Basses Mill, formerly Hulin/Hulon's Mill, is located on Hwy 301
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,
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
killing several of the enemy, with the loss, however, of two of
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,
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
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.
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;
$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
However Gum Swamp runs very near the site of Moses Basses' old
I have nothing showing further disposition of these lands. They
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 Church Dickerson)