Letter re the Capture of LOYALISTS at McLaurin's Store


On 02 December 1775, John Mayfield of Browns Creek, a Ninety-Six District militia captain serving under Colonel Thomas Fletchall, was captured along with several other officers at McLaurins Store in the Upper Saluda region.  The commander of the Whig forces that captured Mayfield was Colonel Richard Richardson, who, shortly after the capture, wrote a letter to the ad hoc Whig Council or Committee of Public Safety in Charles Town (Charleston). The letter and associated footnotes, shown below, have been taken from The Papers of Henry Laurens, Volume 10, Dec. 12, 1774 - Jan. 4, 1776, at pages 529-530, as published by the South Carolina Historical Society.



McLaurin's Store, December 2, 1775


In a Very wet Day and the Midst of Bustle, Just Starting to march I take the Liberty to Acquaint You that we are Near McLaurins in the fork, as Yet Unmolested by the Opposites, Our people have taken The persons herein named, which from their knowledge of the part they have Vigorously acted will Not permit me Even if I was inclined to Let go; Viz Capts. John Mayfield [Note 1], Benjn. Wofford [Note 2], Wm. Hunt [Note 3], Danl. Stagner, Jacob Stack [Note 4].  Cause of their being Sent will Appear; but at Any Rate they Are Not to be Let at Liberty till Matters are Settled as they are Look'd Upon as Active and pernicious men. I am Now joined by Col Thomas [Note 5] with about 200 Col Neel [Note 6] as Many. Col Lyles [Note 7] abt one hundred. Together with Col Thomson's his Regt Rangers & Militia with my own, may make in the Whole about 2500 and I Rec’d Last Night Accts of Col Polk's being Near with 600. An army if it was a favorable time of Year Might go or do any thing Required which hope we Shall, I hear of their moving about, but yet have made no opposi­tion. In the State I am Now in Can Say no More than that when 1 make a Stand & have it in my power will transmit Such things as May occur.

I am Sir Your Most Obed’t Humble Servant

Rich’d Richardson



1.      Probably John Mayfield, a native of Virginia, who represented the Upper District between the Broad and Saluda Rivers in the Third General Assembly (1780). [Directory of the S. C. House, III, 488.]

2.      Benjamin Wofford, a native of Maryland, was the brother of patriots Joseph and William Wofford. After his release from custody he rejoined the Loyalists and by 1781 was serving as a major in Brig. Gen. Robert Cunningham’s Ninety Six Brigade. After the Revolution he petitioned the General Assembly for clemency. In 1790 he resided in Spartanburg County, Ninety Six District where he held nine slaves. [Leonardo An­drea Genealogy Files, roll 49, PP- 3, 7. SCL (ScU); SCHM. XXXIV (1933), 198; Clark, Loyalists in the Southern Campaign, page 268.]

3.      Probably William Hunt (d. ca. 1808) of Greenville County, Ninety Six District. [Greenville County Wills, I (1787-1849), Book A, pp. 28-30; 1790 Census, p. 67.]

4.      Daniel Stagner and Jacob Stack, both from Ninety Six, convinced the Council of Safety that they had "been led into the criminal part they had taken in the late commotions by misrepresentation” and were discharged Jan. 14, 1776, “after a proper address from the chair.”  Stagner returned to the Loyalists ranks and served as a private in Alexander Innes’s Regiment of South Carolina Royalists in 1779 and in the Ninety-Six Brigade in 1782.  [Collections, SCHS, III, 182, 183; Clark, Loyalists in the Southern Campaign, pp. 1, 313, 316, 319.]

5.      John Thomas. Sr. (1720 -181 l), a native of Wales who resided in Pennsylvania before moving to South Carolina (ca. 1755), settled in the Camden District before moving to the Fairforest Creek area in the early 1760s. A veteran of the French and Indian War and the Cherokee War (1759 - 1761), he helped organized the Spartan militia reg­iment in 1775 and held the rank of colonel of that body until the fall of Charleston. He represented the Lower District Between the Broad and Saluda Rivers at the Second Provincial Congress and in the First General Assembly. [Directory of the S.C House, III, 708-709.]

6.      Thomas Neel.

7.      Probably John Lyles (Lisle, Liles), lieutenant colonel of the Upper Saluda militia regiment at the outbreak of the Revolution. In November 1775 he received a commis­sion in the Ranger Regiment that he held until his resignation in 1779. In June 1780 he temporarily joined the British but in August of that year returned to Col. Thomas Neel’s regiment. [Directory of the S.C. House, III, 448-449; Journals of S.C. Provincial Congress, p. 149.]

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