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Ninety Six in Greenwood County, South Carolina — The American South (South Atlantic)
 

The Patriots Lay Siege to the Star Fort

May 22-June 18, 1781

 
 
The Patriots Lay Siege to the Star Fort Marker image. Click for full size.
By Brian Scott
1. The Patriots Lay Siege to the Star Fort Marker
Inscription.
"Our success is very doubtful."
General Nathanael Greene
May 23, 1781


General Greene entrusted Colonel Thaddeus Kosciuszko with the task of creating siegeworks -- a system of trenches -- that would allow his men to approach and capture the Star Fort. The Continental Army engineer, a 35 year-old native of Poland, had received his military education in Warsaw and Paris. The Revolutionary War trench lines before you provide a picture of how Kosciuszko conducted the siege against the Star Fort according to traditional rules of warfare in the 1700s.

A series of parallels or earthen tranches were dug, providing cover for troops and allowing them to move artillery close to their target. Angled approach trenches connecting the parallels, forming a "Z" pattern leading up to the fort. The trenches you see here are partially reconstructed. Archaeological investigations revealed their original locations, but they have not been fully excavated.

The Star Fort posed a formidable challenge to Greene's troops. Its eight-pointed design allowed soldiers inside to direct their gaze -- and their guns -- in many angles and over a wide area. Standing here in 1781, you would have noticed a wide ditch encircling the perimeter of the fort and glimpsed dirt walls thick enough -- perhaps 10 to
Artist's Representation of the Siegeworks (from the Marker) image. Click for full size.
By Brian Scott, May 13, 2010
2. Artist's Representation of the Siegeworks (from the Marker)
15 feet wide -- to stop musket and cannon balls. The walls rose 14 feet high from the bottom of the ditch. You might have flinched at the menacing rings of abatis -- sharpened tree branches -- around the fort, which were intended to hinder the enemy's approach.
 
Erected 2009 by National Park Service.
 
Location. 34° 8.869′ N, 82° 1.116′ W. Marker is in Ninety Six, South Carolina, in Greenwood County. Marker can be reached from South Cambridge Street (State Highway 248). Click for map. Marker is located inside an observation tower on the north end of the battlefield. The tower offers the only elevated view of the entire battlefield. Marker is in this post office area: Ninety Six SC 29666, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 10 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Patriot Soldier (here, next to this marker); a different marker also named The Patriots Lay Siege to the Star Fort (here, next to this marker); The British Fortifications (a few steps from this marker); Siege Trenches (a few steps from this marker but has been reported missing); The Patriot Force Arrives (within shouting distance of this marker); Trader with Pack Horse
Artist's Representation of the Star Fort and Ninety Six (from the Marker) image. Click for full size.
By Brian Scott, May 13, 2010
3. Artist's Representation of the Star Fort and Ninety Six (from the Marker)
(within shouting distance of this marker); The Artillery (within shouting distance of this marker); Island Ford Road (within shouting distance of this marker); Approach Trench (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Second Parallel (about 300 feet away). Click for a list of all markers in Ninety Six.
 
Also see . . .
1. Ninety Six National Historic Site (U.S. National Park Service). Here settlers struggled against the harsh backcountry to survive, Cherokee Indians hunted and fought to keep their land, two towns and a trading post were formed and abandoned to the elements, and two Revolutionary War battles that claimed over 100 lives took place here. (Submitted on July 10, 2010, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.) 

2. Ninety Six National Historic Site. Ninety Six National Historic Site, also known as Old Ninety Six and Star Fort, is a United States National Historic Site located about 60 miles (96 kilometers) south of Greenville, South Carolina. (Submitted on July 10, 2010, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.) 

3. Ninety Six National Historic Site. The historic district of Ninety Six National
The Patriots Lay Siege to the Star Fort Marker image. Click for full size.
By Brian Scott, May 13, 2010
4. The Patriots Lay Siege to the Star Fort Marker
Historic Site contains numerous historical features associated with the economic and social development of the colonial South Carolina back country. (Submitted on July 10, 2010, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.) 

4. Nathanael Greene. Nathanael Greene (August 7, 1742 – June 19, 1786) was a major general of the Continental Army in the American Revolutionary War. (Submitted on July 10, 2010, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.) 

5. Tadeusz Kościuszko. Andrzej Tadeusz Bonawentura Kościuszko (February 4, 1746 – October 15, 1817) was a Polish-Lithuanian general and military leader during the Kościuszko Uprising. He is a national hero in Poland, Lithuania, the United States and Belarus. (Submitted on July 10, 2010, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.) 

6. Continental Army. The American Continental Army was an army formed after the outbreak of the American Revolutionary War by the colonies that became the United States of America. (Submitted on July 10, 2010, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.) 

7. Star Fort. A star fort, or trace italienne, is a fortification in the style that evolved during the age of gunpowder, when cannon came to dominate the battlefield, and was first seen in the mid-15th century in Italy. (Submitted on July 10, 2010, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.)
Observation Tower image. Click for full size.
By Brian Scott, May 13, 2010
5. Observation Tower
 
 
Categories. Forts, CastlesMan-Made FeaturesWar, US Revolutionary
 
Ninety Six Battlefield from the Observation Tower image. Click for full size.
By Brian Scott, May 13, 2010
6. Ninety Six Battlefield from the Observation Tower
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina. This page has been viewed 886 times since then and 32 times this year. Photos:   1. submitted on , by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.   2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on , by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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