In 1776, South Carolina troops built a palmetto-log fort on Sullivan's Island to defend Charleston from the British.
On June 28, 1776, a week before the Declaration of Independence was signed, the successful defense of this fort in Charleston Harbor gave the colonists an important moral victory.
After the battle, the fort was named for its commander, Col. William Moultrie. In the victory, South Carolina found symbols still used in its flag and seal.
A Good "Drubbing":
The builders of Fort Moultrie used the only material at hand: palmetto trees growing on Sullivan's Island. When the British warships attacked, their cannon balls would only penetrate the spongy wood, not splinter it and destroy the fort.
The palmetto logs were credited with saving Charleston. The city was the leading commercial center and the largest seaport in the South. Its loss early in the war might have been devastating to the Americans.
"I most heartily congratulate the colony on the drubbing you gave those fellows the other day -- We admired your behavior, but could do no more. My compliments to all your corps. We drink their healths every day..." -- Christopher Gadsden to Col. William Moultrie, July 1, 1776.
"The cool courage they displayed astonished and enraptured me; for I do assure you, my dear General, I never experienced a hotter fire -- twelve full hours it was continued without intermission -- Upon the whole they acted like Romans in the third century." -- Report of Gen. Charles Lee to Gen. George Washington.