Rivers Bridge State Park

6 mi. SW of Ehrhardt, Ehrhardt, South Carolina

Historic Civil War battleground


Rivers Bridge State Park, Confederate Dead Memorial Enclosure

South Carolina Department of Archives and History

View this photo at nationalregister.sc.gov



As General William T. Sherman’s army advanced into South Carolina from Savannah, the Confederate Army was able to offer up little resistance and eventually fell back to Rivers Bridge by February 2, 1865. Although they crossed the Salkahatchie River, they were unable to burn the approaches or the main bridge. At this point the Salkahatchie was a dense swamp about a mile and one-half wide, and the approach to the main bridge was over a narrow causeway commanded by elements of General Lafayette McLaw’s Division, numbering about 1,200 men. The strength of the Confederate position was disregarded and Sherman’s men were ordered to advance across the causeway without stopping. Behind breastworks, Confederate artillery repulsed the advance. For two days, the Confederates were able to delay the Union troops. The engagement ended as the Union army cut two roads through the swamp while continuing its frontal attack, outflanking the Confederates and forcing them to withdraw. The Confederate earthen breastworks remain in an excellent state of preservation and several Civil War artifacts have been found at the site. Listed in the National Register February 23, 1972.

National Register information 

Posted to the National Register of Historic Places on February 23, 1972
Reference number
Architectural style
Other architectural type; Earthern Breastworks
Area of significance
Level of significance
Evaluation criteria
A - Event
Property type
Historic functions
Fortification; Battle site
Current function
Period of significance
Significant year
Number of properties
Contributing structures: 1
Contributing sites: 1
Non-contributing buildings: 2

Update Log 

  • August 15, 2014: Photo imported by Michael Miller
  • October 24, 2013: Updated by Michael Miller: Added "Description" & "Overview"