Battle of Rivers' Bridge
The Battle of Rivers' Bridge (also known as the Action at Rivers' Bridge) was a battle of the American Civil War fought on February 3, 1865.
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: Lieutenant 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
47th Georgia Infantry Regiment is missing. It was at River's Bridge during the fight. It was assigned to Harrison's Brigade:
5/Sgt John Daly, Co A, 47 Ga captured February 3, 1865 at River's Bridge, SC Pvt Perry Holland, Co G, 47 Ga captured Feb 3, 1865 at River's Bridge, SC Pvt James Larking, Co A, 47 Ga captured Feb 3, 1864 at River's Bridge, SC Pvt Dennis Quigley, Co A, 47 Ga captured Feb 3 1865 at River's Bridge, SC Pvt Aaron Meadows Rentz, Co F, 47 Ga captured Feb 3, 1865 at River's Bridge, SC Pvt Solomon Rewis, Co G, 47 Ga captured Feb 3, 1865 at River's Bridge, SC Pvt J. D. Seckinger, Co I, 47 Ga wounded in right hand Feb 3, 1865 at River's Bridge, SC resulting in amputation of fingers Pvt Thomas Stanfield, Co G, 47 Ga captured on Feb 3, 1865 at River's Bridge, SC Pvt Martin Sullivan, Co G, 47 Ga captured on Feb 3, 1865 at River's Bridge, SC Pvt Michael Wells, Co A, 47th Ga captured on Feb 3, 1865 at River's Bridge, SC (from the book: Roster of Confederate Soldiers of Georgia, volume 3, by Mrs. Lillian Henderson)
- 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.