Diary of Orrin Brown—Feb 28, 1865

Leader, Mt.Dearborn MapDiary of Orrin Brown, just east of Rocky Mount, Lancaster County, South Carolina

Tuesday–Feb. 28th

It rained nearly all night and is still raining this AM. We mustered for pay at 10 AM and at the same time received orders to be ready to march at 11 AM, we marched about 3 miles and went into camp after making a road the most of the way. It did not rain any this PM but it is still cloudy and damp. We drew one days rations of Hardtack, Sugar, and Coffee. I read 7 Chapts. in the Testament today.

Today much of the site of Rocky Mount sits under a hydroelectric reservoir at Great Falls, SC, but the Catawba Falls here had been a military site back to Revolutionary times.  The British maintained an outpost there, which drew an attack by Continental Brig. Gen. Thomas Sumter on 1 August 1780, after the devastating Battle of Waxhaws nearby in May of that year.  The Mount Dearborn federal armory or arsenal opened here in 1802 to compliment the established military facilities at Springfield, Massachusetts, along with facilities at Harper’s Ferry, Virginia.  Tragically, the site was soon abandoned, during a flu epidemic.  The buildings were fortified and garrisoned by the South Carolina militia during the War of 1812, abandoned in 1817 and returned to the State in 1829.  Sherman’s troops took down what buildings remained while camped here.

(map by J. Leader, published by Archaeological Society of South Carolina)



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