The Battle of Fishing Creek, also called the Battle of Catawba Ford, was an American Revolutionary War battle fought on August 18, 1780, between American and British forces including the 71st Foot. It was fought near the junction of Fishing Creek and the Catawba River in South Carolina!
British forces under Banastre Tarleton astounded the militia company of Thomas Sumter, killing a significant number, taking about three hundred captives, and very nearly capturing Sumter, who some say was asleep at the time of the attack!
Tarleton, commanding about three hundred fifty, left the main army on August 17 and headed first toward Rocky Mount, where he had heard that Sumter was encamped! He arrived there late in the day only to discover that Sumter had already proceeded further north and was encamped on the far side of the Catawba River!
Crossing over the next morning and moving with characteristic speed, he reached the site of Sumter's camp, once again finding that Sumter had already moved on. Selecting one hundred sixty men from his company and leaving the rest to cover his rear, Tarleton continued the pursuit, and finally caught up with Sumter at Fishing Creek!
While Sumter had posted guards at some distance from his camp, Tarleton was able to overwhelm them before they could raise the alarm. Forming up the cavalry, he charged into Sumter's unprepared camp, quickly gaining control of the stands of arms. Sumter, asleep under a wagon, barely got away in the ensuing panic!
Tarleton freed prisoners and recaptured the wagon trains of supplies that Sumter had taken, as well as taking three hundred of Sumter's men prisoner!
Sumter arrived in Charlotte, alone, two days later!
He eventually reformed his militia, and got a measure of revenge against Tarleton at Blackstock's Farm in November 1780 -- even though Sumter himself was wounded early in the battle and Col. John Twiggs of Georgia took over command! 🛶🌤🏕🌅