In Charleston, SC, there is heated discussion about what will follow the demolition of the Sergeant Jasper Apartments, located in a prime spot on Broad Street.
What has been lost in the debate is Who was Sergeant Jasper?
On June 28, 1776, the British fleet attacked a small sand and palmetto log fort at the eastern end of Sullivan’s Island. The 800 colonists, led by Col. William Thompson, had but 2 small cannon but held off the 3,000 British troops commanded by Henry Clinton. In was during the battle that a British cannon shell destroyed the fort’s flag. Sgt. Jasper sprang into action, lifted the blue banner from the dust, lashed it to a cannon sponge, and lifted the flag high over the patriot fort. His heroism earned him a place in history!
The Colonists had held off the British in the first great American action of the Revolution and on August 2, the British sailed away from Charleston.
The first Carolina Days were called Palmetto Day. There is a monument to Sgt. Jasper at White Point Gardens on the Charleston Battery.
The 2015 Carolina Day celebration will feature a church service at St. Michael’s Church.
Henry Lowndes, Jr.