Emily Geiger - Female Patriot
We hear a great deal about the heroes of the American Revolutionary War. Very seldom are we introduced to the exploits that women played. Written herein is the true story of a gallant female patriot - Emily Geiger -
Name: - Emily Geiger 1760 - 1825
Father: - John Geiger 1721 - ?
Mother: - Emily Murphy
Spouse: - John Threewitts
Birth: 9 May 1749
Father: - Peter Threewitts - 1714 - 1801
Mother: - Amy Bobbitt - 1718 - 1823
Marriage: - 18 Oct 1789
At the time, General Greene (Commander - Southern American forces)retreated before Lord Rawdon (2nd in Commander to Lord Cornwallis) from Ninety-Six S.C. When he had passed Broad River, he was very desirous to send an order to General Sumter (Leader of American partisans) then on the Wateree; to join him, that they might attack Rawdon, who had divided his forces. But the country to be passed through was for many miles full of blood-thirsty Tories (American partisan loyal to England) and it was a difficult matter to find a man willing to undertake so dangerous a mission. At length a young girl - Emily Geiger - presented herself to General Greene proposing to act as the messenger; General Greene, both surprised and delighted, closed with her proposal. He accordingly wrote a letter and gave it to her. At the same time, communicating the contents verbally, to be told to Sumter in case of accident. Emily was young, but as to her person or adventures on the way, we have no further information, except that she was mounted on horseback, upon a side-saddle, and on the second day of her journey was intercepted by Lord Rawdon's scouts. Coming from the direcion of Greene's army, and not being able to tell an untruth without blushing, she was shut up; and the officer in command having the modesty not to search her at the time, he sent for an old Tory matron as more fitting for the purpose. Emily was not wanting in expedients, and as soon as the door was closed, she ate up the letter piece by piece. After awhile, the matron arrived. Upon searching carefully, nothing was found of a suspicious nature about the prisoner. She would disclose nothing. Suspicion being thus allayed, the officer-in-command of the scouts suffered Emily to depart whither she said she was bound. She took a route somewhat circuitous to avoid further detection, and soon after struck into the road to Sumter's camp. She arrived in safety. She told her adventures, and delivered Greene's verbal message to Sumter, who in consequence soon after joined the main army at Orangeburg, S.C.
Had Sumter not received the note from General Greene, It is surmised that Greene's army would have been totally defeated at Eutaw Springs. And in turn, would have delayed gthe war in the South Carolina to linger on for months. Young female patriot, Emily Geiger saved many lives on both sides.
Emily Geiger afterwards, married a rich planter on the Congaree. She has been dead thirty-five years, but it is trusted her name will descend to posterity among those patriotic females of the American Revolution
She lived in the lower part of what is now Lexington County, S.C. She was buried near her home. In August, 1930, the D.A.R. (Daughters of the American Revolution) chapter of Johnston, S.C. marked her grave.
Sources: The Women of the American Revolution. NY: Baker and Scribner, 1848 (Vol I & II; - 1850 (Vol III) Courtesy of and thanks to H. Imrey.
Source: The Lexington SC Dispatch - Wed. Jan 16, 1901. Article by