American Revolution Timeline

Major General Thomas Sumter

Major General Thomas Sumter

July 12, 1780 – At Williamson’s Plantation, South Carolina, the Patriot forces of Thomas Sumter’s command defeated Loyalist Christian Huck and his forces. Huck was killed.

July 12, 1780 – At Cedar Springs, South Carolina, a spartan regiment of Patriots ambushed the Loyalist attacking party.

July 13, 1780 – At Gowen’s Old Fort, South Carolina, Georgia Patriots attacked a Loyalist camp and defeated them.

July 25, 1780 – General Horatio Gates assumes command of the Southern Continental Army.

July 30, 1780 – At Rocky Mount, South Carolina, Thomas Sumter’s troops attacked British post but were forced to withdraw.

July 30, 1780 – At Hanging Rock I, South Carolina, North Carolina Royalists were attacked by North Carolina Patriots who succeeded in capturing weapons and horses.

August 3, 1780 – Benedict Arnold is appointed the commander of West Point. Unknown to the Americans, he has been secretly collaborating with British General Henry Clinton since May 1779 by supplying information on General George Washington’s tactics.

August 6, 1780 – At Hanging Rock II, South Carolina, Thomas Sumter attacked British post and inflicted heavy casualties but was forced to retreat.

Aug 15, 1780 – At Kershaw County, South Carolina, Patriot militia attacked and captured Carey’s Fort and took a supply convoy from Ninety-Six.

Battle of Camden, South Carolina, B. Patrick White

Battle of Camden, South Carolina, B. Patrick White

Aug 16, 1780 – In the Battle of Camden, South Carolina, Major General Horatio Gates and the Continental Army were badly defeated by Lord Charles Cornwallis and the British forces.

Aug.18, 1780 – At Fishing Creek, South Carolina, Lieutenant Colonel Banastre Tarleton surprised Thomas Sumter’s command and defeated it.

August 18, 1780 – At Musgrove’s Mill, South Carolina, frontier riflemen and militiamen lured the British into an ambush and defeated them.

August 25, 1780 – At Nelson’s Ferry, South Carolina, Francis Marion attacked a British convoy and released 150 Americans who had been taken prisoner at the Battle of Camden.

September 4, 1780 – At Blue Savannah, South Carolina, Francis Marion led British Loyalists into an ambush and defeated them.

September 14-18, 1780 – Elijah Clarke attacked McKay’s Trading Post, in Georgia but, was driven off when the British relief column arrived. American prisoners taken were hanged or turned over to the Cherokee to be tortured and killed.

Lieutenant Colonel William Davie

Lieutenant Colonel William Davie

September 21, 1780 – Lieutenant Colonel Davie attacked Banastre Tarleton at Wahab’s Plantation, North Carolina and captured horses and equipment.

September 23, 1780 – A British major in civilian clothing is captured near Tarrytown, New York. He is found to be carrying plans indicating Benedict Arnold intends to turn traitor and surrender West Point. Two days later, Arnold hears of the spy’s capture and flees West Point to the British ship Vulture on the Hudson River. He is later named a brigadier general in the British Army and will fight the Americans.

September 26, 1780 – Lieutenant Colonel Davie and 150 American soldiers ambushed Tarleton’s Legion at Charlotte, North Carolina but, were driven off by reinforcements.

September 28-29, 1780 – At Black Mingo, South Carolina Francis Marion attacked a Loyalist encampment and drove them into the swamp.

October 14, 1780 – General Nathanael Greene is named as the new commander of the Southern Army, replacing General Gates. Greene then begins a strategy of rallying popular support and wearing down the British by leading General Charles Cornwallis on a six-month chase through the backwoods of South Carolina, North Carolina, and Virginia.

October 7, 1780 – Frontier militia from North Carolina, Virginia, Georgia and South Carolina surrounded Patrick Ferguson’s force at Kings Mountain, South Carolina and defeated them. This was a decisive victory for the Patriots and a turning point in the Revolutionary War.

October 25, 1780 – Francis Marion routed a Loyalist force under Samuel Tynes at Tearcoat Swamp, South Carolina.

November 9, 1780 – At Fish Dam Ford, South Carolina, a search and destroy mission by the British was intended to murder Thomas Sumter. A night attack failed and the British retreated leaving their wounded.

November 20, 1780 – Lieutenant Colonel Banastre Tarleton pushed his cavalry in pursuit of Thomas Sumter and attacked at Blackstocks, South Carolina. The British were beaten back with heavy casualties.

December 2, 1780 – General Nathanael Greene assumes command of the Southern Army.

December 12, 1780 – At Long Cane, South Carolina, an attack by Americans against a British force four times their number resulted in Georgia militia leader, Elijah Clarke, sustaining serious wounds.

December 12, 1780 – At Halfway Swamp , South Carolina, Francis Marion engaged large Loyalist group which retreated. An attempt to trap the Loyalists at Singleton’s Mill, South Carolina failed when it was discovered that the Singleton family had smallpox.

December 30, 1780 – Brigadier General Daniel Morgan sent Colonel William Washington with Continental Dragons and mounted militia to attack Georgia Loyalists at Hammond’s Store, South Carolina. The Loyalists suffered 150 casualties.


January 3, 1781 – Mutiny among Americans in New Jersey as troops from Pennsylvania set up camp near Princeton, New Jersey and choose their own representatives to negotiate with state officials back in Pennsylvania. The crisis is eventually resolved through negotiations, but over half of the mutineers abandon the army.

Battle Of Cowpens

Battle Of Cowpens

January 17, 1781 – In the Battle Of Cowpens, South Carolina, Brigadier General Daniel Morgan defeated Lieutenant Colonel Banastre Tarleton and his army of British regulars. This was the turning point of the Revolution, as British troops never recovered from this defeat.

January 20, 1781 – In Pompton, New Jersey, there is mutiny among American troops. The rebellion is put down seven days later by a 600-man force sent by General George Washington. Two of the leaders are then hanged.

January 24-25, 1781 – Francis Marion and Light Horse Harry Lee captured Georgetown, South Carolina.

February 1, 1781 – North Carolina militia were defeated as they attempted to prevent Lord Charles Cornwallis from crossing the Catawba River at Cowan’s Ford, North Carolina.

February 1, 1781 – At Tarrant’s Tavern in North Carolina, Tarleton’s Legion charged a force of North Carolina militia with sabers inflicting heavy casualties.

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