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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Summerton in Clarendon County, South Carolina — The American South (South Atlantic)
 

Fort Watson

 
 
Fort Watson Marker image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud, October 11, 2009
1. Fort Watson Marker
Inscription. The first post in S.C. retaken from the British, the stockade fort on this old Indian mound had controlled the road from Charleston to Camden as well as the Santee River. On April 15, 1781, Gen. Francis Marion and Lt. Col. Henry Lee encircled it with troops while Maj. Hezekiah Maham built a log tower whose fire could command it. On April 23, the Americans undermined the works and forced its surrender.
 
Erected 1963 by S.C. Forestry Commission, Parks Division. (Marker Number 14-1.)
 
Location. 33° 31.966′ N, 80° 25.91′ W. Marker is in Summerton, South Carolina, in Clarendon County. Marker is on Fort Watson Road (State Highway 14-803), on the left when traveling west. Click for map. Located Approx. .5 miles west of US 301, US15 - 1 mile north of I-95 interchange 102. Marker is in this post office area: Summerton SC 29148, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 7 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. 2nd Battle of Fort Watson (here, next to this marker); Swamp Fox (a few steps from this marker); Fort Watson: (approx. 0.4 miles away); Santee National Wildlife Refuge (approx. half a mile away); a different
Fort Watson Marker, with Lake Marion, (nee Santee River), in background image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud, October 11, 2009
2. Fort Watson Marker, with Lake Marion, (nee Santee River), in background
marker also named Fort Watson (approx. half a mile away); Liberty Hill Church / Pioneers in Desegregation (approx. 4.7 miles away); Anne Custis Burgess (approx. 6.7 miles away); "Together Let Us Sweetly Live" (approx. 6.8 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Summerton.
 
Regarding Fort Watson. Santee Indian Mound was part of a mound village complex; it was probably a burial and/or temple mound, likely constructed in some cultural period between 1200-1500 AD. Santee Indian Mound and a probable low earthwork remain intact except for the superposition of eighteenth- century fortifications on top of the mound. The fortification, British Revolutionary War post Fort Watson, was built from 30 to 50 feet high atop the mound. In 1780, Francis Marion and Light Horse Harry Lee decided to capture the fort. Bombardment was out of the question, for the Americans were without artillery, but Colonel Maham,one of Marionís officers, proposed building a log tower higher than Fort Watson. Hidden by trees, men hewed logs and the tower was erected in a single night. At dawn a shower of lead poured down into the enemy enclosure, effecting
Fort Watson stood atop this Indian Mound, in 1871 image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud, October 23, 2009
3. Fort Watson stood atop this Indian Mound, in 1871
coordinates 33.538998,-80.437646 for the Indian Mound / Fort Watson
a quick victory. Fort Watson was the first fortified British military outpost in South Carolina recaptured by patriot forces after the British occupation of 1780. There are no remains of Fort Watson on the site. Listed in the National Register July 29, 1969. (S.C. Dept. of Archives and History)

National Register of Historic Places :
Santee Indian Mound and Fort Watson ** (added 1969 - Site - #69000164)
♦ Historic Significance: Information Potential
♦ Area of Significance: Prehistoric
♦ Cultural Affiliation: Native American
♦ Period of Significance: 1499-1000 AD
♦ Owner: State
♦ Historic Function: Domestic, Funerary, Religion
♦ Historic Sub-function: Ceremonial Site, Graves/Burials, Village Site
♦ Current Function: Landscape
♦ Current Sub-function: Park
 
Also see . . .
1. South Carolina Department of Parks, Recreation & Tourism. Santee Indian Mound and Fort Watson Site (Submitted on October 27, 2009, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina.) 

2. The American Revolutionary War. The Siege of Fort Watson (Submitted on October 27, 2009, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina.) 
 
Categories. Forts, CastlesWar, US Revolutionary
 
From the Swamp Fox Murals Trail, in nearby Summerton - Patriots hauling cut sapplings image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud, October 11, 2009
4. From the Swamp Fox Murals Trail, in nearby Summerton - Patriots hauling cut sapplings
From the Swamp Fox Murals Trail - Patriots building the Maham Tower image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud, October 23, 2009
5. From the Swamp Fox Murals Trail - Patriots building the Maham Tower
Fort Watson , From the Swamp Fox Murals Trail image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud, October 11, 2009
6. Fort Watson , From the Swamp Fox Murals Trail
In his memoirs,(Lt. Col. Henry) Lee described the tower as a ``large, strong oblong pen, to be covered on the top with a floor of logs, and protected on the side opposite to the fort with a breastwork of light timbers.'' The use of the tower to attack a fortified position is an old practice known to the Romans. But to Hezekiah Maham must go the credit for re-inventing its use in the New World.
Patriot sharpshooters fire on Fort Watson - from the Swamp Fox Murals Trail image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud, October 11, 2009
7. Patriot sharpshooters fire on Fort Watson - from the Swamp Fox Murals Trail
Fort Watson Marker shares location with Swamp Fox and 2nd Battle of Fort Watson Markers image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud, September 8, 2011
8. Fort Watson Marker shares location with Swamp Fox and 2nd Battle of Fort Watson Markers
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina. This page has been viewed 1,386 times since then and 75 times this year. Last updated on , by David Graff of Halifax, Nova Scotia. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. submitted on , by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina.   8. submitted on , by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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