If you’re here in a luxury house on Isle of Palms this week, there’s a pretty cool holiday you might not know about.
Today – June 28th – is a big day in South Carolina history… actually, in “American” history, even though the source of the celebration pre-dates the Declaration of Independence by several days.
If you are headed to one of our rental homes South Carolina this weekend – either one of our Folly Beach rentals Charleston or especially one of our Isle of Palms vacation rentals – chances are you’ll be gearing up for the July 4th festivities. But this other holiday is pretty significant in history, and it has its origin on Sullivan’s Island, just across Breach Inlet from your luxury house on Isle of Palms.
On June 28, 1776, patriots from the Carolinas and Virginia — even though they were outmanned 10 to one — turned back the British forces (the Royal Navy and the British Army under Cornwallis) who were trying to take the Fort Sullivan on Sullivan’s Island, and thus Charleston. It was the first time that American colonists decisively defeated the British in their fight for independence. It gave a gigantic boost to the whole push for independence and ended up keeping Britain from gaining a stronghold in South Carolina for another four years.
This victory is officially celebrated as CAROLINA DAY. Today marks the 240th year since this incredibly important battle in our nation’s past. Official commemorations of the holiday began all the way back in1777. So Carolina Day was one of America’s original holidays, even though many folks (visitors and locals alike) still don’t know all that much about it.
Leave it to Carolinians to make United States history even before we were officially a country!
It was June 28th, 1776. Nine British warships were swarming in off the coastline, trying to gain a foothold in the American colonies.
But the 2nd South Carolina Regiment under command of Colonel William Moultrie had other ideas. They were positioned at Fort Sullivan on Sullivan’s Island, and they didn’t want to give up their precious turf. Though ridiculously outnumbered and outgunned, they battled the Royal Navy and British Army and heroically turned back the assault from ocean, mainland and the Isle of Palms.
Moultrie’s victory was the first in the patriots’ fight for independence, and it gave a major boost the idea that these little upstart colonists had a chance against the mighty land of England and their powerful military forces.
Consider it the original “Brexit,” if you will.
No wonder Carolina Day became a holiday. Colonel Moultrie became the namesake for the fort on Sullivan’s Island, which is now well known as Fort Moultrie, and later went on to become a two-time governor of South Carolina.
Fort Moultrie is now part of the National Park Service, as a unit of Fort Sumter National Monument. It’s located at 1214 Middle Street, Sullivan’s Island – just over Breach Inlet from all our Isle of Palms luxury rentals.
Today there was a special church service on the downtown peninsula, at St. Michael’s historic church, at 71 Broad Street. After the service, there was a procession from Washington Park, across Broad Street from St. Michael’s, down to White Point Gardens at the Battery, where a wreath was laid at Jasper monument. Sergeant William Jasper was a hero in the battle, who, when the fort’s flag was shot down, hoisted another and held it in place amidst raging gun and cannon fire. St Michael’s and the Battery are worth a visit on any day of the year and are a convenient drive from all our SC vacation rentals, be it a Charleston beach house on the IOP or a Folly Beach house Charleston.
The whole story behind Carolina Day is a fascinating one. You can find out more about it at Fort Moultrie, or in the small park on Sullivan’s, just over Breach Inlet bridge from your luxury house on Isle of Palms.
You can also read this amusing take on it from the Post & Courier: http://www.postandcourier.com/20160628/160629484/a-carolina-day-salute-to-brexit
So Happy Carolina Day… and remember to call EP on the IOP for the best in luxury beach house rentals SC. We have the scoop on the nicest beach house rentals Charleston SC available in the Lowcountry.
your Isle of Palms vacation blogger