Link To This Page — Contact Us —
Revolutionary War Raids & Skirmishes in 1780
JANUARY OF 1780
January 14, 1780 at Staten Island, New York - On January 14, a Patriot force, commanded by Brig. Gen. William Alexander, across large ice tracts to Staten Island. Their mission was to attack the British posts located there. Alexander had hoped to be able to surprise the British but their attack formation was spotted before it hit the posts. regardless, the mission was a success, including getting some British prisoners and some booty. Conclusion: American Victory. Casualties: American: 6k; British: 17c
January 25, 1780, at Elizabethtown, New Jersey - On January 25, 1780, the British, led by Cornelius Hatfield Jr., raided both Elizabethtown and Newark. The British made a night raid on Elizabeth Town to surprise and capture American troops there and in Newark. They set fire to the Presbyterian Church and adjacent courthouse. "Both were burned to the ground. A tragic aspect of the fire was that the raiding party was guided by three brothers, Cornelius, Job and Smith Hetfield, Tory sons of the patriot Cornelius Hetfield Sr. Consumed by the flames were many historical records and papers of the church, including much pertaining to Reverend James Caldwell. British reports indicated that two majors, three captains, and 47 privates were captured with horses, arms and accoutrements." Conclusion: British Victory.
FEBRUARY OF 1780
February 3, 1780 at Young's House, New York - a British force of two British Guards Regiments, plus a force of Hessians, mounted Jagers, and 100 mounted Tories, made up the force of 550 men. The Tories from Westchester County joined the British force which had set out on February 2nd from Fort Knyphausen (formerly Fort Washington) with the intention of attacking and capturing "Young’s House". The British and American forces were not even numerically matched (450 Americans vs. the British 400 foot soldiers and 150 mounted horsemen). The American force was not only inferior in numbers but also in battle experience; the most outstanding differences being combat experience, the addition of mounted Jagers, and 100 mounted Tories from Westchester County. These gave the British Commander Colonel Norton an advantage not only of men but also overwhelming mobility. The attack on "Young’s House" began when the perimeter guard force was engaged and overrun by Norton’s men. Alerted by the firefight between the perimeter guard and the British, Thompson formed his troops in what appears to have been a U shaped formation around the house. Colonel Norton also spread his force entirely around the house, thereby cutting off any avenue of escape for the Americans. Ward states that there was "a hot exchange of fire for about fifteen minutes." Finally, attacked from all sides, the Americans gave way. Some retreated, forcing their way through the British lines while others took cover in the house. The house was well defended but was overrun and all within the house were killed or captured, including the owner. The final act was to set the house afire before withdrawing the force to return to Fort Knyphausen. American losses were heavy, especially among the officers. The American leader Lt. Colonel Thompson and seven of his officers were killed. In total, American losses were 14 killed, 37 wounded and 76 taken prisoner. British losses were 5 killed and 18 wounded. While this was a setback, it was quite simply a target of opportunity; not a decisive battle and it had no effect on the further prosecution of the war on either side. Conclusion: British Victory
February 26-March 2, 1780 at Fort Johnson, South Carolina - After Fort Johnson was occupied by Gen. Clinton on February 26th, the Continental Navy ships Providence and Ranger fired into the fort with little or no effect.The next day the Continental Navy ships Boston and Ranger and the South Carolina frigate Bricole moved from Sullivan’s Island and fired on Fort Johnson. Three British were killed in the bombardment. To counter the naval firepower the British moved in a 24-pounder, 12-pounder and an 8 inch howitzer. On February 27th, some transport ships arrived from Savannah with the grenadier companies of the 63rd and 64th Regiments, and one battalion of the 71st Highlanders. There was also “two companies of Negroes from Savannah. The remainder were supply and horse ships.” The horses would be used to haul cannons to the newly constructed positions, but the horses were not put to work for a few more days, so the soldiers had to drag the artillery to their camps. On February 28th, while work was being done on a redoubt in Fort Johnson, the Boston and Ranger both fired into the fort from an unprotected side. A Hessian captain brought up some of the Hessian Grenadiers, and two artillery pieces, and returned fire. One shot by the Boston killed a gunner, and two grenadiers of the Grenadier Battalion von Graff. The 42nd Highlanders moved a fieldpiece into the road leading to Fort Johnson and also fired upon the ship. General von Kospoth recalled the grenadiers and the fieldpieces, and the frigates moved away from the fort. The British moved two 24-pounders, “en barbette”, into the unprotected side of the fort. Clinton rode out to the fort and ordered General von Kospoth to “retire into the woods with his Brigade, so that he should not be exposed to the cannonading.” Carl Bauer described Fort Johnson as the fort that “General Prévost destroyed last year and of which one can still see the ruins… consist of tabby bricks and the trunks of palmetto trees…Behind Fort Johnston a redoubt was built on an old cemetery, to which heavy cannons and ammunition were brought. A great number of dead corpses were dug up, which struck us as all the more curious since this island was not thickly inhabited. Therefore we asked about the cause and learned that these were all soldiers from two English regiments, who had been quartered in a nearby and now destroyed barracks. Both regiments had died out almost completely in one year after their arrival from Europe. This news caused us to wish that we would not remain here very long.” On March 2nd, the Providence, Boston, Ranger, Bricole, Notre Dame and several other galleys, fired into Fort Johnson again, with no effect. When the first British schooners appeared off the bar the American fleet ceased the shelling of Fort Johnson. Conclusion: British Victory
MARCH OF 1780
March 5, 1780 at Mathew's Ferry, South Carolina - Late in the afternoon of March 4th elements of Pulaski’s Legion scouted the British redoubt at Mathew’s Ferry. At 11 o’clock the next day they returned to test the defenses of the works. The British fired upon the reconnaissance patrol, and Vernier’s men suffered the loss of several men and horses. Captain Ewald commanded the position that Vernier had tested, and he expected the Americans to return.15 Ewald placed six Highlanders and six Jägers in two ambush positions along the main road. Two other Jägers were placed in a sentry position in the open, as a decoy, in front of the works. Around 7 o’clock that night Pulaski’s Legion horse appeared and circled the sentries to cut them off from the works. When Vernier’s men got in the kill zone of the ambush, the sentries fired, signaling the hidden soldiers to fire on the cavalry. Nearly all of the Vernier’s cavalry was shot or bayoneted. A few were able to escape into the night. The next day Captain Ewald was ordered to abandon the Mathew’s Ferry works. He pulled down the earthworks, set the abatis on fire and crossed the Stono River. After crossing he destroyed the boats he had used. Clinton’s entire army, except for a small detachment, had moved over from Johns Island to James Island. Conclusion: British Victory
March 6th-7th, 1780 at Charlestown (Ferguson's Plantation), SC - On the night of March 6th the two British light infantry battalions tried to surprise the American cavalry near Ferguson’s plantation, by crossing the Wappoo River and marching throughout the night. Unfortunately for the British an officer’s servant had deserted and warned the American cavalry. When the British arrived they found that the Americans had fled. The Light Infantry was worn out from the fourteen-mile march over clay paths, and on the return eight of the men had to be left behind, too fatigued to make it back. Major Maham, of the South Carolina State Cavalry, sent word to the Continental Light Dragoons, that the British were on the mainland. The Light Dragoons had spent an enjoyable time at their plantation by playing cards, hunting and dancing at night with the local beauties, but within the hour they headed towards the retreating British. The Dragoons captured seven of the eight stragglers. The eighth man had overcome his exertion, and rejoined his unit. Conclusion: American Victory.
March 8, 1780 in McPhersonville, South Carolina - During the Revolutionary War, British troops occupied the plantation of Isaac McPherson (described as “a great Rebel, a man of property” in contemporary reports) in March, 1780, after unsuccessfully trying to chase down 50 American troops on horseback. During their stay the British engaged in what they thought was a skirmish with the enemy, but mistakenly attacked their own troops. The British left McPherson’s Plantation and marched to the crossing of the Saltketcher (now the Salkehatchie) River, where a bridge had stood before the beginning of the war. They were met by 80 American militiamen who tried to prevent their crossing. The British Light Infantry crossed the river below this spot and came up behind the Americans. A captain and 16 privates were bayoneted to death by the British. Conclusion: British Victory
March 14, 1780 at Mobile, West Florida (Alabama) - On March 14, an expedition, commanded by Spanish Louisiana Governor Bernado de Galvez, after a month-long siege by land and sea, with more than two thousand men under his command, captured the British stronghold of Fort Charlotte at Mobile. Conclusion: Spanish Victory
March 17-18, 1780 at Salkehatchie River, South Carolina - On March 17, a British force, commanded by Capt. Abraham DePeyster, had detected a Patriot reconnaissance patrol, commanded by Col. James Ladson, some 6 miles to their front of their position. The patrol consisted of the Colleton County militia. The militia had been felling trees across the roads leading to the Saltketcher Ferry and destroying all of the boats along the river so that the British could not use them to cross the river. The British was ordered to pursue the militia, which they did. On March 18 Paterson's army reached the Salkehatchie River, where about eighty Patriot militia under Major Ladson had destroyed the bridge and occupied a tavern on the east bank in order to annoy the enemy advance. The British assigned part of the Legion to return their fire and keep them occupied while the remainder of the advance guard forded the river further down, outflanked Ladson's men, and attacked them from the rear. Several American troops were shot or bayoneted; the rest fled."
March 22, 1780 at ??, South Carolina - On March 22, Brig. Gen. Alexander Leslie was leading a British force toward Dayton Hall and Middleton Place. At the bridge crossing at St. Andrew's Creek, they were fired upon by some Patriot artillery. At 7:00 P.M., Capt. ?? Edwald took a small detachment and crossed the creek. When they arrived at the Patriot position, they found that the Patriots had abandoned it. They spotted the retreating Patriots and attacked them. A small skirmish ensued, with both sides withdrawing after a few casualties. Conclusion: Draw
March 23, 1780 at Colleton County, South Carolina - On March 23, a party of mounted rebel militia were surprised by the British. The Indians were driven off of Bee's Plantation. Tarleton: “The inhabitants of Carolina having heard of the loss of the cavalry horses at sea, had flattered themselves that they could not be speedily recruited. In order to confine the British troops as much as possible to the line of march, and to prevent their collecting horses in the country, some of them accoutred themselves as cavaliers, and a few days after the junction of the dragoons from Beaufort, ventured to insult the front of General Patterson's [Paterson’s] corps, which was composed of his cavalry, who made a charge, unexpected by the Americans, and without any loss took some prisoners, and obtained a number of horses.” Allaire: "Thursday, 23d. All the army, except the Seventy-first regiment, and greatest part of the baggage, crossed the river in boats and flats, the bridge being destroyed. Col. Tarleton came up with a party of Rebel militia dragoons, soon after crossing the river at Gov. Bee's plantation. He killed ten, and took four prisoners. Gov. Bee was formerly Lieut. Gov. under His Majesty, is now one of the members of Congress, and Lieut. Gov. of South Carolina." William Dobein James: "On the 23d, he [Tarleton] put to flight another party at Ponpon, killed three, wounded one, and took four prisoners." Conclusion: British Victory
March 25, 1780 at Savannah, Georgia - On March 25, a detachment of Delancey's 1st Battalion New York Volunteers rode out of Savannah and was ambushed and attacked by a a force of (reportedly) 300 whigs militia, commanded by Col. Andrew Pickens, which had maneuvered near to Savannah. The King's Rangers were sent to rescue the Volunteers, which they did. They quickly retreated back to their lines. Before leaving, the militia plundered and burned Royal Governor Wright's rice plantations. A detachment of engaged. The British lost 3 killed and 5 wounded. American losses are not known. Conclusion: American Victory
March 26, 1780 at Charleston County, South Carolina - On March 27. [skirmish] at Rantowle's Bridge, also Rantol’s Bridge, Rutledge’s Plantation, 300 American cavalry, consisting of Lieut. Col. William Washington's 3rd Continental Light Dragoons, the 1st Continental Light Dragoons, under Lieut. Col. Anthony White, Pulaski's Legion cavalry under Major Pierre-François Vernier, and probably as well Col. Peter Horry’s South Carolina light horse, conducted a 12-mile ride towards the British lines. Once there, defeated the British Legion and 17th Light Dragoons, with 200 to 300, in a skirmish in which the Americans captured Lieut. Col. John Hamilton of the Royal North Carolina Regiment along with six other prisoners. As they were returning back to Bacon's Bridge, Washington learned that a British force, commanded by Col. Banastre Tarleton, was approaching their rear. The Patriots turned around and charged the British. As the fighting started, Tarleton realized that this would become a disaster for the British. He ordered his troops to retreat back across the causeway. Tarleton: “This affair [at Bee’s Plantation] was nearly counterbalanced in the neighbourhood of Rantol's bridge, where a body of the continental cavalry, consisting of Washington's and Bland's light horse, and Pulaski's hussars, carried off Lieutenant-colonel Hamilton, of the North-Carolina provincial regiment, with some other prisoners; and owing to the imprudence of the officer who commanded the advance guard of the British dragoons, sent in pursuit, was on the point of gaining advantage over that corps.” Allaire: "Monday, 27th. Two companies of Light Infantry, American Volunteers, and one company of Dragoons, crossed at Rantowle's in scows; the rest of the army crossed yesterday. Col. Hamilton, of the North Carolinians, and Dr. Smith, of the Hospital, proceeding about a mile in front of the army, to Gov. Rutledge's house, were immediately surrounded by three hundred Continental Light Horse, and they consequently made prisoners. The British Dragoons fell in with them soon after, and had a skirmish; the Rebels soon gave way, and showed them the road, as is customary for them to do. Qr. Master Sergeant Mcintosh, of the Georgia Dragoons, badly wounded in the face by a broadsword. Several Dragoons of the Legion were wounded. How many of the Rebels got hurt we can't learn; but they did not keep up the combat long enough for many to receive damage. This morning, Capt. Saunders, that came in with the flag on the 24th, was sent out; his attendant, Capt. Wilkinson, not being mentioned in the body of the flag, is detained as a prisoner of war. We took up our ground on Gov. Rutledge's plantation, about one mile from his house, where we remained all night." William Dobein James: “On the 27th, near Rantowle's bridge, he [Tarleton] had a rencounter with Col. Washington, at the head of his legion of 300 men; Tarleton was worsted in this affair, and lost seven men, prisoners." Conclusion: American Victory
March 28, 1780 at Sunbury, Georgia - On March 28, a party of Georgia militia routed some Loyalists and Indians. Conclusion: American Victory. Casualties: American: unknown; British: 10k
March 29-30, 1780 at Charleston County, South Carolina - On March 29-30, the British force, commanded by Lt. Gen. Charles Cornwallis, was approaching Gibbes Plantation. A combination of several Patriot units were put together, commanded by Lt. Col. John Laurens, to stop the British advance. He posted his troops in an advanced redoubt on the King Street Road, about a mile from Charlestown. Another 1 1/2 miles from them, he placed a detachment of riflemen who set up an ambush in a wooded area along the road. Around 12:00 P.M., the Patriots fired on the British as they entered the ambush area. Quickly, the Patriots realized that they were outnumbered and began a withdrawal. The running battle continued until the Patriots reached the redoubt and took cover inside. Laurens was ordered to fall back to the American lines, with the British occupying the abandoned positions. Laurens decided to attack the abandoned positions, forcing the British back. The British counterattacked, forcing the Americans to fall back again. De Brahm: [Entry for the 30th] "The advanced guard of the enemy came within two miles of Charlestown, when a party of two hundred men, under Colonel John Laurens and a little while after two field-pieces), went out against them, who, after a skirmish of some hours, returned towards sun-set. The fortifications of Charlestown were, even at this time, very incomplete. All the negroes in town were impressed, who, together with the parties detailed from the garrison, were henceforth employed upon the works." Letter from South Carolina printed in the Pennsylvania Packet, April 25: “March 30.—Yesterday, a large body of British grenadiers and infantry crossed the Ashley River, and to-day they appeared before the American line, where they are now camped. As the enemy approached, Colonel John Laurens, with a small party, had a brush with the advance body, in which Captain Bowman of the North Carolina forces, fell, much lamented; Major Herne [Edmund Hyrne] and two privates were wounded. The enemies loss is reported to be from twelve to sixteen killed. A French gentlemen, who was a volunteer in the action, says he counted eight and a Highland deserter says Col. St. Clair was mortally wounded.” Conclusion: American Victory. Casualties: American: 1k, 8w; British: 9k, 11w, 5m
APRIL OF 1780
April 2, 1780 at Harpersfield, New York - A detachment of Rebel militia under the command of Captain Alexander Harper traveled from Schoharie to Harpersfield (some thirty miles). Their purpose was to gather sap and produce maple syrup/sugar to supplement the meager food supplies at the Schoharie forts. While gathering the sap, the men were surprised by a war party led by the Mohawk Chief Joseph Brant. Chief Joseph Brant and a group of Indians and Tories attacked the settlement of Harpersfield. Harpersfield was an exposed settlement 20 miles south of Cherry valley and 15 miles southwest of Lower Fort of Schoharie Valley. Brant and his group destroyed the settlement. Most of the inhabitants had left.Three of the Rebels were killed and eleven taken prisoner including Capt. Harper. One of the prisoners, Freegift Patchin, later related the story of their capture and travails as prisoners. He mentioned one Loyalist, a Mr. Beacraft, who threatened to kill them right after their capture. Patchin also remembered a confrontation between Capt. Harper and Joseph Brant. Brant was about to tomahawk Harper when, instead, he decided to question Harper about the Schoharie forts. Harper assumed Brant was on his way to attack the settlements and forts on the Schoharie Kill (Creek). When Brant asked him if there were Continental soldiers around, Harper replied that three hundred Continentals had just arrived to defend the forts. It was a lie, but Brant believed Harper and the war party with their prisoners departed for Fort Niagara. Had Harper not been able to convince Brant to not attack Schoharie, the number of prisoners heading for Fort Niagara would have been much greater than eleven. Conclusion: British Victory
April 5, 1780 at Ogeechee River, Georgia - On April 5, Col. Andrew Pickens commanded his militia and raided the rice plantations of Royal Governor Wright. Capt. Thomas Conkling was ordered to take a reinforced company of DeLancey's Brigade, find the militia, and engage them. A group of slaves and their overseers also joined up with the British in the pursuit. The Patriots and British finally engaged each other, with the Patriots winning the skirmish. Conclusion: American Victory. Casualties: American: unknown; British: 3k, 5w
April 8, 1780 at Fort Moultrie, South Carolina - A British squadron detachment, consisting of Roebuck, Richmond, Romulus, Blonde, Virginia, Raleigh, Sandwich (armed ship) and Renown, passed the heavy guns of Fort Moultrie, commanded by Brevet Brig. Gen. Charles Cotesworth Pinckney, with the loss of only 27 men, and loss of Arteus an ordnance ship which went aground and was burned. Richmond's foretop mast was shot away. The flotilla then anchored off Fort Johnson, the move having marked a major breach in the American defenses. Allaire: "Saturday, 8th. But little firing from the Rebels. Rainy, disagreeable morning. The rebels were reinforced with thirteen hundred men last night, commanded by a Gen. Scott. They fired a feu de joie, and rang all the bells in town on the occasion. About four o'clock this afternoon the fleet hove in sight, coming up under full sail with a fresh breeze at south west, and passed Fort Moultrie -- the Rebel fort that they boasted of on Sullivan's Island, which no fleet could ever pass. They were but a few minutes passing. What damage is sustained we have not yet learned. The Richmond lost her fore top-mast; a cutter lay opposite the fort all the time the fleet was passing, with a flay hoisted to point out the channel. A heavy cannonade from the Rebels' batteries, which the shipping returned as they passed with a spirit becoming Britons." De Brahm: "Last night the [British] enemy commenced a battery of six pieces. All our workmen employed making traverses. A quarter of an hour before sun-set, the English fleet passed Fort Moultrie, under a heavy fire on both sides, and anchored in a line near Fort Johnson. Nobody wounded or killed in Fort Moultrie. The fleet consisted of the following vessels: -- One of 50 guns, two of 40, four frigates, two vessels armed en flute, and two other smaller ones; one of these armed en flute grounded on a band called "The Green." William Dobein James: "On the 7th, twelve sail of the enemy's ships passed Fort Moultrie, under a heavy fire. The garrison had been assiduous in preparing for defence; the old works were strengthened, and lines and redoubts were extended from Ashley to Cooper river. A strong abbatis was made in front, and a deep, wet ditch was opened from the marsh on one side, to that on the other, and the lines were so constructed as to rake it." Conclusion: American Victory
MAY OF 1780
May 2, 1780 at Haddrell's Point, South Carolina - On May 2, Maj. Patrick Ferguson and 60 American Volunteers marched to Haddrell's Point to attack the small fort that stood on a causeway that led to Fort Moultrie. The fort was about 150 yards from the mainland and was defended by Capt. John Williams and 20 soldiers of the 1st South Carolina Regiment. Ferguson divided his force into two 30-man elements. One group would attack from the right and the other group would attack from the center. The British took the fort with the cannons from Fort Moultrie firing on them until dark. The British soon fortified the fort for a possible attack. Allaire: "Tuesday, 2nd. Began to fortify Lempriere's Point. Maj. Ferguson, with a detachment of American Volunteers, marched down to Mount Pleasant, stormed and took possession of a little redoubt, located partly on the main, and partly on the bridge that leads to Fort Moultrie. This cuts off the communication from Sullivan's Island, and keeps them on their proper allowance. The Rebels ran off from the redoubt, though it was very strongly situated, after they fired about a dozen shot. " Conclusion: British Victory
May 7, 1780 at Fort Moultrie, South Carolina - On May 7, during the Charleston Expedition of Gen. Henry Clinton, Capt. Charles Hudson, from the HMS Richmond, and 500 Royal Marines receives surrender of Fort Moultrie on Sullivan's Island, and its 216 man garrison, from Lieut. Col. William Scott, after threatening to storm it. Most of the fort's garrison had been evacuated earlier before the British arrived. Fort Moultrie had played a key role in the repulse of Clinton and Sir Peter Parker’s expedition to take Charleston in 1776. Hudson took 117 Continentals and 100 militia prisoner, plus 9 twenty-four-pounders, 7 eighteen-pounders, 10 twelve-pounders, 9 nine-pounders, 2 six-pounders, 4 four-pounders, 4 ten-inch mortars, and a large quantity of artillery ammunition and equipment. Tarleton: “This success [at Lenud’s Ferry] was closely followed by the reduction of fort Moultrie. The admiral having taken the fort at Mount Pleasant, acquired from it, and the information of deserters, a full knowledge of the state of the garrison and defences of fort Moultrie, on Sullivan's island. In pursuance of this intelligence, and wishing not to weaken the operations of the army, which became every day more critical, he landed a body of seamen and marines, under the command of Captain Hudson, to attempt the fort by storm, on the west and north-west faces, whilst the ships of the squadron battered it in front. The garrison, consisting of continentals and militia, to the amount of [two hundred men, seeing the imminent danger to which they were exposed, and sensible of the impossibility of relief, accepted of the terms offered by a summons on the 7th of May; and by capitulation, surrendered themselves prisoners of war.” Allaire. "Sunday, 7th. Orders to get ready to march with two days' provision, at a minute's notice. Maj. Ferguson had obtained permission to attack Fort Moultrie. He rode forward with four dragoons to reconnoitre. We were to remain at our post till we got orders for marching. The first news we heard was the fort was in possession of the British; the Rebels had surrendered themselves prisoners of war. Capitulation was as follows: Capt. Hudson of the Navy summoned the fort on Friday, and received for answer: " Tol, lol, de rol, lol: Fort Moultrie will be defended to the last extremity." On Saturday he sent another flag, and demanded a surrender, acquainting Col. Scott that the Lieutenant with the flag would wait a quarter of an hour for an answer. If the fort was not given up, he would immediately storm it, and put all the garrison to the sword. At this Col. Scott changed the tune of his song, begging that there might be a cessation of arms, that the fort would be given up on the following conditions: that the officers both Continental and militia, should march out with the honors of war, and be allowed to wear their side arms; the officers and soldiers of. the militia have paroles to go to their respective homes, and remain peaceably till exchanged; and the continental soldiers to be treated tenderly. Granted by Capt. Hudson. About eight o'clock Sunday morning, Colonel Scott with his men, about one hundred and twenty, marched out of the fort, piled their arms, Capt. Hudson marched in, took possession of Fort Moultrie, the key to Charleston harbor; which puts it in our power to keep out any forcing enemy that would wish to give the Rebels any assistance. Taken in the fort, fifty barrels of powder, forty-four pieces of cannon, one brass ten inch mortar, three thousand cannon cartridges, five hundred ten inch shells, forty thousand musket cartridges, three month's salt provision, a lot of rice, forty head black cattle, sixty sheep, twenty goats, forty fat hogs, six wagons, two stand of colors, an amazing quantity of lunt [match-cord for firing cannon]; and, in short, so many other articles which are necessary in a fort that it would take me a week to set them down. " De Brahm: "This morning at eight o'clock Fort Moultrie capitulated. A sixty-gun ship joined the English Fleet." Conclusion: British Victory
May 22, 1780 at Caughnawaga, New York - On May 22, Chief Joseph Brant and a group of his Indians made a surprise attack the settlement of Caughnawaga. Caughnawaga was located on the Mohawk River. Brant burned the settlement to the ground. Sir John Johnson had joined up with Brant before the Indian group left for Johnstown. Conclusion: British Victory
May 29, 1780 at Winnsboro, South Carolina - On May 29, a Loyalist group moved on Winnsboro for an attack on the patriot irregulars that was located there. The patriots defeated and dispersed the Loyalist force. This American victory marked the beginning of an effective patriot resurgence in the Carolinas. Conclusion: American Victory
JUNE OF 1780
June 7-23, 1780 at Elizabethtown, New Jersey - The news of the surrender of Charleston reached New York at near the close of May. This intelligence, and the assurance of Tories from New Jersey that the people there were wearied with the struggle and were disposed to submit, seemed to present a favorable opportunity for making a raid into that State by British troops, and setting up the royal standard there. At the beginning of June, Gen. ?? Maxwell, with his New Jersey brigade, was at Connecticut Farms (now the village of Union), a hamlet a few miles from Elizabethtown; and 300 New Jersey militia under Col. ?? Dayton occupied the latter place. On June 6, Knyphausen sent Gen. ?? Mathews, with about 5,000 troops. They passed over from Staten Island to Elizabethtown Point, and the next day took possession of Elizabethtown. The militia there retired before the superior force, when the invaders pressed on the Connecticut Farms, greatly annoyed on their way by the rising militia who hung upon their flanks. At the Farms the British murdered the wife of the Rev. James Caldwell, a very active patriot, who was then in Washington's army. Mrs. Caldwell did not fly, with her neighbors, on the approach of the enemy, but remained, trusting in Providence for protection. When the invaders entered the hamlet, she retired to an inner room with her children, one of them a suckling. A British soldier came through a yard to an open window of the room, and shot her as she sat on the edge of the bed. Two bullets pierced her, and she fell dead to the floor, with her infant in her arms. The babe was unhurt. The nurse snatched it up and ran out of the house, which was on fire. The church and every building of the hamlet became a victim to the flames. There was barely time to drag the body of Mrs. Caldwell out of the burning building into the street, where it lay exposed several hours, until permission was given to her friends to bury the remains. As the British pushed on toward Springfield, they were met by Maxwell's troops, and after a brief skirmish, and hearing that forces were coming down from Morristown, they retreated to the coast, where they remained about 2 weeks. Meanwhile Clinton had arrived from Charleston. He sent reinforcements to Mathews, and after making a feint upon the Hudson Highlands, he and Knyphausen crossed over and joined the troops at Elizabethtown Point. The feint deceived Washington, who left the command of a considerable force of Continental troops at the Short Hills, between Springfield and Morristown, with Greene, while he moved with another force in the direction of the Hudson.Conclusion: British Victory
June 8, 1780 at ??, South Carolina - After Buford's defeat by Tarleton on May 29, 1780, in the Waxhaws, many Patriots in the neighboring countryside were anxious to strike a blow in revenge. On the western side of the Catawba River, Captain .John McClure collected a party of thirty-two volunteers and on June 8 attacked a group of Loyalists gathering to take British protection at Alexander's Old Fields, in present Chester County. Although the Loyalists, led by a Colonel Housman, numbered about two hundred, they were defeated and dispersed by the small Patriot force.' This was the first Patriot victory after the fall of Charleston, and the beginning of a great wave of back country resistance to the British and their Tory allies. The site of this battle was at present Beckhamville, a short distance west of Great Falls. Conclusion: American Victory
June 18, 1780 at ??, South Carolina - The Iron works was established by Col. William Hill and Isaac Hayne in the South Carolina backcountry in anticipation of the war. On June 16, a group of British, commanded by Capt. Christian Huck, were ordered to destroy Hill's Iron Works. The Iron Works consisted of a store, furnace and mills. The Iron Works were being guarded by about 50 militiamen. On June 18, 2 men warned the militia that a force of 200-300 British dragoons were on their way to the Iron Works. The British arrived undetected and surprised the militiamen when they opened fire on them. The militia thought that these British were the advanced guard of the larger force that they had been warned about. After a brief skirmish, the militia fled. Captain Huck burned Hill’s Ironworks, confiscating 90 slave laborers. Conclusion: British Victory. Casualties: American: 7k, 4c; British: unkmown
JULY OF 1780
July 20, 1780 at Lawson's Fork, South Carolina - Draper relates this story of the capture of Captain Patrick Moore, a noted Loyalist. Moore had escaped from the slaughter at Ramsour's Mill on the 20th of June, when his brother, Colonel John Moore, safely returned to Camden. Anxious for the capture of Captain Moore, Major Joseph Dickson and Captain William Johnson were sent out early in July to apprehend this noted Tory leader, and others if they could be found. On Lawson's Fork of Pacolet River, near the old Iron Works, since Bivingsville, and now known as Glendale, the parties met and a skirmish ensued, in which Captain Johnson and the Tory leader had a personal rencontre. Moore was at length overpowered and captured, but in the desperate contest Johnson received several wounds on his head and on the thumb of his right hand. While bearing his prisoner toward the Whig lines a short distance away, he was rapidly approached by several British troops. Attempting to fire his loaded musket at his pursuers, it unfortunately missed in consequence of the blood flowing from his wounded thumb and wetting his priming. This misfortune oh his part enabled his prisoner to escape, and, perceiving his own dangerous and defenceless condition, he promptly availed himself of a friendly thicket at his side, eluded his pursuers, and shortly after joined the command. Conclusion: American Victory.
July 13, 1780 at Cedar Springs, South Carolina - On July 13 , Col. John Thomas was commanding the Spartan regiment of the South Carolina Patriot militia. He was warned by his mother that the Loyalists planned to attack his camp. When the attack began at Cedar Springs, the Loyalists ran into a prepared ambush and were beaten back by the militia. The Loyalists quickly retreated back to friendly territory. Conclusion: American Victory.
July 13, 1780 at Gowen's Old Fort, South Carolina - On July 13 , Col. John Jones was leading a force of Georgia Patriot militia. They were going to join Col. Charles McDowell in North carolina. On the way, the militia surrounded and attacked a Loyalist camp at Gowen's Old Fort. The Loyalists were pursuing Col. John Thomas's militia force. The Loyalists were forced to surrender without any serious resistance. Conclusion: American Victory.
July 15, 1780 at Earle's Ford, South Carolina - On July 15, Loyalist Col. Zacharias Gibbs learned that there was a Patriot force in the area. He sent a spy to infiltrate the Patriot camp, commanded by Col. Charles McDowell, and gather up as much information as he could. The spy was successful and returned to Gibbs with the information. Capt. James Dunlap and a Loyalist force was sent to attack the Patriot camp. Early in the morning, Dunlap discovered the camp and began moving across the North Pacolet River to attack. They were spotted by a sentry, who went back to the camp to warn McDowell. The Loyalists charged into the camp, catching some of the Patriots still asleep in their tents. A Patriot counterattack was ordered by McDowell, which managed to drive away the Loyalists. Conclusion: American Victory. Casualties: American: 8k, 30w, 1c; British: 2k, 1w
July 15, 1780 at Prince's Fort, South Carolina - On July 15, after the attack on the Patriot camp at Earle's Ford, the Loyalist force, commanded by Capt. James Dunlap, headed back to their base at Prince's Fort. Col. Edward Hampton, and his Patriot militia, was chasing after Dunlap's force. About 5 miles from the fort, Hampton caught up with Dunlap's Loyalists. They were on the Blackstock Road, unaware that the Patriots were behind them. The Patriots opened fire on the Loyalists, killing 5 men instantly. The Loyalists broke ranks and fled to the fort. Hampton stopped his pursuit about 300 yards from the fort, satisfied with his results from the attack. He returned to Earle's Ford with 35 captured horses and a stack of captured weapons. Conclusion: American Victory. Casualties: American: ?; British: 13k, 1c
July 16, 1780 at Fisher Summit, Pennsylvania - On July 16, a British raiding party that also included some Indians managed to surprise a group of Patriot rangers, commanded by Capt. William Phillips. The patriots were soon beaten by the British. Phillips was captured by the raiding party and taken prisoner to Niagra. Conclusion: British Victory.
July 20-21, 1780 at Bull's Ferry, New Jersey - On July 20, Gen. George Washington detached Brig. Gen. Anthony Wayne, with 2 brigades, 4 guns, and a group of dragoons, on a mission to destroy a stockaded British blockhouse that had been recently built at Bull's Ferry. Bull's Ferry was located about 4 miles north of Hoboken. The stockade was garrisoned by 70 Loyalists, commanded by Thomas Ward. The Loyalist were using the stockade as a base for woodcutting and protection against roaming militia. On July 21, during the morning hours, Waye began to bombard the blockhouse for about an hour. At the same time, the Loyalists were returning fire from inside the blockhouse. The Americans rushed the blockhouse, against the orders of the commanders, through the abatis to the foot of the blockhouse. This is the reason for the high casualty rate for Wayne's force. The Americans tried to force their way inside the building but could not achieve this. After a failure to capture the blockhouse, Wayne withdrew his force. Conclusion: British Victory. Casualties: American: 15k, 49w; British: 21k&w
July 21, 1780 at Colson, North Carolina - On July 21, Col. William L. Davidson was ordered to take a small force of Patriots to intercept the Loyalists force in the area. They soon learned of a party of Loyalists camped on a farm near Colson's Mill. The mill was located at the river junction of the Rocky and Pee Dee Rivers. it consisted of a mill, a stagecoach relay, and a ferry crossing. Davidson divided his force so that he could attack from the front and flank. The Loyalists detected the Patriots and opened fire on them. The Patriots charged into the camp, with Davidson becoming wounded in the stomach. After a very short fight, the Loyalists fled to their homes. Conclusion: American Victory. Casualties: American: 2w; British: 3k, 5w, 10c
July 25, 1780 at Mars Bluff, South Carolina - On July 25, a flotilla of British flatboats was heading towards Charlestown on the Pee Dee River. The transports contained sick soldiers and was being escorted by some Loyalist militia. The Patriots learned of this British movement and gathered some troops to make an attack. The Patriot militia was assigned to Maj. Tristram Thomas. He picked an ambush site at Hunt's Bluff, a bend in the river. Not having any cannon, the Patriots made some Quaker cannons, and placed them behind a parapet. When the British approached the "battery," the Patriots rushed out and pretended to load the cannons. Demands were yelled at the flatboats to surrender or be blown apart with the cannons. The Loyalist militia were folled, and they quickly mutinied. They took over the boats, made the sick soldiers their prisoners, and surrendered to Thomas. Conclusion: American Victory. Casualties: American: ?; British: 107c
July 30, 1780 at Thickety Fort/Fort Anderson, South Carolina - On July 30, a Patriot force arrived at Fort Anderson, located about 10 miles southeast of Cowpens. Fort Anderson was also known as Thickety Fort. The fort contained a Loyalist garrison inside. The patriots persuaded the garrison to surrender without firing a shot. Conclusion: American Victory.
July 30, 1780 at Hanging Rock, South Carolina - On July 30, Lt. Col. William Davie and his North Carolina Patriot force ambushed 3 companies of Col. Samuel Bryan's North Carolina Royalists. The ambush was located within sight of the strong British post at Hanging Rock. Most of the Loyalists were killed or wounded. After capturing all of the weapons and horses of the Loyalists, Davie withdrew with his force. The British garrison at hanging Rock was too startles by the sudden attack to intervene on behalf of the Loyalists. Conclusion: American Victory.
AUGUST OF 1780
August 1, 1780 at Green Springs, South Carolina - On August 1, a skirmish occured between a Tory force (210 men), commanded by Maj. Patrick Ferguson, and a patriot force (196 men). In a 15-minute fight, the Tories were driven back. Casualties were heavy on both sides. Conclusion: American Victory.
August 15, 1780 in Port's Ferry, South Carolina - General Francis Marion, the “Swamp Fox,” and his irregular cavalry force of 250, rout a party of Loyalists commanded by Major Micajah Gainey. Marion has 2 men wounded, while the losses of the Loyalists are unknown. Conclusion: American Victory. Casualties: American: 2w; British: ?
August 27, 1780 at Kings Tree, Williamsburg County, South Carolina - Within days of the ambush at Nelson’s Ferry ambush, Marion moved to intercept Maj. James Wemyss on his way from the High Hills of the Santee to the Kingstree area. With Wemyss were his own 63rd Regt. totaling about 300 (one account says 500.) Upon hearing of the incident at Nelson’s Ferry, Cornwallis had ordered Wemyss from Camden to get rid of Marion. Many of the 63rd, however, were weak from malaria. In support of Wemyss, Cornwallis sent Maj. John Harrison’s Provincials) the South Carolina Rangers) and Bryan’s North Carolina Refugees. As well, Lieut. Col. John Hamilton and 100 men of the Royal North Carolina Regt. were dispatched to Radcliffe’s Bridge. While in the area, Wemyss had been confiscating burning houses and confiscating horses from the rebels. Marion sent Maj. John James to scout ahead. In a night attack, James subsequently waylaid Wemyss stragglers and captured 30 of the enemy, then beat a hasty retreat. According to McCrady’s numbers, Marion had 150, lost 30 killed and wounded; Wemyss had 300, 15 were killed and wounded, and 15 taken prisoner. James later rejoined Marion, who then fell back to Port’s Ferry. The next day (the 28th) he disbanded his men, and with a small group of officers and men temporarily went up to North Carolina. Bass interestingly makes no reference to such a large scale ambush, but does mention a soldier captured from Wemyss’ column by James’ men from whom Marion obtained important information. Also Bass gives the date for this occurrence as the night of 7 September, rather than 27 August. Like Bass, Ripley believes that either the ambush as described by William Dobein James (John James’ son) never took place, or else the reported capture was greatly exaggerated. Conclusion: American Victory. Casualties: American: 5k, 15w 10c; British: 30k,w&c
SEPTEMBER OF 1780
September 10, 1780 at Mask's Ferry, North Carolina - On September 10, Capt. ?? Herrick and his light horse militia attacked a party of Loyalists near Mask's Ferry on the Pee Dee River. Herrick killed some and took 11 prisoners. Conclusion: American Victory. Casualties: American: unknown; British: 11c
September 21, 1780 at Wahab's Plantation, Lancaster County, South Carolina - When about September 8th Cornwallis moved with his army to Waxhaws, it was on the same ground occupied by Davie in June and July 1780, located on the S.C.-N.C. border. It was a rich country but one much devastated by warfare and neglect, and many plantations completely deserted, and many of the inhabitants killed, captured or made refugees. Davie had recently been appointed Col. Commandant of all cavalry of North Carolina. He had 70 dragoons and two companies of riflemen commanded by Maj. George Davidson, he was posted twenty-five miles above the British camp at Providence, and fourteen miles south of Charlotte. The 71st Regt. was posted about a half mile in Cornwallis rear, Cornwallis on the north side of Waxhaws Creek. To the east of the 71st were some loyalist light troops and militia, who had been spreading "havoc and destruction." Davie finding out about this, "formed a design to attack them." Early morning of 20 September he circled Cornwallis position, coming from the east. Finding the loyalist had moved a few days before, he continued scouting and found them at Wahab's plantation, a location overlooked by the camp of the 71st. It is not clear who these loyalists were, but references which suggest that horsemen were present among their ranks make it probable that they included Harrison’s Provincials. On the morning of the 21st, Davie surprised and routed them, though he could not follow this up as being too risky. At one point in the fighting some of the loyalists were surrounded, Davie’s cavalry cut them down, being unable to take prisoners due to the proximity of the 71st. Davie did, however, capture some arms (120 stand) and 96 horses, and with the horses Maj. Davidson's men were mounted. The British lost 15 to 20 killed, and 40 wounded, while only one of the "Americans" was wounded. The late arriving British, in retaliation, burned the home of Capt. James Wahab, who himself had acted as a guide for Davie. That same afternoon Davie returned to his camp, having performed a march of sixty miles in twenty-four hours. Conclusion: American Victory. Casualties: American: 1w; British: 60k&w
OCTOBER OF 1780
October 8, 1780 at Richmond Town, North Carolina - On October 8, the Loyalist militia in Surry County, commanded by Gideon and Hezekiah Wright, attacked Richmond Town. The Whig militia in town quickly fled the area. Conclusion: British Victory.
October 9, 1780 at Polk's Mill, North Carolina - On October 9, a detachment of 120 mounted riflemen, commanded by Maj. Joseph Dickson, attacked a group of Royal Welch Fusilier's, commanded by Lt. Stephen Guyon, at Polk's Mill. The mill was being used by the British so that the army could forage. The Patriots captured 9 of the militia, but Guyon defended the blockhouse and drove the Patriots away. Conclusion: British Victory. Casualties: American: 1k, 1w; British: 9c
October 16, 1780 at Schoharie Valley, New York - On October 15 , Col. Sir John Johnson, son of Tory leader Sir William Johnson, led a force of 800-1,500 British regulars, Tories, and Indians to the Susquehanna River, in the Schoharie Valley. The Schoharie scouts reported to the settlers that Johnson and Chief Joseph Brant were leading a force against the Schoharie Valley. That night, Johnson bypassed the Upper Fort and headed to the Middle Fort. Along the way, they burned all of the local farms as they passed them. On October 16, they encamped for the night by Panther Mountain. Johnson expected to pass the Upper Fort before daylight and thus be able to attack the Middle Fort before it was prepared. Peter Feeck, going for his cows in the early morning, discovered the British force. After reporting this, the cannon boomed forth from the Upper Fort, warning the Middle Fort, which in turn gave the signal to the Lower Fort. Records indicate that a strong northeast wind and snow squalls swept up the Valley that day. This aided the torch when the British set fire to all the buildings and crops. Cattle were either killed or driven away, and the best horses were appropriated by the British. Johnson had given orders to spare all the churches of the Schoharie settlements, but a Tory named Chrysler, who held a grudge against some of its members, set the fire which destroyed the Low Dutch Church that stood in Weiser's Dorf. By evening, ruin and destruction was wrought throughout the Valley.Conclusion: British Victory. Casualties: American: 5k, 13w; British: unknown
October 18, 1780 at Caughnawaga, New York - On October 18, Sir John Johnson passed through the settlement of Caughnawaga. He burned down all of the buildings and destroyed everything else that had been built after the earlier Battle of Caughnawaga. After destroying everything, he left the settlement. Conclusion: British Victory.
October 25, 1780 at Tearcoat Swamp, Clarendon County, South Carolina - When Marion, at Britton's Neck, learned of Tynes encampment he was able to call together 150 men (or up to 400 according to one source. ) Lieut. Col Samuel Tynes, operating in the vicinity of the High Hills area between Salem and Nelson's ferry, had been able to call up about 200 men whom he armed with stores coming from Camden. Marion crossed the Pee Dee at Port's Ferry, then crossed Lynches River (also called Lynches Creek) at Witherspoon's Ferry and thus made his way to Kingstree. From there he tracked Tynes to Tearcoat swamp “in the fork of Black river,” where he surprised the loyalists. Tynes and his men were scattered, and a few days later Tynes and a few of his officers were captured by a detachment of Marion’s commanded by Capt. William Clay Snipes. Tynes lost 6 killed 6, 14 wounded, and 23 taken prisoner. As well he lost 80 horses and saddles and as many muskets." Tynes himself and a few of his officers were captured in the couple days following the action, though they subsequently escaped. Marion’s own losses were anywhere from 3 to 26 killed and wounded. Many of Tynes men actually came in and enlisted with Marion, who sent his prisoners to Brig. Gen. Harrington at Cheraw, and proceeded to set up his camp at Snow Island for the first time. Following Tynes’ defeat, Cornwallis had 50 men sent from Charleston to Monck's Corner, while maintaining patrols covering his line of communication along the Santee River. Typical size forces British convoys had to guard against would be about a dozen men. McCrady gives Marion strength as 400, and says Tynes, with an unknown number, lost 26 killed and wounded. Conclusion: American Victory. Casualties: British: 3k, 14w
NOVEMBER OF 1780
November 3, 1780 at Great Swamp, North Carolina - On November 3, Col. John Senf and a group of 91 Camden Militia attacked some Loyalists in Bladen County. The Loyalists were quickly driven away. Conclusion: American Victory. Casualties: American: 1w; British: 2k
November 15, 1780 at White's Bridge (also White's Plantation) and Alston's Plantation, Georgetown County, South Carolina - Members of Marion's force under Col. Peter Horry fought loyalist militia from Capt. James Lewis' company, at White’s Plantation just outside Georgetown. The loyalists, who had been slaughtering cattle, were ultimately dispersed, however, only after a number of Col. Peter Horry's men were seriously wounded, and Capt. Lewis killed. On the same date, Marion sent a separate force under Captain John Melton to the Pens, or Alston's plantation, where they were ambushed and routed by Capt. Jesse Barfield's and his militia. Among the slain was Marion's nephew, Gabriel Marion. Marion later reported that Barfield was wounded. On the 17th, Marion wrote to Brig. Gen. Harrington from Black Mingo: "The day I got (to Georgetown) they received a reinforcement of 200 Tories under Captains Barefield and Lewis from Pee Dee. The next day the Tories came out and we scummaged (sic) with them. Part (of them) I cut off from the town, and drove the rest in, except the two men killed, and twelve taken prisoners, our loss was Lt. Gabriel Marion…Capt. Barefield was wounded in his head and body, but got off. Captain James Lewis, commonly called `otter skin Lewis' was one killed. I stayed two days within 3 miles of the town, in which time most of the Tories left their friends and went home.” In his report to Gates of the 20th Marion stated that in his recent encounter outside Georgetown he had lost Lt. Gabriel Marion, one private also killed, and three wounded, while killing three loyalists and taking 12 prisoners. He went on to say "Many of my people has left me & gone over to the Enemy, for they think we have no army coming in & have been Deceived, as we hear nothing from you in a great while, I hope to have a line from you in what manner to act & some assurance to the people of support." The combined loyalist force in the area at the time then numbered some 200, though prior to his attack Marion had understood there were only 50. While in the area, Marion learned that the garrison at Georgetown contained 80 regulars, "with swivels and cohorns on the parapets." Conclusion: British Victory. Casualties: American: 2k, 3w; British: 4k, 2w, 16c
November 18, 1780 at Brierley's Ferry, also Brierly’s Ferry, Shirar's Ferry, Border of Fairfield and Newberry counties, S.C. - Tarleton, with his Legion Cavalry and mounted Legion infantry, and two three-pounders, was sent from the Wateree in pursuit of Sumter. On the 18th, he joined the 1st Bttn. of the 71st and a mounted detachment of the 63rd who were already present at Brierly’s Ferry on the Broad River. The opposite side of the ferry, however, was occupied by a 150 of Sumter’s riflemen who had been sent to scout the 71st’s camp. These militia Tarleton drove from their position with his cannon and infantry, at the same time taking care to conceal the green coats of his dragoons, thereby preventing Sumter of being apprised of the presence of himself and his legion. Later in the evening, he crossed with his dragoons and the mounted Legion and 63rd at a ford a few miles downriver. He then reunited with the 71st and the artillery three miles from the ferry, and by 10 pm had camped several miles into the Dutch Fork, having received information of Sumter’s being not too distant with upwards of 1,000 militia from South Carolina, North Carolina and Georgia. Conclusion: British Victory.
November 21-23, 1780 at Fort George, New York - Fort George had become a place where Tory refugees from around Rhode Island had gathered. They converted the manor house of Gen. John Smith into a base for wood cutting operations and a depot. On November 21, Maj. Benjamin Tallmadge and 80 dismounted troopers of the 2nd Continental Dragoons left Fairfield, Connecticut in the afternoon. On November 22, at 9:00 A.M., Tallmadge landed on Long island. Bad weather caused the Americans to postpone the attack for 24 hours.On November 23, Tallmadge decided to not wait for the full 24 hours and started his attack in the early dawn hours. He was successful in the attack and captured Fort George, along with 54 Tories and 150 other noncombatants. Afterwards, he led a 12-man detachment and recrossed the island. They came to a supply area at Coram that contained 300 tons of hay intended for the British army and destroyed it. Later that day, Tallmadge and his detachment returned to Fairfield with the Tory prisoners. Conclusion: American Victory. Casualties: American: 1w; British: 7k&w, 54c
DECEMBER OF 1780
December 4 (also given as 1st and 2nd December), 1780 at Clermont, Kershaw County, South Carolina - On December 4, Col. William Washington and his dragoon force went to investigate a report that said Col. Henry Rugeley and a force of Tories was located at Rugeley's Mills. Rugeley's Mills was located at Cleremont. When Washington arrived at Cleremont, he discovered the Tory force was inside of a fortified barn that was surrounded by a ditch and abatis. Washington did not have any artillery so he ordered his men to open fire on the barn with their muskets. This did not do much damage. Washington then decided to try the Quaker gun trick. He had his men make a fake cannon out of a pine log and move it into view of the Tories. With this completed, he sent a request for the Tories to surrender or be blown up with the "gun". Rugeley came out with a number of Tories and accepted Washington's surrender demand. Once all of the Tories were gathered together, they were marched back to the American camp. Rugeley had 112 loyalists under his command in stockade house. Kirkwood gives the date of the surrender as 2 December, stating that the British lost "one Col. One Majr. and 107 privates." The men taken were apparently paroled, and the fort at Rugeley's was burned down. Washington and his men then returned to Hanging Rock where Continental the light infantry were, and from there to New Providence. Thomas Anderson: “[November] 28 Received orders to hold ourselves in readiness to march at a moments warning; accordingly left our tents standing, with all our sick behind, and marched to Twelve Mile Creek – this creek is the line between North and South Carolina. From thence we marched to Hanging Rock, where the Infantry remained whilst Colonel Washington, with his Cavalry went down to Colonel Rudgely’s and with the deception of a pine log took the garrison, consisting of one Colonel, one Major, three Captains, Four Lieutenants, and one hundred rank and file. From thence returned to camp with the prisoners, and arrived on the 2nd of December. 100 [miles].” See also Kirkwood’s almost identical entry at 28 November.Conclusion: American Victory
December 11 (also given as the 4th and 12th), 1780 in McCormick County,, South Carolina - After Col. Elijah Clark had brought many of the whig families of upper Georgia to the sanctuary of the Watauga settlements, he and his men (a number of whom were at King’s Mountain and Blackstocks) returned to Georgia. Sometime in December he was again in the field and with Colonel Benjamin Few, Few having seniority over Clark. With their combined force of 500 Georgia and South Carolina militia, (the South Carolinians under Lieut. Col. James McCall and Maj. Samuel Hammond, who were with Clark), they advanced on the Long Canes Creek settlement just southwest of Ninety-Six. Many, if not most, of their men were mounted. Upon their arrival at Long Canes they sought to enlist recruits from the settlement which had a strong whig leaning. Brig. Gen. Robert Cunningham, the loyalist commander in the area, sent to Cruger for support. Cruger dispatched Lieut. Col. Isaac Allen with 200 New Jersey Volunteers, 200 loyalist militia, and 50 dragoons. It is not clear how many Cunningham himself had prior to the reinforcement, so that his original numbers then may have been negligible. Initially, the loyalists were forced to retreat in the face of an attack by Clark and McCall with about 100 whigs. Clark, who was wounded, then called to Few to support him, but Few refused or was unable to do so, nor did he tell Clark he had decided to withdraw. As a result Clark and McCall were driven back by four times their number. Few and Clark were subsequently pursued by Allen. Clark’s casualties in both the skirmish and the pursuit were about 21 killed and wounded (14 of these in the actual engagement), while the Loyalists lost 3. Clark’s wound, which was at first thought mortal, kept him from further fighting till early March 1781 when he joined Pickens in North Carolina. During the period of his recuperation, his men were commanded by Maj. John Cunningham. Conclusion: British Victory.
December 14, 1780 Nelson's Ferry Clarendon-Orangeburg County area, South Carolina - About mid December, due to plans for the second invasion of North Carolina, and additional British troops being thereby drawn outside the state, and, as well, Marion's success in the field, Balfour changed the Charleston-Camden supply route from the shorter route of Nelson's Ferry and the Santee Road, to the much longer one going from Monck's Corner to Friday's Ferry on the Congaree River. Balfour ordered that boats on the Santee stay below Murry’s Ferry, however, one ship which did not receive the directive in time was captured and burned at Nelson's Ferry by Marion's men on 14 December. Although the 64th Regiment was posted at Nelson's Ferry at the time of the raid, their numbers were not sufficient to pursue Marion's mounted men. Conclusion: American Victory.
December 25 or 27, 1780 at Georgetown, Georgetown County, South Carolina - Having been sent by Marion from Indiantown, On December 27, a reconnaissance force, commanded by Col. Peter Horry, Captain John Baxter and Sergeant McDonald with 30 (British accounts say 50) was sent to determine the strength of the British forces in Georgetown. Later that morning, they entered a house to request some food, While inside, a small group of Queen's Rangers under Lieut. John Wilson (Bass says Cornett Merritt) came charging down the road towards the house. The Patriots hopped on their horses and headed to the British force. The British realized that they were outnumbered and headed back to Georgetown. As the Rangers retreated to Georgetown, a mounted force under Maj. Micajah Ganey came out to counterattack Horry's men at "The Camp" (not far outside of Georgetown.), but were beaten back and Ganey wounded. The wound prevented Ganey from returning to the field to fight till April 1781. Wilson was also wounded in the encounter, but not seriously. Conclusion: American Victory. Casualties: American: unknown; British: 16c
December 29, 1780 Kingstree, Williamsburg County, South Carolina - Campbell sent Cornet Merritt with some Queen's Rangers who made a quick raid of the Kingstree area. Afterward, Merritt and his men returned to Georgetown. Conclusion: British Victory.
December 30, 1780 at Hammond's Store (Williamson's Plantation), Laurens County, South Carolina - To encourage the British support in the upcountry of South Carolina, 250 loyalists under Col. Francis Waters, from Savannah, were sent into the Fair Forest area, at a location 15 to 20 miles south of Morgan’s camp on the Pacelot. Col William Washington with 75 of his dragoons and 200 mounted South Carolina militia under Lieut. Col. Joseph Hayes and Lieut. Col. James McCall was sent to attack him on the 29th. Learning of their approach Waters fell back to Hammond’s Store where on the 30th Washington caught up with and routed him. The Loyalists were beaten back and began a retreat. During the 7-mile retreating action, the Loyalists suffered heavy casualties. Morgan reported to Greene the Loyalists as losing 150 killed or wounded and 40 captured, a number probably indicating that many of Waters men were needlessly slaughtered. However, it seems likely that the vindictiveness sprang from the militia, with scores to settle, rather than Washington’s dragoons as such. Thomas Young: “The next engagement I was in was at Hammond's Store, on Bush River, somewhere near `96. Gen. Morgan was encamped at Grindall’s Shoals to keep the Tories in check. He dispatched Col. Washington with a detachment of militia, and about seventy dragoons, to attack a body of Tories, who had been plundering the Whigs. We came up with them at Hammond's store; in fact, we picked up several scattering ones, within about three miles of the place, from whom we learned all about their position. When we came in sight, we perceived that the Tories had formed in line on the brow of the hill opposite to us. We had a long hill to descend and another to rise. Col. Washington and his dragoons gave a shout, drew swords, and charged down the hill like madmen. The Tories fled In every direction without firing a gun. We took a great many prisoners and killed a few.” Conclusion: American Victory. Casualties: American: unknown; British: 150k&w, 40c
December 29, 30 or 31, 1780 at Williams' Fort, also Fort Williams or Williams Plantation, Newberry or possibly Laurens County, South Carolina - Brig. Gen.. Robert Cunningham with about 100 to 150 loyalists occupied Fort Williams, situated a few miles northwest of the main fort in the region, Ninety-Six. Washington sent a detachment of 40 dragoons under Cornel Simmons and some mounted militia under Lieut. Col. Joseph Hayes to take the fort. When they arrived, Simmons and Hayes demanded the fort's surrender. Cunningham asked for some time to consult with his officers. During this time, some of the Loyalists slipped out of the back of the fort and into the woods. A few of them were spotted and killed, but most escaped. According to one account, Cunningham and most of his men were able to slip out a rear exit, though a few loyalists were taken. Another version states that the fort was evacuated before Simmons and Hayes arrived. Food and other stores were taken, though the fort itself was left intact. Seymour: "On the 31st December Colonel Washington was detached to Fort William in order to surprise some Tories that lay there; and meeting with a party of them near said place, upon which ensued a smart engagement, the latter having one hundred and sixty men killed dead, and thirty-three made prisoners." Conclusion: American Victory.