The American Revolution in South Carolina

Horse Shoe

July 8, 1781


Patriot Cdr:

Col. Isaac Hayne
Loyalist Cdr:

Major Thomas Fraser
Killed:

14
Killed:

Unknown
Wounded:

1
Wounded:

Unknown
Captured:

1
Captured:

0
Old District: 

Charles Town District
Present County:

Colleton County

aka Horse Neck, aka Ford's Plantation. One source asserts that this engagement happened on July 7th.


British Major Thomas Fraser with about ninety dragoons was sent out to find Col. Isaac Hayne, who had just nabbed Brig. Gen. Andrew Williamson at the suburbs of Charlestown. Col. Hayne was captured at Horse Shoe after a brief skirmish then taken to Charlestown where he was hanged.
Major Thomas Fraser was dispatched to pursue Col. Isaac Hayne with ninety Provincial dragoons of the South Carolina Rangers. By keeping to the backroads and taking a circuitous route of over seventy miles through the woods, Major Fraser was able to approach Col. Hayne's camp without being discovered. On the morning of July 8th, the Provincial cavalry attacked and dispersed the Patriots at Ford's Plantation. Fourteen (14) Patriot soldiers were killed, including Col. Hayne's second in command, Lt. Col. Thomas McLaughlin, who was cut to pieces by the dragoons after he attempted to kill Major Fraser with a pistol shot.

Andrew Williamson was rescued, and Col. Isaac Hayne was taken prisoner. Tradition holds that Col. Hayne was overtaken by his British pursuers because his horse, King Herod, had become too fat and unfit for military duty during its master's long retirement from the service.


According to the British account, Col. Isaac Hayne was captured at the Horse Shoe. The skirmish took place on the plantation of Mrs. Mary Ford, wife of Tobias Ford, which was located on the east side of Horseshoe Road, now S-15-199, only a short distance above its junction with SC Hwy. 64. The site is considerably more than four miles from Parker's Ferry, notwithstanding Joseph Johnson's statement to the contrary in his Traditions. The Ford plantation is shown on both Mouzon's map and Mills' Atlas; it was known by the name of Woodford. The road that early maps designate as the Horseshoe Road is better known to modern Colleton County residents as the Featherbed Road.

Known Patriot Participants

Known British/Loyalist Participants
Colleton County Regiment detachment led by Col. Isaac Hayne and Lt. Col. Thomas McLaughlin (killed), with unknown number of men SC Rangers detachment led by Major Thomas Fraser with 90 Dragoons
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