Hanging Rock, Heath Springs, SC

I have been visiting this area since I was a child and I have to admit that even as an adult, going out there by myself is not something I look forward to. This site as you will see below was a Revolutionary War battle site. Alot of blood has been spilled here and I am quite certain that this spot is haunted, whether it is by old ghosts or more recent ones is unknown.

When I am here alone I get the distinct feeling that someone is watching me. There is no one there of course, no one that I can see. I get a feeling of sadness and lonliness there as well. I would suspect that with as much as has happened there that the area would, for lack of a better word, record what has happened.

Hanging Rock was a British post garrisoned by the Prince of Wales’ American Regiment, part of the British legion, and a large force of Loyalists, all under the command of Major John Carden. On August 6, 1780, General Thomas Sumter made an attack on this position with a band of Patriot militia and won a great victory, although short of ammunition and outnumbered two to one. Among the impressive rock formations in the vicinity of the battlefield is the huge boulder known as the Hanging Rock.

Ahhh! But here’s the thing, this isn’t the actual battlefield. The actual battle (or two) was actually fought a few miles away. So what am I feeling out there?

A friend of mine who geocaches was out at the site checking on some of her caches at the site and I quote:

“The kids started crying and didn’t want to get out of the van. Then the dog absolutely will not budge. I started feeling the hair on the back of my neck raising and then it was time to go.”

So what are we feeling out there? Maybe the historians are wrong. Maybe this was the battlefield. It would certainly be a great place to defend from. High ground. Then again maybe some of the soldiers mad to this spot before the perished. Then again maybe some wandering spirit has found his way here and just likes it enough to check up on me sometimes, who knows?


21 Responses

  1. Made to be told around a campfire.


  2. If there was a battle in this area what years would it have occured. Im asking because i have a bible thats probably over 100 years old and in it i found letters that an ancestor of mine wrote to his mother from heath springs s.c. I know that he was in the military because my eldest sister remembers the day the soldiers came to tell his wife of his death. I have searched war casualties but i cant find his name as i know it to be and i dont know which war he was in.

  3. Here is some info on the Battle of Hanging Rock at this link. There are dates although I do not know how reliable. But you can do a google search as The Battle of Hanging Rock.


  4. I grew up in Lancaster and had several ancesters fight in the Battle of Hanging Rock. You are correct that the battle was actually waged, not around the rock itself, but in the vicinity of Hanging Rock Creek, about a mile away.

    However, many of the wounded and dying were brought to the rock, which served as sort of a temporary hospital. Oddly enough, some of the deaths were attributed not to war injuries, but heat stroke and dehydration as it was August in South Carolina and deadly hot.

    It is very possible that some of the wounded that were dragged to the rock for medical assistance died, therefore that may lend itself to the creepy nature of being there. I have experienced myself from time to time.

  5. I have recently gone out to Hanging Rock with a friend to do some R/C rock crawling. It is truly a sight to behold.

    The huge rock sitting on just 2 points looking like the slightest touch would sent it tumbling down. I have not experienced any strange feelings but on a sad note, there are a lot of graffiti going on there. Beer bottles, trash, and other junk litters the area. When we go I make a point to pick up what trash I see.

  6. I have been out to Hanging Rock Battle ground numerous times, and it is sad all of the graffiti and trash that inconsiderate people leave behind,… They have a monument there in front of the rock. I have taken pictures of the monument, and if I may, will share here what it says,…:

    “Here was fought the battle of Hanging Rock August 6 1780
    About 600 Militia Of The Carolinas Under Colonel Thomas Sumter Destroyed the British Camp and killed and wounded over 200 of the British troops under Major John Carden With a Loss of 40 killed and a few wounded”

    So this was a great victory for the Patriots…. BUT was THIS the ACTUAL battleground,..? I have known people who have gone to the Hanging Rock with metal detectors and have not left empty handed,…. Battleground or field hospital?? The marker says that is the battleground, BUT,.. IS IT????

  7. No. The actual battle was fought somewhere a mile or miles away. Although, have an Army background, I would think that this would be a terrific position to defend, battles weren’t fought then the way they are now. I always wondered about the sense of standing in a straight line and shooting at each other.

  8. Yea,. I wondered about that straight line thing too!!!
    And then there is Buford Battleground, I have taken some pretty neat photos there,… can’t really explain them but they are on my website,.. they are pretty interesting….

  9. What is you site url? Also this blog is no longer updated, I keep it around for sentimental reasons. Go over to http://searchingthesouth.wordpress.com for my newer stuff.

  10. Hey,what in the world! I’ve been going here my whole life,I haven’t been watched or felt anything thing.

    • Stephen, not everyone feels or senses things,.. I am a paranormal investigator, so I am kinda actually “looking” for stuff like that! It’s a great hobby to have! Not everyone thinks it is, but,.. hey, to each his own!

  11. William Stroud III was a sharpshooter in Col. Edward Lacey’s Rocky Creek Militia from Chester District, N.C. William was the brother of my g.g.g.g., grandfather Thomas Stroud.

    On August 3, 1780 William Stroud III was hanged by the Loyalist militia and a detachment of the British Prince of Wales Regiment of Foot, about two miles from the Hanging Rock battlefield. Stroud’s body was left on display for three weeks before Col. Edward Lacey and William’s mother cut his body down and buried it under the tree from which he was hanged.

    Three days before the battle of Hanging Rock, which took place on August 6, 1780, General Thomas Sumpter told William Stroud III to reconnoiter the road and meet the Patriot militia reinforcements that were approaching from the north. Unfortunately, Loyalists captured William Stroud III and hanged him beside the road. As far as I know his grave is still under the tree where he was hanged and his grave is unmarked. I was told there is some sort of S.C. historical marker at his grave site but I cannot find any evidence of it.

    • I am also related to William Stroud III, his brother, Yerby Stroud is the line I am connected to. Have done some research and would like to get more information. Also aware of the hanging of William Stroud III. Have seen photos of the historical marker. One day hope to make a road trip there. Joe C. Stroud.

      • Yerby is my 6th great grandfather. I just had the opportunity to visit the Stroud Family Cemetery here in McDonough, Georgia where he and his father are buried.

  12. The 3 Gaston boys who were killed and the one who was badly wounded in the face at Hanging Rock were the sons of John Gaston of Fishing Creek, Chester Co. SC. Their cousins James, William ,and Joseph Gaston were sons of Robert Gaston of Lancaster Co. were also at Hanging Rock with James taken prisoner. Not long after the battle everything on the nearby farm of Robert Gaston was burned. by the British. Major James McLure who was killed in the battle was married to John and Robert’s sister Mary Gaston. A more complete record of the participants would reveal more Gaston family members..

    • Please if possible give me more information about these Gastons, especially if they were related to a brother and sister who arrived in Charleston, South Carolina, from northern Ireland in 1773. Mary Gaston, and I want to say William (or possibly Alexander–a little vague here–sorry!). The names Gaston, Rushing, Gill, and ( a little later) Wallace figure prominently among my maternal ancestors.

      • John “Justice” Gaston is my 5th great grandfather. He had two brothers connected to the Carolina’s. Dr. Alexander Gaston was murdered by Tories in New Bern, NC in 1781. Hugh Gaston came to SC in 1766 and soon died of the measles. He was formerly the rector of the Ballywallin Presbyterian Church in County Antrim, Ulster Plantation, Ireland and the author of the most famous Presbyterian book of those times, GASTON’S COLLECTIONS. Dr. Alexander is buried in New Bern, NC. Both John and Hugh are buried in the Burnt Meeting House Cemetery, Chester County, SC. I have written extensively about the Gaston’s on my blog, http://travelingpatriot.blogspot.com

  13. i have heard its a gay cruisng ground

  14. I visit the site frequently as my 5th great grandfather and 4 of my grand-uncles did indeed fight on that spot. It is no more haunted than I am. I am very proud of their contributions to the birth of our nation especially as one of my granduncles was mortally wounded in the Battle of Hanging Rock. Tradition holds he was wounded in the creek. Please do not defile their memories with ghost tales. Brave men once fought upon that ground making it sacred rather than sinister.

  15. Justice John Gaston was my 6th GGF. Thank you for providing this infomation.

  16. I share a personal interest in the Battle of Hanging Rock as well. Hope someone knows the answer … One of my greater grandfathers, John Francis Darnell was to have died at the Battle of Little Rock 06 Aug 1780, but I never see his name listed. Is there a complete list of those who fought at this creek site? Is there a complete list of those who gave their life during that battle? Has anyone seen John Darnell mentioned in any South Carolina battle about that time, or anywhere else for that manner? His given name was that of his father-in-law, Vannoy. I would really like to get an accurate “take” on how and when he served. His son, Benjamin Joseph Darnell, was my grandfather. About 52 years later, on 21 May 1832, this son’s farm, aka “Fort Darnell” was the location of the Indian Creek Massacre in what was then LaSalle County, Illinois. His daughter-in-law lost her parents in that massacre; Her two sisters were taken by the Indians that day and later returned to family. In my written memorial for family who served, I would like to verify his service, date of death, and if possible cause of death.

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