Ninety Six was a bit of a misnomer for this 18th-century trading village in South Carolina. It was estimated at the time to be 96 miles from a major Cherokee village, but was actually closer to 78. Then again, Seventy Eight does not have the same ring to it, does it? A small stockade built around a barn survived two attacks by Cherokees in the 1750s, then during the American Revolution the town fell into British hands after a battle on November 19, 1775. They proceeded to build a star-shaped earthen fort that was partially reconstructed in the 1970s.
Reconstructed Revolutionary War earthen fort, museum, film
In 1781, six year after the town fell into British hands, a month-long Patriot siege led by General Nathanael Greene failed, but the Patriots abandoned their underground tunneling when they learned of British reinforcements arriving. The British wound up retreating to Charleston anyway and burning the town behind them. Ninety Six never fully recovered and remained undeveloped, which allowed archaeologists in the 1970s to rediscover the old tunnels and zigzag trenches designed by Colonel Thaddeus Kosciuszko.
With interpretive pamphlet in hand, you can get a good idea of Colonel Thaddeus Kosciuszko’s strategy from atop the observation platform built along the one-mile self-guided trail. The park also contains the 27-acre Star Fort Pond, which is accessible by road or the Cherokee Path Trail from the visitor center.
This is the only National Park Service site we know of where visitors are encouraged to brandish a musket. They also have a pillory to pose in.
Spring and fall, since it can be very hot in the summer with little shade.
Access road paved
Greenwood State Recreation Area has a campground on a lake about nine miles north.
Cowpens National Battlefield (South Carolina)
Fort Sumter and Fort Moultrie National Historical Park (South Carolina)
Thaddeus Kosciuszko National Memorial (Pennsylvania)
Explore More – Who was Robert Gouedy and why was he significant in the history of Ninety Six?