Monday, April 27, 2015

Musgrove Trivia: Battle of Musgrove Mill

 Battle of Musgrove Mill 

Fifty miles south-east of Greenville, South Carolina, on the Enoree River, is Musgrove Mill State Park. Site of the Battle of Musgrove Mill on August 19, 1780, it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1975

Like most Musgroves in Georgia, we're rumored to be descended from this Musgrove family.

Edward Musgrove

Edward Musgrove, owner of Musgrove Mill, tried to remain neutral in the American Revolutionary War. In a 1775 letter to William Henry Drayton he wrote:
“So you see I have interfered on neither side, only so far as you might have expected me, which I would not have come short of by any means. If I was to undertake, I would be very sorry to fail in the matter; therefore it is wisdom to balance everything in the right scale.”

Unfortunately, forces loyal to the British liked his property...a lot. It had a ford to cross the Enoree River, a gristmill to feed soldiers and its location provided a safe, central gathering place for the British. 

In fact, it was because of the Loyalist fighters encamped on his land that Edward Musgrove's plantation was attacked by the Patriots in August, 1780.

John Thomas Musgrove

Our relationship to Edward Musgrove is rumored to be through his younger brother, John Thomas Musgrove, supposedly our 6th great grandfather. Of him, one Musgrove family historian writes,
"John Thomas Musgrove Jr. (1718 - 1781) of South Carolina was commissioned a Major by the British during the Revolutionary War. His sons, John III, (*rumored our 5th great grandfather) and William T., fought as teenagers in the 96th Brigade, a Tory regiment. Col. John Musgrove Jr. was a British Tory. 
Col. Phil Waters of the American side owned the adjoining Plantation. During the War, Col Waters took the Musgrove Plantation at the point of a gun. (*Not Musgrove Mill, his brother, Edward's, plantation). 
John Jr. died in 1787 shortly before his land was taken. He was killed by the patriots after the War for being a Tory (side of the Crown). His wife pleaded with the State after his death for the return of the land."

click to enlarge

Our traditional Musgrove heritage, one accepted by most our family surname's historians, is shown above. However, no credible proof has shown Larkin Culbert Musgrove to be James Walter's father. 

Musgrove Mill State Park

Like most of this area, Musgrove Mills has trails, streams and waterfalls. The remains of the mill's and original home's foundation are onsite. 

The park office, in a replica of the original house, boasts an electronic display that gives a brief account of the Musgrove Mill battle. After listening to it, a park ranger answers your questions. 

They have t-shirts and souvenirs for sale inside. They also have replica guns, toys and costumes for the guys; perfect for pictures.

(Suggestion: Get some costumes for the girls. Eddie wanted his great grandma in the picture with him and his great grandpa.)

It's worth a visit for any Musgrove who is in the area.  But, unless James Walter can be connected to some Baker County Musgroves, I wouldn't suggest a long trip to anyone in our family just to see Musgrove Mill State Park.

NoteRelationships are expressed from the perspective of the grandchildren of Willis Edgar and Carrie (known as) Mae (Merritt) Musgrove. 

*Terms of relationship - grandmother, uncle, aunt, cousin, etc.  - are used here generically to include  relatives such as fourth great grandfathers, great grand uncles, second cousins twice removed, etc.

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