The American Revolution in South Carolina

March 1, 1775

June 21, 1775

November 21, 1775

February 29, 1776

April 15, 1776

October 31, 1776

February 15, 1777

October 30, 1777

March 28, 1778

January 10, 1779

October 10, 1779

January 20, 1780

May 12, 1780

June 1, 1780

August 16, 1780

January 20, 1781

May 15, 1781

September 30, 1781

November 15, 1781

January 31, 1782

December 14, 1782


On June 4, 1776, Maj. Gen. Charles Lee arrived in Charlestown as the recently-appointed leader of the Continental Army Southern Department, with orders to establish his headquarters in Charlestown and to make sure that these southerners know what they're doing. He was also here to "encourage" South Carolina to place its State Troops on the Continental Line, something the colony had been avoiding for quite some time now.

Uncannily, wherever Maj. Gen. Lee seemed to go, British Maj. Gen. Henry Clinton seemed to follow - and it was not long after his arrival when Maj. Gen. Lee received intelligence that the British were coming to Charlestown - with the specific intent to gain military satisfaction in the south since they could not do so in the north thanks to General George Washington.

Maj. Gen. Lee and South Carolina President John Rutledge came to a quick agreement on "just who's running the SC troops," and the two collaborated (with much assistance from the regimental commanders of the State Troops) to prepare Charlestown for the upcoming British assault. No one had time to worry about which units were going to be moved to the Continental Line or not - they had real work to do. Maj. Gen. Lee was promptly made aware of the defenses already being built by Col. William Moultrie and others. Most of Lee's official advice came from his new subordinate, North Carolina Brig. Gen. Robert Howe, who actually contributed much to the defenses of Charlestown prior to the British fleet arriving on June 8th.

The rest, they say, is history. The battle of Ft. Moultrie happened on June 28th, and the British were soundly whooped. Within a week, the entire British fleet leaves the South Carolina coast, not to return for quite a while. However, the British had not totally given up. They now proceeded with Plan B - to incite the Cherokees to wreak havoc in the upcountry. So, South Carolina's focus shifted from the coast to the upcountry.

Since April of this year there were no changes in any leadership roles within the State Troops nor in the regiments of militia. All that changed was the beginning of these leaders attempting to figure out how to work with the Continental Army, which was now forced upon them all - never to go away until the end of the war.

© 2014 - J.D. Lewis - PO Box 1188 - Little River, SC 29566 - All Rights Reserved