Nov 1780, *Col. Elijah Clarke vs. unk. Loyalist cdr.
Where: 34.45983793 -82.3020636 Rutledge's Ford
Maps: [map notes]
- Terry Lipscomb, Battles, Skirmishes and Actions of the American Revolution in South Carolina, 1991, SC Department of Archives and History, p.10
76. Rutledge's Ford, ca. 1 Dec, Abbeville-Laurens, NSC 30: 12
- Terry Lipscomb, Names in South Carolina, XXX, Winter 1983, p.12, "South Carolina Revolutionary Battles - Part 10", English Dept., Univ. of SC
On the Saluda River about four miles east of Honea Path,
there is another skirmish site that is of more geographical than
historical interest. The incident happened in 1780 after the Battle of
Blackstock's (NSC XXIII:33). Sumter's forces proceeded northward
after that engagement; as they passed the iron works on Lawson
Fork Creek, there was a division of forces, and the Georgians under
Elijah Clarke, John Twiggs, and Benjamin Few struck out westward
along the foothills of the mountain. They were soon joined by South
Carolina troops under Samuel Hammond, James McCall, and Moses
Liddell. The immediate object of the expedition was to attack a
Loyalist fort at "Hoil's old place" on the Saluda River. From
Hammond's account, this must have been located in present
Greenville County in the general vicinity of the S.C. 86 bridge; the
only clue to this puzzling reference is that there was an early settler
in Ninety Six District by the name of Hoyle. Upon learning that the
Patriots were approaching, the Tories abandoned the fort and crossed
the Saluda at Rutledge's Ford, seventeen or eighteen miles down
stream. The opposing parties fought a skirmish across Rutledge
Shoals at rifle range. Although they were separated by the Saluda
River, this affair was conducted in such deadly earnest that several
people were killed on both sides.14 This rocky ford on the Saluda
was located about three quarters of a mile south of the Indian
Boundary line, which now divides Anderson and Greenville
counties from Abbyville and Laurens counties. The ford has been
replaced by a bridge on a secondary road.
14 Johnson, Traditions, pp. 526, 530. Johnson arranged Samuel Hammond's
narratives out of chronological order in his book; the account beginning on
page 530 should be read in sequence after the one ending on page 526.
- Johnson, Joseph, Traditions and Reminiscences, Chiefly of the American Revolution in the ..., 1851, Walker & James
General Sumter, although badly wounded, continued
with his troops, carried on an uncomfortable litter, until
they passed Berwick's iron works ; after which, his
command was divided. A part continued with the
general as an escort, until they reached North-Carolina,
while the Georgians, commanded by Twiggs, Clarke,
Candler and B. Fiew, turned westward, and in a few
days marched towards Ninety-Six, taking their course
along the foot of the mountains.
The Georgians were soon joined by the South-Carolinians,
under McCall, S. Hammond and Liddle, and
proceeded to attack a party of loyalists, forted near
Colonel Hoils' old establishment, on the Saluda.
They marched all night and reached the post at daylight,
but the enemy had evacuated it a little before
our arrival, and passed the Saluda, at Rutledge's ford,
a very rough and roeky pass. Here a smart skirmish
took place at long shot across the river, and several
men were killed on both sides. After this, Colonel
Twiggs retreated seventeen or eighteen miles, to Hoil's
old place, and rested there.
- NBBAS:Two p.373-374.
- Nov 1780 listing 11/1780, Rutledge's Ford (Hoil's Old Place). American victory. Per O'Kelley.
Confidence level:: See above.