Henry Clinton and “A Miracle on Sullivan’s Island”

By the Red Sea the Hebrew host detained

Through aid divine the distant shore soon gained;

The waters fled, the deep passage a grave;

But thus God wrought a chosen race to save.

Though Clinton’s troops have shared a different fate

‘Gainst them, poor men! Not chosed sure of heaven,

The miracle reversed is still as great—

From two feet deep the water rose to seven.[6]

–St. James Chronicle

While delegates to the Second Continental Congress debated the matter of Independence in 1776, the British brought the war to Charleston, South Carolina.  Defense of the city focused on Fort Sullivan, on Sullivan’s Island at the northern mouth of Charleston Harbor.  Major General Henry Clinton, commanding an Army expedition against the Americans, was determined to exploit the fort’s vulnerabilities.  He ultimately failed, but his effort, or lack thereof, prompted a British newspaper to craft a little ditty taunting the poor general.

Fort Sullivan
The Attack on Fort Sullivan, June 28, 1776 from Edward McCrady, The History of South Carolina in the Revolution, 1775-1780
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