The American Revolution in South Carolina

  The Ring Fight

  August 12, 1776


Patriot Cdr:

Major Andrew Pickens
British Cdr:

None
Killed:

0
Killed:

Unk
Wounded:

1
Wounded:

Unk
Captured:

0
Captured:

0
Old District: 

Ninety-Six District
Present County:

Oconee County

Major Andrew Pickens, while leading 25 men in a scouting party, was ambushed by a large force of Cherokees (185 or more, one source claims) who were beaten off after a fierce hand-to-hand action. "The Ring Fight" was known for the circular defense Major Pickens designed to hold off Cherokee attackers, until his brother Joseph arrived with Patriot reinforcements.

Major Pickens ordered his men to form two circles within each other, and to fire in relays. Two men would fire, then crouch in the tall grass to reload, and the next two men would fire. Some Indians rushed into the ring, but were killed by bayonet, knife, or hatchet. During the fight, Major Jonathan Downs was wounded in the abdomen and hand.

The Cherokees fled when Major Pickens's brother, Joseph, came with a rescue party. Sources claim 16 to 83 Indians were killed, depending on who one believes. After this battle, the Cherokee began to regard Pickens with a kind of awe and referred to him as Skyagunsta, or Wizard Owl, which was an expression that meant Great Warrior - or something like that.

Known Patriot Participants

Known British/Loyalist Participants

Major Andrew Pickens - Commanding Officer, with about 25 men as a scouting party


Reinforcements (Some, perhaps all):

Ninety-Six District Regiment of Militia led by Major Andrew Williamson with twelve (12) known companies, led by:
- Capt. James Baskin
- Capt. James Butler, Sr.
- Capt. James Colson (of GA)
- Capt. John Erwin
- Capt. John Gaskins
- Capt. Joseph Hamilton - Hamilton's Artillery
- Capt. John Hammond
- Capt. LeRoy Hammond with 100 cavalrymen
- Capt. Adam Crain Jones
- Capt. Alexander Noble
- Capt. Thomas K. Smith
- Capt. Michael Watson

New Acquisition District Regiment of Militia led by Col. Thomas Neel, and Major William Bratton, with fifteen (15) known companies, led by:
- Capt. James Adams
- Capt. John Anderson
- Capt. John Blandon
- Capt. William Byers
- Capt. Peter Clinton
- Capt. John Drummond
- Capt. William Gaston
- Capt. Joseph Hardin
- Capt. William Henry
- Capt. Thomas Kirkpatrick
- Capt. Lattimore
- Capt. Edward Lacey
- Capt. Robert McAfee
- Capt. Andrew Neel
- Capt. Francis Ross

Spartan Regiment of Militia led by Col. John Thomas, Sr., with Lt. Col. John Lisle, Sr., and eighteen (18) known companies, led by:
- Capt. William Anderson
- Capt. Lewis Bobo
- Capt. Thomas Brandon
- Capt. Zachariah Bullock
- Capt. John Gowen
- Capt. James Grant
- Capt. William Houseal
- Capt. Joseph Jolly
- Capt. James Lisle
- Capt. John Lisle, Jr.
- Capt. John McIlhenny
- Capt. Daniel McKay
- Capt. Robert McWhorter
- Capt. William Plummer
- Capt. James Steen
- Capt. John Thomas, Jr.
- Capt. William Wadlington
- Capt. Joseph Wofford

Little River District Regiment of Militia led by Col. John Lindsey, Major Robert Gillam, and Major Jonathan Downs, with ten (10) known companies, led by:
- Capt. Robert Gillam, Jr.
- Capt. James Harvey
- Capt. Joseph Hayes
- Capt. Benjamin Kilgore
- Capt. Charles King
- Capt. Samuel Morrow
- Capt. James Pollard
- Capt. John Rodgers, Jr.
- Capt. John Rogers
- Capt. John Wallace

Lower District Regiment of Militia detachment led by Major Andrew Pickens with 230 men in five (5) known companies, led by:
- Capt. John Catlerton
- Capt. Coizier
- Capt. John Folmer
- Capt. John Pickens
- Capt. Joseph Pickens

Fairfield Regiment of Militia detachment led by Capt. John Collins with unknown number of men

Camden District Regiment of Militia detachment led by Capt. Philip Walker with unknown number of men

Upper Craven County Regiment of Militia detachment led by Capt. Jefferson Williams with unknown number of men

Catawba Indian Company of Rovers - Capt. Samuel Boykin with 20 men

GA Militia Detachment led by Col. Samuel Jack with 240 men, including the following five (5) known companies, led by:
- Capt. John Twiggs
- Capt. John Jones
- Capt. Leonard Marbury
- Capt. Samuel Alexander
- Capt. Thomas Harris

SC 3rd Regiment (Rangers) detachment led by Col. William Thomson with Capt. Robert Anderson and 33 men

SC 5th Regiment detachment of three (3) known companies with 93 men, led by:
- Capt. John Bowie
- Capt. Francis Prince
- Capt. Benjamin Tutt

SC 6th Regiment detachment of four (4) known companies, led by:
- Capt. William Brown
- Capt. James Duff
- Capt. John Hampton
- Capt. George Wage

Cherokee Indians - unknown number

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