The Papers of Henry Laurens


[Page 380]

Council of Safety to William Moultrie

SIR,

You are to detach one-hundred and fifty men under such command as you shall judge most proper for the service; to embark this night at a proper time of the tide, to proceed with the utmost secrecy and land at a convenient place on James' Island.[1][Page 381]
Mr. Verree[2] and Mr. Wm. Gibbs[3] will be at Capt. Stone's,[4] or in the neighborhood, attending the landing, in order to conduct the commanding officer to Fort Johnson, which he is to enter and take possession of, with as much secrecy and silence as possible; taking especial care that none belonging to the fort escape, and that no intelligence be given but by his orders; when the officer, who shall be sent upon this service is in possession of the fort, he is immediately to give notice to this board and wait for orders; except only in case the man of war now lying in the Rebellion-road, should make an attempt to attack the fort or proceed towards this town, when he is to do every thing in his power to prevent her progress: Capt. Stone, of James' Island, will order his company of militia to join the troops which you send, and the whole are to be detained till relieved by our order.

By order of the council of safety.

HENRY LAURENS, President.

Printed in Moultrie, Memoirs, I, 86-87; addressed below close "William Moultrie, Esq. / Col. of the second Regiment."; dated "In Council of Safety. / Charlestown, Sep. 13, 1775".
[1.] Moultrie responded to the Council's orders by issuing a General Order the afternoon of September 14, to Captains Charles Cotesworth Pinckney, Barnard Elliott and Francis Marion that they have companies of fifty men each prepared to march in three hours. Col. Isaac Motte was appointed to command the operation. The detachment launched from Gadsden's Wharf late the night of the 14th and arrived at James Island early the next morning, where, despite their apprehension, they took the nearly deserted Fort Johnson. Moultrie, Memoirs, I, 88-89; McCrady, S.C. in the Revolution, p. 67.
[2.] Joseph Verree.
[3.] William Gibbes (1722-1789), a Charleston factor, represented St. John Colleton in the last five Royal Assemblies (1769-1775), both Provincial Congresses, the first two General Assemblies (1776, 1778) and the state Senate (1778-1780). An unwavering patriot, he was a commissioner of the Treasury (1775-1778) and lent the state over £250,000 during the war. Directory of the S.C. House, II, 274-276. See also The Papers of Henry Laurens, III, 31n.
[4.] Probably Benjamin Stone (d. 1789) who owned over 400 acres on James Island and lent £30,000 to the state during the Revolution. Another Capt. Benjamin Stone who also lived on James Island died while serving as a naval captain in the Revolution (1778). Directory of the S.C. House, III, 689.