The American Revolution from a family’s perspective
by The Press and Standard | November 10, 2018 5:00 am
Last Updated: November 7, 2018 at 11:14 am
Dan Johnson, a former managing editor of the Press and Standard, will present a program on the American Revolution at 6 p.m. Nov. 15 at the Colleton Museum.
The program titled “Shrieks from Women and Children: A Refugee Family in the American Revolution” traces the travails of Sarah McIntosh, her two daughters and her three young sons.
At the beginning of the war, British forces based in Florida raided incessantly into South Georgia, placing the McIntosh home at Darien in the midst of a combat zone and causing Sarah to move her family to the supposed safety of Savannah. After British invaders captured Savannah, the family became trapped behind enemy lines. While French and American forces laid siege to Savannah, Sarah and her children huddled in a basement and endured horrific artillery bombardments.
When the British eventually released them, they traveled to the supposed safe haven of Camden. Just before the British captured Camden, the family evacuated to North Carolina.
The family continued wandering around the South before finding refuge in Virginia, where Governor Thomas Jefferson provided funds for the family’s sustenance.
After the war ended, the family returned to Savannah.
The story of the refugee family is taken from Johnson’s book “This Cursed War: Lachlan McIntosh in the American Revolution,” which is available at the Colleton Museum’s gift shop/café. The author sign copies of the book following his presentation.
Johnson came to the Press and Standard in 1980 as a reporter and photographer; later he was promoted to managing editor. He benefited from the wisdom and guidance of the late Estelle S. Smoak, who was the editor and publisher during that era.
Shortly after the Colleton Museum opened in the Old Jail, Johnson’s photography was featured in an exhibit. Many of the photographs remain on exhibit at the museum’s current location, and others decorate walls of various county offices.
After leaving Walterboro in 1995 to serve as associate publisher of the community newspaper in Sylvania, Ga., Johnson returned to South Carolina to work at newspapers in Barnwell and Allendale.
He now lives in Allendale and serves as the head librarian for USC Salkehatchie.
He has written six books dealing with the Jacobite Risings in Scotland, the struggle for the Colonial American southern frontier and the American Revolution.