Friday, June 26, 2009

New Topics

Having at last wrapped up blogging about the battle of Cowpens, I will next post on an earlier phase to the Southern Campaign of the American Revolution. Specifically, I will write about four battles that were fought in July and August, 1780 between Colonel Thomas Sumter's brigade of militia, and the British forces occupying the South Carolina "backcountry." These engagements included one smashing victory for the Americans (Williamson’s Plantation; July 12, 1780), one minor defeat (Rocky Mount; July 30, 1780), one bloody but drawn battle (Hanging Rock; August 6, 1780), and one serious defeat (Fishing Creek; August 18, 1780).

None of these battles will receive the thorough reappraisal that I gave the battle of Cowpens. Michael Scoggins’ recent work on the battle of Williamson’s Plantation is perhaps the most thorough treatment given to any battle of the Revolution. I still intend, at least, to put together some kind of representation of the fighting in miniature. My treatment of Rocky Mount, Hanging Rock, and Fishing Creek will also be circumspect, but chiefly because I do not have ready access to some crucial sources of information, such as Draper’s Sumter Papers or British correspondence and official records found in the Public Records Office. With that said, I do have access to quite a few accounts of these battles thanks to online transcribed memoirs and pension applications, early histories that have been digitalized by Google Books, and the resources of my local library. With these I can at least describe the major features of each battle. Good descriptions of the battle of Hanging Rock are particularly wanting in my opinion, and I expect to devote more posts to that topic than the others.


Michael C. Scoggins' 2005 The Day It Rained Militia: Huck's Defeat and the Revolution in the South Carolina Backcountry, May-July 1780 (link to


  1. Hi, I just ran across this blog. Thanks for reading my book. If I can help you in your research on the Southern Campaign let me know. We have the Draper MSS, Cornwallis Papers, SC audited accounts, etc., at the Southern Revolutionary War Institute in York, SC.

    Michael C. Scoggins

  2. What a welcome surprise! I'll write you sometime this evening or tonight.