherokees 
* * * ; that he desires that Indians and Buglish may live together 
as one family; that the Cherokees be always ready to fight against any 
nation, whether white man or Indian, who shall dare molest or hurt 
the English ; that the nation of Cherokees, shall on their part, take 
care, to keep the trading path clear ; that there shall be no blood on 
the path where the English tread * * * ; that the Cherokees shall 
not suffer their people to trade with white men of any other nation 
but the English." 

This treaty was so strong that for many years, per- 
haps twenty or more, the Cherokees remained in a perfect 
state of friendship and peace with the white settlers and 
the traders, who followed their vocations without the 
least seeming dread, terror or molestation. 

A new order of things, viz: a new government and 
new treaties, having been brought about, nnw life and 


and energy was infused into the people of the province. 
Dp to this time, the colonists who lived in the low coun- 
try were said to have been an indolent set of people, with 
no apparent interest in agriculture, education or progres- 
sive civilization. The country appeared like a desert with 
little places cleared here and there, scarcely perceivable 
in the midst of a vast and almost unbroken forest. The 
houses were miserable and clumsy huts. They had no 
vehicles or wagons of any kind. Traveling was done 
either on horseback or in boats along the streams. Even 
Charlestown, at this time, did not possess more than five 
or six hundred houses, constructed mostly of wood. 
They were not comfortable and indicated wretchedness 
among the people. 

But, as we have said, the time had come for the peo- 
ple to be inspired with new spirit and vitality. The pro- 
duce of the province was doubled in a few years, and the 
exports of rice, deer skins, furs, naval stores, kept pace 
with the imports, and credit m England was secured. 
The march of civilization, however, was slow and cautious 
and did not, as we will presently show, reach the up coun- 
try of South Carolina, much before the treaty of Gov- 
ernor Glen in 1755, an account of which we will give in 
another place. 

In advance of the regular settlers of the up country of 
South Carolina were two classes of persons. The first 
were the stock or cowpens men, who were the owners of 
ranches, or as they were then called cowpens, where cat- 
tle were cared for. In a previous chapter we have shown 
that at that time the country was covered with canes, 
wild pea-vines, and grasses, and possessed natural advan- 
tages for raising stock. 

These stock or cowpens men, generally went where 
there no settlements; central spots were selected in front 
of the settlements, where cattle could be rallied and 
domesticated, and were called, as we have said, cowpens. 
As they did not interfere with the hunting and sporting 
of the Indians, they seldom gave offense, though some- 


times they weiv observed with jealousy as the precursors 
of approachiDg civilization. 

The second class were the Indian merchants or 
traders. Indian treuling posts were established at differ- 
ent points in the nation, where the traders would go and 
give in exchange for furs, skins, buck horns, &c., such 
articles as guns and ammunition, fancy trinkets, &c. On 
account of the genuineness of tlie peace which had been 
established by Sir Alexander Gumming with the Chero- 
kees, these traders advanced without ceremony into the 
hearts of their settlements. Says Ramsey : ''Speculative 
men have drawn comparisons between savage and civil- 
ized life, highly colored in favor of the former. Their 
theories have been acted upon ever since the discovery of 
America by individuals, who, turning upon civilized soci- 
ety, have voluntarj^ chosen a residence among the 
Indians. Of this description, there were several who, at 
an early day, settled among the Indians at a great dis- 
tance from the white people." 

Anthony Park, who, it is said, w^as one of the first 
settlers of Newberry district, traveled several hundred 
miles through the Indian nation in 1758. Going west of 
the Alleghany mountains, he found several white men, 
chiefly Scotch or Irish, who said that they had lived 
among the Indians, as traders, for more than twenty 
years. He found a few who said that they had been 
among them forty and fifty years, and one, whose abode 
there had been for sixty years. One of these said he had 
at least seventy children and grand-children in the nation. 
It is possible, says a writer, that if these accounts are 
correct, the oldest of the traders must have taken up 
their abode among the Indians before the close of the 
seventeenth century, when civilization, in our state, had 
not extended more than twenty miles from the sea coast, 
which observation is corroborated by other records 
before us. 




AS we have said in the preceding chapter, the march 
of civilization westward from Charleatown was slow 
and cautious, so much so indeed, that in 1736 it had only 
advanced from the sea coast about ninety miles. Later, 
between 1750 and 1760, other germs of settlements were 
planted two hundred miles from Charlestown by emigrants 
from Virginia, Pennsylvania and other colonies, which had 
advanced from north to south and in front of the east- 
ern settlers. This left in the undisturbed possession of 
the aborigines, a considerable tract of country between 
what is understood to be the eastern and western set- 
tlements. This fact gave rise to the early distinction of 
Upper and Lower Carolina. 

Among those who were classed as the early settlers of 
the Upper or Northwestern portion of South Carolina, 
was Colonel Elijah Clark, who, afterwards became noted 
as a revolutionary soldier and an oflScer of distinction, 
whose daring and noble deeds will receive further notice in 
this work. Ramsey records the fact that he settled on 
Pacolet. Being the first settler he might be truly styled, 
the **Daniel Boone" of the present progressive County of 
Spartanburg. In the course of six years, he was 
joined by eight or ten families frOm Pennsylvania, doubt- 
less Scotch-Irish, who settled on the three forks (north, 
middle and south) of Tyger River. These constituted 
the whole white population in the territory of the present 
County of Spartanburg, prior to 1755. Settlements in 
other localities took place about the same time. The set- 
tlements on the Long Cane, in Abbeville County, were 
made by Patrick Calhoun and other families. Previous to 
the Revolution, Richard Paris, an English Indian trader, 


boldly advanced into what w8ls then the Cherokee Indian 
Nation and settled at or near the present city of Green- 
ville. Paris Mountain was named in honor of him. Tra- 
dition, which the writer has also investigated, shows 
that a settlement was made, of excellent material, in the 
present northeastern (dark corner) portion of Greenville 
County, near Hog-back Mountain, before the acquisition 
of that section by the treaty of Colonel W^illiamson 
in 1776. 

These miniature settlements were not permitted very 
long to enjoy that peace and quietude, so much to be 
desired and so absolutely necessary to the prosperity of a 
new country. But a few years after the beginning of the 
first settlements westward, active hostilities commenced 
between the governments of Great Britain and France. 
We can only refer the reader to the pages of history to 
understand properly the differences which sprung up at 
this time between these two great countries. Suffice it to 
say here, that one of the principal causes of dispute, was 
as to the proper location of the boundary line between 
the possessions of each on the American Continent. In 
the midst of this dispute, acts of indignity were com- 
mitted, perhaps on both sides, which only had a tendency 
to widen the breach between the two countries. One of 
these was the capture of William Henry Littleton bj^ a 
French squadron. Littleton had been appointed by the 
British Government, Governor of South Carolina, and 
while on his way to this country, through the Bay of 
Biscay, was captured and taken to France, but was sub- 
sequently released after several months imprisonment, 
by order of the French Court. While negotiations were 
were pending for his release, and in retaliation for this 
outrage, the British Commanders were ordered to seize 
and bring into port, all French vessels they could find. 
This also tended to widen the breach between the 
two countries. 

William Littleton, to whom we will again refer, and 
who figured so prominently in the affairs of South Caro- 


liua, was an Englishman by birth, and in his native coun- 
try was known by the title of Lord Wescott. 

All neijotiations looking to a peaceable 'settlement 
between these two great powers being of no avail, war 
was publicly declared by Great Britain against the French 
on the 17th day of May, 1756. It ended in 1763. 

Previous to the arrival of Governor Littleton, South 
Carolina had been governed from 1743 to 1756 by 
Governor James Glen, a gentleman of fine judgment and 
common sense, who, appreciating the importance of 
maintaining friendly relations with the Cherokee Indians 
during the approaching hostilities with France, met 
the Cherokee warriors, about five hundred in number, 
in their own country, from whom he purchased lands and 
with whom entered into a solemn treaty. The lands which 
were obtained by this treaty, form the present counties of 
Edgefield, Abbeville, Laurens, Newberry, Union, Spartan- 
burg, York, Chester, Fairfield and Richland. The terri- 
tory of Pendleton (which embraces the present counties 
of Anderson, Pickens and Oconee) and what is now 
Greenville County, was reserved by the Indians in this 
treatv, together with other territory in the States of 
Georgia and North Carolina. As already stated, the 
present line between the counties of Greenville and Spar- 
tanburg, was the boundary line between the province of 
South Carolina and the CJherokee Nation. 

Governor Glen, on the occasion referred to, made a 
speech to the Cherokee warriors in the name of the Great 
King, representing his great power and goodness to them 
and reminded them of the happiness they had enjoj^ed. 

The spokesman of the warriors, Chuloch-CuUa, by 
name, approached Governor Glen, and took a seat by 
him under a tree. Holding in one hand a bow, and a 
shaft of arrows in the other, he spoke as follows: ''What 
I now speak the Great King should hear. We are broth- 
ers to the people of South Carolina, one house covers us 
all." Taking his boy by the hand, he presented him to 
the Governor and said further: **We, our wives, and 


childreu, are the children of the Great King Georoje. I 
have brought this child that he may, when he grows up, 
remember our agreement on this day and tell it to the 
next generation that it may be known forever." Then 
opening a bag of earth and laying it at the Gov- 
ernor's feet, he said : **We froely surrender a part of our 
lands to the Great King. The French want our posses- 
sions, but we will defend them while our nation shall 
remain alive." Showing his bow and arrows he further 
said: **These are all the arms we can make for our 
defense. We hope the King will pity his children and send 
us guns and ammunition. We fear not the French, give us 
guns and we will go to war against the enemies of the 
Great King." Then delWering to the Governor a string 
of Wampum (a string of shells or beads representing the 
currency of the country) to confirm what he had said, he 
added, **My speech is at an end, it is the voice of the Cher- 
okee Nation. I hope the Governor will send it to the 
King that it may be kept forever." 

By this treaty the Cherokees relinquished what is 
one of the most attractive portions of South Carolina, 
a portion which now represents a part of the great 
Piedmont Belt, a country which, in a former chapter, 
has been described as having pure air and water, with 
lovely and attractive scenes, such as beautiful moun-* 
tains, fertile valleys, extensive lowlands, beautiful streams, 
g:reat water powers, and other attractions such as game, 
fish, and precious minerals yet unearthed. It was 
indeed, as it is now, a magnificent country, and we have 
only mentioned these facts to show that the Indians, 
in yielding it up, according tc the terms of treaty 
(or Congress as it was called, where deeds of conveyances 
were duly executed) conferred a princely and generous gift 
upon the man white, as he was called by them. A gift 
which, notwithstanding the many changes which have 
since taken place, should be remembered and appreciated 
by us, who first saw the light and now enjoy a happy 
peace and freedom in the country embraced in the terms 


of this great treaty, and which should also serve to perpet- 
uate the memory of Governor Glen in the annals of 
South Carolina. 

It is due to the memory of the Cherokee Indians to 
say, that notwithstanding they had been called 
savages and barbarians, on account of their many seem- 
ing uncalled for atrocities to the white settlers, 
yet, the spirit which prompted them to make this 
cession of lands to Governor Glen, was a noble and gen- 
erous one, and no matter what transpired subsequently, 
this should always be placed to their honor and credit. 

But to return to the settlement of the up country. 
The people coming in small colonies, formed settlements in 
in different localities in the hitherto unexplored forests. 
Each settlement generally took a name and the word 
settlement is in common usage today in the back coun- 
try, as applied to neighborhoods. 

According to Dr. Howe's **History of the Presbyterian 
Church of South Carolina," the settlements on the North 
and Middle Tyger did not take place earlier than 1755. 
This was the year of Governor Glen's treaty, and this 
statement is corroborated by Ramsey, who refers to the 
small colony as following Colonel Clark and settling in 
Spartanburg County, in 1755. (See Ramsey's History of 
S. C, page 118.) Among these settlers are found the 
present familiar family names of Moore, Barry, Jordan, 
Nesbitt, Vernon, Collins, Pedan, Nichols, Caldwell, Wake- 
field, Anderson, Snoddy, Miller and others. Of the early 
settlers in other localities in Spartanburg, Union and 
other counties, it is almost impossible now to ascertain. 
It is probable that when the tide of emigration was 
turned, that different sections were simultaneously occu- 
pied. Mills in his statistics says that ^*thi8 section of 
the country was settled between 1750 and 1760, but from 
its exterior and exposed situation, it did not much 
increase in population until 1776. The first settlers were 
from Virginia, Pennsylvania and North Carolina." 


By examination into the early court records of Spar- 
tanburg County, beginning in 1785, and of the United 
States census returns for 1790, which the writer has pro- 
cured from the Census Office in Washington, we readily see 
that the early settlers of Spartanburg County were com- 
posed for the most part, of the following familiar family 
names, as Alexander, Allen, Arnold, Abbett, Austell, Byars, 
Bagwell, Bonner, Barnett, Bostick, Belcher, Burton, 
Bishop, Bobo, Berry, Brown, Brice, Bruton, Burnett, Bry- 
ant, Biter, Bostick, Blackstock, Bennell, Bufflngton, Bal- 
lard, Casselberry, Couch, Chesney, Childers, Ccisey, Cole, 
Central, Crowder, Cannon, Cook, Camp, Crow, Cox, Crock- 
er, Culberson, Cooper, Clayton, Davis, Dean, Dodd, Drum- 
mond. Dewberry, Davidson, Elder, Floyd, Edwards, 
Evans, Foster, Fowler, Farrow, Ford, Finch, Fielder, 
Gentry, Goodlett, Golightly, Gaston, Garnett, Gibbs, Grif- 
fin, GriflSth, Gilbert, Johnson, Hill, Harris, Hammett, 
Harrison, Henderson, Kelly, Kirby, Lewis, Lipscomb, Lit- 
tlejohn, Lancaster, Lemaster, Landford, Lawrence, 
McAbee, Mason, Oats, O'Shields, Price, Pearson, Jackson, 
Pool, Rogers, Roebuck, Rhodes, Ross, Rainwaters, Roddy, 
Ray, Smith, Sims, Surratt, Stone, Todd, Tinsley, Tolle- 
son, Trimmier, Thomson, Tapp, Timmons, Turner, 
Thomas, Underwood, Varner, Wakefield, Ward, Waters, 
Wells, Westmoreland, Watson, Waldrop, West, Wofford^ 
Walker, Wilson, Wingo, White, Wilkens, Williams, Wil- 
liamson, Vaughn, Young and very many other family 
names, which it is impossible now to gather up. Among 
the early settlers on the waters of the North Tyger. in 
the vicinity of the present Mount Zion (Baptist) church 
and old Fort Prince, were the families Wood, Wingo, 
Prince and Ballenger. The families of Bomar, Chapman, 
Foster, Pollard and Richardson, were like their neighbors, 
already mentioned, emigrants from Virginia and proba- 
bly settled between the years 1795 and 1800. 

Among the early settlers on South Pacolet were the 
families of McDowell, McMillen, McClure and Dickson, all 
Scotch-Irish ; and on North Pacolet, the families of Jack- 


son (Scotch-Irish), Earle, Hannon, Page and other emi- 
grants from Virginia. 

These people coming as they did, for the most part, 
from North Ireland, Pennsylvania and Maryland, were of 
different make-up from the early settlers which composed 
the eastern portion of the province of South Carolina. It 
is due to them to say, that .they were a brave and noble 
set of pioneers, well worthy to be the entering wedges of 
civilization in the up country of South Carolina. They 
came to confront the Indian tomahawk and scalping 
knife, with a true heroism and patriotism, and a spirit 
of energy and progress! veness, which they transmitted 
to a noble posterity. They braved all dangers and diffi- 
culties, and their humble efforts to better their condition, 
and to lay the foundation for the generations that cus- 
ceeded them, have been crowned with brilliant success. 





AFTER the treaty of Governor Glen with the nation of 
Cherokee Indians, the particulars of which have been 
given in the preceding chapter, it might have been a 
reasonable supposition that all danger of molestation or 
outbreak on the part of these people was at an end. It 
appeared, at that time, to be a lasting peace between the 
white adventurers and the red men of the forest. The 
peaceful relations between the two races, however, was of 
short duration, owing to an unexpected and unfortunate 
occurrence, which we will relate as briefly as possible. 

In the beginning of the war between Great Bririan 
and France, the Cherokees sided with the former, and 
many of them were enlisted as soldiers. Returning to 
their homes through Virginia, after the famous expedi- 
tion against Fort Duquesne, they thought it right, as it 
had been a previous custom among the whites, to take 
horses wherever they could find them. The Virginians 
considered this robbery and resisted the same by vio- 
lence. They killed a number of warriors and took quite a 
number of prisoners. As an act of retaliation, parties of 
young warriors rushed down upon the frontier settle- 
ments, and the massacre became general along the bor- 
ders of South Carolina. When, however, the chiefs of the 
Cherokees became aware of the fact, they sent a deputa- 
tion to Charlestown, consisting of twenty-four men, to 
disarm the anger of the people and bring about a reconcili- 
ation. Governor Littleton, who had succeeded Governor 
Glen in office, and who was by far the inferior of the lat- 
ter for judgment, discretion and sagacity, very impru- 
dently and unjustly, treated these messengers of peace 
with indignity, and caused them to be imprisoned. Burn- 
ing all over doubtless for military glory, he had already 


resolved upon an expedition against the Cherokeeg, and 
for this purpose, had mustered fourteen hundred men 
upon the banks of the Conp^aree. The Cherokee mes- 
sengers, in order to give further guarantees of their con- 
tinued friendship, agreed that twenty-two of the twenty- 
four of their number, should be held as hostages, while 
the other two, should return to the Chiefs who were to 
secure the young warriors that had committed the mur- 
ders upon the defenseless Carolinians. To this proposi- 
tion Governor Littleton assented and caused the prisoners 
to be sent to Fort Prince George, on the w^aters of the 
Savannah River.* This fort was commanded by a Cap- 
tain Cotymore, who was detested by the Indians. Occo- 
nostola, a chief of influence and an enemy to the Caro- 
linians, took it upon himself to capture this fort and 
relieve the prisoners confined in it. He collected a strong 
force of Cherokees and surrounded it, but finding he 
could make no impression upon it or alarm its com- 
mander, he resorted to stratagem. Placing his savages 
in a dark thicket by the riverside, he sent an Indian 
woman to tell Cotymore that he had something of 
importance to tell him and wished him to meet him at the 
bank of the river. Cotymore consented, and, accompanied 
by his Lieutenants Bell and Foster, went to meet him. 
Occonostola said he wanted a guide to conduct him to 

♦Feeling an interest in knowing the precise location of Fort Prince 
George, and also the history of a gold ring a hundred years old, which 
had been found there, the writer, in answer to an inquirj^ received the 
following letter which explains itself : 

CiyERK's Office United States Circuit Court, \ 

District of South Caroi^ina. j 

Dr. J. B. a Landrum,! Landrum. S. C: ^i^^^°^' S- C, Sept 23, 1891. 

Dear Sir : — Yours was received. Fort George was erected on Keo- 
wee River, in Pickens County. The land is now owned by Capt. Robt. 
E. Steele, and is in a large bottom of 50 acres near the river and there 
is a mound in the bottom plainly visible and cultivated by Cai)t. 
Steele. Fort George is 15 miles west of this place. The large, solid 
gold ring when found was just one hundred years old the day it was 
picked up in the bottom by a negro woman who was ploughing on the 
26th June, 1858. I have seen the ring often. Gen. Jas W. Harrison 
had the ring on his watch guard. Will be glad to give you any infor- 
mation I can. Yours very truly, J. E. Hagood. 


Charlestowu, but while he was still parleying with Coty- 
more, he waved a bridle which he had in his hand, three 
times over his head and the savages appeared. They killed 
Cotymoreand wounded his lieutenants. In consequence 
of this bloody deed the garrison proceeded at once to put 
the prisoners in irons. They resisted and stabbed three 
of the men who attempted to put manacles upon them. 
The garrison, exasperated to the highest degree, fell upon 
and killed the last one of them. 

This unfortunate castrophe maddened the whole Chero- 
kee nation. The pleasant relations which had been so 
recently formed with these people were at an end. It is 
said that in the murder of these hostages there was 
scarcely a family among the f -herokees that had not lost 
a friend or relative. The whole nation seized at once the 
hatchet, sang their war songs, and, burning for revenge, 
fell upon the frontier settlements of Carolina, and with 
merciless fury set to work murdering men, women and 
children. The settlements everywhere, alarmed and ter- 
rified, lost no time in setting to the work of building of 
forts and stockades. It is said that a line of these forts 
extended along the borders of the outer settlements from 
Virginia to Georgia. 

Just what were the particulars of the murders com- 
mitted upon the white people who settled the country 
now comprised within the territorial limits of Spartan- 
burg and other counties, it is impossible now to know. 
Judge O'Neal in his *^Annals of Newberry," says that 
after the killing of Cotymore and the wounding of Bell 
and Foster, the Indian savages rushed upon the defense^ 
less settlements of Long Cane, Saluda and Little River, 
and committed their work of murder and devastation. 
We certainly know that it was during these troublesome 
times that old Fort Prince, Poole's Fort, near Wofford's 
Iron Works, now Glendale, Nichols' Fort at '^Narrow 
Pass," near Capt. David Anderson's, Block House, Earle's 
and Thickety forts were built, an account of which, we 
shall give in the succeeding chapter. 







OF the old forts or stockades mentioned in our last 
(*hapter, Fort Prince was the general rallying point in 
times of danger, when it was necessary for the people of 
the different settlements to concentrate their strength 
This old fort wa« constructed near the historic Black- 
stock road, about three-fourths of a mile Southeast of 
Mount Zion Church, and about two and a half miles 
Northwest of the present village of P^air Forest. It was 
built near a stream now known as Grav's Creek, one of 
the branches of the North Tyger River. This stream is 
the only water crossing on the Blackstock road between 
Motlow's Creek, one of the prongs of the South Pacolet 
Ri.ver, and Tyger River at Blackstock's Ford, a distance of 
forty or forty-five miles. The fort was built circular in 
shape, and of heavy timbers from twelve to fifteen feet 
high. Surrounding this was a ditch, the dirt from which 
was thrown against the walls of parapet height. This 
was secured in front by an abatis of heavy timbers, 
making, when finished, a respectable place of defence 
against the assaults of the enemy. In the upright pieces, 
port holes were cut one and one-half by four inches in 
diameter for the riflemen inside. What we have said with 
regard to the construction of this fort will probably 
apply to the others already mentioned. It took its name 
by reason of the fact that it was built near the residence 
of a Mr. William Prince, grandfather of Mr. William 
Prince, who died on the North Pacolet River, (Polk 
County, N. C.,) in 1878, at the advanced age of ninety- 
five years, in the full vigor of his mind to the day of his 


death. To **Uncle Billy" Prince as he was called by his 
neighbors, and also to "Draper's Kind's Mountain," the 
writer is indebted for the history he has obtained with 
regard to this old place of refuge, built by the fathers 
more than one hundred and thirty years ago. During the 
perilous times just mentioned, it was here and at Fort 
Nichols, and perhaps other places, that the men, women 
and children — in other words, the ancestry of a large 
and respectable portion of the present population of 
Spartanburg County— were sheltered. 

Just in front of the site of the old fort is a beautiful 
shoal on the creek, where stood a mill which did the 
grinding for the inmates of the fort. It was afterwards 
known as Gray's Mill and stood for some years after the 
close of the Re volution . 

The writer having been born and reared in less than 
two miles of the site of old Fort Prince, and feeling an 
interest in knowing the precise spot where it stood, was 
accompanied, some thirty years ago to the place by an 
esteemed and venerable friend, Mr. Samuel Turner, who 
lived near by and on whose plantation it was to be seen. 
A circular depression in the ground on one side, was dis- 
tinctly discerned, which gave an idea of the size of the 
fort. It was probably about one hundred and fifty feet 
in diameter. On the bank of the branch near by, Mr. 
Turner showed what appeared to be an ancient bank Of 
ashes, which, he said, was the place where the washing 
W81S doiie by the inmates of the fort. 

How long Fort Prince and the other forts were occu- 
pied, it is impossible now to know, but it is reasonable to 
suppose, until the troubles with the Cherokees were ended. 
In a future chapter, we will give more history in connec- 
tion with Fort Prince. Before speaking of the particulars 
which brought about an end to the war with the Chero- 
kees, let us again refer to the Blackstock road. 

Several years ago, the writer prepared a series of arti- 
les for one of our county papers, headed ** Blackstock 
load and Vicinity One Hundred Years Ago," in which he 



endeavored to present many scenes connected with this 
old road, and as he will have occasion to refer to them 
aj^ain, its location raight here be given. 

Running in a northwest direction from Cambridge, or 
Ninety-six, the Blackstock road crossed Tyger at Black- 
stock's Ford, near the battle ground of same name, and 
ran, as it does now, on a beautiful ridge, dividing the 
waters of the Tyger on one side, and the waters of Dutch- 
man's Creek, head waters of Fair Forest and Lawson's 
Fork, on the other. Its course, in other words, lay by 
what is now known as the Ferguson old place, Walnut 
Grove, Beccu, Fair Forest, old Fort Prince, Mt. Zion 
Church to the Frank Bush place, near Shiloh Church. Up 
to this point the old road, as known in Revolutionary 
times, runs at present, for the most .part, over its original 
road bed. The remaining portion of the old road, except 
for a short distance at different places, has long since 
been abandoned. The continuation of its course in a 
nortwestward direction, ran by Gowen's old muster 
ground, Samuel Burns', Crawford Earle's — crosi^ing South 
Pacolet at Guthrie's Ford — and thence by Fairview 
Church, Bird Mountain old camp ground, to the North 
Carolina line, at the Block House. 

Besides Fort Prince there were two other forts located 
on the Blackstock road — one of these was Gowen's Fort, 
the site of which is near Williams' Mill, on the waters of 
South Packolet River. This old fort is mentioned in Gov- 
ernor Perry's articles, which appear in Johnson's Tradi- 
tions. The other referred to is the Block House Fort, 
which stood near the present residence of Ceburn Foster, 
on the present dividing line between the counties of Green- 
ville and Spartanburg, and within a few steps of the 
North Carolina line. It was located, in other words, in 
the extreme northwest corner of Spartanburg County. 

The Blackstock Road is perhaps the oldest road in 
Spartanburg County and in the extreme up-country. It 
was originally an Indian trail. Governor Perry, in some 
of his writings, informs us that the Block House was an 


Indian trading post, and it was doubtless over tlie Blftek- 
stock Road that the merchants or Indian traders from 
Charleston, in times of peace, and prior to the first settle- 
ments in the up-country, traveled to exchange with the 
Indians guns, ammunition and other articles of conven- 
ience and comfort, for skins and furs which they carried 
with them on their return to Charleston, and which were 
exported to different parts of the world.* 

In colonial times, public bridges were scarcely known. 
The public roads of the country were made with reference 
to the gaps in the mountains'and the shoaly crossings on 
the streams. 

But returning to the Chrokee war, let us relate briefly 
the circumstances w^hich terminated the same. (See page 
35). The Government of South Carolina was too feeble to 
put an end to the Indian insurrection. In Charleston the 
small-pox was prevailing to an alarming extent and no 
troops could be spared from that place. Virginia and 
North Carolina, however, came to the rescue, and together 
they sent seven troops of rangers. They united with a 
force of British regulars under Col. Montgomery, who as- 
sumed command of all. Montgomerj^ in 1760, chased 
the Cherokees for some distance, killed a number of their 
warriors, but did not humble them to submission. He 
wa>s compelled to return to New York, from whence he 
had come, and the upper settlements of South Carolina 

*See Commercial Reports of Charleston, i73i-'47. In 1731 three 
hundred casks, containing eight or nine hundred each of deer skins 
were exported from that place. The report of 1747 shows that two 
hundred beaver hides, and seven hundred and twenty hogsheads of deer 
hides were exported. (See Carrol's Commercial History of S. C, Vol, 
IT, pages 129 and 237). Says Carrol, (page 128) " The trade in Carolina 
is now (173 1 ) so considerable, that of late years there has sailed from 
thence annually, about two hundred ships laden with merchandise of 
the growth of the country, besides three ships of war, which they com- 
monly have for the security of the commerce, etc." 

The trade with the Indians in the up-counlry of South Carolina was 
mostly by English merchants. Says Carrol, further, " They carry on 
great trade with the Indians, from whom they get great quantities of 
Deer Skins and those of other Wild Beasts, in exchange for which they 
give them only Lead, Powder, Coarse Cloth, Vermillion, Iron ware and 
some other goods, by which they have a very considerable profit." 


were still in danger. A provincial regiment was raised, 
the command of which was given to Col. Middleton. 
Among the field officers of this regiment were Henrv Lau- 
rens, William Moultrie, Francis Marion, Isaac Huger and 
Andrew Pickens. This regiment united with a force of 
British regulars under Col. Grant, which landed at 
Charleston early in 1761, and together with some friendly 
Indians, this force consisted of about twenty-six hundred 
men, the command of which was entrusted to Col. Grant. 
The Indians were pursued by Grant, who destroyed their 
graneries and corn fields, to their habitations in their own 
country. This expedition was known as the Grant In- 
dian war. It brought to the Indians desolation and 
despair and caused them to sue for peace through an old 
friendly chief, Attakulla Kulla. Peace being declared, the 
forts were deserted. The people of the different settle- 
ments returned to their homes to pursue their domestic 
avocations. This was the true beginning of [)ro8perity 
in the settlements of upper South Carolina. The colony 
began to flourish to a surprising degree; multitudes of 
emigrants came from all parts of Europe, Pennsylvania, 
Maryland and Virginia. It is said that in the space 
of a single year more than a thousand families, 
with their effects, horses, cattle and hogs, crossed 
the mountains and pitched their tents along the frontiers 
of South Carolina. As the white people began to increase, 
the danger froui the savages was lessened. For several 
years the colony continued to flourish, the chief productions 
of whi(!h was flax, tobacco, furs and grain. The passage of 
the Stamp Act, however, by the British Parliament, soon 
after this awakened a jealousy in the bosoms of the 
people, and having a pride in their own strength, they re- 
solved after several years of patient endurance, to throw 
off what has been properly called the British Yoke. 

Having thus given an outline of the troubles and sacri- 
fices of the early settlers of our country, let it be borne in 
mind in conclusion, that their memories should not be 
forgotten. A great many, doubtless, think the greatest 


of their trials and sacrifices was during the Revolution- 
ary war. This is a mistake. We think we have already 
presented facts to prove that their greatest hardships 
were before that period. Perhaps the only practical good 
that grew out of these difficulties, was to unite the people 
of the different settlements and nationalities and make 
them, as it were, one people, sooner perhaps than if they 
had been left undisturbed. It is true they were from dif- 
ferent countries and had been, to some extent, educated 
with different ideas, but they all loved alike, God, liberty 
and their country, and transmitted the same spirit to 
their descendants, who, by their patriotism, valor and 
heroism, have given ample testimony to this fact on 
many hard-fought battle fields, since their day and gener- 





IT is unnecessary to enter into the minute details of the 
causes which brought about the revolutionary struggle. 
It is well underetood that principal among the causes- 
after the repeal of the memorable Stamp Act— was an 
act passed by the British Parliament imposing a duty on 
glass, paper, tea, paints and other articles. This 
duty, however, was removed on every article except tea. 
But the people, 07i iMnciple^ resolved that they would 
not submit to this unjust taxation imposed by the 
Parliament. They became jealous of the designs of the 
Mother Country. Cargoes of tea sent to Charlestown, 
Boston and other places, were stored and the consignees 
were restrained from exposing it for sale. The fact is 
well known in history that at Boston, a few men dis- 
guised as Indians, entered a ship and threw into the water 
all that h£td been exported to that place by the East 
India Company. This trespass on private property pro- 
voked to wrath the British Parliament and caused that 
body, first to pass an act to virtually blockade the Bos- 
ton port, and later to pass another **act for the better 
regulating the government of Massachusetts," which 
meant to altar the charter of that province, remove the 
executive power from the hands of the people and thus leave 
the appointment of all officers to the King. As soon as the 
facts were made known to the people of Massachusetts 
and the other colonies, meetings were everywhere held to 
deliberate on the alarming state of affairs. At one of 
these meetings, held May 13, 1774, it was resolved and 
recommended that Massachusetts and the other colonies 
put a stop to all exportation and importation to Great 
Britain till the blockading act was repealed. A copy of 


the resolutions were sent to South Carolina and other 
provinces. Upon its arrival in Charlestown, it was pre- 
sented to a number of gentlemen, who were of the opinion 
that the principles of policy and self-preservation made it 
necessary to support the people of Boston. It was 
thought best to call a meeting of the inhabitants. Let- 
ters were sent to every parish and district in the province. 
This meeting was held on the 6th of July, 1774, at 
Charlestown, and was composed of persons from every 
part of South Carolina. 

The situation in Boston, where General Gage was col- 
lecting a large army to force the people into submission, 
and the affairs of Massachusetts, generally, were fully 
discussed. Strong resolutions were passed and delegates 
were appointed to attend the Continental Congress, 
which met in Philadelphia in October, 1774. This body 
having finished its business, the South Carolina members 
returned home and gave to the people an account of their 

To give strength to the action of the deputies from 
South Carolina, it was determined to convene a Provincial 
Congress, or what would now be called a State Convention, 
Delegates from every parish and district in South Carolina 
wereelected to attend this Congress. This body had its first 
meeting January 11th, 1775. The proceedings of the 
Continental Congress were submitted to their judgment. 
Resolutions of approval were passed, a Council of Safety 
and a General Committee were appointed. The same dele- 
gates were appointed to the next Continental Congress. 
The inhabitants were recommended to be diligent and 
attentive to learn the use of fire-arms, and the 17th day 
of February, 1775, was set apart and recommended to 
them for observance as a day of fasting, humiliation and 
prayer before Almighty God, and on that day the people 
were to devoutly petition Him '' to spare the King with 
Wisdom, etc." 

How long this Congress remained in session, we are not 
informed. We notice another meeting of the same body 


in June of the same year. At this time the news of the 
battles of Lexington and Bunker Hill, and the general 
uprising of the people of Massachusetts and other colo- 
nies, had been received. They resolved that an associa- 
tion was necessary. Up to this time opposition to 
British authority had been conducted entirely on com- 
mercial principles, but Great Britain turning a deaf ear 
to the petitions and remonstrances of the colonists, de- 
termined to force their obedience to whatever laws she 
saw proper to enact. There was left no alternative but 
a mean submission or a manly resistance. The question 
before the people now was, "Shall we live slaves or die 
free men?" The instruiltent to be signed by the associa- 
tion was first signed by the President (Henry Laurens,) 
and members of the Provincial Congress, and was after- 
wards presented to the inhabitants throughout the 
entire province for their signatures. Those who signed it 
pledged themselves to resist force by force and to unite 
under every tie of religion and honor. They further 
pledged themselves to "be ready to sacrifice life and 
fortune to secure the freedom and safety of South 
Carolina, holding all persons inimical to the liberty of 
the colonies who shall refuse to subscribe to this associa- 
tion." The Provincial Congress further resolved, since 
opposition to British authority was greater than was at 
first intended when they were elected, that the people 
should have fresh opportunity to express their opinion 
on. the state of public affairs. They therefore determined 
that their existence as a public body should expire on the 
6th day of August, and that a new election should be 
held on the two succeeding days for a new Provincial 
Congress. On the 22d day of June, 1775, they adjourned, 
having delegated a greater part of their authority to the 
Council of Safety and the General Committee, composed of 
about forty members. The former was to be in the nature of 
an executive and the latter a legislative body. It was 
during the sitting of the Provincial Congress that Lord 
William Campbell, Governor of the province of South 


Carolina, arrived. The executive authority had been, for 
a time, vested in Lieutenant Governor Bull, a native of 
the province. Governor Campbell was received with 
demonstrations customary on such occasions. He was 
waited upon with an address from the Provincial Con- 
gress, who assured him, among other things, that the 
people of South Carolina only desired to secure their in- 
valuable right<s upon constitutional principles, and that 
they wished nothing more than a speedy reconciliation 
with the Mother Country. The Governor replied that he 
knew of no representatives of the people except those 
constitutionally convened in the General Assembly, and 
further, that he was incompetent to judge of the merits 
of the disputes between the Government of Great Britain 
and the American colonies. Under the constitution, the 
governor was Commander-in-chief of the militia; he also 
had the power to convene or dissolve the General Assem- 
bly at will. It was soon discovered, however, that he 
was plotting against the patriot cause. To his supposed 
friends he secretly gave out word ^* that His Majesty was 
determined to speedily send out troops from one end of 
the continent to the other." Through John Stuart, 
Superintendent of the Cherokee Nation, and Alexander 
Cameron, Deputy Superintendent of the same, he con- 
spired against his province, the secjuel of which will be 
presently explained. 

Soon becoming distrustful of his personal safety in 
Charlestown, Governor Campbell retired to a sloop-of- 
war—Tamar— first issuing a proclamation to dissolve 
the General Assembly, and carrying off with him 
the great seal of the province. A fortnight afterwards 
he was waited upon by a committee, who invited him to 
come ashore, promising him that his person and charac- 
ter should be respected. He deemed it prudent, however, 
to remain on the vessel. 

Stuart, very early in the contest, retired to Florida. 
He was an officer of the Crown and wholly devoted to the 
Royal interest. For several years the management of 


the Indian tribes had been committed to him. He pre- 
tended that he conceived it his duty to attach the 
Indians to the Roj^al cause. He prejudiced their minds 
by the non-importation agreement, which had been adopted 
by the colonies. This wholly deprived him of the oppor- 
tunity of supplying their wants, and also precluded the 
possibility of giving Royal presents, as had been previ- 
ously done. This interruption gave him an opportunity 
to exasperate the Indians against the friends of the 
patriot cause. A secret plot was on foot among Camp- 
bell and all the Royal Governors, to land an army in 
Florida, and in conjunction with the Tories and Indians, 
to fall upon the frontier settlements of South Carolina 
and other Southern provinces. A fleet and army were, at 
the same time, to invade from the coast. Moses Kirk- 
land, a Tory from the back settlements of South 
Carolina, was sent to communicate this plan to General 
Gage, at Boston. Fortunately, the vessel that was sent 
to convey him was captured, with Kirkland on board. 
The letters found on his person unfolded the whole plan, 
which, by order of (Congress, was published to the peo- 
ple. This convinced the minds of the Americans that the 
British authorities had employed the Indian savages to 
indiscriminately murder men, women and children on the 
western frontiers, of which the early settlers in the present 
counties of Spartanburg and Union were a part. 
A lot of powder which had been started from Flor- 
ida by Stuart to the Cherokee country, was captured 
The news of this fortunate capture and the exposing of 
the nefarious plot soon spread over the country, and for 
a time, put a quietus to the Tories and Indians and pre- 
vented what might otherwise have been, during the yoar 
1775, a terrible disaster to the border settlements. 

The second or new Provincial Congress of South Caro- 
lina, met on the 1st day of November, 1775, composed of 
delegates from all over South Carolina. 

It would be impossible here to give a general summary 
of all of the proceedings of this important gathering of 


patriots. The defenses around the city of Charlestown 
were ordered to be put in repair. At this time they were 
threatened by two British sloops of wslv— Cherokee and 
Tamar — lying inside of the harbor. 

This Provincial Congress elected a new Council of Safety 
and enlarged their powers. That part, however, of their 
proceedings which directly concerned the people of the 
up-country was the dividing of the country between the 
Broad and Saluda rivers into thr^^e congressional or elec- 
tion districts. We prefer to quote the record as we find 
it. (See Drayton's Memoirs, vol. ii, page 154). 

No. VII.— In Congress. 

Resolved, that the district heretofore described between the Broad 
and Saluda rivers be now divided into three, as well for the conven- 
ience of electors in Congress, as on account of the happy influence 
which it maj'^ have upon the peace and union of the inhabitants. 

That the Lower District^ commonly called Dutch Fork, shall have 
the following boundaries, viz : From fork where Broad and Saluda 
Rivers meet, up Broad River to where Tyger River falls into Broad 
River, thence up Tyger River to the ford crossed by the old Saluda road, 
thence along said road to where it crosses Saluda p. the place usually 
called Saluda Old Town, thence down the confluence of Saluda and 
Broad Rivers : that the election of members of Congress for said 
district be held at the meeting house nearest to the home of 
Adam Summers. 

That the Little River District be bounded as follows : Bv Saluda 
River to Saluda Old Town to where the said river crosses the Indian 
boundary line ; by the said Indian line to where it crosses the Enoree 
River, thence down the Enoree to road above described, which bounds 
the lower district, the election to be held at Hammond's old store. 

That the Upper or Spartan District be bounded by Tyger River 
from its confluence with Btoad River up to where said Tyger River is 
crossed by the Saluda old road, thence by the old road to where it 
crosses Enoree, thence by the said Enoree River to the Indian line 
[the present line between the counties of Greenville and Spartanburg] 
to the Colonj^ line; thence by the Colony (the state line between 
North and South Carolina) to where it intersects with Broad River; 
thence by Broad River to its confluence with the Tyger ; the place of 
election to be at the meeting house, near the house of Joseph Kelsey, 
and that the district as now divided be allowed and do respectively 
elect four members of Congress and ther representatives." 

— -. — — Ac t u.i^l Co. l»T)e. 

/////////// />'stri*ci l/ne.. ^i 


It will be seen that the present counties of Union and 
Spartanburg composed the Upper or Spartan District, 
with only one voting precinct for the entire district. The 
presumtion of the writer is that this was somewhere in 
Union County. 

The most important work, however, of the Provincial 
Congress of South Carolina, was the adoption of a new 
and independent constitution. After much debate, this 
was adopted early in 1776. While this debate was in pro- 
gress, an express arrived from Savannah, bringing a copy 
of the Act of Parliament, passed December 21st, 1775, con- 
fiscating American property and throwing all of the colo- 
nies out of His Majestj'^'s protection. This quickly put an 
end to all further debate ; the body became at once revo- 
lutionized and solidified. They voted themselves at once 
to be the General Assembly of South Carolina, elected 
thirteen of their ablest members to be a Legislative Coun- 
cil, and also elected a president and vice-president; six 
privy counselors to advise the president; a chief justice 
and three assistant judges; an attorney-general, secretary, 
ordinary, judge of the admiralty and register of mesne 

The first president under the new constitution was John 
Rutledge. The first vice-president was Henry Laurens 
and the first chief-justice was William Henry Drayton. 

We have thus briefly noticed the changes as they rapidly 
took place, and in which the people of the up-country, 
doubtless through their representatives, took part. It 
was the extinction of Royal authority in South Carolina. 






DURING the session and after the adjournment of the 
Provincial Conp^ess already referred to, Lord Wil- 
liam Campbell, claiming his authority as Governor of 
South Carolina, was unremitting in his efforts to persuade 
the uninformed of the back settlers that the power of 
Great Britain could never be effectually resisted by the 
American colonies ; that the whole dispute was about a 
trifling tax on t6a, which they were not in the habit of 
using, and the matter was of little or no interest to them. 
Through his emissaries, he insisted that the gentlemen on 
the sea coast, in order to obtain their tea free, were wil- 
ling to involve the people of the back country in a quarrel 
that would deprive them of salt and other imported nec- 
essaries, and that the expenses of an insignificant tax on 
tea was nothing as compared to the expenses of a war 
with the mother country. 

These well-paid emissaries had no trouble in distracting 
the minds of very many of the back country people, who 
had not been settled more than fifteen or twenty years. 
They were persuaded that the instrument which had been 
prepared by the association (referred to in the preceding 
chapter) for their signatures, was intended only to 
dragoon them into submission. This aroused in the 
bosoms of many, a spirit of resistance and independence, 
and instead of signing the document by which the people 
of the lower country had pledged their lives and fortunes 
to each other in open opposition to Royal authority, 
they signed other papers, as we will see further, at their 
general musters and other public gatherings, declaring 
their unwillingness to concur in the measures recom- 
mended by the Provincial Congress. These papers 


charged the patriots with motives and designs that were 
dishonorable. The country soon divided in sentiment. 
While there were many that were sincerely devoted to the 
cause of Liberty, there were others who were stubborn in 
their opposition to the new provincial authority, which 
then existed. Camps were soon formed of the opposing 
parties and both were quickly in arms. The Tory ele- 
ment in the lower part of the District of Ninety-Six* were 
headed and led by two brothers, Patrick and Robert Cun- 
ningham, while the same element was led, in a large 
measure in the Upper or Spartan District by Colonel 
Thomas Fletchall, who resided on Fair Forest. This 
influence which he possessed over the people of his section 
was due to the fact that he was Colonel of the militia. 
His regimental district, before the Revolution, included 
all the country between the Broad and Saluda rivers in 
South Carolina, and embraced the three districts (Lower 
or Dutch Fork, Middle or Little River and Upper or 
Spartan) referred to in a former chapter, which were created 
by the Provincial Congress in 1776. The regimental 
parade ground of Fletchall's regiment was at Ford's, on 
the Enoree. 

The Provincial militia of South Carolina in the early 
part of 1775, consisted of twelve regiments. One of these 
in the upper part of the province was commanded, as we 
have already said, by Fletchall. It was through the Col- 
onel's command of the different regiments, that the 
instrument of the association was transmitted to the 
people for their signatures. Fletchall's conduct gave 
great uneasiness to the Council of Safety. An effort was 
made to induce him to join the common cause or to make 

♦The old district of Ninety-Six, before and during the Revolution, was 
composedofthepresentcountiesof Spartanburg, Laurens, Union, New- 
berry, Abbeville and Edgefield. The county site was at Cambridge or 
Ninety Six, in Abbeville county, not far from the present Ninety-Six 
depot. The three last named counties "^ere laid out in 1783, the 
former remained as the county of Ninety-Six, with a change of the 
county site to Pinckneyville, on the Broad River, in Union county, un- 
til 1785. The old official records of Cambridge are now at Abbeville 
Qourt house^ wl^ile those of Pinckneyville are at Union court house. 


known his sentiments on the situation of affairs. He was 
written to by the Council of Safety on the 14th day of 
July, 1775. In his reply on the 24th of the same month, 
he claimed that many reports had been maUciously circu- 
lated against him by the General Committee, which he 
could prove to be false ; that upon the desire of John Cald- 
well, Lieutenant-Colonel of his regiment, he had called the 
same together on the 13th inst., when he proceeded to 
everj' company and caused Major Terry of his regiment 
to read the instrument of the Provincial A^ssociation to 
them, but not one of them signed it and hecould not com- 
pel them ; that the people then agreed to sign an associa- 
tion of their own and Major Robinson, then on the 
ground, was applied to, who drew up articles of an asso- 
ciation suitable to their wishes, and which had been gen- 
erally signed from Broad to Savannah rivers. Fletch- 
all warned the Council of Safety of some of their highland 
gentlemen, as he called some in the interior, who were 
aspiring and fond of commissions, and who, to gain 
favor with tlie gentlemen in town, would say anything but 
the truth. Fletchall expressed a concern that he was 
looked upon as an enemy to his country, and thought 
the government had greater cause to complain of some 
who were less suspected than himself. Upon the main 
subject upon which he had been approached by the Coun- 
cil of Safety, Fletchall declared that he would not take 
up arms against his King, until it became his duty to do 
so, and he was convinced of the propriety of the measure. 
We have mentioned some particulars of this corre- 
spondence to show the unwholesome influences that were 
at first brought to bear upon the minds of the people of 
the up-country- of South Carolina, by leaders in official 
authority. Let it be remembered, as we have said, that 
the boundaries of Fletchall's regiment embraced a large 
scope of country, between the ri vers—Saluda and Broad — 
to the North Carolina line. So large was it, as we have 
shown in a preceding chapter, that the Provincial Con- 
gress passed a resolution March 23d, 1776, to divide 


this regimental district into tlupe, the boundaries of one 
of these to embrace the Uj)per or Spartan District. (See 
Drayton's Menaoirs, vol. xxi, page 155). 

The Council of Safety feelincr the necessity of a full 
explanation to the people of the nature of the dispute 
between the colonies and the mother country, sent to the 
country between the Hroad and Saluda rivers, where the 
disaffection seemed "greatest, the Hon. William Henry 
Drayton and Rev. William Tennant. The mission of 
these gentlemen was to pacify the inhabitants and bring 
them into co-operation with the Council of Safety and 
General Committee. They set out on their journey in 
August, 1775. The first section visited by them was the 
Dutch Fork, near the junction of the two rivers men- 
tioned. Their first meeting was at a German muster. 
These people were so warmed by the eloquence and rea- 
e.oning of Drayton, that many of them shed tears and 
nearly all signed the instrument of the association. Some 
few, however, refused at first, and an amusing scheme 
was adopted by Drayton to bring them to terms. In the 
presence of some of their leaders, he wrote to the Council 
of Safety, requesting them to keep a constant guard at 
the town gate at Charlestown and to inquire of all 
wagoners from the country (the fork of the Saluda and 
Broad Rivers) for certificates showing that they had 
joined the association. Upon their non-production of 
the same, he suggested that they be required to return. 

Mr. Drayton, separating himself for a time from Mr. 
Tennant, who traveled through other sections of the 
country, continued his journey up the Saluda River, 
accompanied by Mr. Kershaw, of Camden. At King's 
Creek he addressed a large gathering. All seemed pleased 
with his reasoning and eloquence, but when about to sign 
the association, a messenger arrived and said that Cun- 
ningham was on hand and would like to address the meet- 
ing. This brought everything to a pause, the people now 
indulging the idea of having both sides discussed. The 
report was circulated that Cunningham had in his pocket 


a proclamation from the King, showino; the fallacy of the 
American proceedings. Upon Cunningham's arrival, he 
and his company were invited to dine with Mr. Drayton, 
where dinner had been ordered. After this was over, Mr. 
Drayton took Gjunningham aside and spoke to him seri- 
ously and politely, respecting the questions before the 
people. Cunningham would not, however, be drawMi from 
his purpose. In the afternoon, when the people had reas- 
sembled to receive Cunningham's communication, one of 
his companions, Thomas Brown, a Scotchman, who had 
been tarred and feathered at Augusta, Georgia, for making- 
fun of the American cause in a toast at a dinner party, 
read *' Dairy mple's Address from the People of England to 
the People of America," which had been transmitted, 
through the Governor, Lord William Campbell. Brown 
performed the part of an orator on this occasion and 
read the address aloud from beginning to end. Mr. 
Drayton, having determined to follow him in all his wind- 
ings from beginning to end, apphed ridicule when he 
thought it would have effect, which made the people 
laugh heartil3% and to which Cunningham and Brown 
made no reply. Demolished and beaten from the field, 
Cunningham and his friend of tar and feather niemory, 
quietly stole away. Mr. Drayton and Mr. Kershaw, after 
visiting the settlements along the Saluda, crossed the 
Enoree and came into the settlements which now belong- 
to the territory of Union and Spartanburg counties. 
They arrived at the house of Colonel Fletchall* on the 
17th of August, where they found Thomas Brown, Cun- 
ningham and Robinson who had arrived the evening 
before, as had also Mr. Tennant and Colonel Richardson. 
The respective heads of parties as they there stood, had 

*The writer is informed by Hon. John L. Youn^, of Union, S. C, 
that Fletchall's place was afterwards known as the Murphy 
MiU place, on Fair Forest, about five miles south-west of Union. 
Later it was a part of the McBette estate, and is now owned by Murphy 
& Nicholson. Colonel Fletchall left the country and went to the West 
Indies after the revolution. His estate was confiscated and taken 
possession of by Colonel Brandon, who was a sort of "Willie the Con- 
queror " of that section. 


now met together for the first time since the Commis- 
sioners (Mr. Drayton and Mr. Tennant) had commenced 
their mission. Mr. Tennant, in a letter to the Council of 
Safety (August 20, 1775), writes, *' We have at length 
visited the mighty Nabob Fletchall. We found him sur- 
rounded by his court, viz : Cunningham, Thrown and 
Robinson, who watch all his motions and have him under 
great command. We soon found the unchangeable malig- 
nity of their minds, and the inexpressible pains they were 
at to blind the people and fill them with bitterness 
against the gentlemen, as they are called. General Gage's 
pamphlet is raging through the district and greedily read. 
The leaders * * * * keep the people ignorant and in 
general they firmly believe that no man, that comes from 
below, and that no paper printed there, can speak the 
truth. This is necessary to prevent anything we can say 
from taking place. We soon found that reasoning was 
vain with those who were fixed with Roval emoluments, 
but perceiving that Fletchall expected (?) to play between, 
we let him know that we had discovered things which he 
thought were a profound secret and surprised him much. 
He confessed receiving a letter from the Governor within 
five days last and offered to swear there was no harm in 
it and that he would not take arms against the country. 
But we surprised him into a promise to assemble his regi- 
ment next Wednesday at Ford's, which highly affronted 
Cunningham and the rest of the upper house, some of 
whom treated us with insolence upon it. We expect to 
meet the regiment accordingly, and many of our friends 
whom 1 have advertised of it. 

In the meantime Mr. Drayton has gone up to his iron 
works (*) '* and to the people about Lawsou's Fork, 
where we will do something." 

On the 2l8t of August, Mr. Dra^'ton wrote a letter from 
Lawson's Fork to the Council ot^afety giving the partic- 
ulars of what had passed while the commissioners were at 

♦Buffington or Woftbrd's Iron Works, near Glendale, referred to. 


Colonel Fletchaire. In his letter he savs : " I reached 
Colonel Fletchall's last Thursday in orning before break- 
fast, and Mr. Tennant and myself, after breakfast, en<>;aged 
him in a private conversation, during near three hours. 
We endeavored to explain everything to hirn and en- 
deavored to show him that we had confidence in him. We 
humored him, we laughed with hiin, then we recurred to 
argument, remonstrances and intreaties, to join his coun- 
try and all America. All that we could get from him wa43 
this: ' He would never take up arms against his King or his 
countrymen^ and that the 2)roceedings of the Congress at Phila- 
delphia were impolitic^ disrespectful and irritating to the King, * 
We charged him with having written to the Governor 
(Lord William Campbell) and with having received an 
answer; he confessed both. * * * We named the method 
by which he received it, concealed in a cane; he appeared 
confounded but after a pause, he attempted to laugh off 
this last particular." Drayton says further of Robinson, 
**'s looks are utterly against him ; much venom 
appears in Cunningham's countenance and conversation. 
Neither of these say much, but Brown (the same who wajs 
tarred and feathered at Augusta) is the spokesman; and his 
bitterness and violence are intolerable. He has, in various 
ways, insulted us during our twenty-four hours stay at 
Fletchall's, as if lie wanted to provoke me to violence. 
* * * * Before this happened we engaged the Colonel 
in the private eonvei'sation to call out his regiment on 
the 23d instant ; upon our return to the house where 
this Cunningham, Brown and Robinson w^ere, he men- 
tioned what he had promiised. All three of them were 
opened mouthed against the measure and Mr. Tennant 
had much to do to keep che Colonel to his promise. This 
meeting of the regiment will be at Ford's (on Enoree 
River) and I am not without some apprehension that 
some violence will there be used against us. * * * And 
besides this it is my firm belief, that Brown, Cunningham 
and Robinson will do everything in their power to bring 
things to extremities ; for they are clearly of the opinion 


that they cap beat the colony. These men manage Fletch- 
all as they please, when they have him to themselves." 

The reader would naturally infer from what has 
already been said, that the infant settlements of the 
Upper or Spartan district were influenced almost entirely 
by Fletchall and his associates, to take sides with the 
Royal authority in opposition to the common cause of 
America. While this was true, with reference to the set- 
tlements in the middle and lower portion of the district 
of Ninety-Six, it was not true of the early settlers of Spar- 
tanburg County, which was then the upper portion of the 
said district and next to the Cherokee Indian Nation. In 
the same letter of Mr. Drayton, already referred to, writ- 
ten on Lawson's Fork, .August 21, 1775, the writer says : 
** I had this day a meeting with the people in this fron- 
tier. Many present were of the other party ; but I have 
the pleasure to acquaint you that those became volun- 
tary converts. Every person received satisfax^tion and 
departed with pleasure. I finished the day with a barba- 
cued beef. I have also ordered matters here, that this 
whole frontier will be formed into volunteer companies ; 
but as they are at present under Fletchall's command, 
they insist upon being formed into a regiment independent 
of him ; and I flatter myself you will think this method of 
weakening Fletchall, to be considered sound policy. 
These people are active and spirited ; they are staunch in our 
favor; are capable of forming a good barrier against the 
Indians, and of beins: a severe check upon Pletchall's peo- 
ple, on whom they border, if they should think of quitting 
their habitations under the banners of Fletchall or his 
companions. For these reasons and to enable them to act 
with vigor, I shall take the liberty of supplying them 
with a small quantity of ammunition ; for they have not 
one ounce, when they shall be formed into regular com- 
panies. Several companies will be formed by this day 
week. (See Drayton's Memoirs, vol. i, page 374). 

We have quoted from Mr. Drayton's letter to prove the 
spirit of patriotism that belonged to the people of the old 


Spartan District, few in numbers, as thej were, at 
the dawning of the Revolution. Let their descendants of 
the present day read with pride the indelible testimony 
preserved and handed down to us. 

Not long after the departure of Messrs. Drayton and 
Tennant a regiment was organized within the present 
limits of Spartanburg County and made up of inhabi- 
tants from both sections of Union and Spartanburg, 
under the comm«ind of Col. John Thomas, Sr. This 
was called the Spartan Regiment. Of what number of men 
composed it we are unable to determine, but the supposi- 
tion is that it was small, perhaps not more than two or 
three hundred, judging from the following letter, which we 
find recorded in Gibbs' Documentary History of the 
American Revolution, 1764 to 1776, page 170. 

**Mr. Thomas, of the Spartan Regiment, to Mr. Dray- 
ton. (Original Ms.*) 

Spartan Regiment, Sept. ii, 1775. 


May it please Your Honor ; — I this moment received Your Honor's 
favor of the 10 inst, and very fortunately, the command for this dis- 
trict was just assembled at my house in order to address the Council 
of Safety almost on the very purport of Your Honor's letter, as we 
had all the reason in the world (and still have) to believe from good 
information, that the malignants are forming the most hellish 
schemes to frustrate the measures of the Continental Congress, and 
to use all those who are willing to stand by those measures in the 
most cruel manner. Your Honor will be fully convinced of the truth 
of this by perusing the papers transmitted herewith, to which I refer 
Your Honor. 

I shall comply with Your Honor's orders as far as is in my power ; 
Your Honor must suppose it impossible to raise the whole regiment, 
as several have families and no man be left about the house, if they 
should be called away. I shall take as large a draft as possible from 
every company, and in short, do everything to the utmost of my 
power, and when encamped shall transmit to Your Honor, as quick as 
possible, an account of my proceedings. JOHN THOMAS." 

*The original manuscript of this letter has been recently reported 
as among the South Carolina colonial records in London. The legis- 
lature of South Carolina, at its session of 1891-2, made an appropria- 
tion to bring the records from the London office to Columbia, t^o b^ 
placed among our State records, 


We will show iu a succeeding chapter that Colonel 
Thomas' Spartan Regiment soon entered active ser- 
vice, and participated in scenes mentioned further on. 

The commissioners (Mr. Drayton and Mr. Tennant) in 
the course of their journeyings met again, agreeably to 
appointment, on the 23d of August, at Ford's, which was 
the parade ground of Fletchall's regiment. Mr. Drayton 
says that this place is on the Enoree River in the fork of 
Cedar Creek and Enoree. The Cedar Creek referred to is 
doubtless the same as the present Cedar Shoal Creek run- 
ning west of Cross Anchor. This .was the day that 
Fletchall had promised to assemble his regiment.* 

The commissioners when they arrived found Colonel 
Fletchall, Kirkland, Brown and the Cunninghams already 
on the ground industriously working among the people. 
By the contrivances of these men, the people had, as 
much as possible, been kept away. Not more than two 
hundred and fifty had assembled where one thousand or 
fifteen hundred men usually met at a rpgimental muster. 
Cunningham told the commissioners that he had told his 
men '* that if they were satisfied with their present opin- 
ions, there was no occasion for them to come to hear the 
addresses/' Some of the captains of companies had told 
their men that *' the colonel left it to them, to come or 
not as they pleased, and if they stayed away he would 
not be angry with them." 

It was some time in the day before the people assembled. 
Good order generally prevailed. Kirkland and Brown 
demanded a part of the time of the commissioners, which, 
of course, for the sake of peace, had to be granted. 
Brown read the address ( Dairy m pie) from the people of 
England to the people of America. It had lost its credit, 
and few listened to it. Kirkland, in his talk, abused the 
Provincial Congress, Council of Safety and General Coui- 
mittee, and was so insolent to Mr. Drayton that a per- 

*Mr. B. G. Lambright informs the writer that Ford's old muster 
ground place is between Enoree and Cedar Shoal Creek, at or near the 
old Davis Newman place. It is not far from Musgrove's battle ground. 


Honal altercation came very near taking place, but the 
people pressed around Mr. Drayton and gave him to 
understand that he was in no danger of assault. Mr. 
Drayton in his progress always had about his person a 
dirk and a pair of pocket pistols to protect himself from 
insult or for the defense of his life. He wrote next day 
(24th) to the Council of Safety referring to the speeches of 
Brown and Kirkland. He says: '* Imagine every inde- 
cency of language, every misrepresentation, ungenerous 
and unjust charge against the American politics that 
could alarm the people and give them an evil impression 
of our designs against their liberties and the rights of 
Great Britain. Imagine all you can on these points, and 
you will not exceed what we heard as well from Kirkland 
as from Brown. Our indignation was painful, but we 
were obliged to conceal it and our situation was as disa- 
greeable as you can well conceive. Brown loudly declared 
that when the King's troops arrived he would join them 
against us; and he hoped every other person in these 
parts would do the same." 

Kirkland and the Cunninghams on this occasion 
appeared with arms, sword and pistol. The small audi- 
ences, however, for the speeches of Brown and Kirkland, 
showed that the commissioners had won the day. Sev- 
eral of Fletchairs captains came over to Drayton's side 
and signed the instrument of the association. At this 
meeting there were strong friends to the American cause 
who had come from distant homes. 

The commissioners now turned their backs upon Colo- 
nel Fletchall and his party, to visit other sections in 
the up-country. 




MR. DRAYTON and Mr. Tennant continued the pro- 
gress of their mission but a few days after the meet- 
ing at Ford's muster ground. On the 29th of August 
they received information that Kirkland had taken up 
arms, and was collecting men for the purpose of attacking 
Forts Charlotte and Augusta. Fort Charlotte was sit- 
uated on the Savannah River, about twenty or thirty 
miles above Augusta, and about twenty miles south-west 
of Ninety-Six Court House. The malcontents, or King's 
men, as they were called, were to meet at a designated 
place about twenty miles above the residence of a Mr. 
Hammond, called Snow Hill. In their progress, Mr. Ten- 
nant and Mr. Drayton had separated, as we have already 
said, the former visiting the Long Cane settlements on 
the Saluda. Mr. Drayton sent a messenger to him direct- 
ing him to trace his steps at once down the Savannah. 

The King's men met according to appointment, but 
dispersed again during the night, having arranged to 
meet again in three or four days with guns and ammuni- 
tion, for the purpose of attacking Fort Charlotte. Mr. 
Tennant, as he passed down the river by that place, 
ordered Captain Caldwell, the commandant of the fort, 
to erect platforms for fighting with the cannon as expe- 
ditiously as possible, and to mount two of the best four- 
pounders for field use, and to advance sentinels and 
patrols. The Indian corn growing in front of the fort 
was ordered to be cut away, and what was left was to be 
bladed and topped so as to give the approaching enemy 
no advantages of shelter. He was cautioned as to letting 
persons into the fort, and was ordered to send the troops of 


horses some distance away for pasturage. In case of the 
enemy's approach, Captain Caldwell was ordered to fire a 
signal gun for the volunteers to assemble and commence 
their march. Captain Caldwell was further ordered to let 
those companies have powder and lead, which were or- 
ganized for the protection of that part of the district. 

To counteract the schemes of the King^s men, Mr. Dray- 
ton commenced his march for Ninety-Six Court House on 
the 6th of September, with one hundred and twenty men 
and four swivels (small cannon turning on pivots). His 
intention was, with his militia and rangers, to march 
against Fletchall's quarters and demand the surrender of 
the principal offenders. A special detail was sent to 
Capt. Robert Cunningham, but it was found that he had 
quitted his residence the day before. His papers, however, 
were taken possession of, among which were two letters 
from Fletchall. 

Mr. Drayton and Mr. Tennant, before leaving Charles- 
town, had been empowered with authority by the Coun- 
cil of Safety, to call upon every officer of the militia and 
rangers for assistance, support and protection. Mr. 
DraytoQ received advices of the coutinued uprising of the 
King's men. His own force of volunteers, which at first 
amounted to but little more than one hundred men, now 
began to increase, one hundred men having arrived from 
Augusta. Major Williamson, of the Ninety-Six regiment, 
soon arrived with three hundred men. He was ordered 
to Harlin's Ford, on the Savannah River, about thirty 
miles above Augusta. Colonel Thomson had also arrived 
with his rangers and three hundred men, and was or- 
dered to take post at a place called ** The Ridge." Colonel 
Richardson, with three hundred men, was ordered to take 
post near the mouth of the Enoree, to be a check on 
Fletchall's people in case they showed any intention of 
assisting Kirkland. 

Mr. Drayton having now determined to resort to other 
means than discourses to the people, issued a proclama- 
tion in which he warned all persons to forthwith desist 


from following the counsels of Moses Kirkland or others 
in hostility to the lawful authority, and all such persons 
found in arms or in company with, or by the instigation 
of the said Kirkland, would be deemed public enemies, to 
be suppressed by the sword. This proclamation, which we 
are not able to publish in full, disconcert^ed and paralyzed 
Kirkland's exertions. The intended meeting of the 
King's men with arms and provisions did not take place. 
Kirkland sent his brother to Mr. Drayton with offers to 
surrender on promise of pardon. Mr. Drayton, know- 
ing his character and reputation, demanded his surrender 
without promise to comply with his request. Kirkland's 
heart failed him, and he sought safety in flight. In plan- 
ning the means of doing so, he looked about for several 
days, after which, with the assistance of two trusty 
friends, hefled in disguise to Charlestown. From thence he 
was sent, privately, to the sloop-of-war, Tamar, where he 
met Governor Campbell. Not long after this, he started 
on a vessel to General Gage, at Boston, which was cap- 
tured and thus was exposed a nefarious plot to fall on the 
frontier settlements— the circumstances of which are re- 
corded in the former chapter. 

After Kirkland's flight, Mr. Drayton received informa- 
tion that the King's men were collecting at O'Neal's 
Mill. He at once sent one hundred men to disperse them, 
who on their way, heard that Colonel Fletchall had 
arrived at that place with a large party of men. After 
consultation with Major Williamson and Major Mayson, 
the principal officers, Mr. Drayton decided (of the differ- 
ent propositions that had been made) to surprise the 
march of the King's men at night, during which they 
would be in a confused order, and a general rout would, 
in all probability, ensue. 

To establish a strong reserve, and at the same time to 
secure a good position to fall back upon, four swivels 
were planted in the four windows of the gaol at 
Ninety-Six, so as to command every" approach. A suffi- 
cient number of men were here placed with a supply of 


provisions and water. This post could not be forced exf ept 
by firing the shingles on top of the building. One hundred 
men were then advanced to Island Ford, six miles above 
Ninety-Six Court House, on the Saluda River, where the 
King's men must be sure to pass. These were under the 
command of Major Mayson, who placed them in ambush 
so as to give a diagonal fire on Fletchall's men, if they 
should attempt to cross the river. One hundred men 
were also stationed about half way between Island Ford 
and Ninety-Six Court House. About ten o'clock at night, 
Mr. Drayton and Major Williamson went to see if the 
disposition of troops had been made as ordered. They 
waited at Island Ford until about two o'clock in the 
morning, when Mr. Drayton received certain accounts 
that the alarm was false in a measure, as only Cunning- 
ham was at O'Neal's Mill with about one hundred men. 
However, to be on the safe side. Major Mayson remained 
in position until daylight, while Mr. Drayton and Major 
Williamson returned to Ninety-Six Court House about 
4 o'clock in the morning with the rest of the troops. 

The one hundred men which Cunningham had ordered 
to O'Neal's Mill, were but the first of a large party, which 
had been summoned to rendezvous there. By the 17th 
of September, Mr. Draj^ton's forces were increased by the 
addition of Colonel Thomson's cammand, which consisted 
of a few militia and rangers. In two days afterwards, he 
was joined by a number of Major Williamson's militia. 
Colonel Fletchall had, in the meantime, arrived at 
O'Neal's Mill and his forces were increasing fast in 

Mr. Drayton marched within about three-quarters of a 
mile of Ninety-Six Court House and formed a camp. 
Fletchall moved his camp to within four miles of the 
Saluda River, which now divided the opposing forces, 
now only about ten miles apart. Fletchall's forces 
amounted to upwards of twelve hundred, while Mr. Dray- 
ton's hardly reached a thousand. They were in good 
apirits^ however, well disciplined and well oflScered, while 


on the contrary, Fletchali's men were under poor com- 
mand, with no regular supplies. They could not have 
been kept too^ether very long. Mr. Drayton's men were 
anxious to be led against the King's men. Had this been 
done, doubtless many lives would have been lost. With 
the approbation of the officers of the different commands, 
Mr. Drayton decided to remain in camp and watch 
Fletchali's movements. He put everything in practice to 
give Fletch all to understand that he would persevere in his 
bold determination to meet and confront him. As a cun- 
ning device, he sent a letter directed to Col. Kichard 
Richardson, written for deception, in order that it might 
be intercepted. This weakened the impulses of the King's 
men and caused delay. In the meantime, Mr. Drayton's 
forces were fast approaching twelve hundred, while 
Fletchali's were diminishing. Mr. Drayton felt that it 
was an opportune time to attempt to heal the dissen- 
sions. He put forth another declaration on the 13th of 
September, 1775, which was sent to Fletchali's camp and 
publicly read. 

This declaration is too lengthy for publication in full 
here. Mr. Drayton called attention to the fact, that the 
liberties of America were being treacherously and cruelly 
violated by an abandoned administration in Great 
Britain, surrounding the throne, and deceiving majesty 
for their own corrupt purposes; that thirteen American 
colonies were successfully confederated to hazard their 
lives and fortunes to wrest from the hands of traitors 
those invaluables which they had ravished from them and 
which the Americans had endeavored to recover by every 
peaceable means. 

In this declaration he called the attention of the people 
to the fact that men of low degree, though of eminence in 
the new country, men totally illiterate, were trying to 
rise in the world by misleading their honest neighbors, 
and whom His Excellency the Governor, had amply 
promised to reward. He showed that these wicked men, 
by misrepresentation, were trying to sell their country in 


opposition to the voice of America.. He stated further, 
that Mr. Tennant and himself had made progress through 
the distu^'bed parts of the country '* to explain to the 
people at large, the nature of the unhappy disputes 
between the American colonies and Great Britain ;" that 
thousands had heard and believed them. He stated em- 
phatically the terms upon which the peace and safety of 
the country mig:ht be enjoyed. He declared that it should 
be his duty to march against and attack, as public 
enemies, all and every j)erson in arms in that part of the 
country in opposition to the measures of Congress. 
This plain, outspoken oflScial declaration, backed as it 
was by a large body of troops, some of whom were Pro- 
vincials, made an impression upon the malcontents in 
Fletchairs camp and caused them to pause. Hence, after 
consultation, they sent a deputation to Mr. Drayton's 
camp, near Ninety-Six Court House, to confer with him. 
Soon after. Colonel Fletchall and other malcontent leaders 
also arrived in his camp with full powers to treat and 
conclude terms of pacification. Before Mr. Drayton 
could, however, treat of this matter, it became necessary 
that he should understand precisely how far he was 
actually authorized, by the Council of Safety, to act on so 
important an occasion. Satisfying himself on this point, 
he proceeded to carry his plan into execution with Colo- 
nel Fletchall and the other leaders. Articles of treaty 
were drawn up and signed on the 16th day of September, 
1775. (See original articles, Drayton's Memoirs, vol. i, 
page 399). After this treaty, by which the peace and 
harmony of the up-country appeared to be restored 
upon a just and honorable basis, Colonel Fletchall and 
the rest of his deputies returned to their camp beyond the 
Saluda River, where the treaty, which had just been con- 
cluded, was made known. Some of the principal leaders 
who had remained in camp, became wrathy and declared 
that they would not abide by what had been done. As 
Mr. Drayton had before predicted, they were divided among 
themselves. The whole camp, therefore, broke up, except 


Robert Cunningham and about sixty of his followers, 
who declared that they were not included and would not 
be bound by the terms of the treaty. When Mr. Drayton 
heard of this he wrote to Cunningham, which brought a 
reply from him, dated at Page's Creek, October 6th, in 
which he stated he would not abide by the instrument of 
peace. He accused Mr. Drayton of making the bargain 
to suit himself, and of taking advantage of men half 
scared out of their senses, at the sight of liberty caps 
and sound of cannon, ** as seeing and hearing had gener- 
ally more influence with some men than reason." 

Cunningham and his men did not remain in their camp 
very long. They soon dispersed, as they were obliged to 
submit to the necessity of the case. 

The affairs of the up-country being adjusted by Mr. 
Drayton, he had no further use for military support. He 
discharged the troops under his command, then about 
eleven hundred strong, with thanks. Major Williamson 
was ordered to transmit suitable returns to the Council 
of Safety, of money and rations disbursed, etc. In mak- 
ing his return, October 16th, Major Williamson closed 
with the following complimentary words : " And it is but 
justice to those patriotic troops who had come forth at 
their country's call, to say, that during the whole time 
this army lay encamped near Ninety-Six Court House, 
they were patient under all the difficulties and depriva- 
tions they experienced. During most of the time, their 
huts and dwellings were penetrated byheavj^ rains, but 
discontent was not seen among them, for, satisfied with 
the cause in which they were engaged and with the leaders 
who commanded them, they submitted to such military 
regulations as the occasion required. In the camp good 
order was preserved and without it the advanced posts 
were duly and regularly stationed and relieved." 

The mission of Mr. Drayton and Mr. Tennant to the 
people between the Broad and Saluda rivers now closed 
and happily, in a different manner from what many 
at first supposed. By a preconcerted plan, Mr. Dray- 


ton had arranp^ed through Mr. Richard Paris to 
asHcmble the warriors from the Cherokee Nation at 
Congaree Store. This store was just below old Granby, 
on the west side of the Congaree River, and net far from 
the city of Columbia. Mr. Drayton met the warriors on 
the 25th of September and explained to them in a talk, 
suitable to the occasion, the nature of the dispute between 
Great Britain and America. He exhorted them to hold 
fast to the chain of peace and friendship with the people 
of the colony, assuring them that they should receive 
such supplies of ammunition and other articles, both for 
pleasure and comfort, as could be spared by the Pro- 
vincial Congress and Council of Safety. He made them 
presents suitable to the occasion, after which they took 
leave and returned home apparently satisfied. 

In the distribution of presents, Mr. Drayton endeavored 
to impress upon the Indians the importance of patience 
and economy under existing circumstances. He pulled 
his coat off and pre8ent;^d it to them and said, *'for 
my part in this unhappy time, I will be content to wear 
an Osnaburg split shirt." These split shirts were worn 
much in the up-country at this time. They were split or 
opened in front and ornamented, and like a summer coat, 
were worn, says a writer, over their dress. Mr. Dray- 
ton thought proper to adapt his dress to the customs of 
the people he was among, and when he returned to 
Charlestown, which he did in a short time, he occasion- 
ally wore the split shirt merely to introduce it to the 
people where merchandise was scarce and economy was 












THE fact was stated in the former chapter that Cap- 
tain Robert Cunningham and his followers refused to 
abide by or consider themselves included in the treaty as 
made between Mr. Drayton on one side, and Fletchall, 
Ford, Greer and other leaders of the King's men, on 
the other. 

Robert Cunningham still expressing himself as being in 
open opposition to the Provincial authority, was arrested 
in pursuance of the orders of Major Andrew Williamson, 
who remained in command of the Ninetj'^-Six District, 
after the departure of Mr. Drayton and Mr. Tennant. 
This arrest was grounded on an affidavit made by Cap- 
tain John Caldwell, of the rangers, before Richard Rapley, 
Esq., of Ninety-Six, on the 23d of October, 1775, charg- 
ing the said Cunningham with the use of seditious words. 
Had Cunningham kept still, the troubles which we relate 
in this chapter would have been averted at least for a 
time. He was sent to Charlestown where he appeared 
before the Provincial Congress. The affidavit being read 
to him, he was thereupon questioned by the president of 
the body. Cunningham said, that he could not deny 
that he had made expressions somewhat like those men- 
tioned in Captain (-aid well's affidavit, which had just 
been read to him ; that he believed that Captain Caldwell 


had not perjured himself; and though he did not consider 
himself bound by the late treaty at Ninety-Six, yet, 
had constantly behaved himself as peaceably as 
any man ; and although he had opinions, he had 
expressed them only when asked. After this explana- 
tion of himself, Cunningham was committed to jail in 
Charlestown in pursuance of an order from thiB Congress, 
by a warrant under the hand and seal of the president of 
that body. Thomas Grimball was at that time sheriff at 
Charlestown. He was directed "to afford to the said Rob- 
ert Cunningham every reasonable and neccessary accom- 
modation at the public charge ; but that he should not 
suffer the said Cunningham to converse or correspond 
with any person whatsoever ; nor was he to have the use 
of pen, ink or paper, unless by express leave of Congress, 
or authority derived from them. 

The arrest and imprisonment of Eobert Cunningham 
appears to have been a mistake, as it caused another 
insurrection in Ninety-Six District. The people of the 
up-country were greatly incensed, or at least some, who 
were in sympathy with the Royal authority, but were 
willing to submit to the powers that be. 

When Mr. Drayton gave a talk to the Cherokee chiefs 
at the Congaree store, already alluded to, he promised to 
send them powder and lead as the situation of the col- 
ony's funds would permit. On the 4th of October, 1775, 
a vote passed the Council of Safety to supply the Chero- 
kee Nation with one thousand pounds of powder and two 
two thousand pounds of lead. Accordingly, a wagon was 
dispatched with it as a present to the Cherokees, 
under the escort of a subaltern officer of the rangers 
and twenty privates. 

The arrest of Robert Cunningham aroused his brother, 
Patrick Cunningham, who, gathering a body of friends 
composedof about sixty, pursued his brother Robert, with 
the expectation of recapturing him. Failing to overtake 
him, they turned their attention to the powder which was 
on its way to the Indians. They succeeded in taking it 


► • • » *. » 


at Mine Creek, betwren the Ridft'O and Ninety-Six Conrt 

House, on the yd day of November, 1775, eausin<i^ the 

j f»uard to surrender, and the am munition to be imniedi- 

I ately seized and carried off. A report was thereupon 

industriously circulated that the [)o\vdor was sent to 
inflame the Indians to rise upon and massacre all those 
who refused to sign the document of the association. 
Captain Richard Penris, who had forsaken the patriot 
cause and joined the insurgents or King's men because 
he had not been noticed in the late appointments and 
[promotions in the military arran*rements of the Provin- 
cial Congress, not only circulated this report, but averred 
in an affidavit, that the ammunition taken by Patrick 
Cunningham was for that purpose. He abused outra- 
geously Mr. Drayton, at whose hands he expected pro- 
motion, and to lessen his consequence among the people, 
he urged that the recent meeting with the Cherokee war- 
riors at the Congaree Store, which he was instrumental 
in bringing about, was for the purpose of cutting off all 
who were considered as disaffected persons or King's men. 
Such reports as these, of course, exasperated the igno- 
rant multitude and roused them to commit acts which 
placed them in open arms against the country. 

Major Williamson went in pursuit of the Loyalists who 
had captured the powder, but was compelled to retreat 
before superior numbers. The Insurgent or Loyalist 
element was speedily swelled in numbers, while William- 
son's militia came in very slowly. Although the insur- 
gent forces were rapidly increasing, Williamson could not 
be made to believe that they would dare to attack him. 
He continued in camp, laboring under this impression 
until about the 18th of November, when he received 
information that the insurgents were in full march upon 
him and had already crossed the Saluda River at Island 
Ford, in order to attack him. At this time, Major Wil- 
liamson was joined by Major Mayson who had been in 
the neighborhood of Island Ford with thirty-seven 
rangers. Major Williamson wanted to march at once 


and attack the insur«^ents, but yielded to the judgment of 
Mdjor Maysoii, who advised hira to retreat to the cleareil 
j»;round of Colonel Savages' plantation. This wus se[)a- 
rated from Ninety-Six Court f^puse and goal by a ravine 
and spring supplying the inhabitants with water, aff 3rd- 
ing a place where they might erect breastworks and from 
whence they might use their swivels to advantage. They 
also thought they would be more likely to receive rein- 
forcements at this place. Colonel Thomson was already 
on the way to them with his rangers. According to this 
agreement Major Williamson took up his line of inarch 
and arrived at the proposed ground about daybreak on 
Sunday, the 19th of November, with troops, live stock, 
provisions and baggage. 

A square of about one hundred and eighty-five 
yards was taken in and fortified as well as time and 
means would allow. The men worked uucetisingly for 
about three hours and a temporary stockade fort was 
made of fence rails, straw and beeves' hides, with such 
other materials as they could put their hands on. The 
defenses extended from a barn and store to some out- 
houses, and at a distance of about two hundred and fifty 
yards from the jail. 

Williamson and his men had hardly enclosed them- 
selves in this rustic fortification when the insurgents 
appeared' with drums beating and colors flying and tak- 
ing possession of the court house and jail, they ad- 
vanced troops and completely invested the stockade fort 
of Major Williamson's forces. Immediately upon their 
arrival, Major Williamson dispatched an officer with a 
flag to know what their intention was. Major Robinson 
and Captain Patrick Cunningham, who appeared to be 
the leaders, refused to have a conference with any one but 
the commanding officers. Major Mayson and Captain 
Bowie were then sent to them. They met the insurgent 
leaders— Robinson, Cunningham and Evan McLauren— on 
half-way ground between the two bodies of troops. The 
parties had about fifteen minutes conversation. Major 


Mayson nnd Captain Bowie returned and reported to 
Major Williamson that the iiisur^pnts demanded his 
immediate surrender and disbandinpc, hinting, at the same 
time, that it would be necessary for the men to keep 
inside of the fort for safety. Justattiiis time, two of Wil- 
liamson's men near the front weresdzedby the insurgents, 
upon which Major Williamson <»:ave oilers to rescue them. 
A general firing took pt^ce from the fort with swivels 
and small arms, wiiich was answered by the insurgents 
with rifles and muskets from behind trees, houses, logs, 
stumps and fences. For two hours and a half the 
firing was incessant on both sides and continued at inter- 
vals until night. The garrison, including fifty-five officers, 
consisted of five hundred and sixty-two. .(See Drayton's 
Memoirs, vol. ii, page 150.) 

During the night the fort kept up a firing, lest the 
insurgents in the darkness should endeavor to creep near 
and fire the fort. On the next day (Monday) the firing 
vvas commenced and continued as had been kept up the 
evening before. The beseigers constructed something 
which they called mantelets for the purpose of approach- 
ing the fort to set it on Are, but not being able to advance 
them in their front so as to hide their approach, they 
were destroyed. The firing only slackened with the day, 
Monday ; it was revived and continued on Tuesday and 
lastel all day until about sundown, when the insurgents 
displayed a white flag from the jail building and called 
a parley. To this, an answer was given that if they 
wished to rend an officer or messenger he would be re- 
ceived with perfect safety. Some time during the night a 
messenger was seen approaching the fort carrying a 
lighted candle as a protection, charged with a letter from 
Major Kobinson, directed to Colonel Mayson, who was 
Lieutenant-Colonel of the Ninety-Six regiment of militia, 
of which Williamson wasthen acting as Major. But the 
Council of Safety had placed Major Williamson in command 
on this occasion, as he was more influential in that part 
of the country. 


This letter reiteinted the former (lemands to KurreiHliT, 
allowing; only one liour for an answer. To this Majors 
Williamson and Mayson replied that chf\y were detHrmined 
never to resi^^n their arms. This was transmitted by Cap- 
tain Bowie. In two hours he returned with the orio-inal 
demand, accompanied by Captain Patrick Cunnino-ham. 
Williamson met tliem al)Out tifty yards in front of t lie 
fort and after some confenMu^e, Cunningham went with 
them into the fort. Here they entered ifito a discussion 
as to the claims and ri^rhts of each party, after wdiich, it 
was decided that a conference should take place the next 
morninjz;. Accordin<i;ly, at the appointed hour, Majors 
Williamson and Mayson and Captains Williamson and 
Bowie met Major Robinson and Captains Cunnino^ham, 
McLauren and Pearis. It was a<j:reed that hostilities 
should immediately cease; that the jrarrison should be 
marched out of the fort and their swivels given up. By 
a secret understanding, those swivels were to be restored 
privately in a day or two; that the foit should be de- 
stroyed flat without damaginw; the house therein ; that the 
differences should be submitted to Lord William Camp- 
bell, the Governor, on the part of the insurgents and to 
the Council of Safety on the part of Major Williamson 
and those under his command; that each party should 
send its messengers to their superiors and be allowed 
twenty days to return; that Major Robinson should 
withdraw his men over the Saluda River and there dis- 
perse them as he pleaseth or keep them embodied until 
His Excellency's orders be known ; that no person should, 
in the meantime, be molested in returning home ; that 
should reinforcements arrive they should be bound by the 
treaty ; that all prisoners be immediately set at liberty ; 
that the fortifications be leveled, and the well, which had 
been dug in the fort, be filled up. 

Such was the end of an affair which might have pro- 
duced the most alarming consequences. It is said, how- 
ever, with such an army as Major Robinson commanded, 
be could not have made much more out of it, as it was 



composed of undisciplined and discordant elements. It 
was made up of inferior leaders among the old insurjijents, 
of a class of people who fron) ignorance, believed Paris' 
afHdavit with respect to the purpose for which the pow- 
der was sent to the Indians. Many of the insurgents 
joined from timidity, seeing that party so rapidly increase 
in a short space of time. None of those who had signed 
the treaty at Ninety-Six took part in this insurrection, 
except McLauren, although history records the fact that 
Colonel Fletchall gave private encouragement to this 
bold attempt of the insurgents (or Tories as they should be 
more properly called) to upturn the existing Provincial 

The casualties were very slight in this beseigement. Of 
Major Williamson's party, only one man was killed and 
twelve wounded. On the other side, several were killed 
and about twenty wounded. The insurgents could not 
have been very courageous in theaffair since they failed to 
attack this stockade fort, the construction of which only 
consumed three hours. The account which we find savs, 
that during the whole time of the firing, they continued 
almost out of gun shot range, except those who were 
stationed in the brick jail at Ninety-Six. These alone 
annoyed the troops of Major Williamson, while the 
others, as we have said, kept themselves posted behind 
logs, fences, and other securities, and this accounts for 
the small execution which was affected upon them dur- 
ing a firing of small arms and swivels for three days. 

Says a writer of this affair: ''Major Williamson's men 
had suffered great hardships during the time they had 
been cooped up in this temporary fortress, being obliged 
to lay by their arms during the nights, to be ready 
against surprise, and their tour of duty being frequent 
and heavy ; and particularly experiencing the total want 
of water from Sunday morning to Tuesday afternoon. 
However, during this severe trial, not only of courage 
but constitutional energy, they did not murmur; but 
while some fought the beseigers, fatigue parties were 


dig'giiig a well ; and at lenp^h, after penetratiug throup;h 
a very tenacious clay soil forty feet deep, water was 
obtained, which relieved the necessities of the garrison. 
In addition to these difficulties ; they had nearly ex- 
hausted all their powder ; for of 200 pounds weight 
which they had at the commencement of the firing, only 
thirty pounds weight remained, except what each man 
had in his powder horn." 

The small quantity of powder which remained was 
only known to Major Williamson and one other person. 
This was the principal cause why the fort surrendered, 
for Major Williamson expressly states in his official 
report (see Drayton's Memoirs, vol. ii, page 2), on the 
the 25th of November, that he had in the fort thirty- 
eight barrels of flour, four live beeves, and very good water 
from the well which he had dug, and but for powder he 
could have maintained his post for a considerable time. 




THE recent success of the insurgents in the seige of 
Williamson's fort at Ninety-Six had emboldened them 
to continue their opposition to the Provincial authority. 
The time had arrived, however, when either the Provin- 
cial or Royal authority must predominate in South Caro- 
lina. The Council of Safety, under the authority of the 
Provincial Congress, had determined from the first to 
take no backward steps. The people must be made to 
understand and recognize the existing authority. Up to 
this time the steps taken by the Council of Safety to 
resist oppression, redress wrongs and enlist tde people on 
the side of liberty, had been prudent and cautious. Mr. 
Drayton and Mr. Tennant had visited Ninety-Six District 
and by eloquent and persuasive arguments had pointed 
out to the people the nature of the controversy between 
America and Great Britain. We have seen the results in 
former chapters. There was no longer any necessity for 
this sort of work. The time had now come when the peo- 
ple must be taught the lesson of the fable of the 
man who found a boy upon one of his trees stealing 
apples. The Tories or Insurgents in this fable represent 
the character of the young ''sauce box," who did not 
respect the rights of the old man (South Carolina). The 
Council of Safety determined to *' fetch him "down. Up 
to this time this body had only been throwing "tufts of 
grass.'' This had only intended to increase the obstinacy 
of the insurgent elements and make them laugh, as it w^ere. 
Now it became necessary "to see what virtue there is in 
stones." In other words, the discordant elements of the 
up-country had to be taught the moral of this fable "if 
good words and gentle means will not reclaim the wicked, 
they must be dealt with in a wore severe manner," 


While Major Williamson was beseiged by the insurgents 
at Ninety-Six, Colonel Richardson had commenced his 
inarch against them in pursuance of orders he had 
received from the Provincial Congress, and in doing so, 
he was directing his course towards the middle or upper 
part of Colonel Fletchall's regimental district, which 
embraced, before divided into three, the country between 
the Broad and Saluda Rivers.* But as soon as he heard 
of Major Williamson at Ninety-Six, he changed his route. 
He appears to have started from Charlestown, and by 
forced marches reached the Congaree River about the 
27th of November, 1775. At this time his command con- 
sisted of about one thousand men. Col. John Thomas, 
Sr., was however, with his newly organized Spartan Regi- 
ment, pressing forward, the account says from the north- 
western portion of the colony (now Spartanburg County) 
to meet him. 

At his camp on the Congaree, Colonel Richardson wrote 
to the Council of Safety, giving them an account of the 
situation in the up-country. He states in his letter that 
the insurgents were much elated by their success at Ninety- 
Six ; that his men desired to be led against them and would 
not be satisfied unless they were allowed ^' to finally subdue 
and to effectually put down the opposition." In this let- 
ter he warned Congress that it was a matter of necessity 
to silence the discontents of the back country and that 
although in doing so, the expense would be great, still 
the crisis at hand demanded prompt and decisive action. 

Colonel Thomson, who belonged to Colonel Richardson's 
command, also wrote to the Council of Safety as follows : 
''Several of the officers and men declare that they will 
never take up arms again unless they have liberty to 
subdue America, as thev observe that those who are not 
for America are undoubtedly against it." 

Colonel Richardson remained in his camp on the Conga- 
ree until about the 80th of November, for the yjurpose of 

* See map. 


conveying his wagons and baggage across that river and 
also for the purpose of collecting the various bodies of 
militia that vv^re marching to him. When he was ready 
to maich his armv consisted of about fifteen hundred. 
Before leaving his camp his officers held a council of war 
and decided that they were not bound by the recent 
treaty of cessation of arms at Ninety-Six. The army 
marched to the Saluda River, and crossed the same into 
Dutch Fork (between Broad and Saluda Rivers). On the 
2d of December, it encamped at McLauren's store, fifteen 
miles from Saluda River. At this camp several of Fletch- 
alFs disaffected captains were brought in as prisoners, 
among whom were John Mayfield, William Hunt and 
others. Colonel Richardson's command was here joined 
by Colonel Thomas' Spartan regiment, with two hundred 
men ; Colonel Neol two hundred (Colonel Neel came from 
the "new acquisition" territory of South Carolina); Colo- 
nel Lyles one hundred and fifty men — which, together with 
Colonel Thomas' regiment of rangers, increased Colonel 
Richardson's command to about two thousand and five 
hundred. This did not include the command of Colonel 
Polk from North Carolina, which consisted of six hundred 
men, and which were in full march to join Colonel Rich- 
ardson's forces. At this time, it is said, the insurgents 
were hovering about with little confidence in their leaders, 
not more perhaps than four hunded of them were assem- 
bled in arm, and of these, constant desertions were taking 
place, leaving their number so small that they retro- 
graded towards the sources of the Saluda River and the 
Cherokee Nation. 

On the 4th of December the Council of Safety wrote 
a letter to Colonel Richardson desiring him to pub- 
lish a declaration inviting the insurgents **to lay 
down their arms" and to promise "the strictest neu- 
trality," and upon doing this to grant terms of mercy 
and protection." Before this request was received 
from the Council of Safety, however, Colonel Rich- 


ardson, anticipating their wishes, issued the following 
declaration : 

" South Carowna :— 

Whereas, on the 3d day of November last past, Patrick Cunningham, 
Henry O'Neal, Hugh Brown, David Reise, Nathaniel Howard, Henry 
Green, and sundry other persons did, in Ninety-Six District, raise a 
dangerous insurrection and commotion, and did, near Mine Creek in 
said district, feloniously take and carry away a quantity of ammuni- 
tion, the property of the public, and in contempt of public authority ; 
and did also with further and by force of arms on the 19th, 20th and 
2ist days of said month of November, at Ninety-Six, in the district 
aforesaid, attack, beseige, kill and wound a number of good people of 
this colony, and in manifest violation of peace aud good order, and 
breach of a solemn treaty, entered into on the i6th day of September, 
made and concluded between the Hon. William Henry Drayton 
on the one part and Col. Thomas Fletchall and others on the other 
part, thereby becoming guilty of the attrocious crimes of robbery, 
murder and breach of peace. 

To satisfy public justice, in the first punishment of all which crimes 
and offenses as far as the nature of the same will admit, I am now 
come to these parts in the name and behalf of the colony, to demand of 
the inhabitants the delivering up of the bodies of all principal offend- 
ers herein, together with the said ammunition, and full restitution for 
the ravages committed, and also the arms and ammunition of all the 
aidors and abettors of these robbers, murderers and disturbers of the 
peace and good order as aforesaid. And in case of neglect or 
refusal for the space of five days, I shall be under the necessity of tak- 
ing such steps as will be found disagreeable ; but which I shall cer- 
tainly put in execution for the public good. 

Given under my hand this the 8th day of December, 1775. 

Richard Richardson." 

In consequence of this declaration numbern came in and 
delivered up their arras and received the promised protec- 
tion. This, however, did not include capital offenders. 
No leaders were surrendered by the in8urg:ents. Colo- 
nel Richardson conducted himself with prudence and 
humanity towards those who came in to surrender them- 
selves, dismissing them with soft words and kind admoni- 
tions. ** The army,'' says a writer, *' still advancing and 
increasing in numbers, struck terror into the insurgents 
and the disaffected, and they constantly retreated, keep- 
ing about twenty miles in advance of Colonel Richard- 


son's army. They now perceived that they had. been 
deceived by their leaders as to' the strength, and means of 
the Provincial Congress and^the Council of Safety ; while 
at the same time, they promises or assistance tO'. 
be relied upon as coming from Lord William Campbell.'- 
'*Weak as a rope of sandj" says Bamsayj **they could 
neither face the invading army nor fall upon any meas- 
ures for maintaining themselves in the land of their fath- 
ers. At one time they would take heart and threaten to 
stand and give battle; but i so soon as the army com- 
menced its march upon them, cowardly councils and 
guilty consciences obliged them to turn and retreat. In. 
this manner the operations were principally carried on; a 
steady pursuit, detachments taken prisoners and some- 
times recovering portions of ammunition which Patrick 
Cunningham had taken; being mostly the services in 
which they were engaged." (See letter from Colonel Rich- 
ardson to Colonel John Laurens, Gibbs' Documentary 
History, 1764-1T76, page 241). "~ 

By December 12th Colonel Richardson's army numbered 
three thousand men, and account says they pene- 
trated the interior as far as the great survey (the Chero- 
kee boundary line) on Duncan- 8 Creek (in Laurens County). 
They* had now several prisoners which, as Colonel Rich- 
ardson to the Council of Safety said, were '*of the first 
magnitude." Among these were Colonel Thomas Fletch- 
all, Captains Richard Pearis, Jacob Frey, George Shu- 
burg and John McWilliams. The last named was the 
person who constructed the mantelets whix^h they endeav- 
ored to use against the stockade fort at Ninety-Six. 
These were sent to Charlestown under a suitable guard 
commanded by Captain Richard Richardson, Jr.* 

*Captain Richardson was the husband of Mrs. Doxcas Richardson, 
o.ije of the heroines of Mrs. Ellet's "Women of the Revolution." Her 
residence was in Clarendon. She was the daughter of a prominent 
Irish gentleman whose name was Captain John Nelson, who married a 
Miss Browning, of South Carolina. A ferry over the Santee River, 
established and kept by them, is still known as Nelson's Perry. Their 


Colonel Fletchall, when he was captured was hid in a 
cave on Fair Forest Creek, above its junction with Tyger 
River, from which he was unkenneled by Colonel Thom- 
son's rangers, who had been sent to scour that part of 
the disaffected district, and to beat up Fletchall's quart- 
ers where he resided. (See Colonel Richardson to Henry 
Laurens, Gibbs' Documentary History, (1764-1776, 
page 239). 

John Drayton, LL.D., author of '" Memoirs of Ameri- 
can Revolution" says, (vol. ii, page 129), that in 1829 
he received a letter from Spartanburg IMstrict, stating 
that there was a large. sycamore tree with a hollow seven 
or eii2:ht feet wide on the north side of Fair Forest Creek, 
two and a half miles below Brandon's mills, in which 
Colonel Fletchall occasionally secreted himself. The letter 
stated that it was from this tree Fletchall was taken. The 

descendants are numerous in t|iat section. It is said that Comwallis in 
his march through the interior of South Carolina, after the fall of 
Charlestown, established his headquarters at the house of the widow 
Nelson, near the ferry. She received and entertained him on condi- 
tion that her property should be protected. When a quantity of her 
valuable plate had been discovered and claimed by its captors, she 
reminded Cornwallis of his promise. His Lordship refused to have 
the plate restored to her, replying that his promise had reference only 
to things above the ground. 

Dorcas married at the age of twenty in 1761, and removed to her hus- 
band's plantation about twenty miles up the river, near the junction of 
the Congaree and Wateree. Here she lived in affluence with her hus- 
band until the storm of the Revolution began. When the Loyalists in 
the upper districts in South Carolina were incited by the royal gov- 
ernor, Lord William Campbell, three regiments were organized to 
march against them. These were commanded by General Richardson, 
father of Captain Richardson. After the famous *'Snow Campaign'* 
General and Captain Richardson were both retained in office on 
account of their great popularity with the troops. Edward, a younger 
brother, was appointed captain of rangers under Colonel Thomson. 

A regiment of riflemen was raised in March of the following year. 
This was commanded by Col. Thomas Sumter and one of the 
companies in the same by Captain Richardson. From this time and 
during the remaining six years he w^ at home but very little with his 
family. After the fall of Charlestowu, Ue, his father and brother were 


tree was at that time standing, while the cave referred to 
was filled up. 

Some valuable papers were captured with Colonel 
Fletchall. He, it is said, was the depositary of Lord Wil- 
liam Campbell's correspondence and i^ecrets. These papers 
were transmitted by Colonel Richardson to the Council of 
Safety. While Colonel Thomson's rangers were at Fletch- 
airs place, Captains Plummer and Smith, with thirty of 
their men, surrendered themselves with their arms, &c. 

Still following the trail of the insurgents, Colonel Rich- 
ardson pressed forward through all the inclemencies of 
the weather. His men were thinly clothed and poorly 
provided for; but they determined to stay not their steps 
until the object of their expedition was completed. Arriv- 
ing at Liberty Hall, on the line between Newberry and 

taken prisoners. In violation of the terms of capitulation, Richard 
was taken to John's Island, a military station, where he very quickly 
fell a victim to small pox. As soon as he had sufficiently recovered, 
he made his escape and returned to the neighbood of his home, where 
he concealed himself in the Santee Swamp. At this time the British 
troops had overrun the State, and Colonel Tarleton had made the 
house of Captain Richardson, with some others, a station for his reg- 
iment of cavalry. They lived sumptuously on his richly stocked and 
well cultivated plantation, while Mrs. Richardson was restricted to a 
single apartment, with a scanty allowance of her own stores. From 
this she sent food to her husband in the swamp by a negro servant in 
whom she had implicit trust Mrs. Richardson occasionally ventured 
to visit her husband, taking with her her little daughter. Captain 
Richardson's chosen place of retreat was on a little knoll or elevation 
in the swamp, which he called "John's Island." 

When the British got wind of Captain Richardson's escape, they 
made a diligent search for him and oflFered rewards for his capture. 
One day while a British officer was caressing the little child, she was 
asked when she had seen her papa. The mother grew pale, as it had 
only been a short time since she had seen him. The thoughtless 
pratler replied that she had seen him only a few days before on 
^* John's Island." The officer concluded the child had been dreaming 
and knowing of but one "John's Island," near the sea coast, replied, 
** Pshaw, that was a long time ago." The little telltale was not trusted 
with another visit to her father. 

Mrs. Richardson's feelings were often terrified by the threats of the 
British, as to what they would do with Captain Richardson in case of 


Laurens counties, and four or five miles from the Enoree 
River, south of Duncan's Creek, the army encamped for a 
few days. It was from this place, the prisoners referred 
to were sent to Charlestown, they bfing considered by 
the oflScers and people of that part of the country as 
offenders, whose active conduct against the patriot cause 
and the association of congress did not justify their 
being longer at large. 

Colonel Richardson's army up to this time, numbered 
about five thousand, and consisted of his own regi- 
ment, Colonel Thomson's light horse, Colonel Thomas' 
Spartan regiment. Colonel Neel's, Colonel Polk's and 
Lieutenant-Colonel Martin's, Colonel Rutherford and Colo- 
nel Graham's troops from North Carolina. In a letter to 
the Council of Safety, Colonel Richardson says, of the 

his capture. On one occasion the officers displayed in her sight their 
swords reeking with blood — probably that of her cattle — and told her 
it was the blood of Captain Richardson, whom they had killed. She 
remained in a state of cruel suspense for several days. One day while 
the troops were absent Captain Richardson ventured to visit his home. 
Before he was ready to return to the swamp, however, a patroling party 
appeared unexpectedly at his gate. He was saved by Mrs. Richardson's 
presence of mind and calm courage. Seeing the British soldiers 
about ito come in, she appeared busy at something about the front 
door, thus retarding their progress while her husband made his 
escape by the back door. 

Captain Richardson subsequently united with Marion's command. 
One day he returned to his home accompanied by an escort. In a 
short time the British and Tories were seen advancing. All of Rich- 
ardson's men mounted and made their escape, except a young man 
named Roberts, with whom Mrs. Richardson was well acquainted. In 
vain did she beg with streaming tears to the British officers to spare 
his life. He was hanged to a walnut tree only a few paces from her 
door. Mrs. Richardson was told that she " wf»uld soon see her hus- 
band kick like that fellow." 

After the return of peace Mrs. Richardson continued to reside at 
the same place with her family. She survived her husband many 
years and died in 1834, at the advanced age of ninety-three. 
Through all the trials and vicissitudes in life her reliance and 
consolation was in her religion. It was her hope and triumph in the 
hour of death. 


commands of Colonels Rutherford and Graham number- 
ins: five hundred men, that **to their honor they stepped 
forth unsolicited to aid this colony in the cause of lib- 
erty." We would also mention that about the 20th of 
December, Colonel Richardson's army was joined by Major 
Andrew Williamson, Captain Hammond and a small 
party of Colonel Stephen Bull's reg^iment. 

The presence of such a larg^e army had a ^ood effect on 
the feeling^s of the disaffected people in that part of the 
colony. They were much terrified and came in with fear 
and trembling, givinsj up their arms with deep contrition 
for their late conduct. The spirit of discord was much 
abated. Most of the captains came in with a good por- 
tion of their companies. The District of Ninety-Six was 
now clear of any organized body of insurgents, but a 
camp of the principal aggressors still existed four miles 
beyond the Cherokee boundary line, at a place called the 
Great Cane Brake, on the Reedy River, about twenty-five 
miles from HoUingsworth's Mill. Colonel Richardson 
determined to break up this nest of sedition and turbu- 
lent spirits and for this purpose he detached from this 
army at Hollingsworth's Mill, about thirteen hundred 
cavalry and infantry under the command of (Colonel Wil- 
liam Thomson. All of these were volunteers, and among 
them were Colonels Martin and Rutherford, Neel, Polk 
and Lyles and Major Williamson and other officers of 
distinction. This command set out in the night on the 
2l8t of December and after a tedious march of near 
twenty-three miles, Colonel Thomson with his command got 
within sight of the camp fires of the insurgents at a dis- 
tance of about two miles. A halt was taken for a short 
time, after which, towards daylight on the 22d of Decem- 
ber, they moved forward to attack the camp. They had 
nearly surrounded it when they were discovered. A flight 
immediately' took place from the side whicthad not yet 
been surrounded. Patrick Cunningham escaped on a 
horse barebacked, telling every one as he galloped a^vay 
'*to shift for himself." 


The troops were much enrag:ed against the indurgents 
or King's men, as thej preferred to call themselves, and 
had it not been for the humanity of Colonel Thomson, 
great slaughter would have taken place. The pursuit 
was continued for some distance and five or six of the 
insurgents were killed. Their camp consisted of about 
two hundred men, about one hundred and thirty of whom 
were taken prisoners. All their baggage, arms and 
ammunition remained in possession of the victors. None 
of the colonial troops were killed and only one was 
was wounded. This was a son of Colonel Polk, a youth 
of promise, who was shot through the shoulder. 

On the 23d of December, Colonel Thomson with his 
detachment returned to Richardson's camp. Soon after 
this it commenced snowing and continued without inter- 
mission for thirty hours. The account says, (see Dray- 
ton's Memoirs, vol. ii, page 122), that the ground was 
generally covered for two feet. The army was without 
tenths. Their shoes and clothing being much worn, they 
were badly prepared to encounter such dreadful weather. 
For this reason, Colonel Richardson kept his troops 
longer m the field, but the insurrection having now been 
crushed, he proceeded to dismiss his commands. On 
Christmas day he returned his thanks to the officers and 
men. He first dismissed the North Carolina troops under 
Colonels Rutherford, Martin, Graham and Polk's com- 
mands, afterwards the commands of Colonels Neel and 
Thomas and Major Williapison, giving to each and all 
instructions during their homeward march to pursue 
such measures as would confirm the principles of those 
favorable to the. American cause and to awe and work 
upon the fears of the disaffected elements. He delivered 
to Colonel Williamson six kegs of gunpowder, which he 
had taken from the insurgents and which he directed to be 
sent to Mr. Wilkerson, one of the Indian agents at the 
Cherokee Nation, as apart of the present the Council of 
Safety had sent them, but which had been seized by 
Patrick Cunningham and his party. Colonel Richardson 


during his march had succeeded in recapturing most of 
this powder. In a letter to the Council of Safety he 
reports, January 2d, 1776, the amount taken at different 
times to be two barrels and seven kegs. 

The camp at HoUingsworth's Mill was now broken 
up. Colonel Williamson with the remaining portion 
of his command took up his march towards the 
Oongaree. During his march his troops suffered ex- 
tremely. They were poorly clad, their clothes being 
nearly worn out. They had no tents, and by reason of 
the snow, they did not set foot on the earth for seven 
days. When they halted they had to clear away the 
snow as well as they could before they could make fires 
to cook their victuals, warm themselves and make places 
to sleep after a toilsome march. Many of us, who at a 
later day in the history of our country, endured like 
hardships and fatigue around the camp fires, can fully 
appreciate the sufferings of our forefathers, the veterans 
of the great American Revolution. 

On the eighth day of Colonel Richardson's march a 
heavy cold rain fell, accompanied with sleet. Through all 
these diflSculties the soldiers continued their march. They 
were glad to reach their old camping ground on the Con- 
garee once more on the 1st day of January, 1776. Here 
Colonel Richardson after having taken steps for arrang- 
ing the accounts and expenditures of the expedition, dis- 
missed his soldiers to return to their homes. The stands 
of arms amounting to several hundred were sent to dif- 
ferent places; some to Fort Charlotte on the Savannah, 
some were deposited at the Congaree and some sent to 
Camden. The prisoners were sent by water to Nelson's 
Ferry and escorted thence to Charlestown. The guard 
was commanded by Captain (afterwards General) Thomas 
Sumter. The prisoners consisted of ten captains and one 
hundred and twenty-six men. Of these thirteen were old 
offenders, having been with Cunningham when he seized 
the ammunition on its way to the Cherokee Indians, and 
also with Robinson when he beseiged Williamson at 


Ninety-Six. Fifty-five had been at the eeige of Ninety-Six 
and at the Cane Brake, and seventy-rwo were only 
at the seige of Ninety-Six. All the leaders of the insurgents 
had been captured except Major Robinson, Captains 
Patrick Cunningham and McLauren, and two or three 
others who fled the country. The Council of Safety, after 
considering the cases of the prisoners, released nearly all of 
them, except a few who had been most active in bringing 
about these disturbances. Colonel Richardson, in a let- 
ter to the Council of Safety, makes honorable mention of 
Colonel Thomson for his excellent conduct and support, 
during this expedition, which history has designated as 
the Snow Campaign, in commemoration of the hardships 
and sufferings which were borne by the soldiers with a 
devotion worthy of themselves and the cause in which 
they were engaged. 

On this expedition Captain Thomas Sumter acted as 
Adjutant-General to Colonel Richardson; and Major 
Joseph Kershaw, whom we have before mentioned as 
accompanying Mr. Drayton on his mission, acted as 
treasurer and commissary general. These two oflScers 
filled these positions in a manner highly commenda- 
ble to themselves. 

Colonel Richardson deserved the thanks and applause 
of the country for the mild manner in which he conducted 
the expedition. Notwithstanding this, however, he 
deemed it prudent to adopt some measures by which the 
insurgents would in the future be held in check. He 
caused many of them to sign an instrument of writing, 
by which they imposed upon themselves the penalties of 
forfeiting their estates, real and personal, should they 
ever take up arms again or disturb the peace and tran- 
quility of the colony. 

The snow campaign against the insurgents between the 
Broad and Saluda rivers was now ended. In a conclud- 
ing letter to the Council of Safety, dated January 2d, 1776, 
Colonel Richardson says: *' The people are now more con- 
vinced than ever of their being wrong. The lenient measures 


have had a ^ood effect, the spirit and power is gone from 
them. And I am sure (if not interrupted by designing 
men) that the country which I had it in my power to lay 
waste (and which the people expected) will be happy, and 
peace and tranquility take the place of ruin and discord. On 
the rivers, had I burnt, plundered and destroyed, ten 
thousand women and children must have been left to 
perish, a thought shocking to humanity." 

The Provincial Congress met in February, 1776, soon 
after the expedition of Colonel Richardson. After the 
accounts of the campaign were audited and arranged, 
this body resolved that their thanks be presented through 
their president, by letter, '*to Colonel Richard Richardson 
for the very important and signal services he has ren- 
dered to his country and to the common cause, by put- 
ting a stop to the late dangerous and alarming insurrec- 
tion which the enemies of America had excited in the 
interior parts of the colony; desiring the Colonel 
to signify the thanks of this congress also to the officers 
and men who were under his command upon that 

For sometime after Richardson's expedition, a system 
of disarming such of the insurgents as were discoved in 
Ninety-Six District prevailed. But in February, 1776, 
the Provincial Congress took this matter under consider- 
ation and ordered that the same be suspended. It was 
at this session of congress that this body also resolved, 
"as well for the convenience of electors of members of 
congress as on account of the happy influence which it 
may have upon the peace and union of the inhabitants " 
to divide the district heretofore spoken of as under Colo- 
nel Fletchall's command into three election districts or 
regimental divisions. The Lower or Dutch Fork com- 
prehending one, the country below Little River another, 
and the Upper or Spartan District the third. 




IN the precedinpj chapters we have shown that while the 
people in the interior of Ninety-Six district were divided 
in sentiment on the American cause for liberty, the peo- 
ple along the borders in the upper or Spartan District 
were, accordingto Mr. Drayton's account, ** active and spir- 
ited." Toquotepgain Mr. Drayton's words, he said of these 
people in a letter to the Council of Safety, written on 
Lawson's Fork : ** They are staunch in our favor ; are 
capable of forming a good barrier against the Indians 
and of being a severe check upon Fletchall's people on 
whom they border, etc." (See Drayton's Memoirs, vol. i, 
page 374). 

Notwithstanding, that the [first settlers of upper South 
Carolina sympathized, for the most part, with the patriot 
cause, yet it is doubtful, after the recent unhappy difficul- 
ties with the Cherokees, whether they were willing to 
engage in warfare with any people. Living as they did, 
on the borders of civilization in South Carolina, they 
fully realized the dangers to which they would be exposed 
in the event of war between the colonies and the mother 
country. The Indians, under tempting bribes, would, in all 
probability, side with Great Britain. They knew, too, 
the power of Great Britian, her armies and fleets, and 
that her flag waved in triumph over her vast empire 
throughout the four quarters of the globe. On the first 
appearance of a rupture between Great Britain and the 
American colonies, both parties were engaged to secure 
the friendship of the Indians, and but for the interference 
and intrigues of John Stuart, superintendent, and Alex- 
der Cameron, deputv superintendent, among the Chero- 


kees, these people might have remained in a quiet and 
neutral condition. Mr. Drayton says that '* the Insur- 
pents (in 1775) had, in vain, endeavored to induce the 
Cherokee Indians to come down and join them, but" the 
Indians said they were satisfied." (See Drayton's 
Memoirs, vol. ii, page 131). 

Perhaps the troubles which we are now to relate, were due, 
more than to any thing else, to the intrigues of Alexander 
Cameron who, it appears, lived among the Cherokees. 

This man Cameron, who ^as under the influence of 
John Stuart, was a bad and dangerous man. Besides his 
secret designs in the abominably wicked plot which has 
already been related in Chapter vii, he held a meeting 
with the Cherokee warriors, about four hundred in num- 
ber, in the early part of 1776, in which he exhorted them 
that the people of America had used the King very ill and 
had killed a considerable number of his army ; that the 
King was to send out more soldiers to suppress them ; 
that they (the Indians) ought not to turn against their 
father, the King, but that they should join his army 
against the people of America. To this the Indians re- 
plied that they could not fight, as they had no gun- 
powder. Cameron assured them that this apparent 
obstacle should not be in the way, for he would supply all 
their wants in this respect. He did all he could to induce 
the Indians to join the King's forces against the people of 
South Carolina. At the conclusion of his remarks, the 
Indians turned their backs upon him and discharged their 
guns. The whole assembly set up the war whoop, which 
was a signal that they approved of his discourse. (See 
Drayton's Memoirs, vol. i, page 414). 

As we have already said, the frontier settlements, be- 
lieving that the Indians might take the side of Great 
Britain, and in this event they would be exposed to im- 
pending danger, an effort was made to enlist them on the 
side of the patriots or else make such terms with them 
as would cause them to remain neutral during the 
approaching hostilities. 


Among those who' were delegated on a mission of this 
kind to the Cherokee Nation, was Captain Edward Hamp- 
ton and his brother Preston. Thej'^ were sent by the 
people of the frontier settlements who resided within the 
present limits of Spartanburg county. They were sent to 
see if by a suitable '*talk" with the Indians, they could 
not be made to comprehend the cause of differences 
growing between the colonies and the Mother Country. 

We have shown in a former chapter that the Council of 
Safety, appreciating the importance of maintaining a 
true friendship wn'th these people, very unwisely, as the 
sequel proved, sent to them a thousand pounds of powder, 
intending the same as a present only, believing that the 
Ch(?rokee8 would prize this above everything else. 

Edward and Preston Hampton, upon their arrival in 
the Indian country, found Cameron and other British 
emissaries at work among them. Cameron made prisoners 
of them, and gave their horses, guns, and a case of pis- 
tols and holsters to the Indians. By some means they 
managed to escape with their lives. Returning home, 
thoy reported to the people of the settlements the result 
of their mission. The people grew alarmed for their safety. 
They sought safety in the old forts that were already con- 
structed and perhaps in others that were hurriedly con- 
structed. Through the machinations of the British emis- 
saries, the Indians commenced their marauding expedi- 
tions in 1776 in western North Carolina and along the 
frontier settlements of South Carolina. 

It is our purpose only to bring to the eye of the reader 
such of the outrages as accurred in our vicinity, some of 
which are recorded in history, while others are only 

The first v^hich we propose to mention as happening 
during the year 1776 was the murder of the Hampton 
family. This, as we understood it, was not far from the 
site of Wood's Fort, between Middle and South Tyger 
rivers, and near what is known as the Asa Cunningham 
place, on the line between the counties of Greenville and 


Spartanburg:, which was then the east line of the Chero- 
kee Nation. Anthony Hampton (says Dr. Howe in his 
history of the Presbyterian Church of South Carolina) 
with his wife and daughter, Preston, Henry and Edward, 
his sons, and James Harrison, his son-in-law, moved to 
what was afterwards Spartanburg District, about the 
year 1774. It is said that the Indians were seeking a 
different settlement which they had located. As they ap- 
proached Mr. Hampton's house, some of their men 
recognized the face of Preston Hampton, whom, as we 
have already stated, had just returned from the Indian 
towns and had given warning of their intended rising. 
Some of the children of Mr. Hampton were sent to give 
warning to the neighbors. Mr. and Mrs. Harrison were, 
at the time, absent for a short distance. Old Mr. Hamp- 
ton, it is said, met the Indians cordially. He gave the 
chief a friendly grasp of the hand, but had not more than 
done this when he saw his son, Preston, fall from the fire 
of a gun. The same hand which he had grasped a 
moment before sent a tomahawk through his skull. In 
the same way his wife was killed. An infant son of Mr. 
and Mrs. Harrison was dashed against the wall of the 
house, which was spattered with its blood and brains. 
The Indians then set fire to the house of Mr. Hampton. 
Mrs. Hampton, on coming up, seeing her father's house 
in flames, came very near rushing into the midst of the 
savages. Her husband, anticipating what the trouble 
was, held her back until the savages were gone. Edward 
Hampton was, at the time, at the house of his father-in- 
law. Bay lis Earle, on the North Pacolet. 

The w^riter is indebted to Prof. \Vm. S. Morrison, whose 
residence near Welford, S. C, is not far from th^«cene of 
this massacre, and who had taken great pariis to investi- 
gate the circumstances according to the traditions of the 
neighborhood. We take pleasure in inserting his letter, 
which letter explains itself : 

WeIvFORd, S. C, JuIvY 27, 1891. 
Dr. J. B. O. Landrum, Landrum, S. C. 
Dear Sir : — I kave looked carefully into the matter of the place of 


the murder and burial of the Hampton family as j^ou requested. I 
am satisfied I have found the burial place. Am not so sure as to the 
place of the massacre, though I believe it was near the graves. 

Mr. Roddy Smith, now eighty-four (84) years old, lives in the 
the western part of Spartanburg county on the Saluda Gap road* 
between Duncan's Station on the Air Line, and Arlington or Cedar 
Hill Factory, about two miles from each place. Mr. Smith moved to 
the place where he now lives in 1830. Soon after he moved there 
while he was one day at work cleaning up an old field, Mr. Isham 
Evans came to him and asked if he knew where the * Hampton graves * 
were. Upon Mr. Smith answering that he did not, Mr. Evans led him 
to the graves but a few yards distant and pointed out the spot where 
the Hamptons were buried — all in one large grave — by the side of 
which a child, whose name Mr. Evans did not call, was buried. Mr» 
Evans told Mr. Smith the spot had bet-i shown him by a woman 
named Bridget Bright, daughter of James Bright, an old Revolutionary 
soldier who had helped bury the Hamptons. Mr. Smith says the signs 
of the two graves were then plainly to be seen. The spot had 
never been cleared, though the land around it had been in cultivation^ 
Mr. Smith has never allowed the place to be cleared or worked over in 
any way. 

A week ago, under Mr. Smith's guidance, I visited the spot. It has 
the appearance of an old grave yard. Trees mark the graves. These 
are on the highest point of a hill. This hill top is about three-eights 
of a mile back of Mr. Smith's house, some 300 yards from South Tyger 
River, one and one-half miles from Greenville and Spartanburg county 
line, seven-eights of a mile North of the Air Line Road at its nearest 
point, and about one and one-half miles from the railroad bridge over 
South Tyger River. 

A short distance from ** the graves " there used to be signs of a 
house. At the foot of the hill is a spring with large rocks around it 
Near the spring, on another hill, stood a house, the chimney place of 
which may yet be seen. Mr. Smith has not allowed any changes to be 
made about the spring, which he says looks now just like it did 6i 
years ago. Along the hill, in 1830, was a dense swamp or thicket,, 
which extended up the spring branch and between the two houses 

I have talked with several old people whose lives have been spent in 
the immediate vicinity. There seems to be no difference of opinion- - 
seems there has never been any — as to the precise location of the rude 
grave of Anthony Hampton and his family. As to his dwelling place^ 
there is some difference of opinion. Mr. James R. Dickson (Mr. Dick- 
son has since died) over 80 years old, says that he moved to the place 
where Mr. Jack Green now lives, in 1835. Within a few yards of the 
house rises a little stream known as the " Hampton branch, " w^hich i» 


about three miles long. About midway of its course, this branch crosses- 
the county line. A few hundred yards below the line, it crosses the Sa- 
luda Gap Road very near the residence of the late Asa Cunningham, 
whose spring is called the Hampton spring. On the same side of the 
road as the Cunningham house, where some locust trees are growing 
stood a house where some think the Hamptons lived and were mur- 
dered. Mr. Dickson has often seen the chimney place. He learned from 
two old men, Alex, and Joseph Thomson, and from a woman named Kiz- 
zey Mobley, that two children of Wade and Betty Hampton, were there 
murdered by the Indians and buried on an opposite hill, between the 
branch and Beaver Dam Creek. Kizzey Mobley told Mr. Dickson she 
had often seen the rail pen around the little grave. The father was 
absent The mother fled through Beaver Dam Swamp. Several days 
afterward, she was found wandering through the woods near where 
Holly Spring Church now stands — then a wilderness — her clothing 
torn to rags, and taken to Wood's Fort, near Milford Presbyterian 
Church, on Beaver Dam Creek. Mr. Dickson knew nothing of the 
murder of the elder Hamptons. He says he was always told that the 
' old people were buried two or three miles further down the river.' 
This agrees with Mr. Smith's statement as to the graves. 

Some older people say this ' Hampton Branch Story ' is a new thing, 
of which they heard nothing until after Wade Hampton's election as 
Governor, in 1876. 

I am satisfied Mr. Smith has shown me the burial place. I believe 
that the murder was committed near the graves. No cofiins were used. 
It is not likely bodies would be carried several miles. I have written 
curente calutnus. The information is reliable. Work it up to suit 
yourself. ♦ » * 1 am so glad you are writing a history of 
the county. You are the very man for the work. I want a copy. 

Kind regards to Mrs. L. Yours truly, 


Until the writer met Mr. Jas. K. Dickson in Greenville 
city, a few days prior to the reception of Mr. Morrison's 
letter, he had never heard of Wood's Fort*. It doubtless, 
like the others we have mentioned, had a history. There 
are many little things^ as they were, which was once con- 
sidered, were relat-ed by the early settlers of our country 
which have been lost in tradition, owin^ to the unpar- 
donable indifference of the generations that followed to 
preserve and transmit them in the pages of history. 

* In Johnson's Traditions (page 439) there are two forts mentioned 
as belonging to Spartanburg county, of which the writer can gather 


But to return to the Indian depredation of 1776, we 
would further state that about the time of the Hampton 
massacre just related, James Reed, of North Carolina, 
had just come into the Ty^er settlement on business con- 
nected with their safety. *' He was attacked," says Rev. 
R. H. Reid in the Spartanburg Express, 1834, *'at the 
old ford on North Ty^er River, a short distance below 
Snoddy's Bridge. He was shot through the breast arid 
thigh. He snatched the tomahawk out of the Indian's 
hand that had come up to scalp him. The Indian being 
disarmed, now fled." Reed escaped to Prince's Fort, 
which was again occupied by the terrified white people, 
where he remained until his wounds were healed. 

The writer is also indebted to the writings of Mr. Reid 
for the account of the killing of Mr. John Miller. 

Mr. Millg^c, it appears, had just returned with his family, 
from Poole's Iron Works, and while crossing Middle 
Tyger at Buffalo Bridge, at or near what is now known 
as Barry's Bridge, he was shot down and very soon ex- 
pired. He had been, it is said, to the house of a neighbor 
and was returning with two other persons, whose names 
were Orr and Leach. As soon as Miller fell, these men 
attempting to escape by running up the south side of the 
river. The Indians, who were under the bridge, com- 
menced to fire upon them. They ran to a marsh, which 
further hindered their progress. Orr being the stronger 

little or no information concerning their history. One of these is 
Wood's Fort or Thomson's Station, and the other is Jamison's Fort 
on South Pacolet. Wood's Station sto9d near Beaver Dam Creek, be- 
tween Middle and South Tyger rivers, and not far from what is known 
as " Granny " McMakin's Bridge. It being near the Cherokee Indian 
boundary line, it was doubtless built by the early settlers against the 
encroachments of the Indians. Fort Jamison, according to our best 
information, stood near the Blackstock Road, in the John Rudisil 
plantation (now Crawford Earle's place) on the south side of South 
Pacolet. It is stated in Johnson's Traditions that this fort was once 
commanded by a Captain Mcjunkin, of Colonel Thomas' regiment, who 
afterwards served, for a time, at Woods' Fort or Thomas' Station. 


of the two, jumped over, while Leach fell in and lyin^ 
quiet, the Indians thought him dead. They continued to 
pursue Orr, whom they killed and scalped, and after they 
had passed, Leach made good his escape. Orr was buried 
by the neighbors, in the bottoms where he was shot. 
Miller was buried about a quarter of a mile from him in 
the fork of North and Middle Tyger rivers, on a planta- 
tion now owned by Mr. David Anderson. **He was," says 
Mr. Reid, "buried without coffin or shroud, in the dress 
he had on. A brick wall encircling his grave marks his 
last resting place." We would here remark that the 
John Miller referred to by Mr. Reid was the father of 
Sheriff Sam Miller, whose name and character is well 
known to many of the older citizens of Spartanburg 
county. His widow subsequently became the wife of Hon. 
James Jordan, grandfather of the late Jud^e T. 0. P. 
Vernon and Dr. J. J. Vernon, well known and popular 
citizens of Spartanburg county. 

The following was gathered up several years ago by the 
writ-er as a neighborhood tradition, the same having hap- 
pened in the neighborhood where he was born and raised. 

Near Shiloh Church, on what is known as the Adam 
Greenling place, lived a Mr. Bishop, whose house during 
these troublesome times, was visited by the Indians. Mrs. 
Bishop had gone to visit some friends in Fort Prince and 
on this account her life was saved. She had left her hus- 
band at home with her three children— Isaac, Rachel, 
and another daughter, and a little colored boy, Simon. 
The Indians, as soon as they came to Mr. Bishop's house, 
murdered him and plundered his house, cutting open his 
bed ticks and scattering the feathers over the house. 
Thev then carried th<) three children off with them. The 
little colored boy Simon hid between the treadles of the 
loom and escaped their notice. The children remained in 
the hands of the Indians for six months, and after they 
had been subdued to submission, Mr. Davy Lewis, learn- 
ing that they were still alive and their whereabouts, col- 
lected a party of friends and went tp the Indian Ns^tiou, 


where he found them. The two elder ones recognized him 
and went and met him, while the third ran off with some 
frightened Indian children. The children being surren- 
dered by the Indians to Mr. Lewis, were brought back to 
the bosom of the agonized mother. 

Mrs. Phatome Alverson, who recently passed away at 
a bright old age, first related this circumstance to the 
writer. She said that the stolen boy, Isaac Bishop, 
married a Miss Frankee Ballenger, an aunt of hers. 
Mrs. Alverson further stated that Mr. Bishop had often 
related to her how the Indians treated him and his little 
sisters while they were held as captives. He was required 
in their long tramps to carry a pappoose (an Indian 
babe.) Sometimes his burden would become so heavy 
that he would, in his stubbornness, fall down in the mud. 
For this he was cruelly whipped by the Indians. He also 
said that he and bis little sisters would almost die 
from hunger, and that when the Indians would fall asleep 
around the venison which they were hanging in the sun to 
dry, he would steal for himself and his little sisters. * 

The late Mr. Isaac Pollard, who passed away only a 
few years ago, at the advanced age of about ninety years, 
has recalled to the writer the same facts and circum- 
stances as given by Mrs. Alverson. He stated that the 
negro boy Simon lived in his neighborhood to a bright 
old age, and on account of this circumstance which oc- 
curred in his boyhood, and of which he maintained a 
vivid recollection in his old age, he was generally the 
center of attraction at log rollings and other gatherings 
where many delighted to interrogate him. 

There were many of these Indian outrages which are 
lost in tradition. Some, however, were so glaring and 
cold-blooded that they have been handed down to us. 
One of these was the Hannon massacre on North Pacolet, 
an account of which we will relate in the next chapter. 

* Mr. Davy Ivcwis, "w^io recovered the stolen children, was a brother- 
in-law Of Mr. Bishop. He was also the father-in-law of Mr. Albery 
Wingo (father of Mr. John W. Wingo) who yet lives at an extreme old age. 









DURING **the days of 1776" or *'days that tried 
men's souls," the frontier settlements alon^ the bor- 
ders of upper South Carolina, by reason of their close 
proximity to the Indian country, as already stated, were 
in constant dread of attack in any locality. The hostili- 
ties which had already sprung up between the two races, 
only increased the alarm of those infant and isolated set- 
tlements for their safety. The present Une separating the 
counties of Greenville and Spartanburg was the same 
which divided the colony of South Carolina from the 
Cherokee Nation, and it is said that along this line there 
was for a distance a beaten pathway, over which the 
people would go in search of Indian trails, which could 
be seen by reason of the high grass and wild pea vines 
which grew in that day. Mr. O. P. Earle informs the 
writer that at one time his grandfather, Mr. Baylis Earle, 
was traveling this pathway for the reason stated. At 
one time he had occasion to leave his horse for a short 
distance, which ran away from him. He followed for 
some distance in expectation of overtaking him, but 
being unable to accomplish this, he shot to "crease"* 
him, but the ball ranging too low killed him. As wild or 
branded horses were plentiful he did not grieve, but con- 

*To jifraze the crest or foretop. 


Holed himself that he had saved a new saddle, which at 
that time was worth almost the price of the horse. 

Notwithstanding the vi^lance of the people, the border 
settlements were occasionally Visited by the Indians with- 
out a moment's warning. This was the case as to the 
settlements on the North Pacolet, to which Mr. Earle 
belonged, where occurred the massacre of the Hannon 
family, in 1776. As we have only a traditional account 
of this raid, it is impossible now to know the extent of 
the barbarities that were at that time committed. The 
Indians were no doubt encouraged and emboldened in 
their bloody work, as subsequent events proved by the, 
Tories, in and beyond the mountains, who were plotting 
against the Whig families on North Pacolet and other 

The Hannon family lived on the banks of the North 
Pacolet River, on the plantation now owned by Henry 
Morgan, in Polk County, North Carolina. It is said that 
at the time this family was subjected to the merciless fury 
of the Indians, Mr. Hannon and the larger members of 
thefamily were but a short distance from the house, plant- 
ing corn. The Indians, as soon as they came, killed Mr. 
Hannon and the older members of the family. Edwin 
his son, a boy about ten years of age, ran with his little 
brother John to the river. He was so hotly pursued 
that he had to drop his charge and escape across the 
stream. He had not more than cleared the bank when he 
heard the lick that ended the life of his poor little brother. 
While the murdering was going on in the field near by, 
Winnie, a girl of seven or eight years, seized her infant 
brother William, and ran off and concealed herself in a 
dense cane brake not far away, where she remained until 
the savages went away. The terrified people of the neigh- 
borhood gathered at the house of Mr. Baylis Earle for 
the purpose of making the best possible defense. Captain 
Thomas Jackson (father of the older Jacksons on North 
Pacolet, Thomas, John, James, Andrew, Samuel and 
Robert), a militia captain, summoned his company to 



resist the approach of the Indians, who advanced no 
further than the bank of Wolf Creek and North Pacolet, 
which is said to have been a camping ground of theirs 
years before. 

Of the surviving members of the Hannon family, 
Edwin, Winnie and William, became the adopted children 
of Colonel John Earle*. Winnie was a cripple and never 
married. Edwin and William when they grew up became 
sons-in-law of Colonel Earle. Edwin was the proprietor 
of a valuable estate on North Pacolet, now owned by 
John B. Cleveland, Esq. He was the father of the late 
Mrs. Betsy Mills (wife of William Mills, deceased), and 
father-in-law of James Miller, one of the first citizens of 
the city of Spartanburg, who resided near the present 
residence of Dr. Jesse F. Cleveland. 

William Hannon was also a man of fair circumstances, 
of intelligence and influence, and a minister of the Gospel. 
He was the first (and for a long number of years) pastor 
of Wolf Creek Baptist Church, near Landrum, S. C, 
organized in 1803. 

A strange and merciful Providence seems to have spared 
him to do a good work in the Master's cause. His mem- 
ory still lives in the affections of the older citizens of the 
community in which he lived .t 

It was during the trouble with the Indians in 1776 that 
old Mr. Anderson was killed. He was a staunch patriot 
and a friend to the Whig cause. The Indians scalped and 
split his head with a tomahawk. After firing the house 
of his son David, near by, they murdered an old man and 
his son in the same settlement. It is stated that his 

*Grandfather of Major John Earle Bomar. 

tTo N. H. Hill, Esq., of Columbus, N. C, (son-in-law of William 
Hannon), to Miss Sallie Henderson, an aged and pious lady who died 
a few years ago, and to Mrs. Candses Daniel, 85 years old, now de- 
ceased, the writer is indebted for the particulars of the ** Han- 
non massacre." 


brother, David Anderson, was at Fort Prince with his 
family when his house was burnt, which was in the 
night time. 

Major William Hoy, in a recent communication to the 
Spartan, speaks of a murder by the Indians of an old 
man by the name of Shatteen, who was a Bnptist preacher. 
It may be that this occurred during the Indian invasions 
and massacres of 1776 already referred to. 

On account of the Indian depredations occurring at dif- 
ferent points along the outer settlements on the frontier, 
it became necessary that the constituted authorities take 
steps to protect the people. Among those who were the 
first to throw themselves into the breach to resist the 
Indian invasions and depredations was a Captain Howard 
(father-in-law of the late Elias Dill, who died at the 
advanced age of 80 years), one of the early adventurers 
and pioneers of North Greenville (dark corner) County. 
Captain Howard, with a small command, marched from 
the old Block House Fort, already referred to, and against 
the Indians and Tories, who had banded themselves to- 
gether and were in a gap in the mountains, since known 
as Big Warrior, named in honor of the Indian chief who 
commanded these forces at the time. In his march Cap- 
tain Howard was guided by a friendly Indian whose name 
was Schuyuka (pronounced Skywicca) who led him 
through another gap in the mountain, since known How- 
ard's Gap, which enabled him to gain the rear of the 
Indians and their Tory allies. This gap was east of War- 
rior's Gap, the trail across the mountain leading through 
the latter at the time. 

Captain Howard attacked his enemy fiercely, who were 
expecting him in their front, killing and wounding a num- 
ber of them. The surviving Indians buried their dead on 
the battle field. The rock-covered mounds are still to be 
seen there near the present residence of Mr. Wash Fisher. 

There is a tradition that not long after the engage- 
ment referred to, the Tories and Indians captured and 
hung Schuyuka, the friendly Indian, at the foot of Try on 


MouDtain, on the banks of the beautiful running stream 
which now bears his name, and which enters into the 
North Pacolet River only a short distance below Bell's 
(or Mcxiboy's) Hotel. 

Let the immortal name of Schuyuka be preserved in the 
annals of our country's history. It was the first name 
suggested for the present county site of Polk, North 
Carolina. Afterwards it was proposed as a suitable name 
for the present village of Tryon, in the same county and 
only three or four miles, and in full view of the battle 
ground referred to, which is known in tradition as ^^The 
battle of Bound Mountain,^^ For some reason the name, in 
both instances, for the towns referred to was abandoned. 

The battle and victory of Captain Howard was not suf- 
ficient to subdue the Indians. It was necessary for the 
Carolinians to take more decisive steps to conquer them. 
Perhaps the people were encouraged in this undertaking 
by the news of Colonel Moultrie's victory ou Sullivan's 
Island, and also by the news of the Declaration of Inde- 
pendence, which at this time had been received throughout 
the country. To accomplish the desired end and to finally 
put down the insurrections, two expeditions were organ- 
ized and sent against the Indians. One of these was from 
South Carolina, under the command of Colonel Andrew 
Williamson, and the other was from North Carolina, under 
the command of Colonel Griffith Rutherford. Colonel Wil- 
liamson's command consisted of about twelve hundred 
men. With a detachment of three hundred horses, he 
advanced upon the Indian forces at Oconorie Creek. His 
approach was known to the Indians, who were waiting for 
him in ambush. He suddenly found himself engaged 
in a desperate conflict, for which he was only partially 
prepared. His horse was shot from under him, an officer 
slain by his side, and under a dreadful fire, his army was 
thrown into disorder. It was rallied by Colonel Ham- 
mond. The thicket was charged and the day retrieved. 
Colonel Williamson then proceeded across the Smoky 
Mountains and down the valley of Little Tennessee River 


and be^an to penetrate the country of the Indians, 
where their people were most numerous. 

The command of Colonel Rutherford crossed the Blue 
Rid^e mountains at Swannanoa Gap, and passed down 
the French Broad River and crossed at a ford which is to 
this day known as '* War Ford." He then passed up the 
valley of Hominy Creek and crossing Pigeon River, pro- 
ceeding in the direction of the valley of Little Tennessee. 
He burnt to ashes the Indian towns of Watonga, Estoe- 
toa and Elijay. At the last named point his command 
united with that of Colonel Williamson who assumed 
command of the whole. Entering a narrow defile enclosed 
by mountains on each side, a second ambuscade awaited 
him. Twelve hundred warriors were secreted in the sur- 
rounding heights and poured a constant fire on William- 
son's men, from which they were only saved by a charge 
with bayonets. The Indians fled. Williamson's com- 
mand continued the work of devastation, destroying the 
Indian towns and their growing crops in the beautiful 
valleys. All of the country lying east of the Appalachian 
mountians being laid waste, the conquered Indians sued 
for peace. A treaty was made by which they ceded all of 
their lands south east of the mountains of Unacaya. By 
this treaty the present counties of Greenville, Anderson 
and Pickens (the two last once forming old Pendleton 
district) were gained to the territory of South (>arolina. 
That portion which the Indians reserved to themselves 
embraces, for the most part, the present county of Oconee.* 

This placed the country of the Indians so far away 
from the settlements that they gave no more trouble un- 
til just at the close of the Revolution (1781), of which we 
shall speak further on. 

After the close of the Revolution, only a few years, the 
Indians sold the remainder of their reservation in this 
treaty to the State of South Carolina, the legislature 

'See map, frontispiece, Ramsay's History of South Carolina. 



making a special appropriation for the purchase of 
the same. 

In the last affair with the Indians, Colonel Williamson 
captured thirteen white men, disfigured, disguised and 
painted so as to resemble the Indians, thus proving what 
has already been said, that the trouble with the Indians 
during the year 1776 was, in a great measure, instigated 
by the Tory emissaries of the British. 

Colonel Williamson's command was made up for the 
most part in the district of Ninety-Six, but contained in 
part brave men from all the settlements in upper Caro- 
lina, among whom we would mention the name of 
Capt. John Collins, from the settlement on Middle Tyger, 
to whom reference will again be made. 

Among those who belonged to Colonel Rutherford's 
command were Colonel Martin, who commanded a regi- 
ment from Guilford; Lieutenant (afterwards General) 
Lenoir and Col. Joseph Graham. 

It is recorded that when this command set out it was 
almost destitute of clothing and tents. Their uniforms 
were principally of rude cloth made from hemp, tow and 
wild nettle bark, and, as a sample of the uniforms worn 
by the officers, Colonel Rutherford's consisted of a tow 
hunting shirt dyed black and trimmed with white fringe. 




A PERIOD of four years transpired between the ending 
of the Indian troubles of 1776, which we have just 
narrated, and the visit of Maj. Patrick Ferguson to the 
district of Ninety -Six.* During this interval the pages 
of history are silent as to the events which transpired 
in the upper portion of South Carolina. It was during 
this time that an effort was made to win over South 
Carolina to the British cause. Commissioners were sent 
over to negotiate a reunion of the colonies with the 
mother country. A flag was sent with an address sepa- 
rately to the Governor, the Assemblymen, the Clergy, the 
Military, and in fact, to the whole people of South 
Carolina, making overtures of peace, which meant noth- 
ing short of absolute submission to British rule. Presi- 
dent (Governor) Lowndes convened his council and the 
leading men of the different orders to whom the address 
was made. It is useless to say that the propositions 
were rejected, the flag ships were dismissed, and the Com- 
missioners were reprimanded for having violated the Con- 

* Comprising the present counties of Spartanburg, Union, lyaurens, 
Newberry^ AJjbeville and Edgefield. See map. 


stitution in their endeavor to treat with the colony in its 
separate capacity. 

The Government of Great Britain being convinced of 
the worthlessiiess of their negotiations, set to work in 
earnesti to subjugate the province of South Carolina. 
The reduction of Savannah by Colonel Campbell, in 1778, 
and the successful conquest of Georgia, made South 
Carolina, as it were, an exposed frontier. The close prox- 
imity of the enemy admonished the people to redouble 
their energies for defense. 

liy request of the South Carolina delegation in Con- 
gress, Major General Lincoln was ordered to take charge 
of the defenses of South Carolina. He was second in com- 
mand when General Bijrgoyne surrendered his army to 
General Gates at Saratoga. Bringing with him a great 
reputation, he assumed command of the Southern depart- 
ment and preserved, for some fifteen months, the reputa- 
tion of the State. In his department he had officers of 
reputation j such as Generals Moultrie, Williamson, Eut- 
ledge and Count Pulaski. At the close of the campaign 
in 1779, after several encounters, of which time and space 
will prevent any particular mention, * no decisive advan- 

* One of the engagements deserving of special notice as occurring 
about this time is mentioned in an article to theOarolina Spartan, May 23 
1894, called " The Battle of the Canebrakes," from the pen of Col. 
Thomas J. Moore, Moore, S. C, in which Mr. David Anderson (father 
of the late Tyger Jim Anderson) figured prominently. Says Colonel 
Moore in his article : " It seems after the fall of Savannah, to encour- 
age the lyoyalists and to awe the Republicans in that quarter, Colonel 
Campbell was ordered by General Prevost, to advance upon Augusta 
with two thousand regulars and Loyalists. He sent emissaries among 
the South Carolina Tories, saying, that if they would cross the Savan- 
nah and join him at Augusta, the republicans might be crushed and 
the whole South freed from their pestilential influence. This encour- 
aged about eight hundred Tories of North and South Carolina, who 
collected on the west side of Broad River, under Colonel Boyd, and 
marched along the frontier of South Carolina towards the Savannah. 
They must have marched through or near this vsection. At this time 
the regions below and above Ajigusta were completely at the mercy of 


tage had been gained on either side. The French fleet 
under the command of Count D'Estang had co-operated 
with Lincoln in the seige against Savannah and but for 
the delay of one day, in which the British garrison was 
allowed to consider a demand to surrender, subsequent 
affairs might have been different. As it was, the seige 
was a failure. Count D'Estang had announced his inten- 
tion of retnaining only fifteen daj's on shore. The seige 
was raised after an unsuccessful assault against the bat- 
teries of the enemy. D'Estang re-embarked his troops, 
artillery and baggage, and left the continent. The 
militia of General Lincoln dispersed and went to their 
homes, while he, with the rest of his army, marched to 
Charlestown. By a series of engagements and disasters 
during the year 1780, at Monk's Corner and other places, 
he found himself at last within the confines of the City of 
Charlestown, confronted by a superior and overpowering 
army and fieet under the command of General Clinton. 
For three long months he was beseiged. Failing to ex- 
tricate himself or to receive reinforcements in due time, 
he was at last compelled to capitulate. May 12th, 1780. 

the enemy. The Whigs who could leave their families crossed over 
to the Carolina side. Colonel Dooly, Colonel Pickens and others 
were active on the Georgia side in organizing forces to repel the 
British. Colonel Pickens, who was beseiging a fort on the Georgia 
side, abandoned the effort upon learning of the approach of Colonel 
Boyd and his eight hundred lyoyalists from South Carolina. He 
crossed with his force the Savannah into Carolina, in Abbeville 
county, near Fort Charlotte, when Colonel Boyd hastened toward the 
Cherokee Ford on the Savannah. At the ford was a garrison of eight 
men with two swivels, who successfully disputed the passage of Colonel 
Boyd. He marched five miles up the river and crossed on rafts. He 
was pursued by a detachment of Americans under Captain Anderson, 
who attacked him in a cane brake. A severe fight ensued. Colonel 
Boyd lost one hundred men — killed, wounded and missing. The 
American party lost sixteen men, killed, and the same number of 
prisoners. This occurred in February, 1779. Colonel Boyd hastened 
forward after this defeat by Captain Anderson, but was closely pursued 
by Colonel Pickens, who had crossed the Savannah lower down, be» 


His army of Continental troops numbered less than two 
thousand. The number surrendered amounted to about 
five thousand, which, besides the Continental troops, in- 
chided about five hundred sick in hospitals and about 
five hundred who were citizens of the town and sailors, 
who had been taken from the shipping and placed in the 

These events have been, in outline, briefly mentioned to 
show that this was a gloomy hour for South Carolina. 
The British believed that the colony was thoroughly con- 
quered. Subsequent events proved that they had only 
conquered the territory and not the people. Soon after 
the surrender of Lincoln, Sir Henry Clinton departed from 
Charlestown, leaving Lord Cornwallis in charge of the 
Southern department. Cornwallis determined to follow 
up the success already attained and to press the conquest 
into the neighboring province of North Carolina. To 
accomplish this end, three expeditions were formed. The 
first was toward the river. Savannah, in Georgia. The 
second was placed under the command of Colonel Tarle- 
ton, who was ordered to scour the country between the 
Cooper and Santee rivers. In this expedition, Tarleton 

tween him and Augusta, to the Georgia side with about three hundred 
militia, marching in battle order. Colonel Dooly commanded the 
right wing, lyieutenant Colonel Clarke the left, and Colonel Pickens 
the center. Colonel Boyd, ignorant of the proximity of his opposers, 
halted on the banks of Kettle Creek and commenced to slaughter 
cattle for his army, and turned his horses out to graze in a neighbor- 
ing swamp. In this condition he was attacked. His pickets fired and 
fled to the camp. The utmost confusion prevailed and Colonel Boyd 
commenced to retreat, skirmishing with his assailants. The contest 
lasted about two hours. About seventy of the Tories were killed and 
seventy-five made prisoners. The Americans lost nine killed and 
twenty-three wounded. Colonel Boyd was severely wounded and ex- 
pired that night. His whole force was scattered to the winds. The 
seventy-five prisoners were carried to South Corolina, tried for high 
treason and condemned to death. Five of the most active men were 
hanged, the balance were pardoned. This was one of the severest 
blows Toryism had yet received in South Carolina. 


encountered a body of Wbi^s, who had been marching to 
the succor of General Lincoln, but who were now retreat- 
in«; by forced marches. He fell upon them and the car- 
nage was dreadful. He butchered many who offered to 
surrender. This horrible massacre gave a bloody turn to 
the War. The Americans remembered this engagement 
with horror, and from that time it became a proverbial 
mode of expressing the cruelties of a barbarous enemy to 
call them Tarleton's Quarter, The third expedition was 
that of Colonel Ferguson to the District of Ninety-Six, 
already referred to. All of these expeditions were, for a 
time, successful, and many of the inhabitants flocked 
from all parts to meet the Royal troops, expressing a 
desire to return to their ancient allegiance and offering 
to enlist to defend the Royal standard. A proclamation 
had been issued soon after the surrender of Lincoln at 
Charlestown, by General Clinton, offering a full and abso- 
lute pardon to those who would immediately return to 
their duty, promising that no offenses or transgressions 
heretofore committed in consequence of political troubles, 
should be investigated. Many of those who had hereto- 
fore been faithful and active leaders in the patriot cause, 
now took Royal protection and availed themselves of the 
proclamation, among whom we would mention the names 
of Gen. Andrew Williamson, Gen. Isaac Huger, Colonels 
Andrew Pickens, John Thomas and Isaac Hayne. Others, 
however, preferred to brave the popular tide and remain 
in open partisan warfare, among whom were Francis 
Marion, Thomas Sumter, the Hamptons, Williams and 

Ferguson was dispatched to the up-country on the 18th 
day of May, 1780. His command consisted of from one 
hundred and fifty to two hundred men of the provincial 
corps. His route to the up-country was via Nelson's 
Ferry, Beaver Creek, Congaree Store, crossing Saluda 
above the mouth of Broad River, thence to Little River 
and Ninety-Six Court House, where he arrived on the 26th 
of June. His orders were to apprehend all prominent 


Whifj^s on the way, and to have a watchcare over the 
entire district. 

Ferguson's march to Ninety-Six alarmed the patriots 
of the up-country for their general safety, being now too 
weak to offer a general resistance, but we have accounts 
of small gatherings here and there. In the sketch of Mrs. 
Jane Thomas in Mrs. Ellet's " Women of the Revolution," 
Vol. i., we are informed that by a preconcerted arrange- 
ment between Colonels John Thomas, Giles and Brandon 
(the two latter from the Union County section) the scat- 
tered patriots of the country were to be brought together 
for resistance. Each of these officers were to have desig- 
nated points for recruiting. That of Colonel Thomas was 
atCedar Spring, as we will see later. The Tories, however, 
flocking to Colonel Ferguson's camp, kept him posted as 
to the whereabouts of the Whig encampments. Ferguson 
sent a detachment to Brandon's camp. The latter was 
not prepared for resistance, and the attack being unex- 
pected, he and his command were put to flight. 

Ferguson, after remaining a fortnight at Ninety-Six, 
resumed his march. Advancing only about sixteen 
miles, he selected a good location on Little River, where 
he erected field works, and then with the most of his pro- 
vincials, advanced to the plantation of Col. James Wil- 
liams, in the Fair Forest region. Here the British and 
Tories maintained a post for sometime. This was most 
of the time under the command of General Cunningham. 

This was indeed a dark hour for South Carolina, whose 
condition was generally regarded as hopeless. The 
territory was now completely under the control of Royal 
authority, with the British troops scattered all ever the 
State. The people felt that there ^was no other alterna- 
tive but absolute submission. Both Georgia and South 
Carolina were considered as conquered provinces, and so 
predominant was the idea, that Mr. Madison introduced 
resolutions in the Continental Congress to treat with 


Great Britain by surrendering these two States as con- 
quered provinces. * 

An address was prepared by several hundred citizens of 
Charlestown and presented to Lord Cornwaliis, con^atu- 
lating hini on the conquest of the State. It was during 
this period that many of the Whigs, together with many 
of the prominent leaders to whom we have referred, took 
British protection by reason of the duties and responsi- 
bilities that confronted them. The Tories who espoused 
the Royal cause, were men of no moral or political prin- 
ciple, their greatest ambition being plunder and 
robbery. The unfortunate condition of affairs encouraged 
them to commit the most atrocious acts all over the 
country. Many who had hitherto feigned a devotion to 
the cause of Liberty now pressed from every quarter to 
ingratiate themselves in favor of the victors and to offer 
their services to the Royal government. Not content 
with going themselves, they dragged in their train, in 
some instances, the friends of Liberty, whom they had 
lately obeyed with such parade and zeal and whom they 
now denominated as their oppressors. Ferguson, upon 
his arrival to the up-country, issued a proclamation, in 
which he said : •' We came not to make war upon 
women and children, but to relieve their distress." The 
Tories flocked by the hundreds to his camp, inspired by 
such leaders as the Cunninghams, Fletchall, Peari^ David 
Fanning and others. Many of these were thoroughly 
disciplined. Indeed it is said that Ferguson possessed a 
talent and qunlification in this direction. Being a man 
of magnetism and large experience, he had unlimited in- 
fluence over his men. 

But while, as we have hinted, Ferguson exercised a com- 
ma nding influence over certain sections in South Carolina, 
and especially in the lower and central portions of the 
district of Ninety-Six, we have unmistakable evidence on 

* See sketch of Benj. Roebuck by Gevernor Perry — '* Ktninent Men 
and Statesmen." 




j^. ft^ALPHlN. /' 

Mdp Showing loc&ti<rn d^ BATTLE FIELDS t-r) upper SOU T fi 

CAftOH NA in4. other poiT»ts o^ AtistoMca/ i-ntor-cs-t- . 


— -, — - Staee LiTie. 

Count/ Ltne, 

,v . ~ 1 . 



fecord, that the settlements in the extreme up-country 
did not take to him. We have already shown the spirit 
of patriotism that prevailed in the upper 'or Spartan 
Concessional district when Mr. Drayton and Mr. Ten- 
nant visited that section in 1775. The people of this 
section were still disposed to maintain a stubborn resist- 
ance to Royal authority. Says Ramsay (pap^e 216): "Op- 
position to British Government was not wholly confined 
to the parties commanded by Marion and Sumter. It 
was at no time altogether extinct in the extremities of 
the State." 

Further, it is stated that Colonel Ferguson had under- 
taken to personally visit those disaffected to the Royal 
authority, thus showing that there was still existing in 
the up-country an element true to the cause of Liberty, 
to whom his mission was especially directed. 

Among those who were associated with Major Ferguson 
in the up-country was Major Hanger. He was ordered 
to repair *'to the interior settlements,'' says Draper, 
"and jointly or separately to organize, muster and reg- 
ulate, all volunteer corps and inspect the quantity of 
grain and number of cattle, etc., belonging to the inhabi- 
tants, and report to Coruwallis." He was also ordered 
to administer oaths of fealty, and to thoroughly drill the 
young men fitted for recruits for Cornwallis' diminished 

Nor were these the only powers vested in Ferguson and 
Hanger. Believing the province of South Carolina sub- 
jugated, beyond any question of doubt, and all Royal 
authority having for several years been superseded by 
the newly created government of the province, these 
officers had superadded to their military authority, civil 
powers, and among other things, the right to perform 
the marriage ceremony. 

Major Hanger did not remain with Ferguson very long. 
While he found many that were loyal to his standard, he 
raet with many rebuffs and uncivil receptions on the part 
of many of the ladies of the up-country. To gratify a 


spiteful revenge, he publiuhed what he intended as a slur 
upon their sex. '^In the ba<;k parts of Carolina," says 
the Major, *'you may search for an angel with as much 
chance of finding ono as a parson. There is no such a 
thing — I mean when I was there." But it is said that 
*'the darkest hour is sometime just before daylight." 
While it was admitted that the territory, as we have 
said of South Carolina, was completely subjugated to 
British authority, and the people were at first disposed 
to submit to the powers that be, their minds were 
quickly changed by unlooked-for circumstances. This 
was especially the case in the extreme upper portion of 
the State, where we have hinted that the Whig settle- 
ments were more numerous. The principal cause for 
this revulsion of sentiment was a proclamation which 
was issued, by which British commanders absolved 
prisoners from their parole and restored tliem to the con- 
dition of British subjects in order to compel them to join 
the British army. This raised the mettle in the bosom of 
the Carolinians. General discontent prevailed everywhere. 
Most of the people, since they had lost what they believed 
to be the cause of Literty, desired to remain at least in 
tranquility at their homes, thus conforming themselves to 
the circumstances and submitting to a necessity. If this 
repose had been granted them, they would, in all proba- 
bility, have remained quiet, and perhaps little by little 
would have accustomed themselves to the new order of 
things, and to some extent, would have forgotten the 
past. But this proclamation rekindled their rage and 
they crit'd with one voice, " If we must resume arms, let 
us rather fight for America and our friends than for 
England and strangers." They meant what they said 
and carried the same into execution. Being released 
from their parole, they considered themselves at liberty 
to go wliere they pleased. They determined to venture 
all to serve their cause and many by unfrequented and 
circuituous routes made their way into North Carolina to 
Join the American standard. Of course the greater part 


of the people remained at home determining to protect 
their property until ordered by the British authority to 
take the field. Perhaps this resolution appeared as an ex- 
pediency. They were in dread of persecution by the English 
and a false report was then being industriously circulated 
that Congress had come to the determination to no longer 
dispute with the English about the Southern provinces. 

During all the while that Ferguson wa^ recruiting and 
preparing to retain complete and absolute control of the 
affairs of upper Carolina, both civil and military, 
the gallant spirits of Marion, Sumter, Roebuck and 
others who defied Royal authority, had been all the 
while at work to arouse the Whigs to continued action 
and resistance. Their commands, which had been reduced 
to mere handsful of patriots, began to swell and soon 
they had respectable and well organized commands. 
The hopes of the p)eopltj began to revive, and in small 
bodies they began to rendezvous and arm themselves for 
resistance. In the up-country among recruiting camps 
established were Earle's Ford and Cedar Spring. The 
brave and devoted partisans were soon in a better shape 
for resisting the British and Tory invasion. Before the 
closing of the same 3'ear, 1780, the following battles were 
fought and victories won, viz: Cedar Spring, Thickety 
Fort, Wofford's Iron Works, Earle's Ford, Musgrove's 
*Mill, Blackstocks' Ford and King's Mountain, and in 
January of the following year, Cowp)ens. 

All of these, except King's Mountain, which is less than 
fifty miles from Musgrove's, ?Jttr# fought within the bor- 
ders of the old Spartan district. The writer, in this 
narrative, proposes to treat of each of these sep- 
arately, and to give to them their importance and the 
place they justly deserve to occupy in history, and to 
prove that these battles and victories, insio:niticant as 
they may appear at the present day as compared with 
some of the modern battles, went very far during the 
stormy period of the Revolution, towards deciding the 
destiny of the great American Republic. 




THE general uprising of tlie people in upper South Car- 
oliua during the summer and fall of 1780 set Fer- 
guson and his compeers, the Cunninghams, Fletchall, 
Robinson and Pea'ri^to work to counteract the prominent 
patroit leaders. Among the latter class was Col. John 
Thomas, Sr., of the Fair Forest settlement, whom we 
have already introduced to our readers as among the 
first in the up-country at the breaking out of the Revo- 
lution to arouse the liberty-loving people to a sense of 
their duty. It will be remembered that John Thomas, 
Sr., was the organizer and first colonel of the old Spartan 
Regiment, which participated in the famous "snow cam- 
paign" five years before this period, and also in '* William- 
son's campaign against the Cherokees in 1776." After 
the fall of Charlestown, Colonel Thomas took British pro- 
tection, but by reason of the proclamation already 
referred to as emenating from the British authorities, he 
was again in open hostility to the further progress of 
that authority. Although now quite an old man, he was 
arrested and hurried off with other prisoners to Ninety- 
Six. He was soon followed to this place by his devoted 
wife, who went to administer such comforts as was in her 
power to bestow, and for this purpose she rode nearly 
sixty miles. While at Ninety-Six she overheard a conver- 
sation between some Tory women to the effect that "the 
Loyalists intend tomorrow night to surprise the rebel 
camp at Cedar Spring." Her son. Col. John Thomas, Jr., 
who had succeeded his father to the command of the Spar- 
tan (called by Draper the Fair Forest) regiment, was en- 


camped at that place with about sixty men. Other friends 
and neighbors of Mrs. Thomas were there also. This brave 
heroine, knowing that there was no time to be lost, 
started early on horseback the next morning, and after 
a fatiguing ride, reached Cedar Spring in time to give to 
Colonel Thomas and his men warning of the impending 
danger. This was on the 13th day of July. 

Colonel Thomas, on receiving this information from 
his mother of the intended British attack, lost no time in 
making preparations to meet the same. After a brief 
consultation it was decided to retire a short distance to 
the rear of his camp fires and await the arrival of the 
British force. Among those who belonged to Major 
Thomas' command at this place was Major McJunkin, of 
whom mention will be made later. During the night, as 
anticipated, the British and Tories, about one hun- 
dred and fifty strong, came. They expected to find the 
rebels, as they called them, asleep— but to their utter 
astonishment they found them wide awake. They experi- 
enced a warm reception with a volley of balls from Colo- 
nel Thomas' men. The engagement was short, quick and 
decisive. The enemy soon retreated, leaving several of 
their dead on the battle field. Among the latter wa« a 
Tory, named John White, well known to Major McJunkin. 
This man White, it is said, in the early struggles with the 
Indians, refused to fight for his country, claiming as he 
did to be a non-combatant. The importance of this lit- 
tle engagement, which is known in history as the first 
battle of Cedar Spring, cannot be over estimated, a^ it 
was the first show of resistance to the overpowering 
influence and strength of Ferguson in the up-country. 
The precise spot where it took place is not known, but is 
supposed to be on the rising ground a short distance 
north of Cedar Spring. It was here that Prof. N. F. 
Walker unearthed an old gun barrel, supposed to have 
been used in Revolutionary times. 

It was fortunate that this was a night affair, as it gave 
the enemy no opportunity of judging of the strength 


of Thomas' forces. • It ^ave new life and courage to the 
whigs, who continued to rally to the American standards. 
Some came from other States, amon^ whom was Col. 
Elijah Clarke, of Geor^a, recorded in history by Ramsay 
as the first settler of the present territory of Spartanburg 
County. When Georgia was overrun by the British it 
became unsafe for him and other Whigs to remain 
there. He and his little band determined to cross the 
border line where they knew they would find other 
Whigs who would operate with them in making a stand 
against a common enemy. Others from that State had 
already gone and connected themselves with the com- 
mand of Col. Joseph McDowell in North Carolina. 

Ferguson, in the meanwhile, was moving along wit:h 
renewed energies to counteract the general uprising of the 
Whigs all around him. He was sending detachments in 
every direction and himself marched into Union District, 
with a force of about fifteen hundred men, and encamped 
on the south side of Tyger River, about a half miie below 
Blackstock's Ford. Here he was observed by a cripple 
spy, whose name was Joseph Kerr, who immediately 
reported to Colonel McDowell the extent of his observa- 
tions. This man Kerr was a noted spy during the Revo- 
lution. His Ms. personal statements appear in Hunter's 
Sketches of Western North (^arolina.* From Blackstock's 
Ford, Ferguson passed into a settlement called "Quaker 
Meadows," or "Meadow Woods," and from thence ro 
Sugar Creek, a southern tributary of Fair Forest, where 
the Whigs were numerous. After camping awhile at this 
place and at Fair Forest Shoal and other places, he fln- 
allv located for three weeks at the Dr. John Win- 
smith place, two miles south of Glenn Springs, now 
the home of Mr. Elias Smith. During all this time the 
Tories were scouring the country, plundering and robbing 
the people of cattle, hogs, horses, beds, wearing apparel. 

*See Draper's " King's Mountain," page 234. 


bee gums, grain, vegetables, and everything imaginable, 
even to finger rings which they took from the ladies. 
This only tended to strengthen the American cause. The 
American officers were either paying for the supplies in 
the currency of the country, or else they were giving 
proper vouchers, while Ferguson supported his army by He turned his horses loose in fields of grain that 
happened to be most convenient. He continued the work 
of appr^ending the Whigs, not even excepting those that 
had taken British protection. These he hurried to a dirty 
and loathsome prison at Ninety-Six, where they remained 
for some time, incarcerated and well-nigh dying for 
want of sustenance. Nor could anything else be expected 
of Ferguson with his surroundings. Says Irving, *• Fer- 
guson had a loyal hatred to the Whigs, and to his stand- 
ard flocked many rancorous Tories besides outlaws and 
desperadoes, so that with all his conciliating intentions 
his progress through the ex)untry was attended with 
many exasperating excesses." Says the Hon. Lyman C. 
Draper in his ** King's Mountain and its Heroes" of Fer- 
guson and his men, ''The desperate, the idle, the vindic- 
tive who sought plunder or revenge, as well as the youth- 
ful Loyalists whose zeal or ambition prompted them to 
take up arras, all found a warm reception in the British 
camp; and their progress through the country wa« 
marked with blood and lighted with conflagration." Says 
the same writ-er further, '* The Tories were soon as heartily 
despised by the British officers as by their own country- 
men — the Whigs. But Ferguson was not the man to be 
diverted from his purpose by any acts of treachery or 
inhumanity. He knew that the ** defender of the faith " 
generally gave much more cash and more honors for a 
single year of devoted service in military enterprises than 
for a lifetime sf)ent in such pursuits as exalt and ennoble 
human nature." 

■■■ • • 'm* 



,..,,. >. 


DURING the surainer of 1780 two of the most import- 
ant British outposts in our up-cpuntry were Prince's 
and Thickety Fot-ts. The construction and location of the 
former (Prince's Fort) has been described in a former 
chapter of this work. It was at^tliis time pjarrisoned by 
Tories and Loyalists, under the coinmapd of Colonel Innes, 
who was in command of a regiment called by some writers 
the •* Queen's Rangers," by others the ^* Queea's American 
Regiment." Promment among the officers of this regi- 
ment w^as Major Dunlap, whose character and whose 
career as a soldier will claim further attention. Also 
among the officers of the garrison was Col. Ambrose Mills, 
who commanded the Loyalists at this place. Thickety 
Fort was in command of Col. Patrick Moore. Between 
the forts and other points that were garrisoned, the Brit- 
ish were constantly plying, committing their acts of 
pillage and marauding. 

In striking distance of these forts (Prince and 
Thickety) were two places, Cedar Spring and Cherokee 
Ford, the former already mentioned, where the Whigs 
were concentrating for defence. The command of 
the troops at Cherokee Ford was under Col. Charles Mc- 
Dowell, **who," says Draper, "was then embodying a 
force on the south-western borders of the North Province." 

The retreat of Col. Elijah Clarke, already referred to, 
from Georgia to South Carolina was preceded by a small 
command under Col. John Jones, of Burke County. 


Clarke and bis associates had decided before startinp^ for 
South Carolina, to scatter for a few days to visit their 
families, and then re-unite and take up the line of march. 
On the 11th of July one hundred and forty well-mounted 
and well-armed men met at the appointed place of ren- 
dezvous, and after a quiet crossing at a private ford on 
the Savannah at night, they learned that the British and 
Loyalists were in force in front of them. They considered 
it hazardous to continue their retreat further on account 
of the smallness of their numbers. As they were only an 
independent body of volunteers they could not be forced 
against their inclinations. Colonel Clarke was induced to 
return to Georgia and allow his men to disperse for 
awhile. This retrograde movement, however, was op- 
posed by Colonel Jones, who proposed that if the men 
would follow him he would carry them through the 
woods to North Carolina, where the patriots were rally- 
ing for defence. Thirty-five men volunteered to go with 
him. He was chosen as leader, while John Freeman was 
chosen second in command. Among this party was a 
South Caroh'nian by the name of Benjamin Lawrence, 
who was a superior woodsman and well acquainted with 
the country. He rendered a valuable service as guide on 
this retreat. 

The only account we find of Colonel Jones' retreat from 
Georgia is in Draper's ** King Mountain and its Heroes," 
and in Schenck's " North Carolina." In order to point 
out what appears to be some inaccuracies, the writer will 
quote from the pen of that eminent historian, Draper. Re- 
ferring to the route by which Colonel Jones and his party 
traveled, he said : ** Passing through a disaffected region 
they adroitly palmed themselves off as a Loyalist party, 
engaged in the King's service, and under this guise, they 
were in several instances furnished with pilots and 
directed on their route. 

" When they had passed the head waters of the Saluda, in 
the northeastern part of the present County of Greenville, 
one of the guides informed them that a party of rebels 


had, the preceding nieht, attacked some Loyalists a short 
distance in front and defeated them, doubless the British 
repulse at Cedar Spring, as already related and which 
occurred some twenty-five miles away. Jones expressed a 
wish to be conducted to the camp of these unfortunate 
Loyalist friends that he might aid them in taking revenge 
on those who had shed the blood of the King's faithful 
subjects. About 11 o'clock on that night, July 13th, 
Jones and his little party were conducted to the loyalist 
camp, where some forty men were collected to pursue the 
Americans who ha'd retreated to the North. Choosing 
twenty-two of his followers and leaving the baggage and 
horses in charge of the others. Colonel Jones resolved to 
surprise the Tory camp. Approaching the enemy with 
guns, swords and belt pistols, they found them in a state 
of self-security and generally asleep. Closing quickly 
around them they fired upon the camp, killing one and 
wounding three, when twenty-two, including the wounded, 
called for quarter and surrendered. Destroying the use- 
less guns and selecting the best hor«es, the Loyalists were 
paroled a« prisoners of war, when the pilot, who did not 
discover the real character of the men he was conducting 
until too late to have even attempted to prevent the con- 
sequences, was now required to guide the Americans to 
Earle's Ford, on North Pacolet River, where a junction 
was formed the next day with Colonel McDowell's forces." 
Draper says that Colonel Jones in this retreat crossed 
the head waters of the Saluda. This is a mistake. To 
have crossed the head streams of this river would have 
brought him across the Saluda Mountain, in the vicinity 
of the present town of Saluda, N. C, on the Asheville and 
Spartanburg railroad. Besides, the different prongs of 
the Saluda are in the northwestern and not in the north- 
eastern portion of Greenville County. Draper, doubtless, 
when he referred to the Saluda, meant the Tyger River. 
Tne present road from Tygerville to Gowensville, in Green- 
ville County, passes the head waters of Tyger. There is a 
church on the way called '* Head of Tyger." It is doubt- 



ful whether Colonel Jones passed through any white set- 
tlements until he reached the District of Ninety-Six, now 
Spartanburg County. The country between this and the 
Savannah River had been obtained by treaty from the 
Cherokees only four years before. The Indians were still 
occupying a large portion of it, and it is not likely that 
it was settled so early. 

Draper fails to locate the place where Colonel Jones 
made this night attack on the Loyalists' camp, but the 
writer has good reason to believe that it was at Gowen's 
Old Fort, on the old Blackstock Road, near South Pacolet 
River. We have shown that other forts built in early 
times as a defence against the Indians were at this time 
occupied by the British and Tory forces, and it is reason- 
able to suppose that the same may have been the case as to 
this fort. It was on the line of way between the Savannah 
and Earle's Ford. Draper says that when Jones attacked 
the camp of Loyalists he found them '* in a state o f self- 
security and generally asleep," thus implying that they 
might have been protected by some fortress or enclosure. 
He further says that Cedar Spring was some twenty or 
thirty miles from this place. This would make it the 
more probable that it might have been at Gowen's Fort, as 
the distance from the latter place to Cedar Spring is 
about twenty-five miles. 




FROM researches into our local history, we find but a 
meager account of the little engagement at Earle's 
Ford, which, like the affair at Cedar Spring, occurred in the 
night time. It seems to have been overlooked by all the 
writers of Revolutionary events in our State, and but for 
the careful researches of that eminent historian, Lyman 
C. Draper, who has, to a great extent, reproduced our his- 
tory during the last years of the Revolution, much 
that is now known and understood of this battle would 
have faded away forever, ever in tradition. 

During the year 1867, the writer had for the first time, the 
pleasure of meeting the Venerable William Princeon North 
Pacolet, who died id 1878, at the advanced age of ninety- 
five years. Mr. Prince was a son-in-law of Col. John 
Earle, a soldier of the Revolution, of whom we shall speak 
later. He was well posted in all the local and tradition- 
ary events of his neighborhood. In answer to some in- 
terrogations by the writer, he said: '* There was a fight 
down close to your house,'' and stated further, that some 
of the Hamptons were killed and buried in a burial ground 
on a wooded hill near by, where there are still occasional 
burials. This is all that the writer can recollect of the 
conversation with Mr. Prince about this engagement. A 
few years later when his attention was called- to an article 
in the press giving an account of the murd^i^ and burial 
of the Hamptons, near the Greenville County line (the par- 
ticulars of which are already given) he had come to the 
conclusion, until he had the pleasure of>, reading Draper's 
'* Kings Mountain and Its Heroes," that Mr. Prince was 

We merely mention this to show that outside of Mr. 
Draper's work, a tradition has been handed to us by an 


aged citizen which leaves no doubt as to the certainty 
and place of this battle. The writer has recently made an 
effort to gather up the traditionary information concern- 
ing the battle of Earle's Ford, the most reliable of which 
is embraced in the following letter from Mr. O. P. Earle* 
grandson of Baylis Earle, whose residence was near the 
ford and battle ground : 

Eari,esvii,i,e, S. C, July 4th, 1891. 
Doctor Landrum : 

I do not know just where the battle of Earle's Ford was fought, 
but have understood that the Tories came from the direction of 
Prince's Fort, and crossed Pacolet north of grandfather's house, which 
stood very near my old stable, and after crossing the river turned to 
the right and attacked the Whigs on the ridge east of where the Gibbs 
family now live. Those who were killed in this skirmish were buried 
near by. I suppose all the Whigs were buried there. 

The neighbors came to -grandfather's house on some occasion for 
protection, though Earle's Fort was at Colonel John Earle's, where 
W. L. Prince now lives. After the fight was over, the Tories came back 
to graddfather's house, the Whigs in pursuit, and went in the direction 
of Prince's Fort again. Yours, &c., O. P. EARLE. 

It will be presently shown that this traditionary ac- 
count of Mr. Earle of the fight corresponds very much, as 
far as it goes, with Draper's account, and also with the 
statement of Mr. Prince as to the place where the fight 
occurred, and as to the killed, who were buried near by. 

In a former chapter we have described the location and 
previous history of Prince's Fort, referred to in Mr. 
Earle's letter. The old site is near the Blackstock Road, 
about three-fourths of a mile below Mount Zion Church,' 
and near Gray's Creek, one of the prong-s of North Tyger 
River. Its location is about twenty miles from Earle's 
Ford. It was, as previously stated, in 1780 occupied by a 
British and Tory force under the command of Colonel 

McDowell's camp was on rising ground on the eastern 
side of North Pacolet River, which runs here in a south- 
eastern direction. In order that the reader may better 

♦;Now deceased. 


iiDderstand the precise location of this camp, we wilt state 
that it was on the former plantation, and near the resi- 
dence of the late Rev. John G. Landrum, who resided on 
North Pacolet for several years after the late war. It is 
now the property of his daughter, Mrs. E. E. Bomar. 
The homstead residence was burned down several years 
ago, and another built on the same spot, which is now oc- 
cupied by the Gibbs family, referred to in Mr. Earle's let- 
ter. For two years the writer tramped over the grounds, 
the scenes of other days, entirely unconscious of the sacred 
and hallowed associations that clustered around it. This 
was what Mr, Prince meant when he said that "there was 
a fight down close to your house." 

Innes, unapprised of McDowell's approach on North 
Pacolet, and hearing of the audacious operations of Colo- 
nel Jones, detached Major Dunlap with seventy dragoons, 
and Col. Ambrose Mills with a party of Loyalists to go in 
pursuit and attack him. Dunlap with his command set 
out on their journey. Reaching the vicinity of Earle's 
Ford, on the west side of the stream, during the night, 
Dunlap supposed that he was confronted only by Jones' 
small command on the opposite side of the stream. He 
decided at once to attack it. When he had commenced 
to cross the stream, which was not very wide, the American 
sentinel fled and gave the alarm in camp of the enemy's ap- 
proach. The account in McCall's History of Georgia says 
that he fired his gun. This is denied, however, by James 
Thomson, one of McDowell's men, and is corroborated by 
the complaint of (Colonel Hampton, that if the camp had 
been properly guarded it would not have been surprised. 

Dunlap as soon as he had crossed the river, dashed 
instantly with his dragoons and Tories with drawn 
swords into McDowell's men, while but few of them had 
been aroused out of their sleep. The Georgians were 
nearest to the ford and were the first attacked. They 
lost, two killed and six wounded ; among the latter was 
Colonel Jones, who received eight cuts on the head from 
the enemy's sabres. Freeman, with th<» remainder of the 


Georjjpans, fled back about ooe hundred yards, where he 
was joined by Major Singleton who was forminp^ his men 
behind a fence, while Colonels McDowell and Hampton 
were forming the main body of their men to the right of 
Singleton. Being thus rallied and formed the Americans 
were ordered to advance. Dunlap, discovering his mis- 
take as to numbers, made a hasty retreat across the 
river, which. Draper says, ''was fordable in many places." 
This is unquestionably a mistake. The bottom lands 
here from one side to the other have a stretch of a mile 
at least. These must have been coveied at this time with 
a dense growth of cane and trees. The banks of the 
stream are precipitous and there are today but few ford- 
ings on the stream, and these, with the slightest flush 
from rains become dangerous and uncertain. It is very 
evident, therefore, that Dunlap with his command re- 
crossed the same ford over which he had just crossed to 
attack McDowell. This corresponds with Mr. Earle's 
statement, who says the Tories came back to his grand- 
father's, house which stood near his present residence on 
the west side of the stream, and on the road leading from 
the ford. It may have been that on account of the con- 
dition of the country along the river in front, below and 
above, that Colonel McDowell selected this place to make 
a stand to resist the threatened invasion of North Caro- 
lina by Ferguson, which took place a few months later. 
It will be remembered that he went as far as Gilberttown, 
near Rutherfordton. Besides the casualties sustained by the 
Georgians, six of McDowell's men were killed, and eighteen 
were wounded. Among the former was Moah Hampton, a 
son of Col. Edward Hampton, and also a comrade of his 
whose name was Andrew Dunn. Young Hampton when 
aroused from his sleep was asked his name. He replied 
"Hampton." The very name epraged the Tories, who 
cursed him for a rebel and ran a bayonet through him. 
Young Dunn met with the same cruel treatment. The 
particulars of the killing of these young men have been 
furnished by Ms. communications of Adam, Jonathan 


and James J. Hampton, grandsons of Col. Edward 
Hampton. It is said that Colonel Hampton felt bard 
towards Colonel McDowell for not placing videttes on the 
opposite side of the river to warn the camp of the enemy's 
approach. Colonel McDowell would doubtless have taken 
this precaution, had it not been that he had sent his 
brother, Maj. Joseph McDowell, with a few men to scout 
the country in his front and ascertain where the Tories 
lay. Not returning to camp at nightfall, he naturally 
concluded that everything was all right, that no part of 
the enemy's forces was near him. His men being tired 
and footsore he allowed them to take their repose. It 
appears, however, that Major McDowell in returning lost 
his direction, and while wandering in the night the 
enemy passed him unnoticed, to surprise and attack 
McDowell's camp. 

There is some discrepancy in history as to when this 
battle was fought. Draper and most of the writers of 
Revolutionary history, however, put it down on the night 
of the 15th of July, 1780. Allaire, a British officer in his 
diary, however, appears to refer to it as having taken 
place on the night of the 14th. 

The reader can scarcely conceive the salutary effect of 
this temporary repulse of the British and Tory forces at 
Earle's Ford. This, together with the capture of Fort 
Thickety, which occurred only a short time afterwards, 
the affair at Wofford's iron works, and the success of 
Colonel Jones which we have already mentioned, had a ten- 
dency to revive the desponding hopes of the Whig people 
in the upper portion of South Carolina. These little suc- 
cesses, doubtless, counteracted in a large degree the de- 
pressing effects of Gates disastrous defeat near Camden, 
and other reverses which the American arms were 

Draper says that McDowell's camp near Earle's Ford, 
was "on the eastern side of North Pacolet, in the present 
County of Polk, North Carolina, near the South Carolina 
line." Judge David Schenck in his ''North Carolina," a 


recent work which he h6is published, being a history of 
the invasion of the Carolinians by the British army 
under Lord Cornwallis, 1780-1, notices this engagement 
between McDowell's and Mills' forces and says the junc- 
tion formed between Jones' and McDowell's forces was 
'*at Earle's Ford, on the Pacolet, in what is now Polk 

It will be seen that both of these eminent gentleman 
place this revolutionary spot in North Carolina. This is 
unquestionably a mistake, according to the location 
of the present State line, though, it may have at one time 
been on the North Carolina side. Draper, in his *' King's 
Mountain," (page 16), presents a map of localities in rev- 
olutionary times in the western portion of North and South 
Carolina. On this map the residence of Baylis Earle 
(homestead residence of O. P. Earle, deceased), is placed in 
North Carolina, which is half a mile south of the present 
State line, which at that point runs due east and west. 
According to Draper's map the line between the States at 
this point is northeast and southwest. The same was 
corrected in 1815, (see Sim's history of South Carolina, 
page 328, appendix) on the part ot commissioners from 
North and South Carolina. This change placed the scene 
of the engagement at Earle's Ford, a few hundred yards 
south of the State line and within the limits of the pres- 
ent County of Spartanburg. 





IT will be seen by reference to Mr. Earle's letter in the 
former chapter, that the Tories after the battle of 
Earle's Ford, returned to his grandfather's house and 
went in the direction of Fort Prince. The old road from 
the old Baylis Earle homestead (now O. P. Earle's or 
Earlesville) to Prince's Fort ran in Revolutionory times 
for several miles on the dividing ridge between the rivers 
— North and South Pacolet. It ran near the blue pond, 
which is near and in the rear of the residence of Mr. 
Hampton A.lverson, who lives at the Smith old field place. 
It continued to diverge to the right between the Alverson 
place and the Doctor Compton old place. The old road 
bed can be distinctly traced to the present day. Contin- 
uing: in its course, it crossed South Pacolet near Comp- 
ton's bridge and then ran perhaps with or near the pres- 
ent ridge road by the town of Inman, intersecting 
the old Blackstock Road at the Frank Bush pla<5e, near 
Shiloh Church. We have said before that the Blackstock 
Road ran by Prince's Fort. It was doubtless over this 
road that Dunlap and Mills advanced to, and retreated 
from, Earle's Ford. It is very probable too, from circum- 
stances w^hich we will presently show, that Dunlap and 
his forces remained in the vicinity of Baylis Earle's place 
until the morning after the battle. Draper's account cor- 
roborates the traditionary account of Mr. Earle. He 
says, ''before sunriae the ensuing morning, fifty-two of the 
most astive men, including Freeman and fourteen of his 
party, mounted on the best horses in camp, were. ordered 
to pursue the retreating enemy." This command was 
placed underCol. Edward Hampton. Had the forces of the 


enemy retreated iiumediately after the fight, it would have 
been im possible for Colonel Hampton's command to have 
overtaken them. They must have stopped somewhere to 
rest. The account of Draper says that Colonel Hampton 
*' after a rapid pursuit of two hours overtook the enemy 
fifteen miles away ; and makin^; a sudden and unexpected 
attack, completely routed the enemy, killing eightof them 
at the first fire." 

Some ten years ago the writer, who was engaged in pre- 
paring a series of articles for the county press, took it 
upon himself to visit the home of Mr. Isaac Pollard some 
three miles south olf the present village of Inman. Mr. 
Pollard passed away about three years ago (1889) at 
the advanced age of ninety years. He was was generally 
regarded by his neighbors as the best posted man on the 
local traditions of the countv. He was fond of con vers- 
ing on these matters and repeating what had been told 
to him by the older people who had passed away. The 
purpose of the visit referred to was to interview him in 
reference to the traditions of this little running fight and 
the retreat of Dunlap's men to Fort Prince. Mr. Pollard 
had never seen nor heard of any published account of the 
affair, but what he said corresponded precisely with 
Draper's account, only that he had an impression that 
the enemy's forces were commanded by *' Bloody Bill" 
Cunningham. He said that the enemy was first over- 
taken and attacked nearShiloh Church. This is five miles 
above the site of old Fort Prince, about fifteen miles from 
Earle's Ford. Mr. Pollard said the fight with the enemy 
continued along the road until Fort Prince was reached. 
He said further that several men fell dead at different 
places on the road— one near the John Bush place, one 
on the roadside which ran through his plantation, and 
another at the Lawrence place, near Mount Zion Church. 
He said that the man who was killed near the John Bush 
place lay for several days by a large oak tree, which was 
standing only a few years ago, without being buried. 
The neighbors concluded at last they would dig a hole 


and roll bim in it. Mrs. Bishop, wbose husband was 
killed by the Indians several years before and whose 
children had been stolen from her (the circumstances of 
which we have already given) happened to be passing by. 
Moved to sympathy by the unnatural and inhuman mode 
of burying, she took off her apron and spread it over the 
face of this unfortunate victim. 

Draper says that Dunlap, unable to rally his terrified 
men when attacked by Hampton's men, made a hasty 
and precipitate retreat to Fort Prince, during which sev- 
eral of his soldiers were killed, thus corroborating Mr. 
Pollard's statement. The pursuit of Colonel Hampton's 
forces was continued within three hundred yards of the 
fort, in which three hundred men were posted. Hampton 
did not pursue them any further. By two o'clock in the 
afternoon, he had returned to McDowell's camp, with 
thirtyfive good horses, dragoon equipage and a considera- 
ble portion of the enemy's baggage, as trophies of the 
victory, and all this too, without the loss of a single man. 
Draper says this was a** bold and successful adventure, 
worthy of the heroic leader and his intreped followers." 

Mr. Pollard said to the writer in his conversation about 
this matter that it was a surprise to the neighborhood 
that the Tories in the fort, who were four or five times 
stronger than the attacking party, did not march out to 
meet the advancing Whigs. They were evidently struck 
with the same terror that Dunlap's forces were, who had 
been stampeded for five miles. By reference to Allaire's 
diary too, it is plain to be seen that they were deceived 
as to the number of Hampton's command. Under the 
date of July 15, (the date of the battle of Earle's Ford) 
this officer, after referring to a dinner party at Colonel 
Fletchall's and a visit to his mill, says, ** Returning to 
camp were informed that Captain Dunlap had been 
obliged to retreat from Prince's Fort. Captain Dunlap 
made an attack upon the rebels,* drove them from their 

♦Referring to his attack on McDowell at Earle's Ford. 


ground, took one prisoner, who informed him that the 
rebels were four hundred strong. Upon this information 
Dunlap thought proper to retreat, as his number was 
only fourteen American volunteers- and sixty militia. We 
lost two, killed, a sergeant and a private wounded, and 
one prisoner. The loss of the rebels is uncertain— reports 
are twenty to thirty killed. Upon this news arriving 
Captain DePeyster ordered the American volunteers and 
militia to get in motion to support Dunlap. Capt. Fred- 
erick DePeyster with one hundred militiamen, marched 
twelve miles to McElrain's Oreek where they met Dunlap." 

From the information here contained in the entry of 
Allaire, there is a wide discrepancy in the British and 
American account of Dunlap's strength at Fort Prince, 
and also as to the casualties sustained bv McDowell's men. 

It is very evident that Allaire made the entry in' his 
diary merely upon rumors which had reached him. It is 
likelj'-, however, from the report of the prisoner which 
Allaire says Dunlap captured, who stated *'that the 
rebels were four hundred strong," that Dunlap thought 
McDoweirs whole command was upon him instead of the 
sma.ll detachment under Colonel Hampton. It is not sur- 
prising, therefore, that he beat a hasty retreat from Fort 
Prince, leaving according to the traditionary account of 
Mr. Pollard, his dead along the road unburied. The fol- 
lowing is the entry of Allaire for Sunday, the 16th of 
August: ** Dunlap with the men under his command 
marched down to Stephen White's plantation, where the 
American volunteers and militia lay." 

It will thus be seen that this daring expedition of Col. 
Edward Hampton drove back for a time the British and 
Tory forces, to the happy relief of the people of the sur- 
rounding country. In another place, we will give a sketch 
of the brave and patriotic officer, who, like others we will 
mention, has never received the place he rightly deserved 
to occupy by the writers of the Revolutionary history 
of our country. 




COLONEL McDowell remained encamped at Earle's 
Ford a few days and then changed to Cherokee Ford, 
on Broad River. Seeing that Ferguson's movement to 
the northwestern portion South Carolina threatened 
North Carolina, he dispatched a messenger with the 
alarming intelligence to Cols. John Sevier and Isaac 
Sevier, on Watonga and Holston; then in the western 
portion of North Carolina but now East Tennessee. He 
urged these noted leaders to come at once and bring to 
his aid all the riflemen that they could gather. In the 
meanwhile he continued to recruit his command with vol- 
unteers from the thinly populated settlements on the 
headwaters of the Catawba, the Broad and Pacolet Rivers. 

When the messenger reached Colonel Sevier he felt 
unable to leave the frontier exposed to the inroads of 
the Cherokees. He responded to the appeal, however, by 
sending Maj. Charles Robertson with a part of his com- 
mand. Colonel Shelby it appears was more remote than 
Colonel Sevier, but hastened to McDowell's relief as early 
as possible. He was a few days later than Sevier, but by 
the 25th of July arrived at McDowell's camp, near (-hero- 
kee Ford, with two hundred mounted riflemen. 

It will be remembered that the fact was stated in a 
former chapter that Colonel Jones left Colonel Clarke 
in Georgia. The latter did not remain very long after 
Jones left. While remaining in Georgia he and his com- 
rades had to secrete themselves in the woods aiid be fed 
by friends. When his command reassembled, however, its 


numbers had increased. It was the desire of all that 
Colonel Clarke should lead them to North Carolina. The 
command set out at once, passing alonoj the eastern slope 
of the Blue Ridge Mountains. On the way Colonel Clarke 
was joined by the command of Capt. Joseph McCall, con- 
sisting of about twenty men, and later he was joined by 
Jones' command near Cherokee Ford, but for want of 
confidence in the activity of McDowell, he pushed on and 
joined Colonel Sumter on or near the Catawba. 

These different commands having come together under 
brave partisan leaders, it was impossible for military 
operations to remain still. The next event of importance 
after this union of their forces was the capture of Fort 
Thickety or Anderson, under the command of Capt. Pat- 
rick Moore, a noted Loyalist, who was born within a few 
miles of the present town of Lincolnton, North Carolina. 
He was a son of another noted Loyalist of that region, 
and a brother of Lieutenant-Colonel John Moore of Colonel 
Hampton's North Carolina regiment of Loyalists, whose 
behavior at the battle of Ramsour's Mill on the 20th 
of June, 1780, was fiui»h, that when, after the battle, he 
returned to Cornwallis' camp near Camden, he was 
threatened with court martial for disobedience of orders 
and was treated with disrespect by the British officers, 
which placed him in a disagreeable suspense.* 

It is said that Capt. Patrick Moore escaped from the 
slaughter of the battle of Ramsour's Mill, when his 
brother with a few men retired to Cornwallis' camp. 
Among the Whigs there was a great anxiety to capture 
Moore, whose influence and mischief wa^ damaging the 
American cause. Maj. Joseph Dickson, Capt. William 
Johnson and the veteran William Martin, who had served 
in the French and Indian wars, wer^ sent with a party to 
capture him. On Lawson's fork, near Wofford's old iron 
works (now Glendale), the parties met and a skirmish 
ensued, in which Capts. Johnson and Moore had a per- 

*See Wheeler's History of North Carolina, (I/incoln County), page 231. 


sonal encounter. Moore was finally overpowered and 
captured. It was, however, a desperate contest, in which 
Johnson received several sword wounds in the head, and 
one on the thumb of his riftht hand. While conducting 
his prisoner towards the Whig lines, a short distance 
away, he saw several British troops approaching him. 
He attempted to fire his loaded musket at them, but the 
blood from his bleeding thumb wet his priming. This 
misfortune on his part enabled his prisoner to escape, 
and perceiving his own danger, he fled to a thicket near 
by, thus eluding the grasp of his pursuers. Shortly after- 
wards he joined his command. It was soon after this 
time that Moore had command of Thickety Fort. This 
fort is situated near Goucher Creek, and about two and a 
half miles above the mouth of this water course which 
enters into Thickety Creek, being a western prong of said 
creek, and uniting with it a few miles above its junction, 
with Broad River.* 

It is reported to have been a strong fortress, built a few 
years before as a defense against the Cherokees, and was 
surrounded by strong breast timbers well fitted for a vig- 
orous and successful resistance. Draper states that 
among the spoils taken at King's Mountain was a frag- 
ment of a letter without date or signature, probably a 
dispatch from Ferguson to Cornvvallis, in which this 
account is given of the construction of Thickety Fort. 
** It had an upper line of loop holes and was surrounded 
by a strong abatis, with only a small wicket to enter by. 
It had been put in thorough repair at the request of the 
garrison, which consisted of the neighboring militia that 
had come to the fort, and was defended by eighty men, 
against two or three hundred banditti without cannon, 
and each man ^^as of the opinion that it was impossible 
for the rebels to take it." 

*In a recent conversation v^ith Mr. Edward (Ponipey Ned) Lipscomb, 
be informed tbe writer tbat tbe old site of Thickety Fort was witbin a 
few steps of tbe residence of bis son-in-law, Mr. Ben Bonner. 


It was from Thickety Fort that Moore and his Tory 
associates would sally forth to plunder Whi^ families in 
the surrounding country. Women and children were 
often left without clothint^, shoes, bread, meat and salt. 
We find in Mrs. Ellett's ** Women of the Revolution" 
some particulars recorded of their depredations. Says 
an author, *'In the absence of Capt. Nathaniel Jeffries of 
that region, one of the plundering parties visited his 
house, appropriated such articles as they chose, built a 
fire on the floor, abused Mrs. Jeffries as the meanest of 
all rebels, and drove off the horses and cattle. On 
another occasion, the house of Samuel McJunkin, in 
Union district, a warm patriot, but too old for active 
military service, was visited by a party under Patrick 
Moore. They staid all night, and when about to depart, 
stripped the family of bed clothes and wearing apparel. 
A noted Tory, Bill Haynsworth, seized a bed quilt and 
placed it upon his horse, when McJunkin's sturdy daugh- 
ter Jane snatched it and a struggle ensued for the pos- 
Mession. The soldiers amused themselves by exclainjing, 
"Well done woman I" '* Well done Bill!" For once, 
Moore's gallantry predominated over his love of plunder 
and he swore roundly if Jane could take the quilt from 
Haynsworth she should have it. Presently, in the fierce 
contest. Bill's feet came in contact with some dirty slime 
in the yard and sh'pped from under him, and he lay pros- 
trate and panting on the ground. Jane, quick as 
thought, placed one foot on his breast and wresting the 
quilt from his grasp, retired in triumph, while poor Bill 
sneaked off defeated and crestfallen. This brave woman 
was a sister of Major McJunkin." 

The same author states that the Tories visited the Irish 
settlement on Fair Forest and that Miss Nancy Jackson 
kicked a Tory down the steps as he was descending loaded 
with plunder. 

In Draper's ''King's Mountain," the following story is 
related : Sam Brown, known as Plundering Sam, and 
another whose name was Butler, went to the house of 


Josiab Calbertson, son-in-law of Col. John Thomas, in the 
Fair Forest region, where he mistreated Mrs. Culbertson. 
Her husband coming home at night, was informed of 
Brown's insolence and unbecoming conduct. His temper 
was so aroused that he det/ermined to capture or kill him 
and thus rid the country of a bad man. Selecting a man 
by the name of Charles Holloway, he started at once in 
pursuit. Early next morning they were joined by Wil- 
liam Neel, William McIIhaney and one, Stead man. 

It is stated that these determined men pursued Brown 
some ten miles, and as they were passing the house of Dr. 
Andrew Thomson on Tyger River, they discovered in the 
stables the horses of Brown and Butler. Retracing their 
steps they concealed themselves near the stables. Very 
soon Brown and Butler appeared at the door, when Cul- 
bertson leveled his rifle on him and sent a ball into his 
body which killed him. Holloway, who was near him, fired 
at Butler but missed his aim and Butler made good 
his escape.* 

*Col. T. J. Moore, of Moore, S. C, in a communication to the Caro' 
Una Spartan^ April 7th, 1894, stated that he has investigated and found 
the scene of the murder of Sam Brown. Colonel Moore states that 
the house where Dr. Thomson lived is the present Pinson or ** tin 
roofed" house, now occupied by Mr. Newton Bearden, a mile or two 
from Oats' Shoal ^oing east, and on the road from Walnut Grove to 
Marches' Shoal bridge, in the direction of Woodruff. 

This old historic house is built of hewn logs, has two large rooms 
below, flight of stairs and two rooms above. Long years ago it was 
weatherboarded which preserved the logs. The same floor is in it 
now as was then. The planks are wide and notched down at every 
sleeper to make it level and true. There is a cellar in the middle of 
one room. The nails used were wrought ones. The hewn logs for the 
most part are in a good state of preservation. The old fire place is 
ten feet wide and ten feet thick between the rooms. It is further 
stated in Colonel Moore's article, that the blood of Brown is still on 
the door and floor near it, and that for a long time the hole of the bul- 
let that was shot at Butler and which struck the house was seen, and 
that until the past few years the tree under which Culbertson and his 
friends were concealed was standing. 

Sam Brown's grave is about a mile from the place where he was 
killed, across a branch and near a shoal on the branch, and directly 
between the houses of Mrs. Trail and Belton Steadman. Colonel 
Moore visited the grave, which was pointed out to him by Mr. George 
P. Moore and Mr. Steadman, both of whom were familiar with the 
tradition of the killing of Sam Brown. 


Returning to Moore we will say that the inroads 
of this noted character and his Tory associates, reach- 
ing the ears of Sumter, this officer directed Colonel 
Clarke and his Georgians to gather together such per- 
sons in his camp as resided in that region and desired 
to aid in its protection against the outrages of the 
Tories. Among those who availed themselves of this 
privilege was Capt. William Smith* and his company. 
Arriving at Cherokee Ford, they met Colonel McDowell 
just as he was, with Colonels Shelby, Clarke, Andrew 
Hampton and Major Robinson, of Sevier's regiment, 
organizing a force of six hundred men to surprise and 
capture Thickety Fort not many miles away. They took 
up their line of march about sunset on the evening of the 
25th of July, 1780, and surrounded the fort the next 
morning at daybreak. Colonel Shelby sent in Col. William 
Cocke (afterwards United States Senator from Tennessee), 
to make a peremptory demand for the surrender of the 
garrison. Moore replied that he would defend the place 
to the last extremity. Shelby then drew his lines within 
musket shot of the enemy all around and to avoid what 
appeared to be an unnecessary effusion of blood on both 
sides, made a second demand of Moore to surrender. 
Shelby's gallant ^*six hundred" presented such a formid- 
able array that Moore relented. He doubtless had in his 
mind the recent onslaught against the Tories at Ram- 
sour's Mill. He agreed to surrender the fort on condition 
that the garrison be paroled, not to serve again during 
the war unless exchanged ; which was agreed to very wil- 
lingly on the part of the Americans, as they did not care 
to be encumbered with prisoners. 

Moore surrendered ninety-three Loyalists and one Brit- 
ish Sergeant-Major, who had been sent to this place to 
drill and discipline them. Not a gun was fired. Among 
the trophies of the victory were two hundred standof 

♦William Smith was afterwards one of the early judges for Spartin- 
burg^County, of whom further notice will be made. 


arms, all loaded with ball and buckshot and so arranged 
at the port holes that they could have resisted double 
their number had the besieged party been headed by a 
brave commander such as Ferguson or DePeyster. 

Moore was greatly censured by the British authorities 
in South Carolina for. not defending Thickety Fort. In 
the same fragment of letter already referred to in this 
chapter were these words : *'The officer next in command 
and all the others gave their opinion for defending it, and 
agree in their account that Patrick Moore after propos- 
ing a surrender, acquiesced in their opinion and offered to 
go and signify as much to the rebels, but returned with 
some rebel officers whom he put in possession of the gate 
and place, who were instantly followed by their men, 
to the surprise of the garrison. He plead cowardice I 

Shelby and his men, 'loaded with the spoils of victory, 
returned at once to McDowell's canip near Cherokee Ford. 

Wheeler, in his history of North Carolina, makes a slight 
mention of the capture of Thickety Fort, but does not 
give the date of its capture. The date we have given 
however, (26th day of July, 1780), is doubtless correct. 
According to Allaire's diary it took place on the thirtieth 
of November, 1780, which is a mistake. 





AFTER the capture of Thickety Fort, McDowell con- 
tinued to hold his position near Cherokee Ford, 
which was considered the most formidable that could be 
selected as a base for future operations. His forces num- 
bered about one thousand, including Colonel Clarke's 
command, which it appears, had now shifted from Sum- 
ter's to his cam m and. The command of Ferj^uson 
numbered about eighteen hundred. On account of this 
difference in strength it was the policy of the Americans to 
maintain a strong position and ^'uard against surprise. 

Very soon after the Thickety expedition, Colonel Mc- 
Dowell detached Colonels Shelby, ('larke and William 
Graham, with their forces combined, amounting in all to 
about six hundred mounted men, to watch the move- 
ments of Ferguson's men, and whenever possible, to cut 
off and capture his foraging parties. The general plan, 
it seems, was a change of position by moving down 
Broad River some twenty-five miles to Brown's (-reek, in 
Union county, believing this to be a good position whence 
to watch the movements of the British and Tories. But 
before all the troops could be collected at this point, a 
superior force of the enemy forced them to retire some 
thirty or forty miles to the Fair Forest settlement, within 
the present limits of Spartanburg county. They were 
solid and eager for the onset, which they knew was not 
far off and were now watching their opportunity to gain 
some decided advantage over their enemy, which they 
knew were in large numbers in that quarter. It was 
their policy to establish no permanent camp, but to keep 
moving about here and there. Ferguson, finding that he 
was confronted by these bold Rebels, made several inef- 


fectual efforts to surprise them. But, says Draper, '' Our 
frontier heroes were too watchful to be caught napping." 
Having no fixed canip, Clarke and Shelby were all the 
time on the alert. It was with difficulty that they could 
be located. It was not long before the hostile forces met, 
and their first meeting brings us to the consideration of 
the second engagement near Cedar Spring, known also in 
history as the battle near Wofford's Iron Works. We 
pause here to state that history is so confiicting as to 
the time and place of this little battle, and the several 
traditionary accounts which have been published are so 
inconsistent with the main facts recorded, that it is 
almost impossible, at the present time, to present a 
truthful account of it. After careful examination, 
however, into the confiicting authorities and traditions, 
we give to the reader what we believe to be the most 
trustworthy facts on record. 

The old site of Wofford's Iron Works spoken of in Ram- 
say's history as Bufflngton's, and in Johnson's traditions 
as Burwick's Iron Works, was just above (at the upper 
shoal) of the present manufacturing village of Glendale. 
known in former times as Bivingsville. As this place is 
some three miles to the east of Cedar Spring, the question 
is naturally asked, where did the engagement referred to 
take place? We think we can answer so as to satisfy the 
reader's mind. 

On the Spartanburg, Union and Columbia Railroad, 
four miles below the City of Spartanburg, are the ruins of 
an old station building, on the right passing down the 
road, known in former times as ** Cedar Spring Station." 
In after years a larger structure was built some three or 
four hundred yards below this, on the left. This, at 
present, is known by either the names Glendale or Cedar 
Spring station, being the most convenient point to reach 
either of these places from the railroad. Just north of 
this station building, about one hundred yards or more, 
is a clump of large and stately oaks, standing on a spot 
of ground which gives every appearance of an ancient 


dwelling place and which is known as the old Thomson 
place. Just here, in Kevolutionary times, two roads came 
together. One was the road from Pinckneyville, on 
Broad River, and the other was from North Carolina via 
Cherokee Ford and Wofford's Iron Works. From this 
point the road ran in the direction of Georgia. Leaving 
Cedar Spring about one mile to the left, it ran by the old 
Anthony Foster place, * the late residence of E. H. Bobo, 
Esq., by the home of the late Isham Hurt, by Bethlehem 
Church, Dr. Miller's old place, Capt. David Anderson's, 
Maj. Frank L. Anderson's, and on in the direction of 
Georgia, via Simpsonville, in the lower portion of Green- 
ville county. Like the old Blackstock, this is one of the 
oldest roads in Spartanburg county. It has been known 
in the neighborhood, through which it passes as the *' Old 
Georgia " or " Pinckneyville" road. It was at the cross- 
ing of this old road over Fair Forest, near Mr. Will 
Wood's, where the plantations of the late Capt. A. Cope- 
land and Capt. John Blassingame came together, that 
Clarke and Shelby, on the 7th of August, stopped for re- 
freshment and to encamp for the night if not disturbed. 
This was about two miles west of Cedar Spring. Scouts 
were sent out to make a reconnoisance, who returned 
before day and reported that the enemy were only about 
a half a mile distant. About this time the report of a 
gun was heard in the direction in which the British were 
reported coming. It was afterwards ascertained that 
this gun was fired by one of Dunlap's men, **who," says 
Draper, **felt some compunctions of conscience at the 
idea of surprising: and massacring his countrymen. 

Shelby and Clarke, on receiving this intelligence, de- 
cided to retreat at once. Their route was over the old 
road referred to, in the direction of Wofford's Iron Works. 
Reaching the old Thomson place, the location of which 
has already been described, they formed a line of battle 

* This is the old Anthony Foster brick mansion. This and the Price 
building, on the Tyger (the former residence of Capt. George B Dean) 
are said to be the two oldest brick buildings in Spartanburg County. 


on what they believed to be the most favorable grouDd 
to meet the approaching enemy, who had followed in pur- 
suit. Scarcely had these preliminaries been completed 
when spies came running in and reported that the 
enemy's horses were almost in sight. Very soon they 
came and the action commenced. The enemy's forces 
were strong and consisted partly of colonial dragoons and 
partly of mounted militia. They were headed by the same 
Major Dunlap, whom we have introduced to the reader in 
former chapters of this work. Both sides — ^the Whigs and 
British — were anxious for the fray. The latter being 
over-confident, rushed forward as if victory was al- 
ready assured. Dunlap's mounted riflemen, it is said, 
were in front and at the very first fire of their opponents, 
they recoiled and gave. back. It was with difiiculty that 
their commander could rally them. Having succeeded, 
however, he placed himself atthe head of his dragoons with 
broad swords and led them forward to renew the contest. 
He was followed by the mounted riflemen, who were too 
timid to come in close contact with their opponents. 
Shelby's and Clarke's men stood their ground with firmness 
and were kept busy picking them off as they advanced. Dun- 
lap was, at length, beaten back with considerable loss. In 
** Mills' Statistics" we are informed that he was pursued 
about one mile, but could not be overtaken. About two 
miles from the battle ground, Dunlap met Ferguson with 
his whole force advancing against Shelby and Clarke. This 
compelled the latter to make a hasty retreat in the di- 
rection of Wofford's Iron Works, leaving one or two of 
their wounded behind them who were humanely treated 
by Ferguson when he came up. Not having the time or 
convenience to care for them, he left them where he found 
them. By adroit management, Shelby and Clarke had 
captured about fifty prisoners, mostly British, including 
two officers. Ferguson w^as restless to recapture these, but 
he soon found a stubborn resistance to his further pro- 
gress. The account says that '' the American leaders re- 
tired slowly, forming frequently on the most advanta- 


^ous i4Tound to give battle and so retarditi^ pursuit 
that the prisoners were tinally placed beyond recapture/' 
With the exception of a bold stand for a half hour or 
more at the Thomson old place, where Dunlap's forces 
were repulsed, this engagement was a running fight from 
the point where it commenced to Wofford's Iron Works 
and farther on. For this reason it has been called by some 
writers, the " battle of Cedar 5?pring,"— it being only one 
mile from this to the place where the action commenced— 
and, by other writers, "the battle (or skirmish) at Wof- 
ord'slron Works. Ferguson'sforces continued the pursuit 
to the fording on Pacolet River, three miles northeast of 
Wofford's Iron Works, **just beyond which," says 
Draper, "skirting its northeast border, rises a steep and 
rocky hill fifty or sixty feet high, so steep where the road 
passed up at that day, that the men, in some instances, 
had to help their horses up its diflBcult ascent. Along 
the crest of this hill Shelby and Clark displayed their 
little forces, and when Ferguson and his men came in 
view, evincing a disinclination to pursue any further, the 
patriots from their vantage ground bantered and ridi- 
culed them to their hearts' content. Ferguson having 
maintained the chase for four or five miles, now 
abandoned it with nothing to boast of save his superior 
numbers.'' This was the end of this spirited engagement. 
We have already intimated that we have other accounts of 
the same engagement, differing from those which we have 
presented. Rev. James H. Saye, it is said, spent his life 
of over seventy years gathering up the traditions of the 
country from surviving soldiers of the Revolution. 
These he published about fifty years ago. The battle of 
Cedar Spring is described as " the battle of the peach 
orchard,'^ which he says was " upon a parcel of land ex- 
tending down a hollow which was cleared and planted in 
fruit trees prior to the Revolutionary war." This was 
near and northeast of the Thomson place and along the 
old road leading to Wofford's Iron Works. " In this 
orchard," says Mr. Saye, "the patrol parties met from 


the adverse armies. The party from Danlap's camp were 
in the orchard gathering peaches ; the liberty men fired 
on them and drove them from the place. In turn the 
victors entered the orchard, but the report of their guns 
brought out a strong detachment from the Cedar Spring, 
ad well as a reinforcement from Shelby. The commander 
of the patrol, when he saw the enemy approaching, drew 
up his men under the cover of a fence along the ridge just 
where the old field and woodland now meet, and where the 
traces of an old residence are now visible. Here he 
awaited their approach.'' Mr. Saye further narrates 
other particulars of the engagement which, differing from 
those we have already given, we will not reproduce here. 

Mr. Draper thinks that this tradition, as presented by 
Mr. Saye, may very properly be a supplement to the nar- 
rative just given and that the meeting of the hostile forces 
in the peach orchard was probably but one of the episodes 
of the exploits of that day. Mr. Draper also very prop- 
erly observes, that this account of Mr. Saye is only a local 
tradition, and that local tradition is extremely liable to 
error and confusion, as the actors are sometimes from 
other States and strangers to the neighborhood. 

There are several interesting incidents connected with 
this battle worthy of notice. In an article published by 
Governor Swain, of North Carolina, in the University 
Magazine, in 1861, recently reproduced in Schenck's 
** North Carolina," we find the following in reference to 
Colonel Clarke's conduct at the battle of Cedar Spring : 
'* It was in the severest part of the action that Colonel 
Shelby's attention was arrested by the heroic conduct of 
Colonel Clarke. He often mentioned the circumstance of 
pausing in the midst of the battle to look with astonish- 
ment and admiration at Clarke's fighting." Draper says 
that in the fierce hand to hand contest, which Clarke was 
maintaining in the unequal struggle, he received two 
sabre wounds— one in the back of his neck, and the other 
on his head, his sto3k buckle saving his life ; that he was 
even for a few minutes a prisoner in the hands of two 


stout Britons, but having confidence in his own strength, 
be knocked one of them down while the other fled. Mc- 
Call, in his *' History of Georgia," says that both Colonel 
Clarke and his son were wounded in this action. 

Among the heroes of this battle was Capt. William 
Smith, whose biography will claim further notice. An- 
other was Josiah Culbertson, also a native of Spartan- 
burg county. 

Before Clarke and Shelby left their temporary camp on 
Fair Forest, Josiah Culbertson, who has been described 
as one of the bravest of young men, obtained permission to 
visit his home only two or three miles away. His object 
was to make such observations and gain such information 
as he could in regard to the Igcation, position and 
strength of the enemy. About daylight the next morn- 
ing he rode fearlessly and unconcernedly into the camp he 
had left the evening before, supposing it to be still occu- 
pied by his friends, not knowing that Clarke and Shelby 
had decamped and that Dunlap had taken possession of 
it. Discovering his mistake, he leisurely rode out of camp 
until out of sight and then spurred forward rapidly to give 
Clarke and Shelby notice of the nearness of the enemy.* As 
he passed through the camp he noticed that the dragoons 
were getting their horses in readiness. He knew from 
this and other preparations which were being made by 
the enemy that they were making ready bo renew their 
line of march. He could only guess as to the route 
Shelby and Clarke had taken, and when he overtook 
them, he found them already in line of battle on chosen 
ground ready for the onslaught. 

During the progress of the fight, Culbertson had a per- 
sonal adventure worthy of special notice. ** Meeting a 
dragoon," says Draper, ** some distance from support, 
who imperiously demanded his surrender, the intrepid 
American replied by whipping his rifle to his shoulder and 
felling the haughty Briton from his horse. When the 

AlF . ^^TV^PV^ 

See Johnson*s Traditions, page 423. 


dead were buried the next day, this dragoon was thrown 
into a hole, where he lay, and covered with earth. He 
happened to have some peaches in his pocket at the time, 
from which a peach tree grew and for many years aft^er- 
wards bore successive crops/' It is said, upon the au- 
thority of Prof. N. F. Walker, at Cedar Spring, that t.his 
grave can yet be points out, though the peach tree has 
long since disappeared. This fact was stated to Profes- 
sor Walker by an aged gentleman in the neighborhood, 
who died a few years ago at the advanced age of nearly 
one hundred years and who had, in early life, eaten fruit 
from that tree. 

The second battle of Cedar Spring or of Wofford's Iron 
Works as erroneously called by some writers, wa« fought 
on the 8th day of August, 1780. There are different 
statements a« to the time of day when the engagement 
commenced. Mills places it before day, when it was so 
dark that it was hard to distinguish friend from foe. 
This is a mistake, as we will prove. He doubtless has 
reference to Dunlap's attack on Colonel Thomas' com- 
mand at Cedar Spring one month before, the particulars 
of which we have given in a former chapter and which 
occurred in the night time. McCall states that it occurred 
in the afternoon. Governor Perry in his articles states, 
upon the authority of Capt. William Smith, that it was 
the morning or forepart of the day. This is correct. 
The account which we have given states that Clarke and 
Shelby stopped for refreshment on Fair Forest, where the 
old road referred to crosses that stream, and to encamp 
for the night if not disturbed. In Governor Perry's ar- 
ticle to The Magnolia 1842,* the fact is stated that 
Colonels Clarke and Shelby were alarmed by the firing of 
a gun of one of Dunlap's soldiers already referred to. 
They immediately decamped in the night time and took 
up their line of march to the Thomson place, where morn- 
ing found them. Dunlap, with a detachment from Per- 

* See Johnson's Traditions, page 422. 


guson's command, marched into his encampment and 
remained there until morning, when Culbertson found 
him. It is probable that the fight commenced about 
eight or nine o'clock in the morning and it may have 
been in the afternoon before the skirmishing which occured 
between the Thomson place and the crossing on Pacolet 
ended. The historical accounts which we have before us dif- 
fer as to the numbers on each side in this engagement, and 
also as to the casualties of both. Mills states that Clarke's 
force numbered one hundred and ninety-eight, but does not 
indicate the number of Shelby's and Graham's forces. He 
places Dunlap's advance force as consisting of sixty 
dragoons and one hundred and fifty mounted volunteer 
riflemen, and that his force combined with Ferguson's 
numbered between four and six hundred. He states fur- 
ther that the Americans had four killed and twenty-three 
wounded, all by the broad sword, while Dunlap lost 
twenty-eight of his dragoons and six or seven of his Tory 
volunteers killed, besides several wounded. Shelby in 
'* Haywood's Tennessee," states that Ferguson's full force 
amounted to about two thousand, of which Dunlap's ad- 
vance force consisted of about seven hundred. He places 
the strength of the American forces at six hundred, and 
states that ten or twelve of the latter were killed and 
wounded. He does not give the enemy's loss, but Colo- 
nel Graham states that it was heavy. Governor Perry 
in his writings states that as late as 1842 there were 
seen as many as twenty or more graves of the dead who 
fell in this battle. Dr. Geo. Walker, of Glendale, informs 
the writer that inside of a rough rock wall near the site 
of Wofford's Iron Works are several graves, which tradi- 
tion says, contained the bodies of some of the dead who 
were killed in the skirmish near that place. It is stated 
upon the authority of Maj. A. J. Wells, of Alabama, a 
former resident of Spartanburg county, near Cedar 
Spring, that after the war the widow of a Tory came to 
the ylsbce where the dead were buried and had the bodies 
disinterred, from which she selected the remains of her 


husband, who was six and one-half feet high. She carried 
off the remains for a more decent interment. * In a former 
chapter, in giving an account of the first engagement 
near Cedar Spring on the 12th of July, we stated that 
Mrs. Thomas rode nearly sixty miles from Ninety-Six, 
where her husband was incarcerated to inform her son, 
Col. John Thomas, Jr., that the Loyalists intended to 
attack him the same night. This, in Mills' statistics, has 
been accorded to Mrs. Mary Dillard. In Col. Sara uel 
Hammond's note on the battle of Cedar Spring, he states 
that this lady, about a half hour before day, came in full 
gallop to one of the videttes, who conducted her to Colo- 
nel Clarke, t She told him to be in readiness to fight or 
fly, as the enemy would be upon him, and they were strong. 
It may have been that the intelligence conveyed by this 
ladv aroused Clarke and Shelby in their camp on Fair 
Forest instead of the firing of the gun by the Tory, as 
stated, or else it may have been that after they had re- 
treated from Fair Forest on the night of the 7th of 
August, and had taken their position at the Thomson 
place on the morning of the 8th, that Mrs. Dillard came 
to convey the intelligence ot the near approach of the 
enemy. The account as recorded in history, states that 
soon after Clarke and Shelby formed their line of battle at 
the Thomson place, spies (not scouts) came running in 
and reported that the enemy's horses were almost in 
sight. Hammond states that as soon as Mrs. Dillard de- 

* In January, 1893, the writer was on a visit to Union, S. C, and 
called on his venerable friend, Gen. B. B. Poster, then seventy-five 
years of age. General Poster is a native of Spartanburg county and 
was born at the old Anthony Poster place near Cedar Spring. In referring 
to the battle at the old Thomson place the General stated that he 
heard Mr. John Bagwell say that after the battle referred to, the Tories 
were put in one hole, but so shallow that the wolves scratched them 
out and that he (Bagwell) with his mother and sister, cut brush and 
piled on the graves to prevent any further molestation by the wolves. 

t See Johnson's Traditions, page 507. Colonel Clarke was not in the 
first engagement at Cedar Spring. 


livered her messaoje to Colonel Clark, '* every man was, in 
an instant, up and prepared and the enemy entered our 
camp in full charge." We believe the statement as to 
Mrs. Thomas to be unquestionably correct. As to the 
honor accorded to Mrs. Dillard, we leave the reader to 
form his own conclusion. The point that we make, is, 
that since it has been proven that there were, at different 
times, two engagements near Cedar Spring, it is not im- 
possible that both Mrs. Thomas and Mrs. Dillard per- 
formed the heroic deeds which history has accorded to 

Draper thinks that it was a mistake that Mrs. Dillard 
carried the intelligence to Cedar Spring of the enemy's 
approach, as she lived south of the Enoree, in Laurens 
county, fully thirty miles south-east of Cedar Spring, but 
says that she lived on the route Tarleton pursued when 
on his way to attack Sumter at Blackstocks, on Tyger. 
Tarleton relates that ^* a woman on horseback had 
viewed the line of march from a wood, and by a nearer 
road had given intelligence " to Sumter. This, he says, 
was Mrs. Dillard. 

The writer has been asked if he knew where the Battle of 
Bufflngton was fought. This doubtless has reference to the 
same engagement which we have just narrated. Prof. N. 
F. Walker, of Cedar Spring, informs the writer that he 
has in his possession the old Bufflngton land papers or 
grants which cover a large section around him. It is 
probable that the first owner of Wofford's Iron Works 
was a Bufflngton. Ramsay, in his history of the upper 
country of South Carolina, (see appendix, page 307) says 
that "the first iron works in South Carolina were erected 
by a Mr. Bufflngton, in 1773." These, he says, were de- 
stroyed by the Tories in the Revolutionary war.* 

* Mr. Allen Thomason informed the writer a short time ago, that 
they were destroyed by " Bloody Bill " Cunningham during his raid in 
November, 1781. Mr. Thomason has since died at the advanced age of 
about ninety years. He was well posted on the Revolutionary tradi- 
tions in Spartanburg county. 


The history of the battle of Cedar Spring, or Wofford's 
Iron Works, has been neglected by the writers of Revolu- 
tionary history in South Carolina. Ramsay, Lee's Me- 
moirs and Jobnaon and Greene do not notice it, while 
other writers barely touch upon it. 

The people of Spartanburg county, and all of South 
Carolina, owe adebt of gra.titudeto that eminent historian, 
Lyman C. Draper, for the pains and interest which he has 
devoted to minute details, and to him the writer is in- 
debted in the main for the facts which are here 





IN a few days after the Fair Forest expedition Colonel 
McDowell removed his camp from Cherokee Ford to 
Smith's Ford, which is some seven or eight miles lower 
down on Broad River. This was better perhaps for 
obtaining forage for his horses and supplies for his com- 
mand, and better at the same time for resting his men 
after an active campaign of several weeks. Shelby and 
Clarke, however, were not the men to remain idle. The term 
of enlistment of Shelby's men was about to expire, and it 
was necessary to strike another blow at the enemy before 
they were disbanded to depart for their homes. 

Colonel McDowell was very vigilant to learn the exact 
whereabouts and position of the enemy. By his faithful 
scouts he learned that Ferguson's camp was at Fair For- 
est Shoal, in the Brandon settlement, some twenty-six 
miles from his encampment, and that at Musgrove's Mill, 
on the Enoree River, about forty miles from Smith's 
Ford and some fourteen miles southwest of Ferguson's 
camp, there were about two hundred Loyalists encamped. 
These were stationed on the south side of the stream to 
guard the rocky ford at that place, which was regarded as 
a vulnerable point. To march against and attack these, 
and at the same time escape the notice of Ferguson, was 
an important feat to be accomplished, and the fact that 
it was accomplished, and the brilliancy of the expedition 
and the victory which was won in the battle, will always 
reflect glory upon the hills of Musgrove, and upon the 
names of the heroes who participated in that little strug- 
gle for American Independence. 

There were several reasons why it was preferred to 
attack this force of Loyalists at Musgrove's Mill to Fer- 


guson's forces, which lay between Musgrove's Mill and 
Smith's Ford. In the first place the Loyalists were less 
trained and disciplined than the regular British forces, 
and it would be easier to overcome these than Ferguson's 
forces, which were composed of some good fighting ma- 
terial. In the second place, if this fording on the Enoree 
could be successfully carried the way would be open to 
Ninety-Six, where a British garrison was stationed and 
which might be stormed and captured. It was rumored 
also in McDowell's camp that a military chest was being 
conveyed from Ninety-Six via Musgrove^s Mill to Fergu- 
son's camp, and to intercept and capture this was a mat- 
ter of great importance to the American troops. 

It' appears that the troops which were organized for 
this expedition were volunteers from the camp of Colonel 
McDowell, whose forces, according to different statements, 
amounted to from one to two thousand.* Colonels 
Shelby and Clarke had charge of the expedition. There 
were several officers of distinction who volunteered their 
services on this occasion, and among whom was Colonel 
Williams, whose home was in the region of Ninety-Six. 
Also Capt. James McCall, of Georgia, and Capt. Samuel 
Hammond, from near Ninety-Six. Besides these were 
Colonels Thomas Brandon and Steen and Majs. McJunkin 
and Joseph McDowell, brother of Colonel McDowell ; also 
Capts. David Vancet and Valentine Sevier, the latter with 
a number of riflemen from the valleys of the Watauga 
and Nolachucky. There are different estimates as to the 
number which composed this expedition. Draper says 
that Shelby's command consisted of two hundred adver- 
turous followers. The account in O'Neal's "Annals of 
Newberry " places the number at seven hundred. Judge 

*See Draper's " King's Mountain," page 89 ; also O'Neal's " Annals of 
Newberry," page 320. 

tGrandfather of United States Senatoi Z. B. Vance and Hon. Robert 
B. Vance. 


Scbenck in bis recent work ** North Carolina" refers to 
Governor Swain's article published in the University Mag- 
azine in 1861, which states that the most correct ac- 
count of the expeditions of 1780 is found in the 
*' National Portrait Gallery." From this Judge Scbenck 
copies in full "Col. Isaac Shelby and Col. Charles McDow- 
ell's campaign in 1780.-' This account states that ''Gen- 
eral McDowell, having received information that five or 
six hundred Tories were encamped at Musgrove's Mill, on 
the south side of Enoree, about forty miles distant, again 
detached Colonels Shelby, Clarke and Williams, of South 
Carolina, with about seven hundred horsemen to disperse 
them." Col. Samuel Hammond, an active participant in 
the battle of Musgrove'sMill, gives an interesting account 
of this affair in " Johnson's Traditions." (See page 519). 
Colonel Hammond does not indicate the number in the 
expedition, but alludes to it as "our little band." It is 
very reasonable to suppose from the number of the enemy 
met in battle, and from the fact that this expedition had 
to place itself between Ferguson's command and the 
enemy at Musgrove's Mill, that McDowell would not have 
sent out a weak force to contend with either or both, as 
circumstances might necessitate. 

There is a discrepancy in history as to the precise day 
on which the battle of Musgrove's Mill was fought. Colo- 
nel Hammond intimated that it was fought on the 19th 
of August. He says: "We marched twenty or twenty- 
five miles on the 16th, halted, fed and refreshed for an 
hour, and after dark set out on our march again. In the 
course of the night Colonel Bratton turned off the line of 
march, intending to pass through his own neighborhood 
and to fall in with us before day. This was injudicious in 
every point of view, for it afforded more than a double 
chance to the enemy of gaining intelligence of our approach 
and a probability of our not falling in with them or of 
their aiding us in the affair ; and this proved to be the case, 
for they did not rejoin us until the affair was over. General 
McDowell advanced a few miles, but declined joining the 


enterprise. Our march was silently and skillfully con- 
ducted and we arrived near the post about day." 

Judp;e Schenck fixes the day of the battle of Musgrove's 
Mill on the 19tli of August. The account which he pre- 
sents in his recent work states that **the American com- 
manders took up their line of march from Smith's Ford, 
on the Broad River, just before sun down, on the evening 
of the ISth of August, 1780, continued through the 
woods until dark and then pursued a road, leaving Fer- 
guson's camp about three miles, to the left. They rode 
hard all night, frequently in a gallop, and just at the 
dawn of day about a half mile from the enemy's camp, 
met a strong patrol party. A skirmish ensued and sev- 
eral were killed." Wheeler's ** Historv of North Carolina " 
fixes the time of this battle on the nineteenth of August, 
while Draper places it on the eighteenth. Says this emi- 
nent author: "Secrecy and dispatch were necessary to 
success. A night march was therefore chosen, as less 
likely to be observed and cooler for the horses to travel. 
Shelby and his two hundred adventurous followers left 
camp an hour before sun down on the seventeenth of 
August." The writer is disposed to adhere to the opin- 
ion of Draper, as he states that Colonel Williams with a 
few followers joined McDowell on the sixteenth. 

The expedition when it set out was piloted by William 
Brandon, and the men were well acquainted with 
the countrv and knew the best route to take to effect 
their designs upon the enemy. Says Draper: '*They 
traveled all night through the woods until dark, much of 
the way in a canter, and without making a single stop, 
crossing Gilky's and Thickety creeks, Pacolet, Fair For- 
est and Tyger, with other lesser streams, and passing 
within three or four miles of ^ferguson's camp on the left." 
The American forces reached a point within one mile of 
Musgrove's Mill near the dawn of day. Halting in an 
old Indian field, a party of five or six scouts were sent 
forward to reconnoitre the situation. They crossed the 
mouth of Cedar Shoal Creek, near the Spartanburg and 

^t^ WPEte SOUTH CAfeoLlNA. ISl 

Union County line, just below the mill, and proceeded by 
a by-road up the river as far as Head's Ford, which is 
about a mile above Musgrove's Mill. Here they crossed 
the river and proceeded cautiously until they came in 
sight of the Tory camp. Making such observations as 
they thought necessary, they recrossed the river by 
the same route. When they had reached the top of the 
ridge west of Cedar Shoal Creek, they encountered a 
small Tory patrol which had crossed over Musgrove's 
Ford, above, during their absence, and had thus gained 
their rear. A sharp fight took place in which one of the 
euemv was killed and two wounded. The other two fled 
precipitately to the Tory camp. It is stated in Sckenck's 
work and also in Wheeler's history that while this skir- 
mish was going on a countryman living near by informed 
the American commanders that the enemy had been 
reinforced the evening before with six hundred regular 
troops, under the command of Col. Alexander Innes, 
(called Enines in O'Neal's Annals). This was called the 
Queen's American Regiment from New York. * Draper 
says that the countryman living near by gave intelligence 
of a reinforcement of the enemy the evening before of only 
three hundred, (two hundred men of the provincial regi- 
ments and one hundred Tories). A British writer repre- 
sents Colonel Innes as having command of a detachment 
instead of a regiment, and consisted of a light infantry 
company of the New Jersey volunteers, under Capt. Peter 
Campbell; a company of DeLancey's provincial battalion, 
under Capt. James Kerr, together with about one hun- 
dred mounted men of his own regiment, the South Caro- 
lina Royalists. The garrison which was already sta- 
tioned there consisted for the most part of Tories of that 
region under the command of Col. Daniel Clary, though 
it appears that the garrison was commanded by a Major 

*See Wheeler's "History of North Carolina," page loo. Also 
Schenck's " North Carolina," page 79 , also O'Neal's " Annals of New- 
berry,'* page 321. 


Fraser, whilst it is also stated that Capt. Abraham De- 
Peyster, * of the King's American Regiment, and Capt. 
David Fanning, a noted Loyalist, were there. 

With this strong force confronting Shelby and his asso- 
ciates, they instantly concluded that there was no alter- 
native but to fight. ''Death was before them and de- 
struction was behind them," says Wheeler. Should Fer- 
guson have gotten wind by accident or otherwise of this 
night raid so near his encampment, he doubtless would 
have pounced upon the rear of Shelby and Clarke, and their 
whole command would have been in danger of being cut 
off or captured. They could not, therefore, afford to re- 
main inactive many hours. It was necessary to bring on 
an engagement at once, and in order to do this they re- 
sorted to stratagem. Capt. Shadrack Inman, a brave offi- 
cer from Georgia, who had figured prominently in battling 
with the British and Tories of that State, was selected to 
perform a responsible duty. He had under his command 
twenty-five picked mounted men. His orders were to 
fire upon and provoke the enemy to cross and skirmish 
with them at his discretion and to retire, drawing them if 
possible into a gtjneral engagement with Clarke and 
Shelby's whole command. 

In the meanwhile, Shelby and Clarke had taken position 
on a timbered ridge, a short distance east of Cedar Shoal 
Creek, and only about a half mile from Musgrove's Mill 
and Ford. The horses, says Colonel Hammond, were 
picketed about three hundred yards in the rear beyond 
the hill and placed in charge of sixteen men. The men 
then set to work to improvise a breastwork of logs and 
brush and make the best possible defense. This was ac- 
complished in about thirty minutes. It was semi-circular 
in shape and stretched across the main road leading to the 
ford. The troops being placed in position, Shelby took 
command of the right wing, Clarke the left, while Colonel 
Williams was stationed in the road, in the center, without 

*Second in command to Ferguson at the battle of King's Mountain. 








5 ^^^/ ,\V 





a separate command. A party of about twenty horse- 
men were placed on each flank. Josiah Culbertson had 
command of that on Shelby's right. Colonel Clarke had 
a reserve of about forty men within calling distance. 
Colonel Hammond, who was present, refers to this, giving 
the number on each flank as sixteen instead of twentv, 
and says these were ordered to fire upon the flanks of the 
enemy who might follow Captain Inman as he was 

The stratagem which Inman had himself suggested work- 
ed well. The British infantry seemed elated with their suc- 
cess in driving him before them at the point of the bayo- 
net. Captain Inman only intended to keep up a show of 
fighting and retreating merely to bring the enemy into 
the net which Shelby and Clarke had so adroitly prepared 
for them. Perhaps not more than an hour elapsed from 
the time Captain Inman was sent out with his command 
to skirmish with the enemy's forces on the banks of the 
Enoree before they crossed over to the north side of the 
stream. *^ The sound of their drum and bugle horns soon 
announced their movements," says Governor Swain. The 
pursuit of Inman's command was rapid and in great con- 
fusion, the enemy doubtless believing that the whole 
American force was routed. They came shouting, 
*' Huzza for King George.'^ * Says Draper, " While the 
enemy were yet two hundred yards distant from the 
American breast works, they hastily formed into a line of 
battle; and as they advanced fifty yards nearer they 
opened a heavy fire, pretty generally overshooting their 
antagonists. When trees were convenient the frontiers- 
men made use of them, while others were sheltered behind 
their rudely constructed barrier, and to some extent 
availed themselves also of a fence extending along the 
road. The Americans had been cautioned to reserve their 
fire " till they could see the whites of the Tories' eyes," or 
as another has it, '* till they could distinguish the buttons 

*See CNeal's Annals of Newberry, page 322, 


on their coats" nor even then to discharge their rifles 
until orders were given, when each man was *'to take his 
object sure." These orders were strictly obeyed. Colo- 
nel Hammond says * that Shelby's and Clarke's men 
" were placed in one line in scattered or op)en order and 
were ordered not to fire until the enemy were within fifty 
yards, and also to be governed by a single shot from 
Colonel Shelby ; to be steady and take good aim. They 
came flushed with the hope of an easy victory, in full 
trot." Colonel Hammond further states that the enemv 
advanced in three columns. The regulars, commanded 
by Major Eraser, the militia on the right and left *' ad- 
vancing." Says Colonel Hammond, ''Tbey deployed and 
gave us a flre which was not returned but from our flank- 
ing parties. They then advanced with trailed arms, their 
columns displayed, and were allowed to come within forty 
yards, when the signal was given and their ranks 
thinned." At the flrst flre they recoiled, but the superior- 
ity of their numbers enabled them to continue the 
attack, notwithstanding the Americans had the advant- 
age of the temporary breastwork. A strong force of 
Provincials, led by Colonel Innes and Major Fraser, con- 
centrated on the enemy's left wing and drove the right 
wing, under Shelby, from their breastwork. A desperate 
struggle ensued. Shelby's men contending against great 
odds, were forced to give back. The left and center, how- 
ever, stood their ground. The left wing under Clarke was 
opposed by Tories. This officer, seeing the right 
wing under Shelby forced back, ordered his small reserve 
to march at once to his aid, which proved to be a most 
timely relief . Says Draper, "at this critical moment, as 
Innes was forcing Shelby's right flank, the British leader 
was badly disabled and fell from his charger and was 
carried back, shot it was reported by one of the Watauga 
Volunteers, William Smith, who exultingly exclaimed: 
"I have killed their commander." Shelby rallied his 

*See Johnson's Traditions, page 520. 


men who raised a regular frontier Indian yell and rushed 
furiously upon their enemy, who -were gradually forced 
back before the exasperated riflemen. Culbertson's flank- 
ing party acted a conspicuous part on this occasion." 
The Tories on the enemy's right wing failed to make any 
impression on Clarke's line. Many of their men and sev- 
eral officers were killed. They began to show signs of wav- 
ering when Captain Hawsey, a not-ed leader among them, 
who was trying to re-animate them and retreive the for- 
tunes of the day, was shot down. In the midst of this 
confusion Clarke's men, seeing Shelby's men pressing on the 
right, followed their example. There was a general forward 
march on the T)art of the Americans. The British and 
Tories were now in full retreat, closely pursued by the 
intrepid mountaineers. In the pursuit the brave Captain 
In man was killed while pressing the enemy in a hand-to- 
hand flght. Many of the British and Tories threw down 
their arms and surrendered. In the melee, two Whigs 
seized the bridle bits of Colonel Clary, a noted Tory. He 
extricated himself from his perilous situation by his 
ingenuity and presence of mind, exclaiming: '*D— n you, 
don't vou know vour own officers." He was iustantlv 
released and fled at full speed with the rest of his com- 
rades, who had ceased to offer further resistance. Says a 
writer : " The yells and screeches of the retreating British 
and Tories as they ran through the woods and over the 
the hills to the river, loudly intermingled with the shouts of 
their pursuers, together with the groans of the dying and 
wounded, were terrific and heartrending in the extreme. 
The smoke as well as the din and confusion rose high 
above the exciting scene. The Tories ceased to make any 
I show of defense when half way from the breast works to 

the ford. The retreat then became a perfect rout, and 
now with reckless speed they hastened to the river, 
through which they rushed with the wildest fury, hotly 
pursued by the victorious Americans with sword and 
rifle, killing, wounding and capturing all who came in 
their way.'^ 


The British and Tories before their final rout fought 
bravely. Their dragoons lately raised and poorly discip- 
lined behaved with becoming gallantry, fighting on the 
left under Colonel Innes. They all exhibited more or 
less the training they had received from Ferguson, who 
has already been represented as a superior training 

The British loss in this engagement in proportion to 
their number engaged was heavy. Sixty-three were 
killed, about ninety were wounded and about seventy 
were made prisoners. Many of both the British and 
Tories were shot down as they were retreating pell mell 
across the Enoree at the Rocky Ford. According to the 
best accounts their whole attacking force could not have 
amounted to more than five hundred, of which number 
it will be seen their total loss was not far from two 
hundred and twenty-three. Besides, the notorious Tory 
Captain Hawsey, was killed on their right wing. Sev- 
eral of their offii»ers were killed and wounded on their left 
in the desperate encounter with Shelby's forces. The 
most prominent among their officers wounded besides 
Colonel Innes, who was shot down by Smith, was Major 
Fraser,* who was wounded by Robert Beene, another 
Watauga rifieman. He was seen to reel from his horse. 
Captain Campbell and Lieuts. Camp and William Chew 
were also numbered among their wounded officers. 

The American loss was only four killed, including the 
brave Captain Inman, and eight or nine wounded. Cap- 
tain Inman was killed near the junction of the old and new- 
roads between the battle ridge and Musgrove's Ford, while 
pressing them in a hand-to-hand fight. He received sev- 
eral shots from the Tories, one shot piercing his forehead. 

The firing was continued for sometime after the enemy 
had recrossed the river. While this was going on, Capt. 

*In Colonel Hammond's account in Johnson's Traditions he states 
that Major Fraser with eighty-five others were killed. Draper says he 
was only wounded. 


Sam Moore, a bold and fearless scout, led a sinnll party 
consisting of only ten or twelve, up the river and crossed 
over at Head's Ford. From this place he rushed down 
with such audacity and impetuosity as to impress the 
British and Tories with the idea that the whole American 
forces were swooping down upon their flank. They made 
a precipitate flight in front of Moore, while this gallant 
officer with his little band retraced their steps across the 
river to join their victorious comrades. 

There are some interesting incidents connected with the 
battle of Musgrove's Mill, which we must not fail to no- 
tice. It is related that while the battle was in progress, 
as many as possible of the British and Tories remaining in 
camp, climbed on top of Musgrove's house to witness the 
result. They never doubted for a moment that the 
troops of King George w^ould sweep everything before 
them like an avalanche. When they saw Captain Ihman 
deliver his successive fires near the river and retreat, be- 
ing hotly pursued by their troops, they threw up their 
hats and set up a wild huzza that made the hills around 
them resound with echo and re-echo in commemoration 
of an imaginary victory, l^hey supposed that this little 
force under Inman constituted the entire forces of the 
Americans. Great, however, was their consternation and 
disappointment when they saw their forces driven back 
and routed by the Whig forces, who had been concealed 
behind their breastworks. It is said that about fifty of 
these were paroled prisoners doing duty, contrary to the 
laws of war. Dreading the consequences of a possible 
capture by the Americans, they raised a cry of despair. 
With pale and trembling faces they exclaimed, " We are 
beaten— our men are retreating," and long before the 
British and Tory forces had recrossed the river they had 
repacked their knapsacks and were in post haste for 

It is said that after the British and Tories were fairly 
over the river one of their number, to exhibit his bravado, 
turned his body in an insulting position in derision at 


the Americans. ** Can't you turn that insolent braggart 
over?*' said a Whig ofBcer to Golden Tinsley. **I will 
try," said Tinsley, and with cool and deliberate aim he 
soon brought him down. He was picked up by his com- 
rades and carried a^ay. Another instance of the accur- 
acy of the sharpshooting is mentioned. Thomas Gillespie, 
a Watauga rifleman, shot and killed a Tor^^ across the 
river, whose body was partially exposed from behind a 
tree. Many of the enemy took refuge in the mill, from 
which place a few shots were fired. 

"The battle of Musgrove's Mill," says a writer, ^'was 
one of the hardest ever fought in the country with small 
arms alone; the smoke was' so thick as to hide a man at 
the distance of twenty rods." It was, no doubt, fortunate 
for the Americans that only small arms were used. Had 
Ferguson, who was only about fifteen miles in their rear, 
caught wind of the pealing of cannon, he doubtless would 
have marched with his whole command against the troops 
of Shelby and Clark, who being thus placed between two 
bodies of their enemy, would have found it difficult to ex- 
tricate themselves. Another fortunate circumstance in- 
tervened which was in favor of the Americans, Says a 
writer, a large patroling party which had been down the 
river near Jones' Ford, heard the firing and came dashing 
back at full speed, and while descending the steep hill east 
of the old Musgrove domicile, their bright uniforms and 
flashing blades and scabbards, reflected the rays of the 
morning sun, just rising in its splendor. They reined up 
their panting steeds before Musgrove's — the commanding 
officer eagerly inquiring what was the matter. A hur- 
ried account of the battle, which had terminated so dis- 
asterously some thirty minutes before, w^as given, when 
rising in his stirrups and uttering deep and loud impreca- 
tions, the cavalry commander ordered his men to cross 
the river. They dashed at full speed over the rocky ford, 
splashing the water which, with the resplendent sun-rays, 
produced miniature rainbows about the horses. They 
were too late, for the victorious Americans had retired 


with their prisoners, leaving to the British troopers the 
melancholy duty of conveying their wounded fellows to 
the hospital at Musgrove's." 

Let us now note the movements of the two respective 
armies immediately after the action at Musgrove's Mill. 
As to the movements of the British and Tory forces the 
accounts are conflicting. The Tory leader, David Fan- 
ning * says that after the battle the British retreated a 
mile and a quarter, where they halted for the day and at 
night continued their retreat to Ninety-Six, under the 
command of Captain DePeyster. It is also stated upon 
the authority of a British writer, McKensie, that the 
retreat of the defeated British and Tory forces was con- 
ducted to the south side of the river by Captain Kerr. 
Of this officer, says McCall, the Georgia historian: '* Find- 
ing that resistance would be in vain and without hope of 
success, he ordered a retreat, which was effected for four 
miles." This statement is hardly probable, as Draper 
observes that **the larger portion must have remained, if 
for nothing else, at least to take care of the their 
wounded." It is probable that most of the enemy re- 
mained after the fact had been discovered by the foraging 
party already referred to that the American forces had 
already departed. The command which left under Colo- 
nel DePeyster probably referred to only a part of the 
enemy. It has also been stated that the enemy's forces 
were reinforced at Musgrove's Mill soon after the battle 
at that place by Cruger's forces at Ninety-Six, but of this 
we have no positive information. 

Governor Swain's article in the University Magazine, 
republished by Judge Schenck, states that the Americans, 
after pursuing their enemy across the river, returned to 
their horses and mounted with a determination to proceed 
to Ninety-Six, at that time a weak post, and distant only 
about twenty-five or thirty miles. They could easily 
reach that place before night and were anxious to im- 

*See Draper's "King's Mountain," page 113. 


prove the advantage they had already gaiued. After the 
horses were mounted and Shelby and Clarke were consult- 
ing together, an express, whose name was Francis Jones, 
arrived in great heiste from Colonel McDowell's headquar- 
ters, with a letter written to him by Governor Caswell, * 
informing him of Gates' disastrous defeat near Camden, 
S. C, on the sixteenth. It appears that Caswell had 
shared in this defeat. The letter advised Colonel McDowell 
and all oflBcers commanding detachments to get out of the 
way at once, as they were in danger of being cut off. Mc- 
Dowell sent word that he would move at once in the 
direction of Gilberttown. Governor Caswell's hand- 
writing was fortunately familiar to Colonel Shelby, and 
he at once realized that this was no Tory trick. The 
further advance to Ninety-Six was therefore abandoned. 
Shelby and his associates saw at once the danger they 
were in. They could not retire to McDowell's camp at 
Smith's Ford, for his force was no longer there. Gates' 
army, except that portion which was either killed or cap- 
tured, was scattered. Ferguson was on the flank and 
Cruger in the rear at Ninety-Six, with whatever troops of 
Innes and Fraser that remained. There was but one al- 
ternative and this to take a northwesterly direction and 
thus elude Ferguson. The prisoners were hurriedly 
brought together and distributed one to every three of 
the Americans, who carried them alternately on horse- 
back, the prisoners being required to carry a gun de- 
prived of the flint. In a short time, the whole cavalcade 
was ready to beat a hasty retreat, as it was well under- 
stood that Ferguson, as soon as he was apprised of 
their success, would make a vigorous effort to overtake 
and defeat and recapture the prisoners. 

The writer has been at a loss to understand the 
route by which Shelby and Clarke retreated from Mus- 
grove's Mill. Colonel Hammond says: *'Our retreat 

* At that time Governor of North Carolina. Draper refers to hi m 
as General instead of Governor Caswell. 


was hasty and continued without halting day or night 
to feed or rest for two days and nights." We entered 
North Carolina and passed down towards Charlotte with 
our prisoners. Colonel Shelby left us near Greenville (?) 
and we encamped near Charlotte with a few Continental 
troops, who had escaped Gates' defeat." Draper says 
that this pretended narrative of Hammond in John- 
son's traditions was not relied on by him in his ac- 
count of the affair at Musgroves' Mill. This writer says : 
'*The Whig troopers, encumbered with their prison- 
ers, were hurried rapidly away in a northwesterly 
direction, towards their old encampment. They passed 
over a rough, broken country, crossing the forks of Tyger, 
leaving Ferguson on the right and heading towards their 
own friendly mountains." It is probable that the retreat 
of the Americans was in the direction of Hobbvville and 
from thence in the direction of Moore's, Capt. C. A. 
Barry's and to Capt. David Anderson's Mill. Here this 
little command doubtless fell into the old Georgia road 
(already described) to Wofford's Iron Works, where. 
Draper says, Ferguson attempted to capture the 
prisoners. This route sets out in a northwesterly direc- 
tion and crosses the three branches (South, Middle and 
North) of Tyger River. In Mr. John P. Kennedy's narra- 
tive of ** Horse Shoe Robinson," he states that the course 
of Clarke and Williams, after the engagement at Mus- 
grove's Mill, " lay towards the head waters of Fair Forest 
in the present region of Spartanburg." It may have 
been that the a.rmy of Clarke and Shelby, after crossing 
North Tyger at Anderson's Mill, fell into the old Black- 
stock road, which ran by Prince's Fort, Gowen's Fort, 
the Blockhouse to the mountains. It will be remembered 
that the present Blackstock road runs by Fair Forest 
Station, which, at thin place, is the original road of Rev- 
olutionary times. This is within one mile of Fair Forest 
Creek, which heads on what is known to the older citizens 
as the Herbert Hawkins plantation near the present 
residence of Mr. James Lowe. 


Wearied as the men and horses were from the previous 
night march, with scarcely a particle of food for either, 
Shelby would not permit them to stop while danger 
lurked on the way. Only once or twice were they allowed 
to stop and feed and rest their jaded horses. During the 
active march the men subsisted on peaches and green 
com, which they pulled from the stalks and ate in its raw 
state. It was no doubt well for Shelby and Clarke that 
they adopted this rapid retreat, for as they expected, they 
were hotly pursued by a strong detachment of Ferguson's 
command. Says Draper: "Late in the evening of the 
eighteenth, Ferguson's party reached the spot where the 
Whigs had, less than thirty minutes before, fed their 
weary horses ; but not knowing how long they had been 
gone, and their own detachment being exhausted, they re- 
linquished further pursuit. Not aware of this, the Amer- 
icans kept on their tedious retreat all night, and the fol- 
lowing day, passing the North Tyger • and into the con- 
fines of North Carolina. Sixty miles from the battle 
field and one hundred from Smith's Ford (via Musgrove's 
Mill), from which they had started, these brave heroes 
had marched without making a stop save long enough 
to defeat the enemy at Musgrove's. It was a remarkable 
instance of unflaging endurance, in the heat of a Southern 
summer, encumbered as they were with seventy prisoners. 
No wonder that after forty -eight hours of such excessive 
fatigue, nearly all the oflBcers and soldiers became so ex- 
hausted that their faces and eyes were swollen and 
bloated to that degree that they were scarcely able to see." 

*North Tyger River is made up of two main streams, viz: Jammie's 
Creek and Jordan's Creek. These come together at Benson's (now 
Turner's) Mill. The former heads just above Hannon's Mill, in the 
vicinity of H0II5' Springs, the latter one or two miles above Howell's 
Mill. Both of these streams head south of "New Cut" road, running 
from Shiloh to Gowensville. North and Middle Tyger Rivers come 
together in Captain Anderson's bottoms. So we have an idea as to the 
route of Shelby's men. 


This heroic band, exhausted aud worn out, reached the 
mountains in safety, where they met Colonel McDowell's 
party, considerably reduced in numbers. It was now 
proposed by Colonel Shelby, which seems to have met 
with the approbation of all, that an army be at once 
raised on both sides of the mountains in numbers suflS- 
cient to cope with Ferguson. The officers and privates 
were both consulted, and all agreed ou the propriety and 
feasibility of the uudertaking. It was agreed that the 
over-mountain men should at once return to their homes 
to recruit and strengthen their numbers, as the term of 
their present service had expired. Colonel McDowell in 
the meanwhile, was to remain in front of Ferguson and to 
watch and obtain information of his movements and to 
keep the over-mountain men apprised of them. He sent 
an express to Colonels Cleveland and Herndon, of Wilkes, 
and to Major Winston, of Surry, inviting them to join in 
the expedition soon to be organized against Ferguson. 

Knowing that subsistence for the proposed expedition 
would be an absolute necessitv, he set to work to devise 
the best means to preserve the beef stock of the Whigs of 
the Upper Catawba valleys and coves, which would be an 
object of Ferguson's greed. 

Shelby and Clarke, after their reunion with McDowell's 
command near Gilberttown, now parted company. Colo- 
nel Shelby and Major Robinson, with their Holstein and 
Watauga volunteers, took the trail which led to their 
homes over the Alleghanies. The Musgrove prisoners 
were turned over to Colonel Clarke, who after continuing 
some distance on his route in the direction of Charlotte, 
now concluded to return to Georgia by the mountain 
trails. The prisoners were 'turned over to Colonel Wil- 
liams, who, with Captain Hammond, conducted them 
safely to Hillsboro, N. C. 

Let us now return to the condition of affairs on the 
battle field of Musgrove's. It is said that the scene there 
on the day of and after the battle was one that beggared 
description. "For many miles around," says a writer, 


** every woman and child of the 8uiToundiag country who 
were able to leave their homes visited the battle ground, 
some for plunder, some from curiosity and others for a 
different purpose. It was chiefly a Tory region, the few 
Whigs having retired from motives of personal safety, 
joining Sumter and other popular leaders. The most of 
these visitors were Loyalist families ; and it was int.eresting 
to witness them as well as the few Whig leaders present 
turning over the bodies of the slain, earnestly examining 
their faces to see if they could recognize a father, husband, 
son or brother. Not a few went away with saddened 
hearts and eyes bedewed with tears." 

The British and Torie.^ gathered their wounded and 
carried them to Musgrove's house and Mill which were, 
for a time, turned into hospitals. It is said that the few 
wounded Americans left behind were humanely cared for 
by the British, and especially by the .Musgrove family. 
Among them was a soldier whose name was Miller, shot 
through the body and whose injuries were believed to be 
mortal. A silk handkerchief was drawn through the 
wound to cleanse it. Notwithstanding the British sur- 
geons gave him every needed attention, his parents, who 
resided somewhere in the present County of Laurens em- 
ployed Dr. Ross, an old physician, who gave him his time 
and attention. He fully recovered. 

Captain Inman, who, as before stated, was killed, was 
buried near by. He fell at the base of a Spanish oak that 
stood where the modern road leaves the old Mill road 
and where his grave, only a few years since, was still 
pointed out. It is said that sixteen Tories were buried in 
one grave near the mouth of Cedar Shoal Creek, the par- 
ticular spot long since obliterated and forgotten. Several 
were buried between the battle ground and ford, but a 
short distance from where George Gordon lived some 
forty years ago, which was on the west side of the old 
road, while others were buried in the yard of the late 
Capt. Philmon Waters, midway between the ford and 
battle field, opposite the dogwood spring, while others 


yet were buried in a graveyard just below Musgrove's 

After the lapse of more than a hundred years, it may be 
interesting to the reader to enquire something more into 
the location and situation of Musgrove's Mill and man- 
sion near by, and also into the character and history of 
the propriotor of these premises. Mr. Kennedy, in his tale 
of ^* Horse Shoe Robinson," has given a beautiful and 
romantic description of Musgrove's house and mill. Says 
this writer: "On the banks of the Enoree, in a little nook 
of meadow formed by the bend of the stream which, 
fringed with willows, swept around it almost in a semi- 
circle — the inland border of the meadow being defined by a 
gently rising wall of hills, covered with wood— was seated 
within a few paces of the water a neat little cottage, with 
a group of outbuildings presenting all the conveniences of 
a comfortable farm. The dwelling house itself was shaded 
by a cluster of trees, which had been spared from the 
native forest and within view were several fields of culti- 
vated ground, neatly enclosed with fences. A little lower 
down the stream, and within a short distance of the house, 
partially concealed by the bank, stood a small, low 
browed mill built of wood." 

Mr. Draper says that the man who perpetuated the 
name of the battle, fought near his residence, was Edward 
Musgrove, a native of England. He was one of the 
earliest settlers of upper South Carolina, his home being 
on the south side of Enoree river in Laurens county. 
He bore the title of Major Musgrove, and was said to be 
a man above medium height, of slender form, pre- 
maturely gray, and a man of firmness and decision of 
character. It is further stated of him that he was pos- 
sessed of a fine education and was bred to the law. He 
also possessed fine abilities as a lawyer, and was noted 
for his hospitality and benevolence. He was a useful and 
indispensable man in the community in which he lived, 
giving as he did to his neighbors good legal advice, and 
executing business papers to all who needed them for 


many miles around bim. He bad pa^ssed tbe period of 
active life when the Revolutionary War commenced, and 
was then living with his third wife. He was, says Mr. 
Draper, the father of Mary Mus^ove, ''the renowned 
heroine of Kennedy's popular story of * Horse Shoe Robin- 
son. ' " By reference to Mr. Kennedy's work, however, we 
find the name of the proprietor of Musgroves given as 
Allen instead of Edward Musgrove. The name may have 
been fictitiously assumed by Mr. Kennedy, but we can see 
no reason for this. He is represented by the writer as 
bearing traces of age, though still robust and muscular. 
His head was partially bald, and his whitened locks 
played in the breeze. He is also represented by the same 
writer as being a Presbyt-erian and an humble Christian, 
one who during the trying scenes around him would as- 
semble night after night, his family around the hearth- 
stone and adjusting his eye glasses read from the Book of 
Truth. Then on bended knees he would offer up his peti- 
tion to the Lord of Hosts, to stay the hand of the destroyer 
and let the angel of peace again spread his wing over our 
racked and wearied land, to take from the wicked heart his 
sword and shield and make the righteous man safe beside his 
family hearth ; to shelter the head of the wanderer, and guide 
in safety the hunted fugitive, who flies before the man of 
ivrath ; to comfort the captive in cajjtivity^ and make all hearts 
in this rent and sundered province to know and bless Thy 
mercies forevermore. 

Especially did this venerable saint pray, to give the victory 
to him that hath right to establish the foundations in justice 
and truth, giving liberty of conscience and liberty of law to 
those who know how to use it. 

The history of the battle of Musgrove's Mill would be 
incomplete without an inquiry into history of the princi- 
pal actors on both sides, in this brief but bloody en- 
counter for American liberty. We present only such as 
come within our possession. 



Isaeic Shelby, was a son of the distinguished Gen. Evan 
Shelby,* a native of Wales, whose life and distinguished 
services are recorded in the pages of history. 

Isaac Shelby was born in Maryland on the 11th of 
December, 1750, and was not quite thirty years of age at 
the battle of Musgrove's Mill. Born amid the excitements 
of Indian wars, he received only an ordinary education. 
In 1771, he was engaged in herding and feeding cattle in 
the extensive ranges west of the Alleghanies. The same 
year the Shelby connection moved to the Holston country. 
In 1774, when the Indians became troublesome, he was 
commissioned as a lieutenant and served with distinction 
under his father, being second in command of his father's 
company in the celebrated battle at the mouth of the 
Kenhawa, October 10, 1774, on the Ohio River— the most 
severe and sanguinary conflict ever maintained with the 
northwestern Indians, called the Shawnees. The action 
was from sun rise to sun set, with varied success, but 
finally ending in the abandoning of the ground by the 
celebrated chief Corn Stalk, who commanded the Indians. 
Point Pleasant was then made a garrison, where he re- 

*During the month of June of the present year (1891), the writer 
while on his way to the commencement exercises at Glade Spring, Va., 
where his children iwere in school, had the pleasure of meeting on 
the train between Morristown and Bristol, Judge R. R. Butler, ex-Con- 
gressman from Bast Tennessee District, who stated in the con- 
versation that General Shelby was buried in the country where the 
City of Bristol was afterwards located. His grave, covered with a 
rough iron slab, being in the middle of one of the main thorough- 
fares, it was decided after many years to remove the remains to the 
cemetery near by. When the grave was opened nothing was found 
except a few teeth, cofl&n nails, and a few metal buttons. The writer 
having a few hours in Bristol, visited the cemetery and found this old 
iron slab almost covered up, wedged between other graves. Up to 
this time he was under the impression he was visiting the grave of 
Isaac instead of Evan Shelby, whose grave it really was. The follow- 
ing was the inscriptipi^ i^ fai^^d letters: "General Kvan Shelby» 
born 1720, died 1794.*' 


mained in service until July, 1775, when Governor Dun- 
more ordered its disbandonment lest the troops might 
become obedient to the Whig authorities. 

He was, after this, employed as surveyor, under Judge 
Henderson's company and resided in the wilderness of 
Kentucky, which was at this time, a dark and bloody 
ground. Being exposed to dangers, privations and dif- 
ficulties for nearly a year without bread or salt, his health 
gave way and he returned home During his absence in 
July 1776, he had been appointed Captain of a minute 
company, by the committee of safety in Virginia. 

In 1777, Patrick Henry, then Governor of Virginia, ap- 
pointed him commissary of supplies for an extensive body 
of troops to guard the frontiers, and also the commissioners 
who had been appointed to form a treaty at Long 
Island of the Holsnon River, with Cherokees. In 1778, he 
was a member of the Virginia Legislature from Washing- 
ton county, and was appointed by Thomas Jefferson, 
then Governor of Virginia, a major in the escort of 
guards to the commissioners for extending the line be- 
tween Virginia and North Carolina. By this line of 
division, he was found to be in North Carolina (now 
Tennessee) and was appointed by Richard Caswell, then 
Governor of North Carolina, Colonel in Sullivan county. 

We have already stated, in a former chapter, that he 
was, in the summer of 1780, engaged in Kentucky, sur- 
veying, locating and securing the lands which he had 
previously marked, when news of the disastrous 
surrender of Charlestown reached him. This intelligence 
roused his daring spirit. He immediately returned home, 
determined to enter the service of his bleeding country, and 
never to leave it until her liberty and independence was 
secured. On his return home to Sullivan county, he found, 
as we have already stated, a requisition from Col. Charles 
McDowell to furnish all the aid in his power to check the 
enemy who had conquered South Carolina and Georgia, 
and who now, flushed with success, had entered North 
Carolina. He immediately called up all the militia in 


Sullivan and in a few days crossed the Alleghany at 
the head of three hundred mounted riflemen. He reported 
to Colonel McDowell at his camp at Cherokee Ford (three 
miles east of Gaffney City) on the 25th of July, 1780. 
He led in the expeditions against Thickety fort, Cedar 
Spring or Wofford's Iron Works and Musgrove's Mill, 
and the conspicuous part which he performed in these 
engagements have already been minutely detailed. 

The culminating point of his success and glory as a 
warrior, however, was at the battle of King's Mountain, 
which was one of the most brilliant achievements of the 
Revolution. Here he is numbered as among the most 
prominent of the heroes of that engagement, a fact so 
well known that we will not comment on him here. Soon 
after this, the Legislature of North Carolina voted a 
splendid sword and their thanks to Colonel Shelby. 

In 1781 Colonel Shelby served under General Marion. 
He with Colonel Mayhew were ordered to take a British 
post at Fair Lawn, near Monks Corner, under the com- 
mand of General Stuart. On attacking this post it 
surrendered with one hundred and fifty prisoners. Immed- 
iately after this the whole British force retreated to Char- 
lestown. Colonel Shelby soon after this .obtained leave of 
absence from Marion to attend the session of the North 
Carolina Legislature, of which he was a member from Sul- 
livan county. In 1782 he was again a member and was 
appointed a commissioner to settle the pre-emption claims 
upon the Cumberland, and lay off land to the officers and 
soldiers south of where Nashville now stands. He per- 
formed this duty well, and, the war being now over, he 
returned to Boonesboro, where he married a Miss Susanna 
Hart. After the war he devoted himself to his farm, on 
the first pre-emption and settlement granted in Kentucky. 

He was a member of the convention in Kentucky to 
obtaiu a separation of that State from Virginia; was 
a member of the convention that framed the Constitution 
of that state ; was elected the first Governor of Ken- 
tucky and served four years, proving to be a model chief 


magistrate of that State. He was three times chosen 
Presidential elector and supported Thomas Jefferson for 

When the second war with England in 1812, burst upon 
the country, Shelby was again chosen Governor of Ken- 
tucky. Though now sixty-thret^ years of age, his spirit 
was not calmed by the frosts of age. By request of the 
Legislature, he w as placed at the head of four thousand 
men and marched under General Harrison in 1813 to 
Canada, closing with the victory of the Thames. For 
this patriotic service. Congress in 1817 voted him 
a gold medal. 

The revival of the war spirit in 1812 reminded North 
Carolina of her ancient pledge of a sword to Shelby. This 
was presented to him in 1813. 

In 1817, President Monroe called him to the Depart- 
ment of War, but on account of his advanced age he de- 
clined this honor. 

In 1818 he was appointed by the President with Gen- 
eral Jackson to form a treaty with the Chickasaw Indians, 
by which they ceded their lands west of the Tennessee 
River. This was his last public service. He was stricken 
with paralysis in 1820, but his mind remained unim- 
paired until July 18, 1826, when he was again stricken 
with paralysis sitting in his chair, with only his venerable 
companion present. Thus this hero of many wars passed 
away, at the advanced age of seventy-six years. 

Such is the record of Isaac Shelby, the hero of Mus- 
grove's Mill, fought on the soil of Spartanburg County. 
Let his name and character be preserved in the region 
that witnessed his patriotism and valor. 


^^ James Williams, son of Daniel and Unsala Williams, 
natives of Wales, was born near Old Fork Church, 
Hanover County, Virginia, in November, 1740." His 
education was limited, his parents dying early. In early 
life he migrated to Granville county. North Carolina, 


where his brother, Col. John Williams, a distioguished 
jurist, was residiog." He married a Miss Clarke in 3762, 
and ten years later settled on Little River in Laurens 
county, where up to the beginning of the Revolution, he 
was engaged in the vocations of farmer, miller, and 

Taking sides with the colonies in the dispute with the 
mother country, he was, in 1775, chosen a representative 
to the Provincial Congress from the section of country 
between Broad and Saluda Rivers. Soon afterwards 
he was appointed one of the local committee of safety, 
and in the famous Snow Campaign, served as captain. 
In 1776, he was made lieutenant Colonel and served this 
year in Williamson's campaign against the Cherokees, and 
wa« engaged for awhile in guarding prisoners at Ninety- 
Six. In 1780 he served under Sumter as commissary in 
his expeditions against Rocky Mount and Hanging Rock. 
Afterwards he rejoined, as we have already stated, the ex- 
pedition against Musgrove's and commanded the center 
which stood firm in this battle. Soon aft^er this he w£is 
commissioned a Brigadier General by Governor Rutledge, 
but because this commission did not eminate from Con- 
gress, his authority was not recognized by Sumter and 
others. This did not deter him from his duty, however. 
His eventful and useful life was closed at the battle of 
King's Mountain, receiving there a mortal wound, of 
which he died the next day. 

Thus perished this gallant patriot and hero. While 
possessing some miner faults, he was, says Bancroft, " A 
man of exalted character, of a career brief but glorious." 

The biography of Col. Elijah Clarke, another of the 
heroes of Musgrove's, is reserved for another place in this 

We regret that we are unable to gather any informa- 
tion as to the early life of Capt. Shadrack Inman. He 
was a Georgian, probably a member of Colonel Clarke's 


command and had figured prominently in battling with 
the British and Tories of that State at Savannah and 
other points. 


Colonel Innes was a Scotchman, a protege of Alexander 
Cameron, the British agent among the Cherokees. Came- 
ron, of whom we have spoken in former chapters, was also 
a Scotchman. Innes was an assistant in the commissary 
department at the Long Island of the Holston, at one 
time, but returned to Cameron in the Cherokee Nation in 
the fall of 1777. He received his commission as Colonel of 
the South Carolina Royalists, January 20, 1780. In 1782, 
he was made Inspector General of the Loyalists forces. 
After the Revolution he was retired on half pay. 

Colonel Clary, who was in command of the Tories at 
Musgrove's before he was reinforced by Colonel Innes' 
command, was a prominent citi'/en of Ninety -Six District ; 
and surviving the war remained in the same section. It 
is said of him, that notwithstanding he sided with the 
Tories, he was greatly respected. He was, with the ex- 
ception of the error referred to, a good citizen, and left be- 
hind him a line of worthy descendants, living mostly in 
Edgefield county. 




IT WAS a dark and doleful period for South Carolina, 
•after the disaiStrous defeat of General Gates near Cam- 
den and Sumter's disaster at Fishing Creek, August 18, 
1781. The latter engagement was an offset to the Ameri- 
can victory at Musgrove's, which occurred on the same 
day. McDowell, Shelby, Clarke and Williams, had now re- 
tired to the back parts of North Carolina. The term of 
enlistment of nearly all of McDowell's men had expired. 
This officer retired to the mountain regions of Burke and 
Rutherford counties, with his force dwindled down to 
about two hundred. The province of South Carolina was 
apparently subjugated. The British flag floated in tri- 
umph over Charlestown and Savannah. The troops of 
Cornwallis, with all pomp and circumstance, advanced 
from Camden to Charlotte. *' Like a mastiff fed on meat 
and blood," Cornwallis, on account of his success at Cam- 
den, was all the more fierce for further strife and carnage. 
Two days after Gates' defeat he wrote to Cruger at Nine- 
ty-six as follows : '^I have given orders that all the in- 
habitants of this province, who had not submitted and 
who had taken part in this revolt, should be punished 
with the greatest rigor ; that they should be imprisoned 
and their whole property taken from them and destroyed. 
I have likewise directed that compensation should be 
made out of their effects to the persons who have been 


plundered and oppressed by them. I have ordered in the 
most positive manner, that every militia man who had 
borne arms with us and had afterwards joined the enemy, 
should he immediately hanged, I have now, sir, only to de- 
sire that you will take the most vigorous measures to 
extinguish the rebellion in the district in which you com- 
mand, and that you will obey in the strictest manner, the 
directions I have given in this letter, relative to the treat- 
ment of the country." 

It is unnecessary to state that these sanguinary orders 
were most faithfully carried out by Tarleton, Bawdon, 
Balfour and Brown, which only demonstrated their fitness 
to enact scenes too black, bloody and heart rending 
to claim space in this work. 

In a former chapter it is stated that Shelby, after 
his retreat from Musgrove's and just before leaving 
McDowell's camp to visit his home for a short time, pro- 
posed that an army be raised on both sides of the moun- 
tains* in numbers sufficient to cope with Ferguson. It 
was true that the sky was gloomy, but the darkest hour 
is sometimes just before dawn. From the scattered whig 
settlements in the old Spartan District, from the fast- 
nesses of th** mountains, from the valleys of the Holston, 
Watauga and (^latawba, a storm was gathering which 
was soon to descend in all its fury upon the heads of the 
enemies of our country. It was no small matter in that 
day to oppose and confront the authority of Great 
Britain, the mightiest monarchy on the face of the globe, 
one on whose dominions the sun never sets, and from 
whom men and means could still be collected to prosecute 
the war in America. 

Notwithstanding these facts glaring them in the face, 
the brave spirits of our country did not despair. Like 
Warsaw's ** last champion " stood the stalwart soldiers 
of that day. 

*See Draper's " King's Mountain/' page ii8. 


"Oh Heaven!" they said, **Our bleeding Country save! 
Is there no hand on high to shield the brave? 
What though destruction sweep these lovely plains? 
Rise fellowmen ! Our country yet remains ; 
By that dread name — we waive the sword on high, 
And swear for her to live — for her to die."* 

Let US now brief! j notice the movements of the enemy, 
immediately after the retirement of McDowell, Shelby, 

Clarke and Williams to North Carolina. It has already 


been stated that the terra of enlistment of the different 
commands under these officers had, for the most part, ex- 
pired. McDowell, Shelby, Clarke and Williams, having 
now retired, as we have said, most of their men had re- 
turned to their homes, many of whom lived in Washing- 
ton and Sullivan counties in North Carolina, now East 

Thus was Ferguson left for a short time the undisputed 
master of the country. He improved every moment of 
his time. "He marched,'' says Judge Schenck, *Mnto 
Union District on the Tyger river, and thence northward 
through Spartanburg district to the ' Quaker's Meadows,' 
in Burke county North Corolina, the home of Col. Charles 
McDowell. The Tories as they went, plundered the citizens 
of cattle, horses, beds, wearing apparel; even wresting 
rings from the fingers of ladies, nntil they were heartily 
despised by the British officers as well as their own 
countrymen who were contending for liberty." Says 
Draper: ** The desperate, the idle, the vindictive,* who 
sought plunder or revenge * * * all found a warm re- 
ception in the British camp and their progress through 
the country was marked with blood and lighted with con- 

Ferguson following in the direction of McDowell, Clarke, 
Shelby and Williams, encamped for awhile at Gilberttown, 
three miles north of the present village of Rutherford ton. 
Here he issued a proclamation calling upon the citizens to 
flock to his standard. His bold display of Royal au- 

♦Cambell's Pleasures of Hope. 


thority intimidated many, a^s all hope seemed to be gone.. 
The only remaining continental army (under Gates) had 
been routed and put to flight, and there seemed to be no 
alternative but for the Whig families to seek British pro- 
tection in order that they might save their cattle and other 
property. In the midst of these trying times honor is due 
to Col. Charles McDowell because he was the first, with a 
mere handful of men, to confront the authority of Fergu- 
son who was ravaging the country with impunity. Fer- 
guson with a detachment marched against him. To his 
surprise he found him ambuscaded at Bedford Hill, three 
miles southwest of Brindletown, North Carolina, near 
Cowen's ford, a crossing on Cane Creek. While the British 
were crossing this ford, the Whigs fired upon them, 
severely wounding Major Dunlap, whom we have before 
mentioned and who was a favorite of Furguson and one 
of the most energetic oflScers belonging to his corps. 
Several were killed in this engagement and Ferguson, it is 
said, was forced to retire to Gilberttown to save his own 

" McDowell being unable,'' says Judge Schenck ^^ to re- 
sist the large British force now in North Carolina re- 
treated across the Blue Ridge to the * Watauga settle- 
ment,' then the homes of Sevier and Shelby." He in. 
formed the latter of the desolation that followed the 
track of Ferguson and urged them to join the mountain 
men on the other side, to resist further invasion. Fer- 
guson continued his headquarters at Gilberttown. 

Major Dunlap, who was wounded at the engagement re- 
ferred to, was on crutches at the house of William Gilbert, 
a Loyalist. He is described as being the most hardened 
of all the Tory leaders, and Johnson in his " Life of 
Greene, " says '^ he rendered himself infamous by his bar- 
barities." Draper relates numerous instances of his op- 
pression and cruelty while at Gilberttown and thus de- 
scribes an attempt on Dunlap's life : ** When Ferguson 
suddenly left Gilberttown on the approach of the over- 
mountain men, Dunlap was left behind. The avenger of 


blood was nigh. Two or three men from Spartanburg 
rode to the door of the Gilbert house, when the leader, 
Captain Gillespie, asked Mrs. Gilbert if Major Dunlap was 
not up stairs. She frankly replied that he was, supposing 
the party were Loyalists and had some important com- 
munication for him. They soon apprised her of their 
character and mission, for they declared that he had been 
instrumental in putting some of their friends to death 
and, moreover, had abducted the beautiful Mary McRea, 
the affianced of Captain Gillespie, and because she would 
not encourage his amorous advances, had kept her in con- 
finement, trusting that she would, in time yield to his 
wishes; but death came to her relief; she died of a 
broken heart. They had now come for revenge, Gillespie 
particularly uttering his imprecations on the head of the 
cruel destroyer of all his earthly hopes. So saying they 
mounted the stairs. Gillespie abruptly appoached Dun- 
lap as he lay in bed, with the inquiry, " Where is Mary 
McRea?" ** In heaven," was the reply. Whereupon the 
injured Captain shot Dunlap through the body, and 
quickly mounting their horses, Gillespie and his associates, 
bounded away to their Spartanburg homes." * 

The impression has lived in tradition that Dunlap was 
killed outright by Gillespie, and was buried three hundred 
yards south of the Gilbert house, where a grave is still 
seen with a granite rock at the head and foot, and which 
is pointed out as his grave. 

This information was obtained from Maj. James Hoi. 

*The old Gilbcrttown house, afterwards the property of the Hamp- 
ton family, stood for nearly a hundred years after the Revolution. 
The stain of Dunlap's blood was discernible on the floor as long as it 
stood and was always pointed out to visitors. It is said that the early 
courts of the county were held in this ancient building, and when 
about to fall from age, it was taken down by its present owner, J. A. 
Forney, Esq. During the summer of 1892, the writer was on a pleas- 
ure excursion with a party to Rutherford ton. While there he had occa- 
sion to drive over to the old historic place — Gilberttown. On return- 
ing to the city he received a polite letter from Mrs. Forney (Mr. For- 
ney being away) accompanied by a piece of the blood stained plank 


land, a Coap^ressman from North Carolina from 1795 to 
1797, who lived at Gilberttown for many years. The same 
information was conveyed to Draper by Ms. letters of 
Adam, James J. and Jonathan Hampton, sons of the 
patriot Jonathan Hampton, Br., and also from the late 
M. O. Diekerson, Esq., W. L. and Dr. T. B. Twitty and 

It appears, however, that Dunlap was not killed by 
Gillespie, and when shot, he was either left unconscious 
or feigned death, and for his safety was reported dead 
and buried near by, this report being circulated by his 
friends. As soon as he was able to travel he was con- 
veyed to Ninety-Six, and in March 1781, he had sufficiently 
recovered for active service. He was sent on a foraging 
expedition, when he renewed his former habits of plunder- 
ing and marauding. General Pickens hearing of this, de- 
tached Colonel Clarke and Major McCall to attack him. 
These ofl3cers came up with him on the 24th of March, en- 
camped on Little River, some tw^^o miles from 
Ninety-Six. Dispatching a party to secure a bridge over 
which Dunlap would have to pass, the main body ad- 
vanced and took him by surprise. He sought shelter with 
his men at Beattie's Mill near by, in some outhouses, but 
these were too open for protection against riflemen. Dun- 

referred to. Mrs. Forney has since " crossed over the river," but her 
letter and relic will be sacredly preserved as mementoes of her kind- 

The writer, however, has grave doubts as to the name of the affi- 
anced of Gillespie being Jane McCrea. The " Story of Jane McCrea," 
is a familiar one to every reader of Revolutionary history. While 
Gates and Burgoyne were confronting each other near Saratoga, Jane 
McCrea a young, beautiful and amiable lady, a daughter of a Royalist, 
but living inside of the American lines, became engaged to a British 
ofl&cer, who (»ffered to two Indians a ransom to bring her through the 
opposing lines, his purpose being to marry her. The Indians suc- 
ceeded in coaxing her from her home, but on the way fell out as to who 
should be the first to deliver her. The quariel resulted in splitting her 
head with a tomahawk. This circumstance led to angry correspond- 
ence between Generals Gates rnd Burgoyne. 


lap resisted for several hours, until thirty-four of his men 
were killed and wounded, himself among the latter. A 
flag of truce was finally hung out, else all, in all proba- 
bility would have been either killed or wounded. This 
was the end of Dunlap. He died of his wounds the ensuing 
night. The prisoners were sent to the Watauga settle- 
ment in East Tennessee for safe keeping.* 

I5ut let us return to Gilberttown. It is said that while 
Ferguson was encamped here, he found a case of small- 
pox developing itself. This must have been a mild attack 
however, as he was not encamped at this plsbce more than 
thirty or forty days, which was between the time of the 
battles of Musgrove's Mill and King's Mountain, fought 
respectively August 18th and October 7th, 1780. Says 
Draper, " It was one of his oflScers who was left in a de- 
serted house taking, his favorite charger with him. And 
there the poor fellow died in this lonely situation ; and it 
is said his neglected horse lingered around till be, at 
length, died also. It was a long time before any of the 
country people would venture to visit this solitary pest 

"And there lay the rider distorted and pale, 
With dew on his brow and the rust on his mail." 

* See Draper, 163. 




THE question may be asked by the reader why was it 
that Ferguson remained encamped so long at Gilbert- 
town when confronted by little or no force in any direction. 
Being thoroughly posted on the situation of affairs south 
of him, by Cruger at Ninety-Six and Cornwallis at Char- 
lotte, he little dreamed of the storm that was gathering 
north and west across the mountains, and of his impend- 
ing danger. He had furloughed a large number of his 
Tory followers to visit their homes on promise to return 
to him at the shortest notice. His tarrying so long at 
Gilberttowu had its meaning. He had hopes of intercept- 
ing Colonel Clarke, who had laid seigeto Augusta, Georgia, 
from the 14th to the 16th of September, and would have 
succeeded completely in his undertaking had not Colonel 
Cruger arrived with a relief force from Ninety-Six, thus 
compelling Clarke to make his way northward along the 
eastern base of the mountains. The route over which 
Ferguson expected to meet and encounter Clarke was 
doubtless along or near the public dirt road running from 
Greenville to Rutherfordton via Gowensville, Landrum, 
O. P. Earle's (the old Baylis Earle place) and Sandy 
Plains in Polk County, North Carolina. The remnant 
of Clarke's command was small. In the pursuit that fol- 


lowed his retreat, quite a number of his men were killed 
and taken prisoners, the latter being cruelly treated by 
the British, Tories and Indians. Some were hanged under 
the eyes of Colonel Brown, the British commandant at 
Augusta. Thirteen were delivered to the Cherokees, and 
were killed either by tomahawk, torture or in flames. 
Thirty, altogether, were put to death by the cruel and 
vindictive Brown, which was but the carrying into effect 
the inhuman orders of Lord Cornwallis to Balfour and 
Brown, already noticed in the preceding chapter. 

It has been suggested by Draper that Ferguson's idea 
in furloughing so many of his men while at Gilberttown 
to visit their homes, was to obtain, if possible, an early 
notice of the approach of Clarke's men. This watching 
and delaying to accomplish this object, as the sequel 
shows, proved his destruction. 

Soon after Ferguson took post at Gilberttown, smart- 
ing under the annoyance the British had suffered at Fort 
Thickety, Wofford's Iron Works and Musgrove's, he pa- 
roled Samuel Philips, a distant relative of Col. Isaac 
Shelby, whom he had taken as a wounded prisoner, either 
at Wofford's or Musgrove's. Bj- Philips he sent a verbal 
message to the oflScers on the western waters of Watauga, 
Nolachuckey and Holston that "if they did not desist 
from their oppression to the British arms, he would 
march his army over the mountains, hang their leaders 
and lay their country to waste with fire and sword.'' 
This threat on the part of Ferguson accomplished more 
than he bargained for. Philips resided very near Colonel 
Shelby, and on reaching home he went directly to the lat- 
ter with Ferguson's message, giving him at the same 
time, such intelligence as he could impart concerning the 
position, strength and locality of Ferguson's command. 
Philips further conveyed the information that a Loyalist 
belonging to Ferguson's command, had a few months be- 
fore received a coat of tar and feathers by the light horse- 
men of Capt. Kobert Sevier on Nolachuckey, and had pro- 
posed, in resentment, to pilot Ferguson across the moun- 


tains to the Watauo^a settlements, since he wasfamilliar 
with all the passes through the mountains. 

A few days after this message was received, Shelby rode 
some forty miles to a horse race, to a spot near the pres- 
ent site of Jonesboro, Tennessee, to confer with Colonel 
Sevier, whom he informed of Ferguson's threatening mes- 
sage, and to consult as to the best methods for resisting 
this threatened invasion. The result was that these brave 
men agreed that they would at once call out their own 
forces and endeavor, if possible, to procure the assistance 
of Col. William Campbell of Virginia. Their plan was to 
raise all the men they could and with proper assistance to 
surprise and attack Ferguson in his camp, before he could 
have time to cross the mountains into their country. 
There was, however, no time to lose. The place of ren- 
dezvous was at Sicamore Flats, on the Watauga River, 
where the troops were ordered to assemble on the 25th 
of September. Colonel Shelby prepared a letter which he 
at once sent by his brother, Capt. Moses Shelby, addressed 
to Col. William Campbell, residing forty miles away, in- 
forming him of the situation of affairs, and urging him to 
come to the rescue of the people of his section. The 
Burke men also were there as exiles, ready at any moment 
to join the expedition against Ferguson. 

It appears that it was a part of Cornwallis' plan, in 
his march from Salisbury, to form a junction with Fergu- 
son preliminary to the invasion of North Carolina and 
Virginia. This oflScer had also ingeniously incited, 
through his emissaries, the southern Indians to invade 
not only the Holston and Watauga settlements, but also 
to proceed, if possible, as far up into southwest Virginia 
as Criswill's Lead Mines and destroy all the works and 
stores there, where large quantities of lead were produced 
for the supply of the American army. When Shelby's let- 
ter reached Campbell, the latter had just been engaged 
for several weeks in putting down a Tory insurrection in 
his country. It appears that he fully understood (])orn- 
wallis' plan, At first, the proposed expedition of Colonels 


Shelby and Sevier did not strike him very favorably and 
he deiilined to take part in it. Touched, however, by the 
appeal to his gjenerosity, he decided, after consultation 
with his field officers to divide his militia, one-half remain- 
ing to repell the anticipated Indian invasion and the 
other half to join Shelby and Sevier. At the time of this 
arrangement, Colonel Campbell sent an express to Col. 
Benjamin Cleveland, of Wilkes county. North Carolina, 
apprising him of the situation and requesting him to 
meet them on the eastern side of the mountain, with the 
militia of his county. The place indicated for this meet- 
ing was at '' Quaker Meadows," in Burke county, North 
Carolina, two miles north of Morganton, which was the 
home of the McDowells. 

To raise funds suflScient to defray the expenses of the 
proposed expedition against Ferguson was a serious 
question. The people had but little money. Colonel 
Shelby applied to the entry taker of Sullivan county— now 
East Tennessee — for the sale of North Carolina lands, for 
the loan of funds. The name of this agent was John 
Adair. His reply to Shelby, who wanted the money to 
meet a public exigency, is worthy of a patriot. Said he, *^ I 
have no authority by law to make that disposition of 
this money ; it belongs to the impoverished treasury of 
North Carolina, and I dare not appropriate a cent of it to 
any purpose ; but if our country is over-run by the British, 
our liberties are gone. Let the money go too. Take it. 
If the enemy, by its use, is driven from the -country, I can 
trust that country to justify and vindicate my conduct. 
So take it.* " 

By this loan about twelve thousand dollars was raised. 
This patriotic act of Agent Adair was afterwards legalized 
by the State Legislature. 

The appointments which had been made to assemble at 
Sicamore Flats were faithfully kept. Here on the 25th of 
September Colonel Campbell appeared with two hundred 

*See " Knoxville in Ye Olden Times," Harper's Magazine, April, 1885. 


men, while Colonels Shelby and Sevier also appeared each 
with two hundred men. At this place the party of Colonels 
McDowell and Hampton had been encamped for some 
time. The whole force now amount-ed to about eight hun- 
dred and fifty. They were mostly mounted men, and armed 
with the deadly Deckard rifle, without bayonets. The men 
had neither baggage, wagons, quartermaster stores nor 
commissary stores. The wallet, which contained a supply 
of parched meal, and a tin cup and blanket completed the 
outfit. The men wore hunting shirts manufactured by 
their wives and daughters, and fur skin caps, which were 
common in that daj\ At their side in a belt were the 
tomahawk and knife. 

Early on the morning of the 26th of September, when the 
army was about to move, Colonel Campbell appeared in 
camp at the head of about two hundred men. The whole 
fon« now numbered about one thousand and fifty, and 
made, says a writer, '* The welkin ring with their glad ac- 
claim." Being now ready for the line of march, it was 
necessarv at this critical hour to invoke the blessing of 
God, and to supplicate His divine protection. The Rev. L. 
Samuel Doak, a missionary in the Watauga settlements, 
was present, who offered up a fervent prayer for the pro- 
tection of the people from the dangers to which they were 
exposed from marauding hosts of the British in their 
front and barbarous savages in their rear. *' He remem- 
bered," says a writer, " that because of the Midianites the 
children of Israel had holes in the mountains, and the 
greatness of God's deliverance ; and pausing for a moment, 
he exclaimed, ^The sword of the Lord and of Gideon.' 
Tears stole down the furrowed cheeks of the rough skinned 
men of the forest, but their faith was strengthened. The 
preparation was over. The march began." It was through 
a solitary wilderness along the mountain trails. A distance 
of about twenty miles was made the first day, when camp 
was struck. The native grass which was then growing 
luxuriantly afforded abundant food for the horses. The 
next day, the 27th, there was delay in order to slaughter 


some beeves for the journey. This was near the base of 
Round and Yellow mountains. 

The march was resumed on the 28th. The mountains 
were ascended and when the top was reached, they found 
a bold spring, surrounded by hundreds of acres of beauti- 
ful level land. Here camp was struck the second night. 
The men fired off their guns, cleared out and reloaded, 
and here also, a circumstance occurred that came well- 
nigh foiling the whole plan of the expedition. Two men 
deserted and made their way to Ferguson's camp. Their 
names were James Crawford and Samuel Chambers. This 
treachery made it necessary to take a different route from 
the one first chosen, so as to baffle anv spy Ferguson 
might send to watch their movements. The march was 
down Roaring Creek via the mouth of Grassy Creek and 
up this creek to its head and over Gillespie's Gap on the 
Blue Ridge. Here the command divided. Campbell fol- 
lowing a trail six miles south of Wofford's Fort, the other 
to Hunnycut Creek. As soon as Colonels McDowell, Shelby 
and Sevier had decided to march against and attack Fer- 
guson, Colonel McDowell hastened across the mountains 
in advance of the over-mountain men, to encourage and 
arouse the people, and to obtain as much information 
as possible of Ferguson's movements and whereabouts, 
and to hasten the march of Cleveland and Winston, to 
the appointed place of rendezvous, "Quaker Meadows." 
Having performed this duty he rejoined one wing of the 
over-mountain men at Hunnycut Creek. On the 25th of 
September, the over-mountain men reached " Quaker 
Meadows," the hospitable homes of the brothers, Col. 
Charles and Maj. Joseph McDowell. Here it is recorded 
that the " fatted calf " was killed and the smoke-houses 
were thrown open. It was not long until the glad 
tidings were announced of the approach of Colonel Cleve- 
land and Major Winston with three hundred and fifty 
men from the counties of Wilkes and Surry, North Caro- 
lina. A shout of welcome rent the air. Soon the troops 
were mingling joyfully together, with bright and bouyant 


hopes of success. The whole army now amounted to 
about thirteen hundred and eipjhty. Sunday morning, 
October Ist, was bright and fair ; the men were rested, 
cheerful and full of spirit, the horses fresh and active. The 
march was resumed. They felt that Ferguson was almost 
in their grasp. They were eager to overtake him. At 
noon-day they passed Brindletown, near a gap in South 
mountain, where McDowell had only a few weeks before 
engaged and repulsed Ferguson. That evening it rained 
for the first time since they started. 

Monday, October 2d, it rained all day and the troops 
remained in camp. They were now within sixteen miles of 
Gilberttown. Up to this time no commander for the army 
had been chosen or agreed upon. A conference of the dif- 
ferent commanders w^as held. It was agreed that Col. 
Charles McDowell should visit at once the headquarters of 
General Gates at Hillsboro, with the request that he send 
them a general officer. It was hoped that Colonel 
McDowell would return very soon with General Morgan, 
w^ho had recently won laurels at Saratoga, and whom the 
troops preferred above all others. Colonel Campbell, al- 
though the youngest of all the commanders, was requested 
to assume the chief command until Colonel McDowell 
should return. There was no time to lose. At this crit- 
ical juncture celerity and despatch of movement were all 
important. It was supposed that the decisive battle be- 
tween the Whig and Tory forces would be fought at 
Gilberttown. The former, as we have already said, felt an 
abiding confidence in their success. Before the men took 
up their line of march on October 3d, Colonel Cleveland, 
who had the happy faculty of inspiring his troops, made 
a short address to them. He said, among other things, 
'^ The evening is at hand ; we must be up and at them. 
I will be with you when the pinch comes. If any of you 
shrink from the battle glory, you now have an opportu- 
nity to back out and leave, and 3'^ou may have a few min- 
utes for consideration. You, who wish to back out will, 
when the word is given, march three steps to the rear and 


stand." There was a pause of three minutes, the word 
was given, but not one man moved. They were dismissed 
with orders to prepare rations and to be ready for marching 
in three hours, at the end of which time, the line of march 
was taken up. They reached a point near the mouth of 
Cane Creek and near Gilberttown on the 4th of October. 
Here they met Jonathan Hampton, who gave them the 
first information of the flight of Ferguson. Their hopes 
and expectations were temporarily thwarted, but we shall 
see further that they proved themselves equal to the 
emergency which confronted them. 




IN order to bring the reader's attention to all the ingath- 
ering^ clans engaged in the expedition against Fergu- 
son, it will he necessary to leave the over-mountain men 
at Cane Creek to notice other bodies destined to become 
allies in the famous campaign. 

It has been stated in a former chapter that the prison- 
ers captured at Musgrove's were escorted to Hillsboro, 
North Carolina, by a detachment under the command of 
Col. James Williams. While at this place Colonel Wil- 
liams met Governor Rutledge, of South Carolina, a ref- 
ugee, and gave him the first news of the American victory 
at Musgrove's Mill. 

While the credit of this victory is given in the main by 
Draper and others to Colonels Clarke and Shelby, yet, to 
the mind of the impartial observer, much credit is due to 
Colonel Williams in this spirited engagement, who com- 
manded the center and who made a firm stand, while 
Shelby was being pressed back on the right. This in a 
large measure saved the battle to the American arms. 
Governor Rutledge, who was clothed with dictatorial 
powers, doubtless thought Colonel Williams deserved 
promotion and commissioned him a Brigadier-General. 

General Williams, before entering the field again, sought 
and obtained permisssion from Governor Nash, of North 
Carolina, to recruit one hundred men from that province 
for his skeleton command. Though now a citizen of 
South Carolina, he had some claims on North Carolina, 


having been born and reared in Granville County in that 
State. This call for one hundred men was made on the 
23d of September, and the place of their rendezvous was 
at Higgin's plantation, in Rowan County. Prominent 
among his officers were Colonel Brandon and Major Ham< 
mond. A.t this time a detachment of Sumter's army, 
under the immediate command of Colonels Hill and Lacy, 
were encamped between the main Catawba and the 
"South Fork" of that stream. 

It was not long before General Williams had obtained 
his allotted number of men, and with his command he 
repaired at once to the camp of Colonels Lacy and Hill, 
where he exhibited his commission as Brigadier-General, 
and ordered that they at once place themselves under his 
command, which they absolutely refused to do. Hot 
words ensued, which resulted in Williams separating him- 
self from them. It was the intention of Lacy and Hill to 
attach themselves to General Davidson's command, and 
to accomplish this end they dispatched a messenger to 
him who soon returned with the information, received 
through Col. Charles McDowell, that a large party of 
mountain men were marching against Ferguson for the 
purpose of attacking him. On this same day they were 
reinforced by fifty or sixty more men, under the command 
of Col. William Graham and Lieutenant-Colonel Ham- 
bright, of Tyron County. The plan of joining General 
Davidson's command was at once abandoned and it was 
decided to join the over-mountain men in their expedition 
against Ferguson without delay. In these trying times, 
however, co-operation with bands of patriots was neces- 
sary. Having refused to place themselves under the com- 
mand of General Williams it was necessary, lest they 
might encounter some superior force of the enemy, to 
make some honorable proposition to that officer. It was 
proposed that the troops marching to the assistance of 
the over-mountain men should be arranged in three di- 
visions: The South Carolinian's proper; Graham and 
Hambright's party; and Williams' followers, who at this 


time were reinforced by Capt. Benjamin Roebuck's com- 
mand from the region of the present County of Spartan- 
burg, South Carolina. This command consisted of about 
thirty. The proposition was at first refused by General 
Williams, he by virtue of his commission claiming the 
right to command the whole, but his patriotism in this 
trying hour caused him to yield and accept the terms 
offered. It was arranged that a commanding officer 
should be chosen for the whole, but the orders and move- 
ments of the corps were to be delivered by all the officers. 
This party of South Carolinians marched through Lincoln 
County, near Ramsour's Mill, on the south fork of the 
Catawba, thence in a southwesterly direction, crossing 
Buffalo and First Broad Rivers to Cherry Mountain (near 
Cherry ville, N. C.) Here they struck camp for a few days 
to await further developments of the plans and move- 
ments of the men of the mountains. While at this camp 
they were visited by Col. Charles McDowell on his way to 
Hillsboro to General Gates' headquarters. He was not 
prepared, however, to communicate the plans which were 
afterwards agreed upon to push for Ferguson, and very 
soon set out in continuation of his mission. 

Let us now before we return to the movements of the 
over-mountain men, whom we left at Cane Creek, examine 
briefly the movements of Ferguson. 

We have already stated that this officer tarried for 
sometime a,t Gilberttown in the hope of intercepting Colo- 
nel Clarke, whom he had been informed had been repulsed 
at Augusta, Georgia, and was retreating towards North 
Carolina. To place himself where he felt sure of cutting 
off retreat, he left Gilberttown on the 27th of September, 
and marched to Green River, in what is now Polk County, 
and struck camp at James Step's. Here on the 30th of 
the same month the two deserters referred to, Crawford 
and Chambers, reached him, apprising him that the over- 
mountain men were on his track. Ferguson became 
alarmed. His ranks were thin, many of his Tory allies 
being on furlough. Messengers were sent in every direc- 


tion to hurry them in, and a dispatch was sent to Lord 
Cornwallis at Charlotte infornain^ him of his danger. 

Ferguson now p^ave out that he was in full retreat for 
Ninety-Six merely to delude the Whigs. On the first day 
of October, the day that the over-mountain men left 
"Quaker Meadows," he was at the house of Baylis 
Earie on North Pacolet, near the scene of the battle of 
Earle's Ford, which had occurred only a short time before. 
The old Baylis Earle place is now the home of his grand- 
son, O. P. Earle, on the present Greenville and Ruther- 
fordton road — the road over which Ferg:uson was expect- 
ing to meet Colonel Clarke and his retreating forces. 

In a Ms. letter of Baylis Earle, dated September 11, 
1814,* to Maj. John I^ewis and Jonathan Hampton, he 
stated the fact that Ferguson while at his house killed a 
steer, destroyed four or five hundred dozen sheaves of 
oats, and plundered at his pleasure, t From this place 
he marched in a northern direction to Dennard's Ford, on 
Broad River, which was about a half a mile below^ the 
present Twitty's Ford, in Rutherford County. Here, real- 
izing his impending danger, he issued an address to the 
inhabitants of the country, in which he warned them of 
the approach of the men under Shelby, Hampton, Mc- 
Dowell and Cleveland, and telling them to grasp their 
arms "in a moment and run to camp" if they did not 
wish to be pinioned, robbed and murdered, and see 
their wives and daughters in four days abused by the 
dregs of mankind." 

Ferguson was now only about fifteen or twenty miles 
from the forces of McDowell, Shelby and Sevier. Antici- 
pating an attack from them he moved with his command 
on Monday, October 2d, about four miles and lay on his 
arms all night. On the 3d of October, he marched 
through the present County of Rutherford, crossing Sec- 
ond Broad River at Camp's Ford, and Sandy Run Creek 

♦Baylis Earle lived until 1828. 

tSee Draper's *' King's Mountain," page 203. 


six miles further, at Armstrong's. Here, after resting 
awhile he moved seven miles further, to Tate's place, on 
Buffalo Creek, which is said to be in the southeastern por- 
tion of the present County of Cleveland. At Tate's place 
Ferguson tarried the 4th and 5th of October, doubtless, 
to gain intelligence of the movements of the Whigs and 
to coyimunicate with Cornwallis at Charlotte, only 
about thirty-five miles distant. The following is a copy 
of the original dispatch to Cornwallis : 

*^My Lord. I am on my march to you by a road lead- 
ing from Cherokee Ford north of King's Mountain. Three 
or four hundred good soldiers would finish this business. 
Something must be done soon. This is their last push in this 
quarter." '' PATRICK FERGUSON." 

It would appear from the movements of Ferguson up 
to this time that he was trying to reach Cornwallis and 
outstrip the pursuit of the oyer-mountain men. This 
idea, however, appeared distasteful to him. Whatever 
may be said of the character of Ferguson, he was no cow- 
ard. It is said that his pride outweighed his judgment, 
and he determined to risk a battle rather than enter 
Cornwallis' camp, a fugitive from the very men he affected 
to dispise. He knew, however, that his destiny was sealed 
one way or the other. He knew the character and spirit 
of the men who were marching against him and he re- 
solved to fight. But where should he select his ground ? 
The King's Mountain stood out invitingly before him as 
a favorable position. To this place, which was sixteen 
miles southwest of Tate's place, he marched on the 6th 
of October. He passed near Whittaker's, on the pres- 
ent Air Line Railroad, moving in the direction of York- 
ville. On this road aft^r crossing a creek he came to 
*' King's MouHtain" in the afternoon. Here he pitched 
his camp and said he '*had selected his ground and that 
he defied God Almighty and all the rebels out of hell to 
overcome him." 




HAVING followed the movements of Ferguson in the 
last chapter, let us now return to the over-mountain 
men, whom we left at Cane Creek, not far from Gilberttown. 
Sore indeed was their disappointment when they learned 
that the "game had fled." Ferguson had given out word 
that he was in full retreat for Ninety-Six. The Whigs 
having nothing but rifles, knew that they would not be 
able to make much impression on Ferguson if he were 
allowed to reach this stronghold. A council of oflScers was 
held. It was determined to follow Ferguson even to 
Ninety-Six, and strike him as best they could. Taking up 
their line of march on the 4th day of October, they did 
not tarry at Gilberttown, but followed Ferguson's track 
to Dennard's Ford on Broad River. Here they lost his 
trail for a time. It is stated on good authority that 
Ferguson marched his men down in the stream to elude 
their pursuit, coming out below the ford and then bore 
down the stream, thus proving clearly that Ninety-Six 
wafi not his objective point. 

The Whigs continued their march across Dennard's Ford 
until they reached Alexander's Ford on Green River. It 
is said that being baffled in their efforts to overtake 
Ferguson, many of them became discouraged and uneasy. 
Many of the men were foot sore from travel, and some of 


the horses were jaded and broken down. It v.ould never 
do, however, to j^ive up in despair. A council was called 
and it was determined to select their best men, best horses, 
and best rifles, and press the pursuit, leaving the weaker 
to follow. It was necessary, however, before this march 
should commence to find out more of Ferguson's move- 
ments and whereabouts. This information was very soon 
obtained mysteriously in the following w^ay: While Fer- 
guson was encamped at Tate's place on Buffalo, "an old 
gentleman called on him, who disguised the object of his 
visit." Impressing upon the mind of Ferguson that he 
was a faithful Loyalist to the British cause, he obtained 
from that officer the information that he had sent to 
Cornwallis for reinforcements, and that he '*had selected 
his ground (King's Mountain) and that he defied God 
Almighty, and all the rebels out of hell to overcome him." 
On the next day, October 5th, this faithful old patriot rode 
twenty miles in a northeast direction to the camp of Hill, 
Lacy and Williams, on Cherry Mountain, where we last 
left them, to communicate this information. That night 
Colonel Lacy made his way with a guide to the camp of 
the over-mountain men where he communicated to Colo- 
nel Campbell and others the important information which 
he had received from the old gentleman. For awhile 
Lacy thought him to be a spy, but finally he was enabled 
to impress upon Campbell the genuineness of his person 
and the truthfulness of his statements. It was agreed 
between them to form a junction without delay at Cow- 
pens and march on Ferguson at once. 

'* On the 5th of October," says a writer, '* and nearly all 
the night following, at Green River, the Whig officers and 
Campbell's command were busy choosing the select men, 
rifles and horses for the pursuit. Seven hundred were 
chosen, leaving six hundred and ninety or more in camp, 
others of the command having fallen by the way from 
weakness or sickness. These numbers are approximately 

Just before the beginning of this march the Whigs were 


joined by Major William Chandler and Captain Johnson, 
with about thirty Georgians from Colonel Clarke's forces 
retreating from Georgia. They had received news of the 
expedition against Ferguson and felt a desire to par- 
ticipate in it. Colonel Clarke had advanced further west, 
making his way across the mountains to the Watauga 
settlement, and carrying his own and other Whig families 
with him. 

The expedition was soon ready for a new start to over- 
take Ferguson. Major Henderson, of Cleveland's regi- 
ment, was left in command of the foot men, with Capt. 
Neal in special charge of the Virginians who were to fol- 
low. Their orders were to set out at once, hurry their 
march as much as possible and to follow in the foot- 
steps of the mounted men in order to-be able to support 
them in case they should meet with disaster. The seven 
hundred mounted men set out from Alexander's Ford on 
the morning of the 6th of October (1780) and marched 
down the old Covvpens ridge road from the present site of 
Columbus and of Mill Springs to Cowpens battle ground. 
They went by way of Sandy Plains, Arrowwood Church 
(Thome's) reaching Cowpens on the afternoon, after 
having traveled about twenty miles. Here they found in 
waiting Williams, Hill, Lacy and Graham, with their re- 
spective commands, they having marched on the same day 
direct from Cherry Mountain to Cowpens, a distance of 
some twenty miles or more. Their combined forces 
amounted to about four hundred, a large number of 
whom were South Carolinians. 

Says Draper, *' For an hour or two on the evening of 
the 6th, there was a stirring bivouac at the Cowpens. A 
wealthy English Tory, named Saunders, resided there, who 
reared large numbers of cattle, having many pens in 
which he had his stock, hence the derivation of Cowpens. 
Saunders was at the time in bed, feigning sickness, 
from which he was unceremoniously pulled out and 
treated j)retty roughly. He was ordered to tell what 
time Ferguson had passed that place, to which he de- 



Glared that he bad not passed at all ; that if bis word 
could not be taken there was plenty of torch pine in the 
house, which they could examine for themselves and 
further, if they could find any track or sign of an army 
they might hang him or do whatever they pleased with 
him. The old Tory had spoken the truth fully. Search 
was made but no signs of an army passing there could be 
found. Several of his cattle were at once shot down and 
slaughtered fur the supply of the hungry soldiers, and in 
a few hours the army was well supplied with cooked beef, 
which was to support and strengthen them in the per- 
formance of a glorious work in store for them on the fol- 
lowing day. About fifty acres of corn, which been planted 
near by, was harvested in about ten minutes, and soon 
fed to the weary horses. 

It appears that the Whigs on their way to Cowpens 
passed near where several large bodies of Tories were as- 
sembled ; one numbering about six hundred, at Major 
Gibbs'* about four miles to the right. Says Draper, 
*' The only account we have of this enterprise is preserved 
in Ensign Campbell's dairy : * On passing near the Cowpens, 
we heard of a large body of Tories about eight miles dis- 
tant, and although the main enterprise was not to be de- 
layed a single moment, a party of eighty volunteers, un- 
der Ensign Robert Campbell, was dispatched in pursuit of 
them during the night. They had, however, removed be- 
fore the mountaineers came to the place, and who, after 
riding all night, came up with the main body the next 
day.' " Ensign Campbell further adds, " That a similar ex- 
pedition was conducted by Captain Colvill, with no better 
success, but without causing delay." 

Having arrived within full view of King's Mountain, 

*The writer has tried in vain to learn the whereabouts of the ancient 
homestead of Maj. Zachariah Gibbs. He has examined the records at 
the office of the Clerk of Court at Spartanburg, but the name does not 
appear, nor does it appear in census of 1790. From the description of 
the locality Major Gibbs must have resided in the vicinity of Martins- 
•'ille or Cash's store. 


the most important duty devolving on Colonel Campbell, 
the commander of the expedition, was to find out the ex- 
act location and position of Ferguson. This he obtained 
from Joseph Keer, a cripple spy, at that time a member of 
Colonel Williams' command, at Colonel Williams camp 
at Flint Hill, on Cherry Mountain. Kerr had been sent to 
gain intelligence of Ferguson and found him temporarily 
encamped at Peter Quinns,' on the 6th of October, six or 
seven miles from King's Mountain. This being a region 
of Tories, Kerr was not suspected and found no diflSculty 
in gaining access to Ferguson's camp. He was not sus- 
pected of being a spy, having been a cripple from infancy. 
He made anxious inquiries relative to taking protection 
and appeared gratified on learning the good news of the 
King's prospects in the future. Learning that Ferguson in- 
tended to march to King's Mountain the same afternoon, 
and managing by his good sense and natural shrewdness 
to make all the necessary observations, he quietly slipped 
off, making his way by a circuitous route to rejoin his com- 
mand, which he overtook at Cowpens. He at once com- 
municated the information he had obtained to the Whig 
chiefs. It was necessary, however, to keep posted with re- 
gard to the continued movements of Ferguson, and to 
gain further intelligence of his present position. Enoch 
Gilmer, of South Fork, was proposed for this undertaking 
by Major Chronicle for, said he, " Gilmer can assume any 
character that occasion may require ; he could cry and 
laugh in the same breath, and all who saw it would be- 
lieve he was in earnest ; that he could act the part of a lu- 
natic so well that no one could discover him ; above all, 
he was a stranger to fear." Gilmer. set out at once. He 
called at a house of a prominent Tory only a few miles in 
advance, and represented that he belonged to Ferguson's 
command and was waiting to join this oflScer on his sup- 
posed march from Dennard'sFord to Ninety-Six. The Tory, 
not suspecting his true character, frankly told him all he 
knew and understood concerning Ferguson's movements 
and intentions ; that after he had crossed Broad River 


at Dennard's Ford, he received a dispatch from Lord Corn- 
wallis, ordering him to rejoin the main army at once; that 
the plan was to defeat the army of General Gates the 
second time and overrun and subdue North Carolina. 
Gilmer returned to the Cowpens the same evening: with 
this intelligence, but this did not p;ive to the Whig leaders 
the intelligence they were most anxious to find out 
concerning Ferguson's present plans and whereabouts. A 
council of war had in the meanwhile been held, all the 
newly joined officers participating except Williams. It 
was agreed that Colonel Campbell should remain in chief 
command. By nine o'clock, the men and horses refreshed, 
the command set out to find Ferguson. It was a very 
dark night and soon after they left a drizzly rain set in. 
The roads w^ere pretty good, however, and they had 
guides acquainted with the country. But owing to the 
extreme darkness the pilots of Campbell's men lost their 
way and that corps became much confused and dispersed 
through the woods, so that when the morning light 
dawned the rear portion was not more than five miles 
from Cowpens. When the absence of the Virginians was 
discovered next morning, runners were sent in different 
directions till they were at length found, having taken a 
wrong road. They were quickly piloted to the main col- 
umn. Once reunited the command pressed forward un- 
commonly hard. It was the intention to cross Broad River 
at Tate's, since known as Deer's Ferry, but for fear that 
British troops might be stationed on the east side of the 
river to retard their progress, the troops bore dow^n the 
stream to Cherokee Ford two and a half miles, where they 
crossed. Before crossing, however, Gilmer was sent for- 
ward about daylight to reconnoitre this ford and dis- 
cover, if possible, whether the enemy might not be way- 
laying, with the view of attacking the troops while they 
were crossing. In the meanwhile the men were ordered to 
keep their guns dry, for it was yet raining. It was not 
long before Gilmer's familiar voice was heard singing 
** Barney Linn," a favorite song of that day, in the hollow 


nefir by. This was suflScient notice that the way was 
clear. It was about sunrise when the troops crossed the 
river. They had now marched about eighteen miles from 
Cowpens and were only about fifteen miles from King's 
Mountain. As soon as Broad Kiver was crossed, Gilmer 
was again sent forward to make discoveries and dashed 
off at a full gallop, while the troops with the oflScers at 
the head, moved on in a slower gait. After traveling 
some three miles they came to Ferguson's former encamp- 
ment, above Cherokee Ford. Here they halted for a short 
time to partake of a snack, such as their wallets and 
saddle bags afforded. Some who were without food 
would pull corn along the roadside and cut the raw corn 
from the cob for sustenance. During the forenoon of the 
march the rain continued to fall so heavy that Colonels 
Campbell, Sevier and Cleveland concluded that it would be 
best to halt and refresh themselves, as the men were weary 
and the horses jaded. To this proposition Colonel Shelby, 
when apprised of the views of the other officers, would 
not consent, replying with an oath, "I will not stop until 
night if I have to follow Ferguson into Cornwallis' lines." 

The march was continued. The men could only keep 
their guns dry by wrapping their bags, blankets and 
hunting shirts around the locks. By noon, however, the 
rain had almost ceased to fall. After traveling about a 
mile from the proposed halt, the troops reached Solomon 
Beason's, who was said to be half Whig and half Loyalist, 
as occasion required. From him they learned that Fer- 
guson was only eight miles in advance. At this place 
they also had the good fortune to capture two Tories, 
who, at the peril of their lives, were ordered to pilot them 
to Ferguson's camp on King's Mountain. 

When the Whigs had advanced five miles further, they 
reached the house of a Loyalist where some of Sevier's 
men called. The only information they could get was 
that Ferguson was not far away. As the soldiers left 
the house, however, the daughter of this Loyalist, who 
was in sympathy with the Whig cause, inquired : " How 


many are there of you?" "Enough to whip Ferguson if 
we can find him," was the reply. "He is on that moun- 
tain," she said, pointing her band to the eminence. 

After traveling several miles further the oflScers saw the 
horse of Gilmer, the scout, fastened to a gate in front of 
a house about three-fourths of a mile ahead. Colonel 
Campbell concluded to test the scout's ability to sustain 
his assumed character as a Tory. Providing himself with 
a rope he and others put whip to their horses and rode at 
full speed up to the house, where they found Gilmer seated 
at the table partaking of a good meal and hurrahing for 
King George. Campbell caused him to be dragged from 
the house, and fixing a running noose, he threw it over 
Gilmer's neck, swearing he would hang him on the bow of 
the gate. Gilmer was marched up the road to be hung 
while the old woman and the girls were weeping and beg- 
ging for his life. Gilmer, after getting out of sight, began 
to laugh heartily and said : " Colonel, I found them such 
Loyal friends I couldn't help from giving them all a 
sympathizing smack." 

The information which Gilmer had gathered with refer- 
ence to Ferguson's numbers and axact position, was the 
most valuable that had been obtained up to this time. 
One of the girls just mentioned told him that she had 
been to Ferguson's camp that morning with some 
chickens; that he was only three miles away and was 
posted on a ridge between two branches, where some deer 
hunters had had a camp the fall before. Major Chronicle 
and Captain Mattocks said they knew the place pre- 
cisely ; that the camp referred to where Ferguson had 
taken post was theirs, and that it was a spur of King's 

The oflBcers now came together for consultation again, 
and agreed upon a plan of attack, which was to surround 
Ferguson's camp on the hill and destroy him there. The 
plan was freely communicated to the men for their encour- 
agement, assuring them that by this course of action, 
they would all the while be shooting up hill and there 


would be no danger of hurting their comrades on the 
other side, and that the British would likely overshoot, in 
shooting at them down the mountain. When within a 
short distance of the battlefield Col. William Graham was 
overtaken by a messenger, who informed him that his wife 
was at the point of death. With Campbell's advice he left 
at once. The next ranking officer was Colouel Hambright, 
but as Hambright .was an old man, his command was 
given to Major Chronicle. The patriotic old Dutchman 
took no oftense, as Major Chronicle was better acquainted 
with the ground over which the battle was to be fought. 

When within about two miles of the battle field, the 
Whigs captured a lad named James Ponder, a youth of 
some fourteen years of age. Colonel Hambright, knowing 
that this lad had relatives in Ferguson's camp, caused 
him to be searched. On his person was found a dispatch 
from Ferguson to Cornwallis, informing him of his situat- 
ion and imploring his assistance at once. Ponder, on 
being questioned in regard to Ferguson's dress, said that 
he was the best uniformed man in camp, but that he wore 
a checked shirt over it. Colonel Hambright, who was a 
German, laughed and said: *'Poys, hear dot, shoot for the 
man mit the pig shirt." 

When within one mile of Ferguson's camp the troops 
met George Watkins, a Whig prisoner, whom Ferguson 
had just released. He was able to give the very latest 
information, with the positive assurance that Ferguson 
still occupied his position on the mountain. A brief halt 
was here made. Up to this time the men had not been 
riding in order, but now they were drawn up in two lines 
two men deep. The officers again agreed to surround 
the mountain and to do this successfully the men, after 
they had formed two lines were divided, Colonel Campbell 
leading the right line and Colonel Cleveland the left. 
Major Winston was detached with a portion of the 
Wilkes and Surry troops to make a detour south of the 
quarry road in order to gain Ferguson's right and cut 
off his retreat if necessary. While these movements were 


taking place do talking w€is allowed. The marches of the 
different lines were made as noiselessly as possible. 

It was about three o'clock in the afternoon when the 
Whigs neared Ferguson's camp. The rain had ceased and 
a stiff breeze was blowing.- Says Draper: '* In the rear of 
trees and bushes on the east side of King's Creek, a little 
above where the quarry road passes that stream, the 
mountaineers arrived." They were ordered to, first, 
** dismount and tie horses," next, to ''take off and tie up 
great coats and blankets, &c., &c., to your saddles." A 
few men were selected to take charge of the horses. Then 
came the final order, " Fresh prime your guns, and every 
man go into battle firmly resolved to fight till he dies.^^ 




AS the battle of Kind's Mountain was the end of the 
bold and daring Ferguson, and also the end of his 
plundering and marauding expeditions, this narrative 
would not be complete without a brief history of this 
brilliant engagement and victory for American Liberty. 

It is impossible, as already intimated, to present any- 
thing more than an outline, following as we are doing, 
in the line of other writers, but for a fuller and more com- 
prehensive account of this battle and of the many little 
interesting incidents connected therewith, the reader is 
referred to that splendid work, '^King's Mountain and Its 
Heroes," by the Hon. Lyman C. Draper, who spent more 
than twenty years with tireless energy and industry in 
getting up a work perfect in all its parts, evincing a re- 
search hitherto unsurpassed by any American writer of 
Kevolutionary history. 

'* Ferguson," says a writer, *^ was on King's Mountain 
in his lair like a wild beast that had been brought to 
bay." He showed no signs of fear. His little army was 
drawn up along the crest of one of the lateral spurs of 
King's Mountain, which extends in length about sixteen 
miles in a northeast and southwest course. While the 
main range is in North Carolina, the battle ground now 
famous and sacred in the annals of our history, was in 
York County, South Carolina, about one and a 


half miles south of the North Carolina line, and about 
six milts from the pinnacle of King's Mountain. This hill 
or stony ridge was about sixty feet above the level of the 
surrounding country. It was about six hundred yards 
long and about two hundred and fifty yards wide from 
one base across to the other; or from sixty to one hun- 
dred and twenty yards wide on the top. The Mountain 
tapered rather to the southeast. Ferguson's forces con- 
sisted of about eleven hundred and twenty-five and were 
made up of Provincials and Loyal militia, usually called 
Tories. The Provincials or Kangers, as they are called 
by Tarleton in his Memoirs, numbered only about one 
hundred, and were made up from other Provincial bodies, 
the King's American Regiment, raised in and around 
New York, the Queen's Rangers and the New Jersey Vol- 
unteers. These troops wore scarlet coats. They were 
well trained and disciplined and well armed with muskets 
and bayonets, the use of which they fully understood. 

The Loval militia had been recruited from both North 
and South Carolina. Many of them were from the same 
insurgent element that resided in the region of Ninety-Six, 
and whose conduct at the breaking out of the Revolution 
has been described in former chapters. They were drilled 
and disciplined as far as their personal character would 
permit. Many of them had guns without bayonets. 
Ferguson, to meet this deficiency, provided each with a 
long knife made by the blacksmiths of the country, the 
butt end of the handle of which was filed the proper size 
to insert snugly in the muzzle of the rifle, with a shoulder 
or button two inches or more from the end, so that it 
would answer in place of the bayonet. 

The two armies were about equal in numbers, the ad- 
vantage being in favor of Ferguson, who had chosen his 
ground of defense; his men being well rested and fed. 
Neither had artillery or cavalry. It w^as a contest of the 
bavonet and musket on one hand and the Deckard rifle 
on the other. 

It is useless to contrast the two armies and the motives 


which had prompted each to take part in this engage- 
rneDt. While the regular British soldiers, few as they 
numbered on this occasion, fought for the honor of their 
King, but a small number of the Tories were conscien- 
tious in taking part with them, against the cause of the 
Patriots. It was either disappointment, ambition, fear 
of punishment, or opportunity to plunder, that caused 
them to enlist under Ferguson's banner. " No noble 
sentiment was found in their hearts," says a writ/cr, " and 
they felt the disgrace of taking up arms in behalf of 
oppression and wrong." 

The Whigs, on the other hand, fought for freedom, and 
to prevent the invasion of their peaceful homes, which had 
been threatened. They had firmly implanted in their bos- 
oms principles of religious liberty and independence. They 
were prompted by no mercenary motive ; unlike the 
great armies of Napoleon in Egypt, they had no Pyra- 
mids to look down on them to incite them to glory; no 
Forty Centuries of battle to provoke them to emulation. 
Being out in an open and lonely wilderness, they had no 
maiden hands to crown them as victors ; no applauding 
thousands waiting to honor them as survivors of a vic- 
torious battle for Liberty ; no titles of nobility or badges 
of knighthood to animate them. They were simply 
fighting for their country's cause; for their homes and 
firesides and for the dear ones they had left behind them. 
The great Spectator of the occasion was the God of bat- 
tles, who had already heard and recorded in Heaven, the 
prayer of the Pioneer Missionary in the Watauga Settle- 
ments. The answer, we shall see, came through fire and 
smoke on King's Mountain. 

The battle was well planned on the part of the Whig 
commanders. Their forces were drawn up at the south- 
western end of the Mountain, where the slope was gentle, 
and the army was divided into two corps, which moved 
off in different directions to surround Ferguson and his 
army. Says Draper : '* Campbell was to lead his Virgin- 
ians across the southern end of the ridge and southeast 


side, which Shelby desiguated as the coIqiuu of the ri^ht* 
center ; then Sevier's regiment, McUowell's and Winston's 
battalions, were to form a column on the right wing, 
northeast of Campbell and in the order named, under the 
command of Lieutenant-Colonel Sevier. Of these, Wins- 
ton, it will be remembered, made a detour some distance 
to the south of Ferguson in order the more promptly to 
gain the position assigned him and perad venture lend a 
helping hand in retarding the enemy, should they con- 
clude that a hasty retreat was the better part of valor. 

Shelby's regiment was to take position on the left of the 
mountain, directly opposite to Campbell, and form the 
left center, Campbell's left and Shelby's right coming 
together; and beyond Shelby were respectively Williams' 
command, including Brandon, Hammond and Candler; 
then the South Carolinians under Lacy, Hathorne and 
Steen, with the remainder of the Willies and Surry men 
under Cleveland, together with the Lincoln troops under 
('hronicle and Hambright, all under thedirection of Colonel 
Cleveland. By this disposition the patriot force was ar- 
ranged in four columns, two on either side of the moun- 
tain, led respectively by Colonels Campbell and Sevier on 
the right, and Cleveland and Shelby on the left. It is 
reasonable to presume that as Winston had teen detached 
w^hen a mile away to gain his assigned position on the 
right, that Hambright and Chronicle were also early or- 
dered to gain the extreme left portion of the mountain so 
that the two parties should meet each other and thus en- 
compass the enemy on that end of the ridge." 

While these movements were taking place and the Whig 
forces were gathering around Ferguson, this officer viewed 
them with firmness and courage, but not with confidence 
and indifference. His last dispatch to Cornwallis, com- 
mitted to the care of John Ponder, who was captured, in- 
dicated his apprehension of defeat. 

Shelby and Campbell, being on the opposite sides of the 
mountain," began the attack. As soon as the approach of 
the Americans was discovered by Ferguson, he caused the 


drum to beat to arras in his camp. His shrill whistle was 
heard all around. His men were soon in line of battle. 
Says Draper: " Orders had been pjiven to the right and left 
wings, that when the center columns were ready for the 
attack they were to give the signal by raising a regular 
frontier warhoop after the Indian style, and rush forward, 
doing the enemy all the injury possible, and the others, 
hearing the battle shout and the reports of the rifles, were 
to follow suit." 

The first firing of the enemy was on Shelby's column on 
the north side of the mountain. Shelby's men were not 
yet in position and it was with diflBculty that this officer 
could restrain his men from returning it until the proper 
time. '* Press on to yOur places," he cried, ^* and your fire 
will not be lost." Before Shelby's men got into position, 
however, Campbell had wheeled his men into line. He ex- 
claimed at the top of his voice, •* Here they are my boys ; 
Shout like h— 1 and fight like devils." The Indian war 
whoop reverberated all around and the battle was begun. 

Campbell's line in pressing forward was delayed in its 
march about ten minutes by a swampy marsh in front. 
Shelby's men received the first bayonet charge from the 
enemy. They were driven down the hill for a short dis- 
tance, but quickly reloading, they poured a galling fire 
into the British ranks, which drove them up the hill again. 

The trees which retarded the charge of the British Ran- 
gers down the hill, afforded protection to the rifiemen in 
their advance up hill. From behind these, they took 
steady aim, each ball doing its deathly work, as the crest 
of the mountain was bare and the British, when in column, 
were unprotected. Harry Lee said of King's Mountain, 
" It was more assailable by the rifie than defensible with 
the bayonet." 

The battle now raged with fury from every side of the 
mountain. ** As the coil drew nearer, Ferguson dashing 
from one side to another to rally his men or lead a charge, 
was typical of Satan when he cried, " Which way I fly is 


The rattle of musketry, the keen craeks of the rifles, the 
daring charges made by the assailants with their yells and 
whoops, the groans of the dying, doubtless made a dis- 
cordant noise around this little, mountain, which can be 
better imagined than described. Many heroic and daring 
deeds are recorded by Draper, which time and space will 
not allow us to reproduce. Hand to hand conflicts and 
splendid shots occurred on every side. The Whigs as they 
advanced up the mountain leaped from rock to rock for 
shelter. The trees were peeled with bullets intended for 
the men behind them ; the wounded were scrambling away 
for safety, whilst the dead were lying all around. But 
in the midst of all this the coil drew nearer still. " As the 
British bayonets drove the men down one side, the Whigs 
from the other shouted, *They retreat,' and rushing to the 
Bntish rear they poured in the bullets like hail on their 

Every charge and countercharge upon the British 
Rangers and Tories caused their ranks to grow thinner 
and thinner. Colonel Sevier's command was the first to 
reach the top of the mountain and hold its position. 
Sheltered as they were by the rocks around, they con- 
tinued to pour a destructive fire into the British ranks. 

The coil continued to get smaller and tighter around 
the crest of the mountain. At times both Whig and 
Tory would be making for the same rock. The counter- 
sign of the Whigs was *'Buford" in remembrance of 
*'Tarleton'8 quarter" to this officer and his command at 
the Waxhaws. 

When this Shibboleth was not given on demand up went 
the rifle to the shoulder, and he who was quickest was the 
survivor. The Whigs wore a white paper in their hats, 
while the Toties wore a pine top. The cloud of smoke 
was, however, too dense at times for these to be discerned. 

As the British and Tories were driven closer together, 
the columns of Shelby and Campbell united on the sum- 
mit of the mountain. Cleveland, Winston and McDowell 
led their men up the steep acclivity and were in the rear of 



Ferguson's line which was facing the united columns of 
Campbell and Shelby. 

At last the British were so closely enveloped and the fire 
so hot from every quarter, that they were unable to renew 
the charge. Two white flags were raised in token of sur- 
render which Ferguson cut down with his sword. He was 
remonstrated with by one of his officers, but he swore he 
"would never surrender to such banditti." At length, 
being satisfied that all was lost, "Ferguson," says Draper, 
"with a few chosen friends made a desperate effort to 
break through the VVhig lines on the southeastern side of 
the mountain and escape." 

It had been announced to the Whigs beforehand that 
Ferguson wielded his sword in his left hand and that he 
wore a light or checked duster or hunting shirt over his 
uniform, called by Hambright, "the pig shirt." They 
were on the qui vive for him. " The intrepid British leader 
made a bold dash for life and freedom with his sword in 
his left hand, cutting and slashing till he had broken it." 
To pass through the Whig lines was an impossibility. 
He was first recognized by Gilliland, one of Sevier's men, 
who leveled aim on him, but his gun missed fire. Next 
Robert Young of the same corps fired and Ferguson tum- 
bled from the saddle. The small party which had 
resolved to follow consisted of about twenty — a cavalry 
detachment under Lieutenant Taylor. These, however, 
were picked off by the Whig marksmen as fast as they 
mounted. Driven to desperation, Ferguson attempted to 
make his escape with only two officers. Colonel Vazey 
Husband and Major Daniel Plummer,* both of whom 
were killed. 

Ferguson was unconscious when he fell and lived only a 
few minutes. A number claimed the honor of having 

*Maj. Daniel Plummer, a Loyalist, lived between Fair Forest and 
Tyger, in Spartanburg County. He is represented as having been 
" honest and open," kind and considerate to all. His estate was con- 
fiscated. His faithful devotion to his commander (Ferguson) at 
King's Mountain, was worthy of a better cause. 


shot this fallen chief. His body was pierced with seven 
or eight wounds, and one through the head. 

White handkerchiefs were now seen displayed frora the 
British ranks everywhere, but those who raised them 
simply became targets for the infuriated Whigs. 
" Buford ! " *' Buford I ^' *' Tarleton's Quarters I " '^Tarle- 
ton's Quarters I " rang with fearful tones in the ears of 
the wretched survivors of the Rangers and Tories. *' All 
order and organization were lost and the wretched beings 
stood like a herd of deer in a corral and were slaughtered 
in their tracks." In vain were the white handkerchiefs 
raised. The scene was too sad to contemplate; the cur- 
tain must fall. Major Evan Shelby shouted to the 
victims, *' Throw down your arms! " This was instantly 
done. Shelby rushed forward and implored his men to 
shoot no more. Captain De Peyster, second in command, 
now displayed a white flag to Colonel Campbell, who came 
riding to the front. The firing had almost ceased, but as 
stragglers, or those who were too weak to be in front, 
gained the crest of the hill, they emptied their rifles into 
the British ranks. 

Colonel Campbell cried out to his men, **For God's sake, 
quit!" "It is murder to shoot any more." Captain DePeys- 
ter, who was sitting on a gray horse, rode up to Colonel 
(■ampbell and expostulated with him. Referring to the 

firing on his fiag, he said: "Its d d unfair." (-olonel 

Campbell did not bandy words with him, but simply ordered 
him to dismount, and called out, "Oflicers, rank by your- 
selves— prisoners, take off your hats and sit down ! " The 
flags formed a continuous circle around the prisoners 
until finally, a« the latter were brought closer together, 
they were four deep. The space occupied by the enemy at 
this time was about sixty yards in length and about 
forty in width. Colonel Campbell then proposed three 
cheers for Liberty. The hills resounded with huzzas and 
shouts of victory, which was a welcome and glad acclaim 
by the victorious Americans. 

Just here an unfortunate occurrence took place, which 

6P Ut>PEfe SOtTfl CAROLINA. 211 

is unpleasant to relate. Says Draper: ''A small party of 
Loyal militia, returning from foraging, unacquainted 
with the surrender, happening to fire on the Rebels, the 
prisoners were immediately threatened with death if the 
firing should be repeated." It was about this time that 
Colonel Williams was mortally wounded. It is not posi- 
tively known whether he was struck by the foraging party, 
which scampered off in the same direction from which it 
came, or whether he was shot by a ball from some of the 
prisoners, who, in a huddle, became exasperated that 
proper respect had not been paid to their fiag. 

Colonel Williams was riding at the time toward the 
British encampment; wheeling around he said to William 
Moore: *^ I'm a gone man." Colonel Campbell was near 
at hand when the unfortunate event transpired. It is 
supposed that he reasoned that if this shot came from 
an outside party it was a precursor of the approach of 
Tarleton's men. If it came from the Tories, there was 
danger that they would spring a trap by shooting down 
the Whig leaders and make a desperate effort to escape, 
their arms being still in their hands. Campbell, acting 
upon the spur of the moment, resolved to quell what 
appeared to be a mutiny. He instantly ordered the men 
near him, the men of Williams' and Brandon's command, 
to fire upon the enemy. The order w^as obeyed. 

It is not known how many were killed by this volley. 
Joseph Hughes, * of Brandon's commands, said: "We 
killed about one hundred of them." It was an unfortunate 
and hasty affair, to say the least of it, and Colonel Camp- 
bell, it is said, deeply regretted the order he had given to 
fire upon an unresisting foe. 

The game being bagged, the arms were removed from 
the prisoners and strongly guarded in order that they 
might not be able in a moment of confusion to grasp 

* Joseph Hughes went from the section of Union County which was 
then a part of the Upper or Spartan District. 


AccouutH diffei- as to wlioui De Peyster delivered his 
sword. One account states to Colonel Campbell, while 
another says it was to Maj. Evan Shelby. 

Most o! the officers surrendered their swords to Camp- 
bell, who was stalking around amon^ the enemy in his 
shirt sleeves, with his collar open. From his unmilitary 
plight, it was hard at first to make the British 
officers believe that he was the commander o! the Whig 
forces at that place. 

Ferguson was buried near where he fell. He was 
enclosed in a beef's hide and buried in a hole made in a 
ravine. He was despised by the Whigs whom he had 
wronged and their cravings for revenge was insatiable. 
His personal effects were distributed among the officers. 
His sword was given either to Cleveland or Sevier— prob- 
ably to the latter. His horse, by common consent, was 
given to Cleveland, who had lost his in battle. His 
official correspondence and papers were taken charge of 
by (Jolonel Campbell. His silver whistle dropped from 
his pocket in his last desperate effort to escape. It was 
picked up by a Tory named Powell, who lived in Caldwell 
County, N. C. It was preserved by the family until 1832, 
when it fell into other hands. 

So great was the curiosity of the Whig soldiers to see 
the dead body of Ferguson, that many of the wounded 
soldiers had their friends to convey them to the spot 
that they might gaze upon it. 

Ferguson had two ipigtr^sses with him ; one a red- 
haired woman whose name was *' Virginia Sal," who was 
killed ; and another whose name was '^ Virginia Paul," 
who appeared indifferent as to his fate. 

The battle lasted only about fifty minutes, certainly 
not more than an hour. Not one of the enemv on the 
hill escaped after the battle opened up. A forajrmg party 
went out the same morning, consisting of about two 
hundred, which did not return. 

The loss of the enemy, in killed and wounded, were 
heavy. According to the most trustworthy information, 


the cctsualties in Ferg^uson's corps, the Rangers, were 
thirty killed, twentj-ei^ht wounded and fifty-seven pris- 
oners. The loss of the Tories was one hundred and 
twenty-seven killed, one hundred and twenty-five 
wounded and seven hundred and six prisoners— total, one 
thousand and sixteen (1016). The American loss was 
twenty-eight killed and sixty-two wounded. 

Among the prominent that were killed, were Col. James 
Williams, of South Carolina ; Major Chronicle and Cap- 
tain Mattocks, of Lincoln County, North Carolina; 
Captain Edmondson, of Virginia. Among those that 
were wounded were Lieutenant-Colonel Hambright, Cap- 
tain Sevier, Caiptain Moses Shelby, Captain Epsey and 

Amids^t the natural rocky defenses along the crest of 
the mountain, where many of the Tories had sought 
shelter, some twenty or more of their bodies were found 
jammed together. Most of these were shot through the 
head as if their death had been the deliberate work of 

Dr. Johnson, of Ferguson's corps, it is said, acted the 
part of the good Samaritan after the battle was over by 
rendering every possible attention to the wounded both 
of the Whigs and Provincials, while the wounded of the 
Tories were left pretty much to their fate. 

It has been observed that rarely, if ever, did a body of 
eighteen hundred men come into conflict with so little 
provisions to supply their wants. The Americans in their 
hasty pursuit had provided themselves with almost 
nothing, while Ferguson had been improvident in supply- 
ing his army. It was for this reason, no doubt, that the 
foraging party of two hundred already referred to, had 
been sent out by Ferguson. 

We who witnessed and survived the scenes of other con- 
flicts at a later day in the history of our country, can 
fully realize how awful must have been the scenes at 
King's Mountain after the carnage of the dreadful day — 
the piteous groans of the wounded and the constant cry 


throughout the night succeeding the battle for Water! 
Water ! 

It is recorded that in the hurry, confusion and exhaus- 
tion of the Whigs, these cries that were emanating from 
the Tories were but little heeded. While many hearts 
were touched, others were hardened. In the eyes of the 
Whigs, the Tories had brought upon themselves their 
wretched condition. They believed it a righteous retri- 
bution from Heaven, for opposing their countrymen in 
their efforts to throw off the chains of political bondage 
which had been forged by the oppression of the British 

During the long night, the wearj- Whigs guarded by 
turns the prisoners and cared for their own wounded. 
They were keeping at the same time a close watch lest 
Tarleton should unexpectedly dash upon them. *' It was a 
night," sa,ys Draper, '* of care, anxiety and suffering vividly 
remembered and feelingly rehearsed as long as any of the 
actors were permitted to survive." The reader is referred 
to '' King's Mountain and Its Heroes '' for an account of 
many little particulars and battle incidents connected 
with this contest for freedom and independence. 

After a night of confusion and only a partial repose for 
the Whigs, they were ready by ten o'clock to commence a 
tedious march, encumbered by their wounded and about 
six hundred prisoners. Much of the morning had been 
consumed in preparing litters to convey the wounded. 
Rumors were prevalent that Tarleton 's cavalry were 
pressing on, and while it was only a rumor brought in by 
the people of the surrounding country, the Whigs deemed 
it wise to waste no time. 

** When the army marched at ten o'clock in the fore- 
noon, Colonel Campbell remained behind with a party of 
men to bury their unfortunate countrymen." Two large 
pits were dug upon a small elevation some eighty or a 
hundred yards southeast of Ferguson's headquarters, 
where the slain were placed side by side with blankets 
spread over them. The British dead were placed in one pit 


and the Tories in the other. They had but a very shallow 
covering, however, for soon the wolves and vultures of 
the surrounding country were attracted to the places of 
interment by the smell of flesh and blood. Some were 
overlooked and were unburied. The rest were scratched 
out of their resting places by these scavengers of the 

After the army had marched some twelve miles from the 
battle ground it encamped that night near the eastern 
bank of Broad River and a little north of Buffalo Creek. 
The Whigs had reached a good camping ground at a 
deserted plantation of a Tory whose name was VValden 
orFoudren. Happily they found a sweet potato patch 
which supplied the whole army. The patriots were joined 
during the evening by Colonel Campbell and party and 
also by the footmen whom they had left at the ford 
of Green River, and who had made fine progress in fol- 
lowing the footsteps of the mounted advance. These 
had, fortunately, secured a few beef cattle on the way, 
which went far towards supplying with food the almost 
famished Whigs. 

The army continued its march, reaching on Wednesday, 
11th, Colonel John Walker's place, who resided some five 
miles west of Gilberttown, on the east side of Cane Creek. 
While on the way to this place, the army marched 
through Gilberttown and rested awhile. Says Draper: 
" The prisoners were placed in a pen in which Ferguson, 
when stationed there, had confined captured Whigs, 
when the British had full sway in that quarter. A Tory 
ivoman there was asked what the leaders were going to 
do with their rebel prisoners in the bull pen. '* We are 

going," she tartly replied, " to hang all the d d old 

rebels and take their noses and scrape their tongues and 
let them go." 

The same woman now visited the same pen and saw 
her husband among the prisoners captured at King's 
Mountain. *' What are you soldiers going to do with 
these poor fellows ? " paid she to James Gray with eyes 


filled with tears. ** We are going to bang all the d d 

old Tories," said he. *'take their wives, scrape their 
toDgnes and let them go." This retort in her own coarse 
language, caused her to go quietly away. 

The country around Walker's was so thinly settled, it 
having been plundered for two months, provisions could 
not be obtained for love or money. Not the prisoners 
only, but the whole army came, in the language of 
Thomas Young in his narrative, ** near starving to death." 
The army, therefore, moved to Bickerstaff's or Bigger- 
staff's Old Fields, since known as Burnt Chimneys, (now 
Forest City) which is some nine miles northeast of the 
present town of Ruthfordton, N. C. 

While encamped here. Colonel Campbell issued a general 
order deploring the many desertions from the army and 
appealing to the oflScers to exert themselves in suppress- 
ing the degrading habit of plundering indiscriminately, 
both Whig and Tory families by soldiers '* who issue out 
of camp, etc." He further ordered that none of the troops 
be discharged until the prisoners were transferred to a 
proper guard: the sequel proved that some of the pris- 
oners were to be disposed of in a manner not antici- 
pated when this order, just issued, was made known to 
the armv. 

We come now to the closing of what appears to be the 
most sickening of the many scenes that overshadowed 
the British-Tory defeat at King's Mountain. It appears 
that while the army w^as encamped at lUckerstaff's the 
oflBcers of the two Carolinas united in presenting a com- 
plaint, "that there were, among the prisoners, a number 
who were robbers, house burners, parole breakers and 
assassins." Colonel Campbell, on the strength of these 
reports, was induced to order a court of inquiry. **The 
Carolina oflScers urged," says Draper, **that if these men 
should escape, exasperated as they now were by the consf^- 
quence of their humiliating defeat, they would commit 
other enormities worse than their former ones." We 
have shown in a former chapter that the British leaders 


at Augusta and Ninety-Six, in a high-handed aad sum- 
mary manner, hung not a few of the captured patriots; 
the same was done at Camden. The time had now arrived 
to adopt a severe retaliatory n^easure that would have 
a healthful influence on the Loyalists and put an end to 
their atrocities. 

A copy of the law of North Carolina was obtained, which 
authorized "two magistrates to summon a jury, and 
forthwith to try, and if found guilty, to execute persons 
who had violated its precepts.'' This law, which pro- 
vided for capital punishment, had reference to those guilty 
of murder, arson, house-breaking, riots, etc. 

As most of the North Carolina oflScers were magistrates 
at home the court martial was technically a civil one, com- 
posed a^ it was, of field ofiicers and captains. The jury 
was also composed of twelve oflBcers. The court was con- 
ducted in an orderly manner; the witnesses were called 
in each case and examined; the consequence was that 
'* thirty-six men were tried and found guilty of house- 
breaking, killing the men, turning the women and children 
out of doors and burning the house." 

The trial was brought to a close about nightfall. A 
suitable oak was selected, and upon a projecting limb 
the executions were to take place. Only nine were execu- 
ted. Their names were Col. Ambrose Mills, Capt. James 
Chitwood, Captain Wilson, Capt. Walter Gilkey, Captain 
Grimes, Lieutenant Lafferty, John McFall, John Biddy, 
and Augustine Hobbs. All the rest were pardoned, except 
one Isaac Baldwin, who made his escape in the darkness 
of the night. The pardoning power seems to have been 
exercised by Colonel Shelby, who was a magistrate at 
home. Says Draper: ** While all eyes were directed to 
Baldwin and his companions, pinioned and awaiting the 
call of the executioner, a brother of Baldwin's, a mere lad, 
approached, apparently in sincere affection, to take his 
parting leave. He threw his arms around his brother and 
set up a most piteous screaming and lamentation, as if 
he were going into convulsions, or his heart would break 


with sorrow. While all were witnessing this touching 
scene, the youth managed to cut the cords which bound 
his brother, he darted away, breaking through a line of 
soldiers and easily escaping under the cover of darkness 
into the surrounding forest." 

The unfortunate condemned were to swing off three at 
a time. It is stated upon the authority of Allaire, a 
British oflScer, that Mills, Wilson and Chitwood, died like 
Romans. Among those who were condemned and not 
executed was James Crawford, who with Samuel Cham- 
bers, an inexperienced youth, deserted the over-mountain 
men, while at Bald or Yellow mountain on their outward 
march, and gave Ferguson the first information of the 
storm that was gathering to overwhelm him. 

Captain Grimes, one of the executed, had been a leader 
of a party of Tory horse thieves and highwaymen in 
East Tennessee, where some of his band were taken and 
hung. He had fled to escape the same punishment that 
overtook him in the end. 

During the same night of the execution, one of the 
reprieved Tories, with a heart full of gratitude to Colonel 
Shelby, went to this oflScer and made this revelation: 
"You have saved my life," said he, "and I will tell yon a 
secret. Tarleton will be here in the morning— a woman 
has brought the news." The Whig leaders, upon receiv- 
ing this information, deemed it prudent not to risk 
another engagement, but to retire with the prisoners to a 
place of safety. The camp was instantly aroused and 
every preparation was made for an early start next 
morning, which took place at five o'clock. 

The poor Loyalists were left still swinging to the sturdy 
oak, which was known for years afterwards as the Gallows 
Oak. As soon as the Whigs were gone, Mrs. Martha 
Bickerstaff, wife of Capt. Aaron Bickerstaff, who had 
served under Ferguson and was mortally wounded at 
King's Mountain, with the assistance of an old farmer 
near by, cut the bodies down; eight of them were buried 
in a shallow trench some two feet deep, while the remains 


of Captain Chitwood were conveyed by his friends on a 
blanket to a graveyard about a half mile away. 

In the year 1855, a party of road workers concluded to 
exhume the remains of Colonel Mills and his companions, 
as the place of burial was well known; only four of the 
graves were examined. The bones crumbled on exposure. 
Several articles were found in a good state of preservation: 
a butcher knife, a small brass chain about five inches in 
length, a large musket flint, thumb lancet and other, 

Most of these were, a few years ago, in the hands of the 
late M. O. Dickinson, Esq., of Rutherfordton, N. C. 

We cannot further pursue the army of Colonel Campbell 
in detail, having already devoted so much space to the 
battle of King's Mountain. 

The army continued its march to the Catawba River, 
at Island Ford, where the stream was forded breast deep. 
They bivouacked on the w^estern bank of the river at 
Quaker Meadows, already mentioned as the home of Major 
McDowell. Here the half-starved men obtained provi- 
sions, and were fed and rested. By the 16th of October 
the army had reached the head of the Yadkin. By the 
18th it had reached Wilkes Court House. Some of the 
wounded Americans were left in Burke County, eight or 
twelve miles above Morganton, and committed to the 
care of Dr. Dodson, who had some eighteen under his care 
at one time. 

About the 20th of October the command of Colonels 
Sevier and Lacy branched off. By the 24th the oflScial 
reports of the battle of King's Mountain was made out 
and signed by Colonels Campbell, Shelby and Cleveland. * 
By the 26th, while the array was encamped at Bethabara, 
near Salem, N. C, Colonels Campbell and Cleveland 
repaired to the headquarters of General Gates, at Hills- 
boro, to consult as to what disposition should be made 
of the prisoners, while Colonel Cleveland was left in com- 

* See Wheeler's History of North Carolina, Part II, Page 104, 


mand of the troops and prisoners. Most of the British 
ofBeers were paroled. It was intended to send the pris- 
oners to secure regions in Virginia, but a great many 
escaped, including the officer, Allaire. Says Draper in ref- 
erence to the prisoners: ** Prior to the 7th of November, 
one hundred and eighty-eight who were inhabitants of 
the western country of North Carolina, were taken out of 
Colonel Armstrong's charge by the civil authorities and 
bound over inferentially for their appearance in court or 
for good behavior; some were dismissed; some paroled; 
but most of them enlisted; some in the three months 
militia service, others in the North Carolina continentals 
and others still in the ten-months' men, under Sumter." 
Colonel Armstrong, under whose care the prisoners had 
been placed, was made to answer for his conduct by Gen- 
eral Gates and for the injury done to the American cause. 
The remaining prisoners, amounting to about one hun- 
dred, were then marched under a strong guard to Hills- 

A large portion of the mountaineers who had volun- 
teered for the expedition, returned home, while many 
joined the American army, south, under General Gates, 
who was in a short time afterwards superseded by Gen- 
eral Greene. 

Thus ended the great and glorious expedition and battle 
of King's Mountain, a victory of which the historian, Ban- 
roff, said, '* Was like the rising of Concord, and in its 
effects like the success at Bennington," and changed the 
aspects of war. The Loyalists no longer dared to rise. 

It fired the patriots of the two Carolinas with fresh zeal. 
The fragments of the defeated and scattered American 
army now came together and organized. 

'*That memorable victory," Jefferson declared, "was the 
joyful annunciation of that turn of the tide of success 
which terminated the Revolutionary War with the seal of 






WAS born in vvpfltern Virginia, Augusta County, in 
1754. He was a son of Charles Campbell, of Irish 
birth, a prominent man in his day and time, who 
died in 1767, leaving the care of his wife and four daugh- 
ters to his son William. Soon after this William, when 
only about twentj^-two years of age, migrated with the 
family to a fine tract of land called Aspenvale, near 
Abingdon, Virginia. 

In 1773 he was appointed one of the earliest judges of 
Fincastle County, and in 1774 a militia captain. Soon 
after this he participated in the Indian war against the 
Shawnees, being a part of Colonel Christian's regiment, 
which was a part of the forces of Lord Dun more. 

He early espoused the American cause. In 1775, he, 
with his hunting-shirt riflemen, formed a part of the first 
Virginia regiment, under the command of Col. Patrick 

It was not long after this that he married Miss Eliza- 
beth Henry, a sister of the famous Patrick Henry. 

Troubles on the borders in 1776 caused him to resign 
and return to his home. In January, 1777, Washington 
County was organized. Colonel Campbell was continued a 
member of the justice's court and was at the same time 
made Lieutenant-Colonel of the militia in a regiment 
commanded by Evan Shelby. 

In 1777 he was appointed a commissioner to run the 
boundary line between the Cherokees and Virginia. In 
1779 he was engaged in suppressing a partial uprising of 
the Tories in Montgomery County. In April, 1780, he 
was promoted to the full rank of colonel in place of Col. 


Evan Shelby, whose residence was now determined to be 
in North Carolina. The same year he served a term in 
the Virf^inia House of Delegates. Soon after he returned 
home he engaged large bodies of Tories, who, at the insti- 
gation of British officers, were endeavoring to seize the 
lead mines near Wytheville ; returning from this expedi- 
tion he led four hundred brave riflemen from Washington 
County to meet Ferguson and his command of united 
rangers and Tories who were advancing in the direction 
of his section of the country. This expedition and the 
final overthrow of Ferguson has been briefly related. 
Too much praise cannot be accorded to the memory of 
the "Hero of King's Mountain "for his gallant bearing 
in the campaign generally, and especially for his conduct 
in battle. 

Hurrying home after the battle of King's Mountain, he 
found the Cherokees at work on the border. Raising 
additional troops he marched to the assistance of Col. 
Arthur Campbell, Colonel Shelby and Major Martin, who 
had preceded him to quell this insurrection. The Chero- 
kees were pursued, many of their warriors killed and 
their settlements desolated. 

On the thirteenth of January, 1781, General Greene 
wrote to Col. William Campbell reminding him of the 
glory he had already acquired, and urging him to ^' bring 
without delay one thousand good volunteers from over 
the mountains." Notwithstanding the fact that the 
troubles in his own country with the Indians aiyJ Tories 
were not yet settled, Colonel Campbell raised over a hun- 
dred of his picked riflemen and moved forward on the 
twenty-fifth to the assistance of General Greene. Others 
joined him on the way and when he reached the army of 
General Greene, which was about the second of March, he 
had a command of about four hundred. He fought gal- 
lantly in the battle of Guilford and his services in the 
campaign are conspicuously recorded. Returning home 
after the battle of Guilford, he was again chosen to repre- 
sent Washington County in the Virginia House of Dele- 

OP Ut>t»Eit SOtTtH CAROLINA. 22^ 

gates. He served on important committees with Patrick 
Henry and others. By this body he was created a BrigSr- 
dier-General of the militia, to serve under Marquis De 
LaFayette, then commanding in Virginia. He at once 
repaired to LaFayette's camp for service. He became a 
favorite of this gallant nobleman, who appointed him to 
command a brigade of light infantry and cavalry. His 
career, however, in this campaign was destined to be 
short. He was taken with a complaint in his breast and 
after a few days illness expired, August 22d, 1781, in his 
thirty-sixth year. General LaFayette issued a general 
order announcing the sad event and characterizing Colo- 
nel Campbell as '*au oflBcer whose services must have 
endeared him to every citizen, and in particular to every 
American soldier. The glory which General Campbell 
acquired in the battles of King's Mountain and Guilford 
Court House will do his memory an everlasting honor, and 
insure him a high rank among the defenders of liberty in 
the American cause." The remains of General Campbell 
were at first interred at Rocky Mills, in Hanover County, 
Virginia. Here they reposed until 1823, when his rela- 
tives had them removed to his old Aspenvale homestead 
on the Holston, in southwest Virginia, to rest beside his 
mother, little son and other relatives. His widow, a son 
and a daught<*r survived him. The widow subsequently 
united in marriage to Gen. William Russell ; the son died 
young; the daughter Sarah, became the wife of Gen. 
Francis Preston and mother of Hon. William C. Preston, 
Gen. John S. Preston and Col. Thomas L. Preston. Gen- 
eral Campbell's widow lived until 1825, to the age of 
about eighty years, and the daughter, Mrs. Preston, lived 
until 1846, to the age of about seventy years. The name 
of William Campbell should never be forgotten by the 
rising generations of our country. Says a writer, 
*' Whenever the story of King's Mountain and Guilford 
is read and the services of their heroes fully appreciated, 
it will be found that William Campbell has 'purpled o'er 
his name with deathless glory.' " 



The ClevelandB, it is said, were an ancient family deriv- 
ing their name from a tract of country in the north 
Riding of Yorkshire, England, still called Cleveland. In his- 
tory there are two Alexander Clevelands mentioned. The 
junior of this name was father of John Cleveland, who 
was the father of Benjamin, the subject of this sketch. 

John Cleveland early migrated to Virginia and married 
a Miss Martha Coffee. He settled on the famous Bull 
Run, in Prince William County. It was here that Benja- 
min Cleveland was born on the 26th of May, 1738. His 
early educational advantages appear to have been 
limit-ed. Much of his early life was spent in hunting. It 
is said by a writer, that he, **like Daniel Boone, had an 
unconquerable aversion to the tame drudgery of farm 
life.'' His favorite resort in early youth was in the wilder- 
ness where he secured pelts and furs, which found a ready 
market. He was also fond of hunting deer by torch 
light, commonly called fire hunting. In early manhood 
he married Miss Mary Graves, of Orange County. It is 
said that he participated in the French and Indians wars, 
but this is not proven in history, and that his mar- 
riage did not tame him. He was fond of horse racing, 
gaming and other wild sports common on the frontiers. 
During harvest times the neighbors would be invited. 
A fiddler and plenty of liquor were provided, and the 
day's work usually ended in a debauch. 

To brake away from these habits and associations, Ben- 
jamin Cleveland moved with his family to Roaring Creek, 
in Wilkes County, North Carolina. Here he opened up a 
farm and devoted much of his attention to stock raising 
and hunting. In 1772, in company with a party of 
friends, he set out to Kentucky in quest of Daniel Boone. 
On the way he and his friends were captured and deprived 
of their horses, guns, ammunition and shoes. In this pit- 
iful and almost starving condition the^' returned home. 
Several months after this Cleveland raised a select party 
^nd visited the Cherokee country and recovered the 

OP UPPER sonxa Carolina. 225 

stolen horses. In this he was aided bj a friendly chief, 
Big Bear, who furnished him an escort to visit the several 
towns and assist in recovering^ the stolen property. 

He early espoused the patriotic cause and on the first 
of September, 1775, was appointed an ensign in the sec- 
ond North Carolina regiment, under the command of Col. 
Robert Howe. This honor, however, he declined, prefer- 
ing rather to serve with the militia from his own locality. 

During 1775 Cleveland's neighbors had occasion to 
go to Cross Creek to purchase their supplies of iron, 
sugar and salt, and other necessaries. They were com- 
pelled before they could buy or sell to take the oath of 
allegiance to the King. Cleveland, hearing of these acts of 
tyranny, swore that he would dislodge those Scotch scoun- 
drels at Cross Creek. He raised a select party of riflemen 
and marching down upon them soon scattered them. He 
scoured the country, captured several of the outlaws, one 
of whom he executed. Tlie name of this party was Jack- 
son, who had set fire to the home and store house with 
merchandise of one Ransom Sunderland. 

In the campaign of Colonels Williamson and Ruther- 
ford against the Cherokee Indians, in 1776, Cleveland, as 
captain of a company in the Surry Regiment served gistl- 
lantly, sharing all the hardships and privations which 
the soldiers had to undergo. 

In 1777, Captain Cleveland again led his company to 
the Watauga settlements against the yet troublesome 
Cherokees, where he served at Carter's Fort until a treaty 
of peace was concluded in July of that year. 

In 1778, the new County of Wilkes, North Carolina, 
was organized. Cleveland was pla,ced at the head of the 
commission of justices and was made colonel of the mili- 
tia. In the fall of this year he was chosen to represent 
his county in the Legislature of North Carolina. * 

In 1778, when the Britsh forces invaded Georgia, Colo- 
nel Cleveland served in this campaign, his regiment being 

♦ See Wheeler's History of North Carolina, Wilkes County, page 468. 


a part of General Rutherford's command. Returning 
home from this service he was elected to represent his 
county in the State Senate. 

In the summer of 1780 he was actively engaged in sup- 
pressing the Tories at different places; first in marching 
against the Tories assembled at Ramsour's Mill, arriving 
there shortly after their defeat; second, in chasing Colo- 
nel Bryan's forces from the State, and finally in scouring 
the region of New River, checking the Tory rising in 
that region. In some instances some of their notorious 
leaders and outlaws were hanged. 

The distinguished services of Colonel Cleveland in the 
famous King's Mountain campaign have already been 
noticed. Just before the opening up of the battle of 
King's Mountain he delivered an address to the troops in 
plain, unvarnished language, which did much to inspire 
their courage and patriotism on this occasion, and doubt- 
less added greatly to the triumphant success of the Amer- 
can cause. 

Draper, in his biography of Cleveland, gives an ex- 
tended account of a narrow escape by him not long after 
the King's Mountain expedition. It appears that on one 
occasion he captured two Tory outlaws, Jones and Carl, 
and hung them. Soon afterwards and whilst all alone, 
he was captured by a gang of Tories. His life hung on a 
thread. His name and infiuence was worth everything to 
the Tories, who decided before they executed him to 
require him to write passes for them, certifying that 
was a good Whig, to be used when in close quarters. 
Cleveland was a very poor scribe and wrote passes very 
slowly, believing they would kill him as soon as he fin- 
ished this work. While he was thus engaged a party of 
Whigs came up, under the command of his brother, Capt. 
Robert Cleveland, and he was fortunately recaptured. 
Riddle, who commanded the Tory company which cap- 
tured Cleveland, was afterwards captured with his son 
and another follower and carried before Cleveland, and by 


his orders all three of them were hung near the present 
town of Wilkesboro, North Carolina. 

It is said of Cleveland that while in many instances he 
resorted to the severest measures of punishment against 
the outrages and maraudings of the Tories, he yet exer- 
cised a commanding influence over them and caused some 
of them to abandon their Tory associations and unite 
under his standard. Says a writer, ** Cleveland was liter- 
ally all things to all people." By his severities "he awed 
and intimidated not a few, restraining them from lapsing 
into Tory abominations; by his kindness, forbearance 
and even tenderness, winning over many to the glorious 
cause he loved so well." 

Cleveland's last military service was in the autumn of 
1781. He performed a three months tour of duty on the 
Little Pee Dee, in South Carolina. His command of 
mountaineers routed the Tory detachments. After this 
was accomplished he returned home. 

At the close of the war Cleveland lost his handsome 
plantation, called "Round About," by reason of a de- 
fective title. His attention had been attracted to a 
beautiful country in the Cherokee Nation, while partici- 
pating in the expedition of Colonels Williamson and 
Rutherford against the Cherokees in 1776. Though the 
the Indian title was not yet extinguished he resolved to 
become among the first squatters of that country. He 
visited the Tugaloo Valley in 1784, and selected for his 
future home a magnificent body of land lying between 
the Tugaloo River and Chauga Creek, in the present 
County of Oconee, S. C. To this place Cleveland re- 
moved about the year 1785 or 1786. 

To the history of Col. Ben Cleveland's life after his 
removal to the Tugaloo, much is due to his biography 
by Governor Perry in his *' Sketches of Eminent States- 
men." It was not long after his removal to his new 
home until his services were called into requisition. When 
the new '* County Court Act," of which Judge Pendleton 
was the author, went into force Col. Benjamin Cleveland, 


Gen. Andrew Pickens and Gen. Robert Anderson were 
appointed judges of the court for Pendleton County. 
Colonel Cleveland was no lawyer, though a good judge 
of right from wrong. He had a contempt for the techni- 
calities of law and its delays. He was fair in the admin- 
istration of justice, and after hearing the evidence his 
mind was quickly made up. He did not consult books, 
but decided according to his sense of justice and right. 

It is stated by Governor Perry that Colonel Cleveland 
grew very corpulent during the latter days of his life, 
weighing some four or five hundred pounds. It is further 
stated by this eminent writer, that his (Perry's) father, 
visited him one bitter cold morning and found him sit- 
ting in his piazza with nothing on but a thin calico gown, 
and that his legs were of a purple color. Mr. Perry said 
to him, "This is a very cold morning, Colonel Cleveland.'' 
" No," replied the colonel. *' It's a very fine morning, and 
I have come out to enjoy the fresh morning air." It is 
further related by him that by reason of his fleshiness, 
he would while sitting on the bench take a snooze, while 
the lawyers were rendering their arguments, and would 
sometimes snore so loud as to interrupt the proceedings 
of the court. 

Governor Perry gives an interesting account of the 
descendants of Col. Benjamin Cleveland. Two brothers, 
John and Robert, and one sister are named. John 
Cleveland was a Baptist preacher of good standing, influ- 
ence and ability. He was pastor of a church on Chauga 
River, in Oconee County. In referring to the " General 
History of the Baptist Denomination of America," pub- 
lished In Boston, m 1813, a copy of which is in possession 
of the writer, his name appears as pastor of Chauga 
Church, Sarepter Association. Membership, 265, founded 
1783. The sister referred to, married a Mr. Franklin, 
brother of Governor Franklin, of North Carolina. 

Robert Cleveland, brother of Col. Benjamin Cleveland, 
was a soldier of the Revolution and was a captain in his 
brother's regiment at King's Mountain. He was the 


father of Capt. Jeremiah Cleveland, of Greenville, South 
Carolina, and of Jesse Cleveland, one of Spartanburg's 
early and most successful merchants, who was the father 
of the late John and Dr. Robert E. Cleveland, the latter 
the father of the present Dr. Jesse and John B. Cleveland, 

The remains of Colonel Cleveland were buried on his 
farm which belonged, in 1887, to Dr. William Earle. 
Governor Perry states that he visited, when a boy, the 
grave of this immortal hero. It was much neglected, 
brambles, briers and bushes having grown up around it. 
Some years afterwards some one built a square pen 
around it of pine saplings, which soon rotted down. A 
few year ago, under the leadership of one of his descend- 
ants, Vanoy Cleveland, Esq., a handsome monument 
was placed over the last resting place of Colonel 
Cleveland by his relatives. 

It has been truly said of Colonel Cleveland, that he 
** was one of nature's great men — ^great in every respect, 
great in person, great in heart and great in mind. He 
was honest, truthful and honorable, and discharged his 
duties frankly and fearlessly. He was a man of extraor- 
dinary judgment, good sense and practical wisdom." 
Let his name and glory stand among the memories of 
other heroes that are being perpetuated. 


Son of Valentine and Joarma Sevier, was born in the 
village of New Market, Rockingham county, in the Val- 
ley of Virginia, on the twenty-third day of September, 
1745. After the Indian war of 1755, the family removed 
for safety to where John was placed at school. He was 
afterwards sent to school at Staunton, and while there 
was accidentally saved from drowning in a mill-race by 
the heroic efforts of two young ladies, one of whom 
became the wife of George Matthews, a colonel uf the 
Revolution and Governor of Georgia. In early life, John 
Sevier was engaged with his father in trade and at 


the age of seventeen he married a Miss Sarah Hawkins, 
He opened up a farm, engaged in merchandising and 
occasionally participated in excursions against the 
Indians. On one occasion he and his companions nar- 
rowly escaped an ambuscade which had been set for them. 

Late in 1773, John Sevier removed his family to the 
Holston country (now East Tennessee) within a few 
miles of the Shelbys. Before his removal from Virginia, 
he was commissioned a captain, by Lord Dunmore. 

The wife of John Sevier being delicate, she never 
moved from Virginia, and died there soon after the birth 
of her sixth child. 

John Sevier was at Watauga Fort when attacked by 
the Indians in July, 1776. A large number of people had 
gathered there and at daybreak, when the women were 
outside milking the cows, a large body of Cherokees fired on 
the milkers, but fortunately they all escaped to the fort, 
the gates having been thrown open for their reception. 
Among the girls who were engaged in milking was a 
Miss Catherine Sherrill. It seems that the gates were 
accidentally shut against her before she reached the fort. 
She was equal to the emergency, however. She threw her 
bonnet over the pickets and climbed over herself and fell 
into the arms of John Sevier, who subsequently became 
her husband. The attack on the fort was Buccessfullj'^ 

We have shown that John Sevier was among the first 
in the defense of the settlements on the Watauga and 
Nolachuckey. He was elected clerk of the first self-consti- 
tuted court in 1775, and in 1776 was chosen one of the 
representatives of the united settlements to the North 
Carolina Convention, at Halifax. During this session he 
secured the establishment of the district of Washington, 
After his return he served in Christian's expedition 
against the Cherokees, at the head of a spirited company 
of riflemen. He remained in the service until the treaty 
of Holston, at Long Island, July, 1777. In the fall of 
this year he was appointed Lieutenant-Colonel of Wash- 


in^ton County. His principal duty from 1777 to 1779 
was to guard with vigilance the Tories, Indians and horse 
thieves that infested the country. 

During the year 1780 he participated in the expedition 
against Ferguson. His gallant services at King's Moun- 
tain have already been noticed and cannot be too highly 
extolled. In December of the same year he defeated the 
Cherokees at Boyd's Creek, killing thirteen and taking all 
their baggage. After this he joined Col. Arthur Campbell 
in an expedition against the hostile towns. 

In February, 1781, he was made a full colonel. In 
March of this year he led a successful expedition against 
the middle Cherokee settlements, killing about thirty of 
their warriors, capturing some prisoners, burning six 
towns and bringing away about two hundred horses. In 
the autumn of this year he served under Generals Greene 
and Marion in South Carolina. In November, 1784, he 
was appointed Bregadier-General, which honor he declined, 
because of his leadership in the proposed republic of Frank- 
lin, or, as Wheeler has it, Frankland, During the period of 
its existence he was made its Governor and principal 
defender. He was apprehended by the North Carolina 
authorities, headed by Governor Tipton, and carried to 
the court at Morgantown under the charge of rebellion. 
He was rescued by a party of his friends. He bore the 
sobriquet of ''Nolachuckej' Jack" at home. Returning 
home from Morgantown he led a campaign against the 
Indians. The people of East Tennessee being divided in 
sentiment, the State of Frankland ceased to exist, after a 
stormy career of about four years. 

In 1789 General Sevier was chosen a representative to 
the Legislature of North Carolina, when an act of obliv- 
ion was passed. He was thereupon reinstated Brigadier- 

In 1790-1 he was elected to represent the PJast Tennes- 
see district of North Carolina in Congress, and when Ten- 
nessee was organized into a territory he was appointed 
by President Washington a Brigadier-General of the mill- 


tia. He continued to protect the frontier settlements, 
carrying on the Hi^htower campai^ against the Chero- 
kees in 1793. In 1798 he was made a general in the pro- 
visional army of the United States. On the organization 
of the State Government of Tennessee, in 1796, Gen. John 
Sevier was chosen its first governor and continued in this 
oflBce until 1801. In 1802 he served as commissioner to 
run the boundary line between Tennessee and Virginia. 
He was again chosen governor from 1803 to 1809 and 
then served a term in the State Senate. In 1811 he was 
again chosen to a seat in Congress, and served on the 
committee on military affairs until 1815, when he was 
appointed by President Madison one of the commis- 
sioners to ascertain the boundary of the Creek territory, 
and died while on this service, near Fort Decatur, Ala- 
bama, September 24ch, 1815, at the advanced age of 
seventy years. 

*' General Sevier," said the distinguished Hugh L. White, 
who had served under him, **was considered in his day 
among the most gallant, patriotic and useful men in the 
country in which he lived." For a long number of years 
his remains rested in a neglected and almost forgotten 
grave, with no stone to point to the sacred spot. Not 
many years ago, however, they were removed to the 
court house grounds in Knoxville, Tennessee, where a 
handsome monument with appropriate inscriptions, 
marks their final resting place. * 

In another part of this work will be found a sketch of 
Col. Isaac Shelby and also Col. James Williams, of South 
Carolina.* Soon after the fall of the latter on the battle 
field of King's Mountain, he was carried into the British 

*Under a government appointment to Oklahoma Territory, the 
writer had the pleasure of visiting this monument while passing 
through Knoxville, Tennessee. 

* See Musgrove's exp«:dition and battle. 


Jines and placed under the care of the British surgeon, Dr. 
Johnson, of whom it is said that he did all the service he 
could to Whigs and Provincials alike. When the army 
took up its line of march the following day, the wounded 
were placed on horse litters and the tenderest cai'e was 
taken of the heroic Colonel Williams. Says Draper: '* In 
the early part of the afternoon, when about three miles 
south-west of the battle ground, on the route towards 
Deer's Ferry on Broad River, the little guard having him 
in charge, discovering that life was fast ebbing away, 
stopped on the road-side at Jacob Randall's place, since 
the homestead of Abraham Hardin, where he quietly 
breathed his last. His death was a matter of sincere 
grief to the whole army. His friends resolved at first to 
carry his remains to his old home, near Little River in 
Laurens County, but soon after changed this deter mina- 
tion. Marching some twelve miles from the battlefield, 
they encamped that night near the eastern bank of Broad 
River and a little north of Buffalo Creek on the road 
leading to North Carolina, and within two miles of 
Camp's Creek. Here, at the deserted plantation of Wal- 
dron or Foundron, they found a good camping ground." 
As no suitable conveyance could be found, the next morn- 
ing the friends of Colonel Williams concluded to bury his 
remains near by. They were accordingly interred with 
the honors of war between the Whig camp and the river, 
a little above the the mouth of Buffalo Creek, on a plant- 
ation that afterwards belonged to Capt. J. B. Mintz. 
Repeated efforts were made by different ones, and by the 
descendants of Colonel Williams years after, to locate 
this sacred spot, but without success. Many years after- 
wards Captain Mintz employed some men to shrub off the 
ground where the long forgotten grave was supposed to 
be, and sure enough a grave was discovered with a head 
and foot stone of a different kind of rock from any to be 
found near by. This is unquestionably the last resting 
place of Colonel Williams. It is an irreparable shame to 
our American Republic that the last resting places of many 


of her heroes have been nep^lected and forgotten. Be this 
as it may, their noiemories and glorious deeds will be pre- 
served and perpetuated through long succeeding ages. 

Time would fail us to present sketches in detail of 
Col. Charles McDowell, Lieut.-Cols. Frederick Hambright, 
Benjamin Herndon, Edward Lacy and Majs. Joseph Win- 
ston, William Chronicle, Even Shelby, Jr., Joseph McDow- 
ell, and many of the list of devoted patriots of King's 
Mountain, whose names have been preserved and whose 
valorous services, together with those whose names are 
not given to us, will be forever preserved and perpetuated 
in the annals of our country's historv. 


Colonel Patrick Ferguson, commander of the British 
and Loyalists forces at King's Mountain, was no ordinary 
man. He was a finished soldier and his bearing through- 
out his military career proved him as brave as a 
lion. He was a Scotchman by birth and son of James 
Ferguson, an eminent Judge, Lord of Sessions and Justi- 
ciary. He was a nephew of a great nobleman whose name 
was Patrick Murry (Lord Elibank), a man of eminent 
literary talents who was deemsd by other writers and con- 
temporary sages equal to the best authors of the 
Scottish Augustan age. Patrick Ferguson early acquired 
an education, possessing as he did, a vigorous mind 
and brilliant parts. At the age of eighteen he entered 
the army in the German war and was distinguished by 
his cool and determined courage. It is said that he early 
displayed inventive genius, sound judgment and intrepid 
heroism, and all the essential qualifications which con- 
stitute the successful soldier. He was the inventor of a 
new species of rifle that could load at the breach and fire 
seven times a minute with accurac^^ and precision. He 
participated in the battle of Brandywine in 1777, and 
used with his corps his invention with fatal effect. 

In 1779 he distinguished himself on the North River, 
and wasj sent soon after to aid General Clinton in the 


South. He rendered signal service in the reduction of 
Charleston, May, 1780, and received complimentary notice 
in the dispatches of his Commander-in-Chief. He was 
pleasant and conciliatory in manner, and was well calcu- 
lated to gain friends. It was for this reason,, after the 
fall of Charleston, that he was dispatched to the district 
of Ninety-Six, to win the inhabitants to the British cause. 
The record is that he displayed much tact and judgment. 
He published an address to the inhabitants in which he 
said, '^ We come not to make war upon women and 
children, but to give them money and relieve their dis* 
tresses." In another place we have stated the circum- 
stances of his fall at King's Mountain. It seems that 
Providence assigned to him a sad fate. His talents, 
patriotism and devotion to his King and superiors were 
worthy of a better cause. 

(•APTAiN Abraham De Peyster was second in com- 
mand at King's Mountain, and surrendered the army 
after the fall of Ferguson. He was born in New York in 
1753. He descended, it is said, from an ancient and influ- 
ential family. He entered the Royal service as Captain in 
the New York Volunteers ; served in the seige of Charli^ston, 
at Musgrove's Mill and in Ferguson's operations during 
the summer and autumn of 1780 — distinguishing himself 
at King's Mountain, where his life was saved by a doub- 
loon* in his vest pocket, which stopped a rifle ball, though 
the coin was bent by its force. He retired on half pay to 
New Brunswick, where he was treasurer and colonel in the 
militia, dying about 1798. He is represented as a 
brave, vigilant and enterprising oflicer. 

Colonel Ambrose Mills, who was captured at King's 
Mountain and executed at Bickerstaffs, was born in Eng- 
land about 1722, and while yet young, was taken to 
Maryland. He married Miss Mourning Stone, and first 

*A Spanish or Portugese coin, of the value of from $15 to f6o. 

— Webster' 


settled on James River. Afterwards he removed to the 
frontiers of South (/aroliaa, where his wife was murdered 
by the Indians during the Indian War of 1755 to 1761, 
leaving an only son William. He subsequently married 
Miss Annie Brown, a native of the present region of Ches- 
ter, South Carolina, a sister to the wife of Col. Thomas 
Fletchall, whose character as a Loyalist and whose resi- 
dence on Fair Forest rep^ion has been already mentioned. 
Colonel Mills by his second marriage had three sons and 
three daughters. In 1765, he settled on Green River, in 
the present county of Polk, North Carolina. In 1776, he 
served against the Cherokee Indians. He appears to have 
been all right until 1778, when he united with the notorious 
David Fanning in raising a corps of five hundred men, the 
object of which was to join the Royal standard at St. 
Augustine. One of the party betrayed their plans. Mills 
and sixteen others were apprehended and taken to Salis- 
bury, where they were placed in jail. Fanning with a 
small party endeavored to rescue him on the way, but 
their efforts were unavailing. Mills, after a time, was 
released. He joined Ferguson when he visited his region 
in 1780. He fought at Earle's Ford and at King's Moun- 
tain. ** Viewed a century afterwards," says Draper, ^* he 
was too severely dealt with at Bickerstaffs.'* His execu- 
tion was doubtless, to a great extent, intended as a retal- 
iatory measure. He was, when well advanced in years, 
at the head of a lawless, plundering and marauding band 
of Tories, and was by his execution made, in the heat of 
passion, to suffer for all. In private life there is not a 
blot on record against his character as a man, or his 
integrity as a gentleman. In his efforts to repel the 
Indians in 1776, who were aroused against the whites by 
the British Agents, Stewart and (>araeron, he appears at 
first to have sided with the patriots. 

His descendants are among the ablest and moat respect- 
able citizens in the South and Southwest. Allaire in his 
diary says, in referring]to]the executions at Bickerstaff's, 
thatJ^Mills, Cbitwood^and^ Wilson died like Romans." 




THE victory and final overthrow of Ferguson at 
King's Mountain was a great blow to the British 
interests in the Carolinas. We have already stated that 
before and during the engagement at that place, Corn- 
wallis was stationed with his army at Charlotte, North 
Carolina, having marched to that place after his victory 
over General Gates at Camden, on the 16th of August, 
1780. Before leaving the latter place, he left behind him 
a small force, detachments from which were constantly 
annoyed by a considerable body of militia from North 
and South Carolina, under the command of Generals 
Davidson and Sumter, who took post in the vicinity. 
Among those who were most successful in intercepting 
the enemy's foraging parties and convoys, was Major 
Davie, whose command had been greatly recruited by vol- 
unteers from the lower countrv. It is recorded that not- 


withstanding the enemy's recent victory in that locality, 
their position was still one of uneasiness and exposure. 
The American riflemen would frequently penetrate the 
British camp and make sure of their object from behind 
trees. They dared not leave their encampment, even for 
a few hundred yards. 

These deeds of daring and this harrassing of the enemy's 
forces, as well as the recent victory at King's Mountain, 
caused Comwallis to grow alarmed for his safety, Believ- 


irig he had already subjugated South Carolina tO'British 
authoirty, he had commonced the invasion of North Car- 
olina to accomplish the same end. The sudden and unex- 
pected turn of events, however, made him apprehensive 
lest he mi^ht share the fate of his subordinate, Ferguson. 
His position became the more critical by reason of the 
fact, that the Loyalists no longer manifested the same 
zeal to join his standard, and he found himself with a 
feeble army in the midst of a hostile and a sterile coun- 
try. Seeing that a forward movement would but further 
increase the embarrassments that were surrounding him, 
he resolved to relinquish further invasion of North 
Carolina, where the public mind was growing more decid- 
edly in favor of the patriot cause, and return to South 
Carolina. Accordingly he abandoned Charlotte, re- 
passed the Catawba River and took post at Winnsboro, 
South Carolina. On his way to this place he was annoyed 
by the Whig forces, who took several of his wagons 
loaded with stores. It is said that the Whig troopers 
would ride^ up singly, within gunshot of his army, and 
discharge their pieces and make good their escape. 

The panic which had been caused by the reduction of 
the Continental army at Charleston under Lincoln and 
the defeat of Gates at Camden, began to wear off. The 
overthrow of Ferguson and the retreat of Cornwallis 
from Charlotte placed the American situation in a different 
light. The Whigs hastened in great multitudes to place 
themselves under the standards of their most daring 
chiefs, Marion and Sumter. The former scoured the 
lower, while the latter scoured the upper, portion of 
South Carolina. 

Cornwallis, having taken a stand at Winnsboro, a chain 
of British posts were established, consisting of George- 
town, Camden, Winnsboro, Ninety-six and Augusta. 
Within this circle was an interior chain consisting of 
Fort Watson, on the road to Camden, Mott's House and 
Granby on the Congaree. Inside of these were Dorchester 
and Orangeburg, which were fortified as posts of rest and 


deposit on the lines of communication between the points 
mentioned. These posts were all judiciously chosen by 
the British commander, both for covering the country 
and obtaining supplies from the confiscated and seques- 
tered estates of the Whigs in the vicinity. The total 
numbers occupying these different points amounted to 
about five thousand. 

Let us go back a few months and examine the state 
of affairs, just before the changes which we have men- 
tioned. After the battle of Oamden, Marion performed 
the brilliant exploit of recapturing the prisoners taken at 
Gates' defeat. After this, he was obliged to dismiss a 
large portion of his followers and retire to his secret 
hiding place in the almost impenetrable swamps. Sum- 
ter also, after the surprise and dispersion of his command 
at Fishing Creek (in Sumter county), fell back with the 
wreck of that fatal day, to secure regions in the mountains. 
But no sooner had Cornwallis turned his face to South 
Carolina and the American army put in motion, 
than these brave leaders emerged from their several 
retreats and renewed their bold and harrassing enter- 
prises against the British forces and their Tory adherents. 

To counteract these and and to save his army from 
ultimate defeat was a matter which doubtless occupied 
the attention of Cornwallis. Tarleton's former successes 
against Sumter pointed him out as the proper ofl3cer 
to ferret out and destroy Marion. In this undertaking, 
how^ever, he was doomed to disappointment. Indeed it 
may be observed here, that after the affair at Fishing 
Creek the star of Tarleton began to decline. He never 
afterwards performed any important services in South 
Carolina. Marion eluded and baflSed all his plans and 
maneuvers to bring him into action, and remained 
in possession of the disputed country. 

Cornwallis, finding that Tarleton could make no head- 
way against Marion, recalled him to confront his old adver- 
sary, now within twenty-eight miles of the British camp at 


Winnsboro.* Sumter's forces bad considerably increased 
in numbers, having formed a junction with the commands 
under Colonels Taylor, Winn, Middleton, Lax;y, Bratton, 
Thomas, Hill and a number of Whigs from Georgia under 
Colonels Clarke and Twiggs. Being now at the head of 
an imposing command, he, it appears, lay encamped too 
long at Fish Dam on Broad River. The daring measure 
of Sumter in approaching so near the British encamp- 
ment suggested the enterprise to Cornwallis of surprising 
him in his camp before the arrival of Tarleton. Such 
was the importance of securing Sumter in person, that an 
ofl3cer and five dragoons were specially charged to force 
their way to his tent and take him dead or alive. 

The exi>edition was placed under the command of Col- 
olnel Wemyss, who obtained for his guide a young 
Loyalist whose name was Sealey, who had been dis- 
charged from confinement in Sumter's camp the day 
before and who knew exactly the position of Sumter's 
tent, which stood beside the main road crossing the en- 
campment. Fortunately, General Sumter was on the 
alert, having remained in camp so long at this place he 
was anticipating a surprise. He had given unusual 
strength to his advance guard, which was placed under 
the command of Col. Thomas Taylor. In order that he 
might be able to see the approach of the enemy, Colonel 
Taylor caused a number of fires to be lighted in his front. 
At a short distance behind these, his men were arranged 
and concealed. Sure enough, as expected, the enemy 
approached. The videttes and pickets did their duty and 
by the time the enemy's forces had reached the fire-lights, 
Taylor's men were under arms ready to receive them. 
They instantly poured a well-directed and murderous 
fire into their ranks, which prostrated twenty-three 
of them, including Colonel Wemyss, their comman- 
der. The rest immediately recoiled and retreated 
one hundred yards— in front of the fires— before they 

■*See Johnson's Life of Greene, Vol. I, page 315. 


could be rallied. Here the infantry dismounted and 
advanced again with fixed bayonets on Taylor's men, 
who had no bayonets. The latter were ordered to retire and 
form under the cover of a rail fence in the rear 
The order was executed with precision. A well directed 
tire from this position caused the enemy to stagger and 
draw off. The fact is recorded, singular as it may appear, 
that at the instant the enemy retreated, Taylor's men 
that had repelled them, broke and fled also, their flight 
being concealed by the darkness of the night. But had 
this been known to the enemy, it would have been of no 
avail to them, as Sumter's army was already under arms 
awaiting their approach. 

On the morning after this affair, the fact was revealed 
that the enemy had fled precipitately after the last en- 
counter with Taylor's men. Colonel Wemyss was found 
next morning shot through both thighs. He had recently 
returned from an expedition against the Whigs on Black 
River and the Pee Dee, where he had acted under the orders 
of Cornwallis. Though it was believed that he had super- 
intended the execution of Mr. AdamCusack (whowashung) 
and had in his pocket a memorandum of several houses 
burned by his command, still he received every consider- 
ation as a prisoner of war at the hands of Sumter. 

A singular fate happened to Sealey, who guided the 
British to Sumter's camp at night. He died of a sabre 
wound inflicted by his own men. It occurred in this way : 
After conducting the small party that had been selected to 
penetrate Sumter's tent, he forgot that the presence of 
the party whom he accompanied was necessary to pre- 
vent his being mistaken by his homespun clothing for an 
American. He thus met the fate that he deserved. 

The soldierly conduct of Colonel Taylor was the 
decisive cause of the repulse of the British in this engage- 
ment. Had it not been for the obscurity of the night 
which rendered it impossible for Sumter's whole command 
to become engaged, this affair would have been fatal to 


the British party. Not more than one hundred and fifty 
of the Americans were enpjaged. 

The battle at Fish Dam, on Broad River, which occurred 
in the ni^ht time, was on the 12th of November, 1780, 
only one week before the battle of Blackstock's, an account 
of which will be given in the next chapter. 




AT the time of the battle at Fish Dam, which we have 
just related, and for several days afterwards, Sum- 
ter was entirely ignorant of the near approach of Tarleton 
from the lower country, where the latter had gone in pur- 
suit of Marion. He had, it seems, no apprehension what- 
ever for his own safety, notwithstanding Cornwallis' 
superiority in infantry. Being unencumbered with bag- 
gage he knew that at any moment he could retreat with 
superior swiftness. Says a writer,* "his men wanted no 
covering but the heavens and were satisfied to subsist on 
the coarsest diet. Provided with their own horses and 
intimately acquainted with all the roads, streams and 
recesses of the country, they could move with the speed 
of the Arab; and when pressed, disperse and retire to 
to meet again at some place of rendezvous assigned by 
their commander." 

Sumter received information that a large quantity of 
provisions for the British army were deposited at Sum- 
mer's Mill, under a small guard, and also that a party of 
British militia or Tories, were stationed at Captain 
Faust's, on the waters of (probably) the Enoree. To 
break up that station and to capture the stores at Sum- 
mer's Mill was a matter of great importance with Sum- 
ter, inasmuch as his men were poorly supplied, not only 
with food but with every comfort. He detached Col. 
Thomas Taylor, of South Carolina, and Colonel Candler, 
of Georgia, with wagons and a small force to proceed at 
once down the country to Summer's Mill, with orders to 
get possession of and bring away or destroj'^ the prison- 

* See Johnson's I^ife of Greene, Vol. I, page 317. 


ers, as circumstances might require. ** At the same time," 
says Colonel Hammond, "Lieutenant-Colonel Williamson, 
of Clarke's regiment of Georgia, and Major S. Hammond 
were detached towards Captain Faust's to attack and if 
possible break up that station." 

It appears that these detachments were ordered, after 
they had performed the duties assigned them, to rejoin 
Sumter at Blackstock's, to which point he had decided to 
move his army. While the detachments were absent and 
Sumter was on his march from Fish Dam to Blackstock's 
he received the first intelligence of the near approach of 
Tarleton. This, it is said, was communicated to him by 
a Mrs. Dilliard,* who lived on the south side of Enoree 
River, (now) in Laurens County, and on the route of 
Tarleton 's march to Blackstock's. Tarleton, in his 
"Campaigns," states that **A woman on horsebia^jk had 
viewed the line of march from a wood near, and by a 
nearer road had given intelligence" to Sumter. It seems 
that the latter up to this time had been falling back 
very leisurely, intending as much as possible, to hang 
upon the skirts of Cornwaliis and hold him in check. 

In the biography of Colonel Taylor t it is stated that 
Taylor discovered the approach of Tarleton about fifteen 
miles from Blackstock's and sent expresses to inform 
Sumter of his approach. The latter hud, however, 
already gained intelligence, whether from Mrs. Dilliard or 
otherwise we are not informed. He halted before he 
reached Blackstock's, not only to refresh his men but to give 
Taj'lor's detachment time to rejoin him. His delaj-, how- 
ever, had to be short. It was necessary that he should 
make as hasty a retreat as possible, in order to throw 

^^See foot note, Draper's " King's Mountain," page 74. It has been 
claimed that it was Mrs. Dillard instead of Mrs. Thomas that gave the 
timely warning of the British advance on Cedar Spring. (See John- 
son's Tradition's, page 518). This is a mistake, however^ according to 
the testimony of Major Mcjunkin (son-in-law of Mrs. Thomas) and 

tSee Johnson's Traditions, page 536. 


the rapid Tyger between himself and his adversary. He 
learned that Tarleton, who was hurrying forward to over- 
take hira, had both cavalry and artillery, and being des- 
titute of both, and having only a short time before been 
defeated by that oflBeer at Fishing Creek, he fully appre- 
ciated the critical situation. 

Williamson, who with Colonel Hammond had been sent 
to surprise and capture the enemy at Captain Faust's, 
failed in the enterprise in consequence of their hasty 
removal from that place. He, with his little command, 
rejoined Sumter the day before the battle at Blackstock's. 
Sumter, however, was unwilling to beat a hasty retreat 
across the Tyger before his missing detachment under 
Taj^lor and Candler might have time to rejoin him. He 
was now within a half mile of Blackstock's house and 
was anxiously awaiting the arrival of this detach- 
ment. His suspense was happily removed. Says Colonel 
Hammond, *nhe horses and men were fed hastily, the 
line of march was resumed and when Blackstock's house 
was in view, our rear videttes fired at the advancing 
cavalry of the enemy. Colonels Taylor and Candler at 
this moment, drove in with their wagons loaded with 
flour, &c., passed our rear guard and entered the open 
field at Blackstock's.* At the next moment Tarleton's 
legion charged our rear guard, but Taylor and his escort 
were safe." 

This was indeed a trying hour for Sumter. Tarleton's 

*Among the parties who composed Colonel Taylor's detachment was 
William White, husband of one of the heroines of Mrs. Ellett's 
"Women of the Revolution," (see vol. iii, page 290). White on 
this occasion drove a wagon loaded with flour. It appears that the 
understanding between Taylor and Sumter was for the latter to remain 
at the place where they parted until Taylur's return. Sumter, hearing 
that Tarleton was rapidly advancing to attack him, fell back to Black- 
stock's in order to secure a more advantageous position. Taylor knew 
nothing of Tarleton's approach and when he returned to the place 
where he was to rejoin Sumter, not finding him he was not a little dis- 
pleased. His men being very hungry he allowed two or three hogs to 
be cleaned and some of the flour made into bread. They were en- 


unexpected return had exposed his command to imminent 
danger. It was impossible for him to make a successful 
retreat across the river. He must now fight with a ven- 
geance and determination, or suffer his army to be 
totally destroyed. But the "Game Cock" of 
the Revolution was not the man to be cowed by the dan- 
gers which were about to surround him. Tarleton was in 
his rear and the river was in his front. He lost not a 
moment in getting his men in line for action. In the per- 
formance of this hurried task, he was ably and actively 
assisted by Maj. James Jackson, of Georgia, who acted 
as a volunteer aid and brigade major for his array. In 
the biographical sketch of Col. Thomas Taylor, already 
referred to, it is stated that Taylor sent two detachments 
of his men to watch and retard the approach of Tarleton. 
The first was ordered to fire on the enemy as soon as 
they came within gunshot; then to retreat and occupy 
another hill on Tarleton's route. The second was to do 
the same, and thus to continue their fire alternately, from 
one hill top to another. By this means Tarleton was 
checked at everv elevation in the road and Sumter noti- 
fied of his position and strength. The two detachments 
sustained each other in their alternate movements. Thus 

gaged in baking bread, "Johnny Cake" fashion, on a piece of pine 
bark at the moment when Sergeants Ben Rowan and Ben Hannah, 
who had been sent out by Sumter to reconoitre, rode up in great haste 
and informed them that Tarleton was approaching near by. There 
was.a general hurly-burly. The hogs and dough were thrown into the 
wagon uncooked, and William White drove the wagon at a full gallop 
until he reached Sumter at Blackstock's. As he turned the corner of a 
little stable the firing commenced and a ball passed through the sleeve 
of his hunting shirt. White, as soon as he carried his wagon to the 
rear, returned with James Wylie to the fight, with three balls in his 
mouth, to have them ready. While the battle was going on, Wylie par- 
tially parried a blow dealt upon a Whig by one of Tartleton's dragoons. 
A friend near him shot the dragoon and Wylie seized his sword, which 
he took home with him. Afterwards he presented it to his son Peter, 
who, when a captain in command of a company, wore it, and years 
afterwards carried it with him to the Florida war. 


was Sumter enabled to choose his position and get his 
men into line before Tarleton could come up. The men 
were admonished to keep cool and ordered to reserve 
their fire until it could be effectual on their foes. 

Blackstock's house stood on the southwest bank of 
Tyger (or Tiger as it is called in some of the old books) 
River, and near the ford of the same name — the crossing 
of the old Blackstock road, the location of which has 
been described in a former chapter. It was with reference 
to the favorable crossing at this place that Sumter had 
decided to move with his army. There were at that time 
no bridges and but few safe fordings on the Tyger. The 
ground about the Blackstock buildings afforded a posi- 
tion highly favorable for drawing up a small force in 
order of battle. Botta says that "^ the position of the 
Americans was formidably strong; it was covered in front 
by the river, log houses and palisades, and upon the two 
flanks by inaccessible mountains or narrow and difficult 
defiles." * Colonel Hammond, who participated in the 
battle, states that ''in front of the buildings a small 
branch of the Tyger River passed through the field, mar- 
gined by small bushes, but not obstructing the view of 
the British movements from the hill. This water course 
formed a half moon with its concavity toward the enemy 
and the ridge corresponded with this shape of the branch. 
Sumter had the houses filled with his troops, and these 
with a strong, new fence on each side of the road, 
afforded a tolerable cover for his men. The rest were 
posted on the ridge from one hundred to one hundred 
and fifty yards west of the branch or ravine. In this 
position the British commander found Sumter when 
ready to advance upon him. t 

In ''Johnson's Life of Greene," (page 318), it is stated 
that Tarleton's command consisted of his legion, a battal- 
lion of the 71st and a detachment of the 63J regiments ; 

*See Botta's "American War," Vol. II, page 311, 
t See JohnsQp^ Tr&ditions, page 524. 


with a lieutenant's command of Royal artillery and one 
field piece. Of this force about four hundred were 
mounted. With these he pressed forward to overtake 
and retard Sumter before he should have time to cross 
the river and escape. 

Sumter intended only to make a temporary stand. Not 
doubting but that the whole force of the enemy was upon 
him, he resolved, as the day was fast declining, to main- 
tain his ground during the day and escape under cover of 
the night a^cross the Tyger and disperse. It was not 
long, however, before he discovered that only a part of 
the British force had come up. He, therefore, very judic- 
iously resolved to commence the attack at once and cut 
up his enemy in detail. Tarleton, supposing that he had 
his game bagged, immediately on his arriving secured an 
elevated piece of ground in front of Sumter's position 
and across the stream referred to. Here he dismounted 
his men to rest themselves and horses, and to await the 
arrival of his artillerv and infantrv, in order that he 
might commence the attack with better advantage. 
Sumter seized this critical moment and began the attack 
at once. His men descended from the heights and poured 
in a well-directed fire upon Farleton's men, who were now 
compelled to take to their arms at once. Sumter's men 
were met by the bayonet, and being armed only with 
rifles were forced to retire. The British advanced, but 
were met by a reserve of rifles, which brought many of 
them to the ground and threw the rest in confusion. 
Tarleton, seeing his danger, made a desperate effort to 
change the situation by ordering his men to charge di- 
rectly up the hill. This broughtthem within close rifle shot 
of Sumter's men, who stood flrm. The British ranks were 
thinned by the deadly rifle. - During this encounter the 
Blackstock buildings were about one-fourth of a mile or 
less to the right of the British position and northeast of 
the same. Tarleton decided to attack this point. Says 
Johnson, "drawing off his whole corps he thea wheeled 
upon the American left towards Blackstock's house, 


where the ground was not so precipitious, and a better 
footing was afforded for the horses. Here the Georgians 
were posted under Clarke* and Twiggs, and their little 
corps of about one hundred and fifty men displayed the 
courage of veterans, but the pressure of Tarleton's whole 
force was too much for them to withstand, and at this 
point was gained the only semblance of advantage on 
the side of the enemy. The left gave way, but the timely 
interposition of the reserve under Col. Richard Winn, and 
the enfilading fire from the house in which a company 
had been posted, soon restored the fortunes of the day, 
and the ofl3cer who in the face of the world had boasted 
of a victory, actually ran away and was pursued, and 
as the Americans say, was saved by the darkness of 

the night." t 

Just before this last encounter on the American left, the 
approach of the British infantry was observed from the 
American position. General Sumter, says Colonel Ham- 
mond, ordered Colonel Clarke to take one hundred good 
men, pass the enemy's right, then forming in the field and 
in cover of the woods, attack and cut off, if practicable, 
the horses there piqueted, and further to attack an 
armory of the enemy in the rear and divert their atten- 
tion as much as possible. This order was promptly 
obeyed by Colonel Clarke and Col. Candler, of Georgia, 
who just coming in with Colonel Taylor from the Sum- 
mer's Mill expedition, volunteered on that service, as did 
also Major Hammond with his command. When the 
British retreat was finally ordered from before the Black- 
stock houses, Clarke and Hammond attacked the infan- 
try in the rear and took a part of their horses, but the 
whole retreating British force coming up they, were com- 

*According to Colonel Hammond's account Colonel Clarke was not 
personally engaged in the last encounter, but had already, in compli- 
ance with his orders moved around the enemy's left, to attack the Brit- 
ish infantry in the rear. 

tSee Johnson's Life of Greene, page 319. 


pelled to retire, and only carried off a few infantry 
horses and cut others loose. It was now dark, and 
Clarke being in doubt as to Sumter's situation, retreated 
before the British until next morning.* William Gilmore 
Simmssays that '*Tarleton fled,leavinj2; two hundred men 
upon the field of battle." t 

Tarleton, in his ''Campaigns," asserts that **from the 
time the left yielded, the Americans began to disperse, and 
nothing but the approach of night prevented the pur- 
suit." This could not have been, since it is proven 
beyond a question of doubt, that the Americans pos- 
sessed themselves of all his wounded and many of his 
horses. The fact is proven that Tarleton, after his 
retreat, never halted until he joined the residue of his 
corps two miles distant. Here he encamped for the night. 

The Americans accomplished all they fought for. Being 
destitute of cavalry and artillery they could not venture 
from their heights, but they made a safe crossing over 
the river, after which they, according to a previous under- 
standing, dispersed for security among their friends in 
different sections. General Sumter was severelv wounded 
in the breast and was taken from the field. The com- 
mand of his army was then assumed by Colonel Twiggs, of 
Georgia,$ who after taking possession of the battlefield and 
having the rolls called and collecting and caring for the 
wounded, ordered the little army to take up its line of 
march and cross over the Tyger River. Here it encamped 
for the night, to resume its march the following day up 
(what is now) the old Blackstock road. 

Tarleton, who has already been quoted, virtually 
acknowledges his abandonment of the battlefield by the 
statement ''that before they (the Americans) left the 

* See Johnson's Ttaditions, page 525. 

t See Simms " History of South Carolina," page 195. 

t See Johnson's Traditions, page 525. 


ground they paid the most humane attention to the 
wounded of the enemy." 

We have ah'eady stated that Clarke, who was plying in 
Tarleton's rear during the engagement, retreated before 
his forces until next morning. According to Colonel Ham- 
mond's statement he did not extricate himself from this 
retreat in the dark until he came in sight of the camp 
fires of an advancing reinforcement to Tarleton. Here he 
wheeled from the main road, crossed the Tyger River,'and 
rejoined Sumter about noon the next day. 

According to the most authentic information the Brit- 
ish forces amounted to about four hundred, with three 
hundred more in the rear with their artillery.* The Amer- 
ican forces amounted to about four hundred and twenty, 
certainly not exceeding five hundred. Colonel Hammond 
states, however, that Sumter had about five hundred and 
sixtv men in this action, exclusive of the main and horse 
guards. About forty of this number are reported to have 
run away and were over the Tyger River before the bat- 
tle ended, t 

The American account of the British loss in this engage- 
ment is killed ninety-two, and wounded one hundred. 
Tarleton, however, only acknowledges a loss of about 
fifty. Among the prominent killed on the British side 
were Major Money and Lieutenants Gibson and Cope.t 
Ramsav states *'that the British loss was considerable." 
They never reached the American lines with the bayonet 
* on account of the elevated position of the latter. The 
British soldiers fired over the heads of their enemy. The 
American loss was very slight, only three killed and three 
wounded. Among the latter was Colonel Sumter, as 
already noticed. Colonel Clarke with his isolated force, 

* See Johnson's Life of Greene, page 320. 

t See Johnson's Traditions, page 526. 

X See Ramsey's History of South Carolina, page 221, 


had only two men killed and a few wounded, but not 
badly — they were taken off in safety. 

Colonel Tarleton in bis narrative states, that he cut 
up the American rear-guard and carried off fifty prison- 
ers. This is explained in Johnson's '* Life of Greene" 
as follows: Colonel Thomas Taylor, in the expedition 
already referred to, *' having made prisoners ot a few 
maimed men and boys driving carriages and supposed to 
have passed through the enemy's camp, or to be able 
otherwise to convey intelligence, he had them loaded with 
provisions (doubtless, those captured at Summer's Mill) 
and was proceeding with them to rejoin Sumter when he 
found himself pursued by a party of dragoons. Taylor's 
party escaped easily by the fleetness of their horses, but 
the prisoners were left behind, and as the British dragoons 
passed these unhappy wretches in pursuit of Taylor, they 
amused themselves with hewing them down from their 
horses. This was the rear-guard that was *cut to 
pieces.^ As to the fifty prisoners, the high-minded colo- 
nel had read of the triumphs of a Roman Emperor over 
the ocean, and had gathered on his return a few unarmed 
rustics, many of them Loyalists, to grace his entry 
into camp." 

Sumter's wound was very severe, the ball passing 
through the right breast near the shoulder. He was car- 
ried on an uncomfortable litter, continuing with his 
troops until the latter passed Burwick's Iron Works. 
Here the command was divided. Sumter, suspended 
between two horses and guarded by one hundred faithful 
followers, was conveved to the mountains of North Caro- 
lina. Twiggs, Clarke, (handler and their persevering 
Georgians turned westward, taking their course along 
the foot of the mountains to annoy the enemy in another 
quarter. The rest of Sumter's force separating into 
small parties retired to places of security, ready to reas- 
semble whenever their country's service required it. 

The writer is informed by Capt. Charles A. Barry that 
Sumter's principal scout at Blackstock's and other places 


was Robin Hanna, of York County, who married a 
daughter of Charles Moore, of Spartanburg County. 

The battle of Blackstock's was fought while General 
Gates was still commanding the Department of the South, 
his headquarters being at this time at Charlotte, North 
Carolina. He was relieved only a few days afterwards by 
General Greene. Sumter appears to have acted entirely 
independent of the orders of Gates, and history gives the 
latter no credit whatever, for the brilliant achievements 
of the former. 


the** hero of Blackstocks '' and other hard fought con- 
tests, was born in 1734. History does not state where he 
was born, but a native of Sumter County informed the 
writer that he was born in Caldwell County, North Caro- 
lina, near the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Nothing 
can now be obtained of his family connections, early 
training or education. His name is spelled Sumpter by 
Judge Johnson and other older writers of Revolutionary 

Governor Perry, in his sketch of General Sumter, says 
that he was a farmer and planter, and that his early edu- 
cation was limited. 

Before the Revolutionary war he was colonel of a mili- 
tary regiment. As the population of the country was 
rather sparse in his day, the military districts covered a 
considerable space of country. It was in this way that 
Sumter first acquired his military reputation. The Pro- 
vincial Congress of Soiith Carolina appointed him, in 
1776, lieutenant-colonel of the second regiment of rifle- 
men. He does not figure prominently in the State, how- 
ever, until after the fall of Charleston, in 1780, when the 
State was overrun by the British troops. It was then 
that Sumter, Marion and a few other brave partisans 
took the field, while others equally as patriotic, seeing at 
that time no hope for the recovery of South Carolina from 
the royal grasp, sought British protection. Colonel Sum- 


ter, beiu^ compelled to lea\e the State, fled to North 
Carolina, where he raised a regiment of rebels and re- 
turned to South Carolina. Soon after his return, he des- 
troyed Captain Huck, who commanded a lar^^e body of 
Loyalists, and seventy or eip^hty British regulars. For 
this p^allant service he was made, by Governor Rutledge, a 
brigadier general. His command amounted to about six 
hundred men. With this force he made a daring attack 
on the British post, at Rocky Mount, but, having no artil- 
lery, failed to capture the fort. His next daring exploit 
was on the enemy's position at Hanging Rock, in the 
present county of Lancaster. The British garrison there 
consisted of five or six hundred regulars, a part of Tarle- 
ton's legion. Brown's regiment, and Bryan's corps of 
North Carolina Tories. He succeeded at first in driving 
the enemy back, but his men became demoralized by reason 
of the plunder and spirits they had found in the British 
camp. The enemy took advantage of this and attacked 
Sumter. He made a successful retreat. The enemy did 
not pursue him. His loss was very small, while that of 
his enemy was considerable. 

We have already explained that Camden and Ninety-Six 
were among the most important of the British's out- 
posts during the Revolution. General Sumter, hearing 
that a detachment of the British forces were on their 
march from Ninety-Six to Camden, fell upon a convoy 
and captured forty-four wagons with a large number of 

Men of military renown, however, may not always 
expect their efforts to be crowned with success. The most 
vigilant are now and then caught *' napping." Sumter 
was surprised at Fishing Creek and defeated. After this 
defeat he retired to the upper country, where he recruited 
his command. His next engagement was at Fish Dam, 
on Broad River, which was followed in a few days by the 
battle of Blackstock's. Both of these engagements are 
recorded in this and the preceding chapter. 

After the Revolution, General Sumter served in the Leg- 


islature of South Carolina, and voted against the call of 
a convention to ratify the Federal Constitution. Being 
elected to the convention he voted against the adoption 
of the Constitution. 

When the Federal Government was first organized he 
was elected a member of Congress. In a speech of some 
mark he urged that the Federal Government be estab- 
lished on the banks of the Potomac. He was opposed to 
the granting of power to the President to remove mem- 
bers of his cabinet. Said that it wa.s *'a detestable prin- 
ciple, destructive to the Constitution and to liberty." In 
1792, he made a strong speech against the reflections 
cast on the militia of South Carolina by General Greene, 
and in 1793 he made another speech on the same subject, 
being very severe on his colleague, Mr. Robert Goodloe. 

In 1801, General Sumter succeeded Governor Charles 
Pinckney in the United States Senate, who had resigned. 
He was re-elected in 1805, and served that body until 
1810, when he was succeeded by Governor John Taylor. 
This was the last service he rendered to his country. 
He died in 1832, at the advanced age of ninety-eight 
years. His biographer says that '' he was tall and robust, 
with a bold and open countenance, expressive at once of 
energy and decision." 

General Sumter was a bold and determined man. Dur- 
ing the Revolution he did not scruple to do whatever he 
thought the emergency of the times demanded. He 
pressed for his destitute army, horses, provision, clothing 
and whatever they needed, wherever and whenever he 
could find them. It is charged that he paid off his officers 
and men with negroes, horses and cattle, taken from the 
Tories. By his boldness he acquired the sobriquet of 
**the Game Cock of Carolina." 

General Sumter had two sons, both of whom were 
members of Congress. One it is said had some foreign 
mission and married a French lady. The other com- 
manded a company in the regiment of General Butler, 
in Mexico. One of his grandsons was also a member of 


CoDgress about 1832, and waw a great '' fire-eater/' 

General Sumter, it is stated, lies in a neglected and for- 
gotten grave. His memory and noble deeds will, how 
ever, live in spite of this. 


In referring to the prominent heroes of the battle of 
Blackstoek's it would be unfair to fail to notice the ser- 
vices of Colonel (afterwards General) Winn. Richard 
Winn, who resided in Fairfield County, South Carolina, 
was a native of Virginia. He was commissioned first 
lieutenant of the South Rangers in June, 1775, and 
served in Thompson's campaign, in the winter of this 
year against the Insurgents or Tories, an account of 
which is given elsewhere. He was one of the party who 
captured Colonel Fletchall in the hollow tree, on the 
banks of Fair Forest, in the present County of Spartan- 
burg.* He was with Thompson on Sullivan's Island and 
performed distinguished services in the battle of Fort- 
Sullivan (afterwards Fort Moultrie). He afterwards 
defended Fort Mcintosh, on the north side of Satilla, but 
after gallantly' defending this post for three days against 
Major-General Duval, he was compelled to capitulate. 

Returning to his home in Fairfield he raised a regiment 
of refugees and was very bOon in the field. At the battle 
of Hanging Rock the British regulars under Colonel 
Fraser were defeated, which was largely due to his con- 
duct and courage. In this battle he was severely wounded 
and borne from the field. 

Upon his recovery, Colonel Winn continued to render 
valuable aid to General Sumter, participating, as we have 
already said, in the battle of Blackstock's. 

W'e are unable to state in full his valuable services to 
the State during the Revolution. He acted in concert 
with such immortal heroes as William Butler, Col. William 
Bratton, of York County, Captain McClure, of Chester, 

* See Johnson's Traditions, page 334 ; also Drayton's Memoirs, 


and many others during that time. After peace he was 
elected Brigadier-General by the Le^slature and subse- 
quently Major-General. He filled various civil oflSces in 
the State, and was for several years a member of Con- 
gress. In 1812 he removed to Tennessee and died 
shortly afterwards. The present town of Winnsboro was 
named in honor of his memory. 

He was an uncle of the late Dr. J.ohn Winsmith and 
F^lihu Smith, of Spartanburg County. 




ON the 5th day of October, 1780, Conp^esR passed a 
resolution, authorizing General Washington to ap- 
point an oflSeer to the command of the Southern army, 
in place of General Gates, until a Court of Inquiry could 
be held as to the conduct of the latfjcr. In compliance 
with this order. General Washington appointed Gen. 
Nathaniel Greene, on the 22d of the month referred to. 
Soon aft^r this, General Greene repaired to Philadelphia 
to inform himself of the force and condition of the 
Southern army, and to make such arrangements for its 
present and future wants as were necessary. 

The information thus gained by General Greene was 
anything but encouraging. To General Knox, he wrote 
that the Southern armv was '* rather a shadow than a 
substance, having only an imaginary existence."* On the 
fatal day of Gates' recent defeat, horses, baggage, stores 
and everything had gone by the board. General Greene 
received but little aid from Congress. The only support 
was the annexing of Delaware and Maryland to his de- 
partment. He was barely furnished with enough money 
to bear the expenses of the journey. Governor Reed, of 
Pennsylvania, however, supplied him with arms from the 
depot of that State, and even with wagons to convey 
them. Liberal promises were made him from the depart- 

* See original order, "Johnson's Life of Greene." 


mente of each of the several States. The same power was 
conferred on him by Conpjress as on General Gates to 
draw from the States in his department men and money 
and to make impressments for the subsistence of the 
troops whenever necessity required it. 

On the 23d of November, General Greene set out upon his 
journey to the South, accompanied by Baron Steuben and 
two of his aids, Colonel Morris and Major Burnet. His 
journey was only interrupted by a short halt at the seat 
of government of each State for the purpose of investigat- 
ing their resources. On his way he arranged to have es- 
tablished, at different points, magazines and depots of 
stores and arms. 

On the 4th dav of December, General Greene reached 
the headquarters of General Gates at Charlotte, and 
took command of the army. He conducted himself 
with great delicacy toward his unfortunate predeces- 
sor, using every effort to console his feelings and preserve 
respect for him in the minds of the army. It was impos- 
sible at this time, to hold the Court of Inquiry into the 
conduct of General Gates at Camden, as ordered by Con- 
gress, because there were not enough Generals and field 
oflScers in the army, not present at the battle of Camden, 
to constitute the court. Those who were in that battle 
would have been needed as witnesses and if not, would, 
perhaps, from their personal knowledge of the facts, have 
been one-sided in their verdict. Besides, General Gates 
had recently lost an only son, and the present state of 
his feelings disqualified him from entering upon the task 
of defense. It was rather regarded as a case of mis- 
fortune than otherwise. Tiie order of Congress was sub- 
sequently revoked. 

The first cheering event that took place, after Greene 
assumed command, was the capture of Rugley^s command 
at Clermont, by Col. William Washington. Nearly every 
school boy, in ante-bellum days, has read the story and 
seen the picture of a pine log mounted on wagon wheels 
in imitation of a field piece. A number of prisoners, a 


^ood supply of refreshments ond munitions of war was 
the result of this successful enterprise. 

The army, when General Greene assumed command, did 
not amount to more than eleven hundred regulars in all, 
and they were so ragged that not more than eight hun- 
dred could be mustered for duty. Such was the naked 
condition of Colonel Washington's command, that it was 
ordered, for a time, to Virginia. General Greene at once 
devoted himself to the duty of obtaining every means of 
subsistence for the army. The country around him was 
so poor that supplies could not be obtained for more 
than a week longer, and subsistence could not be brought 
from a distance for want of transportation. It was nec- 
essary, therefore, that he move his army to another sec- 
tion of the countr3\ The region selected was on .the 
Pee Dee River. This was at the head of boat navigation. 
It was a very fertile countrj^ and had never been visited 
by an army of any size. General Kosciusko was dis- 
patched with a single guide to examine the country and 
select a position. Greene, in the meanwhile, gave atten- 
tion to a plan for combining the commissariat and 
quartermaster generals' departments throughout the 
country. At the head of these was placed Major Dayie, 
who entered at once upon the duties of his office. 

While these arrangements were being made. General 
Greene received the intelligence of the departure of the 
British General, Leslie, from the Chesapeake Bay, and also 
of a large embarkation of troops from New York. The 
destination of these were not known, but it was 
believed to be either for Charleston or Norfolk. Greene 
fully realized the situation. If the destination was 
Charleston, he was in danger of the torrent that would 
press from this place northwardly. If from Norfolk, he* 
was still in danger of being cut off from his resources in 
Virginia, and possibly of being hemmed and crushed 
between this army and the force under Cornwallis, at this 
time at Winnsboro, S. C. In any event, it was evident 
that North Carolina was to become the scene of future 


faoBtilities in the South, and it was absolutely necessary 
that General Greene should combine all the resources 
within his reach, so as to act with a full knowledge of the 
means of subsistence and transportation which every 
section could furnish him. 

On the 20th of December, General Greene's army left 
their huts at Charlotte, for their destination on the 
Pee Dee. On the march they were commanded by General 
Isaac Hu^er. The main army reached their encampment 
on the 26th of the same month, and were soon afterwards 
joined by their commander. 

But as our narrative is only intended to be confined to 
the military operations in the upper portion of South 
Carolina, we must now leave General Greene, to direct our 
attention to other quarters. 

We now introduce to our readers. General Daniel 
Morp:an, who was destined to control military operations 
of the American forces in , the upper part of South 
Carolina. It has been stated in **Botta's American War," 
(vol. ii, pa^e 312) that General Greene was accompanied 
by Colonel Morgan when he came South. This is a mis- 
take.* General Morgan reached the camp of General 
Gates, then at Hillnboronffh, N. C, more than two months 
earlier than General Greene. General Morgan had 
reaped a rich harvest of laurels at Quebec and Saratoga. 
He brought a few young men with him, emulous to serve 
under him. Although General Gates had neglected to 
officially notice the distinguished services of Arnold and 
Morgan in his report of the battle of Saratoga, he now, 
in the hour of his misfortune, paid to General Morgan 
every attention due to him. Immediately on his arrival. 
Gates ordered four companies to be drafted from the dif- 
ferent regiments composing his army, and to be equipped 
as light infantry. These were to forma partisan corps 
to serve under Morgan. Colonel Washington's cavalry. 

*See "Johnson's Life of Greene," Vol. I. 



composed of about seventy men, was also added to 
Morgan's command, to which was also added a small 
corps of riflemen, about sixty in number, under the 
leadership of Major Rose. General Gates was also 
enabled to furnish Morgan's command with a good sup- 
ply of clothing: which had been recently provided by the 
Government of North Carolina. 

When General Greene reached the army of General 
Gates at Charlotte, the latter had only recently advanced 
from Hillsborough. Morgan, with his command, had 
marched a day ahead of the main army and passing 
onward, had taken post in the neighborhood of Camden, 
S. C, and occupied the ground which was the scene of 
General Gates' disaster, on the 16th of August. He was 
here when General Greene assumed command of the 
Southern Department and in due time received from the 
new commander, the following letter: 

Camp Charlotte, Dec. 16, 1780. 

" You are hereby appointed to the command of a corps 
of light infantry of three hundred and twenty men de- 
tached from the Maryland line, a detachment of Virginia 
militia of two hundred men and Colonel Washington'^ 
regiment of light horse, amounting to from sixty to one 
hundred men. With these troops you will proceed to the 
west side of the Catawba River, where you will be joined 
by a body of volunteer militia, under the command of 
General Davidson of this State, and by the militia lately 
under the command of General Sumter. This force and 
such others as may join you from Georgia, you will em- 
ploy against the enemy on the west pide of the Catawba, 
either offensively or defensively as your own prudence and 
discretion may direct — Hcting with caution and avoiding 
surprises by every possible precaution. For the j)resent I 
give you entire command of that quarter, and do hereby 
require all officers and soldiers enjiao^ed in th^ American 
cause to be subJK't to your orders and command. 

'*The object of this Department is to jiive protection to 
that part of the country and spirit up the people, to annoy 
the enemy in that quarter, to collect the provisions and 
forage out of their way, which you will have formed in^^o a 
number of small magazines in the rear of tlu^ position you 


may think proper to take. You will prevent plundering 
as much as possible, and be as careful of your provisions 
and forage as may be, and giving receipts for whatever 
you take to all such as are friends to the Independence of 

"Should the enemy move in force towards the Pee Dee> 
where the army willtake a position, you will move in such 
a direction as to enable you to join me if necessary, or fall 
upon the flank or into the rear of the enemy, as occasion 
may require. You will spare no pains to get intelligence 
of the enemy's situation, and keep me constantly advised 
of both yonr and their movements. You will appoint for 
the time being, a commissary, a quarter master and a 
forage master, who will follow your instructions in their 
respectivp lines. Confiding in yonr abilities and activity, I 
entrust you with this command, persuaded," &c. 

General Morgan, soon after the receipt of this letter 
from General Greene, set out upon his mission. The 
route he pursued led him acioss the Catawba at Biggins' 
Ferry, below the mouth of Little Catawba, and across 
the Broad River above the mouth of Pacolet. On the 
banks of the Pacolet he took position, on the 25th of 
December, and was soon after joined by 220 mounted 
militia from North and South Carolina. 

In Botta's " American War " it is stated that General 
Greene was blamed by many military critics for dividing 
his army into two military forces so far apart; that had 
the British pushed rapidly forward, they might have 
thrown themselves between the corps of Greene and Mor- 
gan and crushed both without difficulty. 

In explanation of this, we quote the following summary, 
which was gathered from (Jeneral Greene's correspond- 
ence as communicated to friends from time to time: **I 
am here," said the General, '*in my camp of repose, im- 
proving the discipline and spirits of my men,' and the 
opportunity for looking about me. I am well satisfied 
with the movement, for it has answered thus far, all the 
purpobes for which I intended it. It makes the most of 
my inferior force, for it compels my adversary to divide 
his antl hoMs him in doubt as to his own line of conduct. 


He cannot leave Morgan behind him to come at me, or 
his posts at Ninety-Six or Augusta would be exposed. 
And he cannot chase Morgan far, or prosecute his views 
upon Virginia while I am here with the whole country 
op)en before me. I am as near Charleston as he is, and as 
near Hillsborough as I was at Charlotte, so that I am in 
no dauger of being cut off from ray reinforcements while 
an uncertainty as to my future designs has made it nee. 
essary to leave a large detachment of the enemy's late 
ilBinforcement<8 in Charleston," &c. 

General Gates, as soon as he was relieved by General 
Greene, turned his steps northward. It is due to him to 
state that while encamped at Charlotte, he applied him- 
self with zeal in reorganizing, re-equpping and reinforcing 
his army for the coming campaign. 

The secison at that time was too bad, in his judgment, 
to renew hostilities, although it will be noticed that Gen- 
eral Greene began military operations within fifteen days 
after his arrival. It appeared from the renewed energies 
of General Gates, that fortune was about to smile upon 
him anew, when General Greene arrived at camp. *'He 
evinced," says a writer, '*in this conjuncture, that coun- 
try was dearer to him than power or glory. He sup- 
ported SQ unpleasant an incident with such constancy 
that he did not betray a single mark of discontent." 
When he passed through Richmond on returning to his 
own province, the Assembly of Virginia sent a deputation 
to compliment him. It gave him assurance that the 
remembrance of his glorious achievements could not be 
effaced by any misfortune; praying him to be persuaded 
that the Virginians in partic^ular, would never neglect 
any occafeion to manifest the gratitude they bore him, as 
members of the American Union. 

The military career of Gen. Horatio Gates, however, 
was ended. A biographical sketch of him appears in one 
of the volumes of "Washington and his Generals," pre- 
pared by the eminent writer, J. T. Headley. His traits 

U.J «t 41^^ 


of character are veiy unfavorably commented upon by 
this writer. In a short time after his success at Saratoga, 
he was associated with Conway and Mifflin in a miserable 
conspiracy to have General Washington superseded by 
himself as Commander-in-Chief of the American armies. 
He neglected, as we have said, to notice Arnold and 
Morgan in his official report of the capture of Burgoyne 
and his army. 

His military glory and renown were of short duration, 
being overshadowed by his Southern misfortunes. To use 
the phrase as expressed by another, his "Northern 
laurels were turned into Southern willows.'' 




IN the preceding chapter we left General Morgan on the 
banks of the Pacolet, where, as already stated, he took 
post on the 25th of December, 1780. The state of affairs 
in upper South Carolina at this time were such as made 
the entrance of General Morgan and his army i ito this 
section highly favorable to the success of the American 
cause. It will be remembered that after the fall of 
Charleston, the Whigs had been obliged to submit and give 
their paroles to remain inactive in South Carolina by 
the official proclamation of the British authorities, they 
having been declared subjugated. The Whigs became 
convinced by the oppression and arbitrary conduct of 
the enemy that the promised protection to themselves, 
their families and property, already disregarded, would 
not be longer afforded. There was a general inclination 
to resume arms once more. A leader was all that was 
necessary to arouse them to action. That person proved 
.to be Gen. Andrew Pickens, who, among the rest of the 
Whigs in South Carolina, had been compelled to submit. 


But now the time had come when submission and for- 
bearance "ceased to be a virtue." Buckling on the 
sword, General Pickens resolved to lead the way in excit- 
ing the well affected to the American cause to hazard all 
and rally once more in defense of Liberty. His boldness 
and determination to resist British oppression and out- 
rage, soon brought to his side Colonels Clarke and 
Twiggs, who after the battle of Blackstock's had kept 
together a small body of their followers, and moving in 
rear of the Whig settlements towards Georgia, presented 
a favorable opportunity to the inhabitants to unite with 
their commands. 

General Pickens and Colonel McCall were soon at the 
head of about one hundred faithful followers. Sending 
their families and slaves over the mountains for security, 
they proceeded at once to join Morgan. Hundreds of 
others were ready to follow their example and had only 
been waiting a favorable opportunity to effect their pur- 
pose. The Whigs of Mecklenburg, North Carolina, had 
also begun to assemble and General Davidson, having 
collected about one hundred and twenty men, marched 
them to Morgan's camp. Returning to hasten on five 
hundred more who w^ere collecting, this gallant oflScer 
lost the opportunity of participating in the battle of 

On the second day after Morgan's arrival on the Paco- 
let, an opportunity for an enterprise against the enemy 
presented itself, which was promptly embraced. A body 
of Loyalists sent to check the feeling of disaffection 
which was growing everywhere, had advanced from the 
banks of the Savannah to Fair Forest Creek, and had 
commenced thoir depredations upon the inhabitants 
along that stream. Their number was reported to be 
about two hundred and flftv, and their distance from 
Morgan's camp was twenty-five miles, and in the direc- 
tion of Ninety. Six. Says a writer, 'M'olonel Washington 
with his cavalry, seventy-five in number, but of very 
superior quality, and two hundred mounted militia under 


Colonel McGall, were dispatched to dislodge this body of 
Loyalists. The latter receiving intelligence of the 
approach of Washington, retreated about twenty-five 
miles to a place called Hammond's Store, where, being 
covered as they supposed on their right by Corn wallis at 
Winnsborough, and on their left by the post at Ninety- 
Six, they halted in mistaken security. Washington 
pressed the pursuit with such diligence that he overtook 
them early the next day after a march of forty miles and 
instantly ordered a charge. It was a flight and not 
a conflict that ensued, and we regret to state that the 
killed and wounded were reported at one hundred and 
fifty and the prisoners at forty. 

Such were the blood v sacrifices at that time offered 
upon the shrine of civil discord. Posterity will never 
conceive an adequate idea of the dreadful stat« of society 
then prevailing in that unhappy country. Yet let not 
unmerited censure fall on the oflScers. Men who had been 
in the habit of giving no quarters expected none, and 
in their flight the unerring rifle brought many to the 

Colonel Washington was now^ in great danger, having 
advanced verj' far between the enemy's posts, yet he 
could not let a favorable opportunity which was at hand 
escape hin), though it brought him still nearer the enemy. 
At a place called Williams, General Cunningham was at 
this time posted with about one hundred and fifty men in 
a stockade fort, which without the aid of artillery, could 
only be carried by surprise. To this place Colonel Hayes, 
at the head of a detachment of infantry, and Cornet Sim- 
mons, at the head of a body of cavalry, were sent. Cun- 
ningham got wind of their approach, however, and made 
a precipitate retreat as the Americans came in view of 
the fort. A few of the British party were killed, others 
captured and the fort destroyed. 

General Morgan, hearing that Colonel Washington had 
penetrated so far between the enemy's posts, became some- 
what excited for his safety. He advanced his whole force 


for some miles to cover and protect him on his return to 
camp. Colonel Washington's detachment reached the 
main army, however, in safety. General Morgan resumed 
his post on the north bank of the Pacolet, in the neigh- 
borhood of Grindel Shoals, in Union County,* shifting 
his camp every night to guard against surprise. 

Morgan's advance and Washington's daring enterprise 
and their effects upon popular sentiment soon began to 
be sensibly felt by Lord Cornwallis and the British 
authorities. It has been suggested that the reason for 
not adopting at once stringent measures to drive back 
Morgan, or destroy him, was for the purpose, as the 
sequel proved, of entrapping him. As soon, however, as 
it appeared that he had permanently established himself 
on the banks of the Pacolet with a view of embodying the 
neighboring Whigs preparatory to important movements 
in the future, Lieutenant-Colonel Tarleton was dispatched 
by Cornwallis with orders, as he expressed himself, " to 
push Morgan to the utmost." 

At the time General Greene divided his army on his 
advance into South Carolina, Cornwallis had been for 
sometime preparing to prosecute his designs upon Vir- 
gina. This officer, who had recently arrived at Charles- 
ton with his army, was now on his way to Camden, at 
which point his Lordship informs us he intended to hold 
Greene in check and observe.his future movements. Corn- 
wallis, however, was expecting reinforcements from Les- 
lie upon the arrival of which depended his getting 
ready to march upon Virginia. But the unexpected 
arrival of Morgan on the banks of the Pacolet and upon 
his flank caused him to change his plans. His future 
movements now depended upon those of his adversary. 
The posts at Ninety-Six and Camden were the British 
strongholds and had kept South Carolina in awe, and 
while Morgan's movements threatened the former the 

* The precise place of Morgan's camp is said to be where the pres- 
ent residence of Mrs. Dr. Thomas Littlejohn now stands. 


position of Greene was looking towards the latter. This 
being the case, Cornwallis became uneasy for his safety. 
He had intended to leave these places to their own pro- 
tection and to the Loyalists of the surrounding country. 
These places were well supplied with munitions, provis- 
ions, &c. 

Lord Cornwallis therefore determined to divide his 
force, one detachment under Tarleton to press forward 
and destroy Morgan, or drive him out of the State, while 
he with the remainder of his force was to move forward 
and cut off his retreat. Leslie, who had not yet united 
with him, was directed to march up the east side of the 
Catawba River to effectually prevent Greene from going 
in case of necessity to Morgan's support. We will see 
further on that all this well arranged plan was inter- 
rupted by the unexpected battle of Cowpens. Cornwallis' 
army at this time amounted to between three and four 
thousand, some of whom were well trained and discip- 
lined. It lay between the Broad and Catawba Rivers, 
the main body with (Jornwallis being at VVinnsborough 
while Tarleton was posted a short distance in advance, 
having lately returned from the pursuit of Sumter to 

Morgan's advance to the Pacolet, as already stated, 
greatly excited the fears of Cornwallis for the safety of 
Ninety-Six. He had already heard that the Whigs in 
that and other sections, who had taken British protec- 
tion, were rallying under Pickens and others to take the 
field against him. On the first of January, Tarleton 
received orders from the British commander to strike 
across the country and throw himself between Morgan 
and the post at Ninety-Six. Here he remained for a day 
or two, when he was joined by his baggage and reinforce- 
ments. His whole force now amounted to about eleven 
hundred men, five hundred and fifty of whom were a 
strong legion, who had met with unvarying success in 
every part of the State, triumphing over all bodies of 
troops they had encountered. He had two field pieces, 

OF uppp:r south Carolina. 271 

which were supported by a detachment of Royal artillery. 
The residue of his army was composed of the seventh 
regiment of two hundred men, the first battalion and the 
light infantry of the seventy-first, the dragoons of the 
seventeenth, and some Loyalists. 

With this force he was now prepared to obey the orders 
of his commander, ** to push his adversary to the 
utmost." It had been concerted between Cornwallis and 
Tarleton that the former was to move northwardly on 
the east side of Broad River, (through the present 
County of York), as far as King's Mountain, in order to 
cut off the retreat of Morgan, who, it was believed, would 
be compelled to surrender or retreat hastily across the 
mountains. Morgan's bold stand and resolution to fight 
does not seem to have entered the minds of either Corn- 
wallis or Tarleton. 

On the 12th of January Tarleton marched to attack 
Morgan. The latter, hearing that he had already crossed 
the Enoree, at Musgrove's Mill, fell back to Burr's Mills 
on Thickety Creek, where he wrote to Greene, the letter 
bearing the date January 15th.* It wajs at this time, as 
we will show further on, entirely within the power of Mor- 
gan to have evaded an engagement with Tarleton. Lee, 
in his Memoirs, states that Morgan's decision to fight 
him **grew out of irritation of temper." This was not 
the case, however. The letter referred to furnished ample 
reasons which induced him to fight. Sumter, refusing to 
recognize his authority, had interfered with his collecting 
his magazines in the rear, which would have been indis- 

*See copy of original letter, Johnson's ** Life of Greene," vol. 2, page 
371. The writer has been at a loss to know just where stood the old 
site of Burr's Mills on Thickety Creek. Some of the older citizens 
think it was the old Boise or Bise Mill, which stood on Little Thickety, 
a short distance above the Air Line Railroad, at the crossing of the 
Green River road. It was afterwards known as Otterson's Mill. 
Later as the Garrison or " Apple Jack " Turner Mill. Others think 
Burr's Mill stood on Big Thickety, near the site of the Dawkin's Mill, 
in upper Union County. 


spensable to a rapid retreat to the mountains. The vast 
consumption of forage, necessary for the militia horses, 
made it impossible for him to maintain his present posi- 
tion ; to return without a battle before the enemy would 
be injurious to the American cause, and especially so 
since Tarleton's forces were numerically speaking very 
little superior to his own. On account of Colonel Wash- 
ington's recent success against the Loyalists at Ham- 
mond's Store, Morgan's men were clamorous to be led 
against Tarleton. .Morgan accordingly marched with his 
SLvmy from Burr's Mills on the afternoon of the 15th, 
and reached the banks of the Pa€olet at Griudel Shoals, 
in Union County, about the same hour that Tarleton 
arrived from the opposite side. The latter did not leave 
Morgan long to deliberate. The Pacolet is a small 
stream and fordable in many places. On the same even- 
ing Tarleton put his army in motion up the stream,* thus 
indicating an intention of crossing above Morgan's posi- 
tion and placing the latter between hiuiself and Corn- 
wallis. Morgan, for fear of being entrapped, made a 
corresponding movement up the stream. Tarleton 
detecting this, silently decamped in the night, descended 
to a crossing at Easterling's Ford, a few miles below, and 
made good the passage of the river before daylight on 
the morning of the sixteenth. Morgan had in the mean- 
while moved off precipitately, regaining before night his 
former position on Thickety Creek, and by nightfall his 
position at Cow^pens. Tarleton halted and encamped for 
the night on the ground that the Americans had aban- 
doned, resuming his march at three o'clock on the morn- 
ing of the seventeenth, intending to overtake Morgan and 
embarrass his progress by hanging upon his rear until he 
could form a junction with the main army under Corn- 
wallis. Tarleton had been on the march five hours when 

* Morgan in his official account states that his scouts followed close 
behind Tarleton in his movements and kept him well posted. 


he came in si^ht of Morgan drawn up in line of battle at 
the Cowpens, at eight o'clock in the morning. 

Up to this time Tarleton had been laboring under the 
impression that Cornwallis was making a parallel move- 
ment to his on the east side of Broad River. It had been 
concerted, as already intimated, between these oflScers 
that Cornwallis should commence his march a few days 
before Tarleton ; that by marching on the east side of 
Broad as far as King's Mountain, Morgan would be cut 
off from retreat and compelled to fight or surrender, or, 
as we have said, to flee across the mountains for safety. 

It turned out, however, that ("ornwallis failed to make 
the contemplated corresponding movement, without hav- 
ing notified Tarleton of his change of plans. The reasons 
assigned for what appeared to be a neglect of duty on 
the part of Cornwallis may be summed up as follows: 
The force remaining with him did not, according to his 
account, much exceed that detached under Tarleton ; and 
second, the expected reinforcements under Leslie, which were 
ordered to cross from the east side of the Catawba River 
and join him on his route to King's Mountain had not yet 
arrived. Had General Leslie with his cammand marched 
directly from Charleston via the Congaree, he would have 
been up with Cornwallis. Instead of this, however, his 
route lay b^^ Camden, where he was expected to counteract 
any movement that General Greene might make from the 
Pee Dee. In his march to Cornwallis, Leslie consumed 
several days in the swamps and on the 16th (the day be- 
fore the battle of Cowpens) Cornwallis had advanced no 
further than Turkey Creek, (in York County), twenty-five 
miles southeast of Morgan's position at Cowpens. Had 
he pressed as many miles northeast he might have pre- 
vented the junction of Greene and Morgan, which took 
place a few days later. 

But may there not have been other reasons why Corn- 
wallis did not boldly advance to cover Morgan's flank, 
and, if possible, to cut off his retreat. We have stated 
that his route lay by the ominous King's Mountain. 


Did he not have some reason to fear that the same over- 
mountain warriors that had overtaken and destroyed 
Ferguson at this place, only a few months before, might, 
like a fire burst from earth as it were, fall upon and 
destroy him. The truth about it is that Cornwallis was 
not rash but deliberate. He knew the dangers that were 
about to entrap him. He knew that the reinforcements 
which were constantly flocking in upon Morgan, might 
cause him to have the audacity to strike at the army 
before Leslie's reinforcements should come up, and he 
knew further, that the Whigs of Mecklenburg were em- 
bodying under Colonel Davidson and that he might be 
confronted by these, which would make his position 
perilous, as General Greene and his army were only about 
one hundred miles on his right. His conclusion was wisely 
made, for the official correspondence of the day proves 
that Greene contemplated striking at both Cornwallis and 
Leslie's corps in their detached and divided situations. 

With these observations, let us, in the succeeding chap- 
ter present the details of the battle which was the begin- 
ning of series of events which culminated in the surrender 
of Cornwallis at Yorktown. 




DURING the trying times of the Revolution in Upper 
South Carolina and at the particular period which 
we have just mentioned, no military event took place 
which appeared to be more peculiarly the subject of a 
special Providence than the battle and victory at Cow- 
pens. Had religion, poetry, oratory and all the sacred 
and refined influences combined and concurred in address- 
ing the Supreme Being as the God of battles, for a vic- 
tory for the American arms, a more satisfactory answer 
and result could not have been brought about. Certain 
it is, that it must have been the interposition of Provi- 
idence, since General Morgan has been severely 
censured for his choice of ground and for risking a 
battle under what appeared to be the most adverse cir- 
cumstances. At that time an open woodland, possessing 
nothing to recommend it but a trifling elevation, and 
Broad River winding around his left and parallel to his 
rear at a distance of about five miles, so as to cut off all 
retreat in case of misfortune, the ground selected by 
Morgan to meet his adversary presented little or no 
advantages in his favor. Charged with irritation of tem- 
per, extraordinary indiscretion and imprudence in leaving 
his wings exposed to a superior cavalry and a more 
numerous infantry, we flnd the following paragraph on 
record as written by Morgan himself, which is but a brief 
justification of the extraordinary boldness and originality 
of design which he displayed in his determination to 
engage his adversary : ** I would not," said the General, 
"have had a swamp in the view of my militia for any 
consideration. They would have made for it, and nothing 
could have detained them from it. As to covering my wings, 
I knew ray adversary and was perfectly sure I should 


have nothing but downright fighting. As to retreat, it 
was the very thing I wished to cut off all hope of. I 
would have thanked Tarleton had he surrounded ine 
with his cavalry. It would have been better than placing 
ray own men in the rear to shoot down all those who 
broke from the ranks. When men are forced to fight, 
they will sell their lives dearly, and I knew that the dread 
of Tarleton's cavalry would give due weight to the pro- 
tection of my bayonets and keep my troops from break- 
ing, as Buford's regiment did. Had I crossed the river, 
one-half of the militia would immediately have abandoned 

If we will inquire into all the facts, we will see that there 
was an imperative necessity for Morgan to fight at 
Cowpens. It has already been stated that Tarleton 
occupied the ground abandoned by Morgan on the 
morning of the 16th. This made the distance between 
them only about twelve or fifteen miles. Further, the 
British dragoons had been hanging upon Morgan's rear 
during the day of the 16th, for the purpose of impeding 
his march, and Morgan knew that the moment he de- 
camped at Cowpens, intelligence would at once be com- 
municated to the British commander, and the forces of 
the latter w^ould at once be set in motion to overtake 
him. This, probably, would have been done before he 
was clearly over the river, and his troops, fatigued and 
dispirited by retreat and desertions, under the disadvan 
tages of forming in the face of a superior enemy on ground 
chosen by the latter, might have behaved very differently 
from what they did under other circumstances, on the 
immortal field of Cowpens. 

The battle of Cowpens was fought within the limits of 
the present County of Spartanburg, about eight miles 
north of Cowpens Station, on the Southern Railroad, and 
near, and rather between, the junction of the main road 
from Spartanburg City via Cherokee Springs and the 
Green River Road, just below J. H. EzelPs store. It will 
be remembered that we stated in the beginning of this 


narrative, that there were two classes of persons who first 
moved into our up-country in advance of civilization. 
One were the traders with the Indians, and the other the 
Cowpens' men, who were engaged in following and graz- 
ing herds of cattle, which when necessary were penned or 
enclosed here and there, in what was then a vast and un- 
interrupted wilderness. In referring to the battle field of 
Cowpens, Johnson says : **The place of this memorable 
event has now lost its name, but no American will reflect 
with indifference on the possibility of its identity ever 
becoming doubtful. The following remarks may direct 
the researches of some future traveler or historian. At 
the first settlement of the country, it was a place of con- 
siderable notoriety from a trading path with the Chero- 
kees which passed by it. In the early grants of land in 
that neighborhood, it was distinguished by the epithet of 
** Hannah's Cowpens," being the grazing establishment o^ 
a man by the name of Hannah." 

The writer has often traveled over the main road 
through the old battle ground and has taken some pains 
to inspect it. What has been described by several writers 
as eminences on the battle field, where the different lines 
were formed, are nothing more than ridges scarcely 
noticeable. The main road leading to Gaffney City, 
between Ezell's store, half a mile above the old monument 
and the Bobby Scruggs place, about the same distance 
below, between which points the battle was fought, is in 
fact so level that if ties were properly placed and rails 
spiked down, a train of cars could run over them 
with scarcely any grading. The only rising ground of 
any note on the whole field is a little eminence a short 
distance in the rear of the ridge, where the main line was 
formed. This isof sufficient height to cover a man on horse- 
back placed in the rear of it. Behind this, as we will presently 
show, is the place where Colonel Washington remained 
concealed for a time with his cavalrv. 

We have examined several accounts of this remarkable 
battle and victory, as presented by different writers, and 


while some of them are conflicting, we have found none 
which we think more reliable than that given in John- 
son's " Life of Greene," and this we have adopted as the 
ground-work of our present narrative. Unfortunately 
for us, at present, all the accounts of the battle of Cow- 
pens which we find only deal in general facts, whilst the 
little interesting particulars and incidents, such as we 
find preserved in connection with the battle of King's 
Mountain, are lost in tradition. 

In order that the reader mav better understand the dis- 
position of Morgan's forces, we will state that the forests 
at that time were more open, and the elevations and 
depressions were more easily seen, than at present, as the 
old battle ground is now covered with a thick, scrubby 
growth of blackjack and other timber, with here and 
there an occasional tall pine or oak of ancient appear- 
ance. Morgan selected his ground on a ridge gently 
ascending for about three hundred and fifty yards. On 
the crest of this ridge were posted his best disciplined 
troops, composed of two hundred and ninety Mar^'land 
regulars, and in line on their right, two companies of 
Virginia militia under Triplet and Tate, and a company 
of Georgians, about one hundred and forty in number, 
making his rear line consist of about 430 men. This was 
commanded by Lieutenant-Colonel Howard, of Maryland. 
One hundred and fifty yards in front of this line the main 
body of the militia were posted in open order under Col. 
Andrew Pickens. These were composed of North and 
South Carolinians, and the number, as given by Judge 
Johnson, is 270. Judge Scbenck, however, in his recent 
work, states that the number was greater than this, 
because the Mecklenburg militia numbered 150, and ]jier- 
haps only one-half or 95 of McDowell's men were detailed 
as sharpshooters in the front. Judge Schenck puts 
down the number at 315, which he says is approximately 
correct. We have already stated that the South Caroli- 
nians who had recently enlisted under the banner of Colo- 
nel Pickens were, for the most part, citizens, who, after 


the State had been overrun and overawed by British au- 
thority, had taken British protection, but could now no 
longer beartheoppressionthatwasbeingheaped upon them 
and see their country backed up, as it wajs, by British bayo- 
nets, run over by a Tory mob. Determined no longer to sub- 
mit to this indignation, they resolved once more to enlist in 
the cause of freedom. They fought figuratively, says Judge 
Johnson, at the battle of Cowpens with '* halters around 
their necks." 

In advance of Colonel Pickens' line, about one hundred 
and fifty yards, were posted 150 picked men, extending in 
loose order along the whole front ; the right being in com- 
mand of Colonel Cunningham, while the left was com- 
manded by Major McDowell,* both excellent appointments. 
General Morgan in his account states that Brannon and 
Thomas t were posted on McDowell's right, while Hayes 
and McCall were on Cunningham's left. These commands 
were, therefore, near together. It is also stated that 
Hops and Buchannon, of the Augusta rifiemen, supported 
the right of this line. The front line of riflemen were 
instructed to ** mark the epaulette men " as the British 
approached. Behind the eminence referred to, in rear of 
main line was posted the American reserve, which con- 
sisted of Washington's and McCall 's cavalry, 125 in 
number, a position highly advantageous, as they were 
near enough to render the most prompt assistance, yet 
secure at the same time from the enemy's artillery. 

* Judge Johnson speaks of Major McDowell as being from South 
Carolina. Judge Schenck, in ihis recent work, severely criticises this 
statement and says that the person referred to, was Major Joseph 
McDowell, of Burke County, N. C. It should be remembered 
by the reader that Judge Johnson published his two volumes, 
'* L/ife of Greene,^' in 1822, while Judge Schenck publi&hed his work, 
«* North Carolina," in 1889, sixty-seven years later. While a typograph- 
ical error may have crept into Judge Johnson's narrative, it is absurd 
to insinuate that this eminent writer did not know what State each 
prominent oflBcer represented on that memorable occasion. Says 
Judge Schenck : "It is the fault of history to give too much promi- 
nence to commanders and ignore the men who died or fought to make 


The orders ^ven to the front line of sharpshooters were 
to protect themselves, as much as possible, by trees, to 
Are from a rest and not to deliver their fire until the 
enemy was within fifty yards; after the first fire they were 
to fall back, loading and firing until they came to the 
second line under Pickens, when they were to fall in with 
the line of militiamen which would consist, when these 
orders were executed, of about 450 men. 

The order to the militia, or second line, was to deliver 
two deliberate charges at the distance of fifty yards, and 
then retire and take their post on the left of the regulars, 
which was the first or main line. If charged by cavalry 
every third man was to fire and two remain in reserve — 
lest the cavalry should continue to advance after the first 
fire — to be used if they wheeled to retire. 

The orders extended to the main line under Howard 
were to fire low and deliberately and not to be alarmed by 
the retreat of the militia— the orders as given to the lat- 
ter being detailed to them. They were admonished not to 
break on any account and if forced to retire, to rally on 
the eminence in their rear, where they were assured the 
enemy could not injure them. 

Early in the morning the baggage of the American army 
was sent several miles to the rear under a suitable escort, 
where they w^ere ordered to halt. The horses of the volun- 
teer militiamen were secured to the boughs of trees at 
a convenient distance in rear of the reserves. Every 

them great, and in that way the truth is confounded. Col. Andrew 
Pickens, by mere accident, outranked Major McDowell, and being in 
command and from South Carolina, her historians are ever ready to 
ascribe all the glory of Cowpens to that State, etc." This is an unfair 
accusation and reflects unjustly on the memory of Judge Johnson. 

t Colonels Brannon and Thomas were from the Spartanburg section 
of South Carolina. Col. John Thomas, Jr., the person referred to here, 
succeeded his father about the year 1780, as colonel of the famous 
Spartan regiment. Brannon did not probably rank higher than a 
captain. A notice of him will appear in another place. The com- 
mands of these oflScers, if any at all, were necessarily small. 


arrangement being completed, the men were ordered to 
**ea8e their joints," that is, they were to assume a comfor- 
table attitude, without quitting their ranks, until the 
enemy came in sight. All were in good spirits and full of 

General Morgan, in his account, states that one of his 
scouts informed him about an hour before day, that the 
enemy had advanced within five miles of his encampment 
and that on this information he had made the necessary 
dispositions. When these had been made, it is said that 
he went along the lines encouraging his men and exhort- 
ing them to stand firm, as they were about to gain a 
great victory. 

We have already stated that Tarleton left his place of 
encampment at three o'clock, a. m., and did not come up 
with Morgan until eight a. m., having been five hours on 
the way. He simply followed the route Morgan had taken, 
which is now known as the old Green river road, which 
runs via the Big Sam Littlejohn place, Thickety station 
and Macedonia church. 

The American army looked calmly on while the enemy 
formed his line of battle at a distance of about 400 3'ards. 

The position of the British line may be better under- 
stood by the account which Tarleton gives, as follows: 
**The light infantry were ordered to file to the right until 
they were equal to the flank of the American front line; 
the Legion infantry were added to their left, and. under 
the fire of a three-pounder, this part of the British troops 
were instructed to advance within three hundred yards of 
the enemy. This situation being acquired, the 7th regi- 
ment was commanded to form on the left of the Legion 
infantry and the other three-pounder was given to the 
right division of the 7th; a captain with fifty dragoons 
was placed on each fiank of the corps which formed the 
British front line to protect their own and threaten the 
fianks of the enemy ; the first battalion of the 71st was 
desired to extend a little to the left of the second regi- 
ment and to remain a hundred and fifty yards in the rear. 


This body of infantry, and near to one hundred cavalry, 
composed the reserve." 

It will be seen therefore that the British line was co-ex- 
tensive and parallel with that of the American, and further, 
that the position of the two pieces of artillery were equally 
distant from each other and from the extremity of each 
winp:, dividing; the line into thirds. Tarleton states that his 
reserve consisted of the seventy-first, and two hundred 
dragoons. It is further stated that the residue of the 
dragoons covered the two wings, giving a squadron of 
fifty-two each. 

The attack was made bv Tarleton sooner than he 
intended, and he has been charged with impatience in 
commencing the attack. This is a mistake, however, as 
has been shown. It happened in this way : Advancii^g to 
reconnoitre the line of skirmishers under McDowell and 
Cunningham, and to distinguish satisfactorily the Amer- 
ican order of battle, he approached too near the former, 
who resisted his further advance with a few rifle cracks. 
Seeing he could advance no further he ordered the 
cavalry to advance and drive them in. Says Johnson, 
**on the advance of the cavalry the American parties 
retreated and fell into the first line* and were thus pre- 
cluded from performing the service for which they were 
most probably assigned to this advanced position. But 
they performed another which, in the sequel, answered 
a purpose nearly as beneficial. They gave the cavalry a 
few discharges, which made them tremble, for at least that 
day, at the deadly aifn of the American riflemen." The 
disposition of the enemy being complete he marched 
steadil^^ forward to encounter the line of the militia under 
Pickens. The latter maintained perfect coolness until he 
arrived at the distance which had been assigned for them 
to discharge their pieces. The account says that they 

*In the arrangement of the order of the battle which we have given 
this was the second line ; the skirmish line under McDowell and Cun- 
ningham consisting of the first line. 


did it with unerring aim. It was, says a writer, " the 
magnanimous confession of a gallant oflBeer of the Mary- 
land line who fought on that day, that here the battle 
was gained." The killed and wounded of the commissioned 
and non-commissioned oflBcers who lay on the field of 
battle where the fire of the riflemen was delivered, and the 
high proportion which the killed and wounded of this 
description bore to the whole number, sufficiently justi- 
fied the assertion. 

As soon as the militia had delivered their fire thev 
broke from the line. The enemy rent the air with their 
shouts and quickened their advance forward. The want 
of officers, however, was soon discovered by the confusion 
which ensued in their ranks. 

Immediately after the militia had cleared away from 
before the main line of regulars under Howard, the latter 
commenced their fire and for half an hour or more kept it 
up with coolness and constancy. The British in their 
advance halted frequently to restore order. Their 
advance was attt>nded with so much hesitation that 
Tarleton ordered up the seventy-first regiment into line 
on his left, while a portion of his cavalry made a sweep 
on the American right. Howard, seeing this movement, 
realized the necessity of at once covering his flank* 
He naturally cast his eyes to his reserve under Washing- 
ton as the most natural means of counteracting it. 
Washington was at this time, however, actively en- 
gaged on the American left, where duty had called him. 
It appears that as the right of the line of militia had to 
traverse the whole front of the main line of regulars they 
were much exposed, and their retreat was closely followed 
by Tarleton's cavalry. It was at this moment that 
Washington flew to their assistance, and repulsing the 
enemy, enabled the militia to regain the tranquility neces- 
sary for returning to a state of order. 

Apprehensive that the reserve could not be brought up 
in time to defend his e:ipo8ed flank, Morgan dispatched 
an order to the militia, wiich had already formed on the 


right of the main line, to fall back from their right so as 
to form at right angles with his main line and repel the 
enemy's advance upon his right flank.* To excute this 
order with precision and dispatch, he at the same time, 
ordered his main line to face the right about and wheel on 
their left. The first part of the order (to face about sim 
ply) was executed with coolness and precision. Says 
Jonhson : ^* At this point of time it was that fortune ever 
hovering over fields of battle, plaj'ed off that celebrated 
freak, which at first threatened destruction to the Ameri- 
can arms, but in a moment after crowned them with the 
most signal success. Seeing the movement of the right 
of their line, and supposing that this was a state of things 
which required a retreat to the eminence in their rear, the 
whole American line faced about and began to move 
rather in a quickening step, but in perfect order, towards 
their intended second position. Howard, presuming that 
the order must have emanated from the commander, made 
no opposition, but gave his whole attention to the pre- 
servation of discipline and the encouragement of his men. 
Morgan, also, under the impression that the movement 
was made under the order of Howard, and thinking 
favorably of it under existing circumstances, rode along 
the rear of the line, reminding the officers to halt and face 
as soon as they reached their ground. But just at this 
crisis they were accosted by another officei' and their 
attention was drawn to some facts which produced an 
immediate change of measures. This officer wa43 a mes- 
senger from Colonel Washington, who having been carried 

*In the sketch oi John Eager Howard^ published in the " National 
Portrait Gallery," it was stated that it was Howard and not Morgan 
who gave the order to the right company to change its front and pro- 
tect his flank ; and it was Howard who afterwards ordered the charge 
with the bayonets upon his own responsibility. We give his own 
language: " Seeing my right flank exposed to the enemy, I attempted 
to charge the front of Wallace's company (Virginia Regulars); and in 
doing so, some confusion ensued, and first a part and then the whole 
of the company commenced a retreat. The officers along the line see- 
ing this, supposing that orders had been given for a retreat, faced their 


in pursuing the enemy's cavalry some distance in advance 
of the American line, found the ri^ht flank wholly exposed 
to him and had a fair view of the confusion existing in 
their ranks. 

This message was received by Morgan while the Ameri- 
can line was falling back to the eminence in the rear. 
*^They are coming like a mob, give them a fire and I'll 
charge them," was the message delivered. The messenger 
instantly galloped back to regain his command. At this 
instant Pickens, who had rallied and restored order 
among his men, appeared at the top of the ridge, or emi- 
nence as it is called, to which the main line was approach- 
ing. As soon as the American regulars reached the 
objective point the order flew from right to left. *^ Face 
about, giv^e them one tire and the victory will be ours." 
This order was promptly obeyed. Pickens' militia had by 
this time united with the main line. The enemy were now 
within thirty yards, tumultuously shouting and rapidly 
advancing. Says a writer: ^* Scarcely a man of the Amer- 
icans raised his gun to his shoulder ; when their flre was 
delivered they were in an attitude for using the bayonet 
and the terrible pas de charge in a few steps brought the.n 
to that crisis which ever terminates in victory or defeat. 
The bayonets of the two armies were interlocked. The 
enemy threw down their arms and fell upon their faces. 
Happy was it for the honor of the American arms that 
the soldiers found before them only a prostrate enemy. 
These were the men, and this the commander (Tarleton), 

men about and moved off. Morgan, who mostly had been with the 
militia, quickly rode up to me and expressed apprehension of the 
event ; but I soon removed his fears by pointing to the line and observ- 
ing that men were not beaten who retreated in that order. He then 
ordered me to keep with the men until we came to the rising ground, 
near Washington's horse ; and he rode forward to fix the proper place 
for us to halt and face about. In a minute we had a perfect line. The 
enemy were now very near us. Our own men commenced a very 
destructive fire, which they little expected, and a few rounds occasioned 
great disorder in their ranks. When in this confusion I ordered a 
charge with the bayonet, which order was obeyed with great alacricy 


who had massacred the troops under Buford and ^*Tarle- 
ton's quarter " had already run from right to left. But 
Howard (and humanity seems identified with the name), 
anxiously exclaiming, ** Give them quarters," soon had 
the pleasure to see that an American soldier could not 
shed the blood of a conquered enemy. 

The work on the battlefield was not yet completed. 
The seventy-first regiment had got on Howard's right 
and the British dragoons were also approaching the same 
point. Washington had his hands full with the artillery 
in front and the cavalrj'^ of the enemy's wing. Morgan 
was prompt in the execution of his orders. Sending one 
company forward to assist Wa43hington, and leaving 
these in charge of the prisoners, he wheeled the right bat- 
talion upon the seventy-first. The affair here became 
animated. In vain did Tarleton urge his men forward. 
They could not resist the effective shots of Pickens' 
marksmen who were now upon him. Those who were not 
killed or wounded on the ground, soon broke and fled. 
The British artillery Htood by their pieces with a com- 
mendable devotion. Having been thrown in the rear by 
the advance of the British line, and at last abandoned by 
the British dragoons, they resolved to surrender their 
guns only with their lives.* 

They were mostly killed or wounded by the time that 
Tarleton and a number of mounted oflBcers and all that 
remained to him of his cavalry, amounting in all to 
about fifty, had arrived to support them. It was here 
that the memorable confiict occurred in which Washing- 

* Says Howard further : '* As their line advanced, I observed their 
artillery a short distance in front and called to Captain Bwing, who 
was near me, to take it. Captain Anderson (now General Anderson of 
Montgomery county, Maryland) hearing the order, also pushed for 
the same object ; and both being emulous for the prize kept pace until 
near the first piece, where Anderson, by putting the end of his spon- 
toon forward into the ground made a long leap, which brought him 
upon the gun and gave him the honor of the prize. My attention was 
now drawn to an altercation of some of the men with an artilleryman 
who appeared to make it a point of honor not to surrender his match." 


ton so narrowly escaped and has been briefly described 
thus : " Whilst Washington was engaged with the artil- 
lerists Colonel Tarleton, at the head of all the cavalry 
who could follow him, hastened to their relief. Washinjr- 
ton perceiving his approach ordered his men to charge 
and dashed forward himself.* Tarleton prudently com- 
manded a retreat. Being of course in the rear of his men 
and looking behind he could see that Washington was 
very near him, full thirty yards ahead of his troops. 
Attended by two of his offiers he advanced to meet 
Washington. One of his officers led ; parrying a blow 
aimed at him by Washington, the sword of the latter 
proved of inferior temper and broke midway. The next 
effort must have brought Washington to the ground. 
But a little henchman, not fouiteen years old, who was 
devoted to his master and carried no other weapon but a 
pistol at his saddle bow, had pressed forward to share 
or avert the danger that threatened his beloved colonel, 
and arrived in time to discharge the contents of his pis- 
tol, into the shoulder that brandished the sword over 
Washington's head. It fell powerless, but the other offi- 
cer had already raised his sword to inflict the wound 
when Sergeant-Major Perry reached the side of his com- 
mander, just in time to receive the sword arm of the offi- 
cer upon his extended weapon. The weapon also broke 
this blow, but Colonel Tarleton in the meantime was 
securely aiming another from his pistol. The noble ani- 

*Dr. James H. Carlisle, President of Wofford College, S. C, in a letter 
to the writer, Feb. 28, 1893, transmits a passage from Dr. G. G. Smith's 
" History of Methodism in Georgia," which is as follows : 

" Rev. Samuel Cowls came from Virginia to Georgia in 1796. He 
had been a dragoon with Washington's Light Horse. In the battle of 
Cowpens, he swept down, with. uplifted sabre, upon a British trooper, 
whom he disarmed and was about to cut down. The trooper gave him 
the Masonic sign of distress and he spared his life. Years after he 
met his old foe, in Thomas Dorley, a brother in arms, in the South 
Carolina Conference." 

Smith's History, page 71. 


mal that bore Washinp^ton was destined to receive the 
ball that had rather discourteously been aimed at his 
rider. Poor Perry's destiny was bound up with that of 
his commander, for at the battle of Eutaw when the lat- 
ter was made prisoner, Perry by the same discharge fell 
under five wounds. We believe he never recovered from 

It is said that during the hottest part of the engage- 
ment at Cowpens, the troops were greatly inspired by 
General Morgan, who rode in front of the militia as they 
were returning to action, and said: *'Boys, form; old 
Morgan never was beaten in his life." 

The bloody scenes were now ended. The engagement 
with the seventy-first, on the extreme right of the Amer- 
icans, was spirited but of short duration. Be it said 
to the credit of the soldiers belonging to this com- 
mand, that they exhibited a firm countenance and order 
to the last. Resistance was in vain with them, however, 
when the calvary had abandoned them and the whole 
weight of the American army was upon them. They laid 
down their arms and their commander, McArthur, sur- 
rendered his sword to Colonel Pickens.* 

Colonel Tarleton takes credit upon himself for perform- 
ing two gallant feats upon this occasion. One was for 
repulsing Washington's whole command with fifty of his 
dragoons and fourteen mounted oflScers, the circumstance 
just related. The other for dispersing an American party 
which had seized upon his baggage. 

This was a ludricous incident. It is related by Tarle- 

* Says Howard further, in his account of this stage of the action : ** In 
the pursuit, I was led to the right, in among the 71st, who were broken 
into squads ; and as I called to them to surrender, they laid down their 
arms and the officers delivered up their swords. Captain Duncanson, 
of the 71st grenadiers, gave me his sword and stood by me. Upon 
getting on my horse, I found him pulling at my saddle, and he nearly 
unhorsed me. I expressed my displeasure and asked what he was 
about. The explanation was that they had orders to give no quarter, 
and they did not expect any, and as my men were coming up he was 


ton that an American party preceded the flight of the 
enemy and took possession of his baggap^e. This is a 
mistake. Colonel Tarleton had in his train a party of 
about fifty Loyalists, good woodsmen and excellent work- 
men, but great plunderers and scoundrels. So says a 
writer. They had been employed by the British com- 
mander as spies and expresses. Having moved off at a 
convenient distance during the battle, and finding the 
baggage of the British army abandoned during the 
action, they very laudably entered upon the work of sav- 
ipg what they could of the officers' effects for their own 
use. Hearing the tramping of Tarleton 's horses return- 
ing, they became alarmed and took to the woods. This 
movement, as the British came up, caused the latter to 
believe that they were a part of Morgan's army. As 
soon as they discovered the mistake, however, the indig- 
nant dragoons let loose their wrath upon all who were 
not fortunate enough to make good their retreat. Some 
of this party secured themselves from the sword by the 
body of a wagon. 

We have already given in a former chapter the relative 
strengtii of the two armies. The British loss amounted 
to about one hundred and fifty killed, and two hundred 
wounded, and about five hundred prisoners,* according to 
the account published at the time. These numbers may, 
however, be some what overdrawn. In the official corre- 
spondence between Clinton and ('Ornwallis, the latter 
admits of a loss of seven hundred and eighty-four men 

afraid they would use him ill. I admitted his excuse, and put him 
under the care of the sergeant. 1 had messages from him years after- 
wards expressing his obligation for having saved his life." 

It is further stated, that " at one time Howard had in his hands 
seven swords of officers, who had surrendered to him personally 
whilst he was in amongst the 71st." 

♦ A number of negro slaves were also captured which were returned 
to their original owners. 


between January 15th and February Ist. The American 
loss a« reported was only eleven killed and sixty-one 
wounded. Never was a victory more complete. Says a 
writer: **Not a corps retired from the field under com- 
mand except a few cavalry who accompanied Tarleton. 
^' These did not amount to more than one hundred and 
seventy-five all told. Waishington pursued the flying 
enemy," says a writer, '* until the declining sun and his 
panting horses warned him to retrace his steps and join 
his commander. On his return he drove before him near 
one hundred straggling prisoners collected on his route." 

Asaresult of the victory, two field pieces (four pounders), 
eight hundred muskets, two stand of colors, thirty-five bag- 
gage wagons and one hundred dragoon horses, fell into the 
hands of the Americans. The two pieces captured, called 
the " grasshoppers," had a special history. They were 
first captured at Saratoga. Afterwards thej' were recap- 
tured on the same field, falling into the hands of General 
Greene after the battle of C!owpens. They were retaken by 
Cornwallis at the battle of Guilford C. H. They were 
finally surrendered at Yorktown. 

Like the battle of King's Mountain, the engagement at 
Cowpens lasted about fifty minutes. Of the killed and 
wounded on the British side at least one-tenth were ofli- 
cers. Ten officers were found in the front of the ground 
where the militia had been formed in line. They were the 
** epaulette men," who had been specially marked in the 
beginning of the battle. It was the fall of these which 
produced sucb confusion in the British ranks, the men as 
they advanced receiving no orders — every man advancing 
at his own will. 

The battle of Cowpens was one of the most extraordi- 
nary battles of the whole Revolution. Ramsay states 
**that the glory and importance of this battle resouhded 
from one end of the nation to the other." 

For the victory at Cowpens the Congress of the United 
States voted public thanks to General Morgan and pre- 
sented him with a medal of gold. Colonels Washington 


and Howard received medals of silver, and Colonel Pickens 
a »word.* 

The history of the battle of Cowpens would not be 
complete without a brief notice of the prominent heroes 
who participated in that engagement. We are sorry that 
we are unable to present a register of the entire forces of 
General Morgan's army. Their names and memories 
deserve to be perpetuated in the annals of our country's 


was born in Buck's County, Pennsylvania, during the 
year 1775. We know little of his birth, or educa- 
tion, or early training. He is said to have been a 
wagoner in General Braddock's army, and shared in his 
defeat in 1754. He emigrated to Virginia in 1755, and 
was employed as an overseer by Daniel Burrel, Esq., then 
in Shenendoah, now Clarke County, Virginia. At the 
beginning of the Revolution he enlisted in his country's 
cause. He was with General Montgomery at Quebec, and 
with General Gates at Saratoga. He was commissioned 
a Brigadier-General and joined the army of the South only 
a short time before General Gates was relieved by General 
Greene. After Greene took command, Morgan was de- 
tached, as we have already shown, to raise troops in the 
western portions of North and South Carolina. After 
various maneuverings he met Colonel Tarleton at Cow- 
pens, January 17, 1781, and gained the brilliant victory 
just narrated, for which Congress presented him with a 
gold medal. Being compelled to continue his retreat he 

* At the one hundredth anniversary of the battle of Cowpens, and 
the unveiling of the Morgan statue, **at Spartanburg on the iiih of 
May, i88i. Col. S. V. Pickens, of Charleston, a descendant of Col, 
Andrew Pickens, wore in the street parade the sword of his illustrious 
ancestor referred to above. The writer had the pleasure of examining 
it. It has a silver hilt and is highly ornamented. The scabbard is 
leather. It is now, so we are informed, in the hands of Mrs. Francis 
W. Pickens, Edgefield, S. C." 


united his army with the advance forces of General 
Greene, on the east bank of the Catawba. After his 
army had united with the main division of General 
Greene's army at Greensborough, he was seized with a 
severe attack of rheumatism, which compelled him to 
retire from the service. He returned to his farm in Vir- 
ginia, where he remained until the war was over. 

During the whiskey troubles in 1794, in Pennsylvania, 
he was appointed by President Washine:ton to raise 
troops and put down the Insurgents. He remained 
among them for several months. After the difficulty was 
settled, he was ordered to withdraw his troops and return 
to his home, and soon after became an aspirant for polit- 
ical honors. He was defeated in his first race for Con. 
gress, but after a second trial, was elected and served as 
a member of Congress from 1797 to 1799. His health 
failing he declined re-election. He died at Winchester, 
Virginia, July 6, 1802. 

First and last he was a brave and chivalric gentleman 
and soldier. In early life he is represented as being wild 
and reckless, but in the end he died a Christian. 

The following is a copy from his tombstone in the Bap- 
tist churchyard, Winchester, Virginia. The words are 
placed thus on tombstone : 

" Major Generai. Daniai, Morgan 

Departed this life 

On July 6tli 1802 

In the 67th year of his age. 

Patriotism & valor were the prominent 

Features of his character 


The Honorable services he rendered 

To his Country 

During the Revolutionary War 

Crown him with glory & will remain 

In the hearts of his 


A perpetual Monument 

To his 

Memory " 



was born in Baltimore County, Maryland, June 4th, 
1752, and died there October 12th, 1827. He was 
well connected and educated ; joined the American army 
nt the beginning of the Revolution ; was at the battU s of 
White Plains, Monmouth and Germantown. In 1780 he 
was made lieutenant of the regiment of Maryland Regu- 
lars which belonged to the army of the South. Lieu- 
tenant-Colonel Howard fought at the battle of Camden 
under General Gates, and in 1780 was assigned hy Gen- 
eral Greene to Morgan's command. The gallantry which 
he displayed at Cowpens has already been narrated. It is 
claimed that the bayonet charge of his regiment secured 
the victory on that memorable occasion. At one time he 
held seven swords in his hands which were surren- 
dered to him.* He greatly aided General Greene in his 
retreat from Guilford C. H., March 15th, 1781. At Hob- 
kirk's Hill he succeeded to the command of the second 
Maryland regiment. At Eutaw Springs, where his com- 
mand was reduced to thirty, he was the only surviving 
officer and made a final charge and was w'ounded. This 
was the end of his military career during the Revolution. 

From 1789 to 1792 he was Governor of Maryland, and 
from 1796 to 1803, he was United States Senator from 
that State. In 1796 he was offered a seat in Washing- 
ton's Cabinet but declined. In 1798, he was appointed a 
Major-General by President Washington in anticipation 
of a war with France. 

In 1814, during the panic in Baltimore and subsequent 
to the capture of Washington by the British forces, he 
prepared to take the field and was opposed to any capit- 
ulation. In 1816, he was the candidate of the Federal 
party for Vice-President. His wife, Margaret, was a 
daughter of Chief Justice f^enjamin (3hew. ' 

He entertained LaFayette at his beautiful mansion, 
*' Belle vedere," near Baltimore, in 1824, only three years 
prior to his death. 

* See Sketch of J. E. Howard, Appleton's Cyclopedia. 



a kinsman of George Washington, was born in Stafford 
County, Virginia, February 28th, 1752. He was a son of 
Barley Washington. But little is known of his early life. 
It is said that he was educated for the Christian ministry, 
but at the springing of the Revolution he espoused the 
Patriot cause, and received a captain's commission early 
in the war and belonged to the third regiment of the Vir- 
ginia line. While in this capacity he acquitted himself with 
great credit, and was severely wounded at the battle of 
Long Island. At Trenton (December, 1776) he led a 
charge on the enemy's batteries, capturing the enemy's 
guns. He was again wounded on this occasion. In 1778 
he was transferred to the dragoons and assigned to 
the regiment of Lieutenant-Colonel George Baylor. In 
1779 he joined the ISouthern army under Gen. Benjamin 
Lincoln, was promoted to the command of the regiment, 
with rank of Lieutenant-Colonel 23d March, 1780. Soon 
after this he defeated Colonel Tarleton at Rantowl's. He 
with Colonel White were surprised a few weeks after- 
wards at Monk's Corner and Denoard's Ferry. 

It was in 1780 that Washington, then attached to 
Morgan's command, resorted to the stratagem of the 
painted pine log—" The Quaker Gun "—reducing as he did 
the post of Colonel Rudgeley and receiving the surrender 
of the latter with one hundred men. 

We have already narrated the successful charge which 
Colonel Washington made at Cowpens at a very critical 
moment. For this conduct Congress presented him with 
a handsome sword. In this battle he had a personal en- 
counter with Tarleton, the circumstances of which we 
have alreadv given. With Howard and Lee he was chosen 
by General Greene to harrass the enemy on his memorable 
retreat. He took a very active part in the battle at 
Guilford Court House. 

At the battle of Hobkirk's Hill he charged the enemy, 
secured many prisoners and saved the artillery from cap- 
ture. At the close of the engagement he succeeded in 


drawing Major CoflBn, the commander of the British 
cavalry, in ambush and he dispersed them and caused a 
number to be captured. 

At Eutaw Springs, after the most heroic efforts, he was 
unfioraed, and while attempting to disengage himself, was 
wounded and captured. This ended his military career. 

In 1782 he married a Mrs. Elliott, of Charleston, and 
moved to his residence near the city. He was afterwards 
elected to the South Carolina Legislature, and was 
strongly solicited to run for Governor, but declined " be- 
cause he could not make a speech.'' 

In 1798, when hostilities were threatened between France 
and the United States, General Washington recommended 
the appointment of his kinsman for Brigadier-General, 
which was made on the 19th of July, 1798. General 
Washington, in a letter to the Secretary of War, sug- 
gested that General William Washington be assigned as 
military director of the affairs of Georgia and South 

William Washington lived in retired life until 1810. He 
died at his residence near Charleston on March 10th of 
this year, his wife, a son and daughter surviving him. 
His biographer says that **he was modest without 
timidity, generous without extravagance, brave without 
rashness, disinterested without austerity." 

Colonel (afterwards General) Andrew Pickens 


was born in Buck's County, Pennsylvania, September 
19th, 1737. His parents were of Huguenot descent, and 
removed in 1752 to the Waxbaw settlement, in Lancaster 
County, South Carolina. Colonel Pickens' first public 
service was in Grant's expedition against the Cherokees, 
in 1761. After this he moved to Long Cane settlement, in 
the present County of Anderson. 

At the beginning of the Revolution Andrew EMckens was 
mesde Captain in the militia, and rose, by protnotit>n, 


until he was made Brigadier-General. He kept the field at 
the head of a partisan corps, after the State had been 
overrun by the British, and in February, 1779, with four 
hundred men, he defeated a party of seven hundred men 
under Colonel Boj'd, at Kettle Creek. At Stono, June 
20th of the same year, whilst be was covering the retreat 
of the American forces, his horse was killed from under 
hira. During the same year he inflicted a severe defeat on 
the Cherokees at Tan a see. 

At the battle of Cowpens his conduct should never be 
forgotten. He commanded the militia, as we have already 
shown. These he rallied and brought into action a 
second time after his ranks had been broken and com- 
pelled to retreat. For this service Congress gave him a 
sword. He next invested the British forts at Augusta, 
Georgia (an account of which is given in this work), which 
surrendered after a two week's seige. 

After participating in an unsuccessful seige at Ninety- 
Six, under General Greene, he followed the retreating army 
towards the coast and participated in the battle of Eutaw 
Springs. In this engagement he was struck by a bullet, 
which, but for the buckle of his sword-belt, would have 
inflicted a mortal wound. 

In 1782 h*^ made a successful campaign against the 
Cherokees in Georgia, and for this service he obtained a 
valuable cession of territory in that State. 

In 1765 Andrew Pickens married Miss Rebecca Calhoun, 
in the present region of Abbeville County. In Mrs. Ellet's 
^^ Women of the Revolution " we learn that this wedding 
was an epoch in the social history of that section. The 
bride was specially noted for her beauty and accomplish- 
ments. The happy pair settled on the Keowee River, in 
what was afterwards known as the old Pendleton District, 
now Pickens County. From the close of the war till 1793 
General Pickens was a member of the South Carolina 
Legislature. He was the first person from his district 
elected to the United States Congress, and served in that 


body from the 2d of December, 1793, till the 3d of March, 

General Pickens was a member of the first South Caro- 
lina Constitutional Convention after the Revolution, and 
was made Major-General of the South Carolina militia 
in 1795. He served a^ain in the State Legislature 
from 1801 to 1812. 

In several instances he was a commissioner to form 
treaties with the Indians. By the treaty of Hopewell he 
obtained from the Cherokees a part of the northwestern 
territory of South Carolina. 

General Andrew Pickens died at Pendleton, South Caro- 
lina, on the 17th of August, 1817. 

He is said to have been remarkable for his simplicity, 
decision and prudence. Hp was scrupulous in the per- 
formance of every duty. 

He was a self-denying and a brave soldier and a pure 
patriot. He left behind him a highly respectable posterity. 
Governor Francis Wilkerson Pickens, who died in Edge- 
field, South Carolina, in 1869, and whose history is well 
known to the people of South Carolina, wa« a grandson. 

*The late Rev. John G. I^andrum once informed the writer that Gen- 
eral Pickens, on his way to Congress, passed through the present 
County of Spartanburg. He traveled on horseback, in full military 
uniform, with his servant in livery also on horseback, about ten paces 
behind him. This fact was related to Mr. Landrum by the older 
citizens of the country, who saw General Pickens on his way to Con- 
gress, then in session in Philadelphia or New York. 




THE brilliant success of General Morgan on the field of 
Cowpens did not lull or dazzle him into an imagined 
security. He knew that when Cornwallis received intel- 
ligence of Tarleton's annihilation, he would attempt to 
head off his retreat. The camp of this officer on Turkey 
Creek (in York County) being only twenty-five or thirty 
miles away, iMorgan knew that it would require only five 
or six hours for Tarleton and his flying cavalry to reach 
it. Morgan knew, too, that the army of Cornwallis was 
under marching orders and to elude his grasp was a 
matter of great importance to him in the circumstapces. 
It was not yet noon when the battle ended. Morgan 
resolved, after refreshing his men and prisoners, to put his 
army in motion at once. Colonel Pickens, with a detach- 
ment of mounted militia, w^as left upon the field to bury 
the dead and provide for the comfort of the wounded of 
both armies. It is said that this brave and benevolent 
man performed this duty faithfully and humanely. SuflB- 


cient tents were procured from the enemy's wagons which 
had been captured. The Americans had none. Other 
comforts were drawn from the same source. 

Those of the enemy's wagons which could not be carried 
away were burned. Colonel Pickens, after performing 
the duty assigned him, and placing a safe guard and a 
yellow flag over the wounded, departed and rejoined his 
commander on the following day. 

Morgan's army crossed the lower Island Ford* the 
same afternoon and encamped several miles beyond the 
river. Early on the morning of the J 8th he resumed his 
march, going north, towards Gilberttown, pursuing the 
same line of retreat as had been formerly traveled by the 
King's Mountain men. Scouts were sent out in the 
morning in the direction in which Cornwallis was expected 
to approach. Morgan w^as delighted on the return of 
those to learn that not only had Cornwallis not yet 
moved, but that there were no signs of his moving. At 
Gilberttown, three miles from Rutherfordton, Morgan 
detached the greater portion of his militia and a part of 
Colonel Washington's cavnlry as a guard to the prisoners. 
This detachment took the Cane Creek road, towards 
Morganton, crossing the Catawba at Island Ford. Here 
Washington's cavalry turned the prisoners over to Colo- 
nel Pickens and rejoined General Morgan's army, which 
crossed the Catawba at Sherrill's Ford, eight or nine 
miles lower down the stream. • 

On the east bank of Island Ford, Major Hyrne, the 
commissary of prisoners, receved six hundred prisoners 
from Colonel Pickens. These were carried by an upper 
route to Charlottesville, Virginia, where prisoners were 
usually kept at that time. 

Let us now return to the movements of the British 
army. Cornwallis was resting quietly in his camp on 
Turkey Creek, waiting, as his lordship informs us, for 
Leslie to reach him. Says a writer: '* When the night 

* In the present plantation of old Mr. John Camp. 


gathered around his camp, the sound of the cavalry ap- 
proaching; at rapid gait was heard, the weary sentinel 
challenged the advance, the countersign was exchanged and 
then the news was broken : * Tarleton is defeated and his 
corps is destroyed.'" It is said that the revelry of the 
carnp ended. Grief and dismay were written on every 
countenance. Guards were doubled and parties were sent 
to gather more tidings of the battle. So dumbfounded 
was Cornwallis, that he scarcely knew what course to 
pursue. Reason would have dictated to him to move at 
once to cut off, if possible,' Morgan's junction with Greene, 
but he did nothing for a whole day, and that day Mor- 
gan and his prisoners were out of reach. Had he pressed 
forward at once with one thousand infantry and a few 
pieces of artillery, with orders for his scattered cavalry 
to follow, *' it is," says Johnson, *^ unquestionable thai he 
must have overtaken General Morgan at Ramsour's Mill, 
where their roads united and crossed the south fork 
of the Catawba." His baggage was in no danger, 
as he could have left a sufficient guard behind to take 
care of it, while the army of General Leslie was only a 
short distance away. In war, days are years. The loss 
of the 18th. the precious and irretrievable day to Corn- 
wallis, was forever gone to him, and Morgan made good 
use of the advantage he had thus gained. Cornwallis 
did not leave his encampment until the 19th — two days 
after the battle. He moved north, taking all his cumber- 
ous baggage with him, with orders to his cavalry to 
return to his camp every night. He marched up the east 
bank of Broad River, crossing Buffalo and King's creeks 
to the second or Little Broad River, where, hearing that 
Morgan had gone east, he turned to the north-east until 
he came to the old Flint Hill road, which Morgan had 
travreled, and thence down said road to Ramsour's Mill, 
on the 25th of January, 1781. Morgan, at this time, 
was on the north bank of the Catawba, at Sherrill's 
Ford, twenty-five miles away. It is a common error in the 
histories of our country to attribute the escape of Mor- 


gan to the sudden rise of the Catawba River, for though 
the rain did descend in torrents on the 26th, still Morgan 
had the advantage of a whole day's march. Morgan, 
hearing that Cornwallis had reached Ramsour's Mill, 
took advantage of the sudden rise of the Catawba in 
order to give his men a day's rest and enable the 
American guard in charge of the prisoners to get out of 
reach, for Morgan was anxious to secure every one of 
them to exchange for the troops of the Continental line, 
taken at the surrender of Lincoln at Charleston, then 
languishing in the prison ships at that place. 

Cornwallis, having lost the 17th and 18th, was six days 
in reaching Ramsour's Mill. By a direct route he could 
have reached that place in two days, and thus intercepted 
the retreat of Morgan. At Ramsour's Mill he remained 
two days, thus giving further advantage to his adversary 
to outstrip him in the race. 

*^0n the 25th of »Tanuary, the day that Cornwallis 
reached Ramsour's Mill, the news of Morgan's victory 
reached General Greene at his camp on the Pee Dee. His 
little army was immediately ordered to prepare to march 
to the assistance of Mqrgan. The troops^ were poorly 
clad and the winter was cold, but they received the orders 
of their commander with cheerfulness and confidence. The 
25th, 26th and 27th of Januar^^ were spent in energetic 
preparations for the march, and the most minute orders 
were ffiven as to every detail before General Greene would 
consent to leave." 

Having made every necessary arrangement for the re- 
treat of his armj-. General Greene did what has been 
deemed by Johnson and others one of the most impru- 
dent acts of his life. '" With only a guide, an aide and 
a sergeant's guard of cavalry he struck across the coun- 
try to join Morgan and aid him in his arduous opera- 
tions." He traveled from Hicks' Ford, on the Pee Dee, to 
Beaty's Ford, on the Catawba, a distance of about one 
hundred and twentj'^-five miles, in two days.* He reached 

*See Johnson's L/ife of Greene, vol. i, page 403. , 


Morgan at Sherrill's Ford on the 30th, and asBumed 
command of his forces. Cornwallis' forces were at this 
time on the other side of the Catawba, and about eighteen 
miles below that point. All the fords of the river below, 
as far down as Charlotte, were guarded by the militia 
under General Davidson. Cornwallis was only waiting 
for an opportunity to force a passage. The river was at 
this time very high, and the two armies lay in perfect se- 
curity from each other, though not many miles distant.. 
By the 31st the waters of the swollen stream began to 

Notwithstanding the fords of the Catawba were numer- 
ous, Davidson kept a vigilant watch. He had under him 
only about five hundred volunteers and three hundred 
mounted riflemen, which served as a corps of oberserva- 
tion along the eastern bank of the stream. The British 
commander had so masked his intentions, that it was im- 
possible to know just where he would attempt his first 
crossing. As soon as it was ascertained, however, that 
the Catawba was falling, and that Cornwallis was making 
his dispositions to cross, Morgan began his retreat. He 
moved off in silence on the evening of the 31st, and press- 
ing his retreat that night and all of the next day, he 
gained a full day's march on his adversary. 

Before we proceed further, let us take special notice of 
some of the dispositions which Cornwallis made prior to 
his crossing the Catawba, and his pursuit of his adversary. 
An error has crept into history that this oflicer, before 
leaving his camp on Turkey Creek, set fire to and burnt 
up all of his heavy baggage, first setting the example by 
burning his own. This has been furnished as an excuse 
for his loss of the 18th, a day which he never regained. It 
is, however, a mistake. It was at Ramsour's Mill that he 
destroyed his baggage six days after the commencement 
of his march. He spent two whole days in this work and 
the collection of provisions and did not resume his march 
until the 28th.* It was during the march of Cornwallis 

^ See Johnson's vol. i, page 389. 


from Ramsour's Mill that the swell of the waters of the 
great Catawba took place, and not on the night of the day 
that Morgan crossed that river. The swell of the stream 
occurred on the night of the 29th. 

But to return to the progress of events. When General 
Greene left his army on the Pee Dee, their orders were to 
cross that river, then to proceed up the stream, and with 
all possible dispatch reach Salisbury in order to form a 
junction with the army of General Morgan. Having 
placed himself at the head of Morgan's troops, he lingered 
behind after the departure of the latter from the banks of 
the Catawba, with a view of collecting and bringing off 
the militia of General Davidson as woon as the enemy had 
effected the passage of the river; and for this purpose he 
issued orders for them to repair, as soon as that event 
should take place, to a place six miles in advance of Tar- 
rant's Tavern, and about sixteen miles in advance on the 
road to Salisbury. To this place he repaired in person to 
await their arrival, and at this place, as we will presently 
show, he came very near terminating his military career. 

The British army crossed the Catawba at two points. 
With his main army Cornwallis crossed at McGowen's 
(called Cowen's by some writers) Ford. It was fortunate 
for him that he attempted this passage at night. Says a 
writer : *' The appalling prospect of a stream five hun- 
dred yards in width, foaming among the rocks, and 
frequently overturning men and horses in its course, 
might have shaken the stoutest heart. Nor would the aim 
of the riflemen then have been distracted by the shades of 
the night, or the men themselves been directed by nothing 
but the voices of the British officers, the increased noise 
of the current, or the mutual exhortation of the British 
soldiers. Placed among the trees and bushes that lined 
the banks, secure must have been the aim of the militia- 
men against a body of men plunged up to their waists, 
moving slowly, and supporting themselves against the 
swift waters of the stream, endeavoring to preserve their 
arms from the spray. A singular instance of good for- 


tuue attended the British commander. In the midst of 
the stream the guide, who had been employed to pilot 
him across, got alarmed and fled away. The advance of 
Cornwallis' forces took the wrong course, and escaped 
the danger that awaited them." 

Says Johnson, *^ Davidson had posted his men so as to 
receive the enemy at the point where they well knew the 
course of the ford would lead them to the eastern bank. 
Upon losing their guide, the enemy deviated from the ford, 
waded through water somewhat deeper, but approached a 
point where they were not expected. The darkness of the 
night and the noise of the waters prevented this deviation 
from being discovered until the enemy approached the 
margin of the river; and as Davidson led off his men to 
take a position in their front, it brought him between the 
light of the fires and the advancing column. A well 
directed volley from them put an end to his existence as he 
mounted his horse." 

Thus fell a noble, brave and tried patriot. His loss was 
universally deplored. His men soon dispersed after his 
fall, though not without inflicting a severe injury to the 
enemy. A number of them were killed, including Colonel 
Hall, of the British guards, whose loss was much regretted 
by his companions in arms. 

We have already stated that the enemy effected a cross- 
ing of the Catawba at two different points. At Beaty's 
Ford, higher up the stream. Colonels Tarleton and Web- 
ster crossed with a strong detachment. Finding that 
ford unguarded, it was passed without loss or delay. At 
Tarrant Tavern, ten miles distant from McGowen's 
Ford, the roads from the different fords come together. 
While many of the militiamen, after the fall of their 
commander, were making their way to their homes, 
others were moving forward to join General Greene at 
the appointed place of rendezvous, which was six miles 
from Tarrant's, and in the same direction the American 
army were moving. When the militiamen reached Tar- 
rant's, thinking themselves secure, they halted to take 


refreshments. Tarleton, soon after he crossed the stream, 
got wind that the party had assembled at Tarrant's. He 
resolved at once to strike at it. The militiamen num- 
bered only about one hundred, and the officer in com- 
mand of the same did not take the proper precaution to 
put out videttes to guard against surprise. Tarleton 's 
attack was unlooked for. The militia, mounting their 
horses, quickly fled to the woods, after delivering one fire. 
Says a writer: * A few victims remained to greet the 
English broadsword. There were a small number of old 
men and boys, either not mounted, or badly mounted, 
who sought secucity in imploring mercy on the strength 
of their gray hairs or their youth. Seven of them were 
wantonly sacrificed, and that number is boastingly 
swelled in ' Tarleton's Campaigns ' to the number of fifty. 
Dearly did the Loyalists afterward pay for the blood of 
these men." 

After this exploit Colonel Tarleton leisurely retired to 
the main army, little dreaming that a coveted prize, 
General Greene and his suite, were only a few miles ahead 
of him and unguarded. Twenty horsemen could easily 
have captured him. General Greene, learning of the fall 
of Davidson and the dispersion of the militia, proceeded 
to Salisbury. On his arrival at Steel's tavern, in that 
town, he exhibited signs of hunger and exposure. His 
dress was deranged and his limbs were stiffened. To the 
enquiries of Dr. Read, who received him on his alighting, 
he could not refrain from answering: " Yes, fatigued, hun- 
gry, alone and penniless." This reply was overheard by 
Mrs. Read. When seated to a comfortable breakfast, she 
presented herself in the room, closed the door behind her 
and exhibited a small bag of specie in each hand. " Take 
these," said she, ** for you will want them, and 1 can do 
without them." This favor was too delicate and touch- 
ing to be declined and was afterwards amply repaid. 

General Greene had not more than finished his meal 
when he was admonished to hasten away on account of 
the numbers and hostility of the Loyalists who sur- 


rounded him. He hasteued at once to rejoin his army, 
then crossing the Yadkin River. 

But we are admonished that we are f^ettin^ too far 
away from the scenes of our narrative. We can only 
give an outline of General Greene's further movements. 

General Morgan, after leaving the Catawba; made 
directly to Trading Ford, on the Yadkin, reaching that 
place by the 3d of February. Lord Cornwallis now 
made a desperate effort to retrieve what he had lost by a 
previous want of decision. A second conflagration of 
wagons and baggage announced his intention to resume 
his march. This enabled him to double his teams and 
mount more infantry. Leaving the Catawba about the 
1st of February, he attempted to overtake Morgan 
before he crossed the Yadkin. The incessant rains which 
drenched the army of General Morgan all through the 
first, only quickened his movements. General Greene 
knew that in two days the river would rise past fording. 

Cornwallis made but little progress on the first, owing 
to a narrow and bad road which he traveled from Mc- 
Go wen's (or Co wen's) Ford. Adding General O'Hara 
with his mounted infantry to his cavalry, he ordered 
them to push forward and overtake Morgan before he 
crossed Trading Ford. The latter, however, was too 
sagacious for him. Only a few wagons were left behind 
stuck in the mud. These were guarded by some Ameri- 
can militia who skirmished with the approaching cavalry 
of O'Hara. Two militiamen were killed, while twelve or 
more of the enemy were slain on the ground. 

Morgan transferred his army across the river on boats 
which had been previously collected, while his cavalry 
forded the stream. It was General Greene's foresight on 
his way South that caused these boats to be in place. As 
soon as the army was safely over, all the boats for 
miles up and down the river were secured. Morgan now 
viewed complacently the swelling stream between him 
and Cornwallis and gave his troops a much needed rest. 

So chagrined was O'Hara that Morgan had eluded his 


grasp, that he opened up a furious cannonade on the 
American troops across the river. Morgan had none to 
reply. The two little three-pounders, '* grasshoppers," 
captured at Cowpens, had been sent back with the prison- 
ers. During this cannonade General Greene established his 
headquarters in a cabin not far from the river. Here, 
while issuing his orders and conducting his letters of corre- 
spondence, a cannon ball struck the roof of his cabin and 
shattered it to pieces. It is said that the General wrote 
on and seemed to notice nothing but his dispatches. 
O'Hara, after cannonading across the stream, returned 
to Salisbury, where General Cornwallis was awaiting him. 
Cornwallis discovered that he could cross at Shallow 
Ford, a few miles above Trading Ford. He put his army 
in motion on the fifth, and crossed at that point on the 
evening of the sixth. 

General Greene moved from Trading Ford on the even- 
ing of the fourth, and marched directly to Guilford C. H., 
where he formed a junction with his army under General 
Huger, on the 10th of February. It will be remembered 
that General Huger had marched from the Pee Dee sec- 
tion by order of General Greene. It is an error in history 
to state that it was '* a race" between Greene and Corn- 
wallis to this place. The former was master of his own 
movements and it was at that time that he selected the 
celebrated position (Guilford C. H.) as a fighting ground 
for a battle, which took place a month later. After call- 
ing a council of war it was unanimously decided that the 
army should retreat across the Dan River. The returns 
of General Greene's army show that he had at this time, 
rank and file of all arms, only 2,036 men; of these 1,426 
were regulars. The force of Cornwallis amounted to 
about three thousand. 

General Greene, having decided upon a further retreat, 
put his army in motion about the 12th. Cornwallis' 
army at this time was at or near Salem. It was unfortu- 
nate for General Greene that General Morgan at this 
time became disabled. He was stricken down with a 


severe attack of rheumatism, coDtracted in his recent 
retreat by exposure to wet and cold. He had in former 
jears suffered from this painful malady. With the assist- 
ance of a few friends he was carried to his home in 
western Virginia- 
General Greene's objective point was Irwin's Ferry, on 
the Dan River, seventy miles from Guilford C. H. Colonel 
Carrington was sent forward to secure all the boats and 
make every necjessary preparation for the army to cross. 
General Greene formed a light corps consisting of some 
of his best infantry, under Lieutenant-Colonel Howard, 
who were to take post between the retreating and advanc- 
ing army, to hover on the skirts of the latter and retard 
in every way the enemy's progress, while Greene with the 
main army hastened towards the Dan, which stream he 
successfully crossed with his entire forces by the 15th 
of February. 

Thus ended the memorable retreat of General Greene, 
which not only met with the appreciation of the friends 
of the Revolution, but has at all times commanded the 
admiration of the entire civilized world. Here w^as dis- 
played military tact, genius and strategy, under the most 
trying self-sacrifices, hunger, and deprivation ever re- 
corded in the pages of American history. 

Following the battle of Cow^pens, and being so inti- 
mately blended with the same, an account of the one in 
this work would not be complete without a brief narra- 
tive of the other. 




IN order to ^ve the reader a proper chain of the import- 
ant military events following those which we have 
already narrated, and those which we propose to present 
in the succeeding chapters as happenin^in the upper part of 
our State, it will be necessary to review briefly, some of 
the important military operations both in North and 
South Carolina, which occurred during the remainder of 
the year 1781. These, for the most part, ended the inter- 
esting Revolutionary events in the States referred to. 

Before we proceed further, let us return to South Caro- 
lina and view the state of affairs during the memorable 
retreat of General Greene, an account of which is given 
in the preceding chapter. During this time the distin- 
guished partisans. Generals Marion and Sumter, were at 
work in their daring enterprises, maintaining, as they did, 
a show of American authority in the State. Since Corn- 
wallis had left the State the Whigs were gathering every- 
where. Surrounded as they were by enemies, they kept the 


field to animate the Whift inhabitants to deeds of valor. 
Sumter, though not yet recovered from his wound re- 
ceived at Blaekstock's, assumed authority in the western 
portion of the State. He was ably assisted by Colonel 
Pickens with his brigade, which had recently returned 
from North Carolina and operated between Ninety-Six 
and Augusta. Sumter was also ably supported by Colo- 
nels Neil, Lacy, Hill, Winn, Bratton, Brandon and others. 

Marion's field of operations was confined to the east- 
ern portion of South Carolina and does not belong prop- 
erly to this narrative, which is intended only to record 
the military events in upper South Carolina. VVe will 
further add that Marion was ably supported by Colonels 
Peter and Hugh Horry, and James Postel, Lieutenant- 
Colonel John Baxtc.T and Majors John Postel and James. 

During the time that Marion and Sumter were at work 
in South Carolina, the scenes in North Carolina were no 
less stirring. Cornwallis being compelled to relinquish 
further pursuit of General Greene, after the latter's 
retreat across the Dan, now meditated upon the course he 
was to pursue. Being master of North Carolina, he decided 
to remain in that State and work to enlist the Loyal- 
ists in the name of the King. With this intent he quitted 
the banks of the Dan and repaired to Hillsborough; 
where, having erected the Royal standard, he issued a 
flaming proclamation, inviting the inhabitants to form 
themselves into regular companies. These efforts, how- 
ever, did not meet with the success he had hoped for. 
The long domination of the Whig elements and the horri- 
ble enormities committed by the Royal troops in different 
parts of the American continent, had given birth to a 
sentiment of another cast. 

Towards the middle of March, General Greene, having 
received reinforcements, resolved to march at once on his 
enemy. Accordingly, he recrossed the Dan and pushed 
forward with all his troops and took post at Guilford 
Court House. His army amounted to about 5,668 men,* 

^ See Schneck's " North Carolina," page 312. 


the greater part of which were militia from Vir^nia and 
North ('arolina; while the remainder were reg'ulars from 
Virginia, Maryland and Delaware. The English, including 
the Hessians, amounted to 2,400 soldiers.* After various 
maneuverings the two armies confronted each other on 
the great road which leads from Salisbury to Guilford. 
This was on the 15th of March. We cannot give the 
details of the battle here. The ground was chosen by 
General Greene. The forces of General Greene were supe- 
rior in numbers and those of Cornwallis superior in discip- 
line. As soon as the action opened up, which was about 
1 o'clock and lasted about two hours, the American mili- 
tia did not stand firm, otherwise the result would not 
have been doubtful. A large per cent, of the militia 
organizations, however, had been enlisted only a short 
time, perhaps less than a month. The raw recruits 
behaved badly, broke line and fled. This caused a con- 
fusion. Those of Greene's forces, who had been well 
drilled and trained, fought hard, but they were eventually 
driven from the field, and forced to retreat for several 
miles. The British loss, in killed, wounded and missing, 
according to Cornwallis' oflicial report, was 1,059,1* 
while the American loss, in killed and wounded, was only 
about three hundred. Although the battle of Guilford 
Court House cannot be claimed as an American victory, 
yet the reader will pardon the deviation here when we 
present a paragraph of Senator Benton's eulogy on the 
character of Nathaniel Bacon, who was a soldier under 
General Greene. In commenting upon the battle of Guilford, 
this eminent statesman said : ** The philosophy of history 
has not yet laid hold of the battle of Guilford, its consequen- 
ces and effects. That battle made the capture of Yorktown. * * 
* * It broke up the plan of Cornwallis in the South and 
changed the plan of Washington in the North. Corn- 
wallis was to subdue the Southern States and was doing 

* See Botta's ** American War," page 323. 
t See Schneck's " North Carolina," page 380. 


it until Greene turned upon him at Guilford. Washington 
was occupied with Sir Henry Clinton, then in New York, 
with 12,000 British troops. He had formed the heroic 
design to capture Clinton and his army, the French fleet 
co-operating in that city, and thereby putting an end to 
the war. All his preparations were going on to that 
grand consummation, when he got the news of the battle 
of Guilford, the retreat of Cornwallis to Wilmington, his 
inability to keep the field in the South, and his return 
northward through the lower part of Virginia. He saw 
his advantage, an easy prey, and the same result, if suc- 
cessful. Cornwallis or Clinton, either of them captured, 
would put an end to the war. Washington changed his 
plan, deceived Clinton, moved rapidly upon the weaker 
General, captured him and his 7,000 men and ended the 
Revolutionary War. The battle of Guilford put that 
capture into Washington's hands; and thus Guilford and 
Yorktown became connected. * * * The lesser event 
was father to the greater.* 

General Greene's camp was at '* Speedwell's Iron 
Works," to which place he retired on the morning of the 
16th of March, 1781. Here he remained until the 20th 
of the same month, endeavoring to repair the disorder 
and derangement always incident to a fierce and sanguin- 
ary battle. In a letter to Colonel Lee at this time he 
says : ** I mean to fight the enemy again, and wish you to 
have your Legion and riflemen ready at the shortest notice. 
Lord Cornwallis must be soundly beaten before he will 
release his stronghold." No one understood the temper 
and resolution of General Greene better than Cornwallis. 
He therefore determined not to risk another engagement, 
but to retreat. Leaving the American wounded at Guil- 
ford Court House and those of his own, who could not 
be transported at New Garden Meeting House, he took 
up his line of retreat, using every artifice to avoid any 

*See "Thirty Years View," United States Senate, by Thomas Benton, 
oage 115. V 


further engagement. Profiting from the unpleasant 
experience he had realized in his pursuit of General Greene 
to the Dan, he now determined to keep a stream between 
him and his pursuer. 

As soon as Lord Cornwallis began his retreat, General 
Greene put his army in motion to overtake him. After 
leaving his camp at Speedwell's Iron Works, on Trouble- 
some Creek, he crossed Cross Creek and Buffalo Creek and 
continued the pursuit as far as Ramsey's Mill, some sixty 
miles from his starting point. He had expected to over- 
take and engage his adversary at Buffalo Creek. Says 
Johnson, *'Such was the eagerness with which the pursuit 
was pressed that many of the American troops exerted 
themselves beyond their strength and fainted on the road." 

General Greene, for various reasons, was compelled 
to abandon the further pursuit of Cornwallis. The 
term of enlistment of many of the militia, both from 
North Carolina and Virginia, had already expired, and 
these now turned their faces homeward, thus lessening 
the numbers of Greene's army. The further pursuit was 
through a region of Tories, who would have kept Corn- 
wallis thoroughly posted as to Greene's strength and 
movements. Besides this, an inspection of his army re- 
vealed the fact that he was growing short of ammunition. 
The irregular troops had resklessly traded powder and 
shot, which were the best articles for procuring meat and 

There were still other reasons whj*^ Greene did not pur- 
sue Cornwallis. His route to overtake him lay through 
a dreary region, which had been already traversed by the 
army of Cornwallis, and could afford no supplies. Such 
being the case he wisely determined, as the sequel proved, 
to cast his eyes in another direction, and to decide on the 
next course to be pursued. 

On the day after the battle of Guilford, Colonel Wade 
Hampton* arrived in the American camp, and gave intel- 

*Grandfather of present ex Senator Wade Hampton. 


licence that could be relied upon respecting the positions 
and strength of the enemy's forces in South Carolina. 
This intelligence, it is said, caused General Greene to de- 
cide at once on his future movements. 

But before entering upon another campaign, General 
Greene deemed it proper to give a short rest to his army, 
preparatory to a new movement, and also to recruit and 
collect supplies, as his march lay for the niost part 
through a barren and swampy country. 

On the 6th day of April, the day before Cornwallis 
reached Wilmington, General Greene renewed his march, 
but now in a different direction. The two armies were 
now back to back. The faco of General Greene was turned 
to South Carolina, where, in less than one^'ear, he was to 
end a military career that was to make his name for all 
time glorious, while that of Cornwallis was turned to Vir- 
ginia, where, in a few' months, he was to end a course less 
glorious at Yorktown. 

Continuing his march General Greene crossed at Mark's 
Ferry, on the Yadkin; then south, crossing Rocky River 
and Lynch's Creek, to Camden, South Carolina. General 
Greene's advance into South Carolina was preceded by 
Lieutenant-Colonel Lee,* who penetrated through the 
country, and in eight days effected a junction with Gen- 
eral Marion, on the San tee. This not only surprised, but 
alarmed the British. To secure the provisions that grew 
on the fertile banks of the San tee and Conga ree, the Brit- 
ish had erected a chain of posts in their vicinity, reaching 
back in the direction of Georgetown. One of the most im- 
portant of these was Fort Watson, near Wright's Bluff. 
This was a stockade fort, built on an eminence thirty or 
forty feet high, said to have been originally an Indian 
mound. This was closely invested on the 15th of April 
by about eighty men under General Marion and a number 
of mounted Continentals under Lieutenant-Colonel Lee. 
The garrison consisted of about one hundred and four- 

*Lieutenant-Colonel Henry Lee, father of General Robert E. Lee, 
Confederate States army. 


teen men, under Lieutenant McKay of the British regular 

Had Marion possessed even one piece of artillery, the 
task of eapturino^ the fort would have been small. As it 
was, neither side had any other means of attack or de- 
fense but muskets. The steep side of the fort and 
palisades in front forbade an attempt at storming it. 
The Americans cut off the garrison from Scott's Lake, 
which supplied it with water. This was overcome on the 
part of the garrison, however, by sinking a well inside of 
the fort. Another stratagem was resorted to. A short 
distance from the fort there grew wood in abundance. 
This was cut down, and through the night the men 
carried the heavy timbers on their shoulders and placed 
them cross-wise. When morning came the besieged men 
were astonished. The fatal effect of a shower of balls an- 
nounced to them that their stronghold was commanded 
by a superior work. Nothing now remained but to sur- 
render, and a capitulation was at once concluded. 

Camden, during the Revolution, was a little village, 
located, as now, on a plain, covered on the south and east 
sides by the Wateree and a creek which enters into that 
river. It was here that Lord Rawdon was posted during 
the spring of 1781. The position was a strong one. It 
was defended on the north and west by six strong re- 
doubts. Greene, upon his arrival at Camden, finding the 
post impregnable, took a strong position at Hobkirk's 
Hill, about one mile and a half north of Camden, intend- 
ing, if possible, to allure the garrison out of their lines. 
In this he succeeded . 

We have not time or space to give the details of the 
battle of Hobkirk. Lord Rawdon armed his musicians, 
drummers, and everything that could carry a firearm, 
and with great spirit sallied out to attack Greene on the 
25th of April. An engagement ensued. It is stated by 
Botta and others, that Greene was surprised, while it is 
firmly denied by Johnson and others. At first victory 
seemed to incline to the Americans, but in the progress of 


the battle the tide turned. It is said that Greene had 
placed in his center the Maryland regulars, which had 
stood so firm at Cowpens and Guilford. For some 
reason unexplained, this veteran organization gave way 
at the be^nning of the action. Lieutenant-Colonel Wash- 
ington was ordered to turn the right of the British flank, 
and to charge their rear. So confident was he of Greene's 
success that he divided his command into small parties 
and placed them in secret positions which he thought 
most favorable for attacking the retreating fugitives of 
Rawdon's army. At one time he had captured nearly two 
hundred, but released the greatest part of them on seeing 
the American Army retreat. 

The American forces, as we have said, consisted of 
about seven hundred ; the British of about eight hundred. 
The American loss in killed, wounded and missing, was 
about two hundred. The British loss was smaller. Gen- 
eral Greene retreated in good order with his baggage, 
artillery, &c., to Sanders' Creek, about four miles distant. 
In the evening after the battle Lieutenant-Colonel Wash- 
ington, with fifty mounted cavalry advanced within a 
mile of the British camp. It appears that Lord Kawdon 
left Captain Coffin on the battlefield with his cavalry and 
some mounted infantry. W^ashington receiving this in- 
telligence resolved to gain some advantage from it. Re- 
tiring with his cavalry into a thicket on the roadside, he 
pushed forward a small detachment, with orders to ap- 
proach within a short distance of the enemy's position. 
The stratagem took effect. Coffin's whole command pur- 
sued, and having reached the hiding place of Washing- 
ton's men, the whole command was attacked. Those 
who were not cut to pieces were compelled to fly for safety. 
The consequence was that the day actually terminated 
with the field of Hobkirk in the hands of the Americans. 

Very soon after the action of the 25th at Hobkirk, Gen- 
eral Greene, knowing that the garrison at Camden could 
not subsist very long without fresh supplies from Charles- 


ton, detached a reinforcement to General Marion on the 
Nelson's Ferry road. 

General Greene remained at his camp the whole of the 
26th and until the afternoon of the 27th, hoping that 
Rawdon, emboldened by his success, would make another 
attack. Bub the latter had been too severely used up to 
venture another experiment so far from his stronghold. 
The American commander retired five miles further, to 
Rugley's Mill, on the 27th, the depot of his bao:gage and 
stores. After this, on the 3d of May, he crossed the 
Wateree and took occasionally such positions as would 
prevent succor going into the town of Camden. On the 
7th of May Rawdon received reinforcement by the arrival 
of a detachment under Colonel Watson. With this addi- 
tion to his force he sallied out for several miles in the 
direction of General Greene's encampment, for the pur- 
pose of drawing him into an engagement, but finding this 
impossible, he decided after three days to break up his en- 
campment and evacuate the town of Camden. On the 
10th, after burning the jail, mills and many private 
dwellings, he retired with his whole army south of the 
Santee, leaving about thirty of his wounded and as many 
Americans, who had been captured by him after the action 
at Hobkirk on the 25th. 

The evacuation of Camden was a necessary step for 
Lord Rawdon. The position of General Greene at 
Rugley's Mill prevented succor from reaching him from 
that quarter, and the capture of Fort Watson had cut off 
his line of communication with Charleston. 

Many of the Loyalist families accompanied Lord Raw- 
don on his departure. They chose this course rather than 
remain to fall into the hands of their exasperated country- 
men. These families, it is said, were cruelly neglected 
after they reached Charleston. Having no houses pro- 
vided for them they constructed a lot of huts outside of 
the works. This was called Eawdontown, Many women 
and children who had lived in comfort at their homes 


perished in these huts which were a reproach to British 

In thjB fall of Camden Lord Rawdon lost not only this 
post, but the country and the confidence of the Tories. 
The Whigs everywhere were animated and the British 
alarmed. General Greene's ranks began to swell. On the 
day after the evacuation of Camden the post at Orange- 
burg, consisting of seventy British militia and twelve 
regulars, surrendered to General Sumter. The next day 
Fort Motte, on the Congaree, capitulated under circum- 
stances peculiarly interesting. After the fall of Fort Wat- 
son, General Marion and Lieutenant-Colonel Lee crossed 
the Santee and moved up to this post, where they arrived 
on the 8th of May. The old site of this fort is south of 
the ("ongaree River, and only a short distance west of the 
South Carolina railroad. The garrison consisted of one 
hundred and sixty-five men, commanded by Lieutenant 
McPhersou. The residence of Mrs. Motte stood in the 
center of the fort. It seems that the firing of this was 
necessary to bring about the capitulation of the fort. 
Mrs. Motte was consulted. When informed of what was 
necessary for the reduction of the fort, she presented the 
besiegers with a quiver of African arrows to be employed 
for that purpose. Skewers, armed with combustible 
materials, were also used with more effect. The experiment 
proved successful. Mrs Motte was overjoyed to witness 
the reduction of the post, though her private property 
was sacrificed. 

Lord Rawdon, upon his arrival at Nelson's Ferry, on 
the Santee, hearing that all these posts had capitulated, 
marched directly to Eutaw Springs, after blowing up his 
fortifications and destroying many of his stores at Nel- 
son's Ferry. 

A few days later the British garrison at Granby, about 

jbwenty-flve miles higher up the Congaree, and only a few 

miles from the present city of Columbia, capitulated. 

This post was commanded by an officer named Maxwell, 

vho is represented as having been a notorious plunderer. 


He surrendered on the first summons by Lee, who already 
had him in a measure within his grasp. 

Only two important British posts now remained com- 
manding the upper part of South Carolina, viz: Augusta 
and Ninety-Six. Let us first give our attention to the 
former place. The defenses immediately around Augusta 
consisted of two forts, Cornwallis and Grierson. The 
former was commanded by Colonel Brown, and the latter, 
Colonel Grierson. Lower down the Savannah River a 
few miles was Fort Gilpin. 

Pickens, who had been recently created a Brigadier, was 
ordered by General Greene to collect and enlist in his 
command the Whig elements in upper Carolina, concen- 
trate l>efore Augusta, looking to the reduction of that 
post, and to cut off all communication between Augusta 
and Ninety-Six. Lieutenant-Colonel Lee with his legion 
was also ordered, after the fall of Granby, to join Pickens 
at Augusta. The distance between those points was 
about one hundred miles. Lee's legion had been recently 
recruited by the addition of Colonel Eaton's command of 
two hundred North Carolina militia. 

Says Johnson : ** Among those who hastened into action 
upon the approach of the American army (into South 
Carolina) was Colonel Clarke of Georgia. His followers im- 
mediately gathered around him and he found himself at the 
head of a party sufficient to invest Augusta, as soon as 
Pickens was able to hold in check the garrison at 

Clarke's approach to Augusta was sudden and unex- 
pected. It was the custom of the British authorities to 
send annually presents to the Cherokee Indians. Several 
boats loaded with these annual presents were on their 
way up the Savannah River. Clarke heard of these boats 
and before they could make good their retreat he waylaid 
them. The stream, though deep, is narrow and Clarke's 
riflemen among the trees along the banks would soon 
have swept the deck of anj' boat not provided against 
attack. Unable to ascend or descend, these boats took 


shelter under Fort Gilpin ; and Colonel Clarke was care- 
fully guarding this invaluable prize when he was joined 
some days afterwards by Lee. 

Immediately upon Lee's arrival he was complimented 
with the task of capturing Fort Gilpin. This was on the 
2l8t of xMay. Lee captured the post by stratagem as it 
were. Appearing before it with a small force, the garri- 
son sallied out to engage it, when Captain Rudolph, of 
Lee's legion, who was concealed with a larger force, 
rushed into the fort and captured it. All those outside 
were taken prisoners. 

By the fall of this fort there were captured one hundred 
and twenty-six prisoners of all descriptions, including 
seventy commissioned officers and privates in the regular 
service, besides the boats on the stream with their loaded 
cargoes. The American casualties were small, only twelve 
wounded. The capture of these boats was a valuable 
acquisition to the American cause. They were loaded 
with a quantity of clothing, blankets, small arms, rum, 
salt, and other useful and much-needed articles of which 
the American army had long been deprived. There was 
also a good supply of ammunition and some articles of 
military equipment. 

Notwithstanding, the command of General Pickens, rep- 
resenting the States of Georgia and South Carolina, were 
in a naked and destitute condition, yet the distribution 
of these articles exhibited the characters of Pickens and 
Greene transformed in a light that was honorable to both. 
Pickens, with modesty, begged of General Greene that 
his men be allowed to share, in their destitute condition, 
a part of the booty captured. Greene, in reply, author- 
ized him to divide the same according to his sense of jus- 
tice and the good of the service. Pickens set aside the 
military stores for public service, and loaded thirteen 
wagons with rum, salt, sugar, medicines, &c., for the 
main army. He divided the clothing into three equal 
parts, assigning one lot to Georgia, another to South 
Carolina and the third to the Continental troops. The 


fowling pieces were distributed among the militia on con- 
dition that they would remain in the army for specific 

Fort Gilpin being captured, two forts still remained in 
the hands of the British, viz : Grierson and Cornwallis. 
General Pickens decided to attack Grierson first and 
carry it by storm. The plan was for General Pickens to 
make the attack on the north and west, while Major 
Eaton and his battalion and Colonel Clarke at the head 
of the militia, were to pass down the north side of the 
lagoon and approach the fort from the south. Lieuten- 
ant-Colonel Lee was to march down the lagoon parallel 
with Eaton and be ready to support the attack if neces- 
sary, and at the same time to hold Brown in check and 
prevent him from rendering any assistance to Grierson. 
The cavalry of Eggleston were ordered to draw near Fort 
Cornwallis, but to keep concealed in the wood, ready to 
fall upon the rear of Colonel Brown should he attempt to 
march to the assistance of Grierson. 

The orders were promptly carried out. The garrison 
at Fort Grierson were soon overpowered. Colonel Grier- 
son, galled by the fire from the American batteries, decided 
to evacuate the fort and retreat to Fort Cornwallis. He 
suddenly issued from the rear of the fort and attempted 
to retreat under cover of the river bank. The North 
Carolina troops and Colonel Clarke's men, perceiving the 
motive of Grierson, pressed forward to the river bank to 
intercept him. A lively action ensued. The British party 
with the exception of a very few, were either killed, 
wounded, or captured. It has been asserted by Lee that 
Grierson was killed in cold blood by some of his 
personal enemies among the Georgians. Besides Grier- 
son, a major and thirty odd men were killed, while a 
lieutenant-colonel and over forty men were made prisoners. 

By the capture of Fort Grierson the Americans had the 
good fortune to take two field pieces and some small arms. 

Colonel Brown perceiving the fall of Fort Grierson, 


withdrew within the walls of his fort and at once set to 
work to strengthen in every way his position. 

In the attack on Fort Grierson the American loss was 
small, only a few killed and wounded, but among the 
former was a life valuable to the American cause. This 
was Major Pinketham of North Carolina. He had only 
bt*en a few weeks with the light corps and fell gallantly at 
the head of his battalion in the moment of victory, 

Pickens now directed his attention to Fort Cornwallis 
and pressed the seige with diligence and activity. Strong 
earthworks were erected on the south side until the paral- 
lels wFre very near the fort. Brown left nothing, undone 
to protect his position. He was brave and obstinate and 
for two nights made reckless sallies on the besiegers, but 
was driven back by the accuracy of the American 

General Pickens, under the advice of Lientenaut-Oolonel 
Lee, erected what is known as the Maham Tower. Thiw 
was made by collecting logs and notching them 
together in a penshape and tilling in them with stone 
and earth. Being built behind a house it was not discov- 
ered by Brown until it was nearly completed, which wan 
late on the second day. Brown at once mounted two of 
his best pieces and endeavored to knock it down, but his 
efforts were unavailing. An American six-pounder was 
placed on the lofty top of the tower and soon made sad 
havoc with everthing inside the fort, even uncovering the 
magazine. Although the situation was now almost hope- 
less for Brown, still he det<ermined to continue a stub- 
born resistance. On the night of the 25th he made 
another desperate assault, which was bravely met by the 
militia and Rudolph's company of the legion. 

Pickens still pressed the siege with energy and determi- 
nation. The troops were in the highest of spirits and 
eager for the assault. In another part of this work we 
have referred to Brown in the beginning of the Revolu- 
tion as being of *'tar and feather memory." In another 
ilace we have also mentioned his cruelties in putting to 


death American prisoners. The Georgia militia, were 
intending: to have a bloody revenge as soon as Brown 
was captured. He had hanged thirteen of their number 
with remorseless cruelty. 

General Pickens, wishing to avoid a scene of slaughter, 
sent a final demand to Brown to surrender.* Negotia- 
tions followed, which resulted in the capitulation of the 
fort and garrison, the 5th of June, 1781. The terms were 
as follows: The oflScers and soldiers who were sur- 
rendered were to be conducted to such places the com- 
mander-in-chief of the Americans might designate. The 
officers were to be indulged on paroles. 

At the appointed time the garrison, which consisted of 
between three and four hundred, marched out. It was 
necessary to take special precaution to prevent Brown from 
being mobbed by the infuriated Georgians. He was kept 
at Ijieutenant-Colonel l^ee's headquarters until the next 
day, when he was sent down the river to Savannah as a 
paroled prisoner, under the care of Captain Armstrong. 

On the 6th of June, Lee recrossed the Savannah River, 
with a valuable accession of artillery, and hastened to 
join Greene, who was then laying siege to Ninety-Six. He 
reached him on the 8th. General Pickens, aft^r securing 
the baggage, followed on the same day— the 8th. 

Lord Rawdon, who was in Charleston, heard with con- 
sternation of the fall of Augusta. He was at that time 
impatiently waiting for reinforcements to march to the 
assistance of Ninety-Six. These reinforcements landed 
on the 3d of June and on the 7th His Lordship set out 
for Ninety Six, with three Irish regiments just arrived. 
On his way he was joined bj'^ some other troops from 
Monk's Corner, giving him a total of 2,000 men. We will 
see the result in the next chapter. 

*See letters of correspondence. Gibb's Documentary History of 
South Carolina, 1780-82, pages 82 to 86. 




AFTER the fall of Augusta the British had only two 
strongholds in South Carolina, viz: Ninety-Six and 
Charleston. The fall of the posts of Camden, Orangeburg, 
Fort Motte and Granby occurred in rapid succession, on 
the 10th, nth, 12th and 15th of May, 1781. General 
Greeners attention after this was turned to the reduction 
of Ninety-Six. Accordingly, on the 17th (the day after 
Colonel Lee was dispatched to Augusta) he took up his 
line of March for Ninety-Six, moving up the north side of 
the Saluda, reaching that place on the 22d. By the fall 
of the four forts referred to, he had acquired a respectable 
amount of ammunition, provisions and small arms. 

General Sumter was left in command of all the country 
recently recovered from the enemy. He was enjoined 
especially to watch the movements of the enemy, to keep 
General Greene posted as to the same, and to prevent, if 
possible, any relief being sent from Charleston to Ninety- 
Six. He w^as to continue to recruit his command, and 
collect stores for the maintenance of the army. 

To General Marion was committed the care of reducing 
and holding in subjection the post of Georgetown and 
the Tory settlements to the North of it. 

The village of Cambridge, or as it was called in that 
day, the post of Ninety-Six, was the district site where 


courts were held for Ninety-Six District, which comprised, 
as we have before stated, the present counties of Edge- 
field, Abbeville, Newberry, Laurens, Union and Spartan- 
burg. The proper name of the place was Cambridge— the 
metropolis or county town of Ninety-Six District. 

There are several traditions with regard to the origin of 
the name Ninety-Six. One is that it is just ninety-six 
miles each way from this point to Charleston and the site 
of old Prince George, in Oconee County, and that this fact 
was first discovered by an Indian woman who had been 
charged with the delivery of an important message from 
the English troops at Fort Prince George to the official 
authorities in Charleston. 

Johnson says that the name **Ninety-Six" was adopted 
by the ancient inhabitants of that section, whointended it 
'' as a fanciful allusion to the uniform excellence of the soil '* 
in that neighborhood. The two numbers (9 and 6) which 
compose its name, viewed on any side, will express the 
same quantity. 

We have shown clearly in the beginning chapters of our 
Revolutionary history, in this brief narrative, that this 
place derives some celebrity in the annals of our country's 
history, from its having been the scene of the first confiict 
in the South during the Revolution. By reference to for- 
mer chapters, it will be noticed that at this place com- 
menced, in 1775, that dreadful conflict between Whig and 
Tory, called then Patriot and Insurgent, which well nigh 
ruined that country. 

One reason why the hostile parties had been invited to 
this place was that it had been surrounded with a stockade, 
built years before as a defence against the Indians, whose 
country was then not far off. This stockade was still re- 
maining, and very soon after the British got possession 
of Charleston they placed a garrison there, and made it a 
principal point in their outer military posts. It enabled 
them to keep up a communication with the Cherokees, 
with whom they remained friendly, and to hold the Whigs 
west and north of the place somewhat in check, while, as 


we will see, it afforded great protection to the Loyalists in 
that immediate section. 

At the time that General Greene sat down against 
Ninety-Six this post was commanded by Colonel Cruger, 
with a garrison of five hundred and fifty njen, all of whom 
were Americans by birth, and mostly from New York and 
New Jersey. Some of them, however, had been enlisted 
and organized in the neighborhood by a Colonel King. 
These are all represented as l)eing desperate men, and 
marksmen of the first order. 

Cruger is represented as a man of talents, and his cor- 
respondence proves him to be a gentleman in deportment. 

The siege of Ninety-Six was one of the most animated of 
the American war. It proved, from accidental circum- 
stances, to be an unfortunate one for General Greene. 
Lord Rawdon had given orders to Cruger, before leaving 
Camden, to evacuate that post in order to concentrate 
his strength below, sufficient to assume aggressive opera- 
tions and maintain his ascendancy on the coast. This 
order was communicated in two ways, first by Charles- 
ton and Savannah, and second, directly across the coun- 
try. Both dispatches were intercepted, and consequently 
Cruger failed to receive them. Otherwise, Greene would 
have been saved the necessity of his western march to 
Ninety-Six, and would have found himself, without a 
struggle, master of all upper South Carolina. 

It is probable too that Cruger, after leaving Ninety-Six 
and attempting to unite with Brown at Augusta (for 
such were his orders), would have been captured or routed 
by the combined forces of Pickens, Lee and Clark. Hav- 
ing no cavalry and in an open country he would have 
been placed at n very great disadvantage. 

On the approach of Greene to Ninety-Six, Cruger lost 
no time in preparing for self-defense. Pressing into ser- 
vice all the able-bodied slaves in the surrounding neigh- 
borhood, he soon completed a ditch around his stockade, 
throwing the earth upon it and making it of parapet 
heighth. This he secured within by transverses and 


coverts in order to facilitate a safe communication be- 
tween all his points of defense. The main ditch was 
secured by an abbatis in front. Block-houses of notched 
logs were also constructed at convenient points within the 
stockade. Besides this, Cruojer constructed a respectable 
battery of star shape* with sixteen salient and returning 
angles, which communicated with the stockade. This 
battery was defended by three pieces of artillery on wheel 
carriages, which could be moved from one point to 
another. On the north of the village is a small stream 
from which the garrison was supplied with water. The 
county goal built of brick (the same that was defended 
against the Insurgents in 1775) stood inside of the stock- 
ade and commanded the valley next to the old village of 
Cambridge. [See accompanying map.] On the opposite 
side of the valley, and within reach of the fire from the 
jail, was a strong stockade with two block-houses. This 
was intended to cover communications from that quarter. 
A covert way led from the town to the stream. 

It is said that when Greene first examined these 
defenses he apprehended the failure of the enterprise. He 
determined, however, not to let this doubt deter him 
from undertaking the design. He broke ground on the 
23d of May and by the 3d of June he had completed his 
third parallel. The engineer of the American army was 
the celebrated Polish exile, Kosciusko, who on a dark and 
rainy night, the 22d, accompanied by General Greene and 
Captain Pendleton, his aide, made an entire circuit around 
the enemy's fortifications and planned the work which 
the besiegers attempted to execute. By the time the 
parallel was completed a mine directed against the star 
battery was commenced. This work was protected by a 
few pieces of artillery near by and was pursued by the 
besiegers both day and night without intermission. In 
spite of occasional sallies from the fort to repel the 
besiegers, the American works steadily advanced. 

*The old star shape fort of Ninety-Six is still distinctly recognized 
to the present day by all visitors to that place. 


As soon as the American fortifications, parallel with the 
fort, were completed the garrison was summoned to sur- 
render. This proposition was defiantly refused. The 
sie^e went on. A fierce strife followed everj' step of pro- 
gress the Americans made. Not a uight passed without 
the loss of life on both sides. With proper time to com- 
plete all the plans of Kosciusko, the capture of the fort 
vsas only a matter of time. General Greene's forces, how- 
ever, were inadequate. He had been promised recruits 
from Virginia, which failed to arrive. Many of the Caro- 
lina troops were below actively enp^aged in holding Raw- 
don in check. Cruger was very much aided from without 
by a marauding force of Loyalists under Captain Cun- 
ningham, who were well mounted and had dispersed 
themselves in small bodies all over the country for the 
purpose of waylaying recruits or supplies that might be 
going to General Greene's camp. 

The Americans succeeded in completing the third paral- 
lel and from wooden towers which had been erected, the 
British artillerists were driven away from their guns by 
the American marksmen. Various means were resorted 
to for reduction of the fort. The experiment of Fort 
Motte was tried. Burning arrows were thrown to fire 
the houses inside, but Cruger freed himself from this dan- 
ger by tearing the roofs from his houses. The work of 
the besiegers was so near completion that it did not 
appear that the besieged could hold out more than four 
days longer. 

Besides the towers referred to, one of which was within 
thirty yards of the enemy's ditch, the besiegers had sev- 
eral batteries of cannon within one hundred and forty 
yards. One of these so completely commanded the 
'' star " that the garrison were compelled to shelter them- 
selves behind bags of sand, which were thrown up for 
protection. Embrasures were left in these for the employ- 
ment of cannon at night. 

Thus it was for ten days the besieged and the besiegers 
watched each other. During this time not a man on 


either side could show his head without incurring the risk 
of being shot down. It is simply astonishing how thfe 
garrison stood the American fire, suffered so long, and 
maintained at the same time a defense, which, says a 
writer, *^ reflects the highest honor on its commander." 
His resolution, as we will see, was strengthened 
by advices which he had received from without; otherwise 
he might have surrendered. 

Lord Rawdon, having received intelligence of the siege 
of Ninety-Six, determined to march at once to its relief. 
He had just been reinforced by three regiments from Ire- 
land and with these, together with other troops which 
joined him at Monk's Corner on the way, he had under 
him a force of about two thousand. 

But how was the intelligence of his march communi- 
cated to Cruger? It is said that a woman was the instru- 
ment employed. A daughter of a Whig patriot was 
residing in the neighborhood, and was allowed to visit 
the camp of General Greene under some trifling pretext. 
It turned out, however, that she was in love with a Brit- 
ish officer and the ties of love proved stronger than rela- 
tionship. In the opportunities that had thus been 
afforded her to visit the American camp, she artfully 
managed to apprise the garrison that she had a commu- 
nication from Lord Rawdon. A young Loyalist received 
it from her lips at a farm house, and attiring himself as a 
farmer, he rode into the American camp, representing him- 
self as a friend. After moving around among the troops 
and at last coming near the front line, he spurred his horse 
to a fearful speed and dashed through the fire of sentinels 
and pickets into the open space between the contending 
lines, when he took from his pocket a letter. This he held 
in view of the besieged. Rushing for the front gates, 
which were swung open to receive him, he was at the next 
moment inside the fort, where he was given a joyful wel- 
come. In a few minutes more shouts of triumph went up 
inside ^he fort. 

This circumstance made it necessary for General Greene 


to abandon the sieoje or endeavor to carry the place at 
once by Rtorm. On the 18th he set to work to execute 
the latter plan, and by midday the different detachments 
were all ready. Lieutenant Duval, with a command of 
Marylanders, and Lieutenant Selden, with a command of 
Virginians, were stationed in front of the star battery. 
Close by them followed a party furnished with hooks on 
the ends of staves. Near by were the first Maryland and 
first Virgina regiments. These were marched under cover 
of the approaches within a few yards of the enemy's 
ditch. General Greene, before he made the attack, ordered 
the sharpshooters from the rifle towers and advanced 
works to be manned so as to clear at once the parapets 
of the garrison. On the American right, against the 
stockade fort, was Major Randolph, of Lee's legion, and 
Kirkwood with the remains of the Delaware regiment, to 
lead the forlorn hope in that quarter. Duval and Selden 
were ordered to clear away the abbatis in their front, and 
drive off the enemy on the sides of the angle, and open 
the wa3^ for the men detailed to pull down the sandbags. 

A discharge of a cannon at noon was the signal for the 
parties to begin the attack. Says Sims: *'A blaze of 
artillery and small arms covered the forlorn hope in its 
smoke. Under its shade this gallant band leapt into the 
ditch and commenced the work assigned them ; but the 
enemy was prepared for them and met the assault with 
valor and determination. Bayonets and pikes bristled 
above the parapet, and from the loopholes in the sand- 
bags poured an incessant stream of fire, which swept the 
slender ranks of the assailants. The form of the redoubt 
gave the enemy complete command of the ditch, and their 
coolness and the comparative safety of their cover, 
enabled them to use it with complete success." 

It is stated that the fire from opposite sections of the 
redoubt mowed down the brave Americans with a dread- 
ful havoc. Duval and Selden both fell severely wounded, 
while their men lay bleeding and dead around them. But 
the strife was kept up for nearly three quarters of an hour. 


The assailants seemed determined upon no other issue 
than victory or death. At last, General Greene seeing 
the utter failure of the attack, ordered a retreat. In the 
midst of a j>:allin^ fire from the garrison, the assailants 
brought away many of their wounded. 

On the left Colonel Lee's legion found no difficulty in 
getting into the stockade. It had been evacuated the 
night previous, but the movement was so silent that it 
was not discovered. Thus ended the bloody and spirited 
affair, which Johnson says for the number engaged, there 
was as much bravery displayed as was ever exhibited by 
man. The American loss was very serious. There were 
near forty killed and wounded, including some valuable 
officers. 'While no truce was proposed by General Greene 
for the purpose of burying the dead (this ceremonial by 
custom belonging to the victor), a proposal through the 
Adjutant-General was submitted for both parties to be 
mutually permitted to pass in security between the lines 
for the purpose of burying the dead. To this proposi- 
tion Cruger made the following polite answer : " Major- 
General Greene may, with the fullest confidence, rely on 
every attention which humanity can dictate being paid to 
those men of the American army whom the fortune of 
war has thrown into our hands. The killed of your array 
yesterday, within our abbatis shall be immediately sent 
to 3'ou to be buried." 

It has already been stated that it became indispensa- 
ble with General Greene on the day of the assault to 
decide whether he would advance and fight Lord Rawdon, 
who was approaching at no great distance, or raise 
the siege and retreat. To be prepared for either 
alternative, he sent off his heavy baggage across the 
Saluda at Island Ford. This route led to his depots of 
supplies on the Catawba River. 

Lord Rawdon, with his force of not less than two thous- 
and, had been on the march since the 11th. He was press- 
ing with all possible speed to relieve the garrison. 
Marion, Washington and Sumter had been instructed to 


watch and impede his movements in the lower part of 
the State, but. his numbers were too large and compact 
for much headwav to be made by these gallant officers. 
Of Rawdon's force, tliere were perhaps not less than four 
hundred mounted men. 

Retreat now became indispensable for General Greene. 
Reluctantly, therefore, he resolved to raise the siege and 
on the night of the 19th, moved off across the Saluda on 
the track of his baggage. Lord Rawdon had already 
reached Little Saluda and would soon be united with 
Cruger. Sumter, with the cavalry of VN^ashiugton and 
Lee, was moving up within the fork of Saluda and Broad 
to form a junction with Greene's army. The influence of 
the late misfortune and retreat, .however, was bad on 
Sumter and Marion. Many were the desertions of the 
militia on this account. 

General Greene's retreat from Ninetj^-Six was pushed 
without intermission to Bush River, a distance of about 
twenty-two miles. On the 22d he halted to inform him- 
self of the movements of the enemy. He received intelli- 
gence that Lord Rawdon had entered Ninety-Six at 2 
o'clock on the 2l8t. He immediately put his army in 
motion, crossed Eooree and Tyger Rivera, passing 
through the present County of Union, and after crossing 
Broad River, halted at Tim's Ordinary, eleven milrs 
beyond Leslie's Ford, on Broad River. 

In Mrs. Fillet's '^ Women of the Revolution"* the story 
is told that soon after the seij>:e of Ninetv-Six, and after 
General Greene had crossed Broad River, he was very 
anxious to send an order to General Sumter, then on the 
Wateree, to join him that they might attack Rawdon, 
who had divided his force. The country being filled with 
British and Tories, no one appeared willing to undertake 
this dangerous mission. At length a young girl, Emily 
Geigier, about eighteen years of age, appeared before 
General Greene and volunteered to convey this message. 

*See vol. ii, pa^e 295. 


He accordingly wrote a letter to General Sumter and 
gave it to her, at the same time communicating to her 
verbally its contents. Mounting on a svvitt horse, upon 
a side-saddle, she performed a pait of the journey 
in safety. On the second day she was intercepted by 
Rawdon's scouts, who suspected that she was coming 
from the direction of General Greene's army and was 
entrusted with some important message. Being shut up 
in a room, the officer in command sent for an old Tory 
matron to examine her. But, left alone for a moment, 
this heroic girl embraced the opportunity to tear up Gen- 
eral Greene's letter and swallow the same piece by piece. 
Nothing suspicious being found on her person, she was 
allowed to depart whither she said she was bound. By 
taking a circuitous route to avoid further detection, she 
soon reached General Sumter's camp in safety, where 
she told of her adventure and delivered the message. 
This was to order Sumter to join the main army 
at Orangeburg. 

This story is reproduced and illustrated in ^^Quacken- 
bos' School History of the United States."* The writer 
has seen no account of it anywhere else. He has exam- 
ined Ramsay, Johnson, Botta, Simms and others, and no 
mention is made of it whatever. It is stated by Miss 
Geiger's biographer, in Mrs. Ellet's works, that this 
adventurous young lady afterwards married a rich 
planter on the Congaree. She lived until about 1827. 

Lord Rawdon remained at Ninety-Six until the 24th. 
Hearing from deserters that Greene's army was still at 
Bush River, he took with him troops of the garrison and 
the troops capable of sustaining fatigue — in all about 
two thousand— and made a vigorous effort to overtake the 
retreating American army. Greene, however, was out of 
his reach. Rawdon advanced no further than Duncan's 
Creek, a tributary of the Eaoree River. He returned to 
Ninety-Six, knowing that as Greene was falling back in 

*See page 290. 


the direction of liiH reinforcements, he could accomplish 
nothinp; by pursuing him. It is a singular coincidence 
that General Greene lay at this time encamped at the 
very spot (Tims Ordinary) from which Lord Cornwallis 
commenced his career against Greene in South Carolina. 

A distressing- scene followed Lord Rawdon's return to 
Ninety-Six. This oflScer felt it to be his imperative duty 
to abandon that post and coucentfate his forces at a 
point lower down the State. This resolution was a sad 
announcement to the Loyalists families in the surround- 
ing country. A day^ of retribution had overtaken them. 
Ninety-Six had long been their market, their seat of 
power, their source of wealth and influence to the 
surrounding country. Lord Rawdon called together 
the heads of prominent families and explained to 
them the necessity of abandoning the post that protected 
them. These people rather than be left to the mercy of 
the infuriated Whigs, resolved to abandon their beautiful 
country in the height of its luxuriance, endeared to them 
by a thousand tender asssociations, and follow the for- 
tunes of Rawdon's army. For some days, it is said, the 
roads to Ninety-Six were lined with unhappy calvacades 
of women and children, wagons, stock and slaves, collect- 
ing at that place, preparatory to a departure. With 
eyes streaming from grief, '* how bitterly in their eats," 
says Sims, *' at such a moment must have sounded the 
notes of that trumpet and drum, which had beguiled 
them from the banners of their country to those of the 

After the departure of Lord Rawdon from Ninety-Six, 
Cruger was left behind to cover the retreat of the Loyalist 
families. He commenced his march on the 8th of July, 
at the head of this large cavelcade of Tory families. 
Their journey is described as a distressing one, to 
every age, sex and condition. After reaching the tract 
of country in the lower part of the State to which 
they were ordered to retire — their ^*land of promise" — the 
rich estates of banished Whigs, they soon found that all 


the remuneration and protection that had been promised 
them ended in a delusion. At length, driven from their 
homes by the returning Whigs, they jrathered in great 
numbers in the suburbs of the City of Charleston, and 
lodged in tents and formed a settlement, which, as we 
have already said in the spirit of burlesque and reproach, 
took the name of Rawdon Toion, Here many perished 
miserably, while others moved to the British settlements 
on the islands. Others moved to Florida, at that time a 
part of the Spanish possessions, where their descendants 
still exist. Others resolved to return to their native 
homes. In Colonel Pickens, who commanded that section 
of country, they found a friend and protector, a man of 
kindness and benevolence. 

Lord Rawdon, believing that by the retreat and direc- 
tion General Greene had taken, he intended to abandon 
South Carolina, resolved to divide his army, with the in- 
tention of fixing a detachment at Granby, on the Conga- 
ree. He soon found, however, that his adversaries were 
not disposed to give up South Carolina, a prize for which 
they had so long contended. Greene, on hearing that 
Lord Rawdon had marched with a part of his force to 
Congaree, now faced about to give him battle. Lord 
Rawdon, before leaving Ninety-Six, had received intelli- 
gence from Colonel Stewart that his detachment was on 
its way from Orangf^burg to meet him at Granby, and 
would reach that place by the 3d of July. The time was 
perfectly well calculated to form this junction before Gen- 
eral Greene, from his position at Tims Ordinary, could 
march to prevent it. 

General Greene, anticipating Rawdon's movement, 
marched a day's journey in the direction of Granby. This, 
in some measure, quieted the apprehensions of the coun- 
try that it was his purpose to abandon the State. At 
the Big Spring on Rocky Creek, in the present County of 
Fairfield, the American General passed two days of rest 
to his army, but to him of anxious suspense. He had 
but little doubt that as soon as he advanced the enemy 


would retreat. In two days after reaching Granby, on 
the Congaree, hearing that Greene was advancing, Raw- 
don made an expeditious retreat to Orangeburg. This 
was a strong position. He had strong buildings on one 
side, little inferior to redoubts, and on the other side he 
was secured by the Edisto River. Greene pursued and 
encamped within five miles of Orangeburg. Lord Raw- 
don, feeling secure in his position, would not venture out ; 
and General Greene was too weak to attack him in his 
stronghold with any prospect of success, notwithstand- 
ing he knew that Lord Rawdon's army was divided. 
Colonel Washington had intercepted a letter from Stew- 
art to Lord Rawdon, informing His Lordship that he was 
on the march to join him, but that he could not reach 
Granby before the 3d of July. Lee, who had hovered on 
the heels of Colonel Cruger on his retreat from Ninety-Six, 
informed General Greene that Rawdon had marched from 
that place with less than half of his force. 

In the course of Lee's movements in rear of Cruger, 
Captain Eggleston, of his legion, fell in with forty-nine 
British horsemen near Saluda, and took all but one of 
them prisoners. It was while the American army lay at 
Orangeburg that General Greene received advice that 
Cruger had evacuated Ninety-Six, and was then marching 
with the troops of that garrison, together with his calva- 
cade of Loyalists, through the forks of the Edisto, to 
unite with Rawdon at Orangeburg. Knowing that the 
north fork of the Edisto was not passable by an army 
without boats for thirty miles above and below the Brit- 
ish encampment, General Greene realized that he could 
not throw himself between the forces of Cruger and Raw- 
don with any prospect of preventing their junction, re- 
tired with his army to the high hills of the Santee. 

With the ending of the siege at Ninety-Six and General 
Greene's retreat to Tims Ordinary and his subsequent 
advance to Orangeburg ended his military operations in 
upper South Carolina, and here we must leave him, as our 
narrative is only intended to give the history of events of 


the '* up-country." There are some points, however, of 
general interest, which we will briefly touch upon. We 
hope the reader will continue, through other w^orks,to fol- 
low General Greene to the end of his brilliant career in 
South Carolina. Nor are the military operations of Mar- 
ion, Sumter, Lee, Hampton, Pickens and their subordi- 
nates any the less worthy of investigation. Their daring 
exploits to resist the British invasion, and their efforts to 
preserve the dignity of the State during the most trying 
period of her history, should never be forgotten by the 
rising generations of our country. 

Lord Ravvdon, driven from almost every post he had 
occupied, baffled in all his schemes and overwhelmed with 
vexation, became alarmed for the safety of his army. In 
the City of Charleston were quite a number of citizens who 
had taken the oath of allegiance to the king, with the 
understaniiing that they were to remain at their hom^s 
undisturbed. Upon this class Rawdon called to take up 
arms against their American brethren. Among the num- 
ber was Colonel Isaac Hayne, whose capture and execu- 
tion is recorded in the pages of the history of our State. 
Hayne, feeling that the British authorities had violated 
their part of the agreement, considered that he was, 
therefore, absolved from his part of the contract, ('ollect- 
ing a troop of horses he set out to enlist in the cause of 
his country. If he must fight at all he determined it must 
be for the cause he loved. He ranged the countrj^ and 
after gaining some advantages, was defeated and cap- 
tured. He was carried to Charleston, hurriedly tried, and 
sentenced to death. In vain did General Greene, repre- 
senting the American authorities, the ladies of Charles- 
ton, the sister of the prisoner, and his children, implore 
the mercy of Rawdon. He was hanged on the 4th of 
August. He bore himself gallantly. Says Sims: '* As- 
cending the fatal eminence of death he parted from his 
friends with the simple assurance that he would endeavor 
to show them '* how an American should die." Sims 
further' states, that, though it was not suffered to ap- 


pear in the proceedings of his trial, Hayne was only a 
chosen sacrifice to the nrianes of Major Andre. 

Very soon after the execution of Hayne, Lord Rawdon, 
leaving Colonel Stewart in command of the entire British 
army in South Carolina, set out for England. On his 
wa.y he was captured by a French vessel and was made a 
prisoner. France having formed an alliance with the 
United States, he became virtually a prisoner of the lat- 
ter. ** He was," says Judge Schenck,* ^*a fit subject of re- 
taliat ion for the execution of Colonel Isaac Havne, but 
Colonel Faiming, the Tory leader, about this time made 
his celebrated incursion to Hillsboro, and carried off 
Governor Burke. This gave the British a hostage for the 
life of Rawdon, and perhaps saved His Lordship from the 
gibbet/' At the surrender of Cornwallis, at Yorktown 
(Oct. 19, 1781), Rawdon being a captive on a vessel which 
formed a part of the French fleet at that place, was an 
unwilling witness to the scenes that transpired on that 

Only one general engagement took place after this in 
South Carolina between the Brisish army under Stewart 
and the American army. This was the memorable battle 
of Eutaw Springs, fought on the 8th of September. It 
does not come within the scope of this work to present 
the details of this battle. Stewart, having taken position 
at Eutaw Springs, and General Greene's army having in- 
creased by reinforcements to 2,600 men, the latter resolv- 
ed to march against and attack him. The battle was 
fought with desperate courage on both sides, but the 
British ranks were at length broken. Colonel Campbell, 
on the American side, fell mortally wounded on the field, 
while Colonel Washington received a bayonet wound and 
was captured by the enemy. Still the route of the British 
army was general, and the Americans, thinking the battle 
over, went to plundering. While they were thus scattered 

*See Schenck's ** North Carolina," page 445. 


the enemy rallied and returned to the conflict. General 
Greene's vigilance saved his army from surprise, and with 
some loss he drew his men off, leaving the British masters 
of the field. The Americans, however, had gained deci- 
dedly the advantage. The British loss in killed, wounded 
and prisoners, was upwards of eleven hundred, while the 
American loss was about five hundred men, including 
about sixty officers. Stewart, having measured arms with 
Greene, knew the character of the man who was pressing 
him. The next day he destroyed his stores and retreated 
toward Charleston, leaving one thousand stand of arms 
and about seventy of his wounded behind him. 

After the action at Eutaw Springs, the Americans retired 
to their former position on the high hills of Santee, while 
the British took position in the vicinity of Monk's Corner. 
The active partisans on the American side still kept alive 
their blows on the detached convoys of the enemy at dif- 
ferent places. On one occasion, Colonel Maham, with a 
small party of American cavalry, took upwards of eighty 
prisoners within sight of the British camp. Says Ramsey : 
*'The British no more acted with their usual vigor. On 
the slightest appearance of danger, they discovered a 
disposition to flee scarcely inferior to what was exhibited 
a year before by the American militia." By the end of 
October, the intelligence of the surrender of Yorktown 
reached Greene's army. The day was observed as a gen- 
eral jubilee in camp. The news gave new life and 
impulse to the ragged soldiers, who had so long followed 
Greene, their devoted leader. The latter determined to 
cross the river at once which separated him from his 
enemy and drive him to the sea. 

The hopes of the American people were revived every 
where. Governor Rutledge had returned to South Caro- 
lina and was restoring the civil authority. He had issued 
a proclamation calling upon the people to elect represent- 
atives to the Legislature, to convene early in January at 
Jacksonborough, a little village on the Edisto River (at 


present a station on the Charleston and Savannah Rail- 

While the enemy were bein^ forced back and reverses ^ 

were atteiidifi^ their arms everywhere, and the people 
were rejoicing that the strns^gle for American freedom 
would soon be at an end, heartrendeng, bloody and unex- 
pected scenes transpired in the up-country, the sad partic- 
ulars of which we record in the succeeding and last chapter 
of this work. 




IN this, the cloHing chapter of our narrative on the Rev- 
olutionary events in upper South Carolina, we present 
to the reader a general review of the raids of ** Bloody 
Bill" Cunningham and ^* Blood v Bill" Bates, which we 
have gathered from time to time and which occurred dur- 
ing the month of November, 1781. 

It is only after years of patient investigation into the 
scattered pages of history and anxious inquiry into the 
almost faded traditions of our country, that we are 
enabled to give as accurate an account as circumstances. 


at this late day, will allow, of the outrageous and blood- 
thirsty acts of these wicked and notorious men. In our 
researches we find nothing to disprove the fact, that the 
cruel and uncalled-for acts of these men did not meet 
with the sanction of Royal authority. 

Some years ago the writer prepared for the county 
press (the Spartanburg Herald) a series of articles on 
Revolutionary events in Spartanburg County, the last of 
w^hich was in reference to the subject-matter of this 
chapter. Fortunately, while he cared but little for them 
at that time, (having scribbled them as a matter of pas- 
time), they were carefully preserved in a scrapbook by a 
loving daughter * and we have them at hand, for refer- 
ence to facts which were then collected and recorded, and 
which might otherwise have been overlooked or forgotten. 
Much of the information which was then gathered, and 
which we here reproduce, was received from the lips of 
some of the oldest citizens of Spartanburg County, nearly 
or quite all of whom have passed away. 

Of all the events that occurred during the Revolutionary 
War, the remembrance of the bloodv deeds and attroci- 
ties of '* Bloody Bill" Cunningham have lived longest in 
tradition. In the outlines of the general history of our 
country this notorious character and his cruel acts have 
been overlooked in a large measure. We are indebted for 
the most part to Howe's ** History of the Presbyterian 
Church of South Carolina, to CNeal's *' AnnaJs of New- 
berry," and also the local traditions of Spartanburg 
County, to which we have already referred, for the infor- 
mation we here give. 

From "' O'Neal's Annals " we learn that ("apt. William 
Cunningham was born not far from Ninety-Six, in the 
the present County of Abbeville. In early manhood he 
was promising and influential. At the beginning of the 
Revolution he enlisted in Capt. John Caldwell's company, 
which was composed of the most respectable young men 


Mrs. C. A. B. Jennings, Union, S. C. 


in the region of Saluda, Little River and Mudlick Creek. 
This company participated in the captures made on the 
Savannah River, in Ninety-Six District, and also in Wil- 
liamson's famous expedition against the Cherokees, in 
1776, an account of which has already been given in this 
work. The company disbanded in October of the some 

In *' Curwin's Memoirs" it is stated that William Cun- 
ningham was promised the commission of a first lieuten- 
ant. Judge O'Neal observes that this could not have 
been true, as that commission had been filled when the 
officers of the regiment were appointed. The second lieu- 
tenants were appointed by the captains. Judge O'Neal 
further states that he has always understood when the 
difficulty occurred, which induced William Cunningham 
to abandon the service of his country, Captain Caldwell 
was about promoting him to the rank of lieutenant over 
his brother William Caldwell. It is further stated in 
''Curwin's Memoirs," that when William Cunningham 
recruited, he had stipulated that he was not to be carried 
to the lower country, and that when in the spring of '76 
they were ordered to that section, he only agreed to go 
on condition that he be allowed to resign as soon as the 
company reached Charleston ; that soon after reaching that 
city the company was ordered to James' or John's Island ; 
that Cunningham at once tendered his resignation and 
claimed a fulfillment of the promises that had been made 
to him ; that at last he w^as prevailed upon to go with his 
company to the island ; that the moment he landed Cap- 
tain Caldwell put him in irons; and, that he was subse- 
quently tried by a court martial and acquitted, after 
which he left his company. 

Judge O'Neal observes that while this information 
comes from too pure a source to be wilfully incorrect, yet 
it is true that if Cunningham had been a lieutenant, his 
captain, according to army regulations at that time, 
could not have put him in irons, since the most he could 
have done, would have been simply to have placed him 


under arrest and that for a very heinous offence, or to 
have placed him under the adjutant of the reginaent, or 
else in the ^uard house, or under a ^uard. 

Be it as it may, Capt. William Cunningham deserted 
the American cause and became an active partisan leader 
on the British side. His service was, for the most part, 
directed a2:ainst Marion. It is said tliat by his bold and 
agressive movements, he gained great favor with the 
British officers. 

It is stated that after the battle of Eutaw Springs, 
Marion's command became very w^eak and suffered some 
reverses, in consequence of which the country between the 
Santee and Edisto Rivers was for a time left open. It is 
further stated that General Greene, who was at this time 
encamped on the high hills of the Santee, took immediate 
steps to close this opening space of country. His army 
about this time was reinforced by about five hundred 
men, under the command of Colonels St^vier and Shelby, 
of King's Mountain fame. These officers with their 
forces, together with the commands of Colonels Horry 
and Maham, were ordered to reinforce General Marion 
and to act in the country between the Santee and Charles- 
ton. The execution of this order was, however, too 
late to prevent Capt. William Cunningham and his com- 
mand from passing through the opening referred to on 
his raid to the upper portion of the State, the circum- 
stances of which we relate in this chapter. By the time 
that Marion had received this valuable recruit to his 
forces Cunningham had already taken post at Orange- 
burg, where he was busily strengthening his command from 
the numerous Loyalists in that vicinity. 

It appears that about the time that Capt. William Cun- 
ningham had taken post temporarily at Orangeburg, 
General Sumter was ordered to occupy the same position, 
to cover the country from the inroads of the Loyalists 
from Charleston (Cunningham's command), who were 
making their pillaging excursions to the up-country. His 
advance forces fell in with Cunningham's Loyalists, from 


whom they sustained a repulse and some loss. It is 
stated in Johnson's "Life of Greene," (vol. ii, paf]?e 
301), that William Cunningham was acting under the 
orders of General Cunningham who remained in the lower 
country to confront Marion. Whether or not this is true, 
it is certain that William Cunningham through his emis- 
saries, had already arranged to co-operate with the Cher- 
okee Indians in the bloody woris which was ahead of 
him on the defenseless Whig families in the up-country. 

By this concerted action between William Cunningham 
and the Cherokee Indians, the latter had already com- 
menced their wholesale work of murder and desolation 
in the District of Ninety-Six, led as they were by unprin- 
cipled white men. 

The reader will pardon a deviation in turning our 
attention to the Cherokees, who had again and for the 
last time arrayed themselves with hatchet and war paint 
against their white neighbors. It will be remembered 
that in the treaty which was concluded with these people 
in 1777, by Gen. Andrew Williamson, a large portion of 
the present territory of South Carolina was ceded to the 
State, including the present counties of Greenville, Ander- 
son and Pickens. That portion which was reserved to 
them comprised for the most part the present County of 
Oconee.* General Pickens, who had command of all the 
scattered Whig militia during the latter part of the year 
1781, was ordered to watch the Indians in that quarter 
for fear of an unexpected outbreak. 

As soon as General Pickens discovered that the Chero- 
kees had commenced their work of massacre on the white 
settlements he collected his militia at once. Placing him- 
self at the head of three hundred and ninety-four horse- 
men, he invaded the Indian country, and afterburning 
thirteen of their towns and villages and killing upwards of 
forty of them, and wounding and capturing as many more, 
the poor Indians sued for peace. The work of retaliation 

*See map frontispiece, Ramsay's History of South Carolina, vol. i. 


was complete. The Cherokees ever afterwards remained a 
friendly tribe of the ^reat Indian family, being naturally 
the noblest of the aborigines of our country. In the 
expedition against them referred to, General Pickens 
introduced a new mode of warfare. Whenever his men 
encountered a party of Indians they would rush upon 
them with drawn swords and soon put them to flight. 
It is stated that he did not expend three pounds of 
ammunition, and yet but few Indians escaped after 
being seen. 

But let us again turn our attention to the movements 
of William Cunningham. We have stated that Sumter's 
force was too weak to check his progress. It appears 
that in his efforts to form a junction with the Cherokees 
in the up-country, he ** slipped away as it were," says 
Johnson.* ''Joined by Hezekiah Williams and one Law- 
rence, enterprising leaders. General Cunningham detached 
a party of about three hundred well mounted men, to 
ascend the Saluda under the command of William Cun- 
ningham, familiarly known by the epithet ^'Murdering 
Bill Cunningham.^^ This movement, it appeared after- 
wards, was made in concert with the Cherokee Indians, 
who were once more sacrificed without remorse to the 
enemy's views ; and was connected with a general move- 
ment which gave Wayne so much occupation soon after 
in Georgia." 

It is further stated by Johnson that the movements of 
William Cunningham and his command to the up-country 
were rapid, lasting only a few weeks; but says this emi- 
nent writer, '' they literally left the country through 
which they passed in tears." 

While General Pickens was engaged in the expedition 
referred to against the Cherokees, William Cunningham 
was putting in his bloody work in other quarters. Being 
foiled in his plans to unite with the Indians and fearing 
lest he might encounter Pickens, who was no very great 

*See Johnson's " Life of Greene," vol. ii, page 301. 


distance from him and in the same direction in which he 
was traveling, he changed to a northerly direction, pass- 
ing through the Counties of Newberry, Laurens and 
ending his bloody career in the present County of Spar- 

It is impossible at this late period to know the extent 
of his atrocities. It is only here and there that we find 
recorded the most prominent of his acts of cruelty. The 
first that we notice is the ** massacre at the Turner 
House," the particulars of which are recorded in Ram- 
say's History and also in ** Johnson's Traditions."* 

The unexpected appearance of Cunningham and the 
consternation which spread rapidly over the country on 
account of his cruelties, caused small parties here and 
there to get together and arm in self-defense. One of the 
parties was commanded by Capt. Sterling Turner, who 
had succeeded Capt. James Butler to the command of a 
company that had formed part of Leroy Hammond's 
regiment. Sterling Turner is represented as being a 
brave, intelligent and patriotic oflScer. Hearing that 
Cunningham and his Tories were in the neighborhood of 
Cloud's Creek, Captain Turner with twenty-three men, all 
or nearly all men of family, made an excursion into that 
neighborhood under General Pickens, who had directed 
him **to traverse the country between that and the 
waters of the Edisto and communicate from time to time 
such movements of the enemy as he might discover, &c." 

It IS stated in Johnson's Traditions that when William 
Cunningham made his bloody excursion to the up-coun- 
try it was his aim to capture Colonel Hammond, who 
had been stationed at Anderson's Mills, on the Saluda. 
Missing his prey he appears in the section of Cloud's 
Creek. It is recorded that his march through that region 
was characterized by celerity and destruction. Burning 
houses, bloodstained homesteads indicated the course he 

*See page 420, 


had come, bat, says a writer, '* gave no advertisement 
of where he was going." 

Ramsay states * that Cunningham and his €issociates 
concealed themselves till they arrived in the back settle- 
ments far in the rear of the American army, and there 
began to plunder, burn and murder. "In an unsuspect- 
ing hour of sleep and domestic security," they entered 
the houses of solitary farmers and sacrificed to their 
revenge the obnoxious head of the family. 

But let us return to the circumstances of the Turner 
House massacre. During the bloody march of Cunningham 
through the Cloud Creek section. Captain Turner and his 
twenty-two men who had volunteered their services, to- 
gether with old Captain Butler, took refuge in a house, 
where they were attacked by Cunningham. Turner and 
his brave men defended themselves until their ammunition 
was nearly exhausted. Cunningham's forces amounted to 
two hundred and fifty. While Turner and his men were 
making a sturdy defense the Tories set fire to a shed at- 
tached to the building. This led to a capitulation on the 
part of Turner and his men. Johnson says they were 
promised kind treatment, and were to be sent to the near- 
est British post and delivered to the commander, to be 
treated in all respects as prisoners of war. They were to 
march out with clubbed arms, and to ground them in 
front of the house. Captains Butler and Turner came out 
first. As soon as they passed the door of the house Cun- 
ningham drew his sword and said : '* These fellows had 
better be paroled, and I will show you what kind of a 
parole they are to have. Do you follow my example?" 
With this he made a blow at Butler, but missed him, and 
Butler, with his clubbed rifie, struck one of them to the 
ground, and by a blow from another, he fell dead on the 
man he knocked down. In a few moments every man was 
thus murdered, except one who was saved, with difficulty, 
by the intercession of a relative belonging to Cunning- 

*See Ramsay's "History of South Carolina," page 257. 


ham's command. Thus fell the venerable Captain Butler 
and his worthy commanding officer, Captain Turner, to- 
gether with twenty-three of their brave men. Captain 
Butler had been a very active and useful patriot in the 
early part of the war, and had resigned in favor of Cap- 
tain Turner, by reason of infirmities of age. A writer, in 
referring to the Turner House massacre, states that by 
the fall of Turner's men twenty-three families were de- 
prived of their husbands and fathers. Colonel S. Ham- 
mond, who furnished these particulars, was at the spot 
the next day. It was a heartrending scene to witness the 
women burying their dead. 

The next victim of Cunningham's raid was his old com- 
mander, Major John Caldwell.* Different statements have 
been made as to the manner in which this noble patriot 
was killed. But the one as related by Mrs. Gillam, an eye 
witness, is accepted as correct. Cunningham, at the head 
of a party, rode up to the gate of Major Caldwell and 
hailed him. The Major walked out, and when within a 
few paces of Cunningham, the latter drew a pistol and 
shot him dead in the presence of his wife, who fainted as 
she saw him fall. Major Caldwell was an uncle of John C. 
Calhoun, and a brother of William Caldwell.t 

After the murder of Major (Caldwell, which occured in the 
present County of Newberry, Cunningham and his com- 
mand proceeded to Hays' Station, sometimes called "Edge- 
hill," in the vicinity of Little River Church, in Laurens 
County. At this place there was a small block-house, in- 
side of which was about twenty-three men, commanded by 

*See CNeal's ** Annals of Newberry." 

tGrandfather of Dr. John C. Caldwell, Gowensville, S. C. In Jen- 
kins " Life of John CaldweU Calhoun " it is stated that " of the three 
Caldwells able to bear arms during the Revolutionary struggle, one 
was murdered by the Tories in his own yard after his house had been 
set on fire ; another fell dead at the battle of Cowpens, being pierced 
by thirty wounds; and the third was taken prisoner by the enemy and 
confined for nine months in a loathsome dungeon at St. Augustine. 


Colonel Joseph Hays. Cunningham reached this place un- 
expectedly to Hays' party. Two accounts of this affair 
are before us. One is that William Caldwell endeavored 
to reach this station before Cunningham, and inform 
Hays of his danj^er, but beino^ compelled to take a cir- 
cuitous route, Cuimin^ham reached the place first. The 
house was set on fire by irons heated in a blacksmith shop 
near by, which were thrown into the roof. Colonel Hays, 
as the only alternative, surrendered, on condition that he 
and his men were to be treated as prisoners of war. Cun- 
nin|2^ham separated from the party some women, youths 
and children, and Reuben Golden, to whom he was in- 
debted for some past favors. The rest he put to death. 
Colonel Hays and Captain Daniel Williams were hung on 
the pole of a fodder stack. Joseph Williams (a boy four- 
teen years old) cried to his eldest brother, as they were 
putting him to death: ** ! Brother Daniel, what shall I 
tell mother?" Cunningham turned to him and replied : 

*' You shall tell her nothing, you d d Rebel suckling," 

and with his sword hew^ed him down. These were brothers 
of Colonel James Williams, the particulars of whose death, 
while leading his men into action at King's Mountain, we 
have recorded. 

Ramsay* states that the fodder stack upon which Hays 
and Williams were hung broke. Says this writer: **Thus 
breaking, they both fell, on which Major William Cun- 
ningham cut them into pieces with his sword when, turn- 
ing upon the others, he continued upon them the opera- 
tions of his savage barbarity until the powers of nature 
being exhausted, and his enfeebled limbs refusing to ad- 
minister any longer to his insatiate fury, he called upon 
his comrades to complete the dreadful work, by killing 
whichsoever of the prisoners they pleased. They instantly 
put to death such of them as they personally disliked. 
Only two fell in the action, but fourteen were deliberately 
cut to pieces after their surrender. Their names and 

*See Ramsay's " History of South Carolina," Miscellaneous^ page 257. 


ranks were as follows: Colonel Joseph Hays, Captain 
Daniel Williams, Lieutenant Christopher Hardy, Lieuten- 
ant John Neil, Clement Hancock, Joseph Williams, Joseph 
Irby, Sr., Joseph Irby, Jr., John Milven, James Ferris, 
John Cook, Greaf Irby, Benjamin Goodman and Yancy 

After the massacre at Havs' Station, we next hear of 
Cunningham in the southern portion of Union County, at 
the house of Mr. John Boyce.* Mr. Boyce was a prominent 
Whig:, having participated in the battles of King's Moun- 
tain, Co wpens and Eutaw, and his character wa« well known 
to Cunningham. He had just returned home to the bosom 
of his family. While seated at his table to partake of a 
cup of milk and a piece of bread he was startled by the 
sound of approaching horses. He sprang to the door and 
saw Cunningham and his party, including McCombs, a 
dreaded outlaw, immediately before him. He knew they 
intended to kill him, and that his only safety was in flight. 
Throwing his hat in the faces of the horses, which caused 
them to open right and left, he sprang through the open- 
ing, and was soon out of sight in a body of wood about 
seventy yards off. Before he could reach this, however, 
Cunningham was at his side, and made a blow at him, 
which struck his uplifted hand, nearly cutting off three 
of his fingers. Before the blow could be repeated by Cun- 
ningham, he had reached the thick brush and impene- 
trable woods, where it was impossible for cavalry to go, 
and made good his escape. From his cover he watched 
the retreat of his foe. Then hurrying to his house to 
have his fingers bound up, he mounted his horse and hur- 
ried to the home of his old commander. Captain Casey. 
Before night, Casey, with a body of fifteen, were in pursuit 
of Cunningham. They captured a small number of his 
party, including McCombs, near the mouth of Duncan's 
Creek, on the Enoree River. They were conveyed to the 

♦Grandfather of the late Rev. James P. Boyce, D. D., of Southern 
Baptist Theological Seminary, IvOuisville, Kentucky. 


place where the old Charlestowii road crossed the main 
road to Ninety-Six, where speedy justice was administered 
to them under a stooping hickory. They were buried in 
a common ^rave at the foot of the tree. 

Cunningham, continuing his march to the up-country, 
came within the present borders of Spartanburg County. 
The first place we notice on record is at the house of Mr. 
Charles Moore* on Middle Tyger. Here Captain Stead- 
man, a young man of promise, was lying sick. He was 
killed in bed. Two other young men, knowing what their 
fate would be if captured, attempted to make their escape 
by running. They were shot down within a few hundred 
yards of the house, and were buried at the place where 
they fell, which was the beginning of the family burial 
ground of the Moores, Barrys and others, and which is 
only a short distance west of the old Moore residence. 
The tradition is that Captain Steadman was engaged to 
Mr. Moore's daughter. 

Miss Rosa Duncan, who departed about forty years ago, 
and who had lived among the Moore family, stated to 
Captain Samuel C. Means, who informed the writer, that 
when the Tories reached the house of Charles Moore, each 
of them had a green pine top in his hat. One of them, it 
is stated, stuck his pine top in the ground, which grew to 
be a large tree, and is still standing to this day. 

The next place we notice Cunningham, after leaving the 
house of Charles Moore, is at the house of Colonel John 
Wood, who had been a prominent Whig, and who resided 
on the waters of Lawson's Fork. After the killing of 
John Wood, his wife married Colonel John Earle, on 
North Pacolet. Mrs. Earle lived to a'n extreme old age, 
and the writer is indebted to Major John Earle Bomar, 
her grandson, for the particulars of the killing of John 
Wood, her first husband. We here insert Major Bomar's 
letter : 

*This is the former residence of Capt. S. C. Means. The old build- 
ing remodeled to some extent is now occupied by Mrs. Catherine 
Montgomery and family. 


Spartanburg, S. C, March i8, 1894. 
Dr. J. B. O. Landrum, Guthrie, Oklahoma Ten : 

My .Dear Sir : — Your kind letter asking me to give my recollections 
of the killing of John Wood by the band of Tories led by Cap t. Bill 
Cunningham, the '* Bloody Scout," and their infamous raid through 
upper South Carolina, as told me by my grandmother, has been re- 
ceived, and I take pleasure in complying with your request. 

My grandmother died in 1837, at an advanced age, when I was only 
ten years old, but my remembrance of her is very vivid, and her 
graphical account of the murder of her husband, has left upon me a 
lasting impression. The facts of the killing, as she told them to me, 
are about these : 

John Wood was a staunch Whig and a gallant soldier, greatlj^ hated 
and feared by the Tories. He and my grandmother, whose maiden 
name was Rebecca Berry, were born and reared in Virginia, and were 
married when she was quite young. Soon after their marriage they 
emigrated to upper South Carolina, then a country sparsely settled, 
and located in what was afterwards Spartanburg District, upon Law- 
son's Fork of Pacolet River, about five miles north of what is now 
Spartanburg City, and not far from the spot where Jackson Tuck has 
for many years resided. From the beginning of the contest with the 
mother country, he took sides with the colonies, and was a commis- 
sioned officer, actively engaged in the service of his country, up to the 
time of his death. He would not have been found at home by Cun- 
ningham and his band when they made their raid but from the fact of 
his being there then on sick furlough. Nor would he have been found 
there had their coming been delayed a day or two longer, for he had 
nearly recovered from his sickness, and was preparing to return to his 
command He had no intimation of the approach of the Tories until 
they had completely surrounded his house. When he saw the condi- 
tion of affairs he went out to confront his enemies, followed by his wife 
and little son, a lad of only a few summers. He saw at a glance that re- 
sistance was useless, and that there was no possible way of escape. 
Nothing was left therefore for him to do but to offer to surrender and 
throw himself upon the mercy of his enemy, which he did, saying that 
he surrendered himself as a prisoner of war. This was met by curses 
and cries from the Tories, " Shoot him, d d him, shoot him !" 

The intercessions and prayers of his wife to spare him were un- 
heeded, as were the entreaties of his little son, who was cursed as a 
little rebel, and ordered back into the house. The command was 
given by Cunningham to shoot him down. A volley was fired into 
him and he fell a lifeless corpse into the arms of his wife, who 
caught him as he fell. His death was instantaneous, and she gently 
laid his body upon the ground. 

Before leaving the murderous crew proceeded to pillage the house, 


taking with them such things of value as they could easily carry. Not 
far from John Woods', as they proceeded on their murderous and 
thieving expedition, they met on the road a brother of John, hung 
him to a tree and left his lifeless body swinging by the roadside. A 
young woman in the neighborhood who chanced on that fatal day to 
pay a friendly visit to the Wood family was a witness to this cowardly 
murder, overheard the Tories say that the next house they intended 
raiding v^as the house of a Mr. Ballenger, a neighbor living some 
miles distant. As soon as she heard this she stole quietly out and 
running with all her speed along the pathway through the woods, she 
reached Ballenger's before the Tories and gave the alarm so that he 
escaped. She was thus the means of saving Ballenger's life, but it 
came near costing her own. She was recognized by the Tories as 
being one that they had seen at Wood's house and they knew she must 
have run ahead of them and given notice of their approach. They 
cursed her and threatened her life and said that they would surely kill 
her if they met her again. 

Some years after the killing of John Wood, my grandmother was 
united in marriage to my grandfather, John Earle. He was also a true 
patriot. I have often seen and played when a little boy in the home 
where he lived. It was made of heavy hewn logs — there were no saw 
mills in those days — and was built as a fort with port holes near the 
roof. It was situated on what is now the plantation of LaFayette 
Prince, Esq., a lineal descendant of John Earle, in Polk County, North 
Carolina, near Earle's Ford, on North Pacolct River. It was located 
upon a high promontory, overlooking the country in all directions, 
so that an enemy approaching from any point of the compass could 
be seen at a long distance ; but you are perfectly familiar with this 
locality and have often seen the place where the old house stood. 
This is the true story of the cowardly murder of John Wood, as 
related to me by my grandmother, who was an eye witness, and as I 
recall it after the lapse of nearly fifty years. 

Yours very truly, John Eari^e Bomar. 

The next victim of Cunningham's rage was Colonel 
Edward Hampton, whose name has already appeared in 
the pages of this work. Colonel Hampton had been to 
the settlement on the Congaree, where his family connec- 
tions lived. He was returning to the house of his father- 
in-law, Mr. Baylis Earle, on North Pacolet. The Tories 
perchance got wind of his passing near them and pur- 
sued him. Colonel Hampton, after having ridden all 
night, stopped at a house to breakfast. Very soon after 
he entered the building, it was surrounded by the Tories. 


He snatched' his pistols from the table, thinking to defend 
himself, but it was no use. He fired his pistols iu the air. 
The Tories shot him down.* A truer patriot than 
Edward Hampton never lived. Reference will be made to 
him a^ain. 

Lieutenant-Governor James Wood, (brother of John 
Wood), resided on Lawson's Fork, near the Choice home- 
stead. Bein«r a staunch Whig and a prominent citizen, 
he was the special object of Cunningham's hatred and 
revenge. The accounts and the tradition as to the manner 
in which he was put to death are conflicting. The letter 
of Major Bomar states upon the authority of his grand- 
mother that he was hung. Captain Tuck, who lives near 
by, stated to the writer years ago. that the old historical 
dogwood on which he was hung is still standing and has 
been pointed out, and the execution of Colonel Wood on 
the same has been kept in tradition in that neighbor- 
hood by the generations that have come and gone since 
that time. 

In Howe's history, it is stated that James Wood was 
shot and that his wife begged on her knees for the life of 
her husband, which request they denied, and further that 
«he begged that she might see him die. '* They took him 
out of sight and shot him." 

Such is the record given in connection with history of 
Nazareth Church. The particulars as given here of the 
shooting of eTames Wood may have been confounded with 
those of the killing of John Wood. 

Some fifty years after the burial of James Wood his 
nephew, Dr. Robert Young, of Spartanburg, caused his 
remains to be disinterred and carried to Greenville, S. C, 
for burial. Nothing was found except the undecayed 
bones, but these were identified by a fracture of one of 
the bones of the arm, which in the memory of some of 
the old inhabitants had happened to Colonel Wood in 

*For an account of the killing of Edward Hampton see Howe's 


his lifetime. These facts were related to the writer by the 
late Mr. Allen Thornason, who died at an advanced age 
only a short time ago, and to whom reference has hereto- 
fore been made. 

Mr. Thomason says that Cunningham killed another 
man near a sassafras tree, at the Poole old place, now 
owned by the estate of John B. Archer, deceased. The 
name he had forgotten, but his father stated the fact to 
him. Mr. Archer afterwards, so he states to the writer, 
learning of the circumstances regretted that he had 
caused the tree to be cut down. 

In Howe's history it is stated that John Snoddy was 
shot at Poole's Iron Works by '* Bloody Bill" Cunning- 
ham. This may have been the same party referred to by 
Mr. Thomasou as having been killed at the old Poole 

Mr. Thomason says that on the same day that the 
Tories killed James Wood, they visited the house of a 
Mr. Lawson, who lived where Billiard Thomas now lives, 
near Zion Hill Church. It was near sunset when they 
reached his house. Mr. Lawson with another man 
was standing in his door. Mr. Lawson was shot down, 
while the other man made his escape through the back 

Mr. Thomason says that ('Unuingham encamped the 
same night at Wofford's Iron Works, which were set fire 
to and reduced to ashes by his ruthless hands, which 
wicked act not only lives in tradition but is also recorded 
in the pages of history by Ramsay and others.t 

But must we go further to recount the villianous acts 
of *' Bloody Bill" Cunningham? It is needless to say 
that the general uprising of the Whigs in the up-country 
to arrest his further progress caused him, even before a 
successful resistance could be organized against him, to 

*In Johnson's Traditions (page 344) it is stated that John Knox was 
among the wounded by Cunningham in Spartanburg County. 

tSee Ramsay's History of South Carolina, appendix, page 307. 


retreat hastily to regain the British lines around Charles- 
ton. The information of his bloody acts in Spartanburg 
County and elsewhere, caused the Whigs in the present 
counties of Onion and Chester to arm themselves for 
resistance. It is stated in *' Johnson's Traditions," (page 
344), that Capt. John McCiure was sent after him. 
McClure came to the present County of Spartanburg with 
a company of determined men, but too late to prevent 
the blood V deeds which we have recorded, but in time to 
protect the distracted Whig families from extended and 
continued ravages. ^*The Tories heard of his coming," 
says Johnson, *^and took to flight." McClure pursued 
them with his party from Spartanburg through Union 
towards Ninety-Six. He failed to overtake the main 
body but captured four of them, who could not keep up 
with the rest, either from failure of their horses or being 
overloaded with plunder, or from both causes united, 
and brought them into Sumter's camp." 

It is further stated in "Johnson's Traditions," (page 
454), that after the killing of Edward Hampton, Capt. 
John Barry raised a companj'^ of militia on the following 
day and started in pursuit of the "bloody scout," but 
did not overtake him. The pursuit was extended through 
Laurens County.* 

It is also recorded in "Johnson's Traditions," (page 
505), that Cunningham on his return to the lower country 
had with him about one hundred and fifty men, and while 
feeding on the rio^ht bank of the Little Saluda, Hammond 
came upon the opposite bank with about seventy men. 

*In an extract from '* Orion," vol. iii, page 218, is an amusing 
account of this pursuit given by Gov. B. F. Perry. While in pursuit 
of Cunningham, Captain Barry and his party reached the house of an 
old Tory whose name was Myer Franks. The Whigs were feeling 
very hungry, not having tasted food for twenty-four hours. The old 
Tory had a bountiful supply of bacon on hand. The Whigs concluded 
to help themselves. David Anderson acted as commissary and judged 
what would be a liberal supply for the company. It is said that 
Frank's smokehouse required neither lock nor key after the Whigs 


The forces being unequal Hammond decided not to attack 
them, but to follow on and harass the footsteps of his 
retreating foe until reinforcements could arrive. While 
the two parties were within easy reach of each other on 
opposites sides of the river, Capt. Richard Johnson called 
for volunteers, saying that if thirty would follow him he 
would make the attack. The required number volun- 
teered, but Colonel Hammond interfered and issued an 
order forbidding the movement, and to make the order 
more effectual he placed himself in the way and gave 
peremptory orders to lialt. While there may have been 
prudential reasons for this order on the part of Ham- 
mond, yet eTohnson always condemned it. On the follow- 
ing day. General Pickens came up with his men and 
commanded the pursuit of Cunningham, which was con- 
tinued as far as Oranireburg. The pursuit, however, was 
to no purpose, as Cunningham was out of reach. 

We have taken the pains to inquire what became of 
William Cunningham after the Revolution. The writer 
has been informed by Justice McGowan and Maj. J. K. 
Vance, of Abbeville County — the section of his nativity — 
that he never dared to show his face any more among 
the people with whom he had been associated in early 
life. A short notice of him is found in ** Biographical 
Sketches of American Loyalists," by Lorenzo Sabine. 
It is stated here that in tw^o instances he murdered thirty- 
five persons. His property was confiscated in 1782. 
After peace with the mother country he retreated to 
Florida, then a part of the Spanish possessions. His 
name and character is heaped with so much infamy that 

had left it. Several years after the Revolution, when the circuit court 
was re-established in Ninety-Six District, one of the first cases for 
trial was Myer Franks vs. David Anderson — trespassing. The case 
was called. A number of witnesses were examined to prove that the 
bacon had been taken from the plaintiff. After getting through the 
testimony, His Honor, the presiding judge, ordered the case to be 
stricken from the docket, leaving Myer Franks to mourn over the 
fact that •* his bacon " was not saved. 


it is impossible to know what became of him finally. 
It is supposed he died in the country which he consid- 
ered- a safe retreat for himself at the time. 

Having disposed of Cunningham, let us now turn our 
attention to examine into the history of another blood- 
thirsty character, whose name was William Bates, gener- 
ally known as '* Bloody Bill" Bates. His name it is true 
appears only in a few places in the pages of our written 
history, but the traditional memory of this iDad man has 
lived longer in the section in which the writer resides, and 
which was the principal scene of his operations, than any 
other character who figured during the times which 
embraced the closing scenes of the Revolution. 

In history we find a bare reference to Bates in Draper's 
** King's Mountain," (page 242), and also in "Johnson's 
Traditions," (pages 420 and 428). Gov. B. F. Perry 
wrote a series of articles concernmg him for the press at 
Greenville, which were published some forty or fifty 
years ago. 

The first revelation that the writer received, however, 
of the cruel acts of " Bloody Bill '* Bates was from the 
lips of old Mr. O'Hara Barton, who lived in the north- 
eastern (dark corner) portion of Greenville County. Mr. 
Barton passed away a few years ago (1888), at the 
advanced age of ninety years. Since that time he has 
interview^ed Mr. Henry M. Earle, of Greenville County, 
now about eighty, and Mr. Theron R. Prince,* of Polk 
County, North Carolina, now about seventy-five years of 
age. As we have already intimated, the scene of the 
operations of " Bloody Bill " Bates was for the 
most part in the northern portions of the present 
counties of Spartanburg and Greenville, chiefiy in the 
vicinity of Gowen's Fort. As the raid of Bates occurred 
about the same time as that of Cunningham, there is 
every reason to believe that he was sent out as an emis- 

*Mr. Barle and Mr. Prince have since passed away. 


8ary by the British to co-operate with Cunningham. In 
his expedition he was accompanied by a number of 
ludians as well as unprincipled white men. Like that of 
Cunningham in other localities, the appearance of Bates 
was unexpected in the vicinity of Gowen's Fort. The 
people were scattered and without ammunition, and 
being so far from the American army under General 
Greene, with whom they might otherwise communicate, 
they were left in an unfortunate predicament. According 
to the neighborhood tradition, which we have gathered 
up, a portion of the people fled to Earle's Fort, near the 
present residence of Mr. W. LaFayette Prince, on North 
Pacolet, while others fled to Thomson's Fort, near the 
Jackey Dill old place, in Greenville County. 

It is stated in ^'Johnson's Traditions" that ** after 
repeated assaults by the Tories and British, gallantly 
and successfully repulsed, Gowen's Fort was at last sur- 
rendered to an overwhelming force of Indians and Tories 
under Bates. We believe from what we have gathered 
that this wa.s Tliomson's instead of Gowen's Fort. It is 
further stated that the fort was surrendered under a 
stipulation that the lives of the prisoners should be pro- 
tected from the savages. But this stipulation for mercy 
was soon violated. Only one escaped alive of all the 
inmates of the fort. This was Mrs. Thomson, wife of 
Abner Thomson, Esq., who having been scalped and sup- 
posed to be dead, recovered from her wounds and lived in 
Greenville County about fifty years after the awful scene. 

It is recorded that Bates divided his force while con- 
ducting his wicked operations in the vicinity of Gowen's 
Fort. He dispatched another party against a small fort 
called ^^ Mill's Station," in North Carolina, and on the 
way they destroyed several families of the scattered set- 
tlers along the frontiers, amongst others that of Mr. 
Stillman. Not expecting an attack, the little garrison at 
Mill's Station were scattered in the neighborhood, in con- 
sequence of which the fort was captured by the Indians, 
assisted by their more savage white allies. Although no 


nysistance was made, the unfortunate iuhabitants shared 
the same fate as at other places — an indiscriminate 

Among the cruel barbarities charged against Bates 
was that he visited the house of old Mr. Motley, on 
Motlow's Greek, in Spartanburg County, and killed him 
and several others. He also arrested young Motley, 
his son, whom he intended to kill. He ordered him to 
take off his clothes and knee breeches with silver buckles, 
remarking at the time that he did not want to bloody 
them. While Bates was in a stooping position to 
unbuckle them, knowing that death certainly awaited 
him, Motley made a sudden spring and knocked down 
one or two who encircled him, and pitched down the hill, 
outrunning Bates and his whole party. 

It is said that he concealed himself under the bank of a 
creek near by, while Bates and his party passed over in 
search of him. Tradition says that he not only saved his 
life, but that he fairlv '* won his shirt.'' 

The general uprising of the people from the neighboring 
settlements caused Bates and his party to put off quickly. 
It has been related to the writer that the party of Indians 
who accompanied Bates carried off a girl by the name of 
Pattie Giiley, a sister and a little brother. After these 
children were stolen, two propositions were made to the 
girls; one was marriage to one of their number or death. 
One of the girls accepted, the other refused. Her life was 
only spared by the generosity of one Indian, who pro- 
posed to give five hats as a ransom for her life. 

Among those who pursued Bates and his party was 
Major Buck Gowen. With a party of resolute men, he 
overtook the Indians in their camp, beyond the head 
waters of Tyger River, and killed and captured some of 
them, and routed the rest. Unfortunately, he did not cap- 
ture Bates, but recaptured the Giiley children, whom we 
have just mentioned. The particulars of this circumstance 
were related to the w riter about tern years ago by Mr. 
Elias Dill (now deceased), of Greenville County, who was 


at that time in his eij^htv-Bwond veur. Mr. Hill stated 
that hiH father-in-law, Mr. Howard, was a nienilwr of 
Major Gowen's command, and had often relate i the 
story to him. Mr. Dill further stated that at the time 
Major Gowen^s command was approachin<2^ the cami:) 
of the Indians, the little Gilley boy was breaking sticks to 
.make a Are. He recognized Major Gowen's num, and 
joyfully ran to meet them. Amoi^g the Indians killed in 
Bates' camp by Gowen's men, was a squaw with a 
babe in her arms, '^rhe little surviving pappoose was 
committed to the care of Edwin Hannon, a lad of about 
fifteen years, who belonged to Major Gowen's com- 
mand, and whose parents were murdnred by the Indians 
in 1776, the circumstances of which we have related else- 
where. It is said that after young Hannon had carried 
the Indian babe for some distance, he was about to throw 
it into the Tyger River and drown it. When his friends re- 
monstrated against his proposed cruelty, his reply was 
that ''nits breed lice," and he wanted to get rid of the 

d d thing.* Major Buck Gowen was a true patriot, 

and but for his active exertions in getting together hi^ 
militia, there is no telling to what extent Bates would 
have extended his bloodv work on the innocent and de- 
fenseless people. His place of residence was on the present 
plantation of Mr. Baker Caldwell, on South Pacolet. 
Nothing remains to show^ the old house place except a 
sunken place in the ground, which was his cellar. The 
present village of Gowensville, but a short distance from 
where he resided, was named in honor of him. 

But let us go back and inquire what became of Bates 
after the Revolution. It is said that after peace was de- 
clared, he became a noted horse thief. In the neighbor- 
hood of Sandy Plains, in Polk County, N. C, and in other 
sections also, at that time unsettled, there were a number 

*Thi8 circumstance was given to the writer some ten y»ars ago, in a 
Mss. letter, by the venerable Henry M. Earle, of Greenville County, S. 
C. It was mentioned in connection with a series of articles published 
at that time.