Nathan Byars grave - Cowpens National Battlefield, Cherokee County, SC

Below are photos taken on May 27, 2012 of the tombstone of Nathan Byars (1749-1846) who was buried on the grounds of the Cowpens National Battlefield in Cherokee County, South Carolina. Nathan Byars is thought to have had at least 11 children and has many descendants living today.

Nathan Byars served as a Patriot in the Revolutionary War and was buried near the Cowpens battlefield. However, he did not participate in the Battle of Cowpens that took place on January 17, 1781. According to his Revolutionary War Pension Application, he was drafted while living in Caswell County, North Carolina and served near Hillsborough, North Carolina and in the western part of North Carolina. Following the war he moved to Rutherford County, North Carolina where he lived for a number of years. He moved in about 1826 to what was then Spartanburg County, South Carolina where he received a grant for 394 acres of land that included much of the historic Cowpens battlefield. Nathan Byars lived on the Cowpens battlefield until his death in 1846 when he was buried in the family cemetery near his home. Members of the Ezell family were also buried there later and the cemetery is now known as the Byars/Ezell Cemetery.

For more information on Nathan Byars and his grave site, refer to the Historic Grounds and Resource Study: Cowpens National Battlefield, South Carolina (5.5MB PDF file) written by Edwin C. Bearss in 1974. At that time Bearss indicated that a broken headstone for Nathan Byars, and a second unidentified headstone had been uprooted and placed against a tree. A 1981 article from the Spartanburg Herald-Journal also mentioned the broken headstone of Nathan Byars. The tombstone that is currently in place for Nathan Byars is a modern U. S. Government issued flat grave marker. The original headstone has been placed in storage for safe keeping by the National Park Service. Thanks to a park ranger for providing the following July 2012 photos of the headstone: Headstone #1Headstone #2.

If you visit Nathan Byars' grave site, you need to be prepared to find it on your own as the staff on duty at the Cowpens National Battlefield Visitor's Center may not be familiar with its location. It is located in an area away from the trails that one would normally take to view the battlefield. To reach his grave site, first park at the main battlefield visitor's center. Then walk several hundred yards along the road back towards the park entrance (north). Take a left on the historic Green River Road. This is a mowed pathway that follows the route of the Green River Road that existed at the time of the battle. This road is not accessible by car. Follow the Green River Road (northwest) for approximately 200 yards. Then take a mowed pathway to the left (west-southwest) for approximately 75 yards to the location of the cemetery. Six to eight tombstones are visible with only three having legible markings.

A house believed to have been built by Nathan Byars was still standing near his grave site as late as 1974. A recommendation to restore the home was made at that time by the National Park Service, but apparently they were unable to perform the restoration and the house was torn down sometime in the 1970s or 1980s. The following photos are thought to be of this house and were obtained by a Byars family member from the files of the National Park Service: House #1House #2.

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Index created on Sun Jul 15 08:39:42 2012