List of Revolutionary War Battles for 1781

Late in 1780 Major General Nathanael Greene had replaced General Horatio Gates as commander of the Southern Continental Army and had divided his new command into smaller forces designed to spread out the fighting and give him time to rebuild the army.

Greene placed Brigadier General Daniel Morgan in charge of one of these armies and British General Charles Cornwallis set out to trap Morgan. Just before the British caught up with him, Morgan prepared for battle in a cattle-grazing area known as the Cowpens in northern South Carolina.

On Jan. 17, 1781, Morgan's sharpshooting riflemen quickly killed or captured nearly all the onrushing redcoats.

The patriot victory at Cowpens enraged Cornwallis, and he pursued Morgan with even greater determination. Greene rushed to join Morgan, hoping to crush Cornwallis' weakened force.

On March 15, 1781, a bloody exchange occurred at Guilford Courthouse in North Carolina. Although Cornwallis drove Greene from the battlefield, the British had taken a battering. Cornwallis halted the chase after the Battle of Guilford Courthouse. He moved to Wilmington, N.C., where he gave his exhausted army a brief rest.

Greene challenged British posts in South Carolina during the spring of 1781. The patriots fought several small battles but failed to win clear victories. Yet the fact that a rebel army moved freely about the countryside proved that Britain did not control the Carolinas.

The fighting in the Revolutionary War centered in Virginia during 1781. In January, the traitor Benedict Arnold began conducting raids in Virginia for the British, who had made him a brigadier general. Arnold's troops set fire to crops, military supplies, and other patriot property.

General Washington sent Lafayette with a force of Continentals to rally Virginia's militia and go after Arnold. But Lafayette had too few troops to stop Arnold.

Cornwallis rushed into Virginia in the spring of 1781 and made it his new base in the campaign to conquer the South. However, Cornwallis had violated Britain's Southern strategy by failing to gain control of North and South Carolina before advancing northward.

General Clinton believed that the Southern campaign was therefore doomed. He also feared an American attack on his base at New York City. Clinton ordered Cornwallis to adopt a defensive position along the Virginia coast and prepare to send his troops north.

Cornwallis moved to Yorktown, which lay along Chesapeake Bay. Here, the last major battle of the Revolutionary War was fought as French and American forces cooperated to deliver a crushing defeat to British forces under Cornwallis.

About 5,500 French soldiers had reached America in July 1780. They were led by Lieutenant General Jean Rochambeau. Washington still hoped to drive the British from New York City in a combined operation with the French.

In August 1781, however, Washington learned that a large French fleet under Admiral Francois de Grasse was headed toward Virginia.

De Grasse planned to block Chesapeake Bay and prevent Cornwallis from escaping by sea. Washington and Rochambeau rushed their forces southward to trap Cornwallis on land.

A British naval force sailed from New York City and battled de Grasse at the mouth of Chesapeake Bay in early September. But after several days, the British ships returned to New York for repairs.

By late September 1781, Cornwallis knew that he was in trouble. A combined French and American force of about 18,000 soldiers and sailors surrounded him at Yorktown. The soldiers slowly and steadily closed in on the trapped British troops.

Cornwallis made a desperate attempt to ferry his forces across the York River to safety on the night of October 16. But a storm drove them back. Cornwallis asked for surrender terms the next day.

The surrender at Yorktown took place on Oct. 19, 1781. More than 8,000 men laid down their arms as a British band reportedly played a tune called "The World Turned Upside Down." They represented about a fourth of Britain's military force in America.

Britain's defeat at Yorktown did not end the Revolutionary War. The fighting dragged on in some areas for two more years. However, British leaders feared they might lose other parts of Britain's empire if they continued the war in America.

Cornwallis' defeat at Yorktown brought a new group of British ministers to power early in 1782. They began peace talks with the Americans.

January of 1781

January, 1781 at Brier Creek, South Carolina

In January, Col. Daniel McGirth and his Georgia Loyalists crossed the Savannah River and rode down the South Carolina side. He had vowed to kill everyone who had not sworn allegiance to the king. At Brier Creek Settlement, he kept his word.

Seventeen citizens were murdered, among those was Henry Moore, the father of Tarleton Brown. The settlement was burned to the ground. The wife and daughters of Henry Moore ran into the woods to flee the destruction. McGirth's men tried to kill John Cave and left him for dead, but he recovered to tell the story.

Because of this atrocity, Capt. James McKay and Col. William Harden called out their militia and began looking for any signs of Loyalist raiders.
Conclusion: British Victory

January, 1781 at Lee's Creek, South Carolina

Lt. General Charles, Lord Cornwallis began his pursuit of Brigadier General Daniel Morgan as soon as he heard of the British defeat at Cowpens. While he marched northward from Winnsborough towards North Carolina, bands of Patriots rode as near to him as they dared, keeping an eye on the British and taking advantage whenever they could.

After crossing Lee's Creek, several of his officers were captured while they were making breakfast. Daniel Stinson wrote that the two officers "loitered in the rear, suspecting no danger until they were pounced on by Jimmy Johnson and Capt. John Mills and taken prisoner."

One of the British officer was Major McArthur, a cavalry officer. He and the other officer were exchanged for eleven militiamen from the Chester District.
Conclusion: American Victory

January, 1781 at Long Canes, South Carolina

In October, Capt. James Dunlap began recovering from his wounds received at Cane Creek, when he was shot and left for dead. Lt. General Charles, Lord Cornwallis soon promoted him to Major and gave him command of the cavalry under Lt. Col. John Harris Cruger, commander at Ninety-Six.

By January, Major Dunlap was making good progress in recruiting and outfitting his new troops, so Lt. Col. Cruger gave him the assignment to subdue the countryside. Dunlap led his cavalry to Long Canes and plundered the home of Patriot Lt. Col. James McCall. His men ambushed Mrs. McCall and their daughter, but his biggest mistake was burning the farm of Andrew Pickens.

After the fall of Charlestown in May of 1780, Col. Andrew Pickens turned himself in at a fort in the Ninety-Six District, took British protection, and had since been observing his parole. After Major Dunlap burned his home and his crops he notified Lt. Col. John Harris Cruger that he considered his parole had been violated. He took to the field and became a significant enemy for the British in the South Carolina upcountry. After his involvement at the battle of Cowpens, he was promoted to Brigadier General in command the SC 3rd Brigade of Militia covering the northwestern section of the state.
Conclusion: British Victory

January 3, 1781 at Hood's Point, Charles City County, Virginia

On January 3, Gen. Benedict Arnold was leading a British expedition when all of a sudden, it was fired upon by an American battery. The British had anchored near Jamestown on the James River, late that evening.

The advance party of Arnold's invasion force landed at Hood's Point consisting of 130 Queen's Rangers under Lieut. Col. John Graves Simcoe lands at Hoods Point, with the light infantry and grenadiers of the 80th Regiment.

They proceeded to take a rebel shore battery, which had been abandoned immediately before by its 50 man garrison, and spiked the battery's guns.

Arnold then commenced his move up the James River and began his raid on rebel commerce and stores. Three transports with some additional 400-500 British troops did not land until January 4, and these then did not reach up with Arnold until January 9.
Conclusion: British Victory.

January 5-7, 1781 at Richmond, Virginia

On January 5, Arnold's invasion force landed at Westover, Virginia, approximately thirty miles southeast of RichmondBrig. Gen. Benedict Arnold approached the town of Richmond.

Richmond had about 1,800 inhabitants and was the seat of the rebel government in Virginia. Governor Jefferson dispatched "General Nelson to the coast as soon as he was informed of the enemy entrance into the (Chesapeake) bay, for the purpose of bringing the militia into the field; while Baron Steuben, believing Petersburg, the depot for the Southern army, to be the object, hastened his Continental force, about two hundred recruits to that town." (Lee) Arnold, however, marched for Richmond.

Unknown to the British, most of the town's military supplies had been evacuated earlier. The size of Arnold's entire force is believed to be 1,500 based on a sworn deposition he later gave, though Clinton speaks of it as 1800.

Arnold's force was stated by Johann Ewald to include, a detachment of Jägers, the Queen's Rangers, the 80th Regt., the Royal American Regiment (aka Robinson's Corps), a company of artillery and 100 pioneers. Lt. Col. John G. Simcoe and his Rangers attacked the Americans on Richmond Hill, and, as well, a few mounted men on Shrove Hill, and drove them away.

At 1:00 P.M., Arnold's command entered Richmond. Arnold offered Jefferson a deal that said if Jefferson would allow British ships to come her and take all of the tobacco from the warehouses that Arnold would not burn down the town. Jefferson refused Arnold's request. For the remainder of the day, Arnold ordered his men to set fire to the town. They ended up burning and destroying the warehouse and a number of private and public buildings.

On January 7, Arnold and the British force left Richmond.
Conclusion: British Victory.

January 6, 1781 at Georgetown, South Carolina

In early January of 1781, Lt. Col. George Campbell, the commandant in charge of occupying Georgetown, decided to personally conduct a patrol in the countryside around Georgetown in order to find some of Brigadier General Francis Marion's men that had been continually harassing his foraging expeditions.

While on patrol, Lt. Col. Campbell observed a dozen mounted men in the middle of the road and ordered his men to charge. These men were merely a decoy for an ambush, which was hidden on the sides of the road. As the enemy approached, the Patriots jumped up and fired a volley into the horsemen. They captured two British sergeants, John Burt and William Hodgins, and killed Corporal John Hodgins, while three others were wounded.

Surprisingly, the Queen's Rangers did not flee but turned and recharged into the ambush site. The Patriots were not used to this, so they quickly turned their steeds and withdrew from the area.
Conclusion: Inconclusive

January 7, 1781 in Westham, Henrico County, Virginia

From Richmond, Simcoe, with the Queen's Rangers rode to Westham where he destroyed "the only cannon foundry in the state," (Lee) a laboratory and some shops. Arnold's expedition met small resistance from a few militia, and then plundered and destroyed much of the town, capturing or destroying five brass guns, 300 stand of arms, and some quartermaster stores. Nevertheless, damage in all was relatively small, as the workshops and warehouses were not wholly consumed.

On January 8, the expedition returned to Westover, without having suffered any loss.
Conclusion: British Victory.

January 8, 1781 at Charles City, Virginia

From Westover, Gen. Benedict Arnold sent Lt. Col. John G. Simcoe on a reconnaissance mission toward Long Bridge, located on the Chickahominy River. Simcoe had captured several sentinentals that informed him that Gen. Thomas Nelson and 150 Virginia militia was near Charles City Court House.

On January 8, a black prisoner helped Simcoe and guided 40 mounted Rangers to the courthouse. When they arrived, they surprised about 150 patriot militia, commanded by Col. ?? Dudley. After a brief fight, the British had driven off the militia.

They captured a number of the militia while the rest of them escaped to Nelson's camp a few miles away or to Williamsburg. 20 militia were killed or wounded. Simcoe lost one man killed and three wounded. Simcoe left and headed back to Westover with his prisoners, arriving before dawn on January 9.

On receiving a (false) report that Von Steuben was at Petersburg, and of the appearance of militia at Manchester, Arnold marched back to Portsmouth to protect his line of retreat. To face the British invasion, von Steuben later had 600 men at Chesterfield Court House, but with clothing only for 150.
Conclusion: British Victory.

January 11-13 , 1781 at Waccamaw Neck, Georgetown County, South Carolina

(also given as taking place on 6 January)

Marion sent Col. Peter Horry and 30 to 40 mounted militia to attack some loyalists butchering cattle not far from Georgetown. The Loyalists captured a 6-man advance guard but the Patriots managed to escape. At the same time, Horry heard the commotion and led his men forward and opened fire on the Loyalists.

The Loyalists quickly left the area, leaving the Patriots in possesion of the field. The Loyalists soon reappeared, charging towards the Patriots. Horry ordered his men into a nearby swamp. The British did not pursue them, fearing an ambush. Another larger group of Provincials in Georgetown, under Lieut. Col. George Campbell (totaling 60), hearing the shots sallied out to protect their friends.

Horry's force was dispersed, and thus began a series of minor skirmishes of small parties (sometimes as small as 2 or 3 men), back and forth, taking place thru much of the large "V" between the Sampit and Black River roads, the latter approximating the route of State highway 51.

Another source describes the Waccamaw event this way. Lieut. Col. George Campbell with a detachment of mounted Kings American Regiment and a troop of Queens Rangers, under Lieut. John Wilson, skirmished with a larger sized force of Col. Peter Horry's mounted men near the Wacccamaw River outside of Georgetown, and Horry was beaten back.

According to Marion, in his letter to Greene of 14 January, the British lost three men and three horses killed, and two prisoners, Horry lost 2 men wounded, two horses killed, and one Captain Clark was captured and paroled. British sources speak of Campbell losing 1 killed and two captured.

Capt. John Saunders, of the Queen's Rangers, quoted in Simcoe:

“On the 6th January following, Lt. Col. [George] Campbell having marched some distance into the country, saw about a dozen mounted men on the road: he order Lt. [John] Wilson with his party to charge them.

They instantly went to the right about, and retreated with precipitation within a corps and taken a strong and advantageous post in a swampy thick wood on each side of the road.

Lt. Wilson and his party received a heavy and unexpected fire from this ambuscade, but impelled by their wonted spirit and intrepidity, and unaccustomed to defeat, they continued the charge and obliged the rebels to betake themselves to their horses, and to flight.

Serjeants Burt and Hudgins, having charged through them, were carried off by them; Corporal Hudgins was killed, covered with wounds; two or three of the men were wounded, and three horses killed.”

Conclusion: American Victory. Casualties: American:2w, 1c; British: 3k, 3w, 2c

January 15, 1781 in Road to Burr's Mill, Spartanburg County, South Carolina

Capt. George Gresham, with some S.C. militia, surprised a small advance party of Tarleton's and took two prisoners. In the same or related encounter, they captured a black manservant and two horses.
Conclusion: American Victory.

January 16, 1781 at Clarendon County, South Carolina

Excerpt from a letter from Brigadier General Francis Marion to Major General Nathanael Greene, dated Jan. 18, 1781:

"Lt. Col. John Ervin who commands a detachment near Nelson's Ferry, informs me that he sent Capt. [Clement] Conyers with ten men to reconnoitre the enemy at Wright's Bluff. He fell in with fourteen of [Maj. John] Harrison's corps, killed four & took two men, five horses & four muskets. Several men got off wounded, Capt. Conyers had not a man hurt."
Conclusion: American Victory

January 18, 1781 at Love's Ford, South Carolina

On January 18, a group of Newberry militia found Col. Banastre Tarleton's baggage train at Love's Ford of the Broad River. They captured horses, baggage, wagons, and some Negroes, and other property.

The militia took their booty to a blockhouse on the Pacolet River.
Conclusion: American Victory.

January 22, 1781 at Morrisania, New York

On January 22, an American force, commanded by Lt. Col. William Hull, led a raid to within 3 miles of the British lines. He attacked the headquarters of of Lt. Col. James De Lancey's Tory Battalion at Morrisiana. Morrisiana is located in Westchester County and was the ancestral home of the Morris Family. It was located in what now is the Bronx.

The Americans burned barracks and the pontoon bridge over the Harlem River, and destroyed a great store of forage. The Americans withdrew with 52 Tory prisoners, and some horses and cattle.

De Lancey gathered up his scattered forces and harassed the Americans during their withdrawal all the way to the Williams' Bridge. On the other side of the bridge was a large contingent of Americans with 2 cannon. The Tory force fell back, collected their wounded, and buried their dead. They then proceeded to rebuild their burned down huts.
Conclusion: American Victory. Casualties: American: 25k&w; British: 16k, 32w, 52c

January 22, 1781 at Matthew's Bluff, South Carolina

After the Brier Creek Massacre, Capt. James McKay of the Georgia Militia began conducting raids along the swamps of the lower Savannah River and plundering Loyalist boats bound for Augusta.

Lt. Col. Thomas Brown ordered Capt. Alexander Wylly of the King's American Rangers to mount an expedition down the South Carolina side of the Savannah River to eliminate this threat. A Lt. Kemp preceded this expedition with a detachment of 25 of the King's American Rangers with 20 Loyalists.

Lt. Kemp hired a guide named William to take him to Capt. McKay's camp on Matthew's Bluff. William did not care for the Loyalists and he alerted Capt. McKay who set up an ambush. Lt. Kemp's troops rode into the ambush site and at the first shot the Loyalists fled without firing a shot, forcing the Rangers to surrender.

Capt. McKay asked Lt. Kemp to join the Patriot cause, but he refused. Capt. McKay's men were still seeking retribution for the Brier Creek Massacre, so one shot Lt. Kemp dead. The same fate was for all the Rangers, except for one. That one pretended to join the Patriot cause and then escaped at the first chance to tell Lt. Col. Brown what happened.
Conclusion: American Victory

January 23-24, 1781 at Wiggan's Plantation, South Carolina

On January 23, at the Wiggan's Plantation, a group of British, Loyalists, and Indians made camp at Wiggan's Plantation. The plantation was located about 30 miles from Black Swamp. The Patriot force, commanded by Lt. Col. William Harden, learned of the British camp and made plans to attack them.

On January 24, shortly after midnight, the Patriots made their move. They rode into the camp, terrifying the Loyalist militia. The British Rangers did not panic. They quickly formed into a battle line, fired at the Patriots, driving them out of the camp. At 8:00 A.M., the Patriots attacked the camp again.

They dismounted their horses and opened fire on the Loyalists. The militia once again fled the camp, with some of them joining the Patriots. The Rangers joined with the Indians, formed into their battle line, and charged the Patriots. Once again, the Patriots were forced back, scattering into the nearby swamp.
Conclusion: British Victory. Casualties: American: 7k, 11w, 12c; British: ?

January 24-25, 1781 at Georgetown, South Carolina(also given as 22-23 January)

On the night January 24, Lee and Marion made a two pronged surprise attack on Georgetown, one group coming by land, Marion's men, coming by land; and the other group, The Legion infantry under Capt. Patrick Carnes, which made up the advanced attack, approaching the town by boat coming from an island in the river where they had hid themselves in the early morning hours of the 23rd.

The Georgetown garrison was made up of about 200 or 300, commanded by Col. George Campbell, including some King's American Regt., at least 15 Queen's Rangers cavalry and 20 other mounted infantry. The town was protected by a small redoubt with cannon, but most of the men were in houses.

On January 25, during the nighttime, Lee's troops slipped undetected and landed on Georgetown's undefended waterfront. Lee divided his force into 2 parties. Capt. Carnes led one party to seize Campbell in his headquarters near the parade ground (and then paroled). Capt. Rudolph led the second party into positions from which they could cut off the garrison as they moved to their defenses or to rescue Campbell.

Marion's partisans and Lee's cavalry charged through the light defenses on the land side to link up with the Legion infantry. The Americans were astounded to find that none of the British troops had attempted to man their defenses.

However, the loyalists barricaded themselves in some houses. Had they assaulted the redoubt, Lee and Marion might then have taken the cannon there, and used them on the houses. However, they did not want to risk unnecessary losses.

Campbell and those taken were paroled, and the attackers withdrew, subsequently camping at Murry's Ferry on the Santee. The losses were about equal. The Americans reported their losses as 3 killed, and the British reported their own as about the same.

Balfour wrote to Clinton, on 31 January:

“[Lee and Marion] failed in their Object, made Prisoners of Lieut. Col. Campbell & one or two other officers of Fanning's Corps [the King's American Regiment], who they immediately Paroled -- in other respects the loss was inconsiderable and nearly equal. Two or three being killed on each side."


“Colonel [George] Campbell commanded in this town, with a garrison of two hundred men. In his front he had prepared some slight defence, better calculated to repel a sudden, than resist a determined assault. Between these defences and the town, and contiguous to each, was an enclosed work with a fraise and palisade, which constituted his chief protection. A subaltern guard held it.

The rest of the troops were dispersed in light parties in and near the town, looking toward the country. The plan of assault was found upon the facility with which the assailant might convey down the Pedee a part of his force undiscovered, and land in the water suburb of the town. After this body should have reached the wharves, it was to move in two divisions.

The first was to force the commandant's quarters, known to be in the place of parade, then to secure him, and all who might flock thither on the alarm. The second was to be charged with the interception of such of the garrison as might attempt to gain the fort, their chief point of safety or annoyance.

The militia and cavalry of the Legion, under Marion and Lee, were to approach near the town in the night; and when the entrance of the infantry, passed down by water, should be announced, they were to rush into it for cooperation and support."

Conclusion: British Victory.

January 28, 1781 at Wilmington, South Carolina

After the battle of Cowpens, SC on January 17, 1781, Lt. General Charles, Lord Cornwallis decided to chase after both Brigadier General Daniel Morgan and Major General Nathanael Greene who were leading him into North Carolina and on into Virginia. Prior to leaving South Carolina, Lord Cornwallis sent an order to Lt. Col. Balfour at Charlestown for him to dispatch a detachment of the 82nd Regiment under Major James Henry Craig to leave Charlestown and to go take Wilmington, North Carolina. This would provide the British with a port whereby Lord Cornwallis could receive supplies by way of the Cape Fear River, via Cross Creek (Cumberland County).

Major James H. Craig had been wounded at Bunker Hill and a second time at Hubbardton, Vermont. He had carried Burgoyne's dispatches back to England, and as a reward for his services he was given an appointment as a major in the newly-created 82nd Regiment. He had been with the regiment on the Penobscot Expedition in 1779.

Major Craig sailed from Charlestown on January 21st with 300 troops on board a frigate, two sloops of war, and eighteen other vessels. After sailing up the Cape Fear River, Capt. John Barclay and a contingent of Royal Marines landed twelve miles from Wilmington. They marched over land to the town, while the galleys sailed up the river. The town leaders attempted to gain favorable terms from Capt. Barclay, to no avail.

Fifty men of the New Hanover County Regiment of Militia spiked the seventeen guns (9-pounders and 12-pounders) in the two batteries around the town. Then, the Patriot militiamen left Wilmington to negotiate their own terms of surrender. Their commander, Col. Henry Young, sent large amounts of military stores out of the town so these would not be captured by the enemy. The British promptly seized the town and ignored Col. Young's attempt to negotiate terms for his surrender.

While waiting for Lord Charles Cornwallis to eventually make his way down to the Cape Fear region, Major James H. Craig used his occupation of Wilmington to launch many incursions into the surrounding countryside to harass the local militias and any North Carolina Continentals that might enter his sphere of influence.
Conclusion: British Victory

January 30, 1781 at Heron Bridge, North Carolina

On January 31, Col. Henry Young left Wilmington and rendezvoused with some militia that had been called out. The combined force (250 men) fortified a position at Heron Bridge.

The bridge was located 10 miles northeast from Wilmington. Maj. James H. Craig learned of the Patriot position at Heron's Bridge and decided to make an attack on them.

At 4:00 P.M., the British force (250 men) left Wilmington. They soon captured a Patriot and learned the whereabouts of the Patriot camp. The British moved into position near the bridge and Craig had his men rest. He planned the attack for 4:00 A.M. the next morning.

A Patriot mounted patrol discovered the British, with the British firing at the patrol and driving them across the bridge. Young's militia fled when they saw the British.

The British chased the militia, engaging in a running gun battle. Craig waited at the bridge for a possible counterattack. Once he determined that the Patriots were not coming back, he ordered his men to burn the bridge and march back to Wilmington.
Conclusion: British Victory. Casualties: American: 3k, 8c; British: 7w

January 30, 1781 at Wantoot Plantation, South Carolina

Capt. Daniel Conyers, with 16 men, surprised and captured 46 British Regulars and a large number of horses and wagons filled with salt and other stores on the west side of the Santee River at Wantoot Plantation. They destroyed what could not be taken with them, then took their prisoners safely across the Pee Dee River.

Wantoot Plantation was owned by Daniel Ravenel, a representative of St. John's, Berkeley Parish in the SC First Provincial Congress in 1775 and in the SC First General Assembly in 1776.
Conclusion: American Victory

January 31, 1781 at Wadboo Bridge, South Carolina

After the unsatisfying raid on Georgetown of January 24-25th, Brigadier General Francis Marion sent out several patrols to seek out and destroy, if possible, as many British supply bases/posts as they could. Capt. John Postell, Jr. (Kingstree Regiment) and his men destroyed the stores at Wadboo Bridge, including 15 hogsheads of rum, a quantity of pork, flour, rice, salt, and turpentine.

Tarleton Brown, who rode with Capt. John Postell, Jr., later wrote: "Just about the break of day we charged upon the enemy, and our appearance was so sudden and unexpected that they had not time even to fire a single gun. We took thirty-three prisoners, found twenty odd hogsheads of old spirits, and a large supply of provisions. The former we destroyed but returned with the latter and our prisoners to the army on the Santee."

Capt. Postell and his group next surprised the depot at Keithfield Plantation, near Moncks Corner, later the same day.
Conclusion: American Victory

January 31, 1781 at Moncks Corner, South Carolina

Capt. John Postell, Jr. (Kingstree Regiment) led two other companies and they raided the British garrison here, killed two British guards, wounded two, and captured two Surgeons, one Quartermaster, one wagon master, one steward, and 25 non-commissioned officers/privates. They also burned fourteen wagons loaded with soldiers' clothing and baggage and twenty hogsheads of rum. They took seven other wagons and retired with his prisoners.
Conclusion: American Victory

February of 1781

February, 1781 at Chestnut Mountain, North Carolina

In February, a Loyalist group went into the house of a farmer named Blackburn and robbed him of everything, including his clothes. Mr. Blackburn went to Town Fork, where Lt. Col. Joseph Winston lived. Lt. Col. Winston gave him a pair of pants as Mr. Blackburn told his story, then Lt. Col. Winston sent out a runner to call out part of the Surry County Regiment of Militia. Within a few hours, he was able to gather up 15 men and they went after the Loyalists.

Lt. Col. Winston learned of their whereabouts by hanging a boy who had carried bread to them. He did not kill the boy - he cut him down before he died. The boy told Lt. Col. Winston that a Capt. Stanly and his men were on Chestnut Mountain - in a natural cave known as Tory House or Tory Den in the Sauratown Mountains.

Lt. Col. Winston and his men caught up with the Loyalists and immediately attacked. The Loyalists scattered, but they were hunted down and killed. Only Capt. Stanly and a man named Horton escaped. Patriot Jack Martin pursued Horton, who fired upon Martin when he got close. Martin drew up his horse who received the shot in its eye. Martin then fired and hit Horton in the back, but he managed to get away. However, he died of his wounds a few days later. Capt. Stanly was captured and retained as a prisoner until exchanged.
Conclusion: American Victory

February, 1781 at Bacon's Inlet, North Carolina

On January 28, the British seized the town of Wilmington without firing a shot. Major James H. Craig quickly assessed the needs of his troops and soon sent out foraging parties to help feed his men and their horses. Sometime in February, Major Craig sent out a couple of row galleys down the Cape Fear River with instructions to bring back some local cattle he had seen grazing along the marshlands during his recent trip up from Charlestown.

Maj. John Cain and Maj. Samuel Leonard, with a small group of men, surprised a British foraging party, on Bacon's Inlet, trying to make off with some local cattle.
Conclusion: American Victory

February, 1781 at Muddy Spring, South Carolina

Lt. Col. Philemon Waters of the 1st Spartan Regiment of Militia had a running gun battle, in which the Patriots received the worst of it. Private James Calk was captured by the Loyalists, but afterwards made a daring escape.
Conclusion: British Victory

February, 1781 at Watkins, South Carolina

Near the end of February 1781, Col. Benjamin Roebuck and his Battalion of Spartan Regiment encountered a group of Loyalists with about the same number of men as he had. The skirmish lasted until dark, when both sides ceased firing. When morning came, the fighting resumed, and eventually the Patriots were victorious.
Conclusion: American Victory

February 1, 1781 at Manigault's Ferry, South Carolina

After the unsatisfying raid on Georgetown of January 24-25th, Brigadier General Francis Marion sent out several patrols to seek out and destroy, if possible, as many British supply bases/posts as they could. One patrol, under Col. James Postell of the Kershaw Regiment of Militia, was ordered to Col. William Thomson's Plantation on the Congaree River, but they found no stores there - all had been removed a few days before.

Col. James Postell with forty men were returning to their camp when he heard that "a great quantity of rum, sugar, salt, flour, pork, soldiers' clothing and baggage" were at Manigault's Ferry. The British guard at Manigault's Ferry had chased after his brother, Capt. John Postell, towards Keithfield Plantation (the other patrol out on a similar mission) and had only left four men in a redoubt of wood. Col. Postell had no difficulties capturing these four and destroying all the stores in the redoubt, without a single man hurt.
Conclusion: American Victory

February 1, 1781 at Tarrant's Tavern (Torrence's Tavern), Mecklenburg County, North Carolina

On February 1, the militia dispersed at Cowan's and Beattie's Fords retreated to Torrence's (or Tarrant's) Tavern, some 9-10 miles from the Catawba, to regroup.

Tarleton, reinforced by Webster's 23rd Infantry Regiment, was sent by Gen. Charles Cornwallis to scout the strength of the gathering American militia. Learning of their gathering, Tarleton moved with all haste to the site where about 500 were collected.

Tarleton's own force consisted of 200 Legion cavalry, 100 Jägers and 150 infantry of the 33rd Regt. With his cavalry, advanced on the rest, he surprised and routed them with a saber charge, a little after 2 o'clock in the afternoon.

Near 50 militia were killed on the spot, and many wounded, other managed to escape on their horses. Tarleton lost 7 men killed and wounded, and twenty horses. Clinton gives the number of North Carolina militia dispersed by Tarleton as 300. Graham mentions that the tavern itself was burned down after the attack.


“A heavy rain had injured their powder, and they were not prepared to fight. The loss of General Davidson, and the total dispersion of the militia, greatly dispirited the patriots in that region, and Toryism again became bold and active.”

Conclusion: British Victory.

February 1 (also given as 28-29 January)-November 18, 1781 at Wilmington, New Hanover County, North Carolina

On February 1, 18 vessels with 300 or possibly 450 troops (Rankin's number), (mostly of the 82nd Regt.), under Major James Craig captured Wilmington with little or no American resistance. The main reason for taking Wilmington was to provide Cornwallis a supply source that would help support his army in North Carolina.

The town had been guarded by 50 North Carolina militia, under Col. Henry Young. But Young withdrew before the British landed. The Americans failed in removing stores and artillery there, which Craig then captured or destroyed.

Between 400-500 N.C. militia under Brig. Gen. Alexander Lillington had arrived too late to prevent Craig's landing, but did check Craig from opening up communications with Cross Creek. Craig then set about upgrading the town's fortifications.

Rankin gives the date as February 1, and says 200 men surrendered to Craig after spiking the 17 nine and twelve pounders, in two batteries, protecting the town. There was an effort to remove stores of arms and munitions upriver, but all were captured or destroyed by Craig's men, and the spiked guns would probably have been repaired.
Conclusion: British Victory.

February 5, 1781 at Wando Landing, South Carolina

Brigadier General Francis Marion with a party of mounted militiamen left the Pee Dee region to head to the Dorchester area. On their way, they destroyed a large quantity of British stores and provisions and damaged their quarters at Wando Landing, about 15 miles from Charlestown. Marion also captured 30 prisoners, including officers, before continuing towards Dorchester.
Conclusion: American Victory

February 6, 1781 at Grant's Creek, Rowan County, North Carolina

To prevent unnecessary losses in attempting to cross at Trading Ford, Cornwallis moved up river some distance to Shallow Ford. At the same time he sent Tarleton in advance to reconnoiter.

Tarleton encountered Col. Francis Lock and 100 North Carolina militia who were engaged in destroying the bridge at Grant's Creek. Tarleton sent a detachment up to around the mouth of the creek, for purposes of taking Locke from the rear.

As a result, Locke's troops were dispersed, though with only 1 wounded. Cornwallis later crossed the Yadkin at Shallow Ford during the night, and was on the opposite bank by the 7th.
Conclusion: British Victory

February 7, 1781 at Shallow Ford, Forsyth County, North Carolina (aka Graham's Patrol)

On February 7, Some hours after the British army had crossed at Shallow Ford and moved on. 20 North Carolina militia cavalry, under Capt. Joseph Graham, were following a column of British troops as they were crossing the Yadkin River.

The Patriots turned back from the main column and discovered a group of stragglers. Graham ordered his troops to attack them. The stragglers were quickly overcome, Graham captured six loyalists, and killed one Hessian in their wake. and some managing to escape.

Joseph Graham:

"The American cavalry was mortified at coming so far and achieving nothing [i.e. the British had already crossed Shallow Ford the previous evening].

It was decided that twenty of those best mounted, under command of the Captain [Joseph Graham], should, after divesting themselves of their marks of distinction, pass the river. The Lieutenant was ordered to draw up the others at the ford, to cover their retreat, if pursued, and to place videttes on the roads some distance in his rear, lest some parties of Tories might be following the Americans.

The party went over, saw several men whom they did not molest, and who, on being questioned, made professions of loyalty to the King and showed their protections.

After going about three miles, the two soldiers who were kept in advance about one hundred yards, made signal of seeing the enemy. When Captain Graham came up, he saw about fifty dragoons, marching slowly in compact order. He followed them for two miles unperceived, but finding that they kept the same order, it was thought imprudent to go further, as the country that they were in was reputed to be favorable to the British. Returning about a mile, the Americans discovered three men in red coats, who fled, but being directly run down, surrendered.

On proceeding further, they met a Hessian and a Briton, who also fled. On being overtaken, the Briton surrendered, but the Hessian held his piece at a charge and would not give up. He was cut down and killed.

Before reaching the ford, the Americans took two armed Tories, who were following them. Having killed one and taken six prisoners, the party re-crossed the ford."

Conclusion: American Victory.

February 8, 1781 at Reedy Creek, North Carolina

Major General Nathanael Greene sent orders to Lt. Col. Henry "Light Horse Harry" Lee to abandon his collaboration with Brigadier General Francis Marion in their raids on British outposts in the South Carolina lowcountry. Lt. Col. Lee was ordered to join Greene's army, while Brigadier General Marion was to continue his guerrilla warfare along the Lower Santee River.

In the meantime, Major General Nathanael Greene also sent a request to North Carolina Governor Abner Nash for men and supplies, especially muskets to equip the unarmed militiamen that were appearing daily at his camp.

Never one to remain static in his thinking, Greene decided to create a new group of "Light Corps" to cover his retreat, and he offered command to Brigadier General Daniel Morgan. Morgan's physical health would not allow him to accept and he was granted permission to leave the army until he recovered. The command of this new group of "Light Corps" was given to Col. Otho Williams, Greene's Adjutant General from Maryland.

The Light Corps consisted of the most trusted and effective officers and the most experienced rank and file. This was the Maryland and Delaware Continentals, the cavalry under Lt. Col. Henry Lee and Lt. Col. William Washington, and the Virginia riflemen under Col. Richard Campbell.

Major General Greene issued orders for this Light Corps to keep themselves in between Lt. General Charles, Lord Cornwallis and the British prisoners captured at the Cowpens, who were being marched northward. Lord Cornwallis was at a disadvantage - he had to continue marching over ground that the Patriots had already stripped clean of most food and forage. The Patriots also destroyed any boats along their route to keep the enemy from crossing the rivers easily.

Lord Cornwallis moved his army in a course calculated to intercept Major General Greene and the British prisoners - but he was not sure exactly which route Greene had taken after leaving Salisbury. Therefore, he ordered several patrols to be out in the general area looking for the Patriots.

The first contact came when a British patrol hit some of Col. Otho Williams's troops at Reedy Creek on the main road south of the Moravian settlements. Col. Williams had his men to move on before they could become engaged with the enemy. They also destroyed the bridge over Reedy Creek, which slowed down the British for several more hours. Sergeant Major Seymour wrote that Lt. Col. Lee and his cavalry met "their vanguard, consisting of an officer and twenty men, which they killed, wounded, and made prisoners, all but one man."

This new "Light Corps" forced the British to slow their march because of the constant threat of ambush. Col. Williams had his men to travel on a road in-between the British army and Greene's army, and their position allowed them to intercept any enemy movement towards Greene.
Conclusion: American Victory

February 11(also given as 13 February), 1781 at Bruce's Crossroads (aka Gillies' Death, Reedy Fork, and Summerfield), Guilford County, North Carolina

Informed by a local countryman that Cornwallis army had changed its route of march, Col. Otho Williams directed Lee to investigate. Lee, in turn, sent out Capt. Armstrong of the Legion cavalry, to reconnoiter.

When Armstrong returned he apprised Lee of the British position, who moved to prepare an ambush. Capt. Armstrong with a small number of cavalry were sent in the path of Tarleton's horsemen. Some British Legion cavalry, under a “Capt. Miller,” then galloped in pursuit only to be charged in the flank by Lee and his dragoons, who had lain concealed along the road.

It was in this encounter that Lee's bugler Gillies, who was made to take a poor mount in order that the local guide could be better horsed, was savagely killed by some British Legion dragoons. It was at that point that Lee's dragoons, in view of the sight, swiftly retaliated.

Though Tarleton speaks of Lee being finally repulsed, it would seem, tactically speaking, the Americans got the better of this action. According to Lee, British lost 18, Americans 1, with Miller being made prisoner.


“Earl Cornwallis, wishing to intercept the Americans, and force them to action to the southward of the Roanoke, proceeded from Salem towards the head of Haw river, and on his march gained intelligence of their having composed a formidable corps of light troops, consisting of Lee's, Bland's, and Washington's cavalry, the continental light infantry, and some riflemen, in order to watch his motions, and retard his progress whilst General Greene removed the stores and heavy baggage of the continental army into Virginia, and hastened the remainder of his troops to the river Dan, on the frontier of that province.

At the cross roads, near the Reedy fork, the advanced guard of the British light troops, was attacked by Colonel Lee's dragoons, who were repulsed with some loss. The bridge on Reedy fork being broken down, retarded some hours the advance of Earl Cornwallis, who afterwards crossed Troublesome creek, and persevered in the direction to the high fords of the Dan.

On the road, many skirmishes took place between the British and American light troops, without great loss to either party, or any impediment to the progress of the main army.”


"On the eighth instant we marched from here [Guilford], General Green's Army taking one road and the light troops another, being joined the next day by Colonel Lee's horse and infantry.

This day we received intelligence that the British Army was advancing very close in our rear, upon which Colonel Lee detached a party of horse to intercept them, who meeting with their vanguard, consisting of an officer and twenty men, which they killed, wounded and made prisoners, all but one man."


“This ill-fated boy [Gillies] was one of the band of music, and exclusively devoted in the field to his bugle, used in conveying orders.

Too small to wield a sword, he was armed only with one pistol, as was the custom of the Legion; that sort of weapon being considered of little import in action; now he had not even his pistol, it being with the countryman mounted on his horse."

Conclusion: American Victory.

February 12, 1781 at Fort St. Joseph, Michigan

On February 12, a Spanish expedition from St. Louis captured the British post at Fort St. Joseph. They only stayed at the fort for one day, leaving the next morning.
Conclusion: Spanish Victory.

February 13, 1781 on the Road to Dix's Ferry in Rockingham County, North Carolina

As part of the American army's rear guard, Lee's Legion took an out of the way detour, separate from Williams' route, in order to avail himself of the plenty present at a nearby farm.

Shortly after his men and horses were set up to be fed their breakfast (on the 12th), the shots of his pickets announced the approach of the van of the British army, under Brig. Gen. Charles O'Hara.

Lee made immediate arrangements to get his men to safety, while the British were as surprised by his presence as he was by theirs. He rushed to secure a bridge that was key to the escape of his corps, and was thereby able to get his infantry across the nearby stream in time to effect their escape, with his cavalry covering their retreat.

The British then continued their pursuit, often being in clear sight of Lee in the course of the day. Lee, thus just narrowly, managed to evade their approaches, and moved along the road to Dix's, and after that to Boyd's Ferry.
Conclusion: British Victory.

February 13, 1781 at Speedwell's Furnace, North Carolina

Keeping ahead of the British, Col. Otho Williams and his "Light Corps" found a good location to defend against the approaching enemy - near Speedwell's Furnace. Per his standing orders, his objective was to delay the British as much as possible. Within his Light Corps, Col. Williams had an Irishman from Guilford County named Tom Archer. He was a large man who would "fight his weight in wildcats" and "hardly ever missed his aim at any distance within two hundred yards."

When the British brought up their field pieces to fire on the Patriots, Tom Archer stepped into the middle of the road and yelled, "Hallo there Mister, I wish you would take that ugly thing out of the road, or it may cause some trouble yet before all is over." Turning to a nearby officer Archer said, "Captain, may I shoot that cussed rascal? for he has no business here, no how."

The captain told Archer to wait until they applied the match, for they needed to detain the enemy as long as possible. When the British were ready to fire, Archer stepped into the middle of the road again and yelled, "Hallo there Mister, I say you had better take that thing out of the road, or I'll be hanged if I don't shoot some of you." Then turning to the officer he asked again, "Captain, may I shoot the cussed rascal now, for tellin' don't do him one bit o' good?" His captain just nodded and smiled.

Archer placed his rifle against a tree to steady it and fired - hitting the distant artilleryman holding the match. The Patriots mounted up and rode away before the cannon crew could recover and fire at them. Lord Cornwallis and his army was delayed another two hours as a result.

Later that day, Lt. Col. Henry Lee moved across the Irwin Ferry and stopped his weary men so they could eat. As they began, the British vanguard under Brigadier General Charles O'Hara appeared and fired at his pickets. Lt. Col. Lee quickly formed his men and moved away from the enemy, who was equally startled and halted, requesting orders on what to do.

Lt. Col. Lee used the delay to get his infantry away, but the British were soon closing in hot pursuit. Both armies were covering thirty miles a day. Now, into the cold night the race went on. As they moved forward, Col. Otho Williams saw campfires in the road ahead and sent a man to hurry there and to warn Major General Nathanael Greene that the British were near. The man quickly returned informing Col. Williams that this was Greene's camp from two days ago, and a few men had remained behind to let them know that fact.

The British could not keep up the pace with Col. Williams, so they halted for the night. The Patriots eventually also stopped, but at midnight they were awakened because the British were moving again. A heavy frost had fallen on the deeply rutted road, making walking quite difficult and very noisy.

Lord Cornwallis thought he had Major General Greene just where he wanted him - backed up to the Dan River. A recent rainfall had raised the level of the river making it impossible to cross except by boat. Greene had been prepared for this and had readied his crossing before he even reached the river. Boats had been waiting for him when he got there.

On the afternoon of February 14, Col. Otho Williams received word that Major General Nathanael Greene and his army had crossed the Dan River and made it safely into Virginia. Col. Williams marched his men to Irwin's Ferry, where he found boats waiting for him to take his men across into Virginia. They crossed over at sunset, having covered forty miles in sixteen hours.

The British arrived after sundown to discover that the Americans had already crossed and that the river was too swollen to attempt fording it. The "Race to the Dan River" was over - Lord Cornwallis had lost.
Conclusion: American Victory

February 14-15, 1781 in Georgetown County, South Carolina

On the night of February 14, by threatening to set fire a house which Capt. James DePeyster and 29 men of the King's American Regt. occupied, Capt. John Postell of Marion's brigade, with 28 men, forced their surrender the next morning.

The house belonged to Posetll's own family, and was situated north of Georgetown, in between the Black and Pee Dee Rivers. The success no doubt interested the British in taking Postell himself prisoner, which in the ensuing month they did.
Conclusion: American Victory.

February 15, 1781 at Waccamaw River, South Carolina

In mid-February, Capt. John Saunders was the new commandant of Georgetown, and he sent out Lt. John Wilson with 35-40 of the Queen's Rangers up the Waccamaw River to capture Capt. John Clarke, who was one of Lt. Col. Peter Horry's officers in the Kingstree Regiment of Militia. Capt. Clarke had been captured in January and paroled, but it is not known why he was targeted again on this date.

Lt. Wilson's men were not mounted and approached Capt. Clarke's home in boats. After a heavy rain and a checked tide impeded his progress, he sent the boats back to Georgetown and concealed his men in a house until nightfall. Then, he marched on and surrounded Capt. Clarke's house at daybreak. Capt. Clarke was the only person home and he was captured and marched back to Georgetown a prisoner.
Conclusion: British Victory

February 15, 1781 at Halfway Swamp, South Carolina

Brigadier General Francis Marion encountered Major Robert McLeroth bringing up supplies west of the Santee River to the British post in Camden.
Conclusion: Inconclusive

February 17, 1781 at Hart's Mill, Orange County, North Carolina

Capt. Joseph Graham with 20 N.C. cavalry, and Capt. Richard Simmons with 20 mounted N.C. militia, both acting under Pickens, attacked and set an ambush for a British lieutenant, a sergeant, 24 privates and 2 loyalists at Hart's Mill on Stoney Creek three miles (Graham says ten) west of Hillsborough.

The British, states Graham, lost nine killed and wounded, while the remainder were taken prisoner. In Pickens report to Greene, Pickens says the American detachment was commanded by Col. Hugh McCall, yet Graham, oddly, makes no mention of McCall at all. Indeed, more strangely, (in response to Johnson's account), Graham says McCall was not even with Pickens.

In any case, after the fighting, Graham and Simmons were with Pickens, who was later in the day joined by Lee and his Legion. Prior to that Pickens and Lee had not personally known each other, this being their first meeting. About this same time Graham was placed in command of Pickens full contingent of cavalry which numbered 70.

On February 23, Pickens wrote to Greene from "Camp Hyco [River]," near Hillsborough. In reporting “McCall's” attack, he stated that his men had achieved a victory “that would have done Honor to the most disciplined Troops.” 8 British were killed or severely wounded, and 10 and several Loyalists captured.

Pickens further told Greene that he would move that evening or tomorrow to Stony Creek. He also said that Col. Lock, who was camped four miles below at High Rock Ford, was badly in need of ammunition, lead in particular, which he would have Lock send to Greene for. In his request to Greene on February 24, from High Rock, Lock said his men did not have a "Second ball," and asked Greene for 200 troops.

Joseph Graham:

“The commanding officer and party returned and gave Capt. [Richard] Simmons directions to go behind the swell in the ground until he got the buildings between him and the [British] guard and then advance; while at the same time, the Cavalry would make a diversion to our left.

The Captain had his men across the great road, to Mebane's, and the Cavalry turning to the left, entered an old field in open order, upwards of two hundred yards from the enemy, and galloping across it as right angles to their lines - completely attracted their attention and drew their fire; until Simmons's party reached the small buildings, and fired from the corners of both at the same instant.

Those of the enemy who did not fall, fled. The Cavalry came down at full charge, and by the time the guard had fled one hundred yards beyond the river their front was overtaken, and the whole killed or captured. "

Conclusion: American Victory. Casualties: American: ?; British: 18c

February 19-21, 1781 at Fort Granby (aka Congaree Fort), Lexington County, South Carolina

With the men he had collected earlier in the month, Sumter moved forward to attack Fort Granby below the Congaree River. The fort was a British post that protected a landing at Friday's Ferry on the Congaree River.

The fort was garrisoned by a company of militia and 100 local militia, with the overall command by Maj. Andrew Maxwell. Wade Hampton, who owned a store in the area had earlier been contracted to supply Fort Granby with provisions.

Hampton had, until this time, taken British protection, but he informed Sumter that the Fort was running low on stores. On the basis of this information, Sumter on the 16th, with 280-400 men, including as many as 250 from North Carolina, left his camp at on the Catawba with and moved toward Ft. Granby where Maj. Andrew Maxwell lay with a garrison of 300.

He reached the fort and briefly laid siege to it on the 19th by having his men build some "Quaker" cannons, then demanded the surrender of the fort. He threatened to blow the fort to splinters. Maxwell knew that the cannons were fake and declined to surrender his fort.

Sumter tried to assault the fort but was easily repulsed. He then surrounded the fort and laid down a slow continous rifle fire to harass the fort's garrison, at the same time he wrote Marion requesting reinforcements. Though Marion did reply, he would, or else could not help Sumter in the siege or his subsequent movements.

Johnson says this siege was the first occasion where the Maham tower was actually used. Bass qualifies this by implying it was of a more primitive sort than that later proposed by Maham. Rawdon, learning that Granby was in danger, dispatched Lieut. Col. Welbore Ellis Doyle from Camden with the Volunteers of Ireland relief force of 600 infantry, 200 cavalry, and 2 artillery pieces to attack Sumter.

Doyle crossed the river 8 miles above Fort Granby, seized the fords above Friday's Ferry (apparently to cut off Sumter's retreat) before bearing down on him. Receiving word of Doyle's approach, Sumter, on the night of the 20th, destroyed nearby provisions and other articles that would be of use to the British, then lifted the siege.

By the morning of February 21, after Doyle had crossed the river and arrived at the fort, Sumter had departed to attack Thompson's Plantation down river.

On March 1, Col. Thomas Polk, in Salisbury, reported to Greene that Sumter " had moved to the Congaree [Ft. Granby]& had taken a small Number of British that lay there With about 500 Negroes and a deal of stores. It is Reported the Militia all turn out Wherever he Goes." Sumter only abandoned his siege of Granby only after Rawdon marched out of Camden with most of its garrison to relieve the fort. .
Conclusion: British Victory.

February 19, 1781 at Fort Granby, South Carolina

With the men he had collected earlier in the month, Brigadier General Thomas Sumter moved forward to attack Fort Granby near the Congaree River. The fort was a British post that protected a landing at Friday's Ferry on the Congaree River. It was garrisoned by a company of 300 local militia, with the overall command by Major Andrew Maxwell.

Wade Hampton, who owned a store in the area had earlier been contracted to supply Fort Granby with provisions. Hampton had, until this time, taken British protection, but he kindly informed Brigadier General Sumter that the British fort was running low on stores at this point in time. On the basis of this information, Brigadier General Sumter, on February 16, with 280 men, left his camp on the Catawba River and moved toward Fort Granby, where Major Andrew Maxwell lay with his garrison of 300. He reached the fort and briefly laid siege to it on February 19 by having his men build some "Quaker" cannons, then demanded the surrender of the fort. He threatened to blow the fort to splinters.

Major Maxwell somehow knew that the cannons were fake and declined to surrender his fort. Sumter tried to assault the fort but was easily repulsed. He then surrounded the fort and laid down a slow continous rifle fire to harass the fort's garrison, at the same time he wrote to Brigadier General Francis Marion requesting reinforcements. Though Marion did reply, he would not, or else could not help Sumter in this siege or any subsequent movements. Johnson says this siege was the first occasion where the Maham Tower was actually used. Bass qualifies this by implying it was of a more primitive sort than that later proposed by Major Hezekiah Maham.

Col. Francis, Lord Rawdon, learning that Fort Granby was in danger, dispatched Lt. Col. Welbore Ellis Doyle from Camden with the Volunteers of Ireland, a relief force of 600 infantry, 200 cavalry, and two artillery pieces to attack Brigadier General Sumter. Lt. Col. Doyle crossed the river eight miles above Fort Granby, seized the fords above Friday's Ferry (apparently to cut off Brigadier General Sumter's retreat) before bearing down on him.

Receiving word of Lt. Col. Doyle’s approach, Brigadier General Sumter, on the night of February 20th, destroyed nearby provisions and other articles that would be of use to the British, then lifted his siege. By the morning of February 21st, after Lt. Col. Doyle had crossed the river and arrived at the fort, Brigadier General Sumter had departed to attack Thomson’s Plantation down-river two days hence.

On March 1, Col. Thomas Polk, in Salisbury, reported to Major General Nathanael Greene that Brigadier General Sumter "had moved to the Congaree [Ft. Granby] & had taken a small Number of British that lay there With about 500 Negroes and a deal of stores. It is Reported the Militia all turn out Wherever he Goes."
Conclusion: American Victory

February 21(also given as 22 February), 1781 Thompson's Plantation, (aka Belleville) in Calhoun County, South Carolina

Having abandoned his attack on Granby, Sumter laid siege to the stockade at Thompson's Plantation at Belleville, a couple miles southeast of Motte's. He attempted to take the stockade by assault, and setting fire to it, but the defenders, under Lt. Charles McPherson of the 1st Battalion Delancey's Regt., held their own and were able to put out the fire.

Toward the close of day, Sumter left a force watching the stockade and moved with his main body to Manigault's Ferry, where he collected boats in the area.
Conclusion: British Victory.

February 22, 1781 at Thomson's Plantation, South Carolina

Belleville was the home of Col. William Thomson (SC 3rd Regiment), who had been captured at the fall of Charleston in May of 1780. His plantation had been seized by the British soon thereafter and turned into a stockaded fortification, which enclosed the main home and the outbuildings.

Having abandoned his attack on Fort Granby, Brigadier General Thomas Sumter headed straight for and laid siege to the stockade at Thomson's Plantation at Belleville, a couple of miles from Motte's. It is very likely that most, if not all, of those who participated in the attack on Fort Granby followed Sumter to Thomson's Plantation, but there is no documentation other than those shown below.

He attempted to take the stockade by assault, and by setting fire to it, but the defenders, under Lt. John Stuart of the 71st Regiment of Foot, 2nd Battalion, held their own and were able to put out the fire. Toward the close of day, Brigadier General Sumter left a force watching the stockade and moved with his main body to Manigault's Ferry, where he collected boats in the area.

This was now two straight disappointments for Brigadier General Thomas Sumter. He did not seem to have the patience for long sieges, and without any field artillery, there wasn't much more his men could achieve.
Conclusion: British Victory

February 22, 1781 at Manigault's Ferry, South Carolina

Brigadier General Thomas Sumter ordered Capt. Wade Hampton (Camden District Regiment of Militia) to patrol all approaches to Manigault's Ferry, where Sumter's forces were resting after their unsuccessful sieges of Fort Granby and Thomson's Plantation.

Lt. Hicks Chappell was with Capt. Hampton and he later wrote: "The advance of the British met them and a skirmish ensued in which Hampton retreated after losing several men being made prisoner."

Capt. Hampton and Lt. Chappell quickly returned to Brigadier General Sumter's camp at Manigault's Ferry.
Conclusion: British Victory

February 23, 1781February 23, 1781 at Fork of Edisto River, South Carolina

Under the command of Lt. Col. Jacob Rumph (Orangeburgh District Regiment of Militia), who lived near Orangeburgh, the Patriots were attacked at Four Mile Creek near the forks of the Edisto River. Eighteen Patriots were killed.
Conclusion: British Victory

February 23, 1781 at Big Savannah, Calhoun County, South Carolina

About the same time as Sumter laid siege to Thompson's, a convoy of 20 wagons and an escort of about 50 to 80 men (depending on sources) was sent out from Charleston with clothing, provisions, munitions and some pay chests for the purpose of establishing what would become Fort Motte.

Obtaining information about the approach of the convoy, Sumter, with Col. Edward Lacey and Col. William Bratton attempted to ambush it on a rising piece of ground, known as Big Savannah, a few short miles down the road from Thompson's Plantation, as it ran roughly southeast toward Eutaw Springs.

As the British passed through the site, the Patriots opened fire on them. A 80-man detachment of British Regulars, commanded by Maj. David McIntosh, quickly formed line and drove Sumter's men back. Sumter managed to outflank the Regulars and surround the wagons. At one point in the fighting, some of Bratton's men ignored a white flag the British had raised and seven were needlessly killed and a number of others wounded.

The skirmish between the two sides ended in a disaster for the British. The entire force was killed, wounded, or captured. Sumter also captured all 20 supply wagons. McCrady reports the British losses as 13 killed and 66 prisoners. Both he and Ripley speak of Sumter's force being down to 100 men at this time, but this seems a rather too conservative estimate.

The same or the next day Sumter loaded the captured items on flats he had been collecting, and attempted to have them sent down river toward Nelson's Ferry, not far from where Sumter and the rest of his men, were to rendezvous with him at a specified location.

A treacherous river pilot, however, in passing Fort Watson along the way, steered the boats under the guns of that fort where the stores and money chests were re-captured by the British. In the meantime, Rawdon sent Maj. Robert McLeroth with the 64th Regt., a troop of dragoons, and a field piece to relieve McPherson at Thompson's which they reached on the 24th.

When McLeroth approached Thompson's, Sumter on February 24 (or possibly the 25th) retreated to “Mrs. Flud's [Flood's].” There for at least two days he passed his force over the Santee by means of a single canoe, and swimming the horses.
Conclusion: American Victory.

February 24, 1781 at Fort Watson, South Carolina

Over the past few days, Brigadier General Thomas Sumter attempted to take two other British posts - at Fort Granby and at Thomson's Plantation, both without success. In the meantime, the British came and retook the booty he had taken along his way south and while he was resting at Manigault's Ferry. Brigadier General Sumter rested his men a day and set his sights on a third British Post - Fort Watson, on the other side of the Santee River.

After crossing the Santee River, Brigadier General Thomas Sumter made for Fort Watson where he attempted to take the post by storm, with a mind to recapturing the lost stores and boats. The fort had been recently reinforced with a reported 400 men, and Brigadier General Sumter was soundly beaten back with some losses. The British reported Brigadier General Sumter lost 18 killed, and a number of men and horses taken. Brigadier General Sumter thereafter retired with his force to Farr's Plantation on Great Savannah, not far from his own home where he fed his men and camped until March 2nd. Here many of his North Carolina militiamen, unhappy with how things were turning out, returned home.

This was now three significant British posts attacked by Brigadier General Thomas Sumter and three resounding failures. Not only was the North Carolina militia unhappy with him.
Conclusion: British Victory

February 26, 1781 at Skirmish at Dickey's Farm, South Carolina

With the Loyalist defeat at Haw River the day before, Brigadier General Andrew Pickens (SC, leading NC Militia) was certainly aware that Lt. Col. Banastre Tarleton was in the area looking for any and all Patriots, so he placed a rear guard at the ford of a stream near Dickey's Farm. Major Micajah Lewis was an ex-officer in the North Carolina Continental Line, but he had no command and chose to ride with a portion of the North Carolina Militia following Brigadier General Andrew Pickens.

Lewis was given a group of men who were part of the rear guard at Dickey's Farm when they heard troops approaching at the far end of the road. It was dark, so Lewis rode out to hail them. He did not know that they were the enemy, and they lied to him that they were friends coming from Major General Nathanael Greene's camp to join up with Brigadier General Andrew Pickens.

Lewis ordered the men to meet him halfway and then he dismounted. The enemy opened fire. Lewis and his horse were hit several times, and he had his thigh broken by a musket ball. His men rushed out to retrieve him and they carried him to Dickey's house. Since the Patriots didn't know how many were behind those firing, they moved three miles away. Major Michajah Lewis died the next day at Dickey's house.
Conclusion: British Victory

February 27(also given as 28 February), 1781 Fort Watson (aka Wright's Bluff), Clarendon County, South Carolina

After crossing the Santee, Sumter made for Fort Watson where he attempted to take the post by storm, with a mind to recapturing the lost stores and boats. The fort had been recently reinforced with a reported 400 men, and Sumter was soundly beaten back with some loss.

The British reported Sumter losing 18 killed, and a number of men and horses taken. Sumter thereafter retired with his force to Farr's Plantation on Great Savannah, not far from his own home where he fed his men and camped till March 2nd. Here many of his North Carolina militia men, unhappy with how things had turned out, returned home.

From the pension statement of Thomas Reagan of Newberry County, S.C.:

“(T)he next engagement was at Bellville from thence hearing of a reinforcement we marched to meet them It turned out to be a small detachment of British guarding some British wagons loaded with clothing and money for the soldiers these surrendered and the loading was put on a barge and soon after retaken at Wrights Bluff with some of our men and we [text missing] Sumter for the purpose of retaking this prize from the British and were met by the British near said Bluff and defeated and dispursed in this engagement the applicant got a wound in his right arm which disabled this applicant a few weeks."


"Sumpter then sought shelter in the swamps of the north bank of the Santee, resolved to wait some opportunity of indemnity or service. But, it required all his firmness to prevent his North Carolina troops from deserting him. At the point of the bayonet they were detained a few days, and he then issued forth from his covert, made for the banks of the Black River, and availing himself of the friendly settlements on that route, once more moved up to the neighborhood of Charlotte."

Conclusion: American Victory.

March of 1781

March 1781 at Tuckasegee/Cherokee Middle Towns, Tennessee

In March, the British incited the Cherokees to raid the North Carolina and Virginia settlements. The frontiersmen were quick to respond to the Indian attacks. A North Carolina army of 150 men went across the mountains to the Cherokee Middle settlements. They destroyed Tuckasegee and 15 other smaller towns. The frontiersmen took numerous prisoners and 200 horses with them.
Conclusion: American Victory. Casualties: American: 1k, 1w; Indians: 50k&w

March, 1781 at Fair Forest Creek, South Carolina

Lt. John Jolly, with a small patrol of seven Patriots, rode near the mouth of Fair Forest Creek looking for evidence of Loyalist activity. They stopped at a house of an old man named Leighton who "was of doubtful politics, with an inclination to the strongest side." What Lt. Jolly and his men did not know was that 100 Loyalists had also stopped by this home and were encamped on the other side of the creek.

The Loyalists surrounded the house, unknown to Lt. Jolly and his men. When two Loyalists fired their weapons early, two Patriots - William Sharp and William Giles - rode through them and escaped. Lt. Jolly and Charles Crain were not able to reach their horses and took off running on foot. Lt. Jolly was killed, but Crain was able to escape.

The four remaining Patriots put up a fierce fight inside the house. They killed and wounded a number of their enemy and kept up the fight until nightfall. Eventually, they surrendered and were taken to the Ninety-Six jail. Two of the prisoners, Richard Hughes and John Hughes, died in that jail. The last two, James Johnson and John Allbritton, escaped in August of 1781.
Conclusion: British Victory

March, 1781 at Wylie's Plantation, South Carolina

After the attack on Capt. Benjamin Land at the nearby Rocky Creek Settlement (March 3rd), Lt. James Kennedy and a few of his men attacked a group of Loyalists who were at the plantation of "Old James Wylie, in the district of Rocky Creek." The Loyalists thought they were outnumbered and fled through the "old fields."

They soon realized that they had been attacked by a much smaller force and then counter-attacked. Lt. Kennedy and his men had to withdraw, leaving behind Samuel Wylie, the son of James Wylie, who was killed by the Loyalists. One of the Loyalists named Fair was also killed in this skirmish.
Conclusion: British Victory

March, 1781 at Rouse's Tavern, North Carolina

Wilmington occupying commandant Major James H. Craig sent out a detachment of men to drive in cattle from nearby farms. These were needed by the approaching army of Lt. General Charles, Lord Cornwallis. The advance guard of this British detachment learned about a group of Patriots who were at Alexander Rouse's Tavern, about eight miles northeast of Wilmington. The Patriots were a detachment of light horse sent out by Brigadier General John Alexander Lillington to drive off cattle so the enemy would not be able to gather them for their use. Instead of following their orders, the men went to the popular tavern for a quick drink.

Two of the men inside the tavern were the recently-promoted Major James Love and Private William Jones of the New Hanover County Regiment of Militia, both known to the British in Wilmington. On several occasions these two men would ride into town and shoot the sentinels then wait patiently nearby for dragoons to pursue them into another ambush.

After Major James H. Craig took Wilmington, he developed a habit of "riding out on the Newberne road every evening, accompanied by Capt. Gordon and escorted by twelve or fifteen dragoons." Major James Love observed this pattern and he collected "25 or 30 men picked promiscuously from the sound and neighborhood & laid in ambush in a thick swamp" about a mile from Wilmington. As the British rode across a bridge they went into single file.

Major James Love told his men that they could pick off the British at that point. However, when the Patriots heard the approach of the dragoons and saw the red coats they panicked and ran off. Major Love and William Jones remained, both determined to do something. Major Love aimed his rifle at Major Craig, but Jones came to his senses and said it would be suicide - and the two of them withdrew without firing a shot.

At the tavern, the Patriots then "caroused, drinking freely as men would do, who had lost their homes and are turned out on the bleak world." They knew that if they stayed too long they might be attacked, but they all figured that they would be able to make it to their campsite before midnight. Unfortunately "they forgot the flight of time, and about half past twelve they all betook themselves to rest on the floor of the dwelling, their saddles for pillows."

Learning that the Patriots were gathered at the tavern, Major Craig sent out men from the 82nd Regiment with orders to give no quarter. The 60-70 Redcoats surrounded the tavern, many carrying torches. Their captain ordered them to pry open the door with a crowbar.

Major James Love heard them approaching and he kicked open the door, deciding that if he was going to die then he would make the British pay dearly for his life. He grabbed up his saddle, and using it as a shield, he cut his way out of the tavern. The enemy backed him towards a mulberry tree and a desperate fight followed. Major Love was able to slash his way for about thirty yards, but being outnumbered he was killed by many bayonet thrusts.

Very few of the remaining Patriots made it out of the tavern alive. Per their orders, the British began to systematically kill every man therein. Some were bayonetted in their sleep, never waking up. The British found one hiding and they offered to spare his life if he would tell them where other Patriots could be found. He informed them of some Patriots staying at a house a few miles away, then they promptly killed him, too. Eleven Patriots were killed at the tavern, but one man managed to escape.

Lt. Col. Thomas Bloodworth heard the gunfire at the tavern and he gathered his militia to go investigate. When he arrived the British were already gone. Major James Love lay dead near the mulberry tree and the tavern floor was "covered with dead bodies & almost swimming in blood, & battered brains smoking on the walls." An old woman and some children were huddled in fear near the fireplace. Apparently, the British had some wounded as well since Lt. Col. Bloodworth was able to track them down via their blood trails. He was a friend of Major Love and he swore revenge. He began to devise a plan to kill as many British as possible.

That same night, George Reed and five militiamen were staying at the widow Collier's house, about five miles from Rouse's Tavern. With the tip from the man in the tavern, the British found them and captured all six of them.
Conclusion: British Victory

March 1, 1781 at Cole's Bridge, North Carolina

Lt. John Philyard, of the Duplin County Regiment of Militia, was assigned 25 men to guard a depot and public stores located at Cole's Bridge on Drowning Creek (now the Lumber River).

On March 1, Col. Hector McNeill with about 300 Loyalists attacked this post and took possession of the stores.
Conclusion: British Victory

March 2, 1781 at Williams Fort (Mud Lick), Newberry or Laurens County, South Carolina

On March 2, a Patriot force, commanded by Col. ?? Roebuck devised a plan to lure the Loyalists out of Williams Fort, the same fort attacked by Hayes and Simmons in late December 1780.

He sent 150 South Carolina militia riflemen, led by Lt. Col. Henry White, in front of the fort. This would hopefully cause the Loyalists to come out of the fort and give chase. The plan worked, and White led the Loyalists into an ambush that had been set up by Roebuck, the fort was then easily entered and taken.

Once inside the ambush, the Patriots fired upon the Loyalists. The battle seesawed back and forth for an hour. The Loyalists finally fled back in panic to the fort.

Roebuck was wounded in the shoulder and captured, and White was badly wounded. Ripley speaks of it being burned, but in a letter fro Pickens to Greene of 8 April, Pickens mentions a force under Cruger retreating to it for safety.
Conclusion: Draw

March 2, 1781 at Fair Forest Creek, South Carolina

Major Joseph McJunkin (2nd Spartan Regiment) of Militia and his men were on their way to Col. Thomas Brandon's camp when they passed near a cabin that looked interesting to him. He rode up to see if the inhabitants were friend or foe, but it was dark and he did not see three Loyalists until he arrived at the front gate. "Fight or die was the only alternative" he later wrote.

As two of the sentries raised their guns, Capt. John Lawson (Roebuck's Battalion of Spartan Regiment) shot one dead, but Major McJunkin's rifle had damp powder - the weapon fired but the bullet didn't leave the barrel. However, the flash of the powder did set his opponent's shirt on fire. Capt. Lawson quickly jumped off his horse, grabbed the dead man's musket, and shot another Loyalist. He then "passed his sword through his body," but amazingly the man survived.

Major McJunkin drew his sword, but his opponent fled on horse, with his shirt still burning. "His flight on horseback soon caused his shirt to burn like a candle." Major McJunkin's horse was so spooked by this flaming Loyalist that he could not be urged to go after him. The horse finally overcame its fear and Major McJunkin chased the flaming man for about a mile.

As he rode close enough to strike the Loyalist with his sword, the man turned and fired a pistol at Major McJunkin, breaking his sword arm. The sword was tied on to his wrist by a sword knot and Major McJunkin quickly switched it to his left hand. He swung backhanded and killed the fleeing Loyalist instantly.

Major McJunkin's men rode on to Col. Brandon's camp, and he "holed up" until his arm healed.
Conclusion: American Victory

March 2, 1781 at Mud Lick Creek, South Carolina

On March 2, a small Patriot force, commanded by Col. Benjamin Roebuck, who devised a plan to lure the Loyalists out of Williams Fort, the same fort attacked by Col. Joseph Hayes and Cornet James Simons on December 30, 1780. He sent 150 SC militia riflemen, led by Lt. Col. Henry White, in front of the fort. This would hopefully cause the Loyalists to come out of the fort and give chase.

The plan worked, and Lt. Col. White led the Loyalists into an ambush that had been set up by Col. Roebuck, the fort was then easily entered and taken. Once inside the ambush, the Patriots fired upon the Loyalists.

The battle see-sawed back and forth for about an hour. The Loyalists finally fled back in panic to the fort. Col. Roebuck was wounded in the shoulder and captured, and Lt. Col. White was badly wounded.

Ripley speaks of it being burned, but in a letter from Brigadier General Andrew Pickens to Major General Nathanael Greene on 8 April, Pickens mentioned a force under Loyalist Lt. Col. John Harris Cruger retreating to it for safety.
Conclusion: American Victory

March 3, 1781 at Rocky Creek Settlement, South Carolina

Capt. Benjamin Land generally always allowed his men ride to the Rocky Creek Settlement and spend the night with their families after each engagement or when not much was going on in the area. On the night of March 2, Capt. Land and seven of his men stopped at his home, and a sentinel was placed at the door.

Capt. Dainel Muse, a Loyalist in the area, learned that Capt. Land was at home and he gathered about 30 men. Around midnight, Capt. Muse and his men infiltrated the settlement, sized two old men and three boys who might have alerted the Patriots. This group was about 100 yards from Capt. Land's house when the sentinel fired upon them. Capt. Muse placed a guard over his five local prisoners then charged the house.

Capt. Land and his men fired through the cracks between the logs of the home, and Loyalist Lt. Lewis Yarborough was mortally wounded. Capt. Muse quickly realized that he no longer had the element of surprise and decided to withdraw.
Conclusion: Inconclusive

March 3, 1781 at Alamance River, Alamance County, North Carolina

On March 3, Capt. Robert Kirkwood and a 40-man detachment of Delaware Continentals was sent on a mission to raid a Provincial camp.

After conducting a reconnaissance of the camp, he moved to the camp at 1:00 A.M. A sentry halted the Patriots and asked for the password. When there was no response, the sentries fired on them and ran back to camp. One of the sentries was captured and led Kirkwood to the guard post. Once there, the Patriots opened fire on it capturing 2 and killing and wounding a small number. American losses, if any, are not recorded.

Greene wrote to von Steuben on the 5 March:

"On the evening of the 3rd, one of the enemy pickets were surprised by Captain Kirkwood. Some few were killed but only 2 Prisoners were taken."

The Provincials packed up and moved their camp 2 miles away to the main army. Kirkwood's men marched back to their camp, and arrived at daybreak.


"March 4th We came up with the Enemy at Allmance....[marched] 60 [miles)"

Conclusion: American Victory.

March 3-4 (possibly March 4-5), 1781 ("Tarleton's" Mistake, and Tory Cattle Drovers) location uncertain but possibly Alamance and Orange County, North Carolina

Somewhere between the Haw and Deep Rivers, around midnight, a group 70 to 80 loyalists desirous of joining the British, were mistook by Tarleton's cavalry for some rebels.

Accounts often cite Tarleton himself as supervising what took place, but there is no clear evidence for this. Graham says the loyalists, as reported by a captured sergeant and some deserters, were from the Deep River area and eastern part of Rowan County. The British Legion horsemen had attacked them, killing 4, wounding 20 or 30 (these were “badly cut”) while the rest were permanently dispersed.

The following day, a party of militia dragoons, perhaps Malmady's, attacked some Tory cattle drovers, and killed 23 of them. Both incidents only further discouraged any further loyalist support in the region.

Greene wrote to von Steuben on the 5 March:

"Yesterday morning [the 4th] a party of Tories were Fired upon by mistake. They halted and Tarleton suspecting they were Militia, rushed out with a part of the British Legion, and cut them to pieces. When the mistake was discovered great efforts were made to collect the fugitives, but the confusion was so great that all attempts proved ineffectual."


“Colonel Tarleton…meeting a party of Tories and mistaking them for our militia, he charged on them very furiously, putting great numbers to the sword. On the other hand, they taking Colonel Tarleton for our horse and infantry, there commenced a smart skirmish, in which great numbers of the Tories were sent to the lower regions. We marched for camp which we reached about daybreak after a very fatiguing journey, having marched all night through deep swamps, morasses and thickets, which rendered our marching unpleasant and tiresome, twenty-six miles."

Conclusion: Draw.

March 6, 1781 at Wiboo Swamp, Clarendon County, South Carolina

Marion who had been preparing to join Sumter, learned of Watson's advance and lay in wait for him at Widboo Swamp. The site was a marshy passage way located on the Santee Road between Nelson's and Murry's Ferry.

McCrady gives Marion's strength as 250. Watson's advance force of some loyalist (militia) dragoons under Col. Henry Richbourg clashed with some of Marion's cavalry under Col. Peter's Horry, after which both fell back. When Marion tried to send forth Horry once more, Watson's infantry and artillery held Horry back.

The South Carolina Rangers (Harrison's Corps), under Maj. Samuel Harrison, then came up once more to charge the Americans, but were arrested in their movement momentarily by one of Horry's horsemen, Gavin James, apparently a mighty individual of the cast of Peter Francisco, who single-handedly slew three of them before retiring.

Marion threw in his horsemen under Captain Daniel Conyers and Capt. John McCauley who drove the Rangers back, killing Harrison. Watson's regulars then continued their advance and Marion retreated to Cantey's Plantation file miles northwest of present day Greeleyville.
Conclusion: American Victory.

March 6, 1781 at Stirrup's Branch, also Radcliffe's Bridge, Lee County, South Carolina

On his way from Bradley's toward Waxhaws, Maj. Thomas Fraser caught up with Sumter at Stirrup's Branch and a running engagement ensued. Brig. Gen. Thomas Sumter, was passing between Scape Hoar Creek, Hoar Creek, and Ratcliff's Bridge over the Lynches River, they stumbled upon some British infantry of Maj. Thomas Fraser's Royalists.

The Patriots fired on the British, but soon began to retreat through the woods. The fight was recorded as a "running or retrteating one." The Patriots made their way back to the bridge, burning it as they finished crossing. Without any cavalry, the British were unable to pursue them.

Both sides claimed victory. The Americans said that Fraser was driven back, and then Sumter continued his retreat. The British, on the other hand claimed Sumter was routed, but that they did not have sufficient men to pursue him. In any case, after the engagement Sumter crossed Radcliffe's bridge and "disappeared on a circuitous route toward New Acquisition," finally reaching Waxhaws.

The British report states that Sumter lost 10 killed and 40 wounded. Ripley states that one report gave Fraser's losses as 20 killed.

Sumter in his letter to Greene on 9 March said that during the course of his whole expedition he returned with “Very Inconsiderable Loss.”

Rawdon wrote to Watson on 7 March:

"Fraser yesterday fell in with Sumter (who was advancing this way) between Scape Hoar and Radcliffe's Bridge. A smart action ensued in which the enemy were completely routed, leaving ten dead on the field and about forty wounded. Unfortunately none of your Dragoons had joined Fraser, so that he could not pursue his victory. Sumter fled across Lynches Creek and continued his retreat northward; he had his family with him, so that I think he has entirely abandoned the lower country."

Conclusion: British Victory. Casualties: American: 10k, 40w; British: 20k&w

March 6, 1781 at Radcliffe's Bridge, South Carolina

On his way from Bradley’s toward Waxhaws, Major Thomas Fraser caught up with Brigadier General Thomas Sumter again at Stirrup’s Branch and a running engagement ensued. Brigadier General Thomas Sumter, was passing between Scape Hoar Creek, Hoar Creek, and Radcliffe's Bridge over the Lynches River, they stumbled upon some British infantry of Major Thomas Fraser's Royalists. The Patriots fired on the British, but soon began to retreat through the woods.

The fight was recorded as a "running or retreating one." The Patriots made their way back to the bridge, burning it as they finished crossing. Without any cavalry, the British were unable to pursue them. Both sides claimed victory.

The Patriots said that Major Fraser was driven back, and then Brigadier General Sumter continued his retreat. The British, on the other hand claimed Brigadier General Sumter was routed, but that they did not have sufficient men to pursue him. In any case, after the engagement Brigadier General Sumter crossed Radcliffe's bridge and "disappeared on a circuitous route toward New Acquisition," finally reaching Waxhaws.
Conclusion: British Victory

March 6, 1781 at Lynches Creek, South Carolina

Brigadier General Thomas Sumter and his partisan force were ambushed by a force of SC Loyalists led by Major Thomas Fraser. Both sides gave ground after suffering heavy causalities.

This engagement would evolve from one that occurred earlier that same day in a skirmish at Radcliffe's Bridge, a little further south on Lynches Creek (now Lynches River).
Conclusion: Inconclusive

March 7, 1781 near Whitesell's Mill, North Carolina

After the skirmish at Whitesell's Mill, Col. Otho Williams sent out two parties of observers at the rear of his column. Sergeant Major John Perry led one party and Quartermaster Sergeant William Lunsford led the other party, both under Lt. Col. William Washington (VA). Each sergeant had four men with him.

These observers spotted 16-18 British recruits "in levy uniforms" ride up to a farmhouse in an irregular manner. A few of the enemy dismounted. Before they could stride up to the farmhouse, the two Patriot teams joined forces and charged, cutting down every single one of the enemy recruits, then rode away without a scratch.

This had been accomplished in plain view of the British Legion who was on the other side of the farmhouse fence.
Conclusion: American Victory

March 7, 1781 at Alamance River, North Carolina

The day after the skirmish at Whitesell's Mill, Col. Otho Williams decided to attempt surprising Lt. Col. Banastre Tarleton at his own camp. Col. Williams dispatched Capt. Robert Kirkwood and his Delaware Continentals along with forty riflemen to make this attempt.

After reconnoitering Lt. Col. Tarleton's camp, Capt. Kirkwood and his men attacked at one o'clock in the morning. Lt. Col. Tarleton's sentries challenged Capt. Kirkwood's men, and when they received no answer they immediately fired and ran to their guards. One was captured and he was forced to guide the Patriots to one of the guard posts. The Patriots fired upon these guards and Lt. Col. Tarleton hurriedly formed him men and moved his camp two miles away - next to the main British army.

As he marched his men to the main British camp, Lt. Col. Tarleton ran into a large group of Loyalists who were also marching in to join up with Lt. General Charles, Lord Cornwallis. Lt. Col. Tarleton incorrectly assessed that these were Patriots and his men began to cut them down. The Loyalists also incorrectly assumed that the British Legion were Patriot forces and they returned a heavy fire.

Sergeant Major Seymour wrote, "There commenced a smart skirmish in which great numbers of Tories were sent to the lower regions."

This was the last straw for many Loyalists in North Carolina. After Pyle's Defeat at Haw River and now this fratricide by Lt. Col. Tarleton, very few new Loyalists came to fight for Lord Cornwallis.
Conclusion: American Victory

March 7, 1781 at Reedy Fork, North Carolina

The only mention of this engagement comes from the memoirs of Sergeant Major Seymour.

Lt. General Charles, Lord Cornwallis attempted to attack the Light Corps under Col. Otho Williams again.

Seymour wrote: "On the seventh the enemy made a movement and were within a mile of us before discovered, upon which we crossed Reedy Fork and drew up in order of battle, leaving some riflemen on the other side, when the enemy advanced and attacked the militia who retreated off with great precipitation, but, the British not advancing over the river, our troops marched and crossed the Haw River."
Conclusion: Inconclusive

March 8-9, 1781 Pensacola, Escambia County, Florida

General Bernardo de Galvez landed some 3,000 Spanish Troops at Pensacola in west Florida and began siege of the 900 to 1,100 man British garrison there, under Brig. Gen. John Campbell. The latter included detachments of the Royal artillery, the 60th Regt. and the 16th Regt.

The 16th had previously been stationed in Savannah. Despite being outnumbered two to one, the town would not fall till May 9, and then only after a deserter had exploded a key ammunition magazine within the post.
Conclusion: Spanish Victory.

March 9, 1781 Heron's Bridge, Pender County, North Carolina

Lillington, entrenched on the east side of the Northeast Cape Fear River skirmished Craig at Heron's Bridge, who made a surprise foray out of Wilmington.

The Americans had one killed and two wounded, according to Lillington, though British losses were unknown to him.
Conclusion: American Victory.

March 10 (also possibly 9 March), 1781 at Mount Hope Swamp and Lower Bridge, Williamsburg County, South Carolina

Marion had retired towards down the Santee Road and deployed his men at Mount Hope Swamp where he destroyed the bridge over the stream there.

On March 9 or 10, Watson again advanced and Marion's riflemen under Lieut. Col. Hugh Horry and Capt. William McCottry attempted to dispute the passage there. But Watson cleared the way with grapeshot from his cannon and had his men wade through the stream. Marion withdrew in the direction of Georgetown expecting Watson to follow.

Watson, however, pursued him a short distance but then turned and headed in the direction of Kingstree, one of the main focal points of rebel activity in the region. Desiring then to cut him off Marion sent ahead Major John James with 70 men, including 30 of McCottry's riflemen, to seize Lower Bridge at the Black River and on the road Watson was taking to Kingstree. James, taking a short cut, reached the bridge before Watson, and removing some planks from the bridge, set his men in position.

Marion, meanwhile, also came up with the main body prior to Watson's arrival. When Watson did approach he attempted to bring his cannon to bear on Marion's men, but due to enemy sharpshooters and the unusual terrain there was unable to do so, losing some men in the process. Watson then tried crossing at a ford not far distant. Yet when he reached the spot he was again kept back by the riflemen. By the end of the day, Watson retreated to the Witherspoon residence where he camped.

The next day (probably March 11), Marion's men under Captains Daniel Conyers and McCottry sniped at Watson's camp from concealed positions. Watson then removed his force that same day to Blakely's Plantation. Although not having as much trees and foliage as there was around Witherspoon's, Marion's sharpshooters followed him there and continued their sniping. Despite his casualties and difficult situation, Watson remained at Blakely's till the 28th.
Conclusion: American Victory.

March 12, 1781 South Buffalo Creek, Guilford County, North Carolina

Early in the morning of March 12, Lee had a brief skirmish with some of Tarleton's men in the area to the west of Guilford. Lee, with Campbell, retreated to “Widow Donnell's,” (about twelve and a half miles west of Guilford), to protect his communications with Greene.

No losses were reported by Lee in his letter to Greene.
Conclusion: British Victory.

March 12, 1781 at Witherspoon's Plantation, South Carolina

On his way to Kingstree, Lt. Col. John Watson Tadwell-Watson stopped at Witherspoon's Plantation in an attempt to get Brigadier General Francis Marion to attack him, but to no avail. While he was encamped here, Col. Archibald McDonald climbed a tree and shot Loyalist Lt. George Torriano in the knee from 300 yards with a rifle with open sights.
Conclusion: Inconclusive

March 13, 1781 at Bull Run Creek, North Carolina

Lt. General Charles, Lord Cornwallis marched his forces towards the Deep River Quaker Meeting House, all the while being watched by Col. Otho Williams's Light Corps. As the British crossed over a branch of the Deep River, Lt. Col. Henry Lee waited with his dragoons. When the rear of the line came to his location, Lt. Col. Lee struck. James Edwards was a Quaker living four miles from New Garden and he heard "the firing of pistols and a desperate screaming of the women and children attached to the army."

Lt. Col. Banastre Tarleton wrote that, "The legion dragoons repulsed the enemy's detachment with some loss, and the royal army encamped on the 13th at the Quaker's meeting-house."

Sergeant Major Seymour wrote, "On the 12th Colonel Lee's Horse fell in with a party of the British, killing and wounding a great many, taking thirty of them prisoner."

James Edwards added that the next day he "counted twenty-six horses lying dead on the ground, nine of which were within a space of twenty steps." He was with his father and a neighbor that day, and "Their attention was presently attracted by their dogs to a large hollow log, which was near a spring and about two hundred yards distant. As the wolves were then numerous and were following in the course of the army, like a jackal's.... they found a dead man in the log." He also wrote, "he understood that two of the British were killed on the ground," but how many were wounded on either side, he never learned.
Conclusion: American Victory

March 14, 1781 at Black River Bridge, South Carolina

After a fairly extensive skirmish at Wyboo Swamp, Brigadier General Francis Marion retired down the Santee Road and deployed his men at Mount Hope Swamp where he destroyed the bridge over the stream there. Lt. Col. John Watson Tadwell-Watson again advanced and Brigadier General Marion’s riflemen under Lt. Col. Hugh Horry and Capt. William McCottry (might've been Robert McCottry) attempted to dispute the passage there. But Lt. Col. Watson Tadwell-Watson cleared the way with grapeshot from his small cannon and had his men wade through the stream. Brigadier General Marion withdrew in the direction of Georgetown expecting Lt. Col. Watson Tadwell-Watson to follow.

Lt. Col. Watson Tadwell-Watson, however, pursued him a short distance but then turned and headed in the direction of Kingstree, one of the main focal points of rebel activity in the region. Desiring then to cut him off, Brigadier General Marion sent ahead Major John James with seventy (70) men, including 30 of Capt. McCottry’s riflemen, to seize the Lower Bridge at the Black River and on the road Lt. Col. Watson Tadwell-Watson and his army was taking to Kingstree.

Major James, taking a shortcut, reached the bridge before Lt. Col. Watson Tadwell-Watson, removed some planks from the bridge, then set his men in position. Brigadier General Francis Marion, meanwhile, also came up with the main body of his own army prior to Lt. Col. Watson Tadwell-Watson’s arrival. When Lt. Col. Watson Tadwell-Watson did approach he attempted to bring his cannon to bear on Brigadier General Marion’s men, but due to enemy sharpshooters and the unusual terrain there he was unable to do so, losing a captain and four men in the process.

Lt. Col. Watson Tadwell-Watson then tried crossing at a ford not far distant. Yet when he reached the spot he was again kept back by the Patriot riflemen. By the end of the day, Lt. Col. Watson Tadwell-Watson retreated to Witherspoon's Plantation, about a mile above the Black River Bridge, where he camped for the night, he himself in the Witherspoon's home. To his unwilling Patriot hostess he admitted, "I have never seen such shooting before in my life."

On March 15, Brigadier General Marion’s men under Captains Daniel Conyers and McCottry sniped at Lt. Col. Watson Tadwell-Watson’s camp from concealed positions. Lt. Col. Watson Tadwell-Watson then removed his force that same day to Blakely’s Plantation. Although not having as many trees and foliage as there were around Witherspoon’s Plantation, Brigadier General Marion’s sharpshooters followed him there and continued their sniping.

Despite his casualties and the difficult situation, Lt. Col. Watson Tadwell-Watson remained at Blakely’s Plantation until March 28th.
Conclusion: American Victory

March 15, 1781 at Blakely's Plantation, South Carolina

After being harassed at Witherspoon's Plantation, Lt. Col. John Watson Tadwell-Watson moved his army over to Blakely's Plantation, about a half-mile further upriver. However, this location had fewer trees to impede the view of the many Patriot snipers that soon found them and besieged them.
Conclusion: American Victory

March 15, 1781 Fanning's Horses Raid, Randolph County, North Carolina

A Capt. Duck, with some N.C. militia surprised Capt. David Fanning's tories and stole their horses.

Both sides lost 1 killed, with an unspecified number of wounded. The following day, Fanning with his men managed to locate and recapture the horses while wounding one of the whigs.
Conclusion: American Victory.

March 16, 1781 at Chesapeake Bay, Virginia (First Battle of the Virginia Capes, also Cape Henry, Chesapeake Bay)

On March 8, Adm. Charles-Rene-Dominique Gochet Destouches led the French naval squadron from Newport, Rhode Island during the evening and sailed for the Chesapeake Bay. He was to bring naval support for Gen. Marquis Lafayette's expedition against Gen. Benedict Arnold. Adm. Marriot Arbuthnot discovered the movement of the French squadron while at Gardiner's Bay. The bay was located at the eastern end of Long Island.

On March 10, Arbuthnot left Gardiner's Bay and started a pursuit after Destouches' fleet in the morning. The British fleet was 36 hours behind the French fleet but because of superior ships, the British caught up with the French by the time they both had reached Chesapeake Bay.

On March 16, the battle began. Both sides had 8 ships apiece. The British had the overall advantage in that they had better weapons The British and French engaged in a naval battle that lasted for over an hour, leaving both fleets badly damaged.

Destouches withdrew from the engagement and headed back to Newport. Arbuthnot moved his fleet into Chesapeake Bay and established contact with Gen. Benedict Arnold.

By Destouches losing the battle and fleeing the area, he made a huge strategic failure. First of all, he abandoned Lafayette and left him without any naval protection in his expedition against Arnold.

Secondly, Destouches left the sea open for the British to send Gen. Schuyler Phillips with sizable reinforcements to ravage Virginia. Destouches afterwards returned to Rhode Island. Ships Engaged:


Vice Admiral Marriot Arbuthnot (all coppered)


Admiral Charles Chevalier Destouches

  • London, 98 guns
  • Royal Oak, 74 guns
  • Bedford, 74 guns
  • Robust, 74 guns
  • America, 64 guns
  • Prudent, 64 guns
  • Europe, 64 guns
  • Adamant, 50 guns
  • Europe, 64 guns
  • Duc de Bourgogne, coppered, 84 guns
  • Le Neptune, coppered, 74 guns
  • Conquerant, 74 guns
  • Provence, 64 guns
  • Ardent, 64 guns
  • Jason, 64 guns
  • Eveillé, coppered, 64 guns
  • Romulus, 44 guns

Conclusion: British Victory.

March 19, 1781 at Ramsey's Mill, North Carolina

Soon after the battle of Guilford Court House, Lt. General Charles, Lord Cornwallis decided to take his army to Wilmington, where they could be rested and resupplied. A third of his army was sick and wounded and "the rest were without shoes." He stopped at Ramsey's Mill on the Deep River to tend to his wounded and to procure provisions from the locals.

While there, Lord Cornwallis ordered a bridge to be built across the river. Thomas Riddle and his riflemen occupied a house across the river and they fired on the bridge builders, inflicting numerous casualties.

When Lord Cornwallis had entered North Carolina back in January to pursue Brigadier General Daniel Morgan, Governor Abner Nash ordered a regiment of two hundred mounted infantry to be raised. He gave command to Col. Francois DeMalmedy, Marquis of Bretagne. Major General Nathanael Greene ordered Col. DeMalmedy to attempt to lure part of the British Army away from the battle of Guilford Court House, therefore the NC Light Dragoon Regiment was not involved in the actual battle.

Major General Greene then ordered Col. DeMalmedy to move his dragoons between the Rocky River and the Haw River to intercept any supplies heading towards the British. He also ordered them to spread the word about the results of the battle of Guilford Court House to discourage any Loyalists from volunteering. Col. DeMalmedy then ordered Capt. Baron DeGloback to attack Lt. Col. Banastre Tarleton's dragoons in order to draw them out and to lead them into an ambush manned by Major Pleasant Henderson with four other companies under his command.

Capt. DeGloback's company rode to within forty yards of two pickets, and when they fired the Patriots charged. About thirty sentries ran to support the pickets, but after seeing the charging cavalry they turned and ran. Capt. DeGloback captured three Jäegers but soon became surrounded by the entire Jäeger regiment. He could not return the way he came and instead charged towards the British camp and around their flank. He and his men escaped through a storm of buckshot with their prisoners - without a scratch.

Lt. Col. Henry Lee and his Legion were ordered to cross the river ten miles above the stream, make a night march, and attack the British at Ramsey's Mill from the rear. He learned that the British had been reinforced and thought that this attack was beyond his men's capabilities, so he called off the attack. Lord Cornwallis then learned that Lt. Col. Lee was on his way so he hurried his army across the Deep River and destroyed his newly-built bridge. Lt. Col. Lee arrived just afterwards.
Conclusion: American Victory

March 20, 1781 at Sampit Bridge, South Carolina

As the British approached the Sampit River, nine miles from Georgetown, they found all the planks removed by Lt. Col. Peter Horry's men and the opposite bank lined with Lt. John Scott and his riflemen. However, Lt. Col. John Watson Tadwell-Watson's army never slowed down - they knew they were in trouble. As the advance guard approached the destroyed bridge they formed in a close column and plunged across.

Frightened by the long British bayonets, Lt. Scott inexplicably ordered his men to hold their fire. Lt. Col. Peter Horry later wrote, "Infamous poltroon," as he reached the dumbfounded lieutenant. "Where is that hetacombe of robbers and muderers due to the vengeance of your injured country?"

While the advance guard of the British army was forcing its way across the Sampit River, Brigadier General Francis Marion fell upon the rear guard with fury. There was heavy firing. Lt. Col. Watson Tadwell-Watson rallied his men, but a Patriot sharpshooter felled his horse. Quickly mounting another, he ordered his artillery to open with grapeshot.

When Brigadier General Marion's men wheeled back from the cannon fire, Lt. Col. Watson Tadwell-Watson loaded his wounded into two wagons, left twenty dead upon the field, and plunged across the ford, the blood on the wagon floors tinging with red. Late that evening, he encamped at the Trapier Plantation.

He was very bitter. "They will not sleep and fight like gentlemen," he complained of Marion and his men, "but like savages are eternally firing and whooping around us by night, and by day waylaying and popping at us from behind every tree!"
Conclusion: American Victory

March 21, 1781 at Dutchman's Creek, Fairfield County, South Carolina

On March 21, a detachment of New York Volunteers, commanded by Capt. William Gray, set up an ambush near Dutchman's Creek, about 10 miles east of Winnsboro. The mission was to attack and destroy Capt. Benjamin Land and his organizing militia.

Capt. Benjamin Land and his militia entered the ambush site, and the Volunteers opened fire on them. The Whig force was routed, and lost 18 men killed and 18 captured. After Land was captured, he was killed because of the earlier death of a prominent Loyalists.
Conclusion: British Victory.

March 21 (also given as 23 & 24 March), 1781 at Beattie's Mill Abbeville or McCormick County, South Carolina

Col. Elijah Clark (who had recently recovered from the wound he had received in December 1780) was retreating from Long Canes, where he had again apparently had been trying to enlist recruits.

Clarke had learned that a Loyalist dragoon force, commanded by Maj. James Dunlap, had left Fort Ninety-Six and was in the Little River District on a foraging expedition. Clarke gathered his 180-man force and headed out to find the Loyalists. The Patriots discovered the 90 loyalists, under Maj. James Dunlop, who were out foraging at Beattie's Mill. Both sides were mounted, though Dunlop had some regular cavalry. Though Clark's force was twice as large as Dunlop's, many of his men were without arms.

He sent a small party, commanded by Lt. Col. James McCall, to seize the bridge behind Dunlap. Once his force was in place, Clarke gave the order to charge. Part of the Loyalist force fled after the first shots. The battle lasted for several hours.After Dunlap lost 34 men killed, he surrendered his force.

As the prisoners were in their march to Gilbert Town, Dunlap was shot and killed. Pickens, who subsequently met up with Clark, reported the casualties to Greene as 34 killed and 42 captured. A few days later, while being held prisoner in Gilbertown, Dunlop was murdered by a guard or someone connected with the person(s) guarding him. Infuriated, Pickens offered a reward for the apprehension of the perpetrator, but the slayer was never found.


“Pickens very soon succeeded in breaking up the Tory settlements so effectually, that they were obliged to take refuge under the guns of Ninety-Six, and embody themselves for mutual protection under the command of [Brig.] General [Robert] Cunningham.

Even here they were not permitted to rest, but were pursued and attacked by night; and but for the unfortunate mistake of a guide, would have been destroyed in the midst of fancied security. M'Call [Lieut. Col. James McCall], who possessed greatly the confidence of the Georgians, was joined by many of the Whigs from that state, and falling upon a party commanded by a Major Dunlap, a tory officer, who had rendered himself infamous by his barbarity, succeeded in capturing the whole party.

Clark, Twiggs, Jackson and a number of distinguished Georgians, now returned into action, and such a change was produced in the face of things, as to extort from Major [actually Lieut. Col. John Harris] Cruger the commander at Ninety-Six, in a letter to Colonel Balfour which was intercepted, the following exclamation : "the exertions of the rebels have been very great -- they have stolen most of our new-made subjects in Long-Cane, and many to the southward of us, whose treachery exceeds every idea I ever had of the most faithless men. It will soon be a matter of little consequence who has this part of the country, as nothing is like to be planted this season, every man being either in arms or hid in the swamps, and a great consumption of last year's crops."

Conclusion: American Victory.

March 24-25, 1781 on the Road to Ramsey's Mill, Chatham County,North Carolina

Since Greene was at Rigdon's Ford on the 26th, Cornwallis probably arrived at Ramsey's Mill, N.C., (situated on the north bank of the Deep River) on the 25th , or else the 26th.

On the day then previous to Cornwallis' halting at Ramsay's, some of his Jägers were surprised in their encampment by 20 of Col. Marquis de Malmady's militia horsemen (probably his cavalry), and three of the Jägers were taken prisoner.

That Cornwallis felt the need to mention the incident in a letter to Clinton (of April 10th) speaks to the bravery and cleverness of the raid. The British remained at Ramsey's for a few days, during which time Cornwallis built an impressive bridge for his troops over the Deep River.

A effort was made by an advanced party of Lee's Legion and some riflemen to destroy the bridge, but this expedition was called off when the detachment guarding the structure was reinforced.


“The day before the King's troops arrived at Ramsey's, the Americans insulted the yagers in their encampment: The royalists remained a few days at Ramsey's, for the benefit of the wounded, and to complete a bridge over Deep river, when the light troops of the Americans again disturbed the pickets, and the army were ordered under arms. “

Pension statement of John Chumbley of Amelia County, VA.:

“We remained a few days in Green's army at the draw works [Speedwell's Iron Works] till the retreat of the enemy commenced, and Green began to hurry. He recollects that they overtook the enemy at the bridge at Ramsay's [Mill] by evening of a forced march, but they escaped without injury. He distinctly recollects the bridge the enemy had thrown across Deep River at [Ramsey's] Mills. At this place large rocks rise in several places in the river and the enemy had taken the trunks of the largest trees and placed them along on these rocks so as to form a bridge. He recollects he was astonished to conjecture how human strength could have placed so large trees in that position across the river.”

Conclusion: American Victory.

March 25, 1781 at Stewart's Creek, North Carolina

After leaving Ramsey's Mill in a hurry, Lt. General Charles, Lord Cornwallis again marched his army towards Wilmington. He stopped and camped near Cross Creek and sent out foraging parties under heavy guard. On March 25, Capt. John Taylor and his company of dragoons encountered eight British dragoons near Stewart's Creek. He killed one and captured three.

Shortly thereafter, the Brigade of Guards arrived and began to cross. Capt. Taylor's men began firing at them from the opposite side. When the British faltered, Brigadier General Charles O'Hara came up and pressed them onwards. O'Hara was still unable to walk from his wound at Guilford Court House, so he had one of the 23rd Regiment Grenadiers to carry him on his back across the river. The general was armed with a double-barrelled fusee and he fired two shots at the Patriots, while on the back of the Grenadier. Three Patriots were hit, probably with a load of buck and ball, so they all fled the riverbank before being surrounded.
Conclusion: American Victory

March 27, 1781 at Barbeque Church, North Carolina

As Lt. General Charles, Lord Cornwallis continued his march to Wilmington, local Patriots constantly harassed his army. Most of these were from Brigadier General John Alexander Lillington's militia, who had been ordered by Major General Nathanael Greene to remove the British stores at Cross Creek and to hinder the British as much as possible.
The Redcoats stopped to rest near the Barbeque Church, and they set up camp at the home of William Buie. The next day, Lt. Col. Banastre Tarleton and his dragoons approached the house of worship, but waiting for them was Capt. Daniel Buie and his men of the Cumberland County Regiment of Militia. With him was Jacob Gaster, Laurence Strodder, Duncan Buie, and John Small.

At this church there was a short and bloody encounter that left Duncan Buie with his head split open by a sword and left for dead. He recovered and lived for many more years.

Most of the Patriots were captured and placed in a bullpen. During that night, a few managed to escape, but the rest were taken to Wilmington. Gaster, Small, and Strodder were later exchanged, but Daniel Buie died aboard a prison ship anchored at Wilmington.

When Lord Cornwallis arrived in Cross Creek, he had nearly six hundred (600) sick and wounded men, and a third of his army had no shoes. He soon found that there was not one ration for the 1,500 men in his army. Major James H. Craig, occupying commandant of Wilmington, had not sent the shoes and other supplies upriver from Wilmington, as ordered by his superior. Major Craig explained in a letter that the distance, narrowness of the river, and the hostile inhabitants rendered the resupply mission impracticable. The Patriots would riddle anything that moved on the Cape Fear River.

Wanting to depart immediately, Lord Cornwallis quickly discovered that the Patriots had destroyed or removed all the boats in the Cross Creek area. When he at last did leave Cross Creek, his army left a trail of roadside graves of the wounded from the recent battle of Guilford Court House. By the time the Redcoats got to Wilmington, there were over 100 more casualties. Among the dead buried on the road from Guilford Court House to Wilmington was Lt. Col. James Webster of the 33rd Regiment, Capt. William Shutz of the Guards, and Capt. Wilmonsky of the Regiment von Bose.
Conclusion: British Victory

March 28, 1781 at Sampit Bridge, Georgetown County, South Carolina

On March 28, Col. John Watson and his British force was still following Maj. Gen. Francis Marion's Patriot force. Marion sent Peter Horry's horsemen ahead of Watson, and they destroyed the Sampit Bridge in Watson's path as he continued down the road toward Georgetown.

Horry's were then set to receive Watson, but he drove forward on them with the bayonet. At the same time, however, Marion attacked and badly cut up his rear guard as it forded the Sampit River, since the bridge had already been partially destroyed by the partisans to impede the British as they retired. His own horse shot out from under him, Watson then opened up his cannon on them on Marion and drove him back.

Leaving 20 dead behind him, Watson then proceeded to Trapier's Plantation where he camped.

The next day, with a reported two wagon loads of wounded Watson made it to Georgetown. Although there is apparently no accurate count of Watson's losses during his expedition against Marion during this month, the total was reportedly not inconsiderable, 40 being both a reasonable and conservative estimate. Marion casualties, on the other hand, appear to have been negligible.
Conclusion: American Victory.

March 29, 1781 at Snows Island, Florence County, South Carolina

On March 29 ,While Marion had been dealing with Watson, Col. Welbore Ellis Doyle, with the New York Volunteers, had been sent from Camden by Rawdon as the second prong of the plan to catch Marion.

The date Doyle set out is not clear but sometime near the end of the month he attacked Marion's base at Snow's Island. Snows Island was located on the Pee Dee River. Doyle managed to capture the island.

The islands defenders, commanded by Col. Hugh Ervin, destroyed all the carefully hoarded supplies and ammunition before they abondoned their position, Of this force, 7 were killed and 15 were captured, most of these were reportedly too ill to flee, while a remainder escaped.

In the process Doyle liberated some prisoners including Cornet Merrit of the Queen's Rangers and 25 other men, while suffering 2 wounded. Ervin's men did, however, have enough advanced notice to be able to throw supplies and ammunition in the river.
Conclusion: British Victory.

March 31, 1781 at Cole's Bridge, North Carolina

In a letter of April 2nd, Col. Thomas Wade (Anson County Regiment of Militia), at Haley’s Ferry on the Pee Dee River, wrote to Major General Nathanael Greene that he had conveyed supplies from Cross Creek (Fayetteville) to Haley's Ferry down river. He tried to move his men quickly by forced marches to keep these supplies secure.

Nevertheless, his 95 North Carolina militiamen were attacked near Cole's Bridge, on Drowning Creek (now the Lumber River), by 300 Loyalists and 100 British soldiers (all of whom were presumably mounted) who had pursued them.

Col. Wade’s Patriots were routed. Some of his men, who were captured and paroled, reported that his casualties were three killed, two wounded, and seven taken prisoner, and, in addition slaves, wagons, and all of the horses were taken. Col. Wade was now left with only 20 militiamen. The British casualties were four killed.
Conclusion: British Victory

April of 1781

April ?? (possibly January 1781), 1781 at Mathews' Bluff, Allendale County, South Carolina

A Capt. McCoy (or McKoy), who had been waylaying supply boats on the Savannah River, and at Mathew's Bluff, ambushed a party of 30 loyalists, under a Lt. Kemp sent to out by Brown at Augusta to him. Kemp was routed, and lost 16 killed and wounded. See also Wiggin's Hill, Early April.
Conclusion: American Victory.

April ?? (possibly January 1781), 1781 at Wiggin's Hill, Barnwell County, South Carolina

Col. Thomas Brown with 570, including some Cherokees (or else 170 plus 500 Indians), went out from Augusta on an expedition to catch Col. William Harden, who by one account had only 76 rangers. The two forces skirmished at Wiggins' Hill, and Harden, outnumbered, was beaten off.

Harden possibly tried to attack again next day, yet, if so it is assumed he was repulsed. Harden lost 7 killed and 11 wounded, and Brown's losses are not known.

Tarleton Brown:

“This atrocious deed of the sanguinary McGeart [McGirth] and his band was shortly succeeded by another equally cruel, nay, doubly cruel. The British Colonel Brown marched down from Augusta with an overwhelming force of Tories and Indians, and taking their stand at ‘Wiggins' Hill', commenced a slaughter of the inhabitants.

The news of which reached the ears of those brave and dauntless officers, Colonels. McCoy and Harden, who soon hastened to the defense of the terrified Whigs, and coming upon the enemy, charged upon them and killed and routed them to a man, Colonel Brown escaping to the woods.

Colonels McCoy and Harden, having accomplished all that was required of them, retired from the field of action, after which Brown returned with the residue of his force and retook the ‘Hill', at which he remained until he hung five or our brave fellows --- Briton Williams, Charles Blunt, and Abraham Smith, the names of the other two not recollected -- then he decamped for Augusta.”

Conclusion: British Victory.

April ??, 1781 at Hanging Tree, Randolph County, North Carolina

Sometime in the Spring of 1781, probably April, and the location not clear, but probably in Randolph County, Capt. David Fanning and his men were surrounded at a house of a friend by 14 whig militia under a Capt. Hinds, with both sides losing a man killed.

Fanning and most of his men apparently were forced to retreat and made their escape. One of the Fanning's men was captured by Hinds, and says Fanning in his Narrrative, hanged "on the spot where we had killed the man [a whig] a few days before".
Conclusion: American Victory.

April 1 (possibly 31 March), 1781, Skirmish at Cole's Bridge, Scotland County, North Carolina

In a letter on April 2, Col. Thomas Wade, at Haley's Ferry on the Pee Dee, wrote to Greene that he had conveyed stores from Cross Creek to Haley's Ferry down river.

He had tried to move his men quickly by forced marches. Nevertheless, his 95 North Carolina militia were attacked near Cole's Bridge, on Drowning Creek, by 300 loyalists and 100 British soldiers (all of whom were presumably mounted) who had pursued them.

Wade's column was routed. Some of his men, who were captured and paroled, reported that Wade's casualties were three killed, two wounded, and seven taken prisoner, and, in addition slaves, wagons, and all of the horses were taken.

Wade was now left with only 20 militia. The British casualties were 4 killed. Some meal, much of it damaged, and some of the boats Greene had Kosciuszko build earlier were at Haley's Ferry, where they were being guarded by some locals.

In the same letter, Wade requested wagons to send the meal to Greene, which Greene sent on his approach to Camden. Wade later complained that the men Caswell had sent him were poor soldiers and he asked for better in future if the supplies and provisions in his charge were to be kept secure. See 18 April.
Conclusion: British Victory

April 2-3, 1781 at Fort Nashborough, Tennessee

On April 2, a group of Chicamauga Indians arrived at Fort Nashborough. They fired a volley of musketfire and then quickly withdrew. Col. James Robertson and a group of 20 mounted riflemen gave chase to the fleeing Indians.

They were soon ambushed by 200 Indians, commanded by Dragging Canoe. When Robertson's men dismounted and opened fire, a second group of Indians appeared behind the patriots. The horses stampeded and turned the battle around for the Patriots. The horses crashed through a line of Indians that seperated Robertson's men from the fort.

This provided the Patriots an escape route, which they took. The riflemen raced back to the fort, and were able to drive the Indians back into the woods.

On April 3, the Indians continued firing on the fort. The Patriots finally loaded their cannons with rocks and iron shards and fired on the Indians. This managed to finally drive the Indians off.
Conclusion: American Victory.

April 2, 1781 at Black River, Georgetown County, South Carolina

On April 2, a 20-man detachment of Queen's Rangers, commanded by Lt. John Wilson, was sent to cover a detail that had been sent to load flatboats with forage from a plantation on the Black River. As the detail was ending, the British were attacked by a group of 60 Marion Partisans, commanded by Lt. Col. Lemuel Benton.

The partisans made 2 charges against the British, but were driven off both times. Wilson counterattacked after the last attempt, and drove off Benton. Losses are not known, but Wilson, who was wounded in the action, received a commendation from Balfour.

Capt. John Saunders in Simcoe's Journal:

“Lt. [John] Wilson was sent on the 2d of April, with twenty men, attended by a galley, to cover a party sent to load some flats with forage, at a plantation on Black river: he debarked and remained on shore several hours before he saw a single rebel; but when he had nearly completed his business, he was attacked by about sixty of them, under the command of a Major [Lemuel] Benson: he repulsed them in two attempts that they made to get within the place where he had posted himself; he then charged and drove them off."

Conclusion: British Victory.

April 3, 1781 at Hammond's Mill, Edgefield County, South Carolina

Following the action as Horner's Corner, a company of loyalists at Hammond's Mill on the Savannah River, was attacked and defeated by Capt. Thomas McKee. Some loyalists were taken prisoner.

In addition, Ripley speaks of provisions being captured and the mill destroyed. However, if the mill belonged to the Edgefield family of Samuel and LeRoy Hammond, as it may have been, it seems strange why it would have been destroyed by McKee.
Conclusion: American Victory.

April 3, 1781 Ambush at Witherspoon's Ferry, Florence County, South Carolina

After the raid on Snow's Island, Doyle retraced his steps 6 or 7 miles to Witherspoon's Ferry, where he camped on the north bank of Lynches River. When Marion returned, he camped at Indiantown, at which time his force had dropped down to about 70 men.

Even so, on April 3, Brig. Gen. Francis Marion ordered Lt. Col. Hugh Horry to take his mounted infantry to travel to Whig's Plantation. At the plantation, Col. William E. Doyle had some foragers there collecting food for the troops.

When Horry arrived at the plantation, they engaged the British, killing 9 men and capturing 16 men. The Patriots pursued the fleeing British to Witherspoon's ferry. There, they caught the British rear guard scuttling the ferryboat. The Patriots fired on the Loyalists.

Doyle quickly formed his men along the bank of the Lynches River and delivered a volley of musketfire on the Patriots. After this firing, the British gathered up their belongings and headed towards the Pee Dee River.

Doyle is said to have lost 9 killed or wounded, and 15 or 16 taken prisoner in the encounter. Either just before or after this event, Marion was joined by a reinforcement under Col. Able Kolb to assist against Doyle The latter, however, made haste to withdraw, destroyed his heavy baggage, and retired to Camden.
Conclusion: American Victory. Casualties: American: ?; British: 9k, 2w, 16c

April 3, 1781 at Horner's Corner (aka Horn Creek, Horner's Creek), Edgefield County, South Carolina

Capt. Thomas McKee, defeated and took prisoner a group of loyalists under a Capt. Clark, who himself was killed in the encounter.
Conclusion: American Victory.

April 7-8, 1781, Ambush/Surrender at Four Holes (aka Red Hill or Barton's Post), Colleton County, South Carolina

Harden, in the Four Holes Swamp area, with 70 (to possibly a 100) mounted men surprised and captured 26 loyalists under Capt. John Barton.

The next day, Harden's subordinate Major George Cooper (formerly one of Marion's men), assaulted Barton's post Some firing was exchanged, and Barton, having lost three men and himself wounded, finally surrendered.

McCrady lists the whig losses as 1 killed and 2 wounded. He gives the loyalist losses as 1 killed, 3 wounded and 3 prisoners. In all three of these engagements with Barton and Fenwick, McCrady lists the American commander as “Cooper,” rather than Harden.
Conclusion: Brirish Victory. Casualties: American: 1k, 2w; British: 1k, 3w, 3c

April 3, 1781 at Horner's Corner, South Carolina

After the skirmish at Beattie's Mill, Brigadier General Andrew Pickens began to systematically destroy Loyalist strongholds and to gather Patriot forces all across the Ninety-Six District. His order to all units under his command was to seek out and destroy Loyalist gatherings in the general area.

In the meantime, Maj. Samuel Hammond arrived at Pace's Ferry and met up with Capt. Thomas Key of Col. LeRoy Hammond's command. Following Brigadier General Pickens's recent order, he sent out Capt. Key to engage the Loyalist forces north of Augusta, GA.

Capt. Key found Capt. John Clark at his own home at Horner's Creek with a small group of Loyalists. Capt. Clark was killed and the remainder were captured. Capt. Key paroled the prisoners then moved over to the Savannah River and then attacked Hammond's Mill.
Conclusion: American Victory

April 3, 1781 at Hammond's Mill, South Carolina

Following the action at Horner's Corner, a company of Loyalists at Hammond's Mill on the Savannah River, was attacked and defeated by Capt. Thomas Key, of Col. LeRoy Hammond's Lower Ninety-Six District Regiment of Militia. Some Loyalists were taken prisoner.

In addition, Ripley speaks of provisions being captured and the mill destroyed. However, if the mill belonged to the family of Samuel and LeRoy Hammond, as it most likely was, it seems strange why it would have been destroyed by Capt. Key.
Conclusion: American Victory

April 5, 1781 at Salkehatchie Bridge, South Carolina

Col. William Harden, with Brigadier General Francis Marion's consent, began operating between Charlestown and Savannah to disrupt British lines in this area that was virtually a sanctuary for the enemy. He led his force of about 100 men down the Pocotaligo Road and ran into Capt. Edward Fenwick with thirty-five SC Dragoons near the Salkehatchie Bridge on April 5th.

Though outnumbered, the Loyalist cavalry quickly dispersed Col. Harden's men when they became disoriented in the dark.

One of Col. Harden's men, Paul Hamilton, later wrote: "At midnight encountered a body of British cavalry near Saltketcher Bridge. The onset was in our favor, but, Harden being an indifferent commander, we were defeated and in the rout I suffered a hard pursuit....Our whole party was dispersed, and about 15 severely wounded with the sabre."
Conclusion: British Victory

April 8, 1781 at Barton's Post, South Carolina

Col. William Harden dispatched Major John Cooper and fifteen men to take Capt. John Barton at his post. Major Cooper surrounded the post and asked for surrender. Capt. John Barton refused and opened fire. Even though Capt. Barton only had six men, the firing lasted over an hour. After half his force had been killed, Capt. Barton finally gave up, and having been mortally wounded, he died shortly afterwards.
Conclusion: American Victory

April 8, 1781 at Pocotaligo Road, South Carolina

On April 8, Col. William Harden and his Patriot force set up an ambush at Patterson's Bridge. The Loyalist force, commanded by Capt. Edward Fenwick and thirty-five (35) South Carolina Light Dragoons, a recently formed Loyalist cavalry troop that had already defeated Col. Harden here three days earlier, discovered the ambush and fell back.

Col. Harden called his men out of the woods to make a charge against the Loyalists. Only a few came out, with the majority of the men being too far back in the woods to be recalled. Capt. Fenwick saw the small number of Patriots on the road and ordered his Loyalists to charge them, the sabers apparently proved too much for Col. Harden’s mounted men, they were scattered and fled the area.
Conclusion: British Victory

April 8, 1781. Skirmish at Pocotaligo Road (aka Patterson's Bridge or Saltketcher Bridge), Colleton County, South Carolina

On April 8, Lt. Col. William Harden and his Patriot force set up an ambush at Patterson's Bridge. The Loyalist force, commanded by Lieut. Col. Edward Fenwick and 35 South Carolina Light Dragoons, a recently formed loyalist cavalry troop, discovered the ambush and fell back.

Harden called his men out of the woods to make a charge against the Loyalists. Only a few came out, with the majority of the men being too far back in the woods to be recalled. Fenwick saw the small number of Patriots on the road and ordered his Loyalists to charge them, the sabers apparently proved too much for Harden's mounted men, they were scattered and fled the area.

Tarleton Brown:

“We then proceeded on for Pocataligo. Soon after we left Red Hill we entered upon a long, high causeway; a man came meeting us and told us Colonel Fenwick, with the British horse, were marching on just behind.

We paid no attention to him not knowing who he was, but went ahead; however, we did not go many rods before the advance parties met and hailed each other - a charge now ordered on both sides, and we directly came together on the causeway, so a fight was inevitable, and at it we went like bull dogs.

The British at length made their way through, though they found it tough work in doing so. We put one of their men to his final sleep on the causeway, and wounded eight more badly, one of whom they had to leave on the road. They wounded one of our men, Captain James Moore, in thirteen places, though very slightly, and two others who never laid up for their wounds.”

Conclusion: British Victory. Casualties: American: 2k, 1w; British: 1k, 7w, 2c

April 9, 1781 at Waxhaws Church, Lancaster County, South Carolina

The Waxhaws settlement was raided, and the meeting house there, and several homes, burned by a mounted party of 150 Provincials and loyalists under Capt. John Coffin. An unknown number of whigs were killed, wounded and 14 were captured.

Sumter's men, under Col. Thomas Taylor and Col. Henry Hampton, were unable catch Coffin in pursuit. Sumter, then afterward, retaliated by raiding the loyalists of the Mobley and Sandy Run settlements.

On 13 April, Sumter, from his camp on the Catawba wrote to Greene:

"On Tuesday night a party of horse & foot to the Number of about one hundred & fifty men from Camden appeard in the Waxsaws, they Marched with Great precipitation as far as the Meeting House, Which they burnt together with Some other houses Barns &C.

They have Kild Wound[ed] & Taken Several persons Carried off all Kinds of horses, plundered the Settlement of as much as they Could Carry. As Soon as I Received Intelligence of Their approach, I Detached Cols Hampton and Taylor after them, but as they began to Retreat on Wednesday Night, Don't expect they will be overtaken.

By accounts Just Received from Genl Pickens Who Wrote me about ten days ago that he had Collected Men of his Brigade, and also a few Georgians, but was unable to attempt anything against the Enemy. I give orders to the Cols Commanding four Regemnts in My Brigade Westward of Broad River to Join Genl Pickens, Which has been Done accordingly. I Requested Genl Pickens to Move Down & Take a position upon Tyger River Near the Fish Dam Ford to indeavor to Cover the Country and Collect Provisions..."

Conclusion: British Victory.

April 10, 1781, Raid at Hulin's Mill (aka Hulen's Mill), Dillon County, South Carolina

At Hulin's Mill on Caftish Creek, Col. Abel Kolb with a group of his men under Maj. Lemuel Benson and Capt. Joseph Dabbs, surprised some loyalists under John Deer and Osborne Lane, killing Deer and wounding Osborne who escaped into Catfish swamp.

Another loyalist, Caleb Williams, Kolb hanged. Deer, Williams, and Lane were reputed to be notorious marauders by their enemies, but, as is often the case in war, notorious can be a matter of the eyes of the beholder. Lane lived on for many years and was looked upon as a respected citizen in his community.

It was forays like this which no doubt fomented Kolb's own murder, which took place on the night of 27 April. While this incident is of minimal military significance, it is nevertheless representative of numerous like occurrences, many unrecorded, which took place during the war in the south.
Conclusion: American Victory

April 13, 1781 at McPherson's Plantation, South Carolina

Brigadier General Francis Marion's letters, dated April 21, 1781:
"[Lt.] Colonel Horry crossed the Pedee with 70 men, to intercept the tories who I expected would join [Lt.] Colonel Watson, in his march up Pedee. He fell in with a party of 30 foragers, and as many more to cover them; he charged them on horse-back, in Mr. McPherson's Plantation, killed 2, and took 13 British soldiers, 2 tories and 2 negroes, without the loss of a man."
Conclusion: American Victory

April 14, 1781 at the Great Ogeechee River, South Carolina (Britannia captured )

On April 14, the British ship Britannia was anchored in the mouth of the Great Ogeechee River. During the night, Capt. John Howell and Capt. John McCleur towed their privateers alongside the Britannia. Springing upon deck, they demanded and received a quick surrender of the ship.
Conclusion: American Victory

April 15, 1781 at Big Glades, North Carolina

On April 14th, Col. Benjamin Cleveland arrived at his cattle farm, known as the "Old Fields," on the southern fork of the New River. Loyalist Capt. William Riddle learned of his arrival and decided to go after him. Riddle stole Cleveland's horse then laid an ambush for him when he came to look for it.

Col. Cleveland and Richard Calloway went searching for the missing horse and Capt. Riddle and his men opened fire. Calloway was unarmed and Col. Cleveland only had two pistols. Calloway was shot in the thigh. Col. Cleveland grabbed a local woman, Abigail Walters, and used her as a shield until Capt. Riddle promised that he would ransom Col. Cleveland and not kill him.

The two Patriots were then taken to the Wolf's Den, and Col. Cleveland broke overhanging branches to mark the route. Wolf's Den was a cavern in Riddle's Knob and the hideout of Loyalist Capt. William Riddle.

Joseph Calloway learned of the two men's capture and he went looking for Col. Cleveland's younger brother, Robert, who immediately assembled some of Cleveland's men and took off in pursuit of his brother.

The next day, the Loyalists at Wolf's Den prepared an early breakfast. Col. Cleveland was under heavy guard and a sentinel held one of the colonel's pistols to his head. Capt. Riddle ordered Col. Cleveland to write out passes to certify that each of his captors were good Whigs. Fearing that he would be killed soon thereafter, Col. Cleveland took his time, blaming his delay on poor penmanship.

He was working on the final pass when his brother with others arrived and attacked. Col. Cleveland rolled off the fallen tree he had been sitting on and used it to shelter himself from the hail of bullets. Except for one wounded man, Capt. Riddle and his Loyalists all escaped. They were captured later and three of them - Riddle, Reeves, and Goss - were court-martialed in Wilkesboro.
Conclusion: American Victory

April 15 or 16, 1781, Raid on Wolf's Den (aka Big Glades or Riddle's Knob), Ashe County, North Carolina

Tory Capt. William Riddle, Zachariah Wells and 5 or 7 others captured Col. Benjamin Cleveland with a view to taking him to Ninety-Six to receive a reward. They already had a Capt. Ross, a whig militia officer, with them as captive for the same purpose.

According to one version Cleveland was captured while resting under a tree at Old Fields, which was twenty miles northwest of Wilkesboro, NC. Another says that Riddle stole some horses with a view to setting a trap.

Cleveland and a few others followed Riddle's trail, and were ambushed. Cleveland's men ran and Cleveland himself was taken prisoner after attempting t o seek shelter in a nearby house with his pistol. Riddle took him up to New River, then to Wolf's Den or Elk Knob, on Elk Creek ten miles distant from Old Fields, where the Tories kept their camp.

Capt. Robert Cleveland and some of Cleveland's men from King's Mountain soon received word of what had transpired and formed a party of 20 to 30 to go after Riddle.

On April 15 or 16 (possibly in the night between the two days), 9 men in advance of the others, following the Tories trail, surprised and dispersed Riddle's camp, rescuing Cleveland and Capt. Ross in the process.

“Shortly after this occurrence,” says Draper, Riddle and a band of followers captured two of Cleveland's soldiers, David and John Witherspoon prisoner at their home near King's Creek, several miles from Wilkesboro.

The two were taken into the Watauga area many miles away and made to join the loyalists, to which they agreed. Possibly Riddle had reason, as he thought, to suspect their loyalty to the Whigs, and despite the abduction had treated them otherwise in a friendly manner.

When the Witherspoon brothers returned home, David Witherspoon contacted Col. Benjamin Herndon and reported what happened. Herndon soon gathered a party together.

Guided by the Witherspoons, he and his men waylaid Riddle's camp, capturing Riddle, two others, and killing or routing the rest. Riddle and his two followers were taken back to Wilkesboro where they were subsequently hanged under the oversight of Cleveland.”
Conclusion: American Victory.

April 16-June 5, 1781 at Augusta, Richmond County, Georgia

A reported 1,300 (though Boatner's number here seems rather high) Georgia and South Carolina militiamen under Col. Elijah Clark, Col. Micajah Williamson, Col. John Baker, Maj. Samuel Hammond, and Maj. James Jackson, placed Augusta under siege, a siege that would continue into June. Defending Augusta was Lt. Col. Thomas Brown with 330 Provincials and loyalist militia, and 300 Cherokees.

After the siege began, Clark fell ill with small pox, returning with some additional men by late April or mid May. They captured its strongest fortification after they had built a Maham Tower and mounted a 6-lb. cannon on it. The siege lasted until June 5.
Conclusion: American Victory. Casualties: American: 40k&w; British: 52k&w, 334c

April 18-20, 1781, Raid on Burwell's Ferry, Charles City County, Virginia

Having completed the fortifications at Portsmouth, which Arnold had begun, Maj. Gen. William Phillips embarked with about 2,300 rank and file troops and sailed up the James River as far as Burwell's ferry, which he reached on the 19th or 20th. A brief skirmish took place at that location with some militia.

Arnold, at Petersburg, wrote to Clinton on May 12th:

“On the 18th of April, the light infantry, part of the 76th and 80th regiments, the Queen's rangers, yagers, and American legion, embarked at Portsmouth, and fell down to Hampton road: on the 19th, proceeded up James river to Burwell's ferry; on the 20th, Lieutenant-colonel Abercrombie, with the light infantry, proceeded up the Chickahomany in boats; Lieutenant-colonel Simcoe, with a detachment, to York; Lieutenant-colonel Dundass [Thomas Dundas], with another detachment, landed at the mouth of the Chickahomany; and Major-general Phillips and myself landed with part of the army at Williamsburg, where about five hundred militia were posted, who retired upon our approach. The militia at York crossed the river before the arrival of Lieutenant-colonel Simcoe, who made a few prisoners, spiked and destroyed some cannon, and next day returned to Williamsburgh.”

Conclusion: British Victory.

April 17, 1781 at Brown's Mill, South Carolina

On their route back to Catfish Creek and Tart's Mill after killing Col. Abel Kolb (April 28th), Loyalist Capt. Joseph Jones and his Tories intended to surprise Capt. Malachi Murphy's Patriots at Brown's Mill on Muddy Creek. Brown's Mill was about a mile above the crossing at the old Rogers Mill.

Most of Capt. Murphy's men had left a few days before and only a handful were left at the mill. Those that remained were surprised and Capt. Joseph Dabbs, a noted Patriot, was killed. Ned Threwitts escaped with a bullet in his shoulder.
Conclusion: British Victory

April 17, 1781 at Cashua Ferry Church, South Carolina

A general place of rendezvous for Patriot forces in this area was Cashua Ferry or Cashway Ferry on the Great Pee Dee River. A short distance from the ferry landing on the present-day Marlboro County side of the river, there stood a Baptist church that was used as a Patriot Militia headquarters on weekdays; the Reverend Evan Pugh preached there on Sundays even at the height of the American Revolution. The church building became the object of a furious skirmish between the Patriots and Loyalists at some point during the war.

The details of the action were forgotten by later generations, but the Loyalists are supposed to have been chased into the swamp at its conclusion.
Conclusion: American Victory

April 19-21, 1781 at Logtown, Kershaw County, South Carolina

On April 19, Greene's army marched to "Sands Hills," (Hobkirk's Hill), within a two miles, of Camden where he camped. By evening, his light troops then skirmished some of Rawdon's forces, including some of the New York Volunteers, and the Volunteers of Ireland, outside the Camden fortifications (i.e. Logtown.) for the next couple days.

Greene wrote to Lee on this date:

“We are within two Miles of Camden and shall march to LogTown in the morning which is within half a mile of their advance works.”

On the 24th, He wrote Huntington:

“We began our march from Deep River the 7th, and arrived in the neighborhood of Camden the 19th. All the Country through which we past is disaffected, and the same Guides and escorts were necessary to collect Provisions and forage, as if in an open and avowed Enemies Country. On our arrival at Camden we took post at Logtown, about half a mile, in front of their Works, which upon reconnoitering were found to be much stronger that had been represented, and the garrison much larger…Our force was too small either to invest or storm the Works, which obliged us to take a position a little distance from it.”


"19 [April] Marched within 4 miles of Camden, took Eleven of the Enemy prisoners....15 [miles] This evening Genl. Green gave me orders if possible to take possession of Logtown, which was in full view of Camden & if I could take it, to mentain (sic) it until (sic) further orders, Leaving Camp about 8 at night, arrived before the town between 9 & 10 and about 12 Oclock got full possession of the place, A scattered firing was kept up all night, And at sun rise next morning , had a sharp schirmage, Beat in the Enemy, About two hours afterwards had the Very agreeable Sight of the advance of the Army. 20th.

This day Col. Washington with my Infantry went Westerly round Camden, Burnt a house in one of the Enemys Redoubts on the Wateree River; took 40 horses and fifty Head of cattle and returned to Camp....4 [miles].”


"On the nineteenth April, 1781, we encamped before Campden, after a march of one hundred and sixty-four miles. We took this day eleven of the enemy prisoners, who were straggling through the country. The same night Captain Kirkwood, being detached off with his infantry, in order to take post before Campden, accordingly having arrived there about ten o'clock, drove in their picquets and took his post near the town till morning."

Conclusion: British Victory.

April 21, 1781, Raid on Williamsburg, James City County, Virginia

Phillips marched to Williamsburg where he forced the Virginia militia there under Maj. James Innes to retreat. At the same time, Simcoe moved to scout Yorktown
Conclusion: British Victory.

April 20, 1781 at Mobley & Sandy Run, South Carolina

Brigadier General Thomas Sumter got revenge on Capt. John Coffin's raid of the Waxhaws Church (April 9th) by sending men to burn and kill Loyalists in the Mobley and Sandy Run settlements.
Conclusion: American Victory

April 22, 1781, Raid at Chickahominy, Charles City County, Virginia

As part of his newly launched raiding expedition, Phillips and Arnold sent Simcoe with a detachment was sent to the Chickahominy shipyard where Simcoe burned the Thetis. and some other smaller craft. Thereafter, Phillips and Simcoe again embarked and continued moving up the James River.

Arnold in his letter to Clinton of May 12th:

“On the 22d, the troops marched to Chickahomany. We were met on the road, five miles from the mouth of the river, by Lieutenant-colonel Dundass [Thomas Dundas] with his detachment: This evening the troops, cavalry, artillery, &c. were re-embarked.”

Conclusion: British Victory.

April 22, 1781, Skirmish at Camden Mill, Kershaw County, South Carolina

Fearing that Watson might enter Camden, Greene moved his camp from two miles north of Camden to a location to the lower side of Camden (presumably somewhat east or southeast of it).

At the same time, he sent Lieut. Col. Carrington with the baggage and artillery "to the strong country north of Lynch's Creek." The next day, however, he moved back to his former camp ground, which presumably was at Hobkirk's Hill.

While there, he had ordered that Sumter would come and join him, but Sumter refused. Greene later blamed the defeat at Hobkirk's Hill on Sumter, and indeed was so indignant at the latter's thinly disguised disobedience that he would have had Sumter arrested “but from considerations arising from the state of the country at the time.”


"On the twenty-second we moved our encampment quite round Campden, the horse and infantry being sent about three miles down the Wateree there to procure forage, which having done, we returned to camp without anything of consequence happening. The same day happened a skirmish between a detachment of Colonel Campbell's Regiment and a picquet of the enemy's at a mill near Campden, in which the enemy were obliged to abandon their post. Of our men were slightly wounded one Lieutenant and one private. Of the enemy were four killed and five wounded."

Conclusion: American Victory.

April 29, 1781, Ambush of Coffin, Kershaw County, South Carolina

Rawdon having withdrawn into Camden with most of his army, Col. William Washington was sent to scout area. He found and lured Maj. John Coffin and a force of mounted infantry and dragoons into an ambush, in which Coffin lost 20 men.

Coffin was then compelled to retire into to Camden. Rawdon, meanwhile, was making plans to abandon Camden.


"On the 26th Colonel Washington's horse and a detachment from line went to reconnoiter the lines."

Rawdon, in his letter of 24 May, wrote to Cornwallis:

“After the action of the 25th of April, (an account of which I had the honour of transmitting to your lordship) Major General Greene remained for some days behind the farthest branch of Granby's Quarter Creek. A second attempt upon his army could not, in that situation, be undertaken upon the principle which advised the former.

In the first instance, I made so short an excursion from my works, that I could venture, without hazard, to leave them very slightly guarded; and I had the confidence, that, had fortune proved unfavorable, we should easily have made good our retreat, and our loss, in all probability, would not have disabled us from the farther defence of the place.

To get at General Greene in his retired situation, I must have made a very extensive circuit, in order to head the creek, which would have presented to him the fairest opportunity of slipping by me to Camden; and he was still so superior to me in numbers, that, had I left such a garrison at my post as might enable it to stand an assault, my force in the field would have been totally unequal to cope with the enemy's army. I had much to hope from the arrival of reinforcements to me, and little to fear from any probable addition to my antagonist's force.”

Conclusion: ? Victory.

April 27, 1781, Raid on Osbourne's (aka Osborne's), Chesterfield County, Virginia

On April 27, Brig. Gen. Benedict Arnold learned that an American flotilla and some supplies were located at Osborne's. That morning, he set out from Petersburg with a British force to destroy or capture the American goods. Arnold's force arrived at Osborne's, on the right bank of the river.

The American commander was surprised at the sight of the British and ordered his troops and one of the ships to open fire on the British.

The British artillery quickly silenced and drove off the American militia on the opposite shore, and destroyed the ship that was firing on them. TAfter routing some militia, he destroyed: two ships, five brigantines, five sloops, one schooner loaded with tobacco, cordage flour, etcs., fell into British hands.

Four ships, five brigantines, and a number of the smaller vessels were sunk and burnt. On board the whole fleet were 2,000 hogsheads of tobacco which was also destroyed. Arnold afterward returned to join Phillips. Lafayette, in the meantime had reached Hanover Court House on his way to Richmond.

Arnold to Clinton, May 12th:

“The same day I marched to Osborn's, with the 76th and 80th regiments, Queen's rangers, part of the yagers, and American legion, where we arrived about noon. Finding the enemy had very considerable force of ships four miles above Osborn's, drawn up in a line to oppose us, I sent a flag to the commodore, proposing to treat with him for the surrender of his fleet, which he refused, with this answer, "That he was determined to defend it to the last extremity.

I immediately ordered down two six and two three-pounders, brass field pieces, to a bank of the river, nearly level with the water, and within one hundred yards of the Tempest, a twenty-gun state ship, which began immediately to fire upon us, as did the Renown, of twenty-six guns, the Jefferson, a state brigantine of fourteen guns, and several other armed ships and brigantines; about two or three hundred militia on the opposite shore at the same time kept up a heavy fire of musketry upon us: Notwithstanding which, the fire of the artillery, under the direction of Captain Fage and Lieutenant Rogers, took such place, that the ships were soon obliged to strike their colours, and the militia drove from the opposite shore.

Want of boats, and the wind blowing hard, prevented our capturing many of the seamen, who took to their boats, and escaped on shore; but not without first scuttling and setting fire to some of their ships, which could not be saved.

Two ships, three brigantines, five sloops, and two schooners, loaded with tobacco, cordage, flour, &c. fell into our hands. Four ships, five brigantines, and a number of small vessels, were sunk and burnt: On board the whole fleet (none of which escaped) were taken and destroyed about two thousand hogsheads of tobacco, &c. &c., and very fortunately we had not a man killed or wounded this day; but have reason to believe the enemy suffered considerably.

About five o'clock we were joined by Major-general Phillips with the light infantry. 28th, the troops remained at Osborn's, waiting for boats from the fleet; part of them were employed in securing the prizes, and carrying them to Osborn's as a place of safety.”

Conclusion: British Victory.

April 27, 1781, Raid at Chesterfield Court House, Chesterfield County, Virginia

Phillips marched to Chesterfield Court House and burned a barracks for 2,000 men and destroyed 300 barrels of flour.

Arnold to Clinton, May 12th:

“27th, Major-general Phillips, with the light infantry, part of the cavalry of the Queen's rangers, and part of the yagers, marched to Chesterfield court house, where they burnt a range of barracks for two thousand men, and three hundred barrels of flour, &c.”

Conclusion: British Victory.

April 27-28, 1781, Raid & The Death of Abel Kolb, Marlboro County, South Carolina

On the night of April 27, South Carolina militia leader Col. Abel Kolb, known for his relentless suppression of the loyalists around Drowning Creek and the upper Pee Dee, was captured at his home, by 50 North Carolina loyalists.

The latter had gathered on Catfish Creek and were led by Capt. Joseph Jones. In the course of what took place, Kolb was shot by one of the loyalists and his home burned down. The action was probably in retaliation for Kolb's killing of John Deer and hanging of Caleb Williams at Hulin's Mill a few days earlier.

Afterward, Kolb's death seemed to have emboldened many of the loyalists in the Drowning Creek region.

Although Kolb may correctly be seen to have been at times ruthless himself in his methods, nevertheless, he was a formidable militia leader and was of significant assistance in reinforcing Marion after Doyle's raid on Snow's Island, sending men to Marion when the latter was before Fort Watson, and in keeping down the loyalists to the north of Marion's operations generally.
Conclusion: British Victory.

April 27, 1781 at Drowning Creek, South Carolina

Patriot Col. Abel Kolb learned that Loyalists had assembled under Major Micajah Gainey at Drowning Creek. Col. Kolb, with Capt. James Gillespie and Capt. Josiah Cantey, surprised this group and routed them.
Conclusion: American Victory

April 27, 1781 at Hulin's Mill, South Carolina

At Hulin's Mill on Caftish Creek, Col. Abel Kolb with a group of his men under Lt. Col. Lemuel Benton, Capt. Joseph Dabbs, and Capt. John Cox, surprised some Loyalists under John Deer and Osborne Lane, killing Deer and wounding Osborne, who escaped into Catfish Swamp. Another Loyalist, Caleb Williams, Col. Kolb hanged.

Deer, Williams, and Lane were reputed to be notorious marauders by their enemies, but, as is often the case in war, notorious can be a matter of the eyes of the beholder. Lane lived on for many years and was looked upon as a respected citizen in his community.

It was forays like this which no doubt fomented Col. Abel Kolb's own murder, which took place on the night of 28 April. While this incident is of minimal military significance, it is nevertheless representative of numerous like occurrences, many unrecorded, which took place during the war in the south.
Conclusion: American Victory

April 30, 1781, Raid on Manchester, Chesterfield County, Virginia

Phillips, in an advance on Richmond, marched to Manchester and destroyed 1,200 hogsheads of tobacco there. Believing, however, that Lafayette, across the river in Richmond, would be reinforced by von Steuben and Muhlenberg (who were just upriver), he withdrew to Osborne's by nightfall. Lafayette, in the mean time, moved Brig. Gen. Nelson and his militia to Williamsburg, at while ordering Brig. Gen. Weedon with his corps of militia corps to Fredericksburg.

Arnold to Clinton, May 12th:

“29th, the boats having arrived, the troops were put in motion. Major-general Phillips marched with the main body; at the same time I proceeded up the river with a detachment in boats, and met him between Cary's mills and Warwick. 30th, the troops marched to Manchester, and destroyed twelve hundred hogsheads of tobacco.

The Marquis de la Fayette having arrived with his army at Richmond, opposite to Manchester, the day before, and being joined by the militia drove from Petersburg and Williamsburgh, they were spectators of the conflagration without attempting to molest us.

The same evening we returned to Warwick, where we destroyed a magazine of five hundred barrels of flour, and Colonel Cary's fine mills were destroyed in burning the magazine of flour.

We also burnt several warehouses, with one hundred and fifty hogsheads of tobacco, a large ship and a brigantine afloat, and three vessels on the stocks, a large range of public rope walks and storehouses, and some tan and bark houses full of hides and bark.”

Conclusion: British Victory.

Mid to late April 1781, Raid on Mobley and Sandy Run Settlements, Fairfield County, South Carolina

Sumter got revenge on Coffin's raid of the Waxhaws (April 9th) by sending men to burn and kill in the Mobley and Sandy Run settlements. About this same time, Sumter gave Pickens Col. Flagg's regiment to suppress loyalist around Ninety-Six.
Conclusion: American Victory.

Late April, 1781, Raids on Alexandria, VA. & Cedar, MD

On April 18, or sometime thereafter, A small detachment of troops carried by a flotilla of six frigates and brigs, and the same number of smaller craft, were sent by Phillips raiding up the Chesapeake Bay to the Potomac River and Tidewater area. Their mission was also to interfere with or prevent reinforcements and supplies reaching Lafayette.

They briefly took Alexandria, and moved on to destroyed tobacco and free plantation slaves in Cedar Maryland. At one point Capt. Graves of the Acteon menaced Washington's home Mount Vernon with burning (though his orders actually forbade it.) Washington's nephew, Lund Washington, in order to save the estate paid a ransom and even went so far as serving up drinks and refreshments to the British officers on one of their ships. Washington was later indignant by his nephew's appeasement and later wrote him saying (writes Lossing) "he would rather have had the buildings destroyed, than saved by such ‘a pernicious example."
Conclusion: British Victory.

Late April or possibly mid May, 1781, Skirmish at Briar Creek, Screven County, Georgia

Not long after Clark, with 100 recruits, re-joined the besieging forces at Augusta, a loyalist relief force under Maj. Dill, on its way to relieve that town, was defeated at Briar Creek (a southern tributary of the Savannah River) by a whig force made up of over-mountain men under Col. Isaac Shelby and Georgians under Patrick Carr.

Though Lossing mentions Shelby this may well be an error since Shelby, at this time, is elsewhere assumed to have been occupied in dealing with the Cherokee threat on the “North Carolina” frontier. On the other hand, there were close ties between the Watauga people and those of northwest Georgia, so the case for presence of Shelby in Georgia has something to support it.

Lossing (and Boatner, going by him) states this action took place in mid May, while Coleman says “in April.” Coleman's date is given preference here based on the mere assumption that he had the greater opportunity for hindsight, compared to Lossing - though this, of itself, of course, doesn't necessarily prove anything. In fact Coleman, doesn't give a reference, and may have been drawing on the even older source. Coleman also, incidentally, says Dill's losses were 40 killed.


“The British remained in possession of Augusta until the spring and summer of 1781, when their repose was disturbed. After the battle at Guilford Court House, and when the determination of Greene to march into South Carolina was made known, Clark and M'Call proceeded to co-operate with him by annoying the British posts in Georgia."

M'Call soon afterward died of the small-pox, and Clark suffered from the same disease. After his recovery, he, with several other partisans, was actively engaged at various points between Savannah and Augusta, and had frequent skirmishes with the British and Tory scouts.

In an engagement near Coosawhatchie, in Beaufort District, South Carolina, where Colonel Brown then commanded, the Americans were defeated; and several who were taken prisoners were hanged, and their bodies given to the Indians to scalp and otherwise mutilate. This was Brown's common practice, and made his name as hateful at the South as that of ‘Bloody Bill Cunningham.'
Conclusion: American Victory. Casualties: American: ?; British: ?

May of 1781

May 1, 1781 Skirmish at Friday's Ferry, Lexington County, South Carolina

On May 1, Some loyalists guarding Friday's Ferry, near Ft. Granby, were surprised by a group of dragoons under Col. Wade Hampton. Bass says Henry Hampton, while Sumter's report to Greene of May 2nd says merely “Col Hampton.” 13 loyalists were killed.

As well, Hampton attacked another small detachment on their way to the fort and another 5 were killed. Numbers of men involved on both side s is not recorded but he number was probably few. Before openly taking side with the whigs, Wade Hampton owned and ran a “store” in the area, which the British subsequently confiscated.

In the same letter reporting this skirmish, Sumter said:

“The Hessian horse is Gone Downwards Except Twenty five that Crosed from the fort at Motts & Went in to Camden With Majr Doyl [John Doyle].”

Conclusion: American Victory.

May 1, 1781 Ambush at Bush River, Newberry County, South Carolina

On May 1, Col. John Thomas, Jr. acting for Sumter, ambuscaded a group of loyalists. Thomas killed 3, while taking 12 prisoners, and capturing 4 wagons.
Conclusion: American Victory.

May 6, 1781, Skirmish at Peacock's Bridge, Wilson County, North Carolina

After crossing the Neuse River, Tarleton advance column came upon a force of 400 Pitt County, N.C. militia waiting for him at Peacock's Bridge. The bridge passed over Contentnea Creek near Stantonsburg. Tarleton dispersed the militia, but reportedly not without receiving losses himself. There is little documentation on this engagement so it may actually be the same engagement as Tarboro, May 6, though this is purely speculation.
Conclusion: British Victory.

May 6, 1781, Skirmish at Tarboro, Edgecombe County, North Carolina

Brig. Gen. Jethro Sumner, at Halifax, N.C., wrote to Greene on May 6th saying that by the best accounts the British were near Tarboro. Their cavalry routed a party of militia near that place before the main body of Lord Cornwallis's army "was in view."

Sumner expected that most of the stores at Halifax would be removed before they arrived. As it turned out while some were retrieved, much was subsequently captured or destroyed. Sumner added he had been able to arm only a 100 of the N. C. Continental draftees. Brig. Gen. Allen Jones was with Sumner at Halifax with 80 N.C. militiamen, and expected another 200 from Edgecomb County.


“In the beginning of May, Lieutenant-colonel Tarleton, with one hundred and eighty dragoons, and the light companies of the 82d and of Hamilton's North-Carolina regiment, both mounted on horses, advanced in front of the army, crossed the Nahunta and Coteckney creeks, and soon reached the Tarr river. On his route he ordered the inhabitants to collect great quantities of provisions for the King's troops, whose numbers he magnified in order to awe the militia, and secure a retreat for his detachment, in case the Roanoke could not be passed.

When Lieutenant-colonel Tarleton had proceeded over the Tarr, he received instructions, if the country beyond that river could afford a tolerable supply of flour and meal for the army, to make every possible effort to procure information of General Phillips:

Upon finding the districts more fruitful as he advanced, he determined, by a rapid march, to make an attempt upon Halifax, where the militia were assembling, and by that measure open a passage across the Roanoke, for some of the emissaries, who had been dispatched into Virginia, to return to the King's troops in North Carolina."

Conclusion: British Victory.

May 7, 1781 at Swift Creek & Fishing Creek, North Carolina

Continuing on to Virginia after resting in Wilmington, the British army under Lt. General Charles, Lord Cornwallis was once again attacked at Swift Creek by Capt. Harry Hill, who was once again handily dispersed by Lt. Col. Banastre Tarelton. Six miles north, they tried again at Fishing Creek, and again they were scattered by Tarleton.
Conclusion: British Victory

May 7, 1781 at Halifax, North Carolina

In Halifax, local Patriots gathered once again to try to stop Lord Cornwallis's march north to Virginia. Lt. Col. Banastre Tarleton was not leading the Redcoats this time - instead he decided to circle around the small town and to come in from the north, behind the Patriots. He struck them while they were assembling on a bridge, but this time he lost three dragoons and a number of horses killed.

The local militia did not disperse, but instead occupied a redoubt on the other side of the Roanoke River. Major General Nathanael Greene's engineer - Thaddeus Kosciuszko - had built the redoubt when he correctly guessed that Lord Cornwallis would come to the important town of Halifax. Lt. Col. Tarleton observed that the redoubt was overlooked by higher ground on the other side of the river. A cannon from the main force would easily drive the Patriots away. He sent a request to send the Guards on horseback since he only had light troops and about sixty infantry to hold the ground. Lord Cornwallis sent out a party of pioneers and a cannon.

However, the field piece did not drive away the Patriots and they continued to fire upon the Redcoats, even as Lord Cornwallis occupied their town on May 11. Cornwallis finally sent a large detachment across the river and they drove off the rebels.

The British army did not treat the town kindly after the long standoff. There was so much looting that Lord Cornwallis had to court-martial and execute a sergeant and a dragoon. He then dispatched Lt. Col. Hamilton and his men onward to find Major General Phillips's location in Virginia. Shortly thereafter, he moved his army across the Roanoke River and into Virginia.

Lord Cornwallis's plan to split the northern and southern colonies would most likely work as long as Major General Phillips elected to collaborate with him. Fortunately, Major General Phillips died of a fever a few days before Lord Cornwallis made it to Virginia.
Conclusion: British Victory

May 8, 1781 at ??, South Carolina

On May 8, Col. Joseph Hayes was sent out to attack a large Loyalist force on Fair Forest Creek. Hayes was defeated and quickly withdrew his force from the area.
Conclusion: British Victory.

May 8, 1781 at Sawney's Creek (also Sandy Creek), Kershaw County, South Carolina

On the night of May 7, Rawdon crossed the Wateree Ferry and moved to attack what he thought was the main American force at Sawney Creek, but which, as it turned out, was only the light infantry and cavalry pickets of the American army.

On May 8, Maj. Gen. Nathaniel Greene moved his Patriot force to Sawney's Creek after finding out that a British force, commanded by Brig. Gen. Francis Rawdon, had arrived in Camden.

In the morning, Rawdon marched his force to Wateree Ferry. He followed Greene to the lower side of Sawney's Creek, a rough area of pine and oak trees, where his advance troops met the pickets of Lt. Col. George Washington's dragoons. A short skirmish ensued, with the pickets being driven away. Both Greene and Rawdon withdrew their forces without any more engagements. Finding Greene's position too strong, Rawdon withdrew back to Camden.

Rawdon, in his letter of May 24th to Cornwallis wrote:

“Whilst, upon that principle, I waited for my expected succours, Gen. Greene retired from our front, and, crossing the Wateree, took a position behind Twenty-five Mile Creek. On the 7th of May, Lieutenant-colonel Watson joined me with his detachment, much reduced in number through casualties, sickness, and a reinforcement which he had left to strengthen the garrison at George Town.

He had crossed the Santee near its mouth, and had recrossed it a little below the entrance of the Congaree.

On the night of May 7, I crossed the Wateree at Camden ferry, proposing to turn the flank and attack the rear of Greene's army, where the ground was not strong, though it was very much so in front. The troops had scarcely crossed the river, when I received notice that Greene had moved early in the evening, upon getting information of my being reinforced, I followed him by the direct road, and found him posted behind Sawney's creek.

Having driven in his pickets, I examined every point of his situation; I found it every where so strong, that I could not hope to force it without suffering such loss as must have crippled my force for any future enterprise; and the retreat lay so open for him, I could not hope that victory would give us any advantage sufficiently decisive to counterbalance the loss. The creek (though slightly marked in the maps) runs very high into the country.

Had I attempted to get round him, he would have evaded me with ease; for, as his numbers still exceeded mine, I could not separate my force to fix him in any point, and time (at this juncture most important to me) would have been thus unprofitably wasted. I therefore returned to Camden the same afternoon, after having in vain attempted to decoy the enemy into action, by affecting to conceal our retreat.”

Conclusion: Draw

May 9, 1781, Surrender of Pensacola, West Florida (Escambia Co., Florida)

After a siege lasting two months, the Spanish under General (also Governor) Bernardo de Galvez took Fort George in Pensacola, Florida from the British. As a result, control of West Florida passed over to the Spanish.
Conclusion: Spanish Victory.

May 9, 1781 at Deep River, North Carolina

As the British marched on to Wilmington, noted Loyalist Capt. David Fanning returned to the Deep River settlements. His route placed him directly in the path of Major General Nathanael Greene's army marching towards South Carolina. Major General Greene sent out foragers on his flanks, and these men treated all Loyalists and their sympathizers quite harshly. Fanning later wrote that he and his men captured eighteen of these foragers.

His raids redirected the attention of the Patriots in the area and when they left their districts unprotected while in search of Fanning, other Loyalists sprang into action in Bladen and Cumberland counties.

In early May, Capt. David Fanning and eight men were camped at a friend's house on Deep River. Capt. John Hinds of the local Patriot militia learned of this and they rode hard with eleven men to surprise Fanning and pin him down in the house. As Capt. Hinds moved closer to the house, Fanning and his men burst out, firing as they ran. They rushed past the Patriots, killed one, and fled into the nearby woods. The Loyalists were able to capture several horses and weapons.
Conclusion: American Victory

May 10, 1781, Camden, South Carolina

Rawdon abandoned Camden, burning stores and baggage he could not take with him. As well, he damaged cannon so they were not usable and set fire to many of the buildings.

When Greene retook Camden he reported on 14 May to Samuel Huntington that Rawdon

"left all our men, wounded on the 25th [Hobkirk's Hill], amounting to Thirty one and fifty eight of their own and three Officers who were all too badly wounded to be moved."

After Rawdon abandoned Camden, Greene sent a detachment into the town and moved with his army toward Friday's Ferry, he called an escort of dragoons and met Lee and Marion at Fort Motte after the fort surrendered and he had made camp at Widow Weston's near McCord's Ferry.
Conclusion: American Victory.

May 11, 1781 at Cohera Swamp, North Carolina

During Lord Cornwallis's march to Virginia, many Loyalists in the area began to gather their courage. In the western section of what was then Duplin County some Loyalists formed a camp in the Cohera Swamp. They believed that their location was a secret. This group had not yet chosen a leader and they were not really very organized.

Col. James Kenan of the Duplin County Regiment of Militia learned about their camp and quickly gathered 12-15 men to go after the Loyalists in the swamp. His plan was to disperse them before they became too well organized. His men scouted the camp and were surprised by a hidden sentry. Both sides fired and the Loyalists killed Owen Kenan, the colonel's brother. Since neither side was too sure of the other side's numbers, they both retreated.
Conclusion: Inconclusive

May 11, 1781 at Buffalo Ford, North Carolina

Loyalist Capt. David Fanning was bent on revenge after Capt. John Hinds had hanged two of his men at Deep River on May 9th. He focused his revenge on the regiment of Col. John Collier and Col. Andrew Balfour of the Randolph County Regiment of Militia since they were Capt. Hinds's superiors.

Capt. Fanning gathered seventeen men and set up an ambush at Buffalo Ford on the Deep River. Two hours later his scouts reported that Col. Collier's militia had been delayed because they had plundered a Loyalist home along the way.

Capt. Fanning and his men immediately rode to the house and attacked the Patriots. Within a half hour, the Loyalists had killed the Patriot captain and a private, wounded three others, and captured two more. They also seized eight horses and several swords.

This group of Loyalists pursued another group of Patriots and caught up to them the next morning. Capt. Fanning also defeated them, killing four, wounding three, capturing one man and their horses. He continued to pursue the survivors, killing one and capturing two more.
Conclusion: British Victory

May 11-12, 1781, Cox's Mill, Randolph Co., North Carolina

A small group of whigs were raided by Capt. David Fanning's and 17 tories some three miles from Cox's Mill (below modern Franklinville.)

The rebels lost 2 killed, 7 wounded, and had 18 horses taken. The following day *the 12th) a similar raid took place and 4 whigs were killed, 3 wounded, 1 captured, and a number of their horses taken.

Fanning then returned to his base at Cox's Mill. Sometime later the same month, in a similar foray, Fanning captured 3 more men and 9 more horses.
Conclusion: British Victory.

May 13, 1781 at Legat's Bridge, North Carolina

Capt. David Fanning learned from his scouts that there was a force of Patriots thirty miles away and they were assembling to come after him. He again took seventeen men and they rode all night to make a pre-emptive strike on the Patriots.
At ten o'clock the next morning, he struck the camp of Capt. John Fletcher, with 25 Cumberland County Regiment militiamen. The Patriots returned fire for about ten minutes, then retreated, leaving behind four killed and one captured. Capt. Fletcher took three wounded men with him. Capt. Fanning also captured eighteen horses - he only had one man wounded, who later died - Daniel Campbell.

After this engagement, Capt. Fanning learned that Col. Guilford Dudley was coming from Major General Nathanael Greene's camp in Camden (SC). Col. Dudley had served with distinction at the battle of Hobkirk's Hill (SC) and had been discharged by Greene on May 10. His men were returning home with their baggage wagons and had light cavalry escorting them.

Capt. Fanning placed his men in an ambush site on the side of the road and waited. After a long time, he decided to go see where Col. Dudley was, so he took one man and they rode off. After about a mile and a half, they encountered Col. Dudley with his baggage wagon. Capt. Fanning turn and sped back to his men with Patriot dragoons hot on his heels.

When Capt. Fanning reached his men, the Patriots tried to fire their pistols, but they misfired. Fanning's men rose and fired, killing five Patriots, the rest fleeing. Fanning's men pursued them for about 2.5 miles and captured three of Col. Dudley's men, the baggage wagon valued at "1,000 Sterling," and nine horses. He decided to break off the pursuit and take his cargo to Cox's Mill. Within the baggage were mostly the possessions of Col. James Read of the NC Light Horse Regiment.
Conclusion: British Victory

May 14, 1781 at Croton River in New York

On May 14, DeLancey and a group of Tories crossed the Croton River under the cover of darkness. There was an American outpost nearby commanded by Col. Christopher Greene. The Tories advanced upon the outpost and attcked it, capturing the outpost after a short fight. Greene was alone inside his headquarters when the Tories burst in there. He drew his sword and engaged the Tories, killing several of them, before he himself was overcome and killed. Afterwards, the Tories mutilated Greene's body.
Conclusion: British Victory.

May 15, 1781, Beech (Beach)Island, Aiken County, South Carolina

McCrady records a skirmish between men under Col. Elijah Clark and men under Col. Thomas Brown, in which Clark is known to have lost 6 killed and an unknown number wounded, while Brown's losses are not known.

Possibly Brown made a foray against his besiegers, or else went to the aid of a relief or supply column (or river flotilla) on its way to Augusta.
Conclusion: British Victory.

May 16, 1781 at Portevent's Mill, Duplin Co., North Carolina

On May 16, the Loyalist force, commanded by Maj. ?? Mobley, was camped at Portevent's Mill. Some scouts from the Patriot force, commanded by Col. James Kenan, discovered the Loyalists at the mill grinding some corn.

They sent word back to the main force letting Kenan know about their finding. They attacked the Loyalists at the mill. The Loyalists fled in all directions after a brief skirmish.

The Patriots pursued them up the Six Runs River. A final skirmish ensued after a quick ambush was set up by a part of the Patriots. A Loyalist discovered the ambush and the Loyalists attacked the Patriot flank. Hand-to-hand fighting took place, with the Loyalists eventually fleeing into the swamp.
Conclusion: American Victory. Casualties: American: 3k, 3+w; British: 12k, 4w, 12c

May 20, 1781 near Ninety-Six, South Carolina

As Major General Nathanael Greene was marching his army to attempt to take Ninety-Six away from British control, he sent out Lt. Col. William Washington with his cavalry and the Delaware Light Infantry to eliminate any Loyalist militia en route.

Washington learned of a party of Loyalists under the command of Major William Young and he moved to attack their camp. When the Patriots arrived, they discovered the camp abandoned and the Loyalists had scattered into the surrounding swamps. Washington's cavalry went off in pursuit while Capt. Robert Kirkwood with the Deleware Continentals (infantry) was left to his own pace.

As soon as the cavalry rode off, some Loyalists came out of the swamps and woods and mistook Capt. Kirkwood as their own kind, since they were in hunting frocks and had not fired upon them. They eventually recognized the Delaware Continentals as their enemy and took one of them as prisoner, firing upon the rest. Capt. Kirkwood returned fire and killed one man. The rest of the Loyalists took off.

Lt. Col. Washington's cavalry heard the shooting and quickly returned to pursue the now mounted Loyalists. His dragoons killed four and captured six more before he returned to Capt. Kirkwood.
Conclusion: American Victory

May 21, 1781, March to Ninety-Six, also Saluda River, Newberry County, South Carolina

On 21 May, Green camped on Bush River, arriving the next day at Ninety-Six. Along the way, some of his light troops skirmished with some Loyalists as described by Kirkwood and Seymour below.


"21st. Was ordered with Col. Washington's Horse to Surprise a party of tories under command of Col. Young; Coming up to the place found it evacuated, the Horse left me, with expectation to Come up with them, when I moved on at Leisure.

The Tories taking us for some of them selves come out of a Swamp in our rear; & being undeceived took one of my men prisoners (sic); upon which A firing Commenced, but they being on horse back pushed off with the Loss of one man Killed & one Horse taken, A Short time Afterwards the Horse joined me, and before Dark killed 4 more taking 6 Prisoners; Marched this day...23 [miles].”


"On the twenty-first of May we took and killed about twelve Tories. Marched sixteen miles."

Conclusion: American Victory.

May 21, 1781 at Fort Galphin, South Carolina

Lt. Col. Henry Lee was on his way to support GA Col. Elijah Clarke at Beech Island, so he left much of his force and the NC Continentals behind and proceeded to Fort Galphin, where he was joined by a small group of miltiamen under Col. LeRoy Hammond. Lt. Col. Lee gave command to Major Michael Rudolph who invested the British post with his infantry, while Lt. Col. Lee's cavalry was sent to cut off any relief from Augusta.

On May 21st, Major Rudolph had the militia to make a half-hearted attack on the post and then they slowly moved away, towards the bulk of Major Rudoph's Continentals who were hiding in the pine barrens around the fort. When the defenders sallied out to attack the small militia group they left the gates open. Major Rudolph rushed in and took possession.
Conclusion: American Victory

May 21, 1781 at Bush River, South Carolina

On May 20, Major General Nathanael Greene camped on Bush River, arriving the next day at Ninety-Six. The next day, some of his light troops skirmished with some Loyalists as described by Kirkwood and Seymour below.

Kirkwood: "21st. Was ordered with Lt. Col. Washington's Horse to Surprise a party of tories under command of Col. Young; Coming up to the place found it evacuated, the Horse left me, with expectation to Come up with them, when I moved on at Leisure. The Tories taking us for some of themselves come out of a Swamp in our rear; & being undeceived took one of my men prisoners; upon which a firing Commenced, but they being on horse back pushed off with the Loss of one man Killed & one Horse taken, A Short time Afterwards the Horse joined me, and before Dark killed 4 more taking 6 Prisoners; Marched this day...23 [miles].”

Seymour: "On the twenty-first of May we took and killed about twelve Tories. Marched sixteen miles."
Conclusion: American Victory

May 24, 1781 at Beech Island, South Carolina

After Fort Grierson, near Augusta, had been captured by the Patriots, a company of South Carolina militia deserted and slipped down the Savannah River, led by a man named Rutherford. They hoped to elude any and all patrols, but at sunrise of May 24, they ran into a Patriot horse guard camped on the South Carolina side just opposite Beech Island.

The Patriot cavalry tried to stop the fleeing deserters, but were unable to do so. A few of the deserters fought back and killed several of the cavalry. Capt. Tarleton Brown, Jr. (Upper Granville County Regiment) heard the alarm and quickly mounted his men to cut off the deserters, but they managed to get across to the other side and escape.
Conclusion: Inconclusive

May 28-29 (also given as 20-21 May), 1781, Evacuation of Georgetown, Georgetown County, South Carolina

Marion, with 400 mounted men, briefly laid siege to Georgetown. The town at this time had a garrison of about 80 provincials and some few loyalists militia.

After the first night Marion started to dig. Then leaving a small detachment of militia as guard, he marched the rest of his brigade upstate to other operations. The British evacuated the town the next night(the 29th), leaving the 3 nine-pounders and carronade spiked, with their trunnions "knocked off." After taking Georgetown, Marion set about breaking up its fortifications.

On June 5, Marion reported the ships (a galley, 2 gun boats and an armed schooner) containing the garrison, were still outside the harbor, though, as it turned out no subsequent effort was made to take the city. By that time, Marion had few men left and little ammunition.
Conclusion: American Victory.

June of 1781

June 1781 - at Edenton Harbor, North Carolina (HMS General Arnold captured )

In June, the row galley HMS General Arnold, commanded by Capt. Michael Quinn, had been burning ships up the Chowan River. When it entered the Edenton Harbor, the ship ran aground. The local militia managed to capture it after it was not able to free itself.
Conclusion: American Victory

June 1, 1781 at Vaudent's Old Field in South Carolina

On June 1, Lt. Col. Richard Hampton and a Patriot force was sent south to engage any British or Loyalist force that was attempting to relieve the siege at Fort Ninety-Six.

Hampton spotted a 50-man force of South Carolina Royalists, commanded by Ens. Henry Livingstone, at Vaudant's Old Field. The Patriots attacked and defeated the Royalists. Livingstone was one of several Royalists killed in the fight..
Conclusion: American Victory. Casualties: American: ?; British: 3+k

June 3, 1781, Skirmish at Snipe's Plantation in South Carolina

On June 3, a Loyalist force, commanded by Capt. John Saunders, made surprise attack at the Snipe's Plantation. Capt. William C. Snipes and a small group of over 25 partisans were located here.

During the night, the Loyalists attacked the partisans, capturing all but 7 who managed to escape. The prisoners were executed not long after they were captured.
Conclusion: British Victory. Casualties: American: 18k; British: ?

June 4, 1781, Raid on Charlottesville in Charlottesville, Virginia

On June 4, Lt. Col. Banastre Tarleton and 250 British Infantry attacked the village of Charlottesville. With a surprise cavalry raid, they seized 7 members of the Virginia General Assembly. Governor Thomas Jefferson was warned of the British attack and fled 10 minutes before Ban and his troopers arrived, barely escaping, and fled into the nearby mountains.
Conclusion: British Victory. Casualties: American: 7c; British: ?

June 17, 1781, Burning of Wyanoke Ferry in North Carolina

As Lt. General Charles, Lord Cornwallis and his British Army marched north to Yorktown, Virginia, a Loyalist raiding party burned the settlement at Wyanoke Ferry.

Major Hardy Murfree, of the North Carolina Continental Line, reported on July 22nd that the enemy came from Suffolk, VA to South Quay on July 16th and destroyed some warehouses. The next day, July 17th, they marched to Wyanoke Ferry and burned down Mr. Manning's dwelling and store house, then took all the horses and plundered the homes of the local inhabitants.
Conclusion: British Victory. Casualties: American: ?; British: ?

June 18, 1781 at Juniper Springs in South Carolina

On June 18, in the morning, Maj. John Coffin, in the British rear guard of about 60 men, set an ambush for the Patriot force of about 160 men, commanded by Col. Charles S. Myddleton. When the Patriots engaged the ambush, Coffin surrounded the partisan's flanks and rear with cavalry.

Not being equipped for close combat, Myddleton's force was decimated by the ambush. After a heavy loss of men, the remaining Patriot force quickly withdrew from the area.
Conclusion: British Victory. Casualties: American: 34 k & c; 71 m; British: ?

June 18, 1781 at Rogers' Plantation, South Carolina

In June of 1781, when Col. Francis, Lord Rawdon's army was advancing to the relief of Ninety-Six, Lt. Col. Samuel Hammond detached a small party from his regiment of militia for the purpose of protecting the countryside.
This force of only twenty-four men attacked a party of over seventy Loyalists at Rogers' plantation, which is supposed to have been near the present town of Edgefield. The Patriots totally routed the Loyalists, killed several, and took almost all of their arms.

This enemy force seems to have been the Stevens Creek Regiment of Loyalists, commanded by Col. John Cotton. The Loyalists succeeded in killing the Patriot commander, Capt. Thomas Harvey, who "met his death in the arms of victory."
Conclusion: American Victory

June 26, 1791, Skirmish at Spencer's Ordinary, also Spencer's Tavern in James City County, Virginia

Wayne, leading Lafayette's van, received word of Simcoe and the Queen's Rangers foraging near Spencer's Ordinary (about six miles north of Williamsburg).

On the night of June 25, Wayne sent most of the advanced parties under Col. Richard Butler, with McPherson, McCall, and Willis, to intercept them. A forward party of about 50 dragoons and 50 light infantry under McPherson caught up with Simcoe.

There was a skirmish, in which both sides lost about 30 men each. Simcoe broke off the action, and brought word to Cornwallis of the American advance. Cornwallis moved his army up in response, but there was no further fighting.

The Americans then retired to Tyre's Plantation, while Cornwallis continued his march to Williamsburg. There he found some recruits which had lately arrived, for his Guards. For the next week, the two opposing forces remained roughly in these locations about sixteen to twenty miles from each other, with weather that was excessively hot.

On June 30th, Cornwallis reported to Clinton his losses at that date as 33 killed and wounded, and that 31 Americans were taken prisoner (the latter in the recent raids in and around Richmond and Charlottesville.)


"Every division, every officer, every soldier had his share in the merit of the action (at Spencer's Ordinary): mistake in the one might have brought on cowardice in the other, and a single panick strucken soldier would have probably have infected a platoon, and led to the utmost confusion and ruin; so that Lt.Col. Simcoe has ever considered this action as the climax of a campaign of five years, as the result of true discipline acquired in that space by unremitted diligence, toil and danger, as a honorable victory earned by veteran intrepidity."

Conclusion: British Victory. Casualties: American: 33k, 31c; British: ?

June 26, 1781 Skirmish at Williamsburg in Virginia

On June 26, a British force consisting of Col. John Simcoe's Queen's Rangers, supported by a small force of German jager riflemen, encountered and attacked the leading elements of the Pennsylvania Continental Line, commanded by Col. Thomas Butler, and some American cavalry.

The skirmish happened at Williamsburg. The action was indecisive.
Conclusion: Inconclusive Victory. Casualties: American: ?; British: ?

July of 1781

July, 1781 at Ray's Mill Creek, North Carolina

Col. Philip Alston was a Patriot commander in Cumberland County who had a reputation of being ruthless to anyone he perceived as being a Loyalist. His home was in what is now Moore County. Col. Alston pursued Col. David Fanning after he raided Chatham Court House on July 17.

While passing by the home of Thomas Taylor, Col. Alston heard a remark that infuriated him. What the comment was has not been passed down for posterity, but he shot Thomas Taylor dead on the spot.

Col. David Fanning stayed that night at Kenneth Black's home as he rode to Wilmington to deliver his prisoners taken at Chatham Court House. Black accompanied him part of the way the next day as his guide. When they parted, Black gave him his horse for the tired one Fanning was riding.

As Black returned home he encountered Col. Philip Alston and his Patriot Militia. He attempted to escape on the worn-out horse, but he was quickly wounded, and fell off the horse. He begged for his life, but the Patriots cracked his head with the butt of a rifle. He did not die, and was later able to tell Fanning who his attackers were.

Col. Alston did not continue his pursuit of Col. Fanning. On his return home he stopped at Deep River at the home of Loyalist Col. Hector McNeill and accused the old man of stealing one of his slaves. Col. Alston threatened to hang him if the slave was not returned. Mrs. McNeill had her own slave track down the missing one of Col. Alston's and return him.
Conclusion: American Victory

July, 1781 at Bloody Savannah, South Carolina

Skirmish, Major John Singleton (?) vs. unnamed Loyalists

Lyman C. Draper wrote of a skirmish conducted by a Major John Singleton of Sumter’s Patriots.
Singleton... "with a small squad of Sumter’s men…attacked a party of marauding Tories, eleven in number, at Bloody Savannah, ten miles distant" from the present-day town of Sumter. Singleton "killed ten of the Loyalist gentlemen, one of them making his escape by hiding behind a pile of rails."
Conclusion: American Victory

July, 1781 at Dreher's Plantation, South Carolina

Capt. Godfrey Dreher (Orangeburgh District Regiment of Militia) and his family drove off a detachment of Loyalists that had been sent from Fort Granby to arrest him.
Conclusion: American Victory

July, 1781 at Sandy Run Creek, South Carolina

On a different scouting mission Thomas Young was riding with Colonels Brandon, Casey, Hughes, and Major Jolly. They had learned of a band of Loyalists who were hiding in a dense thicket on "Sandy River" and the Loyalists were supposed to have a "great deal of concealed plunder." The Patriots rode to Sandy Run Creek early in the morning and attacked the Loyalist hideout. The Patriots routed the Loyalisis and recovered the plunder.
Conclusion: American Victory

July, 1781 at Tugaloo River, South Carolina

Three companies under the command of Col. Robert Anderson (Upper Ninety-Six District Regiment of Militia) marched against the Cherokees on the Tugaloo River. On this march they took "one white man prisoner." They were not strong enough to attack the Cherokee town, so they destroyed what they could and then returned. William Morrow was on the expedition and he wrote that they "accomplished very little."
Conclusion: American Victory

July 3, 1781 at Berkeley County, South Carolina

Sometime between July 9th and July 18th, a detachment of Lt. Col. William Washington’s 3rd Continental Dragoons (VA) defeated two unnamed companies of British dragoons killing a few and capturing fifty prisoners. The location of this engagement is currently unknown. It was mentioned that it happened while patrolling the roads between McCord's Ferry and Charlestown.
Conclusion: American Victory

July 3, 1781, Skirmish at Kings Bridge (Second) in New York

On July 3, a force of Patriot and French troops attempted to surprise the British detachments around Kings Bridge.

The British force was alerted in time to retire after some skirmishing. They went to their defensive positions that was too strong for the Patriots and French to attack.
Conclusion: British Victory. Casualties: American: ?; British: ?

July 3, 1781, Ambush at Friday's Ferry in South Carolina

On July 3, the South Carolina Royalists went out on a foraging mission. A Patriot force, commanded by Capt. Joseph Eggleston, had sent out some scouts.

The scouts spotted the Royalists and sent word back to Eggleston of the approach of a British wagon with the Royalists escorting them. The Royalists saw the scouts and pursued them into an ambush that Eggleston had set up. All of the Royalists were captured except for one dragoon. Most of the wagons were also captured.
Conclusion: American Victory. Casualties: British: 48c

July 7, 1781, Skirmish at Ford's Plantationin in South Carolina

On July 7, a British force, commanded by Maj. Thomas Fraser, charged into the Patriot camp at Ford's Plantation. The 20+ Patriots, commanded by Col. Hayne, were quickly scattered away, with Hayne being captured.
Conclusion: British Victory.

July 4, 1781 at Wilmington, North Carolina

Lt. Col. Thomas Bloodworth wanted revenge for the massacre at Rouse's Tavern earlier that year in March. He could not muster enough men to take on the British in Wilmington, but he discovered a way to inflict death on them from a distance.
While on a fox chase one morning he discovered a tall cypress tree on Negro Head Point, directly across the Cape Fear River from Wilmington. This tree was seventy feet up to the first limb and the base was seven feet in diameter. The fox he had been chasing was inside the hollow tree when Lt. Col. Bloodworth arrived with his dogs. Looking up, he began planning how to avenge the death of his friend Major James Love at Rouse's Tavern.

In early June, he took his son Timothy, also captain in the militia, and his servant Jim Paget to Negro Head Point on the pretense of hunting for racoon. He told the men to bring along some food, for it may be a long hunt. They filled two wallets with provisions and took an auger, a large jug of water, and "Old Bess," his huge rifle. The three of them canoed down the river until they arrived at the cypress tree. He then told his companions of his plan and also told them that they'd be living at the tree for two or three weeks.

The three of them built a scaffold inside the tree and made an opening with the auger. Other holes were bored higher up to admit light and air. They cleared away enough of the leaves and branches so as to have a clear shot at the Market Dock. Lt. Col. Bloodworth trusted that the wind, which normally went down the river, would carry away the smoke and the report of the large rifle.

On the morning of July 4, he looked out through the bored hole and saw a group of British waiting in front of Nelson's liquor store. Lt. Col. Bloodworth took aim and fired, knocking down one man. Four other soldiers quickly carried the dead man into the store. He fired a second time and knocked down a second man. Those in the tree could hear the beating of the drums as panic set in.*

As a column of soliders marched down the wharf, Jim Paget asked if he could give the long gun a try. Lt. Col Bloodworth acquiesced and Jim took his place on the platform. Jim aimed at the formation and fired. The British broke and ran for cover.

Boats rowed across the river and the British began looking for the source, but none approached their location. The British simply thought it was impossible for a rifle shot to make it from there. The threesome called it a day, ate a small meal, and went to sleep in the hollow tree for the night.

The next morning, Lt. Col. Thomas Bloodworth looked again out of the hole in the cypress tree and saw no one on the wharf. Paget informed him that at grog time the British would line up at the liquor store. At eleven o'clock the soldiers went straight into the store, fearful of the hidden sniper. When there was no shots that morning they became more confident and waited in groups outside the door of the shops.

At noon, Bloodworth lined up his sights on one of the groups and fired. He saw a soldier fall and then dragged into the shop. A dragoon rode up to the dock peering in the direction of the opposite shore, when he too was knocked from his saddle and into the water.

The snipers continued their deadly hunt for almost a week when a Loyalist told the British that he remembered seeing Bloodworth and two other men go to Negro Head Point with a large rifle of his own manufacture. The Loyalist told them that he was probably concealed on Negro Head Point and they should cut down all the trees and underbrush that could hide a man.

Lt. Col. Bloodworth saw boats coming towards his hiding place and had Jim to close up the hole they had been firing out of. Twenty men landed on the Point and began to cut away the undergrowth with axes. When they arrived at the cypress tree it was late in the evening, and they decided to cut it down the next morning.

Ten men were left on the island with three sentinels watching over them. At first, Lt. Col. Bloodworth thought of tomakawking the guard at the canoe, but Jim was discovered, and the sentinel cried, "who goes there?" Jim made the sound of a wild hog and the guard relaxed and was soon asleep. Bloodworth crept up to the sleeping guard, jammed a small stick into his mouth and bound him hand and foot, and the three Patriots then safely escaped.
Conclusion: American Victory

July 8, 1781 at Horse Shoe, South Carolina

British Major Thomas Fraser with about ninety dragoons was sent out to find Col. Isaac Hayne, who had just nabbed Brig. Gen. Andrew Williamson at the suburbs of Charlestown. Col. Hayne was captured at Horse Shoe after a brief skirmish then taken to Charlestown where he was hanged.
Conclusion: British Victory

July 9, 1781 at Currytown, New York

Loyalists and Indians, under John Doxtader, attack Currytown, burning houses and taking several prisoners.
Conclusion: British Victory

July 11, 1781 at 15-Mile House, South Carolina

Col. Wade Hampton was ordered by Brigadier General Thomas Sumter to ride towards Biggin Creek Bridge and harass any British posts in the area. He attacked 15-Mile House, so named because it was 15 miles from Charlestown. William Brotherton wrote in his pension "They had a skirmish at the 15-Mile House and took prisoners but no person was killed."
Conclusion: American Victory

July 11, 1781 at 10-Mile House, South Carolina

Col. Wade Hampton was ordered by Brigadier General Thomas Sumter to ride towards Biggin Creek Bridge and harass any British posts in the area. He attacked 15 Mile House, so named because it was 15 miles from Charleston. Col. Hampton continued on to the Goose Creek Bridge, raided the next post at the 10 Mile House. William Brotherton wrote in his pension that "no person was killed."
Conclusion: American Victory

July 12, 1781 at Four Holes Bridge, South Carolina

The Patriots secured possession of the bridge at Four Holes Swamp in July and they held it until the British evacuated Charlestown in December of 1782.
Conclusion: American Victory

July 14, 1781 at Charlestown Harbor, South Carolina

Capt. John McCleur sailed his Virginia privateer Hunter into Charlestown Harbor and took the sloop Brier within full view of the British armed vessels anchored in the harbor. The Hunter was armed with ten carriage guns and 50 men, but did nto fire a shot. The Brier was filled with West India produce. Capt. McCleur escaped and escorted his prize into an unnamed North Carolina port.
Conclusion: American Victory

July 15, 1781 at Goose Creek, South Carolina

Brigadier General Thomas Sumter sent his troops along the various approach marches to Charlestown to disrupt British communications, destroy outposts, and harass the enemy at every opportunity. After harassing the 15-Mile House and the 10-Mile House, Col. Wade Hampton, seized Goose Creek Bridge with little opposition. Lt. Col. Henry Lee was supposed to meet with Col. Wade Hampton at the bridge, but Lt. Col. Lee did not show up. The Provincials under Lt. David Waugh retreated to the Quarter House.

On Sunday, July 15, Col. Hampton left the Goose Creek Bridge and went on to the nearby St. James Goose Creek Church.

Hampton continued his ride towards Charlestown after seizing the Goose Creek Bridge, then surrounded the nearby small St. James Goose Creek Church, captured the congregation, paroled the men, and confiscated several horses for his cavalry troops
Conclusion: American Victory

July 16, 1781 at Strawberry Ferry, South Carolina

The day after the raid on the Quarter House, Col. Wade Hampton stopped at a woman’s house, and she told him "that two sloops had landed a small distance up the river, with British soldiers and they were in the cornfield getting roasting corn and beans."

Col. Hampton immediately rode to the river bank, where he had half of his men dismount and "run into the vessels." They only found one British soldier on one of the two sloops, who aimed his musket at them. It misfired, snapping several times, before Col. Hampton’s men cut him down.

Col. Hampton’s men then searched the fields nearby and took thirty prisoners. They paroled the British soldiers and burned the two sloops, which were loaded with indigo. Col. Hampton then rode on and joined up with Brigadier General Thomas Sumter, who was preparing to lead a raid on Quinby's Bridge the next day.
Conclusion: American Victory

July 17, 1781 at Chatham Court House, North Carolina

With Major General Nathanael Greene moving deeper into South Carolina, Capt. David Fanning returned from his self-imposed six-week exile in the Uwharrie Mountains. Loyalists within North Carolina had been independent up until the summer of 1781, and no single leader was considered in command when the different groups did come together, which was infrequent.

Loyalist Capt. William Elrod began spreading malicious rumors about David Fanning and was undermining Fanning's authority. Fanning tired of this and asked all the field officers in the area to vote for the man who would be their commander. If they did not, he declared that he would not "go on another scout, until there was a field officer." Fanning was elected as their commander.

The Loyalists signed a petition and Fanning delivered it to Major James H. Craig, the occupying commandant of Wilmington. Major Craig was impressed by Fanning and promoted him to colonel of the Loyal Militia of Randolph and Chatham Counties. As a symbol of his rank and authority he was given a red officer's coat and a new sword.

On July 12, Col. David Fanning returned to Cox's Mill and called a general muster. One hundred and fifty men reported for duty, but only one third of them had arms. He retained fifty-three and sent the rest back home, ready to be called up when needed. The local Patriots were not intimidated.

On July 16, several leaders of the Loyalist militia were tried and sentenced to hang at Chatham Court House. Col. Fanning learned of this and rode all night with his men, and they arrived at seven o'clock the next morning. The members of the court-martial had gone home for the night but were expected to return to the court house at 8:00 AM on July 17.

Col. Fanning posted men on all the roads leading to the court house. Within two hours the Loyalists took fifty-three prisoners. Among them were Col. Ambrose Ramsey, some of the local militia officers, and three delegates of the General Assembly. Col. Fanning paroled all except for fourteen, who were then marched towards Wilmington.
Conclusion: British Victory

July 17, 1781 at Wyanoke Ferry, North Carolina

As Lt. General Charles, Lord Cornwallis and his British Army marched north to Yorktown, Virginia, a Loyalist raiding party burned the settlement at Wyanoke Ferry.

Major Hardy Murfree, of the North Carolina Continental Line, reported on July 22nd that the enemy came from Suffolk, VA to South Quay on July 16 and destroyed some warehouses.

On July 17, they marched to Wyanoke Ferry and burned down Mr. Manning's dwelling and store house, then took all the horses and plundered the homes of the local inhabitants.
Conclusion: British Victory

July 17, 1781 at Wadboo Bridge, South Carolina

A detachment of Brigadier General Francis Marion’s Patriots under the command of Lt. Col. Peter Horry with Lt. Col. Hezekiah Maham set fire to two British boats and destroyed the bridge.
Conclusion: American Victory

July 17, 1781 at Shubrick's Plantation, South Carolina

After their engagement that morning at Quinby's Bridge with Patriot troops, the British fortified their position at Shubrick's Plantation and awaited another attack by the Patriots. Late in the afternoon a large force, including troops from Sumter’s and Marion’s brigades, as well as Lt. Col. Henry Lee’s Legion, attacked.

The attack went well at first until Brigadier General Thomas Sumter’s troops ran out of ammunition and were about to be overrun by counter-attacking British troops. Brigadier General Francis Marion seeing this ordered his men to halt their advance and go to the aid of Brigadier General Sumter’s men. Feeling the sting from Brigadier General Marion’s Patriots, the British withdrew back to their fortified position thereby allowing Brigadier General Sumter’s men to retreat in safety. Without ammunition reserves most of the Patriots left the field of battle, allowing the British to safely fall back on Charlestown.
Conclusion: Inconclusive

July 17, 1781 at Quinby's Bridge, South Carolina

Soon after midnight of July 17, Lt. Col. John Coates left the burning Biggin Church and headed down the Cooper River to Quinby's Bridge, soon followed by Brigadier General Thomas Sumter, Brigadier General Francis Marion, and Lt. Col. Henry Lee with a total of about 550 men. Brigadier General Sumter left his artillery behind with Capt. Singleton so it would not slow him down.

Lt. Col. Henry Lee (VA) and Col. Wade Hampton (SC) led the pursuit until they came to a fork in the road at the Wadboo River. Col. Hampton followed the SC Royalists, which had taken the right-hand route, but his ride was in vain because the Royalist had already crossed the river and secured many boats on the other side.

About a mile north of Quinby's Bridge, a hundred men of the British 19th Regiment of Foot, led by Capt. Colin Campbell, were overtaken by Lt. Col. Lee's Legion. Capt. Campbell deployed his men in line with his left on the road and his right in the woods. Lt. Col. Lee sent Major Joseph Eggleston's 2nd Mounted Troop into the woods to come around the left flank, while the rest of the cavalry formed in close order on the road.

Lt. Col. Lee's trumpeter sounded "charge" and the cavalry came on at a gallop with their sabers flashing. Capt. Campbell's order to fire a volley was clearly heard by Lt. Col. Lee's men, but the order was not obeyed by his own men. The new recruits of the 19th Regiment of Foot threw down their arms without firing a shot. Nearly all the baggage was captured. Lt. Col. Lee did not tarry, but rode towards the bridge a half a mile away.

Since Lt. Col. John Coates arrived at Quinby's Bridge first, he began loosening the planks to remove them. When he saw his rear guard approaching, he left the planks in place so his men could cross. Once across the river, many of his soldiers began cooking breakfast. His cavalry even unbridled their horses.

Lt. Col. Henry Lee's cavalry soon appeared and Lt. Col. Coates placed his men into a defensive position and put the howitzer at the end of the bridge. However, some of his men were still removing planks from the bridge, therefore using the howitzer was impractical.

Lt. Col. Hezekiah Maham's dragoons charged right on through the men removing the planks and into the howitzer, driving artillerymen from the gun. This charge pushed off most of the loose planks, and those behind them had to attempt to cross the bridge on the stringers. Lt. Col. Maham's horse was shot from under him. Some of the plank removers picked up their muskets, fired a single volley, and then quickly fled across the bridge.

Capt. James McCauley did not stop to fight on the bridge, but charged on and carried the fight onto the causeway on the other side - the British side. Capt. James Amstrong followed and attacked Lt. Col. Coates and some of his officers around a wagon, while the 19th Regiment of Foot attempted to form into a line of battle, many without their coats on. For the British, it was total chaos.

Lt. Col. Henry Lee and the rest of his Legion arrived and began repairing the bridge, but they were only armed with swords and were no match for the muskets of the British regulars. Capt. McCauley and Capt. Armstrong soon realized that they were the only two on this side of the river and they rode to the rear of the British, thinking they would be safer there. These two commanderd wheeled their men into the woods on the side of the causeway.

The British were so crowded that they could not form a line of battle. Col. Thomas Taylor "had a superior rifleman with a long range gun who would pick off the British at the bridge." Col. Taylor and his men fought over the possession of a flatboat, and then had his men go across. The only thing that saved the cavalry was that the 19th Regiment of Foot was not battle-hardened veterans, but untested recruits, unsure of what to do in a fierce battle.

Lt. Col. John Coates decided to move his men into the concealment of nearby cornfields and to try to find some shelter in the nearby Shubrick's Plantation (aka Quinby Plantation) outbuildings. These were owned by Capt. Thomas Shubrick, who had been captured at the fall of Charleston over a year ago.
Conclusion: British Victory

July 25, 1781 at Georgetown, South Carolina

British forces burn the town of Georgetown, just ahead of advancing American forces.
Conclusion: British Victory

July 25, 1781 at Orangeburgh, South Carolina

During the seige of Orangeburgh, Lt. Col. William Washington (VA) sent Capt. John Watts out with twenty (20) men to harass the British, who had been sending out foraging parties every day. Major John Doyle of the Volunteers of Ireland gathered all the mounted troops within Orangeburgh to find supplies.

Major Doyle had 20-30 men with him when they ran into Capt. Watts at sunrise on July 25th. In a quick and furious fight, Major Doyle had two men killed and seven men captured. Capt. Lord Edward Fitzgerald of the 19th Regiment of Foot broke his sword on the back of one of the Patriots. Capt. Watts had one man wounded, Cornet Julius Hite.
Conclusion: American Victory

July 27, 1781 at Hudson's Ferry, South Carolina

An engagement between Patriots, led by Col. Isaac Shelby (NC), and Georgia Loyalists took place at Hudson’s Ferry on July 27.
Conclusion: Inconclusive

July 29, 1781 at House in the Horseshoe, North Carolina

The House in the Horseshoe was Col. Philip Alston's home located in a horseshoe bend of the Deep River in Moore County, North Carolina. It was in Cumberland County back in 1781. Col. Alston and his men had just completed an unsuccessful chase after Col. David Fanning and had returned to his home, where his men set up their camp. Col. Fanning soon learned that Col. Alston had mortally wounded Kenneth Black, his friend, and he learned of the murder of Thomas Tayor. Fanning wanted vengeance and decided to attack Col. Alston at his home.

Col. David Fanning normally did not care if he had one man or a hundred, but this time he had about the same number of men as Col. Alston. The Loyalists crossed at Dickson's Ford and arrived at the Alston home on Sunday morning, July 29th. The Patriot sentinels were fast asleep and Col. Fanning captured two of them. Unfortunately for the Loyalists, the other two sentries awoke and fired upon them. The sentries ran onto the porch where most of the Patriot militia was sleeping and rousted them from their beds.

All of the Patriots went into the house and barricaded it for a fight. Col. Alston's family was also inside, the children were protected by standing them up on a small table inside the brick fireplace. Mrs. Alston lay in her bed on the second floor as bullets passed through the boards over her head.

The fight evolved into a siege and had been going on for about two hours when a British lieutenant named McKay asked Col. Fanning if he could take command of his troops. Lt. McKay's plan was to rush the house and break down the doors as the rest of the Loyalists laid down intense covering fire. Col. Fanning said go ahead.

Lt. McKay briefly explained the plan to a few other men, and he leapt up over a rail fence to proceed. Just then, Col. Alston's men fired, hitting Lt. McKay in the head and wounding most of the men who had jumped up to follow him. Col. Fanning then bribed a "free Negro" to set fire to the house. Col. Alston suspected what was up, and the freeman was severely wounded when he made the attempt.

Col. Fanning began to think the cost was getting too high and was on the verge of calling off the siege when his men pulled out an oxcart from the nearby barn. It was filled with hay and set on fire. His plan was to roll it next to the house. Col. Alston realized that he was now out of options and decided to give himself up. However, he knew that he could not show himself to offer the terms because he'd be instantly shot.

Alston's wife, Temperance, asked her husband to leave the surrender to her. She raised a white flag and stepped onto the front porch. Col. Fanning told her to meet him halfway. She did, then offered, "We will surrender, sir, on condition that no one shall be injured; otherwise we will make the best defense we can; and if need be, sell our lives as dearly as possible."

Col. Fanning already had many men wounded, and an assault would not be easy. He also knew that if he burned down the house with women and children inside then he would lose any support from the Loyalists in the area. He agreed and he also kept his word. All of Alston's men surrendered and they were paroled.

Afterwards, Fanning sent his men home to rest until the next time they were needed. On the way back to his base camp at Cox's Mill, he learned that a wagonload of salt had passed by Deep River earlier that morning. He took eight men and rode hard for sixteen miles and caught up with the wagons, which were on their way to Major General Nathanael Greene's army.
Conclusion: British Victory

July 30, 1781 at Cox's Mill, North Carolina

While Col. David Fanning was attacking the House in the Horseshoe, unnamed Patriot forces unsuccessfully attacked his base camp at Cox's Mill that was being guarded by Capt. John Rains of the Randolph County Loyalist Militia. When the Patriots learned that Fanning was on his way back, they quickly headed home.
Conclusion: British Victory

August of 1781

August , 1782 at Halifax, North Carolina (HMS Packhorse Captured)

In June, the prison ship HMS Packhorse was headed north for a prisoner exchange. Lt. Edward Barnell and 35 other prisoners took over the ship and into a North Carolina harbor.
Conclusion: American Victory

August , 1782 at Bass's Mill, South Carolina

Not more than twelve miles down river from Cashua Ferry was Bass's Mill, site of an engagement in August of 1781. Moses Bass was the proprietor of a well-known tavern situated on an island in Naked Creek near his mill. His establishment became the scene of a violent gunfight after a party of Loyalists discovered that a party of Patriots had made advance dinner reservations at the tavern. When Lt. Col. Maurice Murphy and his detachment arrived on the appointed day and hour, an ambush was sprung just as some of the unsuspecting Patriots were sitting down to their food and cider, while others were relaxing on the front porch.

Although the enemy had the advantage of surprise the Patriots had the advantage of the cover provided by the public house. Major Jesse Barefield and his Loyalists were retreating toward the entrance causeway in defeat, when they heard one of the Patriot soldiers call out in a loud voice, "Good Heavens! What shall we do? The powder is out!" Barefield's men promptly resumed their attack, and Lt. Col. Murphy's Patriots were forced to escape down the steep embankment behind the tavern and seek refuge in the thick woods across the creek.

Despite its comic-opera overtones, this skirmish had its serious aspects. Two Patriots and an unspecified number of Loyalists were killed, and Lt. Col. Murphy's men appear to have lost their horses, a serious setback for a mounted militia unit.
Conclusion: British Victory

August , 1782 at Orangeburgh, South Carolina

After Lt. Col. Henry Lee captured 20 British at McCord's Ferry, he sent the prisoners off with Cornet George Carrington. Cornet Carrington had 12 dragoons, which were ambushed by sixty Loyalists near Orangeburgh. The Loyalists were able to free seventeen of the 20 prisoners.
Conclusion: British Victory

August 1, 1781 at Laurens County, South Carolina

Loyalist militia under the command of Major William "Bloody Bill" Cuningham attacked and dispersed local Patriot militia under Capt. Andrew Barry (Roebuck's Battalion of Spartan Regiment of Militia) in what is today Laurens County.
Conclusion: British Victory

August 1, 1781 in Yorktown, Virginia

General Cornwalllis, after unsuccessfully trying to engage Nathanael Green’s forces, decides to rest his troops at the small port of Yorktown on the Chesapeake Bay. This, he believes, will enable him to communicate freely with General Clinton whose army is in New York.
Conclusion: British Victory

August 3, 1781, Skirmish at McCord's Ferry (aka McCant's Ferry) near Orangeburg, South Carolina

On August 3, the British seized control of McCord's Ferry on the Congaree River. Lee had been ordered by Greene to strike at the enemy's lines of communications from Orangeburgh to Charlestown.

McCord's Ferry was along that line. Lee circled around the British camp at McCord's Ferry with sixty men and crossed the river. His cavalry dispersed 32 wagons with an escort of 300 men within sight of the garrison at Orangeburgh.

The lead elements of the escort fell back, but Lee's men had to break off their attack when the main body of the British refused to yield. Lee was able to capture twenty of the enemy.
Conclusion: American Victory. Casualties: British: 20c

August 3, 1781 at Piney Bottom Creek, North Carolina

After Major General Nathanael Greene took his army into South Carolina in April of 1781, Col. Thomas Wade and Capt. Culp of the North Carolina Militia decided it was time to return home. When they crossed McNeill's Ferry one of the men stole a piece of coarse cloth from a poor servant girl named Marren McDaniel. This insignificant piece of fabric would lead to a bloodbath.

John "Cunning John" McNeill owned the ferry and learned where the Patriots were camped for the night. He sent out his runners to call in the Loyalist militia. Within 24 hours, the Loyalists had rendezvoused at the Longstreet Church and marched towards the Patriot camp.

About an hour before sunrise, the Loyalists came upon the camp of Col. Thomas Wade at Piney Bottom Creek, a branch of Rockfish Creek. All of the Patriots were asleep except for one sentry. When he saw the Loyalists he hailed them - they didn't answer. So, he hailed again, they didn't answer again, and he fired a shot of alarm.

Loyalist Duncan McCallum shot the sentinel and broke his arm. The Loyalists then charged the camp and shot down six of Col. Wade's men, the rest broke and ran, leaving everything behind, including a young lad in a wagon. He pleaded for his life, but Duncan Ferguson rode up to him and split his skull with his broadsword. For a small piece of cloth.

The wagons were plundered and burned, the officers took all the money, and the men took everything they could carry. Two days later, the Loyalists returned and took away the wheels and anything made of iron. The piece of cloth was taken from a corpse and returned to Marren McDaniel.
Conclusion: British Victory

August 5, 1781 at Dogger Bank, North Sea

Information coming soon
Conclusion: British Victory

August 6, 1781 at Shell's Bush, New York

A force of 60 Loyalists and Indians, under Donald McDonald, raids Shell's Bush, but is unable to pry John Christian Shell, his wife, and 6 sons from a two-story blockhouse. The Shell family peppers the enemy with musket fire while McDonald suffers a mortal leg wound while prying open a door with a crowbar. The raiders sullenly withdraw, having lost 11 killed and 6 wounded.
Conclusion: American Victory

August 9, 1781 at Atlantic Ocean

Capt. James Nicholson surrenders the 28-gun frigate, USS Trumbull, to the 32-gun frigate, HMS Iris, and the 18-gun frigate, HMS General Monck, after three-fourths of his crew, British deserters, refuse to fight. Nicholson, assisted only by Lts. Richard Dale and Alexander Murray, and a handful of men, stoutly resists for half an hour. Nicholson loses 5 killed and 175 prisoners.
Conclusion: British Victory

August 9, 1781 at Richmond & Cumberland Counties, North Carolina

Col. Thomas Wade and his Patriots continued their search for the Loyalists who had participated in the Piney Bottom massacre on August 3rd. In Richmond County they camped at the home of Daniel Patterson, who lived on Drowning Creek. He was an old man who played the bagpipes. Col. Wade's men beat the old man until he told them the names of all that took part in the massacre the week before.

The next day, the Patriots crossed the creek and went to Kenneth Clarke's house. There, they caught Alexander McLeod, and after looking in a potato field they captured John Clarke, Daniel McMillan, Duncan Currie, Allen McSweene, and an Irish deserter from the British army who was wearing a red coat. Out of all the prisoners, only McMillan and Currie had been at Piney Bottom Creek.

Around sunset, Capt. Patrick Boggan and his Light Horse Company arrived and ordered the prisoners to be put to death. He and his men had not found any Loyalists, but they had found some alcohol and they were all drunk. Since the boy murdered at Piney Bottom was killed with a sword, Capt. Boggan wanted all of these men executed the same way.

When his drunken men began slashing from horseback with their swords, the Loyalists all ducked and dodged, and then ran. Alexander McLeod was hit with three musket balls and died on the spot. Kenneth Clarke was shot, but he was able to run inside his home, where he died. Duncan Currie was shot and killed while trying to cross a fence. Daniel McMillan came into the house begging for his life. His shirt was on fire due to a musket blast being fired into his shoulder. Another musket ball had broken his arm and he been hit in three other places. He was given no mercy and then shot in the chest.

Allen McSweene tried to hide behind his wife, who was holding a child in her arms. She was yanked away from him. McSweene had his hands tied, but he was still able to run out a door and out-distance his captors to some nearby woods. He was caught about a quarter of a mile away, shot several times, and then his head was split open to the nose with a sword.

The Patriots told old Mr. Clarke to have all the bodies buried by the next evening or they would kill him, too. Col. Wade's men took the British deserter with them and killed him sometime during the night. The next day, a Sunday, Col. Wade and his men went to David Buchan's home, but not finding him there they set fire to it.

They then went to old Kenneth Black's home. Black and his son were hiding, but were found by Capt. Culp, who brought them back to the house. They tortured the old man by beating him or slapping him with their swords and screwing his thumb in a gunlock. Either Black knew nothing or he wasn't talking because they got nothing new out of him.

The Patriots then rode their horses into the house and crowded the Black family into the chimney area. Some went searching for some "light wood" to burn the house. Others found two large chests belonging to some British officers who had entrusted their belongings to Black while they were on active duty. One chest was filled with chinaware, which was smashed. The other chest was full of books, which were thrown on the floor and cut apart.

Flora McDonald, the famous Scottish heroine, lived four miles away. Two of her daughters came over at that time and were surprised to find their friend's home filled with men on horseback. The Patriots grabbed the girls' jewelry, then placing a sword to their breasts they split open their dresses and had them both stripped.

Mrs. Black saw one man sitting on his horse not plundering or taking part in the thievery, and she asked him why he was doing nothing. He told her that she had nothing he wanted - he was the father of the boy killed at Piney Bottom Creek. She then told them all that her family had just gotten over the Smallpox and that all of the Patriots had just handled everything still covered with the pox.

The men threw down the stolen items and took Kenneth Black to guide them to Mr. Ray's house. Many wanted to kill Mr. Black, but Capt. Culp would not let them. The raiders split into two groups - one went to Alexander Graham's house and the other went to Alexander Black's house. Graham had Smallpox. Black was murdered. At Rockfish Creek, Capt. Culp rode ahead to McLain's house. McLain was a friend and known not to have been involved in the massacre at Piney Bottom Creek. He ordered his men to keep riding.

The next Loyalist house they came to was owned by Peter Blue. They captured both Blue and Archibald McBride and shot them. Blue was wounded and McBride was killed. McBride was on parole and had not been at Piney Bottom Creek - his crime was staying at the house of a man who had been at the massacre.

The Patriots finally felt that they had avenged the boy and they disbanded. The violence was not over yet. A mulatto man named Turner followed Capt. Culp to his home. Turner yelled for Culp to come out or they would burn him out. He did come out with his sons on his arms begging for their father's life. Culp was shot to death anyway and his house was burned to the ground as well.
Conclusion: American Victory

August 14, 1781 at Cumberland County Court House, North Carolina

After Col. David Fanning's attack against Col. Philip Alston's House in the Horseshoe, he needed to go to Wilmington to resupply his ammunition coffers. He and his band of Loyalists were on their return home when they learned about Col. Thomas Wade's retaliations for the Piney Bottom massacre. Col. Fanning and his men seized weapons and horses from Patriots in the area and moved on towards Campbellton.

Before Col. Fanning arrived, Loyalist Col. John Slingsby decided to perform a Fanning-like raid on the Cumberland County Court House. With him were Colonels Duncan Ray, Archibald McDugald, and Hector McNeill.

This combined Loyalist force captured the court house early on the morning of August 14. They captured Col. James Emmett, Major Edward Winslow, and several other leading Patriots of Cumberland County. They then took possession of Cross Creek across the river and conducted operations into the countryside from there.
Conclusion: British Victory

August 16, 1781 at Santee River, South Carolina

Col. Isaac Hayne was captured at Horse Shoe in July and brought to Charlestown for trial. He was found guilty by the British of violating his parole and was hanged for treason on August 4th. Hayne instantly became a martyr to the Patriot cause and his name was a new rallying cry for all South Carolinian Patriots. Major General Nathanael Greene wrote the British in Charlestown "that retaliation shall immediately take place, not on the tory militia officers, but it shall fall on the heads of regular British officers."

Soon thereafter, Major General Greene ordered Brigadier General Francis Marion to strike at the enemy's lines of communications down to Charlestown.

Brigadier General Francis Marion in turn sent Col. John Ervin to disrupt communications along the Santee River. Col. Ervin captured an enemy convoy south of the Santee River and took Capt. Campbell, two other British officers, and a private prisoner. Greene confined these prisoners to the camp provost for possible reprisal for the recent death of Patriot Col. Isaac Hayne.
Conclusion: American Victory

August 17, 1781 at Robesons' Plantations, North Carolina

After Major Samuel Andrews joined up with Col. David Fanning right after the action at Cumberland County Court House by other Loyalists on August 14, this combined force crossed the Cape Fear River at Cambellton and marched southward towards Wilmington along the river.

In Bladen County, they passed by the home of Patriot Capt. Peter Robeson and burned down his house. Across the river was the plantation of Col. Thomas Robeson, Jr., the brother of Capt. Peter Robeson. Col. Fanning sent a detachment across the river and they burned that plantation as well. They also took several men prisoner, paroling all but 20 of them.

After seven days of raiding down the Cape Fear River, Col. David Fanning delivered his prisoners to Capt. John Leggett, Major James H. Craig's second-in-command, on August 24.
Conclusion: British Victory

August 17, 1781 at Jumping Run, North Carolina

British Major James H. Craig left his occupation headquarters in Wilmington and ventured out on punitive missions throughout the Patriot countryside. This trip, he was headed to New Bern. All along the way, the North Carolina Patriot Militia did what little they could to harass and to snipe at his troops - they could not muster a significant number of men, and what little they could muster had very little ammunition - for some reason.

During their march towards New Bern, just prior to reaching Webber's Bridge, the British and Loyalist army surprised a small group of Patriots at their encampment below Jumping Run (now known as Jumping Creek). After minimal resistance, the British took at least one known prisoner - Lawson Mallard.
Conclusion: British Victory

August 19, 1781 at New Bern, North Carolina

After the brief skirmish at Webber's Bridge across the Trent River, Major James H. Craig and his men marched on into the town of New Bern - their objective. As the Redcoats entered, some Patriots took pot shots at them and even managed to kill Loyalist Capt. John Gordon of the NC Independent Dragoons. After this, there was no more opposition.

For two days, Major Craig occupied the town and burned the plantations of known Patriots. He burned the home of Briadier. General John Alexander Lillington and had his men to destroy all the rigging of the ships tied up to the town's waterfront. Their cargoes were also destroyed, including 3,000 barrels of salt.

When Dr. Alexander Gaston tried to make his escape by rowing across the Trent River, he was shot dead by a British officer right before his wife's eyes. Margaret Gaston knelt over the body of her husband, protecting it in vain with hers.

The British threatend that "the rebels should not have even the rest of the grave." Afterwards, Major Craig marched back towards the way he came - to Kingston, then to Wilmington.
Conclusion: British Victory

August 19, 1781 at Wilmington, North Carolina

After the brief skirmish at Webber's Bridge across the Trent River, Major James H. Craig and his men marched on into the town of New Bern - their objective. As the British entered the town, some Patriots took pot shots at them and even managed to kill Loyalist Capt. John Gordon of the NC Independent Dragoons. After this, there was no more opposition.

For two days, Major Craig occupied the town and burned the plantations of known Patriots. He burned the home of Briadier. General John Alexander Lillington and had his men to destroy all the rigging of the ships tied up to the town's waterfront. Their cargoes were also destroyed, including 3,000 barrels of salt.

When Dr. Alexander Gaston tried to make his escape by rowing across the Trent River, he was shot dead by a British officer right before his wife's eyes. Margaret Gaston knelt over the body of her husband, protecting it in vain with hers. The British threatend that "the rebels should not have even the rest of the grave." Afterwards, Major Craig marched back towards the way he came - to Kingston, then to Wilmington.
Conclusion: British Victory

August 21, 1781 at Kingston, North Carolina

After "punishing" New Bern for two days, Major James H. Craig headed back home and essentially returned the way he came - which once again took him through Kingston, the seat of Dobbs County. Col. James Gorham and his Patriot Militia was waiting for the British.

Col. Gorham had 150 men, while .Craig had 32 Regulars from the 82nd Regiment and 78 from the NC Independent Dragoons, missing one captain that had been killed in New Bern. Capt. Robert Gillies had taken command of the Dragoons after the death of Capt. John Gordon. Unfortunately for the Patriots, Col. Goham's men had found some alcohol and were easily dispersed when they left their flank open.

Major Craig then camped at Bryant's Mill that night and burned four houses in the neighborhood, including the home of ex-Brig. Gen. William Bryan. Craig was not yet finished plundering, but he received intelligence that Continental Maj. Gen. Anthony Wayne was on his way from Virginia with 500 men to join up with Maj. Gen. Nathanael Greene in South Carolina.

Craig quickly marched all of his men back to Wilmington. His sudden departure gave local Patriots a chance to strike back at the strengthening Loyalists in the area. Those who lost their homes during Craig's raid immediately took their revenge by burning the homes of all known Loyalists in the area.

Craig decided that this raid had been very successful, but he had actually lost almost 30 men killed, wounded, or captured.
Conclusion: British Victory

August 22, 1781 at Warwarsing, New York

New York militia, under Col. Albert Pawling, defeat a large party of Loyalists and Indians, under Capt. Williams Caldwell, at Warwarsing, inflicting 3 killed and 4 wounded.
Conclusion: American Victory

August 22, 1781 at Howell's Ferry, South Carolina

Skirmish - nothing more known.
Conclusion: Inconclusive

August 24, 1781 at Well's Plantation, South Carolina

On August 24, a party of SC Militia and Continental cavalry raided as far south as Daniel Island, just across the Cooper River from the city. Upon their retreat northward, their trail was picked up by a party of British regular troops and Loyalist militia sent out by Capt. McNeil, the commander of the British post at Wappetaw.

This expedition overtook a party of Brigadier General Marion's militia after sundown at Wells's Plantation on Bull Head. The British proceeded to surround the house, but the Patriots, commanded by Capt. William Bennett, were alerted in the nick of time by the barking of a dog. In the ensuing skirmish, the royal forces killed one Patriot, wounded several others, and took sixteen good horses with all their trappings, but they did not succeed in capturing most of Capt. Bennett's company.
Conclusion: British Victory

August 24, 1781 at Great Miami River, Indiana

Col. Archibald Lochry's detachment of Pennsylvania militia lands on the banks of the Great Miami River. Suddenly, they are ambushed and destroyed by Indians, under Chief Joseph Brant, who captures or kills the entire American force. American losses are 36 killed and 55 captured.
Conclusion: British Victory

August 27, 1781 at Elizabeth Town, North Carolina

From his raid on the Cumberland County Court House on August 14th, Col. John Slingsby was holding his Patriot prisoners in Elizabeth Town, the seat of Bladen County (then and now). Living nearby were many Patriots that had previously been captured and paroled by Loyalists.

On his return to Cross Creek, Col. David Fanning passed through Elizabeth Town and warned Col. Slingsby about the possibility of an attack from those paroled Patriots in the nearby area. Col. Fanning did not stop for long, and continued riding towards McPhaul's Mill.

Many Patriot refugees from Bladen County were taking shelter in the adjacent Duplin County (Sampson County now). Sallie Salter was a daughter of one of the most influential families along the Cape Fear River within Bladen County and she volunteered to enter the Loyalist camp as a spy.

Taking a basket of eggs, she walked down to the ferry and called to the sentry on the other side to row her over. After some delay, he finally acquiesced to her charms and she entered the camp and sold her eggs. While in camp, she collected as much information as possible. It never entered the minds of the Loyalists that she was a spy. She returned safely with the needed intellignce, and the local Patriots decided to attack.

During the night of August 27, Patriots under the command of Col. Thomas Robeson, Jr. marched on Elizabeth Town. They had no tents, no equipment or commissary stores - all they had was a little jerked beef and bread, which they carried in their pockets. They silently approached the small town and had no choice but to ford the Cape Fear River because the Loyalists had taken all the boats.

The Patriots crossed the neck-deep river naked. They tied their bundled clothes and boots to their heads and grasped their rifles by the barrell to keep the flintlocks above water. After crossing and climbing a steep bank, they re-assembled on a nearby road and put their clothes back on.

At daybreak, the Patriots attacked the Loyalists completely by surprise. The Loyalists panicked when Col. Thomas Brown and his staff shouted out commands to fictitious units, making it seem as if there was a much larger force of Patriots attacking them. Col. Brown's men also shouted out "Washington!" Many of the Loyalists thought that a force of 1,000 or more had attacked them and that either Lt. Col. William Washington or General George Washington was their leader.

After Col. John Slingsby and Capt. David Godwin were killed, the Loyalists ran into a deep ravine, where they were shot at until those still capable surrendered. This site soon became known as the Tory Hole. The Patriots then freed their companions who had been prisoners of the Loyalists in town.
Conclusion: American Victory

August 27, 1781 at Godfrey's Savannah, South Carolina

Brigadier General Marion wanted to attack a British force under Lt. Col. Ernst Leopold von Borck as they returned to the Edisto. He made preparations to ambush them at Godfrey’s Savannah on the night of August 27. Some of his troops failed to follow orders and the ambush had to be aborted.
Conclusion: Inconclusive

August 28, 1781 at Fanning's Mill, North Carolina

With the recent victories of others, local Loyalists were encouraged and they struck out to raid the countryside. Col. David Fanning and his men were working their way up and down the Cape Fear River. Col. John Slingsby and his men were in Bladen County (getting whipped at Tory Hole), and Col. Hector McNeill was at McPhaul's Mill.

Throughout eastern North Carolina, the British and Loyalists attempted to eliminate any Patriot abilities to disrupt their operations. Furthermore, the British did not want North Carolina Patriots to provide any aid and assistance to their brethren in South Carolina - as they had already done up to now.

However, things were a-changing, as they say. With the recent news of Major General Anthony Wayne headed south, and the loss of Col. John Slingsby in Elizabeth Town, the British and Loyalists no longer had anything to celebrate. Col. David Fanning and Col. Hector McNeill were the only organized protagonists left in the Cape Fear region, other than the shrinking Major James H. Craig in Wilmington.

Col. Hector McNeill learned that some of Col. Thomas Wade's men were at Richard Fanning's mill in Montgomery County, and he rode to that location with 70 Loyalists under his command. His troop surprised the Patriots and captured several of them. Col. Wade learned of this and immediately pursued Col. McNeill with four hundred mounted militiamen.
Conclusion: British Victory

August 31, 1781 at Cypress Swamp, South Carolina

When Brigadier General Marion set out against the British at Parker's Ferry on this same day he sent Capt. George Cooper with a detachment of mounted militia to create a diversion. At Cypress Swamp, fifteen miles southwest of Moncks Corner, Capt. Cooper chased away a party of Loyalists and rode on towards Charlestown.

At Dorchester, he drove off cattle in front of the British post there and again continued down the Charlestown Road ready to cause more trouble. At the Ashley River Church, his men attacked another group of Loyalists, which were using the church as a military station.

Capt. Cooper had no casualties in all of these engagements and he was able to return to his compatriots at Peyre's Plantation with a number of prisoners.
Conclusion: American Victory

August 31, 1781 at Ashley River Church, South Carolina

When Brigadier General Francis Marion set out against the British at Parker's Ferry on this same day he sent Capt. George Cooper with a detachment of mounted militia to create a diversion. At Cypress Swamp, fifteen miles southwest of Moncks Corner, he chased away a party of Loyalists and rode on towards Charlestown.

At Dorchester, he drove off cattle in front of the British post there and again continued down the Charlestown Road ready to cause more trouble. At the Ashley River Church, his men attacked another group of Loyalists, which were using the church as a military station.

Next, passing onto Goose Creek Road, he proceeded to the 10-Mile House, returned and passed over Goose Creek bridge, took a circuitous route around the British at Moncks Corner and arrived in camp at Peyre's Plantation near the canal, where Brigadier General Francis Marion now lay, with many prisoners, and without the loss of a man.
Conclusion: American Victory

August 31, 1781 at Charlestown Road, South Carolina

After his successful engagement at Cypress Swamp, Capt. George Cooper leading his detachment of Marion’s Patriots attacked a party of Loyalists that were holed up in a church. Once again Marion’s men were successful capturing the entire Loyalist party.

This is very likely the same engagement also known as Ashley River Church.
Conclusion: American Victory

August 31, 1781 at Parker's Ferry, South Carolina

Brigadier General Francis Marion with a large force of his Patriots, including men from Col. William Harden, ambushed a large force of British and Loyalist militia (over 650) led by Lt. Col. Ernst Leopold von Borck, killing and wounding a considerable amount of them.
Conclusion: American Victory

September of 1781

September, 1781 at Hood's Creek, North Carolina

After their victory at Tory Hole in Bladen County, the Patriots tried to confine or contain the efforts of the British forces occupying Wilmington. Lt. Col. Jacob Leonard of the Brunswick County Regiment took about thirty men and set up a camp just outside of Wilmington to cut off incoming supplies, and to prevent slaves from flocking to the British occupiers. Lt. Col. Leonard's camp was a serious threat and annoyance to Major James H. Craig who was soon resolved to break it up.

Major Craig sent out a detachment of British Regulars to establish an ambush site at the bridge on Hood's Creek, in nearby Brunswick County. Another detachment was to be sent behind Lt. Col. Leonard's camp to cut off any retreat. Loyalists were strictly ordered to give no quarter and to kill every Patriot with arms in their hands. When the Loyalist guide heard these orders, he decided not to take the second detachment to the Patriot camp - at least not directly. Many of those in that camp were his neighbors.

The Loyalist guide wandered in the woods from swamp to swamp until he reckoned that the camp had noticed their approach and reasoned their intent. The British force at Hood's Creek Bridge became impatient and sounded a horn to let the Loyalists know that they were ready.

The Patriots heard the horn, but they were not aware that a second enemy group was wandering nearby ready to attack. They sent out two brothers named Smith to Hood's Creek Bridge to learn what the horn signified. When they reached the bridge they quickly wheeled their horses under a volley of musket fire. One brother had his hat shot off and the other was badly wounded and fell off his horse. The British rushed forward and bayonetted him to death.

The Patriot camp heard the shooting and quickly withdrew to safety with no additional injuries.
Conclusion: British Victory

September, 1781 at Brown Marsh, North Carolina

Brigadier General John Butler had missed his chance to rescue Governor Thomas Burke, and he missed his chance to capture Major James H. Craig and his forces at Livingston's Creek on September 23rd. He knew that the Loyalists would be coming back to the upper Cape Fear River area to return home, so he planned to retaliate against the men who had committed the raid on Hillsborough and had transported their prisoners to Wilmington.

Major James H. Craig, the occupying commandant of Wilmington, received intelligence that Brigadier General Butler and his army had gathered near Brown Marsh in Bladen County. Major Craig sent Major Daniel Manson with 180 Provincials from Wilmington to escort Col. Duncan Ray and his Loyalists as far as Brown Marsh.

When the Provincials and Loyalists arrived, Major Manson divided his forces and placed guides with each element. Three groups were to strike Brigadier General Butler's camp from different angles - the Royal North Carolina Regiment, Col. Duncan Ray's Anson County Militia, and Col. David Fanning's Regiment under the command of Capt. Stephen Holloway.

This plan quickly fell apart when the guides became lost in the Brown Marsh. Major Manson and Capt. Holloway were able to move out of the swamp and to get into position, but Col. Ray's men were lost. They could be heard moving through the swamp, breaking brush and getting tangled in vines and bushes. The Patriots heard all this and set up a defensive position facing the swamp. Unaware of all this, Major Manson ordered the attack to begin before sunrise.

Brigadier General Butler was facing the swamp where he had heard the noisy Loyalists under Col. Duncan Ray, and he did not expect an attack on his flanks. When Major Manson fired the first volley, Brigadier General Butler assumed that the British had field pieces and he ordered retreat.

As before, Lt. Col. Robert Mebane (a Continental officer) did not retreat and repeated what he had done succesfully at Lindley's Mill - he disobeyed Brigadier General Butler's order and continued to fight. Col. Thomas Owen's Bladen County Militia joined him and fought until they were overpowered and forced to retreat. In less than an hour, the Loyalists were in possession of the Patriot's camp. They had lost three killed and five wounded. The Patriots reported that they had lost three killed and two wounded.

However, Major Daniel Manson wrote to Major James H. Craig in Wilmington that: "The Rebels were completely dispers'd, leaving twenty dead & five & twenty prisoners. They had also a number of wounded who in the darkness of the night got off. We took between 30 & 40 horses but the militia the next day got upwards of a hundred more who were running loose in the woods."
Conclusion: British Victory

September, 1781 at Little Raft Swamp, North Carolina

Col. David Fanning arrived at McPhaul's Mill on August 27. He stopped there to rest and to ascertain if there were any more Loyalist groups in the area that his men could collaborate with. He soon learned that Col. Thomas Wade was pursuing Loyalist Col. Hector McNeill because of his recent (Aug. 28th) raid on Fanning's Mill. Col. Fanning sent word to Col. McNeill that he would offer assistance if McNeill wanted it.

Col. McNeill gladly accepted and Col. Fanning rode west 8 miles with 155 men to Beatti's Bridge. They arrived the next morning at sunrise and sent out scouts to locate Col. Thomas Wade and his Patriots. The scouts soon returned and told him that Col. Wade was camped on a hill that was in between the Little Raft Swamp and Drowning Creek (now called the Lumber River). The Patriots were deployed into a line facing the swamp, expecting an attack at any moment from that direction.

Being outnumbered two to one never stopped Col. David Fanning. He wrote in his memoirs that to make his force look larger than it was he had horsemen ride with "great Vacancies in order to appear as numerous as possible and to prevent the turning of my flank." Col. Hector McNeill and his men were supposed to go across the swamp and move around Col. Wade's position to cut off any retreat across Beatti's Bridge.

Around eleven o'clock, Col. Fanning was almost in position when one of his men fell off his horse and discharged his rifle. The Patriots quickly overcame their surprise and fired. Eighteen Loyalists were knocked out of their saddles with the first volley. Col. Fanning's men dismounted and fired as they advanced up the hill towards the line of battle.

The hill was covered with little vegetation and only a few scattered pine trees. It was also angled such that whenever the Patriots rose to fire they were silhouetted against the sky and became easy targets. Most of the Patriots' shots went over the heads of the downhill Loyalists.

In Archibald Murphey's History of North Carolina, he wrote that Col. Fanning was "Dressed in rich British uniform, he rode between the lines during all the fight, and gave his orders with the utmost coolness and presence of mind. It is strange that he had not been selected by some of Wade's men, as he was at the close of the fight not twenty yards distant from them."

When Col. Fanning's men were twenty-five yards away, Col. Thomas Wade decided that he had had enough. He had his men disperse back towards Beatti's Bridge and towards the trap Col. Fanning had prepared. Col. Fanning was again amazed by his cohorts - Col. McNeill had only placed a small force at the bridge. These men were easily pushed aside by Col. Wade's Patriots as they fled across Drowning Creek. Col. Fanning's men remounted and pursued them for seven miles, capturing 54 men and 25 horses.

The battle lasted two hours. Four of the 54 prisoners died from their wounds that night. Col. Fanning paroled many, but sent thirty prisoners to Wilmington.
Conclusion: British Victory

September 3, 1781 at Ridgeway's Fort, South Carolina

The Patriot militia constructed two blockhouses on the Reedy River to protect the frontier settlers from the periodic incursions of Loyalists from the mountains. These were garrisoned by a party of thirty (30) men from the Little River District Regiment of Militia under the command of Capt. John Ridgeway, Sr.

On September 3, one of Cunningham's detachments attacked this post. Capt. Ridgeway, another officer, and eight (8) privates were killed and the rest of the Patriots surrendered.
Conclusion: British Victory

September 5, 1781 at Steven's Creek, South Carolina

Col. Hezekiah Williams set out from his base in the Edisto River Swamps in the Orangeburgh District to raid the Patriots in the neighborhood of Ninety-Six. At Steven's Creek, a Patriot force led by Lt. Col. Hugh Middleton attacked the Loyalists.

After a sharp fight, Col. Williams retreated, with only a few minor injuries.
Conclusion: American Victory

September 6, 1781 at Turkey Creek, South Carolina

Brigadier General Daniel Morgan destroyed the captured baggage wagons, paroled the British officers, entrusted the wounded to the care of a few residents in the neighborhood, and, leaving his cavalry to follow him on their return from the pursuit, on the day of the battle he crossed the Broad River with his foot soldiers and his prisoners, the captured artillery, muskets, and ammunition.
Conclusion: American Victory

September 6, 1781 at Atlantic Ocean

The 24-gun privateer Congress, under Capt. George Geddes, engages the 16-gun sloop HMS Savage, under Capt. Charles Stirling, off Charleston. After a 4 hour fight, the British vessel is badly damaged and is boarded by marines, under Capt. Allen McLane, as Stirling strikes his flag.
Conclusion: American Victory

September 7, 1781 at Fort Plain, New York

Indians surprise and wipe out an American detachment, under Lt. Solomon Woodworth, at Fort Plain. American losses are 26 killed and 4 wounded.
Conclusion: British Victory

September 10, 1781 near Moncks Corner, South Carolina

The day after the battle of Eutaw Springs, Major General Nathanael Greene ordered Lt. Col. Henry "Light Horse Harry" Lee (VA) to chase after Lt. Col. Alexander Stewart and to do as much damage to the enemy as possible before they made it back to the safety of Charlestown. With Lt. Col. Lee was Lt. Col. Hezekiah Maham (SC) and what was left of his unit.

Lee later wrote in his memoirs that he and his men had been in pursuit of the enemy's "rear guard, with a portion of their wagons conveying the wounded."

Lt. Col. Lee and Lt. Col. Maham overtook Lt. Col. Stewart on the next morning. Major Joseph Eggleston was sent to attack the enemy's flank while Lt. Col. Lee and the remainder of his group moved to "force the enemy in front."

Major Eggleston's men had to ride through thick black jack oaks, which slowed their progress, therefore giving the British time to form and fire once before fleeing. Major Eggleston's horse was killed, but he escaped with five bullet holes in his clothing and equipment.

Lt. Col. Lee and his men faired much better. When he examined the captured wagons, Lee discovered they were filled with the "miserable wounded," who "supplicated so fervently to be permitted to proceed." Lee allowed them to follow their brethren, not wishing "to add to their misery and to his troubles."

Brigadier General Francis Marion later reported, "We have taken 24 British & 4 Tories prisoners," fourteen of the dragoons captured by "six men of Lee and Maham."
Conclusion: American Victory

September 12, 1781 at Kirk's Farm, North Carolina

As Col. David Fanning and his large group of Loyalists rode on to attack Hillsborough, he dispatched a company of men under Capt. Richard Edwards to detain a known Patriot force on the New Hope River - they were located on Kirk's Farm next to the river. This attack was also designed to serve as a diversion, in hopes that it would confuse the 400-man army nearby under the command of Brigadier General John Butler at Ramsey's Mill in Chatham County.

The Patriots at Kirk's Farm were part of the Orange County Regiment of Militia under the temporary command of Col. John Hinton, Jr. (Wake County). Col. Hinton had crossed the Cape Fear River near the end of August with 250 men in search of Loyalists. After ten days, his force had found only a few old Loyalists and had some night-time engagements with shadows that the men thought was Col. David Fanning. This large group broke up and headed home.

Two companies of Patriots stopped at Kirk's Farm to rest - under Major William Gholson. Major Gholson was under the wrong assumption that there were no Loyalists anywhere near their camp.

Capt. Richard Edwards and his company of Loyalists arrived at this location around sunrise on September 12th, and they began to quietly surround the farm. A Patriot sentinel named Crouch spotted them and he immediately fired his gun. Capt. Edward's men killed him, but the remaining Patriots were now alerted to their presence. However, the Patriots were too slow in reacting and this gave Capt. Edwards and his men time to hide themselves in a thicket.

Capt. Abraham Allen then rushed out of the farmhouse with his men, and the Loyalists took aim. His Lieutenant Joseph Young's men put up a fierce defense. During the fight, British Capt. Edwards and ten of his men were killed. The Patriots Capt. Allen and Lt. Young were wounded - Lt. Young died a few days later.

Capt. Edwards's brother, Edward Edwards, took command of the Loyalists and they finally defeated the Patriots. Nearly one third of all the men in this skirmish were killed or wounded. Eleven of Capt. Edwards's men were killed and several others died within a few days. The fate of the prisoners has not been recorded. Capt. Edward Edwards hurried back to Col. David Fanning's army.
Conclusion: British Victory

September 12, 1781 at Hillborough, North Carolina

In June, Thomas Burke was elected the new governor of North Carolina. He wanted to eliminate the Loyalists' stronghold between the Pee Dee River and the Cape Fear River and he had Brigadier General John Butler of the Hillsborough District Brigade of Militia to raise a large army to undertake this effort.

Militiamen from Caswell, Randolph, Chatham, Wake, and Orange counties gathered at Ramsey's Mill in the fork of the Deep River and the Haw River. Governor Burke left the relative safety of Halifax and traveled to Hillsborough to direct the upcoming campaign against the Loyalists. He and his wife arrived on September 9th - and this news was somehow provided to Loyalist Col. David Fanning.

After the battle of Little Raft Swamp, volunteers poured into Col. Fanning's camp. He now had the largest force of his career - 950 men. Unfortunately, only 435 were equipped and armed. He proposed a plan to Major James H. Craig in Wilmington - his plan to capture Governor Thomas Burke. Major Craig realized that this would be a significant coup and he approved Fanning's plan.

On September 9, Col. Fanning was joined at Cox's Mill by Col. Hector McNeill and his 70 men, and Col. Archibald McDugald with 200 Highlanders from Cumberland County. Fanning had not worked with McDugald before, but knew of him from John Hamilton's Royal North Carolina Regiment.

On September 11, his army of over 600 Loyalists marched towards Hillsborough. Col. Fanning was aware that Brigadier General John Butler was at Ramsey's Mill, but he left the marching column and rode to a friend's house on the way to make sure that the Patriot army had not moved. The Patriots were still to the southeast, but Col. Fanning learned that a small force of twenty-five men were camped at the New Hope River, between Col. Fanning and Brigadier General Butler.

Upon his return to his own army, Col. Fanning discovered that Col. McNeill and Col. McDugald were under the wrong impression that Brigadier General Butler's army was their target - and, they had moved the Loyalists onto the road leading to Ramsey's Mill far to the south of Hillsborough. Col. Fanning stopped the column and kindly informed the officers what their true objective was. He then sent Capt. Richard Edwards and thirty men to go after the Patriots on the New Hope River.

After marching all day and night, the large Loyalist army arrived at Hillsborough in an early morning fog. Col. Fanning divided his force into three groups and surrounded the city. At 7:00 AM, he attacked. The surprise was so complete that a small force of NC Continentals that just happened to be in town didn't have time to react. The only real resistance was from some snipers who fired from windows of nearby homes. These were quickly silenced.

Col. David Fanning rushed to the governor's house to find that Governor Thomas Burke and his men were willing to fight to the death. He then rode up to them and somehow convinced them that if they surrendered their lives would be spared. Governor Burke had heard that Fanning was a man of his word, so he accepted the terms and handed over his own sword.

Several Patriots in town tried to escape during the raid. One officer was wearing a military helmet as he was running to get away. Col. Fanning rode up to him and broke his sword on the officer's metal helmet. The officer was Lt. Col. Archibald Lytle of the NC Continental army, who had taken parole at the Fall of Charlestown a year before.

The final resistance was from the small contingent of North Carolina Continentals who had barricaded themselves inside a nearby church. Most were fresh, new, and untrained recruits for Major General Greene's army in South Carolina, and they soon gave themselves up. By 9:00 AM, the town was taken, including the governor, the city council, a number of Continental officers and 71 soldiers, mostly militiamen.

The town jail was opened and 30 Loyalist prisoners who were to be hanged that day were released. Col. Fanning's men also grabbed two swivel guns from the jail. The Loyalists should have left at that point, but discipline broke down and a number of homes were plundered. Some Loyalists found a liquor supply and proceeded to get drunk. A tee-totaler, Loyalist Capt. John McLean, was placed in charge of the prisoners. From that day on, he was known as "Sober John" McLean.

Around 2:00 PM, Col. Fanning finally left with his prisoners and marched towards his camp at Cox's Mill in Randolph County. Some of his followers were so drunk that they could not keep up, and they became prisoners themselves before the end of the day. The large force stopped after about 18 miles and camped near Mitchell Mountain for the night.

That night, Col. Hector McNeill had a dream that he took to be a premonition of his own death. He told several officers, including Col. Archibald McDugald, about the dream. They attempted to cheer him up, but the next day he wore a hunting shirt instead of his red regimental coat just in case.

This Loyalist raid was probably the most daring of the entire war, and has since been hailed as "the most brilliant exploit of any group of Loyalists in any state throughout the Revolution."

Governor Thomas Burke and most of the prisoners were taken to Wilmington and handed over to Major James H. Craig of the British Army. Governor Burke was soon transported to Charlestown, South Carolina, where he was imprisoned at James Island.
Conclusion: British Victory

September 23, 1781 at Inland Waterways, South Carolina

A man named Qua piloted a boat sailing down the inland waterways from Beaufort to Savannah carrying Capt. Palmer of Lord Charles Montague's Regiment and a few other passengers. This boat was attacked by Capt. Field and Capt. Estis, and before the boat could surrender Capt. Palmer's servant was killed. Everyone else on board was taken prisoner, but Capt. Palmer spoke "in very favorable terms of the treatment he & the other prisoners experienced from the captain and from Col. Harding."
Conclusion: American Victory

September 23, 1781 at Livingston's Creek, North Carolina

For two days after joining forces at McPhaul's Mill, Col. Archibald McDugald and Col. Duncan Ray skirmished with a body of Patriot horsemen that were pursuing the Loyalists. Just outside of Elizabeth Town in Bladen County, Col. McDugald's men set up a defensive position at Hammond's Creek Bridge. The Loyalists fought a delaying action that permitted Col. McDugald to get his prisoners to Maj. James H. Craig in Wilmington.

Craig had learned of Col. Fanning's capture of Governor Thomas Burke at Hillsborough on September 12, and he anticipated the Loyalist's route back to Wilmington. He marched from his headquarters with a detachment of the 82nd Regiment of Foot and proceeded towards Cross Creek, then he and Col. McDugald rendezvoused at Livingston's Creek, in Bladen County.

Col. McDugald was still avoiding the Patriot horsemen that had been shadowing his army for many miles. Major Craig thought those men must be under the command of Col. Thomas Brown. Four hours after arriving at Livingston's Creek, fifty Patriot horsemen did appear.

Major Craig ordered his cavalry and sixty infantrymen to go disperse the mounted Patriots. The British drove them up the road for about three miles before discovering that 200 Patriots had built a defensive position on the road. The British soon recovered from their surprise and attacked the larger group of Patriots, who were now the surprised ones and who quickly retreated back to Elizabeth Town.

The British patrol did not know what might be further down that road so they returned to Livingston's Creek. Major Craig then learned that the Patriots were not under Col. Thomas Brown, but were the advance elements of the army led by Brigadier General John Butler. Butler was trying to beat the Loyalists to Wilmington so he could rescue Governor Thomas Burke.

The British quickly returned to the security of Wilmington, and Major Craig quickly sent Governor Thomas Burke to the heavily fortified city of Charlestown in South Carolina.
Conclusion: British Victory

October of 1781

October, 1781 at Brush Creek, North Carolina

After being wounded during the skirmish at Lindley's Mill on September 13, Col. David Fanning was hidden in the woods and guarded by three of his men. Col. William O'Neal was dispatched by Brigadier General John Butler to find Col. Fanning, but he never did - O'Neal went to take his seat in the General Assembly. After 21 days of recuperating, and in the early part of October, Col. Fanning was able to sit up. He sent four of his captains to Wilmington for ammunition - Rains, Hooker, Knight, and Lindley.

With Col. Fanning out of action, and with Lt. General Charles, Lord Cornwallis out of the state and being surrounded at Yorktown in Virginia, Acting Governor Alexander Martin decided to continue Governor Thomas Burke's plan to drive the British out of Wilmington. His plan was for Brigadier General John Butler to attack Wilmington from the east, while Brigadier General Griffith Rutherford - who had only recently been exchanged after being taken prisoner over a year ago at the battle of Camden, SC - would attack Wilmington from the west.

Brigadier General Rutherford immediately ordered his Salisbury District Brigade of Militia to rendezvous on the Little River in Montgomery County. He trained his recruits for the next two weeks, and on October 1st they marched for Cross Creek in Cumberland County.

By October 15, he had set up his camp at Monroe's Bridge on Drowning Creek, and he was joined by the remnants of Brigadier General John Butler's army, increasing his force to almost 1,500 Patriots. Thus began what was soon called the "Wilmington Expedition."

Feeling that he was able to take to the field again, Col. David Fanning gathered 140 of his Loyalists and seized a large amount of leather bound for the Continental army in South Carolina. He was exhausted after the ride, but he simply could not just sit around and wait for his broken arm to fully heal.

In the meantime, the Patriots were waiting from some sign of Col. Fanning. When they heard of the leather raid they moved quickly with 170 mounted militia to Brush Creek. Col. Fanning and his men were told that 600 Patriots were coming for him, and as a result many Loyalists fled. Col. Fanning formed the remaining men into two lines and waited for the Patriots to arrive.

The first Patriot assault was driven back after an hour's fighting, which left three Loyalists dead and three wounded. The Patriots lost one killed and several wounded, and they withdrew for about a mile. After regrouping, they returned for a second assault. Col. Fanning assumed that this meant the Patriots had been reinforced, so he ordered his men to disassemble and go separate directions.

The Loyalists moved into the Uwharrie Mountains. The officers that had been sent to Wilmington for supplies soon returned with 5,000 rounds of ammunition.
Conclusion: American Victory

October, 1781 at Hell Hole Creek, South Carolina

Loyalist Major “Bloody Bill” Cunningham massacred 28 Patriots at Hartley's Creek. The bodies were dismembered and mutilated. The creek was later known as Hell Hole Creek.
Conclusion: British Victory

October, 1781 at Swancey's Ferry, South Carolina

Skirmish involving Loyalist Major “Bloody Bill” Cunningham. Nothing more known
Conclusion: Inconclusive

October, 1781 at Cumberland County, North Carolina

After demonstrating his courage and leadership at both Lindley's Mill and Brown Marsh, Lt. Col. Robert Mebane was told that his services were needed in the northern part of the state. He departed, taking only his servant with him.

On the way northward, he came upon the "noted Tory and horse thief" Henry Hightower. Lt. Col. Mebane charged the Loyalist. As he got close enough to srike with his sword, Hightower wheeled and fired his musket, killing Lt. Col. Mebane on the spot.

Henry Hightower was later captured and hanged in Williams Township for the murder.
Conclusion: British Victory

October, 1781 at Bear Creek, North Carolina

James Harding lived on Bear Creek on the south side of the Deep River. He was a staunch Patriot and this made him an enemy of Col. David Fanning, who wanted him dead.

Harding was captured by some Loyalists while on a scouting mission and he was taken to Col. Fanning's camp. He was sociable and pleasant, which surprised his captors. Upon entering the camp, Harding immediately approached Col. Fanning and shook his hand. He told Fanning that he was glad that now he had a chance to join his force. He also told him that he had been trying to get away from the Patriots for some time, and now he finally had his chance.

Col. Fanning could detect no insincerity or deception, so he allowed Harding to stay in the camp. While there, Harding became a friend to many others and they all seemed to like him very much. He told Col. Fanning of a company of Chatham County Militia, under the command of Capt. Charles Gholson, on the other side of the Deep River. Harding convinced Col. Fanning that he could lead the enemy into an ambush, and Fanning agreed to send him off to meet Capt. Gholson.

When Harding met with Capt. Gholson he made a quite different arrangement with him. Gholson's men were to lie in ambush and wait for Harding to lead Col. Fanning to their location.

The next night, Col. Fanning rode to the ambush site with Harding at his side. Both men were in good spirits. When they reached the Patriots' location, Harding gave the signal and dashed towards the hidden men. Capt. Gholson's men fired a volley into Col. Fanning's column, killing and wounding several. Fanning escaped.
Conclusion: American Victory

October 3, 1781 at Pratt's Mill, South Carolina

Pratt's Mill was located on the Little River about eight miles northwest of present-day Abbeville. Capt. John Norwood guarded the mill with thirty (30) men. The mill was owned by William Pratt, a member of Capt. Norwood's Patriot Militia.

On the night of October 3, a large body of Loyalists and Cherokee Indians raided the mill and burned it to the ground. The Loyalists were led by Major William "Bloody Bill" Cunningham. The Patriots escaped into the night, but Capt. Norwood was wounded, and the Patriots lost 30 horses to the Loyalists.
Conclusion: British Victory

October 3, 1781 at Gloucester, Virginia

Calvary under Lt. Col. Banastre Tarleton and Col. Armand-Louis, Duc de Lauzun, collide at Gloucester, across the bay from Yorktown. The French drive the British back to their lines. A standoff also develops between portions of the crack 23rd Royal Welsh Fusiliers and a select Virginia militia battalion, under Gen. George Weedon. Fighting eventually peters out and the British withdraw to safety. The allies lose 5 killed and 27 wounded to a British total of 13 killed and wounded.
Conclusion: American Victory

October 6, 1781 at Monck's Corner, New York

A quick raid by American partisans upon the British depot at Monck's Corner nets 80 captives.
Conclusion: American Victory

October 10, 1781 at Threadwells Neck, New York

Maj. Lemuel Trescott and 100 of the 2nd Continental Dragoons capture Fort Slongo (Threadwells Neck), Long Island, along with 21 Loyalist prisoners.
Conclusion: American Victory

October 15, 1781 at Raft Swamp, North Carolina

The Loyalists never completely dispersed after the capture of Governor Thomas Burke and his transport to Wilmington, and many were still encamped on the Raft Swamp near McPhaul's Mill. Their ranks had grown to between 300 and 600 men, and they drilled and practiced every day. Col. Duncan Ray was now considered the overall leader of the Loyalists in the area.

Hector "Old Hector" McNeil had been killed at the battle of Lindley's Mill, but Hector "One-Eyed Hector" McNeill had been put in his position to conceal the death of the old colonel. Col. Ray thought that if the men though that "Old Hector" was still alive they would continue to stay with his army.

Col. Ray and Col. McNeill soon learned that Brigadier General Griffith Rutherford was on the move towards their camp. Brigadier General Rutherford sent Major Joseph Graham and his dragoons forward to overtake the Loyalists and to keep them occupied while the remainder of the army marched on towards Wilmington. The Loyalist leaders wisely decided to avoid a fight and fell back to a more defensible position.

The Loyalists then decided to make a stand on a hill near the Raft Swamp. This hill overlooked a causeway that emerged from the swamp. To slow down the cavalry, they removed the planks of the bridge. While they were preparing their defenses, Major Graham's dragoons surprised them and rode right into the swamp, not bothering to even use the bridge.

Major Graham later wrote: "The enemy broke and fled as fast as they could, but the stout horses and expert riders of the west soon overtook them; and when they came in contact with the sand-hill ponies, went through, trod down, and turned over horses and riders. After their first fire, the enemy thought of no further resistance, but endeavored to make their escape, and aimed for a branch of Raft Swamp to their front, over which there was a causeway two hundred yards wide. Our troops entered the causeway with them, using sabre against all they could reach. As soon as it was felt, the Tories would throw themselves off each side into the ditch, quitting their horses and making off into the swamp; the dragoons near the front fired their pistols at them in their retreat. By the time the Whigs got half-way through, the causeway was crowded with dismounted ponies for twenty steps before them, so that it was impossible to pass. Two or three stout men dismounted, and commenced pushing them over into the ditch, out of the way. When it was a little cleared, the dragoons rushed over."

Thirty-five of Col. Archibald McDugald's Loyalists tried to mount a defense with the tightly packed Loyalists on the narrow causeway. This did not stop the Patriot dragoons who cut through their ranks. Many were shot and drowned while they were mired in the swamp. The Loyalists were chased down and shown no quarter. There was no massacre due to the numbers o