Edward Gordon Musgrove

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Edward Gordon Musgrove

Birthplace: Charles, Maryland
Death: Died in Laurens County, South Carolina, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of John Musgrove, Sr. and Elizabeth Musgrove
Husband of Rebecca Beaks; Hannah Musgrove; Sarah Anna Musgrove; Nancy Ann Musgrove and Rebecca Musgrove
Father of Edward Beaks Musgrove; Margaret Musgrove; Hannah Musgrove; Rachel Musgrove; Liney Musgrove and 7 others
Brother of John 'the Tory' Musgrove, Jr.; Cuthbert Musgrove; Anne Moseley and William Musgrove
Half brother of Mary Cunningham; Margaret Musgrove; Marilyn Musgrove and William Musgrove

Occupation: Major, Lawyer, Surveyor, Plantation Owner, Mill Owner
Managed by: Erica "the Disconnectrix" Howton
Last Updated:

About Edward Gordon Musgrove

Edward Gordon Musgrove was born about 1716 in Charles County, Maryland and died 1796 in Musgrove Mill, Laurens County, South Carolina. N.B. DAR has his place of birth as Northumberland, England.


  • Parents: oldest son of John Musgrove, tobacco farmer, born in 1683 in Prince George Co., Maryland and died in 1746 in Fairfax County, Virginia.
  • from the will of John Musgrave probated 1746:

"In promise give and bequeath to my well beloved son Edward Musgrove my dwelling plantation that I now live on and all my stock hogs cattle and horses with all furniture belonging to the said plantation tables chests beds and bedclothes puter pots and pans with all and every article belonging to said plantation likewise I do will and give him that plantation which Henry Brent has rented of me with all my lands and houses in Maryland and negro fellow named Dick."


  1. Abt in Union County, South Carolina to Rebecca Beeks. She was born Bef. 1732 in Union County, South Carolina; died in Union County, South Carolina. She was the daughter of Abraham Beeks. [3]
  2. Abt 1756 Hannah Fincher b. abt 1738 (betw 1737-1740); d. bef. 1776. Daughter of Francis Fincher and Hannah Sherwin.
  3. Abt 1767 to Nancy (Ann) Crosby.
  4. likely not a legal marriage: in Fredrick County, Virginia, approx 1773 to Anne Adair. She was also known as "3rd wife Adair" on the DAR Ancestor Record. [1]

Children of Rebecca Beaks and Edward Gordon Musgrove:

  1. Edward Beaks Musgrove b: 1755 d 1820 married Sarah "Sallie" Waters a daughter of BROADWINE WATERS, SR.[9] 5 children. "He was a Tory, at least during the Revolutionary War." [8]

4 Children of Hannah Fincher and Edward Gordon Musgrove:

  1. Mary Musgrove b: 1757 died unmarried of consumption [2]
  2. Susan Musgrove b 1759 died unmarried of consumption [2]
  3. Rebecca Musgrove Cannon
  4. Marrey Musgrove born Abt. 1770 married Mr. Berry
  5. Hannah Musgrove [4]

Children of Anne Adair and Edward Gordon Musgrove:

  1. Ann Musgrove, born 25 May 1773 in South Carolina married Absolom Bobo Jan 1802 in South Carolina [1]

Children of Nancy Ann Crosby and Edward Gordon Musgrove:

  1. Margaret Musgrove, born Abt. 1771. d 1824 m Landon Waters
  2. Leah Musgrove b. ca. 1780 d. aft 1850 married
  3. Racheal
  4. Liney Musgrove
  5. William Musgrove

Musgrove's Mill

Edward Musgrove - Laurens District did not have any navigable waterways, but the crystal-clear streams were filled with fish, a handy food supplement. The bolder streams powered mills for grinding grain and sawing lumber, even enabling rafting and a bit of short distance traveling; and the water-edged lands furnished good breeding grounds for birds and animals. The convenience of water for both man and beast was to be seriously considered in the settlements to be laid out. The names of rivers to be found on old maps and in court house records are Bush, Enoree, Saluda, Little River, and two forks of Reedy River, the last four running nearly parallel with Enoree for a short distance. Among the earliest colonists of upper South Carolina was Edward Musgrove, of British descent, who, prior to the controversy with the mother country, had established a residence described as being about one mile below Head's Ford on Enoree River and less than half a mile from the Cedar Shoals Creek Falls. He had been well educated and trained for law. Major Edward Musgrove owned and operated one of the most noted of the old mills, Musgrove's Mill. The dwelling house was situated on a hill overlooking Enoree River at a point once known as the Horse Shoe Bend, where a long bridge afforded a connection with the opposite shore. Down almost beneath the bridge nestled the small, low-browed mill built of wood. A mill cottage stood close by, erected for the comfort of the miller's guests. The original Musgrove home and the mill were burned by the British in an act of retaliation but they were rebuilt on the same sites. Major Musgrove gave legal advise, wrote up legal papers, was a practical surveyor and was very popular in the area with his neighbors. He was a little taller than medium height and was slender with prematurely gray hair. By the time of the Revolutionary War he was living with his third wife and too old to participate in the War. He tried to stay neutral but his home and mill were soon taken over by British and Loyalists.


His first wife gave him a son, Beaker Musgrove. His second wife gave him two daughters, Mary and Susan. Both girls were known beauties but they died young of consumption within a year of each other and just a 1-2 years after the War. They were unmarried. Major Edward Musgrove died in 1792 at 76 years of age. [2]

No Rest for the Weary

Edward Musgrove had been in the backcountry long enough to experience the brutality of frontier warfare, being involved in the Cherokee Wars and the Regulator Movement. Although he had hoped to live in peace, his home would draw the attention of the British and pull his family into the war.

“So you see I have interfered on neither side, only so far as you might have expected me, which I would not have come short of by any means. If I was to undertake, I would be very sorry to fail in the matter; therefore it is wisdom to balance everything in the right scale.”

-- Excerpt from a 1775 letter from Edward Musgrove to William Henry Drayton signifying his neutrality.

These ruins are all that remain of what may have once been the home of Edward Musgrove. A prosperous and influential settler of the Carolina backcountry, Edward acquired this land by 1774. It was on this site that Edward built a typical plantation, with a dwelling house and various other outbuildings.

Even though Edward Musgrove chose to stay neutral in the Revolutionary War, his property was desirable real estate for the British. The ford across the Enoree River could provide a known crossing, the gristmill on the property could provide food for hungry soldiers, and its location provided a convenient and recognizable gathering place for the British. In an effort to gain control of communication and transportation throughout the backcountry, the British took control of the ford and the mill, setting up camp around Edward’s home. [5]

After the major American defeat to the southeast at Camden, SC on August 16, 1780, southern Patriots needed a morale boost. It would come just two days later at the Battle of Musgrove Mill.

Colonel Isaac Shelby, with a Patriot army of about 200 men, was sent to Musgrove Mill to break-up a British campsite there. When he arrived, he found that he was greatly outnumbered facing about 500 British regulars and Loyalist militiamen. To attack the camp would have been suicide.

Instead Shelby devised a scheme to lead the British into an ambush. He divided his army into three commands. On the right wing, he chose Lieutenant Colonel Elijah Clark and his Patriot militia from Georgia. At the center, he chose Lieutenant Colonel James Williams (who was buried in Gaffney, SC after he became a casualty at Kings Mountain — both previous sites on this road trip). Shelby chose himself to lead the left wing.

To draw the British into the ambush, Captain Shadrick Inman, also from Georgia, and sixteen sharpshooters advanced on the British camp and started shooting. The British responded, formed ranks and followed Inman and his men into the ambush where they received deadly fire at point-blank range.

The British retreated and regrouped for another attack. During the second attack, their commander was killed by a Patriot sharpshooter and the British made a final retreat leaving behind over 200 casualties. There were only about 10 Patriot casualties, one of which, however, was Captain Shadrick Inman, who was killed during the final pursuit.

Coming as it did immediately after the defeat at Camden, Musgrove Mill relit the rebellion's fire, even though Thomas Sumter's command suffered a humiliating defeat by Tarleton's Legion at Fishing Creek the same day. [5][6]


  • n.b. double check relationship to parents: records are contradictory (born in England ... born in VA ...)
  • DAR Ancestor #: A083494
  • Musgrove’s Mill was founded in 1760 by Captain Edward Musgrove then living on the Tyger River, having arrived from Virginia in 1755. He had been appointed a captain in the South Carolina Militia due to his earlier military service in Virginia, having served in Fairfax County under Colonel Lawrence Washington in 1748 and later under Colonel George Washington at both the Fort Necessity and Braddock’s Defeat fights during the French-Indian War. [7]

The battle of Musgrove’s Mill, fought on August 18, 1780, was an early American victory in the South during the Revolution. The successful surprise attack lead by American Colonel Charles McDowell on the British post at Musgrove’s Mill indicated a weakness in the British hold on the backcountry. American troops routed a combined detachment of British and Tories at a ford on the Enoree River, but were forced to retreat to the mountains of North Carolina when Loyalist forces converged on the area. In this battle, British losses included 60 killed, 90 wounded, and 70 taken prisoner. Four Americans were killed and nine wounded. Occurring at the same time as the American defeat at Camden, this victory gave the American cause a badly needed boost in morale. The National Register site includes the land north of the Enoree River ford as well as a triangular portion of land south of the Enoree, opposite the mouth of Cedar Shoals Creek, where Major Edward Musgrove’s plantation house was standing until it burned in 1971. This is the area where the British and Tories were encamped at the time of the battle. Listed in the National Register March 4, 1975.


  1. Patton Family Tree 2003
  2. Battle of Musgrove Mill
  3. National Register of Historic Places: South Carolina
  4. Phillips Family Line: Descendants of Gamel de Musgrave
  5. McKee Genealogy Updated 16 September 2003
  6. Glen McDowell's Home Page last updated 26 February 2005
  7. Revolutionary Day: Route 221 - Musgrove Mill South Carolina
  8. WILLIAM FARR (1747/48-1794) Background and Early Years
  9. Newberry South Carolina Forums: Waters Line in Newbury Co. SC 1700's and 1800's Posted 4 Jan 2006


  1. Mentioned in will.
  2. DAR Ancestor search: The Said Anne Musgrove was the child of Edward Musgrove born on - - 1720 at _______________ died at _______________ on - - 1792 and his ( 3rd ) wife Adair born on - - at _______________ died at _______________ on - - married on - - 1767
  3. McDowell's Home Page
  4. Revolutionary Day
  5. The scene of conflict shifted from the coastal area to the upcountry, and the first major victory for the patriots was the Battle of Musgrove’s Mill on the Enoree River, at the junction of what is now Union, Spartanburg and Laurens Counties. Colonel Farr’s negro, Limrick, who accompanied Colonel Farr on all his campaigns, lived long after his master died. Limrick was lavish in talking of Colonel Farr’s prowess in war. One of his stories was that “everybody said that Colonel Shelby whipped the British at Musgrove’s Mill, but that was not right, for ale Master had dein whipped before Colonel Shelby got there.” (William Farr)
  6. Patton Family
  7. EDWARD MUSGROVE's oldest son, EDWARD BEAKS MUSGROVE, by his first wife, REBECCA BEAKS, is said by some researchers, to have married SARAH "SALLEY" WATERS, a daughter of BROADWINE WATERS, SR. They were on the 1790 Census in Laurens Dist. SC. By 1800, SARAH MUSGROVE and her family were living among the sons of BROADWINE WATERS, SR. in Spartanburg Co., SC and she later moved to Union District. SC. EDWARD BEAKS MUSGROVE had problems with WESTWOOD WATERS according to court cases in Spartanburg Co., SC. (Newbury SC Forums)
  8. His half sister, married LANDON WATERS. She was a daughter of EDWARD MUSGROVE by his third wife, ANN CROSBY (Some say Nancy Ann Crosby).(Newbury SC Forums)
  9. I am wondering if their half sister, MARY MUSGROVE, a daughter of EDWARD MUSGROVE and his second wife, HANNAH FINCHER, called MARY BERRY, in her father's will, remarried a WATERS? (Newbury SC Forums)
  10. Edward Musgrove, owner of Musgrove Mill and a Deputy Surveyor and a Justice of Peace, was married three times: 1) Rebecca Beaks; 2) Hannah Fincher, 3) (Nancy?) Ann Crosby. (Newbury SC Forums - Ann S. Grainger)
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Edward Gordon Musgrove's Timeline

Charles, Maryland
Age 25
Age 39
South Carolina
Age 39
Laurens, South Carolina
Age 41
Laurens, South Carolina
May 25, 1773
Age 57
Pendleton, South Carolina
Age 64
Laurens, South Carolina, United States