Historyman presents: Josiah Culbertson


Murder or self defense? You would be hard pressed to second guess a man like Josiah Culbertson.  A Hunter and tracker, he would join one Patriot band and then another as a situation arose.  At times he served under Col Roebuck\’s Spartan Regiment and  Col. Shelby’s “Over the Mountain Men.\”  He was a true Son of Liberty. He was daring, fearless and direct. Sam Brown, on the other hand, was the person who carried off Culbertson’s father-in-law and two sons to the British soon after the fall of Charleston. Now Sam Brown was back again and threatening Culbertson’s wife while the Major was in the field. Whether Brown was acting at the behest of British Colonel Ferguson or on his own, the intent was clear that danger to the Culbertsons was imminent at the hands of this scoundrel. Upon hearing the facts of the altercation from her very lips, the Major vowed to put an end to Brown’s terrorism on his family. Culbertson tracked him down and killed him at a distance of two hundred yards near Morris Bridge Road, Spartanburg County (near present day I-26). Another Loyalist, upon hearing of the shooting, made bold threats to avenge Brown’s death. Such is the way of a lawless environment in a civil war, where nothing is civil. They met at the Green Spring near the end of what is now a private drive called Glendarosa on August 8, 1780. Both took aim with their rifles; Culbertson was the one who walked away with ne’er a scratch. The Tory was left at room temperature on the banks of that lonely creek.(1)(2) There was no law, judge or jury to contest the rights and wrongs. It was kill or be killed.  It was war.

Freedom Reigns!

(1) King\’s Mountain and its Heroes: History of the BAttle of King\’s Mountain, October 7th, 1780, and the Events Which Led to It, Lyman Copeland Draper, Anthony Alaire

(2)  Parker\’s Guide to the American Revolutionary War in South Carolina, John C. Parker Jr.

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