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Lieutenant John Mayfield the Whig, of Camden District SC

by Phil Norfleet

 

This John Mayfield was a South Carolina Whig militia officer, who died prior to August 1782.  There is no evidence that he was married or had any children.  In fact, the only evidence concerning this man, known to Mayfield family genealogists as Lieutenant John Mayfield the Whig, comes from a couple of fragmentary military records.  These records indicate that, during the Revolution, John lived in that area of Camden District SC that in 1785 would became Fairfield County.

Indirect evidence of Lieutenant John Mayfield's service in the Fairfield County area may be found in the Revolutionary War Pension Application of a certain Samuel Carter (Pension Claim Number S1505) who served under Lt. Mayfield, and after Mayfield's death, replaced him as Lieutenant of his company:


" ... About the 1st day of November 1778, as well as he can recollect, he left Albemarle County, Virginia and removed to Fairfield District, South Carolina. Soon after settling there he was called on by draft, as he believes, and went into service in the company commanded by Captain Robert Frost, Lieutenant John Mayfield, other officers names forgotten, under Col. David Hopkins and Major Bond and marched to the Congaree River four miles below Gravley where we remained several days waiting for Gen'l Greene. From there we crossed the river and marched down it to a place called Sailor's, remained there several days, thence to Midway Swamp and united with General Greene's forces and marched under him to Eutaw where we fought the British. [Comment: this presumably was the Battle of Eutaw Springs which was fought on 8 September 1781] And after a bloody fight of near half the day General Greene ordered a retreat and we marched up the country, and at a place called Perdell's 7 miles from the battleground, declarant was honorably discharged, having served about two months as he believes.

"Soon after declarant returned home the Tories killed Major Bond and Lieutenant Mayfield, and the company to which declarant belonged elected him lieutenant in room of Mayfield. [Comment: the SC Audited Accounts and the Indent Files indicate that Carter was paid as a Lieutenant for 31 days, starting on or about 10 August 1782.]

Link to Image from Samuel Carter's Indent File

Soon after Colonel Richard Wynee ordered declarant and other officers to raise companies and keep them ready at a minute's warning and to suppress the Tories, and keep them in order and reconnoiter the country and keep all in order. In this service declarant served two tours of about two months each for which he received certificates of discharge. About the first of August 1781 [probably the year should be 1782] he marched in command of a company to South Edisto and joined the command of General Henderson, where we were employed in suppressing the Tories and outlaws and in keeping in check Colonel Cunningham, a Tory leader who had a force of about three hundred and was ravaging the country about South Edisto River, ... "
 

Unfortunately, the only direct documentary evidence of Lieutenant John Mayfield's Revolutionary War service to have survived is a single Stub Entry, dated 06 April 1785, payable to his estate, for 119 days of service during the years 1781 and 1782.  Presumably, this John Mayfield is the same person as mentioned in Carter's Pension Application. [See SC Stub Entries to Indents for Revolutionary Claims, Book O, Number 181.]

Link to the Indent Stub of John Mayfield the Whig
 

There is no known documentary evidence that establishes the exact position of John Mayfield the Whig within the genealogy of the Mayfield family.  Indeed, he has frequently been confused with John Mayfield the Tory of Brown's Creek.  In my opinion, the most probable scenario for this John Mayfield is that he was a son of Robert and Sarah Mayfield, both of whom, after the Revolution, resided in Chester County, South Carolina.  We do know that this Robert Mayfield supported the Whig Cause during the Revolution and that at least three of his other sons, Edmond, Samuel and Abraham, served in the Whig Militia.  Biographical sketches of Edmond Mayfield, Samuel Mayfield and Abraham Mayfield are provided at my web site devoted to the South Carolina Mayfields.

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