Reading Finds Answers

By Jeannette Holland Austin

It might be said that the Battle of Camden, SC was a turning point for the Americans. The reason is that Colonel Banastre Tarleton had given “No Quarter” to an earlier battle, and South Carolinians were enraged. They retaliated by enlisting in large numbers in the South Carolina Militia. These country soldiers were experts in hunting and survival techniques. They brought their rifles and by the time they reached King’s Mountain, were ready to subdue the likes of Tarleton.

There is so much to be learned while tracing the ancestors! The task encourages us to read tons of information. But sometimes the obvious reading is not apparent. Part of my personal research always includes revolutionary war records. Abstracts of the pension records can be found at most regional libraries. The details written by the veterans not only includes the battles he fought and officers served under, but often includes family bible records as well as intimate details of family members. Here is where you will find find who, when and where he was married; where he resided at the time of enlistment and afterwards; names of children and other kin. If one carefully reads each pension (of the specific surname), the history of the family in general unfolds to reveal clues of where to search next. Suspect are soldiers with the same surname who enlisted from the same general vicinity, and where they went after the war. I have found brothers in the same family, but the real details of their travels did not emerge until I searched the county records. Sometimes it is a long trail, but boy is it worth it! Reading more people’s war records and then delving into the battles fought by the officers (under which your ancestor served), opens up a world of understanding of the times. More Stories