Winter Tea Party winners: Angela's book,THE SCARLET COAT, will go to: Print copy- Andrea Stephens; e-book copy - Catherine Wight!

LUCY REYNOLDS has a table topper quilt on the way, and winners of the Valentine Ebook Collection are: Deanna Stevens, Caryl Kane, Anne Payne and Winnie Thomas. With thanks to all who joined in!

Friday, September 11, 2015

An Intriguing Character Emerges in the Revolutionary War’s Southern Campaign

The British were convinced that their southern campaign strategy would bring them victory and an end to what had become an expensive and an increasingly unpopular war in Parliament. There were still many Loyalists in the Carolinas and the British counted on the antagonism between the Patriots and the Loyalists to prove their strategy successful.

British Lieutenant General Sir Henry Clinton left New York in late December 1779 with fourteen warships and 8500 troops on ninety transports. Winter storms off the Outer Banks of North Carolina significantly scattered the ships, but by mid February they had arrived within thirty miles of Charleston

This is the story of a lesser known character, a strong and courageous woman by the name of Elizabeth Jackson. Elizabeth and her husband had come from Ireland and settled in the Waxhaws settlement near the North Carolina and South Carolina border. In 1767, after her young husband died unexpectedly, Elizabeth and her three sons moved into the home of her sister and brother-in-law. Her sister had been ailing since moving from Ireland was now an invalid. Elizabeth provided nursing care and housekeeping for the large Scots-Irish immigrant extended family.

All three of Elizabeth’s sons, the youngest being only thirteen, joined the Patriot cause. Her oldest was killed in 1779. After the bloody Battle of Waxhaws her remaining two sons were injured, captured and held prisoner where they became infected with smallpox. Elizabeth arranged a prisoner transfer. The older of  the two died after returning home, and her remaining son took several weeks before he regained enough strength to leave his bed.

The Siege at Charleston began on April 2, 1780 and lasted six weeks. In 1776 and again in 1779 the British had unsuccessfully tried to capture the city of Charleston, but the city’s natural defenses were too strong. But this new campaign would change that ― for awhile.
Charleston Harbor

The Americans suffered their worst defeat of the revolution. Major General Benjamin Lincoln surrendered to British Lieutenant General Sir Henry Clinton. Of the American forces, 92 were killed, 148 were wounded, and 5,266 were captured. Those that were captured were sent to British hulk ships in Charleston Harbor, and some of them were later sent to do service in Jamaica.

The disease and plight of the captives touched many local residents. Many of the women of Charleston began visiting the prison ships bringing food, medicine and comfort to the prisoners; one of these ladies was Elizabeth.  When Elizabeth’s two nephews were captured in the Siege at Charleston, she made trips to the prison ships to bring food, medicine, and to nurse them and other prisoners. She became known as an angel of mercy before herself falling victim to the cholera that swept through the prison ships.

Elizabeth was buried in an unmarked grave. While her youngest and only surviving son promised to locate her remains and rebury her alongside his father and brothers, he was never able to locate her grave. That young man was Andrew Jackson who would one day become the seventh President of the United States.



12 comments:

  1. Elizabeth Jackson was truly an amazing woman. It's said she either walked or road a horse from her home in Lancaster, SC, to Charleston (about 170 miles) to care for her wounded nephews aboard one of the British prison ships. Her family were flax growers, and she had a reputation for weaving some of the finest linen.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks for adding to her story, Susan. It is so fascinating how events in history and the characters who live in the midst are linked.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Wow, this was pretty interesting! It's amazing to know how many people were involved in America's freedom. It wasn't just men that fought bravely so we could be free. There were many behind the scenes working or helping so we could be free. Great post, Janet! Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for stopping by Regina. It makes me wonder how many interesting stories are out there that we have never heard about.

      Delete
  4. Wow, very interesting! Thanks for sharing Janet.
    Blessings, Tina

    ReplyDelete
  5. Replies
    1. Thanks Pegg. She must have been an amazing woman.

      Delete
  6. I guess history tends to focus on the male heroes of this war. But, we know that all of these women were fighting in their own ways. They were raising families, keeping farms going, trying to grow enough food to keep the family from starving, and keeping the faith that one day it would all be over and their husbands and sons would return home. They certainly weren't sitting at home in a rocking chair by the fire sipping tea. Women are so tough and it's wonderful to read stories about their strength and bravery in the face of adversity. Thank you so much for sharing this today. May I add that I am currently reading "The Mistress of Tall Acre" by Laura Frantz and am finding it fascinating and it touches on this subject. I highly recommend it.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Thanks for stopping by, Connie. I highly recommend all of Laura Frantz's books.

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for commenting, please check back for our replies!