Robert Cunningham, Loyalist

Robert Cunningham, Loyalist

In the fall of 1775 it was ascertained that Robert Cunningham , a worthy and popular man in that portion of Ninety Six now known as Laurens District, had declared he would not be bound by the treaty made with a portion of the people by Tennant and Drayton. He was therefore apprehended and sent to Charleston. To rescue him his brother, Patrick Cunningham, raised a body of men and went in pursuit, but was too late to accomplish that object.

The Cherokee Indians not having received their usual supplies, were in a very bad humor. To quiet them the Council of Safety sent a quantity of ammunition. This was captured by Cunningham and his party. They also formed an alliance with the Cherokees. Intelligence of this soon spreading through the country, a party of Whigs under Major Williamson pursued the Tories, but were not successful in restoring tranquility.

In the month of November the Provincial Congress raised an army for the purpose of subduing the Tories and reducing the Indians to peace, as they were now committing depredations along the frontiers. Gen. Richardson was appointed Commander in Chief of this expedition. Col. John Thomas, who resided on Fairforest Creek just above the mouth of Kelso’s Creek, was ordered by Richardson to raise a regiment and meet him at Granby. The regiment was raised without drafting a man. In this expedition Joseph McJunkin made his first essay in arms in the company of Capt. Thomas Brandon. As soon as the army was collected at Granby the line of march was taken up by way of Weaver’s Ferry on the Saluda. While there encamped two of Col. Fletcher’s emissaries, Benjamin Wofford and Betty Scruggs, made their appearance. They were on their return from Charleston, whither they had gone to carry despatches to the British Governor. They were very merry and took notice of things without seeming to do so. Some of the soldiers recognized them and gave notice to Col. Thomas of their character and probable intentions. By his orders they were arrested and searched. Upon the person of the woman a bundle of papers was discovered which disclosed to the General the intended movements of the Tories and the plan of union with the British Governor.