The Fighting Begins



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Guided Notes 8-2.5: Summarize the role of South Carolinians in the course of the American Revolution, including the use of partisan warfare and the battles of Charleston, Camden, Cowpens, Kings Mountain and Eutaw Springs.
The Fighting Begins

  • Fighting began in 1775 in the Northern colonies.

The fighting continues…

  • Key conflicts of the American Revolution took place in South Carolina and affected the state and outcome of the War.

  • Fighting began in 1775 in the Northern colonies, but after the British loss at Saratoga, they decided to try a new strategy…take the South.

  • Patriot leaders got word the British planned to capture Charles Town.

  • They decided to build a fort on Sullivan’s Island – Colonel William Moultrie began building a fort of palmetto logs.

  • British fired and their cannon balls bounced safely off the soft wood.

  • Americans severely damaged the British ships and renamed the fort, Fort Moultrie.

Flag of SC…

Colonel Moultrie designed the flag that hung over Sullivan’s Island. It had a silver crescent in the corner. Today it also has a silver Palmetto tree in honor of the victory. In 1861 it became the official state flag.



Battle of Kings Mountain

  • After the British victory at Camden, Cornwallis sent Major Patrick Ferguson, Commander of the Loyalists, into the SC Up-country to rid the area of Patriots.

  • Ferguson was ambushed by North & South Carolina mountain-men at Kings Mountain on October 7, 1780.

  • Using guerilla warfare, the Patriots killed Ferguson along with 1,100 of his men.

  • Kings Mountain is considered the turning point of the war in the South. From this point on, the British began retreating from the interior of SC.

Battle of Cowpens

  • The Battle of Cowpens showed the cooperation of the regular Continental Army and the partisan forces.

  • Partisans had a reputation of turning tail and running (think Camden Cowards). Americans counted on this rep for the battle plan.

  • The partisans, led by Andrew Pickens, led the attack and then fled; tricking the British into thinking the Americans were retreating. Instead, the partisans lured the British forces into the guns of the regular American army.

  • British were defeated-retreated toward Virginia.

Colonel Isaac Hayne

  • Partisan parolee Colonel Isaac Hayne was captured near Charleston in July 1781

  • The British used his punishment as an example to help stem the Patriot advance

  • They hanged him as a traitor of the British crown after only a brief trial

  • Nathaniel Greene issued a proclamation stating that he would retaliate against the British forces

Battle of Eutaw Springs

  • Was neither the last of 137 battles fought in the state, nor a technical victory because of the unsoldierly plundering behavior of the hungry and nearly naked Continentals

  • The irreplaceable British troop losses made it strategically the final major battle in the beleaguered state.

  • While current sources often disagree in their final assessment of who won the battle itself, there is no question about its evaluation by the Patriot cause.

  • American contemporaries viewed the Battle of Eutaw Springs in the very least as a Pyrrhic victory for the British because it marked the clearance of the British from the battleground state and region (with the exception of a few coastal enclaves that were finally evacuated after Yorktown and during the peace proceedings in 1782) and thus the demise of the British southern campaign.

Victory at Yorktown

  • After the British defeat at Cowpens, General Cornwallis was forced to leave SC and retreat to Yorktown, VA hoping to re-supply his troops and later gain a better hold on the south.

  • At this same time, Washington, with help from the French (Reminder: The French sided with ANYONE against the British), cut off Yorktown peninsula from the main land.

  • French navy cut off peninsula by sea.

  • Cornwallis was held under siege for weeks. No supplies reached him because of the French naval blockade.

  • In early October, Patriots prepared for an attack on Cornwallis – his troops were weak from starvation.

  • Fearing defeat, Cornwallis surrendered October 19, ending the Revolutionary War.


The Treaty of Paris

  • In June 1781, reps from the Continental Congress began peace negotiations with the British.

  • American delegates were John Jay, John Adams, Henry Laurens, & Benjamin Franklin.

  • The Treaty of Paris took 2 years to work out.

  • George Washington stated, “The citizens of America are…possessed of absolute freedom and independency.”

Conditions/Provisions of the Treaty of Paris, 1783

1. Established British recognition of the United States.

2. Established the borders as north to the Great Lakes, west to the Mississippi River & south to Spanish Florida.

3. Allowed for Americans to settle west of the original 13 colonies.


Writing Prompt:

Describe the outcome of the Revolutionary War in SC.


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