The location of the Battle of Port Royal Island fought on February 3, 1779 has long generated speculation and discussion. 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 … This story is taken verbatim from Battleground South Carolina in the Revolution, Warren Ripley, The News Courier and The Evening Post, Charleston, SC, 1983. Union steam ships destroyed Confederate Fort Walker on Hilton Head Island and occupied it, with no Confederate counterattack. [4] Remnants of Savannah's defenders combined with South Carolina militia under Major General Benjamin Lincoln at an encampment at Purrysburg, South Carolina to oppose the British. They represented a diverse cross-section of South Carolina backgrounds. Moultrie had begun a withdrawal when the British were also observed to retreat, leaving the field to the Americans. Port Royal Island, South Carolina Port Royal Island - February 3, 1779 (October 2020) American Battlefield Trust’s map of the Revolutionary War Battle of Port Royal, South Carolina, on February 3, 1779. General Moultrie positioned two six-pound field cannons in the center of his line, with a smaller two-pounder on the right. On December 29, 1778, Savannah, Georgia, fell to Crown forces. 4. 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. 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. [12], Gardner lined his men up at the edge of some woods near the top of the hill and advanced with bayonets fixed. 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. Show your pride in battlefield preservation by shopping in our store. Port Royal was built on a small island off the coast of Jamaica in the harbor across from present-day Kingston. Port Royal Celebrates 450 years of History. The battle took place not long after British forces consolidated control around Savannah, Georgia, which they had captured in December 1778. 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. Save 36 Acres of Hallowed Ground at Two Virginia Taverns, Combined Federal Campaign and State Charitable Campaigns, Watch Exclusive Videos on our YouTube Channel. Please consider making a gift today to help raise the $170,000 we need to preserve this piece of American history forever. The Americans approached and lined up in an open field outside musket range. The British high command also elected to establish a base … The Battle of Port Royal was the largest naval engagement ever fought in American waters. 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 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. 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. The following day, American Brig. About 13,000 black slaves permanently resided on the Sea Islands; they ran the plantations, oversaw the cotton fields and tended the rice. [16] Fort Lyttelton's remains are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.[17]. [13] The attack on Port Royal had a major impact on General Robert E. Lee, who took command of the Confederate Department of South Carolina, Georgia and Florida on November 8, 1861. 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. Map of Port Royal Sound . The battle was inconclusive, but the British withdrew first and suffered heavier casualties than the Americans. Both sides exchanged artillery fire before the musketry opened. [7], The only major defense establishment on Port Royal Island was Fort Lyttelton, which was garrisoned by a company of Continental Army troops under Captain John DeTreville. James Doharty's militia. The American Battlefield Trust and our members have saved more than 53,000 acres in 24 states! For the first two parts, see here and here.. On Port Royal Island, British light infantry under Major Valentine Gardiner and South Carolina forces under Brigadier-General William Moultrie deployed for battle. The British effort to put down the rebellion in its North American colonies experienced some success early in the conflict. A British army captured New York in 1776 and the following year the American capital at Philadelphia. The Battle of Port Royal Island was part of a larger campaign designed by the British to cover their operations against Augusta, Georgia. For the next 45-minutes, Gardiner and Moultrie slugged away at each other, with neither force able to gain the upper hand. Donations to the Trust are tax deductible to the full extent allowable under the law. 1779 Buried here Feb. 5 1779. However with careful research, patience and improvements in archaeological technology in his favor, archaeologist Daniel Battle discovered the actual site of the Battle of Port Royal Island in the Gray's Hill area in 2016. Donate today to preserve battlefields in America and protect the legacy of our nation’s defining conflicts. Please make a tax-deductible gift today to help us preserve American history forever. The Americans then advanced on the British, Moultrie observing that the action was "reversed from the usual way of fighting between British and Americans; they taking the bushes and we taking the open ground. 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. Port Royal is home to many of the remaining members of the Gullah people, direct descendants of West African slaves. February 3, 1779 Battle of Port Royal Island Beaufort SC. Spanish, French and British explorers struggled to colonize the area, which was an isolated seaside province dotted with Native American tribes. Federal Identification Number (EIN): 54-1426643. The loss, however, of General John Burgoyne's army at Saratoga brought generational foe France into the war as an ally of the United States. The inconsequential battle took place not long after British forces consolidated control around Savannah, Georgia, which they had captured in December 1778. "[11] The Americans opened fire first with the artillery, and then with musket volleys. The battle took place not long after British forces consolidated control around Savannah, Georgia, which they had captured in December 1778. [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. Battle of Port Royal.. A decisive battle in the Civil War took place here on Nov. 7, 1861, when 18 Union warships with about 55 supporting craft led by Adm. S.E. HISTORICAL MAP | The Siege of Charleston, South Carolina. Click to donate now. Help save a crucial 22-acre tract on the battlefield where 14 African American soldiers earned the highest military honor in the land. [13] A company of light horse militia chased after the British, very nearly cutting them off from their boats. However, severe losses incurred in early March at Brier Creek delayed American plans to move against Prevost's forces in Georgia. USS Port Royal deployed in March 1996 as part of a USS Nimitz Battle Group. Later in the year, the British repulsed an American effort to recapture Savannah and in the spring of 1780, a British army led by Sir Henry Clinton captured Charleston. The British commander is sometimes misidentified as Major Valentine Gardner of the 16th Foot, who was also on the expedition. [8] When he learned that a comparatively large British force was moving in his direction, he spiked the fort's cannons and blew up its main bastion in order to deny their use to the superior force. Preserve 108 Acres of the Most Important Unprotected Battlefield Land! They successfully captured 26 men, but were unable to hold all of them due to their small numbers. The British high command also elected to establish a base on Port Royal Island, South Carolina,  just north of Savannah. [6] Prevost decided thereafter to send a force to occupy Port Royal Island just up the coast in South Carolina, where he had been led to believe that Loyalist sentiment was strong. Naval Battle of Port Royal Port Royal is a town near Beaufort, which takes its name from the adjacent Sound. Possible Revolutionary War Battlefield Found in South Carolina. https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Battle_of_Beaufort&oldid=934754900, Battles of the American Revolutionary War in South Carolina, Battles in the Southern theater of the American Revolutionary War 1775–1779, Articles using NRISref without a reference number, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 8 January 2020, at 07:10. Major General Benjamin Lincoln, the American commander in the south, sent South Carolina Brigadier General William Moultrie from Purrysburg, South Carolina with a mixed force composed mainly of militia, but with a few Continental Army men, to meet the British advance. The Majority of our funds go directly to Preservation and Education. Battle of Port Royal Island at St. Helena's Church Cemetery, Beaufort Here lie the bodies of Lieut. 1862 - Hilton Head Island was also referred to as Port Royal, in reference to the Port Royal military instal… The battle lasted 5 hours before the planters and the Confederate soldiers fled. [2], Gardner was criticized by Prevost for the mauling his detachment received because he strayed too far from his boats. The victory of a militia over a British force boosted the American Morale. The Union Navy invaded Port Royal Sound on 7 November 1861. This was the site of the first American victory of the Southern Campaign. The Royal Port Penn Center is a hub of Gullah arts and culture and features a museum dedicated to this fascinating group of people. [10] They crossed over to the island on February 1 and occupied Beaufort. (Wilson, p. 199) Gardner's name is also sometimes spelled "Gardiner". Gen. William Moultrie, advanced from Beaufort to meet Gardiner. The battle took place not long after British forces consolidated control around Savannah , Georgia, which they had captured in December 1778. [14] The victory of a largely militia force over British regulars was a boost to the Americans' morale. The … Additionally, two signers of the Declaration of  Independence, Thomas Heyward, Jr. and Edward Rutledge were in Moultrie's ranks, a unique occurrence in the annals of the American Revolution. In early February, 1779, Colonel John Boyd set out with a newly raised regiment of 800 Tories. Many of the buildings where the 6,500 … Among them were a number of African Americans, a  militia unit from Charleston recruited from the city's Jewish population. Despite this victory, Port Royal Island was 1861 - On November 7th, Union forces attacked Fort Walker (later renamed Fort Welles in honor of Gideon Welles, secretary of the Navy) and Fort Beauregard in the Battle of Port Royal. They lived and worked under repressive slave laws, completely isolated from the mainland. It was not Gardner's fault, however, that he had no Loyalist support. The fate of an important South Carolina Revolutionary War battlefield is still uncertain in Beaufort Country. William Calderwood and Ensign John Finley of Col. Prevost's British troops killed in battle near Gray's Hill Feb. 3. Moultrie encountered Gardiner atop Gray's Hill. In an effort to reinvigorate the war effort, British strategists turned their attention to the Southern Colonies. Port Royal Island was again occupied by the British during this campaign. [11] The two forces met near the highest ground on Port Royal Island, a rise called Gray's Hill that was about 3 miles (4.8 km) south of the ferry and in the middle of the island. DuPont bombarded for 4½ hours the Confederate forces in Fort Walker on this shore and Fort Beauregard on the opposite point. 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