The American Revolution in South Carolina

Gibson's Meeting House

June 10, 1780


Patriot Cdr:

Lt. Col. William Bratton
Loyalist Cdr:

Col. Charles Coleman
Killed:

0
Killed:

8
Wounded:

Unknown
Wounded:

16
Captured:

0
Captured:

30
Old District: 

Camden District
Present County:

Fairfield County

The Loyalists who had fled from Beckhamville ten days before were now under the command of Col. Charles Coleman and they encountered Capt. John Hampton (of Col. Daniel Horry's SC Light Dragoons, which was recently disbanded) and captured him as well as Capt. Henry Hampton (recently released from the SC 6th Regiment when it disbanded in February of 1780) and thirty slaves, two or three wagons, and thirty horses. The two ex-Patriot captains were sent to Camden.

The New Acquisition District Regiment of Militia met at Bullock's Creek Presbyterian Church to talk about what to do about the approaching British forces after the fall of Charlestown less than a month earlier. They learned that SC Brigadier Geneneral Andrew Williamson had surrendered, taken British protection, and had given his parole. Col. Samuel Watson and Lt. Col. William Bratton resigned their commands and said that further resistance was useless, and advised their men "to do the best they could for themselves."

Capt. Richard Winn had been in the SC 3rd Regiment of Rangers and had not given his parole. Somehow, he learned that a group of Loyalists were going to meet at Gibson's Meeting House. Since the New Acquisition District Regiment of Militia had broken up, he was unable to get any men to join him in putting down the Loyalists, and he called upon Lt. Col. William Bratton to help him raise some men for an attack. Capt. John McClure joined them.

James Collins described the militiamen riding out as "men acting entirely on our own footing, without the promise or expectation of any pay. There was nothing furnished us from the public; we furnished our own clothes, composed of coarse materials and all home-spun; our over dress was a hunting shirt, of what was called linsey woolsey, well belted around us. We furnished our own horses, saddles, bridles, guns, swords, butcher knives, and our own spurs." He continued, "We carried no camp equipage, no cooking utensils, nor any thing to encumber us; we depended on what chance or kind providence might cast in our way."

Lt. Col. William Bratton, Capt. Richard Winn, and Capt. John McClure rode out to put these Loyalists out of commission. When they arrived at the Loyalist's location Lt. Col. Bratton sent out a reconnaissance patrol, who learned that the Loyalists were in a large log building with three guards posted outside. As soon as the sun rose, the Patriots moved slowly through the woods, then "formed into regular order." Before they could get into final attack position the sentries fired on them, but the Patriots were too close to be stopped.

They rushed and fired. Some Loyalists came out of the log building, but were cut down. Others jumped out of the windows and left their weapons, running some distance on all fours before they could recover their legs. The Patriots lost no men and captured a large stand of guns that were stacked in the yard, along with a about thirty prisoners. The Loyalists lost three officers killed, five other men killed, and sixteen badly wounded. The prisoners were sent to Hillsborough, NC.


The success at Beckhamville and at Gibson's Meeting House doubled the Patriot's ranks. When local Loyalists learned that Richard Winn had masterminded the raid on Gibson's Meeting House, they "had all his houses burnt to the ground, and every negro plundered, together with every property he possessed in the world. His wife was plundered of her clothes, and she was drove off with two infant children." Winn wrote, "It is no more than I expected."

Known Patriot Participants

Known British/Loyalist Participants

Lt. Col. William Bratton - New Acquisition District Regiment of Militia detachment, with unknown number of men

Capt. Richard Winn - Fairfield Regiment of Militia

Capt. John McClure - Turkey Creek Regiment

Col. Charles Coleman

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