Reinternment of Colonel James Williams

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Rev. J. D. Bailey published two books that mention John B. Mintz. "Commanders at Kings Mountain," published in 1926, and "Some Heroes of the American Revolution of the S. C. Upper Country," published in 1924.

Listen to what J. D. Bailey says in, "Some Heroes of the American Revolution of the S. C. Upper Country," about the burial of Colonel Williams:

They were, says (Lyman C.) Draper, accordingly interred with the honors of war between the camp and the river, a little above the mouth of Buffalo Creek, on what was long known as the Fondren place, now belonging to Captain John B. Mintz. Colonel Logan (John R.) adds that he learned from Captain Mintz that a tradition had been handed down that Colonel Williams was buried in that neighborhood, and no little pains had been taken to identify the grave by various people, and even by some of Colonel Williams’ descendants, but without success. At length Captain Mintz employed some men to shrub off a field, long overgrown, and requested them to watch for the long-forgotten grave, and sure enough they found a grave, with a headstone and footstone composed of a different kind of rock from those abounding there, and well overgrown with grape vines. Though there was no inscription on the headstone, there is no doubt but that it is the grave of ‘Old Kings Mountain Jim." The plantation of Mr. Mintz, lies between Buffalo and Broad River… The signs of that road were then visible, and at the nearest point, just ninety yards north of the grave. Standing there facing the southeast, the river is about a quarter of a mile to the right, and Buffalo Creek about a half mile in front – both river and creek being in plain view… Mr. D. D. Gaston, a son-in-law of Captain Mintz, informed the writer that he had often heard his father-in-law say that when he first came to the place an old Negro woman told him (Mr. Mintz) that Colonel Williams was buried on that hill- the one where the grave was found.

The following newspaper article, published in 1937, commemorates the reinterment of Colonel Williams in 1915.


Tues March 30, 1937

Daughters of American Revolution Move Bones to New Resting Place Exactly One Hundred and Thirty-five Years after His Death

On the grassy lawn of the Carnegie Fee Library is a spot of lasting historic interest to the people of Gaffney, Cherokee County and the entire South. It is the spot where the bones of Colonel James Williams, the American leader, who was mortally wounded in 1780 in the battle of Kings Mountain. The remains of the illustrious hero were placed on the library grounds, Friday, October 8, 1915. The following account taken from the The Gaffney Ledger of Tuesday, October 12, 1915, describes in detail the exercises accompanying the burial:

Burial Ceremony.

Another chapter in the history of Col. James Williams, the American leader, who was mortally wounded at the battle of Kings Mountain in 1780, was made Friday afternoon when the hero’s bones were buried in the yard of the Carnegie Free Library. More than two hundred people attended the exercises, which were reverentially solemn. In the cast iron box with Col. Williams’ bones were placed a list of the names and the members of the Daniel Morgan Chapter, daughter of the American Revolution, a list of the names of the members of the Col. Williams Chapter, Children of the American Revolution, a list of the names of the people who work for The Ledger and The Cherokee Times, and copies of each of the local newspapers. The box was placed in a cement receptacle about three feet under the ground.

The exercises Friday afternoon were opened by remarks by Mayor M.M. Littlejohn. "We are gathered here today to pay a last tribute to the memory and ashes of one of South Carolina’s heroes, Col. James Williams,’ said Mr. LittleJohn, "to render a patriotic service over the remains of one of our noblest sons. Long years have passed since this hero gave his noble life for a country he loved and for a cause he knew was right. The principles for which he fought still live and will ever live in the hearts of all liberty-loving people.

"I take it that Gaffney is rarely fortunate, greatly honored, in having the ashes of this illustrious dead repose in our midst. Henceforward this will be a sacred spot- sacred to the young and to the aged in song and in story.

"We are making history here today that will last for all time. Succeeding generations will visit this spot and catch a new and higher inspiration of love of country and devotion to a patriotic cause."

Prayer, invoking the blessings of a Divine Providence upon the exercises, was uttered by the Rev. G. C. Leonard, pastor of the Buford Street Methodist Church.

The Col. Williams Chapter, Children of the American Revolution, marched to the side of the grave, where the members sang a song.

A flag of the United States was placed over the casket by Master James Harvey Witherspoon, Jr., and a descendent of Col. Williams. Mrs. M. P. Pierson, regent of the Daniel Morgan Chapter, D.A.R.,  placed a wreath of flowers on the grave.

Accounts of Col. Williams’ life, as given by both Draper and Bancroft, were read by Dr. Lee Davis Lodge, president of Limestone College. Dr. Lodge added a few words to the readings, saying that the greatest monuments are not built of shining brass and hard marble, but are erected in the memories of a grateful people.

Dr. J. S. Dill, pastor of the First Baptist Church, praised the Daughters of the American Revolution for their patriotism and made a few remarks upon the appropriateness of the services being held.

Rev. J. D. Bailey, pastor of Cowpens, who after making many researches in connection with the life of Col. Williams, wrote a history of the patriot, was invited to address the people present. He gave his approval to the exercises.

Upon the conclusion of Mr. Bailey’s talk, "America" was sung and Messrs. Jay Sarratt, B.M. Tutt, Carlisle Stacy and Vernon Shell lowered the box containing the bones of the hero into the grave. Taps were then sounded by Messrs. Sarratt and Tutt.

Friday was the one hundred and thirty-fifth anniversary of the death of Col. Williams. He was wounded at Kings Mountain on October 7th, 1750 and died the next day. His companions started to carry the body to his home place in Laurens county, but upon finding this impracticable, the remains were buried in a cowhide at a spot about one-half mile north of Broad River, in the Buffalo section of Cherokee county. This was on the place now owned by Mr. J. S. Mintz, who gave permission for the bones to be moved to Gaffney.

The members of the Daniel Morgan Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution, which was responsible for the removal of the bones to their present resting place, are as follows: Mrs. George Blanton, Mrs. B. R. Brown, Mrs. T. B. Butler, Mrs. Elizabeth Logan Bomar, Mrs. Cora Byers, Mrs. Ralph Cline, Mrs. W. W. Chadwick, Mrs. J. C. Creech, Mrs. L.W. Cook, Mrs. J. S. Dill, Mrs. J. F. Garrett, Mrs. J. F. Gaffney, Mrs. B. L. Hames, Mrs. Charles W. Hames, Mrs. W. S. Hall, Mrs. R. T. Hawkins, Mrs. Lizzie Fort Jefferies, Miss Mayme Jefferies, Mrs. N. H. Littlejohn, Miss Jesse Lipscomb, Mrs. W. R. Lipscomb, Miss Ray Macomson, Mrs. Evelina Sarratt Magness, Miss Madge Mays, Mrs. W. C. McArthur, Mrs. Augusta Victoria Montgomery, Mrs. Sue Shanks Parker, Mrs. Marguerite Pratt Scott Pierson, Mrs. W. A. Poole, Miss Eva C. Sams, Mrs. Oscar Shanks, Mrs. H. P. Shaw , Mrs. W. H. Smith, Mrs. H. L. Spears, Mrs. W. S. Sparks, Mrs. R. R. Wilkins, Mrs. W. J. Wilkins, Mrs. J. H. Witherspoon, Mrs. A. H. Wood, Mrs. Bessie Wood Jefferies.