Col. Robert Anderson Chapter

The Sons of the American Revolution….

Who we are

The Sons of the American Revolution (SAR) is the largest male lineage organization in the United States.  It consists of 50 state societies with more than 500 local chapters, several international societies, and over 37,000 members in the U.S.  The SAR is dedicated to assisting our members, schools, teachers, and the general public in their efforts to sustain and preserve our American History and constitutional principles.  Membership in the SAR is open to male lineal descendants of a patriot who served in the Continental Army, the Militias, or provided money or provisions at personal risk to the cause of liberty during the American Revolution.

The National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution grew out of an earlier organization called Sons of Revolutionary Sires formed in San Francisco, California in 1876.  The SAR was organized on April 30 1889, the 100th anniversary of the inauguration of George Washington our first President.  The SAR was conceived as a fraternal and civic society composed of lineal descendants of the Patriots who wintered at Valley Forge, signed the Declaration of independence, fought in the battles of the American Revolution, served in the continental Congress, or otherwise supported, by civil or military service, the cause of American Independence.  The National Society was chartered by an Act of the United States Congress on June 9, 1906.  The Charter was signed by President Theodore Roosevelt , who was also a member of the Empire State Society, SAR.

Colonel Robert Anderson Chapter, SCSSAR

Greenville South Carolina

For many years the General Pickens Chapter Sons of the American Revolution was a very active group in Pickens, Oconee and Greenville counties.  As the years passed the majority of the membership centered in Clemson and Anderson areas where most of the meetings were held.  However, there was a significant group of members in Greenville who did not want to continue to travel the distance to Clemson for meetings.  In 1986 the Greenville members decided that they would charter a new chapter.

Organized:  February 8, 1987, Chartered: March 25, 1987

Neil Baer, President,

Frank Spearman, Vice President

Eugene C. Sneary, Secretary/Treasurer

These are the original 15 Charter Members:  Neil R. Baer, Watt McCain, Sr., John B. McLeod, E M. Moore, Jr., Eugene C. Sneary, Franklin A. Spearman, Thomas Earl Thompson Jr., M. Gordon Thruston, Jr., Morris D. Van Patten, William Ed. Henderson, James J Easley, James Johnson, M. Lafayette Johnson, Wilton Murphy, Neil M. Perrin

The Chapter was named after Colonel Robert Anderson, a good friend and an aide to General Andrew Pickens.  Col. Anderson was a Virginian who moved to South Carolina about 1765.  He and Pickens became staunch friends, neighbors, and fought together in many campaigns including the Battle of Cowpens.

The Col. Robert Anderson Chapter has become one of the most active Chapters in the state and in 2021  membership totaled 58 compatriots.  The Chapter meets every other month on the third Thursday of the month for dinner meetings at Logan’s Roadhouse off Pelham road. We try to keep the business part of the meeting short.  The Chapter Historian presents “moments” in SC revolutionary war history and now that covid has abated speakers are scheduled.  

 The battle of the Great Cane Brake that took place at Hopkins Farm in Simpsonville, SC is commemorated by our Chapter annually on the first Saturday of December with speeches, musket volleys, and colonial enactors.  ROTC and JROTC awards are given annually.  The Chapter is also active in Revolutionary War Patriots grave markings and commemorations.

If you are interested in researching your Revolutionary War patriot ancestor and joining the SAR please visit the national website, sar.org, or, contact us direct.

Colonel Robert Anderson, A Biography

Robert Anderson was born on Nov. 15, 1741 in Augusta County Virginia.  His parents, John and Jane Anderson had immigrated to America from Ireland.  In 1765 Robert married Anne Thompson and moved to South Carolina where they located near Andrew Pickens and became lifelong friends.  The Anderson’s had five children:  Robert Jr., Anne, Mary, Jane, and Elizabeth.

Robert learned to fight as an Indian fighter against the Cherokees with Andrew Pickens on the “western frontier” of South Carolina in. He joined the 5th South Carolina Militia and was appointed a captain in a regiment commanded by his friend Andrew Pickens fighting Boyd’s Loyalists.  Anderson was captured at Ninety Six by the British and gave them his parole.  When the British did not honor their promises Anderson along with many others once again took up arms.

Robert Anderson was promoted to the rank of Colonel and fought under Brigadier General Andrew Pickens at the pivotal Battle of Cowpens.  Anderson also fought under Henry “Light Horse Harry Lee”.  He fought at the Battle of Eutaw Springs.  Col Anderson’s regiment later held his line against the British between Augusta, Ga., and Ninety Six.

After the end of the war Robert Anderson was promoted to the rank of General in the South Carolina state militia.

From 1791 to 1794 Anderson was elected to the South Carolina House of Representatives.  He was appointed elector in 1800 for Thomas Jefferson and Aaron Burr.  

By now Gen. Anderson owned 2100 acres in what is now Anderson, Oconee and Pickens counties.  His home was on the Seneca River in Westville and across from Andrew Picken’s home in Hopewell.

Gen. Anderson was an elder of the Old Stone Church.  When he passed away at his home on January 9, 1813 he could not be buried at the church because of flooding so was interred at his home.  When Lake Hartwell was built, and to avoid the flooding to come, his body was removed and now buried in the Old Stone Church (Clemson) cemetery. Where his grave marker can be seen today.

Col. Robert Anderson Chapter, SCSSAR

Officers

President:  Joe Glavitsch

Past President: Bob Krause

Vice President: Open

Secretary: Stephen Ashton

Treasurer:  Dan Patten

Registrar:  David Bennett

Historian:  Glenn Farrow

Chaplain:  John Vaughn

Sergeant at Arms:  George Lyda

2021 Committees

Finance:  Treasurer, Dan Patten

Membership:  Registrar David Bennett

Programs:  President Joe Glavitsch

Color Guard:  Historian Glenn Farrow

Patriot Grave Marking:  Greg Hase

ROTC:  President Joe Glavitsch

Electronic Communications:  Webmaster George Lyda

Cane Brake Planning:  Pres. Joe Glavitsch, Sec. Stephen Ashton

Historian Glenn Farrow

Remembering Cane Brake

        With the coming of the American Revolution, the patriot government in Charles Town was opposed by a large concentration of “King’s men” in the upcountry.  Both sides recognized the need to cultivate the friendship of the Cherokees in a nearly lawless area of the state; and both sides promised to provide the Indians with ammunition for hunting.

         In October 1775, the patriot Council of Safety in Charles Town sent 1,000 pounds of powder and 2,000 pounds of lead to the Indians, but a force of about 500 loyalists under the command of Captain Patrick Cunningham intercepted and commandeered the wagon train.  Following an unsuccessful attempt to retake the munitions, the Charles Town patriot leaders endeavored to break the strength of upcountry loyalism by raising an overwhelming force of militiamen under the command of Colonel Richard Richardson.  Heavily outnumbered, the King’s men fell back toward the Piedmont.  By late December, Richardson had perhaps as many as 5,000 troops under his command and had captured the major loyalist leaders.

On December 21, Richardson ordered 1,300 men under Col. William “Danger” Thomson to pursue the loyalists into Indian territory.  Thomson marched 25 miles through the night to a camp where loyalists had been sheltering from cold rain and snow flurries in a “Brake of Canes”.  Because the ground was wet and the loyalists had been warming themselves by burning cane stalks that popped and crackled, Thomson’s men nearly managed to surround the camp before being discovered as they attacked at dawn.   Cunningham escaped on an unsaddled horse and without his breeches, shouting for every man “to shift for himself.”  The patriots recaptured the munitions intended for the Cherokees, and they took 130 prisoners, forcing them to sign a document promising not to take up arms again.  One patriot militiaman was wounded.  Only five or six loyalists were killed, though Thomson had to restrain his men from harming the prisoners, some of whom were sent off to Charles Town in chains.

Despite the Patriot success, an unusual, heavy snowstorm occurred the following day, which caused considerable suffering among the militiamen, who had been called to duty on short notice with inadequate clothing and without tents.  Some were permanently injured by exposure and frostbite. Thereafter the events surrounding Cane Brake became known as the “Snow Campaign”.

 History Courtesy of Past President John Satterthwaite. Col. Robert Anderson Chapter SCSSAR, Oct.2019