The American Revolution in South Carolina

Bull's Plantation

February 1-2, 1779


Patriot Cdr:

Capt. James Doharty
British Cdr:

Major Valentine Gardiner
Killed:

Unknown
Killed:

Unknown
Wounded:

Unknown
Wounded:

Unknown
Captured:

Unknown
Captured:

Unknown
Old District: 

Beaufort District
Present County:

Beaufort County

On February 1st, after disembarking the British landing force on Hilton Head, the naval vessel sailed up the Broad River and sent another landing force ashore near Beaufort in order to burn the plantations belonging to local Patriots. Little if any fighting took place till after the British returned to their ships at which time the local Patriot Militia began to fire on the British ship with small arms, causing little if any real damage.

On February 2nd, the British naval vessels resumed their attack on Bull's Plantation by first firing on it with a cannonade which with a coordinated landing by British soldiers chased off the Patriot Militia. The British then looted the plantation and then burned it to the ground. Word of the attack by this time had reached the Patriots at Fort Lyttleton, which was a small fort guarding the southward water and land approaches to Beaufort. The commander of the fort knowing that his small force could not stand up to a British attack destroyed the fort, along with its guns and stores rather than let them fall into enemy hands.


British troops under Major Valentine Gardiner landed on Hilton Head Island and were fired upon by Capt. James Doharty's militia. The landing force pursued the milita and burned down two houses it had been occupying. The British ships continued up the Broad River and anchored opposite the plantation of Brigadier General Stephen Bull on Port Royal Island.

Capt. Patrick Murray was sent to burn the plantations of the owners who had fled. The first plantation to be torched was the house of Capt. Thomas Heyward, Jr., one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence.

The next morning, the brigantine HMS Lord George Germaine bombarded Bull's house, chasing the militia out into the open. A landing force of the 60th Regiment of Foot, led by Lt. Breitenbach, drove the militia into the woods and kept them away. All of the furniture, except for a billiard table, was removed from Bull's house, and the plantation was set afire.

Known Patriot Participants

Known British/Loyalist Participants

Beaufort District Regiment detachment led by Capt. James Doharty with unknown number of men. 

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Major Valentine Gardiner

Capt. Patrick Murray

60th Regiment of Foot

Brigantine Lord George Germaine



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