Is that Service Right?
South Carolina

There were many factional disputes in the colony of South Carolina at the beginning of the Revolutionary War. There were dedicated loyalists living on the up country frontier as well as Scots and Germans who had enough fighting in Europe. The low country rebels could not support the Revolution alone and needed to involve the frontiersmen.

In June 1775, the Provincial Assembly authorized the raising of troops and the creation of a Committee of Safety. In this way both factions of the colony served together in military units at the direction of the Committee. The Reduction of Charleston, 12 May 1780, placed South Carolina under British martial law. Until the General Assembly reconvened 2 January 1782, few records were kept.

While Revolutionary service for South Carolina residents is found under the usual heading of Military, Civil and Patriotic, there are some unusual sources to consult for proof.

South Carolina military service took place in the Continental establishment, in state troops, with Militia companies and in the navy. All Continental proof may be found in the National Archives including compiled military records and pension applications. Not many militia records are in this repository. The South Carolina Archives is the source for all other service with some collections of the South Carolinan Library yielding militia muster rolls. Pensions granted by the state may be found in the State Archives. Records of the Commissioners of the Navy are in the State Archives.

The best source of service proof for South Carolina is in the Audited Accounts (A.A.). This is an alphabetical list of everyone who drew an annuity from the state for participation in the Revolution. Soldiers, sailors, survivors and patriots all appear in these records. When a claim was made between 20 August 1783 and 31 August 1786, it was audited and an account was established as an 'Audited Account.' The Audited Account was approved or disapproved by the Auditor General. The A.A., with the claim and the supporting documentation, were given to a legislative committee for final approval. A 'Return' was then created and given a number. After approval by the legislativeCommittee, an 'Indent' was completed for payment of the claim. Notations on the Indent Stub showed the payment amount, to whom payable and for what service the claim was filed (Stub Entries). When the 'Indent' was paid, it was placed once again in the file and retained by the Archives. These Indents were negotiable and often were sold. Some of the recorded Indents have not been proven as payment for Revolutionary service. More than one person’s claim may be found in a specific Audited Account.

Besides annuities, South Carolina made Bounty Grants. A Continental soldier could receive 100 acres from the Federal Government and 100 acres from the state. All land was located in South Carolina. Survivors were also entitled to this benefit and the records are in the State Archives.

Certificates or Oaths of Allegiance were not required to receive land grants. The Land Grant office was closed during the Revolutionary War and did not reopen until 1784.

 References pertaining to the support given by the Catawba Tribe of Native Americans toward the American Revolution may be found in the Draper Collection. The Draper Collection is also a valuable tool to document up country Revolutionary War service.

Civil service is often proven by examining the printed sources of books of the State Records of South Carolina for the appropriate years. Another valuable source of civil service documentation may be found in printed lists of jurors.


Hendrix, Ge Lee Corley and Lindsay, Morn McKoy, comp. The Jury Lists of South
     Carolina 1778-1779
. Greenville, SC: Morn M. Lindsay and Mrs. Ge Lee
     Corely Hendrix, 1975.
Moss, Bobby Gilmer. Roster of South Carolina Patriots. Baltimore, MD:
     Genealogical Publishing Co., 1983.
Salley, A.S., Jr. and Wates, W.A. Stub Entries of Indents Issued in Payment of 
     Claims Against South Carolina Growing Out of the Revolution, 12 vols
     Columbia, SC: South Carolina Department of Archives and History, 1810-
Schmidt, Elisabeth W., comp. Minority Military Service South Carolina 1775-
. Washington, D.C.: National Society Daughters of the American
South Carolina Archives. Accounts Audited Growing Out of the Revolution in
     South Carolina
. 164 rolls.
South Carolina Yearbook 1897. Charleston, SC, 1897.
State Historical Society of Wisconsin. Calendar of the Thomas Sumpter Papers
     of the Draper Collection of Manuscripts
. Utica, KY: McDowell Publications,
Warren, Mary B. South Carolina jury lists 1718 through 1783. Danielsville, GA,
Wells, Lawrence K., ed. 'South Carolina Magazine of Ancestral Research, vols. I
     and IV.' Kingtree, SC, 1973, 1976.

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