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Today In Charleston History: April 3

1736Arrivals.
Charles Pachelbel

Charles Theodore Pachelbel

Charles Theodore Pachelbel (baptized Karl Theodorus) arrived in Charlestown. Born in Germany in 1690, he was the son of the famous Johann Pachelbel, composer of the popular Canon in D.

Pachelbel initially migrated to Providence, Rhode Island to install an organ in Trinity Church in 1733. Three years later he arrived in Charlestown and stayed until his death.

1758

Christopher Gadsden paid £6000 currency for fifteen acres of high land (and twenty-nine acres of marsh) in northeastern Charlestown, which became known as Gadsdenboro.

1776- American Revolution

South Carolina legislature required all ministers and lay officials of each church to support the Patriot cause. President John Rutledge signed an act that prescribed the death penalty and confiscation of property for anyone who aided the British. Rutledge also appointed 46-year-old Col. William Moultrie, former militiaman and Indian fighter, in charge of preparing the city’s military defense.

Moultrie supervised the building of a “large fort” on Sullivan’s Island, considered to be the key to the geographically shielded harbor. A large vessel sailing into Charleston had to cross the Charleston Bar, a series of submerged sand banks lying about 8 miles southeast of the city. A half-dozen channels penetrated the bar, but only the southern pair could be navigated by deep-draft ships. A broad anchorage called Five Fathom Hole lay between the bar and Morris Island. Just a thousand yards north of that shoal loomed the newly constructed Fort Sullivan.

Battle of Ft. Sullivan

Battle of Ft. Sullivan

During the next weeks, Moultrie’s work gangs cut thousands of spongy palmetto logs and rafted them over from the other islands and the mainland. The fort’s design was described as “an immense pen 500 feet long and 16 feet wide, filled with sand to stop the shot.” The workers constructed gun platforms out of 2-inch planks and nailed them together with spikes.

 Fort Sullivan was intended was to make an invasion as costly as possible, or, to prevent an invader from landing at all. Since such a fixed defensive position could not reasonably be expected to annihilate the enemy, the fort would have to be backed up by inland troops and a well-armed city.

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