The American Revolution in South Carolina

  Coosawhatchie

  May 3, 1779


Patriot Cdr:

Lt. Col. John Laurens
British Cdr:

Lt. Col. John Maitland
Killed:

3
Killed:

Unknown
Wounded:

8
Wounded:

Unknown
Captured:

0
Captured:

Unknown
Old District: 

Beaufort District
Present County:

Jasper County

One source claims this happened on May 4th.


Lt. Col. John Laurens and his men were in position on a slight rise near the bridge at the Coosawhatchie River. They were guarding the road against the expected assault by about 2,400 British soldiers and Loyalists under Brigadier General Augustine Prevost from Savannah.

On May 3rd, Lt. Col. John Laurens and a 250-man detachment of the North Carolina Light Infantry were on a mission to bring back the Patriot rear guard before the British cut them off. When they encountered the British, Lt. Col. Laurens chose a bad position for his troops. The British fired long-range artillery at the Patriots, who were powerless to do anything. Lt. Col. Laurens was shot in the arm and his horse was killed by artillery fragments.

As Lt. Col. John Laurens was sent back for medical attention, he told Capt. Thomas Shubrick to maintain their position. Once Lt. Col. Laurens left though, Capt. Shubrick ordered the Patriots to withdraw. With many of the soldiers also wounded, they fell back to the Tullifinny River, about two miles east. He knew that if they had stayed, the entire group would have been captured.

Known Patriot Participants

Known British/Loyalist Participants

Lt. Col. John Laurens - Commanding Officer

Major John Barnwell - Aide-de-Camp to Laurens

Capt. Thomas Fletchall - Continental Army

NC Light Infantry (Continentals) with 250 men, led by "Unknown"

SC 5th Regiment detachment led by Capt. Thomas Shubrick, with 100 men

SC 6th Regiment detachment led by Capt. Alexander Walker

Beaufort District Regiment of Militia detachment led by Capt. William Hazzard Wigg

Camden District Regiment of Militia detachment of two (2) known companies with 150 men, led by:
- Capt. John James
- Capt. Hugh White

Cheraws District Regiment of Militia detachment led by Capt. William Dewitt

Georgetown District Regiment of Militia detachment led by Capt. Jacob Buckholts

New Acquisition District Regiment of Militia detachment led by Capt. Philip Walker

Fairfield Regiment of Militia detachment led by Capt. Angus Campbell

Upper Craven County Regiment of Militia detachment led by Capt. Thomas Lloyd

Lt. Col. John Maitland - Commanding Officer, with a total of approximately 800 men

71st Regiment of Foot (Fraser's Highlanders) led by Lt. Col. John Maitland

16th Regiment of Foot Light Infantry Company led by Major Colin Graham

Royal Regiment of Artillery, 4th Battalion, Number 7 Company led by Capt. William Johnstone with 6 guns

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© 2008 - J.D. Lewis - PO Box 1188 - Little River, SC 29566 - All Rights Reserved