The American Revolution in South Carolina

SC Coast

November 1777


Patriot Cdr:

Capt. John Rathbun
British Cdr:

Unknown
Killed:

0
Killed:

1
Wounded:

0
Wounded:

5
Captured:

0
Captured:

Unknown
Old District: 

Georgetown District
Present County:

Georgetown County

On a bright moonlit night the Continental Navy sloop Providence spotted a sail. In a few minutes the unknown ship sailed under lee quarter and gave the Providence a broadside, then ran ahead. The Providence drew up alongside and fired a broadside into the unknown ship.

The unknown ship was a privateer attempting to lure the Providence closer to a waiting British warship. Capt. John Rathbun of the Providence spotted the privateer trying to signal the other ship with a lantern. He decided not to fire any more cannon so as not give away his position, but he did continue to chase the privateer until daylight.

A lieutenant standing on the roundhouse became the target for the gunners on the Providence. They kept sighting in on the lieutenant until they hit him with a cannonball. It took only three shots to get him, and the Providence was quickly alongside the privateer. When boarded, they found the lieutenant had fallen on the helmsman.

The British had the lieutenant killed and five other men badly wounded. The Providence sailed to Georgetown with her prize and continued to operate out of Georgetown for the rest of the winter months of 1777-1778.



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