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Fort Moultrie, at the mouth of Charleston harbor, is named in honor of General William Moultrie, one of the bravest patriots of the American Revolution, who gained a memorial victory at the fortress over the British squadron, June 28th, 1776. Moultrie was a native of South Carolina, and of Scottish descent. He early espoused the cause of American independence, and in March, 1776, was ordered to construct a fort on Sullivan Island, at the mouth of Charleston harbor, and was engaged upon the work when the British fleet appeared off the coast. He was advised to abandon the fortress, as General Charles Lee, his superior officer, declared it was no better than "a slaughter pen." But Moultrie had faith in his own work, and defended the fort with great skill and valor, and drove away the enemy. One British ship was lost, and two others were so riddled as to have almost become wrecks. The loss of the enemy was 222 killed and wounded. The Americans had 11 killed and 26 wounded. The fortress was hardly injured by the fire of the British squadron, and when the battle was over, every gun on the fort but one was still in position. The determination and courage of Moultrie in this engagement elicited great praise, and the fort was, by universal assent, named in honor of its skillful builder and gallant defender.
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