Dorchester Creek

Other names:

21 Apr 1782, Skirmish, Capt. O'Neal vs. *Capt. Geo. Dawkins.
26 Apr 1782, Skirmish.

Where: 32.952418 -80.170101 Dorchester Creek

Maps: [map notes]

  • Modern Dorchester County highway map:

    Dorchester Cr

  • Terry Lipscomb, "South Carolina Revolutionary War Battles", Part Nine, Names in South Carolina, XXVIII, Winter 1981, p.33, 35.
    At this time, the Legion was the element of Greene's army that was most actively involved in opposing the movements of the British, but it should be noted that the unit was no longer under the personal supervision of Light Horse Harry Lee. That well-known partisan leader had resigned his command early in February and had returned to Virginia. During the entire period that the army lay at Bacons Bridge, the Legion, together with the other light troops, was under the command of a South Carolinian, Lieutenant Colonel John Laurens.5

    Footnote: 5 Johnson, Life of Greene, vol. 2, p. 328

    The cavalry of the Legion was involved in an engagement that took place about a month after the Alligator incident, and just after a mutiny had been narrowly averted in the American camp. Upon the discovery of a conspiracy among some of the Continental troops, General Greene had taken swift action to crush it, and the ringleader had been court -martialed and shot. It appeared, however, that the traitors had been in communication with the enemy, and the British were advancing troops to coordinate their efforts with the mutineers. On the morning of April 21, the Patriot cavalry under Captain Ferdinand O'Neal proceeded across Bacons Bridge to patrol the east side of Ashley River in the direction of the Quarter House. O'Neal soon discovered that a party of British horse under Captain George Dawkins had penetrated north of the American position as far as Slanns Bridge (where U.S. 17-A now crosses the Ashley River). The Patriots advanced rapidly toward the town of Dorchester and encountered the British patrol as it was leaving the village on its return southward. The two cavalry units charged each other, but before either side had gained an advantage, a second party of enemy cavalry, dismounted and armed with carbines, ambushed the Americans. O'Neal's men took the only avenue of retreat open to them, heading directly away from the river on the Gaillard Road. The Americans lost three or four killed and wounded, and nine men and fifteen horses captured by the enemy.6 The engagement evidently took place on the eastern outskirts of Dorchester near the bridge over Bossua or Boshoe Creek, which is today known as Dorchester Creek. Several roads in the country north of Charleston have been called Gaillard Road, but it seems clear that the Gaillard Road referred to in connection with this skirmish was the public road leading from Dorchester to Moncks Corner by way of Goose Creek, or modern state secondary road 230 in Dorchester County.

    Footnote: 6 Garden, Anecdotes., pp. 367-68; Lee, Memoirs, pp. 548-49; The Royal Gazette, April 24, 1782; William Seymour, "A Journal of the Southern Expedition, 1780-1783," PMHB, vol. 7, p. 389; SCHM, vol. 27, p. 14; Greene to the President of Congress, May 18, 1782, Continental Congress Papers, Item 155; Johnson, Life of Greene, vol. 2, pp. 319-20.

  • NBBAS:Volume Four:
    21 Apr 1782, Skirmish, Capt. O'Neal vs. Capt. Geo. Dawkins, p.55-58, Volume Four. Revlist post.
    26 Apr 1782, Skirmish. [Likely included in p.55-58, Volume Four].

  • Sherman's Calendar.... Search for dorchester. 77 returns (for 1780-1781), most are relevant. To avoid long downloads, use option to "Save and view this PDF in Reader".

  • RevWar75 RevWar75  
  • Apr 1782 listing: 4/21/1782 Dorchester. Draw.
  • Apr 1782 listing: 4/26/1782 Dorchester. Draw.
  • 10 returns for Dorchester, SC

    Related locations:
    Dorchester   Fort Dorchester   Fair Spring   Horse Savannah  

    Confidence level:: See above.