BackgroundJohn Darwin was 57 years of age when the United States declared war on Great Britain on 18 June 1812. The US Army at that time numbered less than 7,000 regulars but over the next two years would be augmented by some 400,000 state militiamen. Among these latter in 1814 were two of John Darwin's sons, John B. Darwin, aged 23, and Robert G. Darwin, aged 19.
The Darwin brothers reported for duty on 1 October 1814 at Lipsy's Old Fields in Union District, 45 miles from their home in York. They were mustered into the Second Regiment, South Carolina Militia, under Captain (later Colonel) Adam McWillie, John B. Darwin assuming the rank of Sergeant while Robert remained a private in Captain Robert Caldwell's Company.
A web publication by the York County South Carolina Genenelogical and Historical Society gives the following account:
Capt. Caldwell's Company, one of three raised in York District, was assembled at Yorkville. It joined the rendezvous of the First and Second Regiments of state militia at Lipsey's Old Fields in Union District on Oct. 1, 1814. From there the regiment marched along the Old State Road by way of Granby (near Columbia in Lexington District), to Charleston, arriving about the seventh of the month. On the 27th it was armed, equipped and quarted in barracks on Haddrell's Point. It remained there util the end of November when it transferred over to John's Island and prepared for possible attack by the British on Charleston.
Colonel Adam McWillie and the members of his staff were attended by individual body servants, some of whom were hired out to work on the fortifications. The life of an enlisted man was not so easy.
When news was received that a treaty of peace had been concluded on December 24th, that Jackson had overwhelmingly defeated the British at New Orleans and that hostilities had been suspended, some of the men tired of anxious waiting and impatient to get home, hired substitutes and were discharged.
Sickness kept Surgeon Daughty and his mates busy and Chaplain Brannon had to perform last rites for seven men of Caldwell's Company. The regiment itself was mustered out of service at Charleston on March 7, 1815.
A decade later the State of South Carolina sold at auction the rifled, muskets, pistols, thousands of flints, gun carriage wheels, and tons of cannon balls that had been stored at the Charleston Arsenal during the military buildup.
Muster Roll and Payment Records
Five military records cover the Darwin brothers' tour of duty (US National Archives - source citation pending):
(1) Muster roll of 20 November 1814, Hadrill's Point, Charleston, South Carolina. John B. Darwin and Robert G. Darwin present.
(2) Company Pay Roll (undated): John B. Darwin's Payment for 1 Oct 1814 to 31 Oct 1814 @ $11.00 month.
(3) Muster Roll of 28 February 1815: John B. and Robert G. present from 20 November 1814 to 28 February 1815.
(4) Company Pay Roll (undated): John B. Darwin's Payment for 1 November 1814 to 6 March 1815 (4 months and 6 days = $46.12).
(5) Pay Roll (Discharge): Allowance of 45 miles Place of Rendezvous (Lipsy's Old Fields) to Home, 225 miles Place of Discharge to Place of Rendezvous; 18 days travel @ 15 miles per day @ 35 cents per day = $6.30.
Company RosterFrom the previously cited York County South Carolina Genenelogical and Historical Society is the full roster for the company, with accompanying notes by the YCSCGHS.
[Footnote: The presence of Philip Prater, listed here as a Corporal who paid for one James Latham to stand subsitute, is of interest here. In 1807, Prater had married Ruth Latham (of uncertain relationship to James Latham); their daughter, Jane Prather, would later marry one William Kidd and become the mother of Mary E. Kidd, future wife of John B. Darwin's son, Martin V. Darwin].
All of the men in the following list were from York District. All of the officers and most of the enlisted men joined the regiment on Oct. 1, 1814 and rendezvoused at Lipsey's Old Field. They were discharged at either Charleston or John's Island. Any exceptions to this are noted below:
1. Caldwell, Robert, Captain
2. Bird, Edward, 1st Lieut.
3. McNeel, John, 2nd Lieut.
4. Byers, Joseph Alexander, 3rd Lieut.
5. Whisonant, Joseph, Ensign
6. Darwin, John B., Sgt.
7. Bird, Henry C., Sgt. Promoted from private to Sgt. 10/27/1814
8. Ellis, Thomas S., Promoted from private to Sgt. 10/27/1814
9. McConnell, Samuel, Sgt.
10. Kelough, William, Sgt., Reduced to the ranks 12/5/1814, Enlisted in U.S. service 1/1/1815
11. Champion, William, Cpl.
12. Prater, Philip, Cpl., Discharged 1/1/1815 by furnishing substitue James Latham
13. Dawson, Isaac, Cpl.
14. Carson, David, Cpl.
15. Mooney, Francis, Cpl., Died 2/22/1815
16. Bratton, Hugh, Cpl., Discharged 2/4/1815 by furnishing substitute William Bratton
17. Logan, Thomas, Musician, Enlisted at Innard on 10/6/1814
18. Hill, William, Musician
19. Ash, William B., Pvt., Promoted from pvt. to cpl. 2/4/1815
20. Ash, John, Pvt.
21. Ash, James, Pvt.
22. Ash, William, Pvt.
23. Ashcroft, John, Died 1/23/1815
24. Alexander, George, Enlisted 11/11/1814 at Haddrell's Point
25. Black, Robert, Pvt.
26. Blankenship, Eli, Pvt.
27. Bratton, Thomas, Pvt.
28. Barry, Samuel, Pvt., Discharged 12/17/1814 by furnishing substitute Alexander Chambers
29. Bratton, James, Pvt.
30. Black, James M., Pvt.
31. Black, Isaac, Pvt., Enlisted 11/11/1814 at Haddrell's Point. Died 2/21/1815
32. Coombs, John, Pvt.
33. Cowsert, James, Pvt., Died 11/29/1814
34. Carrell, Thomas, Pvt.
35. Cowsert, Richard, Pvt.
36. Carrell, David, Pvt. Discharged 2/2/1815 by furnishing substitute William Hubbard
37. Childers, John, Pvt.
38. Couch, Moses, Pvt.
39. Cayton, Henry, Pvt.
40. Cresswell, Thoms, Pvt.
41. Darwin, Robert, Pvt.
42. Freeman, Allen, Pvt.
43. Faries, Samuel, Pvt.
44. Ferrill, Matthew, Pvt.
45. Gadberry, William, Pvt.
46. Hambright, John, Pvt., Discharged 12/6/1814 at John's Island, unfit for service
47. Hambright, Peter, Pvt., Discharged 3/7/1815 at Charleston
48. Hambright, James, Pvt.
49. Hambright, Josiah, Pvt.
50. Hardin, Isaac, Pvt., Promoted to corporal 1/21/1815
51. Hubbard, John, Pvt., Died 2/22/1815
52. Honnel, Peter, Pvt., Deserted 10/26/1814, rejoined 11/15/1815
53. Harris, John H., Pvt.
54. Haines, David, Pvt.
55. Hudson, Sion, Pvt.
56. Howell, Smith, Pvt.
57. Hicks, Daniel, Pvt.
58. Harris, John, Pvt., Enlisted at Granby, 10/11/1814
59. Jackson, Henry, Pvt.
60. Jacobs, John, Pvt.
61. Kirk, John, Pvt.
62. Kirk, George, Pvt.
63. Kimble, Solomon, Pvt.
64. Kimble, John, Pvt.
65. Kerr, John, Pvt.
66. Leech, Joseph, Pvt.
67. Latham, Moses, Pvt.
68. Lee, John, Pvt.
69. Lee, Henry, Pvt.
70. Love, David, Pvt.
71. Lanier, John, Pvt.
72. Lacey, James, Pvt.
73. Minter, William, Pvt.
74. Meadows, John, Pvt.
75. Moore, John, Pvt.
76. Mooney, John, Pvt.
77. McWaters, Francis, Pvt.
78. Marable, Brackston, Pvt., Died 2/21/1815
79. Murphy, James, Pvt., transferred 11/23/1814 to Capt. Jonathan Beatty's
80. McGriff, John, Pvt.
81. McClellan, Thomas,Pvt.
82. McCants, Samuel, Pvt.
83. Montgomery, John, Pvt.
84. Nesbit, William, Pvt.
85. Perry, James, Pvt.
86. Parks, Joseph, Pvt.
87. Patterson, Benjamin, Pvt.
88. Pilcher, James, Pvt.
89. Roach,William G., Pvt.
90. Rainey,William, Pvt.
91. Stephenson, John, Pvt., discharged 2/1/1815 at John's Island by furnishing substitute John Hope
92. Smith, Samuel, Pvt., promoted from private to sergeant 12/5/1814 & discharged 3/7/1815 at Charleston
93. Smith, William H., Pvt., Discharged 12/13/1814 at John's Island, unfit for service
94. Ticer,Thomas, Pvt.
95. Tally, Hugh, Pvt.
96. Tomlinson, Littleberry, Pvt.
97. Ticer, William, Pvt., enlisted 10/14/1814 at Granby
98. Vickery, John, Pvt.
99. Whisonant, John, Pvt., discharged 12/1/1815 at John's Island by furnishing substitute James Mooney
100. Webb, Joseph, Pvt.
101. Weathers, Jeptha, Pvt.
102. Ware, Jacob, Pvt.
Bratton, William, Pvt., enlisted 2/4/1815 at John's Island as substitute for Hugh Bratton
Chambers, William,, Pvt., enlisted 12/17/1814 at John's Island as substitute for Samuel Berry
Ewing, John, Pvt., enlisted12/23/1814 at John's Island
Hope, John, Pvt., enlisted2/1/1815 at John's Island as substitute for John Stephenson
Hubbard, William, Pvt.,enlisted 2/2/1815 at John's Island as substitute for David Carrell
Latham, Richard, Pvt., enlisted 1/21/1815 at John's Island as substitute for James Hogg
Latham, James, Pvt., enlisted 1/21/1815 at John's Island as substitute for Philip Prater
Mooney, James, Pvt., enlisted 12/1/1814 at John's Island as substitute for John Whisonant
McHenry, George, Pvt., enlisted 11/23/1814 at Haddrell's Point from Capt. Jonathan Betty's Company 1st SC Militia
Meek, James, Pvt., enlisted 11/22/1814 at Haddrell's Point
Stevens, James, Pvt. enlisted 12/14/1814 at John's Island as substitute for Samuel Wylie
Wherry, William, Pvt., enlisted 11/27/1814 at Haddrell's Point