Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Why the Cooper and Ashley Rivers were so important in the American Revolution

When looking at the roads covering the state of South Carolina today, it is hard to imagine a time when there were only a few roads for transportation and travel. These roads were affectedly great by the weather which could turn them impassable given a heavy rain or prolonged rain. Even today in the outer parts of Berkeley and Dorchester Counties heavy rains can still flood cemented roads with ease. Even roads maintained by the crown and colony were only as good as the season you tried to use them. Most roads were not roads as we think of them today, they were merely ways for neighbors to transverse and were maintained as such.

So when we look at the most reliable means for transport and travel year around we must look to river ways such as the Wadboo, Santee, Wando, Edisto, Cooper and Ashely Rivers. Rivers in the Lowcountry were used to cultivate rice fields, transporting materials, and to easily travel from key points in the Lowcoutnry to other key points. Two of the major transportation hubs were Dorchester located on the Ashley River and Moncks Corner located near the Cooper River.

These two towns made commerce and trade easier because they were located near the head of each river and thus allowed barges and boats to be loaded and unloaded with ease. The wharf at Dorchester is still visible at low tide.

Thus during the American Revolution both areas where fortified by first the Colonist and then the British to protect these key spots on their transportation route.

As I begin my first series in many years I will be looking at these two sites and their importance to the defense of Charles Town during the Revolution.

Below is a map created by JD Lewis and can be located on his website at http://www.carolana.com/ which shows how important these two sites were.

Sunday, December 23, 2018

Redoubt at Fair Lawn

     The fort at Fair Lawn was designed as a redoubt to help control the river traffic on the Cooper River. The tabby fort at Dorchester was also used to control traffic on the Ashley River helping the British to control the two major inland water ways for communication, moving of troops, and commerce. Below is a good example of what the redoubt at Fair Lawn was designed to look like. Notice the earthen walls built up to provide protection, the one entrance, the moat around the entire structure, the one entrance, and other defensive structures. 

     One key about a redoubt is that is was not meant to house soldiers or their daily chores. The soldiers would of been camped close to the redoubt so they could man it quickly if called for. 

Saturday, December 22, 2018

Firing in battery

Fort Morris and 2nd Co of Ga Artillery

Fort Morris is one of the few remaining Revolutionary War era earthwork fortifications in the United States. First fortified in the 1750s, the fort was manned to protect the once prosperous seaport town of Sunbury. When the Continental Congress convened in 1776, the delegates recognized the importance of a fort to protect their growing seaport from the British. Soon afterwards, 200 patriots fortified and garrisoned a low bluff on the Medway River at Sunbury. When the British demanded the fort’s surrender on November 25, 1778, the defiant Col. John McIntosh replied, “Come and take it!” Instead, the British withdrew back to Florida only to return forty-five days later with superior force. After a short but heavy bombardment, Fort Morris surrendered to the British on January 9, 1779, the last patriot post to fall in the American Revolution.

What a typical rev war soldier carried

Friday, December 21, 2018

84th Regiment of Foot (Royal Highland Emigrants)

Here is the uniform of the 2nd Battalion of 84th Regiment of Foot (Royal Highland Emigrants) which served at Fort Fair Lawn 

Fort Fair Lawn

The proposed history trail at Santee Canal State Park in Moncks Corner, SC. The trail will lead the guests to Fort Fair Lawn and back to the park with signage on the trail.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Berkeley County’s Sons of the American Revolution

Berkeley County’s Sons of the American Revolution (SAR) Organizational Meeting will be held at the Santee Cooper Auditorium in Moncks Corner on Friday, Sept. 11, at 10 a.m. This is a call for descendants of American Revolutionary War patriots in Berkeley County. We are starting a new SAR local chapter in Berkeley County, so come and listen to our State Society’s VP give us information about starting this new chapter. For more information, contact Keith Gourdin at 843-509-3408 or email at keithg@tds.net or Edd Richburg at 843-763-7613 or email him at eddrichburg@att.net. Please join us for this most important meeting!