Francis Marion was a military officer who served in the American Revolutionary War. Acting with the Continental Army and South Carolina militia commissions, he was a persistent adversary of the British in their occupation of South Carolina and Charleston in 1780 and 1781 after the Continental Army was driven out of the state in the Battle of Camden. Marion used irregular methods of warfare and is considered one of the fathers of modern guerrilla warfare and maneuver warfare, is credited in the lineage of the United States Army Rangers and the other American military Special Forces such as the "Green Berets", he was known as The Swamp Fox. Marion's grandfather Gabriel was a Huguenot who emigrated to the colonies from France before 1700. Francis Marion was born on his family's plantation in South Carolina, c. 1732. Around the age of 15, he was hired on a ship bound for the West Indies which sank on his first voyage. In the years that followed, Marion managed the family's plantation. Marion began his military career shortly before his 25th birthday.
On January 1, 1757, Francis and his brother, were recruited by Captain John Postell to serve in the French and Indian War and to drive the Cherokee Indians away from the border. In 1761, Marion served as a lieutenant under Captain William Moultrie in a campaign against the Cherokee using scorched earth tactics, destroying many Indian villages and burning crops to starve the Cherokee into submission. On June 21, 1775, Marion was commissioned captain in the 2nd South Carolina Regiment under William Moultrie, with whom he served in June 1776 in the defense of Fort Sullivan, in Charleston harbor. In September 1776, the Continental Congress commissioned Marion as a lieutenant colonel. In the autumn of 1779, he took part in the siege of Savannah, a failed Franco-American attempt to capture and recover the Georgia colonial capital city, taken by the British. A British expedition under Henry Clinton moved into South Carolina in the early spring of 1780 and laid siege to Charleston. Marion was not captured with the rest of the garrison when Charleston fell on May 12, 1780, because he had broken an ankle in an accident and had left the city to recuperate.
Clinton took part of the British army that had captured Charleston back to New York but a significant number stayed for operations under Lord Cornwallis in the Carolinas. After the loss in Charleston, the defeats of General Isaac Huger at Moncks Corner and Lieutenant Colonel Abraham Buford at the Waxhaw massacre, Marion organized a small unit, which at first consisted of between 20 and 70 men and was the only force opposing the British Army in the state. At this point, Marion was still nearly crippled from his healing ankle. Marion joined Major General Horatio Gates on July 27 just before the Battle of Camden, but Gates had formed a low opinion of Marion. Gates sent Marion towards the interior to gather intelligence on the British enemy. Marion thus missed the battle. Marion showed himself to be a singularly able leader of irregular militiamen and ruthless in his terrorising of Loyalists. Unlike the Continental troops, Marion's Men, as they were known, served without pay, supplied their own horses and their food.
Marion committed his men to frontal warfare, but surprised larger bodies of Loyalists or British regulars with quick surprise attacks and quick withdrawal from the field. After the surrender of Charleston, the British garrisoned South Carolina with help from local Tories, except for Williamsburg, which they were never able to hold; the British made one attempt to garrison Williamsburg at the colonial village of Willtown, but were driven out by Marion at the Battle of Black Mingo. Cornwallis observed "Colonel Marion had so wrought the minds of the people by the terror of his threats and cruelty of his punishments, by the promise of plunder, that there was scarcely an inhabitant between the Santee and the Pee Dee, not in arms against us"; the British hated Marion and made repeated efforts to neutralize his force, but Marion's intelligence gathering was excellent and that of the British was poor, due to the overwhelming Patriot loyalty of the populace in the Williamsburg area. Colonel Banastre Tarleton was sent to capture or kill Marion in November 1780.
It was Tarleton who gave Marion his nom de guerre when, after unsuccessfully pursuing Marion's troops for over 26 miles through a swamp, he gave up and swore "s for this damned old fox, the Devil himself could not catch him." Once Marion had shown his ability at guerrilla warfare, making himself a serious nuisance to the British, Governor John Rutledge commissioned him a brigadier general of state troops. Marion was tasked with combating groups of freed slaves working or fighting alongside the British, he received an order from the Governor of South Carolina to execute any blacks suspected of carrying provisions or gathering intelligence for the enemy "agreeable to the laws of this State". When Major General Nathanael Greene took command in the South and Lieutenant Colonel Henry Lee were ordered in January 1781, to attack Georgetown but were unsuccessful. In April they took Fort Watson and in May they captured Fort Motte, succeeded in breaking communications between the British posts in the Carolinas.
On August 31, Marion rescued a small American force trapped by 500 British sol
Kingdom of Great Britain
The Kingdom of Great Britain called Great Britain, was a sovereign state in western Europe from 1 May 1707 to 31 December 1800. The state came into being following the Treaty of Union in 1706, ratified by the Acts of Union 1707, which united the kingdoms of England and Scotland to form a single kingdom encompassing the whole island of Great Britain and its outlying islands, with the exception of the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands; the unitary state was governed by a single parliament and government, based in Westminster. The former kingdoms had been in personal union since James VI of Scotland became King of England and King of Ireland in 1603 following the death of Elizabeth I, bringing about the "Union of the Crowns". After the accession of George I to the throne of Great Britain in 1714, the kingdom was in a personal union with the Electorate of Hanover; the early years of the unified kingdom were marked by Jacobite risings which ended in defeat for the Stuart cause at Culloden in 1746.
In 1763, victory in the Seven Years' War led to the dominance of the British Empire, to become the foremost global power for over a century and grew to become the largest empire in history. The Kingdom of Great Britain was replaced by the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland on 1 January 1801 with the Acts of Union 1800; the name Britain descends from the Latin name for the island of Great Britain, Britannia or Brittānia, the land of the Britons via the Old French Bretaigne and Middle English Bretayne, Breteyne. The term Great Britain was first used in 1474; the use of the word "Great" before "Britain" originates in the French language, which uses Bretagne for both Britain and Brittany. French therefore distinguishes between the two by calling Britain la Grande Bretagne, a distinction, transferred into English; the Treaty of Union and the subsequent Acts of Union state that England and Scotland were to be "United into One Kingdom by the Name of Great Britain", as such "Great Britain" was the official name of the state, as well as being used in titles such as "Parliament of Great Britain".
Both the Acts and the Treaty describe the country as "One Kingdom" and a "United Kingdom", which has led some much publications into the error of treating the "United Kingdom" as a name before it came into being in 1801. The websites of the Scottish Parliament, the BBC, others, including the Historical Association, refer to the state created on 1 May 1707 as the United Kingdom of Great Britain; the term United Kingdom was sometimes used during the 18th century to describe the state, but was not its name. The kingdoms of England and Scotland, both in existence from the 9th century, were separate states until 1707. However, they had come into a personal union in 1603, when James VI of Scotland became king of England under the name of James I; this Union of the Crowns under the House of Stuart meant that the whole of the island of Great Britain was now ruled by a single monarch, who by virtue of holding the English crown ruled over the Kingdom of Ireland. Each of the three kingdoms maintained laws.
Various smaller islands were in the king's domain, including the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands. This disposition changed when the Acts of Union 1707 came into force, with a single unified Crown of Great Britain and a single unified parliament. Ireland remained formally separate, with its own parliament, until the Acts of Union 1800; the Union of 1707 provided for a Protestant-only succession to the throne in accordance with the English Act of Settlement of 1701. The Act of Settlement required that the heir to the English throne be a descendant of the Electress Sophia of Hanover and not be a Catholic. Legislative power was vested in the Parliament of Great Britain, which replaced both the Parliament of England and the Parliament of Scotland. In practice it was a continuation of the English parliament, sitting at the same location in Westminster, expanded to include representation from Scotland; as with the former Parliament of England and the modern Parliament of the United Kingdom, the Parliament of Great Britain was formally constituted of three elements: the House of Commons, the House of Lords, the Crown.
The right of the English peerage to sit in the House of Lords remained unchanged, while the disproportionately large Scottish peerage was permitted to send only 16 representative peers, elected from amongst their number for the life of each parliament. The members of the former English House of Commons continued as members of the British House of Commons, but as a reflection of the relative tax bases of the two countries the number of Scottish representatives was reduced to 45. Newly created peers in the Peerage of Great Britain were given the automatic right to sit in the Lords. Despite the end of a separate parliament for Scotland, it retained its own laws and system of courts, As its own established Presbyterian Church, control over its own schools; the social structure was hierarchical, the same elite remain in control after 1707. Scotland continued to have its own excellent universities, with the strong intellectual community in Edinburgh, The Scottish Enlightenment had a major impact on British and European thinking.
As a result of Poynings' Law of 1495, the Parliament of Ireland was subordinate to the Parliament of England, after 1707 to the Parliament of Great Britain. The Westminster parliament's Declaratory Act 1719 (also called the Dependency of Ireland
Battle of Cowpens
The Battle of Cowpens was an engagement during the American Revolutionary War fought on January 17, 1781, between American Colonial forces under Brigadier General Daniel Morgan and British forces under Lieutenant Colonel Sir Banastre Tarleton, as part of the campaign in the Carolinas. The battle was a turning point in the American reconquest of South Carolina from the British. Morgan's forces conducted a double envelopment of Tarleton's forces, the only double envelopment of the war. Tarleton's force of 1000 British troops were set against 2000 troops under Morgan. Morgan's forces suffered casualties of 69 wounded. Tarleton's force was annihilated, with Tarleton himself and about 200 British troops escaping. A small force of the Continental Army under the command of Morgan had marched to the west of the Catawba River, in order to forage for supplies and raise the morale of local Colonial sympathizers; the British had received incorrect reports that Morgan's army was planning to attack the important strategic fort of Ninety Six, held by American Loyalists to the British Crown and located in the west of the Carolinas.
The British considered Morgan's army a threat to their left flank. General Charles Cornwallis dispatched cavalry commander Tarleton to defeat Morgan's command. Upon learning Morgan's army was not at Ninety Six, bolstered by British reinforcements, set off in hot pursuit of the American detachment. Morgan resolved to make a stand near the Broad River, he selected a position on two low hills in open woodland, with the expectation that the aggressive Tarleton would make a headlong assault without pausing to devise a more intricate plan. He deployed his army in three main lines. Tarleton's army, after exhaustive marching, reached the field malnourished and fatigued. Tarleton attacked immediately; the British lines lost their cohesion. When Morgan's army went on the offensive, it wholly overwhelmed Tarleton's force. Tarleton's brigade was wiped out as an effective fighting force, coupled with the British defeat at King's Mountain in the northwest corner of South Carolina, this action compelled Cornwallis to pursue the main southern American army into North Carolina, leading to the Battle of Guilford Court House, Cornwallis's eventual defeat at the Siege of Yorktown in Virginia in October 1781.
In the opinion of John Marshall, "Seldom has a battle, in which greater numbers were not engaged, been so important in its consequences as that of Cowpens." On October 14, 1780, Continental Army commander General George Washington chose Nathanael Greene, a Rhode Island Quaker officer, to be commander of the Southern Department of the rebel Continental forces. Greene's task was not an easy one. In 1780 the Carolinas had been the scene of a long string of disasters for the Continental Army, the worst being the capture of one American army under Gen. Benjamin Lincoln in May 1780, at the Siege of Charleston; the British took control of this city, the largest in the South and the capital of South Carolina, occupied it. That year another Colonial army, commanded by Gen. Horatio Gates, was destroyed at the Battle of Camden. A victory of Colonial militia over their Loyalist counterparts at the Battle of Kings Mountain on the northwest frontier in October had bought time, but most of South Carolina was still occupied by the British.
When Greene took command, the southern army numbered 2307 men, of whom only 949 were Continental regulars the famous trained "Maryland Line" regiment. On December 3, Brigadier General Daniel Morgan reported for duty to Greene's headquarters at Charlotte, North Carolina. At the start of the Revolution, whose military experience dated to the French and Indian War, had served at the Siege of Boston in 1775, he participated in the 1775 invasion of Canada and its climactic battle, the Battle of Quebec. That battle, on December 31, 1775, ended in Morgan's capture by the British. Morgan was exchanged in January 1777 and placed by George Washington in command of a picked force of 500 trained riflemen, known as Morgan's Riflemen. Morgan and his men played a key role in the 1777 victory at Saratoga along the Hudson River in upstate New York, which proved to be a turning point of the entire war. Bitter after being passed over for promotion and plagued by severe attacks of sciatica, Morgan left the rebel army in 1779.
A year he was promoted to Brigadier General and returned to service in the Southern Department. Greene decided, he made the unconventional decision to divide his army, sending a detachment west of the Catawba River to raise the morale of the locals and find supplies beyond the limited amounts available around Charlotte. Greene gave Morgan command of this wing and instructed him to join with the militia west of the Catawba and take command of them. Morgan headed west on December 21, charged with taking position between the Broad and Pacolet rivers, protecting the civilians in that area, he had 600 men, some 400 of which were Continentals the Marylanders. The rest were Virginia militia. By Christmas Day Morgan had reached the Pacolet River, he was joined by 60 more South Carolina militia led by the experienced guerrilla partisan Andrew Pickens. Other militia from Georgia and the Carolinas joined Morgan's camp. Meanwhile, Lord Cornwallis was planning to return to North Carolina and conduct the invasion that he had postponed after the defeat at Kings Mountain.
Morgan's force represented a threat to his left. Additionally, Cornwallis received incorrect intell
Henry Lee III
Major-General Henry "Light-Horse Harry" Lee III was an early American Patriot and politician. He served as the ninth Governor of Virginia and as the Virginia Representative to the United States Congress. Lee's service during the American Revolution as a cavalry officer in the Continental Army earned him the nickname by which he is best known, "Light-Horse Harry", he was the father of commander of the Confederate armies in the American Civil War. Lee was born near Dumfries in the Colony of Virginia, he was the son of Col. Henry Lee II of "Leesylvania" and Lucy Grymes, his father was the first cousin of twelfth President of the Continental Congress. His mother was an aunt of the wife of Jr.. His great-grandmother Mary Bland was a grand-aunt of President Thomas Jefferson. Lee was the grandson of Capt. Henry Lee I, a great-grandson of Richard Bland, a great-great-grandson of William Randolph, he was a descendant of Theodorick Bland of Westover and Governor Richard Bennett. Lee graduated from the College of New Jersey in 1773, began pursuing a legal career.
With the outbreak of the Revolutionary War, he instead became a captain in a Virginia dragoon detachment, attached to the 1st Continental Light Dragoons. In 1778, Lee was promoted to major and given the command of a mixed corps of cavalry and infantry known as Lee's Legion, with which he won a great reputation as a capable leader of light troops. At the time mobile groups of light cavalry provided valuable service not only during major battles, but by conducting reconnaissance and surveillance, engaging the enemy during troop movements, disrupting delivery of supplies, doing raiding and skirmishing, organizing expedition behind enemy lines. In September of the same year, Lee commanded a unit of dragoons which defeated a Hessian regiment at the Battle of Edgar's Lane, it was during his time as commander of the Legion that Lee earned the sobriquet of "Light-Horse Harry" for his horsemanship. On September 22, 1779 the Continental Congress voted to present Lee with a gold medal—a reward given to no other officer below a general's rank—for the Legion's actions during the Battle of Paulus Hook in New Jersey, on August 19 of that year.
Lee was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel and was assigned with his Legion to the southern theater of war. Lee's Legion raided the British outpost of Georgetown, South Carolina with General Francis Marion in January 1781 and helped screen the American army in their Race to the Dan River the following month. Lee united with General Francis Marion and General Andrew Pickens in the spring of 1781 to capture numerous British outposts in South Carolina and Georgia including Fort Watson, Fort Motte, Fort Granby, Fort Galphin, Fort Grierson, Fort Cornwallis, Georgia, they conducted a campaign of terror and intimidation against Loyalists in the region, highlighted in Pyle's Massacre. Lee and his legion served at the Battle of Guilford Court House, the Siege of Ninety-Six, the Battle of Eutaw Springs, he was present at Charles Cornwallis's surrender at Yorktown, but left the Army shortly after, claiming fatigue and disappointment with his treatment from fellow officers. In 1794, Lee was summoned by President George Washington to suppress the Whiskey Rebellion in western Pennsylvania.
Lee commanded. In 1798, in anticipation of a war with France, Henry Lee was appointed a major general in the U. S. Army. In 1808, he was recommissioned by President Thomas Jefferson as major-general when war with Great Britain was imminent, he asked President James Madison for a commission at the onset of the War of 1812 but without success. In 1812 he published his Memoirs of the War in the Southern Department of the United States, where he summarized his military experiences during the Revolutionary War. From 1786 to 1788, Lee was a delegate to the Congress of the Confederation, in 1788 at the Virginia convention. From 1789 to 1791, he served in the General Assembly and, from 1791 to 1794, was Governor of Virginia. From 1799 to 1801, he served in the United States House of Representatives of the Congress, he famously eulogized Washington to a crowd of 4,000 at the first President's funeral on December 26, 1799 as "first in war, first in peace, first in the hearts of his countrymen". Between April 8 and 13, 1782, at Stratford Hall, Lee married his second cousin, Matilda Ludwell Lee, known as "the Divine Matilda".
She was the daughter of Sr. and Elizabeth Steptoe. Matilda had three children before she died in 1790: Philip Ludwell Lee Lucy Grymes Lee Henry Lee IV, was a historian and author who served as a speech writer for both John C. Calhoun and presidential candidate Andrew Jackson helping the latter to write his inaugural address. On June 18, 1793, Lee married the wealthy Anne Hill Carter at Shirley Plantation. Anne was the daughter of Charles Carter, Esq. of Shirley, his wife Ann Butler Moore. They had six children: Algernon Sidney Lee, died at Sully Plantation, buried there in an unmarked grave Charles Carter Lee Anne Kinloch Lee Sydney Smith Lee Robert Edward Lee, the fifth child of Henry and Anne, served as Confederate general-in-chief during the Ame
Battle of Musgrove Mill
The Battle of Musgrove Mill, August 19, 1780, occurred near a ford of the Enoree River, near the present-day border between Spartanburg and Union Counties in South Carolina. During the course of the battle, 200 Patriot militiamen defeated a combined force of 300 Loyalist militiamen and 200 provincial regulars. By the summer of 1780, the war that raged in the backcountry of South Carolina had become America’s first civil war. Few men engaged on either side had seen Great Britain, backcountry fighting tended to be brutal and retaliatory. On the evening of August 18, two hundred mounted Patriot partisans under joint command of Colonels Isaac Shelby, James Williams, Elijah Clarke prepared to raid a Loyalist camp at Musgrove’s Mill, which controlled the local grain supply and guarded a ford of the Enoree River; the Patriots anticipated surprising a garrison of about an equal number of Loyalists, but a local farmer informed them that the Tories had been reinforced by about a hundred Loyalist militia and two hundred provincial regulars on their way to join British Major Patrick Ferguson.
With their position compromised by an enemy patrol and horses unable to go on without rest, the Patriots understood that they must stand and fight despite being outnumbered better than two to one. At the top of a ridge across the road leading down to Musgrove Mill, the partisans formed a semicircular breastwork of brush and fallen timber about three hundred yards long. In the best tradition of guerrilla tactics, a band of about twenty men under the leadership of Captain Shadrach Inman crossed the Enoree and engaged the enemy. Feigning confusion they retreated back toward the line of ambush until the Loyalists were nearly on the Patriot line; when the Loyalists spotted the Patriot line, they fired too early. The Patriots, held their fire until the Loyalists got within killing range of their muskets. Patriot musket fire operated “with devastating effect.” Nonetheless, the Tory regulars were well disciplined and nearly overwhelmed the Patriot right flank with a bayonet charge. Isaac Shelby ordered his reserve of “Overmountain Men” to support him, they rushed into the battle shrieking Indian war cries.
The Tories wavered, when a number of their officers went down, they broke—although not before Captain Inman, who had a key role in implementing the Patriot strategy, was killed on the battlefield. Patriots ran from their positions “yelling and slashing on every hand.” The whole battle took an hour. Within that period, sixty-three Tories were killed, an unknown number wounded, seventy were taken prisoner; the Patriots lost only about twelve wounded. Patriots, 200 to 300 men:North Carolina and Georgia militia under command of Colonel Isaac Shelby: Sullivan County Regiment of North Carolina militia Burke County Regiment of North Carolina militia Washington County Regiment of North Carolina militia Wilkes County regiment of Georgia militiaSouth Carolina militia under command of Col. James Williams and Major Samuel Hammond 1st Spartan regiment 2nd Spartan regiment Roebuck's Battalion of Spartan Lower District regiment Little River District regimentBritish and Loyalists under the command of Lt. Col. Alexander Innis South Carolina loyalists New Jersey Volunteers DeLancey's Brigade, 1st Battalion Fanning's South Carolina Loyalist militia Dutch Fork Regiment of Loyalist militia Some Whig leaders considered attacking the Tory stronghold at Ninety Six, South Carolina.
Shelby’s forces covered sixty miles with Ferguson in hot pursuit before making good their escape. In the wake of General Horatio Gates’ blundering defeat at Camden, the victory at Musgrove Mill heartened the Patriots and served as further evidence that the South Carolina backcountry could not be held by the Tories. Shelby and his Overmountain Men fled back over the Appalachian Mountains and into the territory of the Watauga Association at Sycamore Shoals in present-day Elizabethton, by the next month on September 25, 1780, Colonels Shelby, John Sevier, Charles McDowell and their 600 Overmountain Men had combined forces with Col. William Campbell and his 400 Virginia men at the Sycamore Shoals muster in advance of the October 7, 1780 Battle of Kings Mountain near present-day Blacksburg, South Carolina; the Musgrove Mill battlefield is preserved at the Musgrove Mill State Historic Site, it is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Musgrove Mill State Historic Site. Loyalist Institute website, photographs of battle site.
National Register Properties in South Carolina, South Carolina Department of Archives and History, includes photographs of the park and battle site
Battle of Kings Mountain
The Battle of Kings Mountain was a military engagement between Patriot and Loyalist militias in South Carolina during the Southern Campaign of the American Revolutionary War, resulting in a decisive victory for the Patriots. The battle took place on October 7, 1780, 9 miles south of the present-day town of Kings Mountain, North Carolina in what is now rural Cherokee County, South Carolina, where the Patriot militia defeated the Loyalist militia commanded by British Major Patrick Ferguson of the 71st Foot; the battle has been described as "the war’s largest all-American fight". Ferguson had arrived in North Carolina in early September 1780 to recruit troops for the Loyalist militia and protect the flank of Lord Cornwallis' main force. Ferguson issued a challenge to the rebel militias to suffer the consequences. In response, the Patriot militias led by Benjamin Cleveland, James Johnston, William Campbell, John Sevier, Joseph McDowell and Isaac Shelby rallied for an attack on Ferguson. Receiving intelligence on the oncoming attack, Ferguson decided to retreat to the safety of Lord Cornwallis' army.
However, the Patriots caught up with the Loyalists at Kings Mountain near the border with South Carolina. Achieving a complete surprise, the Patriot militiamen attacked and surrounded the Loyalists, inflicting heavy casualties. After an hour of battle, Ferguson was fatally shot while trying to break the rebel line, after which his men surrendered; some Patriots gave no quarter until the rebel officers re-established control over their men. Although victorious, the Patriots had to retreat from the area for fear of Cornwallis' advance, they executed nine Loyalist prisoners after a short trial. The battle was a pivotal moment in the Southern campaign; the surprising victory of the American patriot militia over the Loyalists came after a string of rebel defeats at the hands of Lord Cornwallis, raised the Patriots' morale. With Ferguson dead and his Loyalist militia destroyed, Cornwallis was forced to abandon his plan to invade North Carolina and retreated into South Carolina. Major Patrick Ferguson was appointed Inspector of Militia on May 22, 1780.
His task was to march to the old Tryon County area and organize Loyalist units from the Tory population of the Carolina Backcountry, protect the left flank of Lord Cornwallis' main body at Charlotte, North Carolina. On the morning of August 18, 1780, two hundred mounted Patriot partisans under joint command of Colonels Isaac Shelby, James Williams, Elijah Clarke prepared to raid a Loyalist camp at Musgrove’s Mill, which controlled the local grain supply and guarded a ford of the Enoree River; the Battle of Musgrove Mill, August 19, 1780, occurred near a ford of the Enoree River, near the present-day border between Spartanburg and Union Counties in South Carolina. The Patriots anticipated surprising a garrison of about an equal number of Loyalists, but a local farmer informed them that the Tories had been reinforced by about a hundred Loyalist militia and two hundred provincial regulars on their way to join British Major Patrick Ferguson; the whole battle took an hour and within that period, sixty-three Tories were killed, an unknown number wounded, seventy were taken prisoner.
The Patriots lost only about twelve wounded. Some Whig leaders considered attacking the Tory stronghold at Ninety Six, South Carolina. Shelby’s forces covered sixty miles with Ferguson in hot pursuit before making their escape. In the wake of General Horatio Gates’ blundering defeat at Camden, the victory at Musgrove Mill heartened the Patriots and served as further evidence that the South Carolina backcountry could not be held by the Tories. Shelby and his Overmountain Men crossed back over the Appalachian Mountains and retreated back into the territory of the Watauga Association at Sycamore Shoals in present day Elizabethton, by the next month on September 25, 1780, Colonels Shelby, John Sevier, Charles McDowell and their 600 Overmountain Men had combined forces with Col. William Campbell and his 400 Virginia men at the Sycamore Shoals muster in advance of the October 7, 1780, Battle of Kings Mountain north of present day Blacksburg, South Carolina in North Carolina. On September 2, Ferguson and the militia he had recruited marched west in pursuit of Shelby toward the Appalachian Mountain hill country on what is now the Tennessee/North Carolina border.
By September 10, Ferguson had established a base camp at Gilbert Town, North Carolina and, according to Shelby issued a challenge to the Patriot leaders to lay down their arms or he would "lay waste to their country with fire and sword."North Carolina Patriot militia leaders Isaac Shelby and John Sevier, from the Washington District and agreed to lead their militiamen against him. Patriot leaders sent word to a Virginia militia leader, William Campbell, asking him to join them at Sycamore Shoals. Campbell called on Benjamin Cleveland to bring his Wilkes County, North Carolina militia to the rendezvous; the detachments of Shelby and Campbell were met by 160 North Carolina militiamen led by Charles McDowell and his brother Joseph. Campbell's cousin, Arthur Campbell, brought 200 more Virginians. About 1,100 volunteers from southwest Virginia and today's northeast Tennessee, known as the "Overmountain Men" because they had settled into the wilderness west of the Appalachian Mountains ridgeline, mustered at the rendezvous on September 25, 1780, at Sycamore Shoals ne
Siege of Charleston
The Siege of Charleston was a major engagement and major British victory, fought between March 29 to May 12, 1780 during the American Revolutionary War. The British, following the collapse of their northern strategy in late 1777 and their withdrawal from Philadelphia in 1778, shifted their focus to the American Southern Colonies. After six weeks of siege, Major General Benjamin Lincoln, commanding the Charleston garrison, surrendered his forces to the British, resulting in one of the worst American defeats of the war. By late 1779, two major British strategic efforts had failed. An army invading from Quebec under John Burgoyne had surrendered to the Americans under Horatio Gates at the Battles of Saratoga, compelling the Kingdom of France and Spain to declare war on Great Britain in support of the Americans. Meanwhile, a strategic effort led by Sir William Howe to capture the Revolutionary capital of Philadelphia had met with limited success. Having replaced his superior as Commander-in-Chief of the American Station, Sir Henry Clinton withdrew all his forces back to New York City to reinforce the city against a possible Franco-American attack.
Stymied by the Fabian strategy adopted by George Washington, under increasing political pressure to deliver victory, the British turned to launching their "Southern Strategy" for forcing a capitulation of the Americans. The British were persuaded, it was expected. The opening British move was the Capture of Savannah, Georgia in December 1778. After repulsing an assault on Savannah by a combined Franco-American force in October 1779, the British planned to capture Charleston, South Carolina, intending to use the city as a base for further operations in the southern colonies. Sir Henry Clinton evacuated Newport, Rhode Island in Oct. 1779, left the substantial garrison of New York City under the command of Wilhelm von Knyphausen. In December, the day after Christmas 1779, Clinton and his second in command Charles Cornwallis, sailed southward with 8,500 troops and 5,000 sailors on 90 troopships and 14 warships. After a stormy voyage, the fleet anchored in Savannah River on 1 Feb. 1780. By 12 Feb. Clinton had landed his army 30 miles south of Charleston on Simmons Island.
By 24 Feb. the British had crossed the Stono River onto James Island, by 10 March, Lord Cornwallis had made it to the mainland. By 22 March, they had advanced to Middleton Place and Drayton Hall, on 29 March 1780, crossed the Ashley River. Cutting the city off from relief, Clinton began a siege of the city on April 1, 800 yards from the American fortifications located at today's Marion Square. Whipple, deciding the bar was undefendable, ended up scuttling his fleet at the mouth of the Cooper River. Arbuthnot, on 8 April, brought his 14 vessels safely into the harbor, past the roaring guns of Fort Moultrie, the same day Woodford arrived with 750 Virginia Continentals. In order to consolidate British control of the immediate area, Clinton dispatched Banastre Tarleton and Patrick Ferguson to capture Monck's Corner on 14 April. On 18 April, Lt. Col. Lord Rawdon arrived with 2,500 men, including the 42nd Highlanders, the Hessian von Ditfurth Regiment, the Queen's Rangers, Prince of Wales American Volunteers, the Volunteers of Ireland.
Charleston was completely surrounded. Governor John Rutledge escaped on 13 April, before Cornwallis crossed the Cooper River, joined Webster in blocking escape from the left bank. On 21 April, Lincoln requested a surrender with "honours of war", rejected by Clinton. On 25 April, civilians led by Christopher Gadsden prevented any action on Lincoln's part in withdrawing the Continental regiments. On 6 May, Tarleton won another engagement in the Battle of Lenud's Ferry, while the British siege works had advanced far enough towards the Charleston fortifications to drain the canal in front. On 7 May, Fort Moultrie surrendered without a fight. On May 8, Clinton called for Lincoln's unconditional surrender, but Lincoln again attempted to negotiate for the honours of war. On May 11, Gadsden and other citizens asked Lincoln to surrender. While on the same day, the British fired heated shot into the city, burning several homes, compelling Lincoln to call for a parlay to negotiate terms for surrender. On May 12, Lincoln formally surrendered 3,371 men to the British.
When word reached the back-country, the American troops holding Ninety-Six and Camden surrendered to the British. The British captured some 5,266 prisoners, 311 artillery pieces, 9,178 artillery rounds, 5,916 muskets, 33,000 rounds of ammunition, 15 Regimental colours, 49 ships and 120 boats, plus 376 barrels of flour, large magazines of rum and indigo. Following the surrender, the captured ordnance was brought to a powder magazine. A Hessian officer warned that some of the guns might still be loaded. One prematurely fired, detonating 180 barrels of powder, further discharging 5,000 muskets in the magazine; the accident killed 200 people and destroyed six houses. The prisoners of the siege were diverted to multiple locations, including prison shops, the old barracks where the College of Charleston is today, the Old Exchange and Provost "Dungeon". Prison hulks awaited the majority of the 2,571 Continental prisoners, while parole was granted to the militia and civilians who promised not to take up arms.
However, this meant there no longer existed an American army in the South. The defeat was a serious blow to the American cause, it was the largest surrender of an American force under arms, until the 1862 surrender of Union troops at Harper's Ferry during the Antietam Campaign. The surrender left no substantial army in the South, the colonies were