Ldot Vets - The American Revolution 1775-1783
The Siege of Charleston
The British began a southern strategy by beginning a seige of Charleston, South Carolina. The siege lasted until May 9th when British artillery fire was close enough to set the town on fire and force a surrender.
A perception continued among the British that the South was full of loyalists just awaiting the call from the British. At the end of December 1779 General Clinton succumbed to this view and headed south with a small army. His goal was to capture Charelston, South Carolina. Clinton approached steadily, arriving opposite Charleston on April 1. He then began a classic European siege. The British dug siege trenches ever closer to the wall of the city. Day by day, week by week, the British got ever closer to the wall of the city. In the meantime both sides exchanged artillery fire, the Americans trying to make the British task as difficult as possible, while the British hoped to terrify the Americans into submission. By the beginning of May, the British had advanced within a few feet of the American lines. Their artillery fire was soon becoming deadly and on May 9th many of the wooden houses in Charleston were set on fire by the artillery fire. The city elders had enough and requested that the American commander Lincoln surrender, which he did. The British victory in Charleston was pyrrhic. There was no popular uprising and instead South Carolina degenerated into a period of chaos.
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