South Carolina Pioneers

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Bravery and Stamina

John Collins Captain John Collins was born in Maryland, and first enlisted in 1776 to fight against the Cherokee Indians serving in Colonel Neal's Regiment during April and May. He was one of those soldiers who re-enlisted again and again to serve his country, beginning as a private and earning the rank of captain. In those days, three month stretches were offered, so that the soldiers could return home during planting and harvesting. In other words, they farmed and fought in a war! Collins served a two-month tour as a South Carolina Militiaman when he was drafted into a battalion of horsemen under Major Francis Ross. During 1778 and 1779 he fought on the South Carolina lines, later joining Colonel Hampton to go to Charlotte, North Carolina and Colonel Archibald Lytle at Hillsborough. He fought the battle of Guilford Court House and was at Tarleton's defeat. The trail to establishing a home for his family had begun in Maryland, fighting battles in the Carolinas and Georgia, until he finally removed to Hall County, Georgia where he farmed the land given him as land grants for service in the war. His last stop, however, was Acworth, Georgia. He was buried in Mars Hill Presbyterian Church where his family attended.

Tories Shipped to St. Augustine after the War

Does it surprise you to know that Americans were taken to St. Augustine as prisoners? This marker establishes the site on the square where rebels were imprisoned. It appeared to be a rather casual affair, where the officers were given the freedom to walk about the town. Considering that navigation of the St. John's River was impossible without a proper vessel, the isolation served as prison walls. Well, at the end of the war, there was a turnaround. Consider the case of Edward Conner who first enlisted in the Continental Service in North Carolina as a private under the command of Captain William Davis and Colonel John Ashe when he was ordered to rendezvous at Rockfish Cumberland County to observe the activities of the Tories who had landed on the North side of the River. Then he joined a detachment under the command of General Caswell and attacked and beat the Tories at Moores Creek. When this term of enlistment expired, he was discharged and returned to his father in South Carolina. However, when a draft was soon ordered to march to Charleston where he volunteered as a private under the command of Lieutenant John Sessions and marched to Haddrells Point where they arrived just as the British commenced firing on Fort Moultrie. At Haddrells Point he joined the main body and and marched to Sullivan Island just as that engagement ended. After Charleston he was marched to Purrysburg where the American forces consisted of about 200 men. As the British Army advanced, the American forces retreated up the River to Black Swamp; the British Army at that time encamping opposite to them in the State of Georgia. On the march; the American Army crossed the Savannah River at Augusta while the enemy retreated down the River to Briar Creek where they crossed to the Carolina side of the River towards Charleston, near Dorchester where they were joined by General Lincoln. At Bacons bridge they were attacked by a party of 500 Tories under the command of Daniel McGirt, however, during the fight Count Pulaski arrived with his cavalry, charged and routed the Tories. They continued in pursuit of the enemy; however, General Moultrie being then in possession of the city of Charleston, the British recrossed the Ashley River and encamped at Stono (June 20, 1779). While there, the Army under the command of Lincoln proceeded to attack for about two hours, when the Americans were defeated and retreated. Colonel Roberts who commanded the Regiment was killed. Thereafter, he returned home having served two years in the regular Service where he remained for nearly six months when he was elected Captain in the militia of the State of South Carolina and in Kingston County. But it was time to do something with British prisioners, and Conner was appointed Captain to march a detachment of his company to Wardens Camp in Georgetown where it was his decision to decide which of the Tories to collection and send to St. Augustine.

A Tory Called "Burned Foot" Brown

Speaking of skirmishes and escapades surrounding, St. Augustine, in June of 1778 the command of Captain Joseph Kirkland and Field Officer General Williamson of South Carolina made an expedition from Winnsborough, South Carolina to Augusta, then Sunbury, Georgia across the St. Mary's River to Alligator Creek East Florida. The purpose of this expedition was to take British-held St. Augustine, Florida. Unfortunately, ahead of the troops was a man who was nicknamed "burned foot"l Brown who went before them placing cannon at St. Johns River and throwing other obstructions in their way by falling trees, etc, so that they were unable to complete their expedition. Brown was a Tory who commanded a considerable party of men. Source:Pension of Henry Gragg of Fairfield District, South Carolina.

Fighters of Cherokee Indians

Cherokees William McGarity, Sr. of Chester District, South Carolina was a volunteer under Captain Patton and claimed to have defeated the Tories and Indians at Reddy River under the command of Colonel Cunningham. He was transferred and put under the command of General Wilkinson and crossed the Savannah River to fight the Tories and Indians. Then returned to South Carolina to fight in the battle of Stono. He served under Captain McClure in a scrimmage with the Tories at Beckhamsvill where he received a slight wound in the arm. He was at the battle of Williamson old place where Hood and Ferguson was defeated he then joined General Sumpter was at the battle at Rocky mount he was then in five days at the battle of hanging rock we then marched down the side of the wateree river till we heard of Gates defeat we then retreated back was sent out by Sumpter to destroy the houses at Rocky Mount which prevented your petitioner from being at the battle of Fishing Creek where Sumpter was surprised he then took his family and moved them into North Carolina for safety, then returned back rejoined General Sumpter was at the battle of the fishdam ford on broad river where we defeated the british tories in a few days was in the battle at Blackstock on tiger river where General Sumpter was wounded he then returned home and moved his family from North Carolina home; in the year 1781 he turned out under Captain Hannah and joined General Green a the old cross roads and marched to Orangeburgh against the british under Lord Roden who was entrenched so strongly he was then sent in a small detachment to the quarter house near Charleston where we had a scrimmage with the british and negroes he then marched to Gigen church when the british found us approaching they burnt the church and retreated we then followed them to Quinby Bridge where we overtook them and had a scrimmage with them, he then returned home and in the year 1782 he turned out and went to Orangeburgh and remained there three months and returned home which is the last tour that he was out.

Tory Threatens to Hang Patriot

Reuben Harrison served with Colonel Richardson Owens during the Revolutionary War. He was sent from Flower Gap in Surry County, North Carolina by Colonel Owens with a letter to Colonel Benjamin Cleveland advising Cleveland when he would advance upon the Tories. En route, he was captured by the Tories and mistreated. They threatened to hang him. A Tory by the name of George Roberts took him into his arms and shaking him, told him that he would be hanged if he did not disclose his business. But his step-son, a young man, interceded that persuaded the Tory to release Harrison because of his youth. He had hidden the letter in the crown of his hat, and although the Tories removed it, did not see it. Therefore, Harrison was released and went on to deliver the letter to Colonel Cleveland before returning to Flower Gap. Revolutionary War Pensions provide a great deal of personal information about the soldiers as well as battles. They are certainly worth studying and using to piece together family puzzles.

The Story of the American Revolution was Told in Pension Records

Battle of Stono When the Tories were encamped upon the Reedy River on Indian land, Charles Littleton was drafted to fight in the Revolutionary War for three months. Such was the situation of most patriots; they were first drafted to fight skirmishes near their home, then, as the war progressed, re-enlisted upon numerous occasions to fight in specific battles. Littleton was assigned to a company commanded by Captain William Gordon under Colonel John Lisle for a tour called "The Snow Campaign" which lasted from 8 December of 1775 to the end of that month. After he returned home he learned that the Tories were in Georgia, so he volunteered. They pursued this batch of Tories as far as the St. Mary's River and the Tories escaped to St. Augustine, Florida. Later, during June of 1779, Littleton was called into service to help repulse the British at Stono,South Carolina, however, were repulsed by the British. After a short while at home and when the British took Charleston on May 12, 1780, he was again called into service, this time under the command of General Andrew Pickens and was marched towards Camden, South Carolina where the Tories and British had collected in large bodies. General Pickens found himself unable to contend with the enemy, so ordered the army to disperse and to "make the best of their way to save themselves." Littleton returned home where he spent the night before being collected to march into North Carolina. He fought at the battle of Rocky Mount on July 30, 1780 and the Battle of Hanging Rock on August 6, 1780, then took possession of the ferry at Camden where his regiment remained for four days. Unfortunately, General Horatio Gates was defeated and General Sumpter was on the run being pursued by none other than Lt. Colonel Tarleton who handily defeated the Americans at Fishing Creek. Once again the army dispersed. But Littleton was in for the duration, so was collected at Charlotte in North Carolina for the purpose of reassembling at the fishing dam of the Broad River. From there they were marched to Blackstock Plantation on the Tyger River and were engaged once again by Tarleton and was the place where General Sumpter was wounded. From there, they marched to the Iron Works on Lawson Fork Creek near Spartanburg under the command of General Pickens. Littleton went on to fight in the battle of Cowpens on January 17, 1781 and afterwards, his regiment was ordered to remain on the field of battle in charge of the dead and wounded. Finally, Littleton was marched to Earles Station east of Tryon, North Carolina to engage the Indians on the frontier, which is were Littleton remained until peace was made. Source: Revolutionary War Pension of Charles Littleton, W8255.

Kilgore-Lewis House

Kilgore-LewisJosiah Kilgore built his house in Greenville about 1838. It is one of the few remaining antebellum buildings in Greenville, a frame house with Greek Revival elements, hand-blown glass windows, wooden-peg construction and copper roofing.

Map of Greenville County

Greenville, SC

Greenville, SC

Greenville County Probate Records

Greenville, SC

Greenville County originally belonged to the Cherokee Indians, until 1777 when they ceded their lands to the state and English and Scotch-Irish settlers began settling. Greenville District was created in 1786, but from 1791 to 1800 it was part of the larger Washington District. The county seat was originally named Pleasantburg, but in 1831 the name was changed to Greenville. Early settlers: Arnold Russell, William Henry Lyttleton, Frederick Winter, Jesse Saxon, John Robinson, Evan Thomas, George Salmon, Wiat Anderson, John Holland, General Nathaniel Greene (1742-1786) and others.

Greenville County Probate Records available to members of South Carolina Pioneers

Images of Greenville County Wills 1787 to 1818

Arnold, Benjamin, LWT | Ayres, John | Barrett, Reubin (1812) | Benson, Elizabeth | Benson, Prue, LWT | Bots, Moon, LWT | Bradley, Abraham, LWT | Chastain, Abraham, estate (1845) | Chandler, Joel, LWT | Collins, John, LWT | Cooley, Jacob | Cox, John, LWT | Crain, Judith, LWT | Crayton, Thomas, LWT | Darrach, Hugh, LWT | Dill, John, LWT (1807) | Dill, Stephen, LWT (1839) | Duncan, Sally, LWT | Dunn, Benjamin | Dyer, Samuel, LWT | Edwards, John, LWT | Edwards, Sally | Fisher, Nicholas, LWT | Ford, Mary, LWT | Ford, John, LWT | Forest, Jeremiah, LWT | Forrester, James, LWT | Foster, John, LWT | Gaston, William | Goodlett, David, LWT | Goodlett, Hiram, LWT | Goodlett, Robert | Grace, Joel | Hackson, William | Hanes, Henry | Harrison, John, LWT | Hawkins, Eaton | Hawkins, Joshua, LWT | Hethcoth, Isaac | Howard, Edward, LWT | Howard, John, LWT | Hunt, William, LWT | Jackson, Elizabeth | Janes, Joseph, LWT | Jenkins, Micajah, LWT | Johnson, Hannah | Kelly, Samuel | Kemp, Richard, LWT | Kilgore, James | King, Edward | Kirby, Francis, LWT | Landrith, John | Langley, Carter, LWT | Langston, John, LWT | Lester, Archibald, LWT | Loveless, Isaac, LWT | Machen, Henry, LWT | Martin, George | Mathers, William, LWT | McClanahan, William, LWT (1802) transcript | McCleland, James | McCrary, James, LWT | McDaniel, John | McVicar, Adam, LWT | Moon, John, LWT (1839), transcript | Moon, William, LWT (1835), transcript | Morgan, Isaac, LWT | Nelson, Robert | Owens, William, LWT | Payne, Isaiah, LWT | Payne, Thomas, LWT | Peden, John, LWT | Peden, John Sr., LWT | Peden, William, LWT | Pickett, Micajah, LWT | Pike, Lewis, LWT, transcript, 1819 | Praytor, Middleton | Reece, Travace | Roberts, Hardy, LWT | Roe, James, LWT | Rogers, John, LWT | Sammons, John | Seaborn, George | Ship, William | Simmons, John | Sims, Drury, LWT | Smith, Alexander, LWT | Smith, Abner, LWT | Smith, Reubin, LWT | Sparks, Jesse, LWT | Stone, Mary LWT | Stone, Jonathan | Tarrant, Benjamin, LWT (1808) | Tarrant, John, LWT | Taylor, John, LWT | Thomas, William | Thompson, John, LWT | Thompson, Josiah | Thackston, William, LWT | Thrasher, Thomas, LWT | Turner, William | Vinson, Ezekiel | Waddill, Charles | Waddill, Edmund, LWT, image (1850) | Walker, Sylvanus | Welch, William, LWT | Wells, Samuel, LWT | Wickliff, Isaac, LWT | Wolfe, George | Wynne, Matthew, LWT | Yeargin, Andrew | Yeargin, Orgin | Young, John, LWT | Young, William, LWT

Digital Images of Inventories and Appraisements 1825 to 1829

Avery, Charles | Benson, Robert | Bradford, Philemon | Brooks, George | Brown, William | Clark, William | Cole, Ira | Cook, Nancy | Cooley, Jacob | Cowan, Francis | Crayton, Samuel | Croft, Frederick | Farr, James | Foster, Robert | Goldsmith, John | Hall, Merry | Loveless, Isaac | McClemons, Hugh | McCreary, Andrew | McJunkin, Daniel | Montgomery, Alexander | Moon, Samuel | Morgan, Jesse | Moseley, James | Nabors, Samuel | Nelson, Elisha | Pegalot, William | Ponder, James | Pool, Irvin P. | Rae, James | Rea, William | Rector, Lewis | Sloan, Alexander | Smith, Jeremiah | Sowel, Deadamia | Stoke, Levi | Stokes, Thomas | Stone, Mary | Sullivan, Charles | Taylor, John | Terry, Burksdale | Thurston, David | Towns, Samuel | Waddill, Charles | Welch, William | Westfield, John Jr. | Westmoreland, John | Young, William

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