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A period map annotated to show military movements prior to the 1779 Battle of Beaufort, South Carolina. American movements are in blue, British movements in red.

Date Base map: 1779; Source: Boston Public Library Map Collection:

Joseph Hinton

The Battle of Beaufort






  • The Battle of Beaufort took place on February 3rd, 1779.

  • The American forces were led by William Moultrie and the British forces were lead by William Gardner.  

  • The objective was to seize prot royal

  • William 

  • In the end the battle resulted in 40 British soldiers killed or wounded and 8 killed on the side of the colonists. 

  • A victory for the Americans.  What history tends to forget are the African Ameericans whom must aided Moultrie on his march from Charleston.   The area where Moultrie met William Gardner was known as the Halfway house described as 6 miles between the city of Beaufort and the Port Royal Ferry,.  It is now known as Modern-Day Gray's Hill.  Moultrie's men were to cut off Gardner who arrived at Deveaux's Neck (Modern Day Laurel Bay) where Loyalist Andrew Deveaux owned a plantation.  

  • Deveaux is a common surname for african americans around the Halfway House area.  It is believed that the little section of modern day Gray's Hill is named for a Deveaux family slave or descendant known as Pompey Deveaux.  There has never been found any concrete evidence to support this fact.  

  • Thousands of Slaves were carried off by Major Andrew Deveaux and thousands others ran to the Briish for protection. 

  • For four years following the Revlutionary a community of runaway slaves lived in St Peters Parish unmolested.  They had run away to join the British army but were left behind when the British were evacuated.  At night the left behind runaways would creep out of the swamp and raid the local plantations.  

  • Ironically, it would be a Hutson, Captain Richard Hutson who would finally defeat them in May of 1786.  Many escaped again and were not capture until a year later in 1787.

  • The colonists caught 26 men and the battle was fought for 45 minutes.  

  •  Both Fort Lyttleton and Marion were designed as naval fortifications with the prime function of protecting the river approach to the city of Beaufort. Fort Lyttleton was in operation from 1758-1781.

  • Source:  The History of Beaufort County, South Carolina: 1514-1861

     By Lawrence Sanders Rowland

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