June 28, 1776: In what has been described as the “first decisive victory of American forces over the British Navy” during the American Revolution, the garrison at Fort Sullivan, S.C. (today Fort Moultrie on Sullivan’s Island in Charleston harbor) under the command of militia Col. William Moultrie repulse Royal Navy forces under the command of Admiral Sir Peter Parker.Now you know.
The 12-plus hour battle begins around 9 a.m. when Parker’s ships open fire on the fort: many of the British shells sinking harmlessly into the soft palmetto logs of which the fort is constructed. The ships, on the other hand, (some of which run aground on the harbor’s shoals) are constructed of oak, which Moultrie’s artillerists quickly shatter sending deadly splinters into the unfortunate British crews.
Moultrie is destined to become a Maj. Gen. in the Continental Army and a S.C. governor. And S.C. will forever be known as “the Palmetto State.”
And what happened on July 4, 1863?
July 4, 1863: The Confederate city of Vicksburg, Mississippi falls to Union Army forces under the command of Maj. Gen. (future U.S. pres.) Ulysses S. Grant. It will be decades before the city celebrates the 4th of July again.Also known as The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down.