Five patriots commemorated for their service

Mark C. Anthony For The Union Daily Times

September 18, 2013

UNION — The patriotic service of five Union County founders was commemorated Sunday in the cemetery adjoining Padgett’s Creek Baptist Church. Captain John Alexander, Solomon Bobo Sr., Mark Murphy, Ambrose Ray and John Sparks each served in militia companies during the American Revolution.

The commemoration began with Padgett’s Creek Baptist holding a patriotic worship service that included recognizing current members who are serving in the United States Armed Forces before moving to the cemetery for a grave dedication service by the Sons of the American Revolution.

Mark Anthony, Secretary of the South Carolina Society Sons of the American Revolution, reminded those in attendance that all should be mindful of the service of these patriots to our nation, and asked that each rededicate themselves to the principles they held sacred.

Mr Anthony continued by saying, “I think it appropriate to remark on an overall impression of their service. Each was a member of the militia — the citizen soldier of their time. Their service ranged throughout the Upstate and across at least two and maybe three states. They served under the notable military leaders of South Carolina — Thomas Sumter, Andrew Pickens, Francis Marion and Nathanael Greene.”

“They fought at the pivotal battles of the Upstate — Musgrove Mill, Kings Mountain, Blackstocks and Cowpens — each of which played a crucial role in the ultimate victory of American Independence. And most importantly they came home to their families in what is now Union County. Here they farmed, here they raised their children and here they raised a church that still perpetuates their beliefs — not only of freedom in a political sense but also that freedom provided by an all powerful Providence (to use a common phrase of General George Washington) that we know as the merciful and almighty God.”

Following the remarks, Donny Carson, President of the Daniel Morgan Chapter of Spartanburg, came forward to read the dedication of each marker. This was followed by the placement of wreaths by representatives of SAR chapters from South Carolina and North Carolina as well as a DAR chapter from South Carolina.

A musket salute was rendered by members of the SAR Color Guard as a well as members of the South Carolina Independent Rangers, a local Revolutionary War reenacting group.

Mr Carson stated, “The SAR serves the Spartanburg, Union and Cherokee County area marking the graves of our patriot ancestors and providing educational support to area youth. This is just one of the ways in which we seek to honor our ancestors.”

Service Of The Patriots

Captain John Alexander (10 April 1758-1 Nov. 1837)

Served as a lieutenant in the Spartan Regiment under Col. John Thomas Jr commanding the unit at the Battle of Cowpens. He later served in Col. Richard Winn’s Regiment as part of General Thomas Sumter’s brigade. He fought at Four Holes in the Orangeburg District. He also served as a quartermaster under Col. Abel Kolb of General Francis Marion’s brigade. He ended the war as a captain under Col. Benjamin Roebuck’s command.

Solomon Bobo Sr. (1765-1847)

Served under General Andrew Pickens as part of General Nathanael Greene’s command.

Mark Murphy

Served in Col. Thomas Brandon’s Regiment after the fall of Charleston. Fought at Musgroves Mill, Kings Mountain, Blackstock’s and Cowpens.

Ambrose Ray (1740-1798)

Served under Col. Elijah Clarke in the Wilkes County (GA) militia.

John Sparks (1755-1826)

Served in Col Thomas Brandon’s Regiment after the fall of Charleston. Fought at Musgrove Mill, Kings Mountain, Blackstock’s and Cowpens.


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.