The Battle of Videau's Bridge

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The Battle of Videau's Bridge

January 3, 1782 at Berkeley County , South Carolina

AMERICAN FORCES
Commanded by: Col. Richard Richardson, Jr.
Strength: 400+
Casualties: 9 killed, 6 wounded, 15 missing
BRITISH FORCES
Commanded by: Maj. William Brereton
Strength: 360
Casualties: 4 killed, 14 wounded, 1 captured
CONCLUSION
Conclusion: British Victory

As 1782 was ushered in, the British found themselves penned up in Charlestown surrounded by a combination of militia and Continental soldiers. British Maj. Gen. Alexander Leslie was the commandant of the city and had to slaughter 200 horses because he had nothing to feed them. To protect the river approaches to Charlestown, Maj. Gen. Leslie had several small outposts which were guarded by armed galleys.

One of these armed galleys was in the Wando River guarding the outpost on Daniel's Island, which was now under surveillance by Col. Richard Richardson, Jr. and his Berkeley County Regiment (militia) that were based in nearby Cainhoy. The British used the armed galleys primarily to guard foraging parties looking for foodstuffs in the surrounding countryside, which totally irritated the Patriots.

Maj. Gen. Leslie received reports that Brig. Gen. Francis Marion's numerous and spread-out detachments might be vulnerable, so he ordered Maj. William Brereton was ordered to cross the Cooper River and invade St. Thomas's Parish. After landing on Daniel’s Island from a ship in the Wando River, the British crossed the island and Beresford Creek, then moved fourteen miles up the
Strawberry Road and halted at Brabant’s plantation about noon. At the same time, Gen. Marion ordered his men to
block the enemy’s advance.

Patriot Col. Richard Richardson, Jr. led his men north from Cainhoy. Col. Richard Richardson, Jr. knew that he was outnumbered so he requested reinforcements from Brig. Gen. Marion, who was low on men, but he did send a detachment of new and inexperienced cavalry from Col. Hezekiah Maham's SC 3rd Regiment of State Dragoons, led by Maj. Samuel Cooper.

Maj. Brereton marched across Daniel's Island and crossed Beresford Creek, then rested his men at Brabant Plantation, the home of Rev. Robert Smith. Maj. Brereton placed troops on Videau's Bridge to guard the approaches leading to the plantation. Col. Richardson had his men to circle around and come at the bridge from the north. Col. Richardson did some reconnoitering on his own, but soon came racing back with the NY Volunteers, the SC Royalists, and the Independent Troop of Black Dragoons hot on his tail. When he reached his own men, he wheeled around and ordered a charge.

Maj. Samuel Cooper charged with his cavalry and the British immediately retreated. At Videau's Bridge, the untrained men were fired upon by British infantry and 22 were killed. Maj. Coffin charged the confused Patriots with fresh cavalry causing the new recruits to flee. Some of Col. Maham's veterans, led by Maj. Samuel Cooper, stayed and fought, but they too were slaughtered.

In the intense fight, Capt. George Sinclair Capers had taken three sword thrusts in the body. Capt. Archibald Campbell was killed when he attempted to escape after he had been captured. The British forces pursued the Patriots on a six mile running gun battle before they turned back to the main force. Maj. Brereton continued raiding cattle, foraging as far north as Quinby's Bridge before he returned to Haddrell's Point.

The Americans were defeated. Twenty-two of Richardson’s troops were killed, 6 wounded and 15 missing. The British had 4 killed,
14 wounded and 1 captured.

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