19 Jan 1781 OR 15 Feb 1781 OR 21 Feb 1781, *Captain John Postell vs. Capt. James Depeyster, capture (PJO, JCP)
Other names: Hasty Point, Belle Rive, Belle Reve
Where: 33.5426684 -79.1739335, Hasty Point Plantation
Maps: [map notes]
- Cook's 1773 SC Map:
- Georgetown 1:250k topo map (since some servers do not have), at 50% scale:
- 1820 Mills Georgetown map shows no surname in vicinity recognizable as having been one of the named owners of Belle Reve. Following map by JCP shows Bossard as the owner in 1820:
- Belle Reve shown as having been owned by Postelle.
- Terry W. Lipscomb, Names in South Carolina, XXIV, "South Carolina Revolutionary Battles: Part Five". pp.XXIV:16, Univ. of South Carolina, Engilish Dept., Winter 1977, p.16,
The following month, Captain John Postell carried out
another successful attack, this time on own father's
house, which had been occupied by British detachment.
Angered by Postell's earlier activities in carrying off
provisions from the Georgetown area, the British had
retaliated by seizing and pillaging the elder John
Postell's Plantation. This was reported to Marion on
January on February 21, Captain James DePeyster, with
officer and 25 men of Fanning's Regiment, were
captured in the house by the younger Postell. Captain
Postell got possessjon of the kitchen and threatened to
set fire to the house unless the British surrendered.18
The Postell plantation was on the the west side of Pee
Dee River in Georgetown County, about five miles
south of Yauhannah Creek.
18. Bass, Swamp Fox. p. 130; James. p. 93; Cornwallis
Papers, PRO 30/11/5, 57-58.
- Terry Lipscomb, Battles, Skirmishes and Actions of the American Revolution in South Carolina, 1991, SC Dept of Archives and History, p.12.
|93. De Peyster's Capture
||NSC 24: 16
- William Dobein James, A Sketch of the Life of
Brig. Gen. Francis Marion, 1821,
"Campaign Of 1781", Search for "depeyster".
On the 18th Jan. Capt. James Depeyster, with twenty-nine grenadiers of
the British army, had posted himself in the dwelling house of the major's
father, and Postell commanded but twenty-eight militia men. Towards day
on the morning after, the major, by knowing well the ground and avoiding
the sentinels, got possession of the kitchen, and summoned Depeyster to
surrender; this was at first refused, and the major set fire to the kitchen. He
then summoned him a second time, with the positive declaration if he did
not surrender he would burn the house; the British being intimidated, laid
down their arms and surrendered unconditionally.
Appendix, search for "grenadiers"
Extract of a Letter from Gen. Marion to Capt. Postell.
~January 19, 1781.~
Your father may keep the canoe you mention. I have received the
prisoners, by Mr. M'Pherson,* and shall give them the pleasure of seeing
I am, dear Sir,
Your obedient servant,
* Depeyster's company of grenadiers.
- David Ramsay, The History of the American Revolution, Vol. 2, 1789. Search for "grenadiers"
The inhabitants, either as affection or vicinity induced them, arranged themselves under some of the militia officers and performed many gallant enterprises. These singly were of too little consequence to merit a particular relation, but in general they displayed the determined spirit of the people and embarrassed the British. One in which Major John Postell commanded may serve as an illustration of the spirit of the times, and particularly of the indifference for property which then prevailed. Capt. James de Peyster of the royal army, with 25 grenadiers, having taken post in the house of the Majorís father, the Major posted his small command of 21 militia men, in such positions as commanded its doors, and demanded their surrender. This being refused, he set fire to an outhouse, and was proceeding to burn that in which they were posted, and nothing but the immediate submission of the whole party restrained him from sacrificing his fatherís valuable property, to gain an advantage to his country.
- NBBAS:Three. p. 81-2.
Hasty Point, South Carolina [i]
14 February 1781 [ii]
Marion had sent Captain John Postelle into the Georgetown area to impede the flow of supplies into the British post. Postelle had learned that Captain James DePeyster had occupied his fatherís home, and he was determined to drive the British out of the house.
On the night of the 14th Postelle and his fourteen partisans crept near the kitchen of his fatherís house, and then waited until morning to strike. When the sun came up Postelle formed his men in four ranks to make their numbers look larger than they were, and rushed the house. He demanded the surrender of DePeyster and his force.[iii] De Peyster asked for some time to make up his mind. Postelle stated that he would not give five minutes, and began to set his fatherís house on fire. While the house was burning Postelle again demanded the surrender. This time DePeyster had his men march out, stack arms and surrender.
When DePeyster surrendered his sword to Postelle he asked, ďWhere are your men?Ē Postelle told him that he only had fourteen men. DePeyster became enraged that he had surrendered to an inferior force. Postelleís mounted men had the prisoners run out of the area before reinforcements came. Later some of the DePeysterís men were able to escape and return to Georgetown with some cattle and a few captured militiamen.
[i] This is also listed as happening in Keithfield, however Postelleís house at Hasty Point (now Belle Rive) is on the Great Pee Dee River, just east of Plantersville
[ii] Other accounts have this skirmish listed as happening on January 19th
[iii] DePeysterís force was twenty-nine men of the Grenadier Company of the Kingís American Regiment
- Barefoot(SC). p. 20-21. Hasty Point Plantation described as scene of DePeyster's capture.
- Both modern Belle Reve and Hasty Point plantations were originally part of a single larger plantation owned by Postelle.
- Sherman's Calendar.... Note: page numbers subject to change with each revision.
Capt.-Lieut. James DePeyster, King's American Regiment
In February 1781, DePeyster and 28 others surrendered and were taken prisoner by Capt. John Postell and a
numerically comparable force of Marionís militia. Regarding DePeyster afterward, a regimental historian writes,
"(w)hether he resigned under a cloud or was cashiered cannot now be determined."
Mid January. Marion, after sending him a reinforcement of 15 men, directed Captain John Postell to collect rice,
and 50 slaves, the latter intended for Greene's army, on the Peedee. The rice was to be moved by boats to
Allston's plantation on Bull's Creek where it was to be stored. The plantation of Postell's own family had been
recently "stripped" by 29 of the Kingís American Regt. under Capt. James DePeyster, operating out of
1255 JFM [James, Marion] ch. 2 , BSF [Bass, Swamp Fox, pp. 130-131.
14-15 February.1472 [surrender] DePeysterís Capture (Georgetown County, S.C.) On the night of the 14th, by
threatening to set fire a house which Capt. James DePeyster and 29 men of the Kingís American Regt. occupied,
Capt. John Postell of Marion's brigade, with 28 men, forced their surrender the next morning. The house
belonged to Postell's own family, and was situated north of Georgetown, in between the Black and Peedee
Rivers. The rebel success no doubt interested the British in taking Postell himself prisoner; which in the ensuing
month they did.1473
1472 McCrady gives the date at 18-19, January, while Lipscomb gives February 21, and the Nase Diary February 15.
1473 JFM [James, Marion, ch. 2, RBG [Ripley, Battleground]p. 138, MSC[McCrady] p. 746, LSC [Lipscomb] p.12.
- Edward McCrady, The History of South Carolina in the Revolution, 1780-1783, 1902, p.746-747. Date shown as 19 January 1781.
- Jan 1781 listing Not found.
- Feb 1781 listing 14 Feb 1781. Given as "Georgetown (Keithfield)". Shown as insufficient info. Per O'Kelley
[Note: Keithfield in an inaccurate description. See 1 and 5 on this map.]
Confidence level: 4