Historic Resources of the Cooper River, ca. 1670-ca. 1950
The American Revolution
The Cooper River region was the scene of many skirmishes during the American Revolution, most of them from  780 to 1782 as British and Loyalist forces tried first to capture and then to control the strategic port city of Charleston. In  April 1780, British forces under Lt. Col. Banastre Tarleton attacked the local militia near Biggin Church. Later, having gained control over much of the area along and near the Cooper and Wando Rivers, as well as the area west of the Ashley River, the British laid siege to Charleston, which surrendered along with its Continental and militia garrison on 12 May 1780. With British control over Charleston, volunteers under the command of Gen. Francis Marion became the only effective American force in the area for several months. Marion, a native of the Cooper River region, is best known as the commander of a brigade most often separated into small components which operated against British and Loyalist outposts and forces in guerrilla raids and then retreated back into the relative safety of the swamps and forests of the lowcountry.
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Marion’s and other partisan forces continued to conduct raids harassing the British and disrupting their supply lines. On 15 July 1781, Col. Wade Hampton surprised a British landing detachment of one hundred men at Strawberry Ferry near Lewisfield Plantation, burning two boats and capturing seventy-eight men.41 On 16-17 July, Gen. Thomas Sumter, supported by Lt. Col. Henry Lee’s Legion and Marion’s brigade, challenged the British position at Quinby Plantation by assaulting Lt. Col. John Coates’s force near Biggin Church. In the ensuing action, which resulted in relatively heavy losses for the Americans and British, the church was burned and the British finally withdrew to their established position at Quinby. According to local tradition, many of the dead were buried along the entrance road to Quinby Plantation.42

Under increasing pressure to protect their supply lines, the British erected a fort near the headwaters of the Cooper River within the boundaries of the old Fairlawn Barony. The redoubt of this square fortification survives intact with its earthen walls and moat. Marion considered this fortification, with its full garrison of men, to be too strong to attempt an assault on it, and decided instead to attack the nearby Fairlawn Plantation house. On 17 November 1782, in what was one of Marion’s last engagements of the war, the house was captured and burned.43 Increasingly, the British realized that the cumulative effect of losses such as these and others throughout the lowcountry and into the South Carolina backcountry were serious enough to warrant a gradual abandonment of this area. They finally evacuated Charleston that December.
Wade Hampton (1752 - February 4, 1835) was a South Carolina soldier, politician, two-term U.S. Congressman, and wealthy planter.
Hampton served in the American Revolutionary War as a lieutenant colonel in a South Carolina volunteer cavalry regiment.
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Cooper River Dive Charters
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Statement of Historic Context

European Settlement


The Church Act and the Parish System

Trade and Commodities

The Rice Culture, Plantations, and Slavery


The American Revolution


The Recovery of the Rice Culture, Mills, and Canals

The Civil War and Reconstruction

Postwar Decline of the Rice Culture

The Second "Yankee" Invasion

The Changing Landscape

Properties Listed in the National Register