The American Revolution in South Carolina

Blue Savannah

September 4, 1780

Patriot Cdr:

Col. Francis Marion
Loyalist Cdr:

Major Micajah Gainey




included in above


Old District: 

Georgetown District
Present County:

Marion County

Col. Francis Marion with a small force of Patriots successfully ambushed and drove off a large force of Loyalists that outnumbered him almost four to one.

At a Loyalist settlement on the Little Pee Dee River, Col. Francis Marion ran into a troop of Major Micajah Gainey's horsemen, who were blocking the road. Major John James charged them, and Major Gainey took off down the road as his men scattered.

Col. Marion learned that Major Gainey's camp was only three miles away. He rode towards them and in ten minutes met the Loyalists in full march towards his men. Loyalist Capt. Jesse Barefield formed his men into a line and stood his ground. Col. Marion knew to attack a much larger force like this was foolhardy, so he signaled a retreat and moved back to set up an ambush.

He concealed his men at Blue Savannah, an open sandy area surrounded by scrub pines. Capt. Barefield led his men right into the ambush. Col. Marion charged with 50 men, weapons firing and swords flying. Capt. Barefield's men sent one volley that hit three men, and then his men broke and ran. Col. Marion's men pursued to the edge of the nearby swamp, but did not penetrate it. They knew that a cornered enemy was very dangerous.

Known Patriot Participants

Known British/Loyalist Participants

Col. Francis Marion - Commanding Officer

Kingstree Regiment of Militia detachment led by Lt. Col. Hugh Horry and Major John James, with four (4) known companies, led by:
- Capt. John James, Jr.
- Capt. John McCauley
- Capt. Robert McCottry
- Capt. William McCottry

Lower Craven County Regiment of Militia detachment of one (1) known company, led by:
- Capt. Henry Mouzon

Total Patriot Forces - 72

Major Micajah Gainey - Commanding Officer

Col. Robert Gray's Regiment of Loyalist Militia detachment led by Capt. Jesse Barefield

Little Pee Dee Company of Loyalist Militia led by Capt. "Unknown"

Total Loyalist Forces - 250




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