John Henry Logan published A History of the Upper Country of South Carolina in 1858. Logan’s second volume, dealing with first-hand accounts of Revolutionary War veterans was never finished and the information existed only as an unedited manuscript or notebook. The historian Lyman C. Draper began collecting historical information during the last decades of the 19th century. Draper copied Logan’s notes intended for Volume II which included this letter from L. Miles. Draper used his own extensive inquiries in addition to Logan’s information to publish King’s Mountain and Its Heroes. Neither Logan nor Draper used the entire letter from “L. Miles” however; the first two paragraphs are quoted and published in many books on the events of the Revolutionary War in South Carolina. The author of Nothing but Blood and Slaughter: The Revolutionary War in the Carolinas Volume Two 1780 states that “L. Miles” has never been identified. Only the original Draper manuscript includes the last paragraph of the L. Miles letter describing the wedding at his “grandmother Farrow’s” which clearly identifies L. Miles as Landon Miles. Landon Miles died just two months after this letter was written. The entire collection of the Draper Manuscripts can be found at the Wisconsin Historical Society.
Draper Manuscripts: Thomas Sumter Papers
Letter to Dr. [J.H.] Logan from L. [Landon] Miles Spartanburg [S.C.] Copy. 3 pp. Aug. 11, 1858; 16 VV 210-212
Says he was born Feb. 1, 1782 – born and raised within 3 miles of Blackstock’s and still lives there. I went to see Old Blackstock’s when I was a boy. He was an old Irishman when the British & Torys camped at his house or nearby, he used to pilot them to my father’s to rob & plunder.
I have heard my mother say all the way she could keep anything to eat was, to put it in a jar in the jamb of the house, & cover it with ashes. They would pass it for an ash can. The Tories would strip beds & take everything they or their horses could use at their camps.
Blackstock’s Battle - I have heard Golding Tinsley talk a great deal about the war. He was at the Battle of Blackstock’s, when Major Money a British officer was riding in front on a white horse: [ ] one of Tinsley’s commanders said to him – “Can’t you throw that fellow?” Tinsley replied, “I can try”. He took aim at him, & he fell to rise no more.
Musgrove’s Mills Battle. – Tinsley was also in this fight. He said they killed many British & Tories as they fled across the stream, & shot them while in the act of crossing. After they had got over, one fellow squatted down turned his buttock slapped in derision at the Americans. Tinsley’s commander said to him, “Can’t you turn that fellow over?” Tinsley replied “I can try”. Tinsley had a good rifle, sat down, took good aim, shot & turned him over: they took him up & carried him off.
Tinsley was at the Cowpens – he was a valiant solder [soldier]. He has been dead some 5 or 6 years.
Old Blackstock’s son in time of the war married into a Tory family. The old man was opposed to it – the wedding was at my grandmother Farrow’s. It was a run away match. Old Blackstock’s was in pursuit and came up while Squire Ford was marrying them & cutting short his ceremony said, “I pronounce you man & wife.” Blackstock heard it and howled out “I pronounce it a damned lie.” Came up very angry. He said the Tories had left him nothing but his old red jacket & they might have that - & pulled it off, & stamped on it & swore that they might have it too.