ON THIS DATE in 1766, Dicey Langston was born. At sixteen in 1781, she learned that the pro-British “Bloody Scouts” were planning to attack a band of Whigs (pro-Revolution Americans) at a spot near Spartanburg, South Carolina. Langston made a nighttime journey through woods, swamplands, and the Tyger River in time to inform the small Patriot force, which included her brother, of the impending ambush. When the Bloody Scouts arrived, the Whigs were long gone, their lives saved by the young woman’s courage and fortitude.
Langston cemented her status as a Revolutionary War heroine with two other acts of valor. Refusing to divulge Whig secrets when accosted by a Loyalist company, she was reported to have said, “Shoot me if you dare! I will not tell you.” She later challenged an enemy, this time a drunken British officer, to shoot her instead of her crippled father. The officer spared them both.