The Battle of Eutaw Springs

The Battle:
The Battle of Eutaw Springs, was fought in South Carolina on Sept. 8th, 1781. General Nathanael Greene, who was in command of American forces, was steadily pushing the British back towards Charlestown (renamed Charleston in 1783).On September 8th, around 8:00 a.m. Captain John Coffin and a detachment of his South Carolina Loyalist cavalry were exploring further ahead of Alexander Stewart's main force when he came upon a mounted American scouting party under Major John Armstrong. Coffin pursued Armstrong, who then ended up leading him to a surprise attack. Soon after, Nathanael Greene's force approached Stewart's camp with around 2,200 men while Stewart deployed his force. As the Americans appraoched the British force, they formed two lines in which the militia was in the front line, and the North Carolina, Virginia, and Maryland regulators were in the second line. The British charged the American position and broke the center of the American forces' first line, which was reinforced by the North Carolina Continentals, who were only successful until they became too broken by the British charge. However, when the Virginia and Maryland regulars came to the aid of their comrades, it stopped the British advance, and the British began to retreat. The American militia followed the retreating soldiers back to their camp, where many of the American soldiers plundered the British supplies. As the Americans celebrated what seemed to be a victory, the tables turned once again as they were ultimately driven out of the British territory by a British battalion Commanded by Major John Majoribanks. After fighting what seemed to be an endless battle with a disgraceful number of casualties, both armies had had enough. The British retreated hastily the next day toward Charleston, leaving many of their dead or wounded comrades behind, while Greene and his men collected the wounded and returned to Burdell's Plantation. The battle ends in an American victory.

Nathanael Greene: U.S. Militia leader
Nathanael Greene was the Commanding officer of the American army
during The Battle of Eutaw Springs, as well as twelve other battles.
These battles included th250px-Greene_portrait.jpge Seige of Boston, The Battle of Trenton,
and The Battle of Germantown. When the war first began he was a militia
private, (which was the lowest rank) but after gaining a positive reputation
from his efforts in the war, he became known as George Washington's most
gifted and dependable officer. He was later promoted to the position of Major
General by George Washington on August, 1776. Throughout the Revolutionary War, he
earned and maintained a trust that set an example of citizenship for everyone.
He and George Washington were also the only men to have served all eight
years of the Revolution as Generals. In 1781, Greene led the American army
to a strategical victory at the battle of Eutaw springs.

At Eutaw Springs the valiant died:
Their limbs with dust are covered o’er;
Weep on, ye springs, your tearful tide;
How many heroes are no more!

If in this wreck of ruin they
Can yet be thought to claim a tear
O smite thy gentle breast, and say
The friends of freedom slumber here!

-Excerpt from the poem: Eutaw Springs by Philip Freneau
-//Link to full poem//

Alexander Stewart: British Militia leader
Alexander stewart was first made commander of the army at Charleston
after its original commander, Francis Rawdon Hastings, fell ill and was
taken back to Bstewart-alexander.jpgritain. At the time, Stewart was a lieutenant colonel. He was
later Persuaded to set up camp at Eutaw Springs to intercept supplies that
were being sent to the American force under Nathanael Greene. However,
the encounter ended up being an inconclusive engagement due to the Battle
of Eutaw Springs which thus occured. Stewart later retired to Charleston.
His unit was one of several that was evacuated in 1782 following the surrender
of the British army in America. Stewart became a Major General in 1793 and
died a year later.

Map and Battle Plans of The Battle of Eutaw Springs

At the end of the battle, the result in casualties for the American militia was 119 killed and 382 wounded, while the British militia had 85 killed and 297 wounded, as well as 430 captured soldiers.

Battle Pictures