Hog Island Channel

Other names:

Skirmish, Capt. Simon Tufts, Schooner Defense vs. Capt. Edward Thornborough, Sloop of War Tamar, Lt.t John Fergusson, Sloop of War Cherokee, 11 12 Nov 1775

Where: 32.7837874 -79.8834195 Hog Island Channel

Maps: [map notes]


  • Terry Lipscomb, Battles, Skirmishes, and Actions of the American Revolution in South Carolina, SC Dept of Archives & History, 1991,
    Action Date County Reference
    8. Hog Island Channel
    (First SC Battle)
    11-12 Nov Charleston RWB 1:16-19
    RWB: Terry W. Lipscomb, South Carolina Revolutionary War Battles (1991-). A series of booklets published by the SC Archives.

  • Yates Snowden, Harry Gardner Cutler,
  • History of South Carolina, 1920, The Lewis Pub. Co., p.326

    Hostilities between the British and Americans did not result directly from this challenge, but from the sinking of the old schooners which the Congress had purchased to obstruct the channels between the marshes and the mainland of Christ Church parish, known as Marsh and Hog Island channels. To cover that work a schooner, the Defence, with Captain Tufts in command, had been assigned, with thirty-five marines in command of Capt. William Scott. Two of the old schooners bought for the purpose had been sunk in Marsh channel, and it was proposed to sink the other four in Hog Island Creek. Mr. Drayton was aboard the Defence to generally superintend operations. On the 11th of November, the four old hulks, accompanied by the Defence, dropped down the creek, and, under the direction of Captain Blake, they approached their destination. As Mr. Drayton had anticipated and desired, the Tamar opened fire upon them, delivering six shots, which all fell short. The British commander then stopped fire. But Mr. Drayton did not propose that the engagement should end there. When the Defence reached her anchorage, he ordered her two nine- pounders, which had a longer range than any guns on the British sloop, to open fire on the Tamar. The latter replied with three or four shots, and the Defence answered with one. In the meantime, Captain Blake had succeeded in sinking three of the hulks before the turn of the tide, leaving one only unplaced.

    Early in the morning of the 12th of November, 1775, both the Tamar and the Cherokee directed their fire against the Defence from the shelter of Hog Island, and continued it for nearly three hours. All the Charlestown militia and volunteers thereupon took their posts, and a crowd of citizens gathered on the wharves of East Bay to witness the engagement and consult upon the critical situation. The garrison at Fort Johnson also had a small hand in the engagement, as they fired three twenty-six pound shots, one of which fell within a few yards of the Tamar and two passed through the enemy's riggings. In the meantime Captain Blake had scuttled the fourth hulk in Hog Island channel, but the Defence had retreated, and the British commander sent an armed boat to fire the sinking schooner, tow it from the deep channel and sink it in shallow water. Drayton's "Memoirs,'' which contains a spirited account of the engagement, says that between seven and eight o'clock in the morning, the Defence came up to the town and anchored in the stream about opposite to where the Custom House now stands, where Colonel Pinckney and many of the citizens saluted her with cheers; and. in a few minutes after, Mr. Drayton landed on the wharf amidst the congratulations of his fellow-citizens, he having been on board the Defence during the whole affair. Three shots had hit the Carolina boat, but no material damage had been inflicted, and there were no casualties on either side. Still the events were of supreme importance, as acts of war had been committed by both Americans and British, and the Revolution was a certainty.

  • NBBAS:One p.54-58.
    Online, p.54

  • Sherman, "Calendar..." . Search for hog island channel. 2 returns. To avoid long downloads, use option to "Save and view this PDF in Reader".

  • RevWar75 RevWar75  
  • Nov 1775 listing   11/11 - 12/1775, Hog Island Channel, Charlestown Harbor HM Sloop Tamar vs. SC Defence. Draw. Per O'Kelley.

Related locations:
Haddrell's Point, off (Aeolus),   Rebellion Reach,  

Confidence level:: See above.