Historic Markers Across South Carolina

Halfway Swamp

Marker ID:  
Location: is on Old River Road, Pinewood, SC
County: Clarendon
Coordinates: N 33° 39.066    W 080° 29.766
  33.6511    -80.4961


Halfway Swamp:
“… In pursuit of a Brother to Kill Him”

In December 1781, Maj. Robert McLeroth and the 64th Regiment were conducting newly-arrived British army recruits of the Royal Fusiliers from Charleston to the High Hills of Santee. Learning of McLeroth’s movement, Col. Francis Marion led some 700 militiamen up the Santee River Road and surprised McLeroth near Halfway Swamp. McLeroth bought time to avoid a battle by proposing a staged combat, twenty men on each side, and then withdrawing his troops north toward Singleton’s Mill during the night.

When Marion discovered McLeroth’s trick the next morning, he sent horsemen under Maj. John James in pursuit. Just beating the British to Singleton’s Mill ~ a large rice plantation and grist mill located ten miles north ~ James’s men seized the buildings and managed to deliver one volley before they realized that the Singletons were ill with smallpox. As quickly as they had come, the Whigs abandoned the plantation to the British. The next day Marion moved his men back down the Santee Road.

British commanders in South Carolina were dissatisfied with McLeroth’s performance in the field, but several Patriot sources attest to his uprightness and generosity. After the skirmishing between Halfway Swamp and Singleton’s Mill, McLeroth took the wounded from both sides to a tavern, paid for two weeks’ lodging, and left an army physician to care for them. When Marion discovered what McLeroth had done, he said to one of his officers: “Well, I suppose I feel now very much as I would feel were I in pursuit of a brother to kill him.”

Erected 2012 by Francis Marion Trail Commission of Francis Marion University.


More information:
Wikipedia - Francis Marion
The Patriot Resource - Francis Marion

The Swamp Fox Murals Trail Society
Francis Marion Trail