MarthaBratton

Williamson’s Plantation, Battle of

July 12, 1780

(July 12, 1780). After the British capture of Charleston in May 1780, many Whigs took protection and withdrew to their homes. The New Acquisition District in present-day York County was reputedly the only district in South Carolina where virtually no one took such protection from the British. In June partisan bands formed in the district and struck a Loyalist muster at Alexander’s Old Fields and a garrison of Tories at Mobley’s Meeting House. Lieutenant Colonel George Turnbull, commanding the British garrison at Rocky Mount, dispatched Captain Christian Huck with a detachment of the British Legion, the New York Volunteers, and some local militia in response to these incursions. Captain Huck responded vigorously by insulting the inhabitants and pillaging the countryside. On July 11, 1780, he captured two young rebels melting pewter dishes to make bullets in the home of Captain John McClure and sentenced them to be hanged at sunrise the next day. That evening the British force encamped at the abandoned plantation of James Williamson in the community now known as Brattonsville. The location of the royal encampment reached the patriot forces that same evening. A Whig force of 133 men under the command of Colonels William Bratton, William Hill, Edward Lacey, and Andrew Neel and Captain James McClure resolved to march on the British camp and attack at first light. Dividing their forces in two, the rebels encircled the enemy camp and attacked. Caught by surprise, Huck’s force of about 120 troops offered little resistance. An American sharpshooter felled Captain Huck. Casualties were fairly high for the British troops. However, the Americans only suffered one killed. Popularly known as Huck’s Defeat, the Battle of Williamson’s Plantation was the first significant check on the British advance since their victory at Charleston.

Edgar, Walter. Partisans and Redcoats: The Southern Conflict That Turned the Tide of the American Revolution. New York: Morrow, 2001.

Scoggins, Michael. “Huck’s Defeat: The Battle of Williamson’s Plantation.” Serialized in York County Genealogical & Historical Society Quarterly 13–14 (September 2001–March 2003).

Thomas, Samuel N. The Dye Is Cast: The Scots-Irish and Revolution in the Carolina Back Country. Columbia, S.C.: Palmetto Conservation Foundation, 1997.

Citation Information

The following information is provided for citations.

  • Title Williamson’s Plantation, Battle of
  • Coverage July 12, 1780
  • Author
  • Keywords New Acquisition District in present-day York County, Lieutenant Colonel George Turnbull, commanding the British garrison at Rocky Mount, Whig force of 133 men under the command of Colonels William Bratton, William Hill, Edward Lacey, and Andrew Neel and Captain James McClure resolved to march on the British camp and attack at first light, known as Huck’s Defeat, the Battle of Williamson’s Plantation was the first significant check on the British advance since their victory at Charleston
  • Website Name South Carolina Encyclopedia
  • Publisher University of South Carolina, Institute for Southern Studies
  • URL
  • Access Date October 26, 2020
  • Original Published Date
  • Date of Last Update May 4, 2020
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