Ninety Six was named from the mistaken idea that it was 96 miles from the nearest Cherokee settlement of Keowee. It was a campground along the Cherokee Path. Located centrally on a path which was worn over many years by the travel of Cherokee Indians, traders often stopped at Ninety Six on their way to Keowee, trading firearms and numerous goods and supplies for deer skins and furs. The Cherokee trail became a vital commercial pathway which was crucial to the success of the thriving colony. The first residents were hunters, followed by cattle drovers and Indian Traders. By 1753, Robert Gouedy had built a trading post here which soon rivaled some Charleston merchants in volume of trade. Gouedy amassed over 1500 acres in land ownership before his death in 1775, at which time over 500 settlers were believed to be in his debt. During the war with the Cherokees, local militia built a stockade around Gouedy's barn. During the French and Indian War, the town was attacked twice by the Cherokee.
In 1769, seven circuit court districts were established and courthouses were set up for each district. In Ninety-Six District the courthouse was established in the village of Ninety-Six. It was a prosperous village by the time of the Revolutionary War.
Revolutionary War-era terms to know
Whigs and Tories - the two British political parties during the 17th to 19th centuries. Whigs believed in Constitutional Monarchy and were opposed to absolute rule. Tories supported the Monarchy and the Church of England.
Loyalists - Before the Revolutionary War, Americans considered themselves British colonists and followed British law. Many didn't want to rebel against the English King George. American colonists who remained loyal to the British crown during the Revolutionary War were called Loyalists, Royalists, King's Men, even Tories, and Provincials
Patriots - Those who were tired of being under the tyranny of a monarch and believed in breaking away from England and forming a new country were called Rebels, Whigs, Patriot's, Congress Men, Americans.
The first land battle south of New England was fought at Ninety Six in 1775. On November 3, 1775, Loyalists seized a Patriot munitions convoy. Divided loyalties over the issue of American independence gave way to violence when a force of over 1800 Loyalists attacked 600 Patriot soldiers under the command of Major Andrew Williamson, which were amassed at Ninety Six. Both sides gathered their forces and the Loyalists, under the command of Patrick Cunningham, attacked the Patriots at Ninety Six. After a brief three-day siege, a truce was called to allow the leaders to settle their differences. The confrontation ends with the Treaty of Ninety Six, which was designed to promote peace between the Whigs, or rebels, and the Tories, or loyalists. It would soon dissolve. Historians differ on the Spartan Regiment's placement during this time. Varying opinions have them on the home front, at Ninety Six or at the capture of Fort Johnson near Charles Town, which was Sept. 15 of that year. More Patriot forces arrived under the command of Colonel Richard Richardson who ignored the truce and dispersed the Loyalists into Cherokee country. James Birmingham, of the Long Cane Militia, is considered to have been the 1st Patriot killed in the South during the American Revolution. Not much is known about him other than he might have lived on Penny's Creek off of Long Cane Creek in present Abbeville County. He was killed during the 1st Battle of Ninety Six at the Stockade Fort, November 19-21, 1775.
Following the surrender of Charleston on May 12, 1780, Ninety Six became an important Loyalist stronghold among four key outposts that included Augusta, GA to the southwest and Camden, SC and Georgetown, SC to the east. Ninety Six served as a base of operations for Patrick Ferguson. It was from here that he recruited the Loyalist militia that would later be destroyed at Kings Mountain. After Ferguson's defeat, the Ninety Six Outpost was garrisoned by about 550 Loyalists from New York, New Jersey and South Carolina under the command of John Harris Cruger. Cruger was a competent commander from New Jersey and he knew the importance of this outpost in maintaining British control over the south. The outpost was well garrisoned with a star-shaped fort, a stockaded village and a stockade fort at the western end. Many thought Ninety Six was impregnable.
A star fort or trace italienne is a fortification in the style was developed the age of black powder and cannon. The circular forts of the medieval era proved vulnerable to damage or destruction by cannonfire, when it could be directed from outside against a perpendicular masonry wall. In contrast, the star fortress was a very flat structure usually of dirt and brick and composed of many triangular bastions, specifically designed to cover each other and a ditch. British engineer Lt Henry Haldane decided that an 8 point star fort would be better for the site than a tradition square fort. During the Siege of Ninety Six, the Star Fort was 14 feet high with an additional 3 feet of sand bags.
The British built a "stockade fort" in 1781 on property owned by James Holmes, a Loyalist, to protect the garrison's water supply. An irregular fortification built around a barn and several out buildings, the stockade was surrounded by a ditch and abatis and was linked to the town by a communications trench.
When he arrived from Augusta, Georgia, in June 1781, Lt. Col. Henry "Lighthorse Harry" Lee assumed command of the Patriot attack against the Stockade Fort with 1,000 men. In the final American assault on June 18, Lee's men captured the redoubt, but held it only until General Nathaniel Greene ordered the attack ended. General Greene brought his Continental Army to Ninety Six on May 22, 1781. Greene appointed his aide, Colonel Thaddeus Kosciusko, to direct siege operations. The Patriot chief engineer Thaddeus Kosciuszko viewed the situation and he believed that the Star Fort was the strongest Loyalist held position and that if it fell so would the town and Stockade Fort. Under Kosciusko's direction, sappers (trench diggers) began digging a series of approach trenches (or saps) and parallels which would allow Patriot forces to advance to within musket range of the fort without compromising positions. The saps were originally 4 to 7 feet wide and 2 to 3 feet deep. The 1s approach trench was started as soon as the Patriots arrived and was completed May 27. The 3rd and last parallel was completed June 10. The Patriots used gabions and fascines to make the saps higher and safer. Gabions were baskets filled with dirt made from vines and twigs. Fascines were bundles of branches that were 5 to 12 feet long and tied together. The Gabions and fascines on the saps allowed the Patriots to stand up and pass supplies along the trenches. The first parallel was completed on June 1, 1781, eleven days after siege operations commenced. By June 10th, Patriot forces had finished digging the third parallel, which placed them within firing range of the fort. To dig in the hard clay of upstate SC is hard work. The Patriots wore themselves out quickly and suffered from the heat, broken shovels, and attacks from the Loyalists. During the night of June 13, they decided to try a new tactic and built a Maham Tower. It is named after Lt Col. Hezekiah Maham, one of Francis Marion's men who first developed the idea at Fort Watson earlier in the War. So Greene ordered his forces to construct this rifle tower which would provide his forces an opportunity to suppress cannon and musket fire from inside the fort which had been plaguing Patriot soldiers since the siege began. The original tower was 30 feet tall. Sharpshooters could go up into the tower and fire into the Star Fort. To stop this the Loyalists tried to burn the tower but it was built from green wood and would not burn. Another tactic that the Patriots tried was to build a mine. From the 3rd parallel they dug down 6 feet then started digging toward the Star Fort. The idea was to dig the mine under the Star fort, pack it with gunpowder, and blow a hole in the Star's walls to allow the Patriots to attack inside. The mine was not completed and still exists today.
The following day, Greene learned that a column of 2000 British troops were marching in relief of Cruger's forces to support the remaining Loyalist garrison. Greene, fearing that his forces would become trapped between the Loyalists and the approaching relief corps, resolved to storm the post by mounting simultaneous attacks on the east and west fronts. The assault began at noon on June 18. The general divided his forces between the stockade fort on the west with mounted forces under the command of "Light Horse" Harry Lee and the Star Fort on the east, attacking both simultaneously. The west contingent fought their way into the Stockade Fort, but the troops attacking the Star Fort met fierce resistance and were repelled after heavy casualties on both sides. With his force exhausted and weary, and the approaching British relief column not far away, General Greene opted not to organize another assault and gathered his forces for a pre-dawn retreat on the morning of June 20. Patriot forces did not retreat in vain however, as they inflicted such massive damage to the fort and the surrounding village that the British decided to abandon the location several weeks later. Cruger burned the town of Ninety Six, destroyed supplies, and then left Ninety Six to the backcountry Patriots. He received compliments by Sir Henry Clinton.
John Harris Cruger was a wealthy New York Loyalist who served as lieutenant-colonel of the First Battalion of DeLancey's Brigade (provincial troops) and commanded the post at Ninety-Six through most of the Southern Campaign. He went south with Lt. Col. Archibald Campbell's expedition in 1778, and participated in both the capture of Savannah (Dec. 29, 1778) and its later defense (Oct. 1779). He was captured by the rebels in June, 1780 (supposedly taken at a dinner party celebrating the King's birthday), but was exchanged in time to take an active part in the rest of the Carolinas campaign. When Lord Rawdon retired from Ninety-Six, he evacuated Cruger and his men, and after that they served with the main British force. Cruger fought at Eutaw Springs (Sep. 8, 1781), and again was commended for his participation in the action in Lt. Col. Stewart's report on the battle: "My particular thanks is due to Lieutenant Colonel Cruger, who commanded the front line, for his conduct and gallantry during the action[.]" He later took part in the defense of Charleston, in command of a critical forward defense post. According to the New-York Gazette, the Loyalists of Charleston gave Cruger a public thank you for his services, prior to his departure. After the evacuation of Charleston, Cruger returned to New York. He had lost all of his property to rebel confiscation, and began to make plans to "give up further military pursuits and go to England." He arrived in London in July, 1783, and lived out the remainder of his life in exile and died in London in 1807. Cruger was married to Ann DeLancey, the daughter of New York Loyalist Oliver DeLancey, Sr. Ann sailed from New York to join her husband while he was stationed in Georgia, but was captured en route by D'Estaing and remained his prisoner for a time. When she was released, she joined her husband and remained at his side through the rest of the campaign, including accompanying him to Ninety-Six. When that post was under siege, General Nathanael Greene is said to have placed a guard on her house, outside the fort, to protect her from being harmed by members of his army. At the end of the war, Ann went into exile with her husband and died in Chelsea, in 1822. (The picture was done by Robert Wilson.)
The Greene family was among the earliest settlers in Rhode Island and helped establish the colony. John Greene was the founder of the family in the new colony. Nathanael Greene was born July 27, 1742 (old style, which is August 7, 1742 new style). General Nathanael Greene was named for his father, who was a respected minister of the Society of Friends (Quakers) and a prosperous businessman. Greene's mother was Mary Motte, the second wife of his father. Because of Quaker beliefs about education, Greene was only taught reading, writing, and business math. In due course Greene used every possible moment to read books and saved his money to buy books so that eventually he acquired a large library. Greene had also been taught blacksmithing and the milling work. His father purchased a mill in Coventry which was assigned to Nathanael to manage. He took an active part in community affairs. Greene was caught up in the general fervor of resistance in New England. After attending a military parade in Connecticut, he became an avid reader of military works. He was questioned by his pacifist Quaker leaders about his interest in the military. The unlawful seizure of one of the Greene family's sloops by the H.M.S. Gaspée, a British revenue schooner, made matters personal. On 20 July 1774, Greene married Catharine Littlefield of Block Island. Caty, as she was known by her friends, was attractive and vivacious and would give him six children. In August of 1774, the men of East Greenwich county formed a militia company, which they later incorporated under the name Kentish Guards. Although Greene was a founding member, his participation in the group was challenged because of a slight limp that he had since childhood. The incident hurt him deeply and was only settled when an influential member of the Guards and close friend, James Mitchell Varnum, threatened to resign if Greene was forced to leave. In April of 1775, the Assembly of Rhode Island met at Providence and established an Army of Observation. Two months later, Greene was given command as a brigadier general of state troops. On 22 June 1775, he was commissioned as the youngest brigadier general in the Continental Army. A month later, he took command of Prospect Hill during the Siege of Boston. But, he missed the Battle of Bunker Hill on 17 June 1775 while petitioning for more supplies in Rhode Island. It was in Boston that Greene first met George Washington. Even during their initial meeting, Washington was greatly impressed. Within a year, he would consider Greene the best of his generals. Greene took command of Long Island in early April of 1776 and he was placed in charge of the Brooklyn defenses where the British Army was expected to attack. In August, he was promoted to the rank of major general, but was sick with fever during the Battle of Long Island, on 27 August 1776. As a result, he did not see his first action until the Battle of Harlem Heights on 16 September 1776. After the battle, he was placed in charge of the American forces guarding the shores of New Jersey at Fort Lee. This would lead to his most costly mistake of the entire war. Hoping for another Bunker Hill, Greene urged his commander to hold nearby Fort Washington, a strategic bastion for the Continental Army on Manhattan Island. Severely outnumbered and outgunned, the garrison of three thousand men fell to the British with little resistance. Afterwards, Greene played was prominent in conducting the retreat of the Continental Army across New Jersey. He commanded the right wing of Washington's task force during the Battle of Trenton on 26 December 1776. He also participated in the Battle of Princeton on 3 January 1777. At the Battle of Brandywine on 11 September 1777, Greene led his division four miles in under fifty minutes through broken country to set up a defensive line that allowed Major General John Sullivan's division to retreat. Then, he closed his lines and held the British at bay until nightfall which gave the main force time to withdraw from the field. At the Battle of Germantown on 4 October 1777, he led the left wing of the army. On 2 March 1778, Washington appointed Greene the new Quartermaster General of the Continental Army. The Quartermaster Department was in shambles and he had to labor long hours just to keep the Army operating. Washington still consulted him on matters of strategy and tactics, and he participated in all councils of war. The next battle that Greene took an active role in was the Battle of Monmouth on 28 June 1778. On 7 June 1780, he commanded the front line at the engagement of Connecticut Farms in New Jersey. Two weeks later, he led the force that repulsed the British at the Battle of Springfield (23 June 1780). Greene resigned as Quartermaster General on 26 July 1780 because he did not agree with Congress's new policy of requisitioning supplies from the individual states. Washington gave Greene command of West Point. After Major General Horatio Gates was defeated by the British Army at the Battle of Camden (16 August 1780), Washington appointed Greene the new Southern Commander. After their stunning victory at Camden, the British had undisputed control of the states of South Carolina and Georgia with a clear path into North Carolina and Virginia. The British commander, Lieutenant General Charles Earl Cornwallis established a chain of posts in order to secure his lines of communication and rally Loyalist support. Greene would have to fight Cornwallis in a region that was a logistical nightmare. His first priority as Southern Commander was to rehabilitate an army that was outnumbered, ill-equipped, and demoralized. Greene split his force in the face of a superior enemy by sending a flying army under the command of Brigadier General Daniel Morgan to threaten Cornwallis and bolster local militia support. He coordinated his efforts with local patriots such as Francis Marion, Andrew Pickens, Thomas Sumter, and Elijah Clarke in petite guerre (partisan operations) against the British. Cornwallis reacted by sending a force under the command of his subordinate, Lieutenant Colonel Banastre Tarleton, after Morgan in the hope of catching him between the two British forces. When Greene learned of Tarleton's pursuit, he wrote to Morgan, "Col. Tarleton is said to be on his way to pay you a visit. I doubt not but he will have a decent reception and a proper dismission." The result was the Battle of Cowpens on 17 January 1781. Morgan soundly defeated Tarleton in the greatest patriot victory of the war in the South, rivaled only by the repulsion of the British forces at Charleston in 1776. Then, Morgan reunited with the main force and the flight to the Dan River began in earnest. When Greene learned that Cornwallis was in pursuit, he exclaimed, "Then he is ours!" The "Race to the Dan" exemplified the superior mobility of the American Army. In a month's time, the Americans marched two hundred miles to North Carolina eluding the pursuing British in harsh weather. Greene succeeded in escaping the British Army and forced them to overextend their supply lines in one move. Cornwallis returned southward to recruit additional Loyalist support and supplies, while Greene recrossed the Dan River and trailed him. The two forces met head-on at the Battle of Guilford Courthouse on 15 March 1781. Cornwallis succeeded in driving Greene from the field, but he suffered severe casualties. When the British Parliament learned of the battle, Charles James Fox exclaimed, "Another such victory would destroy the British Army." Weakened, Cornwallis withdrew to Wilmington, North Carolina and eventually on to Yorktown, Virginia, where he was defeated by a joint Franco-American force. Next, Greene led his army back into South Carolina and began the 'War of the Posts.' Forces under his command along with partisans simultaneously attacked various points in the exposed British line of forts. He led his main army in three more engagements, the Battle of Hobkirk's Hill (25 April 1781), the Siege of Ninety-Six (22 May-19 June 1781), and the Battle of Eutaw Springs (8 September 1781), the bloodiest engagement of the entire war. Although he succeeded in completely destroying British authority in the southern states, he never achieved a single tactical victory. His lack of success in winning a battle is best summed up in his own words, "We fight, get beat, rise, and fight again." In only twenty months, Greene succeeded in capturing all of the British posts taking 3,500 prisoners and splitting the British Army in half, bottling them up in Charleston and Wilmington. After the war, Greene moved his family to his new estate, Mulberry Grove, just north of Savannah, Georgia. He attempted to settle down to the life of a Southern planter, while spurning attempts by prominent Georgians to involve him in local politics. He was forced to sell additional property awarded to him by the states of North and South Carolina in order to solve severe financial problems caused by the war. Tragically, he died at the age of forty-four on 19 June 1786 of a stroke, possibly caused by overexposure to the sun. His remains and those of his son, George Washington Greene, rest beneath a monument in Johnson Square in downtown Savannah.
Patrick Cunningham - Rebels defeat Capt. Patrick Cunningham, brother at Ninety Six. The attack was retaliation for gunpowder Cunningham had seized in July. Again, some believe the Spartan Regiment was part of the Patriot's force. In December 1775, after having been reinforced by militia from North Carolina, a large Whig force commanded by Colonel Richard Richardson surprised and defeated a Tory force commanded by Patrick Cunningham at a place called the Great Cane Break. During the month of December, Richardson was able to capture a total of 136 Loyalists including Thomas Flechall, John Mayfield and many other Loyalist leaders. Major Robinson, Patrick Cunningham and a few others were able to elude capture, but many of their homes and plantations, including Robinson's, were plundered and burnt by the Rebels.
Waddell's Annals of Augusta County, Virginia, from 1726 to 1871, Chapter 9: The War of the Revolution, etc. from 1775 to 1779. - Page 263 as sent to me by C. Wayne Cunningham of Atlanta, GA. (Thanks, Mr. Cunningham)
"Appleton’s American Biography says: Robert Cunningham, loyalist, born in Ireland about 1739; settled in District Ninety-Six, S. C., in 1769, and soon became a judge. He opposed the cause of the colonies, and in 1775 was imprisoned in Charleston. After his release he joined the British forces, and, in 1780, was commissioned Brigadier General. He first was placed in command of a garrison in S. C., and the following year served in the field against General Sumter. His estate was confiscated in 1782, and, having left the country, he was not allowed to return, although he petitioned to be allowed to do so. The British Government gave him an annuity. He died in Nassau, in 1813.
Patrick Cunningham also entered the British service during the Revolutionary war, and became a Colonel; but seems not to have incurred the odium his brother Robert did. His son Robert was a captain in the Mexican war. Capt. Robert’s son John was prominent in law, politics and journalism, and his daughter Pamela was the organizer and first Regent of the Ladies’ Mt. Vernon Association.
William Cunningham, called “Bloody Bill” in South Carolina, is said to have been a second-cousin of Robert and Patrick. He is otherwise known as Major, or Colonel, William Cunningham, of the British army. Bancroft gives an account of an expedition he commanded in 1781, and the cruelties practised by him. (Vol. X, p. 458.) In Appleton’s American Biography we find a sketch of a man of the same name. He was born in Dublin, and came to America in 1774. Gen. Gage appointed him provost-marshal of the army. In 1778 he had charge of the military prisons in Philadelphia, and later those in New York; and in both places was notorious for his cruelties. It is said that he literally starved to death 2,000 prisoners, and hung 250 without trial. At the close of the war he went to England, became very dissipated, and in 1791 was hanged for forgery. This man was probably the same as “Bloody Bill,” as it is not likely that the same generation could produce two such men. It is a relief to find that the gallows claimed him at last."
Joseph Robinson, a Virginian by birth, owned a plantation on Broad river in South Carolina, where he was a deputy surveyor. He married Lilley Robinson in 1760 in Virginia. In 1775 he was appointed major of militia and, on 11/18/1775, he was in command of 2400 Loyalists at Ninety-Six when he surrounded an American force under Majors Andrew Williamson and James Mayson. Colonel Robinson's men were afterwards allowed to return home, while he went among the friendly Cherokee Indians. In his absence his plantation was plundered, his house and buildings burnt, and his family driven from home by the Americans. Among his possessions destroyed was his valuable library, which included 60 books on law. In Lilley's petition of October 1, 1816, to Viscount Palmerston, Secretary of State for War, she states that while a prisoner in the hands of the Americans in 1776, she was promised restoration to her husband on condition that he consented to be neutral in the war. Her answer is not recorded, but she was released in a few days. Lilley Robinson proceeded, not to join her husband, but to start on a painful journey of 800 miles, accompanied by her two small children, to her father's family in Virginia, traveling mostly by night to escape the vigilance of American scouting parties and enduring indescribable sufferings. In May, 1778, Colonel Robinson was appointed lieutenant-colonel of the South Carolina Royalists, and in July it was decided that this corps should consist of eight companies of 50 rank and file each. With this regiment he was present at the battle of Stono, 12 June, 1779. Lilley, who had returned to South Carolina from Virginia, accompanied her husband when the British evacuated Charleston. They moved to East Florida, where they intended to settle, only to find that the Colony had been ceded to Spain and they would be included in the 10,000 Loyalists of that Province who suffered. The harassed Robinson family, in common with many others from the Southern Colonies, now sought refuge in the West Indies, but once their ship wrecked off the coast of Florida. Eventually, however, Colonel Joseph Robinson and his family reached Jamaica, but after a year's sojourn there, they sought a home in a northern clime because the Jamaican climate was so unhealthy. They set sail for the asylum of so many American Loyalists, New Brunswick, where they lived for three years until 1789, when Colonel Robinson was invited to settle at Charlottetown in Prince Edward Island by his friend, Colonel Edmund Fanning, Lieutenant-Governor of Prince Edward Island and former commanding officer of the Loyalist Corps. Meanwhile, Colonel Robinson had been put on the list of seconded Provincial officers and received the half-pay of a lieutenant-colonel. He was also relieved of anxiety by the grant of £521 from his claim of £1,618. 10s for the loss of his property in South Carolina and by his appointment as surrogate and judge of probate at Charlottetown. This South Carolina Loyalist died in that city, 24 August, 1807, leaving a will in which he bequeathed property to his widow, Lilley, and his three daughters. Lilley Robinson died at Charlottetown, 11 July, 1823. Elizabeth, the eldest daughter born in New Brunswick in 1788, died unmarried. One daughter, Rebecca, married Robert Hodgson, lieutenant in the Prince Edward Island Fencibles (reduced in 1802), member of the Legislature and speaker until his death, 5 January, 1811, when he left four sons and one daughter.
Richard Richardson – He was born about 1704 in Jamestown, VA to a very respected family. He had the best education he could have at the time. He became a land surveyor. He married Elizabeth Mary Cantey (1722-1767) and they had 7 children. He married Dorothea "Dorothy" Sinkler (1737-1793/95) in 1767 and they had 4 children. He moved to Craven County, SC in 1725 where he was a farmer. He petitioned in 1744 for his first grant of land, between Halfway Swamp and Jack's Creek, where he developed the plantation later to become Big Home.
An early plantation owner in the area, he was a Commissioner of St. Mark's Episcopal Church who donated land for its construction. He was magistrate . He was Colonel of Militia as early as 1757 and was in command of a regiment in the Cherokee War of 1760 - 1761. Few men played a more important part in the provincial history of South Carolina. He was repeatedly a member of Assembly, a delegate to the Provincial Congress of Jan 1775. He was a delegate to the Convention that framed the State Constitution in 1776. December 22, 1775 at Cane Break, South Carolina, following the truce that resulted from the Battle of Ninety Six, a group South Carolina militia and newly raised Continentals, commanded by Col. Richard Richardson and Col. William Thompson, moved into the region between the Broad River and Saluda River. Their purpose was to break up the Loyalists that were gathering there. Richardson and Thompson was soon joined by 700 North Carolina militia commanded by Col. Thomas Polk and Col. Griffith Rutherford, and 220 Continental regulars commanded by Col. Alexander Martin. All these American forces added up to a total amount of 4,000 troops. On December 22, the Americans attacked and the Loyalists resistance quickly collapsed. Richardson's men managed to capture some Loyalist leaders, including Thomas Fletchall. There was a single Tory unit that did not disband with the initial assault, but they were soon routed by part of Richardson's command. He was a member of the Legislative Council in Mar 1776. He was in command of the militia and regulars in the famous "Snow campaign", named for the heavy snows that fell that winter, against the Tories at Ninety-Six, in the winter of 1775. The Spartan Regiment and other patriots were under Col. Richard Richardson at Ninety Six. He assisted in the defeat of the British Fleet at Charleston in 1776 and was appointed Brigadier General March 25, 1778 where he commanded the State militia at Purrysburg, in Dec. 1778. At the surrender of Charleston in 1780 he was taken prisoner and paroled. He served under Lincoln at Charleston. He was dragged from his home and made to ride a horse behind a trooper back to Charleston where he was held prisoner. Cornwallis offered him titles and offices under the Crown, or close confinement and he turned Cornwallis down and chose confinement. He was seventy-six years old. Due to his age and the conditions of imprisonment, his health began to fail. When it was obvious he was dying he was sent home and soon died in September, 1780 at Big Home, Salisbury, Clarendon Co., SC. He was buried in the Richardson cemetery near his home. After Banastre Tarleton gave up his attempt to catch the Swamp Fox, he paid a visit to Richardson's plantation. Highly angered that General Richardson's widow had enabled Marion to escape by alerting him to the approach of the British cavalrymen, Tarleton sought retribution. Tarleton took over the residence and it's a legend that General Richardson was disinterred and his body left exposed and Tarleton forced the family to witness it. Then he was re-interred. Tarleton supposedly said he wanted to see the features of a man of such character but he really thought the family treasures might have been buried with him. What Tarleton couldn't take with him was burned and destroyed and the slaves dispersed. Tarleton, himself, put the torch to the house intending to burn the young widow and 3 of their young children. One of the officers took pity and saved their lives with a few articles of clothing. The widow and children had to survive on secret and voluntary gifts by a few servants. They would collect food by day and go out by night to take them to the little family.
Andrew Williamson (c. 1730-Mar. 21, 1786) came to America from Scotland as a young child. He was illiterate, but very intelligent. He became a skilled frontier man. He probably began his career as a cow driver. On 9/22/1760, he was commissioned lieutenant in the South Carolina regiment which served in James Grant's expedition against the Cherokee. He had a plantation named "Whitehall", six miles west of Ninety Six in what is now Greenwood County. He had several holdings on Hard Labor Creek of the Savannah. Here he lived with his wife, Eliza Tyler, of Virginia, by whom he had two sons and two daughters. In 1768, with Patrick Calhoun and others, he voiced the needs of the back country in a petition for courts, schools, ministers of the gospel, and public roads. In 1770 he was named to lay out and keep in repair a road to his plantation. He was so influential in the back country and so sound a Whig, that he was elected to the first provincial congress and was a Major in the militia and awarded a contract to supply the troops. Appointed to enforce the Association in his district, he was summoned with the militia to support W. H. Drayton against the Loyalists, and for the capture of the well known Loyalist, Robert Cunningham, he received the thanks of the provincial congress. Besieged by the Loyalists in Ninety Six, he signed the treaty with them on Nov. 21, 1775 but was in the "Snow Campaign" of December which continued the civil war. In 1776 he led the panic-stricken militia on his second Cherokee expedition. The Cherokees attacked several settlements along the frontier and killed many settlers in July 1776. Promoted to colonel, he commanded 2,000 South Carolina troops. Captain Andrew Pickens led militiamen from the Long Canes in Williamson's expedition to burn the Lower Cherokee towns in northern South Carolina. The settlements of Essenecca (Seneca), Tomassee, Jocassee, Estatoe, Tugaloo, Brass Town, Cane Creek, Chehohee, Qualhatchee, Toxaway, Chittitogo, Sugar Town, Keowee, and others were destroyed. Williamson was ambushed at Essenecca his horse was shot under him. Andrew Pickens was leading a detachment of 25 men to destroy Tamassee when they were attacked by a large Cherokee force estimated at over 150 men and surrounded in an open field. The militiamen formed a small circle and fired out at the surrounding Indians in what came to be called the "Ring Fight." Pickens won the fight after being reinforced. Following the destruction of the Lower Cherokee towns, Williamson conducted a campaign into Georgia and North Carolina to destroy the Cherokee Valley Towns. Andrew Pickens was elected major for this expedition. Williamson's forces fought five battles with the Cherokees and destroyed 32 towns and villages in the Lower and Valley settlements. Williamson received the unanimous thanks of the Assembly and on May 20, 1777, signed the treaty which took from the Indians a large land cession. A popular officer, attentive to the comfort of his men, Williamson was promoted to brigadier-general in 1778 and commanded the South Carolina militia in Robert Howe's Florida expedition, sharing the blame for its failure. Major Pickens served in General Williamson's army in 1778 in the failed attempt to take British St. Augustine in Florida. In the spring of 1778, he was appointed colonel of the Regiment of Ninety Six South Carolina Militia. The British occupied Augusta and were recruiting loyalist troops in the western piedmont when Andrew Pickens' militia surprised and defeated a loyalist force of 700 men gathered at Kettle Creek about 50 miles northwest of Augusta. The British were forced to withdraw from Augusta and serious efforts by them to control the back country were suspended until the fall of Charleston in 1780. After Charleston was surrendered to the British, Andrew Pickens, along with many other rebel leaders accepted parole and British rule. Brigadier-General Andrew Williamson, with three hundred men, was now encamped near Augusta. Although composed of militia, this was, numerically considered, the most formidable force then assembled at a single point for the defense of republican Georgia. While encouraging Colonel Clarke with the suggestion that he would accede to a concentration of forces and unite in the suppression of the Royalists in Upper Carolina, he held the king's protection in his pocket and meditated an act of infamy. Unable either to read or write, ho entrusted the details of his command to his aid-de-camp, Malcolm Brown, who had long given evidence of his attachment to the royal cause. Concealing for some time the information he had received of the fall of Charlestown, he subsequently, upon the approach of the British detachments, called his officers together, facing sure defeat, Brigadier General Andrew Williamson explained the options: surrender or flee north to join others still fighting for freedom. With Colonel Pickens looking on, Williamson asked for a show of hands of those who wanted to retreat and fight again. Demoralized by the recent British victories, "only Captain James McCall and Captain Moses Liddle and three or four of their militiamen held up their hands" The remainder of the Regiment, including Colonel Pickens, voted for surrender. On June 10, Williamson and Pickens surrendered their forces to Captain Richard Pearis who commanded the first Loyalist army to arrive. Pearis soon paroled the Whig leaders and militiamen and asked only that they give their word not to take up arms against England again. Among others, Captain James McCall and Private William Speer apparently took their rifles and fled to North Carolina at this time. Williamson thereupon abandoned his command. After the fall of Charleston in 1780 he determined the American cause for independence was lost so he turned to the British to protect his large landholdings. He unresistingly laid down his arms and took Royal protection when he saw the British victorious in Charleston. He is called the "Arnold of Carolina" or the "Southern Arnold". He regarded himself a faithful American and even provided military information to General Greene while he was inside British lines. On July 5, 1781 Colonel Isaac Hayne made an incursion to the Quarter House, a precinct within five miles of Charleston, and captured General Andrew Williamson. It was feared that Williamson would be hanged as a traitor, and the British commandant at Charleston, Colonel Nesbit Balfour, ordered out his entire force in pursuit. Major Thomas Fraser and 90 dragoons rescued him. On July 8th, Fraser surrounded the Hayne's camp at Horseshoe and killed 14 men. Hayne was captured, taken to Charleston, thrown into the provost's prison, and after a brief examination before a board of officers, without trial or examination of witnesses, was sentenced to be hanged by the joint orders of Colonel Balfour and Lord Rawdon. Hayne protested against this summary proceeding, which was illegal whether he was regarded as a British subject or a prisoner who had broken his parole. The citizens of Charleston united in petitioning" for his pardon, but the court was inexorable. A respite of forty-eight hours was allowed him in which to take leave of his orphan children, for his wife had lately died, and at the end of this time he was hanged. I wonder how Williamson felt?
Lt. Col. Richard Henry "Lighthorse Harry" Lee (1/29/1756-3/25/1818) was the son of Maj. Gen. Henry Lee II (1730–1787) of "Leesylvania" and Lucy Grymes (1734–1792) the "Lowland Beauty". His family was very well connected in the Virginia elite. Thinking of a legal career, he graduated (1773) from The College of New Jersey (now Princeton), but, soon afterwards, on the outbreak of the Revolutionary War, he became an officer in the revolutionary forces. His skill as a horseman, as well as his temperment, made him a natural cavalryman. He soon was commissioned as captain in the fifth group of Virginia Light Dragoons and sent north to join the Continental Army. Leading his men on lightning raids against enemy supply trains, Harry attracted the attention and admiration of General George Washington and was rapidly promoted. In a surprise attack at Paulus Hook, New Jersey, he captured 400 British soldiers with the loss of only one man. His adroit horsemanship soon earned him the nickname "Light Horse Harry." When the military theatre shifted, he enjoyed equal success in the Southern Department. Lee showed a masterly command of guerrilla tactics in his use of this force, harassing the British both on the march and in camp. Between April 8–13, 1782, at "Stratford Hall", he married his second-cousin, Matilda Ludwell (1766–1790), who was known as "The Divine Matilda". Matilda bore three children before she died in 1790. In 1780-81 he operated in the Carolinas in support of General Nathanael Greene and his Army of the South in the Carolinas, covering, by his ceaseless stinging forays against the British, Greene's retreat across North Carolina to Virginia. Lee resigned his commission because of ill health in 1781. On 6/13/1793, Henry Lee married the wealthy Anne Hill Carter (17 years his junior) at Shirley Plantation. They had six children, one of whom died in infancy in 1796. Their fifth child, Robert Edward Lee would later gain fame as the Confederate general during the American Civil War. Unfortunately for Lee and his family, he invested large sums in numerous, highly speculative schemes, including partnerships with Aaron Burr and merchant Robert Morris. Lee's handling of his personal finances was notably incompetent, and subjected his family to financial hardship. In 1810, to meet the demands of his creditors and be released from debtor's prison, Lee was forced to sell all of his possessions. Lee wrote the valuable Memoirs of the War in the Southern Department (1812; 3rd ed., with memoir by his son Robert E. Lee, 1869) while in debtor's prison. When the book was finished in 1810, the family moved to Alexandria, where a new life on a modest scale was made possible by a legacy from Ann's father. Harry's eldest son, Henry IV, became master of Stratford. From 1786 to 1788, Lee was a delegate to the Continental Congress, and in the last-named year in the Virginia convention, he favored the adoption of the United States Constitution. From 1789 to 1791, he served in the General Assembly and, from 1791 to 1794, was Governor of Virginia. In 1794, Lee accompanied Washington to help in the suppression of the "Whiskey Rebellion" in western Pennsylvania. Henry Lee was a major general in the U.S. Army in 1798–1800. From 1799 to 1801, he served in the U.S. House of Representatives. On 7/27/1812, in Baltimore, Lee and about two dozen Federalists had taken refuge in the three-story office building on Charles Street. He was helping to resist the attack of a Democratic-Republican mob on his friend, Alexander Contee Hanson, editor of the Baltimore Federal Republican , which had opposed the War of 1812. With the help of Brigadier General John Stricker and other city officials, Lee and the rest surrendered the following day and were escorted to the county jail a mile away. Laborer George Woolslager led a mob that forced its way into the jail and removed and beat the jailed Federalists and Lee over the next three hours. One Federalist, James M. Lingan, died. Lee suffered extensive internal injuries as well as head and face wounds, and even his speech was affected. Lee later sailed to the warm West Indies in an attempt to heal his wounds. When he knew he was dying he tried to make it back home but died at "Dungeness" on 3/25/1818 (Dungeness was built on Cumberland Island, GA by Nathanael Greene as a summer home).
Colonel Thaddeus Kosciusko (pronounced Kos-choos-ko) (1746-1817) son of Ludwik and Tekla Kosciuszko. He attended school in Lubieszow and then the Cadet Academy in Warsaw before continuing his engineering studies in Paris, France. He offered his services to the colonists in the American Revolution because of his commitment to the ideal of liberty. Arriving in America in 1777, he took part in the Saratoga campaign and advised Horatio Gates to fortify Bemis Heights. Later he fortified (1778) West Point and fought (1780) with distinction under Gen. Nathanael Greene in the Carolina campaign. Shortly after arriving in Philadelphia in 1776, Kosciuszko read the Declaration of Independence and was moved to tears because he discovered in this single, concise document everything in which he truly believed. When he discovered that Thomas Jefferson was responsible for drafting the Declaration, he felt compelled to meet him. A few months later, while moving south with the Continental Army, Kosciuszko stopped in Virginia to meet with Jefferson. After a very warm reception, the two men spent the day comparing philosophies and eventually became the best of friends. In the early days of the war, Kosciuszko helped to fortify the Philadelphia waterfront at Fort Mercer. Shortly after, he was transferred to New York, where he helped with fortifications along the Hudson and planned the defense for Saratoga. The Battle of Saratoga became known as one of military history's most famous struggles for independence and proved to be a turning point in the war. In 1778, Kosciuszko was made chief engineer of West Point, New York. This fortification became known as the American Gibraltar because it was unable to be penetrated by the British Army. Eventually West Point became a military academy, as suggested by Kosciuszko to General George Washington. During the Seige of Ninety Six in SC on May 22- June 18, 1781, he convinced Patriot General Greene to set siege to the Loyalist held Star Fort. Kosciuszko reasoned that when the Star Fort fell so would the Loyalist held town and Stockade Fort. Directed a battery for cannon to be dug starting at 70 yards from the Star Fort, but workers were attacked by Loyalists. Directed trenches to be dug starting at 300 yards from the Star Fort. Directed Maham Tower to be built, 30 feet high and 30 yards from the Star Fort. Loyalists attacked the Patriot trenches & Kosciuszko was wounded in "his seat of honor." He left with General Greene. He also provided assistance to General Greene in the establishment of the American camp at the Battle of Cowpens in 1780. In 1783, Kosciuszko was appointed Brigadier General and was awarded the Cincinnati Order Medal by General George Washington, Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army. Washington also presented Kosciuszko with two pistols and a sword as gifts for his outstanding service to America. After his return to Poland he became a champion of Polish independence. He fought (1792-93) in the campaign that resulted in the second partition (1793) of Poland. In 1794 he issued a call at Kraków for a national uprising and led the Polish forces against both Russians and Prussians in a gallant but unsuccessful rebellion that ended with the final partition of Poland. He was imprisoned, and after being freed (1796) went to the United States and later (1798) to France, where after the fall of Napoleon he pleaded with Alexander I of Russia for Polish independence. He died in Solothurn, Switzerland, and is buried in Wawel Castle, in Krakow, Poland, among the tombs of the Polish Kings. His devotion to liberty and Polish independence have made him one of the great Polish heroes.