Battle of Rivers' Bridge
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
Commander: Major General Lafayette McLaws
- Harrison's Brigade: Colonel George Harrison, Jr.
- Kirkland's Brigade: Brigadier General William Whedbee Kirkland
- Logan's Brigade: Brigadier General Thomas M. Logan
- 1st South Carolina Cavalry: Lieutensnt James A. Ratchford
- 2nd South Carolina Cavalry
- 3rd South Carolina Cavalry: Colonel Charles J. Colcock
- Earle's (South Carolina) Battery: Captain William Earle
- 3rd Arkansas Cavalry: Major William Blackwell
- XVII Corps: Major General Francis Preston Blair, Jr.
- 1st Division: Major General Joseph A. Mower
- 1st Brigade: Brigadier General John W. Fuller
- 2nd Brigade: Brigadier General John W. Sprague
- 3rd Brigade: Colonel Charles H. DeGroat
- 4th Division: Brevet Major General Giles Alexander Smith
Work in progress
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.
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. The site is commemorated by the Rivers Bridge State Historic Site.
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.
- The Battle of Rivers Bridge-Reading 2
- Bell, Daniel. "Rivers Bridge, Battle of". South Carolina Encyclopedia. University of South Carolina, Institute for Southern Studies. Retrieved 3 February 2017.
- "Rivers Bridge State Historic Site". South Carolina Department of Parks, Recreation & Tourism. Retrieved September 10, 2011.
- "Rivers' Bridge Battlefield Profile" (PDF). National Park Service. Retrieved 3 February 2017.