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Reviewing bits and pieces
SC Marker Treutlen
Above is a marker near Metts Cross Road in South Carolina where John Adam Treutlen was said to have been murdered. - photo by Photo provided

The article about John Adam Treutlen a few weeks ago addressed the mystery surrounding his death. Norman Turner shared his photographs of this small granite marker with a bronze plaque located near Orangeburg, S.C.

Terry W. Lipscomb in Names of South Carolina, XXX, "South Carolina Revolutionary Battles Part Ten" published by the English Department of the University of South Carolina, Winter, 1983, p. 11 documented the following information:

"One of the most intriguing little known actions of the Revolution occurred across the forks of Edisto in Old Orangeburg District or more specifically modern Calhoun County. It was here in March of 1782 that a battle was fought in which John Adam Treutlen, the first state governor of Georgia was killed by the Tories".

According to the account an independent company commanded by Capt. James Swinney from Gen. Robert Cunningham’s Loyalist brigade took the action near the present Metts Crossroads, three miles north of Cameron at the current intersection of Highway 176 and state secondary road 45.

Governor Treutlen had fled the British-occupied Georgia to the Orangeburg area where his first wife, the former Marguerite Dupius, came from. They had eight children. The Treutlen family fled and lived among their relatives in South Carolina and John also became active there politically. Although Swinney recorded in his pay abstract, written two months after the event, that he was engaged in battle there, Treutlen’s kinsmen maintain Treutlen was lured from the house in a ruse and brutally murdered by the British soldiers.

The event is still shrouded in mystery but seems to have garnered Swinney and his men "villain status" in local folklore. A speaker at the dedication of the marker at Metts Crossroads proclaimed this to be in the gory annals of criminal warfare in world history, likening it to that of Duncan the king of Scotland.

It is fair to say John Adam Treutlen was a man with many enemies and likely somehow was lured from his home under some false pretenses. This marker for Treutlen makes no mention of his burial, and all accounts are still veiled in uncertainty with many stories surfacing over the years as to where his remains were interred.

This was written by Susan Exley of Historic Effingham Society. If you have photos, comments or information to share, contact Susan Exley at 754-6681 or email her at: