The American Revolution in South Carolina

Fair Spring

May 28, 1782

Patriot Cdr:

Lt. Col. John Laurens
British Cdr:

Capt. George Dawkins






Old District: 

Charles Town District
Present County:

Dorchester County

Raid, Ralph Izard vs. Capt. George Dawkins.

The British cavalry continued to make excursions north of Charlestown, and the following month Capt. George Dawkins was again involved in an action with the Patriots. On May 28th, he was defeated below Dorchester by a party under the command of Lt. Col. John Laurens. The Patriots had three men wounded and two horses killed, but they captured one lieutenant, seven dragoons, and ten horses of the enemy.

There is reason to believe that this may have been the same action mentioned by Alexander Garden in his anecdote concerning Ralph Izard's narrow escape.

Ralph Izard had been visiting his plantation, Fair Spring, which was located on the east side of the Ashley River about a mile above Bacons Bridge. The British dragoons surrounded the house, intending to capture him, but Mrs. Izard concealed her husband in a clothespress and put on a brave front for her unwelcome guests. As soon as the British departed, Mr. Izard, who was Lt. Col. John Lauren's Aide-de-Camp, hurried across Bacons Bridge and alerted the American cavalry. The enemy detachment was overtaken and routed as it was returning southward.

Just below on the Ashley River, on its north bank, was the plantation of the Wrights now called "Oak Forest," and below that the residence of one of the branches of the Izard family called "Cedar Grove," well known for the style of its buildings and its gardens.

Above and beyond the road to Bacon's Bridge was the seat of another one of the Izards, on the old grant to William Norman, and called "Burton," and afterwards "Fair Spring," where are still to be seen the remains of a large brick house.

Above this was the site of the original grant to Benjamin Waring, the ancestor of the Waring family, and which during the Revolutionary War was owned by Dr. David Oliphant, a member of the Council of Safety and Surgeon-General of the Continental forces in South Carolina.

Above this again was the old grant and residence of Col. Andrew Percival, always known as "The Ponds" - the chief pond now being "Shulz's Lake." The most pretentious buildings and mansion were those at "Newington," the old Axtell settlement, which through Lady Axtell's daughter, Lady Elizabeth Blake (Lady as the wife of a Landgrave and Lord Proprietor), had descended to Col. Joseph Blake, her husband.

The Newington house was said to have been one of the largest brick houses built in lower Carolina at that period, and with its double avenue of live oaks and wide gardens was at the time of the Revolutionary War one of the "show places," so to say, of the country side.

The Ralph Izard who settled at "Burton," afterwards "Fair Spring," about a mile and a half distant, had married a daughter of Col. Joseph Blake, and a straight road or avenue led from one house to the other.

© 2008 - J.D. Lewis - PO Box 1188 - Little River, SC 29566 - All Rights Reserved