The American Revolution in South Carolina

Nelson's Ferry

December 14, 1780


Patriot Cdr:

Col. Francis Marion
British Cdr:

Unk
Killed:

0
Killed:

Unk
Wounded:

0
Wounded:

Unk
Captured:

0
Captured:

Unk
Old District: 

Charles Town District
Present County:

Orangeburg County

About mid-December, due to plans for a second invasion of North Carolina, and additional British troops being thereby drawn outside of the state, and, as well, Col. Francis Marion's success in the field, Lt. Col. Nisbet Balfour changed the Charlestown-to-Camden supply route from the shorter route of Nelson's Ferry and the Santee Road, to the much-longer one going from Monck's Corner to Friday's Ferry on the Congaree River.

Lt. Col. Balfour ordered that boats on the Santee River stay below Murry’s Ferry. However, one boat which did not receive the directive in time and was captured and burned at Nelson's Ferry by Col. Marion's men on 14 December. Although the 64th Regiment was posted at Nelson's Ferry at the time of the raid, their numbers were not sufficient to pursue Col. Marion's large number of mounted men.

The Patriots swarmed aboard the seized vessel and removed all stores, sails, hardware, and everything else of military value, then they applied the torch.

Four days later, Maj. John Campbell, the newly-appointed commander of the 64th Regiment of Foot, reported to Lord Rawdon that Col. Francis Marion and his army still lay at Nelson's Ferry. For the next several days, the two enemies lay watching each other, both sides seemingly content with the occasional random shot at the other side.

Known Patriot Participants

Known British/Loyalist Participants

Col. Francis Marion - Commanding Officer

Kingstree Regiment detachment led by Lt. Col. Hugh Horry, Lt. Col. Peter Horry, Maj. John James, with seven (7) known companies, led by:
- Capt. John Clarke
- Capt. Daniel Conyers
- Capt. James McCauley
- Capt. John McCauley
- Capt. Samuel Price
- Capt. William Clay Snipes
- Capt. Thomas Waties

Cheraws District Regiment detachment led by Lt. Col. Lemuel Benton, with seven (7) known companies, led by:
- Capt. John Butler
- Capt. Guthridge Lyons
- Capt. Alexander McIntosh
- Capt. Moses Pearson
- Capt. Daniel Sparks
- Capt. William Standard
- Capt. Daniel Williams

Berkeley County Regiment detachment led by Maj. John Vanderhorst, with three (3) known companies, led by:
- Capt. Robert McCottry
- Capt. William McCottry
- Capt. Gavin Witherspoon

Upper Craven County Regiment detachment led by Maj. Tristram Thomas, with one (1) known company, led by:
- Capt. John Baxter

Kershaw Regiment detachment led by Maj. James Postell with unknown number of men


Total Patriot Forces - 700

Small river boat, led by unknown, with unknown number of men

Detachment of the 64th Regiment of Foot, led by Unknown, with an unknown number of men, nearby.

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© 2014 - J.D. Lewis - PO Box 1188 - Little River, SC 29566 - All Rights Reserved