The American Revolution in South Carolina

Bear Swamp

October 30, 1780


Patriot Cdr:

Col. Thomas Brown (NC)
Loyalist Cdr:

Capt. Jesse Barefield
Killed:

1
Killed:

Unknown
Wounded:

Unknown
Wounded:

Unknown
Captured:

0
Captured:

0
Old District: 

Georgetown District
Present County:

Dillon County

In his 1832 pension application, William Easterling (R14028) noted:

"He was engaged in one battle with the Tories on Bear Swamp between Drowning Creek and Little Pee Dee River. Colonel Brown, Lt. Col. Richardson, Adjutant Robert Raiford and Capt. Anderson commanded the Whigs and Captain Barfield the Tories. Captain Anderson was shot down in this battle just by deponent's side, and was carried and deponent does not know whether he died or survived it. The Tories were defeated."

In 1834, William Easterling added the following:

"When under Colonel Brown in the County of Bladen in North Carolina, sometime after dark, we heard one of our sentinels cry out - who came there? He then fired and ran into the line of fire. Another sentinel stood near who thought it was cattle. He hailed Captain Barfield who commanded the Tories shoot and hit the sentinel in the back. The Tories continued their fire until they came so near that I could see their faces by the flash of their guns. Our men were in confusion.

"The Colonel ordered one side of the line of fire, the Adjutant on the other - Our officers succeeded in forming us and commencing fire. We had not fired more than four rounds before the Tories retreated. We were commanded by Colonel Brown, Lt. Col. Richardson, Adjutant Robert Raiford & Captain Anderson. The Tories by Captain Barfield.

"During the engagement Captain Anderson (a brave man and true Whig) was shot down by my side. He cried out - Oh Lord, I'm a dead man; what shall I do? - Adjutant Raiford who was as brave as ever lived, but who stuttered very badly, replied - Gu Gu_d in it l-l-lye close... poor Anderson's wound was mortal -- we were ordered [illegible], set out sentinels, and lay on our arms till morning."


On November 4, 1780, Col. Thomas Brown (NC) wrote a short letter to Brigadier General (Pro Tempore) Henry William Harrington (NC):

"I have killed Miles Barfield, and wounded two others of the Barfields; and it is said, Jesse Barfield is shot through the hand, but the certainty I cannot tell. I have got four more of the Barfields well ironed and under guard, whom I am very choice of."


After his wounding and escape from Col. Thomas Brown, Capt. Jesse Barefield slipped down the Little PeeDee River with a group of horsemen and made his way to Georgetown to help defend the small town from the expected attack by Col. Francis Marion, an enemy that Capt. Jesse Barefield despised.

Known Patriot Participants

Known Loyalist Participants
Bladen County (NC) Regiment of Militia detachment led by Col. Thomas Brown, Lt. Col. James Richardson, Adjutant Robert Raiford (a Continental officer temporarily in Militia service), with one known company, led by:
- Capt. Samuel Anderson (killed)

Col. Robert Gray's Regiment of Loyalist Militia detachment led by Capt. Jesse Barefield (wounded)

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