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American Revolutionary War
Continental Regiments

South Carolina Regiments in the Continental Army

When the Revolutionary War took place, residents of South Carolina were split. There are many records still available that relate to the Revolutionary War in South Carolina, even though some records no longer exist.

The National Archives has several publications relating to Continental Line Patriots. They can be found at the FHL and at the South Carolina Department of Archives and History. There is a widely-published index of original pension records and the records themselves are available through the National Archives. However, none of those service records include militia members.

The Accounts Audited of Claims Growing Out of the Revolution contains a lot of information on South Carolina residents at the time of the Revolutionary War. That publication can be found at the South Carolina Department of Archives and History. The Combined Alphabetical Index also contains an index of that information.

For genealogical research purposes, stub indents are also important. They were created whenever claims for damages, services, or goods relating to the Revolutionary War were made. Each of those claims were paid using what were known as indents, which were specific types of certificates. Each certificate had two parts. One part was given to the claimant and the other part was kept. The kept part had the claimant's name, the claim's nature, the amount paid, and other information recorded on it. Indent stubs were kept by the state and are now contained in Office of the Commissioners of the Treasury, Stub Indents and Indexes, 1779-1791. That is a 22-volume collection, which is housed at the South Carolina Department of Archives and History.

On 21 April representatives from Massachusetts met with the Connecticut Committee of Correspondence in the home of Governor Jonathan Trumbull at Lebanon. Trumbull sent his son David to inform Massachusetts that a special session of the Connecticut assembly would meet as soon as possible.

While some Connecticut militia units marched to Boston on hearing of Lexington, most followed the advice of the governor to wait until the assembly could act. The wisdom of this course was confirmed by news that although Israel Putnam had asserted a loose hegemony over the volunteers, a formal command structure was needed before they would become effective.

The special session convened at Hartford on 26 April, and the next day the Connecticut Assembly ordered that six regiments be raised, each containing ten companies. Officers were appointed on 28 April and arranged on 1 May.

At the time the assembly believed that these 6,000 men represented 25 percent of the colony's militia strength; they were obligated to serve until 10 December.

The companies were apportioned among the several counties according to population. Connecticut's regimental structure followed a somewhat older model than that chosen by the other colonies and was considerably larger.

Connecticut placed generals in direct command of regiments, as Massachusetts did, but followed Rhode Island's example in having field officers command companies. This left generals filling three roles at the same time-that of general, colonel, and captain. Rather than assigning an extra lieutenant to each field officer's company, as Rhode Island did, Connecticut merely designated the senior lieutenant in each colonel's company as a captain-lieutenant.

On the other hand, the Connecticut organization called for each company to contain four officers rather than the three the other New England jurisdictions provided. The assembly appointed Joseph Spencer and Israel Putnam brigadier generals and David Wooster major general. It assigned supply responsibilities to Joseph Trumbull, another of the governor's sons, by appointing him commissary general.

After a recess the assembly reconvened on 11 May and remained in session for the rest of the month, passing legislation that resolved a number of logistical, administrative, and disciplinary problems. It defined the regimental adjutant as a distinct officer.

It also appointed Samuel Mott as the colony's engineer, with the rank of lieutenant colonel, and ordered him to Fort Ticonderoga.

This session created a Committee of Safety, also known as the Committee of Defense or the Committee of War, which served for the rest of the war as the governor's executive and advisory body. The assembly considered, but rejected, reorganizing the six regiments into eight to bring the size of these units more into conformity with that of the regiments from the other colonies.

Another special session (1-6 July) added two more regiments, but these were smaller than the earlier ones. The assembly reduced the number of privates in these regiments by nearly a third, while retaining their same organization and superstructure, and then ordered both to Boston.

Deployment of the Connecticut regiments followed a pattern established during the colonial period. In the Imperial Wars the colony had been responsible for reinforcing its neighbors, supporting New York on the northern frontier around Albany and assuming primary responsibility for the defense of western Massachusetts.

In 1775 Spencer's 2d and Putnam's 3d Connecticut Regiments, raised in the northeastern and north-central portions of the colony, naturally marched to Boston. Samuel Parsons' 6th, from the southeast, followed as soon as the vital port of New London was secure. Benjamin Hinman's 4th, from Litchfield County in the northwest, went to Fort Ticonderoga, where the county's men had served in earlier wars.

The 1st regiment under Wooster and the 5th Regiment under David Waterbury, from Fairfield and New Haven Counties, respectively, in the southwest, prepared to secure New York City.

News of the battle of Bunker Hill led Governor Trumbull to place the men in Massachusetts temporarily under the command of General Ward. At the same time the 1st and 5th regiments were ordered into New York, subject to the orders of the Continental Congress and the New York Provincial Congress.

Search Connecticut Revolutionary War Rolls, 1775-1783 from The National Archives: These documents include muster rolls, payrolls, strength returns, and other miscellaneous personnel, pay, and supply records of American Army units, 1775-83.

Search Compiled Service Records of Soldiers Who Served from Connecticut in the American Army During the Revolution from The National Archives: NARA M881. Compiled service records of soldiers who served in the American Army during the Revolutionary War, 1775-1783.

Search the Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty-Land Warrant Application Files of Connecticut Veterans from The National Archives:: NARA M804. The records in this collection include entire pension files for soldiers and sailors who served in the Revolutionary War. Unlike selected service records, which were typically chosen subjectively for genealogical content, these records reveal more details about each veteran's history and service, as well as more information about his family, state of health, and life after the war.

1st South Carolina Regiment

  • The Regiment was authorized on June 6, 1775 in the South Carolina State Troops as the 1st South Carolina Regiment.
  • Organized in summer 1775 at Charleston to consist of ten companies from eastern South Carolina.
  • Adopted on November 4, 1775 into the Continental Army.
    It was assigned on February 27, 1776 to the Southern Department.
    It was assigned on November 23, 1776 to the 1st South Carolina Brigade, an element of the Southern Department.
  • Relieved on January 3, 1779 from the 1st South Carolina Brigade.
    It was assigned on February 1, 1779 to the South Carolina Brigade, an element of the Southern Department.
  • Consolidated on February 11, 1780 with the 5th South Carolina Regiment and the consolidated unit designated as the 1st South Carolina Regiment, an element of the South Carolina Brigade, to consist of nine companies.
  • Captured on May 12, 1780 at Charleston by the British Army.
  • Reorganized between December 11, 1782- March 19, 1783 at Charleston to consist of three companies.
  • Furloughed between May 1-14, 1783 at Charleston.
  • Disbanded on November 15, 1783.

Unit History

The 1st South Carolina Regiment was raised on June 6, 1775 at Charleston, South Carolina for service with the Continental Army.

The regiment saw action at the Siege of Savannah and the Siege of Charleston. The regiment was captured at Charleston on May 12, 1780 together with the rest of the Southern Department by the British Army.

The regiment was reorganized December 11, 1782, furloughed May 14, 1783 at Charleston and disbanded on November 15, 1783.

2nd South Carolina Regiment

  • The Regiment was authorized on June 6, 1775 in the South Carolina State Troops as the 2d South Carolina Regiment.
  • Organized in summer 1775 at Charleston to consist of ten companies from eastern South Carolina.
  • Adopted on November 4, 1775 into the Continental Army.
    It was assigned on February 27, 1776 to the Southern Department.
    It was assigned on November 23, 1776 to the 2nd South Carolina Brigade, an element of the Southern Department.
  • Relieved on August 26, 1778 from the 2nd South Carolina Brigade and assigned to the 1st South Carolina Brigade, an element of the Southern Department.
  • Relieved on January 3, 1779 from the 1st South Carolina Brigade.
    It was assigned on June 15, 1779 to McIntosh's Brigade, an element of the Southern Department.
  • Relieved on September 14, 1779 from McIntosh's Brigade and assigned to Huger's Brigade, an element of the Southern Department.
  • Consolidated on February 11, 1780 with the 6th South Carolina Regiment and consolidated unit designated as the 2nd South Carolina Regiment, to consist of nine companies; concurrently relieved from Huger's Brigade and assigned to the South Carolina Brigade, an element of the Southern Department.
  • Captured on May 12, 1780 at Charleston by the British Army.
  • Disbanded on January 1, 1783.

Unit History

The 2nd South Carolina Regiment was raised on June 6, 1775, at Charleston, South Carolina, for service with the Continental Army. The regiment saw action at the Siege of Savannah and the Siege of Charleston. The regiment was captured by the British Army at Charleston on May 12, 1780, together with the rest of the Southern Department. The regiment was disbanded on November 15, 1783.

3rd South Carolina Regiment

(aka South Carolina Ranger Regiment)

  • The Regiment was authorized on June 6, 1775 in the South Carolina State Troops as the South Carolina Regiment of Horse Rangers.
  • Organized in summer 1775 at Ninety-Six Court House to consist of nine companies from western South Carolina.
  • Redesignated on November 12, 1775 as the 3rd South Carolina Regiment.
  • Adopted on July 24, 1776 into the Continental Army and assigned to the Southern Department; Capt. Ezekiel Polk's Independent Company (organized in summer 1775 in western South Carolina) concurrently redesignated as the 10th Company, 3rd South Carolina Regiment.
    It was assigned on November 23, 1776 to the 1st South Carolina Brigade, an element of the Southern Department.
  • Relieved on August 26, 1778 from the 1st South Carolina Brigade and assigned to the 2nd South Carolina Brigade, an element of the Southern Department.
  • Relieved on January 3, 1779 from the 2nd South Carolina Brigade.
    It was assigned on February 1, 1779 to the South Carolina Brigade, an element of the Southern Department.
  • Reorganized on February 11, 1780 to consist of nine companies.
  • Captured on May 12, 1780 at Charleston by the British Army.
  • Disbanded on January 1, 1781.

Unit History

The 3rd South Carolina Regiment was raised on June 6, 1775, at Ninety-Six Court House, South Carolina, for service with the Continental Army. The regiment saw action at the Siege of Savannah and the Siege of Charleston. The regiment was captured by the British Army at Charleston on May 12, 1780, together with the rest of the Southern Department. The regiment was disbanded on November 15, 1783.

Charleston, South Carolina Siege Charleston Campaign 7 March - 12 May 1780

American Forces Commanding Officer - Major General Benjamin Lincoln 21 Continentals Brigadier General William Moultrie 22 South Carolina Continental Brigade Colonel Charles Cotesworth Pinckney Lieutenant Colonel William Henderson 29 3rd South Carolina (Ranger) Regiment 30 302 Major Edmund Hyrne Light Infantry Company 31 34 Captain Felix Warley 1st Company 32 24 Captain Joseph Warley 2nd Company 16 Captain Uriah Goodwyn 3rd Company 19 Captain John Buchanan 6th South Carolina Regiment 17 Captain Jesse Baker 5th Company 15 Captain Field Farrer 6th Company 15 Captain George Liddell 7th Company 17 Captain Richard Pollard 8th Company 9 Captain John Carraway Smith 9th Company Captain Oliver Towles 10th Company

Explore millions of American Revolutionary War documents that are found nowhere else on the Internet. Discover details about Revolutionary War Rolls, individual Soldier Service Records, Pensions and Bounty-Land Warrant Application Files from 1775-1783 and more.

4th South Carolina Regiment

  • The Regiment was authorized on November 13, 1775 in the South Carolina State Troops as the 4th South Carolina Regiment.
  • Organized between November 20- December 18, 1775 at Charleston to consist of three companies from the greater Charleston area.
  • Adopted on June 18, 1776 into the Continental Army and assigned to the Southern Department.
  • Expanded on October 18, 1776 to consist of six companies (Beaufort and Georgetown Independent Companies of Artillery concurrently redesignated as the 4th and 5th Companies, 4th South Carolina Regiment).
  • Captured on May 12, 1780 at Charleston by the British Army.
  • Disbanded on January 1, 1781.

Unit History

The 4th South Carolina Regiment was raised on November 13, 1775 at Charleston, South Carolina for service with the Continental Army. The regiment saw action at the Siege of Savannah and the Siege of Charleston. The regiment was captured at Charleston on May 12, 1780 together with the rest of the Southern Department by the British Army. The regiment was disbanded on November 15, 1783.

5th South Carolina Regiment

(aka 1st South Carolina Rifle Regiment)

  • The Regiment was authorized on February 22, 1776 in the South Carolina State Troops as the 5th South Carolina Regiment.
  • Organized in spring 1776 at Charleston to consist of seven companies from eastern and northern South Carolina.
  • Adopted on March 25, 1776 into the Continental Army and assigned to the Southern Department.
    It was assigned on November 23, 1776 to the 2nd South Carolina Brigade, an element of the Southern Department.
  • Relieved on January 3, 1779 from the 2nd South Carolina Brigade.
    It was assigned on February 1, 1779 to the South Carolina Brigade, an element of the Southern Department.
  • Relieved on May 1, 1779 from the South Carolina Brigade.
    It was assigned on June 15, 1779 to McIntosh's Brigade, an element of the Southern Department.
  • Relieved on September 14, 1779 from McIntosh's Brigade.
  • Consolidated on February 11, 1780 with the 1st South Carolina Regiment.

Unit History

The 5th South Carolina Regiment was raised on February 22, 1776 at Charleston, South Carolina for service with the Continental Army. The regiment saw action at the Siege of Savannah. The regiment was merged into the 1st South Carolina Regiment on February 11, 1780.

The 6th South Carolina Regiment

(aka 1st South Carolina Rifle Regiment)

  • The Regiment was authorized on February 28, 1776 in the South Carolina State Troops as the 6th South Carolina Regiment.
  • Organized in spring 1776 at Charleston to consist of five companies from northwestern South Carolina.
  • Adopted on March 25, 1776 into the Continental Army and assigned to the Southern Department.
  • Reorganized on October 18, 1776 to consist of six companies (Captain Richbourg's Independent Company [organized in spring 1776 at Charleston with personnel from northwestern South Carolina] concurrently redesignated as the 6th Company, 6th South Carolina Regiment).
    It was assigned on November 23, 1776 to the 1st South Carolina Brigade, an element of the Southern Department.
  • Relieved on January 3, 1779 from the 1st South Carolina Brigade.
    It was assigned on February 1, 1779 to the South Carolina Brigade, an element of the Southern Department.
  • Consolidated on February 11, 1780 with the 2nd South Carolina Regiment.

Beaufort Independent Company of Artillery

  • The Regiment was authorized on February 22, 1776 in the South Carolina State Troops as the Beaufort Independent Company of Artillery.
  • Organized in spring 1776 at Fort Lyttleton with personnel from St. Helena and Prince William Parishes.
  • Redesignated on October 18, 1776 as the 4th Company, 4th South Carolina Regiment, and adopted into the Continental Army.

Georgetown Independent Company of Artillery

  • The Regiment was authorized on February 22, 1776 in the South Carolina State Troops as the Georgetown Independent Company of Artillery.
  • Organized in spring 1776 at Georgetown with personnel from Prince George, Winyah Parish.
  • Redesignated on October 18, 1776 as the 5th Company, 4th South Carolina Regiment, and adopted into the Continental Army.