The Journal of the Southern Campaigns of the American Revolution
Vol. 12, No. 1.1 January 23, 2015
Gen. Nathanael Greene’s Moves to Force the British into the Charlestown area, to Capture Dorchester, Johns Island and to Protect the Jacksonborough Assembly
November 1781 – February 1782
Charles B. Baxley © 2015
Fall 1781 – South Carolina
The British Southern strategy was unraveling. Lt. Gen. Charles, Lord Cornwallis surrendered at Yorktown, Virginia in October 1781. The British army of occupation in North and South Carolina and Georgia could hold selected posts and travel en masse at will, but could not control the countryside where rebel militias and state troops patrolled. Their southern strongholds were within 35 miles of their supply ports: Charlestown, Savannah and Wilmington, NC. In South Carolina the British withdrew from their advanced bases at Camden, Ninety Six, Augusta, and Georgetown, and only held posts arcing around Charlestown in the aftermath of the bloody battle at Eutaw Springs in September. Defending Charlestown, the British had major forward posts at Fair Lawn Barony (in modern Moncks Corner) at the head of navigation of the west branch of the Cooper River; at the colonial town of Dorchester at the head of navigation on the Ashley River; at the Wappataw Meeting House on the headwaters of the Wando River; and at Stono Ferry to control mainland access across the Stono River to Johns Island. The parishes north of Charlestown were contested ground. British cavalry rode at will to the south side of the Santee River and as far upstream as Pres. Henry Laurens’ plantation. These mounted raiders were based at Wantoot Plantation, seven miles north of Moncks Corner. They collected food, slaves, women, and children. In western South Carolina Loyalist militia mounted a murderous raid of retribution inland to the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
For the rest of the story, click here: Greene Nov 81-Feb 82 1-23-2015