From: Chapman's History of South Carolina

Chapter XXVIII

Pages 134, 135, 136, 137

John A. Chapman. School History of South Carolina. Richmond VA: Everett Waddey Co., 1897. (full reference courtesy of, and thanks to, H. Imrey.)

GREENE'S RETREAT FROM NINETY-SIX.- When General Greene retreated from Ninety-Six after his unsuccessful assault upon that place in June, 1781, he crossed the Saluda river and passed through the upper part of what is now Newberry county, pursued by Lord Rawdon until he crossed the Enoree. Before his rear guard had left the South side of this river, the van Of Lord Rawdon' s army appeared in pursuit. But his lordship hesitated to make an attack upon General Greene's cavalry, which was commanded by Colonels Lee and Washington. While he paused at this place, Greene moved on toward Broad river, and encamped in the fork of Enoree and Broad rivers.

EMILY GEIGER - About two miles from where Greene had camped with his weary and disheartened troops, stood the residence of a well-to-do farmer named John Geiger, an ardent patriot, but an invalid and unable to bear arms for his country. His daughter Emily was as ardent a patriot as himself. She was about eighteen years of age, and was often heard to murmur because she was not able to take up arms in her father's place. But now a great opportunity presented itself, which she was not slow to seize. Learning from a neighbor that General Greene wanted a courier by whom to send dispatches to General Sumter, who was then on the Wateree, a hundred miles away, she determined to offer herself for the service, as General Greene was unable to find a messenger, the service being considered too dangerous. On the morning of the day in which he proposed to move, while pondering the situation in deep perplexity end anxiety, he was told that a young lady was waiting to speak to him. "Let her come in," he said to the orderly. Emily then entered with the officer, and offered her services to the general to bear his message to General Sumter, as she understood that so far he had been unable to find a messenger. She also stated that she was well acquainted with the route to be traversed, as she had been over it more than once. After some hesitation, her offer was accepted; the general wrote a dispatch to Sumter, which before he handed to her, he was very careful to read it over to her aloud until she had completely memorized it, so that if she should be compelled to destroy it, she could repeat it verbally to Sumter. Mounted upon a strong and fleet horse, she then took her departure. Her aim was to cross the Saluda at Kennerly's ferry, not far above its junction with the Broad, then cross the Congaree at Friday' ferry, just below the junction of the two rivers, than as direct as possible to Sumter, on the Wateree. Nothing of special moment happened to her during the first day's journey.

On the evening of the second day, when more than two thirds of the distance she had to go was safely passed, and after she had crossed the Saluda and was on her way to Firday's ferry, on the Congaree, suddenly three men in the British uniform were in the road in front of her. They arrested her end carried her before Lord Rawdon, whose camp was about a mile distant. His lordship questioned her closely as to where she was from and where she was going. Her answers not being direct but evasive, she did not satisfy his lordship and he ordered her to be locked up in one of the upper rooms of the guard-house. After being locked up, she was fortunately left alone for a short while; and while alone she took the dispatch from her pocket, tore it up into small bits, chewed and swa1lowed them. She had scarcely swallowed the last morsel when a woman appeared, prepared to search her and her clothing. Nothing of a suspicious character having been found upon her, Lord Rawdon was, of course, in honor bound to permit her to pursue her journey unmolested. He gave her an escort to the house of a friend a few miles distant, where she partook of some refreshments, and rested a few hours. But the danger being imminent, and fearful of further delay, with a fresh horse and a guide who could show her a shorter and a safer way than the one which she had intended going, she set out, and, by riding all night, they were at daybreak far from the neighborhood of Lord Rawdon. At sunrise the guide left her to pursue her journey alone. On, on she rode steadily, hot as it was, until about 3 o'clock in the afternoon of the third day, she suddenly came upon a file of soldiers, whom from their dress she knew to be friends. By them she was conducted to General Sumter; and hungry, weary, and almost fainting, as she was, she clearly and succinctly delivered her message to the astonished officer. In an hour General Sumter was ready to march to the place of junction mentioned in General Greene's dispatch. Two weeks passed before Emily got back to her father, who had been informed, soon after her departure, of what she had done. Who can imagine the emotions of love, pride, and happiness that almost stifled him as he pressed her to his heart once more.

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