Battle of Blackstock's Farm
The Battle of Blackstock's Farm, an encounter of the American Revolutionary War, took place in what today is Union County, South Carolina, a few miles from Cross Anchor, on November 20, 1780. After the defeat of Major Patrick Ferguson and the destruction or capture of his entire military force of 900 men at the Battle of Kings Mountain the previous month, the sparsely settled Carolina Backcountry had come under the control of the Patriots. Lieutenant General Charles Cornwallis, British commander in the Southern theater, ordered his most gifted subordinate Lieutenant Colonel Banastre Tarleton to abandon his chase of the guerrilla commander Brigadier General Francis Marion and instead disrupt the activities of Patriot militia Brigadier General Thomas Sumter, thereby returning confidence to Backcountry Tories. Meanwhile, Sumter had been gathering partisan volunteers and now had a thousand men under his command. On November 18, Tarleton's British Legion dragoons and the mounted infantry of the 63d Regiment were bathing and watering their horses on the Broad River when some of Sumter's raiders fired at them from the opposite bank.
The British brought up a 3-pounder "grasshopper" field gun and scattered the partisans. But Tarleton "did not submit to insults." Putting his men across the river in flat boats that night, he pressed Sumter hard the next day. For Sumter, a deserter from the 63d Regiment revealed Tarleton's plans and location. Although Sumter now had a thousand Backcountry militiamen, Tarleton had more than five hundred regulars under his command, including three hundred British regulars, and Tarleton had never yet been defeated. Sumter and his colonels decided the best course was to find a strong defensive position and wait for Tarleton to attack them. Colonel Thomas Brandon, who knew the area, suggested the nearby farm of William Blackstock, a homestead on the hills above the Tyger River; the land had been cleared, providing fields of fire and room for maneuver, the outbuildings—solid log structures—were not chinked and thus provided "narrow but convenient openings for men firing from behind cover." Sumter placed his South Carolina riflemen in the farm outbuildings.
Some units he stationed behind stout others he screened in the surrounding woods. Tarleton came up late in the fall afternoon and chose to make a frontal attack against a numerically superior force, not waiting for his infantry and artillery to catch up. At first he was successful; the Patriot militia fired at too great a distance, before they could reload Major John Money, commanding the 63d Regiment, hit them with the bayonet. In doing so, the 63d advanced too close to the farm buildings and came under fire from Hampton's men inside, as usual aiming "at the epaulets and stripes." Money and two of his lieutenants were killed, according to an officer of Fraser's Highlanders, a third of the privates as well. Meanwhile, other partisans worked their way around their right flank and attacked Tarleton's dragoons who were in their saddles but only watching the action. Realizing that the battle was going against him, Tarleton ordered an uphill cavalry charge against riflemen firing from cover; as Henry Lumpkin has written, "caution never was Tarleton's outstanding virtue."
So many dragoons were knocked from their horses that "the road to the ford was blocked by the bodies of men and fallen chargers, the wounded, still targets, struggling back over their stricken comrades and kicking, screaming horses." Still, the British forces fell back in good order. When Sumter, as "reckless as Tarleton", moved into position to watch the British withdrawal, members of the 63d fired a volley at him and his officers. Sumter was wounded and had to relinquish command to his most senior colonel, John Twiggs. Tarleton retreated two miles to await his reinforcements for another attack the next morning, but Twiggs disappeared into the night. The next morning Tarleton's troops buried the dead of both sides, vastly disproportionate. Tarleton claimed that 51 of his men were wounded. Most modern commentators credit higher numbers for the British casualties: 92 killed and 75-100 wounded. American casualties were 3 killed, 4 wounded, 50 captured. Tarleton lied in his battle report to Cornwallis that he dispersed the Americans.
Of course, he made much of Sumter's wounding. He told Cornwallis that three of his soldiers had "promised to fix Sumter immediately," for which he had promised them fifty guineas apiece. In fact, one of the most hated and feared commanders in the Backcountry, had been beaten for the first time, his British regulars had been bested by militia — although from behind cover and not in the open field; the wounding of the prickly Sumter proved to be an advantage to the Patriots because it allowed George Washington to appoint Nathanael Greene, a gifted strategist, to command the Southern department. The Battle of Blackstock's Historic Site was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1974. O'Kelley, Patrick. Nothing but Blood and Slaughter: The Revolutionary War in the Carolinas. Volume Two: 1780. Blue House Tavern Press. ISBN 1-59113-588-5. Tarleton, Banastre. "The Campaigns of 1780 and 1781". Www.banastretarleton.org. Archived from the original on 2009-01-29. Retrieved 2010-02-06
Battle of Torrence's Tavern
The Battle of Torrence's Tavern was a minor engagement of the American Revolutionary War that took place in what was the western portion of Rowan County, North Carolina 10 miles east of the Catawba River near modern-day Mooresville in Iredell County. Torrence's Tavern was a part of the larger Southern campaign of the American Revolution, which, by 1780–1781 involved a series of clashes between the British Army and Loyalist militia and the Continental Army and Patriot militia in the Piedmont region of North and South Carolina; the engagement took place on either February 1 or February 2, 1781 following the Battle of Cowan's Ford, resulted in a victory for British cavalry units under the command of Colonel Banastre Tarleton. The British victory served to demoralize Patriot supporters in western North Carolina, forced General Nathanael Greene, commander of the Continental Army in the southern theater, to withdraw his forces further east; this withdrawal allowed Greene to unite his army with several detached Patriot forces in the Piedmont prior to the Battle of Guilford Courthouse.
After the conclusion of the war, the site of Torrence's Tavern was commemorated by two state and local historical markers. Throughout the winter of 1780-1781, the British Army in the Carolinas, under the command of General Charles Cornwallis, pursued the southern Continental Army, commanded by Nathanael Greene, from central South Carolina to North Carolina. At the Battle of Cowpens on January 17, 1781, the Continental Army scored a victory against a force, detached from the main British Army, commanded by Tarleton. After the defeat, Cornwallis set out to pursue Greene into nearby North Carolina; the victor of Cowpens, Daniel Morgan, had requested that Greene relieve him of his command of the Patriot militia due to a flare-up of sciatica, but Greene refused. Morgan set about establishing defenses on the Catawba River, which Cornwallis' army would be forced to cross in order to drive into central and eastern North Carolina. Defensive positions were established at every ford on the river in that state in expectation of the British assault.
By January 30, Morgan had received word. On January 31, 1781, Greene and Morgan left the Catawba River defenses in the hands of militia General William Lee Davidson, rode towards Salisbury to establish a rallying point; the Continental force crossed the Catawba River ahead of Cornwallis' army, followed Davidson and Morgan to the rallying point. At Cowan's Ford on February 1, 1781, a force of Patriot militia commanded directly by Davidson held back the British Army for a period of time, slowed their crossing of the Catawba River. Davidson's militia inflicted numerous casualties before withdrawing towards the rally point. Davidson was killed in the battle at the ford, leaving the surviving militia temporarily without effective strategic command. Confusion exists over the exact date of the Battle of Torrence's Tavern. Cornwallis, whose army took a longer amount of time to cross the Catawba, wanted to prevent Greene's forces from withdrawing and being able to regroup, so he ordered Colonel Tarleton, the commander of the British Legion, to pursue the militia commanded by Davidson.
After the engagement at Cowan's Ford, citizens between the Catawba and Yadkin rivers who were sympathetic to the Patriots became panicked, many fled their homes with whatever valuables they could pack in a short period of time. Tarleton's British Legion was a force that contained infantry and artillery units, but Tarleton was forced to take only his mounted soldiers with him due to heavy rains in the area. Upon nearing the site of what Tarleton labelled "Tarrant's Tavern", the British commander gained information that led him to believe the militia ahead were unprepared for any engagement, were waiting on reinforcements from Mecklenburg and Rowan county militias. At the time of the battle, Torrence's Tavern sat on a roadway that ran from Beatty's and Cowan's fords on the Catawba directly to Salisbury. Additionally, the same rain that forced Tarleton to shed his foot-soldiers had rendered much of the militia's gunpowder supply useless. Refugees with Patriot sympathies who had fled in advance of Cornwallis' army had used Torrence's Tavern as a rendezvous point, a large number of both militiamen and refugees consumed alcohol from the tavern's stores.
Despite lacking support from Cornwallis' main army, Tarleton's cavalry struck upon arriving at the scene, charging into the militia's makeshift camp. At the first sign of the British approach, the Patriots attempted to organize a defense under the ad-hoc command of Captain Nathaniel M. Martin, who tried to rally the militia to a line behind a nearby rail fence. There is evidence that Col. Thomas Farmer and some 300 militia were stationed at the tavern as a secondary defensive line. Tarleton claimed to have led the charge by reminding his cavalrymen to "remember the Cowpens"; the British won in a quick and convincing fashion, dispersing the outnumbered militia units before they managed to complete their rally. Martin was captured in the first few moments of the battle, thereafter leaving the Patriots without any effective tactical command. With Patriot forces under the effects of such confusion, Tarleton divided his dragoons into smaller parties, ordering them to chase and further disburse the militia from the area.
While the battle was a minor enga
Loyalist (American Revolution)
Loyalists were American colonists who stayed loyal to the British Crown during the American Revolutionary War called Tories, Royalists, or King's Men at the time. They were opposed by the Patriots, who supported the revolution, called them "persons inimical to the liberties of America". Prominent Loyalists assured the British government that many thousands of them would spring to arms and fight for the crown; the British government acted in expectation of that in the southern campaigns in 1780-81. In practice, the number of Loyalists in military service was far lower than expected since Britain could not protect them except in those areas where Britain had military control; the British were suspicious of them, not knowing whom they could trust in such a conflicted situation. Patriots watched suspected Loyalists closely and would not tolerate any organized Loyalist opposition. Many outspoken or militarily active Loyalists were forced to flee to their stronghold of New York City. William Franklin, the royal governor of New Jersey and son of Patriot leader Benjamin Franklin, became the leader of the Loyalists after his release from a Patriot prison in 1778.
He worked to build Loyalist military units to fight in the war, but the number of volunteers was much fewer than London expected. When their cause was defeated, about 15 percent of the Loyalists fled to other parts of the British Empire, to Britain itself, or to British North America; the southern Loyalists moved to Florida, which had remained loyal to the Crown, to British Caribbean possessions bringing along their slaves. Northern Loyalists migrated to Ontario, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, they called themselves United Empire Loyalists. Most were compensated with Canadian land or British cash distributed through formal claims procedures. Loyalists who left the US received £3 million or about 37 percent of their losses from the British government. Loyalists who stayed in the US were able to retain their property and become American citizens. Historians have estimated that between 15 and 20 percent of the two million whites in the colonies in 1775 were Loyalists. Families were divided during the American Revolution, many felt themselves to be both American and British, still owing a loyalty to the mother country.
Maryland lawyer Daniel Dulaney the Younger opposed taxation without representation but would not break his oath to the King or take up arms against him. He wrote: "There may be a time. Till I shall recommend a legal and prudent resentment". Most Americans hoped for a peaceful reconciliation but were forced to choose sides by the Patriots who took control nearly everywhere in the Thirteen Colonies in 1775-76. Yale historian Leonard Woods Larabee has identified eight characteristics of the Loyalists that made them conservative and loyal to the king and Britain: They were older, better established, resisted radical change They felt that rebellion against the Crown—the legitimate government—was morally wrong, they were alienated when the Patriots resorted to violence, such as burning houses and tarring and feathering. They wanted to take a middle-of-the road position and were angry when forced by the Patriots to declare their opposition, they had a long-standing sentimental attachment to Britain.
They wanted to postpone the moment. They were afraid that chaos and mob rule would result; some were pessimists. Others recalled the dreadful experiences of many Jacobite rebels after the failure of the last Jacobite rebellion as as 1745 who lost their lands when the Hanoverian government won. Other motives of the Loyalists included: They felt a need for order and believed that Parliament was the legitimate authority. In New York, powerful families had assembled colony-wide coalitions of supporters, Men long associated with the French Huguenot/Dutch De Lancey faction went along when its leadership decided to support the crown, they felt themselves to be weak or threatened within American society and in need of an outside defender such as the British Crown and Parliament. They had been promised freedom from slavery by the British, they felt that being a part of the British Empire was crucial in terms of commerce and their business operations. In the opening months of the Revolutionary War, the Patriots laid siege to Boston, where most of the British forces were stationed.
Elsewhere there were few British troops and the Patriots seized control of all levels of government, as well as supplies of arms and gunpowder. Vocal Loyalists recruited people to their side with the encouragement and assistance of royal governors. In the South Carolina back country, Loyalist recruitment oustripped that of Patriots. A brief siege at Ninety Six, South Carolina in the fall of 1775 was followed by a rapid rise in Patriot recruiting, a Snow Campaign involving thousands of partisan militia resulted in the arrest or flight of most of the back country Loyalist leadership. North Carolina back country Scots and former Regulators joined forces in early 1776, but they were broken as a force at the Battle of Moore's Creek Bridge. By July 4, 1776, the Patriots had gained control of all territory in the Thirteen Colonies and expelled all royal officials. No one who proclaimed their loyalty to the Crown was allowed to remain, so Loyalists fled or kept quiet; some of those who remained gave aid to invading British armies or joined uniformed Loyalist regiments.
Battle of Cape Henry
The Battle of Cape Henry was a naval battle in the American War of Independence which took place near the mouth of Chesapeake Bay on 16 March 1781 between a British squadron led by Vice Admiral Mariot Arbuthnot and a French fleet under Admiral Charles René Dominique Sochet, Chevalier Destouches. Destouches, based in Newport, Rhode Island, had sailed for the Chesapeake as part of a joint operation with the Continental Army to oppose the British army of Brigadier General Benedict Arnold, active in Virginia. Admiral Destouches was asked by General George Washington to take his fleet to the Chesapeake to support military operations against Arnold by the Marquis de Lafayette. Sailing on 8 March, he was followed two days by Admiral Arbuthnot, who sailed from eastern Long Island. Arbuthnot's fleet outsailed that of Destouches, reaching the Virginia Capes just ahead of Destouches on 16 March. After manoeuvring for several hours, the battle was joined, both fleets suffered some damage and casualties without losing any ships.
However, Arbuthnot was positioned to enter the Chesapeake as the fleets disengaged, frustrating Destouches' objective. Destouches returned to Newport, while Arbuthnot protected the bay for the arrival of additional land troops to reinforce General Arnold. In December 1780, British General Sir Henry Clinton sent Brigadier General Benedict Arnold with about 1,700 troops to Virginia to do some raiding and to fortify Portsmouth. General George Washington responded by sending the Marquis de Lafayette south with a small army to oppose Arnold. Seeking to trap Arnold between Lafayette's army and a French naval detachment, Washington asked the French admiral Destouches, the commander of the fleet at Newport, Rhode Island for help. Destouches was wary of the threat posed by the larger British North American fleet anchored at Gardiner's Bay off the eastern end of Long Island, was reluctant to help. A storm in early February damaged some of Arbuthnot's fleet, which prompted Destouches to send a squadron of three ships south shortly after.
When they reached the Chesapeake, the British ships supporting Arnold moved up the shallow Elizabeth River, where the French ships were unable to follow. The French fleet returned to Newport, having as their only success the capture of HMS Romulus, a heavy frigate, one of several ships sent by the British to investigate the French movements; this modest success, the encouragement of General Washington, prompted Destouches to embark on a full-scale operation. On 8 March, Washington was in Newport when Destouches sailed with his entire fleet, carrying 1,200 troops for use in land operations when they arrived in the Chesapeake. Vice Admiral of the White Mariot Arbuthnot, the British fleet commander in North America, was aware that Destouches was planning something, but did not learn of Destouches' sailing until 10 March, led his fleet out of Gardiner Bay in pursuit, he had the speed advantage of copper-clad vessels and a favourable wind, reached Cape Henry on 16 March ahead of Destouches. Although the two fleets both had eight ships in their lines, the British had an advantage in firepower: the 90-gun HMS London was the largest ship of either fleet, while the French fleet included the captured 44-gun Romulus, the smallest vessel on either line.
When Arbuthnot spotted the French fleet to his northeast at 6 am on March 16, they were about 40 nmi east-northeast of Cape Henry. Arbuthnot came about, Destouches ordered his ships to form a line of battle heading west, with the wind. Between 8 and 9 am the winds began shifting, but visibility remained poor, the two fleets manoeuvred for several hours, each seeking the advantage of the weather gage. By 1 pm the wind had stabilised from the northeast, Arbuthnot, with superior seamanship, was coming up on the rear of the French line as both headed east-southeast, tacking against the wind. Destouches, in order to escape this position, gave orders to wear ship in sequence, brought his line around in front of the advancing British line. With this manoeuvre he surrendered the weather gage, but it positioned his ships relative to the wind such that he could open his lower gundecks in the heavy seas, which the British could not do without the risk of water washing onto the lower decks. Arbuthnot responded to the French manoeuvre by ordering his fleet to wear.
When the ships in the van of his line made the maneuver, they were exposed to the French line's fire, suffered significant damage. Robust and Prudent were unmanageable due to damage to their sails and rigging. Arbuthnot kept the signal for maintaining the line flying, the British fleet thus lined up behind the damaged vessels. Destouches at this point again ordered his fleet to wear in succession, his ships raked the damaged British ships once more, taking off London's topsail yard before pulling away to the east. French casualties were 72 killed and 112 wounded, while the British suffered 30 killed and 73 wounded. Arbuthnot pulled into Chesapeake Bay, thus frustrating the original intent of Destouches' mission, while the French fleet returned to Newport. After transports delivered 2,000 men to reinforce Arnold, Arbuthnot returned to New York, he resigned his post as station chief due to age and infirmity in July and left for England, ending a stormy and unproductive relationship with General Clinton.
General Washington, unhappy that the operation had failed, wrote a letter, mildly critical of Destouches. This letter was intercepted and published in an English newspaper, prompting a critical respons
Battle of Cowpens
The Battle of Cowpens was an engagement during the American Revolutionary War fought on January 17, 1781, between American Colonial forces under Brigadier General Daniel Morgan and British forces under Lieutenant Colonel Sir Banastre Tarleton, as part of the campaign in the Carolinas. The battle was a turning point in the American reconquest of South Carolina from the British. Morgan's forces conducted a double envelopment of Tarleton's forces, the only double envelopment of the war. Tarleton's force of 1000 British troops were set against 2000 troops under Morgan. Morgan's forces suffered casualties of 69 wounded. Tarleton's force was annihilated, with Tarleton himself and about 200 British troops escaping. A small force of the Continental Army under the command of Morgan had marched to the west of the Catawba River, in order to forage for supplies and raise the morale of local Colonial sympathizers; the British had received incorrect reports that Morgan's army was planning to attack the important strategic fort of Ninety Six, held by American Loyalists to the British Crown and located in the west of the Carolinas.
The British considered Morgan's army a threat to their left flank. General Charles Cornwallis dispatched cavalry commander Tarleton to defeat Morgan's command. Upon learning Morgan's army was not at Ninety Six, bolstered by British reinforcements, set off in hot pursuit of the American detachment. Morgan resolved to make a stand near the Broad River, he selected a position on two low hills in open woodland, with the expectation that the aggressive Tarleton would make a headlong assault without pausing to devise a more intricate plan. He deployed his army in three main lines. Tarleton's army, after exhaustive marching, reached the field malnourished and fatigued. Tarleton attacked immediately; the British lines lost their cohesion. When Morgan's army went on the offensive, it wholly overwhelmed Tarleton's force. Tarleton's brigade was wiped out as an effective fighting force, coupled with the British defeat at King's Mountain in the northwest corner of South Carolina, this action compelled Cornwallis to pursue the main southern American army into North Carolina, leading to the Battle of Guilford Court House, Cornwallis's eventual defeat at the Siege of Yorktown in Virginia in October 1781.
In the opinion of John Marshall, "Seldom has a battle, in which greater numbers were not engaged, been so important in its consequences as that of Cowpens." On October 14, 1780, Continental Army commander General George Washington chose Nathanael Greene, a Rhode Island Quaker officer, to be commander of the Southern Department of the rebel Continental forces. Greene's task was not an easy one. In 1780 the Carolinas had been the scene of a long string of disasters for the Continental Army, the worst being the capture of one American army under Gen. Benjamin Lincoln in May 1780, at the Siege of Charleston; the British took control of this city, the largest in the South and the capital of South Carolina, occupied it. That year another Colonial army, commanded by Gen. Horatio Gates, was destroyed at the Battle of Camden. A victory of Colonial militia over their Loyalist counterparts at the Battle of Kings Mountain on the northwest frontier in October had bought time, but most of South Carolina was still occupied by the British.
When Greene took command, the southern army numbered 2307 men, of whom only 949 were Continental regulars the famous trained "Maryland Line" regiment. On December 3, Brigadier General Daniel Morgan reported for duty to Greene's headquarters at Charlotte, North Carolina. At the start of the Revolution, whose military experience dated to the French and Indian War, had served at the Siege of Boston in 1775, he participated in the 1775 invasion of Canada and its climactic battle, the Battle of Quebec. That battle, on December 31, 1775, ended in Morgan's capture by the British. Morgan was exchanged in January 1777 and placed by George Washington in command of a picked force of 500 trained riflemen, known as Morgan's Riflemen. Morgan and his men played a key role in the 1777 victory at Saratoga along the Hudson River in upstate New York, which proved to be a turning point of the entire war. Bitter after being passed over for promotion and plagued by severe attacks of sciatica, Morgan left the rebel army in 1779.
A year he was promoted to Brigadier General and returned to service in the Southern Department. Greene decided, he made the unconventional decision to divide his army, sending a detachment west of the Catawba River to raise the morale of the locals and find supplies beyond the limited amounts available around Charlotte. Greene gave Morgan command of this wing and instructed him to join with the militia west of the Catawba and take command of them. Morgan headed west on December 21, charged with taking position between the Broad and Pacolet rivers, protecting the civilians in that area, he had 600 men, some 400 of which were Continentals the Marylanders. The rest were Virginia militia. By Christmas Day Morgan had reached the Pacolet River, he was joined by 60 more South Carolina militia led by the experienced guerrilla partisan Andrew Pickens. Other militia from Georgia and the Carolinas joined Morgan's camp. Meanwhile, Lord Cornwallis was planning to return to North Carolina and conduct the invasion that he had postponed after the defeat at Kings Mountain.
Morgan's force represented a threat to his left. Additionally, Cornwallis received incorrect intell
Battle of Charlotte
The Battle of Charlotte was an American Revolutionary War battle fought in Charlotte, North Carolina on September 26, 1780. The battle took place at the Mecklenburg County Court House, now the site of the Bank of America tower at Trade and Tryon Streets in downtown Charlotte. An advance guard of General Charles Cornwallis' army rode into town and encountered a well-prepared Patriot militia under the command of William R. Davie in front of the court house. A skirmish ensued; the small Patriot force, which had not intended more than token resistance, withdrew north toward Salisbury upon the arrival of Cornwallis and the main army. Pursuant to the British "southern strategy" for winning the American Revolutionary War, British forces had captured Charleston, South Carolina early in 1780, had driven Continental Army forces from South Carolina. Following his successful routing of a second Continental Army at Camden in August 1780, British General Lord Cornwallis paused with his army in the Waxhaws region of northern South Carolina.
Believing British and Loyalist forces to be in control of Georgia and South Carolina, he decided to turn north and address the threat posed by the Continental Army remnants in North Carolina. In mid-September he began moving north toward Charlotte, North Carolina. Cornwallis' movements were shadowed by militia companies from South Carolina. One force under Thomas Sumter stayed back and harassed British and Loyalist outposts in the South Carolina backcountry, while another, led by Major William R. Davie, maintained close contact with portions of his force as Cornwallis moved northward. Davie surprised a detachment of Cornwallis' Loyalist forces at Wahab's Plantation on September 20, moved on to Charlotte, where he set up an ambush to harass Cornwallis' vanguard. Charlotte was a small town, with two main roads crossing at the town center, where the Mecklenburg County courthouse dominated the intersection; the southern facade of the courthouse had a series of pillars, between which a stone wall about 3.5 feet high had been constructed to provide an area that served as the local market.
Davie positioned three rows of militia at and north of the courthouse, with one behind the stone wall, placed cavalry companies on the east and west sides of the courthouse, covering the roads leading away in those directions. He put a company of 20 men behind a house on the southern road, where he was expecting the British advance; as his column approached Charlotte, Cornwallis would have sent Lieutenant Colonel Banastre Tarleton and his British Legion to investigate the town. However, Tarleton was ill, so Cornwallis gave the assignment to Tarleton's subordinate, Major George Hanger, an impetuous young Englishman from an aristocratic family. Cornwallis ordered Hanger to cautiously enter the town and check for militia, which he expected to be in the area. Contrary to Cornwallis' orders and his cavalry blithely galloped into town. After the 20 men behind the house opened fire, Hanger's men continued to ride on until he was met by heavy fire from the line of militia behind the stone wall; when the first militia line maneuvered to make way for the second, Hanger misinterpreted their movement as retreat, continued the charge.
This brought him into a withering crossfire from the second line and the cavalry companies stationed to the east and west. Hanger went down with a wound, his cavalry retreated in some disarray back to the Legion's infantry. Cornwallis, alerted by the sound of battle, rode forward to assess the situation. Sarcastically calling out "you have everything to lose, but nothing to gain", the earl ordered the legion forward once more. By this time the main army's light infantry had begun to arrive, Davie withdrew his forces. Hanger termed the incident "a trifling insignificant skirmish", but it did communicate to Cornwallis that he would have to expect further resistance. Hanger also fell ill, further disabling the effectiveness of Tarleton's Legion. Instead of advancing on Hillsboro, Cornwallis occupied Charlotte, his position was never secure, because the Patriot militia interfered with any significant attempts to communicate with the countryside. Cornwallis' left flank, commanded by Patrick Ferguson, was destroyed in early October at Kings Mountain, Cornwallis withdrew to Winnsboro, South Carolina in November on reports of persistent Patriot militia activity in South Carolina.
Lossing Pancake, John. This Destructive War. University of Alabama Press. ISBN 0-8173-0191-7. Wickwire and Mary. Cornwallis: the American Adventure. Boston: Houghton Mifflin
Battle of Eutaw Springs
The Battle of Eutaw Springs was a battle of the American Revolutionary War, was the last major engagement of the war in the Carolinas. Both sides claimed victory. In early 1781, Major General Nathanael Greene commander of the Southern army in the Continental Army began a campaign to end British control over the South Carolina backcountry, his first major objective was the capture of the British controlled village of Ninety Six. On May 22, 1781, Greene laid siege to the fortified village. After nearly a month Greene became aware that reinforcements under Lord Rawdon were approaching from Charleston. Forces under Greene's command were repelled. To avoid facing the force commanded by Rawdon, Greene retreated toward Charlotte, North Carolina. Rawdon pursued Greene for several days, but was compelled to abandon the pursuit because his men were exhausted by days of forced marching and he lacked sufficient supplies to continue. In spite of the fact that Ninety Six was the only remaining inland British outpost after the fall of Augusta, Rawdon decided to burn and abandon it, withdrew the garrison to Charleston.
In poor health, Rawdon sailed for England in late August, leaving Charleston under the command of Colonel Alexander Stewart. On 16 July, Greene moved his army, exhausted by many days of marching and combat, to a campsite on the High Hills of Santee, allowing his main force to rest while awaiting reinforcements. Marion and Sumter continued to harass the British in a "war of posts". On August 23, his force moved towards Camden to cross the Wateree River, Howell's Ferry to cross the Congaree River. By 4 Sept. they were camped at Fort Motte Stoudenmyer's Plantation on 5-6 Sept. On 13 Aug. Colonel Stewart had led a force of 2,000-2,300 men from Orangeburg to Thompson's Plantation, south of the Congaree River, he fell back to Eutaw Springs on 27 Aug. about 2 miles east of present-day Eutawville in Charleston District. At 4:00 AM on 8 September 1781, Greene's army began marching from Burdell's Plantation in the direction of Eutaw Springs, 7 miles distant. In the van were Lieutenant Colonel Henry Lee's Legion plus 73 infantry and 72 cavalry of South Carolina State troops under Lieutenant Colonel John Henderson and Captain Wade Hampton, respectively.
Next in the marching column came 40 cavalry and 200 infantry under Brigadier General Francis Marion, followed by 150 North Carolina militia under Colonel Francis marquis de Malmedy and 307 South Carolina militia led by Brigadier General Andrew Pickens. Continental Army troops formed the rear of Greene's column; these were led by three green North Carolina battalions under Brigadier General Jethro Sumner. Major John Armstrong led a mounted contingent while Lieutenant Colonel John Baptista Ashe and Major Reading Blount directed the foot soldiers. Ashe and Blount served with the 1st North Carolina Regiment, while Armstrong belonged to the 4th North Carolina Regiment. Two Virginia battalions under Lieutenant Colonel Richard Campbell and Major Smith Snead were trailed by Colonel Otho Holland Williams' two Maryland battalions under Lieutenant Colonel John Eager Howard and Major Henry Hardman. Lieutenant Colonel William Washington's mounted men and Captain Robert Kirkwood's Delaware infantry companies formed the tail of the column.
Greene's force had two 3-pound grasshopper guns under Captain-Lieutenant William Gaines and two 6-pound cannons directed by Captain William Brown. All told, Greene had 1,256 Continental infantry and 300 cavalry, the horsemen divided between Lee and Washington. Lee's cavalry were led by his infantry by Captain Rudolph. Greene's army numbered 2,400 men of. Stewart had between 2,000 troops on hand, his British regulars were the 3rd Foot, 63rd Foot, 64th Foot, John Marjoribanks' 300-man flank battalion. The last-named unit was made up of the converged flank companies of the 3rd, 19th, 30th Foot; the regulars were supported by two American loyalist contingents. These units were John Harris Cruger's regular battalion of DeLancey's Brigade and John Coffin's South Carolina Tories, which consisted of about 150 regular infantry and 50 militia cavalry. Stewart's artillery consisted of two 6-pound, one 4-pound, one 3-pound cannons plus a swivel gun. In order to make up for a shortage of bread in his supplies, Stewart had been sending out foraging parties each morning to dig up yams, unarmed except for a small guard detail.
At around 8 a.m. on September 8, Captain John Coffin and a detachment of his South Carolina Loyalist cavalry were reconnoitring ahead of Stewart's main force when he encountered a mounted American scouting party under Major John Armstrong. Coffin pursued Armstrong. Attacked by Henry Lee's 2nd Partisan Corps, Coffin escaped but left 4 or 5 of his men killed and 40 more captured; the Americans came across Stewart's foragers and captured about 400 of them. Greene's force, with around 2,200 men, now approached Stewart's camp while Stewart, warned by Coffin, deployed his force; when the Americans realized they were approaching the British force, they formed three lines, with the militia in front with 2 3-pounders, followed by the Maryland and North Carolina Continentals with 2 6-pounders, with the Delaware Regiment and Washington in reserve. The Americans started the attack at 9 AM with an advance by the militia; this line consisted of, left to right, Henderson, Pickens, de Malmedy, Marion, Lee's infantry and Lee's Cavalry.
They were opposed by the British Line consisting of, left to right, Coffin, 64th, 63rd, New Jersey Volunteers, New York Volunteers, 84th, De Lancey's, 3rd, Marjoribanks. Ha