Revolutionary Soldiers - Lewis, Pickett, Gaither in Fairfield County
South Carolina History by Ederington

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Page 13

From News & Herald, February 19, 1901


William Lewis came from Virginia before the War of Independence, and settled in the vicinity of Rocky Mount, Fairfield County, where he continued to reside up to the time of his death, which occurred at an advanced age, about fifty years of age. He was twice married and left a large family of children. For a number of years he was a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. He and some of his neighbors, Picketts, Jacksons, and others erected a rude log house to worship God "according to the dictates of their own consciences," after having been informed that if the Methodists continued to hold meetings at Shady Grove Meeting House, (not far from Flint Hill), they would be mobbed. A comfortable brick house of worship has taken the place of this rude hut, and the Methodism still "lives, moves and has its being" in this vicinity, and is the only church near Rocky Mount.

Mr. Lewis' record is good in the Revolutionary War. He was at Gates' defeat near Camden, was at Rocky Mount, Sumter's Surprise at Fishing Creek, Hanging Rock, and other places.

Some Tories had stolen a number of fine horses, and on a dark rainy night, encamped on the bank of Big Wateree Creek, on the plantation now known as LaGrange, and owned by Mr. John G. Mobley. William Lewis and a few others surprised them and captured the horses. The thieves had divested themselves of their clothing, save their shirts, and had them hanging around a fire, trying to dry them. They jumped into the creek, in this plight, and betook themselves to the woods.

On another occasion he chased a Tory and captured his horse and two sides of bacon which he had taken from a poor woman.

Reuben and John Pickett were Virginians, who settled on Wateree Creek. They aided William Lewis in some of the raides and skirmishes in which he engaged.

Richard Gaither came from Maryland, and settled in Chester County on Little Rocky Creek, but spent the greater portion of his life in Fairfield, where he owned a large estate of land and slaves. Much of the land still remains in the hands of his descendants. HE died about sixty years ago (1826), at an advanced age, and his remains rest in the family burying grounds. We had no cemeteries in those days.

Mr. Gaither was also a Revolutionary soldier. He was confined at one time by the British in Camden, until he was nearly eaten up by vermin. His daughter, Rachel, obtained permission to take him some clothes. After accomplishing their mission, she and a neighboring lady who accompanied her, started on their way homeward, a distance of forty miles through an unbroken forest. But they had not gone more than half the distance when a party of mounted Tories, who had no regard to passes, commanded the weary travelers to halt. As soon as Miss Rachel ascertained it was her horse they wanted, she bestrided the back of her fleet-footed animal, using her whip to good advantage, and after several miles of racing, she made good her escape. Her more timid friend gave up her horse and trudged her way homeward on foot.

On another occasion a squad of Tories came to her father's house and ordered a meal prepared for them. They were informed that nothing could be kept in the house for the British and Tories. Rachel's mother, after they had threatened her, told her daughter where she could find some coarse meal , and to prepare some bread and milk for them. When ready, she sat it before them, the milk in an old style pewter basin. After they had partaken of the bread and milk, Rachel told them that if the basin were melted and poured down their throats, it would be the dessert of all others that she desired they should have. The lady has many descendants living in York Co., Bradshaws, and others.

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