By Jeannette Holland Austin
Anyone who has visited the Mars Hill Presbyterian Church Cemetery in Acworth, Georgia has seen the grave of Captain John Collins. At the onset of the Revolutionary War, John Collins enlisted as a private in the Militia of Captain John McAfee, Regiment of Colonel Neal to defend the South Carolina frontiers against the Cherokee Indians. His company marched to Fort Independence on the Seneca River in South Carolina and were engaged in frequent skirmishes; thence to the middle settlement of the Cherokee Nation where they defeated the Indians. During October of 1778, Collins visited the home of his father in Camden District, South Carolina and enlisted as a substitute for Moses Kemp, taking the rank of private under Captain Thomas Barron. The company marched to Brier Creek to meet General Ashe where he was stationed for two months. Then, Daniel McIntire hired him to take his place in the North Carolina Militia for three months under Captain Benjamin Harden, Colonel Charles McDowell and Lieutenant Colonel Tinning. They marched to Charlotte, North Carolina, then to Savannah, Georgia where they joined General Lincoln, then to Brier Creek and Bacon Bridge on the Ashley River for three months. He was taken prisoner at the fall of Charleston on May 12th, and paroled in Lincoln County, North Carolina. After beiing home about two months, he was taken by a parcel of Tories and carried to where Colonel Ferguson was with British, charged with violating his parole, found guilty, and sentenced to hang. But by a providential occurrence, he effected his escape, seeking refuge in army, joined the battle of Guilford. He was at the defeat of Colonel Banastre Tarleton at Cowpens, and the defeat of Ferguson at Kings Mountain. Afterwards, he went to Henry County, Virginia where he substituted for William Jones for two months and serving as Lieutenant Adjutant marched to Petersburg, Virginia, but soon driven from there by British. He was at the Battle of Jamestown then enlisted in the South Carolina Militia and marched to the Orangeburg Court House, then Four Holes Bridger then Dorchester, and Bacons Bridge. Like most immigrants to Georgia, he was in several counties in Georgia before finally setting at the Mars Hill community in Acworth.