The American Revolution in South Carolina

Last Cherokee Campaign

September 16 - October 17, 1782


Patriot Cdr:

Brigadier General
Andrew Pickens
Loyalist Cdr:

Unknown
Killed:

Unknown
Killed:

Unknown
Wounded:

Unknown
Wounded:

Unknown
Captured:

Unknown
Captured:

Unknown
Old District: 

Ninety-Six District
Present County:

Oconee County/
Pickens County

September 16 - October 17, 1782.


Brigadier General Andrew Pickens and Col. Elijah Clarke (GA) led a force of 414 Patriot Militia into the backcountry destroying several Indian towns and forced the Cherokee to sign a temporary peace treaty that was later ratified in Augusta, GA. Locations currently unknown, but to have included South Carolina and Georgia.
Thomas Waters was a Loyalist who had settled among the Cherokees on the Hightower River at the mouth of Long Swamp Creek in Georgia. The Cherokee there collected plunder taken from Patriot settlers and slaves.

Brigadier General Andrew Pickens and Georgia Col. Elijah Clarke moved against the remaining Cherokee in Georgia. Pickens wrote that there was a "scarcity of ammunition, which prevailed, often being reduced to a few rounds per man to endeavor to put a stop to those murderers of women and children." He gave orders "that no Indian woman, child, or old man, or any unfit to bear arms should be put to death on pain of death on the perpretrator. My order was readily obeyed and the Indians soon followed the example."

Since he was low on ammunition he had to rely on the element of surprise. He later wrote:

"The Indians had notice of our coming by a Tory who left us when we began to collect, but not knowing the route I intended to take, the Indians expected us the same way we had formerly gone and had their spies out on that way. I met Clarke at the place appointed. We proceeded with almost 500, all mounted and nearly one-third with swords. I had not more than five or six rounds of ammunition for each man. It may be thought rash to have gone, with so little ammunition against a powerful tally of Indians, aided by a bandittia of desperadoes. We went the whole way through the woods unexplored by any of us before. We entirely avoided their spies and completely surprised one town and made prisoners of more than 50 women and children with a few men. We had marched the whole night before, guided by two Indians whom we accidentally met with the day before and made prisoners of. They faithfully performed the task allotted them. After surprising the town and waking the prisoners in the evening I sent out three of the most active Indian men that we had taken and told them to go and tell their people that I was there, that I did not blame the Indians so much as the white men that were amongst them who encouraged or assisted them in the war against us."

Brigadier General Andrew Pickens told the Cherokee that he would advance no futher and he would release the prisoners if the Indians released any prisoners that they had taken, including slaves. He gave them two days and if they did not comply he "would destroy as many of their towns and as much of their provisions as possible and if they wished to fight, they knew where to find me."

A delegation headed by Terrapin met with Brigadier General Pickens and told him that they would turn over Thomas Waters and his men if they would leave their settlements alone. To show their intentions they surrendered six of Waters's men. When Waters learned that Terrapin was willing to turn him over to Pickens he escaped.

On October 8th, Col. Elijah Clarke captured 24 slaves at Ustanali. On October 17th, twelve chiefs and 200 warriors met with Brigadier General Pickens and Col. Clarke at Selacoa and agreed to temporary terms of peace to be ratified by the tribe. The Indian delegation surrendered all their land betwen the Chattahoochee and Savannah rivers to the State of Georgia. The permanent treaty was signed in May of 1783 in Augusta, GA.


Unlike 1776, this time the Patriots of South Carolina, North Carolina, and Virginia did not cooperate in a consolidated effort against the Cherokees. North Carolina went it alone from June to October of 1782, and they followed essentially the same routes as had been used in 1776.
This did not end the hostilities between the Cherokee and the newly-founded United States, but that's another story.

Known Patriot Forces

Known British/Loyalist Forces

Brigadier General Andrew Pickens - Commanding Officer

Col. Elijah Clarke (GA), with unknown number of men

Two known companies of SC militia:

2nd Spartan Regiment of Militia detachment of one (1) company led by Capt. John Mapp

Little River District Regiment of Militia detachment of one (1) company led by Capt. James Tinsley

Certainly many others, just not documented.

Unknown

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