Martha Camilla Bratton

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Martha Camilla Bratton (Robertson)

Birthplace: Rowan County, North Carolina, United States
Death: January 16, 1816 (66-67)
Brattonsville, McConnells, York County, South Carolina, United States
Place of Burial: York, York County, South Carolina, United States
Immediate Family:

Daughter of William Robertson and Sarah Townes
Wife of Colonel William Bratton
Mother of Jane Nisbet; Elsie Sadler; Martha Foster; Mary Bratton; William Bratton, III and 5 others

Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Martha Camilla Bratton

DAR# A013870

Poisened 16 men at the "Battle of Huck's Defeat"

Martha and her husband were entrusted with a precious commodity back then - gun powder. With her husband away, Martha was left in charge. Hearing that the British were planning to steal the gun powder, Martha set a trap, blowing up the building as the British soldiers arrived. She even admitted doing the dastardly deed when captured. She was let go, later questioned about her husband's whereabouts, and spared by a British officer from severe punishment. She repaid the debt, when the same officer was captured by Patriots and scheduled for hanging. Realizing the cruelty of war, Martha set up a hospital and nursed both British and American soldiers. from:

Patriot Lady

During the British occupation of South Carolina, a certain loyalist captain named Christian Huck was given a hundred men with orders to "push the rebels as far as you deem convenient." When Capt. Huck arrived at the home of militia leader Col. William Bratton, he demanded that Martha Bratton tell him where her husband was. She calmly replied "he is in sumter's army." The loyalists then attempted to persuade Mrs. Bratton to convince her husband to join them, to which she answered coolly "that she would rather see him remain true to his duty to his country, even if he perished in sumter's army." One of Capt. Huck's men, enraged at her reply, grabbed a reaping hook that hung nearby and held it to her throat, threatening to kill her unless she revealed information about her husband's position. She still refused to endanger her husband in any way. Huck's second-in-command finally ordered the soldier to release her. Immediately after the party of soldiers left, Mrs. Bratton sent word to her husband telling the whereabouts of Huck's camp. The next day Col. Bratton and his soldiers ambushed the Tory camp. The surprise was so complete, and the patriot soldiers so accurate, that only two dozen Tory soldiers survived the battle. The Bratton home was then used as a hospital for the wounded soldiers of both sides, and Mrs. Bratton herself helped nurse the surviving loyalists who had the day before threatened her life.

Before the fall of Charlestown, the ammunition supply of the american militias was scarce and hard to come by. Col. Bratton was in charge of a certain amount of this powder, which was hidden throughout the country in tree trunks and other hiding places. In Col. Bratton's absence Martha was in charge of keeping the powder from being seized by the British. At one time Mrs. Bratton was warned of a group of soldiers coming to find the ammunition in her safekeeping. She quickly laid a train of powder to the spot where it was hidden, and when the enemy came into sight she lit the train and destroyed the supply. The loyalist commander, "irritated to fury, demanded who had dared to perpetrate such an act, and threatened instant and severe vengeance upon the culprit." Martha Bratton answered him, "It was I who did it. Let the consequence be what it will, I glory in having prevented the mischief contemplated by the cruel enemies of my country."

In 1839, on the anniversary celebration of Capt. Huck's defeat, a toast was made in honor of Mrs. Bratton saying, "The memory of Mrs. Bratton. – In the hands of an infuriated monster, with the instrument of death around her neck, she nobly refused to betray her husband; in the hour of victory she remembered mercy, and as a guardian angel, interposed in behalf of her inhuman enemies. Throughout the revolution she encouraged the Whigs to fight on to the last; to hope on to the end. Honor and gratitude to the woman and heroine, who proved herself so faithful a wife- so firm a friend to liberty!"

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Martha Camilla Bratton's Timeline

Rowan County, North Carolina, United States
January 29, 1764
York, York County, South Carolina, United States
March 19, 1771
York County, South Carolina