How Fort Moultrie got its name



Shortly after the evacuation of Boston in 1776, Washington led his army to New York, which he feared might be assailed. Sir Henry Clinton soon after appeared off Sandy Hook with his fleet, but, finding the place guarded, he sailed south, where he met Sir Peter Parker with a large fleet. The conjoined fleets now sailed to Charleston, the entrance to whose harbor was defended by Fort Sullivan, a rudely-built log fortification, which General Lee declared to be a mere "slaughter-pen," and which he was anxious to have abandoned. But the Carolinians boldly determined to hold it. On the 28th of June the British ships opened a terrible fire upon it. But the porous, spongy palmetto logs received the balls without injury, while the fire of the fort riddled the ships and swept their decks. Early in the battle the flag was struck down by a ball which severed the shaft. In a moment Sergeant Jasper leaped over the breast-works, seized the flag, which had fallen on the ground outside, tied it to a sponge-shaft, and hoisted it again to its place. The battle ended in the fleet's being so shattered that it was forced to withdraw. The colonists were overjoyed at the result of this their first encounter with the "mistress of the seas." The gallantly-defended fort was re-named Fort Moultrie, in honor of its brave commander.





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