Charleston, Siege of
This southern strategy began well. Leaving 10,000 men to defend New York, Clinton sailed south with about 8,700 men. Despite damage caused by a storm en route, he landed 6,000 men thirty miles south of Charleston on 12 February 1780. The remaining troops rejoined him in late March, and another 2,500 men arrived from New York in late April. Benjamin Lincoln initially defended Charleston with 1,600 South Carolina and Virginia Continentals and 2,000 militia; 1,500 North Carolina and Virginia Continentals soon reinforced them. Conserving his army, Clinton moved methodically to lay siege, giving Lincoln time to withdraw; political considerations, however, dictated that Lincoln defend the city. The British began investing Charleston on 1 April, and cut off the last escape route on 14 April. With no hope of timely relief and local civilian leaders clamoring to save their city from further damage, Lincoln surrendered on 12 May. It was the largest disaster suffered by any American army during the war.
Clinton followed up his success by defeating the remaining American forces at the battles of the Waxhaws and Camden, ending organized military resistance in South Carolina. Politically, he was less successful. The loyalists, restored to power by a British army they hoped would never leave, refused to treat defeated rebels leniently in return for a renewal of their allegiance. Loyalist abuses rekindled the civil war that nullified Britain's southern strategy and dissipated the fruits of Clinton's greatest victory.
Piers Mackesy , The War for America, 1964.
William B. Willcox , Portrait of a General: Sir Henry Clinton in the War of Independence, 1964.
David Mattern , Benjamin Lincoln, 1995.
Harold E. Selesky
"Charleston, Siege of." The Oxford Companion to American Military History. . Encyclopedia.com. (November 20, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/charleston-siege
"Charleston, Siege of." The Oxford Companion to American Military History. . Retrieved November 20, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/charleston-siege
Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).
Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.
Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:
Modern Language Association
The Chicago Manual of Style
American Psychological Association
- Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
- In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.