The American Revolution in South Carolina

Oohey River

February 26, 1780

Patriot Cdr:

Major Chevalier Pierre-François Vernier
British Cdr:







Old District: 

Charles Town District
Present County:

Charleston County

aka Ashley River (?).

Major Chevalier Pierre-François Vernier commanded the remnants of Pulaski's Legion (he was killed at the Siege of Savannah) and his troops were posted on the Stono River to monitor the incoming British movements after their landing on James Island in February of 1780.

Every day, each British brigade sent out 100 men to capture and drive in livestock and to acquire forage for their horses. The locals informed Major Vernier that a British foraging party had moved out of the British lines near the Oohey River (a small stream on James Island). This included several officers of the 7th and the 23rd Regiments of Foot, and fifty of their men who went out to collect slaves, livestock, and forage.

Major Vernier followed alongside them on their return march until they were inside the narrow approaches between two ponds. He set up an ambush at this chokepoint.

The British foragers marched back in raised spirits and without any formation. The soldiers were intermingled with the livestock. When they entered the kill zone, Major Vernier attacked them on all sides and killed or wounded nearly half of them. The inexperienced British soldiers fired their muskets too soon and before they could reload Major Vernier's lancers killed three Fusiliers.

The Jaegers on duty in the camp rushed to rescue their comrades. An intense firefight developed and Major Vernier withdrew, leaving a sergeant, four soldiers, two lancers, and three horses behind to be captured. The British lost ten (10) men killed and nine (9) wounded.

Known Patriot Participants

Known British/Loyalist Participants
Pulaski's Legion led by Major Chevalier Pierre-François Vernier, with unknown number of men

7th Regiment detachment led by Capt. "Unknown"

23rd Regiment detachment led by Capt. "Unknown"

© 2008 - J.D. Lewis - PO Box 1188 - Little River, SC 29566 - All Rights Reserved