Susan F. Craft
Historical Fiction Author
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Terrain Marion and His Men Fought In

The scenery was really grand, for below were the green canes waving like billows in the wind, while upon either side of the avenue cut for the road, towered mighty cypresses and gum-trees, almost every branch draped with long moss. Clustered around their stately trunks were the holly, water-oak, laurel, and gall-bush, with their varied tints of green; and among these, flitting in silence, were seen the gray mocking-bird and the brilliant scarlet tanniger. Here, I was told opossums and wild cats abound, and upon the large dry tracts of the swamp wild deers are often seen.

Maps of this county show numerous swamps and bays. James in his Life of Marion gives this note on White's Bay, page 65: "Island swamps in the lower and middle country are called Bays, from their natural growth, which is the bay tree, a name sufficiently appropriate." On Cook's Map of the Province of South Carolina, July 7, 1773, only Great Bay appears. On the improved Mills' Atlas 1825, eleven or more oval shaped shaded areas are shown unnamed except for Oak Ridge Bay and Plunt Bay. This map does not name two large bays, Finley and Rutledge, so called for two adventurous young men who attempted the first settlement in this area. Failing in their culture of rice, they returned to Charleston whence they came.23 Many bays and swamps took the name of surrounding trees, namely Cedar Creek, Birch Creek, Poplar Hill Creek, Oak Ridge Bay, Walnut Branch, Rice Field Bay, White Oak Swamp and Bay, Tupelo Bay. Others were named for game: Turkey Creek, Alligator Bay.

About 1750 a trail was blazed from Kingstree to Camden over Broad, Clapps, and Pudding Swamps.~4 Broad Swamp's name was derived from its size; Clapp's (McGill spells this Klapp) for Gibson Clapp, land owner here in early days; and Pudding Swamp, according to tradition, for the blood and liver puddings made here at "hog-killing" time. The recipes for these puddings have been handed down to the present generation.

Boggy Swamp between Workman and Mouzon off Black River, crossed by S. C. Highways 527 and secondary road 287, and another Boggy Swamp off Mingo Creek, crossed by Highways S. C. 261, 39, and 85, between Stuckey and Cades are both well known. These swamps reputedly contain quicksand where a man can disappear without warning.23

Paisley Swamp branches off Black Mingo Creek and is crossed by S. C. Highways 261 and 512. It is named for a family of Paisleys no longer inhabitants of this county,

Headless Swamp is near Nesmith. This name conjures visions of Ichabod Crane and the headless horseman, Alas~ no reason was found for this name except that its head water was impossible to locate.

Laws Swamp is north of Salters, According to John Law, late of Spartanburg and descendant of the first Law immigrant, this swamp was named for his ancestor.

Wee Tee Lake and Wee Nee (Black) River are named for two of three tribes (Mingoes, the third) ~)f Indians who frequented this area. They supposedly belonged to the five great nations along the Great Lakes. At Wee Tee Bay in the vicinity of LeNud's Ferry are many Indian mounds. Boddie says. "In 1875, when a boy, B. E, Clarkson found a baby's skeleton enmeshed in beads, contained within two pieces of Indian pottery."26

Worthy of mention are two early ferries, Lenud's Ferry was named for the Lenuds, who were among the first settlers here and who operated boats from Ferry Lake. Lenud is an Anglicized version of the French LeNud. This place was the entry for most of the early settlers of Williamsburg County. Cornwailis appeared here in 1780 with 2500 professional soldiers to subjugate the people. A small group of volunteers resisted him but were repulsed after losing about forty men.27 "Murrays Ferry on Santee River was chartered by an Act of the General Assembly begin- ning March 8, 1741, with title vested successively in Joseph Murray, Theodore Gaillard, Adam McDonaid, Theodore Gourdin, and William Staggers."28 It was located at a point where Murray's Ferry Highway, now U. S. 52, projected in a straight line to Santee River and then across the river to Charleston, being the main highway from the eastern upper part of the state to Charleston. When the bridge was built across Santee River, the road swung east about a mile from Santee Swamp. Abandoned in 1863 when the Northeastern Railroad was built, the ferry had existed for one hundred twenty-two years and was used constantly by wagons laden with commodities bound for Charleston. At one time on a hill just before entering the swamp and at the point where the road crossed Santee Road, there was a tavern, a race track, and other buildings. When the water in Santee River was high, travelers would sometimes have to camp a week or more before they could get across. The swamp here was about five miles wide and even in the best of times, travelers had to camp for days because the ferry was slow and the traffic jammed.29

Other streams, swamps, bridges and roads were the scenes of action in the War of the Revolution. Snow's Lake and Snow's Island, most famous as Francis Marion's hideouts, were named for James Snow, Englishman, who settled here in 1730. The island lies where Lynch's Creek and the Peedee River flow together. The Peedee River flows on its eastern side. On the west is Clark's Creek; on the north is Lynch's

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