Nearly 13,000 Union troops flooded onto the island in the days after the battle. Most importantly, a decisive blow to George Washington and the Continental Army eluded British commanders. A British army captured New York in 1776 and the following year the American capital at Philadelphia. February 3, 1779 Battle of Port Royal Island Beaufort SC. The Battle of Port Royal Island is one of more than 250 Revolutionary War battles and skirmishes in the state, Bostick said, more than any of the other colonies. While it is common for Revolutionary War battlefields to possess something of historic note, the 1779 Battle of Port Royal Island stands out with brow-raising distinction. The capture of Savannah and control of the Savannah River gave the British an avenue of advance into the interior of George and South Carolina. Moultrie's force consisted of Continental Regulars and militia. The Battle of Beaufort, also known as the Battle of Port Royal Island, was fought on February 3, 1779, near Beaufort, South Carolina, during the American Revolutionary War. On December 29, 1778, Savannah, Georgia, fell to Crown forces. The inconsequential battle took place not long after British forces consolidated control around Savannah, Georgia, which they had captured in December 1778. However, severe losses incurred in early March at Brier Creek delayed American plans to move against Prevost's forces in Georgia. In an effort to reinvigorate the war effort, British strategists turned their attention to the Southern Colonies. On February 2, 1779, while British units were marching on Augusta from Savannah, an amphibious expedition consisting of 150 light infantrymen on four transports, the twenty-four-gun ship Vigilant, and the smaller warship Germaine left Tybee Island, Georgia, for Port … The Battle of Port Royal was the largest naval engagement ever fought in American waters. James Doharty's militia. They landed first at Hilton Head Island on February 1st and was immediately fired upon by Capt. 1862 - Hilton Head Island was also referred to as Port Royal, in reference to the Port Royal military instal… By the autumn of 1778, the American Revolution was at an impasse. Donate today to preserve battlefields in America and protect the legacy of our nation’s defining conflicts. Port-Royal was a settlement on the site of modern-day Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia, part of the French colony of Acadia.It was founded in 1629 by Sir William Alexander’s Scottish settlers and named Charlesfort. [14] The victory of a largely militia force over British regulars was a boost to the Americans' morale. Here two Declaration of Independence Signers, Heyward and Rutledge, manned the American artillery that defeated the invading British forces. [11], Gardner's men landed on Port Royal Island at the plantation of Andrew Deveaux (present-day Laurel Bay), a Loyalist who may have guided them, on February 2. General Moultrie positioned two six-pound field cannons in the center of his line, with a smaller two-pounder on the right. Battle of Port Royal Island at St. Helena's Church Cemetery, Beaufort Here lie the bodies of Lieut. The battle took place not long after British forces consolidated control around Savannah , Georgia, which they had captured in December 1778. Moultrie encountered Gardiner atop Gray's Hill. 1861 - Beginning in July, Fort Walker was built on Hilton Head Island at the entrance to Port Royal Sound in Order to protect the port from Union attacks. It was not Gardner's fault, however, that he had no Loyalist support. The British began their "southern strategy" by sending expeditions from New York City and Saint Augustine, East Florida to capture Savannah, Georgia late in 1778. The British commander is sometimes misidentified as Major Valentine Gardner of the 16th Foot, who was also on the expedition. DuPont bombarded for 4½ hours the Confederate forces in Fort Walker on this shore and Fort Beauregard on the opposite point. Battle of Port Royal Island Historic Marker Given the COVID-19 pandemic, call ahead to verify hours, and remember to practice social distancing 1 Tip and review Help preserve American history forever with your tax-deductible year-end gift today! Please consider making a gift today to help raise the $170,000 we need to preserve this piece of American history forever. [14] When Lincoln began moving troops toward Augusta in April, Prevost moved in force toward Charleston, but was able to do little more than briefly blockade the city before retreating back to Savannah. The engagement had an outstanding military description on the Civil War @ Charleston web site, but this seems to have disappeared from the web. The Majority of our funds go directly to Preservation and Education. In the beginning, everyone wanted to claim this region. Port Royal was built on a small island off the coast of Jamaica in the harbor across from present-day Kingston. BEAUFORT, SOUTH CAROLINA—Archaeologists and volunteers say they have found the site of the Battle of Port Royal Island, fought on February 3, 1779, in which American troops led by General William Moultrie defeated British troops led by General Augustine Prevost. [2], Gardner was criticized by Prevost for the mauling his detachment received because he strayed too far from his boats. Both sides exchanged artillery fire before the musketry opened. Upon his return to Savannah, Gardiner was censured by Maj. Gen. Augustine Prevost for the failure of the expedition. Brigadier General Augustine Prevost sent 200 British regulars to seize Port Royal Island at the mouth of the Broad River in South Carolina in late January 1779. Battle of Port Royal, 7 … About 13,000 black slaves permanently resided on the Sea Islands; they ran the plantations, oversaw the cotton fields and tended the rice. The primary approach to Norfolk, Virginia, was over Great Bridge , which spanned the Elizabeth... Save History with Your Year-End Gift Today, Preserve 108 Acres of the Most Important Unprotected Battlefield Land, Save 40 Acres of the American Revolution Southern Theater, Kentuckians: Support Battlefield Preservation Legislation, Virginians: Support Battlefield Preservation Legislation, Make a tax-deductible year-end gift to help save American history. The original French settlement of Port Royal (Habitation de Port-Royal), located approximately 7 kilometres down the Annapolis Basin, had earlier established farms in the area. Campaign Engagement The americans suffered 8 deaths and 22 wounded, while the British were believed to have suffered around 40 deaths or wounded soldiers. [16] Fort Lyttelton's remains are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.[17]. Spanish, French and British explorers struggled to colonize the area, which was an isolated seaside province dotted with Native American tribes. Possible Revolutionary War Battlefield Found in South Carolina. On February 3, 1779, Maj. James Gardiner went ashore with light infantry from the 16th Regiment of Foot and two battalions from the 60th Regiment of Foot. The Royal Port Penn Center is a hub of Gullah arts and culture and features a museum dedicated to this fascinating group of people. The Battle of Port Royal Island, Feb. 3, 1779, was little more than a hot skirmish, but it gave flagging Patriot morale a needed boost. The British high command also elected to establish a base … Help save a crucial 22-acre tract on the battlefield where 14 African American soldiers earned the highest military honor in the land. 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