Ninety Six in Greenwood County, South Carolina — The American South (South Atlantic)
The Forlorn Hope
June 18, 1781
Having established the third parallel and dug a mine, the Patriot troops were exhausted. Promised reinforcements from the Virginia militia failed to arrive. A frustrated Greene wrote to Congress: "...our poor Fellows are worne out with fatigue, being constantly on duty every other Day and sometimes every Day."
Circumstances forced Greene to make a difficult choice. News arrived that Lord Rawdon's 2,000 troops were headed to Ninety Six to relieve Cruger. The construction of the siegeworks did not go as quickly as Greene had hoped. He was not yet in a position to breach the Star Fort and his tired troops would be no match for Rawdon's. Spurred by his officers and men to storm the fort before Rawdon's arrival rather than give up the siege, a reluctant Greene agreed to an assault. Fifty men volunteered to lead the charge. This brave group -- called the Forlorn Hope -- surged from the trenches at noon on June 18, 1781.
Armed with axes these Patriots tried to cut through the outer defenses along the fort perimeter so that soldiers following with hooks could pull down the sandbags and breach the walls. They were quickly pinned in the ditch around the Loyalist earthwork, caught in the crossfire of marksmen in the star-shaped fort and surprised by 60 Loyalists, who ran out the fort entrance and came at them from each
Erected 2009 by National Park Service.
Location. 34° 8.764′ N, 82° 1.129′ W. Marker is in Ninety Six, South Carolina, in Greenwood County. Marker can be reached from South Cambridge Road (State Highway 248). Touch for map. Marker is located on the grounds of Ninety Six National Historic Site. 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. The Attack (here, next to this marker); The Mine (within shouting distance of this marker); The Star Fort (within shouting distance of this marker); Covered Way (within shouting distance of this marker); The Rifle Tower (within shouting distance of this marker); The Well (within shouting distance of this marker); Second Approach Trench (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Second Parallel (about 300 feet away); Approach Trench (about 300 feet away); Ninety Six (about 400 feet away). Touch for a list and map 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 (Submitted on July 13, 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 13, 2010, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.)
3. 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 13, 2010, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.)
4. Forlone Hope. A forlorn hope is a band of soldiers or other combatants chosen to take the leading part in a military operation, such as an assault on a defended position, where the risk of casualties is high. (Submitted on July 13, 2010, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.)
Categories. • Forts, Castles • Heroes • Military • Notable Events • Notable Persons • Notable Places • Patriots & Patriotism • War, US Revolutionary •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on July 13, 2010, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina. This page has been viewed 591 times since then and 15 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on July 13, 2010, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.