Outdoor

Marie McAden

SOUTH CAROLINA INSIDER

 

Musgrove Mill Battlefield Trail features unexpected surprise

Posted 4/11/2013 10:49:00 AM

You don’t have to walk far on the Musgrove Mill State Historic Site’s Battlefield Trail to come across an unexpected surprise — waterfalls.

Cascades are not often found two hours from the mountains — and certainly not on a trail with a Revolutionary War battlefield as its headliner.

But just .1 mile from the trailhead is Horseshoe Falls — a modest but lovely waterfall emanating from Cedar Shoals Creek. Although most of the Battlefield Trail is unpaved, the section leading to the falls overlook is a smooth ribbon of concrete, making it handicap accessible.

Stop a few minutes and enjoy the view, but don’t forget the main attraction here — the theater of war where a rag-tag team of 200 Patriots stomped an army of 500 Tories.

From the falls overlook, the trail winds up rolling hills, through a forest of pines and hardwoods. Along the way are interpretive signs that describe the hit-and-run tactics used by the backcountry militia to defeat the British Loyalists.

Realizing they were vastly outnumbered, the Americans sent a small team of soldiers to the Loyalist encampment at Musgrove Mill to lure them across the Enoree River and into their trap.

Upon seeing the stronghold of Patriots, the Loyalists began to fire — only they were too far away to hit any of the soldiers. Even as the Red Coats marched toward them, the Americans held their ground on the ridge. When the British were within 70 yards, the Patriots were given the order to fire.

The battle barely lasted half an hour, but the casualties on the British side were great. Four of the five commanders were killed, prompting the Loyalists to retreat.

At the top of a hill is the open field where most of the fighting took place. From there, the 1.2-mile trail loops back down through the forest to the waterfalls.

To learn more about this important Revolutionary War battle, visit the Musgrove Mill Education Center. For directions to the state historic site in Clinton, call (864) 938-0100 or click here.