Ninety-Six SC: Where American Revolution Battles were Won

Old-Ninety-Six Historic Site

Revolutionary War soldiers averaged 5 5′. My youngest is almost there! The rifles were attached to these silhouettes, which made hiking around the fort even more fun.

The American Revolution was won in the Backcountry of South Carolina. In fact, more Revolutionary War battles & skirmishes took place in South Carolina than any other colony during the American Revolution. That was the big take away from our visit to the Old Ninety-Six SC Historic Site and here is why you might want to visit.

Ninety-Six SC: Where American Revolution Battles were Won

You don’t hear much about the Revolution in the South. It’s more the Civil War, the War Between the States, or as they like to call it down here, the War of Northern Aggression. But that’s why I was excited to visit South Carolina’s Ninety-Six Historic Site, to learn a little bit more about the birth of our Country.

Getting to Old Ninety-Six Historic Site

It’s still a bit like traveling the backcountry to get to Ninety-Six, which is about three hours from Downtown Atlanta. We traveled single lane country roads to this literal roadside attraction. There’s a well done movie in the visitor’s center, as well as a small museum. It’s a great start to prime you for what you’ll be seeing.

Special Events at Old Ninety-Six Historic Site

We got lucky on our visit and happened upon an encampment. We chatted with costumed soldiers and took a look at their campsite. It’s always fun to have folks in period costumes to provide a bit of living history. We left before the musket firing, but heard them while we explored the Star Fort about half a mile away. There seems to be a special event at Ninety-Six each month, so check the website and plan your trip during one of these living history programs.

The Grounds at Old Ninety-Six Historic Site

This site is unlike most I’ve seen. Along the various paths, they have silhouettes of soldiers, townspeople, or even the Indians that roamed the area. One even carried a toy musket. Kids can use the muskets and pose with the figures. One of the figures showed the height of an average man in the 1700’s, which was less than 5 feet 6′. My kids would be giants next to these folks.

Old Ninety-Six Historic Site

During the Siege of Ninety Six, Patriots built a Maham Tower. Sharpshooters were able to fire into the Loyalist held Star Fort. The Loyalists tried to burn the tower but it was made of green wood & would not burn. The original was 30 ft tall, but the replica at Ninety Six NHS is only 10 ft tall. The mounds show the zig zag trenches that were built by soldiers and slaves.

Old Ninety-Six Historic Site

These zig-zag paths were the trenches built by the soldiers and slaves. What an awful existence. Can you imagine digging in the SC summer. Patriots tried to dig a tunnel to the Loyalist fort, but it was never completed.

The Star Fort at Old Ninety-Six Historic Site

My boys really liked to Star Fort and seeing the battle lines, which are now paved pathways. It’s amazing how close they had to be in order to fight. It was literally several hundred yards. You could yell back and forth to each other in between battles. It was close enough to throw a baseball back and forth.  The original fort walls were 40 ft. high, but are only 10 now. It was easy to imagine the battle after watching the movie at the visitors center, but still hard to comprehend the close quarters of the soldiers.

My favorite part was seeing the remains of old roads. This was a main travel artery between towns and the years of horses and wagons have left a dip in the land and a canopy of trees that is visible today.

Old Ninety-Six Historic Site

I loved the old roads. Even in this picture, you can see how wagons have created a dip in the land. I can just imagine someone coming down this tree lined ‘street’.

Ninety-Six Junior Ranger Program

If you go with kids, don’t forget to pick up a Junior Ranger booklet at the Visitors Center. It’s a great guide as you walk through the historic district, as well as a fun keepsake of your trip. Once you’ve completed the requirements, get a badge and certificate from the Ranger on duty.

What: Ninety Six SC National Historic Site
Where: 1103 Highway 248, Ninety Six, SC 29666
When: Check the website for updated hours
Cost: Free

Old Ninety-Six Historic Site

This bench on the porch of the family home is a great place to work on your Junior Ranger badge.

Hickory Knob State Park

My favorite activity at Hickory Knob State Park was the skeet shooting. We also did archery and mountain biking. If you golf, this is a great place with family friendly rates.

More Things to do in the Old 96 District

Sometimes it’s hard to take a long vacation. As kids get older, it gets even harder to find time to get away. Between sporting events, birthday parties and friends, I have to pack in as much as I can, when I can. We managed to pack in quite a bit on a recent day and half trip to the Old 96 District of South Carolina. Plus, at 2-3 hours from Downtown Atlanta, it’s far enough away to be a vacation, yet close enough to get us back for afternoon sports.

Hickory Knob State Park
This South Carolina State Park is close to the border of Georgia. It’s an outdoor lovers paradise with fishing, canoeing, and mountain biking. They also have an 18 hole golf course with kid-friendly rates. My favorite activity was the skeet shooting. There aren’t too many state parks where you can do that! My youngest loved archery lessons.

Abbeyville Opera House, Abbeyville, SC
Abbeyville has a quintessential American downtown complete with town square surrounded by shops and restaurants. It also has the Abbeyville Opera House, a beautiful turn of the century theatre that hosts big city quality community theatre shows. After a long day outdoors, we caught an 8 pm showing of Peter Pan. My boys were glued to the stage and commented, without prompting, that they really enjoyed the show.

My boys and I were given complimentary tickets and lodging in the Old 96 District. However, all opinions are my own and I only recommend places I would visit.  


Sue Rodman | Co-Founder

Sue came to Atlanta after finishing the Walt Disney World College Program where she was a tour guide then guest relations hostess (and no she did not moonlight as Snow White). Sue spent 25 years in PR before adding freelance travel writing to her resume. Prior to 365 Atlanta Traveler, Sue published an award winning family travel blog called Field Trips with Sue for eight years, and produced a TV segment with the same name on CBS Better Mornings Atlanta. Her favorite place to visit is anywhere with her husband and three sons. Sue believes anytime is a good time for dessert and there are no bad field trips, just better stories. @SueRodman

Be the first to comment on "Ninety-Six SC: Where American Revolution Battles were Won"

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.