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American Revolution: Battle of Great Cane Break (1775)

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December 22, 1775 at Cane Break, South Carolina


Present Day Site

Simpsonville, South Carolina, in Greenville County. DAR marker series inscription reads:

Here along the south side of the creek to Reedy River was fought, Dec. 22, 1775, the Battle of Great Cane Break, between a force of South Carolinians under Colonel William Thompson and a band of Tories under Patrick Cuningham. The Tories were completely routed and Cuningham himself narrowly escaped.

Summary


Following the truce that resulted from the Battle of Ninety-Six, a group South Carolina militia and newly raised Continentals, commanded by Col. Richard Richardson and Col. William Thompson, moved into the region between the Broad River and Saluda River. Their purpose was to break up the Loyalists that were gathering there. Richardson and Thompson was soon joined by 700 North Carolina militia commanded by Col. Thomas Polk and Col. Griffith Rutherford, and 220 Continental regulars commanded by Col. Alexander Martin. All these American forces added up to a total amount of 4,000 troops. On December 22, the Americans attacked and the Loyalists resistence quickly collapsed. Richardson's men managed to capture some Loyalist leaders, including Thomas Fletchall. There was a single Tory unit that did not disband with the initial assault, but they were soon routed by part of Richardson's command.

Conclusion: American Victory

Notable Participants

  • Col. Richard Richardson
  • Col. William Thompson
  • Col. Thomas Polk
  • Col. Griffith Rutherford
  • Col. Alexander Martin
  • Thomas Fletchall
  • Captain Patrick Cunningham

Known Participants

Sources