Our Georgia History
 

Andrew Pickens
September 19, 1739 Andrew Pickens born, Paxton, Pennsylvania
  Andrew Pickens
February 14, 1779 Battle of Kettle Creek - American forces under the command of Andrew Pickens, Elijah Clarke and John Dooley defeat a larger number of British forces in rural Georgia. For more information see: Georgia Fights Back The Battle of Kettle Creek or visit the battlefield at: Kettle Creek battlefield
  Andrew Pickens
  Georgia and the American Revolution
  Wilkes County, Georgia
May 12, 1780 Benjamin Lincoln surrenders his command, Charleston, SC
  Andrew Pickens
  Benjamin Lincoln
  Thomas Sumter
  Lachlan McIntosh
January 17, 1781 Battle of Cowpens (South Carolina)
  Andrew Pickens
  Georgia and the American Revolution
June 5, 1781 Augusta falls, having been under siege since April, 1781, by Elijah Clarke, Andrew Pickens, and Col. "Light Horse" Henry Lee.
  Andrew Pickens
  City of Augusta, Georgia
  Georgia and the American Revolution
September 17, 1782 Colonel Elijah Clarke meets General Andrew Pickens at Long Creek to begin a westward sweep of Cherokee settlements for Tories. Their combined force totals some 400 men
  Elijah Clarke
  Andrew Pickens
October 17, 1782 General Andrew Pickens promises to leave the Indian settlements alone if the Cherokee will bring him the Tories for which he, Elijah Clarke and some 400 men are searching
  Andrew Pickens
October 22, 1782 Cherokee Indians give the Tories to Andrew Pickens and Elijah Clarke. Clarke and Pickens then force the Cherokee to cede much of northeast Georgia to the whites in the Treaty of the Long Swamp
  Andrew Pickens
August 17, 1817 Andrew Pickens dies, Tomassee, South Carolina
  Andrew Pickens
December 5, 1853 Pickens County created
  Creation of Georgia Counties
  Andrew Pickens
  Pickens County, Georgia


It was a dramatic scene in The Patriot when Mel Gibson said "All I ask of you is to give me two shots before we withdraw." This was an introduction for many Americans to the heroism of Andrew Pickens, for in this part of the movie Gibson is dramatically recreating the battle of Cowpens. Pickens convinced his commanding officer, Daniel Morgan, to stand and fight British Regulars under the ruthless Banastre Tarleton. In a pivotal battle in the brief history of America, Andrew Picken's militia stood and fired two shots, then retreated. Tarleton advanced into the waiting arms of Continental Regulars, who dealt a devastating blow to the English army under Major General Charles (Lord) Cornwallis. This led to the British retreat to Yorktown and ultimately the surrender of Cornwallis, all thanks to the tenacity of a farmer who had enough of the British tyranny.

Andrew Pickens was born in Bucks County, Pennsylvania (northeast of Philadelphia), in the town of Paxton. From here his family drifted south, living in the Shenandoah Valley and later in North Carolina. When they reached the Abbeville District in South Carolina young Andrew found a wife and built a home in this majority Scottish-Irish community.

He was both a farmer and Indian trader, and was a success at both. Because the Scottish and Irish hated the English, this area of South Carolina was strongly pro-Patriot, although Captain Pickens and a group of South Carolina militia under Andrew Williamson fought a battle against area Loyalists in 1775. After this, Pickens engaged the Cherokee, destroying towns in present-day South Carolina, Georgia and North Carolina. Among the towns in Georgia were Brasstown, Tugaloo and Estatoe. During this expedition Pickens was promoted to major.

When war finally reached the area in 1779, Pickens led a group of South Carolina militia, along with Georgia militia led by Col. Elijah Clark and Col John Dooly, against a British-led loyalist militia at Kettle Creek. In spite of being outnumbered two to one and attacking an entrenched position at the top of hill, Pickens routed the encampment. Dooly and Clark completed the rout by attacking the retreating enemy.

With the surrender of Charleston, Pickens worked out a deal with the British where he and his men would return to their farms. The looting of his farm and the burning of his home voided his agreement with the British not to fight, so Pickens re-activated his men and moved to join Elijah Clarke, already engaged with the British at Augusta. After the fall of the besieged city in on June 5, 1781, Pickens turned his attention to Cherokee raiders in northwest South Carolina. Although normally addressed as General Pickens by writers, he would not attain this title until after the Revolution.





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