James Screven was a general who was killed during the Revolutionary War.
Genealogically he is only indirectly connected to the Quarterman family,
but he was a significant figure in the Midway community.
There is a tall monument to him in the middle of Midway Cemetery.
``Toward the end of 1778, the theatre of war was transferred to the
Southern Provinces, and the British planned an invasion of Georgia from
East Florida. General Augustine Prevost sent one force, commanded by
Lieutenant Colonel L. V. Fuser, by sea directly to Sunbury, near Midway,
and another, under Lieutenant Colonel Mark Prevost, by land to rendezvous
with Fuser at Sunbury. Colonel Prevost's force set out in November, 1778,
toward Sunbury, destroying and plundering the plantations in its path.
Col. White doesn't appear to have been a Midway person.
``Colonel John White posted about one hundred continentals with two
pieces of light artillery at the Midway Church and constructed a breastwork
just south of it, hoping to hold off Prevost until help arrived from Savannah.
When General James Screven arrived with some twenty militiamen, the
Americans moved their position 1 1/2 miles south of the Church. During
the skirmish which followed, General Screven was wounded and captured;
he died while in the hands of the enemy. Outnumbered, White retreated to
Midway Church. He succeeded in slowing the British advance by a clever
deception. He arranged for a fictitious letter ordering the retreat as
a trap to fall into their hands.''
According to Stacy's Records,
on 22 November 1778,
``Sabbath morning, 22nd. Our Party retreated
yesterday to the Meeting House, where a recruit of some hundreds
joined them with some Artillery, and some of our Party crossed the
Swamp, and coming near a thicket where they expected an Ambuscade
might probably be, Col. James Screven and one more, went forward to
examine, the Colonel, and one Continental officer, and Mr. Judah
Lewis, were shot down. The Colonel had three wounds; the other two
killed. A flag was sent and brought off the Colonel.''
This is the General Screven of the monument in Midway Cemetery.
Apparently he must have been posthumously promoted to General,
since the contemporary records say he was a Colonel in this
skirmish, in which he received the wound from which he died.
Stacy remarks in his History, page 118:
Photograph by Carol Van Cleef
of sketch in Midway Museum
``He [James Screven] fell mortally wounded in a skirmish with the British
under Col. Provost, on Spencer Hill, one and a half mile south of Midway
church, November 22, 1778. From the Midway Records and other
sources we gather the following facts: That Col. White had himself
gathered an army to meet Col. Provost approaching from the South;
that after and unsuccessful attempt at resistance at Newport Bridge
on Saturday morning, they fell back to Midway church. On the next
morning, Sunday, Gen. Screven and some of his party crossed the
swamp to reconnoitre, but falling into an ambuscade he fell
mortally wounded, receiving three wounds, one of which was
inflicted after he had fallen. He was sent by flag of truce that
evening by Captain Mittus and eight men, placed in the Vestry
House, treated by Dr. Dunwoody, removed afterwards to the house
of John Elliott, Senior, where he breathed his last Tuesday,
Nov. 24, 1778. Captain Strother and Mr. Judah Lewis were killed
in the same skirmish in which the general fell.''
Captain Strother was apparently the "one Continental officer"
referred to in the Records. He and Mr. Judah Lewis and
Col Screven all died.
As near as I can tell, Mr. Judah Lewis and Captain Strother
were not related to the Midway group. Col. Screven was related,
as discussed previously in this list.
Of the other people mentioned, I would guess Dr. Dunwoody was
James Dunwody (1751-1809), son of John Dunwody of Londonderry, Ireland
and Susanna Creswell, married Esther Dean, had three children.
Hm, I didn't know there were any Irish in Midway. They also came
to Midway by way of Pennsylvania, which I didn't know had ever happened.
The immigrant John Donwody died in 1776, so the Dunwoody mentioned for
1778 couldn't have been him. His son (1751-1809) is recorded in several
sources, including his epitaph in Midway Cemetery, as being a doctor.
I don't know who Captain Mittus was.
For John Elliott, Senior,