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Marion Square

Victory Day (Commemoration of the British Evacuation of Charleston)

Victory Day (Commemoration of the British Evacuation of Charleston)
Victory Day (Commemoration of the British Evacuation of Charleston)

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Time is TBD

Marion Square, 329 Meeting St, Charleston, SC 29401, USA

About the event

visit for tickets: Experience the Winning of the Revolutionary War where it happened at Marion Square!

On Sunday, December 11, 2022, the Revolutionary War Victory Day reenactment, remembrance, and celebration will take place at Marion Square from 12:30 - 2:25 pm.  The speakers part of the program will feature the state's top historians and dignitaries. A Meet & Greet will follow at the adjacent Embassy Suites Historical Atrium which opens to the Square. School groups, tourists and those interested in witnessing and hearing about the surrender of the British Southern Command,  which led to Parliament granting the 13 American colonies/states their collective, sovereign independence, are invited to attend this 240th Anniversary of Revolutionary War Victory Day (British Evacuation Day).

Last year, the The United States Army Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps participated in a reenactment procession depicting the final British withdrawal from Charlestown escorted by Continental troops. The procession was led by the color guard of the Washington Light Infantry, followed by the British 33rd Regiment of Foot, the 2nd South Carolina Continental Troops, and other period reenactors and celebrities.

This year British troops will be retiring the King's Colours, and the 2nd Regiment South Carolina Continental Line will then install the Betsy Ross and Liberty flags to commemorate the new, independent government of the United States. This simulated reenactment  ceremony will be followed by a program of distinguished Revolutionary War speakers and history experts. The event will close with a presentation of the wreaths and an honor guard cannon salute to our fallen Patriots.

The invited keynote speaker last year was Mr. Doug Bostick, president of the South Carolina Battlefield Trust. Program participants included Mayor John Tecklenburg; General Henry Siegling, Washington Light Infantry; Regent Katie Hyman, Rebecca Motte Chapter, NSDAR; Ariel Dinkins, Curator, Old Exchange, and Provost Dungeon; Katherine Pemberton, The Powder Magazine and others.

This year's distinguished speakers program include Captain Erick Nason (2nd South Continentals), Major General Henry Siegling (Commander WLI), The Honorable Mayor John Tecklenburg, Mrs. Molly Fortune (Director - SC America 250), Dr. Woody Holton (USC Professor of History and distinguished RevWar author), Jeff Neale (Curator & Historian Middleton Place), Ms. Katie Hyman (Regent, Rebecca Motte DAR), Dr. Holton Siegling (First Scots Presbyterian), and Mr. Gray Bobo (President- Children of the AR). Opportunities to speak with and have pictures made with program speakers will take place at the Meet & Greet.

Victory Day is an essential component of the national America 250 remembrances of people, places, and events which resulted in America's independence. Charleston has been chosen by the United States Congress as one of the four showcase cities of America's 250th Anniversary commemorations.

About Revolutionary Charleston and Charleston250

Revolutionary Charleston is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to showcasing Charleston's leadership role in the War for American Independence – From First Protest To Final Victory. Revolutionary Charleston's efforts are centered around Victory Day, the successful conclusion of the Revolutionary War marked by the end of hostilities between the Continental Army and the surrounded British forces that occupied Charlestown, South Carolina for 31-months. Revolutionary Charleston is the umbrella organization for all things Revolutionary War in Charleston - especially living history for visitor and resident learning enjoyment. Charleston250 is a member consortium of area organizations involved in planning and promoting America 250th Anniversary programs, events, lecture series, tours, conferences, dinners, and balls that recognize the Charleston area's  people, places and events that contributed to winning independence.

Historical Background of Victory Day

On December 14, 1782, the besieged British garrison on the Charlestown peninsula requested a cease-fire to march out of Charlestown, unmolested, to their awaiting fleets in the harbor. Their retreat involved more soldiers than those surrendering at Yorktown and was covered by a British armada exceeding ten heavy warships and 140 armed evacuation ships. After 31-months of occupation, the last  organized British forces in America, south of New York City, were escorted to their evacuation ships by General Anthony Wayne's Continental Regiment of mounted dragoons.

Later in the day, the Southern Continental Army and elected government officials paraded into the city, formally reclaiming South Carolina and the Lower South for the United States. The liberation parade was led by Continental Generals Nathanael Greene and William Moultrie. At the conclusion, the duly-elected state government, confederated with the United States, was formally installed near Broad and State Streets. After 14 months under siege on the Charlestown peninsula, attrited British occupation forces relinquished their Southern Army Headquarters and left America to their self-rule. A cataclysmic battle and the destruction of Charleston were narrowly avoided. The British withdrawal from Charlestown (British-named "Evacuation Day") marked the end of British hostilities in America and the end of the War for American Independence.

On February 3, 1783, after learning of the final withdrawal of British Forces in the Southern American States, King George III appeared before the British Parliament and agreed to recognize the political Independence of all 13 states of  the United States. After much-heated debate, Parliament approved the peace resolution put before it by a slim 16 votes (9 vote margin), which included granting the United States sovereign independence in exchange for peace and favorable trade rights. King George shortly after that sent a letter to the Continental Congress declaring an end to British hostilities against America, which formalized the cease-fire agreement reached in Charlestown between opposing Generals on December 14, 1782.

Victory Day marks the end and the winning of the Revolutionary War. Just as Boston commemorates the beginning of the Revolutionary War and the forced evacuation of British Troops from Boston in 1776 with their annual Patriots' Day marathon and events, Revolutionary Charleston envisions Revolutionary War Victory Day becoming the annual national celebration of the War's successful conclusion. On December 14, 1782, American Independence from Great Britain militarily became an uncontested reality.  All regular British occupation forces south of New York City had been driven out of America!

Remember and celebrate America's Revolutionary War Victory Day!

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