South Carolina Journals

South Carolina: Battleground of Freedom

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An April 2005 trip to South Carolina by chadk78

Quote: When most people think of our country's struggle for independence from England, places in the northeast, like Lexington, Concord, Bunker Hill, and Valley Forge, come to mind. However, South Carolina was the scene of more Revolutionary War battles than any other colony, rightfully earning it the title "Battleground of Freedom".

South Carolina: Battleground of Freedom

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Overview

Quote:
South Carolina was the scene of over 200 Revolutionary War battles, some of which are considered to have been the turning point of the war, causing the British to surrender. Many colorful characters, such as Francis Marion, Thomas Sumter, and Andrew Pickens became legends here. They proved to be too much to handle for Great Britain's Lord Cornwallis and Major Banastre Tarleton. Because of the state's role in the war, Mel Gibson's movie "The Patriot" was filmed exclusively in South Carolina. My tour of South Carolina's Revolutionary War sites extended from Beaufort at the southern tip of the state, to Ninety-Six in the northwestern corner. Not only is this state chock-full of history, it also...Read More

Old Sheldon Church

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Attraction

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Construction on this old church began in 1745 and was completed about 10 years later. It was originally known as Prince William's Parish Church, and many of the prominent local planters were members. As the colonies began to rebel against England, many of the same men became very loyal to the patriot cause. After the war began, they used the church as a storehouse for gunpowder and weapons to be used against the British. In 1779, a group of local Tories (American colonists loyal to England) got word that the church was being used for this purpose and burned it. It would not be rebuilt until 1826. Unfortunately, when Sherman and his Union troops made their way into South Carolina in 1865, it was ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 28, 2005

Old Sheldon Church
Off US-17
Sheldon, South Carolina

Pon Pon Chapel/Parker's Ferry/Hayne's Tomb

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Attraction

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From the town of Jacksonboro, travel 2 miles north on SC-64 and look for a historical marker on the right. Turn right onto a dirt road, and you will see the tomb on Isaac Hayne. Hayne served as a South Carolina senator from 1778 to 1780. After the British captured Charleston in 1780, Hayne pledged allegiance to the British to avoid separation from his sick wife. When the British tried to force him to take up arms against his countrymen, he refused and rejoined the patriot army. Unfortunately, he was soon captured by the British and hanged in Charleston on August 4, 1781. His friends and compatriots buried him at this site, near his home, and vowed to avenge his death. Thus, Hayne became a marty...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on April 28, 2005

Colonial Dorchester State Historic Site

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Attraction

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This park, managed by the South Carolina State Park Service, preserves and interprets the ruins of Dorchester, a colonial village. Settled by Congregationalists from Dorchester, MA, this village was once the third largest town in South Carolina. Because of its proximity to the Ashley River and to Indian trade paths, Dorchester prospered as a trade and distribution center. Some merchants became wealthy here by trading downriver to Charleston. The town was also home to many craftsmen, such as carpenters, tailors, and blacksmiths. St. George's Parish Church was constructed in 1752, and its large bell tower became the town's most recognizable landmark. A tabby (cement made from sand and oyster shell...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 28, 2005

Colonial Dorchester State Historic Site
300 State Park Rd.
Summerville, South Carolina 29485
(843) 873-1740

Middleton Place

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Attraction

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Constructed in 1741, this is the home of the Middleton family, prominent rice planters. Henry Middleton was President of the First Continental Congress, and his son, Arthur, was a signer of the Declaration of Independence. Middleton Place is also the home of America's oldest landscaped gardens. They are modeled after the formal gardens of Europe from the 17th century. It took 100 slaves over 10 years to complete the gardens. The site features landscaped terraces leading down to the Ashley River, butterfly lakes, a rice mill, and pond, stableyard, and wide assortment of plants and trees, including azaleas, camellias, and live oaks. One live oak in particular is the Middleton Oak, which is over 1,00...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 30, 2005

Middleton Place
4300 Ashley River Road
Charleston, South Carolina 29414
(843) 556-6020

Drayton Hall

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Attraction

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Located a few miles downriver from Middleton Place on 125 acres is Drayton Hall, home of the prominent Drayton family. Constructed in 1742, this Georgian Palladian treasure is now owned by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. John Drayton, who built the house, was a member of England's Royal Council. However, his son, William Henry, became a radical revolutionary and ardent supporter of independence from England. He would rise to become a powerful congressman and Chief Justice of South Carolina. On March 29, 1780, British soldiers and Hessian (German) Jagers would sail down the Ashley River and come ashore at Drayton Hall. From this approach, they would lay siege to Charleston and occu...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 30, 2005

Drayton Hall
3380 Ashley River Road
Charleston, South Carolina 29414
(843) 769-2600

Fort Moultrie

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Attraction | "Fort Moultrie National Monument"

Quote:
This fort, originally made of palmetto logs, was built in 1776 to defend Charleston Harbor against the British. The fort, named after its first commander William Moultrie, was not yet completed when the British attacked on June 28, 1776. The palmetto logs proved to be impenetrable, as the British shots were simply absorbed into the spongy wood. The outnumbered patriots were well-protected by the fort's walls, while returning continuous rounds of fire that were devastating to the British ships. After a nine-hour siege, the British were unable to capture the fort or advance closer to Charleston. Discouraged British commanders decided to take the fight back to George Washington in the north. They w...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 30, 2005

Fort Moultrie
Sullivans Island
Sullivans Island, South Carolina 29482
(843) 883-3123

Charles Pinckney National Historic Site

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Attraction

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This National Park Service property is the site of Snee Farm, developed in 1698 as part of a royal grant. In 1754, the 700-acre property was purchased by the wealthy Pinckney family. Indigo, rice, cotton, and vegetables were grown here, and the plantation was staffed by a large number of slaves. Charles Pinckney was one of the early residents of Snee Farm. At the age of 22, Pinckney was elected as a member of the South Carolina General Assembly. He served bravely as an officer in the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War. Pinckney would also go on to serve four terms as governor of South Carolina, four years as U.S. Ambassador to Spain, as well as seats in the state and national leg...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on April 30, 2005

Charles Pinckney National Historic Site
1254 Long Point Road
Mount Pleasant, South Carolina

Hampton Plantation State Historic Site

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Attraction

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Located on the banks of the Santee River, this former rice plantation encompasses 322 acres. Constructed around 1735, it is home to several prominent families, such as the Horry, Pinckney, and Rutledge families. Originally consisting of only six rooms, the house was expanded several times. Notable additions included a large, two-story ballroom and several large bedrooms. During the Revolution, this house served as refuge for many of the area's residents. Much like Drayton Hall, the house is unfurnished and tours focus on the architecture and construction of the house. The grounds feature camellia gardens and the remains of old rice fields. Famous 18th-century visitors included George Wash...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on May 1, 2005

Hampton Plantation State Historic Site
1950 Rutledge Road
Mcclellanville, South Carolina 29459
(843) 546-9361

Hopsewee Plantation

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Attraction

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Constructed in 1740, Hopsewee is located directly across the Santee River from Hampton Plantation. Built from local black cypress, its white clapboard siding, black tin roof, and black shutters give it a unique appearance. Hopsewee was the home of Thomas Lynch, a South Carolina delegate to the Continental Congress who played an important role in creating the Continental Army in 1776. His son, Thomas Lynch, Jr., a signer of the Declaration of Independence, was born at Hopsewee on August 5, 1749. The interior of the house is furnished with 18th- and 19th-century antiques. Among the very impressive interior architectural features are the staircase and the mouldings. This house is rare in...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on May 1, 2005

Hopsewee Plantation
494 Hopsewee Road
Georgetown, South Carolina SC 29440
(843) 546-7891

Francis Marion's Tomb

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Attraction

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Born in the South Carolina lowcountry to a French Huguenot family, Francis Marion would become one of the Revolutionary War's greatest heroes. Known as the Swamp Fox, Marion revolutionized warfare, using guerilla tactics that he learned from the PeeDee Indians. Francis Marion served under William Moultrie during the Cherokee Indian wars of the mid-1700s. After the Revolutionary War began, he served under Moultrie again. He was present at the Battle of Charleston Harbor in 1776, when the British were repulsed by the garrison of the palmetto log fort. In 1780, when the British captured Charleston, Marion fled into the backcountry. He gathered up friends and neighbors from throughout the lowco...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on May 1, 2005

Francis Marion's Tomb
SC-45
Moncks Corner, South Carolina 29146

Quote:
Born in Virginia, Thomas Sumter moved to South Carolina in 1750. At the outbreak of the American Revolution, he rallied patriots in the Santee region to defend their homes against the British. Earning the nickname of "The Gamecock", Sumter became a tough foe for the British regulars. He played a prominent role in most of the major battles fought in South Carolina. After the war, he served as both a Congressman and Senator for the state. He also founded the village of Stateburg, where he lived, hoping it would be made the state capital of South Carolina. Columbia was chosen instead. A monument honoring Sumter is located near his tomb in Stateburg. Nearby, High Hills Baptist Church (ca. 1770) is...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on May 1, 2005

Beaufort

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Story/Tip

Quote:
Established in 1711, Beaufort is the second-oldest city in South Carolina. It has a very large downtown historic district, known as Old Point, which includes several structures predating the Revolution. This wonderful historic city is a quieter and less crowded alternative to its neighbors in Charleston and Savannah. This area has flown under several different flags. The Spanish first settled here in 1520, naming their settlement Santa Elena (present-day site of Parris Island Marine Base). Then came the French in 1562, and finally the British, in the late-1600s. Walking tours and carriage tours of the historic district are available. With its nice sea breezes and crooked streets, shaded by anci...Read More

Charleston

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Story/Tip

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Settled during the late 17th century, Charleston served as South Carolina's colonial capital. The state's oldest and best-preserved city still retains much of its 18th-century character, as a large number of structures from that time period are still intact. One of America's largest cities and busiest ports during the colonial era, Charleston became very involved in the movement for independence from England. Charlestonians violently protested the Stamp Act, Tea Act, and others passed down by British parliament. Like the more famous one in Boston, Charleston had its own tea party. However, instead of dumping all of the tea into the harbor, the savvy Charlestonians sold the tea and later used the ...Read More

Georgetown

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Story/Tip

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Founded in 1729, Georgetown is South Carolina's third oldest city. I find it ironic that the town was named after King George II, but would become a hotbed for rebellion against him during the Revolutionary War. Located on Winyah Bay and the Sampit River, it made an ideal port for shipping rice and indigo to England. During the war, its port was blockaded by British ships. Somehow, Marquis de Lafayette and Baron de Kalb were able to land at North Island in 1777 anyway. These Europeans would both go on to make significant contributions to the patriot war effort. In 1780, the British captured and occupied Georgetown. However, they were never able to live comfortably, as Francis Marion was constan...Read More