The American Revolution in South Carolina

Fort Moultrie

May 7, 1780


Patriot Cdr:

Lt. Col. William Scott
British Cdr:

Capt. Charles Hudson
Killed:

0
Killed:

Unknown
Wounded:

0
Wounded:

Unknown
Captured:

217
Captured:

0
Old District: 

Charles Town District
Present County:

Charleston County

On May 7th, during the Charlestown expedition of General Sir Henry Clinton, Capt. Charles Hudson, from the HMS Richmond, and 500 Royal Marines received surrender of Fort Moultrie on Sullivan's Island, and its 216 man garrison, from Lt. Col. William Scott, after threatening to storm it. Most of the fort's garrison had been evacuated earlier before the British arrived. Fort Moultrie had played a key role in the repulse of General Clinton and Sir Peter Parker’s expedition to take Charlestown in 1776. Capt. Hudson took 117 Continentals and 100 Militia prisoner, plus 9 twenty-four-pounders, 7 eighteen-pounders, 10 twelve-pounders, 9 nine-pounders, 2 six-pounders, 4 four-pounders, 4 ten-inch mortars, and a large quantity of artillery ammunition and equipment.

Lt. Col. Banastre Tarleton:

“This success [at Lenud’s Ferry] was closely followed by the reduction of Fort Moultrie. The admiral having taken the fort at Mount Pleasant, acquired from it, and the information of deserters, a full knowledge of the state of the garrison and defences of Fort Moultrie, on Sullivan's island. In pursuance of this intelligence, and wishing not to weaken the operations of the army, which became every day more critical, he landed a body of seamen and marines, under the command of Captain Hudson, to attempt the fort by storm, on the west and north-west faces, whilst the ships of the squadron battered it in front. The garrison, consisting of continentals and militia, to the amount of two hundred men, seeing the imminent danger to which they were exposed, and sensible of the impossibility of relief, accepted of the terms offered by a summons on the 7th of May; and by capitulation, surrendered themselves prisoners of war.”

Lt. Anthony Allaire:

"Sunday, 7th. Orders to get ready to march with two days' provision, at a minute's notice. Maj. Ferguson had obtained permission to attack Fort Moultrie. He rode forward with four dragoons to reconnoitre. We were to remain at our post till we got orders for marching. The first news we heard was the fort was in possession of the British; the Rebels had surrendered themselves prisoners of war. Capitulation was as follows: Capt. Hudson of the Navy summoned the fort on Friday, and received for answer: "Tol, lol, de rol, lol: Fort Moultrie will be defended to the last extremity." On Saturday he sent another flag, and demanded a surrender, acquainting Col. Scott that the Lieutenant with the flag would wait a quarter of an hour for an answer. If the fort was not given up, he would immediately storm it, and put all the garrison to the sword. At this Col. Scott changed the tune of his song, begging that there might be a cessation of arms, that the fort would be given up on the following conditions: that the officers both Continental and militia, should march out with the honors of war, and be allowed to wear their side arms; the officers and soldiers of. the militia have paroles to go to their respective homes, and remain peaceably till exchanged; and the continental soldiers to be treated tenderly. Granted by Capt. Hudson. About eight o'clock Sunday morning, Colonel Scott with his men, about one hundred and twenty, marched out of the fort, piled their arms, Capt. Hudson marched in, took possession of Fort Moultrie, the key to Charleston harbor; which puts it in our power to keep out any forcing enemy that would wish to give the Rebels any assistance. Taken in the fort, fifty barrels of powder, forty-four pieces of cannon, one brass ten inch mortar, three thousand cannon cartridges, five hundred ten inch shells, forty thousand musket cartridges, three month's salt provision, a lot of rice, forty head black cattle, sixty sheep, twenty goats, forty fat hogs, six wagons, two stand of colors, an amazing quantity of lunt [match-cord for firing cannon]; and, in short, so many other articles which are necessary in a fort that it would take me a week to set them down."

De Brahm:

"This morning at eight o'clock Fort Moultrie capitulated. A sixty-gun ship joined the English Fleet."

Known Patriot Participants

Known British/Loyalist Participants

Lt. Col. William Scott - Commanding Officer

SC 1st Regiment of Infantry detachment with 118 men

NC 1st Regiment of Continentals detachment of Artificers - 2 men

NC 2nd Regiment of Continentals detachment of Artificers - 2 men

Charles Town District Regiment of Militia detachment - Capt. "Unknown" with 98 men

Royal Navy led by Capt. Charles Hudson, with 350 seamen and marines

American Volunteers led by Major Patrick Ferguson with unknown number of men

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