General Joseph Martin Chapter

Cumberland Gap, TN


Cumberland Gap Patriot

Richard Grantham


Richard Grantham was born on March 16, 1754 in Dobbs county NC. In February 1779, Grantham joined the NC militia after volunteering to take the place of his first cousin Joshua Grantham who had to stay home and take care of his young children.

 Grantham first battle was at Briar Creek near Savannah Georgia on March 3, 1779.

Actually Grantham didn’t participate, well at least not for long. The NC Militia which Grantham was apart of under the command General John Ashe fled the scene of battle after 2300 British troops attacked the camp while the NC militia was sleeping.

 This left the only the Georgia militia under the command of Col. Samuel Elbert to fight the British. Over 400 Georgia militia men were killed and Elbert was captured and placed in a British prison in Georgia until the end of the war. Elbert later became Governor of Georgia.

 In September 1779, Grantham joined the 1st South Carolina Continental line. The Sc 1st participated and made a heroic stance in two battles, Siege of Savannah (September 16-October 18, 1779), and the Siege of Charleston (March 29-May 12, 1780). Grantham‘s Pension doesn’t mention either of these battles, but since he apart of the Sc 1st at this time, he probably participated in both battles. Both battles were a British Victory.

 The Siege of Charleston is the interesting battle of the two battles fought. It was a 45 day siege by the British and the worst defeat the Continental army would face during the Southern Campaign. The British captured over 5000 American patriots. Tarleton, a British Commander wrote in his memoirs the British captured 5, 283 American prisoners. The British not having enough Prisons for the prisoners paroled the Americans if they promised not to fight against the British again.

 In 1781, Grantham moved to Hawkins county TN. In 1784, Grantham married Francis Amis, daughter of Thomas Amis, another Cumberland Gap Patriot. They had 13 children from this Union. In 1796, Grantham moved to Grainger County where he filed for his Revolutionary war pension in 1832. By 1840 Grantham moved to Wayne county TN where he died in 1846 at the age of 92.There is a Historical marker in Wayne County honoring Richard Grantham for his service.

 During the Civil war there were at least 16 Grantham family members who fought for the Confederacy and 2 for the Union army in western Tennessee.

  In 1937, Kirk Grantham, a descendent of Richard Grantham became the first head Football coach at the University of Tennessee at Martin.

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