|General Andrew Pickens|
Patriot: As the American Revolution approached, political feelings were strong in the South - both ways. From the start, its inhabitants split between Patriots and Loyalists (or Whigs and Tories). Pickens, was an ardent Patriot and soon emerged as a military leader, first in expeditions as a militia captain against the Cherokee, who had allied with the Loyalists in hopes of retaining their lands. In 1779, the British sent soldiers to South Carolina and North Georgia to encourage Loyalist support. The now Colonel Pickens led his three-hundred man militia in efforts to aid the Patriot cause. He overtook and defeated a much larger force of over 700 men under Loyalist Colonel Boyd at Kettle Creek in North Georgia just south of the Long Canes.
|Pickens defeated a much larger force at Kettle Creek, Georgia|
|Battle of the Cowpens|
In January 1781, British Colonel Bastre Tarlton tried to destroy an American force under famed rifleman Daniel Morgan. Pickens was a leader of militias in the engagement and played a key role in defeating British Colonel Tarleton. American commander Daniel Morgan had decided to use the reputation of the militia as rabble who wouldn't stand against a disciplined British attack to bait the British. As they waited for the enemy, Morgan asked them for "just two volleys and then retreat." Easier said then done in most cases. But with Pickens commanding the militia they did just as Morgan asked. When the British saw the militia retreat they thought they had the victory won and advanced straight into Morgan's trap. Pickens men rallied behind the Continentals and took part in the victory, which came at a crucial time for Patriots in the south. Until then they had been repeatedly forced to retreat before British forces. For his "spirited conduct" at Cowpens, the Continental Congress presented Pickens with a sword and the State of South Carolina promoted him to Brigadier-General in the state militia. Pickens seemed to be at all the key engagements in the south. Besides Cowpens, Charleston and Savannah, he was at Augusta (Georgia) when it fell. Pickens was at Ninety-Six for more than one of its many engagements. And in numerous skirmishes he leveraged his knowledge of the Cherokee way of war to flush out the many Tories in their midst.
|Action at Ninety-Six|
|Pickens later served in Congress|
|General Andrew Pickens' Grave at Clemson|