Stories of Indian Attacks during the Revolutionary War, Part VI
1776. Summer. Cherokee Indian Troubles in North Carolina Throughout the war for independence, patriots in the Carolinas attempted to maintain peace with the Cherokee Indians, while the British soldiers bribed them with rifles, guns, and bullets.
Alexander Cameron lived among the Cherokee Indians and was known to be a bad and dangerous man. He exhorted (with about four hundred Cherokee warriors) that they should not turn against their English king who 15 was ill, and instead should join the army against the people of America, more particularly against the South Carolina forces. The whole assembly did the war-whoop! (which meant that they approved.)
Meanwhile, the patriots sent Captain Edward Hampton and his brother, Preston Hampton, on a mission to the Cherokee Nation. Previously, the North Carolina Council of Safety had unwisely sent one thousand pounds of powder to the Cherokees. Upon the arrival of Edward and Preston Hampton in the Indian country, they found Cameron and other British emissaries working among them. Cameron seized the Hamptons as prisoners and gave their possessions, i.e., horses, guns, and a case of pistols and holsters to the Indians. By some means, the Hamptons managed to escape.
Two years earlier, “the Hampton family was found murdered on the Asa Cunningham place, on the line between the counties of Greenville and Spartanburg, South Carolina (the east line of the Cherokee Nation). It is said that the Indians were seeking a different settlement and as they approached Mr. Hampton’s house (who had just returned from the Indian towns and given warning of an intended uprising). While some of the children were sent to warn neighbors, old Mr. Hampton met the Indians cordially. He gave the chief a friendly grasp of the hand, but while this was happening, saw his son, Preston, fall from gunfire. Then he felt a tomahawk in his skull! His wife was also tomahawked.
An infant son of the Harrison’s was dashed against the wall of the house, splattering blood and brains.
The Indians set fire to the Hampton House. Mrs. Hampton, upon coming up and seeing her father’s house in flames, attempted to rush into the midst of the savages, but her husband held her back.
At the time, Edward Hampton was at the house of his father-in-law, Baylis Earle in North Pacelot.”
Source: Drayton’s Memoirs, vol. i, pg 144; Colonial and Revolutionary History of Upper South Carolina.
William Morris first served under Jonathan Kemp’s Company of Charles McDowell’s Regiment. In July of 1780, they marched from Burke County, North Carolina to the border (Edward Hampton’s plantation). While 16 encamped, they were attacked that night by the British under Major Dunlap. Morris was one of the horsemen selected to give chase to the British the next morning; he caught up with them after riding about twelve miles where they defeated the British. Freeing the American prisoners, they took twenty British prisoners.
Source: Revolutionary War Soldiers of Western North Carolina, Vol 2, pg 212.