General Joseph Martin Chapter

Cumberland Gap, TN


Cumberland Gap Patriot

Isaac Bullin

Isaac Bullin was born in 1763 in Albermarle County Va. At the age of 18, Bullin joined the Virginia militia and joined an expedition to Guilford Courthouse NC in March 1781. At the battle of Guilford Courthouse (March 15, 1781), Bullin was placed in the second line along with other Virginia militia soldiers. After a breech occurred in the center of the first line made up of mostly NC militia during a British bayonet charge, the British marched 400 yards to the second line. The Virginia line fought valiantly but was soon overwhelmed by the British. The Virginia line retreated to the third line made up of mostly Maryland Continentals. The British were soon fable to force the Americans to retreat but not before the British lost one - fourth of their men who were either killed or wounded.
   Bullin's next battle was at the siege of Ninety Six SC ( May 22-June 18,1781), the longest siege of the Revolutionary war. Ninety Six had also been the scene of the first Revolutionary war battle fought south of New England and in South Carolina.. In November 1775, Williamson and his patriot force fought a much larger British contingent of 1800 loyalist to a draw. When Williamson ran out of gunpowder, Williamson allowed one of his men to be captured to spread what probably was the first use of disinformation during the war. The prisoner told the British commander that a large force of Patriot reinforcements were on their way to Ninety Six. The British commander, hearing this, ordered his men to flee the field of battle.
        The Patriots wouldn't be this lucky during the siege of Ninety Six. For over one month Greene and the Americans besieged the fort with little success.. Inside the fort the British wanted to surrender. General Rawdon of the British army who was stationed in Charleston SC approved the surrender, but the British in the fort never received the orders to surrender because all the couriers were captured by the SC militia. Rawdon finally had to form an expedition to relieve the fort.  When Greene heard that Rawdon was coming, he ordered the patriots to stop the siege, and leave the area, fearing that his men could not take on British Regulars. On the way to Ninety Six, Rawdon suffered a heat stroke, so there is a possibility if Greene had stayed and fought, his men could have defeated the British.
       Bullin's next and last battle was at Eutaw Springs (Sept 8,1781). Here again, Bullin was placed on a second line of defense and watched the British breech the first line again as they had at Guilford Courthouse. This time the Virginia line filled in the breech of the first line forcing British troops to temporarily fall back and retreat to a better defensive position. Eutaw Springs was fought to a tactical draw, and is considered the bloodiest battle fought in SC.
   In 1784, Bullin moved to Henry County Va, where he died on May 7, 1828. Bullin descendents would later move to South East Ky.

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