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Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Battle of Musgrove Mills on Laurens County and Union County, SC

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 numbers on both sides of the Battle of Musgrove's Mill seem to be in dispute. It is known that the Patriot's were outnumbered 2 to 1 but there is a lot of discrepancy in quoted numbers on both sides.

Key Figures in the Battle of Musgrove's Mill

Isaac Shelby - Shelby was born on December 11, 1750 at North Mountain, near Hagerstown, Maryland, in Frederick (now Washington) County, MD. His father, Evan Shelby, was an emigrant from Wales and his mother was Letitia Cox Shelby. Isaac was brought up to the use of arms and he became used to the dangers and hardships of frontier life at a young age. He received a fair English education, worked on his father's plantation, was occasionally employed as a surveyor, and served as deputy sheriff of the county. He moved to what is now Bristol, Tennessee in 1771 with his father. Evan Shelby served with distinction in the French and Indian War. In 1774, Isaac served as lieutenant in his fathers Fincastle Company at the Battle of Point Pleasant in Lord Dunmore's War, a conflict with British and the Indians. Following that, he explored the territory of Kentucky as a surveyor.

In July 1776, he was appointed by the Virginia Committee of Safety as captain of a company of minutemen. In 1777, Governor Henry made him Commissary of Supplies for a body of militia detailed to garrison frontier posts. He attended the Long Island Treaty with the Cherokees, concluded at Fort Patrick Henry, on July 20, 1 777, at which his father was one of the Virginia commissioners. In 1778, he aided in furnishing supplies for the Continental Army and for the expedition projected by General Mcintosh against Detroit and the Ohio Indians. In 1779 he was elected to the Virginia House of Delegates, but, by the line established between Virginia and North Carolina at this time, he became a resident of North Carolina and he was appointed colonel of the Sullivan County militia, which in 1780 he commanded in guerilla fighting that included Musgrove's Mill, and he led the left center of the American force at King's Mountain and was at the Battle of Cowpens. For his service at King's Mountain, he received the thanks of the legislature of North Carolina with a beautiful sword. In 1781, he served under Francis Marion for the remainder of the War. In 1782, he was a member of the legislature of North Carolina and later served as commissioner to settle claims on the Cumberland River and to lay off soldiers' lands near the site of Nashville.

He moved to Boonsborough, Kentucky, where he married Susanna Hart with whom he had eleven children. They settled near Stanford in Lincoln County, Kentucky where he worked as county surveyor and high sheriff. In 1783, he began building a stone house which he named Traveller's Rest. He completed Traveller's Rest in 1786.

He was a member of the convention which framed the first constitution of Kentucky. Having participated in the separation of the State from Virginia, he was elected the first Governor of Kentucky in 1796. In 1812 when war with England loomed again, Shelby was again elected governor and served another 4 years.

In 1813 and as a Major General of militia, he personally led 4,000 Kentucky volunteers under General Harrison to Detriot. On October 5, 1813, he and his troops marched into Canada. He was then sixty-three years of age. At the Battle of the Thames (aka Battle of Moraviatown) near Chatham, Ontario in Upper Canada, on the Thames River, he served under American General William Henry Harrison and led his Kentucky militia. The Americans scored a decisive victory over British General Henry Proctor. Shelby recieved a gold medal for his gallantry and bravery in this battle.

In 1817, President Monroe offered to appoint him Secretary of War, but he declined. In 1818, he was commissioned with General Andrew Jackson to hold a treaty with the Chickasaw Indians for the purchase of lands west of the Tennessee River, which is now known as the Jackson Purchase. In 1819, Shelby became the chairman of the first board of trustees of Centre College. Shelby was partially paralyzed in 1820 by a stroke. On July 18, 1826, another stroke killed Shelby while he was at his home Traveller's Rest. No less than nine counties in as many States have been named after him as well as a number of towns.

Elijah Clarke - was born in 1742, the son of John Clarke of Anson County, North Carolina. He married Hannah Harrington around 1763. As an impoverished, illiterate frontiersman, he appeared in the ceded lands, on what was then the northwestern frontier of Georgia, in 1773.

Clarke's name appears on a petition in support of the king's government in 1774. However, he subsequently joined the rebels and, as a militia captain, received a wound fighting the Cherokees in 1776. The following year, he commanded militia against Creek Indian raiders. As a lieutenant colonel in the state minutemen, Clarke received another wound at the Battle of Alligator Bridge, Florida. Then on February 14, 1779, as a lieutenant colonel of militia, Clarke led a charge in the rebel victory at Kettle Creek, Georgia. All of Georgia and most of South Carolina fell to the British in 1780. Elijah Clarke and thirty men passed through the Native American lands to continue the fight in the Carolinas. As a partisan, Clarke led frontier guerrillas in inflicting a heavy toll against the British and American Loyalists at Musgrove's Mill, Cedar Springs, Wofford's Iron Works, Augusta, Fishdam Ford, Long Cane, and Blackstocks. He was not present at King's Mountain or Cowpens, but his campaigns were partially responsible for both of those major Patriot victories. Besides receiving several battle wounds, Clarke also survived smallpox and the mumps during the Revolution. The state of Georgia rewarded his services with a plantation. He also obtained thousands of acres of land grants, some by questionable methods, and participated in the notorious Yazoo land fraud of the 1790s.

Clarke served in the state assembly from 1781 to 1790. However, Clarke grew impatient with the failures of the national and state government to bring peace to the frontier and took matters into his own hands. He tried to form an independent republic, known today as the Trans-Oconee Republic, by seizing Creek lands on the Oconee frontier. At least twice, he became involved in plots to invade neighboring Spanish East Florida.

Disenchanted with a settled Georgia, discredited, and almost bankrupt, Elijah Clarke died in Augusta on December 5, 1799.

James Williams - was born in 1740 in Hanover County, Virginia. He was orphaned before he was 12 years old and moved in with his brother, John Williams, a lawyer in Granville County, SC, who gave him a good education. James settled on the James River in Ninety-Six district of SC in what is now Laurens County, SC. American pioneer, farmer, and miller before he became a Captain, Lt. Colonel, then Colonel, in his area's regiment of militia. He was a Patriot from the beginning. He led bodies of local men into action in 1775 at the seige at Fort Ninety-Six in which the first shots of the War were fired in the Carolina upstate, and he was at Briar Creek, Stono Ferry, Savannah, Georgia, and the Battle of Musgrove's Mill. He joined the other units at Cowpens, SC on October 6. The next day he joined them in the major victory at the Battle of King's Mountain. The Americans overwhelmed an 1,100 man force, losing only twenty eight killed, one of whom was Colonel James Williams, killed in action on October 7,1780. He was the highest ranking officer to die from wounds suffered during King's Mountain. It's possible he was killed by friendly fire. He was hastily buried at King's Mountain but was later re-interred on Limestone Street in Gaffney, SC.

Edward Musgrove - Laurens District did not have any navigable waterways, but the crystal-clear streams were filled with fish, a handy food supplement. The bolder streams powered mills for grinding grain and sawing lumber, even enabling rafting and a bit of short distance traveling; and the water-edged lands furnished good breeding grounds for birds and animals. The convenience of water for both man and beast was to be seriously considered in the settlements to be laid out. The names of rivers to be found on old maps and in court house records are Bush, Enoree, Saluda, Little River, and two forks of Reedy River, the last four running nearly parallel with Enoree for a short distance. Among the earliest colonists of upper South Carolina was Edward Musgrove, of British descent, who, prior to the controversy with the mother country, had established a residence described as being about one mile below Head's Ford on Enoree River and less than half a mile from the Cedar Shoals Creek Falls. He had been well educated and trained for law. Major Edward Musgrove owned and operated one of the most noted of the old mills, Musgrove's Mill. The dwelling house was situated on a hill overlooking Enoree River at a point once known as the Horse Shoe Bend, where a long bridge afforded a connection with the opposite shore. Down almost beneath the bridge nestled the small, low-browed mill built of wood. A mill cottage stood close by, erected for the comfort of the miller's guests. The original Musgrove home and the mill were burned by the British in an act of retaliation but they were rebuilt on the same sites. Major Musgrove gave legal advise, wrote up legal papers, was a practical surveyor and was very popular in the area with his neighbors. He was a little taller than medium height and was slender with prematurely gray hair. By the time of the Revolutionary War he was living with his third wife and too old to participate in the War. He tried to stay neutral but his home and mill were soon taken over by British and Loyalists

His first wife gave him a son, Beaker Musgrove. His second wife gave him two daughters, Mary and Susan. Both girls were known beauties but they died young of consumption within a year of each other and just a 1-2 years after the War. They were unmarried. Major Edward Musgrove died in 1792 at 76 years of age.

Alexander Innes - Was secretary to Lord William Campbell, Governor of SC, before his appointment as Inspector General of the Provincial Forces In America in 1777. In 1779 he was given command of the SC Royalists. He was described as so haughty and supercilious that he estranged more citizens from the King than all the other blunders put together. Provincials received their clothing from the Inspector General of Provincial Forces and were mustered by the Muster Master General. In America, those gentlemen were Colonel Alexander Innes and Colonel Edward Winslow, respectively.

On August 7, he engaged Clarke at Wofford Ironworks in an ineffectual skirmish. He was then injured in the Battle of Musgrove's Mill. The British had a garrison at Fort Prince, not far west of the present site of Spartanburg in the Landrum/Tryon area. When news of the fight at Gowen's Fort reached Colonel Alexander Innes, the commander of Fort Prince, he sent Major James Dunlap in pursuit of the Patriots, with seventy dragoons and a party of Loyalists.

In 1791 he was back in England and he offered his services to fight France.

Major Patrick Ferguson - was born in Edinburgh, Scotland in 1744. The 'Bulldog' was thin, wiry, implausibly swashbuckling. His nickname was Pattie and he was gentle, cultured, had a witty sense of humour, wrote verses, cracked jokes and left charming letters to his wife. Brown haired when unpowdered. In the photo above, he is wearing his military queue pinned on top of his head.

In 1756, when Pattie was 12, his father purchased an ensigncy for him in his uncle Colonel James Murray's regiment, the 15th Foot, but it was cancelled, because he was too young to be of service. In 1759, shortly after his fifteenth birthday, Pattie was bought a Cornetcy in the Royal North British Dragoons (Scots Greys). However, he did not join his regiment until 1761. For nearly two years he studied at the Royal Military Academy in Woolwich. When he was 17, while serving in Germany, he contracted an illness (possibly TB) that left him with a slightly lame leg and left him prone to arthritis when he overtaxed his leg.

In 1763 he traveled around Britain with his Royal North British Dragoons (Scots Greys) on garrisoning and policing duty. In 1768, he served in the West Indies battling scurvy and learning the fiddle. He bought a sugar plantation there but contracted fever and returned to England in 1773.

Ferguson attended camp in Salisbury in 1775, where he first attracted the attention of Major General William Howe. In 1776, he worked on developing a breech-loading rifle, which he demonstrated to King George III and began working on a small field piece.

In 1777, Patrick Ferguson was given command of an experimental unit and sent to America. In March 1777, Pattie and his corps sailed on the Christopher to New York, where they arrived on 26 May. The experimental field piece blew up in its first test, having been sent out with the wrong size ammunition. However, the corps - uniformed in the green cloth which had been sent out with them - saw some action in New Jersey. They took part in the expedition to the Chesapeake, where Howe, a light infantry enthusiast, was impressed with them.

Ferguson's Corps performed well in the battle, fighting alongside the Queen's Rangers, under James Wemyss. Pattie had the chance to pick off a important-looking Rebel officer, but declined to do so for reasons of honour. He was later told in hospital that the officer may have been Washington, but this has not been proved. Moments after the alleged encounter with Washington, a musket ball shattered Pattie's right elbow-joint. He spent the winter in Philadelphia, recuperating. He nearly lost his arm in amputation. He endured numerous unanaesthetised operations to remove bone splinters which repeatedly broke open his wounds. In November, he also received news of his father's death the previous June. He was never again able to wield his limbs as before. His right arm was crippled, permanently bent at the elbow: he later received the King's Bounty for its effective loss. He therefore learned to write, fence and shoot left-handed.

It was 13 May 1778 before he was fit to return to duty. Barely a year after he was disabled, he led daring raids against Rebel salt works and privateer bases at Chestnut Neck and Egg Harbor, NJ. Heavy casualties were inflicted on the enemy, but he tried to avoid harming civilians. Early in 1779, Pattie led reconnaissance and mapping missions in New York and New Jersey. In December he was given command of the American Volunteers, made up of New York and New Jersey Loyalists. They set sail on 26 December 1779, landing at Tybee a month later. On 7 February 1780 at Savannah, Clinton formalised Pattie's provincial brevet as Lieutenant Colonel of the American Volunteers. While in Savannah, Pattie drew up designs for refortifying the city.

On 14 March, Pattie was bayoneted through the left arm in a 'friendly fire' incident at MacPherson's Plantation, SC, when Major Charles Cochrane and the British Legion infantry mistook his encampment for that of the enemy. For 3 weeks, he had limited use of his one good arm, but chivalrously forgave Cochrane. During the siege of Charleston, Pattie worked closely with Banastre Tarleton to cut off Rebel supply routes. He was made a Mojor in the 71st Foot. On 22 May, Pattie was appointed Inspector of Militia by Clinton, to recruit and train local Loyalists, a post for which he refused to accept any additional pay. His base for most of that summer was around Fort Ninety-Six. The militia flocked to him, and he began training them to respond to signals from his light infantry silver whistle. He got a new nickname, the Silver Whistle.

Pattie's men had been pursuing Clarke, who defeated Loyal militia at Musgrove's Mill on 18 August. At Winn's Plantation the next day, Pattie learned of the victory at Camden. He then set out to pursue Sumter, but on 21 August learned that Tarleton had surprised and defeated the 'Gamecock' at Fishing Creek. On 23 August, Pattie rode to Camden to get new instructions from Cornwallis. He was to operate on the left flank, detached from the main body of the army: to aid the Loyalists, and forage from and punish the Rebels.

Pattie marched his men up into North Carolina on 7 September. Leaving most encamped, he took 50 American Volunteers and 300 militia towards Gilbert Town and Cane Creek, to surprise McDowell. But McDowell, like Clarke, Shelby and Williams, had withdrawn into the Back Country. Pattie paroled a prisoner to warn these Rebels "that if they did not desist from opposition... he would march his army over the mountains, hang their leaders, and lay their country waste with fire and sword". Shelby passed on the message to Sevier, of the Washington County Militia.

On 1 October, at Denard's Ford, Pattie wrote to Cornwallis that more Rebels were mustering. He began to withdraw towards Charlotte, and wrote to Cornwallis requesting support. The Legion could not be sent out immediately, because Tarleton had been seriously ill with yellow fever or malaria, and was still weak. Instead, Cornwallis ordered Pattie to rendezvous with Major Archibald McArthur and the 71st at Arness Ford. On 6 October, Pattie and his troops set off towards Charlotte, but encamped at King's Mountain (now a National Park), to wait for McArthur's approach. The following afternoon, the Rebel forces surrounded King's Mountain and launched a surprise assault. Incited by Doak's sermon, and by exaggerated reports that Tarleton had 'massacred' Buford's command at Waxhaws in May, their countersign was "Buford". The implication was "No quarter" for Ferguson and his men - or his women. The Loyalist militia, running low on ammunition, began to fall back. Some seventy uniformed American Volunteers bore the brunt of the fighting. They raced from one side of the mountain to the other, making bayonet charges that thrice succeeded in driving back the Rebels - but only briefly. Pattie was in the thick of the action, sword in hand, riding to the weakest points of the line to rally his men, signalling with his famous whistle. Two horses were shot from under him. He took a third. It was a grey: his career had come full circle. Knowing that there was scant hope of quarter, he swore he "never would yield to such a damn'd banditti". With two other mounted militia officers, Colonel Vezey Husbands and Major Daniel Plummer, he led a last, desperate attempt to break the enemy line, and, sword drawn, spurred his horse forward - into a blaze of rifle-fire. Husbands was killed outright, Plummer badly wounded. Pattie himself was a conspicuous target, with his sword in his left hand, his bent-up right arm, and a checked duster-shirt protecting his uniform. A massive volley blasted him from the saddle. About a dozen balls shattered his body. His foot caught in the stirrup of his horse as he fell, and he was dragged along the ground. He died within minutes, in the arms of his friends being the only British to fall as all his other men were Loyalists. Jubilant Rebels stripped and urinated on his corpse, before his orderly Elias Powell and other companions were allowed to bathe and shroud him in a raw beef-hide. He was buried in a shallow grave. The rest - nearly 700 men, including walking wounded-were marched off as prisoners. Along the way, they were ill-used, even hacked with swords. Campbell had to order his officers to "restrain the disorderly manner of slaughtering and disturbing the prisoners". News of Pattie's death reached his family about 10 days before Christmas. He is still buried at King's Mountain.

Thomas Fraser - Fraser was a native of SC, a brother of Major Charles Fraser, the head of Military Police in Charleston, SC. A respectable young man named McLochlin was hacked to death with swords by British Dragoons under Major Thomas Fraser. According to Fraser, later, McLochlin had discharged his pistol once at Fraser and had jumped a fence and turned and fired a second time. The bullet lodged in his saddle. Loyalists numbering 450 men commence an uprising and were to be reinforced by 200 dragoons commanded by Major Thomas Fraser. Fraser moved his men undetected until his force fell victim to a Patriot ambush just short of his objective. Three successive volleys of musket fire by the Patriots severely mauled the ranks of the dragoons. Only the shortage of ammunition among the Patriots saves the dragoons, who lost half their force in the skirmish. Major Fraser also attacked Francis Marion at Fairlawn and was defeated by the sharpshooters hidden behind the low lying branches of cedar trees. Fraser couldn't force his horses through the thick branches and could not pursue so he retreated. In retreating he came upon Marion's baggage and took it claiming a victory.

After the War, he stayed in SC without resigning his British commission. He was not favorably thought of by his fellow Carolinians and he continued to draw his British pension. He married and engaged in the lumber business establishing mills along the Edisto River but this didn't seem to prosper so he became a commission merchant in Charleston, SC.

Musgrove Mills

The Battle of Musgrove Mills took place in what is now southern Spartanburg County on the border of Union and Laurens Counties near Clinton, SC.

A prosperous and influential settler of the Carolina backcountry, Edward Musgrove acquired his land by 1774. It was on this site that Edward built a typical plantation, with house and various other outbuildings. Edward Musgrove had been in the backcountry long enough to experience the brutality of frontier warfare, being involved in the Cherokee Wars and the Regulator Movement.

“So you see I have interfered on neither side, only so far as you might have expected me, which I would not have come short of by any means. If I was to undertake, I would be very sorry to fail in the matter; therefore it is wisdom to balance everything in the right scale.”

Excerpt from a 1775 letter from Edward Musgrove to William Henry Drayton signifying his neutrality.

After the major American defeat to the southeast at Camden, SC on August 16, 1780, southern Patriots needed a morale boost. It would come just two days later at the Battle of Musgrove Mill.

On August 17, 1780, Patriots Col. Elijah Clark, Col. Isaac Shelby and Col. James Williams with 200-700 mounted men (from Georgia, the over-mountain settlements from western NC and Tennessee, and South Carolina) rode from Col. Charles McDowell’s camp on Smith's Ford on the Broad River to attack loyalists at Musgrove's Mill, 40 miles away. It was necessary that the affair should be conducted secretly and quickly. They wanted to break-up a British campsite there. Musgrove's property was desirable real estate for the British. The ford across the Enoree River could provide crossing, the gristmill on the property could provide food for hungry soldiers, and its location provided a convenient and recognizable gathering place for the British. As early as August 8, 1780, the British were sending their wounded to the home of Edward Musgrove, and by August 10th, a camp had been established there. So Shelby's force left General McDowell's camp on the 18th of August, a short time before dark. They traveled on through the woods until dark, and then fell into the road and proceeded on all night, passing within three or four miles of Ferguson's camp, and going beyond it to the Tory camp at Musgrove's Mill. Riding horseback over 40 miles in one night was pushing it but they did it.

Early that morning they took a citizen prisoner who told them that the Tories had been strengthened and they were far outnumbered facing about 500-1500 British regulars and Loyalist militiamen. To attack the camp would have been suicide but retreat was out too because at the same time the Tory patrol saw the advance of Shelby's men and they squirmished with the sound of gun fire reaching Musgrove Mill's. Both sides suffered wounded, and the Loyalist's lost between one and seven killed. The firing alerted Lieut. Col. Alexander Innes and Major Thomas Fraser who were staying in the Musgrove's residence nearby.

A council was held, and rather than wait for a patrol of 100 mounted who had gone out a short while earlier, it was decided to attack the rebels immediately, who meanwhile had moved to a wooded ridge about a half mile from the mill. The Loyalists had, the previous night, been reinforced from Fort Ninety-Six with 200 Provincials under Lieut. Col. Alexander Innes, and another 100 Loyalists recruits for Ferguson. Innes' reinforcement included a detachment of New Jersey Volunteers under Captain Peter Campbell, a company from 1st Bttn. Delancey, under Captain James Kerr, plus 100 mounted men of Innes’ own South Carolina Royalists. Some accounts speak of some New York Volunteers also being present. The original garrison there was under the command of Maj. Thomas Fraser of the South Carolina Royalists. Present also were Capt. Abraham DePeyster of Ferguson’s corps, and Capt. David Fanning, and Col. Daniel Clary head of the Loyalists of that region. Another hundred, apparently all or mostly Loyalist militia, were out patrolling. Maj. Patrick Ferguson with a sizable force was not many miles away to the east. Innes left 100 of his men to guard his camp, and went to attack Shelby and Clark with the rest, not counting the 100 out patrolling. The men, though better soldiers and attired in redcoats, were apparently not British regulars. They were recruited and trained in this country...Loyalists...Provincials.

While the Tories were forming, Patriots Shelby and Clark had their men build an impromptu redoubt of logs in some thirty minutes and secured their horses. Shelby devised a scheme to lead the British into an ambush. He divided his army into three commands. On the right wing, he chose Lieutenant Colonel Elijah Clark and his Patriot militia from Georgia. At the center, he chose Lieutenant Colonel James Williams. Shelby chose himself to lead the left wing. Then Patriot Capt. Shadrack Inman led a party of 16-25 sharpshooters to lure Innes' force into an ambush. The stratagem, proposed by Inman, succeeded. The British responded, formed ranks and followed Inman and his men into the ambush shouting "Huzzah to King George". But they received deadly fire at point-blank range from the breastwork.

The Provincials and Loyalists attempted to take the backcountry men. The British retreated and regrouped for another attack. During the second attack, the Patriot's wavered but rallied and then the British leader of the Tories was shot from his horse. The redcoated provincial troops began to fall back. This caused the other less seasoned Tories to waver in confusion and allowed the Americans to take the initiative. It became a rout and only ended when the fleeing Tories reached and crossed the Enoree River leaving behind over 200 prisoners. In disorder they fled, but, during the last of the fighting, Patriot Capt. Shadrack Inman, was killed.

While consulting, a messenger arrived from General McDowell, bringing a letter from Gov. Caswell to McDowell, informing him of Gates' disastrous defeat at Camden, and advising all officers commanding detachments to retreat, or they would be cut off. Being informed of Camden and that Ferguson was nearby, the Americans decided to retreat with their prisoners and reportedly missed being caught by Ferguson by less than 30 minutes. The Whigs mounted and headed northeast toward North Carolina. The Redcoat prisoners were distributed one for each three Americans who alternated riding double with the enemy. Each prisoner was forced to carry his rifle or musket, with the flint removed so that it could not fire. They avoided the roads and moving as quickly as possible. They traveled all that day and the night, without rest, and continued their march the next day. Although they had thus been marching, riding and fighting incessantly for forty-eight hours, the strength and energy of their commander permitted his troops no rest because they could lose everything by delay. Halting, only to feed their horses, the line of march resumed. They were thus able to reach the safety of McDowell’s camp at Smith’s Ford.

The time of service of the men having expired, and there being no opportunity of doing any immediate active duty by a partisan corps, when they reached the road which led to Col. Shelby's residence, he and the men from his neighborhood returned home; the prisoners being left in charge of Colonel Clarke. After going some distance, Col. Clarke in like manner returned home, giving the prisoners in charge of Col. Williams, who conducted them to Hillsborough.

The action as a whole, from the approach of Innes to the retreat of his forces to the Mill lasted about an hour. According to Draper, the British lost 63 killed, 90 wounded, 70 prisoners. Other reports of 200 prisoners. The back-country men lost 4 killed and 8 or 9 wounded. Much of the disparity in losses is attributed to the Provincials and Loyalists over shooting their targets. Following the battle Clark, Shelby and Williams withdrew in a northwesterly direction, traveling 60 miles, to re-join McDowell (there with about 200) at Smith's Ford. In their flight, they came within five miles of Ferguson. Ferguson pursued, but was unable to catch up with partisans.

1 comment:

Mary said...

Many thanks for this wonderful account! My ancestors lived near Musgrove Mill so I found this fascinating. It's the only halfway honest account I've ever seen of American loyalist participation in these skirmishes and battles. We're having a family reunion (Stewarts) this summer at nearby Bethany Presbyterian Church and we'll be visiting the Musgrove Mill site. Can't wait to show off how much I know about it!

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