The American Revolution in South Carolina

Salley's Cowpens

August 6, 1781


Patriot Cdr:

Capt. Joseph Vince
Loyalist Cdr:

Col. McGirth
Killed:

Unknown
Killed:

Unknown
Wounded:

Unknown
Wounded:

Unknown
Captured:

Unknown
Captured:

Unknown
Old District: 

Orangeburgh District
Present County:

Orangeburg County

aka Turkey Hill.


Skirmish, Capt. Joseph Vince vs. Loyalists.
As the noose tightened on the British, the partisans continued to patrol the lines of communication between the British in Georgia and Charlestown. Capt. James McKay (?) took his cavalry into Georgia to attack a small force of Loyalists that were on the Ogeechee River. As Capt. McKay’s men rode through the woods they ran into the Loyalists before they had time to deploy. Both sides fired at the same time, but no one was injured. The Loyalists disappeared into the night and escaped.

Frustrated and angry, Capt. McKay’s men rode back into South Carolina only to discover that Loyalist Colonels Baley Chaney and Williams had captured Capt. James Roberts and his militia. The Loyalists had butchered several of the men, but left Capt. Roberts alive. Twenty-two of Capt. McKay’s men volunteered to go with Capt. Joseph Vince (Orangeburgh District Regiment) and pursue the Loyalists, even though only seventeen (17) of them had weapons.

Capt. Vince’s volunteers captured six of the Loyalists at the Forks of the Edisto River. There was a quick trial and the six Loyalists were found guilty and hanged.

Capt. Vince rode on to Salley’s Cowpens, on Turkey Hill, to make camp. After the camp was set up he rode alone to a mill located nearby. Some Loyalists had been watching him and when he got close enough they ambushed him. Capt. Vince was seriously wounded, "in consequence of which he was disabled from doing duty for some time."

Col. McGirth crossed the Savannah River with 370 mounted men and attempted to surprise Capt. Vince’s militia. Capt. Vince’s seventeen armed men charged Col. McGirth’s Loyalists with such violence that they fled back across the Savannah. Some of the Loyalists panicked and drowned in the river.



© 2009 - J.D. Lewis - PO Box 1188 - Little River, SC 29566 - All Rights Reserved