South Carolina Journals

Battleground of Freedom, Part II

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An April 2005 trip to South Carolina by chadk78

Quote: The South Carolina Upcountry and Piedmont regions encompass a landscape made up of rolling green fields, forests, and rocky hillsides. During the years 1780-81, this area became the setting for some of the most pivotal battles of the American Revolution.

Battleground of Freedom, Part II

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Overview

Quote:
In 1780, the British had grown frustrated at chasing George Washington around the Northeast with little success. They decided to take the war to the South, where they believed the yeomen farmers of the backcountry would join them in their fight against the wealthy planter class, currently in rebellion. This plan would, however, backfire on them. Colonel Banastre Tarleton, in several different episodes, would alienate the frontiersmen and turn them against the British. The result would be battles, such as Kings Mountain and Cowpens, that would turn the tide of the war and be the death knell for England's attempt to retain the Americans as colonists. Men ,whose names are now familiar to South Ca...Read More

Andrew Jackson State Park

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Attraction | "Andrew Jackson State Historic Site"

Quote:
This 360-acre park, located on the South Carolina/North Carolina border in the region once known as the Waxhaws settlement, marks the birthplace of Andrew Jackson. Jackson, the seventh president of the United States, was born in his uncle's house in 1767. Known as the Crawford House, it no longer stands, but a monument marks its location. Jackson's family, like most others in the area, were ardent supporters of independence from England during the Revolutionary War. The British soldiers often plundered the Waxhaws area, and wore out their welcome very quickly. At the age of 13, young Andrew Jackson rode with William Richardson Davie's patriot millitia as a messenger and guide. He would learn many...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on May 11, 2005

Andrew Jackson State Park
196 Andrew Jackson Park RD
Lancaster, South Carolina 29720
(803) 285-3344

Musgrove Mill State Historic Site

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Attraction | "Musgrove's Mill State Historic Site"

Quote:
Located just minutes from I-26, this 340-acre property on the banks of the Enoree River is South Carolina's newest state park. It preserves the site of a Patriot victory that took place on August 18, 1780. An outnumbered force of Patriot militia surprised a group of nearly 500 Tories who were camped here. Once the Patriots realized they were greatly outmanned, the dug trenches on the opposite side of the river. Using a strategic position on the river, cover of darkness, thick underbrush, and brilliant guerilla tactics, the Overmountain Men (soon to be heroes at Kings Mountain) were able mow down the oncoming loyalists until they could overwhelm them. The battle was a complete rout. British comma...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on May 14, 2005

Musgrove Mill State Historic Site
Highway 56
Clinton, South Carolina

Walnut Grove Plantation

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Attraction

Quote:
Charles Moore, an Irish immigrant, settled here in 1765 on land granted to him by King George III. The farmhouse he built for his family is very typical of what a wealthy backcountry family lived in during the colonial era. Much simpler and smaller than the houses of the Low Country rice barons, it was impressive compared to most houses in the colonial backcountry. Today, the old house still stands as a time warp for us to enjoy. Guided tours of this furnished home, as well as its separate kitchen building, are given daily. The kitchen houses an impressive collection of colonial-era utensils made from wood, wrought iron, tin, and clay. Moore and his sons served in the Patriot militia during t...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on May 14, 2005

Walnut Grove Plantation
1200 Otts Shoals Rd.
Roebuck, South Carolina 29376
(864) 576-6546

Cowpens National Battlefield

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Attraction

Quote:
On the evening of January 16, 1781, General Daniel Morgan and a combined force of Continental soldiers and patriot militia, fled from Col. Banastre Tarleton and his British Dragoons (cavalry). Morgan's troops dug in at this place, a rural pasture known as "the cow pens". Here, Morgan planned out one of the most brilliant strategies of the war. He formed his men into three lines. Making good use of the landscape, each line was placed behind a separate hill. As Tarleton's Regulars advanced on the morning of January 17, they were first slowed by the fire of sharpshooters from a grove of trees. As the British came within about 150 feet, the sharpshooters retreated back behind the third line. No...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on May 15, 2005

Cowpens National Battlefield
SC Hwy. 11
Chesnee, South Carolina PO Box 308
(864) 461-2828

Old Stone Church

Attraction

Quote:
This simple rock structure with no steeple is part of the South Carolina Heritage Corridor, a route which takes visitors across the state from the mountains to the coast and promotes sites of historical and natural significance. This Presbyterian church near the campus of Clemson University was organized in 1789. It was also used as a school and a military fort at various times during its history. It is thought to be the first church in South Carolina to allow slaves as members. A plaque in front of the church gives a brief history and points out interesting graves in the cemetery. The present structure was built and designed by John Rusk in 1797. Rusk and his son Thomas would go on to be some of t...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on May 15, 2005

Old Stone Church
U.S. Highway 76
Pickens, South Carolina

Ninety Six National Historic Site

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Attraction | "Ninety-Six National Historic Site"

Quote:
This is one of the best-preserved Revolutionary War battlefields in existence. The earthworks here, over 220 years old, still appear much as they did when they were used for warfare. You begin your tour at the Visitors Center, which houses a museum containing displays about the battles fought here and artifacts uncovered by archaeologists. It also has a bookstore and a film detailing the history of the site. After getting the general orientation here and picking up a map, you are ready for your tour of the site. You will follow the 1-mile paved trail through a mixed pine/hardwood forest before reaching a clearing, where you begin to see interpretive markers detailing the various battle positio...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on May 15, 2005

Ninety Six National Historic Site
PO Box 418
Ninety Six, South Carolina 29666
(864) 543-4068

Camden

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Story/Tip

Quote:
Located near the Wateree River in the lower piedmont, Camden is the oldest inland town in South Carolina. Established in 1733, it was first settled by English immigrants and then Irish Quakers. One of the Quakers was Samuel Wyly, who established a trading post here and befriended Catawba Indian chief King Haigler. Due to this friendship, the Catawba allied themselves with the colonists against hostile Indian tribes (such as the Cherokee) and, during the Revolution, against the British. A large portion of the colonial village of Camden is now preserved inside a 92-acre park, known as Historic Camden Revolutionary War Site. The British occupied this part of Camden for 11 months in 1780. The pa...Read More

Cheraw

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Story/Tip

Quote:
Named after a local Indian tribe, this town was originally settled in 1752. Due to its location at the head of the Great Pee Dee River, it became an important commercial shipping center. The town's historic district features over 50 antebellum structures among beautiful tree-lined streets and fragrant gardens. Several minor skirmishes during the American Revolution took place in and around the town. Old St. David's Episcopal Church, constructed of materials brought from England in 1770, was the last church in South Carolina to be established under authority of the King George II. In 1780, it was occupied by Cornwallis' 71st Regiment of British Regulars. After a smallpox epidemic broke out in ...Read More

Winnsboro

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Story/Tip

Quote:
In 1775, Winnsboro was first settled by Scotch-Irish immigrants from Pennsylvania. It served as Lord Cornwallis' headquarters during the winter of 1780, when his army retreated south from Kings Mountain. The building which served as his headquarters is located on Zion Street. This masonry and wood house was home to patriot Captain John Buchanan before the war. Winnsboro was named for Major Richard Winn, a prominent patriot leader who played an important part in the battles of Hanging Rock and Blackstock's Farm. Major Winn built the house at Bratton and Zion Streets as a wedding gift for his daughter. His daughter's husband was Colonel William Bratton, one of Winn's comrades, and the house is t...Read More

Kings Mountain National Military Park

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Story/Tip

Quote:
Considered by some to be the turning point of the American Revolution, this is the site of a major patriot victory. This battle shows us that the American Revolution was a civil war, with Americans fighting Americans. Only one participant in the battle was British, and that was Major Patrick Ferguson, commander of a group of Tories(Loyalists). During the summer of 1780, Lord Cornwallis ordered Ferguson to defeat local patriot militia and recruit loyalists in the South Carolina and North Carolina backcountry. Ferguson issued a proclamation to the patriots "to give their loyalty to England or die". This so enraged the frontiersmen that they formed a militia group called the Overmountain Men, who...Read More

Historic Brattonsville

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Story/Tip

Quote:
William and Martha Bratton settled this dusty crossroads in 1776, creating for themselves a simple backcountry farm. By 1840, it would be transformed into a large cotton plantation, complete with a large antebellum house, slaves, and cotton gin. Today, this property is preserved as a 775-acre park operated by York County. It is now a peaceful place where schoolchildren and adults alike come to explore history. However, in 1780, it became the scene of bloody battle between loyalist Tories and Patriot militia. Captain Christian Huck and his force of dragoons arrived at the Bratton Farm on July 12 after destroying Hill's Ironworks and several patriot farms. Upon arrival, they took three men priso...Read More