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

Indiantown Presbyterian Church: “Disarm in the Most Rigid Manner”

 
 
Indiantown Presbyterian Church: “Disarm in the Most Rigid Manner” Marker image. Click for full size.
By Anna Inbody, March 18, 2012
1. Indiantown Presbyterian Church: “Disarm in the Most Rigid Manner” Marker
Inscription. After Francis Marionís initial victories in August and early September 1780, British military authorities in South Carolina moved to eliminate the threat of an insurgency in Williamsburg District. Lord Cornwallis ordered Maj. James Wemyss to sweep through the area with a large force of British regulars and Loyalist militiamen and “disarm in the most rigid manner, all Persons who cannot be depended on” to support the King. Faced with a much larger force on his trail, Col. Marion had little choice but to retreat into the swamps of eastern North Carolina, but his decision left Williamsburg undefended.

On September 20, Maj. Wemyss reported to Cornwallis that he had “burnt and laid waste about 50 houses and Plantations, mostly belonging to People who Ö are now in arms against us.”

According to local lore, Weymss also ordered the burning of Indiantown Presbyterian Church, calling it a “sedition shop.” Founded in 1757 and the heart of community identity for the rebellious Ulster Scots (or “Scots-Irish”) families of the area, it probably was a center of Whig activity in Williamsburg. The church, a simple log structure on the site of the present building, was rebuilt after the Revolutionary War and again in 1830.
 
Erected 2012 by Francis
Overview image. Click for full size.
By Anna Inbody, March 18, 2012
2. Overview
Marion Trail Commission of Francis Marion University.
 
Location. 33° 43.508′ N, 79° 33.718′ W. Marker is in Indiantown, South Carolina, in Williamsburg County. Marker is on Hemingway Hwy (State Highway 261/512), on the left when traveling west. Click for map. In the yard of the Indiantown Presbyterian Church. Marker is at or near this postal address: 4865 Hemingway Hwy., Hemingway SC 29554, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 11 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Indiantown Presbyterian Church (within shouting distance of this marker); Benjamin Britton Chandler (1854–1925) (approx. 5.7 miles away); Cooper's Academy / Bethesda Methodist Church (approx. 6.9 miles away); Browntown (approx. 8.1 miles away); Ebenezer United Methodist Church (approx. 9.4 miles away); Witherspoonís Ferry / Johnsonville (approx. 10.1 miles away); Witherspoonís Ferry: Francis Marion Takes Command (approx. 10.2 miles away); Skirmish At Black Mingo Creek (approx. 10.3 miles away).
 
Categories. Churches, Etc.Colonial EraWar, US Revolutionary
 
Present Day Indiantown Presbyterian Church image. Click for full size.
By Anna Inbody, March 18, 2012
3. Present Day Indiantown Presbyterian Church
Picture on the marker image. Click for full size.
By Anna Inbody, March 18, 2012
4. Picture on the marker
If Maj. James Wemyss indeed ordered Indiantown Presbyterian Church put to the torch, it was certainly a military calculation and not the result of ethnic or religious prejudice, since, like the Williamsburg rebels he was seeking to subdue, Wemyss himself was a Scottish Presbyterian. Courtesy Jim Palmer, Jr.
Drawing on the Marker image. Click for full size.
By Anna Inbody, March 18, 2012
5. Drawing on the Marker
The nature of warfare in South Carolina left much of the countryside in ruins. In Williamsburg District and elsewhere, the civilian population suffered the destruction of homes, farms, mills, and livestock, primarily by British troops intending to quash the rebellion.
Map on the marker image. Click for full size.
By Anna Inbody, March 18, 2012
6. Map on the marker
Indiantown, one of the colonial settlements in Williamsburg District, from MillsĎ Atlas (1825). The church (or "meetinghouse") is noted as “M.H.”
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Anna Inbody of Columbia, South Carolina. This page has been viewed 713 times since then and 4 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. 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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