The initial plan was being ironed out once the British Fleet moved into Five Fathom Hole in Charleston Harbor a safe part of the harbor out of range of Patriot artillery and summer storms on the open sea. Admiral Parker wanted to do a combined attack with the Royal Navy and Royal Army affecting a “coup de main” against the unfinished fortifications on the island. To accomplish this he was going to use the heavy artillery of the fleet to reduce the fort while General Clinton used the flat boats of the fleet to land on the Northern side of the island during the navel bombardment. After the army landed in the small boats under Parker's plan they were to fight their way across the island to the back of the fort and gain entrance from the unfinished part of the fort. Thus taking control of the fort and sealing off the harbor for the British. General Clinton had another idea of how to take the fortification on Sullivans Island. His plan was to land his men on Long Island and have them charge over from Long Island to Sullivans Island across Breach Inlet which according to his intelligence or lack thereof was only 18 inches deep at low tide. Thus he would be able to deploy his field artillery to cover his advance against the rebels across the inlet as his troops splashed across the water and towards the unfinished fort. This would reduce the risk of boats over turning in the surf full of troops during an attack and would allow his men to first disembark from the fleet with little trouble and allow organization on the beach before the attack. Once across the inlet as with Parkers' plan they would head to the back of the unfinished fort and take it from the rear. The plus and the minus of the each plan were discussed by the staffs of each officer and by the two primary officers at some length once the fleet was anchored in the harbor. The final decision was made to go with Clinton’s plan of landing at Long Island and attacking from a base camp there.
On June the 9th the plan was put into action as General Clinton with elements of his army began to land on Long Island securing it against no resistance and establishing a temporary camp there to prepare for the assault against Sullivans Island.
The next article will be on the thunder before the storm