The American Revolution in South Carolina

Parson's Plantation

August 7, 1781

Patriot Cdr:

Major John Cooper
British Cdr:

Major Thomas Fraser






Old District: 

Charles Town District
Present County:

Colleton County

Skirmish, Major John Cooper vs. Major Thomas Fraser.

Major Thomas Fraser and his South Carolina Royalists attacked Major John Cooper and eighty-six (86) men of Col. William Harden’s Regiment at Parson’s Plantation. Major Fraser reported that he killed fifteen of the Patriots and captured four, while only having two of his men killed and one wounded. The swamp where the action took place was so deep that the British horses were mired up to their bellies.

Major John Cooper tried to get the four captured men exchanged for British prisoners. He sent Capt. John Melton and Simon Fraser to Major Thomas Fraser with a flag of truce. The two Patriots were brought into the Loyalist camp. When Major Fraser noticed Simon Fraser’s name on the flag of truce, he asked if this was the same Simon Fraser who had killed a man named Ingles. Simon Fraser stated that he was the same man.

Earlier in the year, Col. William Harden had sent his men out to round up any Loyalists officers. Simon Fraser and some other men had surrounded the house of Major James Clitherall, the surgeon of the South Carolina Royalists. Simon Fraser ordered Clitherall to open the door. A man named Ingles answered the door, and seeing the armed Patriots quickly tried to slam it shut. Fraser fired through the door, hitting Ingles in the chest and killing him. Fraser took Major Clitherall prisoner.

Major Thomas Fraser had Simon Fraser arrested and placed in irons. This was in direct violation to the flag of truce and was considered a serious breach of protocol in the 18th century.

Known Patriot Participants

Known British/Loyalist Participants
Upper Granville County Regiment detachment led by Major John Cooper, with 86 men  SC Royalists detachment led by Major Thomas Fraser, with unknown number of men

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