229th Anniversary of the Patriot Victory at Musgrove Mill
Clinton, SC - August 15, 2009
The Musgrove Mill State Historic Site in South Carolina is an excellent example of what can be done when SAR compatriots campaign to have a Revolutionary War site preserved and to build facilities which are dedicated to educating the public about historic events. Lynwood Jordan, longtime member of the SCSSAR, originated the celebration known as the Patriot Victory at Musgrove Mill when he was the President of the Gen. Daniel Morgan Chapter, SCSSAR. The Chapter worked in conjunction with the Henry Laurens Chapter of the SCDAR. Early ceremonies were held before South Carolina built the Musgrove Mill State Historic Site and had park staff on site. Lynwood convinced the state to clear a narrow road and an open space at which site they held their first observances sometime in the 1980's.
The Battle at Musgrove Mill came at a crucial time in American History. Just 3 days before, British forces had annihilated the Continental Army serving under Major General Horatio Gates. Major General Cornwallis put out a call for all Loyalists to gather to his flag and a number of them from the back country of South Carolina were on the way to join the Crown Forces. On August 19, 1780, a number of Patriot militiamen (about 200 strong) rode out to intercept the Loyalists. They found out they were badly outnumbered (almost 2 to 1) as the Loyalists had been augmented by a force of Provincial Regulars from the fort at Ninety Six. However, there was no turning back, so they assumed a strong defensive position and fought furiously, having lured the British forces into their gun sights. The battle turned into a rout in favor of the Patriots as the British attack collapsed and the Loyalists were dispersed.
As for the SAR celebrations, through time in the early 1990’s, the observance dwindled and halted altogether. However, in the past few years, another Compatriot, Joe Goldsmith, revitalized the Musgrove Mill celebration and built it into what it is today. In 2006, the state of South Carolina built the Musgrove Mill State Historic Site, where the celebrations are held today, almost in the same spot where the original ceremonies were held. Not only was he instrumental in preserving a historical landmark, but Compatriot Goldsmith also recruited members into his SAR Chapter and served as their first-line sponsor on more than 10 applications. For that he was awarded the Liberty Medal by the National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution. Unfortunately, Joe passed away last year before he could accept his medal. It was fitting, therefore, that his Liberty Medal be presented posthumously to his family at Musgrove Mill during the 2009 celebration of the Patriot Victory.
A complete Photo Gallery of this event can be viewed at:
Photographs were taken by Compatriot LCDR Bob Yankle, Principal Photographer, NCSSAR, and member of the Historic Sites and Celebrations Committee. You can view a select few images from the event in the gallery below. Click on an image to enlarge it in your viewer.
See the Musgrove Mill State Historic Site web site at: