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“F” is for Fishing Creek, Battle of (August 18, 1780)

“F” is for Fishing Creek, Battle of (August 18, 1780). After the Battle of Camden, Banastre Tarleton and his British Legion pursued the patriot Thomas Sumter and his troops in hopes of recapturing British prisoners and supplies taken by Sumter in a raid just before the battle. Sumter, on the west bank of the Catawba felt secure and halted his command at noon at Fishing Creek. Some men napped and swam in the river, while others lounged around getting drunk. Tarleton crossed the river and in a lightening attack totally surprised Sumter’s command. The Americans suffered heavy casualties and the loss of their British prisoners, arms, ammunition, and supplies. Coming on the heels of the humiliating defeat at Camden, the rout of Sumter’s force at Fishing Creek marked the low point of the patriot cause in South Carolina.

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Dr. Walter Edgar has two programs on South Carolina Public Radio: Walter Edgar's Journal, and South Carolina from A to Z. Dr. Edgar received his B.A. degree from Davidson College in 1965 and his Ph.D. from the University of South Carolina in 1969. After two years in the army (including a tour of duty in Vietnam), he returned to USC as a post-doctoral fellow of the National Archives, assigned to the Papers of Henry Laurens.