Bear Island   Buckingham Landing  
Bear Island, Buckingham Landing

Other names:

16 Dec 1780, unknown vs. detachment of GA Militia (loyalist) / 1782, Capt. James Doharty vs. *Richard Pendarvis, ambush, murder.

32.2302035 -80.79927504 Buckingham Landing, "Bear Island"
32.6118503 -80.44510316 Bear Island

Maps: [map notes]


  • Joseph Johnson, Traditions and Reminiscences, Chiefly of the American Revolution in the ..., 1851, Walker & James, p.445-446
    Captain James Doharty took command of Fort Lyttleton, near Beaufort, with fifty men, in March, 1779, and held the rank of captain in the partisan army of South-Carolina. When Colonel Harden retired to the interior and joined Marion, Doharty succeeded to the command of his division, and kept up the discipline and active scouting which Harden had instituted and instructed his men to pursue. Doharty was a bold and energetic officer, and, in the continued warfare which was carried on between the whigs and The southern part of South-Carolina had also many records of vindictive murders, committed in the name of patriotism, and, at the time, supposed by their deluded perpetrators to be justifiable. ories, proved a trusty leader to his friends, and an object for vengeance with his enemies. In one of his excursions, he attacked a British galley, anchored in Savannah river. His well-directed fire killed several, and cleared the decks, but he had no boats, or any means of cutting the cable, and warping her on shore. On the retreat of his party, the British fired their cannon with grape shot into the woods, but without injury. When the men had retired far enough, they were halted and seated on a tree to rest. A random shot from the galley now struck a sapling close to them, cut it off and struck one of the men on his body, but being spent, it fell harmless at his feet. Richard Pendarvis, who lived about twelve miles off from Doharty's, was a thorough tory, and the most bitter and deadly hatred arose between them, who had hitherto lived as neighbors and friends. Threats and messages of defiance had passed between them, and at last came to issue. Doharty lived on Bear Island, in the rear of Pinckney's, and it was always accessible on horseback. While here, Doharty received information from a widow lady, that Pendarvis, with a party of tories, would attack him that night. His three nephews, John and William Leacroft, and the late Colonel Talbird being with him, they, in consultation, determined to lay in ambush, and await the coming of their enemies. But they delayed the movement too long. When leaving the house for that purpose, as Doharty stepped into the yard, he was hailed and asked, " are you Captain Doharty ?" Instead of answering promptly, he turned to his nephews, and told them, " fly, we are too late." He then answered, that he was Doharty, and was immediately shot down, but not killed; he held his gun in his hand, and asked his enemies to come and shake hands with him before he died, hoping to retaliate on some of them; but they knew better. There being a fire in the yard, they saw where he lay, fired a second volley and killed him. They then entered the house, seized William Leacroft, a lad, about fourteen years of age, and tied a cord round his neck, to make him tell where the other two nephews might be found. After repeatedly suspending him, until half dead, and being always answered, that if he knew he would not tell, they admired his firmness, and desisted. The body of Captain Doharty was buried by his friends at " Whale Branch," on Port Royal Island, and Pendarvis prepared to move away to St. Augustine ; but, almost at the moment of embarkation, he and his associate, Patterson, were both killed by John Leacroft, the nephew of Doharty. After the peace, Leacroft retired to his plantation, on Hilton Head, and lived many years, but left no family.

  • RoyalProvincial.Com, "War Chronology, 1780"
    20 Dec 1780, Bear Island, South Carolina, detachment of Georgia Militia (loyalist)

  • Lawrence Sanders Rowland, Alexander Moore, The History of Beaufort County, South Carolina, 1996, Univ of South Carolina Press, p.239-240. Gives date as 1782 and location as "probably Buckingham Landing".

  • RevWar75 RevWar75  
  • Dec 1780 listing 12/20/1780 Bear Island. Insufficient data. Per Braisted.

Related locations:
Fort Lyttleton

Confidence level:: See above