What: Skirmish, Thomas Brandon vs. *Capt. William Cunningham, 8 June 1780
34.637475 -81.637574 Brandon's Defeat
Maps: [map notes]
- CBB: Col. Thomas Brandon's Defeat -- I have heard that it was several miles downstream from where SC 49 crosses the Fairforest Creek, the site of Thomas Fletchall's House. See O'Kelley NBBS, Vol. 2, p. 163.
- James Saye, Memoirs of Major Joseph McJunkin:
Cols. Thomas, Brandon and Lysle met on June 4 to concert
measures for mutual safety and for the protection of the country
comprehended within their several commands. They agreed to
concentrate their troops and form a camp near Fairforest Creek,
about four miles from the present site of Union, on the road to
Adam's Ford on Tyger River. The present resident of
Christopher Young is on the spot. As the place was near the
center of Brandon's command, his men first arrived on the
ground. He had in his possession a part of the powder formerly
intrusted to Col. Thomas, and as he considered its preservation
of the greatest importance, he directed Joseph Hughes, William
Sharp, John Savage, Aquilla Hollingsworth, Samuel Otterman,
Benjamin Jolley and Joseph McJunkin to conceal it with great
care in the neighboring forests. They were engaged in this
business and absent from the camp on the night on which
Brandon's men were assembling at the place appointed.
Some one of the parties coming in arrested a Tory and brought
him into camp. He was of the kind then denominated "a pet
Tory." He was examined and presently let go or made his
escape. He went immediately to the troop of Tories
commanded by the famous William Cunningham, better known
as "Bloody Bill". Cunningham immediately set out to surprise
Brandon. He made a charge upon his camp soon after sunrise,
killed a few of his men, took some prisoners and dispersed the
remainder. Among the slain was a brother of Joseph McJunkin
and a youth by the name of Young. This defeat occurred on the
8th or 10th of June, 1780.
- McJunkin's Pension Statement, SCAR Vol2 No.11, p.30:
And when Charleston fell on the 8th of May, 1780, shortly
afterwards the Whigs Collected together under the Command of Col.
Thos. Brandon was on the 8th or Tenth of June 1780, Surprised &
defeated by the Tories.
- McJunkin's Narrative to Draper, SCAR, Vol.2, No.11, p.34:
—on the 4th June,
1780, Col. Brandon,
Col. Thomas, & Col. Liles, made a secret
appointment to concentrate their force on Fairforest Creek, about six
miles below where Union Court House now stands—in order to
defend the country against the Tories as well as they could. Brandon
being the nearest, he got to the place the first. The Little River Tories
getting information by Col. Fletcher [sic, Fletchall], collected in
force under William Cunningham, made a forced march, & Brandon
having taken a pet Tory by the name of Adam Stidam, who made his
escape from Brandon's camp on the night of the 9th & met his friends
& informed them where & how Brandon was camped, & surprised
him killing some & dispersing some, & wounding others—amongst
the last, one of my brothers [thought to be mortally], & killing one of
my cousins. Amongst the missing was Robert Lusk, whom the
Tories threatened to Kill if he would not disclose where the magazine
was that Col. Brandon had. The old man to save his life, disclosed
where it was, but Providence who superintends the affairs of men had
ordered matters so that the Enemy was disappointed—which thing
fell thus: Col. Brandon had selected Jos. Hughes, William Sharp,
John Savage, Aquilla Hollingsworth, Samuel Otterson, Benj.
Jolly, & Joseph McJunkin to secrete the powder & ball, which they
did by carrying it to some distance & hiding it, a cask in a place, in
hollow logs—which powder & lead were of great service to us
afterwards through the summer of 1780. Col. Thomas & Col. Liles
being informed of Col. Brandon's disaster, provided for the safety
of their men as well as the nature of circumstances permitted. Us
powder men not being in the defeat, & getting timely notice fell in
with our scattered friends & my father, & passed over Broad River on
the said 11th day, & on the 12th passed on the Bullock's Creek
- Mills Union District Map, c1820:
C=CH, F=Fletchall, A=Adams Fd, 4=4mi. fm CH, 6=6mi. fm CH
- Site selected is near (north side) of Fairforest Creek, approximately NE of Adams Ford, and approximately 4 miles from Union. Saye was very specific about current owner of the property at the time he wrote, and of the distance from Union. Both Saye and McJunkin said the site was on (or near) Fairforest Creek. McJunkin's distance of 6 miles would have placed the site near the Tyger River (which would have been a more likely description, in that event) on either of two available routes.
- Barefoot. Not included
- NBBAS:Two, p.163.
- Sherman's Calendar.... P.122. To avoid future long downloads, use option to "Save and view this PDF in Reader".
listing: 6/8/1780 Brandon's Defeat. Shown as draw.
Google search for "brandon's defeat". June 1780.
Submitted by: Charles Baxley.
Confidence level: See above.