This document was supplied by, and thanks to, Gene Jarrell for use on these web sites.  I (FOC) searched for this document for several decades and never found it!  Note by FOC, webmeister: These documents on Tarleton Brown are Copyright ©2000 L. E. Jarrell, all rights reserved, used with permission by SCGenWeb, Allendale County.  All OCR errors are mine alone, and are not to be attributed to either Tarleton Brown, publishers, or Gene Jarrell.   Please inform me of errors.


By Laura Bellinger Jones, 23 April 1950

(Four column newspaper like article sent to me by Gene Jarrel - FOC)

ONE of the very few eye-witness accounts of the American Revolution is that given by Tarleton Brown of Barnwell county, South Carolina, who served through the war from beginning to end. In his old age, two years before his death at the age of 88, "being persuaded that a few hints in relation to the scenes in which I bore a part, in that glorious and memorable struggle for Independence would not be unacceptable to my friends and the general reader," Tarleton Brown sat himself down and dictated to his grandson-in-law, Charles Colcock Hay, a clever young lawyer of Barnwell, the story of his life and, the stirring times in which it was lived. The Memoirs of Tarleton Brown, A Captain in the Revolutionary Army, Written by Himself, first appeared in print In 1843. Tarleton Brown served old Barnwell District well, in peace as in war. In During 1788-1790, he was coroner, and high sheriff of Winton county, as Barnwell was then called. In the journal of the first session of the General Assembly in 1791 under the new constitution, he appears as a member of the house from Winton County. When Barnwell district was formed, he was its first sheriff, from 1800 to 1804. He made his home in later life at The Boiling Springs, Barnwell district, a famous old watering place where a small settlement of wealthy and cultured people centered around a series of crystal clear springs, shaded by moss-hung oaks.

Tarleton Brown in 1820 gave to the trustees of the Boiling Springs academy one acre of land for the purpose of a school building. And in 1826, be donated to the church a tract containing one acre on which stood "A Baptist Meeting House." This was Columbia church, constituted In 1780. The building was lost by fire in 1865, when Sherman passed that way, and never replaced. The churchyard, however, is still there, in its one acre of land, in an excellent state of preservation. Here Tarleton Brown lies "on the north side of my last wife," with a handsome tombstone" over his grave, as directed under the terms of his will. The old stone is now much worn, and the inscription is barely legible. Through the efforts of Mrs. B. B. Langley (Julia Hartzog), of Barnwell, whose husband was, a descendant of Tarleton Brown, a government marker has recently been placed at the grave site.

General Johnson Hagood of Barnwell, who was governor of the state, said that no man of his day has more of his blood in the present population of Barnwell county than Tarleton Brown. It would be interesting if a census of his descendants might be taken. The recognized authority on the history of the family Is Mrs. William Aaron Morrow (Mamie Peeples) of Waco, Texas, whose line of descent is through Tarleton Brown's son, Dr. Austin Barnett Brown.

First printed in the Charleston Rambler, a publication of limited circulation, in 1843, during Brown's life-time, "The Memoirs of Tarleton Brown" received national recognition in 1862, when published by Charles I. Bushnell, New York. The Bushnell edition, with preface and notes explanatory of various events and personages of the Revolution referred to therein, is now a collector's Item. Mr. A.S. Salley has one in. his possession. Major John W. Holmes of Barnwell, editor of The Barnwell, People, was fortunate enough to secure a copy of "The Memoirs" from an old book store in New York, and The People Press reprinted it in 1894. Copies in muslin of this 28-page pamphlet were 50c each; paper backs 25c. Today no price can be placed on It. "The Memoirs" were again published In 1924 in Tarrytown, N. Y., by William Abbott, In The Magazine of History, which is also in Mr. Salley's collection.

As Tarleton Brown tells It in his own words:

"My father, William Brown, was a planter in Albemarle county, Virginia, where I was born on the 5th day of April, 1757. Flattering Inducements being held forth to settlers In the rich region of South Carolina contiguous to the Savannah river; and my uncle, Bartlett Brown, having already moved, and settled himself two miles above Matthew's Bluff, on the Savannah river; my father brought out some Negroes, and left them with his brother to make a crop; and in 1769, a year afterwards, my father and family, consisting of eleven persons, emigrated to this country and settled on Brier's. creek, opposite to Burton's ferry.

Here follows a description' of the country as it was in the earliest days of Its settlement, which has proved valuable to historians and others in reconstructing the life of the time, about which so little is otherwise known. The forest abounded' with all kinds of game, particularly deer and wild turkeys. The early settlers kept their cattle in the forest. Many wild horses were running at. large in the forest when they first settled in the district. The exceedingly fertile soil in the river swamp produced abundant crops when the land was cleared

"In 1775 the war broke out In South Carolina, and troops were required for the service - a draft was accordingly ordered in our section, and being one among the drawn number we forthwith took up the line of march for Pocotaligo." Tarleton Brown took part: in the first siege of Savannah. Having 'become greatly attached' to the army, he enlisted in the regular service, In April, 1776, aged. 19, and saw much action in both South Carolina and Georgia.

"On one Occasion while he was visiting his father and the family at the, "Big House," later owned by Cal. Frederick 'Jay Hay of The Boiling Springs, a party of Tories came to the door. Upon being denied admittance they began shooting through the cracks, it being a log house, and killed his little brother Benjamin, but were finally driven off.

Tarleton Brown continued scouting both in Georgia and Carolina until the fall of Charleston in 1780 - the intelligence of which threw the whole state into consternation and alarm. Prospects were dark, and he and his brother Bartlett Brown thereupon returned to Virginia, their native state. Shortly after their arrival there, they learned, of the depredations and outrages committed in South Carolina, particularly in their own district. McGeart and his company of Tories crossed the Savannah river from Georgia, killing every man they met who had not sworn allegiance to the king. Seventeen of the Inhabitants of the neighborhood where lived Wil1am Brown, father of Tarleton and Bartlett Brown, were murdered, William Brown being included in the number. The Tories burned William Brown's house level with the ground, and destroyed everything he possessed. His wife and daughters escaped only by fleeing to the woods. Upon receiving this intelligence, Tarleton and Bartlett Brown returned forthwith to South Carolina, uniting with General Marion's troops at Kingstree .

The 1st of April, 1780, Tarleton Brown left General Marion, forming a detachment in company with 80 others, and returned to his own district, fighting along the way. At the "Big House" he found those of his father's family that the Tories and Indians had left.

While taking part in the siege of Augusta, he contracted smallpox and returned home very sick. None of his family had ever had smallpox, so he had to take to the woods, lying under a large oak tree for 40 days, tended only by one Peggy Ogleby, a Tory. Upon recovery, he joined Major Cooper at Beech Island and continued scouting until the end of the war in December, 1782.

"Some time after the close of these things, I married and settled myself between the Sand Hill and Cedar branches, waters of the Lower Three Runs, Barnwell district. On each of these streams I built mills, and from the mills, between which I lived, I gave my place the name of Fork Wills. The mills are now owned by Major Wm. H. Payton, my son-In-law. From this place I moved to Boiling Springs, where I have lived and enjoyed fine health for many years, and where I expect to die, If I die at home. I have followed the delightful business of farming ever since the close of the war, and the Lord has been pleased to grant me enough of the good things of life to keep me free from want down to the present moment."

Memoirs of Tarleton Brown
Introductory Page on Tarleton Brown
SCGenWeb - Allendale County, South Carolina

This document is copyright ©2000 Lawrence E. Jarrell, High Point, NC, all rights reserved.  This document is used with permission by SCGenWeb, Allendale County, and thanks to, Gene Jarrell for use on these web sites.  

Note by FOC, webmeister: These documents on Tarleton Brown are Copyright ©2000 L. E. Jarrell, all rights reserved, used with permission by SCGenWeb, Allendale County.  All OCR errors are mine alone, and are not to be attributed to either Tarleton Brown, publishers, or Gene Jarrell.   Please inform me of errors.