The American Revolution in South Carolina

Pocotaligo Road

April 8, 1781


Patriot Cdr:

Col. William Harden
Loyalist Cdr:

Capt. Edward Fenwick
Killed:

0
Killed:

1
Wounded:

2
Wounded:

7
Captured:

1
Captured:

2
Old District: 

Charles Town District
Present County:

Colleton County

aka Patterson's Bridge. aka Saltketcher Bridge. aka Harden vs. Fenwick. One source asserts this engagement happened on April 15th, while another source asserts it happened on April 9th.


On April 8th, Col. William Harden and his Patriot force set up an ambush at Patterson's Bridge. The Loyalist force, commanded by Capt. Edward Fenwick and thirty-five (35) South Carolina Light Dragoons, a recently formed Loyalist cavalry troop that had already defeated Col. Harden here three days earlier, discovered the ambush and fell back.

Col. Harden called his men out of the woods to make a charge against the Loyalists. Only a few came out, with the majority of the men being too far back in the woods to be recalled. Capt. Fenwick saw the small number of Patriots on the road and ordered his Loyalists to charge them, the sabers apparently proved too much for Col. Harden’s mounted men, they were scattered and fled the area.

Tarleton Brown, Jr.:

“We then proceeded on for Pocataligo. Soon after we left Red Hill we entered upon a long, high causeway; a man came meeting us and told us Colonel Fenwick, with the British horse, were marching on just behind. We paid no attention to him not knowing who he was, but went ahead; however, we did not go many rods before the advance parties met and hailed each other - a charge now ordered on both sides, and we directly came together on the causeway, so a fight was inevitable, and at it we went like bull dogs. The British at length made their way through, though they found it tough work in doing so. We put one of their men to his final sleep on the causeway, and wounded eight more badly, one of whom they had to leave on the road. They wounded one of our men, Captain James Moore, in thirteen places, though very slightly, and two others who never laid up for their wounds."

Known Patriot Participants

Known British/Loyalist Participants

Col. William Harden - Commanding Officer

Upper Granville County Regiment of Militia detachment led by Col. William Harden and Major John Cooper, with 90 men in two (2) known companies, led by:
- Capt. Tarleton Brown, Jr.
- Capt. James Moore

Capt. Edward Fenwick - Commanding Officer

SC Light Dragoons Loyalist Militia - 35 men

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