The fate of an important South Carolina Revolutionary War battlefield is still uncertain in Beaufort Country. [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. This was the site of the first American victory of the Southern Campaign. Federal Identification Number (EIN): 54-1426643. [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. 1862 - Hilton Head Island was also referred to as Port Royal, in reference to the Port Royal military instal… The British had landed a raiding force of 200 men and a howitzer on the island and although no attempt was made to capture … 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. 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. The British effort to put down the rebellion in its North American colonies experienced some success early in the conflict. The battle was inconclusive, but the British withdrew first and suffered heavier casualties than the Americans. The battle took place not long after British forces consolidated control around Savannah, Georgia, which they had captured in December 1778. 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. Enticed by its harbor - Port Royal sound is the second-deepest natural harbor on the East Coast. It was not Gardner's fault, however, that he had no Loyalist support. Spanish, French and British explorers struggled to colonize the area, which was an isolated seaside province dotted with Native American tribes. Please consider making a gift today to help raise the $170,000 we need to preserve this piece of American history forever. 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. Both sides exchanged artillery fire before the musketry opened. Although conservative in size to other South Carolina battles, this was the state’s first land engagement between professional British, militia and Continental forces. 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 took place not long after British forces consolidated control around Savannah , Georgia, which they had captured in December 1778. In the beginning, everyone wanted to claim this region. 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 continued for about 45 minutes, at which point the Americans were running low on ammunition. Click to donate now. The engagement had an outstanding military description on the Civil War @ Charleston web site, but this seems to have disappeared from the web. [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. Every purchase supports the mission. Port Royal is home to many of the remaining members of the Gullah people, direct descendants of West African slaves. 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. [14] The victory of a largely militia force over British regulars was a boost to the Americans' morale. 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. Show your pride in battlefield preservation by shopping in our store. 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. 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. 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. Early on February 3 General Moultrie was alerted to the British presence, and moved his forces out of town. HISTORICAL MAP | The Siege of Charleston, South Carolina. They landed first at Hilton Head Island on February 1st and was immediately fired upon by Capt. William Gardner was a major in the 60th Foot. 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 battle lasted 5 hours before the planters and the Confederate soldiers fled. Port Royal Island was again occupied by the British during this campaign. The British high command also elected to establish a base on Port Royal Island, South Carolina,… 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 … 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. This is the third of three posts on the February 3, 1779, battle of Port Royal Island. 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 was the largest naval engagement ever fought in American waters. The American Battlefield Trust and our members have saved more than 53,000 acres in 24 states! 1779 Buried here Feb. 5 1779. The British high command also elected to establish a base … The victory of a militia over a British force boosted the American Morale. (Wilson, p. 199) Gardner's name is also sometimes spelled "Gardiner". Please make a tax-deductible gift today to help us preserve American history forever. 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. This base could support the British navy, movements through the interior, and potential operations against Charleston. Donations to the Trust are tax deductible to the full extent allowable under the law. Moultrie encountered Gardiner atop Gray's Hill. Native American tribes the invading British forces consolidated control around Savannah, Georgia, they! 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