Lesson Plan: Overview

The Battle of Fort Moultrie

Grade Level: 8th

The Second Regiment flag of South Carolina

Academic Standards

Standard 8-2: The student will demonstrate an understanding of the American Revolution—the beginnings of the new American nation and South Carolina’s part in the development of that nation.

8-2.1 Explain the interests and roles of South Carolinians in the events leading to the American Revolution, including the state’s reactions to the Stamp Act and the Tea Act; the role of Christopher Gadsden and the Sons of Liberty; and the role of the four South Carolina signers of the Declaration of Independence—Edward Rutledge, Henry Middleton, Thomas Lynch Jr., and Thomas Heyward Jr.
8-2.2 Compare the perspectives and roles of different South Carolinians during the American Revolution, including those of political leaders, soldiers, partisans, Patriots, Tories/Loyalists, women, African Americans, and Native Americans.
8-2.3 Summarize the course and key conflicts of the American Revolution in South Carolina and its effects on the state, including the attacks on Charleston; the Battle of Camden; the partisan warfare of Thomas Sumter, Andrew Pickens, and Francis Marion; the Battle of Cowpens; and the Battle of Kings Mountain
 
Social Studies Literacy Elements
K. Use texts, photographs, and documents to observe and interpret social studies trends and relationships
L. Interpret calendars, time lines, maps, charts, tables, graphs, flow charts, diagrams, photographs, paintings, cartoons, architectural drawings, documents, letters, censuses, and other artifacts
O. Consider multiple perspectives of documents and stories

Historical Background Notes

The historical context for The Battle of Fort Moultrie, is taken verbatim from Terry W. Lipscomb's work, The Carolina Lowcountry, April 1775-June 1776 and the Battle of Fort Moultrie: "In the twenty-sixth year of American independence, General William Moultrie sketched in his Revolutionary War memoirs a vivid recollection of South Carolina on the eve of Lexington and Concord: "The militia were forming themselves into volunteer uniform companies; drums beating, fifes playing; squads of men exercising on the outskirts of the town; a military spirit pervaded the whole country; and Charlestown had the appearance of a garrison town; every thing wore the face of war; though not one of us had the least idea of its approach; and more especially of its being so near to us, for we were anxiously looking forward to a reconciliation; when on the 19th day of April, war was declared against America, by the British troops firing upon the inhabitants at Lexington; an account of which flew over the whole continent; and now the hopes of a reconciliation were at an end; and recourse to arms was the only and last resort."

If the outbreak of war caught Moultrie and his fellow colonists by surprise, it scarcely caught them unprepared. Local patriots looked with disfavor on Britain's latest conciliatory proposals and saw them as an attempt to divide and enslave the colonies. The time had come, they decided, to defend their liberties. Thus, while the historic events were transpiring in Massachusetts, a secret committee of the South Carolina Provincial Congress was laying plans to appropriate the contents of the public arsenal in Charlestown. Two days after the British troops opened fire at Lexington, South Carolina's revolutionary leaders set their enterprise into motion [-an enterprise culminating at the Battle of Fort Moultrie; an enterprise ultimately providing one of America's first military victories in the fight for independence.]

To the citizens of a newly-launched republic badly in need of a military victory, the courier who brought news of the battle of 28 June was like the Athenian runner who delivered the news of Marathon in 490 B.C. with the words "Rejoice, we are victorious!" In Philadelphia, where the independence of the American colonies had recently been declared on 4 July, the British defeat was a particular cause for celebration. In North Carolina, the Council of Safety considered the action at Sullivan's Island to be "one of the Most important Events that hath happened to this Country during the course of the present unnatural war." In Virginia, Purdie's Virginia Gazette ran a headline proclaiming "GLORIOUS NEWS from SO. CAROLINA," and ended the story with the exclamation, "General LEE, and our brave friends of SOUTH CAROLINA! HUZZA!" A contemporary British historian was not exaggerating when he observed that "the Americans were much elated upon this success, which considerably inflamed the spirit of revolt."

The material results of the victory at Sullivan's Island were scarcely less important than its impact on men's imaginations. The failure of this initial British campaign in the South left the Carolina loyalists without government support for over three years. Under patriot control, the port of Charlestown remained open to friendly commercial and military shipping, providing a supply line to the patriot army, a safe harbor for continental and state navies, and a base for rebel privateers."

Placing the Battle of Fort Moultrie in its historical context, the preceding passage from Carolina Lowcountry also indicates the significance of the American victory as one of the Revolution's major events. For more information regarding the Battle of Fort Moultrie see Edwin C. Bearss' The First Two Fort Moultries and The Battle of Sullivan's Island. See also Stanley South's Palmetto Parapets. Lipscomb's The Carolina Lowcountry can be purchased from the South Carolina Department of Archives and History (SCDAH). Copies of the Bearss publications and South's work may be read in the SCDAH reference room. At the end of the French and Indian War in 1763, Americans were loyal to the British Crown. Yet, in less than 15 years, loyal British subjects transformed into patriotic American revolutionaries, fighting for their independence from Britain. Why? What happened between 1763 and 1775 to make colonists want to fight for independence?

Materials

 
Primary Sources
 
Faden, William, Sullivan’s Island Map, Parts A and B: A Plan of the Attack of Fort Sullivan, near Charles Town in South Carolina, on the 28th of June 1776, with the Disposition of the King’s Land Forces, and the Encampents and Entrenchments of the Rebels from the Drawings made on the spot (London, William Faden, 1776). Newberry Library.
 
Lee, Charles, “Some Rum For your Men: Charles Lee to William Moultrie, June 29, 1776,” Eyewitness Accounts of the American Revolution: Memoirs of the American Revolution, By William Moultrie, Volume I, 1802. New York: The New York Times & Arno Press, 1968: 168.
 
Moultrie, William, “This Was Our Situation: William Moultrie Memoir of June, 1775,” Eyewitness Accounts of the American Revolution: Memoirs of the American Revolution, By William Moultrie, Volume I, 1802. New York: The New York Times & Arno Press, 1968: 63.
 
Moultrie, William, “Command of the Cove: William Moultrie Memoir of December, 1776,” Eyewitness Accounts of the American Revolution: Memoirs of the American Revolution, By William Moultrie, Volume I, 1802. New York: The New York Times & Arno Press, 1968: 114-115.
 
Moultrie, William, “A Covering Party: Orders Issued by William Moultrie to ‘take post on Sullivan’s Island,’ January 10, 1776,” Eyewitness Accounts of the American Revolution: Memoirs of the American Revolution, By William Moultrie, Volume I, 1802. New York: The New York Times & Arno Press, 1968: 116.
 
Moultrie, William, “It Was Then Quite A Wilderness: Order Issued by the Council of Safety to William Moultrie to ‘prevent the enemy’s landing or passing by,’ January 12, 1776,” Eyewitness Accounts of the American Revolution: Memoirs of the American Revolution, By William Moultrie, Volume I, 1802. New York: The New York Times & Arno Press, 1968: 121-122.
 
Moultrie, William, “The Key of the Harbor: William Moultrie Memoir of March 2, 1776,” Eyewitness Accounts of the American Revolution: Memoirs of the American Revolution, By William Moultrie, Volume I, 1802. New York: The New York Times & Arno Press, 1968: 124.
 
Moultrie, William, “And Doubt Not: William Moultrie to John Rutledge, June 3, 1776,” Eyewitness Accounts of the American Revolution: Memoirs of the American Revolution, By William Moultrie, Volume I, 1802. New York: The New York Times & Arno Press, 1968: 146-147.
 
Moultrie, William, “Moultrie’s Account: William Moultrie Memoir of June 28, 1776,” Eyewitness Accounts of the American Revolution: Memoirs of the American Revolution, By William Moultrie, Volume I, 1802. New York: The New York Times & Arno Press, 1968: 174-181.
 
Moultrie, William, “There Were Never Colors More Honorably Supported: William Moultrie Memoir of July 1, 1776,” Eyewitness Accounts of the American Revolution: Memoirs of the American Revolution, By William Moultrie, Volume I, 1802. New York: The New York Times & Arno Press, 1968: 182-183.
 
Pocock, Nicholas, “A View of the Attack Made by the British Fleet Under the Command of Sir Peter Parker Against Fort Moultrie on Sullivan’s Island, June 28 1776,” South Carolinian Library, University of South Carolina, in Terry W. Lipscomb’s The Carolina Lowcountry, April 1775-June 1776 and the Battle of Fort Moultrie, 2nd Edition. Columbia: South Carolina Department of Archives and History, 1994.
 
Rutledge, John, “Cool and Do Mischief: John Rutledge to William Moultrie, June 28, 1776,” Eyewitness Accounts of the American Revolution: Memoirs of the American Revolution, By William Moultrie, Volume I, 1802. New York: The New York Times & Arno Press, 1968: 167.
 
Second Regiment Flag, 1776. Collection of the South Carolina State Museum. Columbia, South Carolina.
 
United States Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, “Chart of Breach Inlet, Detail of Charleston Harbor Entrance Nautical Chart,” in Terry W. Lipscomb’s The Carolina Lowcountry, April 1775- June 1776 and the Battle of Fort Moultrie, 2nd Edition. Columbia: South Carolina Department of Archives and History, 1994: 25.
 
Secondary Sources
Bearss, Edwin C. The First Two Fort Moultries: A Structural History, Fort Sumter National Monument. National Park Service, Office of Archaeology and Historic Preservation, Division of History, 1968.
 
Bearss, Edwin C. The Battle of Sullivan’s Island and the Capture of Fort Moultrie: A Documented narrative and Troop Movement Maps, Fort Sumter National Monument, South Carolina. National Park Service, Office of Archaeology and Historic Preservation, Division of History, 1968.
 
Lipscomb, Terry W. The Carolina Lowcountry, April 1775-June 1776 and the Battle of Fort Moultrie, 2nd Edition. Columbia: South Carolina Department of Archives and History, 1994: 28.
 
South, Stanley, “Reconstructed View of Fort Moultrie,” Palmetto Parapets: Exploratory Archaeology at Fort Moultrie, South Carolina, 38CH50. Columbia: University of South Carolina Institute of Archeology and Anthropology, 1974.
 
South, Stanley, “Second Regiment Soldier,” Palmetto Parapets: Exploratory Archaeology at Fort Moultrie, South Carolina, 38CH50. Columbia: University of South Carolina Institute of Archeology and Anthropology, 1974.
 
South, Stanley, “South East Bastion,” Palmetto Parapets: Exploratory Archaeology at Fort Moultrie, South Carolina, 38CH50. Columbia: University of South Carolina Institute of Archeology and Anthropology, 1974.

Lesson Plans

Procedures
In examining the course of the American Revolution and contributions of South Carolinians, The Battle of Fort Moultrie emphasizes primary source work, which culminates in students constructing their own historical narratives of the event. The Battle of Fort Moultrie takes three days to complete—55 minutes per day.

Day 1
  1. Activating Strategy: Students examine Sullivan’s Island Map, Part A. Pose a thought-provoking question: What happened at this battle, and why is it significant to us today?
  2. Students examine all primary source documents and pictures as well as secondary source pictures.
  3. Students identify the author/ source of each primary and secondary source (identify source as either American or British; write author’s name if possible).
  4. Students chronologically order all sources
  5. Ticket out the door: students turn in source identification/ chronological ordering of sources—written on notebook paper.

Day 2
  1. Students read William Moultrie’s account of the battle.
  2. Students read the British account of the battle (Sullivan’s Island Map, Part B).
  3. Students compare Moultrie’s account with the British account.
  4. Ticket out the door: students turn in a ½ page paper comparing similarities and differences between the Moultrie and British accounts.

Day 3
  1. Students choose pictures that best tell the story of the battle at Fort Moultrie.
  2. Students write captions for pictures.
  3. From primary sources, students construct their own historical narrative of the Fort Moultrie battle.
  4. Ticket out the door: students turn in an outline of their narrative and list of pictures they will use.
  5. Homework. 1) Complete story, integrating pictures with the narrative; 2) From the primary sources used to construct historic narratives, write three questions or note three topics of interest that students would like to know more about.

Teacher Reflections

No teacher reflections available for this lesson plan.

Student Assessments

Assessment for The Battle of Fort Moultrie is performance-based. Teachers can rate student work (i.e., source identification, chronological ordering, account comparison, image captions, historical narratives, and student questions) according to a standards-based rubric. Student performance can be rated as Unacceptable, Needs Work, Good, or Excellent. Teacher comments may include rationale for marks and suggestions for improvement.

  • Lesson Rubric: Battle of Fort Moultrie
  • Examples of Students Work

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    Credit

    Marshall Angle
    South Carolina Department of Archives and History