You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. Matthew 5:14-16

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Rosanna Farrow, A SC Revolutionary War Heroine

A typical backcountry cabin.

Rosanna Farrow was proud of the fact that she had five sons old enough to fight for liberty. When her boys went to war, she and her daughters were left alone, unprotected and surrounded by Tory neighbors. There was often not enough food, and sometimes when their home was in danger from the enemy, they hid out in the woods and swamps in hollow trees and the rocky coves of the Enoree River.
They slept with pistols or weapons of some kind under their pillows, for they never knew when the enemy would come to their door.
One night, a messenger came to tell her that three of her sons had been captured and were in a jail in Ninety-Six, a British post in the SC backcountry. The commander, Colonel Cruger, who was prepared to hang the boys, offered to trade them one rebel for two British soldiers.
Lt. Col. John H. Cruger
After instructing her daughters to stay indoors and to keep the doors and windows closed, she grabbed a rifle and ran to the stable where she caught and saddled a colt. The only horse left on the place, it had never been ridden. Nevertheless, she sprung into the saddle and bound herself to it with a girth. As she rode away, she shouted to her daughters, “It is not the most comfortable way of riding.”
She made her way towards Fair Forest camp in the present region of Spartanburg, SC. This region was inhabited by only a few hunters and some scattered families and Indians. Her path was a lonely wilderness, broken only by hills and streams.
Ninety-Six, SC
Arriving at Colonel Williams' camp, he granted her six British prisoners and a guard. Not stopping for rest, she rode on for miles through barren wilderness and gloomy forest. Before daybreak of the second night of her wild ride, she caught sight of the English standard waving above the scarlet uniforms of the British, and with her apron as a flag of truce, she dashed up to the camp commander, Colonel Cruger, and informed him of her mission.
Colonel Cruger replied, “Well, you are just in time, for I had given orders for those rebellious youngsters of yours to be hanged at sunrise, but I guess you can take the rebels.”
“My sons!” she cried, then turning with eyes flashing with indignation, she retorted, “I have given you two for one, Colonel Cruger, but understand that I consider it the best trade I ever made, for rest assured, hereafter the ‘Farrow boys’ will whip you four to one.”
As she dashed off followed by her sons, a soldier remarked, “That's a pretty good speech for so dainty a lady, but she is as warm for the cause as the men.”
So long as she lived, Mrs. Farrow was admired and loved, and it is said that even years after, the eyes of the British soldiers flashed with pleasure when they talked of this South Carolina daughter.
Samuel Farrow
One of her boys, Samuel, lived to represent Pinckney District in Congress, and a portrait of him now hangs in Washington showing the sabre scar on his face made at the Battle of Musgrove's Hill.
Samuel Farrow lies buried in the family burying ground near Enoree Station in Spartanburg County. Where the noble mother lies is not known, but history will always cherish the memory of one whose warm heart and love of country prompted her to so daring a deed of heroism.
(A lot of this information was taken directly from An Essay, by Miss Ruth Petty, Converse College, Class of 1897)
Footnote: Samuel Farrow served in the US Congress and the SC House and was Lt. Governor of SC from 1810-1812. Subsequent research indicates that Mrs. Farrow's burial place was found along with other family members in a pasture near the Enoree River in South Carolina.