Peacetime Neighbors and Wartime Comrades

Fair Forest, SC

In the spring of 1772, Peter Pettypool purchased 202 acres of land in what he- as a recent resident of Granville County, North Carolina- believed to be Tryon County, North Carolina. South Carolina considered it to be part of the Ninety Six District, in an area referred to as Fair Forest.

It is unclear how far Peter progressed toward settling this land, and the process was interrupted, and ultimately terminated, by the Revolutionary War. Peter chose to side with those loyal to the Crown. While settling in Fair Forest and serving in the wartime militia, Peter would have encountered persons both interesting and colorful, some of whom, as Loyalists, are not commonly found in traditional accounts. Here are brief notes on some of them. Continue reading “Peacetime Neighbors and Wartime Comrades”

A Loyalist in the Fork Between the Broad and Saluda Rivers

But this is not all. Vigorous measures are absolutely necessary. If a dozen persons [Loyalists] are allowed to be at large, our progress has been in vain, and we shall be involved in a civil war in spite of our teeth. In giving you this information, I tell a melancholy truth, but I do my duty. Report to the S. C. Council of Safety by William Henry Drayton, from Lawson’s Fork, 21 August 1775.

GENTLEMEN: — Being on my return from the frontiers of South Carolina, where the Honorable Mr. Drayton and myself were sent by the Council of Safety of our Province, I think it my duty to acquaint you that there exists in those parts a most dangerous conspiracy against the lives and liberties of these Colonies. William Tennent, Report to the S.C. Council of Safety, from St. Mathew’s Parish, 10 September 1775.[1]

The “melancholy” predictions of Drayton and Tennent of a “dangerous conspiracy” and “civil war” in the South Carolina backcountry were prophetic. The inability of the Continental Army under Nathanial Greene to defeat Sir Henry Clinton in South Carolina resulted in the Patriot cause being carried forward by various militia groups, at times augmented by militia from North Carolina, Tennessee, and Georgia. When Clinton returned to the northern colonies leaving a much reduced force of British Regulars under Cornwallis to secure their gains in South Carolina, Cornwallis was forced to make use of militia recruited from Loyalists in the colony. The result was that much of the fighting in SC was between fellow colonists. The effect was to make the Revolutionary War the first civil war in South Carolina. Continue reading “A Loyalist in the Fork Between the Broad and Saluda Rivers”