Stono Ferry - Rattlesnake.

What: Skirmish, Capt. Abel Frisbie Rattlesnake vs. Captain Wulff, Brit. inf. & Capt.Christian Vigilant & Maj.Endemann, Hessians, 23 May 1779

Other names:

Where: 32.749424 -80.160325 Stono Ferry - Rattlesnake

Maps: [map notes]


  • E. Lee Spence, B.I.S., D.M.H., Shipwrecks of South Carolina and Georgia, Spence's List 1520-1865, Sea Research Society, Sullivan's Island, SC, 1984, p.252.
    The South Carolina armed schooner (or row-galley) Rattle Snake (or Rattlesnake), Abell Frisbee (or Frisby, or Frisbie) commanding, was set on fire by her crew in the Stono River, South Carolina, to prevent her from falling into the hands of the British in February, 1780. The British had attacked her from the banks of the Stono with 60 Hessian grenadiers under Captain Wolf, armed with two field pieces, and musketry. The British suffered the loss of their captain and the greater part of their men. Frisbie and his men escaped and made it through the British lines to the American camp at Bacon's bridge on the Ashley River. The Rattle Snake's full complement of men was set at 50 men by the South Carolina Navy Board on October 19, 1776 (Note: Edward McCrady, in his work History of South Carolina in the Revolution places his account of the destruction of the Rattle Snake under his chapter on events of 1778 in his first volume on the Revolution in South Carolina, and gives the date as June, 1779, in an appendix in his second volume.)

  • Terry Lipscomb,
  • Archive "South Carolina Revolutionary Battles: Part II". pp.XXI:, Names in South Carolina, Vol.XXI, Winter 1974, p.25.
    On another occasion, Captain Abel Frisbie in the American schooner Rattlesnake was fired on by sixty British grenadiers on the banks of the Stono. The Americans drove off the British, but were forced to set fire to their vessel to prevent its capture by the enemy, and then make their escape on land.

  • Edward McCrady, The History of South Carolina in the Revolution, 1775-1780, 1901, Macmillan & Co., Ltd., 398
    While General Provost lay near the town several armed vessels brought him supplies from Savannah. To intercept this communication Captain William Hall, in the brig Notre Dame, Captain Tryon, in the brig Beaufort, Captain Anthony, in the brig Bellona, and some other private armed vessels put to sea under the direction of the navy board. They fell in with seven British vessels near Stono, two of which were taken and brought safe into Charlestown; one was blown up, the rest escaped. About the same time sixty grenadiers of the British army, with two field-pieces and musketry, attacked the American schooner Rattlesnake from the banks of the Stono. Her gallant commander, Frisbie, repulsed the assailants with the loss of their captain and the greater part of his men; but finding it impossible to escape with his vessel, set her on fire and conducted his wounded men with the rest of his crew safely through the country, though in possession of the enemy, to the American camp at Bacon's bridge.1

    1 Ramsay's "Revolution", vol. II, 71, 72.

  • Edward McCrady, The History of South Carolina in the Revolution, 1780-1783, 1901, Macmillan & Co., Ltd., 744-745
    From table: [action #]18, [battle or action]Schooner Rattlesnake (Stono), [date]June 1779, [American commander]Frisby, [British force]60, [comment]British loss, captain and greater part of men

  • NBBAS:One. p285-287. Stono Ferry, 23 May 1779, Capt. Paul Frisbie, 40 Americans killed or wounded, British Capt. William Wulff, unk. no. troops, Capt. Brabazon Christian, Sloop of war, Vigilant, Maj. Endemann, Hessians, 44 killed or wounded. Numerous references, p.429. Draw.
    Revlist post Basis for location and date.

  • Sherman, "Calendar...". Not found. To avoid long downloads, use option to "Save and view this PDF in Reader".

  • RevWar75 RevWar75  
  • Jun 1776 listing. 6/16/1776 Stono Creek, Charlestown Bar. Draw.
  • Jun 1777 listing. 6/14/1777 Stono Inlet. Draw.
  • May 1779 listing.
    5/20/1779 Mathew's Plantation. British victory.
    5/23/1779 Stono River. Draw.
  • Jun 1779 listing.
    6/1/1779 13 Mile-House, Stono Ferry. Insufficient data.
    6/20/1779 Stono Ferry. Draw.
    6/1779 Mouth of the Stono River. Naval action. Draw
    6/22 - 23/1779 Stanyarne's and Eveleigh's Plantation. American victory.
  • Feb 1780 listing. 2/22/1780 Stono. American victory.
  • Mar 1780 listing. 3/5/1780 Stono River. Draw.

Related sites: Stanyarnes,   Stono River (mouth),   Stono Ferry,   Mathews Plantation,  

Confidence level: 4