The American Revolution in South Carolina

 Ninety-Six

  November 19-21, 1775


Patriot Cdr:

Major Andrew Williamson
Loyalist Cdr:

Major Joseph Robinson
Killed:

1
Killed:

52
Wounded:

12
Wounded:

20
Captured:

0
Captured:

0
Old District: 

Ninety-Six District
Present County:

Greenwood County

Ninety-Six Stockade Fort (Reproduction"

Ninety-Six State Historical Marker

While camped along the Long Cane Creek in November of 1775, Major Andrew Williamson of the Ninety-Six District Regiment, learned that a Loyalist force of more than 1,800 men were en route to the town of Ninety-Six. Major Williamson sent word to all militia units west of the Congaree River and soon men began to rally with his small band of captains. He quickly moved this small Patriot force, numbering less than 600, to the town of Ninety-Six and rapidly built a crude fortification of fence rails - a square breastwork - in a field near the town.

The field was known as Savage's Old Field and was on the plantation of John Savage. The fortified position around one of Mr. Savage's barns became known as Williamson's Fort. Major Williamson chose this position so that his artillery - three swivel guns - would have a better field of fire and could be used to their maximum potential.

Not long afterwards, Major James Mayson and seven companies of Rangers (SC 3rd Regiment) arrived to support Major Andrew Williamson's force, bringing plenty of supplies, but no water.

Before the fortification could be completed, a Loyalist force under Major Joseph Robinson appeared on Sunday, November 18th, with drums beating and colors flying. The Loyalists took over the town of Ninety-Six and converted the jail house into a fortified position, then began their siege on Fort Williamson.

Fighting broke out with Patriot and Loyalist forces reportedly firing "rifles and muskets, from behind houses, trees, logs, stumps, and fences." The battle would rage on from the 19th of November until the 21st. With Major Williamson dangerously short on gunpowder, and with Loyalist forces fearful that Patriot reenforcements may arrive at any moment, the warring commanders agreed to cease hostilities and to disband.

The "treaty" stated that Major Robinson would withdraw his Loyalist troops beyond the Saluda River so that Major Williamson could withdraw his Patriot troops without being molested.

James Birmingham, a South Carolinian, is considered as the first Southerner to die in the American Revolution for the Patriot cause. He had joined the Long Canes Militia, a company within the Ninety-Six District Regiment.

Known Patriot Participants

Known British/Loyalist Participants

Commanding Officer - Major Andrew Williamson of the Ninety-Six District Regiment of Militia.

Ninety-Six District Regiment led by Major Andrew Williamson with the following twelve (12) known companies:
- Capt. Mathew Beraud with 13 men
- Capt. John Erwin with 26 men
- Capt. Joseph Hamilton (artillery) with 17 men and 3 swivel guns
- Capt. Adam Crain Jones with 26 men
- Capt. Thomas Langdon with 12 men
- Capt. Francis Logan with 18 men
- Capt. Robert McCreary with 30 men
- Capt. James Middleton with 3 men
- Capt. Alexander Noble with 4 men
- Capt. George Reed with 25 men
- Capt. Aaron Smith with 17 men
- Capt. Charles Williams with 11 men

Little River District Regiment detachment including the following five (5) known companies:
- Capt. David Hunter with 19 men
- Capt. James Pollard with unknown number of men
- Capt. John Rodgers, Jr. with 20 men
- Capt. John Rogers with unknown number of men (probably the same man as directly above)
- Capt. James Williams with 28 men

Camden District Regiment detachment including the following two (2) known companies:
- Capt. Andrew Hamilton, Sr. with 23 men
- Capt. Matthew Singleton with unknown number of men

New Acquisition District Regiment detachment led by Capt. John Anderson with 11 men

Lower District Regiment detachment led by Capt. Andrew Pickens with 40 men

Spartan Regiment detachment led by Capt. John Lisle, Jr. with unknown number of men

Independent Company of Rangers led by Capt. John Bowie with unknown number of men

Independent Company of Rangers led by Capt. Benjamin Tutt with 34 men

Independent Company of Rangers led by Capt. Ezekiel Polk with unknown number of men

SC 3rd Regiment (Rangers) detachment led by Major James Mayson with the following seven (7) known companies:
- Capt. Nathaniel Abney with 23 men
- Capt. Robert Anderson with 18 men
- Capt. John Caldwell with 37 men
- Capt. James McCall with 54 men
- Capt. Hugh Middleton with unknown number of men
- Capt. Francis Sinquefield with 17 men
- Capt. William Wilson with 16 men

First Rowan County Regiment of Militia (NC) led by Col. Griffith Rutherford and Lt. Col. Francis Locke, with at least seven (7) known companies, led by:
- Capt. George Henry Barrier
- Capt. George Cowan
- Capt. Joseph Dixon
- Capt. John Graham
- Capt. John Harden
- Capt. James Purviance
- Capt. John Work

Georgia Militia detachment led by Capt. Jacob Colson with 18 men


James Birmingham (Ninety-Six District Regiment) killed

1,892 Loyalists led by Major Joseph Robinson - the Ninety-Six District Loyalist Militia, New Acquisition Regiment with the following fifteen (15) known companies:
- Capt. Richard Pearis
- Capt. John Mayfield
- Capt. Benjamin Wofford
- Capt. Mathew Floyd
- Capt. David George
- Capt. Patrick Cunningham
- Capt. Evan McLaurin
- Capt. Thomas Edgehill
- Capt. Jacob Fry
- Capt. Jones
- Capt. James Phillips
- Capt. George Zuber
- Capt. William Hunt
- Capt. Luper
- Capt. Bowman

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David Fanning is said to have been at this engagement

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