You Must Leave

You Must Leave

Written by: Leo Lawton

March 4, 2011

I doubt there is a person born in South Carolina that doesn’t know December 20, 1860 was Secession Day. The South Carolina Convention voted 169 – 0, “that the union now subsisting between South Carolina and other states under the name of United States of America is hereby dissolved.”

It was January 11, 1861 when Winborn Lawton wrote his will in which his son Winborn Wallace (AKA Wallace) Lawton became the owner of the Hundred Pines Plantation across the Ashley from Charleston. March 24th Winborn died. April 14th after 34 hours of continuous bombardment Major Anderson commander of the Union garrison on Fort Sumter surrendered, and the Confederate and South Carolina flags were raised. (Major Anderson’s daughter Eba would one day marry James Marsland Lawton of New York City and Havana.)

November 1861 brought word from Confederate President Jefferson Davis that the military decision had been made that the islands around Charleston, including James Island, were indefensible and thus needed to be evacuated. Wallace was taken aback. Evacuate to where? How? Wallace stalled until 1863, but finally decided it wise to move. He purchased a plantation of about 3,000 acres some 6 miles from Lawtonville in Beaufort District, southwest of Charleston, near to where his sister Juliet and her husband Asa Waring Lawton lived. The day finally came when over 100 people, cattle, mules, and all equipment needed for the plantation, as well as bedding, household goods, and items too many to begin to enumerate, began that overland trip of 75 to 80 miles. What a nightmare it must have been. Wallace’s brother Powell and three others went ahead by ten days to locate overnight havens with water sources, and to prepare the new plantation for their arrival as best as possible.