Lenud's Ferry, South Carolina

views updated

Lenud's Ferry, South Carolina

LENUD'S FERRY, SOUTH CAROLINA. 6 May 1780. After the American defeat at Monck's Corner, South Carolina, on 14 April, the survivors of this action and some fresh cavalry troops from the North gathered at several places on the Santee River. On 5 May Colonel Anthony Walton White crossed the river at Dupui's Ferry and the next morning captured an officer and seventeen light infantrymen at a plantation belonging to the Loyalist Colonel Elias Ball, four miles from Awendaw Bridge. White then headed for Lenud's (often spelled "Lenew's" or "Laneau's") Ferry on the Santee where Colonel Abraham Buford was located with 350 men of his Third Virginia Continental Regiment and a small body of Colonel William Washington's horse. Buford had reached this point in his march to reinforce Charleston, forty miles away, when he learned of the town's surrender and was ordered by Huger to withdraw to Hillsborough, North Carolina.

That same day Tarleton, by coincidence, was moving north with 150 dragoons to reconnoiter Lenud's Ferry. Encountering Colonel Ball, who provided intelligence of the earlier action, he pushed forward with great expedition and about 3 p.m. attacked White at the ferry as he was about to join Buford. There was no contest: White's troopers were surprised by the sudden charge, and Buford's men were standing around the ferry unprepared for action. Tarleton reported 5 American officers and 36 men killed or wounded and 7 officers and 60 dragoons captured. He also claims to have taken all the rebel horses. The British prisoners, who were being ferried across the Santee, freed themselves by pushing their guards overboard in the midst of the action. Tarleton lost 2 men and 4 horses, but an additional 20 horses perished from fatigue on their return to camp. Colonels White and Washington and Major John Jameson joined those who escaped by swimming the river; a number were drowned in the attempt. Buford met Tarleton next at Waxhaws on 29 May.

SEE ALSO Charleston Expedition of Clinton in 1780; Monck's Corner;Waxhaws, South Carolina.


A History of the Campaigns of 1780 and 1781 in the Southern Provinces of North America. 1787. Reprint, Spartanburg, S.C.: Reprint Company, 1967.

                                  revised by Carl P. Borick