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Thread: Blackstock Hidden Silver

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  1. #1
    Gypsyheart~ Queen of Rust

    Nov 2005
    206 times

    Blackstock Hidden Silver

    This story ran in the Chester Report(SC) on February 17, 1995 during Black
    History Month

    Burrel Hemphill

    Trust of ancestor remembered by great-granddaughter

    General William T. Sherman left Columbia 130 years ago headed
    north toward Chester County and Blackstock. The main body of his troops
    did not reach Chester County, but turned east and then north again heading
    for North Carolina.
    Raiding parties or foragers, they were more nicely known came into
    the southern and eastern parts of the county.
    Burrel Hemphill was a slave, left by his master to guard the
    Hemphill homestead in Blackstock. He encountered a Union foraging party
    with tragic results. Hattie Jean Hemphill Holmes, 83, is the
    great-granddaughter of Burrel Hemphill. She lives near the old Hemphill
    place and for decades the story of her grandfather has been handed down
    from family member to family member.
    "He gave his life before he would tell where the silver was
    hidden," Mrs.. Holmes said. "He wouldn't betray his master's trust".
    Burrel Hemphill was a trusted slave of Robert Hemphill, the
    bachelor property owner that was said to be benevolent and kindly toward
    his slaves. Robert Hemphill owned a large plantation of 2,200 acres, most
    of it near Hopewell Associated Reformed Presbyterian Church. "The Hemphill
    place was down the road from the church," Mrs. Holmes said of the stories
    that she was told as a child. "The Yankees, I think it was, asked him
    (Burrel Hemphill) to tell them where the silver was hidden. But they had
    told him not to tell where he had hid it. They watched him to see if he
    would show them where it was hid. But he wouldn't tell where the silver
    was hidden so they hanged him.
    Mrs. Homes says that she does not remember many details of the
    story, but she does remember members of her family telling the story of the
    bravery and determination of her great-grandfather who gave his life in
    order not to betray a trust.
    Tradition has it that as Sherman's troops made their advance from
    Columbia northward, Robert Hemphill headed toward North Carolina, leaving
    Burrel Hemphill in charge
    Sherman's plan was to head north making it appear that they were
    heading (this part of the paper is missing). Troops crossed the
    Wateree/Catawba at Rocky Mounty, near Great Falls rather than crossing
    further into Chester County.
    Sherman's troops were in the area until the end of February
    1865. The left wing of the army was at the Rocky Mount section and the
    right wing crossed the river at Peay's Ferry on Feb. 23.
    The right wing built a pontoon bridge across the Wateree at Rocky
    Mount but it was swept away because of the flooded conditions of the river
    and all the troops did not get across until Feb. 28. Raiding parties
    however made it to the Hemphill plantation some 10 miles away.
    There they encountered Burrel Hemphill. Sherman's Army generally
    burned many homes and other pieces of property in their path as they
    marched northward from Savanna. The foragers were supposed to be
    searching for food for the troops, but generally they hunted for tools and
    valuables that were left behind by fleeing refugees.
    As the Yankee's approached Burrel they tried to get him to lead
    them or tell them where the silver was hidden. When he refused, they
    tortured him, tying him to a horse and dragging him from the Hemphill home
    to the church which is about a half mile or more. Torture would not entice
    Burrel to reveal the valuables and the soldiers took him be hind the home,
    secured a rope on the limbs of a blackgum tree and hung him. While he was
    hanging and dying they shot him in the legs.


    This was typical of raiding parties. There are documented stories
    on my first cousin (5 times removed) who was one of the signers of the
    Ordinance of Succession for SC. Dr. Columbus Cauthen, MD was suffering
    from TB (consumption) when Sherman's troops came through Lancaster. He
    was dragged from his bed and taken outside to the horses watering
    troth. His head was submerged repeatedly until he passed out. He died a
    short time later as a result of this. Claude Sinclair

    Mels05toy likes this.
    I go a great distance,while some are considering whether they will start today or tomorrow

  2. #2
    Pannin' Fer Gold!! WolfPack="WP"

    Feb 2011
    Greenwood, SC
    Garrett GTA 500 (need a new/better one)
    191 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting

    Re: Blackstock Hidden Silver

    Yes that is typical of Sherman and his "army" I have some Confederate Money that is in excellent, near new condition. It was hidden in the walls of the Edgefield (SC) County Court House as Sherman was vandalizing South Carolina, this money was not found until the late 1990's when the Court House was being remodeled!! So I'm sure that there is much hidden treasure out there somewhere, in the areas that Sherman passed through or passed closed to, and the "passed close too" may be the ticket, as Sherman's band of bandits spread great fear throughout the South!
    Mels05toy likes this.
    GODS, GUNS & GUTS made this COUNTRY FREE...I'll KEEP all THREE you can have the CHANGE!!!!!!!!!!



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