Two Rebellious Sisters

Celia and Dicey were sisters in the LANGSTON family.  The colonies of America were in rebellion against the British and the LANGSTON family was fully entrenched.  Dicey or Laodicea was the 5th child (born 1766) and Celia was the 7th child (born 1771).

At the ripe and daring age of 16, Dicey was a Revolutionary spy while her 11 year old sister Celia was watching.  There are dramatic stories about Dicey (see below).  We don’t know Celia’s involvement but apparently ‘fearlessness’ could have been the family motto.  Their own parents Solomon LANGSTON 1732-1825 and Sarah BENNETT 1734-1825 had a total of 12 children. Celia and her husband Samuel STILES went on to have 12 of their own while Dicey and husband Thomas SPRINGFIELD had 21 children.  Fearless indeed.

1820 Map of Lauren County SC

1820 Union District Map of South Carolina.  Langston place is circled with broken line near middle of district, to the right of Unionville just north of the Tyger River.

From the Laurens County SC GenWeb Project we read:

Laurens County Obituaries

Laodicea “Dicey” Langston Springfield

Source: Greenville (SC) Mountaineer June 10, 1837

Died on Tuesday, the 23rd ult., Mrs. Laodicea Springfield, aged 71 years, wife of Thomas Springfield. The deceased was the daughter of Solomon Langston of Revolutionary memory, whose family perhaps suffered more from the ruthless ravages of the Tories and Indians than almost any other, and the subject of this remark took an active part in the struggle and performed many daring deeds on behalf of her suffering country and friends. She was the mother of 22 children and has left about 140 grand and great grand children. She was a kind and affectionate wife, mother, and neighbor, and has left a large circle of acquaintances to deplore her loss.

A courageous young girl of about 16 years, was a rebel for the cause of Freedom during the Revolutionary War. In fact, her Patriotism to the American cause was so great, it earned her the pseudonym “Daring Dicey”. She provided valuable information to the Whigs and harassed the enemy during the entire war.

Possibly the exploit that secured her place in history was when she received advice of an attack planned by the notorious marauders, Bloody Bill Cunningham and his Scouts. She must warn her brother James and his company who were at the site of attack, Little Eden, 20 miles away.

An expert shot and rider, Dicey made the trip, by night, submerging in the dark, icy waters of the Enoree river. At times she had to fight the threatening currents but subsequently she arrived at the encampment. The spirits of the men were so low that she had boards torn from a roof to make a fire: she then baked hoecakes for each soldier. Spirits lifted, the Bloody Scouts’ attack was thwarted. The whole community was saved. A dripping wet Dicey returned home in time to cook breakfast for her father, never telling him that she was gone all night long.A courageous young girl of about 16 years, was a rebel for the cause of Freedom during the Revolutionary War. In fact, her Patriotism to the American cause was so great, it earned her the pseudonym “Daring Dicey”. She provided valuable information to the Whigs and harassed the enemy during the entire war.

Possibly the exploit that secured her place in history was when she received advice of an attack planned by the notorious marauders, Bloody Bill Cunningham and his Scouts. She must warn her brother James and his company who were at the site of attack, Little Eden, 20 miles away.

An expert shot and rider, Dicey made the trip, by night, submerging in the dark, icy waters of the Enoree river. At times she had to fight the threatening currents but subsequently she arrived at the encampment. The spirits of the men were so low that she had boards torn from a roof to make a fire: she then baked hoecakes for each soldier. Spirits lifted, the Bloody Scouts’ attack was thwarted. The whole community was saved. A dripping wet Dicey returned home in time to cook breakfast for her father, never telling him that she was gone all night long.

For her information to the Patriots, the Bloody Bill Cunningham and his Scouts took revenge on Dicey’s father, Solomon, with whom she lived in Laurens County. They backed the now aging man to the wall and aimed to shoot. Dicey lunged in front of her father and declared, “You will have to shoot me first!”

This courage was rewarded, the Tories left.

Later, a group of Whigs came to the Langston home for a gun that Dicey’s brother had told her to give someone that would make a certain countersign. She refused, however, to hand the gun to the leader when she realized the sign was not given. When he learned from the altert lass that he must give the sign or forfeit the gun, he challenged her by saying, “Too late. We have the gun now!” Dicey turned the barrel to him and said, “No you don’t. And you won’t unless you give me the sign!” The leader, being challenged in front of his men, and impressed by the toughness of the girl, then gave the sign. Dicey turned the rifle over to him and they all had a good laugh about it. As the men left, the leader lingered and looked back at Dicey and smiled. She returned the smile. The leader, Thomas Springfield, would become her husband after the war.For her information to the Patriots, the Bloody Bill Cunningham and his Scouts took revenge on Dicey’s father, Solomon, with whom she lived in Laurens County. They backed the now aging man to the wall and aimed to shoot. Dicey lunged in front of her father and declared, “You will have to shoot me first!”

This courage was rewarded, the Tories left.

Later, a group of Whigs came to the Langston home for a gun that Dicey’s brother had told her to give someone that would make a certain countersign. She refused, however, to hand the gun to the leader when she realized the sign was not given. When he learned from the altert lass that he must give the sign or forfeit the gun, he challenged her by saying, “Too late. We have the gun now!” Dicey turned the barrel to him and said, “No you don’t. And you won’t unless you give me the sign!” The leader, being challenged in front of his men, and impressed by the toughness of the girl, then gave the sign. Dicey turned the rifle over to him and they all had a good laugh about it. As the men left, the leader lingered and looked back at Dicey and smiled. She returned the smile. The leader, Thomas Springfield, would become her husband after the war.

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