The American Revolution in South Carolina

  Yamacraw Bluff

  March 2-3, 1776

Patriot Cdr:

Col. Lachlan McIntosh (GA)
British Cdr:

Capt. Andrew Barkley




Included in Above


Old District: 

Beaufort District
Present County:

Jasper County

aka Battle of the Rice Boats. aka Hutchinson's Island (GA).

The Battle of Yamacraw Bluff took place in the Savannah River on the border between Georgia and South Carolina. The battle pitted the Patriot Militia against the proud British Navy.

In the early days of the war, Georgia had managed to remain relatively neutral in the conflict. In early 1776, Georgia's Royal Governor James Wright ordered the provisioning of several British warships anchored in the Savannah River. The militia-sympathizing assembly refused to allow this and drove Governor Wright out of the capital. Governor Wright, along with several dozen Loyalists, took shelter on the warships.

Further north on the Savannah River, a group of Patriot merchant ships carrying rice was attacked by British warships on March 2nd, and their cargoes of rice were seized. The Georgians reacted quickly. About 600 Georgian Militia joined by about 500 Patriots from South Carolina set the ship Inverness ablaze and cut it loose. The fire ship, a weapon consisting of a ship carrying explosives that was set adrift to destroy enemy ships, drifted into the British brig, HMS Nelly. These two ships drifted downstream, setting three more ships on fire. The British squadron was forced to retire.

Twelve of the rice boats were able to run the gauntlet along the Savannah side of the river only to be captured and to have the rice confiscated by the Royal Navy to provision British troops in Boston.

Known Patriot Participants

Known British/Loyalist Participants

Col. Lachlan McIntosh - Commanding Officer

GA Continentals (?) with the following three (companies): 

St. John's Rangers led by Capt. James Screven with Lt. Daniel Roberts

St. John's Riflemen led by Capt. John Baker

Artillery Company led by Unknown, with three 4-pounders and five swivel guns

GA Militia led by Unknown, with ten (10) companies led by:
- Capt. Matthew Lyle
- Capt. Luke Mann
- Capt. James Lambert
- Capt. John Duhart
- Capt. Francis Stringer
- Capt. John Royal
- Capt. Joseph Atkinson
- Capt. John Gasper Greiner
- Capt. John Conyer
- Capt. David Russell

GA fireship Inverness - Capt. McGillivray

SC Militia - 500 men, led by Unknown, companies unknown.

HMS Scarborough, Capt. Andrew Barkley - Commanding Officer, with 145 men and 30 guns

HMS Hinchenbrook - Lt. Alexander Ellis, with 8 guns

HMS Cherokee - Lt. John Ferguson, with 50 men and 15 guns

HMS St. John - Lt. William Grant

Transport Whitby, with 16 guns

Transport East Florida Symmetry, unknown captain

3 Loyalist Schooners - Unknown captains

40th Regiment of Foot detachment led by Major James Grant - one company

Royal Marines led by Major John Maitland with 200 men





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