By Joan Inabinet
Kershaw County Historical Society Update May 2009
A short distance east off of Flat Rock Road, and about a mile and a half north of the memorial battleground of the Battle of Camden, a granite memorial marks the site of the family burying ground of “James Love of Granny’s Quarter, Revolutionary Soldier.”
Reprinted below is an excerpt of a nineteenth-century biographical sketch of James Love’s grandson, Dr. William Abram Love (later of Atlanta). The account reveals that family experiences during the Revolution in Kershaw County continued to be related for many years thereafter. The account also provides additional glimpses of local interest.
The sketch, published in Dr. Love’s lifetime, is excerpted from Memoirs of Georgia, Vol.I (“Fulton County Sketches”), published in Atlanta by the Southern Historical Association in 1895:
"DR. WILLIAM ABRAM LOVE, one of the oldest and best-known physicians in the state of Georgia, has lived in Atlanta nearly a quarter of a century. With the spirit and the blood of the old English cavaliers coursing through his veins, he has ever been a man of action and decided character, keeping the same even to his old age.
"Dr. Love, the only child of William and Sarah (Childers) Love, was born May 16, 1824, in that historic place, Camden, Kershaw district, S.C. His grandparents and his father were residents of that vicinity in colonial days and suffered much at the hands of the British and the tories during the revolutionary war.
"Indeed, though a mere boy at the time Dr. Love’s father, for the sake of freedom and his loyalty to the colonial cause for which his father fought, carried a withered arm all his after life.
"It was through the cruelty of the tories that he suffered most. The facts are: He was captured one day while riding a very fine horse, when, after being deprived of his mount, he was bound hand and foot to the back of an old, worn-out army mule. The mule was then turned loose to graze in a desolate wood, and here after three days of intense pain, the exhausted, but patriotic boy was found by his friends. Little wonder that to this day Dr. Love despises and scorns the name and memory of tory.
"Notwithstanding the suffering thus endured by the elder William Love, he grew to a noble manhood and because of his affliction was most carefully educated, after which, for the greater part of a long life he held high positions of public trust in his native state.
"By the death of his father, Feb. 17, 1825, and the second marriage of his mother, William Abram Love became the special care of his grandmother Childers. This grandmother, previous to her marriage was Miss Sarah King, a daughter of that sturdy revolutionary soldier on whose property was fought and for whose honor was named that fateful and famous encounter known in history as the battle of King’s mountain. The daughter of this soldier inherited the stern and sturdy characteristics of her revolutionary father, with all his vigilance and high sense of honor and justice.
So the life of her young charge was closely guarded, but the thrilling accounts of his adventures in childhood, which he often relates to his children and grandchildren stamp him as a character of strong individuality, even in early youth.
"In his boyhood Dr. Love attended the schools of Camden and afterward Russell Place academy, but at a very early age he chose his life’s work and when twelve years old, with a view to the study of medicine, he entered the [Camden] drug store of Dr. George Reynolds, continuing his other studies under private tutors. Later, as a regular medical student, he was for four years under the preceptorship of Drs. E.H. Anderson, senior and junior, then of Camden, S.C., the latter now in Kirkwood, Miss.
"In 1844 Dr. Love entered the medical department of the university of Pennsylvania…July, 1846, he came to Georgia...In 1871 he was elected to the chair of physiology in the Atlanta Medical college…He is now (1894) senior professor and president of the faculty…."
Dr. Love’s obituary in the Atlanta Journal Jan. 22, 1898, also includes reference to his family background in the Revolution:
"DR. WM. ABRAM LOVE, 74, prominent physician of state and leading writer of nation on Masonry, died at home, 237 Whitehall St. Atlanta, Jan. 22…Dr. Love was born in Camden, S.C., of Wm. Love, and wife Sarah born of Abraham Childers, Lancaster Co. [Note: Before formation of Kershaw County, the area was part of Lancaster County.] Wm. entered the Revolution while a mere boy, and suffered great cruelties at hands of Tory captors. While Wm. A. was employed in local drugstore, he read medicine under Dr. E.H. Anderson and in 1846 took M.D. at University of Pennsylvania….”
Clearly, the events of the Revolution were held of great importance to be retold in succeeding generations. A number of local families are kin to or descend from the “fighting Loves” or other area patriots. Readers with information about other Kershaw County area patriots are invited to share with us!