On February 2, a Confederate force under Maj. Gen. Lafayette McLaws held the crossings of the Salkehatchie River against the advance of the right wing of Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman's army. Union soldiers began building bridges across the swamp to bypass the road block. In the meantime, Union columns worked to get on the Confederates' flanks and rear.
On the 3rd, 2 Union brigades waded the swamp downstream and assaulted McLaws's right. McLaws retreated toward Branchville after stalling Sherman's advance for only 1 day.