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Blue Savannah, South Carolina

Blue Savannah, South Carolina

BLUE SAVANNAH, SOUTH CAROLINA. 4 September 1780. After his successful coup at Great Savannah, on 20 August, Colonel Francis Marion led his fifty-two mounted men swiftly east to escape pursuit and camped sixty miles away, at Ports Ferry on the Peedee River. Although he now was safe from attack from the west, where the British forces were located, danger developed to the northeast when Major Micajah Ganey called out his Loyalist militia and started down the Little Peedee early on 4 September. Although outnumbered nearly five to one, Marion marched to meet this threat. His advance guard under Major John James located and routed a forty-five-man advance guard under Ganey's personal leadership. When Marion saw the remaining two hundred Loyalist militia under Captain Jesse Barefield, who had defected from the South Carolina Continentals, he retreated to the Blue Savannah swamp, circled to set up an ambuscade, and routed Barefield's men by a sudden charge. The Loyalists delivered one volley, wounding three men and killing two horses, before heading for the swamps. This success broke the spirit of the Loyalists east of the Peedee and brought sixty volunteers in to double Marion's strength.

Blue Savannah is about sixty miles east northeast of Great Savannah. This put it near Galivant's Ferry, established later.

SEE ALSO Marion, Francis; Port's Ferry, Pee Dee River, South Carolina.

                            revised by Michael Bellesiles

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