The American Revolution in South Carolina

McCord's Creek

December 7, 1781

Patriot Cdr:

Capt. Moses Liddell
Loyalist Cdr:

Capt. John Crawford






Old District: 

Ninety-Six District
Present County:

Abbeville County

Skirmish, Capt. Moses Liddell vs. Capt. John Crawford.

Loyalist Capt. John Crawford continued his part in the death and destruction during "The Bloody Scout." He rode to Brigadier General Andrew Pickens’s blockhouse and on the morning of December 7th surprised a convoy of wagons being guarded by Capt. Moses Liddell of the Upper Ninety-Six District Regiment of Militia. Capt. Crawford and his Loyalists quickly drove off Liddell’s escorts, killing several of his men. Capt. Crawford burned the entire train of wagons and took the wagoners prisoner. Capt. Crawford and his men then escaped into the Cherokee Nation.

Capt. Crawford turned over the prisoners to the Cherokees who tortured most of them to death. John Pickens, the brother of Brigadier General Andrew Pickens, was one of the captives and was singled out for special torture. This would be a mistake for the Cherokees. Brigadier General Pickens would exact his revenge against their whole nation in 1782.

Capt. John Crawford proceeded on to White Hall, the plantation of ex-Brigadier General Andrew Williamson, which Pickens' militia had turned into a military post. The Loyalists attacked and defeated the garrison and destroyed the works that the Patriots had constructed.

The next objective of the Loyalists took them very near Brigadier General Andrew Pickens' blockhouse, where the town of Abbeville was later established. Just east of McCord's Creek on December 7th, Capt. Crawford surprised a convoy of wagons that had been sent to procure supplies for the use of the Patriots in this area. The Loyalists attacked and drove off Capt. Moses Liddell's escort, killed several of his men, burned the entire train of wagons, and made prisoners of the drivers.

According to tradition, this skirmish took place in the fork of Long Cane and McCord's creeks about three or four miles east of present-day Abbeville.

Capt. John Crawford was a Loyalist from the area that is now Abbeville County, and his actions subsequent to the capture of this convoy did not endear him to his former neighbors. The Loyalists escaped into the Cherokee Nation, and Capt. Crawford delivered his prisoners over to the Indians, who murdered most of them. Among the captives was John Pickens, the brother of Brigadier General Andrew Pickens, who is said to have been executed by the Cherokees in typically gruesome Indian fashion.

Known Patriot Participants

Known British/Loyalist Participants
Upper Ninety-Six District Regiment of Militia detachment of one (1) known company, led by:
- Capt. Moses Liddell

Capt. John Crawford, with unknown number of Loyalists


© 2009 - J.D. Lewis - PO Box 1188 - Little River, SC 29566 - All Rights Reserved