Sharp Captures British Refugees

Sharp Captures British Refugees

Having secured the commander, he determined to lose no time in pursuing his party. Accordingly, he went to his hiding place in the woods to rally his force. This consisted of James Savage, Richard Hughes, and perhaps others. About the time the men were gotten together a Mrs. Hall, a resident in the vicinity, came up in great haste. She had seen the British on their way and ran to give notice to the Whigs.

Sharp and party pursued. Half a mile from the ford they met a man running as for life. He reported on crossing the river he had come upon a party of British soldiers, that they had stopped on top of a hill, apparently with a view of spending the night. Their armor and uniforms glistened in the sun, and though they took no notice of him, yet he was greatly alarmed at his situation. Sharp led on his men. They presented themselves suddenly before the enemy and ordered them to surrender. The summons was obeyed by some thirty or forty men. The balance ran off, some down the river, others threw their guns into it and leaped in themselves. Sharp led his prisoners to Morgan’s camp and delivered them up prisoners of war. The above instance has its counter part in the following, which is found in Mills’s Statistics of South Carolina:

Otterson and Companion Take 30

“Major Samuel Otterson being on his way to join Morgan at Cowpens, was followed by a few badly mounted volunteers. Finding on his approach to the place that the battle was begun, he determined to halt his men near a cross road, which he knew the enemy would take on the return, and wait either to make prisoners in case of their defeat or to attempt the rescue of our men who might be prisoners in their hands.

“It was not long before a considerable body of the British horsemen, were discovered in full speed coming down the road. They appeared evidently to have been defeated. Major (then Captain) Otterson now proposed to his men to follow the enemy and attempt to make some prisoners, but found only one man willing to join him. Having mounted him on the best horse in the company and having armed themselves in the best possible manner, they pushed on after the flying enemy. In the pursuit Capt. Otterson prudently determined to keep at some distance in the rear until dark. He occasionally stopped at some of the houses along the road, ascertained the situation, number and distance of the enemy, and found his suspicions were verified that they had been defeated and that these horsemen were a part of Tarleton’s cavalry. Toward dusk Capt. Otterson and his companion pushed their horses nearer the enemy, and when it was dark dashed in among them with a shout, fired their arms and ordered them to surrender. The darkness prevented the enemy from knowing the number of those by whom they were surprised and they surrendered at once. They were required to dismount, come forward and deliver up their arms, which they did. Being all secured and light struck, nothing could exceed the mortification of the British officer in command when he found that he had surrendered to two men.

“But this was not the end of this gallant affair. These British troopers, thirty in number, were all conducted by their captors in safety into North Carolina and delivered to Morgan as prisoners of war. Several days had to elapse before this was done, during which time these men never closed their eyes in sleep.

“Major Otterson’s residence was on Tyger River in the vicinity of Hamilton’s Ford. He distinguished himself on several occasions in time of the war and proved a highly respectable and useful citizen after its close. Some thirty years ago he removed to Alabama.”