Commentary, Local

Did You Know?

Jack Pendarvis

I had a pleasant surprise recently. I visited the Revolutionary War Museum rooms located in the old Simpsonville High School building downtown. The surprise was the large amount of items on display! There are uniforms and weapons from the Revolutionary War years and materials from the “Battle of the Canebrake.”

In 1970, I was a participant in a re-enactment of this battle. In reality it was a small skirmish between area farmers and a small group of loyalist that were camping near the Reedy River. There is a historical marker on South Harrison Bridge Road near the site.

The re-enactment was held on the Stokes property on Stokes Road near Hillcrest Middle School and reenactors from all over the south came to portray the fighting men of the times. I remember one soldier had a pack of “chicken blood” and when he came near the thousands of spectators, he slapped the fake blood on his forehead and stumbled to the ground. To our dismay an ambulance was soon on the battle field. We had to stop the “show” and get the ambulance off. Then the “camp followers” (nurses in period dress) could take care of the wounded warrior. As the battle moved on, the wounded became well and re-enacted the fight.

The Revolutionary War museum in Simpsonville has a lot of material that came from the only part of the revolution to take place in the Greenville area. Please do take time to visit them and absorb a little history of our area. It is very interesting to see!

To close this story, the loyalists fled the area and the battle moved on to King’s Mountain-October 7, 1780…this was a decisive victory for the SC Patriot militia over the Loyalist militia in the southern campaign.  On to Cowpens-January 17, 1781- the Battle of Cowpens ended in victory for the American Colonists. It became known as the turning point of the war in the South and part of the chain of events leading to Patriot victory at Yorktown!

That’s your lesson for today
– Jack

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