In 1779, Clinton began to plan an attack on the Southern colonies after taking notice of the possibility of a high number of Loyalist in the area. After enduring rough seas, Clinton had landed a diversionary group of men in Georgia before setting sail to Edisto Inlet with the rest of his forces. From there, he ordered his forces to begin landing on Simmons Island on February 11. Clinton's forces began their approach of the city on foot, where they spent the rest of the month capturing James Island and Fort Johnson.
On April 2, the British began constructing siege lines, and entered the harbor on April 8. Lieutenant Colonel Banastre Tarleton was put in charge of conquering Brigadier General Isaac Huger's men at Monck's Corner to ensure that Charleston would be trapped. Taking notice of his situation, Major General Benjamin Lincoln offered to retreat from the city under the condition that his men would be allowed to flee. Clinton denied Lincoln's request and began to fire artillery upon the city and Lincoln's forces. On May 11, Lincoln surrendered to Clinton.