Cedar Springs

May Have Been Cedar Spring

“Previous to this (that is, the Battle of Musgrove’s Mill), in July, a battle was fought at the Green Springs, near Berwick’s Iron Works, by Col. Clarke of Georgia, with 168 men. The enemy, consisting of 150 volunteer mounted riflemen and sixty well equipped dragoons, were defeated with the loss of twenty-eight killed on the spot and several wounded. Clarke had four killed and twenty-three wounded, all with the broadsword. Major Smith of Georgia, a brave, intelligent and active officer, was killed, Col. Clarke was severely wounded, Col. Robertson, a volunteer; Capt. Clarke, and several other officers were also wounded.”

Mr. Mills is probably mistaken in his statement that Col. Clarke was wounded in this battle; he was too soon in service again. Besides, Mr. Sherwood, in his Gazetteer of Georgia, states that Col. Clarke was wounded in the Battle of Musgrove’s Mill some three weeks subsequent to this. We have a more detailed account of the battle at the Cedar Spring in the Magnolia of 1842, which is understood to be from the pen of a distinguished citizen of Greenville District. It is as follows:

Extract From Magnolia Magazine

“Col. Clarke of Georgia, well known in the American Revolution as a bold, active and useful officer, was on his march into North Carolina with a regiment of refugee Whigs for the purpose of joining the American Army then expected from the north. The news of his march reached the ears of Col. Ferguson, who immediately despatched Major Dunlop of the British Army with a detachment of troops consisting principally of Tories for the purpose of intercepting Col. Clarke and his regiment of militia. The colonel, not expecting an attack from the enemy, had encamped for the night two or three miles from the Cedar Spring, when he was alarmed by the firing of a gun by one of Major Dunlop’s soldiers. It is said that this soldier, whose name is not at pre sent remembered, was a Tory who felt some compunctious visitings at the idea of surprising and capturing his countrymen and took this opportunity of giving them information of an approaching enemy. He pretended, however, that his gun went off accidently, and he was not suspected of treachery. Col. Clarke immediately decamped and marched to the Cedar Spring, where he passed the night undisturbed. Mr. Dunlop, not thinking it prudent to pursue the Americans in the night, took possession of Col. Clarke’s encampment and waited for the day.

Josiah Culbertson, noted in Spartanburg for his desperate and daring courage, had left the American camp that evening for the purpose of returning home, two or three miles distant, to spend the night. He came back about daylight, expecting, of course, to find Col. Clarke and his regiment. But as he rode into the camp he observed that the army seemed to present a different appearance from what it did the evening before, but nevertheless rode on to where he expected to find Col. Clarke before he became conscious that he was in the midst of an enemy’s camp. With extraordinary coolness and presence of mind, he then leisurely turned around and rode very slowly out of the encampment with his trusty rifle lying on the pommel of his saddle. As he passed along he saw the dragoons catching their horses, and other preparations being made to strike up the line of march.

When out of sight of the British he put spurs to his horse and went in the direction he supposed Clarke had gone. While in the enemy’s camp he had doubtless been taken for a Tory who was a little ahead of the others in his preparations for marching. He overtook Col. Clarke and found him in readiness for the attack of Major Dunlop. In a short time, too, that officer made his appearance and a warm engagement ensued. The British and Tories were repulsed with considerable loss. The Americans sustained very little injury. Major Dunlop hastily fled the country and Col. Clarke resumed his march toward North Carolina. During this engagement Culbertson was met by a dragoon some distance from the main battle who imperiously demanded his surrender, which Culbertson replied to with his rifle and felled the dragoon from his horse.