Captain Aaron Smith

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Captain Aaron Smith, Sr.

Birthplace: Virginia
Death: July 01, 1776 (55-56)
96th District, South Carolina
Immediate Family:

Son of David Smith and Elizabeth Stevenson
Husband of Elizabeth Smith
Father of Ezekiel Smith; Thomas Keeling Smith; Aaron Smith, Jr.; Lurenna / Loewsiny Smith; John Carraway Smith and 4 others

DAR: Ancestor #: A104530
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Captain Aaron Smith

A Patriot of the American Revolution for SOUTH CAROLINA with the rank of Captain. DAR Ancestor # A104530



Collected by Caldwell Woodruff, Hyattsville, MS., July 21, 1917

Captain Aaron Smith, of Little River, North Carolina

As early as 1745, there lived in Craven County, (on the south side of Mitchell's Creek), North Carolina, an Aaron Smith.

Johnson County, North Carolina was erected from a part of Craven County in 1745, and in the year 1754 an Aaron Smith was a lieutenant in the Johnson County Regiment of Militia.

Capt. Aaron Smith, born about 1720, married in the 1740's, Elizabeth Carraway, of North Carolina, daughter of John Carraway. We don't know when Aaron Smith removed to South Carolina, with his family, and settled on Little River, in Ninety-Six District, in what is now Abbeville County, but in the year 1775, Capt. Aaron Smith commanded a company of militia in Ninety-Six District. (McCrady's History of South Carolina-Vol. 1775-1780, p.90)

He had a large family of nine children, four of whom were grown young men at the beginning of the Revolutionary War. Ezekiel, the eldest son, was a Revolutionary soldier. (South Carolina Historical and Genealogical Magazine, Vol. VII, p. 223). Thomas Keeling, probably the next oldest, did not serve in the revolution, it is said because of the influence of his wife, who was a loyalist. John Carraway, the next son, was a lieutenant in the South Carolina Militia, and Aaron, Jr., the youngest of the four, was a Captain as early as 1775. Both of the latter were in the Continental establishment. (See Heitman's Register.)

The Smith homestead on Little River was in the wilderness, and on the frontier of the Cherokee Country. From the beginning of the Revolution, agents of the British had been among the Cherokees, inciting them to go on the war path, and swoop down on the frontier settlements and massacre the helpless pioneers.

Early on the morning of July 1, 1776, the Cherokee stole down and surrounded the Smiths and gave the war whoop. Captain Aaron Smith and two of his sons, Thomas Keeling and one other, defended themselves as best they could. Capt Smith was struck down, and his son Thomas Keeling is said to have killed the Indian who struck him down.

Thomas Keeling escaped and swam the river, as did the other son. Capt Aaron Smith, his wife, and five of his children were butchered by the Cherokees, as were five negro slaves.

During the day of July 1st, 1776, one of the sons appeared at the home of Mr. Francis Salvador, on Corn Acre Creek, with two of his fingers shot off, and reported the tragic fate of his parents and brothers and sisters. Mr. Salvador mounted a horse and galloped 28 miles to the home of Major Andrew Williamson. He found another of Capt Smith's sons who had escaped the Indians, at the home of Major Williamson. (McCrady's History of South Carolina, Vol. 1775-1780).

The Indians after committing other depredations retired back into their own country. In the course of a few weeks Major Williamson, at the head of a body of Militia, moved against the Indians. He had advanced as far as Keowee River, when nearing Esseneca Town, a Cherokee village, (now Seneca, South Carolina, on the Southern Railway) his command was ambushed by the red men. Mr. Frances Salvador, the same who had brought to Major Williamson the news of the uprising, was shot down by the side of Major Williamson. In the darkness of the early morning, an Indian crept up and scalped the unfortunate man, while he was still alive. Capt Aaron Smith, son of Capt Aaron Smith, who had been massacred, saw the Indian while they were in the act of taking Mr. Salvador's scalp, but in the darkness he thought it was Mr. Salvador's servant assisting his master. Capt Smith therefore did not interfere to save his unfortunate friend.

The campaign against the Cherokee was carried into the heart of the country. Esseneca Town was burned, and their stores of corn were destroyed, and the Nation dispersed. This broke the power of the Cherokees forever.

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Captain Aaron Smith's Timeline

Craven, North Carolina, USA
September 1, 1751
North Carolina, USA
Craven, North Carolina, USA
Craven, North Carolina, USA
South Carolina
July 1, 1776
Age 56
96th District, South Carolina