The Patriot Resource - American Revolution

Siege of Charleston
Siege of Charleston

Date: April 2-May 12, 1780
Location: Charleston, South Carolina
Victor: British Lt. General Sir Henry Clinton
Defeated: Continental Maj. General Benjamin Lincoln
Other Notables: British Lt. General Charles Cornwallis, British Major Patrick Ferguson, Patriot Militia General Francis Marion, British Lt. Colonel Banastre Tarleton

In December 1779 Lt. General Henry Clinton set sail for Charleston, South Carolina. He landed south of the city on February 11, 1780 on John's Island. They began a month long approach toward the main land. On March 10, the British finally reached mainland. After a successful night crossing of the Ashley River, Clinton set out to cut off Charleston and Maj. General Benjamin Lincoln from reinforcement and silence its lines of communication.

On April 2, 1780, siege works were begun. On April 14, Lt. Colonel Banastre Tarleton defeated General Isaac Huger at the Battle of Monck's Corner, South Carolina. On April 23th, Lt. General Charles Cornwallis crossed the Cooper River and by April 24th had secured routes from Charleston. The British then fanned out in an arc cutting off Charleston.

On May 8, General Clinton demanded surrender, but General Lincoln wanted to negotiate better terms. On May 9, the bombardment began. On May 12, 1780, Lincoln unconditionally surrendered Charleston and several thousand Continental soldiers to Clinton. It was the greatest loss of manpower and equipment of the war for the Americans and gave the British nearly complete control of the Southern colonies.

View the following pages for a more detailed description on the Siege of Charleston:

Also check out these related site pages:
1780 Overview
1780 Timeline
Southern Theatre - Includes Timeline, Overview and Continental Commanders;
The Patriot Fact or Ficton: Siege of Charleston in the film

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