The American Revolution in South Carolina

Slaughter Field

December 23, 1781


Patriot Cdr:

Capt. Benjamin Odom, Jr.
Loyalist Cdr:

Unknown
Killed:

16
Killed:

Unknown
Wounded:

Unknown
Wounded:

Unknown
Captured:

Unknown
Captured:

0
Old District: 

Orangeburgh District
Present County:

Barnwell County

aka Windy Hill.


Skirmish, Capt. Benjamin Odom, Jr. vs. unnamed Loyalists
A particularly bloody engagement is associated with a place descriptively named the Slaughter Field, a little over two miles northeast of the Blackville town limits and north of the junction of Windy Hill Creek and Sheepford Branch Creek. Contemporary correspondence and accounts by early historians are completely silent about this fight, but local citizens maintain that it is authentic and support their claim with evidence of Revolutionary earthworks at the site. Documentary confirmation is also provided by statements of soldiers who speak of having been in the Battle of Windy Hill in the Barnwell District. A detachment of Patriots, which were commanded by Capt. Benjamin Odom, Jr. is said to have been attacked before daybreak by the Loyalists. Sixteen Patriots were killed and thus there is little doubt why this place is called the Slaughter Field.
This is an action that is not well documented, and is only mentioned in a few soldier’s pension applications. Capt. Benjamin Odom, Jr. with a detachment of Col. William Harden’s Regiment was attacked at sunrise by a group of Loyalists. Capt. Odom had sixteen men killed. The men were left to lie in the open and were not recovered until three days later.

One of the killed was Patrick Cain. Family legend stated that his widow buried him at night. Since she did not have any digging tools, she put him in a hole left where a giant tree was uprooted by a storm.

Some accounts state that all the Patriots were killed, but Benjamin Odom and his wounded brother Daniel both survived the encounter.


Just north of Blackville on Windy Hill Creek and just north of Sheepford Branch is Slaughter Field on Leon Lott's property. To reach Slaughter field from Blackville, take Highway 87 past the Farmer's Market, and after crossing Highway 32, which is the road Healing Springs is on, keep on Road 87 to the first creek, Windy Hill Creek. On the east side of the highway and north of the creek, Mr. Lott's property begins. About one quarter mile up the road a small road leads right. Following this small road will lead one as near to Slaughter Field by car as possible. To go further, get a truck or jeep and head east as far as possible. From that last navigable point by vehicle, head about 200 yards north of where Sheepford Branch runs into Windy Hill Creek. Look carefully and one can see the dugouts and earthen embankments put there by the British who were camped at Healing Springs about one mile away on Windy Hill Creek. This entire area is on Windy Hill Creek, not more than three miles from the South Fork of the Edisto River where Bloody Bill Cunningham committed his many massacres of the American patriots and populace.

Known Patriot Participants

Known British/Loyalist Participants
Upper Granville County Regiment of Militia detachment of one (1) known company, led by:
- Capt. Benjamin Odom, Jr., with 17 men
Unknown Number of Loyalists - Unknown Commanding Officer
-


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