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Jasper, William 1750-

Military hero; born in South Carolina, about 1750; became a

Sergeant Jasper replacing the colors.

sergeant in the 2d South Carolina Regiment; and greatly distinguished himself in the attack on Fort Sullivan, June 28, 1776, by the British fleet. During the hottest of the attack the South Carolina flag that waved over the fort fell to the ground outside the fort, its staff having been cut in two by a cannon-ball. Sergeant Jasper, seeing the flag fall, leaped down from one of the embrasures, seized the ensign, climbed back, fixed the colors to a sponge-staff, mounted the parapet, stuck the improvised flag-staff in the sand of one of the bastions, and returned to his place in the fort. A few days afterwards Governor Rutledge took his own sword from his side and presented it to Jasper. He also offered him a lieutenant's commission, which the young man modestly declined, because he could neither read nor write, saying, “I am not fit to keep officers' company; I am but a sergeant.” He was given a sort of roving commission by Colonel Moultrie, and, with five or six men, he often brought in prisoners before his commander was aware of his absence. An earnest Whig lady of Charleston, Mrs. Susannah Elliot, presented Jasper's regiment with a stand of colors wrought with her own hands. They were shot down at the assault on Savannah (1779), and in trying [125] to replace them on the parapet of a redoubt, Jasper was mortally wounded, but brought them off. He died Oct. 9, 1779.

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