A Savage War of Posts
|Gen Thomas Sumter|
A Defense Well Prepared
the British 63rd Regiment were observed moving at them. Realizing the rest of Tarleton's force was far behind, Sumter decided to surprise the lead forces with an attack. Sumter left his center to defend the high ground using protection of the five log cabins and a rail fence. He sent Elijah Clark with his 80 Georgians around the advancing Tarleton's right flank to block the British troops coming up. Sumter led the main thrust with 400 militia against 80 regulars of the 63rd who had dismounted and taken up positions to the right of the British advance.
|Sketch of the battlefield|
A Back and Forth Struggle
|Tarleton's cavalry attack repulsed by intense American fire|
Change of Command
|View of American defenses|
After the Battle
The engagement at the Blackstock farm is little known, and for many years nearly forgotten. Tarleton boasted of his victory and the dispatching of the hated Sumter. Yet his regulars had failed to eject the rebel militia from the field and had suffered an unacceptable loss ratio. Moreover, Sumter would be back in action in a few months. Meanwhile, his wounding enabled General George Washington to appoint the New England fighting quaker Nathanael Greene as overall commander of the Southern Department.
The Battlefield Today
The Blackstock Plantation, once a series of tobacco barns, lies in in a hilly, wooded region. In the eighteenth century much of the land of the battlefield was cleared, but has since overgrown with
small pines and brush. No above-the-surface evidence remains of Blackstock’s barn or house, which were located in the area of the historical marker that designates the battle site, and there are no modern buildings in the area of the battlefield. The site has 54 acres preserved with walking trails just south of the Tyger River.