Thursday, May 14, 2009

Where is Red Springs?

A quick note of what I found on the internet.  There was an important battle far south of Cary about one month after the Governor was kidnapped led by a McNeill. The Scots of the Cape Fear who we met in 1776 at Moore's Creek and who were a source of loyalists for the period of the Revolution, were with Fanning when he kidnapped the Governor in Hillsborough. Fanning himself was wounded the day after the kidnapping at the battle of Cane Creek in Alamance county in September, 1781.  

Where was Fanning for that 3 to 4 week period ? Perhaps laid up in Wake County , the county of his youth, at the Swift Creek plantation, healing and taking over the "fat of the land" to feed his 60 soldiers.

Well, I wonder. It wouldn't take a month to ride from Hillsboro to  Lindley's Mill where Fanning was wounded, to Red Springs.  And where the heck is Red Springs?

AHA! A straight line through Hillsborough to Red Springs goes straight through Western Wake county. But, it would veer into Spring Lake. Perhaps an arc to the right from Hillsborough to bypass the lake... right through Swift Creek Plantation and back down through the home territory of the Scots Loyalists? 

The article I found lists events of the "Tory War" in the summer of 1781. Notice the last entries with capture of the Governor in Orange County, Fanning's wound at Alamance county and the next battle a month later near Red Springs at the The Battle of Raft Swamp — Monday, October 15, 1781. Where were they from September to October? Left behind and CAMPED OUT IN SWIFT CREEK???? I'm getting goose-bumps.  Look what it says!

 On October 15, 1781, Col. Hector McNeill marched his army down about five miles below McPhaul's Mill and encamped in the woods at the mouth of Brown's (later McDougald's) Branch on the southwest side of the Little Raft Swamp and about a mile above the Lowry Road. It was here that the entire six hundred Loyalists assembled. After some consultation, they concluded to cross the Little Raft Swamp, and take their stand upon the face of the hill at the Lowry Road on the Northeast side of the swamp. There they would "give the Whigs Jesse" as they came out of the swamp, which they would have to do on a causeway which was little better than none.

They were there, those Tories and they shot Jesse right off the porch in an act of terrorism. They must have left the wounded Fanning behind with 60 men to protect him in western Wake County and continued on to Wilmington. The link says they reached Wilmington in four days after that. They were still gloating at the murder of Jesse (John, Jr.), overconfident when they faced the Whigs at Raft Swamp.  This is my opinion only.

The Whigs brought an abrupt halt to the Tory wars and no one was able to mistreat the Jesses in NC after that. The Battle of Raft Swamp was the very last battle of the Revolutionary War in NC.  Read more about it in the first link.

Red Springs is in Robeson County. I see it is already included in the map. I love a mystery. Oh, wow, cousin Frank was right...

No comments: