Captain Shadrack Inman
Among the heroes of the Battle of Musgrove's Mill was a young Georgia militia officer, Capt. Shadrack Inman. Upon gathering in the clearing north of the Enoree River, the Patriot force soon realized they were greatly outnumbered by a joint Loyalist and Provincial force encamped at Musgrove's Mill on the south side of the Enoree River. With an immediate withdrawal undesirable and a frontal attack suicidal, the Patriot commanders chose to establish a strong defensive position and then lure the unsuspecting British to attack them.
The field in which they had gathered offered a good location to make a stand with the road to Musgrove's Ford coursing through it and a dominant ridge at its northern end. The Patriot commanders dismounted most of their men and posted them along the ridge on the northern end of the field, leaving a few men in the rear to watch the horses and a few more on horseback to protect their flanks. All that remained was for the British to attack them in the field. It was at this moment that Capt. Inman stepped into history.
In charge of a force of 20-25 mounted men, Capt. Inman proceeded down the wagon road to Musgrove's Ford intent on attacking the first Loyalist forces he encountered. As they made contact near the river, Capt. Inman and his men began skirmishing with the Loyalists in that area. The noise of this alerted the entire camp and soon hundreds of Loyalists were headed toward the ford, determined to drive the Patriots in front of them. As they did so, Capt. Inman and his men began a slow withdrawal, retreating back up the wagon road they had followed. Thus began a delicate and very dangerous dance as Capt. Inman and his men retreated slowly enough to keep the Loyalists in a gathered pursuit but staying out of range to avoid death, wounding or capture. The tactic was very successful. The Loyalists were drawn into the open and forced to attack the main Patriot force at the northern end of the field. The attack, though hard pressed, was repulsed, with the Loyalists suffering heavy losses.
Without the daring action of Capt. Inman and his men, the Battle of Musgrove's Mill would have turned out much differently which may have impacted later actions that were significant on the road to America's independence. Capt. Inman was killed in the battle that early August morning in 1780. He rests there today in an unmarked grave, buried where he fell.