Sons of the American Revolution to mark graves at Padgett’s Creek Baptist Church

Mark C. Anthony For The Union Daily Times

September 11, 2013

SPARTANBURG — The Daniel Morgan Chapter of the South Carolina Society, Sons of the American Revolution (SAR) has scheduled a grave marking at Padgett’s Creek Baptist Church in Union. The ceremony will be conducted on Sunday, Sept. 15, 2011 at 12 p.m.

Buried in the cemetery are early members of the church including John Alexander, a lieutenant in the Spartan Regiment who fought at the Battle of Cowpens and later served with General Francis Marion; Solomon Bobo Sr., who served under Generals Andrew Pickens and Nathanael Greene; Mark Murphy, who fought at Musgrove’s Mill (Clinton), Kings Mountain, Blackstock (Union) and Cowpens; Ambrose Ray, a member of the Georgia Militia under Colonel Elijah Clarke; and John Sparks, who fought at the same battles as Mark Murphy.

Mark C. Anthony, Secretary of the SC Society Sons of the American Revolution and National Historic Sites and Celebration Committee chairman, said the marking of the graves is part of a larger effort to commemorate the people and places of the American Revolution.

“One our goals and objectives are to perpetuate the memory of the men and women who contributed to the cause of American independence,” Anthony said. “This is a very visible symbol when we draw attention to their final resting places and their lives.

“The National President General has made it a focus this year to mark graves, erect monuments, and place markers at gravesites and historically significant places,” he said. “His rationale is that we should be the Johnny Appleseed of the American Revolution.”

Anthony said that the graves that will be marked Sunday will bring to 14 the number of graves of American patriots the organization has marked in Union County over the past two years. The large number of patriot graves is due to the enormous amount of fighting that was done in South Carolina during the American Revolution.

“In South Carolina, there are more documented engagements ranging from murders to full-scale battles than in the other 12 colonies combined,” Anthony said. “It is physically impossible to be more than 12 miles from any Revolutionary site in South Carolina.”

Anthony added that his ancestors were among the patriots who fought at the Battle of Blackstock in Union County in 1780.

Padgett’s Creek Baptist Church was founded in 1784 as “the Church of Christ on Tyger River” and renamed in 1800. The original location was approximately 1 mile south of the current church building which was constructed in 1844 and remodeled most recently in 1958. The church was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1971. Among the significant characteristics of the church is the extant Slave Gallery which still exists where African-American members worshipped in conjunction with the white members of the church.

Members of the SAR will present colors in Continental Uniform and Militia garb. A brief reading of the service of each patriot and a wreath laying by members of the SAR, the DAR, and descendants of the patriots will follow the regular Sunday Worship Service.

Members of the public are invited to attend this free event.

The Sons of the American Revolution is a leading patriotic organization founded in 1889 to promote foundational history of the United States, education, patriotism and genealogy. Members are male descendants of participants in the American Revolution. The South Carolina Society was founded on April 18, 1889 and was one of the founding members of the National Society founded on April 30, 1889 at Fraunces Tavern in New York City.

The South Carolina Society consists of approximately 800 members in 17 chapters. Activities include a variety of programs to promote the patriotic, educational and historical interest in the American Revolution. The SAR sponsors Essay Contests for both High School students and Eagle Scouts, medal presentations to College and High School ROTC students, Poster Contests for Elementary School students, American Revolution presentations to Elementary and Middle School students, presentation of medals to Public Safety officials, Revolutionary War Grave Dedications, Volunteer work with Veterans, presentation of Flag Certificates to deserving organizations and schools, and participation in historic battle sites observances and others.

In July 2014, the South Carolina Society will be hosting the Annual National Congress of the SAR in Greenville. This annual meeting is expected to draw approximately 600 compatriots and guests from across the United States and Europe.

Men who are interested in documenting their relationship to their American Revolutionary ancestors and in joining an active group with similar interest, are encouraged to contact the South Carolina Society at its web site http://www.scssar.org/membership.htm.