Memoirs of Aiken County and Its People
By Gasper Loren Toole II, 1958
Transcribed by Dena W.
During the ninety years of my happy life, I have been much interested in people eerywhere, and especially in the rank and file of Aiken County, who have made it what it is today - one of the greatest counties in the state. Until my friend, Mr. P. Finley Henderson, wrote his interesting short history of Aiken county, no book had been written to record the historical events of our county.
A place is only as good as the people who live there, and each person in some way leaves the imprint on his community. Hence, I aave written this book, hoping that I have presented many persons and happenings of interest to those interested in Aiken County and its people. I know that I have omitted many facts and regret that lack of time, of space in my book, and inability to obtain all the facts have caused me to omit many persons who have played an important part in the history of Aiken.
My appreciation and thanks are given to all who have aided me in my research. I have tried to give them credit throughout the book. To them I feel indebted, especially to my daughter, Mrs. Cleora Toole Murray, who has worked with me in its prepartation.
Of you, my reader, I ask sympathetic understanding of my book. It is not meant to be a literary masterpiece. I have tried to record faithfully facts concerning our county, facts known to me through my personal experiences or through my research. If you find my recordins of value, then I am repaid for my work.
The Early History of Aiken County . . . . . . . . . . 1
The Indians and De Soto-Henry Woodward—George Galphin—Early Settlers—Census of 1790.
From 1833 to 1871 . . . . . . . . . . 10
The Coming of the Railroad—Aiken County Soldiers in the War Between the States— The Battle of Aiken-Camp Butler.
The Formation of Aiken County. . . . . . . . . . 19
Reconstruction and the Red Shirts . . . . . . . . . . 20
Recollections of Montmorenci (1877-1889) . . . . . . . . . . 34
School Days at Montmorenci—The Duelling Oath—Some Pranks at the University- Earthquake of 1886.
From 1880 to 1890 . . . . . . . . . . 47
The "Stock" and "Lien" Laws-The Tillman Movement—The Democratic Convention of 1890.
From 1890-1900 . . . . . . . . . . 51
Political Campaigns of the Nineties—My Law Course at the University—My First Law Case—The Constitutional Convention of 1895-The First Legislature Under the New Constitution
From 1900 to 1935 . . . . . . . . . . 66
Opening of the Augusta—Aiken Electric Railway—Child Labor Law-The Tillman Story-The Ten-Hour Law-A Fight With a Bull—Samuel Cox—The Old Historic Pohick Church-Why Vote "No."
From 1935 to 1958 . . . . . . . . . . 85
The Coming of the H-plant-Tribute to the Town of Ellenton-The Dibble—Aiken Library Opened—The Gas Explosion of 1953—Byrnes Testimonial Banquet—Democratic Party—Republican Party of Aiken County- Eisenhower Carries County—Diamond Jubilee of Polo—Members of the Bar Association —Alumni Day at the University of South Carolina.
Our Communities . . . . . . . . . . 109
Aiken—Beech Island—Jackson—New Ellenton—North Augusta—Salley-Springs Branch —Wagener—White Pond.
Chapter XI (this chapter missing from the book)
Our Churches . . . . . . . . . . 170
Baptist Churches (First Baptist-Beech Island—Belvedere—Clearwater No. 1—Green Pond—Mount Beulah—Springs Branch-Salley—Montmorenci—North Augusta—Shaws Fork-Talatha-White Pond-Mt. Pleasant) New Ellenton Memorial Christian Church- Church of Jehovah's Witnesses—The Catholic Churches-St. Thaddeus Episcopal—St. Pauls Lutheran—Mt. Calvary Lutheran- Springs Methodist—St. John's Methodist— Aiken Presbyterian—Grace Presbyterian— Aiken County Ministerial Association—Some Colored Churches.
Our Schools . . . . . . . . . . 225
Superintendents of Education — The First Tomato Club—Edisto Academy—Aiken High School Faculty—Directory of Schools—Schofield's School—The Aiken Preparatory School —Mead Hall-Southern Methodist College.
Organizations and Clubs . . . . . . . . . . 248
Knights of Pythias—Woodmen of the World —Masons—Boy Scouts—Cirl Scouts—Ellenton Agricultural Club—Aiken County S.P.C.A.-Garden Club of Aiken-The Thursday Club—The Edisto Grange.
Industries of Aiken County . . . . . . . . . . 260
Langley - Bath - Clearwater Mills - William Gregg and the Graniteville Company - Kaolin Industry - Aiken Electrc Cooperative—Southern Bell Tel. and Tel. Co.—Our Newspapers—The Farmers and Merchants Bank—The State Bank and Trust Co.—Aiken Federal Savings and Loan Association—Directory of Mercantile and Professional Services—Land Surveyors of Aiken County.
Institutions and County Departments . . . . . . . . . . 300
Aiken County Hospital—S. C. Highway Department—Aiken County Department of Public Welfare—Public Employment—Home Demonstration—Aiken County Home— Aiken County Postmasters—County Commissioners.
Citizens of Aiken County . . . . . . . . . . 314
Members of the Senate—Members of the House of Representatives—Sheriffs—Superintendents of Education—Equity Masters-Clerks of Court—Probate Judges—Auditors- Treasurers — Coroners — Magistrates — S. C. Governors From Hampton to Timmerman—Other Citizens.
My Philosophy. . . . . . . . . . 396
The early history of the region comprising Aiken County goes back to long before the settlement of our country. Few of us stop to think that the land on which we now live was once home to the red man. Several hundred years ago the woods of this section were roamed by the Indian, where he hunted and fished and was happy. Indian relics are sometimes unearthed in this region today, and arrowheads are found in the fields and woods. The Indians living here, when the first white men arrived, belonged to the Muskhogean family, one of the three great Indian families living in what is now South Carolina. The Muskhogeans, like other great Indian families, were divided into smaller groups or tribes. Some of these were Kiawahs, Edistos, Wandos, Ashepoos, Combahees, Yamassees, and Westos, who inhabited the region along the Savannah River now including Aiken County. The Westos, who lived here, are said to have moved about less and farmed more than many of the Indian tribes. The Indians of the low country were afraid of the Westos, but the Westos were friendly to the white man.
A very interesting legend has been handed down by the Indians concerning their coming to this section. The story is told that an Indian princess became ill and was about to die. The chief loved his daughter very much and was grief-stricken. The chief was told in a dream to take his daughter to the land of the rising sun where she would regain her health. The Indians built a litter for the princess and left their home, moving eastward. The story goes on to tell that they traveled until they came to the land of the whispering pines through which flowed a river of sand. This is located in the Hitchcock's Woods, southwest of the town of Aiken and is known as Sand River. Here the Indians built their village, and the wonderful climate restored the health of the Indian maiden.
The first Englishman to visit this section was Dr. Henry Woodward who came up from the low country to trade with the Indians and to make friends with them. Ayllion, a rich Spaniard, and his men were the first white men to set foot on South Carolina soil,and a part of his men came as far as Silver Bluff in the Beech Island section of Aiken County. These men became sick; and, although the Indians of Silver Bluff or Cofachiqui, as it was then called, befriended them and nursed and doctored them, they died.
The fame of the village of Cofachiqui spread all over the land. As DeSoto came up from Florida into Georgia, the Indians told him of a fabulous country to the north ruled by a beautiful young Indian queen and rich in gold, silver, and pearls. He turned aside from his march inland and the Indians guided him to the village of Cofachiqui, on the opposite bank of the Savannah River. The Indian emissaries crossed the river to greet the Spaniards; and, upon learning that the white man came in peace, they returned to so inform their queen who went herself to meet the visitors. She crossed the Savannah accompanied by emissaries and a procession of canoes filled with Indians. She herself had eight female attendants. She offered her own house for DeSoto, half the village for his officers, and wigwams for his men. She also promised to provide food, rafts, and canoes to transport the army across the river. DeSoto and his men were both surprised and charmed to find such dignity, grace, intelligence, politeness and hospitality in a savage in the wilderness. The queen presented DeSoto with a long string of pearls from around her neck. In return he gave her a ring from his own finger as a token of peace and friendship. DeSoto found that the gold and silver substance brought to him by the Indians, when he inquired about the gold and silver wealth, crumbled in his hands like dry earth. His search for gold and silver in the bed of the Savannah and the bluffs over the river yielded no wealth. He did find there a sort of mausoleum adorned with great quantities of pearls of every size. Mr. William Smoak says in an article written for the Aiken Centennial that in his research he found that they obtained fourteen bushels of pearls. The Spaniards also found a dagger and several coats of mail. The Indians told DeSoto that, some years before, white men had come up from the coast and visited their village and some had become sick and died there. The Spaniards decided that these men had been Ayllon and his followers.
DeSoto, after a long sojourn in this fertile, healthy region, failing to find the wealth for which he was searching, departed from the queen's country, taking her with him as a captive to guide him on up the river into the mountains where he hoped to find the precious metal. The Spaniards, like the one-eyed giant, Polyphemus, had an eye only for riches and material wealth. Because of their lust for gold, they missed the more valuable things that were here—matchless climate, fertility and beauty of the region; and so they missed the opportunity of settlement and development of this wonderful new land.
Dr. Henry Woodward visited the Indians at Cofachiqui shortly after the settlement of Charleston by the English. Dr. Woodward formed an alliance with the "emperor" of Cofachiqui and other caciques in the surrounding territory. He established trade with the Indians, visiting the Indians at Silver Bluff (Cofachiqui) and more than once helping to carry out negotiations with them. Later the Indians at Silver Bluff were driven out of South Carolina by the Shawnees, from whom the Savannah got its name.
About 1735, an Irishman, George Galphin, established a trading post on the ruins of the Indian town of Cofachiqui, and he is credited with naming it Silver Bluff. He built there the first brick home built in what is now Aiken County. This house was used as a fort during the Revolutionary War and changed hands many times during the war. George Galphin lived and died here. Mr. William Smoak tells this story of Mr. Galphin:
Mr. Galphin was visited by one of the principal Indian chiefs from beyond the Savannah. The next morning they were walking around looking at the buildings and improvements that had been made when the chief suddenly said, "Mr. Galphin, me dream last night."
"And what did my red brother dream?" asked Mr. Galphin. "Me dream you give me a fine rifle."
"If you dream, you must have it," and the rifle was given him at once.
Next morning as they were walking around again, Mr. Galphin suddenly said to the chief, "I dreamed last night."
"What you dream?" asked the chief.
"I dreamed you gave me your fine Chickasaw stallion."
"If you dream urn, you must have urn," and the horse was given to Mr. Galphin.
The next morning it was the Chiefs turn, and he said, '"Me dream last night."
"And what did my red brother dream?" "Me dream you gave me the red coat you wear and much calico;" and the coat and the calico were handed over to the chief.
The next morning it was Mr. Galphin's turn. "I dreamed last night a very wonderful and beautiful dream—Oh, it was such a happy dream," he said to the chief.
"What my white brother dream now?" asked the astonished chief.
"I dreamed you gave me ten miles around the Ogeechee Old Town."
"Wugh," said the disgusted chief, who was getting decidedly the worst of the game. "Wugh, if you dream urn you must have 'urn, but I dream with you no more."
Mr. Galphin did his part in securing the peace and friendship of the Indians before the Revolutionary War started; and, as there were forty thousand Indians living to the south and west of Silver Bluff including ten thousand warriors, it was fortunate for this section that he did.
When the Revolutionary War broke out in South Carolina a draft was ordered, and the men from this section began their service under the command of General Bull. With the aid of the Tories, most of Georgia and this section of South Carolina soon appeared under control of the British. Fort Galphin was first under control of one side and then the other.
In order to maintain lines of communication between army posts set up by the British, roads or "trails", as they were called, were established. One of the most famous of these was the Old Tory Trail which was not in existence until the British established it for military purposes to hold the people of this section under their subjugation. It connected Fort Moore at Hamburg and Fort Granby which had been established by Lord Cornwallis on the south side of the Congaree River about where the town of Cayce is now located. It was a much traveled road, and several inns were established along the way to accommodate the British soldiers and Tories. The Tory influence along this road was so strong that a band of patriots engaged them in a battle at Deans Bridge in Aiken County in order to curb their activities against the cause of Freedom. On this trail the bones of many Tories have been dug up where they had been killed, thrown aside, and buried. This trail ran from Hamburg through Beech Island, the Franklin Community, the old Morgan Place, by Millbrook Church, across the Levels, past Montmorenci, to somewhere near Dayton Toole's place on the Southern Railroad, now owned by Charles Venning, across the country to the present Pine Log Bridge on the South Edisto River. The traveler crossed the river on a pine log, and if he had a horse held the bridle reins while the horse swam across. From here the trail led to a point on the North Edisto where the river could be forded, and on to Fort Granby.
William Harden, an ancester of the author and one of the partisan leaders of South Carolina, operated along this road and over this section of South Carolina. He lived in the Beech Island Community, and was a daring patriot leader. After the British were driven out, the Old Tory Trail, known as the Pine Log Road ever since, became an important highway. It has been used by the farmers on down to the present time in going to Columbia and Augusta—two great centers of trade after the Revolutionary War.
Another famous road was the old Ninetv-six Road which saw a great deal of activity during Revolutionary times. It ran from Charleston to Ninety-six. The old well where the Revolutionary soldiers drank is still intact on this road at Jones' Cross Road.
During the Revolutionary War "Light Horse Harry Lee," father of General Robert E. Lee, came with troops to Augusta where he was joined by General Andrew Pickens of South Carolina and Colonel Elijah Clark of Georgia. They decided to try to capture Fort Galphin at Silver Bluff in Beech Island where a large supply of gifts for the Indians and firearms had been stored. The attack was made and the fort surrendered, with 126 prisoners, and arms, ammunition, and salt enough to supply the whole army.
When the first United States census was taken in 1790, the territory now known as Aiken County was a part of Ninety-six and Orangeburg Districts. The population of the United States at this time, exclusive of slaves, was only 3,231,533. The only names listed in the census were the heads of families, but they were the ones who made the constitution possible and who put it into successful operation after it was adopted. The following are the names of the heads of some of the families living in what is now Aiken County or adjacent territory. We should be proud of these names, for by their actions in war and peace they helped to found our nation. Many living here today will find the name of an ancestor in this list.
Adkison, David; Amick, Peter; Armstrong, Richard; Ashley, Robert.
Boyd, Edmund—1 slave; Beck, Charles; Beck, John; Bill, John— 3 slaves; Boyd, Edmund—1 slave; Brown, Joel; Brown, William; Bush, John—18 slaves; Butler, Thomas.
Carter, Isaac; Cassels, James; Clark, Henry; Cleckley, John; Cook, John; Corbitt, John—1 slave; Crum, John; Curry, Stephen—9 slaves; Cushman, Simeon.
Davis, James—4 slaves; Day, Joseph—1 slave; Dean, William; Dukes, John—2 slaves; Dunbar, James—4 slaves; Dunbar, William; Dyches, Isaac—3 slaves.
Ford, Elijah—10 slaves; Foreman, Jacob—1 slave; Garvin, Robert; George, Lewis; Green, William; Gregory, Jonathan.
Hankinson, Richard; Harden, William (Kinsman of Author's Mother); Hartley, Joseph-1 slave; Heath, Benjamin; Hobbs, Elijah; Holley, Elias; Holman, Jacob; Holman, Joseph; Howell, Joseph—1 slave; Hutto, Lewis.
Jackson, James—2 slaves; Jones, Charles—5 slaves; Jones, James —23 slaves; Johnson, William; Jordan, George.
Kirkland, James—2 slaves; Knox, John—; Lamar, Robert; Lanier, Page Six
Richard—2 slaves—(Author's great-grandfather); Livingston, William—4 slaves.
McCreary, Robert; McElmurray, James; Middleton, Hugh—20 slaves; Mixon, George; Moody, John; Moseley, William—6 slaves;
Nickerson, David—1 slave; Nixon, John—1 slave; Nun, Joseph; Odum, Benjamin.
Peacock, Levi; Peacock, Robert; Peacock, Samuel; Pemberton, Josiah; Pool, George; Purvis, William.
Randall, John; Rayborn, Joseph; Red, Thomas; Richardson, Aaron—2 slaves; Rountree, Reuben; Rous, Peter; Rucker, Gasper; Rutland, Cullen.
Salley, Henry—4 slaves; Salley, John; Sawyer, George—1 slave; Scott, Abraham; Scott, Nathan; Shaw, Christopher; Sizemore, Ephraim; Smith, Joseph; Smoak, Barnett.
Thompson, David—2 slaves; Tillman, Frederick, Jr.—5 slaves; Toole, David; Toole, Isaac—4 slaves—(Author's great-grandfather); Toole, John; Toole, Michael; Treadway, Richard; Tyler, Absolem; Van, Edward, Sr.; Van, Edward, Jr.
Watson, John; Weathersbee, Lewis—3 slaves; Weaver, Joseph— 1 slave; Weeks, Thomas; Woodward, Charles—(Author's grandfather); Wooley, Lazrus; Youngblood, Jacob; Youngblood, Joseph.
For the next few years, life ran along smoothly
for the inhabitants of this section. With the War over, men's attention
was focused on the everyday affairs of living. Not until the coming of the
railroad did anything of great importance happen.
In 1833, the first long railroad in the world was completed as far as the town of Warrenville, and one morning in October of that year the "Best Friend" rolled into Aiken and was met by some of the early settlers of this community who viewed it with amazement and humor. The old markings show along the old Augusta Highway at Warrenville. About sixty years later the railroad was changed from Park Avenue to run through a deep cut built between Park Avenue and Colleton Avenue. The old location was so steep it was difficult for one engine to pull a train up the hill which necessitated the changing the roadbed further northward taking it along through the McNamee Chalk Beds, which I now own and which is on the new four-lane Highway No. 1.
Behind the building of the railroad were the efforts of a group of men among whom were William Aiken, Alex Black, Alfred Dexter, and C. O. Pascalis. William Aiken was the first president of the South Carolina Railroad and Canal Company which was organized at Charleston City Hall on March 12, 1828, and which owned and operated this train. The town and county were named in honor of him. Blackville was named for Major Alex Black. Dexter and Pascalis were engineers who supervised the construction, which was begun immediately after the organization of the company. The railroad ran from Charleston to Branchville, then to Aiken, and on to Hamburg. The cost of construction was the then enormous sum of $951,148.39 for the distance of 135 miles.
The life of the "Best Friend" was short due to the ignorance of the negro fireman, who, during the absence of the engineer on one of its first trips, became annoyed by the noise of escaping steam and sat upon the safety valve. His action caused the explosion which destroyed the locomotive and killed the fireman. A replica of the "Best Friend" was built and named the "Phoenix."
The building of the railroad and the establishment of regular train service was the beginning of a new period of industrial progress and the establishment of a transportation system which has played such an important part in the growth and development of our nation.
After the coming of the railroad,
the other sections of the state were trying to get railroads and highways.
The west was being opened and many of our young men were seeking their
fortunes there. James H. Hammond of Beech Island tried to show the people
of the state that to progress the planters must diversify and rotate
crops. He practiced these things on his plantation and was highly
successful. He also urged the south to manufacture cloth and
industrialize. With the exception of the Hammond plantations on the
Savannah River there ¦' were very few large planters and slave-holders in
Aiken County. The small ^farmers had a hard time even then. I have heard
the story told of the young planter of Edgefield County where there were
many wealthy families with their large plantations and many slaves. This
young man delighted in riding through the streets of Aiken singing to the
top of his lungs: "Oh, Lord in Heaven, do look down; Have mercy on the
poor folk of Aiken Town."
When South Carolina Seceded from the union and the War Between the States started the young men of Aiken answered the call to arms in the Confederate cause. The following are three companies recruited in this section and served in the War Between the States:
COMPANY F, 7TH
REGIMENT, S. C. VOLUNTEERS;
JOHN S. HARD, Captain T.
GULLEDGE, Fourth Sergeant
Arthur, Make B.; Atkinson, J. L.; Autman, John R.; Autman, Thomas; Baggett, Elisha; Bagwell, L. P.; Baker, G. W.; Beck, William; Bland, Lawrence; Brewer, James A.; Brooks, Isaac; Brooks, Robert Brooks, W. D.; Brown, Jeff; Brown, John; Brown, Milledge; Carroll, Wilson; Cartin, James. A.; Clark, Hardy; Cobb, R. J.; Cochran, George; Corley, John; Cushman, Robert; Davis Ben; Donnald, Robert; Duncan, Ben; Duncan, Reuben; Ellis, William.
Faulkner, Tillman; Faulkner, W. P.; Feagen, Peter; Franklin, Allen; Friday, James D.; Friday, P. A.; Gentry, H.; German, William; Gulledge, Henry; Gulledge, William; Hall, John C; Hammett, W. P.; Hard, B. W.; Hatcher, W. M.; Harveston, Seaborn; Henderson, C K.; Jackson, James; Jackson, Jesse, Johnson, A. L.; Johnson, D. L.; Johnson, F.; Kadle, James; Key, James; Laurence, William; Leach, Wash; Leopard, Elijah, Leopard,,William; Maddox, Bogan, Maddox, Green; Maddrox, John; Maddox Mark; Mathis, Morgan; Medlock, Ben; Medlock, John; McGee, Judson; McGee, J. W.; McKee, Isaac W.; McKibben, B. A.; McKinnie, Martin McKinnie. Walter.
New, Joe; New John; New, Ned; Overstreet, Julius; Parker,Arthur;. Parker, John; Perdue, George Platt, G: W.; Price, J.D.; Presbott, Lawrence; Prince, Thomas; Radford, S.; Ramsey, James; Ramsey, Matt; Randall, Edd; Seller, A. S.; Seigler, E.; Seitz, John; Sharpton; Ben; Smith; William; Sorgee, B. F.; Sorgee; W:B.; Sfring-fellow, Edd; Taylor, B.F.; Taylor, James A; Tollison, T. B.; Tuner, Harvey; Vaughn, James H:; Wade, Hamp; Walker, Adolphus; Walker, William; Weaver, Shang; West, W. A.; West,. W, D.; Younger, Wade.
Edward Croft, Captain
Arnold, John; Bates, G. M.; Benson, Lawrence; Blackman, Henry; Brown, Thomas; Brown, U. T. Bryant, Isaac; Bryant, J. G.; Bryant, John; Courtney, Jabez; Courtney Jesse; Courtney, John; Courtney, R. L.; Cook, C. A.; Cook, John; Cotton, William; Cullum, Peter; Cushman, Calvin; Day, Benjamin; Day, James; Day, Peter; Day, Wiley; Eubanks, B. J.; Eubanks, Darling; Eubanks, Edward; Eubanks, Isaac; Eubanks, Jason; Eubanks, Joseph; Eubanks, Julien; Eubanks, Lucius; Eubanks, Luther; Eubanks, Spann; Eubanks, Staten;.Eubanks, Walter; Eubanks, W. P.
Ford, Joseph; Ford, Stephen; ,Franklin, Elbert; Fullmore, Watson; Galloway, James; Galloway, Jesse; Galloway, John; Galloway, Peter; Galloway, Robert; Gardner, John; George, Jesse; Green, William; Heath, Jack; Heath, Jeff; Heath, Joseph; Heath, Stephen; Howard, Isam; Jordan, Andrew; Jordan, James; Jordan, Lovett; Jordan, Luther; Journegan, John; Journegan, William; Key, David; Key, Jeff; Key, William; Martin, James; Moseley, George; Moseley, Thomas; Muller, Frank; Murphy, Joshua.
O'Banion, Sampson; O'Banion, William; Plunkett, J, T.; Plunkett, Patrick 0.; Plunkett, Peter; Plunkett, William. B.; Plunkett. William J.; Plunkett, William M.; Posey, Elzie; Price, Quincy; Quattlebaum, William; Randall, Frank; Randall, Manley; Rogers, John; Scott, John. P.; Sizemore, Powell; Taylor, George; Taylor, Marion; Toole, Harrison; Toole, Jasper; Toole, Manning; Woodward, Furman; Woodward, Lawrence; Wall, Alex; Wall, James; Wall, Watts; Walker, John; Walker, Withers; Weatherford, James; Whitlock, Martin.
JOHN RAVEN MATTHEWS,
Arthur, Sam; Barton, Mart; Blackman, M.; Bonnett, John; Bryant, B.; Bryant, R.; Calvin, Mundy; Chapman, Quilla; Cumey, John; Cusnman, Austin; Cushman, B.; Cushman, B.; Cushman, James; Cushman, John; Cushman, M.; Day, Henry; Deal, Henry; Deal, Silas; Dodd, E. A.; Dyer, Henry; Dyer, Lansing; Evans, John; Fields, Henry; Filismal, Amos; Ford, Jesse; Franklin, Amos; Franklin, Mose; Frazier, Henry; Frye, Tom; Hall, H. H. Hall, Tudor; Harris, Jefferson; Holley, C. R.; Hunter, Toby; Hutson T.; Hutto, James; Hutto, Joe; Hutto, Owen; Hutto, Sam; Johnson, M.
Kaney, John; Kernaghan, Andrew; Key, J. A.; Langley, George; Leopard, P. C; Matthews, Frazier; Matthews, H.; Matthews, P.; Matthews, W.; Martin, Wash; Milhous, M.; Morgan, William; McDowell, Mat; Nix, Sandy; Nix, Will; Ornel, J. O.; Ornel, John; Ornel, Steve; Padgett, A. M.; Padgett, J. O.; Percival, Marshall; Piper, John; Prince, Tom; Quillen, M.; Ramsey, Mattison; Randall, B.; Redd, Bud; Redd, James; Redd, Jeff; Redd, John; Redd, Martin; Redd, Reuben; Redd, Sam; Redd, W.; Renew, B.; Renew, George; Renew, James; Renew, John.
Renew, R.; Sherley, Ed; Sherley, John; Stone, John; Stringfield, J.; Trotti, F.; Turner, T. C; Waldrop, Henry; Weaver, M. B.; Weeks, John; Whitsel, D. R.; Wingard, Tames; Wise, Jack; Woodward, Chitty; Woodward, Henry; Woodward, J.; Woodward, M. C; Woodward, Wiley; Wright, C.
BATTLE OF AIKEN
When General Sherman marched toward Columbia, he stopped at Blackville and sent a detachment of the Fifth U. S. Cavalry under General Kilpatrick to destroy a paper mill at Bath, a cotton mill at Graniteville, and military stores in Augusta.
General Joe Wheeler took his position in the town of Aiken to oppose Sherman's raid. General Wheeler's command consisted of about 7,000 men under Generals Anderson, Allen, Hume, Cheatham and Ferguson. His advance picket line was near the freight depot. The Confederates were ordered not to fire on the Union men until they had advanced well into the village of Aiken, but a Confederate soldier fired his gun accidentally and General Wheeler ordered an advance. A fight took place on Richland Avenue where the First Baptist Church now is located. The town was shelled by Kilpatrick from a battery near the freight depot. Kilpatrick had stationed his command in a building on the D. S. Henderson property on Park Avenue although his headquarters was at the Pascalis home in Montmorenci. Wheeler was stationed on the Byers property. A house owned by Mr. W. J. Williams was also used as Headquarters for Wheeler's Cavalry. Fights took place all over town. Many were wounded and a few deaths occurred. Some were buried in
General Wheeler gave one of the Williams children a horse which they kept until he died.
Captain Thomas W. Coward almost ran his train into the midst of the fighting. He had to back it into Graniteville to protect it.
The losses on both sides were small about 12 on the Union side and 8 on the Confederate side. General Wheeler had held Sherman's Army away from Graniteville and prevented the destruction of the mill.
As a boy of three or four years of age, I remember well the conversation my mother had with a neighbor, Mrs. Bill Adkison, in which she related some of the incidents that had taken place when Sherman's men had passed through this section on that infamous "March to the Sea." She told about General Kilpatrick's soldiers' coming to our home in February, 1865, and how they had emptied the corn cribs and vandalized the place. They took my father's horses, corn, and all supplies they could find. What they could not carry away they burned in the field. My mother often told me my father had tried to save the horses. Too old to go to war, he was at home at the time and was hiding the horses in the swamp. My brothers, Harrison and Frank, were with him but Ransey and Kelly had been left at home because my parents thought them too young for the Yankees to molest. However, the Yankees, to frighten them into telling where our father was hid, put ropes around their necks, placed them on horses, and carried them to the woods, presumably to be hung. Though badly frightened, the boys kept their mouths steadfastly closed, refused to tell, and the Yankees let them go.
Later, one of the officers, a little more human than the rest, told my mother that, if her husband and other men folks were hiding, she had better inform them that they would be shot like dogs if the raiders and hunters came across them. She took his advice and sent for my father and brothers who turned the horses loose, all of which were caught and stolen by the Yankees except one colt. My father, upon his return home, was seized, arrested, and like many other non-combatants carried away with the army. Later he and one of our nearest neighbors, Bryant Turner, escaped and returned home. My mother was forced to cook for the Yankee officers while they were camped on our place. She said that some of them dashed the dishes against a tree and broke them after they had finished eating. Before leaving, they placed firebrands under the house to burn it, but my mother promptly extinguished them.
After the Yankees left, starvation stared this desolated section in the face, for all the food had been carried off or destroyed. The people would gather up wasted corn from the abandoned camping grounds, sift and wash the sand from the kernels, and use it in making bread. My father—who had had a well-stocked and tended farm, now had his family—but empty barns and fields, He obtained an old discarded mule, and with it and the colt the Yankees had failed to find, made his crop in 1865.
The families of this section had an extremely hard time during the war because there were so few slaves in this vicinity. With the men gone, the women and children found it difficult to produce food to prevent starvation. At the beginning of the war my oldest brother had enlisted, and my father, although deferred because of his age and large family, was drafted to serve in the powder mill at Hamburg. Later the Confederacy permitted him to hire Amos Padgett, a neighbor, as a substitute, and he returned home to care for his large family.
After the war "the bottom rail was put on top," the negroes were given the right of suffrage, which had been taken from the whites, and this put the control of the government in,the hands of the negroes. Promises had been given to give every negro family forty dollars and a mule. However this promise was never carried out. The Freedman's Bureau under the Grant administration did help the negroes in some parts of the country. Free, with rib means of livelihood, the negro now became the white man's burden. This brought about the practice of sharecropping, and renting. The Barnwell section of Aiken County had been short of labor because there were few slaves here, but now the freed negroes in Edgefield and Abbeville Counties were encouraged to come down into this section. This caused the farmers of this section to plant more cotton. This migration explains the fact that very few of the negroes here bear the names of the natives of this section. They took the names of their masters who lived in other counties. Aiken now began to grow more cotton than Edgefield, but the lot of the farmer was still a hard one for a time to come. Though this period of Reconstruction was filled with trials and tribulations, the manner in which they were surmounted speaks well for the stamina and character of our people.
After the beginning of hostilities following the War Between the States Camp Butler was activated in Aiken County, located near Montmorenci and not far distant from Shaw's Creek.
Camp Butler was the receiving center for volunteers for service in the Confederate Army. Volunteers from the nearby towns comprised most of the Fourteenth South Carolina Volunteer Regiment. While stationed at this camp James Jones was advanced to Colonel, Samuel McGowan became Lieutenant-Governor and W. D. Simpson was camp Major.
The regiment was part of the defense forces guarding the line from Savannah to Charleston. Private J. T. Plunkett did valiant services with the Regiment until it was attacked by the Federals and evacuated. Captain Edward Croft was a prominent figure in all maneuvers of that era.
On April 22, 1862, the Regiment was ordered to Virginia where it was joined by the 1st, 12th and 13th regiments and Orr's Rifles. As part of this division the 14th S. C. Regiment saw action in the Seven Days battle around Richmond. Other records of battle participation of the Camp Butler trainees included Manassas, Fredericksburg, Charlottesville and Fredericksburg.
The camp site was on the property of James Courtney who fell a victim to General Kilpatrick's forces on his own premises. Additional information elsewhere on Cook or Courtney.
The Pascalis home, about two
miles from Camp Butler, was used as headquarters for General Kilpatrick.
It was later owned by John Calhoun Wade who married the niece of Pascalis
Theodocia Canfield. It is now owned by Jesse Friar and is the oldest house
in that section.
Aiken County, the third largest county in area in the State, is composed of territory taken from Barnwell, Edgefield, Lexington, and Orangeburg Counties. It was created by an act of the General Assembly of South Carolina, March 10, 1871, during Reconstruction Days, and was signed by Governor Scott and Franklin J. Moses, the "robber governor." The main provisions of this act are as follows:
Sec. I.....that a new Judicial and Election County, with its seat of justice at the town of Aiken, which county shall be known as the County of Aiken, shall be formed and is hereby authorized to be formed, from portions of the present counties of Barnwell, Edgefield, Lexington, and Orangeburg, with the metes and bounds hereinafter described, to wit: commencing at the mouth of Fox's Creek in Edgefield County, where it empties into the Savannah River, thence in a straight line to where the South branch of the Chinquepin Falls Creek (a tributary of the North Edisto River) intersects the Edgefield and Lexington County line; thence down said creek to where it empties into the North fork of the Edisto River, and down said North fork to where the dividing line between Lexington and Orangeburg Counties (running from Big Beaver Creek to the North fork of the Edisto) touches said river; thence in a straight line to the head of Timber Creek in Barnwell County; thence down said creek to where it empties into the Upper Three Runs, and down said Runs Creek to where it empties into the Savannah River to the initial point at Fox's Creek.
Sec. 2. That Frank Arnin, M. F. Maloney, P. R. Rivers, J. L. Jamison, E. Ferguson, J. N. Hayne, E. J. C. Wood, P. R. Rockwell, J. A. Green, W. H. Reedish, and B. Byas be appointed commissioners to run out and define said boundary lines, with the assistance of two competent surveyors to be selected by them.
Sec. 3. That S. J. Lee, Frank Arnin, P. R. Rivers, C. D. Hayne, John Wooley, E. J. C. Wood, J. N. Hayne, Levi Chavis, W. H. Reedish, and J. H. Cornish be appointed as commissioners to provide sites, and to contract for and superintend the erection of the Court House and County Jail thereon; That said building shall be done at the expense of the citizens of Aiken County, and to meet said demands a special tax on the assessable value of real and personal property in said county be levied.
Sec. 4., Sec. 5, and Sec. 6 provided for an election which was held the 3rd Wednesday in October, 1872, to elect the members of the General Assembly and regular county officers; for the representation of the counties affected by this act to remain the same until the next apportionment; and Aiken County was attached to the third Congressional District.
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