The American Revolution in South Carolina

Kolb's Murder

April 28, 1781


Patriot Cdr:

Col. Abel Kolb
Loyalist Cdr:

Capt. Joseph Jones (NC)
Killed:

1
Killed:

0
Wounded:

0
Wounded:

0
Captured:

0
Captured:

0
Old District: 

Cheraws District
Present County:

Marlboro County

Loyalist Capt. Joseph Jones, infuriated at Col. Abel Kolb for Drowning Creek and Hulin's Mill, assembled some fifty men at Maidendown Bay (in present-day Marion County) and rode towards the Pee Dee River. Capt. Jones and his men surrounded Col. Kolb's home and yelled for him to come outside, which he soon did. Walking out the front door, one of Jones's men promptly shot Col. Kolb in front of his wife and children. Capt. Jones then plundered the home and burned it.


On the night of 28-29 April, South Carolina militia leader Col. Abel Kolb, known for his relentless suppression of the Loyalists around Drowning Creek and the upper Pee Dee, was captured at his home, by fifty North Carolina Loyalists. The latter had gathered on Catfish Creek and were led by Capt. Joseph Jones. In the course of what took place, Col. Kolb was shot by one of the Loyalists and his home burned down. The action was probably in retaliation for Col. Kolb’s killing of John Deer and hanging of Caleb Williams at Hulin’s Mill a day earlier.

Afterward, Col. Kolb's death seemed to have emboldened many of the Loyalists in the Drowning Creek region. Although Col. Kolb may correctly be seen to have been at times ruthless himself in his methods, nevertheless, he was a formidable militia leader and was of significant assistance in reinforcing Brigadier General Francis Marion after Lt. Col. Welbore Ellis Doyle’s raid on Snow’s Island, sending men to Brigadier General Marion when the latter was laying siege to Fort Watson, and in keeping down the Loyalists to the north of Brigadier General Marion’s operations in general.

Upon hearing the news of Col. Abel Kolb's murder, Brigadier General Francis Marion dispatched Lt. Col. John Ervin to punish Jones and his marauding Loyalists.

Known Patriot Participants

Known British/Loyalist Participants
Col. Abel Kolb - Commander of the Cheraws District Regiment of Militia Capt. Joseph Jones with an unknown number of NC Loyalist militiamen


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