The American Revolution in South Carolina

  Rebellion Road

  November 9, 1775

Patriot Cdr:

Capt. John Wanton (GA)
British Cdr:

Capt. Edward Thornborough






Old District: 

Charles Town District
Present County:

Charleston County

aka - Charlestown Bar

Charlestown Harbor, the British sloop, HMS Tamar, captured a Georgian sloop in a heavy fog. On board was a load of apples and cider bound for Georgia.

Gunner George Walker, who had capitulated Fort Johnson and had recently been paroled, was given command of the newly-captured sloop. Walker took on board the sloop two trunks of pistols and cutlasses, two chests of arms, and one other sailor from the HMS Tamar. He had instructions from Royal Governor Lord William Campbell to go to St. Augustine and bring back 20 men to retake Fort Johnson.

As soon as the HMS Tamar was out of sight, Georgia Capt. John Wanton and his men seized Gunner George Walker and his mate and placed them in the hold. Capt. Wanton sailed to Savannah and turned over the two men to the Committee and collected £200 for the boxes of arms.

In an entirely different account, this event occurred on the same day between two South Carolina pilot boats, the Hawke and the Hibernia, who together chased a British boat, the Shark, under the command of a Lt. Peyton, back to Charlestown harbor - the first recorded offensive action to be taken by the SC Navy.

By November, the SC Navy consisted of the schooner Defense under the command of Capt. Simon Tufts, and two pilot boats, the Hawke under Capt. Joseph Vessey, and the Hibernia under Capt. Thomas Smith. Another ship, the Comet, was still being outfitted.

Soldiers from the SC 1st Regiment and the SC 2nd Regiment augmented these ships as sailors.

The first cruise of the South Carolina Navy was on November 7th when the two pilot boats Hawke and Hibernia set sail to warn any approaching merchant ships that they needed to go to the ports of Beaufort or Georgetown. On November 9th, the two pilot boats spotted the British boat Shark under the command of Lt. Peyton and chased it back into the port of Charlestown.

Known Patriot Participants

Known British/Loyalist Participants

Capt. John Wanton (GA) with small crew.


Capt. Joseph Vesey - with pilot boat Hawke

Capt. Thomas Smith - with pilot boat Hibernia

Capt. Edward Thornborough on HMS Tamar

Gunner George Walker and one sailor.

Lt. Peyton - with boat Shark


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