Database

Fort Lyttleton

Other names:

What:
1-2 Feb 1779, Capt. John F. de Treville spiked guns and blew up fort to prevent its capture by British.
10 May 1779, BG Pulaski vs. Maj. James Moncrief. On approach of British ships, Americans burned the fort.

Where:
32.40898 -80.6798951 (JCP)
32.4072223 -80.6780556 Fort Lyttleton (GNIS)

Maps: [map notes]

Sources:

  • John C. Parker
    The Fort is located at 32.40898N 80.6798951W. The location was given to me by Dr. Larry Rowland who worked on excavating the site in 1978. There is now a house on top of the fort.

  • Warren Ripley, "Port Royal Island Battle Boosted Patriot Morale".
    The Battle of Port Royal Island, Feb. 3, 1779, was little more than a hot skirmish, but it gave flagging Patriot morale a needed boost.

    The British had landed a raiding force of 200 men and a howitzer on the island and although no attempt was made to capture Beaufort or assault Fort Lyttleton guarding it, the militia garrisoning the fort promptly took to their heels. This left the forts commander and his 20 men, all Continentals, no alternative but to spike the cannon and abandon the work.

    He later was court-martialed, but completely exonerated since it was impossible for 20 men to defend the fort. No date for the landing or loss of the fort has been found, but it probably occurred about the end of January 1779.

  • Anonymous (Zardoz50), Baltimore MD, ~GE16A.kmz, "Selected Forts of South Carolina", posted 05/17/07 06:15 AM
    Fort Lyttleton (historical)
    Fort Lyttleton
    (1758 - 1779, 1809 - 1825), near Beaufort.
    Located two miles south of town on Spanish Point, originally built to protect against the Spanish. Completed in 1762, it was a triangular tabby-built work, 400 by 375 feet, with a bastion and two half-bastions, tabby barracks, and a magazine. Patriots seized the fort in 1775. Attacked by the British in 1779, the defenders blew up the fort. Renamed Beaufort Battery by the Americans after the American Revolution. Rebuilt in 1809 as a semi-circular tapia work, renamed Fort Marion, but was still unfinished by 1812. Site excavated in 1978.

  • Shelia Hempton Watson, South Carolina Ports: Charleston, Georgetown, and Port Royal , 2004 Arcadia Publishing, p.57:
    Port Royal also saw her share of action. Captain Barnwell held back a British attack on Port Royal in 1779. Fort Lyllton was built on the site of the former Stuart Town settlement and commanded by William Harden, who organized volunteer artillery now known as the 1055th Transportation Company. The 1055th has seen service in every U.S. War and is the fifth oldest military company in the nation.

  • NBBAS:One p.234 (continued from 233), p.276 (continued from 275)

  • RevWar75 RevWar75  
  • Feb 1779 listing:   2/3/1779 Port Royal Island (Beaufort, Halfway House). American victory. Per Heitman, Peckham, O'Kelley.
  • May 1779 listing:   5/1779 Fort Lyttleton, Port Royal Island. British victory. Per O'Kelley.

Related locations:

Confidence level:: See above.