As the British began to pull anchors and set sail for Charleston Harbor, the Patriot forces there were putting their defenses in the ready. This process had already started in January of 1775 when the colony voted to leave the British Empire and set up its own government. This was done after they had sent five representatives to the Continental Congress in September of 1774 in hopes of repairing the relationship between colony and mother country. The Continental Congress was unable to solve the problems and all hope was lost when word reached South Carolina of the Battles of Lexington and Concord in Massachusetts in May of 1775. Once the South Carolines knew there was to be a shooting war they began to build up defenses and recruit troops.
The first troops raised to fight the British Empire in South Carolina were the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th South Carolina. The first two were to be of the line with the third being a ranger regiment to control the inland region of South Carolina and the forth was designated an artillery regiment. Also in the fall of 1775 South Carolines started to take control of key military sites in the harbor and the city proper. This included the fort on James Island, Fort Johnson, the powder magazine in downtown Charleston, and other strategic points in the harbor. The other strategic points included Haddrell Point and at the water front of Charleston, where cannons were placed to defend the city and to help dislodge Governor Campbell from the harbor, where he was still trying to govern from two British warships sitting there. The other keep point that the Patriots began to place guns was on Sullivan’s Island. Sullivan’s Island is located on the Northern approach to the harbor and with it being fortified caused the governor and the British fleets to leave before damage could be done to them in the late fall of 1775. While this was going on in Charleston, militia in the outer parishes of South Carolina began to drill and prepare for the British.