Gen. Andrew Pickens, US Congress

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General Andrew Pickens, General

Also Known As: "Skyagunsta"
Birthdate: (77)
Birthplace: Bucks County, Pennsylvania, United States
Death: August 11, 1817 (77)
Tamassee, Oconee County, South Carolina, United States
Place of Burial: Clemson, Pickens County, South Carolina, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Capt. Andrew Pickens and Nancy Ann Davis
Husband of Rebecca Floride Pickens (Calhoun)
Father of Mary Harris; Lt Gov Ezekiel Pickens; Gov. Andrew Pickens Jr.; Catherine Hunter; Ann Pickens and 8 others
Brother of William Pickens; James Pickens; Catherine Davis (Pickens); Capt. Joseph William Pickens; Jane Miller (Pickens) and 5 others

Occupation: American Revolution and a member of the United States House of Representatives from South Carolina, Rev. War veteran, buried at Old Stone Church
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Gen. Andrew Pickens, US Congress

A Patriot of the American Revolution for SOUTH CAROLINA with the rank of BRIGADIER GENERAL. DAR Ancestor # A090968

Andrew Pickens (September 13, 1739 – August 11, 1817) was a militia leader in the American Revolution and a member of the United States House of Representatives from South Carolina.

Early life

Pickens was born in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, the son of Scots-Irish immigrants, Andrew Pickens, Sr. and Anne (née Davis). His great grandfather was Robert Andrew Pickens (Picon) and his great-grandmother however was Esther-Jeanne Bonneau of South Carolina and La Rochelle, France.

In 1752 his family moved to the Waxhaws on the South Carolina frontier. He sold his farm there in 1764 and bought land in Abbeville County, South Carolina near the Georgia border.

He established the Hopewell Plantation on the Seneca River, at which several treaties with Native Americans were held, each called the Treaty of Hopewell. Just across the river was the Cherokee town of Isunigu ("Seneca").

Andrew Pickens' grave marker at Old Stone Church cemetery[edit] Military career

He served in the Anglo-Cherokee War in 1760–1761. When the Revolutionary War started, he sided with the rebel militia, and was made a captain. He rose to the rank of Brigadier General during the war.

On February 14, 1779, he was part of the militia victory at the Battle of Kettle Creek in Georgia.

Pickens was captured at the Siege of Charleston on 1780. He saw action at the Battle of Cowpens, Siege of Augusta, Siege of Ninety-Six, and the Battle of Eutaw Springs.

Pickens also led a campaign in north Georgia against the Cherokee Indians late in the war. His victorious campaign led to the Cherokees ceding significant portions of land between the Savannah and Chattachoochee rivers in the Long Swamp Treaty signed in what is currently Pickens County, Georgia. Pickens was well regarded by Native Americans that he dealt with and was given the name Skyagunsta, "The Wizard Owl."

He and three hundred of his men went home to sit out the war on parole.

Pickens' parole did not last however. After ry raiders destroyed most of his property and frightened his family, he informed the British that they had violated the terms of parole and rejoined the war. Ironically, Sumter also resumed fighting under similar circumstances. Pickens was soon operating in the Ninety-Six District. During this period of the war, Pickens would join Francis Marion and Thomas Sumter as the most well-known partisan leaders in the Carolinas.

Cowpens, South Carolina: January 17, 1781:

At the Battle of foster Cowpens, Brig. General Daniel Morgan gave Pickens command of the militia, which played a key role in the battle. On the evening of January 16, Morgan personally instructed the militia to hold its ground while firing two rounds and then retreat. On the morning of January 17, Pickens and the militia carried out the plan perfectly, which led Lt. Colonel Banastre Tarleton and British to believe that the militia was fleeing. The British blinding charged ahead and were drawn into a double flanking and soundly defeated. .Following Cowpens, South Carolina Governor John Rutledge promoted Pickens to brigadier general. He would also be awarded a sword by Congress.

Augusta, Georgia: May 22-June 5, 1781:

Pickens' militia was soon recalled to defend their own homes and so he missed the Battle of Guilford Courthouse on March 15, 1781. In April, he raised a regiments of state regulars. In May 1781, Maj. General Nathanael Greene sent Pickens and Lt. Colonel Henry Lee to support Elijah Clarke in operations against Augusta, Georgia. The siege began on May 22 and after maneuvering, securing outposts and the cutting off of reinforcements by the Patriots, Colonel Thomas Brown surrendered Augusta on June 5, 1781.

Ninety-Six, South Carolina: May 22-June 19, 1781:

Following the surrender of Augusta, Pickens and Lt. Colonel Lee joined General Greene in his siege at Ninety-Six, South Carolina. Greene had begun his siege on May 22, 1781, the same day that Augusta had been besieged. On June 11, Greene ordered Pickens and Lt. Colonel William Washington to aid Thomas Sumter in blocking a relief column led by Lord Rawdon. However, Sumter instead moved to Fort Granby, allowing Rawdon to make his way to Ninety-Six. On June 19, Greene had to give up the siege and retreat after a failed assault.

Family and death

He married Rebecca Floride Calhoun in 1765. They had 12 children, including Andrew Pickens who later became governor of South Carolina. He was also an uncle of Floride Calhoun, the wife of John C. Calhoun.

Andrew Pickens died near Tamassee, South Carolina in Oconee County, on August 11, 1817. He is buried at Old Stone Church Cemetery in Clemson, South Carolina.


Fort Pickens in Florida is named in his honor as is Pickens County, Alabama, Pickens County, Georgia, and Pickens and Pickens County in his adopted home state of South Carolina.

Pickens was a 7th great grandfather of former Senator and 2008 presidential candidate John Edwards.

He is also the namesake of Pickens High School.

The Patriot

Pickens and his actions served as one of the sources for the fictional character of Benjamin Martin in The Patriot, a motion picture released in 2000

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Gen. Andrew Pickens, US Congress's Timeline

September 13, 1739
Bucks County, Pennsylvania, United States
February 19, 1766
Age 26
Abbeville, South Carolina, United States
March 30, 1768
Age 28
Abbeville, Abbeville County, South Carolina, United States
April 12, 1770
Age 30
February 12, 1772
Age 32
March 1773
Age 33
November 9, 1774
Age 35
July 13, 1776
Age 36
December 13, 1779
Age 40
Edgefield, SC, United States