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Musgrove Mill Celebration on August 20, 2011

Hello Friends,

Yesterday John and I joined with many others from Georgia, North Carolina, and our own state of South Carolina to celebrate the Whig victory over the British partisan forces at Musgrove Mill. On August 18, 1780, the British were defeated in a battle that only lasted about an hour.

Individuals from various D.A.R., S.A.R., and C.A.R. chapters began arriving around 9:00 with their wreaths of remembrance. Two pictures are still in my mind’s eye today; one is of the men, women, and children standing to sing our national anthem. While most were dressed in modern clothes, others were attired in colonial costumes. This visual game me pause as to how we are honoring and remembering those who came before us to settle this great country of ours; because of them, we are here.

Later in the program, the Musgrove Mill Militia carefully loaded and shot their rifles, but in the midst of their line was one reenactor dressed as a member of the British Legion. There was no mistaking his green jacket amidst the men wearing their hunting coats and every day colonial clothes. This would never have happened during the American Revolution, but it reminded me of some words of George Washington that he wrote in a letter to James Madison in 1788. Our first President said, “Liberty, when it begins to take root, is a plant of rapid growth.” Our country is a product of the sowing of the seeds of Liberty.

 Robert Hall, a descendent of Elsie Bratton, knows all about his lineage and told me some stories about the Bratton family after the Revolutionary War. There is no doubt that he knows his family’s history and has continued to tell its story through reenactments.

 Two sisters of the reenactors of the Musgrove Mill Militia & Co. safely spent the night on Friday. There were no distubances to their sleep, but they did say that several pairs of eyes greeted them. (You might want to check out this militia group’s Facebook site.)

 During the eighteenth century, hot weather was ignored when their was work to do. This blacksmith and his helper never stopped during the day, but explained the process to all who stopped by.

 This is a picture of Tony Zeiss, the author of Backcountry Fury. Dressed in early nineteenth century clothes, he was visiting on the porch with Bob Swager. Tony shared an entertaining and informative monologue of the life of Thomas Young, one of the young men who fought at the Musgrove Mill battle and the protagonist of his book.

 Here is Tony Scotti, the reenactor dressed as a member of the British Legion. Just in case you are interested, Tony’s musket is a 54 caliber smooth bore. (This was the same British Legion that fought with Captain Christian Huck at the Battle of Huck’s Defeat.)

 The reenactor, Fitzpatrick Williamson, was dressed as one of the Overmountain Men. He and Chris Swager, author of numerous Revolutionary War books catch up. (Chris’ books are available through Sandlapper Publishing.) She is an expert on the Southern Campaign in South Carolina. 

 In the afternoon, again on the porch, we were once again entertained and informed by another author and storyteller. Randell Jones, the author of In the Footsteps of Daniel Boone, In the Footsteps of Davy Crockett, and, The Overmountain Men and the Battle of King’s Mountain.

John had the opportunity to cut many silhouettes of the children visiting the site, and the typical summer humidity of our state didn’t mar the day. We came away with a renewed resolve to continue telling the stories of the fearless and courageous men and women who lived and fought in South Carolina during the Revolutionary War. We were glad to be part of this day of celebration at Musgrove Mill.

Martha Washington said, “I am determined to be cheerful and happy in whatever situation I may find myself. For I have learned that the greater part of our misery or unhappiness is determined not by our circumstance but by our disposition.”
That was good advice then, as well as now!

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