Battle Of Wetzell's Mill

The Battle of Wetzell's Mill (the name may also be spelled Weitzell, Weitzel, Whitesell, or Whitsall) was an American Revolutionary War skirmish fought on March 6, 1781, between detachments of Nathanael Greene's Continental Army and Banastre Tarleton's Loyalist provincial troops.

Greene was trying to avoid encounters with the larger British Cornwallis' larger army while awaiting the arrival of additional troops, and had sent Williams and several hundred men on reconnaissance to watch Cornwallis' movements. Cornwallis learned where Williams was on March 4, and, realizing he could be trapped because he was separated from Greene's army by Reedy Ford Creek, sent Tarleton and 1,200 men toward the ford at Wetzell's Mill. Early on March 6 Tarleton's men tried to sneak up on Williams' position, then about ten miles south of the ford. After a brief skirmish, the two forces raced toward the ford. Williams kept Harry "Light Horse" Lee in the rear to cover their retreat, and reached the ford ahead of Tarleton. His army crossed, at which point he decided to make a stand at the crossing.

Tarleton's first attempt to cross was repulsed, but the second succeeded, and Williams retreated.

Williams was alerted to Tarleton's approach, and managed to withdraw most of his men across the ford, where they established a defensive line. Tarleton's men then drove the last of Williams' light infantry across the river. Tarleton sent a company of men from the 23rd Regiment under James Webster to storm across the ford. Williams' riflemen were ordered to target the officer, and Henry Lee reported that they "discharged their rifles at him, one by one", but "himself and horse were untouched". The British eventually succeeded in crossing the creek, and after several miles of pursuit, Tarleton gave up the chase and rejoined the main army.