After multiple defeats in the North, the British decided to move the war South. Following the successful capture of the city of Savannah, they hoped to take Charleston easily
Let's take over Charleston!
George Washington warned Major General Benjamin Lincoln that the British were going to attack Charleston. He also told him that he could not provide any military assistance as he had to provide troops to New York City.
The British are attacking Charleston!
When Lincoln and his troops arrived at Charleston, they saw that the fortifications were either unfinished or in poor condition. They worked diligently to repair the fortifications to defend the city from the British.
We have to repair this quickly!
Lieutenant General Sir Henry Clinton's army of 13,500 British and German soldiers left New York after Christmas of 1779 and went through stormy weather to the Savannah River at the end of January in 1780. They then went up to coast to approach Charleston by it's weaker side.
American troops under commanders such as Francis Marion harassed the British forces. Lincoln also sent 350 dragoons and militia under General Isaac Huger 30 miles to the north of Charleston to keep his lines of communication open.
When March ended, British forces under the command of Earl Charles Cornwallis crossed over the Ashley River which was about 14 miles northwest of Charleston. On April 1st, British troops began digging siege lines across the neck of the Charleston peninsula because Clinton hoped that a well orderly attack would successfully capture Charleston.