Ninety Six National Historic Site
OVERVIEW: About this Audio-Described Brochure
Welcome to the audio-described version of Ninety Six National Historic Site's official print brochure. Through text and audio descriptions of photos, illustrations, and maps, this version interprets the two-sided color brochure that Ninety Six National Historic Site visitors receive. The brochure explores the history of the park, some of its highlights, and information for planning your visit. This audio version lasts about 45 minutes which we have divided into 30 sections, as a way to improve the listening experience. Sections 1-12 cover the front of the brochure and include information regarding the 1781 Siege of Ninety Six, the commanders involved, and the technology and tactics used. Sections 13-30 cover the back of the brochure which consists of how the Town of Ninety Six was started, what kind of people lived here, and how you can safely explore Ninety Six National Historic Site.
OVERVIEW: Ninety Six National Historic Site
Ninety Six National Historic Site, located in South Carolina, is part of the National Park Service, within the Department of the Interior. The 1,022-acre park is situated 2 miles south of the town of Ninety Six, 12 miles east of Greenwood, S.C. This park, established in 1976, is the home to the first land battle south of New England in 1775 and the longest field siege of the American Revolution, which lasted 28 days in 1781. Each year, over 80,000 visitors come to enjoy the unique experiences that only can be had at Ninety Six National Historic Site. We invite you to explore the history and the nature that the park has to offer. Feel the rough-hewn walls of the stockade fort and the Logan Log House. Imagine a massive earthen fort with eight points, as you tour the path soldiers once fought and died on. Take a hike and hear the crunch of pine needles underfoot while the birds chirp in the distance. For those seeking to learn more about the park during their visit, a braille brochure and audio descriptions of the park movie are available upon request. To find out more about what resources might be available or to contact the park directly, listen to the "Accessibility" and "More Information" sections at the end of this audio-described brochure.
OVERVIEW: Front Side of Brochure
The front of the brochure includes historic portraits, photographs of landscapes featuring earthworks, and one photograph of an artifact. Photos are all in color.
The top one third of the page features an aerial photograph of the Star Fort with an inset portrait and text. In the middle is the story, told in text, and the presentation of another portrait. The bottom third features a large photograph of the siege-works, additional text, a portrait, and a photograph of an artifact.
The text, associated maps and photo descriptions are presented under their own sections.
The text explains the history and importance of this site during American Revolution specifically on the Siege of Ninety Six. It also explains features of the seige works and the key leaders for the Patriot efforts.
IMAGE and TEXT: Star Fort
The Star Fort was the heart of British defenses at Ninety Six and the stone upon which Gen. Nathanael Greene’s well-planned siege stumbled. Although Greene and his patriot army were unsuccessful, the victorious loyalists soon abandoned the post and moved their garrison toward the coast.
CAPTION: Star Fort
CREDIT: National Park Service - William A. Bake
IMAGE: Gen. Nathanael Greene
Greene wears a regimental uniform. The shirt and tie (also known as a cravat) are white. His waistcoat or vest is buff with five small round brass buttons visible. All but the fourth button are undone, providing space for the puffy cravat. His wool coat is navy blue with buff facing and collar and three large round brass buttons. The shoulders feature gold epaulets; his right epaulet has braided fringe and two silver stars.
Gen. Nathanael Greene commanded the southern Continental Army.
By Charles Willson Peale; courtesy of Independence National Historical Park, Philadelphia, PA.
TEXT: The Siege of Ninety Six, 1781
The siege of this frontier post grew out of one of the great dramas of the American Revolution—the second British attempt to conquer the South. Their first campaign in 1775–76 failed. This second campaign began in late 1778 with an assault on Savannah, Georgia. On May 12, 1780, loyalists—Americans loyal to British interests—captured Charleston, South Carolina, America’s fourth-largest city and the commercial capital of the South. By September 1780, loyalists held Georgia and most of South Carolina. A powerful army under Gen. Lord Cornwallis was poised to carry the war northward. British forces seemed unstoppable.
TEXT: Surprises for the Loyalists
In the fall of 1780, American patriots — those seeking independence from British rule — turned the war against Cornwallis. On October 7, he lost his entire left offensive arm and its commander Maj. Patrick Ferguson at Kings Mountain, South Carolina. On January 17, 1781, he lost his right striking force under the command of Col. Banastre Tarleton at Cowpens. By early 1781, Cornwallis faced a resurgent Continental Army under the command of Gen. Nathanael Greene. Cornwallis drove Greene and the patriots from the field at Guilford Courthouse, North Carolina, in mid-March, but at such a cost that he and his loyalist army had to retreat to the coast. Greene did not pursue Cornwallis but set out to reduce the chain of backcountry posts held by the British.
TEXT: Critical Crossroads
The hamlet named Ninety Six, a political and economic center in the South Carolina backcountry, was garrisoned by 550 American loyalists led by Lt. Col. John Cruger. When Cruger took command in 1780, he used loyalist soldiers and slaves from nearby farms to reinforce the walls of the town’s stockade and build the Star Fort.
Greene and his patriot army of 1,000 regulars and a few militia arrived at Ninety Six on May 21, 1781. One look at the formidable defenses, along with Greene’s lack of heavy artillery, ruled out a quick, direct assault. Only a siege could bring down Ninety Six. Greene focused on the Star Fort.
Col. Thaddeus Kosciuszko, a military engineer and aide to Greene, directed the siege operations. Sappers (trench diggers) began digging a system of parallels and approach trenches through the hard clay — an exhausting labor made worse by intense heat, mosquitoes, and cannon fire from the fort. They completed the first parallel on June 1, the second on June 3, and the third on June 10. Now they were within musket range of the loyalists.
During the night of June 13, Greene’s men built a 30-foot log tower close to the fort, hoping to suppress loyalist cannon and musket fire from its top. Then, Greene learned that a relief column of 2,000 British troops was marching to Cruger’s aid. He resolved to storm the post before he was trapped between the two forces.
TEXT: June 18 — The Attack at Noon
The onslaught began at noon. Col. Henry “Light-horse Harry” Lee’s legion captured the Stockade Fort west of the village. Greene launched his attack on the Star Fort from the third parallel. Troops in trenches moved forward, inching four 6-pounder cannons toward the fort. But the cannon fire was not powerful enough to breach the 10- to 12-foot-thick earthen wall. Greene ordered 50 soldiers forward to prepare the way for the main army. Men with axes cut through the sharpened stakes that extended from the fort’s walls, and those with hooks tried to pull down sandbags. Cruger ordered troops into the ditch surrounding the fort. Fighting hand-to-hand, loyalists drove off the patriots with both sides taking great losses.
This repulse decided the contest. The rescue column was too near for Greene to organize a general attack. Greene and his army slipped away before dawn on June 20, moving north up the Island Ford Road and across the Saluda River. Although Greene lost the siege, his offensive weakened Cruger’s stronghold in the backcountry. By July, the loyalists abandoned Ninety Six and moved to a post nearer the coast.
IMAGE: Col. Henry Lee
Chest-to-head portrait of Colonel Henry Lee upon a white background. He faces front, with his body slightly turned to his right. Lee has an oval face topped with blond or light-brown hair pulled back. He exhibits a soft brow with thin long eyebrows over light brown eyes. His nose has an indentation at the tip and sits above a 5 o'clock shadow mustache and full lips, pale in color, and a rounded jaw and chin. He is wearing a military uniform with no insignia visible and no hat. He sports a white shirt with a tight and low collar with a black neckstock and a white billowy cravat (or tie) peaking from underneath his buff-colored waistcoat or vest. His regimental coat is buff in color with brown facing and two plain round brass buttons on his left side. Upon his left shoulder sits a gold epaulet with twisted fringe dangling down. A wide black strap fits under his left epaulet running diagonally across his chest to the lower right.
Col. Henry Lee, father of Robert E. Lee, earned the nickname "Light-horse Harry" for his skillful command of cavalry units.
By Charles Wilson Peale; courtesy of Independence National Historical Park, Philadelphia, PA.
MAP: Understanding the Earthworks
Large portrait photograph of the siegeworks taking up half of the bottom third of the page featuring white text identifying key features. Starting at the bottom begins the patriot entrenchment toward the Star Fort. Text indicates the first parallel is not shown as the location extends below the bottom edge. At the bottom left is a grassy mound angled to the left from center. The text identifies this as an approach trench. This leads to a slightly curved horizontal grassy mound known as the second parallel. Extending from here is another approach trench - a zig-zag mound advancing forward to the third parallel. There is a triangular mound in the middle right of the photo. To the right of this is white text indicating where the rifle tower stood as well as the mine. In the top third of the photograph is a grassy mound known as the third parallel which is in the shape of an "M." Another approach trench extends forward. Also in the top portion of the photo is the Star Fort. The siegeworks are covered by manicured grass and sporadic bald spots filled with sand. In the middle and top sections, there are two groups of two to three trees casting shadows on the siegeworks. In the background is a full tree line; and to the right is a gravel road with a person walking.
Looking south down the patriots' lines toward the loyalists' Star Fort.
The loyalists’ Star Fort survived as it is today. In 1973 and 1974, archeologists found evidence of the patriots’ siege trenches and restored the old outlines, including the original contours. There are few better examples of 1700s siegecraft or of the close personal nature of battle in that day.
IMAGE and TEXT: The Siege Trenches
Rectangular chest to head portrait of Thaddeus Kosciuszko, Chief Engineer of the Southern Department of the Continental Army. His body is positioned facing to his right but his eyes are centered forward. He is against a black background. He has brown wavy shoulder-length hair, a defined brow with high cheekbones, prominent nose and mouth resembling cupid's bow. His strong jaw ends in a wide dimpled chin.
He is dressed in a military uniform with a white shirt barely visible with a black cravat tied in a bow. The coat made of dark blue wool with a wide red facing and collar. The collar is edged with silver lace. His left shoulder features a silver epaulet with a button and a strap holding it in place, with fringe on the shoulder edge. A portion of a brass equal arm cross is visible hanging at his chest.
By Julian Rys; courtesy of Independence National Historical Park, Philadelphia, PA.
Col. Thaddeus Kosciuszko, a Polish native trained in the classical methods of European warfare, knew siegecraft. If a fort could not be taken by surprise, an attacking army had to take it by force. A siege, the process of surrounding an enemy’s strong point and slowly cutting off contact with the outside world, was the patriots’ only hope for victory at Ninety Six.
Starting about 200 yards from the fort, sappers—trench diggers that included patriots and slaves—dug a four-foot-wide, three-foot-deep trench parallel to the fort, so that patriots could move in troops and supplies. They dug zigzag approach trenches toward the fort, mounding up the earth for protection. The zigzag pattern made it more difficult for loyalists to fire on men in the trenches. At about 70 yards, sappers dug the second parallel. They worked their way toward the fort adding more zigzag approach trenches, gun batteries, and a third parallel at about 40 yards from the fort. From here, the patriots fired at a single point, hoping to breach the wall and take the fort.
Victory by attackers or defenders always hung in the balance. Skill and luck were important factors. Conducting a textbook siege did not guarantee success either, for the loyalists were busy, too — firing at the sappers and sending out nighttime raiding parties.
IMAGE: Colonoware Bowl
Image of a hand-made bowl formed from unglazed red clay which is on display in the Visitor Center. To the left of the bowl is the caption written in black text with a white background. The deep wide bowl has thick walls and varying shades of brown with red tones. It was once in pieces as cracks and crevices show how it was glued back together, much like a puzzle. One piece on the inside has the letters TAIS marking its geo-referenced location. Missing pieces in the front have been filled in with an similar material, slightly lighter in color. The inside of the bowl appears darker, perhaps stained from use or in the firing process.
Enslaved people living here before 1781 made this colonoware bowl in the African tradition by firing unglazed, handformed clay on an open hearth.
OVERVIEW: Back Side of Brochure
The back side of the brochure is comprised of text, two maps, four color photographs and a collage of seven artifacts, also in color. The top third features the artifact collage, text explaining life in the backcountry and an image of cufflinks. The middle provides information on planning your visit, with three photographs in a horizontal line and a small map of the park on the right. The bottom third provides a detailed walking tour map with text describing significant points of interest. The text corresponds with stops along the map.
The text, associated maps and photo descriptions are presented under their own sections.
IMAGES and TEXT: The Village Then and Now
IMAGE 1 of 6: Prehistoric Indian tools
Small grouping of four Prehistoric Indian tools. On the bottom left is a chert flake, dark brown in color with the tip facing up and to the left and rounded edges. On top is a narrow straight stemmed quartz point with the tip facing almost directly up. It is discolored by red clay residing deep within the grooves used to form the point. A small wide side-notched white quartz point sits just to the right with the point aiming down and a straight base. To the back and right is a light brown chert point. It is triangular in shape with a shallow V notch on the base edge. The tip is pointing down and to the left.
Prehistoric Indian tools: chert flake (undated), two quartz points (undated), chert point (about 800 years old).
Ninety Six NHS / Southeast Archeological Center.
IMAGE 2 of 6: Knife and fork
Photograph of a two-tine metal fork, long neck with a cracked bone handle on the front and back of the tang, with three pins attaching it. The knife is to the right of the fork. It has a thin metal, smooth edge blade, with a bone handle held in place with two pins. A small portion of the handle near the top of the tang is missing. The metal is very rusty and showing signs of flaking. Both lay at an angle, with the handles at the lower right of the image. The fork and knife are on display in the visitor center.
Bone-handled knife and fork.
South Carolina Dept. of Archeology and Anthropology.
IMAGE 3 of 6: English tankard
Large salt-glazed stoneware tankard that was once broken and is now glued back together in various sizes but generally with straight edges. Its walls are thin and light gray with missing pieces filled in with a white material. There is thin horizontal ribbing around the body similar to a tin soup can. At least 20 pieces are visible on the front. The handle is broken off and missing with the top and bottom stems protruding on the right side of the mug. It is on display in the visitor center.
English salt-glazed stoneware tankard, circa 1760–70 (white areas are repairs).
CREDIT:South Carolina Dept. of Archeology and Anthropology.
IMAGE 4 of 6: English pearlware bowl and cup
A wide shallow and round bowl with a white exterior and a short base. The interior of the bowl has a small floral pattern painted on it - a stem with a red dot at the end and a green dot on each side. The edge of the bowl is lined with a wide yellow trim with thin black lines above and below. It has a large crack on the side. A handleless cup is positioned behind and to the right of the bowl. The cup has the same floral pattern on the outside with the yellow and black trim on the outer lip. The inside of the cup is solid white with a thick black line at the top edge and a thin black line under it, separated by white. Both the bowl and the cup are on display in the visitor center.
English pearlware bowl and handleless cup, circa 1810.
CREDIT:South Carolina Dept. of Archeology and Anthropology.
IMAGE 5 of 6: Mochaware creamer
The creamer has an off-white spout facing the left with an off-white half heart handle on the right. A small portion of the off-white interior is visible with the same-color rim. There is a missing piece on the backside of the rim shaped like a triangle. On the exterior, below the rim, is a wide indigo-blue stripe with a very narrow white line below it. The body of the creamer is speckled brown, and the bottom has a blue stripe matching the top.
English mochaware creamer, circa 1815.
CREDIT:South Carolina Dept. of Archeology and Anthropology.
IMAGE 6 of 6: Bone buttons
Grouping of round bone buttons varying in size and neutral colors such as cream, tan, and brown. Two are large, four are medium, and four are small. Each has a small hole in the center. Buttons also show markings or striations from cutting.
By Merle McGee, NPS.
Archeologists working here and people walking the fields found these items. They date from prehistoric times to the 1700s and 1800s. By the 1820s, Indians, traders, and colonists were gone. Only these tools of everyday life remain to tell their story.
TEXT: Life in the Frontier Village
No one knows how Ninety Six got its name. One explanation is that Charleston traders thought this intersection of trails was 96 miles south of the Cherokee town of Keowee, near today’s Clemson, South Carolina. Traders packed firearms, blankets, beads, and wares along an Indian trail called the Cherokee Path, swapping them for furs. By 1700, this trail was a major commercial artery, flowing with goods essential to a prospering colony.
TEXT: A Rising Town
The Cherokee Path intersected other trails here, and Ninety Six became a stopover for traders. In 1751, Robert Gouedy opened a trading post at Ninety Six, establishing it as a hub of the backcountry Indian trade. A veteran of Cherokee trade, he parlayed that enterprise into a business that rivaled some of Charleston’s merchants. He grew grain and tobacco, raised cattle, served as a banker, and sold cloth, shoes, beads, gunpowder, tools, and rum. He amassed over 1,500 acres, and, at his death in 1775, some 500 people were in his debt.
In the 1750s, friction grew between Indians and the settlers pushing into Ninety Six and the area. Settlers, militia, and enslaved people built a stockade around Gouedy’s barn for protection, which became Fort Ninety Six. It served them well in 1760, when the Cherokee attacked twice but failed to capture the fort. After years of fighting, the Cherokee signed a treaty in 1761 that curtailed their travels beyond Keowee. Peace followed, along with a rebound in land development. The British enticed settlers to the frontier by promising protection, financial aid, free tools, and free land. Settlers flooded into the country beyond the Saluda River. Ninety Six lay in the middle of this land boom.
TEXT: Who Wants Independence?
On the eve of the American Revolution, Ninety Six was a prosperous community with homes, a courthouse, and a brick jail. At least 100 people lived in the area. Sentiment about independence was more divided here than along the coast. For many settlers, incentives and protection from the Cherokee created strong loyalties toward Great Britain. Others thought that the crown shirked on its promises to backcountry settlers, and they wanted independence. On November 19, 1775, in the American Revolution’s first major land battle in the South, 1,900 loyalists attacked about 600 patriots gathered at Ninety Six under Maj. Andrew Williamson. After days of fighting, the two sides agreed to a truce, but patriot spirit was running high. Patriot leaders mounted an expedition to sweep away loyalist supporters. But subduing the king’s friends did not bring peace. A savage war of factions broke out that lasted until 1781. In June 1781 Gen. Nathanael Greene failed to take the fort by siege. In July, loyalists left the village a smoking ruin; they set fire to the buildings, filled in the siegeworks, and tried to destroy the Star Fort.
TEXT: Starting Anew
Within a few years, a new town rose near the site of the old one. In 1787, villagers aspiring to make the town a center of learning named it Cambridge after the English university. Cambridge flourished for a while as the county seat and home of an academy. In the early 1800s, the town began to decline. In 1815, a flu epidemic swept the area, and Cambridge became little more than a crossroads. By the mid-1800s, both old Ninety Six and newer Cambridge were little more than memories.
Grouping of eleven cufflinks of various sizes, materials and colors on a white background with shadows. Starting in the center are two of them: (1) narrow oblong cylinder made of ivory, (2) silver with an impressed design around an oval edge with a floral design in the center. Starting at the top and clockwise, others are shown: (3) metal elongated octagon with two lines on each of the narrow sides, and a blue gem inset at the center, (4) a fish-scale pattern on round amethyst with a brass edge, (5) opaque glass in the shape of a small circle, (6), a large oval blue stone set in a copper edge, (7) round cloudy glass with two parallel lines with remnants of dirt (8) oval clear glass with a sun pattern, (9) silver oval with a darkened patina; the center features an engraved swirling four-pointed star and a thin line around the edge, (10) likely lead oval with a plain center and scalloped edge, and (11) oval silver with a decorative edge with a capital C in the center.
These cufflinks reflect the fashions of colonial Ninety Six, including patterned glass, ivory, and silver engraved with designs and a “C.”
By Merle McGee, NPS.
IMAGE: Young Reenactors
Three children in Colonial period clothing sit on a wooden platform playing games. Behind them is a log structure known as the Logan Log House. Two young girls play checkers facing each other with the red and black checkerboard between them. In front of the game board lays a white haversack, or bag, two cloth dolls, and a red box. The girl on the left wears a white cap on her head with a brown pony tail. She wears a white shift, or under-dress, with horizontal yellow, white, and green-striped stays, similar to a corset. Her petticoat, or skirt, is of the same fabric, but the stripes are vertical. Her competitor wears her brown hair down, with a maroon short gown, or top, with a brown and cream vertical-striped skirt and a white apron on top. To the right of the girls, there is a young boy sitting cross-legged. The boy has short brown hair and is wearing a white shirt with a navy blue waistcoat and knee-length breeches. He is looking through a light-colored wooden box, with contents unknown. Near him is a pile of toys including a cup and ball.
No computers or video games? Young reenactors play games popular in colonial times.
IMAGE: The Logan Log House
Photo of the Logan Log House, a rectangular two-story structure constructed with large squared logs, with tan chinking between, and connected with dove-tail notching. The prominent side visible is the back of the structure. In the center of the first floor wall is a wooden door that leads to a flat wooden platform or deck. One of two windows on the second story is visible. The other is blocked by a tree. The short side of the house, on the right of the image, has a wooden door leading out to stone steps and a window above. A small portion of the front porch covering is visible on the right. On the left side of the cabin is a small roof structure covering a beehive oven. The roof is covered with cedar shakes. A wooden split rail fence runs across the middle portion of the picture enclosing the green lawn around the cabin. The cabin is lit bright by the morning sun. Surrounding the cabin are mature trees featuring green leaves. In the foreground are numerous azalea bushes that bloom pink and white.
The Logan Log House dates from the 1700s. It is open for special park events.
IMAGE: Living History Reenactors
A photograph of living historians positioned to fire a three-pound brass cannon in a manicured field, with green trees and foliage in the background. Four men stand at the cannon located on the left side of the image. The cannon has just been fired and bellows out white smoke from the barrel with a small smoke cloud emerging from the vent hole, or site of ignition. The carriage has two large wheels painted blue. Three of the four men are dressed in Continental uniforms, featuring black tricorn hats and navy blue regimental coats with red facing and buff coattails. They wear white knee-breeches and stockings with black shoes. The fourth man located at the muzzle is dressed as a militiaman, in a tan-fringed hunting shirt tied with a woven sash around the waist, white knee-breeches, white stockings, and black garters. He also wears a black tricorn hat and black shoes. He holds an implement used for firing. It is a long pole with a sponge on the top end and a wooden rammer on the end on the ground.
Living history reenactors demonstrate military skills used during the American Revolution.
TEXT: Planning Your Visit
Visitor Center: Start at the visitor center for information, maps, a museum, bookstore, and a short video. The visitor center is open Wednesday through Sunday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.; closed Mondays, Tuesdays, Thanksgiving Day, December 25, and January 1. The park grounds are open dawn to dusk year-round.
The park offers a variety of trails, the 27-acre Star Fort Pond, and wildlife viewing. Don’t miss the one-mile walking tour of the park. Explore the earthworks, historic roads, reconstructed stockade, sites of the 1781 siege and battle, and site of the Ninety Six village. The 1.5-mile Gouedy Trail passes the grave of Gouedy’s son. The park has living history events April through November. Ask at the visitor center about special activities or visit www.nps.gov/nisi.
TEXT: Safety First
The Star Fort, parallels, and other features along the siege trenches are fragile—please do not climb or walk on these fragile earthworks.
• Stay on walks and trails to help prevent erosion. On the Gouedy Trail, watch for uneven footing and exposed tree roots.
• Beware of fire ants, poison ivy, ticks, and snakes. Watch where you put your hands and feet. • Metal detecting and digging for artifacts are prohibited. Do not collect, damage, or remove any plants, wildlife, rocks, or artifacts; all are protected by federal law. Report suspicious activity to a ranger. For firearms regulations, check the park website. Emergencies: call 911.
MAP: Ninety Six National Historic Site Overview
This image is a map of Ninety Six National Historic Site. It is oriented with north to the top, and the green-shaded park area located squarely in the middle. Running north to south along the left side of the map is a road labeled "248." Running north to south on the right side of the map is another road labeled "Kinard Road." Most of the National Historic Site lies between these two roads. On the left side of the park, halfway down road 248, is the park visitor center. A black dotted line labeled "Walking Tour" loops from the visitor center to the west, passing a red mark labeled "Star Fort." From this walking tour, two more trails split off. A dotted line, starting from the loop at the bottom right corner, continues south to the banks of a creek before forming a small loop and doubling back on itself to rejoin the main walking tour. This branch is labeled "Goudey Trail." Another dotted line, extending from the bottom left of the Walking Tour loop, breaks off and follows a creek south for a short distance before cutting east, crossing the creek, and continuing to the far eastern side of the park where it ends at a pond labeled "Star Fort Pond" with a designated parking area off Kinard Road. This trail is labeled "Cherokee Path Trail." There is a white square around the area containing the Visitor Center and where these three trails intersect, and a note saying "See map below," directing you to more detailed information about that area. Underneath the map is the text "Park map shown above. Detailed walking tour map shown below."
Park map described here. Detailed walking tour map described below.
MAP: Walking Tour of the Park
This image is a detailed map of the main interpretive area at Ninety Six National Historic Site. The right two-thirds of the page is a map of the trails and site features, while the left third of the page contains nine groups of texts that highlight key features of the Walking Tour. The map is oriented with north at the top, the park's western border and road 248 along the left side, and a historic road labeled "Cherokee Path" along the bottom. The map is bisected by a creek labeled Spring Branch which comes from the south up through the middle of the map before splitting and terminating near the northern border.
The Walking Tour forms a rough rectangle. The northwest corner contains the main park facilities, where clustered together are two parking areas off Road 248, restrooms, Park headquarters, Visitor Center, and the Logan Log House.
The Walking Tour crosses Spring Branch in the middle of its northern side, where there is a number 1 labeled for more information. All of these numbered stops will be described first by placement on the map and then later in more detail, as described as highlights of the park.
The northeastern corner of the Walking Tour is a flurry of activity, as it crosses, and for a short time follows, a historic road labeled "Island Ford Road," which exits the map at the northeast corner. This meeting is marked with a number 2. This corner brings the Walking Tour to the northern end of a blue zigzag which moves south along the northern half of the eastern side of the trail, labeled "Siege Trenches." Where the blue zigzag begins is marked with a number 3, a number 4 beside it is labeled "Observation platform," and a number 5 is located to the south as the zigzag begins its movement.
As the Walking Tour follows the blue zigzag Siege Trenches south, it passes two marks labeled Rifle Tower and Mine Entry, before stopping on the northwestern side of a red eight-pointed star, labeled "Star Fort" with a number 7. This star is halfway down the eastern side of the Walking Tour. Within the star is marked a red horizontal line labeled "Transverse" and a dot saying "Well." The Walking Tour continues to the southeast corner of the trail, located about the middle of the map, following a red dotted line labeled "Communication trench site."
The southeast corner of the Walking Tour is a red vertical rectangle labeled "Town of Ninety Six Site; 1781 stockade site" and a number 8. This rectangle has several white house shapes showing the town layout, and three white historic roads entering from the north, west, and south. The roads are labeled Island Ford Road, Whitehall Road, and Charleston Road, respectively. The rectangle also forms the upper right corner of a parallelogram labeled "1775 stockade site" and marked by small dashes. The Walking Tour enters on the short northern end of the rectangle, travels most of the way south through town, and exits out of the lower left heading west, running parallel to the historic Whitehall Road. Another trail moves south out of town following the Charleston Road labeled "Goudey Trail," heading to the southeast corner of the map.
As the Walking Tour moves west, it quickly passes to the south of more building shapes labeled "Jail," crosses the Spring Branch again, and follows a red dotted "Communication Trench site" to the southwest corner of the trail. After the Walking Tour crosses the Spring Branch, a new trail breaks off and moves south following the creek, labeled "Cherokee Path Trail."
The southwest corner of the trail is a cluster of buildings connected in a rough triangle with a red line and labeled "Stockade Fort; Reconstruction of 1781 Holme's Fort, also site of 1775 Williamson's Fort" and the number 9. The trail curves by this stockade fort on its northeastern side. Opposite the fort in the curve of the Walking Tour is a dot marked "James Birmingham Memorial."
As the Walking Tour begins moving north up its western side, not far from the Stockade Fort it crosses the Whitehall Road that it had been running parallel to. Down the Whitehall Road to the west is marked a Daughter of the American Revolution Marker, the Maynon gravesite, and a gate where the historic road ends at highway 248. As the Walking Tour nears the northwest corner where it began, it passes to the left of a Picnic Area adjacent to the Logan Log House, and returns to the parking areas and Visitor Center.
Along the bottom of the map is a white line labeled "Historic route of Cherokee Path." Where the path enters the map on the left, there's an arrow pointing west reading "Historic route to Keowee," and where the path exits the map on the right, an arrow pointing east reads "To Star Fort Pond." In the middle of the path, the Spring Branch crosses running north to south, and the dotted line of the Cherokee Path Trail intersects and joins it continuing east. As it nears the eastern edge of the map, the Goudey Trail also crosses the Cherokee Path but allows the option to keep following the Goudey Trail south. An arrow points southeast with the text "Historic Route to Charleston" and "To site of Goudey's Trading Post (1751 - 1775)."
The one-mile roundtrip trail begins at the visitor center.
Stop 1: Spring Branch
This text is to the left of the map, and corresponds to a number 1 on the map where the Walking Tour crosses Spring Branch Creek.
This stream, free-flowing in 1781, was the loyalists’ source of water during the siege.
Stop 2: Island Ford Road
This text corresponds to where the Walking Tour meets the Historic route of Island Ford Road, near the northeast corner of the map.
You are parallel to a colonial road. Decades of travel cut the road to today’s depth. The road crossed Saluda River at Island Ford, 7 miles north.
Stop 3: Patriot Forces Arrive
This text corresponds to a number 3 on the map where the Walking Tour leaves the Island Ford Road and meets the blue lines marked "Siege Trenches."
General Greene’s Continental Army came along Island Ford Road on May 21, 1781.
Stop 4: Loyalist Fortifications
This text corresponds to a number 4 at the back, the north, of the blue zigzag "Siege Trenches," before they begin moving south.
Colonel Cruger bolstered Ninety Six by adding stockades, digging ditches around buildings, and building the Star Fort. Slaves did much of the work.
Stop 5: Siege Trenches
This text corresponds to a number 5 that is located along the blue zigzag Siege Trenches along the Walking Tour as it moves south toward the red seven-pointed star labeled Star Fort. Along this part of the trail is marked "Rifle Tower" and "Mine Entry."
Colonel Kosciuszko conducted siege operations by the manual: Zigzag approach trenches (saps) connected by three parallels. From the third parallel sappers dug a six-foot, vertical mine shaft. From its bottom they tunneled toward the Star Fort, planning to blast open the wall so troops could charge inside. The siege ended before the mine was finished. This was the only use of a mine in the American Revolution. Patriots built a 30-foot log rifle tower about 30 yards from the fort, so they could fire down on the loyalists. This 10-foot tower is a reconstruction.
Stop 6: The Attack
This text corresponds to a number 6 located on the map at the blue zigzag Siege Trenches as close as they get to the northern side of the red seven-pointed star labeled Star Fort.
Patriots began firing at noon on June 18. Opening the way, 50 patriots rushed into the fort’s ditch. Loyalists killed 30. Greene halted the final attack.
Stop 7: Star Fort
This text corresponds to a number 7 located on the southern side of the red seven-pointed star labeled Star Fort. This is where the Walking Tour moves around the western side of the Star Fort and meets a red dotted line that travels southwest toward the Town of Ninety Six.
These earthen mounds are the remains of the Star Fort. During the siege, the walls rose 14-feet above the ditch. Loyalists added the protective traverse and dug a 25-foot well. They found no water, and enslaved workers brought water at night through the communication trench (covered way), four- to five-foot deep ditches that connected the Star Fort, village, and Stockade Fort.
Stop 8: Town of Ninety Six
This text corresponds to a number 8 that is located at the red rectangle filled with house shapes labeled "Town of Ninety Six: 1781 Stockade site." Three white lines enter the town from the north, west, and south, showing the routes of three historic roads, the Island Ford Road, the Whitehall Road, and the Charleston Road.
Three roads intersected here. Loyalist troops maintained British links with the Cherokee, trying to suppress the patriots. A two-story brick jail, built here in 1772, housed the jailer on the first floor, prisoners on the second. Another communication trench led to the Stockade Fort.
Stop 9: Stockade Fort
This text corresponds to a number 9 located at the group of buildings on the far western side of Spring Branch from the town of Ninety Six. These buildings are connected by a red line to form a rough triangle and labeled "Stockade Fort: Reconstruction of 1781 Holme's Fort (also site of 1775 Williamson's Fort.)."
Loyalists built a stockade around James Holmes’ home to guard the town’s water supply. On June 18, Colonel Lee captured the fort but held it only until Greene ended the attack.
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OVERVIEW: More Information
Ninety Six National Historic Site
1103 Highway 248
Ninety Six, SC 29666-0496
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