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Kingstree in Williamsburg County, South Carolina — The American South (South Atlantic)
 

Kingstree: Gathering Vital Intelligence

 
 
Kingstree: Gathering Vital Intelligence Marker image. Click for full size.
By Anna Inbody, March 18, 2012
1. Kingstree: Gathering Vital Intelligence Marker
Inscription. By late August 1780, Francis Marion and the Whig militiamen of eastern South Carolina had already begun to cause alarm among the British military leaders in charge of subduing the province. Sensing the British would move against him, Col. Marion sent one of his trusted officers, Maj. John James of the Williamsburg Militia, and a few men back to Kingstree to gather intelligence.

While Patriot lore has called this incident the “Battle of Kingstree,” the reality was probably much more modest. Hiding behind a thicket on the side of a road (probably near here on what would become Academy Street), Maj. James and his men watched as dozens of troops rode into town. They conducted a brief hit-and-run strike, capturing at least one prisoner and an orderly book. From these, Marion learned that two hundred soldiers of the 63rd Regiment under Maj. James Wemyss had already reached Kingstree, and that hundreds more British and Loyalist troops were on their way. Other scouts confirmed that Marionís force would soon be surrounded.

Marion knew that leading some 150 militiamen against a force as much as ten times larger would be a suicide mission, and a disastrous defeat would break the morale of the rebellion in South Carolina. Faced with a simple strategic choice, Marion retreated into the Great White Marsh of eastern North Carolina
Overview image. Click for full size.
By Anna Inbody, March 18, 2012
2. Overview
and waited for the right moment to return and fight.
 
Erected 2012 by Francis Marion Trail Commission of Francis Marion University.
 
Location. 33° 40.263′ N, 79° 49.893′ W. Marker is in Kingstree, South Carolina, in Williamsburg County. Marker is on Academy Street near Kelly Street, on the right when traveling north. Click for map. Marker is in Kellahan Park. Marker is in this post office area: Kingstree SC 29556, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Williamsburg Church (approx. 0.2 miles away); St. Albanís Episcopal Church (approx. 0.3 miles away); Battle of Kingstree (approx. half a mile away); Willamsburg County Veterans Monument (approx. half a mile away); Williamsburgh (approx. half a mile away); Williamsburg County Confederate Monument (approx. half a mile away); Old Muster Ground and Courthouse (approx. half a mile away); Thurgood Marshall, J.D. (approx. half a mile away). Click for a list of all markers in Kingstree.
 
Categories. War, US Revolutionary
 
Drawing on the Marker image. Click for full size.
By Anna Inbody, March 18, 2012
3. Drawing on the Marker
As dozens of British and Loyalist soldiers marched into Kingstree, a small detachment under the command of Maj. John James captured at least one prisoner and an orderly book, yielding important information about enemy plans.
Map on the marker image. Click for full size.
By Anna Inbody, March 18, 2012
4. Map on the marker
Kingstree on the Black River, the first colonial settlement in what would become Williamsburg district, depicted in MillsĎ Atlas of the State of South Carolina(1825).
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Anna Inbody of Columbia, South Carolina. This page has been viewed 527 times since then and 28 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on , by Anna Inbody of Columbia, South Carolina. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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