The Siege at Ninety Six.
A little background before the full on detailed account; Ninety six, (also known as Star fort,) is situated 60 miles South of Greenville South Carolina, and was eroniously thought to be ninety six miles away from the Cherokee village of Keowee. The siege which took place there during the Revelution lasted twenty eight days and was initiated by General Nethaniel Green, (Seen to the right) against some 500 British Loyalists who had fortified themselves there. unfortunately the siege was unsucessful and the Americans did not apprehend the town at that point, this action did however ultimately help the Americans drive the British back to the coast.
I recently found a copy of the pension application of a relative of mine who was present at ninety Six. I thought it was cool to see the details of a slightly historical event from the average person's point of view. The ink was badly smudged so it took a while to type it out. Here Surry gives a detailed account of the events which transpired.
“In the fall of the same year 1780 we took two Swayne Indians near Leneca River. five Indians were killed. During our stay at the Black House, three families were murdered and their houses burnt by the Indians. By the manner of Senith Johnson and the W. Crocket. in the Month of April 1781, the British Lories having acquired the Ascendetry in our neighborhood compelled us either to join them or leave. The latter alternative about thirty of us chose to join Gen. Green who was approaching the Ninety six.
About the 1st of May 1781 we joined Gen. Green on some water in North Carolina the name of which how long It’s been, and I am not particularly sure weather it was North or South Carolina. Towards the first of May we arrived at Ninety Six and laid siege to them. shortly after we laid siege to the British soldiers from the front. We remained two or three weeks and endeavored to take the food and keep watch without sleep. When it used ---- derationed threat ----------- from Charleston it’s relief, we made an approach on the port. We retreated up to the Saluda River and then to the Envoi.
3. Gen. Green then Turned and proceeded to Beacon’s Bridge. On the ridge below Orange Bearing. I will here mention that there was a good many men killed at Ninety Six; Somewhere about a hundred, I should think. I will also mention other volunteer officers to with Lieu’s. Birkward, and John Williams, I do not recollect any of the other officers except Gen. Green. I saw him often, he was a rather large, stout, man apparently about forty five years. Col. Corieger commanded the British at Ninety Six, and Lord Riau Dorn commanded the army which came to it’s relief towards the middle of the last of July. Gen Pickens received orders to proceed with his volunteers and join Gen. Clark of Georgia for the purpose of making an inroad to the Cherokee Nation.
We proceeded by slow marches to Abbeville District where we remained between two and three weeks resting. We resumed our march and joined Gen. Clark some time in the early part of the month of September. Three days march from Charleston an Indian village situated where there is a valley now known by the name of Narcaoshie in Habersham County, Georgia.
4.We approached Lovtiu Town secretly and arrived there three days after our junction with Gen. Clark. We attacked the Lacona about daylight and killed thirty seven Indians, and took between forty and fifty women and children prisoners. We remained there three days. I don’t recollect the number of any of the Georgia officers except Gen. We returned to Abbeville sometime in the month of October 1781. And received permission to go home. Previous to being disbanded I volunteered as a minute man and held myself in residence with my arms and equipment until the close of the war, though I was not called upon again, from August 1780 until October 1781I was in active service with slight intervals, that is I received short leaves of absence like other soldiers, though until October 1781, I was never indefinitely absent from my duty. I have no documentary evidence of my service nor ever had and there is no living witness to my knowledge of my services that there is no ministers of the gospel in this vicinity, that I was born in North Carolina Granville County in 1764,”
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