Rev. William Eddins, Sr.

Painting by Archibald M. Willard
 Revolutionary War Soldier and Preacher

Born:Dec. 7, 1763, Virginia
Died:July 28, 1837, Lincoln County, TN
Buried:Madison County
Son of:Benjamin Eddins (b1735)
Father of:Benjamin Eddins (b1794)


•  In our search, three Virginia counties have been stated as William's place of birth: Lunenburg County, Campbell County, Culpepper County. - Editor's Note

•  Revolutionary War service from 1778-1783: From Abbeville District. Dec. 1778, served three months under Capt. William Freeman. April 1779, served six months under Capt. Joseph Calhoun, Lt. Col. Robert Anderson. Oct. 1779, served under Capt. Robert Maxwell. - South Carolina Service

•  Married (1.) Elizabeth Landrum (ca. 1770, North Carolina - November, 17, 1832, Madison County, AL) (2.)Hannah Dedman (Nov. 1775-Feb. 21, 1856) on Oct. 19, 1833 in Madison County, AL -

•  "William Eddins, the son of Benjamin, and the father of Major William Eddins. He was a boy in the Revolution, but, at the early age of sixteen, he entered the ranks of the few scattered defenders of his country. Not long after his service began, he was taken prisoner and, with other prisoners, started under a guard for Ninety-Six. His horse was taken from him and assigned to one of the guard. On their way his guard, who had possession of his horse, dismounted to take 'a wee drap' of a dram, and placed his musket against a tree?young Eddins was allowed to halt with him?he drank and repeated, until the rest of the guard, who, with the prisoners, among whom was Eddins' father, had preceded them some distance. Young Eddins observing that his keeper had become careless, seized his musket, mounted his own horse and escaped. He returned home to inform his mother of his escape. He had the prudence to hide his gun in a hollow log. After night, and after the family had retired to bed, the Tories paid them a visit. William and has brother secreted themselves between the bed and the wall: but the prying rascals, who were engaged in the search, discovered the feet of the boys, and were in the act of dragging them out, when the mother said, 'do let the children alone.' For a wonder, they desisted; and, after a short time, left the house. William, who was a most adventurous spirit, sprung up and declared he would have 'a shoot' at them. His mother and brother used every dissuasive in their power, but in vain; he drew his gun from the log where it had been concealed, and as they passed around a swamp near the house, fired upon them; with what effect, was never known. If they pursued him, he made an easy escape.
     In 1181, he formed a part of the force raised by General Pickens to chastise the Cherokees, for an incursion made by them, and a number of disguised white men, into the district of Ninety-Six.
     Dr. Ramsay, in his history, tells us that Pickens penetrated the Indian country, and in fourteen days burned thirteen towns, killed upward of forty Indians, and captured many more. Not one of his party was killed, and only two wounded. He did not expend three pounds of ammunition, and yet only three Indians escaped after being seen. How such results could be obtained is at first a startling inquiry; but the solution is given by the Doctor, when he tells us that the troops, instead of firing, charged on horseback with drawn swords. The Indians never have been able to resist a charge of mounted men, or the bayonet.
     It is told of William Eddins, that he was one of thirteen selected to burn an Indian town which had been reported as deserted. They advanced and crossed a river, which separated the Indian town from Pickens' command, and began the ascent of the hill on which it was situated. The wily Indians from their concealment poured a well-directed fire upon them. Two young men of the party who were in advance fell from their horses; the rest of the party retreated, and formed to resist the Indians until aid could come to them from Pickens. The horses of those who fell ran back to the river; the young men who had fallen were seen to rise to a sitting posture. Eddins proposed to attempt bringing them off. His captain, Maxwell, pointed out the danger of the attempt; the almost certain death which must attend it. Being, however, much pressed by Eddins, he consented. Eddins caught the horses, led them to the wounded men, helped them to mount, and brought them safely off. These, I presume, were the two men mentioned by Ramsay as wounded.
     William Eddins remained with Pickens till the close of the war. He then entered upon life without money, or means of any kind. His first crop of tobacco he made without a horse; but persevering industry overcame all difficulties, and during his residence in Abbeville, Pendleton, and Edgefield, he realized a handsome fortune.
     He early became the subject of converting grace; and was received into the communion of the Baptist Church. He soon felt it to be his duty to preach the gospel of 'peace and good will towards men,' to the people around him. He had been the soldier of his country?he was now the soldier of Immanuel?he had fought for civil and religious liberty?he was now to fight for that glorious liberty in Christ which makes a man free indeed. He was, until 1810, or 1817, an acceptable minister in South Carolina; about that time he removed to Tennessee, twenty-five miles north of Huntsville, Alabama, where he continued to exercise his holy calling, doing good on the right hand and on the left, and at the same time caring for his own household. He died on the 28th July, 1837, leaving a widow, a daughter and three sons.
     His character may be drawn in a few words. He was faithful, true and good?he lived long, but he lived not in vain?he was an useful man, a, Christian patriot, and an untiring servant of the Highest. He has gone to his rest, and has heard long since the welcome of his master, 'Well done, good and faithful servant, enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.'" - Annal of Newberry

•  He is probably buried in Bayless-Eddins Cemetery, Madison County, AL (NE1/4Sec33T1R2W) - Patriot Database

•  "William Eddins, came to Madison County shortly before his father's death (1818) and remained for the rest of his life." - Huntsville Historical Review

•  Father of:
     1. Elizabeth Eddins, 1781 - 1847, married William Pattis Arnold and they had nine children
     2. Abraham Eddins, 1786 - 1871, married Glara Golightly and they had two children
     3. Washington Eddins, 1788 - 1847, married Mary Huff Tillman and they had three children
     4. William Riley Jr. Eddins, 1792 - 1862, married twice first to Mary Ann McCracken the second wife is not listed in He had two children listed, one from each marriage.
     5. Benjamin Eddins, 1794 - 1853, Married Mary Ann Clampett -

Related Links:

• - Genealogical information collected and presented by RaptureDove1 (behind membership fee wall) (Originally found at

•  Annal of Newberry - The Annal of Newberry by John Belton O'Neall, John Abney Chapman, c. 1892, pp. 249-51

•  Huntsville Historical Review - From out of the Ashes - The Joel Eddins House, by Reeves, J.P., from Volume 32, #2, Summer - Fall 2007, page 71.

•  Patriot Database - Tennessee Valley Chapter Alabama Society of Sons of the American Revolution - List of Revolutionary War Soldiers and Patriots Buried in Madison County, Alabama.

•  South Carolina Service - Lists service

The Following Pages Link to this Page:
•  Benjamin Eddins (b1735)
•  Benjamin Eddins (b1794)
•  Huntsville Historical Review
•  Patriot Database