George Washington Papers

General Orders, 6 January 1781

General Orders

Head Quarters New Windsor saturday January 6th 1781

Parole. Countersigns [  ]

The General has the pleasure of communicating to the Army the following interesting and agreeable pieces of Intelligence which have been received from Major General Greene. On the 20th of November Brigadier General Sumpter was attacked by Colonel Tarleton the famous British Partizan at Black Storks on Tyger river in south Carolina—Tarleton made three vigorous charges in the two first he was repulsed by the troops posted in General Sumpter’s front, in the third he obliged the advanced troops to fall back upon the main body by whom he was so warmly received that he retreated with precipitation leaving ninety two dead and one hundred wounded upon the field—Colonel Tarleton had in the action three hundred Cavalry—one hundred and thirty of the 63d regiment and one hundred of the 71st.

The smallness of our Loss compared with that of the enemy is most remarkable we having but three men killed and four wounded among the latter is the brave General Sumpter himself in the shoulder.1

The beginning of December Lieutenant Colonel Washington of the 3d regiment of light dragoons with one hundred horse came up with Colonel Rugely Major Cook and one hundred and twelve tory officers and soldiers who had taken post in a logged barn strongly secur’d by Abbatis on Rugely’s farm twelve Miles from Campden.

Colonel Washington unable to force them for want of artillery made use of the following stratagem. He mounted a pine Log on a carriage and holding out the appearance of an Attack with field Pieces he sent in a flag and demanded an immediate surrender which was complied with.2

By these and several smaller successes the Enemy are kept pretty closely confined to their Posts at Campden Weemsborough3 and Ninety six at each of which they are pretty strongly fortified.

Varick transcript, DLC:GW.

1For this engagement at Blackstocks, S.C., see GW to Nathanael Greene, 2 Jan., n.3.

The Tyger River rises in northwestern South Carolina about forty miles west of Cowpens, S.C., and flows southeasterly to join the Broad River about twenty-five miles northwest of Winnsboro, South Carolina.

2For this action, see Greene to GW, 7 Dec. 1780, n.13.

John Cook, Sr., was major of the 1st Regiment of Loyalist militia in the Camden, S.C., district.

3The orders refer to Winnsboro.

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