Black Mingo.

Other names: Shepherd's Ferry, Dollard's Tavern

What: 28 Sep 1780 battle: Col. Marion vs. Col. John C. Ball, skirmish

Where: 33.608803,-79.436456

Maps: [map notes]


  • Black Mingo Cr

  • William Dobien James, Life of Francis Marion. Project Gutenburg. Search for mingo. Biblio.

  • NBBAS:Two, p.316 ff. "...Willtown Bridge, a mile from the Loyalist Camp...Dollard's Tavern...frontal assault on the Tavern.

  • SC Highway Historical Marker Guide, 2nd Ed., rev., p.102: "SC 51, 1.6 miles N of Rhems"

  • Charles Baxley has provided an annotated research map of the Black Mingo area. Click on link or image to see full-size.


    Acme Topo map for centers of identified areas: Search area #1 (upper) and Colonial Area #2 (lower)

  • Jack Parker:
    Lipscomb states that the Tories escaped into the swamp, so Dollard's had to be reasonably close to the swamp, but on high ground. The Delorme map shows the same road on the left side of Highway 41 that would connect to the overlay road to Dollard's. Common sense tells me that Dollard's would not be to the left of Highway 41 as it is too far from the swamp, so it must be on the right side (east) of the highway. This also concurs with the old map showing Dollard's on the right side of the highway.

    The old map did not show any roads and when I applied the scale, the distance from the Black Mingo creek bridge to the southern end of the earthwork (Dollard's end), the distance was 4000'. The distance on the DeLorme map to the short road to the left of Highway 41 from the bridge is 4,635'. Note that this is south of Imperial Drive by 667.5' down Highway 41, where we stopped and took a GPS reading. Therefore, I conclude that the old map earthworks were drawn free hand without using the scale of 1" = 200' as shown on the legend.

    Using the DeLorme profile of the land, I located the Flag for Dollard's Tavern on the highest ground in that immediate vacinity. The bottom of the flag pole is the highest ground. The location is close to the creek/swamp shown on the overlayed TZ map on the right side of Highway 41. DeLorme does not show this creek/swamp. However, DeLorme shows the elevation of the land at my Dollard's Flag to be about 20.5' and just about 150' to the east and southeast, the land drops to about 17' with that elevation all the way to the creek and over to the other side.

    33.608803 N 79.436456 W.

    Without actual artifacts discovered, I would give this location 4 or 5 stars on JR's scale. Lipscomb's account from Part 3, pg 38 next to the last para. in the 2nd column is below:

    "The British soon sent additional troops into the area, increasing the garrison at Georgetown and advancing Major James Wemyss to Kings-tree with the 63rd Regiment. Marion retreated to White Marsh in North Carolina and bided his time while Wemyss marched through the Pee Dee region to Cheraw, burning houses and killing live-stock. Then he and his Patriot followers made a rapid march back into South Carolina. They soon learned that Colonel John Coming Ball's Loyalists were stationed in an exposed position at Shep-herd's Ferry on Black Mingo Creek, Marion and his men moved against the post, attacking at mid-night on September 28, and after a short bloody skirmish, the Tories were driven into the swamp. Ball's troops had been occupying the Red House, a tavern run by Patrick Dollard near the ferry. After the fight, Marion gave most of his men leave to visit their families, and retired with a few followers to a safe retreat.31 Shepherd's Ferry was located where U. S. 41-51 now crosses Black Mingo Creek on the Georgetown-Williamsburg county line. The battle took place just south of the ferry."


  • Sherman, "Calendar..." . Search for black mingo (12 locations). To avoid long downloads, use option to "Save and view this PDF in Reader".

  • RevWar75   listing. 28 September.

Related sites: Willtown Bridge, Shepherd's Ferry, Dollard's Tavern

Confidence level: 4