Major Bogart Reports: Not Dying at Walnut Grove (pun intended) October 1, 2011

Washington Co Militia presence at Walnut GroveBrits at Walnut Grove

Report from Walnut Grove

The event at Walnut Grove Plantation was one marked by
beautiful weather and even better fellowship. Most all of our group that
planned to camp had arrived by 1:00
Friday and soon we had encircled a nice oak tree beside of the plantation
smoke-house. We shared our little section of the plantation grounds with the
South Carolina Rangers, The Colonial Ladies Society, and The Carolina Indian
Traders. Our little camp consisted of John Cornett, Chris Taylor, Kathryn
Grist, Randy & Sterling Curde, and me. After setting up camp and getting
changed, the sight provided a delightful candlelit meal of smoked pork,
coleslaw, macaroni and cheese, baked beans, and a delicious fresh apple
cobbler. Following supper Randy left to pick up Sterling from football practice while the
rest of us participated in the evening lantern light tours. Kathryn and some of
the camp ladies told of women’s duties in the South Carolina backcountry while John,
Chris, and I took on the characters of Andrew Taylor, Isaac Taylor, and Landon
Carter respectively and told of their involvement with Francis Marion (the
Swamp Fox) after the battle of King’s Mountain. After the tours we settled in
to camp and commenced with some fine storytelling and laughs. Despite feeling
poorly, Randy kept the wisecracks flowing.

Saturday morning brought chilly temperatures and those who
had planned to day-trip to the event began to arrive. Those were Ken and Retha
Reece, Doug Walsh, and Worley, Lisa, & Rachel Bennett bringing our total
attendance up to 12. The sight was crawling with visitors and a myriad of
period activities and skills were being demonstrated. 12:00 noon
saw the re-enactment of “Bloody Bill’s” raid on the Moore House. Sterling was the first to
get in on the action as he warned the Moore
family that British troops and Tories were approaching. Bloody Bill Cunningham
came up and assaulted Mrs. Moore on her own front porch and then went upstairs
where he murdered the convalescing Captain Steadman in cold blood. Two of
Steadman’s men were shot in the yard as Kathryn warned the rest of the family
and farmhands that Capt. Steadman was dead and that Bloody Bill aimed to fire
the house and barns. The British took a position to the southeast of the house
where they began to engage the 2nd North and South Carolina
Continentals. Our division was placed in support of the South Carolina Rangers
as we slipped around the back of the house and caught the British line on their
right flank. The Jaegers and Highlanders came about and we were soon exchanging
volley for volley as we took cover in the boxwood garden to the east of the
house as the extreme left flank of the American line. The entire British line
began to break and we once again joined the Rangers with the main line. After
fierce independent fire we lost Private Walsh to a close volley by the
Highlanders. It appeared that the Highlanders were beginning to rally as they
mounted a bayonet charge directed to our portion of the line, but we soon had
them falling back as we answered with a crashing volley directly into their
ranks. The whole patriot line began to advance and we pressed the enemy clean
off the field. It was a glorious victory for the patriot cause paid for with
the blood of several good men including Mr. Walsh.

After a brief rest we were once again preparing for war as 2:00 approached and a battle
demonstration ensued. We were recreating a troop movement to Spartanburg with the baggage handlers in
front, militia next in no formal order, and the continentals in the rear.  As we strolled down the road approaching the Moore house Captain Taylor and I sang a jaunty verse of “The Girl I Left Behind Me”. Soon the
softness of the day was turned upside down as we were ambushed by a crashing
volley from the British Line as they rose from the boxwood lined walkway in
front of the Moore House. Caught totally by surprise half of the militia
panicked, so it seemed like a lifetime before we could form a proper line of
battle. Men were falling all around us, first Mr. Thompson of the SC Rangers, and
then Mr. Bennett of our own company. Lt. Reece and I both misfired at the same
time and the next thing I knew I was on the ground with the entire line falling
back. I cried out, “Don’t leave me”, as Randy came back and helped me off the
field. I shall be forever indebted to him.

After the 12:00 battle we were permitted to form our companies independently, parade in front
of the crowd and introduce ourselves. This prompted one of the best things
about the entire weekend. After we came back to camp a young man named Tim
Hyder introduced himself and said that he couldn’t believe that a group from
Sycamore Shoals was there. He was originally from California, was studying in Columbia, SC,
and had ancestors from Sycamore Shoals and Washington Co. NC. His ancestor was
Michael Hyder, of whom our very own Nat Hyder claims kin. It was uncanny to see
this tall thin guy the same build as Nat and Nathaniel. Tim was ecstatic and
told us that he planned to visit Elizabethton. Ken Reece made his day as he
dressed him up with coat, hat, bag, horn, and rifle and let his friends take
some photos of him in front of our flag. A fine evening was highlighted by a
beefsteak supper with fried potatoes & onions, and grilled summer squash.
Everyone pooled their vittles together and Kathryn & I served as camp cooks.
Again stories and laughter lasted well into the night.

Sunday proved to be just as beautiful as the day before and
was begun with a fine impromptu church service led by our neighbor across the
way, Bobby Blackwell of the Carolina Indian Traders. The skirmish was held at 1:30 and was a repeat of the Bloody
Bill’s raid. 3:00 saw everyone breaking camp and by 5:00
The Washington County Militia was headed back to Sycamore Shoals. Special
recognition is given to Captain Taylor, Lieutenant Reece and the Mountain
Company as they held the majority of members present. Huzza!

Respectfully submitted 4th October 2011

Your Humble Servant

Major Bogart

Cave Springs Settlement

MOLLYNOTE: Thanks to Retha Reece for the photos. If you go to Facebook, Randy Curde, Retha Reece, Katherine Gist and Doug Walsh have spectacular photos of all our events. Check them out.

Not Dying at Walnut Grove



Filed under 2011 Militia Activity, Officer Communication, OUTSIDE ACTIVITIES, rev war reenactment

2 responses to “Major Bogart Reports: Not Dying at Walnut Grove (pun intended) October 1, 2011

  1. Gerald Jack

    This is a wonderful description of the Walnut Grove Plantation event. I felt like I was there.


    Gerald “Jerry” Jack
    Board Member of the Sons of the Revolution in the State of California
    Descendant of Private Jeremiah Jack Sr. 1750-1833, Washington Regiment of N.C.


  2. John A (Alfred) Hyder

    I have been spending the day on working on a book I’m putting together for Tim HYder on his genealogy back to Michael Hyder of Carter County. I came across your web address in this research. Not knowing exactly what I was checking I came to you. I was reading the piece about the reeinactment at Walnut Grove, and was almost floored when I spotted the part about Tim. Whoever wrote it was exactly right he was really thrilled about his encounter with you and sent us pictures and called us about it. The whole family from California, Oregon, and Minnesota were so happy he was able to contact you. Tim is a really into history and he was really thrilled about meeting you. My wife and I have visited Fort Wautuga, and we will have to head back that way before Tim leaves the South Carolina area. We are now living in Florence, Oregon, but lived in Norcross, Ga. for about six years. Thank you all for the great time you showed our grandson Tim Hyder, and hopefully he will visit you soon.


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