Database

Juniper Springs.

What: Skirmish, Col. Myddleton vs. *Maj. John Coffin, 18 June 1781

Other names: West's Old Fields

Where:
33.960234, -81.401245, Juniper Springs and Creek, start of skirmish, per JP
33.934293, -81.391486, Juniper Springs and Creek, end of skirmish, per JP
33.92130, -81.39336, Juniper Springs skirmish historical marker, per JP
33.92624, -81.39235, Juniper Creek, location identified by Daniel Barefoot

Maps: [map notes]

  • 33.960234,-81.401245, Juniper Springs and Creek, start of skirmish, per JP based on tour with Dean Hunt and Leo Redmond.
  • ACME Mapper.
  • National Map
  • Google.
  • Confidence: 4

  • 33.934293,-81.391486, Juniper Springs and Creek, end of skirmish, per JP based on tour with Dean Hunt and Leo Redmond.
  • ACME Mapper.
  • National Map
  • Google.
  • Confidence: 4

  • 33.92130,-81.39336, Juniper Springs skirmish historical marker, per JP based on tour with Dean Hunt and Leo Redmond.
  • ACME Mapper.
  • National Map
  • Google.
  • Confidence: 5

  • 33.92624,-81.39235, Juniper Creek, location identified by Daniel Barefoot, presumably with local input.
  • ACME Mapper.
  • National Map
  • Google.
  • Confidence: 0

Sources:

  • From Jack Parker, based on tour with Dean Hunt and Leo Redmond:
    33.960234, -81.401245, Juniper Springs and Creek, start of skirmish
    33.934293, -81.391486, Juniper Springs and Creek, end of skirmish
    33.92130, -81.39336, Juniper Springs skirmish historical marker, presumably on-side gps mark.

  • GNIS lists no feature in Lexington County SC named Juniper.

  • Barefoot, p.294.

  • Lexington County Highway map:

    Juniper

    Site identified by Daniel Barefoot.

  • SC Historic Highway Marker Guide, p.150: SC historic highway marker (32-18) found here: z=17&n=3752904&e=463576 says that action occurred "several miles north of here on June 18, 1781." Sign is located approximately 33.9159°N, 81.3940. This is 0.71 miles south of the location selected by Barefoot. US-1 runs approximately where the main road is shown on the 1820 Lexington District map. The distance from the historic marker to US-1 is approximately 2.5 miles. If the attack occurred on the main road, it would have been approximately z=17&n=3757455&e=462327. Note that this location is approximately 0.5 miles south of that provided by Jack Parker who presumably made an on-site gps mark.

  • NBBAS:Three P. 274-276
    Juniper Springs, South Carolina
    18 June 1781

    Lord Francis Rawdon marched from Camden to fort at Ninety-Six with a relief force of 2,000 men. Sumter was ordered by Greene to slow down the approaching British relief column. It was not realistic for any of the partisan units to attack Rawdon, but they could conduct hit and run tactics to delay him. Sumter sent two hundred South Carolina State cavalry to William Washington to harass Rawdon’s army on the Ridge Road. He also sent 150 men with Colonel Charles Myddleton and Richard Hampton to harass Rawdon’s rear.

    Myddleton was successful in harassing Rawdon’s foraging parties, and was able to capture and officer and four men. He sent the prisoners away quickly with an escort and prepared to receive any attack that would be coming.

    On the morning of June 18th Major John Coffin, in the British rear guard, set an ambush for Myddleton. When Myddleton’s force engaged the ambush Coffin surrounded the partisan’s flanks and rear with cavalry.

    Myddleton’s cavalry had no swords and his force was not equipped for close combat. They were decimated by the ambush. Four officers and twenty or thirty men were killed or taken prisoner.

    During the fighting Jacob Presnell was lying down behind a tree, firing at the British. He told the men around him, "Damn ‘em, let 'em come one!" Richard Hampton saw that they were surrounded and told his men to retreat, saying "Boys, follow me!" Presnell didn’t get the word to withdraw and stood his ground until the British were close to him. He looked around and noticed that he was alone and quickly ran for his unbridled pony. He jumped on the horse, but it would not move a step. He jumped back off again and grabbed the pony’s mane, and "holding his rifle in his other hand he kicked the poney in the side." He stayed on the side not exposed to enemy fire, and ran off the field. He rendezvoused with the rest of his force at Hollow Creek Swamp.

    Myddleton’s cavalry became severely demoralized and only forty-five men could be reorganized after the ambush. Sumter reported the loss of his cavalry to Greene and told him that it would be very difficult to join him at Ninety-Six.

    Daniel Stinson told Draper that Vaudant’s Old Field was used by the British as a collection point for their dead and wounded after the skirmishing with Sumter’s mounted troops in June. The British would bury their dead beside a "big post oak". The British hanged two of their own men, reason’s unknown, from that post oak. In the middle of the hanging they thought Sumter’s partisans had come back and they quickly left the area. The two men hanged there for three months until they were found, cut down and buried. William Calk said that he saw four British graves, four American graves, and the two who had been left to hang.

    The British continued on to Fort Ninety-Six. Five miles from the Juniper Springs battlefield Daniel Stinson said that they "came on an old man named Palmer, whom they killed without mercy."

  • Sherman, "Calendar...". p.385. To avoid long downloads, use option to "Save and view this PDF in Reader".

  • RevWar75 RevWar75   listing. 6/18/1781. Juniper Springs (West's Old Field). British victory.

    Related sites:

    Submitted by: Patrick O'Kelley. Located by Jack Parker.

    Confidence level: See above.