Over three weeks in March 1781, Brig. Gen. Francis Marion conducted a series of engagements between the Santee River and Georgetown, battering a larger force of British regulars and Loyalist militiamen under the command of Col. John Watson. This series of skirmishes is known as Watson's Chase or the Bridges Campaign.
After clashes at Wiboo Swamp and Mount Hope Swamp, Marion continued moving east along the Santee towards Murray's Ferry, thinking Watson would follow. But Watson turned north and made for the Lower Bridge over the Black River, with Kingstree just beyond. Marion and his men moved quickly to get to the Lower Bridge first. When Watson arrived at the high bluffs of the south bank (across the river), he found the bridge partially destroyed and Marion's men arrayed against him on the low, swampy ground of the north bank (on this side of the river).
In most battles, the high ground is the best tactical position. But in this case, when Watson sent his artillery forward, the artillerymen could not lower their guns far enough to hit their opponents below. As Marion's expert riflemen picked off his artillerymen, Watson withdrew to the Witherspoon plantation nearby. Baffled at the defeat, Watson reportedly said to his unwilling Whig hostess: "I have never seen such shooting before in my life."