A 1780 illustration of Broughton's Battery at the southernmost tip of the Charleston peninsula

A 1780 illustration of Broughton’s Battery at the southernmost tip of the Charleston peninsula

Nearly a year an a half ago, in April 2013, I presented a lecture on Broughton’s Battery, a formidable brick fortification that stood at the confluence of the Ashley and Cooper Rivers from 1736 to 1784. At that time I proposed that this little-known work, which was designed by Swiss engineer Gabriel Bernard, was one of the largest and most significant fortifications constructed in colonial Charleston. It was designed to mount up to forty cannon, although South Carolina’s artillery-starved colonial militia could scarcely afford to mount more than 25 or 30 guns at the site. Unfortunately for us, there is scant extant information about the battery’s design and precise location. Since April 2013, however, I’ve gathered a lot more information about the history of the real estate immediately surrounding the battery, which will help us determine its location more exactly. I’ve also acquired a couple of new, informative images. The image displayed here, for example, is a very small detail from a hand-drawn 1780 map of Charleston’s defenses, the original of which is in the National Archives of the United Kingdom. In short, we know a lot more about Broughton’s Battery in July 2014 than we did a year and a half ago. Want to hear all the latest news? Please join me Wednesday, July 23d for:

“A Brief History of

Broughton’s Battery, 1736–1784″

Time: Wednesday, July 23th 2014 at 6:00 p.m.

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

For more information, please contact Dr. Butler at butlern[at]ccpl.org or 843–805–6968.

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