Clio Logo
Major Battles of the American Revolution
Item 28 of 33
The Battle of Hobkirk Hill was fought on April 25, 1781. This battle was fought during the American Revolution, with Major General Nathanael Greene and Lord Rawdon commanding the Americans and the British, respectively. Although outnumbered 1,551 to 900, Rawdon led the British to victory, contributing to the death of Captain William Beatty and the wounding of Lieutenant Colonel Benjamin Ford. The Americans' defeated resulted in 19 killed, 113 wounded, 89 captured, and 50 missing, while the British suffered 39 killed, 210 wounded, and 12 missing.

  • Historical marker for the headquarters of the American Army during the battle.
  • Historical marker for the Battle of Hobkirk Hill.
  • Hobkirk Hill Memorial.
Following his victory at the Battle of Guilford Court House in March 1781[1], Lieutenant General Lord Charles Cornwallis elected to rest his men as opposed to chasing the fleeing Americans. Low on provisions, Cornwallis moved his soldiers towards Wilmington, North Carolina with hopes of resupplying. Major General Nathanael Greene chose to follow Cornwallis's army until April 8th[1], where he drove his forces into South Carolina in an attempt to reclaim territory by attacking British outposts. Cornwallis allowed the Americans to continue on, lacking the food to nourish his troops in the event of another battle. Instead, Cornwallis placed his trust in comrade Lord Francis Rawdon.

Rawdon commanded a mix of British soldiers and Loyalists based in Camden, South Carolina. On April 20, Nathanael Greene arrived near Camden to find Rawdon's men actively on defense, foiling his plans of taking their garrison by surprise.[1] Greene opted to retreat in hopes of drawing Rawdon into the battlefield. Greene ordered 
Colonel Edward Carrington to take most of armies artillery and defend against incoming British troops. Rawdon was soon misinformed by an American deserter that Greene lacked artillery[2], prompting Rawdon to plan an attack on the Americans.

Though outnumbered, Rawdon systematically overwhelmed portions of Greene's men, aided by the death of 
Captain William Beatty and the injuring of Benjamin Ford. Following combat, Greene retreated his men to the old Camden battlefield in defeat, and shortly contemplated abandoning the South Carolina campaign. Rawdon returned to his garrsion, and in the following weeks, devised a plan to relocate his troops to Charleston and Savannah in August.[1]

1 American Revolution: Battle of Hobkirk's Hill. About Education. Accessed June 04, 2016. 2 Battle of Guilford Court House 1781. Battle of Guilford Court House 1781. Accessed June 04, 2016. 3 The Battle of Hobkirk's Hill. The Battle of Hobkirk's Hill. Accessed June 04, 2016.