State History
Learn about the history of South Carolina and find fun and interesting things to do and see all across South Carolina. We've also found the best books, guides, websites, and other resources to make your study of South Carolina fun and educational.
Things to See & Do in South Carolina
Ninety Six National Historic Site
The Ninety Six National Historic Site is an area of unique historical significance. The unusual name was given by early traders in the 1700's because they mistakenly believed it was the estimated number of miles to the Cherokee village of Keowee in the upper South Carolina foothills. By the mid-1700's, European colonists found it a favorable place to settle. During Ninety Six's early days, troubles with local Indians increased. In 1760, Cherokees twice attacked Fort Ninety Six, built for the settlers' protection. By the early 1700's, Ninety Six village reached its peak with a growing population, 12 houses and a newly constructed courthouse and jail. Ninety Six also figured prominently in the Southern Campaign of the American Revolution. The first land battle south of New England was fought here in 1775 and in 1780, the British fortified the strategically important frontier town. From May 22 - June 18, 1781; Major General Nathanael Greene with 1,000 patriot troops staged the longest (yet unsuccessful) siege of the Revolutionary War against 550 loyalists who were defending Ninety Six. The park site covers 989.14 acres.
Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail
The Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail (OVNHT) commemorates the campaign leading to the battle of Kings Mountain by following the Revolutionary War route of Patriot militia men from Virginia, today's eastern Tennessee, North Carolina, and South Carolina to the battle site at Kings Mountain National Military Park in South Carolina. Although the Trail is still being fully developed visitors may access approximately 30 miles of the route at various points along the 330 mile long corridor. A parallel Commemorative Motor Route may also be driven. The Motor Route uses existing state highways and, in some stretches, actually travels over the old historic roadway.
Kings Mountain National Military Park
Located in Blacksburg, Kings Mountain National Military Park commemorates a pivotal and significant victory by American Patriots over American Loyalists during the Southern Campaign of the Revolutionary War. The battle fought on October 7, 1780 destroyed the left wing of Cornwallis' army and effectively ended Loyalist ascendance in the Carolinas. The victory halted the British advance into North Carolina, forced Lord Cornwallis to retreat from Charlotte into South Carolina, and gave General Nathanael Greene the opportunity to reorganize the American Army.
Charles Pinckney National Historic Site
Located in Mt. Pleasant, the historic site was established to interpret Charles Pinckney's plantation Snee Farm, his role in the development of the United States Constitution and the transition of the United States from a group of colonies to a young nation. Interpretive exhibits, located in a house built circa 1828 but which is not Pinckney related, highlight these areas as well as the influences of African-Americans in the development of Snee Farm.
Fort Sumter National Monument
America's most tragic conflict ignited at Fort Sumter on April 12, 1861, when a chain reaction of social, economic and political events exploded into civil war. At the heart of these events was the issue of states rights versus federal authority flowing over the underlying issue of slavery. Fueled by decades of disagreement and confrontation, South Carolina seceded in protest of Lincoln's election and the social and economic changes sure to follow. With Fort Sumter as an unyielding bastion of Federal authority, the war became inevitable. A powerful symbol to both the South and the North, Fort Sumter remains a memorial to all that fought to hold it. Fort Sumter National Monument includes historic Fort Sumter located in Charleston Harbor, the Liberty Square Visitor Education Center and departure facilities in Charleston at 340 Concord Street, and Fort Moultrie, located on Sullivan's Island.
Fort Moultrie National Monument
Located in Sullivan's Island, Fort Moultrie's history covers 171 years of seacoast defense, including the first decisive victory in the American Revolution and the firing onto Fort Sumter during the first battle of the Civil War. The third Fort Moultrie, built in 1809, stands today. By touring the fort, visitors can see how coastal defenses have evolved.
Cowpens National Battlefield
Cowpens National Battlefield commemorates a decisive battle that helped turn the tide of war in the Southern Campaign of the American Revolution. On this field on January 17, 1781, Daniel Morgan led his army of tough Continentals, militia, and cavalry to a brilliant victory over Banastre Tarleton's force of British regulars. The battle at the "Cow Pens," one of only a few successful double envelopments in history, is recognized by historians as one of the most important of the American Revolution. Located in Chesnee, SC.
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Knowledge Quest
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Featured Resources

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