Bullocks Fork of Thicketty Creek
Little Thicketty Creek, Bullocks Creek
Mid-July 1780, Patriot militia vs. *Lieut. Alexander Chesney
Where: 35.01685 -81.74219 Bullocks Fork of Thicketty Creek
Maps: [map notes]
- Longtime students of area land plats tell us that Little Thicketty Creek was once named Bullock's Creek or Bullock's Fork of Thicketty Creek. This can be considered as Fact #1.
- This 1772 land plat for William Hopton, at the l.r.h corner of the drawing identifies the stream as Bullock fork of Thicketty Creek of Broad River.. This map is oriented with the top of the map being toward the southwest.
It may be noted that all the land actually on the creek is that of William Saffold. Saffold's land includes the creek and is surrounded by Hopton's land on the other three sides.
- This view of the plat shows it rotated 124 degrees to the left, making the top of the map be approximately north. This makes it apparent that the land described lay southwestward from "Bullocks Fork".
- Benson's 1786 regional map shows Byce's (Byas/"Burrs") mill located on Saffold Creek at its junction with modern Cowpens Creek. This can be seen in "An Effort to Locate the Mill Morgan Called 'Burr's Mill'". That study compares Benson's map with a modern topo map and makes it apparent that Byces/Byas/Burrs mill could have been located at 1) the junction of Little Thicketty and Cowpens Creeks (labelled Byas Mill B), or at 2) the junction about 2 miles westward of an unnamed stream with Cowpens Creek (labelled Byas Mill A). This raises the question of whether Saffold was a subsequent name of Bullocks Fork or was it that of the currently unnamed stream (labelled Byas Mill A)?
- Alexander Chesney, Bobby Gilmer Moss, ed., Journal of Capt. Alexander Chesney: Adjutant to Maj. Patrick Ferguson, pp.18-19, Scotia-Hibernia Press, 2002.
protection 25th  of June 1780 from Isaac[s] Grey Captain South Carolina Regt. And about the middle of July
embodied with the Militia as Lieut [and was also appointed Adjutant of Plomer's Battalion;] I commanded in an
affair at Bullock's Creek when the rebel Party was defeated in attempting to cross the ford; My father was
present on this occasion, and hearing the bullets whistle without seeing by whom they were fired, asked me
where are they? I placed him near a tree until the affair was over, and resolved he should not be so exposed
- Alexander Chesney (with a bit of editing by Bobby Moss) gave us 2 additional facts:
Fact #2. The action occurred in mid-July 1780.
Fact #3. The action occurred on Bullock's Creek (to be understood as on Bullock's Fork of Thicketty Creek, i.e., Little Thicketty Creek).
- RevList post, 6/19/2005
Bullock's Fork, Thicketty Creek, South Carolina
Also, see Patrick O'Kelley, Nothing But Blood and Slaughter, The Revolutionary War in the Carolinas, Volume Two, 1780, p.178, Blue House Tavern Press, 2004.
The British began organizing the Loyalists to end the attacks
by the Patriot militia. One of the new regiments was organized at
Ninety-Six, under Major Daniel Plummer. Alexander Chesney had been a
soldier in the 6th South Carolina Regiment, but after Charleston fell he
took the British oath and became a lieutenant in this regiment. Chesney
commanded a force of men who skirmished with some Patriots at Bullock's
He wrote that the "Rebel Party was defeated in attempting to
cross the ford; my father was present on this occasion, and hearing the
bullets whistle without seeing by whom they were fired, asked me "where
are they, where are they?" I placed him near a tree until the affair was
over, and resolved he should not be so exposed again."
- Although Chesney had said that the action had occurred in middle of June with him in command as a lieutenent, in a previous statement, he said that he had changed sides on 24(or 25) June 1780, making it impossible for him to have commanded this action earlier than mid-July. Bobby Moss made the right call on this matter.
- Based on the 3 known facts, the conclusion can be made that the action occurred at some unknown location, presumably where a road crossed Little Thicketty Creek, in mid-July 1780.
- Acme map showing 10 crossings of Little Thicketty Creek or Rocky Ford Creek, any of which might have been the crossing referred to in the Chesney skirmish.
- June 1780 listing Not found.
- July 1780 listing Not found.