Friday, January 4, 2008

The Cunningham Mess, part 2:
The Ammunition

From The History of South Carolina in the Revolution, 1775-1780, by Edward McCrady, published 1901, Macmillan & Co., ltd., South Carolina, page 87:

    ... Drayton while on his mission in that part of the country [Ninety Six District] had had a "talk" with the Cherokees, and had promised to send them a supply of powder and lead; and in compliance with this promise the Council of Safety on the 4th of October [1775] had dispatched a wagon with one thousand pounds of powder and two thousand pounds of lead as a present to them. It unluckily happened that about this time Robert Cuningham's arrest became known; whereupon Patrick Cuningham immediately assembled a party of about sixty armed men to rescue his brother. They failed in doing that, but seized the ammunition on its way to the Indians. Upon this Major Andrew Williamson, who then resided in Ninety-Six, embodied his militia for the purpose of recovering the powder and lead. He formed a camp at Long Cane, and sent a letter to Edward Wilkinson and Alexander Cameron, the Indian agents then in the Cherokee Nation, informing them of the seizure, and requesting that the matter should be explained to the Indians so as to prevent them from revenging themselves upon the people of this frontier. On the other hand, the Cuningham party represented that the ammunition had been sent to the Indians to arm them against the King's friends, who formed so large a part of that population. This unfortunate event added greatly and not unnaturally to the opposition to the government of the Congress and was of great influence in assisting the collection of a considerable force in arms between the Broad and Saluda.