The American Revolution in South Carolina

Thicketty Fort

  July 26, 1780


Patriot Cdr:

Col. Isaac Shelby (NC)
Loyalist Cdr:

Capt. Patrick Moore
Killed:

0
Killed:

0
Wounded:

0
Wounded:

0
Captured:

0
Captured:

94
Old District: 

Ninety-Six District
Present County:

Cherokee County

aka Rocky Ford, aka Fort Anderson. One source asserts this happened on July 30th.


On July 26th, a Patriot force arrived at Fort Anderson, located southeast of Cowpens. Fort Anderson was also known as Thicketty Fort. The fort contained a Loyalist garrison inside commanded by Capt. Patrick Moore, who had been captured at Lawson's Fork, but managed to escape soon thereafter.

The Patriots persuaded the garrison to surrender, including one British Sergeant Major who was assigned to train the Loyalists, without firing a shot. They also captured 250 loaded muskets.


Col. Thomas Sumter had learned that Major Patrick Ferguson's troops were moving beyond the Broad River and he directed Col. Elijah Clarke and his Georgians to move towards that area. Col. Clarke met up with NC Col. Charles McDowell on July 15th at Earle's Ford/McDowell's Camp, and after that skirmish Col. McDowell moved their camp to Cherokee Ford.

Reinforcements arrived daily and Col. McDowell decided to put them to good use to eliminate the threat from Capt. Patrick Moore's Loyalists known to be at Thicketty Fort. Col. McDowell detached Col. Isaac Shelby (NC), Col. Andrew Hamilton (NC), Col. Elijah Clarke (GA), and Lt. Col. Charles Robertson (NC) to attack Thicketty Fort, and along the way they met up with two companies of the SC 1st Spartan Regiment of Militia.

The Patriots began their ride at sunset on July 25th and surrounded the fort, which had been built in the 1760s during the Cherokee War, at sunrise the next day. Col. Isaac Shelby sent Capt. William Cocke to demand the fort's surrender. Capt. Patrick Moore replied that he would defend the fort to the last extremity.

Col. Shelby formed his men within view of the fort and again demanded its surrender. Capt. Moore saw the numbers against him and did not want to repeat the defeat the Loyalists suffered recently at Ramseur's Mill (NC), so he surrendered without firing a shot. The Patriots captured about 250 muskets and a considerable amount of ammunition. The muskets had been loaded with buck and ball and were at the ready at nearby portholes. This should have been sufficient to stop twice the number of men that Col. Shelby had.

The British censured Capt. Patrick Moore for the loss of the fort. Col. Isaac Shelby and his men moved back to Cherokee Ford with their prisoners.


Providing supporting evidence in the pension application of Col. William Graham (S8624), Alexander McFadden noted:

"At in the year 1780 I met him on Sandy Run Creek in Rutherford County commanding a small body of men, I was then under Colonel Charles McDowell, Colonel Graham & McDowell from there went on together & continued together until they took the Tory Fort on Thicketty in South Carolina. They remained together two or three weeks..."

Known Patriot Participants

Known British/Loyalist Participants

Sullivan County Regiment of Militia (NC) detachment led by Col. Isaac Shelby and Lt. Col. Charles Robertson with nine (9) known companies, led by:
- Capt. Robert Bean
- Capt. William Cocke
- Capt. Christopher Cunningham
- Capt. George Maxwell
- Capt. Major Parson
- Capt. Valentine Sevier, Jr. (Washington County)
- Capt. Evan Shelby, Jr.
- Capt. Roger Topp
- Capt. William Trimble

Rutherford County Regiment of Militia (NC) detachment led by Col. Andrew Hampton and Col. William Graham (Lincoln County) with four (4) known companies, led by:
- Capt. Robert Gilkey
- Capt. Adam Hampton
- Capt. Edward Hampton
- Capt. Stephen Willis

Burke County Regiment of Militia (NC) detachment of two (2) known companies, led by:
- Capt. Joseph McDowell
- Capt. David Vance

Col. Elijah Clarke (GA) with unknown number of men.

1st Spartan Regiment of Militia (SC) detachment of two (2) known companies, led by:
- Capt. John Collins
- Capt. Josiah Culbertson

Total Patriot Forces - 600 men

Capt. Patrick Moore

Total Loyalist Forces - 93 men.

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© 2011 - J.D. Lewis - PO Box 1188 - Little River, SC 29566 - All Rights Reserved