The American Revolution in South Carolina

  Seneca Town

  August 1, 1776


Patriot Cdr:

Major Andrew Williamson
British Cdr:

Alexander Cameron
Killed:

5
Killed:

1
Wounded:

13
Wounded:

3
Captured:

0
Captured:

0
Old District: 

Ninety-Six District
Present County:

Oconee County

aka Essenneca Town.


After the Cherokee Attack in July, Major Andrew Williamson mustered part of the Ninety-Six District Regiment of Militia and marched 1,100 men to punish the Cherokees. Because of all the different commissions, there was considerable confusion over who would command the combined forces. By all rights, Williamson should have been made a Colonel, while many others of lesser stature and military sense in and around the Ninety-Six District (which had been sub-divided by the Provincial Congress) were already commissioned as colonels, this made things difficult for him. [Note - he was promoted to Colonel near the end of August, before he was sent into North Carolina to link up with NC Brigadier General Griffith Rutherford.]

In Major Andrew Williamson's army were 240 Georgia Militia under Col. Samuel Jack, and 230 SC Militia under Major Andrew Pickens. There were also 20 Catawba Indians under Capt. Samuel Boykin. Col. William Thomas joined this force with 33 of his Rangers (SC 3rd Regiment).

As this motley group passed by Long Cane they burned Lochaber, Alexander Cameron's home, because he was the British Deputy Superintendent to the Cherokees under John Stuart, and he had been stirring up Indian troubles for quite some time. Major Williamson learned that Mr. Cameron was at Oconore Creek on the Keowee River with only 13 Loyalists. He sent Capt. LeRoy Hammond forward to capture Mr. Cameron, while he would follow with the rest of the Patriots.

Cameron's spies watched Major Williamson's Patriots approach Esseneca Ford near the Indian village of Seneca Town. At 2:00 a.m. on August 1st, Major Williamson's lead element passed the waiting Indians, and Cameron's troops fired into the Patriot column of men. The first volley killed Col. William Thomson's horse, but his men broke and ran.

Capt. LeRoy Hammond rallied 20 soldiers and led a mounted bayonet charge against the hiding Indians. The Cherokee thought this was a much larger force and they allowed Col. Thomson and Major Williamson's wounded men to get away. The Cherokees then pursued those in flight, but Major Andrew Pickens occupied a low ridge and ambushed the Cherokees.

After the sun rose, the Patriots had five killed and thirteen wounded. The Cherokees only lost one killed and three wounded. One of Major Williamson's men that had been mortally wounded was Francis Salvador, a Jewish volunteer and member of the First Provincial Congress. Salvador was hit three times and fell in the bushes. Since it was dark, his friends could not find him, but the Cherokees did and they scalped him.

Col. Thomson, Major Williamson, and Major Pickens re-assembled the remaining men and pressed forward to burn the village of Seneca Town. They then fell back and established a base camp at 23 Mile Creek for future incursions against the Cherokee, which were soon forthcoming.


On August 1, Major Andrew Williamson was leading an expedition against a band of Cherokees, commanded by Alexander Cameron. Williamson's force was attacked in the early morning by a superior Indian force (?). The Patriots were forced to withdraw and would have been annihilated if not for Capt. Leroy Hammond. Hammond arrived with his mounted cavalry and made a charge into the Indians. This forced the Indian advance to halt. The Patriots were then able to retreat in good order.

Known Patriot Participants

Known British/Loyalist Participants

Major Andrew Williamson - Commanding Officer

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 known 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

Alexander Cameron

Loyalist Militia with 30 men

Lower Town Cherokee Indians - 30

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