In the spring of 1779, a British force brazenly marched from Savannah to Charleston and tested the city’s defenses before falling back. Finally, in the spring of 1780, a large British force returned to Charleston and laid siege to the city. The result was the worst American defeat of the Revolutionary War for the Americans, which cost them the city and an entire army of nearly 6,000 men. The citizens and soldiers suffered more than two years of occupation and imprisonment.
However, the siege of Charleston also marked the beginning of the end of the war. The fall of Charleston initiated a series of events that resulted in the American victory at Yorktown and the successful independence of the colonies.
South Carolina’s historic port city is one of the most beautiful and historic in the United States. Numerous sites, battlefields, and buildings from this period still exist. In To the Last Extremity: The Battles for Charleston, 1776–1782, historian Mark Maloy not only recounts the Revolutionary War history of Charleston, but takes you to the places where these events occurred. Walk where outnumbered patriots forced back the most powerful navy in the world, where soldiers bravely defended the city in 1779 and 1780, and where thousands suffered under occupation. Through it all, brave patriots were willing to defend the city and their liberty “to the last extremity.”