The American Revolution in South Carolina

Gen. Andrew Williamson's Capture

July 5, 1781


Patriot Cdr:

Col. Isaac Hayne
British Cdr:

None
Killed:

0
Killed:

0
Wounded:

0
Wounded:

0
Captured:

0
Captured:

1
Old District: 

Charles Town District
Present County:

Charleston County

aka Horse Savannah.


Patriot Col. Isaac Hayne captured ex-Brigadier General Andrew Williamson at the suburbs of Charlestown.
Col. Isaac Hayne had been the commander of the Colleton County Regiment of Militia, but when Charlestown fell in May of 1780, he went home to his plantation as per the instructions under the Articles of Captitulation. When General Sir Henry Clinton revoked all paroles, Col. Hayne signed a stipulation "to demean himself as a British subject so long as the country should be covered by the British army."

When he visited Charlestown he showed this paper to Gen. Patterson, but the general refused to let him return home unless he signed a declaration of allegiance to the King. He did sign the declaration, but after the Patriots had re-occupied the area of his home and plantation he believed that he was freed from the declaration.

On July 5th, Col. Hayne led 100 horsemen into the suburbs of Charlestown and captured ex-Brigadier General Andrew Williamson, known by some as the "Benedict Arnold of the South." He had been the leader of the South Carolina Militia in the Ninety-Six District, but had taken protection from the British after Charlestown fell. Many of his contemporaries suspected he was thereafter in collusion with the British about Patriot troop movements, etc. Others thought perhaps he was a "double spy" offering piddling information to the British in exchange for info on their troop strength and movements. Whichever was true, Col. Isaac Hayne wanted him out of the spying business altogether, so he went after him at his own plantation.

Andrew Williamson lived on a plantation at Horse Savannah on Dorchester Road, which was only seven miles from Charlestown. He was hurried from bed without even being given the time to dress properly.

Immediately, this capture became the focus of the British in and around Charlestown. They could not allow the Patriots to discredit their protection so easily. Three days later they caught up with Col. Isaac Hayne at Horse Shoe.

Known Patriot Participants

Known British/Loyalist Participants
Colleton County Regiment led by Col. Isaac Hayne, with 100 men  None
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