Fall of Charles Town (Charleston) and Its Aftermath

On Nov. 1, 1779, Capt. McJunkin was ordered by Col. Brandon to Charleston to do a tour of duty for four months.  During this time he fell under the command of Lieut. Col. James Steen, who was stationed at the Ten Mile Spring.  At the end of February, 1780, he returned home with his company.

When the news of the fall of Charleston reached the upcountry the Whig population was greatly alarmed.  And their consternation was by no means abated by the accounts of ravages committed by the victorious troops of Britain and the insolence of the Loyalists who thought proper no longer to disguise their devotion to the royal cause.  As a large number of these had hitherto maintained a strict neutrality under the pretense of being non‑combatants and as they now entertained but little doubt of success on the part of the British, they must need display a great zeal for the party in power to cast the veil of oblivion over their past lukewarmness, and meet the agents of despotism as though they were and ever had been the very champions of England.

Cols. Thomas, Brandon and Lysle met on June 4 to concert measures for mutual safety and for the protection of the country comprehended within their several commands.  They agreed to concentrate their troops and form a camp near Fairforest Creek, about four miles from the present site of Union, on the road to Adam's Ford on Tyger River.  The present resident of Christopher Young is on the spot.  As the place was near the center of Brandon's command, his men first arrived on the ground.  He had in his possession a part of the powder formerly entrusted to Col. Thomas, and as he considered its preservation of the greatest importance, he directed Joseph Hughes, William Sharp, John Savage, Aquilla Hollingsworth, Samuel Otterman, Benjamin Jolley and Joseph McJunkin to conceal it with great care in the neighboring forests.  They were engaged in this business and absent from the camp on the night on which Brandon's men were assembling at the place appointed.

Some one of the parties coming in arrested a Tory and brought him into camp.  He was of the kind then denominated "a pet Tory."  He was examined and presently let go or made his escape.  He went immediately to the troop of Tories commanded by the famous William Cunningham, better known as "Bloody Bill". Cunningham immediately set out to surprise Brandon.  He made a charge upon his camp soon after sunrise, killed a few of his men, took some prisoners and dispersed the remainder.  Among the slain was a brother of Joseph McJunkin and a youth by the name of Young.  This defeat occurred on the 8th or 10th of June, 1780.  Intelligence of the intended movements of the Whigs had been conveyed to the Little River Tories a few days previous by Col. Fletchall, and Cunningham  made immediate arrangements to meet them at that place.

Robert Lusk was taken prisoner on this occasion and compelled to disclose the place where the powder was concealed.  But the work of hiding had been done so effectually that the Tories found very little of it.  This powder was afterward carried off by stealth to the east side of Broad River and constituted the principal supply of Sumter's men at Huck's Defeat, Rocky Mount and Hanging Rock.  The Tories pursued some of the fugitives to the distance of fifteen miles.  Among them was Samuel Clowney, who subsequently distinguished himself as one of the bravest of the brave.

Capt. McJunkin then addressed the assemblage, reiterating the sentiments of young Thomas.  It was proposed that those who were in favor of fighting it out when the question was put should throw up their hats and clap their hands.  The question was put.  Every hat flew up, the air resounded with clapping of hands and shouts of defiance to the armies of Britain and the foes of freedom.  It was then proposed that those who through the need of clothing or a wish to see their families had a desire to return home were at liberty to do so provided they would agree to meet the others at the Tuccasegee Ford on the Catawba River.  Capt. McJunkin and most of the party set out at once for that place. Here they had the good fortune to meet Col. Thomas Sumter.  The late Major Samuel Morrow of Spartanburg District was one of the party above mentioned.

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