Dr. Irene Boland

Irene BolandOn January 3, 2016 our community lost a faithful ally. Dr. Irene Boland of Winthrop University passed away.  Irene spoke at the 2006 Gen. Nathanael Greene Symposium on Eutaw Springs on the influence of geology and topography on the battle.  She was quite active in historical and geological research, blending her interests through projects like mapping for the Cowpens National Battlefield.  Much of her research focused on the impacts of geology, weather, and terrain on troop movements in the South during the Revolution.

Many of our readers may not know of her diverse interests and background: She completed American Society of Clinical Pathologists hospital laboratory training at Charlotte Memorial (now Carolinas Medical Center). She then worked as a technologist and taught medical technology students for a number of years, in both the special chemistry laboratory at Charlotte Memorial and then as supervisor of special chemistry at Mercy Hospital in Charlotte.  She then earned an M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in geology at the University of South Carolina. She is probably best known to our circle for her work as a geology professor at Winthrop University, her alma matter.

Irene will always be remembered for her passion, determination, and love of learning. She and historian Bert Dunkerly had just completed a book on the battle of Eutaw Springs, due out this fall by USC Press.  Bert and Irene divided the work: he focusing on troop movements, and her studying the springs, the terrain, and how the geography and geology influenced the campaign and battle.  The book will be a lasting tribute to her dedication and enthusiasm.

 January 7, 2016

The Memorial of David Fanning

Hershel Parker

In November 1782, David Fanning (1755-1825), the last colonel of the Loyalist Militia of North Carolina, boarded a ship in the British evacuation of Charlestown.  Still young, he was famous for bold military strategy and notorious for brutal marauding.  Appalled by his off-the-battlefield mayhem, the North Carolina Assembly in 1783 in its “Act of Pardon and Oblivion” excluded from pardon “Peter Mallette, David Fanning and Samuel Andrews, or any person or persons guilty of deliberate and wilful murder, robbery, rape, or house burning, or any of them.”[1]  Thirty or forty years later, when North Carolinians began documenting Fanning’s cruelties, old men told stories about him, sometimes in aghast confidentiality.  The educator Archibald D. Murphey (1777-1832), hearing that Fanning had an unpublished manuscript, enlisted the former congressman Archibald McBryde (1766-1837) to contact the old man in his Digby, Nova Scotia exile.  Fanning in his mid-30s had indeed written a narrative, a dossier of his military service as a Loyalist and particularly of his physical sufferings and financial sacrifices in the service of the Crown.  To use his term in letters to British Commissioners, his Narrative was an extended “Memorial” of service and losses for which he deserved reparations.[2]  Three decades later, he understandably was unwilling to share his narrative with children of rebels.  Nevertheless, on May 15, 1822 he held out a revealing possibility: “if any Gentleman wishes to know from me of any particular transaction or the Date, by pointing it out to me, I may give the Information of it.”[3]

For the rest of the story …. click here! SCAR Vol 10, No 4.1

[1] The North Carolina Assembly well-knew of Fanning’s atrocities.  See the details of his “Bloody Sunday” rampage in Randolph County detailed by the author in an article, “Fanning’s Bloody Sabbath as Traced by Alexander Gray”, found in the May 4, 2015 edition of the Journal of the American Revolution.

[2] Fanning, 97, 98, and elsewhere; in no way was his document a “confessions” or even a mere set of personal recollections. The Narrative of Colonel David Fanning, (New York: reprinted for Joseph Sabin, 1865), a reprint of the 1861 version, is found on-line at

[3] Fanning’s response to McBryde through an intermediary, dated Digby, May 15, 1822, is in “North Carolina.  Civil War 1781-’82—Colonel David Fanning,” North-Carolina University Magazine (1853), 2:72, and in E. W. Caruthers, Revolutionary Incidents: And Sketches of Character, Chiefly in the “Old North State” (Philadelphia: Hayes and Zell, 1854), 294.

updated August 2, 2015

Moses Kirkland and the Southern Strategy

Wayne Lynch

During the Revolutionary War, the British developed what came to be known as the Southern Strategy.   The idea was for British regiments to invade Georgia and South Carolina with a plan to defeat the Continental Army.  Once those states were free of opposition, the colonists who remained loyal to the Crown could rise up and regain control over the southern colonies.  At the heart of this plan lay an assumption that a majority of the residents would prefer British rule to independence.  Various politicians (especially the deposed Royal Governors of Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Virginia) and other interested individuals wrote letters and argued in favor of the strategy but no provincial was more active or energetic toward the development and execution of a Southern Strategy than Moses Kirkland.

Raised in South Carolina, Moses Kirkland was already a mature adult over the age of 45 when the war broke out.  He had traded with Indians, invested in saw mills and engaged in a number of land deals (some of which may have been fraudulent) along the way and became a man of “considerable fortune and held in high esteem.”[1]  Elected to represent the Ninety Six District in the Provincial Congress of South Carolina of January 1775, Kirkland spoke “warmly against” nonimportation and withdrew from the proceedings in protest when the vote went against him.[2]  Even with his opposition to the nonimportation association, Kirkland was not yet considered disloyal to the state and accepted a commission as Captain of Rangers in the 2d Regiment of South Carolina’s state troops authorized by the Assembly in June 1775.[3]


[1] Moses Kirkland was a planter on Turkey Creek in the Ninety Six District of South Carolina.  His claim for losses from the American Revolutionary War is found in British Georgia Loyalist Claims, Mary Bondurant Warren (Athens, Ga: Heritage Papers, 2014) 844-863.  This article is largely an analysis of the claim Kirkland filed with the British Government for compensation of his losses in North America in 1783.  Kirkland’s wealth may be gauged from the extent of his award of £4,000 from his claim of £12,160 for the loss of his property in South Carolina (Audit Office 12/109).  This property was seized and sold by the State of South Carolina and realized £1,972.  (Audit Office 13/36; Audit Office 12/92, South Carolina Historical and Genealogical Magazine, Vol. XVIII, No. 2, Jan. 1917, p. 69-71.) His original claims and supporting statements are filed in the British Public Records Office in Kew, Surrey, UK, and microfilm copies are in the David Library of the American Revolution, the Southern Revolutionary War Institute and other repositories. Kirkland was a partner in Cannon’s (later Ferguson’s) Saw and Grist Mills on the Edisto River. Ron McCall.  See also Ian Saberton, The Cornwallis Papers, (Naval & Military Press, East Sussex, 2010), 1:236 n3.

[2] Warren, Kirkland claim, 844.

[3] In his own account, Kirkland claimed to have refused the commission but this would seem to conflict with his participation in the events related to Fort Charlotte. Warren, Kirkland claim, 844.  William Moultrie, Memories of the American Revolution, (NY: David Longworth, 1802) 1:72 n reports that Kirkland accepted the commission but resigned it over those appointed over him.

For the rest of the story click here: Lynch-Moses Kirkland – SCAR10.2.3

June 14, 2015

Gen. Nathanael Greene’s Operations November 1781-February 1782

The Journal of the Southern Campaigns of the American Revolution

Vol. 12, No. 1.1                                                                                     January 23, 2015

 Gen. Nathanael Greene’s Moves to Force the British into the Charlestown area, to Capture Dorchester, Johns Island and to Protect the Jacksonborough Assembly

 November 1781 – February 1782

Charles B. Baxley © 2015     

Fall 1781 – South Carolina

The British Southern strategy was unraveling.  Lt. Gen. Charles, Lord Cornwallis surrendered at Yorktown, Virginia in October 1781.  The British army of occupation in North and South Carolina and Georgia could hold selected posts and travel en masse at will, but could not control the countryside where rebel militias and state troops patrolled.  Their southern strongholds were within 35 miles of their supply ports: Charlestown, Savannah and Wilmington, NC.  In South Carolina the British withdrew from their advanced bases at Camden, Ninety Six, Augusta, and Georgetown, and only held posts arcing around Charlestown in the aftermath of the bloody battle at Eutaw Springs in September.  Defending Charlestown, the British had major forward posts at Fair Lawn Barony (in modern Moncks Corner) at the head of navigation of the west branch of the Cooper River; at the colonial town of Dorchester at the head of navigation on the Ashley River; at the Wappataw Meeting House on the headwaters of the Wando River; and at Stono Ferry to control mainland access across the Stono River to Johns Island.  The parishes north of Charlestown were contested ground.  British cavalry rode at will to the south side of the Santee River and as far upstream as Pres. Henry Laurens’ plantation.  These mounted raiders were based at Wantoot Plantation, seven miles north of Moncks Corner.  They collected food, slaves, women, and children.  In western South Carolina Loyalist militia mounted a murderous raid of retribution inland to the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

For the rest of the story, click here: Greene Nov 81-Feb 82 1-23-2015

71st Fraser’s Highlanders in the Cheraws – Summer 1780

An account of their activities on detachment in Cheraw, SC in the summer of 1780, reported by Stephanie J. Briggs, with grateful acknowledgements to artist Don Troiani and other researchers.

At the start of the American Revolutionary War, the 71st Regiment of (Highland) Foot, commonly referred to as the “Fraser’s Highlanders,” was raised in Scotland in late 1775 early 1776 by Maj. Gen. Simon Fraser, Lord Lovat, to serve in the army of King George, III.  The Regiment arrived in North America during June and July 1776, joining Lord Howe’s British Army in August.  The Highlanders, though bloodied, were undefeated in the South … enjoy the 13 page brochure on the 71st at the Cheraws below:

Southern States Total Solar Eclipse on 24 June 1778


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Vol. 10 No. 3                                                                                                                       Fall 2014

On 24 June 1778, a combined American force of Col. Samuel Elbert’s Georgia Continentals, South Carolina Continentals commanded by Col. Charles Cotesworth Pinckney, reinforced by South Carolina backcountry militiamen under Col. Andrew Williamson, and Georgia militiamen commanded by Gov. John Houston were gathering at the Satilla River preparing to make the third and final try to capture British East Florida.  On this day a total solar eclipse was experienced by much of central Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina.  Many towns were within the path of totality, including: Augusta, Ninety Six, Orangeburg, Camden, Charlotte, Cross Creek (later Fayetteville), Salem (later Winston-Salem), Hillsborough, New Bern, Edenton, Norfolk, Va., and Williamsburg, Va.

1778-eclipse Total Solar Eclipse, Zone of Totality, 24 June 1778, NASA

Has anyone read an eyewitness account of this extraordinary event in Georgia and the Carolinas and how residents anticipated or reacted to it?  It could not have gone unnoticed since at about 10:00 am the sky became as dark as night, even if cloudy.  Duration was up to 5 minutes.  The only first-person account I’ve seen is that of British Lt. Frederick Mackenzie who was in Rhode Island, outside the totality zone.  Source: (Mackenzie, Frederick, “Diary of Frederick Mackenzie”, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA, 1930, p. 303).  No doubt, totality was much more dramatic in Georgia and the Carolinas.


Bill Anderson     band@elehistory.com     September 06, 2014

After searching every major book, past and present about NC as well as the NC Historical Review, I then turned to the papers of Pinckney, Pettigrew, Carter, and several other 18th century folks.  Just as I was about to hit the internet, it struck me that the one place we might find a contemporary account is in the Records of the Moravians in NC (RMNC).  Not only does it mention the total eclipse on June 24th, it also mentions one other solar eclipse which from the description sounds like partial one from Adelaide Fries, RMNC, Volume III, pg. 1237 it reads as follows:  1778

“June 24.  Beginning shortly before 9 o’clock in the morning there was an almost total eclipse of the sun.  At the peak of the eclipse the sun was under a cloud, and for some minutes it was necessary to light the candles, stars peeped out here and there, and no one can remember to have the like before.  The reapers returned from the field about 9 o’clock, and did not go out again until afternoon.”

An earlier entry dated 9 January 1777 from RMNC Vol. III, pg. 1137:

“Jan 9.  Soon after nine o’clock this morning there was an eclipse of the sun, and as the sky was clear it could be seen on the horizon.  The sun was more than three-quarters covered.”

Shelia Bumgarner, Librarian, Robinson-Spangler Carolina Room, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Library, 310 North Tryon Street, Charlotte, NC      sbumgarner@cmlibrary.org          www.cmlibrary.org             www.cmstory.org

Search the on-line Revolutionary War pension applications.  http://www.revwarapps.org

Hershel Parker, California

I have made note of references to solar eclipses in the pension applications, then used online sources to determine the dates.  Here are the ones I have recorded.  There may have been others. If you give me the year I can look them up, or they can be found by Googling.

9 Jan 1777  Partial solar eclipse

24 June 1778  Total solar eclipse

C. Leon Harris, Vt. and Mt. Pleasant, SC


Searching the pension files for “eclipse” found 15 pension applications with definite references to the total solar eclipse of 24 June 1778.  A few descriptions were colorful enough to quote in a document.  That was all I wanted.  Of course, the eclipse had no significance on the war.  Searching the pension records was a terrific idea.  Although I have searched them many times before, that thought did not occur to me for the eclipse.  That is a testimony to the great value of these online pension applications. Kudos to Will Graves and Leon Harris for this wonderful archive.  A librarian in Charlotte who specializes in history found one reference to the eclipse from a Moravian settlement, probably Bethabara, now near Winston-Salem.  She searched many standard historical archives that a librarian would know.  It’s surprising and remarkable that the pension records have more references to the eclipse than any other category of archive.

Bill Anderson, Charlotte, NC

Southern Campaigns Pension Transcriptions Hit 20,000+!


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Vol. 10, No. 2                                                                                                          Summer 2014


C. Leon Harris


            Twelve years ago when asked what I intended to do as a retired biology professor, spending about eight hours a day transcribing pension applications of Revolutionary War veterans was not the answer that leapt to mind. But one of my plans was to spend some time on genealogy, which led me to transcribe the pension application of fourth great grandfather, Willoughby Blackard (pension application S29638), and that sparked an interest in his battles in the Carolinas. I then had the good fortune to find out about Southern Campaigns of the American Revolution, and Charles Baxley suggested I send my transcription to Will Graves, who had a wild vision that online, free and fully-searchable transcriptions of pension applications of all the Revolutionary War soldiers who served in the South might be possible and useful.

            This past spring of 2014 Southern Campaigns Revolutionary War Pension Statements & Rosters (www.revwarapps.org) passed a milestone on the way to fulfilling Will’s dream – the completion of all the federal pension applications of soldiers from Georgia, the Carolinas, and Virginia. These are in addition to transcriptions of a number of soldiers from the North who served in the South, as well as pension and bounty-land applications to the Commonwealth of Virginia, and dozens of unit rosters. The total number of transcribed documents now exceeds 20 thousand. Will not only conceived the project and transcribed about two-thirds of the documents, but he manages the website with the wizard-like help of John Robertson. There are still many federal applications from the North, state applications from Virginia, and unit rosters to be done, so we have not yet reached the end of the trail. But we have climbed a pinnacle.

Leon’s report of the cases of the Lewis Speculating Gentry and a Wound Analysis of the Battle of the Waxhaws …. for the rest of the story ….

            Will would much rather transcribe than take the time to write a celebratory article, but I cannot resist a look back at the journey so far to enjoy the view and consider whether it has been worth the effort.

            When I joined the project seriously around 2006, it was not at all clear that it was possible. The pension file numbers went into the forty thousands, and applications from soldiers who served from the South might account for half of them. Although Will and I were both old enough to have grown up with the dying art of cursive writing, many of the applications were so poorly written or faded that transcribing them took me at least an hour each. It took additional time to research correct spellings and dates to render the transcriptions searchable online. The numbers were so daunting that I do not think either of us dared do the math to figure out how long it might take. Even if it was possible to transcribe them all, there was the possibility that many of the applications were fraudulent, and transcribing them would merely perpetuate the fraud. I also wondered if anything useful could be found in the frail memories of even honest old men recounting their youthful exploits. My own ancestor Blackard had made the improbable claim that after being surrendered at Charleston he was exchanged in time to fight at the Battle of Camden. But the only way to find out was just to transcribe enough of the pension applications to get a feeling for how hard it would be and how reliable the applications were. Fortunately transcribing got to be easier with experience, and it turned out to be a lot of fun. This look back at some of my most interesting moments is for Will, for making it happen.

For the rest of the story ….

SCAR Fellow, Dr. C. Leon Harris, is a Renaissance man, a retired zoology professor, author of many scientific articles, a popular zoology text, and a novel, and is an accomplished research historian.  Leon is a prime mover behind the Southern Campaigns pension transcription project. He lives in Mt. Pleasant, SC when it is and Vermont when it is not so much.  For Leon’s excellent boots-on-the-ground research on the Battle of Stono Ferry see SCAR Vol. 1, No. 4, (December 2004), p. 8-20.  The 20,000+ pension application transcriptions are posted at www.revwarapps.org.

 July 21, 2014

The Parole of Col. Andrew Pickens

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Vol. 10 No. 1.0                                                                                           Spring 2014


 William R. Reynolds, Jr. 

The fall of Charles Town in May of 1780 was interesting in itself, but it led to a most intriguing action—mass parole of American Whig militiamen.  One of the more fascinating stories is that of then Colonel Andrew Pickens’ parole period.  The events surrounding his exit from parole status is captivating. 

In the following essay of his seventh-great-granduncle, William R. Reynolds, Jr. uses excerpts from, and paraphrases of, his book Andrew Pickens: South Carolina Patriot in the Revolutionary War to describe the event.  He uses single quotation marks to set apart excerpts while internal citations are exhibited with the traditional double quotes.

Throughout the American Revolution, both sides utilized the European custom of offering paroles for captives.  Usually, it was applied to officers but at times to the rank and file when there were not suitable facilities for maintaining large numbers of prisoners.  Parole between the British and Americans had been a signed honorable transaction that allowed the captive to be released as long as he promised to not re-enter the war.  Final disposition of his case was to transpire upon the end of hostilities when the winning military commanders would consider the wartime actions of all enemy parolees on a case by case basis.  One of the first mass parole incidents occurred following the First Battle of Saratoga (or Battle of Freeman’s Farm).

‘…after the Americans had assailed the British for several days, General Burgoyne sent a flag bearer with a note requesting that negotiations be opened with General Gates. Gates responded that the British would immediately lay down their arms and surrender—‘immediately’ being rejected by Burgoyne.

Burgoyne’s army was the first British unit to be soundly defeated by the Americans.  It was a surety that he and his officers would face disgrace, and he had no idea what was in store for his rank and file.  There was no precedence.  The British themselves had captured many enlisted men already during the war and had confined them to horrible conditions aboard prison ships.  However, it was a common occurrence for officers on either side to be paroled.  Burgoyne decided to hold out for the best situation he could arrange for his men.

For the rest of the story ….



by Robert Scott Davis

        Lyman Copeland Draper (1815-1891) was born in Lockport, New York state; spent much of his adult life in Granville College, Ohio; Pontotoc, Mississippi; and Buffalo, New York; and came to permanently reside in Madison, Wisconsin.  For more than fifty years, he gathered, copied, or compiled hundreds of thousands of pages of unique and extensive historical and genealogical materi­al on the frontier colonial and Revolutionary War history of Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee. However, from his over 500 volumes of material, he completed only one book, King’s Mountain and Its Heroes (1881), in time for the centennial of the battle,  although his unfin­ished biography of Daniel Boone has recently been published. For more on his life see William B. Hesseltine, Pioneer’s Mission: The Story of Lyman Copeland Draper (1954).  Why he saved the Revolutionary War past of this region, however, remains a mystery.

       Information on the lives of thousands and thousands of southerners and Midwesterners from the colonial and Revolutionary War periods are found in original documents, interviews, and memoirs that survive only in the Lyman C. Draper Collection of the State Historical Society of Wisconsin; see William B. Hasseltine, “Lyman Draper and the South,” Journal of Southern History 19 (February 1953), available on line from JSTOR.  This material even includes Revolutionary War pension depositions copied from old court minutes where no copy has survived in the National Archives and Records Administration.

        The Draper Collection has several finding aids.   The standard general guide is Josephine L. Harper, Guide to the Draper Manu­scripts (1983). Some researchers still find Reuben G. Thwaites, Descrip­tive List of Manuscript Collections of the State Historical Society of Wisconsin (1906) useful.  The papers/series of greatest interest to genealogists have published indexed calendars.  Many libraries also have detailed and indexed the calendars of the Kentucky Papers; Tennessee and Kings Mountain Papers; George Rogers Clark Papers; Thomas Sumter Papers; and Frontier Wars Papers.  The State Histor­ical Society of Wisconsin also has a collection of Draper’s historical correspondence that has never been microfilmed but which sometimes includes his answers to letters he received that he filed in his collection.

        This mountain of material is subdivided into papers by subject, such as “The Thomas Sumter Papers,” “The Daniel Boone Papers,” or the “Kings Mountain [Battle] Papers,” each of which has a unique designation by one or two alphabetical letters:

A. Bedinger MSS, 1 volume
B. Draper’s Life of Boone, 5 volumes
C. Daniel Boone MSS, 32 volumes
D. Border Forays, 5 volumes
E. Brady and Wetzel MSS, 16 volumes
F. Brant MSS, 22 volumes
G. Brant Miscellanies, 3 volumes
H. Broadhead Papers, 3 volumes
J. George Rogers Clark MSS, 65 volumes
K. George Rogers Clark Miscellanies, 5 volumes
L. Jonathan Clark Papers, 2 volumes
M. William Clark Papers, 6 volumes
N. Croghan Papers, 3 volumes
O. Drake Papers, 2 volumes
P. Draper’s Biographical Sketches, 3 volumes
Q. Draper’s Historical Miscellanies, 8 volumes
R. Draper’s Memoranda Books, 3 volumes
S. Draper’s Notes, 33 volumes
T. Forsyth Papers, 9 volumes
U. Frontier Wars, 23 volumes
V. Georgia, Alabama, and South Carolina Papers, 1 volume.
W. Harmar Papers, 2 volumes
X. Harrison Papers, 5 volumes
Y. Hinde Papers, 34 volumes
Z. Illinois MSS, 1 volume
AA. Irvine Papers, 2 volumes
BB. Kenton MSS, 13 volumes
CC. Kentucky MSS, 30 volumes, see calendar
DD. Kings Mountain MSS, 18 volumes, see calendar
EE. London Documents at Albany, 1 volume
FF. Mecklenburg Declaration, by Draper, 3 volumes
GG. Mecklenburg Declaration MSS, 3 volumes
HH. Mecklenburg Declaration Miscellanies, 2 volumes
JJ. Newspaper Extracts, 4 volumes
KK. North Carolina MSS, 1 volume
LL. Paris Documents at Albany, 1 volume
MM. Patterson Papers, 3 volumes
NN. Pittsburg and Northwest Virginia MSS, 10 volumes
OO. Pension Statements, 1 volume
PP. Potter Papers, 1 volume
QQ. Preston Papers, 6 volumes, see calendar
RR. Rudolph-Ney MSS, 10 volumes
SS. Shepherd Papers, 5 volumes
TT. South Carolina MSS, 1 volume
UU. South Carolina in the Revolution Miscellanies, 2 volumes
VV. Sumter MSS, 23 volumes
WW. John Cleves Symmes Papers, 3 volumes
XX. Tennessee MSS, 7 volumes, see calendar
YY. Tecumseh MSS, 13 volumes
ZZ. Virginia MSS, 14 volumes, see calendar

Each document with a series of papers is numbered consecutively, for example, 1V16 refers to document number 16 in volume 1 of V Georgia, Alabama, and South Carolina Papers.  A citation such as “3TT45” means that the document referred to is document 45 in volume 45 of TT The South Carolina Papers.

The Lyman C. Draper Collection is today in the State Histor­ical Society of Wisconsin, where Draper served as the first director.  The collection is divided into papers by subject with each set of papers given an alphabetical letter or double letters to represent it as a series.  Each set of papers/series is further divided into volumes.  Selected microfilm of the Draper Collection is available at the South Carolina Department of Archives and History, the McClung Collection of the Knoxville Public Library, Birmingham Public Library, Huntsville-Madison County Public Library, and the Houston Cole Library of Jacksonville State University.  The Woodruff Library of Emory University has a complete set of this microfilm. Individual rolls can also be ordered through your local LDS Family History Center.

For additional information see the Wisconsin Historical Society’s website:  https://www.wisconsinhistory.org/military/draper.

Bob DavisSenior Prof. Robert Scott Davis teaches history at Wallace State College, PO Box 687, Hanceville, Alabama 35077-687

Georgia Gov. Stephen Heard letter[1]

Stephen HeardStephen Heard (November 1, 1740 – November 15, 1815) was appointed the chief executive of Georgia on February 18, 1780 and served until Dr. Nathan Brownson was elected in August 1781.  Heard had fought in the French and Indian War and served as a colonel in the Georgia militia.  He was reportedly at the Battle of Kettle Creek and later was captured by Loyalist and escaped though his wife and child died of exposure after being burned out of their house by Tories.  After serving as Governor, he served in the Georgia House of Representatives from 1794 to 1795.  Heard was born in Hanover County, Virginia in 1740, and died in Elbert County, Georgia, in 1815, at the age of 75.  Heard’s Fort was built in Wilkes County, Georgia in 1774, by Stephen Heard.  It was the seat of the rebel government of British occupied Georgia from February 3, 1780, until the rebel governor was forced to flee Georgia in the fall of 1780.  The fort set the groundwork for the town of Washington, Georgia.  Heard County, Georgia was named after Stephen Heard.

SCAR solicits your help and input in updating the transcription and annotation of this report by Georgia Governor Stephen Heard, in exile in Virginia, covering the events of 1780 and 1781 in the Georgia and western South Carolina backcountry.  Please send your suggestions and comments to Charles B. Baxley at cbbaxley@truvista.net.

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Dr. [Dear] Sir.

Virginia   Henry County                                                                March 2d 1781

After your Departor [Departure] from Georgia General Williamson[2] in a few Days Retreated from Augusta to his own Plantation Nier [Near] Ninty Six.  They [The] Council Thought Proper to Adjourn to Wilkes County and Join Camp Expecting to Act occationly [occasionally] with the South Carolineans to Defend the Uper [Upper] parts of Both States till Assistance Could be Sent to our Relief, But to our grate [great] Surprize [Surprise] Williamson and part of his Bragaed [Brigade] Capitulated with a Capt Paris that Imbodied [Embodied] they [the] Torys [Tories] on [illegible][.][3]   [A]t this Time Colo [Colonel Thomas] Brown[4] was on his march [deleted: [illegible]] far up as Mr Galphins,[.][5]  Under these Circumstances [deleted: the] Many of the Georgians was much Discouraged[.]   [B]oth officers and men being informed at the Same time that Bodies of Disaffected ware [were] Collected on the frontiers of Caroliniain order to Prevent their passing through to the American Troops,[.]  [U]pon this a flag wass [was] Sent from the Commanding officer [document damaged] Colo [Colonel] Brown to no [know] what powers he wass [was] invested [document damaged] with thee [the] inhabitants, upon Which the Cou[document damaged] Colo [Colonel] John Jones[6] from burk [Burke] County and myself with about one hundred brave Georgians Retired to th[document damaged] formed a Camp Sent an Express inwards but got no Answer[.]  The Tory Reports was very much in favour [favor] of [document damaged] [deleted: [illegible]] answer [added: to the flag] was sent to they [the] Inhabitants of we[document damaged] The Coald [Could] be Received as prisoners of war [added: on parole] to which [document damaged] agreed to and about four hundred Capitulated and Capt Manson[7] Trancated [Transacted] that Buisuness [Business] [deleted: Being] apointed [appointed] an Assistant to Colo [Colonel] Brown at this Time things Bore a glumy [gloomy] Aspect theer [their] [added: all] Communication being intirly [entirely] Cut of [off] From our Friends it was Detemined [Determined] that we Should march and with some [illegible] and Through Danger maid [made]

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our way by the Mountains to the Frontiers of North Carolina whare [where] we Joined Colo [Colonel] Macdowel,[.][8]   Colo [Colonel] Jones[,] as he Marched Through The Frontieres [Frontiers] of South Carolina[,] Fell in with a party of Thirty od Torys [odd Tories] Disarmed thim [them] and [illegible] Each to a Small bound[.][9]  They [illegible] Persued [Pursued] Jones a party Comanded [Commanded] by a Capt [James] Dunlap[10] which Came upon they [the] Georgians late in the Evning atempting [Evening attempting] a surprise[.]  [B]ut beining [being] Joined by the North Carolineans and their officers and men Behaving so Exceeding well the British was put to the [unclear: Rout] with som [some] Loss[.][11]   [S]everall [several] of the Georgians suffered very much as the [they] Bore the Burden of the Action[,] Some of which Died a few Days after[.]  [T]he next Day the Georgians and North Carolinians pursued [.]  [T]he Enemy Came up and [we] Drove them many miles[,] Took some prisoners and kiled [killed] a number of Toryce [Tories][.][12]  Soon after they [the] Georgians was Joined by a Colo [Colonel] Shelby[13] Comandnding [Commanding] a party of Virginians From Holsons [Holston] River marched in to South Carolina Took a fort with upwards of one hundred prisoner put them on parole with the Loss of their arms[.][14]  [S]oon after this Clark[15] and Shelby fell in with a party of Fergissons [Maj. Patrick Ferguson’s] men nier they [near the] [Wofford’s] Iron works on [unclear: Pacolet River, actually Lawsons Fork][document damaged] Drove them some miles[.]  [T]here the Brave [unclear: Burwell Smith[16]] [document damaged] of the wilks Militia Fell[.]  [A]t this Time the Niews [News] of General [document damaged – Horatio Gates] advancing to our Assistance and having a very formaedable [formidable] [document damaged – Army under] his Command seemed to Change the apperances [appearances] of things [document damaged] [unclear: Camden][.]  [T]hey [the] Georgians flushed with hops [hopes] of [document damaged] Sotheren [Southern] Army attempted to march through the uper [upper] parts of Suth Carolina towards Ninty Six with the Assistance of they [the] Brave Carolineans which they affected as far as the [unclear: Enoree River] thare [there] fell in with a Regular British force Comanded [Commanded] by a Colo [Colonel] Innes[.]  [A] fair Action hapened [happened] with out any Surprize [Surprise] and Continued for some tim [time][.]  [T]he British was forced to Retreat with a loss of a number kiled [killed] and wounded on the ground and a number of prisoners taken[17]

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which was marched to hilsborrou[18] under they [the] [illegible] of Colo [Colonel James] Williams[19] who afterward fell by Forgisson [Ferguson] at kings Mountain[.]  [T]he Disagreeable niews [news] of Gateses Defeat[20] Reched [Reached] us which[,] in a Little time [,] semed [seemed] to give life and Action to both British and Torys [Tories][.]    [T]he British[unclear: Prescribed] an oath for the Inhabitants of Georgia to Subscribe which was objected [added: to] by a number though Thretened [Threatened] if the [they] Did not Comply by a Cartain [Certain] Day they would be Demed [Deemed] Enemy and Treated Accordingly[.]  [T]he Georgians Looking upon them [document damaged] Disingaged [Disengaged] from their paroles they ware Detemined [were Determined] to lift Arms before the [they] would bare [bear] Such treat[added: ment][.]   Colo [Colonel] Clark going to Georgia at [document damaged: the] same time four Hundred and od Joned [odd Joined] him Marched to Augusta whare thare [where there] was a large Body of Indians from the Creeks and Cherokes Caled [Called] to a treaty by Colo [Colonel] Brow[n.][21]     [T]he [unclear: Britis] formed up at Seamores white house the Indians on their Right in the wods [woods] who brought on the Action but our men advanced and kiled [killed] a number of Indians[,] took two Fieldpieces and obliged the British to take Sheltor [Shelter] in houses[.]  [T]hat night intrenched [entrenched] themselves Colo [Colonel] Clark Reniewed [Renewed] the Action the next Day and Raised [document damaged] Round the Enemy [document damaged] of Every Supply[,] Shattered their hous[document damaged] the Fieldpieces and our men behaving so well that the [document damaged] of the Enemy in their works so that Colo [Colonel] Brown sent a [document damaged] bury his Dead which was granted[.]  Such as ware [were] in his works [document damaged] musta Cartainly Sarrenderd [must have Certainly Surrendered] in a few hours had not Colo [Colonel] [document damaged – John Harris Cruger commander of ] Ninty Six marched to their assistance with a Regular force [document damaged  – and a] large Body of Torys [Tories] which obliged Colo [Colonel] Clark to order a retreat and [document damaged][.]  [He was] persued [pursued] was obliged to Cross the Mountans [Mountains][.]  [T]e British marched up in [document damaged – Wilkes] County Distresed [Distressed] the Inhabitants Cruelly took a number of prisoner and obliged the people to give up twenty of their [unclear: princaple [principal] Whig] friends as hostages for the piece [peace] and good behaviour [bahavior][.][22]  [Ferguson] Forgisson Being Defeated at kings mountain[23] The Georgians marched Sothardly [Southwardly] Colos [Colonels] Few[,] Twigs [Twiggs,] Clark [, and] Major Jackson and Lindsay [unclear: Davies]and [SC militia Gen. Thomas] Sumter formed a Junction with the Suth Carolineans[.]   Colo [Banastre Tarleton] Tarlington was detached [unclear: after] Cornwallis with a party of [unclear: his]

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Trops [Troops] to fall in with us which we met with the officers and men Behaved so Exceeding well that obliged [Tarleton] tarlington[,] though his troops ware [were] Regulars and over our numbers[,] to Retreat with a very Considerable loss[.][24]  [T]he Georgians proceeded to march to the uper [upper] parts of South Carolina and penetrated as far as pickingers [Col. Andrew Pickens[25]] Regment [Regiment] a number of which Joined our Camps Colo [Colonel] Pickings [Pickens] himself is very Active with us which is much in our favour [favor] as his Regment [Regiment] is almost good [document damaged] the Georgian and South Carolinians have been in Every Action [document damaged] the sothard [southward][.]   And if Cornwallis was out of our way, [added: which we [illegible]] [deleted: [illegible]] [document damaged] be Capable of taking and keeping the uper [upper] parts of both States as the Torys [Tories] are many of them kiled [killed][.]  [Lt. Col. James] Grierson[26] and Andrew More[27] and [Col.] Thomas waters[28] of Wilks is very Active Against us [-] have the Command of Aug[added: usta]and upwards Ingram[29] is also Active[.]  They ware [were] the Caus [Cause] of Removing a number of Famalies [Families] from Georgia of such persons as ware [were] in arms against them in a very unseasonable time of the year.  The Brave Georgians that was in Camp when you left Augusta have [document damaged] Sarvice [Service] Ever sinc [since] and is mu[document damaged] distressed both officers and [document damaged] much for Clothing and all most [almost] Every necery [necessary] the State [document damaged] to Relieve their wants and must Airnestly Requst [Earnestly Request] that you [document damaged] in their Behalf with the Honourable [Honorable] the [document damaged] for som [some] Relief both in Clothing and Money as its uncartain [uncertain] [document damaged] got will be before we Recover our State[.]  [F]ully upwards of Five hundred Georgians left the state but not over three hundred keeps constant to Camp and some of their Necessity obliges to lieve [leave] Camp at times in order to procure some necesaries [necessaries] for their support what money was in they [the] treasury was advanced at general Williamsons Request for the [unclear: Support] of the Commacary [Commissary] and quartermaster Departments which was to be Replaced but Cannot be Drawn from the Confederate [illegible] [added: as] Colo [Colonel] Wily[30] and Cuthbert[31] are both in Augusta on parol [parole][.]  [Y]ours [your letter] by Capt Walton[32] and Major Jackson[33] Came to hand the Resolve of Councel [Council] you mention [illegible] at as they both are in a [illegible] in Georgia[.]  Mrs [Richard] Howly[34] and the Children was well the Last [illegible] from
I am Sir your ser [servant]
[Signed] Stephen Heard

NB [Nota Bene] the Many Loses [Losses] and Disapp[document damaged]tments prevented me from sending [document damaged][.]   Mr Lindsay is woundend [wounded] and Taken Prisoner with Henry Candlerson to the late [illegible] Hawkins[illegible] [document damaged] Let him Return as soon as possable [possible][.]
[Signed] SH [Stephen Heard]

[1] Stephen Heard from Wilkes County, Ga. was the Whig Governor of Georgia 1780-1781 while almost all of Georgia was under British control.  He escaped to Virginia as the Georgia backcountry was under the harsh rule of the British and Loyalists.  The intended recipient of this letter is thought to be Georgia Delegate to the Continental Congress, Richard Howley.   Accessed at http://neptune3.galib.uga.edu/ssp/cgi-bin/tei-natamer-idx.pl?sessionid=7f000001&type=doc&tei2id=krc098 on February 12, 2014.   Letter courtesy of Linda Heard.  The transcription and bracketed interpretation is courtesy of the Hargrett Library Rare Book & Manuscript Library at the University of Georgia, and annotated by Charles B. Baxley.  Baxley has added some suggested punctuation and capitalization in [] to make this letter easier to read.  See also Mary B. Warren’s publication of this letter in her book Revolutionary Memoirs and Muster Rolls (Athens, Ga.: Heritage Papers, 1994).

[2] Gen. Andrew Williamson, SC militia commander from the Ninety Six District until June 1780.  His plantation home, White Hall, was on Hard Labor Creek, about 20 miles west of Ninety Six.

[3] Gen. Williamson surrendered to Loyalist militia Capt.  Richard Parris in June 1780 and was granted parole by the British, along with many of his militia brigade.

[4] Col. Thomas Brown of Augusta, Georgia Loyalist commandant of the King’s Rangers provincial regiment.

[5] George Galphin, Indian trader and appointed rebel Indian Agent to the Creeks, had his home and trading post on the Savannah River below Augusta at Silver Bluff, South Carolina, which was fortified and called Galphin’s Fort or Ft. Dreadnaught by the British.

[6] Col. John Jones was a Georgia militia regiment commander from Burke County.

[7] Capt. (Maj.) Daniel Manson, Loyalist officer of the North Carolina Royalists provincial regiment.

[8] Col. Charles McDowell, NC militia area commander of Quaker Meadows, formed his camp at Earle’s Ford on the North Pacolet River at the NC-SC state line.  This is in modern Spartanburg County, just east of Landrum, SC.  There Col. Jones’ refugees joined McDowell’s camp the evening before the party was raided by Capt. James Dunlap’s Loyalist cavalry.

[9] Col. Jones by gile, pretending to be Loyalist reinforcements, took over a group of Loyalist soldiers occupying Gowan’s Fort on July 13, 1780.  Jones’ party of Georgia refugees was immediately pursued to McDowell’s camp the next night.

[10] Capt. James Dunlap was an aggressive Loyalist cavalry officer from New York, detailed to patrol near Ninety Six on the South Carolina frontier.  He will be murdered by Americans while a prisoner of war.

[11] This details Capt. Dunlap’s night attack on Jones’ camp, which Dunlap did not know was actually next to a much larger American militia force of Col. Charles McDowell.

[12] The Americans hotly pursued Dunlap’s troops back to Fort Prince which was east of the Wellford community of modern Spartanburg County, South Carolina.

[13] Col. Isaac Shelby, western NC militia commander, part of the so called “Overmountain Men”.

[14] This reference is to the capitulation of Fort Anderson/Thicketty Fort to the Americans on July 30, 1780.

[15] Col. Elijah Clarke, Wilkes County, Georgia militia.

[16] Probably a reference to Maj. Burwell Smith, Georgia militia officer in the Wilkes County Regiment.

[17] This is the Battle of Musgrove Mill on the Enoree River where American militias under Cols. James Williams (SC), Elijah Clarke (Ga.) and Isaac Shelby (NC) attacked a militia outpost which had been reinforced by Col. Alexander Innes’ South Carolina Royalist provincials.  It occurred on August 19, 1780 and was an American victory.

[18] Hillsborough, NC, the revolutionary era capital of North Carolina.

[19] Col. James Williams, SC militia, died from wounds received at the Battle of Kings Mountain, the highest ranked American killed there.

[20] The new Southern Commander, Gen. Horatio Gates, the hero of the American victory at Saratoga, new York, was soundly beaten by Lord Charles Cornwallis at the Battle of Camden (SC) on August 16, 1780.

[21] This is Col. Elijah Clarke and South Carolina militia Maj. James McCall’s unsuccessful first Siege of Augusta or McKay’s Trading Post on September 14-18, 1780.

[22] The September 1780 punitive raid into Wilkes County burned over 100 Whig plantations, took 21 prominent Whigs as hostages, and 13 Whigs were hung in Augusta by Col. Cruger.

[23] Battle of Kings Mountain, South Carolina, American victory over the Maj. Patrick Ferguson and Loyalist on October 8, 1780.

[24] This American victory occurred at Blackstock’s Plantation on the Tyger River on November 20, 1780 and clearly demonstrated that Lt. Col. Banastre Tarleton could be stopped, a lesson to be well applied to Tarleton again by the Americans at the Battle of Cowpens on January 17, 1781.

[25] SC militia Col. Andrew Pickens, a popular and skilled leader, was on parole until his home was burned by Maj. James Dunlop, which he believed released him from his parole and “British protection”.   He retook his militia leadership role by joining Gen. Daniel Morgan at Grindal Shoals on the Pacolet River in early January 1781 before the Battle of Cowpens.

[26] Georgia Loyalist militia Lt. Col. James Grierson was a prominent resident of Augusta.   He will be murdered while a prisoner of War by the Americans on July 5, 1781.

[27] Andrew Moore?

[28] Georgia Loyalist militia Col. Thomas Waters, a prominent Wilkes County resident, former member of the Georgia Assembly and Loyalist militia regimental commander.

[29] ??? Ingram

[30] Col. Richard Wylly of Effingham County, Ga. acted as Quartermaster General of Georgia and President of the Council.

[31] Seth John Cuthbert, President of the Supreme Executive Council of Georgia 1779 (acting governor) and Georgia militia major.

[32] Capt. George Walton of Augusta, member of the Continental Congress, post-War Governor of Georgia.

[33] Maj. James Jackson, Georgia Continental line officer and post-War Governor of Georgia.

[34] Richard Howley was elected as Governor of Georgia and delegate to the Continental Congress; he chose to go to Congress.

February 22, 2014