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Thomas Sumter Papers of Drapier Collection of Manuscripts
Letter from J. H. P. Tate to L. C. Drapier
Maj. Sam Tate
Vances Ferry, SC
Orangeburg County, So. Ca.
March 22nd 1873

L. C. Drapier Esqr. 
                    My Dear Sir: 
                                              You will please excuse my long delay in answering your two part note to me in relation to my Grandfather.  Affection drove the matter out of my mind until last Wednesday.  I received a letter from Judge Glover reminding me of it and reply to you by our first mail. 
          My Grandfather Sam Tate was a Major in Gen. Sumter command and served through the whole war under him unfortunately at his death all papers &  effects were left in the hands of a dissipated relative, (My Father, an only child, a boy of 10 or 12 years), and was all destroyed or casualty lost.  My relative the late Mr.  A. S. Tate, nephew of Maj. Sam Tate use to relate a great many anecdotes of my Grandfather, but he died in 37, when I was quite young and the most of them have faded from my memory.  One I remember, Wm. Sims our Historical writer claims it for one of Marion's

men (Singleton), in his work called "Mellichamp". 
I will give it to you nevertheless less, as told me by my cousin Mr. A. S. Tate, who got it from his Father, Alelk Tate, A Brother of Major Sam Tate, and also one of the actors in the offering being a private under him (the Major).
          Major Same Tate had been sent out to intercept a squad of Tories, he met them & routed them & while pursuing them rode into the midst of Tarleton command, his men had orders to scatter in case of defeat and meet at a certain point that evening, they took to the woods, and escaped Tarleton.  The place appointed for the meeting was a will known Spring of cool water. His Brothers Aleck and John Tate feeling uneasy about him went to hunt him and found him at the Spring fast asleep with his holster under his head and "Ajax" his Black Stallion & pet tied in an oak thicket about 100 yards off.
          Ajax was so trained by him that he could tie him anywhere and no one could touch him to loose him, without a desperate fights, he would kick, bite, haw and under loosing him impossible.
          Major Sam Tate was the oldest of three Brothers, Sam, John & Alexander, all of whom served through the war; John then removed, to the then, far West, and has never been heard from since, Sam and Aleck, died in the lower part of Orangeburg County some time between 1790 & 1800, they were of Irish decent on the Father side & their Mother of English parentage; born and raised in  Santee River near Vances Ferry, and as I have said, they also died.
          Please let me thank you for the Books you sent me, they contain a great deal of very interesting matter to me.
          Since the receipt of your letter I have lost my only male relative, Mr. P. J. Tate.  I myself just recovering from a serious spell of illness.
          If there is any further information that you think I can give you ask the question plainly and I will answer you to the best of my ability & with more promptness than I have shown in the answer to your desired information.
                        Your Very Truly, John H. P. Tate

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