Skip to comments.Marker to remember bad time for Patriots
Posted on 05/12/2010 10:42:54 AM PDT by Pharmboy
Exactly 230 years ago today, American General Benjamin Lincoln surrendered his force of 6,000 men in Charleston.
His move capped a 42-day British siege that had turned the central peninsula into a vast battleground.
The siege's end ranked among the Patriots' worst defeats in the Revolutionary War, and it all unfolded in and around what's now known as Marion Square.
At noon today, a group of historians and other onlookers will gather in the square, near King Street, to unveil a new historical marker highlighting this under-appreciated chapter in the city's history.
If you go
WHAT: Unveiling of a new historical marker regarding the Siege of Charleston. WHEN: Noon today. WHERE: Marion Square. Local authors Mary Clark Coy and Carl Borick will speak.
Mark Maloy, 25, a local history buff and National Park Service intern at Fort Sumter National Monument, helped pull it off, with help from the S.C. Societies of the Daughters of the American Revolution and Sons of the American Revolution, and the Maj. Gen. William Moultrie Chapter, Sons of the American Revolution.
"That area right in front of Marion Square was essentially like a World War I battlefield with a system of trenches and bombs exploding," he said. "Two hundred and thirty years later nobody realizes what happened right underneath their feet."
Gen. Charles Lord Cornwallis took the city and held it for more than two years.
While the Siege of Charleston ranks up there with the most significant Revolutionary War encounters in the state, there's little or no public interpretation. The new marker will stand near a tabby remnant of the city's colonial fortifications, but neither that remnant nor another nearby marker do much to explain the major battle.
Almost 100 patriots were killed during the siege, while 140 were wounded. British troops had 76 killed and 189 wounded.
"This was a very terrible defeat for the United States of America, but this is the first step in the path to Yorktown," where Cornwallis surrendered to end the war, Maloy said. "It was because of this that the state of South Carolina erupted into a civil war that the British couldn't control."
"South Carolina has the history," he added. "It's just a matter of bringing it to light."
THE SIEGE OF CHARLESTON, 1780
The British capture of Charleston in May 1780 was one of the worst American defeats of the Revolution. On March 30-31 Gen. Sir Henry Clinton's British, Hessian, and Loyalist force crossed the Ashley River north of Charleston. On April 1 Clinton advanced on the American defenses near this site, held by Gen. Benjamin Lincoln's Continentals and militia. The 42-day siege would be the longest of the war.
As Gen. Charles Lord Cornwallis closed off escape routes on the Cooper River, Clinton advanced his siege lines and bombarded Charleston. On May 12, 1780, in front of the American works near this spot, Lincoln surrendered the city and his force of 6,000 men, after what one British officer called "a gallant defense." The British occupied Charleston for more than 2 1/2 years, evacuating Dec. 14, 1782.
Erected by the South Carolina Societies of the Daughters of the American Revolution and Sons of the American Revolution, and the Maj. Gen. William Moultrie Chapter, Sons of the American Revolution, 2010
The RevWar/Colonial History/General Washington ping list...
Hoo boy...I did not think of that and I’m a crazy Giants fan. Mainepatsfan is on my ping list, but maybe he won’t notice (he’s a nice guy and has taken enough lumps for that game, I’m sure).
When I read about all the suffering our founders went through, and all the suffering and hard work generations of Americans went through to make America so free, so strong and so great, and I look at most of the creatures who represent us in Congress, and most of all, the guy sitting in the Oval Office, I can only ask HOW and WHY have we allowed ourselves to come to this.
Thanks for that post Pharmboy. Great article.
Indeed...I don’t think a day goes by that people like us do not think about the same thing. It’s nothing short of appalling.
As an interesting side note: it was the same General Lincoln who received Cornwallis’ surrender at Yorktown. Since Cornwallis would not surrender in person, General Washington would not take the sword from his underling and thus Lincoln went out to accept. Ironic, eh?
Partly, probably out of deference for the “disgraced” general.
Hmmm...you may very well be correct.
At least that’s what some historians seem to think.
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Wish I knew who said it...I can’t find an attribution anywhere, other than it may be a play on words from John 6:13? (Loaves & Fishes Miracle)
Yes...the first part definitely is John 6:13...but some clever person added the second part. I could not find where that came from.
ELIAS JEANERETTE is listed on the roster of American troops who served during the Revolutionary War at Fort Sullivan, which was later re-named Fort Moultrie. He enlisted in Georgetown in 1776 and was a Sergeant in the 4th South Carolina Regiment of Artillery, commanded by Col Beekman, in the Company of Capt James Mitchell. Elias was later wounded in the battle of Stono, and was taken as a prisoner of war when Charleston was captured by the British in May 1780. The father of twenty-six children, Elias died in 1833 in North Carolina.
Van Jenerette, Major, Infantry, U.S.Army; is Elias Jenerette’s great-great-great-grandson. Katherine Jenerette, a U.S. Army veteran served in the Persian Gulf War is an officer in the U.S. Army Reserve at Ft. Bragg.