Discover the Battle of Brier Creek - The actual Battle of Briar or Brier Creek (As it is spelled on today's map) occurred on March 3,1779, on a site roughly designated as at a bridge over Briar Creek south of Augusta.
It appears to be where today's U.S. Hwy 25. and State Highway 121 cross Brier Creek, just northwest of the present day town of Waynesboro Georgia. In a circular movement covering 50 miles, a force of about 900 men crossed the creek west of Ashe’s position, proceeding to move to his rear.
By the afternoon of March 2nd several British reconnoitering parties were seen; more were seen the following morning. As he took no action against them, other than positioning militia facing the apparent enemy in his rear. As the British advanced and opened fire, the militia broke and ran for the swamps.
The Continentals were now trapped by fire from both sides of Briar Creek. They held and fought until it was obvious that there was no hope of surviving, then and only then did they break and run. Ward records that the entire American van was captured along with 11 officers, including Colonel Elbert commander of the Continentals and 162 non-commissioned officers and men.
Several hundred other men died, either killed by enemy action, lost in the swamps or drowned trying to cross the Savannah River to return to South Carolina. British losses were negligible with 5 killed and 11 wounded.
Of the 1,700 Americans present at the beginning of the battle, around 450 rejoined the army, the others who survived without capture were presumed to have simply gone home.