Rocky Mount Battle Site

After the fall of Charleston in May 1780, the British established three military outposts in the backcountry - at Hanging Rock, at Cheraw and at Rocky Mount.  The Rocky Mount outpost consisted of three log cabins with an  earthen abatis surrounding them.  A garrison of 150 New York Loyalists under the command of Lt. Colonel George Turnbull was stationed here.  

On 01 August 1780, a Whig force of 500 men under the command of Thomas Sumter attacked this British outpost.  The British, who had apparently already been informed of the pending attack, were given an opportunity to surrender, but they declined.  After several unsuccessful attempts to storm the compound, the Americans sent a burning wagon up against the cabins and thus set them on fire.  The British were about to give up the struggle when it suddenly began to rain.  The fires were quickly extingushed and the British resumed the battle.  Seeing that the fates were not with him that day, Sumter withdrew his men after eight hours of fierce fighting!

The location of the British post at Rocky Mount is in Fairfield County SC, directly on the Catawba River, just behind the modern-day Dearborn Dam.  It can be reached from US Highway 21 by turning off onto SR 20 and heading east for about three miles, until the river is reached.  There is no SC historical marker.


View of Rocky Mount from behind the Dearborn Dam.


View of the Catawba River from the west bank, at the Rocky Mount Site.


View of the Catawba River from a hill overlooking the site of the British post at Rocky Mount.


Another visitor to the Rocky Mount Site - is the moth a Whig or a Tory!



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