British Capture of Charles Town, May 1780

British Capture of Charles Town, May 1780

Book - 2015
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The July Exhibit focused on the Declaration of Independence, celebrating July 4, 1776, and the American Revolution.  A copy of the first printing in the state of South Carolina of the Declaration of Independence was on display separate from the cases that are represented in this collection. Featured in this exhibit case are a map illustrating Charles Town's defenses and an original letter stating the "situation of affairs" in Charles Town after the city was captured by the British in 1780: - Letter by John Rutledge to South Carolina delegates of Continental Congress (May 24, 1780). Call Number: Ms. 140, John Rutledge Correspondence- The plan of Charles Town: with its entrenchments and those made during the siege by the English.  Call Number: Maps, Drawer 7.8British Capture of Charles Town, May 1780:The British made three attempts to capture Charles Town.  It was not until the Siege of Charles Town in May 1780, that they were successful.The First Attempt: June 1776Sir Henry Clinton and Admiral Sir Peter Parker attacked, but were repulsed by Colonel Moultrie and his small garrison of men in the Palmetto Fort on Sullivan’s Island.  Fort Sullivan would later be renamed Fort Moultrie.  Sir Peter Parker’s naval forces sustained severe damage and Sir Henry Clinton’s land forces were unable even to get close to the fort.The Second Attempt: May 1779British General Prevost took advantage of the absence of Colonel Moultrie and General Lincoln (the Commander-in-Chief for the Southern Department) and marched upon the city with a force of 2,500 to 3,000 men demanding immediate surrender.  Before negotiations were concluded, Prevost learned of the approach of Lincoln’s corps and departed during the night to avoid being trapped.The Third Attempt: May 1780The British learned from their two strategic failures at capturing the city earlier in the war.  In late December 1779, Sir Henry Clinton, Commander-in-Chief of the British Army in North America, left his headquarters in New York and sailed for Charles Town.  By the time he reached his destination, Clinton would have a combined force of 14,000 troops and 90 ships.  Marching from James Island, the British cut off the city from relief.  After about a six-week siege, Sir Henry Clinton compelled Continental Army Major General Benjamin Lincoln to surrender his forces numbering about 5,000 troops to the British on May 12, 1780.  Charles Town would remain under British occupation until late December 1782.These items were on display in the Charleston Library Society Main Reading Room throughout the month of July, 2015.  Contact a librarian for access and reproduction at (843) 723-9912, or at asmith@charlestonlibrarysociety.orgVisit our online catalog to discover more related items of interest:
Publisher: [s.l.] : [s.n.], 2015.
Characteristics: 1 image file : digital, JPEG.
Additional Contributors: Fenn, Deborah - Curator

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