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. 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. Donations to the Trust are tax deductible to the full extent allowable under the law. The fate of an important South Carolina Revolutionary War battlefield is still uncertain in Beaufort Country. This base could support the British navy, movements through the interior, and potential operations against Charleston. Port Royal Island, South Carolina Port Royal Island - February 3, 1779 (October 2020) American Battlefield Trust’s map of the Revolutionary War Battle of Port Royal, South Carolina, on February 3, 1779. General Moultrie positioned two six-pound field cannons in the center of his line, with a smaller two-pounder on the right. Port Royal Celebrates 450 years of History. William Calderwood and Ensign John Finley of Col. Prevost's British troops killed in battle near Gray's Hill Feb. 3. On December 29, 1778, Savannah, Georgia, fell to Crown forces. Please consider making a gift today to help raise the $170,000 we need to preserve this piece of American history forever. 4. Every purchase supports the mission. 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. Moultrie had begun a withdrawal when the British were also observed to retreat, leaving the field to the Americans. 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. Port Royal was built on a small island off the coast of Jamaica in the harbor across from present-day Kingston. [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. 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 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. William Gardner was a major in the 60th Foot. [15], The battle is commemorated by a highway marker on U. S. Route 21 near the battle site. Both sides exchanged artillery fire before the musketry opened. Federal Identification Number (EIN): 54-1426643. The … 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 British commander is sometimes misidentified as Major Valentine Gardner of the 16th Foot, who was also on the expedition. [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. On December 29, 1778, Savannah, Georgia, fell to Crown forces. Despite this victory, Port Royal Island was About 13,000 black slaves permanently resided on the Sea Islands; they ran the plantations, oversaw the cotton fields and tended the rice. Map of Port Royal Sound . [13] 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. 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. Gen. William Moultrie, advanced from Beaufort to meet Gardiner. Save 36 Acres of Hallowed Ground at Two Virginia Taverns, Combined Federal Campaign and State Charitable Campaigns, Watch Exclusive Videos on our YouTube Channel. 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. Campaign Engagement The americans suffered 8 deaths and 22 wounded, while the British were believed to have suffered around 40 deaths or wounded soldiers. Donate today to preserve battlefields in America and protect the legacy of our nation’s defining conflicts. Although conservative in size to other South Carolina battles, this was the state’s first land engagement between professional British, militia and Continental forces. Most importantly, a decisive blow to George Washington and the Continental Army eluded British commanders. Port Royal is home to many of the remaining members of the Gullah people, direct descendants of West African slaves. British Major Valentine Gardiner was ordered to conduct a naval landing and occupy Port Royal Island. 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. 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. 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