Thursday, July 29, 2021


While working on the final elements of my WOJE campaign, I picked up a book to read in my spare time. A Devil of a Whipping by Babits. It covers the Battle of Cowpens. I had been looking at the skirmish at Hammond's Store as it happened just a couple miles south of my alma mater, Presbyterian College. It is an interesting little skirmish that like many of the small actions in the South Carolina at the time would now likely be considered a war crime as quarter was not given.

Hammond's Store was a clash of Continental Dragoons and Rebel Militia against a force of Loyalist Militia. This got me to thinking about how this fit in with the broader context of the war in the South. That had me reading Babit's book on Cowpens. The picture I am getting actually makes for an interesting and descreet campaign in the Ninety-Six district of South Carolina from December 1780 to January 1781.

The starting point is with Thomas Sumter's defeat at the hands of Tarleton on November 20, 1780 at Blackstocks. With Sumter's force largely broken, the organized resistance in the back country for the Rebels were in trouble. The Continental forces were still reorganizing from the disaster at Camden earlier in the year. General Morgan had arrived and was sorting out what was left in North Carolina. General Greene was on his way South to assume over all command of the theater.

A couple of important events started taking place. First is that in the Ninety Six District, the Loyalist Militias began to take vengence on their Rebel/Whig neighbors or those they believed had such sympathies. Since the fall of Charleston, Andrew Pickens had taken his parole and was sitting out the war. But in December 1780, Loyalist Militias burned his home and attacked his family. Simlar events were happening across the Long Canes community. Andrew Pickens, in turn, returned to the fight and called up his militia. Pickens would lead the Rebel Militia at Cowpens by January 17, 1781.

The campaign has two parts to it from my perspective. 1) The vendettas by both sides against one another. Specifically the attacks on civilians at the Long Canes community and the partisan attacks against and around Fort Ninety Six. 2) The movement of Morgan's forces toward Ninety Six and their retreat back to Cowpens.

I have been trying to find a good map of the South Carolina back country. One source noted that the Ninety Six district was next to Charleston, the most important district in South Carolina at the time as it was the most populous. Yet maps of the time show the rivers and a few of the hills in the area but very few of the settlements that dotted the country side. I have three principle maps I am drawing from. The 1773 Mouzon Map, The 1795 Lewis Map and the 1804 Carey Map. Each of these are for South Carolina as a whole and not just for the Ninety Six District. The plan is to print one of these out (likely the Mouzon) and update it with what I have found.

Anyway, once the War on Jenkin's Ear is wrapped up, I think I have my new project. I have seven scenarios to work on based on the historical battles. Plus an idea for a few more that are more small raids. Should inspire me to finish off my Continentals and British Legion Dragoons.

For WOJE, I have started working on a forest section. The theory is sound. Just trying to make the final product work out. More on that later.

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