Independence, Fort SC

Other names:

Fort, Patriot militia vs. James Boyd, early Feb 1779, fort captured and burned

Where: 34.171414 -82.636445 Independence, Fort SCC

Maps: [map notes]


  • "Liberty or Death, 1776 to 1782. (search for early 1777).
    "...about 300 yards from the Rocky River in Abbeville County."; "...about four-and-a-half miles from where the Rocky River flows into the Savannah River,..."

  • Bastian,Beverly E, Scientific & Technical Information Network (Dept of Defense)"Fort Independence: An Eighteenth-Century Frontier Homesite and Militia Post in South Carolina.:, Dec 1982
    Abstract : The procedures and results of archaeological testing and mitigation at the site of Revolutionary period Fort Independence, South Carolina (38AB218), are presented along with the procedures and results of exhaustive historical research on the site, including South Carolina backcountry settlement and the Revolutionary War as it affected that area. Initially a frontier plantation, Fort Independence was purchased by South Carolina in 1777 and garrisoned with an independent company detached from the state line. Functioning primarily as a deterrent to the restive Cherokees and Creeks Independence was important in maintaining South Carolina's frontier at a critical time. The fort was burned by Torries in early 1779. Archaeologically, Fort Independence was found to be a square, log stockade with three bastions, surrounding a well-built log plantation house. Various aspects of these remains are described and discussed. Identifications and analyses of recovered artifacts are presented along with comparisons to other archaeologically known eighteenth-century occupations.
    Map shows latitude n. of that of mouth of Van Creek; shows NE of Cherokee Shoals

  • NPS, Beneath These Waters
    Map "Historic and Prehistoric Sites". Shows fort site to be on or beneath Richard Russell Lake.# Cherokee Ford/Shoals (below) are located at the site identified as "McCalla Bottom" on this map. Location of fort site is closely approximated from this map (calibrated to Elberton, Calhoun Falls and Lowndesville).

  • NPS, "Significant Archaeological Sites"
    Fort Independence - The site of this 18th century frontier homesite and militia outpost is located on the Rocky River about 5 miles south of Lowndesville, S.C. The fort underwent full excavation in 1981, as well as an intensive documents search, to fully explore its archaeological resources and historical contexts. The location was determined through a combined oral history and archival research project. Investigations have shown that the fort started out sometime in the third quarter of the 18th century as a fortified frontier homesite plantation built by Captain Robert Anderson. Such outposts were built to encourage settlement of the Piedmont and to provide protection from the Cherokees, who were allies of the British. Fort Independence was purchased by South Carolina in 1777 and garrisoned with an independent company as an official military station. It was burned by Tories in early 1779. Archaeologically, the fort was found to be a log stockade with three bastions, surrounding a log plantation house. Excavation of the site revealed foundations that were intact and well preserved. Artifacts included ceramics such as dishes, glass wine bottles and medicine vials; silver knee-buckle frames; and brass buttons and shoebuckle frames. Archaeologists also recovered 313 prehistoric artifacts, such as projectile points of various kinds. The prehistoric remains indicate that the site was occupied from Early Archaic through Middle Woodland times (see chart, with the primary occupation during the Middle Archaic period. The number of prehistoric hunting and butchering tools suggests that hunting and meat processing were site activities.

  • Robert Scott Davis Jr, Georgia Encyclopedia, "Battle of Kettle Creek"
    The leader of this expedition, James Boyd, an Irishman from Raeburn Creek, South Carolina, had traveled to Georgia with a British invasion force from New York. He carried an open commission (as a colonel) to recruit southerners for the British military from settlements behind the rebel lines. Boyd left Savannah sometime after January 20, 1779, and reached Wrightsborough, deep within the Georgia backcountry, by the 24th, looking for guides to the South Carolina frontier. Within a week he established a camp near present-day Spartanburg, South Carolina. With 350 recruits he set out for Augusta on February 5. During their march south along the Indian frontier, Boyd and his followers were joined by 250 North Carolinians under the command of John Moore.

    The Loyalists were ineffectively pursued by small groups of rebel militiamen. Boyd's command captured Fort Independence and the outpost at Broad Mouth Creek in South Carolina, but they declined to attack the garrison of McGowan's Blockhouse on the Cherokee Ford of the Savannah River. The Loyalists crossed the river further north at Vann's Creek on February 11. The garrison of Cherokee Ford, with reinforcements, attacked Boyd's men at the crossing but were repulsed. As Boyd and his men camped at Kettle Creek on February 14, he dispatched his prisoners to Augusta. He could not know that the British troops sent there to rendezvous with him had that morning begun a withdrawal toward Savannah.

  • NBBAS:Four Not found.

  • RevWar75 RevWar75   Not found.

Related locations:
McGowan's Blockhouse   Cherokee Ford GA   Vann' Creek  

Confidence level:: See above.