Sergeant William Jasper Raising The flag Over The Fort
Defense of Fort Sullivan
In the spring of 1776, Governor Rutledge was fortifying the city of Charleston for what would become,“The First Siege of Charleston.” He had 6000 southern rebels redding up their positions. On Sullivan island wasColonel William Moultrie. He commanded the 2nd South Carolina Regt. in the state militia over a partially constructed fort that had been hastily constructed from palmetto logs and sand. This would become Charleston’s so called, “Blockade Barrier” in the upcoming conflict with the British Royal Navy. Colonel Moultrie’s orders would be to stop the British Navy at all costs from going to onto Charleston. The American soldiers and rebels meant business. They had twenty-six cannons mounted on Sullivan’s island to counter the britishs’ ship bombardment or thwart any kind of land or amphibious assault. The American’s just knew the British were sailing into Charleston’s harbor with intent of putting the rebel cause down with a harsh decisive military confrontation. The would serve to the other colonies as an example of British superiority. A fleet under Admiral Sir Peter Parker sailed out from England to secure this notion. His orders were to journey to the sea coast towns in the Southern Colonies. for a show of military strength and support. This would restore British rule and lawful control with military support. So, on arrival General Henry Clinton and Admiral Sir Peter Parker decided to take military action straight on against Charleston On June 4th 1776. Upon first arrival, General Clinton took several hundred men and went over to Long Island which lies east of Sullivan island. His orders were to provide a land invasion by utilizing the cover of the navy’scanon fire. So, on the morning of June 28th 1776, the British ships scaled a heavy canon attack on the American soldier’s strong hold by both land and water.
The British had a serious of misfortunes in the battle that turned out to be disastrous. First, the channel between the two islands was too deep for the British soldiers to wade. This meant the British to withdraw from that avenue of attack. This lead to the British trying to do an amphibious landing, but the American defenses were too strong, and quickly thwarted any attempt with careful targeted barrages. These two misfortunes just shut down the British’s campaign to mostly a Naval Bombardment. The British ships wrought havoc countless hours. A witness recalled, “A heavy storms of iron balls fell upon the fort for almost ten hours.” The Americans stood fast and repelled countless attacks. General Clinton’s ego was persistent and he desperately wanted to makes his passage to the unfinished rear of the fort. Hopefully this would turn the tide and give him the tactical advantage his troops needed to win. But, unfortunately Colonel Thompson’s bombardment was too powerful and accurate. He was triumphant and countered and repelled every movement that General Clinton made. The Royal Navy’s ego of superiority turned out to be the best of Generals, and it cost them dearly with immeasurable fleet damage. First, there naval bombardment had little ground effect due to the sandy soil and spongy nature of the fort’s palmetto log construction. This ended up giving the Americans an unexpected benefit in winning in this conflict. The British withdrew to New York, and did not return to South Carolina until 1780. This had an all inspiriting effect on the colonists.
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