The American Revolution in South Carolina

Galley Fight

June 22-23, 1779


Patriot Cdr:

Capt. James Pyne
British Cdr:

Unknown
Killed:

6
Killed:

Unknown
Wounded:

Unknown
Wounded:

Unknown
Captured:

Unknown
Captured:

Unknown
Old District: 

Charles Town District
Present County:

Charleston County

aka Stanyarne’s and Eveleigh’s Plantations.


On the night of June 22-23, 1779, Capt. James Pyne commanded the Rutledge and two other galleys in an action on the Stono River, captured an enemy schooner and silencing enemy batteries at Stanyarne's Plantation on John's Island. The other two galleys were commanded by Capt. Paul Frisbie and Capt. Boutard.
Three Patriot galleys operating on the Stono River attacked and captured a British schooner that was loaded with plunder taken from local Patriot homes. The galleys then began to fire on British positions onshore.
With the galleys were Col. Britigney and his Corps of Frenchmen, with the intent of making a landing if possible. The Patriot fleet sailed through the Wappoo Cut during the night but did not meet the enemy. They then passed by Gibbes's Plantation without being detected, but when they passed by Stanyarne's Plantation they were fired upon with field pieces and small arms for about 45 minutes. This is when Capt. James Pyne captured the British schooner.

Capt. Pyne was able to silence the batteries at Stanyarne's Plantation and he continued upriver to the next bluff, where another battery fired upon him. Capt. Pyne was able to silence that battery as well, but the sun was rising and the tide was going out, so he anchored his small fleet at Eveleigh's Plantation.

When the sun rose, Capt. Pyne quickly realized that there were about 1,200 British troops at Eveleigh's Plantation, and there were cannons planted on the causeway leading to his small fleet. The galleys were safe where they lay, but to move in any direction would put them within a pistol shot of their enemy. Capt. Pyne decided to wait for sunset.

The British knew of their location and decided to sink a schooner in the river downstream to block their escape. When night fell, Capt. Pyne and his fleet headed downriver to escape the gauntlet surrounding him. The British had lined the riverbank with men and cannons, firing everything they had. The largest pieces were 9-pounders.

Capt. Pyne and his fleet were low on ammunition, so they limited their return fire. Capt. Boutard was in the trailing galley and his men received most of the enemy fire. Six men were killed and a number wounded, but all three galleys returned with their prize of the British schooner.



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