American Revolution Timeline

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 back woods 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.

Lighthorse Harry Lee

Lighthorse Harry Lee

February 25, 1781 – At Haw River, North Carolina, Loyalists were tricked into believing that they were being reviewed by Banastre Tarleton when they actually had encountered Lieutenant Colonel Light Horse Harry Lee whose Continental Legion wore green jackets as did Tarleton’s men. Lee ordered a saber attack and butchered the Loyalists. This tended to intimidate the Loyalists in that area.

March 6, 1781 – At Wiboo Swamp, South Carolina, Francis Marion began a retreating action which thwarted the British column led by Colonel Watson.

March, 1781 – Colonel Hugh Horry’s troops held the Mount Hope Swamp, South Carolina while Francis Marion withdrew.

March, 1781 – McCottrey’s Rifles, a unit of Marion’s Brigade, inflicted heavy casualties on Samuel Tynes with deadly accurate fire from long rifles at Lower Bridge of the Black River, South Carolina.

March, 1781 – While Francis Marion was fighting Samuel Tynes, another British unit attacked his camp at Snows Island, South Carolina. Defenders destroyed all the supplies before they fled the position.

March 15, 1781 – In the Battle of Guilford Court House, North Carolina, Major General Nathanael Greene opposed Lord Cornwallis. Greene retreated in good order leaving the field to Cornwallis. Although the British technically won that battle, Charles Cornwallis had lost 28% of his army in the encounter.

March 28, 1781 – Marion’s Brigade, still pursued by Samuel Tynes, now forced Tynes to retreat. Francis Marion followed and destroyed the rear guard as they attempted to cross the river at Sampit Bridge, South Carolina.

April 15-23, 1781 – Light Horse Harry Lee and his Legion joined Francis Marion in a siege of Fort Watson, South Carolina, which was built on an Indian mound. A tall log tower was erected with a platform on top shielding riflemen who overlooked the fort. British surrendered.

April 25, 1781 – At Hobkirk Hill, South Carolina, Nathanael Greene and the Continental Army engaged the British forces under Lord Rawdon who won the field. Greene retreated.

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