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Revolutionary War Raids & Skirmishes in 1779

•  January 1779  •  Febuary 1779  •  March 1779  •  April 1779  •  May 1779  •  June 1779   • •  July 1779  •  August 1779  •  September 1779  •  October 1779  •  November 1779  •  December 1779   •


Januaru 6-9, 1779 at Sunbury, Georgia - On January 6-9, a 3-day siege of 2,000 British and Indian forces, commanded by Maj. Gen. Augustine Prevost, captured Sunbury and its 200-man Patriot garrison. Casualties were light on both sides. Conclusion: British Victory

January 9, 1779 in Sunbury, Georgia - In November 1778, a superior British force from Florida, under Col. ?? Fuser of the 60th Regiment, besieged Fort Morris. To the ultimatum to surrender, the American commander, Col. John McIntosh, sent back the laconic reply: "COME AND TAKE IT". The British thereupon abandoned the siege and retired southward. In January 1779, the British force had returned to Sunbury by water. Fort Morris was then under the command of Maj. Joseph Lane of the Continental Army. Ordered by his superiors to evacuate Sunbury following the fall of Savannah, Lane found reasons to disobey and undertook to defend the fort against the overwhelming British force, under Gen. Augustin Prevost. On January 9, after a short but heavy bombardment by the British navy, Fort Morris surrendered with its garrison of 159 Continentals and 45 militiamen. Conclusion: British Victory

January 25, 1779 at Briar Creek, Georgia - On January 25, at 4:00 A.M., Lt. Col. Archibald Campbell marched the British force 10 miles to Hudson's Ferry. He sent the Light Infantry and the South Carolina Royalists to Briar Creek, an additional 14 miles away, to secure the bridge there. The Patriot force at the bridge had learned of the British approach and set fire to the bridge. The British surprised them as they arrived at the bridge. For 45 minutes, the skirmish raged on. The British finally forced the Patriot force to withdraw. This allowed the British time to put out the fire and capture the bridge. Conclusion: British Victory. Casualties: British: 3k, 6w, 7c

January 26, 1779 at Burke County, Georgia - The 120-man Georgia Patriot militia rallied at the Burke County Jail to stop the British advance. They knew that the jail would be a target for the British. Maj. James M. Prevost ordered a 230-man detachment of East Florida Rangers, commanded by Lt. Col. Thomas Brown, and a detachment of South Carolina Royalists, commanded by Lt. Col. Joseph Robinson, on a rescue mission to rescue the Loyalist prisoners at the jail. On January 26, in the morning, the 230 Loyalists attacked the jail from 3 sides. At the time, militiamen were asleep inside. When the attack started, they awoke and quickly drove the Loyalists back. The fighting lasted all day. That night, the Loyalists made another attack. After 45 minutes of fighting, Brown withdrew his men and rejoined the main British force that was heading towards Augusta. Conclusion: American Victory. Casualties: American: 9k, 5w; British: 5k, 5w, 9c

January 26, 1779 at Briar Creek, Georgia - On January 26, Lt. Col. Archibald Campbell left a detachment of 30 South Carolina Loyalists and 20 Georgia Dragoons to guard the bridge at Briar Creek. The creek had become a formidable defensive position with an abitis around the houses there, and loopholes in the houses to fire out of. A group of 30 South carolina militia had wandered to the bridge when they were ambushed by the Loyalists. The militia were quickly defeated. Conclusion: British Victory

January 29-February 13, 1779 at Augusta, Georgia - Brigadier General Prevost's path to Savannah from Florida took him through Augusta. On January 29, 1779, they took control of that city. Augusta is located on the Savannah River and was an important victory for the British because it gave them control over the river and opened the doors for transporting their equipment. Conclusion: British Victory

January 30, 1779 at Fort Henderson, Georgia - On January 30, Col. Samuel Elbert was commanding his Georgia militia when they were attacked by Lt. Col. Archibald Campbell's British force. Towards evening, Campbell closed with Elbert's force at Spirit Creek. Elbert had left 200 men in a small stockade, known as Fort Henderson, on the other side of the creek. Campbell bombarded the fort with his artillery for 10 minutes. After this time, the Georgians abandoned the fort. A company of the 71st Highlanders crossed the creek and took possession of the fort. The British rested at the fort for the night. Conclusion: British Victory


February 1-2, 1779 at Port Royal Island, South Carolina - On February 1, Maj. Valentine Gardiner was ordered to conduct a naval landing and occupy Port Royal Island. They landed at Hilton Head Island and was immediately fired upon by Capt. ?? Dougherty's militia. The British pursued the militia. The British ships that had been accompanying the landing force continued up the Broad River and anchored opposite the plantation of Brig. Gen. ?? Bull on Port Royal Island. Capt. Patrick Murray was ordered to go ashore and burn the plantations of the owners who had fled. The first plantation he burned belonged to Capt. Thomas Heyward, Jr. In the evening, a group of militiamen began sniping at the British. This continued throughout the night. On February 2, the armed brig HMS Lord George Germaine bombarded the house, chasing the militia out into the open. A British landing force chased them into the nearby woods and kept them away from the area. Conclusion: British Victory

February 6, 1779 at Kiokee Creek, Georgia - On February 6, Col. John Dooly and 100 Georgia Patriots refugees to cross the Savannah River. They were to attack Capt. John Hamilton and the British force. Hamilton learned of the Patriots approach and set up an ambush near Kiokee Creek, about 30 miles north of Augusta. As the Patriots began to cross the river, they were ambushed by the British. They Patriots were driven back to the South carolina side of the river. Conclusion: American Victory

February 8-10, 1779 in Wilkes County, Georgia - British commander, Col. Hamilton's goal was Carr's Fort, one of the numerous blockhouses of Wilkes County. Col. Andrew Pickens, foreseeing Hamilton's line of march, sent a subordinate ahead to arrange for defense of this fort, a refuge of women and children, Finding it protected by a few old patriots, the officer deemed defense impracticable and allowed the British to take possession; but the enemy were so closely pushed by the American forces under Co.l John Dooly and Pickens that they were forced to leave their horses and baggage outside the stockade. Although there was little shooting during this encounter because of the women and children inside the fort, nine British and five Americans were killed while three loyalists and seven patriots were wounded. Pickens hurriedly sent men to take possession of a log house, from which the patriots could command the only effective, source of water, and planned to starve the British into surrender. Soon, however, he received news that Col John Boyd, a notorious Tory, with eight hundred loyalists was moving toward Georgia from South Carolina. The American patriots hastened across the Savannah to meet Col John Boyd, and Col. Hamilton retreated to Wrightsboro, in a neighboring county. Conclusion: Draw

February 9, 1779 at Middleton's Ferry, Georgia - On February 9, Capt. Moses Wheatly went on a reconnaissance patrol with 20 mounted East Florida Rangers. The Patriots learned of the patrol and Capt. ?? Cooper, along with 12 Horse Rangers, were sent to stop the Loyalists. Cooper was behind the Loyalists and captured the entire force when they stopped for dinner. The Loyalists did not put up any resistance. Conclusion: American Victory

February 9, 1779 at Brownsborough, Georgia - On February 9, Capt. Robert Phillip and 20 South Carolina Royalists were located at Brownsborough to watch for any movements of the Patriot forces. Capt. ?? Cooper and 20 Georgia Regiments Horse Rangers attacked the Royalists as they were entering their camp. The Royalists reacted quickly, killing 2 Rangers and driving them back. Phillips pursued the Rangers and was able to capture half of the Rangers and some of their provisions. Conclusion: British Victory

February 10, 1779 at Vann's Creek, Georgia - On February 10, Capt. Robert Anderson received a message from Capt. James Little asking for assistance against the South Carolina Loyalist Militia, commanded by Col. James Boyd, at Cherokee Ford. The ford was located on the Savannah River. Anderson arrived at the ford shortly after the Loyalists bypassed the ford. Anderson and Little's militia crossed the ford into Georgia in order to attack Boyd when he crossed over the Savannah River. Anderson discovered the Loyalists crossing at Vann's Creek and ordered his militia to open fire on them. The Loyalists maneuvered to the flanks and rear of Anderson's force by moving undetected through the canebreaks. Anderson was unable to sustain a fight from two directions and ordered his force to retreat. They regrouped at Cherokee Ford. Conclusion: British Victory.

February 14, 1779 at Cherokee Ford, South Carolina - Before leaving Carr's Fort for South Carolina, Col. Pickens and Dooly called for reinforcements under Capt. Anderson to patrol the Savannah in order to hold back the loyalist forces whenever they should attempt a crossing. Tory leader, Col. John Boyd changed his course of march, failed to encounter Col. Pickens, and attempted to cross into Wilkes at Cherokee Ford, which he found protected by a blockhouse. On the morning of February 14, 1779, Colonel Boyd was surprised by the rebel force. He consequently went five miles up the river and effected a crossing by dividing his men into small groups and sending them across on rafts. Passage was hotly contested by a small force of a hundred Americans, Pickens commanded the center, Colonel John Dooley the right and Elijah Clarke the left. The Tory pickets fired and then retreated into camp. Boyd rallied his men who fought on for over an hour before finally being defeated. Boyd would die that evening from wounds. All the captured Tories were convicted of treason and five were hanged. Pickens' victory destroyed Tory morale in South Carolina, while bolstering the numbers of Patriot militia. Col. John Boyd lost a hundred men, killed, wounded, and missing. Sixteen Americans were killed and wounded and an equal number were taken prisoners. Conclusion: American Victory

February 18, 1779 at ??, Georgia - On February 18, a Patriot force attacked the British garrison at Herbert's Store. The store was located on the Savannah River. The Patriots succeeded in killing or capturing most of the British force and 200 horses. Conclusion: American Victory

February 26, 1779 at Horseneck Landing, Connecticut - On February 25, Gov. William Tryon, with a group of 600 light infantry, left the area of Kings Bridge on a raiding mission to Horseneck landing. A 30-man American patrol made contact with Tryon's force at New Rochelle. On February 26, the American patrol withdrew to the settlement at Horseneck Landing, located at West Greenwich. There, Maj. Gen. Israel Putnam attempted to make a stand with a couple of cannon and 150 militia. The British attacked the Americans and drove them off. Tryon's raiders destroyed the salt works, 3 small wooden ships, a store, and then plundered the settlement. They carried off about 200 head of cattle and horses. Conclusion: British Victory. Casualties: American: unknown; British: 2w, 20c


March ??, 1779 at Fort Morgan, Georgia - In March, Maj. Henry Sharp and his Georgia Light Dragoons were able to capture Fort Morgan. The fort was a Patriot outpost on the Ogeechee River. Conclusion: British Victory

March 21, 1779 at Beech Island, Georgia - On March 21, at 8:00 P.M., the 200 Loyalist Militia, commanded by Maj. John Spurgin, attacked the Patriot camp at "the Crossroads." All but 60 out of 200 men of the Patriots fled the scene. The remainder managed to drive the Loyalists back to the Burke County Jail. Conclusion: American Victory. Casualties: American: 3w; British: 20k, 7w

March 22, 1779 at Rocky Comfort Creek, Georgia - On March 22, Col. LeRoy Hammond and some 500 militia ran into 50 Creek Indians at Rocky Comfort Creek. The militia attacked the Creeks and drove them away. Hammond returned to camp with the scalps of the Indian dead. Conclusion: American Victory. Casualties: American: 3w; British: 12k, 6c


April 21, 1779 at Onondaga Castle, New York - On April 21, a 550-man Patriot force, commanded by Col. Gose van Schaick, conducted a surprise raid on the Onondago Castle. The Onondaga capital was burnt. Later, Continental troops rested after attacking and destroying Onondaga Castle, home of the Onondaga Indians. In the expedition approved by George Washington, Van Schaick destroyed 50 houses, killed 20 warriors, took 37 prisoners, and captured 100 guns. However, most of the Indians escaped into the woods. Conclusion: American Victory

MAY OF 1779

May 4, 1779 at Coosawhatchie River, South Carolina - On May 3, Lt. Col. John Laurens and 250 men were in position on a slight rise near the bridge at Coosawhatchie. They were guarding the road against the expected assault by about 2400 British soldiers from Savannah.

On May 4, Lt. Col. John Laurens and a 150-man detachment of the North Carolina Light Infantry on a mission to bring back the Patriot rear guard before the British cut them off. When they encountered the British, Laurens choose a bad position for his troops. The British fired long-range artillery at the Patriots, who were powerless to do anything. Laurens were shot in the arm and his horse was killed by artillery fragments. As Laurens was sent back for medical attention, he told Capt. Richard Shubrick to maintaintheir position. Once Laurens left though, Shubrick ordered the Patriots to withdraw. With many of the soldiers and Laurens himself wounded, they fell back to the Tullifinny River, about two miles east. He knew that if they had stayed, the entire detachment would have been captured. Conclusion: British Victory

May 9-11, 1779 at Hampton Roads, Virginia - On May 9-11, a British expedition, commanded by Adm. Sir John Collier, conducted a raid in the Hampton Roads area. The raid was devastating effect by capturing or destroying large quanitites of American ships and supplies. An estimate of 2 million sterling was the total loss of property. The British raid did not cost them a single loss of life. Conclusion: British Victory

May 20, 1779 at Stono River, South Carolina - On May 20, some British troops surprised 2 companies of South Carolina militia. The militia were garrisoning the Stono River plantation of Capt. ?? Mathews. Conclusion: British Victory

May 23, 1779 at Stono Ferry, South Carolina - On May 23, the British had established their defenses at Stono Ferry, located on the Stono River. The British troops were camped on one side and the Hessians were camped on the other side. A British galley was anchored in the river to provide covering fire for the Hessians. The Patriots attacked the Hessian camp and immediately came under fire from the galley. The Patriots opened fire on the ship and forced it to withdraw from the fight. Being on the high ground, the Patriots overshot the Hessians when they opened fire on them. The British had gathered all the boats they could, and crossed over the river to reinforce the Hessians. The British troops charged after the Patriots. Unknown to the British, the South Carolina Navy schooner Rattlesnake had come down the river. It began to fire into the rear of the British and Hessain forces. They both turned from the Patriot force and fired upon the Rattlesnake. The Rattlesnake fired back at them, and repulsed the attack with heavy losses. Conclusion: American Victory. Casualties: American: 40k&w; British: 6k, 38w

JUNE OF 1779

June 1, 1779 at Stony Point, New York - On June 1, a British force moved up the Hudson River and captured the Patriot fort at Stony Point. Conclusion: British Victory

June 1, 1779 at Verplanck's Point, New York - On June 1, a British force moved up the Hudson River towards the Patriot fort, Fort Lafayette. The fort was located at Verplanck's Point. After their quick victory at the Battle of Stony Point (First), the took little time to capture Fort Lafayette, also. Conclusion: British Victory

June 27, 1779 in Liberty County, Georgia - On June 27, the combined Georgia forces, commanded by Col. Baker and Col. Twiggs of the Georgia Militia and a Company of Volunteer Horse, in an excursion towards Sunbury, came upon some of Lt. Col. Daniel McGirth and his Georgia Light Dragoons at Midway Meeting House. They attacked McGirth’s men and made a few prisoner with most of the troops managing to escape. Col. Baker received intelligence that several Continental officers who were prisoners on parole were going from Savannah to Sunbury. Col. Baker overtook them at Mrs. Arthur’s house. Conclusion: American Victory

June 28, 1779 at Hickory Hill in Liberty County, Georgia - On June 28, a detachment of the 60th Royal American Regiment, commanded by Capt. Jacob Muller. Capt. Muller with fifty regulars came from Savannah mounted on horseback to surprise Col. Baker, he attacked the Patriot force, commanded by Col. John Twiggs, at the Butler Plantation. At the time of the attack, Twiggs only had 35 men with him because the rest of the force was out foraging for food and fodder. The British were driven back behind a fence where they dismounted. Unable to stand the powerful Patriot firepower, Muller ordered his men to withdraw. In this ten minute engagement Capt. Muller was killed with 3 other soldiers and 11 troops wounded. None of the British detachment escaped. Conclusion: American Victory

JULY OF 1779

July, 1779 at Wilkes County, Georgia - In July, Col. Benjamin Few was sent into the backcountry of Georgia to protect the inhabitants from a possible Indian uprising. Col. Few ran into an 70-man Indian war party in Wilkes County. The Indians were soon defeated losing 7 killed, 2wounded and 2 captured. Conclusion: American Victory

July 2, 1779 at Poundridge, New York - Lt. Col. Banastre Tarleton, along with 360 British troops, was given a mission with two parts. His first part was to capture Maj. Ebenezer Lockwood. Loockwood was an active patriot that was assisting the local American troops. The second part of Tarleton's mission was to defeat Col. Elisha Sheldon's and his 90-man 2nd Continental Dragoons. The dragoons had been supporting militia in Westchester County. Both Lockwood and Sheldon were located at Poundridge, some 20 miles northeast of White Plains. On July 2, Lockwood was warned that Tarleton was approaching and he managed to escape. Sheldon was pushed back 2 miles from Poundridge before the local militia gathered for his support. After the miltia joined Sheldon, Tarleton had to withdraw. The British managed to burn the town church, several buildings, and took Sheldon's regimental colors. The British raid was deemed a failure. Conclusion: American Victory. Casualties: American: 10w, 8c; British: 1k, 1w

July 5, 1779 at New Haven, Connecticut - In July, Maj. Gen. Sir Henry Clinton decided that he was fed up with the activities of Connecticut in Long Island Sound, where the Americans had continually harassed and ambushed his supply boats and raided across to Long Island. On July 5, he landed British detachments on either side of New Haven, and marched on the town. The local militia came out, and a body of students from Yale contested the British advance, but the locals were not in sufficient strength to offer more than nuisance resistance. The town was plundered and several prisoners were carried off. Conclusion: British Victory

July 8, 1779 at Fairfield, Connecticut - On July 8, during the Coinnecticut Coast Raid, the town of Fairfied was occupied by the British. They then decided to destroy the town and proceeded to do so by setting fire to all of the buildings. The british managed to burn down the entire town. Conclusion: British Victory

July 8, 1779 at Green Farms, Connecticut - On July 8, after the British victory at the Battle of Fairfield, the same British raiding force arrived at the village of Green Farms. They proceeded to loot and burn the village. Conclusion: British Victory

July 11, 1779 at Norwalk, Connecticut - On July 11, the British raiding force that had been destroying villages along the coast of Connecticut, next headed toward the village of Norwalk. Once they arrived, the British plundered and burned the village. Norwalk suffered the worst of all villages that had been hit. Conclusion: British Victory


August 5, 1779 in Morrisania (Bronx), New York - This engagement is between Lieutenant Colonel James De Lancey's Loyalists and the Connecticut Brigade commanded by William Hull. The patriots destroy numerous buildings and food stores while also capturing several Loyalists, along with some horses and cattle. First-hand accounts give conflicting figures as to the number of casualties incurred by each side. Conclusion: American Victory.

August 11-September 14, 1779 in Allegheny River, Indian Territory - Colonel Daniel Brodhead, in conjunction with Major General John Sullivan, who commences an expedition in New York, launches an ambitious assault through the Allegheny Valley. Brodhead leaves Pittsburgh at the head of 600 men and destroys 10 Indian villages and returns with much booty encountering only minimal resistance. Conclusion: American Victory.

August 14, 1779 at Lockhart's Plantation, Georgia - On August 14, Lt. Col. Daniel McGirth and his 25 Loyalist militia ran into a Patriot patrol at the Lockhart Plantation. The Patriot patrol consisted of Col. John Twiggs and his militia and Maj. John Jameson and his 1st Continental Light Dragoons totaling over 150 men. McGirth and some of the Loyalists were able to escape by moving down a nearby creek. In addition to the prisoners, Twiggs captured 23 horses and 15 stands of arms. Conclusion: American Victory. Casualties: American: 1w; British: 5k, 6w, 6c


September 5, 1779 at Lloyd's Neck, New York - Maj. Benjamin Tallmadge and 150 dismounted dragoons departed from Shippan Point, located near Stamford, Connecticut, and headed south.On September 5, the American force arrived at Lloyd's Neck and made a surprise attack on 550 Tories that were there. After the attack, he returned home with most of the Tory force as prisoners (350). Conclusion: American Victory

September 16, 1779 at Ogeechee Ferry, Georgia - On September 16, Count Kazimierz Pulaski and his Legion caught up with Lt. Col. Daniel McGirth and his Loyalist militia at Ogeechee Ferry. Pulaski's Patriots captured 50 Loyalists, some livestock, and some slaves. Conclusion: American Victory


October 1, 1779 at Savage Point, Georgia - On October 1, during the night, a Georgia Continental force, commanded by Col. John White, prevented a 111-man detachment of British troops, commanded by Lt. James French, from reaching Savannah. White led a small patrol and spotted the Loyalist camp at Savage Station. White ordered his men to light many fires around the Loyalist camp, making it seem that a large force surrounded them. White's men then rode around the camp, shouting orders to fictitious units. The trick worked, and White demanded the surrender of the Loyalist camp. French surrendered his 111-man detachment and were quickly taken prisoners. Conclusion: American Victory

October 17, 1779 at Somerset Court House, New Jersey - On October 17, Lt. Col. John G. Simcoe and his British force conducted a raid at Somerset Court House. Their successful raid against a small American force resulted in some captured goods. As the British withdrew from the town, the Americans managed to capture Simcoe. Conclusion: British Victory


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