Rivers Bridge, Battle of | South Carolina Public Radio


“R” is for Rivers Bridge, Battle of [February 2-3, 1865]. On February 2, 1865, the right wing of Sherman’s army attempted to cross the Salkehatchie River at Rivers Bridge—in what is now southern Bamberg County. A strongly-entrenched Confederate Brigade, commanded by Colonel George P. Harrison, repulsed a direct Union assault down the narrow causeway that spanned the thick Salkehatchie Swamp. Other Union forces crossed the river downstream and out-flanked and attacked the Confederate defenders, forcing them to retreat. The battle cost each side about one hundred casualties and led to the cutting of the South Carolina Railroad. In 1876, men from nearby communities reburied the Confederate dead from the Battle of Rivers Bridge in a mass grave about a mile from the battlefield and began a tradition of annually commemorating the battle.