The American Revolution in South Carolina

Marr's Bluff

July 25, 1780


Patriot Cdr:

Major Tristram Thomas
Loyalist Cdr:

Capt.-Lt. John Nairne
Killed:

0
Killed:

0
Wounded:

0
Wounded:

0
Captured:

0
Captured:

107
Old District: 

Cheraws District
Present County:

Marlboro County/ Darlington County

aka Hunt's Bluff. One source asserts that this engagment happened on August 1, 1780.


On July 25th, a flotilla of British flatboats escorted by British Regulars under Capt.-Lt. John Nairne and Loyalists under Col. William Henry Mills was heading towards Charlestown on the Pee Dee River. The transports contained sick soldiers that had been stationed at Cheraw. The Patriots learned of this British movement and gathered some troops to make an attack. The Patriot Militia was assigned to Major Tristram Thomas. He picked an ambush site at Marr's Bluff (aka Hunt's Bluff), a bend in the river.

Not having any cannon, the Patriots made some Quaker cannons, and placed them behind a parapet. When the British approached the "battery," the Patriots rushed out and pretended to load the cannons. Demands were yelled at the flatboats to surrender or be blown apart with the cannons. The Loyalist militia was fooled, and they quickly mutinied. They took over the boats, made the sick soldiers their prisoners, and surrendered to Major Thomas.

Casualties: Patriots: unknown; British: 107 captured, 99 Loyalists deserted


Per another source:

Major Archibald McArthur's troops in Cheraw were prostrate with Malaria, so he called up the Loyalist militia commanded by Lt. Col. Robert Mills to escort Lord Nairne and 106 sick troops aboard flatboats down river to Georgetown. Patriot Col. John Ervin waylaid the flotilla at Marr's Bluff and captured some of Lt. Col. Mills's men, Lord Nairne, and all of the sick troops.

Known Patriot Participants

Known British/Loyalist Participants

Upper Craven County Regiment of Militia detachment led by Major Tristram Thomas with 25 men

-

71st Regiment of Foot (Fraser's Highlanders) led by Capt.-Lt. John Nairne with 106 sick troops

Camden District Loyalist Militia led by Lt. Col. William Henry Mills with 100 men



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