South Carolina, United States


Share your family tree and photos with the people you know and love

  • Build your family tree online
  • Share photos and videos
  • Smart Matching™ technology
  • Free!


A Patriot of the American Revolution for SOUTH CAROLINA. DAR Ancestor # A069020   

The patriots were frequently indebted for important information to one young girl, fifteen or sixteen years old at the commencement of the war. This was Dicey, the daughter of Solomon Langston of Laurens District. He was in principle a stout liberty man, but incapacitated by age and infirmities from taking any active part in the contest. His son was a devoted patriot, and was ever found in the field where his services were most needed. He had his home in the neighborhood, and could easily receive secret intelligence from his sister, who was always on the alert.

Living surrounded by loyalists, some of whom were her own relatives, Miss Langston found it easy to make herself acquainted with their movements and plans, and failed not to avail herself of every opportunity to do so, and immediately to communicate what she learned to the whigs on the other side of the Ennoree River. At length suspicion of the active aid she rendered was excited among the tory neighbors. Mr. Langston was informed that he would be held responsible thenceforward, with his property, for the conduct of his daughter. The young girl was reproved severely, and commanded to desist from her patriotic treachery. For a time she obeyed the parental injunction; but having heard by accident that a company of loyalists, who on account of their ruthless cruelty had been commonly called the" Bloody Scout," intent on their work of death, were about to visit the" Elder settlement" where her brother and some friends were living, she determined at all hazards to warn them of the intended expedition. She had none in whom to confide; but was obliged to leave her home alone, by stealth, and at the dead hour of night. Many miles were to be traversed, and the road lay through woods, and crossed marshes and creeks, where the conveniences of bridges and foot-logs were wanting.

She walked rapidly on, heedless of slight difficulties; but her heart almost failed her when she came to the banks of the Tyger-a deep and rapid stream, which there was no possibility of crossing except by wading through the ford. This she knew to be deep at ordinary times, and it had doubtless been rendered more dangerous by the rains that had lately fallen. But the thought of personal danger weighed not with her, in comparison to the duty she owed her friends and country. Her momentary hesitation was but the shrinking of nature from peril encountered in darkness and alone, when the imagination conjures up a thousand appalling ideas, each more startling than the worst reality. Her strong heart battled against these, and she resolved to accomplish her purpose, or perish in the attempt. She entered the water; but when in the middle of the ford, became bewildered, and knew not which direction to take.

The hoarse rush of the waters, which were up to her neck-the blackness of the night-the utter solitude around her-the uncertainty lest the next step should ingulph her past help, confused her; and losing in a degree her self-possession, she wandered for some time in the channel without knowing whither to turn her steps. But the energy of a resolute will, under the care of Providence, sustained her. Having with difficulty reached the other side, she lost no time in hastening to her brother, informed him and his friends of the preparations made to surprise and destroy them, and urged him to send his men instantly in different directions to arouse and warn the neighborhood.

The soldiers had just returned from a fatiguing excursion, and complained that they were faint from want of food. The noble girl, not satisfied with what she had done at such risk to herself, was ready to help them still further by providing. refreshment immediately. Though wearied, wet, and shivering with cold, she at once set about her preparations. A few boards were taken from the roof of the house, a fire was kindled with them, and in a few minutes a hoe-cake, partly baked was broken into pieces, and thrust into the shot pouches of the men. Thus provisioned, the little company hastened to give the alarm to their neighbors, and did so in time for all to make their escape. The next day, when the "scout" visited the place, they found no living enemy on whom to wreak their vengeance.

At a later period of the war, the father of Miss Langston incurred the displeasure of loyalists in consequence of the active services of his sons in their country's cause. They were known to have imbibed their principles from him; and he was marked out as an object of summary vengeance. A party came to his house with the desperate design of putting to death all the men of the family. The sons were absent; but the feeble old man, selected by their relentless hate as a victim, was in their power. He could not escape or resist; and he scorned to implore their mercy. One of the company drew a pistol, and deliberately levelled it at the breast of Lansgton. Suddenly a wild shriek was heard; and his young daughter sprang between her aged parent and the fatal weapon. The brutal soldier roughly ordered her to get out of the way, or the contents of the pistol would be instantly lodged in her own heart. She heeded not the threat, which was but too likely to be fulfilled the next moment. Clasping her arms tightly round the old man's neck, she declared that her own body should first receive the ball aimed at his heart! There are few human beings, even of the most depraved, entirely insensible to all noble and generous impulses. On this occasion the conduct of the daughter, so fearless, so determined to shield her father's life by the sacrifice of her own, touched the heart even of a member of the" Bloody Scout." Langston was spared; and the party left the house filled with admiration at the filial affection and devotion they had witnessed.

At another time the heroic maiden showed herself as ready to prevent wrong to an enemy as to her friends. Her father's house was visited by a company of whigs, who stopped to get some refreshment, and to feed their wearied horses. In the course of conversation one of them mentioned that they were going to visit a tory neighbor, for the purpose of seizing his horses. The man whose possessions were thus to be appropriated had been in general a peaceable citizen; and Mr. Langston determined to inform him of the danger in which his horses stood of having their ownership changed. Entering cordially into her father's design, Miss Langston set off immediately to carry the information. She gave it in the best faith; but just before she started on her return home, she discovered that the neighbor whom she had warned was not only taking precautions to save his property, but was about to send for the captain of a tory band not far distant, so that the "liberty men" might be captured when intent on their expedition, before they should be aware of their danger. It was now the generous girl's duty to perform alike friendly act towards the whigs. She lost no time in conveying the intelligence, and thus saved an enemy's property, and the lives of her friends.

Her disregard of personal danger, where service could be rendered, was remarkable. One day, returning from a whig neighborhood in Spartanburg District, she was met by a company of loyalists, who ordered her to give them some intelligence they desired respecting those she had just left. She refused; whereupon the captain of the band held a pistol to her breast, and ordered her instantly to make the disclosures, or she should "die in her tracks." Miss Langston only replied, with the cool intrepidity of a veteran soldier: "Shoot me if you dare! I will not tell you," at the same time opening a long handkerchief which covered her neck and bosom, as if offering a place to receive the contents of the weapon. Incensed by her defiance, the officer was about to fire, when another threw up his hand, and saved the courageous girl's life. On one occasion, when her father's house was visited on a plundering expedition by the noted tory Captain Gray with his riflemen, and they had collected and divided every thing they thought could be of use, they were at some loss what to do with a large pewter basin. At length the captain determined on taking that also, jeeringly remarking, "it will do to run into bullets to kill the rebels." "Pewter bullets, sir," answered Miss Langston, "will not kill a whig." "Why not ?" inquired Captain Gray. "It is said, sir," replied she, "that a witch can be shot only with a silver bullet; and I am sure the whigs are more under the protection of Providence." At another time when a company of the enemy came to the house they found the door secured. To their demand for admission and threats of breaking down the door, Miss Langston answered by sternly bidding them begone. Her resolute language induced the company to "hold a parley;" and the result was that they departed without further attempt to obtain an entrance.

One more anecdote is given to illustrate her spirit and fearlessness. Her brother James had left a rifle in her care, which she was to keep hid till he sent for it. He did so, by a company of "liberty men," who were to return by his father's dwelling. On arriving at the house, one of them asked the young girl for the gun. She went immediately, and brought it; but as she came towards the soldiers, the thought struck her that she had neglected to ask for the countersign agreed upon between her brother and herself. Advancing more cautiously-she observed to them that their looks were suspicious; that for aught she knew they might be a set of tories; and demanded the countersign. One of the company answered that it was too late to make conditions; the gun was in their possession, and its holder, too. "Do you think so," cried she, cocking it, and presenting the muzzle at the speaker. "If the gun is in your possession, take charge of her!" Her look and attitude of defiance showed her in earnest; the countersign was quickly given; and the men, laughing heartily, pronounced her worthy of being the sister of James Langston.

After the war was ended, Miss Langston married Thomas Springfield, of Greenville, South Carolina. She died in Greenville District, a few years since. Of her numerous descendants then living, thirty-two were sons and grandsons capable of bearing arms, and ready at any time to do so in the maintenance of that liberty which was so dear to the youthful heart of their ancestor. *


The deceased was the daughter of Solomon Langston of Revolutionary memory, whose family perhaps suffered more from the ruthless ravages of the Tories and Indians than almost any other, and the subject of this remark took an active part in the struggle and performed many daring deeds on behalf of her suffering country and friends. 

She was the mother of 22 children and has left about 140 grand and great grand children. She was a kind and affectionate wife, mother, and neighbor, and has left a large circle of acquaintances to deplore her loss."

view all 23


May 14, 1766
South Carolina, United States
May 25, 1786
Laurens County, South Carolina, United States
February 5, 1788
Greenville Co, South Carolina
August 14, 1789
Greenville Co, South Carolina
July 23, 1791
Greenville Co, South Carolina
January 19, 1793
Greenville, South Carolina
March 30, 1794
Greenville, South Carolina
Granville, Sc