Many of the buildings where the 6,500 … Early on February 3 General Moultrie was alerted to the British presence, and moved his forces out of town. The Americans approached and lined up in an open field outside musket range. The Battle of Beaufort was (aka Battle of Port Royal Island) was fought near Beaufort, South Carolina. 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. aka Battle of Beaufort. Campaign Engagement The americans suffered 8 deaths and 22 wounded, while the British were believed to have suffered around 40 deaths or wounded soldiers. The American Battlefield Trust and our members have saved more than 53,000 acres in 24 states! Battle of Port Royal Island at St. Helena's Church Cemetery, Beaufort Here lie the bodies of Lieut. 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. HISTORICAL MAP | The Siege of Charleston, South Carolina. The British high command also elected to establish a base on Port Royal Island, South Carolina,  just north of Savannah. 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 was the largest naval engagement ever fought in American waters. 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. Among them were a number of African Americans, a  militia unit from Charleston recruited from the city's Jewish population. Although conservative in size to other South Carolina battles, this was the state’s first land engagement between professional British, militia and Continental forces. Upon his return to Savannah, Gardiner was censured by Maj. Gen. Augustine Prevost for the failure of the expedition. On January 29 HMS Vigilant, an unseaworthy ship of the line that had been converted to a floating battery, was towed by Royal Navy crews in longboats through the channel separating Hilton Head Island from the mainland. [13] A company of light horse militia chased after the British, very nearly cutting them off from their boats. 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 high command also elected to establish a base … 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. 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. 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. 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. However, severe losses incurred in early March at Brier Creek delayed American plans to move against Prevost's forces in Georgia. The British had landed a raiding force of 200 men and a howitzer on the island and although no attempt was made to capture … Naval Battle of Port Royal Port Royal is a town near Beaufort, which takes its name from the adjacent Sound. Nearly 13,000 Union troops flooded onto the island in the days after the battle. USS Port Royal deployed in March 1996 as part of a USS Nimitz Battle Group. They lived and worked under repressive slave laws, completely isolated from the mainland. 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. Enticed by its harbor - Port Royal sound is the second-deepest natural harbor on the East Coast. The battle of Port Royal, 7 November 1861, was a major Union victory early in the American Civil War that demonstrated how difficult it would be for the Confederacy to defend its coastline. On December 29, 1778, Savannah, Georgia, fell to Crown forces. This story is taken verbatim from Battleground South Carolina in the Revolution, Warren Ripley, The News Courier and The Evening Post, Charleston, SC, 1983. 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. [7][9] Moultrie's force was composed mostly of South Carolina militia from the Beaufort area, but it was accompanied by a few Continental Army regulars, and two companies of artillery from Charleston, which were headed by former Congressmen Edward Rutledge and Thomas Heyward, Jr.[6] This force arrived at the main Port Royal ferry on the 31st, not long after DeTreville had finished destroying the fort. These men retreated when they encountered Patriot troops, and Gardner began to move his main force toward Beaufort to face the Americans. The battle took place not long after British forces consolidated control around Savannah, Georgia, which they had captured in December 1778. [10] They crossed over to the island on February 1 and occupied Beaufort. The British effort to put down the rebellion in its North American colonies experienced some success early in the conflict. In the beginning, everyone wanted to claim this region. [13] The Americans, in contrast, suffered only 8 killed and 22 wounded. The battle was inconclusive, but the British withdrew first and suffered heavier casualties than the Americans. [15], The battle is commemorated by a highway marker on U. S. Route 21 near the battle site. [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. 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. Donations to the Trust are tax deductible to the full extent allowable under the law. They represented a diverse cross-section of South Carolina backgrounds. The … The battle took place not long after British forces consolidated control around Savannah , Georgia, which they had captured in December 1778. Although relatively small in size compared to other South Carolina battles, the 1779 Battle of Port Royal Island was the state’s first land engagement between professional British regular troops and local American militia units supplemented by Continental Army forces. The battle lasted 5 hours before the planters and the Confederate soldiers fled. 4. Port Royal was built on a small island off the coast of Jamaica in the harbor across from present-day Kingston. For the next 45-minutes, Gardiner and Moultrie slugged away at each other, with neither force able to gain the upper hand. Port Royal is home to many of the remaining members of the Gullah people, direct descendants of West African slaves. 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. The … Every purchase supports the mission. Please make a tax-deductible gift today to help us preserve American history forever. Here two Declaration of Independence Signers, Heyward and Rutledge, manned the American artillery that defeated the invading British forces. Despite this victory, Port Royal Island was This was the site of the first American victory of the Southern Campaign. A British army captured New York in 1776 and the following year the American capital at Philadelphia. The Union Navy invaded Port Royal Sound on 7 November 1861. Port Royal Island was again occupied by the British during this campaign. 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. 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. Hilton Head was named the Headquarters of the Department of the South, Ft. Walker was renamed Ft. Welles, and the town was called Port Royal. 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. In early February, 1779, Colonel John Boyd set out with a newly raised regiment of 800 Tories. This is the third of three posts on the February 3, 1779, battle of Port Royal Island. 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. The engagement had an outstanding military description on the Civil War @ Charleston web site, but this seems to have disappeared from the web. [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. [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. 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 Click to donate now. Donate today to preserve battlefields in America and protect the legacy of our nation’s defining conflicts. 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. 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 … 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. 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. British Major Valentine Gardiner was ordered to conduct a naval landing and occupy Port Royal Island. The New York expedition, under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Archibald Campbell, arrived first, and successfully captured the town on December 29, 1778. February 3, 1779 Battle of Port Royal Island Beaufort SC. 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. Map of Port Royal Sound . DuPont bombarded for 4½ hours the Confederate forces in Fort Walker on this shore and Fort Beauregard on the opposite point. [12], Gardner lined his men up at the edge of some woods near the top of the hill and advanced with bayonets fixed. Divisions of the American Battlefield Trust: The American Battlefield Trust is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. 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 fate of an important South Carolina Revolutionary War battlefield is still uncertain in Beaufort Country. It was not Gardner's fault, however, that he had no Loyalist support. The battle continued for about 45 minutes, at which point the Americans were running low on ammunition. "[11] The Americans opened fire first with the artillery, and then with musket volleys. The following day, American Brig. 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 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. The British pursued the militia. The British high command also elected to establish a base on Port Royal Island, South Carolina,… 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. Federal Identification Number (EIN): 54-1426643. [13] Moultrie had begun a withdrawal when the British were also observed to retreat, leaving the field to the Americans. 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. Battle of Port Royal, 7 … 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. Help save a crucial 22-acre tract on the battlefield where 14 African American soldiers earned the highest military honor in the land. Spanish, French and British explorers struggled to colonize the area, which was an isolated seaside province dotted with Native American tribes. 1862 - Hilton Head Island was also referred to as Port Royal, in reference to the Port Royal military instal… The victory of a militia over a British force boosted the American Morale. Save 36 Acres of Hallowed Ground at Two Virginia Taverns, Combined Federal Campaign and State Charitable Campaigns, Watch Exclusive Videos on our YouTube Channel. Moultrie encountered Gardiner atop Gray's Hill. Battle of Port Royal Island (1) By 1778, the war in the northern theater had effectively reached a stalemate, and the British began to place increasing importance on the recovery of the southern colonies. Both sides exchanged artillery fire before the musketry opened. [5], When Brigadier General Augustine Prevost arrived from Saint Augustine in mid-January 1779, he assumed command of the garrison there, and on the 22nd sent a force under Campbell to take control of Augusta and raise Loyalist militia companies. Show your pride in battlefield preservation by shopping in our store. 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. Preserve 108 Acres of the Most Important Unprotected Battlefield Land! [2], Gardner was criticized by Prevost for the mauling his detachment received because he strayed too far from his boats. Port Royal Celebrates 450 years of History. Gen. William Moultrie, advanced from Beaufort to meet Gardiner. Union steam ships destroyed Confederate Fort Walker on Hilton Head Island and occupied it, with no Confederate counterattack. Possible Revolutionary War Battlefield Found in South Carolina. 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. William Calderwood and Ensign John Finley of Col. Prevost's British troops killed in battle near Gray's Hill Feb. 3. 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. General Moultrie positioned two six-pound field cannons in the center of his line, with a smaller two-pounder on the right. [7] When General Lincoln learned that communications with Port Royal Island had been cut off by the British advance, he sent South Carolina Brigadier General William Moultrie, who had distinguished himself in the 1776 Battle of Sullivan's Island, and 300 men to counter the move. The battle took place not long after British forces consolidated control around Savannah, Georgia, which they had captured in December 1778. By the autumn of 1778, the American Revolution was at an impasse. [13], In addition to the prisoners taken (sources cite either seven or twelve were retained), the British reportedly suffered 40 killed or wounded,[2][3] although deserters reported that nearly half of Gardner's men had been hit by American fire. [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. 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. The Battle of Port Royal Island was part of a larger campaign designed by the British to cover their operations against Augusta, Georgia. [16] Fort Lyttelton's remains are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.[17]. 1779 Buried here Feb. 5 1779. [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. Please consider making a gift today to help raise the $170,000 we need to preserve this piece of American history forever. [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. [14] The victory of a largely militia force over British regulars was a boost to the Americans' morale. The battle began to sputter out when both commands ran low on ammunition and Gardiner prudently broke off the fight and withdrew. This base could support the British navy, movements through the interior, and potential operations against Charleston. Moultrie's force consisted of Continental Regulars and militia. (Wilson, p. 199) Gardner's name is also sometimes spelled "Gardiner". Gardner sent a detachment to secure the island side of the ferry. The Majority of our funds go directly to Preservation and Education. 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. In an effort to reinvigorate the war effort, British strategists turned their attention to the Southern Colonies. About 13,000 black slaves permanently resided on the Sea Islands; they ran the plantations, oversaw the cotton fields and tended the rice. The British commander is sometimes misidentified as Major Valentine Gardner of the 16th Foot, who was also on the expedition. James Doharty's militia. She was accompanied by a flotilla of smaller ships that carried 200 infantry from the 16th and 60th Regiments under Major William Gardner,[1] who had orders to take control of Beaufort, the island's main settlement. They landed first at Hilton Head Island on February 1st and was immediately fired upon by Capt. The location of the Battle of Port Royal Island fought on February 3, 1779 has long generated speculation and discussion. USS Port Royal (CG 73) laid down 18 October 1991 by Ingalls Shipbuilding at Pascagoula, Mississippi, launched on 20 November 1992, christened on 5 December 1992 and commissioned on 9 July 1994 at Savannah, Georgia with Captain Nicholas L. Richards as the commanding officer. Six illustrations of Port Royal, with Fort Walker on Hilton Head Island to the south and Fort Beauregard on Phillip's Island to the north, from U.S. History Images. Help preserve American history forever with your tax-deductible year-end gift today! Most importantly, a decisive blow to George Washington and the Continental Army eluded British commanders. 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