Historic Markers Across South Carolina

Cash-Shannon Duel

Marker ID: SCHM 31-1
Location: Road 22, at entrance of Lee State Park
County: Lee
Coordinates: N 34° 15.097    W 080° 12.104
  34.251617    -80.201733
Style: Free Standing **


This was the site of the last fatal duel fought in S.C., in which Co!. E.B.C. Cash of Cash´s Depot killed Co!. Wm. M. Shannon of Camden on July 5, 1880. This tragedy influenced the S.C. legislature to enact a law in December, 1880, making dueling a crime and requiring public officers, until 1934, to swear they had not been in a due!.

Erected by Lee County Historical Commission - 1963


On July 5, 1880, the last fatal duel fought in South Carolina took place. The players were Colonel E. B. C. Cash of Chesterfield County and Colonel William M. Shannon of Camden, both high spirited antagonists who had been friends for many years and both of whom had a distinguished Confederate War background. The stage for their battle was a sand ridge known as Shannon Hill, just east of Bishopville.

The duel grew out of what Cash termed “charge of fraud” made against his wife by Col. Shannon and Capt. William L. DePass, both attorneys of Camden. After several months, in December 1879, a decision against Mrs. Cash resulted that was later reversed by the Supreme Court. In April, Mrs. Cash was sickened and passed away and Cash resolved to revenge her wrongs!

At first, Cash had sent his challenge to DePass who agreed to meet at the Dubose Bridge, but Depass was arrested and could not fight. The next day Cash received a note from Depass to meet in NC- out of the state! Once again, rumors spread and Depass was arrested.

Cash's son then wrote what he termed "Camden Soliloquies" which finally led to an exchange of letters between Cash and Shannon. On June 27, Shannon demanded to meet and on July 5, 1880 the meeting took place. The first bullet from Cash's pistol was fatal for Shannon and Cash was going to be held accountable.

Col Cash was tried for “Murder” and “Duelling” in Darlington at the October term of court in 1880. A mistrial resulted. On June 21, 1881, he was tried again and this time acquitted. This was the last fatal duel in South Carolina and brought an end to an era in the history of the state.
Source: renruts - Cash - Shannon Duel Site