In Spartanburg’s Suburbs
About four miles from the present site of Spartanburg Court House on the road to Union is an old plantation known as Thompson’s Old Place. It is an elevated tract of country lying between the tributaries of Fairforest on the one side and of Lawson’s Fork on the other. Cedar Spring was about a mile distant on the Fairforest side, and Shelby’s position not much further on the other. A road leading from North Carolina to Georgia by way of the Cherokee Ford on Broad River passed through this place and then by or near Cedar Spring. A person passing at the present time from the direction of Union toward Spartanburg Court House crosses this ancient highway at Thompson’s old residence.
After passing this, by looking to the left, the eye rests upon a parcel of land extending down a hollow, which was cleared and planted in fruit trees prior to the Revolutionary War. Beyond this hollow, just where the road now enters a body of woodlands, there is yet some traces of a former human habitation. In this orchard two patrol parties met from adverse armies. The party from Dunlop’s camp were in the orchard gathering peaches; the Liberty Party fired on them and drove them from the place. In turn they entered the orchard, but the report of their guns brought out a strong detachment from Shelby. The Captain of the patrol, when he saw the enemy approaching, drew up his men under cover of the fence along the ridge, just where the old field and the woodland now meet, and where the traces of an old place of residence are now barely visible. Here he awaited their approach. The onset was furious, but vigorously met. The conflict was maintained against fearful odds until the arrival of reinforcements from Shelby’s camp. The scales now turned and the assailants fell back. The whole force of Shelby and Clarke were soon in battle array, confronted by the whole British advance, numbering 600 or 700 men.
The onset was renewed with redoubled fury. Here it was that Clarke astonished Shelby by the energy and adroitness with which he dealt his blows. Shelby often said he stopped in the midst of the engagement to see Clarke fight. The Liberty Men drove back their foes, when the whole British Army came up. A retreat was now a matter of necessity as well as sound policy. Shelby and Clarke had taken fifty prisoners, most of them British and some of them officers. These Ferguson was extremely anxious to re take, and his antagonists by no means willing to lose. Hence the pursuit was pressed for miles with great vigor and the retreat managed so skillfully as to render the great superiority of the royal army of no avail. A kind of running fight was maintained for five miles, until the prisoners were entirely out of reach.