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When the first of June 1776, dawned, the British fleet appeared off Charleston, (numbering forty or fifty sail), and many faint hearts said loudly “It is folly and madness to attempt to oppose it. The English navy is the dread of the world. What can a little fort made of palmetto logs and bags of sand, do against ‘men of war’ ” ? But Governor John Rutledge, Colonel Moultrie, his stout-hearted regiment, and other patriots replied, “We can try to turn the enemy back, and by God's help will drive them out of the harbor and save the State, for a while at any rate, from the horrors of war.”

General Charles Lee who commanded the Continental troops, called Fort Moultrie, “a slaughter pen,” and spoke of evacuating Sullivan's Island. Therefore Governor Rutledge wrote the following laconic order to General Moultrie, the commander of the State troops:

You will not evacuate Fort Moultrie without my order. I will cut off my hand rather than sign such an order.

During the 4th of June, thirty-six of the transports crossed the bar of the harbor, in front of Rebellion road, and anchored about three miles from Sullivan's Island.

On the morning of the 28th of June 1776, the fleet weighed anchor and came sailing in beautifully, in line of battle, Admiral Sir Peter Parker's fifty gun three-decker the Bristol, leading the van as flag-ship, followed by the Experiment a fifty gun ship, four frigates, the Active, Acteon, Solbay, Syren, each of twenty-eight guns. The Sphynx, of twenty guns, the Friendship, an armed vessel of twenty-two guns; Ranger sloop, and Thunder-Bomb, each of eight guns. Between ten and eleven o'clock the Thunder-Bomb began the attack, and a most tremendous canonade ensued. The armed vessels sailed past Fort Moultrie, and each gave her a broad-side from their right hand batteries; then they rounded to, turned back, and raked her with those on their left.

The people of Charleston assembled on the wharfs and looked on, in almost breathless suspense. Thus, the engagement went on all day; the ships forming a figure of 8 as they wheeled up and down in front of the fort, whilst the Carolinians replied slowly to their fire, for ammunition was short. At one time when the Bristol fired her broad-side of twenty-five guns, the fort was struck in so many places simultaneously that it trembled to its base, and Colonel Moultrie thought for a moment the whole structure was going to give way and fall to pieces under their feet; but the tough palmetto logs did their

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