The Battle of Charleston

March 29-May 12, 1780

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Located in Charleston, South Carolina

  • Great Britain vs. United States
  • Commanders: Sir Henry Clinton & US: Benjamin Lincoln
Great Britain
Force: 13500

Killed: 76

Wounded: 182

Captured: 0

United States

Force: 5466

Killed: 92

Wounded: 148

Captured: 4650

Great Britain won the Battle of Charleston

Description of the battle: In 1778, the British Commander Lt. General Henry Clinton turned his attention to the South, where partisan fighting between Patriot militia and Tories had been heavy. General Clinton and the British government believed that if the British controlled the South, Tories would flock to support the British and Clinton would be able to overwhelm General George Washington in Virginia. On the evening of April 13, 1780, Lt. Colonel Tarleton gave orders for a silent march. Later that night, they intercepted a messenger with a letter from Huger to Lincoln and thus learned how the rebels were deployed. At 3 o'clock in the morning on the 14th, the British reached the American post, catching them completely by surprise and quickly routing them. Following the skirmish, the British fanned out across the countryside and effectively cut off Charleston from outside support. This was a severe blow to the colonies. It was the greatest loss of manpower and equipment of the war for the Americans and gave the British control of the Southern colonies.

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