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The American Revolution Chapter 8


The American Revolution Chapter 8 Battle for the Back Country The Battle of Camden was a major defeat for the regular Continental Army. This loss meant that British ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: The American Revolution Chapter 8

The American RevolutionChapter 8
Stirrings of a Revolution
  • When Great Britain had to tax the colonists in
    order to have money to pay for the French and
    Indian War, colonists became very angry. At first
    they complained that their rights as British
    citizens had been violated, and they wanted King
    George III to recognize those rights. After a
    while, some of the colonists started to think
    that freedom from Great Britain would be the best

King George III of England
Stirrings of a Revolution
  • American colonists disagreed about what the
    colonies should do about Great Britain. Some
    wanted to become independent. The people who were
    faithful to the king thought that talk about
    becoming independent was treason.

Colonists who were accused of treason could be
locked in a pillory for everyone to see.
Stirrings of a Revolution
  • In South Carolina, the people with the most
    political power were wealthy Low Country
    landowners. Many of them were Patriots who
    thought they needed to be free from Great
    Britain. By 1774, Patriots were getting tired of
    Great Britain, and South Carolinas General
    Committee of 99 created a new governing body for
    South Carolina called the Provincial Congress.

Stirrings of a Revolution
  • In 1776, the Provincial Congress adopted South
    Carolinas first constitution that would serve as
    the foundation of the government until the
    disagreements with Great Britain could be
    resolved and was adopted before the Declaration
    of Independence was signed. The constitution
    created a bicameral legislation (one that has two
  • 1. a lower house legislature of representatives
    that were elected by the people of the colony
  • 2. an upper house legislature that was elected by
    the representatives of the lower house
  • 3. a president of the colony, elected by the
    upper house, who could veto laws

Stirrings of a Revolution
  • The problems that existed between Low Country
    colonists and Up Country colonists could be seen
    in South Carolinas first constitution. The Low
    Country wanted to keep the power in the hands of
    the patriots and the elite (rich) and wrote the
    constitution so the Low Country would have more
    representation in the legislature.

Middleton Plantation, Charleston, SC
Stirrings of a Revolution
  • In 1774, at the First Continental Congress, the
    South Carolina representatives were Low Country
    elite and they served important roles John
    Rutledge helped to draft a letter to the British
    people explaining the colonial position, Thomas
    Lynch and Christopher Gadsden designed an
    agreement stating the colonists would not buy or
    sell British goods.

John Rutledge
Stirrings of a Revolution
  • Before the First Continental Congress ended, they
    made plans to increase the colonial militias in
    case Great Britain declared war. In South
    Carolina, the Provincial Congress began
    preparations for a stronger militia.

Militia men were volunteers, they were not
professional soldiers. They used their own guns
and usually did not have uniforms.
Stirrings of a Revolution
  • The plan for a stronger militia was a good idea.
    When Britain found out that colonists were stock
    piling weapons in the towns of Concord and
    Lexington, Massachusetts, the Britishs attempt
    at taking the gunpowder left several colonists
    dead, and the rest of the colonists angry.

Stirrings of a Revolution
  • After the battles of Lexington and Concord, the
    Second Continental Congress met in Philadelphia.
    The colonists had to discuss the topic of
    independence. At first, all of the colonies had
    concerns about voting for independence. South
    Carolina voted against fighting for independence

Founding Fathers by John Buxton
Stirrings of a Revolution
  • When a second vote was taken, South Carolina
    voted yes, along with 11 other colonies (New
    York, the only colony to have more loyalists,
    than South Carolina, did not vote). On July 4,
    1776, the Declaration was signed, included were
    the signatures of South Carolina delegates
    Edward Rutledge, Thomas Lynch Jr., Thomas Heyward
    Jr., and Arthur Middleton. The Declaration
    changed the focus of the struggle from a fight
    for equality to a fight for freedom.

The Declaration of Independence listed the
complaints of the colonists against the British.
Stirrings of a Revolution
  • After the Declaration of Independence was signed,
    some South Carolinians felt that the temporary
    constitution needed to be replaced by a more
    permanent one. In 1778, a new constitution was
    adopted. It changed the president of the state
    to governor, the representation in legislature
    was to be more evenly distributed, and the Church
    of England would no longer be the official,
    state-supported church of South Carolina.

Remember him? John Rutledge was the first South
Carolina president.
The War Begins
  • After the Declaration of Independence was signed,
    many South Carolinians signed up for the armies
    of both sides. The only colony with more
    loyalists than South Carolina was New York. This
    caused a civil war within the colony there were
    over 137 battles and skirmishes within South
    Carolina alone.

The War Begins
  • The state was divided into two main groups
    patriots and loyalists.
  • Patriots were colonists who supported the
    Continental Congress and independence. Most were
    from the Low Country and served in local
    militias. Partisans were patriots fought the
    British using guerilla warfare tactics (this will
    be discussed later).
  • Loyalists were loyal to the king and were mostly
    found in the Up Country. Patriots nicknamed
    loyalists Tories.
  • Many people who lived in the Up Country were not
    true loyalists, they didnt care who was in
    charge, they wanted to live their life without
    anyone interfering. These neutrals were typically
    German immigrants who had no allegiance to king
    or the principals of freedom and democracy.

The War Begins
  • In June of 1776 (before the Declaration of
    Independence was signed) the British decided to
    capture Charles Town and use it as a base to
    launch attacks into other colonies. While the
    British were waiting for reinforcements, they
    decided to capture the unfinished fort on
    Sullivans Island.

British battle map of Sullivans Island
The War Begins
  • The British had a three part strategy three
    ships would be stationed on the islands southwest
    side, nine ships on the southeast side, and
    British troops were to march over from Long
    Island and attack the fort. Unfortunately, their
    strategy fell apart, completely.

British battle map of Sullivans Island
The War Begins
  • The three British ships on the southwest got
    stuck in the mud and became easy targets for the
    American guns. The other nine ships had to sail
    in deep water to keep from running aground, which
    meant they had to travel directly in front of
    American guns. The troops could not wade from
    Long Island to Sullivans Island because the
    water was too deep and their gunpowder would get

Even today, boats still get stuck in the mud, and
the British were using much bigger boats!
The War Begins
  • The colonists were not expecting the unfinished
    fort to survive a British attack, but to their
    surprise it did The fort was made of Palmetto
    logs, which were spongy. Cannon balls either
    bounced off, or became stuck and provided armor
    for the fort.

Palmettos are very spongy because of their
fibrous trunks. The logs were fitted together and
filled with sand to create the walls of the fort.
The War Begins
  • In recognition of this important contribution,
    South Carolina added the Palmetto tree to the
    flag of South Carolina. The crescent on the flag
    is not a crescent moon, but a reproduction of the
    crescent worn on the hats of the soldiers.

Crescent moon
Patriot uniform
The War Begins
  • During the battle, the flag flying over the fort
    was hit by a cannon ball and fell outside the
    fort. Worried that men would lose their courage
    when they saw the flag fall, Sgt. William Jasper
    ran outside the fort, grabbed the flag, and tied
    it to a cannon swab and put it back up where
    everyone could see it.

The Southern Campaign
  • There three phases of the war. Most of the
    battles in the first phase happened in New
    England. After the British were defeated at
    Trenton and Saratoga, they decided to try again
    to capture Charles Town. The second phase of the
    war took place in the South, and this time,
    Charles Town wasnt so lucky.

The Southern Campaigns
  • The British sieged (surrounded and cut off all of
    the supplies) Charles Town. After the harbor was
    blockaded and supply lines were cut off, the
    Patriot troops, who were trapped on the
    peninsula, were forced to surrender.

Map from 1711 showing the Charles Town Harbor
The Southern Campaign
  • In South Carolina, the British hoped to find a
    large number of loyalists to help their cause.
    They wanted the loyalists who remained neutral
    would help the British control the state and help
    them win the war.

The Southern Campaign
  • If the British had treated the colonists with
    respect, they might have gotten the colonial
    support they wanted. Instead, the British treated
    the colonists harshly, burning churches, looting
    or confiscating homes, and harassing and
    mistreating the colonists.

The remnants of Old Sheldon Church still stand
near Yemassee, SC. The church was burned in both
the American Revolution and the America Civil War.
The Southern Campaign
  • One British colonel who earned a reputation for
    being merciless was named Banastre Tarleton. At
    the Battle of Waxhaws, Tarleton allowed his
    troops murder surrendering Virginians. After this
    event, he became known as Bloody Banastre
    Tarleton. Instead of scaring the Americans into
    giving up their fight, he made them angry and
    many neutrals and some loyalists joined the
    patriot cause.

Bloody Banastre Tarleton.
Contributions to the War Effort
  • The British were, however, able to convince
    Native Americans to join the war. At first, the
    Native Americans avoided getting involved, but
    after the British promised to return control of
    the west to the Native Americans. Supporting the
    British, the Cherokee attacked colonists.

Contributions to the War Effort
  • The British also made promises to African
    Americas. Although most of them remained slaves
    in the South, the British promised freedom to
    slaves who fought against the patriots. The
    slaves, however, did not get the freedom that
    they were expecting some were taken and sold
    back into slavery.

Contributions to the War Effort
  • Some slaves even served in the Continental Army.
    At first, South Carolina was afraid of slave
    revolts and didnt even want to allow slaves to
    work as cooks. Later, when more manpower was
    needed, laws were changed to allow 1/3 of the
    militia to be made up of slaves, but they were
    not allowed to be soldiers. Unlike Britain, South
    Carolina did not offer slaves their freedom in
    exchange for their military service.

Contributions to the War Effort
  • Women in took active roles on both sides of the
    war. While the men were fighting, women managed
    farms and plantations. Some served as messengers,
    nurses, and gave their houses and their fortunes
    to support the cause.

Emily Geiger memorized a secret message and kept
it out of the hands of British.
Rebecca Motte sacrificed two of her houses to the
Battle for the Back Country
  • While many men enlisted in the Continental Army,
    some men joined small militia groups known as
    partisans. Partisans used guerilla (not gorilla)
    warfare tactics that used hit and run ambushes.

Battle for the Back Country
  • The three main partisan leaders were
  • Thomas Sumter the Gamecock from the Back
  • Francis Marion the Swamp Fox from the Northeast
    corner of SC (near Myrtle Beach)
  • Andrew Pickens the Wizard Owl from the Up

Andrew Pickens
Francis Marion
Thomas Sumter
Battle for the Back Country
  • Thomas Sumter started his career as a partisan
    leader when his house was burned by British
    soldiers. He responded by rallying back country
    men into a a partisan fighting force. Sumter and
    his troops attacked British supply lines in the
    Upcountry, frustrating the British and giving
    hope to the Patriots.

Thomas Sumter was so important to the war, Fort
Sumter in the Charleston Harbor was named after
Battle for the Back Country
  • Francis Marion used similar methods on the
    British. He earned his nickname by disappearing
    into the swamps after the attacks.
  • Andrew Pickens earned his nickname from the
    Native Americans in the Upcountry.

These limestone cliffs have caves that open from
the top down into the river (the hole at the
water line). Francis Marion and his troops would
use these cliffs to disappear from the
following British army.
Battle for the Back Country
  • The Battle of Camden was a major defeat for the
    regular Continental Army. This loss meant that
    British now controlled almost all of South
    Carolina. This could have been avoided if
    American General Gates had traveled slowly though
    patriot so they could rest and get supplies. In
    addition to the troops being hungry and tired,
    the North Carolina militia men involved in this
    battle were were not trained to deal with regular
    British forces. They panicked and fled, leaving
    the Continental Army to be defeated.

Battle for the Back Country
  • The turning point for the American Revolution in
    the South was at Kings Mountain. Loyalist forces
    and British regular army. Mountain men from North
    and South Carolina attacked the British troops
    from behind rocks and trees. The British lost a
    lot of men and tried to surrender, but were
    offered no quarter by Patriots in retaliation for
    British (especially Bloody Tarletons) actions
    toward the colonists. After this battle, the
    British started to retreat from the Up Country.

Battle for the Back Country
  • Soon after the British defeat at Kings Mountain,
    the Continental Army and partisan groups
    cooperated at the Battle of Cowpens. Partisan
    groups had a reputation among the British troops
    of running away. The American commander was
    counting on this reputation as he created the
    battle plan.

Diagram of Cowpens battle events
Battle for the Back Country
  • The partisans, under the leadership of Andrew
    Pickens, led the attack they fired two volleys
    and then fled the field, tricking the British
    forces into thinking that the Americans were
    retreating. Instead, the partisans lured the
    British into the guns of the American army. The
    British were soundly defeated and pulled out of
    South Carolina heading to Virginia.

The End and the Beginning
  • The Battle of Cowpens was the beginning of the
    end of the British in America. After leaving
    South Carolina, British troops were soon cornered
    in Yorktown, Virginia and forced them to
    surrender. South Carolinian Henry Laurens,
    president of the Continental Congress, was on the
    committee that negotiated the Treaty of Paris
    which ended the American Revolution and opened
    the door for the new nation of America.

Lord Cornwallis surrenders at Yorktown, VA
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