South Carolina Department of Archives and History
National Register Properties in South Carolina

Battle of Hanging Rock Historic Site, Lancaster County (off U.S. Hwy. 521, Heath Springs vicinity)
S1081772900301 S1081772900302 S1081772900303 S1081772900304 S1081772900305
Hanging Rock
and Historical Marker
Boulders in Vicinity Field Hanging Rock Creek Indian Ford
across Hanging
Rock Creek

As part of a series of strongholds planned to maintain the British position in South Carolina, an outpost was established at Hanging Rock in 1780. The importance of this post was in its strategic location on the road from Camden to Charlotte. The first American attack on the post occurred on July 30, 1780, led by Major William Richardson Davie, with forty dragoons and forty mounted riflemen. Davie’s attack on a garrisoned house near the fort, and not the fort itself, was successful; he took about 60 horses and 100 stand of arms. On August 5, 1780, General Thomas Sumter crossed the Catawba River 20 miles north of Rocky Mount at Land’s Ford, where about 500 North Carolinians under Major Davie and Colonel Robert Irwin joined his 300 South Carolina militiamen. They marched 16 miles during the night and reached Hanging Rock Creek early Sunday morning. The British garrison was held by 1,400 men under the command of Major Carden of the Prince of Wales Regiment. Sumter’s surprise attack began at six o’clock with the men advancing across the creek against Bryan’s Tory militia. Sumter meant to attack the entire British line, but misjudged; the American units met instead the northern end of the British line. Sumter’s troops then attacked the main British camp. The British retreated further south to Colonel Robinson’s camps, but Sumter moved in and took two-thirds of that camp also. After three hours of fighting, many of Sumter’s men were unable to continue the battle. It was agreed to plunder the British camp and depart. Listed in the National Register December 31, 1974.

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