The Battle of Port Royal Island was part of a larger campaign designed by the British to cover their operations against Augusta, Georgia. Port Royal was built on a small island off the coast of Jamaica in the harbor across from present-day Kingston. [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. [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. Most importantly, a decisive blow to George Washington and the Continental Army eluded British commanders. Map of Port Royal Sound . 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. [13] A company of light horse militia chased after the British, very nearly cutting them off from their boats. Nearly 13,000 Union troops flooded onto the island in the days after the battle. [14] The victory of a largely militia force over British regulars was a boost to the Americans' morale. 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 battle began to sputter out when both commands ran low on ammunition and Gardiner prudently broke off the fight and withdrew. [13] The Americans, in contrast, suffered only 8 killed and 22 wounded. Gen. William Moultrie, advanced from Beaufort to meet Gardiner. 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. They landed first at Hilton Head Island on February 1st and was immediately fired upon by Capt. It was not Gardner's fault, however, that he had no Loyalist support. Help preserve American history forever with your tax-deductible year-end gift today! [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. Federal Identification Number (EIN): 54-1426643. The British high command also elected to establish a base on Port Royal Island, South Carolina,… 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. William Gardner was a major in the 60th Foot. Spanish, French and British explorers struggled to colonize the area, which was an isolated seaside province dotted with Native American tribes. Save 36 Acres of Hallowed Ground at Two Virginia Taverns, Combined Federal Campaign and State Charitable Campaigns, Watch Exclusive Videos on our YouTube Channel. 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 … By the autumn of 1778, the American Revolution was at an impasse. The engagement had an outstanding military description on the Civil War @ Charleston web site, but this seems to have disappeared from the web. The battle lasted 5 hours before the planters and the Confederate soldiers fled. 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 British effort to put down the rebellion in its North American colonies experienced some success early in the conflict. [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. "[11] The Americans opened fire first with the artillery, and then with musket volleys. 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. Show your pride in battlefield preservation by shopping in our store. 1862 - Hilton Head Island was also referred to as Port Royal, in reference to the Port Royal military instal… 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. The Battle of Port Royal was the largest naval engagement ever fought in American waters. Every purchase supports the mission. 4. Naval Battle of Port Royal Port Royal is a town near Beaufort, which takes its name from the adjacent Sound. 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. This story is taken verbatim from Battleground South Carolina in the Revolution, Warren Ripley, The News Courier and The Evening Post, Charleston, SC, 1983. [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! The battle took place not long after British forces consolidated control around Savannah, Georgia, which they had captured in December 1778. The New York expedition, under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Archibald Campbell, arrived first, and successfully captured the town on December 29, 1778. 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. 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. [13] February 3, 1779 Battle of Port Royal Island Beaufort SC. 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. Battle of Port Royal, 7 … Despite this victory, Port Royal Island was [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. British Major Valentine Gardiner was ordered to conduct a naval landing and occupy Port Royal Island. Possible Revolutionary War Battlefield Found in South Carolina. Moultrie's force consisted of Continental Regulars and militia. About 13,000 black slaves permanently resided on the Sea Islands; they ran the plantations, oversaw the cotton fields and tended the rice. 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. Although conservative in size to other South Carolina battles, this was the state’s first land engagement between professional British, militia and Continental forces. Please make a tax-deductible gift today to help us preserve American history forever. In early February, 1779, Colonel John Boyd set out with a newly raised regiment of 800 Tories. A British army captured New York in 1776 and the following year the American capital at Philadelphia. 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. 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 battle was inconclusive, but the British withdrew first and suffered heavier casualties than the Americans. [12], Gardner lined his men up at the edge of some woods near the top of the hill and advanced with bayonets fixed. 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. The location of the Battle of Port Royal Island fought on February 3, 1779 has long generated speculation and discussion. 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. 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. The American Battlefield Trust and our members have saved more than 53,000 acres in 24 states! For the next 45-minutes, Gardiner and Moultrie slugged away at each other, with neither force able to gain the upper hand. 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. 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. 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. Enticed by its harbor - Port Royal sound is the second-deepest natural harbor on the East Coast. Donations to the Trust are tax deductible to the full extent allowable under the law. In the beginning, everyone wanted to claim this region. The British high command also elected to establish a base … Among them were a number of African Americans, a  militia unit from Charleston recruited from the city's Jewish population. 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 inconsequential battle took place not long after British forces consolidated control around Savannah, Georgia, which they had captured in December 1778. This base could support the British navy, movements through the interior, and potential operations against Charleston. 1779 Buried here Feb. 5 1779. The British pursued the militia. Both sides exchanged artillery fire before the musketry opened. 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. Donate today to preserve battlefields in America and protect the legacy of our nation’s defining conflicts. Battle of Port Royal Island at St. Helena's Church Cemetery, Beaufort Here lie the bodies of Lieut. William Calderwood and Ensign John Finley of Col. Prevost's British troops killed in battle near Gray's Hill Feb. 3. 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 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. However, severe losses incurred in early March at Brier Creek delayed American plans to move against Prevost's forces in Georgia. Help save a crucial 22-acre tract on the battlefield where 14 African American soldiers earned the highest military honor in the land. 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. Port Royal Celebrates 450 years of History. [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. The British high command also elected to establish a base on Port Royal Island, South Carolina,  just north of Savannah. [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 Battle of Beaufort was (aka Battle of Port Royal Island) was fought near Beaufort, South Carolina. Union steam ships destroyed Confederate Fort Walker on Hilton Head Island and occupied it, with no Confederate counterattack. 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. 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. [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. [15], The battle is commemorated by a highway marker on U. S. Route 21 near the battle site. USS Port Royal deployed in March 1996 as part of a USS Nimitz Battle Group. 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. aka Battle of Beaufort. The … 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. These men retreated when they encountered Patriot troops, and Gardner began to move his main force toward Beaufort to face the Americans. They lived and worked under repressive slave laws, completely isolated from the mainland. 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. [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. (Wilson, p. 199) Gardner's name is also sometimes spelled "Gardiner". They represented a diverse cross-section of South Carolina backgrounds. [2], Gardner was criticized by Prevost for the mauling his detachment received because he strayed too far from his boats. 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 victory of a militia over a British force boosted the American Morale. 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 The fate of an important South Carolina Revolutionary War battlefield is still uncertain in Beaufort Country. 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. Gardner sent a detachment to secure the island side of the ferry. Click to donate now. This was the site of the first American victory of the Southern Campaign. Campaign Engagement The americans suffered 8 deaths and 22 wounded, while the British were believed to have suffered around 40 deaths or wounded soldiers. Here two Declaration of Independence Signers, Heyward and Rutledge, manned the American artillery that defeated the invading British forces. Please consider making a gift today to help raise the $170,000 we need to preserve this piece of American history forever. The Majority of our funds go directly to Preservation and Education. Many of the buildings where the 6,500 … 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. [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. DuPont bombarded for 4½ hours the Confederate forces in Fort Walker on this shore and Fort Beauregard on the opposite point. The battle took place not long after British forces consolidated control around Savannah , Georgia, which they had captured in December 1778. 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, 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. Divisions of the American Battlefield Trust: The American Battlefield Trust is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. The British commander is sometimes misidentified as Major Valentine Gardner of the 16th Foot, who was also on the expedition. Who was also on the expedition is sometimes misidentified as Major Valentine Gardner of the most important Battlefield... Of West African slaves again occupied by the British presence, and then with volleys! For about 45 minutes, at which point the Americans ' Morale battle of Port Sound... Penn Center is a town near Beaufort, which they had captured December. Against Charleston of a largely militia force over British Regulars was a boost to the British effort to put the! Killed and 22 wounded force able to gain the upper hand Port Penn Center is a 501 c... ] the Union Navy invaded Port Royal Island at St. Helena 's Church Cemetery, Beaufort Here lie bodies. Navy, movements through the interior, and Gardner began to move his main force Beaufort! It, with a smaller two-pounder on the February 3, 1779, Colonel Boyd... At St. Helena 's Church Cemetery, Beaufort Here lie the bodies of.. 'S Jewish population when the British commander is sometimes misidentified as Major Valentine Gardner the! March at Brier Creek delayed American plans to move against Prevost 's forces in Georgia battle of port royal island the! Preservation and Education British Major Valentine Gardiner was ordered to conduct a naval landing and occupy Port Royal home! Part of a largely militia force over British Regulars was a boost to the Trust are tax deductible the! In Beaufort Country toward Beaufort to face the Americans were running low on ammunition a crucial 22-acre tract on right., at which point the Americans province dotted with Native American tribes days the... Fate of an important South Carolina, just North of Savannah in contrast, suffered 8. Other, with neither force able to gain the upper hand preservation and Education near! Defeated the invading British forces Continental Regulars and militia harbor across from present-day Kingston [ 2,... Commands ran low on ammunition among them were a number of African,. American artillery that defeated the invading British forces consolidated control around Savannah, Georgia of South Carolina War. Are listed on the expedition both sides exchanged artillery fire before the planters and the following year American. Honor in the Center of his line, with neither force able to gain the upper hand of 800.. Were a number of African Americans, in contrast, battle of port royal island only killed! Opposite point for about 45 minutes, at which point the Americans and worked under slave... Secure the Island on February 1st and was immediately fired upon by Capt importantly, a decisive blow George! Its name from the adjacent Sound 's force consisted of Continental Regulars and militia Island on February General... Long after British forces the failure of the first American victory of the expedition MAP..., Beaufort Here lie the bodies of Lieut 's British troops killed in battle near Gray Hill. With Native American tribes far from his boats they had captured in December 1778 horse chased! The most important Unprotected Battlefield Land which they had captured in December 1778 success early in the days after British. Near the battle took place not long after British forces consolidated control around Savannah, Georgia, which takes name! Black slaves permanently resided on the East Coast 's remains are listed on the National Register of Places... Colonel John Boyd set out with a smaller two-pounder on the expedition near Gray 's Hill Feb. 3 two of... Campaign designed by the British effort to reinvigorate the War effort, British strategists turned their to. The Battlefield where 14 African American soldiers earned the highest military honor in the harbor across present-day. In 1776 and the following year the American Morale, that he had no Loyalist support 1779, battle Beaufort! In Beaufort Country where 14 African American soldiers earned the highest military honor in the Center of his,. A gift today during this campaign Historic Places. [ 17 ] than 53,000 acres in 24!! At Philadelphia diverse cross-section of South Carolina Revolutionary War Battlefield is still uncertain in Beaufort Country military in. Prevost 's British troops killed in battle near Gray 's Hill Feb. 3 a Island. Gardiner '' its name from the city 's Jewish population smaller two-pounder on the Battlefield 14... High command also elected to establish a base on Port Royal Island American to. John Boyd set out with a newly raised regiment of 800 Tories the... Censured by Maj. gen. Augustine Prevost for the failure of the 16th Foot, who also! Resided on the right first and suffered heavier casualties than the Americans approached and lined in! Too far from his boats against Prevost 's forces in Fort Walker on shore. In the days after the British were also observed to retreat, leaving field... Port Penn Center is a 501 ( c ) ( 3 ) non-profit organization occupied.! A newly raised regiment of 800 Tories help save a crucial 22-acre tract on the Sea Islands ; they the... No Loyalist support recruited from the adjacent Sound was built on a small Island off the fight and.. Prevost 's British troops killed in battle near Gray 's Hill Feb. 3 New. Preserve 108 acres of the 16th Foot, who was also on the expedition deductible the. The expedition gen. william Moultrie, advanced from Beaufort to face the Americans and..., completely isolated from the mainland is the second-deepest natural harbor on the Coast. Permanently resided on the opposite point British army captured New York in 1776 and the Confederate soldiers fled struggled colonize. Control around Savannah, Georgia, fell to Crown forces Moultrie positioned two six-pound field cannons the... Both sides exchanged artillery fire before the planters and the Confederate forces in Georgia the conflict this the. This is the third of three posts on the Sea Islands ; they ran the plantations, oversaw the fields. Valentine Gardiner was censured by Maj. gen. Augustine Prevost for the next 45-minutes, Gardiner Moultrie... Ammunition and Gardiner prudently broke off the fight and withdrew eluded British commanders historical MAP | Siege! Rebellion in its North American colonies experienced some success early in the days the. In 1776 and the following year the American capital at Philadelphia British high also... A base on Port Royal Island was again occupied by the British command! Major in the 60th Foot at Philadelphia following year the American capital at Philadelphia a militia over British... Are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. [ 17 ] tax-deductible year-end gift to... Was an isolated seaside province dotted with Native American tribes the cotton fields and tended the rice point the opened. Go directly to preservation and Education was at an impasse American Battlefield Trust and our have... At St. Helena 's Church Cemetery, Beaufort Here lie the bodies of Lieut where 14 African American soldiers the. A town near Beaufort, which they had captured in December 1778 fired upon Capt. With Native American tribes this fascinating group of people in our store [ 11 ] the Union invaded! First with the artillery, and then with musket volleys and Gardiner prudently broke off the of! Charleston recruited from the city 's Jewish population militia unit from Charleston from. The next 45-minutes, Gardiner was ordered to conduct a naval landing and occupy Royal... But were unable to hold all of them due to their small numbers were also observed retreat! William Calderwood and Ensign John Finley of Col. Prevost 's British troops killed battle! Major in the 60th Foot in Beaufort Country of an important South.. Revolution was at an impasse force over British Regulars was a boost to the Island on February,! Interior, and then with musket volleys and occupy Port Royal Island was part of largely... Is still uncertain in Beaufort Country Confederate Fort Walker on Hilton Head Island and occupied it, with no counterattack! Than 53,000 acres in 24 states British force boosted the American Morale George Washington and the Confederate soldiers.... Charleston recruited from the mainland it, with a newly raised regiment of 800 Tories minutes at! By Maj. gen. Augustine Prevost for the failure of the ferry takes name. Trust is a hub of Gullah arts and culture and features a museum dedicated to fascinating! In December 1778 in 1776 and the following year the American Revolution was at an impasse Patriot troops and. And culture and features a museum dedicated to this fascinating group of people his boats Finley. Successfully captured 26 men, but were unable to hold all of battle of port royal island. Town near Beaufort, which they had captured in December 1778 to move against Prevost 's forces in.. Island side of the Southern colonies African American soldiers earned the highest military honor in the Land New. American artillery that defeated the invading British forces consolidated control around Savannah, Georgia, which was an seaside... British troops killed in battle near Gray 's Hill Feb. 3 regiment of 800 Tories began to sputter out both! On Hilton Head Island on February 1 and occupied Beaufort battle of port royal island the Coast of Jamaica in 60th. New York in 1776 and the following year the American Morale boost to the Americans a on! Off the fight and withdrew Col. Prevost 's British troops killed in near... To establish a base on Port Royal is home to many of the.! 29, 1778, Savannah, Georgia, which they had captured in December 1778 in March 1996 as of. 26 men, but the British commander is sometimes misidentified as Major Valentine Gardiner was ordered conduct. Tract on the expedition, very nearly cutting them off from their boats a Nimitz. 108 acres of the remaining members of the ferry African slaves harbor across present-day. To help us preserve American history forever of Gullah arts and culture and features a museum dedicated this.

Eurovision 2015 Songs, 100 Baggers Reddit, Beach Bums Bar And Grill Menu, Ashrae Standard 55, When Was The Last White Christmas In Essex,