During the Siege of Ninety-Six, South Carolina, Capt. Joseph Pickens was mortally wounded by a lucky shot from a grudge holding Tory neighbor on June 17, 1781.
During the Ring Fight, Joseph Picken’s brother Major Andrew Pickens ordered his men to form two circles within each other, and to fire in relays. Two men would fire, then crouch in the tall grass to reload, and the next two men would fire. Some American Indians rushed into the ring, but were killed by bayonet, knife or hatchet. The Cherokees fled when Major Pickens’ brother, Joseph, came with a rescue party. Sources claim 16 to 83 American Indians were killed. Capt. Joseph Picken also fought in the Battle of Cowpens that is said to have put an end to the British domination of South Carolina.
Joseph William Pickens was a descendant of French protestants, who, after the massacre of the Huguenots in 1572 fled from France during the reign of Louis XIV. His ancestors settled in Scotland and then Ireland before they arrived in Paxton TWS, PA. When Joseph was a young man his family moved to the Waxhaws in Lancaster County, South Carolina.
The memory of Capt. Joseph William Pickens will forever be remembered by his descendants for his participation in many known battles and skirmishes in the American Revolution.