[Starting on page 22 of book]
Our next rout [sic][August 12] was down towards the Fishdam ford 141* on Broad-River, where there was a fight near the mouth of Brown's Creek 142 with Neale's [sic] militia 143 when we made many prisoners amongst the rest Esaw [Esau] [Smith], who had taken me so recently; after this we crossed that River and formed a junction with troops under command of Col l Turnbull 144 and the Militia under Col l Phillips 145 and having received authentic accounts that Sumpter 146 had cut off our retreat to Lord Cornwallis' Army at Camden, we had it in contemplation to cross Broad-River and retreat to Charles-town at this time the half-way men, (as those not hearty in the cause were called) 147 left us; we then marched to the rebel Col Winn's 148 and encamped there waiting for more authentic accounts. On the 16th [August] we heard a heavy firing towards Camden, which kept us in the utmost anxiety until [sic] the 18th when a letter was received from Capt n Ross[,]149 aid [Aide] de camp to Lord Cornwallis[,] informing us that his Lordship had attacked & defeated Gates' Army[;] had killed or taken 2,200 men[,] 18 Ammunition Waggons and 350 waggons with provisions and other stores.150 This news made us as happy as people in our situation could possibly be; 151 until the next night when we received an express that the rebels had defeated Col l Ennis[sic]152 at Enoree; 153 this occasioned a rapid march that way. The main body having crossed the Enoree, I was left behind in command of the rear guard, and being attacked in that situation we maintained our ground until the Main body re-crossed to our support (August 20); the Americans retreated [August 21] after suffering some loss.154
[Ending on page 22 of book]
[Comment about performance at Cowpens of British
[Starting on page 37 of book]
Col ls Allen 223 and Cruger 224 commanded the fort near the gaol [Bt. Sp.]; where I continued until Tarleton came into Ninety-Six district to go in quest of General Morgan 225 and sent to the garrison for guides acquainted with Morgan's situation [station] which was then convenient to my house on Packolet[.]226 I joined Co l Tarleton and marched to Fair-forest having failed to get intelligence of Morgan's situation he sent me out [January 16] to endeavour to do so and to make the mills grind for the Army; 227 when I reached Packolet-river I swam my horse over a private ford not likely to be guarded, leaving the man behind me to go on more quietly & reconnoitre the same. [I came to their encampment between my father's house and my own –] I found the fires burning but no one there, on which I rode to my father's who said Morgan was gone to the Old-fields about an hour before; my wife said the same and that they had used and destroyed all the crop & took away almost everything.
I immediately returned to Col Tarleton and found he had marched towards the Old fields. I overtook them before 10 Oclock near the Cow-pens on Thicketty 228 Creek where we suffered a total defeat by some dreadful bad management. The Americans were posted behind a rivulet with Rifle-men as a front line, and Cavarly [sic] in the rear so as to make a third line; Col Tarleton charged at the head of his Regiment of Cavalry called the British Legion 220 which was filled up from the prisoners taken at the battle of Camden[.] The cavalry, supported by a detachment of the 71 st Regt under Major McArthur 230 broke the Riflemen without difficulty[.] But the prisoners seeing their own Reg t opposed to them in the rear, would not proceed against it and broke[.] The remainder charged, but were repulsed[.] This gave time to the [patriot’s] front line to rally and form in the rear of the Cavalry which immediately charged and broke the 71st (then unsupported) making many prisoners[.] The rout [sic] was almost total. I was with Tarleton in the charge who behaved bravely but imprudently[.] The consequence was his force was disperced [sic] in all directions [and] the guns and many prisoners fell into the hands of the Americans.
[Ending on page 39 of book]
©2002 Bobby Gilmer Moss. Used by permission.
* Superscript numbers refer to the explanatory footnotes (not shown here) equaling or exceeding the volume of the text.
The Journal of Alexander Chesney, Adjutant to Maj. Patrick Ferguson, Dr. Bobby G.
Moss, ed., is available from