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“H” is for Hanging Rock, Battle of (August 6, 1780)

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“H” is for Hanging Rock, Battle of (August 6, 1780). After the capitulation of Charleston in May 1780, the British moved quickly to gain a foothold in the South Carolina backcountry. Hanging Rock (named for a large boulder perched on a knob) was one of several outposts situated to protect the main British base at Camden. Colonel Thomas Sumter planned a full assault for August 6th. The patriots struck a concentrated blow and pushed through the center of the line. The Americans’ effective rifle fire nearly obliterated one British regiment. The enemy rallied and many of the American stopped to loot the British Camp. Sumter, learning of the approach of British reinforcements, withdrew with minimal losses. The Battle of Hanging Rock, though not a complete victory, was a significant setback for British forces in the backcountry.

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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.