6. With the exception of the 42d regiment, which was held for use as a reinforcement, the force described by Digges sailed for Charleston on 26 Dec. 1779. The fleet, composed of approximately eighty-eight transports and nine warships, had a difficult passage. On the 28th a series of storms began that continued almost unabated until 20 Jan., scattering the fleet and resulting in the loss of most of the expedition's horses and ordinance. It reassembled off Tybee Island at the mouth of the Savannah River at the end of January, but it was not until 11 Feb. that the troops began landing on the banks of the North Edisto Inlet, about thirty miles south of Charleston. The actual beginning of the siege of Charleston was put off to 1 April, after the landing force had been resupplied from St. Kitts and obtained cannon from the navy. Cornwallis accompanied the troops and took command when Clinton returned to New York at the end of May (B. A. Uhlendorf, ed. and transl., Siege of
, Ann Arbor, 1938, p. 104– 111, 23–25, 101, 417; Mackesy, War for America
, p. 340–342).