A Gallant Defense: The Siege of Charleston, 1780 by Carl P. Borick

By Carl P. Borick

In 1779, Sir Henry Clinton and greater than 8 thousand British troops left the waters of recent York to attempt a brand new tack within the conflict opposed to the yankee patriots - taking pictures the colonies' most crucial southern port. Clinton and his officials believed that the seize of Charleston, South Carolina, might switch either the seat of the warfare and its personality. The British have been right on either counts however the impact of the cost used to be defeat. during this complete research of the 1780 siege and quit of Charleston, Carl P. Borick deals an entire exam of the strategic and tactical components of Clinton's operations. Suggesting that students typically have underestimated its value, Borick contends that the siege used to be some of the most wide-ranging, refined, and demanding campaigns of the struggle. whereas amazing a devastating blow to American morale, it reworked the struggle in South Carolina from a traditional eighteenth-century clash right into a partisan warfare. Borick examines the explanations for the shift in British technique, the efforts in their military and army to grab Charleston, and the problems the patriots confronted as they defended the town. He analyzes the activities and judgements of key figures within the crusade together with Benjamin Lincoln, William Moultrie, Sir Henry Clinton, Lord Charles Cornwallis, and Banastre Tarleton. Borick additionally delves into the impression of the crusade on South Carolina civilians. He means that whereas British leaders had anticipated to discover multitudes of loyalist sympathizers within the south, the behavior of British infantrymen and sailors there really served to arouse extra antipathy than allegiance. Drawing on letters, journals, and different documents saved by way of American, British, and Hessian members, Borick is dependent upon a magnificent array of fundamental and secondary resources with regards to the siege. He contains contemporaneous and glossy maps that depict the British method of the town and the complex army operations that resulted in the patriots' maximum defeat of the yankee Revolution.

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Extra info for A Gallant Defense: The Siege of Charleston, 1780

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Finally convinced of the seriousness of the British threat, Lincoln wrote Moultrie on 6 May that his army was on the way back to Charleston. 24 Meanwhile, Prevost’s advanced guard crossed the Ashley River and arrived before the town on 10 May. Moultrie believed that they could hold off the British until Lincoln arrived on the scene. Unfortunately, the fear that gripped the people of Charleston worked against him. In the predawn hours of 11 May, Governor John Rutledge sought out Moultrie as he was inspecting the lines and asked him whether they should seek a parley with the British.

16 In February 1779, the British Admiralty appointed Admiral Marriot Arbuthnot to the top command in North American waters. Arbuthnot, whom Clinton would later refer to as an “old woman,” was almost seventy years old at the time. Unlike Clinton, he probably possessed no aristocratic pedigree and his military career developed slowly. He still held only a captain’s rank at the outbreak of the war. Somehow gaining the favor of the Earl of Sandwich who headed the British Admiralty and who was consequently responsible for making naval appointments, Arbuthnot received the post of navy commissioner at the Halifax Dockyard in 1775.

The British officer again demanded that the garrison in arms surrender themselves prisoners of war. He further stated that their business was with General Moultrie as military commander and that they had nothing to do with the governor. When he received this message, General William Moultrie took charge. ” Unknowingly, the British officers may have prevented the capture of the town and garrison by insisting that they treat only with General Moultrie. Moultrie informed the British that negotiations were at an end.

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