The American Revolution in South Carolina

Ox Swamp

November 8, 1780


Patriot Cdr:

Col. Francis Marion
British Cdr:

Lt. Col. Banastre Tarleton
Killed:

0
Killed:

0
Wounded:

0
Wounded:

0
Captured:

0
Captured:

0
Old District: 

Camden District
Present County:

Clarendon County

Bivouacked at the plantation of the late Brigadier General Richard Richardson, Lt. Col. Banastre Tarleton laid an ambush for Col. Francis Marion on November 7th. Marion was warned in time to avoid the ambush and he withdrew his Patriots to Richbourg's Mill near Jack Creek.

On the morning of November 8th, Lt. Col. Banastre Tarleton learned that his enemy had eluded him from one of Col. Marion's escaped Loyalist prisoners, and Lt. Col. Tarleton and his British Legion quickly gave chase.

Col. Francis Marion, staying just ahead of the British Legion cavalry and fighting a series of delaying tactics with Major John James leading his rear guard, Col. Marion and his many horsemen rode to the head of Jack's Creek at Sammy Swamp, then down the Pocotaligo River, and finally slipped away into the Ox Swamp. At Benbow's Ferry, he turned his new horse, Ball, into the chilly waters.

Here, after a seven-hour chase, Lt. Col. Banastre Tarleton gave up the chase and swore "Come my boys! Let us go back and we will find the Gamecock. But as for this damned old fox, the devil himself could not catch him!"

Col. Francis Marion and his band of Patriots remained at Benbow's Ferry on the Black River where he prepared his own ambush for Lt. Col. Tarleton - however, Tarleton never came, but instead began burning homes in the vicinity, including the barn of Mrs. Richardson and all her livestock.

Soon, all the Patriots along the Santee River heard of Lt. Col. Tarleton's recent epithet and they quickly fastened the nickname of Swamp Fox forever upon their hero.

Known Patriot Participants

Known British/Loyalist Participants

Col. Francis Marion - Commanding Officer

With ~400 Patriots, units not known

Lt. Col. Banastre Tarleton

Unknown number of the British Legion



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