The American Revolution in South Carolina

White's Plantation

November 15, 1780

Patriot Cdr:

Lt. Col. Peter Horry
Loyalist Cdr:

Capt. James Lewis






Old District: 

Georgetown District
Present County:

Georgetown County

Col. Francis Marion wanted to take Georgetown because he needed supplies of salt, clothing, and ammunition for his men. The capture of Georgetown would also be a great blow to British morale in the lowcountry.

Col. Marion moved his partisans across the swamp to "White's Bay," north of the Black River and the Sampit River. He sent out Lt. Col. Peter Horry with two companies on a reconnaissance mission towards Black River; and, he sent out Capt. John Melton with Capt. John Milton (of GA) to the Sampit Road towards Allston's Plantation.

At White’s Plantation just outside of Georgetown, Lt. Col. Peter Horry found Capt. James Lewis and his company of Loyalists slaughtering cattle. The Loyalists were ultimately dispersed, however, only after a number of Lt. Col. Peter Horry's men were seriously wounded, and Capt. Lewis was killed.

Col. Francis Marion later reported that Barefield was wounded. On the 17th, Col. Marion wrote to North Carolina Brigadier General (Pro Tempore) Henry William Harrington, at Cheraw, from Black Mingo:

"The day I got (to Georgetown) they received a reinforcement of 200 Tories under Captains Barefield and Lewis from Pee Dee. The next day the Tories came out and we scrummaged with them. Part (of them) I cut off from the town, and drove the rest in, except the two men killed, and twelve taken prisoners, our loss was Lt. Gabriel Marion…Capt. Barefield was wounded in his head and body, but got off. Captain James Lewis, commonly called `otter skin Lewis' was one killed. I stayed two days within 3 miles of the town, in which time most of the Tories left their friends and went home.”

In his report to Major General Horatio Gates of the 20th Col. Marion stated that in his recent encounter outside Georgetown he had lost Lt. Gabriel Marion, one private also killed, and three wounded, while killing three Loyalists and taking 12 prisoners. He went on to say "Many of my people has left me & gone over to the Enemy, for they think we have no army coming in & have been Deceived, as we hear nothing from you in a great while, I hope to have a line from you in what manner to act & some assurance to the people of support."

The combined Loyalist force in the area at the time then numbered some 200, although prior to his attack Col. Francis Marion had understood there were only 50. While in the area, Col. Marion learned that the garrison at Georgetown contained 80 regulars, "with swivels and cohorns on the parapets."

As one can read, Col. Francis Marion wrote to others that it was here that his nephew, Grabriel Marion, was killed by the Loyalists. However, most other accounts assert that Gabriel Marion was killed at the skirmish at Allston's Plantation. I leave it to the reader to decide.

Known Patriot Participants

Known British/Loyalist Participants
Kingstree Regiment detachment led by Lt. Col. Peter Horry, with two (2) known companies, led by:
- Capt. Abram Lenud
- Capt. Thomas Mitchell

Georgetown Regiment of Loyalist Militia led by Capt. James Lewis with 200 men, including Capt. Jesse Barefield of the PeeDee Loyalists.


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