At the beginning of the 1770s, the Commons House of Assembly was embroiled in the latest in a series of fierce power struggles with royal officials, known as the Wilkes Fund Controversy. Coupled with new imperial initiatives, these clashes convinced the colony’s elite that if it wanted to control the political destiny of South Carolina, then separation was the only answer.
Moultrie achieved national fame on June 28, 1776, when he successfully defended Fort Sullivan against a British attack and saved Charleston from capture. Other units contributed to the defense, but it was the famous palmetto-log and sand fort and Moultrie’s command of four hundred men and thirty cannons that became forever associated with the victory.
Rutledge played a prominent role in writing the federal Constitution. He advocated a national government of greatly increased but still limited powers and entrusted to an executive and a Congress designed to consist of gentlemen made relatively independent of public opinion.
The siege of Charleston marked the commencement of major British operations in the South during the Revolutionary War.