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Biographical Sketch of David George

By Phil Norfleet

 

David George was a neighbor of both Mayfield Tories -- John Mayfield and Stephen Mayfield.  The survey map, dated 14 May 1774, for David George's land clearly indicates that his land directly interfaced with the Mayfield properties.  During the revolution, George served as a spy for the British.  Several letters written by George to Lord Cornwallis may be found among the Cornwallis Papers in the Public Record Office on Chancery Lane in London.

The following is an extract concerning David George from Robert D. Bass’s book entitled The Green Dragoon (published 1957), page 142:

The most trusted British spy beyond Broad River was David George. Known for Loyalist sympathies, George had once been hauled off to a rebel camp, only to be freed for lack of evidence of spying.  But the Whigs were watching him, and he ended one of his letters:

“Brandon's Men is always scouting about, the Bearer is Very uneasy awaiting for me.  I hope your Excellency will Excuse Haste.  I am your Earlship’s Most obedient Humble Servant.”

Despite surveillance by Brandon's militia, on December 30 [1780] David George wrote a long letter to Earl Cornwallis:

“My Wife’s sister Last Night came to my house out of [the] strong Rebel Settlement up at Princes fort; by her I have heard the Design & Intention of the Rebels; as far as their Captains have any Knowledge; as she came she Informs me that she got into some of their Camps on the south side of the Pacolet River at one Grimes’s Mill about Ten or Twelve Miles below the Iron Works on Lawsons Fork - she understood from Captain Francis Prince’s and Henry Prince’s Wives, that they were waiting for Colonel Morgan & Colonel Washington who was on their March; in order to Join Them. Morgan with five or six Hundred Light horse had crossed Broad River at Smiths ford a few Days ago; and Washington with their artillery and foot men was to Cross Broad River at the same ford yesterday; That they intend to march against Ninety-Six and Augusta; they say they will have Three Thousand men; to go against Them places: but I have always observed that they always make the Most of Their men.”

George concluded his report with advice about rivers, fords, and strategic points. But before his bearer appeared, the spy wrote a second letter with even more alarming news for the noble Earl:

“I have set down to acquaint you with what I have Heard a few Moments ago.  Morgan & Washington Had Joined the party that Lay at Grimes Mill yesterday & they all moved to Colonel Henderson’s Plantation about a mile this side of the mill and I am well Informed that they Intend to March as fast as they can to Ninety-Six.  I don't believe they have as many men at it as Reported to my Wife’s Sister.”

That night the bearer set out on the eighty-mile ride to Winnsboro. He arrived late in the afternoon of January 1, 1781, almost simultaneously with a courier from Major McArthur. From Brierly's the Major had written:

“General Cunningham & his people quitted the fort on Saturday night & mounted for 96 & the Rebels took possession of it ye Sunday morning at eight o'clock.”

 

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