Database

Fort Williams.

Other names: Mudlick Creek (both), Roebuck's Defeat(1781)

What:
31 Dec 1780 Skirmish (Mudlick Creek), *Col. Hayes vs. BG Cunningham
2 Mar 1781 Skirmish (Mudlick Creek), Col. Roebuck vs. unknown. Also, known as "Roebuck's Defeat".

Where: 34.3086,-81.8873

Maps: [map notes]

Sources:

Discussion:

  • "Fort Williams" and "Mudlick Creek" appear to be alternate names for battles occurring at or near Fort Williams.
  • It should be our purpose here to attempt to locate the fort site. In 1781, the battle was apparently near but somewhat away from the fort, but we have little chance of locating that skirmish site.
  • The fort is placed (primary sources unknown) on the "road from Wynnesborough to Ninety Six".
  • The "Old Ninety Six Road" identified on Mills Laurens map served as the district line, and at that location, remains as the Laurens/Newberry county line today.
  • The Mills maps for Laurens and Newberry showed Williams as living on both sides of the road/line some 40 years after the Rev. War. in the area.
  • One old account places the fort in Newberry District, which is possible. Most however, tend to believe that the fort was in Laurens because the homeplace and cemetery are in Laurens. Williams holdings were large and he very likely owned lands in both Laurens and Newberry.
  • 15 miles from Ninety Six, as tracked on the Mills maps, comes out very close to the Little River, but the distance is expressed as approximate.
  • Significance must be attached to "Mudlick Creek" being used interchangeably with "Fort Williams", and the fact that "Little River" seems never to have been used in connection with the fort.
  • George Fields stresses that forts were near 1)a road, 2)a stream, and 3)a mill. All these are believed to be present although the mill site has not been located. Another factor: they were usually placed on high ground and not on low ground.
  • Note that the road above Mudlick Creek runs along a ridgeline as they did whenever possible. On the near side of that road, streams flowed into Mudlick. On the far side of that road, streams flowed into Little River. This road was present on the 1820-ish Mills maps.
  • I think some significance might well be given to D.Timpany's old source. This fort was obviously considered by the Brits to have been very well placed, since they rebuilt it after it was destroyed.
  • Conjecturally, I opt for the highest point of land alongside the road immediately above the creek, and near the old road junction. It falls within the search zone on CB's map, and is closer to the road than the high ground further on when the road goes down a valley on its way to the Little River. With "boots on the ground", we may find other more logical sites.

Related sites: Mudlick Creek, Williams Family Cemetery, Hayes Station

Confidence level: low