River's Bridge, SC

 

[  ]

Date(s): February 3, 1865

Location:

Campaign(s): Carolinas Campaign [February-March 1865]

Battles in Campaign:

Situation:

Commanders:

  • Union: Maj. Gen. Francis P. Blair

  • Confederate: Maj. Gen. Lafayette McLaws

Principal Forces:

  • Union: 5,000

  • Confederate: 1,200

Description:

  • On February 2, a Confederate force under McLaws held the crossings of the Salkehatchie River against the advance of the right wing of Sherman’s Army.

  • Federal soldiers began building bridges across the swamp to bypass the road block.

  • In the meantime, Union columns worked to get on the Confederates’ flanks and rear.

  • On February 3, two Union brigades waded the swamp downstream and assaulted McLaws’s right.

  • McLaws retreated toward Branchville after stalling Sherman’s advance for only one day.

Photo Gallery2:

Battle of River's Bridge Battle of River's Bridge Rivers Bridge State
Historic Site
Rivers Bridge State
Historic Site
In January 1865, Sherman's 60,000 soldiers invaded
South Carolina
On February 2-3, 1865, part of Sherman's army clashed with with Confederate troops along the Salkehatchie River
Three bridges blocked the Union advance: Broxton's, River's, and Buford's Opposing commanders were Oliver Otis Howard (Union) and Lafayette McLaws (Confederate) Confederate earthworks were placed on either side of the road.
Rifle pits were on the Confederate left and artillery emplacements on the right.
    Pilings mark
site of bridge
Pilings mark
site of bridge
River-marsh slowed
Union attempts to attack Confederate Defenses
River-marsh slowed
Union attempts to attack Confederate Defenses
River-marsh slowed
Union attempts to attack Confederate Defenses
River-marsh slowed
Union attempts to attack Confederate Defenses
River-marsh slowed
Union attempts to attack Confederate Defenses
  Confederate earthworks  
Confederate soldiers
fired on Union troops from these earthworks
  Confederate soldiers
fired on Union troops from these earthworks
Confederate soldiers
fired on Union troops from these earthworks
   
 

 

 
     
  Confederate artillery fired from this position  
   
     

 

Classification4: D

Casualties5:

  • Union: 92

  • Confederate: 170

Results: Union Victory

Battlefield Website: 

Lodging and Restaurants:

Recommended Resources:

 

 


1 National Park Service summary.

2 Classification:

  • A - having a decisive influence on a campaign and a direct impact on the course of the war

  • B - having a direct and decisive influence on their campaign

  • C - having observable influence on the outcome of a campaign

  • D - having a limited influence on the outcome of their campaign or operation but achieving or affecting important local objectives

3 Casualties are someone killed, injured, wounded, captured or missing.

Revised 05/17/2015