A man. A multifaith militia. A military battle. A miniature. A moment in time, resurrected from obscurity.
Today, the name Richard Lushington draws little, if any, attention among the general public’s awareness of Charleston history. In fact, it is unlikely that many of the men who served under Colonel Lushington’s command during the Revolutionary War, and who lived and worked alongside him on the same stretch of King Street in the years before fighting broke out, appear in books about that period, either. And yet their heroic efforts at the Battle of Port Royal Sound in 1779 led to a pivotal and defining victory against the British. So why, and how, did they disappear into obscurity when once they had made history in real time? This is the kind of omission the South Carolina Battleground Preservation Trust (SCBPT) works hard to correct — and the mystery they tasked historian George McDaniel with unraveling.
“Our goal is to reimagine preservation in a way that allows the story of ‘ordinary’ people to be told and their world to rise from underneath the extant buildings of today,” McDaniel says. In the case of Lushington and his militia, ‘ordinary’ turned out to be something extraordinary, indeed. During this program, McDaniel will discuss Lushington’s Quaker roots, how he came to lead a regiment heavily comprised of Jewish volunteers, the considerable achievements they made together, and why something so monumental faded so far from modern memory. He’ll also retrace his steps in searching for clues, finding answers, and restoring the historical narrative—and how one miniature portrait of Lushington made its way back to CLS along the way.
Free and Open to the Public. RSVP appreciated.