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Bulloch History with Roger Allen - Loyalist Waters revered in Ga.

Bulloch History with Roger Allen - Loyalist Waters revered in Ga.

Bulloch History with Roger Allen - Loyalist Waters revered in Ga.

Roger Allen


      Thomas Waters was a dedicated Georgia Loyalist. His correct name, however, has stirred up debate. In Buchanan's book "The Road to Guilford Courthouse" he is referred to as Frances Waters. In Bass's book "Ninety-Six," he is referred to as John Waters.
      Harold O'Kelley's book states very clearly that they were actually the same man: Thomas Waters of Wilkes County.  Waters was appointed quartermaster for the Georgia Provincial Rangers in 1768. The Rangers job was to protect against Indian raids and keep the peace amongst different groups of settlers.
      Thomas Waters first attained the rank of lieutenant and assumed command of a Loyalist militia unit. By August of 1775 Thomas Waters had been promoted to captain and given command of a small fort on the Georgia side of the Savannah just north of Fort Charlotte.
      Fort Dartmouth held a garrison of 25 rangers stationed primarily as a defense from Indian raids. By November 1780, newly-restored Gov. Wright commissioned Thomas Waters as a Colonel, as he had raised a loyalist militia regiment of 255 men in the ceded lands.
      While raiding Patriot settlements, Waters inadvertently led his troops into battle against a much larger force of patriot militia led by Daniel Morgan. The battle took place at a location referred to only as "Hammond's Store."
      This store was located somewhere along the road to Ninety-Six a few miles from Clinton, S.C. When the patriot dragoons drew sabers and charged down a hill toward Waters' men, instead of firing a shot Waters men broke into a panic and ran off in every direction.
      The dragoons proceeded to run the frightened men down and hacked about 150 loyalists. Some 40 more were taken prisoner.
      Very few managed to escape with "Col." Waters to a nearby Tory fort commanded by General Robert Cunningham.
      In 1782, Thomas Brown, the superintendent of Indian Affairs, appointed Waters to be his deputy superintendent.
Waters assembled Cherokee and Creek warriors for a raid against General Elijah Clarke, who had established his home at the seized Waters Plantation.
       Local patriot commanders Andrew Pickens and Elijah Clarke responded by attacking Cherokee villages with far more serious results than had been accomplished by Waters' raids, which convinced the Indians to no longer attack the patriot settlements.
      While in 1783, Thomas Brown recommended that Waters and other deputy Indian agents be compensated for their participation in the war.
      Waters next showed up in London in 1786 requesting the British government compensate him for the loss of his property during the Revolution.
      Finally, in February of 1788, Georgia's House of Representatives ordered the repeal of the banishment from Georgia previously enacted against Waters by the Patriot government.

      Roger Allen is a local lover of history. Allen provides a brief look at Bulloch County's historical past. E-mail Roger at roger dodger53@hotmail.com

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