|Turn 5 of the Campaign, depicting the positions of American and British troops after the movement phase. Click the picture to enlarge the view.|
The moves have been turned in for Turn 5 and it appears that there will be a medium-large battle at Catawba Town in the northwest part of South Carolina, and a smaller conflict at Georgetown, on the Atlantic coast.
|British 3-pound Grasshopper cannon with crew and limbers. (click picture to enlarge)|
Following his victory at McDowell, Tarleton embarked on a raid into North Carolina aimed at disrupting the American supply lines into South Carolina. From McDowell, he rode hard through Gilbert Town and was heading fast towards Salisbury, NC. If Tarleton could occupy Salisbury, then he would cut off the supply line from Hillsboro, NC to De Kalb's army at Catawba Town.
|Lt. Colonel Banastre Tarleton of the British Legion|
The previous turn found Webster with a sizeable army of 8SPs at Ninety Six, and with nothing to do. Given that Tarleton had defeated all of the significant American forces in the area, then Webster's large army needed to move elsewhere if it were to have any impact on the campaign. With that in mind, Webster left Ninety Six with 6SPs, leaving 2SPs with Colonel Cruger, and marched to Winnsboro, picking up the one British SP there, and then marching on to Catawba Town with 7SPs. Webster hoped that De Kalb might be in the vacinity and that he could draw him into a battle.
The British commander of all forces in the Southern District (Georgia, South and North Carolina) held to his strong position at Camden with a force of 7SPs. His scouts informed him that General Horatio Gates was still encamped at Cheraw on the Pee Dee River. Cornwallis could reach Gates from his position, but he wanted to see the outcome of Webster's battle with De Kalb before leaving Camden unprotected.
Other British Forces
Lord Rawdon still held Charleston with 7SPs; Stewart held Savannah, Georgia with 6SPs; and there were smaller forces at Georgetown (2SPs), Augusta, GA (1 SP) and one each at the three forts along the Santee River (Forts Granby, Motte and Watson).
The Shameful Retreat of the Augusta Garrison to Ninety Six
Thomas Sumter's partisan force of 3SPs moved north from Orangeburg to Augusta, where he hoped to blockade that stronghold long enough to draw the attention of Webster's army at Ninety Six. However, upon the approach of Sumter's force, the Augusta garrison uncermoniously retreated to the safety of Ninety Six rather than make an attempt to hold on and bluff Sumter out of his blockade. As a result, Sumter captured this important supply depot without firing a shot.
General Horatio Gates, the hero of Saratoga, had moved south from Hillboro, NC to Cheraw, SC on the previous turn with an army of 8SPs. He was within striking distance from Camden, but he did not want to take on Cornwallis himself at Camden. So Gates stayed put at Cheraw.
Baron De Kalb had spent a turn in Charlotte, NC recovering from his defeat at Winnsboro on Turn 3. He now marched across the Carolina border and took up a position on the east bank of the Congaree River at Catawba Town. He soon discovered that Webster was moving towards him from Ninety Six, so he resolved to hold a strong position on the other side of the river.
Francis Marion's partisan band had grown to a respectable force of 4SPs and so he marched from Kingston, through Little River and on to Georgetown, SC where he hoped to convince the garrison of 2SPs that they should surrender to a larger force.
The Carolina Gamecock moved from Orangeburg to Augusta, which had been abandoned by the British garrison. Thus Sumter was able to capture the town without firing a shot. This could potentially place Ninety Six in some jeopardy with one of its supply lines cut off.
There was no partisan activity on Turn 5.
Turn 5 Outcomes
There would be a medium sized battle at Catawba Town between Webster's British and De Kalb's Americans.
There would be a smaller encounter at Georgetown with Francis Marion surrounding the town and needing to attack it to gain it.