The action began early on July 30. (Sources disagree on when Sumter arrived at Rocky Mount, but Davie's action appears to have taken place on July 31.) Davie and his dragoons rode to the British outpost at Hanging Rock (south of present-day Heath Springs, South Carolina), where they surprised a company of Loyalists camped outside the fortifications, inflicting casualties and seizing 60 horses. The action happened so quickly that the British forces inside the fortifications were unable to respond.
Sumter's attack went less well. Turnbull's work on the defenses at Rocky Mount paid off, and Sumter's men were unable to penetrate the defenses. After several hours of fruitless battle, they tried setting fire to the works, but this was frustrated by a torrential downpour that ended the battle.