Saturday, April 18, 2009

Cloud's Creek Massacre Off-topic

(note: no religious content) I get a lot of hits from folks looking to find information on the Cloud's Creek Massacre. Apparently not much on the web, and this blog is listed as the number 2 google spot! so while off topic, let me help those folks (students? American revolutionary buffs?) but to the regular readers of this blog, it's off-topic, no Universalist known here - it just was close to the universalist Dunker church.

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this is where the Butler Cemetery and site of Massacre are.

leading up to the Massacre
Major William Cunningham was placed in charge of a command of dragoons after Lord Rawdon abandoned Fort Ninety-Six (circa June 1781). With the death of Major Dunlap, Cunningham established a base on Cane Creek on the Keowee River (July 1781) and began raiding the Ninety-Six district. August 1, 1781 raids across the Saluda River with deaths of eight "noted" rebels, and increase in his loyalist troops.
August 31, 1781 Parker's Ferry -British Commander Lt. Colonel Ernst Leopold von Borck vs General Francis Marion. The British suffered much causalities, but not Cunningham's troops. September 3, 1781 Cunningham attacked Ridgeway's Fort (on the Reedy River) capturing the fort without losing a man.
October 3, 1781 Cunningham attacked Pratt's Mill (on the Little River, 8 miles northwest of Abbeville, SC) burned mill and captured horses
circa October 1781, Hartley's Creek - Hell Hole Creek Massacre. Not much known, supposed 28 massacred.
October 19, 1781 Surrender by General Cornwallis at Yorktown, Virginia.
November 13, 1781 Cunningham and Hezekiah Williams began their long raid -basically attacking the homes of the Rebel officer's homes. They started by attacking Colonel Christopher Rowe's Plantation south of Orangeburg, SC. Cunningham then went to Fair Forrest Sping on the North Pacolet River, killing Edward Hampton. Crossed the Fork of the Edisto River, and troops were sent to Mount Willing. Then crossed the Saluda River into Newberry County.
Then north to Moore's plantation where Captain Steadman was killed (it is said) in his sick bed at his fiance's parents house. 16 November 1781, Tarrar's Springs (near present day West Columbia) a cease fire for this skirmish

17 November 1781 Cloud's Creek Massacre
30 members of the South Carolina Militia (Richland Creek and Edgefield district) were camped at the house of "Mr. Carter" on Cloud's Creek. They were surrounded by 300 of Cunningham's troops. The SC Militia attempted to surrender, but terms given by the Loyalists were the execution of James Butler Jr. Shots were then exchanged, and Captain Butler was killed, The remaining rebels surrendered, but all were put to death by sword and saber, except for two who managed to escape. Killed in the massacre were James Butler, Sr and Captain Stirling Turner.
the troops then left the site, stopping to shoe their horses at the Towles Blacksmith shop , then killing the blacksmith and his assistants and burning the buildings.


November 19, 1781 Hayes Station - Cunningham rode to the house of Major John Caldwell, invited him out, and shot him dead. They then crossed to the south side of the Saluda and went up to the Cherokee Path. Burned Anderson's Mills, , and then crossed the river to Laurens County and Hayes Station. A battle went on for several hours, until the rebels surrendered after the roof of the station was set on fire. Two rebels were killed in the fighting, 12 other killed by hanging and sword afterwards. That night, they stayed at Oddell's Mills.

November 1781, Cunningham headed to the home of John Boyce at Duncan's Creek in southern Union County - while surprised, Boyce managed to escape to the home of Captain Christopher Casey. Casey and his troops captured a few where the Duncan's Creek meets the Enoree River. Casey hanged them at the intersection of the Charlestown Road and Ninety-Six Road.
December 2, 1781 Cunnigham split his troops into three divisions. One went to the Cherokee lands, one went through the Long Canes to Charleston.
December 20, 1781 General Pickens attacked one of Cuningham's camps on the Edisto River, killing everyone there
December-January Cunningham makes it back to Charleston
Feb 1782 Cuningham active in the defense of Charleston.
May 24 1782 Dean's Swamp Captain William Butler, son of James Butler killed at Cloud's Creek, attacked Cunnigham's troops that were were attempting to rescue prisoners.
September 1782 - Lorick's Ferry - while Pickens was out fighting Cherokees, Cunnighman made a raid to the Saluda River area. Again the rebels led by William Butler attacked them. During this fight, Butler was able to obtain Cunnigham's sword.
December 14, 1782 British evacuate Charleston and Cunnigham goes to East Florida.

Left out of this was Cunnigham's reasons for hatred for the Rebels - and he had some good ones.


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