Tour will examine sites where Cornwallis marched

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By Chris Sardelli

Residents and historians alike will have a chance to explore the history of the Waxhaws at an all-day event Saturday.

The event, “Waxhaws Revealed: A Backcountry Community as Andrew Jackson Knew It; 1750-1785,” will begin with a conference at the University of South Carolina at Lancaster about the people of the Waxhaws.

It will then be followed by a tour of area locations where Lord Charles Cornwallis stopped at as British forces invaded the Carolinas in 1780.

The event is sponsored by Andrew Jackson State Park, the Southern Campaigns of the American Revolution, the Friends of Andrew Jackson State Park and the Friends of the Medford Library.

Laura Ledford, interpretive ranger at Andrew Jackson State Park, said the event has generated plenty of interest from the community.

The purpose of the conference and tour, Ledford said, is to spotlight the historical significance of the region.

“We’re hoping people will learn more about local history and the role this area played in the American Revolution,” Ledford said. “They can also see where people camped 230 years ago and understand why it’s an important place to preserve.”  

Registration for the event begins at 8:30 a.m. Saturday at USCL. The conference will begin at 9:00 a.m., and the tour leaves at 12:30 p.m. The registration fee is $25. Those interested can still sign up on the day of the event.

Ledford said the events will proceed regardless of the weather, so attendees should come prepared for rainy weather.

There are several scheduled speakers for the conference.

Dr. Jim Piecuch will discuss his book “One King, Three Peoples: Loyalists, Indians, and Slaves in the American Revolutionary South, 1775-1782.”  

Dr. Charles Vaughan will discuss migration to the Waxhaws, and Dr. Jim Farmer will examine faith in the Waxhaws.

Southern Campaigns of the American Revolution (SCAR), a group that organizes field trips and events focusing on the history of America’s independence, will host a historical tour in the afternoon.  Charles Baxley, editor and publisher of SCAR’s online publication, will be one of the tour guides.

The tour will make several stops as it follows Cornwallis’ 1780 trek through Lancaster County to North Carolina.

The stops include Cornwallis’ Camp Creek campsite, Old Waxhaws Presbyterian Church to see Gen. William R. Davie’s tomb, the old North Corner Stone, Crawford’s Plantation, the site of the Battle of Walkup’s Plantation in September 1780 and Clem’s Branch.

For details, contact Andrew Jackson State Park at 285-3344.

Contact reporter Chris Sardelli  at csardelli@thelancasternews.com or at (803) 416-8416