The American Revolution in South Carolina

  Hog Island Channel

  November 11-12, 1775


Patriot Cdr:

Capt. Simon Tufts 
British Cdr:

Capt. Edward Thornborough
Killed:

Unk
Killed:

Unk
Wounded:

Unk
Wounded:

Unk
Captured:

Unk
Captured:

Unk
Old District: 

Charles Town District
Present County:

Charleston County

Rumors of a British naval attack caused the local commanders to make changes in the harbor's defense. A plan was made to sink several old ships in the Marsh Channel and Hog Island Creek. This would close the Hog Island channel to any British incursion into the area.

On November 11th, the USS Defense, commanded by Capt. Simon Tufts, proceeded with four ship hulks in order to sink them in the channel. At 4:30 p.m., the HMS Tamar, commanded by Capt. Edward Thornborough, spotted the Defense and fired six shots at it. The Defense dropped anchor and fired back. After the Tamar ceased its firing, Capt. Tufts was able to sink three of the hulks.

On November 12, at 4:00 a.m., the HMS Tamar and HMS Cherokee drifted close to the USS Defense. Both British ships commenced to fire broadside shots at the Defense for three hours. The Defense managed to sink the last hulk and then withdrew from the area. The Tamar sent an armed boat to the hulk and set it on fire. It then towed the hulk away from the channel.

The HMS Tamar shot over 100 rounds at the Defense but only struck her three times. Fort Johnson fired three shots at the two British vessels, striking the sails of the British ships.

The Charles Town District Regiment of Militia was called out during the naval battle and remained on station for several hours in anticipation of a land assault that never came.

On November 24th, two more hulks were sunk in Hog Island Channel so that all ships would have to pass by the guns of Fort Johnson. The SC Provincial Congress authorized the arming and manning of the ship Prosper to take or sink the menacing British warships that lurked around the coast. The Prosper had been a merchant ship that went between Bristol, England and the colonies before the war. It was armed as a frigate with eight 12-pounders, seven 6-pounders, and four 4-pounders. Capt. Simon Tufts was given command as soon as she was outfitted.

Known Patriot Participants

Known British/Loyalist Participants

Schooner Defense - Capt. Simon Tuft with 40 sailors and 12 guns

SC 1st Regiment Detachment led by Capt. William Scott with 35 men.

HMS Tamar - Capt. Edward Thornborough with 100 men and 30 guns.

HMS Cherokee - Lt. John Ferguson with 50 men and 15 guns



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