Seymour, William. "Journal of the Southern Expedition, 1780-1783,
by William Seymour, Sergeant-Major of the Delaware Regiment."
Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography 7 (1883): 286-98, 377-94.




On the 16th April, 1780, the Maryland Division, with the Delaware Regiment, marched from their quarters near Morristown, in the State of New Jersey, under the command of the Honorable the Baron de Kalb, being bound for Charlestown, South Carolina, in order to reinforce that garrison being besieged by the enemy, having marched by land to Head of Elk 108 miles, when the troops embarked on board for Petersburg, except the park of Artillery which went by land with a detachment from all the line which went to escort them.

The troops having met at Petersburg on the 26th May where we remained till the 30th, when we proceeded on our march for Hillsborough, which we reached on the 22nd June, being 469 miles since we left Head of Elk.

Here we lay till the 30th, and marched to meet the enemy, who, after they had captured the garrison of Charlestown, were making their way through the country obliging the inhabitants, as they came along, to take the oath of allegiance to the King. In this, indeed, they had not much difficulty, for most part of them, especially the Scotch, who came in every day in great numbers.

The first halt we made from this place was at Buffaloe Ford on Deep River, which we reached on the 19th of this instant, distant from Hillsborough eighty-seven miles. Here Genl. Gates came and took the command of all the Southern Army. At this time we were very much distressed for want of provisions, insomuch that we were obliged to send out parties through the country, to thrash out grain for our


sustenance; and this availed not much, for what was procured after this manner could scarce keep the troops from starving, which occasioned a vast number of men to desert the enemy.

On the 27th we marched off this ground, in order to meet the enemy, which at this time lay encamped on the Chiraw Hills[2], taking the route of Massies Ferry on the Peadea[3] River. The enemy, hearing of our approach, made a movement, and encamped at Rugeley's mill on the main road to Charlestown. At this time we were so much distressed for want of provisions, that we were fourteen days and drew but one half pound of flour. Sometimes we drew half a pound of beef per man, and that so miserably poor that scarce any mortal could make use of it � living chiefly on green apples and peaches, which rendered our situation truly miserable, being in a weak and sickly condition, and surrounded on all sides by our enemies the Tories.

We encamped at Rugeley's mill on the 13th of August, which the Enemy had abandoned on our approach, and retreated into Campden. Here came and joined us a vast number of Militia, in number about 3000 men, from Virginia, North and South Carolina, which seemed to us to be a good omen of success, but proved to be our utter ruin in the end, for, placing too much confidence in them, they at length deceived us and left us in the lurch.

We marched from Buffaloe Ford to this place in eleven days, being distant about 177 miles.

We lay on this ground till the 15th, at night, when the General thought proper to advance and attack the enemy at Campden, 13 miles from Rugeley's mill. We marched off the ground about 8 o'clock at night, the baggage following close in the rear, so confident was the General, and indeed it was every one's opinion, that we should drive the enemy, we being far superior to them in numbers, we having three thousand militia and about thirteen hundred standing troops, and they not exceeding thirteen hundred here. You must observe that instead of rum we had a gill of molasses per man served out to us, which instead of enlivening our a spirits, served to


purge us as well as if we had taken jallap, for the men, all the way as we went along, were every moment obliged to fall out of the Ranks to evacuate. The enemy having notice of our approach made a movement to meet us, and having met at Sutton's Tavern, about seven miles from Campden and six from Rugeley's mill, our advance guard and light infantry and that of the enemy meeting together, upon which ensued a very hot fire, in which the infantry and advance picquet suffered very much. Here we were drawn up in order of battle, with the Second Brigade on the right, the militia on the left, and the First Brigade in the center. The first fire commenced about two o' clock in the morning. We lay in this posture till daybreak, when the enemy, commanded by Lords Cornwallis and Rawdon, advanced and attacked us. We advanced at the same time, and began the attack from both cannon and small arms with great alacrity and uncommon bravery, making great havock among them, insomuch that the enemy gave way till, observing that our militia were in great confusion, they having retreated off, the chief part of them without so much as firing a single shot, and great numbers of them threw down their arms and run in to the enemy. This gave them an opportunity of coming round us, the militia having entirely left us at this time. They were quite round us before discovered, upon which we were obliged to retreat and left the enemy entire masters of the field, the enemy's horse making great slaughter among our men as they retreated. As for Col. Armand's horse, they thought upon nothing else but plundering our wagons as they retreated off.[4] This action continued about three-quarters of an hour, in which the brave General de Kalb was killed, with many more brave officers and soldiers. Of the Delaware Regiment were made prisoners Lt.-Col. Vaughan, Major Patten,[5] and six other officers and seventy private men, with the


loss of all our cannon and baggage, which fell into the enemy's hands. Here was a most shocking scene to behold, our poor scattered troops everywhere dispersed through the country, and the Tories every day picking them up, taking every thing from them which was of any value.

On the 18th of August was Genl. Sumter defeated by a party of Horse and Infantry at the head of Fishing Creek, by the negligence of the Brigade Major not posting out a picquet, the men having their arms stacked, when the enemy, unperceived by any, had taken possession of them, where they put every one to the sword who came in their way. Here was another scene of misery to see about one hundred and thirty of our Continental Troops, with two pieces of cannon, who but the day before the action of the sixteenth were detached to Genl. Sumter, with 800 Militia, all killed, wounded, and taken prisoners, besides 36 waggons loaded with rum, stores, etc., which he had but the day before taken from the enemy. We assembled at Salisbury the few that were left, Genl. Smallwood having taken the command of them, this being the first place we made any halt since the action of the sixteenth of August. From here we marched on the 24th under the command of Genl. Smallwood, directing our route of Hillsborough, that being the next place of rendezvous, which we reached with much difficulty on the 6th September, 200 miles from Campden. Here were the men who were left of the First and Second Brigades formed into two battalions, that of the First brigade commanded by Major Anderson [6] and that of the Second by Major Hardman,[7] the whole amounting to about 800 men. About this time were retaken 160 of our prisoners by Col. Marion on their way to Charlestown, being escorted by a detachment of British troops and Tories. He came on them at Genl. Sumter's plantation, who rushed on them at the break of day before they had time to form, making them all prisoners of war. Among our prisoners that were retaken were seventy-two of the Delaware Regiment.


Here were formed out of the different corps three companies of Light Infantry, that of the Virginians commanded by Capt. Bruin, that of the First Battalion of Maryland by Captain Brooks, and that of the 2d Maryland, being chiefly of the Delaware Regiment, commanded-by Capt. Robt. Kirkwood,[8] whose heroick valour and uncommon and undaunted bravery must needs be recorded in history till after ages.

Here we lay from the 6th September till the 7th October, waiting for clothes, arms, and accoutrements.

On the 7th October the Light Infantry, with a party of Riflemen under the command of Genl. Morgan, set out for Salisbury, which we reached on the 15th inst., 100 miles. Here we halted till the 18th, and then marched off, directing our march to New Providence, 15 miles from Charlotte, and fifty-five from Salisbury, without anything of consequence happening.

We encamped at New Providence the 22d ult., the men all in good spirits. Here joined us two battalions of North Carolina Militia under the command of Genl. Davidson. 25th moved our encampment further to the right, and in a more regular form. At this place Col. Washington,[9] with a detachment of First and Third Light Dragoons, joined us, which, together with the Light Infantry and three companies of Riflemen, formed the Flying Army.

On the 4th November, 1780, the Horse and Infantry marched towards Campden, to reconnoiter the enemy's lines and procure forage, marching as far as the Hanging Rock, which we reached on the 6th. On the 9th we returned to our encampment at New Providence without anything of consequence happening. One hundred miles.

The tenth of this inst. We had an account that Genl. Sumter had a skirmish with a party of the British on Fishing Creek, obliging them to retreat in great disorder, and killing and wounding many men.

The 11th Genl. Gates with the main army arrived at Charlotte, consisting of about seven hundred men.


On the 14th there came in a flag from the British, which the General thought proper to send back without any answer, as he suspected they only came to spy out our encampment.

On the 21st Genl. Sumter had another engagement with a party of the British, consisting of about nine hundred men, near Tiger River, the latter having eighty men killed, and one hundred and twenty wounded. Genl. Sumter had two men killed and three wounded.

On the 22nd our main army came to this place and encamped about a mile in our front. 27th, the main army marched for Charlotte.

On the 28th our Horse and Infantry marched for Rugeley's mill, leaving our tents standing, and the sick and barefoot men left as a guard. We came before Rugeley's on the first December where Col. Rugely lay, with his Regiment of Tories, in number about two hundred, strongly fortified. Col. Washington with the light Horse being sent to draw them out, who ordered a party of them to dismount and represent Infantry, they getting a large pine knot, hauling along which served for a piece of cannon, and had the same effect as if it was the best piece in Christendom. This great piece of ordnance was drawn up in full view of the Tories. Col. Washington at the same time sent in a sergeant with a flag demanding the Tories to surrender, upon which Col. Rugely demanded some time to consider, but the sergeant who bore the flag made answer and told him that we had cannon and would put them all to immediate death if they did not give up, upon which the Tories marched out and gave up their fortifications, without so much as firing a single shot, and surrendered themselves up as prisoners of war. On the 2d December we returned towards camp, which we reached on the 4th � one hundred miles. Next day the prisoners were sent to Hillsborough, being-escorted by a detachment of Col.Moore's militia of North Carolina.

On the 6th December, 1780, General Greene arrived at Charlotte and took the command of all the Southern Army in the room of General Gates.

On the seventh inst. Were brought into camp twelve deserters


from the First Regiment Light Dragoons, who were making their way home to Virginia.

12th December, 1780, the Tory prisoners who were continued in the provost were sent to Charlotte, there to have their trial.

Col. Washington, with the Light Horse, marched from here on the 13th of this instant towards Hanging Rock.

We lay on this ground from the 22d November till the 17th December, and marched to Charlotte, fifteen miles. Same day General Smallwood set out on his march for Maryland. At this time the troops were in a most shocking condition for the want of clothing, especially shoes, and we having kept open campaign all winter the troops were taking sick fast. Here the manly fortitude of the troops of the Maryland Line was very great, being obliged to march and do duty barefoot, being all the winter the chief part of them wanting coats and shoes, which they bore with the greatest patience imaginable, for which their praise should never be forgotten; and indeed in all the hardships which they had undergone they never seemed to frown.

General Greene with his troops marched from Charlotte on the 20th December, directing his route towards Chiraw Hills, in order to procure forage and there spend the remainder of the winter.

On the 21st ult. The troops under general Morgan marched from Charlotte, being joined by two companies more of light infantry detached from the Maryland Line, directing our march towards Pacolet River. First day's march from Charlotte we came to Catabo River. Next day we crossed the river at Bizer's ferry. Next day we marched to Cane creek; next, being the 24th, we were alarmed about two o' clock in the morning by some men on horseback coming to our advance pisquet, at which the sentinels challenging and no answer being made, upon which the sentinels fired and afterwards the whole guard, when immediately the whole turned out and continued under arms till daybreak. This day we crossed Broad River, and the next day, being the 25th, we encamped at Pacolet River.


On the 27th the General received intelligence that Colonel Tarleton was advancing in order to surprise us; upon which their were strong picquets erected all round the encampment, putting ourselves in the best posture of defence. The rolls were ordered to be called every two hours, and reports given in by those that were absent. We arrived here in five days since we set out on our march from Charlotte, fifty-eight miles, it being very difficult marching in crossing deep swamps and very steep hills, which rendered our march very unpleasant. The inhabitants along this way live very poor, their plantations uncultivated, and living in mean dwellings. They seem chiefly to be the offspring of the ancient Irish, being very affable and courteous to strangers.

On the 31st December Colonel Washington was detached to Fort William in order to surprise some Tories that lay there; and meeting with a party of them near said place, upon which ensued a smart engagement, the latter having one hundred and sixty men killed dead, and thirty-three made prisoners.

On the first of January, 1781, there was one of the Tories tried and found guilty of desertion to the enemy and piloting the Indians on our army, they making great havoc among them; upon which he was hanged on a tree the same day till he was dead.

On the 4th there was one of Col. Washington's Horse tried and found guilty of desertion to the enemy, when agreeable to his sentence he was shot the same day.

We lay on this ground from the twenty-fifth December, 1780, till the fourteenth January, 1781, and then proceeded on our march further up the river towards the iron works in order to frustrate the designs of the enemy who were coming round us, Colonel Tarleton on one side and Lord Cornwallis on the other. We encamped on the Cowpen Plains on the evening if the sixteenth January, forty-two miles, being joined by some Georgia volunteers and South [Carolina] Militia, to the number of between two and three hundred. Next day being the seventeenth January, we received intelligence a while before day, that Colonel Tarleton


was advancing in our rear in order to give us battle, upon which we were drawn up in order of battle, the men seeming to be all in good spirits and very willing to fight. The militia dismounted and were drawn up in front of the standing troops on the right and left flanks, being advanced about two hundred yards. By this time the enemy advanced and attacked the militia in front, which they stood very well for some time till being overpowered by the superior number of the enemy they retreated, but in very good order, not seeming to be in the least confused. By this time the enemy advanced and attacked our light infantry with both cannon and small arms, where meeting with a very warm reception they then thought to surround our right flank, to prevent which Captain Kirkwood with his company wheeled to the right and attacked their left flank so vigorously that they were soon repulsed, our men advancing on them so very rapidly that they soon gave way. Our left flank advanced at the same time and repulsed their right flank, upon which they retreated off, leaving us entire masters of the field, our men pursuing them for the distance of twelve miles, insomuch that all their infantry was killed, wounded and taken prisoners. This action commenced about seven o' clock in the morning and continued till late in the afternoon.

In the action were killed of the enemy one hundred and ninety men, wounded one hundred and eighty, and taken prisoners one Major, thirteen Captains, fourteen Lieutenants, and nine Ensigns, and five hundred and fifty private men, with two field pieces and four standards of colours. Their heavy baggage would have shared the same fate, if Tarleton, who retreated with his cavalry, had not set fire to it, burning up twenty-six wagons. This victory on our side cannot be attributed to nothing else but Divine Providence, they having thirteen hundred in the field of their best troops, and we not eight hundred of standing troops and militia.

The troops engaged against us were the 7th or Royal English Fuzileers, the First Battalion of the 71st, and the British Legion, horse and foot.

The courage and conduct of the brave General Morgan in


this action is highly commendable, as likewise Colonel Howard,[10] who all the time of the action rode from right to left of the line encouraging the men; and indeed all the officers and men behaved with uncommon and undaunted bravery, but more especially the brave Captain Kirkwood and his company, who that day did wonders, rushing on the enemy without either dread or fear, and being instrumental in taking a great number of prisoners.

Our loss in the action were one Lieutenant wounded, and one Sergeant and thirty-five killed and wounded, of which fourteen were of Captain Kirkwood's Company of the Delaware Regiment.

On the 18th we marched off with the prisoners, directing our course for Salisbury; having crossed the Catabo River on the 23rd at Shreve's Ford, and there waited for the prisoners who went another road. On our way hither we had very difficult marching, being very mountainous, the inhabitants, who were chiefly Virginians, living very poor, except one settlement on the other side the Catabo, being excellent good land and inhabited by the Dutch. We remained on this ground till the first February, waiting the motion of the enemy, who this day crossed the river lower down than where we lay, and coming unawares on the militia commanded by Genl. Davidson, on which ensued a smart skirmish in which General Davidson[11] was killed, and a great many more killed and wounded, upon which the militia retreated off in great disorder.

We marched off this place for Salisbury on the evening of the first February, and continued our march all night in a very unpleasant condition, it having rained incessantly all night, which rendered the roads almost inaccessible.


Next day, being the 2d, we arrived at Salisbury and crossed the River Yatkin, which the enemy approached on the 3d, consisting of about six thousand men, commanded by Lord Cornwallis and General Lesley, in order to facilitate their way to Virginia and relieve General Arnold, who was blocked up in Portsmouth with about fifteen hundred men, so that he could not possibly get off without being taken prisoner with all his army.

On the 4th we received intelligence that the enemy had crossed the river at a shallow ford above where we lay, upon which we marched all that night, taking the road towards Guilford Court House, which we reached on the 6th.

Here General Greene's Army assembled on the 5th from Chiraw Hills, and in a most dismal condition for the want of clothing, especially shoes, being obliged to march, the chief part of them, barefoot from Chiraw Hills. Here however the men were supplied with some shoes, but not half enough.

On the eighth instant we marched from here, General Green's Army taking one road and the light troops another, being joined the next day by Colonel Lee's[12] horse and infantry. This day we received intelligence that the British Army was advancing very close in our rear, upon which Colonel Lee detached a party of horse to intercept them, who meeting with their vanguard, consisting of an officer and twenty men, which they killed, wounded and made prisoners, all but one man.

We marched from here on the ninth inst., taking the road towards Dan River, which we reached on the fourteenth, after a march of two hundred and fifty miles from the time we left our encampment at Pacolet River. By this time it must be expected that the army, especially the light troops, were very much fatigued both with traveling and want of sleep, for you must understand that we marched for the most part both day and night, the main army of the British being close in our rear, so that we had not scarce time to cook our victuals, their whole attention being on our light troops.


On the fourteenth all our troops assembled at Dan River, Virginia, which we crossed at two different ferries, viz., that of Boyd's and Irvin's.

On the seventeenth our army marched and crossed the Banister River. Here we halted till the 20th, and marched for Hillsborough, which the enemy had taken possession of, there erecting the Royal Standard, where a vast number of the inhabitants joined them, taking the oath of allegiance, and many more they compelled to do the same, forcing them away from their wives and children.

We came before this place on the 25th, February (sixty-seven miles) which the enemy had abandoned, directing their course through the Haw Fields. Here they had great numbers of the inhabitants joined them, declaring themselves true friends to Government.

On the fourth of March 1781 we camp up with the enemy on the other side the Allamance fifty-six miles from Hillsborough, and having sent down a party of militia to draw them out, we having formed the line of battle at some distance off, the militia meeting with and firing on them, upon which were several shots exchanged on both sides with various successes, when the militia retreated and in regular form, thinking to draw them on, which however they thought proper to decline.

On the night of the sixth instant Captain Kirkwood, with his company of Light Infantry and about forty Riflemen, was detached off in order to surprise Colonel Tarlton, who lay encamped on the other side the Allamance; which having approached at about one o' clock in the morning, and going himself with a guide to reconnoiter their lines, where finding which way their pickets were posted, upon which he ordered the whole to move on, having formed the line of battle. When we came near the sentinels, they challenged very briskly, and no answer being made, upon which they immediately discharged their pieces and ran in to their guard. We took one of the sentinels, off his post at the same time and obliged him to show us where the guard lay, upon which we fired very briskly on them. By this time the camp was all alarmed,


Colonel Tarleton retreating in great confusion towards the main army, commanded by Lord Cornwallis, about two miles from this place; when, meeting a party of Tories and mistaking them for our militia, he charged on them very furiously, putting great numbers to the sword. On the other hand, they taking Colonel Tarleton for our horse and infantry, there commenced a smart skirmish, in which great numbers of the Tories were sent to the lower regions. We marched for camp which we reached about daybreak after a very fatiguing journey, having marched all night through deep swamps, morasses and thickets, which rendered our marching unpleasant and tiresome, twenty-six miles.

On the seventh the enemy made a movement and were within a mile of us before discovered, upon which we crossed Reedy Fork and drew up in order of battle, leaving some riflemen on the other side, when the enemy advanced and attacked the militia, who retreated off with precipitation, but, the British not advancing over the river, our troops marched and crossed the Haw River.

On the 12th Colonel Lee's Horse fell in with a party of the British, killing and wounding a great many, taking thirty of them prisoners.


On the 14th we encamped near Guilford Court House, after a march of about one hundred and ninety miles in about seven days' time, nor have we been all this time more than ten or twelve miles from said Court House.

This part of the country is very thickly inhabited; the land indeed is not very productive, yielding corn and some grain. Along the Haw River you may see some good settlements, especially the Haw Fields, which abound very plenteously with fine corn fields, wheat, rye, oats and barley. The inhabitants here and about Guilford Court House are chiefly Irish, being very courteous, humane, and affable to strangers, as likewise are the inhabitants of Mecklinbourg and Roan, over the River Yatkin, the latter being remarkable for being true friends to their country on this present critical occasion, which no other parts about here can boast of. The inhabitants from here to the River Yatkin are chiefly high Dutch and very great Tories and enemies to their country.

On the fifteenth in the morning the British Army, commanded by Lord Cornwallis and General Lesley, advanced in order to give us battle, upon which General Greene drew up his army at Guilford Court House and waited the motion of the enemy, Colonel Washington's horse and infantry being posted on the right flank of the army. Colonel Lee, with his horse and infantry and a detachment of riflemen, went to observe their motion, and meeting with their vanguard, upon which there commenced a smart skirmish, in which Colonel Lee's detachment did wonders, obliging the enemy to give way in three different attacks, giving them into their main army,


In which they killed and wounded a great number. By this time their main army advanced and began a brisk cannonade. Our cannon at the same time began to play, which continued for the space of a quarter of an hour without intermission, at which time the small arms on both sides began, in which our riflemen and musquetry behaved with great bravery, killing and wounding great numbers of the enemy. Colonel Washington's Light Infantry on the right flank was attacked by three British regiments, in which they behaved with almost incredible bravery, obliging the enemy to retreat in three different attacks, the last of which they pursued them up a very steep hill, almost inaccessible, till observing the enemy, who lay concealed in ambush, rise up, and pouring in a very heavy fire on them, in which they were obliged to retreat, having suffered very much by the last fire of the enemy. By this time General Greene drew off the army, as did likewise Lord Cornwallis his, they both having retreated off the field at one and the same time, neither parties not knowing to which the honour of the field belonged. Lord Cornwallis, however, afterwards confessed that General Greene had the honour of the field, and likewise the best of the battle, if he did but know it. Colonel Washington, with his cavalry, in this action deserved the highest praise, who meeting with the Third Regiment of Foot Guards, and charged them so furiously that they either killed or wounded almost every man in the regiment, charging through them and breaking their ranks three or four times.

This action began about nine o' clock in the morning and continued about the space of an hour and a half, in which the enemy lost in killed and wounded fifteen hundred men, our loss not exceeding one hundred and fifty in killed and wounded, of which twenty-seven belonged to Col. Washington's Light Infantry, of which Captain Kirkwood had the command.

Among the number of our killed and wounded were Major Anderson, of the Maryland Line, Captain Wallace, of the Virginia Line, and Captain Hoffman, Washington's Infantry, killed; Lieutenant Vaughan, Infantry, wounded. General Greene marched with the army this day about ten miles,


where he lay for some time, in order to give some rest to the troops, which they stood in great need of; being very much fatigued with marching.

On the twenty-fifth instant was tried and found guilty one Solomon Slocum, of the Second Maryland Battalion, for desertion to the enemy, joining with them, and coming in as a spy into our camp; when agreeable to his sentence he was hanged on a tree by the roadside in full view of all who passed by.

On the twentieth March Lord Cornwallis marched towards Wilmington, North Carolina, and General Greene marched, in order, if possible, to intercept him and harass his rear, thinking thereby to take a great number of prisoners. But this availed him not much, for Lord Cornwallis, with his army, made such precipitate and forced marches, that it was a thing impossible to overhaul them, he leaving the sick and wounded behind with a flag, keeping his rear so close that we could not pick up not so much as one of his stragglers.

On the twentieth March our army encamped on Deep River at Ramsey's Mill after a march of a hundred and twenty miles. On our march hither we came through a very barren part of the country, the inhabitants being for the most part Tories, which rendered our march the more unpleasant. Here the enemy built a bridge over the river, which they left standing, they not having time to pull it down, so close did we pursue them.

From this place was Colonel Lee dispatched with his Horse and Infantry, Captain Oldham,[13] of the Fourth Maryland regiment, with his company, and one six-pounder.


From here he marched towards the Santee River, in order to take some fortifications which the British had erected there.

On the 30th Colonel Washington, with his Horse and Infantry, marched towards Wilcox's Iron Works, in order to have troop horses shod, which at this time they stood in great need of.

On the third of April, 1781, we encamped on one Mr. Cheek's plantation, after a march of two thousand four hundred and fifty-six miles since we left our quarters at Morristown.

General Greene finding it impracticable to follow Lord Cornwallis any farther, and seeing he could not come up with him, he therefore bent his course towards Campden, marching over the same ground which our army went the last summer along with General Gates. This is a poor barren part of the country. The inhabitants are chiefly of a Scotch extraction, living in mean cottages, and are much disaffected, being great enemies to their country.

On the nineteenth April, 1781, we encamped before Campden, after a march of one hundred and sixty-four miles. We took this day eleven of the enemy prisoners, who were straggling through the country.

The same night Captain Kirkwood, being detached off with his infantry, in order to take post before Campden, accordingly having arrived there about ten o'clock, drove in their picquets and took his post near the town till morning.

Next day, being the twentieth, General Greene with the main army arrived, and encamped before Campden.

On the twenty-first the horse and infantry under Colonel Washington marched to the Wateree, there destroying a house and fortification, marched towards camp and brought away three hundred and fifty horses and cattle belonging to the enemy.

On the twenty-second we moved our encampment quite round Campden, the horse and infantry being sent about three miles down the Wateree there to procure forage, which having done, we returned to camp without anything of consequence happening.


The same day happened a skirmish between a detachment of Colonel Campbell's Regiment and a picquet of the enemy's at a mill near Campden, in which the enemy were obliged to abandon their post. Of our men were slightly wounded one Lieutenant and one private. Of the enemy were four killed and five wounded.

The twenty-third we moved our encampment to the same ground from whence we came the day before.

On the twenty-fifth the enemy made a sally out of Campden and were down on our picquet before discovered. At this time our men were, for the chief part, some washing their clothes, and some were out in the country on passes. The first that discovered the enemy were a small picquet belonging to the light infantry, under the command of Captain Kirkwood. As soon as the sentinels discovered them, they fired on them, and gave the alarm; upon which the light infantry immediately turned out and engaged them very vigorously for some time, but, being overpowered by the superiority of their numbers, they retreated about two hundred yards across the main road, where the main picquet of our army was formed, and, falling in with them, renewed the fire with so much alacrity and undaunted bravery, that they put the enemy to a stand for some time, till, being overpowered by the superior number of the enemy, they were obliged to retreat, not being able any longer to withstand them, having all this time engaged the main army of the enemy.

By this time our main army was drawn up, and engaged them with both cannon and small arms, in which Captain Singleton, of the Train, very much signalized himself in leveling his pieces so well and playing with such impetuosity, that they put the enemy in great confusion, having killed and dangerously wounded great numbers of them as they crossed the main road; as did likewise Colonel Washington with his cavalry, who, falling in with their rear, killed and wounded a great number of them, making two hundred and fifty of them prisoners.

Our main army, being in some confusion by this time by the enemy taking them in flank, retreated off, leaving the


enemy masters of the field of battle, which, however, they very dearly bought, they having three hundred and fifty killed and wounded in the field, our loss not exceeding two hundred in killed, wounded and prisoners.

Lord Rawdon retreated with his army in to Campden, and General Greene with his army retreated about four miles.

In this action the light infantry under Captain Robert Kirkwood was returned many thanks by the General for their gallant behaviour; as did likewise Captain Benson,[14] of the Maryland Line, who signalized himself in this action, having fought the whole time along with the light infantry.

On the 26th Colonel Washington's horse and a detachment from line went to reconnoiter the lines. The 27th were parties sent to bury our dead. Same day the enemy marched and encamped at Rugeley's mill. Ten miles.

On the 29th, at night, happened an alarm occasioned by a wagon coming our of Campden with one of our captains, wounded, which our light horse took for cannon; upon which our infantry and a party of horse were sent to observe their motion, when, meeting with said wagon, we discovered the mistake and returned to camp. Six miles.

On the first May, 1781, there were five of our men executed, who were deserters from our army, who were taken prisoners in the late action.

On the third we marched from this place and crossed the Wateree without anything of consequence happening. Marched this day eleven miles.

On the fourth we marched six miles from this place. The horse and infantry marched to the Wateree, there destroyed a house and fortification, and returned to camp. Sixteen miles. On the seventh we moved our encampment nine miles.

On the eighth the enemy made a movement out of Campden and were within a little distance of us before discovered, when immediately our horse and infantry was formed in front and waited their motion, the main army having retreated


to an advantageous piece of ground, but the enemy not advancing, we kept our own ground.

On the 10th our infantry and a detachment from the Maryland Line, with some horse, were sent to surprise some Tories, and, marching twenty-six miles without meeting them, the infantry went to Campden, which the enemy had evacuated. Eleven miles.

We marched from Campden the 12th, leaving a guard to destroy the works, and proceeded on our march for Ninety-Six, marching the first day to Reynold's Mills. Thirteenth, marched about eighteen miles. Fifteenth, marched eighteen miles. Sixteenth, marched six miles and encamped at Captain Howell's. On the seventeenth were executed five of our deserters who were taken in Fort Friday by Colonel Lee.

On the eighteenth marched and crossed Broad River and encamped on the other side, fifteen miles. On the nineteenth marched twenty-five miles. This day were executed three more of our deserters, who were taken in the late fort. Next day, being the twentieth, we marched seventeen miles.

On the twenty-first of May we took and killed about twelve Tories. Marched sixteen miles. Next day, being the twenty-second, we crossed at Island Ford, and encamped before Ninety-Six. Nine miles. This day we took and killed eleven of the Tories in their encampment. We were employed this night and the next day in making breast-works and batteries before the town.

On the twenty-fifth we had an account that Colonel Lee had taken two more of the enemy's forts at Augusta. We lay before this garrison from the twenty-second of May till the twentieth of June, when, on the eighteenth, we had a general attack upon the town, taking Holmes's Fort with the redoubt therein, thereby occasioning them to lose the use of their springs. The garrison must have surrendered had not Lord Rawdon with his army come, upon which we were obliged to raise the siege.

First day's march from Ninety-Six we marched about


fourteen miles towards Charlotte. Next day, being the twenty-first, we marched about eight miles. The twenty-second marched sixteen miles. The next day, twenty-third, marched fifteen miles, and crossed the Innerree, Twenty-fourth. Marched this day twenty-one miles and crossed the Tiger and Broad River. From here the main army went one way, and Colonel Lee's horse and infantry and Colonel Washington's infantry marched another, marching along Broad River through a Dutch settlement, being all Tories.

We marched along this settlement seventy-seven miles, and joined our own horse on the other side Broad River at White's farm. Next day we marched to Captain Howell's, sixteen miles, which we reached on the third of July, 1781. On the fourth we marched nine miles. On the fifth we crossed the Congaree at McCord's Ferry, and being mounted on horses at Colonel Thompson's, we marched that night to Brown's Mill, thirty-two miles. Next day, being the sixth, we marched to Thompson's farm on the Santee, thirteen miles. On the seventh we crossed the Congaree, at which an express came and we were countermarched back to Brown's Mill, twenty-five miles. On the eighth, marched twenty-five miles. We lay this night on Doughtey's farm. On the ninth marched ten miles, Colonel Middleton's. On the tenth we marched seven miles. This night we joined the main army at Beaver Creek. Next day, being the eleventh, we marched towards Orangeburg, which we reached on the twelfth, and sent parties of horse and foot to draw them out; but; they not coming out of their entrenchments, we marched off, directing our course towards McCord's Ferry. Marched this day fifteen miles. Next day we marched eleven miles. We lay this night near Brown's Mill.

On the fourteenth crossed the Congaree at McCord's, and encamped at Simmond's farm, twenty miles. We lay on this ground till the twenty-second, and moved to Dawson's farm, nine miles. Here we lay till the twenty-seventh, and moved to Walden's plantation, six miles. Here were brought in ten prisoners from the enemy, taken near Orangeburg.


On the second of August a party of Colonel Hampton's[15] men had a skirmish with a party of the enemy, killing thirteen of them. Of Colonel Hampton's was slightly wounded one man. On the fourth we marched and crossed the Wateree at Symmond's. Marched this day thirteen miles. On the sixth marched and encamped near Head-Quarters. Seventh, marched and encamped at Captain Richardson's. Ten miles. We lay on this ground till the twenty-fourth, and marched farther up the river, twenty miles. The twenty-fifth; marched this day to Campden, eighteen miles. Twenty-seventh; this day arrived at Captain Howell's on the Congaree River, eighteen miles. Twenty-eighth; this day joined Colonel Washington's horse, five miles, at Mr. Culpeper's on the bank of the river. In the evening were informed, the enemy this morning left Colonel Thompson's on their way to Charlestown. Thirty-first, marched to Howell's Ferry on the Congaree River, thirty-five miles, where our army had crossed. This day the General received information that the enemy had marched from the Centre Swamp on their route for town, which occasioned the horse and Captain Kirkwood's infantry to return to the place they left in the morning. Twelve miles.

On the fourth of September crossed the Congaree River at Culpeper and encamped on Mr. Johnston's farm, fifteen miles. The fifth marched, and encamped with the main army at Everett's Creek, six miles below Colonel Thompson's, fourteen miles. Sixth, marched to Medway Swamp, six miles. Seventh, marched within seven miles of the Entaw Springs, twenty miles. Eighth; this day our army was in motion before daybreak, resolved to fight the British Army. We marched in the following order of battle, viz: the South and North Carolina Militia in front and commanded by Generals Marion and Pickens, having Colonel Lee's horse and infantry on their left. The second line was composed of and infantry on their left. The second line was composed of North Carolina Regulars, Virginians and Marylanders, with


two three-pounders and two six-pounders. Colonel Washington's horse and infantry were the corps-de-reserve. In this order we marched down to action. Coming within three miles of the enemy's encampment, we fell in with a foraging party of sixty men, loaded with potatoes, most of whom we either killed, wounded or took prisoners. We met with no farther opposition till we came within one mile of their encampment before discovered, and with their front line began the action, which soon brought the action general. We drove their first and second lines, and took upwards of five hundred prisoners. They took shelter in a large brick house and a hollow way in the rear of the house. At this time our men were so far spent for want of water, and our Continental officers suffering much in the action, rendered it advisable for General Greene to draw off his troops, with the loss of two six-pounders. Major Edmund with a small party of men joined our infantry in the British encampment, keeping up fire for a small space of time; found our army had withdrawn from field made it necessary for us likewise to withdraw. We brought off one of their three-pounders, which was with much difficulty performed through a thick wood for four miles, without the assistance of but one horse. We got to the encamping ground, where we left in the morning, about two in the evening.

Tenth. Received intelligence that the enemy had left Eutaw Springs the evening before, on the road to Monck's Corner. The General pursued them to Mr. Martin's, within twelve miles of the Corner.

Twelfth. Returned as far back as Whistling George's, six miles. Thirteenth, marched to the widow Flood's on Santee River, fourteen miles. Fourteenth, marched with the army on the road leading to Lawrence's Ferry on the Santee, and separated from them, they being bound to the high hills of Santee, and we for the encampment on Mr. Caldwell's farm at Half Way Swamp, nineteen miles. Fifteenth, marched to Kelly's farm, twenty miles. Sixteenth, marched to Mr. Patrick's farm, thirteen miles. Seventeenth, crossed the Congaree at Mr. Patrick's, and marched to Culpeper


and from thence to Colonel Goodden's, ten miles. Nineteenth, marched this morning a little after sunrise, joined Colonel Washington's horse, and encamped one mile below them on Mr. Pierce's farm, eleven miles.

October the sixth, marched to Simmon's farm on the Wateree, forty miles.

Return of the killed, wounded, and missing in the action of the Eutaw Springs, the eighth of September, 1781. Five Lieutenant-Colonels killed and wounded, one Major, eighteen captains, thirty-one Subalterns, forty Sergeants, total, four hundred and thirty in killed, wounded or missing.

Here we lay till the sixth of November, and marched to Gooden's Mill, thirty-seven miles, without anything of consequence happening. About this time our men were taken sick with the fever and ague, insomuch that we had scarce men enough to mount two small guards.

Nothing of consequence happened from this time till we came to Stono Ferry, two hundred miles from Gooden's Mill, which we reached on the twelfth of January, 1782, we having had detachments from the Pennsylvanians[16] and Carolinians joined us, the whole amounting to four hundred men, which, together with Lee's infantry and a detachment from the Maryland Line, amounting to about three hundred men, the whole amounting to about seven hundred men. We came before this place on Saturday, the twelfth, at night, and thought to cross the river on Inos Island at low water, which we might have effected if we had not been too late, the tide making so fast that it was rendered impracticable. On Tuesday, the fifteenth, the infantry of the Delaware Regiment entered the Island, making several prisoners, refugees, the British Army having evacuated the Island.

Sixteenth, we marched to Stono Church, thirteen miles. Seventeenth, moved our encampment about two miles towards Parker's Ferry.


On the fourth of February, 1782, we marched from Drayton's Cowpens and encamped on Warren's plantation, five miles. On the eighth we marched to reconnoiter the enemy's lines, marching within four miles of the quarter house, and returned to our encampment the tenth, without anything of consequence happening, forty miles.

On the twelfth the detachment of Pennsylvanians and Carolinians marched from here and joined their respective regiments, we having remained with Washington's horse and under the direction of Major Caul. We lay here till the thirteenth, and marched about nine miles. Fourteenth, moved our encampment one mile.

Seventeenth, marched and joined Colonel Lee's infantry near Mr. Warren's plantation, eleven miles. Same night we received intelligence that the enemy meant to surprise us, in consequence of which we marched about two miles and lay on our arms at night. Next day, being the eighteenth, we were employed in building huts. Here we lay till the twenty-fourth, and marched and encamped near McQuin's, five miles. Marched since we left our quarters near Morristown five thousand five hundred and three miles.

Here we lay till the third of March, and marched to re-enforce Gen. Marion, who was surrounded by the enemy, marching towards Goose Creek, when we received intelligence that the enemy were returned to Charlestown. We marched back on the sixth, and lay that night near Bacon Bridge, forty-five miles.

On the seventh marched and encamped near Mr. Izard's plantation, five miles. Here we lay till the twelfth, and marched and encamped near Bacon Bridge, five miles.

The sixteenth of March we were joined by a detachment from the main army consisting of two hundred men.

On the seventeenth marched to the enemy's lines, and sent parties to draw them out, but they not advancing, upon which we returned to our encampment, sixteen miles.

On the twenty-fifth moved our encampment from here to Dorchester, two miles.

Here we stayed till the 29th and marched towards Hatley's


Point; marched the first day and passed the Strawberry Ferry, twenty miles. Thirtieth, marched twelve miles. Thirty-first, marched twenty miles. First of April, marched twenty-three miles. Second, marched twenty miles. Third, marched twenty-two miles and encamped at Bacon's Bridge.

On the fourth the detachment under Colonel Moore marched and joined the main army. On the fifth of April the horse and infantry marched down the Ashley River eight miles. April the seventh, marched farther down the river, two miles. We moved from here on the thirteenth, and encamped on Gough's plantation, sixteen miles.

On the sixteenth moved our encampment to Farre's plantation, two miles. Here we lay till the 22nd, and marched and encamped at Thomas Warren's plantation, five miles. On Sunday, the 21st instant, happened a skirmish between a party of our cavalry and a scout of the enemy's horse, between Dorchester and the Quarter House. Our horse meeting with about forty of theirs, our men consisting of twenty-four, and charged on them so vigorously that they retreated with precipitation, when another party of the enemy's horse, who lay in ambush, rushed out on our men, and fired on them with carbines, and killed three of our horses and wounded two or three men. One of our men engaged and killed two of the enemy's negro horse, and a third, which happened to be a Major, thought to make his escape by running into a swamp, where he came up with him, and with one blow of his sword severed his head from his body.

On the 22nd instant was executed at Head Quarters one of the ___ Sergeants charged with mutiny, when agreeable to his sentence he was shot. A man named William Peters, who was steward to General Greene and his wife, was confined in the provost under sentence of death for corresponding with the enemy by letters, some of the letters being found about him, which specified that he was to recruit a number of men on our service for the enemy. Little did the General think that one of his own domesticks should prove his utter enemy.[17]


On the 27th, at night, our horse and infantry marched, in order to obstruct the enemy, who made a practice of coming out. We lay this night in ambush, waiting the enemy's motion. Next morning we marched ten miles round, and came in on the main road above Dorchester, but the enemy not stirring out, we returned to our encampment, fifteen miles.

On the 29th moved our encampment three miles. We lay on this ground till the 3rd of May, and marched to Drayton's Cowpens. Same evening marched and encamped near McQuin's, seven miles.

On the 29th of April there land had like to have happened and accident to General Greene, which would have proved of fatal consequence. A woman living on Ashley River invited him and his lady to dinner to her house, she giving information thereof to the British Commandant at Charlestown, giving him notice of the day on which Gen. Greene, his lady, and two Aides-de-Camp were to be at her house. Upon which a gentleman in town and one who was a friend to his country took notice of their conference, and coming the day appointed to this woman's house, there found General Greene, his lady, and two Aides-de Camp, and giving him to understand that he was not safe in that place, for that there was a plot laid for him; upon which he immediately quitted the place, and had not been gone twenty minutes when the house was surrounded by a number of the British Horse, the officer riding up and demanding General Greene, when, to his sad disappointment, he was gone, upon which he immediately went off with his guard, being vexed that he was so sadly disappointed.

On the eleventh of May the horse and infantry, and a detachment from the main army, consisting of two hundred men under the command of Colonel Egleston, marched to the enemy's lines, the horse and infantry marching round, and entered Goose Creek road, Major Egleston's detachment


Taking the main Charlestown road, and forming a junction about a mile below the Quarter House, where the cavalry went on in front and quite close to the enemy's picquets, in order to draw them on; but, they keeping close in their works, we waited for a considerable time for their coming, after sending several challenges, and daring them to come out. But, finding all our efforts were in vain, we returned towards camp, which we reached on Monday, the 13th, after a march of fifty miles since we left our encampment. We took nine of the enemy prisoners, which were paroled, into town, in order to be exchanged for Colonel Lee's cavalry, which were prisoners in town.

On the eighteenth the horse and infantry marched from McQuin's, and took post on the right flank of the main army; five miles.

On the 24th a detachment of horse and infantry was sent on the enemy's lines, the infantry crossing the Ashley, and lay in ambush for the enemy, the horse marching round by Dorchester, and meeting with a party of the British horse, which they entirely defeated, making twelve prisoners, and returned to camp.

On the 27th another party of our infantry crossed the Ashley in the night, and went to an inn within a mile of Charlestown, and found there three British officers, which they made prisoners, and returned to camp.

On the 5th of June the horse and infantry and a detachment from the main army marched to reconnoitre the enemy's lines, amounting to about three hundred men, and entered the Goose Creek road, where, meeting with nothing to obstruct their passage, returned to camp; thirty miles.

About the 15th of June General Gist,[18] with a detachment from the line consisting, of a hundred men, came and took the command of all the horse and infantry, Colonel Laurens having the command, and acted under General Gist. The 27th of June our horse and infantry moved further down the Ashley River; three miles.

Footnotes in source

  1. From the original in the Library of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania. A few eccentricities of spelling in the MS. have been corrected.

  2. Cheraw Hills. Footnote not in source.

  3. Peedee River. Footnote not in source.

  4. Bancroft, in his account of the battle of Camden, says, Armand disliked his orders and was insubordinate. (See Hist. Of U.S., Cent. Ed., vol. vi. p.278) For a sketch of Armand see the PENNA. MAG. Vol. ii. p.1 et seq.

  5. A descendant of J�ran Kyn, for some account of whom see the following article.

  6. Richard Anderson, of the 4th Maryland Regiment, who died in Philadelphia in 1835. (See Drake's Dict. Of Amer. Biog.)

  7. Henry Hardman.

  8. Killed at the defeat of St.Clair.

  9. William Washington.

  10. For bravery at the battle of Cowpens, Congress presented General Morgan and Col. J. Eager Howard with medals, drawings of which will be found in Lossing's Pictorial Field Book of the Revolution, 1st ed., vol.ii. pp.638-9.

  11. William Davidson, born in Lancaster Co. Pa., in 1746, his father removing to North Carolina in 1750. He was a brave officer, and was repeatedly wounded in the service of his country. (See Roger's Biog. Dict.)

  12. Lieutenant-Colonel Henry Lee, generally known as "Light Horse Harry" 32">

  13. Capt. Edward Oldham. He married a descendant of J�ran Kyn : see p. 301. "To the name of Captain Oldham," says Henry Lee, in his edition of his father's Memoirs of the War in the Southern Department of the United States, p.243 (1827). "too much praise cannot be given. He was engaged in almost every action in the South, and was uniformly distinguished for gallantry and good conduct. With the exception of Kirkwood, of Delaware, and Randolph, of the Legion Infantry, he was probably entitled to more credit than any officer of his rank in Greene's army � a distinction which must place him high on the rolls of fame. In the celebrated charge n the British at Eutaw, of thirty-six men, which he led, all but eight were killed or wounded; yet he forced the enemy." See, also, Scharf's History of Maryland, vol. .ii. p.421.

  14. Perry Benson, of Talbot County, Md.

  15. Colonel Wade Hampton, of S.C., born in 1754, died in 1835. He was a distinguished soldier during the Revolution and the War of 1812, being Colonel and Brigadier-General in the Army of the United States.

  16. These troops, doubtless, belonged to Wayne's command. It was the intention of Washington that Wayne should join Greene in 1781, but this arrangement was changed on account of the Yorktown campaign, and Wayne did not join the Southern Army until the beginning of the year 1782.

  17. The face of mutiny appeared among us a little time past. I hung a sergeant and sent away five others, among whom was Peters the steward. This decisive step put a stop to it, and you cannot conceive what a change it has made in the temper of the army." (Greene to Gen. O. H. Williams, June 6, 1782. See Reed's Reed, vol. ii. P.470). Cf. Greene's Life of Greene, vol. iii. p.450

  18. J Mordecai Gist, of the Maryland Line. He married a descendant of J�ran Kyn: for an account of him see the PENNA MAG., vol. V. p.459 et seq.