Smith's Ford

Other names:

Strategic ford on Broad River, SC. McDowell's camp before Musgroves.

Where: 34.9967978 -81.48536871 Smith's Ford

Maps: [map notes]


  • James Gettys McGready, The Annals of Tennessee to the End of the Eighteenth Century: Comprising Its ..., 1853, John Russell, p.217
    McDowell's policy was to change his camp frequently. He now lay at Smith's ford of Broad River. Here he received information that a party of four or five hundred tories were encamped at Musgrove's mill, on the south side of Eno- ree River, about forty miles distant. He again detached Shelby and Clarke, together with Col. Williams, of South- Carolina, who had joined his command, to surprise and disperse them. Ferguson lay, with his whole force, at that time, exactly between. The detachment amounted to six hundred horsemen.

  • Edward McCrady, The History of South Carolina in the Revolution, 1775-1780, 1901, Macmillan & Co., Ltd., p.755.
    Ferguson, it will be recollected, had recrossed the Broad as soon as he heard of the expedition against Innes at Musgrove's Mills, and had endeavored to intercept Shelby, Clarke, and Williams on their retreat. Failing in this, he had encamped for some time at Fair Forest in the Brandon settlement, from which he had sent out detachments through the country in search of the prominent Whig leaders, overawing all opposition, plundering wherever they found anything they needed or coveted, and administering the oath of allegiance to all who would take it, with liberal terms of pardon to those who had been active participators in the rebellion. He had then moved forward and crossed the North Carolina line into Try on County, and had followed McDowell's men who had been beating about the mountain country since retiring from Smith's Ford on Broad River and were now retreating toward Watauga, in East Tennessee. McDowell, unable to meet Ferguson on equal terms, planned an ambuscade at Cowan's Ford on Cane Creek, about fifteen miles from Gilbert Town, by which he succeeded in striking a blow and inflicting considerable loss on the enemy, killing several and, among others, severely wounding Major Dunlap. The British then retired to Gilbert Town, carrying their wounded with them; while McDowell's party, numbering about one hundred and sixty only, directed their retreat up the Catawba valley.

  • John Belton O'Neall, The Annals of Newberry: In Two Parts, 1892, Aull & Houseal, p.256
    For some reason Col. Williams did not participate with Sumter in the affair of Huck's defeat, nor in the battle of Hanging Rock. It is probable his anxiety for his family, and the state of affairs in Ninety-Six, turned his attention to that quarter, and that he was engaged in visiting his own fireside, and gathering recruits. In the Magnolia of 1840, 2nd vol. p. 30, Major McJunkin states, that after the battle of Hanging Rock, on the march towards Charlotte, Col. Williams joined Sumter. It is probable that his force was not sufficiently strong to cope with Col. Innis, and hence that he sought his associate, Col. Sumter, and obtained from him the aid which enabled him to turn back. He crossed Broad River at Smith's Ford, on the evening of the 10th of August, and pressed his march with the accustomed celerity of mounted militia men of that time.
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Confidence level:: See above.