Shem Creek Lunette-1780-Revolutionary War

A small temporary earthwork was constructed just south of Shem Creek behind the Jacob Motte house (now known as the Hibben House). This battery was constructed to defend the Hog Island Channel.

Lord Cornwallis moved with troops beginning at 2:00 am on April 26, 1780, from his camp at Wappetaw Bridge and marched seventeen miles to Haddrell’s Point. At the time, this earthworks battery was armed with one 18-pounder. The small post of American troops at the battery learned of Cornwallis’ advance and abandoned the battery prior to the arrival of the British troops.

When Cornwallis did arrive in the afternoon he found the battery evacuated. Surprisingly, Cornwallis did not remain and occupy Haddrell’s Point. Understanding that General Clinton did not want him to take a fixed position, Cornwallis was determined to return to Wappetaw Bridge to avert the escape of any American troops in Charles Town. The British troops spiked the one gun at the battery, foraged for food and supplies, and rested for a short term. His countermarch started at 1:00 am on April 27, less than twelve hours after he occupied the American battery.

The site of the Shem Creek Lunette was used by Confederate troops during the Civil War to construct the Hibben Street Battery. The site of the fortifications from the two wars is located behind the Hibben House on a high bluff at the western terminus of Hibben Street in the Old Village of Mount Pleasant overlooking Charleston Harbor.