Flag expedition hunts Revolutionary War sites

Lew Toulmin, Ph.D., MN ’04, F.R.G.S., was the co-leader with Jonathan Leader, Ph.D., FN ’05, F.R.G.S. of a recently completed Flag expedition to try to find the missing Revolutionary plantation, battlefield, POW camp, arms depot and slave quarters of his fifth great-grandfather, Brigadier Andrew Williamson of the South Carolina militia.

Williamson was reviled at one time as the “Benedict Arnold of South Carolina,” but after the Revolution revealed that he had been spying for the Americans while in the British-occupied city of Charleston, thus becoming the first major double agent in US history.

Toulmin has just published, in a refereed history journal, the first-ever biography of Williamson.  The Expedition carried Flag number 132, which had previously had other British associations, having been carried to the RMS Titanic and the sunken British sailing ship Warwick.  The Expedition was also approved by the Royal Geographical Society.  Unfortunately, the likely sites explored by the Expedition turned out to not have the dense scatter of pottery, nails and musket balls expected, and hence have been ruled out.  It appears that Williamson is as elusive in death as he was in life, and yet another Expedition is needed!

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