The American Revolution in South Carolina

Lenud's Ferry

May 6, 1780

Patriot Cdr:

Lt. Col. Anthony Walton White (VA)
British Cdr:

Lt. Col. Banastre Tarleton






Old District: 

Charles Town District/ Georgetown District
Present County:

Berkeley County/ Williamsburg County

aka Lanneau's Ferry.

Some of the Continentals that had escaped Moncks Corner on April 14th reformed under the command of Lt. Col. Anthony Walton White (who had arrived in SC on April 23rd), and earlier this morning different detachments captured small detachments of British Regulars at Moncks Corner and at Elias Ball's Plantation.

The Continentals, which included Lt. Col. William Washington (3rd Continental Light Dragoons) made their way to the Santee River, where Col. Abraham Buford (VA) was supposed to be waiting with boats. Col. Buford had halted his march to Charlestown when he had learned of the siege and was awaiting new orders at Georgetown. However, Col. Buford was late and had not arrived at the Santee River when the cavalry arrived with their prisoners. Lt. Col. Anthony Walton White decided to rest his men on the south side of the river while he waited for Col. Buford to arrive with boats. Lt. Col. William Washington recommended that they go ahead and cross the river, but Lt. Col. White dismissed this precaution as unnecessary.

In the meantime, Lt. Col. Banastre Tarleton received information about the strength and movement of the Patriots from a Loyalist who had been at Ball's Plantation that morning. At about 3 p.m. on May 6, 1780, Lt. Col. Tarleton attacked Lt. Col. White and Lt. Col. Washington near Lenud's Ferry, South Carolina.

The Continentals were caught completely by surprise. Col. Abraham Buford's men had just arrived, were across the river, and could do nothing but watch the slaughter. Lt. Colonels White and Washington escaped by swimming across the fast-moving river. Forty-one Americans were killed or wounded, sixty-seven more captured. The British lost two dragoons and four horses. All of the British prisoners captured earlier that day escaped and rejoined Lt. Col. Tarleton.

The American "cavalry" was now in complete disarray. Both Lt. Col. Anthony Walton White and Lt. Col. William Washington went to Halifax, North Carolina to begin rebuilding their regiments. Lt. Col. Anthony Walton White went on to VA where he remained until after Lord Cornwallis surrendered at Yorktown on October 19, 1781. He rejoined Major General Nathanael Greene in 1782. Lt. Col. William Washington rebuilt and trained his new recruits in time to rejoin Major General Nathanael Greene in December of 1780 in North Carolina, and was sent with Brigadier General Daniel Morgan and fought with him at the battle of Cowpens on January 17, 1781.

Known Patriot Participants

Known British/Loyalist Participants

1st Regiment of Continental Light Dragoons (VA) led by Lt. Col. Anthony Walton White, with Major John Jameson, Capt. Thomas Pemberton, Capt. John Watts, Capt. Baylor Hill, Capt. John Belfield

3rd Regiment of Continental Light Dragoons (VA) led by Lt. Col. William Washington, with Major Richard Call and Capt. Walker Baylor

1st NC Regiment detachment of one (1) known company, led by:
- Capt. Joshua Hadley

British Legion of Cavalry led by Lt. Col. Banastre Tarleton, with Capt. David Kinlock

17th Regiment of Light Dragoons detachment led by Capt. William Henry Talbot

Georgia Light Dragoons with one company led by,
-Capt. Archibald Campbell



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