Plan of the Siege of Charleston, 1780. The British did not capture Charleston in 1776, but when their strategy for winning the war shifted the military offensive from the north to the south in 1779, they determined to make Charleston the center of their operations to win back the loyalty of their former colonists. They seized Savannah in December of 1778, inspiring a futile expedition of South Carolinians in an attempt to rescue that town in 1779. In February and March of 1780 General Sir Henry Clinton (see Sir Henry Clinton) moved to surround Charleston with 10,000 men, trapping 6,000 American soldiers under General Benjamin Lincoln in the Charleston Peninsula. Their surrender in May was the largest surrender of American forces in the Revolutionary War.
Courtesy of the South Caroliniana Library.
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