The American Revolution in South Carolina


April 22, 1782

Patriot Cdr:

Capt. Ferdinand O'Neal (VA)
Loyalist Cdr:

Capt. George Dawkins



included in above



Old District: 

Charles Town District
Present County:

Dorchester County

Patriot Capt. Ferdinand O'Neal, while on patrol near Dorchester, spotted a body of Loyalist cavalry within the village. Both sides charged at about the same time and a fierce engagement began. After a bugle sounded, British infantry, lying in concealment, arose on both sides of the Patriots. Capt. O'Neal lost nine men captured.

Capt. Ferdinand O'Neal and some of Lee's Legion cavalry proceeded across Bacon's Bridge to patrol east of the Ashley River. As his men neared the town of Dorchester they spotted three of the Black Loyalist dragoons in the town.

In the melee, one of the Black Dragoons was killed and Capt. John Rudolph captured one other. The third one escaped. Capt. Rudolph discovered Capt. George Dawkins passing through Dorchester and both sides charged simultaneously. A bugle sounded and the enemy lying in concealment rose up on all sides armed with carbines. Capt. O'Neal ordered his men to retreat down Gaillard Road, the only way left open for their escape.

Capt. O'Neal lost three or four men killed and nine men captured. He also lost fifteen horses.

Known Patriot Participants

Known British/Loyalist Participants

Capt. Ferdinand O'Neal - Commanding Officer

Lee's Legion (VA), 2nd Mounted Troop led by Capt. Ferdinand O'Neal with 24 men, including Capt. Middleton and Capt. John Rudolph (brother of Maj. Michael Rudolph)

Capt. George Dawkins - Commanding Officer

SC Royalists led by Capt. George Dawkins with 100 men

Independent Troop of Black Dragoons led by Capt. March with 30 men

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