Matthew McCreary of South Carolina, a reluctant loyalist

Matthew McCreary/McCrary, son of the Patriot Thomas McCreary, is mentioned on pages 394 and 398 of The Legacy of Father James H. Saye 1808-1892 · A Presbyterian Divine · A Collection of His Historical and Genealogical Treasures of South Carolina, North Carolina, and Georgia by Robert J. Stevens, Sr.

Chapter Seventeen, “The Interviews: The Major Thomas Young Narrative Taken by Father Saye – Revolutionary Reminiscences Related by Major Thomas Young of Union District, S. C., March 27, 1843,” pp. 393-399.

The following relates to Matthew McCreary’s presence at the Battle of Kings Mountain and is taken entirely from page 394 and Note 6 on page 398.

Matthew McCreary’s Patriot father, Thomas, was imprisoned on Edisto Island near Charleston, S.C. Fearful that Matthew would be hung if captured, his mother (Leticia Brandon McCreary) convinced him to join Col. Patrick Ferguson’s troops.

Major Thomas Young and his men were on the slopes of King’s Mountain, pushing toward the Tories when he encountered Matthew McCreary, his cousin, as they reached the top of the hill. Major Young told him to get a gun and fight. Matthew replied that he could not. Young freed himself from Matthew’s grip and moved on.

A detailed account of days prior to and after King’s Mountain are provided by Major Young in a lengthy interview covering his experiences during the Revolutionary War. At the time of the interview (1843), Major Young stated that the family of Thomas McCreary had lived in what was then Laurens County, South Carolina.

Thomas McCreary’s will of 9 January 1790 is mentioned on page 398 and names his wife and children. The list does not include my ancestor, Andrew McCreary; however, the actual will does name him.1

 1. Ancestry.com, “Thomas McCrary in the South Carolina Wills and Probate Records, 1670-1980,” Laurens County, South Carolina, Index and Will, Vol. 1, Books A, C1, D1, 1766-1825. Accessed 28 March 2016.