By Carl P. Borick
In 1779, Sir Henry Clinton and greater than 8 thousand British troops left the waters of latest York to aim a brand new tack within the conflict opposed to the yank patriots - shooting the colonies' most vital southern port. Clinton and his officials believed that the seize of Charleston, South Carolina, may switch either the seat of the struggle and its personality. The British have been right on either counts however the impression of the cost was once defeat. during this accomplished examine of the 1780 siege and hand over of Charleston, Carl P. Borick deals an entire exam of the strategic and tactical parts of Clinton's operations. Suggesting that students ordinarily have underestimated its significance, Borick contends that the siege used to be probably the most wide-ranging, subtle, and important campaigns of the struggle. whereas impressive a devastating blow to American morale, it reworked the battle in South Carolina from a standard eighteenth-century clash right into a partisan battle. Borick examines the explanations for the shift in British technique, the efforts in their military and army to grab Charleston, and the problems the patriots confronted as they defended the town. He analyzes the activities and judgements of key figures within the crusade together with Benjamin Lincoln, William Moultrie, Sir Henry Clinton, Lord Charles Cornwallis, and Banastre Tarleton. Borick additionally delves into the impact of the crusade on South Carolina civilians. He means that whereas British leaders had anticipated to discover multitudes of loyalist sympathizers within the south, the behavior of British infantrymen and sailors there really served to arouse extra antipathy than allegiance. Drawing on letters, journals, and different documents stored through American, British, and Hessian members, Borick depends upon a powerful array of fundamental and secondary resources in terms of the siege. He comprises contemporaneous and smooth maps that depict the British method of town and the complex army operations that ended in the patriots' maximum defeat of the yank Revolution.
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Extra info for A Gallant Defense: The Siege of Charleston, 1780
8 South Carolina’s prosperity came primarily from the lowcountry, the lower coastal plain which had been the original area of settlement and where rice could be most easily produced. Charleston was the center of power in this region. Lowcountry planters who grew rice and indigo and merchants who arranged for the export of these commodities dominated the economic and political life of Charleston, and thus South Carolina. Wealthy planters and merchants such as Henry Laurens, Henry Middleton, Thomas Lynch, Christopher Gadsden, William Henry Drayton, Rawlins Lowndes, and Charles Cotesworth Pinckney controlled the Commons, South Carolina’s colonial assembly, and they continued to lead the colony as it hurtled toward rebellion.
While the Royal Navy possessed too few ships to maintain a close blockade in American waters, they did have enough to patrol entrances to bays and harbors along the coast, giving their cruisers opportunity to capture inbound and outbound vessels. The entrances to Delaware and Chesapeake Bays were favorite hunting grounds for British captains and were therefore especially dangerous. Rather than risk losing valuable military supplies to British forays, American quartermasters transported the Dove’s cargo partly by land and partly by water, a long and expensive journey.
Once the navy had taken them over the Ashley, Clinton’s soldiers would lay siege lines across the peninsula formed by the Ashley and Cooper Rivers and shut in the town from the landside. Meanwhile, Admiral Arbuthnot and the Royal Navy would attack Charleston from the seaward side, a responsibility fraught with difﬁculties. 32 The many rivers which ran through the South Carolina lowcountry and emptied into the Atlantic offered the British a distinct advantage in their operations. Coastal inlets provided the Royal Navy’s ships a safe anchorage from which to disembark troops and gave British ofﬁcers a ready transportation network upon which they could ferry cannon and other heavy equipment inland.
A Gallant Defense: The Siege of Charleston, 1780 by Carl P. Borick