The Virginians 800 Mile March to Save Charleston

Emerging Revolutionary War Era

On April 7, 1780, 750 Virginia soldiers completed a nearly 800 mile trek from Morristown, New Jersey to Charleston, South Carolina, only to be captured and sent to prison ships in Charleston harbor.

In November and December of 1779, both British General Sir Henry Clinton in New York City and American General George Washington in Morristown, New Jersey, began to turn their eyes south. A combined Franco-American force under the command of General Benjamin Lincoln and Count d’Estaing had made a bloody assault to try and capture the Southern city of Savannah to no avail. The Count d’Estaing took his French force and returned to the Caribbean, and Lincoln took his demoralized American army back to Charleston, South Carolina. With only about 2,400 Continentals and militia, Lincoln’s army (and the city of Charleston) looked like a ripe target for Clinton, who had been part of the botched attempt to capture…

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