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80086Re: 225 years ago today - Georgetown (reality versus myth)

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  • Gary Corrado
    Jan 1, 2006
      Oh yes it is.
      Besides, there are other primary accounts, besides Simcoe's.
      Try some of the testimonials written by other Loyalists of their war
      experiences, and ditto for the American participants.
      Years ago I even came across the journal of a QR officer on the
      Arnold expeditioin to Virginia. Very illuminating-talk about second
      hand smoke.They burned a hell of a lot of tobacco.Wonder if any of
      the QR's died of lung cancer

      Gary Corrado, QR
      --- In Revlist@yahoogroups.com, "banner1780" <banner1780@y...> wrote:
      >
      > --- In Revlist@yahoogroups.com, Patrick J O'Kelley
      <goober.com@j...>
      > wrote:
      > >What is your source for the "true" story? It is certainly not in
      > Simcoe's account of the Saunder's troop at Georgetown.
      >
      >
      >
      > > Howdy,
      > > Here is two versions of one story. One is myth, and one
      is
      > true.
      > > First the true story:
      > >
      > > Georgetown, South
      > Carolina
      > >
      > > 27 December 1780
      > >
      > > To determine the strength of the British forces in Georgetown
      > Marion sent
      > > Peter Horry and, Captain Baxter, with thirty men from Indiantown,
      > on a
      > > reconnaissance.
      > > In Georgetown Marion's men set up an ambush and waited for an
      enemy
      > to
      > > appear. Cornet Meritt was commanding a troop of green-coated
      > Queen's
      > > Rangers in Georgetown. Meritt had been sent into the countryside
      > around
      > > Georgetown to provide cover for some slaves, which were sent to
      the
      > > neighboring plantations to bring back cattle that had wandered
      away
      > from
      > > the garrison.
      > > About midmorning Meritt, another officer and a squad of the
      Queen's
      > > Rangers were escorting two young ladies past Horry's ambush.
      Horry
      > > decided not to ambush these men, since the women were with them,
      > and let
      > > them pass. Horry and his men then went to a house to seek a late
      > > breakfast because they had not eaten in thirty-six hours. They
      > rode to
      > > White's Plantation and discovered that inside the house was Mrs.
      > White,
      > > her daughter, and the two ladies that had been escorted by the
      > Rangers.
      > > Mrs. White asked Horry what he wanted, and he replied that he
      > wanted food
      > > and drink for his men. The family begged Horry to go away
      because
      > they
      > > were all poor and had no provisions. Horry was confused, because
      > he knew
      > > these people were Marion supporters, so he followed Mrs. White to
      > the
      > > kitchen and asked what the matter was. She told Horry that the
      two
      > women
      > > in the room were Tories, and that if Horry wanted anything, he
      had
      > to
      > > pretend to take it by force. This was a situation that Marion's
      > men were
      > > used to, because if the people appeared too friendly the British
      > may burn
      > > their house down and place the inhabitants in jail.
      > > Horry had gone back into the room with the Tory women, when the
      > sentries
      > > outside fired a warning shot and came running back to the house.
      > They
      > > told Horry that the Queen's Rangers were charging down the road.
      > The
      > > partisans quickly mounted their horses and charged the Rangers.
      The
      > > Rangers saw they were outnumbered, and fled back towards
      > Georgetown.
      > > Cornet Meritt stayed in the rear, fighting off each of Horry's
      men
      > as
      > > they caught up with him. Captain Baxter fired pistols at Meritt,
      > but
      > > missed. Captain Postelle and another partisan came at Meritt with
      > > swords, but they were driven back. Meritt had two horses killed
      > under
      > > him, and was so stunned by the fall of the last one that he was
      > left for
      > > dead. Marion's men took his boots, helmet and weapons. When he
      > > recovered his senses he escaped into the swamp and hid.
      > > Two of the prisoners captured by Horry were both men who had been
      > in the
      > > 3rd South Carolina Regiment. They said that they had enlisted
      from
      > the
      > > prison ship in Charlestown so that they would have a better
      chance
      > to
      > > escape.
      > >
      > > OK, now the myth. There is a version of this story has been
      > distorted
      > > due to the fabrications of Weems and his fictional account of
      > Marion's
      > > life in "The Life of General Francis Marion". Weems wrote that
      > Horry's
      > > horsemen chased the outnumbered British cavalry into Georgetown,
      > where
      > > there was a large British garrison. Major Ganey's Loyalists
      dashed
      > out
      > > to meet Horry's dragoons, who did not slow down their pursuit.
      > Horry
      > > found himself alone in a section of woods, when he came across
      > Captain
      > > Lewis, one of Ganey's men. Horry was only armed with a small
      > sword, but
      > > Lewis had a musket. Lewis fired, hitting Horry's horse and
      knocking
      > > Horry from the saddle. As Lewis fired his musket at Horry, a
      shot
      > from
      > > the woods knocked him from his horse. A boy named Gwin, who had
      > been
      > > watching the fight from the woods, had killed Lewis. Weems used a
      > > seperate incident that happened on 15 November, at White's
      > Plantation,
      > > where "Otterskin" Lewis was wounded, as the basis for this
      story.
      > Weems
      > > continued by telling how Ganey suspected an ambush and had his
      men
      > turn
      > > and run back to the safety of Georgetown.
      > > With Horry was Sergeant McDonald, who chased Major Ganey
      > for two
      > > miles on his horse Fox, until McDonald had almost caught up to
      him.
      > > McDonald was one of the Maryland Continentals that Marion rescued
      > from
      > > the British. Instead of going back to the Maryland Line, he
      stayed
      > with
      > > Marion. Weems wrote that a rich Tory gave McDonald a horse called
      > Selim,
      > > when McDonald fooled the Tory into thinking that he was British.
      > This is
      > > another incorrect statement from Weems. Peter Horry wrote, "This
      > Horses
      > > Name was Fox. McDonald was a private man. A Scotch Man."
      > > Weems continued with the Georgetown story, writing that
      one
      > of
      > > Ganey's men threw himself in the way, but McDonald fired his
      > carbine at
      > > the man. Realizing that the carbine was unloaded, and he
      couldn't
      > reach
      > > him with his sword, he took his musket and speared Ganey in the
      > back and
      > > out through the chest with his bayonet. When McDonald attempted
      to
      > free
      > > the weapon, the bayonet remained in Ganey. Ganey rode up to the
      > > redoubts, blood streaming from his wounds, screaming and clawing
      at
      > his
      > > side. Ganey supposedly and amazingly recovered from his
      wounds.
      > > Horry wrote that Weems had it wrong again, and in this action it
      was
      > > Sergeant Cryer and not McDonald, who was on this raid. He also
      > wrote
      > > that no British were killed, and sixteen were captured. Only
      Cornet
      > > Merrit and a sergeant escaped. Unfortunately most of Marion's
      > history
      > > has been obscured by the sensational fiction of Weems, and even
      > today
      > > there are historical highway markers in Georgetown, South
      Carolina,
      > that
      > > repeat this fantasy of Weems.
      > >
      > > Patrick O'Kelley http://www.2nc.org/
      > > Author of "Nothing but Blood and Slaughter" The Revolutionary War
      > in the
      > > Carolinas
      > > Volume One 1771-1779
      > http://www.booklocker.com/books/1469.html
      > > Volume Two 1780
      > > http://www.booklocker.com/books/1707.html
      > > Volume Three 1781
      > > http://www.booklocker.com/books/1965.html
      > > Volume Four 1782
      > > http://www.booklocker.com/books/2167.html
      > >
      > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      > >
      >
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