In 1700, Pocotaligo was the chief council town of the Yemassee Indians. A massacre of negotiating agents in Pocotaligo in 1715 started the Yemassee War. By the time Beaufort District was organized in 1788, Pocotaligo was a village of several hundred persons, centered about a stagecoach stop. It became the commercial center for the rice-growing area along the Combahee and smaller adjacent rivers. It was the location of a crucial battle during the Civil War.
In 1877, Hampton County was carved from the northwestern portion of what was known as the Beaufort District and Pocotaligo became part of Hampton County. Colcock & Hutson had offices in Gillisonville and Pocotaligo.