From: History of the United States, Quackenbos (New York, Jan. 19, 1857)

Chapt. XVIII, Pages 290, 291

Soon after leaving Ninety-Six, it became important for Greene to communicate with Sumter, but, as the surrounding country was filled with British and Tories, no one offered to undertake the dangerous mission. In the emergency, a girl of eighteen years, named Emily Geiger (gi 'ger), volunteered to make the attempt, and received from Greene a letter and verbal message which he wished conveyed. Mounting a swift horse, Emily performed part of the distance in safety, but was finally stopped by two Tories, who suspected that she might be engaged on some secret service. Left alone for a moment, the heroic girl embraced the opportunity to swallow Gen. Greene's letter; and nothing suspicious being found upon her, she was allowed to proceed. Sumter' s camp was reached. The message was delivered, and with such effect that Greene's army was soon strong enough to assume the offensive. Rawdon was obliged to retreat, and Greene sought amid the hills on the Santee to restore the health and energies of his men.

Copied from Quackenbos' History of the United States by Sara Texas (Geiger) Geiger January 12, 1965

Book, property of Mrs. Annie Wolfe Roof

Copy for

Mrs. Annie Wolfe Roof (daughter of Frederica A. Geiger and J. Archibald Wolfe.

Sara Anne Geiger (daughter of Sarah Texas Geiger and William Muller Geiger

William Henry Geiger (son of Sara Texas Geiger and William Muller Geiger)

Alexander Milburn Geiger (son of Lellan Caughman and Alexander Geiger)

Emily Geiger

The service done by Emily Geiger for South Carolina was all the more remarkable because she was a very young woman - only eighteen years old. Her father was a German farmer, living in Lexington county. He was devoted to the American cause, but was too old for active service.

General Greene, on his retreat from Ninety Six, in June, 1781, learned that the British commander, Lord Rawdon, was in pursuit. Sumter and Marion had planned to join Greene, and it was important to let them know of this unexpected movement of the British. A messenger would have to pass through the British lines in order to reach Sumter's camp, and would run great risk of being captured.

Emily Geiger heard of Greene's need of a safe and speedy messenger. She went herself to Gen. Greene, and offered to carry the dispatch. Greene was delighted to accept her heroic offer; at the same time he knew the danger of her being taken prisoner. He read to her the letter he wished her to carry. If she should be arrested, she could destroy the dispatch; and yet, if she managed to get through the enemy's lines, she could give Sumter the information.

It was a long and lonely ride which Emily undertook, but she did not falter. Her horse was strong, end she went on without hindrance until she had crossed the Congaree river. On the edge of a dried-up swamp, she met a small party of British. The scouts suspected the young girl riding alone on the dismal road. Emily boldly challenged them to bring a woman to search her. The men took her to a deserted cabin near by, fastened her in, left a guard, and went for some one to search her. As soon as she was alone, the girl read the letter carefully, then tore it into small pieces, chewed the pieces, and swallowed them.

Soon a woman came to search her, but of course she found nothing, and Emily was released. She at once set off again.

Late in the afternoon, of the same day, Emily was again arrested, this time by some Tories. She was taken to a farmhouse and confined in a room by herself. About twelve o'clock: at night, the moon rose bright. All in the house except Emily were sound asleep. She contrived to open her window, and to get out of the house. She found a bridle, and in the lot, she got her own horse. Without the saddle, she mounted him, and succeeded in finding her way to the house of a patriot friend. It was scarcely day when she arrived. A hurried breakfast was prepared, a fresh horse was saddled for her, and a guide was given her to show her a shorter and safer way.

After the guide had given her accurate directions, he left her alone. She urged her tired horse on. In the afternoon, she came up with some soldiers whom she knew to be Sumter's men. "Take me to General Sumter!?, she said eagerly; "1 have a message for him from General Greene." She was so tired that she could hardly speak, yet she repeated to Sumter, almost word for word, the contents of the letter.

In an hour, the patriot officer and his band were on the march to

the point to which Gen. Greene had directed him to come. At the same time a courier was sent to Marion to explain the change in plans of the Americans. It is said that Lafayette, when he revisited the United States met Emily at a ball in Charleston, and danced with her.

** Written by Mrs. Allie Carson Cooper, Eutaw Chapter, D.A.R., Orangeburg, S. C. 1933

Copied by Lillian M. Cain, from a copy loaned by the Lending Bureau, of the National Society, D.A.R., Washington, D. C.

Copy for Mrs. Annie Wolfe Roof

Mrs. Gladys Geiger Long

Miss Anna Geiger

Copied from Mrs. Annie Wolfe Roof's copy by Sara Texas Geiger-Geiger. January 9, 1965

Copies for:

Sara Anne Geiger (Daughter of Sara Texas Geiger & William Muller Geiger)

William Henry Geiger (Son of Sara Texas (Geiger) Geiger & William Muller Geiger

Alex Milburn Geiger (Son of Lellan Caughman & Alexander Geiger)

Mrs. Annie Wolfe Roof (Daughter of Frederica Geiger &. J. Archibald Wolfe)

Return to Emily Geiger Outline
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Return to SC Revolutionary War Outline Page

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