Battle of Rivers' Bridge

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Battle of Rivers' Bridge
Part of the American Civil War
Charge of Weaver's Brigade Across the Salkehatchie.jpg
Charge of Weaver's Brigade Across the Salkehatchie
DateFebruary 3, 1865 (1865-02-03)
LocationBamberg County, South Carolina
33°3′10″N 81°5′59″W / 33.05278°N 81.09972°W / 33.05278; -81.09972Coordinates: 33°3′10″N 81°5′59″W / 33.05278°N 81.09972°W / 33.05278; -81.09972
Result Union victory
United States United States (Union)  Confederate States
Commanders and leaders
Francis Preston Blair, Jr.
John A. Logan
Lafayette McLaws
Units involved
XVII Corps
XV Corps
Department of South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida
5,000 1,200
Casualties and losses
(18 killed,
106 wounded)[1]
(8 killed,
44 wounded,
45 captured/missing)[1]

The Battle of Rivers' Bridge, also known as Salkehatchie River, Hickory Hill, Owen's Crossroads, Lawtonville, and Duck Creek, was a Union victory fought on February 3, 1865, during the Carolinas Campaign of the American Civil War.

Order of battle[edit]


Commander: Major General Lafayette McLaws


Work in progress


Map of Rivers' Bridge Battlefield core and study areas by the American Battlefield Protection Program.

While Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman's Union armies marched north across South Carolina, about 1,200 Confederates under Maj. Gen. Lafayette McLaws were posted at the crossing on the Salkehatchie River. Union soldiers began to build bridges to bypass McLaws on February 2. The next day two brigades under Maj. Gen. Francis P. Blair waded through the swamp and flanked the Confederates. McLaws withdrew toward Branchville after stalling Sherman's advance for only one day and Sherman's forces continued moving north towards the state capital Columbia.

Mass Grave[edit]

In 1876 men from nearby communities reburied the Confederate dead from Rivers Bridge in a mass grave about a mile from the battlefield and began a tradition of annually commemorating the battle. The Rivers Bridge Memorial Association eventually obtained the battlefield and in 1945 turned the site over to South Carolina for a state park.[2] The site is commemorated by the Rivers Bridge State Historic Site.[3]

Battlefield Condition[edit]

Earthworks used by the Confederate defenders are preserved at the historic site. Unfortunately, a portion of the bluff overlooking the river (upon which several Confederate earthworks were located) was significantly altered by the operations of a logging railroad that paralleled the Salkehatchie River during the late 19th Century.[4]


  1. ^ a b The Battle of Rivers Bridge-Reading 2
  2. ^ Bell, Daniel. "Rivers Bridge, Battle of". South Carolina Encyclopedia. University of South Carolina, Institute for Southern Studies. Retrieved 3 February 2017. 
  3. ^ "Rivers Bridge State Historic Site". South Carolina Department of Parks, Recreation & Tourism. Retrieved September 10, 2011. 
  4. ^ "Rivers' Bridge Battlefield Profile" (PDF). National Park Service. Retrieved 3 February 2017.