Revolutionary War
South Carolina Regiments
Continental Line

SOUTH CAROLINA LINE UNITS:
1st South Carolina Regiment
(Infantry)
2nd South Carolina Regiment (Infantry)
3rd South Carolina Regiment (Rangers)
4th South Carolina Regiment (Artillery)
5th South Carolina Regiment
(1st South Carolina Rifle Regiment)
6th South Carolina Regiment
(2d South Carolina Rifle Regiment)

Uniforms of the 1st and 2nd Regiments

Muster Rolls
Continental Line, Militia, Loyalists

June 1775: THE RAISING OF TROOPS

From Gregg's HISTORY OF THE OLD CHERAWS, p. 235:

"On the Ist of June [1775], one hundred and seventy-two members of the Congress met, and such was the zeal of the people and alarm felt throughout the Province, that on the second day, an Association was considered and passed, to be entered into by the inhabitants of the colony, to which the members forthwith affixed their names. It was in these words, viz.:

"South Carolina.

"The actual commencement of hostilities against this continent by the British Troops, in the bloody scene on the 19th of April last, near Boston, the increase of arbitrary impositions from a wicked and despotic ministry, and the dread of insurrection in the colonies-are causes sufficient to drive an oppressed people to the use of arms. We, therefore the Subscribers, inhabitants of South Carolina, holding ourselves bound by that most sacred of all obligations the duty of good citizens towards an injured country, and thoroughly convinced, that under our present distressed circumstances, we shall be justified before God and man in resisting force by force; do unite ourselves, under every tie of religion and honor, and associate as a band in her defence against every foe; hereby solemnly engaging that, whenever our Continental or Provincial Councils shall decree it necessary, we will go forth and be ready to sacrifice our lives and fortunes to secure her freedom and support. This obligation to continue in full force until a reconciliation shall take place between Great Britain and America, upon Constitutional principles, an event which we most ardently desire. And we will hold all those persons inimical to the liberties of the colonies who shall refuse to subscribe this association."


Revolutionary War Units

The infantry establishment of 1776 consisted of twenty-seven regiments of "Continentals" so-called, drawn from Pennsylvania, Connecticut, New Hampshire Massachusetts and Rhode Island. In addition, state troops were raised, including the South Carolina Line, which consisted of five regiments:

1st Regiment of Infantry,
commanded by Colonels Christopher Gadsden and Charles C. Pinckney;
2d Regiment of Infantry,
commanded by Colonels William Moultrie and Isaac Motte;
3d Regiment of Infantry,
commanded by Colonel William Thompson;
4th Regiment of Infantry,
commanded by -------------------;
5th Regiment of Infantry,
commanded by Colonel Isaac Huger;


1st SOUTH CAROLINA REGIMENT [Infantry]

LINEAGE

[Wright, Continental Army, p. 305]

Authorized 6 June 1775 in the South Carolina State Troops as the 1st South Carolina Regiment. Organized in summer 1775 at Charleston to consist of ten companies from eastern South Carolina. Adopted 4 November 1775 into the Continental Army. Assigned 27 February 1776 to the Southern Department.

Assigned 23 November 1776 to the 1st South Carolina Brigade, an element of the Southern Department. Relieved 3 January 1779 from the 1st South Carolina Brigade. Assigned 1 February 1779 to the South Carolina Brigade, an element of the Southern Department.

Consolidated 11 February 1780 with the 5th South Carolina Regiment [see 5th South Carolina Regiment] and the consolidated unit designated as the 1st South Carolina Regiment, an element of the South Carolina Brigade, to consist of nine companies. Captured 12 May 1780 at Charleston by the British Army.

Reorganized 11 December 1782-19 March 1783 at Charleston to consist of three companies. Furloughed 1-14 May 1783 at Charleston. Disbanded 15 November 1783.

ENGAGEMENTS

[Wright, Continental Army, p. 305]
Charleston 1775-1776
Florida 1778
Savannah
Charleston 1780

Captain Ioor's Company additionally served in:
Caribbean 1778


2d SOUTH CAROLINA REGIMENT [Infantry]

LINEAGE

[Wright, Continental Army, pp. 305-307]

Authorized 6 June 1775 in the South Carolina State Troops as the 2d South Carolina Regiment. Organized in summer 1775 at Charleston to consist of ten companies from eastern South Carolina. Adopted 4 November 1775 into the Continental Army. Assigned 27 February 1776 to the Southern Department.

Assigned 23 November 1776 to the 2d South Carolina Brigade, an element of the Southern Department. Relieved 26 August 1778 from the 2d South Carolina Brigade and assigned to the 1st South Carolina Brigade, an element of the Southern Department. Relieved 3 January 1779 from the 1st South Carolina Brigade. Assigned 15 June 1779 to McIntosh's Brigade, an element of the Southern Department. Relieved 14 September 1779 from McIntosh's Brigade and assigned to Huger's Brigade, an element of the Southern Department.

Consolidated 11 February 1780 with the 6th South Carolina Regiment [see 6th South Carolina Regiment] and consolidated unit designated as the 2d South Carolina Regiment, to consist of nine companies; concurrently relieved from Huger's Brigade and assigned to the South Carolina Brigade, an element of the Southern Department.

Captured 12 May 1780 at Charleston by the British Army. Disbanded 1 January 1783.

ENGAGEMENTS

[Wright, Continental Army, p. 307]
Charleston 1775-1776
Savannah
Charleston 1780

Detachments additionally served in:
Florida


3d SOUTH CAROLINA REGIMENT [Rangers]

LINEAGE

[Wright, Continental Army, p. 307]

Authorized 6 June 1775 in the South Carolina State Troops as the South Carolina Regiment of Horse Rangers. Organized in summer 1775 at Ninety-Six Court House to consist of nine companies from western South Carolina. Redesignated 12 November 1775 as the 3d South Carolina Regiment. Adopted 24 July 1776 into the Continental Army and assigned to the Southern Department; Captain Ezekiel Polk's Independent Company (organized in summer 1775 in western South Carolina) concurrently redesignated as the 10th Company, 3d South Carolina Regiment.

Assigned 23 November 1776 to the 1st South Carolina Brigade, an element of the Southern Department. Relieved 26 August 1778 from the 1st South Carolina Brigade and assigned to the 2d South Carolina Brigade, an element of the Southern Department. Relieved 3 January 1779 from the 2d South Carolina Brigade.

Assigned 1 February 1779 to the South Carolina Brigade, an element of the Southern Department. Reorganized 11 February 1780 to consist of nine companies. Captured 12 May 1780 at Charleston by the British Army. Disbanded 1 January 1781.

ENGAGEMENTS [Wright, Continental Army, p. 307]
Charleston 1775-1776
Southern Highlands
Savannah
Charleston 1780

Detachments additionally served in the following:
Cherokees 1776
Florida
Florida 1778

THIRD SOUTH CAROLINA REGIMENT (Rangers) 1775-1780
The regiment was established by the South Carolina Provincial Congress in June 1775 as mounted riflemen who used horses for transportation but dismounted to fight on foot. It consisted of a lieutenant colonel commandant, a major, 9 captains, 18 lieutenants, a surgeon, a paymaster, an adjutant, and a quartermaster, and with each of its 9 companies having 2 sergeants, a drummer, and 50 privates. The regiment was placed on the Continental Establishment in September 1776 as mounted riflemen, and in October its complement increased to 600 men in 12 companies, with the commanding officer, the major, and the senior captain all being promoted one grade.

The regiment was recruited in the back country and on the frontiers, and normally served in multi-company detachments, one of which took over Fort Charlotte in July 1775. Another detachment was bloodied in the fighting at Ninety Six in November 1775 and in the "Snow Campaign" which followed.

In June 1776, the whole regiment defended the eastern end of Sullivan's Island when the British attempted an amphibious assault duringthe naval attack on the fort, which was later named Fort Moultrie.


4th SOUTH CAROLINA REGIMENT [Artillery]

LINEAGE

[Wright, Continental Army, p. 307-308]

Authorized 13 November 1775 in the South Carolina State Troops as the 4th South Carolina Regiment. Organized 20 November-18 December 1775 at Charleston to consist of three companies from the greater Charleston area. Adopted 18 June 1776 into the Continental Army and assigned to the Southern Department.

Expanded 18 October 1776 to consist of six companies (Beaufort and Georgetown Independent Companies of Artillery [see Annexes 1 and 2] concurrently redesignated as the 4th and 5th Companies, 4th South Carolina Regiment). Captured 12 May 1780 at Charleston by the British Army. Disbanded 1 January 1781.

ANNEX 1

Authorized 22 February 1776 in the South Carolina State Troops as the Beaufort Independent Company of Artillery. Organized in spring 1776 at Fort Lyttleton with personnel from St. Helena and Prince William Parishes. Redesignated 18 October 1776 as the 4th Company, 4th South Carolina Regiment, and adopted into the Continental Army.

ANNEX 2

Authorized 22 February 1776 in the South Carolina State Troops as the Georgetown Independent Company of Artillery. Organized in spring 1776 at Georgetown with personnel from Prince George, Winyah Parish. Redesignated 18 October 1776 as the 5th Company, 4th South Carolina Regiment, and adopted into the Continental Army.

ENGAGEMENTS

[Wright, Continental Army, 308]
Charleston 1775-1776
Savannah
Charleston 1780

Detachments additionally served in the following:
Southern Highlands
Florida
Florida 1778

1779 Muster Roll of Capt. Richard B. Roberts' Company of the South Carolina Continental Corps of Artillery


5th SOUTH CAROLINA REGIMENT (1st South Carolina Rifle Regiment)

LINEAGE

[Wright, Continental Army, pp. 308-309]

Authorized 22 February 1776 in the South Carolina State Troops as the 5th South Carolina Regiment. Organized in spring 1776 at Charleston to consist of seven companies from eastern and northern South Carolina. Adopted 25 March 1776 into the Continental Army and assigned to the Southern Department.

Assigned 23 November 1776 to the 2d South Carolina Brigade, an element of the Southern Department. Relieved 3 January 1779 from the 2d South Carolina Brigade. Assigned 1 February 1779 to the South Carolina Brigade, an element of the Southern Department. Relieved 1 May 1779 from the South Carolina Brigade. Assigned 15 June 1779 to McIntosh's Brigade, an element of the Southern Department. Relieved 14 September 1779 from McIntosh's Brigade.

Consolidated 11 February 1780 with the 1st South Carolina Regiment [see 1st South Carolina Regiment].

ENGAGEMENTS

[Wright, Continental Army, p. 309]
Charleston 1775-1776
Savannah

Elements additionally served in:
Florida


6th SOUTH CAROLINA REGIMENT (2d South Carolina Rifle Regiment)

LINEAGE

[Wright, Continental Army, p. 309]

Authorized 28 February 1776 in the South Carolina State Troops as the 6th South Carolina Regiment. Organized in spring 1776 at Charleston to consist of five companies from northwestern South Carolina. Adopted 25 March 1776 into the Continental Army and assigned to the Southern Department.

Reorganized 18 October 1776 to consist of six companies (Captain Richbourg's Independent Company [organized in spring 1776 at Charleston with personnel from northwestern South Carolina] concurrently redesignated as the 6th Company, 6th South Carolina Regiment). Assigned 23 November 1776 to the 1st South Carolina Brigade, an element of the Southern Department. Relieved 3 January 1779 from the 1st South Carolina Brigade. Assigned 1 February 1779 to the South Carolina Brigade, an element of the Southern Department.

Consolidated 11 February 1780 with the 2d South Carolina Regiment [see 2d South Carolina Regiment].

ENGAGEMENTS

[Wright, Continental Army, p. 309]
Charleston 1775-1776
Cherokees 1776
Florida
Florida 1778
Savannah


UNIFORMS OF THE 1st AND 2nd REGIMENTS [Infantry]


Uniform of Second South Carolina Regiment of Infantry, 1776 The 1st and 2nd Regiments were raised in eastern South Carolina during June 1775, and were soon adopted into Continental service (Nov 1775). The 1st and 2nd are perhaps best known for their defense of Fort Moultrie on Sullivans Island, where their flag of blue with the white crescent was shot away, and was caught up by Sergeant Jasper.

The uniform of the 2nd Regiment was blue, faced with red, and lined with white, with white linen waistcoats and breeches, and short black gaiters, in full dress, while on service they wore long linen overalls as shown. Their caps were of black leather with a small white thread tassel at the top, and the front ornamented with a silver or white metal crescent, rather smaller in proportion than shown in the picture, on which was engraved the initials of the man, and the words or motto "Liberty or Death."
[According to Drayton, the single word "Liberty" appeared on the crescents of the hat and of the regimental flag.]

The 1st Regiment of Infantry also wore blue faced with red, and had "ultima ratio" engraved on the crescent.

Both the 1st and 2nd Regiments are known to have been well-equipped in every detail. Each regiment had two colors, one of blue and one of red silk, very beautifully embroidered, which were captured by the British.

The South Carolina Light Horse wore blue faced with white, and were well furnished.

REFERENCES:
William Moultrie, Memoirs of the American Revolution (N. Y., 1802), 1, 90, 182
Drayton, Memoirs of the American Revolution (Charleston, 1821), 11, 52-53, 281, 290
Lt. Charles M. Lefferts. Uniforms of the Armies in the War of the American Revolution, 1775-1783. Limited Edition. New York Historical Society. New York, NY. 1926.

Graphics by Victoria

Back to Marion Revolutionary War page

Marion County Homepage

Copyright 1996-2011 Victoria Proctor. All rights reserved.
This WEB page and its contents, except where otherwise noted on the page, are copyrighted and may not be copied, altered, converted or uploaded to any electronic system or BBS, message board, mailing list or web site, nor included in any software collection or print collection of any type without the express written permission of the author. These electronic pages may NOT be reproduced in any format for profit or presentation by other organizations.