Saturday, January 12, 2013

MANSON SHERRILL JOLLY… a local Robin Hood during the aftermath of the war in Anderson County SC.

He was born in the Lebanon area of Anderson County some years before the war, the exact date is unknown. He was 6' 4", had red hair and could read and write. Jolly served as a Confederate Cavalry scout in the 1st S.C. Calvary, Company F. He was an expert horseman and well skilled in fighting with knife, pistol, and rifle.

A native of South Carolina, he enlisted in the Confederate army with six brothers. Five of them were left dead on the field of battle while “Manse” Jolly kept his promise to kill five Yankees for each brother lost. 

Only one younger brother accompanied him back to the old home where an old mother awaited them with open arms, the father having died shortly before the war. On his arrival home, Manse was greeted by the Yankee garrison, then stationed in Anderson. This angered him and he took an oath to kill five Yankees for every brother lost on the battle fields. He more than made good.

He lost no time in beginning his hide and seek game with the garrison stationed here. The commander soon learned that one of his men had been killed by Jolly. In a day or two another was reported killed by Jolly. Then squads were sent out to search for the desperado. They often encountered the daring Jolly and as often lost one or two of their numbers for when Jolly's rifle spoke, death claimed another victim.

Finally more soldiers were sent here to help hunt down Jolly and times got so warm he left for Texas and was crossing Red River in the Lone Star State. When Jolly left Anderson, he had 23 notches on his gun, and it was said that he killed at least a dozen Yankees on his way to Texas. He more than made good five times five.

Manse Jolly died on July 8, 1869 near his home in Texas. He drowned in a river as he was trying to cross it. He had been married for one year and left a wife behind. His daughter was born a few months later, and his descendants live on today. 

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