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Sullivans Island in Charleston County, South Carolina — The American South (South Atlantic)
 

Liberty or Death

 
 
Liberty or Death Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Bill Coughlin, August 3, 2013
1. Liberty or Death Marker
Inscription.  
The American victory at Breach Inlet came at great risk and sacrifice. Thomson’s rangers, other state troops, militia, and Indians from South Carolina were joined by soldiers from North Carolina and Virginia. They all hurried to defend Sullivan’s Island, knowing their rebellion jeopardized their lives and property. British troops and Americans loyal to the crown made long and perilous journeys by sea and land to put down the rebellion. They arrived on these desolate wilderness islands sick, tired, and hungry, and suffered from disease, heat, humidity, scant food, and bad water. Men on both sides made the ultimate sacrifice during the exhausting ten days and nights of combat. By sacrifice and skill, the Americans on Sullivan’s Island won a surprising and decisive victory that helped keep Charles Town free from British control for four crucial years.

the suffocating heat . . . was the most insufferable I ever felt, not a breath of air stirring – thick cobwebs to push thro’ everywhere, knee deep in rotten wood and dryed Leaves, every hundred yards a swamp with putrid standing water in the middle, full of small Alligators,
Sullivan's Island Markers image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Bill Coughlin, August 3, 2013
2. Sullivan's Island Markers
Several markers are found at this location. The Liberty or Death marker is seen here on the left.
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a thick cloud of Musquitoes every where and no place entirely free from Rattle Snakes. . . . spiders, their bodies as large as my coat Button . . . Crocodiles are very frequent and large in these places, we killed one nine feet long, which attacked a Soldier, it was with difficulty he got from him . . . nothing to eat and drink but salt Pork, bad rum and brackish water, no other bed than the Sand and no other covering than the Sky
.”
British Surgeon Thompson Foster
on Long Island

“ . . . our situation here is looked on by every officer in our case as desperate, and that we must certainly fall a sacrifice . . . However, . . . they would not quit the island were they certain of death.”
American Major Samuel Wise
on Sullivan’s Island

I shall . . . conclude with expressing the high satisfaction I have received from the zeal, activity and public spirit of the Gentlemen and Inhabitants of this City and Province . . . we have all worked in concert and harmony for the common good.”
American General Charles Lee

( Sidebar : )
Under pictures of each:
American Indians
Warriors from the Catawba and other tribes fought beside American soldiers on Sullivan’s Island and throughout the war.

Riflemen
Rangers of Thomson’s 5th Regiment
Markers in Thomson Park image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Bill Coughlin, August 3, 2013
3. Markers in Thomson Park
from the Backcountry were expert marksmen. They wore caps inscribed “Liberty or Death”.

South Carolina Militia
Militia were citizens who volunteered or were drafted to serve tours of several months in times of need. They came from all over the state to defend the American cause at Breach Inlet.

British Soldiers
The British soldiers on Long Island belonged to regiments formed in Canada, Ireland, and England. They often found the heat and humidity of South Carolina overwhelming.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Native AmericansWar, US Revolutionary.
 
Location. 32° 46.487′ N, 79° 48.868′ W. Marker is in Sullivans Island, South Carolina, in Charleston County. Marker is on Jasper Boulevard (State Highway 703), on the right when traveling east. Marker is located in Thomson Park. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Sullivans Island SC 29482, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Victory at Breach Inlet (here, next to this marker); Battle of Sullivan’s Island (here, next to this marker); Charles Town in the American Revolution (here, next to this marker); Thomson Park (here, next to this marker); British Attack at Breach Inlet / Battery Marshall (a few steps
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from this marker); Lord Cornwallis (approx. 0.4 miles away); African American Cemetery (approx. 1˝ miles away); Civilian Conservation Corps (approx. 1.8 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Sullivans Island.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on November 2, 2020. It was originally submitted on August 4, 2013, by Bill Coughlin of Woodland Park, New Jersey. This page has been viewed 442 times since then and 21 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on August 4, 2013, by Bill Coughlin of Woodland Park, New Jersey.

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Jul. 1, 2022