Today marks the 240th anniversary of the Battle of Fort Moultrie. In the American Revolution, this pivotal moment became embedded in the DNA of our Palmetto State. Though I have written about this previously Here and Here, there’s still something that resonates within myself, within so many of us that call South Carolina home.
Recounting the battle later in life, Col. William Moultrie said of the fight
“It may be very easily conceived what heat and thirst a man must feel in this climate, to be upon a platform on the 28th June, amidst 20 or 30 heavy pieces of cannon, in one continual blaze and roar; and clouds of smoke curling over his head for hours together; it was a very honorable situation, but a very unpleasant one.”
With the heat of the mid day Charleston sun, the de rigeur humidity, smoke and heat from the cannons you can just imagine how debilitating the heat must have been. But we emerged triumphant, and many would say that the resulting victory convinced patriots in Philadelphia that a fight against the British juggernaut was indeed winnable. So basically it was the efforts of South Carolinians that indeed enabled the Declaration to be signed.
(A succinct and well written account of the battle may be found on the Halsey Map site of the Preservation Society of Charleston Here.)
As a licensed tour guide, I recounted many times the story of how a messenger flew to the city like the famed runner from the battle of Marathon. He spread word of the victory by playing “Three Blind Mice” from the steeple of St. Michael’s Church. Though I had heard this was played every year, I had never been able to actually witness it.
Until today. So here, in its own relative glory is the steeple of St. Michael’s, and the bells playing “Three Blind Mice.”
Dum Spiro Spero.