With the fall of Charleston at the hands of the British in 1780, the patriot militia officers in the area (including Pickens) laid down their arms and signed a parole, which meant that the person signing would be guaranteed protection, and would agree to not take up arms against King George III. British Gen. Sir Henry Clinton reneged the terms of the parole, and thus resulted in many of the officers in the lowcountry to begin partisan warfare. Pickens felt duty-bound to stay true to the parole, and was one of the last militia officers to forfeit the parole. When Pickens’ home was looted, raided, and his family harassed by British troops, this made Pickens take up arms once again against the British.
Andrew Pickens, Part 6 - The "Parole" - Episode 6