The backcountry of North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia played host to a number of pivotal engagements in the latter part of the Revolutionary War. In the southern backcountry, the British hoped to swell their numbers by recruiting loyal citizens to the cause, while cutting off the southern colonies from the middle and northern colonies. A series of brutal, and often personal battles, took place between 1778-1781. Many times loyal British subjects clashed with the their Patriot neighbors, creating a civil war—within a civil war.
Following the British defeat at King's Mountain, the much loathed Banastre Tarleton was recalled from chasing the "Swamp Fox," Francis Marion, and ordered to engage General Thomas Sumter's forces. Sumter's force of roughly 1,000 men was threatening the vital British outpost at Ninety Six, South Carolina. Tarleton's and Sumter's forces clashed on the farm of William Blackstock, where Sumter, although severely wounded in the fighting, bested Tarleton.