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Mornin', y'all.


Basses Mill, formerly Hulin/Hulon's Mill, is located on Hwy 301 in Dillon
County, just a little below town of Latta as stated, right where 301 crosses Catfish. It is discernible as you drive along the highway, mostly because of the dense growth of kudzu that now completely covers the whole site. You can see a rather large cemetery on a hill beyond it, I presume this is the Hulon Cemetery that was earlier copied by someone and posted to this list, but I'm not sure about that. The road that leaves Hwy 301 at this point and runs beside the old millsite is now named Basses Mill Road. It can be found on detailed highway maps as State Road #524.

There was another Basses Mill in old Marion County, and the other Basses Mill was also the site of a later (1781) Rev War skirmish. The mill near Latta would not have been known as Basses Mill during the Rev War. Joseph Bass, who owned the land around Bass' Mill on Catfish, is said by Bass family researchers to have been related to the Moses Bass who had the earlier Bass' Mill over near Great Pee Dee River.

As described by Bishop Gregg in his "History of the Old Cheraws, the older Basses Mill belonged to Moses Bass. It was situated a little southwest of the one near Latta, in a triangle formed by Hwy 301, Gum Swamp/Marsh Creek, and the Great Pee Dee River, back close to the old Sandy Bluff settlement on Great Pee Dee, and probably part of that settlement, or at least served it. I have a friend who has been to the old millsite, and found it much as Gregg described it, easily identified by the circular waterways, including the man-made ditch, and the causeway. He tells me there is a ruin of an old cemetery nearby, with
absolutely no stones remaining, if there ever were any.

According to Gregg:

In August of this year (1781 -jcd), Colonel Murphy was stationed, with a
small force, near the mouth of Black Creek. He sent word to old Moses Bass,who kept a noted public-house at the mill on Naked Creek, across the river and about four miles distant, that he would be there with his men on a certain day, and to have a good dinner, with plenty of cider, in readiness. By some means, the Tories in the neighborhood were informed of the expected visit, and made preparations for attacking Murphy at Bass's. The house stood on a small island, made by a sudden bend of the creek, forming almost a circle, and a canal cut across the neck of land leading out to the main road near by.

On the appointed day, Murphy and his party went over, suspecting no danger. While at dinner, they were suddenly surprised by the enemy's approach. Two men came rapidly up on horseback, and were in the act of crossing the creek by a causeway when first discovered. They were followed by the main body, under Major Barfield.

Some of the Whigs, who happened to be on the piazza, were fired upon, and for a moment all was confusion. By this time, the Tories had approached within fighting distance, and the conflict began.

The Whigs having the benefit of a cover, soon gained a decided advantage,
killing several of the enemy, with the loss, however, of two of their own
number, Harper and Mixon. Giving way under the effective fire from the house,the Tories were in the act of retreating, when one of Murphy's men, named Daniel, who had a stentorian voice, cried out, "Good Heavens! what shall we do? the powder is out." Upon hearing this, the Tories returned to the fight;and the Whigs, no longer able to keep up an equal fire, were forced to escape in every direction across the creek, to the cover of the thick timber beyond.It ran but a short distance in the rear of the dwelling. Reaching it by a few bounds, they tunbled down the steep bank, and got off without further loss.

"One of their number, a man named Thompson, from the Poke Swamp settlement, on the west side of the river, as he jumped the fence near the creek, found a large and powerful mulatto, Shoemake by name, pressing closely upon him, with his rifle aimed and in the act of firing. Happily for Thompson, the rifle missed fire, and before it could be adjusted, he made his escape. Twenty years after, Thompson heard of Shoewmake's going to Camden, caught him on his return, and inflicted severe punishment. Peter Boseman, a valiant soldier of Liberty, who afterwards settled and died in Darlington District, was one of Murphy's party.

"Malachi Murphy was another, and received a wound in the shoulder as he
reached the creek, which disabled him for the time. He fell down the bank, and crawling under a large log, remained there undiscovered, though the Tories several times passed near him. Daniel, whose unfortunate exclamation led to the disaster, was a man of powerful frame, and carried Murphy on his shoulders to Black Creek, making some amends thereby for his untimely blunder.

"Thus ended their day's frolic for the Whigs, teaching them the lesson which so many have learned too late, that vigilance is the price of liberty."

This earlier Basses Mill near Great Pee Dee has been completely forgotten by locals. In fact, little trace of it exists, and was so far back in what is now the boonies that hardly anyone ever passes that way. So whenever someone mentions Basses' Mill, people now immediately think of the one on Hwy 301, as they have no knowledge of the earlier one on Naked Creek. (Naked Creek, by the way, is not to be found on any map of the area that I have ever seen. The name of the creek has perished along with the memory of Moses Bass' Mill and public-house. I believe it is the one referred to in later deeds as Basses Creek, which is likewise not to be found on any known map.)

Moses Basses will dated 1785 is recorded in Charleston Deedbook (yes deedbook) S-5, pages 283-284. There is a transcription of the will in Brent Holcomb's "South Carolina Deed Abstracts 1783-1788" available from Brent at:(I figure if I plug him he won't mind if I quote a sentence or two.)

Interestingly, Moses Bass' will was witnessed by a Malachi Murphy. Moses had no children, and he left, among other things, 100 acres granted to John Smith. Also, " to my beloved cousin Wright Bass, the plantation, mill, and tract of land containing 444 acres of land that I now live on..." Moses' wife Elizabeth to have use of the same during her lifetime.

There are records at Marion Co Courthouse that pertain to further disposition of these lands. The following information (except where noted) is found in Lucille Utley's "Marion County South Carolina Abstracts of Deeds" pub by Alita Sutcliffe:
(Ordering information can be found on Marion County Genweb site.)

In 1802 Robert Bass sold to Patrick Donnally 260 acres on Basses Mill Creek,part of a grant to La Roache sold to William Peak to James Owens to Moses Bass & from Moses Bass will to Right Bass Sr & by his will to Robert Bass. (Marion Deedbook I/224 - Utley's Abstracts)

A plat recorded with the above deed shows land laid out for Robert Bass on Basses Mill Creek, on east side of Great Pee Dee river, being part of Hickory Grove tract.

Other deeds show some of the same land being devised by Wright Bass Sr to
Wright Bass Jr. Deeds in early 1800's also show a Keightly Barfield purchasing or inheriting lands in this area on Gum Swamp that had previously belonged to William Owens. Keightly Barfield's relationship to Captain Jesse Barfield remains unknown. Levi and John Gibson also came into possession of some of these lands. (Levi lost same due to debts, and it was sold at sheriff's sale by Sheriff Enos Tart to John Gibson.) (See Utley's Deed Abstracts)

From "Marion County Probate Records" vol II, abstracted by Lucille Utley and pub by Three Rivers Historical Society:
(Ordering information can be obtained from John Gregg,
<Jogregg@aol.com> )

Roll #813 & 813-A, shows Charles Windham of Marion District and his son
Neighbor C. Windham both died intestate circa or before 1840-1850. Heirs of Charles were his wife Rutha Windham, four eldest children John, Elizabeth, Leahmora, and Benjamin. Youngest son Neighbour C. Windham.

Neighbor C. Windham's probate roll shows that he resided in Turnbull, Alabama.That land he inherited from his father was ordered to be sold, that the land was about 1000 acres in Marion District SC, adjoining lands of B.K. Henagan,P. Harllee and Old Mill Creek and west by Great Pee Dee River.

And finally:

BAGGETT to COCKFIELDS (Title line in deedbook)
John Baggett and his wife Leah/Lenorh Baggett of Williamsburg District SC to Margaret/Martha Elizabeth Barfield of Sumter District SC in text. No Cockfield is mentioned in text of deed. Some sort of copy clerk's error, one would suppose.
Marion County SC;
Deedbook T/204;
Oct 1845;
$100 for 250 acres;
Baggetts of Williamsburg Dist SC, Barfield of Sumter Dist SC; ...1/4 part of all that T in Marion Dist called the Basses Mill tract...containing in the whole tract 1000A...on NE side PeeDee River...bounded by J.G. Crawfords lands...Gum Swamp...an old ditch leading from sd swamp to Basses Creek...being 1 full portion of the sd T of 1000A as coming to us by the death of Charles Windham unto the sd Martha Elizabeth Barfield (Martha used twice in text, also Margaret) signed: John Baggett, Lenorh X Baggett (her mark); wit: Joseph Richbourt, Benjamin Windham; proved in Williamsburg Dist by Benjamin Windham;recorded 1845. (Abstracted by jcd from Marion County Deedbook.)

Notice that these waterways are not on Catfish, nor is Catfish mentioned.
However Gum Swamp runs very near the site of Moses Basses' old mill.

I have nothing showing further disposition of these lands. They are not
recorded in Marion Deedbooks as being sold by a Barfield or Cockfield.

Re Moody's Mill, formerly Tart's Mill:
The will of John Smith, dated, I believe, 1799 or thereabouts, also previously posted in its entirety to this list, shows this was John Smith's millsite, and that he devised it to one of his daughters who was wife of Enos Tart. Smith stated (either in the will or in a deed) that he had purchased the land from Nathan Evans, so one would assume before it was Smith's Mill it was Evans' Mill. This millsite is also on Catfish, or at least on a little tributary near Catfish.

This millsite is located on Hwy 501 between Marion and Latta, just a little south of where Hwy #38 crosses 501. The Smith/Tart/Moody Cemetery is near the millsite, and there is a historical marker alongside the highway for the cemetery.

Just a few hundred yards down the highway is the broad field called Bowling Green, which was also the site of a Rev War skirmish. This site also has a historical marker beside the road. Deeds in the Marion Courthouse show that this site was also owned by the same John Smith, and in fact was where he resided. John Smith's will also mentions that Joseph Jones resides on some of Smith's land on Catfish. Unknown if this is the same Joseph Jones who is said to have led the tory party to Colonel Kolb's. But since tory Joseph Jones is said to have resided on Catfish, and gathered the raiding party at Tart's Mill on Catfish, and since Sellers says he didn't move to Colleton County SC until 1802, it seems likely it is the same Joseph Jones.


It's hard now to pass it and imagine the tories camped there cooking their breakfast, and the rebels easily catching them by surprise and overcoming them almost without bloodshed. It's also hard to understand why the tories were so leisurely camping on the land of John Smith, who is stated by researchers to have fought with the rebels. Perhaps that was prior to the time that Smith purchased the land from Evans? Though either Gregg or Sellers states that it was known as Tart's Mill during the Revolutionary War. Perhaps his son-in-law Enos Tart operated the mill on John Smith's land, thus it was known even then as Tart's Mill?

There is also yet another Tart's Mill shown on Mills Atlas (1825) of Marion District. It is shown as being located on the west side of Catfish and west of Hwy 301, not too far, just a little northwest, of the Basses Mill near Latta.I Have absolutely no information on this millsite.

Also of interest, is a record regarding Tory Major Micajah Ganey/Gainey, who was leader of the Loyalist militia unit of which Jesse Barfield was Captain. Marion County deeds show that Micajah Ganey had a land grant on Catfish bounded by John Smith and Nathan Evans. Micajah Ganey also had 100 acres on Buck Swamp, bounding some of the Barfields and Moodys...

Oh, well, always more questions than answers...

Regards to all.

Jo

(Jo Church Dickerson)