NEWBERRY — Robert Livingston IV traveled back to the Revolutionary War to give a brief history lesson during the WoodmenLife Chapter 437 Awards and Family Night.
Livingston began the journey by talking about who lived in this area in 1770 — Germans, specifically Lutherans. He explained that the area we live in now was called Dutch Fork, and was settled mainly by Germans who from Pennsylvania around 1750.
“The first Lutheran service in English was a big deal. A lot of the Lutherans in the area were not happy because it was in English in 1883,” he said.
During the Revolutionary War, Livingston said people in this area were Loyalists who believed in the status quo.
“The reason for that, King George gave everybody that came here, the head of household got 100 acres and for every dependent you got 50 acres. All these Lutherans that came from Germany with nothing, they came down to South Carolina and settled in the Dutch Fork, and most would settle somewhere between Pomaria and Black’s Bridge,” he said.
“They liked the fact they were able to get land, and they were the beginning of the middle class,” he added. “That is because these people were actually able to grow enough of their land to have extra. They would spend time to go down to Charleston, and trade their goods. So they actually were not just subsistence farmers.”
Livingston said the Scotch-Irish, specifically Presbyterians, lived to the west of us and were prominently Patriots. Livingston said there were some Quakers in between the two groups, but they left in the 1700s because they were anti-slavery.
“There is actually, in the backcountry of South Carolina, there is this friction and many of the fights that happened in the Revolutionary War in this area were not between the actual Red Coats and Patriots like you see in the movies. It was between people who lived here,” Livingston said.
One example Livingston gave was the battle at Star Fort, an outpost in Ninety Six. Livingston said it was a little battle where the Patriots dug a tunnel and were going to use the tunnel to blow up Star Fort. But it did not work, although shortly after the siege, the Red Coats abandoned the fort.
Eventually those who were on the fence about the war would soon fall off the fence.
“When Charleston fell in 1780, Cornwallis was going to develop these outposts in South Carolina and subdue the country side. It almost started working, but what happened was the actions used against the population back fired,” Livingston said.
Banastre Tarleton, also known as No Quarter Tarleton, was present in this area. Under his command Red Coats would do things like come to your household and if they saw a newspaper, the only one available at that time, and if it had anything in there that was anti-British, they would burn down the house and maybe hang you from a tree as an example to others.
“That did not work too well, people on the fence were off the fence and anti-crown,” Livingston said.
Reach Andrew Wigger at 803-276-0625 ext. 1867 or on Twitter @TheNBOnews.