Among them were a number of African Americans, a  militia unit from Charleston recruited from the city's Jewish population. [13], In addition to the prisoners taken (sources cite either seven or twelve were retained), the British reportedly suffered 40 killed or wounded,[2][3] although deserters reported that nearly half of Gardner's men had been hit by American fire. [15], The battle is commemorated by a highway marker on U. S. Route 21 near the battle site. While it is common for Revolutionary War battlefields to possess something of historic note, the 1779 Battle of Port Royal Island stands out with brow-raising distinction. The fate of an important South Carolina Revolutionary War battlefield is still uncertain in Beaufort Country. 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 British commander is sometimes misidentified as Major Valentine Gardner of the 16th Foot, who was also on the expedition. Port Royal Island was again occupied by the British during this campaign. Battle of Port Royal.. A decisive battle in the Civil War took place here on Nov. 7, 1861, when 18 Union warships with about 55 supporting craft led by Adm. S.E. 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. Later in the year, the British repulsed an American effort to recapture Savannah and in the spring of 1780, a British army led by Sir Henry Clinton captured Charleston. The Battle of Beaufort was (aka Battle of Port Royal Island) was fought near Beaufort, South Carolina. For the next 45-minutes, Gardiner and Moultrie slugged away at each other, with neither force able to gain the upper hand. Although conservative in size to other South Carolina battles, this was the state’s first land engagement between professional British, militia and Continental forces. Moultrie had begun a withdrawal when the British were also observed to retreat, leaving the field to the Americans. In early February, 1779, Colonel John Boyd set out with a newly raised regiment of 800 Tories. 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. The British pursued the militia. Moultrie encountered Gardiner atop Gray's Hill. 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. Early on February 3 General Moultrie was alerted to the British presence, and moved his forces out of town. On January 29 HMS Vigilant, an unseaworthy ship of the line that had been converted to a floating battery, was towed by Royal Navy crews in longboats through the channel separating Hilton Head Island from the mainland. The battle was inconclusive, but the British withdrew first and suffered heavier casualties than the Americans. The … The following day, American Brig. British Major Valentine Gardiner was ordered to conduct a naval landing and occupy Port Royal Island. The Royal Port Penn Center is a hub of Gullah arts and culture and features a museum dedicated to this fascinating group of people. Six illustrations of Port Royal, with Fort Walker on Hilton Head Island to the south and Fort Beauregard on Phillip's Island to the north, from U.S. History Images. [2], Gardner was criticized by Prevost for the mauling his detachment received because he strayed too far from his boats. Map of Port Royal Sound . Port Royal was built on a small island off the coast of Jamaica in the harbor across from present-day Kingston. This story is taken verbatim from Battleground South Carolina in the Revolution, Warren Ripley, The News Courier and The Evening Post, Charleston, SC, 1983. [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 inconsequential battle took place not long after British forces consolidated control around Savannah, Georgia, which they had captured in December 1778. Help preserve American history forever with your tax-deductible year-end gift today! This was the site of the first American victory of the Southern Campaign. Please make a tax-deductible gift today to help us preserve American history forever. While it is common for Revolutionary War battlefields to possess something of historic note, the 1779 Battle of Port Royal Island stands out with brow-raising distinction. They represented a diverse cross-section of South Carolina backgrounds. The battle began to sputter out when both commands ran low on ammunition and Gardiner prudently broke off the fight and withdrew. 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. [11], Gardner's men landed on Port Royal Island at the plantation of Andrew Deveaux (present-day Laurel Bay), a Loyalist who may have guided them, on February 2. "[11] The Americans opened fire first with the artillery, and then with musket volleys. [13] A company of light horse militia chased after the British, very nearly cutting them off from their boats. Brigadier General Augustine Prevost sent 200 British regulars to seize Port Royal Island at the mouth of the Broad River in South Carolina in late January 1779. 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. Gardner sent a detachment to secure the island side of the ferry. [6] Prevost decided thereafter to send a force to occupy Port Royal Island just up the coast in South Carolina, where he had been led to believe that Loyalist sentiment was strong. However, severe losses incurred in early March at Brier Creek delayed American plans to move against Prevost's forces in Georgia. Battle of Port Royal Island (1) By 1778, the war in the northern theater had effectively reached a stalemate, and the British began to place increasing importance on the recovery of the southern colonies. Show your pride in battlefield preservation by shopping in our store. On February 2, 1779, while British units were marching on Augusta from Savannah, an amphibious expedition consisting of 150 light infantrymen on four transports, the twenty-four-gun ship Vigilant, and the smaller warship Germaine left Tybee Island, Georgia, for Port … The British began their "southern strategy" by sending expeditions from New York City and Saint Augustine, East Florida to capture Savannah, Georgia late in 1778. Moultrie's force consisted of Continental Regulars and militia. The British had landed a raiding force of 200 men and a howitzer on the island and although no attempt was made to capture … 1779 Buried here Feb. 5 1779. The battle took place not long after British forces consolidated control around Savannah, Georgia, which they had captured in December 1778. February 3, 1779 Battle of Port Royal Island Beaufort SC. 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. Upon his return to Savannah, Gardiner was censured by Maj. Gen. Augustine Prevost for the failure of the expedition. It was not Gardner's fault, however, that he had no Loyalist support. 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. On December 29, 1778, Savannah, Georgia, fell to Crown forces. They landed first at Hilton Head Island on February 1st and was immediately fired upon by Capt. The battle lasted 5 hours before the planters and the Confederate soldiers fled. Both sides exchanged artillery fire before the musketry opened. The remaining members of the most important Unprotected Battlefield Land a tax-deductible gift today to help the... 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