Historic Markers Across South Carolina

Disaster in South Carolina

Marker ID:  
Location: Buford Battleground County Park on Rocky River Road, Lancaster, SC
County: Lancaster
Coordinates: N 34° 44.513    W 080° 37.567
  34.74188333    -80.62611666


Disaster in South Carolina

A Declaration
After years of tension over taxation and trade, the America colonies declared their independence from Great Britain in 1776. The British Government was determined not to let the colonies go without a fight.

The Fight for Independence Moves South
Four years later the British were poised to win. With a stalemate in the north, British General Henry Clinton set out to capture Charleston. In February 1780, he landed 8,500 men near Savannah and in April besieged Charleston.

American General Benjamin Lincoln (right) brought in all available Continental troops and militia to the city and urgently asked for reinforcements. In response, North Carolina and Virginia sent veterans and drafted citizens to help. Colonel Abraham Buford commanded a Virginian unit, called the "Third Provisional Regiment."

A Doomed Journey
Buford's 350 Virginians marched south and arrived at Camden on April 25. Here, they received orders to proceed to Charleston and join Colonel Anthony White's cavalry. On May 6, Buford's men belatedly arrived at Lenud's Ferry on the Santee River in time to see White's destruction by Banastre Tarleton's (left) Legion. Six days later General Lincoln surrendered Charleston, over 6,000 men, and 154 cannon to Clinton. It was a disaster for the American cause.

A Fateful Decision
Buford's regiment was the only remaining Continental unit in South Carolina. Joined by Governor John Rutledge (right) and a few cavalry and militia, Buford's regiment and valuable supply wagons retreated to North Carolina. General Cornwallis learned of Buford's retreat and sent Tarleton and his men in pursuit. He caught up with Buford here in the Waxhaws.

What happens next remains a crucial turning point in American history …


Explore more:
Wikipedia - American Revolutionary War
Wikipedia - Battle of Waxhaws
Wikipedia - Banastre Tarleton

SCIWAY - American Revolutionary War in SC