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Lynah family history

Home > Family Tree > Dr James Lynah 1 > Revolution

The Revolutionary War First Period

Briefly, the S. C. colony had by this time entered upon its "Golden Era." The St. Cecilia (then a musical society) had been formed, (1732); the Library Society followed in 1748. Clan consciousness had begun with the landed aristocrats (planters) dominating the political and social life. By 1769 the colony had become a vigorous, alert, wholesome community, economically strong but not luxurious and loyal to the British crown. 1773 was the most brilliant theatrical season in colonial history with 118 performances. But the clouds of war were gathering. Protest over injustices against George III were put to the first Continental Congress in 1774 by Arthur Middleton, Thomas Heyward and others. The second Provincial Congress in 1775 was divided about a declaration of war, as were the colonies and in particular South Carolina. It is said that approximately one-third were in favor of and willing to sacrifice for independence, one-third were not and preferred to remain with the British, and one-third were indifferent but unwilling to make any sacrifice for the cause of independence when on July 4 the Declaration of Independence was signed.(1)

For Dr. Lynah's experiences in the early part of the War, grandson James has with well documented facts(2) stated it briefly as follows:

"When the Revolutionary War of 1776 broke out, he served at intervals with Marion's Partisan Corps: and subsequently placed my father, then a youth, under General Marion's especial care. As the war progressed, my Grandfather received two appointments as Surgeon in the service of the State of South Carolina--First in Colonel Joseph Maybank's Berkeley County Regiment of Cavalry, dated 4th December 1776. Secondly, in Colonel Daniel Horry's Cavalry, "as Chief Surgeon of the Regiment of Light Dragoons." This commission by old Governor John Rutledge, dated 22nd April 1779 in the 3rd year of the war-both papers above mentioned are in my possession at this writing. In this capacity he was with Colonel Horry and Count Pulaski at the seige of Savannah-and there present on the field when the disastrous assault was made on the Torn by the Cavalry in which Pulaski was wounded. My Grandfather and my Father, then acting as Surgeon's Mate, a youth of 18, and a faithful negro servant named Buy, lifted and brought the Count out of the range of fire-and on the open field my Grandfather extracted the bullet, that caused the Count's death several days afterwards when he was on board the French fleet and attended by their surgeons. The bullet and a note from an Aide de Camp of Pulaski, are now in my possession."

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(1) The Heyward family thrice married into lines which later joined the Lynah family resulting in many of the Lynahs being directly descended from this Thomas Heyward and also related but not descended from Arthur Middleton, both of whome signed the Declaration of Independence.

(2) All documents referred to here are at present on file in the Georgia Historical Society in Savannah as is also the bullet.