The American Revolution in South Carolina

The SC State Troops

Regiment

Date Started

Date Ended 

On Continental Line?

First Commander

SC 1st Regiment (Infantry)

6/6/1775 

5/12/1780

Yes

Col. Christopher Gadsden

SC 2nd Regiment (Infantry)

6/6/1775

5/12/1780

Yes

Col. William Moultrie

SC 3rd Regiment (Rangers)

6/6/1775

5/12/1780

Yes

Lt. Col. William Thomson

SC 4th Regiment (Artillery)

 11/14/1775

5/12/1780

Yes

Lt. Col. Owen Roberts

SC 5th Regiment (Rifles)

2/22/1776

Feb. 1780

Yes

Col. Isaac Huger

SC 6th Regiment (Rifles)

2/28/1776

Feb. 1780

Yes

Lt. Col. Thomas Sumter

SC Light Dragoons

Feb. 1779

5/12/1780

No

Col. Daniel Horry

SC 1st Regiment of State Dragoons

April 1781

1783

No

Col. Wade Hampton

SC 2nd Regiment of State Dragoons

April 1781

1783

No

Col. Charles Myddleton

Hampton's Regiment of Light Dragoons

April 1781

1783

No

Lt. Col. Henry Hampton

Polk's Regiment of Light Dragoons

April 1781

Feb. 1782

No

Lt. Col. William Polk

Hill's Regiment of Light Dragoons

April 1781

1782

No

Col. William Hill

Hammond's Regiment of Light Dragoons

September 1781

1782

No

Col. Samuel Hammond

SC 3rd Regiment of State Dragoons

Oct. 1781

1783

No

Lt. Col. Hezekiah Maham

SC 4th Regiment of State Dragoons

Oct. 1781

1782

No

Lt. Col. Peter Horry

On June 6, 1775, the SC First Provincial Congress resolved "that two regiments of foot, each to consist of seven hundred and fifty rank and file, be forthwith officered, raised, paid, and disciplines, and put under the direction of Congress." That same day, it also resolved "that a regiment of rangers, to consist of four hundred and fifty privates, be also forthwith officered, raised, paid, and disciplined, and put under the direction of the Congress."

These three regiments were South Carolina Provincial Troops and yet many considered them to be a State militia. In some ways they were simply a militia until the SC Second Provincial Congress met and on November 21, 1775 they resolved "that the commissioned officers of the colony regular troops take precedence of officers of equal degree in the militia, without regard to prior dates of commissions in the latter, provided nevertheless, that a 2nd Lieutenant in the regulars shall be subordinate to a 1st Lieutenant in the militia, and so on in gradation in the regulars and militia respectively."

The two regiments first raised in the Charles Town District became the nucleus for the first two SC State Regiments of Infantry, and the regiment raised by Lt. Col. William Thomson in the Orangeburgh District became the nucleus for the third SC State Regiment of Rangers. The remainder of the Charles Town District Regiment of Militia was given to Maj. Charles Cotesworth Pinckney and he was soon promoted to Lieutenant Colonel. The Orangeburgh Regiment of Militia was turned over to Lt. Col. Christopher Rowe.

In August of 1775, these three regiments of SC Troops went on a recruiting trip to North Carolina, Virginia, and the South Carolina backcountry to try to raise more men to fill their rosters. While away, the leaders in South Carolina established a training station within Charleston for the new recruits to gather and to learn the art of warfare.

As some of the citizens were not settled as to which side of the Revolution they wanted to support, the South Carolina legislature decided to fix the wavering and to intimidate those disaffected by marching a large body of SC State Troops through the interior of the State. On August 10, 1775, Col. William Thomson and his SC 3rd Regiment of Rangers were ordered to send three companies of the Rangers to Orangeburgh, then to the Three Runs area, then down the Savannah River to Purrysburg, then to Pon Pon, and downwards by the high road. He was instructed to send another three companies to Kingstree, Waccamaw, and Pee Dee, then to Georgetown, and finally to Wambaw. He was instructed to send two more companies to Monck's Corner, then to Edisto Saw Mills, then through Horse Shoe and Round O, and finally to Parker's Ferry.

In November of 1775, Col. William Moultrie ordered that Fort Dorchester be established to serve as a backcountry storehouse for ammunition, ordinance, stores, and public records.

On November 14, 1775, the SC Second Provincial Congress resolved "that, as there is a great want of men to manage and fire the artillery in Fort Johnson, and the other fortifications now erected, and such batteries as it may hereafter be thought necessary to erect, a regiment of artillery be forthwith raised and embodyed, to serve either in garrison or otherwise, by land or water, as the service of the colony may require, to consist of three companies of one hundred men each, including non-commissioned officers and gunners."

This regiment of artillery was designated the SC 4th Regiment of Artillery, with command given to Lt. Col. Owen Roberts, seconded by Maj. Barnard Elliott. They were authorized 500 rank and file and were stationed on James Island near the old Fort Johnson. This new regiment was soon busy repairing old batteries - Broughton's, Lyttleton's, Grenville's, and Craven's; and constructing new batteries - Gadsden's, the Exchange, Beal's, and Gibbes'.

On February 22, 1776, the SC Second Provincial Congress, under pressure from the Continental establishment, resolved "That a regiment of expert Rifle-men, to take rank as the fifth regiment, under proper field and other officers, be immediately raised, to consist of seven companies; each company to consist of one Captain, two Lieutenants, one Ensign, and one hundred men, including four Sergeants, and four Corporals."

Six days later, the SC Second Provincial Congress resolved "That a second regiment of Rifle-men, to rank as the sixth regiment, in the colony service, be raised as soon as possible; to consist of five companies of one hundred men each, under a Lieutenant Colonel Commandant, and a Major; upon the same terms and establishment as the first regiment of Rifle-men." Within a month, these two new regiments of SC State Troops were raised.

Several appointed captains in these new regiments declined to serve since they had already created companies of militia and felt that their service would be better utilized in that capacity.

On June 18, 1776, the Continental Congress resolved "That the battalion of artillery and the two other battalions of foot raised in South Carolina and kept up in that Colony for the defence of the same, be considered as Continental forces and allowed the same pay, rations and disbursements as other forces on the Continental Establishment.

"That the two battalions under the command of Colonels Gadsden and Moultrie be allowed all the advantages of the Continental Establishment from the fourth day of November last, and the regiment of artillery from the time when the same was ordered to be raised by the Provincial Congress or Convention in South Carolina.

"That the two battalions of rifle men, raised in and for the defence of the said Colony, be considered as Continental troops from the 25th day of March last, and be intitled to all the advantages of the same.

"That all the above mentioned troops be liable to the Articles for the government of the forces in the said Colony.

"That the said forces be continued on the Continental Establishment until the expiration of their inlistment, unless they shall be sooner disbanded by the Congress.

That not more than one third of the effective men of the above mentioned forces be ordered out the said Colony without the express order of Congress, or the consent of the President of that Colony."

On July 24, 1776, the Continental Congress resolved "That the regiment of Rangers now in the pay of the State of South Carolina be placed upon Continental Establishment, and that it consist of a Lieutenant Colonel Commandant, a Major, ten Captains, twenty Lieutenants, a Surgeon, a Paymaster, twenty Sergeants and five hundred Privates.

"That the pay of the Lieutenant Colonel Commandant be the same as a Colonel of Foot, a Major that of a Lieutenant Colonel, a Captain that of a Major, and the Lieutenants that of a Captain, and Sergeants that of Ensigns of Foot of the Continental forces. That the Surgeon be allowed thirty-three and one third dollars per month, the Paymaster twenty-six and two thirds, and the Privates twelve and an half dollars per month to provide themselves with horses, guns, and provisions for themselves and horses.

"That the said Rangers be liable to act on horseback or foot as occasion may require.

"That the like number of Rangers be raised in the State of Georgia and put upon Continental Establishment.

"That these be intitled to the same pay, and subject to the same duties, as the Carolina Rangers.

"That the Rangers raised in the State of South Carolina be subject to the Articles formed by the convention of that State for the government of the forces raised therein."

On September 20, 1776, the South Carolina General Assembly resolved "That this House do acquiese to the Resolves of the Continental Congress of the 18th of June and 24th of July, relating to putting the two Regiments of Infantry, the Regiment of Rangers, the Regiment of Artillery and the two Regiments of Riflemen in the service of this State, on the Continental Establishment."

As a response to British advancements in January of 1779, the State of South Carolina determined that it would be prudent to have another regiment of State Troops at its disposal and not allocated to the Continental Line. Lt. Col. Daniel Horry (of the Georgetown District Regiment of militia) was commissioned as Colonel and directed to muster and command the SC Light Dragoons in early February.

All of the State Troops were effectively decimated during the Siege of Charleston - either by action or by surrender on May 12, 1780. Horry's SC Light Dragoons were not at Charleston, but were effectively silenced in battles just before and just after the Fall of Charleston.

In April of 1781, Brig. Gen. Thomas Sumter had authorization from Gov. John Rutledge to raise five new regiments of SC Troops. Two regiments were established by Col. Wade Hampton and Col. Charles Myddleton, and they remained effective until the end of the war. The three other regiments were established by Col. William Hill, Lt. Col. Henry Hampton, and Lt. Col. William Polk, and these regiments were disbanded prior to the end of 1782. One source asserts that Lt. Col. James Hawthorn also created a regiment of State Troops, but no other documentation seems to support this, especially since all during 1780 through 1782, he seems to be aligned with Col. William Hill in all known military activities during that period.

Richard Hampton wrote, "The troops are to enlist for ten months - each regiment to have one Lieut. Colonel, one Major, five Sergeants, ten Lieutenants; Each company two Sergeants, twenty-five privates - the pay to be as follows: Each Colonel to receive three grown negroes and one small negro. Major to receive three grown negroes. Captain two grown negroes. Lieutenants, one large and one small negroe. The Sergeants, one and a quarter negro. Each private, one grown negroe. And to be furnished with one coat, two waistcoats, two pair overalls, two shirts, two pair stockings, one pair shoes and spurs, one horseman's cap, one blanket and one half bushel of salt to those who have families...and to be equipped with a sword, pistols, horse, saddle and bridle." He went on to explain that "negroes under 10 years, or over 40, was a half a negro, a full negro being valued at $400."

In September of 1781, Gov. John Rutledge authorized a new regiment of SC Troops to be created by Col. Samuel Hammond, and this regiment was placed under Brig. Gen. Andrew Pickens for the duration of the war.

In October of 1781, Brig. Gen. Francis Marion was authorized by Gov. John Rutledge to establish two new regiments of SC Troops. These were established by Lt. Col. Hezekiah Maham and Lt. Col. Peter Horry. Over the course of the next year, these two regiments were so depleted of manpower that Marion was ordered to combine them into one. Lt. Col. Hezekiah Maham was given all of Lt. Col. Peter Horry's men and he retained his regiment. Lt. Col. Horry resigned and retired from service. Maham was then captured by the British and paroled - and essentially sat out the remainder of the war, although his regiment remained intact under Maj. Daniel Conyers.

There are hundreds of Revolutionary War reenacting units all over the country, including the regiments of the Continental Army, local militias, and even the British Regulars. Click Here to see what is available on the web. Great site. Link is current as of September 2005 and May 2016.


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