Lossing's Field Book of the Revolution, Vol. II., Chapter XVI.







Departure from Charlotte. – Gold Region of North Carolina. – Tuckesege Ford. – Passage of the South Fork of the Catawba. – Loss of Way in a Forest. – Road to King’s Mountain. – Visit to the King’s Mountain Battle-ground. – Character of the Locality. – View of the Battle-ground. – Past and Present. – Major Ferguson detached to the Upper Country. – Gathering of Tories. – Surprise at Greene’s Spring. – Leaders of the Mountain Men. – Ferguson West of the Broad River. – Expedition against him. - Concentration of Troops. – Selection of a Commander-in-chief. – March to the Cowpens. – Colonels Shelby, Campbell, and Williams. – Pursuit of Ferguson. – The Battle. – Colonel Sevier. – Frankland. – Surrender of the British and Tories. – Loss in the Battle. – Effect of the Battle. – Death of Ferguson. – Execution of Tories. – Character of the Battle-ground. – One of Sumter’s Men. – Route to the Cowpens. – Ventilation of Southern Houses. – Thicketty Mountain. – Loss of Way. – Visit to the Cowpens Battle-ground. – Material of the Army under Morgan. – Biography of Morgan. – Defeat of Tories by Washington. – Pursuit of Morgan by Tarleton. – Gold Medal awarded to Morgan. – Disposition of the American Army. – John Eager Howard. – Silver Medal awarded to Howard. – Morgan prepared to Fight. – His Address to his Troops. – The Attack. – Tarleton’s Charge. – Charge of Tarleton. – Bold Maneuver of Howard. – Americans Victorious. – Colonel Washington. – Retreat of the British. – Encounter between Washington and Tarleton. – Result of the Battle. – The Heroes of the Cowpens. – Departure from that Place. – Cherokee Ford. – Indians in the Carolinas. – War with the Indians. – Peril of the White People. – Defeat and Conquest of the Indians. – Seminoles. – Embassy to the Indians. – Erection of Forts. – War with the Cherokees. – Small-pox at Charleston. – Montgomery’s Expedition against the Indians. – Peace. – Renewal of War. – Grant and Middleton’s Expedition. – Treaty of Peace and Friendship. – Indian Hostilities renewed. – John Stuart. – Desolation of the Cherokee Country. – Expeditions under Rutherford and Pickens. – Present Condition of the Cherokees. – The Western Settlers. – Growth of Party Spirit. – The Cunninghams. – Seizure of Powder. – Tory Faithlessness. – Expedition against them. – Battle at Musgrove’s Mill. – Gathering of Troops by Sumter. – His partisan Compatriots. – Attack upon Wemyss at Fish Dam Ford. – Defeat of Wemyss. – Sumter pursued by Tarleton. – Halt and Battle at Blackstocks’s. – Flight of Tarleton. – Sumter Wounded. – His Retreat. – Thanks of Congress. – Patriotic Women.


"We marched to the Cowpens, Campbell was there,
Shelby, Cleveland, and Colonel Sevier;
Men of renown, sir, like lions, so bold –
Like lions undaunted, ne’er to be controlled.
We set out on our march that very same night;
Sometimes we were wrong, sometimes we were right;
Our hearts being run in true liberty’s mold,
We valued not hunger, wet, weary, or cold.
On the top of Kings Mountain the old rogue we found,
And, like brave heroes, his camp did surround;
Like lightning, the flashes; like thunder, the noise;
Our rifles struck the poor Tories with sudden surprise."



The Sabbath which I passed in Charlotte was exceedingly unpleasant. The morning air was keen and hazy; snow fell toward evening, and night set in with a gloomy prospect for the morrow’s travel. I breakfasted by candle-light on Monday morning, and before sunrise was on the road for King’s Mountain and the Cowpens. I passed the United States Branch Mint, upon the road leading from the village to the Tuckesege or Great Catawba Ford, and at the forks, about a mile from the town, halted a moment to observe the operation of raising gold ore from a mine, by a horse and windlass. This mine had not been worked for fifteen years, owing to litigation, and now yielded sparingly. The vein lies about seventy feet below the surface. This is in the midst of the gold region of North Carolina, which is comprehended within the limits of eleven counties. 2


From Charlotte to the Catawba, a distance of eleven miles, the country is very hilly, and the roads were bad the greater portion of the way. I crossed the Catawba at the Tuckesege Ford, the place where General Rutherford and his little army passed, on the evening of the nineteenth of June, 1780, when on their way to attack the Tories at Ramsour’s Mills. 4 I was piloted across by a lad on horseback. The distance from shore to shore, in the direction of the ford, is more than half a mile, the water varying in depth from ten inches to three feet, and running in quite a rapid current. In the passage, which is diagonal, two islands, covered with shrubbery and trees, are traversed. This was Charley’s first experience in fording a very considerable stream, and he seemed to participate with me in the satisfaction experienced in setting foot upon the solid ground of the western shore. I allowed him to rest while I made the above sketch, and then we pushed on toward the South Fork of the Catawba, almost seven miles farther. I was told that the ford there was marked by a row of rocks, occurring at short intervals across the stream; but when I reached the bank, few of them could be seen above the surface of the swift and swollen current. The distance across is about two hundred and fifty yards, and the whole stream flows in a single channel. The passage appeared (as it really was) very dangerous, and I had no guide. As the day was fast waning away, a storm seemed to be gathering, and there was not an inhabitant within a mile, I resolved to venture alone, relying upon the few rocks visible for indications of the safest place for a passage. Taking my port-folio of drawings from my trunk, and placing it beside me on the seat, and then folding my wagon-top, I was prepared to swim, if necessary, and save my sketches, if possible. Charley seemed loth to enter the flood, but once in, he breasted the stream like a philosopher. Twice the wheels ran upon rocks, and the wagon was almost overturned, the water being, in the mean while, far over the hubs; and when within a few yards of the southern shore, we crossed a narrow channel, so deep that my horse kept his feet with difficulty, and the wagon, having a tight body, floated for a moment. The next instant we struck firm ground. I breathed freer as we ascended the bank, and with a thankful heart rode on toward Falls’s house of entertainment, away among the hills near the South Carolina line, twenty-six miles from Charlotte.

On account of numerous diverging ways, it was very difficult to keep in the right road from the South Fork to Falls’s. I tried to reach there before dark, but the clouds thickened, and night fell suddenly. In the uncertain twilight, I missed a diverging road which I was directed to pursue, and got into the midst of a vast pine forest. Just before entering the woods, I had a glimpse of Crowder’s Knob, the highest peak of King’s Mountain, estimated to be three thousand feet above the level of the sea. 5 It was about twelve miles distant, and loomed up from the wilderness of pines which intervened, like some ancient castle in the dim light. For more than an hour I pursued the forest road, without perceiving the diverging one which I was directed to follow. I stopped to listen for sounds of habitation. All was silent but the moaning of the wind among the pine boughs, the solemn voice of an owl, and the pattering of the rain upon my wagon-top. For almost another hour I rode on in the gloom, without perceiving an opening in the forest, and I began to think I should be obliged to "camp out" for the night. Again I listened, and was cheered by the distant barking of a dog. I gave Charley a loose rein, and in twenty minutes an open field appeared, and the glimmer of a candle. A shout brought the master of the cottage to the door, and, in reply to my solicitation for food and shelter until morning, he informed me that a contagious disease, which had destroyed two of his family, yet prevailed in his house. He could not offer me the hospitalities of his roof and table, but he would mount his horse and guide me to Falls’s, which was four miles distant. I was glad to avoid the contagion, and to reward him liberally for his kind pilotage. I ascertained that I had been within a quarter of a mile of Falls’s, but, missing the "turn out," had traversed another road several miles back in the direction of Charlotte!

Mr. Falls was the postmaster, and an intelligent man, apparently about sixty years of age. It was the anniversary of the battle of New Orleans, in 1815 [Jan. 8.], and as the old man had a brother killed in that engagement, it was a day always memorable to him. I was entertained with the frank hospitality so common in the Carolinas, and at my request breakfast was ready at early dawn. A more gloomy morning can not well be conceived. Snow had fallen to the depth of two inches during the night, and when I departed, a chilling cast wind, freighted with sleet, was sweeping over the barren country. King’s Mountain battle-ground was fourteen miles distant, and I desired to reach there in time to make my notes and sketches before sunset. The roads, except near the water courses, were sandy and quite level, but the snow made the traveling heavy. Six miles from Falls’s, I forded Crowder’s Creek, a stream about ten yards wide, deep and sluggish, which rises from Crowder’s Knob, and, after a course of eighteen miles, falls into the Catawba. A little beyond it, I passed a venerable post oak, which was shivered, but not destroyed, by lightning the previous summer. It there marks the dividing-line between North and South Carolina. At noon the storm ceased; the clouds broke, and at three o’clock, when I reached the plantation of Mr. Leslie, whose residence is the nearest one to the battle-ground, the sun was shining warm and bright, and the snow had disappeared in the open fields.

When my errand was made known, Mr. Leslie brought two horses from his stable, and within twenty minutes after my arrival we were in the saddle and traversing a winding way toward Clarke’s Fork of King’s Creek. From that stream, to the group of hills among which the battle was fought, the ascent is almost imperceptible. The whole range, in that vicinity, is composed of a series of great undulations, from whose sides burst innumerable springs, making every ravine sparkle with running water. The hills are gravelly, containing a few small bowlders. They are covered with oaks, chestnuts, pines, beaches, gums, and tulip poplars, and an undergrowth of post oaks, laurel, and sour-wood. The large trees stand far apart, and the smaller ones are not very thick, so that the march of an army over those gentle elevations was comparatively easy. Yet it was a strange place for an encampment or a battle; and to one acquainted with that region, it is difficult to understand why Ferguson and his band were there at all.


We tied our horses near the grave of Ferguson and his fellow-sleepers, and ascended to the summit of the hill whereon the British troops were encamped and fought. The battle-ground is about a mile and a half south of the North Carolina line. It is a stony ridge, extending north and south, and averaging about one hundred feet in height above the ravines which surround it. It is nearly a mile in length, very narrow upon its summit, with steep sides. From its top we could observe Crowder’s Knob in the distance, and the hills of less altitude which compose the range. 7 The sun was declining, and its slant rays, gleaming through the boughs dripping with melting snows, garnished the forest for a few moments with all the seeming splendors of the mines; gold and silver, diamonds and rubies, emeralds and sapphires, glittered upon every branch, and the glowing pictures of the Arabian Nights, which charmed boyhood with the records of wondrous visions, crowded upon the memory like realities. Alas! on this very spot, where the sun-light is braiding its gorgeous tapestry, and suggesting nothing but love, and beauty, and adoration, the clangor of steel, the rattle of musketry, the shout of victory, and the groans of dying men, whose blood incarnadined the forest sward, and empurpled the mountain streams, were once heard - it was an aceldama; and there, almost at our feet, lie the ashes of men slain by their brother man! History thus speaketh of the event:

On the sixteenth of August, 1780, the Americans, under General Gates, were defeated by Cornwallis, near Camden, and dispersed. Two days afterward, Tarleton defeated Sumter at Rocky Mount, and elsewhere the American partisan corps were unsuccessful. The whole South now appeared to be completely subdued under the royal power; and the conqueror, tarrying at Camden, busied himself in sending his prisoners to Charleston, in ascertaining the condition of his distant posts at Ninety-Six and Augusta, and in establishing civil government in South Carolina. Yet his success did not impair his vigilance. West of the Wateree 8 were bands of active Whigs, and parties of those who were defeated near Camden were harassing the upper country. Cornwallis detached Major Ferguson, a most excellent officer and true marksman, of the 71st regiment, 9 with one hundred and ten regulars under the command of Captain Depuyster, and about the same number of Tories, with an ample supply of arms and other military stores. He ordered him to embody the Loyalists beyond the Wateree and the Broad Rivers; intercept the Mountain Men, 10 who were retreating from Camden, and also the Americans, under Colonel Elijah Clarke, of Georgia, who were retiring from an attack upon Augusta; endeavor to crush the spirit of rebellion, which was still rife; and, after scouring the upper part of South Carolina, toward the mountains, join him at Charlotte. Ferguson at first made rapid marches to overtake the Mountain Men, and cut off Clarke’s forces. Failing in this, he proceeded leisurely, collecting all the Tories in his path, until about the last of September, when he encamped with more than a thousand men, at a place called Gilbert Town, west of the Broad River, near the site of the present village of Rutherfordton, the county seat of Rutherford, in North Carolina. 11 These were all well armed, 12 and Ferguson began to feel strong. True to their instincts, his Tory recruits committed horrible outrages upon persons and property wherever they went, and this aroused a spirit of the fiercest vengeance among the patriots. At different points, large bodies of volunteers assembled simultaneously, without concert, and placed themselves under tried leaders, the chief of whom were Colonels Campbell, of Virginia; Cleaveland, Shelby, Sevier, and M‘Dowell, of North Carolina; and Lacy, Hawthorn, and Hill, of South Carolina. They all had but one object in view – the destruction of the marauders under Ferguson. They were men admirably fitted by their daily pursuits for the privations which they were called upon to endure. They had neither tents, baggage, bread, nor salt, and no Commissary Department to furnish regular supplies. Potatoes, pumpkins, roasted corn, and occasionally a bit of venison supplied by their own rifles, composed their daily food. Such were the men who were gathering among the mountains and valleys of the Upper Carolinas to beat back the invaders.

On his way to Gilbert Town, Ferguson had succeeded in capturing two of the Mountain Men. These he paroled, and enjoined them to tell the officers on the Western waters, that if they did not desist from their opposition and "take protection under his standard, he would march his army over the mountains, hang their leaders, and lay waste their country with fire and sword." 13 While Colonel Charles M‘Dowell, 14 of Burke county, who, on the approach of Ferguson, had gone over the mountains to obtain assistance, was in consultation with Colonels Shelby and Sevier, the paroled prisoners arrived, and delivered their message. These officers were not dismayed by the savage threat of Ferguson, but decided that each should endeavor to raise all the men that could be enlisted, and that the forces thus collected should rendezvous at Watauga on the twenty-fifth of September. It was also agreed that Colonel Shelby should give intelligence of their movements to Colonel William Campbell, of Washington county, in Virginia, hoping that he would raise a force to assist them.

The following official report of events from the meeting of these several forces at Watauga, until the defeat of Ferguson, I copied from the original manuscript among Gates’s papers. It is full, yet concise, and being official, with the signatures of the three principal officers engaged in the affair, attached, it is perfectly reliable: 15


"On receiving intelligence that Major Ferguson had advanced up as high as Gilbert Town, in Rutherford county, and threatened to cross the mountains to the Western waters, Colonel William Campbell, with four hundred men, from Washington county, of Virginia, Colonel Isaac Shelby, with two hundred and forty men, from Sullivan county, of North Carolina, and Lieutenant-colonel John Sevier, with two hundred and forty men, of Washington county, of North Carolina, assembled at Watauga, on the twenty-fifth day of September, where they were joined by Colonel Charles M‘Dowell, with one hundred and sixty men, from the counties of Burke and Rutherford, who had fled before the enemy to the Western waters. We began our march on the twenty-sixth, and on the thirtieth we were joined by Colonel Cleaveland, on the Catawba River, with three hundred and fifty men, from the counties of Wilkes and Surry. No one officer having properly a right to the command in chief, on the first of October we dispatched an express 17 to Major-general Gates, informing him of our situation, and requested him to send a general officer to take command of the whole. In the mean time, Colonel Campbell 18 was chosen to act as commandant till such general officer should arrive. We marched to the Cowpens, on Broad River, in South Carolina, where we were joined by Colonel James Williams, 19 with four hundred men, on the evening of the sixth of October, 20 who informed us that the enemy lay encamped somewhere near the Cherokee Ford, of Broad River, about thirty miles distant from us. By a council of principal officers, it was then thought advisable to pursue the enemy that night with nine hundred of the best horsemen, and have the weak horse and footmen to follow us as fast as possible. We began our march with nine hundred of the best men about eight o’clock the same evening, and, marching all night, came up with the enemy about three o’clock P.M. of the seventh, who lay encamped on the top of King’s Mountain, twelve miles north of the Cherokee Ford, in the confidence that they could not be forced from so advantageous a post. Previous to the attack on our march, the following disposition was made: Colonel Shelby’s regiment formed a column in the center, on the left; Colonel Campbell’s regiment another on the right, with part of Colonel Cleaveland’s regiment, headed in front by Major Joseph Winston; 21 and Colonel Sevier’s 22 formed a large column on the right wing. The other part of Cleaveland’s regiment, headed by Colonel Cleaveland himself, and Colonel Williams’s regiment, composed the left wing. In this order we advanced, and got within a quarter of a mile of the enemy before we were discovered. Colonel Shelby’s and Colonel Campbell’s regiments began the attack, and kept up a fire on the enemy, while the right and left wings were advancing to surround them, which was done in about five minutes, and the fire became general all around. The engagement lasted an hour and five minutes, the greater part of which time a heavy and incessant fire was kept up on both sides. Our men in some parts where the regulars fought, were obliged to give way a distance, two or three times, but rallied and returned with additional ardor to the attack. The troops upon the right having gained the summit of the eminence, obliged the enemy to retreat along the top of the ridge to where Colonel Cleaveland commanded, and were there stopped by his brave men.

A flag was immediately hoisted by Captain Depeyster, 23 the commanding officer (Major Ferguson having been killed a little before), for a surrender. Our fire immediately ceased, and the enemy laid down their arms (the greatest part of them charged), and surrendered themselves prisoners at discretion. It appears from their own provision returns for that day, found in their camp, that their whole force consisted of eleven hundred and twenty-five men, out of which they sustained the following loss:

Of the regulars, one major, one captain, two sergeants, and fifteen privates killed; thirty-five privates wounded, left on the ground not able to march; two captains, four lieutenants, three ensigns, one surgeon, five sergeants, three corporals, one drummer, and forty-nine privates, taken prisoners. Loss of the Tories, two colonels, three captains, and two hundred and one killed; one major, and one hundred and twenty-seven privates wounded, and left on the ground not able to march. One colonel, twelve captains, eleven lieutenants, two ensigns, one quarter-master, one adjutant, two commissaries, eighteen sergeants, and six hundred privates taken prisoners.

Total loss of the enemy, eleven hundred and five men at King’s Mountain.

Given under our hands at camp.


No battle during the war was more obstinately contested than this; for the Americans were greatly exasperated by the cruelty of the Tories, and to the latter it was a question of life and death. It was with difficulty that the Americans, remembering Tarleton’s cruelty at Buford’s defeat, could be restrained from slaughter, even after quarter was asked. In addition to the loss of men on the part of the enemy, mentioned in the report, the Americans took from them fifteen hundred stand of arms. The loss of the Americans in killed was only twenty, but they had a great number wounded. Among the killed were Colonel Williams and Major Chronicle. Colonel Hambrite was wounded. Major Chronicle and Major Ferguson were buried in a ravine at the northern extremity of the battle-hill, where the friends of the former erected a plain monument, a few years ago, with inscriptions upon both sides. The monument is a thick slab of hard slate, about three feet high, rough hewn, except where the inscriptions are. 24

On the morning after the battle [Oct. 8, 1780.], a court-martial was held, and several of the Tory prisoners were found guilty of murder and other high crimes, and hanged. Colonel Cleaveland had previously declared that if certain persons, who were the chief marauders, and who had forfeited their lives, should fall into his hands, he would hang them. Ten of these men were suspended upon a tulip-tree, which is yet standing – a venerable giant of the forest. This was the closing scene of the battle on King’s Mountain, an event which completely crushed the spirits of the Loyalists, and weakened, beyond recovery, the royal power in the Carolinas. Intelligence of the defeat of Ferguson destroyed all Cornwallis’s hopes of Tory aid. He instantly left Charlotte, retrograded, and established his camp at Winnsborough [Oct. 29, 1780.], in Fairfield District, between the Wateree and Broad Rivers. It was from this point he commenced the pursuit of Morgan and General Greene, after the battle at the Cowpens, as detailed in a preceding chapter.

After making the sketch on page 423, and that of the monument on King’s Mountain, we rode back to Mr. Leslie’s. It was twilight when we arrived; for we had proceeded leisurely along the way, viewing the surrounding scenery. I could perceive at almost every turn of our sinuous road the originals of Kennedy’s graphic sketches in the scenery of Horse Shoe Robinson, and a recurrence to that tale at the house of Mr. Leslie awoke pleasing reminiscences connected with its first perusal. On our return, we ascertained that the grandfather of Mr. Leslie, the venerable William M‘Elwees, had just arrived. His company for the evening was a pleasure I had not anticipated. He was one of Sumter’s partisan corps, and fought with him at Rocky Mount and Hanging Rock. He was also in the battle at Guilford, and during the whole war was an active Whig. Mr. M‘Elwees was eighty-seven years of age when I saw him [Jan., 1849.], yet his intellect seemed unclouded. His narrative of stirring incidents, while following Sumter, was clear and vivid; and when, at a late hour, the family knelt at the domestic altar, a prayer went up from that patriarch’s lips, equal in fervid eloquence, both in words and accents, to any thing I ever heard from the pulpit.

A cold, starry night succeeded my visit to the battle-ground on King’s Mountain, and at sunrise the next morning I was on my way to the Broad River and the Cowpens. The ground was frozen and very rough. I traversed King’s Mountain in a northwesterly direction, and in the deep narrow valley at its western base crossed King’s Creek, a large and rapid stream. The country over which I passed, from Leslie’s to Ross’s Ferry, on the Broad River, a distance of twenty-one miles, is exceedingly rough and hilly. In some places the road was deep gullied by rains; in others, where it passed through recent clearings, stumps and branches were in the way, endangering the safety of wheel and hoof. Within a mile of the ferry, I discovered that the front axle of my wagon was broken, evidently by striking a stump; but, with the aid of a hatchet and strong cord with which I had provided myself, I was enabled to repair the damage temporarily.

The sun was about an hour high when I reached the eastern bank of the Broad River, a little below the mouth of Buffalo Creek. The house of Mrs. Ross, the owner of the ferry, was upon the opposite side. For more than half an hour I shouted and made signals with a white handkerchief upon my whip, before I was discovered, when a shrill whistle responded, and in a few minutes a fat negro came to the opposite shore, and crossed, with a miserable bateau or river flat, to convey me over. The river, which is there about one hundred and twenty yards wide, was quite shallow, and running with a rapid current, yet the ferryman had the skill to "pole" his vessel across without difficulty. I was comfortably lodged at the house of Mrs. Ross for the night, and passed the evening very agreeably in the company of herself and two intelligent daughters. Here I observed, what I so frequently saw in the upper country of the Carolinas, among even the affluent planters – the windows without sashes or glass. In the coldest weather these and the doors are left wide open, the former being closed at night by tight shutters. Great light-wood (pine) fires in the huge chimney-places constantly blazing, in a measure beat back or temper the cold currents of air which continually flow into the dwellings. This ample ventilation in cold weather is universally practiced at the South. At Hillsborough and Charlotte, I observed the boarders at the hotels sitting with cloaks and shawls on at table, while the doors stood wide open!

I was now within fifteen miles of the Cowpens, and at daybreak the next morning [Jan. 11, 1849.] started for that interesting locality. I was informed that the place of conflict was among the hills of Thicketty Mountain, and near the plantation of Robert Scruggs. To that gentleman’s residence I directed my inquiries. After traversing a rough road, much of it, especially along the water-courses, of red clay, I began the ascent of Thicketty Mountain, upon the Mill-gap road, at the forks leading to Clarke’s iron-works and Rutherfordton. Here the ground was covered with snow, and I had no means of discriminating between the beaten track of the Mill-gap way and the numerous forks. I ought to have turned to the northwest after leaving the Rutherfordton Fork half a mile, and descended the northern slope of the mountain. Instead of that, I kept along the ridge road, skirted by the forest on each side, without any indication of habitation. For an hour I slowly traversed this gradually ascending way, and almost imperceptibly approached the summit of Thicketty Mountain, until convinced that I was not in the Mill-gap road. Far to the northward, some thirty miles distant, I could see the azure range of the Blue Ridge, near the Nut-gap, where the springs of the Broad River gush out from the mountains. They were covered with snow, and from their lofty summits came a keen breeze, like that of December at the North. The day was waning, and I had no time to lose in deliberation, so I turned back and sought a lateral road, toward the west, to the settlements below. Presently I heard the crying of a child, and looking in the direction of the sound, I saw some thin blue smoke curling among the trees near. I tied Charley to a laurel shrub, and soon discovered a log cabin, in front of which some children were at play. They fled at my approach, and the mother, a lusty mountaineer, whose husband was at work in the iron-beds which abound in that mountain, appeared astonished at the apparition of a stranger. From her I learned that I had left the Mill-gap road at least three miles back. By her direction I found it, and at about four o’clock reached the residence of Mr. Scruggs. His house is upon the Mill-gap road, and about half a mile west of a divergence of a highway leading to Spartanburg, the capital of Spartanburg District, in which the Cowpens 25 are situated.


Upon the gentle hills on the borders of Thicketty Creek, covered with pine woods, within a triangle, formed by the Spartanburg and Mill-gap roads, having a connecting cross-road for a base, the hottest part of the fight occurred. The battle ended within a quarter of a mile of Scruggs’s, where is now a cleared field, on the northeast side of the Mill-gap road, in the center of which was a log-house, as seen in the annexed engraving. The field was covered with blasted pines, stumps, and stocks of Indian corn, and had a most dreary appearance. 26 In this field, and along the line of conflict, a distance of about two miles, many bullets and other military relics have been found. Among other things I obtained a spur, which belonged to the cavalry of either Washington or Tarleton.

"Come listen a while, and the truth I’ll relate,
How brave General Morgan did Tarleton defeat;
For all his proud boasting, he forced was to fly,
When brave General Morgan his courage did try."

Revolutionary Song.

We have noted on page 390 the disposition which General Greene made of the "shadow of an army" (less than two thousand men) which he received from Gates. Brigadier-general Daniel Morgan, 27 an exceedingly active officer, who was placed in command of the Western division, was stationed, toward the close of 1780, in the country between the Broad and Pacolet Rivers, in Spartanburg District.

His division consisted of four hundred Continental infantry, under Lieutenant-colonel Howard of the Maryland line; two companies of the Virginia militia, under Captains Triplet and Tate; and the remnants of the first and third regiments of dragoons, one hundred in number, under Lieutenant-colonel William Washington. This force, at the time in question, was considerably augmented by North Carolina militia, under Major M‘Dowell, and some Georgia militia, under Major Cunningham. At the close of December [1780.], Morgan and his troops were encamped near the northern bank of the Pacolet, in the vicinity of Pacolet Springs. From this camp Lieutenant-colonel Washington frequently sallied out to smite and disperse bodies of Tories, who assembled at different points and plundered the Whig inhabitants. He attacked and defeated two hundred of them at Hammond’s store, and soon afterward a section of Washington’s command dispersed another Tory force under Bill Cunningham. Cornwallis, who was still at Winnsborough, perceived these successes with alarm, and apprehending a design upon his important post at Ninety-Six, over the Saluda, determined to disperse the forces under Morgan, or drive them into North Carolina, before he should rally the Mountain Men in sufficient numbers to cut off his communication with Augusta. He accordingly dispatched Tarleton with his legion of horse (three hundred and fifty in number), and the foot and light infantry attached to it, the 7th regiment, and the first battalion of the 71st, with two field pieces, to force Morgan to fight, or retreat beyond the Yadkin. Tarleton’s entire force consisted of about eleven hundred well-disciplined men, and in every particular he had the advantage of Morgan.

Tarleton commenced his march on the eleventh of January. The roads were in a very bad condition, and it was not until the fifteenth that he approached the Pacolet. He had crossed the Broad River near Turkey Creek, and advanced with all possible speed toward the camp of Morgan. That officer was at first disposed to dispute Tarleton’s passage of the Pacolet, but, informed of the superiority of his numbers, and that a portion had already crossed above him, he retreated hastily northward, and took post on the north side of Thicketty Mountain, near the Cowpens. Tarleton passed through the place of Morgan’s camp in the evening, a few hours after he had left [Jan. 16, 1781.], and leaving his baggage behind, he pressed eagerly forward in pursuit, riding all night, and making a circuit around the western side of Thicketty Mountain. Early the following morning [Jan. 17.], he captured two American videttes, and learned from them the place of Morgan’s encampment. At eight o’clock he came in sight of the advanced guard of the patriots, and fearing that Morgan might again retreat, and get safely across the Broad River, he resolved to attack him immediately, notwithstanding the fatigue of his troops.

The Americans were posted upon an eminence of gentle descent, covered with an open wood. They were rested, had breakfasted, and were thoroughly refreshed after their flight from the Pacolet. And now, expecting Tarleton, they were drawn up in battle order. On the crown of the eminence were stationed two hundred and ninety Maryland regulars, and on their right the two companies of Virginia militia, under Major Triplet. These composed the rear line of four hundred and thirty men, and were under the general command of Lieutenant-colonel Howard. 28 One hundred and fifty yards in advance of this line was a body of militia, about three hundred in number, all practiced riflemen, and burning with a spirit of revenge, because of the cruelties which the British and Tories had inflicted. A part of these were commanded by Captain Beatty and Samuel Hammond, of South Carolina. 29 They were commanded by Colonel Andrew Pickens, who, with his followers, had joined Morgan during the night. About one hundred and fifty yards in advance of this first line, were placed the best riflemen of the corps of M‘Dowell and Cunningham. Those on the right were commanded by Cunningham, and those on the left by M‘Dowell. These were directed to operate as circumstances should direct, after delivering their first fire, which was to be given when the British should be within one hundred and fifty yards. In the rear of the second line, under Howard, and behind an eminence of sufficient height to conceal them, 30 the American reserve was posted. These consisted of Washington’s cavalry, and M‘Call’s mounted militia of Georgia, armed with sabers.

Tarleton was rather disconcerted when he found that Morgan was prepared to fight him, for he expected to overtake him on a retreat. He rode cautiously forward to reconnoiter, but the shots of the advanced corps of riflemen obliged him to retire precipitately to his lines. Yet, feeling sure of an easy victory, Tarleton quickly arranged his line in battle order upon the Spartanburg road, within three hundred yards of Morgan’s first line. At this moment, Morgan, with solemn voice and sententious sentences, addressed his troops. He exhorted the militia of the first line to be steady, and fire with sure aim; and expressed his conviction that, if they would pour in two volleys at a killing distance, victory would be theirs. He addressed the second line in a similar manner, informed them that he had ordered the militia to fall back after delivering two volleys, and exhorted them not to be disconcerted by that movement. Then taking post with his line, near Lieutenant-colonel Howard, he awaited in silence the approach of the British van, already in motion. It consisted of the light troops and the legion infantry, with the 7th regiment, under Major Newmarsh. In the center of this line were the two pieces of artillery. Upon each flank was a troop of cavalry; and in the rear, as a reserve, was Major M‘Arthur, with the battalion of the 71st regiment and the remainder of the cavalry. Tarleton placed himself in the first line.

It was now about nine o’clock in the morning. The sun was shining warm and bright over the summits of Thicketty Mountain, and gave brilliancy to the martial array in the forests below. At a signal from Tarleton, his advance gave a loud shout, and rushed furiously to the contest, under cover of their artillery and an incessant discharge of musketry. The riflemen, under Cunningham and M‘Dowell, delivered their fire with terrible effect, and then fell back to the flanks of the first line under Pickens. The British still shouting, rushed Howard, and poured in a close fire upon the militia. These stood firm, until assailed with bayonets, when they fell back to the second line. M‘Call’s militia fled to their horses, while the remainder, under Pickens, took post upon Howard’s right. Upon the main body Tarleton now made a vigorous charge, and was met with equal valor and determination. The contest was close and severe, and the British line began to bend, when M‘Arthur, with the reserve, was ordered to advance. This movement reanimated the quailing Britons, and they plied ball and bayonet with incessant force. While the contest was raging, M‘Arthur attempted to gain the American flank under Colonel Howard. That officer perceived the movement and its intent, and instantly ordered his first company to charge the British 71st. His order was mistaken, and the company fell back. The whole line also gave way at the same moment, and Morgan ordered it to retreat to the eminence behind which the cavalry were posted. Tarleton, believing this maneuver to be a precursor of flight, ordered another charge, and, with shouts, his infantry rushed forward impetuously, in disorder. When close to Howard, that officer ordered his line to face about and give his pursuers a volley. Instantly a close and murderous fire laid many of the British line dead upon the earth, and the living, terrified by the unexpected movement, recoiled in confusion. Howard perceived the advantage of the moment, and followed it up with the bayonet. This decided the victory in favor of the Americans. At the same time, a portion of Tarleton’s cavalry having gained the rear of the Americans, fell upon M‘Call’s mounted militia.

Now was the moment for Lieutenant-colonel Washington 31 to act. With his cavalry, he struck the British horsemen a decisive blow, and drove them in confusion before him. The reserve, under M‘Arthur, were too much mixed up with the main forces of Tarleton, to present a rallying point, and the whole body retreated along the Mill-gap road to the place near Scruggs’s, delineated on page 430, then covered with an open wood like the ground where the conflict commenced. There the battle ended, and the pursuit was relinquished. It was near the northern border of that present open field that Washington and Tarleton had a personal conflict. In the eagerness of his pursuit of that officer, Washington had got far in advance of his squadron, when Tarleton and two of his aids, at the head of the troop of the 17th regiment of dragoons, turned upon him. An officer on Tarleton’s right was about to strike the impetuous Washington with his saber, when his sergeant came up and disabled the assailant’s sword-arm. An officer on Tarleton’s left was about to strike at the same moment, when Washington’s little bugler, too small to wield a sword, wounded the assailant with a pistol-ball. Tarleton, who was in the center, then made a thrust at him, which Washington parried, and gave his enemy a wound in the hand. 32 Tarleton wheeled, and, as he retreated, discharged a pistol, by which Washington was wounded in the knee. During that night and the following morning, the remnant of Tarleton’s force reached Hamilton’s Ford, on Broad River, and also the encampment of Cornwallis, at Turkey Creek, about twenty-five miles from the Cowpens. For this defeat, Tarleton’s cotemporaries censured him severely. 33

The loss of the Americans in this decisive battle was about seventy men, of whom, strange to say, only twelve were killed. The British, according to Cornwallis’s letter to Sir Henry Clinton, written a few days afterward, lost ten officers and ninety privates killed, and twenty-three officers and five hundred privates taken prisoners. Almost the whole of the British infantry, except the baggage guard, were killed or taken. The two pieces of artillery, 34 eight hundred muskets, two standards, thirty-five baggage wagons, and one hundred dragoon horses, fell into the possession of the Americans. 35 To the honor of the victors, it is declared that, notwithstanding the cruel warfare which Tarleton had waged had exasperated the Americans to the last degree, not one of the British was killed or wounded, or even insulted, after they had surrendered.

The defeat of the British at the Cowpens has not been inaptly compared to that of the Germans of Burgoyne’s army near Bennington. The disaster, in both cases, dealt a severe blow against the success of the main army. The battle near Bennington paralyzed the energies of Burgoyne’s army; the battle at the Cowpens equally affected the power of Cornwallis. He was advancing triumphantly toward the heart of North Carolina, having placed South Carolina, as he thought, in submission at his feet. The defeat of Ferguson at King’s Mountain, and now of Tarleton, his favorite partisan, withered his hopes of Tory organization and co-operation. His last hope was the destruction of Greene’s army by his own superior force, and for that purpose he now commenced the pursuit which we have considered in a preceding chapter, the capture of Morgan and his prisoners being his first object.

The victory of the Cowpens gave great joy to the Americans throughout the confederacy. Congress received information of it on the eighth of February [1781.], and on the ninth of March that body voted an award of a gold medal to Morgan; a silver medal to Howard and Washington; a sword to Colonel Pickens; and a vote of thanks to the other officers and men engaged in the battle. 36

It was almost sunset when I left the Cowpens to return to a house of entertainment upon the road to the Cherokee Ford, seven miles distant; for the resident there could not find a corner for me in his dwelling, nor for Charley in his stable, that cold night, "for love nor money," but generously proposed that I should send him a copy of my work when completed, because he lived upon the battle-ground. To a planter on horseback, from Spartanburg, who overtook me upon the road, I am indebted for kindness in pointing out the various localities of interest at the Cowpens; to the other for the knowledge that a small building near his house was the depository of a field-piece used by an artillery company in the vicinity, when celebrating the anniversary of the battle.

After dark, I reached the house of Mrs. Camp, where I was comfortably lodged for the night; and early the following morning, accompanied by one of her sons on horseback, I proceeded to the Cherokee Ford, on the Broad River, ten miles distant. The road was very rough most of the way, and quite hilly. At the ford, on the west side of the river, is a large iron manufactory. The ore is brought from the neighboring mountains, smelted there, and wrought into hollow-ware, nails, spikes, tacks, &c. Around the establishment quite a little village has grown up, and there, as at Matson’s Ford (Conshohocken), on the Schuylkill, where hostile parties were seen during the Revolution, and all around was a wilderness, the hum of busy industry is heard, and the smiles of cultivation are seen. Here, as we have observed (page 427), the Americans, who gained the victory at King’s Mountain, crossed this stream on the morning of the battle.

Before crossing the Broad River, the Eswawpuddenah of the Cherokee Indians, let us take a historical survey of the most important occurrences westward of this stream, in the beautiful country watered by the Tyger, the Ennoree, and the Saluda, and further on to the noble Savannah. Standing here upon the western selvage of civilization when the war broke out, and where the aborigines were sole masters but a few years before, let us glance, first, at the record of events which mark their conflicts with the over-reaching white race, who beat them back beyond the mountains. 37

We have already noticed, on page 356, the efforts of the Corees, Tuscaroras, and other Indians of the Neuse and Cape Fear region to expel the Europeans [1712.]. This conflict was soon succeeded by another, more serious in its character. For a while, the very existence of the Southern colony was menaced. The powerful nation of the Yamassees, who possessed the territory around Port Royal, where the French Huguenots first attempted settlement, had long evinced their friendship for the Carolinians, whose first settlement was in the neighborhood of the present city of Charleston, by engaging with them as allies in their wars against the Spaniards and some Indian tribes. The Spaniards at St. Augustine, who were the mortal enemies of the Carolinians, finally succeeded in uniting the Cherokees – "the mountaineers of aboriginal America" 38 – the Muscoghees, Apalachians, and other Indian nations, in a league for the destruction of the colony. They also won the confidence of the Yamassees, and suddenly that powerful tribe appeared in arms against the Carolinians. Already the Apalachian tribes, occupying a large portion of the present State of Georgia, instigated by the Spaniards, had desolated some of the frontier settlements [1703.]. Governor Moore, at the head of a body of Carolinians and friendly Indians, penetrated into the very heart of the Apalachian settlements, between the Savannah and the Alatamahaw Rivers. He laid their villages in ashes, devastated their plantations, slew about eight hundred people, and, with a large number of captives, marched back in triumph to Charleston. This invasion broke the spirit of the tribe, and made the power of the Carolinians thoroughly respected among their neighbors.

When the confederacy of the tribes of the upper country was effected, and the Yamassees lifted the hatchet against the white people [1715.], Governor Craven, who had promptly sent aid to the people of the northern {original text has "northen".} provinces, as promptly met the danger at his own door. So secretly had the confederation been formed, and their plans matured, that the first blow was struck, and almost a hundred people were slain, 39 before the Carolinians were aware of danger. The Yamassees, the Muscoghees or Creeks, and Apalachians, advanced along the southern frontier, spreading desolation in their track. The Cherokees, the Catawbas, and the Congarees joined them, and the Corees, and some of the Tuscaroras, also went out upon the war-path. Almost a thousand warriors issued from the Neuse region, while those of the southern division amounted to more than six thousand. Within forty days, the Indian tribes from the Cape Fear to the St. Mary’s, and westward to the Alabama, were banded together for the destruction of the colony at Ashley River.

Governor Craven, whose character was the reverse of his name, acted with the utmost energy when the confederation and its purposes were made known. He immediately proclaimed martial law; laid an embargo on all ships to prevent men or provisions from leaving the colony, and seizing arms wherever they could be found, placed them in the hands of faithful negroes, to co-operate with the white people. With twelve hundred men, white and black, he marched to confront the Indians, now approaching with the knife, hatchet, and torch, in dreadful activity. In the first encounters of his advanced parties with the enemy the Indians were victors, but Craven finally compelled them to fall back to their chief camp upon the Salk-hatchie, 40 whither the governor pursued them. Desperate were the conflicts which ensued, and for a while the victory was doubtful. The fate of the whole colony was suspended upon the result, and the Carolinians contended with all the energy of men fighting for life, home, and family. The Indians were repulsed, and, hotly pursued by the white people and their black aids, they were driven across the Savannah and sought shelter under the guns of the Spanish fortress at St. Augustine. No longer useful to them, the Spaniards drove their savage allies into the wilderness, and fearing to return to their hunting-grounds north of the Savannah, the Indians set up their wigwams among the everglades of Florida, and became, it is believed, the ancestors of the powerful Seminoles of our day.

When the division of the Carolinas occurred [1729.], and the southern portion became a royal province, the first care of the administration was to secure the friendship of the neighboring tribes. In 1730, an embassy under Sir Alexander Cumming, visited and explored the Cherokee country, three hundred miles from Charleston. They made a favorable impression, secured advantageous treaties, and laid, as they hoped, the foundation of a permanent peace. For twenty years the treaty remained unbroken. In 1755, the Cherokees renewed their treaty with the Carolinians, and at the same time made cessions to them of large tracts of land. Upon this ceded territory, stretching along the Savannah to the Tennessee River, Glenn, then governor of South Carolina, built forts, and named them respectively Prince George, 41 Moore, and Loudon. The first was upon the Savannah, three hundred miles from Charleston; the second was about one hundred and seventy miles below; and the latter was upon the waters of the Tennessee River, five hundred miles from Charleston. These forts were garrisoned by troops from Great Britain, and, promising security, settlements rapidly extended in that direction. They served to awe the Indian nations, and peace might have been always secured, had the white people exercised ordinary prudence. But one rash act scattered the power of treaties to the wind, and lighted the flames of war along the Carolina frontier.

In 1759, during the administration of Governor Lyttleton (afterward Lord Wescott), while a large party of the Cherokees, who had been assisting the English against the French on the Ohio, were returning home, they took possession of some horses from the back settlers of Virginia. The white people pursued them, killed a number of warriors, and took several captive. This violence exasperated the Indians, and they retaliated by scalping every white man whom they met. Parties of young warriors fell upon the border settlements of the Carolinas, and war was kindled along the whole frontier. Lyttleton called the Carolinians to arms. The Cherokee chiefs were alarmed, and sent a deputation to Charleston to appease the wrath of the English. Lasting friendship might have been at once secured had not Lyttleton indiscreetly refused to listen. He collected fourteen hundred men upon the Congaree, conducted the Cherokee delegation thither, under guard, and, extorting a pledge of peace and alliance, he returned to Charleston, after sending to Fort George twenty-two hostages, whom he had demanded for the delivery of the warriors who had desolated the border settlements. The Cherokees were very indignant, and the governor had scarcely reached his capital, when he received intelligence that fourteen white people had been murdered within a mile of Fort George. Soon the Cherokees surrounded that fortress, led on by Occonastota, a chief of great influence, and the implacable enemy of the English. Perceiving the power of his arms to be vain, he had recourse to stratagem. Withdrawing his warriors, he spread them in ambush, and while conferring with the commander of the garrison and two other officers, whom he had decoyed to the margin of a stream by expressions of friendship, he gave a signal, and instantly they were surrounded by armed savages. The commander was slain, and the other two were wounded and made prisoners. The garrison proceeded to put the hostages in irons. They made a deadly resistance, and were all slain. This event maddened the whole Indian nation, and, with gleaming hatchets, they swept along the Carolina frontier like the scythe of Death. Men, women, and children were butchered without mercy; and the war-belt was sent to the Catawbas and other tribes, inviting them to confederate for the extermination of the English.

About this time, Charleston was severely scourged by the small-pox, and was too weak to send efficient succor to the frontiers. Lyttleton had been appointed governor of Jamaica, and, sailing for that island about this time, was succeeded by William Bull, a native Carolinian. Bull sent to Virginia and North Carolina for aid, and those states furnished seven troops of rangers for the service. These, with the British regulars under Colonel Montgomery (afterward Earl of Eglinton), sent from Canada by General Amherst, marched into the Indian country. Before proceeding, Montgomery rendezvoused at Monk’s Corner [April, 1760.], near Charleston, where volunteers flocked to his standard. The Cherokees were advised of these preparations for invading their territory, and were at first uneasy. Their beautiful domain spread out between the Broad and Savannah Rivers, and was fenced in by rugged mountains. They had then sixty-four towns and villages, and upon an emergency could call six thousand warriors to the field. Reflecting upon this force, they felt strong. Montgomery, with only two thousand men, proceeded against the Indians. In several engagements he chastised them severely, and pressed on to the relief of Fort Prince George, then closely invested by the red warriors. The Indians fled at his approach toward the secure fastnesses of the mountains and morasses, and hither Montgomery pursued them. The wilderness was vast and fearful over which he marched, and the streams to be forded were often deep and turbid. The enemy finally made a stand at Etchoee, the nearest town of their middle settlements. Within five miles of this village a severe battle was fought. The Cherokees fell back slowly before the cold bayonet; and when they saw the English pressing toward the town, they fled thither precipitately, to save their women and children. Montgomery, feeling unsafe in that far off and desolate region, returned to Fort Prince George, and from thence toward Charleston. All the way to the populous settlements, he was annoyed by the Indians, who hung upon his rear, and the purpose of the campaign was only half accomplished. Montgomery and his regulars soon afterward returned to New York.

While this retreat was in progress, the distant post of Fort Loudon, on the Tennessee, was invested by the Cherokees. The garrison of two hundred men was daily melting away by famine. The Virginia Rangers attempted its relief, but without success. The garrison finally surrendered. Safe guidance to the frontier settlements, with ammunition and other baggage was promised them; but they had gone only a short distance on their way, when their guides forsook them, and another body of Indians fell upon and massacred twenty-six of them. A few escaped, and Stuart, their commander, and some others, remained captives a long time.

The Cherokees were now willing to treat for peace, but the French had sent emissaries among them, who kept their fears and animosities constantly excited. Soon the war was renewed with all its former violence, while Carolina was left almost wholly to her own resources. She raised a provincial regiment of twelve hundred men, and gave the command to Colonel Middleton, a brave and accomplished officer. Among his subordinates were Henry Laurens, Francis Marion, William Moultrie, Isaac Huger, and Andrew Pickens, all of whom were very distinguished patriots during the Revolution. This was their first military school, and the lessons they were there taught were very useful in a subsequent hour of need. When this little band was ready to march into the Cherokee country, Colonel James Grant, with the regiments formerly commanded by Montgomery, landed at Charleston [April, 1761.]. The united forces of Grant and Middleton, with some of the Chickasaw and Catawba Indians as allies, in all twenty-six hundred men, reached Fort Prince George on the twenty-ninth of May. Nine days afterward [June 7.] they advanced toward Etchoee, where, upon the ground where Montgomery fought them, a large body of Cherokees were gathered. Well skilled in the use of fire-arms, and now well supplied by the French, they presented a formidable front. They also had the advantage of superior position, and the battle which ensued was severe and bloody. For three hours the conflict raged in that deep wilderness; and it was not until the deadly bayonet, in the hands of desperate men, was brought to bear upon the Indians, that they gave way. Inch by inch they fell back, until finally, completely overpowered, they fled, hotly pursued by their conquerors. How many were slain is not known; the English lost nearly sixty men. Like Sullivan in the Seneca country, Grant followed up his victory with the torch. Etchoee was laid in ashes; the cornfields and granaries were destroyed, and the wretched people were driven to the barren mountains. 42 So terrible was the punishment, that the name of Grant was to them a synonym for devastation.

By this victory, the spirit of the Cherokee Nation was broken, and the French, whose machinations had urged them to continued hostilities, were hated and despised by them. Through the venerable sachem, Attakullakulla, who had remained a friend of the white people, the chiefs of the Nation humbly sued for peace. "The Great Spirit," said the old man, "is the father of the white man and the Indian; as we all live in one land, let us all live as one people." His words of counsel were heeded; a treaty of amity was concluded, and a bloody war was ended. The Treaty of Paris, between the English and French, was concluded in 1763, and, except the feeble Spaniards on the South, the Cherokees had no enemies of the English thereafter to excite them to war.

From 1761, until the war of the Revolution commenced, the Indians upon the Carolina and Georgia frontiers were generally quiet and peaceful. Pursuant to the secret instructions which the royal governors received from the British ministry, to band the Indians against the colonists, Tory emissaries went up from the sea-board and excited the Cherokees and their neighbors to go upon the war-path. Among the most active and influential of these emissaries of the crown was John Stuart, a Scotchman, and at that time his majesty’s Indian agent for the Southern colonies. 43 Stuart arranged a plan with Wright, Campbell, Martin, Dunmore, and other royal governors, to land a British army at St. Augustine, in Florida, which, uniting with the Indians and Tories, might invade the state at an interior point, while a fleet should blockade its harbors, and land an invading army on the sea-board. This plan was discovered by the Carolinians, but not in time entirely to defeat it; for, when Parker and Clinton made their attack upon Charleston [June 28, 1776.], the Cherokees commenced a series of massacres upon the western frontiers of the province. Already a few stockade forts had been erected in that section, and to these the terrified borderers fled for safety. Colonel Williamson, of the district of Ninety-Six, who was charged with the defense of the upper country, raised about five hundred true men, and in his first skirmish with the Indians, in which he took some prisoners, discovered thirteen white men, Tories, disguised as savages, and wielding the tomahawk and scalping knife. The indignation excited against these men extended to their class, and this discovery was the beginning of those bloody scenes between bands of Whigs and Tories which characterized many districts of South Carolina. The domestic feuds which ensued were pregnant with horrid results; the ferocity of the tiger usurped the blessed image of God in the hearts of men, and made them brutes, with fearful power to be brutal.

When intelligence of the affair at Charleston reached the interior, the patriots were encouraged, and Williamson soon found himself at the head of a force of twelve hundred men, and daily augmenting. With a detachment of three hundred horsemen, he proceeded to attack an Indian and Tory force at Oconoree Creek. He fell into an ambuscade, and himself and companions narrowly escaped destruction. His horse was shot under him; his squadron were thrown into disorder; and but for the skill and coolness of Colonel Hammond in rallying them, they would have been routed, and many slain. They were victorious, and shortly after this event, Williamson marched, with two thousand men, to lay waste the Cherokee country. Again he fell into an ambuscade, in a narrow defile among the rugged mountains, near the present town of Franklin. From the rocky heights, and from behind the huge trees of the forest, twelve hundred warriors, with some Tories, poured a destructive fire upon the Whigs. But again the Indians were repulsed, and Williamson pressed forward cautiously but efficiently in the work of conquest and desolation. The valleys were smiling with crops of corn, and numerous villages dotted the water-courses. Towns were laid in ashes; the standing corn was trampled down and destroyed; and over all the Indian settlements eastward of the Apalachian Mountains, the broom of desolation swept with terrible effect. The destruction of food invited famine to a revel, and, to avoid starvation, five hundred warriors crossed the Savannah and fled to the Loyalists in Florida.

In the mean while, General Rutherford, of North Carolina, with a force fully equal to Williamson’s, crossed the Blue Ridge at Swannanoa Gap, and proceeded to the valley of the Tennessee River, laying waste the Indian country on the line of his march. There he joined Williamson on the fourteenth of September. The work of destruction being completed, Rutherford returned to Salisbury in October, where he disbanded his troops. The conquest was consummate. The Cherokees sued for peace, but they had no Attakullakulla to intercede for them, for he had gone down into silence. They were compelled to submit to the most abject humiliation, and to cede to South Carolina all their lands beyond the mountains of Unacaya, now comprised within the fertile districts of Greenville, Anderson, and Pickens, watered by the tributaries of the Savannah, the Saluda, and the Ennoree. 44

Only once again did the Cherokees lift the hatchet, during the war. In 1781, British emissaries induced them to go upon the war-path. With a large number of disguised white men, they fell upon the inhabitants in Ninety-Six, massacred some families, and burned their houses. General Pickens, with a party of militia, penetrated the Cherokee country, and in the space of fourteen days he burned thirteen of their villages, killed more than forty of the Indians, and took nearly seventy of them prisoners. They sued for peace, promised never to listen to the British again, and from that time they remained quiet. 45

The spirit of the North Carolina Regulators was infused into the back settlers of South Carolina, beyond the Broad River, and about 1769, the leading men of that region took the law into their own hands. To suppress their rising power and importance, the governor employed a man of low habits, but of haughty demeanor, named Scovill, to go thither and enforce the laws of the province. He gave him the commission of colonel, and, with the mistaken policy of a narrow mind, he used rigorous measures, instead of evincing forbearance and a spirit of conciliation. The sufferings which they endured made them reprobate all government, and when asked to espouse the cause of Congress, they refused, on the ground that all congresses or instruments of government are arbitrary and tyrannical. These formed the basis of the Tory ascendency in that section of the state at the beginning of the war; and before the names of Whig and Tory became distinctive appellations, the name of Scovillites was applied to those who opposed the Republicans. There were also many Dutch settlers between the Broad and Saluda Rivers, who had received bounty lands from the king. Government emissaries persuaded these settlers to believe that an espousal of the rebel cause would be the sure precursor of the loss of their lands. These augmented the loyal population when the inhabitants were called upon to make a political decision. Still another class, the Scotch-Irish Protestants, had experienced the bounty of the king, and these, with a feeling of gratitude, adhered to the royal government. Over all these, Lord William Campbell, the royal governor when the war broke out, had unbounded influence, and probably in not one of the thirteen colonies was loyalty more rampant and uncompromising than in South Carolina. Many, whose feelings were all in harmony with the opposers of royal rule, were urged by self-interest to remain quiet; for they felt secure in person and property under present circumstances, and feared the result of commotion. Thus active and passive loyalty sat like an incubus upon the real patriotism of South Carolina; and yet, in every portion of the state, the Tories were outnumbered by the Whigs, except in the section we are now considering, between the Broad and Saluda Rivers. The inhabitants there could not be persuaded to furnish men and arms for the army of Congress, nor to sign the American Association.

Early in 1776, William Henry Drayton, 46 Colonel William Thomson, Colonel Joseph Kershaw, and Reverend William Tennent were sent by the Council of Safety at Charleston into that district, to explain to the people the nature of the dispute. Emissaries of government counteracted their influence by persuading the people that the inhabitants of the seaboard desired to get their tea free of duty, while those in the interior would be obliged to pay a high rate for salt, osnaburgs, and other imported necessaries. The baneful seeds of suspicion and mutual distrust were sown broad-cast among the settlers. The men of each party banded together in fear of the violence of the other, and soon opposing camps were formed. Moderate men endeavored to prevent bloodshed, and a conference of their respective leaders was finally effected. A treaty of mutual forbearance was agreed to, and for a while agitation almost ceased. But restless spirits were busy. Among these, Robert and Patrick Cunningham, 47 Tory leaders, were the most active, and they soon disturbed the repose of party suspicion and animosity. By their machinations, it was aroused to wakefulness. The Whigs, fearful of Robert Cunningham’s influence, seized and conveyed him to Charleston, where he was imprisoned. His brother Patrick raised a force to attempt a rescue.

At about this time, a thousand pounds of powder, on its way as a present to the Cherokees, was seized by these Loyalists. This excited the already vigorous efforts of the Council of Safety to more efficient measures. Colonel Williamson (the same officer who chastised the Cherokees), with a party of patriots, was sent to regain the powder. They seized Patrick Cunningham, the leader, when the Tories gathered in strength, and drove Williamson into a stockade fort at Ninety-Six. After remaining there some days, an agreement for a cessation of hostilities was concluded, and both parties dispersed to their homes.

The treaty at Ninety-Six was soon violated by the Tories, when the Provincial Congress, resolving no longer to rely upon words, sent a large body of militia and newly-raised regulars, under Colonels Richardson 48 and Thomson, 49 to apprehend the leaders of the party which seized the powder, and to do all other things necessary to suppress the present and future insurrections. 50 They were joined by seven hundred militia from North Carolina, under Colonels Thomas Polk and Griffith Rutherford, and two hundred and twenty regulars, commanded by Colonel James Martin. This was a wise step. It gave the Tories an exalted idea of the strength of the friends of government, and entirely destroyed their organization. Colonel Richardson used his discretionary powers with mildness. The most obstinate leaders were seized and carried to Charleston. Quiet was restored, and the Loyalists made no demonstration of moment until after the reduction of Savannah, when a considerable party arose in favor of the royal government, having for their leader Colonel Boyd, who had been secretly employed by the British government to head the Tories. These were routed and dispersed at Kettle Creek, while on their way to the British posts in Georgia. This event will be noticed in detail hereafter. From that time until the British took possession of Charleston, in 1780, the Tories remained rather quiet upon their plantations. On the eighteenth of August, 1780, Colonel Williams (who was killed at King’s Mountain a few weeks afterward), with Colonels Shelby and Clarke, attacked quite a large body of British under Colonel Innis and Major Fraser, near Musgrove’s Mill, upon the Ennoree River, in the northeast corner of Laurens’s District. Many Tories were collected there, and were joined on the seventeenth by Innis and Fraser. The whole force was about three hundred strong, and were encamped upon the south side of the river, where they commanded a bad, rocky ford. The Americans, whose force was much less, took post upon the north side, upon a small creek which empties into the Ennoree just below the Spartanburg line, about two miles above Musgrove’s Mill. It was agreed that Williams should have the chief command. He drew up his little army in ambush, in a semicircle within a wood, and then proceeded to entice his enemy across the river. For this purpose he took a few picked men, appeared at the ford, and fired upon the enemy. The stratagem was successful. Innis immediately crossed the ford to dislodge the "rebels." Williams and his party retreated, hotly pursued by Innis until within the area of the patriot ambuscade, when a single shot by Colonel Shelby gave the signal for attack. With a loud shout, the concealed Americans arose, and within two minutes the Tories were completely surrounded. Colonel Innis was slightly wounded, but with the larger part of his regulars he escaped. Major Fraser was killed, with eighty-five others. Colonel Clary, the commander of the militia, escaped, but most of his men were made prisoners. The Americans lost four men killed and eleven wounded. After this victory, Williams, with the prisoners, encamped at the Cedar Spring, in Spartanburg District, and from thence proceeded to Charlotte. Williams and Clarke returned to the western frontier, and the prisoners, under Major Hammond, marched to Hillsborough.

General Sumter, 51 after his defeat at the mouth of the Fishing Creek, on the Catawba, in August, 1780 [Aug. 18.], collected a small volunteer force at Sugar Creek. Although, when the defeat of Gates at Camden was effected, there was no regular army in the field in South Carolina for three months, Sumter with his volunteers, maintained a warfare, and kept up the spirit of liberty upon the waters of the Broad River and vicinity for a long time. He crossed that stream, and by rapid marches ranged the country watered by the Ennoree and Tyger Rivers, in the neighborhood of the Broad. His men were all mounted. They would strike a blow in one place to-day; to-morrow, their power would be felt far distant. Marion was engaged, at the same time, in similar service in the lower country; while Clarke and Twiggs of Georgia, and Williams, Pickens, and others of Ninety-Six, were equally active. The utmost vigilance of Cornwallis, then at Winnsborough, was necessary to maintain a communication between his various posts. While Tarleton was engaged in endeavors to find, fight, and subdue Marion, the "Swamp Fox," then making his valor felt on and near the banks of the Santee, Cornwallis perceived the operations of Sumter with alarm. He surmised (what was really the fact) that Sumter designed to attack his fort at Ninety-Six; he accordingly detached Major Wemyss, a bold and active officer, to surprise the partisan, then on the east side of the Broad River, at Fish Dam Ford, in Chester District, fifty-three miles from Camden. Wemyss, with a considerable force of well-mounted men, reached the vicinity on the evening of the 11th of November [1780.]. Fearing Sumter might be apprised of his proximity before morning, and cross the river, Wemyss resolved to attack him at midnight, and immediately formed his corps for battle. At about one o’clock in the morning, he rushed upon Sumter’s camp. That vigilant officer was prepared to receive him. Colonel Taylor, who commanded Sumter’s advanced guard, had taken particular precautions. The horses were all saddled and bridled, ready to retreat or pursue, as circumstances might require. This preparation astonished the British, for they believed their approach was unknown. As soon as they were within rifle shot, Sumter gave a signal; a deadly volley ensued, and twenty-three of the enemy were laid dead upon the field. The British recoiled, but rallying in a moment, they renewed the attack. A hot skirmish ensued, when the British gave way and retreated precipitately, leaving their commander (who was wounded at the first attack), with many slain and wounded comrades, upon the field. Major Wemyss was found the next morning, bleeding profusely. The blood was stanched, and, notwithstanding he had been guilty of various cruelties toward the Whigs, and in his pocket was a list of houses he had burned, Sumter treated him kindly, and allowed him to go to Charleston on parole.

Sumter now prepared to cross the Broad River, for the purpose of effecting his design upon Ninety-Six. He had agreed with Colonels Clarke, Twiggs, and others, from Georgia, to join them on the west side of the Broad River, and proceed to invest that post. For the purpose of covering this expedition, and deceiving the British, he first approached and menaced Camden, and then wheeling, by forced marches he crossed the Broad River and joined Clarke and his associates between the Tyger and Ennoree. Sumter took the command of the whole, and had crossed the Ennoree, when he was intercepted by Tarleton. Cornwallis, alarmed for the safety of Ninety-Six, had recalled that officer from the expedition against Marion, and ordered him to proceed immediately in pursuit of Sumter. With his usual celerity, Tarleton soon crossed the Broad River, and, pushing up the southern side of the Ennoree, attempted to gain Sumter’s rear. A deserter from the British infantry informed that officer of the approach and design of Tarleton, and he immediately ordered a retreat. Backward they turned, but so near was the enemy, that, while crossing the Ennoree, the rear guard of the Americans were handled roughly by Tarleton’s van. They escaped, however, with a trifling loss. Sumter continued his retreat until he reached the plantation of Blackstocks, on the southwest side of the Tyger River (in the extreme western part of Union District), still closely pursued by Tarleton. That place appeared favorable for a small force to do battle, and Sumter resolved there to face his pursuers, maintain his ground during the day, if possible, and, if compelled to retreat, to cross the river at night. Tarleton did not approach as early as was apprehended, and it was near the close of the afternoon [Nov. 20, 1780.], when, with about four hundred of his command, he appeared near Blackstocks’s. He was in such haste to overtake Sumter before he should cross the Tyger, that he pressed forward without waiting for the remainder of his force. He found the Americans upon a hill near Blackstocks’s house, ready for battle and determined to fight. Major Jackson, of Georgia, who acted as Sumter’s volunteer aid on that occasion, assisted him essentially in the proper formation of his troops, and in directing their movements.

In Sumter’s front was a very steep bank, with a small rivulet at its base, a fence, and some brush wood. His rear, and part of his right flank, was upon Tyger River; his left was covered by a large log-barn. Tarleton took position upon an eminence near by, and, believing the victory for himself quite sure, he leisurely prepared to attack the Americans, as soon as the remainder of his command should arrive. When Sumter perceived that the whole of Tarleton’s force was not with him, he determined not to wait to be attacked, but to act on the offensive. He issued his orders hastily, and in a few minutes his troops descended suddenly from the hill, and poured a well-directed fire upon the British. The latter met the unexpected shock with great valor, and then rushed upon the American riflemen with bayonets. These fell back in good order, when a reserve of riflemen, with a second volley, slew many of the British, and repulsed the remainder. Tarleton, now observing the peril of his little army, charged directly up the hill with his cavalry. The Americans stood firm, and, making sure aim with their rifles, drove the cavalry back beyond the rivulet. Tarleton, amazed at the result, drew off his whole force, then, wheeling his cavalry, made a furious charge upon Sumter’s left flank, where the hill was less precipitous. Here he was met by a little band of one hundred and fifty Georgia militia, under Twiggs and Jackson, who, like veterans of many wars, stood firm, and made a noble resistance for a long time, 52 until hoof, and saber, and pistol, bore too hard upon them, and they gave way. At that moment, the rifles of a reserve, under Colonel Winn, and a sharp fire from the log-barn, decided the day. Tarleton fled, leaving nearly two hundred upon the field. Of these, more than ninety were killed, and nearly one hundred wounded. The Americans lost only three killed and five wounded. Among the latter was General Sumter, who received a ball in his breast early in the action, and was taken to the rear, when Colonel Twiggs assumed the command. Though Sumter’s wound was severe, and kept him from the field for several months afterward, it did not completely disable him at the time. Without waiting for the remainder of Tarleton’s force to come up, Sumter, as soon as he had buried the dead, and made the wounded of the enemy as comfortable as possible, forded the swift-flowing Tyger, bearing his wounded on litters, and continued his retreat to the eastern side of the Broad River, where a large portion of his followers separated, some to go home, others to join new commanders. He proceeded into North Carolina, and remained there until his wounds were healed. The Georgians turned westward, and marched along the base of the mountains toward Ninety-Six. The valorous achievements of Sumter (several more of which will be noticed in detail hereafter) during the campaign of 1780 acquired for him the title of the Carolina Gamecock. Cornwallis was obliged to speak of him as the most troublesome of his enemies. On the thirteenth of January, 1781, Congress passed a very complimentary resolution of thanks to him and his men, in the preamble of which, his victory at Hanging Rock, and his defeat of Wemyss and Tarleton, are particularly mentioned. 53 With these latter events ended all the important military operations westward of the Broad River, and north of the Saluda. 54 The day is waning; let us cross the Eswawpuddenah, and resume our journey.



1 The song called "The Battle of King’s Mountain," from which these lines are taken, was very popular in the Carolinas until some years after the close of the war. It was sung with applause at political meetings, wedding parties, and other gatherings, where the ballad formed a part of the proceedings. Mr. M‘Elwees, an old man of eighty-seven, who fought under Sumter, and with whom I passed an evening, within two miles of King’s Mountain, remembered it well, and repeated the portion here given.

2 These are Randolph, Montgomery, Richmond, Davidson, Stanley, Anson, Cabarras, Rowan, Iredell, Mecklenburg, and Lincoln, all east of the Catawba.

3 This view is from the western bank of the Catawba, looking down the stream.

4 See page 391.

5 The sides of this peak are very precipitous, and its top is accessible to man only upon one side.

6 This view is from the foot of the hill, whereon the hottest of the fight occurred. The north slope of that eminence is seen on the left. In the center, within a sort of basin, into which several ravines converge, is seen the simple monument erected to the memory of Ferguson and others; and in the foreground, on the right, is seen the great tulip-tree, upon which, tradition says, ten Tories were hung.

7 The range known as King’s Mountain extends about sixteen miles from north to south, with several spurs spreading laterally in each direction. One of these extends to the Broad River, near the Cherokee Ford, where I crossed that stream on my return from the Cowpens. Many of its spurs abound in marble and iron, and from its bosom a great number of streams, the beginning of rivers, gush out. The battle-ground is about twelve miles northwest of Yorkville, and one hundred and ninety from Charleston.

8 The Wateree River is that portion of the Catawba which flows through South Carolina. It is the Catawba to the dividing-line of the states, and, after its junction with the Congaree, is called the Santee. The Congaree is formed by a union of the Broad and Saluda Rivers at Columbia, the head of steam-boat navigation upon the Santee and Congaree, from the ocean.

9 This was the regiment that behaved so gallantly at the battle of Guilford.

10 The pioneers who had settled in the wilderness beyond the mountains, now Kentucky and Tennessee, were called Mountain Men.

11 While Ferguson was in Spartanburg District, on his way toward Gilbert Town, a detachment of his little army had a severe skirmish with Colonel Clarke and his men at Greene’s Spring. Clarke and his company, some two hundred in number, had stopped at the plantation of Captain Dillard, who was one of them, and, after partaking of refreshments, proceeded to Greene’s Spring. The same evening Ferguson arrived at Dillard’s, whose wife soon learned, from the conversation of some of his men, that they knew where Clarke was encamped, and intended to surprise him that night. She hastily prepared supper for Ferguson and his men, and while they were eating she stole from the room, bridled a young horse, and, without a saddle, rode to the encampment of Clarke, and warned him of impending danger. In an instant every man was at his post, prepared for the enemy. Very soon Colonel Dunlap, with two hundred picked mounted men, sent by Ferguson, fell upon the camp of Clarke. Day had not yet dawned, and the enemy were greatly surprised and disconcerted when they found the Americans fully prepared to meet them. For fifteen minutes the conflict raged desperately in the gloom, when the Tories were repulsed with great slaughter, and the survivors hastened back to Ferguson’s camp.

12 Those of his recruits who were without arms Ferguson furnished with rifles. Some of them so fixed the large knives which they usually carried about them, in the muzzle of their rifles, as to be used as bayonets, if occasion should require.

13 General Joseph Graham, who lived in the vicinity of King’s Mountain, and knew many of those who were employed in the battle, wrote a graphic account of the events connected with that affair. His account is published in Foote’s Sketches of North Carolina, page 264-269, inclusive.

14 The M‘Dowells were all brave men. Joseph and William, the brothers of Charles, were with him in the battle on King’s Mountain. Their mother, Ellen M‘Dowell, was a woman of remarkable energy. Mrs. Ellet relates that on one occasion some marauders carried off some property during the absence of her husband. She assembled some of her neighbors, started in pursuit., and recovered the property. When her husband was secretly making gunpowder in a cave, she burned the charcoal for the purpose upon her own hearth, and carried it to him. Some of the powder thus manufactured was used in the battle on King’s Mountain. – Women of the Revolution, iii., 356.

15 General Gates sent a copy of this report to Governor Jefferson for his perusal, and desired him to forward it to Congress. His letter to Jefferson is dated Hillsborough, November 1, 1780.

16 Isaac Shelby was born on the eleventh of December, 1750, near the North Mountain, a few miles from Hagerstown, in Maryland. His ancestors were from Wales. He learned the art of surveying, and at the age of twenty-one years settled in Western Virginia. He was with his father, Evan Shelby, in the battle at Point Pleasant, in 1774. He was afterward employed as a surveyor under Henderson & Co., in Kentucky. In July, 1776, he was appointed captain of a company of minute-men by the Virginia Committee of Safety. Governor Henry appointed him a commissary of supplies in 1777, and in 1778 he was attached to the Continental Commissary Department. In the spring of 1779, he was elected a member of the Virginia Legislature, from Washington county, and in the autumn Governor Jefferson gave him the commission of a major. He was engaged in defining the boundary-line between Virginia and North Carolina, the result of which placed his residence in the latter state. Governor Caswell soon afterward appointed him a colonel of the new county of Sullivan. In the summer of 1780, he was engaged in locating lands for himself in Kentucky, when he heard of the fall of Charleston. He returned home to engage in repelling the invaders. He raised three hundred mounted riflemen, crossed the mountains, and joined Colonel Charles M‘Dowell, near the Cherokee Ford, on the Broad River. In that vicinity he was very active, until he joined other officers of like grade in an attack upon Major Ferguson, on King’s Mountain. Colonel Shelby soon afterward suggested to Greene the expedition which resulted so brilliantly at the Cowpens. In the campaign of 1781, Shelby served under Marion, and was in the skirmish at Monk’s Corner. Colonel Shelby was a member of the North Carolina Legislature in 1782; and ten years afterward, he was among the framers of the Constitution of Kentucky. In May of that year, he was elected the first governor of the new state. He served one term with great distinction; and in 1812, consented again to an election to the chief magistracy of Kentucky. His energy and Revolutionary fame aroused the patriotism of his state when the war with Great Britain broke out. At the head of four thousand volunteers, he marched to the shores of Lake Erie, to assist General Harrison in his warfare with the British and Indians in the Northwest. During the whole war, his services were great and valuable in the highest degree; and for his bravery at the battle of the Thames, Congress honored him with a gold medal. In 1817, President Monroe appointed him his Secretary of War, but on account of his age (being then sixty-seven), he declined the honor. His last public act was that of holding a treaty with the Chickasaw Indians, in 1818, in which General Jackson was his colleague. He was attacked with paralysis, in February, 1820, which somewhat disabled him. He died of apoplexy, on the eighteenth of July, 1826, at the age of seventy-six years. Shelby county, in Kentucky, was named in honor of him in 1792. A college at Shelbyville also hears his name. The Legislature of North Carolina voted him a sword. It was presented by Henry Clay in 1813.

17 Colonel Charles M‘Dowell. His brother, Major M‘Dowell, commanded his regiment till his return.

18 CAMPBELL was a native of Augusta, Virginia. He was of Scotch descent, and possessed all the fire of his Highland ancestors. He was among the first of the regular troops raised in Virginia in 1775, and was honored with a captain’s commission. In 1776, he was made lieutenant colonel of the militia of Washington county, and, on the resignation of Evan Shelby, the father of Governor Shelby, he was promoted to colonel. That rank he retained until after the battle on King’s Mountain and at Guilford, in both of which he greatly distinguished himself, when he was promoted by the Virginia Legislature to the rank of brigadier. La Fayette gave him the command of a brigade of riflemen and light infantry. He was taken sick a few weeks before the siege of Yorktown, and soon afterward died at the house of a friend. He was only in the thirty-sixth year of his age when he died. His military career, like those of Warren and Montgomery, was short, but brilliant, and on all occasions bravery marked his movements. Foote relates that in the battle on King’s Mountain he rode down two horses, and at one time was seen on foot, with his coat off, and his shirt collar open, fighting at the head of his men. He also says, that on one occasion Senator Preston, of South Carolina, a grandson of Campbell, was breakfasting at a house near King’s Mountain, and, while eating, the old landlady frequently turned to look at him. She finally asked him his name, and remarked, apologetically, that he appeared very much like the man she had most dreaded upon earth. "And who is that?" Preston inquired. "Colonel Campbell," replied the old lady, "that hung my husband at King’s Mountain." *

* Sketches of North Carolina, page 271.

19 James Williams was a native of Granville county, in North Carolina. He settled upon Little River, Laurens District, in South Carolina, in 1773, where he engaged in the pursuit of a farmer and merchant. He early espoused the patriot cause. Williams first appears as a colonel in the militia, in April, 1778. In the spring of 1779, he went into actual service, and he was probably at the siege of Savannah. He was with Sumter in 1780, but does not seem to have been permanently attached to the corps of that partisan. In the early part of that year, he was engaged in the battle at Musgrove’s mill, on the Ennoree River. After that engagement, he went to Hillsborough, where he raised a corps of cavalry and returned to South Carolina; and during Ferguson’s movements, after crossing the Wateree, Williams continually hovered around his camp. In the sanguinary battle upon King’s Mountain, he was slain. He was near Major Ferguson and both officers received their death-wound at the same moment. He died on the morning after the battle, and was buried within two miles of the place where he fell. Tradition says that his first words, when reviving a little soon after he was shot, were, "For God’s sake, boys, don’t give up the hill!"

20 Colonel Williams had just been joined by sixty men from Lincoln, under Colonel Hambrite and Major Chronicle.

21 Joseph Winston was a native of North Carolina, and was the first senator in the Republican Legislature, from Stokes county. He was a member of Congress from 1793 to 1795, and again from 1803 to 1807. He died in 1814.

22 John Sevier was descended from an ancient French family. The original orthography of the name was Xavier. His father settled on the Shenandoah, in Virginia, where this son was born, about 1740. In 1769, he accompanied an exploring party to East Tennessee, where, with his father and brother, he settled on the Holston River. He aided in the construction of Fort Watauga; and while in that fortress as commander, bearing the title of captain, he caught a wife! One day, in June, 1776, he saw a young lady speeding, like a fawn, toward the fort, closely pursued by Cherokees, under "Old Abraham." She leaped the palisades, and fell into the arms of the gallant captain. Her name was Catharine Sherrill; and in 1779 she became the second wife of Sevier, by whom he had ten children. Sevier was with Shelby at the battle of Point Pleasant, in 1774. During the first five years of the war, he was an active Whig partisan, on the mountain frontier of the Carolinas, was raised to the rank of colonel, and greatly distinguished himself at King’s Mountain. He was in the battle near Musgrove’s Mills, and early in the following year he chastised some of the turbulent Indians among the mountains. At the close of the war, he received the commission of brigadier; and he was so much beloved by the people, that by acclamation he was acknowledged governor of the "State of FRANKLIN" or FRANKLAND." * He was so often engaged in treaties with the Indians, that they called him the treaty-maker. When the State of Tennessee was organized, and admitted into the Union, Sevier was elected its first governor. In 1811, he was elected to a seat in Congress, with Felix Grundy and John Rhea, and in 1813 was re-elected. During the war, Madison appointed him Indian commissioner, and while engaged in his duties, near Fort Decatur, on the east side of the Tallapoosa River, he died, on the twenty-fourth of September, 1815. Under the direction of the late General Gaines, he was buried with the honors of war. No stone marks his grave; but in the Nashville cemetery, a handsome marble monument to his memory has lately been erected. Upon the monument is the following inscription "SEVIER, noble and successful defender of the early settlers of Tennessee; the first, and for twelve years governor; representative in Congress; commissioner in many treaties with the Indians. He served his country faithfully for forty years, and in that service died. An admirer of patriotism and merit unrequited erects this cenotaph."

* At the close of the Revolution, that portion of North Carolina bordering East Tennessee contained quite a large and exceedingly active population. Dissatisfied with the course pursued by North Carolina, they called a convention, adopted a Constitution, and organized a state government, which they called FRANKLAND, in honor of Dr. Franklin. They chose John Sevier for governor, and organized a judiciary, &c. When informed of this movement, Governor Caswell issued a proclamation against "this lawless thirst for power," and denounced it as a revolt. But the mountaineers did not heed official menaces. Violence ensued. The difficulties were finally settled, and the State of Frankland disappeared.

23 Captain Depeyster belonged to a corps of Loyalists, called the King’s American Regiment. His signature, here given, I copied from a letter of his to General Gates a few days after the battle, while Depeyster was a prisoner.

24 The following is a copy of the inscriptions: North side. – "Sacred to the memory of Major WILLIAM CHRONICLE, Captain JOHN MATTOCKS, WILLIAM ROBB, and JOHN BOYD, who were killed here fighting in defence of America, on the seventh of October, 1780." South side. - Colonel FERGUSON, * an officer belonging to his Britannic majesty, was here defeated and killed."

* Major Patrick Ferguson was a Scotchman, a son of the eminent jurist, James Ferguson, and nephew of Patrick Murray (Lord Elibank). He entered the army in Flanders at the age of eighteen years. He came to America in the spring of 1777, and was active in the battle on the Brandywine, in September of that year. He was active on the Hudson in 1779, and accompanied Sir Henry Clinton to South Carolina. He so distinguished himself at the siege of Charleston in 1780, that he was particularly mentioned by the commander-in-chief. He was on the high road to military fame, when he was slain on King’s Mountain. He was a major in the British army, and lieutenant colonel of the Tory militia.

25 This name is derived from the circumstance that, some years prior to the Revolution, before this section of country was settled, some persons in Camden (then called Pine-tree) employed two men to go up to the Thicketty Mountain, and in the grassy intervales among the hills, raise cattle. As a compensation, they were allowed the entire use of the cows during the summer for making butter and cheese, and the steers for tilling labor. In the fall, large numbers of the fattest cattle would be driven down to Camden to be slaughtered for beef, on account of the owners. This region, so favorable for rearing cows, on account of the grass and fine springs, was consequently called The Cowpens.

26 They have a dangerous practice at the South in clearing their wild lands. The larger trees are girdled and left standing, to decay and fall down, instead of being felled by the ax. Cultivation is carried on among them, and frequently they fall suddenly, and endanger the lives of the laborers in the field. Such was the condition of the field here represented.

27 DANIEL MORGAN was a native of New Jersey, where he was born in 1737, and at an early age went to Virginia. He was a private soldier under Braddock, in 1755, and after the defeat of that officer, returned to his occupation of a farmer and wagoner. When the war of the Revolution broke out, he joined the army under Washington, at Cambridge, and commanded a corps of riflemen. He accompanied Arnold across the wilderness to Quebec, and distinguished himself at the siege of that city. He was made a prisoner there. After his exchange, he was appointed to the command of the 11th Virginia regiment, in which was incorporated his rifle corps.


He performed great service at Stillwater, when Burgoyne was defeated. Gates unjustly omitted his name in his report of that affair to Congress. He served under Gates and Greene at the South, where he became distinguished as a partisan officer. His victory at the Cowpens was considered a most brilliant affair, and Congress voted him a gold medal. (See next page). At the close of the war, he returned to his farm. He commanded the militia organized to quell the Whisky Insurrection in Western Virginia, in 1794, and soon afterward was elected a member of Congress. His estate in Clarke county, a few miles from Winchester, Virginia, was called Saratoga. He resided there until 1800, when he removed to Winchester, where he died on the sixth of July, 1802, in the sixty-seventh year of his age. The house in which he died stood in the northwest part of the town, and a few years since was occupied by the Reverend Mr. Boyd. His grave is in the Presbyterian grave-yard at Winchester; and over it is a plain horizontal slab, raised a few feet from the ground, upon which is the following inscription:

"Major-general DANIEL MORGAN departed this life on July the 6th, 1802, in the sixty-seventh year of his age. Patriotism and valor were the prominent features of his character, and the honorable services he rendered to his country during the Revolutionary war crowned him with glory, and will remain in the hearts of his countrymen, a perpetual monument to his memory."


In early life General Morgan was dissipated, and was a famous pugilist; yet the teachings of a pious mother always made him reverential when his thoughts turned toward the Deity. In his latter years, he professed religion, and became a member of the Presbyterian church in Winchester. "Ah!" he would often exclaim, when talking of the past, "people said old Morgan never feared – they thought old Morgan never prayed – they did not know old Morgan was often miserably afraid." He said he trembled at Quebec, and in the gloom of early morning, when approaching the battery at Cape Diamond, he knelt in the snow and prayed; and before the battle at the Cowpens, he went into the woods, ascended a tree, and there poured out his soul in prayer for protection. In person, Morgan was large and strong. He was six feet in height, and very muscular.

* This sketch of the flag of Morgan’s rifle corps I made from the original in the Museum at Alexandria, in Virginia.

The following are the devices and inscriptions upon the medal: An Indian queen with a quiver on her back, in the act of crowning an officer with a laurel wreath; his hand resting upon his sword. A cannon lying upon the ground; various military weapons and implements in the back-ground. Legend: DANIEL MORGAN DUCI EXERCITUS COMITIA AMERICANA – "The American Congress to General Daniel Morgan." Reverse: An officer mounted, at the head of his troops, charging a flying enemy. A battle in the back-ground. In front, a personal combat between a dragoon unhorsed and a foot soldier. Legend: VICTORIA LIBERTATIS VINDEX –"Victory, the assertor of Liberty." Exergue: FUGATIS, CAPTIS AUT CÆSIS AD COWPENS HOSTIBUS, 17TH JANUARY, 1781 – "The foe put to flight, taken, or slain, at the Cowpens, January 17, 1781."


28 John Eager Howard was born in Baltimore county, Maryland, on the fourth of June, 1752. When the war commenced, he entered the service as captain of one of those bodies of militia termed flying camps. He was present at the battle near White Plains, New York. His corps was dismissed in December, 1776, and at the solicitation of his friends, he accepted of the commission of major in one of the Continental battalions of Maryland. In the spring of 1777, he joined the army under Washington, in New Jersey, with which he remained until the close of June, when he returned home, on account of the death of his father. A few days after the battle on the Brandywine, he rejoined the army, and was distinguished for his cool courage in the battle at Germantown, of which he wrote an interesting account. In that engagement, he was major of the 4th regiment, commanded by Colonel Hall, of Maryland. Major Howard was present at the battle of Monmouth, in 1778. On the first of June, 1779, he received a commission as lieutenant colonel of the 5th Maryland regiment, "to take rank from the eleventh day of March, 1778." In 1780, he went with the Maryland and Delaware troops to the South, and served under Gates until the arrival of Greene. Soon after this, we find him with Morgan, winning bright laurels at the Cowpens; and for his bravery there, Congress awarded him the honor of a silver medal. Howard again distinguished himself at the battle of Guilford, where he was wounded. At the conclusion of the war, Colonel Howard married Margaret, the daughter of Chief-justice Chew, around whose house at Germantown he had valiantly battled. In November, 1788, he was chosen governor of Maryland, which office he held for three years. He was commissioned major general of militia in 1794, but declined the honor. Washington invited him to a seat in his cabinet, at the head of the War Department, in 1795. That honor he also declined. He was then a member of the Maryland Senate. In 1796, he was elected to the Senate of the United States, where he served until 1813, when he retired from public life. When, in 1814, Baltimore was threatened with destruction by the enemy, the veteran soldier prepared to take the field. The battle at North Point, however, rendered such a step unnecessary. He lost his wife in 1827; and on the twelfth of October, 1827, he, too, left the scenes of earth, at the age of seventy-five years. Honor, wealth, and the ardent love of friends, were his lot in life, and few men ever went down to the grave more truly lamented than John Eager Howard.

* The following are the device and inscriptions: An officer mounted, with uplifted sword, pursuing an officer on foot bearing a stand of colors. Victory is seen descending in front, over the former, holding a wreath in her right hand over his head. In her left band is a palm branch. Legend: JOHN EAGER HOWARD, LEGIONIS PEDITUM PRÆFECTO COMITIA AMERICANA – "The American Congress to John Eager Howard, commander of a regiment of infantry." Reverse: A laurel wreath, inclosing the inscription, QUOD IN NUTANTEM HOSTIUM ACIEM SUBITO IRRUENS, PRÆCLARUM BELLICÆ VIRTUTIS SPECIMEN DEDIT IN PUGNA, AD COWPENS, 17TH JANUARY, 1781 – "Because, rushing suddenly on the wavering line of the foe, he gave a brilliant specimen of martial courage at the battle of the Cowpens, January 17, 1781."

29 No accurate plan of the arrangement of the troops on this occasion has ever been made. Captain Hammond made a sketch many years afterward from memory, which is published in Johnson’s Traditions and Reminiscences of the Revolution. As it does not fully agree with official reports, I forbear copying it.

30 Between this eminence and the one on which Howard was stationed, the Mill-gap road passes.


31 WILLIAM WASHINGTON, "the modern Marcellus," "the sword of his country," was the eldest son of Baily Washington, of Stafford county, Virginia, where he was born on the 28th of February, 1752. He was educated for the Church, but the peculiar position of public affairs led him into the political field. He early espoused the patriot cause, and entered the army under Colonel Hugh (afterward General) Mercer as captain. He was in the battle near Brooklyn, Long Island, distinguished himself at Trenton, and was with his beloved general when he fell at Princeton. He was afterward a major in Colonel Baylor’s corps of cavalry, and was with that officer when attacked by General Grey, at Tappan, in 1778. The following year, he joined the army under Lincoln in South Carolina, and was very active in command of a light corps in the neighborhood of Charleston. He became attached, with his corps, to the division of General Morgan, and with that officer fought bravely at the Cowpens. For his valor on that occasion, Congress presented him with a silver medal. He was an active officer in Greene’s celebrated retreat, and again fought bravely at Guilford Court House. He behaved gallantly at Hobkirk’s Hill, near Camden, and at the battle at Eutaw Springs he exhibited signal valor; but his horse being shot under him, he was there made a prisoner. He remained a captive until the close of the war. Having become attached to a South Carolina lady during his captivity, he married her, and settled in Charleston. He represented that district in the State Legislature. His talents as a statesman were so conspicuous, that he was solicited to become a candidate for governor. He declined the honor, chiefly because he could not make a speech. When President Adams appointed General Washington commander-in-chief of the American army, he chose Colonel Washington to be one of his staff, with the rank of brigadier. Colonel Washington died on the sixth of March, 1810. He was tall in person, possessed of great strength and activity, and in society was taciturn and modest.

* The following are the device and inscriptions: An officer mounted at the head of a body of cavalry, charging flying troops; Victory is flying over the heads of the Americans, holding a laurel crown in her right hand and a palm branch in her left. Legend: GULIELMO WASHINGTON LEGIONIS EQUITUM PRÆFECTO COMITIA AMERICANA – "The American Congress to William Washington, commander of a regiment of cavalry." Reverse: QUOD PARVA MILITUM MANU STRENUE PROSECUTUS HOSTES VIRTUTIS INGENITÆ PRÆCLARUM SPECIMEN DEDIT IN PUGNA AD COWPENS, 17TH JANUARY, 1781 – "Because, having vigorously pursued the foe with a small band of soldiers, he gave a brilliant specimen of innate valor in the battle at the Cowpens, 17th January, 1781." This inscription is within a laurel wreath.

32 It is related that this wound was twice the subject for the sallies of wit of two American ladies, who were sisters, daughters of Colonel Montfort, of Halifax county, North Carolina. When Cornwallis and his army were at Halifax, on their way to Virginia, Tarleton was at the house of an American. In the presence of Mrs. Wilie Jones (one of these sisters), Tarleton spoke of Colonel Washington as an illiterate fellow, hardly able to write his name. "Ah! colonel," said Mrs. Jones, "you ought to know better, for you bear on your person proof that he knows very well how to make his mark!" At another time, Tarleton was speaking sarcastically of Washington, in the presence of her sister, Mrs. Ashe. "I would be happy to see Colonel Washington," he said, with a sneer. Mrs. Ashe instantly replied, "If you had looked behind you, Colonel Tarleton, at the battle of the Cowpens, you would have enjoyed that pleasure." Stung with this keen wit, Tarleton placed his hand on his sword. General Leslie, who was present, remarked, "Say what you please, Mrs. Ashe, Colonel Tarleton knows better than to insult a lady in my presence." – Mrs. {original text has "Mr.".} Ellet’s Women of the Revolution.

33 See Stedman, ii., 324.

34 These two pieces of artillery were first taken from Burgoyne at Saratoga; then retaken by the British at Camden; now were recovered by the Americans, and afterward fell into the hands of Cornwallis at Guilford. They were of the kind of small field-pieces called "grasshoppers."

35 Ramsay, Gordon, Marshall, Lee, Johnson, Tarleton, Moultrie.

36 Journals of Congress, vii., 47.

37 South Carolina was occupied by twenty-eight Indian nations when the Europeans first made a permanent settlement upon the Ashley River. The domain of these tribes extended from the ocean to the mountains. The Westos, Stonos, Coosaws, and Sewees occupied the country between Charleston and the Edisto Rivers. They were conquered by the Savannahs, and expelled from the country. The Yamassees and Tluspahs held the territory in the neighborhood of Port Royal. The Savannahs, Serannahs, Cussobos, and Euchees occupied the middle country, along the Isundigia, or Savannah River. The Apalachians inhabited the head waters of the Savannah and Alatamaha, and gave their name to the mountains of Apalachy, and the bay of Apalachicola. The Muscoghees or Creeks occupied a part of the country between the Savannah and Broad Rivers, being divided by the latter from the country of the Cherokees. The Congarees, Santees, Waterees, Saludas, Catawbas, Peedees, and Winyaws lived along the rivers which bear their respective names. The Muscoghees and Catawbas were the most warlike; the Cherokees were more numerous than either, but more peaceful. These various nations, when Charleston was founded, could muster probably fifty thousand warriors. – See Simms’s History of South Carolina, page 67.

38 Bancroft, iii., 246.

39 This massacre was at Pocotaligo, an old village in the parish of Prince William, in Beaufort District. It then contained about three hundred inhabitants. There stood Fort Balfour, which was captured, during the Revolution, by a few Americans under Colonel Harden.

40 This is the name of the south fork of the Combahee River, which empties into St. Helena Sound. The place of the encampment was near Barnwell, the capital of Barnwell District.

41 Fort Prince George was a strong work. It was quadrangular, with an earthen rampart six feet high, upon which stockades were placed. Around it was a ditch, and it had a natural glacis on two sides At each angle was a bastion, on which four small cannons were mounted. It contained barracks for a hundred men.

42 Marion, in a letter quoted by Weems, mentioned the wanton destruction of the corn, then in full ear, and said, "I saw every where around the footsteps of the little Indian children, where they had lately played under the shelter of the rustling corn. No doubt they had often looked up with joy to the swelling shocks, and gladdened when they thought of their abundant cakes for the coming winter. When we are gone, thought I, they will return, and, peeping through the weeds with tearful eyes, will mark the ghastly ruin poured over their homes, and the happy fields where they had so often played. ‘Who did this?’ they will ask their mothers. ‘The white people; the Christians did it!’ will be the reply."

43 John Stuart came to America with Oglethorpe, probably with the Highlanders under M‘Intosh, the father of General Lachlin M‘Intosh, of the Revolution, who settled upon the Alatamahaw, and called the place New Inverness. The Indians were greatly pleased with the dress and character of the Highlanders, and to this circumstance is attributed Stuart’s influence among them. Stuart went to Charleston; became Indian agent; married Miss Fenwick, daughter of one of the wealthiest men in the province, and finally became one of the king’s council. He lived in the house on the corner of Wadd and Orange Streets, Charleston, now (1851) owned by William Carson, Esq. He had commanded a corps on Cumberland Island, who gallantly repulsed the Spaniards in 1745, and this was the commencement of his popularity which led up to the civil station that he held in council. He chose the royal side when the Revolution broke out, and to him was attributed all of the difficulties with the Indians upon the frontier during the first year of that struggle. Alarmed for his personal safety, he fled to St. Augustine. His estate was confiscated. He died in England. His son, Sir John Stuart, became a distinguished general in the British army. – See Johnsons Traditions of the Revolution, page 107.

44 Moultrie, Ramsey, Simms, Johnson.

45 A greater portion of the Cherokee Nation, now in existence, occupy territory west of the Mississippi. A remnant of them remain in North Carolina, at a place called Qualla Town, in Haywood county. They were allowed to remain when the general emigration of their nation took place. They have a tract of seventy-two thousand acres of land. Almost every adult can read in the Cherokee language, and most of them understand English. They manufacture all their necessaries; have courts, lawyers, and judges of their own, and have all the political rights of free citizens of the state. They are sober, industrious, and religious. Their present business chief (1851) is William H. Thomas, Esq., senator from that district (50th). The Qualla Town Cherokees exhibit some remarkable cases of longevity. In 1850, Messrs. Mitchell and Smoot, while on an official visit there, saw Kalosteh, who was then one hundred and twenty years old. His wife "went out like a candle," as Kalosteh said, the year before, at the age of one hundred and twenty-five years. It is said that people one hundred years old are not uncommon there.

46 Mr. Drayton was, at this time, quite a young man, a descendant of one of the leading families of South Carolina. He was a nephew of Governor Bull. When Republican principles began to work up to the surface, and become visible at the South, in 1771, his pen was employed on the side of government, in opposition to Christopher Gadsden and others. These essays brought him into notice. He was introduced at court, and was appointed one of Governor Bull’s council. As the Revolution advanced to a crisis, Drayton saw the injustice of Great Britain, and espoused the Republican cause. He became a favorite of the people, and, while a delegate in the Continental Congress, he died in their service in 1779.

47 Robert Cunningham was an Irish settler in the District of Ninety-Six, now Abbeville, where he was commissioned a judge in 1770. After his release, in 1776, he removed to Charleston. In 1780, he was appointed a brigadier general to command the Loyalists of that province. His estate was confiscated in 1782, and not being allowed to remain in the province at the close of the war, he went to Nassau, New Providence, where he died in 1813, at the age of seventy-four years. The British government indemnified him for his losses, and gave him a pension. His brother Patrick was deputy surveyor of the colony in 1769. He received the commission of colonel, under Robert, in 1780. His property, also, was confiscated in 1782, and at the close of the war he went to Florida. The South Carolina Legislature afterward treated him leniently, and restored a part of his property. He was elected a member of the Legislature by his Tory friends. He died in 1794.

48 Richard Richardson was a native of Virginia, where he was employed as a land-surveyor at the time when Washington was engaged in the same pursuit. He afterward settled in old Craven county, in South Carolina; and during the Indian border wars, he commanded a regiment. As a representative in the Provincial Congress of South Carolina, Colonel Richardson assisted in forming the first Republican Constitution for that state. He was with General Lincoln in his Southern campaigns, and with that officer became a prisoner at Charleston, at which time he was a brigadier. With others, he was sent to St. Augustine, from whence he returned in September with a broken constitution, and soon died at his residence, near Salisbury, in Sumter District, at the age of about seventy-six years. Soon after his death, Tarleton occupied his house, and, believing the family plate was buried with him, had his body disinterred. When he was about leaving, that cruel man applied the torch to the house with his own hand, avowing his determination to make it the "funeral pile of the widow and her three young rebels." His son, James B., was afterward governor of South Carolina. – See Johnson’s Traditions, &c., page 158.

49 William Thomson was a native of Pennsylvania, and a relative of Charles Thomson, the secretary of the Continental Congress. He was born about the year 1727, and, while a child, was taken to Orangeburg District, in South Carolina. He was a patriot, and was placed in command of the 3d regiment, called the Rangers. With his regiment, he fought in the battle on Sullivan’s Island in 1776. He was with General Howe in Georgia. and served under the command of D’Estaing at Savannah. He behaved gallantly, and suffered much during the greater part of the war. At its close, he returned to his estate at Belleville, near Fort Motte, mentioned on page 481 {original text has "687".}, with shattered health and fortune. There he continued in the pursuit of an indigo planter, which he began before the war, until 1796, when declining health induced him to go to medicinal springs in Virginia. He died there on the twenty-second of November of that year, at the age of sixty-nine years.

50 Instructions of the Provincial Congress to Colonel Richardson.

51 Thomas Sumter was one of the South Carolina patriots earliest in the field. Of his early life and habits very little is known. In March, 1776, he was a lieutenant colonel of a regiment of riflemen. After the fall of Charleston, in 1780, when a partisan warfare was carried on in the Carolinas, Sumter began to display those powers which made him so renowned. Governor Rutledge, perceiving his merits, promoted him to brigadier of militia. His battles at Rocky Mount and Hanging Rock gave him great eclat. He was defeated by Tarleton at Fishing Creek, on the Catawba, just after the unfortunate battle near Camden. With a few survivors, and other volunteers, he crossed the Broad River, ranged the districts upon its western banks, and on the eighth of November, 1780, defeated Colonel Wemyss, who had attacked his camp. He afterward defeated Tarleton at Blackstocks. Sumter was wounded, but was able to take the field early in February, 1781. While Greene was retreating before Cornwallis, Sumter, with Marion, was humbling British garrisons in the lower country. He continued in active service during the whole campaign of 1781. Ill health caused him to leave the army before the close of the war. He served a long time in the Congress of the United States. He died at his residence at Statesburg, near Bradford Springs, in Sumter District, on the first of June, 1832, at the remarkable age of ninety-eight years.

52 Colonel (afterward General) James Jackson, in a letter to the late Mathew Carey, of Philadelphia, written many years subsequent to the war (the original of which is in possession of H. C. Baird, Esq., of Philadelphia), says, "General Sumter was wounded early in the action, and retired. Colonel (now General) Twiggs and myself fought the enemy three hours after this, and defeated them totally, bringing off upward of thirty dragoon horses."

53 Journals of Congress, vii., 14.

54 Tradition has preserved many thrilling accounts of the sufferings, self-sacrifice, and great courage of the women westward of the Broad River. The gentle maiden and the rough woodsman were taught in the same school of rude experience, and imbibed from the events of daily life a spirit of self-reliance seldom seen in more refined society. Among the heroines of this region, Sarah Dillard, of Spartanburg District, mentioned on page 424, and Dicey Langston, of Laurens District, were among the most conspicuous. Of the latter, Mrs. Ellet, in her admirable sketches of Women of the Revolution, has recorded many interesting anecdotes. One of these will suffice to illustrate the courage of this young girl – a noble type of her class. Her father was infirm; her brothers were abroad; and Dicey, then only sixteen, was her father’s chief companion and solace. A Tory band, called the Bloody Scout, under the notorious Bill Cunningham, spread terror over that lonely region; and the known patriotism of Dicey often jeoparded the life and property of her father. On one occasion, she learned that the Scout were about to fall upon a settlement beyond the Tyger, where her brothers dwelt. She resolved to save them. At night and alone, she crossed the Ennoree and hastened to the banks of the Tyger. It was swollen, yet she did not recoil from the danger. The blackness of midnight was upon the land, yet she went boldly into the stream; Neck deep in the channel, she became confused, and did not know which way to go. God led her to the northern bank; and, like an angel of mercy, she sped to the settlement. When the Bloody Scout reached there the next day, no man was to be found.

Miss Langston married Thomas Springfield, of Greenville, South Carolina, where many of her descendants are still living. She died only a few years ago. Mrs. Thomas, Mrs. Simms, Mrs. Otterson, Miss Jackson, Mrs. Potter, and other less conspicuous of the women west of the Broad River, were copatriots with Dicey Langston. Of these, Mrs. Ellet has made many interesting records.



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