On the same day that Colonel Boyd was defeated at the Battle of Kettle Creek, British Colonel Archibald Campbell withdraws from Augusta when a large force of North Carolina patriots appear across the river from the Augusta outpost on the Georgia frontier. A planned rendezvous at Wrightsville leads to the capture of some of Boyd's men when Campbell fails to show up and doesn't tell Boyd.
The North Carolina troops under the command of General John Ashe smell blood. With the victory at Kettle Creek Ashe's men are hot on the trail of Campbell's loyalists and Regulars. Unknown to Ashe, Campbell is re-enforced with men from Savannah under the command of Augustine Prevost. Together the British forces now total 2,300 men.
Camped at Brier Creek, near the Savannah River, Ashe's patriots were caught unaware by hundreds of handpicked soldiers and loyalist militia on March 3, 1779. The men from North Carolina, along with Ashe, fled the scene of the battle. Only Colonel Samuel Elbert and his Georgia militia remained. Outnumbered and overpowered, the men defended the camp until almost all were dead. The late afternoon action ended at sunset, with the rebellion forces suffering a humiliating defeat. Almost 400 Americans were killed or captured, while the British lost 5 men.
Elbert, who would eventually be elected governor of Georgia, is captured and serves time in a British prison until his release in 1781.