Silhouettes and Such

October 6, 2016

When I was growing up, every summer there was an Arts and Crafts Festival.  You wouldn’t believe all the creative people showing their wares. It was a welcome breath of artsy-craftsy-ness. 

The festival still takes place, but this little memory is about one specific time. 

One year, there was a little man sitting in a chair, maybe like a director’s chair, cutting silhouettes. He wore dark framed glasses and a black beret, and he cut a silhouette as quick as you please. He started with a black piece of paper that looked like construction paper and a little pair of manicure scissors. He seemed to love what he did. He talked to each child, and delighted in the conversation. 


Sugar was doing a little bit of research a few years ago and found that he was related to a famous silhouette artist, Carew Rice. He was telling me about what he had found online, and that Carew would go to local festivals and cut silhouettes. 

I said, “Wait a minute. Did he wear a beret?”


Carey’s grandson cuts silhouettes now. He was at a bookstore in Charleston when Sugar’s little grandchildren were here for a visit. 

Plus he writes books. And just happened to have some for sale. 

Another silhouette memory was made. 

Scott’s Neck

October 1, 2016

Today we went to Scott’s Neck. It’s hard to find even with a map, and Sugar and I had several. He had an atlas and a South Carolina back roads map, and I had 2 custom-created map overlays, a link to a topography map, and the iPhone map app, plus the 1825 Mills Atlas. We are ridiculous sometimes. No map left unturned.

We turned in first at the Stoney Creek Cemetery Road because it was on the way. There’s a rice trunk at the entrance, and some very nice folks were there fishing, and the ebbing tide was rushing through the trunk, headed back out to sea. I asked one of the women if I could take a photo of the water, but I wouldn’t show her face. She agreed that it was okay.

Sugar and I had seen the boat ramp icon on the map at the south end of Scott’s Neck, so of course we imagine that this might be a historically correct place to put in a boat, even during the Revolution.
He thought that we could get to where we wanted most easily by turning on William Campbell Road. That ended at the entrance of a gated community on an island, so we backtracked and cut across  to get to another northish-southish road which would lead to another road at the south end to the boat ramp.

How perfect was the day.

From the embankment, we watch a fellow interact with his boat and trailer.

Then we head down to the dock.

Across the way, we see a highway, which turns out to be Trask Parkway. I have traveled Trask literally dozens of times, without knowing that a possible distant cousin was stationed here on Scott’s Neck about 238 years ago. Even if he isn’t a cousin, he’s a Rawls, and the name is rare.

Y’all, I’m terrible swimmer and a bit leery of water, but I think I’m going to have to get a kayak.

Which is a blog for another day…

And we head over to Coosawhatchie, which is pronounced Koo-sah-HATCH-ee. Because Sugar found, in Hugh M’Coll’s “History of Georgia”, that William and his brother Cotten Rawls provided supplies for the wounded, hidden on an island at Coosawhatchie. I scanned the pages with my CamScanner app, and outlined the relevant parts.

Doesn’t this support my theory that William and Cotten lived in the area, since William entered the service as his father’s substitute, and they had a place close by, close enough to lend aid and supplies to the wounded?

Now at Coosawhatchie, where basically there is a church, some houses, and a railroad crossing…

William later relocated to a place in South Carolina along the banks of the Savannah River, which could possibly be Purrysburg, since he had been there during the Revolution. It’s possible that he was in Robertville, since his associate Leonard Tanner was affiliated with Tanners that married into Robertville families, and also some Tanner and Robert and other associated families moved to Louisiana.

Good-night, Rawls family. We’re thinking of you.

A Cat Lady Meets A Lady Cat

September 30, 2016

I am addicted to food. All I think about lately is food and how I’ve put on weight. 

I love to eat food prepared by other people. I have no issues with dining out alone. I’ve been eating out alone for years. 

So yesterday I needed bread, like something hearty, and I went to a local sandwich shop where they make their own bread. The sandwich special of the day was something called “Salvation”. Not sure what that was about, but any time I see a special, I tend to order it. My theory is that the kitchen is prepared to make a lot of specials, so all ingredients will be fresh and ready, unless they have a lot of product that is getting ready to expire and they need to clear the shelves. I’m going with fresh and ready in this case, because the “Specials” sign looked old, like they use the same specials week-in and week-out. 

This little sandwich shop has a tiny dining area inside, but a nice front porch for outside dining. I needed a little spot where I could spread out and look at my 1790 census book of South Carolina, and there was a little table with a couple of chairs waiting for me. 

The fact that I am carrying around a 1790 census book of South Carolina might be a telling fact why no one bothers me while I am dining alone. They think I’m a bit touched in the head, perhaps. 

So I’m sitting there, minding my own business, and looking at maps on the iPhone, and unwrapping my sandwich, and a little cat came around the corner of the building onto the porch, like she owned the place. She stopped and eyed my sandwich and asked for a piece. 

I complied. She must have been bored with eating the same food every day, because, when I gave her a second bit, she ignored it. 

She knew I had cat food in the car. 

There weren’t any other patrons on the porch. So I left the table as it was, with my wallet and my iPhone and my book and my sandwich sitting there, since the car was close by, and my table was being guarded by a cat. 

She was so happy to get some real commercially-prepared cat food. We sat and ate our lunches, and I found myself talking to her. She was not interested in Scott’s Neck at all. 

I wanted to go back to the restaurant again today. For the bread, of course. But I didn’t, because I’m not *CRAZY*. 

Just ask this cat. She’ll tell you. 

About Scott’s Neck: A Map, A Map, and a Link

September 30, 2016

Clever cartographic and blog subscriber Michael offered to make a map of Scott’s Neck near Pocotaligo.

I was thinking out loud, and wondering if a historical map and a modern map could be combined in such a way to show where the old roads were. Apparently it pays to have a map-maker or two in your readership.

I really don’t expect much feedback from readers. Truthfully, I don’t have a big readership, and that is fine. I’m writing for me, and if you enjoy reading what I write, then so much the better for everyone. However, if you offer to make a map, or meet for lunch, or send me some cat food, then YAY! Win/win!

Michael offers two basic maps, plus a link to an enlarged view. He took the historic 1825 Mills Atlas and overlaid it with a topography layer, and another 1825 map has a Google Earth overlay. The image on the old map was originally rotated to make it fit onto the specified rectangular shape for printing, I suppose. I don’t know this for a fact, but it explains why true north is in the upper right-hand corner, and the modern overlay has to be rotated to fit the old one.


Here’s the link to a larger map:

I think this is remarkable on several levels.

  • Technology. Long gone are the days of the overhead projector transparencies. And remember those science books with the transparencies of the human body and its systems, like the skeletal system, the muscular system, or the circulatory system?  Map overlays are far more interesting than the digestive tract.
  • Old cartography. How did the mapmakers of olde make maps? The common points of the old and the new are amazingly consistent.
  • Blog readers. A blog reader, a real CARTOGRAPHER, volunteered his time, tools, and trade, and made a map overlay in approximately the same amount of time it took me to remember where I parked the car, back in the day when I drove a white car. Which is a compliment to his skills, not a flip comment to make you think that map overlays are easy and quick.

Need to know more about map-making mojo? Here’s the scoop:

Michael Karpovage
Author • Designer • Cartographer

Karpovage Creative, Inc.

5055 Magnolia Walk
Roswell, Georgia 30075
I suspect a field trip is in order.

On the Trail of William Rawls: Looking for a Neck of Scotch

September 28, 2016

William Rawls was stationed at Scotch Neck early in the Revolutionary War.

Sugar and I are having heated conversations about Scotch vs. Scott’s. I have found when I turn up the volume, he can hear me better. Or perhaps he just chooses to back away from a fight in which he has no dog.

Sugar: “I don’t know why you insist on calling it “Scotch Neck”. It’s clearly Scott’s Neck on the map.”

YoursTruly: (applying volume) “It’s reported in William Rawls’s pension file as Scotch Neck, and also in an early book. And until you can prove conclusively otherwise, I will call it Scotch Neck. You know what, I will just not call it anything. I will stop talking about it.”

Sugar: (silence)

Sugar: “Ok, you can call it what you want.”

I’m wondering if there is a way to overlap a modern map over a historic map, so I asked the Internet. One friend recommended watching a YouTube, and I discovered that it’s the other way around. It’s a google earth thingy with a historical map overlay. I actually haven’t tried it yet.

To his credit, Sugar found a reference to William Rawls and his brother Cotten in Hugh McColl’s “History of Georgia”. They gave aid and comfort to the wounded on an island in the swamp near Coosawhatchie.

And now, a few images…

Map overlays? My laptop might explode.

The Pension File of William Rawls: In Which I Am Late to the Dance

September 26, 2016


Yesterday I finished loading all the images from the Revolutionary War pension file of William Rawls onto the computer, and wrote my little blog post. Later that night I decided to see if there were any other info to be gleaned from the internet, and I started, of course, at

Good grief. William Rawls’s pension file is on ancestry, and there are 29 images. What did I have, like, maybe 7? That’s a bit annoying and embarrassing. I think this means that when I ordered the pension file, in the late 1990’s, that I got what I got in the way of identifying information regarding genealogy. I suppose the person making the copies got to make the call as to whether the remainder of the file was relevant or not. I’m scrolling along last night, and it’s getting late, and my eyes are getting tired, but I can see that I’m interested in the remainder of the file.  I started saving the images to the computer, and the quality of the images is so much improved over my scratchy little copies, it’s just unbelievable. Also, this explains to me why the last page of affidavits just seems to end nowhere, like it wasn’t finished. Turns out, it wasn’t.

I was particularly interested in a reference to Scotch Neck where William was stationed near Beaufort Island. I believe that today Beaufort Island is Port Royal Island, and the city of Beaufort is on Port Royal Island. (If I’m wrong about this, someone will tell me.) I put Sugar on the case, because I had to go to work. Someone has to bring home the Meow Mix and fry it up in the pan.

Sugar has maps and stuff. He has never let me down. When we talked on the phone at lunch, he told me he had located it. He found Scotch Neck and said that it was near Garden’s Corner and Sheldon Church and Bray’s Island. Tonight when I got home, I searched the internet for an old map of Beaufort District, and I found one on the Library of Congress site. But I couldn’t find Scotch Neck. I found everything else, including Scott’s Neck, when I realized, waitaminnit, Scott’s Neck on the my map is the same Scotch Neck where William Rawls was stationed. (Late to the dance yet again.)

In another moment of brilliance, I decided to make a family tree for William Rawls, even though he’s not mine (perhaps), because that is just what I do. When I searched for more clues for him, I found that he has a findagrave memorial, and someone transcribed the pension file and put it on the memorial. (Musicians are putting their instruments away.)

But wait! I sense a field trip to Scotch Neck. In the twenty-something years that I have been in the area, I’ve been driving right by Scotch Neck. Now, if I can find that app where you overlay a modern roadway map over a historic map…

What’s that? Is that band music I hear? Darn right it is. I might need a tiara.

(The PDF links below are for pages that you have already seen, if you looked at yesterday’s post. Going forward will be new pages, hopefully with transcriptions, if my vision holds out.)
















The Revolutionary War Pension File of William Rawls

September 24, 2016

Annnddd the last pension file to produce belongs to William Rawls. No kin. Once again.







Washington, D. C.S. F. 47.905

In reply to your request of _____, received _____ for a statement of the military history of William Rawls a soldier of the REVOLUTIONARY WAR, you will find below the desired information as contained in his (or his widow’s) application for pension on file in this Bureau.


1776 OR 1777


Served at various times about 2 years.





John Garvin







S. C.

Battles engaged in, Sumters Defeat and Kings Mountain.

Residence of soldier at enlistment, Buford District S. C.

Date of application for pension, Nov. 9, 1832. His ?? was ??.

Residence at date of application, Gadsden Co., Fla.

Age at date of application, 73 years, born in North Carolina

Remarks: He was the son of John Rawls. It is not stated whether he was married. Brothers John & Cotten.




Territory of Florida

County of Gadsden

On this 9th day of November 1812 personally appeared in open court before Thomas Randol, Judg of the Superior court of the Middle District of Florida now sitting, William Rawls, a resident of the County and Territory aforesaid aged about 73 years who being duly sworn according to law doth by his oath make the following declaration in order to obtain the benefit of the act of Congress dated June the 7th 1812.

That he entered the service of the United States in the year 1776 or 1777 in the summer of one of those years but which year he does not distinctly recollect. He entered the service under the command of Captain John Garvin and was detached to the regiment of Colo. Gasden and served under them three months. Genl. Bull was the Genl in command during those three months. He was stationed on Beaufort Island, South Carolina. He was then relieved of service for a short time but was called out again in the same year and under the same officers and performed another tour of duty of three months when he was stationed at the seaboard near Beaufort Island at a place called Scotch Neck. Then after the expiration of said last mentioned three months he was not called again into service until the latter part of the year 1778 or the first of the year 1779 shortly before the British forces took possession of Savannah. He remained in service during that tour only one month and was under the command of the same


before specified time. He was not called into service again until the latter part of 1779 and was stationed at Perrysberg in South Carolina under the command of the same captain and Colo as aforesaid and under the command of Genl Linkhorn (Lincoln). The length of time he served during that tour he does not distinctly recollect but it was until the arrival of the First Fleet at Savannah. Then he was there relieved from service for a short time but was again called into service about four months afterwards and was marched down to Savannah and arrived there two days after the attack was made on Savanah by the French and Americans (?). He was march from Savanah to Perrysburg under the command of Colo Gasden and Captain Garvin and remained at Perryburg about one month when he was relieved from further duty at that time. He was called into service again in about two months under the same officers and acting on the Savanah River and continued to perform duty (?) said service until Charlestown fell into the possession of the British. He then moved into North Carolina and joined Genl Sumpters Army in the year 1780. He joined Captain Tinnels company at the battle of King’s


Mountain and at which battle Colo Williams and Colo Shelby and Colo Campbell were the principal officers. Then he was not again in service until the siege of Augusta when he was under the command of Captain Mery and Colo Hammond and then after the Americans took possession of Augusta he was not again in service. That when he first entered the service he resided in Beaufort District South Carolina, that he first entered the service of the United States as a private and substitute for his father John Rawls, that he performed the first tour of duty as a substitute and all the other tours as a drafted ;militia up to the fall of Charlestown and from that time as a volunteer that he was at the battle on the Cataubaw in which Genl Sumpter was defeated and was in the battle of Kings Mountain that he marched through the country from Beaufort District South Carolina to Savanah in Georgia and from Savannah to Perrysburg in said state and from that place to Kings Mountain there performed service with the (?) officers before moved but does not recollect the names of the regiments that he knew Major Harry and Genl Linkhorn and Genl Sumpter and that he has no (?) evidence by which he can substantiate his claims and that he knows of no person whose testimony


he can at this time procure to substantiate his claim that their are some persons who are acquainted with his services and who were living at the last accounts but they reside in distant parts of the United States and he does not know that they know to make the necessary prooff.

W. M. Rawls

Sworn and subscribed in open court

R. C. Lester Clk. GSC

By J R Adams DC

And the said William Rawls being first interrogated on the interrogation presented by the War Dept. and (?) was being first duly sworn.

That he was born in North Carolina near the Virginia Line, that he does not recollect the year in which he was born. That he once had a record of his age, but it was burnt or lost during the Revolutionary War. That he was living in Beaufort District of South Carolina when called into service, that shortly after the Revolutionary War, he removed into Georgia into what was then Effingham and is now Screven County, where he lived until his removal into this county of Gadsden, Territory of Florida in the year 18?? where he now lives. That in his first military service he was a substitute for his father John Rawls a soldier in the militia. That of the (?) officers with whom he served he recollects at the (?) of his (?)




William Rawls S47905

Middle Florida

Gadson County

Personally came before me McKeen Greene who being duly sworn saith he has been intimately acquainted with William Rawls of the County aforesaid and Conection, ever since 1778. I do know that the whole of that family were warm friends of their Country through the American Revolutionary War and said Rawls & his two eldest brothers John & Cotten were generally esteemed (??) and brave soldiers through all the Southern struggles. (??) from the fall of Savannah of Georgia till this evacuation of Savannah aforesaid & Charleston of South Carolina. Soon after said William moved into the state of Georgia and after many years moved to Middle Florida where he now resides.

McKeen Greene

Sworn to before me this 24th of Oct 1832

John Littleton Jr.


Here’s what I’ve got to say about this file: my father’s Rawls ancestors have been identified in a DNA group as a group originating in Nansemond County, Virginia. Nansemond is a defunct county now, but it was on the NC line. It appears that William Rawls was not married or had descendants.

I haven’t looked at this file in almost twenty years. With it, I found my handwritten transcription notes. I had transcribed all except a bit of the last page of testimony. Almost twenty years ago, I didn’t know that someday I would be living in the former Beaufort District of South Carolina, near Effingham and Screven Counties of Georgia.

Seriously? I have ENOUGH projects, but I think this file has just moved near to the top.


The Revolutionary War File of John Burgess

September 22, 2016

Oh, these pension files will not let me be.

Maybe 20 years ago, after I found a Revolutionary War ancestor for my mother, I was determined to find one for my father. I decided to take the clever, easy route, and order up some pension files.

So, ummmm, not clever OR easy. And certainly not helpful. But yet, the detail, oh, the detail.

So even though John Burgess is not mine, or at least, I can’t prove that he is, here’s his pension file.

Somebody, somewhere, might need this.



North Carolina

John Burgess

of Cathan in the State of N. Car

who was a pri in the (blank) 

by Captain (blank) of the Regt

by Col. Collier in the *No Car

line for 9 months.

*N. C. Mil.

Records corrected May 9, 1905


Inscribed on the Roll of No. Carolina

at the rate of 30. Dollars — Cents per annum

to commence on the 4th day of March, 1831.


Certificate of Pension issued the 7th day of Oct. 3?

St. Lawrence P. O. and ??? M. S. Gutherie


Arrears to the 4th of Sept 1833              

  • 75

Semi-anl. allowance ending Mar: 34    

  • 15




Revolutionary Claim

Act June 7, 1832.

Recorded by C. ???? Rice — Clerk

Book E      Vol. 6 1/2     Page 46.





State of N. Carolina

Randolph County

This day came William Burgess

of said county before me

David Campbell Esqr one of the acting justises in

and for said county and maid oath that John

Burgess of Chatham County was Drafted and served

three, three months long as one of the militia of

this state in the Revolutionary Servis. Sworn to

and subscribed this 11th of May 1833.

William Burgess


D. Campbell J.P.


State of No Carolina

Randolph County

This day came John

Kivett Snr before me

David Campbell Esqr one of the acting justises

in and for said County and maid Oath that

he is well acquainted with John Burgess and

William and that they are men of Good Credit

and ought to be due Credit Given their

oaths and has good reasons to believe that

John Burgess did serve the above named servis

in the Revolution War. Sworn to and subscribed

this 11th of May 1833.

John (his X mark) Kivett Snr

D. Campbell J. P.


And I the said David Campbell Certify that

William Burgess and John Kivitt Snr who have

sworn to the foregoing depositions are ery old men

and that due faith and Credit is due their state

-ment. Given under my hand this 11th of May 1833.

D. Campbell J. P.


He was drafted 3 times, and during one draft, he guarded prisoners from King’s Mountain.

It appears that he generally served around Salisbury and Charlotte, North Carolina. My Burgess line comes from North Carolina, and John Burgess comes from North Carolina, and yet? No match, because I can only prove Burgess names back to about 1840.

So? Who wants this John Burgess?

About a Bible

September 17, 2016

A while back, maybe about 14 years ago, I bought an old Rainbow Bible at a booth at a little antique shop in a little town.


I was a Rainbow girl once, a state officer even. That too was a long time ago. I have a Rainbow Bible somewhere. I couldn’t leave this little old Bible behind. It seemed wrong somehow.

Last year, while moving things about, I found the Bible again, and did a little online research. I located, through, the original owner of the Bible. Then I asked the living repository, because the owner of the Bible lived in the same little village that Sugar grew up in.

Sugar knew of this family. The Bible’s original owner’s children were about his age.

I found one of the grown children on Facebook and sent a message over a year ago. She didn’t receive the message until recently.

I offered to mail the Bible to her for the price of postage. She offered and sent money to my paypal account, enough for postage, the purchase of the Bible from the antique shop, and a bit left over.

I had told her where she could find a “Donate” button on the blog. She had not only found it, she read a bit of the blog, and thought perhaps that we had met. Of course, we hadn’t, and haven’t yet.

And that the way it is when you write things and put them out into the big world. People think they know you. They feel a connection.
I suppose the moral of the story: always buy the Bible. But the bigger moral?

Never get rid of the Bible. It might not find its way back to the family. Incidentally, the woman I contacted, the daughter of the original owner, was NOT the one who gave the Bible away.

Sometimes life is a circle.

Charles W. Burgess: Left for Dead at Shiloh

September 16, 2016

I don’t know very much about Charles Burgess, except what I have in his service record and from some census records.

However, I can imagine a lot. In my head, I see Charley Burgess lying on the field for dead. Isn’t that one of the first images that you see, too?

When I started learning more about Charles Burgess, years ago, I asked my father, who was living with dementia in a retirement community, if he knew anything about Charles Burgess. And what I will share with you about what he said might not be verbatim, but it will convey the spirit of the message.

Charles Burgess died sometime after 1900. My father was born in 1913. He knew of Charles Burgess. He said that Charles lost a leg at Shiloh. He further said that when Charles was returning home from the war, the family was nervous about how to act around him, because they knew that he had lost a leg.

They saw him coming. He rode up on a fast horse, reined in the horse, and swung down off the horse, as easy as could be. The family’s fears were put at rest, and I wonder how Charley felt as he rode into sight and saw his nervous family.



“Dead or gone with some lot”



“Wounded and left on field at Shiloh, supposed dead.”


He lived through the ordeal.

At some point, he moved to Corinth, Alcorn County, Mississippi, where he was a blacksmith. Imagine that. A blacksmith. Apparently he was good with horses.

In 1893, he married a much younger woman named Margaret,  who had a child. The 1900 census lists the child as Charley’s son, even though they had different last names.


Charley, we hardly knew you.