Sunday, March 31, 2024

ARP305 Siege of Menorca

This week we’re stepping away from North America to look at a battle raging over in Europe. By 1781 The British were so short-handed in America because of the war with France and Spain.  Both countries were set on taking real estate back from Britain, believing that their traditional enemy was spread thin due to the American rebellion and that other colonies and territories would be vulnerable to attack.

The main reason Spain got involved in the war was over the hope of retaking Gibraltar, part of the Spanish mainland that had been under British control for over 70 years. A combined British and Dutch force captured the region in 1704, during the War of Spanish Succession. The island remained a British possession in the treaty that ended that war.

In the decades following the capture, Britain viewed its control of Gibraltar as more of a bargaining chip to use against Spain.  There were several proposals to return Gibraltar to Spain over the years, but the two countries could never come to terms. Spain had attempted to retake Gibraltar militarily multiple times since then, but without any luck.

Almost as soon as Spain declared war on Britain, in 1779, it began its siege of Gibraltar.  But after two years, that siege seemed to be going nowhere.  Spanish officials began to focus on other British possessions that might be vulnerable.  Attention quickly turned to Menorca.


The island of Menorca sits in the Mediterranean, about 130 miles southwest of Barcelona.  It is the second largest of a chain of islands that had for centuries been controlled by Spain, or other Spanish kingdoms before Spain became a unified nation.  Britain had taken control of Menorca in the same peace treaty that gave it control of Gibraltar. 

Island of Menorca
Menorca became an important naval base for British ships in the Mediterranean.  The British moved the capital to port Mahon, and established a naval base there.  The British also built up a Spanish fort there, known as the Castillo de San Felipe, which the British called Fort St. Phillip.

During the Seven Years War, a French fleet took back Menorca from the British.  At the outset of the war, France deployed a 16,000 man army and seventeen ships of the line to dislodge the British.  French forces were able to take the island rather easily, but had to besiege the British garrison in Fort St. Phillip.  That siege lasted about two months, before the British garrison finally surrendered.  The British, with less than 3000 men, had managed to hold off the French losing 59 killed and 149 wounded. French losses of 3600 dead and wounded, although many of those came from disease rather than battle.

During the siege, Britain sent a relief fleet under Admiral John Byng, which attacked and withdrew rather quickly.  During a review after the battle, a court martial determined the Admiral Byng had failed to do his utmost to relieve the British garrison and ordered him executed by firing squad. Although many thought the Admiral would receive clemency, he did not. He was shot the following spring.

Without British naval support, the British garrison could not get food and supplies and began to starve.  The British agreed to surrender on the promise that they would be sent to Gibraltar.

France held the island for the remainder of the Seven Years War.  In 1763 the peace treaty ending the war returned Menorca to British control.  In exchange Britain returned the captured island of Guadeloupe to France.

For the Spanish, British control of Menorca, part of a chain of Spanish islands, was almost as galling as British control of Gibraltar.  During the most recent war, Britain had made Menorca a port for British privateers, who attacked French and Spanish shipping in the region.  Spain set its sights on retaking the island and requested support from the ally in the French Navy.

Spanish and French Fleets

During the summer of 1781, Spain deployed an invasion fleet, which included 51 troop carriers moving 13,000 soldiers.  The fleet was backed up by supply ships, hospital ships, bombardment ships, and 13 Navy vessels.  Don Luis Berton de los Blats, Duc de Crillon, commanded the fleet.  

Duc de Crillon
Crillon was a French army officer from an aristocratic family, who rose to the rank of general after fighting in the War of Austrian Succession and the Seven Years War.  Near the end of the Seven Years war, he moved to Spain and took a commission as a general in the Spanish Army.  Spain and France were close allies and both ruled by the Bourbon family during this era, so I guess changing armies did not seem to raise any eyebrows.

He had been part of the Spanish effort to capture Gibraltar after Spain declared war in 1779.  While that siege continued without him, the king tasked him with the capture of Menorca in 1781.

France deployed 20 more ships of the line under the command of Admiral Luc Urbain du Bouëxic, comte de Guichen to support the Spanish fleet.  Like his counterpart, Guichen was also an experienced officer from a noble family.  He had also fought in the War of Austrian Succession and the Seven Years war.  Guichen had fought at the Battle of Ushant and also in the West Indies in the West Indies where the Comte de Grasse had served under him.  In the summer of 1780, Guichen led a merchant fleet back to Europe, leaving de Grasse in the West Indies.

Plan of Attack

Both fleets approached Menorca, hoping to surprise the British there.   The French fleet had initially headed out into the Atlantic, hoping to fool anyone watching that it was headed for America.  It then slipped past Gibraltar at night, avoiding observation as it entered the Mediterranean.  Although France provided some naval support, the invasion itself was a Spanish operation.

The Spanish planned to land its main army at Mesquida bay, just north of the capital at Port Mahón. A smaller force would land south of the capital.  The hope was to march both armies at once and capture most of the British garrison outside the fort.

The fleets arrived at Menorca in late August, 1781.  Plans began to fall apart almost immediately.  British observers spotted the fleets on the southern side of the island and sent urgent dispatches to Port Mahón.  Within hours, most of the garrison was in the fort.  The defenders also put a chain across the mouth of the port and sank several ships to prevent the invasion fleet from entering.  Despite getting its defenses in place, the British faced a difficult situation.

British Defenses

The British commander, James Murray, was also a highly experienced officer from an aristocratic family.  Like his opponents, Murray was old enough to have fought in the War of Austrian Succession. He served as the captain of a grenadier company.  After the war, Murray used his experience and family money to purchase a commission as a major, and then as a lieutenant colonel.  He had faced off against the de Guichen during the Seven Years War when the latter besieged Louisbourg in Canada.

Port Mahon in 1756
I talked about Murray’s service very early in this podcast, when he was one of three generals under General Wolfe during the capture of Quebec in 1759.  After the war, Murray received promotion to major general, and served as the British governor of Quebec from 1763 to 1768.  After his return to Britain, Murray received an appointment as Lieutenant-Governor of Menorca in 1774, and then as Governor in 1778.

Murray’s lieutenant governor was also a general in the regular army: William Draper.  There is some debate about the size of the British garrison.  Some contemporary reports say that the defenders numbered around 5600.  However, nearly 2000 of those were civilian workers and local militia. Many of the locals were from other nationalities.  There were sizable Jewish, Greek, and North African communities living on the island.  It appears that few, if any, of these, mustered at the fort for its defense.  Within a few weeks of its invasion, the Spanish expelled all of these communities, removing from the island.

Many of the British regulars who had been stationed on Menorca before the war had been shipped to North America.  To replace them, George III had deployed soldiers from Hanover, in what is today Germany, to fill the garrison at Menorca.  Recall that in addition to being King of Britain, George was also the Elector of Hanover.  Murray reported having about 2700 men, of which about 2000 were British regulars, although about 400 of his regulars were invalids who could perform limited service.

The Siege

Despite the disparity in forces, Fort St. Phillip was a formidable defense.  Spanish forces would be unable to take it by storming the defenses.  Instead, both sides settled in for a siege.  General Murray had managed to get a message off the island, via a Venetian merchant vessel, which brought word to the British Consulate at Florence that the garrison was under siege.  Even so, there were no British fleets readily available to break the siege.

Port Mahon in 1781
Initially, Spanish forces deployed just over 10,000 soldiers to the island.  Spanish artillery set up a large battery on Cape Molal, just across Port Mahon to the west of Fort St. Phillip. Over time, additional artillery batteries were set up the north, west, and south of the fort so that the attackers could fire from all sides.  After several months, the Spanish received reinforcements, increasing their ranks to over 13,000.  The addition of French soldiers may have put enemy boots on the ground at over 16,000.

By November, the Spanish were lobbing mortar shells into the fort, causing some damage, but not enough to take the fort.

During this time, British defenders were not simply hunkering down.  British cannons fired on the Spanish artillery, destroying some.  Several British sorties front he fort killed or captured enemies who got too close.  Given the vast difference in force size, however, these sorties had to retreat back into the fort before the Spanish could mount any sort of counterattack.


Several months into the siege, Crillon was under pressure to finish off the garrison.  The Spanish general had a reputation as a courteous enemy who was gracious to his opponents.  There is an example of this, while he was engaged in the siege of Gibraltar, Crillon had sent the British commander a shipment of fruits, vegetables, meats, and ice, noting the excessive heat, and a note stating that he looked forward to becoming his friend after facing him as an enemy.

On Menorca, about two months into the siege, Crillon attempted to reach out to Murray in the hopes of ending the siege as soon as possible.  Crillon decided the best way to do this might just be to offer a bribe.  In mid-October, Crillon offered Murray a payment of what amounted to a little more than £100,000 and a general’s commission in the French or Spanish army if Murray would surrender the fort.

Murray took the offer as an insult to his honor.  The two leaders exchanged a series of notes that indicated that there would be no surrender anytime soon.  The British had plenty of ammunition, impenetrable defenses, and enough food to last for a year before the need for a relief fleet.


Soon after this exchange, a dispute broke out between General Murray and his second in command, General Draper.  It seems that Draper began to favor a British surrender in late October.  The timing of this has led some historians to speculate that the Spanish might have offered a bribe to Draper after Murray had turned down such an offer.  No evidence of such a bribe has ever been found, but the timing does seem suspicious.

During the first few months of the siege, the two generals seemed to work well with one another.  On October 29, however, Draper wrote a letter back to a member of the House of Lords stating:

My Lord, I am sorry to be obliged to inform you that I think Lieut.-General Murray in his capacity as a magistrate has acted so very ill that I hold it incumbent upon me to bring him to trial for the same, and I must beg the favour of you to inform His Majesty therewith. 

The letter is frustratingly unclear about exactly what Murray had done to deserve being put on trial.  A few weeks later, Murray wrote a note to Draper, criticizing him for not doing his duty, and asking if he wanted to be relieved.  Draper continued and the two seemed to continue working on the defense of the fort for the next couple of months.

James Murray
In January, 1782, when Murray ordered defenders to withdraw from some of the fort’s outer works and reinforce the inner works, Draper demanded a council of war, or said he would no longer serve as lieutenant governor.  Murray took that as an act of insubordination.  He relieved Draper of command and divided the command between British Colonel Pringle and Hanoverian Colonel Linsing.

In addition to commanding the defense of the fort, Murray also had to deal with dissension in the ranks caused by Draper’s removal, and the view of many officers that they really did need to consider surrendering.

In truth, the military situation began to get much worse over November and December.  Enemy mortars  had destroyed many gardens inside the fort that provided the only source of fresh vegetables.  As a result, many in the garrison were suffering from scurvy.  Malnourishment also allowed other diseases to begin to take their toll.

Spanish Troops on Menorca
The garrison had fallen to about 1500 men, many of those in hospital.  Many soldiers who were sick refused to seek medical assistance, especially since there was little that could be done.  There were quite a few accounts of guards simply dropping dead from sickness while on guard duty.

One reason Murray had to pull back from the outer defenses in January was that he no longer had enough men to defend them.  The enemy had intensified its bombardment in preparation for a final assault.   About this same time, enemy mortars destroyed a storehouse that contained much of the salted meat that had been sustaining the garrison.

The defenders managed to hold out for a few more weeks, keeping up cannon fire against the enemy.  But by February, they were losing about 50 men per day to scurvy.  Murray noted that he needed 830 men to maintain guard duty in the fort, but had only 660 who were healthy enough to do so.  Almost all of those 660 men showed some signs of scurvy, meaning they would not be able to do so for much longer.


With the end appearing near, Murray sent a note to Crillon on February 4, setting forth the terms under which he would surrender the fort.  Essentially Murray was willing to give up the fort in exchange for passage of his men, and their arms back to Gibraltar.  His men would retain their arms, ammunition and flags while awaiting transport.

Surrender at Minorca
Crillon, of course, also realizing the end was near for the British, refused these generous terms.  He countered that any surrender would require the British garrison to become prisoners of war.

The following day, the two commanders reached a compromise agreement.  The British would become prisoners of war temporarily, but would be allowed transport back to Gibraltar.  Crillon allowed that 

in Consideration of the Constancy and Valour which General Murray and his Men have shewn in their brave Defence, they shall be permitted to go out with their Arms shouldered, Drums beating, lighted Matches, and Colours flying, till having marched through the Midst of the Army, they shall lay down their Arms and Colours

The British force of about 950 soldiers who were still capable of walking, walked out of the fort on February 6, 1782 to the nearby town of Georgetown, where they laid down their arms.  British records report only 59 defenders killed in battle, meaning that probably nearly 2000 died of scurvy or other diseases during the siege.  The victors did everything they could to care for their foes, providing them with much needed food and medicine.  French ships carried the survivors back to Gibraltar.


The Spanish victory made Crillon a national hero.  He received promotions and accolades, including changing his title to the Duke de Crillon-Mahon.  Spanish leaders gave him command of the Siege of Gibraltar.

Over in London, the dispute between General Murray and General Draper only grew larger.  Draper returned to London while Murray remained at Gibraltar for several months.  Draper, while in London, referred 29 charges against his former commander to be heard by court martial.  Murray’s absence, as well as chaos in the government following news of Yorktown, meant that the court martial did not have a chance to sit until the end of 1782, rendering a verdict in early 1783.

Murray was acquitted of all but two minor charges, one of which was bringing discredit and dishonor up Draper.  The court recommended only a reprimand.  The king approved the verdict but did not issue a reprimand of his own.  The court also directed Draper to sign an apology to Murray for bringing frivolous and ill-founded charges against his commander.

The following year, the court published the records of the court martial, including Murray’s defense.  The court left out Draper’s response to the defense, so Draper published his views as a public pamphlet.

Next week, we’ll take a look at some of the other battles around the world that pressured the British to end the war in America.

- - -

Next Episode 306 War in India 

Previous Episode 304 Jacksonborough Assembly

 Contact me via email at

 Follow the podcast on Twitter @AmRevPodcast

 Join the Facebook group, American Revolution Podcast 

 Join American Revolution Podcast on Quora 
Discuss the AmRev Podcast on Reddit

American Revolution Podcast Merch!

T-shirts, hoodies, mugs, pillows, totes, notebooks, wall art, and more.  Get your favorite American Revolution logo today.  Help support this podcast.

American Revolution Podcast is distributed 100% free of charge. If you can chip in to help defray my costs, I'd appreciate whatever you can give.  Make a one time donation through my PayPal account. You may also donate via Venmo (@Michael-Troy-20) or Zelle (send to

Click here to see my Patreon Page
You can support the American Revolution Podcast as a Patreon subscriber.  This is an option making monthly pledges.  Patreon support will give you access to Podcast extras and help make the podcast a sustainable project.

An alternative to Patreon is SubscribeStar.  For anyone who has problems with Patreon, you can get the same benefits by subscribing at SubscribeStar.

Help Support this podcast on ""

Visit the American Revolution Podcast Bookshop.  Support local bookstores and this podcast!

Signup for the AmRev Podcast Mail List

* indicates required

Further Reading


Cassell's Illustrated History of England, Vol. 5, London: Cassell Petter & Galpin, 1865. 

Ode on the taking of Minorca. Addressed to the Honourable James Murray, 1782. 

Andrews, John History of the war with America, France, Spain, and Holland: Commencing in 1775 and ending in 1783, London: Pater Noster Row, 1785. 

Draper, William Observations on the Honourable Lieutenant-General Murray's Defence, 1783. 

Mahon, Reginald H. Life of General the Hon. James Murray, London: John Murray, 1921. 

Books Worth Buying
(links to unless otherwise noted)*

Chartrand, René Gibraltar, 1779-1783: The Great Siege, Osprey Publishing, 2006

 Warren, Jack D. Freedom: The Enduring Importance of the American Revolution, Lyons Press, 2023

* As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Sunday, March 24, 2024

ARP304 Jacksonborough Assembly

For the last couple of weeks, we’ve been covering the continued fighting in South Carolina following the British surrender at Yorktown in late 1781.  While all that fighting continued, the patriots also restored civilian rule to South Carolina and Georgia.

Governor Rutledge Returns

With the British restricted to Charleston, where navy cannons could support the garrison, the remainder of South Carolina was largely in patriot hands.  Governor Rutledge returned to the state to begin the process of reestablishing normal government functions.

John Rutledge
Rutledge had been the civilian leader in South Carolina for almost the entire Revolution.  Before the war, Rutledge had been a lawyer and a state legislator in the colonial government.  He had been a long time foe of British taxation efforts, serving as far back as the Stamp Act Congress in 1765.  He had also served as a delegate in the first and second Continental Congresses.  In early 1776, he left Congress to become the first President of South Carolina, before the Congress even approved the Declaration of Independence.

While Rutledge was a proponent of an independent South Carolina, he was not necessarily a big fan of democracy.  In 1778, Rutledge vetoed a new constitution that he deemed too democratic.  When the legislature overrode his veto, he resigned his office.  The following year, the British captured Georgia and threatened to take South Carolina.  The new governor of South Carolina resigned and the legislature called upon Rutledge to take up the governorship. They granted him considerable power to do whatever was necessary to protect the state from the British.

When the British invaded the state in 1780, Rutledge had to flee to North Carolina to avoid capture.  He continued to operate a government in exile, operating out of Hillsborough.  He spent much of his time in Philadelphia trying to get the Continental Congress to provide more military support for the state.  In his role as commander in chief of the South Carolina military, Rutledge appointed military leaders within the state, granting generalships to Sumter, Marion, and Pickens, as well as lots of lesser  officer commissions.  

For much of 1780 and 1781, Rutledge acted with dictatorial powers, without a legislature in session to perform the normal functions of government.  But as the British military threat withdrew from most of the state in late 1781, Rutledge decided it was time to return to civil government. 

The Assembly

The first step was to call for a new statewide election for the general assembly.  Given the state of war still in the state, the election was difficult. On November 23, the governor issued writs of election to his militia generals, calling on them to distribute them through the various militia districts. The elections were scheduled for December 17 and 18.

Details on the elections themselves are pretty scarce.  The 1778 constitution limited the vote to free white men who professed a belief in God, who were at least 21 years old, and who owned at least 50 acres of land, among a few other restrictions.  There were no private ballots in the 18th century, so men had to declare their votes publicly, in front of everyone.  Loyalists could not vote, and it appears that the military was in charge of the elections in many places.

Whatever the limitations, the elections marked a return to civilian government after two years without any legislature at all.  Many of those elected were also military leaders.  Generals Sumter and Marion both became senators, as did Colonels Hugh Horry, Thomas Taylor and William Thompson.  General Pickens was elected to the House, as was Continental Colonel John Laurens.  The governor’s brother Hugh Rutledge, was elected Speaker of the House.

Since the British still occupied the capital at Charleston, the legislature originally planned to meet in Camden.  General Greene encouraged the governor to meet in Jacksonborough instead.  Camden, Greene argued, was too far away from the Army and might be subject to a loyalist raid, as had happened in North Carolina recently.  The ability to get food and supplies in Camden was also limited.

Jacksonborough was much closer to Charleston, only about 35 miles inland.  At one point, Greene got word that 3000 British troops were going to land at Charleston and begin a new offensive.  Greene  then changed his mind and suggested that perhaps Camden would be a better option after all.  By that time though, it was too late to get the word out to all the delegates, so they stuck with Jacksonborough.  In the end the rumor of the British troop landing proved false, so there was no threat to the assembly.

The first major obstacle the Assembly faced was getting enough delegates to show up to form a quorum.  Although the Assembly scheduled its first meeting for January 8, 1782, it did not have enough members to do any business until January 17.

The day after they got their quorum, Governor Rutledge addressed the assembly.  The governor focused on the British depredations on the people of South Carolina, and praised the actions of Greene and the Continental Army in combating the British occupation.  Rutledge also praised the work of the militia under Sumter and Marion.  At the same time, he attacked the actions of the loyalists in assisting the British against their friends and neighbors.

The Assembly generally approved of the speech.  But one of the first actions taken up by the new assembly was to replace Governor Rutledge.  This was nothing personal. The constitution of 1778, allowed a governor to serve for only two out of every six years.  Rutledge had already served for two years.  After some debate the Assembly elected John Mathews as the new governor.  Mathews had been a militia officer, but primarily served in civil offices.  He had served in the Assembly in the past, and as a judge early in the war, and had been elected Speaker for a time.  Mathews had been elected to the most recent Assembly, after serving the prior two years in the Continental Congress in Philadelphia.  The outgoing Governor Rutledge would take up Mathews spot in the Continental Congress.

The legislative session focused primarily on how to continue financing the war.  Much of the debate considered what to do with the property of the loyalists.  A great many estates had already been seized.  The Assembly made that official for many, listing several hundred loyalists whose property was deemed permanently seized by the state.  These same people were permanently expelled from South Carolina.  Another group of loyalist sympathizers were fined an amount equal to 12% of the value of their estates.  With no loyalists in the legislature, and with the public sentiment strongly against them, the assembly approved these measures overwhelmingly.

A more controversial debate focused on slaves.  Senator John Laurens had long supported the idea of arming slaves to fight and offering them their freedom in exchange for service. Those suggestions had been shot down pretty overwhelmingly in the past.  This time, Laurens tried to push the idea into one that focused on the popular idea of confiscation from the loyalists.  He proposed that 2500 slaves,  confiscated from loyalist plantations, be formed into regiments that would fight under white officers. The state was under an obligation to provide more soldiers to the Continental Army and could not seem to raise them among the white population. Since no patriots would lose slaves under this plan, and because this would resolve the problem of raising more Continental Regiments in the state, Laurens hoped that it might be more palatable to the delegates.

There was no record of the legislative debate on the matter, or the count of the final vote - only that the matter was debated and rejected. Several informal accounts indicate that the plan initially looked like it would pass.  Leaders like Rutledge had to lobby hard against the plan before it finally failed.

That leaves us with the question: why did it fail? The seizures would only impact loyalist slave owners, and the patriots had already shown little concern for the property rights of loyalists.  Even so, providing arms to former slaves and also ending up with a population of freed former slaves living in South Carolina after the war, was seen as a dangerous policy.  Many expressed the fear that these freed slaves who would be comfortable with combat would form the core of a larger slave revolt in the future.

The other big slave debate during this session was over Sumter’s policy of paying militia with slaves seized from loyalist plantations.  This also proved controversial.  Sumter, as you might guess, was a vocal supporter of the bill, which authorized what he had been doing.  Marion was a leading opponent. The Assembly ended up neither approving or disapproving of the practice, which had already been in place for months.  In fact, the Assembly disbanded without coming to any decision on how to pay the state’s soldiers.  Some of the slaves seized from the loyalists under the Confiscation Act that was passed would be used to pay Continental recruits.  The Assembly also voted to grant immunity from suit for all officers who had seized private property for public use.  So, although they did not approve Sumter's practices of seizing slaves for his soldiers, they made sure he could not be sued for doing so.

The Assembly adjourned on February 26, after being in session for just over a month.  Sumter ended up resigning his commission in the army and retiring.  The Assembly offered him a seat in the Continental Congress, but he declined.  He would later return to politics, but his military career was over.  Most of the other officers who had been elected and served in the legislature returned to their military duties following adjournment.

Lee Goes Home

In addition to Sumter’s resignation, the other major departure around this time was that of Lieutenant Colonel Light Horse Harry Lee.  General Greene had relied heavily on Lee’s cavalry, particularly so after the capture of Colonel William Washington at Eutaw Springs.  Lee had enjoyed relative independence and performed actively up until this time.  

Light Horse Harry Lee
There seemed to be a number of things that contributed to his decision to resign his command on January 26, 1782, a little over a week after the South Carolina Assembly had begun its session.  Much of his pique seemed to be related to the arrival of John Laurens.

Lee had been pushing hard for the attack on John’s Island that I discussed last week.  Greene had considered it too difficult to get across the island while the British still controlled the waters around it. Even so, he granted permission to attempt the raid based on Lee’s persistence.  Greene, however, directed Lee to share the command with Laurens, who had seniority over Lee.  

Laurens, as I said before, was more than just a lieutenant colonel.  He was extremely well connected to the elite families in South Carolina, as well as a favorite of General George Washington.  Lee seemed to see Laurens’ lust for glory as pushing him aside.

Lee’s resignation letter to Greene, and subsequent letters over the next few days as Greene attempted to get him to change his mind, indicated his level of frustration.  Lee believed he had received insufficient credit for his deeds at Eutaw Springs.  He also seemed to show frustration at Laurens’ involvement in the attack on John Island.  After Greene determined that Laurens would take over Lee’s Legion after his departure, Lee criticized the appointment.  He told Greene that Laurens was not experienced enough and that he would “waste the troops very fast.” 

Although Greene attempted to get Lee to change his mind, the young lieutenant colonel seemed unwilling to reconsider.  Once that became clear, Greene hoped to offer him at least a farewell party.  Lee also declined that.  Greene then offered a letter of introduction to General Rochambeau, who was still with the French Army at Williamsburg, Virginia.  Greene hoped Lee would brief the general on the southern campaign, perhaps with the hope that Rochambeau would eventually bring his soldiers to assist Greene's army in the south.  Again, Lee declined to do that, just wanting to go home.

Lee ended up staying for a few more weeks.  His delay did not seem to be related to waiting for Laurens to complete his term in the Assembly, or because of any hesitation in his decision to leave.  It seemed to have more to do with the difficulty in obtaining a carriage to take him back to Virginia.  Lee departed South Carolina in late February, only a few weeks after his 25th birthday.

Problems in Georgia

Aside from Laurens’ new command the other big change in the south was the arrival of the Pennsylvania line.  In November, 1781, following the victory at Yorktown, Washington deployed these reinforcements to Greene in South Carolina.  He gave command of these reinforcements to Major General Arthur St. Clair.  

We haven’t heard much from St. Clair since he surrendered Fort Ticonderoga back in 1777.  At the time St. Clair said that doing so would destroy his reputation and military career.  He was right.  Although exonerated after an inquiry, St. Clair never got another field command.  He had remained an aide to George Washington.  Everyone seemed to agree that St. Clair was a pretty decent administrator, but not ready for an independent field combat command.  

After St. Clair arrived in late January, 1782, he served as second in command to General Greene, who was the more senior major general.  In the end, St. Clair would only remain in the south for a few months during a period of relative inactivity.  By summer, he would return to his home in Pennsylvania.

Along with St. Clair, the Pennsylvania line came with another general, Brigadier Anthony Wayne.  Most recently, Wayne and the Pennsylvania line had been fighting in Virginia under General Lafayette and, of course, participated in Yorktown.  With Virginia secured, and with Lafayette’s decision to return to France, Wayne and his soldiers marched south.

Greene kept most of the Pennsylvania Line with him, near Charleston, but sent General Wayne with a smaller force to Georgia.  The state still faced brutal fights between patriots and loyalists.  The British still maintained a garrison at Savannah with over 1300 regulars and hundreds more loyalist militia. They also had support from local Creek and Cherokee tribes.  

Greene tasked Wayne with trying to restore peace in most of the state, ordering him not to try to take Savannah.  Greene stressed that prudence, not attempted acts of bravery that could result in disaster, were needed in the state.  Wayne should attempt to get the loyalist to come around and accept the patriot rule, ending the continued bloodletting between neighbors.

Wayne set up his forces along the Savannah River, about 25 miles north of the city of Savannah.  His position cut off the British in the city from their Indian allies.  In late January, his army captured a Choctaw caravan on its way to bring supplies to the British in Savannah.  Wayne kept a few chiefs as hostages, but allowed the rest to return home, telling them that the new leadership only wanted their peace and friendship, but that they could no longer support the British.  Wayne also drafted a proclamation for the governor to issue a pardon to Tories who would end their opposition to patriot rule.

Despite Greene’s calls for prudence, Wayne also began raiding outposts around Savannah and riding his troops to within a few miles of the city.  In  hopes of reigning in Wayne’s aggressive tactics, Greene refused to send more ammunition and recalled some of the soldiers he had initially sent with Wayne.

Wayne’s arrival in Georgia also coincided with a political rift that was threatening to divide the patriot leadership in Georgia.  Recall that a few episodes back I recounted how a few Georgia delegates at the Continental Congress had appointed Nathan Brownson as the commander of all the militia in Georgia.  Brownson had almost no military credentials.  He was a physician by trade.  The more experienced militia officers in the state objected to Brownson’s appointment, which really didn’t have any legal standing anyway.  Despite not liking Brownson, he was appointed by delegates to the Continental Congress, who really didn't have any legal standing to make such appointments.

General Greene eventually smoothed over the differences by getting the leaders to agree that Brownson would serve as governor of Georgia while Militia General John Twiggs became the state’s commander of militia.

This seemed to work for a time, until Governor Brownson learned that Twiggs was holding councils of war without informing him and was working directly with Greene to receive supplies rather than going through the civil government.

Once again, Greene tried to smooth over differences by instructing Twiggs to keep Brownson in the loop and to forward supply requests through the civilian leadership in Georgia.  A short time later, Brownson once again wrote to Greene that Twiggs was reporting on recent skirmishes to Greene but not providing reports to the governor.  Twiggs had told Brownson that Greene had requested that he receive reports on military actions directly.

The governor dashed off another angry letter to Greene that he took as a personal insult that Greene was leaving him out of the loop. General Twiggs was also upset that Brownson was not respecting his authority in military matters.  So the governor of Georgia and the commander of the state military were both offended by the other’s actions and were barely speaking to one another.  Both of them were mad at Greene for trying to work with the other.

Fortunately for Greene, the matter eventually resolved itself.  The Georgia legislature replaced Governor Brownson in January, 1782, selecting John Martin as the new governor.  Under Martin the Georgia legislature would take actions similar to South Carolina, naming hundreds of loyalists who would be banned from the state and their property confiscated.

Fighting in Georgia and South Carolina would continue. The British garrisons at Charleston and Savannah felt increasing pressure, but remained throughout the spring of 1782.  Greene received several reports of British reinforcements, but those never proved accurate.  Both sides seemed to remain on hold, waiting for other events to impact what they would do next.

Next week: the wider war spreads as Spain captures Menorca in the Mediterranean..  

- - -

Next Episode 305 Siege of Menorca

Previous Episode 303 John's Island

 Contact me via email at

 Follow the podcast on Twitter @AmRevPodcast

 Join the Facebook group, American Revolution Podcast 

 Join American Revolution Podcast on Quora 
Discuss the AmRev Podcast on Reddit

American Revolution Podcast Merch!

T-shirts, hoodies, mugs, pillows, totes, notebooks, wall art, and more.  Get your favorite American Revolution logo today.  Help support this podcast.

American Revolution Podcast is distributed 100% free of charge. If you can chip in to help defray my costs, I'd appreciate whatever you can give.  Make a one time donation through my PayPal account. You may also donate via Venmo (@Michael-Troy-20) or Zelle (send to

Click here to see my Patreon Page
You can support the American Revolution Podcast as a Patreon subscriber.  This is an option making monthly pledges.  Patreon support will give you access to Podcast extras and help make the podcast a sustainable project.

An alternative to Patreon is SubscribeStar.  For anyone who has problems with Patreon, you can get the same benefits by subscribing at SubscribeStar.

Help Support this podcast on ""

Visit the American Revolution Podcast Bookshop.  Support local bookstores and this podcast!

Signup for the AmRev Podcast Mail List

* indicates required

Further Reading


Constitution of South Carolina, 1778:

Members of the 4th General assembly - 1782:

Jacksonborough Assembly:

South Carolina Confiscation Act of 1782:

Gov. John Matthews

John Twiggs:

Gov. Nathan Brownson:

Gov. John Martin:

Cashin, Edward J. “Nathanael Greene’s Campaign for Georgia in 1781.” The Georgia Historical Quarterly, vol. 61, no. 1, 1977, pp. 43–58. JSTOR,

Free eBooks
(from unless noted)

Journal of the House of Representatives of South Carolina. January 8, 1782-February 26, 1782, Columbia, SC: Printed for the Historical commission of South Carolina, 1916. 

Barnwell, Robert Woodward Loyalism in South Carolina, 1765-1785, Ph.D. Thesis, Duke University, 1941. 

Bishop, Cortlandt F. History of Elections in the American Colonies, New York: Columbia College (PH.D. Thesis) (1893). 

Coleman, Kenneth The American Revolution in Georgia, 1763-1789, Athens: Univ of Ga Press, 1958 (borrow only). 

Flanders, Henry Lives and Times of the Chief justices of the Supreme Court of the United States, Vol 1 (John Jay & John Rutledge) Philadelphia: Lippincott, 1874. 

McCrady, Edward The History of South Carolina in the Revolution, 1780-1783, New York: The Macmillan Co. 1902.  

Pennypacker, Samuel W. Anthony Wayne, Philadelphia: J.B. Lippincott Co. 1908.  

Simms, William G. The Life of Francis Marion, New York, Derby, 1854. 

Smith, William Henry The St. Clair Papers, Cincinnati: Clarke, 1882. 

McCrady, Edward The History of South Carolina in the Revolution, 1780-1783, New York: The Macmillan Co. 1902.  

Ramsay, David The History of the Revolution of South-Carolina, from a British province to an independent state, 1749-1815, Vol. 2, Trenton: Isaac Collins, 1785. 

Books Worth Buying
(links to unless otherwise noted)*

Bass, Robert D. Gamecock: The Life And Campaigns of General Thomas Sumter, Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1961 (Read on 

Buchanan, John The Road to Charleston, Univ. of Va. Press, 2019. 

Golway, Terry Washington's General: Nathanael Greene and the Triumph of the American Revolution, H. Holt, 2006 (borrow on 

Massey, Gregory D. John Laurens and the American Revolution, Univ. of SC Press,  2000 (borrow on 

O’Kelley, Patrick Nothing But Blood and Slaughter: The Revolutionary War in the Carolinas, Vol 3, 1781, Booklocker, 2005. 

Oller, John The Swamp Fox: How Francis Marion Saved the American Revolution, Da Capo Press, 2016. 

Southern, Ed Voices of the American Revolution in the Carolinas , Blair, 2009. 

* As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Sunday, March 17, 2024

ARP303 John's Island

 Last week we covered the continued fighting in South Carolina following the surrender of the main British army in the south under General Cornwallis at Yorktown, Virginia.  In South Carolina, General Nathanael Greene and the militia under General Francis Marion were pushing the British into an ever-shrinking circle around Charleston.  The new British commander in Charleston, General Alexander Leslie, was consolidating his forces as best he could to hold onto whatever parts of the state that he could.

Both sides remained concerned that some peace settlement might rely on what territories armies held at the time, meaning that forcing the British out of Charleston entirely would help to ensure recognition of South Carolina’s independence.

Return of Sumter & Laurens

With word of the victory at Yorktown, General Thomas Sumter returned to Greene’s camp.  Recall that back in Episode 292, General Sumter had tried to disband his militia army and personally traveled back to North Carolina.  Part of this was Sumter’s anger at orders from Greene and Governor Rutledge to stop the looting of loyalist properties, which Sumter relied on to pay his army.  Part of this was capturing slaves that belonged to loyalists to pay his soldiers for continued service.  

The general had also ticked off Marion and his militia as well as Greene for his poor leadership at Quinby’s Bridge. So with most people unhappy with him, as he was with them, Sumter tried to disband his army and go home, at least for a short timeout.

Thomas Sumter
After Sumter’s departure, General Greene and Governor Rutledge had put Francis Marion in charge of most of the militia.  Sumter, who was more senior to Marion, could reasonably reclaim command of the militia, but with everyone annoyed at him, no one else wanted that to happen.  Greene avoided a major political fight by giving Sumter and Marion separate commands.  Greene was moving Marion’s men to the area around Charleston, especially to the south, where they wanted to prevent any British overland travel between Charleston and Savannah, as well as making it more difficult for the British to forage in those areas.  

Greene tasked Sumter with keeping a lid on the Tory activity around Orangeburg, to the northwest of Charleston.  There was still a large German speaking loyalist population there that required continued monitoring so that they did not regroup and try to cause more problems. This was also during this time in late November that William “Bloody Bill” Cunningham was wreaking havoc in the area. Sumter was tasked with taking on that as well, working with General Andrew Pickens to take out Cunningham and his loyalists.

The other key officer returning to South Carolina in late 1781 was Colonel John Laurens.  Since he was a Continental officer, he came under the direct command of General Greene.  But Laurens was more than just a colonel.  He was the son of the former president of the Continental Congress, Henry Laurens - who headed one of the wealthiest and most powerful families in South Carolina.  Colonel Laurens had recently completed a diplomatic mission to France to obtain more French assistance for the Continental Army.  Colonel Laurens had been General Washington’s aide for many years, and was close friends with the Marquis de Lafayette and Alexander Hamilton.  His political connections made him far more important than his rank.

Laurens had returned from France in time to rejoin the Continental army for the Yorktown Campaign.  He personally led a regiment in the final assault on Redoubt #10 at Yorktown and was then part of the negotiating team that accepted Cornwallis’ surrender.  Cornwallis, in addition to his military title, held the position as constable of the Tower of London - where Laurens’ father was currently a prisoner.  So Laurens had effectively captured his father’s jailer.  

Following the surrender at Yorktown, tried to get approval to exchange Cornwallis for his father. That was still undecided when Washington left Yorktown for Philadelphia, and Laurens finally returned to South Carolina. After his arrival in early December, Laurens began to push for political changes, in addition to his military service.

Garden’s Plantation

Laurens began working with Marion’s efforts south of Charleston.  He combined forces with Light Horse Harry Lee’s legion.  Colonel Lee had also just recently returned, after a trip to Virginia that lasted about two months.  Greene had sent Lee back to Virginia in September, hoping that Lee could persuade Washington to send more reinforcements to South Carolina.  That mission was largely unsuccessful, but it did allow Lee to observe the end of the Yorktown campaign, and allowed him to be present at the Cornwallis’ surrender.  His legion set up camp at McQueens Plantation, just west of Charleston, with an eye toward taking John’s Island, just south of the city.

John Laurens

He was close enough to Charleston that he could see what was happening there. He also had several conflicts with loyalist militia. On December 19th, a company of Lee’s soldiers under the command of Captain James Armstrong attacked a loyalist company under the command of Captain Ludwig Kienen, killing several and taking the rest prisoner, including Captain Kienen.

The following day, Captain Armstrong was waiting to meet a spy at the Garden’s Plantation when he spotted another company of loyalists.  This time, the enemy was a company of New York provincials commanded by Major John Coffin.  

A native of Boston, Coffin was a loyalist who joined the British army in time to fight at Bunker Hill.  By 1777, he had risen to major, commanding loyalist volunteers from New York.  Coffin and his New York volunteers had been deployed south, where they saw considerable action in South Carolina and Georgia.

Commanders in Charleston had tasked Coffin with tracking down the rebels who had captured Captain Kienen the day before.  When Coffin’s provincials saw the enemy, they withdrew.  Armstrong’s patriot militia gave chase.  

The loyalist withdrawal had been an effort to draw the enemy into an ambush, which was successful.  Captain Armstrong’s men quickly found themselves being attacked from all sides by a larger force.  Armstrong charged at the enemy, but they did not break.  Armstrong’s company was cut down, with the men killed or captured.  Armstrong’s horse fell and a loyalist soldier took him prisoner.  The loyalist had to fight off several of his own comrades to keep them from killing Armstrong.  The following day, the loyalists exchanged Armstrong for the return of Captain Kienen.

Slaughter Field & Daufuskie Island

As 1781 was coming to an end, the active skirmishing only continued. On December 23, a small militia company under the command of Captain Benjamin Oden was camped in a field northwest of Blackville, about a day’s march from Orangeburg.  A group of loyalists attacked in a pre-dawn raid, killing sixteen men and forcing the rest to scatter.  The dead and dying were left in the field for several days, giving it the name Slaughter Field.  

Another terrible story of attacks and revenge was unfolding further to the south.  Near the southern tip of South Carolina, a local patriot militia held Hilton Head Island.  Just to the south on Daufuskie Island, a loyalist regiment held sway.

In late December, a group of loyalists under the command of Captain Philip Martinangel crossed the water over to Hilton Head to ambush a patriot militia officer, Captain Ambrose Davant.  The loyalists caught Devant riding near his plantation and shot him.  The wounded patriot was able to escape and ride to a neighbor’s plantation.  His wound was mortal and he soon died, but not before telling friends that Martinagel’s loyalists had shot him.

Davant’s friend Captain John Leacraft, organized a retaliatory raid.  His patriots crossed over to Daufuskie Island in search of Martinangel.  They found him on Christmas night in bed.  According to one account, Martinangel was sleeping with his infant daughter next to him.  They slit his throat, killing him without waking his daughter.  The daughter awoke later from the feel of her father’s blood all over her.  Her screams alerted the servants.  

Incidents like these were happening all over South Carolina.  Neighbors continued to attack neighbors often simply out of revenge.  Loyalists were becoming increasingly desperate, while patriots were looking to end the violence of those who refused to accept the patriot victory.

Johns Island 

Greene’s main army was still trying to tighten the noose even further on the British in Charleston itself.  Greene knew that the local skirmishing throughout the state would only end once the British were forced to abandon Charleston entirely.

Greene was still pushing to get an army large enough to take on Charleston directly, but in the meantime, focused on harassing British troops at the edges.

With Greene’s support, Colonels Laurens and Lee targeted Johns Island for their next attack.  The island sat just south of Charleston.  British ships protected the island.  James Craig and the 82nd of Foot, which had recently evacuated Wilmington, had been assigned to protect the island.  Craig had just received a promotion to lieutenant colonel and commanded a brigade of about 500 regulars and loyalists.  The British used the island primarily to graze horses, as well as cattle needed to feed the garrison in Charleston.

The patriots did not have boats to cross over onto the island, but determined that there were a couple of times each month when the tide was low enough at night that they could cross over through waist high water to get to the island.  The attack would be especially risky since the tide was only low enough for a few hours. The troops would have to cross, conduct their raid, then retreat back to the mainland before the water rose too high.  Otherwise, they would find themselves trapped on the island.

The raiding force planned to cross on the night of December 28. The men got into position, but discovered there was another large British force on James Island.  If the patriots attacked John’s Island, these reinforcements would leave them outnumbered and potentially trapped on the island.  In the end, Lee and Laurens called off the attack.

They would have to wait another two weeks for the tides low enough at the right time of night to try again. On the night of January 12, 1782, they made their second attempt. This time, the main army under General Greene was camped nearby.  It could cause a diversion in case the British tried to send reinforcements to John’s Island.

Laurens sent the first division under Lee’s command across the shallows at about 1:00 AM on the 13th.  As they crossed silently, they could hear British soldiers on nearby gunboats calling out “all’s safe.”  Laurens was supposed to oversee a second column under James Hamilton across the cut, but Hamilton’s division was missing.  They finally showed up over an hour later, with Hamilton informing Laurens that their guide had abandoned them and they got lost.  At this point, the tide was already beginning to rise.  In a few hours it would be light.  Lee’s division would be trapped on the island with too few men to engage the enemy.  Laurens again called off the attack and recalled Lee’s division to the mainland.

After this attempt, the leadership decided that a land crossing dependent on the tide simply would not work.  They decided they would have to attack with boats. To do that, they would need to drive off the British gunboats protecting the island.  Greene brought up artillery to fire on the boats the following day.  This resulted in a back and forth artillery duel, but the British boats refused to withdraw.

Hearing the artillery fire and fearing a full assault on the island, Colonel Craig opted to evacuate the island.  His regulars and militia evacuated the island as the gunboats dueld with the Continentals.  The following day, after the army had abandoned the island, the British gunboats also withdrew.

On the 15th, Laurens led a small force of cavalry and infantry onto the island, confirming the British camp had been abandoned. They managed to capture a few stragglers and a few supplies, but the enemy was gone.  They did attack one British schooner loaded with most of the regimental supplies, but after a brief firefight, the schooner escaped.

Craig ended up moving his regulars to James Island within cannon shot of Charleston itself.  With John’s Island abandoned, but too risky to hold, the Continentals also withdrew, leaving the island a no man’s land.

Videau’s Bridge 

To the north of Charleston, Greene relied on local militia to keep the British in check.  General Marion spread out the militia in small groups to cover the area.  Back in Charleston, British General Leslie believed that the small and scattered groups of militia would be vulnerable to attack.  He deployed Major William Brereton, a British regular officer in command of provincial troops. 

Brereton had come from an Irish family that had moved to England in the 1500’s.  His ancestor and namesake had been a courtier to Henry VIII.  His family had a long military tradition.  His father and uncles had all been officers.  One of his older brothers had been killed while serving under General Braddock at the battle of the Monongahela.

William had purchased his first commission at the age of 17 in 1769.  By the time the Revolution began, he was a captain of a grenadier company.  He served in the Philadelphia Campaign and purchased a promotion to major in April of 1781.  He was a highly experienced officer, as were the men who served under him.

Brereton led a brigade which included his own regiment of regulars, as well as several smaller regiments of loyalist provincials, including the mounted NY Provincials under Major John Coffin.  In all, Brereton had a force of about 360 men.  HIs men crossed from Charleston onto Daniel’s Island to the north, searching for forage and any enemy that cared to take on their forces.

In response, Militia Colonel Richard Richardson, Jr. led a local militia to confront the enemy.  Richardson’s father had been a prominent patriot who served in the government and also as a militia general.  Richardson, Sr. had been captured at Charleston when the British invaded in 1780.  After getting very ill, he was released on parole but died at home a few weeks later.  You may recall in an earlier episode, I mentioned that Banastre Tarleton dug up Richardson’s body and desecrated it in an attempt to goad the patriots.

His son, Colonel Richard Richardson, Jr. had some experience, and was also working with a brigade of militia that had not fought together much as a unit.  When he learned of the enemy’s advance on Daniel Island, He called on General Marion to send reinforcements. Marion sent a regiment of South Carolina Dragoons to assist.  In total, Richardson’s militia force totaled about 400 men, a bit larger than the enemy he faced.

On January 3, the British were camped at the Brabant Plantation, the home of the Reverend Robert Smith.  Aware that rebel militia might be in the area, Major Brereton deployed a guard at nearby Videau’s Bridge, one of the main approaches to the plantation.

Richardson approached the bridge in an attempt to reconnoiter the enemy.  The British pickets spotted him and tried to apprehend him.  Richardson fled back to his army, with the loyalist provincials following closely behind.  Once he reached his own lines, he wheeled around his horse and ordered his men to charge.  The South Carolina Dragoons charged forward, forcing the provincials to withdraw back to Videau’s Bridge.

There, Major Coffin led a counter charge with his provincial cavalry.  Many of the patriot militia scattered and ran.  Some remained but were outnumbered and cut down.  As the patriot militia fled, the provincials pursued them, chasing the soldiers for about six miles in a running battle.  Afraid that they would be drawn too far away from their lines, the provincials gave up the chase and returned.

At the end of the day the Americans lost 9 killed, 6 wounded, and 15 missing.  The British reported 4 killed, 14 wounded, and 1 captured.  With the American militia scattered, the British continued their foraging.  

A week and a half later, the provincial militia under Major Coffin had ridden further inland, back to Dorchester, the site of another skirmish about six weeks earlier that I discussed last week.  Coffin’s horsemen managed to surprise a small patrol of Continental Dragoons under the command of Lieutenant John Kelly.  

Taken by surprise, Kelly surrendered along with seven of his men.  Coffin brought them back to Charleston as prisoners.  This is sometimes known as the second battle of Dorchester, although there did not seem to be much, if any, fighting on that day.

Lull in the fighting

The British did not remain in the field much longer.  They returned to Charleston.  Because they had lost so much grazing land, General Leslie ordered the destruction of 200 horses that they could no longer feed.  

Similarly, the patriots were also finding it difficult to feed horses.  Around this same time, South Carolina Governor Rutledge ordered the state troops and militia to send home their horses, as the state would no longer pay to feed them.  This led to many of the militia going home as well, since the men did not want to fight on foot.

With both sides running so low on supplies, the skirmishing seemed to slow down for the next few weeks.  This lull in fighting also coincided with the return of civil government to South Carolina.  In late 1781, the state had held new legislative elections.  The new legislature met in early 1782 to put in place new policies for the state.  

And I will discuss that more next week, as the legislature handles several important issues for the future of the state.

- - -

Next Episode 304 Jacksonborough Assembly

Previous Episode 302 Cloud's Creek Massacre

 Contact me via email at

 Follow the podcast on Twitter @AmRevPodcast

 Join the Facebook group, American Revolution Podcast 

 Join American Revolution Podcast on Quora 
Discuss the AmRev Podcast on Reddit

American Revolution Podcast Merch!

T-shirts, hoodies, mugs, pillows, totes, notebooks, wall art, and more.  Get your favorite American Revolution logo today.  Help support this podcast.

American Revolution Podcast is distributed 100% free of charge. If you can chip in to help defray my costs, I'd appreciate whatever you can give.  Make a one time donation through my PayPal account. You may also donate via Venmo (@Michael-Troy-20) or Zelle (send to

Click here to see my Patreon Page
You can support the American Revolution Podcast as a Patreon subscriber.  This is an option making monthly pledges.  Patreon support will give you access to Podcast extras and help make the podcast a sustainable project.

An alternative to Patreon is SubscribeStar.  For anyone who has problems with Patreon, you can get the same benefits by subscribing at SubscribeStar.

Help Support this podcast on ""

Visit the American Revolution Podcast Bookshop.  Support local bookstores and this podcast!

Signup for the AmRev Podcast Mail List

* indicates required

Further Reading


Slaughter Field:

Revolutionary Story of Intrigue at Hilton Head Island, SC:

John Coffin:

William Brereton:

Baxley, Charles B. “‘An Enterprise upon Johns Island’: Nathanael Greene’s Winter Campaign and the Jacksonborough Assembly, 1781–1782.” Army History, no. 98, 2016, pp. 30–52. JSTOR,

Raid on John’s Island:

Battle of Videau's Bridge:

Dorchester 2:

Free eBooks
(from unless noted)

Barnwell, Robert Woodward Loyalism in South Carolina, 1765-1785, Ph.D. Thesis, Duke University, 1941. 

Crow, Jeffrey (ed) The Southern Experience in the American Revolution, Univ. of NC Press, 1978.

Landrum, John Colonial and Revolutionary History of Upper South Carolina, Greenville, SC: Shannon & Co. 1897 

McCrady, Edward The History of South Carolina in the Revolution, 1780-1783, New York: The Macmillan Co. 1902.  

Ramsay, David The History of the Revolution of South-Carolina, from a British province to an independent state, 1749-1815, Vol. 2, Trenton: Isaac Collins, 1785. 

Simms, William G. The Life of Francis Marion, New York, Derby, 1854. 

Books Worth Buying
(links to unless otherwise noted)*

Bass, Robert D. Gamecock: The Life And Campaigns of General Thomas Sumter, Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1961 (Read on 

Buchanan, John The Road to Charleston, Univ. of Va. Press, 2019. 

Massey, Gregory D. John Laurens and the American Revolution, Univ. of SC Press,  2000 (borrow on 

O’Kelley, Patrick Nothing But Blood and Slaughter: The Revolutionary War in the Carolinas, Vol 3, 1781, Booklocker, 2005. 

Oller, John The Swamp Fox: How Francis Marion Saved the American Revolution, Da Capo Press, 2016. 

Pancake, John S. This Destructive war: The British Campaign in the Carolinas, 1780-1782, Univ. of Alabama Press, 1985 (borrow on

Weigley, Russell Frank The Partisan War: The South Carolina Campaign of 1780-1782, Columbia: Univ of South Carolina Press, 1970 (borrow on 

* As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.