The American Revolution in South Carolina

Fair Forest Creek

March 2, 1781


Patriot Cdr:

Major Joseph McJunkin
Loyalist Cdr:

Unknown
Killed:

0
Killed:

2
Wounded:

Unknown
Wounded:

Unknown
Captured:

0
Captured:

0
Old District: 

Ninety-Six District
Present County:

Union County

Major Joseph McJunkin (2nd Spartan Regiment) of Militia and his men were on their way to Col. Thomas Brandon's camp when they passed near a cabin that looked interesting to him. He rode up to see if the inhabitants were friend or foe, but it was dark and he did not see three Loyalists until he arrived at the front gate. "Fight or die was the only alternative" he later wrote.

As two of the sentries raised their guns, Capt. John Lawson (Roebuck's Battalion of Spartan Regiment) shot one dead, but Major McJunkin's rifle had damp powder - the weapon fired but the bullet didn't leave the barrel. However, the flash of the powder did set his opponent's shirt on fire. Capt. Lawson quickly jumped off his horse, grabbed the dead man's musket, and shot another Loyalist. He then "passed his sword through his body," but amazingly the man survived.

Major McJunkin drew his sword, but his opponent fled on horse, with his shirt still burning. "His flight on horseback soon caused his shirt to burn like a candle." Major McJunkin's horse was so spooked by this flaming Loyalist that he could not be urged to go after him. The horse finally overcame its fear and Major McJunkin chased the flaming man for about a mile.

As he rode close enough to strike the Loyalist with his sword, the man turned and fired a pistol at Major McJunkin, breaking his sword arm. The sword was tied on to his wrist by a sword knot and Major McJunkin quickly switched it to his left hand. He swung backhanded and killed the fleeing Loyalist instantly.

Major McJunkin's men rode on to Col. Brandon's camp, and he "holed up" until his arm healed.



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