Remembering the Battle of Sullivan’s Island – June 28, 1776

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Battle of Sullivan’s Island
Battle of Sullivan’s Island Definition: The Battle of Sullivan’s Island was a military conflict between the Kingdom of Great Britain and its thirteen colonies in North America during the American Revolutionary War (1775-1783). The year and date that the Battle of Sullivan’s Island took place on June 28, 1776. The battlefield in which the British and American Forces fought during the Battle of Sullivan’s Island was located near Charleston, South Carolina. Sullivan’s Island was a large island commanding the entrance to Charleston harbor. British frigates had scouted the area in May and observed the construction of the American fort on Sullivan’s Island. The Battle of Sullivan’s Island ended in victory for the American colonists.

Overview and Summary of the Battle of Sullivan’s Island
The Battle of Sullivan’s Island took place on June 28, 1776 near Charleston, South Carolina when the British army and fleet attacked Charleston.  The entrance to Charleston Harbor was protected by sandbanks. A sandbank Is similar to a reef and a navigation, or grounding, hazard.  the channels through these sandbanks lead directly to the end of Sullivan’s Island. where the Americans had built a fort of 16 feet wide palmetto logs filled with sand. General William Moultrie commanded the fort and it was named in his honor, Fort Moultrie. The British fleet sailed into the harbor to attack the fort. The fleet consisted of 9 man-of-war ships carrying 300 heavy cannon. The cannons were fired but the balls from the ships’ guns were stopped by the soft sand-filled palmetto logs. During the conflict a flag commissioned by the colonial government and designed by William Moultrie was shot away and fell down outside the fort. A patriot called Sergeant Jasper rushed out, seized the broken flagstaff, and again set it up on the rampart. General Henry Clinton and his troops landed on an island and was trying to cross to the further end of Sullivan’s Island and were under fire from Americans on the beach. Unexpectedly the water deepened, and the British had to jump aboard their ships to save themselves from drowning. General Henry Clinton ordered a retreat and the fleet also sailed away from Charleston

Battle of Sullivan’s Island – The Liberty Flag aka the Moultrie Flag
The above pictures of the battle show the flag that was designed by Colonel William Moultrie. The flag was commissioned by the colonial government and the design was a blue flag with a white crescent saying LIBERTY on it. The flag became known as the Moultrie flag or the Liberty Flag. Later on during the Revolutionary War in the 1780 siege Charleston was taken by the British and the flag was taken. The ‘Liberty Flag’ was later reclaimed by American forces at the end of the war, the flag was returned to the city of Charleston by General Nathanael Greene.

The Importance and Significance of the Battle of Sullivan’s Island

Significance of the Battle of Sullivan’s Island: The significance of the conflict was that the small force of militia were able to force the retreat of 9 British ships – and the news was spread as propaganda for the Patriot cause.

*Courtesy of Land of the Brave Info

Liberty Flag Flown at Fort Moultrie

Review: “Lowcountry Revolutionaries! America’s First Freedom Fighters” is a reminder to preserve our Charleston history

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By Mark A. Leon

The United States built a foundation on an inherent lie, noted in the Declaration of Independence,We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.”

All men are indeed not created equal, nor are women and children.? We are a collective pot of unique thoughts, ideas, talents, backgrounds and beliefs.? We are born with the gift of life which comes with it, free will.

No evidence more evident than the stories of the original freedom fighters, Colonel William Rhett, Captain Henry Felder, Rebecca Brewton Motte, John Laurens, John Featherston, Emily Geiger, Peter Harris, Francis Marion and Mary Tenor.? You may not know all these individuals by name, but their contributions collectively led to the privileges we all enjoy today.

Nine individuals of such differing backgrounds with one common thread, the passion to pursue to rights of all individuals to live under a free sky.

Lowcountry Revolutionaries! America’s First Freedom Fighters is a reminder of the culture and values that Charleston and the South are built upon.? As we look around and see the modern development and explosion of real estate and hotels, we are forced to reflect on a time that was and a time that will be.? Charleston is losing its roots and this play, in a way, is a new fight for the values and retention of the history that has made Charleston the Jewel of the South.? In 1760, lives were sacrificed for freedom.? Today, we must honor them and preserve what we have built.

Over the course of this 70 minute, one act play, our senses are awakened by storytellers of the past; narrative ghost stories of ordinary men and women that risked their lives in preservation of a principle.

The time-period is 1760-1783, blacks, whites, Indians, women, men and children all lived on the same land, each with their own individual struggles of change and survival.? Somehow, so many came together to raise their hands and weapons to the tyranny of the British rule.? It was a time of compromise, risk and sacrifice.? Some survived, some perished, but freedom was attained.

This is a poignant series of stories that pulls the audience in from the very opening monologue and musical accord.? With each character taking center stage, the rest of the cast surrounded the theater, cheering, singing and reiterating the words of these powerful stories while Tracy Bush, founder & director of Taiko Charleston, created the sounds of the times from unnerving anticipation to gun shots in the distance.? The echo in the room and surround sound effect created a setting of almost being alive in that era.

Individual Performances

David Perez, played John Featherston, a Navy man.? David, himself a 10-year veteran of the Air Force, serving 5 tours in Afghanistan and around the world, brought a powerful presence and respect to the stage with the embodiment of a man who fought 230 years ago as told through the vocals of a soldier who fights for our freedoms today.

Dante Rollerson as Peter Harris, a Catawba Indian, who fought with the Patriots was a performance ripe with unadulterated emotion.? He strength on stage and personal struggles his character made in the decision to fight for his land showed so clearly in his eyes and storytelling prowess.

Chris Weatherhead and Clarence Felder, whose relationship has spanned many decades from coast to coast and keeps getting stronger with each passing day, acted beautifully together.? Their affections could be seen from the back of the room and outlined so well that life was difficult during this period, but perseverance and love are powerful tools in overcoming adversity.

Robbin Knight, carried his film performance of John Laurens forward to the live stage recalling his personal journey to end slavery, 80 years before his time.? Until several Red Coat bullets would take his life, he never gave up on his commitment to create a land where all men and women have the same opportunities to be free.

In the Lowcountry, there are some roles you do not take lightly, and Francis Marion, Swamp Fox, is one of them. Michael Easler, brought a frailty and intimacy to his performance.? As the older, worn down version of the great tactical leader, Mr. Easler told very personal accounts as he limped across the stage.? It was a different man that we see on the statues or in the old paintings.? It was a man that understood his mortality and the men he lost along the way.? He came to grips with the sacrifices he made and was ready to share his story with all of us.

Myra Jones (Emily Geiger) and Michelle Warren (Mary Tenor) were superb in each of their own respective ways.? Myra brought an Irish accent so real to life and a candid portrayal of life as a woman, you felt comfort and empathy.? Michelle brought strength to her monologue.? With a powerful voice and a jovial laugh, she left it all on the stage, just the way her character who have done herself.

Our future is only as safe as about ability to remember and learn from the past.? Lowcountry Revolutionaries is an educational, entertaining and important look at our past as told by seven characters, with very personal accounts of a time when fighting for freedom was all they knew.

Their touching recollections remind us that we can’t lose sight or take advantage of what we have.? No matter what, we must remember those that helped light the fire of freedom.

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This Day in History: Francis Marion and Henry Lee Surprise Attack on British in Georgetown, SC

By Mark A. Leon

The name Francis Marion or “The Swamp Fox” holds a tremendous amount of leverage in Charleston.? From his prominent namesake of Marion Square to the Francis Marion Hotel, The Swamp Fox was a critical military and political figure in America’s fight for Freedom.? Though it is a bit exaggerated, Mel Gibson’s ‘The Patriot’ is loosely based on his life.? Some historians also argue, Francis Marion began what we know today as guerilla warfare.

On this day in history, January 24, 1781, Patriot commanders Lieutenant Colonel Light Horse Henry Lee and Brigadier General Francis “Swamp Fox” Marion of South Carolina militia raided 200 British soldiers in Georgetown, SC.? Marion took control of this militia group assembled at Fort Sumter in 1780 and during this surprise raid of Georgetown were able to capture a number of British officers including the British Commander.

This was a key battle in the Revolutionary effort and one that would catapult Francis Marion to prominence.

All on this day in Charleston area history 236 years ago today.

Learn more about Francis Marion and the South Carolina patriot efforts during the Revolutionary War efforts:

The Swamp Fox History – Smithsonian

American Heroes: Francis Marion, South Carolina’s Swamp Fox – A Patriot’s History

General Francis Marion: Revolutionary War Hero – Sciway

Francis Marion – United States History