The American Revolution in South Carolina

Snow's Island

March 23, 1781

Patriot Cdr:

Lt. Col. John Ervin
Loyalist Cdr:

Col. Welbore Ellis Doyle






Old District: 

Georgetown District
Present County:

Florence County/ Marion County

On March 23, while Brig. Gen. Marion was dealing with Lt. Col. Watson at Blakely's Plantation, Col. Welbore Ellis Doyle, with the New York Volunteers, was sent from Camden by Francis, Lord Rawdon as the second prong of the plan to catch Brig. Gen. Marion. The date Col. Doyle set out is not clear but sometime near the end of the month he attacked Brig. Gen. Marion's base at Snow's Island.

Snow's Island was located on the Pee Dee River. Col. Doyle managed to capture the island camp. The island's defenders, commanded by Col. John Ervin, destroyed all the carefully hoarded supplies and ammunition before they abondoned their position, Of this force, seven were killed and fifteen were captured, most of these were reportedly too ill to flee, while a remainder escaped.

In the process Col. Doyle liberated some prisoners including Cornet Merrit of the Queen's Rangers and 25 other men, while suffering two wounded. Col. Ervin’s men did, however, have enough advanced notice to be able to throw many supplies and much ammunition into the river.

One source asserts that this engagement happened on March 29th.

Known Patriot Participants

Known British/Loyalist Participants
Lower Craven County Regiment detachment led by Lt. Col. John Ervin, with one (1) known company, led by:
- Capt. Samuel Cooper

New York Volunteers detachment led by Col. Welbore Ellis Doyle, with 300 men


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