At Cork, Ireland Commodore Sir Peter Parker, with a British Army of seven regiments under Lord Charles Cornwallis, prepares to sail to the Cape Fear region of North Carolina to join Major General Henry Clinton and his troops sailing from Boston.
In North Carolina the loyalist Highlanders prepare to march toward Wilmington to join with the exiled royal Governor of North Carolina, Josiah Martin, and the promised British Cape Fear Expedition Fleet, as the local patriot leaders organize to engage. Released from his duties at Boston by the American Commander-in-Chief, General George Washington, Major General Charles Lee, under the direct orders of the Continental Congress, travels to take on his new Southern Department of the Continental Army. Meanwhile, in Charles Town the patriot inspired South Carolina Provincial government and military leaders, including brave and experienced colonials like Colonel William Moultrie, work to prepare militia troops and defensive fortifications for the expected arrival of a British attack fleet. Armed with inspiration after serving in his second Continental Congress, the wealthy, successful attorney and legislator, John Rutledge, returns home to his election as the new President of South Carolina under the first legal independent state constitution in America; a constitution that he wrote himself. Foiled by the defeat of the Highlanders at Moore's Creek Bridge by North Carolina patriot militia and hoping for some quick victory in the South, General Clinton's army sails aboard Parker's fleet to attempt a Charles Town Expedition to capture Fort Sullivan and gain control of Sullivan's Island at the strategic entrance to Charles Town's harbor. On June 28, 1776 these diverse men and forces meet at Sullivan's Island off Charles Town in a grand battle between the Royal Navy and the patriots' militia gunners at Fort Sullivan. Against the greatest of odds, Colonel Moultrie's militia forces prevail in this little known, yet stunning patriot victory over the British Fleet. Clinton's loses his nerve at crossing over from Long Island across an inlet to engage the militia troops stationed on the northern end of Sullivan's Island. Clinton's troops soon re-embark aboard Parker's crippled fleet and sail away in defeat to join General Howe at New York.