However, Marion and Lee, realizing that they had to act quickly, decided to set Mrs. Motte’s house on fire. Lee asserted in his Memoirs that upon informing Mrs. Motte of their decision she offered them bow and arrows for the task, but William Dobein James, a Marion biographer, dismisses this story, stating that the fire was started by slinging burning rosin onto the roof. Read the Entry »

Though heavily damaged by Union bombardments during the Civil War, Fort Moultrie played a key role in the Confederate defense of Charleston harbor. Read the Entry »

It was a one-hundred-foot square ditched fortification, surrounded by palisade-topped earthen walls and with a bastion in each of its corners. The interior sheltered a guardhouse, a storehouse, a kitchen, a magazine, a barracks, and the commandant’s residence. Read the Entry »

The Spaniards constructed Fort San Felipe from sandy soil and other materials of the land. In its early days the fort had a triangular shape with walls made of wood and earth mounded over bundles of sticks piled high. Read the Entry »

With walls five feet thick and fifty feet high, Fort Sumter was designed to mount 135 heavy cannons and garrison 650 officers and men. The fort was about ninety percent complete when South Carolina seceded on December 20, 1860, and due to the war was never finished. Read the Entry »

The fort’s garrison included seventy-eight regular British soldiers and thirty-six Loyalists under the command of Lieutenant James McKay. With the strong garrison, the abatis, and the cleared land around the fort, Marion and Lee realized that a frontal assault to take the fort would be too costly. Read the Entry »

Nearly a dozen rare, threatened, or endangered species are protected at Forty-Acre Rock, most notably the endangered pool sprite, which flourishes in vernal pools on the rock’s surface during early spring months. Read the Entry »

The oldest fossils known from South Carolina are from the early Paleozoic era, from a time period termed the Cambrian period, and are about five hundred million years old. Some species called trilobites have been collected from several sites near Batesburg. Trilobites are the oldest extinct group of aquatic arthropods known and are most closely related to modern-day crustaceans and insects. Read the Entry »

Other textile mills followed, but Fountain Inn remained primarily a commercial hub for nearby farmers. Twentieth-century transportation developments reinforced Fountain Inn’s prosperity, as the town straddled what emerged as a major north-south highway in the upstate. Read the Entry »

Fox’s writing, both fiction and nonfiction, is characterized by his pervasive conviction that humor is a saving attitude and that traditional southern storytelling is a high art form. Read the Entry »