South Carolina in the Civil War

Milledge Luke Bonham
SC Governor during the War

Jacob Smith first settled Mount Willing. He had the old English custom of giving names to every farm and separate place he owned. He lived first at the place now (1891) occupied by Mr. Frank Boyd, which he called Flat Grove. His house was near the creek, near the old Smith and Bonham graveyard. This place was very sickly at that time, which caused Mr. Smith to remove to a place which he called Wine Hall, where Mr. William Myrick now lives. Just before the Revolutionary War Mr. Smith built a tavern in the woods on the east side of Richland Creek. Soon afterwards a large number of men met at the tavern to see about opening some roads through the country. When they were through with the business of the meeting and all had agreed upon the location of the roads to be cut - the same, by the way, that cross there now - the Chairman or President of the meeting called out: "Letís Mount!" to which was replied: "Willing!" Mr. Smith, who was present, caught the words, and gave the place the name of Mount Willing, which name it has borne ever since. Jacob Smith married Sarah Butler, an aunt of General William Butler. Cunningham, while on his great raid, stopped there in order to refresh his men and also to put Smith to death, but a Tory begged Cunningham to allow Mr. Smith a few moments to pray, which request was granted. The Tory then ran to the house of Russell Wilson, who lived only a short distance from the store, north, and got Mrs. Carghile to help intercede for his life. Mrs. Carghile, was Wilsonís sister, and the widow of Captain Neely Carghile, who had been lately killed by the Whigs. She told Cunningham of Smithís great kindness to the widows and orphans of the mudered Tories, which saved his life. Jacob Smith was a man of great wealth, and many are the stories told of his liberality to the distressed families of both Whigs and Tories during the Revolution. He died in 1805 at about seventy years of age, and was buried at Flat Grove. Mr. Smith left a son, Luke, and a daughter, Sophia. Luke married Elizabeth Loman, by whom he had two children, Jacob B. Smith and the exemplary wife of Dr. Rhyden G. Mays. Sophia married Captain James Bonham, a young widower from Maryland.

Captain Bonham lived near Red Bank and died in 1815, at the age of thirty-nine. His oldest daughter, Sallie, married John Lipscomb; Julia married Dr. Bowie. His oldest son, Malachi, emigrated to Texas; James also went there, and was one of the victims of the massacre at the Alamo. Milledge was the youngest, and was regarded as a very pious youth; in fact, he used to preach sometimes. He read law; was a successful practitioner; was made Solicitor of his circuit, his home being at Edgefield; was a member of Congress when the State seceded; became Brigadier-General in the Confederate service; took an active part and rendered efficient service at the first battle of Manassas or Bull Run; was elected Governor succeeding Pickens, and held that office for two years during the war. After the war he held different public positions, and died in the service of the State. Mrs. Bonham, his mother, lived with him at the court house during the last years of her life. She was a lady of extraordinary merit. When she died the Governor had her buried by the side of his father at Flat Grove.

REF:History of Edgefield County - John Chapman pg. 183

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South Carolina in the Civil War
This CD-ROM contains biographical sketches, military service records, and genealogical information on men who served the during the Civil War from South Carolina.

The CD-ROM is $35 and is available from Eastern Digital Resources.