Last month’s “Walled City” program focused on one specific structure—the “Horn Work” that straddled King Street between 1757 and 1784. That large fortification served as the centerpiece of Charleston’s counterattack during the British siege of 1780, but it was just a small part of the town’s defenses. Between the autumn of 1775 and the spring of 1780, local forces erected an expansive network of fortifications that literally surrounded the town (excepting only marshes considered “impassable”). The materials used to construct these works ( including brick, tabby, palmettos, and earth) and their locations reflect the defensive strategy conceived by the American forces in anticipation of an inevitable British attack. Despite these preparations, the town’s defenses were overpowered by the British Army in May 1780, and the fortifications lingered in disrepair until the end of the war in 1783.

If you’d like to learn more about this topic, please join Dr. Nic Butler and the Walled City Task Force for an illustrated survey titled

“Charleston’s Fortifications of the American Revolution, 1775-1783”

Time: Monday, November 25th at 6:00 p.m.

Place: Second Floor Classroom, Charleston County Public Library, 68 Calhoun St., 29401.

Detail from a 1777 map of Charleston harbor

Detail from a 1777 map of Charleston harbor